African

African history and culture

Medieval superpowers of the Swahili Coast

Great civilizations of the Middle Ages were not located solely in Europe or Asia. Some of the world superpowers grew up along the coasts of Africa. In a feature article for i09, Annalee Newitz takes a look Songo Mnara, a city that thrived from the 10th to 15th centuries. (photos)

Byzantine pilgrimage site found in the Sudan

The excavation of the medieval monastery al-Ghazali in Northern Sudan is astonishing archaeologists who have unearthed a second church on the site as well as a large number of fragments of funerary stelae and inscribed vessels. The monastery is believed to have been a major pilgrimage site before the 13th century. (photos)

9th century church found beneath Dongola Citadel

A team of Polish archaeologists led by Prof. Włodzimierz Godlewski has discovered fragments of a medieval fortification system and the painted walls of a church, dating to the 9th century along the Nile River in the Sudan. Part of the Dongola Citadel, the medieval church survives alongside a tower and fortifications, dating to the 5th and 6th centuries, and remnants from the 15th century.

What we can learn from Timbuktu

In the Middle Ages, Africa was a leader in the scientific research and knowledge. Now Umar Benna of the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Dammam, in Al-Khoba, Saudi Arabia believes that the lessons of Timbuktu's gradual development approach can teach modern Africa, as well as the western world, how to deal with globalism.

Antiquity Gamecrafters on Artfire

Antiquity Gamecrafters offers a selection of historic board games.  Each game comes complete with board, pieces, drawstring bag for the piece, and rule booklet.

Experts still evaluating loss of Timbuktu manuscripts

Earlier in 2013, Islamic extremists destroyed more than 4,000 ancient manuscripts from the medieval African city of Timbuktu, nearly one-tenth of the ancient collection. Now experts hope they can find copies digitized before the destruction.

Union Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts in German Collections set to be completed in 2022

In 1957, when it was proposed, cataloging the thousands of “oriental” manuscripts scattered throughout Germany seemed an almost impossible feat, but the mammoth project may come to a successful end in 2022 if all goes well.

Known World Bardic Congress and Cooks Collegium VII

  • 29 August 2014 at 17:00 until 1 September 2014 at 12:00
  • Camp Wawbeek 1450 Highway 13 Wisconsin Dells WI 53965

Hosted by the Barony of Jararvellir (Madison, WI) in the Kingdom of Northshield (Wisconsin, U.P., Minnesota, western Ontario, North & South Dakota, Manitoba).

[ATL] Sacred Stone Baronial Birthday 31

Sacred Stone Baronial Birthday 31

August 30-September 1, 2013
Elchenburg Castle at Boonville, NC

Greetings noble friends and neighbors!

We bid you welcome and hope you will join us on a trip to Morocco for the 31st anniversary of the founding of the Barony of the Sacred Stone.

Chinese coin found in Kenya suggests medieval trade route

Archaeologists have unearthed a 15th century Chinese coin on the Kenyan island of Manda. This find predates European exploration of Asia, indicating the Chinese may have traded directly with Africa.

More than 200,000 manuscripts saved from destruction in Timbuktu

World scholars are breathing a sigh of relief as news reached them that more than 80 percent of the precious manuscripts from Timbuktu were smuggled to safety. Many were driven by car and truck to the Malian capital of Bamako.

Hope for the ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu

Last week news outlets reported that militant Islamic rebels fleeing Timbuktu in Mali had torched a new library, destroying many of the city's famed ancient books. Preservationists and the Mali government are now reporting that many of the manuscripts were hidden in a safe house before the attack.

Africans in art of the Renaissance

With European exploration and expansion during the Renaissance came renewed ties with Africa. Such ties, as presented in art, are the focus of a new exhibit at the Walters Art Museum in New York City, Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe.

Walters Museum places digital books online

The Walters Museum of Baltimore has placed a large part of its rare book collection online, with options to view the pages online or download high resolution images.

African king is history's richest man

Bill Gates who? CelebrityNetWorth has named Mansa Musa I, the 14th century leader of the Empire of Mali, the richest man of all time, with a personal worth of over US$400 billion.  Mali's role as supplier of salt and gold to much of the known world made the king rich and Mali an economic superpower.

Tomb of 15th century Sufi saint attacked by fanatics

A group of hardline Muslim Salafists, armed with bulldozers, recently attacked the shrine of 15th-Century scholar Abdel Salam al-Asmar in Zlitan, Libya. The Salafists believe that such shrines are idolatrous.

The will of Sitt al-Ahl

Wealthy Egyptian Sitt al-Ahl died in April 1143, leaving behind as her legacy, her last will and testament chronicling family ties beyond the grave. Jewish historian Renee Levine Melammed recounts her story in the Jerusalem Post.

15th-century mosque attacked at Timbuktu

A group of Islamist militants bearing pickaxes has attacked and damaged the Sidi Yahya mosque in Timbuktu, a World Heritage site, breaking down a door that "locals believed had to stay shut until the end of the world."

Fighting threatens historic Timbuktu

Fighting following a military junta in northern Mali is threatening the historic architectural and cultural center of Timbuktu, on the edge of the Sahara Desert. The city's 60 private libraries are a repository for over 700,000 ancient Islamic manuscripts.

Folding chair has ancient roots

Future filmmakers of movies about barbarians may have to trade their traditional rock-and-fur decor for a Coleman camping stool.

“Ornament of the World” depicted in video on Moorish Spain

A medieval German traveler once described Granada, in Moorish Spain, as the “Ornament of the World.” A video posted on the Moroccan Design website showcases the beauty and enlightment of the region.

Slideshow tells story of Sudanese church

Archaeologists are working on the excavation of the 11th century church at Banganarti, in the Sudan. Live Science has created a slideshow of some of the finds during the excavation, and provides a 3-D view of the church. (photos)

Churches in Sudan shed light on saints and pilgrims

A series of well-preserved medieval churches in central Sudan are giving researchers new information into the world of medieval pilgrimages and veneration. Inscriptions at one site show that pilgrims came from as far away as Catalonia.

Medieval settlement discovered in Sudan

A three-year research project, sponsored by the Prehistory Institute of Poznan University and the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums of Sudan, has begun at the Hosh esh-Sheitan strongold in the Nile Valley. Archeologists have already found one or more medieval settlements.

6th century Ethiopian manuscript identified in Minnesota

A theology student has discovered the second-oldest known Ethiopic Old Testament at Saint John’s University in Minnesota (USA). The manuscript dates to the 6th century.

"Jewel in the crown of Libya's Roman legacy" still intact

Archaeologists have feared the worst for Libya's Roman cultural heritage during the recent unrest in the country, but so far, sites such as Leptis Magna the "jewel in the crown" of Libya's Roman legacy, are unharmed.

Medieval African sculpture comes to the U.S.

An exhibition on sculpture from the Nigerian kingdom of Ife is coming to the United States. The works date from the 4th through 15th centuries and are made of stone and metal.

Oldest illuminated Bible found in Ethiopia

Researchers have dated the Garima Gospels to between 350 and 650 CE, making it the oldest known illuminated Christian Bible.

York's "Ivory Bangle Lady" of African origin

Recent analysis of a Roman burial in the city of York show that the remains belonged to a "high status" woman of African origin. Dubbed the "Ivory Bangle Lady," the woman was buried in the late 4th century along with "items including jet and elephant ivory bracelets, earrings, beads and a blue glass jug." (photos)

Evidence of pre-Islamic society found in Ghana

Archaeologists working on a site near the village of Yikpabongo in the western African country of Ghana have discovered dozens of clay figures depicting people and animals dating from the 7th to 13th centuries. They believe the artifacts are evidence of a pre-Islamic society.