Rise to Glory: West Africa
The gold of Ghana came from Ghiarou near the source of the
Senegal river, about eighteen days journey from the capital. All
the gold nuggets belonged to the king, although the gold dust was
left to the people.
The king levied taxes on all salt that came into the country,
as well as all the salt that left. Copper exports were also taxed,
which made the king very rich and powerful. El Bekri reported that
the king of Ghana owned a nugget of gold that was so big that he
could tie his horse to it.
The Almoravids devastated Ghana, by destrying the power of the
kings. They looted the country and turned people into semi-slaves
through heavy taxes. Many of them eventually accepted Islam to
avoid or escape these burdens.
Archaeologists have excavated several sites and believe that
the ancient capital was most likely from a place called Kumbi
Saleh, where a city of 30,000 people once lived. 1 2 3