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Unformatted text preview: g iron. Much of Africa moved right into the Iron Age, taking the basic technology and adapting it to local; conditions and resources.
The diffusion of agriculture and later of iron was accompanied by a great movement of people who may have carried these innovations. These people probably originated in eastern Nigeria. Their migration may have been set in motion by an increase in population caused by a movement of peoples fleeing the desiccation, or drying up, of the Sahara. They spoke a language, priorBantu (“Bantu” means “the people”), which is the parent tongue of alanguage of a large number of Bantu languages still spoken throughout subSahara Africa. Why and how these people spread out into central and southern Africa remains a mystery, but archaeologists believe that their iron weapons allowed them to conquer their huntinggathering opponents, who still used stone implements. Still, the process is uncertain, and peaceful migration—or simply rapid demographic growth—may have also caused the Bantu explosion. Paragraph 1: There is evidence of agriculture in Africa prior to 3000 B.C. It may have developed independently, but many scholars believe that the spread of agriculture and iron throughout Africa linked it to the major centers of the Near East and Mediterranean world. The drying up of what is now the Sahara desert had pushed many peoples to the south into subSahara Africa. These peoples settled at first in scattered huntingandgathering bands, although in some places near lakes and rivers, people who fished, with a more secure food supply, lived in larger population concentrations. Agriculture seems to have reached these people from the Near East, since the first domesticated crops were millets and sorghums whose origins are not African but west Asian. Once the idea of planting diffused, Africans began to develop their own crops, such as certain varieties of rice, and they demonstrated a continued receptiveness to new imports. The proposed areas of the domestication of African crops lie in a band that extends from Ethiopia across southern Sudan to West Africa. Subsequently, other crops, such as bananas, were introduced from Southeast Asia. 1. The word “diffused” in the passage is closest in meaning to ○emerged
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2. According to paragraph 1, why do researchers doubt that agriculture developed independently in Africa? ○African lakes and rivers already provided enough food for people to survive without agriculture.
○The earliest examples of cultivated plants discovered in Africa are native to Asia.
○Africa’s native plants are very difficult to domesticate.
○African communities were not large enough to support agriculture.
3. In paragraph 1, what does the author imply about changes in the African environment during this time period? ○The climate was becoming milder, allowing for a greater variety of crops to be grown.
○Although periods of drying forced people south, they returned once their food supply was secure.
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- Fall '13