The Diversity Of Early African Architecture/Ruins Thread

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,570
Benin City, Nigeria
Drawing of Agadez from Travels and discoveries in north and central Africa: Under Songhai rule, this city may have had some 70,000 inhabitants in the 16th century.



Agadez can be compared favorably to Gao, at least when looked at through the eyes of Leo Africanus, who described the latter city as being "unwalled with ugly houses except for a few impressive monuments such as the royal buildings and the like". The former is said to have boasted "stately mansions in the Moorish style". One can expect to find Songhai, Tuareg, Moorish, and Hausa style architecture in the city, owing to the many trading caravans which visited the city.
According to Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah, Gao was in ruins in his days (the late 14th century) on account of a civil war.

What Leo Africanus (or, more likely, his informants) saw was a once great city which still had not truly recovered from a devastating internal conflict. They were only seeing the rebuilt, recovering town. Not the "original".

Ibn Battuta, who visited the city of Gao before it fell into ruin later in that century, only praised the city and did not make any derogatory comments about any of its buildings.
 
Jan 2018
43
Yopaw
Hello, I would like to know if Sudano-Sahelian architecture stems from North Africa, as there is no example of it before Islam(no examples of pagan temples, just mosques), I think its origins were Arab/Berber, and that the Sudano-Sahelian style was a transfer from North Africa.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,570
Benin City, Nigeria
Hello, I would like to know if Sudano-Sahelian architecture stems from North Africa, as there is no example of it before Islam(no examples of pagan temples, just mosques), I think its origins were Arab/Berber, and that the Sudano-Sahelian style was a transfer from North Africa.
1. Sudano-Sahelian architecture is basically just a blanket term for different styles of architecture in a certain region that really only have a limited number of things in common, such as mostly being built of earth (though there was use of stone in certain places). So maybe be more specific about what you're asking about.

None of the medieval Arabic sources state that the buldings that Arabs and North Africans saw in west Africa while those west African states were existing were built in an Arab/Berber or North African style. Basically the only exception is one particular building in 14th century (long after many west African states were already existing or had come and gone) Mali that was designed by an Andalusian architect that Mansa Musa brought back with him from his pilgrimage. The medieval Arab and North African writers simply do not attribute the style of the buildings they saw in western sahelian Africa to North Africans or Arabs.

2. "No examples of it before Islam" makes it seem as if buildings mostly made of earth and wood in sahelian and tropical regions would really survive intact without maintenance for 1400 years, which is a ridiculous idea. Even the stone buldings that were built didn't actually survive centuries in the sahelian environments in any decent condition.

3. Have you ever actually tried to research any aspect of African history just out of interest in the subject itself? Your previous posts seemed to be preoccupied with a certain agenda and it was already not a good use of my time just addressing those earlier posts, so I would like to know what you've actually read about African history before I take the time to address this latest claim in any detail.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,570
Benin City, Nigeria
(no examples of pagan temples, just mosques)
Pagan temples are for pagans. . .they aren't something that Muslim Africans would try to preserve or build and most of Sahelian Africa eventually became Muslim. So I don't see why they would keep pagan temples around. Such buildings would have no purpose.

In the parts of Africa that remained pagan, we have some clear references to and descriptions of temples. For example a Spanish Catholic priest's description of the Benin kingdom in the mid-17th century references the existence of pagan temples in the kingdom, because the people of that area were still pagans in the 17th century.
 
Jan 2018
43
Yopaw
Basically the only exception is one particular building in 14th century (long after many west African states were already existing or had come and gone) Mali that was designed by an Andalusian architect that Mansa Musa brought back with him from his pilgrimage
The claim that Al-Sahili was the architect of Mansa Musa is criticized
Al-Sahili : the historian's myth of architectural technology transfer from North Africa - Persée


Have you ever actually tried to research any aspect of African history just out of interest in the subject itself? Your previous posts seemed to be preoccupied with a certain agenda and it was already not a good use of my time just addressing those earlier posts, so I would like to know what you've actually read about African history before I take the time to address this latest claim in any detail.
Yes, I'm interested in African history. This is just that when I study something I apply a certain methodology that consists of being careful about everything and be skeptic about everything. This is just how I study, but I'm interested in African history, I'm not an alt-right member that tries to promote eurocentrism.
 

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