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Thread: Are Basques the purest Cro-magnon??

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    Are Basques the purest Cro-magnon??

    A Short History of the Basque Country
    by Martin de Ugalde

    Archaeological and ethnographic findings indicate that Basque [people] evolved from Cro-Magnon [...] in this area over a period dating from about 40,000 years ago until distinct features were acquired approximately 7,000 years ago. Two thousand years later the sheep, not native to these lands, was introduced and horse and cattle farming came into being, as shown by Adolf Staffe. These circumstances made it necessary for the people to travel periodically and cultural contacts were thus made.
    This period in the history of the Basque people can only make sense if it is studied in conjunction with the cultures of the surrounding areas, in the basin of the River Ebro and the region of Aquitaine.
    Jose Miguel de Barandiaran states "This area is of particular importance in Basque archaeology and linguistic history as it coincides with the area of seasonal migration of flocks in search of pastures in the Pyrenees and where Basque place names are found in general." Luis Michelena reports that the Basque language has been spoken by these peoples since around 6,000 B.C. Basque was spoken in the whole of South Aquitaine and eastwards, to inside Catalonia (proved by inscriptions and place names). From the sixth century B.C. Indo-European culture wiped out all the pre-Indo-European languages spoken in Europe up to that time, with the exception of the Basque language.
    Serious cultural and political problems arose from the above circumstances.
    Rand McNally's linguistic map and the Goetz's Universal History divide up the languages spoken in the world [I think he means Europe here - Blas] as follows: Germanic, Slavonic, Celtic, Romance, Mongol, along with those spoken by the Albanians, Arabs, Greeks, Lithuanians, Latvians, Berbers, Armenians, Caucasians, Iranians and Basques.
    As far as religion is concerned the direction in which corpses were pointed leads us to believe there was some kind of sun worship.
    This well-defined pre-historic Basque people began to feature in history. The worst thing that can happen to a people is for it not to write its own history as this means such a people is at the mercy of other historians. The first news of the Basque people comes to us through the ancient geographers, in particular Pliny and Ptolemy. The "Journey of Antoninus" mentions names that indicate that the land of the Basques extended, not only to Aquitaine in the north but also far down the River Ebro to the south.
    P. Villasante says that the Basques, in calling themselves "Euskaldunak" (those who speak Basque [Euskera]) and the country "Euskalerria", i.e. Basque speaking country, are making cultural history in that it is the language that has moulded and given the Basque people a sense of unity, a sense of being a nation. Antonio Tovar comfirms this and explains the situation by saying that the Basques did not take part in the battles between Carthaginians and Romans; Silius Italicus refers to the fact that there were Basque soldiers in Hannibal's armies. The Basque only intervened to defend Sertorius, the Roman general who had shown respect for them. The relationship between Romans and Basques was cordial: Pompey founded Pompaelo, Pamplona, in the settlement that was Iruna (the city in Basque). Roman influence further north was less evident, however.
    This meant that the Basque language survived in its entirety, with its multiple influences.
    In the third and fifth centuries the Basques defended themselves against the Barbarians who came south to the Iberian Peninsula. After fighting the Germanic Swabian tribes, they went into battle against the Visigoths. The latter gained several victories over the Basques and founded Victoriacum in the year 581 in the proximity of present day Victoria, which was in turn founded by Sancho the Wise on the site of the ancient settlement of Gasteiz.
    The Basques moved to and fro on each side of their land of the Pyrenees and fought against the armies of Suintila, Recesvinto, and Wamba in the eighth century when Tarik disembarked in 711 with 7,000 Berber soldiers in what is now Gibraltar, and defeated the Goths.
    This saved the Basques from both Gothic and Moslem occupation.
    Christianity probably penetrated the Basque country in the third and fourth centuries from the south. It may also have been introduced from the north. The centre of Christian activity may be taken as Calahorra, in Pamplona, which had a Bishop as far back as the times of the Visigoths. Oca had the Bishop of the Autrigones. In the north were Eauze, Aire, Bazas, Oloron, Lescar, and Dax. Paganism probably died out well before the eleventh century, perhaps, as sensed by Navarro Villoslada, even in the eighth century; although pagan and Christian practices lived side by side "as late as the downfall of the Visigoths". Manaricua states "It would be absurd to think that paganism ceased to exist completely from the moment Christianity began to penetrate these lands. If a Christian inscription does not authorize us to say that the Basque country was converted to Christianity, then neither does a pagan inscription lead us to the conclusion that the Basque country continued to be pagan."
    The Basques, who did not constitute a monolithic political unity, but rather a people with a certain amount of confederate organization, began to establish themselves as a political unit, with the Duchy of Vasconia, which covered the area from the River Ebro, upwater from Saragossa, to the shores of the Garrone and which was established at the beginning of the seventh century, according to Ildefonso de Gurruchaga. Fredegaire, a French chronicler of the period, reports that the first Duke of Vasconia was Genial (602), imposed by the Franks. The Basques then became independent and at the beginning of the ninth century the Kingdom of Pamplona was established under King Inigo de Aritza. At this time battles were still taking place against the Franks to the north and the Arabs to the south. Kink Inigo was of the Iniguez family, who were much opposed to the territorial possessions of the Franks south of the Pyrenees, and he contributed greatly to the unification of the country.
    This Kingdom of Pamplona was later to be known as the Kingdom of Navarre.
    By then it had become a smaller territory, where the people with classical Basque features were settled. This region corresponded more or less to the area occupied by the present-day Basque Country.
    When the boundaries were drawn in 1016 between Navarre and the County of Castile, what would now be the Basque country was included in Navarre. The reign of Sancho VII the Strong was the last in the line of Basque monarchies beginning with that of Inigo or Eneko de Aritza. The line lasted four centuries until such time as Guipuzcoa, Alava, and Vizcaya broke away from the Kingdom amid a difficult political situation and became integrated in Castile under a treaty in 1200.
    The incorporation of these lands into Castile came about as the result of personal treaties with the King.
    Navarre was invaded by Castile joined by Pope Julius II, Henry VIII of England, Maximilian of Austria, and Ferdinand the Catholic. The Castilian, Catholic king said that this conquest was only a wartime one (with France). However, when he made peace with Louis XII in 1513, he kept the land by force and swore to respect its sovereignty, the Statues of Navarre, under a Viceroy. This was registered in the Cortes of Burgos "united on an equal basis, each retaining (Castile and Navarre) its ancient character in laws, territory, and government."
    The Statutes governed the independence of the Basque regions.
    This was the origin of the Basque Statute System.
    This agreement was the same in the four regions of the Peninsula: Alava, Guipuzcoa, Vizcaya, and now Navarre as in the continental regions with England and France. The agreements were ratified with each new king who came to the throne. The political union did not mean that these areas comprised one single kingdom, or that the Basques were the subjects of these kings but that they were governed directly by the Biltzar in what is now the French Basque country, and by the General Assemblies in those areas with Spanish administration.
    "Many lords and great kings of Spain", says Adrian Celaya, "signed and adhered to these texts which differ greatly from the usual practice of the period". Quoting Lemonauria and Balparda, he adds "The Statutes of Vizcaya in essence are the Statutes of Man". These Statutes or Rules of Freedom or Systems of Sovereignty or Autonomy have led the Basques to fight for their rights over the course of history.
    When the Basques surrendered after the first Carlist War in 1839, they did so on the promise that their Statutes would be respected. The promise was not kept, however. The Bill put forward by the Government stipulating that "The Statutes of the Basque Provinces and of Navarre are herein confirmed", contained a pitfall in that it went on to say "without prejudice to the constitutional unity", a constitutional unity that had not existed up to that time. Nevertheless, this did not hinder the proclamation of the decree on 16th November 1839, under which the Basque judiciaries and legislature were withdrawn, meaning de facto that for the first time during the course of history from 1200 onwards, Basque juridical and constitutional unity was established.
    The Basque defeat in the war allowed for the transfer of the Spanish Customs to Hendaye in 1841. Up to then the Customs had been in Miranda and Vitoria, the Frontier of the Basque Country with Castile.
    The Basques also lost the second Carlist War and this defeat meant the advent of the Law of Abolition of the Statutes (almost all that still remained of the sovereignty), proclaimed in July 1876. This law brought in compulsory national service in the Spanish Army and the payment of taxes, although this was in fact through a private Economic Agreement.
    The Basque nationalist movement, inspired by Sabino de Arana y Goiri, founder of Eusko Alderdi Jeltzalea/Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) came into being to oppose these outrages. Another movement was also being founded at this time in Navarre under the auspices of Arturo Campion and Juan de Iturralde. Thus, when the Spanish Republic, established on 14th April 1931, granted autonomy to Catalonia, the Basque nationalists, inspired by Sabino de Arana, and led by Jose Antonio de Aguirre, began a large scale, well planned campaign for Basque autonomy: Meeting of Local Corporations on 15th June 1931 in Estella: Referendum on the Statute at the local level in 1932, in which the Nationalists obtained an overwhelming majority in Alava, Guipuzcoa, and Vizcaya (245 municipalities in favour and 23 against).
    This result proved negative for the co-existence of the four regions, with which the war of 1936 could possibly have been avoided.
    Nevertheless, events were to be so in 1932 and a year later the local corporations of Alava, Guipuzcoa, and Vizcaya were consulted again. Victory was gained by the Autonomists and a plebiscite was then held, the result being 82% in favour. The decision regarding the Basque Statute had already been rendered when the military uprising came about. This divided the Basques into two, and when the Government of the Republic officially granted the Autonomy of the Basque Country, it was only able to be applied in the provinces of Guipuzcoa and Vizcaya. On 8th October 1936 Jose Antonio de Aguirre was sworn in as first Lehendakari (President). The Autonomous Government's immediate action was to pronounce the Ikurrina or Basque flag as official and to create the Basque Army and the Basque University. The Basques fought heroically against oppressive international troops, especially after the great offensive that began with the bombarding of Durango on 31st December 1937 (520 dead and 730 wounded between this offensive and that of 2nd April). Then on 26th April came the merciless, criminal bombardment of Guernica by the German Luftwaffe to test their burnt earth tactics. This was the first bombardment of its kind in the world and caused 1,654 dead and 889 wounded; the penetration of the lines, and the occupation of Bilbao on 19th June.
    The Basque troops surrendered in the prison of Dueso. Numerous executions at the hands of the firing squads were carried out and prisons and concentrations camps were set up. Lehendakari Aguirre continued with the Basque troops who were fighting in Catalonia until he left for France on foot and in the company of President Companys.
    The Basque Government established itself in Paris and resolved many of the problems facing Basque exiles. When Aguirre died in 1960, he was replaced by Jesus Maria de Leizaola. The Basque Exile: After the first surge of exiles at the beginning of 1936 throught Irun and across the Bidasoa, a second mass exit took place at the end of the fighting in Basque territory in 1937. At the anxious request put forward by Aguirre to the deomcratic nations, children were evacuated to avoid the tragedy and ris of the last to months of resistance. Thus, between 6th May and 12th June, seven days before the fall of Bilbao, various ships set sail carrying children accompanied by their teachers, priests, and other aid: 3,301 to Belgium, 3,957 to England, 245 to Switzerland, 1,362 to the USSR, 22,234 to France, 105 to Denmark and 6,200 to Catalonia, making a total of 37,304. The last train for Santander left Bilbao on 18th June and about 80,000 people sailed from the Cantabrian capital, mostly old people, women and children, and 8,000 wounded.

    Great article enjoy!

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    Re: Are Basques the purest Cro-magnon??

    Basques are subracially between Dinarid and Mediterranid in my opinion, but the cromagnid element seems to be present in them as well, but not strong.

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