Date: Sat, 8 Feb 2003 22:52:18 -0800 (PST)
Subject: African History: The Origins of Ancient Egypt
The following is a “must read” for all of my fellow history scholars.
P.S. Of all of my study and interest in African history, my study of
Ancient Egypt ranks highest. The points brought forth in the article have
long been verified and cross-referenced and have become pillars in my
worldview. I am pleased to offer one source that captures so much of who
I am and what I believe. Enjoy! 😉
Legrand H. Clegg II, Editor & Publisher *
Volume I, Edition III, February 1997
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There was and is wide mingling of the
blood of all races in Africa, but this
is consistent with the general thesis
that Africa is predominantly the land of
the Negroes and Negroid peoples, just as
Europe is a land of Caucasoids and Asia
of Mongoloids. We may give up entirely,
if we wish, the whole attempt to delimit
races, but we cannot, if we are sane,
divide the world into whites, yellows,
and blacks, and then call blacks white.
W.E.B. DuBois, The world and Africa:
An Inquiry into the part which Africa
has played in world history.
International Publishers, New York, 1961, p. 119
We would like to inform our readers that a remarkable discovery has taken
place in the “Queen’s Chamber” of the Great Pyramid! According to a report
published on the Internet on December 1, 1996, by Robert Hancock, British
author of the best selling books, “The Sign and the Seal” and
“Fingerprints of the Gods,” the Gantenbrink experiment1 was conducted in
the Great Pyramid on October 20, 1996. This project entailed an
exploration of the narrow passage leading up from the southern shaft of
the “Queen’s Chamber” in the Great Pyramid. For several years,
Egyptologists have known that a door exists at the upper end of the
“Queen’s Chamber,” but until October 20, no one had penetrated it. Here,
then, are the words of Hancock regarding the events of that date:
“At the end of the ascending passage, 8
inches square, leading from inside the
Great Pyramid’s ‘Queen’s Chamber’ is a
small ‘door’ with two metal ‘handles.’
On October 20, 1996, Dr. El Bas and two
assistants sent a fiber optic camera lens
through a flaw in this door. What was
allegedly found was a 2 meter by 1.5
meter chamber inside of which was a statue.
The statue seemed to be in the image of
a black male, holding an ankh in one hand. On the opposing wall of this
a round shaped passage leading out.”2
While citing three reliable sources for this report, Hancock nonetheless
cautions that it has not been completely verified. Less restrained is
American author and astronomer Richard Hoagland. Speaking on Art Bell’s
early morning nationwide talk show (KABC radio) on December 20, 1996,
Hoagland devoted a considerable amount of time to a discussion of the same
report and defended it with confidence. He also noted that, after the
information leaked out, one of the sources was immediately fired and
subjected to other severe discipline.3
We cite this report because, if true, it is an example, among many, of a
revolutionary discovery made in secrecy by a group of specialists who may
or may not reveal the total truth about what they have found. Fortunately,
because a number of laymen, academicians and scientists have been closely
following developments on the Giza plateau for several years, it was
difficult for officials to suppress this experiment. Nevertheless, as of
this writing no major media have published information on this discovery.
As Afrocentrists we stand in awe wondering how many other statues of Black
males, and females for that matter, have been found in Egyptian
archaeological sites and then hidden from public view?
This recent discovery serves as a perfect segue into our topic for
February, Black History Month: “The ‘racial’ origin of the Ancient
Egyptian people.” As we noted in the December issue of MAAT, every major
newspaper and magazine in the nation and much of academe have attacked
Africentrists as pseudoscientists. Especially scorned have been those
scholars who claim that the Ancient Egyptians were Black Africans.
Since the overwhelming majority of the critics of Africentrism have
engaged in nothing more than shadow boxing (never providing their
opponents with an opportunity to respond to their assaults), we think a
true debate is long overdue. Therefore this issue of MAAT has been
exclusively devoted to a reprinting of an article written by the late
Senegalese nuclear physicist, anthropologist, Egyptologist, linguist and
historian, Cheikh Anta Diop. Entitled “Origin of The Ancient Egyptians,”
the article was first published in UNESCO, General History of Africa, vol
2, Ancient Civilizations of Africa. Edited/translated by G. Mokhtar.
Copyright (c) 1980 UNESCO.4 This article provides a comprehensive summary
of the Africentric position on the race of the Ancient Egyptians.
While the MAAT newsletter invites a full spectrum of responses to this
subject, we are nevertheless setting two ground rules as fundamental
requirements for a serious, civil and objective discussion or debate:
It must be recognized that Egypt is and always
has been on the continent of Africa. References
to this country as a part of the Middle East,
Near East, Mediterranean or even the Fertile
Crescent, to the exclusion of its location in
Africa, is a blatant, racist distortion.
The color black cannot be defined as white.
The only reasonable definition of the Black
race is the following provided by Diop:
“There are two variants of the black race:
(a) straight-haired, represented in Asia by
the Dravidians and in Africa by the Nubians
and the Tubbou or Tedda, all three with jet-
black skins; (b) the kinky-haired blacks of
the Equatorial regions.”5
We flatly reject the specious reasoning of the early Egyptologist J. J.
Champollion-Figeac and modern anthropologists, who insist that “[t]he two
physical traits of black skin and kinky hair are not enough to stamp a
race as negro. . .”6 They then proceed to transfer some of the blackest
people in the world to the white race, if the blacks in question are the
progenitors of an advanced civilization. If black skin is insufficient to
qualify one for inclusion in the black race, then, what on earth is!?
The brilliant African American historian W.E.B. DuBois, recognized the
contempt that the Western academic establishment has had for Black people
and addressed it nearly 60 years ago:
“The Negro has long been the clown of history;
the football of anthropology; and the slave of
industry. I am trying to show here why these
attitudes can no longer be maintained. I
realize that the truth of history lies not in
the mouths of partisans but rather in the calm
Science that sits between. Her cause I seek to
serve, and wherever I fail, I am at least paying
Truth the respect of earnest effort.”7
We welcome you to join us as truth seekers.
The feature article in the March issue of MAAT will be “New Discoveries On
The Giza Plateau: What are the Implications For Black People?”
*Legrand H. Clegg II is an attorney, historian and producer of the
award-winning videotape, “When Black Men Ruled The World: Egypt During The
(To order the videotape, please call 1-800-788-CLEGG)
Rudolf Gantenbrink, a German robotics engineer, built a robot to climb the
southern shaft of the “Queen’s Chamber.” Graham Hancock, Fingerprints of
The Gods: The Evidence of Earth’s Lost Civilization, Crown Publishers,
Inc., 1995, p. 321.
Graham Hancock, “Newsflash from Giza as of December 1, 1996,”
Permission for reprinting the article was granted by the University of
Quoted in “Origin of The Ancient Egyptians,” MAAT Newsletter, February,
1977, p. 12.
W.E.B. DuBois, Black Folk: Then and Now, New York [First edition, 1939]
Kraus-Thomson Organization Limited, Millwood, N,Y. 1975, p. IX.
ORIGIN OF THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS
by Cheikh Anta Diop
The general acceptance, as a sequel to the work of Professor [Louis B.]
Leakey, of the hypothesis of mankind’s monogenetic and African origin,
makes it possible to pose the question of the peopling of Egypt and even
of the world in completely new terms. More than 150,000 years ago, beings
morphologically identical with the man of today were living in the region
of the great lakes at the sources of the Nile and nowhere else. This
notion, and others which it would take too long to recapitulate here, form
the substance of the last report presented by the late Dr. Leakey at the
Seventh Pan-African Congress of Pre-History in Addis Ababa in 1971.1 It
means that the whole human race had its origin, just as the ancients had
guessed, at the foot of the mountains of the Moon. Against all
expectations and in defiance of recent hypotheses it was from this place
that men moved out to people the rest of the world. From this two facts of
capital importance result:
(a) of necessity the earliest men were ethnically
homogeneous and negroid. Gloger’s law, which
would also appear to be applicable to human
beings, lays it down that warm-blooded
animals evolving in a warm humid climate will
secrete a black pigment (eumelanin).2 Hence
if mankind originated in the tropics around
the latitude of the great lakes, he was bound
to have brown pigmentation from the start and
and it was by differentiation in other climates
that the original stock later split into
(b) there were only two routes available by which
these early men could move out to people
the other continents, namely, the Sahara and
the Nile valley. It is the latter region which
will be discussed here.
From the Upper Palaeolithic to the dynastic epoch, the whole of the
river’s basin was taken over progressively by these negroid peoples.
Evidence of Physical Anthropology on the Race of the Ancient Egyptians
It might have been thought that, working on physiological evidence, the
findings of the anthropologists would dissipate all doubts by providing
reliable and definitive truths. This is by no means so: the arbitrary
nature of the criteria used, to go no farther, as well as abolishing any
notion of a conclusion acceptable without qualification, introduces so
much scientific hair-splitting that there are times when one wonders
whether the solution of the problem would not have been nearer if we had
not had the ill luck to approach it from this angle.
Nevertheless, although the conclusions of these anthropological studies
stop short of the full truth, they still speak unanimously of the
existence of a negro race from the most distant ages of prehistory down to
the dynastic period. It is not possible in this paper to cite all these
conclusions: they will be found summarized in Chapter X of Dr. Emile
Massoulard’s Histoire et protohistoire d’ Egypt (Institut d’Ethnologix,
Paris, 1949). We shall quote selected items only.
Miss Fawcett considers that the Negadah
skulls form a sufficiently homogeneous
collection to warrant the assumption of
a Negadah race. In the total height of
the skull, the auricular height, the
length and breadth of the face, nasal
length, cephalic index and facial index
this race would seem to approximate to
the negro; in nasal breadth, height of
orbit, length of palate and nasal index
it would seem closed to the Germanic
peoples; accordingly the Pre-Dynastic
Negadians are likely to have resembled
the negroes in certain of their
characteristics and the white race in
It is worth noting that the nasal indices of Ethiopians and Dravidians
would seem to approximate them to the Germanic peoples, though both are
These measurements, which would leave an open choice between the two
extremes represented by the negro and the Germanic races, give an idea of
the elasticity of the criteria employed. A sample follows:
An attempt was made by Thompson and
Randall MacIver to determine more
precisely the importance of the negroid
element in the series of skulls from
El’Amrah, Abydos and Hou. They divided
them into three groups: (1) negroid
skulls (those with a facial index below
54 and a nasal index above 50, i.e.
Short broad face and broad nose);
(2) non-negroid skulls (facial index
above 54 and nasal index below 50, long
narrow face and narrow nose), (3) inter-
mediate skulls (assignable to one of
the two previous groups on the basis of
either the facial index or on the
evidence of the nasal index, plus
individuals marginal to either group).
The proportion of negroids would seem to
have 24% of men and 19% of women in the
early Pre-Dynastic and 25% and 28%
respectively in the late Pre-Dynastic.
Kieth has disputed the value of the
criterion selected by Thompson and
Randall MacIver to distinguish the
negroid from the non-negroid skulls.
His opinion is that if the same
criteria were applied to the study of
any series of contemporary English
skulls, the sample would be found to
contain approximately 30% of negroid
types. (pp. 420-1)
The converse of Kieth’s proposition could also be asserted, namely, that
if the criterion were applied to the 140 million negroes now alive in
black Africa a minimum of 100 million negroes would emerge whitewashed.
It may also be remarked that the distinction between negroid, non-negroid
and intermediary is unclear; the fact is that ‘non-negroid’ does not mean
of white race and ‘intermediary’ still less so.
‘Falkenburger reopened the anthropological study of the Egyptian
population in a recent work in which he discusses 1,787 male skulls
varying in date from the old, Pre-Dynastic to our own day. He
distinguishes four main groups’ (p. 421). The sorting of the predynastic
skulls into these four groups gives the following results for the whole
predynastic period: “36% negroid, 33% Mediterranean, 11% Cro-Magnoid and
20% of individuals not falling in any of these groups but approximating
either to the Cro-Magnoid or to the negroid’. The proportion of negroids
is definitely higher than that suggested by Thomson and Randall MacIver,
though Kieth considers the latter too high.
‘Do Falkenburger’s figures reflect the reality? It is not our task to
decide this. If they are accurate, the Pre-Dynastic population far from
representing a pure bred race, as Elliott-Smith has said, comprised at
least three distinct racial elements – over a third of negroids, a third
of Mediterraneans, a tenth of Cro-Magnoids and a fifth of individuals
crossbred – to varying degrees’ (p. 422).
The point about all these conclusions is that despite their discrepancies
the degree to which they converge proves that the basis of the Egyptian
population was negro in the Pre-Dynastic epoch. Thus they are all
incompatible with the theories that the negro element only infiltrated
into Egypt at a late stage. Far otherwise, the facts prove that it was
preponderant from the beginning to the end of Egyptian history,
particularly when we note once more that ‘Mediterranean’ is not a synonym
for ‘white’, Elliott-Smith’s ‘brown’ or Mediterranean race being nearer to
the mark’. ‘Elliott Smith classes these Proto-Egyptians as a branch of
what he calls the brown race”.’ The term ‘brown’ in this context refers to
skin colour and is simply a euphemism for negro.3 it is thus clear that it
was the whole of the Egyptian population which was negro, barring an
infiltration of white nomads in the proto-dynastic epoch
In Petrie’s study of the Egyptian race we are introduced to a possible
classification element in great abundance which cannot fail to surprise
Petrie . . . published a study of the races
of Egypt in the Pre-Dynastic and Proto-
Dynastic periods working only on portrayals
of them. Apart from the steatopygian race,
he distinguishes six separate types: an
aquiline type representative of a white-
skinned Libyan race; a ‘plaited beard’ type
belonging to an invading race coming perhaps
from the shores of the Red Sea, a ‘sharp-nosed’
type almost certainly from the Arabian Desert:
a ’tilted-nose’ type from Middle Egypt; a
‘jutting beard’ type from Lower Egypt; and a
‘narrow-nose’ type from Upper Egypt. Going
on the images, there would thus have been
seven different racial types in Egypt during
the epochs we are considering. In the pages
which follow we shall see that study of the
skeletons seems to provide little authority
for these conclusions. (p.391)
The above mode of classification gives an idea of the arbitrary nature of
the criteria used to define the Egyptian races. Be that as it may, it is
clear that anthropology is far from having established the existence of a
white Egyptian race and would indeed tend rather to suggest the opposite.
