(Chapter IV, section 6)


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.30

The Portugese 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.31

The Spanish material is best represented by two series, the first from the cave of La Solana at Angostura, Segovia 32 (see Appendix I, col. 9), and the second from the cave of Ticuso at Sepulveda, in the same province.33 Both of these series were originally called Magdalenian, but the presence of pottery and polished celts in the Solana cave, and of trephination at Ticuso, leave little doubt that both are really Neolithic.

The Solana series, which includes ten males and four females, represents a relatively large Mediterranean type, which may be nearly duplicated in the Egyptian series from the royal tombs at Abydos34 and would also fit metrically into a Mesopotamian Eurafrican type group. Morphologically, the crania are relatively heavy, with moderately large supraorbitals.

The second series, that of Ticuso (see Appendix I, col. 10), includes fourteen male and seven female crania. These are somewhat smaller and more delicately formed than the Solana series, and resemble metrically the Naqada predynastic skulls from Upper Egypt. Smaller series and single skulls from other parts of Spain usually fall into this same category.

The human remains which represent the Neolithic period in Portugal and Spain, therefore, 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 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. To what extent these two types included local Mesolithic survivors it is impossible to tell.


30. Scheidt, W., in his Die Rassen der jungeren Steinzeit in N. W. Europa, pp. 87-92, accepted but 38, besides the 68 early Bronze Age crania from el Argar. Czortkower, S., the author of another compilation (PAn, vol. 8, 1934, pp. 45-52), used 118 from Spain, which probably include el Argar. When these are subtracted his list attains exactly the same size as mine.

31. Barros e Cunha, J.-G. D., ACIA, 3me Session, Amsterdam, 1927, pp. 358-360.
Hervé, G., REAP, vol. 9, 1899, pp. 265-280.
Mendes-Correa, A., BAC, vol. 3, 1925, pp. 117-146.
Hervé states (p. 274) that the series included a few brachycephals, but the published data do not support this.

32. Barras de Aragon, F. de las, AMSE, vol. 12, 1933, Cuad. 1, pp. 90-123; Verneau, RDAP, 1886, ser. 3, vol. 1, pp. 10-24.

33. Hoyos Sainz, L., CRCA, 14me Sess., Geneva, 1912, vol. 2, pp. 399-408; Barras de Aragon, ibid.

34. Morant, op. cit., 1925.