Monday, December 26, 2011

Valencia de Alcántara : Extremadura (Spain)

The area of Valencia de Alcántara - which used to belong to the Lusitanians - is known for its high concentration of dolmens built in Neolithic times.





  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Dark, leptomorphic, long and triangular head, long and straight nose, close-set eyes, full eyebrows, pointy chin and large jaw
~ (Dinaromorphic) Atlanto-Mediterranean




Those people belong to a classical pan-Iberian type even though one has to notice that they exhibit very angular traits. This type could funnily be labelled "conquistador-like". Still, within Mediterranean metrics, one can find individuals showing "puffier" features (nose, lips, ...) : these people are somehow Portuguese-looking.





- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion, brachymorphic, large face, square-box head head, little and straight nose, rather distanced eyes, little eyelids, large jaw
~ Alpinoid




Such types are widespread throughout the whole peninsula. I cannot say these individuals exhibit features that I would associate with Portugal but wide-spaced sloping eyes are rather common in West Iberia. To end with that panorama of the various faces in this corner of Extremadura, let's notice a square-shaped brachymorphic type yet exhibiting decisive angular traits that were already analyzed on lepto types in the first part.



  • Final morphotypes :

Monday, December 12, 2011

Solsona : Catalonia (Spain)

A pre-Pyrenean Catalan comarca, Solsonès (capital : Solsona) probably was inhabited either by the Lacetani (who gave their name to Catalonia : Lacetania got to be deformed as Catalonia) or the Bergistani, both Iberian tribes.



Solsonès within Catalonia


  • Sample :
Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Dark, leptomorphic, long and triangular head, long and straight nose, close-set eyes, full eyebrows, pointy chin and large jaw
~ (Dinaromorphic) Atlanto-Mediterranean




Those people belong to a common Catalan type already identified in French Catalonia or in neighbouring Aragon : let's notice some ethnic secondary features such as thick eyebrows, somehow distant eyes, strong jaw, ...


- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion, brachymorphic, large face, square-box head head, little and straight nose, rather distanced eyes, little eyelids, large jaw
~ Alpinoid




As expected, people not belonging to Type 1 rather show Alpinoid puffy features already identified in this area.


  • Final morphotypes :

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Valle de Campoo : Cantabria (Spain)

Traditionally, the whole area - formerly known as the Merindad de Aguilar de Campoo - encompassed lands now in modern Palencia and it had been this way since ancient times. It is likely that here was situated the Roman town of Iuliobriga, a Roman colonial creation the name of which is related to Flaviobriga (to emperors' names, Celtic "briga" was added) and the ruins of which can be found not far from Reinosa. The Valley of Campoo is where the Ebro river's source can be found.






Cantabrian lands in Roman times



  • 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




Are they really Atlanto-Med ? Nordoid ? Atlantid ? Eventually, I don't really care about terminology : what matters is that these people are all more or less leptomorphic (women being considerably larger-faced) and share common features such as blue eyes, a rather protuding and convex nose, ... This type was already identified in the Valley of Pas.

A little note about my beliefs (it's important after months of stand-by and me not answering to some comments made) : the way I sort people out is pretty straightforward. On one hand, lepto people, on the other hand, brachy ones with transitional people being lumped into one category or another. I firmly believe that what matters most are secondary features such as the distribution of nose shape. To sum up, my goal is to find common family traits between neighbouring populations to infer whether or not they may be closely related.

In this peculiar case, there's only one question : do these Cantabrian people look like Basque people ? My personal feeling is "somehow" but still within a distinct variation. Do they look Asturian on average ? I cannot say for sure, but the average lack of dark brachy Asturo-Galician types clearly hints to another genetic landscape (see my Asturian samples for an illustration or check morphotypes which are good averages).



- 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 an usual Iberian type quite widespread in the North of the peninsula. More interestingly maybe, one can find individuals who show the same "reduced" and puffy features yet appear to be elongated variants of the previous individuals (you've got a good example of me hesitating where to put these "transitional" people who are only transitional as I define "ideal" types which are not). Notice the jaw shape.




  • Final morphotypes :

Monday, August 29, 2011

Caravaca : Murcia (Spain)

A recent study (see Maju's summary here : Basque autosomal genetics) has shown that Murcians may have been less subject to Neolithic migrations than their immedate neighbours such as Andalusians or Valencians, a fact corroborated by archeology. Consequently, I've decided to deal with Murcia once more, this time making more localized samples, in order to check whether or not Murcians really appear more Northern-looking in a South Iberian context, phenotypically wise. I'll begin that "remake" of Murcia in the NE of the province, around Caravaca de la Cruz.





  • 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




I cannot possibly say whether or not these individuals are strikingly more Northern-looking than their neighbouring counterparts. This type is rather pan-Iberian even though these individuals' relative robustness rather places them within the North-West Iberian spectrum as opposed to the East-Iberian pole (the famous "horsy" features).

A square-boxed variant - transition with Type 2 - can be found as well. After browsing other samples, I find that such types are somehow rarer in Andalusia. These people remind me of Aragonese people from Teruel. I cannot say for sure but the nose seems to be always convex.





- Type 2 :
Intermediate complexion (rather light 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




These people are somehow rather light though they could fit in Valencia or Andalusia albeit in rarer density. The puffy nose shape is rather commonly shared by all these people. I won't dare say these people corroborate the genetic results of the aforementioned study. We'll see later with more Murcian samples.

  • Final morphotypes :

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 :