Kingdom of Ghana

by ChicagoTeacher
Last updated 1 year ago

Social Studies
World History

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Kingdom of Ghana

Politics/GovernmentThe kings of Ghana grew rich off of taxing the gold-salt trade and maintaining near total control of the gold reservesThe kings were considered the religious leader, chief judge, and military commander

"The king has a palace and a number of domed dwellings all surrounded with an enclosure like a city wall. Around the king's town are domed buildings and groves and thickets where the sorcerers of these people, men in charge of the religious cult, live. In them too are their idols and the tomb of their kings." -Taken from an account by geographer Al-Bakri.

Origins:Historians believe that the rulers of the Soninke people were able to unite their villages to create the kingdom around the year 800 CE

The Empire of Ghana(800 CE- 1100) "The Land of Gold"

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The Salt-Gold TradeGold was dug from the mines of the savannah between the Senegal and Niger rivers. Salt was obtained from the deposits in the Saharan desert. Arrab and Berber traderes crossed the desert with camel caravans carrying the salt, cloth, weapons, and other manufactured goods. African traders carried gold from the North.The African and Berber/Arab merchants often met in Ghanian trading cities and villages, using the slilent barter system.

Silent Barter System Explained

Culture and ReligionWhile Ghana's rulers allowed Muslimmerchants to create their own villages, the majority of the people maintained their local beliefs.

Ghana's DeclineIn 1076 the Muslim Almoravids from North Africa temporarily conquered the Ghana Kingdom. This disruption of the gold-salt trade along with the exhaustion of natural resources contributed to Ghana's decline. Around 1230, the Mali Empire absorbed Ghana.

The Trans-Saharan Trading Network


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