Ghana Empire
c. 100–300–c. mid-1200s
The Ghana Empire at its greatest extent
The Ghana Empire at its greatest extent
CapitalKoumbi Saleh (later)
Common languagesSoninke, Malinke, Mande
African traditional religion
Later Islam
• 700
Kaya Magan Cissé
• 790s
Dyabe Cisse
• 1040–1062
Ghana Bassi
• 1203–1235
Soumaba Cisse
Historical era1st–3rd century–13th century
• Established
c. 100–300
• Conversion to Islam
• Conquered by Sosso/Submitted to the Mali Empire
c. 15th century c. mid-1200s
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Tichitt culture
Sosso Empire
Today part of

The Ghana Empire (Arabic: غانا), also known as simply Ghana,[1] Ghanata, or Wagadou, was a West African classical to post-classical era western-Sahelian empire based in the modern-day southeast of Mauritania and western Mali.

It is uncertain when Ghana's ruling dynasty began among historians. The first identifiable mention of the imperial dynasty in written records was made by Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī in 830.[2] Further information about the empire was provided by the accounts of Cordoban scholar al-Bakri when he wrote about the region in the 11th century.

After centuries of prosperity, the empire began its decline in the second millennium, and would finally become a vassal state of the rising Mali Empire at some point in the 13th century. Despite its collapse, the empire's influence can be felt in the establishment of numerous urban centers throughout its former territory. In 1957, the British colony of the Gold Coast, under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah named itself Ghana upon independence.


The word ghana means warrior or war chief, and was the title given to the rulers of the kingdom. Kaya Maghan (king of gold) was another title for these kings. The Soninke name for the polity was Ouagadou.[3] This meant the "place of the Wague", the term current in the 19th century for the local nobility,[4] or may have meant 'the land of great herds'.[5]

Origin Historiography

Oral traditions

See also: History of the Soninke people

According to oral traditions, although they vary much amongst themselves, the legendary progenitory of the Soninke was a man named Dinga, who came "from the east" (possibly Aswan, Egypt[6]), after which he migrated to a variety of locations in western Sudan, in each place leaving children by different wives. In order to take power he had to kill a serpent deity (named Bida), and then marry his daughters, who became the ancestors of the clans that were dominant in the region at the time. Some traditions state he did a deal with Bida to sacrifice one maiden a year in exchange for rainfall, and other versions add a constant supply of gold.[7]: 55  Upon Dinga's death, his two sons Khine and Dyabe contested the kingship, and Dyabe was victorious, founding Wagadu.[4] In some versions, the fall of Wagadu happens when a nobleman tries to save a maiden, despite her objection, and kills the snake, unleashing its curse and annulling the prior deal. This tale appears to have been a fragment of what once was a much longer narrative, now lost, however the legend of Wagadu continues to have a deep-rooted significance in Soninke culture and history.[8]: 54–55  The tradition of Gassire's lute mentions Wagadu's fall.

The traditions of the Moors, Hassaniya Arabs and Berbers in Mauritania maintain that the earliest occupants of areas such as the Adrar and Tagant were Black. These regions, part of the core of Wagadu, remained largely Soninke until at least the 16th century.[9]

Medieval Arab Writers and a Berber Origin

The earliest discussions of Ghana's origins are found in the Sudanese chronicles of Mahmud Kati (the Tarikh al-Fattash) and Abd al-Rahman as-Sadi (the Tarikh al-Sudan).[10] Addressing the rulers' origin, the Tarikh al-Fattash offers three different theories: that they were Soninke; or Wangara (a Soninke/Mande group), which the author considered improbable; or that they were Sanhaja Berbers, which the author considered most likely. The author concludes that "the nearest to the truth is that they were not black."[11][12] This interpretation derived from his opinion that the rulers' genealogies linked them to the Berbers.[13] The Tarikh al-Sudan further states that "In origin they were white, though we do not know to whom they trace their origin. Their subjects, however, were Wa'kore [Soninke]."[14] Chronicles by al-Idrisi in the 11th century and Ibn Said in the 13th noted that rulers of Ghana traced their descent from the clan of Muhammad, either through his protector Abi Talib or through his son-in-law Ali.[15]

French colonial officials, notably Maurice Delafosse, erroneously concluded that Ghana had been founded by the Berbers and linked them to North African and Middle Eastern origins. Delafosse produced a convoluted theory of an invasion by "Judeo-Syrians", which he linked to the Fulbe (who actually co-founded Takrur). [16] [17]

This idea of a foreign origin for Wagadu is generally disregarded by modern scholars. Levtzion and Spaulding, for example, argue that al-Idrisi's testimony should be looked at skeptically due to serious miscalculations in geography and historical chronology.[18] The archaeologist and historian Raymond Mauny argues that al-Kati's and al-Saadi's theories were based on the presence (after Ghana's demise) of nomadic Berbers originally from Libya, and the assumption that they were the ruling caste in an earlier age. Earlier accounts such Ya'qubi (872 CE), al-Masudi (c. 944 CE), Ibn Hawqal (977 CE), al-Biruni (c. 1036 CE), and al-Bakri (1068 CE) all describe the population and rulers of Ghana as "negroes".[19] Delafosse's works, meanwhile, have been harshly criticised by scholars such as Charles Monteil, Robert Cornevin and others for being "unacceptable" and "too creative to be useful to historians", particularly in relation to his interpretation of West African genealogies,[20][21][22][23]

Trade routes of the Western Sahara c. 1000–1500. Goldfields are indicated by light brown shading: Bambuk, Bure, Lobi, and Akan.

Modern Archaeology and a Local Origin

Beginning in the mid 20th century as more archeological data became available, scholars began to favor a purely local origin for Ghana. These works bring together archaeology, descriptive geographical sources written between 830 and 1400 AD, the Tarikhs from the 16th and 17th centuries, and the oral traditions.[24] In 1969 Patrick Munson excavated at Dhar Tichitt (a site associated with the ancestors of the Soninke), which clearly reflected a complex culture that was present by 1600 BC and had architectural and material cultural elements similar to those found at Koumbi Saleh in the 1920s.[25]

The earliest proto-polity ancestral to Ghana likely arose from a large collection of ancient proto-Mande agro-pastoralist chiefdoms that were spread over the western-most portion of the Niger River basin for over a millennium roughly spanning 1300 BCE 300 BCE.[26][27][28] Munsun theorized that, around 700 BCE Libyco-Berbers raiders destroyed this burgeoning state.[29] Their opening of a trade route north, however, eventually changed the economic calculus from raiding to trade, and the native Soninke reasserted themselves around 300 BCE. This trade and the development of ironworking technology were crucial in the formation of the state.[30][18][31] Work in Dhar Tichitt, Dhar Nema and Dhar Walata has shown that, as the desert advanced, the local groups moved southward into the still well-watered areas of what is now northern Mali.[32]

Niger Bend Theory

Historian Dierk Lange has argued that the core of Wagadou was not Koumbi Saleh but in fact lay near Lake Faguibine, on the Niger Bend. This area was historically more fertile than the Tichitt zone, and Lange draws on oral traditions to support his argument, contending that dynastic struggles in the 11th century pushed the capital west.[33]


Rise of the Empire

Towards the end of the 3rd century AD, a wet period in the Sahel created areas for human habitation and exploitation which had not been habitable for the best part of a millennium, resulting in Wagadu rising out of the Tichitt culture. The introduction of the camel to the western Sahara in the 3rd century AD and pressure from the nomadic Saharan Sanhaja served as major catalysts for the transformative social changes that resulted in the empire's formation. By the time of the Muslim conquest of North Africa in the 7th century, the camel had changed the ancient, irregular trade routes into a network running between North Africa and the Niger River. Soninke tradition portrays early Ghana as very warlike, with horse-mounted warriors key to increasing its territory and population, although details of their expansion are extremely scarce.[34] Wagadu made its profits from maintaining a monopoly on gold heading north and salt heading south, despite not controlling the gold fields themselves.[35] It is possible that Wagadu's dominance on trade allowed for the gradual consolidation of many smaller polities into a confederated state, whose composites stood in varying relations to the core, from fully administered to nominal tribute-paying parity.[36] Based on large tumuli scattered across West Africa dating to this period, it has been stipulated that relative to Wagadu there were many more simultaneous and preceding kingdoms which have unfortunately been lost to time.[37][38]

Information about the empire at its height is sparse. According to Kati's Tarikh al-Fettash, in a section probably composed around 1580 but citing the chief judge Ida al-Massini who lived somewhat earlier, twenty kings ruled Ghana before the advent of Islam.[10] Al-Sadi purports that approximately 18 through 34 ancient Kaya (kings) ruled before the Hijra and 24 more kaya (kings) ruled afterward.[39]

Written sources vague as to the empire's maximum extent, though according to al-Bakri, Ghana had forced Awdaghost in the desert to accept its rule sometime between 970 and 1054.[40] Oral traditions indicate that, at its height, the empire controlled Takrur, Jafunu, Jaara, Bakhunu, Neema, Soso, Guidimakha, Gijume, Gajaaga, as well as the Awker, Adrar, and Hodh to the north. It also had some degree of influence over Kaniaga, Kaarta, and Khasso.[9] Diabe, supposedly the son of Dinga, is sometimes given credit for driving the Mandinka out of the Gajaaga.[41] Two other Soninke groups to the south, the Gaja and the Karo, were dominated by the Wagu.[42]


Given the scattered nature of the Arabic sources and the ambiguity of the existing archaeological record, it is difficult to determine when and how Ghana declined. With the gradual drying of the Sahel, the all-important epicenters of trade began to most south to the Niger river and west to the Senegal. This gradually strengthened Ghana's vassals while weakening the core.[43] Awdaghost, at the time a seat of the king, fell to the Almoravids in 1054.[44]

Ghana Bassi died in 1063, and was succeeded by his nephew Tunka Manin. This may have created a succession dispute with Bassi's son Qanamar, providing an opportunity for the Almoravids to intervene in the empire, promoting pro-Islam candidates for the throne.[45]

A tradition in historiography maintains that Ghana was conquered by the Almoravid dynasty in 1076–77,[46] but this interpretation has been sharply questioned by modern scholars. Conrad and Fisher (1982) argued that the notion of any Almoravid military conquest at its core is merely perpetuated folklore, derived from a misinterpretation or naive reliance on Arabic sources.[47] Dierke Lange agrees but argues that this does not preclude Almoravid political agitation, claiming that Ghana's demise owed much to the latter.[48] Furthermore, the archaeology of ancient Ghana does not show the signs of rapid change and destruction that would be associated with any Almoravid-era military conquests.[49]

Sheryl L. Burkhalter (1992) suggested that there were reasons to believe that there was conflict between the Almoravids and the empire of Ghana.[50][51] Ibn Khaldun, a 14th-century North African historian who read and cited both al-Bakri and al-Idrisi, reported an ambiguous account of the country's history as related to him by 'Uthman, a faqih of Ghana who took a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1394, according to which the power of Ghana waned as that of the "veiled people" grew through the Almoravid movement.[52]

Ghana Resurgent

Whether the Almoravids conquered Ghana or not, the country certainly did convert to Islam around 1076.[44] This conversion and its accompanying rejection of the earlier, more accommodating Islam may have pushed the Wangara diaspora throughout the region.[53] In 1083, supported by the Almoravids, Ghana attacked Tadmekka and may have reached Gao, helping to spread Sunni orthodoxy there as well.[54]

Al-Idrisi, whose account was written in 1154, has the country fully Muslim by that date. He describes an empire as powerful as it had been in the days of al-Bakri, 75 years earlier. In fact, he describes its capital as "the greatest of all towns of the Sudan with respect to area, the most populous, and with the most extensive trade."[55] This capital may not be the same city as the one described by al-Bakri, however.[56] In this period the ruling dynasty, now thoroughly Islamized, re-established control over many of the former vassals who had become independent, including Kaniaga, Diarra, Diafunu and others.[57] Ghana was the master of an extensive trade system in the Senegal river valley, first established by Takrur in the 10th century, that exported salt from Awlil throughout the region. It also controlled the gold mines of Bambuk.[56] During this period Ghana was fully Islamized, and the judicial system had shifted to something more closely resembling Sharia.[58]

Sosso occupation

Map of successor states to the Ghana Empire

This resurgence did not last, however. By 1203, the Sosso rose against their masters and conquered Ghana.[59][52] Oral historians link the coming of Islam to the final end of Ghana. When the Muslims Cisse dynasty came to power they killed Bida, the sacred snake and protector of the kingdom. A seven year drought ensued, destroying the kingdom and forcing much of the population to flee in search of more hospitable territory.[9] According to much later traditions, from the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Diara Kante took control of Koumbi Saleh and established the Diarisso dynasty. His son, Soumaoro Kante, succeeded him and forced the people to pay him tribute. The Sosso also managed to annex the neighboring Mandinka state of Kangaba to the south, where the important goldfields of Bure were located.[citation needed]

Vassal of Mali

In his brief overview of Sudanese history, Ibn Khaldun related that "the people of Mali outnumbered the peoples of the Sudan in their neighborhood and dominated the whole region." He went on to relate that they "vanquished the Susu and acquired all their possessions, both their ancient kingdom and that of Ghana."[60] According to a modern tradition, this resurgence of Mali was led by Sundiata Keita, the founder of Mali and ruler of its core area of Kangaba. Delafosse assigned an arbitrary but widely accepted date of 1230 to the event.[61]

This tradition states that Ghana Soumaba Cisse, at the time a vassal of the Sosso, rebelled with Kangaba and became part of a loose federation of Mande-speaking states. After Soumaoro's defeat at the Battle of Kirina in 1235 (a date again assigned arbitrarily by Delafosse), the new rulers of Koumbi Saleh became permanent allies of the Mali Empire. As Mali became more powerful, the Ghana's role as an ally declined to that of a submissive state, although he was still accorded prestige as the leader of an ancient and storied state.[62][63] According to a detailed account of al-'Umari, written around 1340 but based on testimony given to him by the "truthful and trustworthy" shaykh Abu Uthman Sa'id al-Dukkali, Ghana still retained its functions as a sort of kingdom within the empire, its ruler being the only one allowed to bear the title malik and "who is like a deputy unto him."[63]

Koumbi Saleh was abandoned sometime in the 15th century.[62]


Most of the information about the economy of Ghana comes from al-Bakri. He noted that merchants had to pay a tax of one gold dinar on imports of salt, and two on exports of salt. Other products had fixed dues; al-Bakri mentioned both copper and "other goods." Imports probably included products such as textiles, ornaments and other materials. Many of the hand-crafted leather goods found in present-day Morocco also had their origins in the empire.[64] al-Bakri also mentioned that Muslims played a central role in commerce and held court appointments.[65]

Ibn Hawqal quotes the use of a cheque worth 42,000 dinars.[66] The main centre of trade was Koumbi Saleh. The king claimed as his own all nuggets of gold, and allowed other people to have only 'gold dust'.[67] In addition to the influence exerted by the king in local regions, tribute was received from various tributary states and chiefdoms on the empire's periphery.[68] The introduction of the camel played a key role in Soninke success as well, allowing products and goods to be transported much more efficiently across the Sahara. These contributing factors all helped the empire remain powerful for some time, providing a rich and stable economy based on trading gold, iron, salt and slaves.

In its last centuries, Ghana increasingly lost control of the gold trade to the Mali Empire and relied on slave raiding and trading as a principal economic activity.[69]


Testimony about ancient Ghana depended on how well disposed the king was to foreign travelers, from whom the majority of information on the empire comes. Islamic writers often commented on the social-political stability of the empire based on the seemingly just actions and grandeur of the king. Al-Bakri, a Moorish nobleman living in Spain questioned merchants who visited the empire in the 11th century and wrote of the king:

He sits in audience or to hear grievances against officials in a domed pavilion around which stand ten horses covered with gold-embroidered materials. Behind the king stand ten pages holding shields and swords decorated with gold, and on his right are the sons of the kings of his country wearing splendid garments and their hair plaited with gold. The governor of the city sits on the ground before the king and around him are ministers seated likewise. At the door of the pavilion are dogs of excellent pedigree that hardly ever leave the place where the king is, guarding him. Around their necks they wear collars of gold and silver studded with a number of balls of the same metals.[70]

Ghana appears to have had a central core region and was surrounded by vassal states including the Baxaran of Maghan and the Gbewaa States south of the sahel region. One of the earliest sources to describe Ghana, al-Ya'qubi, writing in 889/90 (276 AH) says that "under his authority are a number of kings" which included Sama and 'Am (?) and so extended at least to the Niger River valley.[71] These "kings" were presumably the rulers of the territorial units often called kafu in Mandinka.

