The Development of Agriculture in Africa

Repost from the old site. Great stuff. Theorizes that the birth of the modern Black race only goes back 6-12,000 years and speculates on how they developed in conjunction with agriculture. Also suggests that Black Africans were probably the first agriculturalists on Earth. Hang out long enough on White Nationalist fora, and after a while you will be amazed at how many White racists actually believe that Black Africans were Stone Age people who had no metalworking, no agriculture and no civilization of any sort by the time the Europeans contacted them. It’s true that Africa is not known for its incredible cultural achievements. But it wasn’t exactly a complete backwater either. The White Nationalist line that Africans were a Paleolithic people with only stone implements and no agriculture is surprisingly widespread. Too bad it is horribly wrong. First of all, agriculture comes to the Sahel as early as 9000 BC. It comes to West Africa around the same time. Later it goes to Southern and Eastern Africa. The “niggers* are too stupid to grow food” line, appalling in its stupidity, continues to retain a lot of currency. Screw that. Africans have been growing food for 1000’s of years. The latest permutation has to do with Zimbabwe. Ruined by US and UK sanctions that have completely shut the nation out of the international trade and banking system, the economy is imploding and people are starving. Instead of blaming imperialism, White racists blame “dumb niggers*” for overthrowing White rule and confiscating White farms where 5,000 White farmers had 5 They need Homo Blancas Superiorus to show them how to plant seeds and hoe rows. Without White Johnny Appleseeds to grow the food for them that they are too stupid to grow for themselves, dumb niggers* will all starve to death. Incredible. All over Africa, there are hardly any Whites left. Blacks are growing food all over Africa, in every country, in vast numbers. Black Africans are surely smart enough to figure out how to grow food to eat. In order to look into this story in greater depth, we need to look at the development of Blacks in Africa from an anthropological point of view. The story of Stone Age Africans with no agriculture until Whitey shows up is nonsense. White Nationalists counter that African Blacks, even over 10,000 years ago, were too stupid to figure out how to grow stuff on their own, so they had to learn from superior Caucasian North Africans. This theory is humorous because in general, White Nationalists refer to North African Caucasians (Berbers and Egyptians) as non-Whites. Furthermore, at over 10,000 years ago, I’m not sure it matters how Black Africans got agriculture. Cultural diffusion occurs everywhere, and true innovation is pretty hard to pin down. Finally, there is not a lot of evidence that North African Caucasians innovated agriculture at such an early date themselves. As a result, the whole discussion is rendered academic as just another way for racist Whites to kick the Black man while he’s down. First of all, the original Africans looked like Pygmies or Khoisan (Bushmen). From 6,000-12,000 years ago, Pygmy-Khoisan types traverse from archaic types to the modern Blacks we know today. Modern Blacks are a young race. Pygmies and Khoisan resemble our oldest human ancestors. They have light brown skin and gracile, child-like bodies. Modern Blacks mostly speak languages related to a huge family called Niger-Congo. During the transition from archaic to modern Blacks, modern Blacks developed agriculture. Blacks had agriculture or proto-agriculture possibly as early as 10,000 years ago when proto-Niger-Congo first started breaking up. This means that Black Africans were actually some of the first agriculturalists on Earth. Sango Region hunter-gatherers were the first Blacks to develop agriculture. At first they protected wild grain fields, and then made clearings for wild yams and oil palms. At 12,000 years before present (YBP) they were already using hoes that they made, and at 8-9,000 YBP, they were tending pili nut trees with agricultural implements. There are agricultural terms in reconstructed proto-Niger-Congo from before 10,000 YBP, so they must have had some form of agriculture. Proto-Mande speakers inhabited the Niger’s headwaters at the Mali-Guinea border near the modern city of Bamako, and that was the first group to break off from proto-Niger-Congo.

The Fouta Djallon Highlands in southeastern Guinea, source of the Niger River. This is probably where Black African agriculture, cultivated by proto-Mande speakers, began over 10,000 years ago.

