Peschanitsa Mesolithic Man from Northern Russia according to craniometric data

20 сен 2013

3rd Annual meeting European Society for study of the Human Evolution (ESHE)
Пежемский Д.В.,  Булыгина (Стэнсфилд) Е.Ю.

A Mesolithic man from Peschanitsa, (archeological excavations by S.V Oshibkina, Lake Lacha, Kargopolie, Russian North), has been first described about 20 years ago. The find has an important role in resolving anthropological profile of the ancient populations in the Northern and Eastern Europe. This study is dedicated to its multivariate statistical analysis and comparison with a variety of European and Levantine Mesolithic materials. Peschanitsa remains belong to a male individual 45-55 years of age and date to 9890120 BP (GIN-4858). Previously, it has been claimed that Peschanitsa is unique and falls outside of the Russian, Baltic and Middle Dnieper Mesolithic fossils’ polymorphism. We use Principal Components’ analysis in order to study classical craniometric measurements of a number of Mesolithic cranial remains from the European Russia. We show that Peschanitsa’s morphology is similar to a number of individuals from different sites: Vasil’evka I (burials 13, 17) and Voloshskoe (burials 1, 5) (Middle Dnieper region); Oleni Ostrov, burials 44, 156 (Lake Onega). General craniometric characteristic of the above crania allows identification of a relatively rare anthropological type in Russian Mesolithic, “Peschanitsa type”. This is a robust, hyper-dolichocranic cranial type, which is characterised by a very high brain case, average width of the forehead, both relatively and absolutely wide face with a relatively narrow nose and orbits of an average size. This new craniometric characteristic allows close comparison with crania from Korsernor, Denmark (except for the lower brain case and narrower nose of the latter) and Hoёdic, France (except for the lower face of the French fossil). Even closer similarity exists between the “Peschanitsa Type” and representatives of Natfian culture from Levant, especially with non-typical Natufians from Eynan (Mallaha). Equally striking is the closeness between the “Peschanitsa Type” and North African crania from Afalou-Bou-Rhummel. Further research into the origin of the “Peschanitsa Type” in European Russia is under way.