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From Golden Age Empires to Independence

Mali occupies a special place in African history. The very name Mali evokes in the African consciousness a period known as the Golden Age, when three great empires, whose fame spread far beyond their borders, ruled over the whole of West Africa. These empires--Ghana (8th to 11th century), Mali (13th to 15th century), and Songhaï (15th to 16th century)--were among the first states in sub-Saharan Africa. Much of what we know about them comes from oral tradition, Arabic manuscripts, and archaeological evidence.

Trans-Saharan trade made these empires prosperous, and, in turn, the political dominance of these states provided the stability and ...

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