Talk:Ancient Egyptian race controversy/Archive 20

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Archive 19 | Archive 20 | Archive 21

Refocus on way forward[edit]

Egyptians are darker than Asiatics

Guys, its bed-time in sunny South Africa. There are a number of discussions raging at multiple locations on multiple pages, so perhaps we should consider bringing it back together and assessing progress. I have made a proposed reword to the lead section on the Draft page, so let's see what comes of that. I am accused here of being biased and favouring, so let me say openly that I don't think the AE's were either black or white as per current terminology, but were a separate race in between - as are the Arabs, as are the Berbers, as are the Persians etc etc. I also believe that it is wrong to claim anybody as black if they are not pure white. I realise that African-Americans see it differently, and I believe that this is the real crux of the controversy. However, people who say that Tut was clearly of "African ancestry" because he had this skull shape and that nose shape are adding to the controversy, and so this issue must also be addressed. Sleep well Wdford (talk) 22:21, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

The arabs and berbers are caucasoid. They differed from the egyptians and the egyptians distinguished themselves as darker than Libyans and near easterners. So I don't think comparing the egyptians to Arabs, Berbers and Persians is an accurate description. Wapondaponda (talk) 22:51, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

^I disagree with labels like "Caucasoid" to describe Berbers or even Arabs as genetics clearly demolishes not only the concept, but that relationship, though I DO agree that the editor's picture spam and novice interpretations have no place here, especially given what you've noted. Also apparent are the similarities between ancient Egyptians and people of Punt (Ethiopia-Somalia). No difference really, but these debates should be left on a forum where they belong.Taharqa (talk) 22:59, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree, I've never understood why some people think that ancient Egyptian murals that are thousands of years old, and aren't particularly detailed, or the somewhat damaged head on the Sphinx, can prove the matter one way or another. Just because the Egyptians used a certain shade of pigment in depicting themselves doesn't prove anything. --Pstanton (talk) 23:24, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Murals or the head of the sphinx will not conclusively prove anything. However, in the absence of time travel, they are some of the only evidence available that can be used to make inferences. If you know of any easier or better way to determine the race of the ancient egyptians, please let us know. Wapondaponda (talk) 23:29, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Artwork becomes difficult as a race indicator when you consider the fact that the Ancient Egyptians used symbolism in their art such as in there depiction of men and women of different shades and used skintones such as green and blue, not found within human variation. I asked Wdford for his opinion and would encourage others to give there's just so we can see where everyone is coming from. My opinion is that the Ancient Egyptians were biologically African and tropically adapted (or Africoid). I think they physically resembled populations such as modern Nubians, Somali, Eritreans and Ethiopians groups that most of the Western world would call Black. I think that their most direct modern descendants are Southern Egyptians and that Northern Egyptians are a blend of native Egyptians and the descendants of settlers from the various migrations and invasions into Egypt from Europe and the Near East. This view is based on a variety of scientific studies particularly the work of Shomarka Keita.AncientObserver (talk) 00:13, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
My opinion is that the Ancient Egyptians were primarily northern African, and interchanged bloodlines with the Nubians to the south, and Arabs and other people groups on the Mediterranean. I think the Egyptians were generally similar to the modern day Black person, but I think so much time has passed that there would be a number of phenotypical differences such as shorter (human average height goes up an inch a century or something) and somewhat lighter skin then sub-saharan Africans.

I agree with AncientObserver that the modern Northern Egyptian is likely a mix of Egyptians that interbred with other racial groups. I tend to think this is a futile issue: We'll never know for sure, and I really don't think the phenotype of people who lived thousands of years ago makes much of a practical difference.

I can accept that Egyptians were a Black people group, what irritates me is when people claim that Black people today are identical to Ancient Egyptians of thousands of years ago. And what I find even more irritating is the occasional person who claims that the Egyptians founded literally every great culture of the world, including China, that Jesus, Moses, Buddha and Mohammad were all Black, that random Roman Emperors and Popes were Black, that the Greeks stole their culture from Egypt etc etc. And then there are the lunatics who that believe that being Black and having lots of melanin gives them superpowers and the Ancient Egyptians were Gods (which by extension means they are too). You can find them on the internet, and they're funny.

I mostly just try and do checks for citations where needed and try and correct POV statements and the like. --Pstanton (talk) 00:49, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Much better Stanton. So the issue is that I am trying to relate the motivation of one group to paint the Egyptians as Caucasian and devoid of African black heritage, and this group is Caucasian in their background. I see where you are coming from. But this is where I say that the wording you guys can change. I am not saying that by their very nature of being Caucasian, they were predisposed to hating blacks. I am saying that some Caucasians (just like any other race) wanted to preserve a self centered racial view point. However, I have not once said that Egyptians founded every great culture, nor have I even discussed other cultures. Maybe you got ticked off when I relate the Hebrews to the Egyptians, but that's not an issue because it's well noted that the Hebrews came out of Egypt. You're going off on a tangent about what other people do and that has nothing to do with this article. You are arguing about radical Afrocentricism which is not related to what I have contributed here. There were no arabs in those days. And finally, the article is about the debate, not a method to push one view or another. When I click on the article from the Ancient Egyptians article, I should see a full understanding of the black side and the not black side. I should not see a full understanding of radical fringe Afrocentricism, and the not black side's overwhelming response to it. --Panehesy (talk) 02:10, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Early drafts of this article have a distinctly Anti-Afrocentric theme to them and this is still seen in parts of the article though there have been notable improvements. I think the best way to design this article is from a neutral perspective that covers all aspects of the controversy. We all have our opinions but if we are to be objective we should be able to come to a general consensus on what is and isn't appropriate for the article that is consistent with Wikipedia guidelines. No part of the article should be presented from an Afrocentric perspective, Eurocentric or otherwise.AncientObserver (talk) 02:46, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Hi AncientObserver - Keita does talk extensively about skulls - he wrote a whole paper on them. For example the following introduction to the paper Studies of Ancient Crania From Northern Africa by S.O.Y. Keita (1990):

Historical sources and archaeological data predict significant population variability in mid-Holocene northern Africa. Multivariate analyses of crania demonstrate wide variation but also suggest an indigenous cranio- metric pattern common to both late dynastic northern Egypt and the coastal Maghreb region. Both tropical African and European metric phenotypes, as well intermediate patterns, are found in mid-Holocene Maghreb sites. Early southern predynastic Egyptian crania show tropical African affinities, displaying craniometric trends that differ notably from the coastal northern African pattern. The various craniofacial patterns discernible in northern Africa are attributable to the agents of microevolution and migration.

Maybe the “craniometry” section should be renamed “craniofacial”, so that we can include nose shapes etc as well. We should stress that it can be used to determine relationships but not actual race, and then we should stress that the Asians of the vicinity had the same features.

My point was that the Egyptians fell between white and black (per today’s terminology) as do the Berbers, not that the Egyptians were themselves Berbers. I fully agree that the Egyptians distinguished themselves as darker than Libyans and near easterners, but they also distinguished themselves as lighter than the Nubians. This is not symbolic – when a (black) Egyptian princess is pictured she is shown as black, not “yellow/beige/whatever” as for “Egyptian” females. See for a depiction of Princess Ayshat of the Middle Kingdom. The AE’s were quite capable of depicting people as black when they wanted to – see for example The painted them as they same them - somewhat standardised no doubt but accurate enough that their own viewers would readily recognise who was being depicted.

Egyptians depicted different peoples as having different features and colors - these colors were not "symbolic".

I am interested to hear that some people think there are similarities between ancient Egyptians and people of Punt, as there is much evidence that Punt was in Asia and not in Ethiopia-Somalia. This opinion could only have been derived from some badly damaged paintings, which many believe are not reliable representations. Talk about selectiveness.

I agree that some artwork is damaged beyond use, such as the face of the Sphinx itself (although this doesn’t stop some people claiming the Sphinx has Nubian features.) I also agree that the average painting depicted “a person” rather than trying to accurately represent the specific features of a specific individual – perhaps with some exceptions such as death masks and funerary statues. I also agree that when figures are shown painted green or blue it is probably symbolic – although this seems to happen mostly when showing deities or deceased folks. However the basic images are basically accurate – they have two arms and two legs, they have heads at the top with eyes and mouths etc. The figures are obviously standardised and are not precise enough to depict the shape of the nose, but the skin-colors and hair colors can be relied upon. The artists were capable of painting the Nubians black and the Libyans white, so why should we assume they chose a hypothetical color for their own people? (And if the red color was symbolic – why choose red? Red was the color of chaos – a really bad deal for them.) If the Egyptians really were black (or dark brown) then why show the men as red and the women as yellow-beige? It is seriously patronizing to declare that the thousands of artworks from eye-witnesses are all unreliable, and to believe that we can better reconstruct their appearance from their dry bones and chemical-soaked mummies.

Of course the Egyptians were “African” – Egypt is in Africa. Of course they were “tropically adapted”, but so are other non-African peoples across the world, so I don’t think this should necessarily equate to “Africoid”.

However I don’t think the AE’s physically resembled populations such as modern Nubians, Somali, Eritreans and Ethiopians groups, because they took great pains over thousands of years to depict themselves as looking different to those peoples.

Very possibly most of the Western world would indeed call the AE’s Black. After all, they probably looked a lot like Barak Obama, and most of the Western world calls him Black as well. However many other people would not call Obama Black, they would define him as “mixed race”, as probably were many of the ancient Egyptians. I have repeatedly cited this variation in definitions as the basis of the controversy. The average African American might consider themselves to be Black, but not everyone else would agree – especially in Africa. Obviously some were more “mixed” than others, as happens everywhere. The Egyptians in the north probably mixed more with Asians and Libyans, while those in the south probably mixed more with Nubians, and the fact that all were accepted as equals is an example we could learn from. But the evidence does not show that ancient Egyptians were the same as Ethiopians or East Africans.

It is also misleading to claim that “it's well noted that the Hebrews came out of Egypt”. For those with even a passing understanding of the Bible its also well noted that before the Hebrews came out of Egypt, they went into Egypt, and they did so from Canaan in Asia. It’s also clearly stated that Abraham, the original Hebrew, came from Ur of the Chaldees, which is in modern day Iraq (i.e. Mesopotamia, in Asia). There were plenty of Arabs in those days, they just had different names, such as Canaanites and Elamites and Amorites etc etc etc.

Finally, I am concerned that some people are doing hard work on fixing the Draft page as agreed, which other people are doing hard work repairing the Live page. At some stage we will need to merge these, and then there is going to be more conflict. Can we please agree on the way forward, so that efforts are not wasted?

Wdford (talk) 13:38, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Actually there is a strong case to be made that Egyptians were related to the Ethiopians, Somalians, Eritreans etc. Because they all speak Afro-Asiatic languages, they must share a common and recent ancestry. The Nubians on the other hand speak Nilo-Saharan languages, a completely separate language phylum. Consequently, Horn Africans probably have greater biological Affinity to the Egyptians than do Nubians. Though in later years, Nubian admixture in Ancient Egypt was significant. This could explain why Egyptians could distinguish themselves from Nubians. Just as there are phenotypical differences between say Horn Africans and West Africans and West Africans and the Khoisan. All groups are still considered black despite these differing phenotypes.
The Sphinx clearly has nubian/negroid phenotype, and this has been established by its measurements.The controversy is whether this sphinx's negroid appearance was by accident or by design, because the identity of the sphinx is unknown. I agree that Ancient Egyptian iconography wasn't entirely symbolic but was to varying degrees representative of what the Egyptians looked like. The above photo clearly shows Asiatics with distinctly Caucasoid appearance, which is lacking in the Egyptians. Keita essentially argues that the Egyptians were black or African, but that black or African should not be limited to the "true negro" phenotype. Wapondaponda (talk) 14:14, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Wdford, I think that you are making confusions here. Who told you that the Egyptians looked like Barack Obama? Egyptians were not, at first place, mixed people. They were just Nubians. The first nome of Egypt is Ta Seti: Nubia. You will say, no, Nubians were dark, but Egyptians were brown. Actually, there are paintings which show dark Egyptians and brown Nubians. If you know Egyptian history, you must be aware of the existence of those paintings I am speaking about. And if it is true that you live in South Africa, you can say perfectly that the color brown is common in Africa, in South Africa in particular. Dark and brown are varieties of the Black race, phenotypically speaking. In this, I agree with Panehesy. We have to be guided by phenotype instead of DNA. Besides, why do you think, Wdford, that Black are confined to Africa? Are there not Black Asians? Were not Canaanites Blacks? Panehesy pointed that somewhere. And he was right. Even the Bible put some Asian people together with Egypt (Mysraim) and Kush as sons of Ham. From Egyptian mythology, which I know well, Egyptians say that they came from the south, from Nubia. Greek writers confirm this claim. They agree that Egypt was populated from south northward, because the Delta was under water for a long period of time. Jean-Francois Champollion speaks the same language as those Greek writers. If there are mixed people, of Blacks and Whites, those are maybe Arabs and Hebrews, not ancient Egyptians, not at least before the invasion of the people of the Sea and the Hyksos.--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 14:28, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

"The Nubians on the other hand speak Nilo-Saharan languages, a completely separate language phylum". Since many people claim the Egyptians were descended from the Nubians, please can we find a reliable source for this and add it to the Language section?
"Keita essentially argues that the Egyptians were black or African, but that black or African should not be limited to the "true negro" phenotype." Exactly my point. This difference in "what is black?" is the heart of the controversy. If the article clearly reported what definition each of the "experts" is using when they make their claims, the controversy would be much clearer.
"We have to be guided by phenotype instead of DNA." This is probably a good suggestion, but we then need to agree (and report) what criteria the various experts are using, with reliable sources to avoid WP:OR.
Actually, Egyptian mythology says that they came from Punt, and their records about Punt show it was in Asia. They probably came via the Red Sea, and established trading posts all along both coasts. See also the work of David Rohl. Those "African" animals all roamed free in Arabia as well in those days, and the texts do not refer to "Pygmies" they refer to "dwarfs", who occur in all race groups and cultures and continents. On top of which, if the trading ships went all the way to Punt in the Persian Gulf, they certainly would have stopped all along the coast on the way home for fresh water, and could have picked up a spare giraffe anywhere along the way.
The last time the Delta was under water was hundreds of thousands of years ago. Cairo, at the head of the Delta, is over a hundred meters above sea level.
The numbering of the nomes was only done long after they were settled, and they were then numbered from upstream to downstream. Aswan is not number one becuase it was settled first, it is number one because it was the most upstream Egyptian territory at the time of the numbering. Also note that Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt each have their own separate numbering sequence.
Wdford (talk) 16:36, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually most sources place Punt in East Africa, only a minority place it elsewhere. Egyptologist Ian Shaw, place it in East Africa.[1], [2], Wapondaponda (talk) 16:50, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

And yet the Egyptian texts (i.e. the records of the people who were actually there) place Punt in Asia. They probably went past East Africa to get there, no doubt dodging Somalian pirates exactly like today, but there is nothing that says they went as far as the Horn and no farther. Wdford (talk) 16:58, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

User:Wapondaponda had brought up these excellent points earlier but he has fell into what he warned against wikipedia is not

WP:NOTSOAPBOX WP:NOTAFORUM Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not therapy. please lets keep the disscusion strickly on how do improve the article, not if the ancient egyptians looked like barrack obama or not amongst other things in this thread.Me myself am mysitfied right now on how this article should procede do to the fact that much of the information with in the article has nothing to do with the controversy itsself but it seems like people are trying to present evidence to prove his or hers postion on the race of the ancient egyptians.--Wikiscribe (talk) 15:40, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Indeed.. As expressed before, THAT is my main problem (incoherence). A lot of the information deviates from the subject in order to make a deeper point so it seems. My initial approach was to counter balance most of it but I see that that's also counter-productive. The page simply needs a make over or there will always be conflict due to the cherry-picking of sources and format which almost allows anything dealing with "race" in general to be posted here. Each section should have to do with the controversy.

I'm not sure how good the draft is doing since people started immediately making edits before discussing and gaining a consensus. I've seen edit wars on drafts before and would like to avoid that as it gets silly. Again, we need to discuss the format.

AncientObserver. I still contend that the intro should be limited to one paragraph or even one statement. Exploration into the topic should be confined to the article as not to summarize any particular view. The more there is the harder it is to balance views in a fair way. The sections dealing with measures of biological and cultural inference, should be placed under the section on "population history"...Taharqa (talk) 15:52, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree with having a brief intro that covers the main points on the controversy. For the whole article, I believe less is more, preferrably a short article with less fluff, but that is comprehensive and to the point. Wapondaponda (talk) 15:58, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

^Maybe we can use a model??

I propose one from a much older version of the page (that I won't link to as to not influence anyone on reinstating the wording).

Basically a short intro, with the first section "History pf the controversy (or something like that) describing where the controversy is rooted, changing views associated with the controversy, and today's consensus. Afrocentrism should be merged to this section as PART of the history of the controversy as well as "modern scholarship" to correlate with "today's consensus". So should the data on the Sphinx since observations go back quite some time.

"Defining race" should I assume be near the top as well covering the scientific consensus on race and its validity and any alternatives that scientists use to determine the relationships of ancient Egyptians. "Race and science" can be merged to this section as to cover both the scientific and social aspects of "race" as it applies to ancient Egypt and how we see it.

Section of population history can come into to play, covering in short detail everything that anthropologists and Egyptologists use to ascertain the origin and/or racial characteristics (which may be a misnomer) of the Egyptian people. Be it language, culture, crania, limb ratio, DNA, etc.. They can all have sub-sections. The sections dealing with limbs, crania, etc, should be merged here.

I'm starting to question whether or not we should create entire sections on individuals. I admit that the king Tut controversy saw noted publicity but I wouldn't say the others have. A section on individual mummies also makes little sense as it gives us no idea as to what the controversy consists of and how it relates to the population as a whole. Maybe the mummy section and individuals can be merged somehow with population history if not simply removed (as cites seem hand picked, random, and hard to verify).

Maybe we should also have another section or two to supplement this info but at least in my opinion in agreement with Wapondaponda, the page should perhaps be limited to no more than 5-6 condensed sections (arbitrary figure but seems reasonable).. More input of course welcome, these are just ideas I've thrown out there in hopes of reaching a consensus.Taharqa (talk) 16:42, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

I mostly agree with Taharqa. However I would say the population history and definition of race sections should be merged.

The lead section must touch on all the major aspects of the controversy, which will be hard in a single sentence, but I fully agree that it needs to be brief. Definitely reduce the History section. I feel the Tut and Sphinx and Cleopatra and Ramses sections should remain, as they have received individual publicity and will continue to do so. I am happy to delete the Miscellaneous Mummies section, and to make mention elsewhere of the notable highlights. However I strongly believe the Ancient Egyptian art and texts should remain, as this is real-time evidence from the very people whose race is being debated. Wdford (talk) 16:49, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Wdford, I think I have a better understanding of your opinion now. You believe that Ancient Egypt was a Multiracial society, a Blend of Black Africans and Eurasian groups and that therefore they did not fit into a racial category since they were mixed (going by South African racial standards vs. the American One Drop Rule). As far as Keita is concerned hopefully I've made my point clear that he does not rely on mere skull shape to racially classify the Ancient Egyptians. He uses measurements of various parts of the skull and face to assess biological affinity:

In this paper a representative sample of previous studies are reviewed which examine the "racial" or biological affinity of the ancient inhabitants of the northern Nile valley, specifically those called Egyptians. The majority of the studies employed crania, long believed to have traits useful as indicators of "race" or population biological affinity. These cranial studies will be divided for current purposes into three groups: morphological and morphotypological; metric/morphometric; and nonmetric. Other kinds of data are also reviewed; these include limb ratio studies, ABO blood group analyses, and dental studies. Of greatest interest are the overall external relationships of the early

Nile valley groups. - Keita (1993)

In Keita's studies the Ancient Egyptians did in fact cluster with tropical East Africans such as the Nubians and Somali based on the aforementioned craniofacial measurements:

The metric studies suggest a broad biological affinity of early and southern Nile valley peoples with other more southerly Africans. The kind of distinct geographical primary clusters of tropical Africans, Europeans, and Pacific Islanders observed by Howells (1973) were not found to occur or be suggested when Nile valley and more southern Africans were studied. The

southern affinities of the series are striking given that commonly held or stated classical "racial" views of the Egyptians predict a notable distinction from "Africans." Thus any scheme that labels Nubians and all Egyptians as a "Caucasian" monotypic entity is seen to be a hypothesis which is easily falsified. Metric analyses in fact clearly suggest that at least southern "Egyptian"

groups were a part of indigenous holocene Saharo-tropical African variation. - Keita (1993)

Now as far as artwork is concerned it is important to note that the Ancient Egyptians were not analyzing population biology with their artistic depictions and their art is open to our interpretation. Ethno-graphic murals such as the one in the tomb of Seti I do not depict races, only the ethno-nationalities that the Ancient Egyptians knew. I have no doubt that in this case the Egyptian art was meant to be realistic. However there are some things to consider. For one thing no human population has jet-black skin. Depicting the Nubians as jet-black was likely meant to represent a very dark brown skintone (in contrast to the Egyptians medium brown tone). Secondly, indigenious African populations come in varying shades without admixture from non-African groups. The contrast of skintone between reddish-brown Egyptians and jet-Black Nubians could likely be depicting a variation in two populations equally biologically African. To give an example look at Iman Abdulmajhid and Alek Wek. Both are "pure" Africans of differing shades of brown skin.

File:Ancient nubians.jpg
Nubians depicted as both Black and Brown

It is also notable that the Ancient Egyptians depicted some Nubians as reddish-brown like themselves and some Egyptians are depicted as jet-black. The people of Punt are also depicted with reddish-brown skin and the archeological evidence I've seen places Punt in Eastern Africa. Does Southwest Asia have pygmies? The Ancient Egyptians brought these people with them from Punt to perform the dance of the Gods. The murals most likely portray an average skintone for the various ethnicities. The paintings are not the most reliable way to asses the Ancient Egyptians' biological characteristics.

Some people look at the facial features of the statues to draw conclusions about their biological characteristics. However when doing this to determine racial identity people often think in terms of stereotypes that may not reflect real biological relationships. Earlier generations of anthropologists relied on distinct morphological characteristics, such as the shape of the nose as racial markers to identify the race of individuals through art and remains. The thought was that races had distinct biological characteristics that distinguish one from another and when a population was found that had features from more than one ideal racial type it was thought to be a hybrid population, a blend of different races. Such was the case with East African populations that had a high number of narrow noses and faces, thought to be characteristic of Caucasian populations, the racial type assigned to modern Europeans. In reality such features reflect an adaptation to the hot-dry climate of Eastern Africa and are only a variation of biological Africans:

East Africans with elongated features are equally Biologically African

Hiernaux (1975) has accounted for variation in Africa using a nonracial approach; he does not specifically address the northern Nile Valley in great detail, but his concepts, based on micro-evolutionary principles (adaptation, drift, selection), are applicable in this region in the light of recent archaeological data. For example, in living and fossil tropical Africans, narrow faces and noses (versus broad “Negro” ones) do not usually indicate European or Near Eastern migration or “Europoid“ (Caucasian) genes, called Hamitic as once taught, but represent indigenous variation, either connoting a hot-dry climatic adaptation or resulting from drift (Hiernaux, 1975). Hiernaux calls this morphology “Elongated African.” Some of the neolithic Saharans of tropical African affinity (Sutton, 1974; Hiernaux, 1975; after Chamla, 1968) who emigrated to the Nile Valley (Hassan, 1988) might be an example. The view that “elongated” characteristics are indigenous and equally tropical African (“Black") for specific archaeological series and peoples is supported by Gabel (1966), Hiernaux (1975), and Rightmire (1975a,b). The range of variation, “Broad” (stereotypical “Negro”) to Elongated, can be subsumed within a single unit designated Africoid, thereby acknowledging the wider affinities and multiple tropical microadaptive strategies, as well as drift. - Keita 1992

An earlier generation of anthropologists tried to explain face form in the Horn

of Africa as the result of admixture from hypothetical “wandering Caucasoids,” (Adams, 1967, 1979; MacGaffey, 1966; Seligman, 1913, 1915, 1934), but that explanation founders on the paradox of why that supposedly potent “Caucasoid” people contributed a dominant quantity of genes for nose and face form but none for skin color or limb proportions. It makes far better sense to regard the adaptively significant features seen in the Horn of Africa as solely an in situ response on the part of separate adaptive traits to the selective forces present in the hot dry tropics of eastern Africa. From the observation that 12,000 years was not a long enough period of time to produce any noticeable variation in pigment by latitude in the New World and that 50,000 years has been barely long enough to produce the beginnings of a gradation in Australia (Brace, 1993a), one would have to argue that the inhabitants of the Upper Nile and the East Horn of Africa have been

equatorial for many tens of thousands of years. - Brace 1993

Considering the fact that the Ancient Egyptians are biologically related to these populations we should expect to see similar traits amongst them and in fact we do see narrow noses and faces in Ancient Egyptian artwork who some anthropologists have classified as Caucasian. You yourself Wdford have insisted that the sculptures depicts unmistakeably White people.

There is also Ancient Egyptian statuary with characteristically Broad ("Negroid") features. The Sphinx has been listed as an example because its profile indicates a significant degree of prognathism. While many Egyptologists believe that the Sphinx depicts the Pharaoh Khafre it has been noted that Khafre's statue has little to no prognathism. I have an image from a book illustrating this but I cannot scan it at the moment (scanner won't work). In any case there have been many theories surroundings the origins and racial identity of the Ancient Egyptians. The most up to date research that I have seen indicates that the Ancient Egyptians were primarily Black Africans (Africoid) who blended with neighboring populations over the centuries:

This review has addressed several issues regarding the biological affini- ties of the ancient inhabitants of the northern Nile valley. The morphological metric, morphometric, and nonmetric studies demonstrate immense overlap with tropical variants. General scholars must understand that a "shift in paradigm" from "Negro"-only-as-African has occurred, just as Nordic-only- as-European was never accepted. Actually, it was always biologically wrong to view the Broad phenotype as representative of the only authentic "African," something understood by some nineteenth century writers. Early Nile valley populations are best viewed as part of an African descent group or lineage with tropical adaptations and relationships. This group is highly variable, as would be expected. Archaeological data also support this position, which is not new. Over time, gene flow (admixture) did occur in the Nile valley from Europe and the Near East, thus also giving "Egyptians" relationship with those groups. This admixture, if it had occurred by Dynasty I, little affected the major affinity of southern predynastic peoples as illustrated here. As indicated by the analysis of the data in the studies reviewed here, the southern predynastic peoples were Saharo-tropical variants. - Keita (1993)

AncientObserver (talk) 21:54, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

History of the Article[edit]

For all interested in the article, if you to refer to the talk page archives, one will see that this article has been the subject of numerous heated controversies in its history. My sense is history is repeating itself and we editors have not seemed to learn any of its lessons. It seems the article is going down the same road of name calling, racial politics, pov pushing and questionable sources and original research. The very same reasons that got this article protected and on probation. In order to avoid history repeating itself, I would suggest not getting too emotionally attached to the article, as suggested by Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not therapy. Also WP:NOTSOAPBOX and WP:NOTAFORUM are also useful links. To improve the article I suggest the following

  1. All material should be directly related to the race of the ancient egyptians. All tangential references, particularly those about race and racism in general, should be removed or should be extremely brief. they are already discussed in their respective articles.
  2. Remove all references from commercial or personal websites.

