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Before going on to discussion proper, some words of discussion will be in order, as there is a tendency to treat Africa as being of two halves with a viewpoint arising that never the twain did meet.

Thus, Sub-Saharan or southern Africa that following usage by such as Messrs. Jackson (Introduction to African Civilisations [in several editions]) and Diop (The African Origin of Civilisation 1974) is called Black Africa but which for reasons set out below can be accepted straightaway can be misleading. In short, North Africa west of Egypt will define the Magreb or Sahara (= Tunisia, Libya. Algeria, Morocco &? Mauretania).

As to Egypt, somewhere in his voluminous writings, Basil Davidson has referred to a once prevalent standpoint that Egypt plus the Magreb/Sahara had been floated off from the continent to join somewhere called the Middle or Near East. In these pages, Egypt is treated as part of the continent that it is mainly part of. The only exception is Sinai which is probably best seen as part of Nearer Asia.

However, the position of Egypt in the northeast of Africa will mean that it received impulses from the same west Asian parts of the Near East. On the other hand, we need to keep in mind that there were influences from west Africa and also from east Africa from below what in antiquity was the region of Kush (= Nubia = Sudan) and Ta-Seti (= the parts of sth. Egypt adjacent to Kush/Sudan & the oldest known Eg. district-name) and give name to the ancient Kusho/Ta-Seti or border area.

What was shown to have been labelled as the Magreb was once a verdant and fertile paradise. It had mighty rivers and massive lakes. This much has been proven by aerial and satellite photographs showing the rivers as wadis (= dry river-beds) and the lakes as playas (= dry lake-beds). When it is realised that what has just been shown as the Magreb has another name from another Arabic and the other name just means desert and is Sahara.

There is more good evidence for the fertile period that has prompted the several terms of Great Pluvial, Great Wet Period or the term of coined by John Sutton (Journal of African History = JAH 1974; Antiquity 1977) of the Aqualithic. There is mention of a River Triton that fed into Lake Triton in Greek legends of the area and archaeologists refer to an expanded Lake Chad that they label as Lake Mega-Chad.

On the  northern edge at Tin Tazarift (Algeria), Sefar (Algeria), Aouanrhet (Algeria), etc is rock-art showing reed-built vessels that were matched in Egypt and on the western edge is Dufuna (Nigeria) was found a vessel of a type of that became standard in west Africa, namely the dugout-canoe. Such vessels used for fishing appear have this confirmed probably confirmed by such deities as the half-fish/half-man that Clyde Winters (Atlantis in Mexico 2005) says was the trans-Saharan Maa plus the Great Fish-god of Sefar (Algeria).

Another line of evidence is migration presumably due to the increasing hyper-aridity that is now the hallmark of the Sahara Desert. This seems shown by African folklore, thus that of ethno-groups in West Africa looking to the northeast; in east Africa looking to the northwest and Egypt to the west plus southwest. If this indicates somewhere in the middle Sahara, this is unlikely to be wide of the target.

It can be expected that between the Aqualithic and the onset of marked Saharanisation that certain types of dry-weather/dry-land agriculture would emerge. This has been demonstrated to as far west as Iberia by Moustaffa Gadalla (Egyptian Romany: The Essence of Hispania 2004) and as far east as Egypt by Roger Blench (The Movement of Plants between Africa & India online). This again probably indicates a shared mid-point in the Sahara/Magreb.

The absence of rain in Egypt led to the silt left by the Nile floods being absolutely vital for life there. This black silt has led to it being said that Kemet is an Old-Egyptian word for Black Land (= Egypt). However, Kemet as a hieroglyph followed by those denoting people very clearly indicate that Kemet also means people too. The stomping of seeds into the black Nile mud by Egyptian farmers apparently led to them being called Melampodes (= Black-feet/legs) by the Greeks. An ancient Greek playwright referred to the feet and legs of the Aegyptiads (= Egyptians) as black and that this contrasted with their garments.

Unless it be assumed that the Aegyptiads on their ships came on board with their legs still covered in black Nile mud that of itself conflicts with the implied pristine whiteness of the Aegyptiad garments, it will be immediately obvious that what is being described are black Egyptians. 

Messrs. Ajayi and Crowder (as cited by Lacroix 1998) plus Lacroix (Africa in Antiquity ib.) have remarked on the spread of agriculture connected with the southern migrations of the Bantu. That of Ajayi/Crowder (ib.) was that the Proto/Early Bantus grew yams plus palm-nuts not cereals and Lacroix (ib.) informs us that this indicates that the Proto/Early Bantu in east Africa were of the Stone Age not the Iron Age.

In “Genetics, Egypt & History: Interpreting Geographical Patterns of Y  Chromosome Variation” by Shomarka Keita (Journal of African History = JAH 2005) remarked that several experts say the words for barley, wheat, sheep, goat, etc, in Old-Egyptian are not from the Mesopotamian tongues of Sumerian or Semitic or from the language called Indo/European (=). It may be significant that the prototypes for the earliest symbols that became hieroglyphs in Egypt were of African origin from the Nile Valley. This will have especially meant that region straddling the present Sudan/Egypt frontier of what we have chosen here to label as Kush/Ta-Seti. It will have to borne in mind that sensu stricto; Kush tends to indicate north Sudan and Ta-Seti to indicate south Egypt.


Blench also figures as co-author of “The origins & developments of African livestock: Archaeology, genetics, linguistics & ethnography edd. Messrs Blench & MacDonald 2000). Pre-cat forms of mobile rodenticide usually involved members of Viverridae (= mongoose family) and/or Mustellidae (= weasel family).

In the circumstance of mankind turning from hunting/gathering to forms of farming cereals were grown and needed to be stored and these grain-stores attracted mice and/or rats who in turn attracted cats. Here too lie the reasons for the change from the pre-cat rat-catchers. Firstly, they do not smell in the way that Mustellidae do and nor do they slaughter poultry, as do the other named rat-catchers when loose in hen-houses and the like.

The combination of bones of cat, types of rat, poultry plus cereals is proven by excavations having their results summarised by Felix Chami (The Unity of African Ancient History 2006) and referred to by messrs. Bourne and Bourne (Felis domesticus: Where & When = Feline History Group Newsletter 2000).

The excavations by when Chami (ib.) and his Tanzanian colleagues came from small islands and more cats on small east African islands are “The Cats of Lamu” by Jack Couffer (1997). Couffer (ib.) says they have thin bodies, long legs, large ears plus whippy tails. The east African languages of Erythraic type had words of bis/bisat as call-words according to Ahmed and Ibrahim Ali (The Black Celts 1991) for cats. The east African country named Ethiopia was once Abyssinia and this is also the name for name of a cat-breed.

Forms of bis/bos-words are part of words in words in West African tongues of [olog] bosi (in Ijaw), ologbo (in Yoruba), ologbi (in Igbo/Ibo), nwon-bo (in Igala), etc, and bis/bisat occurs in Uganda. A portion of Kush (= Sudan). The bis/bisat has umpteen variations in Egypt (inc. the goddess Bast). The Abyssinian and Mau cat-breeds are said to be matched in Egyptian murals. So too are Lamu-type traits listed by Couffer (ib.).


            Domestication of the long preceded that of the cat. The more so if those wanting to take this back to c. 50,000 B.C. are correct about what was the ur-stage (= beginning) of canine domestication. The ur-stage dogs are what otherwise would be what be called Undifferentiated or Pariah types. At so early a period, hunters with ur-types would have had a far greater range of prey and a much greater chance of bringing home a meal.

            The Wikipedia article on the Afranis breed shows them to this ur/pariah stage and as said already, hunters with canine companions stood a much better chance of successfully hunting. Even more basic is that without dogs, actual starvation looms large. It is this that heads us to the much-cited expression that the dog is the friend of the hunter as the cat is the friend of the farmer. Given the herding role of dogs, this is not entirely accurate but the general sentiment can be appreciated. There is also the connection of the oldest known strand of humanity in the form of the Khwe (= Bushmen = Boskopoids). They are probably the oldest known hunter/gatherers.

            Moreover, the domestication of dog and cat may be more similar than generally assumed. The earliest dogs were wolf-like of uncertain location. That of cats has been a little clearer with the excavations of Shillourokambos (Cyprus) at c.7500 B. C.; Ateokremnos (Cyprus) at c. 7000 B.C.; Jericho (Israel) at c.7000 B. C.; possibly Hacilar (Turkey) later on. The dog-name of Basenji contains one of the terms already seen in the bas/bis/bes ones for cats seen right across Africa. Basenji translated as “dog of the village” in the Azande language of Sudan closely resembles the proposed semi-symbiosis oft-noted for cats also at Azande villages.

            Dogs and cats in semi-tamed state must have been exciting at times, as witness what is said by the excavator of Chanhu-daro (India). He found a clay-brick with the footprints of dog-chasing-cat that he says showed the cat won the race. Mildred Kirk (The Everlasting Cat 1975) shows the Greeks of c.500 B. C. so little understood cats that cats were treated as small dogs.

            Further is that the Basenji is one of the breeds among the 14 “Ancient dog breeds” reported by the New York Times, Wikipedia, as having very wolf-like traits? This includes spitz/pricked-up ears. A Basenji-like dog is among those depicted in Egyptian murals and may even have provided the model for the head of one of the numerous animal-headed deities of Egypt. In this case, Anubis.

            On the other hand, Anubis is more generally accepted as having a head modelled on that of a jackal, more specifically, the black-headed jackal. This would at least maintain the African connection, as this jackal seems to be mainly an animal of the Western Desert (= The Egyptian Sahara) and the Eastern Desert (= the Kushite or Nubian Desert). Yet Anubis is also linked to what the Egyptians called Sopdet but as Sirius (= the Dog Star) to others with it being accepted by some that Anubis is Sirius A and Isis is Sirius B. When Socrates (as Plato) and Plato (5th c. B. C. Greek) describe what is usually held to be Anubis, they refer to the “dog” not the “jackal” of Egypt. In passing we can observe the there even claims that Anubis as the dog-headed guardian of the dead is also the model for the Great Sphinx as Guardian of the (dead) Pharoahs.

            It may be that that it is worthy of attention that the Egyptian dogs for herding sheep have been the subject of comparison with the sheepdogs from well outside Egypt called bearded collie. It may be significant that between the breeds in Egypt and Europe stands the Magreb. Also notable is Winters (ib.) citing opinion that Proto-Mande brought herd-dogs with them from the Magreb to West Africa.


            In “A history of pigs in Africa”, Roger Blench (in Blench & MacDonald ib.) cites those wanting to attribute most of rising of pigs in Africa to the first Europeans in Africa, namely the Portuguese. There is a weighty body of evidence against this and strongly for decidedly against Portuguese sources for the earliest rearing of pigs in Africa.

            In fact, Blench cites Pre-Blench writers arguing for African domestication of pigs. Where pigs are dominant, elaborate rites are the norm. Probably the best known are those of Papua/New Guinea. There, pig-based ritual is as elaborate as any to do with horses in Kazakhstan or cattle in the Pastoral Neolithic (= PN) of east Africa. Messrs. Murdock (as Blench ib.) and Blench (ib.) observe that ritual to do with pigs indicate cultural embedding could indicate early date in east Africa.

