Sunday, January 17, 2010

Südhessen : Hesse (Germany)

An early Celtic presence in what is now Hesse is indicated by a mid 5th century BC La Tène style burial uncovered at Glauberg. The region was later settled by the Germanic Chatti tribe in ca. the 1st century BC, and the name Hesse is a continuation of that tribal name. In the early Middle Ages, a Frankish gau comprising an area around Fritzlar and Kassel and a Saxon one further north were known as Hessengau.

Frankfurt is the main town in Südhessen. Stray archeological finds on the Domhügel go back to the Paleolithic, but the first proven settlement and land development date to the Roman era.

  • Sample :
Full Scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Intermediate complexion, leptomorphic, high-rooted and convex nose, high cheekbones, large jaw and pointy chin
~ Nordo-Dinarid

This type is quite typical to South Germany *. More classical Nordoid or robust Germanic-looking types are to be found as well :

* : The form of the nose, the prominent lower lip, ... might hint to "Armenoid" strains as noticed by Maju. See comments.

- Type 2 : Light, brachymorphic, developed browridges, high and straight forehead, little and straight nose, broad cheekbones, broad jaw, wide-set eyes
~ Alpinoid/Subnordid

Broadly speaking, those Alpinoid subtypes somehow differ from Germany's more archetypal exaggerated Borreby types from the North : here, noses can get convex, complexion can be quite dark (a generic "Bavaro-Austrian" look). Generic Alpino-Meds.

  • Final morphotypes :


  1. I see many Mediterranids among your "Alpinids". Even one who could be the young brother of Julio Iglesias.

    Also several of your "Nordo-Dinarids" have an hybrid look with Armenoid trends IMO, very noticeable is the prominent lower lip, which I know in Galicians but is more common in West Asia. Maybe a remnant of Neolithic colonists?

  2. What you're saying about Armenoid strains in some individuals is very true. I'll try to check if such types are common in the area. Speculating a Neolithic origin is very plausible indeed.

    You're also right to state that some darker series of Alpinids show what we would be called Mediterranean. Still, I had the feeling that head length was distorted by smiles and that those people actually were more "brachy" than believed.

    I'll update this post in accordance with what you wrote.

  3. How similar are these Hessians to the southerly neighbors in north Baden-Wurttemberg? Like the south Hessians, they can trace at least part of their ancestry to the Franks who had colonized the southern Rhine-Main-Neckar region in the 6th century, at the expense of the Allemanni and Swabians. I know there are supposed to be many Keltic Nordics in north Baden-Wurttemberg, but how about Sub-Nordics?

  4. I can't tell you as I have no idea how people in northern Baden-Wurttemberg are supposed to look like. I haven't sampled this region yet and I don't have a general outlook of Germany in mind as I don't know this country that well. I'll try to sample Baden very soon if I have time (I do have a sample in Saarland waiting to be uploaded). In the meantime, try Moselle in France :


  5. Is Nordoid another term for Faelid, by chance? If not, what other phenotype does it correspond with?


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.