Published on May 8, 2008
The Dark Continent Revising history
Paleolithic 2,500,000 BCE The world’s earliest stone tools, Ethiopia 2,100,000 BCE Tanzanian stone tools 700, 000 BCE Stone tools at Abu Simbel, Nubia 400, 000 BCE Cave Drawings of antelopes and other animals at Porc Epic cave near Dire Dawa, Ethiopia 250, 000 250, 000 BCE Numerous stone artifacts in Nubia and Egypt
Post- Paleolithic 75,000 BCE Shell Jewelry found in Blombos Cave, South Africa in 2004 37,000 BCE Mathematical artifacts found in / 25,000 BCE Swaziland and Ishango, Congo 35,000 BCE Decorated ostrich egg shells found in Namibia 26,000 BCE Painted stone slabs, Namibia 16,000 BCE Domestication of wild grasses: Ethiopian/ Nubian complex
Neolithic 15,000 BCE Domestication of sorghum: Nubia, present day Sudan, East Africa 9370 BCE Pottery at Tagalagal and Tamaya Mellet, Niger, West Africa 8000 BCE Africa’s oldest boat - found in Dufuna, Northeast Nigeria 8000 BCE Domestication of barley and wheat, Ethiopia 7000 BCE Wavy line pottery across the Sahara/Sahelian region
Birthplace of modern man An international team of scientists has unearthed the skeleton of a human-like meat-eating creature that lived in Africa 2.5 million years ago and may be the earliest known ancestor of modern man. Researchers say the newly discovered hominid species, Australopithecus garhi, marks a turning point in evolution.
Arabica, the first coffee, once grew wild in Ethiopia
The Kingdom of Aksum This important trading nation in northeastern Africa grew from ca. 5th century B.C.E to become an important trading nation by the 1st century C.E. It converted to Christianity in 325 or 328.
(left) This mask is from the ubango tribe probably made in the 1400s. (right) This mask is from the Toma tribe of Guinea Tribal masks
Slavery starts In the early 1400's the Portugese enslaved Africans to cultivate sugar in the Azores. The production of sugar demanded great labor as well as plenty of acreage, and only by using slaves could the Portugese keep the enterprise profitable. The plantation model the Portugese developed would spread throughout the New World and remained the dominant economic model of the southern United States through the Civil War.
The shaded area indicates Zimbabwe's sphere of influence in southeast Africa during the period of Great Zimbabwe, 11 th – 15 th Century C.E. Great Zimbabwe
Sphere of influence This diplomatic term denotes an area in which a foreign power maintains rights superior to those of a host nation. This concept became recognized in international law during the “scramble for Africa” in the 1880s, when the great powers carved up the continent for commercial exploitation.
Africa Before 1500
Colonization No less than other European powers, Belgium proclaimed its colonial mission to be that of spreading civilization. But while Britain and France, say, had global empires, Belgium's attention was focused overwhelmingly on the vast, resource-rich Central African territory of Congo, 76 times larger than Belgium itself. The deal was implicit: in exchange for extracting immense wealth from its colony, Belgium offered schools, roads, Christianity and, yes, civilization. The European country of Belgium controlled the Republic of the Congo (Zaire)
Khami There have been many civilizations in Zimbabwe as is shown by the ancient stone structures at Khami, Great Zimbabwe and Dhlo-Dhlo.
African Diaspora During the 1700s when the Atlantic slave trade was flourishing, West Africans accounted for approximately two-thirds of the African captives imported into the Americas.
The Slave Trade Slavery in Africa and the brutal form of slavery that would develop in the Americas were vastly different.
In the Ashanti Kingdom of West Africa, for example, slaves could marry, own property and even own slaves. And slavery ended after a certain number of years of servitude. African slavery was not hereditary, and lacked the racist notion that whites were masters and blacks were slaves.
Triangular slave trade routes
The Boer War British soldiers digging trenches in South Africa This war erupted between Afrikaaners and the British in South Africa, resulting in British imprisonment of the Afrikaaner women and children in concentration camps. This conflict at the turn of the 20 th century foreshadowed modern guerrilla warfare tactics.
Apartheid A striking example of income inequality, the table below shows the wide disparities that once existed between the white South Africa ruling minority and the immigrants to that country. White and black segregation at a 1976 soccer match.
Kenyan women build new lives Villagers and tourists performing traditional dances in Umoja. The women earn money by selling the bead necklaces they make. Residents of Umoja working on the roof for a new hut in their village, where about three dozen women live. Some of the women say their husbands forced them from their homes because they had been raped.
Trouser Police The Mungiki sect is blamed for the attacks A group of young men started assaulting women wearing trousers, stripping them naked in 2003. Women in Kenya held a demonstration in the western town of Eldoret demanding the government to take strong action to protect them .
African history links http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/exhibit/aopart1.html http://www.liu.edu/cwis/cwp/library/aaslavry.htm#beginning
Africa South of the Sahara: Selected Internet Resources is an annotated directory of online resources about Africa. Corrections and suggestions are welcome.
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