Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vâlcea : Wallachia (Romania)

The area has been inhabited since Dacian and Roman times, and was the site of a castrum. A new fortress was built on the location during the Middle Ages.

The Dacians, situated north of the lower Danube in the area of the Carpathians and Transylvania, are the earliest named people from the present territory of Romania. They are first mentioned in the writings of Ancient Greeks, in Herodotus (Histories Book IV XCIII - "[Getae] the noblest as well as the most just of all the Thracian tribes").

Wallachia (yellow)

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Dark complexion, brachymorphic, large head, little and sometimes distanced oblique eyes, low orbits, broad nose, weak browridges, large jaw
~ Alpinoid/Gorid

This type is specific to Eastern Europe transcending modern ethno-linguistic borders. A rather Romanian-looking variant is characterized by a convex nose.

- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion, more or less leptomorphic, probably brachymorphic, narrow eyes, long and narrow straight nose, high forehead, large jaw, double chin
~ Dinarid

Such types are actually quite rare in this area. Conversely, one can find more classical "nose-less" Mediterranoid individuals which look like more leptomorphic variants of individuals from Type 1.

  • Final morphotypes :

Friday, October 29, 2010

Turin : Piedmont (Italy)

Piedmont was inhabited in early historic times by Celtic-Ligurian tribes such as the Taurini and the Salassi. They were later submitted by the Romans (c. 220 BC), who founded several colonies there including Augusta Taurinorum (Turin). The Taurini occupied the upper valley of the river Po, in the centre of modern Piedmont.

  • Sample :

Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Intermedate 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-Mediterranean

This is a classical pan-Italian type. As usual, lighter and more impressive individuals noted for very arched noses can be found.

- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion (aqua-blue eyes, ...), more or less brachymorphic, square-box face, little low-rooted nose that can get snub-tipped, wide set eyes
~ Alpinoid/Subnordid

Some leptomorphic individuals ("Subnordid") approach Nordic metrics. Striking North Italian secondary features include aqua-blue eyes, rather little eyelids, blonde undertones, ... This type is rarer amongst males who mostly belong to the first type. Eventually, typical "chubby" Alpinoid North Italian women are found.

  • Final morphotypes :

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Caernarfon : Gwynedd (Wales)

Wales has been inhabited by modern humans for at least 29,000 years. Continuous human habitation dates from the end of the last ice age, between 12,000 and 10,000 years before present (BP), when Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from central Europe began to migrate to Great Britain.

Gwynedd was an independent kingdom from the end of the Roman period until the 13th Century when it was conquered and subjugated by England (for more on this period see Kingdom of Gwynedd).

  • 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 : I'll soon begin to characterize the main phenotypes one can find in the British Isles. Frailer individuals funnily give me an Irish vibe while robust types are more on par with what one can expect from Wales. Contrary to SW England, leptomorphic darker variants are somehow rare at least amongst males. Dark males actually belong to a brachymorphic type (named "Paleo-Atlantid" in old literature) still exhibiting dinaromorphism though.

- 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

  • Final morphotypes :

Friday, October 15, 2010

Saaremaa (Estonia)

The Oeselians (or Osilians) were a historical Finnic people inhabiting Saaremaa (Latin: Oesel or Osilia), an Estonian island in the Baltic Sea. They are first thought to be mentioned as early as the 2nd century BC in Ptolemy's Geography III.

mtDNA studies have revealed that Baltic-Finns and Volga-Finns have the same genetic origins as other Europeans who don't speak Finno-Ugric languages. The Y-chromosomal data has also revealed a common Finno-Ugric ancestry for the males of the neighboring Baltic peoples, speakers of the Indo-European Baltic languages. According to the studies, Baltic males are more closely related to the Finno-Ugric-speaking Volga Finns such as the Mari, than to Baltic Finns.

  • Sample :

Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light complexion (blonde hair with ash-blonde shades, sometimes red shades, ...), leptomorphic, general robust features, high forehead, long and straight nose, large jaw, close-set eyes
~ Nordid

This type, inbetween classical Trønder and East-Nordid types as identified by many authors, is quite typical from Scandinavia and NE Europe. Some males are rather Finnish-looking because of some distict features (a concave nose, high cheekbones, full lips, less angular features, ...).

- Type 2 : 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
~ Borreby

This type is quite widespread in Northern Europe and seems to be midly prevailing in the island.

