The Almoravids’s empire included ancient Ghana



“During the period of Ghana’s greatest power in the late 10th and early 11th centuries, one of the most important commercial cities under its control was Awadaghust, about 125 miles northwest of Kumbi Saleh. Abu Ubayd al Bakri (d. 1094), an Arab scholar living in Islamic Spain, described it as a large, populous town with well-built, handsome houses.”

“The buildings sat on the sandy ground below a big mountain that was completely barren of any vegetation. The bulk of the population consisted of Muslim traders from Ifriqiya (the North African region between Maghrib and Egypt.). The crops al-Bakri mentioned include wheat, sorghum, date palms, fig trees, and henna shrubs (the leaves of which produce a reddish brown dye). The vegetable gardens were watered with buckets, which was the usual method in Sahel towns and Sahara oases.”

“Awdaghust sat astride a trade route for gold shipped northward to the city of Sijilmasa in southern Morocco, where it was minted into coins. The overland caravan journey between Awdaghust and Sijilmasa took two months. The Arab geographer Ibn Hawqal visited Sijilmasa took two months. The Arab geographer Ibn Hawqal visited Sijilmasa in 951 and reported witnessing a steady volume of trade with lands below the Sahara, with “abundant profits and the constant coming and going of caravans” (quoted in Levtzion and Hopkins).”

“The main traders of Awdaghust were Berbers of the Zanata clan from the Atlas mountain region in Morocco. In the 10th century, city-dwelling Zanata traders began to dominate trans-Saharan commerce between Awdaghust in south and Sijilmasa in the north. But it was the Sanhaja nomads of the desert who really held power over the urban markets.”

“The Sanhaja are sometimes called the “the people of the veil” because the men cover their faces (not the women, as is the case in many Muslim societies). The Sanhaja avoided living in the city because they preferred living in tents and wandering the wide open spaces on their camels.”

“From out in the desert they exerted great authority over all avenues leading to the cities. The Sanhaja derived their income from the control of the trade routes. They were the guides and protectors for some caravans, but they demanded tolls from others, or simply raided and plundered them. The Sanhaja were also the real power in control of trade revenues in Awadagust. But they lost that revenue around the middle of the 11th century when the Soninke of Ghana took control of Awdaghust.”

“The Zanata traders of the city accepted their authority, which caused the Sanhaja people of the desert to lose an important source of income. The Sanhaja never eventually get their revenge on the Soninke through the Almoravids, Muslim Berber rulers from Morocco who took control of the Islamic Empire around 1085. The Almoravids’s empire eventually reached from Senegal through the Maghrib to Spain. They competed with the Soninke for control of trade and had a great impact on 11th-century Ghana.” 

Source:  Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay By David C. Conrad

Discovering the Songhay Empire By Laura La Bella


“Askiya Ishaq II offered the Moroccans a tribute of one hundred thousand pieces of gold and one thousand slaves, hoping this would pacify them and encourage them to leave the Songhay Empire alone. Sultan Mulay al Mansur wanted his army to occupy the newly conquered land below the desert. He angrily rejected Askiya Ishaq’s offer and replaced Judar Pasha with another general, also named Mansur who was instructed to complete the conquest of Songhay.”

“The Moroccans occupied Timbuktu, Gao, and Jenne. The Songhay Empie had fallen to the Moroccans. The Songhay people, though vanquished and stripped of their empire, remained silent. They went on to found the Dendi Kingdom, which held sway in what would become modern-day Niger, from 1591 to 1901. After many futile decades spent trying to reestablish Songhay supremacy in West Africa, the Dendi Kingdom, weakened by a long of unstable leaders, coups, and wars, succumbed to occupation by French colonial forces. “


Citing Discovering the Songhay Empire By Laura La Bella

16th Century AD Medieval Iberian Moriscos Silver Carnealian Ring


This is a beautiful complete original example of a silver Moriscos (Moorish), late Medieval ring from Iberia – modern day Spain and Portugal. The ring is dated Circa: 15th – 16th Century. The band is silver and convex in section which rises to the shoulders which, are detailed with three silver nodules. The bezel is circular and rises to form a collar which is decorated with detailed scroll-work and above which is seen tri-form silver roundels around the circumference of the collar case. The setting is that of a fire colored red to orange Carnelian gem. The gem details wonderful separation striations between the deep red and orange color tones.




The ring details original dark silver-oxide patination tones particularly to the inside band. The outside areas of a wonderful original silver aged tone with lighter silver tones seen only on worn areas. Ring size at UK Size N 1/2, US Ring and Canada Ring size 7: @ 9.5 grams: My ring grade Very Fine: Provenance: I acquired this ring in 2013 from a Private Spanish Collector on the London Art Market.

The Moriscos (Moorish) Notes: 13th Century Onward:
il_570xn-658578023_ri47The Moorish Kingdom of Granada continued for three more centuries in southern Iberia. On January 2, 1492, the leader of the last Muslim stronghold in Granada surrendered to armies of a recently united Christian Spain (after the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, the Catholic Monarchs). They forced the remaining Jews to leave Spain, convert to Roman Catholic Christianity or be killed for not doing so. To exert social and religious control, in 1480, Isabella and Ferdinand agreed to allow the Inquisition in Spain. Granada’s Muslim population rebelled in 1499. The revolt lasted until early 1501, giving the Castilian authorities an excuse to void the terms of the Treaty of Granada (1491). In 1501 Castilian authorities delivered an ultimatum to Granada’s Muslims: they could either convert to Christianity or be expelled.

The Inquisition was aimed mostly at Jews and Muslims who had overtly converted to Christianity but were thought to be practicing their faiths secretly. They were respectively called marranos and moriscos. However, in 1567 King Philip II directed Moriscos to give up their Arabic names and traditional dress, and prohibited the use of the Arabic language. In reaction, there was a Morisco uprising in the Alpujarras from 1568 to 1571. In the years from 1609 to 1614, the government expelled Moriscos. The historian Henri Lapeyre estimated that this affected 300,000 out of an estimated total of 8 million inhabitants

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  • Vintage item
  • Materials: Antique Silver Ring, Moorish Silver, Moorish Ring, Spanish Ring, Medieval Ring, Carnelian Ring, Magical Ring, Iberian Silver, Iberian Ring
  • Feedback: 30 reviews 
  • Ships worldwide from Yaxley, United Kingdom

Ring Grade Scale Meanings:

Extremely Fine:
Perfect in my opinion in all regards.

Very Fine:
Near perfect oval band, setting and gem stone or intaglio representation (note the description for specific listing guidance).

Fine band oval with slight off circle on plan, setting may contain age blemish marks or slight chips and or scratches (note the description for specific listing guidance).

Good to Fine:
The ring will have flaws as listed within the descriptions and shown on listing pictures. Note ancient rings will always be listed thus (note the description for specific listing guidance).