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Wassu Stone Circles

Banjul, Senegal

The ancient stone circles of Wassu, Gambia, are located around Wassu in the central region of the river and are believed to be burial mounds of kings and chiefs in antiquity over 1200 years old and dated between 750-1000 AD, and because of this local legend has it that there is a curse on anyone who bothers those who lie there. This may explain why they have lasted so long with little human interference.

Stone sizes and circular shapes vary from 10 to 20 stones with sizes 4 to 6 meters in diameter. Although these are burial sites, the stones themselves are younger than the graves. The average height of each stone column is 5 feet 9 inches. The 11 large concentrations of circles have intrigued many travelers over the centuries and have been the subject of dozens of archaeological excavations since the 1800s.

Excavations were made on them at the beginning of this century, but none came close to exposing the why and how of the site than that carried out more than 30 years ago and which revealed their age. What was found were iron weapons, arrows and spear points, knives, pottery vessels and bronze ornaments

The stones were hewn from laterite that is found in large quarry outcrops in this region, then shaped with iron tools into cylindrical or polygonal shapes. A museum located in the “Stone Circles” of the Central Division of the Wassu River was opened in 2000. Hundreds of stone circles can be found in The Gambia and the Senegambia region. They are part of a geographical grouping of more than 1000 monuments spread over a broad strip 62 miles wide and 217 miles from the Gambia River.

This sacred site was declared a national monument in 1995 and by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The journey takes about 5 hours from Banjul. Must visit on the trip of Gabon!

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