Stelletskii, I. Ia.

Ignatii Stelletskii, after graduating from the Kiev Spiritual Academy, took a position at the Nazareth teaching seminary in Palestine. From here he made an unconventional jump to the Moscow Archive of the Ministry of Justice, where Samokvasov took him under his mentorship in excavating kurgans. Stelletskii combined the two with a paper on “The Scythian Invasion of Palestine,” read at the 14th Congress. Indeed, Palestine provided his main area of expertise, though he does not appear to have returned. He presented an equally controversial paper at the 15th Congress, on his latest interest, searches for the city’s “underground,” searches that he continued in other cities. During the Great War he found himself on the Caucasian front, from which Marr and Uspenskii and others were conducting excavations; he was appointed director of the archeological department of the governor-generalship of the occupied Ottoman territories. On a side note, Stelletskii became obsessed with the “missing” library of Ivan the Terrible, which he carried over into his Soviet years.