Sunday, July 28, 2013

Manacor : Balearic Islands (Spain)

Manacor is the capital of Llevant (Catalan for "East"), a comarca on the east side of the Balearic island of Majorca.


  • Sample :

Full size
  • Analyzis :

- Lepto type : long "horse-like" face, big convex nose, frequent light eyes, variable complexion.

To my eyes, this type is part of a East Pyrenean/Iberian variation quite dominant in Catalan-speaking areas as well as in neighbouring Aragon (where it gets transitional with West Pyrenean types).

I suppose those people could also be told to be Ligurian-looking as many North Italian types approach such people.



- Brachy type : rather puffy general features, little nose, narrow eyelids, distant eyes, variable complexion.

Those people remind me of mainstream Iberian types which are quite widespread in the peninsula. One has to notice that unsurprisingly enough, women fall in the brachy category.

Most of these people lack a decisive robust Catalan-looking character that brachy types in Catalonia possess (see my Catalan samples for an illustration) but rather remind me of people I identified in the Ebro valley (the "puffier" ones) : I dare state that the following people may illustrate a stronger Neolithic affinity in Balearic islands as proved by genetic data.

When using Dienekes' world 9 calculator, Balearic people's results are the following ones : one of the lowest scores for Atlantic/Baltic admixture (a proxy for aboriginal European) in Spain, a quite normal score for Southern admixture and one of the highest results for Caucasian admixture (a proxy for later Bronze Age migrations as far as I guess).



  • Morphotypes :


  1. AFAIK, one of the theories is that part of the settlement of Majorca and Minorca may have arrived (Iron Age) from Corsica or Provence, although Catalonia is probably a stronger candidate for the primary Neolithic settlement (with question marks, indeed). In this sense what you say about "Ligurian affinity" may make good sense.

    Only a few have Italian-like looks anyhow in my understanding (A8, B3 and maybe a few others like A2).

    Of the rest I may want to discern three types: people with Northern tendencies (maybe "French" influence? but others maybe just blond Iberians), typical Atlanto-Med, typical Ibero-Med (not defined by the classics but a very clear type IMO).

    Ibero-Med examples: A1, B5, D7 (maybe also D2). This type is strangely frequent in some Spanish TV channels, not sure where they do their castings but I'd guess that SE Iberia.

    Most striking Atlanto-Med: A4, B1, C2, C4, D4, D6 (some have vague Basque look, while others do not). Not sure if to include here D6, whose nose and general traits make a distinct Iberian "family air" (whose most striking example was the late businessman and mafioso "independent" politician Jesús Gil). Many other faces could fall in this category but they are just too neutral or ambiguous to say. D8 probably falls in this category but has a more striking "cromagnoid" look, so to say (an angulous "cubic" head not too rare among Basques, Asturians, etc.)

    The Northern tendencies group is numerous but heterogeneous:
    ·B6 has a typical Catalan look, maybe of Occitan affinities
    ·B7 is instead more typical Nordic
    ·B8 is ambiguous but could pass as Brit or almost whatever
    ·C1 looks very Iberian to me
    ·C3 is unclassifiable ("horsy" but obviously also a very nervous person who will always be wiry, extremely thin)
    ·C7 is both typical Catalan but also "French-looking" (maybe a Pyrenean-Nordic mix?)
    ·C8 has a Pyrenean something to her face but some other affinities as well

    ... A6 is not really Northern-looking but he does indeed have a French (Occitan?) look IMO.

    Surely worth mentioning is the feminine oval face type, which I'm not sure where it fits but it's clearly common, at least in Iberia: A3, A5?, C5, D1, D3, D5. Too white to be classified as Ibero-Med, not robust enough to be classified as Atlanto-Med and certainly not Nordoid either.

  2. I hope you did not have problems browsing the entry, it looks like Flickr has some issues, it may just be temporary though.

    BTW, I like the way you identify an Ibero-Med category : I have indeed seen that type quite often on Spanish TV and I associate it with SE Iberia as well. Such type is quite distinct from robust proper Catalan "Alpinoid" types I identified in Catalonia hence my remark.

    B6 and C7 look Catalan/Pyrenean to my eyes : they'd be your archetypal rugby player from southern France.

  3. Re. the Ibero-Med type it is maybe part of what anthropometrically-oriented prehistorians used to call the Gracile-Mediterranean type, of Neolithic arrival, opposed to the native (Epi-)Paleolithic Robust-Mediterranean type. It is in any case visually different from comparable types from other Mediterranean regions - i.e. not Italian nor North African nor West Asian looking but "typical Spanish" - at least as far as I can discern. Anyhow this sample is not good enough because I could only spot three, and each one has his peculiarities.

    I would say B6 is very much Gracile-Med and quite "exotic" to my Basque eyes, so not Pyrenean for sure. Although of course there are no "pure types" in real life, being each one a unique combo, and maybe you focus in traits that are not so relevant to my eyes. If anyone of the three "Ibero-Meds" I'd say has some Pyrenean influence (although maybe more Galician-like) it'd be A1, even D7 if you push me but not B6, who I'd ally with Andalusians if anything.

    As for C7, he does indeed have the broad head of a rugby player but it is his nose (in the overall facial context, including tendency to baldness and overweight) which makes me think in Jesús Gil (the late owner of Atlético de Madrid and Mayor of Marbella → This kind of long, concave and broad nose with a prominent characteristic tip is occasionally seen in other Spaniards. No idea where it comes from.

    I suspect that the similitudes you may see between these two and some Southern French (Occitan?) types are probably due to common origin across the modern political border, be it aboriginal or immigrant at some time (Neolithic, Gothic... whatever). In all Prehistory and the Middle Ages (and even in the last century) Southern France had strong relations and bidirectional migration tendencies with Iberia, so it does not surprise me at all that such types are found across the political border, just like the Occitan-Catalan language goes through it or the custom of bullfights does as well.

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  5. Sorry to bother you, but I find your articles really fascinating I was wondering if I sent In a picture do you think you could place my heritage? I took a DNA test (I am an America, so its obvious why I would need one!) but it didn't even remotely match what my families oral tradition asserts our heritage to be (Irish/Scottish/French)and I'm curious if perhaps Facial features would be more easily Identified? if so, (and assuming you would be willing to do so) shoot me an email

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