Modus Vivendi

Way life of the Aboriginal Рopulation


Modern biological anthropology is able not only speak about the origin of the peoples, but also of how they had lived. According to characteristic features of the structure of bones and teeth we can find out how favorable were the natural and social conditions, and sometimes – what kind of economic activities during his life of an individual was engaged in. The paleodemography provides important information by analyzing the size and sex-age composition of the ancient population. It turns out that the information about the life of the ancient people indirectly indicates to their social status or a degree of stress pressure on the population.
The methods of anthropology constantly get improved. What seemed as new things only twentys years ago now can be accepted as common and traditional. In addition, there are new issues: what people in the ancient times had been ill with (and particularly the inhabitants of this or that ancient settlement)? And what they usually ate ‒ meat, plants, or perhaps went fishing?
Human diseases and their course are determined greatly by the habitat. And the bones and teeth, register the story of his life and illnesses. The paleopathology of a person is a science of the diseases of ancient people.
The paleopathology tends to explain injuries, traumas especially fracture of the skull by a high aggressiveness of some ancient communities. Traumatism became greater when the population density increased, or in times of food shortage. By the way, episodes of great starvation experienced in childhood leave lasting consequences on the rest of man’s life. At the time of such stress even a growth a of child stops. When the situation returned to normal, it resumes. On the teeth of many excavated skeletons we can see traces of such delays in the growth (something like the annual rings of the tree). These enamel defects are called enamel hypoplasia. Experts can exactly say when such a person was starving – at the age of three or four and a half years. Now by the skeleton of a representative of the archaeological culture, the scientists can reconstruct the major events in the life of the owner: severe if he had had his childhood, hard how long he had lived and, most important, what he had been doing.
In the first millennium BC and the first millennium AD the Black Sea Coast «from Gorgippia to Torik» had been inhabited by tribes, different in origin and way of life.
Archeological studies have proved the belonging of the burial in the Lobanova schel’ to the aboriginal population, presumably to a Kerket tribe known by the texts of ancient authors. The burials in the Lobanova Schel’ date back to those times, they inform us of how those people had lived in the 6th–1th centuries BC (Namely so the cemetery Lobanova Schel’ dates back) tell the anthropological data.
So, the alleged Kerkets had rarely lived to 40 or even 30 years. However, the «quality» of their life, judging by some signs was not so bad. The survey revealed no traces of chronic diseases, dental caries. The group is characterized by a low level of frauma, which, moreover, is of a purely domestic nature. This means that in the second half of the first millennium BC on the cape Malyi Utrish the people had lived peacefully and they didn’t take part in the fighting and had not been subjects to the enemy attacks.
The proximity of sea resources had provided this group with all necessary things. At least, no effects of anemia or sudden starvation on the bones and teeth are not seen. For example, the frequency of enamel hypoplasia, reflecting physiological stress under the age of 6, at a total sample of Lobanova Schel’ is five times less than that of the Scythians, in which the frequency of occurrence of this feature was not less than 50%. However, as we know, the Greeks of the classical Mediterranean and Hellenistic periods of living in a more comfortable environment, their enamel hypoplasia in general had almost never occured.
A closer look reveals the anthropological materials gender differences, that is, to estimate the social role of men and women. As it turned out, enamel hypoplasia was observed only in some women, the men of Lobanova Schel’ had not had at all.
This means greater vulnerability of girls and possible differences in the quality of life of children depending on gender. Boys were given more attention, may be they were better fed.
In adult life the differences continued to multiply, and they were associated with different economic activities. In a group of the Lobanova Schel’ they found an unusual, in no way connected a with age, a wear of teeth, sometimes leading to their significant seam and shortening. Experts have long known this phenomenon, but it is striking that it had been described with the Eskimos, getting marine resources in the Far North, and using their own teeth as a «third hand» when weaving gear and currying! In case of the Black Sea Kerkets such functional wear of the teeth is only present in men and in some children. In addition, muscle attachment sites on the male skeleton one could see the enhanced bone relief and bone growths ‒ evidence of permanent training of muscles of the shoulder girdle due to rowing.
It turns out that the population of the Malyi Utrish it was men and boys who were busy making gear, basket weaving and getting the marine resources.