Anthropological Studies in the History of the Severians Historiography
The paper deals with the mutual influence of anthropological and historical studies in the historiography of the history of the East Slavs and, in particular, the Severians. The accumulation of anthropological studies of osteological artifacts, which at certain stages considered to belong to the Severians, is analyzed. The development of the ideas about the place of the Severians in the array of anthropological materials of the middle Dnieper Ukraine is analyzed. A certain dependence of approaches to anthropological research, and as a result of those conclusions to which their authors came, on the position prevailing in historiography concerning the territorial boundaries of the East Slavic tribes was established.
The main problems of anthropological research of the Severians are: small number of osteological material; relativity of some burial grounds dating; the systematization of accumulated material about ethnic groups in accordance with the linkage of the place where the material was found to the territory of the chronicle tribes approved in historical works. The latter led to the fact that the same materials were considered in different periods, as belonging to different tribes. Thus, groups of Chernihiv and Pereiaslav anthropological materials were first considered as the Severians, however, after the change in the historiography of conception about the territory of the Severians, they began to be regarded as belonging to Polans.
The conditional character of burial grounds dating led to the fact that some materials were considered as belonging to certain East Slavic tribes, despite the fact that at that time those tribes could no longer exist.
The literature on the history of the Severians to a greater extent influenced the conclusions of anthropologists, since they often began their studies with a preliminary definition of the groups and boundaries of their material in accordance with the point of view prevailing in historiography about the territorial boundaries of the tribes.