Craniological study of the Crimean Tatar’s Bakhchi-Eli
necropolis of the 19–20 centuries
The article presents the craniological and paleopathological analysis of the population which left the necropolis on the settlement Bakhchi-Eli (Kirov district, Republic of Crimea). There are 567 objects (farm and grain pits of different shapes and depths, pits buildings) and 282 burials (19th – early 20th centuries) excavated at the settlement. The skeletal remains of 166 people were found in the burials of the Bakhchi-Eli necropolis: 91 skeletons belonged to adults over 15 years old, 75 skeletons – to children under 15 years old. We found that 49 skeletons belonged to men, 42 – to women. In this study, the skulls of 30 individuals (21 men and 9 women) were analyzed. This series is of great interest in connection with the problem of the Crimean Tatars’ origin. Currently, this is the first and only series of the skulls of Crimean Tatars, relating to the New Time of the history. The accumulation of this kind of unique materials allows us to look for connections with the medieval population of the Crimea. We give a craniological characteristic of modern Crimean Tatars and describe the main pathologies noted on the skulls. Craniological analysis showed that the male part of the samples is mesocrane, with an average height of the face, with good horizontal profiling of the facial skeleton and low orbits. The female part of the sample is characterized by brachycrania, an average height of the face with a good horizontal profiling of the facial skeleton and a well-protruding nose. In addition, in rare cases, Cribra orbitalia, curvature of the nasal septum, osteoma, narrowing of the external ear canal, and openings in the tympanic plate of the temporal bone are found. In one adult man, antritis is suspected. In two cases (in one man and in one woman) there were signs of tertiary syphilis. The main pathologies of the skulls of adult individuals from Bakchi-Eli are diseases of the dentition. This is a periodontal disease, dental calculus, antemortem tooth loss, and caries. The main pathological change of the child skulls is the presence of Cribra orbitalia, a marker of blood diseases, primarily anemia.
Vasilyev Sergey Vladimirovich, Doctor of Sciences (History), Head of Centre of Physical Anthropology, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology RAS; 32a, Leninsky av., Moscow, 119334, Russian Federation, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Borutskaya Svetlana Borisovna, Candidate of Sciences (Biology), Associate Professor, Senior Researcher, Lomonosov Moscow State University; 1, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, Russian Federation, 119991, e-mail: email@example.com
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