Sunday, August 4, 2013

Korčula : Dalmatia (Croatia)

The island was first settled by Mesolithic and Neolithic peoples. There is archaeological evidence at the sites of Vela Spila (Big Cave) and at Jakas Cave near the village of Zrnovo. The finds of Vela Spila are on display at the Center for Culture in Vela Luka. The fate of these peoples is not know but the sites do provide a window into their way of life.

The second wave of human settlement was by Illyrians. It is believed that the Illyrians arrived in Balkans approximately 1000 BC.They were semi-nomadic tribal people living from agriculture. There are numerous old stone buildings and fortresses (gradine) left behind by the Illyrians.

The Great Migrations of the 6th and 7th centuries brought Slavic and Avar invasions into this region. As the so-called barbarians began settling on the coast, the Romanised local coastal population had to take refuge on the islands. Along the Dalmatian coast the Croatian Slavic peoples poured out of the interior and seized control of the area where the Neretva River enters the Adriatic, as well as the island of Korčula (Corcyra),which protects the river mouth.

  • Sample :

Full size
  •  Analyzis :

- Lepto type : rather long "horse-like" face, long and straight but not convex nose, variable complexion (from fair to dark)

This is one of the two main Yugoslav types : darker types might be more associated with people from Serbia in popular culture - particularly when it comes to women - but they are actually as frequent in Croatia as in Serbia.

- Brachy type : robust general "cromagnoid" features, puffy nose, rather fair complexion (light eyes, "pinkish" skin)

I had already identified such types in coastal Slovenia and in Slovene-speaking areas of Italy : to my eyes, it is a peculiar local South Slavic coastal type that clearly exhibits a distinct eastern flavour, or at least non-Med tendency.

Consistent genetic samples of the various Balkanic ethnicities cannot be found yet I'm quite persuaded Slavic migrations had a strong impact in the Balkans and that somehow Slavic-speaking Balkans constitute a discontinuity inbetween NE Italy and Albania. At least, Slovene people were proved to be closer to Austrians than to Italians.

My own personal theory is that autochtonous Illyrian people mixed with Slavic invadors (coming from an area around modern-day Poland ?) and thus their genepool was modified with Neolithic/Med influences being lowered.

  • Morphotypes :