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Africa Geography and History
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  1. AfricaGeography and History

  2. Africa • Location • Biggest after Asia. • 3X the size of U.S. • More independent nations than any other - 54 • Straddles equator • Atlantic Ocean & Indian Ocean & Med. Sea & Red Sea.

  3. Different Regions • North Africa - Morocco to Egypt • Close contact with Europe and ME. • North Africa is linked to Sub-Saharan Africa

  4. Regions • West Africa - Mauritania to Nigeria • Central Africa - Zaire, Equator • East Africa - Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania • South Africa - Zimbabwe, Zambia, S.Africa

  5. Landforms • Most of Africa is a vast plateau. • Lie at different elevations. • Highest - East and South • Escarpments - steep cliffs, divide the plateau from the coastal plain. • Cataracts - Large waterfalls.

  6. Great Rift Valley • Red Sea to the Zambezi River. • Series of mountains and valleys. • Rich in Minerals and Metals. The sheer cliffs, high mountains, and deep valleys make building roads and railroads costly and dangerous.

  7. Rivers • Nile - Lifeblood of Egypt - Longest in World. • Aswan Dam. • Zaire river - drains central Africa • Zambezi River - Victoria Falls

  8. Natural Resources • Mineral Exports • Zaire and Zambia - Copper • S.Africa, Zaire, Botswana - Platinum and Cobalt • Nigeria and Angola - Offshore Oil • Gold and Diamonds found in riverbeds. • Resources are unevenly distributed throughout Africa

  9. Climate and Diversity • Most tropical of all continents. • Farther north or south of the equator, the shorter the rainy seasons. • Less than an inch to more than 80 inches.

  10. Major Climate Zones • Tropical Wet Climate Region • Narrow belt along the equator – 8% of Africa • Guinea on west coast to Great Rift Valley in the east.

  11. Tropical Wet Climate • 80 degrees average temperature. • 60-120 inches average rainfall. • Causes leaching. • Washing away of nutrients due to heavy rains. • Problems • Diseases in rainforests • Termites • Dampness

  12. Tropical w/Wet and Dry Season • The Savanna occupies this region. • Over half of Africa is this. • Warm all year round. • Summer – Hot and Wet • Winter – Dry and Warm • 20-80 inches of rain. • Drought is not uncommon.

  13. Desertification • Population growth has caused problems. • During periods of moisture, people move there, chop trees down, and tear up the land. • In addition, grazing herds destroy the top roots of the grasses, so the thin layer of topsoil turns to dust. • This causes desertification, or the turning of semidesert land into desert.

  14. Deserts

  15. The Sahara Desert

  16. Sahara • Deserts cover about 40% of Africa • North – Sahara • South – Kalahari and Namib • Sahara is larger than the U.S. • Windswept rock, gravel, and shifting sand dunes. • High of 130 degrees and less than 10” of rain/yr

  17. Kalahari and Namib • South Africa • Kalahari is not as dry as Sahara. • Grasses and wild melons grow in a few places, and animals graze. • Namib – one of the driest places on earth.

  18. Mediterranean Climate Zones • Similar to L.A. • Summers are hot and dry. • Winters are cool and moist. • Pleasant conditions attract European settlers

  19. Climate and Health • Many insects breed and carry disease in tropical climates. • Malaria kills 1 million every year. • Sleeping Sickness – Tsetse Fly • Infects people and livestock. • River Blindness – Senegal to Kenya • Bilharzia – Snails that carry parasitic worms • West Nile - Mosquitoes

  20. Population • Not densely populated. 675 million • Climate, Water, and Soil determine where people live. • Heavy Population • Southern West Africa • Morocco and Algeria • Nile River Valley • Eastern S.Africa

  21. First People • Where do you think the first people originated from? • Archaeologists study objects left by people. • Africa’s climate makes it difficult to learn about the past through artifacts.

  22. Records on Stone • From S.Africa to the Sahara, archaeologists have studied paintings on rock cliffs and cave walls. • Paintings show the tools, weapons, and hunting and gathering methods of early people.

  23. Need for Change • About 4000 years ago the Sahara was changing. Less rain fell, Lakes and rivers dried up. People moved. • Some think that people moved to the Nile River Valley. Where is that?

  24. Nile River Valley • Some people gave up the nomadic life of hunting and gathering. • Earliest civilization developed in Egypt about 7000 years ago. • Fertile soils and plentiful wildlife allowed people to farm and hunt.

  25. Nile River Valley • 3,000 B.C. – Pharaohs united ancient Egypt. • Pharaohs expanded their empire. • Through trade and conquest, they exchanged knowledge and ideas with other cultures.

  26. Religion and Government • Polytheistic • Different gods controlled the forces of nature. • Chief god was Amon-Re, the Sun God • Osiris, god of the underworld and the Nile. • Life after death is central to Egyptian religion. • Pharaohs and Nobles prepared for life after death.

  27. Gift of the Nile • The Nile flooded every year up to 1970 • Aswan Dam stopped the flooding. • What would be some hidden costs of this?

  28. Achievements of Egyptians • Hieroglyphics – used pictures and symbols. • Knowledge of stars and planets to produce the calendar. • Geometry to survey flood plains. • Surgery to set fractured bones.

  29. Kingdom of the Kush • Trade b/t Egypt and Nubia and Kush • At times, Egypt conquered lands to the south. • The Kushites had control of Egypt around 750 B.C. but were driven out by the Assyrians and their iron weapons.

  30. Kush • At first the Kush flourished. • Worshipped same gods and made a capital at Meroe along the Nile. • Over time, however, the Kush became gods themselves and they adapted to form their own alphabet.

  31. Iron • After losing to the Assyrians, the Kush learned to make Iron weapons. • Egyptians still decided to use bronze. • Kush profited from trade. • By 200 A.D. – the Kush had been run out by invasions.

  32. Kingdom of Axum • Developed on the high plateaus of what is today Ethiopia. • Sent spices, gems, and ivory north into Egypt, across the Red Sea to Arabia, and across the Indian Ocean to South Asia.

  33. Slave Trade • B/w 1500-1800, 10-15 million slaves were sent to the Americas. • Effects of Slave Trade • Industrialization slowly stopped the slave trade. • Increased wars and tension. • Sierra Leone • Colony resettled by freed slaves. • Liberia • Colony established by freed American slaves.

  34. Slave Trade • Demand for slaves limited until settling of Americas. • First Europeans used Native Americans to mine gold and silver and to work on their plantations. • They then looked to Africa – Tropical Climates

  35. Slave Trade • Most slaves were people who were captured in war. • Others sold themselves into slavery because of famine and the need to support their family.