Talk:Ancient Egyptian race controversy/Archive 3

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Possible improvements

I think this article could be pretty good, but it reads too much like an essay. I think we should do the following things, but am uncomfortable doing some of them. (My knowledge of Ancient Egypt is mostly linguistic; I know very little about the opinions of non-Egyptologists on anything having to do with Egypt.)

  1. We need to explain why this is a "controversy". Why does anyone care whether they were black or white? This should happen in the intro, perhaps instead of the stuff on films. The controversy is obviously deeper than whether a white or black actor gets to be the mummy. While I have my own ideas on why some consider this important, I feel unqualified to write this part: I'm unversed in the philosophy and don't care whether Egyptians were black or white.
  2. Is "black African peoples" in the intro a technical term? I would call it ungrammatical, but am not up to date on the current ethnopolitical terminology.
  3. "Racial categories are not based on genetics" seems only partially true. As has already been mentioned, there are common DNA sections to regions/ethnicities.
  4. There's an odd redundancy in the "obstacles in ascertaining race" and the rest of the article.
  5. "Geographic arguments" is a whole lot of waffling. Aegean amphoras were found in first dynasty tombs. (Den, I think, but I'd have to check.) I propose something along the lines of the following; everything else in the section seems part of other arguments.
    Egypt was the locus of trade during its entire existence. It lies on the border between Africa and the Middle East; moreover, Egyptians traded constantly with their neighbors across the Mediterranean. At various times the Egyptian domain extended well south into Nubia and north past Lebanon; Egypt was ruled by nearly all of its neighbors at some point: Libyans, Greeks, Romans, and Arabs. As such, any geographic argument for race is very limited.
  6. In "artistic arguments" (my favorite section), we need to:
    1. discuss (and provide examples of?) the various representations of Libyans, Middle Easterners, Romans, Greeks, and Nubians in Egypt; also, the problems with these representations. Most Libyans and Nubians are depicted as overpowered slave enemies; many depictions of Middle Easterners show them as respected traders. Greek and Roman depictions don't occur until fairly late, when art styles change (e.g., Roman tomb portraits are heaviliy influenced by foreign styles; additionally).
    2. deal with symbolic representations: trueness-to-life was not a quality criterion at the time. This is part of why the Menkaure statue is so incredible to us now, but then it was no "better" than the crudest 11th dynasty intermediate period sculpture. (This is, of course, the mainstream egyptological opinion. I can't vouch for what others think.)
    3. trim down "ethnographic murals"; at the very least the paragraphs need to be split — it's too wordy. I'll fix the hieroglyphs when I can get a hold of Gardiner's (or even Faulkner's — I just want to be sure of spelling); at the latest this will be August, but I can probably find a copy somewhere in Haifa.
  7. "Comparison the modern Africans" is essentially repeated in the following paragraph on Tutankhamun. The pictures might still be helpful, though. Is there a wikipedia page for racial bone structure? It would be good to reference it.
  8. "Cultural and religious arguments" simply aren't up to par — it's even signed. It seems POV, and the analysis of Egyptian religion seems a bit like OR and certainly isn't broad enough.
  9. The "Notes" section needs to be incorporated; again, I can do this myself.

The open questions are the intro, DNA stuff, incorporating "obstacles", "geography", and some edits to "artistic arguments". Thoughts? Once the page is cleaned up, I don't see why it couldn't go featured. --Mgreenbe 14:34, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

And how about the melanine-test proposed by Diop ? --Caid 00:28, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

I hope I'm not oversimplifying this, but... two distinct viewpoints seem to exist in this debate about the appearance of whichever race formed the majority in the multi-racial society of the Ancient Egyptians:
1. That they were black Africans
2. That they were "not black Africans"
If these two cannot be merged into one article, even under a heading that acknowledges the dispute... then why not split the article into two halves and give readers the chance to read the distinct viewpoints - both uncontaminated by either's immediate responses. Two clean halves, no "right" or "wrong", just scholarly opinions expressed in an articulate manner so that readers can understand the clear viewpoints of both sides forming "the controversy". If you disagree with anything in one section, then respond in the other without making direct reference to part of the article you disagree with. A "no war" educational article? Can we try that?
It might also be helpful to have a more meaningful title instead of the current title - "Controversy over race of Ancient Egyptians", which immediately invites sniper action. Perhaps "Differing viewpoints on the race of Ancient Egyptians" and in the intro explain whatever is commonly agreed - a multi-racial society existed... in terms of race, there was a majority in the society... different scholars express their independent views below...

Um, people...

Just to quote Mgreenbe: What's the fucking controversy? The african (black) origins of ancient egypt and the continued strong black element in dyanstic times can be verified by facio-cranial analysis and artistic representation. There's no argument there folks. It would be like denying gravity at this point. Peace unsigned comment 21:37, 18 January 2006 Teth22; please type ~~~~ to sign your comments

Well, that's not an exact quote. What I asked was, essentially, "who cares what race the ancient Egyptians were?" If no one cared, this page wouldn't exist. As for "denying gravity", I'm reluctant to state anything about ancient Egypt as fact unless it's widely accepted by egyptologists; perhaps still equivocally. --Mgreenbe 11:07, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Km.t the ancient egyptians

The ancient Egyptians had only one term to designate themselves:

A1 B1

= kmt = the Negroes.(literally)

(Cheikh Anta Diop in General History of Africa, Vol II, Unesco, page 41)

It is the strongest term existing in the pharaonic tongue to indicate blackness (Cheikh Anta Diop in General History of Africa II, Unesco, page 41).

For the sense of the the world see: Woerterbuch der Aegyptischen Sprache, Vol. 5, pp. 127.

reachable online after registration here:

The Woerterbuch says: kmt(kemet): die Ägypter. (Wb 5, 127.18-20)

A pic of what is mentioned(from the Woerterbuch) as "Wb 5, 127.18-20", See the last Translation in C, it is in german.

Translation:"Egypt = The inhabitant of Egypt Usually, written like the country(Egypt is pleased to and so on)18 occasionally also construct as Plural 19)"

Some other translations of the world kmt in the Woerterbuch: km.t= Name for holy black cow (Wb 5, 128.2) km.t= large container from granite(Wb V S. 125) --Caid 10:51, 15 February 2006 (UTC) The preceding [[Wikipedia:Sign your posts on

talk pages|unsigned]] comment was added by Caid (talk • 

contribs) 00:18, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Whoops! I spelled it wrong when writing off the top of my head; thanks for the link to the scan. I've placed

the plural markings in accordance with the scan's spelling, not that it makes a big difference.

It's not clear from your Diop asserting this? Feel free to add in his interpretation, but

please be sure to cite it as his; mainstream Egyptology, to my knowledge, has avoided the issue. --

Mgreenbe 22:38, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi, not only Diop but also the "Woerterbuch der Aegytischen Sprache", from my knowledge, the best dictionary out

there for the ancient egyptian language. (N.B. im german and french speeking so excuse me if my english isn't

perfect). I've given the link to the online-version of this dictionary, you can check it after you've registered. Diop in general history of africa made a reference to it, so i check it for myself.

Thanks for the great reference — now I'm glad I didn't lug a Gardiner's out here to Israel.
I was asking who defined km.t/ as "Negroes"; the Wörterbuch doesn't support this definition. --

Mgreenbe 23:25, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

But how would you translate this:

A1 B1

= kmt = ?.

The Wörterbuch says, kmt was used by the egyptian for their land and for themselves. What do you propose. kmt with the determinative for land, i've been translated by eurocentrists: black land for "the land with a black


And now what is it ? people with black feet or what ?

