Page:The Religion of Ancient Egypt.djvu/69

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54
LECTURE II.

the more southern regions of Africa. It has been most conclusively proved that they gradually advanced from north to south, and the earliest Ethiopian civilization is demonstrably the child, not the parent, of the Egyptian. Most scholars now point to the interior of Asia as the cradle of the Egyptian people. I will only say that the farther back we go into antiquity, the more closely does the Egyptian type approach the European. This is the opinion of Mariette Bey and of Dr. Birch, and the same opinion was most powerfully expressed by Professor Owen at the Oriental Congress held in London in 1874. In reference to one specimen. Professor Owen said: "With English costume and complexion, this Egyptian of the Ancient Empire would pass for a well-to-do sensible British citizen and ratepayer." And of another he said: "The general character of the face recalls that of the northern German; he might be the countryman of Bismarck." In reference to another hypothesis which had been proposed, he observed: "Unknown and scarce conceivable as are the conditions which could bring about the conversion of the Australian into the Egyptian type of skull, the influence of civilization and admixture would be still more impotent in blotting out the dental characteristics of the lower race. The size of crown and multiplication of fangs are reduced in the ancient Egyptian to the standard of Indo-European or so-called highly civi-