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Prehistoric West African History - Culture - Nairaland

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Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 10:29am On Dec 16, 2012
Some background info on general African history:

Emergence of agriculture
(source wikipedia)

Around 16,000 BCE, from the Red Sea hills to the northern Ethiopian Highlands, nuts, grasses and tubers were being collected for food. By 13,000 to 11,000 BCE, people began collecting wild grains. This spread to Western Asia, which domesticated its wild grains, wheat and barley.

Between 10,000 and 8000 BCE, northeast Africa was cultivating wheat and barley and raising sheep and cattle from southwest Asia. A wet climatic phase in Africa turned the Ethiopian Highlands into a mountain forest.

Omotic speakers domesticated enset around 6500–5500 BCE. Around 7000 BCE, the settlers of the Ethiopian highlands domesticated donkeys, and by 4000 BCE domesticated donkeys had spread to southwest Asia. Cushitic speakers, partially turning away from cattle herding, domesticated teff and finger millet between 5500 and 3500 BCE.[10][11]
Re: Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 10:30am On Dec 16, 2012
Question: were the first west africans Nilo-Saharan speakers?

From wikipedia:

In the steppes and savannahs of the Sahara and Sahel, the Nilo-Saharan speakers started to collect and domesticate wild millet and sorghum between 8000 and 6000 BCE. Later, gourds, watermelons, castor beans, and cotton were also collected and domesticated. The people started capturing wild cattle and holding them in circular thorn hedges, resulting in domestication.[12] They also started making pottery. Fishing, using bone tipped harpoons, became a major activity in the numerous streams and lakes formed from the increased rains.

^^ hmmm interesting.
Re: Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 10:32am On Dec 16, 2012
In West Africa, the wet phase ushered in expanding rainforest and wooded savannah from Senegal to Cameroon. Between 9000 and 5000 BCE, Niger–Congo speakers domesticated the oil palm and raffia palm. Two seed plants, black-eyed peas and voandzeia (African groundnuts) were domesticated, followed by okra and kola nuts. Since most of the plants grew in the forest, the Niger–Congo speakers invented polished stone axes for clearing forest.[13]

Most of southern Africa was occupied by pygmy peoples and Khoisan who engaged in hunting and gathering. Some of the oldest rock art was produced by them.[14]

Just prior to Saharan desertification, the communities that developed south of Egypt in what is now modern-day Sudan were full participants in the Neolithic revolution and lived a settled to semi-nomadic lifestyle, with domesticated plants and animals.[15]

It has been suggested that megaliths found at Nabta Playa are examples of the world's first known archaeoastronomical devices, predating Stonehenge by some 1,000 years.[16] The sociocultural complexity observed at Nabta Playa and expressed by different levels of authority within the society there has been suggested as forming the basis for the structure of both the Neolithic society at Nabta and the Old Kingdom of Egypt.[17]

By 5000 BCE, Africa entered a dry phase, and the climate of the Sahara region gradually became drier.

The population trekked out of the Sahara region in all directions, including towards the Nile Valley below the Second Cataract, where they made permanent or semipermanent settlements. A major climatic recession occurred, lessening the heavy and persistent rains in central and eastern Africa. Since then, dry conditions have prevailed in eastern Africa.
Re: Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 10:35am On Dec 16, 2012
Metallurgy
The first metals to be smelted in Africa were lead, copper, and bronze in the fourth millennium BCE.[18]

Copper was smelted in Egypt during the predynastic period, and bronze came into use not long after 3000 BCE at the latest[19] in Egypt and Nubia. Nubia was a major source of copper as well as gold.[20] The use of gold and silver in Egypt dates back to the predynastic period.[21][22]

In the Aïr Mountains, present-day Niger, copper was smelted independently of developments in the Nile valley between 3000 and 2500 BCE. The process used was not well developed, indicating that it was not brought from outside the region; it became more mature by about 1500 BCE.[22]

By the 1st millennium BCE, iron working had been introduced in northwestern Africa, Egypt, and Nubia.[23] In 670 BCE, Nubians were pushed out of Egypt by Assyrians using iron weapons, after which the use of iron in the Nile valley became widespread.

The theory of iron spreading to sub-Saharan Africa via the Nubian city of Meroe is no longer widely accepted. Metalworking in West Africa has been dated as early as 2500 BCE at Egaro west of the Termit in Niger, and iron working was practiced there by 1500 BCE.

