This is an oddly frustrating book. Robert Bauval became interested in the site of Nabta Playa (in Egypt's far south-western desert), when the archaeologist excavating the site called in an archaeoastronomer, because they had belatedly realised that the numerous small standing stones formed astronomical alighnments. The book devotes only 2 pages to the archaeological finds on the site and almost all of the rest to explaining how the worship of Sirius and Orion's Belt stars (the gods Isis and Osiris) had carried thriough from the earliest times (c 6000bce) to Pharonic Egypt. I still don't know where the 'black genesis' comes in, as there do not seem to have been any skeletons found at Nabta Play, so we can't tell if the people living there were black, brown, white or green! The colour pictures (which are excellent) show cave paintings of people, cattle and wild savanna animals and, since the animals are all in lifelike colours, it would seem that the people of Nabta Playa had dark brown skins, certainly lighter than Egypt's present day Nubians - does it matter? I'm not particularly bothered by the skin colour of Egypt's founding ancestors, but it seems that there is still a faint academic perception that light skinned people are smarter than dark skinned people. That has hampered archaeological reserch in the past and still seems to be putting some sites onto the back burner, but whatever the skin colour of the people of Nabta Playa, I'd like to know a lot more about what the archaeologists found there, than what this book tells us!
Some years ago I watched an episode of the Africa series by Basil Davidson. This particular episode showed rock paintings of people living in the Sahara region at a time when it was much wetter and greener than it is today. The people depicted in the drawings, wore dress very reminiscent of that worn by the people of ancient Egypt. The 'art' suggested that we were looking at the lives of a very sophisticated people. As the climate changed and the Sahara dried up they migrated to other parts of Africa including the Nile Valley.
In the book "Black Genesis: The Prehistoric Origins of Ancient Egypt" the authors, Robert Bauval and Thomas Brophy, present evidence that Pharaonic Egypt was established by communities coming in from the Sahara as the climate changed. Focusing on discoveries found at sites in the Egyptian Sahara, they suggest that these ancient people domesticated cattle and had a sophisticated knowledge of Astronomy which emerges later in the Nile Valley civilization. The authors also describe their own visits to and surveys of the archaeological sites.
I enjoyed reading the book and was amazed at the amount of related information that could be found on the subject. Another interesting topic covered in the book were the various explorations into the Egyptian Sahara during the 19th and 20th Century and the discoveries which were made. Definitely a must read for anyone interested in the origins of ancient Egypt and the history of Africa.