African Civilizations and the Spread of Islam

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AFRICAN CIVILIZATIONS
AND THE SPREAD OF
ISLAM
Chapter 8
GEOGRAPHY OF AFRICA
Size and Location
 Second Largest continent in the world
 Centrally located on the Earth’s surface
 Stretches 5,000 miles north to south
 From Mediterranean Sea (north) to Cape of Good Hope (south)
 From Cape Verde in the west to Horn of Africa in the east
 Surrounded by 4 bodies of water
 North – Mediterranean
 Northeast – Red Sea
 East – Indian Ocean
 West – Atlantic Ocean
 Most of the region located on a high plateau
GEOGRAPHY OF AFRICA
Regions
 North Africa
 Includes lands from Morocco to Egypt
 Washed by the Mediterranean Sea
 Large area of cultural diffusion – Europe and the Middle East
 Sahara Desert
 Largest Desert in the world
 Extends from Atlantic to Indian Ocean (larger than the US)
 Currently expanding at a rate of 20 miles per year.
 Served as a major trade route
GEOGRAPHY OF AFRICA
Regions
 West Africa
 From the “Hump of Africa” to Nigeria
 Center of slave trade
 Center for the gold and salt trade
 Central Africa
 Includes Sahel region and Congo Basin
 Home of the grasslands and tropical rain forests
 East Africa
 Includes area from the Great Rift Valley to Indian Ocean
 Home of the earliest hominid
 Trade maintained with Middle East and India
GEOGRAPHY OF AFRICA
Regions
 South Africa
 Area below the Congo basin
 Location of hills, plateaus, and eventually desert (Kalahari,
Namib)
GEOGRAPHY OF AFRICA
Climate Zones
 Mediterranean
 Hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters
 Found on the northern and southern tips
 Desert
 Make up 40% of Africa
 Include the Sahara, Kalahari, and Namib
 Tropical wet and dry
 Known as the savannah region
 Occupies 45% to 50% of Africa
 Area where most people live
 Unpredictable rainfall
 Desertification occurring in Sahel region
GEOGRAPHY OF AFRICA
Climate Zones
 Tropical Wet
 Rainforest region
 Makes up 8% of Africa around the equator
 Home to disease carrying insects (termites, mosquitos)
 Contains tsetse fly – makes ability to raise livestock impossible
Impact of Geography
 Although many of Africa’s people have lived on and migrated across
the region, Africa’s geography discouraged Europeans from
exploring the interior of the land. As a result, European referred to
this land as the “Dark Continent.”
EARLY CIVILIZATIONS OF EAST AFRICA
Kush
 Originally formed at the Kingdom of Nubia, prior to Egyptian
civilization
 Became a tributary of Egyptian civilization
 Formed as an empire after the fall of the New Kingdom (Egypt)
 Borrowed ideas on religion, pyramids, hieroglyphics, etc.
 Located in the northern Sudan and southern Egypt
 Developed into a trading state
 Supplied goods from Central and East Africa to the Roman
Empire, Arabia, and India.
 Ex. Ivory, gold, ebony, and slaves
 Conquered by the kingdom of Axum
KINGDOM OF NUBIA
EARLY CIVILIZATIONS OF EAST AFRICA
Axum
 Located on the highlands of present day Ethiopia
 Founded by migrants from the Kingdom of Saba
 Legend traces founding of Axum and the Ethiopian royal dynasty
to the son of King Solomon and Queen Sheba
 Dynasty lasted into the 20th century until the death of Halie
Selassie in 1975 C.E.
 Defeated Kush empire
 Converted to Christianity in 300 C.E.
 Adopted Christianity from Egypt – known as the Coptic Church
AXUM - ETHIOPIA
EARLY CIVILIZATIONS OF EAST AFRICA
 Axum
 Impact of Islam
 Area cut off from contact with the rest if Christendom
 Known as the “Hermit Kingdom”
 Muslims took control of slave and ivory trade
 Zagwe Dynasty (mid 1100s – 1270 C.E.)
 Expanded Christianity in region
 Renamed kingdom - Ethiopia
 Solomonids
 Replaced Zagwe Dynasty
 Fought holy war against Muslim state of Adal for over a century
EARLY CIVILIZATIONS OF EAST AFRICA
 Zanj
 Coast of East Africa
 Included commercial centers of
Mombasa, Pemba, Zanzibar, and Kilwa
in the 900s C.E.
 Created under Arab settlement
 Self-governing coastal states
 Swahili
 Mixed African-Arabian culture
 Became a language combining Arabic
words with Bantu grammatical
structure
 National language of Kenya and
Tanzania today
EARLY CIVILIZATIONS OF NORTH AFRICA
 Berbers
 Pastoral society who lived in
the mountains of northern
Africa
 Original inhabitants of the
Maghreb region
 Served as intermediaries for
the Trans-Saharan trade
 Converted to Islam upon
spread in the 600s and 700s
C.E.
EARLY CIVILIZATIONS OF CENTRAL AFRICA
 Area characterized by stateless societies
 Autonomous village life
 Organized by clans
 Rule by local chieftain or clan head
 Kingdom of Luba
 Located near shores of Lake Kisale
 Maintained centralized government
 Kingdom of the Congo
 Formed south of the mouth of the Congo River on the Atlantic Coast
 Absorbed cultures and people in neighboring Angola
EARLY CIVILIZATIONS OF CENTRAL AFRICA
 Zimbabwe (1100s – 1500s C.E.)
 Located in grassland region south of Zambezi River.
 Played role in gold trade with Swahili communities on east coast
 Developed capital – Great Zimbabwe (“Great Stone House”)
 Benefited from gold trade from the interior to the east
 Surrounded by large stone walls
 Abandoned due to overgrazing of lands
EARLY CIVILIZATIONS OF SOUTH AFRICA
 Khoi
 Located in the present day
Kalahari desert region
 Also referred to as the Hottentots
 Pastoral herding group
 Known for their use of “click”
language
 Benefited from gold trade from
the interior to the east
 Surrounded by large stone
walls
 Abandoned due to overgrazing
of lands
EARLY CIVILIZATIONS OF SOUTH AFRICA
 San
 Extended influence into region
from Namibia in the west to the
Drakensburg Mountains in the
east
 Also referred to as the Bushman
 Hunter gatherer group
 Both Khoi and San cultures would be
blended with beliefs of nomadic
group, known as Bantus
BANTU MIGRATIONS
 Bantu
 African group who originally lived in
Savanna south of the Sahara
 Moved from the Niger River to East Africa
and south of the Congo River Basin nearly
2,000 years ago
 Overpopulation in region left to
movement
 Introduced ideas for crop cultivation and
iron working into area
 Migration helped unify the continent as a result
 Ex. Bantu language evolved into over 900
languages across the continent
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