North Africa

Karte Afrikas mit hervorgehobenen nordafrikanischen Ländern
map of Africa with emphasized North African countries

as North Africa one designates the area of the African continent Africa, which is appropriate north for the desert seeing era. It covers according to the Maghrebstaaten and Egypt and some definitions also the Sudan. The languageArab and the population majority is lightmembranous.

Contacts between north and black Africa were limited to cross due to the difficulties, the desert almost exclusively to the trade along the east and west coast of the continent and driving on the Nile. Thisuntil for the Arab expansion and the propagation Islam remained the case.

Although the North African culture has like also its inhabitants both African and centraleastern roots, most North Africans are either Arab or berberisch speaking Muslims (and onlyin case of the Kopten, Christians).

Some North African countries, above all Egypt and Libya, are politically often ranked among of the Near East, because of the intensive contacts with this. Besides the Sinai peninsula (part of Egypt) belongs to Asia and is more undisputedPart of the Near East.

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states of North Africa

Sometimes Ethiopia becomes, Eritrea and Mauritania likewise as part of this region outstandingly. Usually however Eritrea and Ethiopia East Africa niche and Mauritania are an westAfrican state.



Epipaläoliti places of discovery are rare in North Africa, many probably became by the rising sea leveldestroyed. In the cave of Haua Fteah (Libya, Kyrenaika) were the remainders of wild sheep, Auerochsen and Gazellen. Sheep bones originate also from the cave from Hagfet OD-Dabba. From discovery sites in the Maghreb Mahlsteine and blade with Sichelglanz originate.

From the time of the climatic optimum in the early Holozän mesolithische places of discovery with bone harpoons, Mikrolithen and Mahlsteinen originate. Fish, shells and snails, crocodiles, fresh water turtles and river horses were used for nutrition, bones by Antilopen and game cattle to show that one also inhunted for the savannah. In the seeing era wild grasses were collected such as millet, in North Africa also fruits and Wurzelknollen. Ceramic(s) arises here very early and is not bound not to a full neolithische restaurant way.

Places of discovery in the eastern Hoggar in Libya occupy thoseHunt particularly for game sheep. Starting from that 7. Millenium structures are occupied, for example such as corrals and windscreens from the cave by SCN Afuda. Here verzierte ceramic(s) was also with wave lines. Schafkoprolithen with crush seeds occupy an intentionalFeeding and therefore probably Stallhaltung morphologically savages of sheep. Also wild millet (Panicum and Setaria) was proven.

From that 5. Millenium are clear vouchers of domestizierter cattle admits (Ti-n-Torha, SCN Muhuggiag, Aures, Amekni and Meniet in Algeria, Adrar Bous and Arlitin the Niger), besides also still one hunted and one collected grasses and Wurzelknollen. Also rock pictures represent such domestizierten animals. They originate particularly from the middle Holozän, when the cattle breeding became ever more important.

Rock pictures in the seeing era show partial humanswith black skin color. Whether it concerns thereby the “Urbevölkerung” of the seeing era, is unclear.

J. D. Clark (1962, 1964) brought at the beginning of the agriculture in North Africa with an immigration relatively less humans from the front Orient over that to thatNile valley approx. 4000 v. Chr. in connection. , He sets the propagation in the Sahel, released by increasing drainage around 2000 v. Chr. on.

From Morocco finds of the neolithischen Cardial culture are well-known, also at the coasts of Italy, France and Spainone found.

Intensive agriculture is only for the first millenium well-known, when in the oases of the southwest of Libya is to be proven a closer settlement, and agriculture with underground irrigation canals (foggara) was operated. This is probably with the Garamanten tooconnect, which admits Herodot from the works of the Greek writer is.

Karthagos surely

begins, is connected historical excessive quantities us the common history of North Africa and continues with the history of the old person of Egypt with historywith conquests by the Roman realm. Some more could subsequently, be reported on the Wandalen and some other peoples, which had penetrated in the course of the people migration over the road of Gibraltar until North Africa and had remained also here.

the Middle Ages

after 632, death Mohammeds, turned out for North Africa very fast under Islamic influence.

modern times

in the early modern times came the majority of the area, with exception of Morocco and the inside of the seeing eraunder loose control of the Osmani realm. In 19. and 20. Century was occupied it by France , Great Britain , Spain and Italy.

climatic development

the Pleniglazial around 18.000 BP was in North Africa by extremely dry conditionsmarked. One assumes the middle temperature up to 9° was lower than today. The seeing era extended 500 km further south as today. The inside of the desert became uninhabitable, and which pulled residents hunter and collecting tank thereinto damper areas, as for instance in the Nile valley.

At the transition to the Holozän the monsoon moved - belts rapidly northward. Thus the climate in North Africa became suddenly clearly damper, damper than today. Estimations lie between 5 and 15x damper thantoday. The sea-mirrors were clearly higher than for the moment.

In the middle Holozän the climate became increasingly drier, although there were also some damper climatic periods.

see also


  • Graeme Barker, transit ion ton farming andpastoralism in North Africa. In: Peter Bellwood/Colin Renfrew, Examining the farming/LANGUAGE dispersal hypothesis (Cambridge 2002) 151-160.
  • J. D. Clark, The spread OF food production in Sub Saharan Africa. Journal OF African History 3, 1962, 211-228.
  • S. di Lernia/G. Manzi (Hrsg.), Beforefood production in North Africa (Forlí 1998).


  • S. Faath (Hrsg.): Democracy and human rights in North Africa. Hamburg (1992)

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