And how about their Gods:

Kmwr=The Great Black or Negro for Osiris The Black Hathor, the Black Apis, The Black Min, The Black Thoth, etc.

set kmt = The Black Woman for Isis

And the color for the Ka is also deep Black. --Caid 00:29, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, without the -t I would translate it as km.w, "black people"; with the -t, I recognize it as meaning "Egyptian(s)". :)
No matter how logical it seems to you, your deduction can't go in the article without a citation from reliable source (e.g. not a blog, but a book, peer-reviewed publication, or quotation by a notable person; more info is at WP:CITE). Sorry to seem stern, but that's the standard around here. --Mgreenbe 01:03, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

So Tell me isn't general history of africa from the Unesco in 8 volumes, a reliable source for you ? --Caid 08:09, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't have access to the book, all I found was this chapter listing; feel free to add the quote, but please attribute it to Diop. Do you think you could post a longer quote here on talk (French is fine) of the context between the two quotes? I'm curious. --Mgreenbe 11:53, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

How can it actually mean "Negro"? There were no European Anthropologists around 5000 years ago, so the concept of "Negro" probably never existed. "Negro" is not (believe it or not) a unniversal word. Entymologically, it just means "black" (the colour), could that be what KMT meant? -User:ZyXoas 09:02, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Caid, ha! Thanks for introducing the UNESCO magnum opus into the discussion. Also, you might want to stop by Great Sphinx of Giza. There are some disgruntled folks there who insist on putting the information about the Sphinx being "Negroid"/Africoid under the subheading of "Alternative Theories," when it is no such thing. I've provided sources and quotes, so they can't obliterate the information, but I'm outnumbered there, and my attempts to place the information where it should be in the article, under "Description," have been thwarted. There's absolutely no reason for their insistence. Peace. Deeceevoice 08:07, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Frankly, I think this entire article should be vetted from top to bottom, with much emphasis placed on the scholarly collaboration resulting from the UNESCO effort. Diop stood before the UNESCO committee and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt the blackness of dynastic Egypt, and the scholars on the committee concurred. The UNESCO work remains the most comprehensive, objective examination of ancient Egypt today -- and it addresses the issue of the race of predynastic, as well as dynastic Egypt head on. This article presents all kinds of generalized crap/pap about melting pot this and brown-but-not-black that that needs to be confronted and discredited. Deeceevoice 08:24, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Nose of da Sphinx

Wasn't the Sphinx's nose shot off by some gun crazy "explorer", not pried off by a "Muslim fundumentalist"?
In "I can" on his God's son album rapper Nas says:

[Egypt] is where Alexander the Great went
He was astonished to see mountains with black faces
Shots off it's [sic] nose to impose what still goes on today you see:
If the truth is told
The youth shall grow
No one says you gotta be gangstas, ho's
Read more, learn more, change the globe

I also remember seeing some documentary saying the same thing, although I can't remember if they said it was Alex the-not-so Great who shot off the nose with his musket.
-User:ZyXoas 10:47, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I remember reading Nas' similarly titled article in the journal of the ARCE. How could Alexander the Great have shot off the Sphinx's nose before gunpowder was invented?
You'll surely enjoy the article on the Great Sphinx of Giza (which soundly debunks the theory that Napoléon I shot off the nose with a cannon); Lehner's book (The Complete Pyramids ISBN 0-500-05084-8) gives excellent detail on the pyramids of the Giza complex, but his fairly dry prose doesn't rhyme. --Mgreenbe 16:53, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
I heard it was Napolean that shot off the nose, but the simple fact that people claim it was Alaxander the great, really hurts the Afrocentrist case. Quote from Mgreenbe, "How could Alexander the Great have shot off the Sphinx's nose before gunpowder was invented?"
No it doesn't hurt the case. It just means that a rapper didnt know what he was talking about (big suprise).
The "Afrocentrist case"? And what is that? There is no "Afrocentrist case" about how the Giza sphinx lost its nose. There are, however, held myths about it. Another account I read was that the same Turkish religious fanatic was outraged at the human representation of the sphinx, which is haram (forbidden) in Islam, and ordered it defaced. When the deed was done, he was promptly hacked to death by enraged locals. Good on 'im. The same should have happened to the Taliban who destroyed the buddhas in Afghanistan. Deeceevoice 00:34, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Do you even know what you are talking about? The Egyptians were mainly Muslims. The last thing they would do is kill another muslim if he did something that was with islam. You are also forgetting one thing. The Turkisk ruled Egypt during the Ottoman Empire. The last thing that would happen is the subjugated people killing their conquerors. [unsigned post]

Sorry, but I'm afraid you don't know what you're talking about. The Arabs/Muslims didn't come to power in Egypt until the 7th century A.D. -- long after dynastic Egypt's glory days. By that time, the religion of the ancient Egyptians had been in place for millennia and shared commonalities with other black, African religions, and vestiges of it remain today in the beliefs of the Fellahin of Upper (southern) Egypt; it never completely disappeared. Egypt never has been uniformly Muslim. Indigenous Egyptians have held on to their original beliefs to varying degrees over the centuries. Blackman's famous study of the Fellahin made a very strong case that the blacks of Egypt had a heavily syncretic religion, combining Muslim beliefs and practices with centuries-old, indigenous religious beliefs. This was true in the days when the Giza sphinx was defaced, in the 1930s when Blackman did her groundbreaking research, and the same still holds true among the Fellahin -- albeit to a lesser extent -- today. deeceevoice 17:19, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

The article is still fairly incoherent

1. "..the selection of skin tones was symbolic... and even death — such as stark white or yellow" - "The jet-black renderings of Tutankhamun is thought to have nothing to do with his actual skin color, as these figures represent his voyage through the pitch darkness of the underworld -- a significant afterlife ritual.[11]"

Pick one: which color symbolizes death - "stark white" or "jet black"? Even this gets politicized :)

2. Could someone answer the following question: was the term "KMMW" ever applied to Nubians/Ethiopians/other black Africans or is it used exclusively to describe Egyptians? If it was never used to describe black non-Egyptians, wouldn't it be rather spurious to translate "KMMW" as "black people" rather than "people of the black land (Egypt)?"

3. "Usually, the Egyptians would portray sub-Saharan Africans as being the same skin color as themselves" - the link is broken, plus, there's clearly contradicting evidence: I uploaded a well-known painting of the 'four races of the world'.

4. "..faces which are broad across the cheekbones, with full lips and pronounced prognathisms and receding chin lines... Such features are characteristic of a "Negroid", or Africoid, phenotype." Egyptian art was highly stylized. Were these features characteristic only of Egyptian/Nubian portraits, or were images of non-African peoples similarly styled? I'm looking at Egyptian paintings of Hittites and Syrians and see similarly prodruding jawlines. Will an expert please address this issue?

5. the craniofacial studies performed by C. Loring Brace et al ( - seem to place Predynastic Upper Egypt somewhere between Neolithic Somalia and Neolithic Portugal/Greece, while putting Late Dynastic Lower Egypt squarely into the "Caucasian" category. This is not addressed in this article.

I'm Sorry SIr

I don't want to bust your bubble here, but Brace's study has been refuted. Read SO Keita's "Studies of crania from ancient north africa" to see the flaw in his studies, or read the chapter on Keita in the book "Black Spark, White Fire" in which Poe discusses the flaws in Brace's study. Peace out.


Brace's study has not been "refuted": Keita's interpretation of cranial measurements simply differs from those of Brace, and in any case does not disagree with the basic findings of Brace's work: i.e. that the population of ancient Upper Egypt was not strictly in the Nubian or in the North African range, but somewhere in between (Keita's assertion is that it was close enough to Nubian.) The problem, of course, is that both Nubian and Egyptian crania are very different from those of other sub-Saharan Africans (possibly because Ethiopians, Nubians and Egyptians were all mixed-race people, as I mentioned in the text of the article and as supported, apparently, by current genetic data.) The other problem with Keita's interpretation is the fact that the population of ancient Lower Egypt appears to be as Caucasoid as a Neolithic population could get.

Anyway, if you can summarize Keita's work in the article without deleting all references to Brace, it would be fantastic. The readers deserve to know of controversy in all areas of "racial Egyptology", including the subject of craniometry.

What race or ethnic background were the ancient Egyptians?

Q: What race or ethnic background were the ancient Egyptians?

A: This is a very popular question, and unfortunately, there is no simple answer. However, it is an important one to address due to the racial divide the exists in many countries today, especially the United States. An ancient history professor once related the anecdote of how in one of his classes, a student wanted to know why Africa didn't have any civilizations in ancient times. When asked where he was when the class covered ancient Egypt, the student became visibly exasperated and said, "Yah... but they don't count!" His explanation for this statement was that the Egyptians were not negroes, and thus not really "African".

