Ghana dates, according to some authorities, from the 3rd century A.D.
1 Guinea may, however, be derived from Ghana (or Ghanata) the name of the oldest known state in the western Sudan.
Large states arose in the western Sudan; Ghana flourished in the 7th century A.D., Melle in the IIth, Songhai in the 14th, and Bornu in the 16th.
Ghana was finally conquered by the Mandingo kings of Melle in the 13th century.
The identification of Ghana city with Jenne is not justified, though Idrisi seems to be describing Jenne when writing of "Ghana the Great."
By some writers Ghana city is, however, identified with Walata, which town is mentioned by Arab historians as the capital of Ghanata.
The country appears to have formed part, successively, of the states of Ghana, Melle and Songhoi.