AP World History: Chapter 7

Meroe
-Ancient Nubian civilization located in the Nile Valley south of Egypt.
-Flourished from 300 BCE to 100 CE.
-Governed by an all-powerful, sacred monarch (occasionally a woman).
-Rulers were buried with human sacrificial victims.
-Variety of economic specialties, and smelting of iron and manufacture of iron tools and weapons were significant industries.
-Farmers weren’t too dependent on irrigation.
-Long-distance trade connections initiated wealth and military power (contact with Mediterranean world and northeastern Africa).
-Seemed to move away from earlier Egyptian culture.
-Declined following 100 CE partly because of deforestation caused by wood for smelting.
-Kingdom overtaken in 340s CE by Axum.
-In following centuries, three separate Nubian states emerged and Christianity spread prominently.
-Became a part of growing world of Islam around 1300.
Axum
-Ancient civilization located in the Horn of Africa (present-day Eritrea and Ethiopia).
-Economic foundation was highly productive agriculture with plow-based farming.
-Around 50 CE, a substantial state emerged partly stimulated by trade in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.
-Axum was the inner capital city centered around monumental building and royal patronage for the arts.
-Language was Geez, and state controlled most others around country.
-Introduced to Christianity around fourth century CE due to trade, religiously linked to Egypt.
-System of imperial expansion was practiced from fourth century CE to sixth century CE.
-Declined over next several centuries from environmental changes, stemming from intensive farming, as well as the rise of Islam, which altered trade routes and decreased revenue.
-Resembled large-scale Eurasian civilizations along with Meroe.
Niger Valley Civilization
-Civilization located along Niger River in West Africa.
-Significant urbanization occurred from 1st century CE to 5th century CE due to migrating peoples from southern Sahara looking for water.
-Absence of state structure.
-Urban centers weren’t controlled by imperial central government, and instead had little authoritative guidelines.
-Iron smithing was most prestigious profession.
-Occupational castes developed.
-Specialization also occurred in farming due to various ethnic groups working in different areas of agriculture.
-Very large commerce system became apparent.
-Decentralized city life declined during second millennium CE.
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Bantu Expansion
-Located in southern Africa.
-Bantu-speaking peoples migrated around Africa and spread their common language.
-Bantu-speaking peoples encountered hunter-gatherers and displaced, absorbed, or eliminated them due to advantages in numbers, weaponry, and disease.
-Some hunter-gatherers survived into modern times.
-Batwa (Pygmy) people were respected by the Bantus because of their specialties in farming in Central America.
-New technologies and methods from Southeast Asia and other areas were incorporated in Bantu groups.
-Wide variety of societies in cultures, some with rigid political structures and some with free-spirited peoples who governed themselves.
-Bantu religion was less reliant on a spiritual figure and instead emphasized the importance of ancestral or nature spirits.
-Sacrifice was a significant ritual.
-Based on “continuous revelation” (still-incoming messages from the spirits).
Maya Civilization
-Major classical civilization located in Mesoamerica.
-Most notable achievements occurred between 250 and 900 CE.
-Mathematical system consisting of zero and place notation, among other calculations, was created by intellectuals.
-Calendars were made.
-Most elaborate writing system in the Americas was formed.
-Landscape was almost completely engineered with water management, drainage systems, and terraced hillsides.
-Political system of city-states, local lords, and regional kingdoms.
-No central authority, warfare was common.
-Larger units of the Maya were populated urban and ceremonial centers ruled by kings or “state shamans” who could connect with the supernatural.
-None of the city-states, whether imperialistic or not, could unify the Maya.
-Rapid population collapse due to famine, epidemic, and warfare.
-Climate change and warfare could have caused demise, among other issues.
-Disappeared around 900 CE, showing the fragility of civilizations no matter the size and strength.
Teotihuacan
-City in Mesoamerica north of the Mayans that was formed around 150 BCE.
-Easily largest urban complex in the Americas at the time.
-Many unknown aspects.
-Impressive architecture.
-Thousands of residential apartments surrounding main avenues, inhabited by foreigners, specialized workers, and families of many generations.
-Art didn’t depict selfish rulers, and things like murals often included abstract shapes.
-Had significantly large sphere of influence from 300 to 600 CE.
-Military was very powerful.
-Political and military activity was designed to obtain valued commodities from other areas.
-Many cultural aspects of Teotihuacan have lasted over time because the city itself was extremely immense and influential to others.
Chavin
-Located in Peru.
-Strategic spot was situated on trade routes.
-Ceremonial centers date to 2000 BCE to 1000 BCE.
-Small town by 750 BCE.
-Clear distinctions between elite class and ordinary people. -Temple complexes were present with various architectural designs.
-Major deities were seen as animals.
-Religion was attracting over next several centuries.
-Culture was widely imitated as well.
-No empire emerged, instead a large religious cult spreading throughout the Peruvian Andes.
Moche
-By 200 BCE, Chavin cult had faded and been replaced by many other civilizations.
-Located in Peru and flourished between 100 and 800 CE.
-Complex irrigation system that helped fuel crops.
-Governed by warrior-priests, some who lived at tops of huge pyramids.
-“Pyramid of the Sun”- largest structure.
-Shaman-rulers would take hallucinogenic drugs and meditate spiritually between worlds.
-Humans were ritually sacrificed.
-Rulers had immense wealth that was reflected in elaborate burials.
-Had superbly skilled craftspeople who had amazing technical abilities with art and other things.
-Naturalistic art showed elite culture.
-Environment was very fragile and climate didn’t cooperate.
-Dissolved by end of eighth century CE, partly due to dramatic weather pattern changes and ecological disruption.
Chaco Phenomenon
-Located in Chaco canyon in present-day northwestern New Mexico.
-Five major pueblos emerged here from 860 to 1130 CE.
-These large settlements based on above-ground huts and gathering areas were the result of changes like a growing dependence on agriculture, an increasing population, and more intense trade.
-Population wasn’t large, and biggest town was five stories high with 600 rooms.
-Elaborate, unnecessary roads leading out from Chaco could signify a sacred landscape.
-Elite, highly-skilled astronomers constructed an observatory.
-Became dominant center for turquoise ornament production.
-Regional commerce extended as far as Mesoamerica.
-Warfare, internal conflict, and occasional cannibalism occurred, however.
-A large-scale drought after 1130 ended the civilization, and by 1200, the houses were abandoned and the people were scattered among other areas.
Mound Builders / Cahokia
-Located in eastern woodlands of North America (especially Mississippi River Valley).
-Had independent agricultural revolution.
-By 2000 BCE, many of its peoples had domesticated local plant species.
-Plants helped support diets but weren’t enough for entire food source.
-Most elaborate cultures took place between 200 BCE and 400 CE (known as Hopewell culture).
-Striking burial mounds and geometric earthworks.
-Various artifacts found.
-Mounds were sometimes aligned with lunar objects and usually were focused on burial rituals.
-“Hopewell Interaction Sphere”- linked huge region in a loose network of exchange and trade.
-After 800 CE, Cahokia became present near present-day St. Louis, Missouri.
-Central mound was a terraced pyramid hundreds of feet long and wide.
-Largest structure north of Mexico.
-Cahokia emerged and flourished around the same time as Chaco peoples, but its urban presence was much larger.
-Corn-based agriculture made both possible, but Chaco had more direct contact with Mexico.
-Chaco was “start-up” culture, followed by Cahokia, the peak of mound-building cultures.
-Societies were likely stratified with elites and other social groups.
-After Cahokia’s decline, explorers encountered another chiefdom among the Natchez, who had an elite class and powerful military.

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