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Author Topic: Tyrannohotep's Art Returns
Tyrannohotep
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Sometime after she picked him up from a basket in the Nile, the Egyptian princess from the Book of Exodus's first act is nursing baby Moses with her own milk. We've all seen artistic depictions of the Pharaoh's daughter rescuing Moses from the river, but I'd like to think I am one of the first artists to depict his early childhood after that one moment.

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This is my quick portrait of Ramses II, who is perhaps the most widely known Egyptian Pharaoh after Tutankhamun. He's the one Moses goes up against in many cinematic adaptations of the Book of Exodus. Although often called "Ramses the Great", he was probably more of a prolific propagandist than anything else (his "crowning achievement", the Battle of Kadesh, appears to have been a draw between Egypt and the Hittite Empire). Then again, he was also a prolific breeder, with almost 50 sons and almost 50 daughters through multiple wives (Egyptian pharaohs were invariably polygamous). In Greek, Ramses II was known as Ozymandias, hence the title of the by Percy Shelley which famously says, "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"

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On the left is a portrait of the Egyptian Queen Nefertari (the Great Royal Wife of the Pharaoh Ramses II), and on the right is an Egyptian soldier. For both of these, I wanted to practice pencil drawing with fainter and less sharp outlines around the forms, but it was not an easy thing to accomplish at all. This was especially true for the lighter-colored objects, as you still need to demarcate them against the white paper background. On the other hand, drawing without sharp outlines was easier for the darker forms (e.g. skin and hair) since they already contrast in value from the paper.

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This Egyptian princess is taking some time off to enjoy the serenity of one of her palace's hallways. I've always wanted to do a scene like this with an Egyptian character standing in one of the great columned hallways that their civilization is famous for, and I am glad to have finally accomplished one variation of this.

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Recently I saw one of my artist friends upload some sketches of a hooded archer character onto Instagram. I thought it was a totally sweet design and wanted to do my own take on that basic archetype. Of course, I had to give my version some Egyptian/Kushite cultural influences with regards to her getup.

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This started as a sketchbook doodle while waiting for a meeting with some friends (which ended up being canceled), but then I had to turn it into digital art. It's my original character Nefrusheri, an Egyptian warrior princess, looking behind her with her khopesh in hand. I've been working my way out of another block with her story, and I found that drawing her put me back in the mood for the project.

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This started off as a sketch of a hooded archer character that was inspired by the work of another artist. Then I decided to give the character some color, a name, and the rudiments of a backstory.

In my mind, the girl's name is Henutsen, and she is a native of Upper Egypt (that is, southern or upriver Egypt) during the Ptolemaic dynasty (305-30 BC). This was a dynasty of foreign Macedonian origin, and she would be one of many native Egyptians who resented their rule and wanted to take their country back (a bit like how various other African peoples throughout the continent would resist European colonial rule during the 20th century). Her plan is to assassinate the Ptolemaic ruler (undecided on which one yet) to terrify the Greco-Macedonian elite into surrendering control of Egypt back to its indigenous people. But history may not let her get away with it so easily...

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Born to a Greek father and a mother of "obscure origins", Agathoclea earned her historical infamy as the mistress of Ptolemy IV Philopator of Egypt (221-205 BC). It may have been a ruse to grab the throne for her brother Agathocles, for after Ptolemy IV's death (unexplained as far as I can find), they started pilfering from the royal treasure and had his sister-wife Arsinoe III (a potential rival for the throne) murdered. In the end, their crimes did not pay. While her brother died at the hands of his friends, Agathoclea, her sisters, and her mother were dragged into public naked and torn limb from limb by an angry crowd (all their relatives and anyone complicit in Arsinoe's murder were also put to death).

Since her mother's parentage seems to be unknown, I've made my interpretation of Agathoclea a Greek/native Egyptian mix simply because I could. Of course, she could have easily used her "exotic" looks to seduce the debauched Ptolemy IV. Incidentally, there was a native revolution happening further south in Egypt during the end of Ptolemy IV's reign, and it took his successor Ptolemy V Epiphanes to crush it.

