Billeder på siden

related to one another, do possess physical characters in common, and whether these characters are constant.

Apart from the monuments of Egypt and Assyria there are few pictorial representations of ancient peoples which are of sufficient exactitude to serve as conclusive evidence on these points.

In Egypt there is an immense mass of pictorial and sculptured material for ethnographical study covering a range of many centuries. Over three thousand years ago the artists who decorated the royal tombs distinguished between four sa és: (1) the Egyptians, whom they painted red; (2) the Asiatics or Semites were coloured yellow; (3) the Southerns or-Negroes were naturally painted black; and (4) the West

is or Northerners white.

1. Like every other people under the sun, the Egyptians règarded themselves as the race of men. They are distinguishable by their warm complexion, their small beard and moustache, and their abundant crisp black hair. All Egyptologists agree that this ancient type is still represented by the modern Fellahin, sometimes with remarkable fidelity. Maspero' writes:

“The profile copied from a Theban mummy taken at hazard from a necropolis of the XVIIIth Dynasty, and compared with the likeness of a modern Luxor peasant, would almost pass for a family portrait. Wandering Bisharis have inherited the type of face of a great noble, the contemporary of Kheops ; and any peasant woman of the Delta may bear upon her shoulders the head of a XIIth Dynasty king. A citizen of Cairo, gazing with wonder at the statues of Khafra or of Seti I. in the Ghizeh Museum, is himself, at a distance of fifty centuries, the reproduction, feature for feature, of those ancient Pharaohs."

'G. Maspero, The Dawn of Civilisation : Egypt and Chaldea. Eng. trans., 1894, p. 48.

Dr. R. Stuart Poole' points out that two other nations come under the Egyptian type.

(A) The old Kushite (that is the East African Hamitic) inhabitants of South Arabia and of the opposite coast of Africa, who traded with the Egyptians, and whose features were less refined than those of the Egyptians. Representations of these people are shown in the reliefs which commemorate the expedition of Queen Hatshepu, about 1600 B.C. The voyagers travelled beyond the Red Sea as far as the Somali coast.

(B) The Phænicians can only be distinguished from the Egyptians by details of costume.

2. Some of the Eastern types, which may generally be classed as Semitic, on the Egyptian monuments show a strong likeness to the Assyrians as sculptured by themselves. Jews, Amorites, Arabs, and other tribes, with characteristic features and costume, are also unmistakably portrayed.

3. The peoples of Africa to the west of Egypt were grouped by the Egyptians with those of the islands and maritime countries. These include, amongst others, the Tahennu, Hâ-neb-u, Lebu, Mashuash, Tsekuri, Shardana, Shakalsha, Tuirsha of the sea Dardani, and Pulista.

A very characteristic representation of one of these groups is that of a Tahennu, or Tamehu, a Lybian people. This man has two ostrich feathers as a head-dress; he wears a short beard and moustache, and a curious curled lock of hair which depends in front of each ear. These fair-haired, blue-eyed strangers, with a light complexion, frequently came into contact with the Egyptians. Sometimes they were enslaved, as shown in the tomb of Rekhmara, in the time of Thothmes III.; or others of the same race actually

1 Reginald Stuart Poole, “The Egyptian Classification of the Races of Man." - Fourn. Anth. Inst., xvi., 1887, pp. 152, 370.

conquered and temporarily occupied part of Egypt, as evidenced by Flinders Petrie's “ New Race.

The Shardana or Shardina were the Sardinians; the Shakalsha were the Sikeli or Sicilians; the Tuirsha have been identified as the Tyrsenoi or Etruscans; and the Pulista are generally regarded as the Philistines, though some regard them as Pelasgians of Crete, both of which belonged to the same race.

This northern group of white men coincides to a remarkable degree of accuracy with the latest anthropological investigations of Professor Sergi,' who recognises a distinct group of the white race, which he appropriately terms the Mediterranean stock. Almost the only point of difference between the ethnological artists of ancient Egypt and the enthusiastic Italian anthropologist, is that the latter includes the ancient Egyptians themselves in that important group of mankind.

4. The Egyptians also depicted negroes of various degrees of purity, and which evidently belonged to recognised nationalities.

Other races and peoples were noted by the Egyptians. Of these mention need only be made of the Hyksos or socalled Shepherd Kings.' The best representation of this type is in one of the sphinxes, discovered at Zoan or Tanis. They had strongly marked features, with large brow-ridges, very high and broad cheek-bones, and a flat mouth. Their face, so full of energy, firmness, and resolution, forms, as Poole remarks, the greatest contrast with the air of calm repose and placid dignity peculiar to the old Egyptian kings. These foreign over-lords conquered Egypt before 2000 B.C., and were expelled four hundred years later. Sir William Flower' has noted Mongolian characters in their features, and suggests that the invasion and occupation of Egypt by the so-called “ Shepherds " was one of the numerous in. stances in which some of the nomadic Tatar hordes of Cen tral and Northern Asia have poured forth from their native lands, and overrun and occupied for a longer or shorter period the countries lying to the west and south of them. If this view can be maintained, the Hyksos invasion and occupation of Egypt would have been only one of the series, of which the conquests of Attila, Tchinghis Khan, Timur, and the more permanent settlements of the Finns, the Magyar, and the Turks in Europe are well-known examples.

'G. Sergi, Origine e Diffusione della Stirpe Mediterranea, 1895. * It would be preferable to adopt Dr. F. Galton's suggestion, and use the word “herdsmen" instead of “shepherds” in connection with the Hyksos.Journ. Anth. Inst., xix., p. 194.

As Dr. Poole points out in considering the representations from the monuments, we must remember three leading characteristics of Egyptian art :

1. That in reliefs and frescos the eye was represented full face, and therefore we have to make allowance for this peculiarity in our attempt to define types. This done, and the comparison made with sculptures in the round, of which we had examples of some leading types, we found:

2. Remarkable naturalness and force of character, remind. ing us of early Italian sculpture, leading to:

3. Love of caricature in its portrayal of hostile nations, for which again allowance must be made.

But even making full allowance for all these, we need not be afraid of trusting the Egyptian artist.

The sculptures from Assyria and Babylon can also be brought into evidence to support the general conclusions drawn from those of Egypt. According to Bertin,' they are more realistic in many ways than the Egyptian pictures,

I Fourn. Anth. Inst., xvi., p. 377.

?G. Bertin, “The Races of the Babylonian Empire.”Ibid., 1888, p.

though they are also more conventional in some points. As in Egypt, so here, the faces are represented in profile with eyes in full face. This has given the false notion of oblique eyes in the Babylonian race, but the error of this notion is easily shown by the faces of the man-headed bulls and the few Assyrian statues. The artists appear to have given great care to the representations of the facial types.

In Assyria, Bertin finds two types: (1) The aristocratic and military caste, with a long head, straight forehead, slightly curved nose hanging a little over the upper lip, and often thin lips; the hair was wavy. (2) The lower classes, with a small round head, low retreating forehead, high cheek-bones, projecting jaws, but with a receding chin; the nose is often very large and prominent, generally frizzly hair and beard, and of short stature.

The higher Babylonian class was not very dissimilar froin the Assyrian, but the nose was straight, never aquiline, and the general expression of the face was quiet and smiling, well in agreement with the general moral character of the Babylonians; it has nothing of the stern expression of the Ninevites.

The Assyrians correctly represented the Arabs with a long oval head, high forehead, and a straight nose of moderate size.

The reliefs of the two ambassadors who visited Assurbanipal, in Elam, offer all the characteristics noticed in the modern Armenians—long curved nose, fleshy lips, short stature. The general appearance is decidedly Jewish, as in the modern Armenians. This fixity of the pre-Aryan Armenian type is fully acknowledged by anthropologists.

Two types of Jews have been distinguished: (1) The high type—with the characteristic “ Jewish ” nose, which is sometimes called the Semitic type, but erroneously, as the purest Semites, the Arabians of the desert, do not exhibit

« ForrigeFortsæt »