Art

Dido Elizabeth Belle: From a Slave’s Daughter to a Georgian Aristocrat

The red sandstone Georgian Gothic styled  Scone Palace in the city of Perth, Scotland was the crowning place of Scottish kings and it was the family home of the Earls of Mansfield.  The Scone Palace is a treasury of several objects of art including porcelains, furniture and paintings. Among those historical paintings, you will find …

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KINGDOM OF MEROE: Modern approach by “Ancient” AFRICANS

On the eastern bank of the Nile River, about 200 km north-east of Khartoum, Sudan, resides the archeological site that contains remnants of a once flourishing civilization that left behind remains of royal palaces, temples, residential areas, manufacturing areas and even impressive pyramid fields. This archeological site unravels the mysteries of the ancient city of …

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The role of temples in Ancient Egyptian cities

      Religion formed a vital part of the ancient Egyptian society and temples were thus, an important part in the daily life of Egyptians. The ancient Egyptians believed that the temples were homes of the gods and goddesses. Every temple was dedicated to a specific god or a goddess, and he or she …

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Six landmarks in Somalia (195,000 BC – 3,000 BC)

Omo River The land inhabited by the Somali people is situated in the Horn of Africa, sticking out into the India Ocean to form the Somali Peninsula. The Horn of the African region is believed to be one of the few areas in the world considered the cradle of humanity, as archaeological discoveries of 1967 …

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Sultanate of Mogadishu (10th -16th century): spotlight on Middle Ages African global trade hub

When his nephew Emperor of the Ming dynasty Zhu Yunwen started eliminating rivals and demoting his uncles, Zhu Di, was “forced”, provided wonderful pretext, to rebel and depose his nephew and become the emperor himself. To add legitimacy to his rule, he did something very unusual and had one his best fleet admirals sail to the East Coast of Africa to get Giraffes. These were labelled the first re-appearance of one of the 4 benevolent animals in Chinese mythology, the Qilin. Where did they go to? What was the role of the Sultanate of Mogadishu, present-day Somalia, in the medieval world?

1,000 year kings’ list of Bunyoro-Kitara, Uganda (including the first ruler, a woman)

The evidence of civilisation around the Great Lakes of East Africa dates back 5,500 years, but if we want to name names, monarchs tend to keep better records because their right to rule depends on it. So, we know that the kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara existed from the 11th century to today, surviving an attempt by …

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Kingdom of Imerina: Images you haven’t seen from Africa

The Madagascan Kingdom of Imerina was a sizable African Kingdom that spanned from the 16th century to the 19th century. It is named so, as it had control over the majority of what is now modern-day Madagascar. It started from Imerina and spread outwards. It had two capitals, one spiritual at Ambohimanga and one political at Antananarivo, which is also the capital of modern day Madagascar as well. The architecture of Kingdom of Imerina is evidence that African achievements are poorly understood and incorrectly portrayed.

The Rwandan Civilization (2000 BC – 1960 AD): Iron and Soundwave Technology

Although, the civilisation of Rwanda dates back to 2020 BC, the earliest date for the start of centralisation under one monarch is between the 10th and 11th century. Rwanda was a landlocked kingdom situated in east-central Africa, on the south of the equator, with Nyanza as its capital. The development of the society may be …

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The Kingdom of Benin: 1,660 Years from 355 AD to Present

ORIGIN AND EVOLUTION The Great precolonial Benin kingdom is one of the oldest West African civilisations in continuous existence that commands respect; having existed from 355 BC to Present. Well known for its brilliant bronze, ivory, iron artefacts and military prowess. This kingdom although annexed is still present-day Benin city in southwestern Nigeria. It is …

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Mamluk Sultanate (1250-1517 CE): Never let a Megalomaniac get in the way of beautiful architecture

Some civilisations sacrificed a work-life balance, art and architectural brilliance to focus on winning wars. One African dynasty found time to fight the Mongol empire and build insane works of beautiful architecture at the same time. “Mamluk” comes from the Arabic “owned” or slave. The Mamluk sultanate was created by slave soldiers and administrators that took over Egypt from the Ayyubid dynasty.

The Fatimid Caliphate: Contributions to Arts and Sciences

The Fatimid caliphate was an Islamic kingdom that stretched over North Africa from 909 AD to 1171 AD. The caliphate promulgated the Seveners (or Ismāʿīlism) branch of Shia Islam and its geography spread from the Red Sea (to the East) to the Atlantic Ocean (to the West). It covered a total area of 4,100,000 square …

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The First Kingdom in Southern Africa: Mapungubwe

The Kingdom of Mapungubwe was a pre-colonial state in Southern Africa located at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers, south of Great Zimbabwe. Its name, translated roughly from the Shona language, means “Hill of the Jackal”. It flourished from the end of the 9th century to the beginning of the 14th century. It …

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The Birth of Propaganda: King Den’s Sandal Label

If a person wanted to hold (or retain) a political role and wanted the masses to hold a particular point of view, how would they go about spreading their message and proving that they are qualified for such a role? Surely, they would want to appear at their best, bringing out all their finest qualities …

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Papyri: Paving The Path To Innovation

Papyrus, from which the English word “paper” is derived, is the writing material of ancient times. The name comes from the aquatic plant Cyperus papyrus, also known as paper plant. This plant was indigenous of the Nile delta region in Egypt and it was collected mainly for its stalks. The central pith of those stalks …

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