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Were the Ancient Egyptians Black or White? Frank J. Yurco, Biblical Archaeology Review (15:05), Sep/Oct 1989.


Nefertiti. By Philip Pikart – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

A recent letter to the editor in BAR (Queries & Comments, BAR 15-03) objected to an advertisement for a doll of Queen Nefertiti that portrayed her as white-skinned. According to the letter writer, Nefertiti was “a beautiful black Egyptian Queen.” Moreover, “The Egyptians are a black race of people,” the reader asserted.

Several readers’ letters in response appear in Queries & Comments in this issue.

Queen Nefertiti was the principal wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten (1350–1334 B.C.E.), the famous heretic pharaoh who some claim held monotheistic beliefs.

The doll advertised in BAR was, at least in part, based on the well-known head of Nefertiti in the Egyptian Museum in Berlin. There she is depicted with a blue, caplike crown and with light-colored skin. The color on the statue head is ancient, as originally applied by the sculptor in whose studio the head was excavated. So this is how Nefertiti was actually represented in ancient times.

Was Nefertiti “black” or “white”?

The ancient Egyptians did not think in these terms.

Read the rest of Were the Ancient Egyptians Black or White? in the online Biblical Archaeology Society Library.

Posted in: Israel in Egypt

16 Comments on "Were the Ancient Egyptians Black or White? Frank J. Yurco, Biblical Archaeology Review (15:05), Sep/Oct 1989."

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  1. Angela Simmons says:

    This is so educational. Are their still Pharoahs, kings, and Queens today in Africa or Egypt? I’m having a hard time finding that answer on Google.

  2. michel says:

    This is an “edit” tentative to correct my confusion between swaziland and lesotho. Mswathi III is the king of Swaziland and not Lesotho. This brings the kingdoms count to three.

  3. Nefertiti says:

    This is the most ridiculous afrocentric nonsense ive ever read. Zionist garbage.

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  5. gullagal says:

    You are describing Black folks all over the Black diaspora, including New Zealand and Australia. The ancient Egyptians wee BLACK folk, as were their Nubian contemporaries. I have often been asked if I am from Ethiopia or some other North African country. I am not mixed, nor were either of my parents or their parents. We have simply been blessed as were the Egyptians, not because of any race mixing.

  6. Silvano says:

    We have done the world a disfavor introducing concepts such as Black Folk and White Folk. We are speaking of Negroid peoples in Egypt. Even on the Continent of Africa there are various groupings of Negroids. Caucasoids evolved after the migration from Africa. Black is as meaningless a term as whites.

  7. Moe says:

    I am egyptian, I am not black, and I am not white.

  8. Eloka says:

    Moe, are you saying that Southern Egypt’s Nubian people aren’t Egyptian as much as you are?

  9. Gamal Naseer says:

    By far the best entry on this tiresome controversy, no racial bias whatsoever! Thank you Sir!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Human race is the only race all of you are delusional. But hey please continue this cycle of hate and savagery and murder that’s been STRATEGICALLY PLACED in front of you. When the crack open your chest cavity for an autopsy…everything YOU have inside is the same as mine and if it isn’t you’re either a God or a freaking alien.

  11. I CARE!!! says: