Application and Reflection Questions
The geography and climate of Africa have greatly influenced the different societies that have emerged across the continent. This is because the climate and geography generally determine the available resources of an area. But is this always true? Can you think of an example in which an African society defied those geographic and climactic limitations?
Given what you now know about the variety of climates and geographies of Africa, has your perception of the continent changed? If so, how?
What were some of the ways environmental conditions in different parts of Africa influenced the emergence of agriculture? How does this account for the differences in crops and ways agricultural practices were disseminated or developed independently?
Why do you think scholars were reluctant for many years to accept that sub-Saharan societies independently developed ironworking technology? What does this suggest about how people have traditionally evaluated African historical developments?
In what ways did geography and climate affect the Bantu migration?
How do you think scholars use linguistic evidence to trace the movement of Bantu speakers over thousands of years?
Why did the Nubian pharaohs of Egypt during the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty embrace Egyptian culture, rather than attempt to impose Nubian culture on Egypt?
Why do you suppose that the kentake (or queen mother) position was such an important role in Meroitic Kush?
In what ways might North Africa have influenced the cultures of Europe and the Near and Middle East?
Given the great risks involved in crossing the Sahara, why do you think some groups would have engaged in such endeavors?