In a way, the student was right. The ancient Egyptians were not "black". However, they were not "white" or any other so-called "race." This does not mean that they were not African though. A simple matter of geography forces them into that classification. Ancient Egypt was the most successful and longest lasting civilization on Earth, and it was African.

So how does one determine what "race" a people are? Sociologists and historians use various yardsticks to determine this, such as physical characteristics of the people, what language they spoke, or what religion they believed in, etc...

Seated at the juncture of three continents, the Egyptians showed the physical characteristics of Caucasians, Negroes, and Asians. With the migration of various peoples into the Nile Valley throughout the thousands of years in which the Egyptian culture flourished, it is nearly impossible to avoid a racial mixture of the population. Therefore, the most heated debate centers around what race the Predynastic or earliest Egyptians were, the "original" Egyptians, if you will. Yet again, skeletal remains indicate that they shared the characteristics of Caucasians, Asians and Negroes.

Perhaps the most important question to answer is: What race did the Egyptians believe they belonged to? The ancient Egyptians saw themselves as being ethnically distinctive from both the Asiatics to the north and the Negros to the south. The tiles from a palace shown here depict a negro and an Asiatic captive. They look distinctly different from the Egyptian priest shown above. Both in art and in literature, it was clear that they saw themselves as being different from their neighbors. The Egyptians believed that they were of the "Egyptian" race.


This is eurocentric humbuggery. You can believe that the Egyptians were not black or negro, it would be within the breaches of reason to claim they were middle-eastern, but to claim that they were in the middle of three contients is laugh out loud. We all know the ancient Egyptians certainly were not europeans to the slightest extent. Besides the greek and roman invaders there are no european egyptians. Europe is very far away from egypt which is right inbetween besides sudan and israel. I've talked to many egyptians and they are divided on whether ancient egyptians were black or middle eastern but they all agreed that there were no europeans or whites (they don't consider middle eastern people white) in ancient egypt, which is true. All the paintings of ancient egyptians had dark brown skin, not white skin.

Even your concept is filled with lies. 6000 years ago there was no concept of race. Unsigned

That's incorrect. The notion that there was no concept of "race" before the europeans came around and used it is only partially accurate. The egyptians didn't have the same kind of notions about race as people did today, however they quite well understood that there were significant differences in appearence between themselves and the nubeans and the hill country dwellers. Thanatosimii 01:26, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

The earliest dynastic Egyptians were black African

And while the demographics of ancient Egypt undeniably changed over time, the populace remained substantially black African until relatively recently in human history. Even today, 60 percent of Egyptians are fellahin. One simply must get away from the major, heavily Arabized cities and out in the countryside in order to see most of them. Were/are there differences among the indigenous blacks of the region? Certainly. Heck, there are differences among the same peoples. Some Cushitic blacks have relatively straight hair and some have kinky hair. The same is true of Nubians. It's a natural phenotypical variation within the groups and can have absolutely nothing to do with racial admixture. Some Nilotic and Cushitic blacks have narrow nasal indices and some do not. There are obvious phenotypical differences between the Oromo and the Dinka in terms of faciocranial characteristics -- but no one sensibly can say they are not both black African peoples. They never have been considered otherwise. The same can be said for the brown-skinned Ibo of Nigeria, the mahogany-skinned Dinka, the red-brown-skinned San and Khoikhoi and the blue-black-skinned Sudanese. Arabs did not arrive en masse and conquer Egypt until the 7th century. Check out the Great Sphinx of Giza and the section of this article on Tut. The overwhelming evidence is that Tut was about as pure Nilotic black as one can get -- as were most, if not all, of the Tutmosid line. The fellahin of Egypt are largely dark-skinned, Africoid Egyptians, descendants of the original inhabitants of the land. Deeceevoice 00:53, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Further, in the 1980s (I think) UNESCO called together the most renowned scholars of the day to produce a comprehensive history of Africa. The result was a multi-volume magnum opus. The second volume focused on predynastic and dynastic Egypt and set forth unequivocally the blackness of that land. Diop stood before the UNESCO International Scientfic Committee for the Drafting of a General History of Africa, laid out his evidence -- fact after fact after fact -- and blew all the doubters and dissenters away. Had the evidence presented been flimsy or inconclusive, it would never have seen publication. Deeceevoice 08:35, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

It's rediculous to omit photos OF the Egyptians

How are we going to resolve this... I mean there is a "dispute flag" over the article, and the article itself is called "CONTROVERSY" over the race of the Ancient Egyptians.

Well, who is the bright genius who decided to remove all the photographs and why? --Zaphnathpaaneah 16:35, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

If you were standing with a large group of people, and they were all dressed similarly, and the people were comprised of Egyptians, Black people, and White people, how frequently would the Egyptian be assumed to be one of the Black people, and vice versa? How often would the European or white person be mistaken for Egyptian and vice versa? Come on guys, thats what it comes down to. All this nonsense about craniums, DNA, and what not, its useless fluff. I'm posting pics in here. --Zaphnathpaaneah 16:38, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Useless fluff? No need to get so emotional! The appearances of the majority race in the Arab Republic of Egypt today (which you conveniently refer to as "Egyptians", instead of "Arab people" which would have been a more appropriate term to use in your comparison with "Black people" and "White people") most probably has little to do with the appearance of whichever race formed the majority in the multi-racial society of the Ancient Egyptians. Would you post pictures of Crocodile Dundee (the famous Australian, see Paul Hogan (actor)) to help people get a better understanding of the appearances of the majority race that inhabited ancient Australia ...despite the stark differences in appearance to the now minority, yet indigenous people of Australia? Do the majority of Americans today look like the indigenous people of America? How much do the people of Cape Town (another multi-racial society) resemble the ancient inhabitants of the area (see Khoikhoi)? I'm sure most people in search of the truth wouldn't take pics of modern Egyptians (Arabs) seriously in this debate... what you describe as "useless fluff" is scientific and would be more useful and meaningful.

I wouldn't say the Egyptians are Arab (even if they have "Arab Republic" in their name - Somalia & Sudan are both in the Arab league without [even N.Sudan] being Arabs). There are definitely Arabs in Egypt, and many N. Egyptians (and probably S., too) have some Arab blood, but they also have blood from the Levant, Maghreb (Berbers), Turks, Greeks, Romans, Persians and who ever else conquered them.
Yom 20:34, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Quick Sidetrack >> Northern Sudanese are Arabs. If they weren't Arab, then where did the Muraheleen (Arab horsemen who drove the Dinka out of their homelands in the late 1980's [1]) come from? That claim sounds much like those laid by certain African groups in South Africa that stubbornly refuse to be grouped together with "Africans from Africa" on grounds of different ancestry and perceived skin complexion averages, but then gladly and wholeheartedly revert to being "African" whenever it suits them. Let's call a spade a spade... most Egyptians as we know them today are Arabs. Perhaps not in the strictest cultural and genetic terms as the Arabs of Arabia, but if they are willing _and able_ to name their state "The Arab Republic of Egypt" without any questions being raised, then who are we to question whether they are indeed Arabs or not? [Who is an Arab?] But we are in agreement... the people living in Egypt today are unlikely (for reasons similar to those you have stated) to be similar in appearance to whoever formed the most populous group of inhabitants in Ancient Egypt. Similarly, who are we to question whether the Ancient Egyptians were black Africans if they refered to themselves as "The Black People"?

Take note of the Fille Fellahin postcard girl. THAT is an example of an "intermediate" between Caucasoid and Negroid, however people are so tuned to seeing her blackness, they are ignorant of the fact that she really has characteristics that are objectively in the middle. Most "White" "Europeans" do not have this quality, most intermediates are BLACK! When we use the Eurocentric concept of the "intermediate type" they are not in fact in the 50-50 zone, they are usually 75%-90% Caucasian in appearance or qualities. Like the lightskinned-italian looking mulatto type... those are accepted as "reasonably intermediate", even though their skin tone is not intermediate, and is 75-85% closer to the whitest skin color. And then these "fellahin" that we see are the more common type in Ancient Egypt, they are ignored or "nubianized". Finally their presence is underplayed whenever possible. I think I have finally locked on to the Eurocentric position. Now, we have to articulte that into the article with clarity so that the detractors wont say "this is a POV". Anyone wanna help? --Zaphnathpaaneah 16:58, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Uh, Zaph? Have you lost your mind? (Or am I misunderstanding you again?) THAT is a black Egyptian. There's nothing "intermediate" about her. The Fellahin are the indigenous people of the land -- which is what "fellahin" refers to in Arabic. Deeceevoice 17:38, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Deeceevoice once you understand intimately this point I am trying to make, you will discover the key to unlocking the biggest secret of Eurocentric bias of all time. The truely intermediate human types are those who look like the Fellahin girl. She is literally halfway toned from jet black to pale white. That does not dispute that she is an indigenous Egyptian. There is no doubt that indigenous egyptians are brown to dark skinned. That is not in dispute. The issue is that if you move "intermediate" waaay over to the white side, then the objectivity of the dispute is lost. Most black people of today (and very few of the so called "mediterranean caucasoid types") are physically identical to the truely intermediate people whetheher ancient or modern. It is this association with "intermediate" that is a major chunk of the problem. We associate "intermediate" with "barely black looking" when intermediate really means "substantially black looking", although not jet black. Get it? If not... --Zaphnathpaaneah 19:58, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

We are in complete agreement! Now I understand your intent. Deeceevoice 07:40, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Dispute tag removed (2nd time) - There is no justifiable reason for it.

I think the one who put the dispute tag on this page is erroneously attributing a dispute REGARDING the race of the Ancient Egyptians (which this article discusses) with a disupte ABOUT the disupute of the race of the Ancient Egyptians. The difference being, there must be something ABOUT the disupte itself which is being either misrepresented, or non-neutral. I have failed to see any arguement articulating that. --Zaphnathpaaneah 17:46, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Removed again. The restoration of it was not given a reason in the talk page. Removing it again. Lets see what happens the third time. --Zaphnathpaaneah 07:21, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

I will wait a while before adding the POV tag again, but let me explain myself. For one, the first section, "Objectivity in the Afrocentric position" is rather POV in its title, (though not in the following text). By saying "objectivity" instead of "support for," the article implies an active endorsement of one side over the other, given that the other side does not have a similar "Objectivity of the Eurocentric position" section. The article is to describe the controversy, give the evidence supporting both views, and explain why the controversy exists. Any attempt to evaluate in general (as opposed to specific pieces of evidence) the validity of Afrocentrism or Eurocentrism makes the article POV because the debate (misguidedly or not) is, nevertheless still going on. Later, there are more obvious POV sentences:

In other words, one could take photographs of Ancient Egyptians and place them in the context of Black people or European White people, and the casual observer would not be able to distinguish the black from the Egyptian, although one could easily distinguish the white from the Egyptian.

The above is pretty egregious in its POV. Who said that the casual observer could not tell the difference? How would one come to this conclusion without any photograph of the Ancient Egyptians? Where's the proof that a white person would be easily distinguished from an Egyptian (as opposed to black vs. Egyptian)? There's no evidence cited for any of this, so it's pure POV-pushing. The previous sentence is not as bad, but still POV:

It would be strange to Afrocentricists, or even to an objective observer that Eurocentric scholars will classify people like African-Americans, Fulani, and others as "black" people who resemble Egyptians who they consider to be non-black caucasoids. In appearance, much more clearly than any European

Without some sort of support or citation, it is POV. It effectively defines anyone who doesn't accept that Egyptians are black are not objective observers. It does so by saying that other black peoples resemble Egyptians (without evidence), and from that proposition determines that anyone with a contrary view is biased. Without giving some evidence for the resemblance b/w the groups mentioned, it is not NPOV.

The following line:

Even modern Egyptians, who are not known to be descendants of Turks, Armenians, or Europeans, resemble black people closely enough that casual observers interacting with black tourists often mistake them for native Egyptians

Again, no evidence; without any, it is POV as it makes a subjective assertion without a citation to back it up. Aside from these sentences, the article is NPOV provided adequate sourcing. Without the sources, then the assertions seem baseless and therefore POV. Unless these sentences are cleaned up, and those sentences needing citations get them, the article is POV.
Yom 08:16, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Lets clarify all of that response. You want proof (as in pictures of Egyptians) to be posted on the article? Or you want links to websites? How many examples would be sufficicent? How many references would be satisfactory? I need to know before I waste my time and do all this work only to hear excuses. -- 06:50, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm guessing the above is Zaph. No photos need to be inserted because those represent only one example from each group. As to the sentences I pointed out, I simply want a ciation of a reputable source (don't worry about arguments over reputability unless the author is clearly racist) making similar claims or backing up such claims. The rest of the article just needs to be cited as well, but it's not really biased.
Yom 06:57, 1 April 2006 (UTC)


Is there a citation for the following?

The ancient Puntites commonly were described as black peoples with "Negroid" features and elongated, or dolichocephalic, heads.

I don't dispute it, but I've never heard of descriptions of the people of PWNT (just that they are the peoples from whom Egyptians descended). I thought very little was known of them?

Yom 07:57, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Making the routine stop kemosabe...

Hey, deecevoice, I'm surprised to see that you're still in the game. (I thought you found wikipedia too "racist" and "systematically biased", hey if you're boyfriend's beating you why go back to him eh?) Anyways, do you think Brace's data should be removed, since it's already been refuted and exposed as a eurocentric fraud? Should I insert Keita's studies? (He's basically the only one among thousands that doesn't have any political or ideological levy to pull. 19th century trichological and craniometric studies, etc, ? What do you say? Get back to me ASAP. Peace out. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Teth22 (talkcontribs) 19:17, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Who the hell are you? And keep your insulting metaphors to yourself. *x* Deeceevoice 19:27, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Please remember to be civil, deeceevoice and Teth22. Justforasecond 19:52, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Allow me to...

Well, deecevoice, you're kind of petulant today, aren't you? Allow me to introduce myself, I'm Teth 22, and like yourself I'm an intelligent, justice-seeking brotha wishing to represent the history (i.e. Egypt) of blacks, and solely blacks, within africa in an unbiased, objective matter on this site, the holiest of grounds, wikipedia. Now are you going to answer my questions from the first post, or do you plan on making the changes yourself. Have any problems, e-mail me Bub. Peace out. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Teth22 (talkcontribs) 21:15, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Teth22, please sign your edits with ~~~~ (four tildes, or shift+` four times). Adding this to the end of your post lets us know who said what so that nothing is confused. Alternatively, you can use ~~~ (three tildes) if you do not wish to include the date. Thank you. Yom 21:18, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for telling me, yom, like this: Teth22 13:36, 30 March 2006 (UTC)? Peace out.

Some Things I Need To Say...

What's up with this line:" Britannica illustrates some elements of the cultural argument, pro and con" What con cultural arguments are there? Everything about Egyptian culuture screams "African" from Pharaonic kingship, mummification rituals, even cult worship of gods. It has no counterpart in Asia. Peace out. Teth22 13:43, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

We can barely get them to admit that Egyptians LOOK Black, there is no way they are going to acknowledge that Ancient Egypt is characteristically African sans others. --Zaphnathpaaneah 05:43, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Zaph, pleas try to avoid an "us vs. them" mentality. Justforasecond 05:54, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

That is already present in the attitude in this article. The lack of mentioning the Black/African influence in Egypt and the lack of response by "neutral" parties when dealing with Afrophobes in regards to Egypt. We know that

1. The Badarian, Naharain, and Nubian C groups are directly linked to Black Africans further up the Nile. 2. The Ethiopian, Sudanese, and Egyptians share unique cultural similarities, among them, linguistic (written and spoken), geographic (nile), religious (coptic christian, ancient), and physical, that make them distinct from Arabs and Europeans 3. Egypt can't be an Arab based country when the Ancient Egyptians spoke no arabic, and viewed the Arabs as others, distinct from them. 4. Egyptians do not usually represent themselves with light skin and naturally straight hair in their murals and paintings. They are either wooly haired or bald. 5. Ancient and Modern Egyptians, even when considered "mixed", still retain a strong and noticeable black heritage in their phenotype. Unmixed (or slightly mixed) Caucasoids DO NOT! "Intermediate" types are different than full caucasoids. Egyptians do not appear as full caucasoids.

