woensdag 31 december 2014

The seeming demise of the Egyptsearch forum--an insider's account of how everything suddenly went downhill

The old Egyptsearch forum (ESF, henceforth) has been going through several turbulent changes the past couple of weeks. Forget the earlier dysfunctionalities that plagued this forum; these new problems could prove to be much more destructive, even irreversible.

This new, unprecedented turn of events followed on the heels of a surprising public service announcement made by a veteran poster slash moderator, named Ausar. After posting for a decade under the self-professed identity of a native Upper Egyptian, he admitted that he wasn't who he had maintained he was, all along. Allegedly, he did it to add credibility to his view that the ancient Egyptians were Africans.

For those of you looking to somehow turn this into an inherently "Afrocentric" deception to resort to, for whatever it's worth: Ausar is not African (American), but Euro-American (as are most others who have historically tried to use this appeal to authority fallacy on ESF).

Following this admission, some suggested that he pass on his moderator account to someone with more commitment to offer. To those unfamiliar with the workings of the Egyptsearch forum, the notion of swapping pre-existing mod account credentials (complete with the former account owner's name and posting history) to a regular poster will seem like a very messy and roundabout way of appointing a new moderator, and I agree.

But with the owner of ESF abandoning his own site and regularly spitting in the face of the very people who are generating his traffic, and thus, ad-based income (the owner comes by unannounced every once in a while to silently delete threads), the aforementioned mod transition is just an example of the many desperate predicaments they've found themselves in, refusing to let go of something that's perpetually slapping them in the face.

Enter 8-9-2014, the day that the current moderator, who goes by the names of alTakruri, Tukuler and Ardo, was given the login credentials in a semi-nepotistic, undemocratic fashion (a forebode of what would later typify this illegitimate moderator's oppressive moderation regime). While it would be unfair to say that other members weren't asked to come forward and voice their willingness (I was specifically asked, but I declined), the end decision to suddenly appoint alTakruri and a second member, wasn't determined by way of votes or any other agreeable way.

The fact that this second member was absent during this whole time (and thus, one would think, unable to express willingness to volunteer), betrayes that conversations were being held behind the scenes, which were obviously more influential in Ausar's end decision than Ausar's outward show of deliberating in the open.

Fast forward to the day of this writing: it's now more than 2.5 months ago--plenty of time assess the effects his moderation regime of alienating everyone by throwing his bantam weight around and abusing a moderating account he wasn't authorized to use in ths first place (which I can only assume is illegal), is having on the forum he presides over.

The forum has become a shell of its former self, which says a lot, considering the already crappy state things were in before. You'd have to be extremely obtuse to force a forum deeper into the abyss with a mod than without one. During his short stint as a moderator, he has steered ESF to new lows that would have been unimaginable a couple of weeks ago.

ESF is now submerged in malware, Google has removed most ESF links from its search results, the few lurkers not initially repulsed by ESF, who have become members, seem to be walking away from the forum due to the current mod's regime, which seems entirely indistinguishable from Sammy's regime.

Even veteran posters seem reluctant to post in the subforum he moderates, where both the lingering threat and effects of his arbitrary and vindictive moderation are tangible. You can see him try to appear reasonable after his childish rants, but the fact is, those who have seen his true face, including instances when he went on murder and mutilation filled rants, have been disillusioned with him and his fake modesty for a long time.

26 opmerkingen:

  1. Interesting write up. It seems the site you mention is an online battlefield where's there's a war being waged between two groups of people (Euro and Afrocentrists) with racial axe to grind - each side desperate to prove that the AE were white or black. There are some more objective and scientific posters on there but they seem to outnumbered by the racial fanatics. A poster by the name of Swenet made a good point about how some of the pan-African/Africentric members of the site aren't happy to settle with the AE being African so are always asserting they're black.

    Out of interest, what are this blog's authors thoughts about AE being part of Black History ?

