Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vigo : Galicia (Spain)

Galicia, northern Portugal, Asturias, western León, and Zamora formed a single megalithic area since the Neolithic and Chalcolithic (also called Copper Age) Ages, around 4500–1500 BCE. Historians believe that Megalithic culture had two sources: an oriental source that was predominant in the Mediterranean area, and one in the Atlantic, which originated north of the Tagus River. The latter, because of its geographical proximity to Galicia, would explain the abundant traces of megalithic culture in this area. That this should be the first great culture also meant that it constituted one of the basic pillars that was to endow Galicia's cultural personality.

At the end of the Iron Age, people from northwestern Iberian Peninsula conformed already a homogeneous cultural unity which differentiated themselves from others and which later would be identified by the early Greek and Latin Authors, calling to this group of peoples with the name of Gallaeci (Galicians).

  • 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 light on average), rather narrow eyelids
~ Nordo-Mediterranoid

This type - amusingly said to be "horsy" - is very Portuguese-looking and confirms the historical links between Galicia and what would become Portugal. The very label under which I classified is not that important : metrics are "Nordo-Mediterranean" ; as for "Atlantic" -which I omited this time - it's just a convenient way to emphasize on vague secondary features rather proper to Western Europe. Larger-faced - nearly square-faced - variants are found as well : such types are noted for very angular features frequently found amongst Portuguese people as well (mostly women).

- Type 2 : 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 is abundantly found in Portuguese and adjacent NW Spanish areas : some individuals would fit a "Berid" definition (wide-spaced sloping eyes, a short broad nose and thick browridges).

  • Final morphotypes :

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wexford : Leinster (Ireland)

The county is rich in evidence of early human habitation : Ireland was inhabited sometime shortly after the ending of the last Ice Age, approximately 10,000 - 8000 BC. Conservative estimates place the arrival of the first humans in County Wexford as occurring between 5000 BC - 3000 BC, referred to as the Mesolithic period in Ireland, though they may have arrived slightly earlier. Its proximity to Britain and Europe means that County Wexford was probably one of the earliest areas of Ireland to be inhabited by humans.

Portal tombs exist at Ballybrittas (on Bree Hill) and date from the Neolithic period or earlier. Remains from the Bronze Age period are far more widespread. Early Irish tribes formed the Kingdom of Uí Cheinnsealaig, an area that was slightly larger than the current County Wexford.

  • 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 though more or less leptomorphic. Darker variants - dubbed Atlantid - do exist as well : some individuals combining dark hair and blue eyes constitute a very typical Irish phenotype.

- 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 a very classical pan-British phenotype, it has attracted many authors who used this type to define Britishness. Surprisingly enough, as far as my sampling techniques are concerned, such types are rarer than in other parts of Ireland.

  • Final morphotypes :

Monday, June 6, 2011

Calahorra : La Rioja (Spain)

The comarca of Rioja Baja is situated near the border with Navarre on the right bank of the Ebro. During ancient Roman times, Calahorra - its main town - was a municipium known as Calagurris : its belonging seems to be blurry as it either in the hands of the Berones or the Vascones.

La Rioja in pre-Roman times

  • Sample :

Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

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

The sample is dominated by dinaromorphic types which is not surprising for an area next to Vasconic lands and once part of Basque-speaking lands. Still people seem to diverge from classical Basque types and are more on par with the usual Iberian types one can find in Castile.

Some individuals - still within the Mediterranoid spectrum - shows interesting features such as a shorter nose, a larger face, ... Such features can be found in Aragon as well, South of the Ebro river.

- Type 2 :
Intermediate complexion (rather dark hair, light eyes, ...), more or less brachymorphic, reduced and "puffy" features, square-box head, little and puffy nose, strong jaw, rather distanced and somehow chinky eyes
~ Alpino-Mediterranean

This type is pretty widespread throughout the Iberian peninsula but might be more specifically Castillian/South Aragonese.

  • Morphotypes finaux / Final morphotypes :