From the archeological perspective, this includes Chronicles, and is closely associated therefore with the archival commissions and the Muscovy Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs. In the 19th century it was not always possible to separate archeology from archeography, and manuscripts were included as materail culture. It has a strong affilitation with the bent toward archives, written records.


This refers to Medieval Russia, from when the Mongol conquest ended Rus, until the rise of Peter the Great ended the time frame for archeology. However, it covers more of a geographical than a temporal space. During much of this time Ukraine was not a part of Muscovy, and is treated separately at the archeological congresses.


Although a broad theme, this incorporates the shift toward saving religious artefacts and restoring churches in ways that connect Orthodoxy with colonization.


As Slavophilism morphed into pan-Slavism in the 19th century, it spilled over into archeology. This registered in the development of specific branches of Slavic or Russian archeology in many of the professional societies; Russian here included Little Russia and White Russia. When the Archeological Institute opened in Constantinople in 1894, direcotr Fedor Uspenskii focused on Serbia and Bulgaria, Slavic territories in the Ottoman Empire.

Staraia Ladoga

Digging the Ladoga Canal in 1866, animal bones and weapons turned up. The area was turned over to Inostrantsev and other natural scientists.

Roerich, N. K.

A brilliant and innovative painter, Roerikh drew his inspiration from his early archeological digs in Novgorod and Pskov, where he learned to love Rus. In the constellation of artists that gave turn-of-the-century Russia its modern glow, Roerich was also a mystic and more engaged in Orthodoxy than the others. He was close to Prince Putiatin and spent time with Maria Tenisheva at her Kalashkino. His oevre includes post-revolutionary work at the Chicago Institute of Art, and life in London and his beloved India. But first and foremost, Roerich was anchored in Russia’s ancient past.

Ilovaiskii, D. I.

As early as the Second Congress, Ilovaiskii began his intellectual rampage against the calling of the Varangians. A fascinating character from Riazan, his teachers noticed his intelligence and persuaded his parents to allow him a classical education. He studied in Moscow with the great historians of the 1840s and ’50s. When in the 1860s Moscow University limited him to teaching general rather than Russian history, he resigned his post. He supported himself writing history and sparking controveries relevant to Great Russian nationalism. This might explain how one of his textbooks enjoyed reprinted 44 editions. His daughter Varvara married another prominent archeologist, Ivan Tsvetaev, who remarried after Varvara’s premature death from tuberculosis. His second wife gave birth to the poetess Marina. Ilovaiskii moved from moderate to radical conservatism after the 1905 Revolution, joining the Union of Russian People.

Inostrantsev, A. A.

One of Russia’s foremost geologists, Inostrantsev worked with archeologists in making determinations about the Stone Age in Russia. As a student, he worked originally in chemistry under Dmitrii Mendeleev, but a passion for rocks displaced chemistry and in 1868 be began curating the newly founded Geological Cabinet at the Academy of Sciences. In 1869 he defended his dissertation on his geological research in northern Russia, where he had uncovered numerous skulls around Lake Ladoga, which he turned over to anthropologists, who overlapped with archeologists in the Stone Age in particular. With A. P. Bogdanov, Inostrantsev helped to found the Society of Lovers of Natural Science, Anthropology and Geography. Bogdanov’s foremost mentee and activist in the IMAO Dmitrii Anuchin discovered the bones of domesticated dogs at Ladoga and named them canis inostrantsev. Inostrantsev merits mention as an archeologist because of his work in helping to decipher the prehistory of civilization.

Ivanovskii, L. K.

A medical doctor, Lev Ivanovskii taught anatomy to the female students in the Military Surgical Academy, and also served both St. Petersburg and Warsaw. He excavated in several kurgans in European Russia, but his major contribution was to write “Instructions for the Descriptions of all Forms of Excavations,” which he presented at the 3rd Congress in Kiev, in 1874. He worked at St. Petersburg Medical Academy.

Bogdanov, A. P.

Bogdanov measured skulls. He did not so much as participate in excavations himself as take the measurements of the skeletons that others sent to him, and tried to define the contours of race and ethnicity. Bogdanov provided the inspiration for and organization of the Russian Ethnographic Exhibition of 1867. Moreover, he mentored Dmitrii Anuchin, Russia’s principal ethnographer-archeologist.