ANCIENT African History

Jun 2018
7
SA
#1
Hello,

I`m Carl Kush, new here :)

I thought I would kick things off by creating a new thread. I aim too collect (decent) sources on aaaancient African history, basically from the area of southernmost tip of Africa (Cape and Natal), which according to Herodotus was inhabited by the so-called Macrobians... I also found other sources called them Bantues while others use the preverbal Aethiopian as a reference to these people, these two do seem to be a common historical nickname for a certain type of people now seemingly lost too history, as well, they have no place in history. If the Bantu languages, such as Xhosa, Zulu or more particularly the Khoikhoi, can be estimated to 50,000+++ years old (with the possibility of being used for 290,000), outdating Into-European language groups by 1/5 - how come we dont know anything of what happened around the Cape and the Kwa-Zulu Natal before Europeans came....? I mean there are serious traces of huge agricultural areas and stone walled settlements in Mpumalanga (Escarpment). I wish I had some sources telling me something about things that went down in these extremely beautiful and lush parts of the world.... Can anyone provide or point me too some decent, greek or roman, source talking about any of this.

Thanks for reading :deadhorse:
 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,767
USA
#2
I don't believe one is going to find anything contemporary about the peoples of southernmost region of Africa, before Portuguese explorers came by on their explorative voyages to find a way to India. That is late 1400's.
 
Jun 2018
7
SA
#3
Yeah, I know. I can't seem to stop wondering why is that? I mean obviously there was plenty going on there... Could there be say some interpretive wrongs, meaning cities and places from ancient times we may have gotten wrong?? Thinking of Historical great named cities such as fabled Thonis, Great Zimbabwe, Antioch, Jerusalem, etc...
 
Mar 2018
748
UK
#4
Where did you hear about a language being 290,000 years old? It's not even clear that language itself is anywhere near that old. I can't begin to imagine how there could be any evidence for a language family being that old.

As for making mistakes about past cities... Jerusalem still exists. It has existed continuously. We know where it is.


More generally, not every part of the world has "meaningful" history going back many millennia. You'll find archaeology almost anywhere if you look hard enough, but building a narrative from that is not always possible. I'll add preemptively that there's nothing racist or euro-centric about that. You'll struggle to find any sources giving any details about what has happening in - say - Scotland until the Romans arrived.
 
Mar 2012
2,351
#5
The stone structures in South Africa go back to about the 16th century and were made by what are now termed the "Bakoni" people. I wondered in this thread if they were not related to the Zimbabwes and the Shona people, but there were not many takers:

http://historum.com/middle-eastern-...uins-south-africa-related-great-zimbabwe.html

In any event, you have to remember the the Bantu migrations only started about 1000BC, and only reached South Africa by 300AD, so there was no one there build anything in ancient times except Khoisan, who are not known to have been builders.

Besides Herodotus, try THE PERIPLUS by Hanno the Carthaginian. It is debated how far he actually got into Africa, but some think as far as Benin.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,594
Benin City, Nigeria
#6
Hello,

I`m Carl Kush, new here :)

I thought I would kick things off by creating a new thread. I aim too collect (decent) sources on aaaancient African history, basically from the area of southernmost tip of Africa (Cape and Natal), which according to Herodotus was inhabited by the so-called Macrobians...
I do not think Herodotus says anything about the Macrobians being at the southernmost tip of Africa. That must be a misreading of the text.

If you want to read an exercise in imaginative, but controlled (not inherently pseudo-historical) speculation about ancient sources possibly discussing sub-Saharan Africa, you could read the book Africa in Antiquity: A Linguistic and Toponymic Analysis of Ptolomy's Map of Africa, Together with a Discussion of Ophir, Punt and Hanno's Voyage (1998) by W.F.G. Lacroix. He does mention southern Africa in that book, making certain unproven (and not really provable) claims about Zimbabwe in that book, for example. But much of it is concerned with speculations about western Africa.

