-Ancient Nubian civilization located in the Nile Valley south of Egypt. -Flourished from 300 BCE to 100 CE. -Governed by an all-powerful, sacred monarch (occasionally a woman). -Rulers were buried with human sacrificial victims. -Variety of economic specialties, and smelting of iron and manufacture of iron tools and weapons were significant industries. -Farmers weren't too dependent on irrigation. -Long-distance trade connections initiated wealth and military power (contact with Mediterranean world and northeastern Africa). -Seemed to move away from earlier Egyptian culture. -Declined following 100 CE partly because of deforestation caused by wood for smelting. -Kingdom overtaken in 340s CE by Axum. -In following centuries, three separate Nubian states emerged and Christianity spread prominently. -Became a part of growing world of Islam around 1300.
-Ancient civilization located in the Horn of Africa (present-day Eritrea and Ethiopia). -Economic foundation was highly productive agriculture with plow-based farming. -Around 50 CE, a substantial state emerged partly stimulated by trade in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. -Axum was the inner capital city centered around monumental building and royal patronage for the arts. -Language was Geez, and state controlled most others around country. -Introduced to Christianity around fourth century CE due to trade, religiously linked to Egypt. -System of imperial expansion was practiced from fourth century CE to sixth century CE. -Declined over next several centuries from environmental changes, stemming from intensive farming, as well as the rise of Islam, which altered trade routes and decreased revenue. -Resembled large-scale Eurasian civilizations along with Meroe.
Niger Valley Civilization
-Civilization located along Niger River in West Africa. -Significant urbanization occurred from 1st century CE to 5th century CE due to migrating peoples from southern Sahara looking for water. -Absence of state structure. -Urban centers weren't controlled by imperial central government, and instead had little authoritative guidelines. -Iron smithing was most prestigious profession. -Occupational castes developed. -Specialization also occurred in farming due to various ethnic groups working in different areas of agriculture. -Very large commerce system became apparent. -Decentralized city life declined during second millennium CE.
Bantu Expansion
-Located in southern Africa. -Bantu-speaking peoples migrated around Africa and spread their common language. -Bantu-speaking peoples encountered hunter-gatherers and displaced, absorbed, or eliminated them due to advantages in numbers, weaponry, and disease. -Some hunter-gatherers survived into modern times. -Batwa (Pygmy) people were respected by the Bantus because of their specialties in farming in Central America. -New technologies and methods from Southeast Asia and other areas were incorporated in Bantu groups. -Wide variety of societies in cultures, some with rigid political structures and some with free-spirited peoples who governed themselves. -Bantu religion was less reliant on a spiritual figure and instead emphasized the importance of ancestral or nature spirits. -Sacrifice was a significant ritual. -Based on "continuous revelation" (still-incoming messages from the spirits).
Maya Civilization
-Major classical civilization located in Mesoamerica. -Most notable achievements occurred between 250 and 900 CE. -Mathematical system consisting of zero and place notation, among other calculations, was created by intellectuals. -Calendars were made. -Most elaborate writing system in the Americas was formed. -Landscape was almost completely engineered with water management, drainage systems, and terraced hillsides. -Political system of city-states, local lords, and regional kingdoms. -No central authority, warfare was common. -Larger units of the Maya were populated urban and ceremonial centers ruled by kings or "state shamans" who could connect with the supernatural. -None of the city-states, whether imperialistic or not, could unify the Maya. -Rapid population collapse due to famine, epidemic, and warfare. -Climate change and warfare could have caused demise, among other issues. -Disappeared around 900 CE, showing the fragility of civilizations no matter the size and strength.
-City in Mesoamerica north of the Mayans that was formed around 150 BCE. -Easily largest urban complex in the Americas at the time. -Many unknown aspects. -Impressive architecture. -Thousands of residential apartments surrounding main avenues, inhabited by foreigners, specialized workers, and families of many generations. -Art didn't depict selfish rulers, and things like murals often included abstract shapes. -Had significantly large sphere of influence from 300 to 600 CE. -Military was very powerful. -Political and military activity was designed to obtain valued commodities from other areas. -Many cultural aspects of Teotihuacan have lasted over time because the city itself was extremely immense and influential to others.
-Located in Peru. -Strategic spot was situated on trade routes. -Ceremonial centers date to 2000 BCE to 1000 BCE. -Small town by 750 BCE. -Clear distinctions between elite class and ordinary people. -Temple complexes were present with various architectural designs. -Major deities were seen as animals. -Religion was attracting over next several centuries. -Culture was widely imitated as well. -No empire emerged, instead a large religious cult spreading throughout the Peruvian Andes.
-By 200 BCE, Chavin cult had faded and been replaced by many other civilizations. -Located in Peru and flourished between 100 and 800 CE. -Complex irrigation system that helped fuel crops. -Governed by warrior-priests, some who lived at tops of huge pyramids. -"Pyramid of the Sun"- largest structure. -Shaman-rulers would take hallucinogenic drugs and meditate spiritually between worlds. -Humans were ritually sacrificed. -Rulers had immense wealth that was reflected in elaborate burials. -Had superbly skilled craftspeople who had amazing technical abilities with art and other things. -Naturalistic art showed elite culture. -Environment was very fragile and climate didn't cooperate. -Dissolved by end of eighth century CE, partly due to dramatic weather pattern changes and ecological disruption.
Chaco Phenomenon
-Located in Chaco canyon in present-day northwestern New Mexico. -Five major pueblos emerged here from 860 to 1130 CE. -These large settlements based on above-ground huts and gathering areas were the result of changes like a growing dependence on agriculture, an increasing population, and more intense trade. -Population wasn't large, and biggest town was five stories high with 600 rooms. -Elaborate, unnecessary roads leading out from Chaco could signify a sacred landscape. -Elite, highly-skilled astronomers constructed an observatory. -Became dominant center for turquoise ornament production. -Regional commerce extended as far as Mesoamerica. -Warfare, internal conflict, and occasional cannibalism occurred, however. -A large-scale drought after 1130 ended the civilization, and by 1200, the houses were abandoned and the people were scattered among other areas.
Mound Builders / Cahokia
-Located in eastern woodlands of North America (especially Mississippi River Valley). -Had independent agricultural revolution. -By 2000 BCE, many of its peoples had domesticated local plant species. -Plants helped support diets but weren't enough for entire food source. -Most elaborate cultures took place between 200 BCE and 400 CE (known as Hopewell culture). -Striking burial mounds and geometric earthworks. -Various artifacts found. -Mounds were sometimes aligned with lunar objects and usually were focused on burial rituals. -"Hopewell Interaction Sphere"- linked huge region in a loose network of exchange and trade. -After 800 CE, Cahokia became present near present-day St. Louis, Missouri. -Central mound was a terraced pyramid hundreds of feet long and wide. -Largest structure north of Mexico. -Cahokia emerged and flourished around the same time as Chaco peoples, but its urban presence was much larger. -Corn-based agriculture made both possible, but Chaco had more direct contact with Mexico. -Chaco was "start-up" culture, followed by Cahokia, the peak of mound-building cultures. -Societies were likely stratified with elites and other social groups. -After Cahokia's decline, explorers encountered another chiefdom among the Natchez, who had an elite class and powerful military.