Monday, April 25, 2011

Waldeck : Hesse (Germany)

An early Celtic presence in what is now Hesse is indicated by a mid 5th century BC La Tène style burial uncovered at Glauberg. The region was later settled by the Germanic Chatti tribe in ca. the 1st century BC, and the name Hesse is a continuation of that tribal name. In the early Middle Ages, a Frankish gau comprising an area around Fritzlar and Kassel and a Saxon one further north were known as Hessengau. In the 9th century the Saxon Hessengau also came under the rule of the Franconians. In the 12th century it was passed to Thuringia.

The district of Waldeck-Frankenberg was created in 1972 by merging the two districts of Frankenberg and Waldeck. Most of the area of the district was previously part of the Freistaat Waldeck, the successor of the principality of Waldeck.





  • Sample :

Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light complexion (light hair, light eyes, ...), more or less leptomorphic, a rather large face on some individuals, a high-rooted and convex nose, high cheekbones, close-set eyes, large jaw
~ Nordo-Dinaric




These individuals are rather Dutch/Belgian-looking : some authors have used the label "Keltic-Nordic" to label such type (generally used to describe similar types in the British Isles). By the way, terminology is rather useless : what matters is that such dinaromorphic type is nearly absent from more northern areas such as Lower Saxony and is quite abundant from Hesse to Bavaria. Some individuals are much more brachymorphic.





Eventually one can find rather indistinct Nordoid types - noted for rather puffier features particularly in the nose area lacking dinaromorphism - which are frequent in the whole of Germanic lands. These individuals are not impressively leptomorphic, quite the contrary actually, and they smoothly lead us to the the second type one can detect.





- Type 2 : Light complexion (light eyes, ...), brachymorphic, more or less little and broad nose, square-faced, broad forehead, wide-set eyes, rather long eyelids, large jaw
~ Alpinoid/Subnordid





This category lacks unity : individuals come in all shape and complexion. Some individuals do show "Borreby" features, others are "Alpinid" as in Austria. There seems to be a subtle transition between both types somewhere in Germany but my skills don't allow me to tell more for the moment. It might just be an artefact eventually.


  • Final morphotypes :

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Los Pasiegos : Cantabria (Spain)

Cantabria is the richest region in the world in archaeological sites from the Upper Paleolithic period. The first signs of human occupation date from Lower Paleolithic, although this period is not so well represented in the region. The most significant cave painting site is the cave of Altamira, dated from about 16,000 to 9,000 BC.

In the whole valleys, the repopulation allowed by the foundation of several monasteries had great importance. This might explain the presence of Northern European haplogroups (see link) or why a study Cruciani et al 2004 states that 41.1% of sampled "Pasiegans" belonged to the haplogroup E-M81 found in modern Berber populations.








  • Sample :

Full scale



  • Brief anthropological analysis :

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




This type shows clear Basque affinities : ethnic Basque characters such as a triangle-shaped head and a convex nose are quite prevailing in the sample. Some other individuals - still in the Atlanto-Med variation - are less archetypal (more robust features maybe) and to my own personal eyes, look rather "South French" (and to be more precise "Languedocian").




- Type 2 : Dark complexion (dark hair, black eyes, ...), more or less brachymorphic, reduced and "puffy" features, in some cases high-headed, rather little nose (on males at least), strong jaw, close-set eyes
~ Alpino-Mediterranean




This is a very classical pan-Iberian type. Some individuals look more "ethnic" because of some specific features such as striking blue eyes (which is then a common feature in the "Valles Pasiegos"). Those people might be rather specifically Cantabrian-looking.




  • Final morphotypes :

Friday, April 1, 2011

Vatican City : Lazio (Italy)

Vatican City ( in Italian officially "Stato della Città del Vaticano" which translates as "State of the Vatican City"), is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of just over 800. The name "Vatican" comes from the Latin Mons Vaticanus, meaning Vatican Mount. The territory of Vatican City is part of the Mons Vaticanus, and of the adjacent former Vatican Fields.



  • Sample :

Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 :
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, glasses, a strange love for ridiculous hats
~ Borreby/Alpinoid




Such types might representent a rather northern influx as migrations from non-Romance Europe have been historically attested in Vatican. Women are more on par with classical Italian variation.


- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion, red, leptomorphic, narrow face, long and straight high-rooted nose that can get convex, red, close set eyes, large jaw, pointy chin, red
~ Dinaromorphic Nordo-Mediterranean




Such types are generally associated with the Chiefs of State of the City of Vatican : "this is how a Pope should look like" to sum up. As a whole, it's a rather pan-European type (Italy, Iberia, Belgium, ...).


  • Final morphotypes :