Illyrians and Albanians

In my post called “The Movements and Expansions of Indo-European Language Groups” – https://vellaunos.ca/2021/03/24/the-movements-and-expansions-of-indo-european-language-groups/ , I suggested that there was an Italo-Illyric group of languages that included the Italic languages (such as Latin, Oscan, Umbrian, etc.) and the Illyrian languages. I have since developed the view that the Illyrian languages were not only not closely related to the Italic languages, but that they were in fact derived from a form of Proto-Indo-European other than the Proto-Indo-European of the Yamnaya Culture.

A culture called the Sredny Stog Culture (c4500-c3500 BCE) developed in what is now Ukraine by about 4500 BC. Its origins seem to be in the Dnieper-Donets Culture (c5000-c4200 BCE) that preceded it in that region. The Dnieper-Donets Culture was related to the Samara Culture that developed on the Volga to the east by about 5000 BCE. The Khvalynsk (c4900-c3500 BCE) and Repin Cultures eventually developed from the Samara Culture, and the Yamnaya Culture (c3300-c2600 BCE) eventually emerged from the Khvalynsk and Repin Cultures.

The Suvorovo Culture (or Suvorovo Group) (c4500-c4100 BCE) of southwestern Ukraine, southern Moldova and eastern Romania may have been an early migration from the Khvalynsk Culture. Whereas the Suvorovo Culture had kurgans like the Khvalynsk Culture, the Dnieper-Donets Culture, the Sredny Stog Culture and the Cernavodǎ Culture did not. But the Suvorovo Culture seems not to have maintained itself nor to have migrated elsewhere or developed into any other culture – it seems to have been a dead end.

All of the cultures mentioned in the two preceding paragraphs probably spoke forms of a common language, this common language being a major dialect of Proto-Indo-European that I call South Proto-Indo-European (or Steppe Proto-Indo-European). The other major dialect of Proto-Indo-European was the North Proto-Indo-European (or Forest Proto-Indo-European) dialect spoken largely in the area of the Comb Ceramic Culture (or Pit-Comb Ware Culture) – this dialect being ancestral to the Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian languages, and partly contributing to the formation of the Germanic languages and of the Greek, Phrygian and Armenian languages.

It is probable that there were some notable differences between the western forms (Dnieper-Donets, Sredny Stog) and eastern forms (Samara, Khvalynsk, Repin) of South Proto-Indo-European. It was the eastern form of South Proto-Indo-European that was the language of the Yamnaya Culture, and that produced the Celtic and Italic language groups, as well as partly contributing to the formation of the Germanic languages and of the Greek, Phrygian and Armenian languages. But the western form is not without descendants…

By about 4000 BC (after the Suvorovo Culture), a culture called the Cernavodǎ Culture (c4000-c3200 BCE) appeared in what is now eastern Romania, replacing the Early European Farmer culture called the Karanovo Culture. According to the Wikipedia article on the Cernavodǎ Culture, its pottery and burials show similarities to those of the Sredny Stog Culture. It is quite likely that the Cernavodǎ Culture represents an expansion of the Sredny Stog folks westwards (perhaps following the example of the Suvorovo Culture).

By the way, I do not believe that the Cernavodǎ Culture had anything at all to do with the Anatolian languages. As I’ve explained before (https://vellaunos.ca/2022/01/06/the-non-indo-european-hittites/), I do not view the Anatolian group as originally Indo-European. Instead, I see it as an Indo-Europeanized group that developed in the Novotitorovka Culture (c3300-c2700 BCE) that existed in the northern Caucasus region adjoining the Yamnaya Culture, and that eventually migrated southwards into Anatolia around the eastern side (not the western side) of the Black Sea.

It appears that the Cernavodǎ Culture gradually expanded westwards through the northern Balkans, probably mixing considerably with the Early European Farmer groups of the region. A result of this western expansion of the Cernavodǎ Culture seems to be the Kostolac Culture of northern Serbia and western Romania. And a derivative of the Kostolac Culture was the Vučedol Culture (c3000-c2200 BCE) that covered most of the northwestern Balkans.

It seems likely to me that the Vučedol Culture was the original culture of the Illyrian peoples, and that the roots of the Illyrians therefore lie mainly in the Sredny Stog Culture. So, although the Illyrians were Indo-European, they weren’t Indo-European in the same way as the Yamnaya ancestors of the Celtic and Italic folks who passed by between c2900 and c2600 BCE. And it seems likely to me that the Albanian language, which is Indo-European but considerably unique compared to the other Indo-European languages, is descended from an Illyrian language.

Samain and Samonios

Much confusion reigns regarding the origin of the name of the day called Samhain (traditionally November 1st) in Irish.

The Irish name Samhain comes from the Old Irish Samain, which in turn would have developed from Proto-Celtic *Samanis, which in turn reflects a possible Proto-Indo-European *Som-h2nis, this being an o-grade derivative of *sem– ‘single’. Germanic cognates of Proto-Celtic *Samanis include Gothic samana, Old Norse saman, Dutch samen and German zusammen, all derived from Proto-Germanic *samana and all meaning “together”. A further cognate is Sanskrit samana which also means “together”.

It is rather clear to me that the word Samain originally had a meaning “together” and denoted a gathering. Indeed, the main feature of Samain is the gathering together of the living with their departed ancestors. It is also rather clear to me that the word Samain has nothing at all to do with the Gaulish month name Samonios.

It is usual to see Old Irish Samain incorrectly derived from the term Samonios which is found on the Celtic Coligny Calender (see for example https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Samain ). The big problem with this is that Samonios would have given *Samuine in Old Irish. Although the forms Samuin and Samfuin are found in Old (or Middle) Irish texts, these are most likely due to a false interpretation of the word’s origin by medieval Irish monks. In any case, there certainly are no instances whatsoever of an –e at the end of the word.

The Celtic month name Samonios is clearly derived from the Proto-Celtic word for summer, this being *samo– from an original *sṃh2o-. This interpretation of Samonios is undoubted due to the existence of another Celtic month called Giamonios six months away from Samonios, this other month name being clearly derived from the Proto-Celtic word for winter: *giamo– The Germanic words for summer (such as English summer) are all related to Proto-Celtic *samo-, these all coming from Proto-Germanic *sumaraz, which developed from an original *sṃh2o-ros.

By the way, there are some who would interpret Samonios and Giamonios as meaning “end of summer” and “end of winter”, as if the –ni– element meant “end”, this ostensibly being derived from the Proto-Indo-European preposition *ni meaning “down”. Much more likely is that the two month names have n-stem forms of the words for “summer” and “winter” (*samon– and *giamon-) followed by the common relative suffix –ios meaning “the one of/relating to”.

But interpreting Samonios as “summer’s end” allows people to (mis-)associate the month Samonios with the Irish Samain, making Samonios an October/November month (and Giamonios an April/May month). This interpretation causes the month Ogronios (four months after Samonios) to be a February/March month, which suits the usual interpretation of Ogronios as the “cold month”.

One problem with this is that the word for “cold” in Proto-Celtic (yielding Old Irish úar and Welsh oer) is usually given as *ougros, not *ogros (but then, the Coligny Calender contains numerous instances of a serious incapacity to get orthographies straight…). Moreover, I don’t even believe that *ougros was the original word for “cold” in Proto-Celtic, but rather *usaros (see the commentary to the entry for uar in my Vindonian wordlist at https://vellaunos.ca/2021/04/18/vindonian-wordlist/). As for Ogronios, I see a clear connection to Proto-Germanic *akraną (which came from *ogronom and which gave English acorn) and to the Celtoid word *agrenios meaning “plum” which became eirin in Welsh and airne in Irish, further connections being Lithuanian uoga “berry” and Russian jagoda “berry”.

