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CA 07.04 Sub-Saharan Civilizations - Ghana, Mali - Medieval Africa

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L. Cut-out Figures on a Ship. R. Head of an African ?
14th-15th c Egyptian Islamic Sculpture

PRE-COLUMBIAN Anonymous (5000 BCE - 1515 CE) Primary
PRE-COLUMBIAN Anonymous (5000 BCE - 1515 CE)
c. 1300-1499
14th-15th c
Leather
Islamic
Cut-out
Cairo. Egypt.
Berlin. Pergamon Museum.
African46.bla02c63
An interesting story is told about Mansa Mohammed, a great grandson of Sundiata, by the Arab chronicler al-Umari, who met Mansu Musa during his hajj. al-Umari recited a story told him by Ib Amir Hajib, who claimed that Mohammed sailed westward across the Atlantic ocean sometime between 1300 and 1310 with two thousand ships. "and their absence was long; none came back. Then a signal ship returned and the captain said that they 'had sailed for a very long time until they came to what seemed to be a river with a strong current flowing into the open sea. All the ships went into the place but they did not come back nor did they reappear, and I do not know what become of them. As for me, I turned where I was and did not enter that current.'" Needless to say, this story is very controversial. Did these sailors from ancient Mali in fact reach the New World? Might the small head found in La Venta, on the eastern coast of Mexico, with its black color and curly hair have any relation to the story? Perhaps additional archeological discoveries on both sides of the Atlantic ocean will help us know whether early contact did in fact take place.

Caption: ISLAMIC-EGYPTIAN, L. PRE-COLUMBIAN |L. Cut-out Figures on a Ship. R. Head of an African ? | L. c. 1300-1499 R. Before 1500| L. Egyptian R. Pre-Columbian | L. Islamic R. Olmec?
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