Download e-book for kindle: Africans: The History of a Continent (African Studies) by John Iliffe

By John Iliffe

ISBN-10: 0521484227

ISBN-13: 9780521484220

This historical past of Africa from the origins of mankind to the South African common election of 1994 refocuses African heritage at the peopling of an environmentally opposed continent. The social, monetary and political associations of the African continent have been designed to make sure survival and maximize numbers, yet within the context of scientific growth and different twentieth-century ideas those associations have bred the main speedy inhabitants development the realm has ever obvious. The historical past of the continent is therefore a unmarried tale binding dwelling Africans to the earliest human ancestors.

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The predominant group in this early desert economy were the Garamantes of the Fezzan, a people of mixed Negroid and Berber origin who from the later first millennium bc constructed several thousand kilometres of underground irrigation channels in their oasis to support cultivation of wheat, barley, dates, vines, and olives. Numbering perhaps 50,000 to 100,000, they created a state that clashed with three Roman expeditions before establishing a mutually profitable relationship, importing Roman models and even Roman building materials for its stone-built capital, supplying in return the slaves, semiprecious stones, and other exotic goods that entered Mediterranean trade.

Domesticated millet quickly diffused southward. Small quantities were grown on the southern shores of Lake Chad by 1200 bc and in the north of modern Burkina Faso shortly thereafter. Most strikingly, by the middle of the second millennium bc, domesticated millet, sheep and/or goats, small local cattle, and pottery with Saharan affinities were all components of the economy at Birimi, a settlement close to the northern edge of the West African forest in modern Ghana. This was an outlier of the Kintampo culture whose other sites, further south in the forest, show the exploitation of oil-palm and the use of ground-stone axes, probably for forest clearance.

728 bc, King Piankhy intervened in Egypt, ironically as champion of pharaonic traditions against Libyan military expansion. Napata’s rule in Egypt until 656 bc accustomed its kings to an elite culture of Egyptian-style temples, tombs, arts, crafts, and the use of the Egyptian written language. It also gave Napata its first discovered iron object: a spearhead wrapped in gold foil and found in the tomb of King Taharqa (690–664 bc). The Saite rulers who expelled Taharqa’s successors from Egypt followed up their victory by attacking Napata in 593 bc.

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Africans: The History of a Continent (African Studies) by John Iliffe

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