Reference: “Black Genesis: The Prehistoric Origins of Ancient Egypt” by Robert Bauval & Thomas Brophy Ph.D.
In 1954 Professor Cheikh Anta Diop began the Black African origin theory for the Egyptian civilization. He developed a scientific approach; using radiocarbon dating & biochemistry to test the melanin content present in ancient mummy corpses to determine their original skin tone. Melanin is a natural polymer that regulates pigmentation in humans. Egyptian authorities refused to allow any testing on mummified remains.
The Egyptian Sahara
The Egyptian Sahara (nearly the size of the entire United States) to this day is still largely unexplored. Many archeological digs are done near the 5 major oases due to the fact that the rest of the desert is extremely arid and uninhabitable. The common theory is that primitive man more then likely stayed close to the oases for that very reason. Also due to the fact that outside of the oases one would have to travel for several hundred miles of waterless desert before they reached any other inhabitable areas. Three locations that weren’t discovered until the 20th century show signs that this theory may be wrong. Those locations are; Gilf Kebir, Jebel Uwainat & Nabta Playa. All three show signs of human interaction.
The Nabta Playa became of great archaeological and anthropological interest from 1973 to 1994. It was stumbled upon during a pee break of a totally separate expedition, when a group of anthropologist from Southern Methodist University pulled their vehicle over. What they stumbled on was a megalithic structure in an area perceived to have once been an ancient lake. Carbon dating shows involvement in the area from 7000 B.C.E. to 3400 B.C.E. The remains of sacrificed cows are present and dated around 5500 B.C.E. which would date them at 2000 years before the emergence of the cattle cults of Ancient Egypt.
Archaeoastronomy is a new scientific field which studies the astronomies, astrologies, cosmologies and alignments of monuments and buildings of ancient cultures. Through this study they hope to find better understanding in the religious ideologies of said cultures. One study that was conducted was of the temple at Dendera. The Dendera zodiac in this temple, through its positioning of the stars and our knowledge of the precession, dates the knowledge of astronomy to at least 14,000 years ago, predating the Greeks.
The argument that ancient civilizations understood astronomy has gone on for quite some time. It’s hard to persuade ones opinion once they are dead set on a certain ideology. Even Galileo was criticized for stating the Earth moved and orbited around the sun during a time when the man believed Earth was at the center of the universe.
Ancient Tribe of the Sahara
The original notion of an ancient tribe of people living in one of these arid locations came during the first trek along the Sahara by Ahmed Hassanein during the winter of 1922. While resting at Jebel Uwainat his team was greeted by a black woman from the Tebu tribe offering milk. Upon meeting their King Herri, they were shown pictographs on rocks with animals unfamiliar to their land and the obvious omission of camels, an animal indigenous to the region. It has been perceived that the crude but skillful images were done at a time during prehistory when the area wasn’t as dry and when other animals, no longer in said region, roamed freely. Scholars later on recognized this “unknown prehistoric tribe of people” as the precursor to the Pharaohs of Egypt and possibly to civilization as we know it today.
Egyptologist believe no Egyptians ventured out into the Sahara because realistically one could only travel by foot or donkey for approximately 124 miles before they would need to replenish food and water. The Gilf Kebir & Jebel Uwainat is a staggering 400 miles west of the Nile and one traveling without wells on the way would certainly die of dehydration. From a spiritual standpoint the Sahara was deemed the place of death by ancient Egyptians so it is to be believed that one would not trek too far into it. Finally there is evidence of an Egyptian presence in all 5 major Sahara oases, Kharga, Dakhla, Siwa, and Bahareya & Farafra, in the form of temples, tombs and artifacts but no Egyptian presence outside of those regions. Due to these facts Egyptologist concluded that no one in ancient times traveled that deep into the Sahara.
Climate Changes in Antiquity
The precession, obliquity & eccentricity are three factors in long term climate changes on Earth. We have learned of drastic climate changes in The Sahara over the past 20 years with the help of satellite imagery that shows ancient rivers dried up under the desert. The most recent shift from a wet to dry atmosphere in the Sahara occurred in 3500 B.C.E. Anthropologist have narrowed down the departure of the prehistoric people of the Nabta Playa occurring in 3500 B.C.E. and the arrival of the Predynastic phase of ancient Egypt occurring around the same time. It’s possible that the climate shift caused the Nabta Playa inhabitants to vacate and head to Egypt.
