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Valentyn Stetsyuk (Lviv, Ukraine)

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The Anthropological Type of the Autochthon Europeans

The anthropological type of autochthon Europeans is difficult to establish. According to anthropological studies of the Upper Paleolithic settlements near the village of Kostenki, the representatives of all main racial groups of Europe have lived in this place on the river Don (Istoriya SSSR, 27). The analysis of numerous Epi-Paleolithic find of skulls in Bavaria gives the following results: Nordic element – 14.4%, Lappish – 54.2%, Mediterranean – 31.4%. (CZEKANOWSKI JAN, 1957, 30). Mongoloid features distinguish the Early Neolithic population of the Yelshansk culture which was prevalent in the area between the Low Volga and the Urals. At least some of the skulls found in a few burials of this culture can be attributed to the Lappish type.

A large number of sites of the Late-Paleolithic time focused on the banks of the Don River, especially in the area of the village of Kostenky in the Voronezh Region (Russia). Many skeletons of inhabiting people of multilayer settlements were found here during the excavations. Anthropological studies have shown that successive settlers of these places belonged to different racial groups (Istoriya SSSR1966: 26-27).

Portraits of men of different racial groups of the Upper-Paleolithic time from the area Kostenky.

Right – the representative of the Negro group (the site Markova Gora); Left – the representative of the Cro-Magnon group (the site Kostenky II). Reconstruction of M. M. Gerasimov (История СССР. 1966, 27).

Researching odontological material from burials of South Oleniy Ostrov (Mesolithic), Vasilevka-3 (Mesolithic), Fomin (Ryazan culture of the Pit–Comb Ware community), Karavaikha (Kargopol culture of the same community), Vovnigi-1 (Kyiv-Cherkasy culture of Dnepr-Donets cultural community), Vovnigi-2 (Azov-Dnieper culture of the same community) showed that Mongoloid anthropological component was present among the Mesolithic and Neolithic population of the East European plain connecting with the Upper Paleolithic populations (ZUBOVA A.V. 2016: 139-149).

The presence of Mongoloid component should be associated with the migration of people of the Mesolithic time from the Near East, which was inhabited by Mongoloids in the Upper Paleolithic speaking the language, which gave the beginning of the Sino-Tibetan language family (see the section "The Relationship of the Sino-Tibetan languages ".

Later anthropological diversity of the population of Europe has declined significantly due to the increased characteristic of Caucasoid type in its complex:

In the Neolithic, differences between the northern and southern populations persisted, but there is a gradual decrease in the proportion of the Mongoloid and archaic complexes of characters, which in most series are no longer fully represented. Nevertheless, both in the composition of the cultures with Pit-Comb Ware and in the representatives of the Dnieper-Donets community, there is an archaic component (ZUBOVA A.V. 2016: 139)

In considering the process of further changes in the anthropological composition of the population of Europe should pay attention to one peculiarity. Most people of the world have dark hair but people with light eyes and blond or red hair is dominant in north-western Europe. (HARRISON G.A., 1968, 188). The light-pigmented European (Nordic) type in Eastern Europe prevails among the population of the Baltic states, the Mordvins-Erzya, and the Zyryan Komi (MARK K.Yu., 1965, 29, 30; MARK K., 1975-1, 13; MARK K.Yu. 1975-2., 1975 -2, 12). Blonde hair is inherited as a recessive trait approximately controlled by a single gene, although sometimes it manifests itself in heterozygotes, as the gene corresponding to the dark hair does not always dominate (HARRISON G.A., 1968, 190). The same applies to blue eyes. Thus, for the inheritance of blond hair and blue eyes, in most cases, a combination of two identical genes is necessary. When cross-breeding a blonde and blue-eyed person with dark-haired and dark-eyed one offspring will have dark hair and brown eyes in most cases. Therefore, fair-haired and blue-eyed people could be maintained only in the region of their primary spread. Thus, we can assume that the carriers of Swiderian traditions were people of Nordic type, which moved up to the Volga. However, V. Alekseev admits the possibility of lightening the Nordic Europeans due to the transition of recessive genes in the homozygous state. The adaptive properties of light pigmentation in conditions of low insolation could also have significance (ALEKSEYEV V.P, 1974, 209-210). But since these processes did not occur in the north of Canada, their probability in Europe was very small.

When the Europeans discovered the Canary Islands in the XIV century, they found them inhabited by high, blue-eyed, blond men with square faces, which are called the Guanches. This fact contradicts the notion that blondes have appeared due to mutations on the shores of the North and Baltic Seas (CHEBOKSAROV N.N., CHEBOKSAROVA I.A., 1985, 126). The Guanches lived mainly in caves, herded cattle, a little engaged in agriculture, metals were not known by them. They were the remnants of the ethnic group which inhabited North Africa shortly before the penetration of the Phoenicians (KRÄMER WALTER, 1972, 50-51). Guanches’ face shape is reminiscent of the Cro-Magnon. The language of Guanches was akin to Berber belonging to the Afro-Asiatic family.

