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With Black Athena into the third millennium CE?

by Wim van Binsbergen

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[ A much shorter version of this paper was published as: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1999, ‘With Black Athena into the third millennium CE?’, in: Docter, R.E., & Moormann, E.M., eds., Proceedings of the XVth International Congress of Classical Archaeology, Amsterdam, July 12-17, 1998: Classical Archaeology towards the Third Millennium: Reflections and Perspectives: [ Volume I: ] Text, Amsterdam: Allard Pierson Museum, Allard Pierson Series, vol. 12, pp. 425-427 ]


1. Introduction[1]

Despite unmistakable hopes to the contrary on the part of the editors of the 1996 collection of critical essays Black Athena revisited,[2] the Black Athena  debate is still alive and kicking. With understandable delay, more volumes of Black Athena[3] have been projected by Martin Bernal, as well as a defiant answer[4] to the Black Athena revisited, under the title Black Athena writes back.[5] The collection I edited in 1997, Black Athena Ten Years After, reopened the debate again after Black Athena Revisited. Meanwhile the sociologist of religion Jacques Berlinerblau published his Heresy in the University,[6] a reliable exegesis and balanced (so fairly positive and constructive) critique of the work of Bernal. Enough material, debate and reflection has now been generated for us to try and sort out whatever lasting contribution Bernal may have made, sifting such support and acclaim as he has received — from his obvious errors and one-sidedness which the mass of critical writing on this issue since 1987 has brought to light. In what ways, on what grounds, and under which stringent methodological and epistemological conditions, does Martin Bernal’s crusade deserve to have a lasting impact on our perception of the ancient eastern Mediterranean?

                        I shall reserve for another occasion the assessment of Bernal’s impact on our perception of Africa. I have just completed a 400-page book devoted to this topic.[7]


2. Martin Bernal’s Black Athena project

British-born Martin Bernal (1937- ) is a Cambridge (U.K.)-trained Sinologist. His specialisation on the intellectual history of Chinese/ Western exchanges around 1900 CE,[8] in combination with his — at the time — rather more topical articles on Vietnam in the New York Review of Books, earned him, in 1972, a professorship in the Department of Government at Cornell University, Ithaca (N.Y., U.S.A.). There he was soon to widen the geographical and historical scope of his research, as indicated by the fact that already in 1984 he was to combine this appointment with one as adjunct professor of Near Eastern Studies at the same university. Clearly, in mid-career he had turned[9] to a set of questions which were rather remote from his original academic field. At the same time they are crucial to the North Atlantic intellectual tradition since the eighteenth century CE, and to the way in which this tradition has hegemonically claimed for itself a place as the allegedly unique centre, the original historical source, of the increasingly global production of knowledge in the world today. Is — as in the dominant Eurocentric view — modern global civilisation the product of an intellectual adventure that started, as from scratch, with the ancient Greeks — the unique result of the latter’s unprecedented and history-less achievements? Or is the view of the Greek (read European) genius as the sole and oldest source of civilisation, merely a racialist, Eurocentric myth? If the latter, its double aim has been to underpin delusions of European cultural superiority in the Age of European Expansion (especially the nineteenth century CE), and to free the history of European civilisation from any indebtedness to the (undoubtedly much older) civilisations of the region of Old World agricultural revolution, extending from the once fertile Sahara and from Ethiopia, through Egypt, Palestine and Phoenicia, to Syria, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Iran — thus encompassing the narrower Fertile Crescent — and the Indus Valley. Here Minoan, subsequently Mycenaean Crete occupies a pivotal position as either ‘the first European civilisation in the Eastern Mediterranean’; or as an ‘Afroasiatic’-speaking island outpost of more ancient West Asian and Egyptian cultures; or as both at the same time. Foreboding the later dependence of medieval European civilisation on Arab and Hebrew sources, bernal claims a vital ‘Afroasiatic’ (or rather, African and Asian; Afroasiatic is only one of the language families likely to be involved) contribution to the very origins of the Greek, subsequently European, now North Atlantic, and increasingly global, civilisation.

                        Bernal’s monumental Black Athena, projected as a tetralogy of which so far the first two volumes have been published, addresses these issues along two main lines of argument. The first volume, besides presenting an extremely ambitious but deliberately unsubstantiated and scarcely referenced preview of the promised findings of the project as a whole, is mainly a fascinating exercise in the history and sociology of European academic knowledge. It traces the historical awareness, among European cultural producers, of ancient Europe’s intellectual indebtedness to Africa and Asia, as well as the subsequent repression of such awareness with the invention of the ancient Greek miracle since the 18th century CE. The second line of argument, of which volume two has been the first instalment, presents the converging historical, archaeological, linguistic and mythological evidence for this indebtedness. This historical dependence is then symbolised by Bernal’s re-reading (after Herodotus)[10] of Athena, apparently the most ostentatiously Hellenic of ancient Greek deities, as a peripheral Greek emulation of the goddess Neith of Saïs — as Black Athena.

                        Reception of the two volumes of Black Athena so far has been chequered. Classicists, who read the work not so much as a painstaking critique of North Atlantic Eurocentric intellectual culture as a whole but as a denunciation of their very discipline by an author who continues to insist on his outsidership, have often been viciously dismissive; less so — especially before the publication of Volume II — specialists in archaeology, the cultures and languages of the Ancient Near East, and comparative religion. Virtually every critic has been impressed with the extent and depth of Bernal’s scholarship and puzzled by his aloofness from current debates not initiated by himself.[11] And all complain of his lack of methodological, theoretical, and epistemological sophistication.

                        Where Bernal’s central thesis was picked up most enthusiastically, was in the circles of African American intellectuals. Here the great present-day significance of Black Athena was rightly recognised: not so much as a purely academic correction of remote, ancient history, but as a revolutionary contribution to the global politics of knowledge in our own age and time. The liberating potential of Bernal’s thesis has been that it has accorded intellectuals from outside the politically and materially dominant North Atlantic, White tradition an independent, even senior, historical birth-right to full admission and participation under the global intellectual sun. Egypt is claimed to have civilised Greece, and from there it is apparently only one step to the vision that Africa, the South, Black people, have civilised Europe, the North, White people. Admittedly, this ideological triumph is only produced by sleight-of-hand, for it is very far from obvious that ancient Egypt can be equated, by pars pro toto, with Africa, let alone sub-Saharan Africa; in fact this is not the case at all.[12] Nonetheless, coming from a White upper-class academician who is socially and somatically an outsider to Black issues, Black Athena’s impact has been considerable. Black Athena is built into the ongoing construction of a militant Black identity, offering as an option — not contemptuous rejection, nor parallel self-glorification as in the context of Senghor’s and Césaire’s négritude, in the face of the dominant, White, North Atlantic model, but — the explosion of that model. And much of the aggression leveled against Bernal is based on alarm over the politicising and erosion of scholarship in the face of militant Afrocentrism.

