Home Region:  West Africa (Africa)

Middle Wagadu Empire

D G SC WF HS EQ 2020  mr_wagadu_2 / MrWagdM

Preceding:
[continuity; Wagadu] [continuity]   Update here
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
No Polity found. Add one here.

The Kingdom of Ghana was the first documented empire of West Africa. Its dominant people, a northern Mande group known as the Soninke, called it ’Wagadu’, [1] and Berber traders from the Sahara referred to it as ’Awkar’. [2] Spreading east and north from the Senegal River into modern-day Mauritania and Mali, [3] this polity started growing as a confederation from the 6th century CE. [4] From the 8th century onwards, geographers from North Africa and Spain such as Ibn Hawqal began to document the existence of Ghana in Arabic texts, fantasizing about its gold and resources. [5] The polity reached its peak in the mid-11th century: [6] [7] at this stage, its influence spread over Awdaghust (or Aoudaghost) in the Sahara [8] and it encroached on the Niger Inland Delta. [9] [10]
Population and political organization
The Wagadu empire comprised four provinces administered by a central government. [11] The king exerted direct authority over his kingdom; he was also head of the traditional religion and was revered as a god. [12] Wagadu society was highly hierarchical, distinguishing between the elite warrior class and the rest of the population: professional artisans including smiths, weavers, dyers and shoemakers; farmers and herders; and slaves. [12] These groups were further subdivided along clan lines. [13]
This period was a prosperous one for the Sudanese region, which produced millet, maize, yam, groundnuts, cotton, indigo and other crops. [14] Linked into a thriving exchange sphere that stretched north to North Africa and the Mediterranean, [14] the Sudanese population exported gold, slaves, hides, and ivory and imported copper, silver beads, dried fruit and cloth. [14] All exports and imports were taxed by the centralized state. [13] Trading outposts in Awdhagust and other Saharan towns facilitated fruitful exchange with Berbers and other groups from further afield. [15]
Population estimates are difficult to obtain for ancient Ghana. However, it is worth noting that its capital, the thriving trading city of Kumbi Saleh, covered 250 hectares and had a population of 15,000-20,000 people at its peak. [16] Archaeological investigations at the site have revealed two-storey stone buildings which may have contained stores on the ground floor, narrow streets with densely packed houses, a mosque, and extensive cemeteries. [16]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 23) David C. Conrad. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. Revised Edition. New York: Chelsea House Publishers.

[2]: (Davidson 1998, 26) Basil Davidson. 1998. West Africa before the Colonial Era. London: Routledge.

[3]: (Conrad 2005, 19) David C. Conrad. 2005. Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. New York: Facts On File.

[4]: Susan K. McIntosh and Roderick J. McIntosh. n.d. ’Jenne-jeno, an ancient African city’. Available online at http://anthropology.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=500.)

[5]: (Conrad 2005, 11) David C. Conrad. 2005. Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. New York: Facts On File.

[6]: (Davidson 1998, 34) Basil Davidson. 1998. West Africa before the Colonial Era. London: Routledge.

[7]: (Conrad 2010, 33) David C. Conrad. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. Revised Edition. New York: Chelsea House Publishers.

[8]: (Conrad 2010, 32-33) David C. Conrad. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. Revised Edition. New York: Chelsea House Publishers.

[9]: (Niane 1975, n.p.) Djibril Tamsir Niane. 1975. Le Soudan Occidental au temps des grands empires XI-XVIe siècle. Paris: Présence africai­ne.

[10]: (Simonis 2010, 36) Francis Simonis. 2010. L’Afrique soudanaise au Moyen Age: Le temps des grands empires (Ghana, Mali, Songhaï). Aix-Marseille: CRDP de l’Académie d’Aix-Marseille.

[11]: (Conrad 2005, 18) David C. Conrad. 2005. Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. New York: Facts On File.

[12]: (Niane 1975, 32) Djibril Tamsir Niane. 1975. Le Soudan Occidental au temps des grands empires XI-XVIe siècle. Paris: Présence africai­ne.

[13]: (Niane 1975, 33) Djibril Tamsir Niane. 1975. Le Soudan Occidental au temps des grands empires XI-XVIe siècle. Paris: Présence africai­ne.

[14]: (Lapidus 2012, 589-90) Ira M. Lapidus. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[15]: (Meideros 1980, 160) Francois de Meideros. 1980. ’Les peuples du Soudan: Mouvements de populations’, in Histoire Générale de l’Afrique, Vol. 3: L’Afrique du VIIe au XIe siècle, edited by M. El Fasi, 143-64. Paris: UNESCO.

[16]: (Reader 1998, 280) John Reader. 1998. Africa: A Biography of the Continent. London: Penguin Books.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
30 P  
30 Q  
Original Name:
Ghana Empire I  
Capital:
Kumbi Saleh  
Alternative Name:
Wagadu Middle Period  
Ghana  
Kingdom of Ghana  
Ghana Empire  
Cisse Dynasty  
Soninke state  
Awkar  
Janawa  
Aoukar  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[1,025 CE ➜ 1,050 CE]  
Duration:
[700 CE ➜ 1,077 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]  
Supracultural Entity:
Mande  
Succeeding Entity:
Ghana II  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
UNCLEAR:    [continuity]  
Degree of Centralization:
unitary state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Language:
Mande  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[15,000 to 20,000] people  
Polity Territory:
[350,000 to 400,000] km2  
Polity Population:
[1,000,000 to 1,250,000] people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4  
Religious Level:
[2 to 3]  
Military Level:
[3 to 4]  
Administrative Level:
4  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
inferred absent  
Professional Priesthood:
inferred present  
Professional Military Officer:
inferred absent  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
inferred present  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
absent  
present  
Examination System:
inferred absent  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
present  
Judge:
inferred present  
Formal Legal Code:
inferred present  
Court:
present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
unknown  
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
inferred absent  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
inferred present  
Port:
present  
Canal:
inferred absent  
Bridge:
unknown  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent  
Script:
absent  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
absent  
Mnemonic Device:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent  
Sacred Text:
absent  
Religious Literature:
absent  
Practical Literature:
absent  
Philosophy:
absent  
Lists Tables and Classification:
absent  
History:
absent  
Fiction:
absent  
Calendar:
absent  
Information / Money
Token:
unknown  
Precious Metal:
present  
Paper Currency:
unknown  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
absent  
Foreign Coin:
inferred present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
unknown  
General Postal Service:
inferred absent  
Courier:
inferred present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
inferred present  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
unknown  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
absent  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
unknown  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
unknown  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
unknown  
  Bronze:
unknown  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
unknown  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
unknown  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
unknown  
  Composite Bow:
unknown  
  Atlatl:
unknown  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
unknown  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
unknown  
  Dagger:
unknown  
  Battle Axe:
unknown  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
absent  
  Donkey:
unknown  
  Dog:
inferred present  
  Camel:
inferred present  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
unknown  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
unknown  
  Plate Armor:
unknown  
  Limb Protection:
present  
absent  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
absent  
  Laminar Armor:
unknown  
  Helmet:
present  
absent  
  Chainmail:
present  
absent  
  Breastplate:
present  
absent  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
inferred absent  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Middle Wagadu Empire (mr_wagadu_2) was in:
 (1000 CE 1077 CE)   Niger Inland Delta
Home NGA: Niger Inland Delta

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Ghana Empire I

Wagadu. "Visitors from North Africa began referring to the Soninke state as Ghana, but the Soninke themselves and other Mande peoples know the ancient kingdom as Wagadu." [1] The Soninke "were the most northern of the Mande peoples, and they called their area Wagadu." [2]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 38)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 23)


Capital:
Kumbi Saleh

Al-Zuhri (c1130-1155 CE) "considered Ghana the capital of the Janawa" [1] Royal capital of Ghana kingdom has yet to be found. Kumbi Saleh (Ghana) was trader’s city. [2]
"In the course of Ghana’s long history, the king’s capital was undoubtably moved from one place to another." [3] The last capital was Kumbi Saleh, "about 320 kilometres north of modern Bamako. Here too there was a town where the king of Ghana lived, and another town nearby where the Muslim traders had their houses and stables." [3]

[1]: (Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 24)

[2]: (Devisse 1988, 416)

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 28) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Alternative Name:
Wagadu Middle Period

"Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Soninke. Wagadu. [2] "Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Al-Zuhri (c1130-1155 CE) "considered Ghana the capital of the Janawa" [3]
"Wagadu, known to the Berber traders of the Saharan market centres as Aoukar. But the world came to know it by the title of its king, which was Ghana." [4]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 14)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 24)

[3]: (Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 24)

[4]: (Davidson 1998, 26) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

Alternative Name:
Ghana

"Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Soninke. Wagadu. [2] "Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Al-Zuhri (c1130-1155 CE) "considered Ghana the capital of the Janawa" [3]
"Wagadu, known to the Berber traders of the Saharan market centres as Aoukar. But the world came to know it by the title of its king, which was Ghana." [4]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 14)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 24)

[3]: (Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 24)

[4]: (Davidson 1998, 26) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

Alternative Name:
Kingdom of Ghana

"Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Soninke. Wagadu. [2] "Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Al-Zuhri (c1130-1155 CE) "considered Ghana the capital of the Janawa" [3]
"Wagadu, known to the Berber traders of the Saharan market centres as Aoukar. But the world came to know it by the title of its king, which was Ghana." [4]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 14)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 24)

[3]: (Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 24)

[4]: (Davidson 1998, 26) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

Alternative Name:
Ghana Empire

"Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Soninke. Wagadu. [2] "Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Al-Zuhri (c1130-1155 CE) "considered Ghana the capital of the Janawa" [3]
"Wagadu, known to the Berber traders of the Saharan market centres as Aoukar. But the world came to know it by the title of its king, which was Ghana." [4]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 14)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 24)

[3]: (Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 24)

[4]: (Davidson 1998, 26) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

Alternative Name:
Cisse Dynasty

"Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Soninke. Wagadu. [2] "Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Al-Zuhri (c1130-1155 CE) "considered Ghana the capital of the Janawa" [3]
"Wagadu, known to the Berber traders of the Saharan market centres as Aoukar. But the world came to know it by the title of its king, which was Ghana." [4]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 14)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 24)

[3]: (Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 24)

[4]: (Davidson 1998, 26) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

Alternative Name:
Soninke state

"Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Soninke. Wagadu. [2] "Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Al-Zuhri (c1130-1155 CE) "considered Ghana the capital of the Janawa" [3]
"Wagadu, known to the Berber traders of the Saharan market centres as Aoukar. But the world came to know it by the title of its king, which was Ghana." [4]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 14)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 24)

[3]: (Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 24)

[4]: (Davidson 1998, 26) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

Alternative Name:
Awkar

"Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Soninke. Wagadu. [2] "Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Al-Zuhri (c1130-1155 CE) "considered Ghana the capital of the Janawa" [3]
"Wagadu, known to the Berber traders of the Saharan market centres as Aoukar. But the world came to know it by the title of its king, which was Ghana." [4]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 14)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 24)

[3]: (Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 24)

[4]: (Davidson 1998, 26) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

Alternative Name:
Janawa

"Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Soninke. Wagadu. [2] "Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Al-Zuhri (c1130-1155 CE) "considered Ghana the capital of the Janawa" [3]
"Wagadu, known to the Berber traders of the Saharan market centres as Aoukar. But the world came to know it by the title of its king, which was Ghana." [4]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 14)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 24)

[3]: (Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 24)

[4]: (Davidson 1998, 26) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

Alternative Name:
Aoukar

"Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Soninke. Wagadu. [2] "Ghana is a title given to their kings; the name of the region is Awkar." [1] Al-Zuhri (c1130-1155 CE) "considered Ghana the capital of the Janawa" [3]
"Wagadu, known to the Berber traders of the Saharan market centres as Aoukar. But the world came to know it by the title of its king, which was Ghana." [4]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 14)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 24)

[3]: (Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 24)

[4]: (Davidson 1998, 26) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[1,025 CE ➜ 1,050 CE]

"Ghana reached its height in the early 11th century." [1]
At this time Awdaghust was a rich commercial city. [2]
Ghana/Soninke "took control" of Awdahust in the mid-11th century. "The Zanata traders of the city accepted Soninke authority." [3] Previously city de facto controlled by Sanhaja berbers.
Sanhaja berbers recapture Awdaghust as Almoravid dynasty [3] from 1054-c1100 CE
"About 1050 ... Ghana at heigh of its power." [4]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 24)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 31)

[3]: (Conrad 2010, 33)

[4]: (Davidson 1998, 34) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Duration:
[700 CE ➜ 1,077 CE]

"...the Empire of Ghana, an influential confederation that consolidated power within large areas to the north and west of the Inland Niger Delta sometime after 500 C.E.." [1]
"the only area in which we can convincingly assert that a kingdom existed in the period under review was at the western edge of the Sudan, where the kingdom of Ghana was certainly in existence by +700 and could have been emerging for up to a thousand years." [2]
"Ecology, not conquest, brought about the fall of Ghana. The herds were too big, there were too many people." [3]
"In former times the people of this country professed paganism until the year 469/1076-1077 when Yahya b. Abu Bakr the amir of Masufa made his appearance." [4]
"With the decline of the Almoravids in the twelfth century, Ghana became the richest kingdom in the Sudan, but in the thirteenth century its former tributaries freed themselves from central control, and the kingdom disintegrated. The decline of Ghana gave rise to a number of small states among Soninke-speaking peoples." [5]
"L’empire du Ghana fut détruit par les Almoravides, qui s’emparerent de sa capitale, Ghana, en 1076-1077, mais la ville ne fut abandonnee qu’apres la conquete par le Mandingue Soundiata, vers 1240" The Ghana Empire was destroyed by the Almoravids, who seized the capital, Ghana, 1076-1077, but the city was not abandoned after the conquest by the Mandingo Sundiata, until 1240 [6]

[1]: (Susan Keech McIntosh and Roderick J. McIntosh "Jenne-jeno, an ancient African city" http://anthropology.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=500)

[2]: (Posnansky 1981, 723, 731)

[3]: (Reader 1998, 277)

[4]: (Al-Zuhri c1130-1155 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 24-25)

[5]: (Lapidus 2012, 591)

[6]: (http://www.larousse.fr/encyclopedie/autre-region/empire_du_Ghana/121313)


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]

Berbers
Sanhaja culture also in Ghana Empire. "The Sanhaja were a desert people and spoke a regional variation of the Berber language. Like their North African relatives, they subdivided themselves into large clans ... In the Western Sahara in the 11th century, the Sanhaja founded the Almoravid dynasty of the Islamic Empire." [1] The Sanhaja Berbers lived in tents rather than permanent settlements. They guided and protected caravans, and raided. [2]
Zanata Berbers were the dominant traders in Awdaghust. They lived in the city. [2]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 19)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 33)


Supracultural Entity:
Mande

"The dominant people of ancient Ghana were the Soninke." [1] "The dominant peoples of both the Ghana and Mali Empires ... were part of a huge, complex cultural group whose people, taken together, are known as Mande. " [2] Soninke are Mande peoples.

