Civilization and Trades

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Civilization and Trades

About 3300 BC, the historical record opens in Africa with the rise of literacy in the Pharaonic-ruled civilisation of Ancient Egypt, which continued, with varying levels of influence over other areas, until 343 BC. Prominent civilisations at different times include Carthage, the Kingdom of Aksum, the Nubian kingdoms, the empires of the Sahel (Kanem-Bornu, Ghana, Mali, and Songhai), Great Zimbabwe, and the Kongo.

After the Sahara had become a desert it did not present an impenetrable barrier for travellers between north and south. Even prior to the introduction of the camel. the use of oxen for desert crossing was common, and trade routes followed oases that were strung across the desert. The camel was first brought to Egypt by the Persiansafter Persia conquered Egypt in 525 BC, although large herds did not become common enough in North Africa to establish the trans-Saharan trade until the eighthcentury AD. The Sanhaja Berbers were the first to exploit this.

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