On the positive side, overall the article is comprehensive. I think the editors have done a good job of sourcing information. Our main task is to organize the information into a coherent article. Wapondaponda (talk) 18:55, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

  • Are we supposed to be developing the slimmed-down article on the draft site, or what? Some people are happily editing the live page at the same time. Some clarity somebody please? Wdford (talk) 19:40, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
  • (ec):Actually, the above comment by Wapondaponda is wrong. All material should be directly related to the controversy about the race of the ancient Egyptians. This article is supposed to be about the controversy, not part of it. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:43, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
We can change the article to Race of the Ancient Egyptians, which was its former name. Wapondaponda (talk) 21:10, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

I am doing my best to speak about the controversy itself. I feel that the historical context must be clarified. I put all the histoircal insight about the controversy (which is basically the 19th and 20th century). In that, I refrained from, and even caught myself from presenting my side. However, I also notice a lack of self-control by those who demand that the black position capitulate as well as those who are looking in every nook and cranny for physical evidence to support the black position. --Panehesy (talk) 19:49, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

This statement makes no sense "The section on Dolichocephalism is 'massively relevant', as it demonstrates that the use of skull shapes to identify race is actually not reliable." It makes no sense to give massive relevance to something that is not reliable, unless the article is centered around a movement that insists on making it so. Like the flat-earth society, or the moon hoax conspiracy theories, the Dolichocephalism issue should not be given so much weight as to cause readers to near-subconsciously accept it despite the half-hearted attempt to caution people that it's not worthy of the very attention it's receiving in the article.

Also, WDford, throughout this article, I've notice people have failed to accurately discuss the controversy itself and instead are continuing the debate in the article. The first two paragraphs are designed to ensure the readers know the history and context behind the controversy. I am restoring the edit I made of entering the history section and if you want to change it feel free, but you cannot ask a person to get consensus before adding a section, unless the section is widely unfamiliar. To provide a historical context, which as you can see is extremely accurate and verifiable is handling a revert backwards. See Wikipedia's policy on reverts and I request officially you not remove the history section again. You are reverting it, not because of consensus, but to win an edit war. If you find anything in the history section you disagree with, then we discuss it here or you can even feel free to remove or change it as long as you follow the rules. You've been noted for unilateral edits previously and it is obvious that your desire to prove the Egyptians are not black is contributing to your methods here.--Panehesy (talk) 20:09, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Well after glancing over the revision history, I agree with WDford. There is very little referencing. For example:

"Due to the Biblical relationship between Egyptians and Jews, and the impact both had on Western society, the West held a high regard of the Ancient Egyptian culture and the widely held assumption in the 19th and 20th century was that the Egyptians were white. The industrialized west, being predominantly Caucasian had historically held a low regard of black people, especially in the U.S.A. and as a part of Judeo-Christian religion in this period, most churches in the U.S. taught that blacks contributed virtually nothing to Jewish and Egyptian heritage."

What the heck is this?! POV, opinion and somewhat racist, not to mention it is a load of generalization and not a single source backing it up. WDFord is right. Work it out on the draft page. --Pstanton (talk) 20:18, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Please link to the draft page. I'm a little new here. I'm totally in agreement with that. I disagree with the conclusion that it's racist. In fact, when I hear you say that, I wonder, what and where? Why don't you specifically point it out, like I have, with comments I found out of line. What in my contribution do you feel is untrue for example, or racially insensitive in it's method of being published? Be specific, saying "racist" or "Afrocentric" or just reacting does exactly what I've been saying. It unilaterally submerges objectivity behind a cloak of outrage or something like that. --Panehesy (talk) 20:31, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

The section on dolichocephalism is important because it contains evidence that proves the reliance on skull measurements is invalid. Since skull measurements feature big in the work of Keita etc, this lingering difference of opinion is at the heart of the controversy. However many scholars still cling to their comfort zone and make statements based on this outdated practice, which fans the controversy. For example, see the Discovery Channel manure about Arsinoe and the "African ancestry of Cleopatra." An out-of-date "expert" decided, based on skull shape, that the (missing) skull displayed signs of African ancestry, and triggered a media firestorm. However since the real evidence shows that most Semites of the time had the same skull shape, and since the area at the time was inhabited largely by Semites, this conclusion is unwarranted and thus unnecessarily controversial. Likewise the conclusion of Anton re Tut's ancestry - her "opinion" is based on debunked methodology, and has caused huge controversy. Wdford (talk) 20:28, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Who else here, maybe a Wiki admin or someone, can agree with the notion that a discredit pseudoscientific process that's been debunked deserves a lot of space in an article revolving around a controversy. This is not even in the heart of the controversy. The heart of the controversy is whether or not the Egyptians looked black or were black Africans, not whether or not their skulls were a particular shape. Coon used those very measurements to somehow say that Rwandan Tutsis (in the very middle of Africa) are Caucasians! And I imagine this was to give strength to the British divide and conquer method of using the less numerous but well armed Tutsi to control the larger Hutu population 100 years ago. Come on guys. Be objective on both sides. I'd love to "discredit" a lot of things that support my viewpoint by presenting them in full regalia, with a small refutation at the end. I'd love to discredit an opposing viewpoint by placing one of it's premises in such a prominent fashion as to orient the entire article around it. That's a weasel tactic. Shouldn't be done. Discredited theories should be very brief,and linked to another article that describes them in more detail. It's done everywhere else, and also here. --Panehesy (talk) 20:37, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
On the basis you suggest, just about everything Keita said, as well as the Tut debate and the Cleopatra debate, the Randall conclusions about predynastic clines etc etc are all to be deleted - because they all rely on the discredited methodolgy of skull shapes. If you delete all of that then the controversy is a damp squib, isn't it? The controversy only exists because people like Keita and Anton continue to use outdated methods to "identify" people's race based on their skulls. The article must therefore explain this methodology problem, so that the millions of readers can understand how is it possible that scientists continue to disagree over these things. The controversy is definitely NOT about whether the ancient Egyptians "looked" black, as we can't see what they looked like - other than in the many ancient paintings and statues which show them to look very different indeed to the Nubians. Wdford (talk) 20:56, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Why don't you start another article called "controversy about the skull shapes of Ancient Egyptians". The name of the article "Ancient Egyptian race controversy". As you may be unaware, I don't really pay attention to what Keita said, and I am not interested in the Cleopatra debate. You can rely on Bruce Williams, the Oxford history of Ancient Egypt, and other sources that we ALL agree are verifiable. I do not care about skull shapes, because guess what, black people have those skull shapes. I just explained it to you, it's not helping one side or the other. The controversy is not centered around the skull shapes. i tell you what, why don't you get your resolution to the skull shapes and once we agree to it, then you can leave, go to some article and as long as we don't go on about skull shapes you should be happy. The controversy exists because many of us see Egyptians like Akhenaten, Queen Tiye, Tuya, Kiya (who is supposed to be a Hittite), Mentuhotep, Khafre, Menkaure, and on and on... as black looking people. They may have this skull shape or that one, I have yet to find a person supporting the black view who has gone on to me about skull shapes. Take them out, and you will see, you're flat out wrong about the kernel of the controversy. See you are so biased, you are trying to unilaterally tell both sides what the entire controversy is about. That's quite an ego. --Panehesy (talk) 21:05, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

No, here's a better way to look at it. To persue the notion that the controversy is centered around skull shapes, when most Afrocentric thinkers of the 20s and 30s never even centered their writings around the skulls indicates that that notion is false. In fact, I'm not finding much about skull shapes other than Coon and others used them to prove a point, that blacks are stupid, and then some black scientists refuted them by showing that the bigger skulls are of black people. The controversy is not surrounding skull shapes and sizes, that was a controversy around the intelligence of black people which bled into the debate at some point in the 40s, 50s, or 60s. --Panehesy (talk) 21:09, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Wdford, can you show me some sources and quotes that state that cranial measurements are not a reliable indicator of biological affinity? You single out Keita and Anton as scientists who use skull shapes to assess racial characteristics when craniometry is still used by most anthropologists today. Brace et al. (1993) used cranial measurements to identify clines and cluster different populations by cranial affinity. Keita, Brace, etc. are not simply measuring the shape of the cranium they measure specific parts of the skull. You should also consider the fact that Keita takes a multidisciplinary approach to assessing the biological characteristics of the Ancient Egyptians.AncientObserver (talk) 21:30, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Hi there - see the "craniometry" section on the new Draft page for a brief and balanced discussion on the topic. I agree that this methodology is still used today - incorrectly so according to the attached research - by e.g. Anton in the Tut section and Wilkinson (I think was her name) in the Cleopatra section re Arsinoe. Keita's approach (as far as I have seen thusfar) is based partly on skull shapes (ie dolichocephalic skulls are an African trait) and body plans (the AE's had "tropical" body plans and therefore must have come from the tropics, the closest tropical place being East Africa.) See the "limb ratios" section for the other side of that story also. Keita also uses things like "the AE's had a lot in common with the ancient Nubians", but he is basing the comparison on skull shapes and body plans, so this seems to be circular reasoning. Wdford (talk) 21:47, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

According to me the section on dolichocephalism, as it stands, has nothing to do with this article. It is an article in the article. One doesn't see writers taking positions about it in relation to the ancient Egyptians. This section is simply about Aryans and Semites! And are Semites opposed to Blacks? Are there not Black Semites? Semite is linguistic, not racial, as far as I know.--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 21:39, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Ford on this one, and besides the burden of proof is on the one that makes the affirmative claim. Besides this is about the controversy, not the merits or lack thereof of the premises (which I've said should have their own pages). But even if it's proven that skulls are proven to describe racial characteristics, how then can you classify the divergent skull shapes of pre Christian Jews and Romans which diverge very much? In fact, that might be the debate you guys are confusing here.

"Some anthropologist are inclined to associate the racial origins of the Jews, not with the Semites, whose language they adopted, but with the Armenians and Hittites of Mesopotamia, whose broad skulls and curved noses they appear to have inherited" (Jew. Enc. X (1905), 284
"Their skulls are mainly brachycephalic; that is, the breadth is generally over 80 per cent of the length. This has been used as an argument against the purity of race, as most Semites—like the Arabs and Syrians—are dolichocephalic, or long-headed" (Jew, Enc. I (1901), 619).

This is between Jews of antiquity and Jews of today. Now going further South and further back in time you would get more divergence from the Caucasoid European type and the Ancient Egyptian.

I'm officially in disagreement that the Afrocentric position is based on skull crainometry. I don't care who wins out on this, I just don't believe it's worthy of so much time when the controversy itself does not even go into that much detail. In fact, there should be quotes made by both sides in the history of the debate then. Proving one side is pointless. --Panehesy (talk) 21:40, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

When we talk about Semites we are talking about all Semitic peoples, not just Jews. Although Jews refer to themselves sometimes as Semites, this definition also includes all Arab peoples and probably a lot of other small groups as well. From the reference you quoted, it seems many Jews might not be of Semitic ancestry after all - except that it has been proven that skull shapes are not a reliable indicator of race. Wdford (talk) 21:53, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Someone told you earlier that "Semetic" the way we classify it now, with all of the groups, is a language group, not a skull size group. It looks like the earlier Jews and their earlier skulls are found to be different than others in the region. My point is the divergence is too great to seriously argue in here a point about comparing Egyptians to "Caucasoids" reliably. IN addition, the entire debate during the first half of the 20th century was not centered around skulls. The debate about the intelligence, and racial diverence of humankind was based in part on skulls. The debate about the Egyptians was based on more than skulls. Im not saying it wasn't there, but you guys act like all the black people in the world are black because their skulls look like that. --Panehesy (talk) 22:50, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Hi there - see the "craniometry" section on the new Draft page for a brief and balanced discussion on the topic. I agree that this methodology is still used today - incorrectly so according to the attached research - by e.g. Anton in the Tut section and Wilkinson (I think was her name) in the Cleopatra section re Arsinoe. Keita's approach (as far as I have seen thusfar) is based partly on skull shapes (ie dolichocephalic skulls are an African trait) and body plans (the AE's had "tropical" body plans and therefore must have come from the tropics, the closest tropical place being East Africa.) See the "limb ratios" section for the other side of that story also. Keita also uses things like "the AE's had a lot in common with the ancient Nubians", but he is basing the comparison on skull shapes and body plans, so this seems to be circular reasoning. Wdford (talk) 21:47, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Wdford, Keita doesn't use the word dolichocephalic in any of his studes that I have read. He studies a variety of anatomical traits and sees how the populations cluster rather than ascribing a "type" to them. The Pre-Dynastic Ancient Egyptians for instance cluster craniofacially with populations in tropical East Africa. Keita is an anthropologist. Other scholars have noted the cultural and linguistic relationships between Ancient Egyptians, Nubians and other Africans which Keita merely makes note of as being consistent with the biological evidence (which is not circular reasoning). This is mainstream science and far more reliable than subjective interpretations of Egyptian artwork, which had a tendency to be symbolic.AncientObserver (talk) 22:16, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

The section on "dolichocephalism" is an editor's straw man and needs to be removed/renamed... Craniology is used by nearly all anthropologists to determine relationships. Most say it is insufficient in determining "race" which is another issue and the difference according to anthropologists can and should be explored.Taharqa (talk) 23:08, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Ok watch this. Is it possible for a black person to have all of those "caucasian" skeletal measurements? Is it possible for a white person to have all of those "negroid" skeletal measurements? --Panehesy (talk) 14:08, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Location of Punt[edit]

The location of Punt is also another on-going controversy, the mainstream view is that Punt is in Africa, though a few recent publications have argued for an Arabian location. Recent sources that locate Punt in East Africa.

