A catchall, this category pulls in and cocatenates all topics relevant to the East, especially because this was where the Russian archeologists believed that they could evidence a superiority to westerners, whom they considered simply treausure hunters in Russia’s imperial territories. It also includes Semiticism, and Orientalism.


This theme addresses the issue of Russia being something unique to the rest of Europe; it overlaps, for example, with the relationship between Greece and Scythia. And as Central Asia becomes absorbed into the empire, Eurasia becomes more important as a cultural as well as political concept. It includes “perednaia Aziia,” a combination of the southern Caucasus, or “zakavkaze,” and northern Asia Minor. The polyglot Khazars also fit here, because they lay between the two civilizations.


The capital of Bulgaria on the Volga from the 8th-15th century, the ruins of this city intrigue because of the other Bulgaria, the one on the Danube. Similarities in language break down according to religious influences, Byzantium on the Danube and Islam on the Volga. Arab traders wrote about Bolghar, which profited as a trading center after the Mongol conquest in the 13th century. The ruins were rediscovered in the 18th century and visited by both Peter and Catherine the Greats, further testament to the perrenial empire.

Savelev, P. S.

A founding member of the IRAO, Savelev was one of Imperial Russia’s premier numismatists. An inattentive student in the classroom, he developed a love for coins that moved well beyond simply collecting them. His forte was Muslim coins, and he pioneered in analyzing them to chart historical movements and interactions. He published a survey even of Georgian antiquities in ZhMNP, vol. 16 (1837): 531-44.

Radlov, V. V.

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.

Iznoskov, I. A.

Iznoskov remained in his native Kazan where he taught at secondary schools and took active part in the society. He compiled the archeological map of Kazan, a major undertaking. Not surprisingly, he was a member of the Kazan Statistical Committee.

Likhachev, A. F.

A. F. Likhachev personified the antiquarian-turned-archeologist. Deeply devoted to Kazan, where his family had lived there for generations, Likhachev was especially well known for his collections of archeological artefacts from the region. His work took him to the Chancery of Governor of Kazan.

Korsakov, D. A.

Though from Muscovite pedigree, nephew of the influential scholar K. D. Kavelin, Korsakov studied at the University of Kazan, where he remained throughout his career. His wife, interestingly, had divorced the archimandrite who would serve the Orthodox flock in Rome.

Golubovskii, P. V.

Ultimately a professor of history at St. Vladimir University, after teaching at numerous gymnasia, Golubovskii specialized in the pre-Petrine era and integrated archeology into his courses.

Artemev, A. I.

Artemev is difficult to classify because he spent many years working on Kazan’s history. He was a great bibliographer and statistician, and Nikolai Miliutin made him a member of the the Emancipation Commission. Wounded during a near ship wreck when in 1868 he was touring the Caucasus, Athens, and the Mediterranean with Grand Prince Alexei Alexandrovich, he died from it six years later.