DISPERSION OF THE NOACHITES. 9
authorities--Rawlinson, Lenormant, Oppert, Peschel, Jubainville. The Egyptians were certainly pure Hamites, and they are still represented by the Fellaheen, or peasantry of the lower Nile; and especially by the Coptic Christians of the towns: The Hamitic Berbers, including Libyans, Moors, Numidians and Gaetulians are spread, intermingled with Semites and Europeans, through the countries of the Mediterranean, and through the Sahara. Other Hamitic nations, possessing a civilization far beyond that of any of the purely black races, occupy some of the regions about the Nile, especially in Nubia, and are scattered in distinct tribes, united by common linguistic elements, through Abyssinia, and in one direction as far as the heart of Africa, from eight degrees north to three degrees south, and in the other direction, from near Bab-el-Mandeb to Juba on the Indian ocean. The Hamitic dialects and Hamitic civilization, wherever they occur, are readily recognized as superior to any of the indigenous productions of the black races.
The antiquity of Hamitic civilization in Egypt is indicated by the recorded observations of the heliacal rising of the Dog Star. This is the rising of the Dog Star just before the sun, in the first thoth or month of the year. This is a conjunction which occurs only once in 1461 years We have a heliacal rising re-corded for 1322 B. C. The period, or Sothis, ending at that date began 2782 B. C. As the observations must, apparently, have extended through at least one preceding sothic period, to enable them to know its length, the Egyptian observations must have begun as early as 4243 B. C. This is the opinion of Lepsius (Chronologie der Aegypter pt. I. p. 165 seq.) Some other respectable authorities—as Lane, Poole, Brown and Wilkinson—dissent from the inference of so high an antiquity for the first Egyptian dynasty. They maintain that the " era of Menes " reaches back no farther than 2717 B. C.; and some second-hand Egyptologists would bring it down to 2464 B. C. It is impossible to discern the logic, if we could discover the motive, for the prevalent desire to cut down the period of Egyptian civilization, since nearly all the original investigators agree in assigning to it a high antiquity. The most moderate of the German authorities places Menes at 3892 B. C.; and " in his time the Egyptians had long