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If Ancient Egyptians were Negroes, then European Civilization is but a Derivation of African Achievements

John Koskey Chang’ach*

Department of Educational Foundations, Moi University, School of Education, Kenya

Corresponding Author:
Dr. John Koskey Chang’ach
Department of Educational Foundations
Moi University, School of Education, Kenya
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: September 10, 2014; Accepted Date: April 30, 2015; Published Date: May 07, 2015

Citation: Chang’ach JK (2015) If Ancient Egyptians were Negroes, then European Civilization is but a Derivation of African Achievements. Arts Social Sci J 6:098. doi: 10.4172/2151-6200.1000098

Copyright: © 2015 Chang’ach JK . This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Abstract

In this paper, it is of necessity to look at the background information concerning Africa in order to understand the statement that Egyptians were Negroes. It is of paramount interest to briefly explain the African heritage of history. The author enters this controversy as a proud disciple of Prof. Diop and other distinguished scholars who have relied on evidence rather than passion in their pursuit for the overall acceptance of their position by the moguls of Western academia; the author is inclined to follow this course. It is clear to the author that Western authority, as a whole has conspired to suppress, distort or ignore African history with the intent of perpetuating white supremacy and hegemony and this deeply entrenched practice will not give way to the truth simply because the truth is right, just or supported by solid evidence. Therefore, this paper is not intended as another debate with Western scholars over whether the ancient Egyptians as a general rule were black. The author’s opinion in this issue has been settled in the affirmative.

Keywords

Ancient Egypt; Negroes; European civilization; Derivation; African achievements; African historiography

Introduction

Africa is probably the oldest continent. Most of it consists of ancient rocks which have changed little in structure since they first took shape some 200 million years, ago. Still larger than the Africa of today, that most ancient continent has been named Gondwanaland. Huge fragments then broke away from Gondwanaland and became India, Australia, and South America. This explanation of the theory is known as ‘continental drift’ [1].

Whether or not this theory is right, Africa can certainly claim to be the birthplace of mankind. Science in the past half-century has shown that the earliest ancestors of ourselves evolved in Africa, and from Africa, spread around the world in developing the various branches of mankind that we know today.

European Civilization as Derivation of African Achievements

Africa’s own civilization is seen to have developed from the onset of the Neolithic or New Stone Age some 10,000 year ago. Their most important region of early development was the vast plain land of the green Sahara, as it then was, the black peoples multiplied and spread, eventually creating the great civilizations of Pharaonic Egypt and the Nile valley.

Elsewhere across the vast Tropical and Southern regions of the continent the black peoples of ancient times progressed from one phase of development to another. They introduced cattle. They invented methods of growing food crops under Tropical conditions. After about 500 B.C. they began smelting and forging iron for tools. They tamed their difficult continent. At the same time, they evolved their own religious and social beliefs, methods of self-governments and ways of keeping the peace.

All this had to be done against the problems of an often very hostile ecology and climate not only is Africa big but so big that the whole of the united states of America could be contained within it several times over-but Africa is also a continent of great natural variation. Most of it stretches between the latitudes of 35° north and 35° south of the Equator. Within this huge area there are countless differences of rainfall, soil fertility, plant and animal life and each of these has challenged the survival of mankind. However, the survival has required a constant self-adjustment. Nothing has been easy; nothing has been guaranteed [1].

But new challenges to the black peoples, a different kind of challenge offering new opportunities but bringing new dangers, began some 500 years ago. That was when the ‘outside world’ largely the European ‘world’ first reached the African scene in a direct and frequent way. This new contact with Europe brought gains to Africa as well as to Europe brought gains to Africa as well as to Europe, especially in the exchange of goods and ideas. But the Europeans have a hidden agenda for they were biased, they skewed sources of information to fit them and their arguments concerning Africa, they withheld documents and falsified evidence, therefore establishing the Euro-centric concept of Africa.

The Euro-driven essayists of dark progress deliberately covered the racial character of their instructors keeping in mind the end goal to assume acknowledgment for Africa’s achievements and deny her (Africa’s) beneficiaries the poise of those knowing their actual hereditary legacy. So it is important to assert the obscurity of those old bosses keeping in mind the end goal to recover the vagrants of these creators of progress [2]. The fathers of human advancement did not underline race as premise of their enormity but rather the Eurodriven authors chose to utilize racial personalities in distinguishing the creators of development.

Over the past quarter of a century during which Americans and Europeans have gradually lost their total monopoly on the study and interpretation of world history (and such allied fields as anthropology, archaeology and paleontology), there have emerged two distinct positions on the racial identity of the ancient Egyptian people. One view which was introduced by the nineteenth century Egyptologists and has dominated western scientific thinking ever since, is that the people who lived in Ancient Egypt were ‘white’ even though their pigmentation was dark, or even black, as early as the pre-dynamic period. Little evidence has been presented in support of this position, but it has survived largely if not entirely on the strength of the reputation, power and influence of the scientists and scholars who espouse it.

The contradicting perspective which holds that ‘old Egypt was inhabited’ from its Neolithic early stages to the end of the local traditions by Black Africans seems to have been the main supposition on the subject from the season of the antiquated Hebrews and Greeks until the conception of study of Egyptology in Europe over a century prior.

