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By John Iliffe

This background of Africa from the origins of mankind to the South African normal election of 1994 refocuses African historical past at the peopling of an environmentally adversarial continent. The social, fiscal and political associations of the African continent have been designed to make sure survival and maximize numbers, yet within the context of clinical development and different twentieth-century thoughts those associations have bred the main quick inhabitants progress the realm has ever noticeable. The historical past of the continent is hence a unmarried tale binding dwelling Africans to the earliest human ancestors.

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Sub-saharan africa Whether Carthage transmitted metalworking to sub-Saharan Africa is one of the mysteries of African history. Copper and iron, the two metals at issue, both occur naturally, but rarely, in pure form. In this state, they can be worked by beating, especially if heated. Metalworking of this kind began about 8000 bc in western Asia (modern Turkey and Iran). But copper and iron generally occur mixed with other minerals as ore and must be purified of them by smelting at high temperatures.

There was a dislike of kings with great authority’, wrote the Roman historian Livy. At later periods, however, egalitarian ideology often coexisted with local Big Men, especially during crises, and that was probably also true in antiquity. Late in the second millennium bc, Phoenician traders from modern Lebanon began to colonise the North African coast. Their most powerful settlement was Carthage (‘New City’), established in the north of modern Tunisia soon after its traditional foundation date of 814 bc and governed by its wealthy citizens.

The chief beneficiaries were probably the prominent Berber families who increasingly adopted Roman culture and seigneurial lifestyles. At the largely Berber town of Gigthis in southern Tunisia, for example, Memnius Pacatus was both chief of the Chinithi tribe and head of a family that, by ad 200, was producing Roman senators. The Berber goddess Tanit of Carthage became Juno Caelestis, the Roman Queen of Heaven. Mosaic artists and writers like Apuleius expressed a vigorous and distinctive North African culture, which was to outlive Roman government.

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