It may come as a surprise to some readers to learn that many of the early inhabitants of the Middle East may have had typically North European coloration. The authors speculate that before the arrival of the Egyptians — probably from the Arabian peninsula — the Nile delta was settled by a sandy-haired, blue-eyed people very similar to the Kabyles, who still inhabit the hill country of Morocco and Algeria. The authors suspect that they were descended from the Cro-Magnons whose remains have been found in southern France. These “Libyans” were driven west of the Nile by the more powerful Egyptians, and are depicted as having white skin.
To the East, Egyptians were also in contact with Amorites and Hittites, who also are likely to have originated in Europe. They appear in Egyptian art with the same light hair and blue eyes as Libyans, Greeks and the inhabitants of Asia Minor.
Like many peoples throughout history, Egyptians were often ruled by kings of lighter-skinned stock than themselves. Nefertiti, whose famous bust depicts a virtually European face, was probably of Hittite birth.
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