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History >> Ancient Africa

Ancient Africa

Glossary and Terms

Adobe - A mud brick material made from clay and straw used to make walls and homes in Ancient Africa.

Aksum Empire - An empire located in the Horn of Africa that ruled from 100 CE to 940 CE. It was also called Axum.

Arabs - A people group from the Middle East who invaded and conquered North Africa in the 700s CE.

Berber - The native peoples of North Africa.

Boers - Dutch and French settlers in South Africa.

Caravan - A group of traders typically traveling across the desert using camels.

Carthage - A powerful city-state in North Africa on coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It rivaled Rome between 650 and 146 BCE.

Caste - A group or division of peoples that defines social order and rank.

Chariot - A two-wheeled vehicle that is drawn by horse(s). It was usually used in warfare in northern Africa.

Continent - A large continuous expanse of land. Africa is one of the Earth's continents.

Fufu - The staple food of West Africa. It is made from yams.

Ghana Empire - Empire that ruled West Africa from 300 to 1100 CE.

Great Zimbabwe - Large city that ruled in Central Africa starting around 1200 CE.

Griot - A storyteller, musician, and historian in West Africa.

Hieroglyphics - A system of writing used by the Egyptians that used symbols and pictures.

Islam - A religion that believes in Allah and the teaching of the prophet Muhammad. It spread to North Africa in the 700s.

Ivory - A hard, white material formed from the tusks of animals such as elephants. It was used to make jewelry and other ornaments.

Kora - A stringed instrument similar to a harp that was played by the griots.

Kush - An ancient kingdom that ruled the land of the Sudan south of Egypt. It ruled from 1070 BCE to the 300s CE. It is also called Nubia.

Maghreb - The region of North Africa from Libya to Mauritania.

Mali Empire - Empire that ruled West Africa from 1235 CE to 1600 CE. Was founded by King Sundiata.

Mansa Musa - Emperor of the Mali Empire who made a famous pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. He was one of the richest people in history.

Moors - The people of North Africa under Islam rule after 709 CE.

Muslim - A person who follows the religion of Islam.

Nomads - People that travel from place to place to find food and pasture for their livestock.

Nyama - A magical force in traditional African religion often thought to be used by artisans such as blacksmiths.

Pharaoh - The ruler or king of the Egyptians.

Pyramid - A monumental structure with four sides that meet at a point at the top. The Egyptians and the Kushites built pyramids generally as tombs for their pharaohs.

Rainforest - A dense forest found in areas of heavy rainfall. Some of central and western Africa is rainforest.

Sahel - Region between the Sahara Desert and the savanna grasslands.

Sahara Desert - Large desert in North Africa between the Mediterranean Sea and Central/West Africa.

Songhai Empire - Empire that ruled in West Africa from 1464 to 1591.

Swahili - An ethnic group in East Africa. Also, the language spoken by many East African nations including Kenya and Uganda.

Voortrekker - A member of the Boers who migrated from British territory in South Africa to the Boer Republics.

To learn more about Ancient Africa:

Ancient Egypt
Kingdom of Ghana
Mali Empire
Songhai Empire
Kingdom of Aksum
Central African Kingdoms
Ancient Carthage

Art in Ancient Africa
Daily Life
Traditional African Religions
Slavery in Ancient Africa
Cleopatra VII
Shaka Zulu

Countries and Continent
Nile River
Sahara Desert
Trade Routes

Timeline of Ancient Africa
Glossary and Terms

Works Cited

History >> Ancient Africa

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