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Zhanna Vasilievna Andreeva

3 July 1930 – 15 June 2015

Appreciation by
Nikolai Klyuev & Yaroslav Kuzmin

Zhanna Vasilievna Andreeva

In summer 2015, Zhanna Vasilievna Andreeva, one of the founders of modern archaeology of the Russian Far East, and Honorary Scientist of the Russian Federation, passed away in Vladivostok.

Zhanna V. Andreeva was born in Tashkent (Central Asia, USSR) in 1930. In 1953, she graduated from the Faculty of History, Moscow State University, one of the leading schools of archaeology in the Soviet Union. Between 1953 and 1960, Andreeva was a member of staff at the State Historical Museum in Moscow, and a graduate student of the Institute of the History of Material Culture (later, the Institute of Archaeology), USSR Academy of Sciences, in Moscow. Since 1960, she had working at the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of the Far Eastern Nations, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian (Soviet) Academy of Sciences, in Vladivostok, until her death. In 1977, she established within this Institute the Department of Prehistoric Archaeology, and remained its head until 1994.

It is fair today to say that Zhanna Andreeva laid the foundation for the study of Stone- and Palaeometal-age archaeology in the Primorye [Maritime] Region in the Russian Far East, along with Academician Aleksei P. Okladnikov from Novosibirsk, and Dr. Garald I. Andreev from Moscow, who was also her colleague, co-author and husband in the 1950s (Andreeva & Andreev 1965).

In 1962, Andreeva defended her Candidate of Historical Sciences (PhD equivalent) dissertation "The experience in periodisation of archaeological sites in Primorye Province (based on material from the Olga and Lazo counties)"; it was later published (Andreeva 1970). Pursuing her research on the prehistoric archaeology of Primorye, she defended in 1980 her dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Historical Sciences (equal to German Dr. habil., French HDR, and UK DSc), titled "Primorye Province in prehistory. The Iron Age (1st millennium BC–8th century AD)". This was the first DSc dissertation in archaeology for a large part of the Russian (Soviet) Far East, including Primorye, Sakhalin Island and the Kurile Islands.

Throughout her fruitful carrier, Andreeva conducted almost 30 fieldwork campaigns in Primorye Province, and discovered more than 100 archaeological sites. About 10 of them were excavated, with results subsequently published (Andreeva 1991; Andreeva et al. 1986, 1987, 2002). Among these sites, there are Early Iron age settlements and burial grounds; several unique objects, such as ceramic kilns and a well, were also examined. The multilayered site of Sinie Skaly ('Blue Rocks') appeared to be a kind of polygon where for more than 10 years she tested hypotheses on the periodisation and chronology of the Early Iron Age. The Chertovy Vorota ('Devil's Gates') Cave, with rare preservation of organic artefacts (including the earliest surviving textiles in East Asia; see Kuzmin et al. 2012), was excavated under Andreeva's supervision.

The main topic of Andreeva's research was archaeology of the Palaeometal epoch (i.e. combined Bronze and Early Iron Ages), which in the Russian Far East preceded the formation of early states. She paid particular attention to the appearance of agriculture and animal breeding, and invited natural science scholars to collaborate. Andreeva established two cultural complexes ('archaeological cultures' in Russian terminology) belonging to the Palaeometal: Margaritovo and Olga (Andreeva 1977).

Zhanna Andreeva devoted a lot of time to young scientists. At least a dozen scholars who are active in archaeology today were her PhD students, and gained degrees of Candidate of Sciences and Doctor of Sciences.

Andreeva published about eighty scholarly works, including two personal monographs and nine edited volumes. She was a leading co-author and editor of two summary publications on prehistoric and early historic archaeology of the Russian Far East (Andreeva 1994, 2005), and also wrote a book of memoirs where her career as a female archaeologist is vividly described (Andreeva 2001). Her contribution to the archaeology of the Russian Far East and neighbouring north-east Asia will be acknowledged for many years to come.