Sub-Saharan kingdoms: why is so little left of them?

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

Questions about sub-saharan African kingdoms?

O.k. I have learned about various kingdoms that developed in Africa. My question is why did they leave so little behind? For example the Sahelian Kingdoms of Mali, Songhai, and Ghana, we know from history that they were great, however, unlike the Egyptians ,they didn’t leave much behind. Yes, Iknow there is a beautiful mud mosque in Mali, but Why didn’t they built greater monuments like pyramids and temples, stuff like that. Could stone not be found in the Sahel? Were there no other resources they could use ?
2nd question Concerning the great Zimbabwe, it is good that the ancient zimbabweans, who are supposedly the ancestors of the modern day shona people ( who are the majority in zimbabwe) built the city However, why didn’t they built all of their cities like that of zimbabwe, instead of only two { the great zimbabwe and Khami, another city though smaller than zimbabwe.}?

It is possible that whatever they did leave behind was appropriated by successors. Egyptian monuments lost a lot of their original glory to grave robbers and construction material seekers of later generations, so this could (and did) happen in other places as well…

As to your second question, the answer is rather obvious. Many ancient empires were built by force, with the metropolis and its army living off the conquered lands. So the imperial government only wanted to have one unrivaled city, the one it resided in.

This entry was posted in Answers, History. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *