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Old July 1st, 2013, 08:47 PM   #11

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Fantastic pictures! The Sahelian architecture of Mali and Niger is among my favorite style of African architecture. It is extremely distinctive and well-constructed. Some of the mosques of the Sahel look like crosses between mosques and military fortresses. I also love the design of the Ashanti houses, the large thatched roofs constructed to protect against torrential rains I'm guessing.

The benin empire also has some fantastic buildings and walls(the ones around benin city reportedly cover over 16,000 km!). Took 600 years to build and are the largest(lengthwise) structures in the world, and the largest earthworks in the world.

You wouldn't know it today simply because the british destroyed part of the earthworks when they razed the city in 1897 and residents of benin city today use parts of the wall for building materials. I would love to see what benin city looked like in its prime, to be able to reach out and touch its walls, maybe even take some measurements of my own, test the hardiness of it,etc.

videos of african architecture:

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYD9J9Qfe0k]African Historical Ruins - you never see on TV part 1/4 - YouTube[/ame]

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pspFolOHrfI]African Historical Ruins - you never see on TV part 2 / 4 - YouTube[/ame]

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYYmKd7To04]African Historical Ruins - never seen on TV part 3/4 - YouTube[/ame]

Good video, some of the facts are suspect and unsourced but most of it is probably accurate. Ignore the part about the Olmecs being African, only part I found that was silly. It's sad that people today(some even on this very board) believe africans lived in mud huts before europeans and arabs came to civilize them. Makes my blood boil.
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Old July 1st, 2013, 09:03 PM   #12

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Zeila, Qandala and Barawe are some of the most underrated cities in Somalia, they're overshadowed by Mogadishu though, sadly.

Zeila in ancient times was a port city of the Axumite empire and also a place of refuge for muslims fleeing persecution from Arabian tribes. It's no wonder Islam spread more easily in the horn(not so much violence) simply because its adherents here were refugees. Prophet Muhammad said the axumite empire was the kingdom of truth and justice, and that it's christian king was a just one.

Qandala has been neglected even by somalis, its buildings and castles have gradually eroded and sunk, very sad. Barawe seems well-preserved though, a medieval style port city. .
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Old July 1st, 2013, 09:21 PM   #13

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@PreColonialAfricaFTW

Thanks man and good post. I seen those videos before.
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Old July 1st, 2013, 09:34 PM   #14

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Eyl castle, Somalia
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Common Akan compounds
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"Dahomey (modern Benin)- The ruins of royal apartments at the King's Palace destroyed by cannonballs at Abomey."
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Old July 1st, 2013, 09:37 PM   #15

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Old palace of Oyo with Royal Gables (Kobi)
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Loango...Which was a city in the Kongo Kingdom.
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The capital of the Kingdom of Kongo
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The Eredo walls
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Old July 1st, 2013, 09:43 PM   #16

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Great Zimbabwe...Best photos I've seen of it so far.
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The "Hill Complex" area of Great Zimbabwe:
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View from the Hill Complex:
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More of the 'Great Zimbabwe'
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"Great Enclosure" entrance (one of them)
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A passage in the great enclosure
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Old July 1st, 2013, 09:55 PM   #17

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Early Ashanti/Akan Architecture
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Kano City Walls
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Loropeni ruins of Burkina Fasso
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 02:24 AM   #18

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Damn... I would give anything to be able to go back in time and observe these civilizations at their prime, before european encroachment...Never seen those particular pics of great zimbabwe. I'm a little confused though, was great zimbabwe a fortress city or the palace of a king? Some 200 other structures litter zimbabwe and other african countries, so I'm thinking these could all have been the remnants of towns and cities, or perhaps one giant city?

The extensively walled constructs make me think the shona designed these to protect themselves against slavers and raiders, perhaps the swahili or Arabs.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 07:52 PM   #19

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Stone walls and ruins of Mpumalanga in South Africa.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 07:55 PM   #20

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Ancient Ghana ruins:
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Khami Ruins:
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Ziwa ruins:
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