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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-08 07:11pm
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Padawan Learner

Joined: 2010-11-01 02:28pm
Posts: 276
Broomstick wrote:
Did you even watch the videos you linked to? Keita specifically mentions domesticates such as goats coming from the Levant.


I meant precisely what I stated and what is consensus amongst mainstream scholars. There is no evidence of Demic Diffusion of farming into the Nile Valley from the Middle East:

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"Furthermore, the archaeology of northern Africa DOES NOT SUPPORT demic diffusion of farming from the Near East. The evidence presented by Wetterstrom indicates that early African farmers in the Fayum initially INCORPORATED Near Eastern domesticates INTO an INDIGENOUS foraging strategy, and only OVER TIME developed a dependence on horticulture. This is inconsistent with in-migrating farming settlers, who would have brought a more ABRUPT change in subsistence strategy. "The same archaeological pattern occurs west of Egypt, where domestic animals and, later, grains were GRADUALLY adopted after 8000 yr B.P. into the established pre-agricultural Capsian culture, present across the northern Sahara since 10,000 yr B.P. From this continuity, it has been argued that the pre-food-production Capsian peoples spoke languages ancestral to the Berber and/or Chadic branches of Afroasiatic, placing the proto-Afroasiatic period distinctly before 10,000 yr B.P."

Source: The Origins of Afroasiatic
Christopher Ehret, S. O. Y. Keita, Paul Newman;, and Peter Bellwood
Science 3 December 2004: Vol. 306. no. 5702, p. 1680


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It does not require an invasion of Levantine people in order for a cultural meme such as domestication of animals to spread to other groups. It doesn't make the Egyptians somehow less African to adopt a Levantine technology.


No one is denying that some domesticated livestock were incorporated into the Nile Valley. What you seem to be implying is that merely the incorporation of these animals is somehow evidence to place Middle Easterners into the Upper Nile Valley during Pre-Dynastic times. This is "reaching" at best and unfounded at worst. The same source that I presented earlier confirming the Upper Egyptian origins of Dynastic culture that you attempted to flip on me, clearly states Pre-Dynastic Lower Egypt through direct contact and trade with the Levant "filtered" ideas and goods further up the Nile Valley.

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Loan words are not always indicative of adoption of foreign technology or cultural memes.


Again no one is denying that those traits came from the Levant, what has been dismissed by Keita and other scholars are that the idea that the incorporation of these animals into the already in place foraging system was the result of mass settlement. The fact that these words did not stem from Near Eastern languages is simply evidence of the latter, not that cultural exchange did not occur.

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This is possible but you have not provided proof of it.


Check the source above from Christopher Ehret. Just like in the article that I posted earlier on this page he states that Egypt's foraging system was already in place and entered the Nile through migration from people in various areas (namely the ancient Sahara) further south.

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There might well have been an indigenous tradition of domesticating animals, that doesn't prove domestic goats did not come from the Levant rather than Africa.


Again no one is denying that Goat as well as other livestock did not filter into the Nile from the Levant. What I am arguing against are the implications made by you that this places Levantine people into the Upper Nile.

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Keita points out that there aren't plentiful human sites in the Nile Valley prior to Dynastic Egypt.


That is irrelevant to findings that he and just about every other anthropologist studying Egyptian remains have already made and have concluded about skeletal remains found in the region. As Mentuhotep has stated above Keita maintains that based on those skeletal remains the ancient Egyptians biologically resembled modern Horn African populations (which he states in the article that I posted on page one). If I'm not mistaking somewhere in either his literature or an email to a student he states that the ancient Egyptians would have been "Somali like" in appearance, based on their skeletal remains. In fact a French anthropologist actually made those comments in a study conducted in the early 90's:

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"Black populations of the Horn of Africa (Tigré and Somalia) fit well into Egyptian variations." (Froment, Alain, Origines du peuplement de l’Égypte ancienne: l’apport de l’anthropobiologie, Archéo-Nil 2 (Octobre 1992), 79-98)


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That's why other means of studying history, like language study and genetics, have been developed. You can't always rely on the skeletal evidence because it is often so scanty.


I agree that you MUST look at other lines of evidence before coming to a conclusion such as this. As you can see above however both genetic and linguistic evidence (as you note) are confirming a migration from the Horn, which only validate what we and Keita have been maintaining. Archaeological as well as linguistic evidence also points to Nilo-Saharan speakers from the Sahara combining with the Afro-Asiatic Horn Africans to create the heterogeneity that Keita stresses was the basis of Egypt's origin.

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North Africans are still Africans and they unquestionably contributed to Ancient Egypt. That doesn't mean they were in the majority numerically.


By North Africans do you mean the Maghreb? The Maghreb including parts of the Sahara and the Sahel which has already been noted as a major contributor to the original populating of the Nile. The article that I posted above by Christopher Ehret gives great examples of how these Nilo-Saharan speaking African populations contributed greatly to Egypt's origins. In fact I'll post a clip from Basil Davidson's documentary in which he further details the ancient Saharans:



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No one denying that the Egyptians are African, I think the dispute is the proportion of southern vs. northern and indigenous vs. foreign influences.


There in my opinion is no dispute for the issues that you listed. The vast majority of Egypt's early population was Upper Egyptian in origin and it is Upper Egypt where the Dynastic culture has been confirmed to have originated.

The Indigenous aspects of Egypt are overwhelming and are considered African in origin by most contemporary scholars:

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"What is truly unique about this state is the integration of rule over an extensive geographic region, in contrast to other contemporaneous Near Easter polities in Nubia, Mesopotamia, Palestine and the Levant. Present evidence suggests that the state which emerged by the First Dynasty had its roots in the Nagada culture of Upper Egypt, where grave types, pottery and artifacts demonstrate an evolution of form from the Predynastic to the First Dynasty, This cannot be demonstrated for the material culture of Lower Egypt, which was eventually displaced by that which originated in Upper Egypt. Hierarchical society with much social and economic differentiation, as symbolized in the Nagada II cemeteries of Upper Egypt, does not seem to have been present, then, in Lower Egypt, a fact which supports an Upper Egyptian origin for the unified state. Thus archaeological evidence cannot support earlier theories that the founders of Egyptian civilization were an invading Dynastic race from the east.."

"Egyptian contact in the 4th millennium B.C. with SW Asia is undeniable, but the effect of this contact on state formation is Egypt is less clear... The unified state which emerged in Egypt in the 3rd millenium B.C. however, was unlike the polities in Mesopotamia, the Levant, northern Syria, or Early Bronze Age Palestine- in sociopolitical organization, material culture, and belief system. There was undoubtedly heightened commercial contact with SW Asia in the 4th millennium B.C., but the Early Dynastic state which emerged in Egypt is unique and religious in character."(Bard, Kathryn A. 1994 The Egyptian Predynastic: A Review of the Evidence. Journal of Field Archaeology 21(3):265-288.)


I presented the above earlier on this page:

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"From Petrie onwards, it was regularly suggested that despite the evidence of Predynastic cultures, Egyptian civilization of the 1st Dynasty appeared suddenly and must therefore have been introduced by an invading foreign 'race'. Since the 1970s however, excavations at Abydos and Hierakonpolis have clearly demonstrated the indigenous, Upper Egyptian roots of early civilization in Egypt. (Ian Shaw ed. (2003) The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt By Ian Shaw. Oxford University Press, page 40-63)


I gave a link earlier that showed the similarities in ancient Egypt's religious beliefs and social customs and those of inner Africa.

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This is where the “afro-centric” argument starts to look extreme, with a denial that there were and always have been non-African influences at work on Egypt.


I really take offense to anyone attempting to label me an "afro-centric" as it tends to be associated with negative "racist" connotations. I see nothing "afro-centric" at all about asserting the African origins or ancient Egypt, which has for centuries been fought tooth and nail against by truly and overtly "racist" individuals for obvious social and political reasons. Below is what Keita noted about such labeling when it comes to this subject:

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"It is not a question of "African" "influence"; ancient Egypt was organically African. Studying early Egypt in its African context is not "Afrocentric," but simply correct"-Keita


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Well, sir, if it's indeed a recent finding it may be I was unaware of it. Please provide a cite for that, if you have not already done so (occasionally the thread gets ahead of my replies).


Check my source above or the one below:

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Gene Study Traces Cattle Herding in Africa, by Ben Harder, National Geographic News, April 11, 2002, retrieved April 7, 2008 from
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... attle.html

Brief excerpt:

"But new evidence, reported in the April 12 issue of the journal Science, suggests that Africans independently domesticated cattle.

Belgian geneticist Olivier Hanotte, who headed the new study, said the research "reconciles the two schools of thought" about how cattle domestication occurred in Africa.

"There were Near Eastern influences" on African herds, he said, "but they came after local domestication."

Since then, there has been considerable mixing of African and Asian breeds


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OK, let's take this one more time, just a bit slower. A bit of data like “non-Africans are more closely related to Egyptians than to all other Africans” does not negate another bit of data like “Egyptians are African” or even “Egyptians are more closely related to other Africans than to non-Africans”. Saying my cousin is more closely related to me than, oh, the current Emperor of Japan in no way negates that my sister is more closely related to me than my cousin.


Well what I got from your statement was that through the fact that all non African descend from Northeast Africans and for that reason resemble Northeast Africans in some biological aspects that it created some superficial relationship between the Egyptians (who are Northeast Africans) and non Africans. The only way in which I can think of off the top of my head in which non Africans are closer to Northeast Africans than other Africans are is crania morphology. Yet as you noted above relying on this practice alone is not enough to come to such a conclusion. Therefore I referred to an unpresented genetic study of Africans in which it refutes such a notion that Northeast Africans are closer to non Africans than other Africans.

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One would expect some gene flow from Egypt to the Middle East just given geography.


With gene flow from the Middle East or a foreign area in general comes a biological affinity towards the population from which it's coming from. So far I have come across no evidence that earlier Egyptian biological affinity lies with Middle Eastern populations. I have only come across empirical evidence that both Northern and Southern Egyptians were indigenous tropically adapted African populations.

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it makes sense that the genetics would reflect that, with Egyptians showing a closer relationship to non-Africans than any other Africans.


Not necessarily! Modern Upper Egyptians (such as the man in the video that I posted earlier) while they along with some Lower Nubian populations have absorbed somewhat substantial gene flow from the Near East and Europe over time are still primarily African genetically and group with other African populations before they do non Africans.

Northern Egyptians on the other hand have received the brunt of every European and Asian migration or invasion into the Nile Valley, and for this reason Keita and others find that out of the two they are the least likely to resemble their early Egyptian ancestors. They as you noted above do tend to group genetically and craniometrically with non African populations.

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Those other influences are part of what make them distinctly Egyptian.


How so? If Upper Egyptian culture from which Dynastic Egyptian culture came is confirmed to be "indigenous" (meaning locally African) then how would the "other influences" which you indicate as being "foreign" to Africa and Egypt make them "distinctly Egyptian"?

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The Ancient Egyptians themselves seemed pretty comfortable with all that, it's various modern people who seem to get their panties in a twist over it.


It's Nationalism no doubt! The same way that modern Greeks and Romans tend to view their ancient heritage as Greek and Roman rather than European as some others seem to get worked up over when they aren't included collectively.

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and proximity to Europe it would be odd if there wasn't some mixing going on, but you could just as easily argue that North Africa influenced southern Europe as much as vice versa.


Good point!

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Because you consistently deny the contributions of those who did not originate south of Egypt in making up what we know as Dynastic Egypt. Again, those other groups don't ever have to be a majority by numbers to have a significant impact.


The problem that I have with this assertion on your behalf is that you have presented no evidence biological evidence even suggesting that they were present in Pre-Dynastic Upper Egypt. You seem to base your belief that they were somehow in Upper Egypt on the presence of goats in the Nile Valley and nothing more than speculation beyond that. There is no cold hard evidence for your claim.

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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-08 07:18pm
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Joined: 2010-11-01 02:28pm
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Broomstick wrote:
Keita himself says in your videos that cranial information is NOT enough to base a conclusion on!


Yes he did state that, but you are attempting to all out dismiss the scientific practice and what the results of such studies indicate. This scientific practice of analyzing Egyptian crania has been conducted by Keita himself and countless other anthropologists on a periodic basis for the past two centuries and shows no sign of showing down. These findings yield that the ancient Egyptians group with, not surprisingly dark skinned inner African populations.

As far as me basing my premise entirely on crania analysis, well that is untrue. Also considering the fact that my opinion on the matter is a direct reflection of Keita's research on the topic, which is that the early ancient Egyptians were an indigenous Northeast African population, which he in turn bases on the same numerous lines of evidence that he runs through in his Cambridge lecture should sufficient enough to warrant my claims valid. A problem that I'm having with your interpretations of Keita is that you seem to be completely ignoring his very own summarizations of what the evidence that he reviews indicates. Here is what he summarizes in his article that I posted on page one:

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In summary, various kinds of data and the evolutionary approach indicate that the Nile Valley populations had greater ties with other African populations in the early ancient period. Early Nile Valley populations were primarily coextensive with indigenous African populations. Linguistic and archaeological data provide key supporting evidence for a primarily African origin.(S. O. Y and A.J. Boyce, "The Geographical Origins and Population Relationships of Early Ancient Egyptians", in Egypt in Africa, Theodore Celenko (ed), Indiana University Press, 1996, pp. 20-33)


In the brief National Geographic interview, where he gave a summary of what the evidence confirms he states that their is no evidence to suggest that the original ancient Egyptians were anything other than of "local origin".."Northeast African origin". That was is the man's very own summary of Egypt's origins.

