Mikhail Artamonov

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The site of the Khazar fortress of Sarkel, which was discovered and excavated by Artamonov in the 1930s.

Mikhail Illarionovich Artamonov (Михаил Илларионович Артамонов in Russian) (1898-1972) was a Soviet historian and archaeologist, who came to be recognized as the founding father of Khazar studies.

Artamonov's scientific career was centered on the Leningrad University. He excavated a great number of Scythian and Khazar kurgans and settlements (most famously, the Khazar fortress of Sarkel), and published a hefty monograph (Istoriya Khazar) on Khazars in 1960. Early editions of this work, which emphasized the enormous influence of the Khazars on the development of the early Rus' and other peoples, were denounced by Soviet authorities, compelling him to add a conclusion to his work stating essentially that they in fact had no lasting influence.

Artamonov was appointed director of the Hermitage Museum in 1951. 13 years later, he was ousted from office for having connived the exhibitions of Russian Non-Conformists.

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ru:Артамонов, Михаил Илларионович

Mikhail Artamonov

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