Q:

How did the rulers of Ghana grow rich?

A:

Quick Answer

The kings of ancient Ghana amassed wealth through the gold and salt trade, aided by the development of ironworking. The kings collected taxes on trade and prohibited others from owning gold nuggets, which limited the availability of gold and kept prices high.

Continue Reading
How did the rulers of Ghana grow rich?
Credit: Tom Cockrem Lonely Planet Images Getty Images

Full Answer

During its height, ancient Ghana was so wealthy that even pets wore ornaments made of gold, and livestock slept in luxury. Located in what is today's Mauritania, Mali and Senegal, ancient Ghana's primary natural resource was gold. At some point in its history, Ghana had expanded to include control of land between the upper Niger and Senegal Rivers, an area that is rich in gold. Ancient Ghanaians traded gold, slaves and ivory for salt from the Arabs and obtained horses, swords, cloth and books from Europe and the West. Islamic merchants traveled for over two months through the desert to reach Ghana, where they were taxed not only on what they were importing but also on what they were exporting.

The Almoravids, a Muslim group, attacked the capital city of Koumbi Saleh during the 11th century. Although Ghana repelled the invasion, 200 years later it was severely weakened by further attacks and was cut off from the international trade routes. Eventually Ghana was absorbed by the expanding Mali nation.

Learn more about Modern History

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where is Ghana located?

    A:

    The country of Ghana is located in western Africa. Ghana is situated between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo, and it also borders Burkina Faso. Ghana is bordered by the Gulf of Guinea to the south.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Is TV3 Ghana available live outside of Ghana?

    A:

    TV3 Ghana airs live streams of its programming for free at TV3Network.com on Saturdays at 12 p.m. GMT. A special plug-in must be downloaded before viewers are able to watch it, however.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why did Cortes go to Mexico?

    A:

    Explorer Hernan Cortes went to Mexico on a quest for wealth and to spread Roman Catholicism by converting the natives into Christians. Although his commission to lead an expedition was rescinded by the governor of Cuba, Diego Velasquez, Cortes disregarded the order and sailed for Mexico in 1519.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What was life like 500 years ago?

    A:

    During the 15th and 16th centuries, life was relatively difficult for anyone born without nobility or wealth. Many people began to explore new countries and regions during this time, which was difficult because of limited travel technology.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore