An Orientalist and one of the first Russian archeologists to excavate in Samarkand and other points in Central Asia, Nikolai Ivanovich was one of the most productive and among the most familiar. In addition to Central Asia, he excavated in the Kuban region between the Black Sea and the Caucasus, and excavated the Maikop culture, a major find. He lectured at the Petersburg Archeological Institute, served on the IAK, and published widely. His best-known work was “Mosques of Central Asia” (1905).
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.
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.
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.
From a noble princely family, Putiatin served in the Finnish Guards Regiment and after the emancipation of the serfs he served as both the Chairman of the Noble Assembly and a Justice of the Peace in his native Vyshnevolotskii district of Tver Province. An amateur archeologist, he showed keen interest in the Stone Age and participated actively in the congresses. He also published in French.
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.
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.
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.