Chapter 8

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CHAPTER FOCUS
SECTION 1 Ancient African Kingdoms
SECTION 2 The Middle Kingdoms
SECTION 3 East African Civilizations
SECTION 4 Path to the Americas
SECTION 5 Mesoamerica
SECTION 6 The Incas
CHAPTER SUMMARY & STUDY GUIDE
CHAPTER ASSESSMENT
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Overview
• Chapter 8 focuses on the development of
civilization in Africa and the Americas. 
– Section 1 discusses the Kush and Aksum
civilizations. 
– Section 2 describes West African kingdoms. 
– Section 3 describes the contributions of the
East African civilizations. 
– Section 4 explains why people migrated to the
Americas. 
– Section 5 summarizes the civilizations of
Mesoamerica. 
– Section 6 analyzes the Inca civilization of
South America.
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Objectives
After studying this chapter, you will be able to:
• discuss how the ancient civilizations of Kush
and Aksum passed along their culture. 
• summarize how West African and East African
kingdoms developed because of trade. 
• explain how bands of people crossed into the
Americas. 
• describe the civilizations that developed in
Mesoamerica. 
• discuss Inca culture.
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Read to Discover
• How the ancient African civilizations of Kush
and Aksum passed along elements of their
culture 
• How West African kingdoms and East African
civilizations grew because of trade 
• How Native Americans developed farming
and other skills 
• What kinds of civilizations developed in
Mesoamerica 
• What life was like for the Inca of South
America
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Terms to Learn
• silent barter 
• pilgrimage 
• population
explosion 
• quipus 
People to Know (cont.)
• Sunni Ali 
• Askia Muhammad 
• Montezuma II 
• Pachacuti 
People to Know
• Kashta 
• Piankhi 
• Ezana 
• Sundiata Keita 
• Mansa Musa 
Places to Locate
• Meroë 
• Timbuktu 
• Zimbabwe 
• Bering Strait 
• Tenochtitlán 
• Kilwa
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Why It’s Important
While armies carved out empires in the
Middle East, civilizations developed in
Africa south of the Sahara and in the
Americas. Through conquest and trade,
Africans and early Americans built great
kingdoms and empires that rivaled
civilizations elsewhere in the world.
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Ancient African Kingdoms
• Other civilizations besides Egypt flourished
in ancient Africa. 
• Less is known about them than about
Egypt. 
• However, archaeologists have discovered
enough remains to be able to tell what
African civilizations were like.
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Kush
• The first of these African civilizations was
Kush, which lay south of Egypt on the Nile
River in present-day Sudan. 
• About 2000 B.C., the Kushites were nomadic
cattle herders, grazing long-horned cattle on
a savannah, or grassy plain. 
• During the New Kingdom, Egyptian armies
conquered Kush. 
• About 1160 B.C., Egypt’s power declined and
the Kushites won back their independence
and set up a capital at Napata.
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Kush (cont.)
• About 750 B.C., the Kushite king Kashta set
out to conquer Egypt. 
• His son Piankhi completed the conquest
and founded a dynasty that ruled Egypt
for 70 years. 
• However, during the 600s B.C., the
Assyrians invaded Egypt, and drove the
Kushites back to the south. 
• Despite their losses, the Kushites did gain
something: they learned the secret of ironsmelting from the Assyrians.
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Kush (cont.)
• Soon, Kushite farmers, using iron hoes,
were growing large amounts of grain. 
• Around 540 B.C., the Kushites moved
their capital to Meroë. 
• Kush remained a great trading country for
some 600 years, and then began to
decline. 
• As it declined, Aksum, in present-day
Ethiopia, rose to take its place. 
• About 350 A.D., Aksumite armies burned
Meroë to the ground.
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Aksum
• Like Kush, Aksum was a trading country. 
• Jewish, Greek, and Arab merchants
settled in Aksum. 
• It was most likely the Greeks who brought
Christianity to Aksum. 
