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Old February 8th, 2014, 04:23 PM   #1

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Haya people: 2,000-year old African steel producers?

Apparently, the Haya of northwest Tanzania had been manufacturing carbon steel for around 2,000 years. I suspected that African metallurgy was more advanced that what it usually gets credit for, but this was quite unexpected. Anyone have more information about the Haya people and their history?

Some interesting links:

African Steel Making

Africa's Ancient Steelmakers

More Evidence for an Advanced Prehistoric Iron Technology in Africa

The last link is from JSTOR, so I'm not sure if everyone will be able to access it.
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Old February 8th, 2014, 06:19 PM   #2

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Beyond what I read in the links posted above, I can't say I know much else about them. Since they're Niger-Congo speakers, they probably arrived from the Upper Nile region between 20-12kya, corresponding to the bifurcation of Nilo-Saharan and Niger-Congo language groups. There were countless isolated populations during this period, just prior to the Holocene, so I wouldn't be surprised if they developed this technology by themselves. But then again, there were iron-smelters from northern Nigeria, notably the Nok civilization, who might have developed similar technology.
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Old February 8th, 2014, 07:40 PM   #3
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Meroe and developed steel around 315 b.c.,but steel use became more widespread 300 years later and more after meroe and in the middle ages in nubia and sudan.
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Old February 8th, 2014, 07:53 PM   #4

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My thread on the issue:
Africans --The First to master Iron Technology?
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