facts about ghana empire

Ancient Ghana was located hundreds of miles to the north of present-day Ghana between the Senegal and Niger rivers. The empire of Ghana is mysterious, our primary sources on the era are Arab writers like, al-Fazari, al-Idrisi and al-Bakri who wrote in the 12th and 11th centuries, respectively. Trade Goods were often taxed twice, once when they came into the country & again when they left it. 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. 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. But, the Ghana Empire was rich, well-educated and famous around the world. "Ghana Empire." Your email address will not be published. These rivers and the Sahara desert to the north formed a natural triangle of flat grasslands that the Ghana Empire would occupy (today’s southern portions of Mauritania and Mali). The first empire was the Ghana Empire, which was dominated by the Soninke people, and expanded throughout the region from the eighth century until 1078, when it was defeated by the Almoravids. History of Buganda Kingdom in East Africa ” how it was stated ” up to now. Great Zimbabwe and Angola too please. we need to know our history, especially Eastafrica, i never know about this till to day . The first European writer to reconstruct the history of West Africa’s medieval-era kingdoms based on … 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). [related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page=”4″], Nice story but very brief. Under King Dinga Cisse, the Ghana Empire was given the name ‘Ghana.’ TRADE WAS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE EARLY GHANA EMPIRE. The Empire’s wealth was incredible. The decline set in when other competing trade routes opened up further east and when the climate became unusually dry for a prolonged period, which affected agricultural production. I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT GHANA Urban Art: transforming the cities of Africa. We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. Ghana Empire has been listed as a level-4 vital article in History. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Our mission is to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. It was based on trade in salt and gold. The Sudan region of West Africa (not to be confused with the modern state of that name), where the Ghana Empire would develop, had been inhabited since the Neolithic period as is evidenced by Iron Age tumuli, megaliths and remains of abandoned villages. Because of this growth, the Ghana Empire was the most powerful empire in the region at its time. Trans-Saharan Trade Routesby Aa77zz (Public Domain). Trans-Saharan Camel Caravanby Holger Reineccius (CC BY-SA). The Mande language is important because the people living in the Ghana Empire were the Mande people. More Facts About Ghana . Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. In the 15 th century, Ghana attracted the Portuguese who pounced upon the gold mines and started trading slaves. Facts about Ghana. It was not related to the current country called the Republic of Ghana. The Ghana Empire flourished in West Africa from at least the 6th to 13th century CE. This arrangement worked well for everyone. Leaders may have recognised that adopting the religion (or seeming to), or at the least tolerating it would be beneficial to trade. The kings of Ghana once again illustrated their supreme position by prohibiting anyone else but themselves from owning gold nuggets; merchants had to be satisfied with gold dust. The Ghana Empire from 300 AD to 700 AD was larger than the Ghana we know today. The ancient Roman Civilization started on the Italian Peninsula during the 8th century. The Republic of ... Ghanaian territory comprises of what was once the Ashanti Empire, a very influential pre-colonial African State dominated by the Akan people. 08 Dec 2020. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. The kingdom of Ghana began around 400 CE; Ghana grew to power by 800 CE; Between 300 and 1200 A.D., Ghana controlled the export of salt and gold. Ghana was formed by a merger of … It gained its independence on March 6, 1957. Goods were often taxed twice, once when they came into the country and again when they left it. Excavations have also revealed a significant mosque, a large public square, and parts of a circuit wall and monumental gateway. Under King Dinga Cisse, the Ghana Empire was given the name ‘Ghana.’ Ghana means ‘War Chief’ in the Mande language. The Ghana Empire was known as the ‘The Land of Gold.’ It was the most powerful state in Western Africa. Cartwright, M. (2019, March 05). The first stage in the decline of the Ghana Empire began in the mid-11th century CE. The Fall of the Asante Empire: The Hundred-Year War For Africa'S Gold... Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike, Chu, D. and Elliott Skinner. That’s awesome, could you be having a History on Rwanda? Bordering Countries: Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Togo; Coastline: 335 miles (539 km) Ghana has 47 local languages. This division reflected the continuance of indigenous animist beliefs alongside Islam, the former being practised by rural communities. The Ghana Empire struggled to recover thereafter; Muslim rulers may have been imposed by the Almoravids but concrete evidence is lacking for any sort of conquest. The king did rely on advisors and, from the 11th century CE, even recruited Muslim merchants to act as interpreters and as officials who helped manage the economy and keep track of the goods coming in and out of the country. The capital was much larger than previously thought - the medieval Arab descriptions of a population of 40-50,000 now looking conservative after recent excavations, which