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  1. Dec 2022
    1. Petrie was also a eugenicist, who believed in the improvement of society through selective “breeding-out” of intellectually inferior races. While revealing evidence for the foundations of ancient Egypt, he attributed it on biometric grounds to a “New Race” of invaders from outside Africa, opening a space of the imagination that has since come to be filled by all manner of theories about the “alien” architects of ancient civilizations. It started with the “race science” that is part and parcel of archaeology’s own problematic history.
    2. The study of Egypt “before the pharaohs” was pioneered in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by a British archaeologist called William Matthew Flinders Petrie, familiar to generations of students as “the father of archaeological science.”