Genetics - Index
Archeology - Index
Genetics: Blood Types
Genetics: Lingo-Ethnical Tree
Eastern Hun Genetics
Ethnic Affiliation Scythians
Scythians 7 c. BC
Pazyryk 4-2 c. BC
Burial place of a Massagetan warrior 8-7 c. BC
Scythians and their descendents
In the following analysis the author follows the Russian canonical "Mongoloid invasion" scheme, trying to explain observations in a two-dimensional concept, with obvious conflicts between the scheme and factual results. Fortunately, the observed facts enunciate events beyond the limits of artificial blinds: Usuns, a kindred of Ku-Süns (Kushans), migrated to Jeti-Su under a pressure from Huns (Süns), numbering about 100,000 families. In the Jeti-Su they took overlordship over existing Kangar and Pamirian populations, establishing a fairly stable commonwealth with combined population of about 600,000. The Türkic Kangars, themselves a heterogeneous conglomerate of Türkic tribes, and the Türkic Usuns re-distributed pastures, and continued their similar, but not identical kurgan burial traditions that left for us monuments to study. Not much difference can be detected anthropologically when the kindred Kangars and Usuns blended, each one bringing into the union the traces of their specific admixtures. A third component of the Usun society are the Pamir aboriginals, who brought into the blend Iberian-type admixture. The small sample analyzed in the O.Ismagulov's work does not allow to discern all the genetical interplays, but a general genetical picture agree with the historical records and archeological observations, and it clearly does not fit into a two-dimensional scheme.
Usuns = Uysuns (in Kazakh Türkic) = Wusun (Pinyin rendition of Chinese annalistic chronologies)
Monuments of 3rd c. BC - 4th c. AD (Usun time) are widely known in the territory of Kazakhstan. They are mainly concentrated in the southeastern part of the (Kazakhstan) republic.
The most widespread type of 3rd c. BC - 4th c. AD (Usun time) monuments are small size kurgans scattered in unsystematic groups. But sometimes among Usun burials kurgans are lined in a chain from north to south.
The diseased were usually buried in a pit grave, but not rarely also in a side chamber grave, they were laid on the back, oriented to the west, sometimes southwest. The funeral inventory mostly consisted of simple household objects: clay vessels, iron products and female ornaments. The material culture in the 3rd c. BC - 4th c. AD (Usun time), in comparison with the culture of the previous period, is somewhat more primitive: simple ritual objects and the funeral structures themselves.
The whole complex of archeological materials shows
cultural indigenousness of the 3rd c. BC - 4th c. AD (Usun
time) tribes. Its
study is remarkable for illumination of the
ethnic history of the modern peoples. In this respect the
anthropological material is especially important for
detecting the ethnic composition of tribes or nations at
of their historical development.
The systematic excavation of ancient Kazakhstan monuments by the Soviet archeologists have accumulated a significant amount of paleoanthropological materials belonging to the Usun period. They are found in different areas of the (Kazakhstan) republic, particularly its central, northeastern and southeastern parts.
The paleoanthropological material of the 3rd c. BC - 4th c. AD (Usun time) from Eastern Kazakhstan is limited, 10 male and 10 female skulls. All of them presumptively belong to the Uge (pronounced Oog-eh) tribes (Tchernikov, 1948, 1951) (Gumilev: Uge is one of aboriginal tribes of Djungaria, known still in the 1st c. BC). From individual analysis of these series, V.V.Ginzburg established that a prevailing part of the male skulls belong to the Caucasoid race. Among them are skulls with clearly expressed Andronov type features. As a whole, in the opinion of the researcher, the male skulls contain some Mongoloid features. The female skulls of that series mainly belong to the Middle Asian interfluvial (Ginzburg, 1952, 1956).
[Follows a detailed description of individual skulls from kurgans]
Let's review general characteristics of the Jeti-Su Usun skulls .
The average dimensions and indexes of Jeti-Su skulls are listed in the appendix (see Table 2) (not cited in this posting).
