Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Salamanca : Castile and León (Spain)

Salamanca was founded in the pre-Ancient Rome period by the Vacceos, as one of a pair of forts to defend their territory near the Duero river. The Vaccaei were probably largely of Celtic descent : they often acted in consort with their neighbours, the Celtiberi, suggesting they may have been part of the Celtiberian peoples. The Vaccean civilization was the result of a process of local evolution, importing elements from other cultures, whether by new additions of people or cultural and trading contacts with neighbouring groups. It is also believed that was from these Vaccei that the warlike Arevaci stemmed from around the late 4th Century BC to conquer the eastern meseta.





  • Sample :

Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 :
Dark complexion (dark hair but rather pale skin), brachymorphic, broad face, round features, short and broad nose, wide-set eyes, wide-spaced sloping and rather chinky eyes
~ Alpinoid




This type was abundantly found in Portuguese and Leonese areas : it would fit a "Berid" definition. It seems to be quite widespread in the whole NW corner of the Iberian peninsula.


- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion, leptomorphic, narrow "horsy" face, long and straight nose, high cheekbones, a rather broad jaw, close-set eyes, rather narrow eyelids
~ Atlanto-Mediterranean




This is a basic Iberian type. Somehow, these people remind us of "horsy" Portuguese types : the nose is not strongly convex and is rather "puffy", the hair is rather light, traits are angular (a feature found in Valladolid as well) ... Another series, totally pan-Iberian :




  • Final morphotypes :

Friday, August 27, 2010

Western Pomerania : Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany)

In prehistoric times, the area was inhabited by megalith cultures. In the first half of the first millennium, the East Germanic Rugians are reported in the area, who are known to later set up a kingdom far South in Pannonia in the 5th century. By the 6th and 7th century, West Slavic people populated the region. If they met a substantial Rugian population and whether and/or how these were assimilated by the Slavs is not known.






  • Sample :

Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

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




This type, hesitating inbetween classical Trønder and Halstatt types as identified by many authors, is quite typical from North Germany.


- 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, rather full lips deep jaw, wide-set eyes
~ Borreby/Subnordid




This type is quite widespread in Northern Europe. Funnily enough, it is very prevailing amongst men and rarer amongst women contrary to other German areas. Note that such sexual dimorphism was also noted amongst other Baltic people such as the Polish people for instance. A dinaromorphic variant of that type somehow reminds us of South German and Austrian types.



  • Final morphotypes :

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Braga : Minho (Portugal)

The region of Braga has been inhabited since pre-historic times, and in the Iron Age the Bracari people occupied the region and built their characteristic fortified villages (castrum). It was the capital of the Callaici Bracarii, or Bracarenses, a tribe who occupied what is now Galicia and northern Portugal. It has been long known that they spoke a Celtic language, as can be seen in the inscription dedicated to the goddess Nabia at Braga's Fonte do Ídolo, or in the name of their town Tongobriga.



  • Sample :

Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Dark complexion, leptomorphic, gracile general features, narrow "horsy" face, long and narrow nose, high cheekbones, a rather broad jaw, close-set eyes, rather narrow eyelids
~ Nordo-Mediterranoid




This type was already identified in other Portuguese areas. It is quite prevailing amongst women as well albeit within a lighter spectrum as usual in North Portugal.




- Type 2 : Dark complexion (dark hair but rather pale skin), brachymorphic, broad face, round features, short and broad nose, wide-set eyes, from dark to light eyes ("green-blue")
~ Alpinoid



This type was previously identified in Portuguese Alto Douro. It's much rare here and surprisingly enough, a very Portuguese-looking variant characterized by wide-spaced sloping eyes, a short broad nose and thick browridges (this type would fit a "Berid" definition) is absent from this sample. Lighter individuals are found as well.



  • Final morphotypes :

Monday, August 23, 2010

Neuchâtel : Romandy (Switzerland)

The "La Tène" culture was a European Iron Age culture named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel in Switzerland, where a rich trove of artifacts was discovered by Hansli Kopp in 1857. Yet, Neuchâtel had been inhabited since the 6th century BC near Le Locle. Later in the Bronze Age around 1.7000BC humans colonized the shores of Lake Neuchâtel where later the La Tène culture would emerge.






  • Sample :

Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

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




Unsurprisingly enough, the area is home to classical Alpine types abundantly found in the Rhône valley in France.


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




Many individuals indeed approach Nordo-Mediterranean metrics. Still, very "Germanic-looking" individuals (angular features, rather distanced eyes, snub-tipped and wavy nose, ...) are more of an oddity here, which is a sharp contrast with Upper Wallis. It appears quite clear that this area shares links with the Rhône valley in France and its archetypal Noric types. The fair presence of darker and rather dinaromorphic Mediterranoid types confirms that Neuchâtel somehow differs from Germanic Switzerland (not that drastically though : more samples are needed).




  • Final morphotypes :

Friday, August 20, 2010

Leghorn : Tuscany (Italy)

Known as Leghorn in English, the Tuscan town of Livorno used to be the natural port of Pisa for trade with the Mediterranean islands. The area has been inhabited since Paleolithic times. Yet Populonia, known as Fufluna in Etruscan, was the only main town of Etruria on the coast.

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.





  • Sample :

Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Rather intermdeiate complexion (dark hair, yet light eyes, ...), leptomorphic, narrow face, long and straight high-rooted nose that can get convex, close set eyes, large jaw, pointy chin
~ Dinaromorphic Mediterranean




A pan-Italian type, it is nevertheless dominated by a puffier and less dinaromorphic Mediterranean variant more particularly around the nose area which possesses a large basis. Blue eyes are a common feature. Note that sexual dimorphism - a stunning Tuscan feature - is absent from this sample.





- 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)




This type is mostly feminine. Let's note that "exotic" types found in inland Tuscany - characterized by a very large face and jaw, a broad yet straight nose, dark features, narrow eyelids - are an oddity here, particularly amongst males. Conversely, a dinaromorphic square-faced variant - rather in a Mediterranean variation - is very abundant.




  • Final morphotypes :