GEO 101

Name ______________________________

Chapter 2


  1. What geographical conditions favored the establishment of large states north of the first cataract of the Nile River?

Climatic change: A long-term climatic change was experienced in Northern Africa after 5000 B.C.E. This aspect of climatic change greatly affected the agriculture production in the area. The climatic conditions of the area became hotter and drier thus forcing people to migrate to wet places. The Sahara desert was earlier on wet and favorable for agricultural production but due to the climatic change it became increasingly arid and infertile thus forced the agricultural communities to move to other places hence leaving behind large states unoccupied.

The Nile River Valley: The Nile River flooded annually breaking it banks up to the valley plains. The river carried along with it fertile alluvial soil which were deposited at the plains and when the waters receded, people cultivated the land and planted food crops. This factor caused people to accumulate at the river valley leaving the main land bare.


  1. How does Harkhuf’s autobiography illuminate early Egyptian interest in Nubia and the processes by which Egyptians of the Old Kingdom developed knowledge about Nubia?

Harkhuf in his autobiography describes four expeditions into Nubia. First he writes that Pharaoh his lord sent him together with his father to Nubia to open the way to that country and when he came back he brought many gifts from there. He went a second time and again came back with gifts, the third time he came back with three hundred donkeys carrying a lot of presents and lastly was the letter from Pharaoh which confirmed that indeed Harkhuf had been to Nubia and had brought with him a pygmy of the god’s dances from Nubia.

These expeditions made the Egyptians to undertake several other expeditions to Nubia land to also bring gifts. It made Egyptians to believe that Nubia was a blessed land hence there was need for them to invade it and even take it from the Nubian people. However the several expeditions to Nubia were unsuccessful since the Nubians had strong resistance forces. Through the expeditions Egyptians gained knowledge on farming, military and construction of cities.



3        Why was the New Kingdom able to expand so dramatically to the north and south?  Why did it not expand to the east and west also?

The pharaohs of the new kingdom worked had to expand their territories to the south because they needed to rule over the Nile valley, which had very fertile agricultural land. The Pharaohs expanded their territories to the north because they had already chased out the Hyksos and there for they needed to secure the northern territories against new invaders. The new kingdom never expanded their borders to the eastern parts because of the existence of the red sea while to the west there were unfavorable climatic conditions for cultivation.


4.  Why is the figure in front trying to gauge the water’s depth?  (see page 38)

No figure sent


5.  To what extent do technological considerations help to explain the extent of the Bantu migrations?  Why did Bantu-speaking peoples not migrate also to the north and west of their homeland?

By 3000 B.C.E. the Bantu people were slowly occupying the south region into the West African forest. By around 2000 B.C.E. they had vastly spread to the south towards the Congo River basin and towards the Great Lakes in east Arica. Technologically the Bantu people used canoes to navigate through the Niger and Congo rivers. The canoes helped them to rapidly spread along the southern and eastern Africa Rivers. The development of agriculture among the Bantu people led to demographic growth and thus need for migration in search of more space and land for cultivation.

After about 1000B.C.E. the Bantu people began to manufacture iron tools and weapons. The weapons enabled them to expand their territories and chase away their enemies. The iron tools that they produced helped them to clear forests and cultivate easily than before hence this iron technology influenced the Bantus’ migration.

Some of the reasons why the Bantu people never migrated to the west and north are; Bantu people moved along rivers and most rivers from their origin such as the Congo and Niger rivers were flowing towards the south and to the east towards the Great Lakes. Bantu people were also farmers and therefore moved in search of fertile agricultural land. This reason hindered them from moving northwards since the region was dry (the Sahara desert) thus it was not efficient for agriculture. The Sudanic groups who were herders had also established strong territories along the northern savannah plains therefore made it difficult for Bantus to move to the north.