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Warriors die young: increased mortality in early adulthood of Scythians from Glinoe, Moldova, 4th–2nd c. BC

Warriors die young: increased mortality in early adulthood of Scythians from Glinoe, Moldova, 4th–2nd c. BC
Warriors die young: increased mortality in early adulthood of Scythians from Glinoe, Moldova, 4th–2nd c. BC
Scythians were nomadic groups, playing a dominant role on the Eurasian steppes in the Early Iron Age according to many archaeological and historical sources. In this paper, we aim at assessing demographic features and dynamics of a Scythian population from the Black Sea region. We hypothesise that they differed from other societies not only in terms of culture, but also demography: their fertility was lower, and life expectancy higher than in other contemporaneous populations. We examined 220 skeletons from Glinoe (Moldova), dated to the 4th–2nd c. BC, to assess fertility and biological status from life table parameters and basic indicators of the reproductive potential. The main difference between Scythians and other Early Iron Age societies seems to be a higher probability of dying in early adulthood, which could partly result from their engagement in warfare. Scythian fertility was rather low: a finding in line with studies of modern nomads.
nomadic populations, Black Sea region, Early Iron Age, fertility, life tables, Bayesian methods
0091-7710
584-616
Łukasik, Sylwia
b0b83bf6-dfcb-4b45-9201-cf9b7c88c7e8
Bijak, Jakub
e33bf9d3-fca6-405f-844c-4b2decf93c66
Krenz-Niedbała, Marta
387b2e14-c625-4d22-ad10-1780cc77b075
Liczbińska, Grażyna
245543de-b529-45eb-be3d-c27289ee0029
Sinika, Vitaly
22ec9a13-2eae-425e-9426-d5875cce7393
Piontek, Janusz
a9d37243-6388-4570-82bd-922996700d88
Łukasik, Sylwia
b0b83bf6-dfcb-4b45-9201-cf9b7c88c7e8
Bijak, Jakub
e33bf9d3-fca6-405f-844c-4b2decf93c66
Krenz-Niedbała, Marta
387b2e14-c625-4d22-ad10-1780cc77b075
Liczbińska, Grażyna
245543de-b529-45eb-be3d-c27289ee0029
Sinika, Vitaly
22ec9a13-2eae-425e-9426-d5875cce7393
Piontek, Janusz
a9d37243-6388-4570-82bd-922996700d88

Łukasik, Sylwia, Bijak, Jakub, Krenz-Niedbała, Marta, Liczbińska, Grażyna, Sinika, Vitaly and Piontek, Janusz (2017) Warriors die young: increased mortality in early adulthood of Scythians from Glinoe, Moldova, 4th–2nd c. BC. Journal of Anthropological Research, 73 (4), 584-616. (doi:10.1086/694576).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Scythians were nomadic groups, playing a dominant role on the Eurasian steppes in the Early Iron Age according to many archaeological and historical sources. In this paper, we aim at assessing demographic features and dynamics of a Scythian population from the Black Sea region. We hypothesise that they differed from other societies not only in terms of culture, but also demography: their fertility was lower, and life expectancy higher than in other contemporaneous populations. We examined 220 skeletons from Glinoe (Moldova), dated to the 4th–2nd c. BC, to assess fertility and biological status from life table parameters and basic indicators of the reproductive potential. The main difference between Scythians and other Early Iron Age societies seems to be a higher probability of dying in early adulthood, which could partly result from their engagement in warfare. Scythian fertility was rather low: a finding in line with studies of modern nomads.

Text
Lukasik et al Scythians JAR - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 10 February 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 3 October 2017
Published date: 2017
Keywords: nomadic populations, Black Sea region, Early Iron Age, fertility, life tables, Bayesian methods
Organisations: Social Statistics & Demography

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 406447
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/406447
ISSN: 0091-7710
PURE UUID: f865f8d8-960d-43d6-b992-12220dd7a700
ORCID for Jakub Bijak: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2563-5040

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Date deposited: 10 Mar 2017 10:47
Last modified: 05 Nov 2019 06:11

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