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Department of Archeology

Contact Information

Universitetskaya nab., 3
199034 St.Petersburg, Russia
Phone: (812) 328-08-12 (ext. 420)

Department Staff

Khlopachev Gennadii, Head of Department, Cand.Sc. (archeology of the Paleolithic; the Upper Paleolithic of East European Plain; stone and bone industry, structure of settlements with mammoth bone constructions, ancient techniques and technologies of bone processing in the Stone Age).

Belsky Stanislav, Junior Researcher, Cand.Sc. (archeology of the Iron Age – the Middle Ages of East Baltic, North-West of Russia; chronology of archeological monuments, written sources and archeology. Specific branch of activity – dynamic filed work, development and research of new archeological objects, registration at regional bodes of monument protection).

Gerasimov Dmitrii, Researcher, Cand.Sc. (social and cultural processes of the Holocene Stone Age in forest belt of East Europe in terms of environment modofications).

Yemelina Olga, Leading Curator (Hun-Sarmatian archeology; archeological textile; restoration of textile, leather, plant fiber).

History of the Department

The first collections of Russian antiquities were acquired in the times of Peter’s Kunstkamera. The most important archaeological acquisitions of that period are the famous Siberian collection of gold articles assembled by a Tagil manufacturer A.N. Demidov and donated by him to Peter I in 1715, and that of gold and silver objects from Astrakhan’ Region. In later years, the influx of archaeological materials to the Kunstkamera was rather steady, and after a number of reorganizations a separate Department of Archaeology was founded in 1894 as a structural unit of the Museum.

In March 1894, Academician V.V. Radlov was elected Director of MAE. Already in his opening speech at the meeting of the Academy of Sciences on March 30th, 1894, he invited the audience “to appeal to the Imperial Archaeological Committee for help in the enrichment of the archaeological department of the museum”. In this address, for the first time, the archaeological part of MAE is referred to as a department, suggesting that this was the day when the history of the Department of Archaeology actually began.

The department’s first staff members were N.M. Mogilyanskii, D.A. Klementz, and B.F. Adler. Other persons associated with the department in the early 1900s were I.T. Savenkov and B.E. Petrie. In the mid-1930s, consultations were received from V.N. Chernetsov. Archaeologists who worked at the department in the 1900s – 1950s were V.I. Kamenskii, A.V. Schmidt, K.M. Polikarpovich, and V.V. Fedorov. A special part in the department’s history and in the emergence of its collections was played by outstanding figures such as P.P. Efimenko and S.N. Zamyatnin. The former headed the department in 1933–38. The latter, after having worked at MAE part-time in 1933–45, became Department Head in 1945 and ran it until his death in 1958.

Main Research Areas

These include archaeological aspects in the study of prehistoric society, mainly based on museum materials and new data, history of archaeological collections of the Kunstkamera, and the database Archaeological Materials of MAE.


Main Publications

The most important recent publications of the Department of Archaeology staff members include the following:

  1. Demidenko Y.E. and Uthmeier T. With contributions by G. A. Khlopachev and M.V. Sablin Kiik-Koba Grotto, Crimea (Ukraine). Re-Analysis of a Key Site of the Crimean Micoquian. Kölner Studien zur Prähistorischen Archäologie, 3. Published for the Institute of Prehistory and early History of Cologne University, Cologne, 2013
  2. Khlopachev G.A. Les techniques de debitage de l`ivoire dans les sites de la Plaine Russe au Paleolithique Superieur (25000 - 13000 av. J.-C.) // Prehistoire Europeenne,Vol. 16-17, Liege, 2000-2002. P. 215-230. 
  3. Khlopachev G.A. , Sablin M.V. The earliest Ice Age dogs: evidence from Eliseevichi 1 // Current Anthropology. Vol. 43/5. 2002. P. 795-798. 
  4. Rosentau, A., Muru, M., Kriiska, A., Subetto, D. A., Vassiljev, J., Hang, T., Gerasimov, D., Nordqvist, K., Ludikova, A., Lõugas, L., Raig, H., Kihno, K., Aunap, R. & Letyka, N. 2013: Stone Age settlement and Holocene shore displacement in the Narva-Luga Klint Bay area, eastern Gulf of Finland. Boreas. 10.1111/
  5. Saksa A., Belskiy S., Kurbatov A., Polyakova N., Suhonen M. New archaeological excavations in Viipuri. Results of field investigations of the 1998–2001 seasons and current research problems of urban history // Fennoscandia Archaeologica XIX. – Helsinki, 2002. – P. 37–64.
  6. Saksa A., Belsky S., Suhonen M. Kaupunkiarkeologiaa Viipurissa. Turun ja Viipurin kaupunkiarkeologien tapaaminen // Suomen Keskiajan Arkeologian Seura, 2. – Turku, 2002b. – P. 4–10.
  7. Seitsonen O., Nordquist K., Gerasimov D.V., Lisitsyn S.N. «The good, the bad, the weird»: Stone Age and Early Metal Period radiocarbon dates and chronology from the Karelian Isthmus, North-West Russia // Geochronometria. 2012, Volume 39, Number 2, pp. 101-121 
  8. Yuri E. Demidenko and Thorsten Uthmeier. With contributions by Gennadiy A. Khlopachevand Mikhail V. Sablin. Kiik-Koba Grotto, Crimea (Ukraine). Re-Analysis of a Key Site of the Crimean Micoquian// Kölner Studien zur Prähistorischen Archäologie (KSPA) № 3. Published for the Institute of Prehistory and early History of Cologne University, Cologne, 2013 (на английском языке)
  • Свод археологических источников Кунсткамеры. Вып.1. Отв. Редактор Г.А. Хлопачев. СПб: Издательство «Наука», 2006. Издательство МАЭ РАН. 342 с.
  • Свод археологических источников Кунсткамеры. Вып.2. Эпоха бронзы–позднее средневековье. Отв. Редактор Г.А. Хлопачев. СПб, 2009. Издательство «Наука», 198 с.
  • Проблемы биологической и культурной адаптации человеческих популяций. Том.1. Археология. Адаптационные стратегии древнего населения Северной Евразии: сырье и приемы обработки. Отв. Редактор Г.А. Хлопачев. СПб.: Издательство «Наука», 2008. 22 п.л., 210 с.
  • Хронология, периодизация и кросскультурные связи в культуре каменного века. Замятнинский сборник. Вып. 1. Отв. Редактор Г.А. Хлопачев. СПб.: Наука, 2008. 24 п.л. 210 стр.
  • Предметы вооружения и искусства из кости в древних культурах Северной Евразии (технологический и функциональный аспекты). Замятнинский сборник, вып. 2. Отв ред. Г.А. Хлопачев. СПб., Наука, 2011. 252 с.
  • Бельский С.В. Могильник Кюлялахти Калмистомяки в Северо-Западном Приладожье. Результаты археологических исследований 2006-2009 годов. Свод археологических источников Кунсткамеры. Вып.3. СПб, 2012. Издательство «Наука», 238 с.
  • Бельский С.В. Юго-Восточное Приладожье в период 860–950-х годов: проблемы формирования и развития основных типов погребального обряда и их взаимодействие // Археологические Вести. – Вып. 6. – СПб.: ИИМК РАН, 1999. – С. 197–215.
