I am currently taking a course on Ancient Egypt at my college. 'So exciting!' I thought as I finalized my registration. We are in the third week now and that excitement I thought would be there has not emerged as of yet. Don't get me wrong, sitting in a class and listening to an Archeologist/Professor is cool but as of now, we are only covering basic stuff. So, of course, a fellow student brought up that most basic question, "Who were the Ancient Egyptians?" So as to clarify, the professor asked, "Do you mean what race were the Ancient Egyptians?" The student confirmed that's what he meant. The Professor shared with us that he is always asked that question by the second class (this was the first class). The first thing he said was, "Look at their statues. That's what they looked like. They were African people, Black African peoples. The people who inhabit the area now are not the Ancient Egyptians."
The student, confused, then asked, "How come they look white in drawings?" The Professor then mentioned that the Egyptians did not view color as we do today. In art, human beings are depicted in various colors-white, red, blue... Then I mentioned green also, since Osiris is depicted with green skin to show fertility. He said that every color symbolizes something much deeper than mere skin pigmentation.
The professor was happy to clarify any misconceptions with regard to the origin of the Ancient Egyptians because, as he mentioned, there are many old books written by Europeans, that should be burned, that falsely claim that Egyptians had an European origin. This was all part of a plan to establish European dominance, by fooling the masses into believing that the achievements of these people were due to their dominant European intelligence.
For the past three classes, the student who brought up the question, still won't let it go. Every little thing he learns, he tries to use that as evidence that the Ancient Egyptians were European. To appease him, I believe, the professor told him that Ancient Greece and Rome did have contact with the Egyptians in their later period, as well as other civilizations.
It's unfortunate that we as human beings think in Crayola Crayon Colors. The human mind is so powerful, it is an enigma to scientists. Yet we demean it by thinking in basic black, white, yellow and red. How about maroon and pewter? Just joking.
Nonetheless, I am enjoying my class. I will keep you posted.