Monday, July 19, 2010

Waremme : Wallonia (Belgium)

Several findings were unearthed near Waremme containing remnants of Neolithic and Bronze Age settlements. The main Roman road linking Bavai to Cologne passed right through the territory. Tumuli and Roman villas were found nearby. Waremme, known as Borgworm in Dutch, is situated at the lingustic border with Dutch-speaking areas of Belgium.

  • Sample :

Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 :
Light complexion, brachymorphic, developed browridges, high and straight forehead, broad cheekbones, very broad jaw, rather wide-set eyes
~ Borreby

This type is abundant in NW Europe. These individuals somehow show stronger affinities with their neighbouring Flemish counterparts than with Picard people : rather puffy features, very distanced eyes are features found in Dutch-speaking areas.

- Type 2 : Light complexion, leptomorphic, long "horsy" face, long nose, dinaromorphism, long and narrow jaw, close-set eyes
~ Keltic-Nordic

Once more, this is the infamous "horsy" phenotype so common amongst Dutch-speaking people already identified in Flanders. The area somehow confirms its "Flemish" affinities. Another series, albeit darker :

  • Final morphotypes :


  1. Hi there, Heraus.

    I have been dowloading all your composites from Europe and North Africa and inserting them onto a large map of Europe (in some areas, had to select some and discard others because of space concerns). This may be a useful tool for overall analysis and if you wish, I'll send you a copy: write me to lialdamiz[AT]gmail[DOT]com.

    I haven't been able yet to do much with it but at least I took some annotations (into another map) on pigmentation, which is, as we know the most apparent trait. It's interesting to notice that among composites I notice the following traits:

    "Mediterranean traits":

    1. Dark (brownish) skin in either the male or female composites (or both) is restricted to Reggio di Calabria, Nuoro (Sardinia) and Eivissa (Ibiza).

    2. Black hair in both male and female composites is most common in some composites of Iberia (Burgos, Soria, Granada, Murcia) and South France (Tolouse and Buch), as well as Reggio and Albania. I find notable that it's so rare in Italy (and possibly the Balcans).

    Neither trait was detected in the North African composites (Oran and Tangier), which are quite fair. However they are possibly not representative for the whole region.

    "Nordic traits":

    3. Blond hair (strictly speaking: yellow) is found in the composites of Cheshire, Reims, Friesland, Südschleswig (female) and Aland.

    4. Reddish hair is only apparent in Shetland (female) and Südscheleswig (male).

    I'd say that the well known N-S pigmentation gradient is mostly a matter of hair color (maybe eyes too but had to make the composites too small to be able to notice that trait anymore). The transition (between mostly brown to mostly ash blond) is clinal but possibly runs along a somewhat chaotic line through France (south of the Loire except in Brittany) and South Italy. Languedoc-Rousillon looks oddly "blonde" for a Mediterranean area while Brittany looks rather "brunette" for such a northern location. Italy looks mostly "dark blond", curiously enough.

    Another curiosity I have spotted is a quite striking affinity between the Red Ruthenian and the Slovenian Premurkje composites. The guys specially show a strange-looking craniofacial morphology that is nothing like the rest of composites in your blogs. That may well be related to the R1a (IE, Slavic) affinities between both populations.

  2. Hi

    I just wanted to mention that I have been watching all your threads about european human variation with pictures the last two weeks on Anthrocivitas and I like them a lot, I don't post there because I only lurk, I am not registered, but I really like them.

    I have two question,
    the first one for both you and Maju.

    Do you consider the people of Valladolid and Palencia to be more like the Leonese/Portuguese or like the Castilians/Basques? Or are they in between? like a buffer zone? (obviously I mean how they look, not their culture)
    Those territories sometimes belonged to Leon and to Castile, they were in dispute and finally they became a part of Old Castile.

    The second question is did Platy delete all his posts? I can see his posts quotes by you, but not any post of his own.



  3. "Do you consider the people of Valladolid and Palencia to be more like the Leonese/Portuguese or like the Castilians/Basques?"

    My impression is that Castilians and Basques are rather different overall. There are grey zones but while the sample of La Rioja looks pretty much Basque to me, the one of Burgos only somewhat and the one of Soria really not. IMO you find more of a Basque-like cline to the East (towards Catalonia) and to the North, into Gascony and beyond.

    I have not paid enough attention to the possible anthropometric differences between Leonese and Castilians. I have the vague impression, but mostly from genetics, that non-Basque Iberians tend to cluster. Catalans diverge somewhat (towards Basques, and towards Europe) and Andalusians also do (towards the Mediterranean only). Possibly Western Iberians also have some divergence from the main typology but I have not looked much at it.

    IMO the origins of these differences are often more prehistorical than historical, though there's been of course some repeated flow between neighbors since then. That's the only explanation I find to the relative genetic homogeneity of Iberians after you exclude Basques: that they have a common origin, which is best explained in terms of Paleolithic provinces (plus whatever lesser Neolithic inputs).

