Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Early African Civilizations

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Early African Civilizations"— Presentation transcript:

1 Early African Civilizations
World History Early African Civilizations

2 Africa/geography 2nd largest continent
Mountains along Mediterranean Sea, just south lies the Sahara= Earth’s largest desert Southwest of the desert = grasslands & tropical jungle cover hump of Africa jutting into Atlantic Ocean Great Rift valley = east Congo River runs through Congo basin = dense vegetation, rain forests

3 Great Rift Valley

4 Geography Africa has 4 climate zones
1st = mild climate on northern coast & southern tip 2nd = desert/ Sahara desert = north, Kalahari desert = south –cover 40 % of Africa 3rd = rain forest along equator, 10% of land Heavy rains & heat make for dense forests & disease carrying insects 4th = savannas – broad grasslands dotted with shrubs & small trees that is north & south of the rainforests, cover about 40% of Africa

5 Sahara Desert

6 Kalahari Desert

7 Congo Basin Rain Forest

8 Tsetse Fly

9 The Sahel

10 Savanna

11 Emerging Civilizations
7-8,000 years ago farming led to the first civilizations in Africa; Egypt, Kush, Axum Early heavy trade between Egypt & Nubia around 2,000 b.c. Nubia freed itself from Egyptian control around 1,000 b.c. & became Kush 750 b.c., Kushites conquered Egypt/ Assyrians “iron weapons” drove them out of Egypt to their original land Kush economy was originally based on agriculture & then became a major trading center

12 African Kingdoms East Africa West Africa Ghana Mali Songhai Nubia Kush
Axum Ethiopia West Africa Ghana Mali Songhai


14 Nubian Temple

15 Kush Kingdom City of Meroe was center of society/ had a large supply of iron which led to them making iron weapons & tools Major trading empire for several hundred years It provided iron, ivory, gold, ebony, and slaves to the Roman empire, Arabia, & India for luxuries such as jewelry, silver lamps Flourished from 250 b.c. to ad 150/ Axum caused its decline

16 Pyramids at Meroe

17 Kush Ruins

18 Axum King Ezana conquered Kush
Founded by a colony of Arabs in present day Ethiopia/ independent state that combined Arab & African cultures Prospered because it was located on the Red Sea & the trading route between India & Medt. Sea Shipwrecked Syrians introduced Christianity to Axum/ 324, Ezana converted to Christianity & made it official religion Arab forces had taken control of Egypt & almost all of North Africa

19 King Ezana Axum Stele

20 Christian Ceremony in Ethiopia

21 Muslim-Christians Arab North Africa Muslims & Axum Christians were peaceful for years 12 century problems arose/ Muslims moved inward to take control of slave & ivory trades from Axum/ Axum fought back By 15 century, Axum & Muslim state of Adal were in growing conflict

22 Rather be on a Beach?

23 Ghana First of the trading states/ emerged in the Niger valley grasslands/ Between Sahara & tropical forests/Modern Ghana is just east of the location Most people were farmers who lived in villages Ghana kings were strong, wealthy rulers To protect kingdoms, Ghana kings had a well trained army of thousands of soldiers Ghana prospered from gold & iron products In exchange, Muslim merchants brought textiles, horses, metal goods, & salt Salt important for preserving & spicing food/ needed to replace lost body salt in hot climate

24 African Salt Trade

25 Africa Salt Trade Salt is essential for Life, every person contains about 8 ounces of salt in their body/ People lose salt when they sweat African salt was traded for many items; gold, ivory, slaves Salt trade grew with camel caravans/thousands of camels caravans carried tons of salt across the desert Local kings placed taxes on salt – payable by gold – for caravans crossing their realms 3 great empires gained great wealth from salt trade

26 Salt Caravan

27 Ghana Ghana eventually exported ivory, ostrich feathers, hides, & slaves Exchanging goods was done by silent trade; At a boundary line, no foreigner was allowed in/ foreigners would place goods & leave, Ghana would then leave gold & leave, if one side was not happy with exchange then they would leave it & suppliers would replenish with more Berbers = nomadic people who were main traders on the camel caravans Kingdom was weakened by wars & collapsed in 1200


29 Mali Kingdom Arose to replace Ghana/ established by Sundiata Keita in 13th century Sundiata captured Ghana capital in 1240/ united people & created strong government Empire extended from Atlantic coast to trading center of Timbuktu Mali built power on salt & gold trade Most people were farmers/ lived in villages with local rulers


31 Mali Village

32 Mali Kingdom Mansa Musa = rich & powerful king of Mali
Musa encouraged the growth of Islam, study of the Quran, & ordered mosques built Pilgrimage to Mecca is legendary/ Gave gold to the host everywhere he went, purchased items from merchants with gold/ Put so much gold into circulation that it lost its value Most famous mosque = Sankore mosque in Timbuktu Made Timbuktu = center of Islamic learning Imported scholars & books to spread the word of Allah

33 Mali Kingdom Ruled from 1307 to 1337/ doubled Mali’s size/ created strong central government Musa was last powerful leader of Mali By 1359, civil war divided Mali

34 Mansa Musa Timbuktu

35 Great Mosque at Timbuktu

36 Songhai Kingdoms Niger River provided rich soil for farming & raising cattle Established southeast of Timbuktu 1009, Kossi converted to Islam & established Dia dynasty/ prospered around the main trading center of Gao of Songhai Sunni Ali expanded Songhai & created the Sunni dynasty in 1464 Ali spent most of his time on military campaigns/ able to gain control Timbuktu & Jenne which gave Songhai control of trading empire

