Most of Africa’s ancient history was never recorded in the same manner as the Egyptians or Greeks. Instead, it was passed on in a remarkable way -- in the form of oral history, told and retold from one generation to the next as stories and songs. Using these stories, along with artifacts and the few ancient ruins that exist, archeologists have been able to piece together parts of Africa's past to learn of the great civilizations that rose across the continent. This program reviews some of those civilizations, known as kingdoms, such as Nubia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali and Songhay, then focuses on two specific kingdoms -- Great Zimbabwe in southern Africa and the Swahili civilization in East Africa. Hosted by the intriguing archeologist, Arizona Smith, and his young detective-in-training, the program includes a teacher's guide featuring additional information on the topic, vocabulary words, discussion questions, follow-up activities and lists of recommended books and Internet resources. 23 min. each. Grades 3-7. Close-captioned.