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Medieval African clothing – more and more cotton

By |2018-04-13T01:30:20+00:00October 2nd, 2017|Africa, Clothing|

Cotton cloth made in Gujarat, India andfound in Fustat (Cairo, Egypt) - ca. 800 AD(Now in Oxford, England) People first began to weave cotton in India, also around 2000 BC, but cotton weaving soon spread to Egypt, and all down the east side of Africa. By the 400s AD, the people of Meroe and Kush were growing and weaving cotton for their clothes. Before 800 AD, [...]

Fatimid Caliphate architecture

By |2017-07-22T07:09:31+00:00July 22nd, 2017|Africa, Architecture, Islam|

Al-Azhar Mosque, Cairo (Egypt, 900s AD) As soon as the Fatimid dynasty took over ruling Egypt, in 908 AD, the new rulers of Egypt needed to show how important and strong they were. One way of showing that was to build impressive new buildings like the Al-Azhar Mosque in their new capital, Cairo. The Fatimid [...]

Medieval African Architecture – Mosques and Churches

By |2018-04-21T12:09:38+00:00May 18th, 2017|Africa, Architecture, History, Medieval|

Medieval African architecture: Al-Azhar Mosque, Cairo (Egypt, 900s AD) Africa gets richer The Middle Ages saw a tremendous explosion of architecture all over Africa as Africans became richer than they had ever been before. In Egypt, the Fatimids built mosques and forts, and the new city of Fustat (Cairo). More trade with India made the people [...]

Iron Age Architecture in Africa

By |2018-04-09T23:55:56+00:00May 18th, 2017|Africa, Architecture, History|

Iron Age architecture in Africa: Palace at Meroe, ca. 900 BC (thanks to Royal Ontario Museum) During the Bronze Age, only Egypt was rich enough to build stone buildings. But during the Iron Age, starting about 1000 BC, other parts of Africa started to trade with other parts of the world, and got rich enough to build [...]

Early African Religion – what was the first religion?

By |2018-05-25T09:44:49+00:00May 18th, 2017|Africa, History, Religion|

Early African religion: Standing stones at Nabta Playa (modern Sudan), ca. 6000 BC Early African religion - what was the first religion? The earliest evidence we have for religious faith anywhere in the world is from Blombos Cave in South Africa, where people may have been using red ochre for funerals about 100,000 [...]

Ancient Meroe and Aksum – Early Sudan

By |2018-06-28T10:38:06+00:00May 18th, 2017|Africa, History, Where|

Aksum obelisk Farming and donkeys The earliest people probably evolved from other primates  around a million years ago. That may have happened in or near what is now Sudan, south of Egypt. At first all people were hunters and gatherers. But by around 4000 BC, Nubians domesticated millet and sorghum and were farming. [...]