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Stratum Plus. 2000. № 4

T. A. Roudich (Kiev, Ukraine)

Cherniakhov Population in Middle Dnieper Basin in View of Anthropological Material

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Pages: 132-148

The article is an analysis of anthropological contents of Cherniakhov population in Middle Dnieper basin. The subject of research was craniological material  from the cemeteries in Cherniakhov, Maslovo, Dedovshchina, Zhuravka, Teleshovka, Romashki, Dereviana, Cherkassy-Centre. Measurements, description and analysis of material were carried out on basis of methods adopted by the national anthropological school. Internal group analysis of a summary series of Cherniakhov culture of Middle Dnieper basin tells about its heterogeneity. The results of factorial analysis of the group of male skulls allow distinguishing 4 most common morphological types. Type A. Mesomorphic, meso-dolichocranian, with medium dimensions of face and its elements. The face is well profiled. The type is typical of Cherniakhov groups from the North Black Sea  Coast and late Scythian series from the cemeteries of Nikolaevka-Kozatskoe, Zolotaya Balka (Lower Dnieper basin), Naples Scythian (Crimea) and some Classical Ancient cemeteries. Type Б. Sub-hyper-morphic, dolichocranian, with medium dimensions of face and its elements. The face is well profiled. The closest analogues to this types can be found in the cemeteries of the Baltic region: ground cemeteries in Lithuania of II-V cc., barrow cemeteries of Lithuania of II-V cc., early cemeteries of Žemajtia. The type is typical of many Baltic series of the later time:  V-XIII cc. and is characterised by proportions of skull and face typical of the Baltic people. Type В. Hyper-morphic, sharp dolichocranian, with a narrow medium high face, medium sizes of elements of face. The face is well profiled. The type is characterised by very archaic features and is morphologically close to the groups of cord pottery of Czechia and Saxony-Thuringia. Type Г. Mesomorphic, meso-brachicranian, with medium-wide, low face, low eye-sockets, medium-wide nose. The face is well profiled. The type having features identifying the Slavs, Baltic and Germanic people, manifests a significant closeness to the eastern Slavic groups of X-XIII cc. Similar morphological forms will be, in historical perspective, typical of Polyanskaya groups. The type is represented by a few skulls from various cemeteries. The inter-group analysis resulted in Cherniakhov series of Middle Dnieper basin manifesting different nature of anthropological connections: north-western, western and southern. The materials of Cherniakhov cemeteries were compared with a rather wide circle of groups dated by III c. BC – V c. AD. The north-western and western direction of anthropological connections is represented by: 1) a series of skulls from the cemeteries Maslovo and Dereviana, statistically close to the people which left the cemeteries of the Baltic area in II-V cc.; 2) a group from the cemetery Cherkassy, which manifested the highest similarity with the series of Wielbark culture on Low Vistula and Maslomench, Grudek; 3) a group from the cemetery Romashki, which manifested similarity to the series of IV century from Silezia connected by the German researchers with the Goths-Hepids. The cemetery Zhuravka shows southern nature of anthropological connections with the Cherniakhov cemeteries of the North Black Sea Coast and late Scythian series. Thus, Cherniakhov population in Middle Dnieper basin is not homogeneous. There are morphological types documented in the Ukraine in earlier epochs. However, an inflow of new population is observed, which was rather heterogeneous anthropologically. It is a consequence of migrations from western and north-western territories, which involved both anthropologically heterogeneous Germanic peoples and their neighbours.

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