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Old May 20th, 2012, 07:08 PM   #1
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Pharaoh's Physical Characteristics


What are some of the Egyptian Pharaoh's typically chacteristics?
-Body type (muscular for battle, athletic, skinny)
-Skin tone (very tan, somewhat pale)
-Hair type/color
-Voice type (accent)

Thank you for all of your help
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Old May 20th, 2012, 08:04 PM   #2

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I don't think we'll ever know how they looked in real life, as
their images, carved in stone, always tended to portray them
as fit, healthy and viral.
We can look & measure their remains and get a good estimate of
how tall, structure ect.
Of course the most time spent on what a pharaoh might have looked
like is with the reconstruction of Tut's face.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 09:53 PM   #3
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We've got 'em for the 18th and 19th dynasties, in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Seti I, father of Ramses II, it the best looking of the lot:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 10:09 PM   #4

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There is widely held view that Egyptian art was far more naturalistic during the reign of Akhnaton.( Many consider the depictions of him with a long face and pot belly,as well as the famous bust of his wife,Nefertiti,to be reasonably accurate.

The gold funeral mask of Tutankhamun ( New Kingdom,eighteenth dynasty,ruled 1336-1327 bce) is stunning,but as far as I know,nobody knows how how stylised it might be. Has a forensic reconstruction been tried using Tut's head?
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Old May 21st, 2012, 01:27 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
There is widely held view that Egyptian art was far more naturalistic during the reign of Akhnaton.( Many consider the depictions of him with a long face and pot belly,as well as the famous bust of his wife,Nefertiti,to be reasonably accurate.

The gold funeral mask of Tutankhamun ( New Kingdom,eighteenth dynasty,ruled 1336-1327 bce) is stunning,but as far as I know,nobody knows how how stylised it might be. Has a forensic reconstruction been tried using Tut's head?
They did it in National Geographic, and it was massively controversial.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 04:40 PM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjadams View Post
I don't think we'll ever know how they looked in real life, as
their images, carved in stone, always tended to portray them
as fit, healthy and viral.
We can look & measure their remains and get a good estimate of
how tall, structure ect.
Of course the most time spent on what a pharaoh might have looked
like is with the reconstruction of Tut's face.
Easy. Look at the Fellahin and Sudanese. That's what Ancient Egyptians looked like. They favor Nilotes in general - relatively short, with long, skinny limbs, dark coloring, curly-woolly hair, narrow noses and (at least in ancient times) poor dental hygiene.
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 07:07 PM   #7

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i always thought akenaton looked like an alien. very long face and skull, big slanty eyes and a big round belly..
if nefertiti really looked like the famous bust of her then she was really beautiful..
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 08:01 PM   #8

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Quote:
They did it in National Geographic, and it was massively controversial.
Of course, I forgot. ( I've subscribed to NG for 30 years) I'll see if I can find it on line.


---------------Yup it's there.


Google Image Result for http://heritage-key.com/medialink/files/tut-reconstruction.jpg
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 10:19 PM   #9

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Despite the exaggerated Akhenaten reliefs, there were more naturalistic portrayals during the 18th dynasty. You notice men and women painted in the same color, for instance.
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Old May 26th, 2012, 05:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinto View Post
What are some of the Egyptian Pharaoh's typically chacteristics?
-Body type (muscular for battle, athletic, skinny)
-Skin tone (very tan, somewhat pale)
-Hair type/color
-Voice type (accent)

Thank you for all of your help
Several studies have been conducted on pharaohs across different periods in Egyptian history. let me assure you and everyone else that these ancient African pharaohs were the complete opposite of "pale". An analysis of the head shape of New Kingdom pharaohs shows their head shapes to consistent with early and modern Nubians:


