Balabanova M.A. To the Anthropological Type of the Sarmatian Elite (Based on the Materials from Burial of the Middle Sarmatian Time of the Lower Volga Region)

 
Mariya A. Balabanova, Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor of Department of Russian and Foreign History, Archaeology, Volgograd State University, Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation
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Abstract. This paper reviews the anthropological type of Sarmatian elite using craniological data which were obtained from the burials of the middle Sarmatian time. Elite complexes include burials where objects of material culture are represented with the symbols of power such as pectoral, torc, golden bracelets, silver and bronze cookware sets, clothes sheathed with gold plaques and so on. Reconstruction of a complex funeral rite, as well as grave goods, allow assuming that leaders of Sarmatian tribal unions were buried in such burials. Female elite burials are traditionally interpreted by archaeologists as burials of priestesses. The anthropological material, which is investigated in this paper, was obtained from the burials corresponding to the elite burial complexes in a varying degree and came from the burial mounds of the Volgograd and Astrakhan regions and the Republic of Kalmykia. The series of 11 skulls (6 male and 5 female) was used for the study. Individual characteristics of skulls from the elite burials shows their significant morphological diversity. The series includes the skulls which can be characterized as both long-headed Europoid type and wide-headed Europoid type, which is often combined with moderate horizontal profiling. Both series of different genders from the elite complexes differ in the direction of increasing massiveness as compared with the total average of Sarmatian series. Thus, comparing the male series, the arithmetic mean values of the elite group features demonstrate big massiveness, and standard deviations – a large intragroup variation. As for the female series, although both compared groups are different, but there are fewer differences than at comparing the male series.
Key words: elite, stratigraphy of society, morphological type, funeral rite, individual characteristics, massive type.
Citation. Balabanova M.A., 2018. To the Anthropological Type of the Sarmatian Elite (Based on the Materials from Burial of the Middle Sarmatian Time of the Lower Volga Region). The Lower Volga Archaeological Bulletinvol. 17, no. 2, pp. 32-50. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/nav.jvolsu.2018.2.3
 
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To the Anthropological Type of the Sarmatian Elite (Based on the Materials from Burial of the Middle Sarmatian Time of the Lower Volga Region) by Balabanova M.A.is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
 
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