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Those same crania share characteristics with Asiatic populations that no one claims are related to Africans!


That speaks more about the problems with the biological concept of "race" and less about the specific set of traits unique to Northeast Africans which the early ancient Egyptians have been empirically proven to have displayed.

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That only works if you look at art portraying MEN. In Egyptian art women are consistently portrayed in a different color:


You're right Old Kingdom and Middle Egyptian art does tend to show women as a yellowish color and the overall use of art work is highly subjective

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Skin color as depicted in Egyptian are is NOT considered a reliable indicator of actual skin color because of this sort of color coding......

Here is Egyptian art depicting people explicitly identified as Nubians. Note that they are MUCH darker than the depicted Egyptians:


There is conflict in these two statements. If on one hand the general dark reddish brown Egyptian skin color displayed in their murals and sculptures is not seen as "a reliable indicator of actual skin color" for the noted reason, then why note that some Nubians are displayed as much darker than the general Egyptian skin tone based on art?

I see it like this, Egyptian art can be used as "suspect evidence", but must be taken lightly for the reasons that you noted. Now if were to ask the question based on this suspect data which populations near Egypt tend to have dark reddish brown skin as displayed in their artwork? Then I'd have to point to these Africans whom they coincidently cluster with biologically:

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Bakery workers

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Image :lol:

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So, despite some real biological similarities which no one here is denying the Ancient Egyptians themselves perceived a difference between themselves and their southern neighbors and had no difficulty depicting them as darker than themselves.


You are under the impression that the term Nubian referred to only one particular population. The term in reality was a general reference by the Egyptians to all populations south of Egypt, rather they be the Beja, Dinka, Ethiopians ect! Some Nubians like the Dinka of Sudan are pitch black:

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None the less the pitch black Dinka were not the only type of Nubians as evident by the very murral that you posted earlier:

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Notice in the murral below of Ramses slaughtering the Nubians, some are painted as the jet black just like the Sudanese Dinka while others are painted in the same reddish brown skintone as the Ramses himself:

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Except that “ecological principle” is not a hard and fast correlation. Equatorial South Americans are not nearly as dark as equatorial Africans.


You seem to be ignoring the fact that those Indians do not cluster near the ancient Egyptians, the African Pygmies, African Americans, or Australians because they are not as tropically adapted as those populations who are considered "black" by most standards of the social term.

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Africans natives to equatorial rain forests are often not as dark skinned as those in more arid territories, possibly due to the shade provided by such forests.


I mean honestly I find this a rather tit for tat argument. Regardless of skin tone variation "dark skin" is the general phenotype in tropical Africa. The dark skin regardless of if it's Dinka black Nigerian brown or even San light brown is from a social Western viewpoint unhesitantly and collectively seen as "black".

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As noted, the Dravidian populations of India are more closely related to Europeans based on genetics even thought they have “tropical proportions” and dark skin.


That is beside the point. Tropical limb proportions which are acquired through ancestry from which had long term residence in the tropics AROUND THE WORLD bring about dark skin which is ecological principal. The more tropically adapted the body plans the darker your skin tone is. You have been presented with both evidence that the ancient Egyptians were tropically adapted just like black skinned tropical African and Australian populations as well as melanin dosage studies which further confirm that they had melanin content just like tropical African populations. The fact is unavoidable that they simply had dark skin like the tropical Africans to the south of them.

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Working backward – you're arguing that a group of Nubians who came in and took over by force of arms weren't “conquerors” (which is a bizarre way to look at it, but whatever) and that this is somehow different than all other groups who went into Egypt and took over because.... they're Nubians?


It would help if you actually read up on the 25th Dynasty and why they are one of the more notable ones. Egypt was in dismay at around this time (the third intermediate period). They saw themselves as rest orators rather than conquerors. They were different from other foreign occupations because they did not suppress Egyptian culture; rather they initiated a renaissance of it if you will.

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And you prove this by linking to videos that, half the time, say the opposite of what you claim they do?


What videos have I posted that dispute the fact that Dynastic culture originated in Upper Egypt and spread across the entire kingdom?

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Read it without bolding and what you get is that while Lower Egypt might not have been united it still made significant contributions to Egyptian culture, politics, and institutions, and goods and ideas were filtering into Egypt even before written history/dynastic times even if they weren't the greatest influence on Ancient Egypt.


Who is denying that Lower Egypt contributed to ancient Egypt? I find that in this debate a lot of times some people who concede to the reality that Upper Egypt was dark skinned or "black" tend to cling to Lower Egypt as some beacon of hope that this population was somehow admixed or less "tropical" in appearance. Then when it's revealed to them that the darker south was the home of Dynastic culture which was spread to and adopted by the North, allot of emotional view points that have not been made by myself tend to be attributed to my argument.

I am not denying that Lower Egypt contributed to early Egyptian culture, or that some cultural traits in the North were adopted from the Levant. Nor am I naive enough to suggest that there was no possible way Levantines were present in Lower Egypt. There has been no evidence presented however that Levantines were present in Upper Egypt during Pre-Dynastic times and if so then please educate me.

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In other words, Ancient Egypt was mostly African with a good dash of stuff from elsewhere. Just like most of us here have been saying.


I find nothing at all wrong with this statement.

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Yes, let's just completely ignore than divine kingship/king as head ritualist is found in Sumer, Babylon, and various other cultures that aren't African.


You seem to be attributing those statements to me when it was actually the Oxford Encyclopedia that found that this was a trait that Egypt had with inner Africa. As far as Babylon, Sumer, and Africa are concerned do you not consider a possibly that there could be a distinct difference between the devine kingship of inner Africa and the various regions of the world and that maybe Egypt shared that particular distinctiveness with other Africans? Or do you not find the fact that numerous scholars have noted the distinction between Egypt's social and religious society and those of the Near East as noted in one of my sources above, while the cultural and religious ties with inner Africa are noted below:

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Encyclopedia Britannica 1984 ed. Macropedia Article, Vol 6: "Egyptian Religion" , pg 506-508
"A large number of gods go back to prehistoric times. The images of a cow and star goddess (Hathor), the falcon (Horus), and the human-shaped figures of the fertility god (Min) can be traced back to that period. Some rites, such as the "running of the Apil-bull," the "hoeing of the ground," and other fertility and hunting rites (e.g., the hippopotamus hunt) presumably date from early times.. Connections with the religions in southwest Asia cannot be traced with certainty."
"It is doubtful whether Osiris can be regarded as equal to Tammuz or Adonis, or whether Hathor is related to the "Great Mother." There are closer relations with northeast African religions. The numerous animal cults (especially bovine cults and panther gods) and details of ritual dresses (animal tails, masks, grass aprons, etc) probably are of African origin. The kinship in particular shows some African elements, such as the king as the head ritualist (i.e., medicine man), the limitations and renewal of the reign (jubilees, regicide), and the position of the king's mother (a matriarchal element). Some of them can be found among the Ethiopians in Napata and Meroe, others among the Prenilotic tribes (Shilluk)."
(Encyclopedia Britannica 1984 ed. Macropedia Article, Vol 6: "Egyptian Religion" , pg 506-508)


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Please provide examples.


Check the passage right above.

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One more time – NO ONE is disputing that Ancient Egypt is African, but it is distinguished from other African groups to a large degree because of non-African influences that were incorporated into the culture.


NO ONE denies that Egypt adopted cultural traits and ideas from foreign lands that they conquered or from migrating populations into Egypt. These things happened and became more and more incorporated as time went on.

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Again, the Keita video you cited cautions against concluding that because there are arrows on a map that these other languages are descendants rather than sister languages. Again, did you even watch those videos?


So why don't you tell me what would them being sisters imply about Egypt's origins? What would it change according to what you already know?

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He also states that others have come to a different conclusion while looking at the same facts. Again, did you pay attention to the man you cited in support of your argument?


OK quite simply the probable origin for E is East Africa. Keita does not even leave it up to debate he has stated unhesitantly that it originated in East Africa. A 2011 study on top of several other recent studies just further confirm that this is fact.

Also I don't think that you should question why interpretations of Keita just yet. Remember you did admit that you labeled the man an "Afrocentric" without even reviewing his work. Now you have found some common ground with some statements that he made and he's "alright" to you now. I would just advise you now to read a bit digger into his work and see his summarizations of this research.

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But, oddly enough, you don't see pyramids and hieroglyphics in that alleged homeland. They only arise after these people wind up in the Nile Valley and after the Valley kingdoms are united and, apparently, with a steady trickle of outside influences dribbling over the whole culture.


That's the thing! You are over attributing the "trickle" of outside influence (which is goats as far as you've proven) to somehow separate it from the rest of Africa. You have no warrant to discredit the consensus amongst scholars who label the cultures foundation "indigenous" or "African". That seems to me to be your overall motive in this debate, which has been frowned upon by what is now also YOUR main source of evidence Keita

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The origins of Ancient Egypt are IN EGYPT – the people might have migrated in from elsewhere but they built their distinctive culture along the Nile, not in the Horn of Africa.


I mean sure you can you that, but it doesn't obscure the fact that the "distinctive culture" was the result migrating Africans from the Horn and the Sahara. There settlement on the Nile and the combining of their culture along with the "trickling" of goats from the Levant is the reason why Egypt came to be!

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Maybe because the Egyptians themselves seemed so damned sure of it.


I am talking in terms of biological affinity not ethno-nationality.

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Except that even from the First Dynasty not everyone in Egypt came from the south. You continually discount the existence of the northern Egyptians who, no, were not quite the same as the Nubians and had been there a considerable length of time.


That is a non sequitor. You knew that I was referring to ethnic Upper Egyptians not the Lower Egyptians who migrated to the region after unification. See Keita's 2008 study below:

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The above is confirming that the Upper Egyptians and Nubians were essentially the same population biologically. Goode 2009 even further confirms the overlapping genetic relationship with the two adjacent populations.

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Let me show you some “tropical Africans”: As I said, both these people come from tropical Africa. They also have distinct differences in skin color, that is, one is “pale” relative to the other. “Pale” is a relative term, not an absolute one. Do you understand this concept now?


Who are you kidding dude referring to any of the two tropically adapted African populations as "pale" or one being "paler" than the other is deceptive and you it. Why would anyone use the word "pale" to describe the relation of populations whom you previously referred to as "dark skinned". Regardless of if it's a relative term in my opinion it would be dishonest to ascribe it to a tropically adapted population.

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Squint. Seriously, learn to squint. Learn to make the image go to full screen. It's bad enough your videos support your position poorly, a statement like that makes it clear you did NOT pay attention to what was going on in your cite.


No it appears that you just wanted to interpret what you wanted to interpret from the lecture. Never once did I hear Keita state that a migration from "North Africa" into the Nile took place. What I did hear and what you probably actually seen was migration from the ancient Sahara and into the Nile Valley. You’re equating North Africa at that time as somehow being a "paler" gradient of tropically adapted Africans is pretty futile when you actually study the findings that have been made in the ancient Sahara. For example if you read up a little more than you would be aware of the fact that the earliest form of mummification came from the ancient Sahara in Libya. The mummy in question is Uan Muhuggiag discovered in the 1950's by Italian archaeologists who nick named it the "black mummy" for obvious reasons. The Africans of the ancient Sahara/North Africa had biological affinities no different than those in Sub Saharan Africa as Keita and other anthropologists and even their ancient artwork notes:

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"Analysis of crania is the traditional approach to assessing ancient population origins, relationships, and diversity. In studies based on anatomical traits and measurements of crania, similarities have been found between Nile Valley crania from 30,000, 20,000 and 12,000 years ago and various African remains from more recent times (see Thoma 1984; Brauer and Rimbach 1990; Angel and Kelley 1986; Keita 1993). Studies of crania from southern predynastic Egypt, from the formative period (4000-3100 B.C.), show them usually to be more similar to the crania of ancient Nubians, Kushites, Saharans, or modern groups from the Horn of Africa than to those of dynastic northern Egyptians or ancient or modern southern Europeans."
(S. O. Y and A.J. Boyce, "The Geographical Origins and Population Relationships of Early Ancient Egyptians", in Egypt in Africa, Theodore Celenko (ed), Indiana University Press, 1996, pp. 20-33)


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As noted above, even among tropical populations of indisputably sub-Saharan African origin there is a significant range of skin color. People of “tropical limb proportions” could tend toward either end of that spectrum.


True Sub Saharan Africa has the highest level of skin variation on the planet. If you were asked can you point out which Sub Saharan Africans would not be considered "black" in a social context because of their skin variation?

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“Ecological principal” is not the same thing as a law of physics - “tropical propotions” does not automatically indicate a specific skin shade. As demonstrated by the above photos.


