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They fought many wars against the Kong Empire, and other Akan states (Fente, Bono, and Akym).

When it came to slaves Europeans initially purchased slaves from the existing slave markets within these African kingdoms which were traditionally supplied by prisoners of war and locals convicted of crimes.

The king of Kongo voluntarily converted to Christianity and encouraged conversion among its people.

After the demise of the golden age empires, the western African landscape became dominated by the rise of smaller ethnic independent states some of which created their own empires.

By this time Europeans had established trading relationships with many western African kingdoms and empires.

Some Europeans were given permission to set up trading posts and forts on the coast while others were refused land and required approval by local kings to travel inland to trade.

Some burial grounds show people buried in the fetal position inside large jars (pictured above) similar to some burial sites in Egypt.

New excavations from the region of the Sao have revealed evidence of an even earlier civilization referred to by archaeologists as the (present day Sudan) actually goes back before 2000 BC.

It would be another 100 years before European ships arrived on the West African coast.

While Europe descended into its “Dark Age” after the fall of the Roman Empire, West Africa was ascending into what many consider to be its Golden Age.

The following are a few highlights about this period.

grew as a result of the fall of the Songhay Empire.

They established a capital at Segou (pictured above) and fought many wars against their surrounding neighbors including the the Mossi States to gain territory from nearby kingdoms.