Science: Egyptian Kings and Queens Were Not Africans
The racial makeup of Egypt’s ancient rulers has long been the subject of speculation. The first ever genetic analysis of mummies performed by the Max Planck Institute throws a wrench in the Black Egyptian hypothesis made popular by Afrocentric academics, who claim that the kings of Egypt were black.
The research, published in Nature Communications, shows that Egyptian pharaohs were more closely related to West Asians than Africans, with strong genetic links to the Neolithic Levantine, Anatolian and European populations. The study found that modern Egyptians share more ancestry with Sub-Saharan Africans than the ancient Egyptians.
An international team of researchers sampled 151 mummies from the archaeological site of Abusir el-Meleq, along the Nile River in Middle Egypt, and recovered the mitochondrial genomes from 90 individuals, and genome-wide datasets from three individuals. The mummified Egyptians, who lived between 1400 BC to 400 AD, provided a rich source of genetic material for scientists to study. They were able to parse the data that they gathered to test previous hypotheses and studies from modern DNA, and released their findings.
“The genetics of the Abusir el-Meleq community did not undergo any major shifts during the 1,300-year timespan we studied, suggesting that the population remained genetically relatively unaffected by foreign conquest and rule,” said Max Planck Institute’s Wolfgang Haas in a press release. The data shows that modern Egyptians share 8% more ancestry with Sub-Saharan Africans than ancient Egyptians.
“This suggests that an increase in Sub-Saharan African gene flow into Egypt occurred within the last 1,500 years,” explained Stephan Schiffels, also of the Max Planck Institute.