Africa was the native land of many original cultures and powerful states. But in the course of time external forces - at first Arabs, are later Europeans - they began to exert to it ever more destructive influence.
Probably, precisely, Africa was the cradle of humanity. In the gorge Of [oldovay] (Tanzania) are found the bones of our distant ancestors and implement of labor, whose age specialists determine into more than two million years.
Beginning approximately since 8000. B.C., people of the Stone Age populated entire extensive territory then an even greener and fertile North Africa. The numerous models of stone painting testify about this. However, B.C. climate changed between 4000 and 2000 yr., the earth dried and appeared desert the Sahara. Since then to new ideas and to technologies were required centuries, in order to overcome this serious obstacle, which considerably slowed down the development of Africa south of the Sahara. Meanwhile North Africa became the part Mediterranean culture, having at first given birth to Egypt, and having been more lately poured into the antique (Ancient Greek and Roman) civilization and finally into the Islamic world.
Life in other regions of Africa was determined mainly by the geographical and climatic conditions, which hampered contact with the external world and those strengthened the destructive effect of diseases. Among the geographical factors should be named extensive deserts and jungle, and also the high plateaus, from which the rivers were brought down by swift waterfalls, which interfere withd using these natural communications for the migration and trade. Nevertheless, long before our era to the territory of Africa to the south of the Sahara penetrated agriculture, and somewhere with II v. B.C. from the northeast - and the technology of metal working. The way of these knowledge to the south was extremely slow, and nevertheless to 1200 A.D. pygmies and Bushmen remained only Africans, who live in the Stone Age. However, agriculture everywhere was located on the extremely primitive level, and wheel and plow in the age-old African cultures practically were absent.
The valley of the Nile was main communication between the north and the south; therefore it is not surprising that the first significant [nesredizemnomorskaya] African culture arose to the south of Egypt, in the country KUSh, in the territory of modern Sudan. By 1000. B.C. KUSh was designed as the independent reign with the capital in [Napate]. At the end ViII v. B.C. this state was already sufficient to powerful in order to conquer Egypt and to establish its there dynasty pharaoh's. However, in the 80's VII v. B.C. of [kushitov] banished Assyrians. This collision had positive sides - probably, [kushity] learned the secret of melting metals from the Assyrians. These knowledge acquired great significance in the following century, when by the capital of state became the rich ore Of [meroe], located in 500 km to the south. It became rich because of iron and gold KUSh, the complex and refined culture began to be developed. On it, undoubtedly, had an effect Egypt - us reached [kushitskie] hieroglyphic inscriptions and pyramids.
KUSh existed sufficiently for long, but about 300 g. A.D. were destroyed by new state, which arose in northeastern Africa - [Aksumom], or by Ethiopia. Ethiopia accepted Christianity in IV v., but in three centuries it was cut off from the remaining Christian peace by Moslem- Arabs, who subjugated entire North Africa.
For a period of centuries Ethiopia was only Christian state in Africa. Medieval Europeans they knew [o] it only from legends. In contrast to the remaining, especially [neislamskikh] African cultures, Ethiopia was the country with the high literacy. In its isolated position it could create unique and developed Christian civilization. Monarchs, who guided by it up to until 1974 ; beginning their kind from tsar Solomon and tsarina [Savskoy] bore title “lion israelites”.
Beginning with I v. A.D., when in North Africa camels appeared, the Sahara it ceased to be the insurmountable barrier. Through it were laid caravan ways on which in the Mediterranean and further into Europe conveyed gold, ivory morocco (“Moroccan”) skin, and conversely - cloths and objects of luxury.
Some cities, for example, Of [timbuk] on the southern border of the Sahara, it flourished because of this trade, and on the banks of river the niger (West Sudan) and lake fumes appeared several empires. Ghana, Mali, [Songai] to Disappear- Born coexisted or changed each other to the end XVI thus far war with Morocco it did not break this [teritoriyu] into the small, quarrelling between themselves reigns. Many modern African countries, which received independence only in 1960- X or more lately took to themselves names from the history of Africa - Ghana, Mali, Zimbabwe, Lesotho; therefore it is not possible to confuse old and new states by the identical names, which frequently are located on the map in the different places.
About 1000 g. A.D. together with the Arab by merchants the Sahara crossed Islam. The rulers of great African empires West Sudan were inverted into the new faith; however, those yielded the majority of them remained true to old gods and to cults. Began to be developed rich Islamic culture, and soon into [Timbuktu], name, which for the Europeans it was associated with the most remote corners of light, appeared the university, which was become famous in entire Islamic world. The large part of the knowledge about this region we got from the notes of the Arab travellers, for example, of the historian OF XIV v. Of [ibn] Of [battuty].
