Saturday, December 19, 2009

Limburg : Flanders (Belgium)

Limburg is the easternmost province of Flanders (which is one of the three regions of Belgium), and is located west of the Maas river. In Roman times, Limburg was situated in the Roman province of Germania Inferior and inhabited by Celtic tribes. The medieval Duchy of Limburg consisted of parts of the present Belgian provinces Liège (northeastern part) and Limburg, the Dutch province of Limburg (southern part), and a small part of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. In 1839 the Dutch province of Limburg (which imperfectly encompassed the former Duchy of Limburg because of administrative reforms under French rule) was split into so-called Dutch Limburg and Belgian Limburg. Funnily enough, the very town of Limbourg is now in Romance-speaking Wallonia.

Notwithstanding this complex administrative history, Limburg is somehow a linguistic reality through the Limburgish dialects of the Dutch language (named plat by locals).

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light, brachymorphic, developed browridges, high and straight forehead, broad cheekbones, very broad jaw, wide set eyes
~ Borreby

- Type 2 : Light, leptomorphic, leptoprosopic, long nose, long and narrow jaw
~ Nordic

This is the infamous "horsy" phenotype so sommon amongst Flemish people and illustrated by Belgian singer Jacques Brel (born in Brussels from West Flemish parents).

One can find noticeably darker variants which are not uncommon at all in the whole geographic Netherlands :

With more dinaromorphism, some individuals exhibit a British flavour :

  • Final morphotypes :


  1. The "horsy" phenotype is also very British-looking, IMO. Think for instance Mick Jagger. I also know people over here who have it. Though I agree that the dinaromoprhic variants do also look quite Brit.

    I'm favorably surprised (but surprised anyhow) to see that almost all your Nordics are dark haired.

    The last woman of the "Borreby" type has quite clear "Basque" face, so to say. Overall most of the faces are pretty much ubiquitous in Western Europe (or maybe even Europe in general).

  2. Indeed that "horsy" phenotype is very British-looking even though it might be particularly concentrated in some areas of Britain as I still haven't detected it in Celtic areas such as Wales or Cornwall. Nevertheless, if you ask a Frenchman how Flemings are supposed to look like, "horsy" will be your answer. And there's indeed a striking differenciation between Romance-speaking areas and Dutch-speaking ones in Northern France : I'll deal with that issue on Anthrofrance.

    I called them "Nordic" because of facial features as I also believe that too much emphasis is put on pigmentation and hair colour (but it's a convenient way to classify nevertheless).

    I do also agree with you that those people are all within Western European variability. I wonder where "Eastern Europe" truly begins : somewhere in Germany ?

  3. Heraus Eastern europe begins at eastern germany in my opinion, And northern europe begins at the Netherlands (although It would exclude most of british/Irish people who in my opinion dont look more northern in average than modernday northernfrench).

    I wonder whats the real % of natural blond people in the UK, because in my experience travling across europe Its very low, specially on british females whom over 90% of times are dyed girls.
    In the other hand their neighbours from the outher side of the north sea (dutch,danes and nw germans) are among the blondest populations in the world.

    1. I found the English to be quite blond by my experience, definitely more than northern France. I always thought the English were more like the Dutch.


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.