In 1324, Emperor Mansa Musa of Mali made the pilgrimage to Mecca that is expected of all good Muslims. His caravan left from the east coast and crossed 3,500 miles of Central Africa. Emperor Musa’s effect on Europe was just as profound as his pilgrimage was to Africa. Stories about African riches spread throughout the Mediterranean, and pictures in maps and atlases illustrate their impact. One map, called the Catalan Atlas of 1375, left most of Africa undefined but gave the Mali Empire a prominent position, showing Emperor Musa himself seated on an ornate throne, holding a scepter in one hand and a huge gold nugget in the other. The Yongle Emperor sent the admiral Zheng him and a fleet of ships on a series of voyages around the Indian Ocean, the coast of Africa, and the coasts of Thailand, Java, and Arabia.