Racial differences in skull shape.

Firstly, the mostly obvious difference is that the Caucasoid top skull has a very flat profile, while the bottom skull is ‘prognathic’, meaning it’s jaws protrude out. Although not obvious from this image, the nose aperture of the Caucasian skull has a narrower triangle shape; with a longer, thinner bony protrusion at the point where the nose comes out from between the eyes (nuchal ridge). Caucasian skulls also posess a nasil sill (unless you see this shown, no explanation will make sense), Asian and African skulls don’t.


This site will give you all the detailed info if you are interested.


45 responses to “Racial differences in skull shape.

  1. I did say the reason I was dubious about the reconstruction was because it didn’t look like the bust. For all I know the Berlin bust isn’t her, but they’ve found other rough busts that look very similar to it in other places now.

    WOW, so you know better than every fully qualified anthropologist that studied Tuts cat scan and said ‘North African Caucasian’.

    The skulls aren’t that hard to tell apart, only Afrocentrists try to create that impression to make it seem like the skulls ‘could be black’.

  2. BTW, studies of the teeth all conclude they were north Africa Caucasians for the most part too.

  3. Caucasian? Do you mean people from the Caucasus region? I’ve haven’t read much anthropology lately, but is there any up-to-date stuff defining these categories? I thought they went out a while ago, along with the concept of ‘races’ as bounded entities.

  4. Caucasian refers to a really wide group of people, from Morocco to Ethiopia and India as well as Europe. It’s still used in anthropology a fair bit to describe skull shape.

    BTW, more than half of physical anthropologists supported race as a valid concept last time they polled them. That the media insists race is ‘outdated and a social construct’ doesn’t change the fact that it’s routinely used for stuff like this and in modern medicine.

  5. Thanks for the reply. I guess it’s as real as people want to make it (which makes it pretty real!). Great blog by the way, I’ll post a link on mine.

  6. “BTW, more than half of physical anthropologists supported race as a valid concept last time they polled them. That the media insists race is ‘outdated and a social construct’ doesn’t change the fact that it’s routinely used for stuff like this and in modern medicine.”

    At the same time I’m not exactly a “race is a social construct” partisan, I think this sort of comment lends some unwarranted solidity to a concept that is rather fuzzy and ill-defined. For modern medicine, for instance, there are relevant critiques on the way the concepts are applied. See for example “Race and Ethnicity in Genetic Research”.

    I won’t even say that “there’s no such thing as race”, even though some people will argue for that. I think it’s almost a semantic discussion. Racial and ethnic concepts can often be correlated with relevant medical phenomena, but even narrower subdivisions within races will do. I think it’s even arguable that sometimes tiny races from old-school anthropology could even be more relevant than these 3-to-5 big race schemes, as an extention of the logic that it’s often more medically relevant to know my own family’s background regarding some specific condition than to just know if I’m “white”. There will be various epidemiological differences varying from country to country. In Italy, there’s some tiny city were many people has some gene correlated with above-average good heart condition; France also has good numbers on heart issues as well, some attribute that to red wine consumption; violence related with alcohol consumption is more frequent in the UK than in Italy, etc.

    Smaller populational subsets will probably be more biologically related to some degree, there will always be possible to say that a given split of a lineage has some sort of biological reality. As there’s this peculiar patter of genetic variation on the human species, where people from different races can be more genetically similar to each other, I wonder if a narrower concept of race/population isn’t more useful, at the same time that wider ones could create some weird artifacts, that would be statistically confirmed depending on how you look at it, but wouldn’t make much real sense.

    But for physical anthropological issues I think it’s somewhat more solid, as it considers only a smaller set of traits. But I still find interesting to see how there’s much morphological variation within these “big races”. I download some pictures from some “racialist” sites and I’ll browse between them, so it’s easier to appreciate how the skull and facial shapes change somewhat like gelatine.

  7. Yes. Thanks for this. I was searching for the two skull images online after having lost track of them a while back.

    One thing you’re in error about is the amount of Caucasian admixture in some of Africans of the Horn as a reason for their relative lack of prognathism. The fact of the matter is that Senagalese also tend to lack prognathism. Yet, no one is talking about how it is because they have Caucasian.

    Why is that?

    Because making Ethiopians somehow non-Black is a means of appropriating the history of the Nile region — specifically, the history of dynastic Egypt.

    So, why the difference in phenotype? One of the current trends of thought is that the genetic markers that SOME Africans of the Nile and African Horn (some Ethiopians, some Eritreans, some Somalis share with Caucasians are because is those peoples segment whomigrated out of Africa and eventually gave rise to that branch of humanity known as Caucasians. In point of fact, they are not Caucasoid; they are Africoid. At most, they are Proto-Caucasoid; they are the precursor line of Caucasians. but they are indigenous Africans, just as so-called “Negroid” Blacks are. The differences are simply human examples of the tremendous biodiversity of the African continent. (Like the startlingly long, lean, Tutsi, Nuer and Dinka — who are clearly and undeniably Black Africans — and the shorter, stockier Bantu.) The biodiversity of Africa is not limited to its flora and (non-human) fauna.

