It is sometimes complained that nothing is considered to have been "discovered" until a white man learns of it. Thus Columbus "discovered" America, and Livingstone "discovered" Lake Victoria.
I have a tentative hypothesis that what is really happening is that things are considered to have been "discovered" when the findings are published in scholarly journals, or in earlier centuries were made known to the community of learned people by other means. (I don't know how this was done in late medieval or early renaissance times. I think Columbus wrote a book or two.)
For example, I heard it asserted by a professor of education that the idea that students are responsible for learning was first proposed in the 1990s. But I think no sensible person could doubt that that idea has prevailed for as many centuries as there have been students and teachers. However, it was "discovered" when it began to be considered in the scholarly literature of the professor's field.
Can the discipline of history help decide between my tentative hypothesis and that in the subject line of this question?