6 Black Explorers That Will Transform How You See the Ancient World

West African Ruler Abubakari II Brought Africans to America Before Columbus

Christopher Columbus wasn’t responsible for Africans ultimately coming to America. Abubakari II voyaged to America almost 200 years before the Italian colonizer, as scholar Gaoussou Diawara says in his book, “The Saga of Abubakari II.”  In the 14th century, Abukari II, also known as Mansa Qu, ruled Mali, which experts believe was one of the richest and largest empires in the world. Diawara says, in 1311, the monarch handed his ruling duties over to his brother, Kankou Moussa, so Abubakari could explore across the Atlantic Ocean.

Relief of Hatshepsut’s expedition to the Land of Punt
Egyptian Court Official Nehsi Dispatches Expedition to Ancient Somalia

On a voyage that archaeologist J.H. Breasted’s book “Ancient Records of Egypt” suggests is shown in the Egyptian carving “Punt Reliefs,” Nehsi, an official in Hatshepsut’s court in 15th century B.C., commanded an expedition to Punt. Texts in Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple state the expedition to what many researchers believe is modern-day Somalia and Ethiopia was meant to “extract tribute from the natives” who were aligned with the pharaoh. However, archaeologist Joyce A. Tyldesley argues in “Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh” that it was a trading mission to Punt, which is thought to have been a well-established post by that time.

Red Sea
Egyptian Head Servant Hannu Could Have Re-Opened Important Trade Routes

Hannu is said to be responsible for re-opening the trade routes from Punt, which historians believe is present-day Somalia and Ethiopia, to ancient Libya during the Middle Kingdom of Egypt in the 20th century B.C., according to professor Rasha Soliman’s “Old and Middle Kingdom Theban Tombs.” Hannu was ordered to do so after Mentuhotep III commanded him to make the more than 100-mile trip from the Nile to the Red Sea, as Brandon Huebner speculated in his podcast, “Maritime History,” and those trade routes were thought to be important to Egypt during the kingdom of Mentuhotep II. Egyptologist Heinrich Karl Brugsch argues in his book “A History of Egypt under the Pharaohs” that Hannu recorded his expedition in stone. Educational author Ann Richmond Fisher argues in the book, “Explorers of the New World Time Line” that Hannu arrived back to Egypt with precious metals, wood and myrrh, a fragrant gum used in perfumes, medicine and incense.

North Stelae Park, Axum, Ethiopia
King Kaleb of Axum Calls for Expedition to Stop Jewish Persecution of His Kingdom

Jewish King Dhu Nuwas of Himyar, a kingdom of ancient Yemen known by the Greeks and the Romans as the Homerite Kingdom, had been persecuting King Kaleb’s Christians/Aksumites in Axum, a trading kingdom in modern-day Eritrea. That led Kaleb, one of the best documented kings of Axum, to send an expedition against Himyar circa 520, during Roman’s Byzantine empire, as Concordia University professor Paulos Milkias argues in “Ethiopia.” Kaleb’s expedition came after Axum had conquered the Kingdom of Kush, now northern Sudan, in 350 and covered present-day Ethiopia and Eretria. Scholar Stuart Munro-Hay provides evidence in his book, “Aksum: An African Civilisation of Late Antiquity,” that suggests Axum later became heavily involved in trade routes between India and Rome, which later became Byzantium.

Ramessesnakht holding the Theban Triad, three Egyptain gods.
Ramessesnakht Leads Massive Mining Expedition and Returns with Riches 

The High Priest of Amun Ramessesnakht led a huge quarry excursion to the rock mines of Wadi Hammamat, Egypt’s, dry riverbed that was a significant mining area for the Nile Valley in Ramesses IV’s third year as ruler. The expedition included 8,368 men and counted 5,000 soldiers among them and 130 stonemasons and quarrymen, as Ph.D. student Christelle Alvarez and researchers Arto Belekdanian and Ann-Katrin Gill argued in their book, “Current Research in Egyptology.” During expeditions under Ramesses VII and Ramesses XI, A. J. Peden indicates in his book, “Egyptian Historical Inscriptions of the Twentieth Dynasty” that Ramessesnakht obtained gold and the mineral galena, used for eye paint.

Representation of ancient city of Carthage at Carthage National Museum representation of city.
Ancient Tunisian Himilco: First-Known Explorer from the Mediterranean Sea to Reach Northwestern Europe

Himilco was an explorer and navigator who is the first voyager known to reach the shores of northwestern Europe from the Mediterranean Sea. Although his writings have been lost, Historian Johann Martin Lappenberg argued in his book, “A History of England Under the Anglo-Saxon Kings” that Himilco, a Carthaginian who was native to the ancient north African city of Carthage, which is located northeast modern-day Tunis, likely traveled to the islands of Albion and Ierne, or ancient Great Britain and Ireland. He also reached Oestriminis, or present-day Portugal, for trade according to Roman author Avienus.

source: atlantablackstar.com By Kiersten Willis

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