Now my job is to prove this. Ok no problem. But the real job that we won't admit to is to somehow prove this while juggling all of the resistance that will come in the form of "legitimate" bureaucratic nonsense in the form of policy complaints. You know the way it works here. You guys get to revert or delete or edit a controversal article, without even giving a reason. Every contribution I would make requires a reason, confirmed by others, without any dispute... or else the article is locked, i am given a RFC and so forth. So cut to the chase. What is it going to be. I have access to over a hundred photos (which will create copyright complaints), links (which will be called out as inadequate or too Afrocentric by the mere fact they exist), and examples (which will be re-evaluated as original research). What is it going to be? --Zaphnathpaaneah 07:01, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Editorializing in the article

Although Cranial analysis bears little in determining the racial context or the visual association of Egyptians with any racial group, many Eurocentricists desire to elevate the significance of cranial analyses in determining how the Ancient Egyptians should be understood racially. Although many Black people, of whom Eurocentric scholars would ignore as Caucasoid, share these cranial characteristics, there is no movement within the scholarly community to reclassify black people as caucasoid. The racial context would then be lost and useless.

Cranial analysis is the only reliable tool available to scientists that allows them to group human remains into the commonly defined racial groups and subgroups when no DNA samples are available. "Black people" are a political construct in the United States, the group historically being defined as anyone having "one drop" of Negroid blood, something that obviously makes little sense from the biological standpoint. This group of people is of mixed racial ancestry (mostly West African Negroid with a significant admixture of European Caucasoid and some Native American Mongoloid) and many of its members are indeed misclassified (or perhaps correctly classified) as white based on their cranial measurements. The same is true of Ethiopians (see the body of the article). And, by the way, there is no such thing as a Eurocentric (or an Afrocentric) scholar. There's but one science. Let's not confuse it with ideological bickering of white and black racists.

I deleted the ==Objectivity in the Afrocentric position== part of the article for the following reasons:

1. The article deals with the controversy, and should not take sides. Starting the article off with a sermon on the Afrocentric position is about as biased as an encyclopedia article can get. 2. It is redundant: the readers are already aware of the two sides of the controversy and are waiting for arguments and proofs. The opinion of Champollion is neither, and neither are UNSOURCED references to unnamed 19th century historians: all sciences have progressed far since then, Egyptology in particular. 3. The claim of the reconstruction of Tutankhamun being more 'Negroid' in appearance is pretty amusing, considering both the French and American teams pronounced him Caucasian, and the Egyptians had maintained it all along - to much controversy (already mentioned in the article). 4. Bemoaning the media bias has its place, but not in the article. 5. The article is already way too long.

Actually, there's nothing wrong with the topic, though some with the content. The article should address the support for both sides without saying one is more likely than the other. Your #3 is actually incorrect. Zahi Hawass made the claim that the French team produced a "caucasoid" King Tut, but they actually said no such thing. Neither team has made any claim about his race as far as I'm aware (I may be wrong about the American team). #5 isn't that good of an argument. The article could be trimmed in some areas, but it generally doesn't go outside of the range of a good article length.
Yom 05:08, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Just ask yourself this....

...Who would be more in place in ancient egyptian artwork a person who looked like Nas, Lauren Hill ,Bob Marley, or someone who looked like Billy Bob Thornton or that "Get er don guy" just put that picture in your mind for a sec and tell me you still think Egyptians werent black. @*#!ing Rediculous.


Most likely, they would look a lot like modern Egyptians, i.e. Middle Eastern in appearance, ranging in color from near black (in southern rural areas) to surprisingly light skinned, but mostly of the 'swarthy' complexion.

Remember, it is THEM you're denying their history, claiming they're newcomers to their land.. and claims of such gravity (not to say - obnoxiousness) require extraordinary proofs.

They would most likely look like Modern southern Egyptians, if you think about it. The Delta (and to a lesser degree, Middle Egypt) has always had a significant amount of foreign admixture, from the Persians, Greeks, Hittites, Arabs, and Turks that have controlled and mingled in that region. The south, however, has had less of these influences and in general, they look like Horn Africans, though a bit lighter in skin tone due to latitude.
Yom 04:51, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

That's pure poppycock and the only reason this idea might be entertained is because some Horn Africans like other sub-saharan Africans are desperately trying to link themselves to the ancient Egyptians.

The whole "foreign admixture" thing is a cop-out to hide behing the fact that there isn't a scrap of evidence to prove that the ancient Egyptian were more like sub-saharans. Anyone can look for the blackest Egyptians they can find, the few mixed with the Nubian blacks, and pretend like this is what the ancient Egyptians looked like. That has no bearing at all on reality.... either way it's still called denying and stealing THEIR history.

Wrong, the Egyptians' history is the Egyptians' history (it is also mankind's history, so Aztec history is also a Thai's history, and Roman history is Indian history). The idea isn't to link, it's to tell the truth. Nobody said that Egyptians were more like sub-Saharans in the sense of very black skin, kinky hair, and pronounced prognathism (though there were significant nilotic elements in the population, as well as some Semites living in the delta - Egypt was multiracial), but they were not Arabs or Berbers. Their paintings of themselves make that quite clear. The Bejas (i.e. the Ababda in Egypt) are supposed to be the closest to what the ancient Egyptians looked like, and they look just like any other horn people. This does not mean that Horn Africans are Egyptians or vice versa, but rather simply to clarify their appearance.
Yom 07:58, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

To the anonymous commentator, no Horn Africans are "desperately trying to link themselves to the ancient Egyptians." They ARE linked to ancient (and modern) Egyptians by language (Afro-Asiatic languages) and genetics (Haplogroup_E3b_(Y-DNA)). Oh, and cranofacially: C. Loring Brace in this paper[2] (PDF) shows that his Somali sample is closer to his generalized Egyptian sample than even the Naqada Bronze Age sample. The Egyptians are Egyptians, but they're still closely related to other Africans. 13:16, 29 April 2006 (UTC)


Yom: even in the days of Ancient Egypt the populations of Upper and Lower Egypt were rather different in appearance, and while I have no doubt that there has been significant immigration into the northern Egypt through the ages, what is there to suggest the same hasn't been the case with southern Egypt? This rich region may as well have had significant population inflows from the regions further south.

In any case, Egypt was united well before its civilization came to a full bloom: as I - and, I hope, most other reasonable people - have always maintained, it was a mixed race civilization from its dawn and to a large extent remains such to this day. Modern Egyptians may speak Arabic, but they're not for the most part the descendants of the Arab nomads that conquered them over a millenium ago, anyway. That admixture, as is usually the historic case, must have been minor. (Hungarians are much closer genetically to the surrounding Slavs than to the Magyar (Mongoloid) nomads that conquered them in the 8-9th centuries and gave them their language, and modern Turks are overwhelmingly descended from the indigenous, ancient populations of Asia Minor, even though they've adopted their language and many of their customs from the Turkic (again, Mongoloid) nomads that conquered the region in the Middle Ages). This article wouldn't start with the word "Controversy" if this were the case. Afro-Asiatic languages are spoken by people of different races, Brace's sample of Ancient Egyptians clearly indicates highly significant craniofacial and, by extention, genetic diversity in northeastern Africa (along with numerous other studies), and Egyptians may be Egyptians but they're closely related not just to Africans, but to their Semitic neighbors to the east. That's why it's a controversy. All this race-mixing and biracial cohabitation makes things oh, so difficult for racists of all colors :)

"Of course, race is a social and political construct"

This is one of the most controversial claims possible. To state it as though it were a fact is seriously POV.


I believe the only contreversy about the above mentioned statement is its straightforward manner ,Im simply asking what do we consider as white or black ,Im asking you the observer to use their own senses to make a simple judgement,I think one would get upset not because my statement is misguided or wrongheaded but because im showing my point POV in a common sense manner.When faced with obvious proof the biased minded person will always retreat injured sensibilities such as "your crude" or "my feelings were hurt",when in actuallity that feeling is truth smacking u in the face. Besides I never claimed it as fact I just asked u what u think.

This page is heavily Afrocentrist

Would someone please clean it up? There is nothing that suggests that the modern Egyptians aren't the direct descendants of the ancient ones. Furthermore, the Copts don't look Negroid at all.

-- 06:11, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

what the heck do you mean by afrocentrist? i wish people would stop throwing around words without knowing what they TRULY mean. the page is gettin close to a fair representation of facts. whether or not they support an afrocentrist opinion is irrelevant.

Something can be true and still support some afrocentrist opinion.

For the record, I am not an afrocentrist.


- CQuest

Yom: re the Fellahin

In the article on the Fellahin there are two images: a photograph of a clearly Negroid girl and a painting of three Caucasoid men.

Including only one of them in another article is clearly biased, POV. Fellahin means 'peasants', they come in all colors, apparently, and thus do not contribute anything to the resolving of the controversy over the race of Egyptians, ancient or modern.

Why do you insist on keeping them there? And if you do, we will have to include the painting of the three Fellahin men there as well, to avoid bias.

-Denv (sign your posts)

Even so, the quote by Encyclopedia Britannica is salient. You can note that "fellahin" doesn't mean in itself that the person is "negroid," but that a "negroid element" has been noted in the fellahin population (note the quotation doesn't say all are negroid, just that there's a "negroid element" present). The state it is in right now is incomplete, with the quote prefaced and cited, but nothing in between. I am going to revert back to the version after your Punt edit, but you can add the the notice about the meaning of fellahin and that it does not necessarily mean "negroid." Plsase don't revert the text again, though. Just add to it to clarify. Yom 16:39, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
The fact that there is a "Negroid element" in the Fellahin at present is no proof, in itself, that it was there in antiquity - after all, they could be the descendants of medieval settlers and slaves from further south. The same, of course, could be said of the "Caucasian element" in Egyptian peasants. That the remains appear more "Negroid" in PRE-Dynastic times (as mentioned in EB) would suggest Caucasian immigration and perhaps population displacement (or population mixing?) just before the founding of the Egyptian civilization: a position favoring the Eurocentric viewpoint, no doubt. I still don't see how the modern Fellahin (and their images) are relevant to the discussion of the race of Ancient Egyptians, considering that the Fellahin cannot be classified by their race at all. I will simply mention this in the article, then. Dennv.

Cranial Analysis edits Sforza's study was indeed limited in this way. However, Passarino was far more thorough in his research (all major Ethiopian ethnicities, plus Somalians), and it is to his studies that I'm referring. Therefore, the (valid) criticism of the limitations of Sforza's study is, first, completely irrelevant in light of Passarino's findings and second, it just clutters up the already all-too-large article. Also, do NOT delete the counterview point to the criticism of Brace's study. The article deals with a CONTROVERSY, it is not a tool to advance Afrocentric (or Eurocentric) views. Keep that in mind.

Problems with the new introduction

First paragraph: 1. No one "discovered" Ancient Egyptians: they have been known to their neighbors since the dawn of civilization. 2. "Everyone seems to enjoy" is not a phrase one should use in an encyclopedia article. 3. Speculating on the reasons certain scholars are involved in this discussion is just a step away from an argumentum ad hominem.

Second paragraph: The 'Eurocentrist' position (i.e. that Ancient Egypt was predominantly Caucasian) is still excluded, which makes the intro biased.

Third paragraph: "it is very clear that this is not a question that will have an answer to for some time" is pure speculation (i.e. POV, i.e. original research: how did you come to this conclusion?)


The racial identity of ancient Egyptians has been steeped in controversy ever since the discovery of their existence. Everyone seems to enjoy the mysterious nature of the Ancient Egyptians and for many different reasons, be it for prosperity or to clear historical inaccuracies, want to claim them as their own.

There are many different opinions on their racial makeup. One opinion among some scholars is that ancient Egypt was a multi-racial society. Another opinion held by other scholars is that that ancient Egyptians were black African peoples, claiming that this "black identity" was strongest in early Egyptian history and waned over time. They also assert Egypt remained essentially a black African civilization throughout the dynastic era. Then we also have many other historians reluctant to make definitive claims about the skin color of its inhabitants.

Although the mainstream position has changed over time,it is very clear that this is not a question that will have an answer to for some time.

keep a cool head

please don't call editors TROLL in edit summaries.

crazy as it sounds, there are actually some people that think the ancient egyptians were lily white. this viewpoint should be included (along with notations about how it is not very widespread)

Justforasecond 05:20, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

If it is a crazy idea, it should NOT be included just in the intrest of being fair to everyone wanting to claim the egyptians as their own. Why not also state they were green with big dome heads and came from mars too? We cant just include every crazy theory on them, especially one as damaging as that.

no scholar worth his name thinks that all the ancients were lily white...or that current egyptians are lily white, even tho liz taylor played one in a movie. it is a horrible, horrible utterly racist suggestion, and this site above all others needs to take the high road and not address such a notion seriously.

the poster who suggested this was, in my opinion, being a troll, editor or not, and I called him/her out on it. In the future Ill try not to post that in the edit summaries, but if the shoe fits...

- Cquest

The idea that modern Egyptians (who are predominantly Caucasian) are descendants of ancient Egyptians is, I would wager, currently the most widespread view of the problem among scholars: Egyptian Egyptologists, Hawass foremost among them, are particularly vehement about this. Claiming that initially Egyptians were black Africans, but were later replaced with Caucasian invaders is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary proof. This is why an article entitled "Controversy over race of ancient Egyptians" exists on Wikipedia..

Caucasian does not mean "lily white" - most Caucasians are quite "swarthy" in appearance, and range in color from brown (in India) to pale white (in Northern Europe).

- Dennv

when you say stupid things like the modern egyptians are predominatly caucasian, you cant be taken seriously. i dont understand why you people keep lettin this guy edit stuff when he is obviously an idiot. If he has a "right" to say that everyone is caucasian when they obviously arent, then I have a right to say that everyone is made up out of marshmellows and that ancient egypt is marshmellow land. it makes just as much sense as what Dennv is saying.

KKK members shouldnt have access to this site. at this point im sure Dennv is either a down right idiot or a racist...or perhaps both. there can be no other reason for his thoughts or actions. - Cquest

Stop fighting everyone. Settle your matters cooly and politely, and everything will go much more smoothly in the future. Cquest, please refrain from insulting Dennv. I don't agree with his comments and agree that he has made some ridiculous comments (i.e. that the view that Egyptians were predominantly black is extraordinary), he should be treated with respect, as he should treat you.
Yom 22:08, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
And how is that comment 'ridiculous', Yom? Large scale population displacement - especially in established agricultural communities - is a rarity, and we've discussed this already. The Europeans, even though they speak mostly Indo-European languages, are predominantly the descendants of the original post-Ice Age population of Europe, not of the Indo-European nomads who invaded and settled in Europe about 5 thousand years ago. Turks are not the descendants of Mongoloid Turkic invaders. Overwhelmingly, their ancestors were the indigenous population of Asia Minor. Etc., etc. If we apply the same reasoning to Egypt, it would follow that the modern Egyptians are descended primarily from the ancient Egyptians. Modern Egyptians, as you know perfectly well, are much closer to Middle Easterners and Southern Europeans genetically, than to Sub-Saharan Africans (even though there IS a strong sub-Saharan African element present, and was present to a greater degree in southern Egypt in Antiquity) What does it say about ancient Egyptians then? Will anyone care to PROVE that there was significant population displacement? Dennv
Nobody said anything about population displacement. I've considered that theory before, but I said nothing of that. I'm talking about mixing. I don't know if you know this, but if you mix a horn of African with basically anything else, you get that something else. A relatively small input of different genes into a population like that (which is what I think most Egyptians were, with also some semites & nilotic types), makes a huge difference in the way a population looks.
You know, Ethiopians are closer genetically to Saudi Arabians than Italians are to Swedes (and Saudi Arabians are supposed to be "white," right?), so the definitions for what Egyptians looked like based on these genetic findings (which anyway, are based on modern populations, and so not as pertinent), are not quite fitting. Anyway, this isn't a forum, but an encyclopedia, so let's work on the article, not discussing the issue.
BTW, wrt Europe, the evidence actually points to Europeans not being very related (w/ the exception of Basques) to ancient populations (pre-history). I'm not sure what the exact time period is, but I'll dig it up if you want.
Yom 23:08, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

what do you mean by "Caucasian" anyway? I thought Caucasian race was a term used by the US Census Bureau? What the heck does the US Census Bureau have to do with the Ancient Egyptians? If you want to discuss race, at least use the proper terminology. I would be interested in the mDNA and Y haploid types of mummies, not in how the US Census Bureau would deign to classify Amenophis. dab () 08:18, 16 May 2006 (UTC)


instead of edit-warring pathetically obvious spin to statements, how about giving a clean outline of actual genetic studies? On what grounds is the reference to the Kivisild study removed? I have no problem with assuming that the AEians were pitch black, but I don't like to be bullshitted into this belief, and much of the arguments propounded here are pure kookery. I tried to clean up the "Linguistic arguments" section at least, which seems to contain no valid point whatsoever. Ancient Egyptian is an Afro-Asiatic language. This is compatible with a purely black society, but it is just as compatible with a Berber/Arabic-coloured or a mixed society. Nothing more can be deduced, live with it, and don't try to abuse linguistics for silly racialism. dab () 08:12, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Afro-Asiatic is such a BROAD category that it is diffusionary. ESPECIALLY in the case of the Ancient Egyptians it is a non-sensical group. Why? Because the Egyptian language is the only branch of it's kind in the "Afro-Asiatic" language category. The "Afro-Asiatic" category was artifically created in order to put the Kemetic language within a broader (yet impossibly vague) context. Can someone name a precursor to the Egyptian language? Can someone name any derivitives of it? No. No let me clarify, can anyone name any ASIATIC precursors or any ASIATIC derivitives of it? No. But guess what, the only "other" group of languages that are related to the Kemetic are the AFRICAN "Nilo-Saharan" languages (also known as Kushitic). You see the Eurocentric scientists won't name "Indo-European" langauges a part of the "Euro-Asiatic family" (as they far more clearly come from a NON EUropean semetic/sanskritic origin). More Eurocentric BS gets artifically propped up, more reasons to clarify this article. Oh but no big fat surprise, the article is locked again... --Zaphnathpaaneah 16:55, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

I realize AE forms its own branch within AA. How is this "Eurocentric bullshit"? What are you even talking about? If you think the AA grouping is flawed, go and cite sources over at Afro-Asiatic, don't take it to some crackpot article in the backwaters of Wikipedia. AA is named AA because of Semitic; Proto-Semitic is usually assumed to have been spoken in Arabia, but even if it was spoken in the Horn of Africa, it spread to Arabia in the 3rd millennium at the latest. Beyond the superficial polemics about names, you seem to have no idea what you are talking about. dab () 17:03, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

It's eurocentric BS because you cant create a language family for the sole purpose of including ONE major group within it. Why isn't Celtic considered part of the "Indo-Asiatic" family? Why is sanskrit considered "INDO EUROPEAN???" when most of the Sanskrit derivitives are not European in their heritage? This is BIAS! I don't have an arguement about semetic, but EGYPTIAN IS NOT SEMETIC, it's a NON-SEMETIC language. The languages do not come from the same roots. Even here in Wikipedia, it's accepted that the origins of the Semetic languages originated totally differently from the Egyptian language.

Look at the article, it has "Afro-Asiatic" as a family (and note how Afro-Asiatic is a dual named hyphenated group, meaning it links two possibly unrelated groups). And notice how Egyptian is it's OWN root, without ANY derivitives or sub-groupings. The logical question is, of that "hyphenated" group, what derivitaves form the "Afro" portion, and what derivitves form the "Asiatic" section, and how does Egyptian fall into that??? Well guess what, it takes little time to delve further. You clued it in when you mentioned Semetic. Semetic is the ONLY non-Afro portion of the "Afro-Asiatic" family, all the others are in the "Afro" side. I don't even have an opinion about that, because I'm still stuck on how Egyptian (which is more likely a Nilo-Saharan root language) gets put into the Afro-Asiatic family. Ancient Egyptian (especially ARchaic Egyptian) does not have an Asiatic origin. And as far as this being crock-pot. You need to wake up, this issue is one of the forefront issues of the subject. And you not liking that it continues to be raised in discussion, that's too bad. I would be more convinced if the root language was the named language group. YOu don't have a "afro-Asiatic" root, because it doesn't exist. --Zaphnathpaaneah 17:40, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Everytime I make progress in clarifying the article.

You guys come in and vandalize the article in order to create an edit war to either lock the article or to get someone RFC'd. I know it, you know it, we all know it. The "vandalism" is nothing more than a propped up way to weaken the perception of legitimacy of the Afrocentric position. --Zaphnathpaaneah 16:52, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

I wish someone would take the trouble to describe a legitimate Afrocentrist position already. All "Afrocentrism" I have seen propounded on Wikipedia so far was pathetic drivel. I would be really grateful if someone could clean that out and show the actual merit in the 'movement' (or whatever it is), if any. Sadly, any -ism that has as its sole aim to push a preconceived notion is bound to be scientifically unsound. There may have been Eurocentric views in disconcertingly recent mainstream scholarship, but at least mainstream scholarship didn't baptize itself "Eurocentrism", and it benefitted from the scrapping of misconceptions. What is Afrocentrism minus its Afrocentrist misconceptions? Just mainstream scholarship all over again? dab () 17:08, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Yea well many have been made and you ignore them and come in here playing naive. That's how the anti-black position works. It works with the sarcasm and indignation that is characteristic of it nowadays. LEGITIMATE AFROCENTRIC POSITION: The Egyptian language is not based on an Asiatic root. LEGITIMATE AFROCENTRIC POSITION: Caucasoid shaped skulls do not determine the ethnic background of the Ancient Egyptians. LEGITIMATE AFROCENTRIC POSITION: The character and social structure of the Ancient Egyptian civilization was more similar to other Nilotic people (and much less like Semetics). LEGITIMATE AFROCENTRIC POSITION: Egyptian origins are southerly not northerly, they, archaeological findings, their writings, and other cultures attest to an earlier pre-dynastic origin further south, thereby taking the SEMETIC and ASIATIC theories out the window. LEGITIMATE AFROCENTRIC POSITION: 18th Dynasty royalty resemebled the typical black person without reservation. LEGITIMATE AFROCENTRIC POSITION: SInce race does not exist, discussing the physical appearance of Egyptians is not a racial debate, but one of human concepts of relating. Afrocentrists claim that the Egyptians are Black is not a matter of race therefore and speaks to the physical similarities (whether considered racial or not) to other BLACK PEOPLE. How many more LEGITIMATE AFROCENTRIC POSITIONS do you want me to post so you can pretend to ignore them? --Zaphnathpaaneah 17:46, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Help the contributors understand.

The Character of Ancient Egyptian society is what ultimately is the bottom line here.

I do not know why people resort to empathizing irrelevant items such as

  1. Craniometry
  2. DNA variations
  3. linguistic arguments

Here is why. Firstly, common sense. Everyone, especially Eurocentricists want to argue that modern day conceptions of race should not be applied to ancient Egyptians. Ok fine. So STOP doing it. Don't tell me that some "caucasoid" looking skull is an indicator of the background or race of the Ancient Egyptians. That's a MODERN conception of race. INterpreting "skull shapes" to determine a "caucasian/white, black/negroid, or mixed" background is POINTLESS. That is because the PEOPLE of Egypt varied.

Here is where the matter comes to a head. It is not normal for ANY group of people to be categorized by a "purity" standard. But only one group of people in the world are (well two if you count the Japanese). That is the "white". You cannot call everyone else west of China a "mixture" of white. Thats implying that everyone's ancestor was a Nordic blonde Norweigian type Caucasoid. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. People who are "not jet black" and who are in varying degrees in skin color, hair texture and facial morphology are not necessarily "ixed with Caucasoid/white proportionate to the similarity they have to an idealized pure white caucasoid"

Same thing for DNA. You can't theorize a "white/caucasoid" ancestor, because the original ancestors were not CAUCASOID! STOP STOP STOP trying to force the Egyptians, or anyone else in the "middle ground" to be the descendants of some fictional black/white ancestors. The Ancient Egyptians are simply a group of people whose features deviated (as everyone in the WORLD naturally would) from their original human ancestors. The original human ancestor (or at least the Egyptians ancestors) coming from Kenya/Uganda/Ethiopia looked UNQUESTIONABLY BLACK.

