• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Africa Timeline

Page history last edited by Barbara Allen 16 years ago

Types of societies                                                                                                    

     (click here for a shorter printable version of this page) 


A hunter-gatherer society is one whose primary subsistence method involves the direct procurement of edible plants and animals from the wild, foraging and hunting without significant recourse to the domestication of either. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter-gatherer


The primary subistence method is based on domesticated herd animals. The society is still nomadic, following natural weather cycles and wild plant availability. It is possible for nomadic groups who follow a regular movement pattern to practice land cultivation, by seeding plants that will be ready for harvest when the group passes through the area the next time.

Agriculturalist The society is non-nomadic and based on agriculture and non-nomadic herding. Both plants and animals are domesticated. 
Industrial The raw materials of the food supply are agricultural but the society revolves around manufacturing and trade rather than agriculture alone.


It has been assumed that the classifications above represented a natural evolution of culture from hunter-gatherer to pastoralist to agriculturalist industrial and post industrial. However there is evidence that some agriculturalist groups have moved "back" to hunter-gatherer groups.

African Empires on the world timeline

From Smithsonian Teacher Resources http://africa.si.edu/exhibits/resources/mali/index.htm



African Timeline

 Time  Region Events
3,200,000 BC Ethiopia

First appearance of humans, based on discovery of "Lucy" (Australopithecus afarensis) remains 


130,000 BC Africa

Based on fossils, many scientist conclude that modern H. sapiens had evolved in Africa by 130,000 years ago and started spreading to diverse parts of the world beginning on a route through the Near East sometime before 90,000 years ago.  These were the ancestors of the San people in South Africa.


Mitochondrial DNA (MtDNA) research into modern human origins has produced two major findings. First, the entire amount of variation in mtDNA across human populations is small in comparison with that of other animal species. This means that all human mtDNA originated from a single ancestral lineage -- specifically, a single mother -- fairly recently and has been mutating ever since, producing the small diversity that exists throughout the human species. Most estimates of the mutation rate indicate an origin of about 200,000 years ago. The second major finding is that mtDNA of African populations is more diverse than of peoples of other continents. This suggests that African mtDNA has been changing for a longer time than elsewhere. Thus Africa is the likely source of the original mtDNA mother (sometimes called "Mitochondrial Eve"). Some geneticists and anthropologists have concluded, then, that modern humans originated in a small population in Africa and spread from there.


25,000 BC South Africa Rock art created by San in South Africa 
6000 BC

Nile, Congo

Emergence of River people along Nile and Congo

6000-4000 BC Sub Saharan Africa

Rise of agriculture in SubSaharan Africa

4000-1000 BC Nile Valley Rise of kingdoms along the Nile
3500 BC Egypt First known written documents
1000-800 BC Africa

Bantu probably originated in West Africa, migrated downward to Subsaharan area, largest migration in human history, agriculturalists or pastoralists.Bantu split in Eastern, migrating down into South Africa, and Western, migrating into Angola, Namibia, and Botswana

300 AD Ghana Rise of the Ghana Empire of Soninke people
600 AD Southern Africa Bantu cities, Great Zimbabwe, Dhlo-Dhlo, Kilwa, Sofala,  flourishing through 1600 AD
610 AD Africa Spread of Islam through most of Africa
639-641 AD Egypt  Khalif Omar conquers Egypt with Islamic troops
700-800 AD Africa Islam spreads over most of Africa
700-1911 AD  Africa Slave trade in Africa and from Africa to the East flourishes from 700-1911
800 AD Sahel From Ghana, Mali, and Songhai, gold, kola nuts, and slaves were sent north across the sahel to trade for cloth, utensils and salt
1000 AD Ghana Ghana Empire at its height
1200 AD Mali Mali Empire, 1235 - 1600
1375 AD  Mali  Songhai empire separates from Mali Empire
1439 AD West Africa Portuguese exploration reaches Africa
1441 AD West Africa Portugeuese start slave trade from Africa
1497 AD South Africa Vasco da Gama lands in Natal
1550 AD Africa  Other European nations begin slave trade with Africa
1591 AD Mali  Fall of Songhai Empire
1652 AD South Africa Dutch (Boer) Colonize South Africa.
1700-1717 AD Ghana Rise of Ashanti Empire
1720 AD Dahomey Rise of Dahomey
1700-1800 AD

Africa / Western


TransAtlantic Slave Trade established
1795-1815 AD South Africa British seize control of Cape Colony (South Africa) from Dutch
1818-1828 AD South Africa Shaka unified Nguni people; start of mfecane; rise of Zulu kingdom. Shaka assassinated in 1828; but Zulu power kept rising
1822 AD Liberia  Creation of Liberia
1830 AD Zimbabwe Mzilikazi founds Ndebele state
1834 AD   Mzilikazi invades Rowsi state http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/africans.html
1830-1834 AD South Africa Boers move north across Orange River, establish Orange Free State and Transvaal
1852 AD South Africa British grant limited self-government to Transvaal
1856 South Africa Boers proclaim Transvaal a republic
1867 South Africa Diamonds discovered at Kimberly
1870 Zimbabwe Ndebele capital moved to Bulawayo

Britain defeats Ashanti Kingdom


1871-1912  Africa

Global European Imperialism at its height: The "scramble for Africa" proceeds, rationalized as a "civilizing mission" based on white supremacy. Europeans assert their "spheres of interest" in African colonies arbitrarily, cutting across traditionally established boundaries, homelands, and ethnic groupings of African peoples and cultures. Following a "divide and rule" theory, Europeans promote traditional inter-ethnic hostilities. "The European onslaught of Africa that began in the mid 1400s progressed to various conquests over the continent, and culminated over 400 years later with the partitioning of Africa. Armed with guns, fortified by ships, driven by the industry of capitalist economies in search of cheap raw materials, and unified by a Christian and racist ideology against the African 'heathen,' aggressive European colonial interests followed their earlier merchant and missionary inroads into Africa"--Prof. Malaika Mutere, Howard Univ., African Culture & Aesthetics, African Odyssey Interactive:

1874 West Africa Britain defeats Ashanti Kingdom
1877 South Africa Britain annexes Transvaal
1879 South Africa Zulu War with Great Britain
1884-1885 Africa Europes divides up Africa at Berlin Conference.  No Africans invited.
1886 South Africa Gold discovered in Transvaal
1890 Zimbabwe Cecil Rhodes conquers Ndebele state
1899-1902 South Africa Anglo-Boer war
1902   Benin (Dahomey) is French colony
1910 South Africa Formation of South Africa from Cape and Natal colonies, Orange Free State and Transvaal
1922 Zimbabwe British settlers vote to secede from South Africa
1934 Zimbabwe Racial laws forbid blacks from running business in Rhodesia
1948 South Africa Apartheid policy established
1950's Kenya Jomo Kenyatta, wars for Kenya independence
1957 Ghana Ghana becomes first independent Black state
1958 South Africa South Africa independent from Britain
1958-1990 South Africa Apartheid enforced, native Africans resettled in "homelands"
1960 Mali Mali becomes independent
1960-1961 Zaire Zaire (Belguim Congo) independent
1964 Zambia Northern Rhodesia secedes and becomes Zambia
1965 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) declares (white minority) independence from Britain
1966-1968 South Africa Lesotho, Botswana, and Swaziland become independent states
1970 Angola Portugal loses African colonies
1980 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe gains independence from white minority rule with Robert Mugabe
1990 South Africa Nelson Mandela freed
1991 South Africa Apartheid abolished

  (click here for a shorter printable version of this page) 

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.