Friday, July 23, 2010
The Natufians: The Original Black Africans of Israel
By Jide Uwechia
Seven or eight thousand years ago in what geologists call the Holocene era (i.e. modern times) a black tribe from Africa established themselves in Palestine. The New York Times reported this spectacular fact in many of its editions between the years 1857 and 1932.
Skulls and thighbones of the indigenes of this culture were unearthed and studied for the first time between 1928 and 1932. The archelogical sites were first pin-pointed at Shukbah near Jerusalem and later in caves at Mount Carmel.
As always happens with the discovery of the earliest African global Diaspora, the western archeologists who carried out the digs designated them with an almost meaningless and obfuscating appellation the "Natufians."
The first authoritative account of the first and original Black African Israelites aka the Natufian was given by Sir Arthur Keith to the congress of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences. It was perceived then to be one of the greatest riddles of archaeology.
Black African Israelites
According to Sir Arthur, these original Israelites were clearly a Black people of African descent. Osteological analysis gave scientific backing to this theory. They had classical west African facial features as well as doliocephalic skull index (i.e. long large heads). Sir Arthur had stated:
"Several features stand out quite definitely first the Natufians were a long-headed people – they had cap-shaped occiputs (the lower back part of the head). Secondly, the dimensions or their heads were greater than in the pre-dynastic Egyptians. Thirdly, their faces were short and wide. Fourthly, they were prognathous (with projecting jaws). Fifthly, their nasal bones were not narrow and high, but formed a wide, low arch. Sixthly, their chins were not prominent, but were masked by the fullness of the teeth-bearing parts of the jaw."
Many of them were short and stocky with remarkable developed thighs and legs. They also had a custom of extracting the two upper central incisor teeth of their women.
On a lighter note, it is recalled that some eminent Eurocentric scholars had taken exception to Sir Arthur's conjectures. One Professor Smith had objected too, that it was hardly possible that these people (meaning Natufians) had had Negro blood, but Sir Arthur speedily corrected him.
By the word Negroid he meant merely "Negro-like characteristics" such as are found throughout Europe and even in Scandinavia.
Sir Arthur drew the inference that the Natufians had carried Aurignacian culture into Palestine after the last glacier age, which was approximately 35000 years ago.
Fast forward to 2005 and note the tedious musings of C.L. Brace (2005):
"If the late Pleistocene Natufian sample from Israel is the source from which that Neolithic spread was derived, there was clearly a sub-Saharan African element present of almost equal importance as the Late Prehistoric Eurasian element."
Unlike Any present Race
These original African Israelites may have been ancestors of all the later day Semites including the later day Jews and Arabs of the biblical times in Sir Arthur’s opinion.
The close connections of those original African Israelites to the wider Mediterranean coastal civilizations are underlined by noted physical and cultural resemblances between the two populations.
Larry Angel (1972) noted: one can identify Negroid traits of nose and prognathism appearing in Natufian latest hunters.
The Natufians had physical and cultural affinities with the Neolithic or late Stone Age men of Malta (the founding people of the Aegean and Greek cultures) and the remoter Aurignacian men of Southern Europe (who established much of the modern European stratum). Linkages have also been noted between the African Israelites and the ancient Ur of the Chaldees and the prehistoric man of South Africa.
However, to mollify the angst of his more Eurocentric scholars and promote the pale-skin supremacist agenda which underlies all mainstream establishment scholarship Sir Arthur had defamed the memory of the African Natufians of Israel with hasty and flimsy accusations of cannibalism. Suffice it to say that those baseless inferences are no longer supported by any serious research work on the culture of the Natufians.
It is generally accepted today that the Natufians were an advanced, cultured, and highly innovative people to whom we owe the gifts of agriculture and urban civilization.
Agriculture and Natufians
Modern wheat was a fertile mutation of wild wheat. It made much better food. But its seeds don’t go anywhere. They’re bound more firmly to the stalk, and they cannot ride the wind. Without farmers to collect and sow wheat, it dies. Thus modern wheat is one of those quintessential Agricultural innovation of humanity.
To better state it, it can be said with certainty that it took great scientific leap based on observation, followed by eons of experimentation before a crop as hardy and as successful as the modern wheat could have been bred. Even today thousands of years down the line, with intimidating knowledge and technological tools, humanity is not able to surpass the creation of those Black Africans of Israel.
For it is generally conceded by all authorities on this matter, that the earliest evidence of agriculture was found among those Black Africans of Jericho and the Dead Sea. It is said that in 8000 B.C. the Natufians were the first to cultivate modern wheat. They were also the first farmers. And notably they were the first Israelites. Eminent European researchers also claim that a branch from this same stock of people later moved on to Europe and became the first Europeans.
Feb 11, 2008
BONES OF CANNIBALS A PALESTINE RIDDLE; Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES; New York Times 1857; Aug 4, 1932; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 – 2003) pg. 21
Wireless to NEW YORK TIMES London Aug. 3 1932.
Natufian Photo courtesy of: bafsudralam.blogspot.com