As J. Czekanowsky argued, (CZEKANOWSKI Jan,1957) the Lviv Mathematical School established on the basis of craniological material the mathematical law of the distribution of the main four European races and their hybrids of the first degree, which gave together the ten morphological types:

1. Nordic (long-headed, thin-faced, blond-haired).

2. Mediterranean (long-headed, low-faced, dark-haired).

3. Armenoid (short-headed, thin-faced, dark-haired).

4. Lappish (short-headed, low-faced, dark-haired).

5. North-western (a hybrid of the Nordic and Mediterranean).

6. Dinarian (a hybrid of the Nordic and Armenoid).

7. Sub-Nordic (a hybrid of the Nordic and Lappish).

8. Littoral (a hybrid of Mediterranean and Armenoid)

9. Sub-Lappish (a hybrid of Mediterranean and Lappish).

10. Alpine (a hybrid of Armenoid and Lappish).

As we can see, the Nordic race is characterized by a thin face, while the Guanches had a square face. Thus, we can assume the spread of the Nordic racial type from Africa in the Mesolithic at pre-condition of the rapid tempos of graciation under the influence of environmental conditions and cultural development, which looks pretty doubtful. Consequently, most of all, the people of Nordic local races were the real autochthons of Western and Central Europe since the time of the Upper Paleolithic, so enough time had to pass in order to generate some changes in anthropological traits that distinguish the Cro-Magnons and the people of Nordic race. It should be noted that the Uralic race had a large spread among the Finno-Ugric peoples in Eastern Europe as an intermediate form between the Europeoids and Mongoloids (MARK K. Yu., 1975-2, 13).

Left: Laponoid male. Reconstruction made by G. V. Lebedinskaya based on the skull of the Sakhtysh-II burial ground buried from burial No. 19 (photo by E. L. Kostyleva). Illustration from (UTKIN A.V., KOSTYLEVA E.L. 2019, 318). The photo shows the Caucasoid appearance of a person with features of the so-called "softened Mongoloid", that is, Laponoid.

The Lappish race is a variant of the Ural one which could be the result of cross-breeding. According S. Oshibkina the idea of ancient cross-breeding was supported by anthropologists, which were based on the materials of the grave field Oleniy Ostrov (Deer Island) on Lake Onega, where two types of people were allocated – the Caucasoids and Mongoloids.

Later V. Yakimov came to the conclusion that the so-called "Mongoloidness" is a feature of the archaic populations of Europe (OSHIBKINA S.V., 1990, 119). The spreading of Lapponoids up to Portugal provides a basis for other scientists to believe that the people of the Mongoloid type were also natives of Europe (NAPOLSKIKH V.V., 1990, 132) is fully consistent with the location of the Sino-Tibetan Urheimat in the South Caucasus. But the well-known anthropologist Alekseev took a cautious position:

Maybe a small Mongoloid admixture in the composition of the Sammies, with all its vagueness, should be interpreted as a legacy of the ancient substratum? So it seems, and there, especially considering the Samoyed substrate detectable in Proto-Sami (Lappish) language. However, this substrate does not lead us away from the Ural and does not lay a bridge from the Sami to the population of the Eastern Subarctic… If only a group of facts remains contradicted to the conclusions of anthropological observations. This is a Samoyed-Yukaghir language links” (ALEKSEYEV V.P., 1975, 262)

Thus, it is possible the option, that the Lappish race is a Proto-Mongoloid type of man who first settled in Eastern Europe after the retreat of the last glacier 15 – 12 thousand years ago. Currently, people who speak Sino-Tibetan languages, belong to the Mongoloid race, which also includes the nations of North and South Asia, as well as American Indians. All of them have significant differences among themselves, which allow you to separate the Mongoloid race into a few small races, but there is no doubt that some physical type existed which gave rise to the Mongoloid one. This type, which we conventionally name Proto-Mongoloid had to treat speakers of the Sino-Tibetan languages at the time of their settlement in the South Caucasus.

