I don't know whether this is a myth, but I've run into this in various publications, and a few Egyptians I know personally have confirmed it: that the Egyptians of today and those who lived in the times of the Pharaohs are genetically identical.

Unlike their neighbors. Whatever Mediterranean state you take, the denizens' DNA will attest to all the migrations their country has witnessed over the past 4000 years or so. In Libya, next door to Egypt, the average citizen will have strains of Sub-Saharan, Greek, Roman, and Arab DNA. Sicilians have Norman blood in their veins, and Greeks have Turkish. And so forth. The Egyptians seem to be an exception: they don't mix with others. At least not genetically. Is this true, and if it is, how do they even manage it?

I mean, they fought all those wars with the Nubians; they once had a large population of Hebrew slaves; they lived under Persian, Greek, and Roman occupation - centuries upon centuries; and then there were the Caliphs; and the Brits; and - nothing? Not a trace? How can that be?

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    Could you provide some references? Actually I used to think that modern Egyptians are mostly of Arabic origin.
    – Matt
    Nov 5, 2015 at 11:37
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    Any statement that includes "genetically identical" is suspect - only twins are identical. I'm going to reject that statement unless you introduce some mechanism to compare two sets of genetic population and define "identical" - is every Egyptian today the identical twin of a historical Egyptian? Are they all clones and we haven't noticed?
    – MCW
    Nov 5, 2015 at 12:46
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    It sounds more like one of those national myths that everyone learn in school/ hear at home and 100% sure it is true - and it is just pure BS propaganda.
    – Greg
    Nov 5, 2015 at 15:42
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    Notably, their name for the country is Misr not any phonetical variation of Egypt in the local language (Arabic). It says something, doesn't it?
    – kubanczyk
    Nov 5, 2015 at 16:36
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    @kubanczyk Well, no, that by itself doesn't really say anything. They never called themselves 'Egypt'. Numerous countries have never called themselves anything resembling what we call them. Though the point you were trying to make isn't completely unjustified. The ancient Egyptians called it 'Kemet'. Apr 6, 2021 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


As you pointed out, your basic premise is wrong. There is nothing "homogenous" about the Egyptians. Just for starters, centuries of Arab conquest changed that. Even in ancient times the Egyptians had different ethnic groups living in different parts of the country, and the ethnicity of the royal family and nobility was considered different altogether.

In modern Egypt, both Muslim and Christian Egyptians are descendants of the ancient Egyptians, but carry different admixtures which results in them being slightly ethnically different today. Speaking of Alexandria, it is worth noting that the Greeks ruled Egypt for many centuries and there was a huge diaspora to Egypt out of Judea in Roman times.

In Medieval times the Byzantine Greeks and the Turks both occupied and ruled Egypt, creating their own sub cultures and ethnic groups.

So, whoever told you that the Egyptians are "homogenous" or somehow descended from the pharoahs or whatever, has no idea what they they are talking about.

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