Gracile Northern Caucasoids are gracile Northern Caucasoids -- not exactly surprising in light of ancient and modern genetic data and archaeological evidence:
A.G. Kozintsev. THE “MEDITERRANEANS” OF SOUTHERN SIBERIA AND KAZAKHSTAN, INDO-EUROPEAN MIGRATIONS, AND THE ORIGIN OF THE SCYTHIANS: A MULTIVARIATE CRANIOMETRIC ANALYSIS. Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia Volume 36, Issue 4, December 2008, Pages 140-144. doi:10.1016/j.aeae.2009.03.013On the supposed craniometric affinity between Harappa and the Tarim Basin:
The article presents some results of a multivariate analysis of 245 male Eurasian cranial series dating to various periods from the Neolithic to the Early Iron Age. These results contradict the commonly held view that certain comparatively gracile (narrow-faced) Bronze Age populations of Southern Siberia and Kazakhstan were “Mediterranean” in the anthropological sense, i.e. Southern Caucasoid. Craniometry provides no support for the theory that those people migrated to Southern Siberia or Kazakhstan from Southwestern Central Asia, the Near East, or Trans-Caucasia. Populations described as “Mediterranean” (the Okunev people of Tuva, the Yelunino, the Samus, and some Afanasiev and Andronov groups) display craniometric resemblance with the Bronze Age people of Southern Russian and Ukrainian steppes, as well as with certain Late Neolithic and Bronze Age groups of Central and Western Europe. These affinities are apparently caused by migrations of Indo-Europeans (specifically Indo-Iranians) from their European homeland eastward, as far as Eastern Central Asia. The return from Eastern Central Asia to Europe of the descendents of one of these groups during the Early Iron Age was probably the principal cause for the emergence of the Scythians on the historical arena.
Gumu Gou (Qäwrighul), XinjiangThe conclusion:
Han (1986), who measured this series according to a large trait set used by Russian anthropologists, believed that it conformed to a “Proto-European” pattern (a Russian term denoting robust Cro-Magnon-like Caucasoids) and that it was close to Afanasiev and Andronov groups. Solodovnikov and Tur (2003), while agreeing with him in general, noted that this series was more gracile and accordingly more “Mediterranean.” If “Mediterranean” means “Southern Caucasoid,” then the results of distance analysis contradict this view, since the group exhibits no Southern Caucasoid affinities. Generally, the Gumu Gou people show no distinct similarity to any other group. Least distant from them are the Andronov people from eastern, central, and northern Kazakhstan (according to data corrected by Solodovnikov (2006)), whereas those of the Samus and Yelunino are somewhat further. B.E. Hemphill found the Gumu Gou people to be close to the Harappans (Hemphill, Mallory, 2004). However, this result may be incidental, since Hemphill used a limited trait set and a very small comparative database. Also, the measurements of the Gumu Gou series used by him do not match those in the original publication (Han, 1986).
The results of the multivariate statistical analysis disagree with the traditional view that the prehistoric Caucasoids who were not robust (“Proto-European”) were necessarily “Mediterranean” – a view until recently shared by myself (Kozintsev, 2000). This dichotomy takes no account of the Northern Caucasoids, who are simply ignored. Actually, by no means all gracile Caucasoids were of southern descent. Having begun in the southern parts of the Caucasoid realm, the gracilization process (probably not only spontaneous, but also caused by geneflow from the Mediterranean area) eventually spread northward and by the Neolithic had already extended over large areas of Western Europe, which were undoubtedly affected by depigmentation. The role of the narrow-faced, fair-haired people of Central and Western European descent in Indo-European (specifically Indo-Iranian) migrations to the east was no less central than that of the robust “Proto-Europeans” and was definitely more prominent than that of the Southern Caucasoids such as the Mediterraneans. Further research will hopefully help shed light on that role and will thereby contribute to elucidating the multidisciplinary issue of the Indo-European homeland.Ancient DNA evidence agrees:
Our autosomal, Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA analyses reveal that whereas few specimens seem to be related matrilineally or patrilineally, nearly all subjects belong to haplogroup R1a1-M17 which is thought to mark the eastward migration of the early Indo-Europeans. Our results also confirm that at the Bronze and Iron Ages, south Siberia was a region of overwhelmingly predominant European settlement, suggesting an eastward migration of Kurgan people across the Russo-Kazakh steppe. Finally, our data indicate that at the Bronze and Iron Age timeframe, south Siberians were blue (or green)-eyed, fair-skinned and light-haired people and that they might have played a role in the early development of the Tarim Basin civilization.
[Keyser C. et al. Ancient DNA provides new insights into the history of south Siberian Kurgan people. Human Genetics doi:10.1007/s00439-009-0683-0]