The African Egyptians: Peoples from the Great Lakes- A Continuation of "Why there are Afrocentrics in this World" : (
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Hat-Shep-Suwe or Hatshepsut from the Amarna period probably possessed a quintessentially African face, her father was Thutmoses I. Some believe she was one of the Makedas or "queens" of Sheba.
The face of a nearly royal, Winnie Mandela, reminiscent of Hatshepsut's, may reflect the now confirmed genetic connection of ancient Egyptians and southern Africans.
This pharaoh called Amenhotep III was father of the ruler shown above, and descendant of the 17th dynasty Thutmosid rulers. The African origins of the 17th and 18th dynasties are clearly displayed in these sculptures. This is not always the case.
Mummy of an ancient queen is well-known to specialists in mummification. The structure of her hennaed African hair - like hair of other mummies - has been modified by chemicals used in mummification combined with the aging process.
Two African princesses, ancient (Amarna era ) and modern, with customary African head deformation.
What is certain is that Egyptians had the hair structure of the Africans to the south of Egypt as in Sudan Somalia, Eritrea and Chad, and Kenya. Like the Egyptians, they had at various times absorbed foreign elements right up until the period of the Mamluk and Ottoman rulers, and scientists concede the following for the most part
"...the physical anthropological evidence indicates that early Nile Valley populations can be identified as part of an African lineage, but exhibiting local variation. This variation represents the short and long term effects of evolutionary forces, such as gene flow, genetic drift, and natural selection, influenced by culture and geography" (Nancy C. Lovell, 1999, p. 279 ).In other words, although you wouldn't know it from the History Channel, National Geographic or certain textbooks of Egyptologists, the case is basically closed on the origins of the peoples of Egypt - a Nile Valley civilization. The people there were a continuation of the tropically-adapted Africans of the Nile, sub-Sahara and Sahara, like the children in the photo below still living in Egypt's Western and Eastern Deserts.
|Children of Siwa Oasis in the "Libyan" or Western Desert of Egypt|
"In Libya, which is mostly desert and oasis, there is a visible Negroid element in the sedentary populations, and at the same is true of the Fellahin of Egypt, whether Copt or Muslim. Osteological studies have shown that the Negroid element was stronger in predynastic times than at present, reflecting an early movement northward along the banks of the Nile, which were then heavily forested" "Human Populations", Encyclopedia Britannica,1974 and 1982 eds.
Here in the United States in the city of Philadelphia is the University of Pennsylvania, home of the heavily-funded Penn Museum which engages in an "outreach" program to the surrounding urban school district where children of primarily African descent live. Click below for the curriculum that is part of University of Pennsylvania (PENN) Museum's outreach program - in my view a clear and present danger to children of African descent - *See the Penn Museum's racist renditions of ancient African pharaohs of Egypt at Some people can't be trusted.comThe Penn Museum is the place where in May after viewing a lecture/slide presentation by Zahi Hawass, I was summarily called over by a man that I had thought was Zahi's publicist, but turned out to be his former Professor and mentor. The man wanted to address me concerning a question I had asked Zahi during the question - and - answer session after his presentation.
Since that time I have become aware of the reason for the outcome of the short, and somewhat disturbing or uncomfortable encounter I had with the man. As mentioned in Part I of this blogpost on "Weird Egyptology", the man also turned out to be a well-established Egyptologist and a curator of the Penn Museum, largely responsible for the appearance of the Tut Ankh Amun reconstruction in its latest exhibition tour across America. Among the things he brought up was the matter of a place called Nabta Playa. In working on this post I discovered that I am not the only one to have faced what I take to be the agitation of Egyptologists in relation to this broaching of the subject of Nabta Playa (See Part I).
I have had the book, Black Genesis, authored by Egyptian-born Robert Bauval, for a few years now though I hadn't read through the book in its entirety. It was only in the course of writing this post in fact that I chanced upon some comments Bauval wrote on the discovery of Nabta Playa and the apparent ire its mentioning had raised among certain members of the Egyptological community.
According to Bauval, the renowned American archeologist Fred Wendorf, who had discovered the site in the Nubian desert with his team in the early 1970s, concluded that "the African origin prehistoric people of Nabta Playa were most probably the ancestors of the pharaohs, and it was them, with their well-developed knowledge of astronomy, agriculture and cattle herding, who provided the impetus that inspired the great civilization of ancient Egypt" (Bauval, 2011, p. 306).
Wendorf and Schild his co-worker have expressed a strong suspicion that the evidence of Nabta Playa like a calendar circle, along with stellar and solar alignments of megaliths, the cow cult, the burial customs seems to support a a "direct connection to the pharaonic civilization of the early Nile Valley." (Bauval, p. 308) Objects discovered at Nabta Playa like a Calendar Circle - turned out to have star and solar alignments "important to the pharaonic Egyptians in their sky religion".
Elsewhere, Bauval noted that he and geologist Thomas Brophy (his collaborator on the book), The Orion Mystery, tried to have an academic paper published, that ended in being rejected for unscientific reasons. They have since come to conclude, "innocent suggestions about astronomy at Nabta Playa may have been perceived as a threat."
Bauval also talked about his finding that under Mubarak's regime (during the time, which also corresponded with the period Zahi was in control of Egyptian antiquities including those of Nabta Playa) "any claim, however scientific and scholarly, of a black African origin for Egypt's ancient civilization" would have been "met with indifference and more likely with opposition".
He adds, "Hawass has already made this quite clear with his latest commentaries on this issue to the official Egyptian MENA news agency....the portrayal of ancient Egyptians as black has no truth to it. Egypt is not Arab, and not African, despite the fact that Egypt is in Africa" (Bauval, p. 178)
Bauval also notes correctly that Hawass equates the word African with black African, and that it seemed "any connection between Egyptians and blacks or Africans must be rejected at all costs..." He suggested that this perhaps "clarifies other less blatant, but still puzzling attacks that scholars have made in their academic publishing." He, nevetheless, asserts in his book, "Facts, however, are facts, Egypt is in Africa, Egyptians are Africans, and there is now overwhelming evidence that ancient Egyptians have a black African origin" (Bauval, p.178).
One of the most maddening things is that over the past decades since its discovery there has been callous disregard for this archaic and fascinating African site which probably probably possessed the foundations of later pharaonic Egyptian culture. The site had nevertheless been marked for "total destruction" as part of an attempt to make the area into agricultural land.
As little attention had been payed to Nabta Playa, certain of its megalithic sculptures had been vandalized, calendar stones have been whisked away and some have even gone missing. When Bauval himself went back to Nabta Playa he had found a prehistoric sundial ravaged, and rubbish strewn about parts of the site (although at least one article I've read attributes this to previous archeologists who'd spent time there).
Sadly, as the knowledge base of these early Nubian populations was far and above what such people in the West have been willing to acknowledge, people have sought other areas to focus their research on, running away from exploring the traditional wisdom of early peoples of the African continent. Yet, early beliefs and technologies as basic as early or formative symbols of hieroglyphs and metallurgical practices, and as complex as astronomy and medicine were founded on a mystical relationship Africans had formed with the cosmos. It is this psyche and inner, almost metaphysical, outlook that mainstream Egyptologists (except for a few) have deemed unworthy of giving credence to. As a consequence, the true nature of the motivations behind the growth of ancient civilizations like Egypt, with their attendant technologies remains behind a void - a veil of Auset (Isis in Greek), so-to speak, inaccessible, and frankly, blacked-out of the Western frame of mind.
The "Negro" Concept and Convictions of Eyeball AnthropologistsEarly on Grafton Elliot Smith, Champollion the Younger, Rawlinson and more than a few other observers spoke rightly of a predominant dynastic "type" of man in Egypt, judging it to be "Negritic" and linking it to the Beja, Somali, "Abyssinians", Maasaai and other Africans far to the south. Nearly two hundred years ago, another group of aristocrats and scholars had already established itself in Europe called, "Societe Dilettanti". The group's members had made it their duty to study and expound on ancient art and sculpture, and were very familiar with the artwork of ancient Egypt. In volume 1 of their "Specimens of Ancient Sculpture" was an article stating, “The Egyptians, though healthy, large and robust were clumsy in their forms and course in their features. Like other African tribes they were woolly haired, flat-nosed and thick lipped, and if not absolutely black were very near it in color" (Griffiths, R., and Griffiths, G. E., 1812, p. 117).
Of course, as mentioned previously one can never be certain of which population of sub-Saharans that European scholarship is considering "Negritic", "Negroid" and/or "Negro" as the concept was ill-defined, thought we can assume those exceedingly black people in loin cloths and leopard skins living in the areas south of Egypt were included in, if not exemplary, of that category. In fact within the last century, Eugen Strouhal and certain other European scholars, have even claimed so-called "Negro" couldn't survive very long in Egypt, but naturally died out living there due to the colder climate. And, for Strouhal, funnily enough, even Nubians were in fact "Europoids" that had been overrun by Negroes and "Negroid waves" - a supposition in line with "hamitic" or "Mediterranean race" theory. (Strouhal, E., 1971, pp. 1- 9)
The 19th century Orientalist, Henry Rawlinson, once asserted "the fundamental character of the Egyptian in respect of physical type, language and tone of thought is Negritic. The Egyptians were not negroes, but they bore a resemblance to the Negro which is indisputable" (Rawlinson, H,. The Ancient Egyptians, 1989, p. 24). One gets the sense here that Rawlinson is talking in a cultural sense, unlike today where anthropologists since the time of Samuel Morton and Carleton Coon have pseudoscientifically attempted to regard it - "the Negro" that is -as a biological type.
Click here for an explanation an evolution of "the Negro" concept and its definition in anthropology. From Savage to Negro by Lee D. Baker (Good to see at least scholars in China are progressive enough to be interested in how the "Negro" concept developed..)
Since the time of Rawlinson, information coming forward and especially analysis of ancient remains has tended to support his belief that ancient Egyptians resembled sub-Saharan "Negroes", both in a physiognomical and culturally sense. Bioanthropological studies of populations have provided overwhelming evidence that ancient Egyptians cluster closely biologically with certain modern and ancient Nubian and south Egyptian populations, as well as with other "Negritic" peoples of inner Africa.
As stated in our last post, from the outset of studying the Nile valley peoples in Egypt, a number of populations in Nubia, the area immediately south of Egypt, were for the most part considered by archaeologists and anthropologists to be identical to populations in Egypt.
Archaeologist A. J. Arkell saw ancient forebearers of the pharaonic Egyptians as identical with certain Nubian populations, which he identified as only "slightly Negroid". He once stated of the predynastic and earliest dynastic period populations of Nubia the following:
"'Physically both the A and C group Nubians belonged to the brown or Mediterranean race and despite published statements to the contrary there were only the slightest Negroid characteristics in any of the C-group skiulls.'" (Cited in McGaffey, Wyatt, 1970, p. 103)His claim like Strouhal's, was needless to say, based on the now supposedly obsolete theory that "blacks" that did not possess in the extreme stereotypical "Negro" traits belonged to some conceptualized in-between type - the "hamite", or else "brown race" - or better yet, some sort of darkened Mediterranean living of European affiliation living in Egypt and even south of it. Egyptologist..
John A. Wilson in a book entitled, The Culture of Ancient Egypt, made the ridiculous asssertion that Amenemhat's Egypt was in particular in fact unfamiliar with the enigmatic "Negro" kind of African. (Amenemhat was the son of Thutmose III.). He writes:
"Under the Middle Kingdom, Kerma, was an outlying trading post and transshipping point for vessels and land caravans. Egypt maintained a resident colony there for commercial and political advantage, with a fortified trading post known as the walls of Amen-em-hat, the justified. North of the third cataract the culture was a high local primitive [sic] affected by the Libyans and the Sahara desert - generally a hamitic culture. South of the third cataract was a far higher proportion of Negroes, so that this post made contact with a people little known to Egyptians."