Nevertheless, in current textbooks the question is suppressed: in most
cases it is simply and flatly asserted that the Egyptians were white and
the honest layman is left with the impression that any such assertion must
necessarily have a prior basis of solid research. But there is no such
basis, as this chapter has shown. And so generation after generation has
been misled. Many authorities skate around the difficulty today by
speaking of red-skinned and black-skinned whites without their sense of
common logic being in the least upset. ‘The Greeks call Africa “Libya”, a
misnomer au initio since Africa contains many other peoples besides the
so-called Libyans, who belong among the whites of the northern or
Mediterranean periphery and hence are many steps removed from the brown
(or red) skinned whites (Egyptians).’4
In a textbook intended for the middle secondary school we find the
following sentence: ‘A Black is distinguished less by the colour of his
skin (for there are black-skinned “whites”) than by his features: thick
lips, flattened nose . . .’5 It is only through these twistings of the
basic definitions that it has been possible to bleach the Egyptian race.
It is worthwhile calling to mind the exaggerations of the theorists of
anthropo-sociology in the last century and the beginnings of the present
one whose minute physiognomical analyses discovered racial stratifications
even in Europe, and particularly in France, when in fact there was really
a single and by now practically homogeneous people.6 Today Occidentals who
value their national cohesion are careful to avoid examining their own
societies on so divisive a hypothesis, but continue unthinkingly to apply
the old methods to the non-European societies.
Human Images of the Protohistoric Period: Their Anthropological Value
The study of human images made by Flinders Petrie on another plane shows
that the ethnic type was black: according to Petrie these people were the
Anu whose name, known to us since the protohistoric epoch, is always
‘written’ with three pillars on the few inscriptions extant from the end
of the fourth millennium before our era. The natives of the country are
always represented with unmistakable chiefly emblems for which one looks
in vain among the infrequent portrayals of other races, who are all shown
as servile foreign elements having reached the valley by infiltration (cf.
Tera Neter7 and the Scorpion king whom Petrie groups together; ‘The
Scorpion King . . . belonged to the preceding race of Anu, moreover he
worshipped Min and Set.’).8
As we shall see later Min, like the chief gods of Egypt, was called by the
tradition of Egypt itself ‘the great negro’.
After a glance at the various foreign types of humanity who disputed the
valley with the indigenous blacks, Petrie describes the latter, the Anu,
in the following terms: Besides these types, belonging to the North and
East, there is the aboriginal race of the Anu, or Annu, people (written
with three pillars) who became a part of the historic inhabitants. The
subject ramifies too doubtfully if we include all single pillar names, but
looking for the Annu written, with the three pillars, we find that they
occupied southern Egypt and Nubia, and the name is also applied in Sinai
and Libya. As to the southern Egyptians, we have the most essential
document, one portrait of a chief, Tera Neter, roughly modelled in relief
in green glazed faience, found in the early temple at Abydos. Preceding
his name his address is given on this earliest of visiting cards, ‘Palace
of the Anu in Hemen city, Tera Neter’. Hemen was the name of the god of
Tuphium, Erment, opposite to it, was the palace of Annu of the south, Annu
Menti. The next place in the south is Aunti (Gefeleyn), and beyond that
Amelineau lists in geographical order the fortified towns built along the
length of the Nile valley by the Annu blacks.
[Hieroglyphics] =An =the southern ‘On’
[Hieroglyphics] =Denderah, the traditional
birthplace of Isis
[Hieroglyphics] = A town also called ‘On’ in the
name of Tinis
[Hieroglyphics] =The town called the northern
‘On’, the renowned city of
The common ancestor of the Annu settled along the Nile was Ani or An, a
name determined by the word [hieroglyphics] (khet) and which, dating from
the earliest versions of the “Book of the Dead” onwards, is given to the
The wife of [hieroglyphics] the god Ani is the goddess Anet
[hieroglyphics] who is also his sister, just as Isis is the sister of
The identity of the god An with Osiris has been demonstrated by Pleyte;10
we should, indeed recall that is also surnamed by (?) the Anou; ‘Osiris
Ani’. The god Anu is represented alternately by the symbol [hieroglyphics]
and the symbol [hieroglyphics]. Are the Aunak tribes now inhabiting the
upper Nile related to the ancient Annu? Future research will provide the
answer to this question.
Petrie thinks it possible to make a distinction between the predynastic
people represented by Tera Neter and the Scorpion King (who is himself a
Pharaoh even at that date as his head-dress shows) and a dynastic people
worshipping the falcion and probably represented by the Pharaoh’s
Narmer,14 Khasekhem, Sanekhei and Zoser.12 By reference to the faces
reproduced in the figure it is easily perceived that there is no ethnic
difference between the two lots, and both belong to the black race.
The mural in tomb SD 63 (Sequence Date 63) of Hierakonopolis shows the
native-born blacks subjugating the foreign intruders into the valley if we
accept Petrie’s interpretation: ‘Below is the black ship at Hierakonpolis
belonging to the black men who are shown as conquering the red men.’13
The Gebel-el-Arak knife haft shows similar scenes: ‘There are also combats
of black men overcoming red men.’13 However, the archaeological value of
this object, which was not found in situ but in the possession of a
merchant, is less than that of the preceding items.
What the above shows is that the images of men of the protohistoric and
even of the dynastic period in no way square with the idea of the Egyptian
race popular with Western anthropologists. Wherever the autochthonous
racial type is represented with any degree of clearness, it is evidently
negroid. Nowhere are the Indo-European and Semitic elements shown even as
ordinary freeman serving a local chief, but invariably as conquered
foreigners. The rare portrayals found are always shown with the
distinctive marks of captivity, hands tied behind the back or strained
over the shoulders.14 A protodynastic figurine represents an Indo-European
prisoner with a long plait on his knees, with his hands bound tight to his
body. The characteristics of the object itself show that it was intended
as the foot of a piece of furniture and represented a conquered race.15
Often the portrayal is deliberately grotesque as with other proto-dynastic
figures showing individuals with their hair plaited in what Petrie calls
In the tomb of King Ka (first dynasty) at Abydos, Petrie found a plaque
showing an Indo-European captive in chains with his hands behind his
back.17 Elliott-Smith considers that the individual represented is a
Semite. The dynastic epoch has also yielded the documents illustrated in
Pls 1.9. and 1.14 showing Indo-European and Semitic prisoners. In
contrast, the typically negroid features of the pharaohs (Narmer, first
dynasty, the actual founder of the Pharaonic line; Zoser, third dynasty,
by whose time all the technological elements of the Egyptian civilization
were already in evidence; Cheops, the builder of the Great Pyramid, a
Cameroon type,18 Menthuhotep, founder of the eleventh dynasty, very
black,19 Sesostris 1; Queen Ahmosis Nefertari; and Amenhophis I) show that
all classes of Egyptian society belong to the same black race.
Pls 1.15 and 1.16, showing the Indo-European and Semitic types, have been
included deliberately to contrast them with the quite dissimilar
physiognomies of the black pharaohs and to demonstrate clearly that there
is no trace of either of the first two types in the whole line of Pharaohs
if we exclude the foreign Libyan and Ptolemaic dynasties.
It is usual to contrast the negresses on the tomb of Horemheb with the
Egyptian type also shown. This contrast is surely a false one; it is
social and not ethnic and there is as much difference between an
aristocratic Senegalese lady from Dakar and those antique African peasant
women with their horny hands and splay feet as between the latter and an
Egyptian lady of the cities of antiquity.
There are two variants of the black race: (a) straight-haired, represented
in Asia by the Dravidians and in Africa by the Nubians and the Tubbou or
Tedda, all three with jet-black skins; (b) the kinky-haired blacks of the
Equatorial regions. Both types entered into the composition of the
Melanin Dosage Test
In practice it is possible to determine directly the skin colour and hence
the ethnic affiliations of the ancient Egyptians by microscopic analysis
in the laboratory; I doubt if the sagacity of the researchers who have
studied the question has overlooked the possibility.
Melanin (eumelanin), the chemical body responsible for skin pigmentation,
is, broadly speaking, insoluble and is preserved for millions of years in
the skins of fossil animals.20 There is thus all the more reason for it to
be readily recoverable in the skins of Egyptian mummies, despite a
tenacious legend that the skin of mummies, tainted by the embalming
material, is no longer susceptible of any analysis.21 Although the
epidermis is the main site of the melanin, the melanocytes penetrating the
derm at the boundary between it and the epidermis, even where the latter
has mostly been destroyed by the embalming materials, show a melanin level
which is non-existent in the white-skinned races. The samples I myself
analyzed were taken in the physical anthropology laboratory of the Mus’ee
de l’Homme in Paris off the mummies from the Marietta excavations in
Egypt.22 The same method is perfectly suitable for use on the royal
mummies of Thutmoses III, Seti I and Ramses II in the Cairo Museum, which
are in an excel state of preservation. For two years past I have been
vainly begging the curator of the Cairo Museum for similar samples to
analyze. No more than a few square millimetres of skin would be required
to mount a specimen, the preparations being a few um in thickness and
lightened with ethyl benzoate. They can be studied by natural light or
with ultra-violet lighting which renders the melanin grains fluorescent.
Either way let us simply say that the evaluation of melanin level by
microscopic examination is a laboratory method which enables us to
classify the ancient Egyptians unquestionably among the black races.
Among the criteria accepted in physical anthropology for classifying
races, the osteological measurements are perhaps the least misleading (in
contrast to craniometry) for distinguishing a black man from a white man.
By this criterion, also, the Egyptians belong among the black races. This
study was made by the distinguished German savant Lepsius at the end of
the nineteenth century and his conclusions remain valid; subsequent
methodological progress in the domain of physical anthropology in no way
undermines what is called the ‘Lepsius canon’ which, in round figures,
gives the bodily proportions of the ideal Egyptian, short-armed and of
negroid or negrito physical type.23
It is a notable fact that even today Egyptians, particularly in Upper
Egypt, belong to the same Group B as the populations of western Africa on
the Atlantic seaboard and not the A2 group characteristic of the white
race prior to any crossbreeding.24 It would be interesting to study the
extent of Group A2 distribution in Egyptian mummies, which present-day
techniques make possible.
The Egyptian Race According to the Classical Authors of Antiquity
To the Greek and Latin writers contemporary with the ancient Egyptians the
latter’s physical classification posed no problems: the Egyptians were
negroes, thick-lipped, kinky-haired and thin-legged; the unanimity of the
author’s evidence on a physical fact as salient as a people’s race will be
difficult to minimize or pass over. Some of the following evidence drives
home the point.
(a) Herodotus, ‘the father of history’, -480(?) to -425. With regard to
the origins of the Colchians25 he writes:
it is in fact manifest that the Colchidians are
Egyptian by race … several Egyptians told me
that in their opinion the Colchidians were
descended from soldiers of Sesostris. I had
conjectured as much myself from two pointers,
firstly because they have black skins and
kinky hair (to tell the truth this proves
nothing for other peoples have them too) and
secondly, and more reliably for the reason that
alone among mankind the Egyptians and the
Ethiopians have practiced circumcision since
time immemorial. The Phoenicians and Syrians
of Palestine themselves admit that they learnt
the practice from the Egyptians while the
Syrians in the river Thermodon and Pathenios
region and their neighbors the Macrons say
they learnt it recently from the Colchidians.
These are the only races which practice
circumcision and it is observable that they do
it in the same way as the Egyptians. As
between the Egyptians themselves and the
Ethiopians I could not say which taught the
other the practice for among them it is
quite clearly a custom of great antiquity.
As to the custom having been learnt through
their Egyptian connections, a further strong
proof to my mind is that all those Phoenicians
trading to Greece cease to treat the pudenda
after the Egyptian manner and do not subject
their offspring to circumcision.26
Herodotus reverts several times to the negroid character of the Egyptians
and each time uses it as a fact of observation to argue more or less
complex theses. Thus to prove that the Greek oracle at Dondona in Epirus
was of Egyptian origin, one of his arguments is the following: ‘. . . and
when they add that the dove was black they give us to understand that the
woman was Egyptian.’27 The doves in question – actually there were two
according to the text – symbolize two Egyptian women who are said to have
BEEN carried off from the Egyptian Thebes to found the oracles in Greece
at Dodona and in Libya (Oasis of Jupiter Amon) respectively. Herodotus did
not share the opinion of Anaxagoras that the melting of the snows on the
mountains of Ethiopia was the source of the Nile floods.28 He relied on
the fact that it neither rains or snows in Ethiopia ‘and the heat there
turns men black’.29
(b) Aristotle, -389 to -332, scientist, philosopher and tutor of Alexander
In one of his minor works, Aristotle attempts, with unexpected naivete’,
to establish a correlation between the physical and moral natures of
living beings and leaves us evidence on the Egyptian-Ethiopian race which
confirms what Herodotus says. According to him, ‘Those who are too black
are cowards, like for instance, the Egyptians and Ethiopians. But those
who are excessively white are also cowards as we can see from the example
of women, the complexion of courage is between the two.’30
(c) Lucian, Greek writer, +125(?) to +190.
