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Denial of the African origins of Ancient Egypt?

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Serafina
PostPosted: 2011-03-06 04:15pm 

Sith Acolyte


Joined: 2009-01-07 06:37pm
Posts: 5205
Location: Germany
Big Triece wrote:
Serafina wrote:
Quote:
What does trade with foreign lands have to do with the general population of early ancient Egypt? How does trade with people in Levant negate the fact that the early ancient Egyptians were an indigenous Northeast African population most closely related to African populations to the south of it?
What "relation" are you talking about? Race? Why should it matter what race they were?
Cultures are shaped mostly by their surroundings - by geography and their neighbors. Egypt prospered due to the Nile (which enabled large-scale agriculture far earlier) and it's access to the Mediterranean Sea. The latter applied to many other cultures of the ancient world, including Rome. The former applied to many other cultures, such as the Mesopotanian High cultures and parts of China. The Greek city states would have not existed in their historical form without their geographical seperation on the greek peninsula. European colonialism was heavily influenced by prevailing winds and sea currents. The industrial revolution was enabled by access to coal and iron in Europe. I could go on like this forever, and i completely left out cultural interactions - the bottom line is that race has nothing to do with Egypts success, or that of any other culture.
If you want to understand cultures, their race is of nearly no concern.


That's not what I am getting at with this thread. I am asking why do some people fight tooth and nail against the undenial fact that Egypt's ORIGINS come from inner Africa? It's almost as though some people know that it is the truth, but will tap dance around stating it because of whatever social implications that THEY obviously feel that it will make.
Gee, i don't know - perhaps they think that an (still not specified) "origin" really matters?
And by the way - you did not specify what you mean by "relation" when you are talking about Egypt and Inner Africa. Plase do so in your next post.
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Spoonist
PostPosted: 2011-03-06 04:51pm 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2002-09-20 11:15am
Posts: 2367
Big Triece wrote:
That's not what I am getting at with this thread. I am asking why do some people fight tooth and nail against the undenial fact that Egypt's ORIGINS come from inner Africa? It's almost as though some people know that it is the truth, but will tap dance around stating it because of whatever social implications that THEY obviously feel that it will make.
Please note that your previous posts make no such clear claim that you think. Check this out:
Big Triece wrote:
My opinion is that the early ancient Egyptians were an indigenous Northeast African population most closely related to more southerly Northeast African populations. From the Pre-dynastic to the second intermediate period before the New Kingdom the biological evidence that I've came across shows them grouping only with African populations to the south. From the New Kingdom period onwards however major infiltration into the Nile Valley began to take place, coming from the Middle East and Europe and settling primarily in Northern Egypt.
See? No mention of "the undenial fact that Egypt's origins come from inner africa". So for people to misread your position would be a natural progression from your posts.
Exactly what I was hoping to avoid by having you make a clear claim. So please be clearer in the future because this is degenerating fast.

Also note that for you to argue against Serfina's post makes it implied that you do think that race matters. Which wouldn't be a good starting point here, so please clarify your view on that.
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2011-03-06 05:05pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2004-01-02 08:04pm
Posts: 20553
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Big Triece wrote:
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Note that he does state that it is most likely that the current diversity seen in Egypt is similar to that of ancient Egypt.

This is true, but Keita does not give a specific period in Egypt's pharonic history to which the modern diversity would be seen. In that same interview with the National Geographic Keita also states that there is no evidence that Egypt's biological origins are anything other than Northeast African, which directly refutes a claim that the modern diversity was always present in Egypt.

As you point out, however, modern racial categories are to some degree cultural constructs, and what traits predominated in a population 10,000 years ago may be quite different than what is seen today.

I would need to dig up what information I have on Y chromosome and mitochrondrial studies (which are probably a little dated anyway at this point) but there are several widely held, apparently common sense notions that may actually be untrue. The one that stuck out in my mind was about the Ainu, long assumed to be a sort of caucasian outpost in far east Asia but, based on genetic studies, may in fact be of Asian descent (that is, most closely related to their current closest neighbors) with sufficient isolation that they independently evolved some traits associated with Caucasians, such as more extensive body hair than most humans and less of an epicanthal fold. Some traits that give the illusion of close relation in fact arose more than once. Non-kinky red hair, for example, seems to have evolved at least three times in the primate lineage, orangutans, Neanderthals, and Europeans. A genetic link between Neanderthals and Europeans is looking extremely weak these days. No one is suggesting that Europeans are more closely related to orangutans than other humans despite a superficial similiarity of hair between some Europeans and the orangutans.

So, what I am trying to find out is whether the paler skinned people of Northern Africa (Sahara and points north) arose in place, or are a result of back-migration out of Europe or the Middle East. It is easy to assume the later, but the former needs to be ruled out. Africa has the greatest diversity of skin color of any continent, so independent evolution of different shades can't be tossed out, it has to be based on data.

What this means is that the Nile might have been settled by more or less horizontal movement of peoples from a once-fertile Sahara moving east into the valley, preserving a gradation of human coloring that may have been in existence for tens of thousands of years and evolved entirely within Africa. Resemblance of Lower Egyptians to people from outside of Africa may be due to parallel traits rather than those acquired by descent. Paler people had to come from somewhere, there's no reason skins couldn't have lightened up before humanity left Africa rather than after. Once we invented clothes and hats skin color was no longer so strongly tied to latitude.

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I would also point out that Egypt equally likely had influxes from the south of dark-skinned African peoples (including ruling dynasties of those origins).

The only problem that I have with this statement is that the population of Upper Egypt (the origins of Dynastic culture) was already the result of settlement from "dark skinned African peoples" from the south. Those people were the original Egyptians, and even to this day Egypt's southern population is for the most part "dark skinned".

The 25th Dynasty is well known to have been ruled by invaders from Kush, now known as Nubia, who were on average darker skinned than the average Egyptian and unquestionably from further south. Thus, an influx of dark skinned African people from the south. Yes, that was after pre-dynastic Egypt. If you intended to limit the discussion to a small time period in a region with several thousand years of written history, never mind the even more extensive archeological record, you should have been very explicit about that in your OP.

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What I get from this is that he is arguing against both a purely northern origin or a purely southern origin for Egypt, either its people or its culture.

I didn't get that from those statements. Keita as well as just about every serious Egyptologist are in agreement that the origins of Dynastic Egyptian culture lies in Upper Egypt. This is the main reason why most studies conducted on the remains of the ancient Egyptians are focused on early Upper Egypt. In fact most Egyptologist even discount that there was even a unified Lower Egyptian state prior to unification.

I've heard it discounted there was a unified upper Egypt at the time as well. Funny, from the very first the Egyptians spoke of uniting Upper and Lower Egypt, not Upper taking over Lower. This is not a historical revision, as the end of the proto-dynastic period also marks the beginning of hieroglyphic writing and thus there are some (very few) near-contemporary records from Egypt at the time. Granted, things like the Narmer Palette are subject to massive interpretation and function almost as a Rorschach test for scholars. The rulers of Upper Egypt were the first pharaohs, but again, the records speak of uniting the several city-states of the Nile, not one overrunning all features of the others. The Upper Egyptians did not displace the Lower, and from Narmer forward they were all regarded as part of Egypt.

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The north and the south did have separate cultures, but it was Upper Egyptian culture that dominated and overtook Lower Egyptian culture to form Dynastic Egypt.

You will have to provide better support for this. Quite a bit of early dynastic Egypt employed symbols representing both cultures. Again, not one overrunning the other but two (or several) group uniting. By the Second Dynasty Memphis had become the capital, and old Memphis is definitely in the Delta, in Lower Egypt. In fact, Memphis may have become the capital in the First Dynasty, with only Narmer/Menes truly based the whole time in the south. Of course, this is all further complicated by everything from that time period being so damn old, so well preserved items and writing are a bit rare.

Another piece of evidence comes from multiple names for deities. “Amon-Ra”, for example, with Amon probably being from the south and Ra from the north, syncretized into a singular deity. Egypt does an awful lot of this combing upper and lower names and items (the double crown of the Pharaohs is yet another example) which again, seems to imply a uniting rather than an overrunning. This tendency is present from the very beginnings of dynastic Egypt. It implies a merging of cultures.

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Most modern scholars actually attribute Egypt's origins to the south and have been doing so much earlier than Keita's intervention into the subject. Northern Egypt through contact and trade with he Levant did incorporate some techniques from those regions into their own culture, but nothing significant enough to label their culture non African or non indigenous.

Since when does incorporating something from elsewhere somehow negate a native culture? Does the multiplication of sushi restaurants and popularity of animie in the US mean we've been dominated by the Japanese? Yet it would be ridiculous to imply US culture hasn't been influenced by Japanese culture.

The point is, Egypt happily adopted stuff from other cultures and incorporated it into their own. They “Egyptionized” it, just as the US “Americanizes” stuff from other people. Egypt was arguably the first major empire. Like all major empires it doesn't remain “pure” but adopts stuff from other cultures. It's silly to deny evidence of this occurring not only in the First Dynasty but also in pre-Dynastic Egypt. If you want your claim of southern African influences and cultural origins to be taken seriously you can't just throw out evidence of non-African influences simply because they don't fit your pet theory. You have to account for them. There is evidence that Egyptians adopted agricultural products from the Middle East. They became an important part of their culture, and are some of things that set them apart from their southern neighbors. Goats raised in Egypt are still Egyptian goats even if their far distant ancestors came from Anatolia (or some other place near there).

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He does point out that the language of Egypt, both modern and ancient IS an “Afro-Asiatic” language, a family that dominates north of the Sahara in regions where people are lighter skinned and would seem to indicate more northern influences

Afro-Asiatic however has it's origins in Sub Saharan East Africa and spread both further into the south and northward up the Nile and bi-directional into both northwestern Africa and the Levant. The only language in the family to be spoken in both Africa and Asia is Semitic. This exact migration of Afro-Asiatic has been confirmed by recent genetic studies that trace the spread of Haplogroup E.

