Wednesday, July 12, 2023

SUNGBO EREDO - GREAT WALL OF THE IJEBU KINGDOM

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SUNGBO EREDO - GREAT WALL OF THE IJEBU KINGDOM. 



Sungbo's Eredo is a rampart system of defensive walls and ditches that is located to the southwest of the Yoruba town of Ijebu Ode in Ogun State, north of the Eredo LCDA in Lagos state, southwest Nigeria. 



The site has been dated to between 11th-13th centuries C.E by G.L Chouin of the Ife-Sungbo archaeological project. 



The system was built for the purpose of defence and is on the tentative list of potential UNESCO World Heritage Sites under the cultural category. 



 The fortifications consist of a ditch with unusually smooth walls and a bank in the inner side of ditch. 


The difference between the bottom of the ditch and the upper rim of the bank on the inner side reach 20 Metres in height! This formidable barrier forms an uneven ring around the area of the ancient Ijebu Kingdom, covering an area of 1,400 square Km




Legends of the contemporary Ijebu clan link the Eredo fortifications to a fabled wealthy and childless Ijebu noblewoman, one Oloye Bilikisu Sungbo who was buried at Oke Eri. 




However, The archaeology of Sungbo's Eredo points to the presence of a large polity in the area before the opening of the Trans-Atlantic trade which begining in the era of Ogborogan aka Obanta





 By 1485, the Portuguese had explored parts of Ijebu land and established contact with the kingdom. In the 1508 writings of Duarte Pacheco Pereira, he seemed to have written about the Eredo ramparts when he wrote that; "Twelve or thirteen leagues above by this river (Rio de Lago) is a great city called 'Geebu' surrounded by a great ditch, and the ruler of this land in our days is called Agusale" The total length of the fortifications is more than 160 kilometres. 




The impressive size and complex construction of the Eredo drew worldwide media attention in September 1999 when Dr Patrick Darling surveyed the site and began publicizing his bid to preserve the Eredo and bring the site more prominence. Parts of the site can be accessed either from Epe or Ijebu Ode

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