Modern Black Africans are associated with the spread of agriculture in Africa at this time, and this agricultural spread is also located at the headwaters of the Niger, because this is the cradle of the Sudanic Food Complex. Also, agriculture independently evolved in West Africa (African yams, kola nut) and Ethiopia (coffee, tef) during the period of 4,000-9,000 YBP. Animal husbandry was widely adopted, and by 7,200 YBP, the Sahel had a full array of food production (cultivated crops, animal husbandry) before this full array was developed in Egypt. So the movement of agriculture in its full array from North African Caucasians to Sahelian Blacks is shown to be a lie. It’s true that Africa south of the Equator lagged behind, and White Nationalists love to go about this, but the truth is that there were no animals to domesticate down there, nor were there any plants to domesticate either. It’s doubtful that the Sahelian Blacks were any smarter than the ones south of Equator. They were just better positioned to receive animals for husbandry from Southwest Asia, and they had plants that could be domesticated. Development of agriculture in modern Blacks also seems to have led to high testosterone levels along with more robust body types. See the prior post for more on that. The first real classical Black Negroid skeleton dates to only 6,500 YBP. Before that, at 12,000 YBP, they look more like the San or Pygmies. Within 6,000 years as Africans moved to agriculture, Blacks changed from gracile archaic types to robust Negroid types. At 6,000-7,000 YBP, the agricultural transition was full. In contrast to Afrocentric hokum about Black Athena and Black Egypt, modern Blacks do not appear in Egyptian paintings before 4,000 YBP. Before that, the Blacks in northeast Africa, Nubia and Ethiopia were more gracile San (Bushmen) types. Modern Blacks reach the middle Nile by around 4,000 YBP. At 3,000 YBP, the Bantus spread from Cameroon all through East, Central and Southern Africa, of course bringing agriculture, and yes, iron-making, with them. Nubians do not obtain their modern Black appearance until 2,700 years ago. Before that, the Nubians and presumably the Hamites look like today’s Egyptians. Black populations in Africa do not bode well for Philippe Rushton’s R-K Theory. The oldest African populations of all, the Pygmies and the San, with presumably some of the lowest IQ’s (the San have IQ’s of about 54), are very highly K-selected. They have low fecundity (are not very fertile) and very long intervals between births. This is normally what is expected of a super-K-selected group such as NE Asians, and is said to be associated with high IQ. Yet in the San, it is associated with the lowest IQ’s on Earth. Rushton’s theory does not smell right. *Used sardonically


Rushton, J. P. 1995. Race, Evolution, and Behavior: A Life History Perspective, 2nd Special Abridged Edition. Port Huron, MI: Charles Darwin Research Institute.

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24 thoughts on “The Development of Agriculture in Africa”

  1. Crops native to/domesticated in Africa:
    Yams (Dioscorea)
    Pearl Millet
    Finger Millet (Eleusine)
    Lablab (Hyacinth bean)
    Cowpea (Black eyed bean)
    Enset (False banana)
    Teff (Injera)
    Some of these crops remained as staple African foods, whilst others were transported to Asia (particularly southern India, pearl/finger millet) where they remain staples to this day.
    Agriculture is closely related with metal tool use, and iron has its longest history of use in Africa. Africa never went through any significant copper or bronze age. It went straight from stone/bone works to iron and steel usage.
    Interestingly, the people who hold the oldest genetic markers (the Y-chromosome haplogroup A/mtDNA haplogroup L1 association) in the highest proportion are the Khoisan people of southern Africa, with perhaps the lightest skin tone of any indigenous Africans; and contrastingly the southern Sudanese, who have undoubtedly the darkest skin tone in all of Africa.

    1. Actually, the oldest DNA has now been found in Tanzanians and Kenyans, not Khoisan. Including Masai, etc. Included is a Khoisan group from that area, the Sandawe.
      Iron does not have the longest history of use in Africa. It was in Anatolia before Africa. That’s where the Africans got it from. Anatolia -> Carthage -> Niger.

    2. From Wikipedia:
      Inhabitants at Termit, in eastern Niger became the first iron smelting people in West Africa and among the first in the world around 1500 BC. Iron and copper working then continued to spread southward through the continent, reaching the Cape around AD 200.[1] The widespread use of iron revolutionized the Bantu-speaking farming communities who adopted it, driving out and absorbing the rock tool using hunter-gatherer societies they encountered as they expanded to farm wider areas of savannah. The technologically superior Bantu-speakers spread across southern Africa and became wealthy and powerful, producing iron for tools and weapons in large, industrial quantities. In addition to wrought iron, very early instances of carbon steel were found to be in production around 2000 years before present in northwest Tanzania, based on complex preheating principles. These discoveries, according to Schmidt and Avery (archaeologists credited with the discovery) are significant for the history of metallurgy.

  2. Y-chromosome haplogroup A is found in greatest proportions in the people of Southern Sudan & Northern Kenya, it is at lower but still high concentrations in Khoisan peoples of southern Africa, and at lower but still significant concentrations in Bantu and Nilotic speaking Kenyan groups (some of whom have oral histories of migrating from Sudan in the past few hundred years).
    As for iron, there is early evidence from Anatolia, yes. But to say iron working evolved there and then spread to Africa is premature I feel. The freemasons for one, believe that east Africans were the first people to forge iron. And they know a lot of stuff the rest of us don’t… so maybe they’re right. I don’t know. There is at least one story I have heard that a Bantu group believes they were taught iron working by a pygmy group who they then either absorbed out of existence or displaced from the forests.

    1. It’s clear to me. There is a paper available on my site that seals the case, at least for me. Anatolia -> Carthage -> Nok, etc. But, you know, pretty much everyone borrows everything. One alphabet evolved in the Levant and spread all over the world, including to Korea (Hangul).

  3. I read your blog you made some good points i disagree with most it, but still some good points. But after reading your comments its very clear to me that your nothing but a racist who is in denial. I think u mention you have black friends that doesn’t matter. Let them read your comments and see how many you will have left.

      1. ….that the genuine anthopological record is problematic for Rushtons’s racially applied r-k selection theory. I’m not asking you to throw the baby out with the bath water, but theoretically, the khoisans, and bushmen, should be way sharper than Bantus and us Bantu decendants in the western world.