    1. Thanks for your reaction. For a long time it seemed like a reasonable idea that various stocks of Africans (e.g. Hiernaux's elongated and broad) were simply two variants with long term adaptation in distinct ecologies. The idea was/is that the two are basically the same biologically, but both acquired their distinctive looks. Under this model, a lot of beliefs of the posters there, including applying the word 'black' in a racial sense, can be argued to make sense. But we now know that this model is simply not what happened.

      That's a question I haven't really thought about. I'm out of touch so I don't know the full range of African cultures in most Black History curriculums. But I will say that it's not credible to include Egypt in Black History and exclude other Saharan cultures under the pretext that the core AE population is somehow more substantially 'black'. People will have to ask themselves some hard questions.

  2. What model is more likely to of happened ?

    There was recently a march in London about reparations. The curriculum and education was one of the areas that was discussed. Some advocates of education reforms in the context of reparations openly stated that they would like an Afrocentric approach to be taken to address and correct some of the fallacies that have been taught using a Eurocentric model. I noticed that a key theme within that debate that kept being mentioned was regarding AE being black and how this is part of Black History. There was recently a long thread on es in which the use of the term black as applied to the AE was discussed/argued at length. It was identified by one poster that although the AE were pigmented, when people apply the term black to them, it's sometimes in a racial/political way, not just skin colour.
    Over here, when people advocate for the AE in terms of Black History it does tend to be along the same lines (in a racial and political sense). Thoughts ?

    1. When you disregard autosomal haplotypes that spread around due to geneflow and restrict your focus to haplotypes that are specific to regions in Africa, you'll find that they tend to organize like this:


      In other words, they will organize in a way that is consistent with African populations breaking away from the human tree in succession as they moved north, until L3 emerged and OOA happened (e.g. Khoisan are among the first to break away, and they are found in South Africa, Omotic speakers broke away later, so they're found further north in Ethiopia, etc). Egypt is on the other end of this geographic spectrum, and, as we know from Pagani et al, haplotypes specific to Egypt most resemble haplotypes of OOA populations:

      "West Eurasian components were masked out, and the remaining African haplotypes were compared with a panel of sub-Saharan African and non-African genomes. We showed that masked Northeast African haplotypes overall were more similar to non-African haplotypes and more frequently present outside Africa than were any sets of haplotypes derived from a West African population. Furthermore, the masked Egyptian haplotypes showed these properties more markedly than the masked Ethiopian haplotypes, pointing to Egypt as the more likely gateway in the exodus to the rest of the world."


      This model of isolation by distance (combined with geneflow, especially during the holocene), is the only one that has withstood scrutiny so far.

      It's not my place to dictate to millions of people what they can and can't celebrate as black history month. But if the people at the forefront who do the teaching, for instance, knowingly obscure data and downplay Saharan connections, I would find that disappointing.

      I know people are already out there doing exactly that, because I've interacted with these personalities. Just like I've interacted with people of West European descent who do the same thing with Greece, Ionian Anatolia, Crete, etc. The argument of some of these 'Afrocentrics' is that some European scholars do it too. I acknowledge that but to me that excuse is already an admission that they're deliberately dishonest.

  3. Thanks for all the info.

    Your right about it being people's choice what to celebrate. As noted on es by one or two posters, when some people use the term 'black' in regards to AE they sometimes mean in a racialised new world sense, not just to describe skin colour.
    Out of interest, I've heard some say that AE was a pan-African civilisation and they've used various cultural items (like afro-combs, hairstyles and head rests) to back this up. How likely is this ?
    Also along similar lines but in another area, I hear that Herodotus attributed circumcision amongst the Phoenicians to of come from the Egyptians. Was there diffusion like this from AE or did it happen in-situ ?

  4. Anthro blogs are to inform, so you're welcome.

    From the archaeological evidence it seems like Ancient Egyptian culture generally follows along the lines of what I just described during the Late Palaeolithic. When you look at the lithic tools you'll see mostly local and regional developments during the Late Palaeolithic.

