Saturday, February 27, 2010

Åland Islands (Finland)

The oldest archeological finds to denote the presence of humans on the isles represent the Comb Ceramic culture and date from around 4000 BC. Around 2500 BC, Pitted Ware starts to appear in Åland. From about 1800 BC, finds from the Kiukais culture start emerging.

Despite being inhabited by Swedes, the Åland Islands were part of the territory ceded to Russia by Sweden under the Treaty of Fredrikshamn in 1809. As a result, along with all other parts of Finland, they became part of the semi-autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland.




  • Sample :
Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light complexion (from medium brown to blonde hair with ash-blonde shades, ...), leptomorphic, general robust features, high forehead, long face, long and straight nose, large jaw, close-set eyes
~ Nordid





This type, inbetween classical Trønder and East-Nordid types as identified by many authors, is quite typical from Scandinavia and NE Europe, even though sexual dimorphism is strong : female individuals are much less impressive.


- Type 2 : Light complexion (medium light hair with possible reddish undertones, light eyes, ...), brachymorphic, general robust features, squared-box face, high and broad forehead, little and broad nose that can get concave, strongly drawn lines around the oral cavity, deep jaw, wide-set eyes
~ Borreby




This type is quite widespread in Northern Europe. Still within Borreby variation are some elongated individuals.





  • Final morphotypes :

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dorset : SW England (The British Isles)

The first known settlement of Dorset was by Mesolithic hunters, from around 8000 BC. Their populations were small and concentrated along the coast. Dorset's high chalk hills have provided a location for defensive settlements for millennia, there are Neolithic and Bronze Age burial mounds on almost every chalk hill in the county, and a number of Iron Age hill forts, the most famous being Maiden Castle, constructed around 600BC.

Dorset has Roman artefacts, particularly around the Roman town Dorchester, where Maiden Castle was captured from the Celtic Durotriges by a Roman Legion in 43 AD under the command of Vespasian, early in the Roman occupation.



  • Sample :
Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light complexion (pinky undertones, light blue eyes, blonde hair, ...), leptomorphic, long and convex nose rather parallel to the face, high cheekbones, close-set eyes, rather angular and pointy chin, large jaw
~ Dinaricized Atlantid aka "Keltic Nordic"




This type constitutes a basic "Celtic" insular phenotype : it is quite prevailing in SW England. When darker (let's add a rather triangular and "horsy" face) some individuals approach Atlanto-Med types from the Atlantic (Western France, NW Spain, ...) as well as some Belgian types from Flanders.



Eventually, more pan-British Atlantid types are found :




- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion (light skin, light eyes, ...), brachymorphic, chubby features, rather low-rooted and little broad nose that can get convex, wide forehead, large and strong jaws, prominent chin, wide-set eyes
~ Alpinoid/Brünn




This is the most typical British phenotype which is widespread throughout the whole islands. Many individuals (mostly women) also show classical "Celtic" dinaromorphism in transition with the first type.




  • Final morphotypes :

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Arezzo : Tuscany (Italy)

The origins of the Etruscans are lost in prehistory. The main hypotheses are that they are indigenous, probably stemming from the Villanovan culture (an earliest Iron Age culture of central and northern Italy, abruptly following the Bronze Age Terramare culture), or that they are the result of invasion from the north or the Near East. Etruscan expansion was focused both to the north beyond the Apennines and into Campania.

Described by Livy as one of the Capitae Etruriae (Etruscan capitals), Arezzo is believed to have been one of the twelve most important Etruscan cities—the so-called Dodecapolis. Etruscan remains establish that the acropolis of San Cornelio, a small hill next to that of San Donatus, was occupied and fortified in the Etruscan period.


  • 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




Once more, we get to identify this pan-Italian phenotype. In Arezzo though just like in Florence, depigmented female variants are to be found which strikingly contrast with the absence of male "Nordoid" counterparts. As already conjectured elsewhere in Tuscany, sexual dimorphism seems to be a reality in this area.





- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion (from brown to aqua-blue eyes, ...), brachymorphic, round face, chubby features, little straight nose, a large jaw on females, rather close-set eyes
~ Alpino(-Mediterranean)




Once more, women appear to be more robust than males. This series is completed by another one exhibiting strange secondary traits : very large face and jaw, a broad yet straight nose, dark features, narrow eyelids which confer individuals a "mestizo" look, ... Those extreme phenotypes are quite common in Tuscany and undoubtedly divide North Italy from Central Italy.




  • Final morphotypes :

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Korçë (Albania)

Neolithic remains have been found indicating occupation of the site from 4000 BC onwards. The Copper Age lasted from 3000 BC to 2100 BC, and was followed by the Bronze Age. Korce was on the border between Illyria and Epirus and was inhabited by Illyrians but they were replaced by Chaonian tribes.

Greek and Slavo-Macedonian (non-sampled) people have had a traditional presence in the area (see map of ethnic minorities in Albania).





  • 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 most common in the Balkans, especially in the region of former Yugoslavia and parts of Romania. It might constitute a basic "Illyrian" phenotype. Women - leaning towards type 2 - can be shorter-faced, darker and somehow more gracile.



Conversely, men can be more robust (large face, large jaw, ....) :




Type 2 : Intermediate complexion (pale skin color but abundant black hair, ...), brachymorphic, large head, gracile general features, little and sometimes distanced oblique eyes, low orbits, low-rooted and little nose, weak browridges, large jaw
~ Alpinoid/Gorid




This type is mostly associated with Eastern Europe. Lighter male individuals are found :



  • Final morphotypes :

Friday, February 12, 2010

Svalbard (Norway)

Scandinavians may have discovered Svalbard as early as the 12th century. Traditional Norse accounts exist of a land known as Svalbarð—literally "cold shores". Russian Pomors may have had settlements on the archipelago in the 16th century, although evidence is lacking before the late 17th century. Pomor accounts name the island as Grumant. The Dutchman Willem Barents made the first indisputable discovery of Svalbard in 1596.

At the beginning of World War II in 1939, Spitsbergen was inhabited primarily by miners - 2,000 Soviets and 1,000 Norwegians - running a coal-mine concession.



  • Sample :
Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light complexion (blonde hair with ash-blonde shades, ...), leptomorphic, general robust features, high forehead, long and straight nose, large jaw, close-set eyes
~ Nordid




This type, dubbed Trønder by many authors, is quite typical from Northern Europe, even though sexual dimorphism is strong : it's mostly a male phenotype.


- Type 2 : 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




Most female fall in that category. This type is quite widespread in Northern Europe and seems to be prevailing in the island. Still within Borreby variation : notice snub-tipped concave noses on men and darker features on women.




Eventually, some individuals exhibit more "exotic" features which might remind us of Finnish and Sami people : a "wavy" concave nose, narrow eyelids, high and prominent cheekbones, ...



  • Final morphotypes :