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The Rise of African Civilizations. Chapter 13, Section 1, page 444. Africa’s Geography – page 445. a vast and diverse continent hot, steamy rain forests on either side of the equator tropical grasslands, known as savannas, cover most of Africa north and south of the rain forests

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The Rise of African Civilizations

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The rise of african civilizations

The Rise of African Civilizations

Chapter 13, Section 1, page 444

Africa s geography page 445

Africa’s Geography – page 445

  • a vast and diverse continent

    • hot, steamy rain forests on either side of the equator

    • tropical grasslands, known as savannas, cover most of Africa north and south of the rain forests

    • deserts → Sahara in the north and the Kalahari and the Namib in the southwest

    • coastal areas in the north and the south have a Mediterranean climate (mild and good for growing crops)

Africa s geography page 4451

Africa’s Geography – page 445

The african plateau page 446

The African Plateau – page 446

  • Much of Africa rests on a plateau (a high area of flat land).

  • Great Rift Valley

West african empires page 447

West African Empires – page 447

  • Berbers

    • camels – “the ships of the desert”

    • trade caravans

      • cloth

      • salt

    • trade led to city growth, which led to empire building

Rise of ghana page 448

Rise of Ghana – page 448

  • Ghana

    • c. A.D. 400s

    • “crossroads of trade”

    • grew wealthy from the salt and gold trade

    • traders paid taxes as they passed through

    • military might (iron weapons, manpower)

    • control of the goods people wanted

Rise of mali page 448

Rise of Mali – page 448

  • Ghana declined in the 1200s due to warfare and poor harvests.

  • Mali

    • griots – African storytellers

    • Sundiata Keita – warrior king who took control of Ghana in 1240

Rise of the songhai page 449

Rise of the Songhai – page 449

  • Mali declined after the death of Mansa Musa.

  • Songhai

    • largest empire in West Africa in the 1500s

    • Sunni Ali – stormed Timbuktu and threw out the Berbers

    • decline came through technology

Kingdoms of the rain forest page 450

Kingdoms of the Rain Forest – page 450

  • Benin – empire in the rain forest

    • kingdoms were shielded by the rain forests

    • food surpluses allowed for artisans

East africa page 451

East Africa – page 451

  • Axum – powerful Ethiopian city-state which owed its power to its location on the Red Sea.

    • dhow – sailboat with a triangular sail invented by Muslims

  • other important cities: Mogadishu, Kilwa, Mombasa, Zanzibar

  • Great Zimbabwe – founded around A.D. 700 by the Shona people (virtual tour)

Chapter 13 section 1 questions

Chapter 13, Section 1 Questions

Write the following questions and then answer them.

  • Describe the geography of Africa.

  • Why was salt such an important commodity?

  • Who was Sundiata Keita?

  • What natural protection did the rain foreat kingdoms enjoy?

  • What city-states grew as trading ports in East Africa and why were they successful?

Africa s government and religion

Africa’s Government and Religion

Chapter 13, Section 2, page 460


After this lesson, students will be able to

explain how the growth of empires led to centralized governments led by kings.

discuss how traditional religions and Islam shaped African cultures.


Government and society page 461

Government and Society – page 461

  • ruler and subject

    • West African governments utilized central governments ruled by kings.

    • both sides benefited

Ghana s government page 461

Ghana’s Government – page 461

  • kings relied on council of ministers

  • lesser kings ruled provinces

  • chieftains oversaw their clan – a group of people descended from the same ancestor

  • tight grip on power

Mali s government page 462

Mali’s Government – page 462

  • similar to Ghana, but on larger scale

    • Sundiata put generals in charge of provinces.

      • accepted because they were often from the province they ruled

      • protected people from invaders

    • Mansa Musa rewarded citizens with gold, land, and horses.

      • Military heroes were awarded the “National Honor of the Trousers.”

  • Songhai’s government was similar.

Traditional african religions page 463

Traditional African Religions – page 463

  • traditional religions varied

  • most believed in a supreme being

  • some believed in a hierarchy of gods

  • some believed that ancestors stayed with the community

  • Christianity is the most widely practiced religion in Africa today.

  • North Africa is predominantly Muslim.

Islam in africa page 464

Islam in Africa – page 464

  • Mali and Mansa Musa

    • Mansa Musa allowed different religions, but worked to strengthen Islam.

      • building initiativies

    • A.D. 1324 – Mansa Musa’s hajj journey (huge production)

Songhai and askia muhammad page 465

Sunni Ali – poser Muslim

Muhammad Ture takes control

Askia Muhammad close support for Islam

Islam in East Africa

Swahili – language that means “people of the coast”

Songhai and Askia Muhammad – page 465

African society and culture

African Society and Culture

Chapter 13, Section 3, page 468


After this lesson, students will be able to:

describe how the Bantu migrations spread common ideas to much of Africa.

discuss how the African slave trade disrupted African society and carried African peoples and cultures around the world.


Life in medieval africa page 469

Life in Medieval Africa – page 469

  • Bantu – “the people”

    • migration helped spread culture across medieval Africa

    • spread pottery making and mining skills

    • responsible for common ideas and traditions

Importance of families page 469

Importance of Families – page 469

  • family was the basis of African society

    • extended families – families made up of several generations

    • matrilineal – traced family descent through mothers

    • children extremely important (ancestors)

Education and women page 470

Education and Women – page 470

  • Children were educated by their family and other villagers.

  • oral histories – stories passed down from generation to generation (griots)

  • Queen Nzinga – battled the Portuguese slave trade

Slavery page 472

Slavery – page 472

  • slavery within Africa

  • the European slave trade

    • 1440s – The European slave trade was started by Portugal.

    • African slaves harvested sugarcane originally.

African culture page 474

African Culture – page 474

  • “a nation of dancers, musicians, and poets”

    • African art

      • religious meaning and story telling

      • cave paintings were the earliest art forms

      • woodcarving and weaving also important

    • music and dance

      • celebrated important events

      • enslaved Africans used music to remind them of their homeland

    • storytelling

      • tradition of the griots

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