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Physical anthropology from Huns to present Volga Bulgars:

From the 6-th to 15-th century AD

How they looked and how they measured

Source and Comments

I apologize for any errors in the translation of the specialized terminology, and for the specifics of the material, which necessarily go into much detail. The details are valuable in their precision, they preclude any attempts to falsify the facts or explain them away as errors, blunders or obsolete data of the ancient contemporaries.

The work of I. Gazimzyanov has a tremendous value for the anthropology of the Türkic Euroasians. The study covers the time span of the ten centuries, and investigates 31 groups of population within fairly limited geographical area. The study's main, probably unintended, accomplishment is the anthropological description of the Hunno-Bulgars and their comparison with the Volga Bulgar population. The facts show that the political myth about the Türkic invasions into the pristine Indo-Euro-Slavic lands of the Eastern Europe, and the Türkization of the currently Türkic-speaking peoples is just that, a political propaganda myth. Crossing the state scientific taboo lines, I. Gazimzyanov's work opens a path for other areas and links. Only in the Moscow province there were approximately 1 200 kurgans destroyed, ploughed over and so far not integrated scientifically into the true history of the Eastern Europe.

Fascinating are the conclusions of the publication. In the first paragraph, I. Gazimzyanov (or his "sponsor"?) gives a lip service to the official postulate, even though it is patently false and absurdly contradicts the facts of the study. Toward the end, I. Gazimzyanov slips in the real results, immediately followed by a disclaimer that would camouflage the maverick work as just an another run-of-the mill study.

Links

Scythian archeology map 1

   Scythian archeology map 2

   Ullybaganaly

GAZIMZYANOV I.R.
Russian Academy of Sciences
Miklukho-Maklai Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology
Anthropology News No 1, Moscow, 1996

ANTHROPOLOGY of VOLGA BULGARIA POPULATION of KIPCHAK KHANAATE PERIOD
 AND SOME ETHNOGENETICAL QUESTIONS OF THE MIDDLE VOLGA TATARS

 

Illustrations

Fig. 1. Averaged Dimensions Dendrogram (—2R) for Bulgarian series of Pre-Mongolian time.
Fig. 2. Averaged Dimensions Dendrogram (—2R) for Kipchak Khanate series from the territory of Volga Bulgaria.
Table 1. Median values of craniological series from the territory of Volga Bulgaria for Kipchak Khanate period.
Table 2. Summary comparison (—2R) from the territory of Volga Bulgaria for Kipchak Khanate period.
Fig. 3. Averaged Dimensions Dendrogram (—2R) for Kipchak Khanate series from the territory of Volga Bulgaria and the series of the Middle Age Eurasian nomad population of the steppe zone.
Fig. 4. Correlational graph for series from the territory of Volga Bulgaria 7-15 cc. and series of the Eurasian steppe nomads 6-15 cc.
Table 3. Face Skeleton Flatness (ULS) and Mongoloid Percent Admixture (%MP), values of Volga Bulgaria population and Eurasian steppes of the 6-16 cc.

INTRODUCTION

In spite of numerous works, the ethnogenetical questions of the Middle Volga basin peoplesí remain acute, many researchers fairly point out that one of the stages in the formation of the modern peoples occupying the Volga - Ural region was the period of the beginning and development of one of the first states in Eastern Europe, Volga Bulgaria (Kuzeev, Ivanova, 1987, Kuzeev, 1992, Khalikov, 1987). The ethnical, economical, and cultural developments, occurring within this state, were interrupted by the Mongolo-Tatar invasion, and its fate became intertwined with the history of the Kipchak Khanate for more than two hundred years.

The researchers view the influence of the Mongolo-Tatar invasion and the Kipchak Khanate on the ethnic processes in the Middle Volga basin unequivocally. Some scientists believe that in the origin of the Kazan Tatar population is a powerful layer of Kipchaks, who, in the Post-Mongolian time, sporadically penetrated the territory of Volga Bulgaria as separate groups, and, during the Kipchak Khanate period, they relocated in mass. The Bulgarian population, in their opinion, was included partially in the new ethnic mixture, Volga Tatars, and the majority of Bulgars became a main component in the ethnogenesis of the Chuvash people. This concept for the origin of the Volga Tatars and Chuvashes is mostly based on the linguistic data (N.I.Ashmarin, V.F.Mukhamedyarov, M.G.Safargaliev, G.A.Fedorov-Davydov, V.F.Kakhovsky. P.V.Denisov, M.P.Fedotov etc.).

