The Atlanto-Mediterranean type is part of the Mediterranean family together with Corded and Irano-Afghan types. Carleton Coon believed it to be closer to the earliest discovered forms of the Mediterranean race than any other type.

The taxon, coined by Deniker, is given to the fact that seafarers of whom this type was representative invaded Europe from the Atlantic during the Neolithic; alternatively the term “Megalithic” is used for the type’s association with this culture.

Types of the Mediterranean group

In contrast to East Mediterraneans, their malar area appears more rounded which gives the type a less “clear-cut” impression. The hair is often slightly wavy or straight and dark by pigment. The nose is less prominent.

According to Carleton Coon: “Toward the end of the Neolithic period, the western Mediterranean countries were invaded by seafarers of a tall, exceptionally long-headed Mediterranean variety; some of these invaders passed through the Straits of Gibraltar, whence they also invaded the British Isles and Scandinavia.”

The type is said to have settled in different parts of Europe during the Neolithic and is associated with the Long Barrow Megalithic culture.


A tentative cultural map




















































Racial map of the Neolithic Mediterranean expansion by Coon

As illustrated, individuals of this type are found in the British Isleas and along the whole western European shores from Sicily and other isles in the Mediterranean to Northern Germany and Holland. The type is more heavily concentrated in areas closer to the seas.


          Kelly Brook from England                                                                                                                                   Spain

                                     Spain                                            Silvia Salleras from Spain  Famke Janssen from the Netherlands

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By C. Coon:


“Megalithic: Tall stature, means 167-171 cm., slender build; skull length over 190 mm.; cranial index 68-72 means, individual range below 78; vault moderate in height, less than breadth; forehead modrately sloping, browridges often of moderate heaviness, muscular markings stronger, skull base wider, face medium to long, nose leptorrhine, mandible often deep and moderately wide. The East African Elmenteitans represent an individual and extreme form of this. It represents a gerontomorphic or sexually differentiated Mediterranean or Galley Hill form, and in cranial features is closer to Galley Hill itself than any other branch. “




“The Long Barrow population formed a distinct, homogeneous type; one different from any which, to our knowledge, had previously inhabited the British Isles since the days of Galley Hill; and one which cannot be duplicated, except as an element in a mixed population, anywhere on the western European continent. One is, therefore, led to conclude that the Megalithic cult was not merely a complex of burial rites which diffused without visible carriers; and also that the bearers of this complex avoided mixture by coming by sea.

In stature and bodily build, the Megalithic people belong to a large variety of Mediterranean. The stature for a large number of males from England ranges about a mean of 167 or 168 cm.; which is not contraverted by the meager evidence from Scotland and Ireland. Four male skeletons from a single burial in Kent may represent, more nearly than most, the Windmill Hill group; they are somewhat shorter than the rest.

The Long Barrow skulls are large for a Mediterranean sub-race, but not as large as those of the Upper Palaeolithic peoples. They are particularly long, moderately narrow, and of medium height. Unlike that of the Corded skulls, the height is less than the breadth. In most instances, the occiput projects far to the rear; the parietals are parallel; the forehead is moderately sloping, and, in contrast to the restricted skull width, very straight and broad.

The face is of medium length and of moderate width; the orbits are of medium dimensions, and in many instances slope downward and outward, as if the confines of the face were too narrow for them. The nasion depression is of medium depth, under browridges of medium development; and the straight-profiled nose is leptorrhine. In its totality, the Long Barrow type is both extreme and striking.

In looking for related populations of equal age, we may eliminate at once the smaller, less dolichocephalic branches of the Mediterranean race proper, including the Danubian. A few individual crania in Neolithic Spain and Italy would qualify, but none of the series from these countries. The standard Egyptian crania, as groups, are all too small, as is the single lady from Greece. In one particular feature, the nasal index, the Long Barrow people resemble the Egyptians more than most of the more northerly Mediterraneans, for the Long Barrow crania are leptorrhine.

In their extreme dolichocephaly, the Long Barrow skulls resemble the Corded group, but the comparison does not hold for all features - the Long Barrow skulls are slightly longer, considerably broader, and much wider of forehead, than the Corded specimens, and, of course, the vault of the Long Barrow skulls is much lower. As far as one can tell, the orbits in the two series are much the same, while in regard to the faces, there is not enough evidence in the Corded group for a valid comparison.

A true and valid similarity, however, may be found between the English Long Barrow series and the early skulls from al 'Ubaid in Sumeria, which, whether belonging to the fourth or third millennium B.C., are in either case older than their British counterparts. The only difference, which prevents identity, is that the Mesopotamian faces and noses are somewhat longer.

The current idea that the Long Barrow people were directly derived from the Upper Palaeolithic inhabitants of Britain is clearly erroneous. The Long Barrow skulls are definitely smaller, shorter, and narrower than those of the Upper Palaeolithic group, but of equal or greater height; they have the same forehead breadth, the same upper face height, but a smaller jaw, a much narrower face, and narrower orbits. There is probably a genetic linkage, over a long period of time, between the Long Barrow or Megalithic type and an early Galley

 Galley Hill or Combe Capelle variety of European man, but the continuity could not, for historical reasons, have taken place in England. “






By Earnst Hooton:


“Certainly, the most archaic morphological type of the Mediterranean subrace is that known as Upper Palaeolithic [note that to Hooton Upper Paleolithic had a different meaning to the one used in this site], sometimes also called Galley Hill or Combe Capelle (or, by Coon, the “Bruenn race”) from type fossil finds in Europe, and also frequently referred to as Atlanto-Mediterranean (Deniker). This exceptionally long-headed type is notable for the great size of the brain-case and its rugged bony construction. The face is commonly long and massive, but it may be rather short, perhaps oftenest when bodily stature is below medium. The jaws are nearly always deep and heavy. “




“1. Upper Palaeolithic [note that to Hooton Upper Paleolithic had a different meaning to the one used in this site] (“Galley Hill,” “Combe Capelle,” “Atlanto-Mediterranean”)

a. Head form: very long, usually over 200 mm., very dolichocephalic, length-breadth index usually under 75; occiput protuberant
b. Brow-ridges: usually large
c. Forehead: usually receding
d. Nasion depression: deep
e. Hair form: usually very wavy or curly
f. Nose form: usually straight, medium breadth and height, rather coarse
g. Face form: often very long face, deep jaws, rather prominent malars
h. Stature: usually tall (over 170 cm.) but may be medium, rarely short
i. Skin color: generally dark “

European Morphology Site