Bagashev A.N.

Craniological sources on the problem of ethnogenesis of the Narym Selkups

The Narym Selkups are an indigenous population of the Middle Ob River region speaking various dialects of the Selkup language related to the South-Samodian branch of the Ural language family. In the course of the study of Medieval and relatively recent burial grounds in the territory of the Narym Ob area of Tomsk Oblast, conside-rable amount of craniological material has been collected, which constitutes an important historical source for solving general problems of their origins. According to the archaeological and ethnographic materials, the Medieval burials were left by direct ascendants of modern Narym Selkups, whereas the materials from the later burial grounds are directly associated with their specific local-dialect groups. This paper is aimed to introduce into scientific discourse virtually all craniological materials known today from the burial grounds left by the Narym Selkups, and, on the basis of the results of group cross-correlation, to identify trends of the territorial variability of the whole community. Significant increase of new finds from the vast territory of the Middle Ob region, population-driven approach to the data analysis and development of the craniometric technique warranted re-grouping of the finds by the territorial principle and their repeated measurement and analysis. In view of the current problem, all craniological materials were grouped into ten sampling series, five of which are published for the first time (the burial ground of Ostyatskaya Gora and four combined craniological series from the burial grounds of Lower Chulym, Narym Ob, Upper Ket, and the Tym and Vasyugan rivers). Analysis of the variability of the series from the Narym Ob region in chronological and geographical bands showed their weak variability in space and time. Therefore, prior to the Russian colonization of Siberia, this region of the Middle Ob area was not invaded by considerably large groups of people of different anthropological appearance. All studied craniological series were samples from the single unity. Although the territorial variability of the anthropological features within the groups of the Narym Selkups is not large, in some cases an influence of territorially closest neighbours on the anthropological structures of particular Selkup populations can be discerned. It appeared that the southern groups exhibit resemblance with their territorially closest Turkic populations of the Chulym and Lower Tom regions, while in the composition of other Narym groups, there have been identified an admixture of the component genetically related to the Turkic populations of the Western-Siberian forest-steppe – Barabino and Tobol-Irtysh Tatars, and, although being very weak, an influence of the Ob Ugric populations can be discerned.

Keywords: craniology, population, physical type, intergroup variability, southern Samoyedians, Selkups, Western Siberia, Narym Ob river region.


Slepchenko S.̀., Sudarev N.I., Tsokur I.V., Abramova A.N.

First results of the archaeoparasitological study of the Volna 1 burial ground (Temryuk District, Krasnodar Krai)

The paper presents the results of an archaeoparasitological analysis of the soil samples from a number of the burials dated to the end of the 4th first half of the 3rd c. B.C. of the ancient burial ground of Volna 1 situated in the territory of the “Asiatic part” of the Bosporan Kingdom (present-day Temryuk District, Krasnodar Krai). As the result of the investigation, the parasitogenic spectrum of the studied population group has been determined. The eggs of three types of helminths were found. The presence of the eggs of human whipworm (Trichuris trichiura) in the soil samples from the burials suggest relatively poor sanitary and hygienic condition of the population and undeveloped hygienic habits of the studied population group. Analysis of the archaeoparasitological data in the historical context and utilization of the archaeopathological material from the archaeological sites of the chronologically close period from the territory of Europe and Asia Minor permitted identification of the range of possible causes of such a situation. The undeveloped hygienic habits are also manifested by finding of of lancet fluke (Dicrocoelium dendriticum) eggs in the soil samples. Besides, the presence in the soil samples of the eggs of this parasite is indicative, from the point of view of archaeoparasitology, of the type of the economy, its methods and, partly, of the dietary specifics. Interesting is the fact of finding of the broad tapeworm (Diphyllobothrium latum) eggs in one of the samples. Given the life cycle of the broad tapeworm and mode of infestation, it is possible to determine unambiguously that the tapeworm infestation might have happened during the consumption of raw underboiled/underroast or dried fish from the freshwater lakes and rivers from the territory of the south of Russia (River Kuban, River Don etc.). Having considered the obtained data in the historical-archaeological context, it is possible to hypothesize on the directions of travels of the infested individual. Characteristics of the archaeoparasitological spectrum indicate possible use of anthelminthic agents, or consumption of food with vermicidal effect with respect to the round worms. An important result of the study is demonstration of capabilities of the archaeoparasitology as a source of bioarchaeological information on the population of Northern Black Sea coast.

Keywords: Northern Black Sea region, archeoparasitology, palynology, paleopathology, intestinal parasites, bioarchaeological reconstructions.


Rasskazova A.V., Zheyfer V.A., Mazurok O.I.

