New archaeological, anthropological and genetic spects in the study of the Alans from the don region
Автор: Afanasyev G.E., Dobrovolskaya M.V., Korobov D.S., Reshetova I.K.
Статья в выпуске: 237, 2015 года.
The contribution made by the Alans from the Don valley to the cultural genesis and ethnogenesis of the population of the Khazar khaganate and its successors - Turkic, Slavic and Finno-Ugrian neighbours - has been a subject for discussion over the last hundred years. In this article a wide range of modern methods has been used to reconstruct specific ethnic features of the early-medieval population of the Middle Don. These include computerized cartography and spatial analysis of the arrangement of cemeteries containing catacombs, pit-graves and cremations of the Saltovo-Mayatskaya culture in the Don/Se-versky Donets interfluve. With the help of GIS-modelling, areas with dense distribution of such cemeteries have been singled out and trends have been indicated regarding the spatial distribution of various types of funerary structures: their territorial and ethno-cultural links with fortifications of the same time have also been traced. The largest clusters of catacomb cemeteries (10 sites) have been recorded on the Oskol and Seversky Donets rivers. Analyses of palaeo-DNA have been carried out. In six samples male Haplogroup G2 was found and female Haplogroup I in six other specimens. Such uniformity rarely occurs in genetic research and is only found in extremely closed populations The odontological source testifies to the relative uniformity of the components within the Alan cluster, differing sharply for the individuals from pit-grave burials. Specific demographic features of the Alanian groups have been singled out: moderate or above-average death expectancy (around 37 years of age), a significant percentage of child burials (27-34 %), a marked difference in life expectancy for men and women. Study of the isotope composition of bone collagen made it possible to reconstruct the population's diet: a mixture of vegetables and protein with the vegetable component predominating. Results of the analysis of strontium isotopes show the population's low level of mobility.
Alans, saltovo-mayatskaya culture, catacomb cemeteries, ethnogenesis, isotope analysis, palaeodemography, odontology, middle don, gis-analysis, palaeogenetics
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