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by Gert Muller

Gert Muller

Copyright © 2013 Gert Muller

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic,
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or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

Pomegranate Publishing





The first culture that preceded urban development on the Aegean island of Crete was the Minoan. Its people were agricultural,
mother-Goddess-worshipping, bronze-users who may have originated in Asia Minor (Anatolia). The culture goes back to the
beginning of the Bronze Age on Crete and is divided into Early, Middle and Late. The magnificent Palace civilization of Crete,
beginning around 2000 BC, was Europe’s first civilization and emerged out of the Middle Minoan culture.

The first culture that preceded urban development on the Aegean mainland was the Helladic. They too were agricultural,
mother-Goddess-worshipping, bronze-users. The culture goes back to the beginning of the Bronze Age around 3000 BC,
ending around 1000 BC, and is divided into Early, Middle and Late Helladic. Bronze-working is thought to have come from
Asia Minor (Anatolia) where it developed very early. Between 3000 BC and 2000 BC the Indo-European-speaking ancestors of
the Greeks arrived in the region. The Late Helladic I became the Mycenaean civilization, the first urban culture of mainland
Greece. The Late Helladic III terminated in the Proto-Geometric culture which developed into the Geometric, Orientalising,
Archaic and finally the culture of Classical Greece in the 5th and 4th centuries BC.

This book shall explore the evidence for African and Afro-Canaanite formative influences on Crete and mainland Greece. A
scholar named Martin Bernal wrote three volumes called Black Athena which looked at Egyptian and Phoenician influence on
the development of Aegean civilization. This book differs from Black Athena in five fundamental ways:

1) Our Egyptians are, as Anu M’Bantu would say, Unmistakably Black! Bernal’s are somewhat Black.

2) The main Egyptian players in this study are NOT the Hyksos.

3) This study openly acknowledges and emphasises the Afro-Canaanite origin of the Phoenicians.

4) It posits SEVEN different Black origins and influences on Greek civilization.

5) It shows, with commentary, 42 colour pictures of obviously influential people of African appearance depicted in the art of
ALL the various phases of Greek culture.

We now proceed with the study.


The Ancient Traditions Concerning the Origins of Greek Civilization

In the mid-19th century the only information at their disposal, concerning the origins of Greek civilization, was the ancient
traditions or myths. Archaeology was yet to tell them anything. It is not surprising that the historians of the day greatly valued
the ancient traditions but did not do so uncritically:

Much which is related in the accounts of this period must be rejected as idle fiction, yet a few important events may
be selected and authenticated – Civilization had its first impulse in the arrival of colonists from Egypt and Phoenicia,
who laid the foundations of some of the principal cities, as Argos and Sicyon about 1800 years BC. Little
advancement was made, however, until the lapse of more than two centuries; other colonies were planted, at Athens
by Cecrops and at Thebes by Cadmus, about the time of Moses (...). Between this time and the Trojan War
considerable progress must have been made in cultivation. We find some of the peculiar institutions of the Greeks
originating in this period; particularly the oracles at Delphi and Dodona, the mysteries at Eleusis, and the four sacred
games, the court of Areopagus at Athens, and the celebrated Amphictyonic Council – The arts and sciences
likewise received considerable attention. Letters had been introduced by Cadmus. Astronomy was sufficiently
studied to enable Chiron to furnish the Argonauts with an artificial sphere exhibiting the constellations.
Classical Antiquities: Being Part of the ‘Manual of Classical Literature’ by Johann Joachim Eschenburg, EC Biddle 1860 p72

Do the ancient traditions of Greece really say that their civilization was founded by Egyptians and Phoenicians? The traditions
of the Argolid region of Greece begin with Inachos and his descendants:

...the river Inachos plays an important part in the myths of Argolis, where he appears as the husband of Meleia and
the father of Phoroneus, the first king of Argos, and of the Moon-goddess Io, the later Hera, there can be little doubt
that in prehistoric times the Inachos was an important river.
Tiryns: the Prehistoric Palace of the Kings of Tiryns by Heinrich Schliemann, Arno Press 1976 [1 st published in the late 19th
century] p13

According to the legend Inachos, the river God, was the father of Phoroneus and Io. Zeus impregnates Io who is then turned
into a heifer by Hera, the jealous wife of Zeus. Neither Zeus nor Io has their complexion specified. Io wonders down to Egypt
as a pregnant heifer and their gives birth to, who is referred to by Aeschylos as, ‘black Epaphos’. Memphis, daughter of the
Nile-God, marries Epaphos and has a daughter called Libya. Poseidon, the Sea-God, marries Libya who bears him two sons.
They are Belos, King of Egypt and Agenor, king of Tyre. Agenor marries Telephassa, daughter of the Nile-God and have
Kadmos, Phoenix and Cilix. The first two are princes of Tyre while the latter is the princess. She is kidnapped by Zeus, in the
form of a white bull, and taken to Crete. He impregnates her with Minos, Rhadymanthos and Sarpendon who all become the
first kings of Crete. Prince Kadmos is sent by the king of Tyre to seek Europa. He travels to Rhodes, Thera, and eventually
ends up in Boeotia in mainland Greece where he founds the city of Thebes.

Meanwhile back in Egypt king Belos had sired two sons, Aegyptos and Danaos. Aegyptos wanted his 50 sons to marry the 50
daughters of Danaos. He and the daughters flee Egypt to avoid the marriage. They land in Argos, Greece, and claim the right
of return based on their ancestress Io. Danaos arrival in Argos is traditionally dated to 1511 BC. The current king of Argos, a
descendant of Phoroneus, does not recognise them as having Argive descent. He describes them as ‘black’ and tells them
they resemble ‘Aethiop’s neighbours’, ‘Nile-dwellers’, ‘Cypriots’ and ‘Indians’ rather than Argives. They threaten to kill
themselves and the king grants them the right to stay. The Daniads, as they are called, then become alarmed when they spot
the Aegyptiads approaching the shores of Greece in their ships. The Daniads can identify them by their ‘black skins and white
tunics’. On the eve of their wedding all the Daniads kill their grooms, with the exception of Hypermestra who spares Lynkeus,
her husband. Lynkeus, the Egyptian, becomes king of Argos and his great-great-great-grandson Perseus founds Mycenae and
marries Andromeda ‘princess of Ethiopia’.

Analysis of Argive Tradition

Three elements of this tradition stand out. (One) The central characters of this tradition are all Black. Epaphos, one of the early
ancestors of the lineage, is clearly identified as Black. The same is true of the Daniads and Aegyptiads. We can only conclude
that all those in the generations between Epaphos and the Daniads were intended to be Black. These would include the royal
family of Tyre, ancestors of the Phoenicians. Agenor, the ancestor, is the son of Libya and marries a daughter of the Nile-God.
This cannot suggest anything other than an African appearance. Presumably the Argives and other Greeks of the time would
have described Kadmos and Europa as ‘Nile-dwellers’ or ‘Aethiop’s neighbours’. It is also clear from the tradition that the
Egyptian and Phoenician royal lineages were thought to be related by blood.

(Two) The Egyptian and Phoenician royal lineages in the story were descended from Libya. So were the Cretan and Argive
lineages. It raises the question of whether we should look to Libya for strong contributions towards Egyptian and Cretan
civilization. Agenor stands for the coastal Canaanites. We also notice Kadmos stands for the coastal Canaanites that moved to
Greece, while Europa stands for those that moved to Crete. Phoenix stands for those coastal Canaanites that later moved to
Africa, hence the term Punic, while Cilix stands for those that moved to Cilicia in Asia Minor.

(Three) The first civilizations of Greece were the Minoan on Crete and the Mycenaean on the mainland. This tradition
attributes Libyan, Egyptian and Phoenician founding or influence on both.

There is also something else of interest. The most well-known study of what the traditions have to say about Egyptian and
Phoenician influence on Greek civilization was conducted by Martin Bernal. He gave the impression the Daniads represented
the descendants of Hyksos invaders of Egypt. He links the name Epaphos with the Hyksos pharaoh Apophis. In fairness to
Bernal the names are strikingly similar. Unfortunately some elements of the story are in vigorous disagreement with a Hyksos
association. Epahpos was ‘black’ and born in Memphis of a heifer. In ancient Egypt there was the real custom of the Apis bull,
based in Memphis and black in colour. In terms of phonetics ‘Epaphos’ is more similar to ‘Apophis’ (Apep) than to Apis but in
terms of storyline it seems pretty clear that Epaphos is a reference to the Apis bull. This already is quite problematic to the
Hyksos interpretation. Even worse still is the fact that the Apis bull was thought to be an incarnation of Osiris. The cult of
Osiris and the cult of Seth and Apep, followed by the Hyksos, were opposed. This potentially blows the Hyksos theory right
out of the water. Also both Aegyptos, who Bernal holds to represent the indigenous Egyptians, and Danaos, who he held to
represent the Hyksos, were both descended from Epaphos. It is more consistent with the facts of the tradition to interpret both
Aegyptos and Danaos as indigenous Egyptians. When Danaos left Egypt he departed from his home town of Chemmis in
Upper Egypt according to the tradition. Herodotus tells us that Danaos and Lynkeus were Chemmites from Upper Egypt and
that the Chemmites of his day recognised them as ancestors (Book 2, 91). The Hyksos were based in Lower Egypt. We,
therefore, conclude that the ancient traditions are not consistent with the Hyksos theory.

The Genesis Evidence

Genesis 10 is also called the Toldoth Beni Noah or Table of the Nations. In Eden: the Biblical Garden Discovered in East
Africa we concluded that Ham, Shem and Japhet were personifications of Africa, South-West Asia and Eurasia. The ‘sons’ of
these three were countries or regions of the three divisions. Canaan, ancestor of the Sidonians, was the youngest son of Ham
(Africa), and a brother to Mizraim (Egypt). We also concluded that, using this logic, Canaan was seen as a part of Africa, at
this time, as it is the only ‘son’ of Ham lying outside the continental limits of Africa, right on its doorstep. This agrees with the
Argive tradition which has Belos and Agenor as brothers.

The Greeks are descended from Javan, a ‘son’ of Japhet (Eurasia) in Genesis 10. The Cretans, however, are thought to come
from a ‘son’ of Mizraim called Caphtorim. This is from evidence such as the tomb of Rekhmire, 18 th Dynasty Vizier of Egypt,
which shows Cretans classed under the term kftw. It also shows them looking like Egyptians and Nubians (see Unmistakably
Black: Sculpture and Paintings from Europe’s First Civilisation by Anu M’Bantu, Pomegranate Publishers 2013). In the third
generation from the three sons of Noah are included immigrant communities now located on different continents like Nimrod,
‘son’ of Cush from Africa but moved to West Asia, and Caphtorim, ‘son’ of Mizraim but moved to Crete.

On the basis of the ancient traditions we would have to conclude that the ancient Greeks and Hebrews thought the origins of
Greek or Aegean civilization lay with Black people from Libya, Egypt and Phoenicia. History, however, is not based on
tradition but on archaeological and other forms of evidence. We, therefore, have to investigate whether the most important
pieces of evidence back up the traditions. We have to ask whether our three groups had the Means, Motive and Opportunity
to originate Greek civilization.


In order to establish that a person has performed a particular action, the taking place of which is in dispute, it is necessary to
show that they were able to perform the action in the first place. The question here would be: were the Libyans, Egyptians and
Phoenicians able to reach the Aegean Sea islands and mainland before 1500 BC? The following oceanographic observation is
of interest:

What evidence, however, is there for intercourse between the Libyan and the Aegean shores of that sea, as well as
between the Nile-folk and their neighbours? In the first place, the main sea current, after passing the coast of the
Lebanon, sweeps round along the south coast of Asia Minor, and past Rhodes to the south side of Crete, and
thence up the west coast of Greece and on past Sicily and Malta... The Egyptians discovered very early what they
described as the ‘great circuit’ or bend of the coast from Syria to Cilicia and had frequent intercourse with it, all the
more easily because the steady north winds of summer gave security of return from any point on this outward
course, to an African shore, and thence with current and shore breeze back to the Nile...And the further west a ship
went beyond the Cilician gulf; the more certain it to make African land west rather than east of the Delta, and so
avoid featureless country: best of all was it to go full circuit and make the southward turn where the distance from
Crete to Cyrene was shortest, and the high profile of the Cyrenaic plateau gave sure landfall and ample warning to
veer into the homeward current. Thus it was not only Nile-folk, but all the coast people of Libya, who were in a
position to make this grand tour of the ‘very green sea’, as the Egyptians called it.
Who Were The Greeks? by Sir John Linton Myers, University of California Press 1930 p220-221

This makes it quite clear that Libyans, with the right watercraft, could easily have reached the ‘south side of Crete’. It also
shows that Phoenicians on the ‘coast of Lebanon’ could have easily reached Cilicia, Rhodes and Crete; the very places
associated with Phoenician colonization in the ancient traditions. Other places reached by this sea current such as Sicily and
Malta are known to have been settled by the Phoenicians in the early 1st millennium BC.

Figure 1 Cyrenaica is the African coast opposite Crete and

Cilicia is the Asia Minor coast opposite Cyprus

In conclusion we can say that Africans from around, what later became, Cyrenaica could have reached the Aegean lands, and
in particular Crete, for as long as these currents have existed. In Black Sumer: The African Origins of Civilization (by Hermel
Hermstein, Pomegranate Publishing 2012), chapter 6 we are told that today’s oceanographic currents can be traced back to at
least the end of the last Ice Age over 10 000 years ago.

Did they have the sea-going vessels to reach the Aegean lands?

The first explicit mention of Phoenician ships refers to a fleet of forty merchant ships carrying cedar, which left a
Phoenician port bound for Egypt around the year 3000 BC. From at least the middle of the third millennium we have
evidence of large merchant ships – the ‘ships of Byblos’ – on the open sea, trading with Egypt...Byblos, Tyre and
Sidon had learnt all these techniques from Egypt, a country with a long shipping tradition that had grown out of
travel on the Nile, principally by sail but using oars for auxiliary propulsion.
The Phoenicians and the West: Politics, Colonies and Trade by Maria Eugenia Aubet, Cambridge University Press 1993 p172

This shows that two of our three had the sea-going vessels capable of reaching the Aegean lands and all three had the sea
currents to help them along the way. We have therefore established that they had the means to reach these lands and have a
formative influence on the development of their civilizations.


What could have been the motive for undertaking such long and risky voyages?

To begin with, the reputation of the Phoenicians as highly skilled and expert metal workers is well established in the
Old Testament and in Homer.
Phoenician Bronze and Silver Bowls from Cyprus and the Mediterranean by Glenn Markoe, University of California Press
1985 p6

We also learn that evidence strongly suggests:

...Phoenicians in the same metal-rich areas: Thasos, Euboea and Boeotia, Lakonia, Crete, and Rhodes. This
coincidence of cult and craft maintains the chief dimensions in the Daidalos tradition; it is a related myth, the travels
of Kadmos in search of Europa, that follows closely the traces of Phoenician exploring in the Aegean.
Daidalos and the Origins of Greek Art by Sarah P Morris, University of Princeton Press 1992 p131

We thus have a solid motive for the exploration and even a correlation between known Phoenician exploration and the mythical
journey of Kadmos to find Europa. The known Phoenician exploration, the Old Testament, and Homer are all from the early 1 st
millennium BC which is long after the time of the foundation of Minoan and Mycenaean civilization. In order to find a relevant
motive we need to find a much earlier period of Metal Rush:

Metal-working and mining developed early in Egypt. In the Pyramid Age (2900-2450 BC) skilled metal-workers were
producing ingenious bronze rip saws...Egyptian craftsmen made wide use of copper...As early as the First Dynasty
Egyptians pioneered in the copper-rich Sinai Peninsula. They developed skill in copper smelting and compounding
metals, evidently knowing the value of alloys.
New Unger’s Bible Dictionary by Merrill F Unger, Moody Publishers 2009 (1 st published 1967) under heading Metalworker
(no page no. given)

We also learn that Egypt’s new metal industry was “completely dependent on imports for their raw materials” and that as a

...in Mesopotamia and Egypt, with limited copper resources, the search for metal became an impetus for imperialism,
leading emerging city-states to explore and trade to obtain copper, and, later, tin.
Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600BC by William J Hamblin, chapter 1 section: Weapons and the origins of Metallurgy,
Routledge 2013 (no page no. given)

We thus have a coinciding of motive and means between 3000-2600 BC for the Egyptians and Phoenicians. There are two more
questions: 1) Where do the Libyans fit into all this, and 2) were there any opportunities that arose to actually be in the

Opportunities for Africans

The African-American historian James Brunson proposed an interesting theory which would answer both:

Around 3200BC Egypt is witness to a divided land. The south, Upper Egypt, characterizes the national temperament.
To the north, Lower Egypt is dominated by a people unwilling to unify with its neighbour. The north was dominated
by a people known as the Libyans. Some of the earliest settlers of Crete are recognized as Libyans from North Africa.
The African Presence in the Ancient Mediterranean Isles and Mainland Greece by James Brunson, in African Presence in
Early Europe, edited by Ivan van Sertima, Transaction Publishers 1985 p36

We cannot be 100% sure whether refugees from the unification were responsible for the transmission of Egypto-Libyan ideas
to the Aegean. What we can be sure of is:

...the appearance in Crete of a type of stone-building which does not occur in Egypt, but is on the other hand
widespread and very ancient both in North Africa and on other coasts of the western Mediterranean. This is the
corbelled or ‘false-vaulted’ construction of the so-called ‘beehive’ tombs. In Early Minoan Crete the primary
graveyards with their separate internments close below the surface were economized and re-used as soon as the
bodies were decayed; and the bones, and any remains of the bodies were decayed; and the bones, and any remains
of the tomb furniture that were recovered with them, were transferred to permanent charnel-houses, constructed
underground, lined with stone walling, and roofed with a beehive-shaped corbel-vault narrowing to a single flat
stone at the top...
The more special connections between the pre-dynastic culture of Egypt and that of Crete, which have been
discovered and recently analyzed by Sir Arthur Evans, valuable as they are as the first phases of an intercourse
which came to be of the greatest importance later, do not go back very far in the long Neolithic series; still less in the
Cyclades can they be shown to go back to the beginning even of the Bronze Age culture. They mark rather a fresh
stage by revealing the growth of intercommunication between the South Aegean and a particular African region, the
Nile valley...Examples are the use of green malachite for face paint...the simple wooden bow, and the chisel-edged
arrow for bringing down birds and “small deer”; the flexible ox-hide shield, for hunting big game as well as for war;
the fine craftsmanship and characteristic forms of vessels in hard stone; the peculiar vessels of copper with no neck
or rim, but a trough spout inserted in the shoulder. Common also to the early men of Egypt, Libya and Crete,- or at all
events associated in Egypt with other Libyan connections,- are the lock of hair left long on one side of the head, the
narrow-pointed beard, and the peculiar loin cloth and protective belt; common likewise to the women, the costumes
variously elaborated from a blanket-like wrapper, open down the front from the neck, and folded over itself from the
waist, quite different, therefore, from the apron-shawl of primitive Babylonia.
Myers (1930) p222-3

Much of this is confirmed by the talented British archaeologist John Pendelbury who excavated Crete:

The most frequently quoted examples of Egyptian or rather Libyan influence are the rather primitive statuettes from
Messara...it seems the only theory which will explain certain factors in the Messara, the apparently bearded
figurines, their cloaks and the sudden appearance of a circular type of tomb, perhaps thatched but almost certainly
connected to the ‘mapalia’ of Libya. These features were practically confined to the Messara, where they shortly
died out. Other traits, however, found more favour and spread all over the island. Evans has pointed out and
illustrated the Libyan affinities of the Minoan side lock, the codpiece, and the plain bow with a broad-edged flint tip
to the arrow, all of which persisted into later times.
The Archaeology of Crete by John D Pendelbury, Biblo and Tanner Publishers 1969 (1st published 1939) p74

The Messara was the southern part of Crete one would expect to arrive at if they travelled from the nearest part of Africa to
Crete. The Libyan affinities occur exactly where we would expect them too. It is also clear that there was already a culture on
Crete but, as we shall see, it was not urban. The Libyan input should thus be seen as influence rather than founding. Libyans
were, therefore, one element of the African blood running through the veins of ancient Cretans.

The African influence did not end with the Libyan arrivals in the Messara. They continued into the Old Kingdom or Pyramid

Old Kingdom Egypt was at a different level of socio-political development from Pre-Palatial Crete. Old Kingdom
Egypt can be characterised as a state society, ruled by a powerful political and economic elite presided over by the
king. There was a flourishing literate bureaucracy, and centralized control over the procurement of raw materials and
their redistribution, and over craft specialization. Crete, on the other hand, is characterized by relatively small,
egalitarian village communities...
Two main facets of this early trade can be identified: the movement of raw materials and the exchange of finished
luxury goods. Alongside this, there is clear evidence for the transmission of technologies and esoteric knowledge,
which might reflect closer interaction between the two societies. Based on the survival of archaeological material,
Crete appears to be the main recipient of traded materials, whereas it is extremely difficult to document any Minoan
goods in Egypt at this stage. The raw materials include a worked hippopotamus canine found in EMII levels at
Knossos (...). Minoan craftsmen used imported hippopotamus ivory to make a number of artefacts, predominantly
seals and pendants found in tombs in the plain of Mesara and on the island of Mochlos (...)... Ostrich eggshells are
found are found in apparent religious contexts in EMIII [Early Minoan] levels at Palaikastro in eastern Crete and
MMIA at Knossos (...). Other materials that were probably imported from Egypt include semi-precious stones –
amethyst, carnelian, rock crystal and sardonyx...
Egyptian stone vases have been identified at EM settlement levels at Knossos and in a tholos tomb at Ayia Triada
Disc-shaped and globular faience beads are found in EM burials from Mochlos and the tombs of the Mesara in
southern Crete (...). While the form of the beads and the faience technology are both Egyptian, it appears that these
objects are of local Cretan manufacture. Therefore, alongside more concrete aspects of exchange there is some
evidence for the transmission of ideas from Egypt to Crete.
“Egypt and the Mediterranean World” by Louis Steel, in, The Egyptian World , edited by Toby Wilkinson, Routledge 2007

The above passage leaves little doubt to the tremendous contribution that the advanced African civilization played in relation
to developing the European located culture through trade. It was the kind of trade that happens between two cultures where
one has the status of teacher and the other of pupil. This continued into the Middle and New Kingdom. There can be no
question of whether Africans took the opportunity to influence formative Crete.

Afro-Canaanite Opportunities
We are told, concerning Crete, by the archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans that:

...this island became at such a very early date a centre of the glyptic art, and was thus able to produce the engraved
designs on seals which eventually gave rise, by a gradual evolution, to a conventional system of writing.
“Further Discoveries of Cretan and Aegean Script: With Libyan and Proto-Egyptian Comparisons” by Arthur J Evans, in,
Journal of Hellenic Studies Vol. 17 1897 p328

Egypt was influencing Crete before the latter developed writing. It raises an obvious question the answer of which was given
by Evans below:

Although, however, various decorative motives in this primitive class of Cretan seals were due to Egyptian
influence, it nevertheless appeared that the representations as a whole were of indigenous character, - the later
conventionalised pictographs showing perhaps a greater affinity to the ‘Hittite’ characters of Anatolia and Northern
Syria than to the Egyptian.
Evans (1897) p327

There appear to have been two influences; an initial Egyptian and an even stronger Anatolian or North Syrian one. This
attracts our attention because the Afro-Canaanite world extended as far as North Syria (see Unmistakably Black: Sculpture
and Paintings from Ancient Syria and Anatolia by Anu M’Bantu, Pomegranate Publishing 2013). Elsewhere Evans explicitly

The parallelism between certain Syrian types and those of Crete is certain. There is moreover a great deal besides in
the figure or style of engraving of many of the Cretan stones which strongly recalls other primitive stones found on
the easternmost Mediterranean coasts. The early Cretan relics may indeed be said to belong to the same East
Mediterranean province of early glyptic design as many similar objects from Syria and Palestine.
Cretan Pictographs and Prae-Phoenician Script by Arthur John Evans, Cambridge University Press 2013 p66

This makes it clear that Afro-Canaanite designs influenced Cretan ones. Evans nonetheless concluded that the Cretan glyptic
art was indigenous although Canaanite-influenced. Decades later other authorities commenting on Cretan pictographic script
and Linear A, the Cretan script, were to be more decisive:

...former identifications of Semitic words in Linear A, first offered by Cyrus Gordon since 1957 and later by his pupil
Robert Stieglitz and the author, do deserve some consideration. After a structural analysis of several variants of the
full standard Linear A “libation formula” the language of both Cretan pictographic variants and their linear
descendants may be defined as old Phoenician.
“The Oldest Scripts in Crete: Derivation, Development, Decipherment” by Jan Best Ancient Scripts From Crete and Cyprus
edited by Jan Best and Fred Wouduizen, EJ Brill 1988 p26

The above scholar even felt confident enough, based on his evidence, to identify the particular parts of Canaan that the
various scripts originated from:

The Phoenician town of Byblos had its own local pictographic script, which was succeeded by its own local linear
descendant, as we have seen, and we could trace back at least one Cretan pictographic variant via its linear
descendant to Ras Shamra-Ugarit...The linear script on three clay tablets from the sanctuary at inland Deir ‘Alla
shows such a likeness with several Linear A variants in Crete that a close connection between the two scripts is very
probable indeed.
Best (1988) p27

The Cretan pictographic script and Linear A variants date from 2000 to 1600 BC. We can, therefore, conclude that
opportunities were taken from 2000 BC onwards to influence the development of writing on Crete. Writing is one of the most
important developments in the urbanisation process of any culture.

The information in this chapter shows that the Liby-Egyptians, Old Kingdom Egyptians and Afro-Canaanites had the means,
motive and opportunities to play teacher to the incipient Cretan culture. It also shows that the archaeological evidence
supports the broad outline of the ancient traditions which claim Egyptians and Phoenicians played a formative role in the
development of Europe’s first civilization.


Figure 2 Mycenaean Greece, Thebes was located half way

between Athens and Gla

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art the following is a summary about the Mycenaean civilization:

Mycenaean is the term applied to the art and culture of Greece from ca. 1600 to 1100 BC. The name derives from the
site of Mycenae in the Peloponnese, where once stood a great Mycenaean fortified palace...
During the Mycenaean period the mainland enjoyed an era of prosperity centred in such strongholds as Mycenae,
Tiryns, Thebes and Athens...Contact with Minoan Crete played a decisive role in the shaping and development of
Mycenaean culture, especially in the arts...
Besides being bold traders the Mycenaeans were fierce warriors and great engineers who designed and built
remarkable bridges, fortification walls, and bee-hived shaped tombs – all employing Cyclopean masonry – and
elaborate drainage and irrigation systems.

Other Mycenaean forts included Argos, Pylos and Midea. It is important to point out that the Peloponnese is the
southernmost peninsula of Greece, indicating the direction from which urban influence reached Europe. The people of this
culture were the first mainlanders of Greece to become literate. A syllabic script called Linear B, descended from Linear A of
Crete, was used by them. Each fortification was based around a palace, the central feature of which was a great hall or

Egyptian Influence

The Mycenaean civilization was discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in the late 19th century. It was the first civilization on
mainland Greece. Schliemann used the poems of Homer, which were essentially myths, to locate the sites of Troy in Anatolia
and Mycenae in Greece. When Schliemann published the volume Mycenae, detailing his discoveries in Greece, the British MP
the Right Honourable William Ewart Gladstone, wrote the foreword:
I find, upon perusing the volume of Dr Schleimann, that the items of evidence, which connect his discoveries
generally with the Homeric Poems, are more numerous, than I had surmised from the brief outline, with he favoured
us upon his visit to England in the spring.
He presents to us the rude figures of cows; and upon a signet ring (No. 531) and elsewhere, cow-heads not to be
mistaken. He then points to the traditional worship, from the first, of Hera in Argolis; and he asks us to connect
these facts with the use of Boopis (cow-eyed) as a staple epithet of this goddess in the Poems...
We know that upon some of the Egyptian monuments the goddess Isis, mated with Osiris, is represented in human
figure with the cow’s head. This was a mode of exhibiting deity congenial to the spirit of an Egyptian immigration,
such as might, compatibly with the text of Homer, have taken place some generations before the Troica [Trojan War].
Mycenae: A Narrative of Researches and Discoveries at Mycenae and Tiryns by Heinrich Schliemann, with foreword by WE
Gladstone, MP, Cambridge University Press 2010 (1st published 1878) pvii

The connection with Isis creates a full circle in our understanding of Io turning into a white heifer and giving birth to ‘black
Epaphos’, the Apis-bull of Memphis. This is because:

The cow that gave birth to the Apis was also venerated and associated with Isis as a divine mother...
Egyptian Mythology: A to Z by Pat Relmer, Infobase Publishing 2010 p20

We also know that the new Apis-bull was always crowned at the full moon. The lunar association explains why the heifer was

Such a situation could only have arisen if the religion of the Mycenaean Greeks had an Egyptian foundation. Given the
obvious and admitted formative Egyptian contribution to Crete we should expect the same for the mainland. Evidence for
Egyptian tutelage is also reported by Schliemann:

The remarkable grotto in Delos, at the foot of Kynthos...is probably a branch foundation from Crete in the heyday of
its power; for the structural system of the very peculiar roof, composed in a masterly manner of ten great counter-fort
stones, certainly came from Egypt, whose gigantic buildings, with their enormous superincumbent weight, compelled
men at an early time to solve that kind of constructive problem. This roof, which was able to carry a small mountain,
proves what men had seen and learned in Egypt. It affords another useful support for the theory, started by others,
of a very early influence from Egypt – a theory derived from gems, as well as from the discovery of an ornamental
ostrich egg and c., found in the Perseid graves.
Schliemann (Tiryns: The Prehistoric... 1878 1st published) 2010 pli

Dr Schliemann also observed more Egyptian influence at Tiryns a couple of pages later:

On the other hand, on the side of the characteristic system of fortifications (with its dry moat, its escarped wall
substructions, its flanking towers, and c.), the antique building method of forming all the walls – in citadel and house
– of sun-dried bricks and wooden tie-beams, is of very peculiar importance. First, because all of these features
prevail in Egypt, both in the Delta and in Upper Egypt; secondly, because the walls of the palace at Tiryns still were
of a like or a similar structure. This method, then, was widely used, and long maintained from practical as well as
economical grounds.
Schliemann (2010 plii

At this point it is worth recapping the ancient tradition which is relevant to Mycenae:

It seems to have been treated as common knowledge in classical times that in an earlier heroic age a leader named
Danaos had come out of Egypt and landed in the Argolid...
Danaos belongs to the earliest phase of the heroic age, he was the ancestor of Danae, herself an eponymous figure,
known to Homer as the mother of Perseus; and Perseus, is in all tradition the founder of Mycenae and an ancestor of
Heracles and of Eurystheus, and who was succeeded on the throne of Mycenae by the Pelopids, the dynasty in
power at the time of the Trojan War.
The Rise of Mycenaean Civilization by Frank H Stubbings, Cambridge University Press, 1963 p12

It should be restated that Perseus was married to Andromeda, Princess of Ethiopia. The capital of this Ethiopia was Joppa in
modern-day northern Israel. The Canaanites of these parts were obviously considered Ethiopians. The last sentence of the
above quotation is a reference to the replacement of the Egyptian-descended rulers of Mycenae with new arrivals from Asia
Minor, the Pelopids. If this is so we should expect to see two groups of aristocracy depicted in Mycenaean art; one looking
Egyptian and the other Eurasian. We shall see whether there is anything in the art that fulfils this expectation.
Afro-Canaanite Influence

We should also remind ourselves of what the traditions say about the foundation of the Mycenaean stronghold of Thebes:

From his home in Syria (Phoenicia) he is supposed to have come first to Samothrace and later to Boeotia, where he
settled at Thebes, that city in heroic legend is regularly Cadmeia, the city of Cadmus and its people Cadmeans. His
eastern origin is at first sight implausible as that of Danaus, and must equally involve the memory of a historical
reality, even though we cannot at present relate it to archaeological evidence.
Stubbings (1963) p13-14

Despite what we have just been told there would appear to be at least some archaeological evidence:

As early as the second millennium BC Cretan and Mycenaean merchants frequented Phoenician cities and even
established their trading stations there. At about the same time, the Phoenicians, in turn, settled on the island of
Thasos. They even penetrated the Greek mainland, for example, to Thebes in Boeotia. Archaeological discoveries in
Thebes indicate that relations existed with the east in the fourteenth century, thus confirming that there is a grain of
truth in the myths attributing the foundation of Thebes to the Phoenician Cadmus.
“Phoenician and Greek Colonization” by Yu B Tsirkin, in, Early Antiquity, edited by IM Diakanoff, University of Chicago Press
1991 p347

When the historian Michael C Astour wanted to counter a claim that no archaeological evidence for Kadmos had ever been
found in Thebes he said:

Cadmeia, accidentally, is totally buried under the modern city of Thebes...an extraordinary hoard of Syrian and
Babylonian cylinder seals has been discovered in the ruins of the Cadmeian palace during the only archaeological
digging in the area since 1921 (...). This does testify to quite some ‘traces of Phoenician influence.
Hellenosemitica: an Ethnic and Cultural Study in West Semitic Impact on Mycenaean Greece by Michael C Astour, EJ Brill
1969 p390

This essentially confirms an Afro-Canaanite presence in the very part of Greece, at the very period, mentioned in the ancient
traditions. Astour also introduced another aspect of detecting foreign influence:

Without many men and a lasting domination over the country, the Semitic newcomers would not have been able to
impose on Boeotia, so thoroughly and for so long a time, so many of their names, vocabulary, beliefs and cults.
Astour (1969) p224

These observations go back to the time of Schliemann himself who wrote:

Again, the appearance of Semitic names of places in the immediate neighbourhood of Tiryns, as for example Megara,
from [Heb. Symb.] (cave), and Salamis, from [Heb. Symb.] (safety), can only be explained by the supposition of
Semitic colonization.
In like manner the name Ithaka points to a Phoenician settlement, being a Semitic word, of the same root as Utika, and
meaning settlement or colony. I here particularly note the Cyclopean walls, more or less preserved in many parts of
Ithaka, which in the old capital of the island, on Mount Aetos, are of enormous dimensions, and very like those of
Schliemann (2010..Tiryns) p23-4

Tom FRG Braun was a lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Oxford. He theorised that four Mycenaean Greek words,
read from the syllabic Linear B, were borrowed from Phoenician:

Linear B Phoenician Meaning

Ki-to ktn tunic
Ku-ru-so hrs gold
Ku-mi-no Kammon (Hebrew) cumin
Sa-sa-ma ššmn sesame

Whilst this is interesting there is an urgent need for the entire Linear B vocabulary to be compared to Hebrew and Phoenician
as a matter of course.

Schliemann reveals what many thought of Mycenaean architectural skills when he told us the esteem in which Tiryns was
It was held in the highest veneration as the birthplace of Herakles, and was famed for its Cyclopean walls, which in
ancient days were regarded as a miracle. Pausanias indeed places them side by side with the Pyramids of Egypt...
Schliemann (2010...Tiryns) p16

Herakles was born in Tiryns and was originally thought of as Black and Egyptian (see fig. 41). Who were these master-builders
who engineered architectural masterpieces to rival the greatest Wonder of the World?

Figure 3 Painting on pottery of men in a horse-drawn chariot, Ialysos, 1200 BC

There are four men in the painted pottery above and all have black faces with varying degrees of long noses. The wavy pattern
of hair above the head suggests short, curly hair, unlike that of most Minoans. It was found in a tomb dating back to 1200 BC
from the Mycenaean levels at Ialysos, Rhodes. Schliemann said of this place:

According to Diodorus (V. 56)... the population of Ialysos was partly Greek and partly Phoenician (V.58). The
excavations of Kameiros and Ialysos have proved how deep the Phoenician influence must have been in both
...the pottery of Ialysos has the greatest similarity to that of Tiryns and Mycenae.
Schliemann (2010...) p27

Were the prominent-nosed Black folk Phoenicians?

Figure 4 Detail of painting showing black faces of the men

Figure 5 Pottery painting of rider in horse-drawn chariot 1350-1300 BC

Above is a decorated bowl with a painting of a horse-drawn chariot and riders. It is from a Mycenaean tomb at Enkomi,
Cyprus, dating back to the 14th century BC, the peak of Mycenaean power. It is thought to depict a funerary procession or
parade. The four people depicted here all have dark brown faces. Below is the detail of the face of the man following the
chariot. It shows a dark brown face with quite a long nose and curly hair.
Figure 6 Detail of man behind chariot

Figure 7 Black-figured man and woman thought to be Helen of Troy and Paris, 720 BC

This large pot dates from between 735 BC and 720 BC and is from Thebes. It depicts a man holding a well-built woman’s wrist
as he tries to make her board on of his sea-going ships. Both are shown black in colour and with protruding noses like on the
Mycenaeans. The woman’s individual locks of hair can be seen cascading down her neck. Are these dreadlocks? The scene is
reminiscent of the story of the Trojan War reported by Homer, specifically the kidnap of Helen by Paris, the Prince of Troy.
The importance of this depiction is it probably shows how later Greeks viewed the Mycenaean physical appearance.
Figure 8 Detail of jutting chins and noses of the black figures

Figure 9 Painted pot from Mycenaean period showing

more people with black faces, 1300-1200 BC
Figure 10 Detail of black-faced figures, curly hair can be seen

The depiction above is on a type of pot known to archaeologists as a krater. It shows two figures in a chariot plus a rider
controlling two horses. A sword-bearer follows behind. All four are shown with black faces and curly hair indicating that the
hair type is genetic and not individual. The noses are prominent like in many Mycenaean depictions but downward pointing

Figure 11 Wall-painting of musician playing a lyre, 13 century BC

The palace at Pylos is known as ‘the Palace of Nestor’ after the Homeric reference to a king who lived at this citadel. In the 14 th
and 13th centuries BC this became the main urban centre of the Mycenaean world. It was destroyed by a fire around 1200 BC
leading to the preservation of the palace and its wall frescoes such as the one above. The fresco itself, in style, is reminiscent
of Minoan paintings. The dark brown complexion of the musician is in contrast to the crème long robe and the white of the
eyes. The hair is black and long like the dominant element in the Cretan population. The physical type is similar to the
numerically dominant dark element in the South Indian population. It raises the question of whether the Anatolian population
that peopled Crete in the Neolithic was of Dravidian physical type. A similar type is seen among the people of North Africa.
Were these the descendants of the Libyans?

Figure 12 A group of suspected Mycenaean soldiers depicted in ancient Egypt 1340 BC

The depiction above is on Middle New Kingdom Egyptian papyri from Tell-el-Amarna which show foreign soldiers with what
appear to be helmets made from boar’s tusks. These helmets were typical of what Mycenaean soldiers used to wear. They are
shown with the same complexions as the ancient Egyptians, an African-brown. This automatically makes them Black people.
Figure 13 Therans and Mycenaeans on Akrotiri, 1500 BC

This fresco is from Akrotiri on the island of Thera and shows soldiers with lances, cowhide gowns and boar tusk helmets.
They are believed to be Mycenaeans and are shown an African-brown like the fallen Therans at the bottom of the painting.
Almost all the people depicted in the scene are obviously Black. Schliemann tells us:

The same may be said of Thera, of which Bursian writes: ‘Greek tradition tells that Kadmos, seeking his abducted
sister Europa, landed on the island then called Kalliste, and built a shrine to Poseidon and Athene, and left there a
number of companions under the command of Membliaros, son of Poikiles. These Phoenicians, as the story seems to
indicate by the name Poikiles (the variegator), established a branch of industry, which flourished later at Thera - the
making of many-coloured stuffs, known to the Greeks from their place of manufacture as Theraea. Eight generations
after Membliaros, the story goes on, the Kadmeian Theras, son of Autesion, led a band of Minyans from Laconia to
the island, where the descendants of Membliaros gave him control, and he called it Thera after himself.
Schliemann (2010...) p26

One wonders whether the scene being depicted above in figure 13 is not the changeover referred to in the ancient tradition as
the Afro-Canaanite descended Membliaros’ descendants ‘giving’ control to the equally Afro-Canaanite descended Kadmeian
Figure 14 White Mycenaean soldiers, do they represent
the Pelopid dynasty from Asia Minor?

The End of the Mycenaean Civilization

Three factors contributed to the end of this civilization. The first was the war against Troy in the 12th century BC fought when
a non-Perseid dynasty had taken over the Mycenaeans. This war depleted the nation of resources. After the Trojan War
internal strife broke out between the cities of Greece further depleting their resources. A series of devastating earthquakes led
to the general collapse of civilization in the Bronze Age Mediterranean, the displacement of whole nations, the collapse of
trade and attacks of the Sea Peoples. The civilization collapsed and the art of writing was lost.

The Colonizing Period

The collapse of Mycenaean civilization at the end of the second millennium BC had population-dispersing consequences that
were to shape the future of ancient Greece as we come to know it:

Soon after this [Trojan War] we find the country involved in fatal civil wars, in which the people, under a number of
petty chieftains hostile to each other, suffered extremely from calamity and oppression. These evils seem to have led
to the change in the form of government, and the substitution of the popular instead of the regal system. – The
same evils also probably contributed to the spirit of emigration, which so strikingly marks the period. The emigrants
who sought foreign settlements were of three separate classes. The earliest were the Aeolians, who removed from
the Peloponnesus to the north-western shores of Asia Minor and founded several cities of which Smyrna was the
principal. The second were the Ionians, who went from Attica (originally called Ionia), and planted themselves in
Asia Minor, south of the Aeolians, where Ephesus was one of their chief cities. The third were the Dorians who
migrated to Italy and Sicily, and founded numerous flourishing settlements. Syracuse in Sicily became the most
important. – In the period of colonization we notice the origin of the four principal dialects in the Greek language.
Eschenburg (1836) p640

The descendants of the Afro-Canaanites, as with any ancient prestigious group, were in leadership positions. They used the
sailing and colonizing knowledge of their Afro-Canaanite ancestors to migrate to different parts of the Aegean world. The
majority of Greeks that embarked on these migrations, beginning around 1000BC, were White. Where the Greeks were coming
from places like the Peloponnesus and Boeotia surviving Black elements in the population would have been part of the
migrations. In this connection we discover that Aeolians also came from Boeotia (Children of Achilles: the Greeks in Asia
Minor since the Days of Troy by John Freely, IB Tauris 2010 p11) which was associated with Afro-Canaanite colonization. The
Aeolians also settled the island of Lesbos where one of the most famous poets of the ancient world came:

Of women intellectuals in the ancient world, Sappho (or Psappho in her own Aeolian dialect) is certainly best known.
Her poetry was famed in her own time, and for centuries after she was regarded as the equal of Homer, even as the
Tenth Muse...
Sappho was sometimes described as small and dark, as in the Oxyrhynchus papyrus of the late second or early third
century (...). Ovid’s poem ‘Sappho to Phaon’ which may have been partly based on poems of her own lost, suggests
she may have been black:
‘Brown I am, an Aethiopian dame
Inspired by young Perseus with a generous flame ...’
Women’s Political and Social Thought: an Anthology edited by HL Smith and BA Carroll, Indiana University Press 2000 p9

The first line of the words placed in the mouth of Sappho, by the later Roman poet Ovid; make it clear she was intended to be
Black. The second line is interesting because Perseus loved Andromeda, princess of Ethiopia. As we have already stated this
Ethiopia was in, what is currently, northern Israel with its capital at Joppa. Andromeda was a Phoenician princess and it is
Perseus love for her that Sappho is comparing with Phaon’s love for herself. This is particularly interesting given that she is
Aeolian and some Aeolians had Phoenician Boeotian ancestry. She obviously had had the reason of colour (Black) and
ethnicity (Canaanite) to identify with Andromeda.

Judging from later Greek art the Ionians and Dorians also had Black elements in their population.

The Geometric Period

The Metropolitan Museum of Art gives us a definition of the Geometric Period of ancient Greece:

The roots of Classical Greece lie in the Geometric period of about ca. 900 to 700 B.C., a time of dramatic
transformation that led to the establishment of primary Greek institutions. The Greek city-state (polis) was formed,
the Greek alphabet was developed, and new opportunities for trade and colonization were realized in cities founded
along the coast of Asia Minor, in southern Italy, and in Sicily. With the development of the Greek city-states came
the construction of large temples and sanctuaries dedicated to patron deities, which signaled the rise of state
religion. Each polis identified with its own legendary hero. By the end of the eighth century B.C., the Greeks had
founded a number of major Panhellenic sanctuaries dedicated to the Olympian gods.

These ancient Greek achievements were the direct result of the re-introduction of the Phoenicians into the Aegean world. By
the early 1st millennium BC the Phoenicians were a mixture of Afro-Canaanites and Euro-Canaanites. This was because the
geographical divisions between Canaanites with West Semitic names and those with European names had collapsed with the
end of the Bronze Age. The Euro-Canaanites were Ba’al-worshipping and followed Sethic practices like sacred prostitution and
man to man relationships. The Afro-Canaanites had originally been El-worshippers like the Exodus Hebrews (see The Black
God and Goddess of the Bible: the African Fight for Western Asia by Gert Muller, Pomegranate Publishing 2013). When Sethic
practices make their appearance in Greece we naturally assign them to Euro-Canaanite influence.

One of the more important Phoenician contributions was the alphabet:

The adaptation by the Greeks of the letters of the Phoenician alphabet to express vowels as well as consonants is
one of the most important events in world history...the Greek tradition that the alphabet came from Phoenicia is
confirmed by the name [Greek symbols], almost certainly meaning ‘Phoenician letters’...
This is illustrated by the Greek names of the letters of the alphabet...They were originally words with Semitic
meanings...The Greeks learned these names by rote without understanding them, and must have imported the names
along with letters in the 8th century BC.
Braun (1968) p25-28

The very idea of colonization came from the first Phoenician or Afro-Canaanite influence. Asia Minor and Sicily, in particular,
were places the Phoenicians were colonizing in the 9th century BC. We have just seen how the Greek alphabet was adapted
from the Phoenician one. The ‘Panhellenic sanctuaries to the Olympian gods’ established during the Geometric period also
have a Phoenician connection:

During the last twenty-five years of the nineteenth century, a number of isolated oriental bowls were discovered in
shrines of ancient Greece: Olympia, Delphi, Athens, and Rheneia.
Phoenician Bronze and Silver Bowls from Cyprus and the Mediterranean by Glenn Markoe, University of California Press
1985 p1

This Phoenician influence in the religious realm is as sensitive as it is crucial. Walter Burkert observed in this connection:

The foreign elements remain subject to a policy of containment: There is hardly a standard textbook that has oriental
and Greek objects depicted side by side; many of the oriental finds in the great Greek sanctuaries have long remained
- and some still remain – unpublished. The fact that Olympia is the most significant location for finds of eastern
bronzes, richer in this respect than all the Middle Eastern sites, is seldom mentioned.
The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age by Walter Burkert,
translated by Margaret E Pindar and Walter Burkert, Harvard University Press 1995 p4

It is little known facts like this which astound the reader and leave no doubt as to the depth of influence and the concerted
attempt to conceal the information. Why would there be such a strong Phoenician presence in the sanctuaries and shrines?
The degree of evidence strongly suggests that they were founded by Phoenicians, possibly in the Afro-Canaanite period. We
are told of one of the most famous of such shrines in Greece:

The oracle of Apollo at Delphi, Greece, is an important symbol of wisdom in Western literature. It is the most famous
of the ancient oracles – sources of divine data...
That the world-famed Delphi is named for ‘a Negro’ is a carefully shrouded secret. Mythology books in the English
language tell us that Delphi means dolphin and that the areas first settler arrived from Crete astride a dolphins back.
“Delphos of Delphi” by Eloise McKinney Johnson, in, Journal of Negro History Vol. 67 no.3 1982 p279

Crete makes us think of a Phoenician connection since they were connected to this island though Europa and her three sons
who became kings. But what is the evidence that the eponymous founder of Delphi was Black?

