Sergei Tolstov

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tolstov, Sergei Pavlovich


Born Jan. 12 (25), 1907, in St. Petersburg; died Dec. 28,1976, in Moscow. Soviet ethnographer, archaeologist, historian, and Orientalist. Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1953). Member of the CPSU since 1944.

From 1939 to 1951, Tolstov was a professor and head of the ethnography subdepartment of the history department at Moscow State University. From 1942 to 1966 he served as director of the Institute of Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Tolstov’s main works deal with the archaeology and the primitive, ancient, and medieval history of the peoples of Middle Asia; the history of religion and social systems; and ethnogeny. He edited the multivolume Peoples of the World. In 1937 he organized the Khorezm Archaeological and Ethnographic Expedition, which he directed until 1969.

Tolstov received the State Prize of the USSR in 1949 for his work Ancient Khorezm (1948). He has been awarded three orders and various medals.


Po sledam drevnekhorezmiiskoi tsivilizatsii, Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Po drevnim del’tam Oksa i laksarta, Moscow, 1962.


Zhdanko, T. A., Iu. A. Rapoport, and N. N. Cheboksarov. “S. P. Tolstov (k60-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia).” Sovetskaia etnografiia, 1967, no. 1.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.