Kemit Ta Meri – The Land of the Blacks

Why are the Ethiopians and Egyptians bandy-legged? Is it because
of that the body of itself creates, because of disturbance by heat, like
loss of wood when they become dry? The condition of their hair supports this theory; for it is curlier than that of other
nations…” (Aristotle, _Problemata_ 909, 7)

“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.” (Aristotle, _Physiognomy_, 6)

Why are the Ethiopians and Egyptians bandy-legged? Is it because
of that the body of itself creates, because of disturbance by heat, like
loss of wood when they become dry? The condition of their hair supports this theory; for it is curlier than that of other nations…” (Aristotle, Problemata_ 909, 7)

Dialogue:

Lycinus (describing an Egyptian): ‘this boy is not merely black; he
has thick lips and his legs are too thin…his hair worn in a plait 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…’

(Lucian, _Navigations_, paras 2-3)

Dialogue:

“Aegyptos conquered the country of the black-footed ones and called it Egypt after himself” (Apollodorus, Book II, paras 3 and 4)

Dialogue:

Danaos (describing the Aegyptiads): ‘I can see the crew with their
black limbs and white tunics.’ (Aeschylus, _The Suppliants_, vv. 719-20, 745)

“…the men of Egypt are mostly brown or black with a skinny desiccated look.” (Ammianus Marcellinus, Book XXII para 16)

Ibn Qutayba (828-89) wrote:

Wahb ibn Nunabbih said: Ham the son of Noah was a white man,
with a handsome face and a fine figure, and Almighty God changed his
color and the color of his descendants in response to his father’s
curse. He went away, followed by his sons, and they settled by the
shore, where God increased and multiplied them. They are the blacks.
…Some of his children went to the West. Ham begat Kush ibn Ham,
Kan`an ibn Ham, and Fut ibn Ham. Fut settled in India and Sind
and their inhabitants are his descendants. Kush and Kan`an’s descendants are the various races of blacks: Nubians, Zanj, Qaran, Zaghawa, Ethiopians, Copts, and Berbers. (Kitab al-Ma`arif, ed. Tharwat `Ukasha, 2nd ed., Cairo, 1969, p. 26)

Keita

Bioanthropologist Shomarka Keita believes that people with “Caucasoid” skulls such as those of Iman or Haile Selassie should be considered just as African, biologically speaking, as people who live in the Congo. He criticizes the tendency of some experts to restrict the definition of “African” only to those Africans who exhibit the most exaggerated “negroid” features (such as extreme prognathism). Keita writes: “In general, this restricted view presents all tropical Africans with narrower noses and faces as being related to or descended from external, ultimately non-African peoples. However, narrow-faced, narrow-nosed populations have long been resident in Saharo-tropical Africa… and their origin need not be sought elsewhere. These traits are also indigenous. The variability in tropical Africa is expectedly naturally high. Given their longstanding presence, narrow noses and faces cannot be deemed `non-African.'” (S.O.Y. Keita, “Studies and Comments on Ancient Egyptian Biological Relationships,” History in Africa 20 (1993), page 134)

S.O.Y Keita and Rick A. Kittles, “The Persistence of Racial Thiking and the Myth of Racial Divergence,” _American Anthropologist_ 99 (3): 523-544, 1997) [...] An example of ambiguity is to be foud in the work of Luigi Cavalli-Sforza and his colleagues (1988), who studied select world populations, using cluster analysis in an effort to explore the issue of possible congruence between dendograms based on genetics and those based on language. (p.548] [...] After explaining inconsistency in the clustering of Berber and Dravidian populations, the authors write: [...] The Berber and Dravidian examples show shifts between the major *racial* groups as traditionally and currently defined by some scholars…Cavalli- Sfroza and his colleagues(1988) do not accurately represent the Afro-Asiatic family because they exclude Chadic, Omotic, and Cushitic speakers, thereby giving the illusion that Ethiopians are an anomaly, being genetically Africans (but mixed) who also speak the languages of Caucasians (Afro-Asiatic!?) (Armstrong 1990). An evolutionary model explains the geographical range of Afro-Asiatic speakers as one of overlaying gradients of genetic differentiation, which a racial model breaks into discrete units that cannot be shown to have ever existed. (pp. 548-9) [...] Keita and Kittles criticize the use, by Cavalli-Sfroza et al., and Horai et al., of “core” populations (supposedly less-admixed) to reconstruct “racial” history: [...] Their study consisted of mtDNA derived from an African individual from Uganda (who was used to represent all Africans), ten Japanese individuals whose sequences where amalgamated into one consensus sequence (to represent Asians), and the Cambridge sequence (used to represent Europeans). Here a single mtDNA sequence in two of three cases were deemed by the investigators to be representative of entire geographical regions conceptualized as being authentic. (p.542) [...] The authors comment on the differences in dates of racial divergence given by a number of modern studies: [...] The inconsistencies are difficult to reconcile, although blood substances are stated to be nonneutral and therefore not as reliable for this kind of enterprise; this means that results based on certain kinds of data could be theorectically eliminated…The use of genetic systems not responsible for morphology in order to study groups that are defined by morphophenotype is theoretically unsound, especially when divergence times are subject. (p.537) [...] Here is a list of divergence times given on p. 537. — Published estimates of “racial” divergence times.

Keita on predynastic and First Dynasty Egyptians:

“The strong Sundanese affinity noted in unknown analyses may reflect the Nubian interactions with upper Egypt in predynastic times prior to Egyptian unification (Williams, 1980, 1986).

Ta-Seti, the A-Group state based in Qustul (Fig. 1), perhaps the earliest known kingdom in the Nile Valley (Williams, 1986)apparently conquered portions of upper Egypt. A-Group type royal tombs have been found in Upper Egypt (Williams, 1986).”

(Keita, S.O.Y., “Further Studies of Crania from Ancient Northern Africa: An Analysis of Crania from First Dyansty Egyptian Tombs, Using Multiple
Discriminant Functions” _American Journal of Physical Anthropology_ 87:245-254, 1992)

Keita in the same article:

“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)

“Moving to the opposite geographic extremity, the very small 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 of variation along the Nile Valley it did not, from this limited evidence, continue smoothly on into Palestine.

The limb-length proportions of males from the Egyptian sites group them with Africans rather than with Europeans”

Last but not least
In 1997, the German Institute for Archaeology headed an excavation of the tombs of the nobles in Thebes-West, Upper Egypt. At this time, three types of tissues were sampled from different mummies: meniscus (fibrocartilage), skin, and placenta. Archaeological findings suggest that the mummies dated from the New Kingdom (approximately
1550_/1080 BC)….. The basal epithelial cells were packed with melanin as expected for specimens of Negroid origin.”

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