social studies project

social studies project

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  • Trans-Saharan trade is what replaced the old, and not as effective, method of silent bartering. Thousands of North African traders each year traveled countless miles to trade their salt and try to come home with the gold. They could then trade with the Europeans for weapons, tools, and surplus food. Nearly the only resource the North Africans had was salt, so gold was an incredibly important resource to get what they needed to survive.
  • Let's go camel! We need to bring this salt to Timbuktu!
  • When traders traveled the desert they had to travel thousands of miles regularly and many animals such as donkeys and horses could not survive this dangerous journey. When traders adopted camels, the traders could carry more product. The camels could also live longer, and they even needed less water. This made camels more efficient in every way. The North Africans made camels the main source of transportation for Trans-Saharan trade. 
  • Camels are so efficient for traders like me!
  • Camels are much stronger than horses!
  • The North Africans traveled the desert regularly with all of their salt. Unfortunately for the North Africans, almost the only natural resource they had was salt. This made trade essential to the North Africans. They had so much salt they resorted to building houses out of salt, due to the lack of other materials.  The North Africans traded salt for gold and with that gold, they traded it with the Europeans for other things like tools and weapons. Without Ghana, all of the North Africans would be stuck with just salt.
  • We need resources besides salt like wood, tools, and weapons!
  • In the empire of Ghana, gold was very plentiful. They had so much gold that they made weapons and even dog collars out of gold. Even though this gold made the empire extremely rich, its people had little use for all of the gold. They needed salt.  With no salt, trade with the North Africans was vital to their survival. The empire of Ghana used the salt to replace the salt lost through sweat, to preserve meat, and for delicious tasting foods.
  • WOOF!
  • Look at all of our gold Fluffy!
  • I need salt to preserve my meat!
  • Although Ghana had so much gold they hardly knew what to do with, they still knew how valuable it was. The empire of Ghana kept all of the locations of their mines a secret, and if a miner was captured by a different country or merchants they would stop mining for many years. Most miners would give their life to keep the location of the mines a secret. The only people in the world who knew exactly where the mines were located was a group called the Wangarans. Till this day, no one knows where they hid their gold mines.
  • Look at all this gold!
  • In order to travel across the desert, you must be prepared. You needed your merchandise, camels, a guide, and lots of water. A caravan could have thousands of people and animals along with thousands of pounds of merchandise. No matter how often they traveled the desert, it was still very dangerous. You could get separated, run out of water, or ever die from the extreme temperatures,  but none of these reasons stopped traders from crossing this massive desert to get what they needed.
  • Good thing we have lots of water!
  • I am so happy camels need so much less water than humans and horses!
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