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Wassu Stone Circles (Gambia)

Lodges Janjangbureh Island
The ancient Wassu Stone Circles are located around Wassu in the Central River Region and are believed to be burial mounds of Kings and chiefs in ancient times over 1,200 years old and has been dated to between 750-1000 AD, and because of this local legend has it that there is a curse on anyone who disturbs those laid to rest there. This may account as to why they have lasted so long with little human interference.

See also Kerr Batch Stone Circles

The Complex:
The stones sizes and circular shapes do vary from 10 to 20 stones with sizes from 4 to 6 metres across. Though they were burial sites the stones themselves are of a younger age than the graves. The average height of each stone column is 5 feet 9 inches. The 11 large concentration of circles have puzzled many a traveller over the centuries and have been the subject of dozens of archaeological excavations since the 1800s.

Excavations were made on them earlier this century but none came closer to laying bare the whys and wherefores of the site than the one carried out about over 30 years ago which revealed their age. What has been found are iron weapons, arrow and spearheads, knives, pottery vessels and bronze ornaments

The stones were cut out of laterite that occurs in large quarry outcrops in this region and then shaped with iron tools into  cylindrical or polygonal shapes. A museum situated at the "Stone Circles" in Wassu Central River Division was opened in 2000. Hundreds of stone circles can be found in The Gambia and Senegambia region. They are part of a geographical grouping of over 1,000 monuments in a wide strip measuring 62 miles wide and along 217 miles of the Gambia River.

This sacred site was declared a National Monument in 1995 and on the 21st July, 2006, 93 monuments in the Senegambia region (Sine Ngayčne, Wanar) were declared by UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site.

Travel Information:
This attraction is accessible through localised taxi transport. Journey time is about 5 hours from Banjul. You get off at Janjangbureh and make your way up to the site. Admission is D50. You can't miss the signpost deployed on the main road at Georgetown. This is a town that still maintains its colonial bearing in buildings and other things attributable to that period. Otherwise known as Janjangbureh. Small and silent as they are their very nature continue to puzzle even authorities on the subject of ancient African history. If you are a fan of Africa, its people and its history prepare for variety and originality.
See also nearby:
Kerr Batch Stone Circles        History
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World Heritage Sites

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