Medieval mass burial in Pereslavl-Zalessky

The paper presents the results of the anthropological study of a mass grave located in the grounds of the kremlin of Pereslavl-Zalessky (European Russia). It has been preliminary dated to the 13th first half of the 14th century. This study is aimed at craniological investigation and establishing anthropological connections of the Medieval population of Pereslavl-Zalessky, as well as clarification of the circumstances of appearance of the mass burial within the town territory with the aid of anthropological methods. The human remains were analyzed to identify the number of individuals and to determine their sex and age. Determination of sex and age and recording of injuries were carried out on the craniological material. The craniological program was used to study 28 male and
16 female skulls.
A canonical discriminant analysis was used for the intergroup analysis. The mass burial contained separated bones of 80 adults and 19 children. It was possible to identify 30 males and 24 females. The male component of the group was represented by virtually all age groups. The female part comprised mainly women aged 2035. Therefore, the interred were placed in the grave spontaneously, considerably later after their death; the bodies had time to decompose completely. Eleven instances of skull injuries without signs of necrotic process and healing were recorded. The location and characteristics of the burial and presence of several instances of fatal lacerated wounds indicate that the city residents died in the course of a military clash. Therefore, the studied series represents a time slice of the population of the medieval city. The canonical discriminant analysis on the craniological series of 53 revealed that the studied series is distinct from the territorially and chronologically close series of Yaroslavl and Kostroma Krivichs. It also showed that the formation of the population of Pereslavl-Zalessky was strongly influenced by the migration of the Ilmen Slovens and Smolensk-Polotsk Krivichs. Among the specifics of the Pereslavl series, also noteworthy is the strong influence of southern Russian migrants. On the contrary, the influence of the Finno-Ugric morphological component on the urban population of the 13th14th centuries was very insignificant.

Keywords: paleoanthropology, craniology, urban population, mass burial, Russians, medieval cities.


Kozlov A.I.

Polymorphism of the genetic determinants of bone mineral metabolism in various groups of the Komi people

The subject of the study is autochthonous population of the Northern and Middle Cis-Urals: Komi-Permyaks, Komi (Zyryans), and Komi-Izhems. The aim of the study is to compare the population frequencies of the LCT (rs4988235) and VDR (FokI rs2228570 and BsmI rs1544410) genes and to consider the contribution of environmental and cultural factors to the formation of differences in the genetic determinants of bone tissue metabolism. In total, 181 Komi-Permyak, 223 Komi, and 200 Komi-Izhem subjects were tested clinically and genetically. The evaluation consisted of the determination of polymorphic loci of VDR and LCT genes variants and assessment of clinical and laboratory lactase activity. The information on traditional diet and food composition was obtained from ethnographic materials. The study group of Komi-Izhems differs by a high proportion of C*LCT carriers (0.85) from the other two groups (p < 0.05). The prevalence of hypolactasia, i.e., limited lactase production, is also higher (p < 0.05) in Komi-Izhems (0.64) than in Komi-Permyaks (0.47) and Zyryans (0.41). The T*BsmI allele frequency is higher in Komi-Izems (0.493) in hetero- CT* (0.463) and homozygote TT* (0.261) genotypes, as compared to Zyryans (p < 0.05, where the frequencies are 0.377, 0.329 and 0.212, respectively). The values of BsmI allele and genotype frequencies in Komi-Permyaks are intermediate and do not differ significantly from those in Komi-Izhems and Zyryans. The concentration of T*FokI is highest in Komi-Permyaks (0.528). They are followed by Zyryans (the difference is insignificant, p > 0.05). Komi-Izhems have the smallest proportion of T*FokI allele carriers (0.400) and significantly differ from Komi-Permyaks (p = 0.01). The genotype distributions in FokI locus of VDR in the groups of Komi-Permyaks and Zyryans do not differ, but both show higher CT*FokI genotype frequencies than Komi-Izhems (0.549 and 0.569 against 0.288; p < 0.001). Poor livestock production and a lack of milk in the traditional subsistence economy of the Komi-Permyaks weakened the selection in favor of T*LCT allele and lactase persistence. The low intake of calcium with milk was compensated by an increase in the sensitivity of the target organs to calciferol, the regulator of mineral metabolism, by maintaining the high frequency of carriers of T*BsmI and T*FokI alleles of VDR gene in the population. The more productive dairy farming of Zyryans stimulated selection in favor of lactase persistence. The possibility of continuous consumption of calcium from milk eased the selection pressure on VDR loci. The regulation by T*FokI produced a physiologically sufficient effect and T*BsmI carriership remained low. The diet of the Komi-Izhems, who were accustomed to high-latitude regions, comprised low-lactose dairy products. The population preserved a high carriage of C*LCT and the phenotype of hypolactasia. Moderately intensive selection for vitamin D receptor sensitivity showed up in the increase of VDR T*BsmI frequency only. The high D-vitamin status of the Izhem people was leveraged by the traditional diet with a considerable intake of ergocalciferol-rich venison and fish. The Komi-Permyaks, Komi (Zyryans) and Komi-Izhems occupied different ecological niches and the groups found different ways to adapt to the unfavorable bone-homeorhesis conditions. The flexible responses to the pressure of the environmental factors were implemented by the selection of variants of LCT, VDR FokI and VDR BsmI genes, which are located in different chromosomes and determine different stages of mineral metabolism. We contend that modern interpopulation diffe-rences in distribution of the genotypes and alleles are the manifestations of different strategies of ecological adaptation of anthropologically related groups.

Keywords: vitamin D, calcium, calciferol, milk, LCT, VDR.