Eupedia Forums
Site NavigationEupedia Top > Eupedia Forum & Japan Forum
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 31

Thread: Ancient Egyptian Phenotype

  1. #1
    Regular Member Achievements:
    31 days registered500 Experience Points
    Vandemonian's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-04-19
    Posts
    66
    Points
    698
    Level
    6
    Points: 698, Level: 6
    Level completed: 74%, Points required for next Level: 52
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Country: Australia



    Ancient Egyptian Phenotype



    What did ancient egyptians look like? Especially, how did the Egyptians of the Middle Kingdom differ from Cyrus' Persians, or Alexander's Greeks, or Caesar's Romans?

    I absolutely love the maps you have up at "Distribution maps of autosomal admixtures in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa," and while I can't link to them, they suggest that modern people in those areas are all extremely similar, except that the Egyptians lack any West European Hunter-Gatherer ancestry. But modern and ancient peoples are, of course, not the same. I understand that modern Copts are a reasonable stand-in for the descendants of old Egyptians, and looking at pictures of them, they seem a heterogeneous bunch (probably because I'm getting many non-Coptic people in my searches).

    Were the ancient Egyptians most physically similar to Persians?

  2. #2
    Advisor Achievements:
    VeteranThree Friends50000 Experience PointsRecommendation Second Class
    Awards:
    Posting Award
    Angela's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-01-11
    Posts
    15,355
    Points
    282,458
    Level
    100
    Points: 282,458, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 99.6%


    Ethnic group
    Italian
    Country: USA - New York



    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vandemonian View Post
    What did ancient egyptians look like? Especially, how did the Egyptians of the Middle Kingdom differ from Cyrus' Persians, or Alexander's Greeks, or Caesar's Romans?

    I absolutely love the maps you have up at "Distribution maps of autosomal admixtures in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa," and while I can't link to them, they suggest that modern people in those areas are all extremely similar, except that the Egyptians lack any West European Hunter-Gatherer ancestry. But modern and ancient peoples are, of course, not the same. I understand that modern Copts are a reasonable stand-in for the descendants of old Egyptians, and looking at pictures of them, they seem a heterogeneous bunch (probably because I'm getting many non-Coptic people in my searches).

    Were the ancient Egyptians most physically similar to Persians?
    I would think that's unlikely, although it would depend on the era and perhaps whether the person was from the Nile Delta or near Nubia.

    This would seem to show that Egyptians of this period considered themselves darker than Canaanites (3rd figure from left).



    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

  3. #3
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1 year registered1000 Experience Points
    ToBeOrNotToBe's Avatar
    Join Date
    31-12-16
    Posts
    1,116


    Country: United Kingdom



    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    It's interesting that Egyptians were so much darker than the Canaanites, I mean you'd classify that as completely different races from first glance. Those Canaanites look like modern Ashkenazim by the way and are much lighter than modern Levantines, but other depictions show them as more "yellowy White" in colour like Ralph Nader (great guy btw):



    It's also interesting that Libyans were so damn White, they look as close to Atlantic Euros as you can get. Of course you still see isolated Berbers who are very pale so this depiction was probably accurate for the time. Zinedine Zidane for reference, much paler and even ginger/blonde examples exist though:


  4. #4
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points1 year registered

    Join Date
    13-05-18
    Posts
    154
    Points
    4,135
    Level
    18
    Points: 4,135, Level: 18
    Level completed: 72%, Points required for next Level: 115
    Overall activity: 3.0%


    Country: United States



    We already have sculptures in the Old Kingdom showing Egyptian appearance:

    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/C...an_5th_dynasty

    Raneferef.jpg
    Seated_scribe.jpg

  5. #5
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1 year registered1000 Experience Points
    ToBeOrNotToBe's Avatar
    Join Date
    31-12-16
    Posts
    1,116


    Country: United Kingdom



    Quote Originally Posted by Alyan View Post
    We already have sculptures in the Old Kingdom showing Egyptian appearance:

    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/C...an_5th_dynasty

    Raneferef.jpg
    Seated_scribe.jpg
    They're darker than Levantines, perhaps that's the whole "poor people working in the Sun" thing, like with the Minoans. I remember recently some old tomb got excavated and the skin colour was more like the Canaanites (around 2500 BC).


  6. #6
    Advisor Achievements:
    VeteranThree Friends50000 Experience PointsRecommendation Second Class
    Awards:
    Posting Award
    Angela's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-01-11
    Posts
    15,355
    Points
    282,458
    Level
    100
    Points: 282,458, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 99.6%


    Ethnic group
    Italian
    Country: USA - New York



    That may just be because they're women. It seems to have been a convention that women, who stayed indoors more, were painted lighter than men, who would have been outdoors, hunting, training, etc. The darker skin was more "manly" I suppose.

  7. #7
    Regular Member Achievements:
    31 days registered500 Experience Points
    Vandemonian's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-04-19
    Posts
    66
    Points
    698
    Level
    6
    Points: 698, Level: 6
    Level completed: 74%, Points required for next Level: 52
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Country: Australia



    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Yes, I recall there was a stylistic convention to paint men ruddy and women fair. Unfortunately many of the images around are either of that stylistic nature, or else are secondhand renderings of murals and drawings rather than actual images generated by the Egyptians themselves; I'm told they may not be accurate. The sculptures are interesting, but even here it's difficult to take clear messages; Berlin_Dersenedj_01.jpg looks inhumanly brachycephalic, for example.

    Turning to my personal library, I note Cavalli-Sforza (1994, p. 172) has genetic data on modern Egyptians clustering closely with Libyans and Tunisianans. If we take this distance as 1, the Egyptians' distance to Berbers and Beduins is around 2, to Cushtic Ethiopians around 5, and to Bantu and West Africans around 13. I also note that Egyptian is Afro-Asitic, like other Middle Eastern and North African languages, implying a common genetic origin; Egyptians were probably similar to both Persians and Libyans.

    The first useful study I found beyond Cavalli-Sforza was "International Anthropometric Study of Facial Morphology in Various Ethnic Groups/Races," by Farkas (2005). The results found that most facal characteristics were identical between Egyptians and north American Whites (NAW) but "both face height and lower face height were very significantly smaller" and "most intercanthal and biocular widths were significantly greater than those in NAW, and eye fissure length was significantly smaller." It is not clear where the 60 Egyptian subjects came from, or how representative this is of ancient Egyptians, but if you're interested, this one is probably worth downloading.

    Finally, after some frustration searching the usual scholarly articles, I stumbled upon an old book in Smithsonian Institution, by Hrdlička, A. (1913), "The natives of Kharga oasis, Egypt." Although I can't link to it directly, I'm pleased to say that it is readily available for download online, and is an absolute treasure trove, containing over 100 pages of detailed phynotypic measurements on Egyptians. Here is the conclusion:

    _________________

    The Kharga Oasis Egyptians are people in general of somewhat subnormal physical development, due principally to long lasting defective nutrition. The majority of the people are as yet but little mixed with the negro.

    Those who are not mixed with the blacks, show a fairly uniform physical type. This type is characterized by medium brown skin, horizontal brown eye, black and straight hair (with a tendency to wave when longer), black, straight, wavy or slightly curly and often scanty beard, moderate stature, dolicho. to mesocephalic and medium high head, oblong and meso. to orthognathic face, mesorhinic nose, rather long and narrow ear, and moderately proportioned chest, pelvis, hands and feet. They give somewhat higher pulse and respiration than the average in whites, but perceptibly lower temperature, and decidedly lower muscular force.

    The type of the Kharga natives is radically distinct from that of the negro. It is according to all indications fundamentally the same as that of the non-negroid Valley Egyptians. It is in all probability a composite of closely related northeastern African and southwestern Asiatic, or "Hamitic" and "Semitic" ethnic elements, and is to be
    classed with these as part of the southern extension of the Mediterranean subdivision of the white race.

    Judging from the mummies of the Oasis inhabitants from the 2.5 centuries A.D., exhumed at El Baguat, the type of the present non-negroid Kharga natives is substantially the same as that of the population of the Oasis during the first part of the Christian era. The nature of the population of the Oasis in more ancient times can only be determined by skeletal material from the ancient cemeteries.

    ______________________

    Although Kharga lies in Upper Egypt, bordering Kush, and may thus have been exposed to more gene flow than many Egyptians in Lower Egypt and the Nile Delta, who would have in turn been exposed to more admixture from North Africa, the Middle East, and Southern Europe, it is nevertheless satisfying to see the author compare the results to mummies from the early Christan era and note no important differences. I am betting that these findings can be applied to Egyptians all the way back to the Old Kingdom.

  8. #8
    Moderator Achievements:
    1 year registeredTagger Second ClassThree Friends25000 Experience Points
    Awards:
    Most Popular

    Join Date
    21-10-16
    Posts
    1,725
    Points
    26,601
    Level
    50
    Points: 26,601, Level: 50
    Level completed: 6%, Points required for next Level: 949
    Overall activity: 5.0%


    Ethnic group
    Multiracial Brazilian
    Country: Brazil



    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    If you allow me some personal marketing, lol, I have written extensively on this topic in the Quora platform some days ago: https://www.quora.com/If-juxtaposed-...er/Ygor-Coelho

