Header: Matthew Stirling and his wife looking over an unearthed Olmec Head.
Top row: (1) Profile of Olmec Head (2) Negroid head. Worshipped by the Aztecs. (3) Olmec sculptures displayed at a Museum (4) Olmec Head in San Lorenzo.
Bottom row: (1) Olmec Head (2) Negroid stone head, 1100 B.C.E. San Andre's Tuxtla, Vera Cruz.(3) Negroid Teotihuacan (classic period). (4) A classic Mochica
Negroid portrait vessel from Peru. c.a. 900.
“In 1862 I was in the region of San Andres Tuxtla, a town in the state of Veracruz, in Mexico. During my excursions, I learned that a colossal head had been unearthed a few years before…On my arrival at the hacienda I asked the owner [of the property where the head was discovered] to take me to look at it. We went, and I was struck with surprise: as a work of art, it is without exaggeration a magnificent sculpture…what astonished me was the Ethiopic type represented. I reflected that there had undoubtedly been Negroes in this country, and that this had been in the first epoch of the world.”
Jose Meglar, Mexican Society of Geography and Statistics
Despite much clear and documented evidence of the African presence in pre-Columbian America, little or nothing is mentioned regarding this apparently extraordinary fact. Yet some of this evidence was aware to Europeans way before Christopher Columbus’ stumble to the Americas in 1492.
When Columbus met with so-called “Indians” during his voyage in Espanola (present day Haiti and the Dominican Republic) the Indians gave proof that they had traded with Africans. They said that there had come to Espanola a Black people who have the tops of their spears made of a metal which they call Gua-nin. Columbus sent samples of these spear heads to the Spanish sovereigns to have them assayed, and found that out of a total of 32 parts: 18 were of gold, 6 were of silver and 8 were of copper, exactly the same metallurgical composition as those spears found in Africa, too exact to be mere coincidence. “The origin of the word guanin may be tracked down in the Mande languages of West Africa, through Mandingo, Kabunga, Toronka, Kankanka, Bambara, Mande and Vei. In Vei, we have the form of the word ka-ni which, transliterated into native phonetics, would give us gau-nin. In Columbus’s journal “gold” is given as coa-na, while gau-nin is recorded as an island where there is much gold.”
This information was not new to Columbus who had previously heard from the Portuguese king Don Juan of reports that Africans had travelled to the “New World.” It could be found just below the equinoctial line, roughly on the same parallel as the latitudes of his domain in Guinea, Africa. In fact, he said, “boats had been found which started out from Guinea and navigated to the west with merchandise.”
The rumour of the riches that the Americas possessed was the very thing which instigated the Tordesillas line. The Portuguese king proposed to Columbus a line drawn across the map of the world from north to south, from pole to pole. “This line,” he said, “should be drawn 370 leagues west of the westernmost islands of the Cape Verde. Let it be the divider between the two Catholic kingdoms. Anything found west of the line goes to you and Spain. Anything found east of the line falls to me and Portugal.” The line was finally settled by Spain and Portugal at the Treaty of Tordesillas on June 7, 1494, more than a year later.
The evidence is further supported by the letters of geographer Jaime Ferrer. Ferrer “a jeweller and trader in precious stones,” also a distinguished geographer who had done extensive travelling in Africa and had been called in by the Spanish sovereigns (King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella) to head the commission fixing the Tordesillas line, wrote letters to Isabella, who commanded him to get in touch with Columbus and tell him all he had heard about this new continent. Ferrer said he had obtained knowledge from Africans and Arabs, and had many conversations in the Levant, in Alcaine and Domas. From these conversations he had gathered that “within the equinoctial regions there are great and precious things, such as fine stones and gold and spices and drugs...the inhabitants are Black and tawny...when your Lordship [Columbus] finds such a people an abundance of the said things shall not be lacking.” Ferrer’s letter ends with a curious rider that implies that he knew some of this information had already been conveyed to Columbus, “of all this matter, your Lordship knows more when sleeping than I do waking.”
The most incontrovertible evidence of Africans in pre-Columbian America is the famous colossal stone head of Tres Zapotes No.2., not only because of its purely Black African features, but even more so by its typically Ethiopian braided pigtails, ending in rings and tassels. Unsurprisingly, this has seldom been displayed among the other Olmec heads.
Tres Zapotes No.2. The famous Olmec head with African braided pigtails.
Columbus’ intention upon reaching the New World was clear. His diary gets thoroughly scrutinised by the author Eric Williams in his book Documents of West Indian History. When Columbus saw the indigenous Americans (mistakenly called Indians), he remarked in his monologue “I wonder why they’re bringing such small amounts of gold? I wonder where the mines are. They’ll be easier to conquer than I thought they would be.” Furthermore, in a letter to Queen Isabella, he remarked: “From this area I can send you as many slaves as you can accommodate.” From these conceited remarks we can easily deduce that he had no thoughts of partnership with the indigenous people he met, and enslavement was his sole intention from the very beginning.
In the following extracts taken from the Journal of the first Voyage of Christopher Columbus, 1492-1493 from Williams’ book, further clarification can be had with regards to his nonchalant attitude towards the indigenous people, and it also indicates that he could have been a participant in the early Portuguese slave trade, it reads:
“No. 50 - THE ENSLAVEMENT OF THE ABORIGINAL INDIANS? (“Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher Columbus, 1492-1493”) Friday, 12th October...They should be good servants and intelligent, for I observe that they quickly took in what was said to them...Sunday, 14th of October...These people are very simple as regards the use of arms, as your highnesses will see from the seven that I caused to be taken to bring home and learn our language and return; unless your highness should order them all to be brought to Castile, or to be kept as captives on the same island; for with fifty men they can all be subjugated and made to do what is required of them...Monday, 12th of November...Yesterday a canoe came alongside the ship, with six youths in it. Five came on board, and I ordered them to be detained. They are now here. I afterwards sent to a house on the western side of the river, and seized seven women, old and young, and three children. I did this because the men would behave better in Spain if they had women of their own land, than without them.”
Further evidence of his malignant attitude is documented by the work of Father Bartolomeo de las Casas, known as the first historian of the New World. In his report: Devastation of the Indies, Casas notes that Christopher Columbus went to him after his third voyage by which time he had killed off most of his own labour supply by causing the rapid disappearance of the native population. The result was devastating amounting to nothing less than genocide.
Columbus went to Father de las Casas for an “increase in the African slave trade allegedly to save the soul of the Indians. [Furthermore], when the pope would send commissions to various islands sometimes not one Indian would be alive...”
