5. The Stone Circles of Senegal and Gambia
AFRICANGLOBE – From Great Zimbabwe to Nubian pyramids along the Nile River, Africa, as the Cradle of Humankind, holds many of the world’s greatest archaeological treasures. Here are five of the most significant.
The number of unearthed archaeological sites across Africa has given the world insights into the history of the continent and the world.
From pyramids in the north, to cryptic stone cities and ancient civilisations further south, these sites offer many mysteries as they do answers. Lying untouched and hidden for thousands of years, they can sometimes provide us with some understanding of who we are, as Africans, today.
The Stone Circles of Senegal and Gambia
Spread across thousands of miles in Senegal and Gambia, these four large stone constructions also referred to as the Senegambian stone circles date back to 300 BC. Judging by the discovery of graves and evidence of communities, the construction of the site shows evidence of a prosperous and organised society based on the amount of labour required to build such structures.
They consist of over 30,000 laterite stones, 17,000 monuments and 2,000 home sites.
Experts believe that much like obelisks, the stones were arranged purposefully for either religious or communal reasons. Finding, transporting and shaping the laterite, it is understood, would have required some kind of understanding of geology and intricate tool work.
At the largest of the sites, at Sine Ngayene, Senegal, evidence of iron smelting and quarries was unearthed. Layered evidence in the ground indicates a timeline of more than 700 years when communities lived, worked and worshipped in the area.