A couple of working-class citizens from the Empire of Mali which once dominated West Africa. Unlike my earlier drawing of ancient Egyptian civilians, this one required more artistic guesswork on my part since primary sources on ancient Malian dress are harder to come by than their Egyptian counterparts. It’s not like you can find a whole bunch of ancient Malian wall reliefs like you can with Egypt and Kush (probably because the Malians didn’t build in stone as much as the Nile Valley civilizations). On the plus side, this also left more to the imagination when designing their outfits. I gave the guy a pickax in part to signify his worker’s status and partly because Mali was famous for all the gold it accrued and distributed.
Someday I want to make a computer game with a historical theme, like Age of Empires, that incorporates the Egyptian and Malian civilizations (among many others across the ancient world), so this could be considered concept art for the Malian worker/villager unit.