Grigorev A.P., Zhanuzak R.Zh.

Some aspects of the postcranial morphology of the Ural-Mugodzhar population in the Late Bronze Age

The paper reports on the osteometric data of skeletons from the burials of the Kozhumberdy group of the Late Bronze Age Alakul Culture (Southern Ural). The research is aimed to reveal the character of the variability of osteometric features of the sample group and its comparison with synchronous groups of the steppe zone of Eurasia. Twenty-four male and seventeen female skeletons were investigated. Taking into account the poor preservation of the material, a new method of identification of sex, developed by I.M. Sineva, was applied. The results of the study of the series by statistical methods (principal component analysis, nonparametric Mann — Whitney criterion) are presented. A high degree of morphological diversity of the variants of the skeletal development under the dominance of a rather gracile osteological complex within the Bronze Age of the steppe Eurasia is observed. Several individuals, characterized by the increased size of the skeleton, are distinguished. The similarity of the main part of the studied sample group with the synchronous population of the steppe-forest-steppe zone of the Cis-Urals and Upper Ob Basin is revealed. At the same time, the Kozhumberdy group morphologically differs from the agricultural population of the Bronze Age in Central Asia. These results indicate the main direction of the morphological links of the Kozhumberdy group of the Alakul Culture with the sample groups of the Sintashta Culture of the Cis-Urals and Andronovo Culture of Western Siberia. There is also present an insignificant component associated with the Early Bronze Age population of the steppe Volga-Ural region (the Yamnaya Culture). The assumption made previously on the basis of the study of craniological materials about a single morphological basis for the formation of the population of the Alakul and Srubnaya Cultures of the Bronze Age is not confirmed. The main component in the formation of the physical appearance of the Srubnaya population is the local Volga-Ural population. As the morphological basis for the formation of the Alakul Ural-Mugodzhar group we consider the Sintashta population of the Cis-Urals.

Keywords: anthropology, Late Bronze Age, osteometry, morphology, postcranial skeleton, Ural-Mugodzhar region, Alakul Culture.


Parfenteva O.I., Pravednikova A.E., Aiyzhy E.V., Popova E.V., Balinova N.V., Zadorozhnaya L.V., Khomyakova I.A., Bondareva E.A.

Central obesity in the adult populations of the Altai Republic and the Republic of Tuva. Anthropological and genetic aspects

In the present study, we identified the factors affected central obesity prevalence in the adult Altains, Russians and Tuvans permanently residing in the Altai and the Tuva Republics. The data was collected in 2018–2020. The examination program included anthropometrical examination and the genetic testing of females and males, aged 18–35 years. Anthropometrical examination was carried out in accordance with the guidelines accepted in the Research Institute and Museum of Anthropology. Body composition was analyzed by bioelectrical impedance analyzer. The SNPs rs1800592 UCP1, rs660339 UCP2 and rs1800849 UCP3 were assessed. The prevalence analyses of underweight, overweight and general obesity in the groups of female and males were conducted. The anthropometric indices were used to estimate the prevalence of central obesity. General obesity occurred more often in the group of Altai people, whereas in the Tuva people the central obesity is more pronounced. The Altai and Tuva people are alike in the total body measurements, whereas Russians were significantly higher. All studied groups demonstrated the sexual dimorphism of the body composition and waist to
hip ratio. No significant differences in waist to height ratio between males and females were identified in the studied groups. No association between genetic variants and the obesity-related traits, which reflect the body fat and its distribution, was revealed. All factors included in the model are able to predict 8 % of the variability of the central obesity-related traits. Ethnic background contributes the most to the variability of the central obesity index.

Keywords: biological anthropology, central obesity, WHtR, Tuva, Altai, adults, UCP.


Syutkina T.A.

Paleopathological analysis of the cranial samples from Pre-Columbian Cuba

The article presents a paleopathological analysis of two cranial samples from pre-Columbian Cuba: the Siboney (also known as Archaic) sample consisting of 40 individuals and the Taíno sample composed of 27 individuals. The Siboney are believed to have arrived to Cuba around 5000 years ago, and the Taíno inhabited the island since approximately 500 AD until decimation by the newcomers from the Old World. All the Taíno crania exhibit fronto-occipital artificial deformation. The main focus of the study is oral pathologies and bone abnormalities observed in the samples and how these reflect the differences between the two groups and individuals within each of them. Dental pathologies (caries, abscesses, antemortem tooth loss, and dental calculus) are more frequent in each sample's male and elder groups. The two samples compared together are close in the frequencies of caries, abscesses, and AMTL, while dental calculus is more frequent among the Taíno. The two cultural groups had different subsistence strategies: the Siboney were hunter-fisher-gatherers with the exception of the Canímar Abajo subgroup, for whom consumption of cultigens is proved, the Taíno were agriculturalists. In paleopathological studies, agricultural subsistence is usually associated with a higher rate of caries and lower rate of dental calculus. However, even after excluding individuals from Canímar Abajo from the Siboney sample, the difference in the caries rate between the two samples stayed insignificant. This could be due to carbohydrate-rich fruits that played an important role in the Archaic population’s diet. Pathological markers observed in the studied crania were classified according to Donald Ortner’s typology of bone abnormalities, which includes four major categories (abnormal bone size, abnormal bone or bone group shape, abnormal bone formation and abnormal bone destruction) and subcategories within them. Such an approach focuses mainly on the appearance of the lesions rather than on their possible causes. Pathological markers seen in the samples can suggest infectious, neoplastic, mycotic diseases, metabolic disorders. Possible antemortem traumas are infrequent in both samples. Specific to the Taíno crania is premature suture closure, which most probably is the consequence of artificial cranial deformation. In general, the analysis did not reveal significant differences in the two group's pathological statuses.

Keywords: paleopathology, physical anthropology of Cuba, artificial cranial deformation, dental pathologies.