Chapter 8: African Civilizations

World History:
Patterns of Interaction
Deserts and rainforests in 1/3rd of Africa
support few people
Fertile coastal regions are located in the
North & South which leads to these regions
being densely populated by herders &
Most Africans live on savannas, which cover
2/5ths of Africa and also supports much
Early Africans developed a nomadic lifestyle
in search of food & water
Began to grow their own food, creating
permanent settlements – which turned into
communities with developing governments.
Although living in different environments,
many Africans share common elements such
as: an importance of family and the creation
of a belief system
Djenne’-Djeno, West Africa’s oldest known
city, is a thriving trade center because of it’s
The Nok culture developed iron technology
and an advanced society.
Main Idea Summarized:
Early African people developed diverse
societies as they adapted to their
Human migrations take place for a variety of
reasons (pg 221).
Migrations have influenced World History and
continue to affect the modern world.
Bantu speakers belong to many different
ethnic groups but share some cultural
Bantu-speaking farmers and herders from
southeastern Nigeria migrated southward and
settled throughout most of Africa south of
the Sahara
The intermingling of Bantu cultures with
other cultures created new cultures
Main Idea Summarized:
Throughout history, people have been driven
to uproot themselves and explore their world
as they look for:
 Food
 Shelter
 Better way of life
After Arab peoples mingle with Kushite
farmers and herders, the Kingdom of Aksum
Aksum expands by conquest and controls
maritime trade as far as the Indian Ocean
Aksum reaches it’s peak under the strong
ruler, Ezana.
People from around the world trade goods
and ideas in the port city of Adulis
Overtime Aksum adopts Christianity
Aksumite culture includes a unique
architecture, a written language, the coining
of money & new farming methods.
Islamic invaders move in and seize Aksum’s
territory on the Arabian coast
Further invasions on the coast cut Aksum off
from the sea and the once great kingdom is
driven inland
Aksum becomes geographically isolated and
then declines as a world trading power.
Main Idea Summarized:
The Kingdom of Aksum became an
international trading power, acquired
Christianity and adopted various elements of
many cultures until Islamic invasions cut the
kingdom off from the rest of the world
causing it to decline.