According to some scholars, there was a deliberate attempt by early Egyptologists to deny and hide that Ancient Egypt was an African culture. According to the written account of Vivant Denon, a French artist, writer and archaeologist who etched the image of the Sphinx of Giza around 1798, the facial features of the famous monument appeared to be African origin.
“The general acceptance, as a sequel to the work of Professor Leakey, of the hypothesis of mankind’s monogenetic and African origin, makes it possible to pose the question of the peopling of Egypt and even of the world in completely new terms. More than 150000 years ago, beings morphologically identical to the man of today were living in the region of the great lakes at the sources of the Nile and nowhere else.
This notion, and others which it would take too long to recapitulate here, form the substance of the last report presented by the late Dr Leakey at the Seventh Pan-African Congress of Pre-History in Addis Ababa in 1971.1 It means that the whole human race had its origin, just as the ancients had guessed, at the foot of the Mountains of the Moon. Against all expectations and in defiance of recent hypotheses, it was from this place that men moved out to people from the rest of
the world. From this, two facts of capital importance result:
(a) of necessity, the earliest men were ethnically homogeneous and negroid. Gloger’s law, which would also appear to apply to human beings, lays it down that warm-blooded animal evolving in a warm, humid climate will secrete a black pigment (eumelanin).2 Hence if mankind originated in the tropics around the latitude of the great lakes, he was bound to have brown pig-mentation from the start, and it was by differentiation in other climates that the original stock later split into different races;
(b) there were only two routes available by which these early men could move out to people on the other continents, namely, the Sahara and the Nile valley. It is the latter region which will be discussed here. From the Upper Palaeolithic to the dynastic epoch, the whole of the river’s basin was taken over progressively by these negroid peoples.”
Origin of the ancient Egyptians
By CHEIKH ANTA DIOP