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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 101, No. s2, 2006, pp. 129-132
Bioline Code: oc06238
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 101, No. s2, 2006, pp. 129-132

 en Symbolic trephinations and population structure
László Szathmáry & Antónia Marcsik

Abstract

The sample examined consists of 19 skulls with symbolic trephinations and 86 skulls without trepanations dated from the X century. Skulls were all excavated in the Great Hungarian Plain in the Carpathian Basin, which was occupied by the Hungarian conquerors at the end of the IX century. The variations of 12 cranial dimensions of the trephined skulls were investigated and compared to the skulls without trepanations after performing a discriminant analysis. The classification results evince that the variability of non-trephined skulls shows a more homogeneous and a more characteristic picture of their own group than the trephined samples, which corresponds to the notion, formed by archaeological evidence and written historical sources, of a both ethnically and socially differing population of the Hungarian conquerors. According to historical research, a part of the population was of Finno-Ugric origin, while the military leading layer of society can be brought into connection with Turkic ethnic groups. All the same, individuals dug up with rich grave furniture and supposed to belong to this upper stratum of society are primarily characterized by the custom of symbolic trephination, and, as our results demonstrate, craniologically they seem to be more heterogeneous.

Keywords
symbolic trephinations - exogamy - early Hungarians - Carpathian Basin

 
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