The main difficulty i have in believing that the Ancient at least Royal Egyptians. Were anything other than what they painted their tombs to show them as
Actually,the standarized reddish brown and yellow for women was symbolic and not natural colors. Even if such royal people are painted in reddish brown colors we have Southern Upper Egyptians in the tombs of Ipy,Sennefer,and Menna that show dark brown Egyptians much like the modern Luxor Egyptians. Most pharoahs from the 11th dyansty down came from Upper Egypt around modern day Luxor. While most early dyansties like the 4,5,6,7,8, came from the regions of Lower Egypt. People were not realistically presented in tomb artwork untill about the New Kingdom period.
According to Gay Robbins:
[......The choice of the single red-brown color to represent The
Egyptian man,rather than a more realistic range of shades ,should
also considered within a wider symbolic scheme that included the
representations of foreginers. The foreigne men to the north and west
of Egypt were depicted by yellow skin[similar to that odf traditional
Egyptian women]; men to the south of Egypt were given black skin.
Although undoubtedly some Egyptians' skin pigmentation differed
little from that of Egypt's neighboors,in the Egyptian worldview
foreigners had to be distinguished . Thus Egyptian men had to be
marked by a common skin color that contrasted with the images of non-
Egyptian men. That the Egyptian women shared their skin color with
some foreign men scarcely mattered,since the Egyptian male is primary
and formed the reference point in these two color scemes---
contrasting in one with non-Egyptian males and in the other with
Egyptian females. Within the scheme of Egyptian/non-Egyptian skin
color,black was not desirable for ordinary humans ,because it marked
out figures as foreign ,as enemies of Egypt,and ultimatley as
represenatives of chaos;black thereby contrasted with its positive
meaning elsewhere. This example helps demostrate the importance of
context for reading color symbolism.........]
[......Thus,the gender distinctionencoded for human figures was
transferred at times to the divie world. The symbolisminherant in the
skin colors used for some deities and royal figures sugest that the
colors given to human skin---although initiallyseeming to be
naturalistic -----might also be symbolic. Male and female skin colors
were probabaly not uniform among the entire population of Egypt,with
pigmentation being darker in the south[closer to sub-sahara Africans]
and lighter in the north[closer to Mediterranean Near Easteners] A
woman from the south would probabaly have had darker skin than a man
from the North. Thus,the colorations used for skin tones in the art
must have been schematic [or symbolic] rather than realistic;the
clear gender distinction encoded in that scheme may have been based
on elite ideals relating to male and female roles,in which women's
responsibilities kept them indoors,so that they spent less time in
the sun than men.Nevertheless, the signifcance of the two colors may
be even deeper,making some as yet unknown but fundamental difference
between men and women in Egyptian worldview............]
The Ancient God Speak by Donald Redford
A Guide to Egyptian Religion
Page 57-61 Color Symbolism
Is that there are a few noble Black or Nubian Egyptians who show themselves as Black/ Nubian in their tombs.
Not always and generally assimilated people in Egyptian soceity tended to also adopt the standard Reddish brown cannon untill the New Kingdom period.
I might also point out in the tomb of Huy and in Rameses III tomb you will see that sometimes Nubians were depicted as Reddish brown in complexion like the standard Egyptian.
I would like to remind all, that the famous blackness of Tutankhamun's mummy is due to the large amounts of resin used on him. The blackness does not represent his skin color in life.
This is true except in X-raying the Pharoahs both Kent R. Weeks and Harris found goo evidence that the 18th dyansty line was influced by Medijay and southern Upper Egyptian types. Almost all these royals came from the modern day region of Luxor.