Still withing brachymorphic types, some individuals exhibit more "exotic" features which might remind us of Finnish and Sami people : dark stiff hair, a "wavy" concave nose, narrow eyelids, high and prominent cheekbones, ... I don't know how classical anthropology names the following individuals. This type was punctually observed in Svalbard in Norway.

  • Final morphotypes :

Eurogenes 500,000 SNP BGA Project

I've decided to advertise Polako's project since I've joined it. Polako aka David W. - a well-known figure of the anthro-related Internet - aims at "analyzing your ancestry in the same way that scientists analyze scientific samples in major peer-reviewed studies". See here for more information.

Eurogenes 500,000 SNP BGA Project

On Polako's plots, I'm FR1 (about my background : "My genetic results").

See : A map of Europe (+ Caucasus)

NB : The French Basque sample is extracted from
the "Fondation Jean Dausset", it's also being used by private company 23andme, I've tried to know more about it but I was left unanswered. I suppose that people from Lower Navarre were sampled but that's just my feeling.

Polako is also running K=6 analyzes but he has not officially published his results though on his last West Eurasian run (that excluded the French Basques and the Sardinians who somehow distorted the algorithmic results), my results were the following ones :


0% Caucasus

36.7% Mediterranean (peaking amongst Med people)
63.3% Western/Northwestern Europe (peaking amongst Orcadians)
0% Middle East
0% East Europe/Central Asia
0% North Africa (peaking amongst Mozabites)

NB : Those results are to be taken with a pinch of salt as defined clusters depend on samples. In other runs, the French Basques were the basis for one cluster (80-99%) on which I scored 70% (French people being around 45%), the remainder of my variation showing affinities with the cluster peaking with Orcadians. On another run with Sardinians included, the Sardinians defined one cluster on which the French Basques scord about 60%. It's eventually just about algorithmic reduction : my own results are very fluctuant depending on which samples are used.

Polako is eventually running very interesting genome-wide comparisons that remain unpublished for the moment (he provides his project's participants with exclusive Excel sheets). Here are my top-10 results :


1. French_Basque 0,750925
2. French_Basque 0,750724
3. French_Basque 0,750425
4. French_Basque 0,749576
5. French_Basque 0,749552
6. French_Basque 0,749528
7. French_Basque 0,749496
8. ES 0,749184
9. French_Basque 0,749165
10. French_Basque 0,749062


1. French_Basque 0,746296
2. French_Basque 0,745259
3. French_Basque 0,744878
4. French_Basque 0,744197
5. French_Basque 0,744027
6. French_Basque 0,743888
7. French_Basque 0,743877
8. French_Basque 0,743755
9. IE3 0,74369
10. ES 0,743607

NB : - ES is an unindentified Spanish individual.
- IE3 is an Irish American.

Stay tuned and visit Polako's weblogs as he updates them.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Carinthia (Slovenia)

In the 7th century the area was part of the Slavic principality of Carantania, which about 743 fell under the suzerainty of Duke Odilo of Bavaria. Over the centuries, German, which carried more prestige, expanded at the expense of Slovene, but the fact that in the 16th century the Estates of Carinthia could still point out that Carinthia was "a Windic Archduchy", i.e. a sovereign Slovene principality, shows that the Carinthian people were aware of their ancient and pre-German roots.

Following the end of World War I and the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, the 1919 Treaty of Saint-Germain stipulated the Carinthian Canal Valley stretching from Tarvisio as far as Pontebba go to Italy and that the Slovene-speaking areas of the Meža Valley, the Drava Valley area around Unterdrauburg,which was afterwards renamed Dravograd, and the Jezersko area be ceded to the new SHS-State.

  • Sample :

Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Light complexion (blonde hair, light eyes, ...), more or less brachymorphic, a rather large face on some individuals, a convex nose on women and puffy features for men, high cheekbones, close-set eyes, large jaw
~ Nordid/Subnordid

This type was much more dinaromorphic and darker on the Slovenian coast : these individuals are much more on par with Austrian variation. Let's notice a rather striking sexual dimorphism.

- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion (from dark to medium blonde hair), brachymorphic, large head, little and distanced oblique eyes, low orbits, rather broad and puffy nose, well drawn oral cavity, full lips, weak browridges, large jaw
~ Alpinid/Gorid

This type is very prevailing amongst males and is rather typically Balkanic/Eastern European. It's virtually absent from neighbouring Austria and Italy which never show such a combination of robust and puffy features.

  • Final morphotypes :