Egyptian lancers of 11th dynasty in Egypt with purely African physique, - just not "Negro" ones (according to Egyptologists).
A NUBIAN PRINCE - apparently belonging to one of those "only slightly Negroid" Nubians, since he looks so much like an Egyptian.
ZULU MAN - Zulus were categorized as the "true Negro" by westerners. Hence, in colonialist historiography we read assertions like the following: "At the same time we see in these Zulus or Kafir tribes, in the whole Zingian race so much of the true Negro type..." From Zulu-land or life among the Zulu-Kafirs of Natal and Zulu-Land, (1864) p. 67.
Amunhotep III a ruler of the 18th dynasty. His father is Thutmose (Djehouty Messou) IV, African pharaoh.
Zulu Woman (Bantu-speaker) - Rawlinson noted similarities in coloring and body structure between ancient Egyptians and other Africans or "Nigritians". Today genetics of ancient Egyptians are confirming a marked closeness with southern Africans. See the link to one analysis of dna based on autosomes here - Amarna period 17th and 18th dynasty royal families southern African affiliations
It becomes clear as one reads through colonialist historiography that the term "Negro" came to be seen as meaning simply, the "savage", or a black uncivilized type of man. Nothing more, nor less. As Wyatt MacGaffey has noted, at one time scholars like the Austrian archaeologist Hermann Junker argued that "people in Egyptian art who look like Negroes are really something else" (McGaffey, 1970, p. 103). See on the Multicultaralists blogspot Wyatt McGaffey on Hamitic theory . That something else, of course, was the imagined "hamite", "brown" or "Mediterranean race".
McGaffey, in exposing he flaws of "Hamitic theory" in the mid-20th century noted, the A and B group cultures that were established in Nubia were considered "virtually indistinguishable" by specialists and no one had a problem or "difficulty regarding them as Mediterranean" (McGaffey, p. 104). The stone age A-group settlements were dated to the last part of the 4th millenium BC, and weren't really distinct from B group. The culture of A group was thought to have evolved from the Mesolithic inhabitants of Sudan and was considered almost identical in physical type to the population in early predynastic and pharaonic Egypt. (Carlson, D. S., and Van Gerven, D. P., 1977, pp. 495-506)
Later, in the latter part of the 3rd millenium BC entered C group pastoralists, inhabiting Lower or northern Nubia. The C-group remains are also found in Eritrea and Darfur in Sudan and extend west into the desert. Knowing of the links between these ancient cattle-herding pastoralists of Nubia and Egypt one can see why it becomes important to understand the culture of ancient settlements, like Nabta Playa in Nubia and Jebel Uweinat in Libya located today in desert-covered areas west of Egypt.
Certainly today, it can be asserted that in large part the earliest "pharaonic" Egyptians were a population of Nubian stock, i.e., "Ethiopians" that settled in ancient times along the Lower Nile slowly over time absorbing foreign elements trickling in from Asia.
In recent studies, pronouncements such as the following have become more and more popular:
"The clustering of the Nubian and Egyptian samples together supports this paper's hypothesis and demonstrates that there may be a close relationship between the two populations. This relationship is consistent with Berry and Berry (1972), among others, who noted a similarity between Nubians and Egyptians. Thus the osteological material used in this analysis also supports the DNA evidence." Godde K. (2009) An Examination of Nubian and Egyptian biological Distances: Support for Biological Diffusion or In Situ Development? Homo 20 (5) 389-404).
|Conventional coloring of Egyptians of the 18th dynasty (Tomb of Rekhmire )|
Were there populations south of Egypt along the Nile darker-skinned and/or less technologically developed than the dynastic Egyptians? Certainly! But that, according to science, didn't make the ancient Egyptians any less biologically-related to other peoples of sub-Saharan Africa than their Nubian counterparts to the immediate south.
The San or Khoisan people of the Kalahari (see photos below) and other groups in Africa were probably no darker in complexion than the ancient Egyptians were, and yet they are considered African. So it was with the Egyptians. Incidentally, the language and culture of the Egyptians and certain other Africans have been at times referred to as "AfroSan".
"Sub-Saharans" come in different skin tones. San people of the Kalahari, as many other populations, are not literally black in complexion, but comprise one of the most ancient sub-Saharan African lineages.,
Wrote Elliot Smith on the ancient dynastic Egyptians,
"The skull is distinguished in all of these peoples by being long, narrow, ill-filled… with a tendency to assume a pentagonoid (coffin-shaped) or ovoid form, when viewed from above, the eyebrow-ridges are poorly developed or absent; the forehead is narrow, vertical, smooth, and often slightly bulging; and the occiput is bulged out into a marked prominence of the back of the head " (Smith, G. Elliot, 1911, p. 58).
Ethnic Somalis (Sumaal) - their present homeland is considered to have been part of ancient "Punt" or Puanit which the Egyptians considered their homeland. The difference between ancient Egyptians in various periods and regions was probably the difference between ethnic Somali and ethnic Bantu of Somalia (see below). The latter are two differing, but equally "black African" groups - neither of which is literally black in complexion.
Bantu-speaking "Bakool" people, also of Somalia - looking themselves, not much different then the ancient Egyptian or "Kmtiu" people of the "Old Kingdom". Interestingly some analyses of genetics show Egyptians had even stronger affiliations with people further south in the Great Lakes regions of Africa.
Fourth Dynasty Africans of the land of Kmt, i.e. Egyptians of the Old Kingdom bore osteological and cranial relationship to early peoples of the Naqqada and Amratian periods. Ancient typical skeletal remains of "the Egyptians" throughout all early historical periods have been classified as "supra-Negroid" by several recent anthropological specialists.