Other researchers, not completely denying the participation of the Kipchak groups in the formation of the Volga Tatars, and the participation of the Bulgars in the formation of Chuvashes, are nevertheless inclined to think that no essential ethno cultural changes happened in the Kipchak Khanate period. This point of view, in the opinion of its supporters, is demonstrated by written sources and, even in the greater degree, by the archeological and ethnographic material (B.D.Grekov, A.P.Smirnov, A.Kh.Khalikov, M.Z.Zakiev, N.I.Vorobyev etc.).

Assessing the disagreements in the opinions about the ethnogenesis of the Volga Tatars, and the influence of the Kipchak Khanate on the course of ethnic processes in the Middle Volga, we employed anthropological materials, the role of which, as a basis for ethnogenetical historical concepts, is well known.

The anthropology of the medieval population of Volga Bulgaria is studied well enough due to the research in this area of such authors as N.M.Maliev, S.M.Chugunov, T.A.Trofimova, V.P. and T.I.Alekseevs, N.M.Postnikova (Rud), M.M.Gerasimov, S.G.Efimova etc. Their works convincingly proved that anthropologically, the population of Volga Bulgaria was basically of Europoid type, with an insignificant Mongoloid admixture, in the medieval epoch the Mongoloid admixture was present both in the local Finno-Ugrian population, and in the inhabitants of Eurasian steppe zone. However, the majority of anthropological research rested on the materials of Pre-Mongolian time. The few craniological series available for Volga Bulgars for the period of Kipchak Khanate did not allow the authors to fairly classify their physical type and its origins, limiting the results to preliminary conclusions (Rud, 1987, Efimova, 1991). This void was more or less filled in the last twenty years, due to the large-scale excavations of Volga Moslem and non-Moslem burials of the 13-15 cc. It allowed not only the anthropological study of the population of Volga Bulgaria in the Kipchak Khanate time, but also to follow the stages of its formation and the factors influencing it, which is the purpose of the present study.

To compare craniological series from the territory of Volga Bulgaria of the 10-15 cc. we used a Penrose formula, a method for calculating dimensions that allows an estimate of degree of similarity and distinction between separate series, based on the sets of attributes (Alekseev, 1974). The comparison included the following attributes: a longitudinal diameter [Length gl-o - Translatorís note] (1), a cross diameter [Breadth eu-eu - Translatorís note] (8), height diameter [Height ba-br - Translatorís note] (17), forehead minimal width [Breadth frontal minimum ft-ft - Translatorís note] (9), length of the face basis (40), height of the face [Upper face height na-gn - Translatorís note](48), cheek bone diameter [Face breadth zy-zy - Translatorís note] (45), height (52) and width of orbits (61), symotic width (SC) and height (SS), dacrialic width (DC) and height (DS). The Zygomaxiliar angle elements describing a flatness of the face (77, Zm) were correlated with the half-sum of height and width of the face, and shown on a diagram. Based on the values of the averaged dimensions (—2R) were constructed dendrograms for the Pre-Mongolian series of the Volga Bulgars, Kipchak Khanate series from the Middle Volga basin, and separately for the Kipchak Khanate and nomadic series of the 6 -15 cc. The work used only compilation data for males.

The summary comparison of the Bulgar series of the Ante-Mongolian period found a rather high degree of similarity between them, with the minimal separation of C = 0.363 (Fig. 1 - Translatorís note). On the averaged dimensions dendrogram stood out the series from burials: Kaibel Vorov Vrag, and ĎMurom settlementí, showing the morphological type with a combination of high and wide face with the well expressed Europoid traits. All three series come from a southern periphery of the Volga Bulgaria. The series from the central regions (Trans-Kama) are more homogenous among agricultural, and city dwellers, which reflects the process of ethnic consolidation of the Volga Bulgaria population by wide conjugal mixing and mestization between two basic anthropological types, typical for Türkic-speaking Bolgars and local Volga Ė Ural population (Finno-Ugrian? - Translatorís note)

