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On the Physical Characters of the Egyptians

Researches into the Physical History of Man (London: Arch, 1813), pp. 376-388


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379

It appears from the remark of Herodotus that woolly hair like that of the Negroes prevailed among the Egyptians, and by comparing this fact with the other characteristics mentioned by Lucian, we are led to infer that this nation had the distinguishing marks of the African race. This conclusion is confirmed by the observations of travellers, who have described some of the most ancient Egyptian monuments, and particularly the Sphinx which stands amidst the pyramids, and is probably coeval with those venerable fabricks. These figures have exactly the characteristic features of the Negro. (a)

The modern Copts are supposed, upon good reason, to be the representatives and genuine descendants of the ancient Egyptians. Egypt has indeed undergone many conquests, and from each has received some addition to its primitive stock of inhabitants. But the diversities of religion and of manners have prevented any considerable intermixture, and we find in Egypt at the present day several distinct races, the descendants of different nations, who have scarcely approximated in the least degree towards a common standard, but remain as clea 'y discriminated in their physical description as they are in moral character and in the habits of life. Such are the Mamlukes, Turks, Eedoains, Agri-

(a) Norden, Volney, Sonnini, Denon.



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