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Alexei Igorevich

Researcher at the IOM RAS
Born in Leningrad on October 19, 1968 to a family of Assyriologists. In 1990 graduated from the Faculty of History of the Leningrad University (Department of the History of Ancient Greece and Rome directed by Prof. Eduard Frolov). Until October 1991, nominally a researcher at the short-lived Independent Academy for the Humanities, he worked at the Computer Methods Laboratory of the Institute of Linguistics of the Academy of Sciences under the guidance of Dr Nikolai Kazansky, where he developed software for the study of ancient Greek texts, in particular the Septuagint.

In 1991, he entered the European Association of Image and Sound Professions (FEMIS Film School) in Paris on an international competition and graduated in January 1995. In 1990-1994, he assisted his father Prof. Igor M. Diakonoff in preparing the publication of the English version of the latter’s major works, "Archaic Myths of Orient and Occident" (1997) and "The Paths of History" (1999).

In 1995, upon his return to St. Petersburg, he temporarily returned to the work on the history of early Greek tragedy. However, his contacts with the professionals of the French cinema industry led him to re-join the team of Russian cinema author Alexander Sokurov. From 1998 to 2015 he coordinated Alexander Sokurov’s international projects with European, American and Japanese companies and film archives, translated more than 30 Sokurov’s films into English and French, worked on visual effects and edited a number of the director's films. At the same time, he made several documentaries of his own, in particular “The Kirkenes Ethics. Igor Diakonoff” (2011) and “Stalingrad. Aren’t we still alive? (2018). In 2007-2010 he made a documentary film about the village life in Iraqi Kurdistan (Barzan, Koya) commissioned by the Musée de l’Homme in Paris. In 2012 he worked as a cameraman and consultant for the Turkish film "Baglar", filmed in zone of ethnic conflict in Turkish Kurdistan (Diyarbakir, Shirnak).

In 2010-2015 he was head of the archive research group and first director assistant on a Franco-German film about the Louvre Museum during the Nazi occupation, which made him familiar with the problems of protecting cultural property in military conflicts. In 2013, he created an exhibition at the Royal Galleries in Brussels for the 10th anniversary of the looting of the Iraq National Museum. While preparing the exhibition, he visited the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, where he met with scholars involved in the work of preserving the Iraqi heritage, and in New York, with Deputy Attorney General Matthew Bogdanos, who personally investigated the events in the Iraq Museum in 2003.

In May 2016, thanks to the support from the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts and “Time on Maps” project, he organised an international conference “Facing the Chaos. Protection of tangible and intangible cultural heritage in the 21st century”. The ensuing contacts allowed resurrecting Russian-led archaeological fieldwork in Iraq. After reports and consultations at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, the Institute of Archaeology, the Institute of Oriental Studies, the State Hermitage, the Institute of Classical Oriental and Antiquity of the Higher School of Economics, and Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, together with Dr Shahmardan Amirov and with a contribution from Academician Nikolai Kazanski, he created a research programme for the future Iraqi-Russian archaeological mission.

Academician Nikolai Kazansky (Institute of Linguistic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences) proposed to make the mission multidisciplinary, adding to it dialectological fieldwork and a study of manuscripts. In March 2019, the Iraqi-Russian Multidisciplinary Project was officially initiated by the Director of the Institute of Archaeology Academician Nikolai Makarov in his letter to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Directed by Dr Shahmardan Amirov and Alexei Jankowski-Diakonoff, the IRMP began fieldwork in April 2019 with aerial photography at tells Wajef (IV-III millennium BC) and Dehaila (II millennium - first half of the I millennium BCE) in Southern Iraq. In 2020 and 2021 the first two excavation seasons were carried out at Tell Dehaila.

Since 2019, A. Jankowski-Diakonoff is a Research Fellow at the Department of the Ancient Orient at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.


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On October 2, 2023, the Department of Far Eastern Studies, IOM RAS, will hold the “Ideology of Traditional China” Conference dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the outstanding Russian Sinologist Alexander S. Martynov (1933–2013).

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