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And here's the colored version:

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Born to a Greek father and a mother of "obscure origins", Agathoclea earned her historical infamy as the mistress of Ptolemy IV Philopator of Egypt (221-205 BC). It may have been a ruse to grab the throne for her brother Agathocles, for after Ptolemy IV's death (unexplained as far as I can find), they started pilfering from the royal treasure and had his sister-wife Arsinoe III (a potential rival for the throne) murdered. In the end, their crimes did not pay. While her brother died at the hands of his friends, Agathoclea, her sisters, and her mother were dragged into public naked and torn limb from limb by an angry crowd (all their relatives and anyone complicit in Arsinoe's murder were also put to death).

Since her mother's parentage seems to be unknown, I've made my interpretation of Agathoclea a Greek/native Egyptian mix simply because I could. Of course, she could have easily used her "exotic" looks to seduce the debauched Ptolemy IV. Incidentally, there was a native revolution happening further south in Egypt during the end of Ptolemy IV's reign, and it took his successor Ptolemy V Epiphanes to crush it.

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After recently drawing Agathoclea, the scheming mistress of Ptolemy IV of Egypt (221-205 BC), it was only fair that I do a picture of her having some quality time with the Ptolemaic ruler himself. Since Ptolemy IV had a reputation for drunken revelry and debauchery, I figured that he could have put on quite a bit of excess weight from all the eating that would have gone with that partying (although you wouldn't know it from the more flattering portraits on his coinage). As for what Agathoclea would see in him, my interpretation of their relationship is that she was simply using him to get her brother Agathocles on the throne (and I wouldn't be surprised if they had something to do with his death in 205 BC). He may crave her beauty now, but he better watch out!

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This Triceratops has had a chunk of his frill bitten off by a tyrannosaur, but he is proud to have lived to tell the tale.

If you're wondering what his right foreleg is standing on, it's supposed to be a rock covered with moss-like growth.

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This young princess would be destined to rule a kingdom that venerates the sun as their supreme goddess. This one is more of a fantasy design rather than anything historical, although of course there are strong ancient Egyptian/Kushite influences on her jewelry.

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And from elsewhere in the same world...
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This is the sultan of a desert kingdom that worships the moon as their primary god. The influences here are from Middle Eastern cultures such as those of Arabia, Mesopotamia (Iraq), and the Levant (Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria).

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Tyrannohotep
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A Greek immigrant in Egypt enjoys some intimacy with one of the local ladies. I want to say this takes place during the Ptolemaic period, when a dynasty of Macedonian origin ruled Egypt and numerous Greeks settled in the country. But even before this period, there were Greek mercenaries fighting for the Pharaohs at least as early as the 7th century BC. Regardless of the time period it takes place in, please enjoy the steamy make-out scene!

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This man would be a respected priest in a jungle kingdom that feared the wrath of the lightning god above all others. This time, the main cultural influences I drew upon were from the Congo basin of Central Africa, with a little dash of Melanesian on one of his necklaces. Also, the green monster face with gaping jaws on his lower headband is supposed to be a Tyrannosaurus rex, which his people consider sacred to the lightning god.

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Osiris (or Ausar) was among the most prominent gods in the Egyptian pantheon. It was he who resided in the underworld to pass judgment on deceased souls after their hearts were weighed against the feather of Ma'at. He was also the husband (and brother) of Isis, the brother of Set, and the father of Horus. In one of the most famous stories from Egyptian myth, Set murdered Osiris by cutting him into pieces, and it was Isis who put him back together while raising Horus to avenge his father (it's most likely a coincidence, but the theme of a son avenging his father's death and taking back his kingdom from an usurping uncle should be familiar to anyone who saw The Lion King as a kid).

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The titanosaurian sauropod Saltasaurus loricatus munches on a liana deep in the Late Cretaceous jungle, circa 70 million years ago. Uncovered in South America, Saltasaurus was small by the standards of the sauropod dinosaurs (only around seven and a half tons in weight), but the osteoderms covering its hide might have still protected it from the predators of its environment.

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A Greek immigrant in Egypt enjoys some intimacy with one of the local ladies. I want to say this takes place during the Ptolemaic period, when a dynasty of Macedonian origin ruled Egypt and numerous Greeks settled in the country. But even before this period, there were Greek mercenaries fighting for the Pharaohs at least as early as the 7th century BC. Regardless of the time period it takes place in, please enjoy the steamy make-out scene! (Now colored!)

