Sunday, May 2, 2010

Istria : The Adriatic Sea (Croatia)

The name is derived from the Illyrian tribe of the Histri, which Strabo refers to as living in the region. The Histri are classified in some sources as a "Venetic" Illyrian tribe, with certain linguistic differences from other Illyrians. Under Roman rule, the region was called together with the Venetian part the X. Roman Region of "Venetia et Histria". Per ancient definition it was the north-eastern border of Italy. Dante Alighieri refers to it as well, the eastern border of Italy per ancient definition is the river Arsia (modern Raša).

In 1910, the ethnic and linguistic composition was completely mixed. Generally speaking, Italians lived on coast, all the inland cities and northern Istria, while Croats and Slovenes lived in the eastern and southeastern inland parts on the countryside. Today, most Istrians are Croat. Genetic evidence points to the fact Croats are genetically heterogeneous, pointing to a high degree of mixing of the newly arrived medieval migrant tribes (such as Slavs) with the indigenous populations that were already present in the region of the modern day Croatia.

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Intermediate complexion (pale skin color, grey/green eyes, chestnut hair, ...), leptomorphic, long face, probably brachycephalic, narrow and distanced eyes, long and narrow arched nose, rather receding forehead, lop ears, pointy chin
~ Dinarid

This type is most common in the Balkans, especially in the region of former Yugoslavia and parts of Romania. It might constitute a basic "Illyrian" phenotype.

A variant of this type - leaning towards type 2 - can be found : lighter complexion, arched nose, rather slanted and wide-set eyes. It is quite prevailing in this area. Despite superficial similarity with neighbouring Venetian types (light Venetian types do strikingly differ in the eye and nose areas), it seems to be more properly Balkanic-looking.

- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion (from dark to medium blonde hair), brachymorphic, large head, little and distanced oblique eyes, low orbits, rather broad and convex nose, full lips, weak browridges, large jaw, receding chin
~ Alpinid/Gorid

Another Balkanic type that really sets Croatian Istria apart from neighbouring Italian areas. Yet, some individuals do match an original type identified in Trieste : a little and rather puffy nose, a well-defined oral cavity, puffy general features, ...

  • Final morphotypes :

1 comment:

  1. Oddly enough, your Dinarid type I would rather identify with a Western tendency, more akin to Italians and West-Central Europeans, while the Alpinid/Gorid looks more Balcanic ('Slavic').

    However there are many clear inversions of the pattern in individual basis (these seem to correlate with a pigmentation axis: blonder = 'Balcanoid', darker = 'Italoid').


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