Which brings us to the question, how did the African survive this brutal onslaught when the Indian perished? According to Clarke this had nothing to do with one race being braver than the other, but rather the inherent social structural differences. “The Indians had a monolithic society and the African came out of a pluralistic society, many societies functioning side by side. The Indian came out of a monolithic society which was tightly woven. While they existed side by side with the other societies, they did not give the other societies the same integration or recognition. Sometimes they waged relentless war against the neighbouring society. According to Father de las Casas around twelve to twenty-five million people were killed in the Caribbean Islands alone. This figure does not include South America, although he does allude to Mexico and South America as well.
Spain’s first foray into the Americas was one of expedition and curiosity. However, its second campaign was one of clear myopic purpose and something else entirely; the two thousand strong army of Spaniards were ordered: “Plant a colony! Build a church! Build a city! Let us have forts, farms, towns! Above all, pursue vigorously the search for gold.” History tells us that this order was ruthlessly carried out by the arrogant Spanish army. One author wrote:
“I was awestruck when I saw how Cortes [Spanish leader] and his group marched into the Aztecs' capital city, right into the middle of the Aztec strength! As I continued to read the accounts, my wonder became flooded with hatred. The chroniclers began describing how the Spaniards butchered women, men and children; or how they burned some elderly man, while he was alive-all to uncover some piece of gold! It was not an insult to my senses alone. When the barbarous cruelty and gluttonous behaviour of the Spanish soldiers were publicized, people throughout Europe began to scorn the name of Spain. The murderous expeditions became known around Europe as “the Black Legend.” During a conversation with Motecuhzoma [Aztec Leader], in the Aztec palace, Cortes and his soldiers suddenly attacked this ruler, chained him, and threatened to kill him if he did not send messengers to bring gold. Then the Spaniards slaughtered a group of unarmed Aztecs, to get the gold ornaments that adorned those celebrants, who were performing religious ceremonies in the city.”
As can be expected this sickening attack did not end there; it appears that the Spaniards were given another secret and much less publicised order; and this was to completely erase from memory the Aztec culture too, which would have obviously been a threat to their Christian ambitions, another author wrote:
“[Their] manuscripts were made of different materials...but for the most part, of a fine fabric from the leaves of the aloe, agave Americana, called by the natives, maguey, which grows luxuriantly over the tablelands of Mexico. A sort of paper was made from it, resembling somewhat the Egyptian papyrus...At the time of the arrival of the Spaniards, great quantities of these manuscripts were treasured up in the country...The first archbishop of Mexico, Don Juan de Zumarraga...collected these paintings from every quarter, especially from Tezcuco, the most cultivated capital in Anahuac, and the great depository of the national archives. He then caused them to be piled up in a 'mountain-heap,'-as it is called by the Spanish writers themselves-in the market-place of Tlateloco, and reduced them all to ashes!
The unlettered soldiers were not slow in imitating the example of their prelate. Every chart and volume which fell into their hands was wantonly destroyed...
They demolished, in a short time, all the Aztec temples, great and small, so that not a vestige of them remained...Sculptured images were so numerous, that the foundations of the cathedral in the playa mayor, the great square of Mexico, are said to be entirely composed of them. This spot may, indeed, be regarded as the Aztec forum,-the great depository of the treasures of ancient sculpture, which now lie hid in its bosom. Such monuments are spread all over the capital, however, and a new cellar can hardly be dug, or foundation laid, without turning up some of the mouldering relics of barbaric art. But they are little heeded, and, if not wantonly broken in pieces at once, are usually worked into the rising wall, or supports of the new edifice. Two celebrated bas-reliefs, of the last Montezuma and his father, cut in the solid rock, in the beautiful groves of Chapoltepec, were deliberately destroyed, as late as the last century, by order of the government!”
We are all familiar with the stereotypical look of the Aztecs: reddish toned Indian warriors with various tattoos and tribal scarification. According to scholars they are said to have migrated from North America having originally walked from Asia across a Bering Strait land bridge near Alaska and then on to Canada.
Evidence reveals that whilst this may be true for some, it was not the case for all of Central and South America’s inhabitants. In a book called When Rocks Cry Out, author Horace Butler provides compelling evidence that the Aztecs were actually Black people that travelled by sea from Africa. This evidence is also further corroborated by Dr Ivan Van Sertima’s classic work They Came Before Columbus, although it must be pointed out that he never supported the claim that the Aztecs were Blacks. In Van Sertima’s book an account is given by the Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez De Balboa during his time in the Isthmus of Darien, Panama. During this visit he came upon an Indian settlement and was shocked when he found that these Indians held Black Africans as war captives. These Africans of military bearing had been regularly waging war with the Indian natives from some neighbouring settlement. When Balboa asked the Indians where the captives came from, they replied that they did not know, and could not tell the Spaniards anymore than this.
“All we know”, they said, “was that they were living nearby and we’re constantly waging war with them.” At this point, it is important to interject and explain that the terms “native” and “foreigners” needs to be noted cautiously, as it will be established in later chapters that Africans were the first to people America, and therefore these captives, or at least a portion of them, may actually have been the decedents of these earlier Africans. If this be the case, that would actually make them the natives and the so-called “Indians” the foreigners. The much larger population of “Indians” would not automatically make them the natives, particularly after centuries or millennia of warfare and race infusion. This point will be returned to later.
The first historian of America, Peter Martyr documents this notable meeting and wrote: “The Spaniards,” wrote Martyr, “found Negroes in this province. They only live one days march from Quarequa and they are fierce.... It is thought that Negro pirates from Ethiopia established themselves after the wreck of their ships in these mountains. The natives of Quarequa carry on incessant war with these Negroes. Massacre or slavery is the alternate fortune of these peoples.”
The term Ethiopia was commonly used to refer to Africa and was not a specific country. The name Ethiopia derives from the Greek word for burnt which was ethios and the Greek word for face which was ops. Thus, ethios and ops becomes one word to make Ethiopia, and obviously refers to the inhabitant’s dark or Black complexion.
In fact, the term Ethiopia to denote what we now call Africa was used by European explorers way up until 1884. Note, as Sertima also pointed out, Martyr’s report makes it clear that the African population was large enough for its members to wage war or defend themselves against the Indians.
Sertima also writes about another report of African captives off Colombia, he said: “Fray Gregoria Garcia, a priest of the Dominican order who spent nine years in Peru in the early sixteenth century, pinpoints an island off Cartagena, Colombia, as the place where the Spanish first encountered Blacks in the New World. Once again, as in the Balboa incident in Darien, the Blacks were found as captives of war among the Indians. In a book silenced by the Spanish Inquisition, Garcia wrote, “Here were found slaves” of the lord- Negroes-who were the first our people saw in the Indies.”
