Make sure to also follow us on Facebook to receive the latest updates on our content. "A Glorious Age in Africa, Ghana, Mali, and Songhay: The Story of Three Great African Empires,. The Ghana Empire from 300 AD to 700 AD was larger than the Ghana we know today. Ancient Ghana was located hundreds of miles to the north of present-day Ghana between the Senegal and Niger rivers. 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). Bordering Countries: Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Togo; Coastline: 335 miles (539 km) Ghana has 47 local languages. That’s awesome, could you be having a History on Rwanda? The empire was at it’s peak during the 7th to 13th centuryand it occupied the area of Savannah between the Niger … The Ghana Empire started in 300 AD in Western Africa. The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. If you continue browsing the site, you agree to the use of cookies on this website. These are the primary and factual characteristics of the Ghana Empire. [related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page=”4″], Nice story but very brief. This is a civilization that is over one millennium old. In them are their idols and the tombs of their kings. The Ghana Empire dominated central West African trade in the upper valley of the Niger River from the 6th or 7th century CE. Thank you so much for your comment. WHILST EUROPE WAS IN THE DARK AGES, GHANA FLOURISHED AS AN EMPIRE. The Empire is one of the most internationally famous African empires and was extensively studied by the British. 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. They worked hard, but they were safe and protected. 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. Ancient History Encyclopedia. By 1000 AD, the Empire of Ghana had grown very large. The capital of the Ghana Empire was most likely Koumbi Saleh (in the absence of any other viable candidates). Fishing and the herding of cattle and goats were other important sources of food. It is perhaps significant that blacksmiths and forgers have long enjoyed an elevated status in the Sudan region. Books Cartwright, Mark. Major rivers in the region such as the Gambia River, Senegal River, and the Niger River served as the means of transportation and trade. History of Buganda Kingdom in East Africa ” how it was stated ” up to now. Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence post-colonialism. Ghana, as a matter of fact, was the title of its ruler. Related Content It lies about four hundred miles north west of modern Ghana. Ghana Empire. Your email address will not be published. Most of the Songhai became clients of the Mali empire … 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. 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. From its origins, to its long history, to its rich culture, here are 10 things you didn’t know about the Ashanti Kingdom. It gained its independence on March 6, 1957. Please support Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation. 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). Great Zimbabwe and Angola too please. 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. Thank you for the insightful information, a lot of Africans believe that until the white men came we were living on trees. 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 Empire of Ghana controlled 650,000 square kilometres of land, which is 3 times the size of Britain today. On the contrary, Ghana's capital at Koumbi Saleh was divided into two distinct towns from the mid-11th century CE. Trade Goods were often taxed twice, once when they came into the country & again when they left it. The kingdom originated in the 1600s Before 1957, Ghana was popularly referred to as ‘The Gold Coast’. You Have Successfully Subscribed to the Newsletter, Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress, Right for Education uses cookies to improve your experience on our site. Thanks, Happy to hear about ghana empire god bless our country, wooow!!!!! While the kingdom eventually fell apart in 1957, many of the traditions still live on. People had to pay tax to the kings of the Ghana Empire if they wanted to trade with West Africa. 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. 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. 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. Called the Gold Coast, the area was first seen by Portuguese traders in 1470. 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. But, the Ghana Empire was rich, well-educated and famous around the world. In fact, the Ashanti monarchy still continues (in a much smaller form) inside Ghana. From its capital city Koumbi Saleh, the Ghana Empire looked after the trade of gold, salt and kola nuts. The people in Ghana were very happy. Despite its name, the old Empire of Ghana is not geographically, ethnically, or in any other way, related to modern Ghana. 16 Interesting Facts About Ghana Formerly, known as the gold coast, Ghana is a country located on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. 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. It grew in all directions – north, east, south and west. The Empire had an army of over 200,000 soldiers. We are always delighted to hear feedback on what you, our audience, would like to read about. It was based on trade in salt and gold. The first European writer to reconstruct the history of West Africa’s medieval-era kingdoms based on … 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. Ghana Was the First Sub-Saharan Country in Africa to Gain Independence. Indeed, in the Ghana Empire, there is no evidence that kings themselves converted to Islam. A project about the Ghana empire Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. If you continue to surf , you agree to our use of. Thank you! 