Broomstick you seem to just be trying to side step the fact that they were a Dark skinned African population. I don't think that anyone is arguing that there is some
uniform" color for "super tropically adapted" people around the world or that they were as dark as the pitch black Dinka of Sudan, but rather that they were generally the same dark reddish brown complexion as some Northeast African populations like the one's that I've shown above. Now if from that you want to use misleading "relative" terms to describe them then go right ahead, but with or without the relative term they were still dark skinned Africans:

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"The raw values in Table 6 suggest that Egyptians had the “super-Negroid” body plan described by Robins (1983).. This pattern is supported by Figure 7 (a plot of population mean femoral and tibial lengths; data from Ruff, 1994), which indicates that the Egyptians generally have tropical body plans. Of the Egyptian samples, only the Badarian and Early Dynastic period populations have shorter tibiae than predicted from femoral length. Despite these differences, all samples lie relatively clustered together as compared to the other populations." (Zakrzewski, S.R. (2003). "Variation in ancient Egyptian stature and body proportions". American Journal of Physical Anthropology 121 (3): 219-229.


Not to advocate the use of that obsolete term, but just to show you the biological relationship that they had with dark skinned Africans and what they CLEARLY implies about their general skin color based on ecological principal....That it was dark...They were dark skinned Africans regardless of skin variation.

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I don't know if a genetic analysis has been performed on a sample of Ramses the Great or not. It would no doubt yield interesting data.


It sure would.

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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-08 07:23pm
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Serafina wrote:
BigTriece, you still have to answer my question:
Explain your usage of the terms "origin".


By origins I simply mean what events lead to the created of the civilization.

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Show how they are more important than cultural influences from other parts of the world, if they differ from them.


I explained that earlier to another poster! If you don't have an origin than you don't have a civilization. Without a civilization then there is no legacy to passed on to others. Does it really get more complexed than that?

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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-08 11:01pm
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Joined: 2011-03-07 02:19pm
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Spoonist wrote:
@Simon_Jester
I think PharaohMentuhotep got backlinked from youtube since I think its the same guy who uploaded the vids linked by the OP. So he's probably unrelated to any other stuff.


I will be straightforward and admit that I was invited here to participate in the discussion.

I hope this will not be seen as an invasion of the forum. I'm only here to have a reasonable discussion not to engage in any flame wars or childish tit for tats. We can disagree without being hostile to one another.



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@PharaohMentuhotep (& Big Triece)
Check out the board rules. It's the proper thing to do when you are a newbie.


Will do.


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Keita's mail is completely out of context. We can't see the preamble of the discussion. We can't see what question you posed to get the response. To an outsider not party to the other mail correspondance it doesn't provide any objective information at all. Etc. Instead he is talking about a subjective way of treating evidence, which is by itself suspect. For you to bring that in as "evidence" only shows that you tried to brag about a percieved connection to Keita beyond uploading his stuff to your youtube channel.


I understand that it may have been more helpful to provide some insight on exactly what I was discussing with Keita however I think the snippet fulfilled the point.

Just to clarify we were talking about Ancient Egyptian statuary. In a video of a lecture Keita said that the Ancient Egyptian statues were "Somali-like" in morphology. I asked him what this was based on and that was his response.



The point of the email screenshot was to clarify which ethnic groups Keita says his research indicates the Ancient Egyptians looked like since there seems to be disagreement and confusion over how to interpret his statements in published studies.

Some if not many Ancient Egyptians did indeed look like Nilotic peoples including the Nubians which has been confirmed via craniofacial analysis.

In terms of skin color they were as dark as the populations Keita listed which is evident by histological analysis of the skin.


[/quote]No need to be civil as long as you back up your claims. Reasonable however is appreciated.[/quote]

I think being civil is important because inflammatory comments lead to unnecessary fights which seems to have caused some frustration for moderators on this board before. So I will try to be as civil as possible. Being civil doesn't mean I will not tell people where I strongly disagree with them but I do not wish to get into a flame war. They are not productive.

Edi wrote:
Simon, thank you for a concise summary. Couldn't have put it better myself.

Big Triece, PharaohMentuhotep, my apologies to you. My behavior has not been too stellar with regard to you, for the reasons Simon posted. In this case it reflects worse on me. I have had words over this topic with other forum staff and since Lagmonster has indicated he will keep an eye on this topic, I will defer to his judgment in matters of any possible moderatorial actions toward any party.



I appreciate the sentiment and hope that we can have a civil and productive discussion.

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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-09 02:15am
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Big Triece wrote:
Broomstick wrote:
Did you even watch the videos you linked to? Keita specifically mentions domesticates such as goats coming from the Levant.

I meant precisely what I stated and what is consensus amongst mainstream scholars. There is no evidence of Demic Diffusion of farming into the Nile Valley from the Middle East:

Why are you even bring up demic diffision? Who here is saying there was an influx of people from the Middle East? I certainly haven't, in fact, I keep saying the exact opposite – adoption of foreign things (goats, whatever) does NOT require immigration of foreigners. Are you even reading my posts, or are you trying to make this more adversarial than necessary?

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It does not require an invasion of Levantine people in order for a cultural meme such as domestication of animals to spread to other groups. It doesn't make the Egyptians somehow less African to adopt a Levantine technology.

No one is denying that some domesticated livestock were incorporated into the Nile Valley.

Good, I'm glad we got that cleared up.

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What you seem to be implying is that merely the incorporation of these animals is somehow evidence to place Middle Easterners into the Upper Nile Valley during Pre-Dynastic times.

Nope – I've been very clear that it does NOT require a bunch of people from the Middle East for Ancient Egypt to incorporated foreign ideas, technologies, or anything else. There's no question that the Egyptians had a lot of native know-how and ingenuity in any area of endeavor you care to name.

The only one to discuss non-Africans going into Egypt to any degree was Thanas, and if I read his posts right he was emphasizing the trade and scholarly connections which at least as much to do with foreigners coming to Egypt to learn from the Egyptians then returning to their homes as anything else.

You are totally mis-reading my posts if you think I'm advocating some sort of “invasion” from outside Africa. I think some of the Lower Egyptians were paler than the Upper, but there's enough variation withing African to account for all of that. It does not require a Levantine migration of any sort.

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Loan words are not always indicative of adoption of foreign technology or cultural memes.

Again no one is denying that those traits came from the Levant, what has been dismissed by Keita and other scholars are that the idea that the incorporation of these animals into the already in place foraging system was the result of mass settlement. The fact that these words did not stem from Near Eastern languages is simply evidence of the latter, not that cultural exchange did not occur.

Again – I am NOT “advocating” what you think I am. WHERE did you get this idea? I've been very clear that while there may have been non-African influences on Egypt that does NOT require a population displacement.

Due to both human nature and sheer proximity there was undoubtedly some population exchange between Egypt and the Levant but it was minor at best as far as affecting the Egyptian genetics, and it would be just as accurate to describe it as an African influence on the Middle East, as it would have gone both ways (the Biblical Exodus, while not up to historical levels of proof, can be read as an African invasion of the Middle East given that the Israelites had been in Egypt quite some time and thus would have been Africanized, if they weren't wholly of African origin to begin with).

Trade, ideas, technologies, and agricultural products were what were exchanged more than people. Egypt benefited far more from this exchange from other African nations that had less access to the Middle East, and it's part of what made Egypt unique. That doesn't mean anyone is saying the Levant invaded, or even contributed a significant number of people at any time.

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There might well have been an indigenous tradition of domesticating animals, that doesn't prove domestic goats did not come from the Levant rather than Africa.

Again no one is denying that Goat as well as other livestock did not filter into the Nile from the Levant. What I am arguing against are the implications made by you that this places Levantine people into the Upper Nile.

I'm glad we finally agreed about the damn goats!

And NO – one more time, I am NOT saying a bunch of Levantines invaded Egypt. WHERE are you getting this from?

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That is irrelevant to findings that he and just about every other anthropologist studying Egyptian remains have already made and have concluded about skeletal remains found in the region. As Mentuhotep has stated above Keita maintains that based on those skeletal remains the ancient Egyptians biologically resembled modern Horn African populations (which he states in the article that I posted on page one). If I'm not mistaking somewhere in either his literature or an email to a student he states that the ancient Egyptians would have been "Somali like" in appearance, based on their skeletal remains.

In other words, they would have fallen somewhere among the various shades we currently see in that region, which vary from what I would call a medium dark to very dark. Or, more likely, Ancient Egypt would have had a range of skin colors, with people tending to be a bit lighter (but not what we would call “white”) in the north and a bit dark in the south. That's one of the reasons it's silly to say “What color were the Egyptians?” because they aren't and never were any one color.

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North Africans are still Africans and they unquestionably contributed to Ancient Egypt. That doesn't mean they were in the majority numerically.

By North Africans do you mean the Maghreb?

Yes. What else could I have possibly meant? Is there a different “north part of Africa” we're unaware of?

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The Maghreb including parts of the Sahara and the Sahel which has already been noted as a major contributor to the original populating of the Nile.

Yes. What I've been saying – there were other influences besides just Nubia at work here.

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No one denying that the Egyptians are African, I think the dispute is the proportion of southern vs. northern and indigenous vs. foreign influences.

There in my opinion is no dispute for the issues that you listed. The vast majority of Egypt's early population was Upper Egyptian in origin and it is Upper Egypt where the Dynastic culture has been confirmed to have originated.

So are you totally ignoring anyone who isn't Upper Egyptian or Nubian, or do you acknowledge that other influences are part of what made Egypt distinct from its neighbors?

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The Indigenous aspects of Egypt are overwhelming and are considered African in origin by most contemporary scholars:

Uh, yeah – is there anyone arguing that Egypt is somehow NOT “mostly African”? Seriously? I haven't seen one person in this thread make that statement, although I did reference that that erroneously information used to be, in the past the “accepted wisdom”. It was mentioned strictly to refuted it. Absolutely NO ONE in this thread is claiming that Egypt is a result of a foreign invasion. Why are you fixated on this? It's a non-issue.

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"From Petrie onwards, it was regularly suggested that despite the evidence of Predynastic cultures, Egyptian civilization of the 1st Dynasty appeared suddenly and must therefore have been introduced by an invading foreign 'race'. Since the 1970s however, excavations at Abydos and Hierakonpolis have clearly demonstrated the indigenous, Upper Egyptian roots of early civilization in Egypt. (Ian Shaw ed. (2003) The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt By Ian Shaw. Oxford University Press, page 40-63)

AS NOTED – this “invasion” bullshit USED to be the party line – NO ONE here has advocated it.

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This is where the “afro-centric” argument starts to look extreme, with a denial that there were and always have been non-African influences at work on Egypt.

I really take offense to anyone attempting to label me an "afro-centric" as it tends to be associated with negative "racist" connotations. I see nothing "afro-centric" at all about asserting the African origins or ancient Egypt, which has for centuries been fought tooth and nail against by truly and overtly "racist" individuals for obvious social and political reasons.

Nor is it a denial of African origins to point out that Nubia was not the sole influence on Ancient Egypt, and that the lighter skinned (that is, not so much “white” but relatively lighter) peoples of the Lower and Delta regions were just as African as their darker neighbors.

If that's NOT your position don't get your panties in a twist over it.

I'm pointing out that the stereotypical Afro-centristic denies the contribution of anyone that isn't sufficiently African enough (which is all too often code for “black enough”) and that's just as inaccurate as those in the past who refused to acknowledge that dark skinned people could form a civilization on their own. Egypt was neither a “white” empire nor a “black” one, it was an Egyptian empire. It is doubtful that the Ancient Egyptians would recognize modern racial divisions, they might even consider them silly or ridiculous. They stereotypical Afro-centrist doesn't want evidence, he wants support for a political viewpoint.

I don't think that's what you're saying, for what it's worth.

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Belgian geneticist Olivier Hanotte, who headed the new study, said the research "reconciles the two schools of thought" about how cattle domestication occurred in Africa.

"There were Near Eastern influences" on African herds, he said, "but they came after local domestication."

Since then, there has been considerable mixing of African and Asian breeds

Like I said, the trade went both ways. I'd love to throw that in the face of some people I know, whose heads would explode at the notion that the Middle East had any sort of influx from African. Only a racist would fail to acknowledge that there was and always has been some level of exchange between the Middle East and Africa. Hell, there's evidence of such even before H. sapiens arrived on the scene, all the way back to H. erectus. And, as I said, the exchange went both ways.

Again, that does not mean anyone is proposing some sort of Levantine invasion. “Exchange” does not require that. If anything, we have some evidence of the opposite occurring, people leaving Africa for the Middle East, but that's getting away from the main discussion of Egypt.

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OK, let's take this one more time, just a bit slower. A bit of data like “non-Africans are more closely related to Egyptians than to all other Africans” does not negate another bit of data like “Egyptians are African” or even “Egyptians are more closely related to other Africans than to non-Africans”. Saying my cousin is more closely related to me than, oh, the current Emperor of Japan in no way negates that my sister is more closely related to me than my cousin.

Well what I got from your statement was that through the fact that all non African descend from Northeast Africans and for that reason resemble Northeast Africans in some biological aspects that it created some superficial relationship between the Egyptians (who are Northeast Africans) and non Africans. The only way in which I can think of off the top of my head in which non Africans are closer to Northeast Africans than other Africans are is crania morphology. Yet as you noted above relying on this practice alone is not enough to come to such a conclusion. Therefore I referred to an unpresented genetic study of Africans in which it refutes such a notion that Northeast Africans are closer to non Africans than other Africans.

Look, anyone leaving Africa on foot had to go through the north east, and the Nile Delta region is a heck of a lot more hospitable than some of the alternative routes. Likewise, travel along the northern coast is easier that going through the Sahara. In other words, it's a lot easier to see the relatively pale northerners making it to the Middle East in significant numbers than, say, people from the Congo region. IF pale skin/hair evolved in the region north of the Sahara and IF those people found it easier to make the trek then it might well account for why most other people in the world are paler than sub-Saharan Africans (which notable exceptions, which probably had to do with settling in tropical climates and re-evolving dark skin). That doesn't mean no one dark skinned ever left Africa, I'm sure quite a few did, but they might not have been the majority. Granted, that's mostly speculation.

However, the genetic information gives us a bunch of different lineages in Africa, and fewer elsewhere. Where there is overlap, it seems to overlap “some people in north east or north Africa” with “everywhere else in the world”. That's based on Y chromosomes and mitochondria, not crania. Genes are a little harder to see with the naked eye than skull shape, and the technology to study them is much more recent. This makes sense when you look at the geography, too.

Of course, you have to be careful about making definitive statement because people do wander around, some of them a great deal. Sometimes you find a skeleton in the “wrong” place because of that. This is becoming much more common with modern transportation, but travel has always existed. There are also conditions like albinism and melaninsm that can throw off the casual observer. That's why this is all averages and statistics and number crunching.

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One would expect some gene flow from Egypt to the Middle East just given geography.

With gene flow from the Middle East or a foreign area in general comes a biological affinity towards the population from which it's coming from. So far I have come across no evidence that earlier Egyptian biological affinity lies with Middle Eastern populations. I have only come across empirical evidence that both Northern and Southern Egyptians were indigenous tropically adapted African populations.

Um... you quoted me talking about flow from Egypt to the Middle East and you somehow turned that completely around. Please tell me that was not deliberate. Are you reading what I'm saying, or what you want to hear? This is a classic example of how you are totally misreading what I say, to the point you quote me then misrepresent my position as the opposite of what I actually just said.

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it makes sense that the genetics would reflect that, with Egyptians showing a closer relationship to non-Africans than any other Africans.

Not necessarily! Modern Upper Egyptians (such as the man in the video that I posted earlier) while they along with some Lower Nubian populations have absorbed somewhat substantial gene flow from the Near East and Europe over time are still primarily African genetically and group with other African populations before they do non Africans.

One more time – just because there is more affinity between a particular African population and the non-African population in the rest of the world does not make that group any less African. It's NOT that the African group is somehow closer to everyone else, they certainly can be closer to Africans than non-Africans, it's that the non-Africans are closer to them.

And of all the African groups, all of which appear to be more closely related to each other than any of those Africans are to non-African groups, Egypt is the one that is slightly closer to non-Africans than any of the other Africans. Egypt is still closer to the rest of Africa than to, say, Australia but it remains that the connection from Africa to the rest of the world seems to run through Egypt. Perhaps I could have been clearer on that, I admit, but if you read what I've been saying you'll see my point.

Got that? Egyptians can be closer to other Africans than to anyone else. At the very same time, Europeans, Asians, etc. can be closer to Egyptians than any other Africans. This bit is not about the relationship of Egypt to other Africans, it's about how everyone else is related to Africans. And this is consistent with technological exchange, and with geographic trade and travel routes. The route into or out of Africa, aside from boats, was through Egypt.

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Northern Egyptians on the other hand have received the brunt of every European and Asian migration or invasion into the Nile Valley, and for this reason Keita and others find that out of the two they are the least likely to resemble their early Egyptian ancestors. They as you noted above do tend to group genetically and craniometrically with non African populations.

Which is why we have to be careful in discussing time periods, don't we? During the Egyptian Empire there were more instances of Egypt going into the Middle East than vice versa. There were some times when a Middle Eastern group did get a toehold, but never in sufficient numbers to displace the native population (if they had, it would be reflected in the mitochondrial and Y chromosome data. It's not). No doubt this was partly because the Nile River could support relatively large populations, and the native Egyptians would tend to vastly outnumber invaders. The later invasions were documented historically, in writing (albeit tending to be very biased depending on the writer) and were most significant from the Medieval period forward, well after the time we're discussing here.

However, even today's northern Egyptians still show “African” mitochondria and Y chromosomes. I put “African” in quotes because those same “African” traits are actually found at a low rate all over the world. That's because no one is “pure” and people have always traveled. Genes get around. It's all about statistical rates of occurrence. These traits may show up a little less often among today's northern Egyptians, but they show up more often than anywhere outside of African and still shows that northern Egypt is still predominantly of African descent. Yes, some outside genes have had an effect on the phenotypes. Back in the Egyptian Empire times you'd probably find a similar sort of thing in the Middle East, that is, an influx of genes from outside of that particular region and probably a significant contribution from Africa, primarily Egypt. You'd also find some from further into Africa, but at a lower rate, simply because it would be harder for people further away to make the journey, and more likely for those genes to take a couple generations to travel through intermediate cultures.

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Those other influences are part of what make them distinctly Egyptian.

How so? If Upper Egyptian culture from which Dynastic Egyptian culture came is confirmed to be "indigenous" (meaning locally African) then how would the "other influences" which you indicate as being "foreign" to Africa and Egypt make them "distinctly Egyptian"?

As an example - the Egyptians might have imported Levantine goats, but they developed their own breeds that were better suited to their needs and environment. Or, when the Egyptians adopted certain types of metal technology they didn't make metal items exactly like those from whom they got the techniques, they make objects in an Egyptian style. Egyptian adoption and assimilation of things from elsewhere set them apart from their other neighbors.

But mostly, by “other influences” I mean other than just the Upper Egypt/Nubian ones you so strongly favor. Again, a group doesn't have to been in the majority to have an impact. It is ludicrous to completely ignore than Lower Egypt contributed to the empire as well, even if they were not the numerical majority.

Again, as a recent example – Americans of recent African descent are only about 20% of the US population. So... 80% of Americans don't look like them, don't carry the typically African gene markers, don't share their African skeletal features, and so forth. Yet that 20% has had an enormous impact on US culture, from music to dance to food... not to mention being a factor in a civil war.

Biologically, that is, in genes and body type, the northern Egyptians were never a majority. No one is arguing they were. But culture and civilization is more than just genes. While we can present data that the north was not the major biological influence the data is more sketchy on what else they may or may not have contributed. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The only honest answer is “we don't know for sure”.

No doubt, given the significant difference between the climate and topography of Upper and Lower Egypt they did make different contributions. For sure, papyrus technology came from the Delta, because that's where the stuff is native to and grows best, and having paper/papyrus had a significant impact on Egyptian writing and record keeping. Don't forget, most of what we know comes from massive stone carvings and tomb items, which almost certainly trace back to Upper Egypt. But, due to higher rainfall and more arable land, the Lower and Delta regions might have had more agricultural impact. They might have had more effect in non-stone architecture (not everything was built of stone, of course). The major petroleum deposits are in the north eastern part of Egypt, and are the ancient source of things like bitumen, which was used for waterproofing everything from boats to (in some eras) mummies. Gold mining was originally alluvial, and also concentrated in the Eastern Desert. It was not until the New Kingdom that Nubian gold veins were tapped, so in the early period gold came not from the south/Upper Egypt but from the north and east. Sea salt would have had to come from the Delta, and it goes without saying salt was an important commodity in the ancient world. Sea-based trade would of necessity been based in the Delta. These are some of the ways in which the northerners could have significant impact on the civilization without being a numerical majority.

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and proximity to Europe it would be odd if there wasn't some mixing going on, but you could just as easily argue that North Africa influenced southern Europe as much as vice versa.

Good point!

Yes. Something I've been pointing out for several threads now – any exchange went both ways. Egypt was and always has been a crossroads. That is part of what makes it uniquely Egypt. It's not that the Kingdom of Kush (what we now call Nubia) wasn't a powerful and important nation in its day, but because it did not share certain traits with Egypt (among them easier trade with others, particularly in the Middle East) it was not as wealthy or influential. Geography matters. Between the Nile River and ease of access to the Middle East Egypt, not to mention the protective barriers of desert and mountain, Egypt was uniquely placed to be able to trade at will, but be very hard to invade and conquer. This gave it a stability not seen by any nation in the Middle East, and a culture of wide-ranging trade and exchange with people outside of Africa not shared with any African nation below the Sahara.

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Because you consistently deny the contributions of those who did not originate south of Egypt in making up what we know as Dynastic Egypt. Again, those other groups don't ever have to be a majority by numbers to have a significant impact.

The problem that I have with this assertion on your behalf is that you have presented no evidence biological evidence even suggesting that they were present in Pre-Dynastic Upper Egypt. You seem to base your belief that they were somehow in Upper Egypt on the presence of goats in the Nile Valley and nothing more than speculation beyond that. There is no cold hard evidence for your claim.

Biology isn't the only evidence used in history. Cultural impact also counts. For example – papyrus is a Delta product, not an Upper Egypt product, yet it was used in Upper Egypt as extensively as anywhere else. Egypt had trade all up and down the Nile, with products going from one end of the country to the other. Although Upper Egypt had some agriculture and irrigation works, simple climate and geography dictated that the north was always more productive agriculturally than the south, and no doubt contributed heavily to keep everyone fed. Likewise, the hard rock used in monumental architecture wasn't coming from the silty ground of the north, it had to come from more southerly regions. The biology of the people don't dictate these things, geography does.

And, once again, you are somehow conflating “northern Egyptian” with “non-African”. Why do you continue to do this? I haven't stated over and over that northern Egyptian are JUST as African as southern Egyptians. Is it that hard a concept? The goats might have been imported, by and large the people were not. Once the empire was united it does those people a disservice to view them as somehow “not Egyptian enough”. Lower Egyptians were as much a part of Egypt as Upper Egyptians.



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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-09 01:49pm
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Broomstick wrote:
Why are you even bring up demic diffision?


In the statement below you insinuated based on your interpretation of Keita's lecture that the concept and practices associated with herding the cattle came from the Middle East (which my sources proved came into Africa later, after the domestication of indigenous cattle):

Broomstick wrote:
I'll interject my own point here that the herding cultures of sub-Saharan Africa are unquestionably of "black" sub-Saharan stock even though the original domestication of cattle was not in Africa and the concept and practices has to be imported from elsewhere.

Page 1 post #10

Thus you were insinuating Demic Diffusion from the Near East into Africa. Therefore the intervention of Christopher Ehret's statements posted earlier by me were necessary to disprove the assertion made by you above.

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You are totally mis-reading my posts if you think I'm advocating some sort of “invasion” from outside Africa. I think some of the Lower Egyptians were paler than the Upper


As I stated in the post above referring to the variations seen in indigenous "super" tropically adapted populations (especially of those in Africa) which indicate "dark skin" is somewhat misleading. At the same time I think that it's worth noting that the basis of your assumption is simply not there as far as biological evidence is concerned. Early Northern Egyptians were found to be tropically adapted in limb proportions grouping with other Africans further south and "significantly different" from Middle Easterners of the same latitude suggesting "a lack of common ancestry" between the two:

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"..sample populations available from northern Egypt from before the 1st Dynasty (Merimda, Maadi and Wadi Digla) turn out to be significantly different from sample populations from early Palestine and Byblos, suggesting a lack of common ancestors over a long time. If there was a south-north cline variation along the Nile valley it did not, from this limited evidence, continue smoothly on into southern Palestine. The limb-length proportions of males from the Egyptian sites group them with Africans rather than with Europeans." (Barry Kemp, "Ancient Egypt Anatomy of a Civilisation. (2005) Routledge. p. 52-60)


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Trade, ideas, technologies, and agricultural products were what were exchanged more than people. Egypt benefited far more from this exchange from other African nations that had less access to the Middle East, and it's part of what made Egypt unique.


If you are speaking on behalf of Egypt's collective history then yes I agree wholly with what you just stated. On the other hand if you are speaking of the origins of Dynastic Egyptian culture then I would have to maintain that while some "minor" influences "trickled down" the Nile from the Levant it does not obscure the fact that the cultural foundation of Egypt was already in place with the mixing of Afro-Asiatic and Nilo-Saharan populations from the south:

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"the peoples of the steppes and grasslands to the immediate south of Egypt domesticated cattle, as early as 9000 to 8000 B.C. They included peoples from the Afroasiastic linguistic group and the second major African language family, Nilo-Saharan (Wendorf, Schild, Close 1984; Wendorf, et al. 1982). Thus the earliest domestic cattle may have come to Egypt from these southern neighbors, circa 6000 B.C., and not from the Middle East.[148] Pottery, another significant advance in material cultural may also have followed this pattern, initiatied "as early as 9000 B.C. by the Nilo-Saharans and Afrasians who lived to the south of Egypt. Soon thereafter, pots spread to Egyptian sites, almost 2,000 years before the first pottery was made in the Middle East."(Christopher Ehret, "Ancient Egyptian as an African Language, Egypt as an African Culture," in Egypt in Africa, Theodore Celenko (ed), Indiana University Press, 1996, pp. 25-27)


Keita also makes similar comments:

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The earliest southern predynastic culture, Badari, owes key
elements to post-desiccation Saharan and also perhaps "Nubian" immigration
(Hassan 1988). Biologically these people were essentially the same (see above
and discussion; Keita 1990).


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In other words, they would have fallen somewhere among the various shades we currently see in that region, which vary from what I would call a medium dark to very dark. Or, more likely, Ancient Egypt would have had a range of skin colors, with people tending to be a bit lighter (but not what we would call “white”) in the north and a bit dark in the south.


This is one of the main problems that I'm having with your entire argument! You seem to be fixated on attributing a "lighter" skin tone to ancient Northern Egyptians when you have absolutely no scientific basis to do so, it is MERELY an assumption that you and others are trying to run with.

