Preserving Timbuktu's precious manuscripts

Due to the climate, it's common to find ancient documents in boxes or caves, or even hidden beneath the sand of Timbuktu, but now a push is on to save many of these precious manuscripts.

During the Middle Ages, the city was a major stop on the trade route. Books and learning were highly prized. The paper was manufactured in Europe, and books on every conceivable topic were traded. "Every manuscript contains surprises," said Shahid Mathee, part of a University of Cape Town team studying the manuscripts. "We have even found texts where scholars offer advice on overcoming erection problems."