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Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia

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Population Affinities of the Ancient Northern Okhotsk People: Cranial Evidence from a Collective Burial in a Rock Niche on Cape Bratyev, the Northern Okhotsk Coast

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2021.49.2.134-143

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Abstract

This study reconstructs biological affinities in a cranial sample from a collective burial on Cape Bratyev in Babushkin Bay. The burial, found in a rock niche on the Okhotsk Coast, was excavated by S.P. Efimov in 1976 and tentatively attributed to the Old Koryak culture. The sample consists of 13 adult skulls of differing preservation—five male, five female, and three undeterminable. Genome-wide analysis was carried out at the Center for Geogenetics of the University of Copenhagen. Paleogenetic data support the archaeological hypothesis attributing the burial to the Old Koryak culture. The results of the craniometric analysis suggest that the Old Koryak population was heterogeneous. Cranial data indicate population contacts between ancient Koryaks and the Epi-Jōmon people of Hokkaido. Also, they reveal common episodes in the population history of the group from Cape Bratyev and the Okhotsk culture people. Two of the three Okhotsk samples used for comparative analysis demonstrate very close affinities with individuals studied. According to the previous studies and our current analysis, the Okhotsk people resulted from the admixture of ancient groups related to Chukchi and Eskimo, on the one hand, and Tungus-Manchu groups, on the other. A significant difference between the Old Koryak population and that of Okhotsk culture is that the former includes a component related to Nivkhs.

About the Authors

V. G. Moiseyev
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Universitetskaya nab. 3, St. Petersburg, 199034



A. V. Zubova
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Universitetskaya nab. 3, St. Petersburg, 199034



P. S. Grebenyuk
North-East Interdisciplinary Research Institute, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Portovaya 16, Magadan, 685000



A. I. Lebedintsev
North-East Interdisciplinary Research Institute, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Portovaya 16, Magadan, 685000



B. A. Malyarchuk
Institute of Biological Problems of the North, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Portovaya 16, Magadan, 685000



A. Y. Fedorchenko
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk



For citation:


Moiseyev V.G., Zubova A.V., Grebenyuk P.S., Lebedintsev A.I., Malyarchuk B.A., Fedorchenko A.Y. Population Affinities of the Ancient Northern Okhotsk People: Cranial Evidence from a Collective Burial in a Rock Niche on Cape Bratyev, the Northern Okhotsk Coast. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2021;49(2):134-143. https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2021.49.2.134-143

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ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)