Eugen Strouhal’s summary of Pre-dynastic Badarians racial affinites.

Eugen Strouhal

The Journal of African History, Vol. 12, No. 1. (1971), pp. 1-9.

In Nubia, according to the analysis of physical anthropology, the original Europoid (Caucasoid) stock of the population was several times overrun by Negroid waves, flowing from the South. Negroes and Negroids penetrated to Egypt only sporadically, and their frequency, uneven according to time, place and the diagnostical knowledge of the investigator, has been estimated as 1 to 5 per cent. An increase in the number of Negroes was observed only in the New Kingdom, in connexion with the expansion of Egyptian domination to the south. From that time onwards, they were pictured as symbols of the south. The perfect portrayal of their morphological features shows that the Egyptian artists knew them very well.”

“By the individual analysis of nasal measurements and indices of the first Badarian series in comparison with the mixed Europoid-Negroid series from Wadi Qitna in Nubia (fourth-fifth century AD), with the Europoid series from Manfalout in Upper Egypt (Ptolemaic period) and with a series of recent Nilotes, I came to the conclusion that the distribution of the Badarian skulls extends from the Europoid to the Negroid range.”

“Of the total 117 skulls, 15 were found to be markedly Europoid, 9 of these were of the gracile Mediterranean type, 6 were of very robust structure reminiscent of the North African Cromagnon type. Eight skulls were clearly Negroid… We may conclude that the share of both components was nearly the same, with some overweight to the Europoid side.”

“In some of the Badarian crania hair was preserved, thanks to good conditions in the desert sand. In the first series, according to the descriptions of the excavators, they were curly in 6 cases, wavy in 33 cases and straight in 10 cases. They were black in 16 samples, dark brown in 11, brown in 12, light brown in 1 and grey in 11 cases.”

This is the study I saw Keita misquote, as saying ‘80% of the hair was negroid’. I’m pretty sure ‘black’ is the only colour you see in Africans without admixture.

EARLY NILE VALLEY FARMERS FROM EL-BADARI, Aboriginals or “European”Agro-Nostratic Immigrants? Craniometric Affinities Considered With Other Data.

I also want to know why Keita didn’t use the neighboring Caucasians as a base line… he used Nordic-types from as his baseline instead of the nearby North Africans (quite a difference facially and in skull shape) and omitted one nasal measurement, which is a dead giveaway as far as racial relationships go. Essentially, this study contains one very dubious quote, and a dubious methodology. In another paper he says that NW Europeans show no relationship to European phenotype Mahgrebians, so his choice of them as his European baseline is very odd indeed.

Since I’m pretty familiar with the neolithic expansion by now, I’ll simplify it for all.

 About 8,000 BP, the Neolithic farmers arrived in Northern Egypt (from Turkey, originally) and then spread across the North of Africa, and down the Nile (minorty contributors to North Africa, but still there). At the same time, the other branches of the expansion were reaching Pakistan, the Ukraine and the Balkans. 

Modern Egyptians are; upper Egypt still 80% native African, and in lower Egypt 60%, with a large proportion of the rest traceable to the incoming neolithic farmers. Prior to that the people along the Nile were a mix of an ancient Eurasian back migration, and east African, who expanded slowly out as far as Somalia and the Levant at varying times.

This makes the ancient Egyptians pretty similar to the modern ones. In fact, they show themselves to be so every time you compare things like limb length, teeth, hair and skulls. At least one of the studies I have on Nubian teeth shows a major population influx before pre-dynastic Egyptian times, and one on Egyptian teeth that shows a ‘continuity of population from pre-dynastic times to present’.

So, I’d like to see this Keita study re-done with South Eastern Europeans, Berbers and modern Egyptians and  as some of the baseline populations, including the nasal measurements!


16 responses to “Eugen Strouhal’s summary of Pre-dynastic Badarians racial affinites.

