Paleopathology of Bactria-Margiana archaeological complex and some adjacent territories. A short overview

Kufterin V.V. (Moscow, Russian Federation)


                  page 97108


The article provides a brief overview of the paleopathological data on the population of the Bactria-Margiana archaeological complex (BMAC) and some adjacent regions (sites from the territory of Iran and Pakistan). In addition to the literature review, the results of a formalized comparison of some ancient groups according to the frequency of occurrence of several stress markers using correspondence analysis are presented. Based on this results, groups from the Margiana (Gonur-depe) and Bactria oases (Buston VI), are the closest to each other, as well as to the series from the territory of Iran and the Harappian sample. The mechanisms of adaptation to the influencial environmental biological and social factors, judging from the paleopathological data, differed significantly from the agricultural and pastoral population (Andronovo culture). At the same time, the Central Asian oases population (BMAC), samples from the territory of the Iranian plateau and the Indus valley demonstrate an obvious similarity of the pathological status. Local specificity can be considered as a result of the peculiarities of the course of adaptive processes in different environmental conditions, on the one hand, and as a fact caused by inter-researchers errors, on the other. In general, the given data correspond to those in the idealized model of subsistence systems correlates with demography and health for agricultural populations proposed by J. Lukacs. However, high frequency of infectious diseases does not find a clear osteological reflection in the material from most of the BMAC sites and sites from adjacent territories.


Key words: paleopathology, stress markers, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age, Bactria-Margiana archaeological complex, Central Asia, Iran, Indus Valley.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2018-41-2-097-108




V.V. Kufterin

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Mokhovaya st., 11, Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation