The New Gresham Encyclopedia Volume 4, Part 2: Ebert to Estremadura April 12, 2011
In the hot, dry sands of Upper Egypt, which preserve the dead from decay, have been found the bodies of large numbers of pre-dynastic Egyptians. They were of the type known as the ‘Mediterranean race’. The contents of their stomachs have yielded husks of barley and millet and fragments of mammalian and fish bones. Circumcision was practised, and some men shaved. These people used malachite as an eyelid paint. When they discovered that copper could be extracted from malachite, it was used at first like gold, as has been stated. The production of copper implements and weapons was followed by the conquest of Lower Egypt by the copper-using Upper Egyptians. After the latter moved north, they found that the bodies of their dead decayed, and the practice of mummification was introduced. Before 3000 B.C. the broad-headed, long-bearded Armenoid type began to filter into Lower Egypt. The blending of Armenoids and Arabians in Syria produced ‘the hybrid race of Semites’. In Egypt the ethnic fusion was most marked at the commercial capital, Memphis, and especially during the time of the pyramid builders (c. 2900-2750 B.C.). The spread of ‘copper culture’, and the importation into Egypt of timber from Lebanon, apparently brought the ancient races into close contact. Withal, shipbuilding and the art of navigation had advanced by leaps and bounds. Before the Pyramid Age there were sea-traders on the Mediterranean, and the Egyptians imported copper from Sinai across the Red Sea.