Reading these reports one would assume it was a one sided affair, this was far from the case, the Blacks also killed and made war captives or “slaves” of Indians they caught in these raids along the Isthmus, as to be expected in times of war.
In 1310 the emperor of Mali in Africa, Abubakari the Second arranged for an expeditionary fleet of two hundred well equipped ships to set out on the Atlantic. Eager to discover the limits of the neighbouring sea, he said to the commander: 'Do not return until you have reached the end of the ocean, or when you have exhausted your food and water.'
They went away, and their absence was long: none came back, and their absence continued. Then a single ship returned. They asked its captain of their adventures and their news. He replied: “Sultan, we sailed for a long while until we met with what seemed to be a river with a strong current flowing in the open sea. My ship was last. The others sailed on, but as each of them came to that place they did not come back, nor did they reappear; and I do not know what became of them. As for me, I turned where I was and did not enter that current.”
Desparate to journey the Atlantic sea himself in 1311, a year later, the king arranged for his own fleet of which he would commandeer. Van Sertima describes this journey: “Abubakari the Second never looked back. He never returned to the court at Niani.
This time he had a special boat built for himself, with a pempi on the poop deck shaded by the bird-emblazoned parasol. He would commandeer the new expedition himself, keeping in touch with the captains of the fleet by means of the talking drum. Thus, in 1311 he conferred the power of the regency on his brother, Kankan Musa, on the understanding that Kankan was to assume the throne if, after a reasonable lapse of time, the king did not return.
Then one day, dressed in a flowing white robe and a jeweled turban, he took leave of Mali and set out with his fleet down the Senegal, heading west across the Atlantic, never to return. He took his griot and half his history with him.”
To date scholars do not know what happened to the king and his people that twice journeyed the Atlantic by a fleet of ships. Could these fleet of ships have finally rested in the Americas?
Abubakari the Second (Artist's impression). And map of Medieval Mali at the time of Abubakari the Second. It dwarfed the Holy Roman Empire.
A book called The Five Letters of Cortes to the Emperor, named after Hernando Cortes who was the leader of the first Spanish invasion of the Americas in 1519, describes the war against the Aztecs. One of the letters contains a revealing statement from the Aztec leader Montezuma, it said:
“Long time have we been informed by the writings of our ancestors that neither myself nor any of those who inhabit this land are natives of it, but rather strangers who have come to it from foreign parts. We likewise know that from those parts our nation was led by a certain lord (to whom all were subject), and who then went back to his native land, where he remained so long delaying his return that at his coming those whom he had left had married the women of the land and had many children by them and had built themselves cities in which they lived, so that they would in no wise return to their own land nor acknowledge him as lord; upon which he left them. And we have always believed that among his descendants one would surely come to subject this land and us as rightful vassals. Now seeing the regions from which you say you come, which is from where the sun rises, and the news you tell of this great king and ruler who sent you hither, we believe and hold it certain that he is our natural lord: especially in that you say he has long had knowledge of us.”
Here we have the leader of the Aztec army stating that he and his Aztec companions were not natives but were foreigners that arrived from the direction “...where the sun rises,” this would be towards the east, which would be Africa. This also obviously suggests that they travelled by ships across the Atlantic. This statement is even further corroborated by Cortes’ secretary Francisco Gomara, his account recalls the words of the Aztec leader Montezuma, it reads: "...As my father told me, and his father told him, our ancestors and kings, from whom I am descended, were not natives of this country, but newcomers, led by a great lord who, a little while later, returned to his own land.”
Montezuma himself was described by the Spanish as being “...a man of middling size, thin, and, like all Indians, of a very dark complexion...”
Admittedly, descriptions such as “Black” and “dark complexion” should be viewed with caution, because this may not mean Negroid or African. The Spanish were very familiar with the look of Africans and so would have been clear of the difference between Indians and Africans.
However, the description so clearly stated by Montezuma of being a “foreigner” from the direction of “...where the sun rises” cannot be ignored or simply brushed aside. This is a significant and telling historical account and not a desperate biased manoeuvre from a writer’s ostentatious imagination.
Could the Aztecs be the descendents of the people of the two Mali expeditions in 1310 and 1311? Historians place the time of the building of the Aztec city, Tenochtitlan, to 1325. Along with the statement by the Aztec leader and the dates of the two Mali expeditions, it would seem to be a good historical fit.
In the book When Rocks Cry Out, a description is provided of the Aztec’s first appearance in the Americas:
“The Aztec, or Mexica, were the last of the many nomadic tribes to enter the Valley of Mexico. They attempted to settle in one or another of the flourishing city-states, but wherever they appeared, they were violently driven away as undesirable foreigners... After a whole series of defeats and humiliations, the Aztecs succeeded in establishing themselves on an island in the lake. ... The beginnings of the Aztec capital were very humble. It was founded on a low-lying island so undesirable that other tribes had not bothered to occupy it.”
The Africans of Mali coming from the region of the great medieval University of Sankore at Timbuktu would certainly have the skill and education to build such a city, as opposed to some uneducated, uncivilised nomadic tribes from the north. Although this contention is not supported in academic circles, even amongst notable African scholars, it is my feeling, based on the evidence currently available; that it is certainly worthy of serious consideration.
Note: There is much more evidence that supports the African Aztec hypothesis; such as numerous terra cotta sculptures, and further historical accounts; which are far too plentiful to cover here.
For further information the following books are recommended as research starting points:
•They Came Before Columbus, Ivan Van Sertima (New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2003)
•When Rocks Cry Out, Horace Butler (Fort Worth, Texas: Stone River Publishing, 2009)
•Hernando Cortes, Five Letters of Cortes to the Emperor, trans J. Bayard Morris (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., Inc., 1991)
•Francisco Lopez de Gomara, Cortes: The Life of the Conqueror by His Secretary, from the Istoria De La Conquista De Mexico, 1552 (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1965).
•Hernando Cortes, Five Letters 1519-1526, trans J. Bayard Morris (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., Inc., 1928)
•D.T. Niane, Sundiata, An Epic of Old Mali, trans G.D. Pickett (London: Longman Group Limited, 1965)
•Golden Age of the Moor, Edited by Ivan Van Sertima (New Brunswic-USA, London: Transaction Publishers, 2009)
Aside from the accounts of the Spanish there have been numerous other findings that strongly support the African presence in pre-Columbian America. The most significant being the magnificent colossal stone heads with distinctive African features, euphemistically known today as the Olmecs. The first Olmec head was discovered in 1858 in the village of Tres Zapotes, Mexico. Scholar Jose Meglar wrote about this head in the Mexican Society of Geography and Statistics in 1869, he remarked:
“In 1862 I was in the region of San Andres Tuxtla, a town in the state of Veracruz, in Mexico. During my excursions, I learned that a Colossal Head had been unearthed a few years before…On my arrival at the hacienda I asked the owner [of the property where the head was discovered] to take me to look at it. We went, and I was struck with surprise: as a work of art, it is without exaggeration a magnificent sculpture…what astonished me was the Ethiopic type represented. I reflected that there had undoubtedly been Negroes in this country, and that this had been in the first epoch of the world.”
Although the first report of the Olmec stone heads was in 1869, curiously, it was not until 1939; well over half a century later, that investigation was taken up again.
This was pursued under the leadership of a researcher by the name of Matthew Stirling who had financial backing from the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society. He first led a team of archaeologists to Tres Zapotes where he excavated the head originally described by Melgar. This head was described as being eight feet high, 18 feet in circumference and weighing more than ten tons, all carved from a single block of basalt stone. Stirling provided a vivid description of this excavation, when he said:
“...It presented an awe inspiring spectacle. Despite its great size, the workmanship is delicate and sure, its proportions perfect. Unique in character among aboriginal American sculptures, it is remarkable for its realistic treatment. The features are bold and amazingly Negroid in character.”
Stirling’s second expedition at La Venta in the Mexican state of Tabasco proved even more fruitful. There he discovered four more heads, all bearing similar African facial features. Along with helmets, like the one excavated at Tres Zapotes some wore earplugs, and some had cornrows.
To date a total of 17 heads have been discovered, two at Tres Zapotes, four at La Venta, 10 at San Lorenzo, Veracruz and one at Rancho la Cobata.
Olmec head in the Jalapa Museum of Anthropology. Described by the researcher Matthew Stirling as "amazingly Negroid in character."
Top: Negroid stone head, 1100 B.C.E. San Andre's Tuxtla, Vera Cruz. Bottom: Negroid magician at Copan, Honduras.
These colossal heads weigh up to 40 tons and the largest is nine feet, four inches tall. Radiocarbon dating was used at La Venta where some of the Olmec Statues were located. Wood charcoal samples taken from the remains of the ceremonial court were used, five of which were supposedly incorporated into the platform itself. The dates ranged from 1160 to 580 B.C.E. making some of the heads over 3000 years old.
The word Olmec is derived from the Aztec root ollin, which means “rubber”, thus Olmec may be translated as “the rubber people”, or the people from the land where rubber is produced. It is believed that La Venta was the home of the Olmec priests and kings and their most sacred site; and scholars now believe that it was the center of the Olmec civilisation. The four heads found at La Venta had originally been incorporated into a ceremonial platform which was orientated on a north-south axis, as was a pyramid that was also discovered in the same area, and was also the very first pyramid to ever be discovered in America.
The German born art historian Alexander von Wuthenau, for more than 30 years, articulated strongly in favour of a pre-Columbian African presence in the Americas. He was a pioneer in his field that carried out intensive diggings and investigations in Mexico, and through his efforts we are all now able to bear witness to his magnificent discoveries.38 He excavated a huge collection of sculptures which clearly portrayed Africoid men and women as priests, drummers, chiefs and dancers in varied situations. Wonderfully sculptured in terra cotta, a clay medium that is ideal for producing, in great detail, hair texture and facial features such as eyes, noses and lips; they have been described as opening “a door upon the photo gallery of the Americas.”
The clay ranges in colour from buff brown to various shades of red which the artist used to portray variances in skin color. Regarding the coloration, Van Sertima commented:
“With respect to coloration, the clay chosen or the oxide dyes used to evoke the blackness or dark browness of the skin is particularly striking because they are reserved for the types with non-native noses, lips, hair textures, etc. These were deliberate choices of artists dealing with human models.”
Top left: Seated Black woman, Vera Cruz. Classic period. Right: Negroid stone head from Vera Cruz. Classic period. American Museum of Natural History, New York. Bottom: Portrait, Vera Cruz, Classic Period, note headdress.
The dates of these sculptures range from 1500 B.C.E. and 1500 A.C.E. and there are literally thousands of these African images. Strangely, despite this large number, very little is mentioned about them by mainstream academics, and one of Von Wuthenau’s more recent publications Unexplained Faces in Ancient America has had criticism for its research by some so-called scholars. However, his work had much support by the former Mexican president Portillo and the Mexican government. Regarding his remarkable contribution to the rewriting of American history, Van Sertima remarked:
“His book The Art of Terracotta Pottery in Pre-Columbian South and Central America broke new ground. It shattered conventional assumptions in the field of American art as well as history. But its favorable reception has only become possible because there has been a genuine change, however gradual, however slight, in the climate of prejudice that has long inhibited any serious scholarly inquiry into this matter.”
Regarding his research Von Wuthenau said:
“After thirty-five years of intense study concerning the human images forged by pre-Columbian artists, I dare to put these artists on the historical witness stand. In these times of racial unrest, a cool evaluation of historical truth and the reacknowledgment of ethnic roots behind and below the ancient population of the Americas should have a sobering and healing effect on many a confused mind.”
Given all this evidence, it is clear that the intention of mainstream academics is to deny the African presence in pre-Columbian America at all costs, which leaves the more serious and honest scholars with no choice other than to push their pseudo-science and laughable scholarship to one side and get on with the serious task of further investigation. Their position stems from the need to ensure that Black people, under any circumstances, are not represented as the progenitors of this or any other highly sophisticated culture; a culture responsible for building magnificent pyramids, sculptures, temples and cities.
If the Olmec heads are simply labelled African and the numerous terra-cotta sculptures were truly acknowledged, than this would not only rewrite their historical lies, but it would mean that this information would need to be included in every one of their educational curriculums around the world. This, as far they are concerned, regardless of the truth, and to ensure the continuation of the false notion of White superiority, would be unacceptable.
Nevertheless, the wall of mis-education is crumbling, and it is now time to be clear that the Olmecs were not only a Black African race, but also represent a highly advanced civilisation of America’s very first epoch.
Notes: One of the most extensive collections of Olmec heads can be found in the Mexican city of Jalapa, at the Jalapa Museum of Anthropology.
The terra cotta sculptures can be seen in the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City and in the Diego Revera Museum. They can also be seen in the private collections of Jose Saenz and Alexander von Wuthenau.
