Ancient Benin was a sophisticated city state in West Africa. The houses of Benin City were built from wood. Their designs required extensive mathematical knowledge. Many houses had steps leading to their front doors. The roofs were square or rectangular shaped. The walls of each house were straight.

In 1897 a British expeditionary force looted more than 2000 precious artefacts from Benin City’s Royal Palace. Most of these artefacts are now held in the British and Berlin Museums.

The Hausa states developed a constitutional monarchy, requiring the king to rely on the consensus of his officials.