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.
This refers primarily to religious structures, beginning with the Church of the Tithes, or Desitinnaia tserkov in Kiev. Construction began in 989 to celebrate Vladimir’s baptism to Christianity, and the controversies that erupted over its excavation in the 1840s launched the debate about whether old churches should be restored to their original forms or consistently “updated,” as they had been in the past. This also includes Catholic and Uniate churches “restored” to Orthodoxy in the NW Region, and also the Christian East, the churches in the Caucasus.
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.
Although this overlaps with Byzantium and the Christian Caucasus, it incorporates other territories not so specifically associated with the better known early Christian societies, such as the Copts in Egypt. The journal “Christian East,” published by the Academy of Sciences from 1911, was devoted to “dedicated to the study of Christian culture of the peoples of Asia and Africa.”
No archeological region proved more crucial to Russia’s identity, both politically and culturally. Condemned as “incapable of thought and action” from the turn of the 18th century by such influential historians as Edward Gibbon and Georg Hegel, Byzantium had provided Russia with the Orthodox religion that provided a cornerstone to its 19th-century ideology of “Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality.” Preeminent archeologist Nikodim Kondakov led the way in challenging this image of the empire to which his own was currently laying claim in a nuanced translatio imperii. The journal Византійскій временникъ, ‘Byzantine Chronicle,’ began publication under V. G. Vasil’evskii in 1894.
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.
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 theme connects Kiev, Novgorod, and pre-Mongol, and therefore pre-Muscovite Russia. It includes the controversial “calling of the Varangians,” a theme especially popular at the 8th Congress in Muscovy in 1890.
As Slavophilism morphed into pan-Slavism in the 19th century, it spilled over into archeology. This registered in the development of specific branches of Slavic or Russian archeology in many of the professional societies; Russian here included Little Russia and White Russia. When the Archeological Institute opened in Constantinople in 1894, direcotr Fedor Uspenskii focused on Serbia and Bulgaria, Slavic territories in the Ottoman Empire.