III. The Postclassical Period, 500–1500 > D. Africa, 500–1500 > 4. Regions, 1000–1500
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
(See 1100–1200)
 
4. Regions, 1000–1500
 
 
a. Sudanic West and Central Africa
1076
 
Almoravid destruction of the empire of Ghana and the spread of Islam in the political center of the emerging states of Takrur, Songhay, Soso, and Kanem-Borno. The empire of Ghana had reached its zenith by the late 11th century. In 1076 the Almoravids conquered Ghana and forcibly converted its people to Islam. The conquest of Ghana led to the gradual decline of Ghana's power, which encouraged the rise of regional polities and the wider diffusion of Islam. Even before the conquest of Ghana, the king of Takrur had converted to Islam. By the 12th century, the Takrur state controlled the Senegal River and reaped profits by controlling the trade from nearby gold and salt mines. Takrur's influence spread throughout the Senegal River basin. The rulers of Songhay converted to Islam around 1010. In the 12th century, the Songhay kingdom occupied the Niger Bend region. Timbuktu emerged as an important entrepôt on the southern edge of the desert. Soso, another state to emerge in Ghana's wake, arose in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. It developed a rich tradition in ironworking. The powerful Kanem kingdom (See 1000–1100) dominated the Lake Chad region by the 12th century. The only major political entity between the Nile Valley and the Niger Bend, Kanem served as the southern terminus of a major caravan route between Lake Chad and the Mediterranean. In the 12th century, the peoples of Kanem began to migrate to Borno, west of Lake Chad, to a region better suited to agriculture and sitting astride important trade routes down the Benue River Valley toward the coast.  1
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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