رفوف
Volume 1, Numéro 1, Pages 13-42

Timbuktu: A Paramount Mediaeval Centre Of Trade And Knowledge

Authors : Tahar Abbou .

Abstract

The present article aims at showing the importance of Timbuktu as being one of the most important centres of trade and knowledge during the Mediaeval times. First, light is shed on the different hypotheses about the etymology of Timbuktu. Second, there will be an attempt to illustrate the role of Timbuktu as being a linking point between black West Africa, and the rest of the world through North African merchants. In this context, a special concern is devoted to the Trans-Saharan trade; its routes, centres, and the different commodities that were used to pass through. The last part of the article is devoted to the importance of Timbuktu as a world leading centre of learning in the Middle Ages. In this respect, the focus falls on some achievements that characterize the golden age of this city, particularly, the old mosques (Jingarey Ber, Sankore and Sidi Yahya) that bear a unique architecture reflecting a highly sophisticated Islamic civilization, in addition to the old manuscripts, which are still as evidence of the scientific development that the city enjoyed in the Mediaeval times.

Keywords

Timbuktu