Page:The Religion of Ancient Egypt.djvu/70

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EGYPTIAN CIVILIZATION.

lized races. The last molar has the same inferiority of size."[1]


Language.

It is in vain, I believe, that the testimony of philology has been invoked in evidence of the origin of the Egyptians. The language which has been recovered belongs to a very early stage of speech, and is not, or at least cannot be shown to be, allied to any other known language than its descendant the Coptic. It is certainly not akin to any of the known dialects either of North or of South Africa, and the attempts which have hitherto been made towards establishing such a kindred must be considered as absolute failures. A certain number of Egyptian words, such as i, "go," , "give, place," have the same meaning as the corresponding Indo-European roots. And a few other Egyptian words sound very like Semitic words of the same meaning. But the total number of words in the Egyptian vocabulary which have the appearance of relationship either with the Aryan or with the Semitic stock turns out, after passing through the necessary process of sifting, to be extremely small. A consider-

  1. Transactions of the Second Session of the International Congress of Orientalists, held in London, 1874, p. 355 and following. Professor Owen here discusses the doctrine put forth by Professor Huxley upon "the Geographical Distribution of the chief Modifications of Mankind," in the Journal of the Ethnological Society of London, Jan. 1871.