The crania is characterized by averagely expressed massiveness and moderately developed relief of skeleton. The horizontal perimeter, measured through glabella (jutting point of the forehead between supraorbital ridges), on the male skulls is large (524,3 (mm)), and on the female skulls is moderate (500,9(mm)). The greatest longitudinal diameter of skulls is moderate for both male and female group, and their cross diameter approaches large sizes. The cranial index for both groups is brachicranial, but in female series, as a rule, this index is greater (men 80,2; women 82,2). The average indices of the height of the skull (from bazion (middle of great foramen of the skull) and porion (middle between ear bones of the skull)) both in male, and in female skulls tend to larger sizes (male from bazion 138,2, from porion 120,8; female 131,2 and 115,1 accordingly). Typically, the cranium contour in the vertical form in male skulls is prevalently ovoid (rounded like an egg) type over the sphenoid (butterfly-shaped). For female group, both forms are approximately coequal. The form of the nape is basically rounded.
In male and female series, the average size of a forehead bone in width, and in slope approach large sizes. The glabella and supraorbital ridges are developed moderately in males, and expressed weaker in women.
facial skeleton of the male and female series are marked
by large absolute width and above-average height (male malar diameter 139,5; height of the
female 130,2 and 68,2 respectively). The face on
the average is orthognathic both in angle and in index,
profiled averagely in the horizontal plane. By the naso-mallar
angle the male and female groups belong to medium size
category, and by zigo-maxyllar angle they belong only to
lower dimensions (in the male group naso-mallar angle is 143,9
angle is 130,8 (°?)).
From these attributes of high taxonomic value the Jeti-Su series occupy
an intermediate position between the Caucasoid
and Mongoloid types (this "high
taxonomic value" shows the type of blunders worn by
Russian physical anthropology school: high cheekbones
indicate Mongoloidness, even though most of the Mongoloid
peoples do not have high cheekbones at all, and plenty of
"Caucasoids" do, and thus the location of "intermediate position between
Caucasoid and Mongoloid" is squarely in the eyes of the
beholder). However, from the complex of other
attributes, the Jeti-Su series tends to the Caucasoid race.
of the fang socket both in male and in a female series of skulls
is expressed below awerage or moderately weak
("fang socket" is the only
dental-related trait looked at in the study. Ignoring the
dental forensics is a hallmark of Russian physical
The angle of nasal bones in male and female groups is very high, and its average size borders average and large sizes (male nose angle is 28,9 (°?); female is 24,9 (°?)). The height dimensions of nose bridge, determined by dacryal (point of junction of the anterior border of the lacrimal bone with the frontal bone) and symotic heights (?), vary significantly. The height and width of nose both in male and in female skulls are average. Their nasal index is medium (men 49,0; female 51,7). The bottom of pear-shaped aperture in most cases has antropinic (?) form.
The height of orbit on Jeti-Su skulls reaches medium values with a tendency to small sizes, and the width, on the contrary, has a tendency to large size. The orbital index is not large, and its average size approaches to medium sizes with obvious tendency toward small sizes (men, from dacrion, 84,1; female, 85,2). The form of orbit is mostly transitive and very seldom straight.
Thus, the Usun skulls as a whole have averagely developed crania, medium longitudinal and above medium crosswise diameters, somewhat high crania, moderately expressed brachicrania, straight forehead, medium high but wide facial skeleton, medium profiled in a horizontal plane face with moderately indented fang sockets, strongly protruding nose and medium high eye-sockets.
It shows, that the basis of the Jeti-Su group lays a local Caucasoid anthropological type. However, the racial type of the investigated skulls is somewhat specific. So, the male and female series of the skulls, along with medium height of the face, have a large width, combined with weaker expressed horizontal profiling and moderately indented fang sockets. Taking into account the high taxonomic value of these attributes in the analysis of the first order races, makes it possible to talk about some admixture of Mongoloid elements (these criteria, "medium height and large width of the face, combined with weaker expressed horizontal profiling and moderately indented fang sockets", would make Mongoloid admixture from half of today's Europeans).
This is also confirmed by individual measurements. Visual
review of the series showed that a significant
part of the male skulls has features of the ancient Kazakhstan
type, or are close to it. There is also a more gracialized type of
the Caucasoid race, of the type of the
Central Asian interfluvial. Among the male skulls are also
found samples of the mixed type. The male skulls from the
kurgan 46 of the necropolis Sarytogay 3, and kurgan 2 of
the necropolis Tamgalytas by their basic race diagnostic attributes
belong to Mongoloid
type. Such a heterogeneity in the racial composition of
skulls testifies to the penetration of Mongoloid elements from
outside. As a whole, the series of male skulls occupy an intermediate position between
the races of the first
order, with Caucasoid prevailing over Mongoloid attributes.
