Loripeni and pre-Ghana West Africa

Mar 2012
2,347
#1
Good day all,

I am new to the forum and was wondering if anyone else is interested in African history had any current information on Loripeni and the the people who built it?

I have heard of other, related West African stone sights. Does anyone know what they are called, or have information?

What about pre-Ghana West African civilization in general. I know of Tichitt-Walata, Chinguetti and the other sights in Mauretania, but how much is known about what came before Ghana in the other West African states?

Thanks in advance for any answers.
 
Last edited:
Dec 2009
19,933
#2
Welcome to Historum, Cachibatches.
Ruins of Loropéni

The 11,130m2 property, the first to be inscribed in the country, with its imposing stone walls is the best preserved of ten fortresses in the Lobi area and is part of a larger group of 100 stone enclosures that bear testimony to the power of the trans-Saharan gold trade. Situated near the borders of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Togo, the ruins have recently been shown to be at least 1,000 years old. The settlement was occupied by the Lohron or Koulango peoples, who controlled the extraction and transformation of gold in the region when it reached its apogee from the 14th to the 17th century. Much mystery surrounds this site large parts of which have yet to be excavated. The settlement seems to have been abandoned during some periods during its long history. The property which was finally deserted in the early 19th century is expected to yield much more information...

The dramatic and memorable Ruins of Loropéni consist of imposing, tall, laterite stone perimeter walls, up to six metres in height, surrounding a large abandoned settlement. As the best preserved of ten similar fortresses in the Lobi area, part of a larger group of around a hundred stone-built enclosures, they are part of a network of settlements that flourished at the same time as the trans-Saharan gold trade and appear to reflect the power and influence of that trade and its links with the Atlantic coast. Recent excavations have provided radio-carbon dates suggesting the walled enclosure at Loropéni dates back at least to the 11th century AD and flourished between the 14th and 17th centuries, thus establishing it as an important part of a network of settlements...


Loropéni is the best preserved example of a type of fortified settlements in a wide part of West Africa, linked to the tradition of gold mining, which seems to have persisted through at least seven centuries. Loropéni, given its size and scope reflects a type of structure quite different from the walled towns of what is now Nigeria, or the cities of the upper reaches of the river Niger which flourished as part of the empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhai. It thus can be seen as an exceptional testimony to the settlement response generated by the gold trade.
Source: UNESCO.
The Ruins of Loropeni are located in south-western Burkina Faso, about 40 km west of Gaoua town. The site was once a fortified settlement surrounded by a 6-metre high laterite stone wall, one of ten such fortifications in the Lobi tribal area. There is much archaeological work to be done before the history of the area is properly known but it is thought that the settlement at Loropeni flourished between the 14th and 17th centuries, built on wealth from gold production and trade. In particular, it is thought to have been linked to the trans-Saharan gold trade through the major centres of Djenne, Mopti and Timbuktu lying to the north. As shipping routes were developed and the trans-Sahara trade dwindled, the centre of power shifted south to the Ashanti kingdom (in present-day Ghana), and the importance of Loropeni declined. The development of Loropeni as a major centre based on the gold trade, and the changing fortunes of the other great centres of the Ghana, Mali, Songhai and Ashanti empires of West Africa seem to mirror developments in the great city states of southern Africa at Mapungubwe, Great Zimbabwe and Khami.
Source: African World Heritage Sites.







 
Last edited:
Nov 2010
2,088
...
#4
I can't be sure there were any "states" in its proper sense prior to Garma and Egypt/Ta-Seti. I know Tichitt-Walata belonged to a network of similar Neolithic communities. Maybe they extended from the fishing communities from the once-fertile Sahara? Tichit-Walata and Garma were economic rivals by at least 1500 BCE.
 
Mar 2012
2,347
#5
I can't be sure there were any "states" in its proper sense prior to Garma and Egypt/Ta-Seti. I know Tichitt-Walata belonged to a network of similar Neolithic communities. Maybe they extended from the fishing communities from the once-fertile Sahara? Tichit-Walata and Garma were economic rivals by at least 1500 BCE.

Thanks. Got to look up Garma.