Ancient African Kingdoms Tyler Kirby

Ancient ruins in Ghana


Map of Ghana
  • mostly low plains
  • Traders brought Islam over and Ghana adopted it as the official religion
  • Traded slaves for salt from Arabs
  • Trans-Saharan Trade routes
  • gold, ivory, and slaves from Arabs for salt
  • horses, cloth, swords, and books from North Africans and Europeans
  • kingdom lasted about 800 years
  • formed by the Soninke people
  • their government was a monarchy
  • the culture was a blend of Soninke and Mande
  • they practiced Islam
  • the kingdom is now slightly smaller than Oregon and is known as the Republic of Ghana
  • there is currently a lack of reliable electricity
  • the crime rates are high, especially when it comes to drugs and trafficking
Republic of Ghana flag
Ancient ruins in Mali

Ancient MAli

Map of Mali
  • Mostly flat covered in sand with rugged hills in the Northeast
  • the kingdom of Mali was predominately Islam
  • Mansas- religious and political leaders
  • Mansa Musa was the most prominent mansa in Mali
  • slave labor produced a food surplus
  • slaves were prized for their loyalty
  • all trade went through the Sahara due to caravans
  • gold was a large part of trade
  • established in 1235 by Sundiata
  • collapsed in 1600
  • prospered due to strong trade
  • the Mande people contributed quite a bit to the culture of Mali
  • people in Mali were divided into castes
  • farmers were the most respected caste
  • Mali is now slightly less than half the size of Texas and French is the official language
  • it is a semi-presidential republic
  • Mali is among the 25 poorest countries
Flag of Mali
Ancient Songhai ruins

ancient songhai

Map of Songhai
  • Not a country today but it what it used to be stretches from the current country of Niger to the Atlantic
  • Slightly less than twice the size of Texas
  • mostly desert and sand with hills in the north
  • the leaders of Songhai were Muslim but natives followed their traditional religions (polytheistic)
  • slaves were used to transport goods and were traded with the Europeans
  • most slaves were POW (prisoners of war)
  • traded gold, kola nuts, ivory, and spices for salt, cloth, weapons, horses and copper
  • kingdom lasted from 1464 to 1591
  • Sunni Ali was the prominent rulers of Songhai
  • Timbuktu was an especially important city because it was center of trade
  • the population was separated into five provinces with governors
  • the culture was a blend of West African traditional beliefs and Islam
  • daily life was full of rituals and traditions
  • French is currently the official language of this region
  • a country in this region (Niger) has the highest fertility rate
  • Niger is now a semi-presidential republic
Flag of Niger
Aksum ruins

Ancient aksum

Map of Aksum
  • located on the southern coast of the Red Sea
  • situated on very rough land
  • Christianity became the official religion after 325
  • all trade went through Adulis
  • merchants from all over (central Asia, Persia, India, and Egypt) traded with Aksum
  • there were several different trade routes that went through Aksum
  • they built tall towers called stelae
  • lasted from about 400 B.C. to 940
  • King Ezana was one of the most prominent rulers of Aksum
  • the culture was influenced by Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Arabs
  • many people practiced Christianity
  • they had a developed coin system and language
  • it is currently a small city in Ethiopia
  • the population is just over 50,000
  • it is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Africa
Ethiopian flag

works cited

  • “American History.”, Independence Hall Association, Accessed 9 Mar. 2017.
  • “Ghana HomePage, Resource for News, Sports, Facts, Opinions, Business and Entertainment.” Ghana HomePage, Resource for News, Sports, Facts, Opinions, Business and Entertainment, Accessed 9 Mar. 2017.
  • “Ancient History Encyclopedia.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, Accessed 9 Mar. 2017.
  • “Central Intelligence Agency.” Central Intelligence Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, 26 Mar. 2013, Accessed 9 Mar. 2017.
  • “Ducksters: Education Site.” Ducksters Educational Site, Accessed 9 Mar. 2017.
  • “Ancient Mali Gold Trade Routes.” Ancient Mali Trade Routes vs. European Trade Routes, Accessed 9 Mar. 2017.
  • Mads. “Songhai, African Empire, 15-16th Century.” Mads, 8 Nov. 2011, Accessed 9 Mar. 2017.


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