This category largely belongs to Dmitri Anuchin and those who worked with him. Primarily an anthropologist avant la lettre, Anuchin was prominet on several faculties and societies because he understood archeology to be an assimilation of the social sciences, derived from material culture. And it also refers to Alexei Uvarov’s work with tribes, especially the Meriane and Finno-Ugric. Craniology was important, too, in first congresses. Scythia and Kurgans belong as subthemes because these also prompted questions of ethnography. Folklore also belongs here, because they understood it as ethnographic.
Kurgan is a Turkish word for “castle” that translates as “mound,” “tumulus,” or “barrow,” a reference to the particular burial method of building mounds atop pit-graves. Kurgan culture evolved from the fifth millennia BC, from the Northern Pontic and spread across Central Europe, crossing the Dnepr and moving as far as Kazakhstan, home of the Issyk Kurgan. A practice rather than an ethnicity, kurgan culture united many of the peoples who occupied what became the Russian Empire. Scythians ae perhaps the best known who followed these burial practices because of the spectacular golden items found in many of their kurgans. The most culturally advanced kurgans are complex structures with reinforced walls and numerous internal chambers, and many still lie unexcavated across the steppes.