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Ancient Africa for Kids
The continent of Africa is rich with the history of mankind. Some of the earliest archeological discoveries of human development have been found in Africa including ancient cave paintings many thousands of years old. Click on the links below to learn more about the civilizations, culture, geography, and people of Ancient Africa.
Africa has seen the rise and fall of many great civilizations and empires throughout its history. The oldest and longest lasting of these being the Ancient Egyptians who are still famous today for their pyramids and pharaohs. However, the Egyptians weren't the only civilization to develop in Ancient Africa. Important civilizations developed throughout the continent such as Carthage, the Mali Empire, and the Kingdom of Ghana. You can learn more about these civilizations in the links below.
The culture of Ancient Africa was as diverse as the geography of the large continent. The Sahara Desert of North Africa, the savanna of West Africa, and the rainforest of Central Africa shaped the way people lived their lives. Much of what we know about Ancient Africa has been passed down orally over the years through storytellers called griots. You can learn about some of the aspects of the culture of Ancient Africa in the subjects below.
The geography of Africa helped to shape the history and development of the culture and civilizations of Ancient Africa. The geography impacted where people could live, important trade resources such as gold and salt, and trade routes that helped different civilizations to interact and develop.
A wide variety of peoples developed throughout Ancient Africa over the course of history. Some of the early people groups included the Nok of Nigeria, the Bambuti of the central rainforest, the Berbers of North Africa, and the Bantu of Central and South Africa. Later, new people groups moved into the region including the Arabs of North Africa and the Dutch Boers of South Africa.
Recommended books and references:
Ancient Africa by Rob Bowden. 2010.
Africa: An Eyewitness Book by Yvonne Ayo. 2000.
The Empire of Mali by Carol Thompson. 1998.
The Empire of Ghana by Rebecca L. Green. 1998.
Great Zimbabwe by Mark Bessire. 1998.
History of Art in Africa by Prentice Hall. 2000.