Why was salt worth so much in medieval Africa?

Salt was a highly valued commodity not only because it was unobtainable in the sub-Saharan region but because it was constantly consumed and supply never quite met the total demand. There was also the problem that such a bulky item cost more to transport in significant quantities, which only added to its high price.

Why was salt so valuable in medieval Africa?

Once cultures began relying on grain, vegetable, or boiled meat diets instead of mainly hunting and eating roasted meat, adding salt to food became an absolute necessity for maintaining life. Because the Akan lived in the forests of West Africa, they had few natural resources for salt and always needed to trade for it.

Why was salt so expensive in Africa?

In the forests of West Africa, salt was very scarce so they had to trade for it and it literally was more valuable than gold. You could not live on gold. This is kind of obvious but salt was needed to flavor food, preserve food, its used for medical purposes ad to keep the body healthy.

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Why did salt become so important in early African trade?

Salt was able to preserve meat before the invention of. … refrigeration.

Why did Africans trade gold for salt in Africa?

Gold from Mali and other West African states was traded north to the Mediterranean, in exchange for luxury goods and, ultimately, salt from the desert. The merchants for these routes were often Berbers, who had extensive knowledge of how to navigate through the desert.

Is salt more valuable than gold?

The historian explains that, going by trade documents from Venice in 1590, you could purchase a ton of salt for 33 gold ducats (ton the unit of measure, not the hyperbolic large quantity). … The fact is that it was actually salt trade that held more worth than the gold industry.

Why was salt so valuable in ancient times?

Salt was essential in preserving foods such as meat, fish, and vegetables. Without it, one’s diet would pretty much be limited to just bread and whatever could be caught or picked that particular day. So for settled peoples, it was very widely used and necessary. Salt had to be mined like any other mineral.

Why is African salt more valuable than gold?

To the north lay the vast Sahara, the source of much of the ​salt​. … People wanted gold for its beauty, but they needed salt in their diets to survive. Salt, which could be used to preserve food, also made bland food tasty. These qualities made salt very valuable.

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Why was salt so valuable to the West Africans?

The two factors that explain why salt was so valuable to West Africans are salt was used as a form of currency and salt was used to preserve food. … It served as a currency that allowed themto trade gold for salt. Yes, salt was a necessary element for people to survive because salt was used to preserve food.

What was a major effect of the gold-salt trade in Africa?

The gold-salt trade in Africa made Ghana a powerful empire because they controlled the trade routes and taxed traders. Control of gold-salt trade routes helped Ghana, Mali, and Songhai to become large and powerful West African kingdoms.

Why did salt become so important?

Answer: Prior to the invention of refrigeration forms, the use of salt as a form of food preservation was widespread throughout all countries, and was of particular importance to those explorers on long trips and needed to carry supplies. Explanation: … Salt was also used as currency to buy slaves.

Is the African gold salt trade still used today?

Even today, the salt trade continues, although the deposits are running out and the salt merchants can no longer command gold dust in exchange. Saharan salt from Taoudenni is still transported by Tuareg camel caravans, the still-90-kilo slabs now ultimately destined for the refineries of Bamako in Mali.

What were some effects of slavery on communities in Africa?

The effect of slavery in Africa

Some states, such as Asante and Dahomey, grew powerful and wealthy as a result. Other states were completely destroyed and their populations decimated as they were absorbed by rivals. Millions of Africans were forcibly removed from their homes, and towns and villages were depopulated.

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