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1) Had great power because people believed he was a god, thought he was responsible for Egypt's prosperity

2) King of Egypt, highest power in government, means "great house"

3) Owned all the land in the country.  Word was law.  Acted as judges and leader of army



1) Nile's course includes mountaineous East Africa.   Nile flowed through cataracts. This inhibits invasion from other civilizations

2) Rocky stretches marked by swift currents and rapids

3) Egypt was protected by cataracts.  Boats couldn't sail through. People from South couldn't use Nile as invasion route.  Northern people didn't get attacked as much. 



1) Agriculture and technology spread, spoken languages were based on Proto-Bantu

2) Language developed in Cameroon and Nigeria

3) Bantu speakers migrated east and south, spread knowledge of farming, became dominant groups


Rosetta Stone

1) Historians couldn't decipher heiroglyphs.  1799 French soldiers discovered granite store near Rosetta

2) A piece of granite stone with 3 languages of same letter

3) Written in hieroglyphic, demotic and ancient Greek.  Used stone to decipher Egyptian writing.


Mansa Musa

1) Mali reached height under his reign.  Helped Mali become wealthy

2) Relative of Sundiata, came to power in 1307

3) Mali territory expanded and population may have reached 40 million



1) Pharaoh was thought to be God. Religion and government intertwined

2) A state ruled by religious figures. Religious leaders attain more political power or vice versa

3) Religion affected government, people were focusing more on faith/gods.



1) Took power in 1500BC when husband died; ruling for her young son.

2) Ruler of Egypt; female but often depicted as a man

3) Encouraged trading expedition to Red Sea.  Dressed like a man and wore fake beard. Considered herself son of Sun God.  



1) Egypt was left weak after a shift of power

2) Kushite ruler who led Kushite North to conquer Egypt

3) Kush ruled Egypt for a century.  Further increased Egyptian culture to Kush.



1) One of the first languages, needed way to write things down

2) Written and spoken language of Aksum

3) Language inscribed on stelae. Still used in Ethiopian ceremonies



1) Local Africans who spoke Bantu language adopted many Arab words due to trade and the settling of Muslims and Persians

2) Language, blend of Arabic and Bantu; refers to African - Arab culture

3) Shows influence of trade and settlers on local Africans.  Becomes primary language of Africa



1)Wanted a place to write

2) Reedy plant that grows along Nile

3) Used to make paperlike sheets



1) Many societies didn't have writing, passed through by oral traditions

2) African storytellers responsible for passing stories

3) Help keep history alive, were highly respected


Sunni Ali

1) 1460s, Kingdom of Songhai became powerful enough to rival Mali.  First took Timbukta from Tuareq

2) Military leader Sunni

3) Success due to skilled cavalry and war canoes.  Never lost a battle



1) Egyptian built temples to honor gods, many included obelisks

2) Tall, thin pillars with pyramid-shaped tops.  made from a single piece of stone, had carved intricate designs

3) Greatly decorated temples, adorned for god



1) Reached height under Ezana, authority limited to capital city

2) King of Aksum in 320

3) Attacked and defeated rival trading kingdoms of Kush in 350.  Become greatest power in East Africa



1) North Africa contains the Sahara and most of central and South Africa contains Savanna

2) The area in between the Sahara and Savanna that contains elements of both

3) This transition between biomes hosted many groups of people