The population constituting the Egyptian nation, and included in this graded structure of castes, was of varied origin and descent, or, according to a common form of statement, belonged to various races. But the process of mixing the various ethnic elements with each other, went on uninterruptedly during the almost countless centuries of the historical existence of Egypt, including the epoch of its highest political development and the brightest blossom of its culture and civilization. In the remotest period of Egyptian society, the three superior castes were of a different hue of skin from the others, and some ethnologists and historians assign them a Shemitic or Japhetic (i.e., Aryan) origin. But the optimates were not white but red, and so they both considered and called themselves. All the other castes—수원오피 as artists, architects, merchants, mechanics, operatives, sailors, agriculturists and shepherds—undoubtedly belonged to the African or negro stock.