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Thread: Sunghir

  1. #1

    Post Sunghir

    The Sunghir archaeological site is situated near of Vladimir city, 192 km from Moscow (56°11" NL and 40°30" EL).

    The settlement was discovered in 1955. For 16 field seasons (1957-1977) an expedition under supervision of Otto N. Bader revealed 4500 m2 of the site area.

    Age of the settlement is defined from the disposal of the cultural layer in the so called Bryansk soil, connected with the corresponding interstadial of Valdai Ice age of Late Pleistocene. One of the first radiocarbon dates, obtained from collagen of reindeer bones in Groningen laboratory gives absolute age of 24430+/- 400 years ago (Gro 5446) and from charcoal - 25500+/- 200 years ago (Gro 5425).

    Late Palaeolithic stone industry reaches its remarkable development in the final period of Latest Valdai Ice age. A.A.Velichko et al. (1992) divides the process of ancient peopling through the East-European plain in four periods. They coincide with the periods of landscape development: pre-Bryansk (up to 32000 years ago), Bryansk (32000-24000 years ago), the time of maximum temperature fall (23000 - 17000 years ago) and Latest Valdai (16000 - 12000 years ago). The cultural layer of the Sunghir settlement lies in the depth of Bryansk soil.

    Anthropological findings

    Four burials were discovered at the settlement area that contained human bones (graves 1 and 2).

    (view picture 1)

    (view picture 2)

    Besides, one skull and two fragments of human femur at the settlement area and two human skeletons outside the settlement area without cultural remains were found. We had used the numbering of finds finally proposed by Otto N. Bader:

    Sunghir 1(S1) - male burial at the bottom of the grave 1;

    Sunghir 2(S2) - southern burial of a juvenile at the bottom of the grave 2;

    Sunghir 3(S3) - northern burial of a child at the bottom of the grave 2

    Sunghir 4(S4) - a femur without epiphysis in the juvenile's burial in the grave 2

    Sunghir 5(S5) - a female skull from the surface of the grave 1

    Sunghir 6(S6) - remains of the upper burial in the grave 2

    Sunghir 7(S7) - a fragment of femur between the graves 1 and 2

    Sunghir 8(S8) - remains of a skeleton in new quarry, discovered in 1969

    Sunghir 9(S9) - a skeleton, discovered in new quarry in 1972

    Skeletons S 7-9 are not preserved in anthropological collection.

    All preserved skeletons of Sunghir individuals are housed in Istitute of Ethnology and Anthropology of RAS, Moscow. Results of anthropological investigation of the collection presented in book Homo Sungirensis...

    Sexing, ageing

    Sex and age estimation was carried out for eight individuals whose remains were found at excavation of Sunghir site. The preservation of these skeletons is various, so we used different techniques for sex and age estimation. The sex was determined by basic criteria of specific development of an osteal relief on a skull, under the form of a hip bone and on the general sizes of long bones. The measurements of the maximum diameter of humerus and of femur heads were used in sex estimation.
    For non-adult individuals age estimation was carried out on the base of teeth eruption, epiphyseal closure and length of long bones without epiphyses. The ageing of adults was based on criteria of occlusal wear of teeth, obliteration of skull sutures, preservation of surface joints of long bones, pubis symphyses and on some other additional parameters.

    Sunghir 1.
    The first age definition was done by G.F. Debets in 1967: "a skeleton certainly belong to male; age at death of him is about 55-65 years recording to a condition of skull closures. The teeth are strongly erased, height of all crowns is about 4-5 mm. However any traces of a senile involution neither on a skull nor on other bones were not noticed" .
    Another observation was carried out by V.V. Bunak in 1973. "Due to the results of the measurements of skull sizes, especial of mandibles, and the details of form of the mandible frame we can say the it is male... The condition of the teeth indicates the age of Sunghir man as possible late maturity ".
    According to observations of A. P. Buzhilova in 1998, the appreciable uniform attrition of teeth crowns specify a wide age interval, older than 45 years. The amplified development of bone relief in the attachment area of a m. masseter testifies possible functional age influence on teeth. The X-ray analysis of a mandible allows to be convinced, that the roots of teeth are not closed by secondary dentine. Therefore, the appreciable occlusal wear of molar teeth, probably has functional and not age effect. Apparently, the person was not older than 50 years. The skeleton has not some expressed attributes of senile changes and age pathology neither in macro-, nor in a microstructure. All surfaces of large joints were smooth, without the expressed local growths. The X-ray analysis showed a normal structure of an bone tissue without the expressed processes of an osteomalacia and porous in any parts of the skeleton.
    Finally, M.B. Mednikova pointed out that in spite of the fact that the Sunghir 1 skeleton has shown the lowered corticalisation and relative increasing of medullar space, this tendency does not reflect porous or involutive age changes.
    The analysis of a microstructures executed on a sample of a transversal section through middle part of the diaphysis of femora also showed the absence of involutive age changes (Khrisanfova in 1984). Histological researches of M.V. Kozlovskaya allowed to describe the bigger part of a histological structure of compact zone. The preserved lateral parts of sample suggest that the bone had an osteon zone. It proves the older age of the individual. The absence of resorbtion of osteon systems in perimedullar area allows to approve, that post-definitive age processes were not developed. Therefore, the histological description allows to assume, that the age of the individual from Sunghir 1 was mature.

    So, all researchers noticed the mature age of the person, while the senile degenerative changes were excluded by all criteria. The sex of the individual was defined as male.

    Sunghir 2 and Sunghir 3
    It was possible to perform a detailed dental morphological study. The elder individual, the adolescent Sunghir 2, had an incomplete set of permanent teeth: of the four wisdom teeth only the first upper one appeared, the rest sitting deeply in alveolar. The young age of the individual is apparent not only from the indication of very slight dental attrition, but also by the incomplete eruption of some teeth, namely, of the second lower premolars, second upper molars, and right lower canine. On the basis of the above data together with the indication of the beginning of wisdom teeth eruption, the age of this individual can be approximately estimated as 13 years.
    The second individual, Sunghir 3, was younger than Sunghir 2. This is suggested by the dentition. All of the third molars are absent, and all of the four second molars are still in the alveolar. Among premolars only the first upper left one could be seen, though still sitting in the alveolar. Deciduous molars were still present but ready to be lost, with strong attrition and strongly resorbed roots. We suggest an age at death of the Sunghir 3 individual not exceeding 10 years.
    The good preservation of postcranial skeletons of individuals from Sunghir 2 and Sunghir 3 allowed us to use the analysis of morphological features of the remains to study the age and sex of the persons.
    The age estimation based on the teeth analysis of Sunghir children and compared to the modern data of accelerated children gave following results: Sunghir 2 (male) is 12-14 years old, Sunghir 3 ( female (?)) is 9-10 years old.
    The molecular-genetic analysis suggests that the individual from Sunghir 3 was a female (see Book).

    Sunghir 4

    The morphological description of diaphysis of the femur, buried together with the teenagers in the grave 2, allowed not only to attribute the individual to Homo sapiens, but also to make hypothetical sex and age definition.
    The development of an bone relief, internal large structure and the perimeter of diaphysis allowed us to determinate this individual as a male. On the other hand, the features of a sexual dimorphism of Upper Palaeolithic population are unexplored. It is possible that the female population had some andromorphic characteristics. One can suppose, that the sexual dimorphism was low, which complicates the sex determination. Nevertheless, we can suppose, that individual from Sunghir 4 was a male.
    The transversal section of a diaphysis of the left femoral bone was studied in order to show the character of age changes of the individual. The superficial compact layers were badly conserved. However, some parts of bone tissue presented area without osteon structures. The density of osteon location is lower, their diameters are large than it was described for the individual from Sunghir 1. Here one can observe the obvious excess of osteoblastic above osteoclastic activity. These features allow to assume the adult age of the individual (Adultus 2).

    Sunghir 5

    The skull of Sunghir 5 belonged to the female individual by definition of G.F. Debetsþ On the other hand, the large sizes of a skull, the degree of the development of occipital and suborbital relief and the cerebral contours are closed to parameters of male series. The skull index is 67,7, that is minimal for Palaeolithic female skulls and close to minimal for male skulls.
    Described disgarmony of the isolated skull forces to address to a problem of an originality of the hormonal status of the population of Sunghir site. As we wrote above, the possible andromorphism of female of the series testify that the hormonal status of the Palaeolithic women could considerably differ from modern, and also that the skull of Sunghir 5 belongs to the female.
    The age estimation is ambiguous, because of the absence of the teeth, and the bad condition of bone surface. Anyway, the teeth were lost in post-mortem period, that is why any traces of a senile involution are not appreciable.

    Sunghir 6
    Very bad preservation of a skeleton from top burial of a grave 2 complicates sex and age diagnostics. In opinion of V.N. Zvyagin, the sex of the individual is probably female. Age diagnostics is absent.
    Some measuring and indices of mandible shows that the individual was a male. This is contradicted with the general small sizes of the jaw of alveolus. It is necessary to pay attention to the fact, that height and thickness of the mandible is less, than the same sizes of jaws of children Sunghir 2 and Sunghir 3. So, the sex of person, probably, female. Age was not determined.

    Sunghir 7 and Sunghir 8
    Sunghir 7. On the opinion of V.V. Bunak, a fragment of the femurs, which have been found between graves 1 and 2, belongs to the teenager. Hungarian anthropologist Tibor Toot communicated to Prof. O.Bader that the human remain belonged to young woman (oral communication).

    Sunghir 8. The both fragments of skull and femur are lost. These human remains belongs to the woman 16-17 years old, by definition of V.N. Zvyagin. The researcher has come to such conclusion after the histological study of femoral and parietal bones

  2. #2

    Post Re: Sunghir

    Morphology about

    The method of cranial and postcranial measurements, used in this particular study can be referred to as classical, going back to famous methodical guide of R.Martin, the leader of the Zurich school of anthropologists (Martin, 1914; 1928; Martin, Saller, 1956-1964).
    Teeth of the Sunghir 2 and 3 individuals have been measured according to R.Martin's technique. Vestibulolingual diameters and crown heights have been measured.
    An original craniotrigonmetric technique has been developed for the study of Upper Palaeolithic Sunghir finds. The originality of this technique is implied in the fact that angular dimensions of the skull have been studied outside the sagittal projection (S. Vassilyev).

    Sunghir 1

    T.I. Alexeeva:

    There exist various views among physical anthropologists regarding race formation. Albeit, there is a feeling of agreement among the anthropologists who studied the Sunghir individuals concerning their taxonomy.
    The Sunghir man is peculiar and did not stem from the morphological diversity range of Upper Palaeolithic Eastern European specimens. The Sunghir man is only similar to one or another Upper Palaeolithic finds, and hardly anything more can be added to what has been already said. The finds are in most cases represented by single individuals, and the diversity of morphological characteristics could only be increased by individual variations, not to mention the fact that not all of the skulls could have been measured in full metric details.
    The Sunghir brain case is close in morphology to that Predmosti specimens. The same is true for the upper facial index. However the face is significantly taller and wider, and the nasal index is much bigger, similar to those of Solutre skulls. Sunghir 5

    M. M. Gerassimova:

    The skull was badly preserved, as it stayed for a long time on the surface. Most part of the vault was restored by M.M.Gerassimov, while the facial skeleton was restored by the author of the present communication. The suggested reconstruction gives a general idea about the skull but does not claim great accuracy, as some of the skull fragments could not be attached to each other. There is no doubt that the skull belongs to Homo s. sapiens. Dolichocrania together with a broad and low face forms a combination of features differing from the one of Sunghir 1. The closest analogy seems to be the male skull of Kostenki II.

