MEDNIKOVA M.B., TARASOVA A.A., CHECHYOTKINA O.Yu. Morphological Patterns of the Early Mediaeval Population of the Eastern Aral Region (Based on the Materials of Altyn-Asar Burial Sites)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.4.5 

Maria B. Mednikova

Doctor of Sciences (History, Archaeology), Leading Researcher,

Institute of Archaeology RAS,

Dm. Ulyanova St, 19, 117292 Moscow, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1918-2161 

Anna A. Tarasova

Candidate of Sciences (History), Junior Researcher,

Institute of Archaeology RAS,

Dm. Ulyanova St, 19, 117292 Moscow, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5469-2629 

Olga Yu. Chechyotkina

PhD Student,

Institute of Archaeology RAS,

Dm. Ulyanova St, 19, 117292 Moscow, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4880-1080 


Abstract. Introduction. Morphological studies of ancient peoples are associated with traditions of physical anthropology classifying data of similarity and differences of appearance of humans in the past. The use of standard measurement techniques contributed to the accumulation of a data array that allows drawing conclusions about the origin and environment of paleopopulations even with a small number and preservation of skeletal material. Archaeological sites of the Jetyasar culture were investigated in the 80s of the 21st century by the Khwarism Expedition of the USSR Academy of Sciences in the low basin of the Syr Darya river. The culture originated as a result of contacts of oasis agriculturists and steppe cattle-breeders in the northern part of the Great Silk Road. The majority of material is associated with the period from the first centuries AD till the 8th century, when local population left places due to increased aridity. According to archaeological data, during the 4 th – 7th centuries part of the inhabitants of the region had migrant origin and/or participated in the Great Migration to the west. The goal of the study is to evaluate the morphological diversity of the Jetyasar people during the mediaeval time.

Methods and Materials. The skeletal series from Altyn-Asar 4a-t, Tompakasar, Kosasar burial sites totally represents remains of 600 individuals of different chronology. Comparative data from Southern Siberia, Middle Asia, North Caucasus and Central Europe helps to study the differentiation of the mediaeval population by basic parameters of the skeletal constitution reflected in the size and linear body proportions (method of canonic analysis).

Results and Conclusions. The paper reveals some trends which might indicate genetic relations of some Jetyasar groups and their possible participation in migrations. Morphological similarity of groups from Kosasar-2 and Altyn-Asar 4v burial sites with inhabitants of Mongolia and Tuva of the Hun-Sarmatian time has been detected. The patterns of physical development of people from Altyn-Asar 4m necropolis confirm the hypothesis of archaeologists about their migrant origin. However, the majority of other early and later groups have morphological analogies among the earlier or synchronous population of Middle Asia (Altyn-Asar 4b, l, d, r, g, Tompakasar). Part of the population demonstrates peculiar morphological similarity with the Avars of Central Europe (Altyn-Asar 4k, t, o).

Key words: skeletal constitution, osteometry, Eastern Aral region, Early Middle Ages, Great Migration.

Citation. Mednikova M.B., Tarasova A.A., Chechyotkina O.Yu. Morphological Patterns of the Early Mediaeval Population of the Eastern Aral Region (Based on the Materials of Altyn-Asar Burial Sites). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 84-102. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.4.5.

Лицензия Creative Commons

Morphological Patterns of the Early Mediaeval Population of the Eastern Aral Region (Based on the Materials of Altyn-Asar Burial Sites) by Mednikova M.B., Tarasova A.A., Chechyotkina O.Yu. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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