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Thread: The Physical Anthropology of Ireland, by E. Hooton

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    Lightbulb The Physical Anthropology of Ireland, by E. Hooton

    There are some comments about the famous Hooton's work about Ireland that can be interesting to know.

    “The total male series was divided into 8 “subracial types,” namely, Nordic Mediterranean (28.9%), Keltic (25.3%), Dinaric (18.6%), Nordic Alpine (18.4%), Predominantly Nordic (6.8%), East Baltic (1.1%), Pure Nordic (0.6%), Pure Mediterranean (0.3%). These “types” are compared one with the other with regard to all the sociological, anthropometric, and morphological observations at hand, and in turn are correlated with archeological finds; with legendary, historical and linguistic data ; with historical events and conquests; and the like.”...

    “As regards Ireland, the sum of the diverse analyses seems to be that “. . . in both Ireland and Wales the proportionately strongest morphological type is what we call Nordic Mediterranean - long-heads with dark hair and mixed eyes. This seems to be the fundamental type of the British Isles. It probably incorporates in both countries the bulk of the descendants of Paleolithic settlers (present in Britain only)? of the Mesolithic inhabitants, of the Neolithic and Megalithic peoples, with some reinforcement from later comers.

    The morphological type second in strength in both countries is what we have called the Keltic type, long-headed with pure light eyes” (p. 235). And, “We can be certain that the Norman conquest introduced no subracial or morphological types that were not already represented in the population, and the same can be said of further colonization by the English and whoever else arrived subsequently in sufficient force of numbers to count in the present day population of Ireland” (p. 223).

    It should also perhaps be noted at this point that Doctor Hooton takes sharp issue with Professor Carleton S. Coon’s interpretation of the present Irish data in the latter’s book “The Races of Man” (Coon, ’39). “The principal point at issue is Coon’s hypothesis of the ‘survival’ or ‘reemergence of Upper Palaeolithic’ types. . . .’? in Ireland, a position which Professor Hooton finds untenable (p. 239)”.

    More in the attached file. Just a summary of the work but better that nothing.
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    "With the miscegenation vary as much the form as the essence of the nations".
    ILSE SCHWIDETZKY, Grundzüge der Völkerbiologie.

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    Keltic subrace

    Keltic subrace (Light-eyed, dark or red-haired long-heads)

    Sorting criteria:
    a. Hair color: dark brown, medium brown, red, rarely black
    b. Eye color: blue, gray, or pale mixed
    c. Head form: cephalic index less than 80, average about 76

    Other characters:
    d. Skin color: pale white, sometimes ruddy, often freckled
    e. Face form: very long, narrow; compressed malars, long integumental upper lip, deep chin
    f. Nose form: very long, high narrow; leptorrhine; thin long tip, compressed alae; tip sometimes depressed, sometimes snubbed; profile straight, convex, or undulating
    g. Hair form: usually wavy or curly, sometimes straight
    h. Stature tall: averaging more than 172 cm.
    i. Body build: slender, very long arms and legs, short trunk

    Distribution: Concentrated in Ireland; common in Scottish Highlands and Wales; sporadic in England, Brittany, and other parts of western Europe.

    Earnest Albert Hooton, Up From The Ape, p. 577, Revised Edition, The Macmillan Company, 1958

    The Keltics. The Keltic subrace is apparently the result of a mutation or mutations in the basic, long-headed brunet stock that affect eye color, reducing it from brown to blue, gray, or pale mixed. The same genetic changes usually lighten skin color to pale white, or even ruddy, and sometimes modify hair color from black or dark brown to medium brown, red-brown or red. Not long ago the association of fairly dark hair with blue eyes in this type was considered to have resulted from intermixture of a brunet White stock with the blond, Nordic subrace.

    This theory is not untenable, because the Harvard anthropometric survey of Ireland, where the Keltic subrace is at present concentrated, clearly indicates that there never could have been any such high proportion of blond Nordics in this area as would account for the tremendous segment of the population in which pure blue eyes or gray eyes are associated with dark hair. In a series of 9.521 adult Irish males, representing an adequate geographical sampling of the country, there were no less than 25.3 % belonging to this Keltic subrace, and no more than 5 % of them red-headed.

    As a matter of fact, red hair in Ireland is not nearly so common as is generally supposed (less than 5 %). On the other hand, 47 % of our Irish series has pure light eyes, and all but 5 per cent of these are blue. Light hair, ranging from light brown to golden blond, occurs in only about 15 per cent of these Irish as against 49 per cent of dark brown, 35 per cent of medium brown, and about 5 per cent of red brown. Mixed eyes occur in the blonds and near-blonds as often or oftener than in the brunets.

    The commonest effect of crossing blond, blue-eyed stocks with dark-haired, brown-eyed stocks is to produce types of intermediate pigmentation of both hair and eyes, with occasional segregation of pure blonds and pure brunets. Dark hair and blue eyes rarely result from such crossing, since some sort of broken linkage would have to occur, in all probability, to produce such a disharmonic combination. We must, then, regard the blue eyes of the Keltic subrace as the result of a mutation rather than a hybridization phenomenon. The combination of dark hair and blue eyes is so uncommon outside of the British Isles and Normandy (the former strongholds of Keltic speech) that one is almost inclined to think that the mutation took place in northwestern Europe at a relatively recent time.

    There is little doubt in my mind that the term Keltic, applied to this subrace, is a sad misnomer. It is true that the type is concentrated in Keltic areas, but the anthropometric evidence in Ireland strongly indicates that the Keltic subrace was not the original carrier of Keltic speech. Furthermore, it is today far poorer in Keltic speakers than other subracial types of Ireland. Keltic speech was introduced, in all probability, by Bronze Age invaders, not earlier than 1500 to 1800 B.C. The Keltic subrace probably came in the Neolithic period, as early as 2200 or 2000 B.C. They may have been the builders of the Megalithic monuments-great, rough stone tombs and other structures. It is commonly assumed that these Neolithic immigrants came by sea, from Spain or the western Mediterranean.

    In a series of 9,168 United States males, the Keltic subrace constituted about 8.5 per cent, ranking fifth among the subracial types established by sorting criteria. The Keltic type is strongly represented among the native parentage, and, among the native born of foreign parentage and the foreign born, seems to have been derived primarily from Irish stock, but also from Scotch, Welsh, English, and Scandinavians.


    Earnest Albert Hooton, Up From The Ape, pp. 586-587, Revised Edition, The Macmillan Company, 1958

    The example look like Coon's Irish Brünn.
    Last edited by Glenlivet; Friday, September 22nd, 2006 at 05:27 PM.

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