And Keita cautions against too firmly coming down on that very interpretation. He very clearly points out the possibility that these languages may have evolved together and NOT have a strict mother-daughter relationship. An analogy would be the Romance languages of Europe, which diverged more or less simultaneously from Roman Latin rather than, say, the language of northern France being a descendant of the language of middle France which is in turn descended from southern France which is descended from Latin. Afro-Asiatic languages might follow a descent pattern, or they might have arisen simultaneously, or there might even be a mix of the two.

He also cautions about conflicting information arising from biological and genetic data, giving the examples of blood type frequency and skull shape as examples that cause contradictions. Haplogroup E is but one genetic marker of many. And speaking of which – there are TWO “haplogroup E” markers. I'm taking a wild guess and assuming you mean the one for the Y chromosome, as the mitochondrial one is found mostly in the Malay peninsula which is pretty far away from Africa.

Anyhow, while the preponderance of evidence does seem to point to an East African origin for y-hapE it is not entirely settled, as it's most closely related group is y-hapD, which is most common in Asia. Given the proximity of East Africa to Asia the close relationship shouldn't be too surprising. Using y-hapE alone for proof that the Ancient Egyptians were predominately African isn't sufficient, you need additional supporting evidence. Again, Keita speaks about not relying overmuch on just one biological marker.

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As far as "northern influences" could you please go into further detail on them?

When people live next to each other, they intermarry. It is ridiculous to assume that the Ancient Egyptians were any different in this regard. One of the reasons the people of Upper Egypt tended to be darker was interbreeding with dark skinned neighbors. One of the reasons the people of Lower Egypt tended to be lighter was interbreeding with light skinned neighbors. The reason Egyptians tended on average to be intermediate between the two extremes is that they interbred with each other, Upper and Lower. Thus, there was (and still is) a constant exchange of genes up and down the Nile.

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who didn't know the language group of Egypt to guess either Afro-Asiatic or Nilo-Saharic... and give that “Nile” is in both Egypt and the latter language family one might even be inclined to guess Egypt's language is a Nilo-Saharic one. It's not. It's Afro-Asiatic

Despite being an Afro-Asiatic language Egypt was a mixture of both AA and Nilo-Saharan speaking Africans from the south. This mixture of heterogeneous African ancestry is what Keita is implying in his interview with the National Geographic.

I guess you missed the diagram Keita showed of people moving from North Africa into the Nile region. Again, Egypt is not JUST southern African in origin. African diversity does not mean all Africans are dark and from the south. The paler northern folks are arguably just as African even if they look quite different (pale being a relative statement – further south there is a distinct difference between Bantu and Khoi-San, with the Khoi-San being notably lighter skinned even if no one is going to call them “white” or “Caucasian”)

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Nor – and this is equally important – it was not a matter of the black/brown skinned people importing a culture to their lighter-skinned northern neighbors. Again, Egyptian culture is indigenous to Egypt.

As far as early Northern Egyptians being "lighter" that is simply speculation. That population was an indigenous tropically adapted one unlike the Levantine populations

You can not determine skin color from a skeleton. While “tropical proportions” tend to be associated with dark skin the relationship isn't 100%, any more than the “arctic proportions” are automatically pale skinned – North American Inuit and European Saami both display these proportions yet one group is significantly darker than the other. There are people in India who are darker skinned than many indigenous Africans. The Dravidians live next to East Asia, they're darker than many Africans, yet their genetics seem most closely related to Europeans.

Tropical conditions tend to give rise to dark skin and “tropical proportions” even among groups of different descent. This is precisely why Keita's reference to skull shape winds up with some Africans being lumped more closely with some Asiatic people than other Africans – those groups all converged on similar adaptions.

On top of that, there are Egyptian mummies of pale-skinned redheads dating pretty far back. They had to come from somewhere. Libyans of the time were described as paler than Egyptians and certainly some Libyans moved to/became Egyptians. Paler northern peoples need not be present in overwhelming numbers in order to have an effect on the gene pool or the culture. Ramesses II was a redhead – we know this because we have his mummy. His prominently hooked nose is more characteristic of Arab/Northern African people than those to the south. Those genes had to come from somewhere. They are much more common to the north of Egypt than the south, therefore, it is most likely they came from the north. Hence, “northern influence”. Or are you going to argue that Ramses the Great wasn't Egyptian?

Truth is, most Egyptians in history have probably been darker skinned, and certainly were darker-haired, than Ramses the Great. And most Egyptians in history were paler-skinned than the pharaohs of the 25th Dynasty. They are all Egyptians. It is, in fact, one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Egyptian Empire that they were so diverse in appearance, and they still are to this day. Being multi-ethnic in origin doesn't mean everyone winds up the same average color in the end, it means you get a range of traits that can be transmitted over millenia, maintaining that diversity.
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Big Triece
PostPosted: 2011-03-06 05:28pm 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2010-11-01 02:28pm
Posts: 276
Thanas wrote:
That is rich, demanding citations when you have so far provided none. Nevertheless, what influences were there from inner africa on Egypt? Note that inner africa means the aquetorial regions.


I've reframed from doing so at the request of "Spoonist" made earlier. As far as me providing no sources.... did you not just see my first two first on this thread? I've provided lectures and literature from the leading authority on this subject giving a brief run through of numerous lines of evidence that all point to an inner African origin for ancient Egypt. Why did you blow past those lines of evidence to make unfounded accusations? None the less if for what ever reason Keita's run through was not sufficient enough for you than here is what the Oxford Encyclopedia has to say about the matter:

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"The evidence also points to linkages to
other northeast African peoples, not
coincidentally approximating the modern
range of languages closely related to
Egyptian in the Afro-Asiatic group
(formerly called Hamito-Semetic).
These
linguistic similarities place ancient
Egyptian in a close relationship with
languages spoken today as far west as
Chad, and as far south as Somalia.
Archaeological evidence also strongly
supports an African origin.
A widespread
northeastern African cultural assemblage,
including distinctive multiple barbed
harpoons and pottery decorated with
dotted wavy line patterns, appears during
the early Neolithic (also known as the
Aqualithic, a reference to the mild
climate of the Sahara at this time).

Saharan and Sudanese rock art from this
time resembles early Egyptian
iconography. Strong connections
between Nubian (Sudanese) and
Egyptian material culture continue in
later Neolithic Badarian culture of Upper
Egypt.
Similarities include black-topped
wares, vessels with characteristic
ripple-burnished surfaces, a special
tulip-shaped vessel with incised and
white-filled decoration, palettes, and
harpoons...

Other ancient Egyptian practices show
strong similarities to modern African
cultures including divine kingship, the
use of headrests, body art, circumcision,
and male coming-of-age rituals, all
suggesting an African substratum or
foundation for Egyptian civilization
.."

Source: Donald Redford (2001) The
Oxford encyclopedia of ancient Egypt,
Volume 3. Oxford University Press. p. 28


The above states that inner Northeast and Central (Saharan) African cultures were the basis of Egyptian culture, which is what I've maintained thusfar.

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The Mediterranean is the source of civilization, true.


No, That's not what I stated and this is untrue! The Nile was the source of the civilization and it began in Upper Egypt not the North please take note that a non southern origin for ancient Egypt is unfounded:

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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.."(Bard, Kathryn A. 1994 The Egyptian Predynastic: A Review of the Evidence. Journal of Field Archaeology 21(3):265-288.)


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Yes, but the degree of overlap is still a matter of dispute.


What do you mean? Study after study after study after study have confirmed that Upper Egyptians and Nubians were essentially same people biologically. Take my word for it that it is futile to dispute this fact.

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Learn to read, please. Nobody is denying that part of the population migrated from the south. How is that important when it comes to ascertaining the impact of Egypt on the future development of mankind?


The migration of Africans from the south is what leads to the origins of the civilization! Without the origins of the a civilization then you have NO civilization. Without a civilization then you have legacy to pass onto mankind. You cannot just bypass the origins as insignifigant, what kind of sense does that make.

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Do you think the Egyptian culture evolved on its own, without any help from the outside?


You are essentially implying that Egypt formed in its own bubble void of influence from elsewhere and particularly inner Africa. Upper Egypt where Dynastic culture originated had endless contact with the adjacent Nubia, which actually predates Dynastic Egypt and is why some scholars state that Egyptian culture is owed to Nubia.

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This is getting comical. If it is Afro-Asiatic, then per definition it is at least significantly Asiatic in part. In short, the definition already has it as a mixed origin.


What are you talking about? The reason why it is called Afro-Asiatic is because only ONE language of the family (Semitic) originated in Asia. It doesn't mean that they are some super-mixed population. Please read this article by Christopher Ehret on Afro-Asiatic and the Egyptian language and culture specifically discussing this topic.

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Ancient Egyptian as an African Language, Egypt as an African Culture

Christopher Ehret

Professor of History, African Studies Chair
University of California at Los Angeles

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.

A new religion came with them as well. Its central tenet explains the often localized origins of later Egyptian gods: the earliest Afrasians were, properly speaking, neither monotheistic nor polytheistic. Instead, each local community, comprising a clan or a group of related clans, had its own distinct deity and centered its religious observances on that deity. This belief system persists today among several Afrasian peoples of far southwest Ethiopia. And as Biblical scholars have shown, Yahweh, god of the ancient Hebrews, an Afrasian people of the Semitic group, was originally also such a deity. The connection of many of Egypt's predynastic gods to particular localities is surely a modified version of this early Afrasian belief. Political unification in the late fourth millennium brought the Egyptian deities together in a new polytheistic system. But their local origins remain amply apparent in the records that have come down to us.

During the long era between about 10,000 and 6000 B.C., new kinds of southern influences diffused into Egypt. During these millennia, the Sahara had a wetter climate than it has today, with grassland or steppes in many areas that are now almost absolute desert. New wild animals, most notably the cow, spread widely in the eastern Sahara in this period.

One of the exciting archeological events of the past twenty years was the discovery that the peoples of the steppes and grasslands to the immediate south of Egypt domesticated these cattle, as early as 9000 to 8000 B.C. The societies involved in this momentous development included Afrasians and neighboring peoples whose languages belonged to a second major African language family, Nilo-Saharan (Wendorf, Schild, Close 1984; Wendorf, et al. 1982). The earliest domestic cattle came to Egypt apparently from these southern neighbors, probably before 6000 B.C., not, as we used to think, from the Middle East.

