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Thread: The Germanic Peoples (by Carleton Coon)

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    The Germanic Peoples (by Carleton Coon)

    The Germanic Peoples

    By Carleton Stevens Coon

    We have already dealt with the expansions of two great Indo-European peoples, the Kelts and the Scythians, who, during the second half of the first millennium before Christ, nearly divided the European continent, north of the Alpine mountain barrier, between them. Other groups, such as the Thracians, who occupied large expanses of territory in the Balkans, have been neglected because of lack of information.

    The first millennium of the Christian era witnessed two more such spreadings of Indo-Europeans; those of the Germans and of the Slavs, the former to have lasting results in the west, the latter in the east. Unlike the Kelts and the Scyths, these two later groups, tardy to receive the civilization of the classical world, were destined to people many countries permanently with their descendants, and to implant their tongues in many regions.

    Of these two, the Germanic expansion was the earlier. The period of Teutonic migration was that of the famous Volkerwanderung, which began with the precocious but futile invasion of Italy by the Cimbri and Teutons, who fought the Romans between 114 and 102 B.C., and which did not end until the adoption of Christianity by the Norwegians in the eleventh century put an end to the piratical practices of the Vikings. Its period of greatest vitality fell between the second and fifth centuries of the present era.

    The home of the Germans before their expansion was only in a restricted sense the modern Germany. The tribes of which this people was composed occupied Denmark, southern and central Sweden, Norway, and the northern coastal strip of Germany, from the mouth of the Elbe to the Baltic shore. The islands of the Baltic near Sweden, namely Gotland and Bornholm, were densely populated.

    One must not suppose that these early Germans were the unaltered descendants of their Bronze Age predecessors, for there is strong archaeological evidence that a new people entered Scandinavia at the beginning of the retarded Iron Age of this region.[69] The Hallstatt artefacts are entirely different in character from those of the Late Bronze Age, and the burial rite changed completely, while the old nature worship which the Megalithic sea people had brought to Scandinavia now disappeared abruptly, being replaced by religious phenomena which we can associate definitely with the classical Norse style of worship. The Norse pantheon, with its family of gods and its Valhalla, is closely related to the systems of Greece and Rome, of India, and of the other Indo-European divisions.

    The principal civilizing agency in the development of the Germanic culture was that of the Kelts, but the Kelts were niggardly teachers, for they blocked the Germans from direct intercourse with the classical world. It was not until the days of the Roman Empire and of the Byzantines that the Germans, after driving their way through the vanishing Keltic domain, reached these civilizing influences. But the earlier Scandinavians had already possessed a distinctive Bronze Age culture, which was not entirely lost.

    Furthermore, certain strong cultural elements in the time of Germanic efflorescence bore strong marks of an eastern inspiration; such as the ship burials, which resembled the Royal Scythian interments in every detail except for the substitution of ships for wagons; and the art, as expressed in wood carving, which carried over the richness of the eastern animal style, and which reached its highest development in Norway. The Germans, like the Kelts, had been subjected to a very strong influence from the plains to the east.

    Linguistically, the early Germanic tongues were much in the debt of the Kelts. Many of the words needed to express new things were of Keltic origin. Hubert, the Keltic authority, believed that the Germanic languages were the garbled borrowings of some Indo-European speech by a people to whom the Indo-European phonemes were difficult.[70] It is true that consonantal shifts from K to H, and the like, are more extreme than those in other Indo-European languages. It is very likely that the ancestral Germanic speech was introduced into Scandinavia by the invaders who brought the Hallstatt culture to that backward region.

    It is the task of the physical anthropologist to help the archaeologist and linguist discover the identity of these Iron Age invaders, whose arrival in Scandinavia cannot be put back earlier than the sixth or seventh centuries B.C. This should be relatively easy, for the newcomers buried while the older population presumably continued cremating their dead. The Danish series is the most extensive, with 42 adult male crania[71] (see Appendix I, col. 39); of these only one has a cranial index of over 78. The series is strongly dolichocephalic, with a mean of 72.3. There is no trace of the brachycephalic element which had been so important in Denmark from the beginning of the Neolithic through the Bronze Age.

    The Danish Iron Age crania form a homogeneous group. They belong definitely in the same class with the other Iron Age Nordics of Lausitz Urnfields inspiration, and more particularly the purely long-headed element in the Keltic blend, for the low vault and cylindrical transverse profile of the Keltic crania are also common here. Except for the lesser breadth of head and face, and greater vault length, they closely resemble the Keltic crania of Gaul and of the British Isles, and those of the Scythians, while they are virtually identical with the Armenian Iron Age skulls discussed in the last section. The Danish Iron Age crania, then, are probably the same as those of the ancestral proto-Kelts before their arrival in southwestern Germany, and of the ancestors of the Scythians and eastern Iranians. These Danes were a tall people, however, for the stature of 25 males was 171.5 cm. This agrees with that of the earlier peoples of the same region, and with that of the Scythians. In this Danish series there was, without doubt, a selection on the basis of differential methods of disposal of the dead; the numerous Bronze Age population, compounded of Megalithic, Borreby, and Corded elements, could not have disappeared completely. After the various elements in the Danish population have had time to blend, we shall see them reappear.

    The Swedish population of the Iron Age, best represented by a smaller group of 14 males[72] (see Appendix I, col. 40), was essentially the same as that in Denmark. There are, however, a few differences - the vault is higher, the face wider, the upper face shorter. Perhaps these more peripheral Scandinavians showed a little of the older blood.

    During the Iron Age, Norway was, for the first time, definitely settled by people comparable in civilization to those in Denmark and southern Sweden; it is likely that many of the earlier inhabitants of Jutland and the Danish archipelago had fled to the southwestern corner of that country, while other migrations came across from southern and central Sweden.

    The most extensive Iron Age series from Norway is that of Schreiner, which contains 27 male crania.[73] (See Appendix I, col. 41.) These are quite different from those of either Denmark or Sweden. They are larger and much more rugged, with heavy browridges and strong muscular markings. Metrically, they approach the Upper Palaeolithic series of Morant; and they could fit easily into the range of the central European Aurignacian group. The Mesolithic crania of Stĺngenäs and MacArthur's Cave would not be out of place here. Yet in most dimensions, they fall a little short of the Upper Palaeolithic mean.

    They are purely dolichocephalic, with a cranial index of 71.7. On the whole, they are just what one would expect from a Danish Iron Age - Upper Palaeolithic cross, with the latter in the majority, and this explanation agrees well with the archaeological data. The stature, 169.5 cm., fits both types. There is another possibility, however, that they had a strong Corded element. That some Corded blend entered into this mixture was indeed likely, but it is impossible to substitute the Corded for the Palaeolithic element, since the high vault of the former is not in sufficient evidence, and the faces of the Norwegians are wider than either Corded or Nordic.

    The central coastal Norwegians of the Iron Age must have been in part true descendants of the Upper Palaeolithic people of central Europe, who moved northward and westward with the retreat of the last ice, and remained relatively undisturbed in the centers of its last melting until the arrival of new immigrants in the Iron Age. There must, however, have been regional differences of type in Norway at this time which persisted until the modern period; late Viking Age series from Jaeren, Třnsborg, and Skien[74] in the south show the presence of a brachycephalic type, massive in build and of great cranial size, which is metrically related to the Borreby group of Denmark and northern Germany. These may represent colonists or refugees from Denmark.

    A late group from Sogn[75] in the north, includes mesocephalic crania with extremely low vaults and smaller dimensions, associated with black or brown hair preserved in the graves. Metrically, they suggest modem Lapp crania in most respects, and serve to mark the northern Norse borderland, beyond which Norwegian settlements were, in the Viking period, only sporadic. These various series place Norway for the first time in history in the full light of physical anthropology, and show that the land of the Vikings was the last periphery of the Nordic world, in which ancient but fully evolved forms of humanity blended with the newcomers from the south and east.

    Linguistically, the Germanic peoples who invaded other parts of Europe from Scandinavia and North Germany have been divided into two groups: East Germans and West Germans. The speakers of East Germanic included the Goths, Vandals, Gepidae, and Burgundians. The Goths claimed to have crossed the Baltic from Sweden (not from the island of Gotland) to the mouth of the Vistula. The Vandals and the Gepidae presumably had the same origin. From the Vistula, the East Germans expanded southward and eastward into the Scythian country, where the Gepidae seized control of Hungary, and the Goths finally established an important kingdom on the north shore of the Black Sea.

