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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/648

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626
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Huns under Attila, and those of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, set forth to the devastation of Europe. The physical type of these inhabitants of Turkestan has been fairly well established by anthropologists. It persists throughout a great multitude of tribes of various names, among whom the Kara-Kirghez, Uzbegs, and Kiptchaks are prominent.[1] On page 625 we have portraits of these Turkoman types. The most noticeable feature of the portraits is the absence of purely Mongol facial characteristics. Except in the Kara-Kirghez the features are distinctly European. There is no squint-eye; the nose is well formed; the cheek bones are not prominent, although the faces are broad; and, most important of all, the beard is abundantly developed, both in the Uzbeg and the Kiptchak. The Kara-Kirghez, on the other hand, betrays unmistakably his Mongol derivation in every one of these important respects. One common trait is possessed by all three—to wit, extreme brachycephaly, with an index ranging from 85 to 89. The flatness of the occiput is very noticeable in our portraits in every case, giving what Hamy calls a "cuboid aspect" to the skull. These portraits, if typical, should be enough to convince us that the Turkoman of the steppes about the Aral and Caspian Seas is far from being a pure Mongol even in his native land, although a strain of Mongol blood is apparent in many of their tribes.

The fact is that the Asiatic Turkomans, whence our Osmanli Turks are derived, are a highly composite type. A very important element in their composition is that of certain brachycephalic peoples of the Pamir, the Galchas and mountain Tadjiks. These are for all practical purposes identical with the Alpine type of western Europe. In their accentuated brachycephaly, their European facial features, their abundance of wavy hair and beard, and finally in their intermediate color of hair and eyes,[2] these latter peoples in the Pamir resemble their European prototypes, or perhaps we had better say, congeners. So close is this affiliation that the occurrence of this type in western Asia is the keystone in any argument for the Asiatic origin of the Alpine race of Europe. The significance of it for us in this connection is that it explains the European affinity of many of the Turkoman tribes, who are more strongly European than Mongol in their resemblances. It is highly important, we affirm, to fix this in mind, for the prevalent opinion seems to be that the Turks in Europe have departed widely from their ancestral Asiatic type, because of their present lack of Mongol characteristics, such as almond eyes, lank black hair, flat noses, and high cheek bones.


  1. Complete data on these people will be found in Ujfalvy, 1878-'80, iii, pp. 7-50; Les Aryens, etc., 1896, pp. 385-434; Bogdanof, 1888; Yavorski, 1897.
  2. Ujfalvy (Les Aryens, etc., 1896, p. 428) found chestnut hair most frequent, with twenty-seven per cent of blondness, among some of the Tadjiks. The eyes are often greenish gray or blue (Ujfalvy, 1878-80, iii, pp. 23-33, tables).