Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tangiers (Morocco)

The modern Tanjah (anglicised as Tangiers) is an ancient Berber and Phoenician town, founded by Carthaginian colonists in the early 5th century BC. The commercial town of Tingis came under Roman rule in the course of the 1st century BC, first as a free city and then, under Augustus, a colony (Colonia Julia, under Claudius), capital of Mauritania Tingitana of Hispania.



  • Sample :
Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 :
Dark complexion (black eyes, black hair, tanned skin, ...), leptomorphic, leptoprosopic, arched convex nose, close-set eyes, full lips, deeply drawn lines around the oral cavity
~ Mediterranean




This phenotype is dubbed "Arabid" by most authors. It was already identified in Oran. A rarer and depigmented variant approaches many European types (dinaricized ones for instance) :



More classical and robust Mediterranean types are to be found : rectangular face, large jaw, lower-rooted straight nose, ... Those people could very well fit in Iberia.





- Type 2 : Rather dark complexion (black eyes, black hair, ...), brachymorphic, coarse features, large face, massive and low-rooted nose that can get convex, full lips, somehow wide-set eyes
~ Alpinoid/Berid




Those people exhibit traits that are generally labelled as "Berberid". It might be more specifically North African. See Oran.


  • Final morphotypes :

22 comments:

  1. The use of these simplistic Med/Alpinid categories reaches in this case an even further extreme of lack of meaning. I say this because I'd rather split them into individuals that look European, those that look West Asian/East Med and those that look specifically North African. Additionally I could add a further category: those who look Iberian but not typically European in general, which may be because of flow from North Africa into Iberia or vice-versa.

    The differences though may be hard to spot in such a cosmopolitan city as is Tangiers (and has been since its foundation).

    One type I miss in this sample is that of the owner of the small shop around the corner, who is from Tangiers, of course. It's a type that reminds of the "horsy"one you have mentioned elsewhere but also reminds of Bushmen or otherwise people of Khoisanid ancestry, as Xhosas.

    I also miss the hyper-typical Moroccan (Berber?) look of his wife. Can't describe but it's a very typical look among Moroccan women, with a yellowish tinge of the skin and very flat, yet small, nose, plus maybe some mild prognathism of the mouth area.

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  2. You're indeed right that this classification is basically meaningless : I'm just sticking to it to please "aficionados" but it's undoubtedly an intellectual fiction.

    Nevertheless the very first "subtype" seems to be somehow coherent even though the whole category - dubbed "Mediterreanean" - lacks unity.

    "Type 2" might be more specifically North African (and I would add Moroccan according to my knowledge of Moroccans in France) but I'm still waiting for more samples to fully dare label types as specific from a precise location.

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  3. Yes, the "Arabid" subtype makes some sense, even if for me those looks are more Western because you'd find them more often in Morocco and Spain than in West Asia. This is particularly true of the third guy (who would go unnoticed by Madrid) and the second woman (a hybrid of Iberian and Moroccan types?, she reminds somewhat of my aunt, though with a more Mediterranean look clearly: darker shades, smaller nose, some weak prognathism and a longer face).

    ""Type 2" might be more specifically North African".

    Actually type 2 is extremely ambiguous to my view of things: they mostly look Europeans (with some admixture maybe) to me. Excepting the second lady, who has a very "Semitic" (Arafat type) face, defined specially by the nose and lips (but maybe also the eyes area).

    In general, excepting that lady and most in the "Arabid" subtype, they look very much approximate to SW Europeans, really. Which is quite interesting, IMO.

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  4. I would sat that Type 1 is most common among Moroccans in Italy.

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  5. This euro vs n.african look is something that old Platy already noticed ages ago in the defunct anthroboards ;-)

    Platypus

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  6. "One type I miss in this sample is that of the owner of the small shop around the corner, who is from Tangiers, of course. It's a type that reminds of the "horsy"one you have mentioned elsewhere but also reminds of Bushmen or otherwise people of Khoisanid ancestry, as Xhosas."

    good observation Maju !
    the shop owner is most likely from the souss region in the south west, their emigration north dates from the french colonial presence in Algeria, in fact,their first success was in the city of Oran...
    anyway,it is the region of souss that the khosanid type is very visible, I can only come up with two videos about some celebrities from that region..

