Ten incredible texts from our ancient past

Ten incredible texts from our ancient past

(Read the article on one page)

10. The ancient texts of Timbuktu

The ancient texts of Timbuktu

Located at the gateway to the Sahara desert in what is now Mali, within the confines of the fertile zone of the Sudan, Timbuktu is one of the cities of Africa whose name is the most heavily charged with history.  Founded in the 5th century, it became an intellectual and spiritual capital, reaching its golden age in the 15th and 16th centuries.   Around seven hundred years ago, it was a bustling hub where travellers from Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Egypt, and Morocco met to trade in salt, gold, ivory and unfortunately, slaves.  But it wasn’t only ‘goods’ that were exchanged. Timbuktu was a place where ideas, philosophies, intellectual thought, and religious beliefs came together in a dynamic mix, and one of the primary ways in which such ideas were exchanged was through the sale of books.  The ancient texts of Timbuktu are an impressive sight – bundled in camel skin, goat skin, or calf leather and inscribed in gold, red, and jet-black ink, their pages are filled with words in striking calligraphy from Arabic and African languages, and contain an intriguing array of geometric designs. Subjects in the collections, spanning the 13th through 17th century, include the Koran, Sufism, philosophy, law, maths, medicine, astronomy, science, poetry and much more.  The manuscripts provide a window into the minds of the times' leading thinkers as they pondered the meanings of their circumstances. 

By April Holloway

Comments

Hi Folks,

Can anyone provide a status update on the texts of Timbuktu? Recent fighting in Mali has left me worried about this amazing city and wondering about the current condition of the texts.

Anyone out there have connections in the region?

Thanks.

Jefraize

rbflooringinstall's picture

This is excellent! It gave me a lot of things that i need to read up on. Thank you!

Peace and Love,

Ricky.

Thanks for this wonderful website.

fantastic topics

Many people can remember being reincarnated from very early civilizations going back millennia in time. If one can recall an earlier lifetime in ancient societies, it should be possible to recall details of daily life and the world and activities in ancient times. This might include the culture, languages, crafts, technologies and history of previous peoples, based on early reincarnation memories.

angieblackmon's picture

Now if I could only read this in their original form...so much beautiful information can so easily be lost in translation!

love, light and blessings

AB

WTF are the "Mogao Caves of Dunhuang"???

Whomever is writing these needs to do a better job.

aprilholloway's picture

They are precisely as described - a series of caves called 'Mogao Caves' located near Dunhuang. 

Rudeness and arrogance is not welcome here. 

Bill, do a research before you post a comment showing ignorance ... Mogao Caves is a well known UNESCO protected site in China...

Come to Tamil Nadu (South India)...we have lot of ancient palm leaves, inscriptions of sangam period...

Ragnar Taltos's picture

I'm looking online for an English translation of the Dunhuang Manuscripts. Having a look into the daily lives of people who lived so long ago is fascinating and I'd love to be able to read about them. Does anyone happen to know if an English translation is available online somewhere?

Excellent article Btw! I love this kind of thing. :)

“Under the Capitalist Sun, there is Nothing Sacred” Dr. Li-Chuan Chen

I see our recent past Renaissance, was done Much earlier and this text is proof of that :)
That is a serious piece of archeology :) Double Thumbs up to who found that !

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article