The Arabic sources are vague as to how the country was governed. Al-Bakri, far and away the most detailed one, mentions that the king had officials (mazalim) who surrounded his throne when he gave justice, and these included the sons of the "kings of his country" which we must assume are the same kings that al-Ya'qubi mentioned in his account of nearly 200 years earlier. Al-Bakri's detailed geography of the region shows that in his day, or 1067/1068, Ghana was surrounded by independent kingdoms, and Sila, one of them located on the Senegal River, was "almost a match for the king of Ghana." Sama is the only such entity mentioned as a province, as it was in al-Ya'qubi's day.[72]

In al-Bakri's time, the rulers of Ghana had begun to incorporate more Muslims into government, including the treasurer, his interpreter, and "the majority of his officials."[70]

Koumbi Saleh

Main article: Koumbi Saleh

A 17th-century chronicle written in Timbuktu, the Tarikh al-fattash, gave the name of the empire's capital as "Koumbi".[10] According to the description of the town left by Al-Bakri in 1067/1068, the capital actually consisted of two cities 10 kilometres (6 mi) apart but "between these two towns are continuous habitations", so that they might be said to have merged into one.[70] The most common identification for this capital is the site of Koumbi Saleh on the rim of the Sahara desert.[74]


According to al-Bakri, the major part of the city was called El-Ghaba and was the residence of the king. It was protected by a stone wall and functioned as the royal and spiritual capital of the Empire. It contained a sacred grove of trees in which priests lived. It also contained the king's palace, the grandest structure in the city, surrounded by other "domed buildings". There was also one mosque for visiting Muslim officials.[70] (El-Ghaba, coincidentally or not, means "The Forest" in Arabic.)

Muslim district

The name of the other section of the city is not recorded. In the vicinity were wells with fresh water, used to grow vegetables. It was inhabited almost entirely by Muslims, who had with twelve mosques, one of which was designated for Friday prayers, and had a full group of scholars, scribes and Islamic jurists. Because the majority of these Muslims were merchants, this part of the city was probably its primary business district.[75] It is likely that these inhabitants were largely black Muslims known as the Wangara and are today known as Jakhanke or Mandinka. The separate and autonomous towns outside of the main governmental center is a well-known practice used by the Jakhanke tribe of the Mandinka people throughout history.


The Western Nile according to al-Bakri (1068)

Beginning in the 1920s, French archaeologists excavated the site of Koumbi Saleh, although there have always been controversies about the location of Ghana's capital and whether Koumbi Saleh is the same town as the one described by al-Bakri. The site was excavated in 1949–50 by Paul Thomassey and Raymond Mauny[76] and by another French team in 1975–81.[77] The remains of Koumbi Saleh are impressive, even if the remains of the royal town, with its large palace and burial mounds, have not been located.

Contested Identification

The Western Nile according to Muhammad al-Idrisi (1154)

In recent years, the identification of Koumbi Saleh with the 'city of Ghana' described in the sources has been increasingly disputed by scholars.[78] al-Idrisi, a twelfth-century writer, described Ghana's royal city as lying on a riverbank, a river he called the "Nile." This followed the geographic custom of his day, which confused the Niger and Senegal Rivers and believed that they formed a single river often called the "Nile of the Blacks". Whether al-Idrisi was referring to a new and later capital located elsewhere, or whether there was confusion or corruption in his text is unclear. However, he does state that the royal palace he knew was built in 510 AH (1116–1117 AD), suggesting that it was a newer town, rebuilt closer to the river than Koumbi Saleh.[55]


The empire was populated by ancient Mande tribes and would come under unity through the Soninke tribe of the greater Mande ethnic group, with its citizens living in deeply established patrilineal/paternal clans and family structures.[1] [79]

List of rulers

Soninke rulers ("Ghanas") of the Cisse dynasty

Sosso rulers

Rulers during Kaniaga occupation

Ghanas of Wagadou tributary

See also


  1. ^ a b Etheredge, Laura (2009-04-14). "Ghana". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2023-07-09.
  2. ^ al-Kuwarizmi in Levtzion and Hopkins, Corpus, p. 7.
  3. ^ Willie F. Page; R. Hunt Davis, Jr., eds. (2005), "Ghana Empire", Encyclopedia of African History and Culture, vol. 2 (revised ed.), Facts on File, pp. 85–87
  4. ^ a b Levtzion 1973, pp. 16–17.
  5. ^ Gomez 2018, p. 31.
  6. ^ Alexander, Leslie M.; Rucker, Walter C. Jr. (9 February 2010). Encyclopedia of African American History [3 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-85109-774-6. Retrieved 13 September 2018 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Conrad, David; Fisher, Humphrey (1983). "The Conquest That Never Was: Ghana and the Almoravids, 1076. II. The Local Oral Sources". History in Africa. 10.
  8. ^ Conrad, David; Fisher, Humphrey (1983). "The Conquest That Never Was: Ghana and the Almoravids, 1076. II. The Local Oral Sources". History in Africa. 10.
  9. ^ a b c Kane, Oumar (2004). La première hégémonie peule. Le Fuuta Tooro de Koli Teηella à Almaami Abdul. Paris: Karthala. p. 57-60. ISBN 978-2-84586-521-1. Retrieved 18 March 2024.
  10. ^ a b c Houdas & Delafosse 1913, p. 76.
  11. ^ Levtzion 1973, p. 19: "It is disputed as to the tribe to which these kings belonged; some say they were Wa'kore [Soninke], others say they were Wangara [Malinke] which appears improbable. Others say they were Sanhaja which seems to me most likely … The nearest to the truth is that they were not black."
  12. ^ Houdas & Delafosse 1913, p. 78
  13. ^ Houdas & Delafosse 1913, p. 78, translation from Levtzion 1973, p. 19
  14. ^ Levtzion 1973, p. 19: "Mali is the name of an extensive territory lying in the far west [of the Sudan] to the direction of the Ocean. It was Kaya-Magha who founded the first kingdom in that region. His capital was Ghana, an important town in the country of Baghana. It is said that their kingdom was in existence before the hijra, and that twenty-two kings reigned before it and twenty-two afterwards, making forty four in all. In origin they were white, though we do not know to whom they trace their origin. Their subjects, however, were Wa'kore [Soninke]."
  15. ^ al-Idrisi in Levtzion and Hopkins, Corpus, p. 109, and ibn Sa'id, p. 186.
  16. ^ Vicente, Mário; Priehodová, Edita; Diallo, Issa; Podgorná, Eliška; Poloni, Estella S.; Černý, Viktor; Schlebusch, Carina M. (2019-12-02). "Population history and genetic adaptation of the Fulani nomads: inferences from genome-wide data and the lactase persistence trait". BMC Genomics. 20 (1): 915. doi:10.1186/s12864-019-6296-7. ISSN 1471-2164. PMC 6888939. PMID 31791255.
  17. ^ McIntosh, Susan Keech (2017-01-01). "Seeking the Origins of Takrur: Human Settlement in the Middle Senegal Valley 2500-1000 BP". Preserving African Cultural Heritage: Proceedings of the Panafrican Archaeological Association 13th Congress, Dakar.
  18. ^ a b Levtzion & Spaulding 2003, p. 27.
  19. ^ Mauny 1954, p. 204.
  20. ^ Monteil, Charles (1966). "Fin de siècle à Médine (1898-1899)". Bulletin de l'IFAN. série B. 28 (1–2): 166.
  21. ^ Vidal, Jules (1924). "La légende officielle de Soundiata, fondateur de l'Empire manding". Bulletin du Comité d'Études Historiques et Scientifiques de l'AOF. 8 (2): 317–328.
  22. ^ African Studies Association, History in Africa, Vol. 11, African Studies Association, 1984, University of Michigan, pp. 42-51.
  23. ^ Cornevin, Robert, Histoire de l'Africa, Tome I: des origines au XVIe siècle (Paris, 1962), 347-48 (reference to Delafosse in Haut-Sénégal-Niger vol. 1, pp. 256-257)
  24. ^ Mauny 1961, pp. 72–74, 508–511.
  25. ^ Munson 1980, p. 458.
  26. ^ Arazi, Noemie. "Tracing History in Dia, in the Inland Niger Delta of Mali -Archaeology, Oral Traditions and Written Sources" (PDF). University College London. Institute of Archaeology.
  27. ^ MacDonald, K.C. Before the Empire of Ghana: Pastoralism and the Origins of Cultural Complexity in the Sahel. pp. 71–103.
  28. ^ Mcintosh, Susan Keech; Mcintosh, Roderick J. (February 1980). "Jenne-Jeno: An Ancient African City". Archaeology. 33 (1): 8–14.
  29. ^ Munson 1980, p. 465.
  30. ^ Levtzion 1973, pp. 8–17.
  31. ^ Munson 1980, p. 466.
  32. ^ Kevin McDonald, Robert Vernet, Dorian Fuller and James Woodhouse, "New Light on the Tichitt Tradition" A Preliminary Report on Survey and Excavation at Dhar Nema," pp. 78–80.
  33. ^ Lange 1996b, p. 161.
  34. ^ Gestrich, Nikolas (2019). "Ghana Empire". Oxford Research Encyclopedias: African history.
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  37. ^ Posnansky, Merrick (1981). "The societies of Africa south of the Sahara in the Early Iron Age". General History of Africa: Volume 2 (PDF). UNESCO. p. 729.
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  39. ^ Hunwick 2003, p. 13 and note 5.
  40. ^ al-Bakri in Levtzion and Hopkins, eds. and trans. Corpus, p. 73.
  41. ^ Fall 2021, p. 28.
  42. ^ Fall 2021, p. 32.
  43. ^ Fall 2021, p. 26.
  44. ^ a b Gomez 2018, p. 37.
  45. ^ Lange 1996b, p. 165-6.
  46. ^ For example, Levtzion, Ghana and Mali, pp. 44–48.
  47. ^ Masonen & Fisher 1996.
  48. ^ Lange 1996a, pp. 122–159.
  49. ^ Insoll 2003, p. 230.
  50. ^ "Listening for Silences in Almoravid History: Another Reading of "The Conquest that Never Was" Camilo Gómez-Rivas
  51. ^ "Law and the Islamization of Morocco under the Almoravids" Camilo Gómez-Rivas
  52. ^ a b ibn Khaldun in Levtzion and Hopkins, eds. and trans. Corpus, p. 333.
  53. ^ Gomez 2018, p. 38.
  54. ^ Gomez 2018, p. 26.
  55. ^ a b al-Idrisi in Levtzion and Hopkins, Corpus, pp. 109–110.
  56. ^ a b Gomez 2018, p. 39.
  57. ^ Lewicki 1971, p. 503.
  58. ^ Gomez 2018, p. 40.
  59. ^ Lewicki 1971, p. 504.
  60. ^ ibn Khaldun in Levtzion and Hopkins, Corpus, p. 333.
  61. ^ Delafosse 1912, p. 291 Vol. 1.
  62. ^ a b Gomez 2018, p. 41.
  63. ^ a b al-'Umari in Levtzion and Hopkins, eds. and trans. Corpus, p. 262.
  64. ^ Chu, Daniel and Skinner, Elliot. A Glorious Age in Africa, 1st ed. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1965.
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Further reading

  • Conrad, David C.; Fisher, Humphrey J. (1982), "The conquest that never was: Ghana and the Almoravids, 1076. I. The external Arabic sources", History in Africa, 9: 21–59, doi:10.2307/3171598, JSTOR 3171598, S2CID 163009319.
  • Conrad, David C.; Fisher, Humphrey J. (1983), "The conquest that never was: Ghana and the Almoravids, 1076. II. The local oral sources", History in Africa, 10: 53–78, doi:10.2307/3171690, JSTOR 3171690, S2CID 162867483.
  • Cornevin, Robert (1965), "Ghana", Encyclopaedia of Islam Volume 2 (2nd ed.), Leiden: Brill, pp. 1001–2, ISBN 978-90-04-07026-4.
  • Cuoq, Joseph M., ed. (1975), Recueil des sources arabes concernant l'Afrique occidentale du VIIIe au XVIe siècle (Bilād al-Sūdān) (in French), translated by Cuoq, Joseph M., Paris: Éditions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. Reprinted in 1985 with corrections and additional texts, ISBN 2-222-01718-1. Similar to Levtzion and Hopkins, 1981 & 2000.
  • Masonen, Pekka (2000), The Negroland revisited: Discovery and invention of the Sudanese middle ages, Helsinki: Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, pp. 519–23, ISBN 978-951-41-0886-0.
  • Mauny, Raymond (1971), "The Western Sudan", in Shinnie, P.L. (ed.), The African Iron age, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 66–87, ISBN 978-0-19-813158-8.
  • Monteil, Charles (1954), "La légende du Ouagadou et l'origine des Soninke", Mélanges Ethnologiques, Dakar: Mémoire de l'Institute Français d'Afrique Noire 23, pp. 359–408.

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