In Africa, the early years of our ancestors, mankind found many advantages in joining together in little groups. It made it simpler to hunt, forage, and care for the weak. Especially living in communities made it easier to survive.
After the advent of agriculture swept away our species, these groups grew in size. The luxury of not needing to go beyond the game or rely heavily on luck to search for food has allowed humanity to focus our attention elsewhere.
With ever-increasing harvests and herds of cattle, colonies have become more abundant and more self-sufficient. Some of these colonies, depending on their location, circumstances, and a bit of luck, became real centers of commerce, power, and culture.
Cities in Africa that once ruled the ancient world
1. Great Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe
The African continent is the cradle of humanity, and we still know surprisingly little about its history. It is home to more than a billion people and has a wide range of cultures, customs, and traditions. It undoubtedly contains many artifacts yet to be discovered.
At a time when European Nations were running to colonize the whole world, archaeologists came across an immense stone complex, about 550 kilometers from the coast of East Africa, right in the heart of present-day Zimbabwe.
The honor for building the structure was immediately (and unjustly) given to people other than indigenous Africans, such as Muslims, Persians, Indians, or even Chinese. The archaeologists assumed that the Africans had not been able to build them themselves.
Recent discoveries indicate that the Shona of the region is the architects of the complex. It seems that they were responsible for the construction of the Great Zimbabwe site around the year 1100.
The site acted as the capital of the kingdom for the next 400 years. The word “Zimbabwe” has its roots in a word meaning “stone houses”, indicating that the country takes its name from Great Zimbabwe-not the other way around.
Modern archaeologists have found a Muslim copper coin among the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, linking the Shona Kingdom to international trade in the Indian Ocean.
From the little known stories, it can be assumed that Great Zimbabwe was a prosperous city with abundant raw resources and commercial goods such as timber, ivory, gold, and rhino horns. These would be sent down the Limpopo Rivers and saved all the way to the coast. From there, the precious cargo would head north to Arabia, or perhaps India or China.
This city was once home to more than 25,000 people, but it is now deserted. The cause of its demise is still unclear. Some accuse famine, others say political unrest, and yet others claim that the gold mines have dried up. Nevertheless, Great Zimbabwe still stands as proof of the incredible mysteries that Africa still hides from the world.
2. Thebes in Egypt
Ancient Egypt is an infinite source of wonder and inspiration for historians and non-historians alike. This civilization produced many artifacts that are now displayed in museums around the world. Located along the Nile River in northeast Africa, these ancient peoples reached their cultural and economic heyday at a time when mammoths were still roaming the earth.
The Egyptians were once a tremendous force, both socially and economically. Their government and religion often changed, but their cultural center always remained in Thebes. This city, a home for both the living and the dead, was and still is adorned with beautiful temples and monuments, most of which honor the sun god, Amon.
Although now known as Luxor, Thebes was the ancient capital of the Egyptian Empire. It was located near the famous Valley of the Kings and the famous Karnak Temple complex. Although many would disagree that Thebes was the most important of all Egyptian capitals. The fact is that this metropolis was home to both religious and secular establishments and made a lasting impression in Egyptian history.