    Sunghir 2 and Sunghir 3

    T.A. Trofimova:

    The boy's skull Sunghir 2 is large. Its mesocephalic cerebral cranium has pentagonal form. The superciliary arches, the relief of the bridge, the mastoid processes and occipital tuber are developed weakly. The high and narrow face is mesognathic and the alveolar part is prognathic. The nose bones project very feebly. The piriform opening is narrow and high. The orbits are low and rectangular.
    The girl's skull Sunghir 3 in many aspects differs from the boy's one. It is wider and lower. The cerebral cranium is brachycephalic. Visceral cranium is wider; the face is higher, with shorter and wider projecting nose. The orbits are higher and wider.
    The Sunghir boy and girl are buried in one grave. They differ greatly in complex of signs. At the same time, both skulls preserve some archaic traits. The author interprets this fact as a phenomenon of human craniologic polymorphism in the European Upper Paleolith. In author's opinion, it is possible, that the main components of modern races already existed in Paleolithic time.

    Postcranial skeletons

    E.N. Khrissanfova:

    A number of such traits that can be seen in the Sunghir man, go back to "proto-Cro-Magnons" of the Near East, and - in retrospect - to archaic African Sapiens (Broken Hill), or even to early African Erectus (Nariokotome III). These traits are: tall stature (a reconstructed stature for the Sunghir 1 man is 180.9 cm), absolute and relative lengthening of the forearm and foreleg, a trend towards shortening of the spine, i.e. such traits that are most typical to some modern equatorial groups.


    To sum up, the longitudinal development and body proportions of the Sunhgir 1 are typical for representatives of the Early Upper Paleolithic and differ from the body built of Magdalenians. Sunghir 1 belongs to the group of the giant Cro-Magnon population. The extremely large length of clavicle didn't influence the estimation of the similarity of Sunghir 1 to the people of the Early Upper Paleolithic. Following the results of the principal component analysis one can see that large shoulder breadth reflects the adaptation to the cold stress. Apparently, the gradual intensification of the breadth development of the shoulder girdle, showed by Sunghir 1 (56 ° of North Latitude) and Magdalenians is not incidental. Nevertheless, there are no any specific traits, connecting Sunghir 1 and the European Neanderthals (opposite to Mousterians from Levant).


    M.B.Mednikova: Sunghir 1 and 4

    To estimate the peculiar traits of inner structure in tubular bones of the adult Sunghirian, data on fossil hominids and later representatives of Homo sapiens sapiens have been used.The Sunghir 1 individual was "lighter built" than the majority of groups under comparison. The increase of compactisation index in the right femoral mid-shaft was caused by a strong thickening of the posterior wall due to hypertrophy of the external structure - the pilaster. Hence it has a completely different origin than in Homo erectus. The relatively wide medullary canal together with macroskelia contributed to a sharp increase of bone marrow cavity. This kind of structure is responsible for the adaptation to such formative factors as hypoxia and high protein level in traditional diets. In this connection it seems extremely important that the closest values of compactisation indices and morphological similarities are seen in the Bronze Age Afansyevo people who lived at high altitudes and were apparently adapted to oxygen deficit. Judging by the size of the bone marrow cavity of the humerus, Sunghir 1 is located between Arctic Mongoloids and the Afanasyevo people from Altai, which also supports the hypoxia hypothesis. On the other hand, the trend towards inner gracilisation of the skeleton is registered in the inhabitants of the ancient taiga of Southern Oleny Ostrov and in Khants - fishermen, hunters and deer-breeders well adapted to severe, extremely continental conditions of the taiga zone in Western Siberia. The higher volume of bone marrow cavity in the Sunghir man testifies to the intensity of hemopoietic function and, possibly, of heat exchange.
    The main difference between the Sunghir man and the Afanasyevo people lies in the increased massiveness of the inner structure of the clavicle, and in the predominant development of the cortical layer in the left upper limb. It may be suggested that these features have functional significance and are connected with the peculiar physical activity of Upper Palaeolithic populations. Sunghir 2 and 3

