Sahara Desert

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Medieval African history – Timbuktu and Great Zimbabwe

By |2018-04-21T12:09:34+00:00October 3rd, 2017|Africa, History|

Mansa Musa of Mali After the 400s AD, the Bantu expansion slowed down. They had already settled most of the good farmland in southern Africa. What was left was mainly desert or thick jungle. It was no good for farming or herding cattle. The Bantu left that land to the Khoikhoi and San people who already lived there. [...]

Climate change and world history

By |2018-04-19T14:19:05+00:00June 20th, 2017|Environment|

Climate change and world history: Wildebeest on savannah grasslands, Kenya (Africa) African grasslands emerge In the years just before human beings first evolved, the world was a wetter place than it is now, and a lot of Africa was covered in tropical jungle, full of fruit trees and small animals. But around six [...]

Where do camels come from?

By |2018-04-19T08:38:14+00:00June 12th, 2017|Central Asia, Economy|

History of camels: A group of camels North American wild camels Wild camels first originated in North America. Before the last Ice Age, they spread from North America to East Asia. From East Asia, camels reached Central Asia and Iran and Arabia. Other camels moved south to South America, where they became llamas and [...]

African Economy Learning Activity

By |2018-04-09T10:31:08+00:00May 22nd, 2017|Africa, Crafts, Economy|

African salt caravan To have a chance to think about what these economic trades would have meant to African people, imagine you are one of these people (if you're in a class, a group of kids can be each person). Think about what you might buy from the other people, and what you [...]

Early African Art

By |2018-04-10T14:56:35+00:00May 19th, 2017|Africa, Art|

Early African art from Blombos Cave, South Africa (ca. 80,000 BC) People were producing art in South Africa even before the first people left Africa for other parts of the world. The earliest art we know about comes from Blombos Cave in South Africa, where there are carvings and bead jewelry from about [...]

Salt Caravans

By |2018-04-10T00:13:55+00:00May 19th, 2017|Africa, China, Food|

A salt caravan across the Sahara Desert Mining salt in antiquity The salt trade, already important in the Bronze Age, grew more and more important over time. By 252 BC, a Chinese governor named Li Bing also figured out how to mine salt. People dug deep pits down to where there were natural [...]

Medieval African Economy

By |2018-04-10T00:08:51+00:00May 19th, 2017|Africa, Economy, History, Medieval|

Medieval African economy: A salt caravan across the Sahara Desert West African caravan trade The African economy had always involved international trade. But trade became even more important in the Middle Ages. Starting around 1000 AD, West African traders also sold gold. Traders with camels carried the gold across the Sahara from West Africa [...]