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 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”.
David Eccott, a British advocate of very early pre-Columbian trans-Atlantic contacts, has a paper on Andrew Collins’ website in which among others, he claims that Berber seafarers reached the Americas and that rock art in Utah can be attributed to them(j).
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) See: Archive 3608*
Amazons is the name used by classical writers(k) to identify two matriarchal nations living near the Black Sea and in ancient Libya, but at apparently different periods. An extensive website on the subject associates the Amazons with three locations; Lake Tritonis(j) , the Greek island of Lemnos(i) and the River Thermodon, now known as Terme Çay, in northern Turkey(h).
Accounts relating to these remote times are understandably vague but one tale describes the Libyan Amazons as waging war against the Atlanteans, a race who lived in a prosperous country with great cities.
Attention has been drawn to the fact that the Berbers, also known as Amazigh in North-West Africa have a matriarchal culture. The possibility of an etymological connection between Amazon and Amazigh was suggested by Guy C. Rothery (1863-1940) in his 1910 book, The Amazons , and recently endorsed by Emmet Sweeney in his Atlantis: The Evidence of Science. In 1912, Florence Mary Bennett published Religious Cults Associated with the Amazons, which has been republished in recent years.
Another matriarchal society in the same region has also been suggested for the Maltese Islands(h).
Sir John Chardin (1643-1713) a French-born traveller and merchant reported that a tribe of Amazons still existed in the Caucasus in the 17th century(d).
Although the idea may be seen as fanciful, recent archaeological discoveries have provided evidence of female warriors in ancient times in parts of the former Soviet Union. The archaeologist Jeannine Davis-Kimball has written of her investigations into the subject. Peter James offers a solution to the existence of two locations for the Amazons. He believes that the original Black Sea location is correct and that the transference of the story to North Africa was the result of the ‘libyanising’ intent of Dionysus of Miletus, who was later quoted by Diodorus Siculus in his account(f) of the Amazons.
. James offers this explanation as part of a larger relocation of mythologies to more westerly locations. Other interesting views of the Amazon mystery can be found on a number of websites(a)(b).
Lewis Spence advanced the imaginative view [259.49] that the Amazons were not women at all, but men whose appearance was considered effeminate by some commentators. A more rational explanation on offer is that the males of some peoples had little facial hair or shaved (such as the Hittites) and were possibly described by their more hirsute enemies as ‘women’.
The popular idea that the Amazons were single-breasted, man-hating warriors has recently been comprehensively debunked by Adrienne Mayor in her latest book, The Amazons .
>Even more eyebrow-raising is the suggestion that Amazon warriors existed in South America based on 16th century reports and modern research(c). Columbus, in a 1493 letter to Luis de Sant’angel, refers to an island named Matininó, which was inhabited only by women(m), armed with bows and arrows. Hernán Cortés also filed a similar report.<
The Smithsonian magazine published a useful overview(e) of the history of the Amazon story in the April 2004 edition and in September 2011 revealed the story of the little-known female warriors of Benin (formerly Dahomey), numbered in their thousands, who were active during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The BBC published an article in August 2018 on their history and their modern day descendants(l) .