        1. I already have some very serious issues with Rushton and R/K theory. I have written about that before. And some of those issues revolve around the Khoisan and even the Pygmies.
          If you are asking me if I believe that Africans invented agriculture before any other humans, I think that yes, they may well have. And they still have 67 IQ’s, so go figure.

        2. Do you believe relatively low SSA IQ is simply a matter of evolutionary pressures and pretty much fixed, or do you share my view that much of it comes from something else. You implicitly requested that avoid speculation so I won’t flesh out my theories on this issue

        3. They’re more k selected than Bantus, and, according Diamond’s GG&S, the environment of southern Africa is closer to Europe than the rest of africa

        4. I believe that that ~67 IQ can be raised at least ~15 points or so by putting them in a Western first world country. That would bring them up to 83, which is functional. More than that, I don’t know. They may ceiling out.

        5. I say upper potential is closer to low 90s. I’m basing that on those who come who here, as first gen AA’s. Their professional acheivement, and educational attainment imply a number close to that of ashkenazi jews, but when their children are tested on reverse digit span, the number comes in at 89. I think this is regession to the mean, and mean, and a pretty good estimate of SSA IQ under circumstances as favorable as the average western white.

        6. Well I don’t believe we AAs are working at our max. Condsidering we have a 20% white admixture; doing the math with a few pro black assumptions .8 * 89 + .2*102= 91.6 which is right about where the 2006 NAEP places black teenagers. Consider also that part about educational attainment, and career achievement of SSA immigrants, along with the fact they almost always have intact families, and it’s not some wild speculation to that they’re under better circumstances than non-immigrant AA’s

  4. IQ testing is not a universal measure of intelligence. It is some measure of functional “intelligence” in modern western-style society, which relies more heavily on one side of the brain than the other. It is simply ridiculous, and not the sign of high intelligence, to determine the intelligence of the oldest people group known to us through IQ testing that is based on mechanical reasoning prowess. African-origin people are gifted with greater emotional intelligence as their skin absorbs a much wider spectrum of light than pale skinned people. Theirs is a more ancient frame of mind not as exposed to the pressures of modern life and they do not possess the ‘one track mind’ of fairer-skinned people, as they are receptive to qualities of light (and the awareness they contain) which are not accessible to those whose skin lacks melanin. The sun is well known to be the source of the living spirit and the source of eternal knowledge, and it is understood to be the soul. Therefore those whose skin allows the whole spectrum of light into their “light body” are better tuned to the subtleties of consciousness, and so they have more variables (more input) to deal with. But your greatest strength can also be your greatest weakness, and vice versa. Potential if not well directed can be disastrous. White people are skilled in things like mechanical engineering because they are more easily able to concentrate on the material plane, as they have lesser mysterious stimuli to deal with. Black consciousness has a great emotional intelligence which is not always conducive to mastering the material dimension, and is hardly understood by pale skinned folks. This is the reason for their misunderstanding, persecution and suffering at the hands of barbaric and immoral invaders in the last 6-7 thousand years. Black consciousness is characterized by its experience of deep sorrow and timelessness, which also correspondingly expands its capacity for joy. The life of the black man is imperceptible to the white man. The truth is always controversial and not easy to digest, but is the truth nonetheless. There is a reason why all the savior gods from ancient times were black. Even Christ was black (the word “Krishna” literally means “Black One”) but white people have been sold a white Jesus by white supremacists.

  5. The reason agriculture took so long to emerge in human history is that it required both a warm climate AND an average IQ above 60, and these two criteria never occured in the same place until about 10,000 years ago.
    70,000 years ago, the average IQ of all humans was 54. A few humans who were smart enough to figure out how to get out of Africa evolved into the australoids and the non-white caucasoids and after their wits were sharpened by the ice age and the vitamins of their carnivorous diet, the non-white caucasoids had an average IQ of 80, and when the ice age melted, revealing wild grass, these sharp witted people quickly discovered agriculture. However this new diet caused these non-white caucasoids to lose several inches of height, over a quarter pound of brain weight, and caused their IQ’s to drop back down to 54.
    However despite being severely malnourished by agriculture, they were so well fed by their farming that their population exploded, causing all kinds of new genetic mutations to occur, mutations that made it possible to raise their IQ to 64.
    With an IQ of 64, the non-white caucasoids were able to venture into sub-Saharan Africa and discover their black African ancestors who still had an IQ of 54. The black Africans acquired agriculture from these caucasoid visitors, and thus also suffered malnutrition which shrunk their height and brain size and reduced their IQ’s to 34. However with agriculture came the population explosion, which caused mutations which raised sub-Sahara’s mean IQ to 47. Their average IQ remained 47 until the 20th century, when HUGE advances in nutrition raised the IQ of most of the world by 20 points (the famous Flynn Effect), so now sub-Saharans averaged 67 and non-white caucasoids averaged 84. However if given first world nutrition, sub-Saharans would be IQ 80, and non-white caucasoids would be IQ 90.

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