Born and educated in Germany, Vasilii (b. Friedrich) Radlov came to St. Petersburg in 1858 to study at the Asian Museum. In Russia, he had many opportunities to study Turkic languages, and he moved to the Altai region where he pioneered in Turkology. His work also took him to the Steppes and to Central Asia; a linguist in an era when that was considered a branch of archeology, he also excavated in these area. In 1872 he was appointed to curate the Kazan educational district, where he remained until 1884. Upon his return to Petersburg, he was appointed director of the Asian Museum in 1890, which he invigorated and made into a major international museum. He studied the language of the Crimean Tatars and the Karaites who had emigrated to the NW Region, thereby covering almost all of the Russian empire.