BALTS ON THE TERRITORY OF UKRAINE IN THE OLD RUS PERIOD. ANTROPOLOGICAL ASPECT


  • Т. O. Rudych Institute of Archaeology, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Keywords: Slavs, Balts, anthropology, Old Rus, Medzybizh, burial ground.

Abstract

The morphological similarities between the people buried in the cemeteries of Old Rus period from the territory of Ukraine and Balts population of the 12th13th centuries were found. The samples used in this research are combined series of sculls from Volyn and drevlian’s fields, the group from Vozviagel, the little series from Jagniatyn, the group from Zelenyi Gai (barrows), and the group from Medzybizh.

In the population buried in several cemeteries of the period of Old Rus the morphological complex characteristic for Baltic populations could be seen due to the ancient anthropological substrate. At the territory of Ukraine the areas of the big ethnic massifs were overlapped. North regions bordered with Baltic ethnic space or belonged to its periphery in different chronological periods. The inflow of some groups from the Baltic Sea region has been seen also during the Old Rus period. The traces of migrations of the 10th—13th centuries can be observed by the typical Baltic elements in the burial rites of the local cemeteries.

The Medzybizh osteological sample turned out to be the most informative for anthropologists. Despite of the fact that all of the individuals belong to the circle of northern European people, the craniological analysis revealed some morphological heterogeneity of the people originating from paired burials. This concerned both male and female groups. For this population is characterized by the strong body structure and the high intravital body stature — 175.6 cm for male.

The intergroup analysis was performed by several statistical methods for different numbers of groups (Systat software package). In course of this the skulls sample of Medzybizh paired burials was included to the Baltic massif. It reveals slightly greater statistical closeness to the population from the Zamait lands.

The anthropological study showed that in the paired burials of the Medzybizh burial ground the people which had morphological similarity to the populations of the anthropological type spread in the Baltic region were buried. Some male possibly died during the armed conflict. The osteological features posed them as the probable cavalrymen. Presents of the females, who had similar morphological characteristics, in their graves, allows assuming that the wives came with warriors from the Baltic territories.

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Published
2020-06-30
How to Cite
RudychТ. O. (2020). BALTS ON THE TERRITORY OF UKRAINE IN THE OLD RUS PERIOD. ANTROPOLOGICAL ASPECT. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 35(2), 416-423. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2020.02.34