Africa

Alula Pankhurst, a member of Ethiopia’s National Heritage Restitution Committee, calls the objects' return the “single most significant heritage restitution in Ethiopia’s history.”

Looted Maqdala Treasures Returned to Ethiopia After 150 Years

A nonprofit foundation purchased the objects, which were seized by British troops in 1868, with the aim of restituting them

African wild dogs are skilled hunters.

Future of Conservation

Endangered Wild Dogs Rely on Diverse Habitat to Survive Around Lions

A new study shows that bramble and brush help the canines avoid attacks by the big cats, and may offer clues about where to reintroduce the dogs

The Marchioness (2016) depicts a member of the fictional UmuEze Amara family, "one of the oldest noble clans in Nigeria."

Imagining a Different History for Africa Through Art

Toyin Ojih Odutola conjures a world that might have been

The Ifesowapo dùndún ensemble performing in Igbo Ora, southwest Nigeria

How Does the West African Talking Drum Accurately Mimic Human Speech?

A new study explores how the dùndún replicates tones and patterns of the Yorùbá language

A new exhibition at the Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem explores the fascinating history of coffee.

Tracing Coffee's Travels From the East to the West

New exhibition explores how the caffeinated beverage sparked religious controversy and technical innovation

Nine out of 10 malaria victims live in Africa, most of them children under the age of five.

Innovation for Good

West African Scientists Are Leading the Science Behind a Malaria Vaccine

Researchers in Mali have been working for decades on the treatment that's now in the final phase of clinical trials

Researchers analyzed the Sudanese landscape with a model originally created to analyze the spatial patterns of stars and galaxies.

These Medieval Islamic Tombs in Sudan Were Laid Out Like Galaxies

Some of the burials appear to be clustered around "parent" funerary mounds of seeming cultural significance

The church may be the largest ever found in Nubia.

Cool Finds

Ruins of Monumental Church Linked to Medieval Nubian Kingdom Found in Sudan

The building complex was likely the seat of Christian power for Makuria, which was once as large as France and Spain combined

Researchers say the incisors' removal may have served as an indicator of social status or membership in a specific group.

Why Are These Medieval-Era Skulls Found in Gabon Missing Their Front Teeth?

Intact, 500-year-old upper jaws discovered in an African cave bear evidence of deliberate facial modification

Detail from a manuscript made for King Lebna Dengel, circa 1520, Tädbabä Maryam Monastery, Ethiopia.

A New History Changes the Balance of Power Between Ethiopia and Medieval Europe

For centuries, a Eurocentric worldview disregarded the knowledge and strength of the African empire

Two protesters hold a sign reading "Reparations to descendants instead of 'development aid' to Namibia" at a demonstration in Berlin on May 28. That day, the German foreign minister formally acknowledged the Herero and  Nama genocide and promised €1.1 billion in infrastructure aid—but stopped short of labeling the effort "reparations."

History of Now

Germany Acknowledges Genocide in Namibia but Stops Short of Reparations

Between 1904 and 1908, colonial forces murdered tens of thousands of Herero and Nama people

New genetic research finds that the Kordofan melon (pictured), native to Sudan, is the watermelon's closest wild relative.

Researchers Uncover the Watermelon's Origins

A Sudanese plant called the Kordofan melon is the watermelon's closest wild relative, according to a new study

Researchers had previously theorized that the 61 people buried in the Jebel Sahaba Cemetery were the victims of a single battle or massacre. A new study suggests the remains actually belong to hunter-gatherers killed during a series of smaller raids.

Cool Finds

Did Climate Change Drive Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers in Sudan to War?

Some 13,400 years ago, rival communities in the Nile Valley likely clashed over scarce resources

Anonymous, Enslaved Men Digging Trenches, c. 1850

Confronting the Netherlands' Role in the Brutal History of Slavery

A Rijksmuseum exhibition explores the legacy of colonialism and misleading nature of the term "Dutch Golden Age"

Individuals located in the Comoros Islands may have descended from the coelacanth population in Madagascar.

Madagascar May Be Stronghold for Ancient Fish With 420-Million-Year History

Fishermen from the island nation caught a number of rare coelacanths off the coast using gillnets

Before she was hanged in 1898, Nehanda declared that her body would rise again to lead a new, victorious rebellion.

Spiritual Medium Mbuya Nehanda Defied Colonialists in 19th-Century Zimbabwe

A newly unveiled statue in the African country's capital honors an icon of resistance against British imperialism

Established 200 years ago, on May 17, 1821, the Tangier American Legation is a rambling mansion that spans two sides of the Rue d’Amerique in the southern corner of Tangier's old walled city.

Why a 200-Year-Building in Morocco Is the Only National Historic Landmark Outside the U.S.

The structure in the port city of Tangier has served as a diplomatic residence, consulate, espionage headquarters, museum and library

The rock-cut tombs are carved into different levels of a mountain face at the site.

Cool Finds

Egyptian Archaeologists Accidentally Discover 250 Ancient, Rock-Cut Tombs

Some of the burials found at the Al-Hamidiyah necropolis date back 4,200 years

Sanford Biggers' Oracle (2020) is now on view at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

This Monumental 'Oracle' Statue in NYC Subverts Traditional Sculpture

Part of an ongoing exhibition at Rockefeller Center, Sanford Biggers' newest installation challenges the tropes of classical artwork

“We think of fire often as this destructive tool,” says lead author Jessica Thompson. “That doesn’t have to be the case.”

Cool Finds

Did Stone Age Humans Shape the African Landscape With Fire 85,000 Years Ago?

New research centered on Lake Malawi may provide the earliest evidence of people using flames to improve land productivity

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