An Orientalist and one of the first Russian archeologists to excavate in Samarkand and other points in Central Asia, Nikolai Ivanovich was one of the most productive and among the most familiar. In addition to Central Asia, he excavated in the Kuban region between the Black Sea and the Caucasus, and excavated the Maikop culture, a major find. He lectured at the Petersburg Archeological Institute, served on the IAK, and published widely. His best-known work was “Mosques of Central Asia” (1905).
Ivan Egorevich’s father died when he was 7, and the impoverished lad later very fortuitously found a job at the Moscow Armoury. Stroev and others there inspited his love for antiquity; he was always engaged in the professioanlization of archeology. His doctorate from St. Vladimir’s is honorary. D. I. Bagalei of Kharkov University named him the founder of “historical archeology.” He designated his daughter Maria and The Historical Museum as his only heirs, to receive his collections.
Trained in classical philology at St. Petersburg University, Sergei then took a position there, rising to the positions of Secretary of the Faculty, 1905-1909 and rector, 1911-1912. A specialist in Greece, he taught everything from its history to epigraphy. From 1894-1905 he taught ancient Greek art in the Academy of Arts. He also headed the classical section of the IRAO. He also translated and edited a number of classical Greek authors. After 1917 he remained and assumed a position of leadership at the former IAK, now the Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. He was a victim of the Siege of Leningrad during the Second World War.
Vasilii Zlatarskii embodies a political-archeological nexus that pits an acceptable nationalism against imperialism when the empire under assailment is the Ottoman. Son of a Bulgarian activist, Nikola Zlartarcheto, Vasilii was sent to Petersburg for his education, and then to Berlin to train in archeology. He returned to Sophia where he helped to turn the higher school into the university in 1904, and establishing a Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in 1911. An historian, he used archeology to establish a Bulgarian identity independent of the Ottoman Muslims, returning it, as it were, to its Slavic and Byzantine heritage. During the Great War, when Bulgaria allied with the Central Powers, he joined the troops in Macedonia for purposes of excavating. Widely published and respected, he was a member of the Russian Archaeological Institute in Constantinople, the Moscow Archaeological Society, the Finno-Ugric Commonwealth in Helsingfors, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts, the School of Slavonic Studies at the University of London, and the Seminarium Kondakovianum in Prague. He also received an honorary degree in Slavic Philology from Kharkov University in 1907.
One of the original members of the IMAO, Tikhonravov met Alexei Uvarov in the 1850s, when he was on the Vladimir Statistical Committee and the provincial governor assigned him to work with the archeologist. Later, he excavated with Savelev in other districts of his native province. Tikhonravov never moved away from Vladimir, but used his position on the statistical committee to conduct and publish significant archeological information from the region.
Appointed to a professorship in the department of political economy and statistics at Kharkov University, Sreznevskii became one of the premier Slavisists in the world. Deeply immersed in the culture of Ukraine, he collected stories, folklore, and traditions throughout the region. Kharkov, though, was not big enough for him, and he transferred to St. Petersburg where he worked at both the university and the Academy of Sciences. He continued his travels throughout the Slavic lands in western Russia and those in the Ottoman Empire. His linguistic work was groundbreaking, but he argued that Ukrainian was a dialect, but although it should be studied, it did not form the basis of a separate culture. One of this three sons, Viacheslav, become one of tsarist Russia’s most important photographers, noted for his technical innovations.
A public figure, litterateur, art and music critic extraordinaire, and active in establishing and curating museums, Stasov’s presence at the IMAO from 1866 reflects the importance of the society to the number of pursuits that grouped under the rubric “archeology.” Although he did not excavate, he wrote on everything from “Russian folk instruments” to “The throne of the khans of Khiva” and “Armenian Manuscripts.” More the intellectual gadfly than the serious scholar of archeology, he is impossible to locate. By the same token, it is equally impossible to exclude him.
A scion of one of Russia’s most distinguished families, Sergei Grigorevich began his career in service to the state fighting against Napoleon and rode into Paris in victory. An adjutant to Tsars Alexander I and Nicholas I, he then distinguished himself in the Russo-Turkish Wars of 1828. His interest in archeology began as chairman of the Moscow Society of History and Antiquities in 1836, which directed his focus toward the Greek and Scythian finds in Crimea and New Russia. When Alexander II decided to found an Archeological Commission, he named Stroganov to head it, so the latter moved from Moscow to the imperial capital, where he also took up the education of the heirs to the throne. The Uvarovs often found themselves at loggerheads with Stroganov, and Alexei made Moscow his home base after the former moved to Petersburg. Much of their differences can be epitomized by their archeological museums: Stroganov at the Hermitage, which displayed aesthetic elegance, and Uvarov at his Historical Museum, which featured artefacts for their cultural significance.
Born in Minsk and educated first in Vilna, Boris Turaev pioneered in Egyptology in Imperial Russia. He worked in the museums of all the European capitals before returning to St. Petersburg University to begin lecturing on “The Ancient East,” which also included the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Persia. He also traveled to Russian regional museums to study the Egyptian artefacts each had on display. Curator of the Egyptian section of the Museum of Fine Arts name for Alexander III, he also, with Nikolai Marr, began the journal “Christian East” in 1912.
Evstafi Pievich Tyshkevich inaugurated archeology in the NW Region. His own national identity belies the complexity of the region: he was Belarusian, Polish, and Lithuanian, and determined to open up the multiple pasts of the region to its inhabitants. With his brother Konstantin he dug numerous kurgans in the 1840s, and they opened a part of their estate to create the first public museum. In 1856 he opened the Vilna Archeological Commission. All of this became Russified following the Polish rebellion of 1863, and much of their museum’s collection was sent to the Rumiantsev Museum. A respected archeologist, he was a member of the Danish Royal Society of Northern Antiquities, the Stockholm Royal Academy of Fine Arts and Antiquities, and the London Archaeological Institute. In St. Petersburg, he was an honorary member of the Academy of Sciences, and as a Groom of the Chamber of the Court of His Imperial Majesty.