Something interesting that someone brought up on another message board is when using "suspect evidence" like art work in particular mural paintings, there is no distinguishment in skin tone between Northern and Southern Egyptians. The art seems to display simply Egyptians with the same general dark reddish brown skin tone. Two pieces of evidence have shown early Northern Egyptians to have tropical limb proportions in the same cluster as other "dark skinned" super tropically adapted populations through that climate zone.

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That's one of the reasons it's silly to say “What color were the Egyptians?” because they aren't and never were any one color.


Regardless of indigenous skin tone variation throughout the continent the fact is the ancient Egyptians in general were dark skinned Africans. If by attributing "one color" you mean the social implications of the concept of race, then that is subjective according to the general criteria of a particular society (if they even have a criteria for such categorizations).

On the other hand if you are arguing that the variation of brown and black skin tone that was likely present in Egypt like the rest of Africa (not a "gradient") prevents the general population of early ancient Egypt from falling into such a social categorization then I will have to kindly disagree. Below is the social definition for what we in America consider "black" or "Negro":

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Negro-of, pertaining to, or characteristic of one of the traditional racial divisions of humankind, generally marked by brown to black skin pigmentation, dark eyes, and woolly or crisp hair and including especially the indigenous peoples of Africa south of the Sahara.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Negro


According to our own criteria and the biological affinities of the early ancient Egyptians they would fit into this category like all other Northeast Africans. As I stated earlier though such terms are social and vary from place to place, which is why Keita refuses to incorporate such terms in his own scientific research.

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Yes. What else could I have possibly meant? Is there a different “north part of Africa” we're unaware of.....

Yes. What I've been saying – there were other influences besides just Nubia at work here.


As my entire statement read, it has been noted by me, Mentuhotep and my evidence that Nilo Saharan speaking populations of the ancient Sahara was instrumental in the origins of ancient Egypt. The paragraph from Ehrets article posted on page two explains specifically some of the important contributions lended by Nilo-Saharan.

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There in my opinion is no dispute for the issues that you listed. The vast majority of Egypt's early population was Upper Egyptian in origin and it is Upper Egypt where the Dynastic culture has been confirmed to have originated.


So are you totally ignoring anyone who isn't Upper Egyptian or Nubian, or do you acknowledge that other influences are part of what made Egypt distinct from its neighbors?


No where in the above statement does it "ignore" the fact that Lower Egyptians contributed to Egyptian culture. Your response on the other hand seems to indicate that YOU have YOUR "panties in bunch" over the fact that world renown Dynastic Egyptian culture was an "indigenous" innovation of Upper Egyptians that took the place of the cultural systems of Lower Egypt. In response to me pointed this out to you you lash back with accusations that I'm somehow ignoring Lower Egyptian contributions to early Egyptian society, when I've indicated no such thing. Dude that is just a fact there is no longer an academic dispute over the origins of Dynastic culture as you are intending to make it out to be.

Quote:
Nor is it a denial of African origins to point out that Nubia was not the sole influence on Ancient Egypt, and that the lighter skinned (that is, not so much “white” but relatively lighter) peoples of the Lower and Delta regions were just as African as their darker neighbors.


Here you are again clinging to this baseless assertion of a skintone gradient in early ancient Egypt. This is the focal point of your entire response. Provide me with biological evidence that the super tropically adapted early Lower Egyptians were "lighter skinned" than their counterparts in the south.

Also who is denying the "Africanity" of the early Lower Egyptians? You seem to be insinuating that I am so if you would please be so kind as to direct me to the quote in which you believe that I am so that I can clarify.

Quote:
Egypt was neither a “white” empire nor a “black” one, it was an Egyptian empire.


Again if we are going by social concepts then the biological affinities point to early ancient Egypt as being a "black empire" (based on the definition given above). Martin Bernal the author of "Black Athena" gives a pretty analysis of the social implications:

Quote:
Were the Ancient Egyptians black? That is entirely up to you. But were they biologically African? It would seem that they were. After considering the full range of anatomical, linguistic, cultural, archeological and genetic evidence, Shomarka Keita feels confident in concluding that the original Egyptians by which he means the pre-dynastic people of Southern Egypt, who founded Egyptian civilization evolved entirely in Africa. Both culturally and biologically, he says, they were more related to other Africans than they were to non-Africans from Europe or Asia.

Through the years, Keita believes, the Egyptians appear to have blended with many immigrants and invaders, many of whom were lighter-skinned and more Caucasoid in appearance than the original Egyptians. Libyans, Persians, Syro-Palestinians, Assyrians, Greeks, and Romans all left their imprint on the faces of Egypt. But Egyptian civilization remained profoundly African to the very end.

Keita himself rarely resorts to such crudely racial expressions as black and white. But if we might be forgiven a momentary lapse into everyday speech, it would probably not hurt to conceive of Keita's theory as the polar opposite of the Hamitic Hypothesis. Whereas the Hamitic theorists saw Egypt as a nation of white people that was gradually infiltrated by blacks, the biological evidence seems to suggest that it was more like a black nation that was gradually infiltrated by whites.

Black Spark White Fire: Did African Explorers Civilize Ancient Europe? - Chapter 77. Black, White or Biologically African? Pg. 471


Quote:
Quote:
OK, let's take this one more time, just a bit slower. A bit of data like “non-Africans are more closely related to Egyptians than to all other Africans” does not negate another bit of data like “Egyptians are African” or even “Egyptians are more closely related to other Africans than to non-Africans”. Saying my cousin is more closely related to me than, oh, the current Emperor of Japan in no way negates that my sister is more closely related to me than my cousin.

Well what I got from your statement was that through the fact that all non African descend from Northeast Africans and for that reason resemble Northeast Africans in some biological aspects that it created some superficial relationship between the Egyptians (who are Northeast Africans) and non Africans. The only way in which I can think of off the top of my head in which non Africans are closer to Northeast Africans than other Africans are is crania morphology. Yet as you noted above relying on this practice alone is not enough to come to such a conclusion. Therefore I referred to an unpresented genetic study of Africans in which it refutes such a notion that Northeast Africans are closer to non Africans than other Africans.


Quote:
Look, anyone leaving Africa on foot had to go through the north east, and the Nile Delta region is a heck of a lot more hospitable than some of the alternative routes


Not necessarily:

Image

Th red sea crossing according to genetic migration tracking was the most likely exodus from Africa. Some scientists do however maintain that there were multiple dispersals out of Africa and that the Nile was one of them.

Quote:
Likewise, travel along the northern coast is easier that going through the Sahara. In other words, it's a lot easier to see the relatively pale northerners making it to the Middle East in significant numbers than, say, people from the Congo region.


Dude where are you getting "pale northerners" from in the OOA module? Provide evidence that these people making the Exodus first were "pale northerners" and secondly of your entire migration route/pattern within Africa.

Quote:
However, the genetic information gives us a bunch of different lineages in Africa, and fewer elsewhere. Where there is overlap, it seems to overlap “some people in north east or north Africa” with “everywhere else in the world”.


Yes you are correct.

Quote:
And of all the African groups, all of which appear to be more closely related to each other than any of those Africans are to non-African groups, Egypt is the one that is slightly closer to non-Africans than any of the other Africans.


This is actually incorrect. North Africans such as most Berber populations with the most admixtures from outside of Africa group the closest to non Africans than other Africans:

Image

As you can see above the study which sampled Southern Egyptians group them genetically with other Northeast African populations through their frequency of the shared Haplogroup E.

Quote:
Which is why we have to be careful in discussing time periods, don't we? During the Egyptian Empire there were more instances of Egypt going into the Middle East than vice versa. There were some times when a Middle Eastern group did get a toehold, but never in sufficient numbers to displace the native population (if they had, it would be reflected in the mitochondrial and Y chromosome data. It's not).


Actually while some modern Egyptians in the south group with other Northeast Africans (above), Egyptians as a whole particularly in Northern Egypt have a lot of admixture from Europe and Asia which is what Keita has noted several times:

Image

This study sampled Northern Egyptians and as you can clearly see geneflow from the outside of Africa has occured.

Quote:
However, even today's northern Egyptians still show “African” mitochondria and Y chromosomes.


Along with several other non African markers.

Quote:
they make objects in an Egyptian style. Egyptian adoption and assimilation of things from elsewhere set them apart from their other neighbors.


We are discussing the origins not what came later as the Egyptian empire expanded. As far as the origins of Egyptians Dynastic culture is concerned the fact that it is considered "indigenous" and "African" in origin does not warrant you to say that it was distinct from other African cultures. If it was indigenous then that simply means that it developed in locally in Africa as the result of African ideas.

Quote:
Biologically, that is, in genes and body type, the northern Egyptians were never a majority.


What genes and body type are you attributing the early Lower Egyptians?

Quote:
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The only honest answer is “we don't know for sure”.


I honestly see this statement as nothing more than wishful thinking on your part. There conclusive evidence that authorities have reined as "sufficient" enough to end the speculations around this topic:

Quote:
"There is now a sufficient body of evidence from modern studies of skeletal remains to indicate that the ancient Egyptians, especially southern Egyptians, exhibited physical characteristics that are within the range of variation for ancient and modern indigenous peoples of the Sahara and tropical Africa.. In general, the inhabitants of Upper Egypt and Nubia had the greatest biological affinity to people of the Sahara and more southerly areas." (Nancy C. Lovell, " Egyptians, physical anthropology of," in Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt, ed. Kathryn A. Bard and Steven Blake Shubert, ( London and New York: Routledge, 1999) pp 328-332)


By the way notice how the emphasis is placed on southern Egypt. This is due to the fact that this is where most early Egyptians originated and was the home of Egyptian culture.

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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-09 05:41pm
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@Big Triece

A question; What do you think of your view in regards to current SCA/IAE research. Do you think that you hold a minority view or a majority view? Could you also elaborate on a motivation for why you think it's the minority/majority view.


Another question; what is your assessment of differing interpretations than yours?

Let's do some googling, yupp here is some:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 843.d03t04

C. Loring Brace1, David P. Tracer2, Lucia Allen Yaroch1, John Robb1, Kari Brandt1, A. Russell Nelson1 wrote:
An assessment of “race” is as useless as it is impossible. Neither clines nor clusters alone suffice to deal with the biological nature of a widely distributed population. Both must be used. We conclude that the Egyptians have been in place since back in the Pleistocene and have been largely unaffected by either invasions or migrations. As others have noted, Egyptians are Egyptians, and they were so in the past as well.



http://wysinger.homestead.com/zakrzewski_2007.pdf

Sonia R. Zakrzewski wrote:
The results indicate overall population continuity over the Predynastic and early Dynastic, and high levels of genetic heterogeneity, thereby suggesting that state formation occurred as a mainly indigenous process. Nevertheless, significant differences were found in morphology between both geographically-pooled and cemetery-specific temporal groups, indicating that some migration occurred along the Egyptian Nile Valley over the periods studied.


I would also note that after googling its obvious that others who also have doen cranial studies come to quite different conclusions as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-09 06:40pm
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Everyone is aware that many of the diagrams used here, the evidence viz. melanin content, etc, was all posted and refuted in the older thread, yes? Nobody should be having to repeat the prior refutations; just look up my and Aly's posts in that thread, and that's that. There's essentially nothing new in these arguments at all, which makes the situation exquisitely suspicious.



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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-10 12:25am
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The other thing that's suspicious is that these characters are ONLY posting in this thread, nowhere else. That's not the usual way people behave on forums, unless they have some alternative agenda.



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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-10 01:41am
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Broomstick wrote:
The other thing that's suspicious is that these characters are ONLY posting in this thread, nowhere else. That's not the usual way people behave on forums, unless they have some alternative agenda.

I don't particularly like the way Big Triece also seems to be committing the appeal to motive at every turn whenever any evidence is inconvenient to his argument, which is leading me to again reassess him and his support. And not in a good way.



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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-10 08:51am
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Okay, please cut off the public speculation. If you have evidence of troll or sock puppet behaviour that you want taken seriously, PM a mod. The rest of it is simply off-topic and backseat modding and I can't have that. Either you can refute the points, can't refute the points, won't refute the points, can't find a goddamn point for all the bullshit, or have already refuted the points and are providing a link.



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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-10 03:27pm
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I know this question is for Big Triece but I'd like to address these questions as well...

Spoonist wrote:
@Big Triece

A question; What do you think of your view in regards to current SCA/IAE research. Do you think that you hold a minority view or a majority view? Could you also elaborate on a motivation for why you think it's the minority/majority view.


The Supreme Council of Antiquities and the International Association of Egyptologists as well as Egyptologists in general rarely speak on the Biological Affinities of the Ancient Egyptians and its relevance to matters of race and history so I don't believe there is a majority view or minority view to speak of on this matter. It isn't a widely discussed issue for them.

Dr. Zahi Hawass has given statements on the matter. Given his position as Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities his comments have been taken as being the mainstream view. He is opposed to Afrocentrism generally and has gone on record to state that the Ancient Egyptians were not Black. But from listening to his spoken statements on the matter it's clear to me that his views are rather outdated.

The reconstruction of King Tut especially relied on outdated concepts and dubious methodologies when coming to its classification and appearance.