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Tyrannohotep
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"My love, you march to war defiant,
May God returneth you triumphant.
And you'll be brave, be strong, be true, my love.
And I'll be waiting for you, forever..."
--- Angela Van Dyck, "Forever" from the Rome: Total War soundtrack

A Greek soldier fighting for the Ptolemaic army receives a goodbye kiss from his native Egyptian lover. She promises him that she'll be waiting for his return, either back home or in the afterlife. This was inspired by the song "Forever" from the soundtrack to the first Rome: Total War game. It's an awfully sweet and romantic song considering the game is about military strategy and conquest, but somehow I find that contrast adds to its beauty (the song "We Are All One" from the Medieval: Total War soundtrack is even better).

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And here is my fooling around with one of the "avatar creators" on the Rinmaru Games site...

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Tyrannohotep
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Last night I designed two princesses, one Egyptian and the other Kushite, using one of Rinmaru Game's "avatar creator" programs (which are basically like online doll-makers). The logical next step was to draw these two characters in my own style. Of course, the girl on the left is ethnically Egyptian and the one on the right is Kushite.

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A tribal huntress watches with awe (and perhaps some wariness) as these brontosaurs lumber across the savanna. You on the other hand get to admire both the brontos and her booty. [Big Grin]

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I drew these two designs (a T. rex on the left and the Egyptian Pharaoh Hatshepsut on the right) with the idea that someone out there would use them for tattoos. I have no interest in getting a tattoo myself (I don't like needles pricking my skin), but I'd be more than happy to sell designs like these to interested tattoo artists.

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The city of Kerma, located near the Third Cataract of the Nile in northern Sudan, was the first capital of the kingdom of Kush. It thrived between 2500 and 1500 BC until the Egyptians had it destroyed during their New Kingdom conquest of Kush. Although Kush would resurge as a major power in the Nile Valley after 1000 BC, their capital had moved up the Nile to Napata by this period.

This is a street scene I did for a friend who wants to put together an illustrated book about the Kushite civilization. The big temple in the background is based on one of the structures known as deffufa which have been excavated at Kerma's ruins. I rather like depicting common Kushite people going about their daily lives, since most modern depictions seem to emphasize either their warriors or their kings.

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These two lovebirds are the King and Queen (or Qore and Kentake, respectively) of Kush, a kingdom which once dominated the region of Nubia (now northern Sudan). They shared a common Northeast African cultural heritage with the Egyptians further down the Nile, but the two kingdoms were frequently at each other's throats (they even took turns conquering one another).

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This would be my self-portrait, which almost every artist has to do sooner or later. Also, I wanted to poke a little fun at myself here...

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Kentrosaurus aethiopicus was a cousin of the Stegosaurus which lived in Africa during the late Jurassic period, around 155-150 million years ago. It stood out from its North American cousin by having narrower plates, a greater number of spikes on its tail, and then a pair of large spikes sticking out of its shoulder. It was also a lot smaller, weighing little more than a single ton (whereas Stegosaurus could grow between five and seven tons).

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Beautiful drawings Tyrannohotep.

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mena

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quote:
Originally posted by mena7:
Beautiful drawings Tyrannohotep.

Thanks!

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The Egyptian Queen Nefertari is feeling all miffed now, for whatever reason. Maybe her egoistical hubby Ramses II is getting on her nerves again.

More than anything else, this was an experiment with a different approach to coloring than my usual. I recently saw an art book where the artist apparently did all their coloring under the pencil lines without any inking at all, and it was a look I wanted to try out myself.

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This warrior design could come from any of the various civilizations of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. The Aztec and Maya are the most famous of these, but there were numerous others in the region such as the Olmec, Zapotec, Mixtec, and Toltec. However, despite popular belief, the Inca were not a Mesoamerican civilization---their cultural roots lay in the Andes region of South America instead.

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Be warned, here be dinosaurs and other savage beasts...really, I felt like doodling a simple jungle environment. In my opinion, the tropical rainforest is the most gorgeous biome on earth.

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This character's name, Zuri, comes from a Swahili word meaning "beautiful". I named her after a friend of mine's adorable baby daughter. Who knows, maybe she'll grow up looking somewhat like this!

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These Egyptian soldiers are exploring a jungle far away from their native homeland. This could be potentially any rainforest in the world, but most likely it's somewhere in the Congo Basin since that is on the same continent as Egypt (namely Africa).

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This would be a Norse warrior from ancient Scandinavia, or what we know today as a Viking. Of course, recent discoveries showing the existence of female Viking warriors played a role in inspiring this little doodle of mine.

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Nefrusheri, my warrior princess character, is brushing some dust off her skin after an adventurous day. As fond as I am of her as a character, I keep finding myself in a rut when plotting out her story. Maybe I need to give it a total rehaul. But don't worry, I won't completely give up on her.

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Sekhmet, the Egyptian goddess of war and violence, is on another one of her bloodthirsty rampages. Apparently she was so fond of the taste of blood that the sun god Ra, in order to restrain her, got her drunk with beer dyed red to look like blood. Ironically, however, she also had healing as another one of her aspects, so she must have been more than a one-dimensional killer.

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I felt like doing something simple, silly, and cute for a change, so here's fifteen eggs dressed up to resemble different nationalities around the world. Unfortunately I haven't seen too many dark brown eggs around the supermarket, but I had to represent the darker-skinned nationalities of the world somehow.

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As the Egyptian goddess of love and fertility, Hathor sure knows how to slay in a bikini! This time, I made Hathor's swimwear yellow in allusion to another African love divinity, the Yoruba orisha Oshun.

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This is simply a random character concept of mine, with no story behind her...yet. It's not my most inspired work, but nonetheless I still think she came out rather decent-looking.

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Continuing on with the theme of sexy Egyptian goddesses...now it's time for Sekhmet, the goddess of war, to don the bikini! I drew the pose without reference, so the anatomy might be off in places, but I felt it fit her whole lioness motif.

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This is my design for a hypothetical action figure based on the Egyptian warrior goddess Sekhmet. Think of the underlying concept here as a warrior version of Barbie. It came to mind after pondering why you don't see more female action figures out there. You have plenty of female dolls targeted at girls, yes, but not so much toys representing action heroines. I think it's bizarre, personally, since there have got to be plenty of little girls who like action figures too.

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October is coming up soon, so this is my take on one of the classic horror-movie monsters, the revived Egyptian mummy. One of the most famous portrayals of this archetype is the original The Mummy movie from 1932, starring Boris Karloff as the titular character. Although I didn't want my mummy to resemble Karloff exactly, I did want him to have the same distinctively wrinkled look on his face.

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This warrior of Germanic heritage is about to unsheathe a sword of considerable dimensions. He could come from any of the various Germanic tribes that called northern Europe their home before migrating to other regions of the subcontinent. Examples of Germanic peoples include the Norse, Anglo-Saxons, Goths, Franks, and Vandals.

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Continuing on with the theme of toy designs, here's a concept for a Tyrannosaurus rex figure with movable jaws and limbs. I think the tail would be bendable. I drew a lot of inspiration from a toy T. rex I got back in the late 90's, which I believe was manufactured by a company called Resaurus. It was truly a beautiful specimen.

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Kenga of the Mwela is a main character from another little writing project of mine. She's a tribal huntress whose little sister Azawi has run away into the jungle after a falling out between them, and she and her best friend Sambwe set out to retrieve her. Dangers along the way include dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts, as well as a rival tribe that sacrifices people to their god of lightning. I admit that I'm not 100% satisfied with the design for the character, but I think the patterns on her snakeskin clothes are a bit interesting.

