Fossilevidence shows that the earliest humans originate in Africa and spread across the globe.
Mary Leakey’s team discovers prehistoric footprints in the Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania in 1978. These footprints belong to hominids— creatures that walk upright walking upright on two legs is also known as bipedal.
Donald Johanson team finds female hominid in Ethiopia in 1974 Nicknames 3.5 million- year-old skeleton ―Lucy‖ In 1994, another skeleton was found. It was nicknamed Ardi and pushes the earliest known hominid back to 4.4 million years ago!
Lucy and Ardi are the earliest known hominids (creatures that walk upright) and belong to the species australopithecines. Walking upright helps them travel farther distances more easily. They also develop an opposable thumb.
Aksum- powerful trading civilization from circa 100- 1100’s A.D. Crossroads of major trading routes & civilization Controlledthe Nile’s trade routes as well the route from the Red Sea to North Africa This made them rich! Gold, ivory, animal skins, perfumes, slaves were traded with Mediterranean and Southwest Asia
In the 700’s, Muslims from the Middle East started to conquer and occupy North Africa. Gradually, Islam became the dominant religion and Arabic was the main language spoken. The Muslims built large mosques and universities in Eastern and Northern Africa.
Some cultures, such as the Masai, (farmers, herders and hunters), kept traditional African ways of life. The Masai live on the grasslands of the savannahs and practice a simple way of life and continue to do so today. The Masai people also practice traditional African or animistic religions.
While many African’s converted to Islam and others remained traditional, some mixed the influences. One of these mixed cultures is Swahili. Swahili developed as a need for communication arose between Africans and people from the Middle East. ―Swahili‖ ―of the coast‖ Swahili language is a mix of traditional African and Arabic.
Eventually, the kingdom of Aksum fell and gave way to the Kingdom of Ethiopia. Many people Ethiopia did not convert to Islam, instead they kept Christianity as their main religion. This isolates Ethiopia from their neighbors in North Africa, but creates a unique culture.
King Lalibela of Ethiopia had a vision Jerusalem (which was under Muslim control at the time) in a dream. He then ordered the building of many churches to help build a ―New Jerusalem‖. Many of the churches are carved right out of stone in the sides of cliffs. No one really knows how it was done as records have been lost. He simply is quoted as saying that he ―carved these churches out of stone with only the help of angels.‖
More currently, Ethiopia was one of the only countries in Africa to successfully resist and remain independent from European rule. Ethiopia remained free by buying modern weapons from King Melenik II France & Russia and defeating the Italians to remain independent. Because of this, Ethiopia has been able to hold on to it’s own unique individuality.
1970s – most of East Africa had regained its independence from Europe Internal disputes and civil wars Ex: colonialism inflamed the peoples of Rwanda and helped to cause a bloody conflict in the 1990s. Causes: European colonial powers had not prepared East African nations for independence Ethnic boundaries created by the Europeans forced cultural divisions that had not existed before colonialism. Cultural divisions = internal conflicts among native groups.
Some of the first civilizations in Africa arise along the 4,100-mile Nile River on narrow strip of fertile land in Egypt.
Yearly flooding brings water and fertile black mud—silt Farmers build irrigation system for wheat and barley crops Egyptians worship Nile as a god The blue figure is the Nile god Hapi
To the Egyptians, kings are gods; Egyptian god-kings called pharaohs Pharaohs control religion, government, army, well-being of kingdom Government based on religious authority -theocracy
Narmer – Unites Egypt Amenhotep – Changes Egypt from polytheism to monotheism Nefertiti – Beautiful wife of Amenhotep
Tutankhamen – Son of Amenhotep. Famous because his tomb was found completely intact Khufu – Built the Great Pyramid at Giza Ramses II – Built many elaborate temples. Sent Moses and the Hebrews into exodus.
Kings believed to rule even after death; have eternal life force, ka Build elaborate tombs, pyramids, to meet needs after death Pyramids made with blocks of stone, 2−15 tons each; 481 ft. high Kingdom had leadership, government; economically strong
The pyramid is estimated to Every angle in the base is have about 2,300,000 stone exactly 90 degrees, blocks weighing from 2-30 forming a perfect square. tons each with some Even though it is located weighing as much as 70 tons. in Egypt, where The mortar used is of an temperatures can get well unknown origin. It has been over 100 degrees analyzed and its chemical Fahrenheit, the composition is known but it temperature inside The cant be reproduced. It is Great Pyramid remains stronger than the stone and constant at 68 degrees F. still holding up today This is the same as Earth’s average temperature.
The pyramid was once covered with a smooth mantel stone that would reflect the sun up Egyptians wrote to 100 miles away. about and kept Even though the builders of the records of great pyramid did not have EVERYTHING! accurate measuring devices, great pyramid is However, there is no within 1 centimeter of being written record of perfectly level. them ever building The Great Pyramid is located the pyramids. Why? at exactly 31 degrees north and 31 degrees east.
Egyptians believe in 2,000 gods and goddesses— polytheistic Believe in life after death; person judged by deeds at death Develop mummification, process that prevents body from decaying Book of the Dead contains prayers and spells, guides soul after death
Osiris – God of the Afterlife Isis – Goddess of Protection Horus – Son of Osiris and Isis, God of the Sky
Religion played a pivotal role in all aspects of Egyptian life, including death. Death was an important phase in a person’s life. Ancient Egyptians believed death was just a transitional phase that preceded a better life in the next world. They believed that a person could only reach their full potential in the afterlife. The belief in rebirth after death became a driving force in their funeral practices.
There were several steps in mummification and it was a complicated process. The following are the steps in embalming (preserving) the body:1.The brain needed to be removed. Egyptians had no idea what the brain was for so therefore they went ahead and removed it. The typically stuck a hooked tool up through the nose, scrambled the brain and then pulled it out.
2.Next to be removed were the internal organs: the liver, the lungs, the stomach, and the intestines. A small slit was made on the left side of the abdomen, then the embalmers reached in and pulled out the organs. Each of the organs was individually mummified, then stored in little coffins called canopic jars. There were four canopic jars, one for each of
3.The body was placed on a slab and covered with salt. The slab was tilted so that the water would run off into a basin. This removed moisture and prevented rotting. The body was taken outside and let dry for about forty days. After the body was completely dried out, the wrapping of the body began.
4.Wrapping the body was a painstaking process. Hundreds of yards of linen were used to wrap the body, and each toe and finger was wrapped separately. A final shroud was placed on the mummy to keep all the wrappings together. Mummia was added to the shroud to "glue" it all together. (Thats where the word "mummy" comes from.)
5.Finally, the body was placed in an ornate, painted and decorative coffin before the final funeral procession and burial.
Inhieroglyphics writing system, pictures represent words or ideas Paperlike sheets made from papyrus reeds used for writing
Up till the early 1800’s, no one could read Egyptian hieroglyphics until the Rosetta Stone was found in the town of Rosetta, Egypt. It had texts from 3 different languages; hieroglyphics, demotic and Greek. Using the Greek text, we could now understand Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Egyptians invent calendar of 365 days and 12 months Develop system of written numbers and a form of geometry Skilled engineers and architects construct palaces, pyramids Egyptian medicine famous in the ancient world
Egyptian pharaohs, would lose control of Egypt around 2200 BC. Some pharaohs gain power back but the struggle would continue. A new age would be ushered in when the Greeks take control.
To the south of Egypt, another civilization was growing, the Kingdom of Nubia. The Nubians were in close contact with the Egyptians. They accepted many ideas and traditions from Egypt. They even began to build pyramids, to worship Egyptian gods, to wear Egyptian clothing, and to use a form of writing that was similar to the writing used in Egypt.
Eventually, Muslim traders made their way into North Africa from the Middle East. Muslim traders introduce camels to traverse across the Sahara. Much of Northern Africa converts to Islam.
Today, Islam is the major cultural and religious influence in North Africa. Life is generally centered around the males. Few women work after marriage Generally eat & pray separately
Black Gold- Most North African countries economies are based on oil first, then farming & mining second.
In southeast Africa a the gold and ivory trade helped people in southeast Africa grow wealthy and establish a big city around 1000 C.E. known as Greater Zimbabwe. Greater Zimbabwe became a powerful economic, political and religious center during it’s time.
East Africans had an extensive trade network. They traded with Europe, the Middle East, India and even as far as China! Chinese porcelain has been found in places like Greater Zimbabwe.
In the early 1800’s, the British start to settle in South Africa. This brings them into conflict with the Zulus, a large tribe of people in South Africa. The Zulus and the British fight several wars until the British finally defeat them in 1887.
After the defeat of the Zulus, both the British and Dutch (Boers) settle in South Africa. Eventually, they will fight over territory and slaves in South Africa. Once again, the British win and establish the Union of South Africa. (1910)
Being the dominant culture in South Africa, the British supported a social divide amongst the people in South Africa. Beginning in 1948, there was a separation of the races that lasted until the early 1990’s.
In the west, there was a much more modest people known as Bantus. The Bantus were West African farmers and herders who migrated about 2000 years ago! This is a key event in African history. Look at the Bantu migrations on the map Where did they go? They spoke Bantu language. They spread their knowledge about farming, ironworking, domesticating animals. Bantu influence is still around, in fact, hundreds of languages in Africa are based on Bantu.
Salt was very rare in most of Africa, but was highly valued Need salt to retain water, preserve food The Sahara in Northern Africa had lots of salt Western Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal) had almost no salt, but lots of gold. In fact, up until the 1300’s, 60% of the world’s gold came from Ghana! Many times, they would trade a pound of gold for a pound of salt!
Western African’s would trade with Muslims from North Africa in great trading centers such as Timbuktu. Muslims introduced written language, coins, business methods, technology, etc. to Timbuktu was built where trade routes the west. intersected and was once a very Some people (not prosperous trading center. all) adopted Islam.
In the 1700’s, Slave Trade became a large enterprise European rulers wanted slaves for their plantation farms Millions were shipped off Many died en-route
Before the Europeans entered the scene, most slaves in Africa were war captives. Europeans bought slaves in return for guns, gold, and other European goods. Many African rulers saw this as an opportunity to make money and joined in the slave trade. They moved inland to capture people and brought them to the coast to sell to European traders. The slave trade depopulated areas, deprived many African communities of their youngest and strongest men and women, and increased local warfare as different traders and rulers competed with each other and raided neighbors for slaves.
Because of European colonialism, slave trade, etc. many West African countries went from being the centers of culture, art, music and vibrant trade to a country that was torn apart by war and slave trade. Today, the people suffer from corrupt governments, little infrastructure, poor education, war, famine and disease.
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