The origin of the Greeks

by Aris N. Poulianos

Twelve successive editions, constantly enriched with new data, are edited concerning the Anthropological - Ethnogenetic study of the Greek population. The basis of this work is Aris N. Poulianos dissertation, which took place in the University of Moscow, under the supervision of the famous professor of Anthropology F. G. Debetz. The research was based on the study of 70 human characteristics (p. ex. body height, width of face, skin colour, shape of eyes etc.) of about 3000 Greek emigrants (after 1949 civil war) in the f. Soviet Union from different Hellenic areas. The statistical elaboration of these characteristics in combination with their geographical distribution demonstrated mathematically (because of their low dispersion) the incessant biological continuity of the Greeks all through the historic and prehistoric epochs, which refer at least to the Mesolithic and Upper Palaeolithic periods (15.000-30.000 years). This historical continuity is also proved by the comparison of measurements of the contemporary inhabitants with those of the ancient skulls of Greece, which statistically show no differences. Despite the occasional influences and limited migrations of populations, the anthropological research has shown that the population of Greece is basically native and that the contemporary Greeks are descendants of the ancient peoples who resided in the Greek peninsula. The same study indicated that the Albanian-speaking, Slav-speaking (Monte Negro included) as well as Valaches (Vlachi) of the greater Macedonian region are in their majority also autochthonous and therefore the influences from abroad mainly concerns the adoption of the chronologically younger languages, which are in use today.

The interest of the Press concerning the "Origin of the Greeks" is indicatively quoted in the following publications:

Avgi, 6-1-1962: “Over 150 scientists of the University and the Academy of Moscow have fully agreed with the scientific views of Mr. Aris. Poulianos, underlining the seriousness of the research, and without sparing their expressions, they spoke with praising words about him. Dr S. A. Tocarev, professor of ethnography in the University of Moscow and head of the Department of Ethnography regarding the peoples of Europe at the Institute of Ethnography of the Moscow Academy of Sciences, stated the following:
Aris Poulianos work presents an exceptional interest for the ethnographic science. The huge anthropological material of Greeks, which is concentrated and statistically elaborated, introduces for the first time new scientific sources for the study of a problem of basic importance, as is the problem of the origin of the Greek people. So far, concerning same issue it was generally accepted in science that contemporary Greeks historically have very few common elements with the ancient Greeks founders of the ancient civilization, and that contemporary Greeks in their greatest part represent descendants of Slavs, Albanians and other peoples who migrated in Greece and blended with the Greeks of the Byzantine era. Contrary, the writer of the present study, convincingly and based on analogous material, showed that whatever the influence of Slavs and other peoples who came in contact with the Greeks was, the people of modern Greece is basically descendant of the ancient population of the Balkans and the Aegean islands.
The worldwide famous anthropologist of Moscow University Dr I. I. Roginski notes that in the southern part of the Balkans a wide border between the Dinaric and the front Asian anthropological types is located. Therefore, in this area some of the general problems of the classification of the European and front Asian populations may be ascertained. It must be also noted that by this work, the critique of the racist fabrications, regarding the genesis of the ancient Greek civilization, is found. “(Note: meaning the racist theories supporting that contemporary Greeks are not descendents from the ancient and this is the reason why their civilization today falls short compared to that of the developed countries. On the contrary, besides the groundless comparison – if for instance the traditions would be taken into account – the scientific verification regarding the biological continuity of Greeks once more proves that the socio-historical and geographical conditions are the main factors ruling the people’s cultural level.)”.

“The director of the Anthropological department of the Academy Ethnographic Institute in Moscow, Dr M. G. Levin added: ...It may seem paradox that many European peoples have been studied less than the peoples from Australia, Melanesia and other remote countries, Greece being one of the lesser examined ...A. N. Poulianos work completes this missing knowledge. The writer is fully aware of the methodology of the anthropological researches, has strictly kept all the necessary terms and paid suitable attention.
The director of the Anthropological Institute and Moscow Anthropological Museum Dr B. P. Yiakimov stated: " My own view is that Mr A. N. Poulianos work represents the most perfect recapitulation regarding the Anthropology of Greeks."

From the other side of Atlantic, in USA, the director of the Smithsonian Institute, G.L. Angel, in a book review of “The origins of the Greeks” at the American Journal of Physical Anthropology (No 22, v. 5, 1964, p. 343) writes: Aris Poulianos… correctly verifies that there is a full genetic continuity from ancient to contemporary times.

