Africa, often referred to as “the Cradle of Mankind” – that is, the birthplace of civilisation – holds some of the world’s most incredible and unfathomable history. It boasts the remains of some of the earliest humans, as well unbelievable archaeological and anthropological findings too.
Along with these things, of course, are the architectural wonders of the African continent that boast fantastic innovation, cultural significance and simply the most impressive feats of engineering, especially considering the time of their construction.
Here are the 5 oldest buildings and structures on the African continent.
The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt (c. 2560 BC)
Famously known as one of the 7 Wonders of the World, the Great Pyramids of Giza are believed to have taken almost 20 years to build. It was known as the tallest manmade structure in the world for more than 3800 years, and when it was first built, its surfaces were smooth, covered in casings. The pyramid consists of three chambers, and the main construction is surrounded by several other smaller pyramids and structures.
The Red Pyramid, Egypt (c. 2580 BC)
Built from limestone boasting a slightly red hue, this pyramid is found near Cairo and is often referred to as the North Pyramid. The third largest pyramid in Egypt, the red pyramid wasn’t actually red at all when it was first constructed – rather, the limestone from which it was made changed colour over the years.
The Bent Pyramid, Egypt (c.2580 BC)
The Bent Pyramid, designed by Pharaoh Sneferu, gets its name from its unusual bent appearance. It’s believed that the way the pyramid ended up was not what was initially planned – indeed, it seems as though the design had to be altered midway as it was realised that the initial angle was too steep. Later constructions seem to support this theory.
The Pyramid of Meidum, Egypt (c. 2580 BC)
Located just south of Cairo today, it is believed that the Pyramid of Meidum was most likely built during the third dynasty for the Pharaoh Huni. However, the structure was worked on later by Pharaoh Sneferu.
The pyramid was designed by an innovative engineer who, like real money roulette online in Australia, was incredible cutting edge. However, he attempted to modify the techniques of his predecessor, Imhotep. Unfortunately, he may have been a little too experimental, because the Pyramid of Meidum no longer stands in all its former glory.
The Pyramid of Djoser (c. 2667 BC – 2668 BC)
Designed by the renowned Egyptian engineer, Imhotep, the Pyramid of Djoser is the oldest construction in Africa, and it’s still standing to this day. Incredibly, Imhotep was also an architect and a physician. Later, nearly 2000 years after his death, he was deified and considered a God due to his incredible natural talents and the feat of engineering that he introduced to his home country.
Originally built as a tomb for the Pharaoh Djoser, the design of this pyramid – including, most importantly, its use of “mastabas” – was used as a blueprint for pyramids that were built in later years.