Africa is home to some of the world's oldest civilizations and arguably its most diverse architectural styles
From the ostentatious symbols of power like the gondarine castles, the nubian castle-houses and the madzimbabwe (houses of stone)
To the religious monuments like the temples of kush, the great mosque of djenne and the rock hewn churches of lalibela
To the functional and trivial features such as the sunken courts of swahili houses, the vaulted roofs of the swahili, nubian, ethiopian and hausa buildings, the underfloor heating of the aksumite and nubian houses, the baths and pools, indoor toilets, bathrooms and drainage systems of the asante, sudano-sahelian, swahili houses
In this article, I describe the different architectural styles, features, construction materials and functions of 17 ancient African monuments from across the continent.