The Spread of Islam in Africa
A map indicating the general direction and timings of the spread of Islam in Africa from the 7th to 18th century CE
The Empires of West Africa
The ancient and medieval Mediterranean might have been a bustling stage of ever-changing empires but, across the inhospitable barrier of the Sahara Desert, West Africans were equally busy building up and toppling down their own kingdoms and...
Map of Roman Africa
Nothern Africa under Roman rule. From H.Kiepert (1879), Historischer Schulatlas.
Mansa Musa I
Mansa Musa I was the ruler of the Mali Empire in West Africa from 1312 to 1337. Controlling territories rich in gold and copper, and monopolising trade between the north and interior of the continent, Mali grew extremely wealthy. Mansa Musa...
Estado da India
The Estado da India (1505-1961) was the name the Portuguese gave to that part of their empire which stretched from India to East Asia. However, in its widest sense, the name includes all Portuguese colonies east of the Cape of Good Hope and...
Kingdom of Luba
The Kingdom of Luba, located in central Africa, thrived from the 15th to 19th century CE and was the first such state in the Congo basin. Skills in ironworking and trade along the Lualaba river in such metals as copper permitted the Luba...
The Bantu Migration in Africa
A map illustrating the general route of the Bantu migration which occurred in various stages from the second millennium BCE to c. 1500 CE.
Libyan' Inscriptions in Numidia and Mauretania
When the Numidian king Massinissa (c.241-148) died, the people of Dougga (or: Thugga) decided to build a monument in his honour. A bilingual inscription (RIL 2, KAI 101) says the building was erected in the tenth reign year of his successor...
Benin Ivory Hip Pendant Mask
A carved ivory hip pendant in the form of a mask. The kingdom of Benin (13-19th century CE) in West Africa (modern southern Nigeria). With bronze and iron inlays. Possibly depicting Queen Idia. Benin City, 16th century CE. Height: 24.5 cm...
A Gallery of Ancient African Art
In this gallery, we look at striking examples of art from across the African continent. In gold, stone and metals, ancient and medieval African artists have not only given us unique pieces of art to admire but their works are also an insight...