    • One of the current trends of thought is that the genetic markers that SOME Africans of the Nile and African Horn (some Ethiopians, some Eritreans, some Somalis share with Caucasians are because is those peoples segment whomigrated out of Africa and eventually gave rise to that branch of humanity known as Caucasians.

      Not in any of the current gentics publications it’s not. Actually I’ve only seen that on Afrocentrist pages. Ask a geneticist or paleoanthropologist and they’ll tell you there’s been a large back migration into Africa from Eurasia, it more or less wiped out the first people in North Africa about 35k ago, and has been ebbing and flowing North and South across the Sahara ever since.

      Prognathism is vairable across all humans groups, it’s not what defines a caucasoid skull as some caucasians are notably prognathic.

      It’s funny, but no-one ever questions the use of DNA markers to track population movements in any area except this.

  8. Not so — the “Afrocentrist” part. I did quite a bit of writing on Wikipedia back in the day, and I located that very information about an explanation of shared genetic markers between some Africans of the Horn and Eurasians/Europeans being due possibly/probably to Africans being the root stock of the latter populations hidden in the same, VERY mainstream source utilized by another writer to state (preposterously) that Ethiopians somehow were not Black — something any of the number of Ethiopians I know would take as a ridiculous contention and an insult. Perhaps when I have time, I’ll hunt it up for you, but not now. I’ve got deadlines.

    Further, you seem to be conflating “Caucasoid” to men “Caucasian”; they are not one and the same. “Caucasoid” refers to one or more physical characteristics, a classification; it is an adjective. “Caucasian” is a “race”/a varied cluster of humanity loosly grouped as being somehow related by geographic origin; lineage; and, of course, phenotype.

    Finally, with regard to Tutankhamun specifically, he was an indigenous, Black African. There is no question about that — if one examines the evidence dispassionately. Unfortunately, far too many have been duped by centuries of lies and continue to hold on to the myth of a somehow White, Semitic, absurdely “Mediterranean/brown race” or vaguely/thoroughly “mixed race” dynastic Egypt.

    • Finally, with regard to Tutankhamun specifically, he was an indigenous, Black African. There is no question about that

      Funnily enough three trained groups of anthropologists came to a different conclusion. You can’t see it, but when his body was first opened and befopre it rotted, he was described as a whutish grey colour.

      Multiple eminenent geneticists have observed a backmigration into Africa, as have archeologists. That ‘shared DNA’ is bollocks, as a lot of muitations originated outsied Africa and are found there via the backmigration. So you were the muppet filling Wikipedia with Africentrist BS.

      Cauasoid/Caucasian, pretty interchangeable. Egyptians fit both categories.

  9. One other thing. No competent criminal forensic specialist, or forensic anthropologist would assign a racial classification to a skull based on a single characteristic, prognathism. Besides, prognathism is a general term; there is more than one kind. There is: 1)maxillary 2) alveolar, and 3) mandibular prognathism. All of the characteristics you mentioned above — and some others — would be taken into consideration. Dentition is another major one. The width of the face across the cheekbones is another metric.

    When all these things are taken into consideration, plus his body type, the preponderance of the evidence clearly points to Tutankhamun being an indigenous, unmixed, Black African.


    • This is a study llink entry for a page that has a list of traits.

      And no, not on one trait. It was just the most obvious difference between the two skull. Most Egyptians skulls are typicalyl North African Caucasian. Try looking up a few of the crania studies I have here. The only Africans that ever come close to the oldest and most Southern Egyptians are groups like the Ethiopans and other groups with a large amount of Eurasian ancestry.

      Interesting you should mention dentition, this also shows they were just like modern North Africans/Egyptians, as does the hair. I have those studies here too.

  10. Actually, no. I’m not a “muppet.” (And some fundamental civility would be appreciated.) There is no single “Afrocentrist” editor on Wikipedia of whom I am aware contributing to articles dealing with Black people; I am merely one.

    You are further mistaken — and, it would seem, far too flippant about being incorrect. One can have a Caucasoid characteristic and not be Caucasian. Some East Indians, who are very dark-skinned, may have possess a skull with certain Caucasoid characteristics, but no one of sound mind would call them Caucasians. They are not. Certain Native American populations have a Negroid characteristic — prognathism — but they are still Asiatic/Mongoloids. Certain Pacific Islanders may exhibit certain Negroid characteristics (say, frizzy, coarse hair; or full lips, or alveolar prognathism), yet exhibit a preponderance of Mongoloid characteristics and still be classified as Asiatic/Asian and, therefore, Mongoloids. One can be African-American, have no maxillary prognathism, and be brachycephalic — and not be a Caucasian. Such is the case within my own family.

