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West Africa 1500 BC

The history of West Africa has never been properly researched, but there were thriving trade and commercial activities between Ancient West Africa and the Americas long before Christopher Columbus (credited with the discovery of America) ever sat in a ship. There is ample evidence to show that West Africa of 1500 BC was at a level of civilisation approaching that of Ancient Egypt and Nubia-Kush.

In fact, there were similarities between the cultures of Nubia and West Africa, right down to the smaller-scaled hard brick clay burial pyramids built for West African kings at Kukia in pre-Islamic Ancient Ghana and their counterparts in Nubia, Egypt and Meso-America. Although West Africa is not commonly known for a culture of pyramid-building, such a culture existed - pyramids were created for the burial of kings and were made of hardened brick. This style of pyramid building was closer to those built by the Olmecs in Mexico. Even though today we don't see pyramids of stone rising above the ground in West Africa, similar to those of Egypt, Nubia or Mexico, the fact remains they did exist in West Africa on a smaller scale and were transported to the Americas, where conditions made it far easier to build on a grander scale.

When the region of Ancient Ghana and Mauritania was closely examined, evidence of large prehistoric towns such as Kukia and others (as well as various monuments to a great civilisation) were found to have existed, and continue to exist, at a smaller level than in Egypt and Nubia, but significant enough to show a direct connection with Mexico's Olmec civilisation. (See p29). During the early years of West African trade with the Americas, commercial seafarers made frequent voyages across the Atlantic. In fact, the oral history of a tradition of seafaring between the Americas and Africa is part of the history of the Washitaw People, an aboriginal black people who were the original inhabitants of the Mississippi Valley region, the former Louisiana Territories and parts of the southern United States. (See p38). According to their oral traditions, their ancient ships criss-crossed the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and the Americas on missions of trade and commerce. Some of the ships used, perhaps earlier than 7000 BC (which is the date given for cave paintings of the drawings and paintings of boats in the now dried up Sahara desert), are similar to ships used in parts of Africa today.

In fact, the tradition of black seafarers crossing the Pacific back and forth to California is much older than the actual divulgence of that fact to the first Spanish explorers who were told by the Native Americans that black men with curly hair made trips from California's shores to the Pacific on missions of trade.

On the other hand, West African trade with the Americas before Columbus and way back to proto historic times (30,000 BC to 10,000 BC), is one of the most important chapters in ancient African history.

Paul Barton


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