Ancient Egyptian population clustering from Loring Brace.

From this C Loring Brace study, Clines and Clusters Versus “Race:” A Test in Ancient Egypt and the Case of a Death on the Nile., dated 1993.

ABSTRACT

The biological affinities of the ancient Egyptians were tested against their neighbors and selected prehistoric groups as well as against samples representing the major geographic population clusters of
the world. Two dozen craniofacial measurements were taken on each individual used. The raw measurements were converted into C scores and used to produce Euclidean distance dendrograms. The measurements were principally of adaptively trivial traits that display patterns of regional similarities
based solely on genetic relationships. The Predynastic of Upper Egypt and the Late Dynastic of Lower Egypt are more closely related to each other than to any other population. As a whole, they show ties with the European Neolithic, North Africa, modern Europe, and, more remotely, India, but not at all with sub-Saharan Africa, eastern Asia, Oceania, or the New World.

Adjacent people in the Nile valley show similarities in trivial traits in an unbroken series from the delta in the north southward through Nubia and all the way to Somalia at the equator. At the same time, the gradient in skin color and body proportions suggests long-term adaptive response to selective forces appropriate to the latitude where they occur. An assessment of “race” is as useless as it is impossible. Neither clines nor clusters alone suffice to deal with the biological nature of a widely distributed population. Both must be used. We conclude that the Egyptians have been in place since back in the Pleistocene and have been largely unaffected by either invasions or migrations. (!?) As others have noted, Egyptians are Egyptians, and they were so in the past as well.

And here are some of the diagrams from this study.

Fig. 2. A Euclidean Distance dendrogram based on C scores providing a picture of the relationships
between samples ranging from the Nile delta up through Nubia to Somalia and samples representing
the eight major regional clusters of the world.

Fig. 3. Euclidean distance dendrogram based on C scores for the constituent subsamples of the African
and Indian (South Asian) regional clusters compared with samples from Bronze Age Jericho and up the
Nile valley to Somalia. The Nubian sample in Figure 2 is broken down into constituent Bronze Age,
Early, and Medieval Christian subsamples.

Fig. 3. Euclidean distance dendrogram based on C scores for the constituent subsamples of the African
and Indian (South Asian) regional clusters compared with samples from Bronze Age Jericho and up the
Nile valley to Somalia. The Nubian sample in Figure 2 is broken down into constituent Bronze Age,
Early, and Medieval Christian subsamples.

Interestingly, this rather contradicts the Keita study  of Predynastic Badarians. This is unsurprising, as the Keita methodology had some major flaws and inaccuracies in it, not least the use of Northern Europeans as the norm for Caucasians, and omitting North African Caucasians as a base line for comparison. It also erroneously describes Predynastic hair as 80% Negroid, when the actual Strouhal description was..” 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.” The colour alone would rule out the 80% negroid as an accurate description. Even asssuming all the black were negroid (being charitable), it still makes 24 brown v 16 black, showing a more Caucasian population, at about 60%, which is similar to modern populations in the area of Southern Egypt.

One criticism I have of this Brace paper is the assertion;

“We conclude that the Egyptians have been in place since back in the Pleistocene “

Which actually contradicts what he says about there being a population expansion from the Eastern Med that spread all of the Med Coast, in the same paper, and other evidence about the Capsian people of North Africa being part of the farming expansion form the Near East. It also contradicts DNA evidence about Eurasian back migrations into Africa dating to about 30,000 BP, and doesn’t provide any evidence to give a basis for this statement.

“the fact that so many European Neolithic groups in Figure 4 tie more closely to the Late Dynastic Egyptians near the Mediterranean coast than they do with modern Europeans provides suggestive support for an eastern Mediterranean source for the people of the European Neolithic at an even earlier time level than Bernal suggests for the Egyptian-Phoenician colonization and influence on Greece early in the second millennium BC.”

He has a habit of this kind of mistake in when he makes his summing up statements.

6 responses to “Ancient Egyptian population clustering from Loring Brace.

  1. Mathilda I understand why the charts show the Somali’s and Nubians as connceted to the egyptians. Even why the europians are so close to dynastics egyptians. But why are indians (hindus) depicted aas closer to egypt that other asians, and that predynastic egyptians are even closer to egypt than nubians or the somali’s?

  2. Probably because the same population expansion from the Eastern Med area that populated North Africa also spread into India too, they are from the same ‘founder’ population. They show the same similarity in teeth studies too.

    The Egyptians absorbed some of the African populations in Upper Eggypt, which is what gives their proximity to the African populations.

  3. You know, my dear Mathilda, the pdf of the Brace paper is no longer located at http://wysinger.homestead.com/brace.pdf

    Can you find another site for me where I can download the paper for free?

  4. Racial Awareness

    Hey Mathilda, you can get Brace’s classic 1993 paper Clines and Clusters Versus “Race:” A Test in Ancient Egypt and the Case of a Death on the Nile at this address: http://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B8pQIILuSoDUOTBmZDEyY2QtYTFlNy00Y2JkLTgxODYtZjNiZTBlMjNmMjEw&hl=en

    Maybe you can upload it onto your site.

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