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Mali One of the Greatest African Civilizations Malis Culture and Government After the kingdom of Ancient Ghana the next great West African Empire to emerge was the kingdom of Ancient Mali Ancient Mali and Ghana shared a number of different features however they also were extremely distinct from each other in many ways as well For example unlike Ghana a great deal more information and written records about the kingdom of Mali still exist With the resources that have endured a much better understanding of Mali can be established Like Ghana however most of the information that is known about Mali comes from Islamic scholars and travelers Islamic scholars must have paid a great of attention to Mali because its rulers converted to Islam and subsequently spread it throughout Africa The richness of the historical record of Mali allows a history of this great civilization to be reconstituted Early in the history of Mali during the reign of Al-Malik al-Nasir Mali extended its boards west to the Atlantic Ocean To the north Mali occupied the upper portions of the Sahara To the south Mali extended down the Niger River past the city of Djenne which is located on marshy land in the middle of the Niger River it is referred to as an island To the East the kingdom stretched to a city called Takrur this included much of the Sahara Originally the kingdom of Mali started expanding from the top of the Niger River Starting from the city of Timbuktu Mali steadily conquered the lands that lay down steam These areas included the towns of Djenne located on series of mashes and lakes that lies close to the Niger River and Kawkaw thought to be the modern-day city of Gao Controlling the Niger River and the cities that lie on its banks were important for trade and travel The Niger River was a central artery of commerce for both west and
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