This process (of ethnic consolidation and anthropological leveling) was interrupted by the Mongolo-Tatar invasion. The review of the averaged dimensionsí factors, for the Kipchak Khanate series from the territory of Volga Bulgaria, shows that the anthropology of the Bulgar population sharply changes. The span of values for (2R) ranges from 0.127 up to 1.561. On the dendrogram (Fig. 2) stand out four independent clusters and a number of series located separately from other groups. So, a separate place among Kipchak Khanate Bulgar series is held by a series from the Mari-Lugov burial. The male skulls from this burial in most cases have traits (height and width of the face, flatness and weak protrusion of the nose) characteristic for the Mongoloids of the Central-Asian origin. Therefore it was not accidental that V.P.Alekseev suggested that the population, which left burials at Mari-Lugov, is genetically linked with Mongol or Türkic-speaking extracts from the Kipchak Khanate (Alekseev, 1967).

The same set of Mongoloid features (but in a softened form) had the skulls from two necropolises of the city Bolgar: the Khan Mausoleum and the Small Minaret. On the dendrogram they assembled into a separate group (C = 0.38). It is possible that this group of the Bolgar population, comprising a privileged class (judged by burials in crypts and stone slabs with tombstones) was of southern (Kipchak?) origin.

The second cluster (at a level of C = 0.246) united the series from the Tashkirmen, Tangachin and Berezov burials distinguished by a gracial Europoid type. In Ante-Mongolian series this type is encountered only in isolated sculls. Probably, the narrow-faced type with the clearly expressed Europoid features had no local sources and its carriers in the Middle Volga basin were newcomers. It is not possible so far to identify the initial region of migration.

Series from Barbashin, Muran, and Babiy Bugor burials fall in the third cluster. For this group, the basic anthropological type is dolichocranial, Europoid with a small Mongoloid admixture, characteristically for the Uralic type in a local, Volga variation. First two series from this group by the burial ritual and burial artifacts are classified as medieval Mordva (Smirnov, 1952, Alikhova, Muran, 1954). For the ethnical classification of the Bolgar city dwellers, who left a necropolis on Babiy Bugor, there is no uniform opinion among researchers (Efimova, 1974, Khalikov, 1986). In our view, the necropolis on the outskirts of the medieval city belonged to ordinary and ethnically diverse population. The burial ritual of the necropolis, combining Moslem, Christian and indigenous features, reflects the non-uniform population buried on Babiy Bugor. Probably, a part of them was Mordva, which in the Kipchak Khanate time resettles in Volga basin from Oka-Sura basin, breaking away from the main body of the Mordovian peoples (Kazakov, 1990). Therefore it is no wonder, that a series from Babiy Bugor at a level of C = 0,264 jointed the Mordovian medieval series from Barbashin and Muran burials.

In the fourth cluster grouped the series with brachicranical Europoid mezomorphic type, which prevailed for Ante-Mongolian Volga Bulgars. These series come from Moslem necropolises of Trans - Kama area (Chetyrekhugolnik, Kojaev) and its east periphery (Taktalchuk, Azmetevo), and also a composite series named conditionally ĎKazan Vicinityí.

So, summarizing the above, we can note, that after Mongolo-Tatar invasion, in the territory of Volga Bulgaria, a member of Kipchak Khanate, there are active migratory processes, reflected in a diversity of anthropological types of the population. This thesis is also not inconsistent with the archeological materials (Fakhrutdinov, 1975, Kazakov, 1978.

Fig. 1. Averaged Dimensions Dendrogram (—2R) for Bulgarian series of Pre-Mongolian time.

 

Fig. 2. Averaged Dimensions Dendrogram (—2R) for Kipchak Khanate series from the territory of Volga Bulgaria.

 

1 - Tashkirmen 9 - Muran
2 - Mari-Lugov 10 - Tangachi
3 - Starokuibyshev, Khristoforov 11 - Berezov
4 - Taktalchuk 12 - ĎKazan Vicinityí (collection)
5 - Azmetevo 13 - Babiy Bugor, ŃŗŠŤť Ńů„Óū
6 - Kojaev 14 - Khan Mausoleum
7 - II Bolshe Tigan  15 - Chetyrekxugolnik
8 - Barbashina Polyana 16 - Small Minaret
Translator's Note

The burials of the Khan Mausoleum and Small Minaret belong to the ruling elite, and display a larger degree of Mongoloidness then the surrounding population. Initial studies, that concentrated on the "royal" burials, tended to indiscriminately extrapolate the morphology of the  ruling elite to the whole population of the Kipchak Khanate.