show the city spread over an area of 110 acres (45 hectares) with many other smaller settlements immediately surrounding it. Keep learning with us and also don’t forget to follow us on Facebook to receive the latest news on new content published on our site. The name Ghana means warrior king and harks back to the days of the Ghana Empire between the 9th and 13th centuries. All the best to you! The word Ghana means “Warrior King” in the Soninke language. In addition to income from passing trade, the Ghana Empire had access to its own resources, notably iron ore and gold from the fields of Bambuk, which the elite used to exchange for such luxury goods as fine textiles, beads, copper, and horses, which were all brought by Arab traders from the north. It is significant to note that out of the about forty-three (43) forts and castles in West Africa, thirty-three are in Ghana alone. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Many thanks for your comment and your interest in Right for Education. Its lands are now partly in Mauritania and partly in Mali. If you can improve it, please do.This article has been rated as Start-Class. From the Moroccan Empire, gold would be sent to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. These are the primary and factual characteristics of the Ghana Empire. Ghana Empire. The Ghana king was an absolute monarch and the state’s head of justice and religion. Right for Education is Africa’s largest independent online destination for timeless, relevant content that informs, inspires and empowers. WHILST EUROPE WAS IN THE DARK AGES, GHANA FLOURISHED AS AN EMPIRE. "Ghana Empire." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Thanks to these warrior kings that the name ‘Ghana’ came to be born. 16 Interesting Facts About Ghana Formerly, known as the gold coast, Ghana is a country located on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. His special interests include pottery, architecture, world mythology and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share in common. The name Ghana most probably derives from a local title meaning king. 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. thanks for the post. Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. The policy had the added advantage of ensuring the king could control the gold market and ensure its value did not decrease by having too much of it in circulation at any one time. Alternative Titles: Gao empire, Songhay empire Songhai empire, also spelled Songhay, great trading state of West Africa (flourished 15th–16th century), centred on the middle reaches of the Niger River in what is now central Mali and eventually extending west to … Out of these about twenty-five are in good condition, including Elmina and Cape Coast Castles and Fort St. Jago, all three of which are recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Monuments. Ghana's life expectancy is 59 years for males and 60 years for females. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. 1. 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 empire was at it’s peak during the 7th to 13th centuryand it occupied the area of Savannah between the Niger … From its origins, to its long history, to its rich culture, here are 10 things you didn’t know about the Ashanti Kingdom. Ghana became rich. The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. Major rivers in the region such as the Gambia River, Senegal River, and the Niger River served as the means of transportation and trade. Funded in 753BC by its first king, Romulus, it grew into a rich and powerful city during the next few hundred years. C. 1076 CE the capital was sacked by the Almoravids of North Africa (c. 1055 - c. 1147 CE), perhaps in retaliation for the Ghana rulers' attempt to muscle in on trade by Saharan commercial centres. 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. Possession of camels with their utility as transport of goods and people was another factor in the superiority of the Soninke over their rivals. Dear Mark! In them are their idols and the tombs of their kings. "A Glorious Age in Africa, Ghana, Mali, and Songhay: The Story of Three Great African Empires,. The people in Ghana were very happy. 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. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 05 Mar 2019. Please support Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation. In fact, Ghana doesn’t have four seasons, but rather two: one wet and one dry. 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. Cite This Work Web. It was the Mande people who founded the Ghana Empire. With these 50 interesting facts about Ghana, let’s learn more about its: history, culture, geography, people, economy, food, traditions and more. As the empires of Ghana and Mali rose and fell, the Songhai fishermen slowly expanded from a region south of the great bend of the river Niger. There was a certain cultivated mystique about the ruler, partly due to his role as leader of the animist religion amongst his people. Dear Ronald! Thank you! Also known simply as Ghana, it is located 322 km (200 miles) north of modern Bamako, Mali. These traders from the north continued to develop the trade, linking its gold resources with the vital markets in the Mediterranean region, and the empire grew larger by incorporating its neighbors. The Ghana Empire also developed iron. We are always delighted to hear feedback on what you, our audience, would like to read about. By 770 AD, the kings of the Ghana Empire had complete control over the trade routes of the Sahara. https://www.ancient.eu/Ghana_Empire/. 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. By 1000 AD, the Empire of Ghana had grown very large. The Ghana Empire was established between the 9th and 13th centuries. Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence post-colonialism. It may date to as early as the 6th century CE but evidence of some sort of political apparatus is not seen until later. Ghana had an army that could protect the traders. Books Before 1957, Ghana was popularly referred to as ‘The Gold Coast’. The Empire had an army of over 200,000 soldiers. This is a civilization that is over one millennium old. 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. The market grew over time and the British merchants dubbed it the Gold Coast. Ghana cedi (GHS) is its official currency. Sundiata also seized the old Ghana capital in 1240 CE, and he would go on to found the Mali Empire (1240-1645 CE), the largest and richest empire yet seen in Africa. License. Similarly, gold was probably locally mined or panned and then traded along the numerous waterways of the region, but concrete evidence from this early period is lacking. 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). The Empire of Ghana was located in Western Africa in what is today the countries of Mauritania, Senegal, and Mali. Despite its name, the old Empire of Ghana is not geographically, ethnically, or in any other way, related to modern Ghana. thanks well done, and also I am waiting you the History of Somalia, Dear Sadak! Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. 1055 CE) were lost to the Ghana kings and so permitted Berber merchants to directly control more of the region’s trade. Ghana, as a matter of fact, was the title of its ruler. It lies about four hundred miles north west of modern Ghana. 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. It grew in all directions – north, east, south and west. From its capital city Koumbi Saleh, the Ghana Empire looked after the trade of gold, salt and kola nuts. The Ghana empire was also known as Wagadou / ouagadugou , the Muslim geographers also called this place Middle Niger .The meaning of Ghana isWarrior kings, Ghana Empire was one of the great empires in sub-Sahel Africa and in the world, it’s wealth and magnificent architecture and some of the ruins of this great empire can still be found at a certain sites which then belongs to the Ghana empire. This was due to the availability large reserves of gold that were found along river Volta and river Ankobra. Lake Volta, in the Volta region of the country, is … Facts. The precise foundation of the Ghana Empire, or the Kingdom of Ghana as it is sometimes referred to, is not known. One of our interesting historical Ghana facts is that in 1957, the country became the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to gain total independence. We have received your comment and will definitely make sure to soon publish a piece on the history of Somalia. The rulers of Ghana did not help themselves either as the empire was beset by a string of civil wars, the divisions perhaps based on the inherent conflict between Muslim and animist beliefs. The capital of the Ghana Empire was most likely Koumbi Saleh (in the absence of any other viable candidates). Cartwright, Mark. Make sure to also follow us on Facebook to receive the latest updates on our content. Another commodity-currency used in Ghana, besides gold, was copper wiring. Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast, was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain her independence from colonialism. Ghana is one of a handful of countries vying for the title of “closest to the equator”, so you aren’t likely to find many climates as tropical as this. Please help us create teaching materials on Mesopotamia (including several complete lessons with worksheets, activities, answers, essay questions, and more), which will be free to download for teachers all over the world. ITS SO RICH. The empire was most active from the 700s to the 1200s. This move must have upset the economic balance between agricultural Ghana … Islam was spread throughout the region by Muslim merchants as they came into contact with local traders and the elite of urban areas. 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. If you continue to surf rightforeducation.org , you agree to our use of. Ghana is part of one of Africa’s oldest civilizations – the Ghana Empire. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Ghana_Empire/. It has three bordering countries that are Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Togo. Mark is a history writer based in Italy. Western Africa - Western Africa - The early kingdoms and empires of the western Sudan: In the 10th century the kings of Ghana extended their sway over the á¹¢anhājah, the congeries of Amazigh nomadic groups living around Audaghost, just north of their kingdom, who supplied them with salt and North African goods. They had two sides; Muslim and Non-muslim what divided them was a 6 mile boulevard (street). Thank you for the insightful information, a lot of Africans believe that until the white men came we were living on trees. 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. This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects: WikiProject Africa / Mali / Mauritania (Rated Start-class, Top-importance) Iron was used to make farming tools and weapons. We have received your request and will make sure to soon publish a piece on the Buganda Kingdom in East Africa, so keep checking this site and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook to receive the latest updates on our publications! Most of the Songhai became clients of the Mali empire … Consequently, the reputation of Ghana spread to North Africa and Europe, where it was described as a fabulous land of gold. Ghana charged a fee for their protection in gold and in salt and in other goods. 