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A history of egypts kingdom in africa

These vast nations united Africa, managed wealthy trade routes, and controlled a potluck of cultures. Giustino While a Christian revolution was occurring in Europe, a powerful kingdom emerged on the African continent. In present-day Ethiopia, the Axum Empire became one of the largest markets of northeastern Africa with its epic trading and naval strength.

As traders from this country were going past the Nile River and into Alexandria, Axum dominated the coast of the Red Sea until the seventh century. Giulio Ferrario A unique settlement in what is now present-day Nigeria, the kingdom of Benin began when the Edo people cut down trees in the West African rain forest.

Predynastic Period (c. 5000-3100 B.C.)

By the 1400s, the little settlement had developed into a mighty kingdom. The rulers of Benin, called the Oba, had an unusual taste for brass in their stunning palaces. The Benin people also used brass in artwork, statues, and plaques depicting gory battle scenes. As for trading, Benin found wealth due to its location near the Niger River, which allowed merchants to trade with African kingdoms in the north. On the south end of the empire was the Atlantic Ocean, which permitted ships to exchange goods such as coral beads, pepper, and leopard skins.

European trade commenced during the 14th century. With strategic planning, powerful leaders, and an abundance of natural resources, Ghana soon became another big African influence.

  • All of the New Kingdom rulers with the exception of Akhenaton were laid to rest in deep, rock-cut tombs not pyramids in the Valley of the Kings, a burial site on the west bank of the Nile opposite Thebes;
  • Archaic Early Dynastic Period c;
  • This civilization was strikingly similar to Egypt and once ruled like Egyptian pharaohs;
  • Barely a decade later, in 332 B;
  • The Hyksos rulers of the 15th dynasty adopted and continued many of the existing Egyptian traditions in government as well as culture.

Trading with Europeans and North Africans, Ghana imported books, cloth, and horses in exchange for gold and ivory. Salt was also in high demand. Arab businessmen often struggled for months to reach the kingdom and trade. If someone was accused of breaking the law in Ghana, that person was forced to drink an acrid blend of wood and water. If he threw up the mixture, he was considered innocent. Otherwise, he was considered guilty and punished by the king.

Despite holding off many invasions, Ghana eventually collapsed in 1240. Isolated from trade and weakened by its rivals, the kingdom was absorbed into the growing Mali Empire. Andy Gilham The Mali Empire was a major African civilization that thrived between the 13th and 16th centuries. While the Lion King was an impressive ruler, the empire flourished the most under Mansa Musa, who holds the title of the richest man in history.

2. The Land of Punt

Like Benin, Mali was successful in trade because of its location by the Niger River. However, it was plundered by invaders from Morocco in 1593. This weakened the empire, and Mali soon ceased to be an important political entity. Weebly The first traces of this mysterious civilization were discovered in 1928 by a group of Nigerian tin miners. As archaeologists uncovered bits of pottery, rock paint, and tools, they were shocked to realize how advanced this previously unknown civilization was.

  • Despite this, some historians question whether Punt even existed;
  • A new currency was also created, which allowed the diverse cultures to blend and unite.

During their existence from 900 BC until AD 200, the Nok culture created a complex judicial system centuries before modern ones were invented. Using several different classes of courts, they dealt with matters such as theft, murder, adultery, and family disputes.

The Nok people were also the earliest makers of life-size, terra-cotta statues. Their statues depicted alien-looking people with long heads, almond-shaped eyes, and parted lips.

Ancient Egypt

The Nok were also advanced in metalworking, forging small knives, spear points, and bracelets. In AD 200, the Nok population rapidly declined for no apparent reason.

Famine, overreliance on resources, and climate change has all been proposed as explanations. Fabrizio Demartis Relatively unknown outside of Africa, the kingdom of Kush was located in present-day Sudan. This civilization was strikingly similar to Egypt and once ruled like Egyptian pharaohs.

The Kushites also mummified their dead, built pyramids as burial grounds, and worshiped crazy gods. However, there were several key differences between the two cultures. Iron had become a huge resource for Kush while the Egyptians were still discovering the wonders of this metal.

Women also played a much bigger role in Kush society, and queens often succeeded the kings. In fact, one of the biggest pyramids in Kush was built to honor a female ruler. Kush was also famous for its archers, who were often depicted in artwork. Lasting nearly 800 years, the kingdom was considered one of the greatest empires in the world from the 15th to the 16th centuries. As with other African civilizations, Songhai derived most of its wealth from trading—which was extremely safe due to the 200,000-person army placed along its provinces.

Several thousand cultures were under its control, all held together by a centralized government bureaucracy.

A new currency was also created, which allowed the diverse cultures to blend and unite. The size of this empire was its downfall, with its enormous territory too difficult to control. Songhai tumbled into civil war, and by the end of the 16th century, the once-mighty empire had fractured into smaller, squabbling kingdoms.

7 Influential African Empires

Trading missions between Egypt and Punt were common, including the first-documented flora exchange when Queen Hatshepsut traded trees during her famous expedition. All sorts of goods were exchanged with Punt—from incense and ivory to human dwarfs and pygmies.

Although the exact location of Punt is still debated, it was described as being lush and green. Sailors most likely reached it by traveling through the Red Sea or drifting down the Nile in small sailing boats.

10 African Civilizations More Amazing Than Ancient Egypt

Many people believe that Punt had a huge influence on Egyptian culture—from their literature to their religion. Despite this, some historians question whether Punt even existed. The start of the kingdom was spurred by Shaka Zulu, the illegitimate son of Chief Senzanganoka. After dodging several attempted murders and bloody family disputes, Shaka became chief of the Zulus. Using his groundbreaking military tactics, Shaka helped the empire rise to its rich and famous heights.

By introducing the iklwa spear and creating the bull formation, Shaka trained his warriors so well that they eventually defeated the British invasion.

  • Second Intermediate Period c;
  • Persian rulers such as Darius 522-485 B.

The Zulu grew into a powerful but violent empire. However, by the 1900s, it had been absorbed into the Cape Colony. Today, parts of Zulu form the modern country of South Africa. Patrick Verdier An early Phoenician settlement, the ancient city-state of Carthage was located in modern-day Tunisia and covered much of the Mediterranean. Its strategic placement—and abundance of trade—allowed Carthage to grow quite wealthy.

As the Carthage people were extremely skilled in furniture crafting, Punic cushions, mattresses, and beds were an expensive luxury. At one point, their Roman rivals unsuccessfully attempted to copy their designs. Carthage also created an intricate system of governmental checks and balances, wrote a constitution, and managed an extensive library.

Unfortunately, most of their literature was destroyed or given as gifts to Numidian kings. Only one book remains—a manual on agricultural technique that was translated into Greek.

Eventually, Carthage was burned and plundered by the expansion of the Roman Empire. However, the Carthage city-state left an indelible mark as a rich trading empire and a powerful commercial force in Africa. Sylvia is a writer just getting into freelancing.