The African continent has long been inhabited and has some amazing historical sites to show for it. Check out these impressive examples of architecture, culture, and evolution.
1. Olduvai Gorgec
This paleoanthropological site is located in the eastern Serengeti Plain, within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania. Olduvai Gorge is remarkable for its deposits, which cover a time span from about 2.1 million to 15,000 years ago and have yielded the fossil remains of more than 60 hominins (human ancestors).
It has provided the most continuous known record of human evolution during the past two million years. It has also produced the longest known archaeological record of the development of stone tool industries. The famous archaeologist and paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey discovered a skull fragment there in 1959 that belonged to an early hominin.
Located on the southern edge of the Sahara in what is now Mali, the city of Timbuktu has historical significance for being a trading post on the trans-Saharan caravan route and as a center of Islamic culture in the 15th through the 17th century.
The city was founded by Tuaregs around 1100 CE, later became part of the Mali Empire, and then changed hands several times after that. Three of western Africa’s oldest mosques—Djinguereber (Djingareyber), Sankore, and Sidi Yahia—were built there during the 14th and early 15th centuries; Djinguereber was commissioned by the famed Mali emperor Mūsā I.
The city was a center of Islamic learning and housed a large collection of historical African and Arabic manuscripts, many of which were smuggled out of Timbuktu beginning in 2012, after Islamic militants who had seized control of the city began damaging or destroying many objects of great historical and cultural value.