The Super-Negroid Egyptians?
Recently, scholars studying Egypt's ancient remains have concluded that in the main, "intralimb indices" of the Egyptians were in fact "not significantly different" from those of modern "American Blacks". That is to say, while some Egyptologists and "National Geographic" assure their readers amcient Egyptians were somewhat like Europeans or that it is "unclear" who the Egyptians were, the bulk of the more scientific observers categorically place ancient Egyptians firmly in a category with black sub-Saharans."...it is interesting to note that limb proportions of Predynastic Naqada people in Upper Egypt are reported to be 'Super-Negroid', meaning that the distal segments are elongated in the fashion of tropical Africans" (1996). Mary R. Lefkowitz and Guy MacLean Rogers, Black Athena Revisited, p.148 citing C. Loring Brace.
The authors of a study entitled, "Stature Estimation in Ancient Egyptians: A New Technique Based on Anatomical Reconstruction of Stature" have made the assessment that "ancient Egyptians are closer in body proportion to modern American Blacks than they are to American Whites" - a fact which, of course, should be of little surprise to the objective observer (Raxter et. al, 2008, Abstract). These two populations, ancient Egyptians and African Americans, though not identical, were obviously similar due to their both being descendants and affiliates of sub-Saharan Africans, combined with a small to moderate amount of Eurasian ancestry.
According to several recent studies making use of several sample populations of Egyptians, including one by the modern bioanthropologist Sonia Zakrzewski, the early Egyptians were in their skeletal morphology clearly more tropically-adapted than many other populations of the African diaspora. For one thing, their lower leg bones and forearms were of exaggerated length even in comparison to many other African peoples.
Zakrzewski's paper states the following
"The nature of the body plan was also investigated by comparing the intermembral, brachial, and crural indices for these samples with values obtained from the literature. No signiﬁcant differences were found in either index through time for either sex. The raw values in Table 6 suggest that Egyptians had the “super-Negroid” body plan described by Robins (1983). The values for the brachial and crural indices show that the distal segments of each limb are longer relative to the proximal segments than in many 'African' populations (data from Aiello and Dean, 1990). This pattern is supported by Figure 7 (a plot of population mean femoral and tibial lengths; data from Ruff, 1994), which indicates that the Egyptians generally have tropical body plans. Of the Egyptian samples, only the Badarian and Early Dynastic period populations have shorter tibiae than predicted from femoral length. Despite these differences, all samples lie relatively clustered together as compared to the other populations" ( Zakrzewski, 2003). See article here - Download of article from Dr. Zakrzewski's academia.edu web page here -Variation_in_Ancient_Egyptian_Stature_and_Body_Proportions
Dr. Sonia Zakrzewski of the United Kingdom (University of Southampton) - Objectivity comes in all colors, even if the earliest Egyptians - for the most part - didn't. : )
Earlier, specialists G. Robins and C.C. Shute had in fact implied being non-Negro does not necessarily mean non-Negroid. Though the authors apparently possessed their own view of what constitutes and even commented that "the Negro that the Egyptians didn't represent themselves as Negroes, the predominant indigenous Egyptian predynastic population was in respect to skeletal proportions and osteology more tropically-adapted or "Negroid" than said true "Negroes". An excerpt from their paper is below.
“An attempt has been made to estimate male and female Egyptian stature from long bone length using Trotter and Gleser negro stature formulae. Previous work by the authors having shown that these, rather than white formulae give more consistent results with male dynastic material... When consistency has been achieved in this way, predynastic proportions are found to be such that distal segments of the limbs are even longer in relation to the proximal segments than they are in modern negroes. Such proportions are termed ‘super-negroid’" (Abstract for the paper "Predynastic Egyptian Stature and Physical Proportions", Human Evolution 1986 1(4):313-324.)....
"Robins (1983) and Robins and Shute (1983) have shown that more consistent results are obtained from ancient Egyptian male skeletons if Trotter and Gleser formulae for negro are used, rather than those for whites which have always been applied in the past. .. their physical proportions were more like modern negroes than those of modern whites, with limbs that were relatively long compared with the trunk, and distal segments that were long compared with the proximal segments. If ancient Egyptian males had what may be termed negroid proportions, it seems reasonable that females did likewise." (Robins G., and Shute, C.C.D. 1986. Predynastic Egyptian stature and physical proportions. Human Evolution 1:313-324. )
In other words, the limb proportions of modern "Negroes" of Africa are no match for that of the unmodified predominatly "super-Negroid" people responsible for the rise of pharaonic Egypt. In most black or sub-Saharan populations the forearm (a distal segment) are longer in relation to the humerus or upper arm, than in European populations and the lower portion of the leg (distal segment) closer to the foot is longer in relation to the femur or thigh bone than in European or European-related peoples. The Egyptians had especially long distal segments that easily led to them being categorized as 'super-Negroid'. These proportions easily fall within the sub-Saharan or tropical classification of Africans. It can safely be said that even many Northern Africans and other Mediterranean peoples who have absorbed black Africans also tend to have longer distal segments in relation to Europeans.
Some basing their speculations on the theory of a "Mediterranean race" have tried to suggest, however, that Egyptians may have originally been essentially "Mediterraneans" that had evolved tropical limb proportions rapidly due to their dwelling in a tropical environment (Graduate Dissertation - Raxter) Of course, the problem with that theory is that the ancient peoples that were ancestors of the neolithic Mediterraneans in many respects exhibited a more robust and archaic morphology that was equally as African as that found possessed by their later Nilotic successors, as shown in degree of prognathism and broad nasal apperture and other features (Sereno, 2008).
Rather than derivation from ancestors of modern Mediterraneans, the studies of C. L. Brace and others have confirmed through analysis of craniofacial variants once again that modern Europeans around the Mediterranean and their immediate ancestors had little in common with the peoples preceding them in the Mediterranean of late neolithic and early Bronze Age. The latter, were in fact of evident African affiliation. If some modern Mediterraneans have retained these more archaic "black African" traits, than that is another story, but certainly not a Euro-Mediterranean or "Caucasian" one.
By the mid-1970s and into the 1990s studies by the likes of George Armelagos, Peter Ucko, David S. Carlson, D.L. Greene, Dennis Van Gerven and others were carried on which involved comparisions of dozens of discrete cranial and dental traits of Egyptians and Nubians. These same studies had similarly proven a direct link between Egyptians of the dynastic period with earlier Neolithic and Mesolithic Nilotes and Nubians. Brace's study was thus just one of the latest in a long line of studies that had seemed to validate the southern or black connections of predynastic Egyptians and late stone age Mediterraneans, as well as their lack of affiliation with later European-affiliated settlers.
The fact thus remains that the evidence of science suggests that many of the diverse sub-Saharan African peoples have biological connections that began in the late African holocene and Mesolithic periods in the then heavily-forested Lower and Upper Nile region. It is why these Africans share so many obvious similarities in morphology, physiognomy, blood groupings, etc., but more importantly, in culture or cultural practices, and views of life and the cosmos.
It is not Afrocentric to state the above, rather, those are the unperverted facts
Zahi Hawass, Egypt's former Director of Antiquities proclaimed "Egyptians are not Arabs and are not Africans, despite the fact that Egypt is in Africa," and there is obviously much truth to his assertion in that many Egyptians are not as much African as they are other things. Unlike ancient Egyptians, many modern Egyptians could genetically fit as much or more into populations of the modern northern Levant, rather than into a modern sub-African category. As one would expect, despite the remnants of pharaonic culture that might be on display today particularly in Egypt (primarily southern Egypt, as in the rest of Africa), many modern northern Egyptians, of which Zahi Hawass is a prime example, are strongly affiliated, biologically as well as culturally, according to genetic analysis, with the the rest of the modern Middle East, Levant and Mediterranean, and less with the ancient African, i.e. pharaonic Egyptians and other tropically-adapted or "black" Africans. Thus, regardless of the fact that modern Egyptians may have some genes of ancient African Nilotes predecessoprs, "Genetic studies have suggested that modern Egyptians have close afﬁnities to populations in the Middle East, Near East, and Southern Europe ..." (Bleuze, Michelle, Wheeler, Sandra M. et. al, 2005, p. 503).
In fact, one analysis of genetic data by dnatribes published in 2009 showed a stronger genetic connection of many modern Egyptians to the modern Levant than even the rest of North Africa. And not surprisingly, the analysis suggested many modern Egyptians have no more genetic input from East Africa than from East Asia. The range in both cases falling somewhere just short of 9 percent! Such findings only testify to the well-documented movement of populations from the Middle East and Levant into Africa, something some specialists on the subject of ancient Egypt have conveniently tried to ignore, and/or deny played any significant role.
As for ancient populations of northern Egypt, in contrast to those of modern Egypt, they have so far shown very obvious and strong genetic, osteological, not to mention cultural ties, to southern Egyptians and sub-Saharan Africans far to the south. The fact is, before the coming of the ancient Greeks and for thousands of years before the Ptolemaic dynasties, ancient Egyptians, unlike ancient Nubians, were relatively homogeneous. They possessed cranial, morphometric, osteological and blood traits directly evolved from much earlier and distinctly Nilotic peoples. The pharaonic physical type therefore was in actuality, a uniquely African one, and also expressed through statuary with little change over thousands of years.
GRAFTON ELLIOT SMITH'S ALIENS: Post-Neolithic Immigration and and Fabrication of an "Egyptian Dynastic Race"
It may be asked why if the broad-headed people who entered Europe at the end of the neolithic period were part of the same racial stream with which the population of Egypt had been diluted in the Pyramid Age, their influence upon the customs of the two customs was so fundamentally different. The Asiatic immigrants carried the knowledge of metals to Europe, but not to Egypt, for the simple reason that they obtained this knowledge from their intercourse with the Egyptians and simply handed it on to Europe. This so-called Alpine Race’ imposed their burial practice of cremation upon Europe, but not upon Egypt, Fifty centuries ago when the events we are discussing took place Egypt was one great civilized state that had reached maturity. Her customs were already fixed by rigid conventions, and the traditions and practices of the were not to be overthrown at the wishes of a few immigrants from some weaker state still in the infancy of civilization....I have wondered thus far from the surer ground of Egyptian relations in the hope of finding evidence, both of the positive as well as the negative kind, that might enable me to circumscribe the area of distribution of the alien population which mingled with the Egyptians in Lower Egypt at the dawn of history.... In the last chapter I referred to the outstanding distinctive features of the skulls of these alien immigrants - the peculiarities of the cranial form, orbits, nose, and jaw... the following curious distribution was found of what I shall call the alien traits of the Giza series (or briefly the “Giza traits”). Such distinctive features were found in crania from all parts of Palestine and Asia Minor and in ancient specimens from Palmyra: but they became really common only when the series from Persia and Afghanistan were studied...." G. Elliot Smith, The Ancient Egyptians and their Influence Upon the Civilization of Europe, Harper and Brothers, pp. 153-154 and 159-160.
Grafton Elliot Smith was among the first to classify and describe the non-African infiltration into the Nile delta region from Eurasia, describing it as an "alien" intrusion among the indigenous northern Egyptians he liked to designate members of a "brown" race, The non-African Eurasian newcomers arrived in towns like Giza and Saqqara. He designated the strange new people "Alpines" . They were consistently defined as brachycephalic or a relatively broad-headed population in comparison to the longer-headed African and slightly paedomorphic,and gracile "brown race" of Egypt stretching along the Mediterranean.