Recent sources that locate Punt in Arabia

The location of punt seems to be about as controversial as the race of the ancient egyptians. Wapondaponda (talk) 21:01, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

I would not at all call this a controversy. It's like referring to the "Out of Africa" theory as a "controversy" based on the few dissenters that disagree. The evidence seems to be clear and Egyptologists have begun to settle on the idea that it was indeed somewhere in eastern Africa. There is actually a bigger "controversy" per se, on whether or not it was limited to Ethiopia-Somalia or was simply a general description of a large geographic area somewhere to the southeast. The Egyptians themselves, in a relatively recent tomb discovery documenting a "Nubian" invasion (and alliance) sometime around the 17th dynasty, mentioned "Pwnt" (or "punt"} as a part of that southern alliance..

Read this: (talk) 02:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Speculation is not verifiable[edit]

I've seen some present speculation about this issue into the article. For example, saying in the article that Punt might be in Asia because no one said it wasn't is an OBVIOUS violation. Punt is in Africa as far as the evidence shows and even then, I've seen the murals of Punt. You can see them by doing a google search right now and seeing the images. All of them including the big lady are black, short haired African looking black people. So if you want to speculate that Punt was in Asia, then you are demonstrating a big point that has been a part of the controversy, black people lived in Asia too. And that's verifiable. So how do you guys want to do this? I read the book online which describes Punt as possibly being in Israel... then I look at all of the Ancient Egyptian murals of Punt and I see black Africans, Nubian looking. Now, watch this... watch how one of two things is about to occur. Either those in here saying that Punt is in Asia are going to back off, or they will somehow try to get us to ignore the relevance of the images themselves. I say, lets go ahead and put on the article, a picture of a Punt mural, with information about Punt being in Asia, then lets put verifiable information that shows that some Asians are also negroid black in appearance. --Panehesy (talk) 13:47, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you're getting at but what we need to do is reflect consensus. There's nothing wrong with including a minority interpretation but Egyptologists overwhelmingly locate Punt somewhere in or near the horn of Africa. The only ones turning this into a so-called "controversy" are the editors. There is no controversy per notability. No one can cite a mainstream publication stating that this is a "controversy". The heavy hitters of Egyptology and those who hold the cards per mainstream view, make their points clear. For the consensus view, see the Encyclopedia Britannica article (even the Greeks said it was in Africa). (talk) 15:58, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I would like to add pictures to the Gallery[edit]

I'm trying to add pics to the gallery but they will not show up properly. Is there some sort of format the pictures need to be in to fit?

Also, I am not sure if I am putting in the copyright info more my pictures correctly. A few of them have already been deleted. I'd appreciate help on both matters. AncientObserver (talk) 21:53, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

They are making copywright issues a major concern. I got permission from people at a website that has a plethora of images. I'll have something up by the end of the week. --Panehesy (talk) 13:38, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I figured out what I was doing wrong so my pics are now added. For anyone who has trouble make sure that you organize your photos one on top of the other. Kept putting them on the same line which made them come out wrong. AncientObserver (talk) 23:44, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Search the internet for Ra-hotep & Nofret, where the male is portrayed as tanned because he is outdoors alot, and the female is portrayed as creamy-mediterranean because she is indoors alot, taking care of domestic works. There are many pictures like that by the way indicating that Egypt was a melting pot from predynastic times that included mediterraneans type, as well as Nubians and Northen Sudanees. See also Maat, Hathor & Nefertari and Nefertiti.

Egypt beginnings were in the south[edit]

I would like to remind Wdford that the Egyptian division in nomes is not due to the fact that the Nile flows south-north. But because the Egyptians conquered their territory from south to the north. The oldest sites of Egypt are in the south. The oldest cities (like Thebes=waset:power=iwnw Smw:the followers of the sun?) are in the south. Basil Davidson spoke rightly when he said "Egypt beginnings were in the south" Ancient Africa's Black Kingdoms. Ta Seti or NUBIA is surely the most ancient nome of Egypt. It extends on the land of the tera neTer (those who venerate God?), the Anu (according to Ogotemmeli in the book: Conversations with Ogotemmeli: An Introduction to Dogon Religious Ideas , banu is a name for those Dogon who are brown of skin), the protohistoric race of the first inhabitants of Egypt--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 09:20, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Maybe some of this can be mentioned in a section on material culture/archaeology?Taharqa (talk) 16:09, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Recent edits to Language Section[edit]

Wdford, I noticed this edit by you on the draft page:

Roger Blench notes that Ehret failed to consider existing scholarship, such as reconstructions of Proto-Central and Proto-Eastern Sudanic, and provided no evidence whatsoever for his classification, which has not been followed by other researchers.

Could you please explain the context of this comment and its relevance to Ehret's research on Ancient Egyptian language? AncientObserver (talk) 21:19, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Also what is the relevance of pointing out that Nubian is a Nilo-Saharan language? That has nothing to do with Ancient Egypt, no more than pointing out that Greek is an Indo-European language. AncientObserver (talk) 21:19, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Man, this is getting to be a big problem as this is obviously a repeated case of WP:SYN and other kinds of Original Research. What do you guys think about filing a complaint? There are plenty of examples already documented in the history and his contributions, as it concerns this article. This being a blatant example in order to marginalize someone with criticism that has absolutely NOTHING to do with this article. Such edits of his consistently show this to be a pattern. He's also been warned many times and others have tried to work with him to no avail.Taharqa (talk) 21:44, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Wdford has shown a willingness to work with other editors to improve this article as well as help out newcomers like myself so I don't recommend filing a complaint. I'd just like an explanation for these specific edits. I understand that he is trying to maintain balance however the first example I mentioned doesn't seem relevant to Ehret research on this topic and the Nubian comment isn't relevant at all. AncientObserver (talk) 22:08, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Nubian is Nilo-Saharan and not Afro-Asiatic, but this has to be made relevant to controversy at hand. Despite different language families, the Nubians and Egyptians were tightly connected. The Nubians had their own parallel civilization and writing system such as in Kush and Meroe. Because of lack of knowledge of Nilo-Saharan, linguists have not managed to decipher the Meroitic language from Meroitic script. Wapondaponda (talk) 22:03, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

All very true Wapondaponda. The point is that it is not relevant to this controversy. Not as far as I can see. AncientObserver (talk) 22:22, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

It is current stated in the “Biogeographic Origin Based on Cultural Data” section that the Egyptian culture was very closely related to the Nubian culture in many respects. However it has already been noted among editors that a common language is a crucial aspect of determining such as relationship – hence the existence of the “Language” section in the first place. I thus thought it important to also state that the Nubian language and the Egyptian language are actually completely different, in case anybody reading the “Biogeographic Origin” didn’t know that and assumed them to be related. I don’t see any WP:Synth here - the facts are direct, and the link to the controversy equally so. It surprises me that so simple and relevant a sentence should lead to such outrage?
Perhaps we should also amend the “Biogeographic Origin” section as well?
I included Blench’s comment on Ehret to inform that Ehret is not considered to be a fully reliable source by his peers, and that his conclusions are not necessarily part of a broader consensus. This standard has been applied to many sources in this article, including even giants like Petrie, never mind early 20th century scholars where it was added that other aspects of their work have since been superseded or that they divided races into groups using outdated terminology, so I thought it might be a standard practice. I am happy to reword it, but since Ehret is quoted extensively in this section I thought it important. Is this not what the draft page is for?

I for one am not outraged, I only asked for an explanation. The Nubian comment does seem out of place. I understand the point you are trying to make but the biogeographic origins section is in relation to Ancient Egyptians, not Nubians. The fact that Nubian is a Nilo-Saharan language really isn't relevant to the linguistic affinities of Ancient Egyptians. As for Blench's comment since the reference you cited isn't online I asked you the context because the sentence you wrote is rather vague. What does your reference have to do with Ehret's position on the origins of Afro-Asiatic and its relevance to the origins of the Ancient Egyptians? You can read Christopher Ehret's article that I used as a reference for my comment here. AncientObserver (talk) 22:53, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Wdford (talk) 22:27, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Nubia, as the beginning of the Egyptian civilization is Ta Seti or Lower Nubia. Wapondaponda is confusing it with Kush which is futher south. Anyway, about the Egyptian language, there is another theory put forward by Theophile Obenga which rejects the Afro-Asiatic family. Egyptian is not related neither to the Semitic languages nor to the Berber, but to the other African languages including the Nilo-Saharan. They have, according to Théophile Obenga a common ancestor he calls Négro-égyptien. See Fichier:Tableau negro egyptien theophile obenga.png. Others like Cheikh Anta Diop and Aboubacry Moussa Lam think that West African languages derive from the Egyptian. Thus the direct link between those West African Black populations with the ancient Egyptians. Serge Sauneron, at the Cairo Conference of 1974, agreed with Cheikh Anta Diop and Théophile Obenga when he recognized that there are only about 100 common words between the Egyptian language and the the Semitic languages. This surely through borrowings but not from a common ancestor. Serge Sauneron said that there is a need to search for languages related to the Egyptian within the African continent. Serge Sauneron is the other of an Egyptian Grammar. Before him, Alan Gardiner stated quite the same thing in the introductio of his famous Egyptian Grammar. According to Gardiner, until the relationship to the African languages is clarified, Egyptian must stand outside the Semitic group. About the link between the Egyptian and the Berber, Gardiner said that it is a thorny question.--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 22:41, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

@ AncientObserver. OK. In good spirits, like you I will assume good faith, but hopefully this won't be a reoccurring issue. Even though by his statement saying he quoted criticism to show that "Ehret is not a reliable source amongst his peers" is typical of what my complaints consist of concerning such behavior. It seems as if he's trying to use ANY kind of criticism to somehow undermine his views on ancient Egypt. I'm not sure he's aware of the concept of peer review and how this system somehow negates someone's authority and reliability given that Ehret is a premier authority in African linguistics and is cited by most of his said peers.

Anyways, I fail to see how someone DISPUTING his classification of Nilo-Saharan has ANY bearing whatsoever on this article. It's amazing how many times people have to point out these cases of WP:SYN.

@ Luka.. The main point of difference between Ehret and Obenga is classification. They both place the origin of the ancient Egyptian language within Africa's interior as do the vast majority of linguists, though Ehret additionally cites cultural and religious elements inferred from language brought from the horn of Africa to Egypt. I wouldn't object to Obenga's views being cited either. Maybe you can include them.Taharqa (talk) 23:04, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Indeed Ehret is a premier authority on African linguistics and if Blench's essay is merely a criticism of Ehret's classification of Nilo-Saharan it has nothing to do with this article and should be deleted. I have no problem with adding references that challenge the assertions of other references but the key here is relevance. Also Wdford, I hope you understand the difference between Ehret's map and the one you posted. The map I posted isn't simply a map of African languages or the distribution of the Afro-Asiatic language it is directly related to linguistic evidence for the biogeographic origins of the Ancient Egyptians. If someone else has another theory by all means add the references but Ehret is a leading authority on both African history and linguistics and has created an image to illustrate his argument. AncientObserver (talk) 23:18, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

This is rich criticism, considering the diligent character assassination that was carried out against the sources I originally quoted in the Craniometry section - Topinard and Isaac Taylor etc. Wdford (talk) 23:12, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

AncientObserver, I'm not fighting about Ehret - if you feel strongly about it by all means remove the Blench comment. However, if you click on the Ehret map your will see that the robot has once again contested your right to include this image. Unless you sort out the copyright issues ASAP the robot will delete the image automatically. And I did think the alternative map I inserted gave a relevant picture of the Afro-Asiatic language distribution in relation to Kush and Asia etc. Wdford (talk) 23:17, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads up on the robot. I've replaced the image. I'll get the hang of this copyright issue eventually. AncientObserver (talk) 23:28, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

No problem. I see you got the Ehret map from the wysinger site, which is open-source. If you look at, you will find a colour photo of the Queen of Punt - much better than the line drawing we currently have. Could you perhaps follow the same procedure and import that for us too? Wdford (talk) 23:47, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Sure thing. So how does this work anyway? Once we come to a general consensus the draft is going to become the main article? If that's the case we need to make sure we merge the recent edits from the main article. AncientObserver (talk) 00:32, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

That's how I understand it - once we have consensus on the draft it gets copied onto the Live page in full. We therefore need to ensure that we have updated the draft with everything that is useful. Wapondaponda is leading this process - could you perhaps clarify how we will make the transition please? Wdford (talk) 01:11, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Is truly copyright free. I couldn't find anything on the website that indicated so. Wapondaponda (talk) 05:31, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I have direct communication with the webmaster. Her website is for educational purposes. The images are free to use. AncientObserver (talk) 09:25, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Population history[edit]

The population history has been reduced to DNA studies, which is only a limited part of the population history. There is skeletal data, ancient texts and materials as well. In essence the population history should address the relationship between predynastic egypt and dynastic egypt as well as the relationship between dynastic egypt and modern egypt. Were, pre, post and dynastic peoples all the same race or are they 3 distinct races. Where did the Egyptians come from, and how did Dynastic Egypt begin. Some of this is mentioned intermittently in the article but nothing coherent. Wapondaponda (talk) 04:13, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

The DNA studies are only one method used to analyze population biology. The population history section on the main article has some good sources it's just poorly organized as are most of the sections. I agree that there needs to be a linear flow to the population history section.AncientObserver (talk) 09:20, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Point of the Article[edit]

I note that a diligent attempt is being made to hijack this article so as to “prove” that the AE’s were black. In this attempt, material that undermines this POV is being deleted, on the basis that it is “controversial”, that the “controversial” material is being given undue weight, or that the “controversial” material is not directly addressing the topic. However the topic of the article is actually to report the CONTROVERSY, and therefore all material which gives rise to the CONTROVERSY needs to be fully aired. Any material which is not controversial is actually irrelevant, but the “controversial” material is actually the heart of the article and its sole reason for existence. Therefore, once the POV editors have finished their attempted censorship, I will replace all the “controversial” material so as to provide a balanced discussion of the actual CONTROVERSY. Wdford (talk) 11:48, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