  • Бельский С.В. Погребальный обряд могильника Кюлялахти Калмистомяки в Северо-Западном Приладожье (по результатам археологических исследований 2006–2009 годов) // Ученые записки Петрозаводского Государственного Университета. – Вып. 3 (124). – Петрозаводск: издательство Петрозаводского ГУ, 2012б. – С. 20–24.
  • Герасимов Д. В., Крийска А., Лисицын С. Н. Памятники каменного века юго-восточного побережья Финского залива: хронология и геоморфология // Краткие сообщения института археологии РАН. Вып. 227. 2012 г. С. 241-247
  • Герасимов Д.В., Крийска А., Лисицын С.Н. Освоение побережья Финского залива Балтийского моря в каменном веке печатный Материалы III Северного археологического конгресса. Екатеринбург. Ханты-Мансийск. "ИздатНаукСервис" 2010, стр. 28-53
  • Герасимов Д.В., Субетто Д.А. История Ладожского озера в свете археологических данных печатный Известия РГПУ им. Герцена. 2009, № 106, с. 37-49bor.12004. ISSN 0300-9483.
  • Хлопачев Г.А. Бивневые индустрии верхнего палеолита Восточной Европы. СПб, 2006 г. Издательство «Наука», с.262
  • Хлопачев Г.А., Гиря Е.Ю. Секреты древних косторезов Восточной Европы и Сибири— приемы обработки бивня мамонта и рога северного оленя в каменном веке (по археологическим и экспериментальным данным). СПб, Издательство «Наука» 2010 г.
  • Хлопачев Г.А., Е.Ю. Гиря «Хомо сапиенс в ледниковых условиях Крайнего Севера. Жизнь и технологические достижения охотников на мамонта», Токио, 2013 (издательстве «Юзанкаку», перевод – Хидэаки Кимура, Аяко Кимура (на японском языке)
  • Хлопачев Г.А. (отв. редактор) Проблемы биологической и культурной адаптации человеческих популяций. Том.1. Археология. Адаптационные стратегии древнего населения Северной Евразии: сырье и приемы обработки. СПб.: Издательство «Наука», 2008.
  • Хлопачев Г.А. (отв. редактор) Хронология, периодизация и кросскультурные связи в культуре каменного века. Замятнинский сборник. Вып. 1. СПб.: Издательство «Наука», 2008. 22 п.л. 210 стр. ISBN 978-5-02-025271-4
  • Хлопачев Г.А. (отв. редактор) Свод археологических источников Кунсткамеры. Вып. 2. Эпоха бронзы — позднее средневековье. СПб.: Издательство «Наука», 2009.
  • Хлопачев Г.А., Грибченко Ю.Н. Возраст и этапы заселения Юдиновского верхнепалеолитического поселения// КСИА., вып. 227, М., 2012
  • Хлопачев Г.А. Орнаментированные пластины в палеолитической стоянке Елисеевичи 1. Категориальный состав и особенности орнаментации//Труды Государственного Эрмитажа. Вып. XLIV. Зверь и человек. Древнее изобразительное творчество Евразии. СПб., 2009. C. 29–32
  • Хлопачев Г.А. (отв. редактор). Верхний палеолит. Образы, символы, знаки. Каталог предметов искусства малых форм из археологического собрания МАЭ РАН. СПб, 2016
  • Замятнинский сборник. Вып. 3. Каменный век: от Атлантики до Пацифики. (отв. редакторы — Хлопачев Г.А., Васильев С.А.).  СПб, 2014.  ISBN 978-5-88431-251-7
  • Замятнинский сборник. Вып. 4. Древние культуры Восточной Европы: эталонные памятники и опорные комплексы в контексте современных археологических исследований. (отв. редактор — Хлопачев Г.А.).  СПб, 2015.  ISBN 978-5-88431-282-1
  •  Свод археологических источников Кунсткамеры. Выпуск 4. История археологического собрания МАЭ. Верхний палеолит. (отв. редактор — Хлопачев Г.А.). СПб, 2014.  ISBN 978-5-88431-267-8
  • Хлопачев Г.А., Гиря Е.Ю. Секреты древних косторезов Восточной Европы и Сибири— приемы обработки бивня мамонта и рога северного оленя в каменном веке (по археологическим и экспериментальным данным). СПб, «Наука» 2010 г.


