Texas Mayor

Eristus Sams, 77, a former mayor of Prairie View, Tex., whose unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate in 1961 was the first statewide campaign by a black candidate since Reconstruction, died Oct. 11 at his home in Prairie View after a heart attack.

Mr. Sams, who was a former agriculture professor at Prairie View A&M University, sold 700 acres of his Waller County corn farm to finance his Senate campaign.

He received 3,047 votes to place seventh in a race won by John Tower. He was mayor of the southeast Texas town for 14 years beginning in 1970.

He also led a 13-year legal effort to win Prairie View A&M students the right to vote in Waller County.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1979 that a residency questionnaire arbitrarily applied by county officials discriminated against students at the predominantly black college.


Archaeologist, Museum Director

Boris Piotrovsky, 82, a leading Soviet archaeologist and longtime director of Leningrad's Hermitage Museum, died Oct. 15 of a cerebral hemorrhage. The place of his death was not reported.

Mr. Piotrovsky, originally a specialist in Egyptology, won world fame through his discovery in 1939 of the Urartu civilization that flourished south of the Caucasus Mountains from the 9th to 6th centuries B.C.

He published his major work on the subject, "The History and Culture of Urartu," in 1944. He was appointed Hermitage director in 1964.