One more thing to address: the existence of the terms Trinvxsamo and Trinosam on the Coligny Calender. These terms have been taken to be abbreviations of *Tri-noxtion-samoni, which is interpreted as the “Three Nights of Samain”, this corresponding quite nicely with the Irish festivity. One important problem is that the first term has –nux– rather than –nox-, but that could just be an orthographic problem, especially since the second term does have –nos– (again, we are dealing with a very substandard orthography…).

In any case, I am rather partial to interpreting the term Trinvxsamo as *Trin-ūxsamo– meaning “Triply Most-High”. This would be a Celtic equivalent of the Roman Ter Maximus “Thrice Great”, an epithet of Mercury, which in turn is a calque of Greek Trismegistos “Thrice Great”, an epithet of Hermes. My opinion is that the Celtic God Lugus may well have been identified as Trinūxsamo “Triply Most-High” (cf. the Irish epithets Ildanách “Many-Skilled” and Samildanách “Equally Many-Skilled” for the Irish God Lugh).

Having said all this, I wouldn’t say that there was no equivalent to the Irish Samain among the Celts. But I doubt it. I will also say that I honestly believe that people who try to find connections between the Celts and the Irish often end up promoting things that simply aren’t true.

The Non-Indo-European Hittites

Wherever the Hittites and their Anatolian relations are discussed, the claim that they were Indo-European peoples is always stated quite matter-of-factly. This claim is based exclusively on the fact that the Anatolian languages had some vocabulary and grammatical forms which were evidently related to Proto-Indo-European in some way. But apart from this apparent Indo-European component of the Anatolian language group, there is nothing at all to indicate that the Anatolian peoples were in fact Indo-Europeans.

It is interesting that there are hardly any documents to be found on the Internet that discuss the obviously non-Indo-European aspects of the Anatolian languages, including clearly non-Indo-European vocabulary. So far, all that I have found on this is an article called “Possible Non-Indo-European Elements in Hittite” by J. Dyneley Prince that dates from 1921: https://www.jstor.org/stable/593722?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents . But of course, there are a number of researchers diligently trying to produce Indo-European etymologies for Hittite vocabulary.

One of the more intriguing features of the Hittite language is its relatively uncomplicated verb compared to the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European verb – among other things, the Hittite language lacks any subjunctive or optative forms. This is usually explained by saying that the Anatolian languages lost much of the Proto-Indo-European forms that their (supposedly) Indo-European ancestors had used. I think it much more likely that it was due to the ancestors of the Anatolians borrowing only the forms of the Proto-Indo-European verb that corresponded with their original non-Indo-European verb forms.

Just looking at the proper names of the Hittites and their gods gives one the clear impression that there is a blatantly non-Indo-European nature to them. It would be interesting to see Indo-European etymologies for proper names like Suppiluliuma or Telipinu (cf. Hattic pinu ‘child’), but I’m not holding my breath on that. I think it rather odd that an Indo-European people would have a total dearth of Indo-European names – especially their kings. Indeed, the names of the Hittite kings have more than a passing resemblance to the names of the Gutian Kings that appear on the Sumerian King List (compare Hittite Suppiluliuma and Gutian Elulumesh, or Hittite Arnuwanda and Gutian Yarlaganda), and I don’t mind suggesting that the ancestors of the Anatolian peoples and the Gutians were possibly related.

Aside from language, genetic analysis of the Hittites and other Anatolians would be very nice to see. But for some odd reason, it seems that looking at the genetics of the Hittites isn’t a high priority for genetic researchers. There simply isn’t any information at all on Hittite genetics as far as I can tell. By now, most Wikipedia articles on ancient peoples and cultures have a subsection on genetics, but there is no genetics subsection for the Hittites…

Of course, if the Hittites really were Indo-Europeans, the prevalent Y-DNA haplogroup among them would have to be R1b (or perhaps R1a, although that would be unlikely given that the distribution of R1a folks was more northerly than that of R1b folks). It’s probably safe to assume that the prevalent Y-DNA haplogroup among the Anatolian peoples was something quite other than R1b; my guess is that it was probably some clade of Y-DNA haplogroup G, a haplogroup which is quite common among the folks of the Caucasus region, and well-represented in Turkey as well as northwestern Iran.

