Deformația craniană intenționată în comunitățile sarmatice Intentional cranial deformation in the Sarmatic communities

Smeeni M2

With the migration of the Sarmatians to the west, the artificially / intentionally deformed skulls area begins to expand. On the territory of Romania this practice has never become a mass phenomenon. Sarmatic funerary complexes on the territory of Romania with skeletons with artificial deformed skulls are quite numerous. Unfortunately, only few are anthropologically certified and published. Through this work we introduce into the scientific network a new case of artificial cranial deformation – the Sarmatic grave 2 from the Smeeni-Movila Mare tumulus (Buzau County). This artificially deformed skull was identified by O. Necrasov in the 1960s and has remained unpublished.

Three graves from the Smeeni tumulus were assigned to the Sarmatian cultural-chronological horizon. This small skeletal segment consists of two males and one female. The average age at death for the entire skeletal series is about 44 years. The general typological picture of this population segment is depicted by elements of the Mediterranid anthropological type mixed with Mongoloid, Nordoid and Proto-Europoide features.

The woman’s skull of grave 2 is artificially deformed by symmetrical compression, probably using a cephalic device made of bandages applied simply circularly around the skull. We believe it is the circular erect (fronto-occipital) deformation type, commonly encountered in the Sarmatian craniological series. This skull has Mongoloid elements in its typological structure, in the mixture with Mediterranid features. The same features, along with the artificial cranial deformation, we find at the craniological series from Pogorăşti-Botoşani (2nd – 3rd century AD) and Probota-Iaşi (2nd – 3rd century AD), but also at the skeletal series from the later graves, such as Dulceanca-Teleorman (5th century AD). The association between circular erect artificial cranial deformation and the presence of Mongoloid typological features (in female subjects, not in males) also occurs in the Sarmatian groups between the Volga and the Danube, between Don and Volga, from the lower basin of Don and from Ukraine.

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