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 23)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 19)


Succeeding Entity:
Ghana II

Wagadu Late Soninke Period


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity

Preceding Entity:
Wagadu

Awkar Confederation


Degree of Centralization:
unitary state

"The persistently arid conditions which for centuries had been a primary determinant of human population trends and movements in sub-Saharan Africa yielded to more amenable conditions around AD 300. Rainfall increased and became plentiful during the period up to about AD 1100, promoting the expansion of both local and long-distance trade networks. Population densities increased too - of both humans and livestock - and a conjunction of internal and external influences transformed the political structure of some ethnic groups from the age-set system which dispersed authority through the community to a system favouring centralized control and the formation of states." [1]
"the only area in which we can convincingly assert that a kingdom existed in the period under review was at the western edge of the Sudan, where the kingdom of Ghana was certainly in existence by +700 and could have been emerging for up to a thousand years." [2]

[1]: (Reader 1998, 277-278)

[2]: (Posnansky 1981, 723, 731)


Language
Linguistic Family:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI

Language:
Mande

"The dominant peoples of both the Ghana and Mali Empires ... were part of a huge, complex cultural group whose people, taken together, are known as Mande. " [1]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 19)


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[15,000 to 20,000] people

Inhabitants.
Will assume estimate for Koumbi Saleh refers to this period since the same author earlier said that "Timbuktu was already a trading centre of notable size in the eighth century AD." [1] If we used the hectare coverage to provide an estimate 200 per ha for 250 hectares would give us 50,000 people. However, we do not know if all the hectares were occupied at the same time so will go with the previous numerical estimate for the same place made by the same author.
15,000-20,000
"occupied from the sixth to the eighteenth century AD and home to between 15,000 and 20,000 people when it was most densely inhabited." [2] -- when was Koumbi Saleh most densely inhabited?
250 hectares
Koumbi Saleh was a city in Ancient Ghana. "excavations and aerial surveys have revealed the remains of a large town covering an area of about 250 hectares with stone buildings, some of them two storeys high, the ground floors of which appear to have been used as stores for merchandise. The houses were close together, the streets narrow; there was a mosque, and extensive cemeteries." [2]
"The city of Ghana consists of two towns situated on a plain." [3]
"Le royaume couvrait les villes de Bokounou, Ouagadou et de Kaarta." The kingdom covered the cities of Bokounou , Ouagadou and Kaarta [4]
"Timbuktu was already a trading centre of notable size in the eighth century AD." "...its subsequent growth and status is almost entirely attributable to the salt that the Tuareg camel caravans brought to its markets. From the backs of camels the salt was transhipped to canoes for distribution through the hundreds of kilometres of navigable waters on the Niger River system." [1]

[1]: (Reader 1998, 270)

[2]: (Reader 1998, 280)

[3]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 15)

[4]: (Kabore, P. http://lewebpedagogique.com/patco/tag/ouagadou/)


Polity Territory:
[350,000 to 400,000] km2

in squared kilometers
Estimated from a map showing the Soninke homeland [1] and another map which shows Ghana also extending further east and south into the Niger Inland Delta region. [2]
"Among the provinces of Ghana is a region called Sama, the inhabitants of which are known as the Bukum. From that region to Ghana is four day’s travel." [3]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 24)

[2]: (Konemann et al 2010, 302 Atlas Historica, Editions Place des Victories. Paris.)

[3]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 19)


Polity Population:
[1,000,000 to 1,250,000] people

People.
Territory of "Gana" in 1000 CE included the Inland Delta region of Mali from Timbuktu to the tributaries/uplands, the eastern half of Mauritania and part of eastern Senegal. [1] We need an estimate of the population within this region. Using the McEvedy and Jones figure of 2 million by 1000 CE for the "Sahel States" (Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad) I will estimate about 1 million.
"Before the introduction of agriculture and animal husbandry the population of the area of the present-day Sahel states is unlikely to have exceeded 50,000: once pastoralism and agriculture had become well-established the population can hardly have been less than half a million. The chronology of the transition is as yet totally obscure, but there is no reason to postulate anything above the 50,000 line before 3000 BC or place the achievement of the half million later than 1000 BC. From this latter point a low rate of increase is all that is needed to bring the total to 1m by AD 1 and 2m by AD 1000." [2]

[1]: (Konemann et al 2010, 302 Atlas Historica, Editions Place des Victories. Paris.)

[2]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978, 238)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4

levels.
1. Capital town
2. Provincial town"L’empire etait subdivise en royaumes et en provinces eux-memes morceles en villages et cantons." (The empire was divided into kingdoms and provinces themselves broken up into villages and townships). [1]
3. Small agricultural villages
"Sudanic societies were built on small agricultural villages or herding communities, sometimes but not always integrated into larger tribal and linguistic groups." [2]
"By about 100 B.C.E., the Soninke’s ancestors began establishing small settled communities, and around 600 B.C.E. these grew into large villages administered by chieftains." [3]

[1]: (Kabore, P. http://lewebpedagogique.com/patco/tag/ouagadou/)

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 590)

[3]: (Conrad 2010, 23)


Religious Level:
[2 to 3]

levels. Paganism.
1. King
"Their religion is paganism and the worship of idols. When their king dies they construct over the place where his tomb will be an enormous dome of acacia wood." [1]
2. Sorcerers"In the king’s town and not far from his court of justice, is a mosque where the Muslims who arrive at his court pray. 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." [2]
 ?. Heads of clans"the basic social and political unit appears in the past to have been the small local group, bound together by ties of kinship. When a number of groups came together they formed a clan. The heads of local clans were usually responsible for certain religious rites connected with the land." [3]

Not Islamic until end of polity
"In former times the people of this country professed paganism until the year 469/1076-1077 when Yahya b. Abu Bakr the amir of Masufa made his appearance." [4]
"In Ghana king and commoners remained loyal to their ancestral religion." [5]
"For the sake of administrative support, legitimization, and commercial contacts, the rulers of Kawkaw, Takrur, Ghana, and Bornu adopted Islam in the late tenth and eleventh centuries. Islam became an imperial cult and the religion of state and trading elites, while the agricultural populations maintained their traditional beliefs." [6]
Islam in Kumbi-Saleh
"mosques and religious functionaries including imams, muezzins, Quran reciters, and scholars. The Muslims provided the ruler with interpreters and officials." [7]
King was supreme judge
"Au sommet de l’Etat, on a le roi; on le designe sous plusieurs appellations Kaya Maghan qui signifie roi de l’or en langue Ouakare, Tounka qui veut dire Seigneur ou Dieu. Ses pouvoirs etaient tres etendus: il etait le juge supreme. Il rendait la justice en tenant compte de l’appartenance religieuse. Ses sujets qui dans l’ensemble appartenaient à la religion traditionnelle etaient juges selon la coutume,les musulmans, eux, l’etaient sur la base du Coran." At the top of the state, was the King; means the under several names "Kaya Maghan" meaning gold king in language Ouakaré "Tounka" meaning Lord or God. His powers were very extensive: he was the supreme judge. He dispensed justice in the light of religious affiliation. His subjects in all belonged to the traditional religion were judged according to custom, Muslims, themselves, were based on the Koran. [8]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 16)

[2]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 15)

[3]: (Bovill 1958, 53)

[4]: (Al-Zuhri c1130-1155 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 24-25)

[5]: (Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 10)

[6]: (Lapidus 2012, 590)

[7]: (Lapidus 2012, 591)

[8]: (Kabore, P. http://lewebpedagogique.com/patco/tag/ouagadou/)


Military Level:
[3 to 4]

levels.
Only reference to professional and standing army in early West Africa is Askia Muhammed Toure (r.1493-1529 CE) of the Songhai Empire who "created a professional full-time army" [1] and "standing army" [2]
1. King
2. Loyal clan leaders inferred3. intermediate level? inferred4. Individual soldier
"The kingdoms which began to emerge in the Sudan about the end of the first millennium and the great ’empires’ - Ghana, Mali, Songhai - which played so large a part in the medieval history of West Africa differed in many ways from the modern nation-state. One must not think of them as compact and homogenous units. ’The Sudanese Empire’, Trimingham has pointed out, ’was an amorphous agglomeration of kin-groups having little in common except mythical recognition of a far-off suzerain.’ Such empires had no precise boundaries, for ’the ruler was not interested in dominating territory as such, but in relationship with social groups upon whom he could draw to provide levies in time of war, servants for his courts and cultivators to keep his granaries full.’" [3]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 66)

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)

[3]: (Bovill 1958, 55)


Administrative Level:
4

levels.
1. King
According to oral tradition, the Cisse was the ruling clan of Wagadu. Ruler had the title "maghan." [1]
In earlier times there may have been "matrilineal descent (power passed to the son of the king’s sister)" and "There might even have been instances of female chieftains." [2]
"Ghana is a title given to their kings" [3]
_Central court_
2. Head official of the General Council"L’autorite du roi et de son gouvernement central s’exercait de façon directe sur le berceau originel du royaume soninke." (The authority of the king and his central government was exercised directly from the original birthplace of the Soninke kingdom). [4]
The most powerful aristocratic clans were collectively known as wago. "That term, and the name of the kingdom, Wagadu, are probably related. "Wagadu" is a contraction of wagadugu, which can be translated as "land of the wago"." [5]
"La societe etait organisee en clans. Le clan royal etait celui des Tounkara qui formaient avec trois autres clans l’aristocratie:( les Souba ou Magasouba étaient les guerriers du roi, les Kagoro qui formaient une elite militaire, les Magassi etaient les cavaliers du roi qui composaient la garde royale.). Ces clans qui constituent la noblesse fournissaient au roi, les grands dignitaires et hauts fonctionnaires de sa cour. On trouvait a la cour du roi, le gouvernement et le grand conseil dont les membres se recrutaient aussi bien dans l’aristocratie locale que chez les arabes et les lettres musulmans. On trouvait au sein de son gouvernement, les fils des rois vassaux, otages a la cour. La succession sur le trône se faisait d’oncle à neveu." (The society was organized in clans. The royal clan was that of Tounkara who formed with three other aristocratic clans: (the Souba or Magasouba were the warriors of the king, the Kagoro who formed a military elite, the riders were Magassi king composing the royal guard). These clans that make up the nobility provided the king, the great dignitaries and senior officials of his court. It was at the king’s court, the government and the general council whose members were recruited in both the local aristocracy among Arab and Muslim scholars. It was within his government, son of the vassal kings, hostages to the court. The succession to the throne was uncle to nephew. [4]
3. Treasury official"The king has a palace and a number of domed dwellings all surrounded with an enclosure like a city wall. ... The king’s interpreters, the official in charge of his treasury and the majority of his ministers are Muslims." [6]
4. Scribes"For the sake of administrative support, legitimization, and commercial contacts, the rulers of Kawkaw, Takrur, Ghana, and Bornu adopted Islam in the late tenth and eleventh centuries. Islam became an imperial cult and the religion of state and trading elites, while the agricultural populations maintained their traditional beliefs." [7]
"A Sudanic empire commonly had a core territory integrated by ethnic, linguistic, or similar ties and a larger sphere of power defined by the rule of a particular person or lineage over numerous subordinate families, castes, lineages, and village communities. The key political factor was not the control of territory but the relations that enabled the ruler to garner religious prestige, draw military support, and extract taxes or tributes. The kings were considered sacred persons and were believed to have divine powers. They did not appear in public and were not to be seen carrying out ordinary bodily functions such as eating. Around the kings were numerous officeholders who helped govern the realm and provincial and district chiefs often recruited from junior members of the noble families." [7]
_Regional government_

2. Princes (governors called fado) of a province"L’empire etait subdivise en royaumes et en provinces eux-memes morcelés en villages et cantons." (The empire was divided into kingdoms and provinces themselves broken up into villages and townships). [4]
"Les princes avaient en charge la gestion des provinces tandis que les royaumes vassaux tels que Sosso, Diara et le Tékrour conservaient leur organisation initiale et se contentaient de verser un tribut annuel et d’apporter leur contribution sur le plan militaire en fournissant à l’empereur un contingent." (The princes had control over the management of the provinces while the vassal kingdoms such as Sosso, Diara and Tekrour retained their initial organization and were happy to pay an annual tribute and to contribute militarily by providing the Emperor a quota). [4]
According to oral tradition there were four provinces, whose governors/commanders (dual military and administrative powers implied) were known as fado. Ruler had the title "maghan." [1]
Al-Bakri 1068 CE: king’s city had a governor [8]
"Among the provinces of Ghana is a region called Sama, the inhabitants of which are known as the Bukum. From that region to Ghana is four day’s travel." [9]
3. Village chief"L’empire etait subdivise en royaumes et en provinces eux-memes morceles en villages et cantons." (The empire was divided into kingdoms and provinces themselves broken up into villages and townships). [4]
4. Townships"L’empire etait subdivise en royaumes et en provinces eux-memes morceles en villages et cantons." (The empire was divided into kingdoms and provinces themselves broken up into villages and townships). [4]
_Vassal Kingdoms_
2. KingAhmad al-Yaqubi (d. 897) said Ghana’s king had "lesser kings under his authority." [10]
Al-Bakri 1068 CE: king of Ghana had vassal kings [8]
"Les princes avaient en charge la gestion des provinces tandis que les royaumes vassaux tels que Sosso, Diara et le Tekrour conservaient leur organisation initiale et se contentaient de verser un tribut annuel et d’apporter leur contribution sur le plan militaire en fournissant à l’empereur un contingent." (The princes had control over the management of the provinces while the vassal kingdoms such as Sosso, Diara and Tekrour retained their initial organization and were happy to pay an annual tribute and to contribute militarily by providing the Emperor a quota). [4]
"On peut distinguer deux groupes composant le peuplement de l’empire: un au Nord et l’autre au Sud. Les gens du Nord se composent des tribus nomades berbères ou Touaregs (Les berbères Macmouda au sud du Maroc, les Zenata), les Sanhadja ( les Goddala, les Messoufa, les Lemtouma spécialistes du deésert.). Le groupe Sud comporte deux fractions: les Mazzara composés de Lebou, Wolof, Toucouleur, Sérères) et les Bafours (Soninke ou Ouakare, les Marka, les Bambaras, les Malinké, les Songhai.)." There can be distinguished two peoples within the empire ... Northerners consist of Berber Tuareg nomads (Berber Macmouda in southern Morocco, the Zenâta) and Sanhadja (the Goddala the Messoufa the Lemtouma specialists of the desert). The southern group included two fractions: the Mazzara composed of Lebu, Wolof, Toucouleur, Serere) and Bafour (Soninké or Ouakaré, Marka, Bambara, Malinke, Songhai ). [4]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 25-27)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 28)

