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The Early Kingdoms of Africa. Kingdoms of Wealth and Power. Kingdom of Ghana: 700–1070 Kingdom of Mali: 1235–1490s Kingdom of Songhai: 1464-1591 Kingdom of Benin: 1180-1897. Location as a Source of Wealth and Power. Salt Trade. Salt in the Sahara Traded for what mineral in the south?.

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Presentation Transcript
kingdoms of wealth and power
Kingdoms of Wealth and Power
  • Kingdom of Ghana: 700–1070
  • Kingdom of Mali: 1235–1490s
  • Kingdom of Songhai: 1464-1591
  • Kingdom of Benin: 1180-1897
salt trade
Salt Trade
  • Salt in the Sahara
  • Traded for what mineral in the south?

Camel caravans like this transported the salt

gold wealth
Gold Wealth
  • “The [king of Ghana] is the richest king on earth” -Al-Fazari (famous geographer living in Baghdad)
  • “Gold grows in the sand like carrots do and is plucked at sunrise.” –Ibin al-Fakih (Arab living in the 10th century)
powerful rulers
Powerful Rulers
  • “100 camel-loads of gold, each weighing 300 lbs.; 500 slaves, each carrying a 4 lb. gold staff; thousands of his subjects; as well as his senior wife, with her 500 attendants.” -Arab historian al-Umari (on Mansa Musa’s hajj to Mecca)
  • The hajj planted Mali in the minds Europeans and its riches fired up the imagination as El Dorado did later. In 1339, Mali appeared on a "Map of the World". In 1375 a third map of the world showed a richly attired monarch holding a large gold nugget in the area south of the Sahara.
europe and the middle east in the golden trade finance
Europe and the Middle East in the Golden Trade: Finance
  • Gold used as currency
  • Florentines or Doubloons
how valuable was this gold
How Valuable Was This Gold?

Christopher Columbus

learning and education from here to timbuktu
Learning and Education:“From Here to Timbuktu”

“The king at his own expense liberally maintaineth here great numbers of doctors, judges, priests and other learned men. There are manuscripts or written books, brought hither out of Barbary, which are sold for more money than any other merchandise.” –Leo Africanus 1510


It is clear that the Europeans knew about, and even envied and admired many aspects of the early African kingdoms. So why did much of the knowledge of these African kingdoms “disappear” from Western history and archeology?