I think this article has made alot of progress in recent days. Looking at the old versions of the article it is clear that the editors merely intended to debunk Afrocentrism rather than provide a fair and balanced account of the racial controversy. The books referenced at the bottom of the page make that plainly obvious. Lefkowitz's research was mainly about correcting historical distortions of Afrocentrists about the Greeks "stealing" their culture from Egypt, not de-Africanizing Egyptian civilization. I do not know what edits you are referring to but I was under the impression that discussion pages were supposed to be about open discussion between editors about the articles so I think being specific about what bothers you would be helpful. This article seems to be about more than addressing the controversy and infact about providing information that attempts to answer the very question about what race the Ancient Egyptians were. AncientObserver (talk) 16:20, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Indeed - this article has outlived a number of less-than-neutral editors. And yet the POV continues. I am quite happy to also provide the evidence that addresses the various controversial issues, but thusfar only half of the evidence is being allowed in. Evidence that clearly illustrates that the use of anthropometrics is unreliable, gets deleted. Information that clearly illustrates that the AE's travelled to Asia to trade with Punt, gets deleted. Evidence that Nubians and Egyptians did not descend from a common language root, is under attack. These known facts are exactly the reason why the question is controversial rather than straight-forward, and yet they are being suppressed. All that is left is a series of confident assertions from Keita, some supporting assertions from people who happen to agree with him, and the reader is left with a picture that is seemingly clear-cut and obvious when in fact it is anything but. On top of that there is blatant distortion of evidence, such as insisting that comments by Sahel should be placed so as to create the appearance that he was responding to an interview that actually only happened 2 years later, and rewording a comment that an invasion came from the south to read that the Egyptians believed Punt lay to the south - even though the comment said no such thing and the actual evidence shows the AE's knew exactly where Punt was.
However, once you have agreed on the format and have loaded the article with "Keita says" to your satisfaction, I will add back all the other evidence that is actually the basis of the controversy, and together we will have produced a balanced product that answers to the title.
Wdford (talk) 16:55, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

We should all be working together to create a fair and balanced article that does not push any biased points of view. If editors are fighting each other instead of working towards a common end we are not going to have a balanced product. If there is disagreement it should be talked about here. I haven't paid much attention to the land of punt article and you guys have done alot with the anthropometric article that I am not aware of so I'll look at the edits to get an understanding of what you are talking about. As far as Ahmed Saleh is concerned he disagrees with Hawass in general and Hawass expressed the position that Tut wasn't Black on National TV (CNN). Saleh responded to Hawass and the entire Tut reconstruction controversy on his website Mummyspeaks which Hawass had shut down and then docked the man's pay. You may not like Keita but he is an authority on this subject and has addressed several topics which is why he is constantly referenced throughout the article. We may not always agree but we should all follow Wikipedia guidelines and work together to create a fair and balanced article. AncientObserver (talk) 18:07, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

At the moment"pro-Afrocentric" editors are in the majority, so it does create a problem of neutrality. Since this is a controversy, there are two sides to most of the arguments. We should allow both sides to be presented, not doing so is simply inviting controversy, conflict and edit wars. Ideally if one is confident about the what race the ancient egyptians were, they shouldn't be concerned about any counter arguments in the article.
Currently, the African location of Punt is the mainstream view, even some Egyptologists who don't believe that the Egyptians were Black, believe that Punt was located in Africa, So I agree that Asian theories of Punt should not get much prominence in line with WP:UNDUE.
That Nubian is from a separate language phylum than Egyptian is factual, but has to be made relevant. At present, I don't see any direct assertion that the Egyptians were descended from the Nubians. Afrocentrists suggest that Egyptians were black like Nubians, but how that came to be has not been explained in the article. Certainly the DNA evidence suggests that Egyptians had Nubian admixture and likewise the Nubians had Egyptian admixture. Most studies show that culturally the Egyptians were closest to the Nubians. According to Frank Yurco, "Among the foreigners, the Nubians were closest ethnically to the Egyptians[3]".
Nonetheless, the Egyptians spoke an Afro-asiatic language. In Ethiopia, one can find Omotic, Cushitic and Semitic language families in one country. Chadic languages are found nearby in Chad, but extending to the Central African Republic, Cameroon and Nigeria. The other language family Berber is mostly spoken by North African Caucasoids, but many Tuaregs are black and can be found in Mali, Niger as well as Algeria etc. Outside of Africa, only one branch of Afro-Asiatic is found that is semitic. Numerically Arab speakers make up the bulk of Afro-Asiatic speakers and most arabs are caucasoid. But in determining origins, it is not the number of speakers, but the number of languages that count. And most Afro-Asiatic languages are spoken by Africans. Thus there is a good argument that Ancient Egyptians were derived from an East African source population rather than from Nubia. As previously mentioned, apart from Semitic, there isn't a single language family in Asia that is related to Ancient Egyptian, whereas at least four related language families are found to the south of Egypt.
Haplogroup M1 also links the Egyptians and the Ethiopians[4]. It is found at 9.4% in Egypt, 10% in Nubia and 15.4% in Ethiopia, indicating a direct cline runing from Ethiopia to Egypt. Wapondaponda (talk) 17:58, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

The Origins of the Debate Section[edit]

I think the origins of the debate section is a very important part of the article that could really use some work. I think the earlier version of the section was on the right track by presenting a chronology of the debates origins which shows the reader how the discussions and perception of the Ancient Egyptians' racial background has evolved, however it was incomplete. There was and still is very little information about the theories of early 20th century Egyptologists and Anthropologists who had a major impact on perceptions of the Ancient Egyptians' racial identity. The Hamitic Hypothesis and classification of Ancient Egyptian Civilization (and modern Egyptians themselves) as predominately Caucasian is a very important element of the debate's origin that needs to be addressed. It is this framing of Egyptian civilization that motivated scholars like Cheikh Anta Diop to critical question the status quo. I also think it is important that Afrocentric scholars be included in this section because they have also had a major impact on the topic but not in the way it is framed in the main article. In the main article the Afrocentrism segment reads more like a critique of the discipline and is full of inaccuracies such as saying that the idea that the Greeks "stole" their civilization from Egyptians is a main claim of Afrocentrists which is simply not true. A segment on Afrocentrism should be included but it should be clearly defined what means and what precisely the Afrocentric scholars contributed to the discussion/controversy. The section should have a continuous flow from the beginnings of Egyptology (where speculation about the race of the Egyptians originated) to modern scholarship where experts continue to discuss the biological characteristics and bio-cultural origins of Ancient Egyptians. AncientObserver (talk) 18:13, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the origins of the debate are important. Some editors had felt that having a long section on the origins was not warranted. I agree that the development of the controversy is important to understanding the modern controversy. I would suggest however, that it should be brief, direct and to the point. Tangential information is likely to cause controversy. Wapondaponda (talk) 18:03, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
It should be brief however it should also cover the topic adequately. We can create a brief article without long gaps in the history of the debate. AncientObserver (talk) 18:13, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Redundant images[edit]

The image appears twice on the page. I haven't followed the previous editing of the page so I didn't know which image was more appropriate. I assume there is a precedent for only using an image once in a given article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:15, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

The user AnwarSadatFan has repeatedly deleted images he perceives as being redundant because they are of the same person and clutter the article. In particular he has a problem with the multiple images of King Tut in the Modern Controversies section. I do agree to an extent that we do not need so many pictures however I also strongly feel that the Egyptian artwork of an individual should be represented if we are going to post a reconstruction. I propose sending the Death Mask and Bust to the gallery. But as stated earlier I am having trouble adding images to the gallery myself. AncientObserver (talk) 10:42, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Anwarsadat, the second image of Tut is necessary to illustrate the basis of the controversy. When you choose instead to accept one image only, you are pushing a POV that the Egyptians were Caucasoid instead of rightly showing that the debate has merit on both sides. Your rationale that "one is enough" is irrelevant and in fact contrary to providing readers a balanced, verifiable insight into the debate of the Ancient Egyptians. I will support any move to restrict your access to the article or to limit your ability to continue if a grievance is made. Please stop, I think showing two varying images side by side is a perfect example that illustrates the debate itself. --Panehesy (talk) 13:33, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm hoping that we can reach a consensus on this issue. I'm fully willing to allow the National Geographic image to stand alone in that section so long as King Tut's bust is placed in the gallery. But I agree with Panhesy that Anwarsadatfan's POV editing of the images must stop. Originally he deleted the bust because he complained that it was painted and could mislead viewers when the scholarly consensus was that Tut had tan-skin. Now he is changing his story to complain that multiple images of the same person are cluttering the article yet he now approves of Wdford's presentation of two images of Amenhotep. This is proof of POV bias. I uploaded those images to be placed side by side for a reason and insist that both images remain on the article because they are necessary to provide balance to the subject. AncientObserver (talk) 13:45, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

If he does it again, we can submit a complaint together. --Panehesy (talk) 13:50, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Indeed, I've noticed too that he deleted wdford's picture only to reinstate it after he saw who it was that contributed it, which suggests selectivity bias. A complaint may indeed be warranted if it persists. Did you try communicating with him first on his talk page?Taharqa (talk) 16:07, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm confused. The painted image could mislead viewers because he had tan-skin? How do they know that he had tan skin? And the entire controversy about this is that he did NOT have tan-skin. SO it would be necessary to illustrate that. To stifle the expression by photo of both sides of the controversy is in effect using the article itself to promote one side. Basically show photos that support your side only, and refuse to show pictures that show the other side. That's not the article's purpose. --Panehesy (talk) 18:50, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

What AnwarSadatFan said in an earlier edit was that the general consensus was that Tut had tan skin like the reconstruction (Not true. That skintone according to the artist is based on the "average shade" of modern Egyptians) and that the bust I posted was "misleading" to viewers because it was painted (which I take to mean that Anwar did not want viewers to think Tut had brown skin). This was the reason he gave for the edit which is blatant POV bias. I have placed both the Golden Mask and the painted bust in the gallery and leaving behind only the reconstruction for that section since it is the true source of the controversy. AncientObserver (talk) 19:23, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree that all three images should be shown in the Tut section, so as to allow readers to compare the actual Egyptian material with the reconstruction and see for themselves why the fuss. May I also ask why do you not rather make these changes on the Draft page? Wdford (talk) 19:41, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Where is the draft page again? AncientObserver (talk) 20:12, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

The draft page is at I have carried over some of your good edits already, but some of the underlying material is quite different on the other page. Wdford (talk) 20:18, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Land of Punt relevance[edit]

Currently the debate over the land of punt has not been sufficiently integrated into the controversy about the race of the Ancient Egyptians. The assumption is that if the Egyptians thought their ancestral homeland was deep in inner Africa, then they presumably would have identified themselves as being of African descent. The same would apply if Punt was in Asia or somewhere else. So maybe it would be more appropriate to change the section heading, to "views of the world" or "egyptian identity" and then have "land of punt" as a subsection. Wapondaponda (talk) 18:26, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

While punt is interesting (I’m certainly fascinated), the question becomes sort of redundant, since nowhere does the AEs mention Punt as their ancestral homeland. It’s an interpretation, in my view errornous, interpretation of “Land of the Gods”. The term “Land of the Gods” (or Gods Land) is used for other places than Punt and in Hatshepsut’s account Punt is not even in Gods Land, as she specific mention Puntites as living south of Gods land. The Myrrh-terraces are a region in Gods land. In the tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor (2200 B.C) the sailor does not seem the least interested in reflection upon he just meet a Prince from Punt, his supposedly scared ancestral homeland. Rather he is highly concerned with precious goods, - just like all AE info concerning Punt. One wonders if that is not why its “Gods Land”? Twthmoses (talk) 20:27, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Some of the sources cited reference Punt as the ancestral home of the AEs. eg[5], [6]. Wapondaponda (talk) 21:34, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
No they don’t, because it is not written anywhere by the AEs. The sources you list, simply state it, they do not explain, in any way shape or form, from where they got such info – because it does not exist in itself. It is an interpretation (one possible) of the term “Land of the Gods”. That btw goes for all modern sources; they rarely give any explanation to why Punt somehow is viewed by the AEs as their ancestral home, because they can’t. This even goes for the otherwise esteemed Egyptologist Flinders Petrie who normally does not make far stretching assessments without building on solid evidence. This time he did, and one cannot help wonder if he is the very reason it can circle in books today without being sourced and challenged by the various writers. It should be noted that it is Flinders Petrie that put forward the theory that the Egyptian comes from a technologically superior group of elite foreigners (called the falcon-bearing tribe of Horus by Flinders Petrie) who came originally from Mesopotamia. It is those that landed and settled in Punt invading Egypt and winning, and thus later Egyptians viewed Punt as their ancestral home. That is the theory by Flinders Petrie. While some people easy and without resistance or proof, grab the ancestral part of the Punt part of the theory, they dismissed the rest of the theory. That is not how theories work. You don’t grab what you like and dump the rest, because it does not suit you. Flinders Petrie made the theory because it is he who digged at Naqada (some 2000 graves) and to answer the question you have a couple of lines down, it is he who found “conclusive evidence” of artifacts whose origin was clearly traceable back to Mesopotamia, in both art and technology (Naqada II/III), including both lug-handled and tilted-spout pottery, pear-shaped mace, cylinder seal and lapis lazuli (from Badakshan in Afghanistan). Naqada II is the turning point in pre dynastic Egypt and it is here that the Egyptians seemly and almost instantaneous developed and perfected a complex system of writing. It is also the last period that cultures north and south of the 1. Cataract is at all comparable.Twthmoses (talk) 23:07, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
That may be the case, because sources listing Punt as the ancestral home, or Gods land are scant. However, we still have to go by what is sourced as per wiki guidelines. If there is any sourced information that highlights the points you have raised, then we could use it in the article. Wapondaponda (talk) 23:39, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
I’m not in disagreement with wiki rule, nor do I edit this article. However since a statement of ancestral homeland must be counted as a heavyweight in a “race” origin article, it should be backup by undisputed facts. An entire civilization viewing something as their ancestral home cannot rely on a simple statement, by “someone”. That hardly would pass by in other articles. There must be proof, or surely the writer could not make the statement in the first place.Twthmoses (talk) 00:38, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree. That's how it was a while ago actually.