            The Alis (ib.) plus Blench (ib.) also bring attention to this when commenting on words in the Erythraic languages of east/north Africa. More specific are words to do with the raising of pigs. Such words are said by Blench (ib.) to have a history long antedating the arrival of the Portuguese in any part of Africa. The Alis point to Erythrean doorfa as part of calling pigs to food.

            An east African practice is that of pigs used for treading of seeds into soil almost as natural ploughs but was also known in Egypt. Somewhat exceptional is a claim made by Lyall Watson (The Whole Hog 2005) is that pigs in that part of east Africa called Uganda practiced what might almost be termed proto-agriculture. This is that they ate plants only to a depth that led to their being to be able to re-grow. Watson (ib.) says this is deliberate.

            A westward path apparently took these black pigs from east Africa via the Nuba of Sudan, the savannah of north-central Africa to such as Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, etc, and the Alis (ib.) says the Erythrean doorfa became the Magrebi ter-ter. Blench (ib.) wrote that there is a raft of west African words to do with pigs completely unrelated to any Portuguese terminology. He also springs a surprise.

            Thus to words to do with pigs in Senegambia (= Senegal & Gambia), Blench (ib.) adds that these Senegambian pigs connect with pigs in the Canary Islands. This may have a bearing on recent research about African genes that are absent in Morocco but present in Iberia in prehistoric not slave-tied times. It may be pertinent that also present in Iberia are yet more black pigs giving ham of such a quality that it was greatly extolled by Classical writers.

            The black pigs plus the herding methods were compared by Blench with those of Egypt. Marie Parsons (Pigs in Ancient Egypt online) points to Egyptian pig-rearing on what might be called an almost industrial scale. According to Egyptian texts, vast numbers of pigs were owned by both Pharoahs and nobles; this is despite a supposed religious taboo against the eating of pork in Egypt.

            There may have been little knowledge of bacteria in ancient Egypt but simple observation of the often fatal results of eating a type of meat that goes off quickly in hot climes would have led to certain conclusions. Those conclusions given a religious veneer could be where the anti-pork bans came from that are practiced by Judaism, Islam plus Ethiopian Christianity today.

            Egyptian myth has it that the Nile perch ate the penis of the dismembered Osiris, so eating of fish was also banned but whole communities existed along the banks of the Nile made their living from the catching plus selling of fish. The priests of Egypt were the upholders of Egyptian religion yet they too are amongst those listed as owning large herds of pigs. There are few greater marks of the Egyptian belief-system than the Pyramids but well within sight of some are found the villages of the builders that yield masses of pig-bones to the archaeologist. Clearly, someone was eating all that pig-meat.


            The conventional wisdom long had it that from the Neolithic in west Asia is where the first farmers of Europe came from but since the 1960s, this has increasingly been questioned. There is absolutely no valid reason why this does not also apply equally to Africa.

            Alfred Muzzolini (in Blench & MacDonald ib.) adverts to words in the Erythraic tongues of Omotic plus Cushitic type to do with sheep that match the  10,000/9000 B.C. put forward for sheep/goat-raising in the Near East. In similar vein are words in languages of the Nilo/Saharan group by c.7000 B.C. This is part of a detailed argument for domestication of Saharan wild sheep independently of what was happening elsewhere.  

            When philologists want to express words that they say once existed, they describe them as ghost-words and prefix them with a star. Roger Blench (The Archaeology of Africa edd. Thurstan Shaw et al 1996) gives an example in *bhodhi. This was traced in the form of ba in several West African languages by Winters (ib.).  

Marianne Berghaus-Gerst (in Blench & MacDonald ib.) wrote that words indicate that Magrebi sheep were the economic basis for ancient Kush (= Nubia = Sudan). Having also seen the opinions followed by Keita (ib.) say that the earliest words for goat, sheep, wheat, barley, etc, in ancient Egyptian are not of any language in Asia or Europe. Also that ovicaprines in North Africa west of Egypt can be seen as having domesticated before those of Egypt, the suggested background of transmission from the Magreb/Sahara becomes very interesting and it now seemingly includes both Kush/Sudan plus Egypt.

            Sheep plus goats were seen to be being domesticated in the Near East at matching dates for what has been suggested for parts of Africa. This includes the west Asian sites in Iran plus Mesopotamia (= later Akkadia = Babylonia = Iraq). Samuel Zurinsky (The Semites & Egypt online) points up the toing and froing in and out of Egypt by shepherds between Sinai and somewhere called Goshen. The region that the Old Testament calls Goshen is generally placed somewhere in northeast Egypt. This probably means that it was part of the Delta formed by the River Nile.

            That these shepherds were mainly desert-folk may be part of what Toby Wilkinson (Genesis of the Pharoahs 2005) regards as Dynastic Egypt turning its back on its Pre-Dynastic ancestors. At any rate, what were apparently tagged diversely as Sand-dwellers, Habiru (=? later Hebrews), Asiatics, etc, were considered as outsiders. This was reinforced by yet more Asiatics known this time as the Hyksos who became rulers of much of Egypt for about 100 years. They were apparently called the Shepherd Kings by Manetho (3rd c. B.C. Egyptian) but modern academics prefer something like Lords of the Desert and may also have been mostly the people otherwise called Amorites/Amurru.


            What might be deemed as reinforcing what such as Zurinsky (ib.) has been cited as saying would be the excavations of certain Pre-Dynastic settlements in Egypt. Amongst the finds at some of these Egyptian sites were a plant called vetch and the variety of vetch called chickling vetch has long been known to be a favourite foodstuff of donkeys. Of immediate relevance would be the amounts of copper plus remains of donkey from a place called Maadi (Egypt).

            Maadi was situated at a location having good contacts with copper-sources at Tell Ataqa and in the Sinai the copper found there is the largest amount yet found in Pre-Dynastic Egypt but it seems the Maadi copper has been traced to Wadi Feinan (Jordan). This combined with the ass-bones found there has prompted comparison with the later donkey-trains bringing copper out of Anatolia (= most of Turkey) into Assyria for the Karum (= merchant cartel) of Kanes (Kultepe, Turkey).

            An alternative route for the origin of the donkey in east Africa and/or Egypt could be a combination of land plus sea routes. The maritime part chimes with the Eastern Race/Dynastic Race recently revived in books by David Rohl , messrs “Marduk” and “Essan” (contributors to the Unexplained Mysteries Discussion Forum = UMDF), etc. They came by ship and Marduk/Essan state that aboard one of these U-shaped ships were three figures. They were the Mesopotamian gods named Enki, Enlil plus a sphinx. The faces of all three are the same. Comparisons of the U/Square-framed ships plus of the Enki/Enlil/sphinx faces and that of the Great Sphinx at Giza (Egypt) complete the link.

            This then would be the origin of the donkey in Africa with a subsequent diffusion into the rest of Africa. Unfortunately for this theory, there is weighty evidence against this. Part of this is shown by Messrs. Blench (The history and spread of donkeys in Africa online; a history of donkeys, asses & mules in Africa in Blench & MacDonald ib.), Fournier (in Hecht) and Hecht (online). 

In particular is Jeff Hecht (ib.) reporting on the Fournier research testing donkey DNA in more than 50 countries? This established that “Donkey domestication began in Africa”. More specifically, this meant domestication of Equus asinus somaliensis (= Somali wild ass) plus Equus asinus africanus (= Nubian wild ass).

            Presumably, this is fully in keeping with the ass-eared Set. He is yet another of these animal-headed deities so important to the Egyptians. His main symbol seems to have been a pig but according to Ian Saunders (online) he was also the “ass-eared & red-haired” Set. Ass-eared figures are known as far apart as Anatolia and Ireland. The proposed origin is confirmed by Wilkinson (ib.) saying the origin of Set lies in the Kushite/Nubian Desert. This means the domestication in the Kushite/Nubian Desert fits with the southern ancestry just shown for Set.

            Somewhat further west are the much-discussed “chariot/cart-routes” of the mid and west Sahara. They particularly attest light chariots depicted as being pulled by horses. As such light vehicles are totally unsuitable for hauling heavy goods, other animals have been suggested.

            Horses will be touched on in the next sub-section but the Bovill book on “The Golden Trade of the Moors” (1976) looks at ox-trains and cites opinion saying that cattle are more drought-resistant than often said. Another possibility is the wild ass already seen to have emerged as domesticates from desert environments and more specific there is a comment made by Charles Seligman (Egypt and Negro Africa 1934). This was that donkey-trains were still leaving Siwa (Egypt) and heading towards the Sahara until well into the 20th c.


            Of all the members of Equidae, it is the horse that gets most attention than any other but the donkey was undoubtedly the more useful for the “average man in the street” in Egypt plus all other parts of Africa. Domestication of the horse probably occurred somewhere on the vast Eurasian Plain from Mongolia/Kazakhstan in the east to the Ukraine/west Russia in the west. This means it happened a very long way from any part of Africa. As to other horses first reached any part of Africa is surprise, surprise, mired in controversy.

            Thus in east Africa, the burial of a horse at Buhen (Egypt) might belong to c. 2500 B. C. according to Walter Emery (as Bernal in Black Athena Vol.2 1991) and Martin Bernal (ib.) or to the period of Hyksos rule in Egypt.

Africans appear to have taken to horse-breeding in a very big way, if the online abstract of the Bokonyi article on “Two horse skeletons from the cemetery of Kurru in northern Sudan”. These skeletons of these Kushite or Nubian from the Kurru cemetery are much larger than most of the same date according to Bokonyi (ib.).

            Horses represented Royalty all over Africa and the Kurru horses had once been part of a team that had once pulled a chariot of a king of Kush. At the time of the Kushite or Black Pharoahs of the 25th Dynasty ruled Egypt, Kushite horses were sent as gifts to the king of Assyria. This is described by Henry Aubin (The Rescue of Jerusalem 2002) as both magnificent and as having military significance.

            If Messrs. Stecchini (article about Hanno online) plus Lacroix (Africa in Antiquity 1998) are correct, a high standard of horse-breeding is also attested in West Africa. Livio Stecchini (ib.) was of the opinion that something attracted the Phoenicians and/or Carthaginians (=Phoenico/Punic) especially under Hanno (5th c .B.C.) to what he referred to as the city of Benin (Nigeria).

The reference to the Hypodromos Aethiopiae (=? Racecourse of the Africans) by Ptolemy (2nd c. A. D.) was felt by Lacroix (ib.) to indicate what that something was. This “Racecourse” was coupled by Lacroix (ib.) to a reference written by Olfert Dapper (16th c. Dutch). Dapper tells us that here in southern Nigeria; horses were bred to a high quality and known all over southern Nigeria.

            Acceptance of this means horses in this region of west Africa will indicate that they were there before any Phoenico/Punic arrivals in Nigeria, as according to what has just shown this is that horses were apparently part of what attracted these non-Africans to southern Nigeria. This raises the question is where did the horses come from and do the “chariot-routes” help?

            What routes actually attest are a series of carvings on rocks in the mid and west Sahara. Their date is disputed, the more so given that the famous “flying-gallop” is a prominent feature of this Saharan rock-art. The natural thing to do would be to connect this to the same motif in Aegean and mainland Greek art of the Mycenaean/Late Bronze Age there. However, the conventional wisdom is that best, the Mycenaean Greeks came no further west than Sicily or Sardinia. Nor if the notion is that the chariot-routes illustrate there was trans-Saharan trade at such a date, is there very much archaeology to back this up.

            On the other hand, now that in “The Introduction of Wheel-made Pottery into the Iberian Peninsula, messrs. Almagro-Gorbea and Fontes (Oxford Journal of Archaeology 1997) have shown Mycenaean artifacts reach well to the west of Sardinia in parts of Iberia (= Spain & Portugal), there is much less of a problem here.

It should also be borne in mind that received wisdom applied to the Sahara has already been challenged and that certain conclusions as to cultural affiliations have reached by a number of leading authorities that have little to with archaeology. Nor would this be the only linkage of chariots in the Sahara/Magreb and those of Aegeo/Greek type(s), as Herodotus says the quadriga came from the Magreb to Greece. If so, this would have had to be earlier than the 10th c. B. C. on the dating proposed for Homer by Bernal (ib.), as this type of chariot is described by Homer.

            Muzzolini (ib.) is of the opinion that the Egyptian defeats of the Libyco/Berbers plus their “Sea-Peoples” allies had little impact on the rest of the inhabitants of the Magreb/Sahara. However, there are a number of types of defences with dates of before the Sea-Peoples defeats that appear to greatly increase after the Sea-Peoples dispersed across the Mediterranean. This is repeated in the Sahara where the bulk of the walled villages of the Tichitt Culture called ksour (plural of kour) apparently greatly increase in seeming response to the unwanted Berber attention.

            There are further separate but hardly unrelated strands here. Firstly, what was it that attracted Berber attention away from the much more enticing target of conquest of Egypt? Several defeats may be one answer but there are further considerations here. Notable amongst them must where did the resources come from for the building of the walled sites and what lay behind the rise of what has been called the Tichitt “Empire? Whatever the answer, purely local resources are most unlikely.

            This is the background against which to place the so-called chariot-routes. The most easterly has two sub-routes leading from Garama (= Djerma/Jerma, Libya = the Garamantian capital) and Ghadames Libya) respectively and joining become one road leading to Awgdouast (= Tegdouast, Mali) and the Niger. The most westerly of the chariot-routes again is bifurcated with one arm close to the River Lixus (now the Oued/Wadi Dra/Draa, Morocco) and the whole ending near Timbuctoo (Mali) and the River Niger again.

            A fairly recent discovery is that what has been called Libyan Desert Glass (= LDG) was known to the Egyptians (witness that found as a jewel in the tomb of Tutankhamen). This came from territory once inhabited by the Garamantes and LDG was thought by Frobenius to have been the original material of what have become known as aggrey beads in West Africa (esp. Nigeria). Leo Frobenius (The Voice of Africa ib.) also thought the Garamantes under the name of the Jarama were one of the formative elements of the Wakor Empire.

            From this it will be obvious that that there was rather more going on in the Sahara than is generally accepted, the more so given that the Garamantes were pivotal in this and it may worth noting just how many of the Garamantian  words that Parker (ib.) felt could be translated into Mande mean market. When to this background is added these chariot-routes, there is the difficulty of the small horses of pony size pulling light chariots totally unsuitable for trundling goods through difficult territory. The notion that the charioteers were riding shotgun for merchants carrying out the trade has to be seriously entertained.

            As aspect of slavery that is frequently overlooked is prior selectivity seems to have occurred. Hundreds of miles away from west Africa, the English/British rulers of Ireland knew the value of ridding Ireland of “the Rhymers” (= the keepers of the Gaelic tradition of Pre-Conquest Ireland) and the taking of keepers of the Griotic traditions from west Africa had much the same effect. Others were evidently for an expertise in rice-growing and ended up in mainly in the U.S. state of South Carolina and yet more were expert ironworkers and were the basis of the pre-industrial stage throughout the Americas. Hugh Thomas (The Slave Trade 2006) describes something very like this when reporting that west Africans were ship-builders for Balboa on Pacific coasts and yet others had an expertise with horses that attracted attention. 


            Dates of c. 15,000 B.C. are reported for east African cattle in Kenya and c. 9500 B. C. for West African cattle in Mali. Both sets of dates are controversial and those from east Africa were obtained from material gathered in excavations at Lukenya Hill (Kenya) by Charles Nelson. According to Ivan Van Sertima (in Blacks in Science ed. Ivan Van Sertima 1993), the Nelson excavations were reported in the New York Times in 1989.

            In line with this would be that from languages of the Afrasan family came the word of sar for thorn-bush enclosures for penning cattle, particularly overnight. Christopher Ehret (The Civilisations of Africa 2002) has suggested east African sar became Egyptian and that it had the same meaning and function of cattle-pen.

            The early dates put forward for West African cattle are probably best seen as Saharan but remains of cattle right across the Sahara have attracted some very warm debate. Nor is the dating for these Saharan cattle-bones the only reason for the controversy. The size is also part of why there are challenges for this being accepted. Acceptance would have us believing that the African version of the auroch (= wild cattle) was ancestral to African forms of Bos (= domesticated cattle) and were huge.

            Relevant here may be something written by Julius Caesar (1st c. B.C. Roman) of events thousands of miles away and millennia later. Caesar says that giant elks were leaned against trees and killed by the trees falling over. Pieter de Marees (17th c. Dutch) says the same of elephants in West Africa. The story may sound daft but the span of the horns of the Giant Irish Elk seems to match those of African aurochs detailed in early Saharan rock-art. The size of the auroch was never that of the elephant (esp. a bull) but some hints of size come with the elephant substituted for the elk in a West African version of the story. Also the ferocity of the auroch described by various writers might almost bring us to the dangers to early man in Africa from elephants described by Juliet Clutton-Brock (in Blench & MacDonald ib.)

            Fekri Hassan (in Blench & MacDonald ib.) is but one of those that have severely criticised the notion of Muzzolini (ib.) plus others about the separate domestication of the African auroch (= Bos mauritanicus) turning it one of the domesticated African cattle-breeds. Caroline Grigson (in Blench & MacDonald ib.) accepts Muzzolini but seriously doubts the early dates.

             The queries about the early date plus large size would undermine the claims put forward for the remains of cattle found during the excavations of such as Bir Kiseiba (Egypt), Nabta Playa (Egypt), etc, by messrs. Wendorf and Schild (Nabta Playa and its role in Northeastern African Prehistory online). There are also very profound doubts about just how the cattle were fed and watered.

 However, Wendorf and Schild have answered this several times in several works. Their opinion is that the cattle were primarily fed on fodder that was brought in but it is also worth noting that the climate had not reached the deterioration of present times between 5000/4500 B. C. Nor did it necessarily do so uniformly. As to the providing of water, this was met by the digging of deep walk-in wells drawing off supplies from underground aquifers. So if the human inhabitants needed the cattle off which they apparently fed in the manner of the Pastoral Neolithic (= PN) of East Africa, it will be equally obvious that the cattle needed the humans to survive.

Messrs. Winters (The Spread of Cattle Domestication among Mande-speaking peoples online) and Palmer (The Carthaginian Voyage to West Africa 1931) take us this further. Clyde Winters (ib.) argued strongly for migration out of what he described as the African Fertile Crescent that had been a once verdant paradise in what is the now-arid Sahara. These movements were probably induced by subsequent disappearance of the grasslands and for Winters (ib.), they are particularly shown by innumerable words that can be taken back to a ghost-word stage.

Such words stretch from those in several West African languages in the west to Old-Egyptian in the east. Palmer (ib.) looked at a word that he says came from the Saharan people of the Teda/Tebu (=Tebbu/Tibbu/Tibu/Tombuo & umpteen other spellings) plus the Kanuri of Nigeria. That was gerike and means cattle enclosure that he related to placename of Karikon occurring in the ancient text called the Periplus (= Voyage) of Hanno (5th c. B. C. Carthaginian). Karikon was somewhere in either what today are Mauritania or Morocco.  

There are a number of studies by such British anthropologists as Messrs. Meek, Wicker, Evans-Pritchard, etc, that between the cover most of east Africa from Uganda/Kenya to Egypt. Wicker (Egypt & the Mountains of the Moon 1991) noted the great similarity of cattle called Ankole in Uganda and Watutsi in Ruanda with several depicted in Egyptian murals. The well-known PN practice of feeding off the milk plus blood but not the flesh of their cattle seems to marry with the conclusions of the excavators of such as Bir Kiseiba, Nabta Playa, etc, where again there seems to have been little sign cattle having been butchered.

Where the cattle are being killed, it is sacrifices that are being enacted and when found at Nabta Playa it can be surmised that the sacrifices were to the gods asking them ameliorate the growing hyper-aridity of the region. In this respect, this would be an example of the sacrificing of most precious assets.

What has been called the walk-in larder is known from such as the Masai of Kenya up to several ethno-groups to what was Kush/is now mainly Sudan. So too the erection of stones as menhirs (= standing-stones) in ring and/or row forms associated with such groups again from north Kenya. Such stone rows and stone circles right up to those at Nabta Playa (Egypt).

The well-known practice of not just naming cattle but also of pet-naming cattle that characterises the Pastoral Neolithic of east Africa apparently continued into Egypt. Cattle with deformed horns are illustrated by Messrs. Yurco and Kusimba (in Africa in Egypt ed. Theodore Celenko 1996) in Sudan, the Sahara and Egypt. The cattle-graves at Nabta Playa have been compared with those at an Egyptian site that will be seen to be very relevant for the rise of Pharoahonic Egypt.

From the East

            Given that that a strict definition of northeast Africa is probably Egypt, it is probably well worth stating that Egypt is a country of Africa. On the other hand it has also to be borne in mind that its geographical position leaves it wide open for contacts of various kinds from diverse parts of what goes under the different names of west Asia, southwest Asia, the Levant, Nearer Asia, Fertile Crescent, etc. Indeed, that part of Egypt that is called Sinai is sensu stricto part of those parts of Nearer Asia.

            This particularly means processes originating as far away as Elam (now mainly the province of Khuzistan in s/west Iran), Mesopotamia (now mainly Iraq), Syro/Palestine (= Lebanon, Syria, Israel & Palestine), etc. A notable example of this would be the type of domestic structures of sites in Israel/Palestine and Maadi (Egypt)

            They include Safadi (Israel), Beersheba (Israel), Maadi (Egypt), etc. Messrs. Watron plus Blin are cited on the Andrea Byrnes website as having compiled a different list on the counts that the Beersheba and Safadi houses are not truly subterranean, whereas Meser (Israel), Sidon/Dakeman (Israel), Maadi (Egypt) are.

            Another online comparison was shown to be by messrs. Marduk plus Essan Their comparison was of the faces of two Mesopotamian or Babylonian gods accompanied by a sphinx aboard a Mesopotamian type of ship that are all lookalikes with the face of the Great Sphinx amid the complex of Pyramids at Giza (Egypt).

            Yet another comparison is of the platform-temples or ziggurats of Mesopotamia and the Stepped form of Pyramids in Egypt. The Mesopotamian ziggurats are usually of mudbrick and some of the Pyramids in Egypt are again proven to be of this mudbrick construction.

            A connection of this through Syro/Palestine comes with Manetho (3rd c. B.C. Egypto/Greek) writing about the Hyksos. The name of Hekau-Shasu was evidently transliterated into Greek as what in English is the Shepherd Kings but modern academics prefer the term of Hekau-Khasut (= Kings or Lords of Many Lands). It is widely thought that the Hyksos were primarily the Amorites of the Old Testament or Amurru (= Westerners) of Assyrian texts. Their Semitic basis seems shown when Manetho refers to them as “Shepherd Kings & brothers from Phoenicia”. Manetho went on to describe the Great Pyramid marking their conquest of Egypt.

            Further linking Syro/Palestine with this is via Israel itself and the Biblical Joseph as the Egyptian Imhotep, as Imhotep is seen as the architect behind the building of the first Stepped Pyramid. The association of the name of Joseph with the Pyramids is certainly ancient plus widespread and was known even on the remote parts of west Europe. This last is known is proven by the account by Brother Fidelis (9th c. A.D. Irish monk) referring to the Pyramids as the “The Barns of Joseph”.

            The walls of Mesopotamian buildings were recessed and this feature was repeated by Egyptian tombs labelled as mastabas from the Arabic for bench because they are said to look like benches from a distance. These recessed are particularly well proven in Egypt from their being well attested by the walls of palaces best known as having been depicted in stylised form and then are called serekhs. This concept is said to originate with Henri Frankfort according to Michinori Oshiro (Gottingen Miszellen = GM 2003) plus many others.

            Oshiro (ib.) gives the specific instances of such as the White Temple at Uruk (Mesopotamia/Iraq), the Main Temple at Uruk (Iraq), mastabas of the 1st Dynasty at Tarkan Egypt), etc. Otherwise such walls are those we have just seen were under the various labels as palace facades, palace-walls, serekhs, etc. Oshiro (ib.) also thought the Mesopotamian method of building supporting walls for exterior walls without the ground being levelled was repeated in Egypt.

            Even the very patterns of Mesopotamian walls are considered as having been echoed by those in Egypt. The cone-shaped objects making these patterns have been found in some numbers in Mesopotamia plus Syro/Palestine. There is a frequent tendency to contrast the region of north (= Lower) Egypt formed by the delta caused by the Nile floods and the opposite end called south (= Upper) Egypt/Kush but the cone-shaped pattern-makers are also as southern finds too.

            Skeletons of west Asian type are proven at el-Omari (Egypt), Maadi (Egypt), Merimde (Egypt), etc. They have once again prompted claims of a north/south dichotomy in Egypt. James Henry Breasted (Ancient Times 1935) placed the Deltaic Egyptians among the Caucasoid races that distinguished them from the much darker southerners. The skeletons referred to were taller, sturdier and broader-skulled than the populations in the south. They came from tombs empty of grave-goods and Zurinsky (ib.) says that this again contrasts with the south.

            The period of prehistory in Egypt called after Maadi/Buto after the sites at Maadi plus Buto gives some of the best evidence of how non-Egyptians arrived in Egypt. Road-links between Mesopotamia and Syro/Palestine via Sinai may best be shown by the Maadi settlement touched on many times above. Several Egyptian sites have given signs of the plant called vetch and the variety called chickling is held to be a particular favourite of donkeys. At Maadi was found the largest amount of copper yet found in Pre-Dynastic Egypt. Bones of donkeys plus Asian immigrants into Egypt were also found there too, so prompting suggested possible forerunners of the ass-trains employed by the later merchants bringing copper out of Anatolia into Assyria.

            Buto on a branch of the Nile with easy access from the Mediterranean can be said to attest sea-routes in the way that Maadi does overland. Buto seems to have been the major port for receiving what came from Mesopotamia and/or Syro/Palestine into Pre-Dynastic Egypt by sea. Messrs. Lankester (Mesopotamia & Egypt online) plus Wenke (as Byrnes (ib.) have put flesh on these bones, as have many others.

            Frances Lankester (ib.) says multiple-brush painting is known in Elam and spread to Mesopotamia, Syro-Palestine, Sinai and Egypt. The route is shown by forms of cup, containers with looped handles, more pots with wide triangular mouths, etc. Wenke (ib.) notes the ceramic pattern-makers already proven for Mesopotamia but adds that they also appear in the Amuq-A Culture of north Syria and at Buto (Egypt).

            The Amuq-to-Buto routes are thought by Lankester to indicate a bypassing of Palestine by going straight from north Syria to Egypt. More ships are those of the extensive online discussions of what was depicted on the rocks in the wadis of the Eastern/Nubian Desert by Lankester (ib. & elsewhere). Rohl (esp. Legend: The Genesis of Civilisation = Vol. of the Test of Time series 1999) plus Toby Wilkinson (The Genesis of the Pharoahs 2003) have also discussed this Wadi rock-art in chapters of their respective books with the identical titles of “Ships of the Desert”

            The ship seen to have brought to attention by messrs. Marduk plus Essan was shown to have had on board three Mesopotamian figures that they thought had an Egyptian connection can be shown to have a separate Egyptian linkage by it being of a U/Square ship. Such ships are regarded by Rohl (ib.) to attest Mesopotamians that he calls the Square-boat People or Dynastic Race/Eastern Invaders.

            Rohl argued that these people sailed from south Mesopotamia/Iraq to the Red Sea coasts of Egypt, dragged their ships overland to the Nile, fought battles on the river, won them, went on to conquer Egypt and instituted Dynastic/Pharoahonic  Egypt. He points that this may not have been as hard as it might sound, as the Nile used to flood to a lot further east than it does now. A further detail comes with the Wadi rock-art actually showing vessels being towed overland.

            One of the ships shown in the drawings of what Rohl (ib.) regards as Mesopotamian ships in Wadi rock-art also figures as a drawing in the Wilkinson (ib.)  book where it is seen having one occupant as wearing a possible crown. Rohl (ib.) has compared a figure pictured on a seal from Mesopotamia wearing something very like the Hedjet (= White Crown) signifying Kush/Upper Egypt in Egyptian tradition.

Moreover, the relevant type of ship plus a wearer of the Hedjet are engraved on the most famous of the incense-burners found at the Qustul (Egypt) cemetery. The ships plus what seems to be the Master of the Animals/Lord of the Beasts of Mesopotamian origin form part of the scenes painted in the famous “Painted” tomb (= Tomb 100) at Hierankopolis (= Nekhen, Egypt) plus the hilt of a knife from close the greatest concentrations of the Wadi rock-art at Gebel el-Arak (Egypt). The Tomb 100 mural depicts a large black ship regarded as directing the Dynastic/Eastern ships to victory with something of the same shown on the knife-hilt with the presumed final stage shown by a scene on the Narmer Palette showing the “Pharoah smiting his enemies” theme that was a very long-lived one in Egypt.

The Mesopotamian Lord of the Beasts also usually wears a chignon-like robe as does that portrayed on the el-Arak knife-handle. If this denotes the Mesopotamian origin of Egyptian kingship, then Syro-Palestine may play a part in this. John Jackson cites Messrs. Hadfield plus Patai on the matter of the God-king as part of what was to become Divine Kingship or King-worship in parts of Africa.

Percival Hadfield (ib.) apparently looked to “India” (vaguely, the east in this respect) for these God-kings represented as Pharoahs in Egypt and as equally Divine Kings in the rest of Africa (esp. Ethiopia meant in this instance, more or less the modern state). Rafael Patai (ib.) is the one name that if anyone outside the tight little circles of Hebrew studies is going to know of any member in the circle. This is because he was probably the most substantial Hebraicist of the later 20th c. He lists 21 traits in the small area that was ancient Israel that are matched among the 27 attaching to forms of Divine Kingship known over the very much larger area that is Africa.

            Martin Bernal (Black Athena Vol. 2 1997) shows more links between the “east” in general and Elam in particular through the Memnon family. He shows Arktinos wrote a now-lost play called “Aethiopis” having Memnon as a black as its central plot and that this play was known to Hesiod plus Homer placed by Bernal (ib.) in the 10th c. B.C. Hesiod wrote that Tithonos (father) plus Eos (mother) had a son named Memnon and Homer describes Tithonos and Eos on the same couch. As Eos translates as Dawn in English, eastern antecedents for the pair followed automatically.

            The eastern links continue with Eos said to have come from a city variously spelt as Susa, Shushan, Shush, Susiana, Cissia, Kissia, etc. Susa was the home city of Eos according to Aeschylus (5th c. B.C. Greek) and of Memnon according to Herodotus (5th c. B.C. Greek). Susa was also the capital of Elam and later the winter capital of the Persian Empire. The Cissia version gives an alternative name for the mother of Memnon and the Kissia spelling presumably shows the influence of the hard k of the word of Kush.

            The terms of Kush plus Ethiopia may be echoed by terms at opposite ends of modern India as the Hindu Kush Mountains in the north to the “straight-haired Ethiopians” in the south now called Dravidians or Tamils. The latter is a term for what was once called Elam and still with us in the version of Khuzistan (= Land of Blacks) that is now a province in southwest Iran. Bernal (ib.) says a Persian king named Artaxerses became Artaxerses Memnon to legitimise Persian rule over what had been the ancient and separate kingdom of Elam and now was part of the Persian Empire containing the winter capital of that of empire called Susa and seen as the city of Eos plus Memnon.

         Homer tells us that Memnon brought troops to assist Troy against the Greeks and it has interest that what were the great powers of Early Medieval Europe also looked to “India” for military assistance. This involved the much later Prester John legends and the perceived great Christian empire ruled by him. What was being sought was aid against the Islamic expansion of the day.     


         The term of the variously spelt Aithiopia/Aethiopia/Ethiopia is an ancient one. It can mean the whole continent, that part often called Sub-Saharan or Black Africa or in the modern spelling of Ethiopia can be a modern state-name. Africa can also be a synonym for what goes under the several names of North Africa, Libya, Magreb (= nth. Africa west of Egypt), Sahara, etc. The point to be borne in mind that these latter terms generally indicate just North Africa but that Libya can also be an ancient term for the whole continent of Africa.

         Out of the Tichitt/Wakor/Mali/Songhai sequence came the great West African empires. Mali often became confused with Aethiopia, so continued something very old. From what is said by Pieter de Marees (17th c. Dutch), the English “Captain of Guinea” covered most of the coast of what was anciently termed Mare Aethiopium (= Ocean/Sea of Ethiopia). Hugh Thomas (The Slave Trade 2006) informs us that the second in the sequence of these great empires of West Africa was Mali and that it too was frequently interchanged with Aithiopia/Aethiopia/Ethiopia. This also serves to indicate that western parts of the continent were also included in the all-embracing title of Aithiopia and that this is not confined to the modern Ethiopia in east Africa.

           The area immediately south of Egypt had several ancient labels. Probably the best known are Kush plus Nubia but also include such terms as Wawat and Ta-Seti. The latter also seems to have been the name of the oldest nomarch (= governate/district) of Egypt and is so used in this way below. These terms mainly pertain to areas to what is now Sudan itself a synonym from the Arabic of el-Sudd/Sudan (= Land of Blacks), so parallels Aithiopia (= Greek for Land of Blacks) and both originally meant all of Africa.  

           It should not be overlooked that so far as we know, Aithiopia is not used of Egypt. This would almost tend to confirm some of the arguments put forward about Pre-Dynastic Egypt. It should be recalled that this frequently leads to conclusions that there was something of a dichotomy between the inhabitants of the Delta region of north (= Lower) Egypt and those of what here is called Kush (= either north Sudan or all of Sudan) plus Ta-Seti (= south or Upper Egypt). For my purposes, Ta-Seti will serve to identify Upper Egypt and will combine with Kush as Kush/Ta-Seti for the region straddling modern north Sudan/south Egypt.

          This includes that the Deltaic people(s) were taller, bigger-skulled, Caucasoid, etc. They brought Mesopotamian-type boats/ships; gods from the same direction with faces that were borrowed for the face of the Great Sphinx; the Mesopotamian ziggurat was copied for use of mudbrick construction, pyramidal shape, stepped architecture, etc, by the Egyptian Pyramids; donkeys; Divine Kingship. Bernal (ib.) notes sculptures in the forms of heads of Memnon show him as white. His mother was Eos (= Dawn). Her birthplace was Susa (= capital of Elam & later winter capital of Persia), as it was of Memnon. Susa was called the city of Memnon by Herodotus.

           William Matthew Flinders Petrie (The Making of Egypt 1935 & elsewhere) wrote of Mesopotamians that he described as the Dynastic Race and called by the Square-boat People in the Test of Time books by David Rohl. So when William Henry Breasted (Ancient Times 1935) stated that Egyptians were part of what has been called the Caucasoid/Great White/Europoid Race, he was fully in line with this. This would the case with the face the Great Sphinx also being described as Europoid by Mark Lehner (The Complete Pyramids 2008 & elsewhere).

         Also to be expected from this would be that Europoid/Caucasoid sources lead us to conclude that Egyptians differed from other inhabitants of east Africa and that there is no basis for what is generally called Afrocentricism. Here we can further observe Frank Yurco and “Two Tomb-Wall of Ramesses II & Seti I & Nile Valley Population Diversity” (in Celenko ib.). Another contribution to the Celenko volume was “The Physical Characteristics of Egyptians & Their Southern Neighbours: The Classical Evidence” by Frank Snowden.


        Messrs Yurco and Snowden were also contributors to “Black Athena Revisited” (edd. Messrs. Mary Lefkowitz & Rogers 1996). This is a heavyweight counterblast against the Black Athena series (1987, 1991 & 2006) by Martin Bernal that are thought to be too Afrocentric and inconsistent for academic acceptance.

        The charge of inconsistency is but one of those levelled at Afrocentrics but if consistency is sought, the above-cited views of Breasted are interesting. Breasted is one of the pioneer Egyptologists to whom so much was/is owed and he has a considerable reputation.

        His reputation was so great a selling point that his book on “Ancient Times” went into 1916 plus 1935 editions. In 1916 the Egyptians were Negroid/Africoid but by 1935 they had “advanced” to being of the “Great White Race”. Asa Hilliard (in Celenko ib.) and Anthony Browder (Nile Valley Contributions to Civilisation 1992) have pondered at the change of mind. Browder (ib.) went further and wondered in print if the $1:5 of funding from the Rockefellers before the 1935 edition had any thing to do with the mind-change.

        Petrie (ib.) was yet another of these pioneer Egyptologists but his concept of the Dynastic Race was particularly bypassed since World War II as being too close to the ideology of Nazis. However, Toby Wilkinson (The Genesis of the Pharoahs 2003) tells us that it has been revived and given an up-to-date guise in the form of the Square-boat People or Eastern Conquerors by David Rohl.

        Two more of the contributors to the Celenko (ib.) volume were Messrs. Wegner (Interaction between the Nubian A-Group & Pre-Dynastic Egypt: The Significance of the Qustul Incense Burner) plus Williams (The Qustul Incense Burner & the Case for a Nubian Origin for Egyptian Kingship). Wegner wants to put Williams in long list of those wanting non-Egyptian sources for Pre-Dynastic Egypt but then surely undermines his own argument by harking to Mesopotamia on this ground.

        The incense-burner is primarily but not solely a type of Kush and that of Qustul is of local material, so when Wegner (ib.) argues that the Qustul incense-burner is of Egyptian origin and taken to Kush. This gives us an unlikely route of a local form in native material was taken to Egypt, engraved there and re-exported to Kush/Nubia.

         Of the editors of Black Athena Revisited, Mary Lefkowitz (ib.) has placed herself firmly in the van of anti-Afrocentricism. One of the contributors to that volume was Emily Vermeule. Probably the most famous comment from that piece of writing pertains to the return of Pharoah from fighting in Kush with his barge adorned with a dead Kushite prince tied to its stem. She rhetorically asked if Martin Bernal considered this to be just ordinary tribal politics.

        The whole was plainly intended to “prove” no connection between Black Africa and Egypt by way of showing contempt for Blacks. A well-known inscription is the Heh/Semma Decree banning Kushites from entering Egypt during the reign of Senusret III (= Sesostris III in Greek) of the 12th Dynasty. Senusret further showed his contempt for Kushites by leaving a statue with the genitalia of a woman decorating it to demonstrate a cowardly enemy. To this is added Pharoah Thutmosis I of the 18th Dynasty brining back the Kushite tied to the front of his barge.

       Molefi Keti Asante (online review of Africa & the Africans in Antiquity ed. Edwin Yamauchi 2002) has also remarked on this kind of contempt. He wrote of German contempt for the Slav nations of Poland and Russia yet all were European; of Japanese contempt for Chinese plus Koreans yet all were Asian; of Hutu contempt for Tutsis yet all remained African.

       Hutus and Tutsis are the major components of the tiny country of Rwanda yet the contempt of one for the other led to the appalling Rwandan Massacre and its million dead. German contempt for Jews, Slavs, Blacks plus Gypsies led to the even vaster numbers of dead that included the estimated six million of the Holocaust. Serbian contempt for Bosnian Muslims led to the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II yet all had been recent members of Yugoslavia (= Union of Slavs). The contempt of the Pol Pot regime for its fellow citizens led to something like the Rwandan scale of death yet all were Cambodians.

        The Prophecy of Neferti plus the Story of Sinuhe refer to Amenemhat I (= Ammenemes I in Greek) stopping Asiatics entering Egypt and of building the series of forts known as the Walls of the Pharoah to enforce this. Senusret I plus Amenemhat II were further 12th-Dynasty Pharoahs. According to Herodotus, they invaded Syro/Palestine plus Anatolia and left yet more statues bearing female privates denoting cowards. Peter Clayton (Chronicle of the Pharoahs 2001) tells us that Thutmosis IV was another invader of Syro/Palestine and on returning to Egypt had seven dead Palestinian princes tied to the front of his barge.

       Now the question arises as to why Emily Vermeule (ib.) could pose so savage a rhetorical riposte to Bernal (ib.) that she did? So eminent and experienced a historian would surely have known about the Asiatics forbidden to enter Egypt and the forts built to control those that did enter. Likewise, what about statues bearing the scornful hallmark of perceived cowards? In the light of continual migration from Palestine into Egypt and a single dead prince seriously held to rule out links of Africans from Kush with Egypt, what then about seven dead Palestinian princes? Do the seven Palestinians remove any need to look to the east for Mesopotamians, Syrians, Palestinians, Sinaites, etc, from ever entering Egypt?

         As to the Nile forts built to restrict (not forbid) Kushites going into Egypt, the epithet of wretched Kush plus female genitals, have not the expert opinions not noted the size and number of those Nile forts? In the case of that at Buhen, it is said to be on a scale that it boggles the imagination. Why is it so large and why so many forts, if it is only cowardly Kushites that are being dealt with?

       A growing opinion is that what are now being called Dynasties OO plus O of what probably should strictly be called Proto-Pharoahs are of southern or Kushite (= Sudanic) origin. This is just was written by Petrie (ib.) when seeking Sudanic sources for Dynasties I, II, III, IV, V plus XII. It is perhaps ironic that what Wilkinson (ib.) plus Petrie (ib.) wrote of the Genesis of the Pharoahs and the 12th Dynasty respectively in terms Sudanic origins, that the Egyptians should so savagely turn on the lands of their ancestors.

         Another real irony is that so much of the criticism of Bernal (ib.) is based on his perceived Afrocentricism and there is not a great deal of this in the several volumes so far published. There is no doubt that Bernal (ib.) is needlessly aggressive but then, raising controversy does not appear to do sales any harm. Also on the evidence of his Volume III, it does appear that the academic establishment has started to reel him in. In his 3rd volume, he shows the same over-regard for the ancient Greeks that led all non-English words to be translated except for those in ancient Greek.



          Away from areas where caves provided natural places of habitation, one of the first things to do would be to provide shelter. In some cases, this would involve use the use of the skins or hides of animals. Animal-skins would also have involved in the making of drums. Whether or not there were boats made using skins in West Africa or not remains moot but the authoritative “The Sea-craft of Prehistory” by Paul Johnstone (1980) has no sign of them. For this writer, Johnstone (ib.) has one of the best treatments of non-European maritime history known but as has just been said, there is little sign of skin-boats in West Africa. .

        There may have very few signs of skin-boats in West Africa but Alessandro Nibbi (Revue d’Archaeologie 1993) shows them as probable in Ethiopia. Louise Bradbury (Journal of the American Research Centre in Egypt 1996) felt that the well-known but strange-looking craft from Punt (=? nth. Somalia/Djibouti) depicted in wall-art in Tomb 143 at Thebes (Egypt) were also a skin-boat form. Nibbi (ib.) looked at phenomenon of skin-boats proven in Ireland, Norway, Canada, etc; with sunlight behind making them look glass-like and thought this was known too in Egypt.

         Reeds used for West African sails as matting are compared by Michael Bradley (Dawn Voyage 1991) with those of Early Dynastic Egypt. Johnstone (ib.) remarked on the reed-boats called madyas (= reed-boats) of Moroccan coasts and rivers. The type is seen among what was depicted on rocks in what is now the bone-dry Sahara (esp. at Tassili) and in approximately the same region is Lake Chad and here the Budumi had a considerable reputation as pirates on that lake till the 19th c. and their expertise was called on by Thor Heyerdahl (The Ra Voyages 1971) for building a sea-going reed-vessel called Ra I.

       More Ethiopian craft are known on the Red Sea but this time in the form of the reed-boats referred to by the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. The type is probably what is carved on rocks in the wadis of the variously called Nubian/Eastern/Arabian Desert. The boats of this Wadi rock-art may indicate journeys between the Red Sea coasts of Egypt and the Nile because that river use to flood at that period somewhat further to the east much later than it did in later history. The Egyptian equivalent would be the papyrus vessel sometimes retaining what seems to be the vestigial remnant of skin-boats in the form of some skin-covered reed-craft described in the famous book of travels in east Africa and Egypt by James Bruce (18th c. Brit.) cited by Elaine Evans (Papyrus: A Blessing on Pharoah online).

      The classic vessel-type of West Africa has surely got to be the dugout-canoe. They stretched/stretch from western parts of southern Africa to western parts of North Africa. Thus from Lake Makgadkgadi (= a sort of super-Lake Okavango & now mainly the Kalahari Desert) to Lake Mega-Chad (= a greatly expanded Lake Chad & now mainly enclosed by the Sahara Desert). A coastal near-match in distribution is described by Robert Smith (JAH 1970) in “The Canoe in West African History”. The 3rd Voyage of Columbus showing west African canoes going west of the Cape Verde Islands with only the open Atlantic in front; “Alone at Sea” by Hannes Lindemann (1958) fully attest that west African canoes were also sea/ocean-going.

        Confirmation of sea-going canoes in east Africa comes with the Huntingford (1980) plus Casson (1989) translations of Periplus Maris Erythrae (= PME = Voyage on the Erythrean Sea) noting canoes on the Erythrean Sea (= western Indian Ocean). Christopher Ehret (The Civilisations of Africa 2003) attributed the dugout-canoe in east Africa to the arrival of the Bantu there and this presumably agrees with the above-noted LSA economy. James Hornell (Mariner’s Mirror 1947) in “The Making & Spreading of a Dugout Canoe” felt they were also built in Egypt but Bjorn Landstrom (The Ships of the Pharoahs 1970) disagreed.

         West African vessels on the open Atlantic can be seen as relevant for such as the views of Leo Frobenius (Voice of Africa 1913). On the other hand, Frobenius (ib.) also stands to be criticised for proposing a unitary state from Angola to Morocco. Donald Harden (Antiquity 1943) was blunt when calling Frobenius a fantasist.

        There may not have been this unitary state almost the length of the West African littoral but what Frobenius (ib.) based this on still has interest. He noted villages around Templum (= shrine/temple); houses arranged around impluvia (= water-tanks); the houses having ridged roofs; geomancy/sand-divination; differences of drums, looms, bows and arrowheads.

        Frobenius (ib.) says these features are almost entirely of coastal distribution and that this was emphasised by the frontally-strung bows and the tanged arrowheads. They contrasted in from those of adjacent inland peoples and this is underlined by those coastal economies of the type that the Greeks labelled as Ichthyophagi (= Fish-eaters). Probably even more fundamental is what is said in “The Canoe in West African History” by Robert Smith (JAH 1970).

        Another article in JAH is that of Ivor Wilks (1962). He shows that Africans were trading on West African coasts that on the above would represent something like continuity. More specific would be Wilks (ib.) pointing to African traders from the Mande people were trading at Elmina long before the Portuguese took over that place in 1486 but whether this is the Elmina in what is now modern Ghana is the Almena being referred to by Flora Lugard (A Tropical Dependency 1906 & 1997) is moot.

            Lugard (ib.) was citing al-Maqrizi (15th c. Egyptian) saying there was a giant statue at somewhere called Almena on the coast but was very uncertain about the actual location of this statue. Maqrizi attached this to a story about a Pharoah marching westwards in Africa and reaching the Atlantic coast. This has the smack of the accounts about Egyptians led by Pharoah Senusret/Sesostris campaigning in Syro/Palestine and Anatolia noted above being given a West African setting.

          What does not help is what may be a further confusion of that said by Maqrizi pointing out to the sea bearing the inscription “beyond me is nothing” and the Great Sphinx also mentioned by Maqrizi. Little more can be said here but it is noteworthy that a history of what is now modern Ghana but under the title of “History of the Gold Coast & Asante” by Christian Reindorf (1895) has nothing to say about such a statue.  

          Joseph Olumide Lucas (The Religion of the Yorubas 1949 & 1995) points to a pair of statues at the holy place of the Yorubas called Ife (Nigeria). He says they were called Ore and Ore-gbana (= Servant/Slave or Priest/Devotee of Ore) and that Ore was a deified king. Lucas (ib.) further says that Ore has a side-lock of hair frequently matched in east Africa and particularly by that of Re/Ra in Egypt and also had a version of the name of the Egyptian god named Re/Ra. 

         Also that Ore plus Ore-gbana had the Negroid faces of the Great Sphinx amid the monuments called Pyramids at Gizeh/Giza (= Egypt). Messrs. Diop (The African Origin of Civilisation 1974) called attention to a series of cone-shaped structures across the southern Sahara of mudbrick construction from Senegal/Mali in West Africa to Sudan in east Africa that he related to the Pyramids of Egypt and they will be seen shortly to be very relevant.

          Felix Dubois was another of the writers cited by Lugard (ib.) and who she evidently held in high esteem. Dubois (ib.) described architecture in Mali, Mauritania plus Senegal of a type that he thought could be paralleled “in the ruins of the Nile Valley & Egypt”. Messrs Gould (Journal of the Institute of African Studies 1972) plus Nai-Tete (The Legacy of the Ga-Adangbes of Ghana online) would add Ghana to this but there are obvious differences on this.

          Gould (ib.) described “The Shrine of Tutu Abo: The Akwamu God of War” whereas Nai Nii-Tete (ib.) is seen from the title of his article to have attributed these Tutu/Otutu shrines to a section of the Ga people of Ghana. Gould (ib.) is somewhat cautious about chronology but seems inclined to regard them as late but Nii-Tete (ib.) saw them as somewhat earlier. The kind of architecture being referred to is of the Stepped form rather better known from the Stepped Pyramids of Egypt.

          Messrs. Johnson (History of the Yorubas 1921 & 2001), Meyerowitz (Man 1940), Lucas (ib.), etc, have all referred to West African expressions of a trident-like motif in Nigeria. Messrs. Palmer (The Carthaginian Voyage to West Africa 1931) and Winters (Proto Saharan Religions online) in turn relate to the serekh of Egypt. In its simplest form, such patterns look like what in England would be recognised as wickets without bails across the top but wicket-like depictions with bails are also present in west and North Africa.

         William Ingrams (Zanzibar: Its People & Its History 1931) is one of those showing this trident/serekh motif in east Africa. However, easily the best known in east Africa are those of Kush/Ta-Seti (= Upper Egypt) plus Egypt proper. This is best explained by Stan Hendrickx (Gottinger Miszellen 2001). The relevance of the Hendrickx “Arguments for an Upper Egyptian Origin of the Palace-facade & the Serekh in Pre-dynastic-Later Dynastic times” will be seen in the next sub-section.

         Stone rings in West Africa are best known in Senegambia (= Senegal & Gambia) and in east Africa by the circles at Namoratunga (Kenya). Probably getting to be equally as well known is the stone circle at the above-shown Nabta Playa (Egypt). Messrs. Parker (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 1923) and Palmer (The Carthaginian Voyage to West Africa 1931) observe that burials inside some of the Senegambian circles relate to a series described by el-Bekri (11th c. Iberian Muslim).

        It seems these burials are a very long-lived tradition and would presumably overlap with the Senegambian rings apparently having their earliest members in those of roughly the dates of the Namoratunga rings. El-Bekri was writing of the burials of the Kings of Wakor. Parker (ib.) says that Gan/Ogan/Ghana was originally the title of the King of Wakor but that it became that of the realm he ruled. It was part of the Tichitt/Wakor/Mali/Songhai sequence gaining great wealth by control of the trade in salt and gold across the Sahara.

       The el-Bekri description of the Wakor burials seems to indicate that if ever an intact one is found, there will be a Malian counterpart for that of Tutankhamen in Egypt for golden splendour. As to the actual burials of the Tichitt/Wakor sequence still extant in the days when Bekri was able to record them, they too take us to Egypt.

         So too does what is written in yet another Islamic text, namely the Tarikh es-Sudan (= History/Chronicle of Sudan). It is cited by Flora Lugard (A Tropical Dependency) tells us that priest-wizards were brought from Senegal and/or Mali Egypt to assist Pharoah in his contest of magic with Moses. Anne Christie (Magic of the Pharoahs 2007) cites “The Sealed Letter” (12th c. B.C. Egyptian) saying something very like this when a 7-foot Ethiopian strode into the court of Pharoah and demanded a contest of magic. The Koran has it that the Pharoah contesting with Moses was Ramesses II and “The Sealed Letter” also identified its Pharoah with Ramesses II.


         Having finished one sub-section with Royalty, it seems appropriate to begin this one with Royalty. There are a number of terms used of African Royalty that belong here. They include Divine Kingship, deified kings, king-worship, god-kings, etc.

          If a west African setting is given by Maqrizi for the military adventures of 12th-Dynasty Pharoahs more at home in Syro/Palestine, Anatolia plus the Balkans according to Herodotus (5th c. B.C. Greek), this has further interest. Bernal (ib.) saw the campaign in Anatolia as marking the generalship of Ammenemes II (son of Senusret I = Sesostris of Herodotus) that Bernal (ib.) identifies with the Memnon of Greek legend and whose mother was variously known as Eos or Cissia.

          Diop (ib.) has pointed out that Cisse is a name that is common in Africa. Gadalla (ib.) wrote that among the Mande-speaking peoples called the Soninke lying behind the Wakor Empire, Sisse/Cisse was the name of the ruling clan of the Soninke rulers of the Wakor Empire. Mohammed Gadalla (Exiled Egyptians: ib.) further says that sisse meant noble and/or the curious phrase of “those riding mares” in Egypt.

          Even more firmly tying Kush with somewhere in Africa are the Semitic texts of the Assyrians plus the Hebrews (esp. the Bible). In both cases, they are usually locate Kush to the south of Mizraim (= Egypt). If Memnon as Ammenemes II holds true, the easterly direction towards Troy receives explanation. We recall Herodotus wrote about Egyptian conquests in Anatolia that the Mit Rahina (Egypt) inscription seemingly confirms. An overland march through Anatolia towards Troy plus the Balkans necessitated an eastward route towards Troy and the Balkans and explains how Troy was approached from the east. 

           Much has been made of Herodotus saying tightly-coiled hair does not necessarily indicate “Aithiopes” (= Africans). The modern authorities making so much of this do this on the stereotypical basis that all Africans look the same. This clearly overlooks the wide variation of phenomorphs across the continent. In any case, what is said by Herodotus was not based solely on ethnic comparisons. Moreover, several other Greek writers make the connection between Aithiopia on the one hand and Egypt on the other. In like vein, having shown that Semitic sources with good reason for knowing where Kush was, Memnon was held by those Greeks to have been King of Kush (= all of Aithiopia in this respect). Bernal (ib.) has mentioned that a few depictions of Memnon show him as white. However, easily the bulk of such representations attest him as black with the tightly-coiled hair, thick lips, black skins, etc, most typical of West Africa.

           There is no better symbol of Royalty than an actual an actual monarch, more especially as the God-kings seen as living gods-on-earth as part of what is called Divine Kingship. The where and when of where this originated is uncertain but strong hints lie in something that was written by Ehret (ib.).

         What is very definite is that African Divine Kingship owes very little to outside agencies. The West African language of Wolof of mainly Senegambia plus Soninke of Mali has such words as bari/fari translating as king according to such as Messrs Diop (ib.) plus Gadalla (ib.). The resemblance to the east African name/title of Perahu plus Egyptian terms of Per-aha/Pharoah for ruler or king will be immediately obvious.

         The words of ade/ate seem to be general West African ones for crown and appears very similar to atef (an Egyptian term for crown). There is the Yoruba term of ade-nibi (= Crown of the Mistress) that according to Lucas (ib.) takes us to the Egyptian atef-nibit with the same meaning. Lucas (ib.) also shows what he describes as the head of the Yoruba god called Olokun (= Lord of the Sea) that is one of the Nigerian figures wearing a crown with a version of the Egyptian uraeus that is a crown surmounted with a rearing cobra designed to spit fire or venom at enemies of Pharoah. Otherwise, these heads of Olokun and related works are held to represent past Obas (= Kings of the Yorubas) and will be seen shortly not to be the only Yoruba ruler raised to the status of a god but then that has already been seen as part of Divine Kingship and is something else shared with Egypt.

          The Bambara are a people based mainly in the West African country of Mali (= Place of the King). Their Creator was named Gnia or Nia. This deity is related by Winters (ib.) to the Saharan one known under the several labels of Neith/Nt/Nit that in turn is an alternative name for what is also called the Deshret (= Red Crown) having its sources discussed in a Wainwright (Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 1923) article.

         That article was “The Red Crown in Early Prehistoric Times” and from it emerges something that has been reinforced since his days. It is all too often presumed that what occurs in north and West Africa is not Pre-Dynastic but Dynastic or even Post-Dynastic. However, a semi-circle of oases at Siwa, Baharya, Farafra, Kharga, Dakhla, Nabta Playa, etc, (in the Western Desert = the Egyptian Sahara), etc, show this can be very wrong and this kind of thing was thought by Wainwright (ib.) to be relevant for Pre-Dynastic Egypt and the Red Crown in particular.

         Cheikh Anta Diop (ib.) refers to the twig-like stiffeners of bamboo in long conical white bonnets that closely resemble the nest-like white headgear that Wicker (Egypt & The Mountains of the Moon 1991) described in east Africa. Diop (ib.) the famous reports of Marcel Griaule concerning the bonnets of the Dogon of Mali and he himself has given the description of the conical long white bonnets in Senegal. He refers to them as King’s bonnets and that they resemble the White Crown of Egypt.

         Lucas (The Religion of the Yorubas ib.) makes references to the Ifa cult of Nigeria and went on to inform us that in his opinion, this takes us to the Egyptian word of Nefer with the Egyptian initial-n being dropped in the Yoruba language and becomes Efa/Ifa/Ife. The “Ancient Egypt: The Mythology” site has it that Nefer also refers to the White Crown. This is reinforced by the White Crown carrying a further label of the White Nefer and by the Royal connections just observed in West Africa and Egypt.

         The online site entitled “West African and Egyptian Religious Beliefs in E.A. Wallis Budge’s Osiris” says beetles were worn as amulets in West Africa and Egypt. Messrs. Olumo & Eyebira (The Yoruba: the Egyptian Connection online) compared Yoruba okpara (= beetle) and kepara/khepara (= beetle). Wicker (Egypt and the Mountains of the Moon) wrote of events in east Africa that will be touched on below but he does mention an Egyptian term that he translates as “The beetle of the lake” saying it means tortoise but more probably means turtle given its context.

         The possible connection of words for turtle/tortoise stretching from west Africa across the continent to parts of east Africa brings us to the relationship with the famous Khepresh (= Blue Crown) of Egypt. This might easily be attached to the alleged wanderings of a Pharoah in West Africa but we can quote Joseph Vogel (online excerpt from Pre-Colonial Africa 1997). He compared a beaded mitred crown once used in Cameroon with the Khepresh of Egypt.

         There is a strange article on the North of Africa (= NOA) website bearing the title of “Redheaded Berber Ramesses II” that cites the Wicker (ib.) book in favour of the discredited attribution of the Egyptians to the Great White/Caucasoid Race. This presumably shows that the author of that article has not read the Wicker (ib.) volume, as this conclusion is exactly the opposite of what Wicker was describing.

         Wicker (ib.) was arguing for African influences as part of what makes up Pre-Dynastic Egypt. The NoA author has also made the curious comment that there cannot be a connection between African hair-styles and the Egyptian Khepresh because the one is hair and natural, whereas the Khepresh is a manmade crown. To borrow a phrase from Cockney slang from London, this is a statement of “the bleeding obvious”

         As to the NoA-author citing Wicker (ib.) on what the circlets on the Khepresh represent, it is worth noting what is said by the writers cited in “West Africa & the Atlantic in Antiquity”. They also comment on circlets on heads or headgear and suggestions range from snails on the head, the markings of tortoise-shells, chakras (= blessings), etc. This tends to overlook the associated traits of thick lips, flat noses, black colour, ranging from the Buddha statues of Asia to the Memnon images of Greek art. We can also recall the latter appear to reflect the tightly-coiled hair that is characteristic of easily the bulk of West Africans, as nicely proven by the illustrations published in the Lucas (ib.) book.

               Hair as depicted on of one of the statues seen to have described by Lucas (ib.) at Ife also becomes relevant here. If we remember one of them was called Ore and the other one was Gbanna-ore. Lucas (ib.) says that Ore was known as both an Oba (= Ruler) at Ife and as a god (see above re. Olokun), so again shows the system of Divine Kingship at work. Ore also has the sidelock of hair known for priests in Nigeria and Egypt. What are called breastplates from Benin (Nigeria) plus Lagos (Nigeria) are known as wesekhs in Egypt are again priestly hallmarks in Egypt plus Nigeria, as shown by Messrs. Meyerowitz (Man 1940) and Wainwright 1951).

           What Wicker (ib.) was actually doing was comparing Great Lakes region of east Africa and the Great Ship found near the Pyramid of Khufu/Cheops at Giza (Egypt). This was on counts of use of wood from trees of the Mimosacaea family (Great Lakes buchananii & Egyptian acacia); vessels lacking a keel; planks that were joined edge-to-edge; they being transversely sewn; raised stems fitting like a glove over the middle; these prows or stems sutured in to place; rounded internal caulking lathes; dowels made of wood from trees of the Zisyphus family.

          This is reinforced by comparing canoes of the Great Lakes and the funerary barge of Senusret III. The Great Lakes canoes of Lake Nyanza (= ex-Lake Victoria) had the cross-beams set in bilges; the first or second of which protrude beyond the planking of the vessel; this penetration of the planks being towards the stern; Wicker (ib.) went on to write that these traits that are characteristic of the Sesostris barge.

        Ships carved on rocks in the Kushite/Nubian region are shown by Wilkinson (Genesis of the Pharoahs ib.) to be closely paralleled by motifs to be seen on pottery of the Naqada Culture of most of Late Pre-Dynastic Egypt. This means they are mainly upwards of c. 1000 years earlier than the supposed Mesopotamian ancestors that the Dynastic Race/Eastern Conquerors/Square-boat People theories call for.

       This in turn shows the interpretations in support of this on the basis of what is shown at the “Painted” Tomb at Necken/Hierankopolis (Tomb 100, Egypt); the handle of the knife from Gebel el-Arak; an incense-burner from Qustul; needs to change. The White Crown being envisaged as worn by the “Amun” figure of Gebel Barkal (Sudan) plus another on the Qustul incense-burner plus the Horus incense-burner from Nekhen evidently confirm the southern connection. Nor should we overlook suggestions that the Qustul images can be seen as showing Amun-Ra, Horus plus Osiris in the lion, hawk plus White Crown respectively. The southern connection is further maintained by the wearer of the White Crown held to be shown by the small mountain at Gebel Barkal (Holy Mountain, Sudan), the Qustul incense-burner, the Horus incense-burner from Nekhen, etc

        One interpretation is that the Painted-tomb plus Arak largely attest scenes of Africans fighting other Africans for control of what was Ta-Seti/ is south Egypt today. The high-stemmed ships would remain as markers of invaders but as those of Kushite Africans not of Mesopotamian. Much is made of the fact that the figure interpreted as Master/Lord of the Beasts from Arak looks very Mesopotamian because of his chignon-like robe plus Mesopotamian parallels. Not nearly so well known is that a similar “Lord of the Beasts” at the Painted Tomb has a black man between the two stylised lions with the whole held to indicate the mastery over untameable nature.    

        They accord with the successful campaign further shown by the objects called the Narmer Palette and the Qustul incense-burner. No wonder Petrie (ib.) felt able to write that the el-Arak engraving was to Egyptian history what the Bayeux Tapestry was to English history. Nor that Bruce Williams (Archaeology 1980) could write of the “Lost Pharoahs”. Here we can remind ourselves of what was said above about what some Egyptologists have called Dynasties OO plus O. To which Petrie (ib.) was shown would have added several succeeding Dynasties.  

         Indeed, that “From the South” (= “Ethiopia”/Kush) came the invigoration that renewed Dynastic Egypt on several occasions according to Petrie. It must have great interest that in West Africa the name of the ancient people called the Gaetuli has been translated as “From the South” and that even today, “From the South” in an African context still tends to mean from what has been called Black Africa. The Egyptian Nasut formed on the Egyptian n y swt also spelt nsw also tells the same story. 

        It should observed that the vowels of Nasut are inserted for western readers because Old-Egyptian is one of the Afrasan tongues noted in the next paragraph above and like the rest of them is  a vowel-less language. As a constructed word, it sits with Pharoah as spelt here. This spelling is followed this article because given that the oah-ending rhymes with the oa of soap and that where vowels are placed by western Egyptologists is pretty nearly arbitrary, this makes more sense to me. Returning to the word of Nasut, we also come back to the fact that it too means “From the South”. Even more to the point, is Nasut is also the Egyptian word for Royalty and in the light of returning to an earlier point, we are surely back with what is said by Williams (ib.) about the Qustul incense-burner “& The Lost Pharoahs of Egypt.”.

        The Afrasan languages are discussed by Christopher Ehret (The Civilisations of Egypt 2003). Ehret (ib.) points to words in the several Afrasan/Afrasian/Afro-Asiatic/Hamito-Semitic tongues. It is generally accepted that these languages originated in east Africa and that of this group of tongues; only Semitic is known outside of Africa. Ehret (ib.) paid attention to the Afrasan words of *Wa’per plus *Waa’ka. The asterisks indicate what philologists describe as ghost-words that have been theoretically reconstructed back to an ancestral stage.

