«BULLETIN OF THE IRKUTSK STATE UNIVERSITY. GEOARCHAEOLOGY, ETHNOLOGY, AND ANTHROPOLOGY SERIES»
ISSN 2227-2380 (Print)

List of issues > «Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series». 2017. Vol. 21

Anthropological Study of the Lower Jaws from the Ancient Eskimo Settlement Kivak

Author(s)
N. I. Khaldeeva, A. A. Orekhov, S. V. Vasiliev, N. V. Kharlamova
Abstract

The presented article deals with the problem of ethnogenesis of ancient Eskimos according to the data of physical anthropology. Previously, anthropological studies of the ancient Eskimos physical appearance was based mainly on the human remains from Uelen and Ekven burial grounds. New anthropological data given in the article broaden the notion of the physical type of representatives of the Ancient Bering and Punuk archaeological cultures. In 2006 and 2008 archaeological excavations were carried out at the ancient Eskimo settlement Kivak (Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia). During the digs, unique human remains (two lower jaws) were found. Stratigraphy shows that at Kivak settlement representatives of the Punuk culture successively replaced humans of the Ancient Bering culture. The adult's lower jaw was found in the layer of the dwelling, dated back 1850±40 BP and was referred to the Ancient Bering culture. The lower jaw of the child was found in the layer of the Punuk culture, dated 1120±40 BP. Ancient Eskimo human remains in the dwellings are sporadic, what makes revealed lower jaws particularly valuable for research. In order to determine the anthropological features of the ancient Eskimos, studies of the morphology of the two lower jaws were carried out according to the author's program and their teeth were examined according to the program of the Russian odontological school of A. Zubov. Morphological and odontological programs included both non-metrical (descriptive) and metric (measurements) traits. The results showed that the lower jaws belong to Homo sapiens. Morphology of the mandible of an adult individual (representative of the Ancient Bering culture) demonstrates a number of archaic characteristics, such as a broad branch with a weakly pronounced articular notch. Dental morphology studies gave the conclusion that the combination of the «Eastern» component with the «Oceanic» one in the morphological complex of the teeth of the child's jaw from Kivak (a representative of the Punuk culture), along with manifestation of the «Caucasian» and some «African» traits bring the framework of the studied odontological type to the level of the undifferentiation or protomorphism with a distinct specificity of the «Eastern» odontological trunk. A comparative analysis of the sizes of the Kivak child's permanent teeth has shown an evolutionarily progressive tendency of reduction.

Keywords
Chukotka Peninsula, Eskimos, Ancient Bering culture, Punuk culture, morphology of the lower jaw, odontology
UDC
902/904, 572.71, 572.77
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