The Berbers of North Africa, sometimes referred to as Amazigh, are blond and blue-eyed where they have not interbred with the Arab population.
They are genetically related to the Saami people of northern Scandinavia*They are genetically related to the Saami people of northern Scandinavia according to mtDNA studies(g) published in the American Journal of Human Genetics in 2005.* It is frequently mentioned that the Berbers refer to a rich land called Attala situated in the west. The Berbers are probably related to the Guanches of the Canary Islands who were also blond with blue/grey eyes. Although the Spanish virtually wiped out the Guanches, there are still native tall blond blue-eyed individuals to be seen in the Canaries.
*Genetic studies in 2009 offered evidence that the first inhabitants of the Canaries were Berbers(a) . In 2017, additional investigation offered further confirmation of this relationship, published in a report in the October edition of Current Biology(h) and expanded on in an article on the Ancient Origins website by Alicia McDermott(i) .*
The Berbers also constructed pyramidal structures as tombs or temples such as that at Madghacen in Algeria(e).
Recently Ulrich Hofmann has offered evidence that the predecessors of the Berbers were the people of Atlantis. He identifies these Atlanteans with the Temehu and Tehenu of ancient Libya, recorded in the ancient inscriptions of Egypt. Emmet Sweeney follows a similar line claiming[700.36] that “if we seek the modern descendants of the Atlanteans, we must search among the Berbers”.
The difficulties attached to tracing ancient ‘Libyans’ are outlined in a paper, What Happened to the Ancient Libyans, by Richard L. Smith (1945- ). This essay can be downloaded as a pdf file(b) and is highly recommended as it gives additional insights into the credibility of many of the classical writers frequently quoted in connection with the Atlantis story.
Following the 2011 fall of the Gaddafi regime in Libya, the Berbers there, who were particularly repressed, have again begun to assert their right to greater cultural expression, considering themselves to be the original Libyans(c). However, a report from Reuters dated 18/10/12(d) tells of the destruction of an 8,000-year-old petroglyph by Islamic extremists in an Amazigh region of Morocco. This is the latest example of efforts by the Islamic Salafists to destroy evidence of pre-Islamic culture.
Bob Idjennaden and Mebarek Taklit have written of the prominent part played by berbers in the shifting alliances that constituted the ‘Sea Peoples’, who attacked Egypt at least twice during the 2nd millennium BC.
(f) http://www.ancient-atlantis.com/the-berbers/ (offline December 2016)