    From here, the history of these tribes is well known. They all had important relationships with the Roman Empire, and adopted Christianity. The movements of the Goths into Greece, Italy, and France do not merit detailed description. The Visigoths pushed westward, occupied southern France shortly after 400 A.D., and moved down into Spain where they were gradually absorbed into the population of the northern provinces. The eastern Goths who fell under the rule of the Huns met a similar fate. Of a once numerous and mobile Gothic nation no trace remains. The same is true of the Gepidae, and of the Vandals, who went from eastern Europe to France, Spain, and North Africa, whence they were subsequently deported to Byzantium. No doubt, Gothic and Vandal blood flows in the veins of some modern Spaniards as well as of the peoples in other countries through which they passed. But this eastern branch of the Germans failed to make any lasting impression upon the racial map of Europe. Although there is not much data concerning the physical type of these eastern Germans, there is enough to enable us to come to some definite conclusions. A series of Goths from the Chersonese north of the Black Sea, dated between 100 B.C. and 100 A.D., includes three male and eight female skeletons.[76] All of these are long headed, and they belong to a large, powerful Nordic type which reflects their Swedish origin, for they are no different from the Swedish Iron Age crania which we have already studied.

    A later group of Gepidae dated from the fifth or sixth centuries in Hungary shows the persistence of this same type; despite historical blending with the Huns, of eight skulls at our disposal, all but three fail to show definite traces of mongoloid mixture, and in these three the non-Nordic traits are not manifested metrically. One is forced to the conclusion from this series, as from that of the Goths in the Chersonese, that the East Germanic peoples who took part in these wanderings preserved their original racial characteristics so long as they retained their political and linguistic identity.

    The same conclusion results when one examines the Visigothic skulls from northern Spain which date from the sixth century A.D.[77] Here a series combined from several cemeteries shows us exactly the same Nordic type, with tall stature and with a high-vaulted skull, a long face, and a broad law; in this respect resembling, in a sense, the earlier Hallstatt crania, but more particularly those of the western Germanic group, especially the Hannover Germans and the Anglo-Saxons.

    The western branch of Germanic-speaking peoples, while historically less spectacular, was destined to be far more important in the eventual peopling of Europe. This included the ancestors of the Anglo-Saxons, of the Frisians, and of the Germans proper. Among the latter may be listed the Franks, the Alemanni, the Bavarians, the Thuringians, and the Chatti, whose descendants are the Hessians. Under the Franks may be listed the ancestors of the Flemish- and Dutch-speaking peoples whose closely related languages are a mixture of low Franconian and Saxon elements. All of these peoples worked their way southward, and in some cases westward, gradually and without ostentation; the Alemanni to Switzerland and Austria, the Bavarians to the principality which bears their name, the Thuringians to Bohemia as well as to Thuringia, and the Franks to the upper Rhine country, Belgium, and France. The Burgundians, members of the eastern branch of Germans, sophisticated like the Goths from contact with the Roman Empire, crossed the Rhine ahead of the Franks, and occupied Rhenish Gaul at the same time that the Vandals were admitted under Roman sanction.

    The prototype of the western German peoples who migrated from the region about the mouth of the Elbe is well represented by a series of skulls from Hannover which includes 41 male crania.[78] (See Appendix I, col. 42.) Metrically, these differ from the Danish Iron Age skulls in being slightly longer, somewhat broader, and considerably higher. The foreheads are broader, and the face is wider, and in many cases a bit longer. These skulls deviate from the normal Nordic type of central European origin with which we are familiar in their greater size and roibusticity, and particularly in their greater vault height.

    The skulls of the Anglo-Saxons who invaded England in the fourth and fifth centuries of the present era[79] (see Appendix I, col. 43) are almost identical with this Hannover group. It is to this same specific category that the Spanish Visigothic skulls to which we have already referred belong. To it must be added two series of old Frisians from northern Holland,[80] which are identical in every respect. The skulls of these old Saxons, old Hanoverians, and old Frisians differ in a number of ways from those of other Nordics which we have studied. They arc larger than the Aunjetitz group and the Danes, and in fact any other series of Indo-European speakers that we have met, except the Norwegians. They lack the low vault and sloping forehead common to the earlier Nordics of Denmark, the Gauls, and the Scyths. The vault is moderately high; while the cranial index is on the border of dolicho- and mesocephaly. Compared with the other Nordics, the forehead is relatively straight, the browridges are greater, the muscular markings more pronounced, the cranial base wider, the face longer and somewhat wider.

    The type represented by these three groups and by the Visigoths seems to be a variant of the Nordic type to which the early Indo-European speakers belonged. Its difference is one of size, and it appears to have attained this distinction through a mixture, in southern Scandinavia and Germany, between the older local population, consisting of a combination of Megalithic, Corded, and Borreby elements, and the purely Nordic Danish Iron Age group. The resultant type approaches in some respects, but does not even approximate in size, the coastal Norwegian population which we have already studied, and it deviates far less from the central European Nordic than does the Norwegian group.

