Critisism: His Masters Voice

What happened in Egyptology after 1994, the year in which my book was published:

›What was before the pharaohs? The discovery of the primeval mothers of Egypt‹

Here is a little story:

»Arthur Jones, the creator of Nautilus devices and current owner of MedX Corporation in Florida, has uniquely standardized the behavior of experts toward the emergence of new problem solutions in their field in a talk show: the expert responds to one idea in five consecutive stages:

Level 1: the silencing; Level 2: the devaluing; Level 3: the stealing; Level 4: the lyingAfter the expert has brought his plagiarism to the public, he is fully engaged in proclaiming to the whole world that he himself has always been a promoter of the idea, yes indeed its original author.«

According to this pattern, the Egyptologist Thomas Schneider reacted, in 1994 Assistant in the Egyptology Department of the University of Basel, to the publication of my book. But even then open-minded readers reacted with incomprehension to his slurs in the ›WELTWOCHE‹ (World Week).

At the time, a reader responded to the devaluations of Thomas Schneider: »The article is a model example suitable for teaching purposes. It is the emotional affront of a man against a woman who has qualified for the former male domain Egyptology. No trace of the critical-liberal language of a scientist and philosopher like Sir Karl Popper. It is only unfortunate that some readers now uncritically take the allegations and theses of Thomas Schneider at face value. Their falsification is to be watched carefully.« (Dr. A. W., Vienna)

Another reader commented, »Even if the experts register their doubts, as Mr. Schneider did, the archeologists have one thing to admit: they are doing science from a purely male point of view, they have hardly ever had to fear any competition, and then they are outraged by the attack on their patriarchal autocracy, since recently women not only want to study male science but also develop their own ideas (…) I can only hope that courageous women like Mrs. Wolf will wake us up with her new perspective from the sleep of the righteous.« (Dr. R. M., Freiburg)

At that time I represented and still maintain the thesis that Pharaonic Egypt did not, as it was the case with isolationist Egyptology and until then stubbornly was defended, »hatch like a chick from the egg«. Based on my own years of research, and based on a series of great scientists all in dismissed as »obsolete«, I dared to suggest that the introduction to »Pharaonic« Egypt was the result of an invasion of Indo-Aryan conquerors.

My theses also include that after the conquest of Egypt by the patriarchal Indo-Europeans; the indigenous people were oppressed and persecuted because of their belief in the Great Goddess.

At that time, the young Egyptologist  lic. phil. Thomas Schneider wrote in ›WELTWOCHE‹ (World Week) No. 37 of 15 September 1994: »No trace of the primeval mothers of Egypt«, and accused me of placing the Great Mother Goddess, from whom the dead are born again, at the center of a matriarchal culture: »Symbols of this rebirth are numerous female figures who traditionally be referred partly to as ›concubines‹.« (Corresponding male figures – for example, the male head from Merimde to 4300 BC, the first plastic portrait from Egypt – Wolf does not mention!)

Head of Merimde

Mr. Schneider does not seem to know, which seems astonishing, that this approximately 11-centimeter-sized mask, a single piece of fired clay, is completely un-Egyptian and, like other artifacts from this settlement, comes from early Bronze Age Palestine and probably by immigrants was produced or brought here. In Palestine, identical masks were found, including the famous »Man of Galilee« from much earlier times, and an 8,000-year-old decorated skull from Nahal Hemar, southwest of the Dead Sea, and another mask, which dates back to around 1600, originates from the Hebron area. It is believed that these masks are related to pre-Israelite death practices. They are referred to as ›portrait skulls‹ by Kathleen Kenyon, who found similar skulls in Jericho, which may have been ancestors. Astonishing is also that: The Egyptologist, Arno Eggebrecht describes the head as female (Eggebrecht 1984, p. 415).

For me, it was clear that one of the most important proofs of the invasion thesis and thus of foreign domination, in verification of the Indo-European/Indo-Aryan language, was to be found above all in titles, names and technical designations, which I could document with numerous examples. e.g. as part of the royal name. At that time I wrote that Ari occurs in the earliest royal names, as in Ari-Hor in the so-called 0 Dynasty, in Semerchet-Ari-Nebti, in the first dynasty, Djoser/Zo-Sar is also called Net-Ari-khe (4th Dynasty) etc. I also pointed out that the upper class called itself Ari-pait (rewritten by the Egyptologists through a »modern« speech tone-trick to Iri-Pat, rendering the Aryan portion invisible). I pointed out that the Ari syllable is also found in countless official titles and names of gods (p. 98 ff.), for example, the Aryan god Asar, As-Ari (Greek Osiris).

