ADULT SEX RATIO IN THE NECROPOLIS OF SHAHR-I SOKHTA, BRONZE AGE BACTRIA MARGIANA, AND INDUS VALLEY SITES

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Dipartimento Beni Culturali, Laboratorio di Antropologia Fisica, Università del Salento, Italy - MAIPS, Multidisciplinary Archaeological Italian Project at Shahr-i Sokhta

2 Department SAGAS, Università di Firenze, Italy - MAIPS, Multidisciplinary Archaeological Italian Project at Shahr-i Sokhta - Dipartimento Beni Culturali, Laboratorio di Antropologia Fisica, Università del Salento, Italy

Abstract

A common observation in skeletal samples discovered during archaeological excavations is that male adult skeletons significantly outnumber female ones, while in living adult populations, the adult sex ratio (m/f) is close to 1. Male-biased archaeological sex ratios could partly be due to the rapid degradation of the more delicate female skeletons. In a large sample of necropolises from Southern Mediterranean, Northern Africa, and Middle East countries ranging from Neolithic to Middle Ages, we observed a mean sex ratio of 1.40. On the contrary, samples of adult skeletons from the necropolis of Shahr-i Sokhta, sexed by different authors using different methods, constantly show an overrepresentation of females (about 42% males and 58% females), i.e., a sex ratio of 0.72. Similar values have been observed in necropolis from chronologically close sites in the Bactria-Margiana and Indus Valley cultures (Gonur Depe, Mohenjo-Daro, Djarkutan, Rakhigarhi), We speculate that the most likely interpretation of this particular observation could be the uxorilocal settlement pattern in these populations.

Keywords


چکیده: مقاله پیش‌رو به بررسی ظرف مخروطی که در حال حاضر در موزه میهو ژاپن نگهداری می‌شود، می‌پردازد. ظرف مذکور احتمالا در حدود سال‌های 2300 تا 2200 پیش از میلاد در دره هلیل‌رود یا منطقه جیرفت تولیده شده است و به احتمال زیاد در یک گور کشف شده است. این ظرف منقوش به شمایل‌نگاری حیرت‌انگیزی از موجودی مرکب از گاو، انسان، شیر و پرنده است. پس از بررسی ویژگی‌های موجود چند رگه‌ی منقوش روی ظروف و سایر آثار سنگی هزاره سوم پیش‌از‌میلاد در جنوب‌شرقی ایران، به بررسی داده‌های بدست آمده از متون برای رسیدن به تفسیری روایی از چشم‌انداز مذهبی دولت موسوم به مرهشی با پراشوم در منابع میان‌رودانی خواهیم پرداخت. همچنین این نظریه مطرح خواهد شد که قرارداد معروف به "معاهده نارام-سین" شامل اطلاعات زیادی از خدایان مورد احترام مرهشی در 2250 پیش‌از میلاد است.

کلمات کلیدی: ایران، عصر مفرغ، تمدن درۀ هلیل رود/ جیرفت، مرهشی، دین، شمایل‌شناسی، دست‌ساخته‌های کلریتی.

