Interesting ancient west africa history
In the western Sahel the rise of settled communities occurred largely as a result of the domestication of millet and of sorghum. Archaeology points to sizable urban populations in West Africa beginning in the 2nd millennium BC.
Symbiotic trade relations developed before the trans-Saharan trade, in response to the opportunities afforded by north-south diversity in ecosystems across deserts, grasslands, and forests.
The agriculturists received salt from the desert nomads. The desert nomads acquired meat and other foods from pastoralists and farmers of the grasslands and from fishermen on the Niger River. The forest-dwellers provided furs and meat. This is definitely an interesting ancient west africa history worth knowing.
Dhar Tichitt and Oualata in present-day Mauritania figure prominently among the early urban centers, dated to 2,000 BC. About 500 stone settlements litter the region in the former savannah of the Sahara. Its inhabitants fished and grew millet. It has been found Augustin Holl that the Soninke of the Mandé peoples were likely responsible for constructing such settlements.
Other ancient west africa history has it that around 300 BC the region became more desiccated and the settlements began to decline, most likely relocating to Koumbi Saleh.
Architectural evidence and the comparison of pottery styles suggest that Dhar Tichitt was related to the subsequent Ghana Empire. Djenné-Djenno (in present-day Mali) was settled around 300 BC, and the town grew to house a sizable Iron Age population, as evidenced by crowded cemeteries. Living structures were made of sun-dried mud. By 250 BC Djenné-Djenno had become a large, thriving market town.
Farther south, in central Nigeria, around 1,500 BC, the Nok culture developed on the Jos Plateau. It was a highly centralized community. The Nok people produced lifelike representations in terracotta, including human heads and human figures, elephants, and other animals. According to Wikipedia, by 500 BC they were smelting iron.
By 200 AD the Nok culture had vanished. Based on stylistic similarities with the Nok terracottas, the bronze figurines of the Yoruba kingdom of Ife and those of the Bini kingdom of Benin are now believed to be continuations of the traditions of the earlier Nok culture.
For more ancient west africa history and other interesting stories, Brand Africa Group has more for you.