During the 20th century the latter view has been resurrected in the writings of such African-American scholars as W.E.B. Dubois, William L. Hansberry, J. A. Rogers, Carter G. Woodson, Chancellor Williams, Yosef Ben Jochanan and John Herike Clark and a number of African Scholars including Cheikh Anta Diop and T. Obenga. They have all supported the idea that African civilization influenced the rest of the world. Undoubtedly because of their defensive position in the face of the awesome might of western scholarship, the advocates of a Black Egypt have been most meticulous in proving their case as they seek to change prevailing opinion. To prove their points scholars such as Diop relies on anthropology, iconography, melanin dosage, tests osteological measurements, blood groupings, the testimony of classical writers, self descriptive Egyptian hieroglyphic, divine epithets, Biblical eyewitnesses, linguistics and various cultural data in support of his opinions regarding the ethnicity of the ancient Egyptian [3].

The Euro-driven creators were astonished to find an advanced Egyptian improvement. They started examining the coordinators of that advance. Is it genuine that it was made by Blacks, Whites, or Arabs? To them it was made by the Whites, on the other hand, my inclination is that it was made by the Blacks.

Consequently, Pharaonic culture has always been a source of fascination, even to those unable to understand the profunsity of a system in which everything gives an impression of permanence and unchanging wisdom. The Greeks travelers were particularly guilty of misrepresentation. Unable to convey a true sense of Egypt’s basic values to their Greek audience, they tended instead to use Egypt as a vehicle for the ideas which already interested them. They presented it as an impressive and mysterious fountainhead of human thought, where a remarkably advanced level of civilization had been achieved but they clearly regarded Egyptian civilization simply as a stage in development towards the perfect Greek version. Their descriptions of Egyptian culture were characterized both by unbridled enthusiasm and by a distinct sense of uncertainty when they were confronted by customs of which they invariably misunderstood the origins [2].

Therefore, the researcher will start the arguments by stressing that European civilization is derivation of African achievements. The researcher will then assess how the Egyptologists have interfered with the history of Africa, and Africans in general.

No history of humankind has been distorted as that of Africa and the Africans. The distorted picture and the lies about Africa suited human trade handsomely and justified colonialism magnificently in the eyes of the invading Europeans to enable them rape Africa [4].

Africa has been portrayed by Euro-centric historians as a continent that is devoid of history and therefore Africa and its inhabitants (Africans) are not part and parcel of world history.

For a long time all kinds of myths and prejudices concealed the true history of Africa from the world at large. African societies were looked upon as societies that could have no history. In fact there was a refusal to see Africans as creators of original cultures which flowered and survived over the centuries in patterns of their own making and which historians are unable to grasp unless they forgo their prejudices and rethink approach. Furthermore the continent of Africa was hardly ever looked upon as a historical entity, on the contrary emphasis was laid on everything likely to lend credence to the idea that a split had existed from time immemorial between a ‘white Africa’ and a ‘Black Africa’ each unaware of the other’s existence.

The mainstream of European scholarship was beginning to take an increasingly unfavourable view of non-Europeans societies and to assert that they had no history worth studying. Essentially this attitude resulted from a conjunction of streams of thought deriving from the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the growing scientific revolution. The result was that building upon what was regarded as a unique Greco-Roman heritages power and wealth of their society were so strong that it must prevail over all others, therefore its history was the key to understanding the history of all other societies was irrelevant. This attitude was applicable to Africa, since Europeans by now hardly knew Africa or Africans at all outside the context of the slave trade.

Hegel says Africa ‘is not a historical content, it shows neither change nor development and that its Negro peoples were ‘capable of neither development not education’ as we see them today, so they have always been’ [5].

Therefore, it can be argued that the 19th century writers are trying to expose their ignorance of ancient history and seem to have forgotten that the history of Africa was still old when European history was not yet born.

Some historians from Europe omitted African in their discussion for example a recent Regius Professor of modern history at Oxford University, Hugh Trevor Roper once declared ‘perhaps in the future; there will be some African history to teach. But at present there is none. There is only the history of the Europeans in Africa, the rest is darkness… and darkness is not a subject of history’ [5].

Therefore this misconception of African history has to be re corrected by showing that African history, predicts, the emergence of Europe, by thousands of years, it is not possible for Africa to have waited in darkness, for the Europeans to bring light. So to say Africa was a Dark Continent should not arise. Europeans were ignorant about Africa. Those in darkness were the Europeans themselves and not Africans. For in the 19th century they assumed that anything not known to them did not exist and therefore we are arguing that when we study early history of man, it is necessary to be objective.

Professor A. P. Newton – Africa he said had “no history before the coming of the Europeans. History only begins when men take to writing’ Thus the past of Africa before the onset of Europeans imperialism could be reconstructed only from the evidence of material remains and of language and primitive custom’ and such things were not the concerns of historians, but of archaeologists, linguistics and anthropologists” [5].

To Africans, Africa is a historical entity. Africans influenced the civilization of Egypt, and therefore then, it can be argued that Africans could have contributed to the world civilization.

At this point it is paramount to show that ancient Egyptians were Negroes (Blacks). Archaeological and historical documents unanimously attest to the region of Egypt was always inhabited by Negroes. The examination of the documents therefore testifies as early as pre-historic times to the presence of a Negro civilization on the very spot claimed as the starting point of Egyptian civilization. Egyptian civilization remains profoundly distinctive and Africa, from the beginning to the end of pre-history and even throughout historical times [6].

