Aleksei P. Okladnikov: The Great Explorer of the Past. Volume I: A biography of a Soviet archaeologist (1900s - 1950s) [Paperback]

Aleksander K. Konopatskii(Author); Richard L. Bland(Translator); Yaroslav V. Kuzmin(Translator)

ISBN: 9781789692044 | Published by: Archaeopress Archaeology | Series: Archaeological Lives | Year of Publication: 2019 | Language: English 438p, H8.25 x W5.75, 30 figures (black & white throughout)
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Aleksei P. Okladnikov: The Great Explorer of the Past. Volume I


Aleksei P. Okladnikov: The Great Explorer of the Past is about the life and works of Aleksei P. Okladnikov (1908– 1981), a prominent archaeologist who spent more than 50 years studying prehistoric sites in various parts of the Soviet Union – mainly in Siberia and Central Asia as well as in Mongolia. Okladnikov made numerous fascinating discoveries in the 1930s, including the first Neanderthal remains in the USSR at Teshik Tash (Uzbekistan) and unique figurines at the Upper Palaeolithic site of Buret’ in the Angara River basin (Eastern Siberia). His research and achievements are presented on the background of ideological campaigns inspired by the Communist Party in the 1920s–1950s, a subject that is very rarely described in non-Russian sources. Particular attention is given to the debunking of the ‘Japhetic theory’ and the ‘new doctrine of language’ developed by Nikolai Y. Marr, an Oriental scholar and specialist in languages who in the 1920s–early 1930s was a formal leader of Soviet archaeology. Marr’s principles of linguistic studies were mechanically transmitted to several fields of the humanities, including archaeology, and were mandatory for every Soviet scholar. In 1950 an abrupt end to Marr’s theories was enacted by Josef Stalin. Details of these events – important for development of archaeology, ancient history, and linguistics in the USSR – were never previously described.

The book is for archaeologists, historians, and everyone who is interested in the history of scholarship (particularly the humanities) in the twentieth century.

Table of Contents

Translators’ introduction (Richard L. Bland and Yaroslav V. Kuzmin)
Preface (Elena A. Okladnikova)
Aleksei P. Okladnikov and the archaeology of Asia: a brief overview (Yaroslav V. Kuzmin)
Academic archaeology in the USSR: science in the service of ideology (Yaroslav V. Kuzmin)
The Great Explorer of the Past: Academician A. P. Okladnikov – Pages of Biography (A. K. Konopatski)
The course of an explorer of history
A brief survey of the literature
Grandfather and father
Ancestors of the maternal line: ancestral miscreant
Great grandfather and grandfather
The mother
School teacher and master of all trades
Where was he born?
Strong impressions of childhood
The testimony of a fellow villager
The testimony of a classmate
The information of I. I. Serebrennikov
Death of a father and husband
A widow’s lot
About studies in Anga and the first finds (from the books of V. E. Larichev and A. P. Derevyanko)
Impatience (A small addition to the preceding section)
The sister and mother move to Irkutsk
Creation of a family
Information from an eyewitness of the Irkutsk period
Debate in the church
Why were Aleksei Pavlovich and Mikhail Mikhailovich in dispute (‘Look for a Woman’)
Graduate student
A true companion and chief assistant
‘A rich harvest awaited us’ (First expedition to the Amur in 1935)
The same without romance and emotions
What saved him in the 1930s
The first book
‘Discovery of the century’ (Known and unknown about Teshik Tash)
The factual side of the story
About the duty of the scholar, the power of love, and the clever donkeys
‘Gangster’ Parfenov
The war years
The Kolyma
The post-war time
Unintentional victim of espionage mania
The Ashkhabad earthquake
The general atmosphere after the war
Electoral horrors
The ‘Leningrad affair’
Provocation of Berya’s department
A. M. Zolotarev
Other ‘campaigns’
The ‘dark years’ of the Leningrad Branch of the IIMK: what preceded this
What they preferred not to remember
‘Every little bit helps’ (A little book for discussion)
‘Chameleon-like transformations’
The chronicle of the discussion
Events in Moscow
Discussion in Leningrad: the Hermitage
Discussion in LO IIMK: general information
The insidiousness of the ‘great scholar’
The discussion in Leningrad: the memories of A. P. Okladnikov
The ‘sins’ of the Leningraders from the point of view of the Muscovites
A ‘grand inquisitor’ by his own free will
From the pen of one of the proponents of the pogrom
With the eyes of one of the ‘Marrists’
Repressions and sacrifices: LO IIMK
Personal losses
‘Against the heresy of the senseless...’
‘The devastating penitential’ collection
Broken portrait (Recollections from 1953)
Hero and prototype (The book of G. Gor)
Lev Nikolaevich
An addition to ‘Lev Nikolaevich’
‘Everyone looked up’ (Egypt)
Interview A. P. Okladnikov gave to the wall gazette Letopisets (G. M. Prashkevich, Novosibirsk, December 1976)
A. P. Okladnikov’s interview for the Literary Gazette
Questions for an adult man
A. P. Okladnikov, guest of the 13th page (Issue 211) (Z. M. Ibragimova)
‘Let the archaeologist move restlessly’ (1981) (G. Solov’eva)
What is the main thing in life? (A. Lobanov)
Death, covered with glory (M. D. Brilliant)
Encounters with Aleksei Pavlovich Okladnikov (O. M. Adamenko)
Always on the search (G. A. Pospelova)
Several years of collabouration with Aleksei Pavlovich Okladnikov (Karem Rash)
The house in ‘Golden Valley’
V. Vinogradov
V. P. Sysoev
B. F. Shubin
G. I. Marchuk
N. N. Pokrovskii
Academician A. P. Okladnikov and the development of Siberian archaeography (A. P. Okladnikov)
The knight with the sword and sickle (A. P. Okladnikov)
The life and deeds of Ataman Yermak
Siberia in the panorama of centuries (abstract)
Resolution of the Academic Council of the Leningrad Branch

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