Egypt Anthropology

Egypt Anthropology

In the peoples inhabiting Egypt there is a group of African origin and a group of Asian origin (Chantre); to the former belong the Egyptians proper: Copts, Fellāḥ, the residents of the oasis of el-Khārǵāh and the groups from the south: Begia, Sudanese, etc. (v. Ethiopian Negroes); the Bedouin Arabs and other populations immigrated from Asia belong to the Asian group: Jews, Turks, Armenians, Syrians, etc. (see corresponding items). The peoples commonly known by the name of Egyptians largely occupy the Nile valley from the first cataract to the sea and are usually distinguished in Copts and Fellāḥ.

According to ehotelat, the Copts are considered (together with the majority of the Fellāhs) as the true descendants and representatives of the natives of Egypt. They have their home center in Upper Egypt and their main cities are currently Medīnet el-Fayyūm and Asyūt. However, all authors agree in considering the physical type of the Copts very similar to that of the ancient Egyptians, as reproduced in the monuments of antiquity. The color of the skin is very variable from dull white or pale yellow to a darker bronze color, coarse black hair is mainly curly or wavy; brown eyes have a rather elongated lid opening and often raised at the outer corner; the nose has a straight profile. The facial features are, on the whole, apart from the color of the skin, resembling that of the Caucasian type with not very prominent rostrum (4th type of the Sera). The stature is slightly above average (166 in 150 ♂ and of Chantre); a group of 44 men chosen for military service (Myers), however, gave a much higher average (172); the large opening of the arms is equal to the height (average of the direct measurement in 150 ♂ and ♀: 171). There are no measurements of seated height, so nothing is known about the development of the legs in relation to that of the chest (choic index). The Copts are distinctly dolichocephalic (150 ♂ and ♀ of Chantre give an average of 75.4, the 44 chosen ones of Myers 74.0), high-skulled (orthypsycephalic) (150 ♂ and ♀ of Chantre average of vert. long.65,0): the facial and nasal forms are medium (mesoprosopes, ind. fac. of Broca on 49 ♂ and ♀ of Chantre, average 102.34), mesorrine (average 150 ♂ and ♀ of Chantre 76.8, out of 42 of Myers 75.8). There is no craniological information of a certainly Coptic series.

The Fellāḥ (v.), Represent the largest part of the truly Egyptian population (about 34). The color of the skin is very variable: from yellowish almost white in the Delta, to the dark chocolate color in Middle and Upper Egypt and even darker in the more southern regions. The hair is more or less dark brown, curly or wavy, never woolly; the eyes are also very brown in color; the profile of the nasal dorsum is straight, sometimes aquiline or slightly lowered, never flattened or concave. Facial physiognomy of the Caucasian type with not very prominent rostrum (4th type of Sera). The stature is lower than the average (138 ♂ and ♀ of the Chantre 163), the large opening of the arms is greater than the height (on 138 ♂ and ♀, 70 exceed the direct measure of 170); also for the Fellāhs, as for the Copts, seat height measurements are missing. The cephalic index of living beings gives a distinctly dolichocephalic mean (138 ♂ and ♀ of Chantre 75.5), with a high skull (orthypsycephalic, 138 ♂ and ♀, ind. Vert. Longit. 64.4); the face and nose have an average development (mesoprosopy, average of Broca’s facial index on 138 ♂ and ♀ of Chantre 104.0; mesorrhynia, average of 81 ♂ and ♀ of Chantre 76.1), but in women they seem to prevail high and narrow noses (leptorrinia); on the other hand, in the Fellāḥ of Luxor there was a certain tendency towards broad and low nasal forms (platirrinia; Chantre). facial index of Broca on 138 ♂ and ♀ of Chantre 104.0; mesorrhynia, mean of 81 ♂ and ♀ of Chantre 76.1), however high and narrow noses seem to prevail in women (leptorrinia); on the other hand, in the Fellāḥ of Luxor there was a certain tendency towards broad and low nasal forms (platirrinia; Chantre). facial index of Broca on 138 ♂ and ♀ of Chantre 104.0; mesorrhynia, mean of 81 ♂ and ♀ of Chantre 76.1), however high and narrow noses seem to prevail in women (leptorrinia); on the other hand, in the Fellāḥ of Luxor there was a certain tendency towards broad and low nasal forms (platirrinia; Chantre).

Nine skulls from a modern cemetery in Suez from tombs that it is not known whether they were Coptic or Fellāḥ are dolichocephalic (75.4), long-faced (leptoprosopi, ind. Fac. Broca 69.9), Mesorrine (48, 6) and to medium-height orbits (mesosemes, 86.8). On the Fellāḥ skulls. we have the following data:

The series are much less dolichocephalic than those of the living Fellāh, with a high skull, long face, well profiled nasal forms (orthypsycephalic, leptoprosope, platyrrhine lepto), with low and wide noses only in the Cairo series of Schmidt, orbits of medium height with however, tendency towards tall forms (meso-megaseme).

In the oasis of el-Khārǵah a third of the residents show more or less evident traces of crossing with the Negro type, apart from which the population bears a great resemblance to the Fellāh of the Nile valley. The color of the skin varies from a very light tone to very dark tones, but medium tones prevail; the hair is black, straight with variations towards curly and wavy shapes, dark eyes; the facial features are that of the other residents of the Nile valley. Average stature tends to be rather small (150 ♂ measured by Hrdlička: 1638), with medium development of the lower limb compared to the thorax (mesatiscelia: 150 ♂ average 51.3); they are distinctly dolichocephalic (average of 150 ♂ 74.8), with high skull (hypsycephalic, ind. middle nose (mesorrine: average of 150 ♂ 76.6). There is no news of modern cranial series. The group was regarded as a cross between Northeast Africans and Southwest Asians and classified as a southern offshoot of the Mediterranean subdivision of the white race: it is the same type that inhabited the oasis during the early period of the Christian era (Hrdlička).

The Bedouins, also commonly called Arabs, are the preponderant part of the whole population of Egypt; they live especially between the Nile and the mountains, extending up to the upper Nile valley (el-Gia‛liyyīn and el-Kabābīsh). The skin color is quite light; the hair, often straight, is black, as the eyes are generally black; only in some groups of el-Manzalah and Cairo are clear eyes noticeable. The profile of the nasal dorsum is either straight or aquiline, the facial features are clearly Caucasian with a not very prominent rostrum (4th type of Sera). The stature is above average and becomes very tall in the groups inhabiting the Fayyūm, dolichocephaly is notable, associated with an evident development of the skull in height (orthypsycephaly) and the face tends to be wide and low (brachyprosopia),

The two groups, the Egyptian proper (Coptic and Fellāḥ) and the Bedouin, substantially present very clear differences: the first, with a shorter stature, has medium facial and nasal shapes, in the second, with a higher stature, there are low and wide faces with nasal shapes that oscillate from the fine, with a well profiled nose, to the rough ones with a low and flattened nose; the skull is elongated and tall in the two types (dolicoipsicefalo), a form prevalent throughout northern Africa.

Egypt Anthropology

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