Now their DNA may have differed, but again, like features, thats NORMAL! That does not make them "less black"... no in fact, its contradictory to acknowledge that Black people are the most genetically diverse, yet try to "weed out" those diversities which differ from some Eurocentric perception of "pure black". In essence, I am arguing against the Eurocentric notion of some white scientist choosing among the diverse Black groups, choosing one and saying "you, negro from wherever, you're the blackest so you are the litmus standard, and all of the rest of you are varying degress less black than him." That's what "mainstream" historians have done. They chose some black guy (fictional or otherwise) from Uganda, or Cameroun, or Congo, and decided he is the quintessentional pure black and everyone else is just a variation.

It is THIS kind of underhanded "science" that is the CAUSE of the racial obsession that we are here discussing. Don't blame the Afrocentricists for being able to see through contradictions. Don't call us obsessed with race, or manipulative, or unable to be objective.

It's not objective to just take a group of people out of their context and character, which is cultural, social, and diverse, then say "oh they aren't black". They are, they are because they exhibit the characteristics that make black people black. They are diverse, and INCLUSIVE of the darkest, widest nosed, kinky headed members. Egyptian society (prior to the 19th dynasty) did not exhibit "anti-black" sentiments (neither physical, cultural, or demographic).

This "caucasoid" thing is silliness. The ethnographer, Coon, had categorized RWANDAN TUTSIS as Caucasoid. The term has lost its meaning and only is used to say in an underhanded way "not with any meaningful amounts of negroid heritage". BLACK people today have caucasoid skulls, that does not make 1/3 - 1/5th of the black race "caucasoid". It means simply that they have caucasoid skulls. They share nothing else in common with "white caucasoids".

And in additon, underhanded tactics of "exemption" also must stop. Don't tell me that every "non caucasoid negroid" skull found in Egyptian archaeology is automatically a "non-Egyptian foreigner" while every "caucasoid skull" in egypt must be native. That's so annoying to hear that kind of arguing.

When we talk about the Controversy over the race of the Ancient Egyptians, we are not talking about the controversy over the skull shapes of Ancient Egyptians. .

sheesh, you seem to be attacking 19th century windmills. I don't know why craniometry and cheesy philology are discussed here, I agree that that's completely irrelevant, unless we can show it was important to the history of the dispute (without being useful to answer the question of race itself). The question of genetic/racial/ethnic affiliation of the AEs is, however, still valid. It is not the same as asking after the "race" of the first human ancestor. Since the human latest universal ancestor predates later genetic separation, it is obviously pointless to discuss his "race" in contemporary terms. It is still valid to discuss the genetic makeup of Egyptians in 3500 BC. What was their mDNA makeup? Which modern population is most closely related to them? etc. There is no single "black race" in genetic terms. The major separations are L1, L2 and L3. L1 and L2 are "all black", while L3 includes some "blacks" as well as everybody else. You can maybe define "Caucasoid" as mDNA H/W/X or whatever. It is completely artificial to define a "black race" by lumping L1, L2 and some selected parts of L3. [note: I realize that the above is a simplified discussion]. dab () 17:43, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Then this article should be unlocked and refernces to black origins, black heritage, black anything should be included in Egyptian articles without reservation. The ethinic affiliation of the AE's are unquestionably Black. Even if you want to pretend that black people in ancient history couldn't mix and retain their distinctive character, you are still left with a heavily mixed (and when I say mixed, I mean balanced, not Italian, one drop looking mixed). It doesn't matter what their DNA make up is because the DNA makeup is classified TODAY by scientists TODAY based on today's.. no based on 19th century concepts of race. It's certainly valid to DISCUSS their DNA makeup, but it's INVALID to racially categorize them as "non-black" based on their DNA makeup. Its a contradiction to do so. You aruing this POINT is a clear indicator that you are trying to weasal around a way to prevent "black" being spoken in the same sentance as "Ancient Egyptian". I'm not playing the L1 L2 L3 game, because the rules are determined by people who have an ulterior motive. WHO decided that Black people are L1 and L2? WHo decided that L3 is for everyone else?

No, I am going to return the discussion to its point. The Ancient Egyptian character and physical characteristic is more similar to Black people than to Semites, Caucasoids, Whites, Asiatics, or Indo-Europeans. Point blank bottom line. Thats why they are a BLACK people. The modern populations that most closely resemble them are ETHIOPIANS, Sudanese, and parts of modern Uganda (Maasi for example).. black black black. And yes, im already familiar with the whole counter attempt. "East Africans aren't really black either" is one way of walking the line. Oh you cant deny that the AE's resemble modern East Africans more than any other group... but what do we do? Oh bling, presto-changeo... we magically take ALL of East Africa from Rwanda to Sudan out of it's OWN black character. That's why Coon decided that RWANDANS are "Caucasoid", thats why so many anthropologists today try to take all of East Africa, some even down to Mozambique and Zimbabwe, as an extreme Semetic branch. I know the game, i know the routine. It's REDICULOUS,and THAT is the trashy garbage that creates the controversy. --Zaphnathpaaneah 17:56, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

This article is locked against anonymous & new users solely because of an unproductive edit war that kept other contributors -- including you -- from working on this article. If the people responsible calm down & show that they are able to debate their opinioins rationally, then this protection will be removed. -- llywrch 03:14, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

That removing people and groups out of their character and finding arbitrary skull shapes and DNA lines as "legitimizing reasons"... THAT is the manipulative EUrocentric garbage that is what Afrocentrists fight against. That's what I'm arguing against now. You can't tell me that some DNA sequence that has nothing to do with a person's hair texture, skin color, facial feature or cultural character, you can't tell me that DNA sequence is going to make someone more or less black. It's stupid. Same thing with a skull shape. You don't see everyone with a "caucasoid" skull in Africa being redirected from their blackness. Only in the case with Rwanda where Britain with their 19th century racial concepts tried to pit the Hutu and the Tutsi (divide and conquer) stroking the racial insecurity of the Tutsi, telling them that they are slightly more superior and slightly more "white" because their skulls are slightly more caucasoid. That's part of what caused the outrage amongst hutu. Still BOTH ARE BLACK! Same thing with Black Americans, same thing with Fulani, Same thing with the ANCIENT EGYPTIANS! THere is variation in these large groups but they are UNDENIABLY BLACK! --Zaphnathpaaneah 18:02, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

1st example of a red herring in this article

"Today, one opinion among scholars is that ancient Egypt was a multi-racial society, consisting of Caucasoid, indigenous African (Negroid) and Asian (Mongoloid) peoples."

That is one FRINGE opinion among scholars not worthy of being put near the beginning of the article. MONGOLOID? Ok so somehow Chinese people (or whatever) came and settled in Egypt too. No. No linguistic, cultural, or ethnic links to Mongoloid societies. Saying Caucasoid isn't saying anything, since Caucasoid (as the neutral white contributors will attest) is not a racial term. Since you can have Black Caucasoids (and they not be desecendants of Indo-Europeans) thats useless. BUt I tip my hat off, you said "indigenous African" despite the fact I am convinced the writer probably wants "black" to not be included in that determination. That's what really is the issue here. Why are so many contributors so afraid of the word "black"? It's gonna getcha or something? Is it the idea of the glorious Ancient Egyptians having anything substantial in common with those pesky black people in America or Africa... is that so unsettling for you? That's really what this is about! --Zaphnathpaaneah 18:16, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

I don't think the mongoloid thing was supposed to be in there. I was going to remove it, but I forgot. — Yom 18:27, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

2nd misleading statement

"Yet other scholars claim that ancient Egyptians were predominantly Caucasoid, like the mostly Caucasoid modern Egyptians, according to some genetic studies.[1] [2] [3] [4]"

Firstly, it's underhanded to use DNA statistics on one side while ignoring it on the other. The FOURTH example points to Sub-Saharan as being the predominant contributor and it also says it clearly.

The fourth example was added by me to show Dennv that only some studies say that modern Egyptians are Caucasoid. — Yom 18:28, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Then the statement should show that show one way and some the other. Remember these are non-phenotype based DNA sequences. --Zaphnathpaaneah 18:49, 16 May 2006 (UTC)