• Emperor Ezana, whose armies had
destroyed Meroë, converted to
Christianity in 324 A.D. 
• This heritage was passed down to the
present day.
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Aksum (cont.)
• Aksumites developed a writing system,
minted gold coins, and learned to farm on
terraces, or raised levels of land. 
• Over time, Aksum’s power as a trading
country began to decline. 
• After Arab armies swept across North
Africa in the 600s A.D., the Aksumites
retreated toward the interior, or inland
areas, of their country. 
• There, they lived in isolation for more than
1,000 years.
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Section Assessment
How did the Kushites and
Egyptians influence each other?
Kushites learned to worship the god
Amon-Re, how to work in copper and
bronze, and to adapt hieroglyphs to
fit their language. Egypt was also
ruled for a time by Kush and was also
influenced through trade.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
Why did the Kushites choose
Meroë as their capital?
It was on the Nile, it lay near large
deposits of iron ore and trees to fuel
smelting furnaces, and it had good
grazing land.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
Making Generalizations How
were the kingdoms of Kush and
Aksum influenced by other
cultures?
Kushites learned iron-smelting from
the Assyrians; they worshiped the
same god and built pyramids like the
Egyptians; Aksumites took
Christianity from the Greeks.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
Draw a diagram like the one on
page 131 of your textbook, and
use it to show the effects of ironsmelting on Kush.
Possible effects: made iron hoes,
which increased grain production;
made iron knives and spears for trade;
moved capital to Meroë, where large
deposits of iron ore and trees to fuel
smelting could be found; grew into a
great trading nation.
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The Middle Kingdoms
• Several large trading kingdoms arose in
West Africa after 400 A.D. 
• Their rise was aided by the knowledge of
iron-smelting. 
• This was most likely brought to West
Africa by refugees, or people who flee for
safety, from Kush.
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the information. Section 2 begins on page 132 of your textbook.
Ghana
• The first of these trading kingdoms was
Ghana. 
• Legend has it that Ghana was founded
about 200 A.D. 
• Around 350 A.D., the Ghanians learned
how to smelt iron. 
• They also gained control over West
Africa’s major trade routes. 
• The most important traded goods were
salt and gold.
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Ghana (cont.)
• Caravans carried salt south from Taghaza in
present-day Algeria and returned north with
gold from Wangara, an area southwest of
Ghana. 
• Ghanian merchants and Wangara gold
miners used a trading technique called
silent barter. 
• In 1042 A.D., Arabs from North Africa
started a war against Ghana.
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Ghana (cont.)
• The Arabs destroyed the capital and made
the Ghanians give them tribute. 
• Ghana managed to regain its independence
but was not strong enough to survive.
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Mali
• By 1240 A.D., Ghana was a part of Mali, the
second large trading kingdom in West
Africa. 
• Sundiata Keita, the king of Mali, did several
things to make his kingdom strong: 
– He reestablished the salt-gold trade, which the
Arabs had disrupted. 
– He organized a permanent army. 
– He divided the kingdom into provinces, each
headed by a general. 
– He moved his capital from place to place.
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Mali (cont.)
• One of the most famous kings of Mali was
Mansa Musa I, or King Moses I. 
• He led a pilgrimage, or religious journey,
to Arabia in 1324–25; it took more than 14
months to cover the 3,000 miles. 
• Within 100 years after Mansa Musa’s
death, Mali lost its land to others due to
weak leadership.
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Songhai
• The kingdom that replaced Mali as the most
powerful in West Africa was Songhai. 
• The Sultan Sunni Ali, in 1464, ruled
Songhai from the city of Gao. 
• Following Sunni Ali’s death, Askia
Muhammad came to power in Songhai. 
• Songhai was more organized than the
other two kingdoms. 
• It was divided into provinces with a
governor for each.
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Songhai (cont.)
• Despite its power, Songhai lasted only 100
years. 
• In 1591 A.D., a Moroccan army, armed with
guns, sought to capture Songhai’s gold
mines. 
