Population of Kyiv Podil in Ancient Rus Period

  • Tetiana Rudych The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, The Bioarchaeology Department, the Institute of Archaeology, Leading Researcher, D.Sc. in History http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3396-504X
  • Oleksandra Kozak The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, The Institute of Archaeology, The Bioarchaeology Department, Senior Researcher, Ph.D in History http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2094-4490
Keywords: Kyiv, Ancient Rus, anthropology, craniology

Abstract

Anthropological material comes from three burial grounds from the territory of Lower Town excavated in 2003—2004.

The skulls of these populations were measured and studied by classical anthropological methods, and their comparative analysis was conducted by the methods of multivariate statistic (factors analysis).

The main characteristics of the united male series of Podil are long, medium-wide and high mesocranial skulls. The face is broad and medium-high, the horizontal profiling is sharp, but the face is orthognathic. Orbits are medium-high by the index, the nose is medium-wide. The bones of the nose protrude well, and the nose bridge is high.

Most features of this united group fit into the intergroup variations range of the medieval Kyiv populations, however, the face of the males is, on average, the broadest. The Podil cranial series is comparatively heterogeneous. After the morphological analysis the group with a long, dolichocranial skull, sharp horizontal profiling of the face, and narrow nose, was distinguished.  These cranial features allow refering them to northern Caucasoid circle. Characteristics of Podil population bring it together with the population of Upper Kyiv, buried in the necropolis of the «Volodymyr’s Town». The united Podil cranial male series locates statistically far from the rural population of the Polans territories. However, it has common features with the rural populations of the lands which earlier had belonged to the Drevlians and Volhynians. The large size of the craniums brings the united Podil group closer to a number of series from the Ancient Rus cities: Smolensk, Novohrudka, Zviahel, Pereiaslav, Liubech.

The common characteristic of the skulls with various morphological types from different burial grounds of Podil is their massiveness. It is possible that some kind of selection of immigrants according to professional needs was used during the formation of urban populations. A special selection of massive individuals could be carried out for the princely squad and guards. Only men with certain physical qualities could become the rowers, stevedores or worked heavy as a builders, tanners, and blacksmiths. These features could be fixed by marriage contacts in their circle.

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2021-06-14
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