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Old April 10th, 2009, 06:56 PM   #1
Abidrovia
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Pictures of Ancient African Civilizations

Does Anybody have pictures of ancient/historic African civilizations and settlements?

For example, Timbuktu and Ancient Egypt.

Thankyou
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Old April 10th, 2009, 10:24 PM   #2
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I can post a few on Mali in West Africa, Ethiopia and Sudan in North East Africa, and Zimbabwe in the South. We should also include a few lines describing the historical context, there's no point to put up pictures if no one knows what they represent.


Mali:

Great Mosque of Djenne

Quote:
Great Mosque of Djenne is the largest mud brick or adobe building in the world and is considered by many architects to be the greatest achievement of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style, albeit with definite Islamic influences. The mosque is located in the city of Djenné, Mali on the flood plain of the Bani River. The first mosque on the site was built around the 13th century, but the current structure dates from 1907. As well as being the centre of the community of Djenné, it is one of the most famous landmarks in Africa. Along with the "Old Towns of Djenné" it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.

Djenné, the oldest known city in sub-Saharan Africa (definitely questionable IMO) is situated on the floodlands of the Niger and Bani rivers, 354 kilometers (220 miles) southwest of Timbuktu. Founded by merchants around 800 AD (near the site of an older city dating from 250BC), Djenné flourished as a meeting place for traders from the deserts of Sudan and the tropical forests of Guinea. Captured by the Songhai emperor Sonni 'Ali in 1468, it developed into Mali's most important trading center during the 16th century.





Last edited by abesha; April 10th, 2009 at 10:34 PM.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 10:32 PM   #3
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Mali - Timbuktu


Quote:
Timbuktu was established by the nomadic Tuareg as early as the 10th century.

Sankore University

Quote:
Sankore, as it stands now, was built in 1581 AD (= 989 A. H.) on a much older site (probably
from the 13th or 14th century) and became the center of the Islamic scholarly community in Timbuktu. The "University of Sankore" was a madrassah, very different in organization from the universities of medieval Europe. It was composed of several entirely independent schools or colleges, each run by a single master or imam. Students associated themselves with a single teacher, and courses took place in the open courtyards of mosque complexes or private residences. The primary focus of these schools was the teaching of the Qur'an, although broader instruction in fields such as logic, astronomy, and history also took place. Scholars wrote their own books as part of a socioeconomic model based on scholarship. The profit made by buying and selling of books was only second to the gold-salt trade.









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Old April 10th, 2009, 10:33 PM   #4
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Nubia

Ancient Nubia (Sudan). Around 5,000 years ago, a rich and powerful nation called the kingdom of Kush (also referred to as ancient Nubia) was a center of culture and military might in Africa. Ancient Nubia had a wealth of natural resources such as gold, ivory, copper, frankincense and ebony but they also produced and traded a variety of goods such as pottery. The Nubians formed the foundation of the Proto-Dravidians, Proto-Elamites, Proto-Mande speakers and West Atlantic people.

Nubia is the homeland of one of Africa's earliest black civilization, with a history which can be traced from 2000 B.C. onward through Nubian monuments and artifacts as well as written records from Egypt and Rome. In antiquity, Nubia was a land of great natural wealth, of gold mines, ebony, ivory and incense which was always prized by her neighbors.










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Old April 10th, 2009, 10:47 PM   #5
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Sudan - Meroe

Quote:
Meroë (Meroitic: Medewi or Bedewi; Arabic: مرواه Meruwah) is the name of an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile about 6 km north-east of the Kabushiya station near Shendi, Sudan, approximately 200 km north-east of Khartoum. Near the site are a group of villages called Bagrawiyah. This city was the capital of the Kingdom of Kush for several centuries.
The site of the city of Meroë is marked by more than two hundred pyramids in three groups, of which many are in ruins. They are identified as Nubian pyramids because of their distinctive size and proportions.

Meroë was the southern capital of the Kushite Kingdom, or Napata/Meroitic Kingdom, that spanned the period c. 800 BCE - c. 350 CE.

The culture of Meroë developed from the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, which originated in Kush.