    To sum it up, in my opinion Ancient Egyptians had ancestry and skull/facial features most closely related to the modern North Africans and Southwest Asians, and if those 3 ancient Egypians' DNA makeup is to be believed, they were pretty close to some modern Bedouin tribes of Arabian origin. I think Egyptians were mostly the result of a mix of North African natives (maybe some as of yet unsampled population roughly between the Iberomaurusians and the Natufians), Levant_Neolithic and Iranian_Chalcolithic people, also with some minor but non-negligible Subsaharan ancestry (something like ~10-15%, which is high enough to darken some part of an already brown-skinned population). In my opinion, though, it's quite likely that, since we know that there was ongoing positive selection for lighter skin in Europe and much of the Middle East since the Neolithic, the earliest Egyptians were darker-skinned even if their genetic structure was already mostly very similar to that of the later medieval/modern Egyptians, and not because of any "Subsaharan ancestry/phenotype". Maybe Egyptians just depigmented less than some of the Libyan Berbers (I wonder if those that were most in contact with Egyptians still had higher Iberian_Neolithic or more broadly EEF ancestry than the later majority of Berbers) and Canaanites. In my opinion, then, the Ancient Egyptians should look pretty close to many modern Egyptians, who don't look much different at all from the most realistic, least stylized Egyptian sculptures (the only caveat is that the Ancient Egyptians should've looked darker-skinned than these Egyptians, though not all of the modern Egyptians, because Egypt has quite a lot of pretty dark-skinned people). For Egyptian women, you have to consider that nowadays most of those with naturally curly hair straighten it, so you should imagine them with naturally very wavy or curly hair (though ancient Egyptians also depicted women with straight hair).


    The great Egyptian singer Oum Khoulthoum


    Rami Malek


    Mohamed El-Baradei

    Bassam Youssef


    Masa Amir
    Last edited by Ygorcs; 09-04-19 at 03:20.

  9. #9
    Moderator Achievements:
    1 year registeredTagger Second ClassThree Friends25000 Experience Points
    Awards:
    Most Popular

    Join Date
    21-10-16
    Posts
    1,725
    Points
    26,601
    Level
    50
    Points: 26,601, Level: 50
    Level completed: 6%, Points required for next Level: 949
    Overall activity: 5.0%


    Ethnic group
    Multiracial Brazilian
    Country: Brazil



    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    That may just be because they're women. It seems to have been a convention that women, who stayed indoors more, were painted lighter than men, who would have been outdoors, hunting, training, etc. The darker skin was more "manly" I suppose.
    There's absolutely there, often in the same sculpture or painting the women are unquestionably white, whereas the men are very brown-skinned.



    But sometimes men are also depicted in lighter skin tones:




    In my opinion Egyptians concentrated many different populations that were living in Northeast Africa before the full desertification of the Sahara and received quite a lot of foreign influxes, added to the fact that even their earlies Afro-Asiatic ancestors were probably themselves pretty mixed (if the Iberomaurusian some 3000-4000km km to the west of the Levant were 2/3 Natufian-like Eurasian and 1/3 Hadza-like I imagine that heavily mixed people would be even more common around Egypt in the Mesolithic). So they probably had a range of skin colors and phenotypes roughly as a middle-ground between Berbers/Maghrebis, Levantines, Nilo-Saharan (Sudanese) and Cushitic (Northeast Sudan/Horn of Africa). That's what I can take from their paintings and sculptures, which do not show always the same kind of look.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Achievements:
    31 days registered500 Experience Points
    Vandemonian's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-04-19
    Posts
    66
    Points
    698
    Level
    6
    Points: 698, Level: 6
    Level completed: 74%, Points required for next Level: 52
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Country: Australia



    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    If you allow me some personal marketing, lol, I have written extensively on this topic in the Quora platform some days ago
    Thank you very much! I love that image of Bassam Youssef.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Achievements:
    Veteran5000 Experience PointsRecommendation Second Class

    Join Date
    18-08-15
    Posts
    1,386
    Points
    6,468
    Level
    23
    Points: 6,468, Level: 23
    Level completed: 84%, Points required for next Level: 82
    Overall activity: 5.0%

    Y-DNA haplogroup
    R-L2
    MtDNA haplogroup
    J1c5a

    Ethnic group
    Swiss
    Country: Switzerland



    Zidane is a very bad proxy to represent ancient Lybians phenotype because he is Kabyle, and Kabyle people have often light features. As for Ancient Canaanites resembling modern Ashkenazim... Pretty sure the best proxy for Ashkenazim would be something Armenian-Babylonian.

  12. #12
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1 year registered1000 Experience Points
    ToBeOrNotToBe's Avatar
    Join Date
    31-12-16
    Posts
    1,116


    Country: United Kingdom



    Quote Originally Posted by halfalp View Post
    Zidane is a very bad proxy to represent ancient Lybians phenotype because he is Kabyle, and Kabyle people have often light features. As for Ancient Canaanites resembling modern Ashkenazim... Pretty sure the best proxy for Ashkenazim would be something Armenian-Babylonian.
    Not at all, despite the Armenoid influences for the most part Ashkenazim are slender Mediterranids. And yes the Kabyle people are light, but those Libyans depicted look Welsh!

