Early African Architecture - see the many different forms of African Architecture - pyramids, temples, mosques, forts, and more.

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African Architecture for Kids

Meroe pyramids
Meroe pyramids

About the same time as people were building Carthage (500-200 BC or so), there were also people south of Egypt, in the kingdom of Meroe (modern Sudan), building smaller pyramids.

El Djem
The amphitheater of El Djem, in southern Tunisia (150 AD)

In 146 BC, the Carthaginians were conquered by the Romans. For a while nobody built new buildings, but by about 100 AD, the Romans began to build great Roman-style stone buildings and houses all over North Africa. Roman architects built the great amphitheater at El Djem (modern Tunisia), one of the largest amphitheaters in the Roman Empire. They built a great city at Lepcis Magna (modern Libya) with triumphal arches, a forum, and many beautiful stone houses with mosaic floors and marble decorating the walls.

Lepcis Magna
A Roman triumphal arch at Lepcis Magna (Libya)

When the Romans were in turn conquered by the Vandals in the 400s AD, the Vandals built some of the earliest Christian churches in Africa.

Kairouan mosque
Mosque at Kairouan, 800 AD

And after the Islamic invasions of the 700s AD, when most North African people converted to Islam, they built many mosques and forts in North Africa as well. One example is the Great Mosque at Kairouan. You'll find other Islamic buildings in North Africa here and here.

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Copyright 2012-2014 Karen Carr, Portland State University. This page last updated 2014. Powered by Dewahost.

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