    On the matter of Tutankhamun, I happen to have spoken with both Susan Anton of the U.S. team, and to the forensic cop on the French team. I called her at work here in the States and him in Paris, and also traded e-mails with both of them. And I know that Susan Anton did not classify Tutankhamun as “Caucasoid.” She flat-out refused to do so. And, further, it might surprise you to know that Tut’s skull is very obviously that of a Black man — based on the very information you’ve presented above.

    I more than willing to present the information here — complete with links for you to verify or debunk — if you’re open to actually reading it and learning the truth. 😉

    • Technically Indians are caucusian, just not white. Caucasian only means ‘white’ to American cops.

      I’ve seen that letter on Egyptsearch, she doesn’t say he’s black. As I recall she said he was north African/Nile valley and didn’t like using racial terms like Caucasoid. She never said he was black at all. Was interpreted as meaning black by people not open to the truth 😉

      Dear name withheld,, (Ausur) Thanks for your email. I actually didn’t choose the term “North
      African Caucasoid” that is the term used by another team (there were three that
      worked on separate reconstructions). The French team was responsible
      for the reconstruction that was on the cover of National Geographic
      Magazine and they also used that term.

      Our team, myself and Michael Anderson of Yale, were the ones that did
      the plaster reconstruction without knowledge of whose skull we were
      working on. I did the biological profile (assessment of age at death,
      sex and ancestry), Michael made the actual reconstruction. Based on
      the physical characters of the skull, I concluded that this was the skull
      of a male older than 15 but less than 21, and likely in the 18-20 year
      range and of African ancestry, possibly north african. The possibly
      north african came mostly from the shape of the face including the
      narrow nose opening, that is not entirely consistent with an ‘African’
      . A narrow nose is more typical of more northerly located
      populations because nose breadth is thought to be at least in part
      related to the climate in which ancestral populations lived. A narrow
      and tall nose is seen most frequently in Europeans. Tut’s head was a
      bit of a conundrum, but, as you note, there is a huge range of
      variation in modern humans from any area, so for me the skull overall, including
      aspects of the face, spoke fairly strongly of his African origins – the
      nose was a bit unusual. Because their is latitudinal variation in
      several aspects of the skull (including nose size/shape), the
      narrowness of the nose suggested that he might be from a northerly group.
      This is
      also, I presume, what the French focussed on. I have not been in
      direct contact with the French group, but my understanding is that by their
      definition of ‘caucasoid’ they include Peoples from North Africa,
      Peoples from Western Asia (and the Caucasus, from where the term
      derives), and European peoples. So I don’t think that they were
      referring to a specific set of those peoples. I personally don’t find
      that term all that useful and so I don’t use it. That it was
      attributed to me by the media is an incorrect attribution on their part. I also
      never said he had a European nose, although I am sure I did say that
      the narrow nose was what led me to suggest North Africa as a possibility
      and that a narrow nose is more typically seen in Europe. Not a great
      sound-bit that, so I guess it gets shortened to European nose.

      As you also note, skin color today in North Africa can range from much
      lighter than what they chose to much darker. And we don’t know how
      well today’s range matches that of the past, although I suspect there
      was also a range of variation in the past, as is normal for any
      biological population. Michael’s reconstruction did not include an
      inference of skin color (or eye color), the French team’s did and their
      inference was, I understand, based on a ‘average’ skin tone for Egypt
      today. I don’t know the specifics of how they did that. I think,
      however, it would have been as accurate to have had the same facial
      reconstruction with either a lighter tone or a darker tone to the skin.
      That said, skin and eye color will always be an inference.

      I hope that helps explain.

      Susan C. Antón
      Joint Editor, Journal of Human Evolution
      Director, MA Program in Human Skeletal Biology
      Associate Professor, Center for the Study of Human Origins
      Department of Anthropology NYU
      25 Waverly Place,
      New York, NY 10003

      Lets see, you said…

      I know that Susan Anton did not classify Tutankhamun as “Caucasoid.” She flat-out refused to do so. And, further, it might surprise you to know that Tut’s skull is very obviously that of a Black man — based on the very information you’ve presented above

      So, where did she say he was black then? This describes him as a north African.. not a black African. She also said that she doesn’t use the term Caucasoid, not that he is not Caucasoid- yet again classic Afrocentrist misquotes and misleading. She doesn;’t feel caucasoid is an accurate enough description, judging by the text. She didn’t criticse the reconstruction at all, or say the French were wrong. She said the skin tone could have been lighter as well as darker. 😉 You have been debunked Egyptsearch.

      I”ve seen some of the hilarious ‘proofs’ from Knowledge claiming certain traits like an occipital bun etc meaning someone was black, which is total crud as these same traits are still found in modern Egyptians quite frequently.

      Finally…Since modern Egyptians are mainly native north Africans genetically (80% in upper Egypt, 70% overall), I’d like know how they magically changed appearance whilst retaining Y chromosomes and DNA that have been in North Africa for 12k to 25k. I’d also like to point out (again) that his black skin colour is mainly due to rotting. When Carter unwrapped him he was described as a whitish grey, not black. All human flesh goes black when it decays.

  11. Reading comprehension. I didn’t say Anton said Tut was Black. I was refuting the claim that the participants in the reconstruction characterized Tut as “Caucasoid.”

    Anton did not.

    Furthermore, she saw the skull and characterized it as “unmistakably African.” Not European. Not Asian. African.

    Anton doesn’t use such terms as a matter of conviction, but we all know that the three, broad, human phenotypical groupings associated with the three continents are, respectively, Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid. That means the skull wasn’t Caucasoid. The skull wasn’t Mongoloid. It was “unmistakably” Negroid. The only thing that gave Anton pause, she said, was the narrow nasal index; it wasn’t consistent with an “African.”

    Why? Because the classic Negroid phenotype has a broad nose, a wider nasal index. And the skull exhibited a nasal index that told Anton he was not an Equatorial African.

    So, she decided upon North Africa.

    But the skull was so astoundingly, unequivocally that of an African, Anton had no hesitation whatsoever from the outset in pinpointing the skull’s geographic point of origin.

    Anton was dead-on.

    Indeed, when one examines the skull it is: 1) so dolichocephalic that earlier investigators assumed congenital deformity (later proven not to be the case); 2) has rounded eye sockets, 3) pronounced alveolar prognathism, 4) a receding chin line; 5) and enlarged incisors — all classic characteristics of the Negroid phenotype — as is detailed in the very source you refer to at the beginning of your entry.

    Yes, the narrow nasal index could be that of a Caucasian, but the metric also places the skull well within the parameters of that of a Nilotic, or North African Black.

    You speak of “native North Africans” as though that refers to an ethnic or “racial” group; it does not. In common parlance, in the common imagination, people associate the term “North African” as an ethnic group with the “Caucasian” peoples of the Maghreb in the West and, in the East (as in the case of Egypt) with Arabs, a Semitic and, later, Afro-Semitic population.

    But Arabs were not the dominant group in Egypt at the time of Tutankhamun. They were depicted as foreigners in Egyptian art, and did not conquer Egypt until 700 A.D., 3,700 after the uniting of Upper and Lower Egypt and 5,300+ years after the founding of the region’s major cities (at least those found to date). And the largest influx of Arabs into Egypt – that which really changed the face of northern Egypt’s largest cities — happened during the time of Nasser, with Egypt then becoming the seat of the Arab world. Still today, however, if one travels to Egypt, the majority of the population beyond the major cities and as one travels farther south, become browner and clearly more “Negroid”/Africoid in appearance.

    But Arabs came from the East and are not indigenous to Africa. And it is those peoples who, after intermingling with the Blacks of eastern North Africa (Egypt) moved west to become the denizens of the Maghreb. The original Berbers, in fact, are Black people, and the original Berber language, Tamazight, is an Afro-Asiatic language.

    But back to Tut. The embalming process and millennia, not surprisingly, both affect skin color. The Egyptians were masters at preservation, but no one is that good.

    And the fact is the contemporaneous depictions of Tutankhamun show him as dark red-brown/brown to dark brown in color. And never with hazel eyes (as depicted on the cover of National Geographic magazine). I’m referring specifically to the myriad depictions of him in everyday life with family and his wife — not in allegorical scenes where the depictions are white, or jet-black, possibly even blue.

    And one more point not addressed by the reconstruction team, because they had only the skull to work with — Tutankhamun’s bodily proportions. He’s been described by the mainstream, White archaeologists/scientists who examined his body as “gracile.” It is a term used to describe populations who have unusually long, slender limbs — longer than the human norm.

    These are the indigenous, Nilotic peoples of the region, many possessing the same cluster of phenotypical characteristics of Tutankhamun’s remains — Tutsi, Maasai, Nuer, Dinka. Gracile stature is thought to be an adaptation hot climates, as a means of shedding body heat.

    There are no gracile Caucasians or Asians.

    I recently entered a commentary on Tut’s ethnicity in a talk page space on Wikipedia, complete with links for documentation and illustration. If you’re interested, you may find it at the website at: “Talk: Tutankhamun.” Scroll down the page to “The argument for_King Tutankhamun’s Blackness_and the archaeological record.”

    And, yes, I’ve made some inadvertent errors (I don’t claim infallibility), but the central information expressly related to Tut’s skull and what we know of his body proportions is sound — as well as are the comparisons to extant human populations of the region.