Thomas Schneider comments in the ›WELTWOCHE‹ (World Week) of September 15, 1994: »Pure charlatanry is how Wolf wants to prove the Aryan conquest of Egypt. Wherever the sequence of sounds ari (modern, mostly circumscribed as iri) appears in the Egyptian vocabulary, she sees (regardless of the Egyptian meaning) the word ›Aryan‹ and wonders that this fact was noticed by no Egyptologist. So, ›ari‹ is contained in Aryan, in Nefertari, the name of the wife of Ramses II, in the title Iri-pat ›Prince‹, in the place name Auaris, in the name of God Osiris, etc. With this ›method‹ could now indeed be defined the explosive: Thus, Jesus would be exposed as a Jass or Jazz King, national hero William Tell as an Egyptian (because in Egyptian, tel means ›hero‹), and Aryan relics would then also be in words like Aria, Arisdorf, Baritone, Catharine, Malaria, Stradivari.«

Not surprising: the Aryan and linguistic research confirms meanwhile my theses of the early Aryans and their gods in Egypt (see on the Internet: Jahanshah Derakhshani, Tehran).

Also other parts of my research work Thomas Schneider inundated with derision and scorn. For example, he writes: »For her theses (cultural revolution after invasion, religion, early history of Egypt) she regularly refers to Egyptologists such as Petrie, Budge, de Morgan, etc. – contemporaries of the discovery of the Egyptian prehistory around 1900, but no guarantors for the state of research 100 years later.« Or he imputes »distortion and arbitrariness« to me, that I would have »no idea« or that I would not know the »new literature«.

Amazing: Thomas Schneider, who had published a 1992 work on ›Asiatische Personennamen in Ägyptischen Quellen des Neuen Reiches‹ (Asian Personal Names in Egyptian Sources of the New Kingdom) (Freiburg University Press) even dared to be competent for the earlier epoch from 1500 till 2000 years before, from 3500 to 3000 the time of the upheaval in Egypt. However, Thomas Schneider was not aware of this in 1994 or about prehistoric Egypt, which for decades had hardly been anyone’s interest.

»Characteristic is Wolf’s lack of inclusion of modern technical literature in contrast to a broad support to feminist titles«, means Thomas Schneider. But – neither the prehistory nor the matriarchy-research is the strength of Egyptology; this research, thankfully, is mainly done by women; but hardly noticed by men; they are responsible for this educational deficit.

Incidentally, I consider myself not as a matriarchal researcher, but as a historian and Egypt-researcher, and under a matriarchy, I understand an egalitarian society in which women and men respect each other as equal.

Even as far as concerning the previous linguistic research, Mr. Schneider now has to admit that, through competence or incompetence, it makes clear a serious »research deficit« and expresses only »one certain perspective of previous Egyptological research«.

In my contribution, I not only brought my own reflections on the Egyptian environment and its exploration, especially Mesopotamia (Sumer) and adjacent Nubia, I also defended the view of earlier scholars, who refered to the linguistic and ethnic affinity with the Black African peoples, e.g. Alexander Scharff, who wrote: »Egypt has always been and is still in Africa today.« (p. 82 f) It is clear to me that the name for Egypt at that time was ›Kemt‹ not because of ›black land‹, because the earth in Egypt would be black, but, like today’s term «black Africa», it refers to the land of its black inhabitants.

Amazing: In the years after Thomas Schneider published his further work on foreigners in Egypt, but again in the well-documented times of the Middle and the New Kingdom, i.e. in a completely harmless frame. The subject had been well researched before, and it took no courage to prepare and publish it. Four or five years later he made the foreigner problem to the subject of his dissertation and his habilitation: ›Ausländer in Ägypten während des Mittleren Reiches und der Hyksoszeit‹ (›Ägypten und Altes Testament, 42‹). Teil 1: Die ausländischen Könige (Wiesbaden 1998). {Foreigners in Egypt during the Middle Kingdom and the Hyksos Period (Egypt and Old Testament, 42). Part 1: The foreign kings (Wiesbaden 1998)}. ›Ausländer in Ägypten während des Mittleren Reiches und der Hyksoszeit‹. Teil 2: Die ausländische Bevölkerung (Wiesbaden 2003). {Foreigners in Egypt during the Middle Kingdom and the Hyksos Period. Part 2: The foreign population (Wiesbaden 2003)}.

Astonishingly, after that, the new professor dared to tackle the delicate topic of foreigners from the pre-dynastic period of Egypt and the theses he had described as ›charlatanry‹. Did Mr. Schneider learn more?

Amazing: With the claim to research »the non-Semitic loanwords from 3200 BC«, a number of linguists of the different areas are invited and their work is presented at a colloquium on »Egyptian-Non-Semitic Language Contact«, »primarily from north-east Africa, Anatolia, non-Semitic Mesopotamia and – you hear correct – from Indo-Aryan Iran«, during 9.-11.July 2003 in Basel.

Astonishing: pretending to be on the trail even of a great discovery, Thomas Schneider himself takes up my thesis of the diffusionist emergence of Egypt and writes in 2004: »The perception of a close networking of ancient Egypt with the neighboring cultures of Southwest Asia, Northeast Africa, and the Aegean since some time now supersedes the once-widespread isolationist model  according to which Egyptian civilization would have essentially undergone a cultural development that has been shielded from outside. New archeological and textual evidence, as well as an altered scientific assessment of known phenomena, show that much earlier a more intensive reception of foreign culture has taken place than traditionally assumed (…) Egypt can be more precisely described as a civilization, which to a large extent appropriated cultural achievements of neighboring cultures, adapted them to own needs and further developed them. This cultural appropriation did not only concern innovation-sensitive areas (technology, products, military), but also cultural core areas (king ideology, religion, etc.) (…) Since loan-word research not only combines various single linguistic-statistics (in this case Egyptology, Ancient-Oriental studies, Indo-European speech-science, African Studies, Berber Studies, Iranian studies, Semitic Studies) but also, speech-science and cultural studies, it finally represents an exemplary interdisciplinary enterprise in the current academic situation.« ). Mr. Schneider claims that by inviting various linguists from these fields »Basel was able to distinguish itself as the actual focal point of the research field«. His contribution consists of the edition, the project management and an introduction to the book ›Das Ägyptische und die Sprachen Vorderasiens, Nordafrikas und der Ägäis‹ (The Egyptian and the Languages of the Near East, North Africa, and the Aegean) (Münster 2004).

Astonishing: Unfortunately, Mr. Schneider does not tell us at all, on which ›phenomena‹ and ›new archaeological and textual findings‹ is based his surprisingly new ›scientific assessment‹. And of course, my work is not mentioned at all.

But it seems that my clairvoyant lecturer, Dr. Dörthe Binkert gets right, she prognosticated on the book cover: »The ancient Egyptian history must be rewritten!«

DIE WELTWOCHE (The World Week)  No. 29, July 21, 1994, Interview by Yvonne-Denis Köchli, ›Gegen pharaonische Propaganda und Mythenbildung – Eine Außenseiterin wagt, es an den Festungen der traditionellen Ägyptologie zu rütteln: Psychologin Doris Wolf‹ (Against pharaonic propaganda and myth-making – An outsider dares to shake at the fortresses of traditional Egyptology: Psychologist Doris Wolf)

DIE WELTWOCHE (The World Week) No. 37, September 15, 1994, Statement by Thomas Schneider, ›Von den Urmüttern Ägyptens keine Spur – Der Ägyptologe Thomas Schneider über Doris Wolfs These eines vorpharaonischen Matriarchats‹ (No trace of the primeval mothers of Egypt – The Egyptologist Thomas Schneider on Doris Wolf’s thesis of a pre-pharaonic matriarchy)

DIE WELTWOCHE (The World Week) No. 39, September 29, 1994, Reply by Doris Wolf, ›Und das Matriarchat gab es doch – Doris Wolf zur Kritik von Thomas Schneider an ihren Ägypten-Thesen‹ (›And nevertheless, there existed the matriarchy – Doris Wolf to the critique of Thomas Schneider on her Egypt Theses)

DIE WELTWOCHE (World Week) No. 41, October 13, 1994, Letter to the Editor by Thomas Schneider

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