The continent of Africa is three times bigger than the United States. This vast landmass provides a varied landscape of forests, river valleys, deserts and grasslands. Over the centuries, many different peoples and cultures have made Africa their home. Indeed, it is believed by many archeologists that Africa is the birthplace of the human race. Early African peoples did not usually leave a written record. Instead, they passed on their histories through oral traditions and stories.
This lack of written histories has made the task of studying these peoples more difficult. Archeologists have had to learn as much as they can by collecting these oral traditions and by studying ancient artifacts.