Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/330

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Latin writers abound in testimony to this effect. We know also that the Teutonic conquerors of prehistoric times, the Reihengräber, for example, were of this type. Both tall stature and blondness together constitute insignia of noble descent. Gummere has collected some interesting materials from mediæval literature on this point.[1] The thrall or churl is invariably a dark type, the opposite of the flaxen-haired, blue-eyed jarl or earl. Let us suppose, then, that such an opinion concerning nobility became widespread; suppose that it were intensified by the splendid military and political expansion of the Teutons in historic times all over the continent; suppose it to have become the priceless heritage of people more or less isolated in a corner of Europe! Is there any doubt that, entirely apart from any natural choice exerted by the physical environment, an artificial selective process would have been engendered, which in time would become mighty in its results? Is it not permissible to ascribe in some measure both the patent blondness of this Teutonic race and its unique stature as well to this cause? This is our hypothesis at all events.

IV. It is certain that, subsequent to the partial occupation of Europe by a dolichocephalic Africanoid type in the stone age, an invasion by a round-headed race of decidedly Asiatic affinities took place. This intrusive people is most nearly represented to-day by the Alpine or Celtic type of central Europe.

We know that the broad-headed layer of population was not contemporary with the earliest stratum we have described above, because its remains are often found directly superposed upon it geologically. From all over western Europe comes testimony to this effect. We saw in our last article how clear the distinction was in Britain. France and northern Italy give us the clearest proof of it. Oftentimes where several layers of human remains are found in caves or other burial places, the long-headed type is quite unmixed in the lowest stratum; gradually the other type becomes more frequent, until all across central Europe it outnumbers its predecessor utterly. The intensity of this supersession becomes more marked in proportion as we approach the Alps, the present stronghold of the Alpine broad-headed race. Here, however, in the mountains themselves, as we have already said, no displacement of an earlier population seems to have been necessary; for from Switzerland, Auvergne in south central France, and the German Alps eastward, the inhospitable highlands seem to have been but sparsely if at all occupied by the earlier long-headed races. At all events, it is certain that in these restricted areas the broad-headed type is the most primitive. There

  1. Germanic Origins, pp. 62 seq.