    Guel Lahsen news anchor and moderator :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyoklo7gzyk&feature=related

    Aicha Tachinouite / La chinoise, Altaic looking

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmp6v18IgXA
    don't miss the male musician...

    anyhow, the khoisanid ancestral treat can 'pop up' any where in north Africa, even in regions with a strong Eurasian layer,like the Atlasian Tell just east of Kabylia, Lakhdar ben Tobal one member of the triumph virate that lead the FLN from 1957 to 1962, was nicknamed "le Chinois"....personally I had a few childhood friends who were nicknamed "chino"...
    and perhaps, the most famous moroccan who reveals to certain degree this ancestral treat, is the current king himself !

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  7. I think that Guel Lahsen really approaches the type I meant. Not really sure about the singer because she's moving very fast all the time and wears so much makeup!

    The shop owner self-declared ancestry is "from Tangiers", as opposed to from the Rif (damn, I thought all the Northern Morocco coastal strip was the Rif but seems not, at least not Tangiers).

    You are right also that some random individuals almost anywhere in Africa have that "Khoisanid" look. Some are white, others black. But still I think it is particularly common in NW Africa for some odd reason.

    Maybe you are right (I take your word on that) on the Sous region origin because the High Atlas samples in the recent paper by Athiansadis et al., they do cluster apart from all and seem to represent a deep layer of some sort. But I imagine their genes have been flowing through the area from before that historical episode you mention.

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  8. "I think that Guel Lahsen really approaches the type I meant. Not really sure about the singer because she's moving very fast all the time and wears so much makeup!"

    that is right, his features could be approximate of the original north African cromagnoid that dominated the region, before, the SW european "brides" showed up..

    "The shop owner self-declared ancestry is "from Tangiers", as opposed to from the Rif (damn, I thought all the Northern Morocco coastal strip was the Rif but seems not, at least not Tangiers). "

    Tangier's could be 90 to 95 % Rifians (from east Rifians and Jebala- west semi-arabized tribesmen ), I don't know, the shop owner may not have taking your inquiries serious enough, or it was much easy to tell a foreigner that he is from Tangier, you never know with moroccans !

    "You are right also that some random individuals almost anywhere in Africa have that "Khoisanid" look. Some are white, others black. But still I think it is particularly common in NW Africa for some odd reason".

    I was thinking in that direction.
    my best guess will be, the Atlas mountains, it is the Ideal place for the survival in extreme climatic conditions, and within the Atlas chain, the south west morocco is the best place to be in the face of a prolonged ice age period and arid condition in the sahara....

    in all, I think that souss-massa region could be the key to understand the grey areas of north African genetics,it is to bad that the region is not getting enough attention from the geneticists,who gave to much importance to Mzab area which lies in the saharan desert ( the lebens raum for expansion whenever the climatic conditions permits, versus the Atlas mountains the home and eternal refuge )

    "Maybe you are right (I take your word on that) on the Sous region origin because the High Atlas samples in the recent paper by Athiansadis et al., they do cluster apart from all and seem to represent a deep layer of some sort. But I imagine their genes have been flowing through the area from before that historical episode you mention. "

    forgive me Maju,but I am very amateurish when it comes to reading papers,but it is quite obvious that they expanded in all direction and re-colonised the territory over a long period of time, I just remembered that Jebel Irhoud lies in that region.

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  9. "his features could be approximate of the original north African cromagnoid"...

    I would not say so. Cromagnon types were surely not the original inhabitants of North Africa but, IMO, an arrival from Spain c. 20,000 years ago, in the Solutrean period, which is very original in Iberia (excepting the Cantabrian strip) because of very marked persistence of Gravettian influence, and which probably triggered the Oranian (Iberomaurusian) culture in North Africa.

