Africa Prehistoric Periods

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Africa Prehistoric Periods by Mind Map: Africa Prehistoric Periods

1. Old Stone Age

1.1. The Paleolithic of Africa is characterized by a variety of stone-tool assemblages, some of which represent purely local developments while others are practically identical with materials from corresponding horizons in Europe. Geological investigations of the Late Cenozoic deposits of this continent indicate that, as the result of fluctuations in rainfall, the Pleistocene Epoch throughout most of Africa can be subdivided on the basis of a succession of pluvial and inter pluvial stages. The archaeological succession is well established in certain areas, although not in the continent as a whole.

2. Middle Stone Age

2.1. The long episode of cultural and physical evolution gave way to a period of more rapid change about 200,000 years ago. Hand axes and large biracial stone tools were replaced by stone flakes and blades that were fashioned into scrapers, spear points, and parts for hafted, composite implements. This technological stage, now known as the Middle Stone Age, is represented by numerous sites in South Africa. Open camps and rock overhangs were used for shelter. Day-to-day debris has survived to provide some evidence of early ways of life, although plant foods have rarely been preserved. Middle Stone Age bands hunted medium-sized and large prey, including antelope and zebra, although they tended to avoid the largest and most dangerous animals, such as the elephant and the rhinoceros. They also ate seabirds and marine mammals that could be found along the shore and sometimes collected tortoises and ostrich eggs in large quantities.

3. New Stone Age

3.1. In Prehistoric Egypt, Neolithic settlements appear from about 6000 BC. Other parts of North Africa began to participate in the Neolithic revolution just before the rapid desertification of the Sahara around 3500 BC. The neolithization of North Africa was most likely introduced by waves of migration both from the Levant and from Iberia.

4. Metal Age

4.1. Copper Age

4.1.1. It was previously believed that sub-Saharan Africa either did not have a period of using copper until the nineteenth century, going from the Stone Age into the Iron Age, or they started smelting iron and copper at the same time. Copper artifacts recovered from Nubia are the earliest evidence of metal smelting in sub-Saharan Africa, dating back sometime after 4000 BC and they were most likely imports from Egypt.

4.2. Iron Age

4.2.1. The African Iron Age is traditionally considered that period in Africa between the second century AD up to about 1000 AD when iron smelting was practiced. In Africa, unlike the Europe and Asia, the Iron Age is not prefaced by a Bronze or Copper Age, but rather all the metals were brought together. The advantages of iron over stone are obvious, iron is much more efficient at cutting trees or quarrying stone than stone tools. But iron smelting technology is a smelly, dangerous one. This brief essay covers Iron Age up to the end of the first millennium AD.

4.3. Bronze Age

4.3.1. The beginning of the Bronze Age in Africa is conventionally identified as the Protodynastic Period, following the Neolithic Naqada culture about 3200 BC. The African Bronze Age corresponds to the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms. The Iron Age in Africa corresponds to the Third Intermediate Period of Africa. While the Nile valley had entered historicity since the Bronze Age, the Maghreb remained in the prehistoric period longer.