Moscow University

Dental anthropology of the Srubnaya culture population of Southern Urals

Kufterin V.V. (1), Nechvaloda A.I. (2)

1) N.N. Miklukho-Maklai Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky Avenue, 32a, Moscow, 119334, Russia; 2) Ufa Federal Research Centre of Russian Academy of Sciences, October Avenue, 71, Ufa, 450054, Russia

Kufterin Vladimir V., PhD.; ORCID ID: 0000-0002-7171-8998;; Nechvaloda Aleksey I., ORCID ID: 0000-0002-9904-7284;


The article outlines the results of dental metric and non-metric trait analysis of the Srubnaya culture cranial sample from the territory of Southern Urals. In addition to replenishing the source base on dental anthropology of the Bronze Age population from Volga-Ural region, the goal of this study is to test the hypothesis about presence of a southern European ancestry component in the Srubnaya culture population from Bashkiria. Materials and methods. Studied material includes cranial sample of the Srubnaya culture population of Southern Urals, originating from excavations of 10 kurgan cemeteries in the central, southern and southwestern regions of the Republic of Bashkortostan. The permanent teeth morphology was studied on a sample of 105 skulls (30 male, 37 female, 38 non-adults). The study protocol included measuring the molar crown diameters (dental metrics), as well as fixing the main traits of A. Zubov’s dental morphology program (dental non-metrics). The inter-group variability of dental non-metric traits was studied in two stages and on two scales – regional (9 traits, 10 samples) and Eurasian (8 traits, 29 samples). At the first stage, the biodistances between Bronze Age samples from the territory of Southern Urals and boarder regions were calculated using Smith’s mean measure of divergence (MMD). In the second step, formalized inter-group comparison was carried out using Correspondence analysis. Results. Molar crown diameters in the studied sample are characterized as lower than average judging by absolute teeth sizes and mean modulus of the upper molars. The sample is characterized by low frequencies of UI1 and UI2 shoveling and t6 LM1, high or increased frequencies of the cusp 4 forms on LM1 and LM2 and the Carabelli’s cusp on UM1, increased on a European (Caucasoid) scale – the distal trigonid crest and deflecting wrinkle. The Potapovka culture sample from the Samara Volga region is closest to the Srubnaya culture sample from Southern Urals according to results of biodistances calculation at the regional scale. On an Eurasian scale, according to the results of Correspondence analysis, the sample of the Altai Andronovo culture and two Central Asian population groups representing the southern European ancestry (Altyn Depe and Gonur Depe) are closest to the former two samples and to each other. Discussion. The Srubnaya culture sample of the Southern Urals according to dental metrics and non-metrics analysis can be attributed to an undifferentiated gracile group of European (Caucasian) ancestry. Its close proximity to the Potapovka culture sample suggests a link with the population groups of the forest-steppe Volga region of the first quarter of the 2nd mill. BC. At the same time, similarity between studied group and the Central Asian samples of the Bactria-Margiana archaeological culture indicates a genetic relationship with groups of southern European ancestry.


dental anthropology; biodistances; Correspondence analysis; Late Bronze Age; Southern Urals

DOI: 10.32521/2074-8132.2021.1.066-079

Цит.: Kufterin V.V., Nechvaloda A.I. Dental anthropology of the Srubnaya culture population of Southern Urals // Moscow University Anthropology Bulletin (Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Seria XXIII. Antropologia), 2021; 1/2021; с. 66-79

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