A reader sent me the following e-mail:
I want to ask you some questions regarding your maps.
To be honest both maps look very questionable. Also I didn't see any source for these studies, especially the one for eye color looks completely invented. I'm sure that the percentage of light eyes in Italy (for example) is higher than 1-19%, surely in Italy there are more people with light eyes than Spain, Portugal and especially than Turkey or Lebanon , as there are more people with light eyes in Southern England than Bosnia.
My suppositions are confirmed by the studies of Coon or Lundman for example:
Map by Carleton Coon
Map by Bertil Lundman
The maps on my website come from my article on European hair and eye color diversity (Frost 2006) and are reproduced from an anthropology textbook (Beals & Hoijer 1965, pp. 213-214). Beals and Hoijer, in turn, cite a textbook by another anthropologist, Frederick Hulse (1963: p. 328). Unfortunately, Hulse does not indicate the provenance of his data. I suspect he was using data from military recruits, with a lot of interpolation. Or perhaps he was using even earlier maps.
Since my 2006 article came out, I have found one such map in a work by Biasutti (1959, cap. I Nazioni europee e la loro composizione etnica p. 43), which in turn is taken from Günther (1929). At Gene Expression, Razib has turned up another map by Carleton Coon (1982), which is ascribed to ‘Elmer Rising, 1939.’
All of these maps resemble each other in their broad outlines, but the minor differences are significant. I still have not found the original data on which any of them are based.
Beals, R.L. and H. Hoijer. (1965). An Introduction to Anthropology, 3rd edition, New York: MacMillan Co.
Biasutti, R. (1959). Razze e Popoli della Terra. Torino: Unione Tipografico-Editrice
Coon, C.S. (1982). Racial Adaptations. Burnham.
Coon, C.S. (1939). The Races of Europe. New York: The Macmillan Co.
Frost, P. (2006). European hair and eye color - A case of frequency-dependent sexual selection? Evolution and Human Behavior, 27, 85-103.
Günther, H.F.K. (1929). Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes. Munich: J.F. Lehmann
Hulse F.S. (1963). The Human Species. An Introduction to Physical Anthropology. New York: Random House.
Lundman, B.J. (1977). The Races and Peoples of Europe. New York: IAAEE