Although this review principally concerns Africa south of the Sahara desert, the earliest evidence of metal production and use was in Egypt. Copper was first used there around 5000–4000 BCE and was being smelted by 3000 BCE.
When did Africans discover metal?
Some recent studies date the inception of iron metallurgy in Africa between 3,000 and 2,500 BCE. Evidence exists for earlier iron metallurgy in parts of Nigeria, Cameroon, and Central Africa, possibly from as early as around 2,000 BCE.
When did Iron Works begin in Africa?
The African Iron Age, also known as the Early Iron Age Industrial Complex, is traditionally considered that period in Africa between the second century CE up to about 1000 CE when iron smelting was practiced.
When was iron discovered in East Africa?
Iron and copper working in Sub-Saharan Africa spread south and east from Central Africa in conjunction with the Bantu expansion, from the Cameroon region to the African Great Lakes in the 3rd century BC, reaching the Cape around AD 400.
What metals were found in Africa?
Africa is richly endowed with mineral reserves and ranks first or second in quantity of world reserves of bauxite, cobalt, industrial diamond, phosphate rock, platinum-group metals (PGM), vermiculite, and zirconium.
Did Africans invent iron?
Africa south of the Sahara, it now seems, was home to a separate and independent invention of iron metallurgy … To sum up the available evidence, iron technology across much of sub-Saharan Africa has an African origin dating to before 1000 BCE.
Did Africa have a Bronze Age?
Unlike Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa lacks a Bronze Age, a period in which softer metals, such as copper, were made into artifacts. In Sub-Saharan Africa there is a Stone Age and an Iron Age.
Are we still in the Iron Age?
There are very few references to iron (σιδηρος) in Homer: this is the Bronze Age after all, or rather a tale of the Bronze Age. … Our current archaeological three-age system – Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age – ends in the same place, and suggests that we haven’t yet left the iron age.
Where is iron found in Africa?
In Southern Africa most iron ore reserves lie in South Africa itself. The chief deposits are at Postmasburg, in the Bushveld Complex, at Thabazimbi, and in the vast low-grade deposits of Pretoria. There are also substantial reserves in Zimbabwe.
What is smelting in Africa?
The Iron Age of Africa is generally considered to have taken place between 200 AD and 1000 AD when iron smelting was a practice. … The advantages of Iron are obvious, easier to cut trees with and easier to shave stone. In the 2nd millenium BC, it is believed that Western Asians invented the process of iron smelting.
What came before the Iron Age?
The Iron Age was a period in human history that started between 1200 B.C. and 600 B.C., depending on the region, and followed the Stone Age and Bronze Age.
Where was iron smelting invented?
The development of iron smelting was traditionally attributed to the Hittites of Anatolia of the Late Bronze Age. It was believed that they maintained a monopoly on iron working, and that their empire had been based on that advantage.
Who first discovered iron?
The ancient Hittites of Asia Minor, today’s Turkey, were the first to smelt iron from its ores around 1500 BC and this new, stronger, metal gave them economic and political power.
Are diamonds only found in Africa?
Diamonds are present in about 35 countries. South Africa, Russia and Botswana are the main producers of gem diamond while Australia produces most of the industrial diamond. They are also found in India, Russia, Siberia, Brazil, China, Canada and the United States.
Which African country is the richest in minerals?
Democratic Republic of Congo – rich in copper, cobalt, diamond, oil, coltan, gold, and tin. DRC has one of the richest deposits of mineral resources. Since 1960, DRC has been known for its mineralization as one of the most industrialized countries in Africa.
Does Africa have gold?
Ghana is Africa’s largest producer of gold, beating out South Africa for the top spot in 2019, and is also known for its reserves of various industrial minerals. Industry majors such as AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields have shifted their focus from South Africa to Ghana where deposits are cheaper and easier to mine.