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In 2013, genetic research led by Iosif Lazaridis found that Neolithic farmers who migrated into Europe from the Middle East after 8,000 years ago owed 44% of their ancestry to a modern human population characterized by little to no Neanderthal admixture (as opposed to the 2-4% found in modern non-African people today). They called this population "Basal Eurasian", but if you think about it, its defining lack of Neanderthal admixture would suggest an origin somewhere in northern Africa (since Neanderthals are not known to have lived anywhere on that continent). Furthermore, the remains of prehistoric Middle Eastern people that have yielded "Basal Eurasian" ancestry in recent years tend to have a mixture of African and native West Eurasian physical traits. This would imply that so-called "Basal Eurasian" actually represents another migration out of Africa into western Eurasia around the end of the last ice age, influencing the ancestry of the Neolithic peoples who would settle in Europe and thereby contribute to modern European ancestry.

Anyway, this is how I imagine a typical "Basal Eurasian" woman might have looked. The gap in her teeth represents the removal of upper incisors common to certain African groups today as well as the pre-Neolithic Natufians of the Middle East.

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This is a breakfast doodle I did of Siats meekerorum, a large meat-eating dinosaur which lived in North America over 98 million years ago. Though known only from fragmentary remains, it appears to have been a distant cousin of Allosaurus and Giganotosaurus. In fact, it was one of the last allosauroid theropods to roam the continent before the tyrannosaurs took over during the later Cretaceous.

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This is a concept for a royal bodyguard from an Egyptian-style fantasy culture, wherein the Pharaohs and their belongings are guarded by skilled female warriors. I doubt the real historical Egyptian Pharaohs had female bodyguards like this, but I took some inspiration from the "Amazon" warriors of Dahomey as well as the fictional Dora Milaje from Wakanda in the Marvel Comics universe.

People who have been following my art for some time may recognize elements of the character's design from my earlier character Nefrusheri, whom I initially conceived as an Egyptian warrior princess. That's intentional on my part, as I was toying with the idea of making Nefrusheri a royal guard of sorts rather than a princess. But those may not be mutually exclusive; maybe Nefrusheri was born into royalty but then signed up for the guard?

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This is my interpretation of Lex Luthor from DC Comics, the corporate ruler of LexCorp and one of Superman's leading nemeses. I always thought he looked like he could potentially be a man of color (maybe it's the vague resemblance he has to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), so I gave him some visible Native American ancestry. Not that it's really important to his character, but who's to say Natives can't be bad guys too?

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These guards of the Pharaoh and his palace are as fierce and formidable as they are beautiful. I pity the fool who tries sneaking past them for criminal ends.

On the right is the penciled version of the Pharaoh's guard I showed you guys earlier. I wanted her to have a colleague sharing her shift, so I drew the chick on the left on a separate piece of paper before juxtaposing them together in Photoshop. I'll most likely color her in too.

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This is a concept for a second Pharaoh's Guard character, whom I meant to be a colleague for the first one. Together they would be bodyguards for the Pharaoh in a fantasy version of ancient Egypt. My next step would be juxtaposing the two characters together in some kind of palace scene.

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What if modern humans (Homo sapiens) never dispersed out of Africa? This is a map of an "alternate timeline" wherein our species stays entirely within Africa, letting the Neanderthals and Denisovans be in Eurasia. For the most part, the human civilizations that develop in Africa resemble those from our own timeline, but one notable difference is the absence of crops and domesticated animals imported from Eurasia and the Americas. Instead all crops that the Africans grow are native to their own continent (e.g. sorghum, pearl millet, and yams), and they have also domesticated native African animals such as the buffalo, zebra, wildcat, spotted hyena, and donkey. On the other hand, while most of the Neanderthals and Denisovans continue their traditional lifestyle of hunting and gathering in small bands, some Neanderthal populations in the Middle East and Mediterranean Europe had learned agriculture and metalworking from Egyptian humans. These "civilized" Neanderthals have even developed rudimentary city-states like those of our timeline's early Greece and the Fertile Crescent. As for the Denisovans, a few have drifted from insular Southeast Asia into Australia and New Guinea, whereas others might have possibly even migrated across the Bering Strait into the Americas.

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This is a portrait of a dude who's ancient Egyptian (or Kemetic) through one parent and Neanderthal through the other. He comes from an "alternate history" wherein humans all stayed in Africa and Neanderthals continued to roam Europe and the Middle East (the Denisovans get Asia and Australasia). His necklace, which features both an ankh and bird claws, is supposed to display his "biracial" (or would that be bi-species?) heritage.

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