Monday, October 17, 2005

Persians and Afghans: The Anthropology of the Near East

Below i type a pessage from Kappers book--- A. C. U., The Anthropology of the Near East from Dr. Research done by Dr Gordon T. Bowles, who measured some 6000 adult males in the country running between eastern Afghanistan and Burma, his series of 40 Afghanis from the Jillalabad plain, 40 Afridis, 42 Mohmands, and 40 Khattak and Bangash. With the addition of 6 Gilzais, this makes a total series of 168 Pushtu speakers from Afghanistan. Published data from this region may be found in the Ethnographic Survey of India, Calcutta, 1909. (See Anonymous, Anthropometric Data from Baluchistan.)

“These Afghans and Pathans are in most respects as similar to the Persians as they are to each other. The Afghans, however, are shorter than the Pathans, since the former have a mean stature of 163 cm. and the latter of 170 cm. The body build of both people is slight to intermediate. A relative sitting height of 52.6 found among Afghanis is close to that of Europeans, while most of the Pathans fall a point lower. The heads of these people range in length from 188 to 192 mm. by tribes, and in breadth from 141 to 145 mm. The cephalic indices of the Afghanis and Pathans vary between tribal means of 72 and 75; except for the Khattak and Bangash, who live in proximity to the Baluchis, and who have a mean of 77. The vault height of all of these peoples is quite low, with means of 121 to 123 mm. Faces are usually long, reaching a maximum mean of 129 mm. among the Afridis, and are at the same time only moderately narrow, with bizygomatic means of 135 to 137 mm. Foreheads and jaws are of moderate dimensions; 104 mm. is the usual mean for the minimum frontal, and 103 mm. for the bigonial.

In the total face height and the three facial breadths, these Pathan speakers cannot be distinguished from Nordics. The upper face height, however, serves as a means of differentiation, since it is extremely long; and the noses, at the same time, reach the extreme length of 61 mm. Their mean facial index of 94 and upper facial index of 56 place these people in an extremely long- and narrow-faced category, while the nasal index of 61 confirms their extreme leptorrhiny.

If one compares these measurements with those from the Yemen on the one hand and from the eastern provinces of Norway on the other, one sees that the Afghanis are much closer to the Nordic mean than to that of the normal Mediterraneans. The head dimensions of the Afghans and Pathans are slightly smaller than those of Nordics, and the vault height is lower,24 but the facial dimensions are essentially similar, except that the upper face and nose heights of the Afghans and Pathans are greater.

The Afghans and Pathans, like the Persians, are usually brunet, and at the same time show a persistent minority of blondism, which in this case reflects Nordic admixture. They are heavy-bearded, and possess heavy body hair. Their facial features show a maximum of bony relief, and, on the whole, their facial skeletons seem much heavier and much more strongly marked than those of the more delicate Arabian Mediterraneans. They possess, in common with the Arabian Mediterranean group, a sharpness in definition of feature which stands in contrast to the coarser lineaments of the average Mesopotamian countenance.


schfiftyfivebux said...

Oslonor, please contact me at I need you to help me retrace my heritage.

Death Trip said...

but anglo saxons came from denmark - that is scandinavia. so surely anglo saxons are nordic.

L. said...

Yes, this man in the foreground surely looks nordic, with the sharp features and light blue eyes. He looks like he could be my grandfather (and I am american, of nordic heritage).

L. said...

Yes, very nordic looking.

Lesserman said...

I am Russian. My relatives were Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, and my great-grandfather was Persian who professed Zoroastrianism and lived in Russian Empire and later - Soviet Union. from him I got some Mediterranean appearance. I think Persians are good people.