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They Came Before Columbus deals with a number of contacts -- both planned and accidental, between Afrikans and Americans in different historical periods. Evidence for a physical/cultural presence of Afrikans in Early America is methodically examined.

Van Sertima reveals to us a compelling, dramatic and superbly detailed documentation of the presence and legacy of black Afrikans in ancient America.

With his considerable scholarship, Van Sertima examines the facts of navigation and ship- building, the sources of latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates, the scores of cultural analogies found nowhere else except in America and Africa, African languages and the transportation of plants, cloth and animals from Africa to the Americas. And from the diaries, letters and journals of the explorers themselves; from Carbon-14 dated sculptures found in the Americas; from the Arabic documents, charts, maps from the recorded tales of the griots to the Kings of Mali; from dated skeletons found as recently as 1975, the author builds his pyramid of evidence.