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New Research Shows that Some Ancient Egyptians Were Naturally Fair-Haired

New Research Shows that Some Ancient Egyptians Were Naturally Fair-Haired

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According to Dr. Janet Davey from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine in Australia, some ancient Egyptians were naturally blonde or red haired. Her research has brought an answer to an intriguing question connected with Egyptian mummies and the effects of the mummification process.

An article published recently by The Sydney Morning Herald says that the mystery of the red and blonde hair discovered on some ancient Egyptian mummies may finally be solved. The new research was necessary to check the common perception that no ancient Egyptians had hair that wasn’t colored dark brown or black. Until now, most researchers had claimed that the different colors of the mummy hair were a result of the mummification process itself.

Dr. Davey decided to do innovative experiments, which she accomplished with the support of her friend, a retired industrial chemist named Alan Elliot. They prepared a quantity of synthetic natron, and used it on 16 hair samples. Natron was a kind of a salt that was used during the process of mummification to dry out the remains and has often been linked to a supposed hair color “change.”

The mummies of Yuya and Tuya. Both have light hair color.

The mummies of Yuya and Tuya. Both have light hair color. ( Youtube Screenshot )

Davey and Elliot covered samples in the salty powder for 40 days. It is believed that this was the same amount of time that was needed in ancient times to dry out the bodies. The donors of the hair were men and women aged from 4 to 92 years old. Most of the samples were dark hair, with one grey, one fair, and one with henna on it for comparison.

After 40 days, all the hair was removed from the salty powder and they appeared unchanged. Microscopic analysis also showed no change in the hair.

Dr. Davey is convinced that there were fair-haired Egyptians, but believes that the fair-haired mummies are just very rare. This is why Egyptologists used to believe that lighter hair color was created during the mummification process. Moreover, Davey suggests that there were blondes living in Egypt during the Graeco-Roman Period (332 BC – 395 AD).

"Some ancient Egyptians could have been blue-eyed blondes or brown-eyed blondes. I wouldn't say ancient Egypt was multi-cultural like Australia today but certainly there were various mixes." - she said.

Mummy of 19th dynasty King Rameses II. Note the fair hair color.

Mummy of 19th dynasty King Rameses II. Note the fair hair color. ( CC BY SA 3.0 )

The secret of mummies with differently colored hair is as old as the Egyptian civilization itself. For example, the oldest known mummy with dyed hair is dated back to 3400 BC. It was the Late Pre-dynastic period of Egypt, a very mysterious time in the history of the country.

The well-preserved mummy of a man was excavated by Wallis Budge in the end of the 19th century. Nowadays, it is exhibited in the British Museum. The mummy was nicknamed '' The Ginger '', due to the color of its hair. The man was mummified naturally, without the use of natron. He was buried at the desert necropolis in Gebelein, Egypt. The mummy of “The Ginger” sheds light on the very early history of Egypt, and suggests that people who created the Egyptian civilizations could have been blonde or red haired too.

Detail of “The Ginger” mummy.

Detail of “The Ginger” mummy. ( The British Museum )

Moreover, one of the greatest pharaohs in history, Ramesses II, had red hair . For many decades, researchers believed that his color was caused by natron applied to the mummy. Another theory said that fair hair in Egyptian mummies was a result of marriages with women from Anatolia. The Hittite prince Zannanza, who was sent from Hattusha to Thebes to marry princess Ankhesenamun, had light skin and hair. The father of the powerful queen Tiye (wife of Amenhotep III), Yuya was blonde as well.

On December 14, 2014 Ancient Origins reported on a remarkable discovery in Fag el-Gamous necropolis, which lies along the eastern edge of the Fayum depression near Seila in Egypt and dates to the time when the Roman or Byzantine Empire controlled Egypt, from the 1st to the 7th century AD.

It is an enormous cemetery that is believed to contain over one million burials of ordinary Egyptian citizens that were naturally mummified by the hot and dry desert sands over 1,500 years ago. Over three decades of excavations by Brigham Young University in Utah revealed some incredible finds, such as the remains of large male over 7 feet (2.13 meters) tall, an infant child that was discovered wearing a tunic and jewelry, and unique groupings of burials clustered according to hair color, including blond and redheaded mummies.