Hawass tends to invoke the "True Negro" myth when speaking about the Ancient Egyptians not being "Black". That concept has been thoroughly discredited. He also states that while Egypt is in Africa Ancient Egypt was not an African civilization, by that he means it has no connections with the rest of the cultures in Africa. Scholars whose expertise is African history and its various cultures would dispute that claim as it has been strongly argued by them that Ancient Egyptian civilization has a Saharo-Nilotic base and that there is a significant connection between Ancient Egypt and other African cultures, especially more Southerly African cultures from which Ancient Egypt's foundational culture is believed to have descended from.

Spoonist wrote:
Another question; what is your assessment of differing interpretations than yours?

Let's do some googling, yupp here is some.....

C. Loring Brace1, David P. Tracer2, Lucia Allen Yaroch1, John Robb1, Kari Brandt1, A. Russell Nelson1 wrote:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 843.d03t04

An assessment of “race” is as useless as it is impossible. Neither clines nor clusters alone suffice to deal with the biological nature of a widely distributed population. Both must be used. We conclude that the Egyptians have been in place since back in the Pleistocene and have been largely unaffected by either invasions or migrations. As others have noted, Egyptians are Egyptians, and they were so in the past as well.


I see a lot of problems with Brace et al. (1993). For one thing what is their conclusion that the Ancient Egyptians were largely unaffected by invasion or migration based on? They do not explain this in their study. Secondly you are asking how Big Treice assesses this different interpretation from his own. If his view is that the Ancient Egyptians were indigenous Northeast Africans based on Keita's research then Brace et al. (1993) don't appear to be in disagreement
with Keita since they actually cite his work as being consistent with theirs:

The attempt to force the Egyptians into either a “black” or a “white” category
has no biological justification. Our data show not only that Egypt clearly had
biological ties to the north and to the south, but that it was intermediate between
populations to the east and the west, and that Egypt was basically Egyptian from
the Neolithic right on up to historic times. In this, our analysis simply reinforces
the findings of other recent studies (Adams, 1967,1977; Berry et al., 1967; Carlson
and Van Gerven, 1977, 1979; Greene, 1966; Keita, 1990; Van Gerven, 1982).
Although
it was cast in a somewhat patronizingly “sociobiologistic” fashion, this was
clearly the message of the English Egyptologist Sir E. A. Wallis Budge when he
noted that, although the “physical and mental characteristics of the original Egyptians
were modified temporarily as a result of intermarriage with their conquerors,
. . . no amount of alien blood has so far succeeded in destroying the fundamental
characteristics, both physical and mental, of the ‘dweller of the Nile mud,’ i.e. the
fellah, or tiller of the ground, who is today what he has ever been” (Budge, 1925: 11).



Source: Clines and Clusters versus “Race:” A test in Ancient Egypt and the case of a death on the Nile

http://wysinger.homestead.com/brace.pdf






However, Brace and his colleagues were very critical of the Afrocentrist position especially the work of Cheikh Anta Diop. Keita himself took issue with a lot of the claims in their study and had a few harsh words to say about their methodology and conclusions:



Brace et al. (1993) state that Diop’s writing (among others) is a
case of "inverted racism." (p. 2) They also state that his definition
of "Black" or African (by implication) includes only those with the
stereotyped caricatured West African(?) physiognomy described in
some literature as the "True Negro"; which is sometimes coterminous
with the "Forest Negro"; and sometimes not. The word "Negro"; in the
sense of denoting a type, a narrow set of traits is used to connote an
erroneous concept of the only real biological African, much as some used to believe that
the only real European (Caucasian) had the stereotyped "Nordic"; physiognomy, which would
greatly reduce the numbers of Europeans or Whites.

Of course there never was an entire population spatially or culturally defined,
whose individuals all conformed to some abstracted Nordic or East
Baltic type (well-defined single sets of traits). However, Negro, like
Nordic, should be understood as denoting one ensemble of traits or
anatomical trends in the numerous interconnected populations of
Saharo-tropical Africa, or just Africa. The "Negro"; physiognomy
has no privileged place in the pantheon of African human variation.
It does not define African (see Gabel, 1966; Hiernaux,1975). Brace
et al. have a monotypic a priori definition of biological Africans.



Source: The Misrepresentation of Diop's Views

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=MRPOSBGY




Spoonist wrote:
http://wysinger.homestead.com/zakrzewski_2007.pdf

Sonia R. Zakrzewski wrote:
The results indicate overall population continuity over the Predynastic and early Dynastic, and high levels of genetic heterogeneity, thereby suggesting that state formation occurred as a mainly indigenous process. Nevertheless, significant differences were found in morphology between both geographically-pooled and cemetery-specific temporal groups, indicating that some migration occurred along the Egyptian Nile Valley over the periods studied.


I would also note that after googling its obvious that others who also have doen cranial studies come to quite different conclusions as well.


This study doesn't contradict the position that the Ancient Egyptians were indigenous Northeast Africans. All it is saying is that there was population continuity within Ancient Egypt but that migration occurred along the Nile Valley, meaning that Egyptians themselves migrated back and fourth within their own territory. Heterogeneity in this case should not be taken to mean that the Ancient Egyptians exhibited phenotypes from different geographic populations but that there was morphological variation across Egyptian sites i.e. Northerners had a more distinct morphotype from Southerners but that this study found diversity across various sites.

Sonia Zakrzewski herself supports a lot of Keita's work particularly the fact that the Ancient Egyptians were indigenous to Africa and tropically adapted.

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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-10 03:33pm
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Spoonist wrote:
@Big TrieceDo you think that you hold a minority view or a majority view? Could you also elaborate on a motivation for why you think it's the minority/majority view.


View point in what respect? If you are coming from a scholarly perspective, then yes my "view" (stated earlier) is the concensus in academia. What I find ironic about this question that you're posing is that most (if not all) of you seem to be in agreement or either have nothing of scholarly equivalence to dispute the fact that ancient Egypt was an indigenous product of inner African origins. What seems to be in conflict are the implications of "inner Africa" being equated with "black", thus equating early ancient Egypt as "black". Is all of Africa "black"(?), NO. The collective evidence however points to Africans from "black Africa" and being "black Africans" laying the foundations of Egypt. This obviously strikes a nerve with a lot of people, for what reason (?) especially for those who live in America or the Westenize world in general who use or hear racial terminology on a daily basis? That's the question that the OP is asking.

Quote:
Another question; what is your assessment of differing interpretations than yours?


I analyze those different interpretations according to the legitimacy of their academic backing if there even is any.

Quote:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajpa.1330360603/abstract;jsessionid=53C840E83F0E93C6B0D17F2E087C8843.d03t04

C. Loring Brace1, David P. Tracer2, Lucia Allen Yaroch1, John Robb1, Kari Brandt1, A. Russell Nelson1 wrote:
An assessment of “race” is as useless as it is impossible. Neither clines nor clusters alone suffice to deal with the biological nature of a widely distributed population. Both must be used. We conclude that the Egyptians have been in place since back in the Pleistocene and have been largely unaffected by either invasions or migrations. As others have noted, Egyptians are Egyptians, and they were so in the past as well.


I am very familar with this study. Please tell me however what is the point that you wish to convey through Brace et al 93' "Clines and Clusters".

Quote:
http://wysinger.homestead.com/zakrzewski_2007.pdf

Sonia R. Zakrzewski wrote:
The results indicate overall population continuity over the Predynastic and early Dynastic, and high levels of genetic heterogeneity, thereby suggesting that state formation occurred as a mainly indigenous process. Nevertheless, significant differences were found in morphology between both geographically-pooled and cemetery-specific temporal groups, indicating that some migration occurred along the Egyptian Nile Valley over the periods studied.


Tell me what is the point that you wish to convey with Zakrzewski's 2007 study!

Quote:
I would also note that after googling its obvious that others who also have doen cranial studies come to quite different conclusions as well.


lol Well once you answer the questions above we'll see how well your interpretations of them hold up.

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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-10 03:46pm
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The Duchess of Zeon wrote:
Everyone is aware that many of the diagrams used here, the evidence viz. melanin content, etc, was all posted and refuted in the older thread, yes?


I was not aware that any of the studies posted were "refuted". Can you please link me to those other studies that found different Bio-Cultural affinities of these ancient Africans that supercede the ones that have been posted in this thread.

I also notice that some of you all seem to be trying to fight tooth and nail against the fact that the ancient Egyptians were dark skinned Africans. You have both limb proportions and melanin dosage testing that confirm them to be dark skinned in relation to other tropical African populations. Why is that fact such an issue?

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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-10 04:12pm
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Big Triece wrote:
I also notice that some of you all seem to be trying to fight tooth and nail against the fact that the ancient Egyptians were dark skinned Africans. You have both limb proportions and melanin dosage testing that confirm them to be dark skinned in relation to other tropical African populations. Why is that fact such an issue?


I think part of it is a "once-bitten, twice-shy" attitude, wherein the referenced people were basically black supremacists who argued that ancient Egyptians were Black Nubian Gods who were responsible for all good civilization (one of the ones who was banned went on a racist tirade insulting everyone of European descent, for instance).

However, I think the position that one of Mentuhotep's sources advances is basically correct:"data show[s] not only that Egypt clearly had biological ties to the north and to the south, but that it was intermediate between populations to the east and the west." Seeing as the populations of the Levant and Arabia (and the Berbers to their west) had to come from somewhere, and the Egyptians are the most likely source due to proximity and relatedness, my own opinion (for what that's worth) is that Egyptians are an intergrade between the more southern Africans and the Berbers, Arabs, and other peoples in the region. Further, there'd be an intergrade of the Egyptians, with the more southern Egyptians more resembling Nubians and Ethiopians, and the more northern Egyptians more resembling Arabs and Berbers.

Would I call Egyptians black? I don't know. Frankly, the use of terms like that is fairly stupid (my grandfather was a Greek man; so, was he white or not? depends on who you ask and when), and I think it inhibits discussion rather then opens it up. Egyptians are obviously indigenous Africans (hey, they live in Africa and have since there have been people in Africa), but they don't necessarily resemble nor are descended from West African peoples like the Yoruba, Igbo, or Mali.



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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-10 04:58pm
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Akhlut wrote:
I think part of it is a "once-bitten, twice-shy" attitude, wherein the referenced people were basically black supremacists who argued that ancient Egyptians were Black Nubian Gods who were responsible for all good civilization (one of the ones who was banned went on a racist tirade insulting everyone of European descent, for instance).


I can understand caution and suspicion towards a similar type of debate but I think posters should be treated as individuals and not judged by what others say but by their own arguments.

Quote:
However, I think the position that one of Mentuhotep's sources advances is basically correct:"data show[s] not only that Egypt clearly had biological ties to the north and to the south, but that it was intermediate between populations to the east and the west." Seeing as the populations of the Levant and Arabia (and the Berbers to their west) had to come from somewhere, and the Egyptians are the most likely source due to proximity and relatedness, my own opinion (for what that's worth) is that Egyptians are an intergrade between the more southern Africans and the Berbers, Arabs, and other peoples in the region. Further, there'd be an intergrade of the Egyptians, with the more southern Egyptians more resembling Nubians and Ethiopians, and the more northern Egyptians more resembling Arabs and Berbers.


This is not an entirely unreasonable suggestion however the question is does it fit the data? Do the Ancient Egyptians actually have close biological affinities with Berbers and Arabs (or rather your average modern Northwest African and Southwest Asian)? I don't believe Brace et al. (1993) adequately explained their position. Keita's research for instance and that of linguists and experts on African cultures doesn't seem to indicate a Multiethnic milieu in Ancient Egypt at the early formative period but rather a dominant culture with a single language colonizing the various populations along the Nile Valley and establishing the first Dynasties. These people came from the South and made their way to the Delta:

Image

Ancient Egyptian civilization was, in ways and to an extent usually not recognized, fundamentally African. The evidence of both language and culture reveals these African roots.

The origins of Egyptian ethnicity lay in the areas south of Egypt. The ancient Egyptian language belonged to the Afrasian family (also called Afroasiatic or, formerly, Hamito-Semitic). The speakers of the earliest Afrasian languages, according to recent studies, were a set of peoples whose lands between 15,000 and 13,000 B.C. stretched from Nubia in the west to far northern Somalia in the east. They supported themselves by gathering wild grains. The first elements of Egyptian culture were laid down two thousand years later, between 12,000 and 10,000 B.C., when some of these Afrasian communities expanded northward into Egypt, bringing with them a language directly ancestral to ancient Egyptian. They also introduced to Egypt the idea of using wild grains as food.

Source: Ancient Egyptian as an African Language, Egypt as an African Culture by Christopher Ehret


The input from the Levant before the formative period does not seem to be significant:

Image

Source: Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilisation by Barry Kemp


There were likely migrations to the Nile from Northwest Africa during the desertification of the Sahara however it isn't clear that these people looked like your average light-skinned Berber. Rather they likely looked like your modern Haratin who are believed to be descended from the original Saharans. In their artwork the Ancient Egyptians depicted the Tehenu, a Northwest African group, as being dark-skinned (artwork from the old Kingdom). This is also consistent with Neolithic Saharan art depictions of themselves.




Quote:
Would I call Egyptians black? I don't know. Frankly, the use of terms like that is fairly stupid (my grandfather was a Greek man; so, was he white or not? depends on who you ask and when), and I think it inhibits discussion rather then opens it up. Egyptians are obviously indigenous Africans (hey, they live in Africa and have since there have been people in Africa), but they don't necessarily resemble nor are descended from West African peoples like the Yoruba, Igbo, or Mali.


