THE BANTU ROSETTA STONES

The Kiswahili-Bantu Research Unit For
The Advancement Of The Ancient
Egyptian Language

 

 

Ancient Egyptian MSDM-T, black eye paint
MOSIDI (MASIZI)-MATOBLACK EYE PAINT
Hieroglyphics taken from Egyptian Grammar by Sir Alan Gardiner
Researched by Ferg. S. Copyright 3 September 2003, All rights reserved
Last Updated: 19th June 2008


 
THE BANTU ROSETTA STONES

WORDS OF COMMON ORIGIN
 
SOUND/MEANING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE BANTU AND ANCIENT EGYPTIAN LANGUAGE
 

 

The title of this short working paper is called 'THE BANTU ROSETTA STONES' and its main purpose is to draw attention and awareness in the field of Afro-linguistic Egyptology. It offers a bench mark for future study and research in sound/meaning relationships between words of common origin shared in the Ancient Egyptian and Bantu languages of Africa.

This paper provides the latest independent linguistic evidence which classifies the Ancient Egyptian language as belonging to the Bantu languages of Africa, more specifically to the wider group of languages known as the Niger-Congo group of languages.

It has long been assumed by scholars that the Ancient Egyptian language belongs to the Afro-Asiatic group of languages.  The overwhelming evidence provided in this short paper disputes this assumption.

From our latest independent research, we have established beyond doubt that the Ancient Egyptian language contains substantial amounts of vocabulary derived from the Proto-Bantu group of languages. The Ancient Egyptian language also contains many word forms and phrases that are similar to the current Bantu languages of Central, Southern and Eastern Africa and in particular to the Kiswahili-Bantu language.

Only a few sample of words will be examined here. This finding has never been achieved before and the linguistic evidence provided here must be seen as being supportive to the study of present day Egyptology. The investigation of the Proto-Bantu roots of the Ancient Egyptian language and its new classification into the Niger-Congo group of languages has been achieved independently by our team of researchers over a period of ten years.

Latest research by linguistics have shown that the root or ancestral language of modern human beings may be more than 10,000 years and possibly nearer 15,000 years old. Merrit Ruhlen has even proposed that a common language once spanned the entire world. He calls this language Proto-Global. Furthermore, mitochondrial DNA evidence carried out by Bryan Sykes has shown that modern human beings originated in Central/Southern Africa and spread across the rest of Africa and along the Arabian peninsula carrying and diffusing language.

It was only at a later stage that modern human beings spread north into Egypt and the process of carrying and spreading language was repeated. It is from this body of evidence that such a vast vocabulary of words of common origin between Ancient Egyptian and Proto-Bantu have been compiled. From this, one can make the assumption that Bantu vocabulary spread northwards and not the other way round.

The five criteria outlined below have been used as a bench mark for classifying the linguistic similarities between the Ancient Egyptian and Proto-Bantu languages of Africa. These are only a few indicators:

  • Substantial resemblances in fundamental vocabulary

  • Organization of parts of speech, the sentence

  • Morphological analysis

  • Etymology of common vocabulary

  • Ranking of Gender

However only the first criteria, namely substantial resemblances in fundamental vocabulary will be considered in this investigation.

The methodology of approach is to examine only those words which have similar consonants and give an exact match in sound and meaning in Bantu by inserting the correct vowels lacking in the Ancient Egyptian language.

 The main breakthrough into understanding the Ancient Egyptian language was achieved by using the Kiswahili-Bantu language as an anchor of linguistic support. Other current Bantu languages have also been used to give further support to this research.

Unfortunately, on-line dictionaries on the internet do not always provide in-depth meanings of words and may in some

cases be a hindrance to fully understanding the implication of derived vocabulary. 

 

 
 
THE PROTO-BANTU COMPONENT IN THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN LANGUAGE IS PRESENT BECAUSE THERE IS A
 
STRONG VISIBLE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE CONSONANTS.
 
 
  THIS EXACT MATCH IN SOUND AND MEANING  BETWEEN ANCIENT EGYPTIAN
 
 
AND PROTO-BANTU WORDS SUGGESTS  A  COMMON ORIGIN.
 
 

 
SOUND AND MEANING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN
 
ANCIENT EGYPTIAN AND PROTO-BANTU WORDS

(Example 1)
 
NIOKA, NYOKA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian NIK, Serpent
Proto-Bantu root -OKA, Snake, Serpent
Kiswahili-Bantu, formative NI-OKA or NY-OKA, Snake, Serpent
 
(Example 2)
 
NUHA, NUKA (Tsonga-Bantu, other Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian NHA, stink, be in a foul condition
Proto-Bantu NUKA
Tsonga-Bantu NUHA, smell, stink
Kiswahili-Bantu NUKA smell, stink
 
Tsonga-Bantu word NUHA gives a close fit in sound and meaning to the Ancient Egyptian word
 
 
(Example 3)
 
KOMA (Kiswahili-Bantu) 
 
Ancient Egyptian KM, bring to an end, to end, to finish
Proto-Bantu -MA, stop, come to a standstill
Luvale-Bantu KOMA, come to an end, finish, cease
Kiswahili-Bantu KOMA, come to an end, finish, cease
 
(Example 4)
 
SIUA (KiKamba-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian SHU, the Sun, daylight
Ki-Kamba-Bantu SIUA, SYUA, the Sun
 
Note: 'SH' in Ancient Egyptian = S as in  'sound'
 
 
(Example 5)
 
KITU (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian KH-T, thing, substance, affair, business
Proto-Bantu root -TU
Kiswahili-Bantu KITU, thing, substance, matter
 
(Example 6)
 
INIAMA (Bemba-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian INM, skin of human being, flesh
Proto-Bantu NAMA
Bemba-Bantu  INAMA, flesh, skin, meat
Kiswahili-Bantu NIAMA, NYAMA, skin, flesh, animal, meat
 
(Example 7)
 
SHIKA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian SKH, hold, grasp
Kiswahili-Bantu SHIKA, hold fast, seize, grasp
Note: clenched fist, third sign on the right, demonstrates the action of holding
 
(Example 8)
 
SHIKANA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian SKHN, hold in the arms, embrace, hold, contain
Kiswahili-Bantu SHIKANA, hold each other, embrace each other, be friends,
 
(Example 9)
 
ASHIKANAYE (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian SKHNY, the one who embraces
Kiswahili-Bantu ASHIKANAYE,  the one who embraces
 
(Example 10)
 
IMO (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian IM, within
Proto-Bantu MU + O > MO
 
'O' directs attention to some word/words in a sentence already mentioned or about to be mentioned
 
Kiswahili-Bantu IMO, it is within, it is inside, it is included in
 
(Example 11)
 
UA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian UA, to destroy
Kiswahili-Bantu UA, kill, destroy life
 
(Example 12)
 
RERA (Shona-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian RR, to nurse, to baby-sit, bring up a child
Shona-Bantu RERA, take care of a child, baby-sit
Kiswahili-Bantu LEA, bring up a child, nurse, educate
Luganda-Bantu LERA, nurse a child, bring up
 
Note: the interchange between the consonants R and L. These two consonants frequently interchange and maintain exact meanings between the words. However, the word which gives the best sound/meaning relationship is the Shona-Bantu word RERA.
 
 
(Example 13)
 
NTOA HESABU (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian NT HSB, dedicated to accounts, attached to accounts
Kiswahili-Bantu

NTOA HESABU, giver of accounts, dedicated to accounts

 
(Example 14)
 
BAITI (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian BAIT, house
Kiswahili-Bantu

BAITI, house

 
(Example 15)
 
BARIKIA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian BARKA, to bless
Kiswahi-Bantu BARAKA, blessing, BARIKI, to bless,
BARIKIA to give a blessing to
Setswana-Bantu BAKA, to bless
 
(Example 16)
 
BARAKA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian BARKA, gift
Kiswahili-Bantu

BARAKA, gift, a favour,

 
(Example 17)
 
TIMIA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian TM, to finish, to complete, to finish one's course
Kiswahili-Bantu

TIMU, TIMIA, to be complete/completed, come to an end

 
(Example 18)
 
TEMA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian TM, to cut, engrave
Kiswahili-Bantu

TEMA, to cut, cut up

 
(Example 19)
 
TEMATEMA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian TMTM, to cut, to carve
Kiswahili-Bantu TEMATEMA, to cut, cut up

 

Duplication of words is a common feature used in Bantu languages to
intensify meanings of a given action.

 

 
(Example 20)
 
JAMAA  (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian TCHAM, youth, young man
Kiswahili-Bantu

JAMA, a chap, a young man, a relation

 
(Example 21)
 
SHINA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian SHN, foliage of a plant or tree, hair
Kiswahili-Bantu SHINA, Root of a tree, stem including all the parts
from the rootlets to the branches

 

It would appear that the Ancient Egyptians considered hair to be a root similar to the roots of a tree. Thus they used the word SHINA to mean hair.

 

 
(Example 22)
 
UGUMU (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian GM, strength, power, might
Kiswahili-Bantu

UGUMU, strength, hardness, obstinacy

 
(Example 23)
 
KAKA (YETU)- (Luvale-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian KAKA, God
Luvale-Bantu KAKA, Ancestor, grandparent, God
Luvale-Bantu  KAKA (YETU), Our God, our ancestor. In this case,
YETU means, our
Kiswahili-Bantu KAKA, An elder relative, elder brother
 
(Example 24)
 
JEURI (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian TCHRI, ignorant, stupid
Kiswahili-Bantu

JEURI, arrogant, insulting, argumentative, boastful, putting on airs

 
(Example 25)
 
JEURIJEURI (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian JCHRITCHRI, to boast, to talk in an alien speech
Kiswahili-Bantu

JEURIJEURI, to boast, put on airs

 
(Example 26)
 
ZUIO (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian S (Z)  door-bolt
Kiswahili-Bantu ZUIO, restraint, obstruction, barring,  barrier, stopper.

 

ZUIO is derived from ZUIA, restrain, cause to stop.

 

 
(Example 27)
 
SEFU (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian SF, knife, sword
Kiswahili-Bantu

SEFU, large knife, sword

 
(Example 28)
 
SIMO (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian SM, kind, image, form
Proto-Bantu -Ma, -MO
Zulu-Bantu IZIMO, form, shape, nature, character
Kiswahili-Bantu SIMO, kind, sort
 
The Zulu-Bantu word ISIMO or IZIMO is derived from the root -MA, stand, stop, be of a certain character. -MO is its derived noun. Using the Zulu-Bantu prefix ISI- or IZI- the noun form, ISIMO or IZIMO gives the exact meaning with the Ancient Egyptian word.
 
 
(Example 29)
 
HENQA (Sesouto-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian HNQ, to seize, to press, to squeeze
Sesouto-Bantu

HENQA, to seize, to catch

 
(Example 30)
 
HESABIWA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian HSBW, things taxed, assessments
Kiswahili-Bantu

HESABIWA, be counted, be numbered, assessments

 
(Example 31)
 
M-KATE (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian KHAT, bread, dough
Kiswahili-Bantu M-KATE bread

 

The Kiswahili-Bantu word for a loaf of bread is derived from the verb KATA, to cut. Thus a cutting or something cut into a loaf of bread or a piece of cake is called M-KATE, something cut. It would appear that the Ancient Egyptians dropped the consonant M and shortened the word to KATE instead of M-KATE.

 

 
(Example 32)
 
MASKANI (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian MSKHN, abode
Kiswahili-Bantu

MASKANI, abode, dwelling place

 
(Example 33)
 
PATUA, PASUA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian PT, to break open
Kiswahili-Bantu PATUA, PASUA, split open

 

The Kiswahili-Bantu words PATUA or PASUA are both listed as being identical words in the Dictionary of the Kiswahili Language by the Reverend  Dr. L. Krapf.

 

 
(Example 34)
 
SHUKENI (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian SKHNI, alight
Kiswahili-Bantu SHUKENI, all alight, disembark, land at the destination

 

The Ancient Egyptian word is derived from the Kiswahili-Bantu verb SHUKA, to descend, alight. The form SHUKENI is derived by agglutinating the following words SHUKA + NINYI. The shortened form becomes SHUK-ENI meaning, you all alight at a given destination.  The Ancient Egyptians used the word to denote a resting place as may be seen from the hieroglyphics below.

 

 
(Example 35)
 
SHUKENI (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian SKHN, resting place
 
(Example 36)
 
CHATU, JATU (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian TCHT, cobra, snake
Kiswahili-Bantu

CHATU or JATU, python, snake

 
(Example 37)
 
KATITI (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian KTT, small
Kiswahili-Bantu

KATITI, tiny, small

 
(Example 38)
 
KETE KETE (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian KTT, small
Kiswahili-Bantu

KETE + KETE, quiet, quiet, silence

 
(Example 39)
 
PAA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian PA, fly, fly up
Kiswahili-Bantu

PAA, rise, ascend, soar, fly

 
(Example 40)
 
BEKA, BAKA, WAKA (Bemba-Bantu, other Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian BKH, to light up, give light, illumine
Shona-Bantu BAKA, kindle, give light
Bemba-Bantu  BEKA, to shine, glitter
Kiswahili-Bantu WAKA, shine brightly, be lit
 
(Example 41)
 
BESA, BASA, WASHA (Southern-Soto-Bantu, other Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian BS, flame, fire, blaze
Southern Soto-Bantu BESA, make a fire, to burn, to cook or roast
Shona-Bantu  BASA, BESA, make a fire
Kiswahili-Bantu WASHA, kindle, set fire to, light
 
The Ancient Egyptians used the Bantu words, BESA, BASA to describe a God who was in charge of making fire. He was called BSI, and was given by the set of hieroglyphics shown below.
 
 
(Example 42)
 
MO-BESI (Southern-Soto-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian BSI, the fire making God

 

If we consider the Southern Soto-Bantu word BESA and attach the prefix MO-, the one who, we obtain the word MO- BESI, the one who lights a fire, who roasts. This would be equivalent to using the Ancient Egyptian consonants BSI, to give the word BESI, without the prefix MO- The intended meaning without the prefix MO- would still describe a person who lights up a fire.

 

(Example 43)
 
NJEMA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian NTCHM, sweet, pleasant,
Kiswahili-Bantu NJEMA, good, fine, nice, pleasant

 

The word Ancient Egyptian word given by the consonants NTCHM is the Kiswahili-Bantu word NJEMA. NJEMA is derived from the adjective -EMA which means good and, includes goodness of all kinds pertaining to feeling, taste, or conscience.

 

 
(Example 44)
 
RINA, JINA, LEINA (Venda-Bantu, other Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian RN, name
Venda-Bantu RINA, name
Southern-Bantu LEINA, name
Kiswahili-Bantu  JINA, name
 
(Example 45)
 
WAO (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian W, they, them, their
Kiswahili-Bantu

WAO, they, them, their. WAO is the Kiswahili-Bantu pronoun.

 
(Example 46)
 
WOTO, UOTO (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian WT, UT, plants, vegetables
Kiswahili-Bantu WOTO or UOTO, plant, vegetable growth, vegetation.

 

WOTO or UOTO is derived from the verb OTA, grow, sprout, usually applied to vegetable life.

 

 
(Example 47)
 
UCHAO (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian UTCHA, early morning, dawn
Kiswahili-Bantu

UCHAO, sunrise, dawning, dawn

 
(Example 48)
 
MUMO (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian MM, among
Kiswahili-Bantu

MUMO, inside, among

 
(Example 49)
 
MATO, MACHO (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian MAA-T, sight, vision
Kiswahili-Bantu

MATO, MACHO, eyes 

 
(Example 50)
 
KAMA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian KHAM, to embrace
Luvale-Bantu KAMA, hold in hand, grasp
Kiswahili-Bantu KAMA, squeeze, hold, embrace
Zulu-Bantu  KHAMA, press, squeeze hold, exert force
NOTE: KH in Ancient Egyptian = K in Kiswahili-Bantu = KH in Zulu-Bantu
 
(Example 51)
 
SOMO (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian SHM, relative, kin
Kiswahili-Bantu SOMO, a friend, a relation 

an acquaintance, a person with the same surname

 
(Example 52)
 
SOMO (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian SHM, a wise man
NOTE SH in Ancient Egyptian = S in Kiswahili-Bantu
Kiswahili-Bantu SOMO, a confidential adviser.

 

The word SOMO is derived from the verb SOMA, to read. The noun SOMO means a lesson, a reading or a class subject devised by a teacher. Thus SOMO is something read, and may also mean a teacher who instructs a person in an initiation ceremony. SOMO also means knowledge, education, learning, science.

