Shades of ancient Egypt: Were ancient Egyptians black?

Were ancient Egyptians black

The question of whether Ancient Egyptians were black has been an ongoing debate for centuries. Technically, ancient Egyptians were African, as Egypt is in Africa, but most northern African peoples are from Arab and Caucasian descent.

In most ancient Egyptian art one can see a fullness of the lips that would suggest they are black African, however the majority of them also have an aquiline nose making them appear more Arab or Mediterranean. So what race were they?

Races of Egypt

A famous depiction from the tomb of Seti shows how Egyptians classified races. There is a Libyan, a Nubian, an Asian and an Egyptian. Judging by this image, Ancient Egyptians seemed to have counted themselves separate from the Nubian race.

Was Set I Black?

But looking at the mummy of Seti, though his face is remarkably preserved, experts still can’t be certain as to which race he belongs.

Other relics, like the image below, show a distinctly black woman being waited on by Caucasian looking individuals. History shows that pharaohs did marry Nubian queens. Naturally their offspring, the future pharaohs, would be part black African.

Black Egyptian queen being waited on by white servant

When looking at the examples above, it is clear that Ancient Egyptians came in all different shades.

Also, ancient Egypt was a bustling commercial center. Workers were imported from many diverse areas to help with the immense construction projects. Traders and merchants were also always coming in and out of the town and intermingling with the locals.

With Egypt sitting between Europe and South Africa, it is safe to say that Ancient Egyptians were a mixture of races much as modern city dwelllers are today.

We can all be proud of Ancient Egypt’s accomplishments and mysteries as a part of human history. Modern science shows that we all have origins in Africa and that, ultimately, we are all one big family–the Human Race.

Sources and photos
Wikipedia Book of Gates and Pharaoh Seti I
Alunsaltt Black Pharaohs

What do you think about the race of the ancient Egyptian people? Please leave your comments below!


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About shondabrock

I'm a southern in my heart and a northern in my soul. I've had a few bad wines, but for the most part I've enjoyed enough good wines that it makes up for the few bad bottles. I enjoy writing, but more than writing itself, I love telling a good story, taking my reader off on an adventure starting with "What If"…. I'm a sucker for the Paranormal Romance genre. To me, its nice to be released from "What Is Expected" and believe for 250 pages in "What If's". Its like a vacation with out passports, waiting in line and an expensive credit card bill when you return home. An additional note: I've started another blog page for Home Care. I know the two are unrelated, but in my world they are. My paying job is 100% dedicated to Home Care and educating families on their new journey. One of my favorite quotes, I leave with all of my clients. "One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." - by Henry Miller Please Enjoy, but more importantly Stay Inspired…
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7 Responses to Shades of ancient Egypt: Were ancient Egyptians black?

  1. Pingback: Shades of ancient Egypt: Were ancient Egyptians black? | alatedbibliophile

  2. Kar says:

    This was a well written article. I always thought Egypt was very multicultural but never had a basis for that theory so thanks!

  3. Yecheilyah says:

    I believe the ancient Egyptians were a black skinned people. The Egyptian-Arab mixing really didn’t come along until much later because you have to take into account that even the Arabs were originally a black skinned people. They are descendants of Ishmael who is descendant of Shem who was black skinned. With the Greco-Roman rule, starting with Alexander, that’s when you really started to see the mixing of these nations with the Endoeuropeans and saw a change in skin color. Not to say there aren’t mixed race Egyptians but that originally they were a dark skinned, what we call today, black people. Egypt’s name in fact means burnt black.

    “History shows that pharaohs did marry Nubian queens”

    Right, but the Pharoahs and Nubians would have both looked black as they are descendant of the same line.

    For this reason, I think this all surpasses color and is more a question of nationality. Nubians, Asians, and Egyptians for instance are all descendent from the same lineage. Though different shades, are from the same nation of people.

    • Yecheilyah says:

      Forgot to mention that the Arabs are also half Egyptian.

      • Teddybrockshott says:

        The Arabs are of the seed of Ishmael genitiles! Offsprings through the mixing of the isrealites wrong doing by not going by the words of god commadments. The Hebrews isrealites are the chosen tribe of God and yushua aka jesus and they are black skinned and brown and lighter skinned all shades of black!! . The ancient eygiptians are the hamities the seed of ham!! And they were definitely black skinned people all shades, they even mistaken moses for one of them. The Caucasian (white Europeans) are from seed of Esau red skinned people really, because white people aren’t really white they red skinned.

  4. Pingback: Shades of ancient Egypt: Were ancient Egyptians black? — Shonda Brock Paranormal Romance Author | Sharri Plaza Productions

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