    See here, below:

    The Late Paleolithic of Northeast Africa in the Light of Recent Research

    Backed Bladelets Are a Foreign Country

    But during the holocene new African people come in and you see more overlap with Sub-Saharan Africa in many cultural attributes (including the ones you mention). See here:

    Ancient watercourses and biogeography of the Sahara explain the peopling of the desert

    That first article is dated for several reasons, but, broadly speaking, it's still correct as far the developments it places in Late Palaeolithic Egypt (see fig 4). The article is correct in placing in Egypt various Middle Stone Age industries (which were primarily made by people who are somewhat different from us living humans) and Late Palaeolithic industries (which were primarily made by people more closely related to us and the dynastic Egyptians).

    As far as Phoenicians, as you know, they're Afro-Asiatic speakers. It may very well be that the commonalities observed by Herodotus were a part of their Semitic identity (meaning, the Semitic speakers who looked like Nubians and predynastic Egyptians who left Africa 7-6000ya). A lot of cultural things that are seemingly restricted to the ancient Middle East and Egypt (and seemingly absent in Sub-Saharan Africa) are often immediately explained away as indigenous to the Middle East. Take for instance the Master of Beast theme:


    Some claim that Mesopotamian influences explain why the same theme has been found in predynastic Egypt (see pic below):


    But we now know that the same theme can be found in the Sahara. It may be the case that a lot of these commonalities are in the Middle East because they are a part of the ancient Semitic identity.

  5. What's your take on the aramna mummies like Ramses being e1b1a

    1. It's the result. Can't (and shouldn't) argue with results unless one is able to produce contradicting data.

      Some doubt that Ramses belonged to this hg. He may ultimately not belong to this hg, but if L2 in the Mediterranean, Egypt and the Sudan is ancient, there is no reason why e1b1a couldn't have been in Egypt.

      Any doubt in the blogs on whether Ramses was e1b1a therefore applies only to Ramses' Y-DNA haplotype, not to ancient Egypt itself.

    2. BTW, the results are unclear, but one of the Natufians may be E1b1a.


    3. What information did you come across where one of the Natufians maybe E1b1a? Because the link you provided says that the Natufian were E1b1b.

      Also what is your source for saying L2 has been found in the Mediterranean, Egypt and the Sudan is ancient times?

      And has E1b1a been found the Mediterranean and the Sudan is ancient times?

    4. The link says that I1069 tested positive for mutations that occur on both V38 (e1b1a) and M35. In terms of mtDNA L2, at the moment there is no ancient DNA evidence that it was in Egypt and Sudan early. But there is ancient DNA evidence that it was in Syria in the early holocene, as late as the Bronze Age. This means it must also have been in the Nile Valley.

      See this thread's comments on Mari and Tell Halula:

      Also see Cerezo et al 2012 (not ancient DNA, but the next best thing):

    5. Here is National Geographic genetic take on the Egyptians.

      According to this study Egyptians are ( 68% Mediterranean North Africa, 17% Arabian, 4%Jewish disporsa, 3% Asia Minor, 3% South Europe, 2% East Africa) and Tunisians are ( 88% Mediterranean North Africa, 4% Arabian, 5% South Europe, 2% Central Africa). According to this study the Mediterranean North African component is West Asian component which immigrated from Fertile Crescent in West Asia back to North Africa with the spread of agriculture over the past 15,000 years, so this component oringinated in West Asia.


      Do you agree?

    6. Also someone just sent me this, about ancient Egyptian DNA


    7. No I don't agree with that ancestry assignment. When you look at the combined results on NG's website, you can see they have fictitious components that are based on circular arguments.

      Don't believe any component is real unless it shows up in Palaeolithic hunter gatherer DNA. For instance, European ancestry is WHG and several other HG components. If you see a 'European' category that isn't based on these ancient samples, it's a fictitious component.

    8. I'll comment on the ancient DNA study once it's published. Too little information to comment on.

  6. What do you think about DNA Tribes amarna mummies results 2012?

    1. Are you talking about the Y-DNA results or about the STR results published by DNA Tribes? See my thoughts on the former above.

