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Tondidarou is a small town and megalithic archaeological site in Niafunké Cercle, Timbuktu Region, Mali, northwest of Niafunké, about 150 kilometres south-west of Timbuktu.The site, located on the eastern bank of Lac Tagadji, was discovered by Jules Brévié in 1904 and is said to be "defined by three groups of stone megaliths", monoliths which are a "remarkable collection of phalliform stone monuments." Ancient Egypt in Africa refers to the site as "Diop's 'Egypt-influenced' phalliform stone circle of Tondidarou". Eugene Maes was the first to seriously document the stones at Tondidarou in 1924. It was extensively excavated in around 1980. The site is dated to 670 - 790 AD.
Niafunké Cercle is an administrative subdivision of the Tombouctou Region of Mali. The administrative center (chef-lieu) is the town of Niafunké. In the 2009 census the cercle had a population of 184,285. The Niger River runs for 100 km through the cercle.
Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa, a region geologically identified with the West African Craton. Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of just over 1,240,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi). The population of Mali is 18 million. Its capital is Bamako. The sovereign state of Mali consists of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara Desert, while the country's southern part, where the majority of inhabitants live, features the Niger and Senegal rivers. The country's economy centers on agriculture and mining. Some of Mali's prominent natural resources include gold, being the third largest producer of gold in the African continent, and salt.
Timbuktu is an ancient city in Mali, situated 20 km (12 mi) north of the Niger River. The town is the capital of the Timbuktu Region, one of the eight administrative regions of Mali. It had a population of 54,453 in the 2009 census.
Musa I or Mansa Musa was the tenth Mansa, which translates to "sultan", "conqueror", or "emperor", of the wealthy West African Islamic Mali Empire. At the time of Musa's rise to the throne, the Malian Empire consisted of territory formerly belonging to the Ghana Empire in present-day southern Mauritania and in Melle (Mali) and the immediate surrounding areas. Musa held many titles, including "Emir of Melle", "Lord of the Mines of Wangara", "Conqueror of Ghanata", and at least a dozen others. Mansa Musa conquered 24 cities, each with surrounding districts containing villages and estates. During his reign, Mali may have been the largest producer of gold in the world; it was at a point of exceptional demand for the commodity. One of the richest people in history, he is known to have been enormously wealthy; reported as being inconceivably rich by contemporaries, Time magazine reported: "There's really no way to put an accurate number on his wealth." In March 2019 the BBC described him as "the richest man of all time".
Djenné is a town and an urban commune in the Inland Niger Delta region of central Mali. The town is the administrative centre of the Djenné Cercle, one of the eight subdivisions of the Mopti Region. The commune includes ten of the surrounding villages and in 2009 had a population of 32,944.
Gao is a city in Mali and the capital of the Gao Region. The city is located on the River Niger, 320 km (200 mi) east-southeast of Timbuktu on the left bank at the junction with the Tilemsi valley.
Koumbi Saleh, sometimes Kumbi Saleh is the site of a ruined medieval town in south east Mauritania that may have been the capital of the Ghana Empire.
Azawad is the name given to northern Mali by Berber Touareg rebels, as well as a former short-lived unrecognised state. Its independence was declared unilaterally by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) in 2012, after a Tuareg rebellion drove the Malian Army from the region. It rejoined Mali in February 2013, after less than a year of unrecognized independence.
The Soninke are a West African ethnic group found in eastern Senegal and its capital Dakar, northwestern Mali and Foute Djalon in Guinea, and southern Mauritania. They speak the Soninke language, also called Maraka language, which is one of the Mande languages.