                        Given the phenomenal expansion of Ancient Near Eastern and Egyptological studies in the course of the twentieth century, we should not have needed Bernal, in the first place, to broadcast the insight of multicentred cultural development in the ancient eastern Mediterranean, and as a consequence the fact of classical Greek civilisation’s indebtedness to West Asia and to northeastern Africa including Egypt. Ex oriente lux has been the slogan of an increasing number of students of the Ancient Near East since the beginning of the twentieth century.[13]  Ex Oriente Lux of course has also been, for decades, the name of the Dutch society for the study of the Ancient Near East, and of its journal.[14] M. Liverani[15] meanwhile calls our attention to the essential Eurocentrism implied in the slogan, which he therefore refuses to accept as a valid guideline for ancient history today:

‘The shift of cultural primacy from the Near East to Greece (the one dealt with in Bernal’s book) was interpreted in line with two slogans: Ex Oriente Lux (...) mostly used by Orientalists) and ‘The Greek miracle’ (mostly used by classicists). These slogans appeared to represent opposing ideas but in fact were one and the same notion: the Western appropriation of ancient Near Eastern culture for the sake of its own development’ (p. 423).

                        The message of Europe’s cultural indebtedness to the Ancient Near East however was scarcely welcome when it was first formulated, and imaginative Semitist scholars like Gordon and Astour found themselves under siege when they published their significant contributions in the 1960s. Even if Europe’s great cultural indebtedness to the Ancient Near East is no longer the secret it was a hundred years ago, given the hostile reception this insight received right up to the 1980s Bernal may be admired for popularising this crucial insight. Black Athena has done a lot to make it available to circles thirsting for it while building and rebuilding their own identity. Meanwhile Bernal himself does not claim excessive originality for his views:

‘ should be clear to any reader that my books are based on modern scholarship. The ideas and information I use, do not always come from the champions of conventional wisdom, but very few of the historical hypotheses put forward in Black Athena are original. The series’ originality comes from bringing together and making central, information that has previously been scattered and peripheral’.[16]

                        Does Bernal’s thesis on the European history of ideas concerning Egypt, and his stress on the role of Egypt in the context of actual cultural exchanges in the eastern Mediterranean in the third and second millennium BCE, stand up to the methodological and factual tests of the various disciplines concerned?


3. Modified diffusionism

The controversial nature of the Black Athena thesis, combined with the unmistakable methodological and theoretical oddities of its author, have tempted many critics to resort to caricature when summarising Bernal’s position. One such a caricature is that he tries to reduce Greek culture to the flotsam of intercontinental diffusion. However, the problematic of cultural creativity in a context of diffusion is far from lost on Martin Bernal,[17] whose self-identification as a ‘modified diffusionist’ precisely seeks to capture the difference between the obsolete model of mechanical transmission and wholesale adoption of unaltered cultural elements from distant provenance, and the far more attractive model that insists on a local, creative transformation of the diffused material once it has arrived at the destination area.[18] Despite his occasional Egyptocentric lapses into a view of diffusion as automatic and one-way, Bernal often shows that he is aware of the tensions between diffusion and transformative localisation:[19]

‘While I am convinced that the vast majority of Greek mythological themes came from Egypt or Phoenicia, it is equally clear that their selection and treatment was characteristically Greek, and to that extent they did reflect Greek society.’[20]

                        Admittedly, part of the production systems, the language, the gods and shrines, the myths, the magic and astrology, the alphabet, the mathematics, the nautical and trading skills, of the ancient Greeks were not their own original inventions but had clearly identifiable antecedents among their longer established cultural neighbours. Already the truncated previews of prospective results in Black Athena I — previews which should never have been seriously discussed before their full argument in the Black Athena  volumes yet to be published — created heated debate as to the possible Egyptian antecedents of classical Greek science and philosophy. Here Bernal finds against not only implacable foes like Robert Palter,[21] but also the Egyptological archaeologist Trigger who is otherwise very sympathetic to the Black Athena project as a whole.[22] The evidence from the Ancient Near East, however, has also been read to support Bernal’s view, and polemics concerning the Afroasiatic roots of Greek philosophy and science have gained prominence in the Black Athena debate; as a professor of intercultural philosophy the issue is of great interest to me, but a congress on classical archaeology is not the most suitable setting to pursue it any further.[23]


4. The Black Athena debate

The publication of Volume II in 1991 meant not only a further increase of the number of disciplines involved in the debate,[24] but also a marked change of tone. As long as the Black Athena project remained (as in Volume I) essentially a review of the image of Egypt in European intellectual history, the project was by and large welcomed for its solid foundation in scholarship, and critical sense of Eurocentric and racialist prejudices informing previous generations of classicists now long dead.[25] Glen Bowersock, the leading American classicist, proved far from blind to the oddities even of Volume I, yet he could declare:

‘This is an astonishing work, breathtakingly bold in conception and passionately written. It is the first of three projected volumes that are designed to undermine nothing less than the whole consensus of classical scholarship, built up over two hundred years, on the origins of ancient Greek civilization. (...) Bernal shows conclusively that our present perception of the Greeks was artificially pieced together between the late eighteenth century and the present. (...) Bernal’s treatment of this theme is both excellent and important.’

                        However, when Volume II was published four years later, it addressed the specifics of eastern Mediterranean ancient history — a topic constituting the life’s work of hundreds of living researchers. And it did so in a truly alarming fashion, less well written than Volume I, invoking yet more contentious Egyptian etymologies for ancient Greek proper names and lexical items (yet by and large much sounder than the Ht Nt one), insisting on the cultic penetration not only of Neith but of specific minor Egyptian gods to the Aegean, relying on mythological material as if whatever kernels of historical fact this might contain could readily be identified, claiming physical Egyptian presence in the Aegean by reference to irrigation works, a monumental tumulus, and traditions of a Black pharaoh’s military campaign into South Eastern Europe and adjacent Asia, playing havoc with the established chronologies of the Ancient Near East, attributing the Mycenaean shaft graves to Levantine invaders identified as early Hyksos yet bringing Egyptian culture, and reiterating a sympathy for Afrocentrist ideas which meanwhile had become rather more vocal and politicised in the U.S.A. It was at this stage that many scholars parted company with Bernal and that genuine and justified scholarly critique was combined with right-wing political contestation against the unwelcome, anti-Eurocentric, inter­cultural and intercontinental message of the Black Athena project as a whole — a development formalised and meant to be finalised by the publication of Black Athena revisited in 1996 under the editorship of Mary Lefkowitz and Guy MacLean Rogers.

                        One thing which the editors of Black Athena revisited have certainly managed to bring about, is a state of alarm and embarrassment among all scholars and lay people seriously interested in pursuing the perspectives which Martin Bernal has sought to open in the Black Athena volumes. And this is a real problem also in the context of my own current work, precisely because it finds itself in sympathy with Bernal’s. How could one honestly and publicly continue to derive inspiration from an author whose work has been characterised in the following terms by a well-informed critic like Robert Palter:

‘...those today who are seriously concerned with formulating a radical political critique of contemporary scholarship (...) might wish to think twice before associating themselves with the methods and claims of Bernal’s work; (...) for his lapses in the most rudimentary requirements of sound historical study — traditional, critical, any kind of historical study — should make one wary of his grandiose historiographical pronouncements. (...) In the absence of adequate controls on evidence and argument, the view of history presented in Black Athena is continually on the verge of collapsing into sheer ideology.’[26]

                        Sarah Morris praises the critical self-reflection Black Athena has brought about among classicists, but finds this too dearly paid for in terms of unwarranted politicising of the scholarship of the Ancient Near East:

‘On the other hand, it has bolstered, in ways not anticipated by the author, an Afrocentrist agenda which returns many debates to ground zero and demolishes decades of scrupulous research by excellent scholars such as Frank Snowden. An ugly cauldron of racism, recrimination, and verbal abuse has boiled up in different departments and disciplines; it has become impossible for professional Egyptologists to address the truth without abuse, and Bernal’s arguments have only contributed to an avalanche of radical propaganda without basis in fact’.[27]

                        Mary Lefkowitz says she does not doubt Bernal’s good intentions yet finds him criminally guilty of what must be, especially in her eyes, the greatest crime: providing apparently serious, scholarly fuel to what otherwise might have remained the Afrocentrist straw fire:

‘To the extent that Bernal has contributed to the provision of an apparently respectable underpinning for Afrocentric fantasies, he must be held culpable, even if his intentions are honorable and his motives are sincere.’[28]

                        Yet all this cannot be the entire story. How else to account, for instance, for the praise which the prominent Egyptologist and archaeologist B.G. Trigger piles on Black Athena? He sees Martin Bernal’s project certainly not as a mere exercise in consciousness-raising meant for Blacks in search of identity,[29] but as a serious contribution to the history of archaeology — one of his own specialisms[30] — and as a stimulating pointer at the possibilities of innovation in that discipline, which he considers to be bogged down by processual scientism.[31] Yet even Trigger stresses Bernal’s methodological inadequacies, rejects his contentious chronology particularly with regard to the Hyksos. As an Egyptologist Trigger remains healthily unconvinced by Bernal’s argument in favour of the possibility of extensive Asian and European campaigns by Senwosret I or III in the early second millennium BCE. and criticises the way in which he tends to take ancient myth as a statement of fact. Given the large numbers of both Egyptian and Greek myths, Trigger argues, it is easy for any scholar to take his pick and claim historical connections between selections from both sets — again the point of methodology.  In 1997, I adopted the same position as Trigger,[32] but m eanwhile I have grown convinced, on the basis of a far more detailed study of Egypto-Hellenic mythical parallels,[33] that with a better methodology Bernal’s intuitions concerning the Egyptian and Phoenician provenance of the majority of Hellenic myths may yet be salvaged.

                        The factual, chronological and methodological chords struck by Trigger as a thoroughly sympathetic reviewer reverberate, with dissonants and fortissimi, throughout Black Athena revisited and the other venues of the Black Athena debate. Many complain of the defects and even of the absence of methodology in Bernal’s writings. Yet such criticism often turns out to be difficult to substantiate, e.g. the utterly unconvincing two methodological case studies by Palter.[34] However, E. Hall[35] convincingly shows the methodological naïvety of Bernal’s handling of mythical material. Meanwhile, Bernal prides himself, and not entirely without justification, precisely on the explicitly theoretical nature of his approach and his attention for factors relating to the sociology of knowledge, which, he argues[36]  constitutes the main difference between his work and e.g.: Morenz’s Die Begegnung Europas met Ägypten.[37]

                        Many critics are appalled by what they consider to be Bernal’s confusion of culture, ethnicity and race.[38] They suspect him of a nineteenth-century, lapidary belief in physical displacements of people through migration and conquest as prime explanatory factors in cultural change. They blame him for an unsystematic and linguistically incompetent handling of etymologies.

                        Many critics do not so much find fault with his specific points but simply — and clearly for disciplinary, internal, rather than political and external reasons — refuse to recognise his approach as legitimate, up-to-date ancient history.[39] Thus the eminent ancient historian James Muhly,[40] who summarises his methodological objections in Bernal’s own words:

‘it is difficult for the scholar without a discipline ‘‘going it alone’’, to know where to stop’ .[41]

                        According to Baines[42] the notion of paradigms may be scarcely applicable in the field of ancient history:

‘Despite the extended applications of Kuhn’s term that have appeared since the publication of his book [Kuhn’s, i.e. The structure of scientific revolutions, o.c.], ancient Near Eastern studies are not a ‘science’ or a discipline in the Kuhnian sense. Rather, they are the sum of a range of methods and approaches applied to a great variety of materials from a particular geographical region and period; even definitions of the area and period are open to revision. So far as the ancient Near East relates to ‘paradigms’, these are, for example, theories of social complexity and change, or in other cases theories of literary form and discourse. This point is where Bernal’s aims depart farthest from those of many specialists in ancient Near Eastern studies.

Many critics question whether Bernal’s stated intention of trying to understand Greek civilisation is sincere: all they can see is an obsession with provenance, with intercontinental cultural displacement, and with late 20th century CE identity politics, but certainly no coherent and empathic appreciation of the inner structure, the moral and aesthetic orientations, religious experience and life world of the Ancient Egyptians, Levantines and Greeks.[43] This is a fair criticism, to which we shall; come back below.

                        Although Volume I of Black Athena contains numerous previews, only sparingly referenced, of the conclusions envisaged for the subsequent volumes dealing with the ancient history of the eastern mediterranean basin, that volume is first of all an exercise in the European history of ideas. Various critics have deplored what they consider the incompetence with which Bernal treats what he considers a flow of Egyptian knowledge which — often under the name of hermetism — allegedly has permeated the European culture of esoterism ever since Late Antiquity. It is difficult to say whether the dismissive views of these critics do not simply dervie from their own dismay to see so-called ‘pseudo-sciences’ as astrology, geomancy and alchemy, or invented traditions like freemasonry, elevated to the respectable status of vehicles of the secret transmission of Egyptian knowledge.[44] This is, incidentally, how many occultists across the centuries have viewed the situation. Some recent studies of the Hermetic tradition, respectable and without the slightest connection with the Black Athena debate,[45] would tend to a related view: they see European esoterism as a vehicle, not directly of Ancient Egyptian thought during the dynastic period spanning the three millennia before the Common Era, but certainly as a vehicle of esoteric thought in Late Antiquity, whose detailed relations with the dynastic period remains, admittedly, to be assessed by Egyptologists. Whatever the case may be, from Late Antiquity to the Enlightenment Europe’s intellectual production has been massively (not to say predominently) in the esoteric field, producing an enormous literature which relatively few researchers can claim to overlook with competence;[46] if Bernal is not one of them, his expolorations are at least courageous and stimulating.

                        With the intellectual history of the 18th and 19th century we are on much more familiar errain. Here the specialists have little difficulty showing that some of Bernal’s allegedly racist villains (Kant, Goethe, Lessing, Herder) were in fact — at least at the height of their career — heroes of intercultural learning and modernity’s theoreticians of tolerance, recognised as such in the whole world.[47] Josine Blok offers a penetrating discussion of this dimension of Bernal’s work.[48] Bernal’s limited mastery of the German language — alredy manifet in the considerable number of typographical errors marking the German entries in his bibliographies — is perhaps partly responsible for his errors on this point: he was forced to base his analysis on English translations and on the secondary literature.


5. Critical themes

We may appreciate, at this point, a number of critical themes which apply to the Black Athena  debate as a whole.

                        In the first place, the search for origins (which are often imperceptible anyway) belongs to the realm of parochial, ethnocentric identity construction more than to the realm of detached scholarship. Bernal argues — grosso modo convincingly despite too many errors in detail — how one particular view of ancient Greek history has served Eurocentric interests, but of course, his alternative inevitably serves other ideological interests, as demonstrated by his rapprochement to the Afrocentrist movement among Black intellectuals. Ironically, the very title and slogan Black Athena reveal that Bernal employs the language of race in order to drive home his anti-racist, anti-Eurocentric message; clearly there is some more liberation to be done here.

                        Secondly, identification of provenance does not preclude the crucial importance of transformative localisation after the borrowed cultural product has reached — as a process of diffusion — its destination area. There is plenty of evidence that Greek lexical items, the proper names of Gods, the myths in which they feature, and elements of philosophy and science — as well as many tangible traces of these cultural domains such as enter the field of classical archaeology — do derive from Ancient Near Eastern (including Egyptian) prototypes, but that does not preclude at all that these cultural achievements, once arrived in the Aegean, have gone through a complex and unpredictable local history which truly made them into eminently Greek achievements.

                        The same reasoning applies to Bernal’s central show-piece, the Greek goddess Athena herself. To the many etymologies of her name which scholarship has produced over the centuries[49] Bernal has added a new one deriving from the ancient Egyptian /Ht Nt, ‘temple of Neith’. Libyan Neith was a major Egyptian goddess in the Archaic period (3100 BCE)[50] and went through a revival under the seventh century BCE Twenty-sixth Dynasty from Saïs, when Greek mercenaries were prominent. Even though the specific etymology must be considered effectively refuted on grounds of historical linguistics,[51] the wealth of iconographic and semantic detail which Bernal adduces makes is quite conceivable that the link between the Greek goddess Athena, patron goddess of the major city of Greek civilisation in its heyday, and her Egyptian counterpart Neith, did go rather further than a mere superficial likeness cast in terms of the interpretatio graeca. Was the goddess Athena the product of the adoption, into some Northern Mediterranean backwater, of splendid and time-honoured Egyptian cultural models — as a result of colonisation and military campaigns, of Hyksos penetration, of trade? Can such adoption serve as an emblem for far more massive Egyptian civilising action in the Aegean during the  Bronze Age? Then why do we find so tantalisingly little of this in the archaeological record from the Bronze Age Aegean, the evidence even for Egyptian influence on Minoan Crete being extremely limited and indirect?[52]

                        Of course, a considerable part of volume II of Black Athena is devoted to an argument to the effect that this paucity of archaeological traces is in fact a result of scholarly myopia, exhorting us to consider the available evidence in a new light.[53] But few specialists have been convinced by this.

                        What theory do we need in order to accommodate both the lexical and mythological continuities between ancient Egypt and the Aegean, and the lack of archaeological traces of such continuity? To what concrete ethnographic situation, to what specific social mechanism does such a stragely selective process of cultural transmission correspond? Perhaps to that of travellors who have migration unvoluntarily and temporarily from Crete to the Egypt of the Middle or New Kingdom: indentured artisans (perhaps like those who created the minoan frescoes recently discovered in the city of Avaris, in the delta)[54] who remained long enough in Egypt to be sufficiently exposed to cultural (including mythological) and linguistic influences, but who were at the same time to poor, too closely supervised, or too much under the spell of their own ethnic chauvinism or of some religious prohibition, to prevent them from importing foriegh artefacts into minoan Crete. Another possibility which might explain the abondance of linguistic, religious and mythological traces of a cultural flow from Egypt to the Aegean combined with the paucity of traces in the field of material culture, is that of a model of cultural diffusion revolving on immigrant strangers, relatively isolated from their birth land (notably Egypt and Egyptianised regions such as Phoenicia) and without military and economic power; such strangers might have installed themselves on Aegean soil offering to the locals the only resource at their command: their expertise in a mythical-cultic system deriving from Egypt and having gained a great prestige in the entire ancient eastern Mediterranean. This is in fact the model which best fits the mythological accounts of Kadmos, Danaos etc., which feature centrally in the Black Athena debate. For a historical parallel we may think, for example, of the role which individual marabouts (holy men) have played in the repeated re-islamisation of the North African countryside in the course of many centuries, or of the Christian missionaries from the British Isles who converted Northwestern Europe in the second half of the first millennium of the Common Era; in both cases, the immigrant religious specialists left an enormous religious, mythological (or hagiographic, as the case may be) and linguistic influence, unmatched with a great deal of imported artefacts from their respective countries of origin.

