Chapter section Notes Kush powerful kingdom in East Africa that conquered Egypt



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Chapter 8 Section 2 Notes


  • Kush – powerful kingdom in East Africa that conquered Egypt

  • Aksum (South of Kush) – The legend traces the founding of Aksum and Ethiopian dynasties to the son of King Solomon (Israel) and Queen of Sheba

  • Aksum became an important trading center

    • It had influence over sea trade on the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean which made it very powerful

    • Adulis (Chief Port in Aksum) – was visited by many including Egypt, Arabia, Persia, India, and the Roman Empire

    • Aksum trades salt, Rhinoceros Horns, Tortoise shells, ivory, emeralds and gold

      • In return they received cloth, glass, olive oil, wine, brass, iron, and copper

      • Ezana occupied the throne at its height

      • He expanded the empire – Yemen (Part of the Arabian peninsula), Kush and Meroe too

  • Culture develops

    • Arab and Kushite mixed culture and many ancient civilizations who visited through trading ports (cultural diffusion)

    • Aksum were monotheistic (Belief in one God)

      • Mahrem – is the god. The king is a direct descendent

        • Animism – The belief that every living thing has a spirit. The honoring of dead ancestors and spirits.

        • They offered sacrifices – sometimes as many as 12 oxen at a time

        • Cultural diffusion led to the spread of Christianity

          • Coptic church of Egypt

          • Ethiopian Orthodox Church – more than 22 million members

    • Architecture

      • Used stone instead of mud bricks – No mortar was used

      • They carved stones to fit together tightly (Like Egyptians)

      • Huge stone pillars called Stelae celebrating the kings conquests and to demonstrate their greatness

    • Language and Agriculture

      • Ge’ez – The language brought to Aksum by Arab inhabitants

      • Egypt, Meroe, and Aksum were the only areas to have a known written language

      • It was the first state south of the Sahara to mint its own coins (Money)

      • Coins made of gold, silver and bronze – “May the Country be Satisfied.”

      • Terrace Farming – Step like ridges constructed on mountain slopes which helped retain water and prevented its crops from being washed away during heavy rainfall

      • They dug canals to channel water from mountain streams into the fields

      • Dams and Cisterns (holding tanks) were used to store water.

  • The Fall of Aksum

    • Aksum existed for 800 years

    • Arabian invaders who practiced Islam conquered Aksum

    • Originally, Aksum was left alone because they had protected Muhamad’s family and followers during his rise to power

    • Eventually, Aksum adults were destroyed

    • 710 marked the end of trading power and connection to the Christian world

    • Aksum moved its capital to escape from the advancing wave of Islamic invaders

    • Geographic isolation and depletion of arable land led to their decline as a world power



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