Ghana Empire History

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16 Questions

What was one of the main narratives of the fall of the Kingdom of Ghana?

Stockpile of wealth leading to its downfall

Why did other kingdoms attack Ghana according to the text?

To acquire the land filled with gold

What was a likely reason for the downfall of Ghana apart from its wealth?

Devastating drought draining agricultural resources

How did the Kingdom of Ghana get absorbed into the Islamic Mali Empire?

As a result of Arab conquest from North Africa

What may have motivated the civil wars that weakened the Ghana Empire?

Different beliefs between Muslim citizens and indigenous religion followers

Which empire led the Islamic Mali Empire that absorbed Ghana?

Abu Bakr's Empire

What factor contributed to the downfall of the Kingdom of Ghana due to the perception of its wealth?

Invasion by neighboring empires

Why did other kingdoms view Koumbi Saleh as a land filled with gold?

Ghana was a major trading hub for gold

What event significantly drained the agricultural resources of the Ghana Empire?

Devastating drought

What was a consequence of the civil wars that fragmented the Ghana Empire?

Weakening of the empire

What religious division weakened the Ghana Empire internally?

Disagreement between Muslims and followers of indigenous religion

Who led the Islamic Mali Empire that absorbed the Kingdom of Ghana?

Abu Bakr

What year did the Kingdom of Ghana fall to the Arabs from North Africa?

1235 C.E.

What empire absorbed the Kingdom of Ghana into its territory?

Mali Empire

Which kingdom attacked Ghana in an attempt to gain its resources?

Mali Empire

What was another theory proposed for the fall of the Kingdom of Ghana apart from civil wars and wealth?

Epidemic diseases

Study Notes

The Ghana Empire

  • Existed in West Africa from 830 C.E. to 1235 C.E.
  • Also known as Wagadou and Awkar, with "Ghana" meaning "king of gold"

Geography and Location

  • Not to be confused with the modern-day country of Ghana
  • Located north of modern-day Ghana, occupying the same geographical area as present-day Mauritania and Mali
  • Capital city was Koumbi Saleh, which was the center of trade and the wealthiest city in the empire

Foundation and Economy

  • Founded in 850 C.E. by families and groups who exercised powerful economic trading forces
  • Key industries included iron smelting, which was used to create formidable weapons
  • Central to the gold trade, with the empire's wealth coming from trade and taxation of traders and their goods

Trade and Economy

  • Involved in the Trans-Saharan Gold Trade, trading salt, gold, copper, iron, ivory, and other hard materials
  • Traders from the Kingdom of Ghana were among the first to widely use camels in their business
  • Trade formed one of the strongest aspects of the economy of the Ghana Empire

Government and Leaders

  • Kings of the Ghana Empire lived in Koumbi Saleh and kept their gold in personal treasuries
  • Major rulers of the Kingdom of Ghana include Majan Dyabe Cisse (also known as Dinga Cisse) and Diara Kante

Fall of the Ghana Empire

  • One of the main narratives of the fall of the Kingdom of Ghana was that its stockpile of wealth was the main reason for its downfall
  • Other kingdoms in Africa and throughout the world came to view Koumbi Saleh and the entire kingdom as a land filled with gold
  • Conquered by Arabs from North Africa in 1235 C.E. and absorbed into the Islamic Mali Empire, led by Abu Bakr

Explore the history of the Ghana Empire, an empire that existed in West Africa from 830 C.E. to 1235 C.E. Discover its significance, culture, and impact on the region.

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