According to the anthropological data at our disposal, all the aboriginal groups in the North-Western Caucasus (except the highland Karachais and Balkars who pertain to the Caucasian type of the West Asian or Caucasoid race and make a classical example of lack of coincidence between the glottogenetic-Turkic and local (obtained in the Caucasus) race-genetic data), viz. the Adyghe, the Circassians, the Abazins, to a lesser extent the Kabardins, partially belong to the Adyghe Caucasian variant of the Pontic type of the Indo-Mediterranean (South-Europaeoid) race; whereas the aboriginal population of the Transcaucasian (South Caucasian) Black Sea coastal area — the Georgians (i.e. the Megrelians, the Gurians, the Adjarians) pertain to the Black sea coastal area variety of the West Asian race. In this particular case we are dealing with a coincidence of linguistic and physical (anthropological) data. Found between them are Abkhazian groups whose physical type classes them with the West Asian racial type that is widespread in Transcausacia and considerably further down south, while linguistically they pertain to the Abkhazian-Adyghe family of languages that are spread over the North Caucasus, more precisely — in the North-Western region of the Caucasus which, presumably, is the area where this family of languages had originated and taken shape. Transcaucasia, West Asia and Asia Minor and the adjoining lands down south are the area where West Asian anthropological types were formed. Hence a question arises as to how can such lack of coincidence between linguistic and anthropological and, incidentally, not only anthropological but also archaeological, historical and other data that characterize the Abkhazian ethnos be accounted for? How is such incongruity between the physical and the linguistic origin of all — without exception —present-day Abkhazian groups to be interpreted? We are not here to judge about the causes of these discrepancies between the glottogenetic and race-genetic trends in the ethnogenesis of the present-day Abkhazian groups. And we emphasize:

the present-day Abkhazian groups, because we have no sufficient data concerning the physical type of the Muhajirs who relocated from Abkhazia to Turkey in the last century (the only exception being a small group of Abkhazians who settled on the territory ofAdjaria and who, incidentally, do not differ in any way from the other Abkhazian groups we have studied). Such kind of discords (as well as coincidences) are quite a regular phenomenon in the process of ethnogenesis of various nations; therefore, what is to be done is not to mechanically project the data obtained by researchers working in various scientific disciplines, but, rather, to dialectically comprehend various interrelations between these processes (otherwise comprehensive study of the whole set of ethnogenetic problems would be needless). But in this particular case such identity (or, more precisely, quasi identity) of all the Abkhazian groups without exception with Georgian erouos of the Black Sea littoral tvne noints to their /328/ physical (blood) relationship. In the study of the genesis of the groups which we today call Abkhazian and which the Abkhazians call Apsui, this factor needs to be necessarily taken into account. In ascertaining this race-genetic fact, historians should be more meticulous in researching into the ways, forms and rates of the mechanism of the sophisticated glottogenetic process of the formation of an aboriginal Abkhazian ethnos on the territory of Georgia. In this connection, one should bear in mind the regularity anthropologists have established that «languages and cultures can spread over large areas without the people who speak and evolve them, whereas anthropological types, i.e. people never spread out unaccompanied by their language and culture». In our view, we deal here with the former phenomenon, i.e. with proliferation of the language of the Adyghe family unaccompanied by that of the anthropological elements, i.e. by the people of the Pontic type. What most probably took place here was gradual linguistic assimilation which evolved over the centuries with varying intensity and in the course of which Adyghe elements gradually infiltrated as they assimilated local culture and fully fused with the local population, which triggered the formation of new ethnic features in the extreme north-western territories of Georgia. The obviously expressed West Asian type of the present-day Abkhazian groups attests the fact that the proliferation of the Adyghe (Pontic) elements into the aboriginal population of the above territories in the extreme north­western portion of Georgia where these Pontic elements could in any measure have contributed to a change of the basic West Asian (in this particular case - the Kartvelian) genetic fund of the population never attained considerable intensity.

The West Asian type to which the present-day Abkhazian groups obviously belong clearly indicates that they formed and developed together with the Georgians who inhabited the area they currently occupy, and that this formation and development proceeded in immediate anthropological contacts between them.

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