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Long-Bone Growth in the Bronze Age Skeletal Population of Gonur-Depe, Turkmenistan

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2019.47.1.147-156

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Abstract

This article presents some results of the analysis of long-bone growth rate in the sub-adult skeletal population from Gonur-Depe — a Bronze Age proto-urban center in Turkmenistan, the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex. The sample includes 130 skeletons of sub-adults (735 skeletal elements) from burials in the “ruins” of the palace-temple ensemble, excavated in 2010–2015. The results indicate a signifi cant retardation of long-bone growth relative to modern standards. The individual variation is considerable. The retardation is maximal in the leg bones (especially femur and fi bula), and minimal in the forearm bones. The latter fact is confi rmed by the sub-adult to adult bone length ratio. The smallest lag in growth rates is observed in children aged from birth to 2–3 years. This was apparently due not only to optimal nutrition (breast-feeding), but also to a more stable genetic determination of growth during this period. The lag is greater in age cohorts showing stress markers, such as porotic hyperostosis and enamel hypoplasia. Retardation of skeletal maturity in this group is interpreted not as a symptom of maladaptation, but as a result of a complex process of adapting to the totality of environmental factors. The comparison of the paleodemographic, paleopathological, and “paleoauxological” data confi rms that the ancient population of the Murghab oasis was well adapted to the environment.

About the Author

V. V. Kufterin
Anuchin Research Institute and Museum of Anthropology, Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation


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For citation:


Kufterin V.V. Long-Bone Growth in the Bronze Age Skeletal Population of Gonur-Depe, Turkmenistan. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2019;47(1):147-156. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2019.47.1.147-156

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