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Africa history

Updated on June 10, 2016
Million years skull of homo erectus
Million years skull of homo erectus

Prehistory or Before Man Learnt to Write

Nobody can say certainly how and when the universe and the earth on which man lives were made.There are however, suggestions or theories which try to explain the origin of the universe and earth.according to these theories,many millions of years ago the sun was a big burning ball moving at a great speed in space.part of broke away,cooled down and formed the various planets,stars and the heavenly bodies.The earth is one of the planets.The earth came into being about two thousand million years ago!

How the Continent of Africa Came Into Being

It is believed that the Earth was at first a solid mass of rock.It was no differentiated into soil,land and sea and there was no life upon it for many thousand of years.There were no continents as we know them other words there was a time when Africa,too,did not exist as we know it was part of solid mass extending from Brazil to Australia.The solid mass was known as the Gondowanaland

After many centuries,Gondowanaland disintegrated,that is,broke into smaller pieces and Africa emrged as one of the distinct land masses or continent.

The disintegration happened in either or both of the following two ways.The Gondowanaland developed some great cracks or faults and probably as a result of the alternating periods of great heat and cold.owing to the cracks,parts of Gondowanaland sank while the other part of Gondowanaland maintained their level.The part which sank became the Indian and south Atlantic oceans.The parts which maintaned their level became the Continent Africa,South and North Americas,Asia and Europe as well as Australia.

Perhaps the cracks or faults led to a drifting apart of the disjointed parts of and the oceans and Continents appeared.

How Things and man appeared on earth

For a very long time after the universe,the Earth and continent where formed,there was no life at all on them.perhaps the Earth was then too hot to support any life.

At last and along the margins of the warm seas,there appeared the first signs of life.

These were tiny living things like the little mosquitoes in a standing water.This was probably about eight hundred million years ago!

As time went on,the tiny living things developed into fishes.After thousand of years the fishes developed into creatures that could live both in the water and on land as well.These are called amphibians and they were very large and huge.perhaps there was a period of great cold and water became ice and many of the amphibians died and only a few survived.Some of these developed into reptiles-huge lizards and crocodiles.

After a long time some of the reptiles died,others survived while others developed into birds and four footed animals.From these again developed animals taht could stand on two hind legs and use the two fore legs as hands.These were the gorillas,apes and chimpanzees.This was probably about two hundred million years ago.

It was from the apes and gorillas that the first human creature appeared about twenty-five million years ago.The remains of the first human creature was found in the north-east corner of lake Victoria in Africa.

The first human creature,named proconsul,was ''an erect groung living creature differentiated from animals which science knows so far.

Human revolution
Human revolution
Java Apeman
Java Apeman

Thus it was in Africa that man's ancestors became differentiated from othe animals.

About six million years ago another ancestors of man also lived.His remains had been discovered in Java,an island in Easth indies.He was called the Java Ape Man.

About two million years ago there lived in northern Tanganyiga in Africa the first human creature to make tools.he was named the Zinjanthropus.once again Africa has produced the first tools maker.Africa thence forward remained the area where human creatures lived and took definite human form.'pebble tools' and 'hand axe,'the earliest tools,were found mostly and continously in most area in Africa.

After this period human creatures lived and we're found in many other places in the world.chief among these are Heidelberg in Germany(about 250,000 BC)

Piltdown in England (about 100,000 BC),and in Neaderthal in Germany(about 50,000 BC)These have have since then been referred to as the Heidelberg man,the Piltdown man and the Neanderthal man respectively.

The Appearance and Achievements of the early human creatures.They could not speak.They probably hummed.Their skull resembled those of apes.They however discovered fire and made rough stone implement called ''eoliths" or ''drawn stone." Fire was probably discovered about 200,000 years ago in pekin in the farthest end of Asia.

3.1 million years old Australopithecus tooth in london
3.1 million years old Australopithecus tooth in london

Fire in Africa - it effects.

In Africa,fira was discovered about 50,000 years ago.The effect of the discovery of fire were great.Man began to live in caves and under rocks and frightened away wild animals.

In Europe the neanderthal Man haunted the reindeer Africa Man began to penetrate the forest region of the Congo and the Guinea.At the long last in 35,000 B.C the first real man appeared on earth


Man's history is divided according to,and named after,the materials from which he made his weapons.

Thus the stone age was the period when Man used stones to make his tools and weapons.

The metal age was the period when he made his weapon from metal.

During the Primitive Times,stone was the material from which he made his tools and weapons.At first the stone weapons were very rough but later they became polished at better.

Therefore we can didvide the Primitive Times into the Old and the New Stone Ages.


This was the period when Man made rough stone weapons.

The proconsul,the java Man,the Zinjanthropus the Heiderthal Man,the piltdown Man and the Neanderthal Man mentioned above belonged to the Old Stone Aged.

Their Appearance:The men of the early Old Stone Age stooped and could not stand erect.The body was full of hairs.They were unable to speak.Later,as the Old Stone Age progressed,real human creatures appeared.They still looked more of apes than of human beings.

