African Empires

Kingdom of Axum

Kingdom of Axum

250 - 710

Eastern Africa

Conquers South Arabia


Trade Center (Peak)

330 - 360

Traded with ancient Greece, Egypt, and asia
Exported: rhino horns, tortoise shells, ivory, emeralds, gold
Imported: cloth, glass, olive oil, wine, brass, iron and copper

Kingdom end


Muslim Arabs invaded Capital city of Adulis and ended trade.

Kingdom of Ghana

Kingdom of Ghana

300 - 1200

Gold, Iron, farming, trade etc.

Empire of Wagadou

750 - 1076

Located on the fringes of the Sahara in West Africa. Their people the Soninke spoke Mandu. King named Ghana which led to the name of the empire. Rule passed through maternal line, viewed as divine. Taxed trade passing through their land. Expanded to S and taxed gold production.

Soninke and Trade

750 - 1076

Muslim traders came through with salt, cloth, copper, steel, cowry shells, figs, dates, glass beads and slaves.
Muslims were literate and is the reason we know so much about the Soninkites.

Kumbi-comercial center


Becomes comercial center. Muslim traders start building houses and thus forms intellectual center as well.

Conquered Berber

990 - 991

Berber = major competitor city of Awdaghost (NW)-water, cattle, millet, wheat, grapes, figs and dates grown. 990 conquered by Ghana-->Ghana at peak of power

Capture of Awdaghost


Abu Bakr-leader of Sanhaja movement. Joined by Muslims in W Africa, Almoravids and Muslim Berbers

Capture of Kumbi


Decline of Empire

1076 - 1200

Almoravid rule for a few years, held control of gold trade.

Conversion to Islam.
Berber herdsman move into Soninke lands and they are overgrazed=decrease in agriculture.

End of Empire


Sosso people of Kaniaga overrun capitol, Kumbi.

Kingdom of Yoruba


Yoruba Kingdom

1100 - 1700

Evidence of civilization dating back to 700BCE

Ife Peak

1100 - 1700

split brothers
ife ife means place of dispersion
beautiful sculptures

Oyo Empire

1400 - 1700

Great organizational skills, powerful cavalry --> largest W African state.
largest wester empire precolonial

Portuguese guns


Kingdom of Zimbabwe

Construction of stone monuments began in 1000 and continued until 1400.

Trade with Persia and Arabia


Arabian and Persians trade with ivory, rhino horn, gold, shells and slaves

Construction of Great Zimbabwe

1000 - 1400

Shona in Power


Create city of Zimbabwe

Shona Empire

1100 - 1500

Current day ZImbabwe and E Botswana and SE Mozambique
Famous for stonemasonry traditions

Introduction of Christianity


Portuguese introduce Christianity

Recorded Discovery of Monuments


Documentation of monument discovery

Kingdom of Mali

Empire Manden Kurufaba

1230 - 1600

Languages, laws and customs spread along the Niger river

Sundiata Keita


Crowned Mansa after The Battle of Kirina

Mansa Musa

1312 - 1347

He was well known for his piligrimage and his generousity. Mali also reached its peaks when he was in rule. It prospered more then any country at the time, and also was rich in farm land and agricultural.
The empire began to rapidly decline in the 14th centruy due to the songhai army and Mansa Musa's death. By about the 16th century Mali was no more then a few towns.

Decline of Empire


Decline of the Empire of Mali, which loses dominance of the gold trade to the Songhai Empire, which makes its base in Timbuktu