The Great Ancient African Civilizations

Unknown to most, there have been a number of civilizations that went on flourish in Ancient Africa. Likewise, it has also seen the rise and fall of a wide number of great civilizations across its history.

Among the oldest and longest-lasting civilizations that went on to shine in Ancient Africa was the Egypt which was known for its pharaohs and pyramids.

It is, however, essential to remember that the Egyptians weren’t the only civilization that rose to prominence in Africa.

Himalaya Mountains

Here are African civilizations that went on to control a potluck of cultures and managed wealthy trade routes.

Ancient Carthage

The ancient city of Carthage was among the most powerful forces in the world as it ruled the most part of the Mediterranean Sea.

The abundance of trade and strategic placement were just a few factors that contributed to the growth of Carthage.

In addition, the Carthaginians were also extremely talented when it comes to crafting furniture items.

As a matter fact, Carthaginians used to create beds, mattresses, and cushions which were relatively expensive in Ancient times.

Carthage started to decline after the third Punic War when it was conquered by the Roman Republic.

Himalaya Mountains

Zulu Empire

Another popular civilization that rose to fame in Ancient Africa was the Zulu Empire. The Zulu Empire was founded by Shaka Zulu, who is the illegitimate son of Chief Senzanganoka.

Shaka became the chief of the Zulus and helped the Empire reach its pinnacle with the use of revolutionary military techniques.

The Zulu Empire started to flourish into an overpowering but violent civilization until the late 18th century. By 1900, the Zulu Empire was absorbed into the Cape Colony.

Songhai Empire

The Songhai Empire was among the longest-lasting civilizations of Ancient Africa. It is considered by historians as one of the greatest empires of the 15th and 16th centuries.

Primarily, the Songhai got much of their wealth from trading. By the end of the 16th century, the Songhai Empire stumbled after its leaders failed to control its enormous territory.

Oracle Bone Script

Kingdom of Kush

Located in the present-day Sudan, the Kingdom of Kush was an Ancient African civilization that drew similarities to Egyptian civilization.

Similar to the Egyptians, the Kushites also mummified the dead and were ruled by a Pharaoh.

It also became famous for iron which was utilized in creating sharp weapons. In connection with weapons, the Kingdom of Kush was also known for its skilled archers that were most often depicted in their artworks.

Interesting Facts about Ancient African Civilizations

  • Other popular African civilizations are the Kingdom of Ghana, Mali Empire, the Kingdom of Aksum, the Land of Punt, Axum Empire, the Nok Civilization, and the Benin Empire.
  • The rulers of the Benin Empire are known as the Oba.
  • The Benin Empire came to an end after the British Army burned the civilization into the ground and took its resources.
  • Mansa Musa, who was one of the Kings of the Mali Empire, is considered as the richest person in history. Historians estimate that Mansa Musa’s fortune is worth $400 billion.
  • Women played a great role in the Kingdom of Kush. In fact, queens had the power to succeed kings as the ruler of the state.
  • The Land of Punt is recognized as the Atlantis of Africa.
  • Ancient Carthage also developed a reliable system of governmental checks and balances as well as managed an extensive library and wrote a constitution.
  • At present, a part of the Zulu Empire is now the country of South Africa.

How long did the Songhai Empire last?

The Songhai Empire lasted for almost 800 years.

When did the Mali Empire fall?

The Mali Empire fell in 1593 to Morocco invaders.

What happened to the Nok civilization?

Several scholars believed that the Nok civilization started to decline in 200 A.D. due to climate change, famine, and lack of resources.

Who founded the Mali Empire?

The Mali Empire was founded by Sundiata Keita.