Classic EssaysWilliam Pierce

Who We Are #7 — Ice Age Nordics

by Dr. William L. Pierce

Nordic Invasions 6,000 Years Ago Brought Masculine Spirit to Europe
Nordic Establish New Heartland in North

Language Gives Clues to Racial Roots

THE NORDIC SUBRACE of the White, or European, race made its first appearance in Europe west of the Black Sea about 6,400 years ago. Before that the Nordics were concentrated in southern Russia and the eastern Ukraine, in the region north of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.

At the close of the Ice Age they may have been even further east, in the vast expanse of Turkistan, which stretches 1,500 miles from the Caspian Sea to Mongolia. We cannot speak with certainty about this earlier period, however, because the evidence is very scanty. The earliest origins of the Nordics must remain shrouded in the mists of remote antiquity until the archaeologists and the anthropologists have done more digging, measuring, and dating in this area of western Asia.

Nordic Characteristics

The Nordic subrace is characterized physically both by skeletal features and by pigmentation. The Nordic skull is long, with a high forehead, a narrow nose, and stronger brow ridges and muscular markings (roughened areas of bone where tendons are attached) than occur in the Mediterraneans. Nordics are also taller and more rugged in appearance than Mediterraneans, with heavier bones and a larger degree of sexual differentiation in adults. Their jaws are deeper and stronger than those of Mediterraneans, although not so wide as those of Cro-Magnons.

Skeletally they fall between the Cro-Magnon and Mediterranean extremes in several respects, but they present a unique set of skeletal characteristics of their own. They resemble the early Sumerians, but whether a close Sumerian-Nordic relationship actually exists remains unknown.

Ice Age Blondes

The earliest evidence on the Nordics tells us nothing about their pigmentation, and we can only infer that they were blondes, with light hair and skin and blue or gray eyes, from later evidence. We have good general reasons, however, for believing that all the peoples in Europe at the close of the Ice Age, except those on the southern border, were blondes.

Most of Europe was cold and cloudy at that time, with the surface receiving relatively little sunlight. Thus, the dark pigmentation that protects races which evolved in sunny climates from excessive ultraviolet radiation would have served no useful purpose for Paleolithic Europeans.

It would, in fact, have been a disadvantage, in that it would have hindered the formation of vitamin D in their skin, a process which is energized by the ultraviolet radiation which penetrates the outer layers of skin (which explains why members of dark-skinned races living in northern climates — such as Negroes in New England — are so susceptible to rickets). The evolutionary tendency is to provide enough pigmentation to protect from excessive solar radiation, but not so much as to hinder vitamin D formation.

The Mediterraneans who invaded Europe in Neolithic times had presumably not been there long enough to lose their pigmentation by the time of the first Nordic incursion, and so there would have been a strong contrast in the appearance of the two subraces.


The Nordic homeland in southern Russia was wetter 7,000 years ago than it is today, and what is now arid steppe was then an area of mixed forest and grassland. The geologic evidence for this agrees well with the linguistic evidence.

Comparative linguists have made substantial efforts to reconstruct the original language of the Nordics, as it was before their dispersal from their homeland. That language, Proto-Indo-European (of which more will be said shortly), had words for oak, birch, fir, elder, elm, ash, aspen, willow, and beech, and fossil seeds of all these species of trees have been found in the homeland region.

Proto-Indo-European also had words for a number of wild animals, among which were aurochs, elk, boar, bear, wolf, fox, beaver, squirrel, and badger; and for the domesticated sheep, ox, cow, pig, and horse. Other Proto-Indo-European words indicated a familiarity with farming, stock breeding, and textile production.

The Nordics were domesticating and riding horses by 6,500 years ago, and shortly thereafter they were using horse-drawn vehicles with wheels.

The oldest Nordic artifacts from southern Russia are of stone. Knives, agricultural tools, and axe heads were made of polished stone, with an extraordinary degree of craftsmanship.

Corded Culture

There are no significant sources of metal ore in the Nordic homeland, and the first Nordic use of metal undoubtedly came from their contact with the people living south of them, in the Caucasus Mountains, where copper was smelted as early as 7,000 years ago. Initially the Nordics acquired copper implements by trade, but by 5,500 years ago they had established their own colonies near the ore supplies of the Caucasus and were themselves engaged in metallurgy. And by this time they were deliberately adding arsenic to their copper, producing a hard, tough arsenical bronze.

Nordic pottery was characteristically decorated with impressions made by winding cord around the wet clay. Archaeologists have, in fact, designated the entire Nordic culture as the Corded Pottery culture.

In southern Russia the Nordics buried their dead (at least those of high rank) in kurgans, or stone burial vaults covered with earth mounds. Study of these graves has provided much information about early Nordic society.

Nordics were, above all else, warriors. Weapons were always the most prominent artifacts buried with them. Next to their weapons in their regard were their horses, and a dead warrior’s horse was often sacrificed and buried with him.

So, too, sometimes were their wives and their slaves. (The Hindu practice of suttee had its origin in the Nordic invasion of India 35 centuries ago.) Both slave sacrifice and the rich burials of some Nordics testify to a highly stratified or hierarchical social structure.

Religious Contrast

The most common symbolism on pottery, amber pendants, and other grave items was solar, confirming the fact that the Nordics were (and always have been) worshippers of the sun and the sky — more generally, of Nature, with an emphasis on its active, male, creative aspect, as epitomized by the life-giving sun. This contrasts sharply with the religious symbolism of the Neolithic society to the west, in Old Europe, with its Mediterranean racial basis; that symbolism was feminine, centered on the female-reproductive aspect of Nature.

The Nordics lived typically in small villages or settlements of only a few timbered houses, an arrangement suited to their need for relatively large amounts of open land for grazing. Though they were settled relatively sparsely in their homeland, the Nordics maintained a high degree of cultural uniformity over a rather large territory, a consequence of the high degree of mobility which their lifestyle conferred upon them.

Conquest of Europe

They erupted into Old Europe in three major waves, beginning about 6,400 years ago and spanning 16 centuries.

The Nordics cut through Old Europe like a hot knife through warm butter. Their first invasion wave carried them as far west as the Rhine. It was a relatively thin wave, however, and it left some areas of Old Europe more or less intact — notably, the western Ukraine — while other areas were totally disrupted and subjugated. Even in the latter areas — such as the region immediately west of the Black Sea, comprising present-day Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Hungary — the Nordics were not numerous enough to replace the Mediterranean population.

Instead, the conquering Nordics of the first wave reduced the Mediterraneans to helots and formed a ruling aristocracy over them. In some cases it was a purely male aristocracy, formed by Nordic warriors who were not accompanied by women and children of their own race but who instead took Mediterranean wives from the conquered areas. Everywhere the conquerors built citadels, usually hill forts, to anchor their conquests.

The Second Wave

The two races and their cultures coexisted in this way for more than 800 years. Then the second wave of Nordics came boiling out of their eastern homeland, about 5,400 years ago, and the last remnants of Old Europe were submerged. The warriors of this second wave brought their women with them, and the racial makeup of Europe began to change more profoundly.

They also brought bronze weapons and implements with them — the first hard metal to appear west of the Black Sea. And they brought a uniformity of culture to Europe which had not existed since the Ice Age. The Old European civilization had developed in a number of distinct, local directions, resulting in different cultures in different areas. The Nordics, with their horses, were much more mobile, and they maintained an active commerce among the various regions under their domination.

Meanwhile, population pressure continued to build up back in the Nordic heartland. The third wave to hit Europe, between 5,000 and 4,800 years ago, was more massive than the first two, and the racial balance was shifted even further toward a Nordic predominance in many areas. In eastern Europe only Crete, the Cyclades, and Greece remained unaffected, with a relatively pure Mediterranean population.

Nordic Dominance

The racial situation in Europe 4,800 years ago, then, was roughly as follows: the Mediterraneans were the principal population element in southwestern Europe and in the aforementioned areas of southeastern Europe. The Nordics were the principal element in southern Russia, from the Urals to the Dniester, which was the old Nordic homeland; and in north-central Europe, north to the Baltic and west to Jutland, which had not been heavily settled prior to the Nordic invasions. In the northern Balkans and along the Danube valley — the former territory of the Old Europeans the population was mixed, with the Nordic- Mediterranean ratio varying from place to place, but with the Nordics socially and politically dominant everywhere.

The detailed racial distribution was actually more complex than the foregoing rough description indicates. Groups of Mediterraneans displaced from their original habitat by one or another of the Nordic waves later amalgamated with Nordics in areas well beyond the bounds of Old Europe. And, of course, there were still areas of predominant Cro-Magnon population, principally in the far north and the far west.

A New Heartland

The process of racial change begun by the Nordic invasions from the east continued long after the invasions ended. They were as decisive in shaping the racial destiny of Europe — and of the planet — as was the Mediterranean invasion of Cro-Magnon Europe 3,000 years earlier. They established a new Nordic heartland in northern Europe — a Nordic heartland from which new invasions would pour forth in the future, transforming southern Europe, as we shall see in future installments in this series.

With the biological changes in Europe came profound cultural and spiritual changes. The two principal subraces involved Nordic and Mediterranean differed even more markedly in their psychical characteristics than they did physically.

In fact, one of the most tantalizing hints of the change wrought in Europe is to be found in the Nordic religious mythology — specifically, Scandinavian mythology — which has come down to us from that time of radical transformation.

Soil-Bound Spirit

The religion of the people of Old Europe, like the religion of every race, was created in their own image, a spiritual reflection of their inner nature. They were farmers, Mediterranean and passive. They were a settled race, and their ties were to the soil.

Although we can decipher none of their religious inscriptions, it seems safe to assume that, like other soil-bound peoples, their religion was centered on the concept of fertility. Certainly, this is suggested by the abundance of female figurines, stylized vulva symbols, and other evidences of a flourishing fertility cult which have been unearthed by archaeologists along with other remnants of the Old European culture.

The abundance of the life-giving soil, the seasonal death and rebirth of the green earth, the mating and birthing of their domestic animals: these were the essential mysteries, and it was around these that the religious concepts of their matriarchal society must have been formed. Theirs was the religion of the Earth Mother.

Warrior Religion

In contrast, the Battle-Axe People, the blond horsemen from the east, the conquerors of Old Europe, were a race on the move. Nordic, active, patriarchal, dominating, they, too, farmed and, bred livestock, but they were far less soil-bound in their outlook than the Mediterraneans. Warriors, explorers, rulers, they were less concerned with the mysteries of plant and animal reproduction and more concerned with valor, honor, and authority. Their spiritual focus was upward and outward, toward the sky and far horizons, rather than downward toward the soil and inward toward their own bodily functions, as in the case of the Mediterraneans. Theirs was the religion of the Sky Father.

The religion of the Scandinavians until a few hundred years ago, when it was forcibly replaced by Christianity, had a pantheon divided into gods and goddesses belonging to two distinct groups, the Aesir and the Vanir. The principal gods among the Aesir — Odin, Thor, and Tyr — are associated with the sky and with manly activities. Both Odin and Tyr were, at different times, assigned the roles of Sky Father and of war god. Thor, the thunderer, was the god of the air, of lightning, and of defense against enemies.

The three principal Vanir — Njord, Frey, and Freya — are, on the other hand, associated with the earth and the sea, with fecundity, and with sexual pleasure. Njord is clearly a masculinized version of Nerthus, the Earth Mother. Frey and Freya personify the male and female sexual principles, respectively.

Ancient Legends

It is very tempting to see in these two disparate groups constituting the Scandinavian pantheon an imperfect blending of the religions of two disparate peoples, the Aesir belonging originally to the Nordic Battle-Axe People and the Vanir to the Neolithic Mediterraneans conquered by the former.

Indeed, the ancient legends speak to us of just such a blending: of a war between the two groups of gods in the dawn of time, followed eventually by a truce and the acceptance by the Aesir of hostages from the Vanir.

The Heimskringla, a semi-historical compendium of the lives of the Norse kings, written early in the thirteenth century by Snorri Sturlason, the great Icelandic poet and historian, begins with the Ynglingasaga, an almost wholly non-historical account of conflict between Aesir and Vanir. In Snorri’s scheme of things the Aesir were the biological ancestors of the Norse kings, and he interprets the racial memory of a long-ago migration of people in this light.

