Friday, February 5, 2010

Imperia : Liguria (Italy)

The Ligurians were an ancient people who gave their name to Liguria, which once stretched from Northern Italy into southern Gaul. It is not known for certain whether they were a pre-Indo-European people akin to Iberians; a separate Indo-European branch with Italic and Celtic affinities; or even a branch of the Celts or Italics. Land occupation is more ancient than Ligurian rule though : in the grottoes of Grimaldi (Ventimille) a skeleton dubbed the "Man of Menton" was excavated dating from 25.000 BC (see this video in French).

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Dark complexion, dark eyes, leptomorphic, narrow face, long and straight high-rooted nose that can get convex, close set eyes, large jaw, pointy chin
~ Dinaromorphic Mediterraneans

This type was already identified in neighbouring France, around the town of Nice and in Piedmont around Cuneo. This is the main Ligurian type. Lighter-built pan-Italian variant :

More classical Mediterranean types are found as well : they're lighter on average (notice deep aqua-blue eyes which are very North Italian) with a straighter nose.

- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion, brachymorphic, round face, little low-rooted nose that can get snub-tipped, wide set eyes
~ Alpinoid

This type was also abundant in Nice. On average, it's darker than its Piedmontese counterpart and less prevailing : in a word, coastal Liguria is more "Mediterranean" than inland Piedmont. Here are some individuals leaning towards Mediterranean variability :

  • Final morphotypes :

1 comment:

  1. I like your classification this time. :)

    I suspect that the Ligures might have coalesced as a distinct people first at the Chassey-La Lagozza complex in the early Chalcolithic (without copper but pan-European chronologies), that is the first (and probably only) cultural group that existed at both sides of the Alps before the historical Ligures. However the Italian and French branches had different origins, though related by virtue of both being affected by Cardial Neolithic. I can only imagine that, as Celtic/Italic/Etruscan pressure grew they rallied into a better cultural synthesis as reaction. There's no real reason to think that the Ligures were IE before Romanization, though they were surely quite influenced by Celts.

    The dinaromorphic med type is the archetype of Italy for me. It's a type only seldom found west of the Alps (and probably also unusual east of it too).


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