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ammasunz:

medievalpoc:

From TheRoot.com:



One of the most imposing sculptural monuments to the great black warrior-saint Maurice is found, not surprisingly, at the chief place of his veneration. Less expected, though, is the persistence of this august figure at a time when his traditional significance was undergoing a radical change.




The stirring characterization of the saint seen here forms an integral part of a magnificent pulpit adorned with carved alabaster reliefs. An architectural complex in itself, this brilliant ensemble is set within the immense space of Magdeburg cathedral, one of the great architectural landmarks of Germany. Its winding structure accommodates the massive vertical form of a stone pier in the nave of the church toward the choir.




Christoph Kapup, a highly talented but relatively little-studied representative of the German late Renaissance, carved the impressive structure between 1595 and 1597. His somewhat mannered style, characterized by an engaging play between ornament and content, typified much of European art produced just before the exuberant forms of Baroque expression revolutionized artistic expression across the continent.




The complex imagery of the pulpit presents a visual exposition on sin and salvation. Its balustrade is adorned with four large reliefs, each about one meter high, of principal figures of the Christian faith. From the left, John the Baptist represents the imminent appearance of Christ, who appears as the divine Redeemer on the next panel. The two following reliefs represent the patron saints of the cathedral, Saints Maurice and Catherine. The pulpit is roofed by an ornate structure surmounted by a double-headed eagle, symbol of the Holy Roman Empire.




St. Maurice, a Roman soldier of African origin said to have been martyred during the late third century at the Swiss town that bears his name today, is depicted with the accoutrements characterizing him as the patron saint of the empire. He holds a flag bearing the Christian cross and a shield emblazoned, once again, with the double-headed imperial eagle. These insignia had become an established part of the saint’s imagery at Magdeburg. A key trading city located in the Eastern German province of Saxony-Anhalt, Magdeburg had served as a rallying point of imperial interests since the time of Otto I in the 10th century. The most tangible manifestation of the emperor’s ambition for political power and expansion took the form of a religious cult dedicated to the saint. From its origin at Magdeburg, his veneration soon spread to other centers such as Prague. In a remarkable act of political and cultural self-identification, the imperial aspiration of a universal Christian realm became embodied in the figure of St. Maurice.




The better known 13th-century stone statue of St. Maurice, now located in the choir of the cathedral, represents a key shift in the representation of the saint. In this work of the high medieval period, Maurice is represented for the first time, as far as is known, as black. In many of the several hundred subsequent representations of the saint created during the medieval and Renaissance periods, Maurice is also shown with distinctively black features. The reason for this unusual, and wholly positive reference to an African figure has never been fully established, but his foreign aspect is usually taken as a symbol of imperial dominion over the whole Earth and its many peoples.




Kapup’s image of St. Maurice is part of a long tradition of the saint’s representation as co-patron of the cathedral. As a result of the tumultuous political and religious events of the 16th century, however, the relevance of Maurice within the spiritual consciousness of Northern Europe was profoundly altered. His figure on the pulpit stands at the crossroads between a fervently desired Christian ordinance of the world and the more quixotic nature of political reality.




The high point of the importance of St. Maurice within imperial politics and religion was reached in the early 16th century, during the tenure of Prince-Archbishop Albert of Brandenburg. Albert promoted the cult of Maurice to such a fervent extent that the finances of the archbishopric became dangerously strained. The means of payment for his grand display of devotion in part involved official practices severely criticized by reformers such as the young monk Martin Luther. Albert soon found himself in a fierce, ongoing struggle against forces both financial and ideological. Ultimately he was forced to resign his post as archbishop as the Protestant Reformation took hold around him. After his death in 1546, Magdeburg cathedral remained closed for more than 20 years.




When the cathedral was reopened in 1567, the chapter, or governing body of the church, was no longer a Catholic authority, but was constituted instead by a majority of Lutheran clergymen. Kapup’s image of St. Maurice, therefore, was created at a very different period in the history of the archbishopric of Magdeburg. The city and its territory were no longer ruled by the religious authority of the prince-archbishop, but rather by a lay administrator.





The theological meaning of the pulpit reflects the significant changes brought about by the advent of the Lutheran faith, including the notion of sainthood itself. As a result, while the external image of St. Maurice remained unchanged, his former relevance as a divine intercessor and symbol of imperial authority were greatly diminished. The cathedral remained dedicated to St. Maurice and St. Catherine, as Lutheranism did not expressly reject their established place in heaven. As titular patrons of the cathedral, however, they are brought closer to the general community of the Christian faithful. They are honored, but not truly venerated; that is, they are not regarded as intercessors mediating between the faithful and Christ.






The relationship of St. Maurice at Magdeburg to the imperial cause also underwent substantial changes due to the political turmoil caused by the Reformation. His relevance as the symbol of a universal Christian empire was largely mooted when Emperor Charles V abandoned this goal during the 1550s. Still, the noble bearing of Kapup’s figure of St. Maurice, as well as his inclusion in a newly configured body of saints, makes the dismissal of his former status as a mere “trademark,” a shadow of its former self, hard to accept. Today, his example of selfless sacrifice and achievement of great prominence in a foreign land can be related to the even loftier goals of universal peace and acceptance among all people of the world.






The Image of the Black in Western Art Archive resides at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute, part of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. The founding director of the Hutchins Center is Henry Louis Gates Jr., who is also The Root’s editor-in-chief. The archive and Harvard University Press collaborated to create The Image of the Black in Western Art book series, eight volumes of which were edited by Gates and David Bindman and published by Harvard University Press. Text for each Image of the Week is written by Sheldon Cheek.

ammasunz:

medievalpoc:

From TheRoot.com:

One of the most imposing sculptural monuments to the great black warrior-saint Maurice is found, not surprisingly, at the chief place of his veneration. Less expected, though, is the persistence of this august figure at a time when his traditional significance was undergoing a radical change.

The stirring characterization of the saint seen here forms an integral part of a magnificent pulpit adorned with carved alabaster reliefs. An architectural complex in itself, this brilliant ensemble is set within the immense space of Magdeburg cathedral, one of the great architectural landmarks of Germany. Its winding structure accommodates the massive vertical form of a stone pier in the nave of the church toward the choir.

Christoph Kapup, a highly talented but relatively little-studied representative of the German late Renaissance, carved the impressive structure between 1595 and 1597. His somewhat mannered style, characterized by an engaging play between ornament and content, typified much of European art produced just before the exuberant forms of Baroque expression revolutionized artistic expression across the continent.

The complex imagery of the pulpit presents a visual exposition on sin and salvation. Its balustrade is adorned with four large reliefs, each about one meter high, of principal figures of the Christian faith. From the left, John the Baptist represents the imminent appearance of Christ, who appears as the divine Redeemer on the next panel. The two following reliefs represent the patron saints of the cathedral, Saints Maurice and Catherine. The pulpit is roofed by an ornate structure surmounted by a double-headed eagle, symbol of the Holy Roman Empire.

St. Maurice, a Roman soldier of African origin said to have been martyred during the late third century at the Swiss town that bears his name today, is depicted with the accoutrements characterizing him as the patron saint of the empire. He holds a flag bearing the Christian cross and a shield emblazoned, once again, with the double-headed imperial eagle. These insignia had become an established part of the saint’s imagery at Magdeburg. A key trading city located in the Eastern German province of Saxony-Anhalt, Magdeburg had served as a rallying point of imperial interests since the time of Otto I in the 10th century. The most tangible manifestation of the emperor’s ambition for political power and expansion took the form of a religious cult dedicated to the saint. From its origin at Magdeburg, his veneration soon spread to other centers such as Prague. In a remarkable act of political and cultural self-identification, the imperial aspiration of a universal Christian realm became embodied in the figure of St. Maurice.

The better known 13th-century stone statue of St. Maurice, now located in the choir of the cathedral, represents a key shift in the representation of the saint. In this work of the high medieval period, Maurice is represented for the first time, as far as is known, as black. In many of the several hundred subsequent representations of the saint created during the medieval and Renaissance periods, Maurice is also shown with distinctively black features. The reason for this unusual, and wholly positive reference to an African figure has never been fully established, but his foreign aspect is usually taken as a symbol of imperial dominion over the whole Earth and its many peoples.

Kapup’s image of St. Maurice is part of a long tradition of the saint’s representation as co-patron of the cathedral. As a result of the tumultuous political and religious events of the 16th century, however, the relevance of Maurice within the spiritual consciousness of Northern Europe was profoundly altered. His figure on the pulpit stands at the crossroads between a fervently desired Christian ordinance of the world and the more quixotic nature of political reality.

The high point of the importance of St. Maurice within imperial politics and religion was reached in the early 16th century, during the tenure of Prince-Archbishop Albert of Brandenburg. Albert promoted the cult of Maurice to such a fervent extent that the finances of the archbishopric became dangerously strained. The means of payment for his grand display of devotion in part involved official practices severely criticized by reformers such as the young monk Martin Luther. Albert soon found himself in a fierce, ongoing struggle against forces both financial and ideological. Ultimately he was forced to resign his post as archbishop as the Protestant Reformation took hold around him. After his death in 1546, Magdeburg cathedral remained closed for more than 20 years.

When the cathedral was reopened in 1567, the chapter, or governing body of the church, was no longer a Catholic authority, but was constituted instead by a majority of Lutheran clergymen. Kapup’s image of St. Maurice, therefore, was created at a very different period in the history of the archbishopric of Magdeburg. The city and its territory were no longer ruled by the religious authority of the prince-archbishop, but rather by a lay administrator.

The theological meaning of the pulpit reflects the significant changes brought about by the advent of the Lutheran faith, including the notion of sainthood itself. As a result, while the external image of St. Maurice remained unchanged, his former relevance as a divine intercessor and symbol of imperial authority were greatly diminished. The cathedral remained dedicated to St. Maurice and St. Catherine, as Lutheranism did not expressly reject their established place in heaven. As titular patrons of the cathedral, however, they are brought closer to the general community of the Christian faithful. They are honored, but not truly venerated; that is, they are not regarded as intercessors mediating between the faithful and Christ.

The relationship of St. Maurice at Magdeburg to the imperial cause also underwent substantial changes due to the political turmoil caused by the Reformation. His relevance as the symbol of a universal Christian empire was largely mooted when Emperor Charles V abandoned this goal during the 1550s. Still, the noble bearing of Kapup’s figure of St. Maurice, as well as his inclusion in a newly configured body of saints, makes the dismissal of his former status as a mere “trademark,” a shadow of its former self, hard to accept. Today, his example of selfless sacrifice and achievement of great prominence in a foreign land can be related to the even loftier goals of universal peace and acceptance among all people of the world.

The Image of the Black in Western Art Archive resides at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute, part of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. The founding director of the Hutchins Center is Henry Louis Gates Jr., who is also The Root’s editor-in-chief. The archive and Harvard University Press collaborated to create The Image of the Black in Western Art book series, eight volumes of which were edited by Gates and David Bindman and published by Harvard University Press. Text for each Image of the Week is written by Sheldon Cheek.

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The Pyramids of Kush..

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Imhotep The African: Architect of The Cosmos

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Wake UP!!

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Wake UP!!

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sancophaleague:
We need to teach our children and even ourselves the truth about women such as Harriet Tubman. Not that watered down bullshit they feed us in school.  So many Black Women have given their lives for our People. They have always fought and died defending us. It is very important we learn about their role in history because Many of us are under the impression that women didn’t fight in our struggle but this is false.   Never Forget The Contributions of our Warrior Queens.
Written By @KingKwajo

sancophaleague:

We need to teach our children and even ourselves the truth about women such as Harriet Tubman. Not that watered down bullshit they feed us in school.  So many Black Women have given their lives for our People. They have always fought and died defending us. It is very important we learn about their role in history because Many of us are under the impression that women didn’t fight in our struggle but this is false.   Never Forget The Contributions of our Warrior Queens.

Written By @KingKwajo

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JOIN US IN CELEBRATING WOMAN’S HISTORY MONTH:generally from a POC perspective

nubianbrothaz.tumblr.com

March is Women’s History Month

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society.

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yearningforunity:

Aaron McDuffie Moore (1863-1923)
Born on September 6, 1863 to free yeoman farmer parents, Aaron McDuffie Moore used educational opportunities to improve his social condition and to better his community. As a child, Moore worked on his parents’ farm and attended the county school when it was open. Moore later attended normal schools in Lumberton and Fayetteville, where he was trained to teach in black public schools. After teaching high school for several years, Moore enrolled in one of the nation’s first black medical schools, Leonard Medical School at Shaw University. In 1888, Moore graduated from Leonard Medical School and became the first black physician in Durham.
Although Moore was interested in politics, he chose to pursue “the quiet exercise of franchise” instead of challenging the racially charged political arena. Moore was one of the seven organizers that started North Carolina Mutual Life in 1898, which grew to become the world’s largest black insurance company. From that point forward, according to Historian Walter B. Weare, “he participated in virtually every business venture begun in Durham.”
In the late 1890s, George Watts considered adding a black wing to the Watts Hospital. Dr. Moore convinced Watts that the black community would be better served by a freestanding black hospital in which black physicians could treat their patients. With the help of John Merrick, Moore persuaded Washington Duke to contribute funds to the hospital, instead of funding a monument at Trinity College to honor African Americans civil war veterans. Moore founded the Lincoln Hospital in 1901. The hospital was critical to the health of the black community in Durham; its nursing school helped contain the influenza epidemic in the early 1900s.
In 1908, there were no centrally located drug stores for the African American community in Durham.  To increase healthcare accessibility, Dr. Moore and five other men founded the Bull City Drug Company. The first Bull City Drug store opened on the North Carolina Mutual Block, and later a second store opened in Hayti, the African American neighborhood in Durham.
Concerned with the educational opportunities available for black children, Moore started a library at the White Rock Baptist Church around 1913 to supplement black children’s education. However, the location of the library prevented some blacks from using the library due to denominational divides that existed in Durham. When John Merrick erected a rental building on Fayetteville Street, Moore proposed housing an expanded library there to serve all the black children of Durham. After a year, generous donations from Durham’s black and white citizens enabled the library to become a permanent institution. Moore was named chairman of the library’s Board of Trustees, and C. C. Spaulding (Moore’s nephew and business partner at NC Mutual Life) served as the secretary.
In addition to his financial support for the North Carolina College for Blacks in Durham (now known as North Carolina Central) and rural schools for blacks children, Moore submersed himself in their activities and took personal responsibility for the success of their endeavors. For example, the first rural school inspector of North Carolina’s salary was paid for completely by Dr. Moore. After the first year, Moore worked with the Tuskegee Institute to campaign for the funds required to obtain the Rosenwald matching grant that paid the inspector.

DarkLight*..*  

yearningforunity:

Aaron McDuffie Moore (1863-1923)

Born on September 6, 1863 to free yeoman farmer parents, Aaron McDuffie Moore used educational opportunities to improve his social condition and to better his community. As a child, Moore worked on his parents’ farm and attended the county school when it was open. Moore later attended normal schools in Lumberton and Fayetteville, where he was trained to teach in black public schools. After teaching high school for several years, Moore enrolled in one of the nation’s first black medical schools, Leonard Medical School at Shaw University. In 1888, Moore graduated from Leonard Medical School and became the first black physician in Durham.

