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Early Civilizations in Africa

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  1. Early Civilizations in Africa Adler Chapter 20 Extraordinary Panorama Variety in Geography Early Civilizations contact with Rome and North Africa

  2. Geographic Considerations • North- Mediterranean- access to trade- coastal mountains- land for agriculture • East- Rift Valley- some mountains- Indian Ocean • West- grasslands and some rainforest along the Niger river • Central - equatorial- Congo-only real rainforest • South- high plateau- temperate climate-savanna

  3. African Civilization- South of Egypt • Many ideas in Egypt may have come from south- agri and pyramids • Kush- similar to Mesopotamia- Khartoum was a major trading center 7th cen BCE Capitol Meroe • Rome received ivory, gold, ebony in addition to food • Herodotus - “People were tall and beautiful” • Axum took over 350CE- future Ethiopia-trade center (Queen of Sheba- converted and remained Christian)

  4. States of West Africa along the Niger River • Ghana- 5th cen CE- based on gold trade- middlemen- transport to Morocco- also had ivory, ostrich feathers and leather. • lived in splendor at capital • Mali- 600-1200 CE Atlantic to interior- converted to Islam- Mansa Musa(p 232) went to Mecca- depressed the gold market-(Gold, Salt and slaves- tax key to wealth) • area still Muslim- Arabic language unifying force

  5. South African CivilizationsZimbabwe on the Zambezi (River) • located on the grasslands between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers • 1871- German explorer Karl Mauch found the remains of a powerful and prosperous civilization • city (10,000) wall of cement and stone 38 feet high • found ornaments of gold, copper, porcelain from China • wealth source- tax on cattle and gold trade • German Mauch- did not give credit to Africans- prejudice • historians recognize and give credit to Africans.p 234

  6. General Comments on African Civilizations • Were varied like the geography • trade centers were important esp in east with India and No Africa with the Med region • Islam dominated in north- Ethiopia was isolated • Islam helped to unite N Africa- same language • Historians continue to learn more