The evidence of Lucian is as explicit as that of the two previous writers.
He introduces two Greeks, Lycinus and Timolaus, who start a conversation.
Lycinus (describing a young Egyptian):
‘This boy is not merely black; he has
thick lips and his legs are too thin. . .
his hair worn in a plait behind shows
that he is not a freeman.’
Timolaus: ‘But that is a sign of really
distinguished birth in Egypt, Lycinus.
All freeborn children plait their hair
until they reach manhood. It is the
exact opposite of the custom of our ances-
tors who thought it seemly for old men to
secure their hair with a gold brooch to
keep it in place.’31
(d) Apollodorus, first century before our
era, Greek philosopher.
‘Aegyptos conquered the country of the black-
footed ones and called it Egypt after himself.’32
(e) Aeschylus, -525(?) to -456, tragic poet and
creator of Greek tragedy.
In The Suppliants, Danaos, fleeing with his daughters, the Danaids, and
pursued by his brother Aegyptos with his sons, the Aegyptiads, who seek to
wed their cousins by force, climbs a hillock, looks out to sea and
describes the Aegyptiads at the oars afar off in these terms: ‘I can see
the crew with their black limbs and white tunics.’33
A similar description of the Egyptian type of man recurs a few lines later
in verse 745.
(f) Achilles Tatius of Alexandria.
He compares the herdsmen of the Delta to the Ethiopians and explains that
they are blackish, like half-castes.
(g) Strabo, -58 to about +25.
Strabo visited Egypt and almost all the countries of the Roman empire. He
concurs in the theory that the Egyptians and the Colchoi are of the same
race but holds that the migrations to Ethiopia and Colchoi had been from
‘Egyptians settled in Ethiopia and in Colchoi.’34 There is no doubt
whatever as to Strabo’s notion of the Egyptian’s race for he seeks
elsewhere to explain why the Egyptians are darker than the Hindus, a
circumstance which would permit the refutation, if needed, of any attempt
at confusing ‘the Hindu and Egyptian races’.
(h) Diodorus of Sicily, about -63 to +14, Greek historian and contemporary
of Caesar Augustus.
According to Diodorus it was probably Ethiopia which colonized Egypt (in
the Athenian sense of the term, signifying that, with overpopulation, a
proportion of the people emigrate to new territory).
The Ethiopians say that the Egyptians
`are one of their colonies,35 which was
led into Egypt by Osiris. They claim that
at the beginning of the world Egypt was
simply a sea but that the Nile, carrying
down vast quantities of loam from Ethiopia
in its flood waters, finally filled it in
and made it part of the continent. . . They
add that the Egyptians have received from
them, as from authors and their ancestors,
the greater part of their laws.36
(i) Diogenes Laertius.
He wrote the following about Zeno, founder of the stoic School (-333 to
-261): ‘Zeno son of Mnaseas or Demeas was a native of Citium in Cyprus, a
Greek city which has taken in some Phoenician colonists.’ In his Lives,
Timotheus of Athens describes Zeno as having a twisted neck. Apollonius of
Tyre says of him that he was gaunt, very tall and black, hence the fact
that, according to Chrysippus in the First Book of his Proverbs, certain
people called him an Egyptian vine-shoot.37
(j) Ammianus Marcellinus, about +33 to +100, Latin historian and friend of
the Emperor Julian.
With him we reach the sunset of the Roman empire and the end of classical
antiquity. There are about nine centuries between the birth of Aeschylus
and Herodotus and the death of Ammianus Marcellinus, nine centuries during
which the Egyptians, amid a sea of white races, steadily crossbred. It can
be said without exaggeration that in Egypt one household in ten included a
white Asiatic or Indo-European slave.39
It is remarkable that, despite its intensity, all this crossbreeding
should not have succeeded in upsetting the racial constants. Indeed
Ammianus Marcellinus writes: “. . .the men of Egypt are mostly brown and
black with a skinny and desiccated look.”39 He also confirms the evidence
already cited about the Colchoi: ‘Beyond these lands are the heartlands of
the Camaritae40 and the Phasis with its swifter stream borders the country
of the Colchoi, an ancient race of Egyptian origin.’41
This cursory review of the evidence of the ancient Graeco-Latin writers on
the Egyptians’ race shows that the extent of agreement between them is
impressive and is an objective fact difficult to minimize or conceal, the
two alternatives between which present-day Egyptology constantly
An exception is the evidence of an honest savant. Volney, who travelled in
Egypt between +1783 and +1785, i.e. at the peak period of negro slavery,
and made the following observations on the true Egyptian race, the same
which produced the Pharaohs, namely the Copts:
All of them are puffy-faced, heavy eyed and
thick-lipped, in a word, real mulatto faces.
I was tempted to attribute this to the climate
until, on visiting the Sphinx, the look of it
gave me the clue to the egnima. Beholding
that head characteristically Negro in all
its features, I recalled the well-known passage
of Herodotus which reads: ‘For my part I
consider the Colchoi are a colony of the Egyptians
because, like them, they are black skinned
and kinky-haired.’ In other words the
ancient Egyptians were true negroes of the same
stock as all the autochthonous peoples of Africa
and from that datum one sees how their race,
after some centuries of mixing with the blood
of Romans and Greeks, must have lost the full
blackness of its original colour but retained
the impress of its original mould. It is even
possible to apply this observation very widely
and posit in principle that physiognomy is a
kind of record usable in many cases for disputing
or elucidating the evidence of history on the
origins of the peoples . . .
After illustrating this proposition citing the case of the Normans, who
900 years after the conquest of Normandy still look like Danes, Volney
but reverting to Egypt, its contributions
to history afford many subjects for philosophic reflection. What a subject
for meditation is
the present-day barbarity and ignorance of the
Copts who were considered, born of the alliance
of the deep genius of the Egyptians and the
brilliance of the Greeks, that this race of
blacks who nowadays are slaves and the objects
of our scorn is the very one to which we owe our
arts, our sciences, and even the use of spoken word;
and finally recollect that it is in the midst of the peoples claiming to
be the greatest friends of liberty and humanity that the most barbarous of
has been sanctioned and the question raised whether
black men have brains of the same quality as those of white men!42
To this testimony of Volney, Champollion-Figeac, brother of Champollion
the Younger, was to reply in the following terms: ‘The two physical traits
of black skin and kinky hair are not enough to stamp a race as negro and
Volney’s conclusion as to the negro origin of the ancient population of
Egypt is glaringly forced and inadmissible.’43
Being black from head to foot and having kinky hair is not enough to make
a man a negro! This shows us the kind of specious argumentation to which
Egyptology has had to resort since its birth as a science. Some scholars
maintain that Volney was seeking to shift the discussion to a philisophic
plane. But we have only to re-read Volney: he is simply drawing the
inferences from crude material facts forcing themselves on his eyes and
his conscience as proofs.
The Egyptians as They Saw Themselves
It is no waste of time to get the views of those principally concerned.
How did the ancient Egyptians see themselves? Into which ethnic category
did they put themselves? What did they call themselves? The language and
literature left to us by the Egyptians of the Pharaonic epoch supply
explicit answers to these questions which the scholars cannot refrain from
minimizing, twisting or ‘interpreting.’
The Egyptians had only one term to designate themselves:
[hieroglyphics]=kmt=the negroes (literally).44 This is the strongest term
existing in the Pharaonic tongue to indicate blackness; it is accordingly
written with a hieroglyph representing a length of wood charred at the end
and not crocodile scales.45 This word is the etymological origin of the
well-known root Kamit which has proliferated in modern anthropological
literature. The biblical root kam is probably derived from it and it has
therefore been necessary to distort the facts to enable this root today to
mean ‘white’ in Egyptological terms whereas, in the Pharaonic mother
tongue which gave it birth, it meant ‘coal black.’
In the Egyptian language, a word of assembly is formed from an adjective
or a noun by putting it in the feminine singular. ‘kmt’ from the adjective
[hieroglyphics] =km=black; it therefore means strictly negroes or at the
very least black men. The term is a collective noun which thus described
the whole people of Pharaonic Egypt as a black people.
In other words, on the purely grammatical plane, if one wishes to indicate
negroes in the Pharaonic tongue, one cannot use any other word than the
very one which the Egyptians used of themselves. Furthermore, the language
offers us another term, [hieroglyphics] kmtjw=the negroes, the black men
(literally)=the Egyptians, as opposed to ‘foreigners’ which comes from the
same root km and which the Egyptians also used to describe themselves as a
people as distinguished from all foreign peoples.46 These are the only
adjectives of nationality used by the Egyptians to designate themselves
and both mean ‘negro’ or ‘black’ in the Pharonic language. Scholars hardly
ever mention them or when they do it is to translate them by euphemisms
such as the ‘Egyptians’ while remaining completely silent about their
etymological sense.47 They prefer the expression [hieroglyphics] Rmt
kmt=the men of the country of the black men or the men of the black
In Egyptian, words are normally followed by a determinative which
indicates their exact sense, and for this particuar expression
Egyptologists suggest that [heiroglyphics] km=black and that the colour
qualifies the determinative which follows it and which signifies
‘country’. Accordingly, they claim, the translation should be ‘the black
earth’ from the colour of the loam, or the ‘black country’, and not ‘the
country of the black men’ as we should be inclined to render it today with
black Africa and white Africa in mind. Perhaps so, but if we apply this
rule rigorously to [hieroglyphics] =kmit, we are forced to ‘concede that
here the adjective “black” qualifies the determinative which signifies the
whole people of Egypt shown by the two symbols for “man” and “woman” and
the three strokes below them which indicate the plural’. Thus, if it is
possible to voice a doubt as regards the expression [hieroglyphics] =Kme,
it is not possible to do so in the case of the two adjectives of
nationality [hieroglyphics] kmt and kmtjw unless one is picking one’s
arguments completely at random.
It is a remarkable circumstance that the ancient Egyptians should never
have had the idea of applying these qualificatives to the Nubians and
other populations of Africa to distinguish them from themselves; any more
than a Roman at the apogee of the empire could use a ‘colour’ adjective to
distinguish himself from the Germani on the other bank of the Danube, of
the same stock but still in the prehistoric age of development.
In either case both sides were of the same world in terms of physical
anthropology, and accordingly the distinguishing terms used related to
level of civilization or moral sense. For the civilized Romans, the
Germans, of the same stock, were barbarians. The Egyptians used the
expression [hieroglyphics] =na-has to designate the Nubians; and nahas48
is the name of a people, with no colour connotation in Egyptian. it is a
deliberate mistranslation to render it as negro as is done in almost all
The Divine Epithets
Finally, black or negro is the divine epithet invariably
used for the chief beneficent gods of Egypt, whereas all the malevolent
spirits are qualified as desret=red; we also know that to Africans this
form applies to the white nations; it is practically certain that this
held good for Egypt too but I want in this chapter to keep to the least
The surnames of the gods are these:
[hieroglyphics] =kmwr=the ‘Great Negro’ for Osiris49
[hieroglyphics] =km=the black + the name of the god50
[hieroglyphics] =kmt=the black + the name of the goddess51
The km (black) [hieroglyphics] qualificative is applied to Hathor, Apis,
Min, Thoth, etc52 [hieroglyphics] set kmt=the black woman=Isis53 On the
other hand ‘seth’, the sterile desert, is qualified by the term
desret=red. 54 The wild animals which Horus fought to create civilization
are qualified as desret=red, especially the hippopotamus.55 Similarly the
maleficent beings wiped out by Thoth are Des= [hieroglyphics] =desrtjw=thr
red ones; this term is the grammatical converse of Kmtjw and its
construction follows the same rule for the formation of ‘nisbes’.
Witness of the Bible
The Bible tells us. ‘ . . .the sons of Ham [were] Cush, and Mizraim [i.e.
Egypt], and Phut, and Canaan. And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and
Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah.56
Generally speaking all Semitic tradition (Jewish and Arab) classes ancient
Egypt with the countries of the blacks.
The importance of these depositions cannot be ignored, for these are
peoples (the Jews) which lived side by side with the ancient Egyptians and
sometimes in symbiosis with them and have nothing to gain by presenting a
false ethnic picture of them. Nor is the notion of an erroneous
interpretation of the facts any more tenable.57
Among the innumerable identical cultural traits recorded in Egypt and in
present-day black Africa, it is proposed to refer only to circumcision and
According to the extract from Herodotus quoted earlier, circumcision is of
African origin. Archaeology has confirmed the judgment of the Father of
History for Elliott-Smith was able to determine from the examination of
well-preserved mummies that circumcision was the rule among the Egyptians
as long ago as the protohistoric era,58 i.e. earlier than -4000.
Egyptian totemism retained its vitality down to the Roman period59 and
Plutarch also mentions it. The researches of Amelineau6,60 Loret, Moret
and Adolphe Reinach have clearly demonstrated the existence of an Egyptian
totemic system, in refutation of the champions of the zoolatric thesis.
If we reduce the notion of the totem to that
of a fetish, usually representing an animal
of a species with which the tribe believes
it has special ties formally renewed at
fixed intervals, and which is carried into
battle like a standard; if we accept this
minimal but adequate definition of a totem,
it can be said that there was no country
where totemism had a more brilliant reign
than in Egypt and certainly nowhere where
it could be better studied.61
Walaf,62 a Senegalese language spoken in the extreme west of Africa on the
Atlantic Ocean, is perhaps as close to ancient Egyptian as Coptic. An
exhaustive study of this question has recently been carried out.63 In this
chapter enough is presented to show that the kinship between ancient
Egyptian and the languages of Africa is not hypothetical but a
demonstrable fact which it is impossible for modern scholarship to thrust
As we shall see, the kinship is genealogical in nature.