[3]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 14)

[4]: (Kabore, P. http://lewebpedagogique.com/patco/tag/ouagadou/)

[5]: (Conrad 2010, 27)

[6]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 15)

[7]: (Lapidus 2012, 590)

[8]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 16)

[9]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 19)

[10]: (Conrad 2010, 15)


Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent

Only reference to professional and standing army in early West Africa is Askia Muhammed Toure (r.1493-1529 CE) of the Songhai Empire who "created a professional full-time army" [1] and "standing army" [2] before Askia Muhammad of Songhay Empire "Chiefs, kings and emperors of earlier times had relied on simply ’calling up’ their subjects, their vassals, or their allies. ... But these were temporary armies. They were amateur armies. They served for a campaign or a war, and then everyone went home again until the next one." [3]
Distinction between people and army during Songhai period: "beginning with the reign of Askia Mohammad ... Instead of mass conscription, a permanent army was created; civilians who were not part of it could go about their business." [4]
The fado aristocracy, clans articulated around the person of the king included:
The Souba, a warrior class, also known as Magassouba, the kings’ warriors.
The Ka-Goro, the elite ’village-breakers’
The Maga-Si, or kings’ horsemen. The famous cavalry of Ghana. [5]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 66)

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 168) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

[4]: (Diop 1987, 116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[5]: (Niane 1975, 32-33)


Professional Priesthood:
present

"In the king’s town and not far from his court of justice, is a mosque where the Muslims who arrive at his court pray. 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." [1]
Salaried Imans but Islam was not the official religion of the polity
"In Ghana king and commoners remained loyal to their ancestral religion." [2] "The city of Ghana consists of two towns situated on a plain. One of those towns, which is inhabited by Muslims is large and possesses twelve mosques... There are salaried imams and muezzin, as well as jurists and scholars." [1]
"In the king’s town and not far from his court of justice, is a mosque where the Muslims who arrive at his court pray. 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." [1]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 15)

[2]: (Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 10)


Professional Military Officer:
absent

Only reference to professional and standing army in early West Africa is Askia Muhammed Toure (r.1493-1529 CE) of the Songhai Empire who "created a professional full-time army" [1] and "standing army" [2] before Askia Muhammad of Songhay Empire "Chiefs, kings and emperors of earlier times had relied on simply ’calling up’ their subjects, their vassals, or their allies. ... But these were temporary armies. They were amateur armies. They served for a campaign or a war, and then everyone went home again until the next one." [3]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 66)

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 168) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

Al-Bakri described what might be an incipient bureaucratic center: "The king has a palace and a number of domed dwellings all surrounded with an enclosure like a city wall." [1]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 15)


Full Time Bureaucrat:
absent

In Kumbi-Saleh there were "mosques and religious functionaries including imams, muezzins, Quran reciters, and scholars. The Muslims provided the ruler with interpreters and officials." [1] Imams or religious officials would not be full-time.
Al-Bakri described what might be an incipient bureaucratic center: "The king has a palace and a number of domed dwellings all surrounded with an enclosure like a city wall. ... The king’s interpreters, the official in charge of his treasury and the majority of his ministers are Muslims." [2]
First explicit mention of "central bureaucracy" Askia Muhammed Toure (r.1493-1529 CE) who "supported by Mande clans ... created a ... central bureaucracy." [3] However, in the Mali Empire late 14th century government was characterised by rule of powerful government officials and a "puppet" monarch, which implies the presence of a full-time bureaucrats in the late 14th century. [4]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 591)

[2]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 15)

[3]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)

[4]: (Conrad 2010, 56)

Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

In Kumbi-Saleh there were "mosques and religious functionaries including imams, muezzins, Quran reciters, and scholars. The Muslims provided the ruler with interpreters and officials." [1] Imams or religious officials would not be full-time.
Al-Bakri described what might be an incipient bureaucratic center: "The king has a palace and a number of domed dwellings all surrounded with an enclosure like a city wall. ... The king’s interpreters, the official in charge of his treasury and the majority of his ministers are Muslims." [2]
First explicit mention of "central bureaucracy" Askia Muhammed Toure (r.1493-1529 CE) who "supported by Mande clans ... created a ... central bureaucracy." [3] However, in the Mali Empire late 14th century government was characterised by rule of powerful government officials and a "puppet" monarch, which implies the presence of a full-time bureaucrats in the late 14th century. [4]

[1]: (Lapidus 2012, 591)

[2]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 15)

[3]: (Lapidus 2012, 593)

[4]: (Conrad 2010, 56)


Examination System:
absent

Law
Professional Lawyer:
present

"Today they are Muslims and have scholars, lawyers, and Koran readers and have become pre-eminent in these fields. Some of their chief leaders have come to al-Andalus... They have traveled to Makka ... and returned to their land to spend large sums on the Holy War." [1] Whilst the state was pagan, Muslims were permitted to be judged according to the Koran. [2]

[1]: (Al-Zuhri c1130-1155 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 25)

[2]: (Kabore, P. http://lewebpedagogique.com/patco/tag/ouagadou/)


Judge:
present

"The city of Ghana consists of two towns situated on a plain. One of those towns, which is inhabited by Muslims is large and possesses twelve mosques... There are salaried imams and muezzin, as well as jurists and scholars." [1] Whilst the state was pagan, Muslims were permitted to be judged according to the Koran. [2]
"In the traditional empire, justice was inseparable from religion. It was a compensatory punishment ritually administered to one who offended against social order." [3]
The cadi was a Muslim judge appointed by the king who "handled mainly common-law misdemeanors, disputes between citizens, or between citizens and foreigners." [3]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 15)

[2]: (Kabore, P. http://lewebpedagogique.com/patco/tag/ouagadou/)

[3]: (Diop 1987, 124) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Formal Legal Code:
present

King was supreme judge. While his subjects were judged according to custom, Muslims were permitted to be judged according to the Koran.
"Au sommet de l’Etat, on a le roi; on le désigne sous plusieurs appellations Kaya Maghan qui signifie roi de l’or en langue Ouakare, Tounka qui veut dire Seigneur ou Dieu. Ses pouvoirs etaient tres etendus: il etait le juge supreme. Il rendait la justice en tenant compte de l’appartenance religieuse. Ses sujets qui dans l’ensemble appartenaient a la religion traditionnelle etaient juges selon la coutume,les musulmans, eux, l’etaient sur la base du Coran." At the top of the state, was the King; means the under several names "Kaya Maghan" meaning gold king in language Ouakare "Tounka" meaning Lord or God. His powers were very extensive: he was the supreme judge. He dispensed justice in the light of religious affiliation. His subjects in all belonged to the traditional religion were judged according to custom, Muslims, themselves, were based on the Koran. [1]

