One of the 1st theories I came across when I began studying Afro centric history was the Black origins of Chinese civilization or commonly known as the “Black Shang Theory”. What I have discovered is that this theory is in error due to the context it is usually delivered and taken in. The Theory states that the Shang Dynasty which was a pre imperial dynasty located near the Yellow rivers valley was of “Black” African origins. It is commonly agreed the Shang developed much of the roots of what would become dynastic China. This theory was developed before genetic testing so many claims could not be verified or debunked. Artifacts and skelatal remains of the Shang depicted a “non” mongoloid peoples. This lead to the remains being labeled “proto-mongoloid” by western anthropologist. The truth is that the Shang were a non mongoloid peoples being related to Melanesians and Polynesians. Here is where the “Black” Shang theory more than likely developed. Melanesians look like Black Africans and Polynesians are dark skinned peoples also. With the advancement of genetics we have discovered although Melanesians and other dark skinned people may look like Africans outwardly they are Asians & Austaloids genetically. I believe when early Shang artifacts were discovered their “Black” appearance lead to them being labeled as a Black African peoples by Afro centrics. Euro centrics created and applied the ambiguous term “proto-mongoloid” to the Shang. (Creating obscure terms is a practice Euro centrics have long done when they wished to deny an African presence or possible African presence in a civilization or culture. The early 20th century Euro centric anthropologist Giuseppe Sergi coined the term “Mediterraneanoid” and classified Nubians, Ancient Egyptians and Ethiopians as such. As for the Shang what we actually have here is the evidence of Melanesians and Polynesians building a high civilization. As an African American who has knowledge of self I know how it feels to have another people claim your creation of a civilization, your accomplishments and or simply deny your contributions to history. This being the case I feel it is just as wrong for Afro centrics to claim the Shang as Black African as it is for Euro centrics to claim the Shang to be some obscure “proto-mongoloid” peoples. The Shang were a Melanoid(Melanesian)and Polynesian peoples. Below I explain my theory on how much of this transpired in the ancient region of the Yellow River valley
As man left out of Africa he developed new haplo groups but kept a similar phenotype(dark skin, lower jaw prothagnism, full lips, wide nose).
(Top: Shang Dynasty Artifacts) (Below: Andaman Islanders & New Guinean Man)
Man changed slightly and you can look at Australian Aborigines and Africans and see that slight difference. If humans originally had straight or slightly curled hair like Aborigines and developed woolly hair later in Africa or if Aborigines developed straight and slightly curly hair later is not known. When humans first reached Asia they undoubtedly looked similar to the Africoid but more than likely would be genetically classified as Australoid or Austronesian. Proof of an Australoid people in Asia has been verified by archaeological artifacts and modern Indian dna. The evidence of Australoid dna in South East Asia is visible in the darker complexions of Vietnamese,Thai,Taiwanese,Cambodian and other South East Asians Linguistics& DNA also points to Australoid dna in South East Asia and Austronesian dna in East Asia.
(Aboriginals 1st to settle East Asia)
The Australoid migrated as far as Japan and parts of Russia (the Ainu people who have Asian admixture and may also have Caucasian admixture)
Id like to state that research on my part does point to mongoloid peoples having occupied the Yellow river area before the Shang but their culture was more primitive and Shang possessed Chariot technology which more than likely enabled them to conquer the inhabitants they encountered.
It also does appear from the artifacts the Shang did have epicanthic folds or (Asian eyes). The noses and lips do seem Africoid or say Australoid.
The Han type Asian is a product of Ice Age climatic changes. Asians simply did not spend as long in Ice Age conditions as Caucasoids so they didn’t develop long noses to warm up air but they did develop smaller noses with smaller nostrils and they have lower jaw regression (negative prothagnism )but not as much as Caucasians. Another ice age hominid Neanderthal has extreme lower jaw regression (negative prothagnism ) to the extent many regard Neanderthal skulls as “chinless’ –
In the image below are Neanderthal skulls (top) compared to modern Caucasian skulls (bottom)
It is theorized that along with the dark ice age conditions skin grew pale due to the invention of farming. By eating farmed crops as a basis for diet humans took vitamin D out of their diet. Cereal crops have no vitamin D. Meat has some and Fish has a lot and these two were the primary sources of food for hunter gatherers. Once humans began farming in Northern climates this eliminated the Vitamin D from their diet and humans needed to process more via sunlight. Han type Chinese are almost as pale as Europeans. Again both are products of ice age climate change and adapting to living far North of the Equator were sunlight is minimized.The Han type haplo group is primarily the ydna haplo group O. This haplo group developed in Central Eurasia and migrated into Northern Asia developing along Siberia and outwards into East Asia.
The National Geographic project’s “My genetic Journey “quotes:
“By the time haplogroup O ancestors arrived in China and East Asia, the last ice age was near its peak. Encroaching ice sheets and central Asia’s enormous mountain ranges effectively corralled them in East Asia, and there they evolved in isolation over the millennia” http://www.viethoc.org/temp/
This may be a reason Asians almost ubiquitously have epicanthic eye folds among other traits that are rare in other human populations.
Haplo group O is descendant from a population that reached Asia about 35k years ago. There was already a population there that reached east Asia via a different route about 50k years ago. This is 47k years before the Shang and this population seems to have been absorbed by the population that came 15k years later. The Shang civilizations artifacts and structures appear to be laid smack on top of earlier, mongoloid peoples settlements as if they came as conquers. The Shang population more than likely had not changed in phenotype because this group although in Asia during the ice age occupied an area free of glaciation(presumably on or near the east Asian coast) and still obtained large enough quantities of vitamin D for proper human body function so they had no need to develop lighter skin. Vitamin D keeps bones strong and helps women regulate folic acid crucial in child birth. Women could die with out the proper amount of vitamin D giving birth and children can be still born. This is one theory as to why humans developed lighter skin during the dark ice age conditions
The Australoids in China just as the ones in India to the south developed early civilization or say proto-civilization before contact with the Han type. I say this because during this period the Han would have been living a Nomadic life style migrating throughout Asia before finally settling in the Yellow river area. Seeing that Australoids were the creators of the Indus Valley civilization(their text even speak of yogic positions and possibly are the roots to modern Hinduism) It is safe to assume they did the same in the Yellow river area. (were you have a water source, domestic animals and crops all rudiments of civilization.) Prehistoric Asia was the most hospitable environment for Neolithic man. Domestic animals and domestic grass/grains are indigenous to Eurasia/Middle East and spread to North Africa and other areas as humans migrated. Other Australoids live on Islands and continents with no domestic crops or animals, or the few native domestic crops they do farm are low in nutrition and require far more work to cultivate than wheat, barley, sorghum and other grass crops. With out a water source or domestic animals and crops civilization will not arise independently. This is why Island culture is tribal and even on continents like Australia the absence of domestic animals and crops halt the development of high civilization. Domestic crops allow a few farmers to feed a large population easily. This frees up people with in a population to become specialist such as architects, priest, scribes, astrologers and so on. With out domestication of animals and crops the majority of a population would have to spend the majority of time hunting and gathering. No time for some one to focus on developing a script or alphabet or to plan out the construction of a temple or pyramid.
Thus the statement the original Chinese were Black or African is only partially true. All mankind began in Africa and when man arrived in the area of China he was still dark skinned. The Black Shang theory only speaks to the ruling dynasty that from archeology seem to be a conquering culture that came into the Yellow river valley area from near by. So as stated the Australoids and or Austronesian type was in East Asia at least 15k years before the group that would become the Han type Chinese arrived. One also must understand the Shang dynasty did not arise until 1675 BCE. This is more than 8000 years after the ice age ended and over 40k years after the 1st humans reached Asia. I plan to dig further on this theory but as it stands now the most concise non Euro, Afro or Chinese centric source ive found is from Plos Genetics Skeletal and dna studies that state there were two Shang dynasties, one Melanoid(as in Melanesian) and one of seemingly Polynesian stock. From what I gather this is the only source that sites actual study of Shang skeletal remains & not the Jaihu who occupied the area before them. http://www.plosgenetics.org/annotation/listThread.action;jsessionid=2D0CE411277C5035176581703A91AFF2?root=7003
Other Australoid peoples depicted in medieval Chinese art:
To the right & left: Mongol tribesmen. Middle: Li Tieguai
one of the 8 Immortals