Gorodtsov combined two careers; he served in the Imperial Army, 1880-1906, and became one of the foremost archeologists of both the Stone and Bronze Ages. His primary headquarters were in Iaroslavl, where he also served on the Archival Commission. He wrote the textbook on prehistory for the Moscow Archeological Institute. he was also a member of the Riazan and Iaroslavl Archival Commissions. After 1917 he was a leading member of the Insititute of Material Culture, which was the transformed Imperial Archeological Commission.