Saving texts that prove Africa has a long written history





Researchers in Timbuktu are fighting to preserve tens of thousands of ancient texts which they say prove Africa had a written history at least as old as the European Renaissance. Private and public libraries in the fabled Saharan town in Mali have already collected 150,000 brittle manuscripts, some of them from the 13th century, and local historians believe many more lie buried under the sand. The texts were stashed under mud homes and in desert caves by proud Malian families whose successive generations feared they would be stolen by Moroccan invaders, European explorers and then French colonialists.


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