    This physical type is accompanied by tall stature, of about 170 cm., and by a considerable heaviness and robusticity of the long bones. The bodily build was clearly heavier and thicker set than that of the previously studied Nordics. That it was characteristically blond is attested by the pigmentation of living examples as well as by numerous early descriptions. This type, being a mixed variety of central European Nordic combined with old northwestern European elements, is not a true Nordic in the sense in which the word has been used in this work, and its common and exclusive designation as Nordic in popular parlance as in scientific works is responsible for much of the confusion prevalent in the identification of that racial type today. Since it is found among both West and East Germans of the period of dispersal, it is essentially the Germanic or Teutonic racial type. The eccentric linguistic position of the Germanic peoples in the total Indo-European family has its racial connotations.

    One of the principal outlets for this movement from the northwestern coasts of Germany was the Anglo-Saxon invasion of the British Isles.[81] This had begun by 250 A.D., when the Saxons raided the southern and eastern coast of England. It was a period of general turmoil, for Irish pirates were plundering the coast of Wales at the same time. The Romans were hard put to defend themselves against this double peril, and despite their military and naval precautions, the raids grew in volume and frequency.

    In 406-407 A.D., large invasions of Germanic peoples crossed the Rhine and pillaged the Roman settlements in most of Gaul. This broke off communications between Rome and Britain. With Gaul out of Roman control, there could be no hope of holding Britain. Hence, in 409 A.D., the Emperor Honorius issued a decree bidding the inhabitants of Britain to shift for themselves in the future. From this point on the Saxons received little opposition, and settled in great numbers. Since the Saxons were not townsmen, they did not occupy the cities which they plundered, and the urban population established by the Romans in England maintained its identity for a century or longer before the towns were abandoned or became Anglicized.

    The earliest Saxon contacts were Viking raids in which they not only pillaged the coastal settlements but also rowed far up the rivers, establishing temporary camps in the upper waters. When the main body of Saxons under Cerdic marched from the region of the Wash across Lincolnshire to the upper Thames Valley, the invaders found that other Saxons of more temporary habits had preceded them. Hence it is necessary, in studying early Saxon remains, to distinguish between mixed communities in which raiders had taken native women to wife, and pure Saxon settlements in which whole families and villages had emigrated at the beginning of the period of serious settlement.

    The Saxons occupied, for the most part, empty country. This was because they were accustomed to low-lying land with a deep, rich soil, and had formed, in their earlier home, the habit of tilling this in strips with deep ploughs drawn by eight oxen. The Kelts, whose agriculture was more cursory in character, preferred the uplands already made treeless by nature, and cultivated in square fields. They remained for the most part on territory frequented by the Bronze Age and Neolithic men before them. The Saxons, who liked forests as well as lowlands, cleared the marshes and river valleys of trees, and drained and planted them. Owing to this fundamental difference in methods of agriculture, the two peoples overlapped little at first, and the Saxons and Britons occupied adjoining territories in many parts of England for several centuries until at length the Saxon social and political domination submerged the language and culture of the earlier inhabitants beneath its own pattern.

    The Anglo-Saxon skeletons which have been described earlier are derived from the graves of the heathen period, from the fifth to the end of the ninth centuries. The skulls from these graves[82] make a striking contrast to the Keltic Iron Age type which preceded them. While the Iron Age forehead is extremely sloping, that of the Anglo-Saxon skulls is rather steep and high, and the skulls which possess mandibles show that the Anglo-Saxon type was deep jawed, with a great distance from lower tooth line to chin and with a long, sloping ascending ramus. The cranium as a whole is steep sided with a well-rounded occiput, and frequently lambdoidally flattened.[83] The browridges are moderate to heavy. The nasal bones are highly arched, with often a considerable nasion depression. Muscularity of a pronounced character is indicated by deep pits and ridges on the long bones, which are thick and heavy. Compared with the Iron Age people, the Saxons were large bodied, and their more con-siderable body weight is correlated with a larger braincase. The mean stature of various series of Anglo-Saxons ranges from 167-172 cm.[84] and the total mean equals 170 or 171 cm.

    Although there was a difference in the localities from which various groups of Anglo-Saxons came, little regional difference is manifest in the series from England. The Jutes who settled in Kent, and who came from the peninsula of Jutland, seem larger faced than the Saxons themselves, but the difference is actually slight.[85] In the total Saxon group studied by Morant, both males and females belong to the same clearly differentiated type, and there is no confusion between them and the Iron Age form. They thus preserved their racial identity at least until the end of the eighth century.