The amalgamation of anthropological composition of Jeti-Su Usuns is also confirmed by the individual analysis of female skulls. Among the female skulls more often is the anthropological type of the Central Asian interfluvial. Some of them belong to the ancient Kazakhstan racial type (i.e. Andronovo-type). Some of the skulls are also of the mixed type. But among female skulls is no strongly pronounced Mongoloidness. Some skulls, both male and female, is impossible to differentiate because of bad preservation. Generally, the same picture is also observed in the odontological material.
Thus, the summarized and individual race-typological characteristic of the skulls shows that Jeti-Su Usuns belonged to the big Caucasoid race with a Mongoloid admixture.
As it is possible to segregate the paleoanthropological materials from Jeti-Su into chronological stages, it is interesting to review the change in the physical type of Usuns in time.
From the Table 5 is apparent that all craniological material from Jeti-Su is conditionally divided into three periods, according to the chronological periodization of the history of Usuns' material culture accepted in the archeological literature (Akishev, Kushaev, 1963).
The first period (early) covers 3rd -2nd centuries BC,
The second (transitive) period covers 1st c. BC -1st c. AD,
The third (late) period covers 2nd -3rd centuries AD.
Each period, according to the data by G.V.Kushaev, had its economic and cultural traits.
Let's review the skulls of Usuns by the periods.
Like in male, so in female groups the longitudinal diameter did not change during all the periods, and on the contrary, the crosswise diameter had constantly increased. A change in the ratio of these dimensions led to the increase in the cranial index. It is especially noticeable it the female series. It is possible to presume that during this period of time the Usuns of Jeti-Su underwent a process of brachicephalization.
The height diameter of the cranium, measured from bazion, in the second period decreased somewhat in men and women, but then in the last period it sharply increased and surpassed the initial size. The height size from porion (for men and women) changed more consistently, i.e. it constantly grew from early to the late period. As a whole, the Usun series of skulls by this attribute was merging toward the larger magnitudes.
During these three periods the smallest width of forehead
the male skulls constantly increased, while in the female
skulls it decreased a bit, without displaying any trendy
changes. The forehead angle in male and female
groups in the transition was a bit bigger, than
in other periods. To discern any trend in the change of this attribute
The face width of both men, and women increases gradually in all periods. Generally, is observable a tendency for increase in malar (cheekbone) diameter.
For the male skulls, the upper height of the face consistently increased from earlier to later period, and in the females it remains without a change, but in the transition period it sharply increased. The same can be said and about the face index.
The protrusion of the middle part of the face in the investigated groups during all periods increased a little.
The naso-mallar angle in male and female groups increased constantly. Though, in the female group it reached a greatest magnitude in the second period, and then decreased almost to the initial size. It should be noted that the investigated series have some flatness of the top part of the face.
The change in time of the zigo-maxyllar angle is insignificant, but has a trend for men and women in the same direction, i.e. the facial skeleton gets flatter.
The depth of the fang socket did not change noticeably in time (i.e. there was no discernible Tungustic influence).
The protrusion angle of nasal bones in male group was constantly raising, especially strongly during the last period. The difference between early and late periods for this parameter is equal 9°. For the female skulls, the nose angle considerably increased in the second period, and then remained the same.
The height dimension of the nose bridge (symotic and dacryal heights) in men and women changed insignificantly.
During the investigated period the nose width on the Usun skulls remained the same. The same can be also said about the nasal index.
The orbit sizes and indexes also are not undergoing sharp changes in these periods.
Thus, a comparative study in time of Jeti-Su Usuns' skulls has shown, that at all stages of their existence only the crosswise size of a crania, malar diameter and protrusion angle of nasal bones increased insignificantly, as a whole the anthropological type of the Jeti-Su Usuns almost did not change. The extant small Mongoloid admixture remained at the same level.
From these craniometric data can be deduced that the anthropological type of Jeti-Su Usuns
had developed not later than the 3rd - 1st centuries BC
Of a special interest is Table 6, where the Jeti-Su series of skulls is subdivided by the type of the burial cameras: pit and with a side chamber.
