African Civilizations [c e. 800 – 1600]

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African Civilizations [c.e. 800 – 1600]

800 A.D. – 1000 A.D. Kingdom of Ghana created in West Africa

1324-1325 – Mansa Musa, ruler of Mali Empire, makes a pilgrimage to Mecca

1450-1591 – Songhai Empire grows into largest West African state, centered on trade with Europe and Asia

1591 – Fall of the Songhai Empire to the invading army of Al Mansur, the Sultan of Morocco.

900B.C.-600 A.D. – Axum kingdom in eastern Africa.

13th Century – Rise of the Mali Empire, centered around the city of Timbuktu

Ways You Will Be Assessed

What You Need to Learn

Sample Regents Multiple Choice Question:

African kingdoms such as Ghana, Songhai, and Axum flourished mainly because they

1. controlled important trade routes

2. developed self-sufficient economies

3. became religious centers considered sacred by Africans

4. received support from European colonial governments

NYS Curriculum- Unit Three: Global Interactions (1200-1650)

D. Rise and Fall of African Civilizations: Ghana, Mali, Axum, and Songhai empires.

  1. Human and physical geography

  2. Organizational structures

  3. Contributions

  4. Roles in global trade routes

  5. Spread and impact of Islam – Mansa Musa

  6. Timbuktu and African trade routes

Sample Regents (Thematic or DBQ) Essay Question

Click on essays below to see the task

Theme: Culture and Intellectual Life

  • Identify two different cultures that experienced a Golden Age.

  • Describe the specific achievements of each culture identified.

  • Explain how these achievements continue to influence the modern world

Sample Regents Multiple Choice Question:

Mansa Musa’s journey to Mecca in the 1300s is evidence that

1. the Crusades had a great influence on western Africa

2. most African leaders were educated in the Middle East

3. European culture was superior to the cultures of western Africa

4. Islam had a major influence on the Mali empire

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How to Learn the Curriculum

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Description of Ibn Battuta Travels to Mali (1352)

This is a secondary source mixed with a primary source. The translations of Ibn Battuta’s writings are in the gray boxes.


Trading Salt for Gold -Smithsonian


Information on Timbuktu from National Geographic Travel

History of Axum

Website also includes history of other African Civilizations


African Empires


If you find a resource somewhat helpful, color in part of the circle.


*You must hand in notes


*Your topic team must hand in a record of your breaches when you were studying this map/artifact (on loose leaf paper)

Journey Across Time, pgs 445-453

Nystrom Atlas of World History, pgs 60-61

Curriculum Tool-High School of Language and Innovation 2013

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