What did Ancient Nubians actually look like?

Aug 2018
2
Philadelphia
So I was reading up about the Kingdom of Kush, and it was really fascinating to me. I always assumed the ancient Nubians were dark or at least brown skinned, the way they were portrayed on Egyptian hieroglyphics; However I came across this study;
https://www.google.com/amp/s/mathildasanthropologyblog.wordpress.com/2008/03/24/boring-dna-evidence-from-ancient-nubians/amp/

Which apparently shows that Nubian mummies were 60% Eurasian??
This is really confusing to me.
Now, I’m not science expert, so I’m asking you guys. Is this study accurate? What did the Nubians actually look like?
 
Mar 2017
873
Colorado
I read an archaeology article about excavations in a graveyard in lower Nubia, I'm thinking Kerma. They came to a similar conclusion, that Nubians were not genetically related to races in the interior of Africa, but were more closely related to races along the Eastern edge of the Continent, from the North all the way to the horn. It did not make any claims about races on the other side of the Mediterranean, but might have included the near Middle East.



In Egyptian art, there are many depictions of very dark slaves. Nubia was involved in a slave trade with individuals from the other side of the Sahel, not their own people. They were also the trade hub from many other items from the interior:live elephants for war, ivory, ebony, gold.

Every single description of Kush talks about how it was the center of trade with the interior. I don't doubt this, I just don't understand how it worked on such a huge scale. Kush is in the Sahel ... kind of the dry, desert-y region of North Africa. The only practical way in & out is the Nile. So, wild beasts, humans, and dry trade were collected in the interior, forced marched up the back side of Lake Victoria, and floated across the lake. OK. Then, they had to get across about 300 miles of the Sudd. If you read descriptions, it's a treacherous shallow swamp filled with crocodiles, hippos, parasites, and disease. It beat the Romans: they gave up trying to go up river here. I'm guessing there was quite a bit of loss in "living cargo", yet it was routinely crossed back & forth.
 
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Mar 2017
873
Colorado
What did the Nubians actually look like?
This is from Tutankhamun's tomb. It's not clear anything like this ever happened, but it's how they represented "Nubians & Syrians" (current interpretation).


This is from Ramses II and illustrates "Nubians" (current interpretation). Note that while they're dressed identically, there's some variety in color.


Clearly, some are represented as dark, but that doesn't tell you much about their genetics. People from Tierra Del Fuego are pretty dark. Native Australians are pretty dark too. The Solomon Islands are in the South Pacific.
 
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May 2015
1,301
Germany
Please consider that Nubians and Kushites are not the same. The Nubians only step into the light of history in the third century BC, as a people living in the desert and steppes west of the Sudanese Nile Valley, ie. where the Kushites settled. The Nile Valley wasn't settled by the Nubians on larger scale until the fourth century AD.


Naturalistic self depictions of Kushites:






 
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Mar 2017
873
Colorado
Naturalistic self depictions of Kushites
Those are neat images.

The statuette is clearly Egyptian influenced, the second with wings & the Sun also.

The pottery looks Greek influenced. I wonder what time that's from?
 
Aug 2018
2
Tunisia
I think it depends on the period , nubians during the old kingdom period until the early new kingdom were nilotic looking people , in other words the blacks that you are refearing to . But Ahmose I conquered upper Nubia and then a period of colonization began , egyptians began to move into the region and build colonies which resulted in them mixing with the locals . You can also see that most of the prominent nubian cities were actually well documanted egyptian settelments like Napata which was established by Thutmose III .

After the bronze age collapse , Egypt was a very weakened state divided between various libyan tribes , priests and nomarchs each rulling his own terriorty so the nubian city states who were united by Taharqa found an easy Egypt to conquer , this phroah began the 25th dyansty and I think he was from the urban elite of upper nubia who were a mix between the colonists and the natives .

This is my thoey to explain the different portrayls of nubians throught the egyptian period and the recent genetic reseaches .
 

cachibatches

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,351
Judging by the description of the Egytpians they were black.

Also, certain classial writers said so point blank. For example, in the Romance of Alexander, the (unknown) author places the words in Kanake's mouth: "Our skins are black but our spirits are bright."

I would have a hard time believing that they were anything but black.
 

Dreamhunter

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
7,482
Malaysia
Weren't Nubians just the ancient ancestors of today's Sudanese? So, if they had long settled communities in Egypt, some wud hv looked like pure unmixed Sudanese, while some others might hv looked like mixed Sudanese-Egyptian.

Maybe something like these kids, perhaps.