Koumbi Saleh

What is Koumbi Saleh known for?


ruins

in eleventh century described the capital of Ghana as consisting of two towns 6 miles apart, one inhabited by Muslim merchants and the other by the king of Ghana. The discovery in 1913 of a 17th-century African chronicle that gave the name of the capital as Koumbi led French archaeologists to the ruins at Koumbi Saleh. Excavations at the site have revealed the ruins of a large Muslim town with houses built of stone and a congregational mosque but no inscription to unambiguously identify the site

as that of capital of Ghana. Ruins of the king's town described by al-Bakri have not been found. Radiocarbon dating suggests that the site was occupied between the late 9th and the 14th centuries. Arabic sources and the capital of the Ghana Empire The earliest author to mention Ghana is the Persian astronomer Ibrahim al-Fazari who, writing at the end of the eighth century, refers to "the territory of Ghana, the land of gold". The Ghana Empire lay

by light brown shading. The extensive ruins at Koumbi Saleh were first reported by Albert Bonnel de Mézières in 1914. The site lies in the Sahel region of southern Mauritania, 30 km north of the Malian border, 57 km south-southeast of Timbédra (Timbedra) and 98 km northwest of the town of Nara (Nara, Mali) in Mali. The vegetation is low grass with thorny scrub and the occasional acacia tree. In the wet season (July–September


site

settlement_type Site of medieval town total_type motto translit_lang1 translit_lang1_type translit_lang1_info translit_lang1_type1 translit_lang1_info1 translit_lang1_type2 translit_lang1_info2 image_skyline imagesize image_caption image_flag

blank5_name blank5_info blank6_name blank6_info website footnotes '''Koumbi Saleh''', sometimes '''Kumbi Saleh''' is the site of a ruined medieval town in south east Mauritania that may have been the capital of the Ghana Empire. From the ninth century, Arab authors mention the Ghana Empire in connection with the trans-Saharan gold trade (Trans-saharan trade). Al-Bakri who wrote

in eleventh century described the capital of Ghana as consisting of two towns 6 miles apart, one inhabited by Muslim merchants and the other by the king of Ghana. The discovery in 1913 of a 17th-century African chronicle that gave the name of the capital as Koumbi led French archaeologists to the ruins at Koumbi Saleh. Excavations at the site have revealed the ruins of a large Muslim town with houses built of stone and a congregational mosque but no inscription to unambiguously identify the site


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is available online:


studies association

failed to give sources as to how he arrived to that conclusion and the genealogy he created. Monteil describes his work as "unacceptable". The African Studies Association describe it as "...too creative to be useful to historians". See: *African Studies Association, ''History in Africa, Volume 11'', African Studies Association., 1984, the University of Michigan, pp 42-51 Arabic sources The earliest mention of Aoudaghost is by al-Yaqubi in his ''Kitab al-Buldan'' completed in 889-890 in which he described the town as being controlled by a tribe of the Sanhaja and situated 50 stages south of Sijilmasa across the Sahara desert. Tegdaoust is existed from before c. 830 until c. 1235 in what is now south-east Mauritania and western Mali. The Sosso people took its capital Koumbi Saleh but at the Battle of Kirina (c. 1240) Sundiata Keita's alliance defeated the Sosso and began the Mali Empire, which spread its influence along the Niger River through numerous vassal kingdoms and provinces. The Gao Empire at the eastern Niger bend was powerful in the ninth century CE but later subordinated to Mali until its decline. In 1340 the Songhai people made Gao the capital of a new Songhai Empire. Haskins, page 46


482

The rooms were quite narrow, probably due to the absence of large trees to provide long rafters to support the ceilings. The main mosque was centrally placed on the avenue

the town suggesting that the site was occupied over an extended period. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal fragments from a house near the mosque have given dates that range between the late 9th and the 14th centuries. Mauny himself acknowledged

that this is an enormous population for a town in the Sahara with a very limited supply of water ("Chiffre énorme pour une ville saharienne"). The archaeological evidence suggests that Koumbi Saleh was a Muslim town with a strong Maghreb connection. No inscription has been found to unambiguously link the ruins with the Muslim capital of Ghana described by al-Bakri. Moreover, the ruins of the king's town of Al-Ghaba have not been found.


title ancient

title Review of: Recherches Archéologiques sur la Capitale de l'Empire de Ghana by Sophie Berthier journal African Archaeological Review volume 16 issue 1 pages 83–85 jstor 25115527 . * existed from before c. 830 until c. 1235 in what is now south-east Mauritania and western Mali. The Sosso people took its capital Koumbi Saleh but at the Battle of Kirina (c. 1240) Sundiata Keita's alliance defeated the Sosso and began the Mali Empire, which spread its influence along the Niger River through numerous vassal kingdoms and provinces. The Gao Empire at the eastern Niger bend was powerful in the ninth century CE but later subordinated to Mali until its decline. In 1340 the Songhai people made Gao the capital of a new Songhai Empire. Haskins, page 46


472

. It measured approximately 46 m east to west and 23 m north to south. The western end was probably open to the sky. The mihrab faced due east. There were two large cemeteries outside


516

516 The earliest reference to Ghana as a town is by al-Khuwarizmi (Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī) who died in around 846 AD. Two centuries later a detailed description of the town is provided by al-Bakri in his ''Book of Routes and Realms (Book of Roads and Kingdoms (al-Bakrī))'' which he completed in around 1068. Al-Bakri never visited the region but obtained his information from earlier writers and from informants

ethnic influences. Complex societies existed in the region from about 1500 BCE. The Ghana Empire existed from before c. 830 until c. 1235 in what is now south-east Mauritania and western Mali. The Sosso people took its capital Koumbi


original work

Maurice Delafosse, (in Gallica). Delafosse's original work have been refuted and discarded by many scholars including Monteil, Cornevin, etc. There was no Diara Kanté in the oral sources. That was an addition by Delafosee which was contrary to the original sources. Delafosse merely linked different legends (i.e. the Tautain story etc.) and prescribed Diara Kanté (1180) as the father of Soumaoro, in order to link the Sossos to the Diarisso Dynasty of Kaniaga (Jarisso). He also


846

516 The earliest reference to Ghana as a town is by al-Khuwarizmi (Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī) who died in around 846 AD. Two centuries later a detailed description of the town is provided by al-Bakri in his ''Book of Routes and Realms (Book of Roads and Kingdoms (al-Bakrī))'' which he completed in around 1068. Al-Bakri never visited the region but obtained his information from earlier writers and from informants

Koumbi Saleh

'''Koumbi Saleh''', sometimes '''Kumbi Saleh''' is the site of a ruined medieval town in south east Mauritania that may have been the capital of the Ghana Empire.

From the ninth century, Arab authors mention the Ghana Empire in connection with the trans-Saharan gold trade (Trans-saharan trade). Al-Bakri who wrote in eleventh century described the capital of Ghana as consisting of two towns 6 miles apart, one inhabited by Muslim merchants and the other by the king of Ghana. The discovery in 1913 of a 17th-century African chronicle that gave the name of the capital as Koumbi led French archaeologists to the ruins at Koumbi Saleh. Excavations at the site have revealed the ruins of a large Muslim town with houses built of stone and a congregational mosque but no inscription to unambiguously identify the site as that of capital of Ghana. Ruins of the king's town described by al-Bakri have not been found. Radiocarbon dating suggests that the site was occupied between the late 9th and the 14th centuries.

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