PART THREE – THROUGH THE FIRE
By Dr. Anu Mauro
In case there are some who may think the above rendering is just some “Afrocentric fabrication” it is worth noting that all of this information has existed in ancient writings for thousands of years.
For example, most of what the contemporary world knows and refers to concerning the era of the ancient Persians and Greeks has come almost exclusively from the historian Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Asiatic Greece) who lived some 2500 years ago. It is the standard accepted record.
Nevertheless there seems to be an especially pernicious tendency to try to trivialize, discount or smugly cast aspersions on the writings of Herodotus; particularly when these relate to his comments on ancient Egypt.
These challenges are very robust when it comes to his accounts of the very “ethiopic” nature of Egypt’s population and their achievements. And even more so when it concerns the very significant influence all this seems to have had on the development of ancient Greece — hence world civilization.
The fact that in stark contrast Herodotus reveals some northern European tribes of the same period to be uncultivated warlike very destructive barbarian raiders, who seem to have contributed nothing to the progress of civilization, certainly does not help his popularity.
It is definitely worth noting, that the works of Herodotus and other ancient historians are required reading for certain university courses. Therefore there is no classical student who has graduated from globally renowned institutions like Oxford, Cambridge or Harvard who would not have encountered this information at some point in his/her academic life.
All the more so if they majored in classical languages like Greek, or studied ancient history that included accounts of the wars between the Greeks and Persians.
These very graduates go on to become archeologists, lecturers, researchers, book authors, professors, museum directors, advisers in media projects, and even prince regents and presidents. Therefore there is no shortage of opportunities to set the record straight.
One can only conclude that the true ethnicity of the early Egyptians, and other ancient ‘ethiopic’ nations, and the key role they played in the development of human civilization, have been very deliberately “red lined”.
This means marked as topics to be kept outside of the bounds of general discussion. Subjects to be exiled, and if at all accommodated, then only in well-guarded conjectural Bantustans that guarantee they remain unsettled and restricted; out of sight and hopefully out of mind, existing only as dark historical secrets.
In this state of virtual historical apartheid, such measures ensure that the status quo will be constantly reinforced by propagating only narrowly focused exclusively ‘noble European’ versions of ancient events.
If at all acknowledged in ancient history, ‘ethiopic’ people are allowed inclusion only in servile, supportive or captive roles. This is particularly obvious with the material that is relentlessly cranked out for popular consumption by the fantasy factories of Hollywood, beginning with the animated cartoons that are aimed at children.
Why this should be the case can only be surmised. Especially since in earlier centuries the true role of ‘ethiopian’ people in the development of world civilization was very well acknowledged; and by the first hand beneficiaries themselves. Furthermore color did not seem to have been such a major issue.
However it would appear that particularly around the 18th and 19th centuries C.E. the twin scourges of white skinned supremacy and pseudo-scientific racism actively conspired to bury the ancient models and to “Aryanize” or “whiten” history once and for all.
This meant avoiding any mention of ancient black achievement, and reinterpreting ancient events purely from a sanitized and ‘glorious’ European or ‘Indo-Aryan’ perspective. It also included the editing out of ‘ethiopic’ people and their images altogether from historical records. In extreme cases this sometimes involved the deliberate defacing of stone monuments and other imagery.
CULTURAL IMAGE MAKEOVER
In the light of the unmatched imperial and intellectual global success northern European nations were having at the time, feelings of hubris and cultural supremacy were perhaps understandable and even inevitable.
However it all seemed to have been flawed by very deep feelings of inadequacy. How else to explain the intensive effort at all levels to rewrite and revise history. It seems there was a great need to prove that this ‘white as supreme’ position and northern preeminence had always been the norm – especially when the actual historical records show it definitely had not been so.
Since it is always the victors who write ‘history’, some have suggested this obsessive readjustment of ancient facts may have also been prompted by an acute longing for ‘instant pedigree’ by people with otherwise humble ancestral backgrounds.
For starters the revisionism was endorsed and philanthropically supported by leading members of a new ‘self-made elite’. It is this group perhaps more than all others who needed to see themselves as the natural inheritors of ancient noble traditions, and not just as ‘newly-enriched’ former ‘serfs’.
Even more so, since many of them were deeply fascinated by the ancient Egyptian ‘Mystery System’ and its power to ‘illuminate’ the human mind. However their own rise to dominance in a supposedly rational ‘Age of Enlightenment’ owed more to ruthless acts of genocide, land expropriation, enslavement and nonstop wars than to any deep quest for wisdom and universal principles.
It was these violent measures and not ‘Reason’ that their ‘northern’ cultures were routinely visiting upon indigenous people across the earth; not to mention the vicious struggles for global control between the imperial nations themselves.
As it was, such shameless pirate-like behavior linked this formerly impoverished ‘new elite’ far more closely to ancestral traditions of war and plunder, than to those of beauty, refinement and erudition which they greatly preferred to be descended from, — but were not.
However, not to be outdone the ‘new-elite’ boldly went on to argue it was those very qualities of audacity and ruthlessness, –which they seemed to possess in such great measure– that proved they were ‘a naturally superior people’. Furthermore they sought to convince themselves and everyone else that these same audacious traits had always been prime requirements for the development of all civilization throughout the human past.
In the end therefore, it seems the chief aim of the historical revisionism was to try to convince themselves and the world that anything of quality in human history had always been the product of the ‘violent warlike aggressive northern European Aryan genius’ and that darker skinned southern people had always been weak, timid, uninspired, unproductive, and uncivilized slavish underdogs from the advent of creation.
Hence the real importance of always seeking to represent ancient ‘supposedly European’ Greece as the initial cradle of everything ‘high-cultural’. Given its traditions of warlike Spartans and legends such as Helen of Troy and the Trojan War it was viewed as the ideal ‘pedigreed parent’ of their new bold vibrant and ever expanding civilization.
Whatever deep or shallow motives lay behind the attempts to reinterpret history, it seems the process was made much easier (in both the academic world and popular imagination), by the ethnic changes that had occurred in the main centers of ancient high-culture.
Over several centuries, population replacement patterns had ensured a considerable lightening in the complexion of a substantial percentage of the people in the countries of the Middle East and Northern Africa. Areas that once had significant Kushite or “ethiopian” populations were now much more Turkic or European.
In addition to creating whiter toned mixtures, the invasions and continuous in-migration of large numbers of light skinned people into places like Egypt, Libya and Tunisia during the Greek, Roman and Islamic eras was invariably accompanied by a steady absorption and/or out-migration of dark skinned ‘ethiops’ away from these zones. (47)
Whether or not there was ever a collective flight by any group out of the Egyptian Nile delta north into the Sinai desert, what is certain is that the continuous waves of ‘Northern’ Indo-Scythian people coming into ancient Egypt, Libya, and Arabia definitely produced a large and steady out-migration of ‘ethiopic’ populations. These headed south down the Nile valley and/or crossed the Nubian and Sahara deserts into the central and western forests and plains.
It is hard to find an African society anywhere on the continent today that does not have some traditional “exodus type” story of ancestral movement to their present southern location.
Anthropologists have noted that between 1000 B.C.E. and 400 C.E. the migration of so-called ‘Bantu’ African people in areas south of the Sahara was one of the largest in human history. It also appears that so far these anthropologists have been unable to come up with any reason for this huge exodus.
It can be suggested that their puzzlement may have more to do with their own steadfast unwillingness to abandon narrow prejudices and flawed presumptions about Africans than with any real lack of evidence; anecdotal or otherwise.
A significant number of African groups and especially the cattle rearing cultures like Herero of Namibia or the Bambara of Mali often relate tales of their people’s origins or presence in the Nile Valley region.
Furthermore Kushite groups such as the Igbo, Mande and Ga who left the Eastern Sahel and headed southwest or others like the Tonga, Shona and Zulu who left the great lakes region and followed the Rift Valley down to Southern Africa, all have traditions that link them to peoples, cultures and eras that suggest a more northerly former existence. (48)
There were environmental as well as cultural consequences to these resettlements. In the ecologically fragile northern African areas the chain of carefully tended oases that once kept the arid zone livable and the desert in check were abandoned to incoming invaders. These were soon claimed by the predictable sand storms. Where four horse chariots of the ‘Nigretes’ once raced, only dust devils now whirled. The dunes expanded covering centuries of ancient culture under ever shifting patterns. Buried cultures tell no tales.
It follows that if the ardent Eurocentric ‘white supremacist’ revisionists were enjoying such great success even when evidence to the contrary was literally carved in stone, how much easier it must have been to win coverts to their version of history when hard evidence no longer existed.
One should also note that the aforementioned revisionism seemed to have enjoyed a good measure of support even from among the ranks of the very people who had the most to lose in the long term. This tacit participation by the subject populations of the various Islamic and Christian empires was characterized by their own desire to identify much more with a ‘white supremacist’ anti-black worldview than to honor their own ‘ethiopic’ ancestors.
Even when these mixed so-called Middle Eastern populations obviously displayed indigenous African physical traits many in their societies still routinely choose to display harsh and very racist anti-black and anti-African attitudes.
This strongly suggests that these societies thought (and possibly still think) they have everything to lose, and nothing to gain by acknowledging their own ancestral connections to indigenous dark skinned woolly haired people of the African continent.
Consequently they are prepared to go to great schizophrenic lengths to distance themselves from such connections. Including meeting out particularly callous un-neighborly treatment to ‘ethiopic’ Africans from south of the Sahara who happen to pass through North African countries.
However DNA studies in the year 2000 indicate that many current North Western African populations still display significant H38 ‘African’ genetic elements. This seems to indicate an ancestral origin for these people in Eastern Africa (present-day Ethiopia and Sudan). More significant is that even after foreign in-migration has changed outward appearances this ‘African’ genetic material still contributes a remarkable 75% to the current gene pool. (49)
Notes for PART THREE – THROUGH THE FIRE
47. Ironically an Old Testament quote suggests how the process worked. The Israelite God outlines his strategy for Canaanite removal as follows:
“I will not drive them out from before thee in one year, lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased.” (Exodus 23:29:30:King James Bible)
48. These linkages included cultural practices like the use of hawks/falcons as godly/royal symbols in pre-colonial Nigeria and Ghana and the soapstone birds of Great Zimbabwe which are so very similar to the falcon/hawk-headed Egyptian god Horus and those used by the Isis/Astarte-cult at Sidon
49. http:// hpgl.stanford.edu/publications/AJHG_2001_v68_p1019.pdf