    In brief, I associate Cromagnon types and Oranian genesis to the European-derived genetics that are very apparent specially in North African mtDNA (haplogroups H, V and maybe K). I am also aware that some North Africans today display faces that are more cromagnid (though Mediterranean Cromagnid, which was already more gracile than CM1) and these do not have this "quasi-Khoisanid" look.

    Anyhow, before the Oranian wave, there must have been people living in North Africa:

    1. There are very very ancient fossil humans in North Africa (Jebel Ihroud, as you mention), dated to c. 190,000 BP.

    2. There is a well known archaeological culture, Aterian, whose most obvious characteristic is the back-tipping of the stone points. This characteristic persisted in all North African Paleolithic techno-cultures, suggesting at least some continuity through change. They are dated in a wide period around 90 Ka ago and may be related to the Out of Africa migration or at least the Palestinian sites of that same period (Skhul, Qahfez).

    3. C. 40,000 BP we see in Lybia and maybe other areas, the arrival of an "Aurignacoid" techno-culture from West Asia surely, known as Dabban Industries, which represent the first colonization of the area by back-migrating Eurasians.

    Then comes the Oranian, with a likely Iberian origin (cromagnoid typology and tested aboundance of mtDNA H), who settled mostly near the coasts, and then the last Paleolithic (or Epipapelolithic) wave from Upper Egypt/Lower Sudan, which is the Capsian culture, with a more inland distribution.

    North African Neolithic is essentially an extension of Capsian (Capsian Neolithic) with some coastal enclaves of Cardium Pottery, specially near Tangiers and Ceuta.

    IMO Capsian probably brought with it the Afroasiatic languages (-> Tamazigh, aka Berber), the Y-DNA E1b1b1, surely original from NE Africa (Sudan and surroundings), and possibly J1 (original from West Asia), a vaguely "Ethiopid" morphology which is very apparent in many individuals from the area (including my friend Said, from Rabat) and some of the L(xM,N) mtDNA lineages, though others may well be much older.

    This is my draft reconstruction of North African prehistory. I can't be 100% safe but it's my best bet.

    My conjecture is that some morphotypes of North Africa, including the pseudo-Khoisanid one we are discussing, may reflect some of those oldest layers before Oranian. However an "Ethiopid" link is not impossible either.

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  10. "Tangier's could be 90 to 95 % Rifians (from east Rifians and Jebala- west semi-arabized tribesmen ), I don't know, the shop owner may not have taking your inquiries serious enough, or it was much easy to tell a foreigner that he is from Tangier, you never know with moroccans !"

    He's a very friendly and rather open guy, fluent in Spanish (unlike his "cousin" now in charge of the shop who speaks very badly) but my inquiry was totally informal. I never asked him about ancestry, just about where was he from. I think he looked at me a bit condescendingly implying maybe that he was from "civilized and quasi-European" Tangiers and not from some pot-growing mountain village from around Chaouen. There are Moroccans and Moroccans, you know: Tangiers has always been a cosmopolitan city while Chaouen for instance used to be a very closed town instead (not anymore, of course).

    "my best guess will be, the Atlas mountains, it is the Ideal place for the survival in extreme climatic conditions"

    Not sure. Mountains in the Ice Age were surely rather harsh... though maybe not at the edge of the Sahara.

    What I was thinking is that southern Morocco must have been all the time a very isolated area, which could have enabled the persistence in "better shape" of older (or otherwise specific) genetic and morphological layers. Alternatively it might have also been more influenced by ultra-Saharan Africa.

    In any case mountain areas everywhere seem to act as cultural and ethnic refuges and therefore also genetic refuges probably. But more in the post-Neolithic period than in the Paleolithic one.

