Pererva E.V., Djachenko A.N.


The paper studies the burials and anthropological materials of children (Early Bronze Age; Yamna culture), originating from the burial complexes of the Lower Volga using the method of paleopathological examination of skeletal remains and through the interpretation of the archaeological material. The skeletal remains of seven individuals whose age did not exceed 15–16 years were examined. The bone material exhibited varying degrees of preservation. In 6 skeletal remains, only fragments of the cranium were examined, whereas in 5 individuals it was possible to examine the postcranial remains along with the skull bones. In this study, we applied a procedure for studying pathological abnormalities in the human skeleton developed by A.P. Buzhilova [1998]. Different me-thodological recommendations were used when recording bone porosis [Ortner, Ericksen, 1997; Ortner, Putschar, 1981; Lukacs, et al., 2001; Brown, Ortner, 2011; Maclellan, 2011]. The analysis of anthropological series helped to assess the incidence of porotic hyperostosis of eye sockets (cribra orbitalia) and cranial roof bones; to detect the signs of inflammatory processes in the bones of the postcranial skeleton in the form of periostitis, inflammation on the inner surface of the bones of the cranial vault, as well as the pathological conditions of the dental system [Hegen, 1971; Stuart-Macadam, 1992; Waldron et al., 2009; Walker et al., 2009; Suby, 2014; Zuckerman et al., 2014]. The analysis of archaeological materials from children's burials of the Early Bronze Age revealed that almost all burials of children and adolescents are inlet, i.e. they do not have their individual barrows. The collection of items is extremely small and is primarily represented by ceramics of very poor quality. A low proportion of children's burials attributed to the Yamna culture is observed in the Lower Volga burial grounds. As a rule, children are buried together with adults, so separate burials are very rare. Two of the seven studied individuals were 4 to 7 years old, while the remaining five individuals were buried at the age of 8–16. The reason for the small number of children's burials of the Yamna culture is associated with the low social status of the immature part of the population, which, in turn, may suggest some special, poorly fixed archaeologically, burial ritual for the bulk of children, given that subsequently the number of children's individual burials increased quite significantly on the same territory. Nevertheless, their design and accompanying items are not much different from those of adult burials. Young individuals of the Early Bronze Age are characterised by markers of episodic stress that occurred during various periods of childhood, predominantly from 2 to 4 years old. The stress can be associated with the transition from the dairy diet to the solid food diet. The widespread occurrence of tartar in immature individuals can indicate the specificity of their diet, which was based on soft and, possibly, fatty food. In addition, it may indicate a lack of oral hygiene, which is quite natural for the historical period. Vitamin deficiency recorded in the stu-died group results either from exposure to negative factors during the late transition from breastfeeding to solid food or from chronic hunger. Young people of the Early Bronze Age had non-specific inflammations, which, most likely, were not systematic, but occurred sporadically. We can presume that children and adolescents of the stu-died age lived peacefully and participated in the economic activities of the social groups. Being exposed to episodic stresses, immature individuals of the pit culture successfully adapted to environmental factors.

Key words: paleopathology, Yamna culture, children, Lower Volga river region, disease.


Poshekhonova O.E., Razhev D.I., Slepchenko S.M., Marchenko Z.V., Adaev  V.N.


The article considers the dietary habits of a small Selkup group that lived in the north of Western Siberia along the upper reaches of the Taz River in the18th–19th centuries. To this end, we carried out paleopathological and archaeoparasitological studies of the anthropological material from a burial ground located next to the once-existing settlement of Karakonskaya, as well as performed an isotopic analysis of organic samples. Another objective was to study archival documents containing information on the inhabitants of the Upper Taz area. The isotope analysis included 17 anthropological and zooarchaeological samples, represented by the bones, hair and nails of 10 people, bones of a herbivore (reindeer), an omnivore (squirrel) (2) and fish (3). Soil samples taken from the surface of the sacra of 22 people served as the material for the archaeoparasitological study. Paleopathological studies included the bone remains of 23 people. We examined the originals of 19th-century documents stored at the State Archives of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. In order to differentiate the sources of land- and river-based diet, we analysed the stable-isotope ratio of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) in anthropological and zooarchaeological samples. The comparison of collagen and keratin isotopic values in one individual allowed seasonal variations in the diet to be established. For the purpose of identifying gender differences in the diet, an isotopic comparison between men and women was performed. In order to characterise the ways of food consumption and preparation, soil samples taken from burials were studied to detect eggs of intestinal parasites, as well as to establish their species. Other aspects of the group’s diet were studied by analysing the manifestations of porotic hyperostosis on the skull and dental diseases. When working on the archival materials, we employed cross-validation of information and analysed some documents covering large time intervals. It was established that the everyday diet the local Selkup group included bottom-dwelling and predatory fish, whereas the consumption of land mammals was minimal. Moreover, when preparing fish dishes for all members of the group, including children, fish was not heated or it was not heated enough. Seasonal fluctuations in the diet associated with hunting certain animals were recorded. The consumption of sugar and flour-based food by the Northern Selkups until the beginning of the 20th century was insignificant. Regular periods of hunger occurred given that the population had no tradition to make long-term food reserves. The consumption of certain food (dishes) resulted in the da-mage to the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth. For the men of this group, hunted food was somewhat more accessible than for women. The dietary system of the Northern Selkups had more in common with their closest neighbours the Khanty of the Vakh River rather than with the ethnically close Southern Selkups.

Key words: Western Siberia, Upper Taz Selkup, diet, isotope analysis, archeoparasitology, paleopathology, archival data.


Kishkurno M.S., Sleptsova  A.V.


The article covers the results of a study on the odontological series from the Kamenny Mys burial ground (3rd–2nd centuries BC). In this work, we set out to study the genesis of the Kulay population of the Early Iron Age in the Novosibirsk Ob area. The main relations of the population with the groups of adjacent territories, as well as the nature of their interaction with the local groups, were determined. The odontological series from the Kamenny Mys burial ground includes the teeth of 24 individuals: 12 males, 6 females and 10 adult individuals whose gender could not be determined. The anthropological materials were examined according to a standard procedure, which involves the description of the tooth crown morphology considering the archaic features of the dental morphology. Also, an intergroup comparative analysis was performed via the method of the principal component analysis using the program STATISTICA version 10.0. It was established that the dental characteristics exhibited by the Kulayka population reveal signs of mixed European-Mongoloid formation with a significant predominance of the Eastern component. We compared the morphological characteristics of the sample with data obtained for the populations of the Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age. The intergroup comparison revealed the closest connection between the Bolshaya Rechka culture and the Kulayka group. The studied material provides anthropological confirmation of the interaction between Kulayka (taiga) and Bolshaya Rechka traditions (steppe), drawing on the data about the burial rite and ceramic complexes. The comparison of the Kulayka series with Bronze Age samples suggests that the forest-steppe populations occupying the territories of the Novosibirsk and Tomsk Ob and the Ob-Irtysh areas had no effect on the genesis of the Kulayka population. We suppose that the origins of the Kulayka population in the Novosibirsk Ob area should be traced to the populations from the West Siberian taiga of the Bronze Age, which is significantly complicated by the lack of sufficiently complete and representative series dating back to the specified period from the territory of the Middle Ob area. Further accumulation of anthropological material from the Middle Ob area will provide the opportunity to trace the genesis of taiga populations of the Early Iron Age.

Key words: Novosibirsk Ob area, Early Iron Age, Kulayka culture, dental anthropology, archaic features.