Ancient African Architecture for Kids

Ancient African Buildings

stone temple with columns
Hathor temple at Naqa (modern Sudan), ca. 10 AD

People in Africa traded more and more with the Roman Empire, with the Parthians, and with India in the first centuries AD, and African cities and towns got rich enough to be able to build a lot more stone buildings. In Kush (modern Sudan), a series of queens built stone palaces and temples. The Kushan school of architecture - the Kushan way of building - was a lot like Egyptian buildings of the same time. There was no university of architecture then, but probably Sudanese architects traveled to Egypt, and Egyptian architects traveled to Sudan, to see each other's buildings and get ideas.

stone theater seats and stage
A Roman theater at Lepcis Magna (Libya)

Selling fish sauce, wheat, and olive oil to the Roman Empire made North Africa much richer than before, and cities could afford to build bigger and better stone buildings. By about 100 AD, people built great Roman-style stone buildings all over North Africa.

By the time Rome fell, people were converting to Christianity. In North Africa, the piracy of the Vandals funded some of the earliest Christian churches in Africa.

Learn by doing: design a temple of your own in Lego or in Minecraft
Advanced Ancient African Architecture from
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Bibliography and further reading about African architecture:

More on Medieval African Architecture
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