Intragroup analysis of new craniometric data from the ancient Panjakent nauses  

Kufterin V.V., Dubova N.A., Syutkina T.A.

 

VESTNIK ARHEOLOGII ANTROPOLOGII I ETNOGRAFII   3 (58)  (2022)

 

https://doi.org/10.20874/2071-0437-2022-58-3-10

 

              page 117126

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Abstract

The article discusses new cranial materials excavated at the ancient Panjakent necropolis in 20032004. The crania were found in ossuary burials in nauses (small separate crypts) dating from the late VII to the early VIII centuries AD. The materials of the study include 19 crania of various preservation statuses (7 males, 11 females and one non-adult individual). The present study aims to compare the newly obtained cranial data with the already published samples to see whether they are consistent with the current knowledge about the specifics of the crania from ancient Panjakent nauses. Furthermore, the new materials increase the sample size, which allows for an intragroup statistical analysis to be applied the maximum overall number of observations in the pooled sample has increased to 42 (data published by Ginzburg in 1950-s included). Besides from the craniometric part, we also recorded non-metric traits and visible pathological conditions, which are not discussed separately in the paper. The intragroup analysis of variability included both univariate (standard deviations, the F-test of equality of variances, correlation analysis) and multivariate statistical methods (Principal component analysis). In general, the increase in the sample size has not changed its anthropological characteristics described almost 70 years ago. This was a sub-brachycranial Caucasoid population with average-sized neuro- and facial cranium, moderate horizontal profiling, and moderate nasal bones protrusion. Statistical analyses seem to support the previous typology-based assumptions about the presence of at least two morphological variants within the sample that differ mainly in the cranial index. The Principal component analysis results reveal that the crania from particular nauses cluster closely to each other, which is consistent with the hypothesis of these nauses possibly being family burials.

Keywords: biological anthropology, craniometry, Early Medieval period, Central Asia, Tajikistan.

 

Funding. The study was supported by Russian Science Foundation (RSF), Grant Number: 22-28-00590, https://rscf.ru/project/22-28-00590/.

Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful to Dr. Nuriniso Khudoerova, Dr. Abdurauf Razzokov and, especially, to Dr. Sharofitdin Kurbanov (Panjakent-Sarazm Archaeological Base, A. Donish Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography, Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan) for their help in working with skeletal remains from the ancient Panjakent.

 

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Accepted: 30.05.2021

Article is published: 15.09.2022

 

Kufterin V.V., The Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology RAS, Leninsky Prospekt, 32A, Moscow, 119334, Russian Federation, E-mail: vladimirkufterin@mail.ru https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7171-8998
 

Dubova N.A., The Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology RAS, Leninsky Prospekt, 32A, Moscow, 119334, Russian Federation, E-mail: dubova_n@mail.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4340-1037
 

Syutkina T.A., The Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology RAS, Leninsky Prospekt, 32A, Moscow, 119334, Russian Federation, E-mail: syuttaya@gmail.com, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6222-4929