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Trans-Sharan Trade Research Paper

Decent Essays
The Trans-Saharan trade was at the peak of formation from the 8th century until the early 17th century. The trade route existed before those times but was not as predominant. The route required one to travel across the Sahara from North to South. They would go from sub-Sharan Africa to the North African Coast or Europe to the Levant and vis versa. In Libya and Algeria, thee area was made more of pastoralism which was where they had farms and herded goats and sheep. They also had large settlements. They eventually had cattle around 4000 BC. These ideas are different then the modern view of these places. The area is now very hostile. They also had donkey. The trade was originally very small scaled and limited. The only animals that could be…show more content…
The camel was introduced around 300 CE by the Arabs. They were very well suited for travel in deserts because they can drink up to twenty-five gallons of water in one feeding. Their eyelashes also prevent them from getting sand in their eyes; however, they could not carry very much weight. Otherwise, the route would have been too dangerous and long and would have weighed out any income. They traveled in large caravans mainly for gold which was sought in western and central Sudan. Gold was mainly needed for the making of their coinage. Salt was another big commodity that was found in the Mediterranean. Other examples of popular trade goods would be gold dust, carbuncles, ivory, ostrich feathers, and furs. Since gold was abundant in sub-Saharan and salt was abundant in the Mediterranean the trade route was mostly used to promote trade between the two. Berbers financed more caravans because places like Sijilmasa were in demand for more gold and bought it from the Berbers. The Berbers had two different groups; Taureg’s, central and Southern area, and Sanhaja’s, West. This also affected the Berbers religion and were beginning to convert to Islam. “The Land of the Gold” was then established in Mali and Ghana. The trade had other effects as well. For example, it created conflict between small nomad groups and Berbers because they dominated land. Another conflict was the caravan traffic was dominated by the nomads but
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