Eredo, Ijebu - The World's Largest Man-made Structure - Culture - Ifeyinka

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Estimated Date of Construction - 800 AD

The African queen

SOMETIMES the biggest things can be the hardest to find. How else do you explain the failure of generations of Nigerian and European archaeologists to spot Sungbo’s Eredo, the ramparts of a thousand-year-old kingdom not an hour’s drive from Lagos? They are very big: the earth wall and ditch are 160 kilometres long and in places tower seven storeys high, complete with guardhouses, moats and garrison barracks. They enclose an area the size of Greater London, or 30 times bigger than Manhattan. But it took a British geographer from the
University of Bournemouth to recognise their significance.

Patrick Darling stumbled upon Sungbo’s Eredo five years ago, when he stopped his car along the Pan African Highway in southern Nigeria and set off on foot into the undergrowth. What he found that day was the jewel in the African civil engineering crown....

''Over the last five years... a team of Nigerian and British archeologists and preservationists have succeeded in mapping the structure.... A carbon analysis of parts of the rampart showed that it dates from the 10th century and suggested that a highly organized kingdom existed in the rain forest at least three centuries earlier than previously believed.''

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