On anthropology of the Neolithic population of the Ob river basin near Barnaul (basing on the materials of the burial ground of Firsovo XI)

Solodovnikov K.N. (Tyumen, Russian Federation), Tur S.S. (Barnaul, Russian Federation)


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The results of a study of Neolithic skulls from the burial ground of Firsovo XI, on the right bank of the Ob River near the city of Barnaul, are presented. The restoration resulted in obtaining craniometric characteristics of 7 male and 3 female skulls of different degrees of preservation. The series is characterized by a structure of the facial skull, intermediate between the Caucasoids and the Mongoloids, it contains skulls of a more Caucasoid and a more Mongoloid appearance. According to the results of an intergroup comparison, the Firsovo XI series differs greatly from the Afanasyevo culture series and the similar cultural types of the Altai Mountains, which confirms the conclusion that the Afanasyevo population of Southern Siberia has no local roots. The craniological series under consideration is very similar to the synchronous groups from the Northern foothills of the Altai (burial grounds of Ust-Isha, Itkul, Solontsi V, etc.). There is also a great morphological similarity to the Neolithic series of the more Northern areas of the Ob River Basin near Novosibirsk and Kamen', Kuznetsk Depression, Baraba forest-steppe zone, the Irtysh River basin near Omsk, Northern Kazakhstan, and the forest-steppe Trans-Urals. The similarity to the synchronous groups of the Upper Lena and the Upper Angara is also revealed, as a reflection of racial and genetic connections between the population of the Altai foothill regions and the Neolithic population of the Circum-Baikal region. The male group under consideration also demonstrates a significant morphological similarity to the Neolithic and Early Eneolithic craniological materials from the burial grounds of Lebiazhinka IV and V, Chekalino V, S''iezzhe I in the Volga-Ural interfluve. A hypothesis is made that, before the Bronze Age, an anthropological community of ancient population of the plain forest-steppe zones of Eurasia with intermediate Caucasoid-Mongoloid racial features existed in the territories of Western Siberia and Eastern regions of Eastern Europe. Besides, the group, which left the burial site of Firsovo XI, especially its female part, demonstrates presence of brachicranian component, also with intermediate Mongoloid-Caucasoid racial features. Probably, it belongs to the Southern Eurasian anthropological formation, which determined the anthropological composition of the local population of the Altai-Sayan Highland in the Neolithic Late Bronze Age.

Key words: the Neolithic, Firsovo XI, paleoanthropology, craniometry, Caucasoids, Mongoloids, Western Siberia, forest-steppe zone.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2017-38-3-060-072




K.N. Solodovnikov

Tyumen Scientific Centre of Siberian Branch RAS, Malygina st., 86, Tyumen, 625026, Russian Federation



S.S. Tur

Altai State University, Lenina Ave., 61, Barnaul, 656049, Russian Federation