Why was salt important in West Africa?
Salt, which could be used to preserve food, also made bland food tasty. These qualities made salt very valuable. In fact, Africans sometimes cut up slabs of salt and used the pieces as money. As trade in gold and salt increased, Ghana’s rulers gained power.
What was the importance of Ghana to the gold and salt trade?
As salt was worth its weight in gold, and gold was so abundant in the kingdom, Ghana achieved much of its wealth through trade with the Arabs. Islamic merchants traveled over two months through the desert to reach Ghana and “do business.” They were taxed for both what they brought in and what they took out.
Why was salt such an important trade product?
Salt was a highly valued commodity not only because it was unobtainable in the sub-Saharan region but because it was constantly consumed and supply never quite met the total demand. There was also the problem that such a bulky item cost more to transport in significant quantities, which only added to its high price.
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.
Why is salt important to the people of Africa?
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?
Salt. According to trade documents from Venice in 1590, 33 gold ducats would buy you a ton of salt (ton the unit of measure, not the hyperbolic large quantity). Similar figures exist from ancient Egypt showing that, no, salt was never worth more than gold.
What is the gold salt trade?
Many items were traded between North Africa and West Africa, but the two goods that were most in demand were gold and salt. 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.
How did the gold salt trade develop?
Why did the gold–salt trade develop between West Africa and North Africa? The trade began due to a surplus of each product per area. Gold was plentiful in West Africa so traders sent the item to North Africa so they too could have the valuable mineral. In return, North Africans gave salt to West Africa.
Is salt worth its weight in gold?
During Roman times, salt was worth its weight in gold and soldiers were sometimes paid in salt, hence the word “salary” Salt was essential when mastodons roamed the Earth and was in general use many, many centuries ago. But this valuable item wasn’t always easy to get.
Why is Timbuktu poor today?
After a shift in trading routes, particularly after the visit by Mansa Musa around 1325, Timbuktu flourished from the trade in salt, gold, ivory, and slaves. It became part of the Mali Empire early in the 14th century. Presently, Timbuktu is impoverished and suffers from desertification.
What made Taghaza an important location?
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. Salt from the Taghaza mines formed an important part of the long distance trans-Saharan trade.
When did the gold and salt trade start?
The Trans-Saharan Gold Trade (7th–14th Century)
How much was salt worth in Roman times?
One modius of salt, which is 8 liters of dry matter or in case of salt 16 kg of salt, costed 100 denarii. That would make 1 ton of salt 6250 denarii. A farm laborer, which was the most common job, earned roughly 25 denarii per day.
Why is gold important to Africa?
Gold is one of Africa’s most abundant natural resources and it has shaped its history and its people throughout time. The slave trade was also a part of this process in West Africa, as slaves were often part of transactions between Berbers and Europeans.
How did the kingdoms of West Africa become so powerful?
The king of Ghana spread his power through trade. Gold, ivory, and slaves were bartered for salt from the Arabs. Horses, cloth, swords and books were bartered from North Africans and Europeans. Ghana achieved much of its wealth by trading with the Arabs.