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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 12:01 am 
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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. Is that there are a few noble Black or Nubian Egyptians who show themselves as Black/ Nubian in their tombs. The same goes for slaves. If these are honest representations of these peoples. Why then would the Red Egyptians of the Royal Tombs paint themselves a color other than what they were in life?

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.


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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 7:22 am 
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IMRAN--- Please don't bring that Africanist garbage over here. It is not academic, rather it is political and that is not what we are about.


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the Reddish brown for males/females was symbolic
PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 2:58 pm 
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Sekhmet wrote:
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





Sekhmet wrote:
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.






Sekhmet wrote:
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.


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Re: the Reddish brown for males/females was symbolic
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 2:27 am 
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Hi A_u_S_A_r

Thanks for the post. I believe that Dr. Robbins and Dr. Redford are overboard on the "symbolic" use of color. i will go back and look over my notes on the X-raying of the 18th Dynasty Royals by Weeks and Harris. But my opinion isn't swayed by any means with your post. Thanks anyway :)


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.....
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 8:05 am 
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Let me also mention that Gay Robbins has also done a physical proportion study on the Egyptian art work to see what affinities they might have. Her work was along side a physical anthropologist named CC Shute in the Journal of Human Evolution. You might be able to obtain this journal from your local library.


Not only does Gay Robbins support this,but so does Richard Wilkinson in his book Reading Egyptian Artwork.

I believe the colors are symbolic due to the fact Egypt has allways been a diverse population from North to South and within the variation had people of different complexions and not just the standard Reddish brown. On the 18th dyansty tombs we see the realistic portrayal of people from Upper Egypt.


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Re: .....
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 11:18 pm 
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A_u_S_A_r wrote:
I believe the colors are symbolic due to the fact Egypt has allways been a diverse population from North to South and within the variation had people of different complexions and not just the standard Reddish brown. On the 18th dyansty tombs we see the realistic portrayal of people from Upper Egypt.


Hi AuSAr, if the 18th dynasty tombs are realistic then the folks were red skin males with pale skinned women. To use a symbolic color for skin color in my opinion would clash with that is known about the ancients preferrence for realistic representation.


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....
PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 9:40 am 
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During the 18th dyansty most females and males are painted the same reddish brown. Check Tut-ankhamun and his wife. The painting of women yellowish had a symbolic meaning in itself symbolizing the difference between the two sexes. You can't argue it's from lack of sun due to the fact women are shown in various tombs plouging along side males.


Let me also point out that people from theland of Punt,modern Somalis or Eretreia,are painted in the same tone as Egyptians. All this shows is that indigenous Africans like the Egyptians come in more shades. Can you explain why people of Punt and Egyptians share the same skin color.


The Reddish brown complexion does not show the diversity of the Egyptian population from north to south,and since some Nubians groups were foreign they had to be differentiated. Many Egyptians who look like the Nubians have lived in areas like Aswan or Luxor. Luxor Egyptians in tomb scenes are depicted as dark brown much like the modern people there today.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 4:35 pm 
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the nlad is a melting pot, perhaps more now than it was back then. Egypt is truly a western asian power, no question about that. The statues of Norfret and Rahotep, the children of Kuhfu will give you a great example of what they actually looked like. Dark, yes.Negroid, no. you'll have to go to Nubia for that.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 4:35 pm 
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the land is a melting pot, perhaps more now than it was back then. Egypt is truly a western asian power, no question about that. The statues of Norfret and Rahotep, the children of Kuhfu will give you a great example of what they actually looked like. Dark, yes.Negroid, no. you'll have to go to Nubia for that.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 5:00 pm 
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I believe they may have been a mixture of people from the middle-east and Sub saharan-Africa.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 9:29 pm 
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Why is there so much speculation about skin tones when there is so much evience in statues, paintings and reliefs. Not to mention the sarcophagi, papyri and sketches. I recall a statue I saw in the Cairo Museum of Prince Ramose and his wife (Nofret I think), a couple from the Old Kingdom. The Princess was very pale, almost white in her complexion and Ramose was a tanned ochre colour. I know it is merely one example but there seems to be more primary evidence to show that Egypt was not as different then as it is now, with a mix of European, Arabic and African blood. Surely testing the mummies we have would put lay to all this dispute. Can it be so hard to determine if Tutankhamun was a Black African, or a fair skinned European.
To be honest I think there is a little more behind this argument than just historical significance. One reply was written in Capital letters, and read quite aggresively in places which I feel takes this out of historical context and much more to do with black rights in the modern era. From my experience of Egyptian History in School my teacher never sat down and said "Tutankhamun was white", just as I was never told that Jesus had long blonde hair and blue eyes. Both are just images that have built up over time. At least for the Egyptian matter we have a lot of evidence showing that many of the Egyptians simply were not black. No racism at all here but if we took a black man and a white man and swapped the colour of their skins one could still tell the difference in facial features. Black men tend to have much broader noses and more defined features, whereas caucasian and Middle Eastern men tend to have slimmer, longer noses and softer features. Rarely do we see a person in a flesh tone deeper than an ochre in men or a very light brown in women.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 6:35 am 
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Ausar's point that the AE's were using symbolism in their art is a real reach. It's the tired old Afrocentric position that rationalizes every legitimate piece of evidence. What they are really saying is that it is true because it was possible. Their position is not historic but rather deals with modern politics.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 6:36 am 
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Ausar's point that the AE's were using symbolism in their art is a real reach. It's the tired old Afrocentric position that rationalizes every legitimate piece of evidence. What they are really saying is that it is true because it was possible. Their position is not historic but rather deals with modern politics.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:07 am 
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Showing nearly the entire nation in an entireley different way to how they really were and in fact llike an entirely different race is a stretch at the least. They were either playing a rather huge practical joke or perhaps, maybe, just maybe the paintings are how they looked and was their actual skin tone! Wow, I think I have just come up with a logical answer. That is strange for these race threads, we usually get a load of white supremisists, or black panther supporters!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 10:18 pm 
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Si-amun wrote:
Why is there so much speculation about skin tones when there is so much evience in statues, paintings and reliefs. Not to mention the sarcophagi, papyri and sketches. I recall a statue I saw in the Cairo Museum of Prince Ramose and his wife (Nofret I think), a couple from the Old Kingdom. The Princess was very pale, almost white in her complexion and Ramose was a tanned ochre colour. I know it is merely one example but there seems to be more primary evidence to show that Egypt was not as different then as it is now, with a mix of European, Arabic and African blood. Surely testing the mummies we have would put lay to all this dispute. Can it be so hard to determine if Tutankhamun was a Black African, or a fair skinned European.
To be honest I think there is a little more behind this argument than just historical significance. One reply was written in Capital letters, and read quite aggresively in places which I feel takes this out of historical context and much more to do with black rights in the modern era. From my experience of Egyptian History in School my teacher never sat down and said "Tutankhamun was white", just as I was never told that Jesus had long blonde hair and blue eyes. Both are just images that have built up over time. At least for the Egyptian matter we have a lot of evidence showing that many of the Egyptians simply were not black. No racism at all here but if we took a black man and a white man and swapped the colour of their skins one could still tell the difference in facial features. Black men tend to have much broader noses and more defined features, whereas caucasian and Middle Eastern men tend to have slimmer, longer noses and softer features. Rarely do we see a person in a flesh tone deeper than an ochre in men or a very light brown in women.


Here here!!! I agree with pretty much every single word of that. Well put.


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