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Institute for the History of Material Culture is the successor of the former Imperial Archaeological Commission (IAC) founded in St.-Petersburg in 1859, the russian state archaeological organization.

After the revolution 1917, the Russian State Archaeological Commission was found on the base of the IAC in 1918. A year later it was reorganized into the Russian Academy for the History of Material Culture (RAHMC) and after formation of the USSR in 1926 the RAHMC was renamed into the State Academy for the History of Material Culture (SAHMC). Again in 1937 the Institute was reorganized into the Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (IHMC AS USSR) with the head office based in Leningrad and its branch part in Moscow. In 1943 the Institute administration moved from Leningrad to Moscow and both divisions became equal right. In 1959 the IHMC was reorganized into the Institute of Archaeology of AS USSR with the head office based in Moscow and the branch in Leningrad. In 1991 the Leningrad branch became an independent archaeological institution under the former name of the Institute for the History of Material Culture of Russian Academy of Sciences (IHMC RAS).

The IHMC includes four departments, two laboratories, an AM group and two archives. The archaeological library housed at the IHMC is among the biggest in Europe.

106 scholars, including a corresponding member of RAS, 89 candidates and doctors of science form the Institution research team. Two archaeological journals are published by the Institute: "Archaeological News" (in russian with english resumes) and "Radiocarbon and Archaeology" (in english).

The Special Scientific Committee of IHMC accepts dissertations for defense both in russian (doctor and candidate of history) and some foreign systems (PhD).

Research areas

The Institute research areas cover a wide range of archaeological cultures of Stone Age in Eurasia (Dept. of Stone Age archaeology); early agricultural and town civilizations of Central Asia (Dept. of archaeology of Central Asia and Caucasus); greek-barbarian contacts in North Black See region (Dept. of Antiquity); interaction of tribes and peoples in East Europe and Baltic region, archaeology and history of Ancient Russia (Dept. of Slavonic-Finnish archaeology). The used-ware analises laboratory makes micro- and macroanalyses of artifacts; the laboratory of archaeological technology studies ancient production and radiocarbon dating of archaeological implements. The AM groupe deals with rescue archaeological excavations and usage of computer applications in archaeology. IHMC RAS runs research projects in European part of Russia from Karelia on the north to Caucasus on the south as well as in Siberia and Tuva, participates in excavation projects in Ukraine and the states of Central Asia.

International cooperationship

IHMC RAS cooperates with many archaeological CIS cetners, arranges joint researches with archaeological organization of Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Poland, USA, Finnland, France and Sweden. In 1994-2000 IHMC RAS awarded eleven foreign leading scientists with Dr. Honoris Causae grade.

©2000-2008 Stas Vasiliev