Professor Gloria T.Emeagwali,

Professor of History and African Studies,

Central Connecticut State University



Palaeolithic Africa

2,600,000 BCE The world's earliest stone tools, Ethiopia.

2,100,000 BCE

Tanzanian stone tools.

250,000 BCE

Numerous stone artifacts in Nubia and Egypt.

Post- Paleolithic Africa in Southern, Eastern, Western and Central Africa

100,000- 75000BCE

Shell jewelry, cosmetics and

inscriptions found in Blombos Cave, South Africa

Excavated by Henshilwood et al. 2012


Baboon fibula with 29 parallel notches, Border Cave, South Africa.


Decorated ostrich egg shells found in

Namibia, in Southern Africa.

26,000 BCE

Painted stone slabs, Namibia.

13,000BCE - 10,000BCE

Domestication of wild grasses

in the Ethiopian-Nubian complex. (Ehret, 2002)

9400BCE (about 11,400 years ago)

Africas oldest pottery

at Ounjougou, Mali, West Africa, excavated

by Swiss archeologist Huysecom et. al., 2007.

6000BCE (about 8,000 years ago)

Africas oldest dug out boat, discovered by a

Nigerian farmer, at Dufuna, Northeast Nigeria.


Domestication of Ethiopian barley and

wheat, pre-Aksumite Ethiopia

7000-5000 BCE:

Wavy line pottery across the

Sahara/Sahelian region in latitudes associated with

pre-dynastic Ghana, Mali and the

Nubian-Egyptian complex.

Politics and Society in East and West Africa


Ta-Seti, regarded by some scholars

as the first Nubian Kingdom and associated

with the A group artifacts; Note the political

symbolism on an incense burner found

at Qustul, and stone lined graves of

twelve Nubian pharaohs (Curator Bruce Williams).


Evidence of beer making,braided

hair attachments and writing in Egypt.

3100 BCE

Unification of Egypt from rival

kingdoms and city states along Africa and the world?s

longest river system, the Nile.

2686 BCE - 2125

BCE Old Kingdom, Egypt

circa 3000 BCE to 1000 BCE

Kerma, Nubia's second major kingdom

after Ta-Seti, according to some scholars.

Round tombs and thin walled pots.

Circa 1500 BCE to 1000 BCE

Period of Egyptian occupation of Kerma.

in retaliation for Kerma's collaboration

with the Asiatic Hyksos.

circa 1000 - 800BCE

The Rise of Napata,

the third major Nubian Kingdom after

Ta-Seti and Kerma.

747 BCE

Napata conquest of Egypt.

circa 900 BCE

Disputed emergence

of the Queen of Ethiopia and Sheba.

600 BCE to 1400 CE:

Nubian Christianity prevails in the Kingdoms of Alwa and others

until Arab conquest.

300BCE to 1640CE

The emergence of the empires of Ghana (Wagadu), Mali and Songhai,

in northern West Africa. Note Moroccan and

French conquest of Ghana and Songhai respectively.

circa 1000 CE to 1900 CE

Kingdom of Nri, Igboland, Eastern Nigeria-

the source of the Igbo-Ukwu artifacts;

The Benin Empire, The Oyo Empire and the

Empire of Kanem-Bornu (Nigeria).

The Asante Empire (Ghana), the Mossi Empire(Burkina Faso);

The Jolof Empire (Senegal).

The dates vary for individual regions and power centers.

Some of these empires were invaded and occupied by

the British and the French in the late 19th century.

Their treasures/ artifacts were looted and carted away

to European museums, where they continue to reside.



Greek conquest and occupation of Egypt by Alexander of Macedon who drives out the Persians. This leads to the era of the Ptolomies, including the Cleopatras. Accusations of discrimination by indigenous Egyptians outside of Alexandria.


Roman conquest and occupation of Egypt.

Attempts to conquer Nubia.


Vandal (German) invasion of North Africa.

639 CE

Arab conquest and occupation of Egypt. Romans driven out.

Major demographic changes. Settler colonialism.

Ottoman Turkish incorporation by the 19th century.

1441 to 1860s

A wave of encroachments

and conquests, initiated by the Portuguese

in West, South and East Africa. An era of human trafficking.

Dutch invasion in South Africa in the 1650s.

British -Asante conflict from the early 19th century.

Belgian conquest of the Congo by Leopold 11, 1860s.

1885 to 1900

A fresh wave of conquests: British, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

A new wave of resistance by Africans such as Samori Toure and others.

1950s to 1990s

A second wave of liberation and resistance movements

to regain independence, by freedom fighters such as

Amilcar Cabral, Samora Machel,Eduardo Mondlane

Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, Robert Mugabe, Joseph Nkomo, Sam Nujoma etc.

These struggles culminated in the successes of the 1970s for

Guinea Bissau, Angola and Mozambique; 1980 for Zimbabwe,

1989 for Namibia and the 1990s for South Africa.

1980s - 1990s

An era of financial recolonization by the IMF/World Bank

through the so-called Structural Adjustment Programs, now called PSRPS.

Debt relief largely tied to economic neo-liberalism

and the acceptance of corporate globalization programs.

2000 to present

Rise of China. New source of funding and reconstruction.

New petroleum discoveries in Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Uganda etc.

New opportunites and challenges.

Conflict in northeast Congo over coltan, a cell phone component.

Conflict in Darfur, Sudan, over its uranium, copper and agrarian resources.

This timeline was compiled by Professor Gloria Emeagwali,

History Department, Central Connecticut State University,

New Britain, Connecticut, USA.

Revised 2015(c) All Rights Reserved