I have been researching the design and construction of late medieval Malian buildings in preparation for making a speculative Lego model of Mansa Musa's now-lost royal palace "ma dugu" at Timbuktu, which he built on returning from his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1325 CE. I am mostly drawing from extant mosques in Djenne and Mopti, despite that the palatial style may have been very different in form. In a 1989 volume of Journal des africanistes, Suzan Aradeon claimed of Sudano-Sahelian architecture that:
Has this remained true to the present day? Since I'm not at an academic institution right now, I don't have access to many scholarly resources that could bring me up to date on this field's literature. I am aware that the remains of a palace complex have been recently excavated at Gao-Saney, but I haven't seen any reconstructions of its architecture. I would appreciate any insight that the members of this forum could provide on this matter, and I can include some work-in-progress photos of my Lego model in a subsequent post.With the exception of the Hausa palaces, no existing examples of palatial architecture with or without domes or painted plaster decorations have been documented nor have any been described sufficiently to allow us to reconstruct a palace complex.