Obviously they aren't descended from West Africans however the "broad" craniofacial type exhibited by many West Africans would not have been rare in Ancient Egypt.

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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-10 05:12pm
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Akhlut wrote:
Further, there'd be an intergrade of the Egyptians, with the more southern Egyptians more resembling Nubians and Ethiopians, and the more northern Egyptians more resembling Arabs and Berbers.


The problem that I'm seeing is that some people are implying that because early Lower Egyptians had a distinct yet indigenous cranial morphology that they somehow lacked affinity towards African populations to the south of them. From that fact of cranial distinctness they run with the baseless inference that this super tropically adapted indigenous African population was somehow "lighter skinned" than other tropically adapted Africans to the south. Assuming that cranial variation is their reasoning for this inference all they have to do is look the distinctive variations found in other indigenous tropically adapted Africans to dispell such a notion. Take the Nigerian and Somali children for example:

Image

Image

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Would I call Egyptians black? I don't know.


An easy way to answer this question would be to ask would you consider indigenous Northeast Africans (Somalis, Tigrean, Oromo, ect) "black". If so then yes is your answer:

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Egyptians are obviously indigenous Africans (hey, they live in Africa and have since there have been people in Africa), but they don't necessarily resemble nor are descended from West African peoples like the Yoruba, Igbo, or Mali.


I don't think that anyone ever insinuated that the ancient Egyptians were "West Africans". As far as the ancient Egyptians resembling West Africans do you mean as far as them having broader facial structures? While the general Egyptian population exhibitted elongated cranial morphologies like the people in the pictures above, Africans with broader facial structures were present and in abundance in early ancient Egypt along side those with elongated features:

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"The M2 lineage is mainly found primarily in "eastern", "sub-saharan", and sub-equatorial African groups, those with the highest frequency of the "Broad" trend physiognomy, but found also in notable frequencies in Nubia and Upper Egypt, as indicated by the RFLP TaqI 49a, f variant IV (see Lucotte and Mercier, 2003; Al-Zahery et al. 2003 for equivalencies of markers), which is affiliated with it. The distribution of these markers in other parts of Africa has usually been explained by the "Bantu migrations", but their presence in the Nile Valley in non-Bantu speakers cannot be explained in this way. Their existence is better explained by their being present in populations of the early Holocene Sahara, who in part went on to people the Nile Valley in the mid-Holocene, according to Hassan (1988); this occurred long before the "Bantu migrations", which also do not explain the high frequency of M2 in Senegal, since there are no Bantu speakers there either."

Source: S. Keita. Exploring Northeast African Metric Craniofacial Variation at the Individual Level: A Comparative Study Using Principal Components Analysis. Am J Hum Biol. 2004 Nov-Dec;16(6):679-89


Just a glance at the Sphinx. Forensic analysis actually found it's facial structure to be consistant with those of broad featured Africans. I'll post the video at anyone's request:

Image

Or check out the bust of Menes who is considered by most to be Egypt's first Dynastic king:

Image

There are many many more examples of this morphology in Egyptian art.

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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-10 07:14pm
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There are similar examples in Olmec art, too:

Image

However, no one credible is proposing that the Olmecs were actually Nubians.

Art can be indicative, but one must always use caution when doing so because it may or may not accurately reflect actual people. For example, Egyptian art shows that they were aware that different people came in different skin shades, but due to the formulaic and symbolic nature of their art it would be presumptuous to say that their art reflected actual skin colors. At best, it might mark out relative skin colors in certain contexts.

(A further complication is that the Egyptian color palette for art was quite limited by our standards - they simply couldn't render shades and hues with as much nuance as we can today.)



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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-10 08:25pm
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@PharaohMentuhotep
Thanks for your reply. It was what I was hoping I'd get from bigT but didn't.
"by that he means it has no connections with the rest of the cultures in Africa"
Could it be a difference in epocs? Predynastic egypt would have a much easier geographic tie to all of africa while later much of those paths would be closed of by the expanding desert? Because IIRC there is some items in the bissau region which shows trade links with the amratians so no connections would be a strange position to hold.
Now since bigT decided to get personal I'll have to spend more time responding to him while your response was more deserving of a response, I'm sorry about that and hope to make amends later on.

@Big Triece
You are starting to crack. It's not good for your position. You have started to arbitrarily attribute opinions to me which I have never stated or even implied that I hold. Please go through the topic and you'll see that the only post in which I've so far expressed any opinions of my own would be in this post. If you have a problem with any of the claims I make in that post please adress them instead of this false inuendo. If you have no problem with those claims then you are fabricating an illusion of my view so far.
Big Triece wrote:
Spoonist wrote:
@Big TrieceDo you think that you hold a minority view or a majority view? Could you also elaborate on a motivation for why you think it's the minority/majority view.
View point in what respect? If you are coming from a scholarly perspective, then yes my "view" (stated earlier) is the concensus in academia. What I find ironic about this question that you're posing is that most (if not all) of you seem to be in agreement or either have nothing of scholarly equivalence to dispute the fact that ancient Egypt was an indigenous product of inner African origins. What seems to be in conflict are the implications of "inner Africa" being equated with "black", thus equating early ancient Egypt as "black". Is all of Africa "black"(?), NO. The collective evidence however points to Africans from "black Africa" and being "black Africans" laying the foundations of Egypt. This obviously strikes a nerve with a lot of people, for what reason (?) especially for those who live in America or the Westenize world in general who use or hear racial terminology on a daily basis? That's the question that the OP is asking.
You are grouping me with other posters here, is that just ignorance or intentional bait?
Also I'd look up irony and what it signifies or clarify what you think is ironic about me posting that question given my posting history in this topic. Because, as is, it doesn't make any sense.
Regarding the black thing, why are you so adament in focusing on that? So much so that you see hostility where I so far has posted none.
Then the implied racism card stinks and I don't appreciate it. If you make another such post aimed at me I see no further point in being civil with you.

Regarding your 'view' why I'm asking questions is because I'm trying to actually understand where you are coming from. This since it seems that you claim academia and now also a majority position. But you get real emotional about the skintone thing, something which is largely ignored by most egyptologists as a non-issue.
Also why I continue to ask questions is because we learn new things about your 'view' all the time. As with the revelation of the 'inner africa' thingie which would disregard stuff like Gerzean influence on predynastic egypt.

As you might remember from my first post I'll leave the snippet stuff to others.

Big Triece wrote:
Spoonist wrote:
Another question; what is your assessment of differing interpretations than yours?
I analyze those different interpretations according to the legitimacy of their academic backing if there even is any.
Which was a political answer not giving us any information at all. We know there are academics with differing view than yours, why do you think they hold that view if as you say the data supports your view so strongly. Especially in regards to the skintone thingie.

Big Triece wrote:
lol Well once you answer the questions above we'll see how well your interpretations of them hold up.
I'm sorry, you are again conflating me with others.
My interpretation of such studies would be that they claim that ancient egyptians is more closely related to modern egyptians than to any other tribe/people/group. Indicating that what we see today would be similar to what it was back then.

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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-10 08:42pm
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Big Triece wrote:
Just a glance at the Sphinx. Forensic analysis actually found it's facial structure to be consistant with those of broad featured Africans. I'll post the video at anyone's request:

Image

Or check out the bust of Menes who is considered by most to be Egypt's first Dynastic king:

Image

There are many many more examples of this morphology in Egyptian art.



I will respond to other details as soon as I have time, but this one is actually an area I have experience in. And the problem with busts and even large-scale statues is that the Egyptian masons were not skilled enough to create real-life depictions. Before the hellenization of Egypt, they could not even get the flowing movements of dancers or body proportions right. For example, their depiction of female anatomy was very, very unskilled compared to the "real-life" portraist we would epect. And then there is of course the problem that depictions are not always made according to real features, but more depicting the idealistic symbols of kings/queens etc. There is a reason Historians do not trust ancient depictions to be real-life depictions until the era of the greeks, and even then we have to be wary of them (Alexander's Pharaoh descriptions for example are highly idealized as well).

So I would not use the Sphinx or busts etc. as any kind of visual evidence. Same with the paintings - we cannot use any kind of skintone from them because colors depend a lot on the material used and wether there was a specific style.

BTW, it should be noted that ancient writers who travelled to Egypt made no mention of a different skintone, which should be taken to mean that there was not that much of a difference from the skintone of the levante or the Northern African coast.

The evidence that the broad facial structures of Egyptian busts etc. (which are nowhere near as prevelant as you make them out to be, see the famous bust of Nefertiti for example, which depicts a women who would be at ease in any European setting) are mere artistic conventions which bear little to no resemblence to reality can also be shown by contrasting Egyptian portraits and Graeco-Roman portraits of the same person.

Observe:
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Image

The first is an Egyptian depiction, the second a Roman one. They both depict Kleopatra VII. We know that she was of Greek heritage, yet by the Egyptian portraits one could think differently. Thus, it follows that this was artistic convention, not real-life depictions.

Likewise, in Egyptian Art, Augustus became this, quite unlike the portrait we have of him which looked like this.

So it really did not matter what a person looked like - Egyptian Art followed a certain archetype to the letter.



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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-11 04:31am
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Big Triece wrote:
Broomstick wrote:
Keita himself says in your videos that cranial information is NOT enough to base a conclusion on!

Yes he did state that, but you are attempting to all out dismiss the scientific practice and what the results of such studies indicate. This scientific practice of analyzing Egyptian crania has been conducted by Keita himself and countless other anthropologists on a periodic basis for the past two centuries and shows no sign of showing down. These findings yield that the ancient Egyptians group with, not surprisingly dark skinned inner African populations.

Make up your mind, Triece – you agree that Keita said crania were not enough on which to base a conclusion, then you turn around and say it's enough evidence to conclude that the Egyptians were, to use an old and outdated phrase, “from darkest Africa”. You are seriously pushing an agenda here only tenuously based on the evidence.

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Also considering the fact that my opinion on the matter is a direct reflection of Keita's research on the topic, which is that the early ancient Egyptians were an indigenous Northeast African population, which he in turn bases on the same numerous lines of evidence that he runs through in his Cambridge lecture should sufficient enough to warrant my claims valid.

The problem is that you recognize only sub-Saharan Africans as “indigenous Northeast African” but others – including Keita – recognize that there were other people just as African living on the northern coast of Africa. They, too, are part of the mix that became Ancient Egypt. The Upper Egyptians did NOT simply invade an empty land, there were already people living there, and they assimilated them. Those “other people” you fail to acknowledge were just as African and did not simply vanish without a trace. Being assimilated by Upper Egypt did not magically make them all identical to Upper Egypt populations, and the group doing the assimilating was likewise affected because that's the way these things work in the real world. Intermarriage happens, even when forbidden, and in the case of Ancient Egypt there was, as far as it is known, absolutely NO bar to marrying people from another region or even ethnic group.

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Those same crania share characteristics with Asiatic populations that no one claims are related to Africans!

That speaks more about the problems with the biological concept of "race" and less about the specific set of traits unique to Northeast Africans which the early ancient Egyptians have been empirically proven to have displayed.

Actually, there's not a single goddamn trait “unique” to northeast African. What a crock of shit. Name any one particular trait found in that region and I guarantee you'll find it elsewhere as well. Dark skin? India, parts of Australia, Tasmania. Tropical body proportions? Lots of equatorial people on other continents.

Even “sets” of traits are not unique. You're just taking a backdoor approach to proclaiming biological race, which your own hero Keita discredits.

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That only works if you look at art portraying MEN. In Egyptian art women are consistently portrayed in a different color:

You're right Old Kingdom and Middle Egyptian art does tend to show women as a yellowish color and the overall use of art work is highly subjective


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There is conflict in these two statements. If on one hand the general dark reddish brown Egyptian skin color displayed in their murals and sculptures is not seen as "a reliable indicator of actual skin color" for the noted reason, then why note that some Nubians are displayed as much darker than the general Egyptian skin tone based on art?


In Ancient Egyptian art yellow ochre was the primary pigment for Egyptian women. Red ochre for Egyptian men. Carbon black (charcoal) for dark peoples. Paler people (such as those depicted as from the Middle East) were either the base coat for the wall or only a tinted form of white. This isn't a heck of a lot to chose from.

The colors vary due to chemical composition (these colors are basically dug out of the ground – different deposits vary in exact shade) and also due to the effects of time and any other chemicals that happen to have been around (such as in the base coast or the wall materials). Thus, as I said – the Egyptian palette was very limited, and on top of that you have to consider the highly symbolic ways they used art, as also recently noted by Thanas comparing Egyptian and Hellenistic renderings of the same woman. The unrelenting formula of Egyptian art might be why they labeled so many statures and reliefs and so one with names - it gets hard to tell them all apart otherwise.

So, what Egyptian art tells us is that the Egyptians noted that the Nubians were not the same people as the Egyptians. They chose to depict the Nubians as darker in their artwork/writing (really, there is no hard and fast division between “art” and “writing” in Ancient Egypt, they shaded into each other). What the difference as marked as in their art? We have no way of knowing for sure, but we can venture an informed guess.

The Egyptian habit of portraying women as lighter than men probably has its roots in the fact that, on average, when comparing people of similar lineage, women are slightly paler than men (we're talking about prior to use of tanning beds and the like). In no ethnic group is the man/woman difference as distinct as in Egyptian art, so apparently they were either prone to exaggeration or limited by their pigments or both.

