Implications for Croat Migration and Expansion
Mario Šlaus, Zeljko Tomicic, Ante Uglesic, Radomir Jurić.
Aim. To determine the ethnic composition of the earlymedieval Croats, the location from which they migrated to the east coast of theAdriatic, and to separate earlymedievalCroats fromBijelo brdo culturemembers, using principal components analysis and discriminant function analysis of craniometric data from Central and South-east Europeanmedieval archaeological sites. Methods.Mean male values for 8 cranialmeasurements from 39 European and 5 Iranian siteswere analyzed by principal components analysis. Raw data for 17 cranial measurements for 103 female and 112 male skulls were used to develop discriminant functions.
Results. The scatter-plot of the analyzed sites on the first 2 principal components showed a pattern of intergroup relationships consistent with geographical and archaeological information not included in the data set. The first 2 principal components separated the sites into4distinct clusters:Avaroslav siteswest of the Danube,Avaroslav sites east of the Danube,Bijelo brdo sites, and Polish sites. All early medieval Croat sites were located in the cluster of Polish sites. Two discriminant functions successfully differentiated between early medieval Croats and Bijelo brdo members. Overall accuracies were high – 89.3% for males, and 97.1% for females.
Conclusion. Earlymedieval Croats seem to be of Slavic ancestry, and at one time shared a common homelandwith medieval Poles. Application of unstandardized discriminant function coefficients to unclassified crania from 18 sites showed an expansion of early medieval Croats into continental Croatia during the 10th to 13th century.