Spitsyn embodied the success story that scientific scholarship made possible. From Viatka Province, he began a dissertation on Viatka that contradicted what the great historian Nikolai Karamzin had written, so he was forced to abandon it. He returned to his native land, teaching at a women’s gymnasium while excavating throughout the region. In 1892 the Archeological Commission began paying attention to his findings, and brought him to St. Petersburg where he developed into one of the major theoreticians and technicians of the profession. In 1909 he taught the first course in archeology at a Russian university. He continued after 1917, corresponding with colleagues who had emigrated.
His father a celebrated painter and his mother the niece of prominent Slavophile Ivan Aksakov, Vladimir Konstantinovich became a numismatist and Orientalist, studying eastern languages, specializing in Arabic, at the Lazaervskii Institute. He held numerous positions of importance, the most important being custodian of the Armoury. At the IMAO, he held the post of secretary from 1888 and chair of the East Commission from 1911. He was also secretary of numerous Congresses, and sat on the organizing committee of all, beginning with the 7th in Iaroslavl, through the 16th in Pskov, which never came to pass.
Born in Minsk and educated first in Vilna, Boris Turaev pioneered in Egyptology in Imperial Russia. He worked in the museums of all the European capitals before returning to St. Petersburg University to begin lecturing on “The Ancient East,” which also included the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Persia. He also traveled to Russian regional museums to study the Egyptian artefacts each had on display. Curator of the Egyptian section of the Museum of Fine Arts name for Alexander III, he also, with Nikolai Marr, began the journal “Christian East” in 1912.
The oldest of four brothers, all of whom had tangential associations with archeology, Fedor was a Byzantinist, best known as the director of the Russian Archeological Institute in Constantinople, which opened in 1894. Uspenskii was particularly interested in studying the Slavic lands of the Ottoman Empire via the Institute, especially their Orthodox artefacts. Although the guns of August, 1914, forced the closure of the Institute, Uspenskii took his archeological ambitions to the Russian Army on the Caucasian front, where it was enjoying success against the Turkish forces. Planning for a Russian victory, he dreamed of a Russian liturgy being prayed in the Hagia Sophia.
Sizov worked closely with both Uvarovs in several fields. First, he with Alexei he dug in kurgans all around the empire, and he helped them to establish the Historical Museum. His most important finds were in the Gnezdovo kurgans in the NW, around Smolensk, where he found evidence of Slavs and Varangians living peacably together; from this he postulated that the Varangians were the aristocracy in the region. Later he participated with Praskovia on her Materials of the Archeology of the Caucasus. He served on the Commission for the Preservation of Ancient Monuments, but also found time to work with the Imperial theatres.
Unlike his brother Nikolai, who directed his attention to the specific topic of church architecture, Fedor turned his to a region, Vilna. He taught there, worked in digs there, and involved himself with the Archeological Museum, writing a guide to it. In addition to drafting an archeological map of Vilna Province, he made one also of Grodno Province.
Nikolai Pokrovskii pioneered in church architecture as a field in archeology. His Master’s on “The Origin of the Ancient Christian Basilica” established the basis for what would become a major archeological question, that is, how did church art and architecutre relate to liturgy. His interest in Orthodoxy meant that he also became a Byzantinist. Moreover, he was a founding member of the monarchist political party “The Russian Assembly” in 1900.
His biographer recorded that his charitable works deflected his interest from his academic activities, and therefore he produced less than what could be expected from someone with his knowledge and capabilities, but one wonders what more could he have done? He began by studying church history under M. V. Nikolskii, and worked for the Synodal Typography while he also tutored the children of Prince Volkonskii. A member of several other societies, at the IMAO he served as secretary of the Eastern Secion. Then he edited the multi-volume publications coming from the 7th through the 11th archeological congresses. He presented numerous papers, several on inscriptions from Turkestan, although he does not appear to have traveled there himself.
Smirnov’s most notable role was as the curator of the medieval section of the Hermitage, 1897-1918. His most remarkable find was the reproductions of the series of drawings of Kiev drawn by Dutch artist Abraham Van Westerfeld for the Lithuanian Hetman Janusz Radziwill in 1651, during the uprising launched by Bogdan Khmelnytskii, Hetman of the Zaporozhian Cossacks. Smirnov presented on this at the 13th congress in Ekaterinoslav. In 1918, he died of starvation, which M. I. Rostovtsev said made him the first victim of the Bolsheviks from this circle.
Markevich described himself as self-taught, but gadfly seems the more appropriate adjective. He bounced around in and out of several provincial gymnasia, then got a degree in history from New Russia University, where he then taught for several years. Forced to quit for unexplained reasons in 1895, he became active in public affairs. He participated in numerous congresses, having spent times in archives rather than excavations.