Chroniclers mention that the city has its roots in a nomadic summer camp set up a few miles from the river Niger, as a base from which they could pasture and water their camels during the period of intense heat. This position proved strategic for commerce and soon attracted many settlers.
Timbuktu is located in the present day Republic of Mali at the edge of the Sahara desert. Timbuktu was founded by the Tuareg Imashagan or Kel Tamasheq in the 11th century. The Kel Tamasheq roamed the desert during the rainy season in search of grazing lands for their herds and camels.
During the dry season, however, they camped a few miles from the Niger river in search of water and grass for their live stock. Whenever the desert becomes green, the Turareg will leave their heavy goods with an old Tamasheq women called Tin Abutut who shortly thereafter became a warehouse or a depot for commercial goods transiting from the desert.
The city of Timbuktu has taken its name from this famous black lady.
The historic town of Timbuktu is located at the precise point where the Niger flows northward into the southern edge of the Sahara desert.
As a result of its unique geographical position, Timbuktu has been a natural meeting point of Songhai, Wangara, Fulani, Tuareg and Arabs.
According to the inhabitants of Timbuktu, gold came from the south, the salt from the north and Divine knowledge from Timbuktu.
Timbuktu is also the cross-road where the camel met the canoe. It is to this privilege position that the city owes much of its historical dynamism. From the 11th century and onward, Timbuktu became an important port where goods from West Africa and North Africa were traded.
Goods coming the Mediterranean shores and salt were traded in Timbuktu for gold.
The prosperity of the city attracted African and Arabs who were both scholars and merchants. This unique combination of scholarship and business were the cornerstones that made Timbuktu a city of wealth and truth and therefore a booming desert port.
Salt, books and gold were the main commodities that were traded in Timbuktu. Salt was extracted from the mines of Tegaza and Taoudenit in the north, gold from the immense gold mines of the Boure and Banbuk and books were the refined work of black and Arabs scholars.
Timbuktu flourished as a result of its strategic position. It is here in Timbuktu that African merchants from Djenne traded with the Kel Tamasheq nomads and the Arabs from the north. The Adobe structure of the houses in Timbuktu was the product of African and Arabs architecture.
Trade and knowledge were at their height. The capture and destruction of the empire of Ghana by the king of Sosso cause a mass exodus of scholars from Walata to Timbuktu.
By the 12th century, Timbuktu became a celebrated center of Islamic learning and a commercial establishment.Timbuk2 is owned by private equity group TB2 Investors.
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The company produces a variety of pre-made and made-to-order bags. Timbuk2 Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States of America. The city of Timbuktu is best known for its trade in gold, salt and superior schools. Some people even called it the “Golden City” for this reason.
Between the 13th and 17th centuries, Timbuktu was the center of learning in the Islamic world. This occurred due to the financial boom in growth in. Timbuktu sits near the Niger River, where North African’s savannas disappear into the sands of the Sahara, and part of its romantic image is that of a camel caravan trade route.
In , Timbuktu was designated a United Nations World Heritage Site, and efforts were underway to preserve and protect the city and especially its centuries-old mosques.
In , due to regional fighting, the city was placed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger, where it still remains in Timbuktu flourished as a result of its strategic position. It is here in Timbuktu that African merchants from Djenne traded with the Kel Tamasheq nomads and the Arabs from the north.
The Kel Tamasheq and the Jenne Merchants were the first settlers of Timbuktu.