BTW, the draft is coming along nicely. It looks pretty good. Hopefully we can come to a consensus soon on when to implement it.Taharqa (talk) 19:08, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the draft is a significant improvement. However, the Punt section needs to be made more relevant as mentioned above. Wdford believes that Meeks and others should have more prominence.
In addition the population history, I think should not be limited to DNA studies, but should include other historical and archeological evidence, detailing what is known about the progression from Neolithic to predynastic to dynastic to post-dynastic and finally to the modern era. The section on the sphinx also needs some cleaning up.
The cultural data could do with some non-African links so that it is more NPOV. Currently all the data in the subsection links egyptian cultural artifacts to sub-saharan Africa. This is sure to raise eyebrows. I have heard of suggestions linking predynastic egyptian pottery to syria or palestine. Wapondaponda (talk) 19:27, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
If the archeological and cultural evidence points to an African origin for Egyptian civilization then that's where the evidence points. That doesn't in itself constitute POV. The draft is looking good but I do think certain sections could use more work. AncientObserver (talk) 00:46, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

1) Correction. The cultural data doesn't all link Egypt to sub-Saharan Africa. Read it. It links them right where they are and the adjacent areas in the eastern and western deserts, and it was so stated by one citation that the inhabitants of Nabta Playa likely migrated from more southernly regions. The cultural data is only relevant if it deals with geographic origins of the people which has a direct and implied impact on the perception of "race". The Dynastic Race Theory has had about as much weight as wiki permits given that it is a theory that is basically rejected by nearly all specialists concerned with the subject. Neutrality is a separate issue from mainstream consensus and authority. We can also have a more "neutral" point of view concerning the alien foundation of ancient Egypt, but it lacks merit according to 99.9% of experts. I may see where you're going though Wapondaponda. We can cite people like Hassan et al who proposes some impact from the levant in the peopling of ancient Egypt, but these hypotheses are in tandem with mainly Saharan and Nilotic elements and thus, does not warrant its own sub-section as it is linked within the entire scheme of a peopling scenario, and the ancient Egyptian culture was not rooted in Levantine or Asiatic languages. But maybe we can do that. I'll look up some sources.

2) As far as Meeks in the land of punt section, there isn't really a balanced way to give a minority and disputed interpretation equal weight to a dominant one. Especially if we condense the section to included with in the "Egyptian self-view".

As stated, hopefully when we deal with those two issues, which seem to be the primary point of contention, I'd say the draft is close to being decent enough to implement. However, let's not forget that we have policy guidelines that help us out in assessing our best move.Taharqa (talk) 20:23, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

This article Foreign contacts of ancient Egypt deals with some of the foreign materials found in Egypt. Wapondaponda (talk) 21:27, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

WP:Synth re Ahmed Saleh in King Tut section[edit]

One editor repeatedly moves around a comment about Ahmed Saleh to make it look like the comment referred to a press conference by Hawass on the race of Tut. In fact this is false. The comments by Hawass happened at a press conference in 2007 - see all references. The criticism by Saleh happened in 2005 - see reference quoted in the article at See also, which makes it quite clear that the confrontation happened in or before January 2005. These comments were therefore clearly not a response to the press conference of Hawass, which only occurred two years later. The para on Saleh should be placed chronologically to reflect the true picture. Repeated attempts to correct this have been repeatedly reverted by an editor who clearly wants to create the false impression that Saleh was responding to the comments of Hawass in 2007. Wdford (talk) 11:31, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Wdford. To the contrary, I'd initially placed it where it was relevant and YOU kept moving and rearranging the context. Please explain. It doesn't have to be a response to Hawass' press conference, it was a response to his views. They are noted rivals and suppressing his opinion or pushing it to the background creates a preference for otherwise strictly subjective opinions. As far as yelling WP:Synth at every corner, it's getting worn out to the point where it lacks merit, especially when YOU'RE the one changing the majority of everyone's edits. Remember, wiki has a policy against article ownership..Taharqa (talk) 20:14, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

As I already explained above about the Saleh-Hawass conflict, Hawass stated in a CNN segment that Tut was not Black back in 2005 before Saleh got involved, so the 2007 statement was only a repeat of his position. That sentence by Saleh says he disagrees with many of Hawass's statements which is the truth. It doesn't matter that he made the comment in 2005. It doesn't read like a response to that interview it reads like a general criticism of Hawass on the subject which is exactly what it is. The comment is fine where it is. AncientObserver (talk) 12:43, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Hair Morphology[edit]

I recommend that a segment be made for hair morphology in the Anthropometric indicators section of the draft page. The hair of Ancient Egyptian mummies has been analyzed by several scholars to assess racial characteristics. We have an entire segment on Ramesses II which speaks primarily about the color of his hair. The texture and color of hair is analyzed by forensic scientists and used as evidence in criminal cases to identify individuals as well as determine the race of the person the hair belonged to. I recommend looking for sources to adequately address this topic. AncientObserver (talk) 20:27, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Good idea! Last year or two years ago, I don't remember well, there was something about it, if not in article then in the talk page. Still, the issue was raised. Taharqa might know about it and about the sources.--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 07:46, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
This posting at mathilda's blog has a lot of information on Egyptian hair. Wapondaponda (talk) 14:44, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Here's a webpage on Nile Valley Hair that also has alot of resources and info on Ancient Egyptian hair. AncientObserver (talk) 15:19, 25 April 2009 (UTC)


The pictures representing the Egyptians and the foreigners are renderings by moderns and not real images as made by the Egyptians. The main article does mention this fact. But the draft version doensn't. If kept the way it is in the draft, it might create polemics.--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 07:59, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Moving the draft[edit]

I think the draft is virtually ready to be incorporated into the main article. Wapondaponda (talk) 21:25, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

I think so to. The overall outline looks fine. We can always make further edits once it becomes the main article. AncientObserver (talk) 05:06, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
I have preliminarily merged the draft into the article. We can continue to work on the draft for important changes. Wapondaponda (talk) 09:00, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Why was Keita's quote on DNA deleted?[edit]

Wapondaponda, I'd like to know why you deleted this quote. The reason you gave was that it doesn't directly address the DNA evidence but the purpose of putting it at the beginning of the section is to give people an expert's perspective on the usefulness of DNA studies altogether. I took the time to transcribe the quote myself. I think it is very useful to the section. There are quotes throughout this entire article by experts on other subjects so I see no reason to delete this one. AncientObserver (talk) 03:16, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

AncientObserver, I removed the following quote:

When the question of race is raised about the Ancient Egyptians or any other African population it has to be understood that the concept of race is not felt to be valid by most modern scientists. The concept of race involved grouping people based on their external and anatomical characteristics. However we know that in Africa, basically the homeland of modern humans, that there is great diversity. So, the question to really ask is whether or not the diversity that we see there, in Africa, is indigenious, is of African origin. At the current moment it's very difficult to talk about the diversity of the ancient population because we don't have a lot of ancient DNA studies. However in terms of physical diversity it can be imagined that the modern diversity to be found in Egypt in terms of craniofacial features, skin color and what have you would likely have been very similar to that found in the past. We do have to acknowledge that at different moments in time, especially in Northern Egypt, various peoples who were non-Egyptian in terms of their ethno-nationality did in fact come into the country. I do think it's possible to look at modern DNA profiles and in essence determine what most likely are due to external influences of more recent time depths vs. more ancient influences perhaps even going back to the paleolithic period.

The main reason is that it is quite long and DNA studies are barely mentioned. I agree that there are many quotes in the article. But in the long run we should try to cut down on quotes. In general quotes should be avoided in wiki articles and should be replaced by summaries. Only when there is a dispute about the interpretation of source do quotes become appropriate as per Wikipedia:Proveit#cite_note-1. In addition the portal wikiquote is meant specifically for quotes. See this essay for more information onWikipedia:QuotationsWapondaponda (talk) 04:27, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Théophile Obenga's theory on the Egyptian language[edit]

Wapondaponda, I beg you to avoid provocations calling fringe theory what Obanga said about the Egyptian language. Maybe you don't know who Obanga is on the issue regarding the ancient Egyptians. I am not saying that he is absolutely right against others. But he is an autority having written extensively on ancient Egypt and having discussed successfully on the subject at the Egyptological Cairo Conference of 1974. Get informed if you are ignorant about this Cairo conference. I am going to put back what he said. If you cancel it again, I am going to eliminate systematically your contributions to which I don't agree. Please be careful and respectful if you want to be respected. You don't own this article, neither I. This article is about a controversy, not about what you like.--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 12:16, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Luka, I somewhat disagree. Linguists are in widespread agreement on the existence of the Afro-asiatic language. If anything, it was Joseph Greenberg who fought against Eurocentric bias when he coined the term "Afro-Asiatic", specifically placing "Afro" in front rather than it being "Asiatic-African" language. Greenberg place Afro in first place to highlight that it was predominantly an African language family. Even Afrocentric and Africanist scholars such as Ivan van Sertima, Shomarka Keita, Christopher Ehret and Martin Bernal all acknowledge the existence of Afro-Asiatic languages. The theory by Obenga is very much a fringe theory and it makes the case for a black egypt much worse because it gives ammunition to those who claim Afrocentrism is Pseudoscience. Wapondaponda (talk) 16:07, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I also desagree with you, Wapondaponda. Of cause I am not saying that I agree with Obenga in all. But we still have to report his theory in this disputed subject because Obenga is an autority in Egyptology. According to Obenga, Egyptian with Coptic form a group which is related to other African languages from a common ancestor. This theory is meaningful in that it justifies the so many elements common to Egyptian and other African languages. But its disadvantage is that it considers the Egyptian language as a group. Egyptian is not a group or a family. It was a spoken language. People who write about the Afro-Asiatic languages, I don't mind if they are called Bernal or Van Sertima or else, make the same mistake. How can you really put Egyptian, a spoken language, at the same level with Semitic which is an intellectual reconstructed family of languages? Egyptian has to be put at the same level with Arab, Hebrew, Wolof who are also spoken languages. I don't mind where this so called Afro-Asian languages were born. It is an absurd theory, because it mixes different levels of languages. Check for yourself, Wapondaponda, what I am saying. Jean-François Champollion noticed, at the birth of Egyptology, that Egyptian has nothing to do with Asian languages. Alan Gardiner, in the introduction of his Egyptian Grammar, observed that the Egyptian language has to be put outside the Semitic group because it shares very few elements with the languages of this group. Gardiner advocated for researches to be made inside Africa to give to Egyptian a true family. Serge Sauneron, at the Egyptological Cairo Conference of 1974, said that the common elements between Egyptian and languages of the Semitic group are not only few but also due to borrowings. Sauneron, like Gardiner, asked for intensive studies of the Egyptian in relation with the other African languages up to now left aside. It is here that enters Obenga. I have to mention his effort. But personally, I agree with Aboubacry Moussa Lam to consider West and Central African languages as Neo-egyptian languages. They represent the continuation of the Egyptian outside Egypt like the Coptic is the continuation of the Egyptian inside Egypt. I don't care for the Afro-Asiatic theory. But I am not afraid to see it mentioned in the article.--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 17:46, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Luka, you are entitled to have an opinion on this, but so far, Obenga's theory has no support in mainstream science. I am not a linguist, but from what I can tell, languages families are scientifically and methodically reconstructed based on similarities of root words. Several independent studies have confirmed the relationship of Afro-Asiatic languages. According to Obenga "Afroasiatic was created with the purpose of cutting off culturally the Egypt-Nubian Nile Valley from the rest of Africa". This is not the case, because chadic and east African languages are all part of the Afro-Asiatic language family. In fact most scholars place the origin of Semitic language in Ethiopia. That being the case, there seems no evidence of an attempt to cut off the Egyptian language from the rest of Africa, rather the opposite is true. As far as I can tell, Obenga has not done any scientific language reconstructions to verify his hypothesis, that in addition to the lack of acceptance of his theory, even among Afrocentrists, it qualifies as a WP:FRINGE theory and should be treated accordingly. I agree that Ancient Egyptian is a single language but is treated as a separate language family. The reason it is treated as separate is because it related to the other language families, semitic, omotic, cushitic etc, but like you said it is almost equally divergent from them. There are various theories, some say Egyptian is similar to semitic and berber, others say it is most similar to chadic and beja, languages spoken by black Africans. But both these claims have been made with objective science rather than Obenga's pseudoscience. Wapondaponda (talk) 19:36, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Wapondaponda, it is not my intention to monopolize the discussion. But I would like to tell you that Obenga defended his theory at the Cairo Conference in 1974 where he was found to be with Diop on the best ground. Please read the report of that Conference and you will know what it means to do science. Obenga is not doing pseudoscience. Pseudoscience is on the side of people comparing languages which don't go together. I told you that according to Gardiner, Egyptian has little in common with Semitic languages. And that little, according to Sauneron, is from borrowed and not from inherited elements. If you work with this few elements, ignoring that they were borrowed by one language or the other, to show that those languages are related, you are on the wrong ground, methodologically speaking. Afro-Asiatic theory has no scientific bases. No confirmed Egyptologist can support it. Once more, I am inviting you to read the conclusion of the Cairo Conference. If you want to know more about Obenga's theory, read the introduction of African Philosophy: The Pharaonic Period: 2780-330BC, Origine commune de l'égyptien ancien, du copte et des langues négro-africaines modernes: Introduction à la linguistique historique africaine, La langue égyptienne pharaonique et les langues africaines modernes,Le sens de la lutte contre l'africanisme eurocentriste, and have a look at this Tableau negro egyptien theophile obenga.png. The publicity made around the Afro-Asiatic theory will not be enough to conceal its poor ground. It doesn't resist to a close and objective examination. Africa is not limited to East Africa, Wapondaponda! Wolof is spoken in West Africa and is classified as West Atlantic within the Niger-Congo. It is more closely related to Egyptian both in grammar (syntax) and in vocabulary (morphology and semantic) than any Semitic language. Mboshi, a Bantu language spoken in Central Africa, is also more related to Egyptian than any Semitic language. What are going to do with those facts? The Afro-Asiatic theorists Egyptian in comparison with Berber. Gardiner rejected this relation he qualified as thorny question! I maintain that Egyptian was a spoken language. It has to be compared with spoken languages. Egyptian is not a reconstructed group of languages. Those, like the Afro-Asiatic theorists, who are working on the Egyptian as if it is a group of languages, are absolutely wrong, methodologically speaking. They have to change their method if they want to be convincing. Good publicity is not synonymous of good science. They might control magazines and house editions, they don't control minds.--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 09:08, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Wdford and the 1974 Cairo Egyptological Symposium[edit]

Wdford, I am happy to see that you have found the report of the 1974 Cairo Egyptological Symposium. You quoted in the article the anthropological conclusions which seemed to "whiten" the Egyptians. But you fail to quote the linguistic conclusions. It is, I believe, because that Symposium mentionned that Egyptian has nothing to do with Semitic languages, and that efforts must be made to find for Egyptian related laguages within Africa. This is something damaging for those who support the Afro-Asiatic theory. You will show some degree of neutrality if you bring the linguistic conclusions of the Cairo Symposium to the article.--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 08:06, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Did the entire Symposium agree that Afro-Asiatic does not really exist, or was that just Obenga's suggestion? I don't have the report with me this week, and I won't get a chance to read it again for a few more days.Wdford (talk) 13:08, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Please read carefully the general report by Professor Jean Devisse! You will understand why Egyptian has nothing to do with Asiatic languages but everything to do with African languages. Egyptologists present at the Cairo Symposium embraced fully the conclusions made by Cheikh Anta Diop and Théophile Obenga.--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 09:01, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Lusala, do you have a link that provides the conclusions of the 1974 Symposium? I would like to read it. From what I understand the symposium could not reach a consensus on the race of the Ancient Egyptians and stated that more research needed to be done in that area (this was stated in an audio clip by Zahi Hawass which is available online). AncientObserver (talk) 14:18, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

AncientObserver, I failled to find a link which provides the English text of the Symposium. I am giving you a French abstract from an article: "un large accord s'est établi entre les participants". "Les éléments apportés par les professeurs DIOP et OBENGA ont été considérés comme très constructifs. (…) Plus largement, le professeur SAUNERON a souligné l'intérêt de la méthode proposée par le professeur OBENGA après le professeur DIOP. L'Égypte étant placée au point de convergence d'influences extérieures, il est normal que des emprunts aient été faits à des langues étrangères ; mais il s'agit de quelques centaines de racines sémitiques par rapport à plusieurs milliers de mots. L'égyptien ne peut être isolé de son contexte africain et le sémitique ne rend pas compte de sa naissance ; il est donc légitime de lui trouver des parents ou des cousins en Afrique.". Otherwise, the English text can be found in the following book The Peopling of Ancient Egypt & The Deciphering of the Meroitic Script.Hotep!--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 21:07, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Copyright problems[edit]

AncientObserver, some of the images that you have uploaded, aren't in the public domain such as this image. It will only be a matter of time before a bot will delete it for the umpteenth time. See Wikipedia:Image use policy for more information. Wapondaponda (talk) 17:31, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, as I said before when I requested help, I am still learning how to properly make copyrights for the images. AncientObserver (talk) 18:10, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Yep. The Caucasian side certainly has THAT one down. They put a million images of anything and it passes the copywright bot. But one black image comes up and a thousand points of copywright protection are activated. --Panehesy (talk) 03:29, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

It's very likely that I'm simply not putting up the proper copyright. I don't think the other editors are involved in a conspiracy with the moderators to suppress images they view as too Black, atleast I hope not. AncientObserver (talk) 12:50, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm. I was trying to find a copyright release to add, but instead found "Osirisnet is a totally non-profit site, and without advertisements. The site is copyrighted. Nevertheless, we are always happy to help people, especially students, wanting some documents or photos for a non commercial use."[7], which seems to indicate that the images are not free. They may be willing to relicense some images under a proper CC-BY-SA license. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 13:09, 11 May 2009 (UTC) (speaking for the conspiracy)

Amenhotep III placed in gallery is not an original[edit]

Amenhotep III.jpg

This image of Amenhotep III is not an original. Please only place original artwork in the gallery that has not been modified in modern times. AnwarSadatFan (talk) 21:56, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Do you have evidence that the artwork is not an original or that Tut's mannequin was painted in modern times? And the book Black Spark, White Fire is not a racial Supremacist book. It contains plenty of credible references relevant to this article. These edits of yours are unacceptable. Just because you don't like a source or picture it's not grounds to make excuses for removing material. AncientObserver (talk) 00:18, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

And this is what I'm talking about. This is unfair and unbalanced. I'm tired of everytime a black image is put on it's scrutinized so badly, but the white images aren't. Have we verified the copywright to such an extent for the Caucasoid ones? What is the criterion? "free for public use". ok who determines that--Panehesy (talk) 03:27, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Picture Vandalism by AnwarSadatFan[edit]

AnwarSadatFan deleted the following images:

File:Sphinx Frank Domingo.jpg - (→The Great Sphinx of Giza: rmv, this illustration is from the book "Black Spark, White Fire: Did African Explorers Civilize Ancient Europe?" which is an extremely Afrocentrist/Black supremacist)

File:Mannequin of Tutankhamun.jpg|Bust of Tutankhamun. File:VdR TIV9.jpg|Thutmosis IV. File:Amenhotep III.jpg| Amenhotep III. File:Ancient Egyptian women playing musical instruments.jpg - (→Gallery of ancient Egyptian art: these images were painted and colored in modern times, only have images that have original coloring)

There was nothing wrong with these images. There is no evidence that any of the images in the gallery were painted during modern times and calling the Black Spark, White Fire book an Afrocentrist/Black Supremacist book is an Ad Hominem attack that does not justify deleting the image which had material relevant to The Sphinx Controversy. When I work out the copyright status of the images the bot deleted I'm putting them back up and I recommend that AnwarSadatFan be blocked from this page if he continues to make disruptive edits. AncientObserver (talk) 09:58, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Can AnwarSadatFan come here in the talk page and discuss openly changes he is making in the article? What does he call an Afrocentrist website? Is afrocentrist opposed to science? What about other websites? Are they really neutral? Or are they simply Eurocentrist? How can he make the cause for the pictures? Maybe he is right. But why is he acting in the hiding?--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 07:15, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

I am not even mad at AnwarSadat, I'm more annoyed at the admins higher up who do not seem to be interested in moderating this, but will moderate us to this point to prevent the black side from really having a voice in the debate. Like it's not a "real" debate. Just this article is a way of sandboxing us. --Panehesy (talk) 03:31, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

AnwarSadatfan attempted another mass deletion of pictures without seeking consensus from the other editors. Anwar if the gallery is getting too big or you don't think the page should have a gallery we can talk about that but constantly deleting images that other people made an effort to contribute to the page gives a bad impression of your intentions. AncientObserver (talk) 17:39, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Since the picture gallery is becoming a major distraction, it is worth considering getting rid of it and placing it in commons. Wapondaponda (talk) 17:46, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

The problem isn't the gallery. The problem is AnwarSadatfan constantly deleting pictures in the article that he doesn't want there. I told him on his page that he should discuss this here or I would report him for making disruptive edits and while he did come to the discussion page he is continuing the same behavior. AncientObserver (talk) 20:04, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

The gallery is not a "major distraction." WP policy encourages the use of images to support the topic, and these images (if carefully selected) illustrate very well the basis of the controversy. However one editor has a problem with the validity of certain images (although does not explain why) and some other editors seem to think that the controversy will be settled by counting the images "supporting" each side of the debate, as though its an election, but overall the gallery is an aid not a distraction. Wdford (talk) 20:36, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Can we be more straightforward here[edit]

Can we all at least admit this:

1. The images of Egyptians which denote them being black are not being put on. 2. There is far too much reaction to any black images. There are users here who are asking for far too much verification for the black stuff, but they make excuses for posting the white stuff without using the same scrutiny.

Can we at least agree that this IS happening? --Panehesy (talk) 03:26, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

That tut picture is really irritating, especially in that the other two representations in the same study are not posted. Why? Let me guess, someone is going to say "The cover is good enough". Well my response is this: It's good enough for an agenda to push one side of the debate, it's not good enough for the article to show both sides, as that is the purpose of the article, to demonstrate the reality of the debate. After all, the studies were done blind and double blind for the other two, and were also sanctioned by the Egyptian Anitquities department. Show them. --Panehesy (talk) 03:40, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't see this. What I do see is people trying to refight this discussion with original arguments, instead of relying on reliable sources and what they say. I'd also say that the value of 4000 year old pictures drawn with a limited choice of colours and according to schools of art that have died out 300 generations ago in determining the race of the subjects tends towards nil, especially for laymen like most of us here. And that goes either way. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:28, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Gallery of mummies[edit]

Since there is a gallery of artwork (which isn't really reliable) we should also have a gallery of mummies. That would be very valuable to the reader. AnwarSadatFan (talk) 22:22, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't recommend it. Mummies are quite gruesome to some people and looking at a decayed old corpse is not a good way to analyze its racial characteristics. I do think more should be said about the actual analysis of mummies such as the X-ray scans and hair analysis. AncientObserver (talk) 12:12, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
I think mummies are defintely a much better way to analyze their racial characteristics than paintings that were recolored in modern times and statues that were reconstructed in modern times. Let's create a gallery of mummies, it is the most neutral and objective way to analyze this controversy. AnwarSadatFan (talk) 05:40, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Most of the artwork was not recolored or reconstructed. If you are going to make those allegations against certain images in the gallery provide a reliable source. Mummies are not very reliable because they are decayed old corpses. We can't tell the skin color of a mummy by looking at it and the facial thickness of a decayed mummy does not reflect the appearance of the person when they are alive. Even the hair is suspect. Anthropometric analysis of ancient remains are much more reliable for assessing biological characteristics. I for one don't support the idea but it would be good if some of the other editors weighed in. AncientObserver (talk) 13:59, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

If you want to do a section on mummies, here is some interesting material to think about. Wdford (talk) 15:24, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
That's a racist blog, WDford. I found this page, which contains several credible sources on mummy hair, to be far more insightful. AncientObserver (talk) 17:24, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Sorry but your link clicks through to a page of advertising - nothing about Egypt at all - you need to adjust the link. And PS: the "hair" blog you are trying to link to is hardly impartial. It quotes selectively, and contains some comments that are directly contradicted by experts who have been quoted on this article and elsewhere. On the other hand, actual photos of mummies tell their own story, regardless which sites choose to display them. That is the value of "evidence" over "opinion". Wdford (talk) 13:26, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
There the link is fixed. Now you may dispute the interpretation of the references on the page I provided but the link you posted doesn't provide references at all. They just say the hair on the mummies prove the Egyptians were White because they associate its appearance with White people. That's an opinion and there are experts who dispute that opinion as well as the reliability of regarding hair as a racial characteristic. I recommend that we write a balanced article on hair morphology. AncientObserver (talk) 16:25, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. However these differing opinions and interpretations are the reason why there is a controversy in the first place. Could you perhaps draft the initial version, including the part about the experts who dispute the reliability of regarding hair as a racial characteristic, and the rest of us will build on it? Thanks Wdford (talk) 17:40, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Of coarse you two agree with each other, as fellow Afrocentrists and Black supremacists (judging by your edit patterns). Can we get some more neutral editors working on this article? Thanks. AnwarSadatFan (talk) 01:09, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Personal attacks are against Wikipedia guidelines per WP:GOODFAITH. Anwar, I would recommend that you attempt to reach consensus with your fellow editors rather than trying to edit war and vandalize the page in order to have your way which has given you the reputation of a disruptive editor. I am not an Afrocentrist nor a Black Supremacist and all you have accomplished with the accusation is exposing that you have an Anti-Afrocentric agenda rather than being neutral yourself. While we may have different views when it comes to this topic that should not prevent us from being civil, cooperative and objective when it comes to editing this page. I don't approve of the mummy gallery but I will not try to stop you from building it though I think there is a better place for it than the anthropometric indicators section. AncientObserver (talk) 03:14, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I was stating the obvious judging from your edit patterns, those are not personal attacks but if you are offended then I will not make them again. But you need to start being more neutral please. The Afrocentric agenda is not a neutral one, therefore if I wish this article to be free of Afrocentric influence that is being neutral. Adding a valuable gallery of mummies is not vandalism. You removing them is vandalism. Fair enough, where do you think is a better place for the gallery of mummies? I will add it and you can move it around. AnwarSadatFan (talk) 17:13, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I see where you placed the gallery of mummies and it does not make sense to have it there. Best place for it is in the Anthropometric indicators section. AnwarSadatFan (talk) 17:16, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Deleting pictures simply because you feel they support an Afrocentric agenda is vandalism and bias. We continually asked you to provide evidence for your criticisms of the images and you never did. You might consider my editing patterns to be Afrocentric, however all I have done is contribute to the page and I have been fair with the other editors. I do not believe that emphasizing Ancient Egypt's African bio-cultural roots is Afrocentric, it is simply correct. Calling me a Black Supremacist on the other hand is wholly unfounded and completely out of line. As for the mummy gallery since they are the physical remains of the Ancient Egyptians I can accept their placement in the Anthropometric Indicators section. I think a paragraph, similar to the art gallery paragraph, should be written including the various techniques applied to mummies to assess their racial characteristics such as X-Ray and CAT scans, hair and skin analysis as well as forensic reconstruction. Those techniques also deserve their own paragraphs within the section. AncientObserver (talk) 20:05, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Aristotle and Cheikh Anta Diop[edit]

