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An Introduction to Ancient African Inventions

By Yona Williams    5/19/09

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Depending on whom you speak with, numerous cultures like to claim they were the first to come up with some of the most significant of scientific inventions in history. In this article, we will explore the contributions of ancient Africa in the world of science, including the use of stone tools and other very helpful items for survival.

Some of the most earliest and important inventions in science have been attributed to the ancient African culture. Evidence of early tools, the earliest use of fire, and the earliest use of numbers have been traced back to ancient African cultures. Around 1.9 million years ago, inhabitants of Africa started to form their own stone tools, which took place before significant changes regarding the human brain.

Key Factors and Habits of Ancient Africans

Early man in ancient African civilizations used their surroundings to their advantage to ensure the daily survival of self and family. They embraced the practical aspects of botany, biology, zoology, chemistry and meteorology. Menstrual, lunar and seasonal cycles played an important role in keeping time for the ancient Africans.

Contrary to popular belief, stone was not the only material that aided in the hunting and gathering of early man. Ancient Africans also learned to use wood (taken from tree limbs), leather, bone, and fibers from plants to their benefit. When it came to the herbs and other plant materials of their environment, these substances were used to create medicine, art supplies, cosmetics, shelter, clothing, and vessels to hold their food.

Ancient Inventions of African Culture

It is estimated that they learned how to harness the power of fire about 800,000 years ago and in some circles, it is believed that they learned much earlier. Around 250,000 years ago, it is said that the early people started to evolve into a more modern man. About 60,000 BC, explorers from Africa departed and went to seek out other places to settle at in parts of Australia and India. In later years, the Africans would find their way to West Asia, Europe, and China.

As for the Africans that chose to live in Africa, a large number of the people came up with an array of interesting inventions. For example, fish hooks were being made around 50,000 BC.

Other inventions linked to ancient African cultures and their impact include:

·    To boost the outcome of their agriculture, the ancient Africans devised ways to aid in deliberately planting their seeds. Early man used tools, such as hoes, sticks for digging, and sickles to finish reaping jobs. Because of this, they were able to embrace a more intense method of cultivation. As a result, the population grew and a wider range of cultures in Africa was able to emerge.

For more inventions associated with the ancient Africans can be found in the article titled, "Examples of Ancient African Inventions."

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