Until recently the initial arrival in the territory of Middle Asia of the Mongoloid type people, and also of the side chamber and catacomb kurgan burials was tied with the intrusion of the Huns (Bernshtam, 1940, 1951, 1952). However these ideas of A.N.Bernshtam later raised objections from the researchers who considered the side chamber and catacomb burials as the monuments of the local culture (Sorokin, 1956). In this respect are very intriguing the data shown in Table 6.
Those buried in the pit and side chamber graves differ in a number of attributes. So, the individuals buried in a side chamber grave, have considerably higher and wider facial skeleton, the face is somewhat less profiled in horizontal plane, less indented fang sockets, relatively higher and wider orbits, more receding forehead, than those buried in an pit grave.
These features testify that those buried in a side chamber had more expressed Mongoloid features than those buried in the pit graves, and hence, they were connected with the tribes of the Asian (i.e. oriental) type. However, the fraction of Mongoloid elements in the physical type of those buried in a side chamber graves is not so great to lead to attribution of these burials to the Huns (since we still do not have a comprehensive idea how the Huns looked, this conjecture has a value of only flagging out prejudices of the researcher).
Irrespective of the resolution about the genesis of side chamber grave and catacomb burials in Middle Asia, it is possible to conclude that those buried in a side chamber grave in the valley of r. Ili in anthropological relation belonged to local Caucasoid population with Mongoloid admixture (which was previously associated with Andronovo Culture, making an unexpressed direct connection: Andronovo Culture = Kurgan burials with side chamber grave).
Now, when enough paleoanthropological material from various areas of Kazakhstan and Middle Asia was accumulated, it is possible to raise the question about the local distinction or similarity of the investigated series of Usun skulls, on the one hand, and their race-genetic continuity on another hand.
For this purpose was composed a comparative table of male skulls of
the Sako-Usun time in Kazakhstan and Middle Asia.
The data for Table 7 was taken from the materials of G.F.Debets (1948), V.V.Ginzburg (1954, 1956, 1961),
N.N.Miklashevskaya (1959), B.V.Firshtein (1958) and the
The comparative characteristic of Jeti-Su Usuns.
Among the studied Usun skulls a greatest similarity with Jeti-Su series in the main race-diagnostical attributes is found with the Tian-Shan Usuns, investigated by N.N.Miklashevskaya (1969). But the Tian-Shan Usuns have the height diameter of skull (from bazion) a bit smaller, the cranial index a bit larger, the face a bit lower and and narrower than among Jeti-Su Usuns.
The same can be also said about the Sako-Usuns of Alai, investigated by V.V.Ginzburg (1958). But the absolute sizes of their cranium and facial skeleton are a bit smaller, and the nose protrudes weaker, than among Jeti-Su Usuns.
Uge tribes of Eastern Kazakhstan, described by V.V.Ginzburg are also typologically close to Jeti-Su Usuns. People of Uge tribe have longitudinal diameter of skull smaller, and the crosswise size larger, and accordingly their cranial index is a bit higher, nose protrusion weaker.
Against Usuns of Jeti-Su, the Sakas and early Tian-Shan Usuns have the face a bit lower, and significantly narrower, the nose protrusion angle is bigger, the orbital index is smaller. Hence, as noted V.V Ginzburg, the expression degree of Mongoloid attributes among Tian-Shan Usuns is a bit smaller, than among Jeti-Su Usuns. Nevertheless, by the traits of high taxonomic value these groups are close with each other.
In comparison with the Jeti-Su Usuns, the Usuns - Uechji of Tian-Shan have forehead a bit more sloping, the face narrower, naso-mallar and zigo-maxyllar angles a bit larger, nose protrusion a bit smaller, eye-sockets a bit higher. The Usuns - Uechji typologically are more Mongoloid than the Jeti-Su Usuns. However, a small number of Usun - Uechji skulls does not allow to confirm this observation statistically.
No essential difference was found between the Usuns from Chilpek and Karakol, investigated by T.A.Trofimova and G.F.Debets (1948).
To clearly show the anthropological similarity of Usun series of skulls, we made combinational polygons. In these graphs to the right are placed attributes with higher taxonomical value than in the left part (Fig. 13).
The comparative table and graphical presentation show that in anthropological relation the Usuns of Jeti-Su, Eastern Kazakhstan, Tian-Shan and Altai do not demonstrate any substantial differences, therefore there is no reason to distinguish any local group among them. Between the Usun groups are more morphological similarities than distinctions. The same is also observed in the material culture of the Usuns.