One major technological advance, pottery-making, was also initiated 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.

Very late in the same span of time, the cultivating of crops began in Egypt. Since most of Egypt belonged then to the Mediterranean climatic zone, many of the new food plants came from areas of similar climate in the Middle East. Two domestic animals of Middle Eastern origin, the sheep and the goat, also entered northeastern Africa from the north during this era.

But several notable early Egyptian crops came from Sudanic agriculture, independently invented between 7500 and 6000 B.C. by the Nilo-Saharan peoples (Ehret 1993:104-125). One such cultivated crop was the edible gourd. The botanical evidence is confirmed in this case by linguistics: Egyptian bdt, or "bed of gourds" (Late Egyptian bdt, "gourd; cucumber"), is a borrowing of the Nilo-Saharan word *bud, "edible gourd." Other early Egyptian crops of Sudanic origin included watermelons and castor beans. (To learn more on how historians use linguistic evidence, see note at end of this article.)

Between about 5000 and 3000 B.C. a new era of southern cultural influences took shape. Increasing aridity pushed more of the human population of the eastern Sahara into areas with good access to the waters of the Nile, and along the Nile the bottomlands were for the first time cleared and farmed. The Egyptian stretches of the river came to form the northern edge of a newly emergent Middle Nile Culture Area, which extended far south up the river, well into the middle of modern-day Sudan. Peoples speaking languages of the Eastern Sahelian branch of the Nilo-Saharan family inhabited the heartland of this region.

From the Middle Nile, Egypt gained new items of livelihood between 5000 and 3000 B.C. One of these was a kind of cattle pen: its Egyptian name, s3 (earlier *sr), can be derived from the Eastern Sahelian term *sar. Egyptian pg3, "bowl," (presumably from earlier pgr), a borrowing of Nilo-Saharan *poKur, "wooden bowl or trough," reveals still another adoption in material culture that most probably belongs to this era.

One key feature of classical Egyptian political culture, usually assumed to have begun in Egypt, also shows strong links to the southern influences of this period. We refer here to a particular kind of sacral chiefship that entailed, in its earliest versions, the sending of servants into the afterlife along with the deceased chief. The deep roots and wide occurrence of this custom among peoples who spoke Eastern Sahelian languages strongly imply that sacral chiefship began not as a specifically Egyptian invention, but instead as a widely shared development of the Middle Nile Culture Area.

After about 3500 B.C., however, Egypt would have started to take on a new role vis-a-vis the Middle Nile region, simply because of its greater concentration of population. Growing pressures on land and resources soon enhanced and transformed the political powers of sacral chiefs. Unification followed, and the local deities of predynastic times became gods in a new polytheism, while sacral chiefs gave way to a divine king. At the same time, Egypt passed from the wings to center stage in the unfolding human drama of northeastern Africa.

A Note on the Use of Linguistic Evidence for History

Languages provide a powerful set of tools for probing the cultural history of the peoples who spoke them. Determining the relationships between particular languages, such as the languages of the Afrasian or the Nilo-Saharan family, gives us an outline history of the societies that spoke those languages in the past. And because each word in a language has its own individual history, the vocabulary of every language forms a huge archive of documents. If we can trace a particular word back to the common ancestor language of a language family, then we know that the item of culture connoted by the word was known to the people who spoke the ancestral tongue. If the word underwent a meaning change between then and now, a corresponding change must have taken place in the cultural idea or practice referred to by the word. In contrast, if a word was borrowed from another language, it attests to a thing or development that passed from the one culture to the other. The English borrowing, for example, of castle, duke, parliament, and many other political and legal terms from Old Norman French are evidence of a Norman period of rule in England, a fact confirmed by documents.


References Cited:

Ehret, Christopher, Nilo-Saharans and the Saharo-Sahelian Neolithic. In African Archaeology: Food, Metals and Towns. T. Shaw, P Sinclair, B. Andah, and A. Okpoko, eds. pp. 104-125. London: Routledge. 1993

Ehret, Christopher, Reconstructing Proto-Afroasiatic (Proto-Afrasian): Vowels, Tone Consonants, and Vocabulary. Los Angeles: University of California Press, Berkeley. 1995

Wendorf, F., et al., Saharan Exploitation of Plants 8000 Years B.P. Nature 359:721-724. 1982

Wendorf, F., R. Schild, and A. Close, eds. Cattle-Keepers of the Eastern Sahara. Dallas: Southern Methodist University, Department of Anthropology. 1984


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Remind me again, which great scholars from inner Africa studied in Ancient Egypt and left a lasting impact on civilization?


Remind me of the all of the unquestionable cultural contributions that the Near East made towards creating Dynastic Egyptian culture. Remind me of the time frame from which this mass migration from Eurasia took place into the Nile Valley.

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This proves your point how?


HOW CAN YOU HAVE A LEGACY WITHOUT A CIVILIZATION? HOW CAN YOU HAVE A CIVILIZATION WITHOUT THAT CIVILIZATION'S ORIGINS?

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Not all of them and they quickly intermarried with others, at least where the nobility and the kings were concerned.


It wouldn't surprise the Hell out of me to come across some individuals who varried in phenotype from the general population, but the prodominant affinity of the Old Kingdom nobility were of a tropical African ("black") variant:

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"The predominant craniometric pattern in the Abydos royal tombs is 'southern' (tropical African variant), and this is consistent with what would be expected based on the literature and other results (Keita, 1990). This pattern is seen in both group and unknown analyses... Archaeology and history seem to provide the most parsimonious explanation for the variation in the royal tombs at Abydos.. Tomb design suggests the presence of northerners in the south in late Nakada times (Hoffman, 1988) when the unification probably took place. Delta names are attached to some of the tombs at Abydos (Gardiner, 1961; Yurco, 1990, personal communication), thus perhaps supporting Petrie's (1939) and Gardiner's contention that north-south marriages were undertaken to legitimize the hegemony of the south. The courtiers of northern elites would have accompanied them. (S. Keita (1992) Further Studies of Crania From Ancient Northern Africa: An Analysis of Crania From First Dynasty Egyptian Tombs, Using Multiple Discriminant Functions. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 87:245-254)

http://wysinger.homestead.com/keita-1993.pdf


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And the Egyptians are not regarded primarily as Africans. Why might that be so? Could it be because the egyptians themselves do not claim an African heritage?


Modern Egyptians as in who? The highly admixed Northern Egyptians who don't closely resemble their earliest Egyptian ancestors:

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"Cosmopolitan northern Egypt is less likely to have a population representative of the core indigenous population of the most ancient times".
- Keita (2005), pp. 564


OR

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"However, in some of the studies, only individuals from northern Egypt are sampled, and this could theoretically give a false impression of Egyptian variability (contrast Lucotte and Mercier 2003a with Manni et al. 2002), because this region has received more foreign settlers (and is nearer the Near East). Possible sample bias should be integrated into the discussion of results." (S.O.Y. Keita, A.J. Boyce, "Interpreting Geographical Patterns of Y Chromosome Variation1," History in Africa 32 (2005) 221-246 )


Or the less admixed southern Egyptians who identify as "black":



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I think I'm going to role with Christpher Ehret and Oxford rather than Wikipedia if that's ok with you?

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That does in no way answer my question, nor does your ridiculous strawman in any way matter to this discussion, because nobody claimed that there was no agriculture before livestock were introduced.


What you are not grasping is that there was already an indigenous foraging system in place for the Nile Valley, they just incorporated those live stock into that system. That does not lend evidence to support mass settlement of Near Easterners into the Nile.

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So? The Roman word legate is not related to the Greek word strategos, yet Greek political and military science influenced Rome nonetheless. So what is your source with regards to this?


The fact that they are not loan words from those languages does not support an assertion of mass settlement from the Near East into the Nile. If they settled into on t he Nile then they did settle on the Nile along with there their foreign animals would have names.....It's common sense!

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These are also the guys under whose bronze forging was instituted, egyptian documents and writings were first copied en masse, who brought cattle with them, used mass chariots and composite bows. And these are just a few examples of Egypt profiting from "foreign" technology.


Listen to the words of the late world renowned African historian Basil Davidson:

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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2011-03-06 06:31pm 

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Big Triece wrote:
Broomstick wrote:
There is also evidence of people and culture moving from the Levant – the western part of the Middle East – into that region as well, with much of the evidence being domesticated animals such as sheep and goats which have their origins in the Levant and not Africa.

Incorrect Keita and numerous other scholars refute the claim that Demic Diffusion occurred from the Near East and instead these cultural traits originated in the Sahara with Nilo-Saharan populations.

WTF are you smoking? Did you even watch the videos you linked to? Keita specifically mentions domesticates such as goats coming from the Levant.

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. It doesn't make Levantine or Greek populations African when they adopt the use of papyrus, nor does it require an invasion of Africans for them to adopt such a technology.

I'm beginning to think you just don't understand dissemination of cultural ideas.

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The fact that the ancient Egyptians words for these domesticated animals from the Near East are not loan words from those Near Eastern languages, argues against any sort of mass settling or colonization into Nile Valley at those early times.

Again – mass settling, colonization, and/or invasion is NOT required!. Indeed, invaders sometimes adopt cultural items from the conquered (the US, as an example, seems to pick up the cuisine of whomever they go to war against – there was an upsurge of Japanese food after WWII, Korean after that war, Vietnamese after that war, and Middle Eastern what with recent conflicts there.)

Loan words are not always indicative of adoption of foreign technology or cultural memes. English does readily soak up words from other languages, and with English being so dominant these days we're used to that happening, but not all languages do this as readily, or in all cases.

For another example (and yes, I keep using North American examples but I live here and it's what I'm most familiar with) no one denies that the Lakota Sioux of the Great Plains got their horses from the feral descendants of European horses. Horses were enormously important to those tribes. Yet not one of those tribes used a loan word for “horse”. “Sunka wakan” bears no relationship to any European word for “horse”, but that's what it means (it's actually derived from the Lakota word for “dog”, and many Native names use “dog” modified in some way to refer to horses, though some Central American groups did borrow a version of the Spanish caballo to mean horse). Another example is the Navajo word for car, which is chidi, based on the sound early cars made and not a loan-word from a European language.

