Sunday, May 9, 2010

Huelva : Andalusia (Spain)

The city may be the site of Tartessus; by the Phoenicians it was called Onoba. The Greeks kept the name and rendered it Ὄνοβα. It was in the hands of the Turdetani at the time of conquest by Rome, and before the conquest it issued silver coins with Iberian legends. The Tartessian language is an extinct pre-Roman language once spoken in southern Iberia and has recently been classified as a Celtic language.

Tartessos cultural area

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Dark complexion, brachymorphic, broad face, round features, thick browridges , short broad nose, wide-spaced sloping eyes
~ Alpinoid/Berid

This type was previously identified in western Spanish areas (Cáceres, Zamora) and Portugal. Because of the distribution of that type throughout the peninsula, it could be said to be Portuguese-looking : wide-spaced sloping eyes, a short broad nose and thick browridges really are quite specific (this type would fit a "Berid" definition) even though it's more obvious on males. Lighter individuals - green/grey eyes, chestnut hair - are to be found.

Variants - already identified in central Portugal - do exist (convex nose, broader features, ...) which can be transitional with Type 2.

- Type 2 : Dark complexion, leptomorphic, gracile general features, narrow "horsy" face, long and narrow nose, high cheekbones, a rather broad jaw, close-set eyes, rather narrow eyelids
~ Mediterranoid

This type was already identified in many Portuguese areas such as Alto Douro. Contrary to what we noticed in Portugal, sexual dimorphism is not obvious here (we'll see later that the situation is identical in Algarve). If anything, Huelva is part of a greater western Iberian variability. Lighter individuals are eventually found :

  • Final morphotypes :


  1. I'm a little disappointed that you have not commented on individual A4, which has a quite curious type that is minority but still common among Andalusians (and I know of nowhere else where it happens). Being a blond blue-eyed type the first thought is some sort of subnordid but as I say it's not a type you really find further North and instead shows some North African affinities IMO.

    For the rest, they are very typically Iberian overall, with Iberia-only types being dominant but many with East Mediterranean affinities too. Some other faces are also very typical of Andalusia and rare elsewhere (A8, D1) and some have clear North African features (C2, D6).

    Hard to make a "Basque Index" among these because there's a number of ambiguous individuals which could equally be Iberian or Basque but I'd say 2-4.

  2. I had included the A4 guy in my first version of this entry but deleted him later (probably because I feared he was a fake blonde). I had included him in the first section with lighter individuals with those strange noses. As far as I can tell from what I know of North Africans, the whole first type reminds me of North African subtypes. For the moment, I've only detected such individuals in Western Iberia, from Zamora to Huelva, including Portugal of course. A West/East gradient in Iberia ?

  3. He's surely natural blond: that type (that is very scattered but distinctively Iberian - whatever the African affinities) come almost invariably with blond hair and often also with blue eyes.

    Maybe it's right the SW area you mention because the other individuals with that kind of face I recall right now are from Cádiz and Bilbao (and this might perfectly have ancestry from the old Kingdom of Leon - IDK).

    "As far as I can tell from what I know of North Africans, the whole first type reminds me of North African subtypes".

    The men are characteristically Andalusian (save the one in the middle maybe) but the women are not: the one at the left seems from North Iberia while the one of the right reminds me of some "rare" British types.

    Not really sure about African affinities. I identified two before and the other one I see is also in the Mediterranoid category.


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