The salt mines of Idjil in the Sahara were a famous source of the precious commodity for the Ghana Empire (6-13th century CE) and were still going strong in the 15th century CE.
Where was salt found in ancient 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.
Why was salt so valuable in West Africa?
To the north lay the vast Sahara, the source of much of the salt. … 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.
What was salt used for in Africa during the Ghana Empire?
Much of the salt was mined in the Sahara Desert at the city of Taghaza where slaves were used to mine salt. Salt was sometimes used as money and was about as valuable as gold.
Why salt was the most important trading commodity in the Sahara?
Explain why salt was the most important trading commodity in the Sahara? … It made migration and trade much more difficult due to the rough conditions.
Who first converted to Islam in West Africa?
First, Islam spread into the regions West of the Niger Bend (Senegambia, Mali), then into Chad region and finally into Hausaland. According to some Arabic sources the first Black ruler to embrace Islam was the King of Gao who had done so by 1009.
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.
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 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.
What kind of historical source is Salt?
Salt comes from two main sources: sea water and the sodium chloride mineral halite (also known as rock salt). Rock salt occurs in vast beds of sedimentary evaporite minerals that result from the drying up of enclosed lakes, playas, and seas. Salt beds may be up to 350 m thick and underlie broad areas.
What were some effects of slavery on communities in Africa?
The effect of slavery in Africa
Some states, such as Asante and Dahomey, grew powerful and wealthy as a result. Other states were completely destroyed and their populations decimated as they were absorbed by rivals. Millions of Africans were forcibly removed from their homes, and towns and villages were depopulated.
Who was the first king of Africa?
Sundiata Keita was the first ruler of the Mali Empire in the 13th century C.E. He laid the foundation for a powerful and wealthy African empire and proclaimed the first charter of human rights, the Manden Charter.
Why is North Africa Salt important?
Salt was mainly used to preserve foods, like meat, but also corpses, etc. Malians would also need salt in their food, since they wouldn’t normally have much in their diet. They would also import things like glass, ceramics, and precious stones from North Africa.
What are two ways of obtaining salt in the Sahara?
What are two ways of obtaining salt in the Sahara? (Mining and evaporation.) Now go to Salt-hauling camel trains. Scroll down to “Biblical Scene.” Who mined the salt in ancient times? (Slaves, captured in battle and sold to the mine operators.)
How did Islam spread across the Sahara?
Islam first came to West Africa as a slow and peaceful process, spread by Muslim traders and scholars. The early journeys across the Sahara were done in stages. Goods passed through chains of Muslim traders, purchased, finally, by local non-Muslims at the southern most end of the route.