We do know that the Egyptians depicted people from the Levant and Europe as paler than themselves (even paler than their women). We know that is, in fact, the case – on average people from those regions were paler than the Egyptians. Again, was it as marked a difference as depicted? We'll never know. All those European/Levantine peoples were rendered in the same shade even though we know they have a range of skin tones, some of them starting to approach that of the Egyptians.

The thing is, though, these colors for people are not entirely arbitrary. As stylized as they are, they tend to follow the natural variations as we see them today. They just don't portray them with much nuance.

Therefore, I conclude that the Egyptians perceived some difference between themselves and the people to their south. Given how the Egyptians encoded the appearance of other people for whom we have more information, I conclude that the Nubians were to some degree darker, on average, than the Egyptians. This does not have to be a large difference. The Egyptians only have 4 or so colors with which to depict these things, it's not going to be subtle. The Ancient Egyptians may well have been dark enough that in today's world they'd be called "black" without hesitation, but it does not follow that they were identical in color to any of their neighbors, some of whom could have been darker yet. Given how the Egyptians encoded these things, I view it as evidence that the Nubians were between slightly darker and much darker than the Egyptians, who were already darker than the average European of today.

So that is a conclusion based on records made by the Egyptians. I trust this clears up any confusion on that point.



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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-11 05:35am
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I am breaking this up because some of these posts are getting unmanageably large otherwise:

Big Triece wrote:
I see it like this, Egyptian art can be used as "suspect evidence", but must be taken lightly for the reasons that you noted. Now if were to ask the question based on this suspect data which populations near Egypt tend to have dark reddish brown skin as displayed in their artwork? Then I'd have to point to these Africans whom they coincidently cluster with biologically:

A few things:

One, biology is not destiny. Nor is there any hard and fast division between groups of people.

Two, the quantity of images in some of your posts make them extremely long. Some people prefer to link to large or numerous pictures rather than posting them in line. Another technique is to post one representative image in line, then provide links to additional images. While your images are wonderfully colorful please do keep in mind while posting that not everyone's computer can keep up, not everyone can afford to upgrade regularly.

Third, I would describe the people in most of those images as “medium brown”, not “dark brown”. The Somalis depicted are notably lighter than some others in the region, such as some of the Nubian groups. It's an illustration of where being “lighter” does NOT mean one is necessarily “European pale”, just relatively less dark.

Again, I trust that clears up any confusion about the color issue.

Image
Ah, yes, an African-American that is known to have some pale skinned European ancestors, who is actually darker than the Somali woman of entirely Somalian ancestry. (Also nicely reflecting that Egyptian meme of “women are lighter in color than men”) It's a clear illustration that someone with some background other than just sub-Saharan African can still be dark skinned, darker even than some “tropically adapted” African groups. Thank you for making my point.

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You are under the impression that the term Nubian referred to only one particular population.

No, I am not – I am well aware that there are multiple lineages under the name “Nubia”, it's just that no one would bother to read a post where every single one is listed. It's the same thing as not saying “Upper, Lower, and Delta Egypt during the Old Kingdom” every time and instead just saying “Ancient Egypt” or even just “Egypt”.

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None the less the pitch black Dinka were not the only type of Nubians as evident by the very murral that you posted earlier:

Yes, I'm aware that – that's why I chose THAT particular mural! You see, I try to find things that actually hold up my position, as opposed to some other people who post things as “proof” of their viewpoint when really those things say something different, sometimes the complete opposite.

I also posted two images of sub-Saharan people from the tropics showing a significant difference in skin color between two different groups. Please go back and look at them if you skipped the first time as I see no purposes in posting and reposting the same pictures.

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Except that “ecological principle” is not a hard and fast correlation. Equatorial South Americans are not nearly as dark as equatorial Africans.

You seem to be ignoring the fact that those Indians do not cluster near the ancient Egyptians, the African Pygmies, African Americans, or Australians because they are not as tropically adapted as those populations who are considered "black" by most standards of the social term.

As I posted earlier, there is quite a range of skin colors gathered under the term “black”. “Black” is not a code word for “tropical”, nor is “tropical” code for “black” - at least not for most of us.

Apparently you are NOT familiar with African “pygmies” (the word is usually considered offensive these days, in case you didn't know) as their skin color is notably lighter (while still being brown) than many of the larger African groups such as the Bantu and others, and their bodies are proportioned differently as well as being shorter than most other peoples'.

African-Americans are a terrible example as they have so much admixture from other groups that they are not representative of native African populations. Many do not have “tropically adapted” body proportions, and there's considerable historical evidence of many who were pale enough to “pass for white” and did so. Many others have considerable Native American or Asian ancestry. Really, they're not a good example for the purposes of this discussion.

As for Australians – Aborigines are not one homogenous group, they display considerable range in traits.
ImageImage

In New Guinea you also have the phenomena of tropical, dark skinned people with naturally blond hair -
Image
Link to article discussing the phenomena Human pigmentation is much more complex than most people know.

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Africans natives to equatorial rain forests are often not as dark skinned as those in more arid territories, possibly due to the shade provided by such forests.

I mean honestly I find this a rather tit for tat argument. Regardless of skin tone variation "dark skin" is the general phenotype in tropical Africa. The dark skin regardless of if it's Dinka black Nigerian brown or even San light brown is from a social Western viewpoint unhesitantly and collectively seen as "black".

Except... we're NOT talking about the “western viewpoint”, we're talking about the Ancient Egyptians and, perhaps, their viewpoint. YOU'RE the one taking the simplistic viewpoint that all those shades are exactly the same!

On top of that – the “western viewpoint” has long noted multiple shades of color among those of African descent – hence words like “mulatto”, “quadroon”, and “octroon” that are not much seen these days but contradict your assertion that all those colors are seen “unhesitatingly and collectively” the same.

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As noted, the Dravidian populations of India are more closely related to Europeans based on genetics even thought they have “tropical proportions” and dark skin.

That is beside the point. Tropical limb proportions which are acquired through ancestry from which had long term residence in the tropics AROUND THE WORLD bring about dark skin which is ecological principal.

You speak as if body proportions and skin tone are inextricably linked. They are not.

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Working backward – you're arguing that a group of Nubians who came in and took over by force of arms weren't “conquerors” (which is a bizarre way to look at it, but whatever) and that this is somehow different than all other groups who went into Egypt and took over because.... they're Nubians?

It would help if you actually read up on the 25th Dynasty and why they are one of the more notable ones. Egypt was in dismay at around this time (the third intermediate period). They saw themselves as rest orators rather than conquerors. They were different from other foreign occupations because they did not suppress Egyptian culture; rather they initiated a renaissance of it if you will.

Oh, please – special arguing, simply because they're Nubians!

Really – Piye invaded Egypt and took over. Piye's successor Shabaka captured the last claimant to the 24th Dynasty and burned him alive – uh, yeah, “rest orators”, “non-conquerors”, and “restorers” my ass.



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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-11 05:37am
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Another note on busts and other stuff - we do know that a lot of ancient stone portrayals were painted over. The stone in many cases only acted as a base. Thus, even if we were to conclude that stone portrayals are absolutely accurate when it comes to body proportions and facial features (they are not, see above), then it does not follow that one can conclude skintone or other factors from it. Heck, depending on the paint applied, a statue may have looked completely different in Ancient times. The Sphinx may have been white as chalk, for example (exaggeration to get the point across).



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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-11 06:00am
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Big Triece wrote:
Quote:
Read it without bolding and what you get is that while Lower Egypt might not have been united it still made significant contributions to Egyptian culture, politics, and institutions, and goods and ideas were filtering into Egypt even before written history/dynastic times even if they weren't the greatest influence on Ancient Egypt.

Who is denying that Lower Egypt contributed to ancient Egypt?

You are – with your continued assertions that everything came out of Upper Egypt and Upper Egypt came entirely out of the south.

Your distortions of other peoples' arguments in your attempt to hammer them into an opposing viewpoint is getting tiresome.

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I am not denying that Lower Egypt contributed to early Egyptian culture, or that some cultural traits in the North were adopted from the Levant. Nor am I naive enough to suggest that there was no possible way Levantines were present in Lower Egypt. There has been no evidence presented however that Levantines were present in Upper Egypt during Pre-Dynastic times and if so then please educate me.

YOU are the one who keeps bringing up some sort of Levantine influx, not me. I am tired of denying this over and over – obviously you have either not bothered to read my posts, or you are delibrately misunderstanding what I have written in plain English.

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In other words, Ancient Egypt was mostly African with a good dash of stuff from elsewhere. Just like most of us here have been saying.

I find nothing at all wrong with this statement.

Then why do you keep refuting its veracity by your continued insistence that everything came out of Upper Egypt and Upper Egypt came entirely out of the south.

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One more time – NO ONE is disputing that Ancient Egypt is African, but it is distinguished from other African groups to a large degree because of non-African influences that were incorporated into the culture.

NO ONE denies that Egypt adopted cultural traits and ideas from foreign lands that they conquered or from migrating populations into Egypt. These things happened and became more and more incorporated as time went on.

One more time – cultural influence does NOT require either invasion or immigration! Normal trade, much of which was documented in writing, can easily account for many of the external inputs into the Egyptian culture.

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He also states that others have come to a different conclusion while looking at the same facts. Again, did you pay attention to the man you cited in support of your argument?

OK quite simply the probable origin for E is East Africa. Keita does not even leave it up to debate he has stated unhesitantly that it originated in East Africa. A 2011 study on top of several other recent studies just further confirm that this is fact.

You mean... east African where the light brown Somalis come from?

East Africa is a big place. There are a lot of different people there. As Keita noted, different Africa groups look different. There's more than one way to be African.

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Also I don't think that you should question why interpretations of Keita just yet. Remember you did admit that you labeled the man an "Afrocentric" without even reviewing his work.

Untrue – that was a sentiment expressed by others in one of the prior threads, by people who were balantly and proudly “afrocentric” themselves. I expressed the opinion that it was ironic that such afrocentrics used as support someone who's work contradicts what the afrocentrics believe to be true.

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Now you have found some common ground with some statements that he made and he's "alright" to you now.

I actually have never found anything objectionable about Keita's statements and writings. I do find some of the people who claim to be his followers quite unpleasant, however...

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But, oddly enough, you don't see pyramids and hieroglyphics in that alleged homeland. They only arise after these people wind up in the Nile Valley and after the Valley kingdoms are united and, apparently, with a steady trickle of outside influences dribbling over the whole culture.

That's the thing! You are over attributing the "trickle" of outside influence (which is goats as far as you've proven) to somehow separate it from the rest of Africa.

No, sir – Dr. Keita proved goats were imported from the Levant, not me. Please try to keep the two of us straight. I don't know how you could have mistaken us for each other.

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You have no warrant to discredit the consensus amongst scholars who label the cultures foundation "indigenous" or "African".

I don't disagree with the scholars – I disagree with YOU. You, personally.

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Let me show you some “tropical Africans”: As I said, both these people come from tropical Africa. They also have distinct differences in skin color, that is, one is “pale” relative to the other. “Pale” is a relative term, not an absolute one. Do you understand this concept now?

Who are you kidding dude referring to any of the two tropically adapted African populations as "pale" or one being "paler" than the other is deceptive and you it. Why would anyone use the word "pale" to describe the relation of populations whom you previously referred to as "dark skinned". Regardless of if it's a relative term in my opinion it would be dishonest to ascribe it to a tropically adapted population.

Let me get this straight – you are upset to the point of growing incoherence because I noted that one group of brown people was not as dark brown as some other group of brown people?

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The Africans of the ancient Sahara/North Africa had biological affinities no different than those in Sub Saharan Africa as Keita and other anthropologists and even their ancient artwork notes:

You mean... like the way the Ancient Egyptians and the Nubians were portrayed as having the exact same skin color in Egyptian art?.. oh, wait, they weren't shown like that.

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As noted above, even among tropical populations of indisputably sub-Saharan African origin there is a significant range of skin color. People of “tropical limb proportions” could tend toward either end of that spectrum.

True Sub Saharan Africa has the highest level of skin variation on the planet. If you were asked can you point out which Sub Saharan Africans would not be considered "black" in a social context because of their skin variation?

We're not discussing what they might or might now be called in some place like North America. We're talking about African people in Africa, and six thousand years ago at that.

Triece, I'm tired of repeating myself. Unless you bring something NEW to the table I see no further reason to rehash this.



Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

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 Post subject: Re: Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt? PostPosted: 2011-03-11 08:22am
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@Broomy
I believe that bigT got the wrong impression on p1 regarding Thanas first post which you then replied to. My impression was that Thanas then was influenced by the old discussion with v-rex and wanted to dam the tide early. That was also before bigT specified that he refered to origins only and not dynastic egypt. Which would explain his prejudice that everyone but him thinks that light means levant, while most others have been clear that it is a relative issue after switching to an origins discussion. After that when it went into snippets it seems that bigT kept thinking that his interpretation of what was claimed in Thanas post was the consensus of the board regarding the origins. But I do think that there has been a misconception in the other direction on how strongly bigT thinks that african=darkish black, this since his first posts had some caveats for that. Problem being that in his later posts his bias seems to tilt further in that direction, but I think that could just be a projection from the perceived board consensus.
Then at the end I think that bigT just went to la Mancha looking for windmills.

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