The Different Innovations of Ancient Africa

There are plenty of stories to tell regarding what Ancient Africans have accomplished prior to the arrival and colonization of the Europeans. From progressive engineering and architecture and ancient civilizations of Egypt to the splendid trade that transcended every single economy at the time, the continent was packed with a myriad of innovations long before imperialism commence.

In fact, some of the earliest evidence of human civilization stemmed from the African empire of Egypt. It is believed that Ancient Egypt was one of the longest-lasting civilizations in the world, flourishing for more than 2500 years.

During its reign, Ancient Egyptians were able to develop the first 365-day calendar which was primarily based on the constant flooding of the Nile. Additionally, the Egyptians were also responsible for innovating the way people communicate as they invented a form picture writing which is now known as the hieroglyphics.

Other than Ancient Egyptians, East Africans also assumed a critical role in the checkered history of the continent. Several historians believe that people from Nigeria, Tanzania and Ethiopia were able to develop different techniques to produce steel and weapons.

Hieroglyphs from KV17, the tomb of Seti I

It was subsequently throughout the continent by the Bantu people who occupied a space close to the borders of modern-day Cameroon and Nigeria. In addition, the Bantu people were also believed to have spread the idea of agriculture and metal-working as they were migrating to the eastern and southern areas of Africa during 3000 B.C.

By the same token, the Bantu people also had developed its writing system in a form of symbols that are comparable to Egyptian hieroglyphics. As a matter of fact, a significant amount of Bantu people left cave paintings in Southern Africa which tells stories of the methods of hunting that were used during ancient times. It also exhibits pictograms that indicate the cultural and religious practices that were cherished by ancient Africans.

Interesting Facts about Ancient African Innovations

  • Ancient Africans also made great innovations in the field of medicine. It performed surgeries with the use of antiseptics.
  • Other medicinal achievements of Ancient Africans included the use of kaolin for diarrhea, salicylic acid for pain and plant extracts that were designed to kill gram-positive viruses.
  • African King Ibrahim Njoya created his own writing system. It was, however, later destroyed by French soldiers.
  • Ancient Africans also made great strides in the field of navigation. Mali and Songhai Empires both developed boats that have dimensions of 100 feet in length and 13 feet in width.
  • Popular African ruler Mansa Musa brought home a Spanish architect to kick-start the construction of brick buildings during the late stages of the Middle Age.
  • The Zaire and Yoruba people of Ancient Africa were also at the forefront of the innovation of education on the continent. Both tribes developed their own numeration systems which primarily consist of abstract reasoning.
  • One of the greatest engineering innovations of Ancient Africa was the Great Zimbabwe building. Constructed by the Shona cattlemen, the 720-hectare structure is made up of fortresses, conical towers and massive granite walls.
  • The Temple of Karnak is considered to be the largest man-made religious site in history.

Paintings with symbols on Naqada II pottery

How helpful were the hieroglyphics writings?

The hieroglyphic writings of the Egyptians also served as one of the primary bases and reference used by Egyptologists and historians alike to unravel the different civilizations in Africa.

What is African Stonehenge?

The African Stonehenge is dubbed as the most accurate calendar in ancient history. It was constructed in 300 B.C. by ancient Africans.

How early did Ancient Africans experience the Iron Age?

Interestingly enough, scholars believed that Ancient Africans were believed to be experiencing the Iron Age at the start of the 6th century.

Where did coffee originate?

Coffee beans originated in the lands of Ethiopia.