Archaeological cooperation in the Soviet Union and Russia from the 1950s to the early 2020s at the University of Helsinki


  • Kerkko Nordqvist
  • Pirjo Uino
  • Dmitriy V. Gerasimov
  • Alexey Yu. Tarasov


‘East archaeology’, research cooperation in the areas of present-day Russia, has been one part of the research activities of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Helsinki in the post-war era. The first steps were taken as part of the state-controlled Finnish-Soviet scientific cooperation between the 1950s and 1970s, but Glasnost and Perestroika opened up a whole new range of opportunities in the 1980s and 1990s. Initially, the collaboration focused primarily on the Karelian Iron Age, but soon expanded to the other periods of prehistory, the Stone Age and the Early Metal Period. A significant part of the research has been conducted in areas near Finland – the Karelian Isthmus and Ingria, the Karelian Republic, and the Kola Peninsula – but several other parts of Russia have also attracted attention over the years. The purpose of this article is to present the history of these ‘eastern’ studies from the beginning to the early 2020s; cooperation has currently been stopped as a consequence of Russian politics, which culminated in the war in Ukraine in 2022.