The Story of Africa Geography & African Civilizations
Africa’s Size 4 6 0 0 M I L E S 5000 MILES • Second largest continent 11,700,000 sq. mi. • 10% of the world’s population. • 2 ½ times the size of the U. S.
Geography & African Civilizations • Geography of Africa • 2nd largest continent in the world • 4,600 miles from east to west; 5,000 miles from north to south • Narrow coastlines lie on either side of a central plateau • Waterfalls or rapids form as rivers drop to the coast from the plateau making navigation impossible to or from the coast • Coastline has fewharbors,ports, or inlets • Large deserts: the Sahara in the north and the Kalahari in the south • Large rainforests with mahogany and teak trees that reach 150 feet tall • Most people live on the savannas or grassy plains which include mountainous highlands and swampy tropical stretches • The NileRiver flows north in northeast Africa
The Niger River Basin • Covers 7.5% of the continent. • Extends over 10 countries. • 2,600 miles long.
Great Rift Valley 3,000 miles long
African Rain Forest • Annual rainfall of up to 17 ft. • Rapid decomposition (very humid). • Covers 37 countries. • 15% of the land surface of Africa.
Mediterranean Sea Atlas Mts. Libyan Desert The Complete Topography Of AFRICA Tropic of Cancer 20° N Sahara Desert Red Sea Sahel NileRiver NigerRiver L. Chad--> Great Rift Valley <--Gulf of Aden L. Albert--> ΔMt. Kenya Equator 0° Congo River L. Victoria ΔMt. Kilimanjaro L. Tanganyika-> Indian Ocean Ruwenzori Mts. Atlantic Ocean Zambezi River Namib Desert Kalahari Desert LimpopoRiver Tropic of Capricorn20° S OrangeRiver Drajensburg Mts. Pacific Ocean
Geography & African Civilizations • Customs of Early Peoples • Early peoples were nomadic • Experts believe agriculture started in Africa roughly by 6,000 B.C. • The family was important and African people organized into familygroups • Many early cultures’ religions included elements of animism • Animism: a religion in which spirits play an important role in dailylife • History was kept orally, not written down • Bantu-speaking people migrated south and east leading to: • Spread of farming techniques • Territorialwars • Intermarriages • Spread of technology such as copper, bronze, and iron work
Empire of Ghana Website
Geography & African Civilizations • Early Civilizations of West Africa • Empire of Ghana 800 A.D. • Became a rich kingdom by taxingtraders who traveled through their lands • Gold and salt were important & desirable trade items • By 800, Ghana was an empire • Only the king could own gold; acted as religious leader, chief judge and military commander • Eventually Ghana’s rulers convertedtoIslam and had to learn Arabic; much of the population neverconverted • 1076 Muslim Almoravidsconquered Ghana and disrupted the gold-salt trade • Ghana neverregained its power
Gold-Salt Trade Berbers SALT GOLD
Empire of Mali Website
Geography & African Civilizations • Empire of Mali • Emerged by 1235 south of Ghana; Mali’s wealth was also built on gold • Sundiata militarily took over Ghana; peace and prosperity followed • Some of Mali’s next rulers became Muslims and built mosques • MansaMusa (Muslim) divided Mali into provinces and appointed governors • Within 50 years of Mansa Musa, Mali’s gold trade shifted east and his successors were unable to govern the empire effectively
Sundiata [1210-1260] “Lion Prince”
Empire of Songhai Website
Geography & African Civilizations • Empire of Songhai 1400s • Capital was Gao; extended their territory to the large bend in the Niger River • Two great Muslim leaders: Sunni Ali & Askia Muhammad • Created an empire through military conquest and efficient tax collecting • Unfortunately, Songhai lacked modernweapons • Defeated by Moroccaninvaders and ended 1,000 years of W. African power
Askia Mohammed’s Tomb [1443-1538] Gao, Mali
Geography & African Civilizations • Early Civilizations of East Africa • Aksum Empire • Located on the horn of Africa on a plateau on the Red Sea • Conquered the Kush people who had been pushed south by the Assyrians • Traders from Egypt, Arabia, Persia, India, and the Roman Empire travelled though Adulis, Aksum’s chief seaport • They traded salt, rhinoceros horns, ivory, & gold • Height of empire was 325-360 under strong military leader Ezana • Monotheistic: worshiped Mahrem and believed king was his descendent • Aksum later becomes Christian • Depletion of soil and forests as well as Islamic invaders caused decline
AXUM’SACHIEVEMENTS Built Stelae Controlled NE African Trade Written Language Terrace Farming Spread Christianity in No. & E. Africa
Geography & African Civilizations • Early Civilizations of Southern Africa • GreatZimbabwe 1000 A.D. • City built by Shona people that turned into an empire built on gold trade • Leaders taxed traders and travelers who ventured through • Great Zimbabwe was abandoned by 1450; no clear reason why • Much of what is known about Great Zimbabwe comes from impressiveruins