  1. First of all, let me make it PERFECTLY CLEAR that I am NOT a proponent of slanted theories beit Afrocentric or Eurocentric as both of these terms and the sick minds that subscribe to this mindset uphaul me.

    As a proud African American, I must admit that there seems to be an awful lot of promoting and defending the Caucasoid cause for ancient Egypt (nearly obsessively so, imo).

    My view is, if a people are OBVIOUSLY of a racial majority for descriptions sake, then why must there be such commotion as what we see in this blog?? We don’t see pale Nordics and peppercorn-haired Zulus claiming Japanese ancestry because this would be utterly absurd.

    So, why then do we have difficulty seing the obvious interaction of BOTH racial types i.e. Black Africans (Nubia/Kush) and White North Africans (Libya/Levant) from predynastic through protodynastic Egyptian poplutions)??

    Let’s face it… If your upset and frustrated which all too many people posting here are, (including the moderator at times), then it’s probably due to the fact that your argument can’t be subtanciated… which is no different than any other argument based on “race.”

  2. Upon further observation of the “flavor” of this blog, I have noted that quotes above from the The Journal of African History were more than likely selected for their defence of a so-called, “original Caucasoid Nubia(?)” – whereas Sub-Saharan types could only have “penetrated” into glorious, indeginous Caucasoid Southern Egyptian territory during the New Kingdom??

    Don’t be mistaken I am not about to rant and rave over the Black African presence in Egypt. We all should know by now their concentrated numbers in Upper Egypt and quite diminished presence in Lower Egypt. For the record, I am NO Afrocentrist.

    Nevertheless, I’m sorry but, this type of posturing seen in this journal is not part of any solution for providing closure in determining Egypt’s true ancestry but, would rather invite rebuttal from those (like myself) who despise theories of racial exclusivity in one of the most diverse and colorful regions of the world.

    The ignorance persists. For example, it bowls me over whenever I see illustrations describing “Nubian” captives during pharaonic times (who are undoubtedly “Sub-Saharan” by race yet, NOT ONE Caucasoid-Nubian has ever been cited in Egypt, within any publication anywhere, of any unfavourable mention… I challenge anyone reading this to provide a link of a photo (with description) proving otherwise i.e. a Nubian captive, or labourer from any period of Egyptian history whose description is “Caucasoid.” You will not find one.

    I will however defend a notable Caucasoid presence (or percentage) in the Nubian phenotype, and dare I say it, the Horn or Africa because it is and was there since prehistoric times. It is truth…. Try the same standpoint of truth for the Black African presence and admixture within ancient Egypt and stop exalting yourselves.

  3. This was really only in here to point out the misquote in the Keita paper, which claimed this man said the hair was 80% Negroid.

    As far as I can tell Strouhal thought it was a roughly even split in the Badarians.

  4. I can’t agree more…

    You know it really baffles the hell out of me when I read blogs like this that get in a frenzy to debunk Afrocentric scholars but never really say a damn thing about Eurocentrics and their like.

    Yes’ Hakat…Funny how these Caucasian Nubians went to Nubia to create civilization but somehow vanish when Egypt colonized the terriory and made the Nubian servants…? Funny as hell. Funny how Caucasians travel their arses off in Africa creating civilization for us dumb Africans but Africans are exclusive to the Sub Sarah
    Funn how Europeans can be SOOO diverse from Blond Nordics to Darker Southern Europeans but if you are’nt pitch black with thick lips you are not black…..

    It sure is a lot of defending of a Caucasian Egypt…

    Hakat we all know the Truth…You and I…Hell they know it too. Thats the problem Hakat….they CAN’T STAND IT……They have to create blogs like this…JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN;T STAND IT….Even when time and time again the evidence left by the Egyptians point to an indigenous southern origin of the Egyptian empire they will some how make a white presence in there.

    It no longer a debate if the Egyptians were Africans…its fact Hakat…..
    Here check this site out….less biased

  5. Hmm, I think there’s one site on the internet that claims the Egyptians were Nordic (March of the Titans), and to date, I’ve never personally encountered anyone who believed in it. Afrocentrists feel the need to send me abusive mail about twice a week though.