    "in all, I think that souss-massa region could be the key to understand the grey areas of north African genetics,it is to bad that the region is not getting enough attention from the geneticists,who gave to much importance to Mzab area which lies in the saharan desert"

    You are very right in this. The continued use of the Mozabite sample (the same sample all the time) is because "lazy" geneticists use Rosenberg's and other readily "open source" samples, so they don't even need to do the testing work at all. This may be because of budget or legal constrains, of course, but in any case using once and again the same old samples really doesn't seem to help expanding our understanding.

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  11. "forgive me Maju"

    Sure, make a pilgrimage to Santiago on your knees as penance and pray 3000 Ave Marias. ;)

    [Sorry, my Catholic education strikes back in form of horrible joke]

    What I meant is that I tend not to believe too easily in single episode gene flows, specially when we pick a known historical event. Of course these do exist, and maybe some were truly dramatic, but there is also a less apparent "quotidian" flow of regular people doing normal things such as living normal lives who must travel and help that way spread the genetics of their particular ancestors in multiple directions. There is also a huge span of time that is not recorded as history that we cannot ignore.

    So if this phenotype (and the genetics behind it) has been there, say, since c. 100,000 years ago (Aterian culture), for example, then Sous people are rather a cornered remnant than the source of a recent expansion. Even if they also had such recent expansion episode, this had probably a small impact only because all the are was already full of masses of farmers very hard to displace, much less replace.

    IMO most of the meaningful demographic changes happened in the Paleolithic and early Neolithic. Later the massive inertia of the large farmer populations and also the aristocratization of societies, specially of invaders, made such replacements impossible in most cases.

    When pressed by hostile groups, hunter-gatherers often just move away, maybe after an skirmish or two. Instead, when invaded by aristocratic warriors, farmers don't emigrate normally but bow their heads to the new masters and in this passive way secure demographic continuity. Because in pre-modern societies, farmers were at least 80% of all people, and probably many more (90-95%), most of the rest being artisans and servants.

    There are of course punctual exceptions to this "farmer continuity" rule but they are the exceptions that confirm the rule.

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  12. "North African Neolithic is essentially an extension of Capsian (Capsian Neolithic) with some coastal enclaves of Cardium Pottery, specially near Tangiers and Ceuta.

    IMO Capsian probably brought with it the Afroasiatic languages (-> Tamazigh, aka Berber), the Y-DNA E1b1b1, surely original from NE Africa (Sudan and surroundings), and possibly J1 (original from West Asia)"

    to be honest, the Afroasiatic languages is totally made up, it is a well crafted fabrication, I do speak tamazight and I know exactly what I am talking about..
    the neolithic technology had no impact on tamazight whatsoever, it was a technological adaptation rather than an assimilation to the new comers .
    the trick that the mercenary pseudo-linguists use,is to pick up words that are of arabic origin that became employed in tamazight,after the Islamic invasion, and present them as amazigh words, than they will use some names of the domesticated animals of semitic origin, which indeed matches many names given to animals in the african regions along the red sea, from sudan to somalia, and than they will come up with their big theories trying to link tamazight too with the Afroasiatic, based on the presence of the J1 in north Africa !
    the names for our domesticated animals does not match any of theirs, all type of grains,the days of the week, the seasons of the year, the numbers we use (we got to count how many heads of animals we own )nothing matches theirs, zero ! sure we may have had a very old linguistic affinity with the E1b1b1 family, but non with the semitic, besides,semito-hamitic languages are derived from the biblical Sam and Ham , what kind of stupid junk monolithicist-centred pseudo-science is that ???
    the truth is, there is an agenda out there, agenda that strives to homogenize big regional blocks, de-naturalise old true natural nations,( I am sure they hate Euskara too )
    the modern organized policy to semitize north Africa (arabization and Islam = semitic heritage), started with the french colonial invasion of Algeria (1830), at the time 70 % of the population spoke tamazight ,they created les bureaux Arabes, they arabised Amazigh surnames, they favoured the orthodox form of Islam at the expense of the domesticated maraboutic-pagan like form of Islam...I can go on forever

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  13. "Sure, make a pilgrimage to Santiago on your knees as penance and pray 3000 Ave Marias. ;)"
    ha ha ha I loved the joke !