Several megalithic alignments, Sahara Stonehenges, pointed to the rising place of several important stars on the horizon of the late Neolithic period. What is perceived is that the ancient builders were tracking the precessional shift of the stars over centuries.
Studying the placement of the three large stones within the Calendar Circle at Nabta Playa and using modern sky mapping technology it was determined the Calendar represented the annual cycle of Orion’s Belt. The three large stones matched identically with the three main stars in Orion’s Belt around 4940 BCE which is within the range the CPE (Combined Prehistoric Expedition) carbon dated the rocks. But there are plenty more stones within the Calendar Circle that we must also look at.
When you study the stones distance in relation to one another as well as the stars distance to one another in Orion’s Belt the time points to 16,500 BCE. As is above, as is below. Not to mention within this theory you find the largest rock in the bunch matches with the brightest star in the sky at that point in time. Whichever date range it may be, 4900 B.C.E. or 16,500 B.C.E., the Calendar Circle definitely points to the precessional cycle of Orion at these two points in time.
The Bible, the Hamites, and the Black Man
Ham’s name meant both black and hot in ancient Hebrew and often implied that the “Land of Ham” was a warm, tropical region populated by black people. According to this theory Ham’s descendants had to come from Black Africa. In Egyptology, the term Hamites often comes up in connection with ancient Egyptians. This of course is up to debate as the Curse of Ham is interpreted many different ways by various people of differing ideologies.
In the bible Ham’s children also denote geographical places; Mizraim (Egypt), Cush (Ethiopia), Put (Libya) and Canaan (Palestine). It is therefore understood why biblical literalists might perceive this as indication that the descendants of Ham were the Egyptians. Many Jews today refer to Egypt as Mizraim and even some Egyptians themselves have been known refer to Egypt as Mizr.
One of the major issues in all this has always been race. Unfortunately many Eurocentric minded groups place Africa at the bottom of the intellectual totem pole and separate Egypt from Black Africa. Some even argue that the Hamites were the ancestors of the Egyptians but have to have been from Europe or breeded with the Black Africans and brought their knowledge to the slow witted black people of the region. Academics hold Greece as the source of all culture achievements, and early day Egyptologist from the 19th century based their notions on this ideology.
A lot of those notions changed when British Egyptologist Flinders Petrie revealed in 1920 the differences in cultures in his findings in Egyptian excavations. His findings showed differences in cultural appearance so drastic that it was deemed an entirely different race once occupied Egypt. Further investigations later showed it wasn’t exactly a different race but a much older prehistoric phase of Egyptian culture.
The History of Man
By scientific definition we all come from the lineage of one black woman, Mitochondrial Eve, who was on Earth 200,000 years ago in East Africa. As of right now it is believed that Homo sapiens, modern man, came together in East Africa and begin to spread throughout Africa. Around 85,000 B.C.E. a group crossed the Red Sea into the Indian Sub-continent. They reached China by 75,000 B.C.E. and Australia by 65,000 B.C.E. Climate changes allowed groups to travel into Europe around 50,000 B.C.E. as it got warmer. Around 25,000 B.C.E. the ancestors of the Native Americans crossed the Bearing Land Bridge from Russia into Alaska and then continued to settle North America. By 10,500 B.C.E. some moved down into South America.
It is possible that while this journey was going on a group of Black Africans left East Africa and settled into the Tibesti-Ennedi highlands. In 9000 B.C.E. arrived in the green Sahara into the Gilf Kebir and Uwainat mountain region and slowly spread towards the Nile. Around 8000 B.C.E. they encountered an incoming Mediterranean group coming into North Africa via Europe, explaining the two races excavated in that region. As the Sahara became drier in 5000 B.C.E. the people moved away from the desert regions and by 3500 B.C.E. arrived in the NileValley due to permanent access to water through the NileRiver. The evidence points to the Egyptian culture as we know them, ancestors being traced back to the Tibesti-Ennedi tribe and thus being black skinned from East Africa.