Their weapons were mainly Stone,flints,wood,clubs and cudgels.They discovered fire and frightened away animals.later,they used improved flint weapons,harpoons,spear and heads and fist hatchet.

Their Occupation was hunting and food gathering Very late in the age,they kept some animal. Their clothes:They wore leaves and the skin of the animal they killed.Cosmetics like powder were used.Their food consisted mainly on wild fruits,fish,fungi and flesh of the animals they killed.Sometimes they had plenty and were well fed,but sometimes they had nothing and went hungry. Their social Life:They had no law.The strongest man was the leader.

Their Art:Some of the Old Stone Age men were good painters.During the periods of cold (ice Ages),the men lived in the caves and spent the time in drawing and painting.Some of their painting were found in a cave in Northern Spain in A. D. 1879

Here were found the painting of six horses each about seven feet long.

Their Religion:By the end of the Old Stone Age,Man had the knowledge of good and evil.Man had become totally differentiated from animals because he possessed wisdom or he is what is called Homo Sapiens,meaning ''Wise man" This was the reason Why Man had the upper hand over the animals in the struggle for existence.

Africa in the Old Stone Age

The ancestors of the Bushmen,the Negroes,the pygmies and the semi white or pro-hamites emerged as distinct races.The pro-hamites probably developed around the Horn of Africa,or came from south-west. Asia or Arabia.They however developed a civilization or culture.

The Capsian Culture:Their Culture developed in two places namely:in Tunisia in North Africa and Kenya in Easth Africa.They buried their dead bodies.They invented a fishing instrument named the bone harpoon and this enabled Kenya Captain to settle around the lakes of East Africa and practise fishing.

In ancient Khartoum,also grew up a similar culture.Here too the men buried their deads,they also made large open pots.They removed some of their teeth.This is a kind of fashion.

In Asselar in sudan,there lived negroes also.At this time,about (10,000 B. C.),the Sahara Desert was well watered and many people lived their.The people of Asselar were similar to those of Khartoum and Kenya.They buried their dead too.

The formation of Nigeria tribe took place about this time.The Sahara gradually became drier and people had to migrate north and south.Some of these Sahara immigrants probably entered Nigeria from either east or west.

They reached Northern Nigeria first and later,they or their ideas went to southern parts of Nigeria.

They found people already living in Nigeria,settled in their midst and probably ruled them.Later,two groups mixed the various parts of Northern Nigeria,especially on the Bauchi Plateau,had been found old Stone Age hand Axes.As time goes on and more digging is done,more discoveries of old Stone Age people would be found elsewhere in Nigeria.

The New Stone Age or the Neolithic Age

The new Stone Age was the period when Man began to make better and polished stone weapons and tools.This period was shorter than the previous Old Stone Age.The reason is that progress is more rapid if it has a foundation ,something on which to improve.

The chief features of the New Stone Age

First,Man began to make and use polished stone tools,especially the stone axe to which a handle was fitted.secondly,the taming and rearing of animals began.Thirdly,weaving and plaiting also began.

In the fourth place,Man began simple. agriculture,cooking and pot the fifth place,gold,then copper,and later tin,bronze and iron were discovered and Man entered the metal age.


In appearance the men of New Stone Age looked more like mordern men than apes.

Their occupation:They had learnt to keep animals and grow some crops.They still hunted and ate fruits

Their Farming was crude.Their hoes and ploughs were primitive and were made of wood.They had learnt to plant wheat and barley.

Their Dress had now improved but was mainly skin.They wore also some rough kind of linen.They wore leaves too.

Their Food:They ate meat especially deer and wild boar.They did not eat fox and horses.They thought that if they ate fox it would make them timid. Their Houses:Some of them still lived in caves while others lived in huts and tents,especially when they began to grow crops. The Lake Dwellers:some of the New Stone Age men went to switzerland and built special huts and homes on the lakes.These were known as Lake Dwellers.Their houses were grouped together to form villages.

In A. D. 1854 when the waters of the lake were low somebody observed some constructions.

He investigated further and carried out digging he found about 50,000 piles of stick driven into the beds of the lake.This formed the foundation of the lake village.

In some places,the New Stone Age men used mud and thatch to build their houses.They dug ditches round the village for protection.

Their Arts and Crafts consisted of basket making,spinning and weaving of flax and wool.They also made pots.

Their Habbits:They buried their dead with care and built heaps or mounds of earth on burial places of more important men.

Their Religion was nature worship.They believed that trees,rivers,hill and mountains had spirit which could harm them if they did not worship them. Magic,charms and sacrifices were used to keep off the evil.

They also worshipped their ancestors.Sun worship was the most important aspect of their nature worship.this was because the sun warmed them and helped their crops to grow.farming and animals rearing which were the main aspects of the New Stone Age began in south-west Asia and spread to Africa through suez.

Cultivation and the New Stone Age actually began in the Nile Delta around 5,000 B. C. Then it reached the Sudan by about 3,000 B. C and Nigeria between about 3,000 and 1,500. B C.

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      3 years ago from akure

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