                        Whatever model may fit the postulated influence of ancient Egypt upon the Aegean, the important point here is both to acknowledge the Egyptian, or in general Ancient Near Eastern, essential contributions to Greek classical civilisation (the argument of diffusion), and to recognise at the same time that Athena outgrew her presumable Egyptian origin, increasingly severing such Egyptian ties as she may once have had, integrating in the emergent local culture, and transforming in the process (the argument of subsequent localisation). She ended up as an important cultic focus and identity symbol of local cultural achievements which were, in the end, distinctively Greek.[55]

                        The third observation to be made concerns methodology. We have no direct knowledge of the pattern of the past. If our historical pronouncements are scientific, it is because they are based on the processing of all available evidence in the light of explicit and repeatable methods and procedures, before the international forum of academic peers. So much for the outsider going it alone, like Bernal; he even constructs himself to be an outsider to an extent impossible for someone who, ever since 1984, has been a professor of Near Eastern Studies at Cornell. His pride in reviving scholarly views of the early twentieth century, his doggedly sticking to the /Ht Nt-Athena etymology even while admitting that it can only be sustained by a recourse to contingency, not systematic linguistic law, in general his responsive overkill vis-?vis his critics, and the ready accusation (by reference to what Bernal monopolises as ‘the sociology of knowledge’) of ulterior, Eurocentric or racialist ideological motives as ultimate argument against his many opponents — all this shows a strange mixture of empiricist realism and political idealism, a shocking lack of method and epistemology, and a tragic denial of the social, collective component as a necessary for scholarship.

                        Yet method is not everything in the field of research, and the most precious ideas often derive, beyond posaic and routine rules, from an intuition which after all, in the words of Spinoza, is the highest form of knowledge. Bernal possesses a mysterious talent for producing profoundly illuminating, sound intuitions which he subsequently seeks to substantiate with unacceptable methods. Of course this is not as it should be, but it is eminently forgiveable in view of the alternative: scientific research which is methodologically impeccable and sound, but lacks true intellectual challenge and progress. After several years of intensive participation in the Black Athena debate, in the course of which I have familiarised myself with Egyptian mythology and with the ancient Egyptian language, it is Bernal’s claims in the mythological and etymological domain which, to my mind, stand out most convincingly.

‘Naturally, I maintain that the reason it is so remarkably easy to find correspondences between Egyptian and Greek words is that between 20 and 25 percent of the Greek vocabulary does in fact derive from Egyptian!’[56]

This precise statistical statement is often repeated (but with different outcomes!) in Bernal’s work, Yet the numerical procedures underpinning it have so far not been made explicit by him. Meanwhile the sample of proposed Egyptian etymologies of Greek words as included in his ‘Responses to Black Athena[57] may convince the reader that, at least at the qualitative level, the claim is not without grounds. But here again it is the utter absence of an explicit and approved method — ignorance even of such methods are have been developed in these fields — which produces unsystematic and unconvincing results. Bernal’s proposed etymologies have to be browsed together from all over his published work,[58] and they usually remain at the level of isolated lexical atoms, — his greatest handicap after all is his lack of sociological and cultural imagination which allows him to conjure up a coherent image of a living culture, rather than a loose bundle of provenances that have virtually died in transit.

                        By the same token, he handles myth as if its historical contents is self-evident and non-problematic, and is entirely unaware of the great advances in the science of myth analysis since the nineteenth century. One would be justified, from a theoretical and methodological point of view, to reject Bernal’s conclusions on these points. Yet I now find that I have to come back upon my earlier scepticism concerning an alleged Egyptian provenance, in this case of Athenean foundation myths. [59] In my forthcoming book Global bee flight I have meanwhile produced detailed and theoretically informed analyses of the transformations of Egyptian (and Libyan) myths on their way into the Aegean and into Africa.[60] I am as convinced of the soundness of Bernal’s general intuition on these points, as of the methodological defects of his specific analysis.

                        The fourth observation to be made, finally, concerns the mechanical juxtaposition of the Indo-European and the Afroasiatic language families as if this would sum up all there is to be said about cultural interactions in the ancient eastern Mediterranean. The juxtaposition springs from Bernal’s obsession with language as a key to cultural history, which is also responsible for the misnomer ‘Afroasiatic roots of classical Greek civilization’. The juxtaposition creates a sense of ‘either/ or’ which eminently befits the political rhetoric underlying the Black Athena  debate (Black versus White; radical and liberation-orientated versus ethnocentric; the rest of the world versus Europe) but which obscures such continuity as may underlie (in Sumerian, Nostratic etc.) the actual cultural dynamics in this region. More importantly, that continuity may extend to what now remains an uninvited guest: an ancient Mediterranean linguistic and cultural substratum, wedging in between Indo-European and Afroasiatic, which specialists have invoked time and again for etymological and religious reconstructions of the ancient Mediterranean, and which provides a far more convincing model of cultural exchanges — within a region already displaying fundamental continuities and similarities from Neolithic times — than a simple diffusion, as late as the Bronze Age, from one privileged source notably ancient Egypt. Thus I find it much more attractive to view Athena and Neith as closely related branches from a stem which, throughout the ancient eastern Mediterranean, has produced Great Goddesses with connotations of underworld, death, and violence — connotations which were often (although not in Athena’s case) emblematised in bee symbolism. In this way one may bring forward a bit the problem of the etymology of the names of Athena and Neith: the two female deities, and their names, are not derivations from one another, but both are probably derivations from a deity which is not so much Egyptian or Libyan but West Asiatic, -- a goddess whose name we know under the form of Anat or Anath.[61]  The argument of GLobal bee flight  — although inspired by Bernal — effectively explodes the Black Athena  thesis, since it dissolves the very contradiction between Indo-European and Afroasiatic as the source of Aegean civilisation, and would draw on a substratum which, contrary to the Afroasiatic one, could not readily be relegated to an African provenance.[62] It was the interaction between an African and an eastern mediterranean cultural tradition which produced, in the first place, the political system, the culture and the society of ancient Egypt. Once in place, this ancient Egyptian culture has, in its turn, in the course of three millennia exerted a decisive influence (with predictable feed-back phenomena, considering the original cultural indebtedness of ancient Egypt to these region) on the eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, and subsaharan Africa. Of all these ramifications, Global bee flight will only explore those relating to sub-Saharan Africa, especially in the fields of sacred kingship and myth.


6. Towards a re-assessment — and beyond

All this leads on to a re-assessment of the Black Athena project.

                        Volume I was an eminently successful explosion of the Eurocentric myth of the autonomous origin of Greek civilisation — a liberating act of deconstruction of previous scholars’ myths worthy of the greatest respect (and, incidentally, one in which specifically Bernal’s skill as a trained historian employing an implicit but time-honoured methodology produced an argument largely[63] away from myth).

