Doggone dogma

To the editor:

I would like to offer a point of correction to both Chris Danielson and Mosheh Arif Saba Adamu. (Is his name getting longer?)

Generally, Danielson is on solid epistemological and historical ground, while Adamu is mired in dogma.

Unfortunately, Danielson is only partly right about the genetic heritage of Egyptians. He erroneously concludes that Egyptians were "a Mediterranean people" and "they were darker in skin color than modern Europeans." Egyptians were in fact a mixture. They were Mediterranean Indo-European and black African. Archaeological and historical evidence, as well as modern analogy, points to the fact that Egypt was a genetic "melting pot." Egypt was a gateway to the East, West and the whole of Africa. Egyptians were dark-skinned because they were Indo-European/Asiatic and black, not one or the other. Throughout various points in time, there were influxes of "black" genes and Indo-European genes. Even today this can be readily seen throughout Muslim North Africa. This can be extended to include the Moors as well.

As to sources, I suggest consulting Berry and Berry in Population Biology of the Ancient Egyptians (New York: Academic Press, 1973) and J. Lawrence Angel in the same volume.

Also of interest might be the September/October 1992 issues of Archaeology, which feature John Coleman's "Did Egypt Shape the Glory that was Greece?" as well as Martin Bernal's rebuttal, "The Case for Massive Egyptian Influence in the Aegean." Both of these views lend some credence to the highly mixed nature of Egyptian heritage.

Jedidiah (Jed) Kalanu Shepler

junior, anthropology

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