      As far as the latter, I haven't been able to confirm a literal interpretation of DNA Tribes' results (i.e. South African and Great Lakes regions being the top regions with the most affinity). In my analyses certain (not all) modern Egyptian and Sudanese samples score better. The Muslim Egyptian sample from Coudray et al 2011 scores particularly well when taking into account how admixed modern Egypt is. This Muslim Egyptian sample is from the south (Adaima) and, in this case, scores better than the Coptic sample from the same city.

      My explanation re: why no one has been able to reproduce the literal interpretation of DNA Tribes' results is that the way DNA Tribes reports their results, (e.g. MLI scores, their pooled regions, etc.) affects how well regions close to Egypt are able to score.

  7. Great links.

    In your opinion, does sharing cultural similarities always equate to sharing genetics ?

    Something I've noticed online, especially on egyptsearch is how people will create picture threads showing various cultural items to try making nationalistic type claims that their people and AE are directly related and therefore responsible for the civilisation. I've noticed how some of the es crowd get upset when they're told the AE spoke an Afro-Asiatic language or that they're not black in the New world sense of the word. The same people are always complaining about the bias of others but never able to accept and work on their own.

    1. It's interesting that you say that because some posters always complain that academics like Brace are misrepresenting the 'Afrocentric' argument when they challenge the notion that AE closely resembled certain SSA populations. These posters claim that no serious person denies that AE primarily share ancestors with regional groups as opposed to these various SSA groups. But when certain topics come up you can see that they're back to stretching the limits of links with Sub-Saharan Africa and omitting stark differences. Obviously, links with SSA are there and undeniable, but the data (e.g. non metric data and the affinity of the recently sampled Natufians) puts a clear limit on how much SSA ancestry can be there.

      As for your question: one of the most drastic examples of AE and SSA cultural overlap that doesn't necessarily translate to genetic closeness are the Afrocombs found in many neolithic Egyptian sites. While Afro textured hair was definitely present, this wasn't the predominant hair type. Examination of AE hair as early as the predynastic shows a tendency towards cross sections with oval shapes, not flattened, elliptical shapes characteristic of the Afro-textured hair most people associate with afrocombs. But even here you will see certain posters selectively post commonalities in afrocombs and deliberately omit differences.

  8. Rita Maria and her Egyptian friend tries to prove in her comments that the Ancient Egyptians, North Africans, and Berbers were/are Mediterranean Caucasoid African. Black/dark-skinned people only came to those regions by slavery. https://m.facebook.com/groups/903677139715584?view=permalink&id=1128560187227277

    1. Her level of skin pigmentation is completely absent from the early holocene North African rock art record. Therefore, she can't claim people who look exactly like her represent a continuity from those times. Although she might be able to make the argument that people who resemble her in other ways were present early (e.g. some of the Capsian people). But the people she says only arrived as slaves, predate the original Berber speakers in North Africa. The original Berber speakers were pastoralists and pastoralism arrives later. Here is one example of a West/Central African migration to the coastal Maghreb that likely predates the original Berber speakers:

      The genetic impact of the lake chad basin population in North Africa as documented by mitochondrial diversity and internal variation of the L3e5 haplogroup.

  9. When is your book or paper dealing with the Levant coming out?

    Also when is your next blogspot about genetic testing, phylogenetic constructs,and "tests are basically racially 'resetting' populations so that you can now have "100% European" and "100% Middle Eastern" samples, even though Europeans and Middle Easterners cluster away from their own regional AMHs?"

  10. I will deal with all of that in the new book. Hopefully it will be done by the end of the summer. But if the Egyptian aDNA results are not out by then I might not release the book if I have to wait a little longer for them to publish it. I want to comment on it and set the record straight.

    It might take years before predynastic Egyptian aDNA comes out. I can't let people trample over everything we know the next few years because an Egyptian sample from one locality comes out looking like this. I might not be saying anything in that thread but that's just because I'm not spilling anything.

  11. Deze reactie is verwijderd door de auteur.

  12. Dr. Rudolph Ware from the University of Michigan gives a detailed breakdown the ancient Egyptians and their origins. He also discusses the Afro Asiatic language... https://youtu.be/YuGuBsf5BtQ

  13. What Facebook group is that your link is not working