Another thing that could help in more securely categorizing the Hittites as Indo-Europeans would be clear links between their culture and the culture of known Indo-European groups. I haven’t seen much about this apart from the apparent connection between the Hittite god Illuyanka and the Proto-Indo-European “Dragon Slayer” myth (a connection featured in Calvert Watkins “How to Kill a Dragon”). But it should be mentioned that the “Dragon Slayer” myth is not unique to the Indo-European peoples. And even if the “Dragon Slayer” myth among the Hittites was of Indo-European origin, it could easily be a result of borrowing (as was also the case with the Indo-European elements of the Hittite language).

Even though the Hittite language and other Anatolian languages did undoubtedly have an important Indo-European component, I frankly don’t believe that the Hittites and other Anatolian peoples were Indo-Europeans, and I have yet to see anything to make me believe otherwise. At most, I would admit only that the Hittites and other Anatolian peoples were somewhat “Indo-Europeanized”. In my post called “The Movements and Expansions of Indo-European Language Groups” (https://vellaunos.ca/2021/03/24/the-movements-and-expansions-of-indo-european-language-groups/), I suggested that the Anatolian language group “is the result of the (partial) adoption of South Indo-European by the non-Indo-European speakers north of the Caucasus who had produced the Maykop Culture”. But I now think it more likely that it was the Novotitorovka culture instead of the Maykop culture in which the Anatolian language group developed in contact with the South Indo-Europeans (or Steppe Indo-Europeans) of the Yamnaya culture.

The Reflexes of Proto-Indo-European h1ensus / h1onsus and h1onsuros

Proto-Indo-European *h1ensus / *h1onsus (i.e. *hensus / *honsus)

Proto-Indo-European *h1onsu-ros (i.e.*honsu-ros)

Sanskrit asu ‘life, vigor, vital force, breath’

Sanskrit asura ‘supernatural’

[The Asuras were originally primordial forces of Nature in Vedic mythology, not unlike the Titans of Greek mythology, but generally tended to be regarded as evil in later Hindu mythology in opposition to the Devas who were generally regarded as good (Nature vs. Civilization dichotomy)]

Avestan ahu ‘lord’

Avestan Ahura Mazda

[Whereas the Asuras came to be regarded as generally evil and the Devas came to be regarded as good in Hinduism, the opposite happened in Zoroastrianism (i.e. Mazdaism), with Ahura Mazda “Wise Lord” being considered the good God above all and the Daevas being considered demons.]

[By the way, I consider it likely that the name of the chief god of the Assyrians – Aššur – resulted from a borrowing of Indo-Iranian *Ansuros.]

Greek Ouranos < *Osur-anos < *Onsur-h2enos (?)

[Ouranos is from *onsur(os) extended with the “divinising” suffix –h2enos (a form which would account for the -a- rather than -o- : Ouranos). Ouranos is not cognate with Sanskrit Varuna < Proto-Indo-European *Werl-ṃnos > Celtic Vellaunos & Greek Hellēnes – see https://vellaunos.ca/2021/03/27/vellaunos/ for a further discussion of this name.]

Hittite ḫaššuš ‘king’

[See http://www.tundria.com/Linguistics/pie-phonology.shtml which suggests that Proto-Indo-European *h1 may sometimes be reflected as ḫ in Hittite.]

Proto-Germanic *ansuz > Old English ōs (as in Oscar, Oswald, Osbert, Osmond) & Old Norse áss (pl æsir)

[The Aesir in Norse mythology are the gods of the Norse peoples, whereas the Vanir may either represent the primordial gods of Nature or the gods of the folk inhabiting Scandinavia before the arrival of the Proto-Germanic peoples – a dichotomy resembling the Asura/Deva and Ahura/Daeva dichotomies among the Indo-Iranians.]

Celtic Esus < Proto-Celtic *Essus < *Ensus

[The similarity of Celtic Esus to Latin Iēsūs < Greek Iēsous < Hebrew Yēšûa is most unfortunate. All efforts to connect the Celtic god Esus with the mythical Christian godman Jesus merely on the basis of the similarity of their names (which have entirely different etymological origins) are simply outrageous.]

Latin erus ‘master’ < Proto-Italic *ezus < *esus < *ensus

[Although declined as a second-declension noun, this word may originally have been a u-stem – Proto-Indo-European & Proto-Italic o-stem endings becoming -us and -um in Latin, thus causing confusion between second declensions and fourth declensions (cf. Latin domus which has both second-declension and fourth-declension forms).]

It appears that there are no reflexes of PIE *h1ensus / *h1onsus or *h1onsuros in Baltic and Slavic.

A Cladogram of Simiinae

Below is a cladogram of the Primate subfamily which is currently called Homininae but which I prefer to call Simiinae. See my previous post relating to that: https://vellaunos.ca/2021/10/11/replacing-the-homin-stem-in-primate-taxonomy/

The cladogram attempts to show the evolutionary relationships between gorillas (genus Gorilla), chimpanzees and bonobos (genus Pan), and human beings (genus Homo). It also suggests approximate times for the evolutionary divergences.

(Right click and choose “Open image in new tab” to see full size image)

Replacing the Homin- Stem in Primate Taxonomy

Before the 1990’s, human beings and the great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans) were usually classified in two separate taxonomic families: Hominidae and Pongidae (respectively). But as the very close genetic relationship between human beings and the great apes became apparent, it was generally agreed that they should all be classified in one single family. The name chosen for this combined family was Hominidae. Moreover, it has generally been agreed that chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas should be included with human beings in the same subfamily. The name being used for this subfamily is Homininae. And it is generally agreed that chimpanzees and bonobos should be included with human beings in a taxonomic tribe (the level below subfamily) called Hominini.

I certainly have no problem with any of this taxonomic re-evaluation given that it is quite clearly required by scientific evidence – except for one thing: the use of the homin– stem that is used to form the names of these taxonomic groupings. Using the homin– stem for these groupings suggests that the great apes are human. This to me is clearly untrue. It makes as much sense as saying that all felids are lions, or that all perissodactyls are horses, or that all stars are suns, or that all sports are forms of hockey. But it is no stretch at all to say conversely that human beings are apes, which is quite evidently the case.

What I would strongly suggest is to replace the homin– stem with the simi– stem which is derived from Latin simia “ape” and which is already being used for the infraorder Simiiformes (the infraorder that includes all monkeys, apes and human beings). The only instance of the homin– stem being retained should be for the subtribe Hominina which includes the genus Homo and its extinct bipedal predecessors (such as Australopithecus). The following cladogram shows the names that I am proposing:

Superfamily Simioidea (replacing Hominoidea)

                Family Hylobatidae (gibbons)

                Family Simiidae (replacing Hominidae)

                                Subfamily Ponginae

                                                Tribe Pongini

                                                                Genus Pongo (orangutan)

                                Subfamily Simiinae (replacing Homininae)

                                                Tribe Gorillini

                                                                Genus Gorilla (gorilla)

                                                Tribe Simiini (replacing Hominini)

                                                                Subtribe Panina

                                                                                Genus Pan (chimpanzee & bonobo)

                                                                Subtribe Hominina

                                                                                Genus Australopithecus

                                                                                Genus Homo (human being)

Having said this, I would personally favor reorganizing the subfamily Simiinae (former Homininae) as follows:

                                Subfamily Simiinae

                                                Tribe Simiini

                                                                Subtribe Gorillina

                                                                                Genus Gorilla

                                                                Subtribe Panina

                                                                                Genus Pan

                                                Tribe Hominini

                                                                Subtribe Australopithecina

                                                                                Genus Australopithecus

                                                                Subtribe Hominina

                                                                                Genus Homo

About the Genitive Singular Ending in PIE

Current reconstructions of the nominal declension of Proto-Indo-European usually have *-es as the ending of the genitive singular of consonant stems. I contend that this ending was actually *-os.

As far as I can tell, there are two reasons why linguistic experts mistakenly believe that the genitive singular ending of consonant stems in PIE was *-es instead of *-os.

First, the genitive singular of most Germanic nominals, consonant stems as well as a-stems, has the ending –es. But rather than continuing an original PIE *-es, this is actually derived from the PIE genitive singular ending of the o-stems: *-os-jo. This *-osjo ending became *-asja in Proto-Germanic, this then becoming *-esja due to the –j-, after which the –ja element was dropped, leaving –es. At some point in this development, this originally o-stem ending was extended to the consonant stems. This same development is seen in the demonstrative pronoun *þes (> English this) which derived from an original PIE *tosjo through *þasja > *þesja – Gaulish sosio is obviously cognate (but with s– instead of t-).

Second, the genitive singular of Latin third declension nominals consistently has the ending –is, this presumably continuing PIE *-es. But this –is ending is actually derived from an original PIE *-os through the expected shift to *-us followed by a further shift to –is. The fact that –u– often shifted to –i– in Latin should be obvious enough. Some words in which this occurred are: religiō from *relugiō (cf. Celtic *lugjon ‘oath’), lacrima from *lacruma (from earlier *dakruma), and tībia from *tūbia (this from *tuk-bia – cf. Germanic *þeuhą from *teukom (> English thigh)). [By the way, some Latin nominative singulars ending in –is may have ended in *-os originally (as well as *-us), particularly in cases where all cognates have reflexes of an original *-os (or *-us) instead of *-is.]

Ancient Egypt: Black or White?

The racial composition of Ancient Egypt has been the subject of considerable debate for several decades. Two radically opposed groups have actively participated in this debate: the “Egypt was white” group and the “Egypt was black” group.

On the “Egypt was white” side, we find Arthur Kemp, an important contributor to pro-white activism. His epic work March of the Titans: a history of the White Race dwells considerably on evidence apparently indicating that the pharaohs were white: among other things, the mummies of some of the pharaohs clearly have red hair.

On the “Egypt was black” side, we find Cheikh Anta Diop. This renowned Senegalese gentleman is recognized as a leading figure in the development of Afrocentrism, this being essentially a pro-black movement. The University of Dakar in Senegal was renamed Cheikh Anta Diop University in 1987 (the year after Diop’s death).

As is usually the case, the truth in this matter is in the middle, between the two extremes.

Ancient Egypt was indisputably one of the more attractive places to live in Antiquity. The Nile River produces a long but relatively narrow band of fertile soil that stretches for hundreds of miles from the heart of the Sudan to the Nile Delta on the Mediterranean Coast. The Nile Valley was probably a magnet for humans from the most remote prehistoric times.

The earliest human inhabitants of the Nile Valley were probably rather dark-skinned. But as lighter skin tones evolved, the skin color of the Nile Valley inhabitants probably came to approximate the skin tones that presently prevail in North Africa and the Middle East, this being best described as light brown.

But then, a general drying tendency around 5500 years ago (i.e. c3500 BCE) caused areas that had been relatively wet to become arid. The area of the Sahara had been “green” up until this time, but quickly became the desert that exists today. This drying event caused some people in the northern half of the African continent to migrate to more hospitable locations, and one of these was the Nile Valley.

Although most of the people who immigrated into the Nile Valley at this time may have been relatively light-skinned folks from the areas to the west and to the east of the Nile Valley, it may well be that some of them were rather dark-skinned peoples from areas to the south and southwest of the Nile Valley.

From this time on, light brown skin probably continued to prevail among the people in the north of Ancient Egypt (and some of these light brown people may have had red hair). But the influx of considerably dark-skinned folks into the southern part of Ancient Egypt probably resulted in moderately brown skin tones in this area. And this difference in shades of brown could easily be the basis for the historical division between Upper and Lower Egypt.

By the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period around 3150 BCE, the basic racial composition of Ancient Egypt had been produced: light brown folks in the north and moderately brown folks in the south. Which is to say that the racial composition of the Ancient Egyptians was neither white nor black.

Later population movements between north and south probably produced a gradual levelling of skin tones, especially in those periods when Ancient Egypt was unified under one dynasty. But it may well be that the immigration of Canaanites, Libyans, Persians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs at various times would cause a shift towards lighter skin tones, especially in the northern areas where the immigrants would tend to stay.

Moreover, I think it likely that there was an emigration of the darker-skinned folks of Upper Egypt to more southerly areas beginning from the Third Intermediate Period. This due to the strong possibility that the lighter-skinned rulers who ruled from the northern areas near the Mediterranean coast from this time on were not as conciliatory towards darker-skinned folks as previous rulers. (Yes, I’m saying that these rulers may have been racists.)

This migration of the darker-skinned folks of Upper Egypt probably contributed to the establishment of the Kingdom of Kush which maintained itself until the fourth century CE. And it just might be that the conquest of Egypt by the Kushite rulers in 744 BCE had something to do with the reasons for these particular population movements. It is also interesting to note that the capital of Kush was moved from Napata to the much more southerly Meroë sometime around the middle of the sixth century BCE.

The current racial composition of Egypt was probably achieved by the end of the Roman period and probably wasn’t altered significantly by the Arab invasion in the seventh century CE.

I started thinking about this Ancient Egyptian race issue as I looked through the list of pharaohs on Wikipedia: List of pharaohs – Wikipedia The list includes images for many of the pharaohs, usually consisting of a picture of a statue or statuette that has been identified as such and such a pharaoh. Granted, perhaps some of the identifications are mistaken, and Wikipedia certainly is not without (ahem) “mistakes”, but I do think that most of the images represent the likenesses of genuine Egyptian pharaohs.

Here are some of these images. I think you might agree that their facial features are much more typical of black folks than white folks:

Huni-StatueHead BrooklynMuseum – List of pharaohs – Wikipedia

Kairo Museum Statuette Cheops 03 (cropped) – List of pharaohs – Wikipedia

Khafre statue – List of pharaohs – Wikipedia

MenkauraAndQueen-CloseUpOfKingsFace MuseumOfFineArtsBoston – List of pharaohs – Wikipedia

Kneeling statue of Pepy I – List of pharaohs – Wikipedia

Mentuhotep Closeup – List of pharaohs – Wikipedia

Statue Senusret II Lille – List of pharaohs – Wikipedia (look at the width of the nose)

Mentuhotep VI – List of pharaohs – Wikipedia

ColossalSandstoneHeadOfThutmoseI-BritishMuseum-August19-08 – List of pharaohs – Wikipedia

Hatshepsut – List of pharaohs – Wikipedia

Amenhotep iii british museum – List of pharaohs – Wikipedia

CairoEgMuseumTaaMaskMostlyPhotographed – List of pharaohs – Wikipedia (look at the lips)

RamsesIIEgypt – List of pharaohs – Wikipedia

RamassesVIFragmentarySarcophagusHead-BritishMuseum-August19-08 – List of pharaohs – Wikipedia

Of course, I would not say that these pharaohs were all black. But I do definitely think that they tend to have black features. In fact, what I am saying is that these pharaohs were brown – I might even call them mulattos.

One aspect of the Ancient Egypt race issue is the Ancient Egyptian language. This is usually classified as an Afroasiatic language along with the Semitic languages (Akkadian, Hebrew, Arabic, etc.) and the Berber languages. But a very significant amount of Ancient Egyptian vocabulary and much of its grammar can’t be attributed to an Afroasiatic origin.

On the other hand, a linguist from the Congo called Théophile Obenga (associated with Cheikh Anta Diop) has attempted to demonstrate a relationship between Ancient Egyptian and the language families of Sub-Saharan Africa, especially the Niger-Congo languages (which includes the widespread Bantu languages among which are Swahili, isiZulu and Shona).

These two positions on the Ancient Egyptian language don’t necessarily need to be mutually exclusive. Again, the truth of the matter seems to be somewhere in the middle.

It is certainly more than likely that the original inhabitants of the Nile Valley spoke an Afroasiatic language related to both the Berber languages and the Semitic languages. But if considerable numbers of dark-skinned folks from the south and southwest immigrated into the Nile Valley during the drying event 5500 years ago, they certainly brought their Sub-Saharan languages with them, and it is not unlikely that these Sub-Saharan languages combined with the Afroasiatic language to produce a mixed language.

So, here is my definitive statement on the Ancient Egyptian race issue: Ancient Egypt was a mixed-race civilization, a mulatto civilization. It was neither white nor black but ranged from light brown (in the north) to brown (in the south).

Woks Teuteko

In one of my posts called “Sa Frenkish Spraaka“, I mentioned that I had worked on a conlang derived directly from Proto-Indo-European. I hereby present what I have so far – see the PDF below. I am calling this conlang Woks Teuteko “Tribal Language”. [May 3, 2022 : It has recently occurred to me that the name should be Woks Teuteka because wôks is a feminine noun.]

I should mention that I have tended to favor PIE words that are attested in the Celtic, Italic, Germanic and Greek languages, generally avoiding words that are found only in the Balto-Slavic and/or Indo-Iranian languages; in other words, I have favored the South Indo-European dialect over the North Indo-European (see my post called “The Movements and Expansions of Indo-European Language Groups“). And I should also say that I have tended to ignore the evidence of Albanian, Armenian, Tocharian and Anatolian simply due to the strangeness of those languages.

I used Wiktionary extensively in my research (despite the occasional instances of nonsensical etymologies, some of which are truly outrageous), but I also made much use of The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World by Mallory and Adams – truly an outstanding work. I also referred occasionally to other resources, such as the excellent Sanskrit Heritage Dictionary – https://sanskrit.inria.fr/DICO/index.fr.html

The entries for nouns are in the nominative singular followed by the nominative plural and genitive singular in brackets, then by the gender (m, n, f). Only masculine forms of adjectives are given. Verbs are presented in the infinitive, with the 3rd person singular of the Indicative Present and the 3rd person singular of the Perfect following in brackets.

I have added etymological material to a good number of the entries, but many of the entries still don’t have any such material simply because searching for it is really rather time-consuming. And there is also the fact that I have had to develop much etymological material myself, not only because such is often lacking but also because I sometimes have reason to disagree with what I find. I also haven’t noted all the genders of nouns yet…

This language is very far from being finished, and I think it probably never will be. But I do intend to keep working on it, and I will probably post updated versions of it now and again (sooner or later).

August 19, 2021: posted three additional documents after the wordlist – one with pronouns, demonstratives, articles, interrogatives; one with declension tables; and the full conjugation of a verb.

You may also be interested in my Continental Celtoid conlang called Vindonian (Vindonag) (also with etymologies): https://vellaunos.ca/2021/04/18/vindonian-wordlist/

A Dictionary of Canadian French

Here is a dictionary of the variety of Canadian French that is my first language. This variety of Canadian French largely represents the varieties of Canadian French that have commonly been spoken by French Canadians in Manitoba for almost 150 years. It is closely related to Québécois French but is quite distinct from it, and it differs considerably from the standard French that is taught in schools and used in official documents.

The orthography used in this dictionary attempts to phonetically represent this Canadian French language as accurately as possible. All verbs are given in the infinitive with the first person singular of the present indicative following in brackets. Genders of nouns are given, as well as some comments on usage and a few sample phrases.

I will probably update this dictionary before very long. I may also produce conjugation tables of some of the more important verbs in the near future.

[The original 03-07-2021 version has already been replaced with an expanded 04-07-2021 version.]