Tracing the Race of Ancient Egypt
Anthropologist and radio carbon physicist Cheikh Anta Diop published his Ph.D thesis under the title Nations Negres et Cultured and stated you can find the skin color of corpses, i.e. the ancient Egyptians, by microscopic analysis of the melanin content in the body. He was ignored. He recounted Kenyan anthropologist Louis S.B. Leakey final report at the Seventh Pan-African Congress of Prehistory at Addis Abada, which proved that more than 150,000 years ago humans were morphologically similar to us and living in central Africa around the great lakes that feed the Nile. He also believed he knew the exact location, the RwenzoriMountains between Uganda & the Democratic Republic of Congo. He believed humans dispersed from this location to inhabit the rest of Africa and eventually the world. He implied that with said location being warm and humid, the natural melanin in their pigmentation would be dark to protect them from the sun, and thus were originally black-skinned Africans. Diop used that as well as the 1,787 skulls, dating from predynastic to present day in Egypt, having been examined and shown to be 36 percent Negroid, 33 percent Mediterranean, 11 percent Cro-Magnon and the rest uncertain but also leaning towards Negroid. He said this proved that initially pure Black Negroids inhabited the area and eventually merged with a Mediterranean race to create the bloodline of the Egyptians that we know today.
Many ancient Greek and Roman writers described the Egyptians as a race of “dark” or “black” men. Herodotus, the father of history, stated, “… it is in fact manifest that the Colchidians are Egyptian by race… several Egyptians told me that in their opinion the Colchidians were descended from soldiers of Sesotris. I had conjectured as much myself from two pointers, firstly because they have black skin and kinky hair…”
European traveler Constantin-Francois Volney, who journeyed to Egypt in 1783-1785, wrote: “… on visiting the Sphinx, the look of it gave me the clue… beholding that head characteristically Negro in all its features.” John Anthony West has gone on record to state that with how symmetrically perfect the early Egyptians seem to be, it is odd the Sphinx’s head seems to be smaller in proportion to its body. He believes it is because the original head was Negroid and altered by someone, shaving down its features and removing the nose to make it look less Negro.
One issue in reanalyzing the information in current times has been due to the “iron rule” of Dr. Zahi Hawass. The Secretary-General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities holds the key to the pyramids, the Valley of the Kings, the Sphinx, Abu Simbel, etc. No Egyptologist gets in without his permission, and few will challenge him.
Many of the issues today also stem from the inclination that Egypt is separate from Africa. By definition Egypt is in Africa, Egyptians are therefore African, and there is plenty of evidence that ancient Egyptians have a black African origin. This idea of separating the two started roughly in the 18th Century with the emergence of eurocentrism but we will discuss that in the review of Martin Bernal’s controversial “Black Athena” down the road.
The Emergence of The Egyptians
As far as written history goes, we find the Egyptian civilization emerging around 4000 B.C.E. fully developed and than declining drastically over time. The Egyptians emerging “fully developed” can possibly be explained by their origins.
Dr. Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago made a startling discovery at a place called Gobero, near the old Tuareg caravan village of Agadez. At this location, now buried in sand, is dozens of human skeletons as well as stone tools and potsherds. Near the human skeletons were the bones of antelope, giraffe and hippopotamus, animals not indigenous to desert regions. It is believed to be a burial site from the Green Sahara. Also at this location are large engravings of giraffes with leashes on them held by humans, possibly a sign of their attempt to domestic the animal. Similar images, oddly enough, are found at Uwainat. Could the Gobero people and the Uwainat/Gilf Kebir people have a common ancestry?
All though still uncertain, signs point to these groups as well as the Nabta Playa and more from these regions all having originated from the Tibesti-Ennedi region in Chad. Their bone structure shows they originally were hunters with larger leg muscles as a result of high protein diet and later exhibiting slender legs as a result of a less strenuous life as pastoralist.
If the original Sub-Saharan Black African race first settled in the Chad highlands then gave rise to the cattle people of the lower Sahara, then they must be the ancestors of the Egyptian civilization that migrated to the NileValley when the Sahara became too arid due to climate changes. It would also make sense as the people gradually became pastoralist and searched for more fertile land after leaving the hunter lifestyle. They would in turn have brought with them the customs and beliefs in astronomy that they showed while in the Sahara desert. The constant change in climate and a need to watch the stars through their knowledge of the precession would account for their skill in the matters of navigation and astronomy.
