Timeline: Ancient Northeast Africa

 

A. Human Origins

 

Emergence of Ardipithecus 4.4 million years ago and Dinkanesh or Berkenesh- alias Lucy about 3.2 mya, in Ethiopia.

 

 

 

 

 

3.2 million

Location of the world's earliest paleolithic tools in Ethiopia- 2.6

million years old

 

2.6 million

First evidence of agricultural production in the form of edible grasses, found south of Egypt.

 

 

Circa 16,000 BCE (Ehret, 2002)

Spread of cereal production

(Ehret, 2002)

The earliest pots in Northeast Africa have been found at Sarurab, in Ancient Nubia.

Khartoum pots and brick fragments at the 3rd cataract, Nubia

 

9000 BCE

 

  1. State Formation and Empire Building

Emergence of Ta-Seti, a small Nubian state which may have briefly ruled Egypt according to Ehret (2002). Ta-Seti may have imported items from Syria-Palestine before its defeat by Egypt. A dynasty of 12 pharaohs existed, according to Bruce Williams, as reflected in royal tombs, and the famous Qustul incense burner. Evidence of early hieroglyphic writing in the region seems to correlate with the observation of Diodorus Siculus and some of the archeological finds of the ?A? Group. Decline set in amidst the rise of Nubia's neighbor Egypt. Some historians argue that Egyptians were largely of Nubian origin, and point to Egyptian adoption of aspects of Nubian religious and political symbols. See Monges, Ehret, Bruce Williams etc. This view is disputed by Garlake, Adams and several other scholars.

 

3700 BCE

(Nubia)

Formation of a unified Egypt with boundaries at the first cataract;

Egyptian Red Sea commercial contacts and imports of myrrh;

Emergence during the Old Kingdom of the six step pyramid, the Giza Pyramids and huge boats; expeditions to Punt; border clashes at the 1st cataract.

3400 BCE

to 2125 BCE

(3rd to 8th dynasty of Egypt )

 

First Intermediate period of power struggles and the

coffin texts in Egypt.

 

Middle Kingdom of political unity and co-regencies.

2160 BCE to 1650 BCE

(9th to 14th dynasty

of Egypt)

Rise of the Nubian Kingdom of Kerma. Huge round tombs and grave sacrifices have been identified and so, too, thin walled pottery made with the wheel; Rise of Wawat, another Nubian Kingdom. Possible influence of Nubian Kerma on Ethiopia.

2300 BCE to 1559 BCE (Nubia)

 

New Kingdom and Amenhotep and Thutmose?s conquest of Nubia;

Egyptian colonization of Kush and control of gold, emerald, ivory and ebony resources. Nubian adoption of aspects of Egyptian religion. Amenemope's Wisdom Teachings were created.

Egyptian conquest of Syria. Amenhotep's Great Hymn to Amen; Akhenaten and Nefertiti?s Great Hymn to the One God Aten, perhaps the foundation of Psalm 104, written about a thousand years later.

 

 

1550 BCE to 1069 BCE

(18th to 20th dynasty of Egypt)

Alleged visit of Queen Makeda, Queen of Ethiopia and Sheba (Saba) to Judah

 

Approx. 1000 BCE

(Ethiopia)

Nubian conquest of Egypt by Piye, son of Kashta. Governance of Egypt by Shabaka, Shabitqo etc. Revivalism in architecture and literature

Establishment of Egypt's 25th dynasty

1000 BCE

(Nubia)

Assyrian, Persian, Greek and Roman invasions of Egypt.

 

671 to 332 BCE

(Egypt)

Construction of the temple of Apedemak at Musawwarat es Sufra that displayed temples and courts as well as residential units.

The royal pyramids at Jebel Barkal, Nuri, Kurru and Meroe were also constructed.

500 BCE to 300 CE

(Nubia)

The construction of the temple of Yeha, NE of Aksum- circa 500 BCE. Rise of Aksum, the Ethiopian Kingdom; minting of coins; official adoption of Christianity 330 CE (to 1974 CE); construction of the palaces of Enda Semon, Enda Mika?el, and Taakha Maryam, the palace of Dungur; the Cathedral of Mary of Zion founded by Ezana and later Negus Kaleb.

Ethiopian architectural influence on the Kaaba of Mecca of 609CE according to Garlake. Identification of 115 stelae, the largest being 750 tons. Aksumite conquest of Arabia. Shift of capitals from Tigre in the North to Gondar, North of Lake Tana, and to Addis Ababa in the South, in the 19th century.)

500 BCE to 500 CE

(Ethiopia)

Arab and Turkish invasions of Egypt.

639 CE; 868 CE

(Egypt)

The invasions of Queen Gudit of the Agau; Rise of the Zagwe dynasty and King Lalibela, the sponsor of several of numerous sculptured temples and churches constructed in Tigre, Lalibela and Addis Ababa.

Approximately 1137 CE

(Ethiopia)

Rise of Nubian Christian states of Nobadia, Makuria, Alwa etc.

Nubian participation in the crusades; Arab conquest of Nubia in 1400 CE.

550 CE to 1400 CE

(Nubia)

Gloria Emeagwali (C) 2012)