The Tomb of Askia, in Gao, Mali, is believed to be the burial place of Askia Mohammad I, digit of Songhai’s most prolific emperors. It was shapely at the end of the ordinal century and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. UNESCO describes the spot as a dust like warning of the monumental mud-building traditions of the West African Sahel. The complex includes the pyramidal tomb, two mosques, a cemetery and an assembly ground. At 17 metres in height it is the largest pre-colonial architectural monument in the region. It is the prototypal warning of an Islamic architectural style that later spread throughout the region.
Relatively recent modifications to the place have included the expansion of the mosque buildings in the 1960s and mid-1970s, and the 1999 construction of a surround around the site. It has also been regularly replastered throughout its history, a impact essential to the maintenance and repair of mud structures. Electricity was added in the early 2000s, allowing for ceiling fans, lights and a loud speaker mounted on top.
Askia is in regular use as a mosque and a publicly owned cultural edifice for the city of Gao. The place and a pilot area around it are protected by both domestic and local laws.
GPS coordinates: 16° 17′ 23″ N, 0° 2′ 40″ W
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