  13. #13
    Regular Member Achievements:
    31 days registered500 Experience Points
    Vandemonian's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-04-19
    Posts
    66
    Points
    698
    Level
    6
    Points: 698, Level: 6
    Level completed: 74%, Points required for next Level: 52
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Country: Australia



    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    I have written extensively on this topic in the Quora platform some days ago...
    To sum it up, in my opinion Ancient Egyptians had ancestry and skull/facial features most closely related to the modern North Africans and Southwest Asians, and if those 3 ancient Egypians' DNA makeup is to be believed, they were pretty close to some modern Bedouin tribes of Arabian origin. I think Egyptians were mostly the result of a mix of North African natives (maybe some as of yet unsampled population roughly between the Iberomaurusians and the Natufians), Levant_Neolithic and Iranian_Chalcolithic people, also with some minor but non-negligible Subsaharan ancestry (something like ~10-15%, which is high enough to darken some part of an already brown-skinned population). In my opinion, though, it's quite likely that, since we know that there was ongoing positive selection for lighter skin in Europe and much of the Middle East since the Neolithic, the earliest Egyptians were darker-skinned even if their genetic structure was already mostly very similar to that of the later medieval/modern Egyptians, and not because of any "Subsaharan ancestry/phenotype". Maybe Egyptians just depigmented less than some of the Libyan Berbers (I wonder if those that were most in contact with Egyptians still had higher Iberian_Neolithic or more broadly EEF ancestry than the later majority of Berbers) and Canaanites. In my opinion, then, the Ancient Egyptians should look pretty close to many modern Egyptians, who don't look much different at all from the most realistic, least stylized Egyptian sculptures (the only caveat is that the Ancient Egyptians should've looked darker-skinned than these Egyptians, though not all of the modern Egyptians, because Egypt has quite a lot of pretty dark-skinned people). For Egyptian women, you have to consider that nowadays most of those with naturally curly hair straighten it, so you should imagine them with naturally very wavy or curly hair (though ancient Egyptians also depicted women with straight hair).
    Ygorcs, I've read the post you mentioned on Quora, finished the 1913 article "The Natives of Kharga Oasis," along with a few articles I found elsewhere, and I'd like to form a careful response to this post of yours. Although it's clear that you're remarkably well educated on the subject, I do think there is good reason to doubt your claim that ancient Egyptians had "very wavy or curly" hair.

    Firstly, "The Natives of Kharga Oasis" has:

    The hair is as a rule black, and in those who are not mixed with the negro it is generally straight or approaching straight. It runs thus in 88 per cent of the men examined ; in 6 per cent it was black and distinctly wavy ; in 5 per cent black with a tendency to curl ; and in 1 individual it was dark brown and straight. In women, where the hair is much longer (many of the men clip the hair short or even shave the head), it is, so far as could be observed, generally more or less wavy, with occasional tendency to curl ; in children it is straight, wavy or slightly curly. The Coptic mummies at El Baguat showed in general hair that was black and straight to moderately wavy. A decidedly curly hair in Kharga natives was as a rule found associated with thick lips and other negro features. It appears, in fact, as if the tendency to curly hair was one of the most lasting effects in the progeny of one-time negro admixture.

    We do have some mummies with hair that is at least wavy:

    elderlady01tomb-kv35.jpg

    But when I find pictures of Coptic people - who, are said to be representative of the original Egyptians, but, if anything, are likely more admixed with Africans today than 3000 years ago - they don't have curly hair.

    960x540.jpg

    om-marina.jpg

    What strikes me as most likely is the idea that, to the extent that we can speak of a unified Egyptian physical type, it would be essentially Middle Eastern, rather dusky in comparison to the Ancient Greeks or Romans, with dark, wavy hair. Curly hair might not be uncommon in Upper Egypt, because of African admixture there. But in Lower Egypt, where such admixture would have been rare, and because the influence from north of the Mediterranean Sea would have been slightly stronger, hair would range from straight to wavy, and could occasionally show light brown or even auburn color. (Given the findings of mummies, hairstyles would also show a fascinating array of variation, from heads shaven to cope with lice, to elaborate wigs, extensions, and coiffures.)

    Lastly, I tend to agree with you on your discussion of their skin tone. Specifically, I think skin in most cases would be dark due to not only to the darker ancestral skin colors which prevailed before the lightening effects of agriculture, but to the year-long absence of clouds and precipitation in North Africa. However, as much of the period artwork suggests, women might plausibly have had fairer skin than men, even ranging towards modern European tones in a few cases, if they took pains to avoid the sun.

  14. #14
    Moderator Achievements:
    1 year registeredTagger Second ClassThree Friends25000 Experience Points
    Awards:
    Most Popular

    Join Date
    21-10-16
    Posts
    1,725
    Points
    26,601
    Level
    50
    Points: 26,601, Level: 50
    Level completed: 6%, Points required for next Level: 949
    Overall activity: 5.0%


    Ethnic group
    Multiracial Brazilian
    Country: Brazil



    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vandemonian View Post
    Ygorcs, I've read the post you mentioned on Quora, finished the 1913 article "The Natives of Kharga Oasis," along with a few articles I found elsewhere, and I'd like to form a careful response to this post of yours. Although it's clear that you're remarkably well educated on the subject, I do think there is good reason to doubt your claim that ancient Egyptians had "very wavy or curly" hair.

