Galina Aksyanova (Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences):

Anthropological assessment of the biodiversity of modern Ugric peoples

The Ugric branch of the Ural family includes the languages of three modern peoples - Mansi, Khanty and Hungarians. The purpose of the study is to obtain a statistical assessment of the interpopulation biodiversity of the Ugric linguistic community according to physical anthropology. The object of research is the rural populations of modern and recent times in places of traditional residence. A wide arsenal of techniques has been developed in science, allowing one to consider anthropological information in a historical context. These are craniology and cranioscopy, anthropometry (racial morphology), odontology, dermatoglyphics. All of them consistently speak of a significant anthropogenetic differentiation of the Ugric branch, which unites far-off peoples. Ob Ugrians (Khanty, Mansi) are prominent representatives of the Ural group of types in the intermediate Caucasoid-Mongoloid space of Northern Eurasia, where an independent West Siberian race formation center took shape. Khanty are the most Mongoloid and differentiated ethnic group among the Finno-Ugric peoples, which is second only to the northern Samodians in the Ural family. The modern anthropological (racial) landscape of the taiga strip of Western Siberia has already formed by the middle of the II millennium and was represented by the Ural and Turkic populations. Ethnocultural boundaries are a significant genetic barrier. However, anthropological material testifies to the mutual interpopulation contacts of the territorial, ethnic and linguistic groups of the indigenous population beyond the Urals, which is reflected in the degree of diversity of communities. Thus, according to the size of the head and face in male samples, it is the Khanty populations among all Finno-Ugric peoples that are most differentiated within their ethnic group. According to the racial complex of their appearance, the Khanty are closest to the Mansi, Ob Ugrians to the southern Samodians (Selkups), Hungarians to the Western European peoples. Hungarians (in total, according to the average data of the same traits) are distinguished by the maximum deviation from the average characteristic for Finno-Ugric peoples. Traces of their Ural origin are almost invisible in anthropology.