DOBROVOLSKAYA M.V., VOLODIN S.A. On the Study of Scythian Mobility Based on Paleoanthropological Materials

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.4.18 

Maria V. Dobrovolskaya

Doctor of Sciences (History), Head of the Laboratory of Contextual Anthropology,

Institute of Archaeology RAS,

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

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9695-4199 

Semen A. Volodin

Junior Researcher,

Science Archive, Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences,

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

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3681-3241 


Abstract. Introduction. The paper is about the study of the human skeletal remains isotopic composition from Middle Don burial mounds of the Scythian time to characterize the population mobility.

Methods and materials. The materials from the monuments of Kolbino 1, Ternovoe 1, Gorki I, Devitsa V, Durovka are considered. Data on the isotopic composition of strontium enamel in teeth and bone tissue is used to estimate the mobility of the population. Information on the isotopic composition of bone carbon collagen and nitrogen is also used to reconstruct food models that reflect cultural traditions as well as environmental patterns.

Analysis. Values of 87/86 Sr of bone and tooth enamel are considered as markers of an individuals stay at different ages in a territory similar or different by geochemical parameters to regional Middle Don. Data on the isotopic composition of nitrogen and carbon in bone tissue from the burial mounds are considered with broad comparative data of the steppe Eurasian population of the Early Iron Age.

Results. The authors discuss carbon delta values marking the use of C4 type photosynthesis plants. Millet is this cultural plant in Eurasian history of the Early Iron Age. This plant is widely spread in all steppe and nomadic cultures. The individual variability of carbon delta of Middle Don population is increased compared to all others. There are individuals who differ from the majority in lower carbon deltas corresponding to the C3 type of photosynthesis. This feature is proposed to consider as an evidence of contacts with the territories with the antique agriculture traditions.

Key words: Scythian time, Middle Don, kurgan graves, strontium isotopic composition, stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes, diet, mobility.

Citation. Dobrovolskaya M.V., Volodin S.A. On the Study of Scythian Mobility Based on Paleoanthropological Materials. 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. 275-287. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.4.18.

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On the Study of Scythian Mobility Based on Paleoanthropological Materials by Dobrovolskaya M.V., Volodin S.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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