    A number of individual cemeteries, which date from the earliest period of Saxon invasion, give us a lively picture of the manner in which the first Saxon raiders and settlers operated. One of these is the graveyard at East Shefford, Berkshire; containing eight male and twelve female adults, as well as eight infantile and juvenile specimens.[86] All of the adult males thirty years of age or older represent a single type, the classical Saxon, and all are long headed. One of the females belongs to this same type, and she was buried differently from the other women, with horse trappings in her grave. The rest of the women were rounder headed, with cranial indices going up to 82.4, and some of them were planoccipital. They had wider, shorter noses, some prognathism, and shorter, shallower jaws. The adolescent women seem to be a blend of these two types. Although many of these differences may be due to sex and age, others, such as the fundamental head form, are clearly racial.

    This cemetery presumably represents a raiding party which settled in the upper Thames waters before the onset of the mass invasions. It seems to have included less than twelve men and only one woman who were Saxons. The other women, being Bronze Age descendants, were apparently British wives of Saxon invaders, while the children were their offspring.

    The excavation of a round barrow at Dunstable in Bedfordshire throws further light on the survival of the Bronze Age physical type into the Saxon period.[87] The primary burial of the barrow was a woman of the Early Bronze Age; secondary graves contained cremated bodies of the Middle Bronze Age, while tertiary burials, heaped in a ditch, consisted of one hundred skeletons of persons of the Saxon period who had apparently been executed, or slain in battle. One-tenth of them had their hands tied behind their backs when they died. Owing to the absence of grave goods, for these people were informally slaughtered in a ditch, it is impossible to tell exactly who they were. The view that they were Saxon settlers violently received by the natives is unsubstantiated. Judging by their racial type, they must have been natives slaughtered by the Saxons.

    This series contains a hundred skulls, of which those of 52 males are suitable for study. This extensive series resembles the British Bronze Age means in most dimensions, but through the narrowing of the cranial vault, it indicates a certain degree of mixture with the Iron Age Keltic people. This excellent series, in agreement with that from Berkshire, proves conclusively that the Bronze Age people did not die out in England but kept on mixing steadily with the Keltic invaders and survived racially into Saxon times.

    The Saxon invasions of the British Isles were followed by those of the Danes, who began raiding the British Isles in the eighth century. The Danes, many of whom were actually Norwegians, took the part of England in which the Saxons had become densely settled, but they also raided extensively in the north of Scotland and in Ireland. Very few skulls of these Danes are available for study, but they belong, almost without exception, to the expected northwestern Nordic variety[88] Neither a series of six males from the Orkneys, nor of fourteen from various places in Ireland, differs from the type of the Saxons. The further Germanic invasion of the Normans, after their sojourn in France, took place in such late times that the remains of these Normans still repose in Christian cemeteries, and are subjected to the same restrictions which protect the skeletons of the solvent recently deceased from the hands of the anthropologist.

    The West Germans who invaded Bavaria, southwestern Germany, northern Switzerland, and Austria, transformed previously Keltic and Illyrian regions into permanent areas of Germanic speech and culture. The tribes most fully responsible for this were the Franks, the Alemanni, the Bajuvars, and the Thuringians. The skeletons contained in the cemeteries used by these peoples during the first centuries of their settlement have been extensively studied, and it is not difficult to determine to what extent the Germanic type, as exemplified by the Hanoverians, Anglo-Saxons, and Goths was implanted in these regions.

    The Bajuvars, the ancestors of tlte Bavarians, retained the original Germanic head form in their new home, with the cranial index meaii of 75 to 76 in various series.[89] (See Appendix I, col. 44.) Their stature, about 168 cm., was moderately tall, and their cranial type, in most if not all metrical and morphological features, was reminiscent of their northern ancestors; but in a few of the smaller groups an approximation to the Keltic form may be suspected. In every local series, however, the head form remains constant, and there are very few brachycephals in any of them. The ancestors of the Hessians, if we may judge by a few examples, were apparently likewise dolichocephals[90] of the usual North German form.

    The Alemanni may be studied by means of two principal series; a small one of twenty skeletons from Oberrotweil in Baden,[91] and a large one of over two-hundred from Augst,[92] in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland. The series from Baden, while retaining the usual Germanic cranial index, assumes in other respects the metrical character of the Keltic peoples whom the Alemanni succeeded, and who, as a matter of fact, possessed the same cranial index mean of 75 to 76. One must interpret this evidence from Baden as an indication that these Germanic invaders were to a large extent absorbed by previously settled Kelts, at least in the village which used this cemetery and its immediate neighborhood.

