The Librarians of Timbuktu

MALI - APRIL 01: Libraries of the desert: rediscovery and restoration of ancient Arab manuscripts in Bouj Beha, Mali in April, 2003 - Timbuktoo: Library of the Ahmed Baba Institute of Islamic advanced studies and research. A detailed view on the illumination of a Koran bought in Fes in 1223, for 40 golden mithqals. (Photo by Xavier ROSSI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, by journalist Joshua Hammer, tells the incredible story of Abdel Kader Haidara — a mild-mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu — who organized a successful effort to outwit Al-Qaeda and preserve Mali’s greatest treasures in 2012. In this Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) exclusive, James Blake Wiener speaks… Continue reading The Librarians of Timbuktu

Gold and the Gods: Jewels of Ancient Nubia

Located at the intersection of long distance trade between East Africa, the ancient Near East, and the classical world, ancient Nubia was Egypt’s rich and powerful neighbor to the South. Successive Nubian cultures dominated what is modern-day Sudan and southern Egypt for over two millennia, developing in turn a distinctive set of cultural aesthetics and… Continue reading Gold and the Gods: Jewels of Ancient Nubia

INTERVIEW: The Zamani Project and Dr. Heinz Rüther

The Zamani Project attempts to record the “spatial” domain of African patrimony by recording its physical, architectural, and natural dimensions. The documentation project was initiated to increase international awareness of African heritage and provide material for research while, concurrently, creating a permanent and accurate record of important sites for restoration and conservation purposes. The spatial… Continue reading INTERVIEW: The Zamani Project and Dr. Heinz Rüther