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Importance of Iron to the Evolution of Civilization in Africa - Essay Example

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Importance of Iron to the evolution of civilization in Africa Name Institution Importance of Iron to the evolution of civilization in Africa There has been a misconception that Africa was a dark continent before western civilization. However, this should not be the precise scenario…
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Importance of Iron to the Evolution of Civilization in Africa
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Importance of Iron to the Evolution of Civilization in Africa

Download file to see previous pages... While paying attention to the Iron Age in Africa, this expose elucidates the important role of iron to the evolution of civilization in the continent of Africa. African used stones as tools to conduct their daily activities during the first Millennium (“Early Iron Age in Sub Saharan Africa,” n.d.). In this regard, the activities that they engaged in included hunting and gathering, which was the main source of livelihood for a majority of Africans. Therefore, there were no signs of metalwork in Africa in this millennium. However, the continent traces early signs of metalwork in Egypt during the fifth millennium (“Early Iron Age in Sub Saharan Africa,” n.d.). In this regard, the first metalwork witnessed in the continent was technology in copper work. Indeed, this innovation coincided with farming and agriculture in the Nile Valley, which is the earliest civilization in Africa (“Early Iron Age in Sub Saharan Africa,” n.d.). While copper was the first metal for Africans to work with, there are several standpoints regarding the origin of iron in Africa. Nevertheless, there is a common agreement that the first evidence for work related to iron was in the second millennium (“Early Iron Age in Sub Saharan Africa,” n.d.). According to archeological standpoints, iron traces its origin on two different perspectives. In the first perspective, archeologists identify the invention of iron by the indigenous Africans as the group that invented iron (“Early Iron Age in Sub Saharan Africa,” n.d.). Archeologists who support this position indicate that Africans invented iron smelting by borrowing from the techniques they used in copper smelting (“Early Iron Age in Sub Saharan Africa,” n.d.). On the other hand, a second group of archeologists traces the origin of iron in Africa from the surrounding continents and specifically the continent of Asia (“Early Iron Age in Sub Saharan Africa,” n.d.). In this regard, the archeologists who support this viewpoint indicate that smelting of iron diffused into the continent through Egypt. It is crucial to point out that Egypt is close to the countries in the Arabic area of the continent of Asia. In this case, Egypt received the technology and spread it to the rest of Africa. The interaction of the kingdom of Meroe with the Egyptians is a contributing factor in the spread of iron technology and its crucial role in the evolution of civilization. In this regard, the principal craft for the people of Meroe was using the iron technology to make iron tools (“Early Iron Age in Sub Saharan Africa,” n.d.). The tools previously used by the people of Meroe were not of superior quality, since the only technology before the use of iron was use of stones or copper. In this regard, iron provided the people of Meroe who engaged in farming and hunting with more superior tools (“Early Iron Age in Sub Saharan Africa,” n.d.). In effect, the new tools ensured that there was more production of food and hunting became more productive. In addition, these superior tools paved way for a stronger army amongst the Meroe since they now had superior tools. In addition, they could capture strong animals like the elephants, which they used during wars (“Early Iron Age in Sub Saharan Africa,” n.d.). Thus, iron was important to the evolution of civilization in Africa since there were inventions of superior tools used in farming and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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