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Bioarchaeological analysis of human remains from the destroyed Early Neolithic cemetery of Moty – Novaia Shamanka (Cis-Baikal)

Faculty Advisor




Cis-Baikal, Early Neolithic, Kitoi culture, human skeletal remains, paleopathology, nonmetric traits, radiocarbon chronology, stable isotopes

Abstract (summary)

Moty – Novaia Shamanka (MNS) is an Early Neolithic (7560–6660 HPD cal BP) destroyed Kitoi cemetery, located on the lower Irkut River in Siberia. In 2014–2015, small rescue excavations were conducted by archaeologists from Irkutsk State University. MNS dates to the period between the two phases of use identified at the nearby Shamanka II Kitoi cemetery (Southwest Baikal). This paper presents the results of a bioarchaeological study of the human skeletal remains from MNS and discusses these findings in relation to hunter-gatherer life-history at this site and in the Cis-Baikal region. The human skeletal materials from MNS show life history markers, including isotopic signatures, consistent with the other Early Neolithic Kitoi samples. However, one individual shows anomalous isotopic signatures similar to those found, to date, only in one other Kitoi burial. Lastly and surprisingly, radiocarbon dating identified one Early Bronze Age individual (4970–3470 cal BP).

Publication Information

Bourgeois R. L., Weber A. W., Bazaliiskii V. I., McKenzie H. G., Lieverse A. R. Bioarchaeological Analysis of Human Remains from the Destroyed Early Neolithic Cemetery of Moty – Novaia Shamanka (Cis-Baikal). Bulletin of the Irkutsk State University. Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series. 2022, Vol. 39, pp. 14–32.


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Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)