Aristotle wrote a sentence refering to the black skin of the Egyptians and the Ethiopians. It was in the old version of the article. It does no longer appear here. Could somebody find it? Otherwise I will try myself to retrieve it. Besides, I have the impression that someone removed the study on the skin of mummies done by Cheikh Anta Diop. This study is very important to understand why ancient Egyptians have to be considered as Blacks. It was presented at the Egyptological Cairo Symposium in 1974. But who is this man who always tries to destroy Diop's contributions?--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 09:48, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

I recall the quote. I will look it up and post it. I think it would be a good idea to create sections for hair and skin analysis in the Anthropometric indicators section. AncientObserver (talk) 16:29, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Good idea!--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 19:54, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
OK, the Aristotle quote has been added. I will check into Diop's research on melanin dosage testing and write an article on skin analysis as well as hair analysis when I have time. AncientObserver (talk) 00:33, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
That quote currently lacks a source. Something like that requires a reliable translation, not just a reference to the original Greek text. And the whole section seems out of place - I doubt that the ancient authors saw this as a controversy about the race of the ancient Egyptians. This once more looks like an attempt at WP:OR, i.e. an attempt to refight this controversy, not to report on it. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 00:46, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

There I added a source for the quote. As for the section being original research I do think it requires a short paragraph explaining the fact that the classical observers have been quoted by modern historians in order to support theories about the appearance of the Ancient Egyptians. AncientObserver (talk) 17:00, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks AncientObserver for your willingness to improve the quality of this article! I am eager to read the new sub-sections you announced on skin and hair.--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 20:00, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Image from the Book of Gates[edit]

I do not have any specialism in Egyptology or Genealogy but I think that the labels from both the images (at page head and later under 'Ancient Egyptian texts and inscriptions' heading) have been confused. It currently states “A portion of the Book of Gates showing the four nations of men, depicting (from top right): Libyan, Nubian, Asiatic, Egyptians, from the tomb of Seti I."

Proposing reversing depiction of Libyan and Asiatic, as the image just does not seem to relate to description. As I say I do not have in depth knowledge apart from cross-referencing Libyan and Asiatic genotypes, so please feel free to return to a previous revision if it is in fact correct. This post can be deleted if agreed the change is correct, I just don’t want to cause a debate on what is a topic containing strong feelings :) Ginga123 (talk) 00:22, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Actually I don't understand the need of mentioning twice the same picture. In this controversy, it would have been better to show the other interesting picture; that of the tomb of Ramesses III where the Egyptian and the Nubian are depicted almost in the similar manner. But maybe people don't like this way of presenting facts, even if from the ancient Egyptian perspective!--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 21:00, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
I’m not sure if you are making this suggestion tongue in cheek?
Per Frank Yurco, this particular illustration is a printing error by a publisher who added a supplementary section (the so-called Erganzungsband) to a reprint of Lepsius’ work long after his death, working from Lepsius’ original notes. (Seemingly the illustration from the tomb of Ramses III shows only three of the “nations”, and the publisher was expecting four “nations” - as appears in all the other versions of this text). – see e.g.
Yurco was a respected mainstream scholar who believed in the “African-ness” of the ancient Egyptians, while Manu Ampim seemingly believes the whole world has been participating in a centuries-long global conspiracy to erase the “blackness” of the ancient Egyptians by systematically destroying evidence and even faking dozens of paintings and statues.
I haven’t been inside KV 11 myself, but until then I am inclined to accept the word of the respected scholar over that of the conspiracy-theorist.
Wdford (talk) 23:19, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

article scope[edit]

as the article title makes clear, this article is about the Afrocentric "race controversy", not about prehistoric Egypt in general. In spite of this, yet again we have a large amount of material about prehistoric populations in Egypt completely unrelated to Afrocentrism. I have grouped this material in a separate section. It should be split off, to an article on population history of Egypt vel sim. --dab (𒁳) 07:03, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Isn't is fascinating how Dbachmann appoints himself as God, butchers an article that is under probation without any discussion, and unilaterally changes the entire thrust of the article to make it an Afrocentric issue? We had long since agreed that this issue is broader than Afrocentrism - who authorised Dbachmann to unilaterally narrow the scope? The reason for the existence of the controversy includes the differing interpretations of the "ancient" material, including their art, their physical remains and the DNA of their descendents. This material should not have been split off without discussion, and I personally think it is better to have it included here where it can be seen by those interested in the controversy. And finally, per WP:IG, "However, the use of galleries (usually by way of the gallery tag or gallery template) may be appropriate in Wikipedia articles where a collection of images can illustrate aspects of a subject that cannot be easily or adequately described by text or individual images. The images in the gallery collectively must have encyclopedic value and add to the reader's understanding of the subject." Since the many thousands of ancient images and statues are a big part of the controversy, I am confident that this gallery qualifies for inclusion. Who gave Dbachmann the authority to unilaterally decide otherwise? Wdford (talk) 11:37, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
So now Dbachmann is back, and of cause let's say welcome to endless nonsense controversies! Wdford, you have to arm yourself with patience.--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 12:08, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I think this was already thoroughly debated and discussed in The various talk page archives. There is no need to limit the scope on the article, specifically since it exists both within and outside Afrocentrism. Wapondaponda (talk) 20:14, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
This is unacceptable. I have reverted all of Dbachmann's edits by restoring the whole page to a previous incarnation. We've reached a consensus on the format of this article Dbachmann and you pretty much destroyed it. Next time consult with the other editors BEFORE making such aggressive edits. This controversy goes beyond Afrocentrism. It is as old as the field of Egyptology itself and the article should reflect that. AncientObserver (talk) 04:37, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

What is unacceptable is the gradual deterioration of an article that had finally been cleaned up after endless prancing around. This article has to be compared to the cleaned up, encyclopedic revision built by Moreschi last August. The article looked ok until February this year[8]. After that, the Afrocentrist cranks have moved back in and butchered it. If in any doubt, we shall revert back to the February version (nota bene, probation was already in effect back then[9]) and start working from there.

If you want to discuss Afrocentric ideas on Wikipedia, you must be aware of WP:TIGERS. We can discuss extreme or fringy views, encyclopedically. We cannot tolerate editors who actually push such views.

As for the population history of Egypt material, this is a perfectly valid topic, but it has nothing to do with Afrocentric pseudo-history, hence it is off topic to this article. It deserves a standalone article. If you are genuinely interested in discussing these questions for their own merit, as opposed to within a petty ideological agenda, you should be perfectly happy to go and work on population history of Egypt. This article here most certainly should not "go beyond Afrocentrism" in any way, because in comparison to any subject that is actually mainstream or scholarly, Afrocentrism pales into insignificance per WP:DUE. The only place where we can give weight to fringe views is in articles dedicated to fringe views. The non-Africentrist (i.e. mainstream) discussion of the population history of Egypt should be discussed in an article not swamped by tangents on Afrocentrist ideology. This article is population history of Egypt.

As for compiling our own image gallery to "illustrate" the controversy, that's a clear no-go based on WP:SYNTH. --dab (𒁳) 14:27, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

We had previously discussed the scope and the discussions are available on the archives. It was determined, that limiting the controversy to Afrocentrism was not accurate, as the controversy had existed up to 100 years before the afrocentrism movement. This particular publication Egypt land: race and nineteenth-century American Egyptomania. Wapondaponda (talk) 15:42, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Having never looked at this before, this article may be the worst article on the entire site. I have never seen so much fringy-OR and synthesis (multiple image galleries in the middle of the article!) ever. To add insult to injury, this article is apparently under "probation," which I guess means that single-purpose accounts can show up and make the article even worse without any reprecussions whatsoever. Bravo! Hipocrite (talk) 17:25, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

This is incorrect, Dab. There is no “deterioration” of this article; on the contrary, it is well referenced and relevant to the topic. Moreschi’s version was a non-article, which said nothing and helped nobody. We realise that certain people would actually prefer to pretend that the controversy doesn’t exist, but that’s POV in itself, and it’s not the consensus.
I am fully opposed to the Afrocentrist cranks, and I have actively opposed their POV all along by repeatedly and constructively editing their bull out of this article – but I believe the article is now balanced and relevant, and fully referenced. If you disagree with any particular facts then let’s discuss it and sort it, but a wild Stalinist brainwash is not appropriate or acceptable.
I agree with you that the population history of Egypt material is a perfectly valid stand-alone topic, but as the players in the controversy (including a number of genuine scientists) often refer to it to support their arguments, it is very relevant material in an article about the controversy and should be included. I can live with a separation of the material on the basis that the main article is getting very long, but I also believe that a summary paragraph and a detailed link is both appropriate and necessary in this article.
I agree with you that some of the more extreme views of Afrocentrism are “fringe”, but they do not have a monopoly on this particular debate, and we should not allow them to assume a monopoly on this article.
However I disagree with your views about the gallery – ancient art is often pointed to as “evidence” of the race of the ancient Egyptians, and its necessary and appropriate to give some examples which illustrate why the issue is not as clear-cut as a layman might assume. This is permitted by WP:IG. The exact choice of images can be debated, but the need for illustrations is clear and supportable.
Please stop with the KGB approach – you are entitled to your views but your views are no more or less correct than anybody else, and a consensus has emerged which differs from the Moreschi Agreement of almost a year ago. Please engage with us constructively. Wdford (talk) 17:48, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree with much of what Wdford has said regarding the article. At present, the article is quite comprehensive covering most of what is known regarding the racial characteristics of the Egyptians the associated controversies. The population history of Egypt is a valid article but we cannot completely divorce population history from Race. Especially since much of the controversy centers on predynastic egypt. The article is quite long and there are some sections that I could do without, but there are other editors who think they are important. For now I can live with them. The gallery is quite large, and I think that all images in it should somehow relate to the controversy. In the future maybe we will rename the article "Race of the Ancient Egyptians, because not everything that is known about the Ancient Egyptians is controversial. The emerging consensus is that the Egyptians were an indigenous African people, the controversy is whether indigenous African is equated to Black African, or it can mean North African, mixed or even caucasoid. Wapondaponda (talk) 18:28, 17 June 2009 (UTC)


This is a gross over-reaction by an ill-informed admin.

There is no edit war here, just a single editor who made seriously disruptive edits against a firm consensus because he personally opposes the existence of the article. There is no unbalance in the content, the mainstream opinion is clearly stated in all sections, all content is closely referenced, and all content closely links to the title. The disruptive editor was not prepared to seek consensus as required by policy, but instead bull-dozed away months of work that was undertaken in good faith.

Why has this admin reverted to an arbitrary and seriously-incomplete version of the article? How does this crippled and useless version represent an improvement? Why did this admin take this action unilaterally, based on the whining of a single editor but without engaging the many editors who actually worked on this article? Did that admin bother to check all the references to the many aspects of the content, so as to verify the scientific foundations thereof, or was the admin swayed by personal perceptions of the subject matter?

Please could an objective admin unblock this article, re-instate the months of work that have built this article up since this deliberately-useless version, and demand of disruptive editors that they justify their actions in terms of wikipolicy? Wdford (talk) 20:44, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

I have posted a thread Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Ancient_Egyptian_race_controversy. Wapondaponda (talk) 20:46, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
My response is at the thread noted by Wapondaponda. Hiberniantears (talk) 21:05, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Do you have a response to the requests to unlock the page and allow progressive discussion and editing to take place or are you going to leave the article the way it is? AncientObserver (talk) 12:27, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Editors can continue work on this new page while we wait for Hiberniantears to inform us of his decision. AncientObserver (talk) 12:27, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Absolutly not. That is not how we do things here. If you want to create a draft article while this is protected, feel free to to do so in your userspace. Also, don't unilateraly move articles to new names, especially if you're going to rewrite (er, copypasta) them from scratch. Hipocrite (talk) 12:37, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Hipocrite, can you be more respectful of other users? Who are you? Are you the owner of Wikipedia? You better change your language.--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 16:54, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
If you go to Dbachmann's talk page you will notice that he and Hiberniantears have been discussing ways to control this article. They have branded the other editors here "trolls" and "socks" and it is obvious that Hiberniantears aims to work with Dbachmann to fulfill whatever agenda he has planned for this article. I recommend seeking aid from objective Admins to stop them from destroying all of the progress that has been made on this article over the past few months. These two are only interested in stamping out heresy. You cannot trust someone who brands you a threat to Wikipedia. AncientObserver (talk) 16:28, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I think there are things people who are new here do just not realise. Dbachmann is known to be a troublemaker here in Wikipedia. When people discuss things he disappears. When they are at work, he appears to disrupt the whole work. He likes doing that. I remember that in November 2007 he was subjet to an inquiry. I even took part in it. Here it is Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Dbachmann 3. He repeats his behavior this time again.--Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 20:52, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
What course of action do you recommend Lusala? It is obvious that we are not going to get this matter resolved without administrative action. I know policy around here is to assume good faith but I do not trust Hiberniantears after reading his conversation with Dab. He has made it clear that he intends to aid his agenda in controlling this page. AncientObserver (talk) 21:21, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Good observation Luka. From the discussion AncientObserver has pointed out it is obvious that Hiberniantears has become personally involved in this controversy. I have posted another thread Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Hiberniantears