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Early Africa. A WH1 Presentation by Mr. Hess. Part I: Northeast Africa – Nubia, Kush and Axum. Nubia. The Kingdom of Nubia was established by 3000 BC along the southern Nile (Sudan). The Nubians mastered the bow and arrow, and conquered neighboring communities. Nubia, cont.

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Early africa

Early Africa

A WH1 Presentation

by Mr. Hess

Part i northeast africa nubia kush and axum

Part I:Northeast Africa – Nubia, Kush and Axum


  • The Kingdom of Nubia was established by 3000 BC along the southern Nile (Sudan).

  • The Nubians mastered the bow and arrow, and conquered neighboring communities.

Nubia cont
Nubia, cont.

  • Jewelry and pottery found in tombs of kings were as elaborate as the Egyptians’.

  • Nubia evolved into the kingdom of Kush by 2000 BC.

Early africa

  • Kush was ruled by Egypt for 500 years, then gained independence around 1000 BC.

  • Kush later ruled Egypt from 724 BC until 671 BC.

Kush cont
Kush, cont.

  • Kush had a strong trading economy, which brought much wealth to its merchants and kings.

  • Kush eventually was invaded by Axum in 350 AD.

Early africa

  • Axum was a trading power, exchanging goods with Egypt, Greece, Rome, Persia and India.

  • Many Roman elements were adopted, including Christianity, which became the official religion around 330 AD.

Axum cont
Axum, cont.

  • The rise of Islam contributed to Axum’s decline as it became economically isolated.

  • It eventually became the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia.

Part ii africa south of the sahara

Part II:Africa South of the Sahara

Africa south of the sahara
Africa South of the Sahara

  • Note: This part of Africa was generally not civilized until much later.

    • Most societies exhibited characteristics similar to Neolithic cultures, and lacked the high level of organization that characterizes a civilization.

Nok culture
Nok Culture

  • West Africa (present-day Nigeria) was dominated from 700 BC to 200 BC by the Nok culture.

  • Nok culture was characterized by clay figurines and the use of metal farming tools.

The bantu migrations
The Bantu Migrations

  • Scarce farmland caused huge food shortages, which led to a mass migration over 1000 years – the Bantu migrations.

  • Many patterns were followed as people migrated from West Africa to all other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Some followed the Niger or other rivers; others moved into the rainforests of Central Africa or the savannas of East Africa.

The bantu migrations cont
The Bantu Migrations, cont.

  • Sub-Saharan Africa became characterized by numerous villages, seldom connected politically or otherwise.

    • Result: diversity!

  • Many villages were matrilineal societies.

The bantu migrations cont1
The Bantu Migrations, cont.

  • Gifts were given to a bride’s family to compensate for her loss when married.

  • Jobs were given to males and females according to age.

  • Religions were characterized by belief in a supreme creator god as well as lesser deities who represented aspects of nature.

  • Social rules developed from religion.