Peoples similar to the brachcephalic non-African peoples of Giza seem to have made there way to nearby Abusir el-Meleq later, probably from the Levant. New studies on the ancient Egyptian New Kingdom and late period have shown the Eurasiatic-looking peoples of that town possess a non-African genetype, and were an essentially Eurasian population similar to that of the modern Near East. Such populations had infiltrated the predominantly "hamitic" or "Afroasiatic" land of the Kemitiu or "Egypt" at various periods. : )
J. Lawrence Angel was among those physical anthropologists to make note of a "lateral-headed" element among the predominant ancient northern Egyptian crania (Angel, J.L. 1972). On the other hand, the African "brown" type of Elliot Smith, otherwise variously referred to or misnomered by others as the "Hamitic Caucasoid" (Seligman), "Eurafrican" (Guiseppi Sergi and Angel), "Afro-Mediterranean or Mediterranean", "proto-Egyptian" and even "basic white type" (Angel, 1971, Mellaarte), was conceded to have spread before that era over northern Sudan and the Horn, Arabia, Mesopotamia, North Africa and a large portion of neolithic Europe including Asia Minor or Anatolia. Thus, Elliot Smith asserted "Syria, Arabia, Mesopotamia and Sumer were parts of the original domain of the Brown Race" (Smith, Grafton, 1911, p. 58 and 145).
Smith who, unlike others of his time, never confused the "brown race" people with Europeans as did Sergi and others, and considered the former to be exemplified by modern peoples of the Horn. He also made note of the stark differences in customs and burial practices between these Africans of the Mediterranean and the "Alpine" immigrants from Eurasia. He pointed out that “the proto-Egyptians were the kinsmen of the proto-Libyans; but both were modified...by having an element of brachycephalic Asiatic grafted upon them." He in fact also found an " intimate likeness" between the new "Alpine" or broad-headed Caucasic element in Giza and the population found in the Round Barrows of Bronze Age Britain (Smith, p. 151). While his "brown race" was often found among megalithic sites of Europe.
The "Alpine" immigrants, though small in numbers had entered into Giza and other towns in northern Egypt mostly after the start of the establishment of pharaonic Egypt, and according to him they were fairly quickly, or by the end of the 6th dynasty, absorbed into the predominant "brown race" population in those towns.
Although it never became a numerically significant proportion of the northern Egyptian populace (in Giza or elsewhere), the palpably non-African aspect of these people apparently caused some interested parties, like the well known Egyptologist Walter Bryan Emery, to assume they represented a separate "dynastic race" responsible for the introduction of pharaonic culture, including pyramid technology and the worship of Horus, the divinity represented by a hawk, into Egypt.
Some of the famous scribes appearing in books appearing in books over and over again, like some of the "racially ambiguous" representations and sculptures that Egyptologists have also liked to focus on may represent some of this foreign or "alien" influence noted by Elliot Smith and Angel.
Grafton Elliot Smith pointed out that “the proto-Egyptians were the kinsmen of the proto-Libyans; but both were modified...by having an element of brachycephalic Asiatic grafted upon them." The above scribe may represent the influence of the "aliens" mentioned by Smith.
Although this figure of a Saqqara scribe from 2,500 B.C. may very well represent a man of partially European affiliation - restorers at the Louvre had determined that it picked up dirty "varnish" that had to be scrubbed clean. Maybe dirt comes to look like brown paint after thousands of years?.
Saqqara 2,500 B.C (northern Egypt)Appearing brightened up to an orange-looking mess in photos in many books and in the spotlight at the Louvre. Thanks again, to a French "restoration". Saqqara 2,500 B.C.
In any case, as mentioned above, the "Alpine" or lateral-headed influence in ancient northern Egyptians doesn't appear to have significantly modified the majority of the populations of the few towns it settled in, let alone the entirety of the "Lower Egyptian" population or region. Nevertheless, the influence of Eurasian "Alpine" traits in iconography may have given cause for some Egyptological specialists to confuse it with the indigenous population which was undeniably African in Lower Egypt.
The Giza population is represented in this painting from the tomb of 4th dynasty Queen, Meresankh III.
A picture of the predominant or indigenous Africans of Saqqara (6th dynasty)
|Note that "restoration" work has been going on at this ancient Saqqara tomb since a team under Zahi Hawass discovered it in 2008, a thought that may rightly strike fear into the heart of any person caring about the authentic heritage of the African Egyptians.|
The former "King of Egyptian Antiquities" gazes at part of his lost realm. Hmmm... Maybe Zahi is thinking of "restoring" or retouching this Giza mural as well - once he gets back into power. Well, - apparently according to some sources it's Zahi's dream to reclaim his throne.
The So-Called Northern Egyptian Type: Some Bioanthropological FactsWe have just discussed, a major subterfuge used by Western scholarship in the recent past to confuse matters regarding the now confirmed mostly sub-Saharan African origin of early Egyptians. This diversionary tactic includes the notion of an early northern Egyptian "type" or "dynastic race" of Euro-Mediterranean origin. Certain scholars,Carleton Coon, Eugen Stouhal, Seligman, Junker and others sought to connect the ancestors of modern "Europeans" to the early indigenous Egyptians, including makers of the pyramids at Giza and creators of the hieroglyphs. But, we have seen that whatever European affiliated group appeared in Egypt at this time was insignificant in numbers, while having no known relationship to the African-originated purveyors of dynastic culture in Lower Egypt, who were the so-called "Eurafrican" or "hamite" or gracile "Mediterranean race" type man.
When Egyptologists first began classifying cultures in ancient Egypt they sometimes spoke of distinct, but closely connected dolichocephalic or long-headed northern and southern Egyptian "types". That is to say, one group appeared to be typical of Lower or Middle Egypt and the other was typically southern, native to the south, as in Thebes and parts of predynastic Nubia.