The archaeological depository of MAE is the oldest and one of the largest in Russia. It contains vast and unique materials related to prehistoric cultures of Eurasia and other continents and spanning the periods from the Lower Paleolithic (500 thousand years ago) to the Middle Ages (AD 1000–1200).

The first stage in the accumulation of the museum’s archaeological materials was rather long: from the establishment of the Kunstkamera (1714) to the emergence of MAE on the basis of its collections (1879). An important part during that period was played by the Imperial Russian Archaeological Society, the Imperial Russian Geographical Society as well as by L.I. Schrenk, P.V. Alabin and A.S. Uvarov, who donated their collections to MAE. The contribution made by Academician Karl von Baer was enormous.

The second stage in the accretion of archaeological collections spans the period between the foundation of MAE and the establishment of the Department of Archaeology within it (1879–94). The time was marked by the acquisition of antiquities from remote regions of Russia such as Siberia (I.T. Savenkov) and Sakhalin (I.S. Polyakov).

The third stage coincided with the turn of the century and the final pre-revolutionary years (1894–1917). During that time, the Department gained an organizational status within MAE and a goal-oriented enrichment of its collections went on.

The period between 1917 and 1970 was the most productive since the influx of archaeological finds from expeditions working all over the USSR was especially intense.

Today, the archaeological depositories of MAE contain over one thousand collections comprising nearly 600 thousand specimens.


Number of collections

Number of specimens













Bronze and Iron Ages



Stone Age materials are especially numerous. In terms of their abundance, the archaeological depository of the Kunstkamera ranks first among the museums of Russia and CIS, and one of the first among world museums.

Based on finds from many key sites, sections were opened such as Prehistory of Russia and CIS, Lower Paleolithic, and Upper Paleolithic. That of the Lower Paleolithic includes finds from Teshik-Tash, Sukhaya Mechetka and other sites in the Crimea, the Caucasus, and Western Central Asia. The Upper Paleolithic section comprises collections from world-famous sites on the Russian Plain (Tel’manskaya, Kostenki-1, 2, 3, 4, 14, and 15, Gagarino, Eliseyevichi, and Yudinovo) and in Siberia (Afontova Gora, Mal’ta, and Kokorevo). These places have yielded numerous first-rate works of early art. Suffice it to mention an amazing series of female figurines, a large group of animal figurines made of ivory and chalk, ivory plates, and ivories decorated with geometric patterns and zoomorphous images. Importantly, the number of Upper Paleolithic female figurines made of ivory and chalk is ten. This is an impressive set, given that the total number of such specimens excavated in Russia is about sixty, and Western European museums own no more than a dozen similar images

Highly important collections come from Mesolithic and Neolithic sites in northwestern Russia and Siberia. One of the best known is Oleneostrovskii burial ground on Yuzhnyi Olenii Island, Lake Onega, the richest and the most unique among the synchronous sites in Northeastern Europe, one that contained the largest number of prehistoric works of art.

The department possesses materials from chronologically diverse sites of Tripolye – an original Chalcolithic culture (4000–2000 BC). Tripolye people were agriculturalists and animal breeders, and among the finds from their sites in the Dnestr basin (Luka-Vrublevetskaya, Rakovets, Kudrintsy, Darabani) are a beautiful pottery decorated with incised and painted patterns, and numerous anthropomorphous and zoomorphous clay figurines of Tripolye type.

The archaeological collections of the Kunstkamera were formed through the efforts of several generations of prominent Russian researchers such as I.S. Polyakov, I.T. Savenkov, K.S. Merezhkovskii, B.E. Petrie, P.P. Efimenko, G.A. Bonch-Osmolovskii, V.A. Gorodtsov, V.I. Ravdonikas, A.P. Okladnikov, V.N. Chernetsov, A.V. Schmidt, S.N. Zamyatnin, S.N. Bibikov, P.I. Boriskovskii, N.N. Gurina, A.N. Rogachev, V.V. Fedorov, etc.

The Department owns numerous documents and archives of photographs (more than 1,500 items).

Archaeological collections of MAE are described in several publications some of which are catalogues:

  • Nechaeva L.G., Popova T.A., Fedorov V.V., Fradkin E.E. Arkheologicheskoe cobranie Muzeya antropologii i etnograpfii im. Petra Velikogo AN SSSR [Archaeological Collections of Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography] // 250 let Muzeya antropologii i etnografii im. Petra Velikogo. Leningrad, 1964. P. 151–168. (MAE Collection, Vol. XXII).
  • Popova T.A. Kollektsii A.P. Okladnikova v arkheologicheskom sobranii MAE [A.P. Okladnikov’s collections in the archaeological depositories of MAE] // Problemy drevnikh kul’tur Sibiri. Novosibirsk, 1985. P. 38–45.
  • Popova T.A. Drevnie kul’tury Sibiri (po materialam arkheologicheskogo sobraniya MAE) [Prehistoric cultures of Siberia (based on the archaeological collection of MAE)] // Material’naya i dukhovnaya kul’tura narodov Sibiri. Leningrad, 1988. P. 159–187. (MAE Collection, Vol. XLII).
  • Popova T.A., Ravnushkin L.V. Kollektsii S.N. Zamyatnina, khranyaschiesya v otdele arkheologii MAE RAN [S.N. Zamyatnin’s collections at MAE Department of Archaeology] // Materialy mezhdunarodnoi konferentsii “Lokal’nye razlichiya v kamennom veke”, posvyaschennoi 100-letiyu so dnya rozhdeniya S.N. Zamyatnina. SPb., 1999. P. 18–27.