Table 1. Median values of craniological series from the territory of Volga Bulgaria for Kipchak Khanate period.

Table 2.Summary comparison (—2R) from the territory of Volga Bulgaria for Kipchak Khanate period.

To evaluate the participation of the southern groups of the steppe population (Kipchak) in the composition of the physical shape of the Kipchak Khanate Volga Bulgaria population we carried out a summary comparison between Kipchak Khanate series from the territory of Volga Bulgaria and the series describing anthropological type of the nomad population of the steppe zone of Eurasia between the 6 to 15 cc by Penrose method. The summary comparison maintains the same set of criteria. A dendrogram (Fig. 3) is constructed based on the calculated factors for the averaged dimensions. On a dendrogram (at a level C = 1.36) stand out two large clusters .

The first cluster included almost all Kipchak Khanate series from the territory of Volga Bulgaria, and also there joined a series from Kalinov burials of the 10-12 cc., combining at a level of C = 0,29 with the series from Mari-Lugov burials. The entry of these two series in the Kipchak Khanate series group from the territory of Volga Bulgaria is, apparently, accidental, as by other attributes there is a sharp difference between them.

The second cluster united series for nomads of Eurasian steppes and two series from the city of Bolgar (Khan Mausoleum and Small Minaret). Such separation of series into two clusters is caused, first of all, by the presence of this or that share of Mongoloid and Europoid components. If the first group included series with prevalence of Europoid traits, the second group included series having Mongoloid traits. Taking this into account, we calculated for each series a flatness factor for the face skeleton and the percent of Mongoloid admixture using G.F.Debets formulas (1961, 1968). It is visible from the Table 3, that Kipchak Khanateís series from the territory of Volga Bulgaria (with the exception of Azmetevo, Khan Mausoleum and Small Minaret) have small values of ULS (Face Skeleton Flatness) and MP (Mongoloid Percent Admixture), but the nomads of Eurasian steppes series of the 6-15 cc. fall into the group (with ULS and percent MP of more than 40%) of greater Mongoloid traits.

Fig. 3. Averaged Dimensions Dendrogram (—2R) for Kipchak Khanate series from the territory of Volga Bulgaria and the series of the Middle Age Eurasian nomad population of the steppe zone.

1-16 - Kipchak Khanate series from the territory of Volga Bulgaria (sequence the same, see comment to Fig. 2),
17 - Nomads of Bashkiria (collection)
18 - Sarkel
19 - Cumans (Kalmykian steppe)
20 - Kurgans (tumulus ) of Lower Volga basin
21 - Nomads of Ukraine X-XII cc. (collection)
22 - Zamaraev kurgans
23 - Türks of Kazakhstan VI -XI cc.
24 - Kalinov burials X-XII cc.
25 - Türks of Kazakhstan XII-XV cc.
26 - Mongols (modern series).

The same distribution of analyzed series has taken place on the correlation diagram, where on the abscises axis is a half-sum of the values of angles for horizontal profile of the face, and on the ordinate axis is a half-sum of the height and width of the face, showing the correlation of the attributes differentiating well between the Europoids and Mongoloids. In the right top corner of the diagram (Fig. 4) are grouped the nomadic series and adjoin to them are the series from the Mari-Lugov burials and Khan Mausoleum. The attributes of these series are characterized by the weakened horizontal profile at both levels and by both larger height and width of the face, that tells about their traits of a Mongoloid type complex. In the bottom left corner of the diagram are located narrow-faced, with smallish height of the face, Europoid series from burials: Berezov, Tangachi, Tashkirmen, Barbashina Polyana, Babiy Bugor. All other series are in intermediate position.

Fig. 4. Corelational graph for series from the territory of Volga Bulgaria 7-15 cc. and series of the Eurasian steppe nomads 6-15 cc.

axis ű Ė half-sum of horizontal profile angles

axis ů - half-sum of height and breadth of face

1-9 - Volga Bulgars of Pre-Mongolian time (sequence the same, see comment to Fig.1),
10-25 - Kipchak Khanate series from territory of Volga Bulgaria (sequence the same, see comment to Fig. 2),
26-29 - Nomads of Eurasian steppes, VI-XV cc., (sequence Fig.3),
30 - Zamaraev kurgans ,
31- Türks of Kazakhstan VI-XI cc.,
32 - Kalinov burials X-XII cc.,
33 - Türks of Kazakhstan XII-XV cc.,
34 - Mongols (modern series).

Table 3. Face Skeleton Flatness (ULS) and Mongoloid Percent Admixture (%MP), values of Volga Bulgaria population and Eurasian steppes of the 6-16 cc.

No Group ULS %MP   No Group ULS %MP
1 Tashkirmen 23,6 5,9   14 Khan Mausoleum 43,1 38,6
2 Mari-Lugov 35,8 26,6   15 Chetyrehugolnik 24,3 7,2
3 Starokuibyshev 32,3 20,6   16 Small Minaret 47,9 46,8
4 Taktalchuk 34,9 24,8   17 Nomads of Bashkiria 43,4 39,2
5 Azmetevo 42,7 37,9   18 —ŗūÍŚŽ ĎSmall kurgans í 39,0 31,8
6 Kojaev 34,3 23,8   19 Cumans (Kalmyk steppe) 44,9 41,5
7 Bolshe Tigan 2 19,6 0,6   20 Kurgans  of Lower Volga basin 61,3 68,9
8 Barbashina Polyana 17,8 -1,6   21 Zamaraev kurgans  55,6 59,4
9 Muran 36,7 27,9   22 Türks of Kazakhstan VI -XI cc. 51,2 52,2
10 Tangachi 19,2 -1,3   23 Kalinov burials X-XII cc. 53,5 55,9
11 Berezov 7,9 -20,2   24 Türks of Kazakhstan XII-XV cc. 61,7 69,6
12 ĎKazan Vicinityí (collection) 36,5 27,7   25 Mongols (modern series) 79,4 99,3
13 Babiy Bugor 19,0 -1,8          

Thus, the Europoid anthropological type, in its different variations, with a small Mongoloid admixture prevailed in the population of Volga Bulgaria of the Kipchak Khanate period. The groups of Mongoloid type population w ere not numerous, and they did not influence much the physical type of the Volga-Kama population. The anthropological type, which we can correlate with the southern steppe population, is traced on the outskirts of the Kipchak Khanateís Volga Bulgaria (Mari-Lugov burials), or is traced among the city dwellers of the capital (Khan Mausoleum, Small Minaret).

Addressing the question of the Kipchak peoplesí role in the ethnogenesis of the Volga Tatars, it is impossible to avoid addressing their racial composition (Trofimova, 1949, Yablonsky, 1987). Not getting into a detailed review of this enigma, we shall note that the anthropological structure of Kipchak peoples was, probably, non-uniform. However, the series we took as representing the nomads of Eurasian steppes from the 6 to 15-th cc., show the presence of Mongoloid traits of the Southern Siberian origin. Therefore, we join those authors, who assert that the subject of discussion should not be about Mongoloid or Europoid nature of Kipchaks, but about diverse ratios of Europoid and Mongoloid elements (Velikanova, 1975).

Even the anthropological type described by L.T. Yablonsky for the urban population of the Kipchak Khanate city and suggested by him as typical for a significant part of the Kipchak (Cuman) peoples, basically a Europoid type, with a distinct combination of craniological features: the large size of the face, its flatness in a horizontal plane, alongside with a well profiled bridge of the nose, and strong nasal bones, is representative only for the privileged layer of the Bolgar city dwellers and the small groups of populations living on the outskirts of Volga Bulgaria, both in the Ante-Mongolian, and in the Kipchak Khanate time. Only a better ethnic classification of nomadic burials in the Eurasian steppes in the medieval time will allow us to learn of the anthropological type of Kipchak (Cuman) peoples and their role in the formation of the physical appearance of the population of Middle Volga basin generally, and the Volga Bulgars in particular. Our conclusions, because of that, have a preliminary character.

Conclusions:

1. The anthropological composition of the population of Volga Bulgaria as part of Kipchak Khanate, compared with previous period, sharply changes.

2. These changes are caused by migratory processes in the middle Volga basin after the Mongolo-Tatar invasion and the entry of the Volga Bulgaria into Kipchak Khanate. This process has touched, first of all, the local Volga-Ural basin population.

3. The population of the Volga Bulgaria in the Kipchak Khanate period, based on anthropological data, is of a Europoid type, with variations dependent on Mongolic admixture.

4. The groups of the populations close by the anthropological type to the nomads of Eurasian steppes of medieval time and classified by us as the newcomers from the Kipchak Khanate, in the Volga Bulgaria territory were not numerous. They have not resulted in the consequential influence on the formation of the physical type of the local inhabitants.

5. A further accumulation of paleoanthropological material will allow to confirm or reject a number our suggestions.

Literature

1. Alekseev V.P. Kipchak Khanate forepost on Mari land, ¬ņ, Issue.26, 1967.
2. Alekseev V.P. An origin of the Caucasus peoples. Ő., 1974.
3. Akhilova A.E. Muran burials and settlement., Ő»ņ, NÓ 42. Ő., 1954.
4. Velikanova M.S. A paleoanthropology of Prut-Dniester river basin. Ő., 1975.
5. Debets G.F. Settlement of northern part of Eastern Europian plain and Baltics. —›, No 6, 1961.
6. Debets G.F. Experience of craniometric definition of a share of a Mongoloid component in the mixed groups of the USSR population. Problems of anthropology and historical ethnography of Asia. Ő., 1966.
7. Efimova A.M. A cemetery on outskirt of suburb of Bolgar city. Cities of Volga Basin in the Middle Ages. Ő., 1974.
8. Efimova S.G. Paleoanthropology of Volga and Ural basins. Ő., 1991.
9. Kazakov E.P. Monuments of Bolgarian time in eastern regions of Tataria. Ő., 1976.
10. Kazakov E.P. About links of Volga Bolgars with Mordva based on archeological data. From History Of Province (Local Historians Sketches), Issue.2, Penza, 1990.
11. Kuzeev R.G., Ivanov V.A. Debatable problems of ethnic history of the population of Southern Ural and Ural basins in medieval time. Problems of medieval archeology of Ural and Volga basin. Ufa, 1987.
12. Kuzeev R.G., Peoples of Middle Volga basin and Southern Ural (Ethnogenetical vierw of history). Ő., 1992.
13. Rud N.M. Anthropological data for question of ethnic mutual relations in Middle Volga in X-XV cc. Anthropology of antique and medieval population of East Europe. Ő., 1987.
14. Smirnov A.P. Sketches of ancient and medieval history of peoples of Volga and Kama Basins. Ő»ņ, No 28, Ő., 1952.
15. Trofimova T.A. Ethnogenetics of Volga Basin Tatars in light of anthropology data. “»›, Vol.VII. 1949.
16. Fakhrutdinov R.G. Archeological monuments of Volga-Kama Bulgaria and its territory. Kazan, 1975.
17. Khalikovŗ Ň.ņ. Moslem necropolises of Volga Bulgaria of ’ - XIII cc. Kazan, 1986.
18. Khalikov A.Kh. Tatar people and their ancestors, Kazan. 1989.
19. Yablonsky L.T. Social - ethnical structure of Kipchak Khanate city based on the data of archeology and anthropology. Anthropology of antique and medieval population of Eastern Europe. Ő., 1987.

Publication Data

EDITORIAL BOARD 
Vasilev S.S. (Executive Secretary). 
Gerasimova I.M. (Deputy Executive Secretary).
Lolinova N.A. Aubova N.A. Khaldeeva N.I.
PUBLISHERíS ADDRESS 
Moscow, Vavilov A, 17A 
Office of Antropology of Acad. V.L.Alekseev
Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology RAN 1996

Footnotes

Terminology.

Ever since the Rus Grand Prince Yaroslav II went to the Sarai Batu to submit in vassalage and obtain the protection from the Teutonic advance,  the colloquial Russian name for the Ulus Juchi, and later for the Kipchak Khanate, was the "Golden Horde" (Türk. "Altyn Orda"). In the Western Europe, it was known as the Kipchak Khanate or Tatar Khanate. Under the influence of the Soviet works, the moniker "Golden Horde", with the negative connotations that replaced the Russian transcendence of the previous centuries, started penetrating lately the English vocabulary. I am using the English "Kipchak Khanate" to translate the "Golden Horde" used by the author.

Bolgar and Bulgar. In Russian, there is an appreciable confusion in these names. Bulgaria on the Danube is called "Bolgaria", but the Volga Bulgaria is called "Bulgaria". Balkarians call their country "B'lkar", and the Russians "Balkar". I use the English Bulgaria and Bulgars in those places where I.Gazimzyanov uses "Bolgar".

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