Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Moray : Highlands (Scotland)

Modern Moray does not reflect the historical extension of the diocese of Moray, one of the most important of the medieval diocese in Scotland, encompassing large parts of modern Highland.

The fort of Burghead was probably a major pictish centre and was where carved slabs depicting bulls were found; they are known as the Burghead Bulls. A chambered well of some considerable antiquity was discovered in 1809 and walls and a roof were later added to help preserve it.




  • Sample :
Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light complexion (pinky undertones, light eyes, from blonde to light dark hair, ...), leptomorphic, straight nose that can get concave, high cheekbones, close-set eyes, rather angular and pointy chin, large jaw
~ Atlantid




This type constitutes a basic "Celtic" insular phenotype : it is quite prevailing in this part of Scotland. It approaches many European subtypes from the Atlantic. An interesting feature is that noses tend to be rather concave and turned-up on some individuals.



Eventually, dinaromorphic and somehow darker (let's add a rather triangular and "horsy" face) individuals are found : this type has been well identified throughout the Isles on this weblog. It might be approaching Atlanto-Med types from the Atlantic as well as some Belgian types from Flanders.





- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion (light skin, light eyes, rather dark hair, ...), 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





A very classical pan-British phenotype, it has attracted many authors who used this type to define Britishness. Contrary to other British samples though, women don't happen to show striking dinaromorphism. On average, those people somehow show affinities with Brittany (see Trégor for instance). I'll soon make comparisons.


  • Final morphotypes :

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Burgos : Castile and León (Spain)

The Celtiberian region that became Burgos was inhabited by the Autrigoni, Turmodigi and Berones, the last inhabitants of the northern part of the Celtiberian region which was under Vasconian pressure (it's still unclear which way those people were linked with neighbouring proto-Basque tribes); the principal cities, according to Ptolemy, included: Brabum, Sisara, Deobrigula, Ambisna Segiasamon and Verovesca (modern Briviesca). It looks like the Basque language was spoken in this area as proved by many placenames (see this article in Spanish).

The Arabs occupied almost all of Castile in the eighth century, though only for a brief period, and left little if any trace of their occupation. Alfonso III the Great, king of León reconquered it about the middle of the ninth century, and built several castles for the defence of Christendom, which was then extended through the reconquest of lost territory. The region came to be known as Castile (Latin castella), i.e. "land of castles".





  • Sample :
Full scale



  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Intermediate complexion (from blonde to dark hair, black eyes, rather pale skin on average, ...), leptomorphic, long face (particularly on males), straight or convex nose, close-set eyes, pointy chin, large jaw
~ (Dinaricized) Atlanto-Mediterranean




This is a very classical Iberian type found throughout the whole peninsula. A variant characterized by blue eyes and blondish undertones might be more specifically northern Iberian and was already identified in Rioja and Pamplona.




- Type 2 : Dark complexion (dark hair, black eyes, ...), more or less brachymorphic, reduced and "puffy" features, square-box head, large nose, strong jaw, rather distanced eyes
~ Dinaricized Alpino-Mediterranean





Esssentially a very robust variant of Type 1, it seems to be quite widespread in northern Iberia (Asturias, Cantabria, Rioja, ...). Similar types were already encountered in Guipúzcoa. It's absent in Zamora, which might hint to a distinction between true Castile around Burgos and Leonese areas (which are in a Portuguese variation IMO).

Eventually, more classical Alpino-Mediterranean types are found.





  • Final morphotypes :

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lower Wallis : Wallis (Switzerland)

The Romans called the area Vallis Poenina (Upper Rhône Valley). The Walser settled the upper part of the Wallis about 1000 years ago, while the lower part remained Romance-speaking. Wallis was colonized by modern Humans after the last glacial period when the Rhône glacier disappeared. Most scientists believe that those populations were replaced during the Neolithic by newcomers as Mesolithic techniques abruptly disappeared replaced by complete Neolithic ones without any form of transitional era. Those newcomers are believed to have originated from the southern Alps. See here for more information about Wallis' history.





  • Sample :
Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light complexion (aqua-blue eyes, dark blonde hair, ...), brachymorphic, little and concave nose, square-faced, broad forehead, wide-set eyes, large jaw
~ Alpinoid/Subnordid




Even though Alpinoid types are the main types in the Alps, secondary features are quite important : broad noses, aqua-blue eyes, ... rather link those individuals with Piedmontese Alpinoid types than with neighbouring Germanic ones from Upper Wallis.


- Type 2 : Light complexion (from blonde to chestnut hair, light eyes, ...), more or less leptomorphic, straight nose, high cheekbones, close-set eyes
~ Nordoid




Many individuals indeed approach Nordo-Mediterranean metrics. Still, very "Germanic-looking" individuals (narrow "horsy" face, ...) are more of an oddity here, which is a sharp contrast with Upper Wallis.

Conversely, one can find dinaromorphic (Norid ?) individuals with a very arched nose, which is quite consistent of what we know of Arpitanian lands (see for instance for "Arpitanian" France : Dauphiné, Lyonnais).




  • Final morphotypes :

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mayo : Connacht (Ireland)

According to the present state of archaeological knowledge, the first people arrived in Ireland sometime before 7000 BC during what is called the Mesolithic period. They were nomadic tribes of hunters and fishing people who built no permanent structures such as houses or tombs. The first colonisation of Mayo probably took place during that period. See here for more info on Mayo's history.



  • 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 this part of Ireland. When darker (let's add a rather triangular and "horsy" face) some individuals approach Atlanto-Med types from the Atlantic (western France, northern Spain, ...) as well as some Belgian types from Flanders.





- 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




A very classical pan-British phenotype, it has attracted many authors who used this type to define Britishness. Many individuals (mostly women) also show classical "Celtic" dinaromorphism in transition with the first type. When combined with green-grey eyes, this type exhibits a true Irish flavour.





  • Final morphotypes :

Monday, April 19, 2010

Upper Wallis : Wallis (Switzerland)

The Romans called the area Vallis Poenina (Upper Rhône Valley). The Walser settled the upper part of the Wallis about 1000 years ago, coming from the Bernese Oberland. Because of linguistic differences among the Walser dialects, it is supposed that there were two independent immigration routes. From the upper Wallis, they began to spread south, west and east between the 12th and 13th centuries, which is known as the Walser migrations.






  • Sample :
Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light complexion, brachymorphic, little and concave nose, square-faced, broad forehead, wide-set eyes, large jaw
~ Alpinoid/Subnordid




This type seems to be quite widespread in the whole Alps, more particularly in German-speaking areas and in the French Rhône valley (Dauphiné, Lyonnais, ...), not so much on the Italian side of the Alps. One can find more leptomorphic and somehow darker individuals.




Dinaromorphic individuals are more specifically Swiss/Austrian-looking (see Austria) and could fall under the next category.




- Type 2 :
Light complexion (from blonde to chestnut hair, light eyes, ...), leptomorphic, narrow "horsy" face, straight or convex nose, high cheekbones, close-set eyes
~ Nordid




This type is quite Germanic-looking whatever that means : it reminds us of many Dutch and German subtypes (more particularly "horsy" Flemish phenotypes). Notice the specific nose shape.


  • Final morphotypes :