    The Alemanni skulls from Switzerland are, as a group, high mesocephals with a mean of 78, and include a considerable number of brachycephalic crania. On the whole, the total series resembles that of the Keltic predecessors of the Alemanni, but the stature increased to a mean of 168 cm., and the cranial index of the entire group was gradually lowered. In the fifth century, 50 per cent of the Aargau Alemanni were brachycephalic, in the seventh century, 44 per cent, and in the eighth, 24 per cent. Coincidentally, the mean cranial index was reduced over this three hundred year span from 80.2 to 77.5. Thus the Germanic element, or perhaps a Germanic-Keltic blend, increased at the expense of the earlier population, and this increase was, as we shall see later, destined to become, in parts of Switzerland, permanent.

    The Thuringians, who are known to us through a series from the Saale Valley in Germany, and through others from several sites in Bohemia,[93] practiced the unusual custom, for Germans, of deforming the head by annular constriction. Enough undeformed crania are left, however, for one to determine their racial type. The Thuringians were purely dolichocephalic. In none of these groups has a single round-headed skull been found. The skulls are, in fact, longer headed than the normal Anglo-Saxon and Hanoverian basic type and bear certain resemblances to the original Iron Age Danish group, and, at the same time, to the Hallstatt crania of the same region in which they are found. One may state definitely they are not of Keltic type, and these people had apparently not mixed to any extent with the Boii who had preceded them and from whom Bohemia derived its name. Like the Boii, however, the Thuringians were not destined to remain long on Bohemian soil, for this fertile plain which had been subjected to constant farming since the beginning of the Danubian Neolithic was soon to be taken permanently by the Slavs in the early period of their great expansion.

    The Germanic settlement of Austria, including the Tyrol, was a complicated process, involving the Alemanni, the Bajuvars, the Lombards, and the Goths. The Alemanni were the earliest, and the Bajuvars the most important. In the mountains, the Lombards settled the southern Tyrolese valleys, the Bajuvars those to the north. In the meanwhile, the Huns contributed a mongoloid element, diluted through mixture with the Gepidae. During the seventh century, the picture was further complicated by a temporary Slavic expansion which may have left human traces in certain of the Tyrolese valleys. Throughout all this turmoil, the Romanized Rhaetians still maintained their ethnic integrity in the remoter spots, as is witnessed by the survival of Ladino speech.

    A study of the Austrian crania of the centuries of Germanic settlement, including for the most part those of Bajuvars, shows them to have been largely Nordic, of the usual northern type.[94] A small series of special interest is that of 26 Lombard crania from two sites: from Nikitsch in the Oberpullendoff district of Burgenland, and Vinzen, near Regensburg, in Lower Austria; both dating from the fifty year interval which the Lombards spent north of the mountains before their final burst into Italy in 568 A.D.[95] Eight skulls are those of the usual Germanic variety of Nordics, with some exceptionally tall- and large-skulled individuals, while five others ranging in cranial index from 77 to 93, show in their flat faces and broad nasal bones clear traces of mongoloid mixture. A single male, in the Nikitsch series, was strikingly different from the others; a short-statured Armenoid or Dinaric, with typfral brachycephalic skull, occipital flatten-ing, sloping forehead, and other Near Eastern features. He was obviously a stranger incorporated into the composite Lombard camp, either a local Dinaric or an Asiatic. In earlier times, the Roinans had stationed both Syrians and Scotchmen in the Tullnerfeld as garrisons;[96] hence the ethnic heterogeneity in this region was chronic.

    The culmination of the overland expansion of the Germans in the southwest was the conquest of Gaul by the Franks. Marching from the middle and upper Rhineland, they followed the river valleys across Belgium and into the valleys of the Seine and Maine, which became the seat of their political activities. When they arrived in this region, they were still pagan, which was an advantage, for under the leadership of Clovis they were able to embrace the currently popular brand of Christianity. This helped them to win favor with the Rornans, and was an important factor in their success. The Gepidae and Vandals, who had become Christian much earlier, belonged to the schismatic Arian sect which was then in disfavor.

    These German invaders brought into France and Belgium little which was new in the way of material culture, and the continuity of the older tradition shows clearly that a racial change in the total population, south of the Flemish plain where Frankish is still spoken, could not have been complete. During the four centuries of Frankish rule in France and in the hilly provinces of Belgium the language of the common people, which remained a form of Latin, prevailed over the speech of the conquerors, with the result that the national language reemerged as a Romance tongue. This sequence of linguistic events stands in striking contrast to the situation in England, where Keltic, which had never been completely downed by Latin as in France, gave way rapidly and permanently before Germanic speech.

