Africa has the longest record of human habitation in the world. The first hominins emerged 6-7 million years ago, and among the earliest anatomically modern human skulls found so far were discovered at Omo Kibish.

Early Paleolithic History and First Stone Tools 3.3 million years ago[]

The first known hominids evolved in Africa. According to paleontology, the early hominids' skull anatomy was

Oldest painting

These red lines look a bit like an ancient hashtag. Found on a stone in a South African cave, the drawing is 75,000 years old and is thought to be the earliest known drawing by humans.

similar to that of the gorilla and the chimpanzee, great apes that also evolved in Africa, but the hominids had adopted a bipedal locomotion which freed their hands. This gave them a crucial advantage, enabling them to live in both forested areas and on the open savanna at a time when Africa was drying up and the savanna was encroaching on forested areas. This would have occurred 10 to 5 million years ago, but these claims are controversial because biologists and genetics have humans appearing around the last 70 thousand to 200 thousand years.

By 4 million years ago, several australopithecine hominid species had developed throughout Southern, Eastern and Central Africa. They were tool users, and makers of tools. They scavenged for meat and were omnivores.

By approximately 3.3 million years ago, primitive stone tools were first used to scavenge kills made by other predators and to harvest carrion and marrow from their bones.

Modern Humans 200,000 to 150,000 years ago[]

The fossil record shows Homo sapiens living in Southern and Eastern Africa at least 200,000 to 150,000 years ago. Around 40,000 years ago, the species' expansion out of Africa launched the colonization of the planet by modern human beings. By 10,000 BC, Homo sapiens had spread to most corners of Afro-Eurasia. Their disperals are traced by linguistic, cultural and genetic evidence. The earliest physical evidence of astronomical activity appears to be a lunar calendar found on the Ishango bone dated to between 23,000 and 18,000 BC.

Earliest Warfare 10,000 years ago[]

Scholars have argued that warfare was absent throughout much of humanity's prehistoric past, and that it


Nataruk site in Kenya shows among the earliest evidence of warfare

emerged from more complex political systems as a result of sedentism, agricultural farming, etc.

However, the findings at the site of Nataruk in Turkana County, Kenya, where the remains of 27 individuals who died as the result of an intentional attack by another group 10,000 years ago, suggest that inter-human conflict has a much longer history.

Neolithic Revolution 7,000 BP[]

On the African continent, three areas have been identified as independently developing agriculture: the Ethiopian highlands, the Sahel and West Africa. By contrast, Agriculture in the Nile River Valley is thought to have developed from the original Neolithic Revolution in the Fertile Crescent. Many grinding stones are found with the early Egyptian Sebilian and Mechian cultures and evidence has been found of a neolithic domesticated crop-based economy dating around 7,000 BP.

Rise of Ancient Egypt 3,100 BC[]

After the desertification of the Sahara, settlement became concentrated in the Nile Valley, where numerous


Egyptian Death Mask

sacral chiefdoms appeared. The regions with the largest population pressure were in the Nile Delta region of Lower Egypt, in Upper Egypt, and also along the second and third cataracts of the Dongola Reach of the Nile in Nubia. This population pressure and growth was brought about by the cultivation of southwest Asian crops, including wheat and barley, and the raising of sheep, goats, and cattle. Population growth led to competition for farm land and the need to regulate farming. Regulation was established by the formation of bureaucracies among sacral chiefdoms. The first and most powerful of the chiefdoms was Ta-Seti, founded around 3,500 BC. The idea of sacral chiefdom spread throughout Upper and Lower Egypt. ater consolidation of the chiefdoms into broader political entities began to occur in Upper and Lower Egypt, culminating into the unification of Egypt into one political entity by Narmer (Menes) in 3,100 BC. Instead of being viewed as a sacral chief, he became a divine king.

West Africa and the Nsude Pyramids 1,000 BC[]

In the western Sahel the rise of settled communities occurred largely as a result of the domestication of millet


Nsude Pyramids of Nigeria

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. In central Nigeria, around 1,000 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, elephants, and other animals. 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 Nokite culture.

Nsude Pyramids were 10 pyramid structures build by the Igbo people in Nsude and Agbaja Qwa. The structures were made of mud and clay,with five circular stacks, laid on each other, with decreasing circumference. The base was 60 ft in circumference with a height of 2-6 feet. The second layer was 45 ft in circumference. The structured was sacred in Igbo culture and was considered the residence of the god, Ala.

Sahara Desert