The Population of Polotsk in the 17-18th Centuries According to Anthropological Data

DOI: 10.14673/IJA201511003
Published in Int. Journal of Anthropology – Vol. 30 – n.1 – 2015

Key words: paleoanthropology, craniology, osteology, skeletal proportions, bone robusticity, Polotsk, Belarus.

Abstract
The objective of our research was the complex study of the 17- 18th century palaeoanthropological series of specimens from Polotsk. The specimens were obtained as a result of archaeological excavations in the territory of the Polotsk fortified settlement. These excavations yielded the skeletal remains of 48 human skeletons in various conditions. The craniological specimens from the burials represent 43 skulls: 14 male, 10 female and 19 children, 20 of which (14 male and 6 female) turned out to be suitable for measuring in accordance with the craniometric program. We also measured and subsequently analysed postcranial skeletons on the basis of robusticity and hardness indices of the long bones of arms and legs. We selected 21 skeletons of adult subjects for our osteometric study. We mea- sured 13 male and 8 female postcranial skeletons.
We have established morphological similarity between the Polotsk population and the rural population of Lukoml, which denotes genetic relations between the townsmen and the local population of the Polotsk vicinity.
The average value of intravital body length in males was 165.9 cm. and in females 155.4 cm. Males were more often characterized by a comparatively shortened forearm compared to the shoulder, according to the value of the brachial index. The male group were characterized by very flattened radii with a well pronounced interosseous crest. The females, on the contrary, had slightly flattened bones with a not very pronounced interosseous crest.

Borutskaya, S.B.
Department of Anthropology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.
E-mail: vasbor1@yandex.ru

Vasilyev, S.V.
Department of Physical Anthropology,
N.N. Miklukho-Maklai Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology,
The Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.

Yemialyanchyk V.A.
Department of National and World History,
Polotsk State University, Polotsk, Republic of Belarus.