Nappy Hair on the Ancient
get emails all of the time professing the whiteness of ancient
Egypt. Before you write do your homework. All you have
to do is pick up a world history book written by Caucasian authors
and use the reading comprehension you were taught in the second and
Egypt was not invaded by Rome until 300 BC. The Bible was
probably written 4000 - 5000 years ago. Where were the white people in the
Why change the color of history?
Ancient Egyptian Wig
Royal Ontario Museum
July 8, 2001
Egyptology: Hanging in the Hair
by Anu M'bantu and Fari Supia
mummies on display in the world's museums exhibit Caucasoid-looking
hair in shades that stem from brown to blonde. These mummies include Pharaoh Seqenenre Tao of the 17th dynasty and the 19th dynasty's Rameses
II. As one scholar put it: "The most common hair color, then as now, was
a very dark brown, almost black color although natural auburn and even
rather surprisingly blonde hair are also to be found."
When growing up, my grandmother used to tell me that the one
give-a-way of a person trying to "pass" was hair texture. Even
in the magazine articles "back in the day," curly hair was a dead
giveaway for African Ancestry. You can tell by microscopic examination
of a cross-section of hair to what race that person belongs."
Trichology is the
scientific analysis of hair. An instrument called a trichometer
is used to measure the cross-section of a hair shaft. From this you can get measurements for the minimum and
maximum diameter of a hair. The minimum measurement is then divided by
the maximum and then multiplied by a hundred. This produces an index.
A survey of the scientific literature produces the following breakdown
of the analysis:
San, Southern African
Zulu, Southern African
35 to 65
early 1970s, the Czech anthropologist Eugen Strouhal examined
pre-dynastic Egyptian skulls at Cambridge University. He sent some
samples of the hair to the Institute of Anthropology at Charles
University, Prague, to be analyzed. The hair samples were described as
varying in texture from "wavy" to "curly" and in colour from "light
brown" to "black". Strouhal summarized the results of the analysis:
outline of the cross-sections of the hairs was flattened, with indices
ranging from 35 to 65. These peculiarities also show the Negroid
inference among the Badarians (pre-dynastic Egyptians)." The term "Negroid influence"
suggests intermixture, but as the table suggests this hair is more
"Negroid" than the San and the Zulu samples, currently the most
Negroid hair in existence!
another study, hair samples from ten 18th-25th dynasty individuals
produced an average index of 51! As far back as 1877, Dr. Pruner-Bey
analyzed six ancient Egyptian hair samples. Their average index of
64.4 was similar to the Tasmanians who lie at the periphery of the
of Italian anthropologists published their research in the Journal
of Human Evolution in 1972 and 1980. They measured two samples
consisting of 26 individuals from pre-dynastic, 12th dynasty and
18th dynasty mummies. They produced a mean index of 66.50. The
overall average of all four sets of ancient Egyptian hair samples
was 60.02. Sounds familiar . . ., just check the table!
microscopic analysis shows ancient Egyptian hair to be completely
African, why does the hair look Caucasoid? Research has given us the
is made of keratin protein. Keratin is composed of amino acid chains
called polypeptides. In a hair, two such chains are called
cross-chain polypeptides. These are held together by disulphide
bonds. The bulk of the hair, the source of its strength and curl, is
called the cortex. The hair shafts are made of a protective outer
layer called the cuticle.
informed by Afro Hair - A Salon Book, that chemicals for bleaching,
penning and straightening hair must reach the cortex to be
effective. For hair to be permed or straightened the disulphide
bonds in the cortex must be broken. The anthropologist Daniel Hardy
writing in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, tells us
that keratin is stable owing to disulphide bonds. However, when hair
is exposed to harsh conditions it can lead to oxidation of protein
molecules in the cortex, which leads to the alteration of hair
texture, such as straightening.
British anthropologists, Brothwell and Spearman, have found evidence
of cortex keratin oxidation in ancient Egyptian hair. They held that
the mummification process was responsible, because of the strong
alkaline substance used. This resulted in the yellowing and browning
of hair as well as the straightening effect.
means that visual appearance of the hair on mummies cannot disguise
their racial affinities. The presence of blonde and brown hair on
ancient Egyptian mummies has nothing to do with their racial
identity and everything to do with mummification and the passage of
time. As the studies have shown, when you put the evidence under a
microscope the truth comes out. At last, Egyptology's prayers have
been answered. It has been put out of its misery.
tombstone reads Egyptology, R.I.P June 2001.
and wig-box found in an Egyptian tomb
Image ID: 825265
Egyptian wig is made of human hair attached to a net.
Dynasty Egypt (The Same Dynasty of Moses & Abraham)
border: "The above is a photograph of an Egyptian wig for a lady, in the
style of the 18th dynasty, B.C. 1400, and also a wig-box made of kash or
writing reeds, discovered in a tomb at Thebes. The excellent state of
preservation in which these two objects were found is wonderful." (New
York Public Library).
misconception that all hair turns red over archaeological timescales has
found its way into archaeological folklore. Whilst certain environments
such as those producing bog bodies are known to yield hair of a
red-brown color, in part because of the breakdown of organic matter and
presence of humic acids which impart a brown color to recovered remains,
it has commonly been assumed that this happens to all archaeological
hair. This concept has been perpetuated by popular nicknames such as
"Ginger"--affectionately given to the Pre-dynastic burial with red hair
on display in the mummy rooms at the British Museum.
Coloring in Africa (Henna in Ancient Egypt)
Ahmose-Henttimehu 17th Dynasty (1574 BC): Henttimehu was probably a
daughter of Seqnenre-Taa II and Ahmose-Inhapi.
reports that the mummy of Henttimehu own hair had been dyed a bright red
at the sides, probably with henna.
G. Elliott Smith, The Royal Mummies, Duckworth Publishing; (September,
of King Tutankhamun
BC (18th Dynasty, Egypt)
Dynasty Egypt (The Same Dynasty of Moses & Abraham)
knee on the ground and the other up and forward in a kneeling position.
Her arms are raised before her in prayer. She wears a Nubian wig often
seen on Amarna's royal women.
text from the book Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, by
Zahi Hawass, National Geographic, 2005.