Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Tehenu

The inhabitants of the Fezzan were round headed Africans. (Jelinek, 1985,p.273) The cultural characteristics of the Fezzanese were analogous to C-Group culture items and the people of Ta-Seti . The C-Group people occupied the Sudan and Fezzan regions between 3700-1300 BC (Jelinek 1985).

      The inhabitants of Libya were called Tmhw (Temehus). The Temehus were organized into two groups the Thnw (Tehenu) in the North and the Nhsj (Nehesy) in the South. (Diop 1986) A Tehenu personage is depicted on Amratian period pottery (Farid 1985 ,p. 84). The Tehenu wore pointed beard, phallic-sheath and feathers on their head.
    The Temehus are called the C-Group people by  archaeologists.(Jelinek, 1985; Quellec, 1985). The central Fezzan was a center of C-Group settlement. Quellec (1985, p.373) discussed in detail the presence of C-Group culture traits in the Central Fezzan along with their cattle during the middle of the Third millennium BC.
     The Temehus or C-Group people began to settle Kush around 2200 BC. The kings of Kush had their capital at Kerma, in Dongola and a sedentary center on Sai Island. The same pottery found at Kerma is also present in Libya especially the Fezzan. 
   The C-Group founded the Kerma dynasty of Kush. Diop (1986, p.72) noted that the "earliest substratum of the Libyan population was a black population from the south Sahara". Kerma was first inhabited in the 4th millennium BC (Bonnet 1986). By the 2nd millennium BC Kushites at kerma were already worshippers of Amon/Amun and they used a distinctive black-and-red ware (Bonnet 1986). Amon, later became a major god of the Egyptians during the 18th Dynasty.
Bonnet,C. (1986). Kerma: Territoire et Metropole. Cairo: Instut  Francais D'Archeologie Orientale du Caire. This is a fine  examination of the Kerma culture of Nubia which existed in         Nubia before the Egyptians established rule in this area.
Diop,C.A. (1974). The African Origin of Civilization. (ed. &  Trans) by Mercer Cook, Westport:Lawrence Hill & Company.  This book outlines Diop's theory of the African origin of  Egyptian civilization.
_______.(1986). "Formation of the Berber Branch". In Libya  Antiqua. (ed.) by Unesco,(Paris: UNESCO) pp.69-73. In this article Diop explains that the original inhabitants of Libya were Blacks.

Jelinek,J. (1985). "Tillizahren,the Key Site of the Fezzanese Rock Art". Anthropologie (Brno),23(3):223-275. This paper gives a stimulating  account of the rock art of the Sahara and the important role the C-Group people played in the creation of this art.
Quellec,J-L le. (1985). "Les Gravures Rupestres Du Fezzan (Libye)". L'Anthropologie, 89 (3):365-383. This text deals  comprehensively with the dates and spread of specific art          themes in the ancient Sahara.

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