                        Volume II, lacking such methodology and venturing into a domain where the production, recirculation and reproduction of scholarly myth was only too tempting, has not yet produced the science it set out to produce. The great debate it has generated is essentially a struggle to formulate the conditions and the procedures under which Bernal’s claims (or the alternative statements that can supersede them) can be allowed to be true; under which their myth content can be kept low. Even if meant to be destructive and dismissive, even the most critical reactions therefore are inherently constructive, and Bernal’s later, specific responses (often more precise, clear, subtle and palatable than his original published statements), bring out once more the fact that scientific truth is the — usually ephemeral — product of a social process between peers.

                        What is needed is that his sheer unbearable, self-imposed burden is now shared with others, working under an epistemology more readily recognised as suitable to tell myth from truth, but within the spirit of his vision of interculturality and multicentredness as the central challenge of our age, and of his standards of interdisciplinary breadth and scholarly imagination.

                        If Martin Bernal produces truth inextricably mixed with myth; if his naïve epistemology is conducive to this; if he has not adopted more widely acceptable methodologies for mythical and etymological analysis; if his reconstruction of the modern history of ideas may be too schematic and partly wrong; if he shows himself more adept at the tracing of the trajectories of isolated cultural and religious items than at the understanding of the complexity of localising cultural and religious transformations; if there are a hundred other things more or less wrong with Black Athena, — then these are merely so many items for a research agenda that ought to keep as many of us as possible occupied well into the twenty-first century CE.

                        In mid-life and without the required specialist academic training in classical and Ancient Near Eastern languages, archaeology, and ancient history, Martin Bernal has set himself a truly Herculean task. A fundamental dilemma has attended the Black Athena project from the beginning: its scope is far too comprehensive for one person, its political, ideological and moral implications are far too complex than that one person could possibly be trusted to thresh them all out. Whatever error has crept in is more than compensated by his scope of vision, which made him realise that, inside as well as outside scholarship, creating a viable and acceptable alternative to Eurocentrism is the most important intellectual challenge of our time.

                        One obvious strategy for reducing the state of alarm which Black Athena has brought about among specialists on Ancient Greece and the Ancient Near East, has been to try and refute the details of its scholarship, and to subsequently, smugly, withdraw from the debate. The other way out, and one which I passionately advocate, is to continue in the spirit of Martin Bernal’s project, with vastly increased personal, disciplinary, financial and temporal resources, and see where this will lead us: far beyond the Black Athena thesis, no doubt, but with new inspiring questions towards a new nuderstanding of the ancient world, and more effectively equipped for our global future.

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[1]This paper is in part a much shortened, but in other respects rather expanded version of: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1997, ‘Black Athena Ten Years After: Towards a constructive re-assessment’, in: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1997, ed., Black Athena: Ten Years After, Hoofddorp: Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society, special issue, Talanta: Proceedings of the Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society, vols 28-29, 1996-97, pp. 11-64.

[2]M.R. Lefkowitz & G. MacLean Rogers, eds., Black Athena revisited, Chapel Hill & London: University of North Caroline Press, 1996.

[3]Bernal, M., 1987, Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, Vol. I, The Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1787-1987, London: Free Association Books/ New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press; Bernal, M., 1991, Black Athena: The Afro-Asiatic Roots of Classical Civilization. II, The Archaeological and Documentary Evidence, London: Free Association Books; New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.

[4]Bernal, M., in preparation, Black Athena writes back, Durham: Duke University Press.

[5]Now in press with Duke University Press.

[6]Berlinerblau, J., 1999, Heresy in the University: The Black Athena controvery and the responsibilities of American intellectuals, New Brunswick etc.: Rutgers University Press.

[7]Van Binsbergen, W.M.J., forthcoming, Flight of the Bee: Sub-Saharan Africa, Ancient Egypt, and the World — Beyond the Black Athena thesis

[8]Bernal, Martin,. 1975, Chinese Socialism to 1907. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1975.

[9]Cf. Black Athena I, p. xiiff.

[10]On Egyptian Athena: Hist. II 28, 59, 83 etc., and in general on the Greeks’ religious indebtedness to Egypt: Hist. II 50ff. The identification of Neith with Athena was not limited to Herodotus but was a generally held view in Graeco-Roman Antiquity.

[11]J. Berlinerblau, o.c., pp. 93f, esp. p. 105, seeks to demonstrate that the massive reaction which Black Athena has produced must be attributed to the fact that its author implicitly touches on the central problems of our times: the struggle of minority identities, multiculturalism, postcolonial theory, the discovery of the hegemonic nature of North Atlantic knowledge systems, in general the rise of an explicit sociology and politics of knowledge, etc. However, this is scarcely convincing because Bernal only very rarely identifies these debates, their authors, and their epistemological and philosophical foundations.

[12]Van Binsbergen, Flight, o.c.

[13]Scholarly studies outside the context of the Black Athena debate yet insisting on the essential continuity between the civilisations of the Ancient Near East, include e.g., Kramer, S.N., 1958, History begins at Sumer, London; Neugebauer, O., 1969, The exact sciences in Antiquity, New York: Dover, 2nd edition; first published 1957; Gordon, C., 1962, Before the Bible: The common background of Greek and Hebrew Civilizations, New York: Harper & Row; Gordon, C.H., 1966, Evidence for the Minoan language, Ventnor (NJ): Ventnor Publishers; Saunders, J.B. de C.M., 1963, The Transitions from ancient Egyptian to Greek medicine, Lawrence: University of Kansas Press; Astour, M.C., 1967, Hellenosemitica: An ethnic and cultural study in West Semitic impact on Mycenean Greece, 2d ed., Leiden: Brill; Fontenrose, J., 1980, Python: A study of Delphic myth and its origins, Berkeley etc.: University of California Press; paperback edition, reprint of the 1959 first edition. These approaches have revived the ancient adage ‘Ex oriente lux’, which for Bernal contains in truncated form the ‘ancient model’ of an indebtedness of Greece — and therefore of the whole of Europe — to the Near East; this adage was rejected during the Enlightenment: ‘Today it is from the North that the light comes to us’ (Voltaire, Letter to Catherina II, 1771). 

[14]Also cf. Bernal’s rather telling admission of initially overlooking the significance of this rallying cry, Black Athena II, p. 66.

[15]M. Liverani, 1996, ‘The bathwater and the baby’, in: Lefkowitz & MacLean Rogers, o.c., pp. 421-427.

[16]Bernal, M., in press, ‘Review of ‘‘Word games: The linguistic evidence in Black Athena’’, Jay H. Jasanoff & Alan Nussbaum’, forthcoming in Bernal’s Black Athena writes back, o.c.

[17]Also see the ‘third distortion’ of his work as identified in: Bernal, ‘Responses to Black Athena: General and linguistic issues’.

