Sunday, April 25, 2010

Burgos : Castile and León (Spain)

The Celtiberian region that became Burgos was inhabited by the Autrigoni, Turmodigi and Berones, the last inhabitants of the northern part of the Celtiberian region which was under Vasconian pressure (it's still unclear which way those people were linked with neighbouring proto-Basque tribes); the principal cities, according to Ptolemy, included: Brabum, Sisara, Deobrigula, Ambisna Segiasamon and Verovesca (modern Briviesca). It looks like the Basque language was spoken in this area as proved by many placenames (see this article in Spanish).

The Arabs occupied almost all of Castile in the eighth century, though only for a brief period, and left little if any trace of their occupation. Alfonso III the Great, king of León reconquered it about the middle of the ninth century, and built several castles for the defence of Christendom, which was then extended through the reconquest of lost territory. The region came to be known as Castile (Latin castella), i.e. "land of castles".

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Intermediate complexion (from blonde to dark hair, black eyes, rather pale skin on average, ...), leptomorphic, long face (particularly on males), straight or convex nose, close-set eyes, pointy chin, large jaw
~ (Dinaricized) Atlanto-Mediterranean

This is a very classical Iberian type found throughout the whole peninsula. A variant characterized by blue eyes and blondish undertones might be more specifically northern Iberian and was already identified in Rioja and Pamplona.

- Type 2 : Dark complexion (dark hair, black eyes, ...), more or less brachymorphic, reduced and "puffy" features, square-box head, large nose, strong jaw, rather distanced eyes
~ Dinaricized Alpino-Mediterranean

Esssentially a very robust variant of Type 1, it seems to be quite widespread in northern Iberia (Asturias, Cantabria, Rioja, ...). Similar types were already encountered in Guipúzcoa. It's absent in Zamora, which might hint to a distinction between true Castile around Burgos and Leonese areas (which are in a Portuguese variation IMO).

Eventually, more classical Alpino-Mediterranean types are found.

  • Final morphotypes :

1 comment:

  1. BI: 6 min. Lot of "could be" cases (not considered). All Basque-like individuals are in your type 1. Type 2 seems rather an Iberian variant.

    Historical notice: all the NE third of the province, up to the very gates of Burgos city (Atapuerca pass) was originally part of Pamplona (Navarre) until the sudden changes in the 11th century when newborn Castile and Aragon-Catalonia (and eventually Portugal as well) replaced the old realms as main local powers (Leon, Pamplona, the Caliphate and Frankish influence).


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