That is a huge area. Who knows who occupied the banks of the Nile 6,7,8000 years ago.
I think it's silly that some people consistantly pretend as though this is just a mystery that cannot be solved, when in reality there is a plethora of biological and archaeological evidence with a general concesus which answers this question.
People were migrating all over the place and intermarrying.
Mainstream archaeological and biological evidence finds that the migrations and intermarrying which lead to the formation of the Egyptian state was between Afro-Asiactic populations from Sub Saharan East Africa and Nilo Saharan speaking populations of the ancient Sahara:
Ancient Egyptian as an African Language, Egypt as an African Culture
Professor of History, African Studies Chair
University of California at Los Angeles
Ancient Egyptian civilization was, in ways and to an extent usually not recognized, fundamentally African. The evidence of both language and culture reveals these African roots.The origins of Egyptian ethnicity lay in the areas south of Egypt.
The ancient Egyptian language belonged to the Afrasian family (also called Afroasiatic or, formerly, Hamito-Semitic). The speakers of the earliest Afrasian languages, according to recent studies, were a set of peoples whose lands between 15,000 and 13,000 B.C. stretched from Nubia in the west to far northern Somalia in the east.
They supported themselves by gathering wild grains. The first elements of Egyptian culture were laid down two thousand years later, between 12,000 and 10,000 B.C., when some of these Afrasian communities expanded northward into Egypt, bringing with them a language directly ancestral to ancient Egyptian.
They also introduced to Egypt the idea of using wild grains as food.
A new religion came with them as well. Its central tenet explains the often localized origins of later Egyptian gods: the earliest Afrasians were, properly speaking, neither monotheistic nor polytheistic. Instead, each local community, comprising a clan or a group of related clans, had its own distinct deity and centered its religious observances on that deity. This belief system persists today among several Afrasian peoples of far southwest Ethiopia. And as Biblical scholars have shown, Yahweh, god of the ancient Hebrews, an Afrasian people of the Semitic group, was originally also such a deity. The connection of many of Egypt's predynastic gods to particular localities is surely a modified version of this early Afrasian belief. Political unification in the late fourth millennium brought the Egyptian deities together in a new polytheistic system. But their local origins remain amply apparent in the records that have come down to us.
During the long era between about 10,000 and 6000 B.C., new kinds of southern influences diffused into Egypt. During these millennia, the Sahara had a wetter climate than it has today, with grassland or steppes in many areas that are now almost absolute desert. New wild animals, most notably the cow, spread widely in the eastern Sahara in this period.
One of the exciting archeological events of the past twenty years was the discovery that the peoples of the steppes and grasslands to the immediate south of Egypt domesticated these cattle, as early as 9000 to 8000 B.C. The societies involved in this momentous development included Afrasians and neighboring peoples whose languages belonged to a second major African language family, Nilo-Saharan (Wendorf, Schild, Close 1984; Wendorf, et al. 1982). The earliest domestic cattle came to Egypt apparently from these southern neighbors, probably before 6000 B.C., not, as we used to think, from the Middle East.
One major technological advance, pottery-making, was also initiated as early as 9000 B.C. by the Nilo-Saharans and Afrasians who lived to the south of Egypt. Soon thereafter, pots spread to Egyptian sites, almost 2,000 years before the first pottery was made in the Middle East.
Very late in the same span of time, the cultivating of crops began in Egypt. Since most of Egypt belonged then to the Mediterranean climatic zone, many of the new food plants came from areas of similar climate in the Middle East. Two domestic animals of Middle Eastern origin, the sheep and the goat, also entered northeastern Africa from the north during this era.
But several notable early Egyptian crops came from Sudanic agriculture, independently invented between 7500 and 6000 B.C. by the Nilo-Saharan peoples (Ehret 1993:104-125). One such cultivated crop was the edible gourd. The botanical evidence is confirmed in this case by linguistics: Egyptian bdt, or "bed of gourds" (Late Egyptian bdt, "gourd; cucumber"), is a borrowing of the Nilo-Saharan word *bud, "edible gourd." Other early Egyptian crops of Sudanic origin included watermelons and castor beans. (To learn more on how historians use linguistic evidence, see note at end of this article.)
Between about 5000 and 3000 B.C. a new era of southern cultural influences took shape. Increasing aridity pushed more of the human population of the eastern Sahara into areas with good access to the waters of the Nile, and along the Nile the bottomlands were for the first time cleared and farmed. The Egyptian stretches of the river came to form the northern edge of a newly emergent Middle Nile Culture Area, which extended far south up the river, well into the middle of modern-day Sudan. Peoples speaking languages of the Eastern Sahelian branch of the Nilo-Saharan family inhabited the heartland of this region.
From the Middle Nile, Egypt gained new items of livelihood between 5000 and 3000 B.C. One of these was a kind of cattle pen: its Egyptian name, s3 (earlier *sr), can be derived from the Eastern Sahelian term *sar. Egyptian pg3, "bowl," (presumably from earlier pgr), a borrowing of Nilo-Saharan *poKur, "wooden bowl or trough," reveals still another adoption in material culture that most probably belongs to this era.
One key feature of classical Egyptian political culture, usually assumed to have begun in Egypt, also shows strong links to the southern influences of this period. We refer here to a particular kind of sacral chiefship that entailed, in its earliest versions, the sending of servants into the afterlife along with the deceased chief. The deep roots and wide occurrence of this custom among peoples who spoke Eastern Sahelian languages strongly imply that sacral chiefship began not as a specifically Egyptian invention, but instead as a widely shared development of the Middle Nile Culture Area.
After about 3500 B.C., however, Egypt would have started to take on a new role vis-a-vis the Middle Nile region, simply because of its greater concentration of population. Growing pressures on land and resources soon enhanced and transformed the political powers of sacral chiefs. Unification followed, and the local deities of predynastic times became gods in a new polytheism, while sacral chiefs gave way to a divine king. At the same time, Egypt passed from the wings to center stage in the unfolding human drama of northeastern Africa.
A Note on the Use of Linguistic Evidence for History
Languages provide a powerful set of tools for probing the cultural history of the peoples who spoke them. Determining the relationships between particular languages, such as the languages of the Afrasian or the Nilo-Saharan family, gives us an outline history of the societies that spoke those languages in the past. And because each word in a language has its own individual history, the vocabulary of every language forms a huge archive of documents. If we can trace a particular word back to the common ancestor language of a language family, then we know that the item of culture connoted by the word was known to the people who spoke the ancestral tongue. If the word underwent a meaning change between then and now, a corresponding change must have taken place in the cultural idea or practice referred to by the word. In contrast, if a word was borrowed from another language, it attests to a thing or development that passed from the one culture to the other. The English borrowing, for example, of castle, duke, parliament, and many other political and legal terms from Old Norman French are evidence of a Norman period of rule in England, a fact confirmed by documents.
Ehret, Christopher, Nilo-Saharans and the Saharo-Sahelian Neolithic. In African Archaeology: Food, Metals and Towns. T. Shaw, P Sinclair, B. Andah, and A. Okpoko, eds. pp. 104-125. London: Routledge. 1993
Ehret, Christopher, Reconstructing Proto-Afroasiatic (Proto-Afrasian): Vowels, Tone Consonants, and Vocabulary. Los Angeles: University of California Press, Berkeley. 1995
Wendorf, F., et al., Saharan Exploitation of Plants 8000 Years B.P. Nature 359:721-724. 1982
Wendorf, F., R. Schild, and A. Close, eds. Cattle-Keepers of the Eastern Sahara. Dallas: Southern Methodist University, Department of Anthropology. 1984
The Ancient Egyptians were neither black nor white.
Please read the article below by leading anthropologist SOY Keita:
The Geographical Origins and Population Relationships of Early Ancient EgyptiansProfessor S.O.Y. Keita
Department of Biological Anthropology
Professor A. J. Boyce
University Reader in Human Population
What was the primary geographical source for the peopling of the Egyptian Nile Valley? Were the creators of the fundamental culture of southern predynastic Egypt—which led to the dynastic culture—migrants and colonists from Europe or the Near East? Or were they predominantly African variant populations?
These questions can be addressed using data from studies of biology and culture, and evolutionary interpretive models. Archaeological and linguistic data indicate an origin in Africa. Biological data from living Egyptians and from skeletons of ancient Egyptians may also shed light on these questions. It is important to keep in mind the long presence of humans in Africa, and that there should be a great range of biological variation in indigenous "authentic" Africans.
Scientists have been studying remains from the Egyptian Nile Valley for years. Analysis of crania is the traditional approach to assessing ancient population origins, relationships, and diversity. In studies based on anatomical traits and measurements of crania, similarities have been found between Nile Valley crania from 30,000, 20,000 and 12,000 years ago and various African remains from more recent times (see Thoma 1984; Brauer and Rimbach 1990; Angel and Kelley 1986; Keita 1993). Studies of crania from southern predynastic Egypt, from the formative period (4000-3100 B.C.), show them usually to be more similar to the crania of ancient Nubians, Ku****es, Saharans, or modern groups from the Horn of Africa than to those of dynastic northern Egyptians or ancient or modern southern Europeans.
Another source of skeletal data is limb proportions, which generally vary with different climatic belts. In general, the early Nile Valley remains have the proportions of more tropical populations, which is noteworthy since Egypt is not in the tropics. This suggests that the Egyptian Nile Valley was not primarily settled by cold-adapted peoples, such as Europeans.
Art objects are not generally used by biological anthropologists. They are suspect as data and their interpretation highly dependent on stereotyped thinking. However, because art has often been used to comment on the physiognomies of ancient Egyptians, a few remarks are in order. A review of literature and the sculpture indicates characteristics that also can be found in the Horn of (East) Africa (see, e.g., Petrie 1939; Drake 1987; Keita 1993). Old and Middle Kingdom statuary shows a range of characteristics; many, if not most, individuals depicted in the art have variations on the narrow-nosed, narrow-faced morphology also seen in various East Africans. This East African anatomy, once seen as being the result of a mixture of different "races," is better understood as being part of the range of indigenous African variation.
The descriptions and terms of ancient Greek writers have sometimes been used to comment on Egyptian origins. This is problematic since the ancient writers were not doing population biology. However, we can examine one issue. The Greeks called all groups south of Egypt "Ethiopians." Were the Egyptians more related to any of these "Ethiopians" than to the Greeks? As noted, cranial and limb studies have indicated greater similarity to Somalis, Ku****es and Nubians, all "Ethiopians" in ancient Greek terms.
There are few studies of ancient DNA from Egyptian remains and none so far of southern predynastic skeletons. A study of 12th Dynasty DNA shows that the remains evaluated had multiple lines of descent, including not surprisingly some from "sub-Saharan" Africa (Paabo and Di Rienzo 1993). The other lineages were not identified, but may be African in origin. More work is needed. In the future, early remains from the Nile Valley and the rest of Africa will have to be studied in this manner in order to establish the early baseline range of genetic variation of all Africa. The data are important to avoid stereotyped ideas about the DNA of African peoples.
The information from the living Egyptian population may not be as useful because historical records indicate substantial immigration into Egypt over the last several millennia, and it seems to have been far greater from the Near East and Europe than from areas far south of Egypt. "Substantial immigration" can actually mean a relatively small number of people in terms of population genetics theory. It has been determined that an average migration rate of one percent per generation into a region could result in a great change of the original gene frequencies in only several thousand years. (This assumes that all migrants marry natives and that all native-migrant offspring remain in the region.) It is obvious then that an ethnic group or nationality can change in average gene frequencies or physiognomy by intermarriage, unless social rules exclude the products of "mixed" unions from membership in the receiving group. More abstractly this means that geographically defined populations can undergo significant genetic change with a small percentage of steady assimilation of "foreign" genes. This is true even if natural selection does not favor the genes (and does not eliminate them).
Examples of regions that have biologically absorbed genetically different immigrants are Sicily, Portugal, and Greece, where the frequencies of various genetic markers (and historical records) indicate sub-Saharan and supra-Saharan African migrants.
This scenario is different from one in which a different population replaces another via colonization. Native Egyptians were variable. Foreigners added to this variability.
The genetic data on the recent Egyptian population is fairly sparse. There has not been systematic research on large samples from the numerous regions of Egypt. Taken collectively, the results of various analyses suggest that modern Egyptians have ties with various African regions, as well as with Near Easterners and Europeans. Egyptian gene frequencies are between those of Europeans and some sub-Saharan Africans. This is not surprising. The studies have used various kinds of data: standard blood groups and proteins, mitochondrial DNA, and the Y chromosome. The gene frequencies and variants of the "original" population, or of one of early high density, cannot be deduced without a theoretical model based on archaeological and "historical" data, including the aforementioned DNA from ancient skeletons. (It must be noted that it is not yet clear how useful ancient DNA will be in most historical genetic research.) It is not clear to what degree certain genetic systems usually interpreted as non-African may in fact be native to Africa. Much depends on how "African" is defined and the model of interpretation.
The various genetic studies usually suffer from what is called categorical thinking, specifically, racial thinking. Many investigators still think of "African" in a stereotyped, nonscientific (nonevolutionary) fashion, not acknowledging a range of genetic variants or traits as equally African. The definition of "African" that would be most appropriate should encompass variants that arose in Africa. Given that this is not the orientation of many scholars, who work from outmoded racial perspectives, the presence of "stereotypical" African genes so far from the "African heartland" is noteworthy. These genes have always been in the valley in any reasonable interpretation of the data. As a team of Egyptian geneticists stated recently, "During this long history and besides these Asiatic influences, Egypt maintained its African identity . . ." (Mahmoud et al. 1987). This statement is even more true in a wider evolutionary interpretation, since some of the "Asian" genes may be African in origin. Modern data and improved theoretical approaches extend and validate this conclusion.
In summary, various kinds of data and the evolutionary approach indicate that the Nile Valley populations had greater ties with other African populations in the early ancient period. Early Nile Valley populations were primarily coextensive with indigenous African populations. Linguistic and archaeological data provide key supporting evidence for a primarily African origin.
Angel, J. L., and J. O. Kelley, Description and comparison of the skeleton. In The Wadi Kubbaniya Skeleton: A Late Paleolithic
Burial from Southern Egypt. E Wendorf and R. Schild. pp. 53-70. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press. 1986
Brauer, G., and K. Rimbach, Late archaic and modern Homo sapiens from Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia: Craniometric comparisons and phylogenetic implications, Journal of Human Evolution 19:789-807. 1990
Drake, St. C., Black Folk Here and There, vol 1. Los Angeles: University of California. 1987
Keita, S.O.Y., Studies and comments on ancient Egyptian biological relationships. History in Africa 20:129-154. 1993
Mahmoud, L. et. al, Human blood groups in Dakhlaya. Egypt. Annah of Human Biology. 14(6):487-493. 1987
Paabo, S., and A. Di Rienzo, A molecular approach to the study of Egyptian history. In Biological Anthropology and the Study
of Ancient Egypt. V. Davies and R. Walker, eds. pp. 86-90. London: British Museum Press. 1993
Petrie, W.M., F. The Making of Egypt. London: Sheldon Press. 1984
Thoma, A., Morphology and affinities of the Nazlet Khaterman. Journal of Human Evolution 13:287-296. 1984
The biological evidence seems to support that the early inhabitants of Kemet were from tropical Africa. I'm not aware of any tropically adapted African population that is not considered "black" by Western definition of the social term. Therefore logically the ancient Egyptians were "black".
They were inbetween.....They were a mixed race that came about over 6-10000 years ago.[/QUOTE]
The ancient Egyptians were an indigenous Northeast African population most similar appearance wise with Somalis, Ethiopians, and most of all the ancient Nubians. Notice in the dendrogram below in the time prior to the New Kingdom/Late period the biological affinities lies with the populations mentioned earlier (google the names of the sites and populations that you aren't familiar with on the dendrogram):
Can I prove this.
Now using common sense here...If your theory is that they were mixed race, as opposed to them being prodominantly or entirely of one race then the evidence presented would dictate which stance holds more merrit, right? The latter seems to be supported by mainstream biological research, whereas the former has yet to be cited by any credible source.
Just look at the walls of the Temples and tombs and how the Egyptians painted and viewed themselves.
From Seti's tomb
The man above is an indigenous Sub Saharan African man not "mixed race" and his dark reddish brown skintone is identical to the ancient Egyptians depicted in the mural above. Also notice of the five depicted races/skintone variations the ancient Egyptians depict themselves as the second darkest after the Dinka Nubians (the blackest people in Africa).