||AFRICA: GEOGRAPHY AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF AFRICAN CULTURE AND SOCIETIES
||Focus Question: How
did the physical and geological features of Africa affect the development
of African societies?
||In what sense have Africans societies, outside of the Nile valley and
the Ethiopian highlands, down to the recent times been civilized?
Why don’t we know more about African societies? What are our most
important sources of information for most past African societies?
What geographical feature dominates Africa? Which is the only
African river with a relatively long navigable reach below its cataracts
(waterfalls)? How much of Africa is tropical rain forest? What
natural resources have Africans enjoyed and what have they traditionally
||Focus Question: What were the
characteristics of early African societies?
||Where and when did
homo sapiens (sapiens)
evolve? How accurate
is the view that Africa below the Sahara was isolated until discovered
by the Europeans? How many languages are found in Africa?
What affected the development of the complex language map of present-day
Africa? What is the most widely dispersed “tongues” in Africa?
Where are the Khoisan speakers found today? Why cannot racial
theories be used to explain the developments of languages, agriculture
and state-building in Africa?
||Focus Question: What
was the nature of the early Saharan cultures?
||What feature has separated the North African and Egyptian worlds from
the wide expanse of the Sudan and , farther south, West and central Africa?
How did the climate of the Sahara change after 2500 B.C.? What types
of people lived in this area prior to 2500 B.C.? To what extent was
North Africa "cut off" from the sub-Saharan Africa after 1000 B.C.E.?
What impact did the desiccation of the Sahara have on later settled communities?
Where did the Nok people live and for what are they famous?
||Focus Question: What was
the nature of Nilotic Africa and Ethiopia? What factors influenced
||Where was the Kingdom of Kush located? Which foreign civilization
had the greatest cultural influence upon Kush, in what way? The Napatan
empire flourished during which Egyptian kingdom? How did the
Napatan rulers think of themselves? Which “Egyptian” dynasty was
actually Kushite? How and by whom were the Kushites forced out of
Egypt? What factor increasingly isolated the Kushites from Egypt
and the Mediterranean world? What was the primary economic role of
Meroitic Kush from the third century B.C. to the first century A.D.?
The Aksums were a mixture of what two peoples? What language type
was spoken in Aksum? What was the basis of wealth for the Aksumite
empire? What development eventually eclipsed Aksumite power?
Why did the Aksumites initially enjoy relatively cordial relations with
the Muslims? After about 1300 which state was the only predominately Christian
state in Africa, what had happened to the others?
||Focus Question: What type
of societies developed in Central, Southern and East Africa?
||For what prehistoric, artistic work are the Khoisan ancestors most
famous? Where are the Khoisan-speakers mainly found today?
Approximately how many languages are in the Bantu group? From where
did the Bantu peoples begin their migrations? How were the proto-Bantu
peoples adaptative? What explanations can be given as to how the
Bantu managed to impose their languages on earlier cultures? When
is there evidence of long distance trade along the coast of East Africa?
Which peoples tended to dominate this trade? What political unit
generally existed along the Eastern coast? What goods were
imported and exported prior to the tenth century? Which goods were
most important? The diversity of the highlands of East Africa reflects