Indeed, the whole history of the region and the Ghana Empire before the 11th century CE remains vague due to a lack of written sources and the rather meagre results of archaeology. The name Ghana most probably derives from a local title meaning king. Jealousy(from all the wealth Ghana had), fear(afraid they would conquer their land), and anger of Ghana’s power prompted its neighbors to stand up against the kingdom. The name Ghana most probably derives from a local title meaning king. Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. ( Log Out / Meanwhile, many rebellious chiefs took the opportunity of a weak central government to declare themselves independent of the empire, notably Tekrur in the Western Sudan region which controlled the Senegal River and which had even allied itself with the Almoravids. The Soninke banded together to form the beginning of Ghana. The Ghana Empire was mostly composed of the Soninke (aka Sarakole) people, who spoke Mande (aka Mandingo) and who occupied the area of savannah between the Niger River (to the southeast) and Senegal River (to the southwest). ( Log Out / Sacrifices and libations were made in his honour, there were strict rules of etiquette in his presence and, when he died, his tomb was laid in a sacred grove which no person could enter. Not connected geographically to the modern state of Ghana, the Ghana Empire was located in the western Sudan savannah region (modern southern Mauritania and Mali) sandwiched between the Sahara desert to the north and the rainforests to the south. In the 1060s, Ghana got invaded by the Almoravids, that were a group of North African Muslims. Final Fall of Ghana The final fall of Ghana was that one of the countries Ghana had conquered rose up in rebellion. The military was unorganized so they couldn’t fight properly. Trade was a big part of how Ghana got its money. The Arab traveller Al-Bakri, visiting near the end of the empire’s history in 1076 CE, describes the capital as being surrounded by wells and with irrigated fields where many vegetables grew.
Housing was typically of one storey and made with mud-dried bricks, pounded earth and wood or stone, all used in the region since prehistory and still in use today. fall of the Roman Empire. So with their main trading empires gone, the Swahili Coast empire didn’t have anyone to depend on and they slowly drifted away, and so did some of their culture. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Cartwright, M. (2019, March 05). Share The rise of Ghana was heavily dependent on the discovery of iron. There was one war after another so Ghana couldn’t recover. Local deposits of copper were exploited and used for trade, while metalworking in the region, as indicated by archaeological finds, dates back to at least the 6th century CE. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. He goes on to state: 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. Another commodity-currency used in Ghana, besides gold, was copper wiring. Leaders may have recognised that adopting the religion (or seeming to), or at the least tolerating it would be beneficial to trade. Trade declined after the gold mining decreased, so there was no income coming in. Sources: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/history/ancient_ghana.php. The empire lasted from 400 to 1200. The wealth of ancient Ghana is explained in the folk tale of Bida, the black snake. The King of Ghana wasn’t helping out those in need when they needed help. Although many territories were taken over, and tribute taxes were enforced, Ghana recovered and forced the invaders to withdraw and get out. The city of Koumbi Saleh, thought by many archaeologists to be the empire’s capital, is estimated to have supported 15,000 to 20,000 people. Indeed, in the Ghana Empire, there is no evidence that kings themselves converted to Islam. One town was Muslim and boasted 12 mosques while the other, just 10 km away and joined by many intermediate buildings, was the royal residence with many traditional cult shrines and one mosque for visiting merchants. Also known simply as Ghana, it is located 322 km (200 miles) north of modern Bamako, Mali. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 05 Mar 2019. The Ghana Empire crumbled from the 12th century CE following drought, civil wars, the opening up of trade routes elsewhere, and the rise of the Sosso Kingdom (c. 1180-1235 CE) and then the Mali Empire (1240-1645 CE). In them are their idols and the tombs of their kings. The King of Ghana wasn’t helping out those in need when they needed help. The traveller Al-Bakri described the Ghana king in the following terms: The king adorns himself like a woman, wearing necklaces and bracelets, and when he sits before the people he puts on a high cap decorated with gold and wrapped in turbans of fine cotton…Behind the king stand ten pages holding shields and swords decorated with gold, and on his right are the sons of the vassal kings of his country wearing splendid garments and their hair plaited with gold. The Ghana Empire flourished in West Africa from at least the 6th to 13th century CE. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. The fall of the Swahili Coast was mostly because of the decline in trade. The region dominated by the Soninke is often referred to as Wagadu in indigenous oral traditions or as Wangara, the Muslim geographers' term for the Middle Niger. Dec 31, 1200. The Rise and Fall of Ghana Timeline created by ... Also, after the war, the Almorsvids weakened the empire by cutting off trade routes and formed new trading partners with muslim leaders. With these advantages, the Ghana Empire acquired new territories and new tribute from subjugated tribal chiefs, and they could monopolise first local and then regional trade.
Control of regional trade was a lucrative business for the kings of Ghana who passed on goods like gold, ivory, hides, ostrich feathers, and slaves to the Muslim merchants (particularly the Sanhaja Berbers) who sent camel caravans that crossed the Sahara from North Africa and which brought much-valued salt to the south. The Fall of the Asante Empire: The Hundred-Year War For Africa'S Gold... Timbuktu Chronicles 1493-1599, Ta'rikh al Fattash, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike, Chu, D. and Elliott Skinner. Trade Goods were often taxed twice, once when they came into the country & again when they left it. Feeling deprived of his sacrifice, Bida took his revenge on the region, and a terrible drought took hold of Ghana and the gold mining began to decline. Really a conglomerate of villages ruled by a single king, the empire prospered thanks to a well-trained army which had cavalry units and access to raw materials such as iron ore to make its weapons and gold deposits to pay its soldiers. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. The Niger River regularly flooded parts of this dry grassland and savannah, which provided fertile land for agriculture beginning at least 3,500 years ago, an endeavour greatly helped by the region’s adequate annual rainfall. https://www.ancient.eu/Ghana_Empire/. As in one the previous posts on the Cultural Mosaic, Ghana was rich in gold and power. Thank you! The city-states began to decline with the incline of Portugese trade. In 1240 C.E., Ghana was conquered and absorbed/added into the growing nation of Mali, which would soon become the next great empire. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Ghana_Empire/.
Ancient History Encyclopedia. Sources: http://www.articlegarden.com/Article/Swahili-Language-and-Culture/77625. "A Glorious Age in Africa, Ghana, Mali, and Songhay: The Story of Three Great African Empires,. Cartwright, Mark. However, the Sosso would be a short-lived kingdom as their king Sumanguru (aka Sumaoro Kante, r. from c. 1200 CE) was defeated by Sundiata Keita in 1235 CE.
There were many competitors in the gold mining trade industry that were trying to overcome Ghana in wealth and power. The first stage in the decline of the Ghana Empire began in the mid-11th century CE. Islam was spread throughout the region by Muslim merchants as they came into contact with local traders and the elite of urban areas. Other surrounding cities and small empires competed with Ghana in gold trade, but eventually, the competitors caught up. Trade was facilitated by the abundance of iron, copper, … The Ghana kings, residing in the capital at Koumbi Saleh, grew immensely rich, building up stockpiles of the gold nuggets only they were permitted to possess. The kingdom of Sosso (aka, Susu, c. 1180-1235 CE) was the biggest inheritor of the crumbling Ghana Empire, aided by the collapse of the Almoravids in the mid-12th century CE. Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri.
Excavations have also revealed a significant mosque, a large public square, and parts of a circuit wall and monumental gateway. However, the latter has increased dramatically in the 21st century CE, and both the antiquity and extent of West African trade, in particular, are now considered to have been greater than previously thought. The Ghana Empire really began to collapse in the 12th century CE. Meanwhile, towns like Awdaghost (est. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Cartwright, Mark.
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