A famous archaeologist, anthropologist, and historian.
Born January 28th, 1929, in Leningrad, Russia, Irina's childhood was fraught with troubles. When she was just 12 years old, Russia entered World War 2, and her father went to fight in the war--he died on the front, and she never saw him again. As the German army advanced, nearing close and closer to Leningrad, Irina's mother moved to Astrahan, and left Irina to stay with her aunt, hoping that they would join her later. However, her hopes would not meet up with the hard facts of reality.
A few weeks after her mother left her, Irina was faced with the task of living in a city under siege--the 900 day long siege of Leningrad had begun. Schools throughout the city were closed, and instead used as meeting areas for the city's children, although they would not help them escape the grim reality of war. Irina, like the other children in the town, was trained to defuse bombs and shells, dumping them into barrels of sand, and to put out fires with water. Everyone in the city was given meager rations during the siege, a slice or two of bread a day, but Irina's aunt would give her part of her dole if she asked for it. Irina would always remember her aunt as one of the most loving people in her life. Irina managed to survive the siege--a million other citizens did not--but she learned that her mother had become sick and died during this time, leaving her without parents.
As Irina was growing up, she studied history and archaeology at the University of Leningrad, becoming a top student in her class. She went on to participate in many archaeological digs, specializing in Ancient Greek and Roman history. It was on one of these digs that she met her husband, with whom she eventually moved to Moscow, after ending her archaeological career, and was able to pursue other things.
Determined to continue following her passion of history, she became a professor at a prestigious Russian university. Apart from her job, she became a writer, creating a widely-acclaimed textbook on ancient history (currently in its third edition), as well as writing many papers, circulated throughout the international community, about Ancient Greece, especially on the topics of love and sex. In addition to this, she has spoken at many conventions.
Currently living at the age of 73 years old, she continues to follow her work, still teaching at the same university she has for the last twenty-five years.