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happyslug

(14,779 posts)
19. The key to the Wealth of Timbuktu was its trade with Cathage
Mon May 7, 2012, 03:07 PM
May 2012

Both per-Roman Carthage, when trade was done by Horses, or Roman Carthage which saw the slow switch to Camels do to the Sahara desert becoming dryer.

http://www.livescience.com/4180-sahara-desert-lush-populated.html
http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/environment-book/desertificationinsahel.html
http://web.me.com/uriarte/Earths_Climate/11._The_Holocene.html

Horses were the preferred way to do trade, but that seems to have ended about the time of the birth of Christ do to the increase aridness of the Sahara. The Sahara before about 5000 BC was a Savannah not a desert, but from that time forward has slowly become dryer. It was still wet enough for horses till about the time of Christ, but shortly after that date it became to dry for most horse draw wagons to cross the increasingly dry desert. Camels were introduced about the time of Christ to "Solve" this problem, but apparently used for a Camel riding border guards for the first 200 years, then trade after 200 AD, but the real boom in camel usage was after the Arab Conquest after 750- AD.

Please note, some of the above comments is based on very limited historical documentation. For example, we know Carthage main source of Wealth was its trade with area around Timbuktu, but it is unclear how much of that survived the destruction of Carthage at the end of the Third Punic War. On the other hand we know the wealth was still available for Caesar re-founded Carthage about 80 years after it had been destroyed, and it quickly became the Second largest city in the Western Empire (Behind Rome itself, and behind Alexandria Egypt, if you consider the entire Roman Empire, i,e, Carthage was the third largest city, behind Rome and Alexandria).

The Arabs destroyed Carthage but its harbor had become marginal by that time and Tunis was more then able to replace it (Tunis had always been Carthage port) and again it boomed till the Portuguese found out how to said to the "Gold Coast" of Africa (Nigeria and its neighbors) and bypassing the entire trans-Sahara trade system. Once trade went by ship, Timbuktu became a back water that most people have heard of, but no one ever went to.

all that religious fanatics do is destroy. provis99 May 2012 #1
I didn't realize there was an actual place called Timbuktu! Marrah_G May 2012 #2
I didn't realize those folks kept 'saints' mythes may3rd May 2012 #3
It's their own cult, actually - the closer the denomination the worse the infighting saras May 2012 #7
you might find this interesting grantcart May 2012 #12
Oh now that is cool!!!!!!!!!!! Marrah_G May 2012 #14
Not only is it a real place LibertyLover May 2012 #15
What a gem! Marrah_G May 2012 #16
you might find this interesting grantcart May 2012 #17
That is an amazing post LibertyLover May 2012 #18
Its the Buddhas of Bamiyan all over again. riderinthestorm May 2012 #4
The usual from fundys... Archae May 2012 #5
eerily similiar to the beginnings of the Taliban DCBob May 2012 #6
And the blowing up of the giant Buddhas. sakabatou May 2012 #22
Timbuktu was a spectacular town cosmicone May 2012 #8
What isn't contrary to Islam? demosincebirth May 2012 #9
Wanton destruction it seems n/t 4th law of robotics May 2012 #20
To me, destroying a UNESCO site is the closest thing that exists to sacrilege! Odin2005 May 2012 #10
A friend and I watched "Rape of Europa" on PBS last year closeupready May 2012 #11
For more background on the importance of Timbuktu grantcart May 2012 #13
The key to the Wealth of Timbuktu was its trade with Cathage happyslug May 2012 #19
Interesting grantcart May 2012 #21
It is on the Niger River, the most important river in West Africa, Its delta is Nigeria. happyslug May 2012 #23
Ok that was helpful grantcart May 2012 #24
The only question will be one simple "What is the relationship between wars and geography?" happyslug May 2012 #25
Will we be able to use Toynbee's "Challenge/Response Theory of History" as a source? grantcart May 2012 #26
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