Pugacheva E.V.


This paper presents the analysis of a craniological series from the Republic of Ingushetia (Lezhg, Jegikal villages), South Ossetia (Verhnij Rokk, Verhnej Erman, Srednij Erman villages) and the Chechen Republic (Staraja Sunzha village) conducted using modern morphologic methods. The research is based on craniological materials from the MAE RAS (Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences) collections that were gathered and described by V.V. Bunak in 1953. At that time, V.V. Bunak examined the material from the standpoint of the typological approach, giving great importance to the relative value of the cranial index. Therefore, it seems relevant to study the material within the framework of the population approach using modern me-thods. The aim of this paper is to classify the morphological characteristics of the Caucasian anthropological type using samples from two neighbouring groups (Ossetian and Ingush ones), which are analysed by two different methodologies. At the first stage, skulls were measured by a standard craniometric program. Subsequently, the obtained data was analysed by classical statistical methods (Mann Whitney U test, Principal component analysis, Canonical discriminant analysis). At the second stage, the methods of geometric morphometry were applied for comparing the Procrustean distances by the principal component method (intragroup analysis) and the canonical discriminant analysis (intergroup analysis). The results of the geometric morphometry analysis have allowed us to trace the non-linear variation of the facial part of the skulls. The results obtained at both analytical stages have shown a good agreement. It is concluded that female groups are morphologically close to each other. Male groups show similarities between the Ingush and Ossetian materials. The craniological series from Staraya Sunzha is shown to be unique. Therefore, the majority of the craniological types identified by V.V. Bunak have not been confirmed by modern analytical methods, with the only exception being the male group from Staraya Sunzha.

Key words: Physical anthropology, craniology, Caucasus, geometric morphometrics, burial vault.


Khodzhayov T.K., Khodzhayova  G.K.


This article characterizes extensive craniological and osteological materials from Miankal, the site located in the Samarkand region, the central part of the Big Sogd. A review of anthropological and archaeological data on the population having resided in the aforementioned province is given for a lengthy historical period from antiquity, through the Late Middle Ages and up to the present time. The majority of the collections are presented for the first time in their full size. The article reviews the epochal dynamics of main craniological characteristics and indicators. A comparative analysis of the Miankal series with all other Big Sogd series is performed in terms of important morphological and paleodemographic indicators. The main morphological complexes having existed in ancient, Middle Age and close to the present time populations are described. A certain morphological peculiarity of the Miankal groups is shown. These groups are described in terms of intergroup differences and in comparison with the other Sogd population. The relationship vectors of the Miankal populations with those of the Central (Samarkand), Western (Bukhara) and Southern (Kaskadarya) Sogd are demonstrated for different historical periods. A suggestion is made that Miankal, being part of the Central Sogd, was also populated by groups from the Western and Southern Sogd, as well as from other historical and cultural geographical regions, such as the Central Kyzylkum, the Sarikamish region, the lower Syrdarya. In addition, according to archaeologists, this region might have been populated by immigrants from Kangju.

Key words: Miankal, Sogd, Samarkand, Bukhara; paleolith, mesolith, neolith, the Bronze Age, anti-quity, Early Middle Ages, High Middle Ages  è Late Middle Ages; paleoanthropology, craniology, osteology, paleodemography; craniometric characteristics, morphological complexes, race of the Middle Asian (Central Asian) interfluvial Area, Eastern Mediterranean race, Southern Siberian race;  archaeological cultures.



Khudaverdyan A.Yu., Engibaryan A.A., Hovhannisyan À.À., Hobosyan S.G.


Newly excavated materials from the Zarni Er cave (village of Hakhpat) have allowed the anthropological composition of the Late Middle Age (XIVXVI centuries) inhabitants of Armenia to be characterized for the first time. Two burials were discovered in the Zarni Er cave. In Burial 1, the skeletal remains of two individuals were recovered. They belonged to a subadult, whose age-at-death is estimated to be between 56 years, and to a middle-adult male. In Burial 2, the skeletal remains of two more individuals were discovered: those of a young adult female and of an adult male. The burials were found adjacent to a medieval wine press. On the basis of anthropological and paleopathological data, the physical features and disease pathology of the bones were analysed. The traces of unintentional head (occipital) deformation were found on the skulls, which is supposed to be associated with social-domestic conditions. Some crania are found to display traumatic lesions, with most such fractures being located on the front of the head and its sides (on the frontal and parietal bones). In addition, several well-healed fractures were observed, including facial and rib ones. A left fibula found in Burial 1 showed a healed fracture at its distal end. The degree of the muscular relief development points to a considerable physical activity associated with labour. Some signs of enthesopathy, which disorder had previously been noted in horse riders, were discovered at the proximal end of the individuals’ femora. In two skeletons, the femora featured strongly developed lineas aspera in conjunction with the pronounced areas of the insertion of all three gluteal muscles, in particular of the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius on the greater trochanter. Harris lines, or growth arrest lines, are clearly seen on the Õ-ray images of the tibial bone diaphyses. Some skeletal and dental markers, such as the frequencies of alveolar bone disease, cribra orbitalia, periostitis and Schmorl’s nodes, might be indicative of relatively poor living conditions (inadequate diet, occurrence of subadult anaemia and infectious diseases, extremely hard physical labour) in the Lori province, most probably due to a dramatic worsening of the political situation in Armenia at that time. The remains are believed to be those of the adherents of an anti-feudal, heretical Christian sect Tondrakians that flourished in the medieval Armenia. It is likely that the Tondrakian followers took refuge from persecution in the Zarni Er cave. The Tondrakian movement primarily had a social character and was used as a tool for class warfare. Many regions of Armenia were undergoing peasant uprisings, which first began in the form of open social protests, eventually adopting religious aspects.

Key words: Armenia, Middle Ages, Cave Zarni Er, craniology, odondology, osteology, paleopatho-logy, Tondrakians (Christian sect).