African Timeline Activity
Sep 5, 1215
King Lalibela begins rule in EthopiaSeldom visited by foreign tourists over the past few decades due to its continuing political problems, Ethiopia is most well known as being the possible cradle of humankind. Fossil remains (the famous Lucy) discovered in northeastern Ethiopia have been dated to roughly 3.5 million years, making them the earliest known example of an upright walking hominid. The oldest known stone tools, dating to 2.4 million years, were also found in this same region. But Ethiopia has numerous other claims to fam
Nov 2, 1235
Sundiata creates the Kingdom of MaliSundiata, also spelled Sundjata, also called Mārī Diāṭa, or Mari Jata (d. 1255), West African monarch who founded the western Sudanese empire of Mali. During his reign he established the territorial base of the empire and laid the foundations for its future prosperity and political unity
May 15, 1300
The forest kingdom of Benin beginsAncient Benin: The ancient kingdom of Benin began way back in BCE times. They were not conquered until the 1800's in modern times, so they had quite a run. The people in the forest regions of Africa were not affected by the Muslim culture or the religious teachings of Islam. The first Muslim merchants did not push their way south until the 1600's. By then, their culture had developed
Aug 4, 1312
Mansa Musa comes becomes emperor of the MaliWhen Mansa Musa came to power, Mali already had firm control of the trade routes to the southern lands of gold and the northern lands of salt. Now Musa brought the lands of the Middle Niger under Mali's rule. He enclosed the cities of Timbuktu and Gao within his empire. He imposed his rule on trans-desert trading towns such as Walata. He pushed his armies northward as far as the important salt-producing place called Taghaza, on the northern side of the great desert.
Dec 14, 1464
Sonni Ali gains control of the Songhai EmpireThe Songhai Empire, also known as the Songhay Empire, was a state located in western Africa. From the early 15th to the late 16th century, Songhai was one of the largest African empires in history. This empire bore the same name as its leading ethnic group, the Songhai. Its capital was the city of Gao, where a small Songhai state had existed since the 11th century. Its base of power was on the bend of the Niger River in present day Niger and Burkina Faso.
May 2, 1492
Askia Muhammad rules the Songhai Empire and creates a Muslim dynastyAskia the Great (ca. 1442 – 1538, also Muhammad Toure) was a Soninke emperor of the Songhai Empire in the late 15th century, the successor of Sunni Ali Ber. Askia Muhammad strengthened his country and made it the largest country in West Africa's history. At its peak under Muhammad, the Songhai Empire encompassed the Hausa states as far as Kano (in present-day Nigeria) and much of the territory that had belonged to the Mali Empire in the west. His policies resulted in a rapid expansion of trade w
Soninke peope unite to create Kingdom of GhanaNomads herding animals in the fringes of the desert, the Sahel, posed a threat to the early Soninke who lived south of the Sahara as agriculturalists. During times of drought, the nomads would raid the villages to the south in search of water and pastures for their herds. To protect themselves from these raids, the communities of African farmers joined forces, possibly to form a loose federation of states that eventually became the kingdom of Ghana.
Great Zimbabwe empire begins in southern AfricaZimbabwe became an important symbol of achievement by black Africans. Reclaiming its history was a major aim for those wanting independence. In 1980 the newly independent country was renamed for the site, and its famous soapstone bird carvings became a national symbol, depicted in the country's flag.