Arabs brought Islam also into East Africa, where the tribes of coast already fulfilled the role of mediators on the commercial ways, which were lengthened from the depths of continent of up to Asia. Arabs settled on coast of approximately 800 g. and soon were mixed with the population, which told on bow. The language of Swahili as a result appeared.
The East Coast
With the development of Portuguese trade in the Indian Ocean the East coast of Africa was enriched because of the export of gold. The emergent new cities, Zanzibar, [Mombasa] and [Kilva], flourished. The Arab single-masted Dows repeatedly crossed ocean and swam to India long before Portuguese seafarer Basco yes dins. For it hardly would be possible to swim in 1498 .[do] of Calcutta, if it did not direct there the experienced pilots of eastern- African coast. However, good relations lasted not long - after only several years Portugese ransacked [Mombasu] and other Arab cities, which became the first Portuguese colonial outposts under the general name Mozambique.
The large part of gold fell on coast from the extensive reign in the depth of the continent, as center of which, obviously, served granite palace complex in great Zimbabwe. The majorities of the construction in Africa of past centuries, even palaces, were made from the fragile materials (clay, brick and reed); therefore the imposing construction of Zimbabwe was unique for the south of Africa - their wall and tower they were elevated by the method of dry laying, with which separate blocks accurately and reliably drive on to each other without the connecting material.
Who did construct Zimbabwe?
Zimbabwe it was always surrounded by secret, because it was preserved no written evidence about its history. Early European settlers were so assured in their superiority over Africans, that simply they could not believe in the ability of blacks to build such large construction, and therefore they assigned to their Phoenicians and tsarina [Savskoy]. The state of Zimbabwe was created by the people of Sean, possibly, even at the beginning VII v. B.C. and it existed to XIX v. building in the capital - great Zimbabwe - began about 1200 g. and continued to XVI v., when city was left for the unknown reasons. New era began with the arrival of Portuguese seamen for West Africa and entire continent.
In the territory of modern Nigeria, not far from the coast, the Portugese revealed reign Benin, that existed up to the British colonization in 1897. In Benin and his close neighbor To [ife] were created the masterpieces of sculpture, which conquered acknowledgement in the entire world. Sculpture - most surprising of the skills of Africa. Most frequently we meet with the stylized figurines and the masks, cut out from the tree for the cult purposes. Benin's sculpture is, on the contrary, to the surprise realistic. Many works were created for the palace of technically the more complex material - bronze.
African tribes had neither technical knowledge nor collective security system, which gives the participation in the important political associations. The separate kinds and clans became light of the outputs of slave-traders. Arabs accomplished raids to the African tribes by centuries, but Europeans acted with the much greater spread. Beginning with XVII v. they they exported into America tens of millions of Africans.
The stronger African states of Africa also not [brezgovali] by this shameful matter. At the beginning XVIII v. kingdom To [ashanti] so became rich in trade by slaves and in gold, that, boasting by their exploits, soldiers each year weighed the gold posthumous masks of the killed enemies on the revered by gold throne. After creating effective control elements in the capital Of [kumasi] and network of communications in the entire country (orders they resounded messengers), kingdom began to prevail in the region, and it was sufficient to strong in order to hold in control the expansion of the well armed Europeans up to the end of the 19th Century. Contacts with the Europeans made the [mezhplemennye] wars more destructive. Fighting for the spheres of influence, many European Countries tried to sell weapon to African rulers. According to the estimations, only from Birmingham (England) to Africa in the middle XVIII v. entered 100.000 muskets. As a result wars continued to appear (they disappeared) newer and newer states - thus far European interference did not become straight line and undisguised.
Zulus in the Southern Africa were last great conquerors. Their tribes were combined at the beginning XIX v. under the beginning [Dingisvayo], right hand of which was legendary [Shaka] (chock). Brilliant general, [Shaka] invented the tactics of battle, because of which the army of Zulus became invincible. After death [Dingivayo] Of [shaka] he became the king of Zulus and it waged continuous wars with other tribes. By 1820. [Shaka] was guided in the territory of more than 10 000 sq. miles. Absolute power made by its [polubezumnym] despot, on whim of whom could be executed not only captured enemies, but also its own military leaders. Many of them ran into the adjacent earth in order to save its life. In 1828. the bloody administration Of [shaki] ended - it was it y6[it] by its stepbrother [Dingaanom]. In the following decades the Zulus left by the terrible Armed Forces, of what 1879 g. it was necessary to be convinced to Britons. In the course of the bitter battles however European technical superiority was said, and finally Zulu army was broken.
Fight for Africa
In 1800. Europeans controlled the relatively small territory of Africa, in essence on coast. B[ek] OF THE XIX became the century of courageous researchers and Christian missionaries, but after them, already since 1809, followed policy servicemen. In the results “battle for Africa” almost entire [kontinet] it proved to be in the straight colonially subordination or under “the protectorates of European powers.
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