In modern paleoanthropological studies of human remains, a significant role, as an additional source of information, plays variational anatomy characteristics. One of these characteristics is the inconsistent bones of the skull. It has different causes: genetic factors, deformation and disturbances of the skull symmetry, chronic high intracranial pressure, and pathological processes. There are 3 types of inconstant bones of the human skull: sutural (wormian), fontanel and insular bones. The purpose of the research is to study the variant anatomy of inconstant bones of the human skull on the anthropological materials from the grave field of Saltovo-Mayaki culture (archaeological early medieval culture of the Pontic steppe regions of the Ukraine and Russia). It is located near Nova Husarivka village (called Chervona Husarivka until 2016) of the Kharkiv region and dates back to the middle VIII – the beginning of the X century. Material and methods. The research was carried out on 52 skulls of adults which are currently stored in the osteological collection of the Department of Human Anatomy of the Karazin Kharkiv National University. Results and discussion. The sutural bones were noted in 25 skulls (48%), the fontanel bones were detected in 8 skulls (15.4%). One skull (1.9%) was with intertemporal bone. There were no insular bones among studied skulls. The most common sutural bones were in the lambdoid suture (20 skulls, 48%). The multiple bones (from 5 to 18) were in 5 skulls. The location of the lambdoid suture bones in 21 skulls (46.7%) was bilateral, in 13 (28.9%) it was only right-sided, and in 11 (24.4%) it was only left-sided. The bones of the parietomastoid suture were in 8 skulls (11.5%). These were 1-2 bones (5-11 mm), elongated, round, triangular or irregular. In 4 skulls (50%) they were bilateral, in 2 skulls (25%) they were left-sided, and in 2 more skulls (25%) they were right-sided. The sagittal suture bones were in 4 skulls (7.7%). These were single bones with irregular sharp or elongated (from 10×15 to 10×28 mm). Bones of coronal suture were in 2 skulls (3.9%). Bones of squamosal suture were in 2 skulls (3.9%) They were of elongated, quadrilateral or trapezoidal shape (8×20 and 8×15 mm) and were located bilaterally. The bone of the occipitomastoid suture (6×12 mm) was in 1 skull (1.9%). The mastoid fontanelle bone (8-19 mm) was most often detected among the fontal bones. They were in 6 skulls (11.5%). The bones of the sphenoidal fontanelle were in 3 skulls (5.8%). The location of bones in 2 skulls (66.7%) was bilateral; in 1 skull (33.3%) they were left-sided. These were single bones of elongated, quadrangular or triangular shapes (8-18 mm). The bones of the occipital fontanel were founded on 4 skulls (7.7%). These were single bones of triangular or irregular shape (from 5×9 to 18×25 mm). In one case, the bone was double. Interparietal bone was found in 2 skulls (3.8%). In both cases, these were single bones, elongated, and diamond-shaped (20×36 mm and 40×47 mm). Conclusions. The results of our research showed that inconstant bones of the skull were a fairly common variant of the skull anatomy among the studied anthropological material of Saltovo-Mayaki culture. Typically, inconstant bones were small in size and located predominantly in the posterior sections of the skull (in the lambda-like and parietal-pinnacle seams). Skulls with single additional bones were quite common. In the investigated turtles non-permanent bones were often located immediately in several seams or combined with parietal bone. We rarely found skulls with multiple additional inconstant bones. In addition, an intertemporal bone was also a rare variant.
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