His account correctly places the ancestral home of the Aesir (i.e., of the people whose gods the Aesir were) in the region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, but its geographical and historical details are not to be relied on. According to Snorri:

Vanaheim and Asgard

“North of the Black Sea lies Svithjoth the Great or the Cold (Russia)…. Out of the north, from the mountains which are beyond all inhabited districts, a river runs through Svithjoth whose correct name is Tanais (the Don River). In olden times it was called Tana Fork or Vana Fork. Its mouth is in the Black Sea. The land around the Vana Fork was then called Vanaheim, or Home of the Vanir. This river divides the three continents. East of it is Asia, west of it Europe.

“The land east of the Tana Fork was called Home of the Aesir, and the capital of that country they called Asgard. In this capital the chieftain ruled whose name was Odin….

“Odin made war on the Vanir, but they resisted stoutly and defended their land. Now the one , now the other was victorious, and both devastated the land of their opponents, doing each other damage. But when both wearied of that they agreed on a peace meeting and concluded a peace, giving each other hostages. The Vanir gave their most outstanding men, Njord the Wealthy and his son Frey….

“Odin appointed Njord and Frey to be priests for the sacrificial offerings, and they were gods among the Aesir. Freya was the daughter of Njord. She was the priestess at the sacrifices. It was she who first taught the Aesir magic such as was practiced among the Vanir….

Invasion and Conquest

“A great mountain chain runs from the northeast to the southwest. It divides Svithjoth the Great from other realms. South of the mountains it is not far to Turkey…. Because Odin had the gift of prophecy and was skilled in magic, he knew that his offspring would inhabit the northern part of the world. Then he set his brothers Ve and Vili over Asgard, but he himself and all gods and many other people departed. First he journeyed west to Garthriki (western Russia) and then south to Saxland (northwestern Germany). He had many sons. He took possession of lands far and wide in Saxland and set his sons to defend these lands. Then he journeyed north to the (Baltic) sea and fixed his abode on an island. That place is now called Odense (Odin’s Island), on the island of Funen.”

Besides Snorri’s tendency to switch the roles of gods and men back and forth, there are other defects in his account. The most serious of these is his chronological sequence of events. Before the migration into Europe even starts, Snorri has already brought about the reconciliation and union of Aesir and Vanir, of Nordic and Mediterranean religions, something which could not have happened until the conquest of the Neolithic-Mediterranean peoples by the Nordics had already taken place.

It is evident that the oral sagas must have undergone significant changes before Snorri began setting them down in writing, In fact, one should be surprised that, after the passage of several millennia, the sagas should still contain any historical truth at all. Nevertheless, the Ynglingasaga does appear to give us a link, however tenuous, between the Scandinavian mythology of seven centuries ago and actual events which took place more than five millennia ago, as indicated by the archaeological evidence.

New Language

The transformation from a matriarchal, egalitarian, pacifist, soil-bound society to a patriarchal, hierarchical, mobile society ruled by warrior chieftains was accompanied by another cultural change of enormous significance — the replacement of the languages of Old Europe by Indo-European languages.

Today, although the Mediterranean race survives in Europe, no Mediterranean language except Basque (Euskarian), spoken by fewer than a million people in the Pyrenees of southern France and northern Spain, is native on European soil. (Georgian and related Mediterranean languages of the Caucasic family may have strayed a few miles across the border from Asia into Europe, but not far enough to be noteworthy. And, of course, we are not counting isolated intruders into Europe who speak Mediterranean languages — such as Hebrew.)

The Esths and the Finns of the eastern Baltic region and the Magyars of Hungary and Romania speak non-Indo-European (and non-Mediterranean) languages of the Uralic family, and there are a number of pockets of speakers of Uralic and Altaic languages in the European portion of the Soviet Union, most of them near the eastern border of Europe with Asia.

