1. Environmental and geographical factors influence on settlement
Environmental and geographical factors play a major role in the determination of a people’s life and livelihood in an area. These guarantee a people of adaptive adjustments to various conditions. They determine the quantity and availability of food, access and interactions among them. For instance, land formations determine availability of water by disrupting river courses; displacing of animals hunted for food by humans; and blocking of access roads in cases of earthquakes and or volcanic activity. Additionally, soil-based minerals and its fertility determined the livelihoods of people. Fertile soils dictated that people indulge crop farming while in areas with minerals; people tended to engage in mineral exploitation.
People tend to settle near or around water bodies due to its importance in sustaining all sectors of an eco-system. Those around these water sources use the water for irrigation, domestic and industrial uses. Settlement is also influenced directly by climatic patterns. People tend to move away from perennial flooding areas, areas prone to hurricanes and extreme weather areas including deserts and the tundra. However human beings have managed to make physiological changes to confer them with adaptability to these conditions.
2. What factors were most important to establishing and maintaining a civilization?
Availability of food and Wet points – these determined the establishment and thrive of settlement areas. Food availability guaranteed the people of social stability and good health. Wet points ensured that the people had sufficient water supplies for their animals and for irrigation purposes. This is classically demonstrated by the early and current settlements along the Nile and along river Thebes in Mesopotamia
Topography: whereas the early Egyptians settled around water bodies for irrigation purposes, some communities preferred settling at Dry point sites due to the risk of flooding. Topography also provided strategic advantage against aggressors and enemies. Punitively harsh terrains deterred enemies from attacking. This therefore guaranteed stability for those leaderships that interrogated these factors.
Mineral resources. The establishment and success of some early settlements in Africa were influenced by the availability of mineral deposits. Leaders settled around these areas to control the mining activities. The kingdom of Old Ghana kingdom, under the AsanteHene, was successful courtesy of the vast gold deposits in the area. Economically this gold was used to trade in with Arab merchants and the touregs. These traders would exchange cloth, ochre, glass, ammunition and whiskey for gold. The acquisition of ammunition guaranteed the kingdom of old Ghana stability against neighboring kingdoms.
Trade. Early commerce along predefined trade routes led to development of informal settlements. These settlements often were rest points where the traders relaxed and refreshed during their long caravans. Progressively these centers developed, due to the lucrative business that these traders facilitated, into towns including Mombasa, Gedi, Mogadishu and Bengal.