    I had a look at the site, nicely put together, but I found serious mistakes in just the first page I looked at, a deliberate misunderstanding of a Loring Brace paper. I know, because I’ve dissected it at length, that Brace found the ancient Egyptians were very close to mediterranean Caucasians, and that the Nubians were closest to Egyptians, not Somalis, as is claimed on the page, they were extremely selective about what bits of his studies they quote. Again the Naqada sample is a Southern Egyptian population. Even Keita, whom they like to quote, cheerfully points out the relationship of Northern Egyptians to other med populations in other papers, something they neglect to mention.

    Also, they don’t understand the distance indicated between the Somali’s and Gizeh/Naqada samples by the Hanihari dendrogram. They actaully group with Nubia/France/Italy, Somalia is on a different branch.

    It also ignores that although Upper Egyptians have mixed African/Eurasian ancestry, the lower Egyptians didn’t and are very close to European samples. It also repeatedly uses the very earliest samples from Naqada (suggesting they are the norm for all Egyptian samples) which show the most African influence, which lessens as you get further into the dynastic era and move North, and doesn’t mention the northern/later ones which show different results. It also omits the results/abstracts of the DNA studies and anthropological studies, and doesn’t give access to the full texts of the pieces it quotes; so the less well informed reader isn’t able to read the studies it’s quoting to get the full picture. It also omits one of the largest studies ever by Loring Brace, specifically of Egypt, that concludes both the Northern Nubian sample and both Egyptian samples were quite closely related to Mediterranean populations, but not African ones.

    It also omits to mention that the ancient Egyptian limb length is the same as the modern one – slighhtly shorter than black Americans.

    I always post a link to the full text. I also post studies that contradict each other. The point of this Strouhal quote being here was to point out an inaccuracy in the other study that’s also on the page. Although I would still have posted it, even though I don’t agree with all of the conclusions, as I post all the studies I can get my hands on.

    The Keita study mentioned is one often quoted (also on your link), but it has some major flaws in it. Not using North Africans as the Caucasian sample group is quite frankly bizarre, and practically designed to create as much distance on the charts between the Badarian sample and any caucasoid as possible.. He used a Northern European sample, which measures up quite differently to North Africans/Arabs

    Also, the ‘there’s no such thing as race’ viewpoint, does not mean that you can’t tell population affinities through DNA and skull shape, as that page seems to suggest. The samples will also show some similarities between some African groups like Ethiopians and the Sudanese because these people also have a substantial Eurasian/Caucasoid element to their ancestry too. I have the DNA studies on these groups on this blog. The Sudanese they sampled showed up as 39% Eurasian on a Y chromosome study recently.

    There’s been a clinal gradient in population type since before predynastic times, it’s just that since the early dynastic times the flow has been mostly Southerly.

  6. mathilda37 Says:
    October 14, 2008 at 3:08 pm
    “This was really only in here to point out the misquote in the Keita paper, which claimed this man said the hair was 80% Negroid.”

    Mathilda, please don’t take offence to anything I say. I am quite frank and outspoken especially in the site of beligerant articles and race posturing. Now, I can tell you (without having yet read the Keita paper) that anyone in their right mind who is studying ancient Egyptian hair samples, saying that the hair is 80% Negroid (for hairtypes sake), must be speaking in regard to “hairstyle” and not necessarily “race.” If I am wrong, then this would say alot about the author’s position.

    I will read the Keita paper soon to see for myself his findings. Truthfully speaking, we all can see that most (publicized) hair samples show straight to wavy to loosely curled textures (for the most part), which should be instantly recognizable as signs of admixture for the people, NOT racial exclusivity as far as determining their ancestry.

    There are exceptions to these general types of textures with examples like that of Maiherpre that show nearly “dread-like” twists in a short style of very Black African hair. But the vast majority of hair types (again, that are made public) especially regarding the women, are striaght to loosely curled types. Quite indicative of a significant Indo-Asiatic/Mediterranean influence for the region, imo.

    Mathilda, I will admit, most of what I have to say regarding the race of the ancient Egyptians will turn off both Blacks AND Whites alike because both Aforcentric and Eurocentric ideologies are exclusive to each other and separatist in nature. It is the WRONG approach to studying this fascinating and yes, diverse civilization. And all too many people are guilty of this ignorance.

  7. “80% Negroid”… Hmmm, on the other hand, what is ultimately definable as “Negroid hair?” No one can make that determination to any certainty because there are too many variations as to what a “Negro” is (isn’t that right African Americans).

    My skin is medium brown, with a reddish hue. I have a rather small, straight nose and curly hair. What “percentage” of Black African am I, Mathilda? There is no way that you or any of your colleagues can determine that by looking at me. You can take your “educated guess” but that’s it. There’s obviously some admixture going on with my ancestry but, all anyone would know (including you) is that I am of Black African descent.

    This is what I think needs to finally be acknowledged in mainstream anthropology, and the race posturing for the so-called “original Eurasian/Caucasoid type” (with the exclusion of Blacks) needs to stop with regards to East African peoples. I know that we all want to have our part as being associated with the region of the world that has been proven to be the birth place of the Humanity… But, you know, the truth is we all are regardless of how ignorant we’ve become in time.

  8. Caucasian hair is a just description of hair texture; you only really see it in Africans that have some eurasian ancestry; which is a surprising amount around Mali and east Africa. It’s from the back migration (about 30k ago). On a population level hair texture is a pretty good indicator of ancestry.

    I use the words ‘caucasian’ and caucasoid a lot because, if you read the DNA and anthropological studies, these are all standard in-use terms, even used by ‘no-race’ supporters like Cavalli Sforza, to describe populations. I take a ‘no change in population’ stance with dynastic Egyptians, not a ‘white Egypt’. Many southern Egyptians now and then would certainly fit the American description of black. I think from a look at the mummies and art about 1/6 seem to show a stronger Sub Saharan influence than Eurasian.

    Trust me, the 80% negroid was for hair texture regarding population/race, not style. Don’t think I disagree with Keita all the time though, we’ve both come to the same conclusion about the population expansion from Southern Egypt into the Near East about 20k ago. It’s just this one crania study was not great, and it disagrees with the others I’ve seen.

  9. Mathilda, I appreciate your sentiments but, could you expound upon your meaning of a “no change in population” for dynastic Egypt when they themselves were quite diverse phenotypically (royal and commoner depictions alike).

    On another note, it was commendable of you to more accurately link the American perception or description of “Black” with the many Southern Egyptians (with “many” being an understatement for that region).

    One question… Since you and I, and the vast majority of influencial people within the anthropological and egyptological societies can attest that, more Caucasoid concentrations resided in Lower Egypt and more Negroid concentrations resided in Upper Egypt – What word or phrase would you use to describe the ancient (and modern) Egyptian people AS A WHOLE?

  10. A lot of this debate depends on the cultural use of the word ‘black’. Americans tend use it for anyone with visible African ancestry, which that would certainly be the case for most of the people along the Nubian border. I think a lot of the confusion we are getting into here is the different way we use the word. To be black in Europe you really need to be mostly of African ancestry, and I’m European.

    From the DNA/hair/teeth and crania studies, even in Upper Egypt the bulk of the ancestry there was Eurasian in the dynastic era (less prior to the unification). The studies I’ve dug up are pretty consistent on that.

    What word or phrase would you use to describe the ancient (and modern) Egyptian people AS A WHOLE?

    Well, diverse (Duh). With a North-South clinal variation.

    To be exact; a mix of North African indigenous, West Asian, East African and some classically congoid skulls too (but they aren’t as common as east African.)