Although Moore was interested in politics, he chose to pursue “the quiet exercise of franchise” instead of challenging the racially charged political arena. Moore was one of the seven organizers that started North Carolina Mutual Life in 1898, which grew to become the world’s largest black insurance company. From that point forward, according to Historian Walter B. Weare, “he participated in virtually every business venture begun in Durham.”

In the late 1890s, George Watts considered adding a black wing to the Watts Hospital. Dr. Moore convinced Watts that the black community would be better served by a freestanding black hospital in which black physicians could treat their patients. With the help of John Merrick, Moore persuaded Washington Duke to contribute funds to the hospital, instead of funding a monument at Trinity College to honor African Americans civil war veterans. Moore founded the Lincoln Hospital in 1901. The hospital was critical to the health of the black community in Durham; its nursing school helped contain the influenza epidemic in the early 1900s.

In 1908, there were no centrally located drug stores for the African American community in Durham.  To increase healthcare accessibility, Dr. Moore and five other men founded the Bull City Drug Company. The first Bull City Drug store opened on the North Carolina Mutual Block, and later a second store opened in Hayti, the African American neighborhood in Durham.

Concerned with the educational opportunities available for black children, Moore started a library at the White Rock Baptist Church around 1913 to supplement black children’s education. However, the location of the library prevented some blacks from using the library due to denominational divides that existed in Durham. When John Merrick erected a rental building on Fayetteville Street, Moore proposed housing an expanded library there to serve all the black children of Durham. After a year, generous donations from Durham’s black and white citizens enabled the library to become a permanent institution. Moore was named chairman of the library’s Board of Trustees, and C. C. Spaulding (Moore’s nephew and business partner at NC Mutual Life) served as the secretary.

In addition to his financial support for the North Carolina College for Blacks in Durham (now known as North Carolina Central) and rural schools for blacks children, Moore submersed himself in their activities and took personal responsibility for the success of their endeavors. For example, the first rural school inspector of North Carolina’s salary was paid for completely by Dr. Moore. After the first year, Moore worked with the Tuskegee Institute to campaign for the funds required to obtain the Rosenwald matching grant that paid the inspector.

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NubianBrothaz.:la revolution.

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The Other Side:.
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fuckyeahlatinamericanhistory:

Quiriguá Stela in Guatemala (ca. 1908-1919)
There are a number of free-standing Maya stelae at the Quiriguá site, most dating to the 8th century AD. 

Trill of Life:.

fuckyeahlatinamericanhistory:

Quiriguá Stela in Guatemala (ca. 1908-1919)

There are a number of free-standing Maya stelae at the Quiriguá site, most dating to the 8th century AD. 

Trill of Life:.

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righteousthought:

joeacollege:

Nina Simone interviewed by college students.

 Love me some Nina.

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100 things that you did not know about Africa - Nos.1 - 25 

NubianBrothaz@nyte . 100 things that you did not know about Africa.

100 things that you did not know about Africa - Nos.1 - 25

1. The human race is of African origin. The oldest known skeletal remains of anatomically modern humans (or homo sapiens) were excavated at sites in East Africa. Human remains were discovered at Omo in Ethiopia that were dated at 195,000 years old, the oldest known in the world.

2. Skeletons of pre-humans have been found in Africa that date back between 4 and 5 million years. The oldest known ancestral type of humanity is thought to have been the australopithecus ramidus, who lived at least 4.4 million years ago.

3. Africans were the first to organise fishing expeditions 90,000 years ago. At Katanda, a region in northeastern Zaïre (now Congo), was recovered a finely wrought series of harpoon points, all elaborately polished and barbed. Also uncovered was a tool, equally well crafted, believed to be a dagger. The discoveries suggested the existence of an early aquatic or fishing based culture.

4. Africans were the first to engage in mining 43,000 years ago. In 1964 a hematite mine was found in Swaziland at Bomvu Ridge in the Ngwenya mountain range. Ultimately 300,000 artefacts were recovered including thousands of stone-made mining tools. Adrian Boshier, one of the archaeologists on the site, dated the mine to a staggering 43,200 years old.

