They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America (Journal of African Civilizations)

by Van Sertima, Ivan

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This controversial book by Ivan Van Sertima, the Guyanese historian, linguist, and anthropologist, claims that Africans
had been to the New World centuries before Columbus arrived there in 1492. Citing--among other things--the huge
Negroid-looking Olmec heads of Central Mexico and the similarities between the Aztec and Egyptian calendars and pyramid
structures, Van Sertima pieces together a hidden history of pre-Columbian contact between Africans and Native Americans.
He also puts forth the possibility that Columbus may have already known about a route to the Americas from his years in
Africa as a trader in Guinea. The ideas in this book have been debated and discussed since its first publication in
1976; even those who choose not to believe Van Sertima's theories should take his argument seriously. --Eugene Holley,


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