Anthropological racial research examined not only human evolutionary history but also the origins of peoples and nations. Anthropologists studied human skulls from anthropological excavations and compared them to living individuals to shed light on the history of nations, prehistoric migrations, and kinship between populations.
Such research contributed to including or excluding certain populations from the “true” nation. Norwegian anthropologists were eager to assume that Norway, like other northern European nations, had its evolutionary origin in the blonde, long-skulled “Nordic” or “Germanic” race. But not all inhabitants were seen as equally Norwegian. Some were more “Germanic,” and thus more “Norwegian” than others, while the Sami people were perceived as culturally and also biologically different and inferior.