Africa to 1500 Diversity and Development Essay

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Africa to 1500 Diversity and Development Axum (Aksum)- Important trading nation of northeast Africa, existing from 100-940 AD. Grew during the iron age and was a major factor in the exchange of commerce between the Roman empire and ancient India. Ghana- Bordered by present day Mauritania, Mali and Senegal, the landscape of medieval Ghana was abundant in natural resources (ex: gold). As a result of this; this region of western Africa was able to experience years of prosperous trade, establishing and sustaining a very wealthy empire. Mali- Renowned for the wealth of its rulers, ancient Mali covered a large area and consisted of numerous vassal kingdoms and provinces. Due to cultural diffusion, its language, laws and customs were practiced amongst many other west African societies. Songhai- As one of the largest Islamic empires in history, The Songhai empire thrived along the bend of the Niger river, resulting as a center for Islamic promotion and education. Solomid- One of the few christian dynasties of eastern Africa, which helped to strengthen the Ethiopian church. Hausa city states- Situated in between the Niger river and Lake Chad, the Hausa city states were independent societies in what is now northern Nigeria. These city states were sustained through the act of long distance trade which included leather, gold, cloth, salt, Kola nuts and animal hides in return for essential materials most commonly found in the rain forests regions to the south. Benin city state- Territorial expansion amongst the powerful states of the Guinea coast region of West Africa resulted in exchanges that were not only economic but also artistic and cultural. As a result, Benin, located within present-day southern Nigeria, shared various aspects of culture including titles, ceremonial paraphernalia, and art forms, as other city states/kingdoms;

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