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A TIMELINE OF AFRICA HISTORY

Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on November 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM

A TIMELINE OF AFRICA

c. 100,000 BC Humans migrate from Africa to other parts of the world

C. 3,118 BC King Menes unites the kingdoms of Upper and Lower in Egypt

C. 2,600 BC The first pyramid is built in Egypt

C. 2,000 BC Bantu speaking people begin to migrate southwards

C. 1,700 BC The kingdom of Kush arises south of Egypt

814 BC The city of Carthage is founded in Tunisia

C. 650 BC Iron working spreads in North Africa

30 BC Egypt becomes a province of the Roman Empire

C. 50 AD The kingdom of Axum arises in what is now Ethiopia

C. 350 AD Bantu speaking people arrive in Zambia

202 BC The Romans defeat Carthage at the battle of Zama in North Africa

C. 500 AD Iron working reaches southern Africa

642 AD The Arabs conquer Egypt

C. 650 AD Muslims travel across the Sahara on camels to trade

698 AD The Arabs capture Carthage

C. 800 AD Trading towns are formed on the east coast of Africa

C. 1100 AD The kingdom of Ife in Nigeria becomes important

C. 1300 AD The kingdom of Benin in Nigeria becomes important

1324 Mansa Musa ruler of Mali makes a pilgrimage to Mecca and shows off his great wealth

C. 1350 AD The kingdom of Songhai arises in west Africa

1415 The Portuguese conquer Ceuta in North Africa. It is the first European foothold in Africa.

1464-1491 Under its ruler Sunni Ali the kingdom of Songhai in west Africa conquers territory and expands

1488 The Portuguese sail round the Cape of Good Hope.

1508 The Portuguese begin to settle in Mozambique

1517 The Turks conquer Egypt

1518 Onwards African slaves are transported across the Atlantic by Europeans

1551 The Turks capture Tripoli

1562 England joins the slave trade

1564 The Songhai Empire in west Africa destroys the Empire of Mali

1575 The Portuguese begin to settle in Angola

1581 The Moroccans begin to expand across the Sahara

1590 The Moroccans capture Timbuktu

1591 The Moroccans destroy the Empire of Songhai

1652 The Dutch conquer  South Africa

1700 The rise of the Ashanti kingdom in West Africa

1787 The British  send freed slaves in Sierra Leone

1792 Denmark bans the slave trade

1806 The Dutch colony in South Africa becomes a British colony

1807

Sierra Leone and Gambia become British crown colonies

Britain bans the slave trade

1808 The USA bans the slave trade

1822 The USA founds a colony for freed slaves in Liberia

1828 Shaka king of the Zulus is assassinated

1830 The French invade Algeria. Over the following years the French build up an empire in North Africa

1847 Liberia becomes independent

1859-1869 The Suez Canal is built in Egypt

1879 The Zulus defeat the British at Isandlhwana but they are defeated at Ulundi

1880-1881 War between the British and Boers (Dutch speaking farmers) in South Africa

1882 The British army occupies Egypt and Sudan

1884

The Germans take Namibia, Tanzania, Togo and Cameroon

The Mahdi leads an anti-British uprising in Sudan

1885

Italy takes Eritrea, Belgium takes The Republic of Congo and Britain takes Botswana

The Mahdi captures Khartoum and British general Gordon is killed

1886

Kenya becomes a British colony

Gold is discovered in Transvaal

1888-89 The British take control of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe)