Archaeologists have been able to explain the origin of man in eastern Africa, and possibly Tanzania is the cradle of man, and therefore I am trying to argue that until other evidence is found, more ancient from Africa, then the history of man has to begin from Africa, then the history of man has to begin from Eastern Africa and therefore it can be argued that the history of man started in eastern Africa or Africa and then spread to the rest of the world.

There is cultural, economic and political affinity of the Africans south of the Sahara and those of North of the Sahara. Totemism is a practice both in Egypt and the rest of Black Africa. Natural objects or animals used to represent a family or a clan. Such an animal become a taboo to the clan to be eaten or harmed by a member of the clan [7].

In many African societies social groups have identified themselves with animals as objects of solidarity. Totemism has established a sense of continuity between nature and man. Western culture recognizes neither sacred nor profane animals. There were certain taboo animals in Egypt (falcon) that corresponded with those found in other African countries. Totemism is widespread in Africa, while it is a foreign culture among the Greeks, therefore it can be argued that ancient Egyptians were Negroes (Black).

Among the innumerable identical cultural traits recorded in Egypt and in the present day Black Africa, it is proposed to refer to circumcision. According to Herodotus circumcision is of African origin [8].

Archaeology has confirmed the judgment of the Father of History for Elliot-Smith was able to determine from the examination of well-preserved mummies that circumcision was the rule among the Egyptians as long ago as the proto-historic era. They transmitted this practice to the Semitic world in general (Jews and Arabs). Only among Blacks does circumcision find an interpretation integrated in a general explanation of the universe. The culture is used by African historians to argue that the culture is an African origin and therefore it is established by Africans. Therefore then we can argue that the Ancient Egyptians were Negroes (Blacks).

The matriarchal system is the base of social organization in Egypt and throughout Black Africa. Negro matriarchy is alive today, as it was during antiquity. In regions where the matriarchal system has not been altered by external influence such as Islam, it is the woman who transmits political rights. This derives from the general idea that heredity is effective only matrillineally. In Africa, since the woman holds a privileged position, thanks to matriarchy, it is she who receives a guarantee in form of a dowry in the alliance of marriage. If the husband is really at fault, the marriage can be broken within a few hours to his disadvantage [8].

It can be argued that if Egyptian civilization was founded by the whites, then they would be practicing patriarchal system, therefore the civilization was started by the Blacks. Kingship concept is one of the most impressive indications of the similarity in thinking between Egypt and the rest of Black Africa. In other regions of Black Africa, the events occur exactly as in Egypt with regard to the actual killing of the monarch. The following people still practice the vitualistic dealth of the king, the Yoruba, Dagomba, Shamba, Igara, Songhay, the Hausa of Gobir, Katsena and Daura and Shilluk [8]. It can be attested that since there is a lot of similarities between those of Northern and Southern Sahara, then ancient Egyptians were Blacks.

Extensive research that has been done has proved beyond doubt that the Kinship between ancient Egyptians and the languages of Africa for example, Wolof a Senegalese language spoken in the extreme west of Africa on the Atlantic Ocean is perhaps close to ancient Egyptian as Coptic. Therefore Egyptians are Negroes.

In Egypt as in the rest of Africa, they all honoured their dead and did not want to commit mistakes to annoy the ancestral spirits, that’s why Africans used to pour libation before drinking or eating as a sign of respect to the ancestral spirits. This is a clear manifestation that the Egyptians were black.

Dr. Leakey says that it means that the whole human race had its origins in Africa and particularly Eastern Africa. Importance result of necessity the earliest men were ethnically homogenous and Negroid. Glogers’ law which would appear to be applicable to human beings, lays it down that warm blooded animals evolving in a war humid climate will secrete a black pigmentation from the start and it was by differentiation in other climates that the original stock split into different races from Africa [8].

This argument gives crecedence to the fact that Egyptians were Africans of black colour. Also there are only two routes available by which these early men could move outward to people the other continents that is the Sahara and the Nile Valley both in Africa, therefore Egyptians were Negroes.

Herodotus returns a few times to the Negroid character of the Egyptians and every time utilizes it as a certainty of perception to contend pretty much complex postulations. Herodotus subsequently agree that Egyptians are Negroes. Other established creators of times long past, for example, Aristotle, Lucian, Apollodorus, Achilles, Tacitus, Strabo, Diodorus of Sicily, Digenes Laertius and Aminianus Marcellinus all concur that the Egyptians were Negroes. Herodotus goes above and beyond to say they has dark skin and unusual hair.

Egyptians themselves are better qualified than anyone to speak of their origin. They recognize without ambiguity that their ancestors came from Nubia and the heart of Africa [9]. The divine epithets show that Egyptians saw themselves as KMT (Negroes) which means black men. Therefore Egyptians were not whites but Africans of Black colour.

Negro cosmogonies, African and Egyptian, resemble each other so closely that they are often complementary. This similarity of mores, customs, traditions and thinking has already been sufficiently stressed by various authorities. The relation between Egypt and Black Africa is that they are one and the same [9].

In Genesis 10:6-7, the Bible gives witness to the Black colour. The Bible tells us “…the sons of Ham (were Cush and Mizraim (i.e. Egypt) and Phut, and Canaan. And, the sons of Cush, Seba and Havilah and Sablah and Raamall and Subtechah. Generally, speaking, all Semitic traditions (Jewish and Arab) classes ancient Egypt with the countries of the blacks. The importance of these depositions cannot be ignored for these are peoples (Jews) which lived side by side with the ancient Egyptians and sometimes in symbiosis with them and have nothing to gain by presenting a false ethnic picture of them [9].

Professor Obenga forcefully expressed “In fact the Neolithic and pre-dynamic inhabitants of the Egyptian and Nubian valley were Negroes… Negroes were responsible for building the prehistoric … and historic Egypto-Nubian civilization.” According to Obenga, he put it “the Egypt of the pharaoh’s by virtue of the ethnic character and language of its inhabitants belong wholly from its Neolithic infancy to the end the Nature dynasties to the human past of the Black people of Africa” [6].

Egyptian civilization is the first and foremost African. It has produced one of the world’s greatest civilizations. Indeed even those Egyptologists who are convinced of the essentially African nature of Egyptian civilization stress the fact that the population which founded the civilization was not ‘Negro’ but ‘Caucasoid’ (white). Egyptologists were dumbfounded with admiration for the past grandeur and perfection they discovered. They gradually recognized it as the most ancient civilization that had engendered all others. The birth of Egyptology was thus marked by the need to destroy the memory of a Negro Egypt at any cost and in all minds. They try in vain to find a white origin for Egyptian civilization [9].

Professor Vercoutter remarked in the Cairo symposium held from 28th January to 3rd February 1974 that in his view Egypt was African in its way of writing, in its culture and in its way of thinking [8].

If Egyptians were white as claimed, then all these aforementioned Negro peoples and so many others in Africa are also whites. Thus we reach the absurd conclusion that Blacks are basically Whites; which is not the case.

If the Egyptian civilization had come from the south of Europe as Maspero assumes, and if it had slipped into the valley via the west or southwest to introduce elements of civilization we cannot understand why it should not have left traces in its birthplace or along its route. It is difficult to perceive how this white race, propagator of culture could have left Europe a milieu so conducive to the development of civilization, without having created it, how it crossed the rich plains of Tell and the enormous expanse that separates North Africa from Egypt before that expanse became a desert or why it would have crossed the swampy, unhealthy region of lower Egypt, spanned the Nubian desert, climbed to the high plateaus of Ethiopia, traversed thousands and thousands of miles to create civilization on some caprice in so remote an area, so that this civilization might later return slowly down the Nile. Assuming this is the case, how can we explain that a fraction of that race which stayed at home in an environment so favourable to the flowering of a civilization remained unpolished until the centuries just preceding the Christian era? [9]. Therefore Egyptians are Negroes not whites.

It can be safely argued that the ancient Egyptians were Negroes and not whites, since evidence has been provided to prove that Egyptians were Black.

Negro character of Egyptian civilization, as is recognized, rules out any possibility that this civilization was a monopoly or the white race. Numerous authors circumvent the difficulty by speaking of the whites with red skin or whites with black skin. This does not seem in congruous to them for as soon as a race has created civilization there can be no more possibility of it being Black. ‘A black is distinguished by the colour of his skin than by his features thick lips, flat nose etc’ only by similar definitions has one been able to Whiten the Egyptian race, and this is the clearest proof of its blackness. We cannot rely on the quality of the hair to guarantee the whiteness of a race. The hair the regular features are not a monopoly of the white race.

The European civilization is but a derivation of African achievements. It is true that the Europeans civilization is largely built on the achievements of the ancient Greeks. But the ancient Greeks in turn built their civilization following in the footsteps of the ancient Egyptians. Therefore Africa was the birthplace of the earliest and greatest civilization on earth. Egyptian antiquity is to African culture what Greco-Roman antiquity is to Western Europe though they heavily borrowed from Africa. Such discoveries as writing, painting, carving, drawing, mining, farming and numerous ways of survival by man in his natural environment were first made on the continent of Africa. They were discovered by Africans, experimented and practiced by them long before one single white man had set foot in Africa. The Greek civilization owes their origin to Egyptians and what they did was merely to improve the Egyptian ideas. The Greek environment enabled them to develop a secular society, where science and learning was not a monopoly of a certain class. It was for all those people who wanted to acquire. Egyptian learning was restricted to the priests.

Marcus Garvey warned “The history of African people would have to be written by themselves if the truth had to be told” [4]. After all, the Africans had once lived proudly as Kings with Kingdoms, European with empires, chiefs with chiefdoms, had governed themselves, cultivated their land, had fed themselves, clothed themselves and given birth to the earliest and greatest civilization on earth. And yet these proud Kingdoms, empires, with wealth and other civilizations had been destroyed, and looted by the ruthless foreign invaders. Tragically though, credit for these inventions has been wrongly given to ancient Greece. Ancient Greece was doing what Africans had done centuries before. Not one single piece of history found in Greece is older than pre-historic monuments and various pieces unearthed in Africa-not a single one.

During the prehistoric period Africa due to its favourable climate served in intercontinental relations as a pole and a central source for the innovation and invention and dissemination of techniques. It seems then that Africans devoted the essence of their creative energy to civilization. The material civilization then originated in Africa tropical latitudes during prehistory and radiated north as far as the European isthmus where by means of the conjunction of advanced technology and accumulation of capital it became established and as it were crystallized brilliantly, but it necessarily important to note that Africa in a geographical and historical entity. It is important to remind the Eurocentric writers of how critical a part Africa has played in human history past and present and how impossible it is to forget this and rightly explain the present plight of Mankind [10].