• The Moroccans defeated Songhai’s
soldiers, who were armed with swords
and spears.
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Section Assessment
What were two important trade
goods in West Africa?
Two important trade goods were salt
and gold.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
How was the kingdom of Songhai
organized?
It was divided into provinces, each
with a governor. Everyone used the
same weights, measures, and legal
system.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
Making Inferences Why do you think
Ghanian merchants set up a system
called silent barter?
Answers will vary but might include
that Ghanian merchants might have
been dealing with people who did not
speak their language.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
Draw a diagram like the one on page
134 of your textbook, and use it to
summarize the accomplishments of
the three great West African
kingdoms.
Accomplishments should reflect the
policies established by the rulers of
each kingdom, particularly the growth
of trade and encouragement of
learning.
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East African Civilizations
• The growth of trading kingdoms in West
Africa was matched by the rise of trading
kingdoms and city-states in East Africa. 
• Goods moved from the interior of East
Africa to coastal markets, which, in time,
became large city-states. 
• Each of these had its own ruler and
government.
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Zimbabwe
• One of the best-known trading kingdoms
was Zimbabwe. 
• Their ancestors, the Shona, once lived in
present-day Nigeria in West Africa. 
• About 100 A.D., a population explosion, or a
large and sudden growth in population, took
place forcing some people to move. 
• The Shona settled in Zimbabwe in East
Africa about 700 A.D., where they built towns
of stone.
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Zimbabwe (cont.)
• The people of Zimbabwe viewed their chief
as a god-king. 
• Officials imitated him; if he coughed, they
coughed; when he ate, they ate. 
• Zimbabwe’s people traded gold, copper,
and ivory from the interior to merchants
from cities along Africa’s east coast.
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Kilwa
• Another important trading city-state in East
Africa was Kilwa. 
• The people of Kilwa collected heavy taxes
from traders of other countries. 
• They used their wealth to extend their
power over neighboring city-states. 
• A culture known as Swahili–a mix of
African and Arabic cultures–developed in
Kilwa and other East African city-states.
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Section Assessment
How did the people of Zimbabwe
view their leader?
They viewed him as a god-king.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
How did the people at Kilwa use
their wealth?
They used their wealth to extend their
power over neighboring city-states, to
dress in fine cotton and silk, and to fill
their houses with riches from India
and China.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
Understanding Cause and Effect A
population explosion among the
Shona caused many of these people
to leave their homeland. What are
some of the events or conditions
that might cause people to leave
their homelands today?
People might leave their homelands
because of war, famine, disease,
religious persecution, or simply hope
of a better life.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
Draw a diagram like the one on
page 137 of your textbook, and
use it to show features of
Swahili culture.
Swahili culture was made up of citystates, traded with people across the
Red Sea and Indian Ocean, and
spoke a language created from
Arabic and Bantu.
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Path to the Americas
• Until about 25,000 years ago, there were no
people in the Americas. 
• Then, bands of people began to cross into
the Americas from Asia over a land bridge
formed during the last Ice Age. 
• Today, this bridge is covered by the
waters of the Bering Strait. 
• Experts believe people reached the
southern tip of South America by about
9000 B.C.
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Path to the Americas (cont.)
• About 7000 B.C., the last Ice Age ended and
the climate became hotter and drier. 
• By 6000 B.C., people in the Tehuacán
Valley south of present-day Mexico City
had developed farming. 
• By 3000 B.C., there were thousands of
small farming villages all through the
Americas. 
• Between 3000 B.C. and 1000 B.C., people
developed such skills as weaving and
pottery making.
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Section Assessment
How did hunting-and-gathering
bands travel to the Americas?
They came across a land bridge over
the Bering Strait.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
How long may it have taken for
people to spread out over North
and South America?
It may have taken from 23,000 B.C. to
9000 B.C., or about 14,000 years to
spread out.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
When and where did farming
first appear?
By about 6000 B.C., people in the
Tehuacán Valley south of present-day
Mexico City had developed farming.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
Understanding Cause and Effect
What do you think caused huntingand-gathering bands to push farther
south into the Americas?
Answers will vary but could include
the need for food, safety from attack,
weather, or curiosity.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
Draw a diagram like the one on page
138 of your textbook, and use it to
show the cause and effects of the
invention of farming in Mesoamerica.
cause–end of the last Ice Age and
the disappearance of most large
game
effects–rise of farming villages,
development of weaving and pottery
making, construction of irrigation
ditches, population growth
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Mesoamerica
• As the number of people grew, societies
became more complex. 
• Several great civilizations rose in
Mesoamerica, or Middle America, before
900 A.D. and others later.
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The Olmecs
• One of the earliest civilizations in
Mesoamerica was that of the Olmecs which
came into being around 1000 B.C. 
• About 900 years later, it disappeared
mysteriously. 
• They developed planned cities, hieroglyphic
writing, and a calendar. 
• The Olmecs lived along the southern coast
of the Gulf of Mexico.
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The Mayas
• Another great civilization, that of the Mayas,
began in Mesoamerica about 500 B.C. 
• It reached its peak between 300 and
900 A.D. 
• The Mayas lived in present-day southeast
Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. 
• The Mayas were great traders and their
cities were linked by roads paved with white
cement.
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The Mayas (cont.)
• The Maya adapted their own hieroglyphs
from the Olmecs. 
• Mayan mathematicians came up with the
idea of zero and a counting system based
on 20. 
• They also made cotton cloth and paper. 
• About 900 A.D., most Mayas abandoned
their cities and disappeared. 
• No one knows exactly why.
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The Aztecs
• Later, a third great civilization, that of the
Aztecs, rose in Mesoamerica. 
• About 1200 A.D., the Aztecs began moving
south into the central valley of Mexico. 
• By 1400 A.D., the Aztec Empire had 5 million
people. 
• Tenochtitlán, their capital, was built on an
island in Lake Texcoco and was home to
about 300,000 people. 
• Causeways, or paved roads, connected the
island to the mainland.
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The Aztecs (cont.)
• To feed the people, they filled in parts of the
lake and dug drainage canals to create
more farmland. 
• To the Aztecs, war and religion were closely
connected. 
• The people worshiped two major gods–the
rain god who stood for the peaceful life of
farming and the sun god who stood for war
and expanding empire. 
• The Aztecs believed that the sun god needed
human sacrifices.
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The Aztecs (cont.)
• The Aztec Empire reached its height in
the early 1500s under Montezuma II. 
• Easily defeated by the Spaniards, the
Aztecs lost their empire.
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Section Assessment
What were some of the
accomplishments of the Olmec?
They farmed and built stone cities.
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the answer.
Section Assessment
How did the Aztec Empire come
to an end?
The Spaniards, who had guns and
horses, defeated the Aztecs.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
Drawing Conclusions Why do
you think Mayan civilization
ended?
Answers will vary but could include
disease, conquering army, poor
farming, and bad weather conditions.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
Draw a diagram like the one on page
140 of your textbook, and use it to
summarize the accomplishments of
the three great Mesoamerican
civilizations
Olmec–planned cities, hieroglyphic writing,
calendar; Maya–religious cities, cement roads
for trade, hieroglyphic writing, idea of zero and
counting system based on 20, ability to predict
eclipses, 365-day calendar, production of
cotton cloth and paper; Aztec–construction of
huge empire, monumental architecture of
Tenochtitlán, use of drainage canals and
aqueducts
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The Incas
• About the same time the Aztecs moved
south into central Mexico, the Incas moved
out from Peru. 
• They established an empire that stretched
along the west coast of South America for
about 2,500 miles. 
• By the 1500s, there were 12 million
people in the Inca Empire.
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History
• The Incas started out as farmers and
shepherds. 
• In 1438, the Inca ruler Pachacuti
conquered several neighboring peoples
and founded the Inca Empire. 
• Pachacuti had a huge system of stonepaved roads built for military and
government use.
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Inca Way of Life
• A ruler, known as the Inca, determined the
way of life. 
• Land belonged to the ruler and not to the
people who worked it. 
• Special accountants used quipus, or
counting devices, to keep track of people
and goods. 
• The wealth of the Inca Empire was
evident in the Inca’s extravagant
surroundings.
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Inca Way of Life (cont.)
• His palace, the size of a town, had
hundreds of rooms and thousands of
servants. 
• A desire for this wealth was part of the
reason the Spaniards destroyed the Inca
Empire in the early 1500s.
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Section Assessment
How big was the Inca Empire at
its peak?
The Inca Empire had 12 million
people.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
How did Pachacuti hold the Inca
Empire together?
He ordered conquered peoples to
worship the Inca sun god, made
Quechua the official language, and
moved people who had been living
under Inca rule into newly conquered
lands.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
Demonstrating Reasoned Judgment
Suppose the Inca had the choice of
keeping Pachacuti as their leader or
electing a new one. Which choice do
you think they would have taken?
Explain.
Some people might have preferred to
replace him with a less strict, less
dictatorial leader. Others may have
wanted to keep him as a leader since
he provided well for them.
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Section Assessment (cont.)
Draw a diagram like the one on page
142 of your textbook, and use it to
show the changes that Pachacuti
brought to the Incan way of life.
before–made up of farmers and
shepherds living in scattered villages
after–a large unified empire
connected by roads and customs
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Chapter Summary & Study Guide
• The Kushites and Egyptians influenced
each other through conquest and trade. 
• The Aksumites destroyed Kush and later
converted to Christianity. 
• The kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai
built West African empires based on a trade
in salt and gold. 
• A population explosion led the Shona to
build Zimbabwe in East Africa.
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Chapter Summary & Study Guide (cont.)
• Kilwa and other coastal cities handled
trade between Africa and Arabia, Persia,
India, and China. 
• The Olmec and the Maya invented many
new ideas, including forms of writing and
a calendar. 
• The Aztec and the Inca built complex
civilizations that lasted until the time of
European arrival in the Americas.
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Understanding the Main Idea
How did Ghana gain control of
West African trade routes?
by the use of iron swords and lances
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Understanding the Main Idea
What was the effect of Mansa
Musa’s pilgrimage?
News of Mansa Musa and Mali
spread as far as Europe. Mansa
Musa also met a Spanish architect
while in Arabia and convinced him to
help build a university in Timbuktu.
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the answer.
Understanding the Main Idea
What was the main difference
between the Mesoamerican
civilizations that developed before
and after 900 A.D.?
The earlier civilizations were
peaceful, had rulers interested in
learning, religion and trade; later
civilizations were warlike, with
religions marked by human sacrifice.
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the answer.
Understanding the Main Idea
What did the Olmec contribute to
other civilizations?
planned cities, hieroglyphic writing, a
calendar
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the answer.
Understanding the Main Idea
How did the Aztec treat the people
they conquered?
The Aztecs made them pay tribute
and sacrificed some of them to the
sun god.
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Understanding the Main Idea
Who directed and controlled the
Incan way of life?
the ruler
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Critical Thinking
How do you think the development
of African civilization might have
been different if the Kushites did
not develop iron-smelting?
Answers will vary.
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Critical Thinking
Why was trade important to the
growth of African civilization?
Without trade, African civilizations
would not have interacted.
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Critical Thinking
Which Mesoamerican civilization
would you choose to live in? Why?
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Critical Thinking
What contributions did early
American civilizations make to
present-day life in the United
States?
Answers will vary.
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Geography in History
Location Compare the maps of early
empires found on page 135 and 141
of your textbook. What similarities
in location of these civilizations can
you find? What differences in
location are there between the two
areas?
Similarities: both are contiguous, close
to the Equator, and coastal; Differences:
Mesoamerican empires stretched north
and bordered the Pacific Ocean; African
kingdoms stretched east and bordered
the Atlantic and Indian oceans.
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the answer.
You dig up pottery from a past
civilization and know that it was
made by the Olmec. What evidence
helped you reach your conclusion?
The pottery is adobe clay, was found
near the ruins of a city, contains
kernels of corn, etc.
85
Click the mouse button or press the Space Bar to display
the answer.
Explore online information about the
topics introduced in this chapter.
Click on the Connect button to launch your browser and go to the Human
Heritage: A World History Web site. At this site, you will find interactive
activities, current events information, and Web sites correlated with the
chapters and units in the textbook. When you finish exploring, exit the
browser program to return to this presentation. If you experience difficulty
connecting to the Web site, manually launch your Web browser and go to
http://www.humanheritage.glencoe.com
87
500 B.C.
200 A.D.
Mayan
civilization
begins
Ghana
founded
750 B.C.
Kushites
conquer
Egypt
88
Click the mouse button or press the Space Bar to display
the information.
700 A.D.
1400 A.D.
Shona settle in
Zimbabwe
Aztec Empire
prospers
1240 A.D.
Kingdom of
Mali
established
89
Click the mouse button or press the Space Bar to display
the information.
Mansa Musa I
C.
1337 A.D.
West African Emperor
A grandson or grandnephew of the
warrior king Sundiata Keita, Mansa
Musa guided Mali to its height of
power. Under his rule, Mali grew to the
size of western Europe and, in terms of
gold, it outdid the wealth of Egypt.
Mansa Musa used his large army to
secure safe passage of travelers and
traders through his empire and to keep
order for nearly 25 years.
90
A Brave Queen
One warrior-queen of Meroë,
Amanirenas, challenged the Romans
who seized Egypt after the death of
Cleopatra. The Romans eventually
drove Amanirenas back into Meroë, but
she fought valiantly and her deeds are
recorded in Greek and Roman histories
of the time.
91
Busy Markets
Markets played an important part in the
economic and social life of the Aztec.
The market at Tlateloco was the largest
in the ancient Americas. About 60,000
people may have visited the market
each day.
92
Growing Grains
The Aztecs and Incas grew highprotein grains called amaranth and
quinoa. Today these grains, native to
the Americas, have become important
in parts of India, Pakistan, Nepal, and
China. Amaranth and quinoa, in the
form of flour and cereals, have become
common in U.S. health-food stores.
93
Reading Latitude
• To measure distances north and south,
mapmakers use imaginary lines on maps
and globes. 
• These are called lines of latitude and they
run east and west around Earth. 
• Lines of latitude are often called parallels
because they never meet and remain the
same distance from each other all the way
around Earth.
Continued on next slide.
94
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the information.
Reading Latitude
• Latitude is measured in degrees, as shown
by the symbol º. 
• The Equator, which is a line of latitude, is
marked 0º because all other lines of latitude
are measured from it. 
• One degree of latitude equals about 69
miles, or 110 kilometers. 
• There are 90 lines of latitude from the
Equator to each pole.
Continued on next slide.
95
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the information.
Reading Latitude
• Those lines north of the Equator are
marked with an N. 
• Those lines south of the equator are
marked with an S.
Continued on next slide.
96
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the information.
Reading Latitude
Study the map on page 135 of your textbook
showing Early Africa. Then answer the questions
that follow.
Continued on next slide.
97
Reading Latitude
Which civilization was located
closest to the Equator?
Mali
Continued on next slide.
98
Click the mouse button or press the Space Bar to display
the answer.
Reading Latitude
Which city, Timbuktu or Napata, was
located closest to the 20º N line of
latitude?
Napata
Continued on next slide.
99
Click the mouse button or press the Space Bar to display
the answer.
Reading Latitude
Which line of latitude runs through
the center of the great trading
civilization of Zimbabwe?
20º S
100
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the answer.
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