A biography of a Soviet archaeologist (1960s – 1980s) by A. K. Konopatskii, translated by Richard L. Bland and Yaroslav V. Kuzmin. Paperback; 148x210mm; 576 pages; 29 figures. 705 2021 Archaeological Lives . Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781789697070. Epublication ISBN 9781789697087. |
Aleksei P. Okladnikov: The Great Explorer of the Past (Volume II) 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 and in Mongolia. This part of Okladnikov’s biography concentrates on his works in 1961–1981, when he was organiser (1961–1966) and since 1966 the Director of the Institute of History, Philology, and Philosophy, Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences, in Novosibirsk. This institute was a part of large-scale project of Akademgorodok (Academic Town) built in 1957– 1964, the unique phenomenon of Soviet science. In Novosibirsk, Okladnikov continued active fieldworks in Siberia, Russian Far East, Central Asia and Mongolia, and writing of books and articles on different subjects of archaeology and history. He also created the Novosibirsk school of archaeologists who continue to work in Siberia and the neighbouring regions of Asia until today. In 1974, Okladnikov with four colleagues participated in joint US–Soviet expedition to the Aleutian Islands, where W. S. Laughlin and he directed the excavations of early sites. The book is for archaeologists, historians, and everyone who is interested in the history of scholarship (particularly the humanities) in the twentieth century.
About the Contributors
Aleksander K. Konopatskii joined the Institute of History, Philology and Philosophy, Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1972 where he was closely associated with Aleksei P. Okladnikov, assisting in fieldwork, travel and the preparation of scientific reports. Since 1998 he has been an assistant professor at the Novosibirsk General Military Academy where he teaches humanities. ;
Richard L. Bland studied Alaskan prehistory in the 1970s – 1990s (PhD 1996, University of Oregon). He has translated numerous books and articles on the archaeology of Northeastern Siberia and the Russian Far East, helping to bring the rich Soviet/Russian records of prehistory and early history to the international scholarly community. ;
Yaroslav V. Kuzmin has been studying geoarchaeology of the Russian Far East, Siberia and neighbouring Northeast Asia since 1979 (PhD 1991; DSc. 2007). He has also assisted in translating and editing books on the archaeology of eastern Russia.
'Konopatskii’s eyewitness account of the excavation [at Anangula] is the highlight of this biography. His day-to-day account of the excavation, including brief outlines of the stories told each evening, is presumably based on his diary—the referencing is unclear. In their daily lives during the excavation the archaeologists were almost entirely separated from the rest of the world and yet also a significant part of it in political terms. The biography both confirms the archaeological importance of the excavation and points towards its larger political significance.'—Stephen Leach, Antiquity, April 2021
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