History in Africa: Amazing Sites

History in Africa: EB and its editors do not necessarily share the author’s opinions on the subject matter of this article. For the most up-to-date and correct information, go to specific entries in the encyclopedia.

The continent of Africa has a rich heritage that includes many fascinating historical sites. Discover these examples of architecture, cultures, and evolution.

The gorge of the Olduvai River

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania is home to a paleoanthropological site on the eastern Serengeti Plain. Fossils of more than 60 hominins (human ancestors) have been uncovered in the Olduvai Gorge between 2.1 million and 15,000 years ago. It has provided the most consistent evidence of human evolution over the last two million years. This location has also offered the most comprehensive record of the development of stone tool industries known to science. Mary Leakey, a renowned archaeologist, and paleoanthropologist discovered a fragment of a human skull there in 1959.


Thebes is one of the best-known ancient cities. Its skeleton remnants may be found in modern-day Egypt on both banks of the Nile, some of which date back to ancient Egypt’s 11th dynasty (2081–1939 BCE). These include the Valley of Kings, the Valley of Queens, and Karnak, all of which are renowned for their archaeological significance. Archaeologists can learn about ancient Egyptian architecture, religious rituals, and daily life at these well-preserved sites.

Leptis Magna

The Magna Leptis

Leptis Magna was the capital of Tripolitania in ancient times. It is located on the Mediterranean coast in northwest Libya and features some of the best specimens of Roman architecture anywhere in the world, making it a popular tourist destination. It was established by Phoenicians in the 7th century BCE, and occupied by Carthaginians in the 6th century BCE. The city became a hub for trade between the Mediterranean and the Trans-Saharan areas. Leptis Magna soon became renowned as one of the best cities in the Roman Empire. Following the fighting in the province under Septimius Severus, the region went through a period of decline (193-211 CE). Until the early 20th century, it lay buried under sand until the Arabs conquered it and dug it out of the sand.


The ancient Kushitic city of Meroe stands in ruins on the east bank of the Nile in what is now Sudan. The city was founded in the first millennium BCE. The southern administrative hub of Kush’s kingdom was established around 750 BCE, following which it was renamed the capital. Aksumite soldiers invaded the city in the fourth century CE, causing it to begin to deteriorate. During the early twentieth century, archaeological digs uncovered previously unknown areas of the city. The pyramids, palaces, and temples of Meroe serve as a beautiful illustration of the Kingdom of Kush architecture and culture.

Great Zimbabwe

Between the 11th and 15th centuries, the country of Great Zimbabwe was the epicenter of a wealthy trading empire on the Indian Ocean coast centered on cattle ranching, agriculture, and gold trade. Ancient stone ruins can be found in the southern portion of Zimbabwe today, where this African Iron Age metropolis stood. Approximately 10,000 to 20,000 Shona people resided in the core ruins and the surrounding valley. ” The masonry at the site reveals an advanced civilization. The ancient cultures of Greece, Egypt, and Phoenicia were all falsely attributed to it as a result. An English archaeologist and anthropologist, David Randall-MacIver, asserted in 1905 that the ruins were medieval and only of African provenance. In 1929, an English archaeologist named Gertrude Caton-Thompson corroborated his findings.


Timbuktu, a trans-Saharan commercial port and Islamic cultural center from the 15th to the 17th century is located in what is now Mali on the southern edge of the Sahara. The city was founded by Tuareg colonists in 1100 CE. After being part of the Mali Empire for a few centuries, it changed hands a few times in the following centuries. Djinguereber (Djingareyber), Sankore, and Sidi Yahia are three of the earliest mosques in western Africa that were built during the 14th and early 15th centuries. Djinguereber was built by the renowned Mali ruler Ms I. Many manuscripts were smuggled out of Timbuktu in 2012 when Islamic militants seized control of the city and began harming or destroying many historical and cultural artifacts.

Battles for Freedom

People don’t like being told what to do or told what to do. Resistance to authority has always existed as long as people have been able to dominate one another. Since states have ruled each other, there have been wars of independence. Individuals and organizations who have fought in their own battles of independence against tyrannical governments are included below.

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