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.
The son of a classical philologist, Mikhail Ivanovich followed and exceeded by becoming a scholar of international repute, interlacing the cultural influences in the southern region of the Russian empire. A student of Scythia, Hellenism, and Rome antiquity, his “Iranians and Greeks in South Russia” (1922) remains a canonical work on ancient history. Prolific even before his emigration to the United States after the Bolshevik Revolution, he began shaping the field from Russia. Although he wrote also in German and was a member of the Berlin Academy of Sciences, his anti-German stance during the Great War prevented his acceptance there. He served as president of the American Historical Association in 1935.
Best known as one of the founders of the Kadet Party in post-1905 Russia, and very briefly the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the first Provisional Government after Nicholas II’s abdication, Miliukov became an archeologist for a few years by happenstance. Twice exiled from Moscow in the 1890s because of his participation in political protests at the university, where he had studied and then taught history, Miliukov went to Riazan for two years, where he worked on the local Archival Commission, and then later as a history professor at the University of Sophia. In both places he joined with locals and participated in excavations, and presented his findings at three archeological congresses. He attended as a representative of the Riazan Archival Commission and a history professor from Sophia.
Born and educated in Bohemia, the Austrian Empire, Vikentii Khvoiko moved to Kiev in 1876. A modest teacher with an amateur’s interest in archeology, digging in the 1890s near a village named Tripol’e he chanced upon what were found to be the oldest settlements in the area from the Carpathian Mountains to the Dnepr River, dating back to the Neolithic Age, circa 5500 BCE. As it turned out, archaeologists in Rumania in the mid-1880s had unearthed ceramic shards in the Cucuteni quarry that were later found to belong to this same culture. Known today as Cucuteni–Trypillia culture, it remains an active archeological site. Khvoiko became one of the most distinguished archeologists of the early 20th century.
Boris Farmakovskii was one of Imperial Russia’s most respected archeologists of classical antiquity, best known for his work reconstructing Olvia in situ. He served briefly as the secretary of the Russian Institute in Constantinople, and on the Archeological Commission from 1901. From Simbirsk, his father worked for Vladimir Ulianov’s, and the two boys were acquainted. He also taught at the Higher Women’s Courses. After the Revolution, he was active in transforming the Imperial Archeological Commission into the Institute for the History of Material Culture, which he hoped would be removing the state from interfering in academic endeavors.