Her biographies tend to emphasize that she had inspired Lev Tolstoi’s Kitty Shcherbatskaia in “Anna Karenina,” but play down her role as the most formidable female scientist in Imperial Russia. To be fair, she always subjugated herself to her husband, Alexei, even for the 30 years following his death in which she organized the congresses, published the essays from them, developed the Caucasus Museum, and fought to open locally based museums of antiquities throughout the empire. She excavated and published extensively, and her first love were the Christian artefacts in the Caucasus. Professionalism in Russian archeology is unimaginable without her.
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.
Count I. I. Tolstoi, son of the Minister of Posts and Telegraph, would himself become the Minister of Education during the 1905 Revolution; like much else about liberalism in those years, he did not survive the position, but was later elected to the St. Petersburg City Council. A member of the IAK from 1886, he was among those who broke with the IMAO in 1889 in the contest for archeological authority in the empire. A numismatist, he co-edited with Kondakov the commanding five volumes on Russian antiquities. He was also secretary and vice-president of the Academy of Arts, important given the overlap that continued between art and archeology, especially prevalent in Kondakov’s work on iconography.
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.
A lightning rod for many issues, Samokvasov levied his influence at a number of the archeological congresses. He combined his positions as director of the Archive of the Moscow Ministry of Justice with that of law professor at the University of Warsaw, and one of the most creative archeologists of the Stone Age. A devoted monarchist, he belonged to the ultra-conservative Union of Russian People after 1905.
The “Siberian Lomonosov,” Ivan Savenkov had a remarkable array of interests by any standard. From Irkutsk, he returned to Siberia after graduating from St. Petersburg University, this time to Krasnoiarsk, first as a teacher, which led to his opening a pedogocial institute there and developing ideas about physical education for students. Locally, he involved himself in everything from acting in the local theatre troupe to leading student excavations of local kurgans. A chess aficionado, he designed a match in which villages could play each other using telegraph codes. From 1907-1911 he directed what remains one of the most impressive local museums in Russia or elsewhere, the Minusinsk Museum of Local History. Digging on Mount Afontovo in the summer of 1914, he died of a heart attack.
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.
Born in Moscow into a petty noble family and educated at the university there, Shpilevskii’s first posting sent him to Kazan in 1860. He blossomed into a champion of the historical archeology of the region, organized the KOAIE, and proved instrumental in getting the 4th Archeological Congress there. His magnum opus, “Ancient Cities and Other Bulgaro-Tatar Monuments in the Province of Kazan” won numerous academic honors. In 1885, he was transferred to the Demidov legal lyceum in Iaroslavl, where he formed other academic societies and worked on the provincial statistical committee.
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.
Pomialovskii became one of the heavyweights, who began his training in classical languages, primarily Latin, and ended up serving on many educational committees and a member of every number of Archeological committees, including American ones.