Saturday, January 9, 2010

Montignac : Dordogne (Périgord)

Portion orientale de l'ancien évêché de Périgueux, cette région est délimitée par la Vézère qui fait frontière avec l'évêché de Sarlat, les deux diocèses constituant la cité celte des Petrocores ("les quatre tribus" en langue celtique, un conglomérat de 4 peuples ?). La toponymie est d'ailleurs à dominante celtique : nombreux villages avec le suffixe -ac (celtique -akos), ...

C'est rive droite de la Vézère que l'on trouve l'abri sous roche de la Madeleine (d'où le Magdalénien) : gisement préhistorique majeur, il a livré de très nombreux objets d'art mobilier de la fin du Paléolithique supérieur. Je renvoie à mon analyse de la région de Sarlat pour plus d'informations sur le contexte préhistorique.

An eastern portion of the former diocese of Périgueux, this area is bordered by the Vézère river which separates it from the diocese of Sarlat, both dioceses forming the Celtic city of the Petrocorii ("the four tribes" in Celtic, a conglomerate ?). Toponymy in the area is mostly Celtic : many placenames ending in -ac (Celtic -akos), ...

On the right bank of the Vézère was found a rock shelter known as La Madeleine (hence Magdalenian) : a major prehistoric site, it gave us many furnitures from the end of Upper Paleolithic. See Sarlat for more information on Périgord's prehistoric past.



  • Echantillon représentatif / Sample :
Taille réelle / Full Scale


  • Analyse anthropologique sommaire / Brief anthropological analysis :


- Type 1 : Brun, brachymorphique, petit nez épaté concave et implanté bas, tête large et carrée, yeux éloignés
~ Alpin

Dark, brachymorphic, flat and concave low-rooted nose, broad squared face
, wide-set eyes
~ Alpinid



Type absolument dominant, il peut difficilement ne pas être mis en relation avec les restes fossiles de Cro-Magnon. Il contraste fortement avec la variabilité habituelle du Sud-Ouest de la France et présente par contre des affinités avec l'Ouest, dont certains types poitevins plus particulièrement.

Cependant, certains individus caractérisés par un nez droit et parallèle à la face sont assez "guyennais" : il s'agit là d'un phénotype "alpino-dinarique" assez concentré en Guyenne (Périgord, Quercy, Rouergue, ...), dans les contreforts méridionaux du Massif-Central.

A very dominant type, it cannot avoid comparison with Cro-Magnon skulls found in the area. It heavily contrasts with usual South-Western French variability and conversely shows affinities with Western France, more particularly with types from Poitou.

Nevertheless, some individuals characterized by a straight nose parallel to the face are quite "Guyennais-looking" : this "Alpino-Dinarid" phenotype is widespead in Guienne (Périgord, Quercy, Rouergue, ...) in the southwestern foothills of Massif Central.





- Type 2 : Clair, leptomorphique, yeux rapprochés, long nez convexe et implanté haut, menton pointu, large mâchoire
~ Dinaro-nordique

Light, leptomorphic,
close-set eyes, long and high-rooted convex nose, pointy chin, large jaw
~ Dinaro-Nordid



Type physique assez fréquent dans la France de l'Ouest, notamment en Saintonge voisine.

This is a common physical type in Western France, particularly in neighbouring Saintonge.


  • Morphotypes finaux / Final morphotypes :

3 comments:

  1. While I would not claim that your CM type has not a relation with Cro-Magnon 1 as such, it may be important to emphasize that CM1 (and in general most archaic fossil Europeans) had higher and more marked cheekbones, giving them probably a more "oriental" look, in the Lappid or Amerindian sense probably. The description (specially the brachicephaly, not really a CM trait itself) would anyhow be of Alpinoid for most classical anthropometric authors.

    Also most CM skulls are not as robust as CM1, what points already to much variability in the Gravettian period.

    Also, in this regard, I'd like to ask you about the dates for Gravettian culture in Occitania (or Southern France) because I know that Gravettian only arrived very late to Iberia, almost at the beginning of Solutrean (some 2 millennia earlier) and, while it did have a major impact in Southern Iberia, it did not really in the Cantabrian region, which has chrononologies and sequences that essentially go side by side with Occitania for all the UP and Epipaleolithic. So my question is: which are the oldest Gravettian dates in the region? Are they as late as in Iberia, as old as in Central Europe and Italy or something in between?

    Also it's worth mentioning that in the Basque Country at least no brachicephalous skulls are found before the Bronze Age, when they appear in direct relation with mining activity (representing as much as 30% of remains in some sites). But I am not even sure that all your "brachicephalic" individuals are such thing, because you are judging from mere frontal pictures in most cases, and hence only measuring the facial width and not its correlation with the cranial length. In fact, I am under the impression that some of your "CMs" are probably mesocephalic (their back head looks somewhat marked not "flat" as in true brachicephalous individials - like myself by the way).

    In any case, most of the faces look within the Basque range of variability, in many cases very similar to well known people like Bruno Oteiza (1st row - 3) or JM Arzak (2nd row - 2). The similitudes are much more clear and regular in the "CM" group than in the "dinarized mediterranean" one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi !

    You're right that I might have been a bit "sensationalist" when labelling "CM" a type that would have been said to be "Alpinoid" everywhere else. I had in mind my previous sample in Périgord where people had that "Lappish" look to which you're alluding.

    Gravettian seems to be mostly concentrated on the banks of little rivers from Central-SW France (modern-day départements of Dordogne and Charente). Amongst well-known Gravettian sites are :

    - Abri Pataud in Eyzies-de-Tayac

    - La Ferrassie in this very area, previously occupied by Neanderthals (-75.000/60.000 BC)

    No Gravettian sites are to be found South of the Dordogne river. The attribution of Cantabrian-Pyrenean "venuses" (including the infamous "Dame de Brassembouy, modern Landes) to Gravettian "industry" appears dubious to me.

    As for those people, broadly speaking, they're not "alien"-looking in a broad SW France context, still none of them is of a distinctive Basque-style IMO. I do sense a "Massif-Central" vibe. I'll try to follow sampling Dordogne which is very vast.

    ReplyDelete
  3. the CM male sample is essentially Alpinoid in my opinion.
    I rembmber that it was in th Dordogne that Ripley in his RoE selected a series of very rugged, short ''Cro Magnoid'' types.

    Platypus

    ReplyDelete

J'ai choisi de laisser les commentaires ouverts. Cependant vous perdrez votre temps à me sermonner et à me traiter de fasciste (ce que je ne suis vraiment pas) : je vous prie de lire mon introduction qui saura vous rassurer quant à mes intentions. Dans l'amateurisme le plus complet, je n'agis que dans un but de connaissance. Je comprendrai aisément que vous ne partagiez pas mon intérêt pour l'histoire du peuplement du monde, abstenez-vous de vous donner facilement bonne conscience sur le dos d'un travail qui se veut avant tout documentaire et humble.

I've chosen to let people comment freely on my posts. Nevertheless, you'll lose your time taunting me and calling me a fascist (which I'm really not) : I pray you to read my introduction which will reassure that my intentions genuinely aim at achieving amateurish knowledge. I understand that you may not share my passion for the history of the peopling of the World, just don't let me know as clear conscience gained by bashing a humble documentary work is useless.

http://anthrofrance.blogspot.com/2009/05/introduction.html