5. Africans pioneered basic arithmetic 25,000 years ago. The Ishango bone is a tool handle with notches carved into it found in the Ishango region of Zaïre (now called Congo) near Lake Edward. The bone tool was originally thought to have been over 8,000 years old, but a more sensitive recent dating has given dates of 25,000 years old. On the tool are 3 rows of notches. Row 1 shows three notches carved next to six, four carved next to eight, ten carved next to two fives and finally a seven. The 3 and 6, 4 and 8, and 10 and 5, represent the process of doubling. Row 2 shows eleven notches carved next to twenty-one notches, and nineteen notches carved next to nine notches. This represents 10 + 1, 20 + 1, 20 - 1 and 10 - 1. Finally, Row 3 shows eleven notches, thirteen notches, seventeen notches and nineteen notches. 11, 13, 17 and 19 are the prime numbers between 10 and 20.

6. Africans cultivated crops 12,000 years ago, the first known advances in agriculture. Professor Fred Wendorf discovered that people in Egypt’s Western Desert cultivated crops of barley, capers, chick-peas, dates, legumes, lentils and wheat. Their ancient tools were also recovered. There were grindstones, milling stones, cutting blades, hide scrapers, engraving burins, and mortars and pestles.

7. Africans mummified their dead 9,000 years ago. A mummified infant was found under the Uan Muhuggiag rock shelter in south western Libya. The infant was buried in the foetal position and was mummified using a very sophisticated technique that must have taken hundreds of years to evolve. The technique predates the earliest mummies known in Ancient Egypt by at least 1,000 years. Carbon dating is controversial but the mummy may date from 7438 (±220) BC.

8. Africans carved the world’s first colossal sculpture 7,000 or more years ago. The Great Sphinx of Giza was fashioned with the head of a man combined with the body of a lion. A key and important question raised by this monument was: How old is it? In October 1991 Professor Robert Schoch, a geologist from Boston University, demonstrated that the Sphinx was sculpted between 5000 BC and 7000 BC, dates that he considered conservative.

9. On the 1 March 1979, the New York Times carried an article on its front page also page sixteen that was entitled Nubian Monarchy called Oldest. In this article we were assured that: “Evidence of the oldest recognizable monarchy in human history, preceding the rise of the earliest Egyptian kings by several generations, has been discovered in artifacts from ancient Nubia” (i.e. the territory of the northern Sudan and the southern portion of modern Egypt.)

10. The ancient Egyptians had the same type of tropically adapted skeletal proportions as modern Black Africans. A 2003 paper appeared in American Journal of Physical Anthropology by Dr Sonia Zakrzewski entitled Variation in Ancient Egyptian Stature and Body Proportions where she states that: “The raw values in Table 6 suggest that Egyptians had the ‘super-Negroid’ body plan described by Robins (1983). The values for the brachial and crural indices show that the distal segments of each limb are longer relative to the proximal segments than in many ‘African’ populations.”

11. The ancient Egyptians had Afro combs. One writer tells us that the Egyptians “manufactured a very striking range of combs in ivory: the shape of these is distinctly African and is like the combs used even today by Africans and those of African descent.”

12. The Funerary Complex in the ancient Egyptian city of Saqqara is the oldest building that tourists regularly visit today. An outer wall, now mostly in ruins, surrounded the whole structure. Through the entrance are a series of columns, the first stone-built columns known to historians. The North House also has ornamental columns built into the walls that have papyrus-like capitals. Also inside the complex is the Ceremonial Court, made of limestone blocks that have been quarried and then shaped. In the centre of the complex is the Step Pyramid, the first of 90 Egyptian pyramids.

13. The first Great Pyramid of Giza, the most extraordinary building in history, was a staggering 481 feet tall - the equivalent of a 40-storey building. It was made of 2.3 million blocks of limestone and granite, some weighing 100 tons.

14. The ancient Egyptian city of Kahun was the world’s first planned city. Rectangular and walled, the city was divided into two parts. One part housed the wealthier inhabitants – the scribes, officials and foremen. The other part housed the ordinary people. The streets of the western section in particular, were straight, laid out on a grid, and crossed each other at right angles. A stone gutter, over half a metre wide, ran down the centre of every street.

15. Egyptian mansions were discovered in Kahun - each boasting 70 rooms, divided into four sections or quarters. There was a master’s quarter, quarters for women and servants, quarters for offices and finally, quarters for granaries, each facing a central courtyard. The master’s quarters had an open court with a stone water tank for bathing. Surrounding this was a colonnade.

16 The Labyrinth in the Egyptian city of Hawara with its massive layout, multiple courtyards, chambers and halls, was the very largest building in antiquity. Boasting three thousand rooms, 1,500 of them were above ground and the other 1,500 were underground.

17. Toilets and sewerage systems existed in ancient Egypt. One of the pharaohs built a city now known as Amarna. An American urban planner noted that: “Great importance was attached to cleanliness in Amarna as in other Egyptian cities. Toilets and sewers were in use to dispose waste. Soap was made for washing the body. Perfumes and essences were popular against body odour. A solution of natron was used to keep insects from houses … Amarna may have been the first planned ‘garden city’.”

18. Sudan has more pyramids than any other country on earth - even more than Egypt. There are at least 223 pyramids in the Sudanese cities of Al Kurru, Nuri, Gebel Barkal and Meroë. They are generally 20 to 30 metres high and steep sided.

19. The Sudanese city of Meroë is rich in surviving monuments. Becoming the capital of the Kushite Empire between 590 BC until AD 350, there are 84 pyramids in this city alone, many built with their own miniature temple. In addition, there are ruins of a bath house sharing affinities with those of the Romans. Its central feature is a large pool approached by a flight of steps with waterspouts decorated with lion heads.

20. Bling culture has a long and interesting history. Gold was used to decorate ancient Sudanese temples. One writer reported that: “Recent excavations at Meroe and Mussawwarat es-Sufra revealed temples with walls and statues covered with gold leaf”.

21. In around 300 BC, the Sudanese invented a writing script that had twenty-three letters of which four were vowels and there was also a word divider. Hundreds of ancient texts have survived that were in this script. Some are on display in the British Museum.

22. In central Nigeria, West Africa’s oldest civilisation flourished between 1000 BC and 300 BC. Discovered in 1928, the ancient culture was called the Nok Civilisation, named after the village in which the early artefacts were discovered. Two modern scholars, declare that “[a]fter calibration, the period of Nok art spans from 1000 BC until 300 BC”. The site itself is much older going back as early as 4580 or 4290 BC.

23. West Africans built in stone by 1100 BC. In the Tichitt-Walata region of Mauritania, archaeologists have found “large stone masonry villages” that date back to 1100 BC. The villages consisted of roughly circular compounds connected by “well-defined streets”.

24. By 250 BC, the foundations of West Africa’s oldest cities were established such as Old Djenné in Mali.

25. Kumbi Saleh, the capital of Ancient Ghana, flourished from 300 to 1240 AD. Located in modern day Mauritania, archaeological excavations have revealed houses, almost habitable today, for want of renovation and several storeys high. They had underground rooms, staircases and connecting halls. Some had nine rooms. One part of the city alone is estimated to have housed 30,000 people.

By Robin Walker © 2006

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theafricatheynevershowyou:

Ouidah, Benin.
Porte du Non-Retour or The Door of No Return is the last place the slaves of Benin passed before entering the slave ships. The city is famous for its Slave Route, which traces the journey of slaves from the center of the city to the port.

Trill of Life:

theafricatheynevershowyou:

Ouidah, Benin.

Porte du Non-Retour or The Door of No Return is the last place the slaves of Benin passed before entering the slave ships. The city is famous for its Slave Route, which traces the journey of slaves from the center of the city to the port.

Trill of Life: