Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pelagonia (Macedonia)

The Bitola (formerly Monastiri) area is very rich in monuments from the prehistoric period. Two important ones are Veluška Tumba, and Bara Tumba near the village of Porodin. From the Copper Age there are the settlements of Tumba near the village of Crnobuki, Shuplevec near the village of Suvodol and Visok Rid near the village of Bukri. The Bronze Age is represented by the settlements of Tumba near the village of Kanino and the settlement with the same name near the village of Karamani.

In the 6th and 7th century AD the region around Monastiri, inhabited by the descendants of Greek-speaking Molossians, experienced a demographic shift as more and more Slavic tribes settled in the area.

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Rather dark complexion (from dark to medium blonde hair), brachymorphic, large head, little and distanced oblique eyes, low orbits, broad and straight nose, full lips, weak browridges, large jaw, receding chin
~ Alpinid/Gorid

Less archetypal and more classical individuals (dark complexion, convex nose, longer face, ...) are found.

- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion (pale skin color, grey/green eyes, chestnut hair, ...), more or less leptomorphic, long face, probably brachycephalic, narrow eyes, long and narrow arched nose, rather low and receding forehead
~ Dinarid

This is a very common type in the Balkans.

  • Final morphotypes :


  1. "distanced oblique eyes"

    This is IMO one of the most clear Balcanic/East European markers (though also sometimes found in Northwest Europe). I would not say the eyes are "oblique" but rather "narrow", though this may be caused by partial epicanthic fold (quite apparent in at least one case). But for me the separation of the eyes is the most striking feature, rather than their narrowness or epicanthic fold. It makes them look automatically "exotic" in West Europe (hence not sure if "Alpinid" is the right term.

    The darker types in this "Alpinid" group are to my eyes essentially Mediterranean (two of the men look West Med, "robust mediterranean" or Atlanto-Med, while the last woman is archetypally Dinaric to me, more than the others).

    Dinarid is anyhow a type that is so poorly defined that really sucks. And your "Dinarid" types look very variegated to me. In order: pseudo-Atlantid, Alpinid "pettit-Suisse", Med-Nord, sub-Nordid, Mediterranid, Med-Nord again, Alpinid-Med (reminds me of Basque-Jordanian actress and singer Najwa Nimri), Dinarid (the only one but could be "Catalan" for what I know).

    There is some decent SW European index here, though I'd be wary of making further affinity distinctions. I count somthing like 7 individuals with that affinity. I don't see any other marked affinities except the Balcanic one itself (sure one individual could pass as super-Nord quasi-Mongol and be from York and another looks Lebanese-like but most don't look anything in particular except Balcanic/East Euro or Euro-Med/SW Euro).

    The archetypal Balcanic individual is the one with the black cowboy hat, IMO.

    Anyhow, my two cents.

  2. Haha, you're right, that Dinarid type of mine is so loosely defined that I could gather every individual that doesn't suit the first type under this type. Yet I must confess that traditional literature is not very "refined" in that peculiar aspect : in the Balkans are brachycephalic Dinarids, that's pretty much all what we've got. We lack extensive descriptions of types - whereas Northern Europe is pathologically described through dozens of types - even though I could perfectly use classical Western European typology (which is the aim of classical anthropology after all : defining basic types that transcend ethnic affinities as only physical characteristics are taken into account). But that would mean an extensive description of all people sampled and consequently, a lack of visibility. Eventually, I agree with what you say.

    The first range of "Dinarids" still stroke me as possessing common secondary features such as a receding forehead which generally hints to what people define as "Dinarid". I'm not sure if Alpinid is a good term either, "East-Alpinid" seems to exist but without a proper definition, I won't use it.

    The cowboy man really is very Balkanic-looking, he reminds me of many Serbians.

  3. It's not you, Heraus, AFAIK it's a problem of the classical definitions as such, which don't describe well the type... or maybe it doesn't even really exist but it's a narrow-faced variant of the Alpinid-Baltid typology or is a brachy variant of the Med-Nord one.

    Who knows? I'm never really satisfied with these classical typologies. And also for what you say of excess of Northern types and lack of Southern ones: Nordocentrism. I guess I could bother making the same thing: write a Basque or whatever detailed classification of a zillion types and then include the rest in those or other very broad categories. Maybe I do sometimes inadvertently, because I'm not immune to parochialism either.

    "I'm not sure if Alpinid is a good term either, "East-Alpinid" seems to exist but without a proper definition, I won't use it".

    For what I know, there are two basic Caucasoid subtypes: Mediterranoids (incl. Nordids, which are just a blonder variant) and Alpinoids (including Baltids and I think Armenoids too): the first are meso-dolicocephalic and the latter brachi. All the rest is nitty-pickiness, though in some cases somewhat justified. However this over-simplified classification is also unsatisfactory because both types are always found mixed. You read about ancient Sumerians and there you are: Meds and Alpines, you read about whatever else and again: Meds (or Nords) and Alpines (or Balts).

    Don't know, really.

    "The cowboy man really is very Balkanic-looking, he reminds me of many Serbians".

    He's very archetypal, right? :)

  4. Correcting myself: I was saying that everywhere it's all the time Meds and Alpinids (or equivalent) but now I realize that is nonsense: in all what I've read of prehistory of Iberia or the Basque Country there are no alpinids (brachicephalic types) until the Bronze Age. All before is Med variants: robust and light (poorly defined) and the sometimes described Pyrenean type which is also mesocephalic.

    So the brachicephalic type should have arrived from the East. This is not necessarily the same as all you describe as "Alpinids", because you can't measure their head length with a front picture (for example you'd say I'm dolico, Med or AM or whatever, but meso-dolico in any case because I'm long faced... but I'm in fact brachicephalic, which is not common here and is probably due to my non-Basque blood).

    What about France? When does the Alpinid (brachi) type, which is certainly not Paleolithic, appear there?

  5. very interesting, the dark, curly haired Alpino-Mediterraneans could fit in Italy very well. Instead the Dinarics have a distinct Balkanic / E European look which would stik out in Italy, which is full of dinarics, but of another kind.

    possibly two distinct typologies which might have different origins.



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