A lightning rod for many issues, Samokvasov levied his influence at a number of the archeological congresses. He combined his positions as director of the Archive of the Moscow Ministry of Justice with that of law professor at the University of Warsaw, and one of the most creative archeologists of the Stone Age. A devoted monarchist, he belonged to the ultra-conservative Union of Russian People after 1905.
Ossovskii epitomizes the fluidity of imperial borders in matters of archeological excavations. Ethnically Polish from Zhitomir, he was forced to quit his studies and fight on the Russian side during the Crimean War. He got pulled into archeology by way of studying the geology of Volhynia, where he sat on the local Statistical Committee. He then moved to Krakow, Galicia, to excavate at the invitation of Polish archeologists; his background in geology took him to the Stone Age. After 18 years in Galicia, he returned to Russia, to excavate in Siberia.
Adolf Pavinskii spent his teaching career at the University of Warsaw, then a part of the Russian empire. He had studied in Germany with Leopold Ranke, and published in several languages, including German. His specialty lay in perhistoric Poland and the evolution of Slavic tribes. He also worked in the main archive of Poland.
A Catholic born on the border between Belarus and Lithuania, Kostsiushko-Valiuzhinich moved his family to Sevastopol in 1881 and fell in love with Crimea. Also a banker and newspaper editor in the city, his passion for Khersones overwhelmed all other interests. He joined the Odessa Society of the History of Antiquities, and despite fights with Count Bobrinskii over authority over the digs, the latter appointed this fanatic to the Archeological Commission. Kostsiushko-Valiuzhinich turned the Warehouse of Local Antiquities into the Khersones Museum, circa 1888.
A student of Buslaev’s at Moscow University, Kondakov trained in art history which transformed him into an archeologist. A member of the Imperial Archeological Commission from 1876 to 1891, he became a world renowned expert on Byzantium, and his pioneering methodology in iconography still retains value. With I. I. Tolstoi, he published six volumes of “Russian Antiquities in Monuments of Art” (Русские древности в памятниках искусства, 1889-1899). D. V. Ainalov, S. A. Zhebelev, M. I. Rostovtsev, E. I. Redin, and Ia. I. Smirnov counted among his students. Moreover, he was also helpful in establishing the Institute in Constantinople. Exiled to Prague after 1917, he established the Seminarium Kondakovianum, an important intellectual exchange for emigrants, and which for a few years maintained ties with archeologists left behind.
Grigorevich was an important collector of early Christian manuscripts, collecting them in the Balkans in the 1840s.
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.
Of Polish and Tatar heritage and born in Belarus, Kirkor moved fairly easily among the many languages in the region, and with his own typography he courted the local intelligentsia. In 1855 he was appointed to the Vilna Archeological Commission, and worked with the Tyshkevich brothers on the Museum of Antiquities in Vilna. Always engaged in the study of the archeology and ethnography of Litva and Belarus, he could not escape suspicion for his roots. He helped to establish the Vilna Museum of Antiquity, and was elected to the Krakow Academy of Sciences.
From an impoverished family in a small provincial town, Buslaev’s brilliance and energy garnered him honorary professorships at all of Russia’s universities. Count Sergei Stroganov recognized the talents of his children’s tutor, and he took the young man with him on a 2-year tour of Western Europe. A follower of German philologist Jacob Grimm’s studies of historical influences on languages, Buslaev studied comparative linguistic influences on translations of the Gospels. Publishing prolifically on all aspects of language, his reputation landed him a palce as tutor to the ill-fated Tsarevich Nikolai Alexandrovich.
Barshchevskii was a self-taught pioneer in photography, and developed the art of taking photos of archeologically significant architecture. At her invitation, he added photography to Princess Maria Tenisheva’s art studio at her renowned Talashkino estate. Many of his pictures are all that remains today of some of what the Soviets destroyed.