By the peculiarities of flint products, the Mesolithic cultures of Ukraine form three cultural-territorial regions – the Azov-Black Sea, Polesie-Steppe, and the Dniester-Carpathian (Arkheologiya Ukrainskoy SSR, 1985, 86-89). It is tempting to suggest that these almost isolated areas correspond to three waves of resettlement of Eastern Europe according to three major European anthropological local races, or types. Otherwise, the Polesie-Steppe region was inhabited by carriers of the Sviderian traditions of Nordic type, the Lapponoids settled in the Azov-Black Sea region and people of Mediterranean type did in the Dniester-Carpathian area (fourth main Caucasoid type of Armenoids appeared in Eastern Europe only in the Neolithic) but facts contradict this. Ukrainian archaeologists say that the Mesolithic in Ukraine began earlier than in Central Europe (ibid., 99). This obviously refers to the Azov-Black Sea region, for the forest-steppe region of Polesie-within the scope of Svidersky culture media which came exactly from Central Europe. By the geometric form of flint products, spread at the Middle Donets, in the Crimea and North Caucasus, one can assume the settling of the Azov-Black Sea region, the lower Don basin, and the North Caucasus from the South Caucasus, where the geometrical form was predominant, but not from the east by people of Mongoloid type. However, the people of the Nordic type were present in this part of Eastern Europe too. This resulted from anthropological research of I. Hochman. Firstly, he believes that the primary settlers of Eastern Ukraine (in the Rapid and North Pontic Areas) did not have altogether Mongoloid features. (HOCHMAN I.I. 1966, 184), and secondly, he concludes that, in general, the population of Ukraine since the Mesolithic had common ancestors with the people of Western Europe:

By the materials of the Dnieper Rapid Area, the population of Ukraine in the Mesolithic epoch according to its anthropological features belonged to the big European race and was within limits of variation of features at the Mesolithic population of Western Europe attributed to the Proto-European type or its modification ” (Ibid, 187)

Obviously, the possibility of broad settling of Eastern Europe during the Palaeolithic by people of Mediterranean local race has to be excluded, although the Ukrainian scholars have identified in the population of the Ukraine of Mesolithic Times three types, one of which is thin-faced Ancient-Mediterranean one (Arkheologiya Ukrainskoy SSR, 1985, 107). But, according to Hochman’s conclusion, this type was not numerous and how could it get to Ukraine as there were on the Middle Danube Basin no traces of Mesolithic populations, which would originate from the Palaeolithic hunters (CHILDE GORDON. 1952, 1952, 137). If we consider that any traces of the Palaeolithic gatherers in mainland Greece were not revealed, and the first culture here was the Neolithic agricultural Sesklo brought from the outside (ibid., 93; SAFRONOV V.A., 1989, 45), then the settling of Ukraine in the Mesolithic through Balkans should be excluded. Clearly, the mentioned Mediterranean type was a casual group of hunter-gatherers who came to Ukraine in some complicated way. Maybe some single wave of the people of this physical type, which came from the west in the post-glacial period moving north of the Carpathians, stayed by the Dniester-Carpathian region and further settled partially in the southern part of Ukraine, but the autochthonous populations, which inhabited these areas since the Upper Palaeolithic and created a separate group of the Late Palaeolithic cultures, was predominant in these countries. In the end, humans of the Mediterranean type among the Mesolithic population of Ukraine had to be in the minority also because this type is almost absent in Eastern Europe at present (ALEKSEYEV V.P., 1974, Map of distribution of races). The people of the Mediterranean type, the carriers of the microlithic technology of the Tardenoisian tradition that spread throughout Europe up to Russia, according to Gordon Childe, came from Africa sometime after the melting of the glacier. This assumption, in particular, is confirmed by the data of anthropology. The Mesolithic people of Maghreb (North Africa) are very similar in the fossil skeletons to humans of the Dnieper-Donets culture (KONDUKTOROVA T.S., 1973, 48). People from Africa drove northward in the arid climate which was established in the Sahara. Probably they were the basis for the formation of the Iberian ethnic groups which consisted later of the properly Iberians, Ligurians, Turdetani, Aquitanians, Lusitanians and other peoples who inhabited the southern part of Western Europe.

In light of the foregoing, it is reasonable to divide the Palaeo-European population of Eastern Europe roughly into two large groups of the people of Nordic and Lappish types. The people of the Lappish type with a characteristic concave nose, lower face, light eyes, and dark-blond hair are totally unlike any of the racial types present in Europe, Africa, and the Near East. Similarly, it is difficult to assume their relationship with the Cro-Magnon men, with their massive noses, and coarse facial features (Vsemirnaya istoriya, Vol 1, figure between pp. 48-49, JELINEK JAN., 1985, fig. on p. 149). They are different by the eye color and hair of the Mongoloid. Unlike Lapponoids the people of the Nordic type can have genetic relatives in Africa (Guanches). Taking all this into account we need to assume that the Cro-Magnons of light pigmentation were natives of Europe, and populated it from the West. In Eastern Europe, the skulls of so-called "Eastern Cro-Magnon" were found in the Crimea in the caves along the Black River (VOZGRIN V.E., 1992, 17; HOCHMAN I.I. , 1966), in the Crimean cave Shan-Koba, near to the village of Vasilevka near Dnepropetrovsk (PELESHCHYSHYN M., PIDKOVA I., 1995, 9). The saving Cro-Magnon features are observed in the population of the Polesie, the Gene-Geographic zone of Ukraine (STAROVOYTOVA R.A. , 1979, 115).

