Sunday, October 25, 2009

Anglesey / Ynys Môn : Wales (The British Isles)

The Isle of Anglesey is an island off the northwest coast of Wales with still a strong Welsh-speaking population. Numerous megalithic monuments testify to the presence of humans in prehistory. A quotation of Wikipedia :

In two recently published books, Blood of the Isles, by Brian Sykes and The Origins of the British, by Stephen Oppenheimer, both authors state that according to genetic evidence, most Welsh people and most Britons descend from the Iberian Peninsula, as a result of different migrations that took place during the Mesolithic and the Neolithic eras, and which laid the foundations for the present-day populations in the British Isles, indicating an ancient relationship among the populations of Atlantic Europe. According to Stephen Oppenheimer 96% of lineages in Llangefni in north Wales derive from Iberia. Genetic research on the Y-chromosome has shown that the Welsh, like the Irish, share a large proportion of their ancestry with the Basques of Northern Spain and South Western France, although the Welsh have a greater presumed Neolithic input than both the Irish and the Basques. Genetic marker R1b averages from 83-89% amongst the Welsh.

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :
- Type 1 : Dark, leptomorphic, long straight nose, close set eyes, angular chin and large jaws
~ Atlanto-Med

This type undoubtedly is the living proof of the many links between Atlantic nations in Europe from Portugal to the British Isles. A depigmented variant of that subtype could be said to be the quintessential British look.

The following variant might be specifically more Welsh-looking : it's characterized by a more arched nose and a stronger chin. Women are noticeably more square-headed.

- Type 2 : Dark,brachymorphic, little and low-rooted nose, wide set eyes, soft general features
~ Alpinoid

In essence, one can say that locals all exhibit a "British flavour" that somehow hints to a common Paleolithic past with Iberia and Western France. Some comparisons between Welsh people from Anglesey and Gascon people from SW France (essentially from the Landes) to prove my point : such comparisons could easily be extended to the whole Iberian Peninsula and Western France.

Anglesey :

SW France :

  • Final morphotypes :


  1. very interesting. Nice job! Could include some region in the Netherlands, Germany, to check out how the pattern alters. Galicia, northwestern Spain and also Portugal.

  2. B7 et D7 n’entrent pas assez bien dans la catégorie « atlantide » pour y être classées (nez court et concave, visage pas assez « triangulaire »).

    C6 pourrait être un type de Borreby. Il semble qu’il y ait eu une implantation viking dans cette île. Comparer B7, C6 et D7 à Svalbard (Norway) A3, B3, C5, C7 (entre autres).

    Quoi qu’il en soit, c’est une excellente idée que d’avoir souligné la ressemblance de certains de ces visages gallois avec des visages gascons. Le résultat est à la fois convaincant et important. La méthode est fructueuse.


  3. Oui, il y a des approximations, je me laisse aller assez souvent dans l'obsession d'avoir 3 représentants de tel ou tel type pour de pures raisons d'esthétique finale. Dans cet échantillon d'ailleurs, les individus féminins, à l'exception de quelques individus notablement leptomorphiques, sont assez identiques.

    J'ai abandonné pour l'instant les comparaisons de visage : je les reprendrai quand j'aurai samplé intégralement des grandes régions. D'abord, je ferai des "panneaux" décrivant les principaux types par grande région ethnique, puis je verrai si l'on peut déduire de la distribution phénotypique quelque chose comme des sources de peuplement.


I've chosen to let people comment freely on my posts. Nevertheless, you'll lose your time taunting me and calling me a fascist (which I'm really not) : I pray you to read my introduction which will reassure that my intentions genuinely aim at achieving amateurish knowledge. I understand that you may not share my passion for the history of the peopling of the World, just don't let me know as clear conscience gained by bashing a humble documentary work is useless.