He set up a base in the oasis of Dakhla, increased his camel fleet to twelve, and roamed the desert in search of lost oases. Bergmann was eventually solicited by Dr. He rightly believed that moving by camel or on foot radically increases the chances of spotting something of value. With blinding sunlight and a landscape that is much the same everywhere, one could easily miss seeing even the entrance to a cave if you were not vigilant and checking every rock and mound along the way.
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Uncovering compelling new evidence, Egyptologist Robert Bauval and astrophysicist Thomas Brophy present the anthropological, climatological, archaeological, geological, and genetic research supporting this hugely debated theory of the black African origin of Egyptian civilization. Building upon extensive studies from the past four decades and their own archaeoastronomical and hieroglyphic research, the authors show how the early black culture known as the Cattle People not only domesticated cattle but also had a sophisticated grasp of astronomy; created plentiful rock art at Gilf Kebir and Gebel Uwainat; had trade routes to the Mediterranean coast, central Africa, and the Sinai; held spiritual and occult ceremonies; and constructed a stone calendar circle and megaliths at the ceremonial site of Nabta Playa reminiscent of Stonehenge, yet much older.
Following we have excerpted some key passages from Black Genesis that we think may generate discussion here. From the Introduction: This book is the product of a deep and strong desire to use the best of our intellect, knowledge, and abilities to put right an issue that has long beleaguered historians and pre-historians alike: the vexed question of the Black African origins of the ancient Egyptian civilization.
In spite of many clues that have been in place in the past few decades, which strongly favor a Black African origin for the pharaohs, many scholars and especially Egyptologists have either ignored them, confused them, or, worst of all, derided or scorned those who entertained them.
It is not our business to know whether such an attitude is a form of academic racism or simply the blinded way of looking at evidence to which some modern Egyptology has become accustomed, but whatever the cause, this issue has remained largely unresolved.
Anta Diop was both an eminent anthropologist and a highly respected physicist, and as such, he was armed with an arsenal of cutting-edge science as well as the use of the latest technology in radiocarbon dating and biochemistry to determine the skin color of ancient mummies and corpses by analyzing their content of melanin, a natural polymer that regulates pigmentation in humans.
Yet in spite of his careful scientific approach, the Egyptian authorities refused to provide Anta Diop with skin samples of royal mummies, even though only minute quantities were required, and they pilloried and shunned him at a landmark symposium in Cairo in on the origins of ancient Egyptians.
Diop died in , his mission not fully accomplished. Fortunately, however, the debate on African origins was quickly taken up by Professor Martin Bernal, who, in , published a three-volume opus, Black Athena, that flared even further the already-heated debate.
Bernal, a professor emeritus of Near Eastern studies at Cornell University, was the grandson of the eminent Egyptologist Sir Alan Gardiner, yet this did not prevent Egyptologists from attacking him with even more vehemence than they had his Black African predecessor Anta Diop.
Even though there is still much controversy surrounding the origins of the ancient Egyptian civilization, we can now say with much evidence driven conviction that its origins have their genesis with a Black African people who inhabited the Sahara thousands of years before the rise of the pharaonic civilization.
In this book we present hard scientific evidence and cogent arguments that have been culled from the latest findings and discoveries made in the Egyptian Sahara during the past four decades.
We have consulted the publications of eminent anthropologists, paleoanthropologists, paleoclimatologists, paleopathologists, genetic scientists, archaeologists, archaeoastronomers, geologists, and even reports from daring desert explorers such as Mark Borda, Carlo Bergmann, and Mahmoud Marai, who have all contributed to showing that this specific region of the world was the crucible of the ancient Egyptian civilization.
In researching this book, we have used the best and latest research accredited to experts and scholars, and we have also provided extensive notes in order for the reader to trace this source material for further reading.
In addition, we have specifically used our own tool kit and method, which entails the application of the science of astronomy to interpret the alignments of complex megalithic structures, pyramids, and temples, as well as extracting the astronomical content in ancient Egyptian texts and tomb drawings.
To phrase it another way, we have coaxed the silent, ancient stones to reveal their secrets with the universal language of the sky… From Chapter I, section In Comes Archaeoastronomy: …In the past forty years or so there has been a growing interest in the new scientific field of archaeoastronomy, which, according to one school of thought, is defined as the study of the astronomies, astrologies, and cosmologies, as well as the alignments of monuments and buildings of ancient cultures.
