Trade opened Africa to the rest of the world.
Traded with Asia, Europe, Southwest Asia and the Arabian Peninsula.
Wealth and power came from trade and agriculture.
Trade routes also spread ideas. Christianity and Islam spread into Africa.
Christianity impacted North Africa, mostly Ethiopia during the first 6 centuries.
Islam spread through North Africa during the 8th and 9th centuries.
This brought ideas about medicine, science, mathematics and philosophy.
3 Great West African Empires
600 - 1600 CE
First great African empire
Traded iron to make tools & weapons, gold, salt to make food last longer, ivory and slaves.
Well trained army
1200 CE empire weakened by Berber Muslim invasions.
Conquered parts of Ghana, 1240 CE
Agriculture, cattle, gold, ivory & salt
Conqued the cities of Gao & Timbuktu
Doubled the size of empire.
Niani, capital city & commercial center
Became a Muslim
Allowed religious freedom
1324 - Musa went on a haj (religious pilgrimage)
He gained knowledge from other Muslims.
Timbuktu became a learning center for West Africa.
Diversity caused division and regions started to brake away.
2 Great East African Empires
Gold, textiles, silver, ivory & incenses
Destroyed by Ethiopia in 350 CE
300 - 350 CE
One of the oldest Christian countries in the world.
Traded on the Red Sea.
Conquered parts of Arabian Peninsula
3 Major Ethiopian Dynasties
African History for Kids
Mr. Donn's Africa
BBC Benin Bronze
PBS Kids Africa
Wonders of Africa
Hear a Udu Drum
National Museum of African Art
Why Wear a Mask
PBS African Masks
Magical Faces of Africa