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Africa Geography

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Ancient Africa Geography

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Africa Geography

  1. 1. The continent of Africa is so large that it includes many varied kinds of terrain, from barren deserts to thick rain forest. Each region has a different climate and provides different resources for the people who live there. In West Africa, rivers provide water to grow crops in drier areas. The land is also a rich source of minerals. These two resources played a large role in the development of West African cultures!
  2. 2. Africa is the second largest continent!
  3. 3. Mediterranean Climate Area  Mediterranean Climate This is a wet-winter, dry- summer climate.
  4. 4. Sahel – the ‘shores of the desert’  The ‘shore of the desert’.  The Sahel runs from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east, in a belt that varies from several hundred to a thousand kilometers (620 miles) in width. It is a area of semi-arid (dry) grasslands, savannas, steppes, and thorn shrub lands lying between the wooded Sudanian savanna to the south and the Sahara to the north.
  5. 5. Deserts There are two deserts in Africa, the Sahara Desert and Kalahari Desert. The Sahara desert is largest desert in the world!
  6. 6. Savannas South of the Sahara are the savannas, or grassy plains. This area is generally fertile. The drier regions are used to herd cattle.
  7. 7. Rain Forests The tropical rain forest biomes only cover a very small area of the African continent. Rain, many plants. The thick vegetation makes farming nearly impossible!
  8. 8. Rivers in Africa  Niger River Major interior river. Artery of trade that flows through forest, savanna, and Sahel, nearly reaching the Sahara.  Nile – the longest river in the world! Flows from the south to the north- remember?
  9. 9. Streamline  Segment Three: Geography of Africa A Segment of: Exploring the World's Geography
  10. 10. M&M Activity!
  11. 11. Map Activity  Use p. 371 and Power Point to label the 6 climate zones of Africa from north to south: Mediterranean Region / blue, Sahel (northern shore of the Sahara Desert) / yellow, Sahara Desert / brown, Sahel (southern shore of the Sahara Desert) / yellow, Savanna (grasslands) / orange, Forest(tropical rainforest) / green  Create a Map Key for the climate zones (colors)  Use p.371 and 377 to label the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Niger River, and the Nile River.
  12. 12. Ecological Zones: Natural Resources  These locations (ecological zones) gave the kingdoms of Africa access to large supplies of highly desirable resources or commodities. Mediterranean Desert Savanna Forest Cloth Spices Weapons Salt (health / preservative) Gold (currency) Grain Rice Cattle(food) Donkeys (transp) Cotton (cloth) Gold Kola nuts (used by Muslims / mild stimulant)
  13. 13. Ecological Zones: Natural Resources & Transportation  The fact that demand for the most valuable of these resources – most importantly gold from the savanna and forest zones and salt from the desert – was diffused across zones (and beyond) led to long-distance trade to meet that demand.  Trade had to be carried out using transport appropriate to different environments.
  14. 14. Transportation Modes Mediterranean Transportation appropriate for climate zone: Desert Savanna Forest Don’t worry about it. It’s not a standard. Camel Donkey Cattle River Human The tsetse fly in the forest inhibited travel by animal. It was deadly for domestic animals.
  15. 15. Ecological Zones: Natural Resources & Transportation  Not surprisingly, it was often at the lines of transition from one ecological zone to another, where modes of transport needed to be switched, that some of the earliest markets, and then towns and cites grew up.  These market towns and cities – and others that followed – became sites where merchants from different cultures and environments met and exchanged not only goods but ideas, connecting early West Africa with the wider world in the process.  Some of these towns and cities also became places where rulers set up their courts and governments.
  16. 16. 3 Kingdoms of Western Africa  Controlling such centers of commerce (business) and taxing the region’s lucrative (money-spinning) trade that occurred there was crucial to the existence and maintenance of each of the three early West African kingdoms and their rulers. *Controlling trade and charging taxes maintained the kingdoms.  These kingdoms were supported by a typically abundant grain-based agriculture produced by the majority of the kingdom’s population who were peasant farmers.
  17. 17. 3 Kingdoms of Western Africa
  18. 18. Ghana Mali Songhai -1050s AD -Gold -major city: Kumbi Saleh Because of trade and taxing… this led to: Large government -Large army -Rich culture -1300s AD -Gold -Cotton -major city: Timbuktu and Gao -1400s AD -Gold -major city: Timbuktu and Gao -attacked by Moroccans, they had guns, this technology was successful and Songhai empire was defeated
  19. 19. Trans-Saharan Trade Routes
  20. 20. Streamline Sub-Saharan Survey  A Segment of: Empires of Early Africa
  21. 21. Islam and Africa  Trans-Saharan trade was linked closely to Islam.  Goods were carried north and south across the desert by Muslim desert dwellers called Berbers.  All 3 West African Kingdoms adopted Islam.
  22. 22. Why Did They Choose Islam?  The theology of Islam was easy and simple to understand.  Encouraged literacy (religion of the book)  Associated with long distance trade  Associated with wealth and power  You belonged to a ‘larger community’ of believers outside of the village or clan…
  23. 23. Streamline Islam Comes to Timbuktu  A Segment of: Empires of Early Africa
  24. 24. Effect of Islam on…  Government: Kings were Muslim  Education: Muslim scholars were brought into the kingdoms to teach: many schools, libraries, and universities were built Science, medicine, and math were advanced  Architecture: Many Muslim Mosques were built (place of worship)
  25. 25. Not only was Timbuktu a major trading center, it also became a leading center of Islamic scholarship and intellectual life.
  26. 26. Africa & Islam Cubo  Ecological zone  Niger  Ghana, Mali, Songhai  Trans-Saharan Trade Route  Gold / salt  Berber  Islam  Mosque  Arabian Peninsula  Mohammed  5 Pillars  Hajj  Ramadan  Alms  Koran  Long distance trade & high taxes

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