Napoleon also took along artists to record the journeys in sketches. One such artist, Vivant Denon, was fascinated by a zodiac sculpted onto the ceiling of a temple at Dendera. In Paris, Denon published as a book his sketch of the Dendera zodiac along with an account of his travels, and it became a huge bestseller in both France and England. In the important scientific and scholarly societies of Paris there arose a protracted and very active debate focusing on attempts to date the Dendera zodiac.
One camp was composed of scientific luminaries of the time, many of whose names are familiar to any student of science today. These scientists often gathered at the home of the Marquis de LaPlace. The approach that all in this camp followed in order to attempt to date the zodiac was to match calculations of the astronomical precession of the equinoxes with the images of constellations on the Dendera zodiac.
They followed the reasoning of pre—French Revolutionary scholar Charles Dupuis, who had based his study of the origins of religion on interpreting religious mythologies in astronomical terms….
One of these was the young Jean-Francois Champollion. Meanwhile, a French antiquities collector named Saulnier had dispatched a master stonemason named Lelorrain on an expedition to Dendera to steal the zodiac. After using stone saws and chisels and finally dynamite, Lelorrain managed to cart the remains of the temple ceiling back to Paris.
These remains, however, did not include the parts of the ceiling that ended up winning the Dendera zodiac debates. In September , Champollion, after years of poverty-stricken excruciating efforts,9 finally cracked the code for how to decipher hieroglyphs.
Champollion first deciphered the cartouches that contain royal names. A cartouche is an oval enclosure in which the name of a pharaoh is inscribed. Among the first cartouches he deciphered were those next to the Dendera zodiac. Yet in what must be one of the great ironies of history, in , when Champollion had the resources finally to mount his own expedition and he arrived at Dendera to see his famous cartouches, he was horrified to find them empty.
They never had contained any hieroglyphs, no royal names at all… … Before we go into this, however, we must understand better why the CPE made the mistake of leaving out of their research and investigation the regions of Gilf Kebir and Jebel Uwainat, for even with the problem of their great distance from Nabta Playa, it should have been obvious that they were in some way related to the ancient people who developed Nabta Playa.
Let us review, then, where and when this intriguing story of the Egyptian Sahara really began. Surprisingly, it was not in Egypt but in the dimly lit corridors of Balliol College, Oxford, England. Ahmed Hassanein was born in Cairo in He was educated at an English private school, as was then customary for well-to-do families in Egypt.
The very stiff-upper-lip education that he received there would serve Hassanein well for the diplomatic career he was destined to pursue in Egypt. Described by his peers and biographers as an exotic blend of court official, diplomat, Olympic champion he represented Egypt in Brussels in the Olympics and in Paris in , photographer, writer, politician, royal tutor to the future King Farouk and an incurable romantic among his amorous conquests was the lovely Queen Nazli , Hassanein was the last of the great desert explorers.
Endowed with such impeccable breeding and education, as well as having wit, charm, and panache, Ahmed Hassanein was to become one of the most influential figures in Egypt, holding no less than the high ranks of chief of the Diwan and chamberlain to King Farouk. This passion would eventually drive him to undertake the most daring of desert expeditions and to discover one of the most mysterious places on earth… About the bombshell discovery at Jebel Uwainat, section Pharaonic Inscriptions!
A Cartouche of a King! On that day, just as they were about to arrive back at camp for lunch, Borda scanned with his powerful binoculars the last remaining section of boulders that lay strewn on a slope. They were in a region at the southern rim of Jebel Uwainat—which is some 50 kilometers about 31 miles into Sudanese territory—an area into which it is dangerous to venture. In September a group of Italian tourists was kidnapped at Jebel Uwainat by rebels, and they endured a two-week ordeal before they were freed after a gunfight between the rebels and the Egyptian military.
As Borda panned with his binoculars, he suddenly saw an unmistakable shape on the surface of one of the larger boulders some meters about feet from where he stood. It was a shape that he had seen many times before—but only hundreds of kilometers from Jebel Uwainat. Note that the back wall of the cave appears to be constructed of megalithic blocks. The two men could barely contain their excitement, for there it was, after decades of speculation, incontestable evidence that the ancient Egyptians managed to reach this remote place after all!
