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They Came Before Columbus: The African and Others' Presence in Ancient America

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They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America

This book makes it possible for us to see clearly the unmistakable face and handprint of Black Africans in Pre-Columbian America, and their overwhelming impact on the civilization they found here.

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, Jr.

Most everyone is familiar with the time period of the Dark Ages, which lasted from the fall of the Roman Empire until about the 1200 or 1300's. It was a time when people were intellectually non-progressive, when the average peasent/serf never traveled 20 miles from the place of his birth. What people do forget is that the Dark Age was only a Western European phenomenon. The rest of Asia and Africa were steadily advancing.

One reviewer said that Africans had no ocean trade routes with other peoples. In fact, the East African coast was dotted with powerful city states that traded all over the Indian Ocean, including China. And on the West Coast, Africans did not need trade routes per se, because half of Europe was already under their complete domination through the Islamic Empire (black Moors).

Is it a coincidence that Spain and Italy were the first two European countries to climb out of the Dark Ages? No. Italy's trade routes with Africa long brought it into contact with Moslem and Chinese advances. And Spain; Spain was part of Islam! On the streets of Cordoba, Spain you would have seen Africans, Moslems, and a bunch of other races. By the way, the Moslems invented the magnetic compass and the astrolabe. This same Moslem learning flourished at the world first university; in Timbuktu. Timbuktu was in Mali, West Africa. In this climate how could West Africans not have known about sailing and trade routes?



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The Irish

ancient Celts in America theory

There is a theory that the Irish, or that Insular Celts as a whole, are descended from the Ten Lost Tribes. Proponents of this theory state that there is evidence that the prophet Jeremiah came to Ireland with Princess Tea Tephi, a member of the Israelite royal family.

Proponents of this theory point to various parallels between Irish and ancient Hebrew culture. For example, they note that the harp, the symbol of Ireland, also plays a role in Jewish history, as the musical instrument of King David. Some maintain that the Tribe of Dan conducted sea voyages to Ireland and colonized it as early as the period of the Judges under the name Tuatha Dé Danann.

Aspects of this theory are also sometimes cited by adherents of British Israelism, as one possible explanation of how the Ten Lost Tribes might have reached the British Isles. However, British Israelism takes many forms, and does not always use this hypothesis as its main narrative.

Native Americans

Celts and Indians, more than cousins?

Native Americans Wrote in Ancient Hebrew

Several explorers, especially during the 17th and 18th centuries, claimed to have collected evidence that some of the Native American tribes might be descended from the Ten Lost Tribes. Several recent books and articles have focused on these theories.

The belief that some Native Americans were a Lost tribe of Israel goes back centuries and includes individuals like the 1782 President of the Continental Congress Elias Boudinot and Mordecai Noah, the most influential Jew in the United States in the early 19th Century. Some sources such as Howshua Amariel and various researchers assert that there is DNA evidence, linguistic research and other research which indicates links between the Cherokee Nation and the Jewish people. See also Cherokee DNA from History Channel.wmv

Yuchi/Yuchee Indians

Yuchi/Yuchee Indians last seen in Kentucky. They were comprised of two colonies of Jews who left Palestine around 135 AD.

Scientists have found waste products in a cave in Kentuky (ancient name Ken-take: it was a designated battlefield. Some say that the soil there is so rich because of all the blood spilled over the years)

Micmac/Mikmaq Indians (Eastern Canada)

Phoenician and Egyptian languages.

Massachusetts/New England

Viking dwellings and other structures.

Midwest and Pacific Northwest


North Carolina and Georgia

Roman coins.


Muslim Arab inscriptions on cliffs.

California/Arizona border area

Pomo Indians descended from Africans.

Amazon River, Brazil

Roman boat.

Other Links and resources