    The Sunghir children show an undifferentiated set of morphological characteristics when compared to later representatives of Homo sapiens sapiens. "African" proportions in lower limb structure are combined with "Arctic" ratios of arm to leg lengths and with "Hypereuropean" shoulder width. "Tropical" traits in linear body proportions are not found in the Sunghir children: their arm length to leg length ratios resemble those of ancient Indians and Arctic Mongoloids. Due to their large body size young Sunghirians are close to modern Europeoid children of the North-American continent. The main difference of the Sunghirians is their prolonged period of linear growth provided by late epiphyseal growth. Macroskelia and dolichomorphia, together with the already mentioned late appearance of synostoses, could indicate hypogonadism. However, these traits are combined with such "andromorphic" indicators as extreme values of shoulder width, increased corticalisation of the skeleton and quick attainment of definitive size. In modern humans increased levels of sex hormones, though bringing the same morphological consequences, prevent the activity of somatotropic hormone and stop diaphyseal growth, which did not happen in the Sunghir children. M.B.Mednikova:

    Cross-sectional geometry of tubular bones

    The cross-section in the mid-shaft of the left femur of Sunghir 1 has a shape typical for Upper Palaeolithic Cro-Magnon humans. The spherical shape of the medullary canal and the extent of pilaster development are most similar to those of Pavlov 1. Among early hominids from the Near East a similar morphological pattern is typical for Qafseh 9, 8 and Skhul 5.
    Somewhat slighter development of the anterior - posterior compact layer, uniform development of lateral and medial layers together with external eurymeria produce set of traits typical for Sunghir 4 individual as compared to the Sunghir 1. According to the femoral cross-section the Sunghir 4 seems to be more similar to Pavlov 1 and contrasting different with archaic morphological variants Tabun 1 and 3, Amud 1, Shanidar 3, 5 and from classical European Neanderthals Neandertal 1, Spy 1.

  3. #3

    Post Re: Sunghir

    How those humans looked like

    Reconstruction of facial soft tissues was done as a sculptural portrait, or as a graphic image. Sculptural reconstruction is more informative than graphic due to its volume but at the same time it is much more complicate. Graphic reconstruction is based on the skull craniogram. Soft tissues of a head are reproduced by special methods according to craniogram. Firstly, the light-copy of craniogram is obtained. The copy is taken in such a way that only the reconstructed profile without skull details is traced clearly. Relief of the skull, degree of visceral cranium impression, zygoma projection and other facial features were taken into account during shadows' plotting. Graphic reconstruction always precedes sculptural reconstruction as a control. For sculptural reconstruction firm plasticine is used. It is applied directly on a skull or on its copy. The method was developed in the Laboratory of Plastic Reconstruction of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of RAS.

    A sculptural reconstruction based on a male skull from the grave 1 (Sunghir 1) was performed by M.M.Gerassimov in 1968. (view picture). Later in 1999 G.V.Lebedinskaya presented graphic reconstruction of Sunghir 1 based on the skull craniogram.(view picture).
    The reconstruction of appearance Sunghir 5 female was proposed by G.V.Lebedinskaya in 1998.(view picture). In 1974 the reconstruction of physical appearance of the boy (Sunghir 2) was performed by G.V.Lebedinskaya , (view picture) and that one of the girl Sunghir 3 was done by T.S.Surnina.(view picture).

  4. #4

    Post Re: Sunghir

    Ecology and evolution

    According to palaeogeographic, stratigraphic and geochronologic data there were several cycles of settlement across the territory of the plain in Upper Palaeolith. The Sunghir site corresponds to the earliest of them (30000 - 22000 years ago). Some mildening of climate, lower activity of soil formation processes, stabilisation of the surface and landscapes in the conditions of permafrost was characteristic for that time. These facts allowed the man not only to exist at nearly 50° N.L., but also to travel far to the North. Results of such settlement are reflected both in the appearance of specific morphophysiologic complexes, promoting the adaptation to special ecological conditions, and in transformation of cultural experiences. Colonisation of new regions collides people with unusual hunting bag and widens the variety of edible plants. Those facts in their turn stimulate working out of new hunting methods and change the character of nutrition. The process of accommodation to new climate includes transformation of dwellings, clothes and other signs of cultural adaptation, connected by V.V.Bunak (1924) with the ergological factor of acclimatisation of the newly come population. The total of cultural adaptation signs forms the specificity of human behaviour and life style.

    Morphological variability

    Two morphological variants - high-stature and low-stature (or gracile) - are clearly distinguished in the European Upper Paleolithic. According to these features, the men from Grotte des Enfants 4, Barma Grande 5, Predmosti 3, Pavlov and Sunghir 1 can belong to the group of giant-high variants. European Cro-Magnon 2, Predmosti 9, Predmosti 14, Paviland, Levantian Ohalo 2, African Wadi Kubbaniya belong to the middle-high male group. Relatively low stature was demonsrated by males Predmosti 5, Neuessing, Arene Candide 12. Arene Candide 2, 3, 5 and Riparo Continenza belongs the most low-stature group.
    We used the methods of standard statistical analysis to compare characteristics of the morphotype from Sunghir 1.
    The examined sample of the Upper Paleolithic males was divided into two main clusters. The first cluster contains pair-group : Grotte des Enfants 4 - Barma Grande 2 and Predmosti 3 - Sunghir 1. The second cluster contains pairs Predmosti 9 - Cough's Cave; Predmosti 14 - Oberkassel 1 and Arene Candide 5 separated from them. The method of principal components confirmed the designated grouping. It outlined that the morphological type of Predmosti 3 is less differentiated then Cro-Magnons from Grimaldi on the one hand, and Sunghir 1, on the other. At the second stage of analysis we added the data of more ancient male hominids to the fossils from the Upper Paleolithic. The remains from earlier finds did not have the same level of preservation that is why we used the codification if the meanings on concrete measurement were absent. This fact can partly diminish the reliability of the obtained distribution. The clusterization revealed two large samples. The first consists of Grimaldi males, Predmosti 3 - Skhul 4, Skhul 5 - Kebara 2 and something apart - Sunghir 1. The second cluster includes Predmosti 9 - Shanidar 1, Predmosti 14 - Oberkassel 1, Cough's Cave - Neanderthal 1, Le Regourdou 1, Shanidar 4,5 and Arene Candide.
    In the planes of the first and the second principal components (Fig.30.7) the dichotomous division on Grimaldi people and Predmosti 3- Sunghir 1 with the connecting point Skhul 4 is notable. The other Near Eastern hominids as from Skhul 5 and Kebara 2 are closer to the group, uniting Shanidar 1 and 3 with the European Neanderthals Le Regourdou, Neanderthal 1 together with the males from the Early Upper Paleolithic ( Predmosti 9, 14, Oberkassel 1).

    Surviving strategy
    The indicators of physiologic stress were analysed on three Sunghirian individuals. The results showed that these people had adequate reactions relatively to their life conditions. The quantity and the character of these indicators are known for the Upper Palaeolithic population. This circumstance allows us to consider Sunghirian population as typical representatives of Upper Palaeolithic.
    Reconstruction of everyday activity showed that the comparison of the inner and the outer massiveness indexes of Sunghirians don't give synonymous results. According to the signs of the inner structure the adult individual is opposed to Sunghirian children. However, the development of the outer relief evidences relative similarity to the younger child Sunghir 3.
    On one hand, these data can be regarded as the evidence of the existence of some specialisation in activity of the Sunghir site inhabitants. On the other hand, the analogies of physical complexes of individuals indicate the "universal" economic occupations of Sunghirians. Presence of gender differences in the group, when one or another type of activity is characteristic to men or women of Sunghir site is the important result of the study.

    (view picture 1)
    (view picture 2)
    (view picture 4)
    (view picture 5)

    Palaeozoologic analysis of the osteologic material from the Sunghir site revealed clear hunting specialisation - hunt for fur-bearing animals. Apparently, cold climate made it necessary to intensify this type of hunt to obtain materials for clothing. The reconstructed cloth makes it possible to see how adequate the fur was used and how ergologic the cloth was. Proceeding from the results of the biological indicators, it can be supposed that adult and subadult (preadolescent) males of the group participated in hunts. The Sunghirians' clothes ornamented with thousands of beads show how labour-consuming this work was. This type of locomotive activity is revealed in girl's skeleton. It allows us to suppose that the work was done by females. Besides this, carrying of the weights on the head was the work of the female part of the community also, because nor juvenile, neither man possessed this indicator.
    Fire pits, tens of fireplaces, agglomerations of bones, the places of bone and flint processing show high human activity at the site. Nevertheless, the fact that only surface dwellings existed across the site can be considered as the evidence of its seasonal use. Placed on the surface or slightly deepened dwellings of Anosov-Mesin type with the socle of large mammoth bones or more complex constructions of Kostjonky-Avdeevo type reveals long usage duration, and consequently a settled life of the groups. Opposite to them, the Sunghir inhabitants were mobile, ready to move in one or another direction, following the needs of night's lodging, preys' processing and obtaining necessary tools. The fact is notable, that the settlement was located on height eminence, far from natural streams. Probably there were springs, serving as sources of drinking water. The tools with the traces of their usage in gathering were found at the site.
    Apparently, the Sunghirian group utterly used the patterns of the landscape and was actively adapted to the climatic factors of the environment.

    Self-consciousness and environment

    M. V. Kozlovskaya:
    The analysis of the ritual practice and the graphic activity can demonstrate the importance of the cults of fertility and abundance. Following the general account of the population dynamics from Lower to Upper Paleolithic, the growth of population was going on according to ancient biological tendency.
    The cult of the sun is one of the most ancient religious practices. Researchers as solar symbols consider circles, circumferences, and disks - all these images.

    (view picture 6)

    Application of red colour is also related with sun and renewal of life. From a practical point of view all the cults connected with the sun and other heavenly bodies assist for better human orientation in space and for development of the idea of time phenomenon. Migrations in Upper Paleolithic were very intensive. Opening up of vast territories during a very short period is the evidence of a completely different attitude towards space. Probably ancient cults could be the basis for such expansion.
    The rapid blossoming of the art at the Upper Palaeolithic societies points to mentality shift. We can try reconstruct most ancient human mentality construction with the funeral ritual description help. According mythological, psychological, neurophysiological researches the binary opposition is the most basic mechanism of human thinking. Universal ancient binary opposition can be considered as basic coordinates of Upper Paleolithic human mentality and the image of world. The description of the Sunghir funeral ritual could show the presence of the main binary oppositions: top-bottom; left-right; mail-female. It is possible that bodies location in the grave is defined by sun summer and winter solstice

    M.B. Mednikova:
    Rich finds of the Sunghir burials and complexity of the funeral rituals give many reasons to study this unique material and to discuss the attitude of Upper Paleolithic people to their dead, and to death. Concrete examples of special treatment of dead bodies were observed long before the end of the Stone Age is of particular interest.
    A German scientist G. Ullrich worked on the anthropological approach of the burials. It was based on a study of the aspects of selectivity of skeleton representation, disturbance of the integrity of separate bone fragments and reconstruction of the degree of biological consanguinity of the buried. Paleolithic bone material can be divided in two categories: isolated bone fragments and complete skeletons. Both categories are present at Sunghir site. On the one hand, there are a femoral bone from Sunghir 4, a skull from Sunghir 5, and a mandible, probably related to it.

    (view picture 7)

    On the other hand, whole skeletons were founded in Sunghir 1, 2, 3. This makes it necessary to revise patterns of conditions of Sunghir skeletons on the European scale.
    Among the isolated finds of the Upper Paleolithic the first place belongs to mandible, the second - to skull vault, the third - to teeth and the forth - to femoral bone. The same parts of the skeleton, that were founded at Sunghir site, were isolated, but in obvious semantic connection with whole skeletons - the burials of second category.
    A whole skeleton is an extremely rare find in the European Stone Age. The frequent value is only 6,1% in the Middle Paleolithic and 15,9% in the Upper Paleolithic. One can suppose, that only respected person or member of elite class were buried carefully (Ullrich, 1995). The exclusive richness and good preservation of the human skeletons in Sunghir burials 1 and 2 can support this thesis.

    A.P. Buzhilova:
    Despite the impressive amount of discovered Upper Paleolithic human bone remains (more than 500), only 16% of them can be treated as valuable (full-fledged), due to their anatomical preservation (Ulrich, 1995). One can notice the complexity of funeral rituals with use of animal bones, supplementing assemblage, lots of decoration (adornment) and/or talismans. The uncommon postures of the buried are also notable. Among such interments the double and triple burials were distinguished with undoubtedly high-developed rituals. The most famous are the twin burial in Grimaldi, Italy and Sunghir twin burial in Russia., triple burials in Barma Grande (Grimaldi, Italy) and in Dolni Vestonice (Moravia).
    Close consanguinity of the buried is the last similarity, uniting the western and eastern double burials. Taking into consideration that the sites were apparently inhabited by the groups of kindred individuals, the integument of the close relatives in one grave looks intentional. As well as the previous sign, this coincidence can be explained by deliberateness of burial, connected with definite ritual.
    So, the preadolescent individuals were presented without fail in double and triple burials from the Western and Eastern Europe. All buried are close relatives. The individuals of both sexes are represented in the burials. In triple burials two males accompany one female. Apparently, the buried are dressed in ritual clothing, embroidered with shells and animal teeth. Buried men and women have a large amount of amulet-adornment and weapons. Ochre is presented in all burials in different forms.
    Apparently, these burials are not common, but they probably connected with a certain ritual. As we have many arguments to support the idea that young relatives were buried together intentionally, it is difficult to imagine that they can die at the same time be the fatal accident. Most likely, the reason of the death was the ritual. Therefore, these rich burials can be treated as a form of sacrifice. It is known from the world ritual practice, that individual with special, socially important traits and merits were usually chosen for sacrifices.

  5. #5
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    Post AW: Re: Sunghir

    So this is how Gravettians, the carriers of haplogroup I (related to J), looked like (provided these people are representative of the "Gravettian look"). Not much different from Aurignacians, the carriers of haplogroup R.
    "slavic" languages are absolutely arteficial (Read "slawenlegende"). The "glagolica", invented by a bunch of monks, is nothing but an ancient esperanto, creating new words, definitions and alphabet out of regional slangs.

    The craddle of European Civilization comes from the North. All blond people originate from the north. So if you see a blond-blue eyed Slovene, Russian, Czech, Polak ect., you can be 100% sure that his ancient ancestors originated from "Germanics" (Germanic = Nordic).
    "slovenja" was the settelment of the Langobards = Germanics/Teutons. "Poland" of the Goths and East-Vandals ect. ect. What do "slavs" tell us about their origin?
    Some silly story that they originate from some swamps in the east and popped out of no where into history.

    So you see my dear "Gorostan" [=Triglav], you are in reality a "Germanic" indoctrinated with panslav propaganda and historic fantasy stories. ~Dr. Brandt, former TNP and Skadi member


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