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

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

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


Europeans literally live across the Mediterranean Sea for Heaven's sake. The Near and Middle East is right next door to Egypt. Why people want to keep insisting that only black people populated and ran the country is ridiculous. Even with DNA proof, people want to further that false narrative.

Even though Europeans live across the mediterranean Sea, it is also true that Africans also live across the mediterranean sea, YET, African building structures were TOTALLY different from those in Europe and Asia.   It is true that ancient Africa which includes NUBIA, EGYPT, ETHIOPIA, PUNT etc were indeed 100% purely Black African peoples culture and technology..  There are Black African people who also have light hair, as well as many different skin colors.   Also, DNA proof does not clasifiy races of people, instead, it only tells us where people were isolated in groups for long periods of time, and that even people of the same race can have extremely didderent DNA when they are segegated farther distances by thousands of miles, such as the BLACK Melanesian, Aussie aborigines, Black Philippine Ates, Black Thai Mani’s.   It is a fact that DNA differences does not change the NEGROID race of these people just because of DNA differences.   The closer the proximity of groups of different people, the LESS DIFFERENCE one can observe in their DNA...It is also a fact that southern Europeans have as much as 24% African DNA, probably because southern Europe is CLOSER to AFRICA than it is to northern Europe which is far away..  There are two land bridges (Enclaves) that lead out of Africa straight from Morocco and into Spain where the BLACKAMOORS ruled for 800+ years.   There were southern Italian immigrants from southern Italy who were classified as Black Race in the southern USA during Post Civil War Reconstruction between 1880 – 1930, and were forbidden from marrying with white Anglo pale color skin people..There are also blond haired Black Melanesian people with blue eyes who are definitely 100% Black Melanesian race and has -0- zero % European DNA…..keep the record straight…..

Charles Bowles

It amazes me how desperate some people from certain communities read races can be to claim old glory. How does someone come and build a great civilization in a continent they hardly know. An in case the egyptian civilization is in doubt lets look at others like the pyramids in western Africa, the oldest known civilization in south Africa, Axum etc to prove that there were great acin Africa then. The kingdom Thebes was actually called Wose and is as African as they come. So I feel Africans need to speak up and stop letting other people write their history for them. " When the story of the hunt is written by the Lion, it will always glorify the hunter." African civilization, African continent, African glory. Surely there are other achievements on other continents that other people can claim ownership to. I wonder why it is so difficult for some people to beleive that a civilization on the African continent, in and African community was started by Africans themselves. In any case there had to be something to attract people from farwaway lands theyw ouldnt just come there to do nothing anyway. And please lets stop beeiving Africans couldn't have achieved great things coz that beleif to me is simply preposterous. You just have to look at the recent discoveries in technology that have taken place to know Africans have great minds. And also the place in Africa where the first c section was performed was in East Africa in Uganda. Please lets be truthful Enough has gone on and Africans we need to stand up to all such lies and preposterosity, claim what is rightfully ours that was stolen feom us even the glory.

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

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.


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