African Empires

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African Empires
SAHARA DESERT
Timbuktu
Niger River
Congo River
Zambezi River
Limpopo River
He who controls
trade, controls the
world
RULE #3
Rulers of the Nile
Egypt
Kush (Nubia)

Aksum was a rich and
successful trading
empire

Traded with Europe, the
Arabian Peninsula,
Egypt, Persia, and India
Mesopotamians
(Assyria, Persia,
Rome)
Aksum
Aksum
 Where
is it?
 Ethiopian
highlands
 Converted
Christianity
 Became
to
the
Ethiopians
 Stayed
Christian until
modern times
Great Zimbabwe
 Powerful
trade city in
Southern
Africa
 Near
gold
 Access to
the Zambezi
and
Limpopo
rivers
Great Zimbabwe

Mysterious

Giant circular walls that don’t look defensive

City was suddenly abandoned
West Africa

What is the most important geographic feature of
West Africa?
West Africa
Trade

West Africa has something everybody wants
GOLD!

West Africa needs something they can get from
the desert
SALT

What’s the best way to get stuff across a desert?
Camels
Gold-Salt
Trade
Gold-Salt Trade

Gold went from West Africa to other parts of the
world

Salt was traded from the Sahara to West Africa

Ideas and goods from the Mediterranean entered
into Sub-Saharan Africa

Islam expands through trade, not war
West African Empires

All three West African Empires became powerful
in the same way

Control the trade! People who lived where the best
gold mines were, built armies and conquered
everyone else
Ghana

First empire in West Africa

Led by a king

Controlled the supply of gold

Collected taxes

Protected traders

Safety
Mali

Gold mines moved east so new people take over

Sundiata (sun-JAT-ah) creates an empire


Mansa Musa


Title “mansa,” or war chief
Converted to Islam and made the Hajj
City of Timbuktu – center of trade
Songhai

Gold mines moved east so new people take over

Just like Mali

Conquered by Moroccans with guns
Islam in Africa

African religion was based on the belief in nature
and ancestor spirits, called animism

Trade spreads Islam throughout West Africa and
East African coast

Mali and Songhai
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