In modern paleoanthropological studies of human remains, variant anatomy characteristics play a significant role as an additional source of information. The purpose of the work was to study the variant anatomy of hyoid bones of the human on the anthropological materials from the grave field of Saltovo-Mayaki culture (archaeological early medieval culture of the Pontic steppe regions of Ukraine and Russia). Material and methods. The research was carried out on 82 hyoid bones which are currently stored in the osteological collection of the Department of Human Anatomy of the Karazin Kharkiv National University. Results and discussion. A classic model of the structure of hyoid bone is the shape of a horseshoe with large horns that differ slightly. However, this option is only one form of structure. There are three main types of hyoid bone structure: trapezoidal, paraboloid, hyperboloid. Among the studied bones, the most common was the trapezoidal shape (47.6%); the paraboloid shape (37.8%) and the hyperboloid shape (14.6%) were less common. Among the bones that were examined, bones with hexagonal body (41.5%) prevailed, bones with rectangular (20.7%), bony (15.9%) asymmetric (13.4%), trapezoidal (8.5%) body were less frequently met. Large horns of the bones were more often flattened along their entire length (61%) or had triangular (24.4%) or rounded (14.6%) sections in the distal third. Large horns were more often bent in the sagittal plane upwards (57.3%), and in the distal third were usually characterized by a more sagittal arrangement. 90.2% of the bones had an asymmetric structure. Asymmetry was manifested in one or more, and in 9.7% there were all visual features (complete asymmetry). The most common were asymmetries of the length of the horns (45.1%), their shape (32.9%), bends in the sagittal plane (20.7%), width and body shape (13.4%). Asymmetries of the body, position, and bends of the large horns in the middle of the small were unilateral in nature. We also identified osteometric bone sizes during the study. The initial number of features (31) from the standard method of Miller et al. 1998 was minimized to 6 in this paper because the differences between the same signs of the right and left large horns according to previous studies by other authors are not statistically significant. Conclusion. In paleoanthropological studies in the study of anthropological materials not the last role is given to the variant features of skeletal bones. Thus, the study let us identify and study the features of variant anatomy and individual features of the structure of the hyoid bone on anthropological material from the grave field of Saltovo-Mayaki culture near the Nova Husarivka village.
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