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HIST 3410 Pre colonial Africa September 11 2013.docx

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University of Guelph
HIST 3410
Femi Kolapo

HIST 3410 Pre-colonial Africa September 11 2013 (MAP TEST INFO) Africa’s geography Relationship between geography and human life, capacity Threshold of the environment and ecology Desert life: takes more to sustain yourself In pre- colonial times, the way human beings evolved and formed themselves in their community you find out the geography and environment had a key role. Particular The African environment to this day has a lot of influence as to what Africans can do The ecological contexts in which societies evolved influenced by environmental and climate challenges. Much of Africa doesn’t have a maritime life - There is a natural relationship between history and geography - Physical character of Africa has shaped the evolution of mankind and the historical development of African societies Benefits to studying Africa’s geography - Correct stereotypes about African landscape - Identify diversity of African landscapes and how Africans adapted and innovated o Different responses to different ecologies o Many African historians belief that Africans adapt to environment in order to survive o Altered the environment  Used fire, etc.  In order to “conquer” and/ or “master” their environment - Identify challenges and opportunities that the African environment presented o You have miles of deserts.  Non arable land o Deep dense forest - Identify relationship between historical geography and the problem of the historiography of Africa o The writing of the history of Africa, and its problem: no written sources for some areas of Africa 1  Dependent on oral sources, collected evidence: non-written sources.  Has a relationship with the environment of Africa o Example: because of the imposition of the Sahara desert: a major barrier between the North and the South of Africa. o Particularly isolated from one another and forming distinctly different societies. Different responses to different ecologies Gall Peter vs. Mercator Maps Mercator map is inaccurate portrays Europe to be larger than it is, Greenland to be larger than Asia when Asia is 4 times its size. In reality Africa is the largest continent The geographical information installed in people (Mercator maps) has an influence on how they perceive the world Myth of continents - Drew a map that reflected the shape of the world o Lost rationality and proportion due to it th - 16 century Topographic Characterizes Huge uniform landmass - Uniformity, not as much high lands as in other continents o More table like plateau o Mass of land Few elevations Regular narrow coastline The broad interior plateau Sharp escarpment - The Great Rift Valley Basic features of Africa’s environment - The oldest of the continents - A solid, vast, uplifted flat plateau 2,000
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