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Early Civilizations of Africa

Chapter 11, Section 1

Dan Priest

on 3 May 2016

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Transcript of Early Civilizations of Africa

Early Civilizations of Africa
Chapter 11, Section 1
Focus Question
How did geography and natural resources affect the development of early societies throughout Africa?
Geography Basics
Along the
is a
ring of vast rainforests

Surrounding that ring are the
dry grasslands

And after the grasslands, comes the

deserts doing desert things
Africa is home to the largest "hot" desert, the Sahara.
It also
covers 25% of the continent

The size of the desert isn't constant, it constantly alters it's size, and shape.

In Arabic,
. You could just call it 'desert desert'.
But the Sahara wasn't always a desert
Like the rest of Africa at that point, it was
fairly fertile

Neolithic farmers
learned to
cultivate the Nile Valley

and to domesticate animals.

But the continents were still moving, and everything was just forming, so in its newfound "spot"
Fertile land drying and dying then becoming a desert
, or plain barren land capable of supporting very little vegetation.
desertification forced people to leave

Migrating West African people spoke a variety of languages. The
root language

Bantu people spread many skills
Domesticating animals
Bantu = "people"
Savanna (Not Georgia)
tropical grasslands all over Africa

There are scarce trees, and mostly shrubbery and grasses, with many weeds.

Savannas do go through
drought very often
, so
plant and animal
life have learned to

but it's not all dry.

The umbrella thorn acacia is a common deciduous tree in the African Savanna.
As well as elephant grass, which is used as bedding for animals and can be woven into many things.
Radical Rainforests
The center "ring" along the equator is full of rainforests. These forests have a wide array of plants as well as animals.

These forests have a high plateau interior, filled with hills and rivers that have

. They made movement very difficult. Migrations were very hard and were either stopped or delayed until the Bantu people.
Maletsunyane Falls, Lesotho
Kalambo Falls
Tanzania to the left of the river, Zambia to the right
Gorillas are found in the forest
Leopards are also found in the forest
Trees too.
The role of the Mediterranean
The Mediterranean
and the
Red Seas
provided overseas
trade routes
to regions in southwest
Asia and Europe

We all know that trades were good for civilizations
It increased wealth, knowledge, and social bonds
GEography, In Sum

These various regions of land affected the growth and development of Africa, then and now.

African civilizations were also influenced culturally, seeing as these regions made movement difficult, so ideas tended to stay put.
In which Nubia can't hold on to its power
While under
control, they made the Nubians
move their capital to Meroë

Nubia was under Egyptian control in their beginnings, so their culture is heavily influenced by them.


Nubian civilization,

like every other civilization,
flourished along a river
, in their case the

Eventually, Nubian society evolved into the
Kingdom of Kush
, which kept the capital in
came and began
building a port along the Mediterranean coast
that later turned into

later began
Mediterranean trade.
This flourishing
empire spread
for a little under 100 years, stretching from
present day Tunis
all the way to southern Europe.
Phoenician Facts
This however started
trading rivalries with Rome
, leading to the
Punic Wars

resulting in the complete destruction of Carthage.

After winning the Punic Wars, Rome claimed land along the Mediterranean all the way to the Sahara.

This revolutionized most of Northern Africa by:
Building cities
Making roads
Utilizing farmland
Spreading Christianity

Muslims successfully conquered the land of North Africa
(like the Romans).

The language changed from
Latin to Arabic

The base religion quickly changed from
Christianity to Islam

Islam spread to the rest of Africa, so a
blend of African traditions and Islam
became dominant.
Islam spreads to Africa
Africa is the 2nd largest continent in the world
Wide range of climates
A wide range of vegetation
There are 500 unique languages spoken today that have their origins in the original Bantu language.
is in
present day Sudan

Nubia and Egypt never got along
; they traded often, but these
trades are what caused fights

Egypt ruled Nubia for about 500 years
Egypt's decline led to Nubia being "free" for a few years
And not long after they were
reclaimed by Assyria
this time, after an attack

The Move to
In all, about 220 pyramids were built in Meroe, spread across three sites.
They remained relatively intact until the 1830s, when Italian treasure hunter Giuseppe Ferlini smashed the tops off 40 pyramids while searching for gold and jewels.
Phoenician Facts
Salt, gold, iron, and copper
were the most prevalent resources at this time (and, really, still today). They were traded between cities and then
across regions
into other continents.

Deserts made it initially hard to reach these far-flung places, but by 200 AD a solution came from Asia
"Ships of the desert"

New trade routes opened up because camels could go
20 - 30 miles a day without water
Full transcript