Medieval African Manuscripts on Display

A collection of 16 manuscripts from medieval Timbuktu will go on display in Johannesburg, South Africa this month for the first time. The works are part of a 30,000 manuscript discovery from the city which was founded in the year 1100.

A preservation project is underway to save the documents which are written in Arabic and several African languages. They were discovered hidden beneath homes and in caves.

"'Not only are we preserving the heritage of Timbuktu, of the Islamic world and Africa, but we are preserving a message of love and peace, of living together in a multicultural world,' said South African President Thabo Mbeki, noting that Muslims, Christians and Jews lived in peace together in medieval Timbuktu."