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A Syrian Armenian man of Armenoid type, from The Races of Europe: A Sociological Study by William Zebina Ripley (1911)

In the racial anthropology of the early 20th century, the Armenoid type was a subtype of the Caucasian race.[1] According to anthropologist Carleton Coon,questionable source the countries of the northern part of Western Asia, namely Armenia and the rest of the South Caucasus, Iran, Upper Mesopotamia, Southeastern Turkey, and the Levant, were considered the center of distribution of the Armenoid race.[2]


Prominent Nazi and racial theorist Hans F. K. Günther used the term 'Near Eastern race' to describe the Armenoid type, and ascribed Near Eastern characteristics to several contemporary peoples, including: Armenians, Jews, Greeks, Georgians, Iranians, Assyrians, Syrians, and Southern Turks.[3] Günther regarded Jews as people of multiple racial origins but defined the Near Eastern race as their major basis, and described the race's characteristics such as its "commercial spirit" and as being "artful traders" who had strong psychological manipulation capacities that helped their trade, as well as being known to exploit people.[4] Günther's conception has been criticized for pseudoscientific analysis.[5] Nazis historically identified Jews as within the Armenoid type in the name of the Near Eastern race.[6]


A Lebanese man of Armenoid type, from Ripley (1911)

Renato Biasutti described the Armenoid race as having: "Opaque-white to brown skin, brunet hair and dark eyes, abundant pilosity; medium stature (166), sturdy body build; wide head with rounded occiput (87); very long face, straight and narrow nose (57) with high bridge; thin lips, narrow eye opening.[7]

Carleton S. Coon wrote that the Armenoid racial type is very similar to the Dinaric race, most probably due to racial mixture with the Mediterraneans (who often have olive skin) and the Alpines (who often have brown skin). The only difference is that Armenoids have a slightly darker pigmentation. He described the Armenoid as a sub-race of the Caucasoid race. Armenoids were said to be found throughout Eurasia. However, the largest concentrations occurred within Armenia, Transcaucasia, Iran, and Mesopotamia.

Considered to be the "true" Caucasians, Armenoids were relatively tall (170), usually with medium to dark brown or black hair, dark to medium skin colour, large round eyes that were usually dark brown; a round, brachycephalic head shape with a straight backing (planocciput) (see Cephalic index), high cheekbones and non-prominent chins. Lips were thin, and noses were often aquiline. A minority of Armenoids have blond hair and blue, green, or hazel eyes. This racial type was believed to be prevalent among some Armenians, Assyrians, and northern Iraqis.[8][9]


The Armenoid race type was claimed to exist to the west and north of the Arabid race, and encompasses some of the modern Armenians, jews, Assyrians, Maronites, Greeks, Southern Turks, Kurds, Georgians, Iranians, Arab Israelis, Syrians, Druze, Yazidis, Shabaks, Mandeans and Mhallami,[10] together with the ancient ancestors and/or predecessors of these peoples, such as the Assyrians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Chaldeans, Eblaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Kassites, Gutians, Hittites, Hattians, Hurrians, Phrygians, Lydians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Medes, Persians, Israelites, Samaritans, Judeans, Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites, Philistines, Cilicians, Cappadocians and Minoans among others.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ripley, William Z. (1899). The Races of Europe: A Sociological Study. D. Appleton & Company. p. 444.
  2. ^ "Carleton Coon, "Racial Distribution map"". Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  3. ^ Alan E Steinweis. Studying the Jew: Scholarly Antisemitism in Nazi Germany. Harvard University Press, 2008. P. 29.
  4. ^ Alan E Steinweis. Studying the Jew: Scholarly Antisemitism in Nazi Germany. Harvard University Press, 2008. P. 29.
  5. ^ Alan E Steinweis. Studying the Jew: Scholarly Antisemitism in Nazi Germany. Harvard University Press, 2008. P. 29.
  6. ^ Mitchell B. Hart. Jews & Race: Writings on Identity & Difference, 1880-1940. Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA: Brandeis University Press, 2011. P. 247.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-11. Retrieved 2012-05-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Fisher, William B. (2003). The Middle East and North Africa, Volume 50. Routledge. p. 444. ISBN 978-1-85743-184-1. The northern and eastern hill districts [of Iraq] contain many racial elements—Turkish, Persian, and proto-Nordic, with Armenoid strains predominating. [..] the population of the riverine districts of Iraq displays a mixture of Armenoid and Mediterranean elements. North of the Baghdad district the Armenoid strain is dominant.
  9. ^ Fisher, William B. (1966). The Middle East: A Physical, Social and Regional Geography. Methuen. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-416-71510-1. Armenoid affinities are easily discerned in the peoples of northern and central Iraq., extract of page 444
  10. ^ Review: An Introduction to the Anthropology of the Near East by C. U. Ariëns Kappers, American Anthropologist, 37(35) - Pages 148-49 by W.M. Krogman
  11. ^ Hourani, Albert H. (1946). Syria and Lebanon: A Political Essay. Oxford University Press. p. 96.
  12. ^ The Races of Europe by Carleton Stevens Coon - (Chapter XII, section 18)