Imperial Archeological Commission

The Archaeological Commission was established in 1859, a department of the Ministry of the Court. It held the authority to “the search for objects of antiquity, predominantly relating to the history of the fatherland and the lives of the peoples who at one time lived in the space currently occupied by Russia.” Connected to the Hermitage, the Commission collected the most valuable artefacts for the state museum. In 1889 it received exclusive authorization to grant permission to conduct excavations anywhere in the empire.