Mali's Timeline


1 million years ago


Homo erectus, early man, develops in sub-Saharan Africa.

40,000 B.C.


Homo sapiens found throughout the habitable parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe.

8000 B.C.


Ancestors of the West Africans appear in the Niger River area.

2750 B.C.


During the Old and Middle Stone Ages, West Africans gather food, hunt, fish, and dig for roots in what is called the Sahel.

2000 B.C.


The Joliba and the Quorra rivers join to form the Niger River in West Africa.

500 B.C.


Iron in general use in West Africa.

146 B.C. to 31 B.C.


Roman conquest of North Africa; Berbers’ southern migration begins.

200 A.D.


About 1 million people live in the Sahel.

300-500


Rise of Ghana due to trade; fall of Rome (A.D. 410); early Christian era.

610-700


Muhammad has first revelation; Qur’an written; spread of Islam, often through violent conflict. Arabian conquest of North Africa and Spain.

700


Ghana under the rule of Sisse clan. Europe in “Dark Ages.” Islam reaches the Sudan through trade and scholarship.

700-1000


Ghana dominant power in Western Sudan.

800


Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III

900-1000


Arab scholars write about Sudan.

1000


Al-Bakri writes history of Old Kingdom of Ghana based on reports from travelers, merchants, traders, etc.

1050


Almoravid invasion of Ghana; wide disruption of trade.

1087


Death of Abu Bakr, leader of Almoravids; movement declines; Muslim impact is widespread in the Western Sudan among kings but not in rural villages where traditional religions are practiced.

1095


Pope Urban II decrees the first of eight “Crusades,” a series of military campaigns to expand Christianity eastward. They are a failure, but lead to a cultural awakening in Europe.

1100


City of Tombouctou founded as a small trading center along the Niger River.

1150


Susu clan dominates old Ghana.

1230


Sundiata, a Mandinka prince, defeats the Susu and founds the kingdom of Mali.

1255


Sundiata dies but leaves Mali securely in control of West-African gold and salt trade.

1307


Reign of Mansa Musa begins.

1320


Mansa Musa captures Tombouctou as part of Mali Empire, becomes center for scholarship, trade.

1324


Mansa Musa’s hajj (pilgrimage) to Egypt and Mecca. Al-Umari (1301-1349) records Mansa Musa’s visit in the Masalik al-Ahsad.

1325


Mali captures Gao.

1332


Mansa Musa dies.

1353


Ibn Battuta visits Mali, first person to write a first hand account of his travels in West Africa.

1359


Mali divided by civil war.

1433


Timbuktu captured and controlled by Berbers.

1450


Mali absorbed by Songhay; beginning of Renaissance in Europe.

1464


Reign of Sunni Ali Ber begins.

1468


Sunni Ali takes Timbuktu; sacks the city.

1473


Djenne surrenders after seven-year siege by Mali.

1492


Sunni Ali Ber dies; Columbus begins voyage to Americas; Edict of Expulsion forces thousands of Muslims and Jews to flee Spain.

1492-1495


Songhay taken over by military leader named Askia Muhammad Toure. He makes hajj to Mecca in 1495.

1512


Leo Africanus, who visits Songhay in 1512, is first to write an account of sub-Saharan Africa (1562) that is translated into a language other than Arabic. Michelangelo completes his painting in the Sistine Chapel.

1518


Africans imported to Hispaniola by Spain to replace Native American laborers who ran off, committed suicide, or died rather than be enslaved.

1590-1591


Mahmud al-Kati, Soninke writer, begins writing history of Sudan. No document survives, but his work is incorporated into the work Tarikh al-fettash, by Ibn Mukhtar. Leonardo da Vinci dies; Cortez enters Tenochtitlan, capital of Mexico, and meets the Aztec ruler Montezuma.

1528


Askia Muhammad exiled by son; dies in 1538.

1582


Songhay kingdom ruled by Askia Daoud.

1591


Songhay empire attacked by Morocco.

1618


Moroccan occupation of Songhay ends. Decline of Songhay complete by end of 17th century.

1619


Africans are sold from a Dutch warship to merchants of Virginia Company in Jamestown, Virginia.

1670


Tuareg Berbers capture Gao.

1841(?)


Al-Siddiq, after spending thirty years as a slave in Jamaica, returns to his home in West Africa.

1865


Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution ends slavery in the United States

1884


At Berlin Conference, Africa is divided by European countries, and the period of African colonization begins.

1889


French invasion and take over of Mali, the French Sudan becomes part of the Federation of French West Africa.

1958


French constitutional referendum, French Sudan voted to the French Community as the autonomous Sudanese republic.

1960


Sudanese Republic loses Senegal and becomes the fully independent Republic of Mali.

1968


Mousssa Traoré elected president (reelected in 1979)

1979


New constitution contained provision for elections to be held, democratic measures were implemented in spite of an unstable political climate.

1991


President Traoré is overthrown and the military takes control.

1992


Constitution approves multi-party democracy and Alpha Konaré is elected in the first democratic presidential election.

1997


President Konaré reelected

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