The former was said to be represented by the early type of man found at Merimde near the Egyptian delta and at Faiyum or Qairun in the desert. These two northern Egyptian cultures, still viewed as closely linked in biology, appeared nearly 7,000 years ago or around 5,000 BC. This group appears to have arrived in the region fully developed. It in fact had some agricultural features characteristic of Southwest Asia that appear to have been adopted from Asia, where it was originally thought to have originated because of apparent similarities.
Thus, we have writings of early Mesopotamian physical anthropologists or specialists, like T.K.Penniman identifying Mesopotamians as representative of ancient "Eurafricans" of Eurasia as well.
First there is the Eurafrican... In ancient times, this type is found in Mesopotamia and Egypt and may be compared with the Combe Capelle skull. It is possibly identical with men who lived in the high desert west of the Nile in paleolithic times.." (See Penniman, T.K. "A Note on the Inhabitants of Kish.." Excavations at Kish, 1923-33 Vol 4. pp 65-72)It is this same Mesopotamian population which some, such as Carleton Coon, had come to try to tie to long-headed peoples of early Europe. In fact, the type appears to have been more archaic in an African sense than even the gracile southern type of Egyptian, and linked to early Nubians and ancient sub-Saharans of the Paleolithic era.
Since Penniman's time, many things have been clarified with respect to the affiliations of the men in the deserts west of the Nile up until the early Neolithic. Here is what one relatively recent study states:
" the 33,000-year-old Nazlet Khater specimen (Pinhasi and Semai 2000), the Wadi Kubbaniya skeleton from the late Paleolithic site in the upper Nile valley (Wendorf et al. 1986), the Qarunian (Faiyum) early Neolithic crania (Henneberg et al. 1989; Midant-Reynes 2000), and the Nabta specimen from the Neolithic Nabta Playa site in the western desert of Egypt (Henneberg et al. 1980) - show, with regard to the great African biological diversity, similarities with some of the sub-Saharan middle Paleolithic and modern sub-Saharan specimens. This affinity pattern between ancient Egyptians and sub-Saharans has also been noticed by several other investigators (Angel 1972; Berry and Berry 1967, 1972; Keita 1995) and has been recently reinforced by the study of Brace et al. (2005), which clearly shows that the cranial morphology of prehistoric and recent northeast African populations is linked to sub-Saharan populations..." (Ricaut and Waelkens (2008)Most of these studies providing clarity are coming from biological anthropologists who have capably combined genetic knowledge and physical anthropology in the formulation of their conclusions. THough the evidence is still meager, here Francois Xavier Ricaut and Marc Waelkens, like others, seem to have concluded that peoples of the neolithic Fayum desert in northern Egypt and populations of Nabta Playa in the desert of Nubia show traits characteristic of sub-Saharans.
Other researchers have have thrown light on the African character of the ancient northern Egyptians. They describe a woman found in the Qarunian culture representative of early Lower (northern) Egyptians.
"The body was that of a forty-year old woman with a height of about 1.6 meters, who was of a more modern racial type than the classic 'Mechtoid' of the Fakhurian culture (see pp. 65-6) being generally more gracile, having large teeth, and prognathic jaws bearing some resemblance to the modern 'negroid' type'... (Beatrix Midant-Reynes, Ian Shaw, 2000, p. 82).Still another specialist has noted the obviously African affiliation of early northern Egyptians:
"Limb length proportions in males from Maadi and Merimde group them with African rather than European populations. Mean femur length in males from Maadi was similiar to that recorded at Byblos and the early Bronze Age male from Kabri, but mean tibia length in Maadi males was 6.9 cm longer than that at Byblos. At Merimde both bones were longer than at the other sites shown, but again, the tibia was longer proportionate to femurs than at Byblos (Fig 6.2), reinforcing the impression of an African rather than Levantine affinity. " (See Smith, P. (2002) The palaeo-biological evidence for admixture. In: Egypt and the Levant.. Leicester Univ. 118-28.)Thus, what is agreed upon today is that the vast majority of Egyptians throughout all parts of the Lower Nile in Egypt were variants of an obviously sub-Saharan African or tropically-originated population. It is not just one single factor that connects the Egyptians with Africans. Genetics, importantly, and studies on Egyptian dentition have also shown that the population in the neolithic and later Egyptian dynastic periods evolved directly from earlier or Paleolithic inhabitants of Northern Africa, represented at such sites as Wadi Kubbaniyya in palaeolithic Upper Egypt, and Jebel Sahaba and Wadi Halfa in Nubia. The later neolithic predynastic cultures had strong genetic links to later dynastic populations. In other words, the populations and cultures of the Amratian, Badarian, Naqqada sort evolved into the dynastic Egyptians.
As I have mentioned previously, in the 1970s and '80s similar conclusions had been reached by other scholars who'd found that populations of Lower and Upper Egypt showed clear relationship.
"In a study done by A.C. Berry , R. J. Berry and P. Ucko on the non-metrical or discrete, variations in the skulls from various predynastic and dynastic Egyptians sites from Lower and Upper Egypt, over thirty variants were employed in determining the degree of biological affinity among the populations in Egypt, Nubia, the Punjab, and southern Palestine... there was 'considerable genetical continuity' between the pre-dynastic population of Egypt and dynastic Egyptian populations, and ... remarkable homogeneity continued until the last native dynasties" (Reynolds-Marniche, D., 1994, p. )This is a conclusion which still stands or holds up today. According to archaeologists, the "northern Egyptian type" which is represented by the Merimde, Abydos and Maadi populations is thought to have played a major role in the peopling of Egypt by the 18th dynasty. Thus, the notion put forth by some of a heterogeneous Egypt before the era of the Greek rulers (or Ptolemaic period), would need to be qualified.
Ancestral Europeans or Euro-Mediterraneans are noticeably distinct or "strikingly different" in morphology from tropically-adapted peoples, such as the ancient Egyptians. Contrary to what some laymen and scholar alike have wished to believe, Euro-Mediterraneans populations had something, but at the same time little to do with early predynastic or dynastic people of the Delta or northern Egypt.
