Masson, Mikhail Evgen’evich
Born Nov. 21 (Dec. 3), 1897, in St. Petersburg. Soviet archaeologist, historian, and Orientalist. Member of the Academy of Sciences of the Turkmen SSR (1951). Beginning in 1940, a professor at the Middle Asian State University in Tashkent and head of the university’s sub-department of archaeology.
Masson was a member of various archaeological expeditions in the republics of Middle Asia. He conducted excavations of Kushan and medieval Termez (1936-38). In 1946 he became head of the Southern Turkmenistan Joint Archaeological Expedition, which conducted excavations in the Turkmen SSR, including excavations of the Parthian cities of Nisa and Merv. Masson’s works are concerned with proving the existence of a slaveholding order in Middle Asia; with the developmental patterns of the cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Tashkent, among others; with the history of the monetary economy and mining; and with architecture, epigraphy, and historical geography. Masson has been awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.