How it all started
Siberia, Scythian gold and the Ancient Rome
diving into the past
Indeed, foreign languages brought me in contact with remote civilizations and epochs as well as warmth of the cross-cultural communication. In university I was equally fascinated by all periods of world history, but the main focus of the study was on Russian history. We also did archaeological survey and diggings in the Altai mountains, exploring the ancient steppe peoples which migrated through Siberia from the times immemorial on their quest for better life.
Romance with the romans
My post-graduate research work dealt with ancient Roman history. I still can recall the moment when I chose ancient history as a primary field of research. It was by far the most challenging topic because it required learning Latin and Greek as well as a bunch of modern Eropean languages.

Above all, the Romans have never made it so far as to Siberia, so I had to go to the West to continue my research. First, I went to Vienna, one of the major centres of classical studies.

Vesuvian area around Pompeii became my second destination. 4 years in a row I spent all summer season there, exploring ancient Roman and Greek sites, as well as medieval and modern art and culture of the intensely rich Campania region.