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Discuss the importance of the Sahara and the Indian Ocean in ancient African history Essay Example

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Discuss the importance of the Sahara and the Indian Ocean in ancient African history

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Use of camels and spread of the Islam religion were normally concentrated in the Saharan region with the Indian Ocean acting as the connecting channel. Enhancement of trade, introduced in the Saharan region led to the association of other African communities forming a, “formal, intra-regional economic network” (Wendorf 3). This led to the establishment of traditional trade centers in various regions that coordinated all the trade activities, especially in Egypt where products such as dried fish and rice. Most of these trade centers were located in the Saharan region e. Jenne-Jeno, due to their strategic location for both local and overseas trading activities. The archaeological studies in the Saharan region have identified significant urbanization before the arrival of the Muslim traders (Wendorf 4). This affirms that Africa could not have been all that underdeveloped as some researchers posits. International traders, especially Arabs came to enhance and benefit from an already developed economy.Focus on traditional Saharan history affirms that there could be many details lacking that explains the actual set-up of the traditional African historical disposition. Archaeological work has proven that the Saharan region was the initial contributor to the power distribution in their governance systems. This led to the spread of this governance paradigm to other regions in Africa. The governance disposition is efficient and reliable; it has enabled African countries live in harmony and share economic responsibilities. Research has identified that the authority was distributed throughout the community and bound together among different ethnic groups, producers, artisans and merchants. This is the governance disposition that was later distributed through out the historical African communities. Most of the information on African Historical background in not in print. The inherited societal activities such as trade and Islamic religion from the Saharan regions and the Indian Ocean are relied on for the provision of crucial information related to African Historical background.The dry climate of Sahara ecosystem made the trade the most popular form of economic activity. Historical studies affirm the presence of rain in the area although it was not sufficient for efficient life support (Malville 131). It was occasionally unpredictable and the climate was always characterized by

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Works Cited

Davis, Whitney. “Representation and knowledge in the prehistoric art of Africa.” The African Archaeological Review, 2 (1984), 7-35.

Malville, J. McKim., Schild, Romuald., Wendorf, Fred & Brenmer, Robert. Astronomy of Nabta Play. 131-143.

Mattingly, David. Approaches to the archaeology and environment of the Sahara: The Fazzan project, 1997-2002 (briefing) Journal of North African Studies, (2005) 10: 3, 387-395.

Smith, Andrew B. "A Prehistory of Modern Saharan Pastoralists." Sahara: Prehistory and History of the Sahara. 15 (2004): 43-58.

Smythe, Kathleen R. “Africa in the world: lessons from African history for the world history.” Teaching History, a journal of methods. 22, March, 2004, 1-16.

Wendorf, Fred. & Shild, Romuald. “Nabta Playa and Its role in North-eastern African prehistory.”Journal of anthropological archaeology, 17, 97-123 (1998).

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