Pre-Class –Read Page 79-80
• What good was the backbone of the
Trans-Saharan Trade?
• What were the effects of this trade?
Salt for Gold
Trans-Saharan Trade
on sheet
• Trade across the Sahara
• Salt for Gold
• Effect Rise of West African Kingdoms and
10,000 years ago
the Sahara was
fertile grassland.
The desert formed
slowly over
thousands of
Land is turned to
desert. The Sahara
is still growing.
on sheet
Most people
migrated out to
sources of water.
The Nile River
The Nile’s regular
flooding produced
fertile land. This
led to farming.
Some adapted to the
desert: Pastoralists
(nomadic herders)
learned to domesticate
animals, but did not
settle in villages. on sheet
The Sahara
separated the north
from the south and
two cultures
Trade was limited
to the Nile
Introduction of
the camel from
India began a new
age of trade.
• The introduction of the camel to the WestAfricans around 750 AD. They were
practically built for Saharan trade and
travel, and were vastly superior to the horse.
They could carry heavy loads for seemingly
endless distances, were able to keep their
footing on sandy terrain and also could go
for long periods of time without water.
Caravan: group of desert
merchants, especially in northern
Africa and Asia, crossing the desert
together for safety, usually with a
train of camels on sheet
Three trade zones
on sheet
1. Mediterranean
-maintained contact with
Middle East and Europe
Traded: Mediterranean
food manufactured
products and iron
2. Sahara:
Pastoralist culture –
Traded salt for gold to
the north and south
Salt Reading
Saharan salt is either mined as at Taoudenni or
evaporated from salt pans as at Taggiddan n'
Tessoumt. The reddish earth containing salt is
stirred up with water in large pans. As the earth
settles the water is scooped off into smaller pans
where it is evaporated leaving salt.
Salt Mines of Mali
3. Sahel- Traded
gold, ivory, and
animal skins from
the south
Rise of West African
Kingdoms (chart):
• West Africa – 500AD
• Founded by Soninke
• Ruler: King of the Gold
– Title: ghana meaning War Chief
– Governed through princes and officials
• Powerful army- iron tipped spears
– paid a tax for safety
• Gold for Salt trade (Bebers)
• Decline: Almoravids attacked and
broke into smaller states (1076-1235)
• At around 1075, the kingdom of Ghana
met its end. Muslim Berbers, calling
themselves Almoravids, were unhappy
with the ways of the Ghanaians.
Therefore they declared a holy war upon
them, or jihad with ultimately lead to the
destruction of the kingdom.
• West Africa
• Established by Mandingos (Malinke)
and founded by Sundiata
• Controlled trade
• Mansa Musa (1312-1337):strong army;
Islam page 80 quotes
– Justice based on Quran
– Pilgrimage to Mecca = world wide recognition
– Timbuktu: city
–Decline: weakening of central power
(1400’s) – Crash Course Video Mansa Musa 12:00
Between the 13th and
14th century, the
kingdom of Mali
emerged. According to
African oral histories it
was founded by
Sundiata who lived
ruled Mali from 12301255.
Video – Coolest Stuff on the Planet – 5:00
Storm Proofing Mosque – Video – 4:00
• West Africa
• Trade
• Sunni Ali (1464) – Gao and strong
• Askia Muhammad – peak
• Timbuktu – center of learning
• Decline: ethnic conflicts
• 1591: Moroccan army – advanced
Sunni Ali
Tomb of Askia
Manuscripts of mathematics and
astronomy found in Timbuktu.
100 AD
Shona people leave Nigeria because of a population explosion.
200 AD
Ghana founded
350 AD
Ghana learns to smelt iron.
400 AD
Trading centers arise in West Africa
700 AD
Ghana was the first trading kingdom.
800-1000 AD
1042 AD
"Golden Age" of Ghana.
Arabs from North Africa start war with Ghana
1240 AD
Ghana part of Mali
Mansa Musa pilgrimage to Arabia.
Songhai controlled land that had been part of Mali.
1464 AD
Sultan Sunni Ali rules Songhai from city of Gao.
1493 AD
King Askia Muhammad, who succeeded Sunni Ali
1591 AD
1591 Morocco seizes Songhai's gold mines.
1700 AD
Shona people settle in Zimbabwe
How did trade contribute to
the rise of strong African
Trade =
wealth =
strong armies =
expand empire =
maintain trade routes and
benefit from diffusion
The Bantu Migration
•People from
Northwest Africa
called Bantu began
moving southward
around 1000BC - 1100
Bantu Migration Map
*Bantu is a
language type
and ethnic group
on sheet
*They arrive in
Southern Africa where
they were known as the
Xhosa and the Zulu.
East African city-states
• East Coast Africa below Equator
– Malindi, Mombasa, Zanzibar
• Monsoons (Crash Course Video) Crash Course Video Monsoons 10:00
• trade with Islamic kingdoms and India
• Swahili: a mixture of the local Bantu languages
and Arabic. on sheet
• Agriculture
• Zimbabwe gold
• Decline: Portuguese 1500’s
African Trade Routes
• Southern Africa between Zambezi
and Limpopo Rivers
• Means: Great Stone House
• Shona: probably unified diverse
group of people
• Gold trade
• Decline: 1400’s ?
Great Zimbabwe
“Zimbabwe” = “stone enclosure”
Great Enclosure, Zimbabwe
Trade, (controlled by
the Muslims of North
Africa) found its way
to Europe. This got
Europe’s attention.
Europe began
looking for the source
of gold and a route
around Muslim
control of trade.

Trans-Sahara Trade