Rise to Glory: West Africa


The gold of Ghana came from Ghiarou near the source of the Senegal river, about eighteen days journey from the capital. All the gold nuggets belonged to the king, although the gold dust was left to the people.

The king levied taxes on all salt that came into the country, as well as all the salt that left. Copper exports were also taxed, which made the king very rich and powerful. El Bekri reported that the king of Ghana owned a nugget of gold that was so big that he could tie his horse to it.

The Almoravids devastated Ghana, by destrying the power of the kings. They looted the country and turned people into semi-slaves through heavy taxes. Many of them eventually accepted Islam to avoid or escape these burdens.

Archaeologists have excavated several sites and believe that the ancient capital was most likely from a place called Kumbi Saleh, where a city of 30,000 people once lived.    1     2     3

 Africa in History
 Human Evolution

 North Africa  

 Kingdoms of the South
 Trading Empires
 West Africa

Slave Trade