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. The Mande language is important because the people living in the Ghana Empire were the Mande people. In the 15 th century, Ghana attracted the Portuguese who pounced upon the gold mines and started trading slaves. The name Ghana most probably derives from a local title meaning king. The Songhai founded the bustling trading city of Gao just south of this bend in the 1300s c.e. The precise foundation of the Ghana Empire, or the Kingdom of Ghana as it is sometimes referred to, is not known. It was not related to the current country called the Republic of Ghana. All the best to you! By 770 AD, the kings of the Ghana Empire had complete control over the trade routes of the Sahara. It has three bordering countries that are Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Togo. 1055 CE) were lost to the Ghana kings and so permitted Berber merchants to directly control more of the region’s trade. More Facts About Ghana . 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. Dear Mark! Ghana had an army that could protect the traders. 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. 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 may date to as early as the 6th century CE but evidence of some sort of political apparatus is not seen until later. 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’. It is famed for its legendary warriors who ruthlessly conquered territories and exerted a powerful reign. How can you tell left from right in politics? License. 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. As a result, people had to settle around the market and this later came to be the Ghana Empire. thanks for the post. Cartwright, Mark. As Dinga approached death, he decided to bequeath his chiefly power… Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. The Empire of Ghana was located in Western Africa in what is today the countries of Mauritania, Senegal, and Mali. His special interests include pottery, architecture, world mythology and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share in common. 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. They benefited from the wealth that poured into the empire. Ghana was a powerful trading empire in western Africa. 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. With these 50 interesting facts about Ghana, let’s learn more about its: history, culture, geography, people, economy, food, traditions and more. It is also called the Wagadou Empire. Ghana charged a fee for their protection in gold and in salt and in other goods. 3. The name Ghana most probably derives from a local title meaning king. The region lies just south of the Sahara Desert and is mostly savanna grasslands. "Ghana Empire." 08 Dec 2020. Urban Art: transforming the cities of Africa. 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. Mark is a history writer based in Italy. 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. 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 … The Fall of the Asante Empire: The Hundred-Year War For Africa'S Gold... Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike, Chu, D. and Elliott Skinner. The Ghana Empire really began to collapse in the 12th century CE. From the Moroccan Empire, gold would be sent to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The name Ghana means warrior king and harks back to the days of the Ghana Empire between the 9th and 13th centuries. This move must have upset the economic balance between agricultural Ghana … 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. 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 is part of one of Africa’s oldest civilizations – the Ghana Empire. Retrieved from The ancient Roman Civilization started on the Italian Peninsula during the 8th century. TRADE WAS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE EARLY GHANA EMPIRE. The period when the empire was at its height is considered to be between the 9th and 11th century CE. It controlled a large part of West Africa. 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. 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 Ghana Empire was established between the 9th and 13th centuries. Thank you and please publish more. Trans-Saharan Camel Caravanby Holger Reineccius (CC BY-SA). 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. ITS SO RICH. Thanks our dear friend its a wonderful history in Ghana! 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. thanks well done, and also I am waiting you the History of Somalia, Dear Sadak! 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. 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. Association football or soccer is the most popular sport in Ghana and the country regularly participates in the World Cup. This arrangement worked well for everyone. She gained her independence on March 6, 1957. 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. The Ghana Empire also developed iron. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. 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 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. Facts about Ghana. Last modified March 05, 2019. This presentation on the Empire of Ghana was created for the 7th graders at KIPP SF Bay Academy. The Ghana Empire gave gold and kola nuts to the Moroccan Kingdom. 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. Trade was facilitated by the abundance of iron, copper, gold, and ivory and easy access to the Niger and Senegal Rivers and their tributaries. At the time, Europe was in the Dark Ages and had disease, no education and war. Funded in 753BC by its first king, Romulus, it grew into a rich and powerful city during the next few hundred years. Excavations have also revealed a significant mosque, a large public square, and parts of a circuit wall and monumental gateway. 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. 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. Iron was used to make farming tools and weapons. 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. 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. 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. Thanks to these warrior kings that the name ‘Ghana’ came to be born. If you can improve it, please do.This article has been rated as Start-Class. 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. Following the conquest of North Africa by Muslim Arabs in the 7th... UNESCO General History of Africa, Vol. 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. According to oral tradition, the Ghana Empire was founded by Diabe Cissé, a younger son of Dinga, who is considered to be the ancestor of the Soninke people. 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). We have received your comment and will definitely make sure to soon publish a piece on the history of Somalia. 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. "Ghana Empire." Lake Volta, in the Volta region of the country, is … Need to know more. The Ghana Empire flourished in West Africa from at least the 6th to 13th century CE. 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. 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. Dear Ronald! It is also called the Wagadou Empire. Its lands are now partly in Mauritania and partly in Mali. Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. Facts About Ghana. 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. Consequently, the reputation of Ghana spread to North Africa and Europe, where it was described as a fabulous land of gold. The Ghana Empire flourished in West Africa from at least the 6th to 13th century CE. Ghana's life expectancy is 59 years for males and 60 years for females. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the Publishing Director at AHE. Because of this growth, the Ghana Empire was the most powerful empire in the region at its time. Apart from its small population and area, Ghana is a leading country in western Africa. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Islam was spread throughout the region by Muslim merchants as they came into contact with local traders and the elite of urban areas. All the best. 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. Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. The word Ghana means “Warrior King” in the Soninke language. Trans-Saharan Trade Routesby Aa77zz (Public Domain). In fact, Ghana doesn’t have four seasons, but rather two: one wet and one dry. Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast, was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain her independence from colonialism. Ghana became rich. Meanwhile, towns like Awdaghost (est. There was a certain cultivated mystique about the ruler, partly due to his role as leader of the animist religion amongst his people. It was the Mande people who founded the Ghana Empire. Under King Dinga Cisse, the Ghana Empire was given the name ‘Ghana.’ This division reflected the continuance of indigenous animist beliefs alongside Islam, the former being practised by rural communities. Goods were often taxed twice, once when they came into the country and again when they left it. The Ghana Empire from 300 AD to 700 AD was larger than the Ghana we know today. Leaders may have recognised that adopting the religion (or seeming to), or at the least tolerating it would be beneficial to trade. The market grew over time and the British merchants dubbed it the Gold Coast. Cite This Work Under King Dinga Cisse, the Ghana Empire was given the name ‘Ghana.’ Ghana means ‘War Chief’ in the Mande language. Ghana Empire has been listed as a level-4 vital article in History. 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 started in 300 AD in Western Africa. Ghana was ranked as Africa’s most peaceful country by the Global Peace Index. This was due to the availability large reserves of gold that were found along river Volta and river Ankobra. Ancient History Encyclopedia. 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. Facts. This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects: WikiProject Africa / Mali / Mauritania (Rated Start-class, Top-importance) 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! The first stage in the decline of the Ghana Empire began in the mid-11th century CE. Another commodity-currency used in Ghana, besides gold, was copper wiring. Thank you for your interest in our website. Web. Cereals such as red-skinned African rice and millet were grown with success, as were pulses, tuber and root crops, oil and fibre plants, and fruits. 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. Written by Mark Cartwright, published on 05 March 2019 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. The Ghana king was an absolute monarch and the state’s head of justice and religion. 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. The ancient empire of Ghana (located 500 mi northwest of the contemporary state) reigned until the 13th century. They had two sides; Muslim and Non-muslim what divided them was a 6 mile boulevard (street). 1. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 05 Mar 2019. 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. Right for Education is Africa’s largest independent online destination for timeless, relevant content that informs, inspires and empowers. The empire was most active from the 700s to the 1200s. The Ghana Empire took salt and cloth from the Kingdom of Morocco in North Africa. The Empire’s wealth was incredible. ". we need to know our history, especially Eastafrica, i never know about this till to day . Ghana cedi (GHS) is its official currency. By the ninth century, the area had become affluent according to accounts by Muslim traders who began to visit the area. The Ghana Empire was known as the ‘The Land of Gold.’ It was the most powerful state in Western Africa. 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. Cartwright, M. (2019, March 05). 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facts about ghana empire

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