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Chapter 3

Early African Societies and the Bantu Migrations

QuestionAnswer
What is mummification? The process of preserving corpses done by Egyptian's three thousand years ago.
Why did people mummify bodies? How were the bodies treated? Wealthy Egyptians mummified as a funerary ritual. Families of the deceased brought nourishment for the body and sometimes decorated the tomb.
What did the process of mummification represent of the society? Agriculture; food offerings were often the local crops, tomb paintings were of cultivation, and abundant harvests allowed for wealth to accumulate and support elaborate rituals. Religion was also practiced with agriculture as the frame of refernce.
Explain the path of agriculture in Africa. With roots in Sudan, African agriculture moved to the Nile River Valley and sub-Saharan Africa. It flourished in Egypt and Nubia.
How did societies of the past and around them influence Nubia and Egypt? Like Mesopotamia, Egypt and Nubia used their agricultural abundance to organize states, job specialization, and develop culture. They traded with Mesopotamians, Phoenicians, and other Africans. Occasionally, they attempted imperialism.
What was the significance of Egypt and Nubia in their early development? Egypt: Productive agricultural economy (advantageous geography). Traded with east Mediterraneans and southwest Asians. Nubia: Bridge for domestication of crops and animals to Egypt. While not as powerful as Egypt, it was a sophisticated society.
What enabled agriculture in the Sudan region? After the last ice age, the climate in Africa changed for the better. In the Sudan region, grasses and cattle were abundant. People could either hunt wild cattle, collect wild grains, or fish.
How was the transition into agriculture for the Sudanic people? After a period of nomadism, the Sudanic made permanent settlements where they cultivated sorghum, and later yams. Sudanic agriculture became increasingly diverse over a few centuries with the introduction of sheeps, goats, gourds, watermelon, and cotton.
How did religion play a role in Sudanic governments? Around 500 B.C.E, monarchs were viewed as divine or semidivine beings.
Where did the African people go after a period of climate change? After 5000 B.C.E, Africa experienced a detrimental climate change. Many herders gathered around bodies of water, others moved to what is now northern Uganda, while many lived around the Nile River.
Why was the Nile River good for agriculture? Because it frequently flooded, leaving a fertile, rich residue that allowed for productive agriculture.
Describe the agriculture of Egyptians and Nubians around 5000 B.C.E. Egypt: Cultivators wen to into the floodplains during the summer, sowed seeds without soil prep., allowed crops to mature in the fall, and harvested in winter and spring. Nubia: Relied on prepared fields and irrigation from the Nile.
How did the organization of Egypt and Nubia differ from that of Mesopotamia? While both used political organization for public affairs, Egypt and Nubia never faced external pressures that threatened Mesopotamia, mainly because the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and dangerous deserts discouraged foreign invasion.
What was the organization of Egyptian and Nubian states? The earliest states were small kingdoms, appearing first in southern Egypt and Nubia after 4000 B.C.E. Later, small local kingdoms organized public life throughout Egypt and Nubia.
Who was Menes? A conqueror who gained power and extended his authority north and into the delta/Lower Egypt. He supposedly founded Memphis, near today's Cairo. He and his successors built a centralized state ruled by the pharaoh.
What is a pharaoh? A pharaoh was an Egyptian king, many of which claimed to be divine gods on earth with absolute dominion. They were associated with Horus, the sky god, and later Amon, the sun god.
What characterized the Old Kingdom (2660-2160 B.C.E)? Massive pyramids constructed as royal tombs, standing today at Giza, near Cairo. They symbolized the pharaoh's power to dictate resource usage.
How was the relationship between Egypt and Nubia? Nubia and Egypt were closely intertwined, Egypt showing political and commercial interest in Nubia. Nubia, while equally interested, wanted to protect their independence from their neighbor, and sought after profit by controlling trade in the Nile.
How was the kingdom of Kush created? With conflicts between Egypt and Nubia, pharaohs established military campaigns to Nubia, destroying the kingdom Ta-Seti, leading to Egypt's domination of Lower Nubia, forcing Nubians to focus politics in Upper Nubia. They established the kingdom of Kush.
Who was Harkhuf? An Egyptian explorer who traveled to Nubia four times, returning with cargo that stimulated Egyptian desire to trade with their southern land.
Who were the Hyksos? When the Egyptians encountered people known as the Hyksos, Semitic horse-riding nomads, it was clear they had technological and military advantages over the Egyptians, who, in response, organized revolts that pushed the Hyksos out of the Nile Delta.
What was the New Kingdom like? Society in the New Kingdom was productive and successful; agriculture supported 4 million people, an army, and government. The bureaucracy divided jobs among offices. They didn't erect big pyramids, but temples, palaces, and statues to show authority.
What made up Egyptian imperialism? To prevent invasions after expelling the Hyksos, Egyptians sought control of suspicious regions. Pharoah Tuthmosis III personally led campaigns and dominated parts of the east Mediterranean and north Africa. New Kingdom rulers later conquered Nubia.
How was the new kingdom of Kush created? What was its new capital? In 1100 B.C.E, Egypt vacated Nubia. After, Nubian leaders created the new kingdom of Kush with a new capital; Napata. Rulers of this kingdom were then powerful enough to invade an internally disputing Egypt.
What was the Kushite dynasty? After being conquered by King Kashta, Egypt was ruled under a Kushite dynasty. Kashta's successors consolidated Kushite authority in Upper Egypt, claimed pharaoh-hood, and extended their rule to the Nile delta and on.
What happened in the Assyrian invasion of Egypt? The Assyrians, equipped with iron weaponry, invaded Egypt, driving out the Kushites, and subjecting the Egyptians to Assyrian rule.
What cultural events were happening in Egypt? Specialization of labor, clearly defined social class divisions, emergence of patriarchal societies, and usage of writing systems to create literature expressing religious reflection and preserving commercial/government information.
Describe the cities of the Nile Valley. Unlike Mesopotamia, cities were not prominent in the Nile River valley. However, some major cities, such as Memphis, emerged and guided Egyptian and Nubian affairs.
List and describe some Egyptian cities. Memphis: Capital located at the head of the Nile delta. Thebes: Political center; after unification, was administrative center of Upper Egypt. Heliopolis: Home of sun cult; had a temple to sun god, Re. Tanis: Port & bridge to the Mediterranean.
List and describe some Nubian cities. Kerma: Above Nile's 3rd cataract. Capital of Kush kingdom. Napata: Below Nile's 4th cataract; political center. Immense prosperity. Meroƫ: Presided over flourishing Kush kingdom and participated in Nile trade until gradual decline in 100 c.e.
How did the organization of ruling classes in Egypt and Nubia differ from that of Mesopotamia? Instead of a bunch of urban kings, Egypt had the pharaoh as the supreme ruler, who absolute power. There was no room for a noble class. Because Egypt relied on professional military forces and a complex government, being common born wasn't as detrimental.
What were the roles of men and women in Egypt and Nubia? Men: Leaders of house. Elite were scribes or officials, others were farmers, carpenters, craftsmen, or fishermen. Women: Could accumulate wealth, but women were still submissive. Elite oversaw domestic servant's work, others performed domestic work.
Who was Queen Hatsheput? A woman who took power as pharaoh. She reigned from 1473-1458 B.C.E. Her rise as pharaoh unsettled many Egyptians, so a statue was built of her with the traditional pharaoh beard.
What influence did women have in Egypt and Nubia? Egypt: Royal women often were regents for young rulers and influenced policy with their noble status. Nubia: Many women rulers in kingdom of Kush. Other women wielded considerable power as priestesses and scribes.
What led to the usage of bronze in Nile societies? While late to adopt bronze, Egypt began equipping their forces with it after expelling the Hyksos. Tuthmosis' army carried bronze weapons (like the Mesopotamian ones). The high cost of copper and tin kept bronze in the hands of the upper class and army.
