“French traveller, Rene Caillie, describes a flotilla of eighty large boats carrying on trade between the cities of Jenne and Timbuctoo. The average vessel in this commercial fleet was of sixty to eighty tons burden, ninety to one hundred feet long, twelve to fourteen feet broad at midships, drawing six or seven feet of water. At Brasstown, above the Niger delta, Richard and John Lander found African trading vessels more than fifty feet in length, laden with several tons of cargo, ferrying sixty passengers, three sitting abreast with ease. Mungo Park, the famous explorer, cites jointed boats on the Niger. The technology of ‘jointing’ greatly increases the potential length and width of a vessel and Henry Barth hired one of these to take three camels up the Niger. Some of these jointed boats, like those of the Djenee people, had woven straw cabins.”

Source: Dr. Ivan Van Sertima. Blacks In Science: Ancient and Modern. pg. 18. 1983.


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