Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnofrafii   1 (52)  2021



Physical type of the Armenian Highlands populations in antiquity (based on osteometrical materials from urban

and rural settlements)  

Khudaverdyan A.Yu., Yengibaryan A.A., Matevosyan R.Sh., Alekhanyan N.G. (Yerevan, Republic of Armenia),

Khachatryan A.A. (Gyumri, Republic of Armenia)


             page 118131


The paper is concerned with the analysis of osteometrical data from the antique populations of the Armenian Highlands, i.e. anthropological materials of burials dated to the 1st3rd c. AD. We analyse the differences in anthropological characteristics between urban and rural population of Armenia in antiquity. In total, 78 individuals of both sexes have been examined using traditional osteological methods. The study involved visual examination of the skeletons, images, descriptions and radiography. For the intergroup comparison, canonical analysis based on the averaged intergroup correlation matrix was used [Deryabin, 1983]. Visually, bones of the villagers appear to be more massive and quite elevated. Men, buried in rural areas differ from those from urban environments in smaller longitudinal dimensions of humerus, radius and ulna, and in larger icircumference of humerus, ulna and femur. Analysis of the data shows that the studied groups carry some features characteristic for populations adapted to high-altitude environments. Intergroup analysis suggests that the closest to the urban male groups would be the Maeotian population from the eastern coast of the Sea of Azov. The female part of the urban community is close to the population of the first centuries AD from Gurmiron. Male villagers show similar features to those of Scythians of Ukraine (Scythian Neapolis); villagers are morphologically close to groups of Sarmatian cultures of the Lower Volga Region. Indirectly, this observation confirms the fact of stable, continuous migration flow into the territory of the Armenian Highlands. There is a certain agreement in the differentiation pattern of the ancient Armenian Highland population from the osteometric and craniometrics data. The osteometric data can be a rather important source of information for reconstruction of biological affinities of human populations.

Key words: Armenia, Antiquity period, osteology, urban and rural population.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Accepted: 07.12.2020

Article is published: 26.02.2021


Khudaverdyan A.Yu.

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia, Charents st., 15, Yerevan, 0025, Republic of Armenia



Yengibaryan A.A.,

Yerevan State Medical University after M. Heratsi, Koryuna, 2, Yerevan, 0025, Republic of Armenia



Matevosyan R.Sh.

Yerevan State Medical University after M. Heratsi, Koryuna, 2, Yerevan, 0025, Republic of Armenia



Alekhanyan N.G.

Republican Medical Center Armenia, Koryun st., 2, Yerevan, 0025, Republic of Armenia



Khachatryan A.A.

Shirak Centre of Armenian Studies, National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia

Myasnikyan st., 118, Gyumri, 3114, Republic of Armenia