African Pre-history Up To 500 B.c


Welcome to the course material on African Pre-history up to 500 B.C. This topic delves into the early stages of African history, focusing on the period before written records were kept. Understanding African pre-history is crucial in unraveling the origins and development of ancient African societies.

History As A Subject Of Study: African pre-history provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of early human ancestors on the continent. By studying the artifacts, tools, and fossils left behind, historians reconstruct the lifestyles and cultural practices of these early Africans.

Sources Of African History: The key sources of African pre-history include archaeological findings, cave paintings, fossils, oral traditions, and carbon dating of artifacts. These sources offer valuable insights into the way of life, technological advancements, and social structures of ancient African communities.

Methods Of African History: Historians employ various methods to study African pre-history, such as excavation, carbon dating, comparative analysis, and interdisciplinary research. By combining these methods, scholars piece together the puzzle of Africa's early civilizations.

Hunters And Gatherers: The early inhabitants of Africa were primarily hunters and gatherers who roamed the land in search of food. They utilized simple tools made of stone, bone, and wood to hunt animals and gather edible plants, leading a nomadic lifestyle.

Beginning Of Village/Community Life: Over time, early Africans transitioned from hunter-gatherer societies to settled communities. The establishment of villages and communities marked a significant milestone in African pre-history, as people began to engage in agriculture, develop social structures, and build rudimentary dwellings.

By exploring the major milestones in African pre-history up to 500 B.C., we aim to gain a deeper understanding of the formative years of African civilizations. This period laid the foundation for the rich and diverse cultures that emerged across the continent. The impact of prehistoric events on the development of African societies cannot be understated, shaping the course of history for generations to come.


  1. Analyze the impact of prehistoric events on the development of African societies
  2. Identify the major milestones in African pre-history up to 500 BC
  3. Explore the different sources available for researching African pre-history
  4. Understand the concept of African pre-history
  5. Examine the methods used by historians to study African pre-history

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Lesson Evaluation

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You will encounter a mix of question types, including multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, and essay questions. Each question is thoughtfully crafted to assess different aspects of your knowledge and critical thinking skills.

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  1. What is the term used to refer to the period before written records in Africa? A. Ancient history B. Medieval history C. Pre-history D. Colonial history Answer: C. Pre-history
  2. Which method do historians use to study African pre-history? A. Written records B. Oral tradition C. Archaelogical findings D. Ancient artifacts Answer: C. Archaeological findings
  3. Which of the following is not a source of African history? A. Oral tradition B. Written records C. Ancient artifacts D. Radiocarbon dating Answer: D. Radiocarbon dating
  4. Which group of people relied on hunting and gathering for survival in African pre-history? A. Farmers B. Pastoralists C. Iron workers D. Nomadic tribes Answer: A. Farmers
  5. What marks the beginning of village/community life in African pre-history? A. Invention of writing systems B. Development of agriculture C. Construction of pyramids D. Establishment of trade routes Answer: B. Development of agriculture

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Past Questions

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