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Roman settlement occurred in modern Tunisia and elsewhere along the coast.

and by 500 BC, metalworking began to become commonplace in West Africa.

Ironworking was fully established by roughly 500 BC in many areas of East and West Africa, although other regions didn't begin ironworking until the early centuries AD.

The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Africa's average population is the youngest amongst all the continents; Algeria is Africa's largest country by area, and Nigeria is its largest by population. ergaster—with the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human) found in Ethiopia being dated to circa 200,000 years ago.

Other etymological hypotheses have been postulated for the ancient name "Africa": During the mid-20th century, anthropologists discovered many fossils and evidence of human occupation perhaps as early as 7 million years ago (BP=before present).

Fossil remains of several species of early apelike humans thought to have evolved into modern man, such as Australopithecus afarensis (radiometrically dated to approximately 3.9–3.0 million years BP, These first modern humans left Africa and populated the rest of the globe during the Out of Africa II migration dated to approximately 50,000 years BP, exiting the continent either across Bab-el-Mandeb over the Red Sea, Other migrations of modern humans within the African continent have been dated to that time, with evidence of early human settlement found in Southern Africa, Southeast Africa, North Africa, and the Sahara.

A definite line was drawn between the two continents by the geographer Ptolemy (85–165 AD), indicating Alexandria along the Prime Meridian and making the isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea the boundary between Asia and Africa.

As Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of "Africa" expanded with their knowledge.

Africa, particularly central Eastern Africa, is widely accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes), as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors, as well as later ones that have been dated to around seven million years ago, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages.

In the late 19th century European countries colonised almost all of Africa.

A major climatic recession occurred, lessening the heavy and persistent rains in Central and Eastern Africa.