[24]In Central Africa, there is evidence that Iron working may have been practiced as early as the 3rd millennium BCE.[25] Iron smelting was developed in the area between Lake Chad and the African Great Lakes between 1000 and 600 BCE, long before it reached Egypt. Before 500 BCE, the Nok culture in the Jos Plateau was already smelting iron.
Re: Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 10:40am On Dec 16, 2012
West Africa

In the western Sahel, the rise of settled communities was largely the result of domestication of millet and sorghum. Archaeology points to sizable urban populations in West Africa beginning in the 2nd millennium BCE. Symbiotic trade relations developed before the trans-Saharan trade, in response to the opportunities afforded by north-south diversity in ecosystems across deserts, grasslands, and forests. The agriculturists received salt from the desert nomads. The desert nomads acquired meat and other foods from pastoralists and farmers of the grasslands and from fishermen on the Niger River. The forest dwellers provided furs and meat.[47]

Tichit (Dhar Tichitt) and Oualata were prominent among the early urban centers, dated to 2000 BCE, in present day Mauritania.

About 500 stone settlements litter the region in the former savannah of the Sahara. Its inhabitants fished and grew millet. It has been found that the Soninke of the Mandé peoples were responsible for constructing such settlements. Around 300 BCE, the region became more desiccated and the settlements began to decline, most likely relocating to Koumbi Saleh. From the type of architecture and pottery, it is believed that Tichit was related to the subsequent Ghana Empire. Old Jenne (Djenne) began to be settled around 300 BCE, producing iron and with sizable population, evidenced in crowded cemeteries. Living structures were made of sun-dried mud. By 250 BCE, Jenne was a large, thriving market town.[48][49]

Farther south, in central Nigeria, around 1000 BCE, the Nok culture developed on the Jos Plateau. It was a highly centralized community. The Nok people produced miniature lifelike representations in terracotta, including human heads, elephants, and other animals. By 500 BCE, they were smelting iron. By 200 CE, the Nok culture had vanished. Based on stylistic similarities with Nok terracottas, the bronze figurines of Ife and Benin are believed to be continuation of the tradition.[50]

Nok figurine:

1 Like

Re: Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 10:40am On Dec 16, 2012
More to come. smiley
Re: Prehistoric West African History by ezeagu(m): 4:26pm On Dec 16, 2012
Africa's Oldest Known Boat



"8000 years ago, Nigeria. "Africa's oldest known boat" the Dufuna Canoe was discovered near the region of the River Yobe. The Canoe was discovered by a Fulani herdsman in May 1987, in Dufuna Village while digging a well. The canoe’s “almost black wood”, said to be African mahogany, as “entirely an organic material”. Various Radio-Carbon tests conducted in laboratories of reputable Universities in Europe and America indicate that the Canoe is over 8000 years old, thus making it the oldest in Africa and 3rd oldest in the World. Little is known of the period to which the boat belongs, in archaeological terms it is described as an early phase of the Later Stone Age, which began rather more than 12,000 years ago and ended with the appearance of pottery.

The lab results redefined the pre-history of African water transport, ranking the Dufuna canoe as the world’s third oldest known dugout. Older than it are the dugouts from Pesse, Netherlands, and Noyen-sur-Seine, France. But evidence of an 8,000-year-old tradition of boat building in Africa throws cold water on the assumption that maritime transport developed much later there in comparison with Europe. Peter Breunig of the University of Frankfurt, Germany, an archaeologist involved in the project, says the canoe’s age “forces a reconsideration of Africa’s role in the history of water transport”. It shows, he adds, “that the cultural history of Africa was not determined by Near Eastern and European influences but took its own, in many cases parallel, course”. Breunig, adding that it even outranks in style European finds of similar age. According to him, “The bow and stern are both carefully worked to points, giving the boat a notably more elegant form”, compared to “the dugout made of conifer wood from Pesse in the Netherlands, whose blunt ends and thick sides seem crude”. To go by its stylistic sophistication, he reasons, “It is highly probable that the Dufuna boat does not represent the beginning of a tradition, but had already undergone a long development, and that the origins of water transport in Africa lie even further back in time.”

Egypt's oldest known boat is 5000 years old.