Ameri, M. (2020). Who holds the keys? Identifying female administrators at Shahr-i Sokhta, Iran. Journal of the British Institute of Persian Studies, Available at DOI: 10.1080/05786967.2020.1718542.
Ascalone, E., Fabbri, P. F. (2019). Considerazioni insediamentali sull’abitato e demografiche sulla necropoli di Shahr-i Sokhta. In: E. Ascalone, S. M. S. Sajjadi, (Eds), Scavi e Ricerche a Shahr-i Sokhta. Tehran, pp.137-157.
Babakov, O., Rykushina, G.V., Dubova, N.A., Vassiliev, S.V., Pestryakov, A.P., and Khodzhayov T.K., 2001. Human skeletal remains from the necropolis of Gonur-Depe 1. In: V.I. Sarianidi, (Ed.), Necropolis of Gonur and Iranian Paganism, Appendix 1. Mir-media: pp.219-240.
Bennike, P. (1985). Paleopathology of Danish skeletons: A comparative study of demography, disease and injury. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag.
Bentley, R. A., Bickle, P., Fibiger, L., Nowell, G. M., Dale, C. W., Hedges, R. E. M.,
 Hamilton, J., Wah, J., Francken, M., Grupe, G., Lenneis, E., Teschler-Nicola, M., Arbogast, R.-M., Hofmann, D., Whittle, A. (2012). Community differentiation and kinship among Europe’s first farmers. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109, 9326-9330.
Bentley, R. A, Pietrusewsky, M, Douglas, M. T., Atkinson, T. C. (2005). Matrilocality during the prehistoric transition to agriculture in Thailand? Antiquity, 79, 865–881.
Biscione, R., Salvatori, S., Tosi, M. (1977). Shahr-I Sokhta: l'abitato protostorico e la sequenza cronologica. In: AA.VV., La Città Bruciata nel Deserto Salato, Venezia, pp.77-112.           Bone K. E. (1993). A bias in skeletal sexing. Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee.
Clark, S. S. (2003). Representing the Indus body: sex, gender, sexuality, and the anthropomorphic terracotta figurines from Harappa. Asian Perspectives, 42, 304-328.
Cortesi, E., Tosi, M., Lazzari, A., Vidale, M. (2008). Cultural Relationships Beyond the Iranian Plateau: The Helmand Civilization, Baluchistan and the Indus Valley in the 3rd Millennium BCE. Paléorient, 34, 5-35.
Divale, W. T. (1977). Living floor area and marital residence: a replication. Behavior Science Research, 12, 109–15.
Ember, M. (1973). An archaeological indicator of matrilocal versus patrilocal residence. American Antiquity, 38, 177-182.       
Ghosh, A., Datta, J. M., Gupta, P., Dutta, P. C., Basu, A. (1962). Human skeletal remains from Harappa. Anthropological Survey of India, Memoire 9
Halstead, P. (1977). The Bronze Age Demography of Crete and Greece: A note. The Annual of the British School at Athens, 72, 107-111.
Hemphill, B. E., Chrisstensen, A. F., Mustafakulov, S. I. (1995). Trade or travel: an assessment of interpopulational dynamics among Bronze Age Indo-Iranian populations. In: R. Alchin, B. Alchin, (Eds.), Proceedings of the 13th Conference of the European Association of South Asian Archaeologists, Cambridge, 5-9 July, 1995, 2, 855-871.
Hemphill, B. E., Lukacs, J. R., Kennedy, K. A. R. (1991). Biological adaptations and affinities of Bronze Age Harappans. In: R. H. Meadow, (Ed.), Harappa excavations 1986-1990: a multidisciplinary approach to third millennium urbanism, Monographs in World Archaeology, Prehistory Press, Madison, Wisconsin, pp.137-182.
Hrncir, V., Duda, P., Saffa, G., Kvetina, P., Zrzavy, J. (2020). Identifying post-marital residence patterns in prehistory: A phylogenetic comparative analysis of dwelling size. PlosOne, 15:e0229363.
Kennedy, K. A. R. (2000). God-Apes and Fossil Men: Paleoanthropology of South Asia. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Lukacs, J. R. (1992). Dental paleopathology and agricultural intensification in South Asia: New evidence from Bronze Age Harappa. Amer. Jour. Physical Anthropology, 87, 133-150.
Luneau, É. (2008). Tombes féminines et pratiques funéraires en Asie centrale protohistorique. Quelques réflexions sur le « statut social » des femmes dans la civilisation de l’Oxus. Paléorient, 34, 131-157.
Macchiarelli, R., Passarello, P. (1988). Analisi paleodemografica comparativa della popolazione di Shahr-i Sokhta (Sistan, Iran, III millennio a.C.). Rivista di Antropologia, 66, 5-36.
Minniti, C., Sajjadi, S. M. S. (2019). New data on non-human primates from the ancient Near East: The recent discovery of a rhesus macaque burial at Shahr-i Sokhta (Iran). Int. J. Osteoarchaeol., 29, 538-548.
Narasimhan, V. M. et al. (2019). The formation of human populations in South and Central Asia. Science, 365, eaat7487.
Piperno, M., Salvatori, S. (1982). Evidence of Western cultural connections from a phase 3 group of graves at Shahr-i Sokhta. In: H.-J., Nissen, J. Renger, (Eds.), Mesopotamiem und seine nachbarn, Berliner Beitrage zum Vorderen Orient, 1, 79-85.
Piperno, M., Salvatori, S. (1983). Recent Results and New Perspectives from the Research at the Graveyard of Shahr-i Sokhta, Sistan, Iran. Annali dell'Istituto Universitario Orientale, 43, 173-191.
Porcic, M. (2010). House floor area as a correlate of marital residence pattern: a logistic regression approach. Cross-Cultural Research, 44, 405–424.
Shadmehr, A., Hajizadeh, E., Baghestani, A., Sajjadi, S.M.S. (2017). Comparing the Determined Age at Death between Men and Women Based on the Human Bones Excavated from Shahr-e Sokhta Archaeological Site: A Survival Approach Using Life-Table and Kaplan-Meier Methods. International Journal of the Society of Iranian Archaeologists, 3, 55-60.
Stojanowski, C. M., Schillaci, M. A. (2006). Phenotypic approaches for understanding patterns of intracemetery biological variation. Yearbook of Phys. Anthropology, 49, 49-88.
Triantaphyllou, S. (2000). A bioarchaeological approach to prehistoric cemetery populations from Central and Western Greek Macedonia. Unpublished: University of Sheffield. PhD.                 
Valentine, B. T., (2013). Immigrant identity in the Indus civilisation: a multi-site isotopic mortuary analysis. Unpublished: University of Florida. PhD.
Walker, P.L. (1995). Problems of preservation and sexism in sexing: Some lessons from historical collections for palaeodemographers. In: S. R. Saunders, A. Herring, (Eds.), Grave reflections, portraying the past through cemetery studies). Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press, pp.31–47.
Walker, P. L., Johnson, J. R., Lambert, P. M. (1988). Age and sex biases in the preservation of human and skeletal remains. Amer. Jour. Physical Anthropology, 76, 183-188.
Weiss, K. (1972). On the systematic bias in skeletal sexing. Amer. Jour. Physical Anthropology, 37, 239-249.
Volume 1, Issue 1 - Serial Number 1
December 2021
Pages 11-19
  • Receive Date: 22 September 2021
  • Revise Date: 03 December 2021
  • Accept Date: 13 December 2021
  • Publish Date: 20 December 2021