to Glory: West Africa
The earliest of the west African states to develop was Ghana.
Ghana was to the north of the Upper Niger river on the trade
routes that carried salt and gold across the Sahara to the
Mediterranean Sea. It was first mentioned in 833 AD by the
Arab historian Kwarizmi, and described in great detail about
two hundred years later when the Almoravids of North Africa
captured Aoudaghast, a minor city of Ghana.
was a large city with many fine houses, buildings and markets,
as well as rich palm trees and henna plantations. El Bekri,
another Arab historian, talks about armies of 200,000 warriors,
including 40,000 with bows and arrows, governed by a king
called Tunka Manin.
took the Almoravids fourteen years to conquer Ghana and take
its capital. This was made up of two cities nine km apart
with houses in between. The king lived in one city which was
surrounded by a wall, and where he governed in style, surrounded
by objects of gold dressed in cloth of gold. The second city
was for the Muslim merchants and had numerous mosques.
1 2 3