  11. “Well, diverse (Duh). With a North-South clinal variation.”

    Beautiful… (diverse) Well, why have you avoided such a profound word in all your descriptions of them as a people? (;/) If you truly felt this way, I believe it would have prevented many of the rebuttals we see in this and other sections of your blog.

    Now that you’ve made mention of it, what would you call “North African indeginous” in terms of racial phenotypes? Clearly, there never was “one stock” in North Africa. Based on your own evidence, very few were “indeginous” at all when speaking of the span of time from predynastic to say, the late kingdom. But, let’s just say for the sake of clarity, we choose predynastic into Napatan… most studies I’ve seen shows direct involvement of several peoples (from pottery to skull types). Does this not seem to be the case for Egyptian society throught its history?

  12. What would you call “North African indigenous” in terms of racial phenotypes?

    Caucasoid with a large minority Negroid prior to the Neolithic in the Lower Egypt area (I know you aren’t keen on the terms, but it’s how the papers I read are worded). The Mechtoid people of the Holocene in North Africa are a real mixed bunch. You find a the whole range in the Libyan desert. Some of the Libyan art definely shows very Negroid looking people, and some have long fair hair painted on.

    Depends where in North Africa too. It varied a lot from East to West, and North to South. But the Neolithic colonisation wave spread out from the Levant, which made quite a lot of difference to Egypt’s population pretty early on. Essentially, you see these Eurasian people turn up with agriculture, Ginger is an early example. You see roughly an even split in Upper Egypt in the predynastic (Badarian), but the ‘Lower Egyptian type’ became more common in the South in the early Dynastic era.

  13. The bottom line here is that we ALL want to be acknowledged for honorably being among those citizens of the longest lived and most influential civilization that has ever existed upon the face of the Earth (respectively). The PROBLEM I HAVE is when one race speaks to the detriment of another in either layman’s or scientific terms with the intent to spew notions of their racial superiority and exclusivity of certain aspects of World History (that is NOT exclusive to anyone).

  14. naturescorner1

    Northern Egypt(lower Egypt) is predominantly Arab Semitic White while Southern Egypt(Upper Egypt) is predominantly Black(Nubian/some Nilotic). Taking any kind of measurements in Southern Egypt, you will come up with predominantly Black characteristics and in Northern Egypt, predominantly Arab Semitic White characteristics:

    • Taking any kind of measurements in Southern Egypt, you will come up with predominantly Black characteristics and in Northern Egypt, predominantly Arab Semitic White characteristics

      Autosomal studies of modern Egytpians show the cluster with near Easterners more than black Africans- and Y DNA shows there hasn’t been any immigration to speak of into the area for the last 8k.

      Even lower Nubia seemed to be slightly more Eurasian than black African, so in upper Egypt Eurasian traits still dominated.

  15. One of the reasons you get hate mail from so many African Americans is their predisposition towards the “one drop” theory. If “one drop” of African DNA exists in your background, in their racist world of unimaginable arrogance, it will always trump all other racial DNA in the body.

    An example of this would be Tiger Woods, who has come under criticism by some blacks for not calling himself African American exclusively. He is part Asian, part AmerIndian, part European, and part black. Other bi-racial and mixed persons who do not self-identify exclusively as black are Alecia Keys, and Mariah Carey, yet one cannot be politically correct here in the states and refer to them as anything BUT African American.

    It is not an uncommon sight in the USA to see replicas of Nefertiti’s exquisite bust painted with the darkest ebony skin when clearly the original has fair skin and aquiline features. The assumption is that she MUST be black, even if only by a single drop or by some edict from an Afrocentrist professor of African Studies at the local college. Revisionists abound when they go unchallenged, and they come in both flavors.

    Like their racist white Stormfront counterparts, many will NEVER understand why modern Egyptians have no comprehension of the “one drop” theory, preferring in all instances to self-identify as ‘Egyptian’ only, and never as black or white, something we Americans sorely need to emulate.

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