Wall of a tomb



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Old April 10th, 2009, 10:53 PM   #6
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"We face neither East nor West; We face forward" - Kwame Nkrumah

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SSC Afrika: Algeria ¤ Angola ¤ Egypt ¤ Ethiopia ¤ Kenya ¤ Morocco ¤ Nigeria ¤ South Africa ¤ Sudan ¤ Tunisia
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Old April 10th, 2009, 10:59 PM   #7
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Ethiopia - Yeha

Quote:
Yeha is a village in northern Ethiopia. The oldest standing structure in Ethiopia is located in Yeha; it is a tower built in the Sabaean style, and dated to either the 8th or 7th century BC. This tower is one of the reasons some believe Yeha was the capital city of the D’mt kingdom. The walls of its early temple survive, while other ruins include Grat Beal Gebri, with square pillars.

As evening falls, Yeha temple's finely dressed and polished limestone reflects the glow of the setting sun with a warmth and brilliance that cannot be accidental.




Wall of the temple



Sabean inscriptions

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Old April 10th, 2009, 11:24 PM   #8
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Ethiopia - Axum

Quote:
Axum, or Aksum, is a city in northern Ethiopia named after the Kingdom of Aksum, a naval and trading power that ruled from the region ca. 400 BC into the 10th century. The kingdom was occasionally referred to in medieval writings as "Ethiopia".

The kingdom of Aksum had its own written language called Ge'ez, and also developed a distinctive architecture exemplified by giant obelisks, the oldest of which (though much smaller) date from 5,000-2,000 BC. This kingdom was at its height under king Ezana, baptized as Abreha, in the 300s (which was also when it officially embraced Christianity).

Aksum was previously thought to have been founded by Semitic-speaking Sabaeans who crossed the Red Sea from South Arabia (modern Yemen) on the basis of Conti Rossini's theories and prolific work on Ethiopian history, but most scholars now agree that it was an indigenous development.
Scholars like Stuart Munro-Hay point to the existence of an older D’mt or Da'amot kingdom, prior to any Sabaean migration ca. 4th or 5th c. BC, as well as to evidence of Sabaean immigrants having resided in the region for little more than a few decades. Furthermore, Ge'ez, the ancient Semitic language of Eritrea and Ethiopia, is now known not to have derived from Sabaean, and there is evidence of a Semitic speaking presence in Ethiopia and Eritrea at least as early as 2000 BC.

Axum (or Aksum) obelisks (there are over 200)



Inside a tomb



Typical Axumite architecture - Debre Damo monastery (dates from 6th Century)




Dungur Palace ruins - archaeologists last year announced that they found the Queen of Sheba's palace under these ruins. These ones are from a later palace, built around 5th Century AD.




What they believe it looked like back then:

image hosted on flickr
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Old April 10th, 2009, 11:35 PM   #9
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Zimbabwe - Great Zimbabwe

Quote:
The Great Zimbabwe, or "stone buildings", is the name given to stone ruins spread out over a 722 ha area within the modern-day country of Zimbabwe, which itself is named after the ruins. It is near the town of Masvingo, which before majority rule was called Fort Victoria. The word "Great" distinguishes the site from the many hundred small ruins, known as Zimbabwes, spread across the Zimbabwe highveld.

Construction starting in the 11th century and continuing for over 300 years[2], the ruins at Great Zimbabwe are some of the oldest and largest structures located in Southern Africa. At its peak, estimates are that the ruins of Great Zimbabwe had as many as 18,000 inhabitants. The ruins that survive are built entirely of stone. The ruins span 1,800 acres (7 km²) and cover a radius of 100 to 200 miles (160 to 320 km).

The ruins can be broken down into three distinct architectural groups. They are known as the Hill Complex, the Valley Complex and the famous Great Enclosure. The Hill Complex was used for as a temple, the Valley complex was for the citizens, and the Great Enclosure was used by the king. Over 300 structures have been found so far in the Great Enclosure.
Great Enclosure



Great Enclosure from the air



Soapstone bird - symbol of Zimbabwe





Inside





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Old April 11th, 2009, 05:08 AM   #10
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Memory boards (Lukasa) were used by Mbudye members as a framework for remembering history and ancient folklore. Beads, Shells, and engravings represent specific events and people related to the Luba people. Each color can represent a king's name or reign. Their placement on the lukasa stands for the king's power over his land. Beads may stnad for individuals, and a large bead surrounded by smaller beads may represent a king and his entourage. The shape itself may represent the royal tortoise with its round head and curving back. The straight lines and even pattern on this memory board may represent roads or a map of residences.







deciphering memory board
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