         Ehret (ib.) says Wa’per means sky plus divinity and Waa’ka denotes figures operating both as priests and kings, so gives us strong hints as to where Divine Kingship originated. Petrie (The Making of Egypt 1939) traced the survival of Waa’ka as the Waka or war-god of the Oromo/Galla of Ethiopia. He also traced the same word under yet a different spelling somewhat further north and for which he gives an archaeological background that revolves around the Uak-ha family originally of Kush but then as an Early Dynastic one of Egypt.

            The Waa’ka/Uah-ka family are tied by Petrie (ib.) to a number of tombs in Kush/Ta-Seti that are apparently a long-lived tradition there. By the 4th/5th Dynasties of Pharoahs, the tomb-type is exampled at Qau (in Ta-Seti parts of Eg.). Petrie (ib.) further has it that it the main features of the tombs are tomb plus temple being mainly cut into rock with the forecourts being mostly masonry. Also that a further marker of being “From The South” is that the stone mauls used at the Aswan quarries were also used to dress stones in the same way at one of the Qau tombs. Petrie (ib.) allied this to the “Prophecy of Neferti” telling of a man “From the South” and his family coming to rule as Pharoahs in Egypt.

           Nor are these the only tombs of Kush/Ta-Seti relevant for Egypt. It should be borne in mind that what we designate here as Kush/Ta-Seti denotes a region that now straddles the Sudan/Egypt border-area of north Sudan/south Egypt. A Sudan-to-Senegal distribution of cone-shaped tombs referred to by Diop (ib.). They are known as Egyptian depictions. The norms for picturing Pyramids throughout the ages are usually of wide-based triangles and some are known as hieroglyphs. However, more normal for a Pyramid as a hieroglyph is the tall narrow cone-shape of Kush-like form of the Sudan-to-Senegal distribution. This means that from Africans of the Nile Valley came the originals of the plants, animals, Pyramids, etc, that formed early hieroglyphs in Egypt.

           Pyramids of the Stepped variety are no longer to have their antecedents sought in Mesopotamia. If somewhere outside of Egypt is sought, there are the above-noted African parallels to be considered. Otherwise, an internal development inside Egypt is likely. Mention has already been made of the mastaba. The mastaba is a purely native form and in layered form leads on to the Stepped Pyramids. The concept is traditionally attributed to someone named Imhotep. He served Pharoahs of the 3rd Dynasty and this in turn is one of the dynasties that Petrie (ib.) felt were of Aithiope/Kushite origin.

          Something very similar emerges from the Hendrickx (ib.) “Arguments for an Upper Egyptian Origin of the Palace-facade & the Serekh during Late Pre-dynastic-Early times”. Acceptance of Hendrickx (ib.) means that another bit of claimed evidence for Mesopotamian influence on Pre-Dynastic Egypt vanishes. This time it is the niched-walls of the Palace/Tomb/Temple-facades that allied with mudbrick-build is held to be one of the strongest pieces of evidence for Mesopotamians in Egypt.

           What seems to be an online excerpt from “Daily Life of the Nubians” by Robert Bianchi (2004) mentions the rock-cut tombs of Kush/Nubia speos in Greek. We have seen more than one tomb-type of Kush (= Nubia) that came to Egypt on a later horizon This excerpt adds one more to the list, namely the rock-cut tombs just mentioned apparently particularly taken up by Middle Kingdom Pharoahs.

          Hendrickx (ib.) contrasts the Mesopotamian and Egyptian use of mudbrick and says that they are they are very different. Hendrickx (ib.) looked for the origin of the niched-wall in the plank-walls having fabric/tapestry reinforcement that he further says are repeated as murals in some Egyptian tombs. It is generally accepted such walls are repeated in stylised depictions are known as serekhs. They are known to be early in the Kush/Upper Egypt region, as best known from Qustul.

         One of the more absurd comparisons between matters Mesopotamian and Egyptian was the Great Sphinx. However, to what has already been said can added that the Europoid face put forward by Mark Lehner (The Complete Pyramids 2003). This would be another reason for dismissing the Mesopotamian claim.

        Unfortunately, for Lehner’s computerised reconstruction, this too has come under heavy criticism. John West (as Poe ib.) says that Lehner could equally have come up with the face of Elvis Presley. Fortunately, there is an alternative and it is one that has the sanction of millennia behind it.

         A difficulty with the face as we now have it is that it has been damaged at some time in the past. Articles by such as Tom Holmfirth (Did Napoleon shoot the nose off the Sphinx? online), Larry Orcutt (The Nose of the Sphinx online) plus the sources they cite answer the question did troops of Napoleon damage the Great Sphinx with an emphatic negative.

            Maqrizi is an Islamic writer who has been cited already and so again by the writers noted in the previous paragraph but this time on account of recording medieval damage by Muslim fanatics that removed the ears plus nose of the Great Sphinx and Lehner (ib.) adds a series of pictures by various European artists.

           Of these Europeans, those of Frederick Norden and Richard Pococke stand out. Lehner (ib.) says both were done in 1737 but were not published till 1743 and 1755 respectively. Norden shows the Sphinx as damaged but Pococke does not. When we realise that Maqrizi tells us that that ears plus nose were removed but that photos of much later date demonstrate very clearly that the ears are still there plus the contradictions of what is shown by messrs. Norden and Pococke, something else stands out. This is that the literary plus pictorial usually trotted out as proof positive that the damage was Pre-Napoleonic turn out to be nothing as reliable as said.

             In any case, there is little allowance being made for the activities of bored troops, especially when not stationed at home. Thus Turks at Athens (Greece) firing at the Parthenon (& the subsequent Elgin Marbles); Vietnamese at the Angkor Wat Temple (Cambodia); World War II Americans shooting ponies to the degree that the Exmoor (Eng.) breed were almost wiped out.

            Modern academics of the anti-Afrocentric breed tend to attribute considerable intellect to ancient Greece. That is until those Greeks are confronted with Egyptian antiquities. On this happening we are then supposed to believe those brilliant Greek scholars had minds that suddenly went blank and they suddenly became gaga. Herodotus is usually cited in this respect but is hardly the only Greek suddenly and supposedly overawed by Egyptian achievements

           Going back to soldiers in lands not theirs and not respecting antiquities there, we have what is what is said by Greek mercenaries about Egypt according to various sources. It will be borne in mind that for Greeks all non-Greeks were barbarians and for the mercenaries in Egypt, ostriches became sparrows, crocodiles became lizards, Pyramids became barns, obelisks became roasting-spits, etc.  

          This will mean there is a dichotomy between what is thought by scholars and soldiers in Greece and from what is said by Peter Thompkins (The Secrets of the Great Pyramid 1973), this is matched in Napoleonic France. This pertains to those taken by Napoleon when invading Egypt that basically means troops but also savants.

          The contrast of the thinking of the soldiers and the scholars is well shown by Thompkins (ib.). He demonstrates that the troops had little time for the savants or for what they were trying to achieve. This will mean that the two groups had somewhat different philosophies. In this respect, it once again becomes apparent that bored Napoleonic gunners using the Great Sphinx as target practice remains but is unproven

          Following what was said by Herodotus (5th c. B.C. Greek) was one of those French scholars in the Napoleonic train named Count Constantin de Volney. There was no difficulty in what Herodotus wrote about the Blacks of Egypt left behind in what is now Georgia in the thinking of Volney (18th/19th c. French). Volney attached this to the face of the Great Sphinx and concluded that it was the face of an African.

        Volney was followed in this by the drawings of Vivant de Denon (18th /19th c. French). In like vein are the Willard photographs published by Ivan Van Sertima (Early America Revisited 1998). So too are the conclusions of an artist employed by West (as noted in Black Spark, White Fire by Richard Poe ib.). The full-time work of that man was for the New York Police Department and his name was Frank Domingo.

        Domingo (ib.) did numerous drawings of the face of the Great Sphinx. He concluded that it was that “of a Negro…an African…a Kushite”. What is particularly salient here is that Domingo (ib.) was a forensic artist and it is worthwhile recalling   the entire purpose of their work is to provide great accuracy in their work that will stand up as evidence, if that is so required. This should be borne very much in mind when looking at what is attested by the Domingo (ib.) drawings.

          The role of the forensic artist leads us to expect great accuracy that would be enhanced if the head of the Sphinx were not covered in the Nemes form of crown that would attest the hair otherwise. It was seen that anti-Afrocentricism applied to Egypt can prompt glaring inconsistencies, omissions, errors, etc, by the above-cited experts. It has further interest that that those against Afrocentricism being  applied to the Americas also leads to the astonishing claim that braided hair was unknown in Africa (see Van Sertima ib.; West Af. & the Sea ib.). This comes from leading Americanists clearly very anxious disprove Afrocentricism can apply to the Americas.

           If nowhere else, “The Ancient Egyptian Type in the Flesh” (TAETF online) gives the visual lie to such claims when showing braided hair in West Africa and east Africa. This is in addition to what is written by Van Sertima (ib.) with east Africa still in mind, this includes what we have seen variously as Kush or Nubia and there are what Egyptologists have called “Nubian” style wigs. This means exactly what it says, namely that African hair-styles were being repeated in Egypt. Braided hair was recognised characteristic of what was called Ethiopia by Rome according to “On the Public Shows of Domitian” (online) by Martial (1st c. A. D.).  

           The related technique of plaited hair is example on a depiction shown by Meyerowitz (Man ib.) from Benin (Nigeria) and the sidelock was shown by Lucas (ib.) at Ife (Nigeria). They combine in more of the pictures on the TAETF website noted at the beginning of the previous paragraph showing this is in east Africa plus Egypt and in Egypt that they are shown as having been worn by the sons of Pharoahs (so the connection of this hairstyle with Royalty is seen right across Africa). Nor we should we forget what was already said about the circlets on the heads of easily the bulk of Africans. There are also the shared words of barsin/barshin referring to wooden headrests that are uncomfortable for all but those having the thick bushy hair of those that are described by TAETF as modern-day Beja compared with Beja-like Africans depicted in the murals in one of the tombs at Meir (Egypt).

          Shomarka Keita not generally categorised as an Afrocentric but he does reach not dissimilar conclusions. He gave a short account of his views in “The Geographical Origins and Population Relationships of Early Ancient Egyptians” (in Celenko ib.). Some what more expanded is “Studies and Comments on Ancient Biological Relationships” (in History in Africa 1993 & online). Keita has several other studies online.

        One of them is “Royal Incest & Diffusion in Africa” (American Ethnologist 1981 & online). At the end of this letter to American Ethnologist, he states very plainly that the diffusion he briefly looks at there is probably the “basic pattern from which Egyptian models arose because of unique conditions in Egypt.” These works should probably be read alongside “Genetics, Egypt & History: Interpreting Geographical Patterns of Y Chromosome by Messrs Keita & Boyce (History in Africa 2005 & online).  This can be said to stand for most of what is discussed here. Namely, that yes there were Africans in Pre-Dynastic Egypt.        

Harry Bourne