Quote:
"In terms of head shape, the XVIV and XX dynasties look more like the early Nubian skulls from the mesolithic with low vaults and sloping, curved foreheads.The XVII and XVIII dynasty skulls are shaped more like modern Nubians with globular skulls and high vaults."(An X-ray atlas of the royal mummies. Edited by J.E. Harris and E.F. Wente. (The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1980.) Review: Michael R. Zimmerman, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Volume 56, Issue 2 , (1981) Pages 207 - 208)
Here are some comments on early period remains of Egyptians:

Quote:

"The predominant craniometric pattern in the Abydos royal tombs is 'southern' (tropical African variant), and this is consistent with what would be expected based on the literature and other results (Keita, 1990). This pattern is seen in both group and unknown analyses... Archaeology and history seem to provide the most parsimonious explanation for the variation in the royal tombs at Abydos.. Tomb design suggests the presence of northerners in the south in late Nakada times (Hoffman, 1988) when the unification probably took place. Delta names are attached to some of the tombs at Abydos (Gardiner, 1961; Yurco, 1990, personal communication), thus perhaps supporting Petrie's (1939) and Gardiner's contention that north-south marriages were undertaken to legitimize the hegemony of the south. The courtiers of northern elites would have accompanied them.

Given all of the above, it is probably not possible to view the Abydos royal tomb sample as representative of the general southern Upper Egyptian population of the time. Southern elites and/or their descendants eventually came to be buried in the north (Hoffman, 1988). Hence early Second Dynasty kings and Djoser (Dynasty 111) (Hayes, 1953) and his descendants are not buried in Abydos. Petrie (1939) states that the Third Dynasty, buried in the north, was of Sudanese origin, but southern Egypt is equally likely. This perhaps explains Harris and Weeks' (1973) suggested findings of southern morphologies in some Old Kingdom Giza remains, also verified in portraiture (Drake, 1987). Further study would be required to ascertain trends in the general population of both regions. The strong Sudanese affinity noted in the unknown analyses may reflect the Nubian interactions with upper Egypt in predynastic times prior to Egyptian unification (Williams, 1980,1986)..."
(S. Keita (1992) Further Studies of Crania From Ancient Northern Africa: An Analysis of Crania From First Dynasty Egyptian Tombs, Using Multiple Discriminant Functions. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 87:245-254)
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their limb proportions also reflect the fact that they were black African in appearance:


Quote:
"Estimates of living stature, based on X-ray measurements applied to the Trotter & Gleser (1958) negro equations for the femur, tibia and humerus, have been made for ancient Egyptian kings belonging to the 18th and 19th dynasties. The corresponding equations for whites give values for stature that are unsatisfactorily high. The view that Thutmose III was excessively short is proved to be a myth. It is shown that the limbs of the pharaohs, like those of other Ancient Egyptians, had negroid characteristics, in that the distal segments were relatively long in comparison with the proximal segments. An exception was Ramesses II, who appears to have had short legs below the knees."

--Robins and Schute. The Physical Proportions and Stature of New
Kingdom Pharaohs," Journal of Human Evolution 12 (1983), 455-465

The relationship between Africans to the south and Egyptians were much stronger during Pre and Early Dynastic times. The same physical characteristics were also noted:

Quote:
"The raw values in Table 6 suggest that Egyptians had the “super-Negroid” body plan described by Robins (1983).. This pattern is supported by Figure 7 (a plot of population mean femoral and tibial lengths; data from Ruff, 1994), which indicates that the Egyptians generally have tropical body plans. Of the Egyptian samples, only the Badarian and Early Dynastic period populations have shorter tibiae than predicted from femoral length. Despite these differences, all samples lie relatively clustered together as compared to the other populations." (Zakrzewski, S.R. (2003). "Variation in ancient Egyptian stature and body proportions". American Journal of Physical Anthropology 121 (3): 219-229.
link

A genetics testing company called DNAtribes did an analysis of the available SNP samples used in 2011 to determine parental lineages in New Kingdom pharaohs (including King Tut) and found that these people were very Nilotic (like people in south sudan):

Click the image to open in full size.

link

I hope this answered your question.
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