Despite the obvious African appearance of these Olmec heads, typically, mainstream Mesoamerican scholars reject claims that the heads are actually realistic representations of African people. They publically claim that the heads are of Indian Americans, and provide arguments that range from the dubious and unscientific to the utterly absurd. Van Sertima provided a thorough rebuttal to one such scholar De Montellano when he emphatically stated:
“Though trained as a linguist, [De Montellano] contends that the "guanin" complex of words for gold found in West African Sarakole, Soninke, Gadsago, Vai, Mende, Kissi, Kono, Peul, Mandinka, Dyula, Malinke, Khassaoke, and Bambara were native to the Americas (while frankly admitting that he knows absolutely nothing about African languages) and when interconnected plant terms are cited from specific areas in South America for their startling identities with West African words for the plant found in pre-Columbian South American graves, he blandly ignores these, such as the African bakoko for a banana imported from Asia to Africa in the twelfth century, appearing in South American languages.
While it has been made clear to him that I have distanced myself from a lot of Wiener's linguistics, he contends that if I do not dismiss all of it, my thesis is just a repeat of this pioneer's early probing. De Montellano refuses to consider the work done since Wiener, as though scholarship in this area has stood still since the 1920's. He deliberately ignores recent studies done on skeletons by Wiercinski and Guadarrama; on the excavation of pre-Columbian terra-cotta (Von Wuthenau 1969);...”
In addition, Van Sertima also rebuts the argument that local Mesoamericans also possess similar features to the Olmec heads, such as broad noses, thick lips and in particular the so-called Asian epicanthic fold, by highlighting the many Africans that also possess these features, including the epicanthic fold. Furthermore, it is interesting that the Olmec’s features have never been described (by any honest scholar) as looking “amazingly American Indian,” including the very scholars that first discovered them who were also familiar with the look of the local people.
Other arguments include:
1) The possibility that the heads were carved in this manner due to the shallow space allowed on the basalt boulders.
This is simply absurd and as such deserves no serious response.
2) The African origin hypothesis assumes that Olmec carving was intended to be realistic, an assumption that is hard to justify given the full corpus of representation in Olmec carving.
This argument is interesting because it not only contradicts the arguments that the heads, in particular, look Mexican, it also inadvertently agrees with the African hypothesis that the Olmec heads appear to be African. The only argument, therefore, that remains, is whether they are realistic renditions or not. It is clear to see to any layperson the difference in a detailed realistic artistic rendition and an expressive portraiture. The level of detail and proportions are too accurate and precise to be merely expressive renditions or poor artwork. Van Sertima provides a detailed description of the discovery of some of the heads:
“...When, after a relentless search, this head eventually emerged, it was found to be eight feet high, and like the one at Tres Zapotes, vividly Negroid. A native boy, observing the diggings, had seen outcroppings of stone not far from his father's place and led the expedition to that spot.
Three more Negroid heads were uncovered. Two of them were so realistic in detail that they even had their teeth carved out, a very unusual thing in American art. Massive, military, menacing, they stood, faces of pure basalt stone, dominating the vast ceremonial plaza in which they were found. The lines of cheek and jaw, the fullness of the lips, the broadly fleshed noses, the acutely observed and faithfully reproduced facial contour and particulars bore eloquent witness to a Negro-African presence. One of the Negroid colossi, eight and a half feet high and twenty-two feet in circumference, wore earplugs with a cross carved in each. They all wore headdresses that were foreign and distinctive-domed helmets like those of ancient soldiers. They all faced east, staring into the Atlantic.”
Despite the opponents obvious desperation, the one thing that all of their arguments have in common is the deliberate omission of the numerous pre-Columbian terra-cotta sculptures excavated throughout Mesoamerica by the scholar Von Wuthenau, which are also unquestionably Black African.
Crucial discoveries have brought to light that the Olmec civilisation also had numerous cultural links with another highly advanced Black people, the ancient Egyptians. On this topic Van Sertima remarked:
“If we examine some of these helmets we will find they are uncannily similar to leather helmets worn by the Egyptian-Nubian military in the era of the Ramessides (Egyptian kings) and in the first millennium B.C. They completely cover the head and the back of the neck, and they have tie-ons attached to the crest and falling in front of the ears. The details on some of them, although almost 3,000 years old, have become a little obscured, but there is one in particular, now in the Jalapa Museum, which can be examined for comparative purposes. It has the circular earplug and incised decorative paralleled lines found on other colossal Nubian heads in the Egyptian seaport of Tanis.”
Author Anthony T. Browder (Nile Valley Contributions to Civilisation: Exploding the Myths, 2009, pp.213-214) also provided a list of the numerous similarities between the Egyptian and Olmec cultures, which clearly demonstrates contact between the two civilisation:
“The similarities,” he said, “between the Olmec civilization and the Nubian/ Kemetic culture are too plentiful to be viewed as circumstantial.
There existed among both groups identical traits that were shared between members of the royal and priestly class. The examples are as follows:
1. All kings in Kemet wore a double crown, which signified that the pharaoh ruled over Upper and Lower Egypt;
There is an image of an Olmec dignitary at Cerro de la Piedre who is shown wearing a double crown, and he is offering an object, which has Egyptian symbols on it, to a person with a distinct African appearance.
2. All kings in Kemet were portrayed with an artificial beard which was attached to their face;
Most Olmec sculptures are beardless, but on the few sculptures where beards are portrayed, they appear to be attached to the face. The men who wore false beards were portrayed in very distinguished and authoritarian poses, and the beard appeared to be an indication of high rank.
3. The royal flail of the pharaohs was a symbol of authority, and it was often shown resting on the shoulder of the king;
An Olmec painting found at Oxtotitlan portrays a man sitting on a throne holding a flail in a manner similar to Kemetic royalty.
4. Purple was a sacred color among the Egyptians, and it was worn only on special occasions and by people associated with royalty and the priesthood;
One of the Olmec heads found at San Lorenzo was found to have been originally painted with a purple dye that was identical in intensity to the shade used in the Nile Valley.
5. The sacred boat of the king appears among both cultures and is similar in appearance, function and name.
The Indian scholar Rafique Jairazbhoy, in a publication entitled Ancient Americans and Chinese in America, documents a similarity between a Kemetic priest, holding a snake-like instrument, performing the Opening of the Mouth Ceremony on a person seated before him.
Mexican and Egyptian priests, both holding a snake-like instrument, and performing the Opening of the Mouth Ceremony. The God Sokar, winged god standing on the back of double-ended serpent in Egyptian papyrus painting of the Underworld (bottom). Compare with god at Izapa in Mexico. In the Egyptian painting the god stretches out his hands to hold up his wings. In Mexico he does the same. He also stands on the back of the same type of double-ended serpent and wears a foreign beard.
We find the identical image in Mexico, and in both instances, the person performing the sacred ceremony is wearing a leopard skin garment with a tail hanging between his legs. In both cultures priests wore leopard skin clothing.
The technological similarities between the Olmecs and the Egyptian/Nubians are even more fascinating. The first American-made pyramid at La Venta was constructed along a north-south axis, which is the same orientation as the pyramids in Egypt and in Sudan. Incidentally, the world's first pyramid, the Step Pyramid of Saqqara, evolved from the mastabas or burial mounds which first appeared in Nubia. What is most fascinating is that the Olmecs, and succeeding civilizations, continued to build elaborate pyramids hundreds of years after they ceased being built in the Nile Valley. It certainly appears as though pyramid-building was introduced into the Olmec culture, when it continued to evolve over the years.”
There is much confusion regarding the god Quetzalcoatl; this is partly due to there being a Quetzalcoatl the man during medieval times, and a Quetzalcoatl the plumed or feathered serpent mythological god, which dates much further back.
Quetzalcoatl the god was Central America’s rainmaker god and feathered serpent king. Symbolically “Quetzal” represented the bird or plume and “coatl” the serpent. Throughout ancient times they were shown together inherently linked. In his book They Came Before Columbus Van Sertima explains this extremely close relationship: “The snake was supposed to be a kind of evil dragon guarding the well of life. He contained or imprisoned the life-giving moisture. An eternal conflict existed between him and the great bird who nested in the tree of life and would wrestle with and devour the snake, thus releasing the rains, the fertilizing waters necessary for men and crops. The origin of this serpent-devouring bird lies in Africa. The plumed-serpent myth and all its highly arbitrary abstractions and interconnections (such as the winged disc motif) evolved through ancient Egypt's contact with black Africa.”
This story or myth of this bird, believed to be the African secretary bird due to its unique characteristics, was also prevalent in ancient Egypt. In ancient times, mythology was used to explain a scientific principle, and it was a common means of communication. The Egyptian priests and seaman were very familiar with the secretary bird’s behaviour having often visited Punt (now Somaliland). This heavy powerful bird has the appearance of a “modified eagle mounted on stilts and may exceed four feet in height. It is heavy and powerful, with webbed feet and sharp talons...owing to the length of the legs and tarsi, its piercing eye is able to discover at a long distance the prey which, in anticipation of its appearance, is stretched on the sand or among the thick grass. The elegant and majestic form of the bird becomes even more graceful; it now brings into action all its cunning in order to surprise the snake which it is going to attack; therefore it approaches with the greatest caution. The elevation of the feathers of the neck and the back of the head shows when the moment for attack has arrived. It throws itself with such force on the reptile that very often the latter does not survive the first blow...To avoid being bitten, if the first attack is not successful, the bird uses its wings as a kind of shield, flapping them vigorously; its powerful feet are the chief weapons of offense. No other bird has been so well equipped by nature for battling with snakes. Eagles and Vulcans have powerful talons and beaks, but they do not possess the long legs of the secretary bird, which are absolutely necessary to ensure success when a serpent is attacked.”
Donald Mackenzie in his book Myths of Pre-Columbian America shows how this bird “suggested that form of the Egyptian myth of Horus in which the god as the falcon hawk attacks the serpent form of Set, the slayer of Osiris. The Set serpent took refuge in a hole in the ground, and above this hole was set a pole surmounted by the falcon head of Horus...We may trace the influence of stories about the secretary-bird brought from Africa; as the winged disc the god Horus pursues Set and his companions in their various forms, including their serpent forms.” Sertima added: “This winged disc symbol is made up of the religious symbols of Lower and Upper Egypt. Since these two divisions of ancient Egypt came to be joined through conquest, the winged disc became a political symbol of unity in the Nile Valley, representing the merger of the two parts. The disc represents the sun. The wings are those of the falcon god, Horus, the chief deity-of the dynastic Egyptians, who united Upper and Lower Egypt by conquest. The two serpents that entwine the disc and extend their bodies above the wings are the serpent goddesses of the two ancient divisions of Egypt, namely Nekhebit and Uazit (known by the Greeks as Buto). Occasionally these serpents were crowned with the diadems of Upper and Lower Egypt.”
Van Sertima points out that this same symbol was prevalent in ancient Mexico and Polynesia: “We find not only clear evidence of the Egyptian prototype in the winged disc of ancient Mexico and Polynesia, but we find it used in the same way. The ancient Egyptians placed the image of the winged disc over the entrances to the inner chambers of a temple, as well as over its gates, and on stela and other objects. Sometimes the symbol was simply the winged disc without the serpents.... In pre-Columbian America the winged disc was placed on temple door lintels as in Egypt.... The Polynesian form of the winged disc is of special interest because it shows in the disc the head of the bird-devouring serpent-the secretary bird of Africa with which seafarers had become familiar.”
The man Quetzalcoatl was the son of Mixcoatl, chieftain of the Toltecs, and dates back to the tenth century (980-999). As well as being the native son of the American king Mixcoatl, his name also seems to be applied to other extraordinary figures or cultural innovators from outside of America; Least of all, one extraordinary figure that “appeared on the eastern Atlantic seaboard with a fleet of boats and after an undetermined stay, set out again on the Atlantic with the intention of returning home.” A point that shall be returned to later. In fact the name Quetzalcoatl was also given as a title in honour of two high priests of Tenochtitlan in Mexico.
This name or title signified the archetype of the priestly ideal, and was in memory of the god of Civilisation and Learning, such was the prestige and high status of one that bore the title Quetzalcoatl.
Tenochtitlan was founded in 1325 by the Aztecs, the region was specifically chosen due to a legendary battle which took place there between an eagle and a serpent. Although there is confusion, amongst historians between the native Mexican (son of Mixcoatl) and the alien figure appearing on the eastern seaboard, Van Sertima firmly believed that the alien Quetzalcoatl was none other than the great African king from Mali, Abubakari the Second. With regard to this hypothesis, he stated: “The Quetzalcoatl who came from outside and was reputed to have landed in America in a company of boats was a tall, bearded man. He was clad in long white garments, probably carried a royal mace or ball of some kind in his hands and wore a turban, conical crown or similar headdress.”
Van Sertima points out the confusion over the use of the term “white”: “The main source of confusion over his appearance has been the use of the word “white” in some oral traditions. This word has been completely misinterpreted by many scholars and has led to the most fanciful notions that it was a European who innovated civilization and religious reform in America.
The myth and ritual, the pattern of religious expression in America, differ sharply from those of Europe. The Catholic friars finding the cross in America (the cross is also found in pre-Christian Africa and had nothing to do there with Christ) pounced on the phrase "white, bearded figure" and claimed that Quetzalcoatl was St. Thomas or St. Brendan. In 1949 P. M. Hanson even made claims for Quetzalcoatl as a reincarnated Jesus Christ. As Basil Hedrick points out, “The Quetzalcoatl of the Mexican valley documents was never blond (or fair) as stated by the friars, but virtually always pictured as black-bearded, and in illustrations had his face painted black. The truth is, "white" is a purely European convention when used as an exclusive referent for skin color and race. "White" in American Indian terms did not mean (in pre-Columbian times) Caucasian. Quetzalcoatl did not have Northern European features. Native Americans spoke of him at times as being white in a symbolic sense, in the way Muslims may speak of Mohammed as a handful of white light in Allah's palm.”
