Metric and Nonmetric Cranial Variation of the Prehistoric Okhotsk People
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Metric and nonmetric cranial characters of human remains of the prehistoric Okhotsk culture (Okhotsk people) were investigated for evidence bearing on their affinities. The cranial morphology of the Okhotsk people shows standard characteristics of the Neolithic or later Northern Mongoloids. The multivariate analyses suggested that the Okhotsk show close affinities not with the Arctic peoples or inland peoples called the 'Central Asian group', but with the peoples in the Amur and Sakhalin. We can not positively identify the specific ancestors of the Okhotsk people, however, because few prehistoric human skeletal remains have been recovered in the Amur and Sakhalin areas. Although the craniometric analysis showed a considerable difference between the Ainu and Okhotsk peoples, the nonmetric cranial variations suggested that the Ainu were originally closer to the Okhotsk than to other Northern Mongoloids even before any admixture.