Amazing historical sites in the African continent. The African continent has been populated for thousands of years and has some incredible historical sites to show for it. Take a look at these breathtaking examples of architecture, culture, and evolution.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania has this paleoanthropological site in the eastern Serengeti Plain. Olduvai Gorge is notable for its deposits, which date from around 2.1 million to 15,000 years ago and contain the fossil remains of around 60 hominins (human ancestors). Thus, it contains the longest known record of human evolution during the last two million years. It has also created the most comprehensive archaeological record of the evolution of stone tool manufacturing. In 1959, Mary Leakey, a well-known archaeologist, and paleoanthropologist uncovered a skull fragment that belonged to an early human.
Thebes is one of antiquity’s most famous towns. Its ruins, some of which date back to ancient Egypt’s 11th dynasty (2081–1939 BCE), can be found on both sides of the Nile River in Egypt. In addition, Luxor, the Valley of the Kings, the Queens, and Karnak are all archaeologically significant sites in the Thebes area. The ruins at these sites, which include magnificent temples, palaces, and royal tombs, provide an insight into ancient Egypt’s architecture, religious practices, and daily life.
Leptis Magna was the capital of the ancient Tripolitania region. It’s on the Mediterranean coast of northwestern Libya, and it’s home to some of the world’s most beautiful Roman ruins. The Phoenicians founded it in the 7th century BCE, while the Carthaginians settled it later, perhaps at the end of the 6th century BCE.
The city grew into a major Mediterranean and trans-Saharan trading hub. Leptis Magna passed through many hands before becoming one of the most well-known cities in the Roman Empire. It reached its peak under the emperor Septimius Severus (193–211 CE) before declining due to regional strife. After being conquered by the Arabs in 642 CE, it fell into ruin and was eventually buried in the sand, only to be discovered in the early 20th century.
The ruins of the ancient Kushitic city of Meroe can be seen on the east bank of the Nile River in Sudan. The city was founded in the first millennium BCE. Around 750 BCE, it became the southern administrative hub for the kingdom of Kush and later became the capital. After being attacked by Aksumite soldiers in the 4th century CE, it began to fall. The ruins were discovered in the 19th century, and excavations in the early 20th century uncovered some of the towns. Meroe’s pyramids, palaces, and temples are magnificent specimens of Kushi architecture and civilization.
Great Zimbabwe was the center of a wealthy commercial empire built on cattle husbandry, agriculture, and the gold trade on the Indian Ocean coast from the 11th through the 15th centuries. The massive stone ruins of this African Iron Age metropolis can be found in the southeastern part of modern-day Zimbabwe. However, the center remains, and the surrounding valley is likely to have sustained a Shona population of 10,000 – 20,000 people.
The site is well-known for its stonework and other signs of a sophisticated civilization. As a result, it was wrongly attributed to several ancient civilizations, such as the Phoenicians, the Greeks, and the Egyptians. Those assertions were debunked in 1905 by the English archaeologist and anthropologist David Randall-MacIver, who concluded that the ruins were medieval and solely of African origin. In 1929, another English archaeologist, Gertrude Caton-Thompson, corroborated his findings.
Rock-hewn churches of Lalībela
Lalibela, in north-central Ethiopia, is known for its rock-hewn churches dating from the late 12th and early 13th centuries. The 11 churches, which are significant to Ethiopian Christian heritage, were built during Emperor Lalibela’s reign. The churches are divided into 2 groups that are linked by subterranean corridors.
The largest church, the House of Medhane Alem (Saviour of the World), the House of Golgotha, which includes Lalibela’s tomb, and the House of Mariam, which is notable for its murals, are among the 11 churches. Thousands of pilgrims flock to the cathedrals on significant holy days, even centuries after they were established.
The city of Timbuktu, located on the southern border of the Sahara in what is now Mali, is historically significant as a trading hub on the trans-Saharan caravan route and as a center of Islamic culture from the 15th to the 17th centuries. Around 1100 CE, Tuaregs constructed the city, which later became part of the Mali Empire before changing hands multiple times.
During the 14th and early 15th centuries, 3 of western Africa’s oldest mosques, Djinguereber (Djingareyber), Sankore, and Sidi Yahia, were built there. Ms. I, the famous Mali ruler, commissioned Djinguereber. Many old African and Arabic manuscripts were smuggled out of Timbuktu beginning in 2012, after Islamic extremists who had taken control of the city began harming or destroying many artifacts of immense historical and cultural worth.