Kleyn Lev Samuilovich

1 July 1927 (1927-07), Vitebsk, Byelorussian SSR


Biography, education, career:

L.S. Kleyn was born to a Russified Jewish family; both his grandfathers were entrepreneurs (a factory owner and a first guild merchant). His father, Stanislav Semyonovich (Samuil Simkhovich) Kleyn, was born in Warsaw; during the Civil War he served as a medical officer in Denikin Volunteer Army and since 1920 – in the Red Army. His mother, Asya Moiseevna, was a surgeon. He went to a Belorussian secondary school and to a music school, where he was taught to play the piano. Later he took part in some concerts but never became a professional musician. In 1941 Kleyn’s parents were drafted to the army as doctors, other members of the family were evacuated. During evacuation he completed the 8th and the 9th grades of school and went off to war. In 1944 he served in a military construction division of the 3rd Belorussian Front, was shell-shocked and then received treatment in Roslavl. There he entered a railway vocational school. After the war he lived in Grodno, where he took his school leaving exams as external candidate and entered the Faculty of Language and Literature of Grodno Pedagogical Institute. In 1947 he was transferred to a full-time department of Leningrad State University. In his first years at the University he was a student of two faculties: Faculty of History (Department of Archaeology, under the supervision of professor M.I. Artamonov) and Philological Faculty (Department of Russian Philology, under the supervision of professor V.Y. Propp). In 1951 he graduated from the Faculty of History with honours. His supervisors, M.I. Artamonov, the head of the Department of Archaeology, and V.Y. Propp, professor of the Department of Folklore, influenced him the most. M.I. Artamonov’s influence can be seen in many of Kleyn’s scientific research papers, which continued the course started by his teacher: the study of catacomb barrows, the ethnogeography of Scythia, the origin of Indo-Europeans, the relation between ethnos and archaeological culture. V.Y. Propp influenced his ideas on structuralism and semiotics, as well as his attitude to Homer’s epic poems. After graduation Kleyn worked in A.I. Trenozhkin’s expedition on the Molochnaya River, and then as a school teacher in Volosovo village in Leningrad Oblast, simultaneously studying to take a post-graduate course. He also worked as a bibliographer at the Library of the Academy of Sciences in Leningrad and then as a secondary school teacher in Leningrad and Grodno. In 1957-1960 he took a post-graduate course at Leningrad University (in 1968 he defended his Candidate’s Dissertation titled The Origin of Donetsk Catacomb Culture), and in 1962 he was admitted to the Department of Archaeology as a Lecturer. Since 1976 he was an Associate Professor; his first scientific work was published in 1955, his first monograph – in 1978. He took part in several archaeological expeditions in Russian and Belorussian forests, in Ukrainian and Podonye steppes; excavation sites included ancient Russian towns, barrows of the Bronze Age and the Scythian-Sarmatian Period. On 5 March 1981 Kleyn was arrested on false charges and sentenced to three years of imprisonment; but a higher court overturned the sentence and mitigated it down to a year and a half, which Kleyn had almost served by then. On release from jail he was deprived of his Candidate’s Degree and title of Associate Professor. Later he defended his Doctoral Dissertation and was awarded the Degree of Doctor Sciences in History (Archaeological Typology, 1993) without the defense of Candidate’s Dissertation. At the time of Perestroika, he started lecturing at the University again: he taught at the Department of Philosophical Anthropology of the Faculty of Philosophy, at the European University (until 1997). On retirement he continued lecturing at foreign universities: in Vienna, West Berlin, Durham, Copenhagen, Ljubljana, Turku, Tromsø, Washington, Seattle, at the Higher School of Anthropology in Moldavia. He delivered speeches and lectures at Cambridge, Oxford, London, Stockholm, Madrid and other European scientific centres.