Thus, there are ample examples that a group can adopt a technology without adopting a terminology. Lack of loan words does not rule out a foreign origin.

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Furthermore these traits were incorporated into an already established indigenous African agricultural system.

This is possible but you have not provided proof of it. The person you cite – Dr. Keita – actually says the exact opposite of what you claim. 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.

Actually, I'll help you out – the Egyptians did have some unique contributions to animal husbandry. As far as I know, they are the only people ever to tame the cheetah, which they used as a hunting cat. They even accustomed horses to the presence of the cats, so they'd ride into the hunt with the cheetah perched on the animal's hindquarters, giving it a speed boost during hunts that combined with the cheetah's already incredible sprint must have been absolutely devastating. Now that is a unique and uniquely Egyptian thing. Egyptian cheetah hunting techniques spread to Persian and India, in an example of non-African people adopting an African technology.

The Egyptians also bred some extremely useful types of dog. They were very good at animal breeding. That doesn't prove they didn't import goats from elsewhere.

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The skeletal remains of these ancient sites also refute the claim that a significant amount or any Near Easterners were present during this period, as the only affinities of these ancient people lie with other inner African populations and not the Near East.

Keita points out that there aren't plentiful human sites in the Nile Valley prior to Dynastic Egypt. So few, in fact, that any new site discovered can skew the statistics significantly. 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.

And, again, you seem to be overemphasizing the south. North Africans are still Africans and they unquestionably contributed to Ancient Egypt. That doesn't mean they were in the majority numerically. Again, as a modern example Afro-Americans have never been a majority in North America yet they have had significant impact on US culture from the very beginning. A group that is 10-20% of a population can still have a significant impact on everything from food to language to gene distribution. That African influence is a significant part of what differentiates US culture from, say, Australian culture. Both the US and Australia are predominately British by culture but not identical, both because of distance and because of contributions from other neighbors and internal minorities.

No one denying that the Egyptians are African, I think the dispute is the proportion of southern vs. northern and indigenous vs. foreign influences. Egyptians are no less African for adopting a Levantine technology, or marrying pale skinned Libyans. 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. Given Egyptian proximity to the Middle East, Europe, and Asia it actually looks silly to deny these influences.

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Incorrect the domestication of cattle in Africa has recently been found to have been independent of any non African intervention, the Saharan Nilo-Saharan speakers were likely the original domesticators of these African cattle.

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).

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That means all the people in the Americas, Asia, Australia, the South Pacific, and Europe might be more closely related to the Egyptians than they are to the rest of Africa despite very different appearances.

Not necessarily! The most extensive genetic study conducted on Africans found that the East African genetic cluster while it was the closest in relation to the other African clusters to non Africans it was much closer to the other Africans.

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.

One would expect some gene flow from Egypt to the Middle East just given geography. Egypt was one of the most accessible parts of Africa from the perspective of other continents, it makes sense that the genetics would reflect that, with Egyptians showing a closer relationship to non-Africans than any other Africans. It also makes sense that genes would flow the other way from time to time. That doesn't make them un-Egyptian or un-African, it merely reflects that they had greater contact with other continents than, say, Nigeria or the Congo. Those other influences are part of what make them distinctly Egyptian. 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.

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That the “whiter” North Africans (those north of the Sahara today) are not the result of Middle Eastern or European migrations back into Africa but that their paler skins and other “Causasian” traits evolved in place, in Africa.

He states that he "can" make that argument, but the fact that half of the North African genetic profile is Eurasian while the other half is Sub Saharan African to me supports that their generally radically different phenotypic variation from most other Africans is the result of admixture from Eurasia.

The point is that this is not definitively proven. While the evidence at present points to a Eurasia “admixture” new information could change that. Given the early rise of sailing in the Mediterranean, the barrier of the dry Sahara, 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. Of course, if you did argue that someone here would ask you to support such a claim with evidence. That's how discussions go around here.

The drying of the Sahara no doubt had a huge impact on Africa. There might well have been a smooth gradation of traits from what we currently think of as sub-Saharaan to what we currently think of as North African, with today's present groups not becoming so distinct until after the Sahara dried up, pushing people north and south. Again, if a sizable group of those intermediate Saharans went directly East to the Nile it might well account for some of the intermediate groupings of traits we see in Egypt that were lost elsewhere.

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So far, what we have is the theory that Egyptians are their own group, evolved in place, and made up of components from a diverse region of Africa with significant variations in appearance, but NOT the result of an invasion or migration from either the north or the south.

How can they not be the result of migration from the south when those migrations are the very reason for early settlement on the Nile?

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. No one is denying the influence of the south on Egypt, what is under question is how much everyone else contributed. There is definite evidence of contributions from elsewhere. Denying them entirely is ridiculous.
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Serafina
PostPosted: 2011-03-06 06:48pm 

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Big Triece - you did not answer my question:
Define the sort of influence the rest of Africa. Explain your usage of the term "origin" in that regard. Show how it is more important that cultural influences from other parts of the world.
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2011-03-06 06:49pm 

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Big Triece wrote:
As far as some "Greater African heritage" that is primarily an African American thing. In an attempt to recollect history past enslavement here in New World is pretty impossible for the most part without the intervention of genetic testing. From those genetic tests and what we know about African history and migrations it shows that African American "African" ancestry ranging from the Gold Coast and the Red Sea and into the Congo.

That's one of the ironic things I see about some of the more extreme Afro-centric types here – they want to claim Egypt as a “black Empire” and claim a relationship to it, but a “black” American with a hefty dose of European genes and a dash of Native American and/or Asia may, in fact, have less in common genetically with those African Egyptians than someone living in, say, Syria or Jordan. They may or may not have the y-hapE. They may or may not have some other “Egyptian” trait.

I completely understand why, after centuries of oppression and being called sub-human, Americans of African descent want to point to African accomplishments as proof that all those lying, racist scum were wrong. And there is no question that the old ideas about inherent African inferiority were wrong, wrong, wrong. However, going to the other extreme doesn't make them look rational, and it doesn't change the facts. Ancient Egypt might be - :::pulls number out of ass::: - 80% black/southern African, but that other 20% came from elsewhere. Or maybe the ratio is 90:10, or 60:40. Really, we don't know for sure. That's why people argue about these things. But no reputable scholar is arguing Egypt is 100% African, because the facts just don't support that.

Yes, obviously if someone claims this thing X or Y in Egypt is of non-African origin they should be expected to support that claim, just as someone saying X or Y is African should support that claim. Then we get into problem of the same thing being invented more than once, which also happens. But let's keep sight of the fact that no one here is arguably Ancient Egypt was not African.
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Big Triece
PostPosted: 2011-03-06 07:40pm 

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Joined: 2010-11-01 02:28pm
Posts: 276
Broomstick wrote:
As you point out, however, modern racial categories are to some degree cultural constructs, and what traits predominated in a population 10,000 years ago may be quite different than what is seen today.


Not necessarily! Crania analysis from those Nile Valley remains pre-dating the Pre-Dynastic periods also group with modern Sub Saharan African populations. Check the article by Keita on the previous page.

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What this means is that the Nile might have been settled by more or less horizontal movement of peoples from a once-fertile Sahara moving east into the valley, preserving a gradation of human coloring that may have been in existence for tens of thousands of years and evolved entirely within Africa.


From what I see in Egyptian art the general skin tone is of a dark reddish brown hue the same reddish brown hue that is seen in modern indigenous Northeast African populations. This conversely coincides with the fact that modern Northeast Africans overlap with early Egyptian crania. There was proven to be a migration from this general region and up the Nile, which coincides with the ancient Egyptians self identified homeland of punt! In my opinion it's pretty cut and dry what the ancient Egyptians looked like:

Image

Image

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Resemblance of Lower Egyptians to people from outside of Africa may be due to parallel traits rather than those acquired by descent.


That's the thing though there is no biological evidence that suggest that early Lower Egyptians resembled non Africans. There is biological evidence however that directly refutes this claim:

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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)


Lower Egyptians and Near Easterners reside in the same climate, but the fact that Lower Egyptians have tropically adapted body plans that group with other Africans means that they descend from populations who have long term residency in the tropics.

Image

Based on ecological principle they would have been darked skinned due to this fact. Notice that their limb proportions group them with dark brown skinned tropically adapted populations in or from Sub Saharan Africa or in Australia (who were once incorrectly regarded as "negroes" based on their appearance).

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The 25th Dynasty is well known to have been ruled by invaders from Kush, now known as Nubia, who were on average darker skinned than the average Egyptian and unquestionably from further south. Thus, an influx of dark skinned African people from the south.


That occupation of Egypt was different from any of the other foreign occupations, because the Nubians didn't see themselves as "conquerors" they along with the Egyptians saw themselves as the rest orators of the old Egyptian ways and customs. As far as "influx" goes, the Nubians returned to Nubia after those events had fallen through.

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I've heard it discounted there was a unified upper Egypt at the time as well.


Never have I heard of any modern Egyptologist advocating this.

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Funny, from the very first the Egyptians spoke of uniting Upper and Lower Egypt, not Upper taking over Lower.


I never intended to say that they "took over" Lower Egypt, but the fact is that it was Upper Egyptian culture that adopted by the North and became what was Dynastic culture.

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You will have to provide better support for this. Quite a bit of early dynastic Egypt employed symbols representing both cultures. Again, not one overrunning the other but two (or several) group uniting.


Will do:

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"While not attempting to underestimate the contribution that Deltaic political and religious institutions made to those of a united Egypt, many Egyptologists now discount the idea that a united prehistoric kingdom of Lower Egypt ever existed."

"While communities such as Ma'adi appear to have played an important role in entrepots through which goods and ideas form south-west Asia filtered into the Nile Valley in later prehistoric times, the main cultural and political tradition that gave rise to the cultural pattern of Early Dynastic Egypt is to be found not in the north but in the south.":
The Cambridge History of Africa: Volume 1, From the Earliest Times to c. 500 BC, (Cambridge University Press: 1982), Edited by J. Desmond Clark pp. 500-509


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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)


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Another piece of evidence comes from multiple names for deities. “Amon-Ra”, for example, with Amon probably being from the south and Ra from the north, syncretized into a singular deity.


The God's also by the way descend from Northeast African religions:

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"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)


Someone argued earlier that Egypt's legacy was not found in Africa, this is clearly refuted in the bottom half of the passage from Britannica above. Aspects of the culture of Egypt are to this day still found in inner Africa.

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The point is, Egypt happily adopted stuff from other cultures and incorporated it into their own. They “Egyptionized” it, just as the US “Americanizes” stuff from other people. Egypt was arguably the first major empire. Like all major empires it doesn't remain “pure” but adopts stuff from other cultures. It's silly to deny evidence of this occurring not only in the First Dynasty but also in pre-Dynastic Egypt. If you want your claim of southern African influences and cultural origins to be taken seriously you can't just throw out evidence of non-African influences simply because they don't fit your pet theory. You have to account for them. There is evidence that Egyptians adopted agricultural products from the Middle East. They became an important part of their culture, and are some of things that set them apart from their southern neighbors. Goats raised in Egypt are still Egyptian goats even if their far distant ancestors came from Anatolia (or some other place near there).


No one denies that they were influenced from the lands that they conquered and were conquered by. Where I am getting at is its origins. It did incorporate Near Eastern livestock into its indigenous foraging system, but some of you all are attempting to just run with it and plop up some lofty conclusion.

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Afro-Asiatic languages might follow a descent pattern, or they might have arisen simultaneously, or there might even be a mix of the two.


They followed a descending pattern, which is further supported by genetics:

Image

Now compare this spread of Haplogroup E from Luis et al. 2004 and the spead of Afro-Asiactic in Christopher Ehrets linguistic map that I posted above.

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Anyhow, while the preponderance of evidence does seem to point to an East African origin.


Keita also says unhesitantly that it did originate in East Africa.

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Using y-hapE alone for proof that the Ancient Egyptians were predominately African isn't sufficient, you need additional supporting evidence.


Why are you acting as though it's the only line of evidence? There is linguistic, cultural, genetic and anthropological evidence that ALL point to more southerly Northeast Africa as the ancestral homeland of the ancient Egyptians.

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As far as "northern influences" could you please go into further detail on them?


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One of the reasons the people of Upper Egypt tended to be darker was interbreeding with dark skinned neighbors.


Why do you keep insinuating that the Upper Egyptians and the Nubians adjacent to them were distinct from one another? They have been proven time and time again to have been biologically the same population. There are countless studies confirming this, they were already a dark skinned population.

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One of the reasons the people of Lower Egypt tended to be lighter was interbreeding with light skinned neighbors.


What evidence do you have to suggest that these tropically adapted Africans were "light skinned"? They were found to have been biologically "significantly different" from the Near Eastern populations adjacent to them.

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I guess you missed the diagram Keita showed of people moving from North Africa into the Nile region.


I couldn't really see any of the ill lit images that were on that projector pad. Nor did I hear Keita mention a migration from "Northern African" into the Nile Valley. What I did hear Keita advocating was a migration from the ancient Sahara into the Nile Valley. Maybe that's what you saw on the projection?

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Again, Egypt is not JUST southern African in origin. African diversity does not mean all Africans are dark and from the south.


Where is the evidence of these Northern "paler" influences? You are basing this entirely on speculation while not providing a single source to accredit this claim to.

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You can not determine skin color from a skeleton.


True! What you can find however are the limb proportions of the skeleton. Following ecological principals populations with longer limbs are darker, with the darkest people being tropically adapted. These people were tropically adapted just like populations today who are regarded as "black".

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While “tropical proportions” tend to be associated with dark skin the relationship isn't 100%, any more than the “arctic proportions” are automatically pale skinned


Broomstick that is "ecological principal"! This is what Keita also states in his lecture, that based on that principal they would have been "dark skinned", how dark he said he could not say for sure. It would be naive to think that for whatever the ancient Egyptians would violate these biological laws by somehow being "paler" than the dark skinned populations (whom are regularly referred to as "black") whom they group with above.

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There are people in India who are darker skinned than many indigenous Africans. The Dravidians live next to East Asia, they're darker than many Africans, yet their genetics seem most closely related to Europeans.


Tropical limb proportions are not about being "African". It's about the limb proportions of populations around the world that correspond with their environment. It just so happens that most Africans have evolved within the tropic climate zones. For this reason they have tropical limb proportions and dark skin. Some portions of India also lie within the tropics for that reason those populations that evolved there are tropically adapted and have dark skin just like tropical Africans.

The limb proportions of the ancient Egyptians show them to have tropically adapted limb proportions just like very dark skinned populations around the world including in Africa. Why would they somehow miraculously be able to escape being dark skinned just like the other tropically adapted populations? It makes no logical sense to imply that either the southern or northern Egyptians who are both tropically adapted and group with other tropical population would have pale skin.

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On top of that, there are Egyptian mummies of pale-skinned redheads dating pretty far back.


Joanne Fletcher actually dismisses the assertion made in the 1970's that mummies like Ramses had red hair. She instead attributes this to Henna die which is commonly used by Northeast Africans. This would make the most since to me as well. How would a man in ancient times that lived until 90's is able to retain solidly red hair throughout his later stages of life? Here is an example of the dye used by some Northeast Africans and that seen in Egyptian mummies:

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– we know this because we have his mummy. His prominently hooked nose is more characteristic of Arab/Northern African people than those to the south.


ImageImage

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Those genes had to come from somewhere. They are much more common to the north of Egypt than the south; therefore, it is most likely they came from the north. Hence, “northern influence”. Or are you going to argue that Ramses the Great wasn't Egyptian?


Hair analyst Joanne Fletcher discounts the notion that he was a red head. I find it highly unlikely myself that he was a red head, considering just how rare red hair is even in Europe let alone the Middle East and Northern Africa. Ancient bog bodies in South America were also appearing to have red hair, but were later found to be the result of the environment on their hair.

None the less even if he was proven to be a red head, what would that prove about the general Egyptian population or the other nobles?

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Truth is, most Egyptians in history have probably been darker skinned, and certainly were darker-haired, than Ramses the Great. And most Egyptians in history were paler-skinned than the pharaohs of the 25th Dynasty.


I mean it's almost as though you want to compromise a fact. The fact is biological affinities of the early ancient Egyptians lies with dark skinned African population to the south of them and not with these "pale" peoples of what ever region you claim that they come from.
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2011-03-06 09:27pm 

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Joined: 2004-01-02 08:04pm
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Big Triece wrote:
Broomstick wrote:
As you point out, however, modern racial categories are to some degree cultural constructs, and what traits predominated in a population 10,000 years ago may be quite different than what is seen today.

Not necessarily! Crania analysis from those Nile Valley remains pre-dating the Pre-Dynastic periods also group with modern Sub Saharan African populations. Check the article by Keita on the previous page.

Keita himself says in your videos that cranial information is NOT enough to base a conclusion on! Again, did you pay any attention to those videos before linking to them? Those same crania share characteristics with Asiatic populations that no one claims are related to Africans! (Or, not related in the time frames we're speaking of - clearly all humans are related to some degree).

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What this means is that the Nile might have been settled by more or less horizontal movement of peoples from a once-fertile Sahara moving east into the valley, preserving a gradation of human coloring that may have been in existence for tens of thousands of years and evolved entirely within Africa.

From what I see in Egyptian art the general skin tone is of a dark reddish brown hue the same reddish brown hue that is seen in modern indigenous Northeast African populations. This conversely coincides with the fact that modern Northeast Africans overlap with early Egyptian crania. There was proven to be a migration from this general region and up the Nile, which coincides with the ancient Egyptians self identified homeland of punt! In my opinion it's pretty cut and dry what the ancient Egyptians looked like:

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

Image

This one shows the difference in skin color by gender typical of Egyptian art:
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And another one:
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And sculpture:
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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.

Of course, with several thousand years of history you'll always find an exception. Here is a multi-colored group of Egyptian women:
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And here's one where it looks like the man may be paler than his female companion:
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However, the existence of these exceptions in no way invalidates the observation that the vast majority of Egyptian art objects routinely use color coding to indicate gender.

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

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Based on ecological principle they would have been darked skinned due to this fact. Notice that their limb proportions group them with dark brown skinned tropically adapted populations in or from Sub Saharan Africa or in Australia (who were once incorrectly regarded as "negroes" based on their appearance).

Except that “ecological principle” is not a hard and fast correlation. Equatorial South Americans are not nearly as dark as equatorial Africans. 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. 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. Apparently, humans can change their colors and limb lengths given sufficient time and selective pressures. Like this Dravidian woman:

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The 25th Dynasty is well known to have been ruled by invaders from Kush, now known as Nubia, who were on average darker skinned than the average Egyptian and unquestionably from further south. Thus, an influx of dark skinned African people from the south.

That occupation of Egypt was different from any of the other foreign occupations, because the Nubians didn't see themselves as "conquerors" they along with the Egyptians saw themselves as the rest orators of the old Egyptian ways and customs. As far as "influx" goes, the Nubians returned to Nubia after those events had fallen through.

And... so what? You seriously think none of those Nubians left offspring behind? That would make them entirely different than any other conquering people in history. 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? Dark skinned? From the South? This does not make sense.

And if you can accept the above, why is it inconceivable to you that the original dynasty-forming event, the uniting of Egypt's Two Kingdoms, couldn't also be different than a conquer-and-displace event?

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Funny, from the very first the Egyptians spoke of uniting Upper and Lower Egypt, not Upper taking over Lower.

I never intended to say that they "took over" Lower Egypt, but the fact is that it was Upper Egyptian culture that adopted by the North and became what was Dynastic culture.

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

I also find your use of bolding to be interesting, as it slants your quotes to support your position. Let me demonstrate how this can alter emphasis.

YOU bolded thusly:
Quote:
"While not attempting to underestimate the contribution that Deltaic political and religious institutions made to those of a united Egypt, many Egyptologists now discount the idea that a united prehistoric kingdom of Lower Egypt ever existed."