The findings that emerge from this integrated analysis are: 1. There are at least nine megaliths that form the three lines—A1, A2, and A3—that point north. These track the star Dubhe in the Big Dipper over a considerable period of time. There are at least six megaliths that form lines B1 and B2 pointing southeast.
These track the bright star Sirius at two epochs. Sirius also coordinated simultaneously with the star Dubhe in the Big Dipper so that their alignments formed an approximate degree angle. This possible simultaneous observation of Sirius in the east and the star Dubhe in the north was of particular interest, because we know from our studies of ancient Egypt that the very same simultaneous observation of Sirius and Dubhe was performed in the alignment rituals of pyramids and temples since the beginning of the pharaonic civilization.
This encouraged us to test for the simultaneous observation of Sirius and Dubhe at Nabta Playa, where we found a remarkably accurate and consistent repetition of this pattern of observation. Our destination was a mysterious stone circle discovered in by Ralph Alger Bagnold and thus known as Bagnold Circle.
The stone circle was poorly documented and very little was known about it, but photographs encouraged us to suppose that it, too, like the Calendar Circle at Nabta Playa, could be some sort of prehistoric astronomical device. It took us two days of grueling travel in some of the most desolate places we had ever seen to reach Bagnold Circle.
We wondered how Ralph Bagnold, in those days with vehicles that must have been very primitive by comparison, managed to come here through this testing terrain. Bagnold, who was a veteran of trench warfare in World War I, became a pioneer of deep desert exploration—especially, of the Sahara—throughout the s.
He was also a physicist who contributed valuable knowledge of the physics of blown sand, which is still used in planetary science research today. No evidence of astronomical orientations had been reported, and none is readily discernable in photographs of the circle. The physical features we noted first were two prominent, upright, and elongated stones very reminiscent of the gate stones of the Calendar Circle at Nabta Playa that defined an east—west alignment. One of these stones on the west side was white, and the stone on the eastern side was black, which may indicate a symbolic significance of some sort…[with] our GPS we took readings of this alignment as well as readings for the north—south alignment, which also had at each end a very dark-colored stone, nearly black, and a very light-colored stone, nearly white.
The conditions of the stones suggest extreme age: they have been deeply scoured by millennia of wind erosion. Some of the stones have suffered such extreme erosion that their tops have fallen off and are still on the ground where they fell.
Notwithstanding this erosion, the circle is remarkably well preserved, considering its vast age. The two alignments—east—west and north—south—strongly imply an astronomical function for the Bagnold Circle. Another clue are twenty-eight stones that form the circumference of the circle, which is not only implicit of the lunar phase cycle of We also noted that north of the circle there was an elongated low hill that suggests observation of the low northern sky, possibly for marking the passage of a circumpolar constellation or star.
Brophy and Bauval at Bagnold Circle at sunrise. Brophy and Bauval at Bagnold Circle at sunset. One of the most nagging questions that constantly comes to mind in this totally desolate and extremely remote place of the Egyptian Sahara is this: Why build anything here at all?
What could have influenced the ancient people who roamed the deep desert to go to the trouble of constructing a stone circle in the middle of nowhere and, furthermore, to align it to the four cardinal directions? The answer, ironically enough, may actually be that they did so because of the location itself—or, to be more specific, of the latitude of the place. Today Bagnold Circle is approximately This means that within that range of epochs the sun passed directly overhead exactly at the zenith a few days before and a few day after the summer solstice.
Discovery of an engraved, solstice-aligned arrow, together with possible prehistoric proto-writing, Jebel Uwainat. This time of year was when the monsoon rains started drenching the desert and may be a reason—though perhaps not the only reason—for locating the stone circle here. We can recall from chapter 2 that in Carlo Bergmann discovered the Abu Ballas Trail, an ancient donkey trail that ran across the kilometers miles of waterless desert between the Dakhla oasis and Gilf Kebir.
