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Timeline of Ancient Africa


Year 100,000: homo sapiens (humans) begin to migrate from Africa.

Homo Sapiens Dispersal Routes

8500-6500: People of the Sahara desert begin making pottery for tools and dishes.

5000: the area along the Nile River (the Nile River Valley) was inhabited.

River Nile Map

3100: Egypt is unified under one pharaoh who is called Narmer.

This is the start of the first Dynasty of Ancient Egypt.

Limestone Head Of A King

3000: The Ancient Egyptian writing system, hieroglyphics, is invented.

Egypt Hieroglyph

3000-2000: Camels are domesticated by Ancient Somalis, then North Africans and Egyptians.

2950: The first Egyptian pyramid is built by Imhotep.

Pyramid Of Djoser

2575 The Great Pyramids of Giza are built.

2181-2055: A period of civil wars in Egypt between upper and lower Egypt. The Middle Kingdom emerges in Egypt.

2000-1000: Herding animals begins in Kenya and Tanzania.

1000: There is a great migration from west to central and southern Africa that is called the Bantu Migration.

Bantu Phillipson

1000: Nok culture in Nigeria begins they begin ironworking in at least 500 BCE.

Nok Map

814 The city of Carthage (North Africa) is established.

Archaeological Site Of Carthage

730: The start of the Nubian Empire.

509: The first treaty between Carthage and Rome is written.

525: The Persians invade Egypt.

Meeting Between Cambyses II And Psammetichus III

332: Alexander the Great conquers Egypt. His general, Ptolemy, becomes King.

300: The trading town of Djenne Djenno (located in modern day Mali) is established. It is one of the earliest iron working sites in sub-Saharan Africa that we know about.

264-146: Carthage has three wars with the Roman Republic (called the Punic Wars). Carthage loses and it is named a Roman Province of Africa.


100-200: Jewish settlers arrive in Roman North Africa after being expelled from Judea.

100: The Kingdom of Aksum rises to power in Ethiopia.

Stela Aksum

300: The Empire of Ghana rises to power in West Africa, ruling until around 1000 CE.

325: The height of the Aksum Empire under King Ezana.

709 The Arab Muslims take over North Africa.

711: The Moors (North Africa) conquer the Iberian Peninsula of Europe.

Christian And Muslim Playing Chess

1100: Great Zimbabwe, the city, is established in Central Africa.

1235: The Empire of Mali is established by Sundiata Keita.

1300: The Kingdom of Kongo rises to power, ruling until 1900.

Royal Banner Of Kongo (Afonso I)

1324: Mansa Musa, the King of Kings from the Empire of Mali, makes a pilgrimage to Mecca in the Middle East.

1464: The Songhai Empire comes to power in West Africa.

1500s: The Luba Kingdom is established in Central Africa.

African Civilizations Map Pre Colonia

1600s: The Kuba Empire is established according to oral histories.

1815-1840: Shaka Zulu unifies societies under his control and creates the Zulu Empire.

1889: The Second Boer War begins in South Africa between the British colonisers and the Dutch settlers, called the Boers.

Boers At Spion Kop

Ancient Africa

Pyramid Of Djoser

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