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Boche
Monday, August 6th, 2007, 10:51 PM
Upper Palaeolithic Survivals in Ireland

Ireland was first settled in the post-glacial Mesolithic by people of Upper Palaeolithic type coming overland from Scotland. The Mesolithic cultural period was long and full in Ireland, and the subsequent invaders of this westernmost fringe of Europe have been unable to effect a genetic displacement of the strain introduced by the earliest human occupants. This strain has undergone an evolution of its own in Ireland, as the presence side by side of individuals showing various stages and types of change will make clear, .

FIG. 1 (3 views). County Cork. A man of medium stature but great body size, mas- sive bony structure and heavy musculature; a large head, heavy brows, deep, wide man- dible and projecting chin. This individual is a close Irish approximation to the Brunn race of Scandinavia. His golden hair is curly; curly hair is a local specialty of the Irish Upper Palaeolithic group. It is also, however, occasionally found among Lapps and Finns.

FIG.2 (2 views, photo C. W. Dupertuis). County Clare. Cork, Kerry, and Clare are the three Irish counties in which unreduced Palaeolithic survivors form the major ele- ment in the population. This large individual has ahead of full Brunn-Vorreby size di- mensions, but one that is intermediate between the two Scandinavian types in fom. This is typical of the Irish Palaeolithic group, which is characteristically mesocephalic. or sub-brachycephalic and forms a single unit in this respect. The individual depicted possesses a mandible of extreme width, comparable to the widest in Scandinavia. Note that the hair is red and the complexion florid; rufosity is closely linked to Upper Palaeo- lithic survival in Ireland.

FIG. 3 (1 view, photo C. W. Dupertuis). Another Clare man of similar type but less extreme dimensions. This type of Irishman is very common in America.

FIG. 4 (2 views, photo C. W. Dupertuis). An Irishman from Leitrim, whose facial features are typically Irish, and yet who approximates a Nordic form in most anthropo- metric dimensions. There may well have been Nordic mixture involved in the produc- tion of this type, taking the form of a simple reduction in lateral size dimensions. In any case the facial features are of pure Upper Palaeolithic inspiration.

FIG.5 (1 view). A Finn from Vasa (S. Ostrobothnia), who is anthropometrically and morphologically very close to the Irishman from Leitrim. The same curly hair, and the same conformation of the forehead, lips, and nose have produced a striking similar- ity. This and other evidence indicate that features which in Finns are often popularly supposed to be mongoloid are actually of European Upper Palaeolithic inspiration.

FIG.6 (2 views, photo C. W. Dupertuis). A small-headed, absolutely short-headed and snub-nosed youth from County Longford. This individual serves as an excellent example of the extreme in size reduction and in partial foetalization which has taken place in some Irish Upper Palaeolithic survivors, comparaple and parallel to the de- velopment of the Alpine race on the Continent.

FIG.7 (1 view). County Cork. An example of notable facial and alveolar progna- thism in the case of a dark-haired, light-eyed Irishman. This feature is commoner with Irish of a tall Mediterranean type than with the Upper Palaeolithic strain proper.


Source: The Races of Europe, Carleton S. Coon, The MacMillian Company, New York, 1948