Redheaded female found at Fag el-Gamous.

Redheaded female found at Fag el-Gamous. ( Brigham Young University )

Featured Image: Anubis, supervisor of the mummification process. ( CC BY SA 2.0 ) A mummified blonde boy, about five years of age. ( British Museum )

By Natalia Klimczak

Comments

MARCCHOPPER, WELL YOU HAVEN'T ANY PROOF THAT WHITE EUROPEANS INVENTED THOSE THINGS YOU MENTIONED.….ALL THOSE THINGS THAT YOU MENTIONED WERE EITHER INVENTED BY BLACK PEOPLE, OR THEY CONTRIBUTED THE MOST TECHNOLOGY TO THOSE INVENTIONS.   EVEN YOUR PC (PERSONAL COMPUTER) WAS INVENTED ABY A BLACK COMPUTER SCIENTIST NAME DR. MARK DEAN WHILE LEADING THE TEAM PROJECT WHILE EMPLOYED BY IBM, EVEN "DOT COM” WHICH 80% OF ALL COMPANIES USE TO LOCATE THEM ON THE INTERNET WAS INVENTED BY THE BLACK DR. McHENRY, THE LIGHT BULB FILAMENT WAS INVENTED BY DR. LOUIS LATIMER, THE GAS MASK WAS INVENTED BY DR, GARRETT MORGAN, AND OTHER BLACK SCIENTIST INVENTED THE MOBILE REFRIGERATION UNITS ON CARS, TRUCKS, BUSES, TRAINS AND PLANES.    PAPER TO WRITE ON (PAPYRUS) WAS INVENTED IN EGYPT (NORTH AFRICA), SO WAS INK, AND THE FIRST WRITING SUCH  AS HIEROGLYPHICS WAS INVESTED BY THE BLACK NUBIANS, AND LATER GIVEN THE NAME HIEROGLYPHICS BY THE EGYPTIANS, ACCORDING TO THE ANCIENT GREEK HISTORIAN, DIODORUS SICULUS….I CAN SEE THAT YOU MUST HAVE STOPPED LEARNING IN JUNIOR HS...

Charles Bowles

Well, there are blond blue eyes black africans .. just google it , they are beautiful.

Marcchopper    Well, the evidence is all around you, but you refuse to accept it Mr. genius.  Fact all modern inventions, everything you use  from clothing, medicine, homes, radios, TV, planes, trains automobiles etc come from the genius of the Black African mind...For example, the “digital technology” in your mobile phone was by Dr. Jesse Russell, that PC was invented by Dr. Mark Dean who lead the team in its invention, GAS MASKS used by firemen and others was invented by Garrett Morgan, the light bulb filament was by Dr. louis Latimer, the HEART PACEMAKER, as well as the guiding device inside the “TOMAHAWK MISSILE” by Dr. Otis Boykin, the first dependable american clock was by Dr. Benjamin Banneker, as well as he also has a clock named after him over in London called the “BIG BEN”, you got it, “BIG BEN” BENJAMIN Banneker...First successful heart operation by Dr Daniel Hale Williams...First successful surgery to separate twins conjoined at the head was by Dr Ben Carson, DEVICE invented to remove EYE CATARACTS without making blood incisions invented by Dr Paricia Bathe, the mobile air conditioning units for cars, trucks, planes and trains, ESCALATORS, elevators all inveted by Black inventors.  Even your chidhood favorite sandwich name “PEANUT BUTTER” and soap you use to wash your body was by Dr. George Washington carver.  Lets not forget DOORS, LOCKS, and KEYS, as well as Paper (papyrus) and Ink for pens.  I could go on for days while refuting your ignorance, but I will STOP right here...lol

Charles Bowles

Please provide some evidence of this genius. Fact all modern inventions everything you use from your clothing, medicine, house, phone, radio, tv, film, planes trains and automobiles etc. come from the genius of the white European mind.

Andrea3, your comment was very fascinating, truthful, as well as explains the silliness of non Black Africans twisted and illogical views of ancient  Black African empires and civilizations.  The genius of the Black mind is simply AMAZING  and complex to the rest of the worlds people who are mind bent on doubts about Black African people..

Charles Bowles

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