As a coin-type this head is so extraordinary that it is only natural to bring it into relationship with the other coins,
almost contemporary, which bears the same type. These (...) are little silver pieces of Delphi, with heads of goats or
rams and the letters [Greek symbols] on the reverse, and with a negro’s head as obverse type. The head has been
identified as that of Delphos, son of Melaina (the black-woman), mythical founder of Delphi...The coin belongs to
the Cleisthenic age, probably to the time when the Alcmaeonidae had just completed the temple of Apollo at Pytho.
Thus the Alcmaeonid Cleisthenes as the new founder of Delphi’s temple placed upon the Athenian money the head
of the first founder of Delphi itself.
Athens, It’s History and Coinage Before the Persian Invasion by Charles Theodore Seltman, CUP Archives 1924 p97
This strongly suggests that as late as the Geometric period some Phoenicians were still of African, as opposed to mixed,

The other famous Greek oracle in ancient times was at Dodona. Herodotus in Book II of his Histories informed us about the
story related by the priestesses of Zeus at Dodona of two black doves which flew from Thebes in Upper Egypt and went to
Libya and Dodona in north-western Greece. The birds perched on trees and spoke with a human voice declaring that a shrine
to Amun should be built there. Herodotus also concludes that the doves represented priestesses, and, as doves are not
usually black, the colour simply denotes that the women who were taken from Thebes were Egyptians. The oracle at Dodona
was thus founded by a Black priestess of Amun from Thebes, according to the tradition.

The Orientalising Period

The architecture, art, jewellery and ceramics of classical Greece were the result of known and acknowledged Phoenician and
Egyptian influence during the Orientalising Period from about 650 BC. We are told concerning art that:

...the impact of Phoenician art upon that of Greece can be clearly seen in the diversity of objects and shapes inspired
by or directly imitative of Phoenician models. In the medium of bone and ivory, we may draw attention to relevant
material from a number of sites, including Athens, Perachora, and Sparta.
Markoe (1985) p117

Concerning jewellery we learn of:

The extent to which Greek jewellery borrows from and directly imitates the Phoenician repertoire, both in shape and
technique, has been well demonstrated by Higgins, Culican, and others. As will become evident...there is sufficient
evidence to suggest that the techniques of filigree and granulation both derived ultimately from Phoenician practice.
Markoe (1985) p118

Concerning ceramics we are told by the same source:

The impact of the bowls and related Phoenician imports upon the emerging Greek ceramic traditions of the
Orientalizing period is equally discernible. For the purposes of this study, we will restrict our examination to two
major schools, ie Attic and Corinthian.
Markoe (1985) p118

The Attic and Corinthian are the two main schools of classical Greek art on various ceramic forms such as amphorae. It is from
these traditions that the black-figure styles originate with black being used for males and white being used for females. It may
be explained by the leading members of society at the dawn of urban society being the predominantly male Afro-Canaanite and
Egyptian settlers taking Greek wives. The memory of this may have caused the colours to become conventionalised in the
proceeding centuries. This would also explain why the Greeks associated a white complexion with femininity and a black
complexion with masculinity.

Concerning classical Greek architecture we are told of Egyptian influence by Encyclopedia Britannica:

From about 650 on, the Greeks began to visit Egypt regularly, and their observation of the monumental stone
buildings there was the genesis of the ultimate development of monumental architecture and sculpture in Greece.
The first step in architecture was simply the replacement of wooden pillars with stone ones and the translation of the
carpentry and brick structural forms into stone equivalents.

There can be no doubt about the profound influence from Phoenicia and Egypt in all crucial areas of civilization in classical
Greece. We can also see that the influence itself is acknowledged by some in Western academia but there is no unanimous
acceptance of the Black origins of this formative influence.

People on Cyprus have a variety of ethnic origins, according to their own traditions: Salamis, Athens, Arcadia, Cythnus, Phoenicia, and Ethiopia are all mentioned.
The Histories by Herodotus, 7.90

In Greek mythology Cyprus was the land of the Goddess Aphrodite. It has fertile land and plentiful timber and copper
resources. Because of this the major powers of antiquity all wanted to control the island. In the mid-to-late 2nd millennium BC
the Mycenaeans had a strong presence on the island. By 1000 BC city-kingdoms had formed. Around 800 BC the Phoenicians
settled the city of Citium and it became their colony. Around 700 BC the Assyrians arrived and claimed Cyprus for Assyria.
This domination lasted until 663 BC.

In the 6th century BC the Egyptians came to Cyprus as conquerors:

The literary records of the brief century of Egyptian domination are scanty. If we are to believe Diodorus, Hophra
(who reigned from 588 to 569, and whom the Greeks knew as Apries) made an expedition with a strong fleet and army
against Cyprus and Phoenicia, defeated their combined forces in a great sea-fight, and returned with much spoil to
Egypt. His successor Ahmose II (Amasis, 569-525 BC) reduced the cities of Cyprus and made noteworthy
dedications in its temples.
A History of Cyprus by George Hill, Cambridge University Press 2010 (1st published 1940) p109

This rule was not without influence particularly in statuary:

Direct Egyptian influence was not always apparent, but many limestone sculptures reproduced Egyptian
conventions in dress, and some statues were directly inspired by Egyptian models.

City-kingdoms were established from about 1000 BC. One of these cities was Idalion. It had a religious sanctuary consisting of
an open air enclosure, cult rooms, chapels and store rooms. Votive limestone statues were left in the sanctuary to make prayers
for the donor. Larger votive statues reflected the wealth of important worshippers. Below we shall take a look at who these
important worshippers were dating from 700 BC to 50 BC. Some statues show strong Egyptian influence in pose and style
reflecting the Egyptian rulership in the 6th century BC. These statues were called kuroi.
Figure 15 Votive limestone statue from Idalion, Cyprus
Figure 16 Another votive statue from Idalion
Figure 17 This statue shows Egyptian influence
in its pose and facial features
Figure 18 Dignitary from Idalion, ancient Cyprus

Figure 19 Another dignitary from Idalion, ancient Cyprus

The two votive statues representing the important worshippers shown here both have African features and very curly hair.
The other Cypriot statues show similar faces and hair. In this instance both Egypt and Canaan are likely to be the origin of the
Africans concerned. The Egyptians ruled Cyprus during the 6th century BC. Egyptian and Greek styles of sculpture were
combined on the island.

Below is the contrast of the rich brown colour of one type of ancient Cypriot with another type on the island but of European
Mediterranean appearance. The rich brown Cypriot has a narrower nose, than is usual, but has very curly hair, the length and
representation of which looks like an Afro.
Figure 20 Coloured sculpture of ancient Cypriot
Figure 21 Ancient Cypriot of European
Mediterranean appearance

Figure 22 Ancient Cypriot of Semi-Moorish appearance

Figure 23 Limestone male head from

3rd century BC Cyprus
Figure 24 Hair and beard show clear evidence of
African descent on Cypriot dignitary

Figure 25 Cypriot man with distinct African

ancestry looking rather like Ronaldinho
Figure 26 Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho of obvious African ancestry

Zeno was the founder of one of the two main philosophical schools of his day: the Stoics. They were renowned for their
discipline and forsaking of pleasure as the counterparts of the Epicureans who believed in indulging the senses to the
maximum. We are told the following about him:

Zeno was the son of Innaseas, a native of Citium, in Cyprus, which is a Grecian city, partly occupied by a Phoenician
...Apollonius, the Tyrian, says that he was thin, very tall, of a dark complexion; in reference to which some one once
called him an Egyptian Clematis [climbing plant]...
The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers: Life of Zeno, edited by HL Smith and BA Caroll, Indiana University Press

This shows that wherever Phoenician colonies were set up famous Greeks, often cited as having Afro-Canaanite ancestry,
were to be found who were either compared to Egyptians or Ethiopians.

