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By David O'Connor

Even though the examine of Egyptian tradition spurned its personal self-discipline, Egypt is and continually has been a part of Africa. those twelve essays re-open the talk at the effect of Egyptian tradition at the remainder of Africa from early occasions to the Christian interval acknowledging and discussing the distortions which were created by way of 'racial prejudice, colonial and imperial interests'.

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The three models propounded by Bernal, ‘Ancient’, ‘Aryan’ and ‘Revised Ancient’, which provide the core of his view, provide a clear example of Bernal’s mode of exposition of these issues. He asserts in effect that before the early 19th century the ancient model went virtually unchallenged; from the time of the Greeks themselves – indeed from the time of their myths – it was universally accepted that the Egyptian civilization had been far older than the Greek and that the Greeks had a substantial debt to the Egyptians and to their ancient cultural traditions.

Having realized this, we of today must now return from these wild shores of 19th century speculation to the safe ground of handing on the truth as successive earlier generations have preserved it for us. Of course, this is an exaggeration of Bernal’s position on these matters; but this is the underlying rhetorical strength of what he says: he seeks artfully to create the impression that departing from the norm of the beliefs held by earlier generations requires some special and probably sinister explanation.

One main feature of the competition was a belief that the races of the world were real groups of people moving through huge periods of time with their characteristics of speech and culture retaining a great measure of consistency over centuries or even over millennia. The IndoEuropeans were a race identified entirely on the basis of their languages, without the benefit of any archaeological evidence that would pin them down to any specific location in time or space. But they were being presented as some kind of biological unity with characteristics, including intellectual capacities, traceable over centuries.

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