“Mathematics is also needed for great engineering projects, the construction of enormous palaces or churches or ceremonial centers. Most people think that this kind of building may only be found in the north of Africa and that mud and straw and vines is the limit of materials used by the traditional African. People use what materials are available to them and where stone was available to Africans they built in stone. When less sturdy materials lay at hand, the African was still able to place the stamp of technological ingenuity upon those materials. A British engineer has cited suspension bridges built with vines by the Kikuyu which equaled in engineering skill and potential durability any comparable bridges of wood he had seen in his own country.”


I’m not exactly sure if the picture above is the exact bridge Dr. Van Sertima is referring to, but here is another suspension bridge made of plants located in Mamfe, Cameroon.

Source: Dr. Ivan Van Sertima. Blacks In Science: Ancient and Modern. pg. 15. 1983; Image obtained from GettyImages.


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