Mikhail Masson

Mikhail Evgenievich Masson (December 5, 1897 – 1986) was an important Soviet archaeologist from Samarkand. He was the founder of the archaeology school in Central Asia and a professor, doctor of historical and archaeological sciences and member of the Turkmen Academy of Sciences.

In 1916 he started studies at the Petrograd Polytechnical Institute to become an engineer and irrigator. However he was required to join the army and returned to Samarkand in 1918. He gained an interest in the protection and restoration of historical landmarks in Samarkand and soon became curator of the Samarkand Oblast Museum. He began conducting archaeological investigations and excursions and added to the museums' collection including panels of the Samanid palace excavated in Afrasiyab.

In 1924, Masson went to Tashkent and became head of the archaeological department of the Museum of Middle Asia. He was also further educated at the Turkistan Institute for the Oriental Studies and from 1929 to 1936 studied the history of mining at the Geological Committee.

He led further expeditions including the Termez Archaeological Complex Expedition (1936–1938); the expedition for the archaeological supervision at the construction of the Great Fergana Channel (1936), STACE - South Turkmenistan Complex Archaeological Expedition (1946–1968), and KAE - Kesh Archaeological Expedition (from 1963).


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