    There are enough regional skeletal series of the Frankish period in France and Belgium to permit some study of their local characters. The skeletal remains from Boulogne[97] and other towns along the English channel are all long-headed and of an Anglo-Saxon racial type, which confirms the historical record that these regions were settled by seafaring Saxons rather than by Franks. The coastal distribution of Saxon place names in Normandy and eastern Brittany supports this identification. On the opposite frontier of France, at Collognes, near the western end of Lake Geneva,[98] the descendants of the Burgundians had become brachycephalic, and almost indistinguishable from their Neolithic predecessors who had lived at Vaureal, a few kilometers away.

    Aside from these marginal and collateral groups, the Franks themselves did not differ greatly from place to place. The most extensive Belgian series is that from Cipley in Hainaut, that of France is Mrs. Wallis's series drawn from most of the Frankish territory in the northern part of the country.[99] (See Appendix I, col. 45.) These series show clearly that the Franks were a moderately variable group, but differing as a whole from the basic North German type from which they were presumably derived. Although individuals belonged to this type, the Franks as a whole re-sembled the Keltic peoples who had occupied Belgium and northern France before them. This resemblance included the common possession of a cranial index of about 76, and a cranial vault height of 132 mm. No particular difference can be found between the Merovingian Franks and the local Kelts in cranial dimensions or form, except for one important fact: instead of falling between the Kelts and the other Germans, in many metrical criteria the Franks slightly exceed the Kelts themselves. This is true of facial and cranial vault indices. The stature of the Franks, furthermore, is on a Gaulish level, with a mean of 166 cm. for males from Belgium, and indications that in France it was even lower.

    The conclusion to be drawn from this comparison is that the Franks acquired their Keltic-like major physical form in the Rhineland, or the southwestern part of Germany in general, before the Saxons drove them to France and to the Low Countries. Here, whatever mixture took place between them and the previously installed Keltic population made little or no racial difference. This conclusion is supported by the evidence from Baden, that the Alemanni had likewise, from the beginning of their so-journ in southwestern Germany, succumbed to Keltic mixture. Except along the Channel coast, the Germanic invasions of France and southeastern Belgium furnished nothing novel to the ultimate racial composition of these countries. That of the Kelts, on the other hand, reënforced by these Merovingians, was of some importance. The summary of our information concerning the racial origins and dispersion of the early Germanic peoples may be stated briefly and simply. At the beginning of the local Iron Age, a new people, bearing a Hallstatt type of culture, entered northwestern Germany and Scandinavia. These invaders were of the usual central European Nordic type associated in earlier centuries with the Illyrians. Through mixture with the local blend of Megalithic, Corded, and Borreby elements, these newcomers gave rise to a special sub-type of Nordic which was characterized by a larger vault and face, a heavier body build, and a skull form on the borderline between dolicho- and mesocephaly.

    The Germanic tribes that wandered over Europe during the period of migrations belonged essentially to this new type. Exceptions were the Alemanni and Franks, who, in southwestern Germany, assumed a Keltic physical guise, which they spread to Belgium, France, and Switzerland, countries already familiar with the Kelts in person. Other exceptions were the coastal Norwegians, to whom for the first time civilization was now brought in significant quantity. In the shelter of their chilly fjords the new Nordics blended with the hunters and fishermen left over from the age of ice, who, through this new genetic vehicle, were assured permanent survival.

    Source: The Races of Europe


    69. Shetelig, H., Falk, H., and Gordon, E. V., Scandinavian Archaeology, pp. 174-175.

    70. Hubert, H., The Rise of the Celts, pp. 50-52.

    71. Nielsen, H. A., ANOH, II Rakke, vol. 21, 1906, pp. 237-318; ibid., III Rakke, vol. 5, 1915, pp. 360-365. Reworked.

    72. Retzius, G., Crania Suecica, reworked.

    73. Schreiner, K. E., SNVO, II, #11, 1927; pp. 1-32.

    74. Larsen, C. F., SNVO, #5, 1901, pp. 3-53.

    75. Ibid.

    76. Schliz, A., PZ, vol. 5, 1913, pp. 148-157.

    77. Barras de Aragon, F. de las, MSAE, vol. 6, 1927, pp. 141-186.
    Pérez de Barradas, J., MSAE, vol. 14, 1935, pp. 141-172.