Gift of Unity

With these exceptions Indo-European languages are native everywhere in Europe, from Iceland in the west to the Urals in the east and from Tromso in the north to Gibraltar in the south. Beyond this, they are also native in vast areas outside Europe — not only areas of recent White conquest, such as the western hemisphere, Australia, southern Africa, and much of the Asiatic portion of the Soviet Union, but also in such thoroughly non-White areas as Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, where the native tongues were replaced by those of their Nordic conquerors thousands of years ago.

It is, of course, a shame that we have not a trace left of the languages spoken by the Cro-Magnon hunters of the Ice Age, and only a few undecipherable scraps left of the languages spoken (and, perhaps, written) by the Mediterranean peoples of Old Europe. Those languages of our White cousins and ancestors are lost to us forever. But the Nordic conquerors of Europe, in those long-ago invasions, though they thoroughly obliterated the indigenous languages of Europe, gave us something immensely valuable in return in the form of linguistic unity over a vast area of the earth’s surface.

Language and Race

It is because of this that 99 per cent of the White people on earth today speak languages which are closely related to one another. The psyche of a race, which is genetically determined, in turn determines the broad outlines of the forms taken by the race’s cultural developments, including language. And the structure of a people’s language certainly plays a major role in that people’s approach to the world around them — ultimately, in their manner and degree of success in coping with the world.

English, Swedish, and German may sound quite different to the ear, but they are, in fact, very close to one another; their structures are the same; they have words for the same concepts; they are used by peoples whose manner of thinking is the same. And they differ radically from any non-Indo-European language, such as Chinese, Hebrew, or Xhosa.

The study of the native language of a people can tell us a great deal about that people; in particular, the study of the Indo-European family of languages can tell us two things: it can tell us about the Nordics in southern Russia 7,000 years ago who spoke Proto-Indo-European — about their lifestyle, the structure of their society, their technological accomplishments, their religious beliefs, and many other aspects of their lives — and it can tell us much about what has happened to them since they left their homeland, settled in other areas, and gradually began speaking new languages which evolved in various ways from Proto-Indo- European.

Indo-European Roots

The efforts of linguists to reconstruct Proto-Indo-European, and a few of the words they have determined were in its vocabulary, have been mentioned briefly above. These efforts are based on a study of related words in different Indo-European languages and on a knowledge of certain rules of language evolution. The linguists have, in effect, traced these related words backward in time to their common roots.

This linguistic detective work is highly technical and is beyond the scope of this series. A couple of the conclusions drawn from it are worth noting, however. One of these conclusions is the geographical delineation of the Nordic homeland. The presence of certain animal and plant words in the Proto-Indo-European vocabulary provide clues about the natural environment which existed in the Nordic homeland: it had to be an area in which the species for which words existed were actually present at the time in. question. The absence of certain animal and plant words provide other clues.

Silver Birch Clue

For example, the original Nordics had a word for the silver birch, a word whose etymological meaning is “the shining, white tree.” Forests of silver birch are not found south of 45 degrees north latitude nor west of the Vistula, which corresponds very roughly to the northern shore of the Black Sea and the western border of the Ukraine. Other vocabulary clues pin the location down further.

The students of Proto-Indo-European believe that the language resulted from the blending of two earlier languages between 7,500 and 6,500 years ago — that is, only shortly before the beginning of the Nordic invasions. And these invasions, of course, led to the splitting of the language into new languages.

Splitting and Branching

The earliest split of Proto-Indo-European was into a western (or “centum”) branch and an eastern (or “satem”) branch. To the western branch belong the Germanic, Celtic, Italic, and Greek languages; to the eastern branch the Baltic, Slavic, Iranian, and Indic languages. (The last two groups of languages are spoken by non-European peoples today, the consequence of prehistoric conquests by Nordics.)

After this initial splitting, further branching has occurred: Germanic has branched into the North Germanic languages (Icelandic, Faeroese, Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish) and the West Germanic languages (German, Dutch, Afrikaans, Flemish, Frisian, and English); Celtic has branched into Welsh, Breton, Irish Gaelic, and Scottish Gaelic; and Italic has branched into Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, Provencal, French, Italian, Rhaeto-Romanic, Sardinian, and Romanian (to mention only extant languages).

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Source: National Alliance

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