Sahelian kingdoms

The Sahelian kingdoms were a series of kingdoms or empires that were centered on the Sahel, the area of grasslands south of the Sahara. The wealth of the states came from controlling the trade routes across the desert. Their power came from having large pack animals like camels and horses that were fast enough to keep a large empire under central control and were also useful in such kind of battle. All of these empires were also quite decentralized with member cities having a great deal of autonomy.

The Sahel states were limited from expanding south into the forest zone of the Ashanti and Yoruba as mounted warriors were all but useless in the forests and the horses and camels could not survive the heat and diseases of the region.

There were integrated kingdoms and empires, with substantial cities and significant towns; and less organised territories with large scattered populations. People practised agriculture, stock-rearing, hunting, fishing, and crafts (metalworking, textiles, ceramics). They navigated along rivers and across lakes, trading over short and long distances, using their own currencies.

African states between 500 BCE and 1500 CE

The main Arab slave trade routes in Africa during the Middle Ages.

Trade routes of the western Saharan Desert c. 1000 – 1500 Goldfields are indicated by light brown shading.

The Ghana Empire at its greatest extent c. 1050

The successor states to the Ghana Empire c. 1200

This page was last edited on 1 May 2018, at 05:38 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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