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Blagoveshchensk is a city and the administrative center of Amur Oblast, Russia, located at the confluence of the Amur and Zeya Rivers, opposite to the Chinese city of Heihe. Population:The Amur has formed Russia's border with China since the 1858 Aigun Treaty and 1860 Treaty of Peking. The area north of the Amur belonged to the Manchu Qing dynasty until it was ceded to Russia in the 1689 Treaty of Nerchinsk.HistoryEarly history of the regionThe early residents of both sides of the Amur in the region of today's Blagoveshchensk were the Daurs and Duchers. An early settlement in the area of today's Blagoveshchensk was the Ducher town whose name was reported by the Russian explorer Yerofey Khabarov as Aytyun in 1652; it has been identified with what is currently known to the archaeologists as the Grodekovo site, after the nearby village of Grodekovo (which is located on the left bank of the Amur at, some 25- south of Blagoveshchensk). The Grodekovo site is thought by archaeologists to have been populated since ca. 1000 CE.As the Russians tried to assert their control over the region, the Ducher town was probably vacated when the Duchers were evacuated by the Qing to the Sungari or Hurka in the mid-1650s. Since 1673, the Manchus re-used the site for their fort ("Old Aigun", in modern literature), which served in 1683-1685 as a base for the Manchus' campaign against the Russian fort of Albazin further north.
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