Prof.D.Tumen, Department of Anthropology & Archaeology, The National University of Mongolia
Figure 1. Dendrogram showing relationship of the Neolithic
populations from Asia (Penrose shape distance
analysis for 15 cranial variables)
the archaeological field work carried out in 2002-2004 there were
discovered several unknown before archaeological sites, belonging to
different historical periods ( from Neolithic up to Mongolian Period) in
Durilag Nars, Tsuvraa Uul and Bayan-Uul mountain areas in Khulenbuir
sum, Dornod aimag. There were excavated around 30 graves dated to Hunnu
and Mongolian Periods in the archaeological sites and found unique
archaeological findings and human remains which are well preserved.
aims of the paleoanthropological study are 1). To carry out
craniological studies of human remains yielded from archaeological
excavation carried out in Eastern Mongolia: 2). To conduct comparative
morphological analysis for ancient populations from the Eastern
Mongolian and Northeast Asian based on obtained craniofacial data on the
ancient Mongolian populations to test the biological and historical
relationship of studied prehistoric populations from the Eastern
Mongolia and the Northeast Asia.
Material and methods:
series used to provide a comparative foundation for the Eastern
Mongolian remains encompass 26 Neolithic samples, 28 Bronze and Early
Iron samples and 14 Hunnu samples from Inner Asia. Fifteen cranial
variables ( five for the neurocranium, and ten for the facial skeleton)
of those defined by Martin (1928) V.P. Alexseev and G.F. Debets (1961)
and W.Bass (1987) provide the metrical basis for the current study.
The comparative study was conducted separately for each historical
periods. Penrose shape distances were calculated between each pair of
The main upshot of the paleoanthropological studies of the prehistoric populations from Eastern Mongolia is the following:
1. In general, prehistoric populations from Eastern Mongolia is characterized by mongoloid anthropological features.
Hunnu populaton is not anthropologically homogeneous. It may be
explained by extensive migration of nomads from Eurasian steppe
(Caucasoid or mixed populations from West to East and Mongoloids from
East to West) which lasted during the Bronze and Early Iron Age and
Hunnu period in the Inner Asia.
3. Comparative study of populations
from different historical periods of Mongolia clearly demonstrated
genetic and biological relationship between Neolithic population from
Eastern Mongolia, Bronze age populations with slab grave culture from
Central and Eastern Mongolia and as well as Hunnu, Early Mongolian and
Mongolian Period and contemporary populations of Mongolia.
Figure 2. Dornod, Bulgan sum, Norvilin Uul site, Neolithic period, Male, adultus
Prof.D.Tumen, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, The National University of Mongolia
nonmetric, i.e. epigenetic variation, is quite popular in analyzing
osteological remains at the population level and has successfully been
used to evaluate the evolutionary relations and biological affinities
among ancient populations (Finnegan and Marcsik, 1979; Ishida and Dodo,
1992; 1993; 1997; Kozintsev, 1972, Ossenberg, 1990; Sutter, Mertz, 2004;
Wenger, 1974). The theoretical basis of any such investigation is that
1) the traits are highly genetic in nature; 2) that populations vary in
frequencies between even closely related populations; 3) that some
consistency is seen without regard to environmental variation; 4) the
traits do not vary significantly with age; 5) show little sex
difference; 6) show little correlation between the traits used; and 7)
are easily defined and have the advantage of being scoreable for highly
fragmented skeletal materials.
These above assumptions have been
tested on many ancient and contemporary populations from Europe, North
America and Northeast Asia and were discussed concerning their
ethnogenesis and biological relationships with the populations from the
contiguous regions. However, ancient populations inhabited the territory
of Mongolia have not been studied by its non-metirc or epigenetic
traits so far, whereas the comparative craniometrical and osteological
study of the paleoanthropological materials from different historical
periods of Mongolia have been done to a certain extent (Tumen, 1977;
1985; 1987; Tumen et al., 2002).
