“Science” Alert claim that Ancient Egypt is non-African

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Science Alert’s Article

On 12 April 2018 Michelle Starr, a writer at Science Alert wrote an article on a new archaeological discovery in Sudan. Claiming that the find revealed “A Vast African City of the Dead” [article] . One of the finds, a stela (relief offering) adorned with a representation of the goddess Maat, is described by the writer as having “African features”.

It’s great to see Sudanese archaeology obtaining coverage

But…

When describing the Meroitic language the following passage appears:

[Meroitic] is the earliest known written language of sub-Saharan Africa, written in characters borrowed from the Ancient Egyptians- who were more closely related to the people of the Near East than middle Africa.

 The author then references a limited study examining the DNA of 90 (predominantly Late Period to Roman) mummies from a single site as evidence for this claim. I have contacted the magazine for clarification of why this evidence was prioritised over other research. I am waiting for a response.

At best this is lazy journalism, or someone who simply doesn’t understand the history, culture, and people of Kemet, or their close connections to those of the Nubian region. However, I have written about the intentional separation of these two cultures in previous posts and I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t another example of the whitewashing of Ancient Egypt.

I’m hoping that I’ll get a response to my enquiry and that the editor will consider amending the article. I have no idea why this sentence was even included; it certainly doesn’t add anything to the article other than maintaining a racist ideology, which is exacerbated by the fact that the author stresses the “African-ness” of one culture and totally denies its neighbour of this right.

 

2 thoughts on ““Science” Alert claim that Ancient Egypt is non-African”

  1. Thank you sally for challenging these misleading lies and is hard for a white woman as yourself being an advocate for a black egypt. Are you perceived differently by other egyptologist?

    1. Egyptologists often disagree with interpretations of materials. I am different to many Egyptologists in my training because I have a background in both Classical languages and archaeology as well as those related to Egypt. The last 7 years of my career as a professional Egyptologist were also spent researching other African cultures.

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