Tuesday 25 July 2023


Trade with the Near East and Europe led to strong mercantile empires growing such as the Ethiopian kingdom of Axum. Various states and polities also developed in West Africa including Ife, the Kingdom of Benin, Igbo Ukwu, DjennΓ©-Djenno, Ghana Empire, Bono State and the Ashanti Empire. 

Bantu peoples in southern Africa built the impressive site of Great Zimbabwe between the 10th and 15th centuries CE. The north of the continent had close cultural and economic ties with the Classical and medieval Mediterranean. Cattle herding became important in the Horn of Africa and huge earthwork enclosures were built to corral the animals. 

The people of Christian Ethiopia produced impressive rock-cut monolithic churches such as that of St George at Lalibela during the 13th century and the first Portuguese forts appeared soon after this, penetrating as far south as Zambia.

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