P. Breunig, The 8000-year-old dugout canoe from Dufuna (NE Nigeria), G. Pwiti and R. Soper (eds.), Aspects of African Archaeology. Papers from the 10th Congress of the PanAfrican Association for Prehistory and related Studies. University of Zimbabwe Publications (Harare 1996) 461-468.
ISBN: 0908307551"

http://wysinger.homestead.com/canoe.html
Re: Prehistoric West African History by ezeagu(m): 4:30pm On Dec 16, 2012
IKOM MONOLITHS OF CROSS RIVER STATE



"The Ikom monoliths are a series of volcanic-stone monoliths of unknown age ( based on two C14 datings, somewhere between 200 and 1850 AD). They are between 0.3 and 1.8 metres (1 and 6 feet) high, and are laid out in some 30 circles located around Alok in the Ikom area of Cross River State. The monoliths are phallic and some feature stylized faces as well as decorative patterns and inscriptions. Exposure to extreme weather conditions have put these monoliths at risk of erosion and deterioration. They were recently added to the World Monuments Fund's list of sites in danger and is being considered for inclusion onto UNESCO's World Heritage Site list."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikom_monoliths
Re: Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 4:31pm On Dec 16, 2012
Thank you soooo much!!!!!! cheesy cheesy cheesy cheesy
Re: Prehistoric West African History by ezeagu(m): 4:32pm On Dec 16, 2012
Once, Nigeria had 450 unique priceless stones; today, only 119 found Ugh!



Hundreds may have been lost and the ones not yet missing remain almost completely neglected
Despite the festivities that attended the return of two Ikom Monoliths recovered in France and formally handed over to authorities of the National Commission of Museums and Monuments (NCMM) on 26 January, 2010 at Reiz Hotel, Abuja by the French Embassy; one can authoritatively reveal that this particular aspect of Nigeria’s classical antiquity has been looted beyond imagination.

[the rest: http://www.cultureindevelopment.nl/News/Heritage_Africa/526/Once,_Nigeria_had_450_unique_priceless_stones;_today,_only_119_found]

2 Likes

Re: Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 4:37pm On Dec 16, 2012
ezeagu: Africa's Oldest Known Boat



The lab results redefined the pre-history of African water transport, ranking the Dufuna canoe as the world’s third oldest known dugout. Older than it are the dugouts from Pesse, Netherlands, and Noyen-sur-Seine, France. But evidence of an 8,000-year-old tradition of boat building in Africa throws cold water on the assumption that maritime transport developed much later there in comparison with Europe.

“It is highly probable that the Dufuna boat does not represent the beginning of a tradition, but had already undergone a long development, and that the origins of water transport in Africa lie even further back in time.”

Egypt's oldest known boat is 5000 years old.


P. Breunig, The 8000-year-old dugout canoe from Dufuna (NE Nigeria)
http://wysinger.homestead.com/canoe.html

shocked cool cool cool

It's so sad that I would have NEVER known this if you hadn't posted it.
wow!
Re: Prehistoric West African History by ezeagu(m): 4:45pm On Dec 16, 2012
I don't understand why it isn't everywhere, like general information.
Re: Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 5:03pm On Dec 16, 2012
Because sir according the the world
we were savages who were not civilized until the slave trade.
**rollz eyes**

I'll be back to make some contributions. Ppl feel free to add!! cheesy
Re: Prehistoric West African History by sambos994(m): 2:55am On Dec 17, 2012
http://apollo5.bournemouth.ac.uk/africanlegacy/index.htm

I think this website has information on ancient monuments...
Re: Prehistoric West African History by odumchi: 3:02am On Dec 17, 2012
"Prehistoric history": history before history. What an oxymoron lol.
Re: Prehistoric West African History by shymexx(m): 3:50am On Dec 17, 2012
^^^Prehistoric means history before white/christian history...

Everything before the timeline of the Bible is considered; prehistoric...
Re: Prehistoric West African History by shymexx(m): 3:51am On Dec 17, 2012
ezeagu: Africa's Oldest Known Boat



"8000 years ago, Nigeria. "Africa's oldest known boat" the Dufuna Canoe was discovered near the region of the River Yobe. The Canoe was discovered by a Fulani herdsman in May 1987, in Dufuna Village while digging a well. The canoe’s “almost black wood”, said to be African mahogany, as “entirely an organic material”. Various Radio-Carbon tests conducted in laboratories of reputable Universities in Europe and America indicate that the Canoe is over 8000 years old, thus making it the oldest in Africa and 3rd oldest in the World. Little is known of the period to which the boat belongs, in archaeological terms it is described as an early phase of the Later Stone Age, which began rather more than 12,000 years ago and ended with the appearance of pottery.

