Anthropology of Indigenous ‘Russians’. A. Uvarov’s excavations of Meryan settlements near Moscow


Starting in 1851, Count Aleksey Uvarov, a Russian archeologist often considered to be the founder of the study of the prehistory of Russia and the President of the Moscow Archaeological Society, excavated 7,729 mounds in the area of central Russia and summarized his findings in The Meryans and Their Lifestyle as Shown by Kurgan Excavations. Here is what Wikipedia tells now: “The Merya people inhabited a territory corresponding roughly to what is now the area of the Golden Ring of Russia or Zalesye region of Russia, including the modern-day Moscow, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Ivanovo, and Vladimir oblasts. The five Volga Finnic groups are the Merya, Mari, Muromians, Meshchera, and Mordvins.”The very core of present-day Russia, the “Golden Ring” was and still is the homeland of the Volga Finnic groups. That in itself is a huge blow to all those who say that Ukrainians and Russians are one people or one nation.

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In 1879, Russian prominent anthropologist Professor A. P. Bogdanov published a concise summary of Uvarov’s findings titled ‘Meryans in Anthropological Relation‘ which is currently available at The screenshots of the first page of the book are provided below in case the book becomes unavailable for some reason. Short translation of the first page:

Several skulls from Uvarov’s excavations were sent to Academician Karl Ernst von Baer who concluded the following: “Comparing these skulls with the ones in our anatomical museum… it seems very probable that they belong to a Tatar tribe. Most of all, they have a resemblance to the skulls of Kazan Tatars present in this museum because their appearance is almost completely identical. It is necessary to note nevertheless, that the skulls of several Tatar tribes are very close to the skulls of the Finnish tribes, while the skulls of other Tatar tribes differ very little from the Mongolian ones, for example, NogaisKyrgyz, and others. For that reason, we could assume that the skulls sent to us belonged to a certain Finnish tribe whose skulls we have not had before, such as the Permians. Since in the aforementioned skulls, no Mongolian origin can be observed, then, even if they belong to a Tatar tribe, it would be the one that had mixed with the Finns, and not the one that had a lot of Mongolian blood”.

Quite telling in this regard is the Forensic Facian Reconstruction of Andrey Bogolyubsky, the ruler of that land >

Five other skulls were sent to Dr. Theodor Bernhardt Landzert who stated that for of them belonged to the Dolichocephalous type which differed from the skulls of the Kyiv area which were Brachycephalos.

The “Gardariki, Ukraine” e-book has more insights into the realtionship between Kyiv and its Rostov-Suzdal province.

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