Traditions and Encounters, AP Edition (Bentley), 5th Edition

Chapter 3: Early African Societies and the Bantu Migrations

Interactive Map Quiz


Map A. Mesopotamian Empires

The region of Mesopotamia is considered the site where Western Civilization began. Nestled between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, the region (now modern-day Iraq) possessed large amounts of arable land, which allowed the people of the area to develop settled agricultural societies. This map highlights the different empires that arose in Mesopotamia and the Nile River Valley over the course of a thousand years, as well as the areas of arable land across the region.

Define the term "arable land" and explain why such land was so important to the survival and success of different peoples and societies in the Egyptian and Mesopotamian areas.


Provide a short, geographic explanation for the location and shapes of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian empires, as represented on the maps.


How did the geographies of Egypt and Mesopotamia differ?


Most of the various kingdoms and societies of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia emerged in river valley areas. How would you explain this? What conditions were common to both areas? Consider geographic, technological, economic, and political factors in your answer.


Map B. Kingdoms and Empires of Africa

This interactive map illustrates the changing societal structures in Africa prior to European colonization. The extent of trade, both land and maritime, is highlighted as well as the expansive influence of Islam. Africa, for most of this period, had yet to suffer the devastating effects of the European slave trade and, towards the end of the timeline, it is possible to see the beginning of the Portuguese foothold that would eventually give rise to imperialism and the forced migration of slaves.

What factors led to the growth of the African slave trade, especially after the 11th century C.E.? Did the trading routes for the slaves correspond to the long-distance trading routes of the time? If so, why do you think that was so?


How did the arrival of Islam and Christianity affect the historical development of Sub-Saharan Africa?


Why did societies on the coastal areas of Sub-Saharan Africa develop in such different ways from inland societies? Why did interior societies remain relatively stateless?

Traditions & Encounters, 5e
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