Largely due to climatic conditions, West Africa does not have monumental vestiges such as those found in Europe and elsewhere. The Pyramids and Temples of ancient Egypt, the ruins of Zimbabwe enjoyed a more clement climate. Only one exception confirms the rule in West Africa; The Megalithic Circles of great concentrations of Stone Circles of volcanic origin (a laterite concatration that is easy to work with), which are part of the mysteries of African culture that we would like to clarify in order to penetrate certain cultural secrets of our origins. These circles are on the border of Senegal and the Gambia. The site has been listed in 2006 on the UNESCO World Heritage List for the 30th session of the Committee.
The circles of Senegambia are circles of stone of historical age made of volcanic rocks or lateritic concretions easy to work. These circles are on the border of Senegal and the Gambia.
The site has been listed in 2006 on the UNESCO World Heritage List for the 30th session of the Committee.
Four large groups of megalithic circles constitute an extraordinary concentration - more 1 000 monuments - on a strip of 100 km wide which runs along 350 km the Gambia River. The four groups, Sine Ngayene, Wanar, Wassu and Kerbatch collect 93 circles and many tumuli, funeral mounds. Some have been excavated and revealed an archaeological material dating from the 3rd century BC to the 16th century AD. The carefully carved laterite stone circles and their associated tumuli present a vast sacred landscape that has grown over more than 1 500 years and account for a prosperous, perennial and highly organized society. The stones forming the circles were extracted using iron tools and cleverly cut into almost identical columns, of either cylindrical or polygonal section, with an average height of 2 meters and weighing up to 7 tons. Each circle includes between 8 and 14 stones erected for a diameter from 4 to 6 meters. All are located near funeral mounds. This exceptional site is representative of a much larger regional megalithic zone which, in terms of size, similarity and complexity, appears to be the largest known complex in the world. These beautifully worked stones show precise and skillful stone working techniques and contribute to the impressive grandeur of all these megalithic complexes.
The most remarkable site of the megalithic area is that of Sine Ngayène (region of Kaolack in Senegal) which includes 52 circles for 1200 megalithic stones and a hundred tumuluses (The tumuli are a funerary practice of Senegal very old. , The Kings and Chiefs were buried surrounded by their pets, food contained in pottery, with their jewelry, and sometimes even their cooks and court staff so that they lack nothing in the beyond.)
The site of Wanar (region of Kaolack in Senegal) is less important in quantity than Sine Ngayène but the stones are carved finer. The stones of the other sites are often huge large blocks, whereas in Wanar the stones are smaller and linked in the form of A or Y. The lateritic rock of the Nioro-du-Rip region has allowed the construction of These stone funerary monuments which differ from the tumuli of sand, earth or shells observed in the rest of Senegambia.
Some sites include both types of monuments, stone circles and tumulus. The tumuli are always located outside the megalithic circles. This proves that the tumuli are later than the circles. Many megalithic circles have been found in which most of the skeletons had dental mutilations. But also potteries of worship, weapons and ornaments.
IMAGES: Megalithic circles of Senegambia