The discovery of American narcotics in Egyptian mummies has left some historians amazed. Recently, archaeologists discovered the presence of narcotics only known to be derived from American plants in ancient Egyptian mummies. These substances included South American cocaine from Erythroxylon and nicotine from Nicotiana tabacum. German toxicologist Svetla Balabanova reported the findings, which suggest that such compounds made their way to Africa through trans-Atlantic trade that would predate Columbus’ arrival by thousands of years.
For years, Eurocentric archaeologists have largely turned the other cheek when it came to the discovery of artifacts from ancient Egypt being discovered in the Americas. According to Dr. David Imhotep, the author behind the book “The First Americans Were Africans: Documented Evidence,” “Egyptian artifacts found across North America from the Algonquin writings on the East Coast to the artifacts and Egyptian place names in the Grand Canyon” are all signs of an early arrival in the Americas by Africans. This is also paired with a much earlier account of Black people with incredible skills at sea. Back in 445 B.C., the Greek historian Herodotus wrote of King Ramses III leading a team of Africans at sea with astounding seafaring and navigational skills. Together, both accounts would point to Africans sailing over to the New World before Columbus.
Constructing pyramids was a highly specialized and complicated task that took the ancient Egyptians a lot of time to master. In ancient Egypt, there are signs of progression from the original stepped pyramid of Djoser to the more sophisticated pyramids that now stand at Giza. According to historians, it would be impossible for any group of people to have built those same complex pyramids without going through the same progression. Professor Everett Borders noted the presence of completed pyramids in La Venta in Mexico but the unusual absence of any earlier forms of the pyramids. According to Borders, it’s a sign that Africans, having already mastered the construction of pyramids in Egypt, sailed over to the New World and constructed these dual-purpose tombs and temples in the Americas.
There have been many instances of archaeologists discovering skulls and skeletons that they believed clearly belonged to people of African descent. Polish professor Andrzej Wiercinski revealed the discovery of African skulls at Olmec sites in Tlatilco, Cerro de las Mesas and Monte Alban. Even more ancient African skeletons that would clearly predate Columbus’ arrival in the Americas were discovered throughout Central America and South America with some even being unearthed in what is now California.
The similarities in Native American and African religions also suggest that Africans had to have had early contact with the Native Americans by sailing to the New World. Before Columbus stumbled upon the Native Americans’ land, there were prominent figures of deities with dark skin and coarse hair throughout their religion. Today, many surviving portraits reveal these deities who were clearly crafted in the likeness of Africans. Historians also point to wall paintings in caves in South America that depict the ancient Egyptian “opening of the mouth” and cross libation rituals.
Christopher Columbus wasn’t the only European explorer who made note of an African presence in the Americas upon his arrival. Historians revealed that at least a dozen other explorers, including Vasco Nunez de Balboa, also made record of seeing “Negroes” when they reached the New World. The accounts match up with the reports from the natives in Mexico. Nicholas Leon, an eminent Mexican authority, recorded the oral traditions of his people and ultimately kept track of a key piece of evidence that Black people made it to the New World far before their European counterparts. His reports revealed accounts from natives saying “the oldest inhabitants of Mexico were blacks. [T]he existence of blacks and giants is commonly believed by nearly all the races of our sail and in their various language they had words to designate them.”
Some people insist that Africans couldn’t have made it to the New World first simply because they didn’t have the skill and resources to sail across the Atlantic. As it turns out, that’s completely false. Historians have discovered evidence that suggests Africans were masters at building ships and that it was actually a part of their tradition. Shipbuilding and sailing are over 20,000 years old in the Sahara, and cave wall paintings of ancient ships were displayed in National Geographic magazine years ago. With those shipbuilding skills and the navigation skills that were noted by other historians of the time, the myth that Africans wouldn’t have been able to sail to the New World becomes officially debunked. As Dr. Julian Whitewright, a maritime archaeologist at the University of Southampton, explained, the voyage from Africa on ancient ships was “quite a plausible undertaking, based on the capabilities of the vessel of the period and historical material stating it took place.”
The Olmec civilization was the first significant civilization in Mesoamerica and deemed “Mother Culture of Mexico” by some historians. This civilization dominated by Africans is best known for the colossal carved heads in Central Mexico that serve as even more evidence that Africans sailed to the New World before Columbus. The heads are clearly crafted in the likeness of Africans. The same civilization that created these giant heads was also responsible for introducing written language, arts, sophisticated astronomy and mathematics to Mesoamerican civilization, ancient African historian Professor Van Sertima explained.
According to Paul Alfred Barton, the author of “A History of the African-Olmecs: Black Civilizations of America from Prehistoric Times to the Present Era,” ancient kingdoms in West Africa have a long history of trade by sail, which made it all the more likely that they eventually expanded their trade to the Americas. While the Sahara is a dry desert today, its past as a lake-filled, wet and fertile place has been well-documented. African ships often crossed these large lakes to get from place to place and traded with other African civilizations along the way. After expanding their trade to the Americas, they certainly made their mark as things like African native cotton were soon being discovered all across North America.