Material and methods
58 more or less well preserved skulls uncovered during archaeological
expeditions carried out in Eastern Mongolia since 1960s were studied for
the presence or absence of 81 nonmetric cranial traits. The traits were
selected based on their successful use by other researchers in
biodistance studies, and their scoring procedures and descriptions are
well known in the literature (Finnegan and Marcsik, 1979; Hauser and
DeStefano, 1989; Movsesyan et al., 1975).
Nonmetric cranial trait
frequencies were calculated using the "individual count” method
described by Turner and Scott (1977), where if an individual exhibited
asymmetry in the expression of a given trait, the greatest level of
expression is used. This scoring procedure assumes that a single
genotype is responsible for any given trait's expression, and that when
asymmetry exists among bilateral traits, the side exhibiting the maximum
expression is closest to the true underlying genotype for the trait.
The procedure also maximizes sample sizes; in cases where a given trait
is observable for one antimere but not the other, the observable side is
counted as the maximum expression for that trait.
comparison of the results gained from the eastern Mongolian samples
with those of Ishida and Dodo found among Siberian and Far East ancient
and modern populations (1992) and Circum Pacific region populations
(1993; 1997) can be summarized as follows:
Biological distances for
the 8 Mongolian and 12 Siberian populations were computed based on the
23 nonmetric cranial traits. The central Mongolian population from
Mongolian period and Western Mongolians from Xiongnu period were the
closest to each other. The Eastern and Central Mongolian populations
from Xiongnu period showed some affinities and with Chandmani population
from Iron age in Western Mongolia formed another subcluster. Eastern
Mongolian population from Mongolian period and modern population of
Mongolia were the most distant from the other ancient populations.
the dendrogram of relationships among ancient and modern Mongolian and
other Asian populations, Xiongnu populations from Central and Eastern
Mongolia were closely linked, while Central Mongolian population from
Mongolian period and Western Mongolian population from Xiongnu period
were the closest among all the populations. Western Mongolian Chandmani
population from Iron age and Eastern Mongolian population from Mongolian
period linked and formed with the rest of ancient populations from
Mongolia a distinct subcluster. Siberian and other Middle and Central
Asian populations form a separate subcluster, within which Buriats and
modern Mongolians, Tagar and Kazakh show some affinities. In Fig. 2
Northeast Asian populations form another distinctive subcluster, far
from Mongolian and Middle and Central Asian populations.
M.Erdene, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology
nonmetric is quaite popular in analyzing osteological remains at the
population level and has successfully been used to evaluate the
evolutionary relations and biological affinities among ancient
populations from different regions in the world. In present study we
presented the results of cranial non-metric examination of modern Korean
population. Through comparative analyses of cranial nonmetric variation
of modern Koreans with those of ancient and modern Mongolian and other
north and east Asian populations, we seek to determine the biological
relationship of ancient and modern populations of Mongolia and Asia.
1. Erdene Myagmar, Presentation, Ancient population from Eastern Mongolia (Cranial nonmetric examination). Relics excavation state and meaning by the Jinghiz Khan Age, International Conference Korea and Eastern Asia III. Seoul, 25-26, October 2005.
2. Erdene Mygmar, Ancient population from Eastern Mongolia. Mongolian
Journal of Anthropology, Archaeology and Ethnology, 2006, Vol. 2, No. 1(254)
M.Erdene, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology
Abstract: One of the most important signs, and one that makes the greatest and most immediate impact in human communication is colour. Colour harmony, colour preferences and colour symbolism are culturally conditioned, and they vary considerably with both place and time. Here we present the results of colour
preference study of Mongols of different age, ethnicity, education and
professional background The results of the study show that most of
Mongols favour white and blue colours,
symbolizing purity and kindness, prosperity and happiness. In addition
to white and blue, some participants mention black colour as a
favourite, which symbolizes evil deed in traditional Mongolian culture.
They described black colour as an official, looking slimmer, and very
practical. This suggests us change of Mongols’ colour preference,
especially in urban areas: besides traditional favourite colours, white
and blue, black colour is becoming one of the most used and favourite
colour of Mongols under the influence of the social development and
western. Colour preference tends to change with both sex and age of
participants, while education and profession are not important factor.