[18]Bernal, ‘Phoenician politics and Egyptian justice’, 241. Cf. Black Athena II, pp. 523f:

‘In the early part of this century, scholars like Eduard Meyer, Oscar Montelius, Sir John Myres and Gordon Childe maintained the two principles of modified diffusion and ex oriente lux. In the first case, they rejected the beliefs of the extreme diffusionists, who maintained that ‘master races’ simply transposed their superior civilizations to other places and less developed peoples. They argued instead, that unless there was a rapid genocide, diffusion was a complicated process of interaction between the outside influences and the indigenous culture and that this process itself produced something qualitatively new.’

[19]Cf. van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1997, ‘Alternative models of intercontinental interaction towards the earliest Cretan script’, in: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1997, ed., Black Athena: Ten Years After, Hoofddorp: Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society, special issue, Talanta: Proceedings of the Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society, vols 28-29, 1996-97, pp. 131-148

[20]Black Athena I, p. 489, n. 59.

[21]Palter, R., 1996, ‘Black Athena, Afrocentrism, and the history of science’, in: M.R. Lefkowitz & G. MacLean Rogers, eds., Black Athena revisited, Chapel Hill & London: University of North Caroline Press, pp. 209-266; reprint of:Palter, R., 1993, ‘Black Athena, Afrocentrismy, and the history of science,’ History of Science, 31 (1993), pp. 227-87. However, see the short but convincing argument for Egyptian/Greek scientific continuity by the great historian of science and magic W. Hartner (1963, ‘W. Hartner’ [ Discussion of G. de Santillana's ‘On forgotten sources in the history of science’ ], in: Crombie, A.C., ed., Scientific change, New York: Basic Books, pp. 868-75): e.g., Hellenist Greek astronomers tell us that Egyptian astronomers (whom we can demonstrate to have been pre-Hellenist) have calculated the lunation to a figure which, as we know now, is within 13 seconds of the correct astronomical value, an error of only 5*10-6.

[22]Trigger, B.C., 1995, Early civilizations: Ancient Egypt in context, Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press, first published 1993; p. 93; Trigger, B.G., 1992, "Brown Athena: A Postprocessual Goddess?" Current Anthropology 33, 1: 121-23.

[23]Cf. Black Athena I, p. 216, 477, n. 95; Preus, A., 1992, Greek Philosophy: Egyptian origins, Binghamton: Institute of Global Cultural Studies, Research Papers on the Humanities and Social Sciences; Lefkowitz, M., 1996, Not out of Africa: How Afrocentrism became an excuse to teach myth as history, New York, Basic Books; van Binsbergen, W.M.J., forthcoming, Flight of the Bee: Sub-Saharan Africa, Ancient Egypt, and the World — Beyond the Black Athena thesis. The claims affirming Afroasiatic provenance partly go back to the Afrocentric James, Stolen legacy. Outside Afrocentrism, cf. West, M.L., 1971, Early Greek Philosophy and the Orient, Oxford, Clarendon Press.

[24]Various special issues of international journals have been devoted to the Black Athena debate: Levine, M. Myerowitz, & Peradotto, J., eds., The challenge of Black Athena, special issue of Arethusa, 22 (Fall); Journal of Mediteranean Archaeology, 1990-, 3, 1; Isis, 1992, 83, 4; Journal of Women’s History, 1993, 4, 3; History of Science, 1994, 32, 4; VEST Tidskrift for Vetanskapsstudier, 1995, 8, 5; van Binsbergen, W.M.J., ed., Black Athena: Ten Years After, Hoofddorp: Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society, special issue of Talanta: Proceedings of the Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society, vols 28-29, 1996-1997.

[25]Bowersock, G., 1989, [Review of Black Athena I], Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 19: 490-91.

[26]Palter, R., 1996, ‘Eighteenth-century historiography in Black Athena’, in: Lefkowitz, & MacLean Rogers, o.c., pp. 349-401, p. 350f.

[27]Morris, S.P., 1996, ‘The legacy of Black Athena’, in: Lefkowitz & MacLean Rogers, o.c., p. 167-175.

[28]Lefkowitz, M.R., 1996, ‘Ancient history, modern myths’, in: Lefkowitz & MacLean Rogers, o.c., pp. 3-23, p. 20.

[29]Pace Cartledge, P., 1991, ‘Out of Africa?’, New Statesman and Society, 4 (164): 35-36.

[30]Cf. Trigger, B.G., 1980, Gordon Childe: Revolutions in archaeology, London: Thames & Hudson; Trigger, B.G., 1989, A history of archaeological thought, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[31]Trigger, ‘Brown Athena’, o.c.

[32]Specifically in the long footnote towards the end of the article, on the interpretation of the Athenean foundation myths featuring Athena, Hephaistos, Ge and Erichthonios: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1997, ‘Alternative models of intercontinental interaction towards the earliest Cretan script’, in: Black Athena: Ten Years After, o.c., pp. 131-148.

[33]van Binsbergen, W.M.J., forthcoming, Global Bee Flight: Sub-Saharan Africa, Ancient Egypt, and the World — Beyond the Black Athena thesis.

[34]Palter, ‘Eighteenth century historiography’, o.c., pp. 388f.

[35]E. Hall, 1996, ‘When is a myth not a myth: Bernal’s ‘’Ancient Model’’ ’, in: Lefkowitz & MacLean Rogers, o.c., pp. 333-348.

[36]Black Athena I, pp. 433f.

[37]Morenz, S., 1969, Die Begegnung Europas met Ägypten, Zürich & Stuttgart: Artemis.

[38]MacLean Rogers, G., 1996, ‘‘Quo vadis?’’ , in: Lefkowitz & MacLean Rogers, o.c., pp. 444-454; Snowden, ‘Bernal’s ‘‘Blacks’’ ’; Brace, C. L., D. P. Tracer, L. A. Yaroch, J. Robb, K. Brandt, and A. R. Nelson, 1996, ‘Clines and Clusters versus ‘‘Race’’: A Test in Ancient Egypt and the Case of a Death on the Nile’, in: Lefkowitz & MacLean Rogers, o.c., pp. 129-164; Baines, J., 1996, ‘On the aims and methods of Black Athena’, in: Lefkowitz & MacLean Rogers, o.c., pp. 27-48.

[39]Baines, o.c., p. 39.

[40]Muhly, J.D., 1990, ‘Black Athena versus traditional scholarship’, Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 3, 1: 83-110.

[41]Cf. Black Athena I, p. 381.

[42]Baines, o.c., p. 42.

[43]Jenkyns, R., 1996, ‘Bernal and the nineteenth century’, in: Lefkowitz, & MacLean Rogers, o.c., p. 413; Baines, o.c., p. 39.

[44]R. Jenkyns (1996), p. 412; J. Baines (1996), p. 44. Also cf. M. Lefkowitz, Not out of Africa (1996).