    Firstly, "The Natives of Kharga Oasis" has:

    The hair is as a rule black, and in those who are not mixed with the negro it is generally straight or approaching straight. It runs thus in 88 per cent of the men examined ; in 6 per cent it was black and distinctly wavy ; in 5 per cent black with a tendency to curl ; and in 1 individual it was dark brown and straight. In women, where the hair is much longer (many of the men clip the hair short or even shave the head), it is, so far as could be observed, generally more or less wavy, with occasional tendency to curl ; in children it is straight, wavy or slightly curly. The Coptic mummies at El Baguat showed in general hair that was black and straight to moderately wavy. A decidedly curly hair in Kharga natives was as a rule found associated with thick lips and other negro features. It appears, in fact, as if the tendency to curly hair was one of the most lasting effects in the progeny of one-time negro admixture.

    We do have some mummies with hair that is at least wavy:

    elderlady01tomb-kv35.jpg

    But when I find pictures of Coptic people - who, are said to be representative of the original Egyptians, but, if anything, are likely more admixed with Africans today than 3000 years ago - they don't have curly hair.

    960x540.jpg

    om-marina.jpg

    What strikes me as most likely is the idea that, to the extent that we can speak of a unified Egyptian physical type, it would be essentially Middle Eastern, rather dusky in comparison to the Ancient Greeks or Romans, with dark, wavy hair. Curly hair might not be uncommon in Upper Egypt, because of African admixture there. But in Lower Egypt, where such admixture would have been rare, and because the influence from north of the Mediterranean Sea would have been slightly stronger, hair would range from straight to wavy, and could occasionally show light brown or even auburn color. (Given the findings of mummies, hairstyles would also show a fascinating array of variation, from heads shaven to cope with lice, to elaborate wigs, extensions, and coiffures.)

    Lastly, I tend to agree with you on your discussion of their skin tone. Specifically, I think skin in most cases would be dark due to not only to the darker ancestral skin colors which prevailed before the lightening effects of agriculture, but to the year-long absence of clouds and precipitation in North Africa. However, as much of the period artwork suggests, women might plausibly have had fairer skin than men, even ranging towards modern European tones in a few cases, if they took pains to avoid the sun.
    Hi, I agree with most of your points. About skin color, I have no doubt most of them were not black and not white either (of course there must've been variation, Egypt is right at a genetic crossroad due to its own geography), but brownish-colored just like most modern Bedouins and Arabians if you let them live under heavy sun exposure. But they are clearly much more depigmented than blacks, especially the majority of the indigenous blacks just south of Egypt (Sudan), who tend to be among the darkest peoples on earth, even for Subsaharan African standards. I also think they were mostly Middle Eastern, more specifically Southwest Asians, more similar to present-day Arabians and Bedouins, so just like most of them they probably had wavy or curly hair. The Ancient Egyptian paintings and sculptures often suggest quite wavy or curly hair when they're not wearing wigs, which is very often, of course, lol. The frequent use of braids and dreadlocks possibly also reinforces that many of them had curly or very wavy hair. Don't forget that nowadays a lot of women use all kinds of products and chemical or physical processes to straighten their hair. I even read a BBC report on a "curly hair freedom" movement going on in Egypt among some women, who have grown tired of straightening their hair and want to show it as it is naturally. Therefore I think those pictures of modern Coptic woman might be a bit misleading, as that is not their natural hair phenotype. In my opinion, it's likely that the majority of them have moderately to heavily wavy hair, or curly hair (but notice here, I'm not talking about woolly/kinky hair typical of Subsaharan Africans, but about curly hair). Here some Egyptian women with their natural hair. None of them has really woolly Subsaharan-like hair, but curly hair:













  15. #15
    Regular Member Achievements:
    Veteran5000 Experience PointsRecommendation Second Class

    Join Date
    18-08-15
    Posts
    1,386
    Points
    6,468
    Level
    23
    Points: 6,468, Level: 23
    Level completed: 84%, Points required for next Level: 82
    Overall activity: 5.0%

    Y-DNA haplogroup
    R-L2
    MtDNA haplogroup
    J1c5a

    Ethnic group
    Swiss
    Country: Switzerland



    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Hi, I agree with most of your points. About skin color, I have no doubt most of them were not black and not white either (of course there must've been variation, Egypt is right at a genetic crossroad due to its own geography), but brownish-colored just like most modern Bedouins and Arabians if you let them live under heavy sun exposure. But they are clearly much more depigmented than blacks, especially the majority of the indigenous blacks just south of Egypt (Sudan), who tend to be among the darkest peoples on earth, even for Subsaharan African standards. I also think they were mostly Middle Eastern, more specifically Southwest Asians, more similar to present-day Arabians and Bedouins, so just like most of them they probably had wavy or curly hair. The Ancient Egyptian paintings and sculptures often suggest quite wavy or curly hair when they're not wearing wigs, which is very often, of course, lol. The frequent use of braids and dreadlocks possibly also reinforces that many of them had curly or very wavy hair. Don't forget that nowadays a lot of women use all kinds of products and chemical or physical processes to straighten their hair. I even read a BBC report on a "curly hair freedom" movement going on in Egypt among some women, who have grown tired of straightening their hair and want to show it as it is naturally. Therefore I think those pictures of modern Coptic woman might be a bit misleading, as that is not their natural hair phenotype. In my opinion, it's likely that the majority of them have moderately to heavily wavy hair, or curly hair (but notice here, I'm not talking about woolly/kinky hair typical of Subsaharan Africans, but about curly hair). Here some Egyptian women with their natural hair. None of them has really woolly Subsaharan-like hair, but curly hair:












    The third somehow looks like some Nefertiti Statue, especially in the eyes part.

