American Egyptomania Search

"General Remarks on Types of Mankind"

Types of Mankind: or, Ethnological Researches, Based Upon the Ancient Monuments, Paintings, Sculptures, and Crania of Races, and Upon Their Natural, Geographical, Philological, and Biblical History (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1854), Chapter II

Browse scholarship by topic:

Art & Architecture


Fig. 1

The ancient Egyptian divisions of mankind into four species--fifteenth century B.C.

The above figures, which may be seen, in plates on a folio scale in the great works of Belzoni, Champollion, Rosellini, Lepsius, and others, are compiled, with corrections, from the smaller work of Champollion-Figeac. They display the Ret, the Namu, the Naheu, and the Tamhu, as the hieroglyphical inscription terms them; and although the effigies wa present are small, they portray a specimen of each type with sufficient accuracy to show that four races were very distince 3300 years ago. We have here, positively, a scientific puadrupartitie division of mankind into Red, Yellow, Black and White, antedating Maoses; whereas in the Xth chapter of Genesis, the sympolical division of "Shem, Ham and Japhet," is only tripartite-the Black being entirely omitted, as proved in PART II of this volume.

The appellative "Ret" applies exclusively to one race, viz., the Egyptian; but the other designations may be somewhat generic, each covering certain froyu[ps of races as di our terms Caucasian, Mongol &c., also including a considerable variety of types bearing general resemblance to one another in each group, though shades of color, features, and other pecularities, to be discussed hereafter.


A.--This figure, together with his three facsimile associates, extant on the original painted relievo, is, then, typical of the Egyptians, who are called in the hieroglyphics "Ret" or Race; meaning the Human race, par excellence. Like all other Eastern natons of antiquity--like the Jews, Hindoos, Chinese and others--the Egyptian regarded themselves alone as the chosen people of God, and contemptously looked down upon other races, reputing such to be Gentiles or outside-barbarians. The above representations of the Egyptian type is interesting, inasmuch as it is the word of an Egyptian artist, and must therefore be regarded as the Egyptian ideal representation of their own type. Out con-

Page 6