Thursday, June 10, 2010

Asti : Piedmont (Italy)

People have lived in and around what is now Asti since the Neolithic period. Before their defeat in 174 BC by the Romans, Ligures, such as the Statielli, dominated the area and the toponym probably derives from Ast which means "hill" in the ancient Ligurian language.

  • 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

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

Once more, a very classical type abundantly found throughout the peninsula. Fair complexion is quite abundant, this is the main type in Alpine Piedmont.

  • Final morphotypes :


  1. More fine work.

    Have you considered doing something similar on Republican and Julio-Claudian Roman busts, both male and female?


  2. Where do you get that Ast is ancient Ligurian for hill? I thought that not really much was known from ancient Ligurian, so I'm guessing it's a reconstruction based on toponymy, right?

    I must say that the word is reminiscent of Basque Aitz: rock, often applied to mountains.

    On morphology, I'd say that the first type is very characteristic of Italy (there are other dinaromorphic whatever but they don't look so Italian or even Italian at all). However this Italian specificity is more clearly true for the men than the women. A better case of longfaced hyper-Italian woman is D8.

    The second type is more ambiguous. Among the women, the first one actually looks Nordoid (West Baltid?, Subnordid Alpinid?), while the other two display facial features that are very specifically Italian (North), particularly the big almond eyes with ram-horn eyebrows and somewhat prominent cheeks. For the ones I have known in real life (from Rimini for example) I would not say they are really Alpinid by metrics but rather mesocephalic and that the broadness of the cheeks is misleading in this sense.

    These two at least approach also Nordoid types anyhow and with slight variations maybe could well be related to types found in the British islands or so.

    The guys instead look more Balcanic, specially the first two.

    Overall the sample seems to include many individuals that at least approach Western types, like those found in Spain, France and some NW countries. However the similitudes may be imperfect. A few others seem to rather approach Balcanic types (Yugoslavian rather than Greek), what is no surprise as North Italy was colonized from that area in the Neolithic. Others, as mentioned look specifically Italian without compromises.

  3. Strabo alluded to "Asta" as meaning "rock emerging from the plain", which is indeed the exact meaning of Basque *aitz : it's quite probable that Ligurians spoke a pre-indo-european language.

    "Anche secondo Strabone, Asta significa roccia che si alza dalla pianura."


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