This extract is from ‘Travel Tales from Exotic Places like Salford’
From this time there was a growing fascination with the riches of Africa. However, the existence of gold in Africa had already been known in other parts of the world for hundreds of years. There is documented evidence that the Chinese were buying gold from the East African nations in 1000AD; they traded blue and green glazed earthenware,
yellow and black celadon, porcelain, and silk. In 1400AD the Moors were trading salt, brass pots, and daggers with the Akan in Ghana. In this century the Portuguese began to set up trading stations on the west coast buying Akan gold in exchange for slaves from Benin, who were used as labour in the gold mines. An idea of how much gold was available can be gleaned by the fact that in 1482 more than 386kg of gold was exported to Lisbon.
Around this time it is believed that a certain Christopher Columbus conducted cartographic work on the Gold Coast before being commissioned by the queen of Spain to discover a westward route to India.