Sunday, October 08, 2006

Knowledge of the Movement of the Stars: the Buried Libraries of Timbuktu

Imperial colonisers arrogantly assumed that Africa lacked a written tradition - when in fact in some parts of Africa literacy was more common in the 14th century than it was in Europe. In order to prevent the wholesale looting of manuscripts by Europeans they were carefully hidden - and these hidden manuscripts are now emerging. This article in the Washington Post looks at the lost libraries of Timbuktu: