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 Early civilizations

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kosovohp
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Join date : 2010-09-28

PostSubject: Early civilizations   Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:37 pm

At about 3300 BC, the historical record opens in Northern Africa with the rise of literacy in the Pharaonic civilisation of Ancient Egypt.[22] One of the world's earliest and longest-lasting civilizations, the Egyptian state continued, with varying levels of influence over other areas, until 343 BC.[23][24] Egyptian influence reached deep into modern-day Libya, north to Crete[25] and Canaan[citation needed], and south to the kingdoms of Aksum[citation needed] and Nubia[citation needed].

An independent centre of civilisation with trading links to Phoenicia was established by Phoenicians from Tyre on the north-west African coast at Carthage.[26][27][28]

European exploration of Africa began with Ancient Greeks and Romans. In 332 BC, Alexander the Great was welcomed as a liberator in Persian-occupied Egypt. He founded Alexandria in Egypt, which would become the prosperous capital of the Ptolemaic dynasty after his death.[29] Following the conquest of North Africa's Mediterranean coastline by the Roman Empire, the area was integrated economically and culturally into the Roman system. Roman settlement occurred in modern Tunisia and elsewhere along the coast. Christianity spread across these areas from Palestine via Egypt, also passing south, beyond the borders of the Roman world into Nubia and by at least the 6th century into Ethiopia.

In the early 7th century, the newly formed Arabian Islamic Caliphate expanded into Egypt, and then into North Africa. In a short while the local Berber elite had been integrated into Muslim Arab tribes. When the Ummayad capital Damascus fell in the 8th century, the Islamic center of the Mediterranean shifted from Syria to Qayrawan in North Africa. Islamic North Africa had become diverse, and a hub for mystics, scholars, jurists and philosophers. During the above mentioned period, Islam spread to sub-Saharan Africa, mainly through trade routes and migration.[30]

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