The Djinguereber Mosque in Timbuktu, Mali is a famous learning center of Mali built in 1327, and cited as Djingareyber or Djingarey Ber in various languages. Its design is accredited to Abu Es Haq es Saheli who was paid 200 kg of gold by Musa I of Mali, emperor of the Mali Empire. According to Ibn Khaldun, one of the best known sources for 14th century Mali, says al-Sahili was given 12,000 mithkals of gold dust for his designing and building of the djinguereber in Timbuktu. But more reasoned analysis suggests that his role, if any, was quite limited. The architectural crafts in Granada had reached their zenith by the fourteenth century, and its extremely unlikely that a cultured and wealthy poet would have had anything more than a dilettante's knowledge of the intricacies of contemporary architectural practice.
Timbuktu Manuscripts is a blanket term for the large number of historically important manuscripts that have been preserved for centuries in private households in Timbuktu, Mali. The collections include manuscripts about art, medicine, philosophy, and science, as well as copies of the Quran. The number of manuscripts in the collections has been estimated as high as 700,000.
The Ghana Empire, properly known as Wagadou, was a West African empire located in the area of present-day southeastern Mauritania and western Mali. Complex societies based on trans-Saharan trade with salt and gold had existed in the region since ancient times, but the introduction of the camel to the western Sahara in the 3rd century CE opened the way to great changes in the area that became the Ghana Empire. By the time of the Muslim conquest of North Africa in the 7th century the camel had changed the ancient, more irregular trade routes into a trade network running from Morocco to the Niger river. The Ghana Empire grew rich from this increased trans-Saharan trade in gold and salt, allowing for larger urban centres to develop. The traffic furthermore encouraged territorial expansion to gain control over the different trade routes.
Ali Ibrahim "Ali Farka" Touré was a Malian singer and multi-instrumentalist, and one of the African continent's most internationally renowned musicians. His music is widely regarded as representing a point of intersection of traditional Malian music and its North American cousin, the blues. The belief that the latter is historically derived from the former is reflected in Martin Scorsese's often quoted characterization of Touré's tradition as constituting "the DNA of the blues". Touré was ranked number 76 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and number 37 on Spin magazine's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
The Gao Empire precedes that of the Songhai Empire in the region of the Middle Niger. It owes its name to the town of Gao located at the eastern Niger bend. In the ninth century CE, it was considered to be the most powerful West African kingdom.
Ansar Dine also known as Ansar al-Din is a militant Islamist group led by Iyad Ag Ghaly, one of the most prominent leaders of the Tuareg Rebellion (1990–1995) who is suspected of having ties to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which is led by his cousin Hamada Ag Hama. Ansar Dine seeks to impose strict Sharia law across Mali. The group's first action was in March 2012. The organization is not to be confused with the Sufi movement Ançar Dine, started in Southern Mali by Chérif Ousmane Haidara in the 1980s, which is fundamentally opposed to militant Islamism. Ansar Dine is opposed to Sufi shrines.
Dr. Téréba Togola (1948–2005) was a Malian archaeologist from Sikasso. He participated in the country's first national inventory of its archaeological sites.
Kawinza is a village and archaeological site in Niafunké Cercle, Timbuktu Region, Mali. It was excavated extensively from 1984 by Téréba Togola, Michael Rainbault and Roderick and Susan McIntosh. Pottery such as vases and fragments were discovered in January of that year. They discovered tumuli here in 1986 and also in Toyla and Tissalaten. The Kawinza tumuli are dated to 670–880 AD.
Tissalaten is an archaeological site in Niafunké Cercle, Timbuktu Region, Mali, not far from Lake Soumpi. It was excavated extensively in the 1980s by Téréba Togola, Michael Rainbault and Roderick and Susan McIntosh. They discovered tumuli here in 1986. dated to 1030 - 1220 AD.
Toyla is an archaeological site in Diré Cercle, Timbuktu Region, Mali, southeast of Goundam, towards Diré. It was excavated extensively in the 1980s by Téréba Togola, Michael Rainbault and Roderick and Susan McIntosh. They discovered tumuli here in 1986, dated to 880 - 990 AD.
The following is a history of the city of Timbuktu, Mali.
The Fall of Timbuktu took place during the war in northern Mali. This is one of the first clashes between the MNLA and Ansar Dine.
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