[45]van den Broek, R., & Vermaseren, M.J., 1981, Studies in Gnosticism and Hellenistic religion: Presented to Gilles Quispel on the occasion of his 65th birthday, EPRO  [Etudes préliminaires aux religions orientales dans l’empire romain ], vol. 91, Leiden: Brill; Quispel, G., 1951, Gnosis als Weltreligion, Zürich; Quispel, G., ed., 1992, De Hermetische gnosis in de loop der eeuwen, Baarn: Tirion; Yates, F.A., 1978, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic tradition, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul/Chicago: University of Chicago Press, first ed. 1964; Yates, F.A., 1972, The Rosicrucian enlightenment, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. M.A. Murray’s claims of a direct continuity between ancient Egyptian religion and the European esoteric tradition, especially in its popular varieties, have been largely discredited: Murray, M., 1921, Witch Cult in Western Europe, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1921; Ginzburg, C., 1992, Ecstasies: Deciphering the witches’ sabbath, tr. R. Rosenthal, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books; repr. of the first Engl. edition, 1991, Pantheon Books, tr. of Storia notturna, Torino: Einaudi, 1989.

[46]Cf. Thorndike, L., 1923-58, A history of magic and experimental science: During the first thirteen centuries of our era, 8 vols, New York: Columbia University Press; Thomas, K., 1978, Religion and the decline of magic, Harmondsworth: Penguin; Levack, Brian, ed., 1992, Renaissance Magic. Vol. II of Brian Levack, ed. Articles on Witchcraft, Magic, and Demonology: A Twelve-Volume Anthology of Scholarly Articles. 12 vols. New York: Garland,  1992; Jean-François Bergier, 1988, ed., Zwischen Wahn, Glaube, und Wissenschaft: Magie, Alchemie und Wissenschaftgeschichte. Zürich: Verlag der Fachvereine.

[47]Palter, o.c., on Kant, Goethe and Lessing; Jenkyns, R., 1996, ‘Bernal and the nineteenth century’, in: Lefkowitz & MacLean Rogers, o.c., pp. 411-419; and on Herder: Norton, R.E., 1996, ‘The tyranny of Germany over Greece? Bernal, Herder, and the German appropriation of Greece’, in: Lefkowitz & MacLean Rogers, o.c., pp. 403-409. 

[48]Blok, J.H., 1997,  ‘Proof and persuasion in Black Athena I: The case of K.O. Müller’, in: Black Athena: Ten Years After, o.c., pp. 173-208; shortened viersion published as: Blok, J.H., 1996, Proof and persuasion in Black Athena: The case of K.O. Müller, Journal of the History of Ideas, 57: 705-724.

[49]Cf. Fauth, W., 1977, ‘Athena’, in: K. Ziegler and W. Sontheimer, eds., Der kleine Pauly: Lexikon der Antike. Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, cols. 681-686

[50]Cf. van Binsbergen, Flight, o.c.

[51]Egberts, A., 1997, ‘Consonants in collision: Neith and Athena reconsidered’, in: Black Athena: Ten Years After, o.c., pp. 149-163

[52]Best, J., 1997, ‘The ancient toponyms of Mallia: A post-Eurocentric reading of Egyptianising Bronze Age documents’, in: Black Athena: Ten Years After, o.c., pp. 99-129; van Binsbergen, ‘Alternative models’, o.c.

[53]Black Athena II, ch. XI; Cline, E. 1990, ‘An Unpublished Amenhotep Faience Plaque from Mycenae: a key to a new reconstruction’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 110: 200—12; Boufides, N., 1970, ‘A scarab from Grave Circle B of Mycenae’, Archaiologika Analekta Athenon, 3: 273-4; Charles, R. P., 1965, ‘Note sur un scarabée égyptien de Perati, Attique’, Bulletin de correspondance hellénique, 89: 10-14; Weinstein, J., 1989a, ‘The gold scarab of Nefertiti from Ulu Burun: its implications for Egyptian history and Egyptian-Aegean relations’, in G. F. Bass, C. Pulak, D. Collon, and J. Weinstein, ‘The Bronze Age shipwreck at Ulu Burun: 1986 campaign’, American Journal of Archaeology, 93: 17-29; Knapp, B., 1981, ‘The Thera Frescoes and the Question of Aegean Contact with Libya during the Late Bronze Age’, Journal of Mediterranean Anthropology and Archaeology, 1: 249-79; Cline, Eric, 1987, ‘Amenhotep III and the Aegean: A Reassessment of Egypto-Aegean Relations in the Fourteenth Century B.C.’, Orientalia, 56: 1-36; Brown, R.B., 1975, ‘A provisional catalogue of and commentary on Egyptian and Egyptianizing artifacts found on Greek sites’, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Minnesota. For a more extensive listing of related finds, cf. Winters’ internet site.

[54]Bietak, M. 1992, ‘Minoan Wall-Paintings Unearthed at Ancient Avaris’, Egyptian Archaeology: Bulletin of the Egyptian Archaeological Society, 2: 26-28; Bietak M., 1996, Avaris: The Capital of the Hyksos: Recent Excavations at Tell el-Dab’a, Londres, British Museum Press.

[55]Cf. the final, long footnote in: Wim van Binsbergen, ‘Alternative models’, o.c.

[56]Cf. Black Athena I, 484 n. 141.

[57]Bernal, M., 1997, ‘Responses to Black Athena: General and linguistic issues’, in:  Black Athena: Ten Years After, o.c., pp. 65-98

[58]For an overview, see: Bernal, ‘Responses to Black Athena: General and linguistic issues’, in: Black Athena Ten Years After, o.c.; and the index to that volume, where I have listed a considerable number of Greek words for which Bernal proposes an Afroasiatic (ancient Egyptian or West Semitic) etymology.

[59]van Binsbergen, ‘Alternative models’, o.c.,

[60]Van Binsbergen, Flight, o.c.

[61]Fontenrose, J., 1980, Python: A study of Delphic myth and its origins, Berkeley etc.: University of California Press; paperback edition, reprint of the 1959 first edition, pp. 139, 244, 253 n. 48. Of course, the goddess Anat was an established member of the Egyptian pantheon in the Ramesside times, cf. Bonnet, H., 1971, Reallexikon der Ägyptischen Religionsgeschichte, Berlin: de Gruyter, rprint of the first edition of 1952, pp. 37ff.

[62]Van Binsbergen, Flight, o.c.

[63]Though far from entirely, cf. the criticism by Blok, o.c.; Palter, ‘Eighteenth century’; Jenkyns, o.c.; Norton, o.c.

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