Africa is the place where people first originated, so African history goes back
further than in any other place on earth. At first there were not very many
people in Africa, and they lived by
and by scavenging
meat that other, stronger animals had killed. Gradually they began using stone
tools, and fire, and then hunting for themselves.
, the climate in Africa (and other places) got gradually hotter
and drier. The Sahara Desert was forming. It was harder to find enough food.
Some people in Africa began
to get more food. They probably got the
But with farming the population expanded quickly. By 3000 BC, there were so
many people in Africa that they started to form into kingdoms. The first
African kingdom (and probably the first big kingdom anywhere) was in
where the Pharaohs built the
. South of Egypt, along the upper Nile
river, the kingdom of
(modern Sudan) developed too.
traded with the
in Western Asia and the
Around 1550 BC, with the establishment of the
in Egypt, the
Egyptians conquered Kush, and they ruled
for the next four hundred and
fifty years, until the
of the New Kingdom in Egypt around 1100 BC.
Then Kush became independent again, and by 715 BC Kush’s King Piankhy
was able to conquer Egypt.
But soon after this, West Asian people showed North Africans how to use
to make weapons, and the people who knew how to use iron soon conquered
the people who didn’t. About 700 BC, the
conquered part of North
Africa and founded the city of
. In 664 BC, the
learned how to make iron from the Assyrians, and they
used their iron to become even more powerful than they were before. When the
conquered the Phoenicians in 539 BC, Carthage became an
independent kingdom that ruled most of the Western Mediterranean.
In the more fertile parts of Africa, the population kept on growing. By 300 BC,
some people called the
, who lived along the Niger river in West Africa,
began to get too crowded where they lived.
(now Nigeria and
Cameroon) had fertile land in the zone between the