    " IMO most of the meaningful demographic changes happened in the Paleolithic and early Neolithic"
    I agree
    " Later the massive inertia of the large farmer populations and also the aristocratization of societies, specially of invaders, made such replacements impossible in most cases. "
    the aristocratization of societies (the despotism of the bandits) happened in the Nile region,but not in the Amazigh speaking world,which was always consisted of thousands of small independent republics (the tribes) whose members consider themselves as equals,and all the officials were elected on a rotation basis,in tamazight language there is no words for the titles of the nobility ...

    "When pressed by hostile groups, hunter-gatherers often just move away, maybe after an skirmish or two. Instead, when invaded by aristocratic warriors, farmers don't emigrate normally but bow their heads to the new masters and in this passive way secure demographic continuity. Because in pre-modern societies, farmers were at least 80% of all people, and probably many more (90-95%), most of the rest being artisans and servants"

    this model did not work in the amazigh north Africa,even during the roman occupation,Kabylia was never conquered,tribesmen will rather live poor but with dignity than to submit to the rule of a despot,in morocco before modern colonialism , no central government was ever capable of controlling more than 30 % of the territory....

    anyhow,on the bright side, genetic results about the north Africans is killing the arabists lies and their imaginary arabic genealogies, including the ruling Alaouite dynasty in morocco.

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  14. Sorry, Alex, I'm so totally appalled by the Zionist massacre against the Free Gaza flotilla that I can't really dedicate this discussion the time it deserves.

    In fact I am only replying to unrelated posts to get myself some intellectual and emotional break.

    I take the linguistic consensus on Afroasiatic as real. There are divergent opinions always but I don't think that chauvinist Semitic speakers in general are enthusiast in general about the subsumption of their "glorious" linguistic family, including so many prestige languages, such as Arabic, Hebrew, Chaldean, Assyrian, Aramean or Amharic into a group that is essentially African (the old Hamitic family) and that, excepting ancient Egyptian, has never been prestigious.

    IMO there was probably a transition from the E1b1b1 population into the J1 one at Palestine in Neolithic, maybe in all the country or maybe only in the south (Harifian).

    However I may be wrong. Certainly the putative age of Afroasiatic is or even surpasses the apparent limit of reasonable linguistic identification and I guess that therefore the very reconstruction of the family may be questioned. I am of course interested in such criticisms.

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  15. "Sorry, Alex, I'm so totally appalled by the Zionist massacre against the Free Gaza flotilla that I can't really dedicate this discussion the time it deserves."

    I am appalled as well,but not really surprised.

    " However I may be wrong. Certainly the putative age of Afroasiatic is or even surpasses the apparent limit of reasonable linguistic identification and I guess that therefore the very reconstruction of the family may be questioned. I am of course interested in such criticisms. "

    I agree, and besides, the language is a living thing that is ever evolving,one should avoid a methodology that mechanically force links languages to genetics or technology...
    the language is a very different animal, it is strongly linked to the identity of the group, its traditions,beliefs, rituals and their way of life....etc
    "I don't think that chauvinist Semitic speakers in general are enthusiast in general about the subsumption of their "glorious" linguistic family, including so many prestige languages, such as Arabic, Hebrew, Chaldean, Assyrian, Aramean or Amharic into a group that is essentially African (the old Hamitic family) and that, excepting ancient Egyptian, has never been prestigious."

    the Semito-centrics know that their supposed glory is derived from one thing that they created, an industry I shall say : monolithicism , the art of deceit...

    I have one interesting observation about the arab-Islamic sweep in north Africa and Iberia.
    all previously romanized areas in north Africa (the coastal cities and plains) were quickly arabized,and almost the same thing happened in Iberia...

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  16. "all previously romanized areas in north Africa (the coastal cities and plains) were quickly arabized,and almost the same thing happened in Iberia..."

    Actually Iberia kept Romance (Mozarabic) as main popular language. Arabic was only used in administration and mosques and by some elites.

    But Castilian did wipe off Mozarabic as the Castilian kingdom expanded, the same that replaced most other Romances.

    I imagine that a good deal of the Arabization of North Africa happened at the same time as forced islamization (excepting Jews, who were tolerated) in the time of the Almoravids, Almohads, etc. Notice that NW Africa is probably the only region of the Islamic World where there are no surviving Christian or other minorites... a very unusual case.

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  17. "Actually Iberia kept Romance (Mozarabic) as main popular language. Arabic was only used in administration and mosques and by some elites."
    that is right,many Iberians jews for example used to speak Ladino(they still do in Tetouan ).

    I imagine that a good deal of the Arabization of North Africa happened at the same time as forced islamization (excepting Jews, who were tolerated) in the time of the Almoravids, Almohads, etc. Notice that NW Africa is probably the only region of the Islamic World where there are no surviving Christian or other minorites... a very unusual case.

    the arabization follows the Islamization in no time,jews were tolerated because they were no real threat, the real competition was christianity and specially the Donatists in the countryside , initially, the muslims used violence, but, after the stiff resistance by the Zenata tribes (aures) in east Algeria, they switched their strategy to more propaganda and diplomacy,like claiming that jesus and moises were muslims as well..etc, and convinced the tribal chieftains that they will become equal partners if they switched sides...
    the forced Islamization came two sources, the rulers who kept the pressure, and the recent Islamized tribes whose chieftains used the new religion as a vehicle for expansion and power...
    under these circumstances,the superficially christian tribesmen will become superficial muslims while retaining their ancient pagan beliefs...

    it was with the Almohads that the arabization became an official policy,but,even that was not enough to arabize the natives, because, as I said before ,north africa was a collection of many independent tribal republics, with their own sovereignist laws,and this is important,because all Amazigh tribes rejected the Islamic sharia law , and instead, they kind of cherry picked from the sharia the codes that does not contradict their customary law 'Azerf', in another word,Azerf the secular law, was the supreme law in the Amazigh tribal areas up into the 20 century..

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  18. Notice the striking similarity between Huelva and Tangiers as far as morphotypes are concerned.

    Tangiers
    Huelva

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  19. I don't see it, specially not in the women - but the men are also different.

    Tangier head is shorter in the vertical dimension in comparison with Huelva. Also compare hair color (though pigmentation is best compared in men, because of makeup and hair dying).

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  20. fear that I'm the only one to see it then. :)
    You're right though, in details both morphotypes do differ but as a whole, in comparison with other Andalusian morphotypes, this one from Huelva appeared to be strikingly similar.

    What do you think of Granada ?

    I'm wondering if there's some tool that could help me detect similarities between morphotypes.

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  21. "fear that I'm the only one to see it then. :)"

    This is probably a subjective matter (each mind sees things somewhat differently) and only measuring the similitudes differences can give you a proper assessment, IMO.

    "What do you think of Granada ?"

    I thought of comparing with Albania but no luck. He displays a very typical Andalusian type (and not anything else, unless it's linked to Turkey, which you have not researched yet AFAIK). She may be more typical Iberian.

    "I'm wondering if there's some tool that could help me detect similarities between morphotypes".

    There's a problem in the fact that the original photos are very different. Still morphotypes do converge somewhat and maybe scaling all to the same, say, chin-to-nasion scale, you can measure slight differences in the rest of parameters.

    I imagine that informatics may have already developed some tools like those but they are probably very costly and only used by police and spies at the moment.

    But measuring stuff manually, you'll get a nice spreadsheet that you can use then to compare numerical values. It's a hard tabbing work though and may be useless after all.

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  22. I just want to ask you a question:
    Can you please with my profile picture(You can see it in the members) tell to me which type I am

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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.