Friday, June 18, 2010

Friesland : Noord-Nederland (The Netherlands)

Most speakers of West Frisian live in the province of Friesland in the north of the Netherlands. In the early Middle Ages the Frisian lands stretched from the area around Bruges, in what is now Belgium, to the river Weser, in northern Germany. At that time, the Frisian language was spoken along the entire southern North Sea coast. Today this region is sometimes referred to as Greater Frisia or Frisia Magna, and many of the areas within it still treasure their Frisian heritage, even though in most places the Frisian language has been lost.

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 :
Light complexion (medium light hair, light eyes, ...), brachymorphic, general robust features, squared-box face, high and broad forehead, little and broad nose that can get concave, deep jaw, wide-set eyes
~ Borreby

A very common type in Northern Europe, it is well representated in this area. A variant of this type is characterized by high cheekbones.

- Type 2 : Light complexion (blonde hair with ash-blonde shades, ...), leptomorphic, general robust features, high forehead, convex nose, large and strong jaw, pointy chin, close-set eyes
~ (Dinaricized) Nordid

Those dinaromorphic individuals remind us of the infamous "horsy" phenotype found in Dutch-speaking Belgium. On avarage, Frisians might appear to be more dinaromorphic than neighbouring Dutch people in Groningen. Still, rather Nordid people can be found (some of them looking like elongated variants of the first type) :

  • Final morphotypes :


  1. I suspect that Friesland is about the only country in the world where if you are brunette you really stick out.

  2. I was wondering... You say Frisians are more dinaromorphic then 'Grunnegers' (their Dutch neighbours), my question is now how does this come? I mean how do you become dinaromorphic or is that some kind of a combination of 2 or more phenotypes? .... Ruud van Nistelrooy is Frisian and brunette (maybe Huguenot ;) )

  3. I think that the way Heraus uses the term "dinaromorphic" means something like: relatively narrow face/jaw, prominent nose, maybe some inclination of the forehead occasionally... concepts that parallel the, otherwise quite imprecise and often discarded, true dinarid type (which, unlike these, would be brachicephalic and hence theoretically closer to Alpinoid-Baltoid types, which are instead broad-faced).

    "Ruud van Nistelrooy is Frisian and brunette (maybe Huguenot ;) )"

    Even in such a hyper-blond country as Frisia, there must be some brunettes. After all blondisms are variants of the brunette basic pigmentation and never seem to have totally replaced this basic type anywhere (even if they were really close in this case). The oddity is not that there are some brunettes but that there are so few. :)

  4. thank you for the info, but still why is the one nordid and the other one Dinarcized nordid,
    is the Dinarcized nordid a combination between nordid and a "true dinarid" or something like that?
    that is what i was wondering ...

  5. I would just consider these tags as descriptive. Furthermore, I'd consider as approximative and nothing more, after all Heraus is describing based on just frontal photos without any metric data as such.

    I would not rush into any conclusion of the type you said, as the types are not so well defined and there's no particular reason to think that the types (assuming they are accurate) represent any sort of "pure archetypes" with any real existence at all, now nor in the past.

    They are mere descriptive evaluations of the necessarily clinal and somewhat random diversity of real individuals.

    Let's see what Heraus has to say anyhow. :)

  6. I agree with what Maju says : these tags are descriptive and don't allow us to develop a "dynamic" interpretation of one area's phenotypical history. The best that can be done is comparing various regions in order to guess what could have been main peopling routes. That's pretty much all.

    As for "dinaromorphic", it's indeed a lame tag that describes, according to Maju's description, types that fit the following definition : "relatively narrow face/jaw, prominent nose, maybe some inclination of the forehead occasionally... ". -morphic means "looking like" but both types are generally very distinct as Dinarid types in Eastern Europe are strongly brachycephalic.

    As for the comparison between Groningen and Friesland, my feeling is simply that Friesland is more "Dutch-looking" but that's just a vague statistical feeling. I'll sample neighbouring German areas.

  7. The two composite pictures have 'Dutch' written all over them, I must say. I'm curious why Maju refers to Friesland as a country. I don't want to get into a political discussion here, just curious.

  8. And finally, as you had promised, some Borreby men with hair!

  9. "I'm curious why Maju refers to Friesland as a country".

    For me a country is an ethnic community (also called 'people' or 'nation') with a territory, though it may have other meanings such as region or state. But I don't go with the automatic country=state identification that many do. Friesland is a country, Palestine is a country, Corsica is a country, Scotland is a country and of course, as the name says, the Basque Country is a country.

  10. I think there has not been enough research and the photo examples are rather bad. Since the province of Groningen is much less Nordid and much more Faelid than Friesland, the face profiles of Frisian people tend to appear a bit more "Dinaricized", but real Dinarid admixture is as rare here as in Groningen. and the Hallstatt type can be found in Friesland more often than anywhere else in continental Europe.

  11. "Dinaricized Nordid"
    => Frisians are among the most "unaltered" Germanic people, with the highest rates of Germanic genes (e.g. haplogroup I1, R1b-U106 etc.) and very few (if not) balkan or alpine genes. So, the "dinaromorphic" elements (narrow face/jaw, prominent nose, inclination of the forehead etc.) in Frisians are mostly of Corded Ware/Battle Axe derivation, rather than Dinarid.

    1. Dinarized is not Dinaric in Heraus' speech but rather Dinaric-like face forms (narrow, prominent nose and jaw... that kind of stuff).

      Regardless, you may or not know but the reality all Europeans are a variable mixture of various population sources. The recent Lazaridis et al. study evidences that there are three main directly detectable sources:

      1. Western Paleolithic peoples (WHG)
      2. Early Neolithic peoples (EEFs), themselves a mix of West Asians and WHG relatives
      3. A Siberian Paleolithic element (ANE) most likely carried by IE, along with not yet directly documente Eastern European Paleolithic elements more or less akin to WHG.

      All Europeans (except Sicilians, who have some extra West Asian input) can be described as a combo of these three influences. Only two can be described as a combo of the first two (Sardinians and Basques). So all Europeans, even the most WHG-like (for example Lithuanians) have some important Neolithic ancestry (with West Asian and probably even African elements in it). Frisians are not directly studied but nothing suggests that they do not (French, Brits and Scandinavians do).

      So you could and in fact should have Balcanic influences about everywhere in Europe because there are Neolithic genetic influence also everywhere and that came from the Balcans.

  12. Yep but the Nordids from the Netherlands, Frisia, Northern Germany and Scandinavia are mostly Corded Nordid rather than Dinaric-influenced Nordids.
    (i say "mostly" : it doesn't mean that Dinarids are absent in this zone, but that they are minoritary).


I've chosen to let people comment freely on my posts. Nevertheless, you'll lose your time taunting me and calling me a fascist (which I'm really not) : I pray you to read my introduction which will reassure that my intentions genuinely aim at achieving amateurish knowledge. I understand that you may not share my passion for the history of the peopling of the World, just don't let me know as clear conscience gained by bashing a humble documentary work is useless.