Sunday, November 21, 2010

Durrës (Albania)

Durrës was founded as Epidamnos in the ancient region of Illyria in 627 BC by ancient Greek colonists from Corinth and Corcyra. The general vicinity of Epidamus was called Epidamnia. Very little is known about the Illyrians, though a number of them are assumed to have been united by a common Illyrian language. "Illyria" might just be a designation of a roughly defined region of the western Balkans as seen from a Roman perspective, just as Magna Germania is a rough geographic term not delineated by any linguistic or ethnic unity.

  • Sample :

Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

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

This type is common in the Balkans, : it might constitute a basic "Illyrian" phenotype. Still, these Albanian types are noted for a strong leptoprosopy, at least when it comes to males. A more robust square-jawed variant is found as well :

Type 2 : Intermediate complexion, brachymorphic, large head, little and sometimes distanced oblique eyes, low orbits, low-rooted and rather broad nose, weak browridges, large jaw
~ Alpinoid/Gorid

This type is quite original in its rather extreme character and was absent from Korçë which exhibited more classical individuals. Some individuals would fit well in the Caucasus for instance.

  • Final morphotypes :


  1. Hey Heraus!
    It's Durrës, not Dürres... :)

    Great sample as usual, much more leptosomic than other balkanic ones, might be the proximity to the sea?

  2. They look essentially Balcanic to me (with some strong Greek affinities within that area).

    I looked with particular interest because I suspect that coastal Albania was central (though maybe not the only region, Montenegro and Dalmatia should be looked upon also) at the origins of Cardium Pottery Neolithic. However I find only very very limited affinities with Western Mediterraneans (again suggestive of only limited demic input in Mediterranean Neolithic, as happens with the genetic and archaeological evidence).

    However I do notice clear differences with inland Albanians, which should originate in Balcanic (Sesklo/Vinĉa-like) Neolithic. This is specially clear in the male composites, which are very different and make the inner Albanian (Korçë) reminding of the "strange" morphotype we discussed for Poland and East Slovenia (and Romania?), though less exaggerated and darker in hair/eye color.

    The female composite show much greater similitudes, all typical of Dinaro-Mediterranean typology, very common for what I could observe among ethnic Albanian women: big oval eyes, high eyebrows (specially to the sides), dark straight hair, narrow jaw, rather prominent nose...

    Not exaggerated but still apparent prominent lower lip is clear in all four Albanian morphotypes and may be a West Asian originated trait.

    Though anomalous, D7 must be mentioned for his North African (pseudo-Khoisanid) look, possibly a remnant of E1b1b1 genetic flow. Wonder if this may be extended to all the "Gorid" types or is rather a case of forced missclassification.

  3. @Gui S : My mistake, that's what happens when typography is shared with French : I don't copy and paste. :)
    That's now corrected.

  4. A3 and D7 in the complete sample look non-European.

  5. D7 looks European to me, and actually quite northern to me, like a darker Borreby.

  6. Almost half of them look Armenoid and some even look Turanid influenced. They would perfectly fit in Caucasus or in Turkey.

  7. The city of Durres was built by Illyrians btw in the 11th century BC, not by Hellens.

    In the 630 BC. ancient greek colonists came there and were allowed to settle, but the city was founded by Illyrians.

    There is no evidence that the people in those photos are Albanians.

    Besides that, the city of Durres is mixed, has considerable Vlachs and brown minorities such as gypsies and Ashkalis.

    A good percentage of them don't look albanian at all.

  8. The women on the left is gypsy here

    This guy on the left looks gyosy also

    The guy on the far right looks wired and far from being albanian looking

    The women on the left look stereotypical jevgjit/ashkali who are a bit lighter than gypsies


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