The population of the Lower Tobol river in the transition period from the Early Iron Age to the Middle Ages according to craniology

Poshekhonova O.E., Sleptsova A.V. (Tyumen, Russian Federation)


                  page 90–103


Up to the present time, a few craniological samples of the migration period from the Early Iron Age to the Middle Ages from the Lower Tobol river have been introduced in scientific circulation [Zolotareva, 1957; Bagashev, 2000; Poshekhonova et al., 2016]. In addition, there was no acces for observation of the morphology of the cranium of the buried, due to a widespread practice of artificial cranial deformation in that period. Accumulation of materials of the III–VI centuries AD from this region became necessary to form a general sample that would allow investigating its anthropological specificity. Some important conclusions were a result of an extensive comparison of the series with groups of Western Siberia and adjacent territories of the Early Iron Age — the Middle Ages. No doubt, the population that left the burial grounds in the Lower Tobol river basin in the III–VI centuries AD was multicomponent. Those characteristics, which related to the medieval inhabitants of the taiga regions of Western Siberia, and to the Mongoloid part of the population of the previous period predominate during the morphological stage of the study of the group [Bagashev, 2000, 2017]. The population characterized by low facial and cranial length, a minimal nasal protrusion angle and a medium profiled transference. The migration of the groups from the taiga zone to the south in the III–VI centuries AD is not excluded. The Caucasian component in the ge-neral sample from the Lower Tobol river, which is already registered as a minor impurity, is not clearly observed. As a result, it was established, as well as the Sargatka paleopopulation, which became a basis for the formation of the Early Medieval tribes. However, a biological mixing has led to a leveling of the features inherent in various components, they can no longer be correlated with any morphotype of the Early Iron Age. Also we cannot make a conclusion about the migration of the population in the III–VI centuries AD from Western Siberia to the Urals, although this assumption has been repeatedly described in archaeological literature [Matveeva, 2015; Rafikova, 2011]. There is no reason to assume large-scale advancement of groups from the south or east to the territory of the Tobol river during that period, despite the fact that it was demonstrated by an artefact (appearance of a superstratum nomadic component) [Matveeva, 2016].


Key words: Western Siberia, Lower Tobol river, the Early Middle Ages, the Sargatka, Bacal, Karym, Kushnarenkovo cultures, paleoanthropology, anthropological type.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2017-39-4-090-103




O.E. Poshekhonova

Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Malygina st., 86, Tyumen, 625026, Russian Federation


A.V. Sleptsova

Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Malygina st., 86, Tyumen, 625026, Russian Federation

Tyumen State University, Lenina st., 23, Tuymen, 625003, Russian Federation