The inhospitable Sahara desert was the chief natural source of rock salt, either acquired from surface deposits caused by the desiccation process such as found in old lake beds or extracted from relatively shallow mines where the salt is naturally formed into slabs.
Where did the salt come from in Africa?
South Africa, Namibia (Photo 1) and Botswana are the main sources of salt in southern Africa. The main sources and the flow pattern of salt across Sub-Saharan Africa are shown in Figure 1. This prompts the development of a regional strategy to ensure that salt is iodized at the production sources.
Did salt come from Africa?
A human necessity and source of commerce, salt has been in high demand in West Africa since the 12th century when it was first found in the sand dunes of the desert. Its discovery gave rise to a robust commodity trade that quickly paved a near-mythical trail connecting Timbuktu with Europe, southern Africa, and Persia.
What did West Africans need to do to get salt?
Local trade between farmers and pastoralists typically meant that many West Africa farmers could get their salt needs, eating the blood, milk products, and sometimes meat of their neighbors’ herds. (Remember that farmers who get most of their calories from grains must acquire salt from somewhere.)
Why is salt so valuable in Africa?
People wanted gold for its beauty, but they needed salt in their diets to survive. Salt, which could be used to preserve food, also made bland food tasty. These qualities made salt very valuable. In fact, Africans sometimes cut up slabs of salt and used the pieces as money.
Why did people in West Africa need salt?
West Africans also needed salt to keep their food from spoiling and to give to their cattle. In addition, people liked the taste. West Africans had no local source of salt. They had to obtain it from Taghaza and other places in the Sahara.
What religions existed in West Africa?
Some of the African traditional religions are those of the Serer of Senegal, the Yoruba and Igbo of Nigeria, and the Akan of Ghana and the Ivory Coast, and the Bono of Ghana and Ivory Coast.
What country is salt from?
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Is salt more valuable than gold?
The historian explains that, going by trade documents from Venice in 1590, you could purchase a ton of salt for 33 gold ducats (ton the unit of measure, not the hyperbolic large quantity). … The fact is that it was actually salt trade that held more worth than the gold industry.
Why is salt so cheap?
With a predictable market and no way to improve the product what happens is that profit margins are kept low and the market gets dominated by large suppliers. Food salt is comparatively a small market and the price is so cheap that it would scarcely generate more than a few dollars per household per year.
Why did ancient Africa need salt?
Once cultures began relying on grain, vegetable, or boiled meat diets instead of mainly hunting and eating roasted meat, adding salt to food became an absolute necessity for maintaining life. Because the Akan lived in the forests of West Africa, they had few natural resources for salt and always needed to trade for it.
Why is Timbuktu poor today?
After a shift in trading routes, particularly after the visit by Mansa Musa around 1325, Timbuktu flourished from the trade in salt, gold, ivory, and slaves. It became part of the Mali Empire early in the 14th century. … Presently, Timbuktu is impoverished and suffers from desertification.
What were three major effects of Islam’s arrival in Africa?
Islam promoted trade between West Africa and the Mediterranean. The religion developed and widened the trans-Saharan Caravan trade. The trade enriched the West African and the Muslim traders. Muslims from North Africa came in their numbers and settled in the commercial centres.
Why did Roman soldiers get paid in salt?
In Roman times, and throughout the Middle Ages, salt was a valuable commodity, also referred to as “white gold.” This high demand for salt was due to its important use in preserving food, especially meat and fish. Being so valuable, soldiers in the Roman army were sometimes paid with salt instead of money.
Why was salt so valuable in ancient times?
Prior to industrialization, it was extremely expensive and labor-intensive to harvest the mass quantities of salt necessary for food preservation and seasoning. This made salt an extremely valuable commodity. … During the Middle Ages, salt was transported along roads built especially for that purpose.
Who brought Islam to West Africa?
– Islam arrived in sub-Saharan West Africa as early as the 8th century, travelling with Arab traders from North Africa. The Muslim merchants brought trade and goods to exchange for gold and facilitated trade by introducing concepts such as contract law and credit arrangements.