(Chapter XII, section 1)



With the present chapter we enter upon the last west-east drive in our effort to deal systematically with the racial geography of living white peoples. We enter at the same time upon the most complex and, from the biological standpoint, the most difficult aspect of the white racial problem. The history of Europe north of the Pyrenees and south of the Arctic fringe has been largely a matter of the penetration of food-producing Mediterranean peoples into territories held by food-gatherers of Mesolithic tradition, the retreat and submergence of the food-gatherers, and their subsequent racial reëmergence. We have already witnessed the same process in the north, and in Britain, especially Ireland. We have also witnessed a similar process in Morocco and the Canary islands.

In northern Europe and in Ireland, the reëmergence was of full-sized, unaltered Brünn and Borreby men; in North Africa of both reduced and unreduced Afalou survivors. One suspects, in studying individual living Irish, that the presence of occasional individuals of Alpine appearance may be due to a minor tendency toward size reduction in the Brünn stock, parallel to the reduction evident in some Riffians.

In central Europe, we shall deal with the Alpine race, a reduced Upper Palaeolithic type, which in its pure form is a medium to short-statured, laterally built, brachycephalic, short and broad-faced, short-nosed, relatively large-jawed, human variety. The perfect Alpine looks very much like the Germanic concept of a dwarf, the small men with snub noses and long beards who live in the mountains and forests, and who foster such poor unfortunates as the Princess Snow White.1

The thesis that the Alpine race is an in situ descendant of the Upper Palaeolithic men of France still remains unproved. The Mesolithic is a vast ten-thousand year gap in our knowledge of the racial history of Europe, and it is still possible that the Alpine race entered central Europe from the east during that time, or that it was reënforced by migrations from North Africa. It is also possible, and in fact more than likely, that the Alpine race represents a reëmergence within a reëmergence; that with the post-glacial climatic changes the shorter-statured, brachycephalic, short-faced, low-orbitted element within the heterogeneous Crô-Magnon and Afalou stocks asserted its selective superiority genetically over the taller, longer-headed and longer-faced elements, and that the Alpine race as such existed in Europe by the end of the Mesolithic; later it was pushed out and absorbed by the incoming Mediterraneans, through mixture with whom it subsequently made its second reëmergence. One difficult feature of this whole problem is that the Alpine race, in combination with certain other elements, produces a number of special mixed forms which help to complicate the racial picture.

A further complication is that the geographical frontier between the region of Alpine reëmergence and that of Borreby reëmergence is not clearly drawn; the two meet and overlap in the Low Countries and in Germany. In the east, free from Borreby competition, the Alpines follow the mountain chain into Asia Minor and southern Turkestan; on the plains of Russia and Poland it is a Lappish or Ladogan element which reëmerges.

The Mediterranean race is a foreigner on European soil. Only in Spain and Portugal and the western Mediterranean islands, where the large Brünn and Borreby hybrids were never important; only in Great Britain, where geography yields little quarter to ancient survivors; and in eastern Norway and Sweden, where the land was relatively empty before their arrival, could Mediterraneans of either blond or brunet pigmentation survive as unaltered major populations on European soil. Europe owes her civilization to the Mediterraneans, but she owes her blood and bone, to an equal if not a larger extent, to the people who settled the continent during the last interglacial.


1. The production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Walt Disney in 1938 has made this physical type familiar, by means of caricature, to almost the entire American and western European public.