Analysis of hair samples of mummies from Semma South (Sudanese Nubia)

American Journal of Physical Anthropology
D Hrdy


Hair samples from 76 burials at Semna South (Sudanese Nubia) were examined using a variety of techniques. Electrophoresis and fluorescence microscopy indicated some oxidation of the cuticule and keratin protein had taken place. However, the cuticular structure and the lack of fluorescence of the cortex indicate that the low humidity and non-alkaline conditions preserved the physical and chemical properties of the hair well. Pigmentation, even allowing for oxidation of melanin, showed a higher proportion of lighter samples than is currently associated with the Nubian area. Hair form analysis showed medium diameter and scale count; the curling variables were intermediate between European and African samples. There was a high ratio of maximum to minimum curvature (a measure of irregularity), approached only by Melanesian samples. Meroitic and X-group burial types were not statistically significantly different (largely due to sample sizes), but the X-group, especially males, showed more African elements than the Meroitic in the curling variables. Principal components analysis showed the Semna sample to be significantly different from seven populations examined earlier.


May 22, 2004·Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology·Eve Judith Lowenstein
Nov 30, 2007·American Journal of Physical Anthropology·Niels Lynnerup
Mar 1, 1982·Anatomia, histologia, embryologia·F H Feder


Nov 1, 1977·American Journal of Physical Anthropology·G Floris
Jul 1, 1973·American Journal of Physical Anthropology·D Hrdy, H P Baden
Jul 1, 1973·American Journal of Physical Anthropology·D Hrdy

Related Concepts

African Continental Ancestry Group
Downy Hair
European Continental Ancestry Group
Korean Race
Keratin-Associated Proteins
Anthropology, Physical

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