    • The real gripe you had with the Tut reconstruction was that he was too light skinned, and don’t pretend it’s otherwise.

      You emailed a professional in the field, and she said the skin tone was reasonable, and could even have been lighter.

      however, it would have been as accurate to have had the same facial reconstruction with either a lighter tone or a darker tone to the skin

      Which would kind of suggest she wasn’t saying he was a black African.

      And yes she said he was African, most likely North African. North Africans are described as Caucasian by many practising anthropologists, at least by those that use the term. Not once did she use the words ‘black’ or ‘Negroid’ in her description, that is entirely of your own invention. Again I’ll point out she had absolutely no issue with the skin tone. All she said if you read the letter (you might want to try reading comprehension) was that she doesn’t use the term. She certainly never used the word negroid anywhere; I suspect she doesn’t use that either. I’d like to point out again that he has black skin on his face (not body, apparently) because he has rotted. None of the embalming procedures have shown any evidence of lightening hair or skin. Adding colour yes, as some have a yellow tint to the hair from embalming.

      There are no gracile Caucasians or Asians

      Yes there are.
      Look up the body proportions of modern Egyptians (I did, I had to find a text book) they are the same as ancient; just shorter than a black Americans.. something often over looked in the rush to proclaim Egyptians as black. Such limb proprtions are not specific to black Africans, you see them in any population in that kind of climate. Indians, Aborigines..

      Again, I should like to point out that due to a fair familiarity with Egyptian genetics I can tell you again.. THEY ARE NOT ARABS. they are mainly native North Africans with Y chromosomes dating back to the pleistocence, then from the neolithic population input from the near East. The actual ‘Arab’ component to Egypt is around 10% paternally, and how much of the is recent is debatable. The Eurasian mt DNA has been there for about 35,000 years (m1, U) and the more typically Eurasian DNA types still seen in Modern Egyptians dates back at least 12,000 years in North Africa. So essentially you’d like people to believe there’s been some massive population change even though the people of Egypt are native north Africans whose bulk ancestry can be traced back to Egypt for the last 25k

      That little list of ‘typically black’ traits doesn’t work in the Egypt area, it’s a mixed population, and has been for about 35k. You see them in light skinned and dark skinned populations along the Nile. Since you couldn’t get a single qualified anthropologist to agree with you, despite an obvious amount of bugging on your part, I shall assume that the professional knows what they are talking about, not you.

      As for the art representations of Tut, I’ve seen an extremely light one. Never take the wall paintings as accurate depictions, they are standardised to depict all men with red ochre,a ndwomen as yellow. It’s an artistic convention, not a portrait. If the skin tone is off, I shouldn’t think it’s by that much. You will get me to admit I think it looks a lttle pasty though, as too me his crania looks more southern Egyptian and he’d have been a more likely to be a shade or so darker with brown not hazel eyes.

      BTW, the opriginal Berbers have all Eurasian mitochondrial DNA, they have studied bones from 12,000 year old bones in North Africa. Typically North African Caucasoid crania, with typically Cuacasoid DNA to match it. The people that match it best are north coast berbers, who are the whitest Noprth Africans around. And the crappy argument about white slaves make the mahgrebians white in the Barbary era is ludicrous, as nearly ten time more black Africans ended up there as slaves than European. If anything North Africans are a shade darker than they are now due to the huge input of black female slaves; 1.5 million European vs about 14 million Africans in the Arab era. I also have plentiful portraits of North African from the Roman era and none of them show a black African.

      Actually, have plentiful images of Egyptians too. On average their portrait statues show a light skin tone typical of modern Egyptians. Not to mention that the crania studies, teeth and hair as well as the genetics of Egyptians show that modern and ancient Egyptians are mainly North African Cuacasians.

      BTW, while crania can be moderately variable in that area.. teeth aren’t. The teeth of black Africans and North Africans are rather differenet, and Egyptians group very neatly with modern North Africans and then to Europeans and Arabs. Black Africans aren’t even close. Take a look.

  12. A further point. The citizens of the Maghreb considered “Caucasian” also have been shown to have genetic affinities with Europeans — and also with Black Africans, contact and interbreeding with the latter group both pre- and post migration, with the Arab slave trade obviously playing a role. There are also, however, indigenous Blacks in the regions commonly referred as “North Africa,” east and west. They are, however, conveniently not considered by most Europeans/Westerners when regarding the region(s), because they are not in the majority in the Maghreb, and including them in Egypt would leave the door open to “wild-eyed, Afrocentrist” notions of a Black, dynastic Egypt. 😉

    We’ve after all, all seen the Hollywood depictions of dynastic Egypt — astonishingly, counterintuitively White, with the only Blacks depicted as slaves. This is the twisted image that persists in the Western mind/imagination.

  13. VERY interesting mathilda, plz for the love of god keep it up, and continue to put the trolls in the category they belong, invalid.

  14. AnnoyedAcademic

    Never ceases to amaze me how emotive and personal people can get on subjects like this. As soon as I began to read your blog and saw the number of comments I just knew alot of them would be going on the attack! I knew that the racism question would be brought up too – whatever you do don;t point out the very real physical differences in various human skulls or you are being racist! Tut tut!
    Why can’t people just have a civilised objective academic discussion on someone’s useful research and ideas without it turning into an “I’m right and you’re so wrong” egotistical battleground?
    Epitomises everything that is wrong with modern day academia – in too many seats of learning nobody likes to admit that they could be wrong or that someone else might know something they don’t. Worse, the amount of ego-centred subjectivity now with them all valuing trying to cover their own asses above furthering human knowledge is astounding. Especially in the face of the ridiculous PC revolution… What happened to honour and integrity in academia? Objective detached civilised academic research and discussion where everybody was potentially spot on until proven otherwise?
    Thanks for interesting and thought provoking material Matilda! It will only provoke an inappropriately emotional reaction in egotistical career academics who need to be ‘right’ at whatever cost to get themselves up the ladder and stay on the right side of the PC brigade.
    True academics such as myself will evaluate and value the contribution of your thoughts without getting all subjective and emotional about it!

  15. I think the genetics and archaeology of Northern and Eastern Africa clearly show an area of interaction between north and south through which there was gene flow when the Sahara permitted it. Along this interface is where some of the most notable developments occurred, as in Nabta or in southern Egypt where a civilization coalesced.

    Afrocentrics must insist, however, that the northerners (today’s “Berbers”) were “black”, because if not, then Egypt was not entirely “black”, since the peoples of northern Egypt had clear affinities to the rest of North Africa.

    The DNA completely contradicts every Afrocentric explanation for the presence of Eurasian DNA in North Africa: the result of Vandal ingression, the legacy of the Arabs, Roman colonizers, Greeks, etc.

    Afrocentric explanations are often a caricature of the worst Eurocentric racism. If in 1880 some white scholar said that black people never created anything, then Afrocentrics will prove that in fact black people created everything.

    Race I don’t think works as a tool by which to categorize modern Homo sapiens; it is a heuristic device, which can refer to any set of variations you choose for the sake of an argument. Races and sub-races, all mixed and scrambled…

    The black race, the white race, the Armenian race, the Appalachian race. Such concepts could be validated genetically, but no array of racial categories will work on all of humanity. We can’t confine modern humans to 4 races or 12 or 24. The physical variation is as complex as the cultural.

    I have attempted to argue that Egyptian civilization was created by mostly “black” people in the South, and quickly became a mixed society as its location makes inevitable. The cultural antecedents among black Saharans and peoples of Nubian affinities seem to be undeniable in early pre-dynastic southern Egypt.

    Northern Egypt, however, was never black. Not for 30,000 years. Except for Natufians. And they were quickly enough assimilated by the Eurasians of the NE corner of Africa and the Levant.

    This isn’t good enough for either white or black racists. No mixing, no checkerboards with them.

    • Afrocentrics must insist, however, that the northerners (today’s “Berbers”) were “black”, because if not, then Egypt was not entirely “black”, since the peoples of northern Egypt had clear affinities to the rest of North Africa.

      Yes, that’s very true. It’s for that same reason they flat out deny that Ethiopians and Somalis have a lot of Eurasian ancestry in them, as these are the only populations that come close to the predynastic upper Egyptians.

      I have attempted to argue that Egyptian civilization was created by mostly “black” people in the South

      The Badari gerenerally come out in studies as mixed race (although Keita calls them tropical African he then points out there’s been almost no immgration to the area so he’s not commenting on skin tone). They’d certainly come into the American category of black, although they probably weren’t much different to modern upper Egyptians – they’ve had less than 20% new input for the last 20k or so.

      You do get quite a few ‘Nubian-esque’ specimens from upper Egypt, I’ve got them on my mummy reconstruction page

  16. Interesting site, not only from an anthropology subject but also the apparent discussions and debates that it has started. I think readers should focus on the scientific findings based on observations and reason, not try to create a alterior subject matter in regards to arguing racial superiority.

    There are notable physical differences in humans from different regions of the world even within the same racial groupings. Different physical traits do not argue anything more then perhaps adaptation with in the species to adjust to it’s surrounding environment.

    There are different physical traits which occur in other plants and animals, humans are no different. We should not make this a social issue, we should instead make it an issue of science.

  17. …how can there be racial superiority when
    the word itself, tlaza(N)=t/l/raza=throw down,
    and goes on to mean, taza(sp)=taxes(E), even,
    taxi(which may be a good thing to call for
    when one sees a racial discussion starting).
    other helpful words to instruct us on the
    bliss of racism are: haze, daze, lazy, lazarus.
    so, you see what you’re in for when struggling
    with this tarbaby, or marshmallow, topic.
    but it gets better, e.g., azul(sp)=azure, but
    then, azulejo(sp)=tile,and onto, saffron=
    the rash squelches of raza y racismo served
    up hot can be countered by saffron to clear
    the mind and deacon(jest)the heart.

  18. Hey there. Interesting site. Where did you get the illustrations of the Negroid & Caucasoid skulls, above, on this page?



  19. Hello I am a composer and I have been doing some recent research on skulls for my disertation. Upon your knowledge, is there any research based on the origins of music, stylistcally, to the physiological structure of human skulls from their ethnicity or geneology?

  20. I always wondered which category do East Indians(Indians from India) belong to?
    Technically, Human races are divided into 3: Mongoloid, Caucasoid and Negroid..

    Which category do Indians from India belong to? Indians are Asians(based on location) but not by race.. Indians don’t look like mongoloid people to me.. So, Who are they?

  21. Hi, I just wanna know if Indians are Caucasians… I heard many people and even in my anthropolgy book it says Indians(North Indians & South Indians) are caucasians…However, I know there are mongoloid looking Indians in the North western part of India and there are australian aborigines in India…

  22. Dude.. this is really messed up. After reading some of your other posts I figured you just enjoyed entertaining bizarre otherwise rejected hypotheses. But race is an effectively rationalized division. So… that physical anthropologists merely shows a strong level of self-importance across time periods, not so much strong cross-temporal empirical support for race. I recently had to throw somebody out of my house for staunchly arguing that Negroids are sons of Ham. So… good job on driving forward all these wonderful replies about whether Indians are Caucasoids.

    Simply, Mr. George Jones, many Indian languages are considered to be derived from proto-Indo-European, as Persian, and most European languages. There is, however, no direct evidence of Indian racial divisions that do not themselves cut across linguistic divisions. Additionally, the idea that skull size and physical non-phenotypic elements of human physical expression can determine race were largely debunked (for most of us “moderns”) following the Second World War (see the movie: Europa Europa for a stunning true account of how dumb and arrogant the Nazis were in this endeavor – whilst admitting a Polish Jew who had been in the Communist Youth – into their elite Hitler Youth school).

    Additionally, elements of race are effective social barriers on genetic diversity that result in phenotypic trends, at best. Meaning that our conception of race entails punctuating a basic spectrum of genotypical and phenotypical diversity through rationalization on the basis of physical appearance. That, to me, seems like a pretty good description of academic racism.

    • Additionally, the idea that skull size and physical non-phenotypic elements of human physical expression can determine race

      Actually they can- forensics labs do it all the time to identify murder victims.

  23. Fabrice, the oldest known “recorded” piece of music (i.e. composed) has been reconstructed as this (http://www.flutekey.com/pdf/HurrianEminLtd.pdf) – because the notation does not include duration only pitch. It has been reconstructed as this (

    As far as I know there is no evidence of “racial” divisions of music outside of the interaction of communities that use music to define their communal identity. Look into the Greek origination of the Church modes. There is a fairly decent probability that many of the names (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Aeolian) are in fact associations of communities with particular modes that were popular.

    Why you’re researching skulls is beyond me; as best I know the Ancient Egyptian instruments (particularly string instruments) that have been discovered are eerily similar to Ancient Chinese and Japanese string instruments.

  24. The racial makeup of Indians differs from region to region. India is one country that is very racially mixed. They are a mixture of caucasoid, mongoloid and australoid.

    See the Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup map:

    According to the map, Indians are about 1/3 caucasoid (R1a). The R1a haplogroup is found throughout central asia, eastern europe and the middle east. Its origin: the middle east, present day Iran.

  25. Interesting piece in New Scientist recently about the Ice Age and brain size:

    “A new study by Schwartzman and Middendorf suggests that a small drop in global temperatures may have made a big difference. The pair used basic equations of heat loss to estimate how fast the small-brained Homo habilis would have been able to cool off. Assuming overheating limited the size of H. habilis’s brain, they then calculated what drop in air temperature would have been needed for Homo erectus to be able to support its bigger brain (see diagram). They found that a drop in air temperature of just 1.5 °C would have done the trick (Climatic Change, vol 95, p 439).

    Given the timescales involved, it may be near-impossible to match definitively the onset of an ice age with speciation, but a 1.5 °C drop is consistent with the cooling climate of the time, says Middendorf.

    “In principle, I’m receptive to the hypothesis,” says Dean Falk, a palaeoanthropologist at Florida State University in Tallahassee, “but I need the data.” She says that if measurements showed that people living in tropical countries today have smaller brains relative to their body size than people in temperate climates, this would go against expectation and lend support to Kleidon’s model.”


  26. Beautiful last post, Sinajuavi… If ONLY the whole of the scientific community of archaeologists and egyptologists were to think along those lines! Just think of it… there would be no ground for race mongers (i.e., Eurocentrists and Afrocentrists) to stand on. By what means are we to finally silence these nuisances? I believe what you’ve shared with us above is a good start. Thank you for your input.

  27. Also, @ Michael Sheflin… HEAR HEAR! 🙂

  28. By the way Mathilda, the “Causasoid” skull you have posted above is that of Amenhotep III, of dynasty XVIII. Although it certainly shows common characteristics found in Caucasoid types, are you certain that he was in fact Caucasian? The skull and the mummy itself HAS been confirmed without speculation (unlike that of his wife, Tiye) and her mummy still has not been confirmed with any certainty. I wonder if you’d consider HIS tomb paintings and sculptures “inaccurate” and “stylized” as you’ve repeatedly deemed his wife’s. It is a typical yet, interesting take you have on this subject for Egyptian royals from the period and their racial affinities.

    It might be wise to note that the ancient Egyptians were some of the most hard-core-religious people in antiquity. Their likeness (as depicted in art) was directly associated with their belief that visual images (and names) if seen (and uttered), coincides with their continued existence in the afterlife.

    So, with all due respect to you AND THEM, the question that begs an answer with regard to your continued denial that Nubians could possibly be royal figures in ancient Egypt, is as follows:

    Since detailed images in painted and sculpted form were commissioned by the royals themselves and included in their own elaborate burial chambers as a representation of themselves while they lived, and even moreso, a representation of them in the afterlife for eternity… why on earth then would they represent their likeness in a way that was not in accordance with their actual physical appearance??

    This would be the equivalent of the Queen of England having images of herself prepared by the finest artists of our time, and these painted and scultped images (for her tomb) looked like Cicely Tyson – albeit, commissioned BY HER and OFFICIALLY appropriated for her royal burial. And all who witnessed it all knew full well that the likeness of her in and around that tomb would resound for ETERNITY as being Her Majesty, herself! This is the extent of how the Egyptians viewed their art and their religion. Make no mistake, the extent by which YOU and others DENY their artistic and cultural contributions only shows the full extent of your ignorance.

    Within Egyptian art, we see the variations in racial phenotypes throughout the span of the empire. Was this not an attempt by them to represent themselves as they looked? Also, we accept those variations as we analyze the mummified remains to be similar to the cuirrent population (from North to South), respectively. Their racial variation is obvious from North to South as well. Yet, somehow, there is a problem with respectfully identifying certain racial characteristics seen in their past artwork as it relates to certain racial types which we identify within racial categories TODAY. The scope of this ignorance is astounding.

    • your continued denial that Nubians could possibly be royal figures in ancient Egypt,

      no, never said that. I think you are projecting.

  29. Good blog Matilda. This Afrocentrism, as exhibited by deedee is just ridiculous. In one key statement she makes, she refers to the huge diversity of humans in Africa, but at the same time, wants to “claim” any person or civilization of importance on the African continent as being a Black African. This is part of a ploy where terms like “people of color” and other all encompassing terms are used to make the group seem huge and successful, both then and now. By her own words, there is no such thing as a generalized black african. Zahi Hawass, the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities dismissed out of hand, that King Tut was a Negroid King in Egypt.

    All of the former slaves here in America came from Africa, south of the Sahara. They have no great stories to tell of their forebears from the geographical area they came from, so they have decided to seize upon all these other civilizations (Egypt, Carthage, even Greece) and insist they have something to do with Negroids. They do not and we all know it. The Negroids of these ancient times, did not accomplish anything of any note. they lived in huts, ran around, and killed their food with spears. I’m not demeaning their culture. There is nothing wrong with living within your own culture, but there is something wrong with claiming ancient glories that you did not earn. My suggestion to them is to dig deep into Africa, south of the Sahara, and find some heroes and write some books about them. That’s fine, but don’t appropriate other civilizations and rewrite history.

  30. @deeceevoice

    just had to say that you are very wrong in your statements. First of all senegalese people also almost exclusively have the negroid skull shape with the proghnatism, same with every sub-saharan population.

    and yes the reason why proghnatism is uncommon in east africa is because of euroasian paternal ancestry. there definitely was a backmigration and thats the reason you look so different from the africans in the west.

  31. thank you!!!!! I am training early to be in this kind of work for homocide!! I am in 8th grade and moving on… THANKS

  32. Dear i am sohrab Imani PhD of entomology and work in Sum. ineed some data about morphological similarity in human (in a family)
    such as similerity between a son and his father and so on. Let me know could you help me with some scientific data .I am waiting to answer from you soon.
    sohra Imani

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