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History of Ancient Africa - AFS HIS 2082 (Essay Sample)

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History of Ancient Africa - AFS HIS 2082 source..
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Student’s Name: Name of Professor: Course Title: Date of Submission: History of Ancient Africa - AFS HIS 2082 Egypt and Nubia constitute the essential pair of Africa’s early civilizations. Human beings are social beings who live in organized units commonly referred to as societies. Traditionally, these societies began as simple and basic units that were mostly family based and thus were mostly clans or tribes. However, as the communities continued to grow in terms of economic prosperity and increased population growth, the societies gained and reached an advanced stage in their development and organization. They were no longer considered as societies, but they became civilizations that were characterized by a centralized government, social classes, organized religion, advanced infrastructure, developed writing forms, arts, and advanced architecture among others. The African continent has always been considered as the cradle of civilization. The main reason behind this reasoning is the evidence of early civilizations in the continent as exemplified by the Egyptian and Nubian civilizations. Egyptian Civilization The Egyptian civilization is among the most renowned earliest civilizations in the African continent. It was established on the shores of River Nile which provided an ideal ecosystem for the growth of the Egyptian community. The ancient Egyptian civilization can trace its origins to the first settlement of nomadic hunters and gatherers who settled on the banks of the Nile in the 10th millennia BC. However, due to climatic changes, they changed their traditional economic activities replacing hunting and gathering with farming whereby they grew and harvested wheat. This early development of agriculture in the region led to the establishment of a Neolithic society which relied on agriculture that was based on the Nile delta (Moret, 2013). As the population grew and the community became more complex, it led to the development of an advanced society that had an established political and religious system. As it continued to grow and develop further, it led to the establishment of the first kingdom of Egypt around 3150 BC when Menes unified the various societies living along the Nile basin. The first kingdom or the old kingdom as commonly referred to is the foundation for the establishment of the Egyptian civilization. It was during this stage the rulers adopted the title Pharaoh. The powerful rulers consolidated the kingdom's power and expanded it into a large advanced society that controlled the Nile delta as well as the provinces that surrounded it. With economic growth, the Egyptians were able to develop advanced communication systems like the cuneiform writing that developed around the year 3200 BC. The Egyptians further developed new forms of art and architecture, creating ornate golden palaces and massive pyramids. They also established an advanced form of religious worship that played a crucial role in the development of the society. Technological advancement was also a major characteristic of the Egyptian civilization that was majorly supported by the increased love for knowledge that meant increased scientific research. The Egyptian civilization, however, underwent periods of growth and instability. When they were low, they fell under the control of other power societies in the region like the kingdom of Libya or the Nubian Empire. It, however, recovered when Pharaoh Ahmose I reunified the kingdom at around 1550 BC and created what is known as the new kingdom which lasted up to until it colonization by the Persians in 343 BC and then it later fell to the Greeks and the Roman empires. Nubian Civilization The kingdom of Nubia was established in what is today’s Northern Sudan and South of Egypt. The civilization is also known as the Ta Seti kingdom was an advanced kingdom that once ruled the Egyptian civilization between 712-657 BC and they age is considered as the 25th Egyptian dynasty. Their influence and control can be seen in historical records of the Egyptian civilization as highlighted by the reign of the black pharaohs of Egypt (Bonnet & Dominique, 2008). Records provide that the first Nubian king to earn the title of Pharaoh was known as Sabacus. Although the kingdom was established in harsher environmental conditions in the south where the Nile could not support larger populations, the kingdom economic prosperity was derived from gold, ebony, and ivory that were in abundant in the south. It thus developed through trade with its neighbors like Egypt whereby it gained food for its population and provided its neighbors with precious metals. The kingdom also had an advanced culture that was characterized by an organized monarchy, an organized religion as well as effective communication with a written language. It, however, adopted and converted into Christianity at around 540 AD. Its decline and eventual demise were due to poor political control which led to the dissolution of the kingdom in the 15th Century. Describe and explain the system(s) of education in Ancient Africa The education systems in the traditional African societies can be described as informal and indigenous. The term informal in this represents a system of education that occurs outside an established structured curriculum. It is however guided by a primary objective whereby the goal is to equip a learners experience through the provision of the tools that he or she requires to master a specific skill or muster a particular art. The learning process is mostly undertaken through the application of apprenticeship course whereby the instructor teaches the student through physical instructions. By observing and helping the teacher work in a certain art, the learner gains valuable skills and experience through which he gains the knowledge and skills required in the art he is under instruction. For instance, to become a smith, a student had to apprentice under an established Smith. He or she would then observe and undertake duties in the craft and as such gain the skills of a smith. It is also considered indigenous as different communities or societies have their own system of education. The phrase indigenous in this case describes the state of belonging to a particular place than coming from a foreign jurisdiction. It, therefore, means that education in ancient African societies was developed by the individual communities and it was not borrowed or adopted from any foreign cultures. It was consequently native as it was connected to the people as part of their cultural practices. As such, education was based on customs and shared communal values which were unique to every society. Education grew out of the need to pass on social values, traditions, beliefs, and skills that had been collected by the society over time to the next generations. It thus meant that there were differences between the Ancient forms of education within the African communities as each system of education as practiced by each community had its own distinctive features which were reflecting the particular way of life of people in that specific community (Sifuna et al., 2006). Therefore, for instance, if the community was primary hunters and gatherers, they would teach their young ones how to hunt and also gather. However, if the community practiced farming, then it would instill farming skills into their young ones. The African society was profoundly influenced by gender roles which were based on the separation of the sexes based on their genetical makeup. This meant that there were different roles for boys and girls which in turn led to different lessons. For instance, men would be taught to hunt or herd their livestock while girls were taught how to be homemakers and thus taught domestic skills like cooking and laundry among other skills. Ancient African education was therefore clear, and it was guided by principles of functionalism. Ancient African education was thus a means to an end and not ends in itself (Amaechi Ngozi, 2013). It was meant to impart skills on the individual that would be beneficial in adulthood. One can, therefore, argue that the central objective behind education was the preparation for adulthood and eventual induction in the society. It thus emphasized highly on social participation, development of social, moral codes and job orientation which together advanced the role of an individual as an integral part of the society as stipulated under the social contract. Immigration of the Bantu The term Bantu is used to describe and represent a linguistic classification of a number of African cultural groups who are believed the same ancestry. As such, when we talk of the Bantus, we are delineating a group of people that belong or are related to people hailing from Central Africa with more preferences given to the Niger-Congo basin as their point of origin. As such, the phrase “Bantu migration” describes the movement of the various speakers of Bantu languages across Africa until they settled in w...
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