    78. Hauschild, M. W., ZFMA, vol. 25, 1925, pp. 221-242.

    79. Morant, G. M., Biometrika, vol. 18, 1926, pp. 56-98.

    80. Reche, O., VUR, vol. 4, 1929, pp. 129-158, 193-215.

    81. Kendrick, T. D., and Hawkes, C. F. C., Archaeology in England and Wales, 1914-1931.

    82. Morant, Biometrika, vol. 18, 1926, pp. 56-98. Brash, J. C., Layard, D., and Young, M., Biometrika, vol. 27, 1935, pp. 388-408.

    83. Lambdoid flattening is a characteristic common to Neanderthal and Upper Palaeolithic man, but rare in the exclusively Mediterranean group.

    84. Calculated from a number of series, involving over 120 adult males. Sources:
    Beddoe, J., JRAI, vol. 19, 1889, pp. 2-11.
    Duckworth, W. L. H., PCAS, vol. 27, 1926, pp. 36-42.
    Hooton, E. A., JRAI, vol. 64, 1915, pp. 92-130.
    Humphreys, Ryland, Barnard, etc., Archaeologia, vol. 73, 1923, pp. 89-116.
    Mortimer, J. R., Man, vol. 9, 1909, pp. 35-36.

    85. Morant, loc. cit.

    86. Peake, H., and Hooton, E. A., JRAJ, vol. 45, 1915, pp. 92-130.

    87. Dingwall, D., and Young, M., Biometrika, vol. 25, 1933, pp. 147-157.

    88. Bryce, T. H., PSAS, vol. 61, 1927, pp. 301-317. Martin, C. P., Prehistoric Man in Ireland, pp. 150-151.

    89. Ecker, A., Crania Germanica.
    Henckel, K. 0., ZFAE, vol. 77, 3/4, 1925.
    Holder, H., AFA, vol. 2, 1867, p. 51.
    Hug and Rutimeyer, Crania Helvetica.
    Kollman, J., AFA, vol. 13, 1881, p. 215.
    Lehmann-Nitsche, R., BAUB, vol. 11, 1895, pp. 109-296.
    Ried, H. A., BAUB, vol. 16-17, 1907, p. 63.
    Sailer, K., ZFKL, vol. 18, 1934.
    Schicker, 5., MAGW, vol. 35, 1905, pp. 54-55.

    The most satisfactory group is the unpublished series of Mrs. R. S. Wallis of 62 male and 41 female Bavarian Reihengräber crania measured in the Anthropological Institute at Munich.

    90. Virchow, R., ZFE, vol. 9, 1877, pp. 495-504.

    91. Fleury-Cuello, E., ZFMA, vol. 30, 1930, pp. 406-428.

    92. Schwerz, F., AFA, vol. 43, 1917, pp. 270-300.

    93. Halter, F., JVST, vol. 12, 1925 pp. 1-114.
    Hellich, B., Praehistorické Lebky v Cechach ze Sbírcy Musea Království Ceskeho.
    Malý, J., AnthPr, vol. 13, 1935, pp. 37-53.
    Niederle, L., MAGW, vol. 22, 1892, pp. 1-18.

    94. Geyer, E., MAGW, vol. 61, 1931, Pp. 162-194.
    Hell, M., WPZ, vol. 19, 1932, pp. 175-193.
    Merlin, H., MAGW, vol. 16, 1886, pp. 1-7.
    Müller, C., MAGW, vol. 66, 1936, pp. 345-355.
    Seraczin, A., MAGW, vol. 54, 1929, pp. 323-332.
    Vram, U., RDAR, vol. 9, 1903, pp. 151-159.

    95. Müller, C., loc. cit.

    96. Lebzelter, V., and Thalmann, C., ZFRK, vol. 1, 1935, Pp. 274-288.

    97. Hamy, E. T., Anth, vol. 4, 1893, pp. 513-534; vol. 19, 1908, pp. 47-68.

    98. Manouvrier, M., BSAP, ser. 4, vol. 8, 1897, pp. 626-654.

    99. Houzé, E., BSAB, vol. 32, 1913, pp. cix-cxl, for 44 males and 35 females from Cipley. Mrs. Wallis's series, measured in the Musée Broca and the Musée d'Historie Naturelle, consists of 136 males and 66 females.

    100. Niederle, L., ACIA., 2me Session, Prague, 1924, pp. 241-247. For source material see his exhaustive series of volumes on the history of the Slavs, Slovanské Starozitnosti.
    For a recent review of Slavic problems, Sonnabend, H., L'Espansione degli Slavi.


    For an explanation of the abbrevations, check this list.

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    It was an excellent chapter that Coon wrote and one which I find myself re-reading every six months or so....

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    The most correct is "Kelt" or "Celt" at last? he

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