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African History

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Essay title: African History

African History

The pre-colonial African past is a subject that everyone should know about. Africa is where we originated from, and that is why I think it is very important to know about this subject. In order to know what happened in this time period the work of historians, archaeologists, and paleontologists is critical.

I think historians are very important in the study of the pre-colonial African past. If historians didn't do their job than nobody would know what happened in the beginning of time or anytime period that is wondered about. Everyone wonders what happened when there ancestors were growing up and when humans originated. It is a historian's job to study fossils and evidence to figure out when they were from and what they were. Historians use evidence such as this and sources such as archaeologists to help them in their study of the pre-colonial African past.

Archaeologists study the past of human life by the examination of remaining material. There have been many fossils found. Some of them date to millions of years ago such as the hominid fossil named Lucy found at Hadar, Ethiopia by Taieb and Johanson in 1974 (Gilbert & Reynolds, p.7) Archaeologists and historians have found out about the economies, societies, politics, and religion. They have discovered that people had indigenous beliefs for religion. Societies and rulers rose in volume of trade and production. They controlled their trade in raw materials to the coast. (States and societies in South-Central Africa lecture). The economy was developed by trade. Gold is traded for those who are rich. A lot of people farmed as well. Politics involved the ruler and him controlling the social organization and trade.

Sources such as the Sundiata Epic are important for many reasons. When we had the lecture over the Sundiata Epic as history we received a lot of information that is helpful with answering the question we were asked. I think that this oral source is important because a person in the story called a griot tells stories about history. I think that part of the story is myth and part of it is history. The griot tells Mabo about his history and the meaning of his name. The griot tells him some things that are kind of unrealistic, such a woman turning into a buffalo when getting hit by an egg in a swamp. It is history because it has been told over and over again that is all African centered. The griot is known to know what has happened in African history by his ancestors passing information down to him or her. The message of the griot is very important for the children to learn from proverbs (The Sundiata Epic as history lecture).

If it weren't for early written sources for historians to study there would be no history. We wouldn't know anything about history if there were no sources for people to look at and study. These sources tell us many things about African cities, states, and city-states. I think that trade led to the emergences of most complex societies. I think this because with trade you have to have contact with other people. Trade helped each other out by trading different goods. This contributes to the growth and richness of a society (August 29 lecture). The sources tell us history of Africa such as the government, trade, and information about city, states, and kingdoms. The government was powered by the king. Great Zimbabwe was the first trading kingdom. Sources told us about wealth from agriculture and commerce. The sources told us about the Empire of Mali and that it was history based on oral tradition, such as the Sudiata Epic. The sources tell how complex societies were

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