Areas of expertise: Archaeology (studies on catacomb culture, theoretical archaeology, historiography, source studies, and methodology of archaeology); Ethnogeography; Ethnogenesis (history and ethnography of Slavic peoples; Indo-European studies); theory of cultural evolution; the Norman problem, studies on East Slavic paganism; Homer studies; studies on homosexuality

Major scientific achievements:

Kleyn’s major scientific achievements are connected with archaeology, its methodological character, principles, fact and theory in archaeology, procedures and methods of archaeological studies. The major subjects are Archaeological Sources, Archaeological Typology, Principles of Archaeology and Time in Archaeology. According to Kleyn’s idea, archaeology is a source-studying discipline similar to forensic science in its methodology. It processes archaeological sources, and translates them into the language of history, thus incorporating them into historical synthesis. This theory clashed with the traditional understanding of history as subjugating all other humanitarian disciplines. This concept is not popular in the West either. Kleyn’s works, dedicated to the subject of archaeology (his article of 1977 and his book of 1978 about archaeological sources) immediately evoked a heated debate in Soviet archaeology. In terms of certain archaeological research, he mostly studied catacomb culture of the Bronze Age (III Mil. BC) in the Ukraine and the Volga-Don steppes. He excavated barrows in the steppes of Ukraine and South Russia, and catacomb barrows became the subject of his Candidate’s Dissertation. His Dissertation on the origin of Donetsk catacomb culture also contains analysis of anthropological (craniological) material with vast statistics conducted by the author himself. Kleyn considers his contribution to anthropology and communication theory of cultural evolution as his most significant scientific achievement.

Major publications:

Full bibliography;

• Археологические источники. — Л., Изд-во ЛГУ, 1978 [Archaeological Sources. – L., publ. Leningrad State University, 1978];

• Археологическая типология. Л., ЛФ ЦЭНДИСИ: Ленинградское научно-исследовательское археологическое обозрение, 1991 [Archaeological Typology. L., LF CENDISI: Leningrad Science and Research Archaeological Digest, 1991];

• Феномен советской археологии. СПб., Фарн, 1993 [The Phenomenon of Soviet Archaeology. SPb., Farn, 1993];

• Бесплотные герои. Происхождение образов «Илиады». СПб., Фарн, Художественная литература, 1994 [Incorporeal Heroes. The Origin of Iliad Images. SPb., Farn, Khudozhestvennaya Literatura, 1994];

• Археологические источники / Л.С. Клейн; 2-е изд., доп. СПб., Фарн, 1995 [Archaeological Sources/ L.S. Kleyn; 2nd Edition, SPb., Farn, 1995];

• Анатомия «Илиады». СПб., Изд-во СПб. ун-та, 1998 [The Anatomy of Iliad. SPb., publ. SPb. University, 1998];

• Другая любовь: природа человека и гомосексуальность. СПб., Фолио-Пресс, 2000 [Another Love: The Nature of Human and Homosexuality. SPb., Folio-Press, 2000];

• Принципы археологии. СПб., Бельведер, 2001 [The Principles of Archaeology. SPb., Belveder, 2001];

• Другая сторона светила: Необычная любовь выдающихся людей: Российское созвездие. СПб., Фолио-Пресс, 2002 [The Other Side of A Star: Unusual Love of Prominent People: Russian Constillation. SPb., Folio-Press, 2002];

• Воскрешение Перуна. К реконструкции восточнославянского язычества. СПб., Евразия, 2004 [The Resurrection of Perun. Reconstructing East Slavic Pagan Religion. SPb., Eurasia, 2004];

• Введение в теоретическую археологию. Книга I. Метаархеология. СПб., Бельведер, 2004 [An Introduction to Theoretical Archaeology. Book I. Meta-Archaeology. SPb., Belveder, 2004];

• Новая археология (критический анализ теоретического направления в археологии Запада). Донецк, ДонНУ, 2009 [New Archaeology (Critical Analysis of the Theory of Archaeology of the West). Donetsk, DonNU, 2009];

• Спор о варягах. История противостояния и аргументы сторон. СПб., Евразия, 2009 [Varangian Debates. The Arguments and The History of the Controversion. SPb., Eurasia, 2009];

