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Journal Article

Prehistoric Old World Scalping: New Cases from the Cemetery of Aymyrlyg, South Siberia

Eileen Murphy, Ilia Gokhman, Yuri Chistov and Ludmila Barkova
American Journal of Archaeology
Vol. 106, No. 1 (Jan., 2002), pp. 1-10
DOI: 10.2307/507186
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/507186
Page Count: 10

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Topics: Skull, Steppes, Scalp, Excavations, Cranium, Nomadic peoples, Cemeteries, Anthropological museums, Head, Skin
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Prehistoric Old World Scalping: New Cases from the Cemetery of Aymyrlyg, South Siberia
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Abstract

Evidence for three definitive cases of scalping have been identified among the corpus of human skeletal remains excavated from the Iron Age south Siberian cemetery of Aymyrlyg in Tuva. The osteological evidence for scalping that is apparent in these individuals is presented here, as are the results of a recent reexamination of a previously known south Siberian case from the royal burial in Kurgan 2 at Pazyryk. These four Iron Age Siberian cases of scalping are important in part because they support the literary references pertaining to the practice contained in Herodotus's Histories, written in the fifth century B.C. Osteological evidence for scalping in prehistoric Old World contexts, including cases previously reported only in German and Russian publications, is also reviewed.

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