An animal bone, with markings used for counting, discovered in South Africa is estimated to be more than 35,000 years old. Another bone, the Ishango Bone, found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, not only has markings for counting, but also prime numbers which indicate it was used for calculating. It is 10,000 years old.
Agriculture, the purposeful planting, cultivating and harvesting of foodstuffs has been taking place along the Nile Valley for 18,000 years. Steel was produced in furnaces in Tanzania 2,000 years ago. And there were astronomical observatories in Kenya in 300 BC. Furthermore, it’s believed that shafts located in the 5,000-year-old Great Pyramid at Giza functioned as observatories for viewing the star Sirius and other heavenly bodies.
The Dogon people of Mali, and other ethnic groups living in the vicinity of the ancient city of Timbuktu, have an intimate knowledge of this solar system, the Sirius star system, and the shape and functioning of the galaxy. When Europeans first encountered them, they thought many Dogon beliefs were fables until, that is, the Europeans developed telescopes and realized the Dogon were correct in virtually all their observations.
An accurate model of a glider airplane was found in Egypt, and it is believed to be 2400 years old. It has a distinctive shape resembling that of the Hercules transport aircraft used today by the US Army.
The vast majority of those labeled as ancient “Greek philosophers,” had spent extended periods of time as foreign students, in the universities of ancient Egypt. Two thousand years later, the European Renaissance and the subsequent period of Enlightenment were spurred on by renewed contact with Egyptian and other African sources of knowledge.
During the centuries of African bondage in the Americas, Africans could not legally lay claim to their many inventions, like the cotton gin, which is falsely attributed to Eli Whitney. In the years afterwards, however, numerous
African Americans have had their discoveries openly acknowledged and recorded. They include George Washington Carver who revolutionized American agriculture by demonstrating that 300 products could be derived from the peanut, and one hundred items from the sweet potato, Garrett Morgan who invented the gas mask and the traffic signal, Lewis Lattimer who gave us the filament for the light bulb, Jan Matzeliger who invented the machine that makes shoes, and Charles Drew who gave us blood plasma, just to name a few. Isaac Gilliam, George Carruthers, Mae Jemison and Patricia Cowings are just some of the African Americans who have made, and are making, valuable contributions to the American space program. Dr. Ben Carson, pre-eminent brain surgeon, exemplifies the abilities and contributions of the thousands of African American physicians.
African born students on America’s college campuses outperform all other demographic groups. Two examples of contemporary African scientific excellence are Nigerian born Drs. Philip Emeagwali and Gabriel Oyibo. Emeagwali prepared and conducted the world’s fastest computer computation – 3.1 billion calculations per second. His astounding accomplishments have changed the way global warming, weather conditions, and underground oil flows are charted and predicted.
Dr. Gabriel Oyibo has offered a proof of Einstein’s theory of relativity and attempted to solve the central riddle at the heart of physics, that is, the development of a “theory of everything.” Oyibo has proposed a master theory that unifies Quantum Theory, Relativity and all the heretofore-unconnected theoretical systems of modern physics in one set of equations. And so we see that Africa and Africans have been, and still are, at the cutting edge of the development of science and technology from the very dawn of humanity right up until today.