The Iberian Peninsula

From the Neolithic to the Goths
[What follows are transcriptions from "The races of Europe", the great work written in 1939 by the renowned anthropologist Carleton Coon]
The Neolithic in Spain and Portugal
It is not easy, from a distance, to collect and review the evidence for the Neolithic population of the Iberian Peninsula. I have been able to assemble data on some fifty crania from Spain, and nine from Portugal, which seem, with reasonable certainty, to be of Neolithic age.
The Portuguese specimens, all from the Tagus valley, can all be classified as Mediterranean. They include however, not only the small Muge type, but others with larger skulls and taller stature, as high as 168 cm, in the case of one male.
The human remains which represent the Neolithic period in Portugal and Spain, therefore, as incomplete as they are, corroborate the evidence of archaeology. The Iberian Peninsula was a corridor of movements into western Europe from North Africa, and two types, at least, made use of this passageway - a small variety of Mediterranean, somewhat larger than the Mesolithic people of the Muge, but basically the same, and identical with the people who moved into the upper valley of the Nile in predynastic times; and a somewhat larger, heavier sub-division of the same race, similar to Neolithic man in western Asia, and perhaps to the early farmers of the Egyptian Delta. (...)
The Copper and Bronze Age in the Western Mediterranean
In the Copper Age groups from mainland Spain and Portugal, the old long-headed overwhelmingly prevail: out of one hundred and thirty four crania, which represent all that could be assembled for this survey, only fifteen, or nice per cent , were brachycephalic.
The Celts
Celtic cranial material from the southwest German centre of Celtic development is surprisingly scarce. Schliz has described six skulls, and notices of three others have appeared in more recent publications. Of these nine, one is dolichocephalic, four are mesocephalic, and four are brachycephalic. Although this small group is far from sufficient to disclose the racial type of the Kelts in their homeland, it is enough to show us that a round-headed element played a considerable part in the development of this ethnic group. The brachycephals involved are large headed and powerfully built, with long faces, and rather high orbits; the foreheads are sloping and only slightly bowed at the junction of the facial and cranial planes. The inference is that these brachycephals were derived from the older combination of Bell Beaker and Borreby types which was formed in the upper Rhine country at the beggining of the age of metal, and which persisted into the Hallstatt period. These seem to have mixed the expected intrusive Nordics. We must really wait until we examine larger series of Celtic crania from elsewhere, however, before passing judgement on the final result of this blend.
Sculpture from Greece and Rome gives us a picture of the living Celts who reached the lands of the classical civilization by eastward and southward movements. The well-known Dying Gaul and similar statues show a strongly muscled type with mesocephalic or brachycephalic head form, a rather short face with a square jaw, a straight and rather prominent mesorhine nose, with horizontal or elevated tip and full nostrils, heavy browridges, a broad forehead, and stiff, bristly hair. This type, while familia enough in western Europe, is not the one which accords with the majority of the Celtic skeletons. The typical Celtic face was long in the upper portion, shallow in the mandible, long and narrow of nose, often with a convex profile, and the forehead was extremely sloping and the vault low. This has its most frequent counterpart today in the British isles. While the type selected by the classical sculptors to represent the Kelts must have had its living models, these may have been drawn from the brachycephalic minority.
The descriptions of the Celts, in Britain, in France, and in other parts of Europe, at the hands of classical authors, give us a definite picture of their pigmentation. Blondism was by no means characteristic of the Celts as a whole. Rufosity was common, and the hair colour was essentially mixed. Caesar himself noted the contrast between the ordinary Gauls and the partly Germanic Belgae, to whom he had to turn to find real blonds for his triumph. Furthermore, the Romans noted the Celtic practice of bleaching the hair to simulate a blond ideal, as in Greece.
On the whole, the Celts were a mixed hroup in race as in culture; their ancestry includes both long heads of some central European Nordic type, which was in turn a combination of several Mediterranean sub-types, and brachycephals from the region in southwestern Germany, in which the Dinarics of Early Bronze Age introduction had blended with earlier round heads of Mesolithic origin. Out of this combination, the Celts developed an easily identified national type, of considerable constancy, which has to be of some importance in the world, especially in Britain and the nations derived from her.
The Romans
The early Romans, judging from the busts of their descendants in the days of Augustus, and of descriptions, were not very tall, as a rule, but were often of heavy body build. Their skulls were flattish on top, and rounded on the sides, like those of the Celts. The facial features included the well-known "Roman" nose, which may have been partly derived from an Etruscan source. On the whole, the well-known scultures of Caesar, Augustus, and others, although not reliable from the standpoint of accurate measurement, indicate that a mesocephalic to brachycephalic head form was admired. Their facial type is not native to the Mediterranean basin, but is more at home in the north. Nevertheless, the Romans considered the Celts who invaded Italy tall and blond; hence the blondism of the Romans, including rufosity, must have been in the minority.
The Germanic Peoples
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.
Of a once numerous and motile 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 the countries through which they passed.
The same conclusion results when one examines the Visigothic skulls from northern Spain which date from the sicth century A.D.. Here a series combined from several cemiteries shows us exactly the same Nordic type, with tall stature and with a high-vaulted skull, a long face and a broad jaw; 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.       
Refuting Kemp
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