1894 The British take Uganda

1896 The Italians invade Ethiopia but are defeated by the Ethiopians

1898 The British defeat the Sudanese at the battle of Omdurman

1910 The Union of South Africa becomes independent from Britain

1912 Italy conquers Libya

1935-36 Italy conquers Ethiopia

1941 The British drive the Italians out of Ethiopia

1942 The British defeat the Germans and Italians at El Alamein in Egypt

1943 German and Italian forces in North Africa surrender

1948 Apartheid is introduced in South Africa

1951 Libya becomes independent

1952-55 The Mau Mau uprising in Kenya takes place

1956

Morocco and Sudan become independent. So does Tunisia

Oil is discovered in Nigeria

1957 Ghana becomes independent

1960 Senegal becomes independent

The Sharpeville massacre in South Africa

1962 Uganda becomes independent. So does Algeria.

1963 Kenya becomes independent

1964 Zambia and Malawi become independent. The state of Tanzania is formed.

1965 Gambia becomes independent

1966 Botswana becomes independent

1967 Diamonds are discovered in Botswana

1967-70 Civil War in Nigeria

1969 Colonel Gadafi takes power in Libya

1970 Idi Amin seizes power in Uganda

1974 Emperor Hailie Selassie of Ethiopia is deposed

1975 Angola and Mozambique become independent

1979 Amin is overthrown

1980 Robert Mugabe becomes prime minister of Zimbabwe

1990 Namibia becomes independent

1993 Eritrea becomes independent

1994

Nelson Mandela becomes president of South Africa

Ethnic massacres in Rwanda

1997 Zaire is renamed Democratic Republic of Congo

1999

Thabo Mbeki becomes president of South Africa

SACRED WRITING:   "Ancient Africans believed that the deity Dhehuti [Thoth] invented writing…. Dhehuti, who became the Greek Hermes, was associated with wisdom and knowledge. Writing brought with it so much power and influence that the ancient Africans reserved the knowledge and skill for priests and kings. Mystery and magic surrounded the development of the art, because few people could appreciate the strange markings on papyrus"(Asante and Abarry 2): "Although only a small portion of the population was literate, a great proportion of objects from Egypt are covered with writing,"according to UChicago's Oriental Institute. See Oriental Institute Virtual Museum (Univ. of Chicago):

Egyptian Gallery: Writing: http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/QTVR96/EG/EgD.html

The Egyptians called their writing, medu netcher, or "the words of the gods" ("hieroglyph" is a Greek word which means "sacred writing"), according to Richard Hooker (World Civilizations, WSU, 1996). See "The Words of the Gods: Hierglyphics": http://www.wsu.edu:8000/~dee/EGYPT/MEDU.HTM

& see Egyptian icons (Univ. of Pennsylvania): http://www.sas.upenn.edu/African_Studies/Egypt_GIFS/Egyptian_Icons_12112.gif

Later, throughout the continent, many traditional African cultures developed "secret societies, actually societies of secrets,…with their own scripts" (e.g., the Vai, Bambara, Benin, Bakongo, Peul, and Akan). "As symbol systems for sacred occasions, these scripts are often under the control of specially trained and consecrated priests" (Asante and Abarry 2).

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN WRITING & LITERATURE:  Creative literature included poems, plays, and narratives, as well as the oldest religious and ethical texts which include the "Pyramid Texts" and the "Declarations of Virtues." Greek philosophy, as well as many of the basic tenets of the major world religions, were pre-configured in ancient Egyptian civilization," which early Greek philosophers would later acknowledge the debt that they owed to " Egyptian knowledge systems in which they were educated" (Mutere). However, it was not until the 19th century, and the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, that scholars were able to decipher the ancient Kemetic writings on stone and papyrus. The Rosetta Stone now stands in the British Museum, London.

Illuminating World Cultures - Egypt (British Museum)

 http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/world/egypt/egypt.html 

Ancient Egypt Interactive Learning (British Museum)

 http://www.ancientegypt.co.uk/menu.html 

Writing - including the Rosetta Stone (British Museum)

 http://www.ancientegypt.co.uk/writing/home.html 

Dept. of Egyptian Antiquities (British Museum) "illustrates every aspect of ancient Egyptian cultures from Predynastic times (c. 4000 BC) down to the Coptic (Christian) period (12th century AD) and includes a significant amount of material from Nubia and the Sudan"

 http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/egyptian/index.html 

The Egyptian Exhibition: The Rosetta Stone (Hunterian Library, Univ. of Glasgow) offers photo & text: http://www.hunterian.gla.ac.uk/museum/egypt/rosetta.html 

The Egyptian Exhibition:  http://www.hunterian.gla.ac.uk/museum/egypt/egypt.html 

MA'AT: the African ethical principles collectively embracing the values of truth, harmony, justice, reciprocity and cosmological order.

Ma'at: Goddess of Truth; Truth & Order (Richard Hooker, World Civilizations, WSU):  http://www.wsu.edu:8000/~dee/EGYPT/MAAT.HTM

Kemetic texts "paint a powerful portrait of ancient Egyptian moral and ethical standards. Central to the ancient Egyptian ethos is the concept of Ma’at" (Mutere). Ma'at was the ancient Egyptian goddess who personified "truth" and "justice," and "is identified by a feather against which She weighs each person's soul in her hall of judgment. Egyptian priests would draw the feather of Ma'at on their tongues in green dye to give their words truth and creative power" (Mutere).

From the Oriental Institute (Univ. of Chicago):

Image of judgment of the soul before Osiris:

http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/HIGH/OIM_10486.gif

from Book of the Dead: http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/HIGH/OIM_10486.html

(Ptolemaic Period, ca. 332-30 B.C. Papyrus and ink)

"The Book of the Dead was a collection of spells, hymns, and prayers intended to secure for the deceased safe passage to and sojourn in the other world."

The "ethical principles of Ma’at" shape "the key idea in the traditional African approach to life," recurring "in most African societies as the influence of right and righteousness, justice and harmony, balance, respect, and human dignity," according to Asante and Abarry (59). Most traditional African religions perpetuate the "fundamental principles of harmony between humans, humans and the environment, and humans and the spirit world" (Asante and Abarry 59).

From the Carnegie Museum of Natural History:

"Of all the deities, the goddess Maat was the most important in perpetuating the status quo. The Egyptians believed that when the gods formed the land of Egypt out of chaos, Maat was created to embody truth, justice, and the basic orderly arrangement of the world. Maat personified the perfect state of the god-created world, and all that people had to do in order to live and prosper in the world was to honor and preserve Maat. On a national level, it was the king's responsibility to preserve Maat through daily offerings given at the temples. On an individual level, the goal of every Egyptian was to lead a honorable life that would allow entrance into the afterlife after death."

-"Gods and Religion," Teacher's Guide to the Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt (1999)

Life in Ancient Egypt: Resources for Teachers:

 http://www.carnegiemuseums.org/cmnh/exhibits/egypt/resources.html 

Women's Rights: Ancient Egypt & the United States

 http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/lesson6.html 

Women in World History Curriculum (Lyn Reese, Director):

http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/ 

ca. 1000 - 800 Bantu ("the people") migration spreads through sub-Saharan Africa (Africa south of the Sahara Desert), over some 2,000 years. Bantu, a linguistically related group of about 60 million people living in equatorial and southern Africa, probably originated in West Africa, migrating downward gradually into southern Africa. The Bantu migration was one of the largest in human history. The cause of this movement is uncertain, but is believed related to population increase, a result of the introduction of new crops, such as the banana (native to south Asia), allowing more efficient food production. Societies typically depended on subsistence agriculture or, in the savannas, pastoral pursuits. Political organization was normally local, although large kingdoms would later develop in western and central Africa.The Iron Age South of the Sahara (Richard Hooker, Civilizations in Africa ,WSU)

http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/CIVAFRCA/IRONAGE.HTM

Early in their history, the Bantu split into two major linguistic branches—the Eastern and Western Bantu. The Eastern Bantu migrated through present-day Zimbabwe and Mozambique, down to South Africa. The Western Bantu moved into what is now Angola, Namibia, and northwestern Botswana. Today, among the Bantu language groups, the most widely spoken Bantu-derived language is Arab-influenced Swahili, which is used as a lingua franca (a language used in common by different peoples to facilitate commerce and trade) by up to 50 million speakers on the eastern coast of Africa. Ethnic groups descended from the Bantu include the Shona, the Xhosa, the Kikuyu, and the Zulu, of the Eastern Bantu language branch; and the Herero and Tonga peoples, of the Western Bantu language branch.

Ethnologue: Languages of the World - Africa, 14th ed. (Barbara F. Grimes, ed., SIL [Summer Institute of Linguistics] International, Dallas, Texas, 2001.):

 http://www.ethnologue.com/country_index.asp 

750

– 600 Kush or Nubia (upper or southern reaches of Nile River) rules Egypt from capital Meroe; with metal technology, widened economic influence in sub-Saharan Africa

Civilizations in Africa: Kush 

(Richard Hooker, World Civilizations,Washington State Univ.)

http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/CIVAFRCA/KUSH.HTM 500 "The Aksumites were a people formed from the mix of Kushitic speaking people in Ethiopia and Semitic speaking people in southern Arabia who settled the territory across the Red Sea around 500 BC."  Civilizations in Africa: Axum 

(Richard Hooker, World Civilizations, WSU):

 http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/CIVAFRCA/AXUM.HTM  500 Ancient Nok culture thrives in forests of central Nigeria (to CE 200).  Claimed by the Yoruba peoples as ancestors, the Nok are justly revered for their art and terra cottas.

Ancient Africa: The Nok, Mr. Dowling's Electronic Passport to Ancient Africa (Mike Dowling, 2001): http://www.mrdowling.com/609-nok.html 

Nok Museum of African Arts, The Museum of African Arts @ Harlemm.com (1996), an electronic collection of works held by other museums and private collectors:

 http://www.nokmuseum.org/aboutnok.html  Re-check this link.  LL-JUL1703 c. 300 "Rulers of Nubia established their capital at Meroë around 300 B.C., and the kingdom lasted there for more than nine centuries."  Wonders: City of Meroe, Black Kingdoms of the Nile (Timothy Kendall, text; PBS Online's Wonders of the African World with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: 1999: Episode I )  http://www.pbs.org/wonders/Episodes/Epi1/1_wondr4.htm  From

c. 250 "A Tale of Two Floodplains: Comparative Perspectives on the Emergence of Complex Societies and Urbanism in the Middle Niger and Senegal Valleys," by Susan Keech McIntosh; African and  Comparative Archeology from Uppsala University, Sweden (UPPSALA UNIVERSITET, 2003)

http://www.arkeologi.uu.se/afr/projects/BOOK/Mcintosh/mcintosh.htm [last accessed June 2003]

Full text of McIntosh's article can be downloaded in .pdf format from:

http://www.arkeologi.uu.se/afr/projects/BOOK/Mcintosh/mcintosh.pdf [last accessed June 2003]

[My thanks to Michael Irvin, Lexington Community College, for bring this web article to my attention (African Timelines web contribution, 11 Feb. 2003).  ~ CA, June 2003]

Regarding the question of cultural/"genetic" identity, see Prof. Gene Gragg's provocative 1996 summary of the Oriental Institute's AfroAsiatic Index Project: "Around the same time that they were discovering Indo-European, scholars were becoming aware of the existence of other major families like Semitic (uniting, among others, Akkadian, Aramaic, Hebrew, Ugaritic, Arabic, South Arabian, and Ethiopic)....To make matters worse [for historical linguists trying to establish whether languages are "genetically" related], evidence has been accumulating that Semitic is not an isolated family, but is itself part of a superfamily, probably older than Indo-European, which stretched over large parts of Northern and Eastern Africa and Western Asia. This family, sometimes still called 'Hamito-Semitic,' but now more often 'Afroasiatic' or 'Afrasian' includes-besides Semitic-Egyptian, Berber, Cushitic (a heterogeneous group of dozens of languages, including Somali, centered around the Horn of Africa), Omotic (a large group of languages in Southwest Ethiopia), and Chadic (more than a hundred languages, including Hausa, spoken over a large sub-Saharan area centered around Lake Chad). Relationships are still being established within the last four groups, many individual languages are very poorly known, and new information is coming in on an almost daily basis." ("ETYMOLOGY AND ELECTRONICS: THE AFROASIATIC INDEX," [Oriental Institute, Univ. of Chicago] rpt. from The Oriental Institute News and Notes, 149 (Spring 1996): http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/PROJ/CUS/NN_Spr96/NN_Spr96.html

 



CAN WE GENERALIZE ABOUT A COMMON "AFRICAN CULTURE" GIVEN THE CONTINENT'S GREAT DIVERSITY? 

Yes, argue some Africanist scholars. Consider that there are ways other than language by which common ethnicity and cultural identity can be defined: for example, by a group's belief in a common origin (e.g. the Mande peoples trace a common origin to Sundjata Keita, legendary 13th century founder of the Mali Empire: see Part II: African Empires), and increasing cultural similarities among groups can develop over centuries of contact and exchange. Kwame Gyeke points out (1) that "a number of Africa’s ethnic groups are small" and their "cultures have been so greatly influenced by those of neighboring large groups that they…share the culture of the large groups"; (2) that "a seemingly distinct ethnic group may in fact…be a subdivision…of a larger ethnic group"; and (3) that common cultural patterns extend across African states because "arbitrary and unrealistic boundaries drawn a century ago by Africa’s [European] colonial masters" found single ethnic groups [bound by kinship, language, and cultural ties] in two or more neighboring countries (in Asante and Abarry 297-298). Thus, Gyekeye and others believe it is possible to generalize, cautiously and respectful of local and regional cultural diversity, about common and pervasive features of African cultures, In any case, some oral arts genres, such as praise poetry, are common to most African peoples (see Judith Gleason, ed. Leaf and Bone: African Praise-Poems. New York: Penguin Books, 1994). Kofi Awoonor, respected African poet and oral arts historian, calls Africa’s oral poetic tradition one of the oldest and most continuous of all African oral arts. 

Kofi Awoonor:   http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/cm/africana/awoonor.htm 

African Writers: Voices of Change (Africana Collection, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, 1995-2001): http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/cm/africana/writers.htm

 


Categories: Africa, World

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