37 Sunni Ali Expanded Independent Songhai

38 Songhai Kingdom Empire reached its height under Muhammad Ture = devout Muslim who overthrew Ali’s son in 1493 & created the Askia dynasty Ture created an empire that stretched a thousand miles along the Niger River Ture created strong central government with local provinces under the control of appointed governors Songhai cities prospered under Ture Songhai empire came to an end after Ture’s death Morocco came to occupy it by the 16th century

39 Muhammad Ture Ruled Songhai At Its Height

40 Bantu Various small states & societies took root in eastern Africa/ Islam influence many of them/ lived by hunting & gathering, raising livestock Bantu migrated east & south, & to Congo Basin/ not as conquerors but as communities Bantu = subsistence farmers using iron & stone tools/ Women tilled the fields & cared for children/ Men tended the herds, hunted, & traded Bantu = traded salt, animal products, copper, iron ore

41 East Africa Growth of Islam in 7th & 8th centuries brought increased trade to the communities on the eastern coast Arab & Persian traders settled in these ports Mogadishu, Mombasa, Kilwa = major trading ports Kilwa was magnificent city/Great Mosque & Husuni Kubwa palace was built in Kilwa Portuguese sacked Kilwa in 1505 & destroyed its major buildings

42 Great Mosque at Kilwa


44 _____ ____ _____

45 East Africa Mixed African-Arabian culture = Swahili emerged through the coastal area/ Swahili = “people of the coast” Swahili – national language of Kenya & Tanzania

46 South Africa States formed more slowly in the southern half
People lived in stateless societies/ 11th century ad = independent villages began to consolidate & form the 1st states Zimbabwe = ( ) wealthiest & most powerful Prospered from trading gold with Swahili communities Great Zimbabwe = capital/ overlooked the Zambesi river/Great Enclosure dominated the capital

47 Great Zimbabwe Great Zimbabwe = capital/ overlooked the Zambesi river/Great Enclosure dominated the capital Walls were unusual/ People stacked granite blocks without mortar City was abandoned by 15th century/ possibly due to overgrazing or natural disaster

48 Great Zimbabwe



51 African Society African towns began as fortified walled villages and grew into larger communities Kings & people were pretty close/ Kings would hold meetings to listen to people’s complaints Kings often gave merchants favors Sense of identity was determined by membership in an extended family Women were subordinate to men/often worked in fields, but some became merchants Many African societies were matrilineal= descent traced through mother’s family

52 African Society Women could inherit property & the husband would move into the wife’s house African villages had a process for educating young people 15th century Congo, up to age 6, boys & girls learned language, family history, & songs that gave meaning to their lives from their mothers Boys were then sent to the “house of the men”, girls sent to the “house of the women” Fathers then taught boys how to hunt & fish, grow plants, & clear the fields

53 African Society Kings and aristocrats closer to people.
Extended family became lineage group, ancestor worship. Matrilineal vs. patrilineal. Sex roles reinforced by education, puberty rituals for boys and girls. Slaves came from war, debt and crime. Religion was based on a creator god, lesser deities, diviners, ancestor worship and belief in an afterlife.

54 African Society Mothers taught girls how to care for the house & tend to the field/ to be good wives & mothers At puberty, young people entered the community entirely Change was marked by initiation/ young people were isolated & underwent a ritual ceremony in which they symbolically died & was reborn

55 Slavery Slavery was practiced in Africa since ancient times
Slaves were used for forced labor or were sold Slaves = captives, debtors, war prisoners, & some criminals Slaves were not necessarily seen as inferiors/ they could be trusted as servants & were respected for their talents & skills Life was hard for slaves with long hours of hard, tedious work Domestic slaves =easiest lives/ Slaves in Muslim societies were able to win their freedom more easily

56 African Religious Beliefs
Religions shared a belief in a single creator god Yoruba people of Nigeria believed that their chief god sent his Oduduwa from heaven in a canoe to create the first humans/ Many of the slaves that were transported to the Americas practiced the Yoruba religion Sometimes a group of lesser gods joined the creator god Ashanti people of Ghana believed in a supreme being Nyame whose sons were the lesser gods/ each son had a different purpose

57 African Religious Beliefs
Ashanti gods could not always be trusted, so people had to appease them to avoid their anger Some believed the creator god once lived on earth & he got disgusted with human behavior so he left Creator god was merciful & could be pacified with good behavior Rituals were one way to communicate with the gods A special class of diviners usually performed the rituals/ diviners believe they have the power to tell the future by working with supernatural forces/they were used to protect the interests of the ruler & community

58 African Culture Early African arts served religion
Earliest African art form was rock painting/most famed example are in the Tassili mountains of central Sahara, they show life of the people as it changed from hunting to herding to trading Wood carvers made masks & statues = representing gods, spirits, or ancestral figures Nok culture = oldest known culture in West Africa/ terra cotta figures = religious significance 13th & 14th centuries, Yoruba metal workers produced bronze & iron statues

59 Rock Paintings = Tassili Mts.

60 Nok Sculpture: Terra-cotta


62 African Culture Music & dance served religious purpose
Dancing = way to communicate with spirits/ African music & dance influenced western music Spirituals & work songs developed into blues, gospel, jazz, ragtime, & rock & roll African music was used to pass on history, folk legends, & religious traditions of the community


Download ppt "Early African Civilizations"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google