A catchall, this category pulls in and cocatenates all topics relevant to the East, especially because this was where the Russian archeologists believed that they could evidence a superiority to westerners, whom they considered simply treausure hunters in Russia’s imperial territories. It also includes Semiticism, and Orientalism.
Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, and Ruthenes comprise because of all the overlap and competition over historical sources. It corresponds to NW Region in “Regions” category, which also includes parts of Poland and Ukraine. After 1870, the provinces were subdivided accordingly, although conversationally they were usually “western”: NW, under the governor general of Vilna (Vilna, Grodno, Kovno); the “western” provinces (Minsk, Vitebsk, Mogilev); and the SW provinces (Kiev, Podolia, Volhynia), under thgovernor general of Kiev.
The Caucasus became absolutely central to the Russian Imperial Imagination.
From the archeological perspective, this includes Chronicles, and is closely associated therefore with the archival commissions and the Muscovy Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs. In the 19th century it was not always possible to separate archeology from archeography, and manuscripts were included as materail culture. It has a strong affilitation with the bent toward archives, written records.
Although a broad theme, this incorporates the shift toward saving religious artefacts and restoring churches in ways that connect Orthodoxy with colonization.
Sreznevskii gave lectures on this at St. Petersburg: Slaviano-russkaia paleografiia XI-XIV vv. Also, F. I. Bulgakov and others. Considers manuscripts up to 17th, so Old Church Slavoinc included, as well as runes. Epigraphy and the translation of inscriptions belongs, such as Latyshev’s work.