Copyright

Ch 8: Early Civilizations in Africa & the Americas

About This Chapter

Improve your understanding of early civilizations in Africa and the Americas when you explore this chapter on the geography of Africa, the religion of the Incas, and more. These short lessons are a helpful tool for students preparing for an exam or working ahead in class.

Early Civilizations in Africa & the Americas - Chapter Summary

The lessons in this chapter provide an overview of early civilizations in Africa and the Americas. You can review details about the Mayans, the trans-Sharan caravan trade, and development of the Swahili language. You can also gain an understanding of the wealth and pilgrimage of Mansu Musa. After completing the chapter, you should be prepared to:

  • Discuss geographical features of ancient Africa
  • Recount how Ghana, Mali, and Songhai profited from the trans-Saharan gold trade
  • Explain the rise and fall of the Axum Kingdom of Africa
  • Detail how Zimbabwe is significant to ancient trade networks
  • Explain how commerce helped the Swahili culture thrive
  • Describe the spread of Islam into West Africa
  • Recall the history of the Aztecs
  • Discuss the religion and art of the Incas

You can study all of these lessons on early civilizations in Africa and the Americas in sequential order or just focus certain topics as necessary. Each lesson comes with a brief quiz that ascertains how much of the content you can recall. To make the most of the chapter, you can print the quiz in worksheet form for convenient study purposes.

10 Lessons in Chapter 8: Early Civilizations in Africa & the Americas
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Geography & Early Civilizations of Africa

1. Geography & Early Civilizations of Africa

In this lesson, we explore some of the important geographical features of ancient Africa and discover how they affected Africa's early civilizations like Egypt.

African Cultures: Ghana, Mali, and Songhai

2. African Cultures: Ghana, Mali, and Songhai

In this lesson, we learn about the three premier empires of the pre-colonial period in West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhai, who all profited tremendously from the trans-Saharan gold trade.

The Rise & Fall of the Axum Kingdom in Africa

3. The Rise & Fall of the Axum Kingdom in Africa

In this lesson, you will explore the history of the powerful African kingdom of Axum and discover how the international economy affected both its rise and decline. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Southern Africa, Great Zimbabwe & the Gold Trade

4. Southern Africa, Great Zimbabwe & the Gold Trade

In this lesson, you will explore the history of Southern Africa and the significance of major cities like Zimbabwe to ancient trade networks. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.

The Mali Empire in Africa (13th-16th Centuries)

5. The Mali Empire in Africa (13th-16th Centuries)

This lesson gives a brief overview of the Mali Empire. It focuses on the rule of Sundiata Keita and the salt and gold trade of the empire. It also highlights the wealth and pilgrimage of the famous Mansu Musa.

Swahili Culture & Commerce in East Africa During the Middle Ages

6. Swahili Culture & Commerce in East Africa During the Middle Ages

Swahili Civilization flourished from around 11th-century CE to the 16th-century CE on the eastern coast of Africa. Commerce helped this culture to thrive, as well as the spread of Islam and the development of the Swahili language. We will focus on these factors in this lesson.

Islam's Spread in West Africa

7. Islam's Spread in West Africa

This lesson explains the gradual spread of Islam into West Africa. In doing so, it discusses the influence of the Berbers and the trans-Saharan caravan trade of the Saharan region.

Mayan Civilization: Economy, Politics, Culture & Religion

8. Mayan Civilization: Economy, Politics, Culture & Religion

In this lesson, we explore the Mayan civilization of Southern Mexico and Central America. A rich and culturally-vibrant civilization, its sudden disappearance from the annals of history have puzzled scholars for years.

The Aztecs: Civilization & Culture

9. The Aztecs: Civilization & Culture

A mythical origin, an intricate political and social system, impressive accomplishments, bloodthirsty gods, and a violent clash of two cultures - watch this video to learn more about the interesting history of the Aztecs!

The Incas: Definition, History, Religion & Facts

10. The Incas: Definition, History, Religion & Facts

Explore the ancient South American culture of the Incas, whose empire spread across the continent, and test your knowledge of their religion and art as well as their dramatic rise and fall.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Other Chapters

Other chapters within the NES Social Science (303): Practice & Study Guide course

Support