In the newspaper "NEA" of 25-1-1962, it is mentioned that: “The scientific study of A. N. Poulianos refutes the dogmatic theory of the Greek hater, German historian Fallmerayer, who lived from 1790 to 1861, the time of the Greek fight for independence. Him (Fallmerayer) altogether dogmatically, that is without prior anthropological research - and therefore self-evidently anti-scientifically - tried to support the theory that Greeks are mainly Slavs. The researcher (A. Poulianos) ends by mentioning that the anthropological study, with the necessary historical and linguistic data, is necessary for the solution of ethnogenetic problems.
The present is the reflection of the past and in this lays its historical value. If the past helps us understand the present, the present helps us meditate on the future.

Cretans – Aeeans – Peloponessians – Sarakatsani

Thereinafter Aris Poulianos studied other 10.000 individuals and hundreds of skeletal remains from various Eurasian sites. The Greek groups, which were less represented in his PhD thesis (Aegeans, Peloponnesians, Pindos mountains), were finally studied after his return to Greece in 1965.

The basic conclusion (A. Poulianos 1971,1999) is that the contemporary population of Crete (based on a sample of 3.000 individuals) and the Aegean sea as a whole including the hinterland of Thrace and Asia Minor remained unaltered at least since the Minoan era and belongs to the aegean indigenous anthropological type. The migrations, which occurred during several historical periods, resulted in some light variations, but did not change the morphology of the original type. The influences do not exceed more than 1-3 % and this homogeneity betrays once again that the dwellers of the Aegean basin in general are locally born, at least since the Mesolithic epoch, that is 15.000 years BP (before present).

In 1987, the Italian Professor of Anthropology G. Facini during the 2nd World Congress of Palaeoanthropology in Torino, announced the existence of a 50.000 years human skeleton from Crete, with a morphology similar to the contemporary Homo sapiens sapiens and not that of the Neanderthal man. The announcement never reached the Greek Media, once the “Hellenic” Ministry for Culture stayed, as it was expected, indifferent!

In January of 1999, the medical magazine Tissue Antigens (vol.53) published an article based on blood studies, regarding the origin of Cretans. The final conclusion of this article is that the today inhabitants of Crete have a greater kinship to the … Berbers, to the … Semites and even to the … Japanese than to the Greeks (who, as they allege, arrived … 4.000 years ago in Greece!). In this way the origin of Cretans is transferred to …Africa or to the Middle East 10.000 years ago. Seven professors from Spain and three from Greece sign the article and unfortunately they reached the above conclusion following a route of low scientific standards, since they were based on a sample of only 135 individuals only the HLA gene is studied. They also little respected deontology, because ignoring the previous and more accurate anthropological bibliography, since the phenotype is represented by thousands of genes. Along this slippery way, also the work of A. Mourant et al: “The distribution of human blood groups and other polymorphisms”, University of Oxford, 1976, pp 1055, is missing from their bibliography. In this edition it is referred that the HLA gene is an unreliable basis to exact conclusions on such matters, since it makes the inhabitants of Basque, Iceland and Congo to have … bonds of kinship. It may be noted that views of this kind appeared since 1965, i.e. in a time when studies of molecular biology based on human DNA were not yet started, curiously coordinated toward the same direction (for example see the opposing Athens newspaper Athinaiki, 15/4/1966 : “Cretans … do not derive from Phoenicians and Semites.”).

As for their historical, linguistic and archaeological arguments the situation is no better. For example they make the hypothesis that when 10.000 years ago Sahara became a desert, perhaps the Berbers migrated … to Crete creating the Minoan civilization. In other words, instead of trying to find a way to survive they constructed … ships, and went to … Crete! Did not the authors really wonder about the probability that Cretans, rulers of the high seas at the time, traveled the opposite way, as many ancient sources refer? Moreover, the Sahara’s succulent sojourn faced an abrupt end about 5.500 years ago.”(see Sara Simpson, Scientific American Oct.1999, p.19) and naturally not 10.000 ago when the last fluvial climatic conditions (cataclysm) occurred.

However, this hematological work may be considered as just a hoax and not as related to analogous to Cyprus situations. It is only sad, in the verge of the 3rd millennium, to see scientific journals publishing uncritically such “essays”.


Post a Comment

Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Copyright 2007 Melita Insula