Development of Axum and Meroe in Northeastern Africa Essay

66. Comparative Analysis: Compare the development of Axum and Meroe in northeastern Africa with the development of the Maya and of Teotihuacan in Mesoamerica.

In both the development of Axum and Meroë in northeastern Africa possessed the ores and fuels needed to produce iron on a large scale. They traded along the Nile River to Egypt, and their goods such as gold and ivory reached ports all along the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Southern Africa, and quite possibly as far as India and China.

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Axum was a very powerful state. It controlled a huge number of ports, such as Adulis along the Red Sea coast, and it participated in the commerce of the Indian Ocean, where its export goods included ivory, slaves, and crystal. They also traded with Alexandrian Egypt, and eventually with Rome, Byzantium, and India. Teotihuacan was a powerful political, military, economic and cultural center that influenced the whole of Mesoamerica. Teotihuacan is one of the world’s oldest and most impressive archaeological sites.

The wealth of Teotihuacan was based largely on the amount they had on the trade of obsidian, a coarse green glass occurring in volcanic rock. In common with the other Mesoamerican civilizations, the Maya had measured the length of the solar year to a high degree of accuracy. They produced extremely accurate astronomical observations; their charts of the movements of the moon and planets were used to predict eclipses and other celestial events such the time between conjunctions of Venus. The ancient Maya had diverse and sophisticated methods of food production. It was formerly believed that shifting cultivation agriculture provided most of their food but it is now thought that permanent raised fields, terracing, forest gardens, managed fallows, and wild harvesting were also crucial to supporting the large populations of the Classic period in some areas.

67. Historical Analysis: “While long-distance trade across Afro-Eurasia predates 500 C.E., it grew in importance between 500 and 1500 C.E.” What key developments make this statement true?

In between 500 and 1500 C.E Afro-Eurasia’s trade increased and altered consumption patterns and encouraged peoples across the zone to specialize in producing particular goods for market rather than being self-sufficient. They followed religions such as Buddhism and Islam and it spread along the trade routes. During this period, there were a lot of epidemic diseases, and they spread along the trade routes. Some regions developed stronger states in part because of increased commerce along the trade networks. These regions were East Africa, West Africa, and Southeast Asia. There were also a lot of technological advances during this time. This included the development of larger ships and the magnetic compass in China. This also helped increase trade.

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