African Civilizations, 1500 BC700 AD African cultures adapt to harsh environments, spread through major migrations, and establish powerful kingdoms. Diverse Societies in Africa African peoples develop diverse societies as they adapt to varied environments Africa Today Population: 900 million (14% of world’s total) Percent of population under age 25: 71% Most populated nation: Nigeria Number of spoken languages: 2,000 Number of Muslims: 358 million Number of Christians: 410 million Percent of population dependent on agriculture for a living: 66% Average income: 50% live on less than $1 a day Average life expectancy: 46 in Sub-Saharan Africa; 67 in North Africa Most common cause of death: Aids Literacy rates (15 years and older): 60% A Land of Geographic Contrasts Geography of Africa 1. 2nd Largest continent 2. 1/5th of Earth’s land surface 3. 4,600 miles from east to west and 5,000 miles from north to south 4. 1/3rd of Africa is desert 5. Few harbors or ports or inlets 6. Mostly a plateau Geography cont Tallest mountain: Kilimanjaro Largest lake: Victoria Mountains to the northwest: Atlas Rivers: Congo, Niger, Nile, Zambezi Borders: Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea Waterfalls and Rapids Because Africa is mostly a plateau, there are many waterfalls on the escarpments. What is the effect on Africans? Navigation is impossible to and from the coast; isolated groups inland Deserts Sahara to the north; size of United States Sahel Definition: The African region along the southern border of the Sahara (in the Savanna) The area is quickly becoming part of the desert (desertification) What problems might the expansion of the Sahara cause? Push people off the land, crowd people into smaller livable areas, limit food production Climate Deserts cont Kalahari to the south What is the effect of the deserts on Africans? Too hostile for people to live Hampered movement Rainforests Found near central part of continent; Covers about 5% of Africa Mahogany and Teak trees Mediterranean coastal areas Located along NW coastal area of Africa and the southern tip of the continent Effect on Africans: Mild climate/fertile land/supported large population Tsetse fly Found in rain forest Effect on Africans: Caused sleeping sickness Prevented use of draft animals in farming near rainforests; prevented invaders from colonizing fly infected areas Other Diseases Malaria caused by the mosquito Ebola: Found only in Africa; Kills people within a week of contracting the virus; no cure; internal and external bleeding, vomiting, diarrhea; can be spread through touching blood or secretions of an infected person First emerged in 1976 and 17 outbreaks since then “Because of its lethality, the virus has been considered a potential bio-weapon threat.” In 2005 Ebola virus traced to fruit bats Savannas Grassy plains; Most of the people of Africa today live in the savanna areas Effect on Africans: Supported abundant farming and herders; led to permanent settlements; healthier lives and increased birthrates Savannas cont. Welcoming Lands Northern coast and southern tip of Africa have Mediterranean climates Savannas, or grasslands, cover almost half of Africa Early Humans Adapt to Their Environments Nomadic Lifestyle Earliest people are nomadic hunter-gatherers; then domesticated animals Herders drive animals to find water, graze pastures Agriculture develops by 6000 BC People settle down in permanent settlements; more food from farming; people live longer; increased birthrate; specialization of workers; governments develop As the Sahara dried up, farmers move to West Africa or Nile Valley Early Societies in Africa Three similarities: 1. Societies organized by family groups Extended families Clans-families with common ancestors 2. Local Religions Animism-belief in spirits 3. Keeping a History History, literature, culture passed on by storytellers, called griots (Few African societies have written languages West and South Africa San of the Kalahari Desert: Hunter-gatherers Use resources of natural environment People of Djenne-Djeno Oldest known city south of the Sahara 250 BC-1400 AD (abandoned) 50,000 people on tributary of Niger River Fishermen, grew rice, herded cattle Reed huts at first; then mud bricks Prosperous through trade on Niger and camel routes What are some possible reasons that Djenne-Djeno was abandoned? Drought Famine War Nok 500 BC-200 AD West Africa earliest known culture Made iron tools and weapons (First in West Africa to smelt iron) Present day Nigeria More than 150 Nok figurines have been excavated Clay heads; many are 4’ tall; human figures are abstract; hairstyles still common in Nigeria Nok Cont.