WEBVTT 00:00:00.860 --> 00:00:04.520 What we’re going to be talking about in this video is what some people may consider 00:00:04.520 --> 00:00:09.260 a controversial subject as with most videos on this channel but also one worthy of study 00:00:11.520 --> 00:00:16.160 Do we really know, genetically speaking, where ancient Egyptians came from? 00:00:20.860 --> 00:00:25.360 When we try to imagine what Ancient Egypt may have looked like, some of us immediately 00:00:25.360 --> 00:00:30.360 picture a civilization populated by citizens with dark skin and dark hair. 00:00:30.370 --> 00:00:32.110 But was that truly the case? 00:00:32.110 --> 00:00:37.690 At the time when graves of mummies were discovered more than a hundred years ago, a general expectation 00:00:37.690 --> 00:00:40.930 was that the early Egyptians were of Negroid origin. 00:00:40.930 --> 00:00:46.260 But in our enlightened and technologically-advanced era, where we possess greatly-enhanced capabilities 00:00:46.260 --> 00:00:51.100 in forensic science, certain mind-blowing archaeological discoveries and evidences have 00:00:51.100 --> 00:00:55.649 emerged that are not exactly supportive of the seemingly universally known fact that 00:00:55.649 --> 00:00:59.539 dynastic Egyptians were exclusively of black African origin. 00:00:59.539 --> 00:01:03.310 All shades of hair were found around the time of Ancient Egypt’s civilization – from 00:01:03.310 --> 00:01:06.080 brown to blonde, and even auburn and red. 00:01:06.080 --> 00:01:10.110 Today, these hair colors are found among the people of North Europe and North America, 00:01:10.110 --> 00:01:12.970 and are indicative of Caucasian origins. 00:01:12.970 --> 00:01:18.280 Does this mean there were fair-skinned, blonde or red-haired ancient Egyptians prior and 00:01:18.280 --> 00:01:20.200 during Egypt’s dynastic period? 00:01:20.220 --> 00:01:26.360 There is a theory suggesting that prior to 2000 BC, Egyptians were of Caucasoid-European ethnicity 00:01:26.560 --> 00:01:30.420 This is supported by the physical anthropology of the oldest mummies that have been found, 00:01:30.420 --> 00:01:35.330 the busts and statues of several pharaohs and their wives, the colored wall paintings 00:01:35.330 --> 00:01:38.340 discovered, and the descriptions provided in historical accounts. 00:01:38.340 --> 00:01:44.890 As early as 5000 BC, the majority of the Caucasoid-European occupants of Egypt were believed to have begun 00:01:44.890 --> 00:01:49.110 abandoning the increasingly warm country, and headed to the cooler climates of Europe. 00:01:49.110 --> 00:01:54.380 Then, after about 1500 BC, the population in the area became increasingly mixed with 00:01:54.380 --> 00:01:58.020 the Nubians from the South of Egypt, which explains the typical physical appearance and 00:01:58.020 --> 00:02:00.370 genetic makeup of modern-day Egyptians. 00:02:00.370 --> 00:02:05.549 This theory strongly refutes the ideas of Afrocentrism with the presentation of several 00:02:05.549 --> 00:02:10.360 archaeological, anthropological and forensic evidences, three of which I am about to discuss 00:02:10.360 --> 00:02:11.360 with you now. 00:02:11.360 --> 00:02:16.510 One of the most famous cases of mummies of Ancient Egypt that had red or blonde hair 00:02:16.510 --> 00:02:21.020 is one of the Gebelein pre-dynastic mummies which is housed in the British Museum. 00:02:21.020 --> 00:02:25.700 Commonly referred to by curators and the public as “Ginger,” this ancestor from ancient 00:02:25.700 --> 00:02:31.120 Egypt died more than five thousand years ago, in the Late Pre-dynastic period, around 3400 00:02:31.120 --> 00:02:32.370 BC or earlier. 00:02:32.370 --> 00:02:37.230 His mummified body was found in a cemetery at Gebelein, Egypt, with his toe and finger 00:02:37.230 --> 00:02:38.560 nails perfectly preserved. 00:02:38.560 --> 00:02:43.180 He was given the nickname of “Ginger” because of his golden curly hair, which interestingly, 00:02:43.180 --> 00:02:47.590 looks similar to the curly locks often seen on Greek and Roman sculptures. 00:02:47.590 --> 00:02:51.599 And although his body is stained from being buried in the sand for more than 5,000 years, 00:02:51.599 --> 00:02:56.030 this Egyptian ancestor looked like he once had yellowish-white skin. 00:02:56.030 --> 00:03:00.550 Another example of uncovered red-haired mummies from Ancient Egypt are the ones found among 00:03:00.550 --> 00:03:05.650 thousands of other mummies by a group of archeologists in the Fag el-Gamous graveyard in the south 00:03:05.650 --> 00:03:06.480 of Cairo. 00:03:06.480 --> 00:03:10.300 Archaeologists from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah have been excavating the Fag 00:03:10.380 --> 00:03:14.540 el-Gamous cemetery for about 30 years, and they have established that many of the mummies 00:03:14.540 --> 00:03:18.900 they have found date back date back to 30 BC, which is around the time when the Roman 00:03:18.900 --> 00:03:21.459 or Byzantine Empire ruled Egypt. 00:03:21.459 --> 00:03:25.470 Researchers reached the conclusion that there were more than a million bodies within this 00:03:25.470 --> 00:03:28.349 cemetery, and it was also revealed that the Fag el-Gamous graveyard was not intended for 00:03:28.349 --> 00:03:30.049 royalty, but for the common people. 00:03:30.049 --> 00:03:33.870 There were many interesting discoveries that were uncovered in the excavation of this ancient 00:03:33.870 --> 00:03:37.849 cemetery and the analysis of the mummies found buried in the area, and one of them is the 00:03:37.849 --> 00:03:42.380 observation that the mummies appear to be clustered together according to hair color. 00:03:42.380 --> 00:03:47.940 They found blonde-haired mummies in one area, while another area was filled with red-haired ones 00:03:47.940 --> 00:03:52.480 This led to the overall impression that the clusters of mummies buried by hair color in 00:03:52.489 --> 00:03:57.060 the graveyard could be indicative that these people once belonged in the same family groups, 00:03:57.060 --> 00:03:58.940 and therefore, were related with each other. 00:03:58.940 --> 00:04:03.530 This also speaks volumes of the possibility that a small but significant part of ancient 00:04:03.530 --> 00:04:07.190 Egypt’s population were red-haired or blonde-haired individuals. 00:04:07.190 --> 00:04:11.920 The last case of red-haired Egyptian mummies we will be discussing is the preserved body 00:04:11.920 --> 00:04:16.220 of Ramesses II – who is arguably the most famous of all the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. 00:04:16.220 --> 00:04:23.020 Ramesses II ruled as a Pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty between 1279 to 1213 BC, and is believed 00:04:23.020 --> 00:04:28.220 to be the one who reigned when the Children of Israel were liberated through the prophet 00:04:28.220 --> 00:04:28.980 Moses 00:04:28.980 --> 00:04:34.240 In 1975, the Egyptian government tasked French scientists to attempt the preservation of 00:04:34.240 --> 00:04:35.300 Ramesses’s mummy. 00:04:35.300 --> 00:04:39.400 This opened an opportunity for researchers to determine his age, body condition, health, 00:04:39.400 --> 00:04:41.400 diet, and even his racial affinities. 00:04:41.400 --> 00:04:44.580 There were those who were of the opinion that Ramesses II was black. 00:04:44.580 --> 00:04:47.250 However, according to the study conducted by Professor P.F. 00:04:47.250 --> 00:04:51.310 Ceccaldi and his research team, microscopic examinations of the pharaoh’s hair roots 00:04:51.310 --> 00:04:56.889 showed that his hair had natural red pigments, which meant that in his younger years, Ramesses 00:04:56.889 --> 00:04:58.419 II was a red head. 00:04:58.419 --> 00:05:02.860 Moreover, it was also determined that Ramesses had wavy hair, and a combination of these 00:05:02.860 --> 00:05:05.900 features meant that the pharaoh was fair-skinned. 00:05:05.900 --> 00:05:10.580 While there has been enough evidence for some experts to conclude that some ancient Egyptians 00:05:10.580 --> 00:05:14.990 were blonde or red-haired – there are still many researchers who believe that there were 00:05:14.990 --> 00:05:19.520 no Ancient Egyptians whose natural hair weren’t dark brown or black. 00:05:19.520 --> 00:05:23.940 Some of these skeptics argue that mummies found with light-colored strands of hair can 00:05:23.940 --> 00:05:27.300 be explained by the effects of the mummification process itself. 00:05:27.300 --> 00:05:31.270 And so, to find a definitive answer to this intriguing question about the effects of the 00:05:31.270 --> 00:05:36.229 mummification process on human hair, Dr. Janet Davey from the Victorian Institute of Forensic 00:05:36.229 --> 00:05:41.360 Medicine in Australia decided to conduct experiments on 16 hair samples from men and women aged 00:05:41.360 --> 00:05:43.610 between 4 and 92 years old. 00:05:43.610 --> 00:05:48.180 Most of the hair samples were dark-colored, but for comparison, one of the sample strands 00:05:48.180 --> 00:05:50.389 was gray, while another one was fair. 00:05:50.389 --> 00:05:52.260 There was also one strand with henna on it. 00:05:52.260 --> 00:05:57.180 Davey and her colleague, retired industrial chemist Alan Elliot, also prepared some powder 00:05:57.180 --> 00:05:59.680 of synthetic natron for their experiment. 00:05:59.680 --> 00:06:03.789 Natron was a type of salt that was applied on the bodies during the process of mummification 00:06:03.789 --> 00:06:04.789 to dry them out. 00:06:04.789 --> 00:06:08.900 It has also been linked to the supposed change in the hair color of the human remains. 00:06:08.900 --> 00:06:13.020 Davey and Elliot covered the hair samples in synthetic natron for 40 days – the same 00:06:13.020 --> 00:06:17.410 amount of time believed to be required back in ancient times to dry out human bodies. 00:06:17.410 --> 00:06:22.460 When the 40-day period had passed, the samples were removed from the salty powder, and after 00:06:22.460 --> 00:06:27.770 undergoing microscopic analysis, it was determined that there was no change in the color of the 00:06:27.770 --> 00:06:28.980 hair samples at all. 00:06:28.980 --> 00:06:33.819 For Dr. Davey, the result of her experiment is convincing enough to say that fair-haired 00:06:33.819 --> 00:06:38.889 Egyptians did exist in Ancient Egypt; it’s just that finding fair-haired Egyptian mummies 00:06:38.889 --> 00:06:41.410 has so far been a very rare occurrence. 00:06:41.410 --> 00:06:45.889 Some ancient Egyptians could have been blue-eyed blondes or red heads, and while the country 00:06:45.889 --> 00:06:50.360 during those times was not as multi-cultural as several parts of the world are today, there 00:06:50.360 --> 00:06:55.610 were certainly a variety of racial mixes that made the existence of fair-skinned Egyptians 00:06:55.610 --> 00:06:56.440 possible. 00:06:56.440 --> 00:06:58.680 Now, is this discovery particularly earth-shattering? 00:06:58.680 --> 00:07:02.039 Well, it depends on which vantage point you are analyzing the evidences from. 00:07:02.039 --> 00:07:06.990 It remains a fact that a majority of Egyptians today are dark-haired and dark-skinned. 00:07:06.990 --> 00:07:12.190 These archaeological, anthropological and forensic evidences merely attest to a not-so 00:07:12.190 --> 00:07:16.920 implausible reality that, at some point in its ancient history, there were a portion 00:07:16.920 --> 00:07:20.300 of the people in Egypt who were red or blonde-haired and fair-skinned. 00:07:20.300 --> 00:07:24.320 In our modern world, individuals of different race and ethnicities encounter and mingle 00:07:24.320 --> 00:07:26.389 with each other like a natural habit, if not an inescapable necessity. 00:07:26.389 --> 00:07:30.220 So, is it really that surprising that our ancestors did the same thing thousands of 00:07:30.220 --> 00:07:30.800 years ago?