We may assume that a certain group of the Proto-Mongoloids, moving out of the South Caucasus, has penetrated into East Europe and, mixing in some of its regions with the local Proto-European population, formed over time persistent local anthropological race, which in post-glacial period spread almost all over Europe. Significant shifts in the dissemination of individual somatic symptoms occur after about 50 generations, or about 1,250 years (CHEBOKSAROV N.N., CHEBOKSAROVA I.A., 1985, 153). Thus, there was in the Mesolithic period more than enough time to form a new racial type of Lapponoids.

Oshibkina believes that there were in the north of Eastern Europe two large cultural regions in the middle Mesolithic epoch. The Western Region (the Kola Peninsula, Karelia, Eastern Onega Country) has been settled by the population who came from Northern Europe and partly from the Russian plains. The data about the resettlement of the eastern region (the basins of the Sukhona, Northern Dvina, Vychegda, and Pechora) are limited, and anthropological data are not available. These two regions correspond, according to Oshibkina, the two ethnocultural formations of antiquity, within which cultures and groups of sites were formed appropriate tribal entities with a certain territory (OSHIBKINA S.V., 1990, 125). Consequently, the whole territory of Eastern Europe of the Mesolithic time as a whole can be roughly divided into two ethnic-cultural zones – small north-eastern and south-south-western ones, the boundary between which was indistinct. The such division would correspond to two types of ancient races of Eastern Europe (the Nordic and Lappish). Presumably, the mentioned bound stretched out from the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea to the Lower Volga, and in this case, the Nordic people occupied the south-south-west of the ethnocultural area, and the Lapponoids the northeast one. This conclusion results in an analysis of the physical types of the people of the Mesolithic period, which show in particular that the settling of the Eastern Baltic region proceeded in two directions – from the south and the east. Here there was a process of cross-breeding of the dolichocephalic Europeoid population and mesaticephalic humans with weak profiling of the face (DENISOVA R.Ya., 1975, 184). On the other hand, according to I. Hochman, Ukraine's population had a clearly defined set of Europeoid features at that time.

In accordance with the two racial types in Eastern Europe at the beginning of the Mesolithic, there should have been two groups of Paleo-European languages, the boundary between which at first corresponded to the limits of the distribution of these types. The state of languages at that time was very primitive. In accordance with the ideas of N.D. Andreev about the hypothetical boreal proto-language, it was “the language of an isolating system, the vocabulary of which consisted of two-consonant root words… There were no parts of speech as such in the boreal proto-language, morphology in its modern sense was absent; the only type of word formation was root addition, i.e. addition of two root words into one complex whole "(ANDREYEV N.D, 1986, 4). The perfect veracity of representations of N. Andreyev is doubted, but the fact that the language of the population of Eastern Europe was quite primitive at that time, confirms other scientists' agreement:

Surviving from ancient times units in the structure of producing roots of words represented predicative-attributive syntagmas functionally equivalent to modern sentences. These syntagmas were combined not by the sounds-phonemes with meaning-distinguishing features but by sounds-ideophones with functions of sense expression (KORNILOV G.E., 1985, 174).

So, anyway, languages in such a state could be influenced in large measure by the more developed languages of the population of a higher cultural level. Therefore, due to the spread of cultural influences, the boundary between the Lappish and Nordic people could move in one direction or another. It is believed that the Kola Peninsula, Karelia, Eastern Onega was first settled in the middle Mesolithic by carriers of the Arensburgian traditions which after the change of natural conditions in the Upper Palaeolithic were moving in an easterly direction by two waves – in Norway and along the southern Baltic coast (OSHIBKINA S.V., 1990, 121-122; SHUMKIN V.Ya., 1990, 10). Obviously, these people were the Nordic type. The Sami, which survived until the present time mainly on the Kola Peninsula, or came here later and assimilated the first settlers, or they themselves were the first settlers on the peninsula because the resettlement of Finland from the west is not certain (MEYNANDER K.F., 1974, 23). This question is complicated by the evidence of the progress of humans having Europeoid complex to the Middle Onega Region in the Middle Mesolithic time:

A small craniological collection was received in the grave field of the culture Veretye-Popovo (10 burials) and Peschanitsa (2 burials). I. Hochman, researched anthropological material and found that they were tall people with a distinct set of Europeoid features. At the same time, they have an affinity with a series of Europeoid skulls of the grave field og Oleniy Ostrov, as well as with certain complexes of grave fields in Latvia, Denmark, Sweden” (OSHIBKINA S.V., 1990, 123).

Thus, these migrations could lead to a mismatch of anthropological and linguistic boundaries. But we can assume that the two ancient Palaeo-European languages (the western language of the Nordic people and the eastern language of the Lappish people) remained at the opposite ends of Eastern Europe during the Mesolithic period in more or less pure form.