[1]: (Kabore, P. http://lewebpedagogique.com/patco/tag/ouagadou/)


"In the king’s town and not far from his court of justice..." [1]
"In the traditional empire, justice was inseparable from religion. It was a compensatory punishment ritually administered to one who offended against social order." [2]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 15)

[2]: (Diop 1987, 124) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Specialized Buildings: polity owned

Irrigation System:
present

"Archaeological evidence affirms that the building of terraces and irrigation canals in sub-Saharan Africa pre-dates external influence..." [1]

[1]: (Reader 1998, 248 cite: Adams 1989)


Food Storage Site:
present

"Trimingham [said] ’the ruler was not interested in dominating territory as such, but in relationship with social groups upon whom he could draw to provide levies in time of war, servants for his courts and cultivators to keep his granaries full.’" [1]

[1]: (Bovill 1958, 55)


Drinking Water Supply System:
absent

Only wells. "The city of Ghana consists of two towns situated on a plain. ... In the environs are wells..." [1]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 15)


Transport Infrastructure

Ibn Battuta (14th century) on the African interior said: "there is no need to travel by caravan, for the roads are that secure." [1] road from Ghana (city) to Ghiyaru [2]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 140) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 17)


"The middle section of the Niger, linking Timbuktu to Djenne (about 400 km upstream), and to Gao (about the same distance downstream), was the busiest inland waterway in West Africa... With its development, water transport transformed the middle Niger into one of the great centres of indigenous trade in Africa. It encouraged the growth of specialized occupations, such as the building and operation of canoes; it lead to the development of specialized ports on the water-ways; and it contributed to the political and economic homogeneity of the region." [1] "Kabara was the true military and commercial port through which all goods were exported from Timbuktu, to Djenne, Mali, and the Upper Niger in general, or Tirekka, Gao, and Tademekka, Kukia and the Dendi country, that is, present-day Upper Dahomey (Benin)." [2]

[1]: (Reader 1998, 271)

[2]: (Diop 1987, 132) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Only mention of a canal was a project started by abandoned by a Songhai king.



Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present

stone quarries, copper mines [1] Iron Age from 600 BCE in West Africa (e.g. Benue valley in Nigeria and upper Niger River) "the development and spread of the basic technologies of metal production and the forging and smithing of metal tools, notably in iron." [2]

[1]: (Posnansky 1981, 723, 719)

[2]: (Davidson 1998, 8) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent

"There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [1] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events." [2] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [3]

[1]: (Bovill 1958, 51) Bovill, E W. 1958/1995. The Golden Trade of the Moors. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 13) Conrad, D. C. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa. Revised Edition. Chelsea House Publishers. New York.

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 44) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


"There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [1] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events." [2] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [3]

[1]: (Bovill 1958, 51) Bovill, E W. 1958/1995. The Golden Trade of the Moors. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 13) Conrad, D. C. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa. Revised Edition. Chelsea House Publishers. New York.

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 44) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent

Classic Arabic of Koran."In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the first unambiguous evidence of North African or Islamic influences appears at Jenne-jeno in the form of brass, spindle whorls, and rectilinear houses. This occurs within a century of the traditional date of 1180 C.E. for the conversion of Jenne’s king (Koi) Konboro to Islam, according to the Tarikh es-Sudan." [1] "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [2] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events." [3] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [4]

[1]: (Susan Keech McIntosh and Roderick J. McIntosh "Jenne-jeno, an ancient African city" http://anthropology.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=500)

[2]: (Bovill 1958, 51) Bovill, E W. 1958/1995. The Golden Trade of the Moors. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[3]: (Conrad 2010, 13) Conrad, D. C. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa. Revised Edition. Chelsea House Publishers. New York.

[4]: (Davidson 1998, 44) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Nonwritten Record:
present

The Soninke people have oral traditions, such as the "Legend of Wagadu" which is told by gesere who are "professional storytellers and musicians." [1]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 25)


Non Phonetic Writing:
absent

"There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [1] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events." [2] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [3]

[1]: (Bovill 1958, 51) Bovill, E W. 1958/1995. The Golden Trade of the Moors. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 13) Conrad, D. C. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa. Revised Edition. Chelsea House Publishers. New York.

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 44) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.



Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent

"There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [1] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events." [2] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [3]

[1]: (Bovill 1958, 51) Bovill, E W. 1958/1995. The Golden Trade of the Moors. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 13) Conrad, D. C. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa. Revised Edition. Chelsea House Publishers. New York.

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 44) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Sacred Text:
absent

Koran. "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [1] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events." [2] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [3]

[1]: (Bovill 1958, 51) Bovill, E W. 1958/1995. The Golden Trade of the Moors. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 13) Conrad, D. C. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa. Revised Edition. Chelsea House Publishers. New York.

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 44) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Religious Literature:
absent

Koran. "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [1] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events." [2] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [3]

[1]: (Bovill 1958, 51) Bovill, E W. 1958/1995. The Golden Trade of the Moors. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 13) Conrad, D. C. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa. Revised Edition. Chelsea House Publishers. New York.

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 44) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Practical Literature:
absent

"There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [1] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events." [2] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [3]

[1]: (Bovill 1958, 51) Bovill, E W. 1958/1995. The Golden Trade of the Moors. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 13) Conrad, D. C. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa. Revised Edition. Chelsea House Publishers. New York.

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 44) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Philosophy:
absent

"There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [1] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events." [2] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [3]

[1]: (Bovill 1958, 51) Bovill, E W. 1958/1995. The Golden Trade of the Moors. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 13) Conrad, D. C. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa. Revised Edition. Chelsea House Publishers. New York.

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 44) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Lists Tables and Classification:
absent

"There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [1] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events." [2] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [3]

[1]: (Bovill 1958, 51) Bovill, E W. 1958/1995. The Golden Trade of the Moors. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 13) Conrad, D. C. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa. Revised Edition. Chelsea House Publishers. New York.

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 44) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


History:
absent

"There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [1] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events." [2] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [3]

[1]: (Bovill 1958, 51) Bovill, E W. 1958/1995. The Golden Trade of the Moors. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 13) Conrad, D. C. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa. Revised Edition. Chelsea House Publishers. New York.

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 44) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Fiction:
absent

"There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [1] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events." [2] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [3]

[1]: (Bovill 1958, 51) Bovill, E W. 1958/1995. The Golden Trade of the Moors. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 13) Conrad, D. C. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa. Revised Edition. Chelsea House Publishers. New York.

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 44) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Calendar:
absent

Koran. Classic Arabic of Koran."In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the first unambiguous evidence of North African or Islamic influences appears at Jenne-jeno in the form of brass, spindle whorls, and rectilinear houses. This occurs within a century of the traditional date of 1180 C.E. for the conversion of Jenne’s king (Koi) Konboro to Islam, according to the Tarikh es-Sudan." [1] "There are no written records of any description to throw light on the history of West Africa before 900 A.D." [2] "The West Africans who laid the foundations of their medieval empires during the centuries before 900 C.E. did not develop a written language they could use to record historical events." [3] Oldest example of writing in West Africa c1100 CE tomb inscription at Gao. [4]

[1]: (Susan Keech McIntosh and Roderick J. McIntosh "Jenne-jeno, an ancient African city" http://anthropology.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=500)

[2]: (Bovill 1958, 51) Bovill, E W. 1958/1995. The Golden Trade of the Moors. Oxford University Press. Oxford.

