Sunday, January 31, 2010

Zamość : Red Ruthenia (Poland)

Though nowadays included into Lublin Voivodeship*, the area around Zamość belonged to Red Ruthenia. This area was inhabited in the 10th century by Lendians Lechitic tribe.

In pre-Slavic times the region was populated by Indo-European tribes known as the Lugii and Anarti, associated with the Przeworsk and Puchov cultures. They were followed by East Germanic tribes, the Goths and Vandals. After these vacated the territory, the West Slavs (Lendians and Vistulans) moved in (see here for more information).

* : Hence why I use former administrative divisions which matched better cultural and ethnic areas of Poland.

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light complexion (from medium dark-brown to blonde hair), brachymorphic, large head, little and distanced oblique eyes, low orbits, broad and straight nose, weak browridges, large jaw, receding chin
~ Alpinoid/Baltid

Old anthropology named this type "Gorid". It's very prevailing in the area amongst men. A darker series :

Some individuals do have characteristic snub-tipped concave noses and very oblique eyes.

- Type 2 :
Light complexion, leptomorphic, leptoprosopic, narrow eyes, long and narrow straight nose, high forehead, large jaw, pointy chin
~ Nordid

  • Final morphotypes :

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sondrio : Lombardy (Italy)

The area of Sondrio was populated in ancient times by the Ligures and, from the 5th century BC, by the Celts. Formerly an Ancient Roman military camp, today's Sondrio was founded by the Lombards: in their language Sundrium meant "Exclusive property", referring to the status of free men (arimanni) of the holders of the city and the surrounding land.

Deleted : see comments.

  • Final morphotypes :

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pembrokeshire : Wales (The British Isles)

Pembrokeshire is a maritime county, bordered by the sea on three sides. The Demetae were a Celtic people of Iron Age Britain who inhabited modern Pembrokeshire. Pembrokeshire has long been split between its English-speaking south (known as "Little England beyond Wales" with medieval Flemish settlements) and its historically more Welsh-speaking north, along an imaginary line called the Landsker. The greatest concentration of Anglo-Saxon names is in Roose, while there are considerable numbers of Welsh placenames in the rest of Little England, although these areas were certainly English-speaking (but used to be Welsh-speaking). I only sampled people with Welsh surnames.

Wales was free of glaciers by about 10,250 BP and people would have been able to walk between Continental Europe and Great Britain until between about 7,000 and 6,000 BP, before the post glacial rise in sea level led to Great Britain becoming an island, and the Irish Sea forming to separate Wales and Ireland. Yet, Wales seems to have been inhabited by modern humans for at least 29,000 years.

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light, more or less leptomorphic, long and convex nose that can get narrow, high cheekbones, close-set eyes, angular chin and large jaws
~ Dinaricized (Alpino-)Atlantid

This type constitutes a basic Welsh phenotype : it's very prevailing. When more leptomorphic and darker (let's add full lips, a convex nose rather parallel to the face, triangular "horsy" face, ...) some individuals approach Atlanto-Med types from the Atlantic (Western France, NW Spain, ...) as well as some Belgian types. This type was already identified in the Celtic fringes of the British Isles in Cornwall, Devon, North Wales, ...

Obviously, more classical pan-British Atlantid types are found : light-red hair, little eyelids, puffier nose, ...

- Type 2 : Light, brachymorphic, little low-rooted nose, high cheekbones, wide forehead, large and strong jaws, wide-set eyes, pointy chin
~ Alpinoid/Brünn

  • Final morphotypes :

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Vorarlberg (Austria)

Before the Romans conquered Vorarlberg, there were two Celtic tribes settled in this area: the Raeti inhabiting the highlands, and the Vindelici dwelling in the lowlands, ie the Lake Constance region and the Rhine Valley. One of the important settlements of the Vindelici was Brigantion (today Bregenz), founded around 500 BCE. It was conquered by the Romans in 15 BCE.

Owing to their location isolated from the rest of Austria, most of the people in Vorarlberg speak an Alemannic German dialect part of a family that include Swiss German and other varieties spoken in Liechtenstein, Baden-Württemberg and Alsace. The dialects in the rest of Austria form part of the Bavarian-Austrian language group.

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light, brachymorphic, little 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 the German-speaking sides. Some individuals do approach "Nordic" metrics : leptomorphism, straight nose, full lips, ...

- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion, more or less brachymorphic, a rather large face on some individuals, convex nose, high cheekbones, close-set eyes, large jaw
~ Nordo-Dinaric

This phenotype might be specifically "Swiss/Austrian-looking". It was already identified in South Tyrol in Italy. More leptomorphic and darker individuals might punctually look North Italian.

  • Final morphotypes :

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pontevedra : Galicia (Spain)

The Romans gave the name Gallaecia to the northwest part of the Iberian peninsula after the Gallaeci (Greek Kallaikoi). These Gallaeci lived in the Douro Valley with center in Cale in the area that would become the Roman town of Portus Calle, today's Porto.

Historians and archaeologists tend to agree that the initial settlement was probably formed during the integration of Gallaecia into the Roman Empire (circa 1st century BC). The name of the city is eminently Latin, derived from Pons/Pontis (bridge) and Veteris/Vetera (old), hence Ponte(m)Vetera(m), "the old bridge", in reference to the old Roman bridge across Lérez River (still standing). Well communicated even since Roman times, Pontevedra consolidated itself as an intermediate town during the Suebic dynasty (circa 5th-6th century AD).

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Intermediate complexion, leptomorphic, triangular - somehow "horsy" - face, long and narrow nose, large jaw, close-set eyes that can get light
~ Dinaricized Atlantid/Atlanto-Med

This is the quintessential Iberian type which is quite widespread throughout the whole Peninsula. Green-blue eyes and a very narrow nose on some individuals were features that were already identified in North Portugal.

A lighter series within Atlantid variability with reddish undertones :

- Type 2 :
Dark hair, pale skin, brachymorphic, broad face, round features, thick browridges, relative long and straight nose, wide-spaced sloping eyes, from dark to light eyes ("green-blue")
~ Alpinoid

This type could represent a Pan-Portuguese phenotype. Furthermore, puffier and lighter features (broad little nose, reddish undertones) undoubtedly exhibit a specific Galician - yet rare - flavour which hints to a remote common Atlantic peopling from the British Isles to Portugal.

  • Final morphotypes :

Agrigento : Sicily (Italy)

The area around modern Agrigento was settled by the Sicani, who according to Thucydides arrived from the Iberian Peninsula. Important historical evidence has been discovered in the form of cave drawings by the Sicani, dated from the end of the Pleistocene Epoch, around 8000 BC.

Agrigento's establishment took place around 582-580 BCE and is attributed to Greek colonists from Gela, who named it Akragas. Akragas grew rapidly, becoming one of the richest and most famous of the Greek colonies of Magna Graecia. The city was disputed between the Romans and the Carthaginians during the First Punic War : the Romans eventually captured Akragas in 210 BCE and renamed it Agrigentum, although it remained a largely Greek-speaking community for centuries thereafter.

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1:
Dark complexion, leptomorphic, long and narrow nose, very large jaw, close-set eyes, prominent chin
~ Atlanto-Mediterranean

Somehow, this robust phenotype is not very Italian-looking : it may remind us of some Iberian Atlanto-Med phenotypes. It might just be a matter of perception.

- Type 2: Dark complexion, brachymorphic, arched nose, very large jaw, high cheekbones, rather distanced eyes on women
~ Dinaricized Alpino-Mediterranean

This phenotype is more on par with what one can expect from Sicily. More gracile and very "Italic-looking" individuals - that were virtually absent from Calabria - are to be found :

  • Final morphotypes :