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The Salt Trade of Ancient West Africa
Articleby Mark Cartwright

The Salt Trade of Ancient West Africa

Salt from the Sahara desert was one of the major trade goods of ancient West Africa where very little naturally occurring deposits of the mineral could be found. Transported via camel caravans and by boat along such rivers as the Niger and...
Mali Empire
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Mali Empire

The Mali Empire (1240-1645) of West Africa was founded by Sundiata Keita (r. 1230-1255) following his victory over the kingdom of Sosso (c. 1180-1235). Sundiata's centralised government, diplomacy and well-trained army permitted a massive...
Legions of Spain, Roman Africa & Egypt
Articleby Donald L. Wasson

Legions of Spain, Roman Africa & Egypt

The legions of Spain, Roman Africa, and Egypt did not see the intensity of action that prevailed elsewhere in Europe. However, the presence of these four legions - VII Gemina, IX Hispana, XXII Deiotariana, and II Traiana Fortis - was still...
Wolof Empire
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Wolof Empire

The Wolof (aka Jolof or Djolof) Empire was a state on the coast of West Africa, located between the Senegal and Gambia rivers, which thrived from the mid-14th to mid-16th century CE. The empire prospered on trade thanks to the two rivers...
Kingdom of Axum
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Kingdom of Axum

The African kingdom of Axum (also Aksum) was located on the northern edge of the highland zone of the Red Sea coast, just above the horn of Africa. It was founded in the 1st century CE, flourished from the 3rd to 6th century CE, and then...
Nok Culture
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Nok Culture

The Nok culture, named after the settlement of the same name, flourished in southern West Africa (modern Nigeria) during the Iron Age from the 5th century BCE to the 2nd century CE. Famous for the distinctive terracotta sculptures of human...
Early Human Migration
Articleby Emma Groeneveld

Early Human Migration

Disregarding the extremely inhospitable spots even the most stubborn of us have enough common sense to avoid, humans have managed to cover an extraordinary amount of territory on this earth. Go back 200,000 years, however, and Homo sapiens...
Ife
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Ife

Ife (aka Ile-Ife) was an ancient African city which flourished between the 11th and 15th century CE in what is today Nigeria in West Africa. Ife was the capital and principal religious centre of the Yoruba kingdom of Ife, which prospered...
Prince Henry the Navigator
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Prince Henry the Navigator

Prince Henry the Navigator (aka Infante Dom Henrique, 1394-1460) was a Portuguese prince who famously helped capture the North African city of Ceuta, sponsored voyages of exploration with the aim of building colonies in the North Atlantic...
Bantu Migration
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Bantu Migration

The Bantu migration from their origins in southern West Africa saw a gradual population movement sweep through the central, eastern, and southern parts of the continent starting in the mid-2nd millennium BCE and finally ending before 1500...
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