British art historian Dr. Gus Casely-Hayford explores the pre-colonial history of some of Africa's most important kingdoms.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Lost Kingdoms of Africa - History of Africa - Netflix
The history of Africa begins with the emergence of hominids, archaic humans and – around 5.6 to 7.5 million years ago – anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens), in East Africa, and continues unbroken into the present as a patchwork of diverse and politically developing nation states. The earliest known recorded history arose in the Kingdom of Kush, and later in Ancient Egypt, the Sahel, the Maghreb and the Horn of Africa. Following the desertification of the Sahara, North African history became entwined with the Middle East and Southern Europe while the Bantu expansion swept from modern day Cameroon (West Africa) across much of the sub-Saharan continent in waves between around 1000 BC and 0 AD, creating a linguistic commonality across much of the central and Southern continent. During the Middle Ages, Islam spread west from Arabia to Egypt, crossing the Maghreb and the Sahel. Some notable pre-colonial states and societies in Africa include the Ajuran Empire, D'mt, Adal Sultanate, Warsangali Sultanate, Kingdom of Nri, Nok culture, Mali Empire, Songhai Empire, Benin Empire, Oyo Empire, Ashanti Empire, Ghana Empire, Mossi Kingdoms, Mutapa Empire, Kingdom of Mapungubwe, Kingdom of Sine, Kingdom of Sennar, Kingdom of Saloum, Kingdom of Baol, Kingdom of Cayor, Kingdom of Zimbabwe, Kingdom of Kongo, Empire of Kaabu, Kingdom of Ile Ife, Ancient Carthage, Numidia, Mauretania, and the Aksumite Empire. At its peak, prior to European colonialism, it is estimated that Africa had up to 10,000 different states and autonomous groups with distinct languages and customs. From the mid-7th century, the Arab slave trade saw Muslim Arabs enslave Africans following an armistice between the Rashidun Caliphate and the Kingdom of Makuria after the Second Battle of Dongola in 652 AD. They were transported, along with Asians and Europeans, across the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Sahara Desert. From the late 15th century, Europeans joined the slave trade that includes the triangular trade, with the Portuguese initially acquiring slaves through trade and later by force as part of the Atlantic slave trade. They transported enslaved West, Central, and Southern Africans overseas. Subsequently, European colonization of Africa developed rapidly from around 10% (1870) to over 90% (1914) in the Scramble for Africa (1881-1914). However following struggles for independence in many parts of the continent, as well as a weakened Europe after the Second World War (1939 - 1945), decolonization took place across the continent, culminating in the 1960 Year of Africa. Africa's pre-colonial history has been challenging to research within the field of African studies, because of the scarcity of written sources in large parts of the continent, particularly with the destruction of many of the most important manuscripts from Timbuktu. Disciplines such as the recording of oral history, historical linguistics, archaeology and genetics have been crucial.
Lost Kingdoms of Africa - Prehistory - Netflix
According to the theory of recent African origin of modern humans, the mainstream position held within the scientific community, all humans originate from either Southeast Africa or the Horn of Africa. During the first millennium CE, Nilotic and Bantu-speaking peoples moved into the region.
Lost Kingdoms of Africa - References - Netflix