Saturday, March 27, 2010

Vicenza : Veneto (Italy)

Vicentia (modern Vicenza) was settled by the Italic Euganei tribe and then by the Paleo-Veneti tribe in the third and second centuries BCE as the former were allegedly driven by the Adriatic Veneti to an area between the river Adige and Lake Como. The city had some importance as a way-station on the important road from Mediolanum (Milan) to Aquileia, near Tergeste (Trieste), but it was overshadowed by its neighbor Patavium (Padua).



  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Dark complexion, dark eyes, leptomorphic, narrow face, long and straight high-rooted nose that can get convex, close set eyes, large jaw, pointy chin
~ Dinaromorphic (Nordo-)Mediterraneans




This is the quintessential pan-Italian phenotype. Lighter types are more specific from North Italy.





- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion, brachymorphic, round face, little low-rooted nose that can get snub-tipped, wide set eyes
~ Alpinoid




Eventually, more robust and lighter types are found showing affinities with Alpine areas.



  • Final morphotypes :

Monday, March 22, 2010

West Flanders : Flanders (Belgium)

The "Belgian" Morini inhabited the low-lying plains and coastal wetlands awashed by tidal forces of the North Sea in the historic Flanders region (the province of West Flanders) of western Belgium and the present-day departments of Nord and Pas-de-Calais of northernmost France. Very few traces of human activity date from the Pre-Roman Gaul era.

Whether the Belgae were of Celtic or Germanic origin, or a combination of both, is unclear. Caesar's sources informed him "that the greater part of the Belgae were sprung from the Germanic peoples, and that, having crossed the Rhine at an early period, they had settled there, on account of the fertility of the country".






  • Sample :
Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 :
Light complexion, brachymorphic, developed browridges, high and straight forehead, broad cheekbones, very broad jaw, rather wide-set eyes
~ Borreby





- Type 2 : Light complexion, leptomorphic, long "horsy" face, long nose, dinaromorphism, long and narrow jaw, close-set eyes
~ Keltic-Nordic




Once more, this is the infamous "horsy" phenotype so common amongst Dutch-speaking people already identified in Brussels : it is a good approximation of many British types. A more specifically Belgian-looking variant is somehow a mix between features from types 1 & 2 (noses can get broad for instance) : it's a very common type in Northern France as well.



Darker individuals are found as well :


  • Final morphotypes :

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Zamora : Castile and León (Spain)

After the Roman victory over the Lusitanian hero Viriathus, the settlement known as modern Zamora was named by the Romans, Occelum Durii (literally, "Eye of the Duero"). During Roman rule it was in the hands of the Vaccaei - an ancient Celtiberian tribe who settled in the Meseta Central - and was incorporated into the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis.

Two coins from the reign of the Visigothic king, Sisebuto, show that it was known at the time as "Semure". During the period of Moorish rule the settlement became known by the names of "Semurah" or "Azemur".




  • 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, from dark to light eyes ("green-blue")
~ Alpinoid




This type was previously identified in Spanish Extremadura (Cáceres) and Portuguese Alto Douro. A very Portuguese-looking variant is characterized by wide-spaced sloping eyes, a short broad nose and thick browridges (this type would fit a "Berid" definition). Nevertheless, it seems to be mostly masculine.




- Type 2 : 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
~ Mediterranoid




This type was already identified in Portuguese Alto Douro. It is quite prevailing amongst women : as proved by the following morphotypes, on average, sexual dimorphism seems to be a reality in the area. If anything, Zamora and neighbouring Portuguese areas are identical ethnically speaking.

  • Final morphotypes :

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Oberbayern : Bavaria (Germany)

The Bavarians emerged in a region north of the Alps, originally inhabited by the Gauls, which had been part of the Roman provinces of Raetia and Noricum. The Bavarians spoke Old High German but, unlike other Germanic groups, did not migrate from elsewhere. Rather, they seem to have coalesced out of other groups left behind by Roman withdrawal late in the 5th century AD. These peoples may have included the Celtic Boii.

The duchy of Upper Bavaria was created for the first time with the First Bavarian partition in 1255 under duke Louis II but there was no exact identity with the current territory.







  • Sample :
Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Intermediate 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 type seems to be quite widespread in the whole Alps, more particularly in the German-speaking sides. It is generally associated with Bavaria. The current Pope - Benedict XVI born in Marktl - is a well-known example.



Punctually, some individuals do appear to be slighty darker.



Some leptomorphic individuals - leaning towards Nordic metrics - are noted for a rather flat nose : it seems to be a rather South German-looking phenotype.




- Type 2 : 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




This phenotype was already identified in Alpine Austria (see Vorarlberg) albeit more brachymorphic on average. Darker individuals are quite specific to Bavaria and Austria.




  • Final morphotypes :

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Isle of Wight : SE England (The British Isles)

The Isle of Wight is first mentioned in writing in Geography by Claudius Ptolemaeus as Vectis. Julius Caesar recognised the culture of this general region as "Belgic", but made no reference to Vectis.

By the late fourth or early fifth centuries AD, Roman troops and officials had withdrawn from Britain. In Bede's ecclesiastical history, Vecta [sic], along with parts of Hampshire and most of Kent, was settled by Jutes, a Germanic people from Northern Europe. Some believe they became victims of a policy of ethnic cleansing by the West Saxons in England.




  • 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 appears not to be as prevailing as it is in SW England. This type indeed reminds us of some Belgian types from Flanders. Strikingly darker phenotypes that were specific from SW England or Wales are absent here.

Instead of dark "Celtic" phenotypes, generic Atlantid phenotypes are found (intermediate pigmentation, grey/blue eyes, a straight nose, lack of dinarism, ...) that somehow remind us of phenotypes found in Normandy.



Some individuals clearly belong to Nordid variability quite widespread in Northern Europe : a strong jaw, light complexion, ... We've clearly left SW England.



- 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 the most typical British phenotype which is widespread throughout the whole islands. Many individuals (mostly women) also show classical "Celtic" dinaromorphism in transition with the first type.


  • Final morphotypes :