When Mansa Musa went on a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324, he carried so much gold, and spent them so lavishly that the price of gold fell for ten years. He founded the library of Timbuktu, and the famous manuscripts of Timbuktu which cover all areas of world knowledge were written during his reign.Witnesses of the greatness of the Mali empire came from all part of the world.
At the height of its power, Mali had at least 400 cities, and the interior of the Niger Delta was very densely populated.’ The Malian city of Timbuktu had a 14th century population of 115,000 – 5 times larger than mediaeval London.
An official of the Berlin Museum für Völkerkunde once stated that: “These works from Benin are equal to the very finest examples of European casting technique. Technically, these bronzes represent the very highest possible achievement.” Sadly, in 1897, Benin City was destroyed by British forces under Admiral Harry Rawson.
Benvenuto Cellini could not have cast them better, nor could anyone else before or after him . The city was looted, blown up and burnt to the ground.
Additional information came from You Tube channel ‘dogons2k12 : African Historical Ruins’, and The Ta Neter Foundation work. At the end of the 13th century, a European traveler encountered the great metropolis in West Africa (present Nigeria, Edo State), writing: “The town seems to be very great.
When you enter into it, you go into a great broad street, not paved, which seems to be seven or eight times broader than the Warmoes street in Amsterdam…The Kings palace is a collection of buildings which occupy as much space as the town of Harlem, and which is enclosed with walls.