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Head of Research Line


Contact Information

Tel.: (812) 328-07-12

Brief Biography

Yuri Kirillovich CHISTOV, Doctor of Sciences, graduated from the Department of History, Lenindrad (Saint-Petersburg) State University in 1976 (major in Physical Anthropology, minor in Ethnology), and received a full-time postgraduate training at the Department of Anthropology of the Leningrad Branch of N.N. Miklukho-Maklai Institute of Ethnography and Anthropology (since 1992 - Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of RAS) between 1976-1979. His thesis adviser was I.I. Gohman, Cand.Sc., Head of the Physical Anthropology Department.

In 1983 he defended his candidate dissertation (~ Ph.D. Thesis) in history titled “Human cranium media-sagittal type contours variability”, and in 2000 – his doctoral thesis in history based on his monograph “Anthropology of the Ancient and Modern Population of South Yemen”.

He worked at the Physical Anthropology Department of Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) Russian Academy of Sciences - MAE, St. Petersburg as a Junior Researcher (since 1979), a Researcher (since 1986), a Senior Researcher (since 1993), and Leading Researcher (2001). In 2001-2017 he was Director of Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) Russian Academy of Sciences. 

1993-94 he held a postdoctoral fellowship at Anthropological Department Durham University, UK (British Council’s grant), and in 1996 he had fellowship in the Institute of Anthropology of the Mainz University, Germany (Grant of the German Academic Exchange Service – DAAD). 

Major scientific interests

Biological, social, cultural anthropology and archaeology of ancient and modern populations of the Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean, and Central Asia; evolutionary morphology of human cranium; paleopathology; methods of multivariate statistical analysis in Physical Anthropology; using databases in anthropological research; museology; museum management; history of early European museums; museum databases, computer catalogs of museum collections, multimedia in museums.

Field Research Experience

1972 – 1986, 1992 – 2000– Archaeological excavations and field physical anthropology research in

South Siberia (Scythian and Hunno-Sarmatian burials in Tuva);

East Siberia (Middle Ages cemeteries in Sakhalin Island and Bronze Age burials on the Kuril Islands: Iturup, Shikotan, Kunashir);

Crimea (ancient necropolis of Nimphayon Bosphorus, Mermeki, Kitey);

Central Asia (Bronze Age ossuaries Sumbar I, Turkmenistan); North-Western Russia (Middle Ages cemeteries in Karelia, Komi).

1986 – 1990 – Member of the Physical Anthropology Team (included also I. Gokhman, Cand.Sc.  and V. Bogdanova, Cand.Sc.) of the Joint Soviet-Yemen Historical & Cultural Expedition: excavations of ancient burials in Hadramauth Province; anthropological research of modern South Yemen populations (anthropometry, racial dental morphology, serology, dermatoglyphics).

2003 – Ethnographical expedition to areas of veps (small Finno-Ugric people of Northwest of Russia) residence – St.Petersburg district and Republic of Karelia in preparation of exhibition project “Veps” in cooperation with “Vapriikki” Museum, Tampere, Finland.

2004 – Ethnographical expedition to Egypt.

2004 – 2005 – Ethnographical expeditions to Uzbekistan (in 2005 – including biological anthropology program in the Jeynov kishlak – anthropometry, dermatoglyphics and dental morphology of Arabs and Uzbeks).

2008 – Ethnographical expedition to South-East Ethiopia by footsteps MAE expedition of Nicolas Gumilev in 1913.

2008 – Ethnographical expedition to Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Qīnghai province of China “Muslims of Chinese Turkestan: Uyghurs of Xinjiang and Salars of Qinghai”.

Projects and Grants

1993–1995 – Russian Foundation for Basic Research (in cooperation with Institute of Mathematical Methods in Economy RAS, Institute of Oriental Studies RAS, etc.): the project “Application of modern informational technologies in humanitarian studies” (supervisor of the subproject: “Computer catalog of Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography collections”).

1997–2000 – The supervisor of the project “Museum computer catalogue and data bank of craniological collections of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography anthropological funds”. Russian Foundation for Humanitarian Studies grant, # 97-01-12034B.

1998–1999 – The supervisor of the project OAH811 “The creating of the on-line access system of work with the Computer catalogue of Kunstkamera collections”. The project of the “Institute of Open Society (Soros’ Foundation)”. 

2004 – 2006 – The supervisor of the project “Siberian peoples in collections of a photo archive of MAE RAS” of the Historical-philological branch of Russian Academy of Sciences.

2005-2006 – The supervisor of the project “Creation of a multimedia informational exposition complex of the MAE (Kunstkamera) RAS”, Cultural Investment Facility Grant (St.-Petersburg Economic Development Project – World Bank of Reconstruction and Development credit).

2006–2008 – The supervisor Research Project of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography “Multimedia navigation and guide for Museum’s visitors: theory and practice”. 

2008-2009 – The supervisor of the project “Creation of Automated Photo Depository of MAE RAS with Internet catalog”, Grant of the Ford Foundation.

2009-2011 – Coordinator of «Section 8. Museums’ and Archives’ collections: Studying, publishing and maintenance of new quality of access to a cultural heritage» of the Program of fundamental research of the Presidium of Russian Academy of Sciences “Historical and cultural heritage and intangible heritage of Russia”. Member of Scientific Council of the Program. 

2009–2011 – The supervisor Research Project of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography “Museum’s and archives collections in the history of Russian and World culture”

2012–2016 – The supervisor Research Project of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography “The history of Kunstkamera: collections, collectors, collaborators (Dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the museum)”. 

2014–2016 – The supervisor of the project “Kunstkamera in III Millennium”, Vladimir Potanin Foundation.

Memberships of Russian and International scientific societies

  • Member of International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES);
  • Member of European Anthropological Association (EAA);
  • Member of American Paleopathology Association (AAPA);
  • Member of Russian Association of Anthropologists and Ethnologists – RAAE (President of the RAAE – 2003 – 2005; Member of the Board – 2001 – 2016; President of the St.-Petersburg Branch of RAAE – 2014 – 2016); 
  • Member of Union of Museums of Russia;
  • Member of Russian Historical Society.

Scientific and organizational duties 

  • Member of the Committee of directors of Federal Agency of Research Institutions of Russia;
  • Member of the Committee of directors of the research institutes Russian Academy of Sciences; 
  • Member of Bureau of Historical-Philological Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences;
  • Founding Member of the World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA), member of Advisory Board of WCAA, representative of Russian Association of Anthropologists and Ethnologists in WCAA;
  • Chairman of the Dissertational Council (approving of Cand.Sc. and Dr.Sc. theses in Social and Cultural Anthropology)  of MAE RAS– since 2001;
  • Chairman of the Scientific Council of MAE RAS– since 2001.

Membership in editorial boards of scientific journals

  • Member of the Scientific Board of international scientific journal HOMO (Journal of Comparative Human Biology, Gustav Fisher Verlag CmbH, Stuttgart);
  • Member of the Editorial Boards of journal “International Journal of Intangible Heritage” (ICOM Korea, National Folk Museum of Korea);
  • Member of Editorial Board of “American Anthropologist” (American Association of Anthropologists)  – 2010-2013;
  • Member of the Editorial Boards of journal “Forum for Anthropology and Culture” (Saint-Peterfsburg);
  • Member of the Editorial Boards of journal “Manuscripta Orientalia” (Saint-Peterfsburg);
  • Member of the Editorial Boards of journal “Bulletin of Anthropology, Archaeology and Ethnography” (Tyumen);
  • Member of the Editorial Boards of almanac “Bulletin of Anthropology” (Moscow).