  16. #16
    Regular Member Achievements:
    31 days registered500 Experience Points
    Vandemonian's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-04-19
    Posts
    66
    Points
    698
    Level
    6
    Points: 698, Level: 6
    Level completed: 74%, Points required for next Level: 52
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Country: Australia



    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    In my opinion, it's likely that the majority of them have moderately to heavily wavy hair, or curly hair
    Then why did the study author I quoted above (The Natives of Kharga Oasis) state The hair is as a rule black, and in those who are not mixed with the negro it is generally straight or approaching straight?

    Poking around, there does indeed seem to be a general consensus that modern Egyptians have curlier hair. (Here's an example.) Frankly I have no problem with this being absolutely true. Yet people who went out to the Kharga Oasis for the purpose of measuring and recording what they found, noted that among natives unmixed with Sub-Saharan Africans, straight hair was more common than curly hair. Granted, it's only one study, but I see no reason to doubt their conclusions regarding hair texture any more than their conclusions on the natives' resting body temperature or heart rate.

    It seems much easier to explain the common curliness of modern Egyptians by pointing to Sub Saharan admixture - I've known many people who would pass as European, except for curly hair which came from an African grandparent or great-grandparent. Such admixture could have existed even in the Old Kingdom, particularly in Upper Egypt. But how many in the Ancient Nile Delta had any such admixture?

    DNA from Ancient Egyptian Mummies Reveals Their Ancestry
    Despite repeated conquests of Egypt, by Alexander the Great, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Assyrians — the list goes on — ancient Egyptians showed little genetic change. “The other big surprise,” Krause said, “was we didn't find much sub-Saharan African ancestry.”
    The remains came from Abusir el-Meleq, an ancient Nile community in the middle of Egypt...
    If you ask Egyptians, they'll say that they have become more European recently, Krause said. “We see exactly the opposite,” he said.
    It was not until relatively recently in Egypt's long history that sub-Saharan genetic influences became more pronounced. “In the last 1,500 years, Egypt became more African, if you want,” Krause said.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_history_of_Egypt
    [A]ncient Egyptian individuals in their own dataset possessed highly similar mitochondrial profiles throughout the examined period. Modern Egyptians generally shared this maternal haplogroup pattern, but also carried more Sub-Saharan African clades. However, analysis of the mummies' mtDNA haplogroups found that they shared greater mitochondrial affinities with modern populations from the Near East and the Levant compared to modern Egyptians...
    A study by Krings et al. (1999) on mitochondrial DNA clines along the Nile Valley found that a Eurasian cline runs from Northern Egypt to Southern Sudan and a Sub-Saharan cline from Southern Sudan to Northern Egypt.

  17. #17
    Advisor Achievements:
    VeteranThree Friends50000 Experience PointsRecommendation Second Class
    Awards:
    Posting Award
    Angela's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-01-11
    Posts
    15,355
    Points
    282,458
    Level
    100
    Points: 282,458, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 99.6%


    Ethnic group
    Italian
    Country: USA - New York



    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Plenty of people without any African ancestry have curly hair or at least very wavy hair, including a lot of Europeans. You don't see it as much nowadays because people blow dry it straight as that's the fashion. Just watch Game of Thrones and see how many naturally curly headed British men there are. The hair on the women is blow dryed or you'd see they have it too. Why the heck would it have to be connected to SSA ancestry in anyone, including Egyptians?

    In practically every other era of history Euorpeans have tortured their hair to get it to curl. I doubt they were copying SSA people.

    This looks natural to me.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    This doesn't:


    I actually think this is fake. In Little Women there's all this talk that the rage was for "frizzled" curls and the tongs were left on the hair too long in trying to get that effect, and burned the "curls" right off. :) Catastrophe!



    Real "SSA" hair is different: different texture, extremely coiled, in some cases it won't even grow. I would agree that most Egyptians don't have hair like that. With most very wavy, almost curly hair, if you sleep on it or even braid it, it straightens out most of the curl. That's what used to happen to me. I would have to wet it again in the morning to get the curls to come back. In more ancient times people used to put sweet smelling oil in their hair.

    Nicole Kidman before she totally changed herself. SHe could have used a good conditioning. :)

  18. #18
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points3 months registered

    Join Date
    02-02-19
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    216
    Points
    2,711
    Level
    14
    Points: 2,711, Level: 14
    Level completed: 87%, Points required for next Level: 39
    Overall activity: 33.0%


    Ethnic group
    Northern European
    Country: United States



    What's the relation between the Coptic Christians and the ancient Egyptians?

  19. #19
    Regular Member Achievements:
    31 days registered500 Experience Points
    Vandemonian's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-04-19
    Posts
    66
    Points
    698
    Level
    6
    Points: 698, Level: 6
    Level completed: 74%, Points required for next Level: 52
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Country: Australia



    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Plenty of people without any African ancestry have curly hair or at least very wavy hair, including a lot of Europeans....Why the heck would it have to be connected to SSA ancestry in anyone, including Egyptians?
    Check the study I keep referencing: The Natives of Kharga Oasis. (It really is a splendid read if you're interested in Egyptology, with details not only on the people but on their labyrinthine village.) A sample of 150 unmixed Egyptians in the early 20th century were found to have straight to wavy hair. It isn't that they couldn't have curly hair without African ancestry, simply that they didn't.


    Quote Originally Posted by matty74 View Post
    What's the relation between the Coptic Christians and the ancient Egyptians?
    The Copts are evidently the most direct descendants of Ancient Egyptians surviving today, though they could have evolved somewhat in the intervening millennia.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_hi...of_Egypt#Copts
    [S]cientists... associate the Coptic component with Ancient Egyptian ancestry, without the later Arabian influence that is present among other Egyptians.

    https://copticliterature.wordpress.c...lims-of-egypt/
    Copts share the same main ancestral component than North African and Middle East populations (dark blue), supporting a common origin with Egypt (or other North African/Middle Eastern populations). They are known to be the most ancient population of Egypt and at k = 4 (Fig.3), they show their own component (dark green) different from the current Egyptian population which is closer to the Arabic population of Qatar.

  20. #20
    Elite member Achievements:
    Three FriendsVeteran25000 Experience Points

    Join Date
    25-10-11
    Location
    Brittany
    Age
    70
    Posts
    4,382
    Points
    38,681
    Level
    60
    Points: 38,681, Level: 60
    Level completed: 70%, Points required for next Level: 369
    Overall activity: 7.0%

    Y-DNA haplogroup
    R1b - L21/S145*
    MtDNA haplogroup
    H3c

    Ethnic group
    more celtic
    Country: France



    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by ToBeOrNotToBe View Post
    Not at all, despite the Armenoid influences for the most part Ashkenazim are slender Mediterranids. And yes the Kabyle people are light, but those Libyans depicted look Welsh!
    stereotype.
    Kabyles are fairer than the surrounding people of Maghreb. They are more variated concerning pigmentation than other N-African people, but for European standards, they are not fair, just a bit fairer as a mean than the darkest among European Mediterranean regions people; what can be said is they lack neat brown skins, and that they present a lot of middle European hues for skin, hairs and eyes, and some light hues at individual level, what is very high for these regions, but this doesn't prevent them to show very often dark colours for every category. You can see some rare golden very light brown hairs, more seldomly middle blond hairs (I saw some of them, as a French man), but it's far to be the rule. More stricking, they show(ed?) 14% of freckling, and 4% of red hairs according to scholars, what is high there! Among Berbers too you have also less dark people among the Shawi of Aures Mountains, and at a lower rate, Rifians of N-Morocco and people of Eastern Tunisia, to believe some scholars. But a mean fair pop, nope.
    Concerning ancient Lybians, their depictation is surely a stereotype too, but as surely based on some kind of reality: it seems that this trend toward less "darkness" has been more common some time ago among Hamitic people.
    Not very interesting, but to be clear with facts.
    Concerning features, Coon has already made some works on ancient Egyptians.

  21. #21
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points1 year registered

    Join Date
    13-05-18
    Posts
    154
    Points
    4,135
    Level
    18
    Points: 4,135, Level: 18
    Level completed: 72%, Points required for next Level: 115
    Overall activity: 3.0%


    Country: United States



    Wait until the paper with effective Old Kingdom royalty comes out.

  22. #22
    Junior Member Achievements:
    1 year registeredTagger Second Class1000 Experience Points

    Join Date
    12-07-17
    Posts
    7
    Points
    1,505
    Level
    10
    Points: 1,505, Level: 10
    Level completed: 78%, Points required for next Level: 45
    Overall activity: 0%


    Country: Norway



    Quote Originally Posted by Alyan View Post
    Wait until the paper with effective Old Kingdom royalty comes out.
    Is this a different one to the Djehutynakht autosomal paper? Or does the latter include Old Kingdom samples?

  23. #23
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points1 year registered

    Join Date
    13-05-18
    Posts
    154
    Points
    4,135
    Level
    18
    Points: 4,135, Level: 18
    Level completed: 72%, Points required for next Level: 115
    Overall activity: 3.0%


    Country: United States



    That's the one I was talking about. Djehutynakht would be effectively Old Kingdom, his mtDNA paper noted that his mummification was an Old Kingdom method that went out of fashion in the Middle Kingdom.