What led up to iron metallurgy in Africa? Nubia, unable to produce or obtain much bronze, made up for it in 1000 B.C.E, when large-scale production of iron emerged. Iron ores were abundant in sub-Saharan Africa; it is possible, however, that iron metallurgy existed before 1000 B.C.E.
What method did the Nile craftsmen use for transportation? In Egypt, sailing from Upper to Lower; winds let boats to go upriver. They sailed beyond the Nile into the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and part of the Arabian Sea. In Nubia, sailing was hard. So, they used wheeled vehicles and donkey caravan.
Describe the significance of trade in Egypt and Nubia. Besides the Nile, Egypt had no resources; long-distance trade was important. Trade between Egpyt and Nubia was regular. They traded ivory, leopard skins, slaves, pottery, etc. Despite tension, trade linked Egypt & Nubia. They also traded with Mesopotamia.
Describe trade between Egypt and Punt. Egypt traded with a land across the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden; Punt. They traded ivory, gold, ebony, cattle, slaves, and aromatics. The specialization of labor and efficient transportation allowed for Egypt to trade with other lands.
What were hieroglyphics? In Egypt, the writing system, a dramatic pictographic, albeit complex and cumbersome, called hieroglyphics emerged from Mesopotamian influence. Egyptians later adapted the Greek alphabet to their language.
Why was education important to Egyptians? Education allowed for one to acquire higher jobs, namely as a scribe. Other jobs, such as fishermen and potters, had uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous jobs.
What happened to Nubia's writing system after Egypt influence diminished? Nubian scribes created a new, flexible writing form for their Meroitic language. Because this writing system is so much more different than others, no one has been able to decipher it.
Who were the important gods to the Egyptians and Nubians? Amon, originally a local Theban god associated with the sun, creation, fertility, and reproduction, and Re, a sun god worshiped in Heliopolis. They were often associated together in a cult called Amon-Re.
How did monotheism influence Pharaoh Amenhotep IV? Amenhotep/Akhenaten worshiped Aten, supposedly the only god. He built a new capital, Akhetaten, where open streets, courtyards, and temples allowed unobscured vision of the sun. When the pharaoh died, polytheistic priests restored the cult of Amon-Re.
According to mythology, who was Osiris? A myth whose brother dismembered him and scattered his parts throughout the land. Osiris' wife found them for a burial. The gods, touched by her devotion, turned Osiris into a god of the underworld. He is commonly associated with the Nile and immortality.
What were some Nubian religious beliefs? Apedemak: Lion-god, served as war deity for Kush. Sebiumeker: Creator god and guardian of human devotees. Religious cults were also common in Nubia. They did not mummify their dead, rather store them in pyramids (many honoring Amon, Osiris, etc).
Who were the Bantu people? In sub-Saharan Africa, Bantu speakers arose. The earliest ones lived along the banks of rivers. They cultivated yams and oil palms, and later millet and sorghum. They lived in clans headed by ritualistic chiefs. They traded with others regularly.
Describe the Bantu migrations. To the west African forest, Congo River basin, and Great Lakes. The Bantu language changed into more than 500 variations. The Bantu moved due to overpopulation. Migrants pressured forest dwellers, who, while in conflict, traded with and taught the Bantu.
What did the Bantu use iron for? As the pace of their migration quickened, the Bantu began using iron tools (allowed cultivators to clear land for agriculture) and weapons (fight against adversaries and competitors).
Who were other migrant groups alongside the Bantu? Southern Kushite herders (35000 BCE-1000 BCE), Sudanese cultivators, Mande-speaking people, and other people speaking Niger-Congo languages.
What was the most important effect of Bantu (and other groups) migration? Spread of agriculture. The Bantu and Niger-Congo speakers spread intensive cultivation (yams, millet, sorghum) through west and central Africa. By late centuries BCE, agriculture spread to sub-Saharan Africa. Agricultural societies were common.
What were the religious beliefs of African cultivators and herders? They varied; some monotheistic, others thought divine force could be individual spirits, others believed in Nyamba, a god who made the world and its principles, letting us to run ourselves. Communities frequently borrowed beliefs from other communities.
Created by: Saya-Bella