The lab results redefined the pre-history of African water transport, ranking the Dufuna canoe as the world’s third oldest known dugout. Older than it are the dugouts from Pesse, Netherlands, and Noyen-sur-Seine, France. But evidence of an 8,000-year-old tradition of boat building in Africa throws cold water on the assumption that maritime transport developed much later there in comparison with Europe. Peter Breunig of the University of Frankfurt, Germany, an archaeologist involved in the project, says the canoe’s age “forces a reconsideration of Africa’s role in the history of water transport”. It shows, he adds, “that the cultural history of Africa was not determined by Near Eastern and European influences but took its own, in many cases parallel, course”. Breunig, adding that it even outranks in style European finds of similar age. According to him, “The bow and stern are both carefully worked to points, giving the boat a notably more elegant form”, compared to “the dugout made of conifer wood from Pesse in the Netherlands, whose blunt ends and thick sides seem crude”. To go by its stylistic sophistication, he reasons, “It is highly probable that the Dufuna boat does not represent the beginning of a tradition, but had already undergone a long development, and that the origins of water transport in Africa lie even further back in time.”

Egypt's oldest known boat is 5000 years old.

P. Breunig, The 8000-year-old dugout canoe from Dufuna (NE Nigeria), G. Pwiti and R. Soper (eds.), Aspects of African Archaeology. Papers from the 10th Congress of the PanAfrican Association for Prehistory and related Studies. University of Zimbabwe Publications (Harare 1996) 461-468.
ISBN: 0908307551"

http://wysinger.homestead.com/canoe.html

Saw this time ago - interesting stuff...
Re: Prehistoric West African History by shymexx(m): 3:52am On Dec 17, 2012
ezeagu: Once, Nigeria had 450 unique priceless stones; today, only 119 found Ugh!



Hundreds may have been lost and the ones not yet missing remain almost completely neglected
Despite the festivities that attended the return of two Ikom Monoliths recovered in France and formally handed over to authorities of the National Commission of Museums and Monuments (NCMM) on 26 January, 2010 at Reiz Hotel, Abuja by the French Embassy; one can authoritatively reveal that this particular aspect of Nigeria’s classical antiquity has been looted beyond imagination.

[the rest: http://www.cultureindevelopment.nl/News/Heritage_Africa/526/Once,_Nigeria_had_450_unique_priceless_stones;_today,_only_119_found]


Great stuff...
Re: Prehistoric West African History by DuduNegro: 7:28am On Dec 17, 2012
shymexx:


Great stuff...

lmao, I agree! grin
Re: Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 11:25pm On Dec 18, 2012
smh.
not even nlders take west african history serious.
then how can you expect akatas/caribbeans to?

na real wa!! undecided
Re: Prehistoric West African History by sambos994(m): 1:32am On Dec 19, 2012
Was it on front page?
Re: Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 2:05am On Dec 19, 2012
sambos994: Was it on front page?

nah.
its not about this thread really.
just in general. smiley
Re: Prehistoric West African History by CrazyMan(m): 7:13am On Dec 21, 2012
*Kails*:
smh.
not even nlders take west african history serious.
then how can you expect akatas/caribbeans to?

na real wa!! undecided
But there's nothing to take serious na... tongue grin
Re: Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 7:19am On Dec 21, 2012
CrazyMan:
But there's nothing to take serious na... tongue grin

i realize that.

and thats why our race never fails to be the joke of the human species. smiley
Re: Prehistoric West African History by CrazyMan(m): 8:15am On Dec 21, 2012
MsDarkSkin: i realize that.

and thats why our race never fails to be the joke of the human species. smiley
Yea... embarassed

But I'm sure that with people like you who have a passion for african culture...there's yet hope for our culture. smiley

1 Like

Re: Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 9:11am On Dec 21, 2012
CrazyMan:
Yea... embarassed

But I'm sure that with people like you who have a passion for african culture...there's yet hope for our culture. smiley

that's a lot to carry grin
but i definitely dig that. smiley thanks.
at least someone knows kails has love for her past. kiss kiss

2 Likes

Re: Prehistoric West African History by taharqa: 12:16am On Dec 23, 2012
*Kails*:
smh.
not even nlders take west african history serious.
then how can you expect akatas/caribbeans to?

na real wa!! undecided

I shall contribute to this later. So many things to add and learn...
Re: Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 1:15am On Dec 23, 2012
taharqa:

I shall contribute to this later. So many things to add and learn...

THANKS!! smiley
No rush.
Re: Prehistoric West African History by 190theclown: 7:24pm On Dec 23, 2012
Re: Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 9:33pm On Dec 23, 2012
Thats nice...pls stop derailing my threads.
Geeeeze.
Re: Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 6:44pm On Dec 24, 2012
Time to Start Bumping up the Quality Threads Of The Culture Section.....*Bump* tongue

*A Copy and Pasted Message Don't think you special.* kiss
Re: Prehistoric West African History by Nobody: 1:16am On Dec 25, 2012
Ehen. tongue

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