File - Ms. Myer`s AP World History

Early African Societies and the
Bantu Migrations
Chapter 3
Early Agricultural Society in Africa
• c. 10,000 BCE: N. Africa was grassy steppe, with
lakes and rivers
– Domesticated cattle, farming, permanent settlements,
small scale states (Sudanic culture)
• c. 5,000 BCE: became hotter and drier (Sahara
– People moved south, east
Egypt and Nubia: “Gifts of the Nile”
Nile River Valley – fertile floodplain
High productivity -> big pop. -> irrigation
Needed organization -> small kingdoms
3100 BCE: unified by Menes = centralized state
with pharaoh (early = gods, later = sons of Amon)
Old Kingdom and Nubia
• Pharaohs built pyramids for burial
• Close connections with Nubia (trade, wars)
– Est’d Kingdom of Kush (less powerful, but wealthy)
• Egypt declined as areas ignored pharaoh
Middle Kingdoms
• Pharaohs stabilized Egypt
• Hyksos invaded (horse-riding nomads with bronze
weapons and chariots)
• Egyptians copied their technology and pushed
them out => New Kingdom
New Kingdom
• Army, bureaucracy, population supported surplus
– built temples, palaces
• Tuthmosis III expanded into E. Med., Nubia, N. Afr.
• Decline -> loss of new land and invasions by
Kushite and Assyrian armies
Formation of Complex Societies and
Sophisticated Cultural Traditions
• Not many big cities
• Wealth -> social distinctions and hierarchies
– Pharaoh, prof. mil. forces and bureaucracy,
commoners, slaves
• Patriarchal (but women could be
regents, priestesses, and scribes)
Economic Specialization and Trade
• Metallurgy: bronze (from Hyksos), iron (indep.)
• Transportation: sailing ships, wheeled carts
• Trade Networks: Long-distance – for natural
resources and Regional – for ivory, ebony, etc.
Early Writing in the Nile Valley
• By 3200 BCE, pictographs (from Mesopot??)
• Added symbols -> hieroglyphics, plus simpler
version (Hieratic)
• buildings and papyrus
• Nubia: used hieroglyphics, later developed own
The Development of Organized
Religious Tradition
• Amon-Re, but polytheistic
• Akhenaten tried to make religion monotheistic
• Life after death -> mummification, grave goods,
retainers (cult of Osiris)
Bantu Migrations
• West Africa: Sudanic agriculture
– Clan-based villages with chiefs
– Interacted with hunter/gatherers
• Migrations began c. 3000 BCE: south and east,
prob. due to pop. pressure
• Absorbed peoples, some settled, language
• Increased c. 1000 BCE with iron tools and weapons
Early Agricultural Societies of SubSaharan Africa
• Distinctive societies and cultural traditions
• Chiefs, age grades, gender roles
• Monotheistic – impersonal divine force, source of
good and evil, plus ancestor and territorial spirits

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