Egyptian Coptic Walaf
=kef=to grasp, (Saidique dialect) kef=seize
to take a strip keh=to tame 65
PRESENT PRESENT PRESENT
kef i keh kef na
kef ek keh ek kef nga
kef et keh ere kef na
kef ef kef ef
kef es keh es kef ef na
kef n keh en kef nanu
kef ton keh etetu kef ngen
kef sen keh ey kef nanu
PAST PAST PAST
kef ni keh nei kef (on) na
kef (o) nek keh nek kef (on) nga
kef (o) net keh nere kef (on) na
kef (o) nef keh nef kef (on) ef na
kef (o) nes keh nes kef (on) es
kef (o) nen keh nen kef (on) nanu
kef (o) n ten keh netsten kef (on) ngen
kef (o) n sen67 keh ney68 kef (on) nanu
(symbol) =feh=go away feh=rush off
We have the following correspondences between the verb forms,
with identity of similarity of meaning: all the Egyptian verb
forms, except for two, are also recorded in Walaf.
[symbol] =mer=love mar=lick (symbol)
Egyptian and Walaf Demonstratives
There are the following phonetic correspondents between Egyptian and Walaf
[This section was omitted because of the difficulty of reproducing the
symbols on the Internet]
These phonetic correspondences are not ascriable either to elementary
affinity or to the general laws of the human mind for they are regular
correspondences on outstanding points extending through an entire system,
that of the demonstratives in the two languages and that of the verbal
languages. It is through the application of such laws that it was possible
to demonstrate the existence of the Indo-European linguistic family.
The comparison could be carried to show that the majority of the phonemes
remain unchanged between the two languages. The few changes which are of
great interest are the following:
[This section was omitted because of the difficulty of reproducing the
symbols on the Internet]
It is still early to talk with precision of the vocalic accompaniment of
the Egyptian phonemes. But the way is open for the rediscovery of the
vocalics of ancient Egyptian from comparative studies with the languages
The structure of African royalty, with the king put to death, either
really or symbolically, after a reign which varied in length but was in
the region of eight years, recalls the ceremony of the Pharaoh’s
regeneration through the Sed feast. Also reminiscent of Egypt are the
circumcision rites mentioned earlier and the totemism, cosmogonies,
architecture, musical instruments, etc., of Africa.71 Egyptian antiquity
is to African culture what Graceo-Roman antiquity is to Western culture.
The building up of a corpus of African humanities should be based on this
It will be understood how difficult it is to write such a chapter in a
work of this kind, where euphemism and compromise are the rule. In an
attempt to avoid sacrificing scientific truth, therefore, we made a point
of suggesting three preliminaries to the preparation of this volume, all
of which were agreed to at the plenary session held in 1971. 72 The first
two led to the holding of the Cairo Symposium from 28 January to 3
February 1974. 73 In this connection I should like to refer to certain
passages in the report of that symposium. Professor Vercoutter, who had
been commissioned by Unesco to write the introductory report, acknowledged
after a thorough discussion that the conventional idea that the Egyptian
population was equally divided between blacks, whites and half-castes
could not be upheld.. ‘Professor Vercoutter agreed that no attempt should
be made to estimate percentages, which meant nothing, as it was impossible
to establish them without reliable statistical data’. On the subject of
Egyptian culture: ‘Professor Vercoutter remarked that, in his view, Egypt
was African in its way of writing, in its cullture and in its way of
Professor Lecant, for his part, ‘recognized the same African character in
the Egyptian temperament and way of thinking’.
In regard to linguistics, it is stated in the report that ‘this item, in
contrast to those previously discussed, revealed a large measure of
agreement among the participants. The outline by Professor Diop and the
report by Professor Obenga were regarded as being very constructive’.
Similarly, the symposium rejected the idea that Pharaonic Egyptian was a
Semitic language. ‘Turning to wider issues, Professor Sauneron drew
attention to the interest of the method suggested by Professor Obenga
following Professor Diop. Egyptian remained a stable language for a period
of at least 4500 years. Egypt was situated at the point of convergence of
outside influences and it was to be expected that borrowing had been made
from foreign languages, but the Semitic roots numbered only a few hundred
as compared with a total of several thousand words. The Egyptian language
could not be isolated from its African context and its origin could not be
fully explained in terms of Semitic, it was thus quite normal to expect to
find related languages in Africa’.
The genetic, that is, non-accidental relationship between Egyptian and the
African languages was recognized: ‘Professor Sauneron noted that the
method which had been used was of considerable interest, since it could
not be purely fortuitous that there was a similarity between the third
person singular suffixed pronouns in Ancient Egyptian and in Wolof, he
hoped that an attempt would be made to reconstitute a palaeo-African
language, using present-day languages as a starting point’.
In the general conclusion to the report it was stated that: ‘Although the
preparatory working paper sent out by Unesco gave particulars of what was
desired, not all participants had prepared communications comparable with
the painstakingly researched contributions of Professors Cheikh Anta Diop
and Obenga. There was consequently a real lack of balance in the
A new page of African historiography was accordingly written in Cairo. The
symposium recommended that further studies be made on the concept of race.
Such studies have since been carried out, but they have not contributed
anything new to the historical discussion. They tell us that molecular
biology and genetics recognize the existence of populations alone, the
concept of race being no longer meaningful. Yet whenever there is any
question of the transmission of a hereditary taint, the concept of race in
the most classic sense of the term comes into its own again, for genetics
tells us that ‘sickle-cell anaemia occurs only in negroes’. The truth is
that all these ‘anthropologists’ have already in their own minds drawn the
conclusions deriving from the triumph of the monogenetic theory of mankind
without venturing to put them into explicit terms, for if mankind
originated in Africa, it was necessarily negroid becoming white through
mutation and adaptation at the end of the last glaciation in Europe in the
Upper Palaeolithic; and is not more understandable why the Grimaldian
negroids first occupied Europe for 10,000 years before Cro-Magnon Man-the
prototype of the white race-appeared (around -2,000).
The idealogical standpoint is also evident in apparently objective
studies. In history and in social relations, it is the phenotype, that is,
the individual or the people as that individual or people is perceived,
which is the dominant factor, as opposed to the genotype. For present-day
genetics, a Zulu with the ‘same’ genotype as Vorster is not impossible.
Does this mean that the history we are witnessing will put the two
phenotypes, that is, the two individuals, on the same footing in all their
national and social activities? Certainly not — the opposition will
remain not social but ethnic.
This study makes it necessary to rewrite world history from a more
scientific standpoint, taking into account the Negro-African component
which was for a long time preponderant. It means that it is now possible
to build up a corpus of Negro-African humanities resting on a sound
historical basis instead of being suspended in mid-air. Finally, if it is
true that only truth is revolutionary, it may be added that only
rapprochement brought about on a basis of truth can endure. The cause of
human progress is not well served by casting a veil over the fact.
