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.
More than simply a catch-all, the “Black Sea” pulls together the multiple civilizations that have populated the littoral, ranging freely from Bolgars on the Danube with the “relatives” on the Volga, to Genoese traders, to the short-lived kingdom of Trabzon.
This theme addresses the issue of Russia being something unique to the rest of Europe; it overlaps, for example, with the relationship between Greece and Scythia. And as Central Asia becomes absorbed into the empire, Eurasia becomes more important as a cultural as well as political concept. It includes “perednaia Aziia,” a combination of the southern Caucasus, or “zakavkaze,” and northern Asia Minor. The polyglot Khazars also fit here, because they lay between the two civilizations.
This refers to Medieval Russia, from when the Mongol conquest ended Rus, until the rise of Peter the Great ended the time frame for archeology. However, it covers more of a geographical than a temporal space. During much of this time Ukraine was not a part of Muscovy, and is treated separately at the archeological congresses.
This is were it all began, with antiquarians collecting coins. P. S. Savelev pressed the archeology over the numismatics in organizing the Russian Archeological Society. Coins became much more than collectors’ items, though, transforming into indicators of economic contacts and the evolution of states. By 1902 archeologists were producing maps of where different types of coins had been found.