    It also noted another tomb of an older mummy called Henu. If we're lucky, we might get DNA from that one.

  24. #24
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1 year registered
    Tutkun Arnaut's Avatar
    Join Date
    31-03-18
    Posts
    296

    Y-DNA haplogroup
    I2a2a(m223)(L801)

    Country: Albania



    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vandemonian View Post
    What did ancient egyptians look like? Especially, how did the Egyptians of the Middle Kingdom differ from Cyrus' Persians, or Alexander's Greeks, or Caesar's Romans?

    I absolutely love the maps you have up at "Distribution maps of autosomal admixtures in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa," and while I can't link to them, they suggest that modern people in those areas are all extremely similar, except that the Egyptians lack any West European Hunter-Gatherer ancestry. But modern and ancient peoples are, of course, not the same. I understand that modern Copts are a reasonable stand-in for the descendants of old Egyptians, and looking at pictures of them, they seem a heterogeneous bunch (probably because I'm getting many non-Coptic people in my searches).

    Were the ancient Egyptians most physically similar to Persians?
    I think Ancient Egyptians were a Caucasoid type of people with olive skin, but with a darker tone because of the sun. I mean the majority of them, since people have always been mixed. I tend to think that back then people were a lot more racist than we are today, so if they were seen as different coexistence with white races like Romans, Greeks would have been difficult. But there was always trade exchange between Europeans and Egyptians. Today Egyptians show an obvious mix with sub-Saharan people.

  25. #25
    Regular Member Achievements:
    31 days registered500 Experience Points
    Vandemonian's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-04-19
    Posts
    66
    Points
    698
    Level
    6
    Points: 698, Level: 6
    Level completed: 74%, Points required for next Level: 52
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Country: Australia



    Quote Originally Posted by Tutkun Arnaut View Post
    I think Ancient Egyptians were a Caucasoid type of people with olive skin, but with a darker tone because of the sun. I mean the majority of them, since people have always been mixed. I tend to think that back then people were a lot more racist than we are today, so if they were seen as different coexistence with white races like Romans, Greeks would have been difficult. But there was always trade exchange between Europeans and Egyptians. Today Egyptians show an obvious mix with sub-Saharan people.
    Yes, I think this closely reflects the way my own thinking on the subject has changed over the years.

    I never saw Egyptians as "black," but I did think of them as their own sort of "brown," and likely somewhere in between classical Africans and Europeans. However, this doesn't accord with genetic findings. Although there are numerous studies (many of which have been mentioned earlier in the thread) one of my favorite reports was something I found on this very website, and is a major reason why I post here:



    Italians, Greeks, Arabs, and (look closely at the fan-shaped area at the southeastern end of the Mediterranean - that's the Nile Delta) Modern Egyptians derive between 80 and 90% of their ancestry from these Early European Farmers. Although the Copts may have a slightly different proportion, and Ancient Egyptians a different proportion still, what we are looking at is a map tying all of these peoples to common genetic origin.

    In other words, Egyptians, Italians, Greeks, and Arabs were never really very different genetically. Cavalli-Sforza provides F_ST (x 10,000) values for numerous populations, with high values in the 4000's between Mbuti Pygmies and groups like Aboriginal Australians; the distances between Near-Eastern (Egyptian etc.) peoples is:

    Greek: 129
    Iranian: 158
    Italian: 208
    English: 236
    Basque: 246

    For comparison, here are some more pairs:

    Greek x English: 204
    Greek x Italian: 77
    Greek x Iranian: 70
    Italian x English: 51
    Italian x Iranian: 133
    Iranian x English: 197

    Usually, a firm border is drawn across the Mediterranean when ethnic groups are classified. Yet what all of this suggests is that the "European" ethnic group is probably imperfectly described. However powerfully these groups may have diverged culturally, linguistically, and even genetically over the last two millennia, it makes more sense to speak of

    1. A Northern European group, exemplified by the Finns and Balts who derive less than 30% of their ancestry from the Early European Farmers, gradually blending into
    2. A broad Mediterranean group, exemplified by the Sicilians who derive over 90% of their ancestry from this group. Egyptians then would be on the southern edge of this Mediterranean group, genetically olive-skinned, but as Tutkan Arnaut says, "with a darker tone because of the sun."

    What fascinates me especially about this perspective is the way in which it highlights the incredible achievements of this broad "Mediterranean" people - agriculture on the fertile crescent, all the major monotheisms, the earliest literature, all the philosophical, mathematical, and technical inventions of the ancient Occidental world. Even the birth of modern experimental science is ultimately Mediterranean, since almost all of the earliest experimentalists, including

    • Eratosthenes (2nd century BC, possibly early to be called a scientist)
    • Ptolemy (1st century AD)
    • John Philoponus (6th century AD) and
    • Hasan Ibn al-Haytham (10th century AD)

    lived, of all places, in Egypt.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •