Trying hard to agree with the suggestions made using the results of the study. I would be remiss not to say there was _some_ influence from the Middle East region .. same for Sub-Saharan. But the major formation of the ancient Egyptian culture is Nilotic. QED.
I take issue with the contortion between text in the article and that in the diagram.
The diagram says:
"Estimated origins of immigrant populations contributing to Egyptian heritage between 1400 BCE - 400 CE."
The article blurb is:
"However in the last 1,500 years Egypt became more genetically African, whereas the ancient Egyptians showed almost no sub-Saharan African ancestry and high affinity to ancient Near Eastern and European populations....'
The study found that ancient Egyptians were most closely related to ancient populations in the Levant (modern day Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon), and were also closely related to Neolithic populations from the Anatolian Peninsula and Europe.
First, the diagram note claims 'heritage'. This is a false equation to DNA. People may have immigrated, but if we want to conclude the brought their culture, we need to find the cultural markers. Second, a study that looks at period between New Kingdom and the late throes of the empire should never be used to equate it with prehistoric sources.
Then there are the pictures you show, however, I could as easily say some figures are reminiscent of East-Asian attributes (eg., eyes of Akhenaten). We shouldn't be using facial attributes to confirm nor deny what group are the key creators of ancient Egyptian culture.
Lastly, there is a massive obstacle to the idea Mesopotamians gave rise to ancient Egypt. It is impossible to separate it from the culture who had it well established in the 4th Millennium: cuneiform. People do not 'move in' without their language and writing system. And it simply is _no where_ to be seen in ancient Egypt until long after the old Kingdom, and even then is not a state-managing script.
So for the article to say there is no Sub-Saharan link whatsoever to ancient Egyptian culture and its very existence is as ugly as pure Afro-Centrism saying the whole thing came from the south.
It is my opinion the study shows there were some individuals who can be traced to Mesopotamia, but that's it. I feel the cultural connection is preposterous.
Thanks for presenting the article.