The Nordic-Iranian type

 

The Nordic-Iranian type.

By J. Lawrence Angel 

 

From "A RACIAL ANALYSIS OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS: AN ESSAY ON THE USE OF MORPHOLOGICAL TYPES. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY. vol. 2 Number 4. 

 
The name Nordic-Iranian is compounded for type D because it contains slightly divided tendencies. They heavy Nordic-Iranian skull is large, long, and high, with long base and peculiarly deep occiput. A well-filled appearance and a smooth-contoured ellipsoid or ovoid norma verticalis set off the skull’s sharply cut muscle attachments and well developed browridges. Considerable backward tilt of the frontal goes with a receding and capacious forehead. Like the frontal the parietals are smooth and week-bossed with very little lambdoid flattening, though some occipital “overlap” may tend to occur. A powerful torus divides the full cerebellar region from the cerebral bulge of the occiput above, and the appreciable depth of the rear third of the vault is reflected in the long occipital arc. The high, leptoprosopic, face is rectangular, combining broad forehead and jowls with relatively narrow midfacial region. Thus the noticeably drooping orbits are enclosed by large but compressed and slightly retreating cheekbones, and slight midfacial protrusion supports the aquiline nose. 
This nose is large in all dimensions, high at root and bridge, concavo-convex and markedly salient in profile, with a strongly jutting spine. The long and high-arched palate shows neither the modern “Gothic” narrowing nor any alveolar prognathism. The jaw is big and rugged, with some eversion of the widely spread angles and cleft and relatively deep chin whose lack of prominence suits a variable trend toward a convex facial profile. A reduction in size of the upper third molars seems unconnected with other masticatory features. 
 
The Nordic-Iranian type is fairly homogeneous, though it masks some diverse trends (1), and excess variability is centered in the minimum frontal and upper facial breadths as well as parietal length and nose height. 
These regional variabilities suggest Central European Nordic versus Near Eastern contrast. It is not surprising that Nordic-Iranians show no significant differences from Bajuvars from Munich Reinhengräber (Kramp, ’38, and Wallis in Coon, p. 664, table 44) as seen in table 12: 
Though Bajuvars have a less rectangular face and more Alpinoid traits that are perceptible in Greek Nordic-Iranians. On the other hand the Tepe Hissar North Iranian Proto-Nordics (Krogman, ‘ 40) show exaggerated deviation from the Nordic-Iranian type because of their consistently marked linearity and lack of any Alpinoid trends (2) 
Resemblances to southeast English Anglo-Saxons (Layard and Young, in Brash, ’35) and to medieval monks of central Ireland (Howells, ’41) are adequate to confirm the Nordic direction of the type’s deviation from the total series of Greeks and show up the Palaeolithic survivor elements in these northwest Europeans. The Nordic-Iranian’s overlap with the Basic White is obvious, just as Nordic and Atlanto-Mediterranean types overlap elsewhere, but ten significant metric and individual difference are enough to show that they are not simply facial variants of a single type (3). 
 
These comparisons greatly strengthen the case for an historic Iranian-Nordic racial continuity (Coon, ’39, p. 128) from the Capsian to Scandinavia, and they suggest eastern and northern origins for the Nordic-Iranian type in Greece. 
1) Nordic-Iranians include four of the original subgroups: D1, the “Iron Age Nordic” (Coon, ’39, pp. 292-293), with full ad cylindrical vault, almost mesocrane, with big forehead and rectangular face well set back beneath it, drooping rhomboid orbits, retreating checkbones; D2, the “Corded Nordic” (Coon, ’39, p. 85 and table 12, Debetz, ’30), with high, narrow, ellipsoid vault and heavy browridges overhanging horizontal orbits-features which become less extreme in the Iron than in the Bronze Age in Central Europe; D4, the Aegean-Anatolian version of the “Iranian” type, with medium-large, bluntly gabled, rounded pentagonoid to byrsoid vault, narrow forehead, and characteristically deep, down-bulging occiput, with rectangular face, high rhomboid orbits, a notably big and sweepingly salient hawklike nose, and resulting convex profile linked with retreating chin and short ramus of deep and tilted jaw (all these features being less extreme in Greece than in Vallois’ (’39) illfilled, hyperdolichocrane, broad-nose, prognathus Proto-Iranian type at Sialk); and D3, an intermediate Iranian-Mediterranean form, short-faced, and approximating Coon’s Danubian and Cappadocian types (Coon, ’39, pp. 85, 137-139). 
2) Since ancient Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Iranians, and other inhabitants of the arid Near East consistently from all the Greek morphological types and from Europeans in general in their much greater linearity of vault and face, it seems likely that this linearity is largely and environmentally conditioned (climate, soil minerals, diet, water intake) feature which would tend to disappear in any group migrating to a less arid region. 
3) There is no reason to suppose that the Nordic-Iranian type in Greece was as blond as are Nordics in northern latitudes. In modern Greece the type shows brunet as well as blond individuals.
 

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