The Greeks who settled in western Asia Minor were known as East Greeks. Ar ound 1000 BC Aeolian immigrants from the
Peloponnesus and Boeotia settled the old city of Troy and called it Ilion. As we have already seen some of them were of
Phoenician ancestry. By the 5 th century BC it was famously known by this name. Below are some votive statues of the East
Greeks from 3rd century BC Ilion.

Figure 27 Votive statue of man from Ilion, 3rd century BC

Figure 28 Votive statue of lady from Ilion, 3rd century BC

Figure 29 Terracotta mould for a female head, Rhodes, 625 BC

Figure 30 White and Semi-Moorish East Greeks

Figure 31 Terracota statue of boy from Myrina, Asia Minor 50 BC

Figure 32 Terracota statue of Aphrodite fixing a crown

over the African curls of Dionysus, Myrina, 150 BC

The fragments of vases above, in figure 30, depict White and Semi-Moorish East Greeks dating back to 600 BC. The lower
example is wearing a red fez.

The two statues above were found in Myrina in north-west Asia Minor. One is a terracotta statue of a boy with straight hair
but African-like face suggesting Black ancestry. It dates from between 50 BC and 30 AD. The other is a terracotta statue of the
Goddess Aphrodite and the God Dionysius. The Goddess, who looks European, fixes a crown or wreath over the African curls
of Dionysius. It dates from between 150 BC and 100 BC.

Below are depictions on a large vase, from Athens, in black figure. Athens is in Attica not Boeotia but the profiles of the Black
mercenaries can be compared with the depiction below of Circe, daughter of the Sun-God. The Greek soldier is depicted with
typically Greek facial features and hair dropping below his helmet. He is shown black after the colour of men in this style. He
has a mercenary in front of him. We know the mercenary is not Greek for a number of reasons:
i) He is shown smaller than the Greek soldier indicating that he is a foreigner.
ii) He has an African appearance of hair and features and not the conventional hair and features of the Greek soldier. He is
possibly of North African origin because Greek contacts with Africa went no further than the north.
iii) He is also armed with a club which was not the standard Greek armament for soldiers.

A foreigner would only be amongst them for three reasons: as a member of the enslaved, to trade, or as a mercenary. Only one
of these would be permitted to carry arms.

Figure 33 amphora black-figures of Greek soldier with,

possibly North African, mercenaries, Athens 540 BC
Figure 34 The Mercenary behind the Greek soldier

Figure 35 Black-figured skyphos with Circe, daughter

of the sun, and Odysseus, Boeotia 450 BC

Above two characters from Greek myth are shown together on a skyphos or drinking cup. The lady is Circe, daughter of the
Helios and Perse, the Sun-God and nymph of the great ocean respectively. Circe’s siblings are Aetees, King of Colchis,
Pasiphae, wife of King Minos of Crete, and Perses, mythical ancestor of the Persians (see Unmistakably Black: Sculpture and
Paintings of the First Persians). The ethnic groups associated with Circe’s family; Minoans, Colchians and Persians, are of
Black origins. It is not surprising that Circe herself is shown with the same African features of the mercenaries in figure 33 and
34. She is also shown black in colour which is unusual for a woman. Circe was a sorceress who could turn men into animals.
Odysseus was a Greek hero who fought in the Trojan War. All this gives the impression the ancient Greeks perceived of the
Gods as being of African physical appearance.

Figure 36 Terracotta woman from Boeotia 300BC

Figure 37 Thought to be Aphrodite and Eros 300 BC,

Boeotia or Thessaly
Figure 38 The God Dionysius, in Cabiric style, holding a drinking vase, 520 BC, Athens

Figure 39 Stone sculpture of woman from

the temple of Ares, Athens, 420 BC
Figure 40 Athenian man of the 5th century BC, perhaps Socrates

It is interesting that the above, three distinctive representations all come from Boeotia because this region of Greece was the
place of the Temple of the Kaberoi. Who were the Kaberoi or Cabiri?

Ca`bi´ri (kå`bī´rī)
(Myth.) Certain deities originally worshiped with mystical rites by the Pelasgians in Lemnos and Samothrace and afterwards
throughout Greece; - also called sons of Hephæstus (or Vulcan), as being masters of the art of working metals.

HEPHAISTOS was the great Olympian god of fire, metalworking, stonemasonry and the art of sculpture. He was usually depicted as a bearded man
holding hammer and tongs--the tools of a smith--and riding a donkey.

They were the sons of Hephaestus and Kabeiro, a nymph who was daughter of the Sea-God. They were also the Gods of the
Pelasgians of Samothrace and Lemnos. Herodotus mentions the physical appearance of the Cabiri when describing the acts of
sacrilege committed by the Persian King Cambyses who:

...even entered the temple of Hephaestus and jeered at the god’s statue. This statue closely resembles the Pataici
which the Phoenicians carry about on the prows of their triremes – but I should make it clearer to anyone who has
never seen these, if I said it was like a pygmy. He also entered the temple of the Cabiri, which no one but the priest is
allowed to do, made fun of the images there (they resemble those of Hephaestus, and are supposed to be his sons)...
Herodotus: The Histories translated by Aubrey de Selincourt and John Marincola, Penguin Books 2003 p187

The Phoenician Pataici, the Greek Cabiri Gods and the Olympian God Hephaestus physically resemble Pygmies. They were
closely associated with the arts of civilization. The Cabiri were also associated with drinking wine and orgiastic rites thus
connecting them with Dionysius. He was sometimes shown like the Cabiri (see figure 38). Concerning this Herodotus said:

...Melampus the son of Amythaon knew all about this ceremony; for it was he who introduced the name of Dionysus
into Greece, together with the sacrifice in his honour and the phallic procession...Probably Melampus got his
knowledge of the worship of Dionysus through Cadmus of Tyre and the people who came with him from Phoenicia
to the country now called Boeotia.
Selincourt and Marincola (2003) p116

We can thus conclude that the Boeotian representations are made with the Pygmy appearance in mind because it was a centre
of Cabiric worship in Greece. We can also conclude that both Pelasgians and Phoenicians had a class of Gods who were
intended to be Pygmies because the Afro-Canaanites had influenced the peoples of Samothrace and Lemnos. The very name
Cabiri appears to have the Phoenician word kabir, ‘great’, as its origin.

Figure 41 An Archaic Period Vase reproduction, Busiris-Hydra

with painting of Herakles in reddish-brown and African
curls, fighting White and coal-black Egyptian priests

Figure 42 Compare complexion of Herakles in the

reproduction to the original. The original is much darker

The above two figures are a reproduction and the original of the famous Busiris-Hydra. A hydria is a type of ancient Greek
vase. On this one a scene was painted showing coal-black and white-complexioned Egyptian priests being killed by the mighty
Greek hero Herakles. In this particular myth Herakles had been arrested on the orders of Pharaoh Busiris to be sacrificed to
Zeus. He turns the tables on his captors and kills all of them. In the original Herakles can only be described as a darker variety
of African-brown. His African appearance is inescapable!

During the 2nd and 1st millennium BC Black people were not only present but were the foundation of the urban development in
the ancient Greek Aegean. They were the formative influencers in the Mycenaean and Minoan world and in the later worlds of
north-west Asia Minor, Cyprus, Boeotia and Attica. Their existence explains why native Greeks like Sappho and Zeno were not
of African birth (as many Western commentators are quick to point out in an attempt to prove them White) but were
nonetheless described as ‘dark’ and likened to Africans. Their existence also explains the origins of black-figure style in the art
found on vases and amphorae. As Hermstein would say; “the hypothesis of the Black origins of Greek civilization has
numerous explanatory achievements”.

There were SEVEN separate Black origins and influences for the civilization of ancient Greece:

1) The Liby-Egyptian arrival in Messara, Crete.

2) The Old Kingdom Egyptian influence on Crete
3) The Old Phoenician or Afro-Canaanite influence on Crete
4) The New Kingdom Egyptian influence on the Peloponnesus
5) The Phoenician influence on Boeotia contemporary with the New Kingdom
6) The Phoenician influence on the Aegean from the 9th century BC
7) The Late Egyptian conquest of parts of the Aegean in the 6th century BC

The artistic representations from Greece show these Black ancestors of the ancient Greeks in an uncompromising way. Many
of these have never been seen by the Black community. Let us hope this will change with the publication of this book.

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