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Thread: Anthropology of the Estonians

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteruthenian View Post
    I know next to nothing about ethnogenesis of Estonians but I'm watching a documentary about crusaders right now and an historian Alaksandr Bakoŭ says there literally this:

    In fact you would not find today an Estonian who would descend from those Ests, because they all are in fact descendants of the crusaders. Thus they have a special anthropological type. When we come to Estonia we see blonde people, we see people with blue eyes and according to the anthropological parameters they have nothing left from the Ests.

    That would be sad. :icon_sad: I wish I heard from someone that it's stupid to take this statement seriously. Anyone?
    Such a statement is false. The crusaders were usually the ruling class and didn't mess with the peasant population. But there has been some mixing which is proved by genetics and anthropology. The crusaders aren't responsible for this, it's because of the immigrants that came to Estonia after the Great Northern War. They assimilated into the Estonian population quite fast.

    If blonde hair and blue eyes would be a trait brought here by the crusaders(Germans, Swedes, Danes), then Swedes, Germans and Danes should be way blonder then Estonians, but they aren't. Finns are the blondest people in the world, Estonia and Sweden being 2nd.



    Saying that mostly Central-European(German) crusaders brought blond hair and blue eyes to a Northern European country is absolute idiocy. As Finnics(Finns and Estonians) are blonder then any other group in Europe.

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    Eestlane EWtt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteruthenian View Post
    I know next to nothing about ethnogenesis of Estonians but I'm watching a documentary about crusaders right now and an historian Alaksandr Baškoŭ says there literally this:

    In fact you would not find today an Estonian who would descend from those Ests, because they all are in fact descendants of the crusaders.
    Indeed that's not true, although surely some mixing took place. Also, when an Estonian became wealthy, he became a German. Even some of the Baltic-German noble families actually had Estonian roots. When a German peasant moved here, his descendants would become assimilated into the Estonians. It is silly to claim that all of the Germans (or other foreigners) here were descended from the crusaders...

    As Karl said, there were famines, plagues and wars that left huge amounts of farmlands open, so foreign peasants moved here (especially Finns, Latvians, Russians, Swedes, but also Poles, Germans, Dutchmen, even Scotsmen, etc). They became assimilated in a matter of a couple of generations.

    Thus they have a special anthropological type. When we come to Estonia we see blonde people, we see people with blue eyes and according to the anthropological parameters they have nothing left from the Ests.
    As Juhan Aul said, despite racial dualism (Nordic, Baltic) since the stone age, both main types have fair traits. It is much more likely that the dark traits are the ones that have a later foreign origin.

    By the way, here are two Soviet-era sketches of the Estonians' anthropological types:

    The Western type:


    The Eastern type:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    Such a statement is false.
    If blonde hair and blue eyes would be a trait brought here by the crusaders(Germans, Swedes, Danes), then Swedes, Germans and Danes should be way blonder then Estonians, but they aren't. Finns are the blondest people in the world, Estonia and Sweden being 2nd.

    Saying that mostly Central-European(German) crusaders brought blond hair and blue eyes to a Northern European country is absolute idiocy. As Finnics(Finns and Estonians) are blonder then any other group in Europe.
    I dont know, personally i doubt that Estonians are blonder than Scandinavians, at least Swedes and Norwegians.I have lived a bit in both countries, can not say so. Juhan Aul, btw, also states so. Also, I dont believe that all Finns are so whithe-haired.But in fact, this is not such a big deal.

    Yes, it sounds really unrealistic to believe that Estonians were "blondified" in 13th century by German crusaders.But is this wide-spread opinion that blonde hair was brought here by the Balts who arrived here a bit after Finnics, about 2200 BC, wrong?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteruthenian View Post
    I know next to nothing about ethnogenesis of Estonians but I'm watching a documentary about crusaders right now and an historian Alaksandr Baškoŭ says there literally this:

    In fact you would not find today an Estonian who would descend from those Ests, because they all are in fact descendants of the crusaders. Thus they have a special anthropological type. When we come to Estonia we see blonde people, we see people with blue eyes and according to the anthropological parameters they have nothing left from the Ests.
    Ests?Aesti..?Maybe I am wrong but it resembles me a Baltic tribe and has no direct connections with Estonians.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max View Post
    Yes, it sounds really unrealistic to believe that Estonians were "blondified" in 13th century by German crusaders.But is this wide-spread opinion that blonde hair was brought here by the Balts who arrived here a bit after Finnics, about 2200 BC, wrong?
    I'd doubt blondism reached the area that late, with the arrival of Proto-Indo-Europeans (Proto-Balts, Proto-Germanics). The mutation causing blue eyes is thought to have developed in the Black Sea area around 10 000 years ago, and the mutation causing Europeans' blond hair has been estimated being around 11 000 years old. There should be no reason to claim these traits are not indigenous in this region.

    However, that date does coincide with the arrival of the Nordic type into Estonia along with the Corded Ware/Battle-Axe culture.
    Last edited by EWtt; 02-21-2010 at 11:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max View Post
    Ests?Aesti..?Maybe I am wrong but it resembles me a Baltic tribe and has no direct connections with Estonians.
    It was difficult to translate the word that the historian used. Actually he spoke auf Weissruthenisch, but he used the word "эсты". The article in the Russian wikipedia begins with "Ests is an ancient name of the medieval population of modern Estonia. The tribe belonged to the family of Finno-Ugrian peoples".

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    Quote Originally Posted by EWtt View Post
    By the way, here are two Soviet-era sketches of the Estonians' anthropological types:

    The Western type:


    The Eastern type:
    Interesting.


    Here is a Soviet police poster that was used to help identify typical faces of the diverse Peoples of the Soviet-Empire:



    The "Estonian face" is in the bottom row, second from the left. (On the extreme left of the bottom row is a Latvian; above the Estonian is a Lithuanian).

    One humorous thing about this poster is that the "Tatar" face looks exactly like Lenin.
    Hail to You

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    Quote Originally Posted by EWtt View Post
    I'd doubt blondism reached the area that late, with the arrival of Proto-Indo-Europeans (Proto-Balts, Proto-Germanics). The mutation causing blue eyes is thought to have developed in the Black Sea area around 10 000 years ago, and the mutation causing Europeans' blond hair has been estimated being around 11 000 years old. There should be no reason to claim these traits are not indigenous in this region.

    However, that date does coincide with the arrival of the Nordic type into Estonia along with the Corded Ware/Battle-Axe culture.
    The nucleus of blondism is on both sides of the Bay of Bothnia, more widely around the Baltic Sea, especially near the coastline.

    The most reasonable amplification mechanism for blondism would be the time period of holocene maximum about 8000 years ago, when both global and regional climates were warmer than during the 20th century. Especially autumns were long and dark and especially so near the coasts since the water masses of the Baltic Sea kept formation of snow away. So, the most vulnerable at that time were the children and women living near the coastline, they did not get enough sunshine and sunshine was not amplified by snow nor by water surfaces. Their men and fathers went out at sea hunting seals and fish and small whales, where weather is usually more clear, thus more sunshine and more reflection. Those living more inland got reflection from the earlier snow. And that is why local men started to prefer blonde women as their future wives. That is also why young boys are more blond than grownups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by esaima View Post
    Ests?Aesti..?Maybe I am wrong but it resembles me a Baltic tribe and has no direct connections with Estonians.
    The Curonian Spit separating the Curonian Lagoon is called Kura Sr.
    The Vistula Lagoon was called Esten + mere. We all know what it means in finnish: barrier / weir + sea.
    It is a long tradition in Estonia to keep the +mere +meri hydronym ending for former parts of the Baltic Sea that have become bays or lagoons or lakes or swamps due to postglacial isostatic uplift. The oldest such sea remnant toponym in Estonia dates back to before the Billingen Event, some 12 000 years ago (that was the time that place was the last time a seashore).

    Also the toponym of Jutland / Jylland has a similar origin:
    to jut (out) = eest+uma / eend+uma / eeld+uma
    Estonia / Estland / Aestii = Esteva / Eestuva = a jutting land or a barrier. A barrier to what? To the Baltic Ice Lake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pure ja View Post
    The Curonian Spit separating the Curonian Lagoon is called Kura Sr.
    Only in modern Estonian. Historically there is nothing to suggest that Finnic people ever lived there. Curonians (Kuršiai, Kurši) after whoom that spit a and lagoon are named were Baltic people.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curonians


    Quote Originally Posted by Pure ja View Post
    The Vistula Lagoon was called Esten + mere. We all know what it means in finnish: barrier / weir + sea.
    It is a long tradition in Estonia to keep the +mere +meri hydronym ending for former parts of the Baltic Sea that have become bays or lagoons or lakes or swamps due to postglacial isostatic uplift.
    Meri is a loanword from Balts:
    Lexicon of Early Indo-European Loanwords Preserved in Finnish
    Fi. meri '(salt) sea' < Middle Proto-Finnic *meri < ?Baltic *mari- < PIE *mori-

    Lith. mrė, mrios 'the sea', 'the Curonian sea'
    Lat. mare 'the sea'
    You cannot possibly be suggesting that Aesti were originally Finnic people, can you? It would be a bizarre assertion since Tacitus specifically said that their language resembles that of Brits - if they had been Finno-Ugric speaking, he would have said that their language resembles that of Fenni (Finns) who were also mentioned in his Germania as a different tribe.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pure ja View Post
    The oldest such sea remnant toponym in Estonia dates back to before the Billingen Event, some 12 000 years ago (that was the time that place was the last time a seashore).
    You cannot assert that this toponym is that old just based on when that body of water was part of the actual sea. Even though etymologically marios/meri originally meant "sea", in regions which don't border sea, the meaning is sometimes shifted to any large body of water, for example: Kauno marios or Elektrėnų marios.
    Last edited by lI; 07-03-2013 at 03:33 PM.

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