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Old September 20 2012, 06:06 AM   #316
Maurice
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Re: Ancient Aliens

The subject of the "race" of the ancient Egyptians remains debated a lot.
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Old September 20 2012, 06:37 AM   #317
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Maurice wrote: View Post
The subject of the "race" of the ancient Egyptians remains debated a lot.
Only in the context of old Judeo-Christian views of race, extruded through three hundred years of hardcore eurocentrism. Two practices which 1) glossed over dozens of distinct sub-groups and language families in favor of the theory that Africans in general were part of a single, inferior race and 2) considered Arab culture to be at least redeemable, if only it could be sufficiently "civilized". The desire to imagine the ancient Egyptians as having ALWAYS been closely related to Arabs is taken as proof that semitic peoples have always been capable of wonderful things and could be so again with the right leadership; they couldn't have been black, of course, because if any of the negroid races were capable of anything like that, maybe they still ARE? The first point is now outmoded, since there is no coherent political reason to affirm the god-given subservient nature of black people. The second, however, soldiers on, having evolved from the need to "Christianize" the heathen Arabs into the 21st century imperative to "Spread freedom and democracy" in the Muslim lands (spreading freedom and democracy in Africa is on the bottom of most people's priority list because... well, it's Africa, who the hell cares?).

Let's be perfectly clear about this: to the extent that any distinct "race" of human beings could be identified at all, there are phenotypical traits associated with specific regions on the planet, sub-groups that have more in common with one another than they do with anyone else (or did, originally, before historical forces tossed the genetic salad that is human biodiversity). I'm not saying that Cephren was a Bantu-speaking Zulu warlord or something, I'm saying it's safe to assume that an individual living in Pre-conquest Egypt would probably have physical features similar to other ethic groups in the same contiguous region.

That I should even have to SAY this a bit silly. It's like someone asking me to prove that Qin Shi Huang wasn't a Mongolian.

ETA: of course, this IS an "Ancient Aliens" thread, so it's a lot more likely that someone's going to suggest that Shi Huang was an alien.
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Old September 21 2012, 12:28 AM   #318
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Re: Ancient Aliens

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
What are you asking for, though? A genetic study proving that Khafra was actually black? You might as well ask for scientific evidence that Caesar was white.
I take that as a no, you don't have any evidence to back up your dogmatic statement. But it would be nice to at least have a mummy to test, but then we don’t have "Ra Khaf's" mummy do we?

I'm saying it's safe to assume that an individual living in Pre-conquest Egypt would probably have physical features similar to other ethic groups in the same contiguous region.
It's never safe to assume, especially in regards to a discipline that wants to be taken seriously as scientific, as Egyptology does, or for that matter, by any individual who wants what they say to be taken seriously.

Anyhow, there's plenty of evidence that the ancient "Khemitians" were a mixed people from the very beginning, (i.e. all those mummies we do have, among other things) to "assume" that they must have been black is to trade the current political correctness for the old Eurocentric PC, both are equally suspect. And all this speculation still doesn't get us any closer to a "scientific" answer; it's all pretty much guesswork.

But more to the point, there is a diorite statue, said by Egyptologists to be of Khafra, but the provenance is suspect, (i.e. his name isn’t written on it) so there is no certainty on the matter, and FWIW, it looks Caucasoid.

Then there's the Sphinx, said by Egyptologists to be carved in the likeness of Khafra, but again, there’s no certainty in the matter, and as pointed out already, it does look Negroid, and so these two supposed likenesses of Khafra don't even look like each other, and are clearly different people.

Bottom line is; nobody knows what Khafra looked like or what his ancestry was.
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Old September 21 2012, 01:07 AM   #319
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Re: Ancient Aliens

While Egypt had ties to Nubia, they also had ties to the Levant even before the New Kingdom (they also had ties to Yemen and Ethiopia, so things are all muddled). I've also heard a good argument that Upper Egypt was "Black" while Lower Egypt was "Middle Eastern." There's no real indication that Egyptians viewed race in a modern context.

I think it's quite possible that the Old Kingdom Egyptians were "black," but it also doesn't make a damned bit of difference so I don't think about it much.
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Old September 21 2012, 02:54 AM   #320
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
I think it's quite possible that the Old Kingdom Egyptians were "black," but it also doesn't make a damned bit of difference so I don't think about it much.
Let's not go there. Don't make this an issue about racial prejudice, the point is whether newtype_alpha's opinion that "Khafra was black" -stated (twice) as if were a self evident fact for all the world to see- is indeed, a fact. It is not.

But your point about Lower Egypt is well taken, we're not talking central Africa, or for that matter, central Asia or central Europe here. Lower Egypt is one of many "border regions" around the world where people from many racial and ethnic groups have always mingled, and so one would expect a more diverse population than one would find in the more central continental areas.

So whether Qin Shi Huang was or wasn't a Mongolian is beside the point.

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Old September 21 2012, 04:05 AM   #321
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Actually, I wasn't making it about racial prejudice. My point is that the Ancient Egyptians didn't seem to make a distinction so it apparently was a non-issue. This is different from Carthage, for example, who clearly distinguished themselves from the Numidians/Libyans/etc. who surrounded them.
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Old September 21 2012, 04:59 AM   #322
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Re: Ancient Aliens

TIN_MAN wrote: View Post
It's never safe to assume, especially in regards to a discipline that wants to be taken seriously as scientific, as Egyptology does
I'm not an Egyptologist, and neither are you. And you insisting on "scientific proof" that the monarch of an African nation would actually LOOK like an African means I am not really inclined to take you seriously either.

But more to the point, there is a diorite statue, said by Egyptologists to be of Khafra, but the provenance is suspect, (i.e. his name isn’t written on it) so there is no certainty on the matter
You're referring to this one, right?

it looks Caucasoid.
Not to me it doesn't. But I suppose "Where's your scientific proof" is logically equivalent to looking at a statue and saying "Er... looks caucusoid to me."

Regardless to the overall point: it's a question of basic facial features an individual in a particular region is likely to have. Egypt BECAME a mixed culture later in its history after extensive contact and intermixing with the Berbers and other Mediterranean/middle eastern powers. But Khafra's reign would have been in the old Kingdom, way too early for that, and like most of the population would have had facial features more similar to those found in the southern portion of the continent than the northern/eastern regions they had yet to have any long term contact with. Even the Berbers -- the closest thing there was to a Caucusoid race in North Africa at the time -- never made it as far as the Nile Delta before the New Kindgom.

And again, to even have to explain and defend this is almost asinine. We may not know what the first emperor of China looked like, but it's a foregone conclusion that he probably looked Chinese. The only reason -- and I do mean the ONLY reason -- this is not in dispute is because there's been no concerted effort to rewrite Chinese history to make it palatable to self-conscious westerners (Ergo, when artists do a rendering of Qin Shi Huang, they don't imagine that he looked like David Karadine.
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Old September 22 2012, 12:23 AM   #323
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Re: Ancient Aliens

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
I'm not an Egyptologist, and neither are you.
There you go assuming again. How do you know I'm not an Egyptologist?

And you insisting on "scientific proof" that the monarch of an African nation would actually LOOK like an African means I am not really inclined to take you seriously either.
You’re not following me, I'm not insisting on "scientific proof" that Khafra would actually LOOK African, I'm insisting that there is no scientific proof that he did. That you insist that he did is why I'm really inclined not to take your twice repeated dogmatic statement seriously, and neither should anyone else.

But I suppose "Where's your scientific proof" is logically equivalent to looking at a statue and saying "Er... looks caucusoid to me."
Again you’re assuming. I didn't say "Er... looks Caucasoid to me", I said "and FWIW, it looks Caucasoid", I was actually referring to others opinions that it does, not my own.

And I was in no way suggesting that this image represents "scientific proof" of any sort, just the opposite in fact, hence the "FWIW" that you conveniently ignored. Heck, personally, I doubt if it even is Khafra, but who knows? My point in mentioning it, and the sphinx likeness was (ironically) simply to show that uncertainty abounds in this sort of thing.

Regardless to the overall point: it's a question of basic facial features an individual in a particular region is likely to have. Egypt BECAME a mixed culture later in its history after extensive contact and intermixing with the Berbers and other Mediterranean/middle eastern powers. But Khafra's reign would have been in the old Kingdom, way too early for that, and like most of the population would have had facial features more similar to those found in the southern portion of the continent than the northern/eastern regions they had yet to have any long term contact with. Even the Berbers -- the closest thing there was to a Caucasoid race in North Africa at the time -- never made it as far as the Nile Delta before the New Kingdom.
Meh, If memory serves, there are life size painted wooden statues -representing Egyptians- dating from the old kingdom, that have glass (or crystal) corneas inserted in the eyes , which are blue in color, and also with light reddish-brown skin tone. So someone living as Egyptians in the old kingdom must have come -or gotten some of their genes from, some place besides central Africa.

And again, to even have to explain and defend this is almost asinine. We may not know what the first emperor of China looked like, but it's a foregone conclusion that he probably looked Chinese.
See previous reply. FWIW (there it is again, don't miss it this time ) there's actually evidence that other races were mingling in ancient China too, so who knows?

But since you consider it "asinine" to "explain and defend" why you present your personal opinions as self evident fact, there’s really no point in pursuing the subject, but it is another reason not to take your statements on the matter seriously.