The vast majority of northern Egyptians throughout all periods were typified by an African type related to present sub-Saharans, and Egypt in general remained fairly homogeneous until the period right up until the time of the Ptolemies.
Early physical anthropologist, Ahmed Batrawi remarked that the people of Middle Egypt - the area of Giza, Abydos, and Memphis exemplified "the northern type", but added that it was "closely related" to the southern one. This northern or Middle Egyptian type in fact made its way over Egypt to become the prevalent population as far south as Denderah by the period of Greek and Roman rule in Egypt.
Meanwhile Batrawi felt people of southern Egyptian type settled northern Nubia by the predynastic period, which is why as already shown some of the early Nubian populations even in dynastic times were not distinguishable from certain Egyptian series.
Batrawi remarked as follows:
"Since early neolithic times there existed two distinct but closely related types, a northern in Middle Egypt and a southern in Upper Egypt. The southern Egyptians were distinguished from the northerners by a smaller cranial index, a larger nasal index and greater prognathism. The geographical distinction between the two groups continued during the Pre-Dynastic Period. The Upper Egyptians, however, spread into lower Nubia during that period. By the beginning of the Dynastic era the northern Egyptian type is encountered for the first time in the Thebaïd, i.e., in the southern territory. The incursion, however, seems to have been transitory and the effects of the co-existence of the two types in one locality remained very transient until the 18th Dynasty. From this time onwards the northern type prevailed all over Egypt, as far south as Denderah, till the end of the Roman period." "The Racial History of Egypt and Nubia" The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 75:1945, pp. 81-101; 76:1946, pp. 131-56
The important thing to remember here is that the two populations were not truly distinct, but "closely related" populations, tropically-adapted and sub-Saharan in affiliation.
|Userma'are Ramses III, son of Setnakht|
Userma'atra Meryamun or Ramses III was son of Setnakht. As with the Amarna rulers, what was identified through autosomal dna analysis based on STR's is that the probable descendant of Rameses II had an STR profile quite characteristic of people of the Great Lake's Region of Africa and southern African regions of Africa and possessed the most common Haplotype found in subsaharan Africa.
"Among present day world populations, Ramesses III’s autosomal STR profile is most frequent in the African Great Lakes region, where it is approximately 335.1 times as frequent as in the world as a whole (see Table 1 and Figure 2). Unknown Man E’s autosomal STR profile is most frequent in the Southern Africa region, where it is approximately 134.6 times as frequent as in the world as whole (see Table 1 and Figure 3). Both autosomal STR profiles are also found in the Levantine region that includes populations of present day Egypt, but are substantially more frequent in regions of Sub-Saharan Africa (see Table 1)...these DNA match results in present day world regions might in part express population changes in Africa after the time of Ramesses III. In particular, DNA matches in present day populations of Southern Africa and the African Great Lakes might to some degree reflect genetic links with ancient populations (formerly living closer to New Kingdom Egypt) that have expanded southwards in the Nilotic and Bantu migrations of the past 3,000 years (see Figure 1). "
In addition, his paternal haplotype turned out to be E1b1a, the most common in sub-Saharan Africans, including African Americans. But alas, unlike earlier specialists, your average Egyptologist isn't much interested in African peoples, or African roots of Egypt - certainly not in the way one might expect a scholar interested in the ancient Mayan world would be interested in the present day culture of Mayan or indigenous Central American peoples in general. (There are exceptions, of course.)
|Two Africans of Great Lakes origins|
The average Egyptologist likes to focus on ancient Kmt or the region of pharaonic Egypt as a stage of "human" civilization that can teach us about the evolution of technology and human societies in general. They for the most part could also care less about discovering the African origins or meanings behind divine kinship, Egyptian cosmology and or even cattle domestication in Egypt. As we have seen, they are wary of making connections between Egyptian astronomical or mathematical knowledge and very early African artifacts like the Nubian and Saharan megalithic sites. As for Nabta Playa, we can cite the paper by Wendorf and Schild which states the following:
"...the ceremonial complex of Nabta, which has alignments to cardinal and solstitial directions was a very early megalithic expression of ideology and astronomy. Five megalithic alignments within the playa deposits radiate outwards from megalithic structures, which may have been funerary structures. The organization of the megaliths suggests a symbolic geometry that integrated death, water, and the Sun. An exodus from the Nubian Desert at approximately 4,800 years bp may have stimulated social differentiation and cultural complexity in predynastic Upper Egypt (Malville, J, Wendorf, F. , Mazar, and Schild, 1998, p. 488)Archaeology, thus, in general has already acknowledged that the predecessors of the modern Egyptians north to south before the time of the Greek Ptolemies were likely of inner African in origin, not only in biological sense, but culturally. And scholars have validated " . ..the early cultures of Merimde, the Fayum, Badari, Naqada I and II are essentially African and early African social customs and religious beliefs were the root and foundation of the ancient Egyptian way of life." ( Shaw, Thurston (1976) Changes in African Archaeology in the Last Forty Years in African Studies since 1945, p. 156-68. London.)
Enough said? All of these findings mean Ivy league Egyptologists and "National Geographic", try though they might with either institutional elitism, or trifling and starkly racist caricatures of pharaonic Egyptians, will never succeed in removing Egypt or its ancient peoples from its ancestral African roots, and more importantly, its soul.
*Egyptology at the University of Pennsylvania as you will note by the pictures in their "outreach" pdf still contains, disappointingly, a white supremacist slant, though Carleton Coon's been dead for some decades now - presumably. You would think they would have learned by now, but as the saying goes "some people never learn", for which reason I will have to inform the proper authorities in the Philadelphia school system. If you also think this Penn Museum Educational Departments outreach curriculum material being distributed to children of African descent presents a problem and justifies some censure, feel free to join me in letting them know. : )
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