During the European Dark Ages, between the 7th and 14th century AD, the Moorish Empire in Spain became one of the world’s finest civilizations. General Tarik and his Black Moorish army from Morocco, conquered Spain after a week long battle with King Roderick in 711 AD. (The word tariff and the Rock of Gibraltar were named after him).
Europe at the time, with the assistance of the Catholic Church, had returned almost to complete barbarism. The population was 90% illiterate and had lost all of the civilizing principles that were passed on by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Further, the Moors reintroduced mathematics, medicine, agriculture and physical sciences. The clumsy Roman numerals were replaced by Arabic figures including the zero and the decimal point.
As Dr. Van Sertima says, “You can’t do higher mathematics with Roman numerals.” The Moors introduced agriculture to Europe including cotton, rice, sugar cane, dates, ginger, lemons, and strawberries. They also taught them how to store grain for up to 100 years and built underground grain silos.
They established a world famous silk industry in Spain. The Moorish achievement in hydraulic engineering was outstanding. They constructed an aqueduct, that conveyed water from the mountains to the city through lead pipes from the mountains to the city. They taught them how to mine for minerals on a large scale, including copper, gold, silver, tin, lead, and aluminum.
Spain soon became the world center for high quality sword blades and shields. Spain was eventually manufacturing up to 12,000 blades and shields per year. Spanish craft and woolen became world famous. The Moorish craftsman also produced world class glass, pottery, vases, mosaics, and jewelry.
The Moors introduced to Europe paved, lighted streets with raised sidewalks for pedestrians, flanked by uninterrupted rows of buildings. Thousands of public markets and mills were constructed in each city. Cordova alone had 5,000 of each. They also introduced to Spain underwear and bathing with soap.
Their public baths numbered in the thousands when bathing in the rest of Europe was frowned upon as a diabolical custom to be avoided by all good Christians. Poor hygiene contributed to the plagues in the rest of Europe. Moorish monarchs dwelled in sumptuous palaces while the crowned heads of England, France, and Germany lived in barns, lacking windows, toilets, and chimneys, with only a hole in the roof as the exit for smoke. Human waste material was thrown in the streets since no bathrooms were present.
Education was made mandatory by the Moors, while 90% of Europe was illiterate, including the kings and queens. The Moors introduced public libraries to Europe with 600,000 books housed in Cordova alone. They established 17 outstanding universities in Spain.
Since Africa is a matriarchal society, women were also encouraged to devote themselves to serious study, and it was only in Spain that one could find female doctors, lawyers, and scientists.
Moorish schoolteachers knew that the world was round and taught geography from a globe. They produced expert maps with all sea and land routes accurately located with respect to latitude and longitude; while also introducing compasses to Europe. They were such expert shipbuilders that they were able to use their geography expertise to import and export as far away as India and China.
It was not by accident that a Moor named Pietro Olonzo Nino was the chief navigator for Christopher Columbus on the flagship Santa Maria. He is said to have argued with Columbus as to who really discovered America. One of the worst mistakes the Moors made was to introduce gunpowder technology from China into Europe, because their enemies adopted this weapon and used it to drive them out of Spain.