Men of the Early Metall Epoch


<p"msonormal" />The Ananyino culture existed on the Kama and its tributaries as well as on the Vetluga and the adjoining section of the Volga between 800-200 BC. This culture had probably descended from local Late Bronze Age cultures of the Kama basin. During the Ananyino period, due to military and political tensions, a number of fortified settlements were built. They were located on high river banks, and were defended by ramparts and moats and housed from 80 to200 people. Hunting and collecting economy was replaced by agriculture and cattle breeding. The Ananyino people bred horses and cattle. The main cultivated culture was millet.

<p"msonormal" />The material culture of the Ananyino period is rich and diverse. While bronze metallurgy was still highly developed, bronze artifacts (socketed axes, celts, spearheads and arrowheads, plaques, pendants, etc.) were more and more often used along with iron ones such as knives, spearheads, arrowheads, and swords. Bone items, too, were common. Clay vessels were round-based and were decorated with cord, comb, and pit patterns. Variation of the funerary rite testifies to economic stratification: rich burials are opposed to poor ones.

<p"msonormal" />The physical type of Ananyino people is especially noteworthy. Crania from Ananyino burials were studied by T.A. Trofimova, G.F. Debetz, M.S. Akimova, and other anthropologists. The skeletal sample from Lugovskoy burial ground near Yelabuga, Tatarstan, dating from the early stage of Ananyino culture, is the most representative. People were low-statured (158-166 cm in males) and had markedly Mongoloid features – very flat faces and flat noses. Faces were low while being broad. In some individuals, Mongoloid features were less expressed, probably due to Caucasoid admixture. People living in more southern parts of the Ananyino distribution range were Caucasoids.

<p"msobodytextindent" />The Ananyino population, then, was heterogeneous. Ancestors of people similar to those buried at Lugovskoy had probably migrated to the Kama area from the east (Western Siberia) or from northern Urals, while the Caucasoids had come from the south or southwest. Hybridization between them had begun long before the Ananyino epoch and spread across vast territories of the forest belt of northeastern Europe.

<p"msobodytextindent" />M.M. Gerasimov has reconstructed the appearance of a male from Lugovskoy burial ground. In his opinion, this was a member of an ancient Mongoloid type, one that has been preserved in modern Nenets and Mansi. Features of that type are also traced among the Mari, Udmurts, Chuvashes, Tatars, and several peoples of western Siberia.



Location of Lugovskoy burial
ground, Ananyino culture.

  Man from Lugovskoy burial ground,
reconstructed by M.M. Gerasimov.
  Artifacts from Ananyino sites

Mikhail Gerasimov’s Career
Mikhail Gerasimov as an Archaeologist
Reconstruction of the Face from the Cranium
“Sinanthropus” (Member of the Species Homo Erectus)
Homo Neanderthalensis (Neanderthal man)
Neanderthal Child from Teshik-Tash
People of the Upper Paleolithic
People of the Mesolithic
People of the Early Iron Age
Drawings by M.M. Gerasimov