RACIAL MAKEUP OF ANCIENT EGYPTIANS
In many sectors there seems to be some controversy about the racial make-up of the ancient Egyptian people, i.e. whether they were White or Black. This is a simplistic approach to a much more complicated set of circumstances since Egypt's strategic location brought people in from the south with Nubian and equatorial African influence and from the northern coast of Africa and the Middle East with Afro-Mediterranean and Semitic influences.
The Biblical record places Egypt among the "Black" countries. Melanin dosage tests of mummified remains (controversial due to damage caused by the embalming process) seem to indicate a level of melanocytes consistent with a people of a semi tropical to temperate climate zone.
Egypt continues to dominate the focus of African oriented studies. These studies have clearly demonstrated that not only were early Egypt's origins African, but that through the whole of Egypt's Dynastic Era (the age of the Pharaohs, up to and including the 25th Dynasty), and during her many periods of national splendor, men and women with black skin complexions, broad noses, full lips, and tightly curled hair, were dominant in both the general population and governing elite.
In the intense and unrelenting struggle to establish scientifically the African foundations of Egyptian civilization, the late Senegalese scholar Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop remains a most fierce and ardent champion.
Dr. Diop (1923-1986) was without a doubt one of the world's leading Egyptologist and held the position of Director of the Radiocarbon Laboratory at the Fundamental Institute of Black Africa in Dakar, Senegal. In stating the importance of the work, Diop noted emphatically and early on that, "The history of Black Africa will remain suspended in air and cannot be written correctly until African historians dare to connect it with the history of Egypt."
The solid range of methodologies employed by Dr. Diop in the course of his extensive Afro-Egyptian labors included: examinations of the epidermis of the mummies of Egyptian kings for verification of their melanin content; precise osteological measurements and meticulous studies in the various relevant areas of anatomy and physical anthropology; careful examinations and comparisons of modern Upper Egyptian and West African blood-types; detailed Afro-Egyptian linguistic studies and the corroboration of distinct Afro-Egyptian cultural traits; documents of racial designations employed by the early Africans themselves; Biblical testimonies and references that address the ancient Egyptian's ethnicity, race and culture; and the writings of early Greek and Roman travelers and scholars describing the physical characteristics of the ancient Egyptians.
Is it possible that when ancient Egyptians were at the pinnacle of their glory they were not a mixed group?
During the middle dynasties especially (and later) when people migrated to this great land there was some intermarrying. This is natural and doesn't need to be debated. It was even done within royalty lines at times to solidify alliances, which was a common practice between powers during that period of history.
Chancellor Williams refers to this phenomenon in his book "The Destruction of Black Civilization." And frankly, he theorizes that this mixing was part of the reason for the fall of Black Civilization. Nevertheless, there was never so much of this that at any time the ancient Egyptians could ever be classified as other than a black people.
Bottom Line: It's reasonable to say that Egypt was a gateway for the meeting and interchange of goods, ideas, DNA, and people; and that the Egyptians were themselves a unique expression of human strength, beauty, intelligence and diversification. Ancient Egypt was an African civilization.