Architecture of Sub-Saharan and Sahelian Africa

civfanatic

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It seems that the history and archaeology of Africa doesn't get as much attention as other parts of the world do. Many people simply dismiss Africa as being primitive and "devoid of civilization", while being ignorant of the prosperous states that once flourished throughout the continent and of the rich cultural traditions that they expressed, many of which still survive today through the descendants of these lost kingdoms. In this thread I will post examples of architecture from Sub-Saharan and Sahelian Africa, in an attempt to raise awareness of the forgotten past of this cradle of humanity.
 

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The ancient city of Kerma, in present-day North Sudan, is one of the oldest in Africa and the world, with architectural remains dating from 7500 B.C.E. Most of the city, however, was built after 3000 B.C.E., when it was at its peak.











 

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The Great Mosque of Djenne, in Mali, is the largest clay building in the world. The original mosque was built sometime in the 13th century when the powerful and wealthy Mali Empire was at its height. The Mosque was renovated and reconstructed in 1906.











 

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The Fasil Ghebbi, a castle at Gondar in northern Ethiopia, was built during the reign of King Fasilides (r.1632-1667). It served as the seat of the Emperors of Ethiopia through the 18th century.











 

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The ruins of Great Zimbabwe, the center of a Southern African kingdom that flourished between the 12th and 15th centuries C.E. The site is famous for its five-meter high stone walls, which were built without mortar and are among the largest of their kind in the world.











 

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Djenné mosque is fantastic

But I think you forgot the Timbuktu Old Town, which disputed the elections to the New Seven Wonders of World recently.
 

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The Bet Medhane Alem in Lalibela, Ethiopia is the largest monolithic church in the world. The building was carved entirely out of a single rock.











 

civfanatic

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Djenné mosque is fantastic

But I think you forgot the Timbuktu Old Town, which disputed the elections to the New Seven Wonders of World recently.
Wow, I didn't know about the New Seven Wonders of the World thing, it's great that Timbuktu is getting some international limelight. It definitely ranks among the top historical sites of Sub-Saharan Africa.


Sankore University is one of the most famous buildings in Timbuktu:








 

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The Agadez Grand Mosque in Niger was originally built in 1515. Like Sankore University in Timbuktu and the Grand Mosque of Jenne, it belongs to the distinct Sudano-Sahelian style of architecture.








 

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The ruins of Gede in the tropical coast of Kenya. Gede emerged as a thriving trading center in the 13th and 14th centuries, with excavations revealing artifacts from as far away as Venice, Spain, India, and China.











 

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This bridge may look typical of those constructed in medieval Europe, but it was actually built in Sub-Saharan Africa in the 17th century. Any guesses where?


 

Ray

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Sub Saharan?



Looks like Nubian architecture.

The Nubians are an ethnic group originally from northern Sudan, and southern Egypt now inhabiting North Africa and some parts of East Africa.


Temple of Debod
 
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Ray

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These are the mountainous regions of Africa

Atlas Mountains:
This mountain system runs from southwestern Morocco along the Mediterranean coastline to the eastern edge of Tunisia. Several smaller ranges are included, namely the High Atlas, Middle Atlas and Maritime Atlas. The highest peak is Mt. Toubkal in western Morocco at 13,671 ft. (4,167 m).

Congo River Basin:
The Congo River Basin of central Africa dominates the landscape of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and much of neighboring Congo. In addition, it stretches into Angola, Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Zambia. The fertile basin is about 1,400,000 sq. miles (3,600,000 sq. km) in size and contains almost 20% of the world's rain forest. The Congo River is the second longest river in Africa, and it's network of rivers, tributaries and streams help link the people and cities of the interior.

Ethiopian Highlands:
The Ethiopian Highlands are a rugged mass of mountains in Ethiopia, Eritrea (which is sometimes referred to as the Eritrean Highlands), and northern Somalia in the Horn of Africa. The Ethiopian Highlands form the largest continuous area of its altitude in the whole continent, with little of its surface falling below 1500 m (4,921 ft), while the summits reach heights of up to 4550 m (14,928 ft). It is sometimes called the Roof of Africa for its height and large area.

Great Rift Valley:
A dramatic depression on the earth's surface, approximately 4,000 miles (6,400 km) in length, extends from the Red Sea area near Jordan in the Middle East, south to the African country of Mozambique. In essence, it's a series of geological faults caused by huge volcanic eruptions centuries back, that subsequently created what we now call the Ethiopian Highlands, and a series of perpendicular cliffs, mountain ridges, rugged valleys and very deep lakes along it's entire length. Many of Africa's highest mountains front the Rift Valley, including Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya and Mount Margherita.

Hoggar (Ahaggar) Mountains:
The Hoggar Mountains, also known as the Ahaggar, are a highland region in central Sahara, or southern Algeria, along the Tropic of Cancer. They are located about 1,500 km (900 mi) south of the capital, Algiers and just west of Tamanghasset. The region is largely rocky desert with an average altitude of more than 900 metres (2,953 feet) above sea level. The highest peak is at 3,003 meters (Mount Tahat).




All from Google



Could it be Ethiopia/ Eritrea?
 
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