Kwasi Konadu

Early Societies of the Sahara

African History 360Kwasi KonaduComment

WScientists suggest at least three waves of human movement and periods of wetness between 130,000 and 10,000 BCE. During these periods, Africa’s Sahara region was a patchwork of forests, grasslands, and lakes. Within these settings, human inhabitants eked out a living. Before the Sahara became a desert between 7,000 and 4,000 BCE, this vast region included fishing communities around lakes and rivers toward its southern and expanding frontiers, pastoral communities to the north and east, and the spread of tropical cereal grains in environs, including grasslands, to the south. In much of the present Sahara Desert, rock paintings record a great deal about domestic life in antiquity; in earlier and later times, the Sahara became a highway of commerce, raids, and cultural-religious encounters between Eurasia and Africa. The rock art or cave drawings discovered on the Tassili Plateau in the Sahara Desert, for instance, have been dated between 6,000 BCE and 600 BCE. A photo of these drawings appear with this note. In the photo, you will see evidence for natural resource use (e.g. vegetation, animals, water, food, shelter), economic systems (e.g. trade, goods and services, pastoralism, hunting), technology (e.g. tools, invention, scientific thinking), culture (e.g. art and aesthetics, settlement patterns), and politics (e.g. governance), and much more.rite here…