thread of great ancient BLACK african civilizations (because i'm tired of y'all fighting over ancient egypt and people putting down african history.)
the kingdom of aksum (circa 100 CE – 960 CE): it was an ancient habesha kingdom that controlled what are now eritrea, northern ethiopia, parts of eastern sudan and southern yemen at its peak. it was centralized in northern ethiopia, and its capital was aksum.
the aksumites were key players in the commercial trading routes which existed between the romans and ancient india and they were considered one of the four great powers of their time alongside china, rome, and persia.
the aksumites erected several stelae (stone wooden slabs acting as monuments in pre-christian times) during their reign but one of them is the most famous of all. standing at 79 feet, the obelisk of axum is approximately 1700 years old and is found in present-day axum, ethiopia.
later, when the aksumites converted to christianity, they unwittingly created the foundations for ethiopia’s orthodox church. today, axum is also the rumoured resting place of the ark of the covenant.
according to ethiopian tradition, aksum (the capital of the kingdom of aksum) was the home of the queen of sheba. although this queen lived many centuries before the founding of the kingdom of aksum, its kings trace their ancestry to her.
the wagadu empire/ ghana (circa 700 CE – 1240 CE): the ghana empire was a west african empire located in the area of present-day southeastern mauritania and western mali from the 6th to 13th century.
this civilization was abundant in gold, iron and copper. easy access to the niger and senegal rivers also facilitated trade. the ghana kings, residing in the capital of koumbi saleh, grew insanely rich, building up stockpiles of the gold nuggets only they were to possess.
consequently, the reputation of this kingdom spread to north africa and europe, were it was described as the fabulous land of gold.
wagadu empire artifacts:
the mali empire (circa 1230 CE – 1670 CE): this realm which was founded by sundiata keita also known as the lion king was a major african civilization that blossomed between the 13th and 16th century. it is located in west africa.
this civilization reached its peak under the rule of mansa musa who made his wealth through mali's supply of salt, gold and ivory to most of the world. musa is estimated to have been worth $400 in today's currency, making him the richest man of all time.
in 1334, musa became the first muslim ruler to four-thousand-mile pilgrimage, where he met rulers from europe and the middle east, and putting mali european maps. he also helped develop timbuktu and its university, which has since been a major learning center for the world.
mali empire artifacts:
the songhai empire (circa 1000 CE – 1591 CE): it was a state that dominated the western sahel/ sudan in the 13th century. it was the largest and last of the three major pre-colonial empires to emerge in west africa.
under the rule of sonni ali, the songhai empire rose out of the decline of the mali empire and was responsible for expanding and controlling several important trans-saharan trade routes at the time. it equally took over vast malian areas like the great city of timbuktu.
the songhai people achieved many great things and developed very useful technology and art that it still around today: the artists created a variety of artwork, the people built and used river boats, and they created the city of gao, an artisans paradise.
the songhai empire is also famous for being host to the gao mosque and tomb of askia, one of songhai's most prolific emperors.
the kingdom of zimbabwe (1220 CE – 1450 CE): it was a medieval Shona (karanga) kingdom located in modern-day zimbabwe. Its capital, lusvingo, now called Great zimbabwe, is the largest stone structure in precolonial southern africa.
great zimbabwe was a medieval african city known for its large circular wall and tower. It was part of a wealthy african trading empire that controlled much of the east african coast from the 11th to the 15th centuries C.E.
this civilization had a monopoly on the trade of gold and ivory from the southeastern coast of the continent to the interior and were famed miners specializing in minerals such as copper, iron, and gold.
they believed in mwari. mwari is the supreme creator deity according to shona traditional religion. it is believed that mwari is the author of all things and all life and all is in him. the majority of this deity's followers are concentrated in mozambique, south africa, and zimb-
great zimbabwe artifacts:
the kingdom of mutapa (1430 CE – 1760 CE): legend has it, a warrior prince from the kingdom of zimbabwe established the kingdom of mutapa. within a generation, mutapa eclipsed the glory that was great zimbabwe and its surrounds.
the mutapa empire encompassed a truly staggering portion of Southern africa, from the limpopo and zambezi rivers to the indian ocean coastline. its territory was so large that if it were around today, it would stretch across parts of six southern african nations.
the kingdom of mutapa wielded such power, they acquired a subsidy from every captain who took office in portuguese mozambique and they imposed a 50% tax levy on all trade goods imported. the mutapa people believed in mwari.
the kingdom of kongo (circa 1390 CE – 1914 CE): before european powers divided the african continent during the scramble for africa, the modern-day countries of the democratic republic of congo and the republic of congo both formed part of the kingdom of kongo.
kongolese society was a quasi-feudal one and its economy was fueled by trade routes following rivers in the region and dealing in textiles, pottery, copper, and ivory.
the benin empire (circa 1180 CE – 1897 CE): found in modern-day nigeria, the benin empire was considered one of the oldest and most developed states in west africa until its annexation by the british empire. famous artisans crafted masterpieces from ivory, bronze and iron.
they worshipped gods like osanobua who created the world and osun, deity of magic and medicine and one of the most important deities in the edo pantheon. don't confuse him with the river yoruba goddess, oshun.

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