Post by clouddesignc7 on Sept 23, 2016 11:38:52 GMT -5
Central Africa had urbanized dwellings with courts and palaces.
The Kingdom of Kongo (1400– 1914)
Was an African kingdom located in west central Africa in what are now northern Angola, Cabinda, the Republic of the Congo, and the western portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Earliest human settlement, in what is now the DRC, stretches back some 10 000 years. At its greatest extent, it reached from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Kwango River in the east, and from the Congo River in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. The kingdom consisted of several core provinces ruled by the Manikongo, Its sphere of influence extended to neighboring kingdoms, such as Ngoyo, Kakongo, Ndongo and Matamba.
The kingdom was compiled of a number of extensive and complex Savannah and rainforest trading states; the Kongo kingdom, the Luba Empire, the Lunda kingdom, the Zande kingdoms, and the kingdom of Kuba.
The complex forest-river-savannah ecology of its territory enabled it to develop into a vigorous trading state that was able to maintain its integrity until it fell to the advance of Belgian colonial expansion (Giblin 1999).
In the late fifteenth century Portuguese explorers established contact with the Kongo kingdom, and traders and missionaries followed on their heels. Initial friendly relations between the Kongo and the Portuguese soured as a result of Portuguese rapacity and especially their insatiable demand for slaves. In later years the expansion of the Portuguese coastal enclaves brought control over land as a new focus of conflict (Library of Congress 1989, 1993, Columbia Encyclopedia 2001).
In the early 1600s, weakened by conflicts with the Portuguese and other neighbours, internal struggles for power and the ravages of the slave trade, the kingdom progressively disintegrated. Over time it lost control over its constituent parts and the trade routes that had been the source of its wealth and power. By 1700 the kingdom was a spent force (Library of Congress 1993).
In conclusion the kingdom collapsed as a result of foreign invasions and internal disputes. (basically divide and conquer ). This once great kingdom was then partitioned by various European nations.
Post by clouddesignc7 on Sept 23, 2016 12:52:10 GMT -5
“In terms of sheer size it’s the largest single monument in Africa – larger than any of the Egyptian pyramids,” he says.The ditch is 160 km (100 miles) long, and in places 20 metres (70 feet) high.
“Built long before the mechanical era, it was all hand-built, requiring a large labour force and a well co-ordinated labour force working to a master plan,” Dr Darling explains.
We make our way through thick tropical vegetation down to the bottom of the Eredo – its smooth walls tower above on either side of us, glowing green with moss.
It is cool and dark, with patches of sunlight filtering through the trees above.
Dr Darling has compiled an immense amount of data on the Eredo, but even he does not know why it was built.
Perhaps to keep elephants out, or as protection against foreign invaders – or perhaps to mark the territorial extent of the Ijebu-Ode kingdom at a time when the rival city states of the Yoruba people were frequently at war with each other.
Post by clouddesignc7 on Sept 23, 2016 13:17:55 GMT -5
Walls of Benin
"The Walls of Benin was a combination of ramparts and moats, called Iya, used as a defense of the capital Benin City in present-day Edo State of Nigeria. It was considered the largest man-made structure lengthwise, second only to the Great Wall of China and the largest earthwork in the world. With more recent work by Patrick Darling, it has been established as the largest man-made structure in the world, larger than Sungbo's Eredo. It enclosed 6,500 km² of community lands. Its length was over 16,000 km of earth boundaries. It was estimated that earliest construction began in 800 AD and continued into the mid 1400's."
"They extend for some 16,000 kilometres in all, in a mosaic of more than 500 interconnected settlement boundaries. They cover 6500 square kilometres and were all dug by the Edo people. In all, they are four times longer than the Great Wall of China, and consumed a hundred times more material than the Great Pyramid of Cheops. They took an estimated 150 million hours of digging to construct, and are perhaps the largest single archaeological phenomenon on the planet."