[3]: (Conrad 2010, 13) Conrad, D. C. 2010. Empires of Medieval West Africa. Revised Edition. Chelsea House Publishers. New York.

[4]: (Davidson 1998, 44) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Information / Money

"Contemporary shipping contracts indicate that the Portuguese introduced the cowrie shell to West African commerce just after 1515 at the latest" . Cowrie used as medium-of-exchange. [1] Cowrie shells functioned as money. "The shells can be accurately traded by weight, by volume, and by counting; their colour and lustre do not fade as their durability compares favourably with that of metal coins." [2] Cowries at Awdaghurst "in the ninth to tenth centuries.... trading in them in the north in the eleventh century." [3] "D. Robert thinks that Awdaghurst may have been the source of the copper wire used as ’currency’ in Ghana." [4]

[1]: (Reader 1998, 386-387)

[2]: (Reader 1998, 387)

[3]: (Devisse 1988, 421)

[4]: (Devisse 1988, 422)


Precious Metal:
present

Devisse (1988) commissioned an exact translation of Al Bakri’s famous passages concerning gold which "brings a new solution to the to the interpretation of the pair tibr-dhahab." Ghali, the translator, found that tibr meant gold in rough state, compared to dhabab, which was gold in a worked state (refined gold). What do we make of Al Bakri’s claim "the sovereign regulated the circulation of gold by keeping the nuggets, so that the metal did not depreciate through overabundance? ... The traditional distinction between nuggets and dust does not hold water. The real distinction is a different one: ’pure’ gold, which by definition the ruler set aside for himself and which was intended for coinage, was dhabab." [1] However, gold not used for coinage: "no trace of a die or mint has been found south of the desert." [2]

[1]: (Devisse 1988, 385)

[2]: (Devisse 1988, 387)



Indigenous Coin:
present

Gold not used for coinage: "no trace of a die or mint has been found south of the desert." [1] Currency "consisted of salt, cowries, or gold in either dust or pieces (of foreign or local mintage)." [2] According to Leo Africanus cowries used as currency for trading came from the Indian Ocean, via Persia. [3] According to al Bakri (11th century) ’The dinars they used were of pure gold and were called sola [bald] because they bore no imprints.’ ... Thus these documents allow us to be sure of the use in Black Africa of imprinted gold coins, without, however, being able to know whether such imprints were effiges of local emperors or kings, or to know whether there was any generalized imperial currency minited apart from the mitkal standard." [4]

[1]: (Devisse 1988, 387) Devisse, J "Trade and Trade Routes in West Africa" in El Fasi, M and Hrbek, I. eds. 1988. General History of Africa III: Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century. Heinemann. California.http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001842/184282eo.pdf

[2]: (Diop 1987, 133) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[3]: (Diop 1987, 134) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[4]: (Diop 1987, 135) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

Indigenous Coin:
absent

Gold not used for coinage: "no trace of a die or mint has been found south of the desert." [1] Currency "consisted of salt, cowries, or gold in either dust or pieces (of foreign or local mintage)." [2] According to Leo Africanus cowries used as currency for trading came from the Indian Ocean, via Persia. [3] According to al Bakri (11th century) ’The dinars they used were of pure gold and were called sola [bald] because they bore no imprints.’ ... Thus these documents allow us to be sure of the use in Black Africa of imprinted gold coins, without, however, being able to know whether such imprints were effiges of local emperors or kings, or to know whether there was any generalized imperial currency minited apart from the mitkal standard." [4]

[1]: (Devisse 1988, 387) Devisse, J "Trade and Trade Routes in West Africa" in El Fasi, M and Hrbek, I. eds. 1988. General History of Africa III: Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century. Heinemann. California.http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001842/184282eo.pdf

[2]: (Diop 1987, 133) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[3]: (Diop 1987, 134) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[4]: (Diop 1987, 135) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Foreign Coin:
present

Cosmopolitan commerce centers: Timbuktu, Djenne, Biru, Soo, Ndob, Pekes and some others. [1] Currency "consisted of salt, cowries, or gold in either dust or pieces (of foreign or local mintage)." [2]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 132-133) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 133) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Article:
present

Barter "at the periphery of the African kingdoms, some backwards tribes, such as the Lem-Lem in Southwest Ghana, perhaps on the banks of the present-day Faleme River, had been carrying on barter trade since the Carthaginian period." [1] This was where, without any direct contact, Carthaginian and Arab traders exchanged their goods for gold dust. However, this simple form of economy was not characteristic of the economies of the polities of these times. [2] barter economy and no professional merchants. "The non-essential items and foreign durables found at sites remote from their point of origin were traded from village to village, in relays, as part of what was certainly a vigorous trade in essential goods between local centres." [3]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 130) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 131) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[3]: (Reader 1998, 261)


Information / Postal System

General Postal Service:
absent

literacy not widespread enough to make a general postal service for the public necessary.


Courier:
present

According to al-Bakri, the king of Ghana could "employ large numbers of messengers and other servants." [1]

[1]: (Davidson 1998, 27) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications

Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown

Stone Walls Mortared:
present

According to Al Bakri, emperor of Ghana "lived in a stone castle, surrounded by a wall." [1] Idrisi, writing in 1150 CE, said it was a "fortified chateau, built in 1116, decorated with sculptures and paintings, and boasting glass windows." [1]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 83) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

Built on a plain, the city was defended by a belt of hills that enabled it to control various points of access. This was the case of Niani, the ancient capital of Mali: located in a vast plain near the Sankarani, it was protected by a ring of hills leaving passageways between them. "Bâtie au milieu d’une plaine, la ville était défendue par une ceinture de collines qui permettaient un contrôle facile des voies d’accès. C’est le cas notamment de Niani, l’ancienne capitale du Mali: située au milieu d’une vaste plaine au bord du Sankarani, elle était protégée par un arc de cercle de collines laissant entre elles de larges passages." [1]

[1]: (Niane 1975, 63-64)





Djenne had been "fortified by a system of ramparts, with a variable number of guarded gates. A fortified city was called a tata." [1]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 121) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

Djenne had been "fortified by a system of ramparts, with a variable number of guarded gates. A fortified city was called a tata." [1]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 121) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.





Military use of Metals

Iron Age from 600 BCE in West Africa (e.g. Benue valley in Nigeria and upper Niger River) "the development and spread of the basic technologies of metal production and the forging and smithing of metal tools, notably in iron." [1] "Iron-headed hoes, probably invented some time after iron-pointed spears." [2] "Iron also brought, from about 600 BC onwards, a new source of military power." [3] The Soninke possessed "superior iron weapons" [4]

[1]: (Davidson 1998, 8) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

[2]: (Davidson 1998, 12) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

[3]: (Davidson 1998, 13) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.

