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Dental Anthropology of the Mesolithic and Neolithic Populations of the Eastern European Forest-Steppe Zone

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2016.44.3.139-149

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Abstract

Dental data are used to test two hypotheses as to whether the “eastern” traits of the Mesolithic and Neolithic populations of the Russian Plain are due to Mongoloid admixture or to evolutionary conservatism, specifi cally to the retention of features peculiar to the Upper Paleolithic groups. Frequencies of nonmetric traits, both those used in standard population studies and so-called markers of generalized conservatism, were studied in dental samples from Yuzhny Oleniy Ostrov and Vasilyevka-3 (Mesolithic), Fomino (Ryazan variant of Pit-Comb Ware culture), Karavaikha (Kargopol variant of the same culture), Vovnigi-1 (Kiev-Cherkassy variant of the Neolithic Dnieper-Donets culture), and Vovnigi-2 (Azov-Dnieper variant of the same culture). Published dental data on Zvejnieki (Mesolithic Kunda cuture), Yasinovatka and Nikolskoye (Dnieper-Donets culture), Sakhtysh-2a (Lyalovo variant of the Neolithic Pit-Comb Ware culture), and Upper Paleolithic samples from Europe were used for comparison. Both A.A. Zubov’s standard protocol and C.G. Turner’s ASUDAS were employed. The results suggest that multiple evolutionary processes were involved. Northeastern European Mesolithic dentitions indicate both Mongoloid admixture and continuity with Upper Paleolithic groups. Mesolithic series from Ukraine are more specialized in the Caucasoid direction while also showing certain Upper Paleolithic traits. In the Neolithic, the dental differences between northern and southern Caucasoids decrease, and there is a gradual reduction of both Mongoloid and Upper Paleolithic characteristics. Nonetheless, people of the Pit-Comb Ware culture, like those of Dnieper-Donets culture display certain Upper Paleolithic traits, which are the most evident in Vovnigi-2.

About the Author

A. V. Zubova
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Russian Federation


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For citation:


Zubova A.V. Dental Anthropology of the Mesolithic and Neolithic Populations of the Eastern European Forest-Steppe Zone. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2016;44(3):139-149. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2016.44.3.139-149

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