Although anthropologists and Egyptologists have agreed that this trail was used by ancient Egyptians of the late Old Kingdom, Bergmann believes it was used as early as the Late Neolithic, about — BCE. Bagnold Circle is located a bit west of this trail, and it is quite possible that it served as a point for a shortcut route to Gilf Kebir, perhaps by the same Neolithic people who once populated Gilf Kebir and Jebel Uwainat… Discovery of an isolated standing stone, possibly a prehistoric gnomon, north of Jebel Uwainat.
From Chapter 5, section Ham, Son of Noah: In Egyptology, we frequently come across the term Hamites in connection with the origins of the ancient Egyptians. As we attempt to understand why and how the Hamites are associated with the ancient Egyptians, we are often led to the Bible and the story of Noah and his sons.
In the Book of Genesis, Ham is one of the sons of Noah. The Land of Ham is thus often said to be that part of the world we call Black Africa what has been thought of as sub-Saharan Africa. This so-called Curse of Ham also known as the Curse of Canaan has generated, as we might expect, all sorts of debate and various interpretations among fundamentalists of the Bible as well as racists. By implication, then, we can see how biblical literalists might conclude that the Egyptians were the descendants of Ham.
At any rate, we can see all these biblical interpretations as fueling the neverending conflict between Israel and Egypt—a conflict that supposedly started with the Jews in captivity in Egypt at the time of Rameses II ca. We can note that even today Jews refer to Egypt as Mizraim. Indeed, the Egyptians themselves call Egypt Mizr, clearly a derivative of Mizraim. Of course, biblical stories are not scientific evidence… From section, Consolidating the Evidence: Other than the visual evidence of prehistoric rock art at Uwainat and Gilf Kebir, we will also see here and in chapter 6 that there is even more supporting evidence of a Black African origin in further analysis of the astronomical alignments at Nabta Playa and other prehistoric sites in the Egyptian Sahara… … Michal Kobusiewicz and Romuald Schild are both renowned anthropologists who have studied Nabta Playa under the aegis of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
They brought with them the various achievements of their culture and their belief system. Perhaps it was indeed these people who provided the crucial stimulus towards the emergence of state organization in ancient Egypt. The term Black, however, is clearly avoided… Thomas Brophy with aligned megalith AO, one of the few megaliths still standing in original position at Nabta Playa,
Black Genesis: The Prehistoric Origins of Ancient Egypt
Uncovering compelling new evidence, Egyptologist Robert Bauval and astrophysicist Thomas Brophy present the anthropological, climatological, archaeological, geological, and genetic research supporting this hugely debated theory of the black African origin of Egyptian civilization. Building upon extensive studies from the past four decades and their own archaeoastronomical and hieroglyphic research, the authors show how the early black culture known as the Cattle People not only domesticated cattle but also had a sophisticated grasp of astronomy; created plentiful rock art at Gilf Kebir and Gebel Uwainat; had trade routes to the Mediterranean coast, central Africa, and the Sinai; held spiritual and occult ceremonies; and constructed a stone calendar circle and megaliths at the ceremonial site of Nabta Playa reminiscent of Stonehenge, yet much older. Following we have excerpted some key passages from Black Genesis that we think may generate discussion here. From the Introduction: This book is the product of a deep and strong desire to use the best of our intellect, knowledge, and abilities to put right an issue that has long beleaguered historians and pre-historians alike: the vexed question of the Black African origins of the ancient Egyptian civilization. In spite of many clues that have been in place in the past few decades, which strongly favor a Black African origin for the pharaohs, many scholars and especially Egyptologists have either ignored them, confused them, or, worst of all, derided or scorned those who entertained them. It is not our business to know whether such an attitude is a form of academic racism or simply the blinded way of looking at evidence to which some modern Egyptology has become accustomed, but whatever the cause, this issue has remained largely unresolved.
He has spent most of his engineering career living and working in the Middle East and Africa as a construction engineer. He then came across a new edition printed by Solo Press with a foreword by Adrian Gilbert. They went on to write The Orion Mystery together, which became an international bestseller. Barrettin a review in The Independent described Talisman as a factually incorrect and unconvincing "mess of a book" based upon indiscriminate use of source material culminating by "promulgating a version of the old Jewish-Masonic plot so beloved by ultra-right-wing conspiracy theorists. James J. Hurtak pointed out such a correlation in