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Thread: The Mediterranean Race in Arabia (Carleton S. Coon)

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    The Mediterranean Race in Arabia (Carleton S. Coon)

    The Mediterranean Race in Arabia

    The Mediterranean race, in the widest sense, is one of the two basic divisions of the wbite stock. Although varying greatly in stature, different varieties of Mediterraneans do not, as types, attain the bulk, either in head or body size, of the unreduced Upper Palaeolithic group; tall Mediterraneans, whether or not depigmented (partially depig- mented Mediterraneans are Nordics) are usually slender. Small or moderate statured Mediterraneans are as a rule less lateral in build than reduced Upper Palaeolithic sur- vivors. The homeland of the Mediterranean race appears to lie somewhere between East Africa and the Mediterranean, between the Indian Ocean and the Caspian Sea, and between the Egyptian Delta and India. Arabia is centrally located within this general territory, and the parts of Arabia lying west and north of the Ruba' el Khali desert seem to be basic Mediterranean territory.

    FIG. 1 (2 views). A youthful Yemeni from the desert-border tribe of Hadha. Facially he is a perfect example of a refined Mediterranean type; his head length is a little short, his stature a little tall, for the mean. He is a brunet-white in unexposed skin color, brunet in hair and eye color; narrower-faced than any of the Upper Palaeolithic sur- vivors, reduced or unreduced, whom we have seen in the preceding plates. His fore- head and jaw are both consistently narrow. It is a characteristic of the Mediterranean race, as of this individual, that the upper face height and nose height are great, no mat- ter how small the other dimensions. Imagine this individual pink-skinned, blue-eyed, and blond-haired, and you will have a close approximation to a Nordic. There is no essential difference between the two races other than pigmentation. Both, however, are separated by a wide racial gap from the Upper Palaeolithic group.

    FIG.2 (2 views). Another Yemeni highlander, in this case from the escarpment tribe of Beni Madhar .This man is shorter in stature, and much longer-headed. He is mixed in eye color; some 25 per cent of all pure brunet Mediterranean groups possess a trace of incipient blondism. The cranial and facial dimensions of this individual resemble those of the larger, Atlanto-Mediterranean strain as found in western Europe and North Africa. In Arabia the two are not clearly differentiated.

    FIG. 3 (2 views). A Yemeni soldier from the tribe of Khaulan, which goes back his- torically to Sabaean times. Metrically a perfect Mediterranean central type, this indi- vidual possesses a thin, aquiline nose of a type found frequently but by no means ex- clusively among Arabs.

    FIG. 4 (2 views, photo Henry Field. Courtesy of the Field Museum of Natural His- tory, Chicago). A Ruwalla Bedawin, a member of an aristocratic tribe of camel breeders who inhabit the Syrian desert. The Ruwalla, more brunet than the Yemenis, resemble them closely in most respects.

    FIG. 5 (2 views, photo Henry Field. Courtesy of the Field Museum of Natural His- tory, Chicago). A Solubbi; member of a small group of desert wanderers and outcasts who inhabit the North Arabian desert, travelling in small family groups and serving as hunters and tinkers for the Bedawin. They are the purest Mediterraneans in north- ern Arabia, and probably represent an extremely ancient element in the North Arabian population. This Solubbi may be considered a classical Mediterranean.

    FIG. 6 (2 views, photo Henry Field. From Field, Henry, Arabs of Central Iraq, Anth. Mem. of the Field Museum of Natural History, vol. 4, 1935, Plate LXXX). A tall Mediterranean from Iraq. The Iraqians, who are apparently direct and unaltered de- scendants of the ancient Mesopotamians, are Mediterraneans. They are, however, on the whole taller, darker-skinned, longer-faced, and straighter-haired than the Arabs.

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