Africa and the Americas before 1500


The Nile River Valley Emerged

3500 BCE - 3000 BCE

An Egyptian civilization that became a unified state

Egypt's Old Kingdom Emerges

2663 BCE - 2195 BCE

The pyramids represented a hierarchy.

Egypt's Pharaoh Authority Was Discredited

2200 BCE

Egypt then broke into separate cities for centuries

Centralized Rule Restored In Egypt

2000 BCE

The pharaohs never fully regained their old power though.

The Hyksos Invade Egypt

1650 BCE - 1535 BCE

The Hyksos spread chariot technology into Egypt to use in their own military forces.

Egypt's New Kingdom Emerges

1550 BCE - 1064 BCE

A moral element was added in determining one's after life therefore democratizing the process.

Queen Hatshepsut Ruled Over Egypt

1472 BCE - 1457 BCE

Women had a significant degree of political power in Egypt which was seen as abnormal at the time.

Cities Along the Niger River Arose

300 BCE - 900 CE

The most famous city was Jenne-jeno because it had no government. These cities had economic specializations and acted as alternatives to the oppressive states in Africa.

Meroe Emerged

300 BCE - 100 CE

Meroe was governed by an autocratic monarch who believed in human sacrifices. Meroe had economic specialization which meant more freedom from the government. Meroe also had long distance trading connections and was known for its great riches.

Bantu Speaking Peoples Moved Southward

1 CE - 100 CE

400 similar languages were created which brought cultural and linguistic unity to southern Africa thus making it a distinct region.

Axum Emerged

50 CE

Axum was an agrarian society and served as the center for monumental buildings and art.

Axum Meets Christianity (300s CE)

300 CE - 399 CE

This encounter with Christianity gave Axum a religious link to Egypt until Egypt became Islamic

Trans-Saharan Commerce Began

300 CE - 400 CE

The introduction of camels made the trek across the Sahara possible thus turning the Sahara into an international trading route.

Axum Conquers Meroe's Nubian Civilization

340 CE

Meroe fell and split into three separate Nubian states who operated as Christian civilizations until they were later Islamized.

West African Civilizations Emerged

500 CE - 1600 CE

These Niger River Valley Civilizations were monarchies with elaborate courts and gained great riches from the Trans-Saharan Trade.

Bantu Societies and Cultures Were Created

500 CE - 1500 CE

They developed religions that focused on the supernatural and had no missionary agendas.

The Fulbe adopted Islam

1000 CE

The Fulbe were in the center of jihads that expanded the practice of Islam into their culture and give rise to a series of new states.

Trans-Saharan Commerce Continues

1000 CE

The Trans-Saharan Commerce went under a cultural transformation which led to the creation of large scale states and empires

Islam Penetrated the West African States

1000 CE

Islam provided a link for West African states to Muslim trading partners. Africa didn't actually get Islamized religiously only economically and culturally.

Swahili City States in Eastern Africa

1000 CE - 1500 CE

These city states accumulated goods from the inside of Africa and participated in the Indian Ocean world network while Islamizing

Yoruba, Bini, and Igbo Societies Emerge

1000 CE - 1500 CE

They had farming village societies whose productivity generated larger populations. They traded locally and had cultural unity despite political fragmentation.

Slaves Traveled the Sahara

1100 CE - 1400 CE

Slaves went to work in Islamic North Africa and were sold in Europe

Kingdom of Great Zimbabwe

1250 CE - 1350 CE

It rose because of its great wealth from the Indian Ocean Commerce.

The Atlantic Slave Trade

1441 CE

Slaves were removed from their homes and transported to the Americas adding diversity. It slowed Africa's growth and was a political disruption

Songhay Empire

1450 CE

A crucial intersection of the Trans Saharan trade routes. It also became a center of Islam but that was limited to urban elites.


Urban Centers in Norte Chico Emerge

3000 BCE - 1800 BCE

A civilization made up of small cities off the coast of Peru. They had a rich fishing industry. They developed the quipu as an alternate form of writing. Norte Chico was the cultural model for all the Andean civilizations to come.

Mississippi River Valley Agricultural Revolution

2000 BCE

The Mississippi River Valley people domesticated local plants as opposed to hunting and gathering

The Olmec Civilization Arose

1200 BCE

It was a civilization along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. It had an agricultural economy and created the first written language in the Americas.

Chavin Developed

750 BCE - 200 BCE

A blended religious movement that became a pilgrimage site and a training center which produced a widespread religious cult.

Hopewell Culture Emerged

200 BCE - 400 CE

It spread through the US bringing archaeology, elaborate burial rituals, and astronomy knowledge.

Moche Civilization Economy Problems (Peru)

100 CE - 800 CE

These ecological problems made Moche vulnerable to neighbors and internal social tensions thus leading to its collapse.

Classical Mayan Civilization Started

250 CE - 900 CE

The Maya made advances in math and astronomy and also developed an elaborate writing system.

Teotihuacan Influenced Mesoamerica

300 CE - 600 CE

It extracted tribute from other areas especially the Maya. The Teotihuacan put their people on the thrones of other civilizations and engaged in diplomatic relationships and long distance trade. Teotihuacan was a model for art and architecture.

Permanent Village Life in North America Emerged

600 CE - 800 CE

These people lived in pit houses, traded locally, and were occasionally involved in large webs of commerce.

Corn Based Agricultural Success in Mexico

800 CE

As a result, larger populations and more complex societies emerged especially in Cahokia who had a large urban presence

Mayan Drought

840 CE

Mayan population dropped causing the civilization to collapse.

Fiver Major Pueblos Emerged in Chaco Canyon

860 CE - 1130 CE

The Chacos were highly skilled astronomers so they went into the turquoise ornament business.

Cahokia Flourished

900 CE - 1250 CE

The center of a widespread trading network: the movement of goods around the US.

Warfare Among Iroquois Speaking People in New York

1300 CE

Political reforms were made and so was a peace alliance called the Great Law of Peace. The Iroquois League of Five Nations was formed to promote freedom and equality for all.

Aztec Empire

1400 CE

The Aztec Empire fostered many internal rebellions. The Aztecs participated in trade that stimulated the development of markets and the production of craft goods. Its religious beliefs kept it on the edge of catastrophe. Women and men were separate but equal.

Inca Empire

1450 CE

Had a bureaucratic empire and attempted cultural integration. The Inca had economic relationships. Women and men were separate but equal.