These facts allow to state that the typological
anthropological type of Usuns, throughout
the whole territory that they occupied was formed in
the 3rd-1st centuries BC
One of objectives of the this section is to compile the summary of craniometric data for the series of 3rd c. BC - 4th c. AD (Usun time) skulls in the Kazakhstan.
In our assessment, all material consists of 47 male and 45 female skulls, including series by V.V.Ginzburg and the author.
Fig. 13. Comparison of Usun series of skulls by several attributes in a form of combinational polygons
The locations of 3rd c. BC - 4th c. AD (Usun time) burials from which the skulls were obtained are shown on the map (Fig. 14).
The results of compiled data for the 3rd c. BC - 4th c.
AD (Usun time)'s
skulls do not
contradict our general concept about Jeti-Su Usuns.
The Caucasoid base of that time population's anthropological type in Kazakhstan does not raise doubts. Much more difficult is a narrower sub-classification of their racial affiliation.
The anthropological type of the 3rd c. BC - 4th c. AD (Usun time) population cannot be attributed to neither the ancient Kazakhstan or Andronovo type, nor to the type ("race" in author's terminology) of the Middle Asian interfluvial, nor to other variations of the overall Caucasoid race. Such traits of the morphological features of Kazakhstan population as relatively wide face and considerably protruding nose attest to a gravitation to the Andronovo anthropological complex. However, they are combined with relatively high facial skeleton (at the upper border of medians), and the face profiled below median in a horizontal plane. By a number of high taxonomic value attributes the joined groups of 3rd c. BC - 4th c. AD (Usun time) occupy an intermediate position between the named types. Probably, this is explained by the state that they were an intermediate link that connected, on one hand, more ancient Caucasoid (Andronov) type, with the Middle Asian interfluvial and S. Siberian type on another hand.
The initial form of the Kazakhstan population racial type at that time should be classed as an ancient Kazakhstan anthropological type, being one form of the proto-Caucasoid ("proto-European" in author's terminology) race. Hence, the basic physical form of the Usun time tribes (3rd c. BC - 4th c. AD) was formed on the basis of ancient local population, Caucasoid in its racial type. The Mongoloid admixture found in the anthropological composition of the population of that time was still not significant, but already a somewhat larger than during the Saka time (7th-4th centuries BC). During the Usun period, individuals with Mongoloid features are encountered much more often than during the Saka period.
The anthropological similarities or distinctions between the Saka period and 3rd c. BC - 4th c. AD (Usun time) tribes in Kazakhstan, most likely, were approximately in the same relationship which is observed now in modern Middle Asia between Uzbeks without clan subdivisions (Chorasm/Khorezm) and Uzbeks with clan divisions (kurama) (Yarkho, 1936; Ginzburg, 1961; Ismagulov, 1961). The Caucasoid features among Sakas were expressed more distinctly than among Usuns.
And the continuity between populations of Saka and 3rd c. BC - 4th c. AD (Usun time) is confirmed equally by paleoanthropological and archeological data.
It is known that in the Kazakhstan territory during Early Iron Epoch, along with Sako-Usun tribes,
lived Sarmatian tribes, genetically connected with the tribes of Sauromato-Sarmatian culture of
the steppe belt of the Lower Itil region. Compared with Sakas and Usuns,
the Kazakhstan Sarmatians had prominently protruding nose (31.4 (mm? °?), a
bit narrower (malar diameter 138,2 (mm) and less profiled in a horizontal
plane face (zigo-maxyllar angle 131,4 (°), considerably deeper fang sockets, and mezocranial skull index (78,9).
In the anthropological composition of the Kazakhstan population during that
period transpires a parallel development of two
racial types: on one hand, on the basis
of local inhabitants develop the tribes of the Sako-Usun type, on the
other hand develop the tribes of Sauromat-Sarmat type,
whose genetic roots extend to the 17th-8th centuries BC
in the Lower Itil region. The later destiny of
the Western Kazakhstan Sarmatians is closely linked with
the ethnic history of medieval Kazakhstan tribes.
Genetics - Index
Archeology - Index
Genetics: Blood Types
Genetics: Lingo-Ethnical Tree
Eastern Hun Genetics
Ethnic Affiliation Scythians
Scythians 7 c. BC
Pazyryk 4-2 c. BC
Burial place of a Massagetan warrior 8-7 c. BC
Scythians and their descendents