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Ghana Empire
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Ghana Empire

The Ghana Empire flourished in West Africa from at least the 6th to 13th century CE. Not connected geographically to the modern state of Ghana, the Ghana Empire was located in the western Sudan savannah region (modern southern Mauritania...
Sundiata Keita
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Sundiata Keita

Sundiata Keita (aka Sunjaata or Sundjata, r. 1230-1255 CE) was the founder of the Mali Empire (1240-1645 CE) in West Africa. A prince of the Malinke tribe, Sundiata would not only overthrow the rule of the kingdom of Sosso (c. 1180-1235 CE...
Songhai Empire
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Songhai Empire

The Songhai Empire (aka Songhay, c. 1460 - c. 1591) covered what is today southern Mauritania and Mali. It replaced the Mali Empire (1240-1645) as the most important state in West Africa. Originating as a smaller kingdom along the eastern...
Mali Empire
Definition by 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...
The Gold Trade of Ancient & Medieval West Africa
Article by Mark Cartwright

The Gold Trade of Ancient & Medieval West Africa

West Africa was one of the world's greatest producers of gold in the Middle Ages. Trade in the metal went back to antiquity but when the camel caravans of the Sahara linked North Africa to the savannah interior, the trade really took off...
The Rise and Fall of the Ghana Empire of West Africa
Video by Kelly Macquire

The Rise and Fall of the Ghana Empire of West Africa

Did you know that the rulers of the Ghana Empire were so rich they were known as Kings of Gold? This video is all about the rise and fall of the great Ghana Empire, once known as the land of gold. The Ghana Empire flourished in West Africa...
Timbuktu
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Timbuktu

Timbuktu (Timbuctoo) is a city in Mali, West Africa which was an important trade centre of the Mali Empire which flourished between the 13th and 15th centuries CE. The city, founded c. 1100 CE, gained wealth from access to and control of...
The Salt Trade of Ancient West Africa
Article by 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...
The Spread of Islam in Ancient Africa
Article by Mark Cartwright

The Spread of Islam in Ancient Africa

Following the conquest of North Africa by Muslim Arabs in the 7th century CE, Islam spread throughout West Africa via merchants, traders, scholars, and missionaries, that is largely through peaceful means whereby African rulers either tolerated...
Djenne-Djenno
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Djenne-Djenno

Djenne-Djenno (aka Djenné-Jeno, Jenne-Jeno, or Old Jenne) was an ancient city located in modern Mali, West Africa which flourished between c. 250 BCE - 1100 CE, making it one of the oldest cities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prospering thanks to...
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