The oldest civilizations in Africa concentrates more on the number of countries which were in the far past major kingdoms on the map of the world’s political landscape. They are reliable pointers to the reality that Africa as a whole continent play a major historical significance in the annals of the world as many of these ancient African civilizations further disgruntle the warped narrative of the biased European explorers.
The Oldest Civilizations in Africa.
Not many of the countries which still live to date can be counted as some of the oldest civilizations, though some are. Many which are not identifiable today had given Africa unforgettable memories. Through war, some infamous natural events, and many more had contributed to their declines or total subjugation, and are therefore not considered worthy of recognition. Here are some of the many that still exist to date:
The Kingdom of Aksum (Ethiopia)
Axum, or Aksum, is a town in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia with a population of 66,800 residents (as of 2015). It is the site of the historic capital of the Aksumite Empire, a naval and trading power that ruled the whole region from about 400 BCE into the 10th century. It is this kingdom that made Ethiopia one of the oldest civilizations of Africa, given its ancient timeline.
Around 356 CE, its ruler was converted to an Abyssinian variety of Christianity by Frumentius. Later, under the reign of the Emperor Kaleb, Axum was a quasi-ally of Byzantium against the Sasanian Empire which had adopted Zoroastrianism. The historical record is unclear with ancient church records being the primary contemporary sources.
As far back 3150 BC, some long years ago, the kingdom of Egypt was known as one of the oldest civilizations on whom the world relied for new methods and inventions in Mathematics, Hieroglyphics, Arts, and Science. It may be said that it was the cradle of the world’s civilization until the wheels spun and power got into the Roman government who snatched it from the ruler Menes–the man who unified the entire area into a single large kingdom.
The Mali Empire
One of the Oldest Civilizations in Africa is the Mali Empire. The empire was founded by Sundiata Keita (c. 1214 – c. 1255) and became renowned for the wealth of its rulers, especially Mansa Musa (Musa Keita). The Manding languages were spoken in the empire. At its peak, Mali was the largest empire in West Africa, profoundly and widely influencing the culture of the region through the spread of its language, laws and customs. Much of the recorded information about the Mali Empire comes from 14th-century North African historian Ibn Khaldun, 14th-century Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta and 16th-century Moroccan traveller Leo Africanus.
Carthage was a North African commercial hub that flourished for over 500 years. The city-state began its life in the 8th or 9th century B.C. as a Phoenician settlement in what is now Tunisia, but it later grew into a sprawling seafaring empire that dominated trade in textiles, gold, silver and copper. Carthage’s influence eventually extended from North Africa to Spain and parts of the Mediterranean, but its thirst for expansion led to increased friction with the burgeoning Roman Republic.
Today, almost all that remains of the once-mighty empire is a series of ruins in the city of Tunis.
The Songhai Empire (Modern day Niger)
This empire, which is one of the oldest civilizations in Africa, was a state that dominated the western Sahel/Sudan in the 15th and 16th century. At its peak, it was one of the largest states in African history. The state is known by its historiographical name, derived from its leading ethnic group and ruling elite, the Songhai.
It was Sonni Ali who established Gao as the capital of the empire, although a Songhai state had existed in and around Gao since the 11th century.
It was even believed that under the rule of Sonni Ali, the Songhai surpassed the Malian Empire in area, wealth, and power, absorbing vast areas of the Mali Empire and reached its greatest extent.
Another one of the oldest civilizations in Africa is the Great Zimbabwe which is proud of finest monuments in sub-Saharan Africa, an imposing collection of stacked boulders, stone towers and defensive walls assembled from cut granite blocks. The rock citadel has long been the subject of myths and legends—it was once thought to be the residence of the Biblical Queen of Sheba—but historians now know it as the capital city of an indigenous empire that thrived in the region between the 13th and 15th centuries.