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Published byMaurice Boyd Modified over 7 years ago
Geography and Early Civilizations Large size – more than 3 times the size of the U.S. Four climate zones – Deserts – 40% The Sahara is the largest in the world – Mild zone – 10% South of the Sahara is a region of Africa called the Sahel – A strip of land that divides the desert from wetter areas Several large rivers: the Congo and the Niger rivers
– Savannas – 40% Savanna = broad, open grassland Most people in Africa live in the savannas – Rain Forests – 10% Numerous civilizations emerge, mostly in coastal areas, profit through trade – First civilizations were Egypt and Nubia (Eastern Africa)
East Africa Known as the Ivory Coast Major kingdoms include, Kush (Nubia), Aksum, Ethiopia, and Great Zimbabwe Main trading products include ivory, slaves, ebony, some gold Swahili – Due to trade and invading Muslims, a new African- Arabian culture emerged along East Africa’s coast – The African language of Bantu blended with Arab into Swahili “peoples of the coast” – Is the national language of Kenya and Tanzania
West Africa Known as the Gold Coast Major kingdoms and empires include the Empire of Ghana, the Mali Empire, the Empire Songhai, and the Kingdom of Benin Main trading products include gold, salt, iron, and slaves
Society The southern half of Africa developed states more slowly and most of the people lived in stateless societies until the 11 th century AD – Stateless society is a group of independent villages organized by clans and led by a local ruler or clan head Many African societies were matrilineal, meaning that descent was traced through the mother
Music and story-telling were used to pass along community’s history in the absence of a written language – The task of remembering and passing on oral traditions was entrusted to storytellers called griots – Griots were highly respected African societies used captives for forced labor and sold slaves – Slaves were people captured in war, debtors, and criminals
East African kingdoms and empires Kush – Nubia frees itself from Egyptian control around 1000 BC and forms the independent state of Kush – Modern day country of Sudan – 750 BC conquers Egypt, but is soon forced to retreat back to the Upper Nile Valley by the Assyrians – Kush becomes one of the major trading states in the region Trade from Africa, India, Arabia, and Rome Major exports: ivory, gold, ebony, and slaves
Aksum – 1 st century AD – 700s AD – located in the highlands of Ethiopia – Prosperity due to its location along the Red Sea – Trade route between India and the Mediterranean Major exports: ivory, frankincense, myrrh, and slaves – Invades and conquers Kush – Had one of the first written languages developed in Africa – Converts to Christianity – Declined due to the arrival of Muslim invaders Ethiopia – established in the 1100s AD by descendents of Aksum
– Christianity proved to be a unifying identity for the Ethiopian people Great Zimbabwe – 1100s to 1400s AD – Part of Africa’s thriving trade network due to its location – Was in the middle of a trade route linking Africa’s interior gold mines to the city-states on the coast – Great Zimbabwe served as a middleman Swahili – Due to trade and invading Muslims, a new African- Arabian culture emerged along East Africa’s coast – The African language of Bantu blended with Arab into Swahili “peoples of the coast” – Is the national language of Kenya and Tanzania
West African kingdoms and empires The Gold Coast Empire of Ghana – located in the upper Niger river valley – By 800 AD Ghana controlled nearly all trade of salt and gold in sub-Saharan Africa – Ghana’s kings kept the supply of gold scarce to keep gold prices high – Only the kings could own gold nuggets and the location of gold mines were strictly guarded – Exports: Gold, iron, animal products, salt, and slaves
Mali Empire – 1230s – 1430s – Much of the wealth of the empire came from the taxation of the gold-salt trade – Mali kept order along the trade routes by using a large army – Converted to Islam and their famous ruler Mansa Musa made a pilgrimage to Mecca Brought Mali to the attention of the Europeans – Exports: gold and salt – Famous trading city of Timbuktu Empire of Songhai – 1460s – 1591 – Grew wealthy trading goods along the Niger river – Converted to Islam
– Took over Timbuktu – Exports: gold and salt Kingdom of Benin – Located in the forests of the Niger delta – Came into contact with the Europeans Portuguese sailors arrived in the late 1400s – The people of Benin had many war captives, which they sold to the Portuguese as slaves – Exports: ivory, pepper, cotton, and slaves
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