To further add to the confusion, however, there was an Asiatic Quetzalcoatl found in the world of the Incas, but as Van Sertima also stated: “A Quetzalcoatl from the west (the Pacific) does not cancel out a Quetzalcoatl from the east (the Atlantic). The Asiatic Quetzalcoatl is found in the world of the Incas, the black Quetzalcoatl in Mexico and the Yucatan.”
Images above: (1) Olmec Head displayed on location. (2) Inside Alexander Von Wuthenau's book Unexpected Faces in Ancient America. (3) Olmec Head. Jalapa Museum of Anthropology. (4) Ceramic scultpure (4inches), El Salvador. 600 B.C.E.
Furthermore, when arguing the case against any cultural influence by the Vikings, who are believed to have reached American shores around 1000 A.C.E., he emphatically remarked: “What...is the significance of this early contact in the cultural history of the American? The Vikings brought no new plant, influenced no art, introduced no ritual, left no identifiable trace of their blood in the native American. Like waves, they broke for a moment on alien sands and then receded. The same may not be said of the African. He is not enshrined, perhaps, in an architectural monument, but his face broods over the Olmecs, his skeleton lies beside the ancient Mexican magicians, a strain of his cultivated cotton is found married to an American "wild" ancestor, his blood runs even in the veins of the Lacandons, the most secluded of the Maya tribes. It is one thing, therefore, to concede a European pre-Columbian presence. It is another thing to claim that Europeans, be they northern Vikings or southern Viracochas, brought "civilization" to the Americans before Columbus. This flies in the face of all the known cultural facts. The myths, the rituals, the magico-religious systems of native America stand out in sharp contrast to those found anywhere in Europe. What is more, the agricultural system and the calendar (a "white" Quetzalcoatl is alleged to have introduced elements of both) bear no relationship to ancient or medieval crop science and timekeeping among European peoples.”
The magnificent colossal stone heads, historical accounts, archaeological and anthropological discoveries, cultural links with the Egyptians/Nubians and the numerous clay, gold and stone portraiture discovered clearly depicting Africans, have forced some of the more honest historians to admit that Africans were not only the first to people America but were also responsible for creating a highly sophisticated and advanced civilisation as well. Based on all the objective evidence any opposing position would be absurd. This, however, then leads to the question, what happened to these early Africans? War and race infusion between these “native” Africans and those “foreign” Indians that migrated from Asia would be the obvious answer. This could have easily resulted in a near wholesale obliteration of the once complete African population; it is unrealistic to think that a race and its culture could survive fully intact under these pressing conditions. Note that the term “near” and not “complete” wholesale obliteration was used. Usually after wars and race infusion of a large scale there are still a few pockets of the native population in existence. Any argument against this hypothesis to the destruction of this early African population would still bring us back to the question of their mysterious disappearance.
Is it not likely that some of these early Africans were always present in the Americas and thereby the true natives to the land when both the Indians and the Spanish arrived? Thus, being the direct descendents of the very people that produced those colossal and magnificent pyramids and stone heads; as well as the numerous pre-classic (2000 BCE-200 CE), clay, gold and stone African portraiture discovered throughout Central and South America? Driven out by the Indian “foreigners” and as a consequence having to dwell in small pockets and numbers in various out-skirting regions? This does not rule out that over the subsequent pre-Columbian years Africans travelled in ships across the Atlantic to reach the “New World.” The Americas was not “new” to them; as Don Juan knew there was the Guinea route which helped facilitate the trans-Atlantic journey and this was common knowledge to the Africans. How did Africans know of America? The notion of organising and equipping a fleet of 200 ships to travel across the Atlantic on the bases of a simple whim and rumours is absurd. Is it not more likely that this information was passed down over the generations? Regarding the African and American contact over vast periods of time and also highlighting the little detail known about this pre-Columbian period, Van Sertima stated:
“It is important to bear in mind that the Negroid terra-cottas are scattered over several periods and bear witness, in conjunction with other evidence, that this was just one of several contacts between the two continents, joined throughout pre-Columbian history by a long but easily accessible and mobile waterway.”
Van Sertima also highlights an important point regarding the powerful Atlantic Ocean currents between Africa and America which greatly facilitated the trans-Atlantic journey, he explains: “Darien and Colombia were easily accessible to African ship-wrecked mariners. These places lie within the terminal area of currents that move with great power and swiftness from Africa to America. These currents may be likened to marine conveyer belts. Once you enter them you are transported, even against your will, and even with no navigational skill, from one bank of the ocean to the other.”
Pre-Columbian trans-Atlantic travel by ship has been proven to be a feasible possibility. “The Norwegian writer and explorer Thor Heyerdahl has made more than an academic study of these ships. He has put the ship-building ideas and designs of the ancient Egyptians to a practical test and proven that their most primitive boats-the papyrus reed boats that were built before their wooden ships-could have made it across the Atlantic from Africa to America” by successfully doing just that on May 25, 1969.
On this momentous achievement Van Sertima remarked:
“What Heyerdahl had proven, in effect, was that the most ancient of Egyptian ships, predecessors of even more sophisticated models, could have crossed the Atlantic. He demonstrated also, through the shipbuilding labors of the Buduma tribesmen, that these navigational skills had been largely preserved among riverine and lacustrine Africans even to the present day. The papyrus boat, however, is but a modest curtain-raiser on the vast theatre of ancient Egyptian shipping. Even in the very early predynastic times the Egyptians were building plank boats as well as papyrus boats. These plank boats were sewn together, and the joints caulked with fibre. It was an extension of the method first used for the papyrus boats. By the dynastic period, they could boast of boats as long as three-car trains. It is recorded that the Black African Pharaoh Sneferu, at the close of the Third Dynasty, in one year made sixty ships that were 100 feet long and in the following year built three with a bow-to-stern measurement of 170 feet.”
Van Sertima also points out the small and isolated Black communities found on the American seaboard were at the terminal points of these currents. Which he does to suggest that these Africans migrated by sea from Africa. He quotes the work of Alphonse De Quatrefages, who was a professor of anthropology in the Museum of Natural History in Paris: “black populations have been found in America in very small numbers and as isolated tribes in the midst of very different nations. Such are the Charruas of Brazil, the black Caribees of Saint Vincent in the Gulf of Mexico, the Jamassi of Florida. . . . Such again is the tribe of which Balboa saw some representatives in his passage of the Isthmus of Darien in 1513. Yet it would seem, from the expressions made use of by Gomara, that these were true Negroes. This type was well known to the Spaniards. . . .” De Quatrefages shows how the location of these African New World communities coincides with the terminal points of Africa-to-America currents or sea roads. “We only find these black men in America in those places washed by the Kouro-Siwo [a Pacific current known as the black stream] and the Equatorial current of the Atlantic or its divisions. A glance at the maps of Captain Kerhallet will at once show the rarity and distribution of these tribes. It is evident that the more or less pure black elements have been brought from Africa through some accident at sea; they have there mixed with the local races, and have formed those small isolated groups which are distinguished by their color from the surrounding tribes.”
This seems plausible, and for many Africans it may well have been true, post pre-classic period.
However, the idea of Black communities remaining at the very terminal points of which they landed seems incredulous. The likelihood is upon reaching these areas they would then move to the most hospitable regions or at least move further inland. Staying in these areas and being isolated would reflect the unsettled nature of war. What is a common factor in warfare or invasion is that native communities are driven away to out-skirting regions; choosing to relocate preferably, but not exclusively, by sea or water where food is plentiful and travel or escape is most convenient. Although it could be reasonably argued that upon crash landing into these regions war forced the African foreigners to remain where they were. However, the evidence, such as the tremendous architecture, magnificent stone heads and sculptures, and deep and insightful archaic culture, reveals a very old, sophisticated and highly educated original population. Only the African possesses a background upon which to lay the claim of ownership of these works, and qualities; no so-called American Indian has the historical background to do so. Hence, it’s more logical to surmise that the Indian was the very late newcomer to the shores of the Americas and not the other way around. So why the extremely small numbers of Africans? Interestingly, one could note “true” India as an example of a country where the indigenous population suffered warfare/invasion and race infusion to the extent of near complete obliteration. On this subject, historian and writer Wayne Chandler wrote:
“Given the fact that the Black race is by far the oldest, the presence of Black culture at the dawn of Indian history should not be surprising. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Indian historian and anthropologist, suggests: “We have to begin with the Negroid or Negrito people of prehistoric India who were its first human inhabitants. Originally they would appear to have come from Africa through Arabia and the coastlands of Iran and Baluchistan...” In the India of today the presence of people resembling the ancient Ethiopian negritos [Black Africans] is rare enough though it does exist. Sparse pockets of these Negrito descendants can be found among the Kadar and Ragahmal Hill cultures in Eastern Bihar and the Andamans.”
Reading his comment and the quote provided by Bharatya Vidya Bhavan, you can recognise the obvious parallels with Mesoamerica. One: the Black race is by far the oldest so the presence of Black culture in the dawn of Mesoamerican history, as he quite rightly points out, should not be surprising. Two: his hypothesis is based on the numerous objective evidence at hand; such as sculptures, archaeological discoveries, anthropology, architecture, linguistic connections, cultural traits and historical accounts, as it is likewise in Mesoamerica. Due, however, to thousands of years of warfare, race infusion, racist propaganda and the deliberate obliteration of important manuscripts and artefacts by the Spanish and subsequent explorers, this has now become difficult to accept for many. All these unfortunate turn of events has resulted in our current state of memory loss, confusion and disbelief.
The one remarkable piece of cartographic evidence confirming pre-Columbian contact with America lies in the map of the famous Turkish admiral Piri Reis. The Piri Reis map was discovered in 1929 in the old imperial palace of Istanbul. It was painted by Piri Reis on parchment in the year 1513 from maps partially destroyed in the library at Alexandria.
There is something inexplicable about this map. Europeans did not rediscover the technique of determining longitude until the mid-eighteenth century. Maps drawn more than two hundred years after Columbus do not show South America in its proper relationship to Africa. Yet this map, redrawn in the Arab world in 1513, features the accurately charted east coastline of South America in its right longitudinal relationship with the Atlantic coast of the Old World (Africa). Also, it has Cairo, capital of the Arab world, as the center and base for its global computations. The astronomical and navigational knowledge demonstrated in the Piri Reis map is so astonishing that no map until those of the twentieth century surpasses it in terms of the precision of its latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates in the representation of coastlines of Africa and South America. Clearly it was drawn by a people who saw South America before Columbus, a people, moreover, who knew how to plot latitude and longitude.
The Piri Reis Map. Found in the Library of Alexandria. Redrawn in 1513.
Map and diagram of worldwide winds and currents, emphasizing Atlantic drift routes from Africa to America.
The first pyramid in the Americas was located at a ceremonial site which contained four colossal African-looking stone heads. This pyramid had a total volume of three and a half million cubic feet and it was the first structure in America oriented to a north-south axis.
The Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan has a base practically identical to the Great Pyramid at Giza. It is the tallest pyramid in the Western world and it is oriented to the setting sun of the summer solstice. It was also used as an observatory and a geodetic marker.
It should be noted that the Great Pyramids were never used as tombs, although Egyptologist remain insistent that they were. Admittedly, some pyramids were used as tombs, particularly in the later dynasties, however, there is absolutely no solid evidence to support their case that the Great Pyramids were. No bodies were found in these pyramids, and there are many credible academic opponents to the hypothesis.
Pyramid of the Sun. It has a base practically identical to the Great Pyramid at Giza.
Top: Pioneer scholar Ivan Van Sertima. Right: German born art historian Alexander von Wuthenau. Bottom: Mrs. Matthew Stirling poses alongside the first Olmec Head unearthed.
Ivan Van Sertima, They Came Before Columbus, Random House, New York, USA, 2003.
John Henrik Clarke, Christopher Columbus and the African Holocaust: Slavery and the Rise of European Capitalism, EWORLD INC., USA, 1998.
Horace Butler, When Rocks Cry Out, Stone River Publishing, Fort Worth, Texas, USA, 2009.
Anthony T. Browder, Nile Valley Contributions to Civilisation: Exploding the Myths Vol.1, The Institute of Karmic Guidance, February 2009, Washington D.C.
Ivan Van Sertima, Early America Revisited, Transaction Publishers,U.S.A. & U.K., 1998.
Graham Hancock, Fingerprints of the Gods, Three Rivers Press, New York, USA, 1995.
Runoko Rashidi, Ivan Van Sertima, African Presence in Early Asia, Transaction Publishers, USA, Seventh printing 2009.
A celebrated classic, They Came Before Columbus, deals with a number of contacts - both planned and accidental, between Africans and Americans in different historical periods. Evidence for a physical/cultural presence of Africans in Early America is methodically examined.
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