"While communities such as Ma'adi appear to have played an important role in entrepots through which goods and ideas form south-west Asia filtered into the Nile Valley in later prehistoric times, the main cultural and political tradition that gave rise to the cultural pattern of Early Dynastic Egypt is to be found not in the north but in the south."


But if the bolding changes:
Quote:
"While not attempting to underestimate the contribution that Deltaic political and religious institutions made to those of a united Egypt, many Egyptologists now discount the idea that a united prehistoric kingdom of Lower Egypt ever existed."

"While communities such as Ma'adi appear to have played an important role in entrepots through which goods and ideas form south-west Asia filtered into the Nile Valley in later prehistoric times, the main cultural and political tradition that gave rise to the cultural pattern of Early Dynastic Egypt is to be found not in the north but in the south."

See – it doesn't change the words, but the emphasis.

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. 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.

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The kinship in particular shows some African elements, such as the king as the head ritualist (i.e., medicine man),

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. This is such a common thing in humanity that it does not constitute proof of anything, really.

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Someone argued earlier that Egypt's legacy was not found in Africa, this is clearly refuted in the bottom half of the passage from Britannica above. Aspects of the culture of Egypt are to this day still found in inner Africa.

Please provide examples.

Quote:
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The point is, Egypt happily adopted stuff from other cultures and incorporated it into their own. They “Egyptionized” it, just as the US “Americanizes” stuff from other people. Egypt was arguably the first major empire. Like all major empires it doesn't remain “pure” but adopts stuff from other cultures. It's silly to deny evidence of this occurring not only in the First Dynasty but also in pre-Dynastic Egypt. If you want your claim of southern African influences and cultural origins to be taken seriously you can't just throw out evidence of non-African influences simply because they don't fit your pet theory. You have to account for them. There is evidence that Egyptians adopted agricultural products from the Middle East. They became an important part of their culture, and are some of things that set them apart from their southern neighbors. Goats raised in Egypt are still Egyptian goats even if their far distant ancestors came from Anatolia (or some other place near there).

No one denies that they were influenced from the lands that they conquered and were conquered by. Where I am getting at is its origins. It did incorporate Near Eastern livestock into its indigenous foraging system, but some of you all are attempting to just run with it and plop up some lofty conclusion.

Are you having problems reading? How many times do I have to point out that conquering is NOT necessary to influence a culture, seriously? A hell of a lot of Egypt's contact with its neighbors was peaceful trade.

You held up domestication of indigenous cattle as somehow “proof” they didn't borrow anything from the Levant, but you totally ignored that what Keita talked about in the video you cited was goats. GOATS. Not cattle. You even admit right in that paragraph just above here that they incorporated Near Eastern livestock yet you continue to claim this somehow didn't affect their culture or civilization. That's just... stupid. Really, there's no other word for it.

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. That doesn't make them “not African”, it makes them an early empire. What you're arguing is like arguing that people Rome imported Egyptian wheat to feed its population and imported other Egyptian goods from papyrus to animals to perfumes and precious and semi-precious stones that somehow this made them no longer European.

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Afro-Asiatic languages might follow a descent pattern, or they might have arisen simultaneously, or there might even be a mix of the two.

They followed a descending pattern, which is further supported by genetics

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?

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Keita also says unhesitantly that it did originate in East Africa.

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?

Quote:
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Using y-hapE alone for proof that the Ancient Egyptians were predominately African isn't sufficient, you need additional supporting evidence.

Why are you acting as though it's the only line of evidence? There is linguistic, cultural, genetic and anthropological evidence that ALL point to more southerly Northeast Africa as the ancestral homeland of the ancient Egyptians.

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. 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.

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Why do you keep insinuating that the Upper Egyptians and the Nubians adjacent to them were distinct from one another?

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


Quote:
They have been proven time and time again to have been biologically the same population. There are countless studies confirming this, they were already a dark skinned population.

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. They didn't suddenly pop into existence when Narmer/Menes took the throne.

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What evidence do you have to suggest that these tropically adapted Africans were "light skinned"? They were found to have been biologically "significantly different" from the Near Eastern populations adjacent to them.

Let me show you some “tropical Africans”:
ImageImage
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?

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I guess you missed the diagram Keita showed of people moving from North Africa into the Nile region.

I couldn't really see any of the ill lit images that were on that projector pad. Nor did I hear Keita mention a migration from "Northern African" into the Nile Valley. What I did hear Keita advocating was a migration from the ancient Sahara into the Nile Valley. Maybe that's what you saw on the projection?

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.

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You can not determine skin color from a skeleton.

True! What you can find however are the limb proportions of the skeleton. Following ecological principals populations with longer limbs are darker, with the darkest people being tropically adapted. These people were tropically adapted just like populations today who are regarded as "black".

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.

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While “tropical proportions” tend to be associated with dark skin the relationship isn't 100%, any more than the “arctic proportions” are automatically pale skinned

Broomstick that is "ecological principal"!

“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.

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This is what Keita also states in his lecture, that based on that principal they would have been "dark skinned", how dark he said he could not say for sure.

Emphasis added – NO ONE is claiming that Ancient Egyptians were as pale as, say, the modern Irish, but your skeletal data does not prove that they were either the same color or a different color from the Nubians. It is data, but it does not support your claim. Find something else. A dead body with extremely dark skin, for instance – seriously, Egypt is sort of well known for it's well-preserved dead bodies.

Quote:
It would be naive to think that for whatever the ancient Egyptians would violate these biological laws by somehow being "paler" than the dark skinned populations (whom are regularly referred to as "black") whom they group with above.

“Biological laws” are bullshit as you use them. If the world worked as you claim then everyone at a particular latitude would be the exact same shade. The empirical evidence disproves this. Even among tropical peoples there is a variation in skin color.

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There are people in India who are darker skinned than many indigenous Africans. The Dravidians live next to East Asia, they're darker than many Africans, yet their genetics seem most closely related to Europeans.

Tropical limb proportions are not about being "African". It's about the limb proportions of populations around the world that correspond with their environment. It just so happens that most Africans have evolved within the tropic climate zones. For this reason they have tropical limb proportions and dark skin. Some portions of India also lie within the tropics for that reason those populations that evolved there are tropically adapted and have dark skin just like tropical Africans.

And yet there are tropical populations that are paler than either Nubias or Dravidians... so while there is a relationship there it's not as hard and fast as you think it is.

Quote:
The limb proportions of the ancient Egyptians show them to have tropically adapted limb proportions just like very dark skinned populations around the world including in Africa. Why would they somehow miraculously be able to escape being dark skinned just like the other tropically adapted populations? It makes no logical sense to imply that either the southern or northern Egyptians who are both tropically adapted and group with other tropical population would have pale skin.

Except we have direct evidence that not everyone “tropically adapted” has the same, uniform skin color around the globe. Also, you are completely and stubbornly misunderstanding that I am talking about an influx of genes from a northern group – not enough to “whitewash” the entire population but enough to potentially make Ancient Egyptians somewhat different in skin tone from their neighbors to the south. Rather like how the current president of the US has a skin color intermediate between that of his parents. Rather like how his children, offspring of a woman with a darker skin than his, are not as dark as their paternal African grandparents. No one is going to mistake them for Caucasians, but neither do they look the same as the Kenyan group they are so recently descended from.

You do know that human skin color is controlled by a LOT of genes that mix and match in all sorts of ways, yes?

Quote:
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On top of that, there are Egyptian mummies of pale-skinned redheads dating pretty far back.

Joanne Fletcher actually dismisses the assertion made in the 1970's that mummies like Ramses had red hair. She instead attributes this to Henna die which is commonly used by Northeast Africans. This would make the most since to me as well. How would a man in ancient times that lived until 90's is able to retain solidly red hair throughout his later stages of life? Here is an example of the dye used by some Northeast Africans and that seen in Egyptian mummies:

Yes, dear, I'm familiar with henna.

As for retaining hair color – my paternal grandfather was still more than half dark-haired when he died at 98. My father – still alive in his 80's – has gray sideburns but is still predominately black haired. It is possible for people to retain hair color late into old age, albeit a bit unusual.

However, even in the 1970's people knew you couldn't determine a mummies hair color in life by looking at the mummy. Too many chemicals used in mummification could alter hair color, just as it could alter skin color.

The red hair determination was based on microscopic examination of a hair sample of Ramses the Great as well as testing for the ratio of phealomelanin (the blond to red colors) versus eumelanin (the brown to black colors).

I'll also point out that the determination that Neanderthals had red hair was made by genetic analysis – they had the exact same hair gene as modern Europeans with red hair. This is believed to be a case of the mutation occupying twice, in separate lineages, and not an indication of descent due to the lack of similarity found between the rest of the Neanderthal genome and H. sapiens.

So, contrary to your assumption, no it's not just based on what things look like to the naked eye.

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.

Quote:
None the less even if he was proven to be a red head, what would that prove about the general Egyptian population or the other nobles?

It proves there were actual influences on Ancient Egypt beyond just the Nubians.
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2011-03-07 02:41am 

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Since I can't sleep tonight I thought I'd finish the video summaries.

Part 4

This opens with information from several studies/sources indicating that yes, Ancient Egyptians and Nubians do share much in common. However, all of these sources also show that there are relationships between the Egyptian/Nubian cluster and other groups. He also discusses this over a long time period, from the pre-Dynastic people to the later dynasties that clearly show an influx of European genes (that would be the Ptolemaic Dynasty and Roman Empire time). Yes, pre-Dynastically there is markedly less northern influence but even then there is some.

So, once again – the Egyptians are African, They are related to the Nubians. However, it is inaccurate to say that that is the only influence at work here. They aren't “pure”.

Moving along, at around 5:30 he starts disucssing Y chromosome markers, including the PN2 which is shared by something like 70% of African men. Around 6:00 he points out that even blue eyed blond haired Berbers share this trait with other Africans, from west Africa throughout the tropical region. In other words, that distinctly African PN2 marker is found in people with some of the darkest skin colors and tropical skeletons AND in people with much paler skins and less tropical features. This is only possible if they share common male ancestors. Which gets back to my point that even if paler people are a minority on the continent of Africa they are just as much African as the dark skinned people.

At 6:30 he gets a direct question regarding Europeans and Africans 60,000 years ago in Africa. This is in reference to earlier statements about people in Africa at that date who more closely resemble, on anatomical level, modern Europeans than modern sub-Saharan Africans. His point is that these “Europeans” are, in fact, Africans. He says the best evidence for the earliest appearance of anatomically modern humans in Europe is only 45,000 years ago. (The people who were in Europe at the time were Neanderthals). If these H. sapiens that appeared “European” were in Africa it
s because they evolved there. In other words, they're African. At 7:05 he states VERY clearly that “Africans don't all look alike. Some of what you're calling Mediterranean people are just more Africans.” Berbers don't look like Congolese, but their genetics ties them to rest of the continent of Africa. No matter how European or “Caucasian” they look they are not Europeans. They are Africans. At 8:40 he states clearly there is “more than one way to look African”.

Thus, if you say that Ancient Egypt had some relatively pale skinned members of their society you don't have to look for Levantine “invaders” - there are some African groups that meet that description. There is biological evidence that some of these groups (which tended to be in the north of Africa) did form part of Ancient Egypt. This is more than enough to account for apparent difference between Upper and Lower Egyptians, and between Upper Egyptians and Nubians. It may squick some people out, but not all Africans are “black”, and there is evidence of this going back to before the time anatomically modern people left Africa at all. Yes, apparently pale skin and hair did evolve in Africa alongside dark skin and hair.

Part 5

Part 5 takes up where part 4 left off. Let me quote Dr. Keita:
Quote:
There have always been people who are lighter skinned and straighter haired, from 60,000 years ago. Always. They're not new. That's my whole point. In fact, I could make the argument that those kinds of characteristics actually originated in Africa, that they didn't come from someplace else.

He then goes on to mention that skin color can “flip” back and forth in about 15,000 years, it doesn't take time scales on the order of 100,000 years to do this. He points out that skin color alone is not a reliable indicator of ancestry with some “white” people having a much higher percentage of African ancestry than some darker people. He talks about people in Kenya having characteristics that cluster with Europeans. He returns to the Berbers and that they “look like Europeans”. What I'm hearing is that it would be as accurate to say Europeans look like Berbers.

Around 9:20 he states that Ancient Egyptians being dark skinned is a “guess”. There are reasons for making that guess, but it's still a guess. In keeping with the rest of Part 5 – Ancient Egyptians could share much of their geneology with Nubians and still look different. Paler skinned northerners adding their lighter skin tones to Egypt would NOT make the Egyptians any less African because those pale northerners were just as African as anyone else.

Part 6

Continuing directly from Part 5 Dr. Keita states he doesn't know how dark the Ancient Egyptians were. This last part is very short.


So, in sum – yes, the Ancient Egyptians were unequivocally an African nation and Empire. Yes, they had numerous ties with their neighbors to the south. They also had ties to other neighbors, some of which may well have had what most today would call a European appearance but who were just as African as the Nubians. They had influences from the Levant, regardless of whether there was any significant biological tie they certainly borrowed technology from the Levant, even as early at 6,000 years ago. To deny any of this is to deny much of what made Ancient Egypt a distinctive civilization. As I have said before, to deny they had influences beyond Nubia is as much a distortion as to claim Nubia had no influence at all in their ancestry or culture. It is inaccurate to say that the Ancient Egyptians were the same as the Nubians and you can't use Dr. Keita's lecture to support that claim.

Based on their art – which is problematic at times, it must be acknowledged – and their own writings there was, apparently, some difference in appearance between the Egyptians and the Nubians, with those of Upper Egypt more closely resembling them but still not quite identical, and the Lower Egyptians resembling them less. Even in the formulaic color scheme of Egyptian art we see representations of different skin tones among the Egyptian population, so they certainly weren't oblivious to the fact people had different skin colors. This would indicate that from a very early time there was a range of such traits among the Egyptian population and not one archetype. Egyptian nobility ranged from dark skinned people of clear Nubian ancestry (25th Dynasty) to people like Ramses the Great who might have been pale enough to look European if we could see him as he was in life. These people are all Africans, and all Egyptians. The vast bulk of the population would have fallen between those two extremes, but you'd still see people among them who'd look either sub-Saharan or “European” by our standards because all of those types were present in Africa from long, long ago, long before the Two Kingdoms were united, even from before modern humans left Africa for other parts of the world. As Dr. Keita said, the average Ancient Egyptian wasn't blonde... but you can't say he or she was the opposite extreme of extremely dark skinned either. So, if the bust of Nefertiti shows a woman who is pale enough to pass for European that might have been and entirely accurate representation of what she looked like. Or it might be more of that Egyptian custom of making portrayals of women significantly lighter skinned than portrayals of men even though it is unlikely that such a distinct gender difference ever existed in any human population.

Now, tomorrow is Monday and I'll probably have significantly less time to reply to this thread during the week, so the rest of ya'll have fun.
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PharaohMentuhotep
PostPosted: 2011-03-07 02:42pm 

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Broomstick wrote:
Emphasis added – NO ONE is claiming that Ancient Egyptians were as pale as, say, the modern Irish, but your skeletal data does not prove that they were either the same color or a different color from the Nubians. It is data, but it does not support your claim. Find something else. A dead body with extremely dark skin, for instance – seriously, Egypt is sort of well known for it's well-preserved dead bodies.


The skin color of the Ancient Egyptians was empirically shown to be dark in a recent study that tested the melanin levels of the Ancient Egyptian noble mummies from the New Kingdom period.


Image

Source: Determination of optimal rehydration, fixation and staining methods for histological and immunohistochemical analysis of mummified soft tissues. Biotech Histochem. 2005 Jan-Feb;80(1):7-13.

Full article link: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=33ASJ1US


So we have facial confirmation via craniofacial analysis that the Ancient Egyptians resembled tropical East Africans in morphology, limb proportion data that shows that were adapted to a tropical climate and data which confirms their considerably dark skin color via histological analysis of the skin.

I should note that I had a direct correspondence with Dr. Keita via email and he discussed this issue at length with me. Here is a screenshot from one of his emails confirming that his research indicates the Ancient Egyptians looked like ethnic groups in Africa such as the Nubians, Oromo and Somali.


Image
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2011-03-07 11:20pm 

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And your point is? The OP was essentially saying that the Ancient Egyptians were in fact Nubians, that there were no differences. No one is disputing that the Ancient Egyptians had brown skins, but, as I already noted, even the most tropically adapted people have a range of skin colors from dark to very dark.

In fact, while there was substantial contribution to Ancient Egypt from Nubia, Nubia was not the sole source of Egyptian people, culture, or anything else.

For your mummy reference, I will note that the term "negroid" is outmoded. The New Kingdom is a couple thousand years removed from the pre-Dynastic/First Dynasty people and thus could have different genetics/appearance than people of the First Dynasty so while the finding is interesting it's not really applicable to the meat of the topic. Finally, "densely packed" implies dark skin, but, again, there is no quantification of how that would appear. Are they the same color, darker, or not so dark as someone else?

And while I'm thrilled you are corresponding with Dr. Keita personally, the particular e-mail you posted seems to contribute nothing new to this thread.

Again, the OP is more or less insisting that Ancient Egypt=Nubia. I say it doesn't. That in no way contradicts the idea of Ancient Egyptians being African, dark skinned, or a lot of other things. I am saying that influxes from other, non-Nubia groups even as early as the First Dynasty resulted in the Egyptians being distinct from the Nubians, and probably of somewhat different appearance even if they were still relatively dark skinned, tropical people. In other words, Ancient Egypt does not equal Nubia. They are two different groups, two different nations, even if they are related.
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Edi
PostPosted: 2011-03-08 02:19am 

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This thread has gone on far enough. As I said when I approved the OP, if this thread goes down the same drain as the others, it will get shut down. And right enough, there it is, a couple of afrocentrist morons insisting on the same bullshit as before and ignoring everything that doesn't fit their pet theory. Thread locked.
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Edi
PostPosted: 2011-03-08 05:56am 

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By request of a user in good standing, the thread has been reopened.

By all means continue to blast this idiocy out of the water.

Mentuhotep, you had better start coming up with better evidence than just a couple of snippets quoted out of context or you won't last very long here. Terwynn linked the earlier "debates" (such as they were) over this issue with the afrocentrist twats who tried pushing this argument among others and got roundly shot down.

I have absolutely no qualms about using the Ban Hammer if any similar behavior presents itself and you're already drifting close enough to those waters.
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Serafina
PostPosted: 2011-03-08 06:56am 

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Since this has been re-opened:

BigTriece, you still have to answer my question:
Explain your usage of the terms "origin" and "relation" in this debate. Show how they are more important than cultural influences from other parts of the world, if they differ from them.
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Big Triece
PostPosted: 2011-03-08 07:43am 

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Forgive me for absence lately I've been swamped with work I will reply to everything later on this afternoon.
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Big Triece
PostPosted: 2011-03-08 08:00am 

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Joined: 2010-11-01 02:28pm
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Edi wrote:
By request of a user in good standing, the thread has been reopened.

By all means continue to blast this idiocy out of the water.

Mentuhotep, you had better start coming up with better evidence than just a couple of snippets quoted out of context or you won't last very long here. Terwynn linked the earlier "debates" (such as they were) over this issue with the afrocentrist twats who tried pushing this argument among ers and got roundly shot down.

I have absolutely no qualms about using the Ban Hammer if any s simply similar behavior presents itself and you're already drifting close enough to those waters.


Edi dude??? This is merely a simple dissucusion which from what I've seen has remained civil on both sides. You didn't even give us a chance to concede or validate our own argument before you barged in hurling unwarranted insults at two individuals for simply interpretting research differently from someone whom you tend to agree with. We all apparently would like to continue this civil dissucssion and at the request that we who have different opinions can be respected and the thread be objectively moderated.
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2011-03-08 08:32am 

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Big Triece, please understand that in the past these discussions have not ended well. This makes the moderators a little fast on the trigger sometimes. As noted, a member in good standing requested it be re-opened and it has been.

We certainly understand that work takes precedence over a message board. And we'd rather you take some time and reply thoughtfully rather than in haste. So, by all means, take your time. As this is no longer the weekend, the rest of us will have other obligations as well, so the pace in this thread is likely to slow down.
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Lagmonster
PostPosted: 2011-03-08 08:44am 

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Everyone will be treated fairly as far as I'm concerned, within the boundaries of the rules. In return, please consider that I will be on the look out - from all sides - for dishonesty, evasiveness, or posts which are purely insults (ie. lacking topical information). If anyone cannot answer a point, either because you lack the evidence, have no time, or are simply getting swamped by replies, have the heart to concede and explain your concession, until such time as you can respond. This goes for everyone, and nobody should have too much pride to put an internet debate on hold. I especially will not tolerate people who simply repeat their points without considering the substance of an opponent's rebuttal, nor people who come into the thread merely to complain about how it's "been done". If it offends you to re-visit an argument that in your mind, has been settled, don't participate.
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Spoonist
PostPosted: 2011-03-08 08:51am 

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@Big Triece
Quote:
I've reframed from doing so at the request of "Spoonist" made earlier.
If so then there is a small misunderstanding. First let me point out that I have no authority here whatsoever, instead you should look for green name tags for those. So anything from me is merely wishes which can be ignored as you see fit.
Secondly I never said anything bad about giving sources or links, just that if you do so only without providing your own words with claims or opinions then any discussion will be unproductive. So I prefer your later style where you both make claims and give sources above your first style of only linking to Keita etc.

@Everyone
With that clarified, here is something I don't get. Why would the skintone of the original egyptians matter? Isn't it enough to agree that the people came from africa and where a mix of skintone/tribes? That would dispute any residual colonial racism while at the same time dispute racism vs northern africans.
I find it very strange that anyone would argue:
1) ...that the paleolithic tribes of Libya/Sahara savanna would be less african because of their lighter skintone.
2) ...that the Nile was settled by only one skintone/tribe/culture when the desiccation of Sahara took place continuosly over some thousand years.
3) ...that trade with neighbouring regions would in any way diminish the accomplishment of any early civilization.
4) ...that the egyptian civilization would either be the result of purely local or purely outside advances when all the evidence is of a mix.
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PharaohMentuhotep
PostPosted: 2011-03-08 11:39am 

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Broomstick wrote:
And your point is? The OP was essentially saying that the Ancient Egyptians were in fact Nubians, that there were no differences. No one is disputing that the Ancient Egyptians had brown skins, but, as I already noted, even the most tropically adapted people have a range of skin colors from dark to very dark.

In fact, while there was substantial contribution to Ancient Egypt from Nubia, Nubia was not the sole source of Egyptian people, culture, or anything else.

For your mummy reference, I will note that the term "negroid" is outmoded. The New Kingdom is a couple thousand years removed from the pre-Dynastic/First Dynasty people and thus could have different genetics/appearance than people of the First Dynasty so while the finding is interesting it's not really applicable to the meat of the topic. Finally, "densely packed" implies dark skin, but, again, there is no quantification of how that would appear. Are they the same color, darker, or not so dark as someone else?

And while I'm thrilled you are corresponding with Dr. Keita personally, the particular e-mail you posted seems to contribute nothing new to this thread.

Again, the OP is more or less insisting that Ancient Egypt=Nubia. I say it doesn't. That in no way contradicts the idea of Ancient Egyptians being African, dark skinned, or a lot of other things. I am saying that influxes from other, non-Nubia groups even as early as the First Dynasty resulted in the Egyptians being distinct from the Nubians, and probably of somewhat different appearance even if they were still relatively dark skinned, tropical people. In other words, Ancient Egypt does not equal Nubia. They are two different groups, two different nations, even if they are related.



If the contention is that Ancient Egypt and Nubia were separate political entities I can agree to that. If you're saying that they were phenotypically distinct it should be noted first of all that African people especially in Northeast Africa vary in phenotype.

There was no one Nubian or Egyptian physical type. Even today in Upper Egypt and the Northern Sudan you see ethnic groups with a variety of features and complexions. As for where the ancestors of the Ancient Egyptians migrated from it would seem that the Sahara, Sudan and the Horn of Africa served as the main sources of migration with very little input from the Levant.

In any case my point was to note empirical evidence that the Ancient Egyptians were considerably dark-skinned which seemed to be fulfilling your request. Were they as dark as the darkest Nubian on average? Probably not but Mekota's study indicates that medium to dark brown would have been average for Ancient Egyptians given their densely packed melanin.

As for the New Kingdom period vs. the First Dynasty it should be noted that there is a biological continuity from Dynasty 1 to the New Kingdom period so these samples are reasonably representative of the base population although it would be helpful to get more samples across social classes, regions and time periods of remains one believes are of native Egyptians.

At best this study fulfilled Keita's criteria for analyzing the skin color which his research does not address. A point he acknowledged in our emails.

Negroid is indeed an outmoded term but we can reasonably interpret their suggestion to mean that Ancient Egyptians were as dark-skinned as your typical tropical African.





Edi wrote:
By request of a user in good standing, the thread has been reopened.

By all means continue to blast this idiocy out of the water.

Mentuhotep, you had better start coming up with better evidence than just a couple of snippets quoted out of context or you won't last very long here. Terwynn linked the earlier "debates" (such as they were) over this issue with the afrocentrist twats who tried pushing this argument among others and got roundly shot down.

I have absolutely no qualms about using the Ban Hammer if any similar behavior presents itself and you're already drifting close enough to those waters.


Edi,

Kindly explain to me how the quote is taken out of context and how my interpretation warrants such hostile threats?

I came here to provide information and intend to be as reasonable and civil as possible. I was not aware I would have to walk on eggshells to get a point across. I can appreciate that discussions like this have ended badly before but you're showing an inappropriate level of bias and disrespect for positions being presented.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-03-08 12:06pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 20024
PharaohMentuhotep wrote:
As for the New Kingdom period vs. the First Dynasty it should be noted that there is a biological continuity from Dynasty 1 to the New Kingdom period so these samples are reasonably representative of the base population although it would be helpful to get more samples across social classes, regions and time periods of remains one believes are of native Egyptians.




Quote:
Edi,
Kindly explain to me how the quote is taken out of context and how my interpretation warrants such hostile threats?

I came here to provide information and intend to be as reasonable and civil as possible. I was not aware I would have to walk on eggshells to get a point across. I can appreciate that discussions like this have ended badly before but you're showing an inappropriate level of bias and disrespect for positions being presented.
Not a mod, but I might be of service, referring to the threads linked by posters near the beginning of this.

Last time this happened, one of our more foolish posters started it. This fellow had a disturbing fixation on a very limited number of subjects without really knowing very much about them (except dinosaurs. I'm pretty sure he knew a lot about dinosaurs). One of his hobbyhorses happened to be sub-Saharan Africa, and people from there, especially women from there; it got kind of creepy. Especially since he was a rather typical Pale White Nerd by all appearances.

This fellow posted a lengthy essay on the subject of 'Black Egyptians.' It was a rather seamless mix of things that are uncontroversial, things that are reasonable interpretations of established fact, things that are unreasonable interpretations of established fact, and wild gibberish-speculations. Moreover, the fellow did not cover himself in glory in the followup when people started asking him awkward questions. Having had to deal with his often uninformed arguments before, very few people had any patience with him, but the situation was coming to a close, as I recall. Or so we thought.

Then the deluge hit. This poor sap chose to post a request for advice on a webforum he frequented, one which I can best characterize as 'supremacist to and beyond the point of sanity.' He was, naively, hoping that they would merely give him useful advice on how to carry on the discussion. Unfortunately, he linked to the thread on our forum.

The result was a minor 'forum invasion' from this other forum, with... was it two, three? I can't remember... people from there logging onto this forum specifically so they could post in the thread. None of them showed much more intelligence, mental flexibility, or willingness to accept information contradicting their existing biases than the first guy had. In many respects they were inferior debaters when compared to the first guy, who was none too impressive himself.

Finally, the thing turned into an utter cluster-fuck that got locked. The original poster, humiliated at having made such an utter ass of himself and at having invited in other people to make an ass of both themselves and him, asked to be banned from the board. The mods complied.

That was about 12-15 months ago.

Now we get another 'African Egyptians' thread, and someone suddenly shows up on this forum to post in a thread on 'African Egyptians,' a term which is not well defined and means many different things to many different people... well, let's just say that it does attract a certain amount of moderatorial attention. The mods are probably suspicious that "PharaohMentuhotep" was just another guy from that same forum who happened to browse through his archives, found the link, and decided to come here and pick a fight the same way the last couple of guys did a year ago.

This may be paranoia, but I think it's understandable given the problems they had before.
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Spoonist
PostPosted: 2011-03-08 12:32pm 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2002-09-20 11:15am
Posts: 2367
@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.

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

PharaohMentuhotep wrote:
Kindly explain to me how the quote is taken out of context
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.
PharaohMentuhotep wrote:
and how my interpretation warrants such hostile threats?
Did you read the links provided regarding former discussions we have had on the subject? If not do it now.
PharaohMentuhotep wrote:
I came here to provide information and intend to be as reasonable and civil as possible.
No need to be civil as long as you back up your claims. Reasonable however is appreciated.
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Edi
PostPosted: 2011-03-08 03:27pm 

Dragonlord


Joined: 2002-07-11 12:27am
Posts: 11483
Location: Helsinki, Finland
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.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2011-03-08 04:52pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 20024
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 see no reason to believe otherwise. Figuring that he's on the up-and-up (which I'm rather inclined to believe since he sounds nothing like the obnoxious idiots from the old thread), he deserves a clear explanation of why people got so hostile to him the minute he showed up.

Quote:
PharaohMentuhotep wrote:
I came here to provide information and intend to be as reasonable and civil as possible.
No need to be civil as long as you back up your claims. Reasonable however is appreciated.
In practice, civil helps; it reduces the level of ego investment. It's not required, but if Pharaoh wants to be civil I say encourage him.
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