The Museum of Archaeology of the Republic of Tatarstan (MA RT) was founded by the order of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Tatarstan No. 1428-r dated 08.09.2005 “in order to establish the required conditions for the preservation and use of the archaeological heritage of the Republic of Tatarstan, and improve the scientific, cultural and educational activities.” Until 2014, the Museum of Archaeology was part of the structure of the Institute of History named after Shigabuddin Mardzhani of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences. It was the time of establishment of the museum, formation of its concept, strengthening of the scientific and technical framework, and beginning of the research and exhibition activities.
The Museum of Archaeology of the Republic of Tatarstan has been included in the Institute of Archaeology of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences since April 2014. The museum is characterized by activities within the framework of a sectoral research institute, which are focused on the studies of archaeological collections, and determine the mission of the museum as a keeper of the archaeological heritage of Tatarstan’s academic science.
The primary specialists of the Museum of Archaeology are senior researcher associates, Candidates of Historical Sciences Kh.M. Abdullin, V.S. Baranov; research associates V.N. Bakhmatova, A.S. Gubin, N.R. Sadriev, A.I. Khaziev, O.O. Parakina and K.A. Khusyainova.
Working groups have been organized at the Museum of Archaeology. The scientific and technical laboratory processing of archaeological collections and their preparation for permanent storage in museums and reserves of the Republic of Tatarstan is conducted by the “Cameral laboratory” group (headed by A.I. Khaziev) consisting of research associate O.O. Parakina and experienced laboratory assistants A.A. Khamzina, A.R. Khanbekova, N.N. Idiatullina.
Systematization of the archaeological collections of the Institute of Archaeology museum, state accounting, safe storage of archaeological collections are carried out by the “Depositary of the Fund for Archaeological Collections of the Museum of Archeology of the Republic of Tatarstan” (headed by A.S. Mukhametshina) composed of experienced specialists V.N. Bakhmatova, A.S. Gubina, N.R. Sadriev and young students V.A. Valeeva, A.L. Siraziyeva and Ch.Z. Rakhmatullina.
Researcher associates of the Museum of Archaeology conduct research within the framework of the following individual research topics:
– Historical topography of Bolgar settlement in the 10th-15th centuries., senior research associate V.S. Baranov,
– Golden Horde ceramics of Bolgar and its surroundings, research associate K.A. Khusyainova,
– Non-glazed ceramics of the 13th-16th centuries in the territory of Kazan, research associate A.I. Khaziev,
– Residential and household buildings of the Kazan Khanate (on the basis of archaeological research in Kazan Kremlin), research associate N.R. Sadriev,
– Non-glazed ceramics of Kazan in the second half of the 16th-18th centuries (on the basis of archaeological studies), research associate O.O. Parakina,
– Pottery of Volga Bolgaria in the 10th – early 13th centuries, research associate V.N. Bakhmatova,
– The material culture of the Srubnaya Cultural and Historical Community in the Trans-Kama territory of the Republic of Tatarstan, research associate A.S. Gubin,
– Natural scientific methods in the study of archaeological ceramics of Volga Bolgaria, research associate V.N. Bakhmatova
The scientific activity of the Museum of Archaeology is carried out within the framework of the Priority Research Area of the Institute of Archaeology for the period of 2016–2020 “Archaeology of Tatarstan: Preservation, Study History, Museumification”. The primary activities of the Museum of Archaeology are as follows: acquisition and systematization of the museum collection; arrangement of accounting and storage of archaeological finds and collections; study and publication of museum items and collections; arrangement of exhibitions on the basis of archaeological materials and historical documents, popularization of the latest results of archaeological science in the field of studying the history and culture of the Middle Volga region.
The museum collection is based on archaeological series reflecting the long history of the Middle Volga region in all its diversity, collected by archeologists over the past fifty years in Tatarstan and the Volga region within field research projects of Tatarstan academic institutions (Department of Archaeology of the Institute of History, Language and Literature of the Kazan Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences, National Center for Archaeological Research of the Institute of History of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences, Institute of Archaeology of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences).
These are unique materials obtained as a result of the operation of the Early Bolgar Archaeological Expedition (E.P. Kazakov), Tatar Archaeological Expedition (R.G. Fakhrutdinov, P.N. Starostin, R.S. Gabyashev), Mari Archeological Expedition (A.Kh. Khalikov), Nizhnekamsk Archaeological Expedition (R.S. Gabyashev, E.P. Kazakov, P.N. Starostin) from reference archaeological sites of the Middle Volga and Urals reflecting the various ethnocultural traditions of the region.
Today the Museum of Archaeology of the Republic of Tatarstan is the largest repository (depository) comprising archaeological collections from over three thousand different types of monuments of the Middle Volga and Ural regions, amounting to more than four hundred thousand archaeological items within a wide chronological framework, starting with antiquity and ending with the late Middle Ages. The museum collections are invaluable monuments of historical and cultural heritage and are of great scientific interest. Their significance is also accounted for by the fact that in aggregate they represent a single collection reflecting the development of archaeological science in Tatarstan and characterizing the activities of specialized academic institutions in the field of studying the archaeological heritage in the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan. The necessity of preservation for methodological and research purposes of the entire volume of materials obtained during archaeological activities, archaeological findings, including bulk material comprising ceramics, anthropological, archaeological materials, technological and resource remains of ancient industries, and samples for natural scientific research is a characteristic feature of the compilation of the collection of the Museum of Archaeology.
Each year, the fund of the Museum of Archaeology is supplemented by over 10 thousand archaeological and numismatic items received as a result of field research by scientific expeditions of the Institute of Archaeology named after A.Kh. Khalikov of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences.
Preservation of the archaeological heritage in the museum is conducted by the Museum of Archaeology by means of including archaeological collections in the national section of the Museum Fund of the Russian Federation. Thus, in 2012 a total of 195 archaeological items were included in the national section of the Museum Fund of the Russian Federation on the basis of a trilateral agreement and the order of the Russian Ministry of Culture, which initiated the accounting of archaeological collections at the Museum of the Tatarstan Academy of Sciences.
A total of 2539 items in possession of the Republic of Tatarstan have been included in the national section of the Museum Fund of the Russian Federation by Order No. 2162 of the Russian Ministry of Culture dated 21 September 2016.
Archaeological items and collections of the Museum of Archaeology are in great demand among the exhibitions of the Tatarstan museums. Today the exhibits of the Museum of Archaeology of the Republic of Tatarstan can be seen in the museums of Kazan (Museum of the History of Statehood of Kazan Kremlin, Kazan National Cultural Center, Museum of History of Kazan University) and Tatarstan (Bolgar State Historical and Architectural Reserve, Island Town of Sviyazhsk State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum, Museum of Laishevsky District).
Specialists of the Museum of Archaeology and experts from other departments of the Institute of Archaeology are working together to create an exposition of the Museum of Bolgar Civilization (Bolgar State Museum-Reserve) and the Archaeological Wood Museum (Island Town of Sviyazhsk State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum). New items of the archaeological funds of the Museum of Archaeology are exhibited on an annual basis, presenting the most valuable and unique articles and collections of the field season.
The collection of the Museum of Archaeology of the Republic of Tatarstan has always been a source for fundamental and applied research of the Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences aimed at the reconstruction of the historical and ethnogenetic processes in Eurasia from antiquity to modern times.