Sunday, January 31, 2010

Zamość : Red Ruthenia (Poland)

Though nowadays included into Lublin Voivodeship*, the area around Zamość belonged to Red Ruthenia. This area was inhabited in the 10th century by Lendians Lechitic tribe.

In pre-Slavic times the region was populated by Indo-European tribes known as the Lugii and Anarti, associated with the Przeworsk and Puchov cultures. They were followed by East Germanic tribes, the Goths and Vandals. After these vacated the territory, the West Slavs (Lendians and Vistulans) moved in (see here for more information).

* : Hence why I use former administrative divisions which matched better cultural and ethnic areas of Poland.

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light complexion (from medium dark-brown to blonde hair), brachymorphic, large head, little and distanced oblique eyes, low orbits, broad and straight nose, weak browridges, large jaw, receding chin
~ Alpinoid/Baltid

Old anthropology named this type "Gorid". It's very prevailing in the area amongst men. A darker series :

Some individuals do have characteristic snub-tipped concave noses and very oblique eyes.

- Type 2 :
Light complexion, leptomorphic, leptoprosopic, narrow eyes, long and narrow straight nose, high forehead, large jaw, pointy chin
~ Nordid

  • Final morphotypes :


  1. The "Gorid" type is, I'd say very characteristic of East Europe, not just Poland but also Rumania, some Balcanic Slavs and even further East in the former USSR. It's definitively a type that is seldom found in West Europe and therefore they are easy to spot. I imagine that in Britain people would intuitively identify such face as Polish, while here you instead think of Rumanians (because there are very few Poles, if any).

    The rare individuals with "snubb-tipped concave noses" don't really look within that type to me and are easier to spot in West Europe. A friend of mine is almost identical to the one in the right and the last thing I'd classify him would be as Alpinid-Baltid but rather in the diffuse "subnordid" typology (also blond with light eyes).

    I don't think they have "oblique eyes" in the Oriental sense (it's not apparent to me in the pics at least) but they do have a peculiar shape, more elongated to the sides than usual. Also these two individuals clearly have strange eye-to-eye distances, with the first one having his eyes very separated (almost at the outer edges of the face), while the second has them very close to each other and to the nasion. For this reason he also reminds of John Malkovich (no info about his ancestry beyond the USA but the surname sounds sud-Slavic, or Polish?).

  2. On second thought the elongated "almond-shaped" eye shape seems very common among all those "Gorids". However I fail to see it "oblique" in the epicanthic fold sense (there are several cases with partial epicanthic fold in your sample but it's another trait and in fact alters the "almond" shape to a more triangular one).

  3. M-E-R-C-I (Je l'attendais depuis longtemps cet échantillon!!!)

    Mon amie polonaise tombe exactement dans la catégorie nordid à saveur polonaise! Le nez est identique à celle des ces femmes polonaises!

  4. @NTQ : oui vous l'attendiez ! En fait, pour vous expliquer ce "retard", c'est tout simplement que l'immense majorité des échantillons précédents ont été exécutés il y a plus d'un an. Il m'est donc assez facile de les reprendre succinctement et d'héberger les images. Par contre, je n'avais pas du tout touché à la Pologne. Comme je n'ai aucun échantillon polonais en stock (alors que je dois avoir la moitié de la botte italienne ...), je ne sais trop quand le reste suivra.

    Il est exact au demeurant que le type nordique de cet échantillon exhale une dimension polonaise notable, notamment sur le nez qui est assez long, plutôt en deux parties. Je crois que c'est ce que les anthropologistes appelaient "East-Nordid". Enfin bon, c'est sans intérêt, ils n'appellent ces individus "East-Nordid" que du fait d'une apparence est-européenne prononcée (donc a posteriori) : ce qui importe, c'est définir ce qui chez ces individus "sonne" slave ou est-européen. Et ça c'est difficile, je crois que dans ce cas particulier, le nez participe.

    @Maju : On Wikipedia, Malkovich is said to be of Croatian, German and Scottish ancestry.

  5. Lol Where do you find the second set of people? Frenchman please visit my city before you make these kind of blogs. Those people all look atypical and I say this as someone from Zamosc. There are more dinarids here then those types. The alpine/baltid type is common too so no complains on the first set.

  6. People living in mixed urban areas tend not to know about phenotypical variation in the neighbouring countryside from where those people originate. Those people all have local surnames from Ruthenia.

  7. Yes, Hearus. I am from the countryside (z wiozki) of the area and I'm not saying these people aren't natives, but their phenotypes don't represent the average ones here. You'll see these kind of people but you are overrepresenting them and underrepresenting other more typical phenotypes in the area.

  8. I do not doubt your words, my sampling techniques might not be sufficient as 32 individuals are not representative enough. I cannot judge if those people are in majority or not. Your own judgement on this issue is quite credible indeed, we'll see with subsequent Polish areas if the ratio is more correct between both types.


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