Sunday, January 24, 2010

Vorarlberg (Austria)

Before the Romans conquered Vorarlberg, there were two Celtic tribes settled in this area: the Raeti inhabiting the highlands, and the Vindelici dwelling in the lowlands, ie the Lake Constance region and the Rhine Valley. One of the important settlements of the Vindelici was Brigantion (today Bregenz), founded around 500 BCE. It was conquered by the Romans in 15 BCE.

Owing to their location isolated from the rest of Austria, most of the people in Vorarlberg speak an Alemannic German dialect part of a family that include Swiss German and other varieties spoken in Liechtenstein, Baden-Württemberg and Alsace. The dialects in the rest of Austria form part of the Bavarian-Austrian language group.

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light, brachymorphic, little nose, square-faced, broad forehead, wide-set eyes, large jaw
~ Alpinoid/Subnordid

This type seems to be quite widespread in the whole Alps, more particularly in the German-speaking sides. Some individuals do approach "Nordic" metrics : leptomorphism, straight nose, full lips, ...

- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion, more or less brachymorphic, a rather large face on some individuals, convex nose, high cheekbones, close-set eyes, large jaw
~ Nordo-Dinaric

This phenotype might be specifically "Swiss/Austrian-looking". It was already identified in South Tyrol in Italy. More leptomorphic and darker individuals might punctually look North Italian.

  • Final morphotypes :


  1. Maybe others in that last group "look Italian" but that one with the "Frankestein forehead" reminds me of Schwarzennager, who has a very non-Italian look.

    The one to his left does have a very Italian look but I really fail to see the similitude between the two.

  2. You're right about the one in the middle : he's not Italian-looking at all. I just wanted to state that somehow, some individuals amongst those leptomorphic variants (a broad "family" I got to admit) could look North Italian.

  3. Yes the first lot, the ''schwarzenegger'' type,looks very Germanic, and would bever fit in Italy besides in Sud-Tirol.

    but I agree with Herau that the last bunch could fit well in Italy


  4. I like your blog very much. But I think you have to be cautious to interpret to much into this pictures. I am from Vorarlberg and it is a very admixed area. When in school in the 70´s, at the age of 12, a teacher asked the class (35 boys) who´s both parents were born in Vorarlberg. We where just 4, all the other had one or both parents mostly from Styria or Carinthia. Additionaly, espacially in the southern areas there came Italians when the railways were built and lot of Southern Tyroleans around WW2. Not to speak of Yugoslavians that came in the 70´s.

    The upper left guy in Type1 looks very Upper Austrian, not Vorarlberg at all.
    The three guys in the top row of Type2 on the other hand look definitly Vorarlberg proper.

  5. Last time I have wrote to you ''thank you'', since foreigners have weird ideas about the features of us Italians...looking at your blog they can see how we are...but...@More leptomorphic and darker individuals might punctually look North Italian.
    Darker? I'm a fully northern Italian, I have dirty blonde hair, I don't have black hair.

    I saw your picture. In another forum you wrote that northern Italians are totally different from you French. Well, I've been to France several times and I didn't see that great differences, plus if you went to northern Italy I would think you're one of us.
    I can recognize northern Germans, but the French in northern Italy are similar to us.

    1. Just for the record, Italians from Rome are empirically darker in skin color than Portuguese from Oporto, whose skin tone is similar to that of Polish from Warsaw, although darker than that of Irish (Dublin).


      Hair color approaches better the commonplace N-S cline, with Portuguese and Italians having similar values and Polish and Irish among them as well.

      In eye color instead the darker ones are Portuguese, with Italians close next behind, the Polish and the lightest ones Irish.

      Of course these values may not apply without some modifications to North Italy but for what I know the sharpest genetic divide in Italy is south of Rome, not North of it and in general Italians tend to group with each other vs. other Europeans from anywhere.

      As for phenotypes Piamontese and Ligurians probably have more Southern French (Occitan) affinity than other Italians, including Venetians and such. At least that's what I think I've learned from this blog's samples. But this is not because of their "blondness" because Occitans and such are not particularly blond.


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.