(Chapter XI, section 19)



The main conclusions to be drawn from the foregoing study of the Mediterranean World, in its stretch, a quarter of the way around the globe, from India to the Atlantic, may be expressed simply and briefly. In this zone the Mediterranean race is the one predominant human genetic factor. It abuts on the Veddoid group to the southeast, the negroid to the southwest, and the world of the descendants of hybrid Upper Palaeolithic hunters on the north and on the west.

The Mediterranean race, excepting those partially depigmented branches which escaped early to the north of the Mediterranean homelands and whose descendants we have already studied, is characteristically brunet, but in varying degrees, and when unmixed with Veddoids or negroids carries a minor mutative tendency to blondism.

The early divisions of the Mediterranean race noted in the skeletal material from as far back as the fourth millennium B.C. are still valid.

These divisions may be separated on several bases; notably, stature, degree of dolichocephaly, and facial cast, which is most easily expressed in terms of the nasal profile.

The Mediterraneans living in Asia are characterized, in varying degrees, by a prominence of the upper facial segment and by a convexity of nasal profile; those in Africa and Europe by a straighter facial plane, and a straight nasal profile. The Asiatic Mediterraneans tend to concurrence of eyebrows and heaviness of beard; those in Africa and Europe to a separation of the eyebrows over glabella, and a moderate beard and body hair development.

Historically, short Mediterraneans seem to have preceded tall ones in their wanderings out of typically Mediterranean territory. In view of the known antiquity of the tall varieties, this must be interpreted in terms of geographical position rather than of developmental sequence.

From the metrical standpoint the Mediterranean race is remarkably homogeneous. Different branches of the Mediterranean race, widely separated in time and space, may be identical or nearly indentical in all measurable characters, but may differ profoundly in such superficial (in the literal sense) racial criteria as skin color, hair color, eye color, and hair form. Pigmentation, within the wider Mediterranean groups, is of little value in the estimation of long-range racial associations. The pigment map of Europe is truly a map of glaciation, and the racial types found within the inner zone of blondism have little in common other than a paucity of melanin. The Corded element in the Nordic, as it is isolated, is blue-eyed and brown-haired; its Asiatic counterpart is brown-eyed and back-haired. The Nordic proper and the smaller Mediterranean element in it which we call Danubian is ash-blond haired and gray- or mixed-eyed; its Mediterranean counterparts elsewhere are brown-haired and brown-eyed. Similarly the Atlanto-Mediterranean strain among the Irish and Scots is blue-eyed, although the hair color remains in many instances dark; here iris and skin depigmentation may have progressed in advance of the non-functional hair pigment. What it is that has made these races partially or fully blond, no one at present knows. But we do know that some of the changes must have taken place within the last five thousand years, since the separation of some of the blond branches of the Mediterranean race from their brunet counterparts cannot go back much farther.

The accretion of a small amount of negroid blood by the Mediterranean stock causes a frizziness of hair form; a darkening of skin color, which becomes extremely variable; a broadening of the nasal breadth; an increase in interorbital and biorbital dimensions; and often an increase in facial and nasal lengths, as well as a tendency to nasal profile convexity. Vault dimensions and body dimensions change little.

The accretion of Veddoid blood causes a reduction in the head size, a tendency toward brachycephaly, and increase in browridges and in bizygomatic breadth, a narrowing of the lower face, especially of the mandible, a narrowing of the nasal and orbital region, and a prominence of the nose. Especially noticeable is the acquisition of thick ringlet curls as an almost exclusive hair form.

The accretion of northern Palaeolithic blood of the Afalou variety causes an increase in bodily bulk, in heaviness of bone, in relative trunk size, and in head size. It causes a broadening of the head and face, and especially an increase in the size and prominence of the mandible. It causes the acquisition of a tendency toward blue-eyed, brown- or rufous-haired blondism, with freckling. A comparable action has already been observed upon the Nordic branch of the Mediterranean race in northern Europe and in Ireland.

What happens to the Mediterranean race when it is fused with central European and central Asiatic Alpine strains, and with mongoloid strains on the plains of central Asia, will be studied in the following chapter.