One interesting fact about Africa that is truly amazing is that long before humans were around (the early Mesozoic Era), Africa was joined to the other continents in a massive continent called Pangaea. Over millions of years this huge continent broke apart shaping the world landscape as we know it today in what has been referred to the continental drift. This was at first a speculation and was first put proposed by Abraham Ortelius in 1596. Later on, the concept was independently (and more fully) developed in 1912 by Alfred Wegener and the theory of continental drift was superseded by the theory of plate tectonics, which builds upon the previous continental drift and better explains the former concept.
The length of the Nile River is approximately 6650 kilometres (4132 miles). It is believed to be the longest river in the world.
Located in Africa, the Nile River lies in the following countries: Kenya, Eritrea, Congo, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.
The Nile River has huge significance in regards to Ancient Egypt. Most of Ancient Egypt’s historical sites are located along the banks of the Nile River including cities such as Luxor and Cairo.
In 2004, the White Nile Expedition became the first to navigate the entire length of the Nile River. The expedition began in Uganda and finished in Rosetta, taking four months and two weeks to complete.
The Nile Delta in Northern Egypt is where the Nile River drains in to the Mediterranean Sea. It is around 160 kilometres (100 miles) in length and spreads out over 240 kilometres (149 miles) of coastline. It is rich in agriculture and has been farmed for thousands of years.
Around 40 million people (half of Egypt’s population) live in the Nile Delta region.
In 1787, the famous Rosetta stone was found in the Nile Delta in the city of Rosetta. This Ancient Egyptian artifact played a key role in modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphics.
The Aswan High Dam was built in 1970 to help regulate flooding of the Nile River. Before the Aswan Dam was built, years that featured high levels of water could wipe out crops while years of low level water could produce famines and drought. The dam helps control these water levels.
Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and the second-largest freshwater lake in the world, covering an area of 26,830 square miles (69,490 square kilometers).e
It is the world's second largest freshwater lake measured by surface area. The only larger freshwater lake is Lake Superior in North America.
This body of water is named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
Lake Victoria is about 400,000 years old.
The average depth is 130 feet (40 meters) with the deepest point being 276 feet (84 meters).
Approximately 80 percent of the lakes water comes from rain. The other 20 percent comes from small streams flowing into the lake.
Geological studies have shown that the lake has dried up completely a few times in the past. The last time was approximately 17,300 years ago.
The Kagera River is the largest river that flows into the lake.
Two rivers flow out of the lake. They are the White Nile (called the "Victoria Nile" where it leaves the lake), and the Katonga River.
Lake Victoria Facts - History
*Arab traders were the first to record the discovery of the lake. A map of the lake was created by them dating back to approximately 1160 AD.
*John Hanning Speke was the first European to sight the lake. This occurred in 1858 on an exploration to explore central Africa. He named the lake after the queen of England at the time, Queen Victoria.
*In 1858, John Hanning Speke, the first European to travel to the lake, claimed that it was the source of the Nile river. This claim caused a great debate in the scientific community before being proven correct.
*On May 21st 1996 the ferry MV Bukoba sank in the lake. Approximately one thousand people lost their lives making it one of the worst maritime disasters in Africa's history.
Lake Victoria's Ecological Health Problem
Lake Victoria faces many problems that are affecting its ecological health. Scientist fear that if action is not taken soon all life in the lake may disappear.
Factors affecting the lakes health:
*Pollution: Many towns surround this body of water. These towns dump thousands of gallons of raw sewage into the lake on a daily basis. This coupled with the fertilizer and chemicals from farms cause a huge pollution problem.
*Water Hyacinth: This plant was introduced to Africa by Europeans; it reproduces rapidly and covers large areas of the lake. The dense mat of plants block sunlight needed for survival by the life below the surface.
*The booming fish-export industry: The demand for fish has been increasing rapidly with the population of Africa. This is bringing the fish populations down to dangerously low levels.
8000 years ago, Nigeria. "World oldest known boat" the Dufuna Canoe was discovered near the region of the River Yobe. The Canoe was discovered by a Fulani herdsman in May 1987, in Dufuna Village while digging a well. The canoe’s “almost black wood”, said to be African mahogany, as “entirely an organic material”.
Various Radio-Carbon tests conducted in laboratories of reputable Universities in Europe and America indicate that the Canoe is over 8000 years old, thus making it the oldest in Africa and first oldest in the World. Little is known of the period to which the boat belongs, in archaeological terms it is described as an early phase of the Later Stone Age, which began rather more than 12,000 years ago and ended with the appearance of pottery.
The lab results redefined the pre-history of African water transport, ranking the Dufuna canoe as the world’s third oldest known dugout. Older than it are the dugouts from Pesse, Netherlands, and Noyen-sur-Seine, France. But evidence of an 8,000-year-old tradition of boat building in Africa throws cold water on the assumption that maritime transport developed much later there in comparison with Europe.
Peter Breunig of the University of Frankfurt, Germany, an archaeologist involved in the project, says the canoe’s age “forces a reconsideration of Africa’s role in the history of water transport”. It shows, he adds, “that the cultural history of Africa was not determined by Near Eastern and European influences but took its own, in many cases parallel, course”.
Breunig, adding that it even outranks in style European finds of similar age. According to him, “The bow and stern are both carefully worked to points, giving the boat a notably more elegant form”, compared to “the dugout made of conifer wood from Pesse in the Netherlands, whose blunt ends and thick sides seem crude”. To go by its stylistic sophistication, he reasons, “It is highly probable that the Dufuna boat does not represent the beginning of a tradition, but had already undergone a long development, and that the origins of water transport in Africa lie even further back in time.”
Egypt's oldest known boat is 5000 years old.
P. Breunig, The 8000-year-old dugout canoe from Dufuna (NE Nigeria), G. Pwiti and R. Soper (eds.), Aspects of African Archaeology. Papers from the 10th Congress of the PanAfrican Association for Prehistory and related Studies. University of Zimbabwe Publications (Harare 1996) 461-468.
Read More : http://www.reunionblackfamily.com/apps/blog/show/15708252-world-oldest-know-boat-discovered-in-yobe-nigeria
Africans are more genetically diverse than the inhabitants of the rest of the world combined, according to a sweeping study that carried researchers into remote regions to sample the bloodlines of more than 100 distinct populations
The report, published yesterday in the journal Science Express, suggests that, because of historical migrations and genetic mixing across the continent, it will be hard for African Americans to trace their ancestry in fine detail. African American genealogies are increasingly popular and commercialized, but the authors of the new study cast doubt on how precise such searches can be, given the complexity of the genetic makeup of Africans.
Source : http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/30/AR2009043002485.html
Over 48 surgical instruments were discovered in the temple of Kom Ombo. In 2001 archeologist found another tomb which had 30 bronze surgical instruments, they claim is these instruments are 4300 years old, making it the oldest medical instruments found in the world. Proving Africans are the world first true medical surgeons.
The 9,000 year-old giraffe rock carving at Dabous, Niger in Africa is considered one of the finest in the world. The giraffe appears to have a leash on its nose implying some level of taming the animals. It was found recently in 1999′ on the top of a granite hill by local Touaregs and dates to the Kiffian times (7000-9500 years ago).
The two giraffe, one large male in front of a smaller female, were engraved side by side on the sandstone’s weathered surface. The larger of the two is over 18 feet tall, combining several techniques including scraping, smoothing and deep engraving of the outlines. However, signs of deterioration were clearly evident. Despite their remoteness, the site was beginning to receive more and more attention, as these exceptional carvings were beginning to suffer the consequences of both voluntary and involuntary human degradation.
From these images we learn how ancient tribes and cultures viewed their universe around them. Observing the paintings may give us insight into their thoughts, their spiritual and physical worlds. Unfortunately, much of this valuable heritage is being destroyed; either by natural erosion as the sites come under civilisation pressure or by graffiti defacing the rock canvases. African art history presents a world heritage we need to find a way to preserve. - See more at: http://www.contemporary-african-art.com/african-art-history.html#sthash.Sh2bPKrr.dpuf
The world's 6,000 or so modern languages may have all descended from a single ancestral tongue spoken by early African humans between 50,000 and 70,000 years ago, a new study suggests.
The finding, published Thursday in the journal Science, could help explain how the first spoken language emerged, spread and contributed to the evolutionary success of the human species.
Quentin Atkinson, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and author of the study, found that the first migrating populations leaving Africa laid the groundwork for all the world's cultures by taking their single language with them—the mother of all mother tongues.
"It was the catalyst that spurred the human expansion that we all are a product of," Dr. Atkinson said.
About 50,000 years ago—the exact timeline is debated—there was a sudden and marked shift in how modern humans behaved. They began to create cave art and bone artifacts and developed far more sophisticated hunting tools. Many experts argue that this unusual spurt in creative activity was likely caused by a key innovation: complex language, which enabled abstract thought. The work done by Dr. Atkinson supports this notion.
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