[4]: (Conrad 2010, 23)




Projectiles



"clubs, bows and arrows, and spears" however they were most often used to acquire food [1] archers of Samaqanda (town between Ghana and Ghiyaru) "are the best archers among the Sudan" [2] "The Bukum are very skillful archers and use poisoned arrows." [3]

[1]: (Reader 1998, 260)

[2]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 17)

[3]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 19)


"clubs, bows and arrows, and spears" however they were most often used to acquire food [1]

[1]: (Reader 1998, 260)



Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent




Handheld weapons

"clubs, bows and arrows, and spears" however they were most often used to acquire food [1]

[1]: (Reader 1998, 260)


"Behind the king stand ten pages holding shields and swords decorated with gold..." [1]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 16)


spears in Ghana [1]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 24)





Animals used in warfare

"The earliest irrefutable evidence of horses in sub-Saharan Africa comes from the Arabic texts, beginning with the writings of Al-Muhallabi from about AD 985. By then, however, the horse was a highly valued prestige animal, and camels were the vehicle of trans-Saharan trade." [1] Soninke "acquired small horses brought from North Africa." The Soninke’s possessed "superior iron weapons and horses" [2]

[1]: (Reader 1998, 266)

[2]: (Conrad 2010, 23)




guard dogs at the palace of the king [1]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 16)


"Berber-speaking forebears of the present-day Tuareg are believed to have introduced camels to the Saharan trade routes, sometime between the second and fifth centuries AD... Camels extended both the volume and the radius of trade." "The Sanhaja people of the Western Sahara acquired large numbers of camels by the fourth and fifth centuries." [1]

[1]: (Conrad 2010, 30)


Armor

"Behind the king stand ten pages holding shields and swords decorated with gold..." [1]

[1]: (Al-Bakri 1068 CE in Levtzion and Spaulding 2003, 16)



Plate Armor:
unknown

Knights: "The princes of Black Africa who could afford to outfitted themselves in complete or partial armor like that of the knights of the Western Middle Ages." [1] "coat of mail and iron breastplate, helmet, boots, javelin ... all of it." [2] However, due to climate complete knightly armour not as common as in Europe and in fact Songhai Askia Bano died of suffocation. [2] 1000-1650 CE period: "body armor was rare. Among the cavalry empires of the Sahel and sudan, quilted horse and body armor were common but plate was rarely used." [3]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 117) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[3]: (Nolan 2006, 27) Cathal J Nolan. 2006. The Age of Wars of Religion, 1000-1650: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization. Volume 1 A - K. Greenwood Press. Westport.


Knights: "The princes of Black Africa who could afford to outfitted themselves in complete or partial armor like that of the knights of the Western Middle Ages." [1] "coat of mail and iron breastplate, helmet, boots, javelin ... all of it." [2] However, due to climate complete knightly armour not as common as in Europe and in fact Songhai Askia Bano died of suffocation. [2]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 117) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

Knights: "The princes of Black Africa who could afford to outfitted themselves in complete or partial armor like that of the knights of the Western Middle Ages." [1] "coat of mail and iron breastplate, helmet, boots, javelin ... all of it." [2] However, due to climate complete knightly armour not as common as in Europe and in fact Songhai Askia Bano died of suffocation. [2]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 117) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


"The Tuaregs wore puffed trousers, a tunic, a turban, and a litham." [1] 1000-1650 CE period: "body armor was rare. Among the cavalry empires of the Sahel and sudan, quilted horse and body armor were common but plate was rarely used." [2]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 118) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Nolan 2006, 27) Cathal J Nolan. 2006. The Age of Wars of Religion, 1000-1650: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization. Volume 1 A - K. Greenwood Press. Westport.

"The Tuaregs wore puffed trousers, a tunic, a turban, and a litham." [1] 1000-1650 CE period: "body armor was rare. Among the cavalry empires of the Sahel and sudan, quilted horse and body armor were common but plate was rarely used." [2]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 118) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Nolan 2006, 27) Cathal J Nolan. 2006. The Age of Wars of Religion, 1000-1650: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization. Volume 1 A - K. Greenwood Press. Westport.



Knights: "The princes of Black Africa who could afford to outfitted themselves in complete or partial armor like that of the knights of the Western Middle Ages." [1] "coat of mail and iron breastplate, helmet, boots, javelin ... all of it." [2] However, due to climate complete knightly armour not as common as in Europe and in fact Songhai Askia Bano died of suffocation. [2]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 117) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

Knights: "The princes of Black Africa who could afford to outfitted themselves in complete or partial armor like that of the knights of the Western Middle Ages." [1] "coat of mail and iron breastplate, helmet, boots, javelin ... all of it." [2] However, due to climate complete knightly armour not as common as in Europe and in fact Songhai Askia Bano died of suffocation. [2]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 117) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


Knights: "The princes of Black Africa who could afford to outfitted themselves in complete or partial armor like that of the knights of the Western Middle Ages." [1] "coat of mail and iron breastplate, helmet, boots, javelin ... all of it." [2] However, due to climate complete knightly armour not as common as in Europe and in fact Songhai Askia Bano died of suffocation. [2]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 117) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

Knights: "The princes of Black Africa who could afford to outfitted themselves in complete or partial armor like that of the knights of the Western Middle Ages." [1] "coat of mail and iron breastplate, helmet, boots, javelin ... all of it." [2] However, due to climate complete knightly armour not as common as in Europe and in fact Songhai Askia Bano died of suffocation. [2]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 117) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.


reference to an iron breastplate on Songhai askia 1588 CE. [1] Knights: "The princes of Black Africa who could afford to outfitted themselves in complete or partial armor like that of the knights of the Western Middle Ages." [2] "coat of mail and iron breastplate, helmet, boots, javelin ... all of it." [1] However, due to climate complete knightly armour not as common as in Europe and in fact Songhai Askia Bano died of suffocation. [1] 1000-1650 CE period: "body armor was rare. Among the cavalry empires of the Sahel and sudan, quilted horse and body armor were common but plate was rarely used." [3]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 117) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[3]: (Nolan 2006, 27) Cathal J Nolan. 2006. The Age of Wars of Religion, 1000-1650: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization. Volume 1 A - K. Greenwood Press. Westport.

reference to an iron breastplate on Songhai askia 1588 CE. [1] Knights: "The princes of Black Africa who could afford to outfitted themselves in complete or partial armor like that of the knights of the Western Middle Ages." [2] "coat of mail and iron breastplate, helmet, boots, javelin ... all of it." [1] However, due to climate complete knightly armour not as common as in Europe and in fact Songhai Askia Bano died of suffocation. [1] 1000-1650 CE period: "body armor was rare. Among the cavalry empires of the Sahel and sudan, quilted horse and body armor were common but plate was rarely used." [3]

[1]: (Diop 1987, 117) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[2]: (Diop 1987, 116) Diop, Cheikh Anta. Salemson, Harold trans. 1987. Precolonial Black Africa. Lawrence Hill Books. Chicago.

[3]: (Nolan 2006, 27) Cathal J Nolan. 2006. The Age of Wars of Religion, 1000-1650: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization. Volume 1 A - K. Greenwood Press. Westport.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
absent

Songhay Empire: Askia Muhammad created a full-time navy on the Niger. Before him Sunni Ali had "Niger boatmen in his amateur military system." [1]

[1]: (Davidson 1998, 168) Davidson, Basil. 1998. West Africa Before the Colonial Era. Routledge. London.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

dugout canoes very old technology in West Africa - oldest found at Dufuna at least 6,400 ago. [1]

[1]: (Reader 1998, 271)


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
absent


Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions
- Nothing coded yet.