Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Molefi Kete Asante
The earliest records of boats in Africa come from the civilization of ancient Egypt. Because human origin and human civilization occurred first on the continent of Africa, it seems logical that Africa would be the place where humans first created river crafts. The nature of the Nile River, its absolute essentiality for ancient Egypt, made it the perfect laboratory for Africans to experiment with boat-making. So vast was the arena for the use of boats that the Egyptians used boats to carry everything from grain to stone, from lumber to the bark of the gods. Papyrus was used as one of the most common materials for boats around 4000 BC. However, the Egyptians soon turned to cedar wood, often conifers from Lebanon, as the most popular wood for boats, especially the sea-going vessels that carried troops, building equipments, and passengers. The papyrus boats were steered with an oar; the larger ...