• Трудно быть Клейном. СПб., Нестор-История, 2010 [It’s Difficult to be Kleyn. SPb., Nestor-Istoria, 2010];

• Формула Монтелиуса (шведский рационализм в археологии Мальмера). Донецк, ДонНУ, 2010 [Montelius Formula (Swedish Rationalism in Malmer Archaeology). Donetsk, DonNU, 2010];

• Время кентавров. Степная прародина греков и ариев. СПб., Евразия, 2010 [The Time of Centaurs. The Steppe Homeland of the Greeks and the Arius. SPb., Eurasia, 2010];

• История археологической мысли. В 2 томах. СПб., Изд-во С.-Петербургского университета, 2011 [A History of archaeological thought. 2 Volumes. SPb., publ. Saint-Petersburg University, 2011];

• Гармонии эпох: Антропология музыки. СПб., Евразия, 2012 [The Harmonies of Epochs. Anthropology of Music. SPb., Eurasia, 2012];

• Археологическое исследование: методика кабинетной работы археолога: в 2 т. Донецк, Донецкий национальный университет, 2012, 2013 [Archaeological Research: Methods of Office Work of an Archaeologist: 2 Volumes. Donetsk, Donetsk National University, 2012, 2013];

• Этногенез и археология: в 2 т. СПб., Евразия, 2013 [Ethnogenesis in Archaeology. 2 Volumes. SPb., Eurasia, 2013];

• Время в археологии. СПб., Евразия, 2014 [Time in Archaeology. SPb., Eurasia, 2014];

• Расшифрованная "Илиада". СПб., Амфора, Петроглиф, 2014 [Deciphered Iliad. SPb., Amphora, Petroglyph, 2014];

• История антропологических учений. СПб., Издательство Санкт-Петербургского университета, 2014 [The History of Anthropological Studies. SPb., publ. Sain-Petersburg University, 2014];

• О приложимости идей кибернетики к построению общей теории археологии // Тезисы докладов на секциях, посвященных итогам полевых исследований 1971 г.. М., Наука, 1972. С. 14—16 [On the Application of Cybernetics Ideas in the Development of the General Theory of Archaeology // Abstracts of Sections on the Results of 1971 Field Research. M., Nauka, 1972. P. 14-16];

• Проблема смены культур в современных археологических теориях // Вестник Ленинградского Университета. 1975. № 8. С. 95—103 [The Problem of the Change of Cultures in Modern Archaeological Theories // Bulletin of Leningrad University. 1975. #8. P. 95-103];

• Культурно-исторический процесс и теория коммуникации // Грани культуры. Вторая международная научная конференция 4 — 6 ноября 1997 г. Тезисы докладов и выступлений. СПб., 1997. С. 107—110 [Cultural and Historical Process and the Theory of Communication // The Sides of Culture. Second International Scientific Conference, November 4-6, 1997. Abstracts. SPb., 1997. P. 07-110].

About L. Kleyn:

Клейн Лев Самуилович. Биографика СПбГУ [Lev Samuilovich Kleyn. SPbSU Biographies];

• Археолог: детектив и мыслитель: сборник статей, посвященный 77-летию Льва Самойловича Клейна / С.-Петербургский государственный университет, Институт истории материальной культуры РАН, Лаборатория археологии, исторической социологии и культурного наследия при НИИКСИ СПбГУ; [отв. ред.: Л.Б. Вишняцкий, А.А. Ковалев, О.А. Щеглова]. СПб.: Изд-во С.-Петербургского университета, 2004. [ Archaeologist: Detective and Thinker: A Collection of Papers Devoted to 77th Anniversary of Lev Samuilovich Kleyn / Saint-Petersburg State University, Institute of Material Culture of RAS, Laboratory of Archaeology, Historical Sociology and Cultural Heritage [edited. by L. B. Vishniatsky, A. A. Kovalev, O. A. Schcheglova]. SPb.: publ. Saint-Petersburg University, 2004.

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