Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fribourg : Romandy (Switzerland)

The region around Fribourg has been settled since the Neolithic period, although few remains have been found. These include some flint tools found near Bourguillon, as well as a stone hatchet and bronze tools. A river crossing was located in the area during the Roman Era. The main activity in the Swiss plateau bypassed the area to the north, however, and was instead centered around the valley of the Broye River and Aventicum.

The canton of Fribourg is a bilingual one : the French-speaking areas are in the west of the canton, whereas the Alemannic-speaking areas are in the east. Only the French-speaking - formerly Franco-Provençal-speaking - parts were sampled : a comparison with Alemannic-speaking villages will be interesting as the linguistic border seems to have been pretty stable since Germanic invasions.

French-speaking Switzerland in purple

  • Sample :

Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light complexion (from blonde to chestnut hair, light eyes, ...), leptomorphic, straight yet rather massive snub-tipped nose, very strong jaw, rather distant eyes
~ Nordoid

Contrary to other areas of Romandy, one can find some impressive Nordoid types which announce the Germanic world, both in terms of general robustness and complexion. Dinaromorphic variants - labelled as "Noric" - are more on par with what one can expect from "Arpitanian" lands : such individuals are strikingly more brachymorphic. Undoubtedly enough, such types are common in Austria or Germanic Switzerland as well.

- Type 2 : 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 or in the whole North Alpine area though they are less common as far as this sampled is concerned. Some individuals - mostly female - are noticeably darker.

  • Final morphotypes :

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