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).
Spitsyn embodied the success story that scientific scholarship made possible. From Viatka Province, he began a dissertation on Viatka that contradicted what the great historian Nikolai Karamzin had written, so he was forced to abandon it. He returned to his native land, teaching at a women’s gymnasium while excavating throughout the region. In 1892 the Archeological Commission began paying attention to his findings, and brought him to St. Petersburg where he developed into one of the major theoreticians and technicians of the profession. In 1909 he taught the first course in archeology at a Russian university. He continued after 1917, corresponding with colleagues who had emigrated.
As a student in St. Petersburg, this son of a former serf helped to organize a Literary and Scientific Society as a countermeasure to unrest among others. Shliapkin began his teaching career in Russian literature, and his lectures were widely attended, including by Roerich. From this he developed a path into ancient Slavic manuscripts and paleography. He also taught ad the Military-Juridical Academy, the St. Petersburg Women’s Pedagogical Institute, and contributed to the Pskov Archaeological Museum. A member of the Society of Lovers of Ancient Literature, he traveled and excavated widely under its auspices.
A. N. Shvartz served briefly as Minister of Education, under Prime Minister Peter Stolypin, 1908-1910, dismissed from such liberal policies as wanting to open universities to women and increase the quota of Jewish students; he also wanted to close all student organizations, Left and Right, in hopes of depoliticizing them. As an educator, he had curated the educational districts of Moscow, Warsaw, and Riga. His academic specialty was Greek literature and epigraphy. In a side note, he had his colleague I. V. Tsvetaev dismissed from the Rumiantsev Museum over a false accusation of theft.
Nikolai Pokrovskii pioneered in church architecture as a field in archeology. His Master’s on “The Origin of the Ancient Christian Basilica” established the basis for what would become a major archeological question, that is, how did church art and architecutre relate to liturgy. His interest in Orthodoxy meant that he also became a Byzantinist. Moreover, he was a founding member of the monarchist political party “The Russian Assembly” in 1900.
From a noble princely family, Putiatin served in the Finnish Guards Regiment and after the emancipation of the serfs he served as both the Chairman of the Noble Assembly and a Justice of the Peace in his native Vyshnevolotskii district of Tver Province. An amateur archeologist, he showed keen interest in the Stone Age and participated actively in the congresses. He also published in French.
A brilliant and innovative painter, Roerikh drew his inspiration from his early archeological digs in Novgorod and Pskov, where he learned to love Rus. In the constellation of artists that gave turn-of-the-century Russia its modern glow, Roerich was also a mystic and more engaged in Orthodoxy than the others. He was close to Prince Putiatin and spent time with Maria Tenisheva at her Kalashkino. His oevre includes post-revolutionary work at the Chicago Institute of Art, and life in London and his beloved India. But first and foremost, Roerich was anchored in Russia’s ancient past.
The first director of the St. Petersburg Archeological Institute, Kalachov was first and foremost an archivist who directed the archive of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Empire for decades. Having served on several provincial archeographical commissions, most notably, he also served on two of Alexander II’s commissions that wrote the Great Reforms: that for the emancipation of the serfs, and also for the judicial reforms. Beyond this, he also participated in the Commission for Study of Popular Juridical Practices under Geographic Society, and several Provincial Archival Commissions. A stalwart at the archeological congresses when alive, he kept attention forcused on the need for professional maintenance of them.
Scion of a well-known literary family, Leonid Nikolaevich published extensively himself, though in educational and historical publications, some with a more popular focus. He had a minor focus on byliny, or Russian epics, and was actively involved with organizing numerous archeological congresses. Moreover, he taught at the Petersburg Archeological Institute.
The most important anthropologist in Imperial Russia, Anuchin provided the link between ethnography and archeology. A moderate Darwinist, and a translator of John Lubbock’s work, he never made that a credo of archeology, such as the latter did in London. Always extremely active in the congresses, he also edited the IMAO’s “Zapiski” in the 1890s. Although he never succeeded in professionalizing anthropology in Imperial Russia, today’s Institute in Moscow bears his name, as do a crater on the moon, a Kuril island, a glacier, and a mountain. For decades after Alexei Uvarov’s death he served as Praskovia’s righthand man.