The student will describe the diverse characteristics of early African societies before 1800 CE. Identify the Bantu migration patterns and contribution to settled agriculture. Describe the development and decline of the Sudanic kingdoms (Ghana, Mali, Songhai); include the roles of Sundiata, and the pilgrimage of Mansa Musa to Mecca. Describe the trading networks by examining trans-Saharan trade in gold, salt, and slaves; include the Swahili trading cities. Analyze the process of religious syncretism as a blending of traditional African beliefs with new ideas from Islam and Christianity. Analyze the role of geography and the distribution of resources played in the development of trans-Saharan trading networks.