Nothing in the book is really proven or provable, but the author's speculations are at least not of the crazy, conspiracy theory sort, and the author is an actual geographer (that is his actual academic background). Another book dealing with the same general theme, but mainly dedicated to criticizing the theories of some earlier and recent historians about certain geographical locations in Africa that are mentioned in ancient sources, is his shorter 2017 book Ptolemy's Africa: The unknown Sudan, truth or fallacy. However, that book only deals with west Africa, not southern Africa.
 
Jun 2018
7
SA
#8
Quentin Atkinsons Tracing the origins of Languages, have a look see, not clear cut evidence but it should make yah think. Also language as we know it now, has become very limited, almost restricting and inefficient. Afrikan Alphabets: The Story of Writing in Afrika by Saki Mafundikwa, is a nice collected just to get the feel for how language can be perceived. Most people, if not all, back then probably had elaborate hieroglyphic-like systems...

No, Jerusalem is not where its purported. I mean just read Josephus description of the city (Book V Chapter 4 in Antiquities I think). Its described almost as a natural encampment, this makes it impossible to place it where its purported today, borderline illogical. There is a nice historical argument fitted, though it to can easily have been fabricated... Then take into consideration the problem of north and south, see the earth was not a sphere back then... If you use Biblical references, its impossible to go both up and down to Egypt and Antioch when Jerusalem was described as being on top of the world, right?

See, now thats my point, with archeological remains everywhere too be found, should it not be necessary to investigate - say 150 kilometers of `unknown` stone walls at Mpumalanga? The theories put forth about its origins are slim to rather fanciful, with speculations of both Dravidinas and Bokoni tribes, when oral tradition calls them way older that these suggestions ever will allow. Tellinger and that other guys theory are ridiculous, but why is there nothing in between...

Oh but its in Africa, so it does not matter to much...right? Not to meaningful I guess....
 
Last edited:
Jun 2018
7
SA
#9
The stone structures in South Africa go back to about the 16th century and were made by what are now termed the "Bakoni" people. I wondered in this thread if they were not related to the Zimbabwes and the Shona people, but there were not many takers:

http://historum.com/middle-eastern-...uins-south-africa-related-great-zimbabwe.html

In any event, you have to remember the the Bantu migrations only started about 1000BC, and only reached South Africa by 300AD, so there was no one there build anything in ancient times except Khoisan, who are not known to have been builders.

Besides Herodotus, try THE PERIPLUS by Hanno the Carthaginian. It is debated how far he actually got into Africa, but some think as far as Benin.

Now who gave you those dates I wonder?
 
Jun 2018
7
SA
#10
I do not think Herodotus says anything about the Macrobians being at the southernmost tip of Africa. That must be a misreading of the text.

If you want to read an exercise in imaginative, but controlled (not inherently pseudo-historical) speculation about ancient sources possibly discussing sub-Saharan Africa, you could read the book Africa in Antiquity: A Linguistic and Toponymic Analysis of Ptolomy's Map of Africa, Together with a Discussion of Ophir, Punt and Hanno's Voyage (1998) by W.F.G. Lacroix. He does mention southern Africa in that book, making certain unproven (and not really provable) claims about Zimbabwe in that book, for example. But much of it is concerned with speculations about western Africa.

Nothing in the book is really proven or provable, but the author's speculations are at least not of the crazy, conspiracy theory sort, and the author is an actual geographer (that is his actual academic background). Another book dealing with the same general theme, but mainly dedicated to criticizing the theories of some earlier and recent historians about certain geographical locations in Africa that are mentioned in ancient sources, is his shorter 2017 book Ptolemy's Africa: The unknown Sudan, truth or fallacy. However, that book only deals with west Africa, not southern Africa.

Thanks, yeah, I think I have heard of this guy, sounds like his work is similar to that of Cheik Anta Diop, he also had an affinity for West-Africa history, but also mentions Zimbabwe, like everyone else. However West-Africa was heavily radicalised (at some point in time) leaving not many traces of well, off anything... My aim is to venture, even further back in time, if at all possible
 

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