The kingdom of Ghana did not have gold mines or salt mines, but Ghana got rich handling the trade of gold for salt. After a while, word reached the east coast of Africa about the riches to the west.
Where was salt found in ancient Africa?
A human necessity and source of commerce, salt has been in high demand in West Africa since the 12th century when it was first found in the sand dunes of the desert. Its discovery gave rise to a robust commodity trade that quickly paved a near-mythical trail connecting Timbuktu with Europe, southern Africa, and Persia.
Where was the gold-salt trade?
Gold and salt trade via that Sahara Desert has been going on for many centuries. Gold from Mali and other West African states was traded north to the Mediterranean, in exchange for luxury goods and, ultimately, salt from the desert.
Where did gold and salt come from in Africa?
The North Africans wanted gold, which came from the forest region south of Ghana. The people in the forests wanted salt, which came from the Sahara. Ghana made most of its money from the taxes it charged on the gold-salt trade that passed through its lands.
Where were many of the sources of salt found in West Africa?
Taghaza (also Teghaza) is an abandoned salt-mining centre located in a salt pan in the desert region of northern Mali. It was an important source of rock salt for West Africa up to the end of the 16th century when it was abandoned and replaced by the salt-pan at Taoudenni which lies 150 km (93 mi) to the southeast.
Why was salt so valuable in Africa?
To the north lay the vast Sahara, the source of much of the salt. … People wanted gold for its beauty, but they needed salt in their diets to survive. Salt, which could be used to preserve food, also made bland food tasty. These qualities made salt very valuable.
Why did people in West Africa need salt?
Once cultures began relying on grain, vegetable, or boiled meat diets instead of mainly hunting and eating roasted meat, adding salt to food became an absolute necessity for maintaining life. Because the Akan lived in the forests of West Africa, they had few natural resources for salt and always needed to trade for it.
Is salt more valuable than gold?
The historian explains that, going by trade documents from Venice in 1590, you could purchase a ton of salt for 33 gold ducats (ton the unit of measure, not the hyperbolic large quantity). … The fact is that it was actually salt trade that held more worth than the gold industry.
Is salt worth its weight in gold?
The most common exchange was salt for gold dust that came from the mines of southern West Africa. Indeed, salt was such a precious commodity that it was quite literally worth its weight in gold in some parts of West Africa.
Why was salt so valuable in ancient times?
Salt was essential in preserving foods such as meat, fish, and vegetables. Without it, one’s diet would pretty much be limited to just bread and whatever could be caught or picked that particular day. So for settled peoples, it was very widely used and necessary. Salt had to be mined like any other mineral.
What was a major effect of the gold-salt trade in Africa?
The gold-salt trade in Africa made Ghana a powerful empire because they controlled the trade routes and taxed traders. Control of gold-salt trade routes helped Ghana, Mali, and Songhai to become large and powerful West African kingdoms.
What kind of historical source is salt?
Salt comes from two main sources: sea water and the sodium chloride mineral halite (also known as rock salt). Rock salt occurs in vast beds of sedimentary evaporite minerals that result from the drying up of enclosed lakes, playas, and seas. Salt beds may be up to 350 m thick and underlie broad areas.
Where was gold found in West Africa?
Gold in West Africa
In West Africa, an ancient people called the Akan populated the location that we now call Ghana around the 11th-century CE. Among the many tribes of this ancient civilization, could be found, the ethnic groups of the Ashanti and the Fanti, who mined for gold along the rivers Volta and Ankobra.