 

 
(Example 53)
 
KAZA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian QAS, bind, tie, fetter
Kiswahili-Bantu

KAZA, bind, tie, tighten, fasten

 
(Example 54)
 
KINENE (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian QNN, to be fat
Kiswahili-Bantu

KINENE, that which is, big, fat, stout, plump

 
(Example 55)
 
MUANA, KANA (Shona-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian N-KHN, child
PROTO-BANTU ROOT ANA, small, young,
Shona-Bantu KANA, child
Kiswahili-Bantu MUANA, child
 
The word for a child in Bantu languages is derived from the Proto-Bantu adjective -ANA which means small, young. Bantu languages attach different prefixes to the adjective -ANA to derive the word for a child. Examples of this may be seen by examining the Kiswahili-Bantu word for a child given by the prefix MU- to give the word MU-ANA. Likewise the Shona-Bantu word for a child attaches the prefix K- to give K-ANA. It is obvious in this instance that the Ancient Egyptian word must be derived from the Proto-Bantu root -ANA. By inserting the Ancient Egyptian prefix NK-, one derives the Ancient Egyptian word for a child as N-KANA, NKANA. 
 
 
(Example 56)
 
MKOTA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian NKHT, strong man
Kiswahili-Bantu MKOTA, strong man, a gigantic person. Note here N=M 

 

The interchange between the consonants N and M is quite usual in Bantu languages. It does appear that this is also the case between the Ancient Egyptian language and Bantu languages. Thus MKOTA and NKOTA are similar words which give the identical meaning of a strong man.

 

 
(Example 57)
 
WENIEJI-WOTE (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian WNTCHWT, subjects
Kiswahili-Bantu

WENIEJI-WOTE, WENIEJIWOTE, subjects, citizens

 
(Example 58)
 
MOSIDI-MATO, MASIZI-MATO (MACHO) (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian MSDMT, black eye paint
Southern Soto-Bantu MOSIDI, black powder derived from soot
Kiswahili-Bantu   MASIZI, black powder derived from soot
Ancient Kiswahili-Bantu, MATO, eyes
 
The Ancient Egyptian word consists of MSD + MT. This is an interesting word, because the Kiswahili-Bantu word for the black powder derived from soot is given as MASIZI. The equivalent word in Southern Soto-Bantu is similar to the Kiswahili-Bantu word and strongly resembles the Ancient Egyptian word given by the consonants MSD as MOSIDI, black  powder derived from soot. The remaining Ancient Egyptian consonant MT is the Kiswahili-Bantu word for the eyes, given in Ancient Kiswahili-Bantu as MATO as opposed to the current word, MACHO. Thus the description of black eye paint would be MOSIDI+MATO, or MASIZI+MATO.
 
 
 
(Example 59)
 
AMA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian AM, grasp
Kiswahili-Bantu

AMA  hold tightly, grasp, cling, clasp

 
(Example 60)
 
USEMI (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian SMI, report
Kiswahili-Bantu

USEMI, speech, conversation, language, talk

 
(Example 61)
 
SOKOTA (Kiswahili-Bantu)
 
Ancient Egyptian SKHT, twist, weave, make shelter with leaves and branches
Kiswahili-Bantu

SOKOTA, twist, twine, plait, weave

 

PLENARY
 

 

This investigation demonstrates some words which are common between the Ancient Egyptian language and the Bantu languages of Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa.

The sample of words exhibit strong resemblances in sound/meaning relationships and demonstrate clearly that there is a strong linguistic link between the languages. These cannot be ignored from the volume of evidence supported by this investigation.

Thus it may be said that the Ancient Egyptian language is related to the wider group of languages of Africa, in particular to the corridor of languages described as the Niger-Congo group of languages.

The sample of words investigated constitute only a small proportion of words which have been researched. Many more words representing common sound/meaning relationships have been investigated and will be published later. This investigation has been carried out primarily by using the Kiswahili-Bantu language as a tool for exploring common words. Other Bantu languages have also been included in this research. The Ancient Egyptian consonants used may vary in sound but these are closely related. Examples of this are given below:

  • S = SH = Z

  • DJ = TCH = J

  • KH = K

  • W = U

Please feel free to enter into a discussion.  We are all on the learning curve of seeking out the truth.
 

Copyright 3 September 2003, Ferg S. All rights reserved

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this research may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright owner.