The rediscovery of the true past of the African peoples should not be a
divisive factor but should contribute to uniting them, each and all,
binding them together from the north to the south of the continent so as
to enable them to carry out together a new historical mission for the
greater good of mankind; and that is in keeping with the ideal of Unesco.
1. Proceedings of the Seventh Pan-African Congress of Pre-History and
Quaternary Studies, December 1971
2. M.F.A. Montagu, 1960, p. 390.
3. The study of this race’s pigmentation can be carried farther by the
method described; actually Elliott-Smith often found patches of skin on
the bodies and the mummification methods which cause skin deterioration
were not yet in use.
4. D.P. de Pedrals, p.6.
5. Geographie, classe de 5, 1950.
6. In his ‘Lutte des races” (1883) L. Gumplovicz asserts that the diverse
classes making up a people always represent different races, of which one
has established its domination over the others by conquest. G. deLapounge
in an article published in 1897 postulated no less than a dozen
‘fundamental laws of anthropo-sociology’ of which the following are
typical; his ‘law of distribution of wealth’ posits that, in countries of
mixed European-Alpine populations, wealth is greater in inverse
proportions to the cephalic index; the ‘law of urban indices’ given
prominence by Ammon in connexion with his research on Badener conscripts
asserted that town dwellers exhibit greater dolichocephaly than the people
in the adjacent countryside; the ‘law of stratification’ was formulated in
the following terms: ‘the cephalic index decreases and the proportion of
dolichocephalics rises the higher the social class, in each locality’. In
his Selections sociales’ the same writer had no hesitation in asserting
that ‘the dominant class in the feudal epoch belongs almost exclusively to
the variety “Homo Europaeus” so that it is not pure chance which has kept
the poor at the foot of the social ladder but their congenital
We thus see that German racism was inventing nothing new, when Alfred
Rosenberg asserted that the French Revolution must be deemed a revolt of
the brachycephalics of the Alpine stock against the dolichocephalics of
the Nordic race.’ (A. Cuvillier, p. 155)
7. W.M.F. Petrie, 1939, Fig. 1.
8. ibid., p. 69.
9. ibid., p. 68.
10. E. Amelineau, 1908, p. 174.
11. Pl. 1.2.
12. Pl. 1.3.
13. W.M.F. Petrie, 1939, p.67.
14. Pl. 1.11.
15. Pl. 1.5.
16. pl. 1.8.
17. Pl. 1.7 I know that ‘Indo-European’ is usually said to be a language,
not a race, but I prefer this term to ‘Aryan’ wherever its use causes no
18. Pl. 1.2.
19. Pl. 1.13.
20. R.A. Nicolaus, p. 11.
21. T.J. Pettigrew, 1834, pp. 70-71.
22. C.A. Diop, 1977.
23. M.E. Fontant, pp. 44-5 (see reproduction: T).
24. M.F.A. Montagu, p. 337.
25. In the fifth century before our era, at the time when Herodotus
visited Egypt, a black-skinned people, the Colchians, were still living in
Colchis on the Armenian shore of the Black Sea, East of the ancient port
of Trebizond, surrounded by white-skinned nations.
The scholars of antiquity wondered about this people’s origins and
Herodotus in “Euterpe’, the second book of his history on Egypt, tries to
prove that the Colchians were Egyptians, whence the arguments we quote.
Herodotus, on the strength of commemorative stelae, erected by Sesostris
in conquered countries, asserts that this monarch had got as far as Thrace
and Seythia, where stelae would seem to have been still standing in his
day (Book II, 103).
26. Herodotus, Book II, 104. As with many peoples in black Africa,
Egyptian women underwent excision of the clitoris: ef. Strabo, Geography,
Book XVII, Ch. I.
27. Herodotus, Book II, 57.
28. Seneca, Questions of Nature, Book IV, 17.
29. Herodotus, Book II, 22.
30. Aristotle, Physiognomy, 6.
31. Lucian, Navigations, paras 2-3.
32. Apollodoros, Book II, ‘The Family of Inachus’, paras 3 and 4.
33. Aeschylus, The Suppliants, vv. 719-20. See also v. 745.
34. Strabo, Geography, Book I, ch. 3, para. 10.
35. My italics.
36. Diodorus, Universal History, Book III. The antiquity of the Ethiopian
civilization is attested by the most ancient and most venerable Greek
writer, Homer, in both the Lliad and the Odessey: ‘Jupiter followed today
by all the gods receives the sacrifices of the Ethiopians’ (Iliad, I,
422). ‘Yesterday to visit holy Ethiopia Jupiter betook himself to the
ocean shore’ (lliad, I, 423).
37. Diogenes Laertius, Book VII,i.
38. The Egyptian notables liked to have a Syrian or Cretan female slave in
39. Ammianus Marcellinus, Book XXII, para 16 (23).
40. Pirate gangs who worked from small ships called Camare.
41. Ammianus Marcellinus, Book XXII, para. 8 (24).
42. M.C.F. Volney, Voyages en Syrie et en Egypte, Paris, 1787, Vol. I, pp.
43. J.J. Champollion-Figeac, 1839, pp. 26-7.
44. This important discovery was made, on the African side, by Sossou
Nsougan, who was to compile this part of the present chapter. For the
sense of the word see Worterbuch der Aegyptischen Sprache, Vol 5, 1971,
pp. 122 and 127.
45. ibid., p. 122.
46. ibid., p. 128.
47. R.O. Faulkner, 1962, p. 286.
48. Worterbuch der agyptischen Sprache, p. 128.
49. ibid. p. 124.
50. ibid., p. 125.
51. ibid., p. 123.
52. It should be noted that set-kem=black wife in Walaf.
53. Worterbuch der agyptischen Sprache, p. 492.
54. ibid., p. 493.
55. Desret= blood in Egyptian; deret=blood in Walaf; ibid., p. 494.
56. Genesis, 10:6-7.
57. C.A. Diop, 1955, pp. 33ff.
58. E. Massoulard, 1949, p. 386.
59. Juvenal, Satire XV, vv. 1-14.
60. E. Amelineau, op. cit.
61. A. Recnach, 1913, p. 17.
62 Often spelt Wolof.
63. C.A. diop, 1977.
64. R. Lambert, 1925, p. 129.
65. A. Mallon, pp. 207-34.
66. A. de Buck, 1952.
68. A. Mallon, pp. 207-34.
69. By extension=love intensely (hence the verb mar-maral) after the
fashion of a female animal licking the cub which she has just borne. This
sense does not conflict with the other notion which the determinative may
convey of a man raising hand to mouth.
70. See below for the explanation of this important law.
71. See C.A. Diop, 1967.
72. See final Report of the First Plenary Session of the International
Scientific Committee for the Drafting of a general History of Africa,
UNESCO, 30 March-8 April 1974.
73. Symposium of ‘The peopling of ancient Egypt and the deciphering of the
Meriotic script’. Cf. Studies and Documents No. I UNESCO, 1978.
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