PERERVA E.V. Traits of Non-Metric Variation on Postcranial Skeleton Bones: the Case of Anthropological Material from the Necropolis Site of Ancient Settlement Vodyanskoe

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2014.4.6

Pererva Evgeniy Vladimirovich

Candidate of Sciences (History), Head of Scientific and Organizational Department,

Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration

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Gagarina St., 8, 400015 Volgograd, Russian Federation


Abstract. The study of recorded traits of non-metric (epigenetic) variation of human skeletal remains has started to play a significant role in paleoanthropological research as an additional source of information. The examination of traits of non-metric variation on cranial materials and their series is dominating overwhelmingly in the modern Russian historical and anthropological sciences. In the second half of 20th century in some countries a number of scientific papers devoted to epigenetic markers on the bones of the postcranial skeleton were published.

The current article presents the results of program testing aimed at identifying nonmetric variation traits on the bones of the axial human skeleton on the basis of the foreign research techniques of anthropological material from the Russian Golden period necropolis site of ancient settlement Vodyanskoe. It was revealed that non-metric variation traits of human skeletal remains were generally observed in adult individuals. We examined 73 postcranial skeletons, 42 male and 30 female ones, and in one case it was not possible to determine the sex of the skeleton. 

A wide range of epigenetic abnormalities was identified on bone remains, their preliminary analysis revealed the similar focus of epigenetic features in both skull and teeth systems depending on their gender identity. We identified a set of features proper to either men or women on the bones of the postcranial skeletons. 

High frequency of anomalies occurrence allowed us to make some assumption about the genetic closeness of the studied samples particularly in female series. Recorded genetic non-metric variation traits on the bones of a skeleton are similar to those of other medieval series from the Lower Volga territory and they indicate some genetic relatedness of the population in this region. On the other hand, the revealed regularities can testify that the same anomalies in Golden-time settled population from different areas can be associated with the similar stress factors affecting groups leading a similar lifestyle.

The study suggests that recorded traits of non-metric variation of human postcranial skeletal remains could be used in conjunction with other phenes to identify the degree of homogeneity study groups and populations..

Key words: non-metric traits, postcranial skeleton, Vodyanskoe settlement, middle century time, Lower Volga region.

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Traits of Non-Metric Variation on Postcranial Skeleton Bones: the Case of Anthropological Material from the Necropolis Site of Ancient Settlement Vodyanskoe by Pererva E.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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