The only reason -- and I do mean the ONLY reason -- this is not in dispute is because there's been no concerted effort to rewrite Chinese history to make it palatable to self-conscious westerners (Ergo, when artists do a rendering of Qin Shi Huang, they don't imagine that he looked like David Karadine.
Another of your oft-quoted opinions with little evidence to support it; this sounds like you’re advocating a "conspiracy theory"? How is this any different than the beliefs of others who say there is a government conspiracy to cover up alien contact, past and present? Both positions are equally unsupported by the facts.

Remember, your entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

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Old September 23 2012, 04:11 AM   #324
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Re: Ancient Aliens

TIN_MAN wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
I'm not an Egyptologist, and neither are you.
There you go assuming again. How do you know I'm not an Egyptologist?
Because if you were, you would have contributed something constructive by now on the subject other than pedantic half-objections.

You’re not following me, I'm not insisting on "scientific proof" that Khafra would actually LOOK African, I'm insisting that there is no scientific proof that he did.
We don't even have scientific proof that he was HUMAN.

dogmatic statement
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Meh, If memory serves, there are life size painted wooden statues -representing Egyptians- dating from the old kingdom, that have glass (or crystal) corneas inserted in the eyes , which are blue in color, and also with light reddish-brown skin tone.
I take it you've never seen a black man with blue eyes before?

But since you consider it "asinine" to "explain and defend" why you present your personal opinions as self evident fact
Self evident fact is self evident fact. Nothing personal about it.

Another of your oft-quoted opinions with little evidence to support it; this sounds like you’re advocating a "conspiracy theory"? How is this any different than the beliefs of others who say there is a government conspiracy to cover up alien contact, past and present?
Because there is no evidence of the existence of aliens ever having visited Earth. There IS evidence of scientific racism having a profound influence on the way European archeologists approached (and in some cases, STILL approach) their analysis of ancient civilizations.

Or wait, don't tell me... you need scientific evidence of the existence of racism too?
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Old September 23 2012, 09:54 AM   #325
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Is it important what the ancient Egyptians looked like? I mean aside from the umpty million drawings of them, that is.
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Old September 23 2012, 12:56 PM   #326
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Deckerd wrote: View Post
Is it important what the ancient Egyptians looked like? I mean aside from the umpty million drawings of them, that is.
I guess it is when some people still say (and I mean in general, answering this specific question, as I haven't followed the last couple of pages of who said what) "black primitives couldn't have built this stuff, so it must have been aliens or white Atlanteans."
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Old September 23 2012, 02:51 PM   #327
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Re: Ancient Aliens

I'm just going to quote wikipedia here:

Since the second half of the 20th century, scholarly consensus has held that applying modern notions of race to ancient Egypt is anachronistic. The 2001 Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt states that "Any characterization of race of the ancient Egyptians depends on modern cultural definitions, not on scientific study.”
That was kind of what I was saying above. The Egyptians didn't really identify themselves by race and it's quite possible they weren't one "race" in modern terms. They had a shared culture and shared gods and were ruled by a shared Pharaoh. That's what was really important to them.
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Old September 23 2012, 06:40 PM   #328
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Re: Ancient Aliens

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Because if you were, you would have contributed something constructive by now on the subject other than pedantic half-objections.
Translation; I would agree with you because, of course, all modern archeologists tow the PC party line about no Europeans or middle eastern types in Egypt during the old kingdom.

We don't even have scientific proof that he was HUMAN.
Oh, so now your conceding that he may have been and alien? But at least we agree there is no proof.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
I'm pretty sure I know what it means, but just to be safe I looked it up anyway, and here is the first definition that popped up, which is typical of the others; “of, pertaining to, or of the nature of a dogma or dogmas; doctrinal. 2. asserting opinions in a doctrinaire or arrogant manner; opinionated.The bolded type was –with variations- a common theme, so I think I’m safe.

So it seems you may be the one who doesn’t know what it means? But I guess you are referring to the strict literal definition, pertaining to religion? But it seems to me that your pretense to certainty applies to that definition as well, all of which is why I chose to use it.

I take it you've never seen a black man with blue eyes before?
Oh come on! You’re making this way too easy. Of course I have, green & grey eyes too, and they all have European ancestry (at least the ones I’ve met), which was exactly my point.

Self evident fact is self evident fact. Nothing personal about it.
Now this is an asinine statement. That’s what people said about the "self evident fact" that the Sun moves around a stationary Earth, to believe otherwise is a matter of personal opinion. Things aren’t always as they "self evidently" seem.

Because there is no evidence of the existence of aliens ever having visited Earth. There IS evidence of scientific racism having a profound influence on the way European archeologists approached (and in some cases, STILL approach) their analysis of ancient civilizations.
Sez you. But actually, I agree with you on the second sentence.

Or wait, don't tell me... you need scientific evidence of the existence of racism too?
You keep missing the point, nuff said.
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Old September 23 2012, 07:14 PM   #329
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
I'm just going to quote wikipedia here:

Since the second half of the 20th century, scholarly consensus has held that applying modern notions of race to ancient Egypt is anachronistic. The 2001 Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt states that "Any characterization of race of the ancient Egyptians depends on modern cultural definitions, not on scientific study.”
That was kind of what I was saying above. The Egyptians didn't really identify themselves by race and it's quite possible they weren't one "race" in modern terms. They had a shared culture and shared gods and were ruled by a shared Pharaoh. That's what was really important to them.
I agree, and this is an undercurrent to my main point. Regardless of how one chooses to slice and dice the human pie, there is tons of evidence that the Egyptians were -right from the start- a combination of many cultural, ethnic, racial and other influences.

If this is indeed true, as seems likely, then it just goes to show what can be accomplished when diversity flourishes; the result being one of the, if not the greatest civilizations the world has ever seen!

To insist, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary, that the black race alone was responsible for the greatness that was ancient Egypt, and that it only began to decay with the late influx of (white) immigrants, is to prefer one form of racism over another.
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Old September 24 2012, 12:45 AM   #330
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
I'm just going to quote wikipedia here:

Since the second half of the 20th century, scholarly consensus has held that applying modern notions of race to ancient Egypt is anachronistic. The 2001 Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt states that "Any characterization of race of the ancient Egyptians depends on modern cultural definitions, not on scientific study.”
That was kind of what I was saying above. The Egyptians didn't really identify themselves by race and it's quite possible they weren't one "race" in modern terms. They had a shared culture and shared gods and were ruled by a shared Pharaoh. That's what was really important to them.
I get that, of course. It's not much deeper, though, than Castellan being puzzled as to why Cepheren/Khafra "looks like a black woman." Which immediately begs the question "Were you expecting him to look like a WHITE woman?"

More significantly: "black" isn't a race. "Black" is a physical descriptor for a dark-skinned person of distantly African descent and the set of characteristics they could be expected to have. The RACIAL identities of black people is a lot more complicated, but apparently distinct enough that people familiar with them can tell them apart (e.g. the Hutus once attempted to exterminate the Watutsis from Rwanda, much to the bemusement of white people everywhere). It's a pretty broad set of characteristics one usually finds among Africans, and with only a few notable exceptions (the Berbers, for example) those characteristics were a lot more widespread in the centuries before the Macedonian and Persian empires.

Translation; I would agree with you because, of course, all modern archeologists tow the PC party line about no Europeans or middle eastern types in Egypt during the old kingdom.
From what I know of ancient history, the old kingdom being ruled by a European family is only slightly more likely than it being ruled by aliens.

Oh, so now your conceding that he may have been and alien?
I'm conceding that at the level of your objections he could have been a trained monkey. But that would require an explanation as to why the Egyptians would have attempted to train a monkey to rule their empire as a Pharaoh, which would be just as hard to come by as an explanation for how exactly a foreigner managed to ascend the throne of Egypt in 2400 B.C.

Maybe it's like "Last of the Mohicans" or "The Last Samurai" or even "Avatar", one of those situations where an indigenous society thousands of years old nevertheless falls under the sway of some random white guy who just got here an hour ago?

I'm pretty sure I know what it means
I'm pretty sure you think you know ALOT of things. For example:

Oh come on! You’re making this way too easy. Of course I have, green & grey eyes too, and they all have European ancestry
And SURELY you expect me to believe you've actually traced the ancestry of all of these people.

Now this is an asinine statement. That’s what people said about the "self evident fact" that the Sun moves around a stationary Earth...
Or the "self evident" fact that all men are created equal. In BOTH cases, it took a huge amount of research by a lot of very interested people to prove otherwise, and research in the latter case came to be known as "scientific racism."

Just because a fact is self-evident doesn't make it wrong. It means that you had better provide some compelling arguments to prove that the most obvious explanation isn't the true one. Unfortunately, it remains the case that if you gather enough data and compile it the right way, you can prove or disprove just about anything and then slap an authoritative label on your findings.

ETA: I had heard about this before but forgot the name of the group. I've been told that blue eyes is an unusually common trait for the Denka Bor tribe in Sudan (couple hundred miles south of Egypt). Also unable to track down the study I used to have a bookmark for that the mutation for blue eyes occurs in 5 to 12 percent of West Africans (higher or lower figures depend on whether the trait is associated with other conditions like Waardenberg Syndrome; IIRC, 6% of the time it's associated with nothing at all).
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