Troubles in Tuva: Patterns of perimortem trauma in a nomadic community from Southern Siberia (second to fourth c. CE )

Milella, Marco; Caspari, Gino; Kapinus, Yulija; Sadykov, Timur; Blochin, Jegor; Malyutina, Anna; Keller, Marcel; Schlager, Stefan; Szidat, Sönke; Alterauge, Amelie; Lösch, Sandra (2021). Troubles in Tuva: Patterns of perimortem trauma in a nomadic community from Southern Siberia (second to fourth c. CE ). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 174(1), pp. 3-19. Wiley 10.1002/ajpa.24142

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Objectives: Warfare is assumed to be one of the defining cultural characteristics of steppe nomads in Eastern Eurasia. For the first-centuries CE, a period of political turmoil in Northern China and Southern Siberia, relatively few data are, however, available about the degree and variability of violence in these communities. Here, we provide new data on violence among steppe nomads during the firstcenturies CE by analyzing the type, anatomical distribution, and demographic distribution of perimortem trauma at Tunnug1 (Tuva, Southern Siberia—second to fourth c. CE).
Materials and Methods: Perimortem traumas were assessed on 87 individuals representing both sexes and different age classes. The timing of the lesions was assessed based on morphological criteria, including the absence and presence of bone reactive processes and the relative plasticity of the bone at the moment of impact. The distribution by age, sex, and anatomical location of trauma was analyzed by means of logistic models, Fisher's exact tests, and 3D visualizations.
Results: A total of 130 perimortem traumas, including chop marks, slice marks, penetrating lesions, and blunt traumas were identified on 22 individuals. Chop marks were mostly at the level of the skull and vertebrae and were likely caused by bladed weapons. Slice marks were found on the cervical vertebrae and cranium and may be the result of throat slitting and scalping by means of smaller bladed implements. Traumas were more frequent in males, and their presence is not correlated with age.
Discussion: This study adds new data to the few available regarding violence among steppe nomadic cultures and provides new insights about the effects of political instability on the life of the people inhabiting Eastern Eurasia during the early centuries CE.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of Archaeological Sciences > Near Eastern Archaeology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Forensic Medicine
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Anthropology

UniBE Contributor:

Milella, Marco; Caspari, Gino Ramon; Szidat, Sönke; Alterauge, Amelie Sophie and Lösch, Sandra

Subjects:

200 Religion
500 Science > 540 Chemistry
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)

ISSN:

0002-9483

Publisher:

Wiley

Funders:

Organisations 0 not found.
[184] UNSPECIFIED
[53] NIH National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Organisations 656 not found.

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marco Milella

Date Deposited:

17 Sep 2020 16:52

Last Modified:

16 Dec 2020 17:00

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/ajpa.24142

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.146574

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/146574

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