  4. If I recall correctly (I am not a spaniard) in pre roman Iberia you had three groups.
    Celts (lusitianians and the people who gave the name to galicia) in Western Iberia (galicia, portugal, extremadura)
    The reason for celts being on the west and not where it would make more sense (the parts of Iberia closer to France) is that celtic culture spreaded to Spain through sea trade.

    Then celtiberians in the middle of Spain, who spoke celtic languages but were considered to be a mixed ethnic group (celtic and iberian)by the romans

    And then iberians around valencia and north east Spain, who were probably related to Vascones.

    So it would make sense if Basques were closest to the parts of Spain were iberian languages were spoken, moderatly close to the celtiberian parts, and least close to the western celtified parts


  5. Let's see, Lukerdude. In the Paleolithic there were three provinces within Magdalenian Europe:

    1. the core one was the Franco-Cantabrian Region (southern France, Northern coastal strip of Spain and as intermediate zone Northern Catalonia)

    2. the Rhine-Danube region between Belgium and Hungary

    3. the Iberian province, mostly SE Iberia between Valencia and Málaga (but with offshoots in Portugal too)

    This province system existed, with limited caveats, before and later until the arrival of Neolithic. You can also consider Italy-Adriatic as another province (remained in Gravettian cultural sequence) and at least one province in Eastern Europe (also Gravettian), centered at the Dniepr-Don river system, with projection to Romania and probably also parts of West Asia in the Epipaleoithic.

    The interaction of the provinces is complex and not always well understood but essentially the Franco-Cantabrian region was the demographic (and often cultural) center of Europe until the end of the Ice Age. That's why I pay great attention not just to Basques but to Southern France's peoples. See Boucquet-Appel's paper for details on Paleolithic demography.

    In this region, without doubt, Dordogne was the most densely populated district, although the Pyrenees, Cantabria, Ardeche, Herault... also had some importance.


    As for more recent scenarios such as the Iron Age one you mention, it is generally accepted that Celts arrived to Iberia very early, with the Urnfields expansion, which took over Catalonia and spread then upstream the Ebro river. In the Hallstatt phase, they seem to have absorbed the Plateau's herder culture of Cogotas and from there, spread into Western Iberia, surely though violent conquest. This happened in the 7th century BCE, roughly when Italics also spread in central and southern Italy.

    Then, in the 6th or 5th century BCE most of the "Celtic" holds in NE Iberia became Iberian, albeit keeping the Urnfields' burial customs. This seems related to the founding of Marseilles and related outposts (Emporion, etc.) by the Greeks. At least it's chronologically coincident. The survivors of these clashes around the Ebro basin between Vasco-Iberians and Celts surely became the Celtiberians who lived south of the Ebro.

    I don't think all this significantly altered the genetic or phenotype landscape. If it did, I have not been able to detect the signatures clearly. At most it could be associated with Y-DNA I but its substructure has never been clarified satisfactorily for Iberia and France so I'm in doubt because the lineage may also have Mediterranean Neolithic origins or even be of Paleolithic stock.

    The difference of West Iberians is in fact that they have quite more "Neolithic" Y-DNA (specially haplogroup E, in two or more variants, but also J2, G and T) than other Iberians. (See here and here).

    "So it would make sense if Basques were closest to the parts of Spain were iberian languages were spoken"...

    Or not. Because:

    1. Languages and genes are not strictly related

    2. You are ignoring France

    3. Iberian and Basque may or not be related. There is almost for sure a sprachbund (areal interaction) but it's not demonstrated in any way that Iberian and Basque are related.

    4. Even if Iberian and Basque are part of the same linguistic family, they may well have been diverging since the Paleolithic or Neolithic ages, long before the first Celt existed.

  6. Hi Maju !

    I'm quite appreciative of your involvement ! I'll communicate you my e-mail adress. I may not answer very quickly these days as I have to devote myself to family tasks that may be more or less trivial. I'll be in Paris up to monday for instance but nevermind, that's not the place. About "morphotypes", I don't know what one could conclude from them : undoubtedly speaking, there are divergences on a large scale. I agree with you that Red Ruthenia and Prekmurje do show strange craniofacial morphology. If you check individuals, you'll also notice that many people in Prekmurje look Polish, at least that's the way I perceive it.

    @Lurkerdude :
    About Platypus : he may post some comments on this weblog now and then, I don't have precise news about him. He's welcome to share his views.

    BTW I agree with Maju's feelings on phenotypical "basqueness". When sampling Spain, one of my first surprises was that Castillian people did not really look Basque (Zamora being somehow completely "opposite") whereas Catalan areas (add Murcia) somehow were more in a "Bascoid" variation, that one could dub "East-Pyrenean". IMO that's consistent with what we know of the local language spoken in these areas. The little we know of "Iberian" as spoken in Valencia for instance clearly exhibits a Basque flavour (whereas ancient placenames in Western Iberia really don't suit Basque phonology). I also firmly believe that the modern distribution of Catalan Romance dialects vaguely emulates a former ethnic - and properly Iberian - world. Just speculation.

    Still, Castile is vast : more samples will come eventually, some of them are not as conclusive for instance. I also firmy agree that France is being ignored for strange reasons by most scientists (well as I said, there are legal reasons).


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.