Welcome to the companion website for

Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time:
Art, Culture, and Exchange Across Medieval Saharan Africa

قوافل من ذهب، شذرات من التاريخ: فن، ثقافة، والتبادل عبر
الصحراء الكبرى خلال القرون الوسطى

About this site

Here you will find in-depth information about the Caravans of Gold exhibition, including images and information about key objects and artworks from the exhibition, interviews with experts, and resources to support teaching and learning.

About the exhibition

Journey to a medieval world with Africa at its center.

Travel along routes crossing the Sahara Desert to a time when West African gold fueled expansive trade and drove the movement of people, culture, and religious beliefs. Caravans of Gold is the first major exhibition addressing the scope of Saharan trade and the shared history of West Africa, the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe from the eighth to sixteenth centuries. Weaving stories about interconnected histories, the exhibition showcases the objects and ideas that connected at the crossroads of the medieval Sahara and celebrates West Africa’s historic and underrecognized global significance.


The Block Museum of Art
Northwestern University

January 26, 2019 – July 21, 2019

Aga Khan Museum
September 21, 2019 – February 23, 2020

National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute
July 16, 2021 – February 27, 2022

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