Through the daily cycle of Sirius it is noticed that the place of rising in the east is always the same. By placing markers at the rising place of the star, one would notice the star rise in the same spot everyday. The star realistically does move but at 0.00004 of a single degree in one day and is impossible to notice with the naked eye. This movement is due to the Earth’s precession. Through the span of generations, a group of people would notice every 72 years its rising position would change one degree. The people of the Nabta Playa surely would have noticed this, due to their markings and being in that region for two millennia or possibly more.
What importance did Sirius play in this region? It marked the heliacal rising around the summer solstice, which would’ve been monsoon season when the rain filled the lake at Nabta Playa. In 3300 B.C.E. when the area dried up, it is only logical that they traveled east to the not so distant and fertile land of the NileValley. With them came, culture, a belief system and the name The Star People. For after a few millennia of leisurely living, they mastered the stars and tracked their movements. They regarded the star Sirius as the bringer of new life and associated it with rebirth.
It is noted by Fred Wendorf (of CPE, the Combined Prehistoric Expedition) that around the time the rains subsided, the Nile Valley developed an interest in cows, building with big stones, worshipping stars and solar observations, all traits of the Nabta Playa people.
The Ancestors of Ancient Egypt
According to the Turin Papyrus, the Shemsu-Hor ruled for 13,420 years before the first historical Pharaoh, Menes. The Reign of Menes started about 3000 B.C.E. Which means the start of the Shemsu-Hor is about 16,420 B.C.E., strangely close to the astronomical date of 16,500 B.C.E. found at the Calendar Circle of Nabta Playa.
The alleged plans for the temple of the cow goddess Hathor at Denderah started during the time of the Shemsu-Hor. The same astronomy can be found at CSA (called Complex Structure A, a conglomerate of large megalithic alignments that all track the rising points of important stars: Sirius, Dhube, and the three brightest stars of Orion’s Belt) in Nabta Playa with the focal point of this ceremonial complex being based around the cow stone.
Through tracing ancient hieroglyphs (some Egyptian, some prehistoric) it seems plausible that not only did several groups of Black Sub-Saharan Africans live in various regions of the Sahara but also they traveled and communicated with one another. Through star-aligned stone structures we can come to the conclusion that not only were these groups of people star watchers, but were well versed in the movement of stars as well as the Earth’s precession. Lastly with the sky religion of early Egyptians, as defined by the Pyramid Texts and other funerary literature, matching with the alignments and observance of said Sub-Saharan people (i.e. CSA) it’s only logical to conclude that they were indeed the ancestors of the early Egyptian pharaohs.
By this interpretation of evidence provided by the book “Black Genesis” Robert Bauval & Thomas Brophy Ph.D conclude:
The Black African Star People of the Sahara developed the forerunner of Egyptian civilization and in the process built the astroceremonial complex at Nabta Playa. When the extreme dryness of the area set in they moved to the NileValley and developed the archaic temple of Satis at ElephantineIsland. They then spread throughout the NileValley, assimilating the existing population into dynastic Egypt and increased their megalithic building activities. During the 3rd and 4th dynasty they constructed major monumental complexes on top of ancient sacred subterranean passages and platforms from Zep Tepi, the First Time. The Great Sphinx and The Great Pyramid were refurbished during the fourth dynasty.
Tracing back to the Nabta Playa we recall the Star People built their astroceremonial complex on top of a preexisting symbolic landscape craved from bedrock in 5000 B.C.E. All of these constructions display knowledge of the stars that would have taken a very long time to develop, pushing us even further back into antiquity, and possibly connecting the Star People to the even older Zep Tepi people.
It would appear that the Zep Tepi people would have to arisen around 12,000 B.C.E. This date is associated with the culminations of Sirius and Vega, which mark the starting point of the long term precession cycle, or Great Year, of about 26,000 years and with the aligning of Orion’s belt in that region. Also in this same general epoch we find the northern culmination of the center of our Galaxy which is visually in the Dark Rift of the Milky Way as well as the Great Sphinx at Giza gazing east into the rising Sun in the constellation of Leo. This period would also coincide with the end of the last Ice Age and the meteor shower of 12,990 BCE that killed off many species of mammals throughout the world, ended the Ice Age, started a brief period of Global Warming and started a chain of climate changes throughout Earth which also dried out the Sahara. The Zep Tepi people either marked the First Time of humanity or quite possibly the start of humanity being rebuilt…