Africa 750 CE

Wealthy kingdoms are emerging in West Africa.

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What is happening in Africa in 750CE

North Africa

North Africa, including Egypt, has been conquered from the Eastern Roman Empire (or Byzantine Empire) by Arab armies and is now part of the vast Islamic caliphate. Meanwhile the Nubian kingdoms in the upper Nile valley have become home to a vibrant Christian culture.

Sub-Saharan Africa

In West Africa, the powerful and wealthy kingdom of Ghana has appeared, built on the proceeds of the lucrative trans-Saharan trade in salt, gold and slaves.

By this date, a flourishing Indian Ocean trade has been established between the east coast of Africa, India and the Middle East. Arab Merchants and sailors visit coastal settlements in search of gold, ivory and slaves, and have set up a string of trading posts there.

In central and southern Africa the economy shows a shift away from the mixed farming, which the Bantu brought with them, towards an increasingly herding way of life. The herding of cattle is better suited to the extensive plains and grasslands of the region.


In Madagascar, one of the most remarkable migrations in world history has been completed with the arrival of boat-borne Malay colonists from South East Asia. At around the same time, groups of Bantu make the crossing from East Africa to northern Madagascar.

Next map, Africa 979 CE

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The Byzantine Empire

The Islamic Caliphate

African Kingdoms

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Darkness and Light – Europe at 813 CE. The maps in this series show what is happening in a portion of North Africa.

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