The Archaeological discoveries from proconsul, Zinjanthropus, Homo erectus, Homo Habilis and Homo Sapiens, the ‘thinking man’ or modern man, to have no missing link in Africa, increase the possibility that human genesis occurred in Africa that if there was a garden of Eden, where the first man and woman lived, that garden was in Africa [7].

But Africa is not merely the probable cradle of man and his initial culture, the continent is also the genesis of civilization. Therefore then, it can be argued that European civilization is a derivation of African achievements.

The interaction between Egypt and her neighbours produced one of the greatest configurations of civilizations in history – The Mediterranean civilizations. The interaction between the Egyptians on one side and on the other, Mesopotamians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Nubians, ancient Greeks and ancient Romans resulted in the explosion of one of the most dazzling galaxies of cultures in human history. Had there been no Egyptian civilization would there have been Greek civilization in ancient times? The answer is No; ancient Egypt was a very important and necessary condition.

Most distinguished writers like Abbe Brevil agree that Africa’s civilizing role even in prehistoric time is increasingly affirmed positively. Nowhere else had natural conditions favoured the development of a human society to the same extent as in Egypt. Nowhere else do we find a chalcolithic industry capable in its technical perfection. Nothing proves that it was due to the incursion of more civilized strangers that Egyptian civilization developed, but it was due to the genius of Egyptian Negro inhabitants, therefore European civilization is but a derivation of Egyptians (African) achievements [9].

No less paradoxical is the fact that the indo-Europeans never created a civilization in their won native lands the Eurasians. The question is why did so many creative aptitudes appear only when there was contact with blacks, never in the original cradle of the Eurasian steppes? Why did those populations not create civilizations at home before migrating? If we refer to the most remote antiquity, the evidence forces us to start from the black countries to explain all phenomena of civilization [9]. This clearly indicates that European civilization must have heavily borrowed from African civilization.

It would be incorrect to say that civilization was born of racial mixture, for there is proof that it existed in Black lands well before any historical contact with Europeans. Ethnically homogenous the Negro people created all the elements of civilization by adapting to the favourable geographical conditions of their largely homelands. From then on their countries became magnets attracting the inhabitants of the ill-favoured backward lands nearby, who tried to move there to improve their existence. Crossbreeding resulting from the contact was thus a consequence of the civilization, already created by Blacks rather than its cause.

The White invasions of Egypt during historical period (Hykosos, Libyans, Assyrians, Persians) none of these brought any new development in mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, medicine, philosophy or the art’s in political organization. Therefore it can be argued that European only improved on what Africans had innovated and invented.

According to the unanimous testimony of the Ancients, first the Ethiopians and then the Egyptians created and raised to an extraordinary stage of development all the elements of civilization, while other people especially Eurasians were still deep in barbarism. Therefore European civilization is but a derivation of African achievement. It is impossible to stress all that the world, particularly the Hellenistic world owed to the Egyptians. The Greeks merely continued and developed, sometimes partially, what the Egyptians had invented. By virtue of their materialistic tendencies the Greeks stripped those inventions of the religious, idealistic shell in which the Egyptians had enveloped them.

Amelineau observes it is strange that we do not place stress on the Egyptian contribution to civilization “I then realized and realized clearly, that the most famous Greek systems, notably those of Plato and Aristotle had originated in Egypt. I also realized that the lofty genius of the Greeks had been able to present Egyptian ideas incomparably, especially in Plato, but I thought that what we loved in the Greeks, we should not scorn or simply disdain in the Egyptians. Today, when two authors collaborate, the credit for their work in common is shared equally by each. I sincerely fail to see why ancient Greece should reap all the honour for ideas she borrowed from Egypt” [9].

This clearly indicates that even reputable scholars like Amelinean wonder why credit is not given to Africans for it actually and certainly deserved it for their achievements.

At this point it is important to ask, what were the actual achievements of the Africans in general and Egyptians in Particular? What are some of the inventions that Africa exported to Europe?

Van Sertima says that Diop Cheikh Anta, in his paper titled ‘Africa’s contribution to word civilization” attempts to deal with the three major movements of civilization from Africa to the world in general and Europe in particular. First the movement of Homo Sapiens and his less advanced predecessors (Neanderthal man e.t.c.) from their cradle land in Africa to other continents and the possible emergence of Cro magnon man (the Caucasoid) and seminal scientific developments to Europe, via Greeks who studied them and stole them especially after invasion of Egypt under Alexander. Third, the movement of equally significant contributions to world of science and civilization not only for Africa, but from Asia to Europe, during the nearly eight centuries of the Muslim domination of the Iberian Peninsula.

According to Diop in his rare ability to establish, in most precise and thorough way, based on the firsthand knowledge of the mathematical papyri that Egyptian mathematics was not a mere aggregate of empirical ‘recipes’ but a highly elaborate and theoretical body of science [3].

Beatrice Lumpkin highlights Nile Valley pre-emince in mathematics for four millennia and the leading role this played in building the foundations of modern science. The first cipherization of numbers took place in Egypt where hieroglyphic numerals used special symbols for the powers of 10. Fractions also became necessary very early in Africa because of the vast construction of pyramids, irrigation works, temples and obelisks which required measurements of lengths, areas and volumes. They enabled the scribes to perform complex operations and they were used by scientists for thousands of years, right up to the modern period. Lumpkin demonstrates from surviving papyri, Egyptian breakthroughs in trigonometry, algebra (calculus) and geometry [3].

Therefore it can be argued that Europe borrowed from Africa the concept of mathematics.

John Pappademos shows how Isaac Newton, perhaps the greatest figure in European science before Einstein, drew directly and indirectly upon the early science of the Nile Valley. Newton achieved a synthesis of three lines of development – Astronomy, mathematics and mechanics, and this success rested directly upon his predecessors Kepler, Copernicus, Descartes and Galileo. Pappademos contends that the work of those scientists would have been impossible without the foundation laid centuries earlier in Egypt. He traces Newton and the influence of Egypt, both in the classical and later Muslim period upon these men. Even Newton himself admits on several occasions his debt to the ancient African. He attributes for example the first atomic theory to the Egyptian and the Phoenicians. “That all matter consists of atoms was a very ancient opinion… I think the same opinion obtained in the mystic philosophy which flows down to the Greeks from Egypt and Phoenicia, since atoms are sometimes found to be designated by the mystics as monads” [3].

Newton also admits that his law of universal gravitation had been anticipated two thousand years earlier by the Pythagorean philosophers and that this was the real meaning of their doctrine of the ‘Harmony of Spheres.’ Pythagoras spent twenty two years in Egypt studying Egyptian science and it was there according to Newton that the Greek mathematician learnt this doctrine. Newton also saw an Egyptian anticipation of his own heliocentric theory (theory of the rotation of the earth and other planets around the sun). Pappademos lists all the discoveries of the Egyptians in the field of astronomy, many of which are deliberately ignored by the historians of science. Therefore we can argue that European civilization is a derivation of African achievements.

Hilliard has argued a case for the classical expression in ancient Egypt of the African system of education which was “the parent of other systems of education especially early European education in Greece and Rome” According to him one temple of Luxor housed an elite of priest professors and at one time catered to an estimated 80,000 students at all grade levels. Temples were of all the centre of religion, politics and education. This temple university had a huge Library at its faculty called ‘teachers of mysteries’ were divided into five major departments, astronomy and Astrology, geography, geology philosophy and theology, law and communication [3] Hilliard continues to argue for the Kemetic concept of Education. He says long before the colonization of the African continent by Europeans nations and long before the first recorded invasions of the African continent by any nation outside the continent, Africans had developed the most sophiscated system of education to be found in early records. Those records show that the African system of education especially it’s classical expression in ancient Egypt (KMT) was the parent of other systems of education especially European education in Greece and Rome as explained by [3].

Dubois [10] says, long after invasions and colonization in ancient Africa by outside nations, Africans maintained sophisticated systems of education. They maintained sophisticated systems appropriate to their environment even under harsh rural conditions. We can still see some of those systems today in traditional communities. It was these systems that were priority targets of colonizers only when they were destroyed would Africans be weakened and confused to the point of serious vulnerability [3]. From the foregoing it is no doubt that the Europeans civilization borrowed immensely from African achievements of the ancient time.

Anta Cheikh Diop argues that Africa is the continent which Hegel and the ideologists who came after him excluded Africa from history. Even Karl Marx did it. Friedrich Engels thought that if whites were more intelligent than Blacks, it was only because they were shepherds and ate meat, and drank milk. As a result of innumerable distortions of the truth, the continent of Africa mother of civilization is seen today as having made no significant contributions. As a result of numerous recent works, her once amnesic sons are finding their memory for history again. As it happens, Africa has produced a great many of the treasures of civilization. Three times from the earliest prehistory to the dawn of modern time’s civilization (the science, technology, and philosophy) has flowed out of Africa into Europe in a particular and on to the rest of the world, Africa included in general. It can be concluded from the foregoing that, 5 million years ago, to the glacial thaw, 10,000 years ago Africa almost unilaterally peopled and influenced the rest of the world [3]. Therefore Africa is the greatest mother of civilization that gave birth to the rest of civilizations.

Those who have dealt with mathematics know how delicate the treatment of the curved surface is. But the ‘formula’ found by the scribe 1,700 years before Archimedes in rigorously accurate S=2πr2 for the surface area of the hemisphere. Indeed to solve the problem it was necessary to calculate what the surface area of the hemisphere was and then multiply the result by two to obtain the surface area of the whole sphere. But Archimedes was unaware that Egyptians had discovered the very same theorem earlier. Speaking exclusively one must say that the Egyptians have passed down to posterity the formula of exact surface area of the sphere and the exact ‘formula’ of the volume of the cylinder calculated with the value of π=3.16. Archimedes was dishonest and simply wanted to hide the real sources of inspiration and very carefully cover his tracks. Like all the Greeks scientists, Archimedes went to study or to further his studies in Egypt. It is only when he came back from Egypt that ‘invented the endless screw that Egyptians had been using for centuries before he was born for the extraction of percolated water’. Therefore it stands to reason that the Greeks explicitly admitted that Egyptians were their masters in the field of geometry which came to Greece from Egypt and not from Babylonia [3]. Therefore Egypt disseminated all the civilization to Europe.

The Egyptians contributed to the evolution of a calendar with 365 days. This development is the most ancient and was borrowed by the Europeans [3].

In surgery and medicine, Egyptians had achieved the scientific level of the time of ancient empire – values of the civilization of Egypt were transmitted to the rest of the world and Greece in particular. In surgery it was undoubtedly the knowledge acquired from mummification that enabled Egyptians to develop surgical techniques at a very early period in their history. The smith papyrus bears testimony to the skill of ancient Egypt, skill which it would be fair to assume was handed gradually in Africa and as well in Asia and to classical antiquity by the doctors who were always attached to Egyptians expeditions, to foreign lands. Moreover it is known that foreign sovereigns like the Asian prieve of Bakhan, Bactia or Cambyses himself, brought in Egypt doctors, and that Hippocrates ‘had access to the library of Imhotep temple at Mem phis’ and that other Greek physicians letter followed his example. Therefore for surgery Africa transmitted the skill to the rest of the world [8].

As for medical knowledge it can be considered as one of the most important early scientific contributions of the ancient Egyptians to the history of man. Egyptian doctors treated patients using suppositories, ointments, syrups, potions, oils, massages, enemas, purges, poultices and even inhalants, whose use they taught to the Greeks. Egyptian medical techniques and medicines enjoyed great prestige in antiquity, as we know from Herodotus [8].

In astronomy Egyptians are the first to scientifically measure time and development of instruments for quantitative astronomical measurements. This included sunbial, water clocks and markhet. Therefore the Europeans copied from Africans.

The seventeenth and Eighteenth dynasties in Egypt the royal families brought Egypt to new heights of technical achievement and military might and marked the first time that any nation expanded its borders to encompass a vast world empire. Evidence indicates that the rulers were either black ‘Negroid’ or of black ancestry and during this time they acquired the habit of holding hostage the sons of vassal rulers of Asia in the hope that Mediterranean, training then in the pharaoh’s court in hope they might later govern their countries as good vassals, this was one cause of the extensive profound, and almost exclusively Egyptian influence on western Asia and the Mediterranean [9].

The ancient Greeks in their quest for knowledge traveled across the Mediterranean Sea into North Africa and there to their amazement we are told, encountered wonders of buildings, crafts, paintings, as they had never seen before. These travelers enrolled in schools of learning in thought, buildings, and survival methods by man in his environment. As of today there is hardly a single culture in the entire world that hasn’t got in it some aspects of Africa’s ancient civilization. They may not acknowledge it, but that is human nature [4].

Pythagoras, Thales, Solon, Archimedes, and Eratosthenes among many others were trained in Egypt. Egypt was indeed the classical land where two thirds of the Greeks scholars went to study. In reality it can be said that during the Hellenistic epoch Alexandria was the intellectual centre of the world [9].

Egypt was regarded as a place of great scholarly achievement by such disciples of Aristotle as Theophrastus and it served to assuage Rome’s great thirst for eastern values and there European civilization build on the achievements of African civilization.

The Egyptian architecture of this time was so advanced that both the pyramids and Great Zimbabwe palace both in Africa were built without mortar or cement. How about that for architectural ingenuity? [4] Greco-Roman monuments are mere miniatures as compared with Egyptian monuments. Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, with all its towers, could easily be placed in the hypostyle hall of the temple of Karnak. Therefore even Greeks architecture has its roots in Africa [9].

Coins dug up in Europe are mainly made from gold mined in Africa. If ancient Egypt had to import metals and timer from its Asian neighbours, its industrial capacity was unsurpassed in two domains. The pharaoh’s exported textiles, Egyptian linen being then of an unequalled fineness and paper papyrus, useful in so many ways, for sails, ropes, clothing, footwear and above all made possible the manufacture of a very flexible writing surface, which was the source of the scribe’s power and which was in heavy demand abroad from the moment alphabetic writing spread around the eastern Mediterranean [4].

The Pharaonic contributions to science and applied mathematics has left a valuable legacy in the fields of physics, chemistry, zoology, geology, medicine, pharmacology, geometry and applied mathematics. In fact they gave the humanity a large store of experience in each of these fields, some of which were combined to execute a specific project [8].

From archaeological findings that is evidence that Africa made major contributions to the development of agriculture especially domestication of plants and animals. The domestication of plants for food actually originated in Africa for example sorghum, African rice, sesame, castor beans cotton, watermelon, cowpea, coffee, oil palm, kola nut and many others. Africa is a secondary gene centre for many varieties of wheat, barley and oats [7].

The idea of monotheism which was introduced to the Jews by Moses has been found to be an idea borrowed from the Egyptians. There Islam and Christianity which are monotheist religions have its roots in Egypt, and in terms of contributions Egypt contributed immensely.

Africa contributed in the world exploration according to Ivan Van Sestina in his paper Nile valley presence in America B.C. He says that Africans came before Columbus. Africans not only came here but they left an impact upon American’s first major civilization. He argues that everywhere from the corner of the ancient America world to the other, blacks were found. Not only were they here long before Columbus, but as free men, even, as Priest-Kings among the olmec. As Jairasbhoy has pointed out “The blacks began his career in America, not as slave but as masters” [3]. The fact in itself opens a new historical window from which to view the history of America and of the black race. Royal traits shared by ruling circles in both civilization that are functionally related and appear in a combination too arbitrary and unique to be independently duplicated such as the feathered fans or sunshades, the royal flail, double crown , artificial beard among others).

Rashidi Runnoko says according to archaeological studies, have located a black substratum in the earliest period of Chinese history, and reports a major kingdom ruled by Blacks are frequent in Chinese documents. The Black presence in ancient China is one of the most important concepts to show the influence of Blacks in the world. There is mention of a black military commander, Sakanonye Tamuramaro in their very early stages of Japanese history and Diop mentions a Japanese proverb. “For a samurai to be brave, he must have a bit of Black Blood “why? [3] This clearly demonstrates that Africans even took the civilization to the other parts of the world.

Since the rise of slavery with its offsprings, the doctrine and practice of racism, the Black civilization of the Nile Valley has its detractors. As recently as 1975, Otto Nengebauer, the well known historian of ancient science, had this to say “Egypt provides us with the exceptional case of a highly sophisticated civilization which flourished for many centuries without making a single contribution to the development of the exact science” [3].

This somewhat reflects an attitude which prevails among the professional United States of America historians of science of refusing to admit the truth, but the evidence is overwhelming to out rightly deny Egyptian civilization its true place in World civilization.

However the Afro centric writers are beginning to assert the source of their Knowledge of humanity and of the universe becomes for African people what James referred to as ‘philosophy of redemption’ just an awareness of the source is redemptive not to mention the knowledge itself which is transformative. He says “This proposition (Greeks were not the authors of Greek philosophy, but Black people of North Africa, the Egyptians) will become a philosophy of redemption to all the Black people , when they accept it as a belief and live up to it …our philosophy of redemption is a psychological process involving a change in behaviors. It really signifies a mental emancipation in which the black people will be liberated from the chain of traditional falsehood, which has incarcerated them in prison of inferiority complex and world humiliation and insult” [3]. All this leads the researcher to say that ancient African civilization was in her meridian splendor.

Finally, [9] has pointed out ‘the common denominator which characterizes the mindset of Egyptologists in their seemingly desperate necessity and unrelentless attempt to refute ancient African’s Blackness’. Egypt has been summarily lifted from African continent in the intellectual view of most scholars. Egypt in modern parlance is identified as the ‘Middle East’ and rarely as Africa. What’s even worse is the effort to distort and displace the origins of the Egypt’s genius outside of Egypt all together, has served to further the conspiracy of exclusion. But the evidence to the contrary is so much against their aims [3].

All this is the history of Ancient Africa. It is a history of great human dramas, of conflict and courage, sorrows or setbacks, stubborn progress. These dramas of the Black peoples have lain at the very heart of the world we know.

The vast paranoiac legacy, disseminated through the ancient civilization of the near East, has in turn transmitted to modern Europe a civilization by way of the classical world. Egyptian civilization under the Pharaohs permeated the neighboring African cultures. Comparative studies prove the existence of common cultural elements in black Africa and Egypt, such as the relationship between royalty and natural forces. This is clear from archaeological findings and this bear witness to the significance of Egyptian influence in Africa and the world at large.

Since the birthplace of the Egyptian progress and the broad getting of the Greeks from the Egyptians are verifiably obvious, we may well ponder with Amelinean why, in spite of those truths, a great many people push the pretended by Greece while ignoring that of Egypt. The purpose behind this mentality can be recognized simply by reviewing the base of the inquiry. As Egypt is a Negro nation with progress made by Blacks, any proposition having a tendency to demonstrate the opposite would have no future [3] the heroes of such hypotheses are not unconscious of this. So it is more shrewd and more secure to strip Egypt, basically and most prudently of every one of its manifestations support of truly white country (Greece). This false attribution to Greece of the estimations of so-called white Egypt uncovers a significant disagreement that is not the slightest imperative evidence of Egypt’s Negro source.

Diop continues to argue that black is clearly capable of creating technique. He is the very one who first created it at a time when all the white races steeped in barbarism, were barely fit for civilization. When we say that the ancestors of the blacks, who today live in Black Africa, were the first to invent mathematics, astronomy, the calendar, sciences in general, arts, religion, agriculture, social organization, medicine, writing, technique, architecture, that they were the first to erect buildings out of 6 million tons of stone (Great Pyramids) as architects and engineers – not simply as unskilled laborers, that they built the immense temple of Karnak, that forest of columns with famed hypostyle hall large enough to hold Notre-Dame and it’s towers, that they sculpted the first colossal statues (Colossi of Memnon) When we are merely expressing the plain unvarnished truth that no one today can refute by arguments worthy of the name [9].

Conclusion

This paper amply demonstrate the major role Africa played at the dawn of human history placed today on periphery of the technically developed world, Africa and Asia were in the forefront of progress for the first 15,000 odd centuries of world history from time of Australopithecus and pithecanthropus. As we now know, Africa was the principal scene both of man’s emergence as the royal species of the planet and of the emergence of a political society. But this role of eminence in prehistory was to be replaced during the historical period of the last 2000 years by a law of development hallmarked by expflofiftaftfion and reducftfion fto ftThe rofle off ftoofl [5].

Yet, because of the traditional ignorance, neglect, defamation, and destruction of African history and culture by outsiders over centuries, the reclamation and restitution of African history today is a very difficult task. Consequently, the Black man must become able to restore the continuity of his national historic past, to draw from it the moral advantage needed to re-conquer his place in the modern world. If by scientific knowledge we can eliminate all forms of frustrations (cultural and others) which victimize peoples, the sincere rapprochement of mankind to create a true humanity will be fostered. May this paper contribute to that lofty objective. All evidence available concurs with the statement Ancient Egyptians were Negroes and European civilization is but a derivation of African achievement, stolen by the whites.

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