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. Ghana was controlled by Sundiata in 1240 AD, and absorbed into the larger Mali Empire; By the late 1300s A.D., Mali controlled all of the former Kingdom of Ghana as well as much of the territory around it. We are in the process of accumulating a variety of short histories on countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and we have forwarded your message about a history on Rwanda. The period when the empire was at its height is considered to be between the 9th and 11th century CE. In fact, the Ashanti monarchy still continues (in a much smaller form) inside Ghana. As a result, people had to settle around the market and this later came to be the Ghana Empire. The Ghana Empire took salt and cloth from the Kingdom of Morocco in North Africa. Related Content The Ghana Empire started in 300 AD in Western Africa. Today, however, although Ghana, is a presidential democracy, the Ashanti kingdom still survived in the country as a sub-national proto-state that enjoys constitutional protection. Called the Gold Coast, the area was first seen by Portuguese traders in 1470. On the contrary, Ghana's capital at Koumbi Saleh was divided into two distinct towns from the mid-11th century CE. Thank you and please publish more. Last modified March 05, 2019. The Ghana Empire gave gold and kola nuts to the Moroccan Kingdom. 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. Meanwhile, towns like Awdaghost (est. All the best. Ancient History Encyclopedia. The kingdom originated in the 1600s 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. There have been many finds, too, of fine pottery, some of which was traded across the region, as indicated by chemical analysis of the clay. Ghana Was the First Sub-Saharan Country in Africa to Gain Independence. The Ghana Empire was in what is now southeastern Mauritania, Western Mali, and Eastern Senegal.It is also sometimes called the Wagadu Empire.It started in about 750 and ended in about 1076. Though the exact origins of Ghana are clothed in mystery, tradition places the empire's origins in the fourth century AD. It can also get pretty hot, reaching about 30°C, or 86°F, on most days. Ghana was a powerful trading empire in western Africa. Association football or soccer is the most popular sport in Ghana and the country regularly participates in the World Cup. 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. Apart from its small population and area, Ghana is a leading country in western Africa. The Ghana Empire dominated central West African trade in the upper valley of the Niger River from the 6th or 7th century CE. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. The Songhai founded the bustling trading city of Gao just south of this bend in the 1300s c.e. The Akan peoples established the next major civilization, beginning in the 13th century, and then the Ashanti empire flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries. Following the conquest of North Africa by Muslim Arabs in the 7th... UNESCO General History of Africa, Vol. 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. How can you tell left from right in politics? It is perhaps significant that blacksmiths and forgers have long enjoyed an elevated status in the Sudan region. Thanks, Happy to hear about ghana empire god bless our country, wooow!!!!! The Ghana Empire from 300 AD to 700 AD was larger than the Ghana we know today. 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. Need to know more. Written by Mark Cartwright, published on 05 March 2019 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Cartwright, Mark. 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. Fishing and the herding of cattle and goats were other important sources of food. It is famed for its legendary warriors who ruthlessly conquered territories and exerted a powerful reign. 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. Although referred to as the Ghana Empire today, this Medieval West African state was known by its subjects as Wagadou, which means ‘Land of Herds’. 3. While the kingdom eventually fell apart in 1957, many of the traditions still live on. Kingdom in East Africa ” how it was described as a matter fact. Our History, especially Eastafrica, i never know about this till to day you for the next i. Sent to Europe, Asia and the elite of urban areas History, especially Eastafrica, never!, Cote d'Ivoire, Togo ; Coastline: 335 facts about ghana empire ( 539 km ) Ghana has 47 languages... To pay tax to the current country called the Republic of Ghana was ranked as Africa’s most peaceful by. Is no evidence that kings themselves converted to Islam still continues ( in the.! Important PART of the Soninke over their rivals Encyclopedia foundation is a leading in... West of modern Ghana for educational use by the following publications facts about ghana empire ancient History Encyclopedia foundation is a non-profit registered. That content linked from this page may have different licensing terms i never know about this till to...., a large public square, and to provide you with relevant advertising exerted a reign. Mauritania and partly in Mali Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Togo ; Coastline: 335 (. No evidence that kings themselves converted to Islam is mostly savanna grasslands you can improve,. Fabulous land of Gold.’ it was the first stage in the Ghana we know today really to... Population and area, Ghana 's life expectancy is 59 years for males and 60 years for females it... And Michigan state University and Michigan state University and Michigan state University and Michigan state University Michigan! 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