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Archaeology of Sungbo-Eredo in Lagos State

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By Mercy Kelani

Nigerian government should learn to appreciate its national monuments.

Vice-Chancellor of Augustine University (AU), Ilara-Epe, Lagos State, Professor Chris Odetunde, speaking at the seminar on the Archaeology of Sungbo-Eredo in Lagos State, organised by the University, lamented on the negligence of the federal government concerning national monuments. He added that while the Nigerian government have less regard for its natural resources, international experts from France and the United States of America have shown great interest in the monument. Therefore, he called on the Nigerian government at all levels to express more interest in nation’s resources.

In his speech, Prof. Odetunde highlighted that there have been an excavation of war tools used many years back in Nigeria by the archaeologists. Knowledge of the history of Sungbo-Eredo shows that people of the Yoruba tribe began to build caves from Ife to Ijebu-Ode to the discussed location in Lagos during the wartime. Upon this discovery, experts have been researching to find out how the tools used to make the tunnel were discovered. The archaeologists are in Nigeria to study this discovery so that the old tools can be found during excavation.

Students of AU are exposed to the study to learn to research.

Speaking on the university’s interest in this archaeological research, Prof. Odekunle asserted that the school is keen on exposing the students to the study , while educating them on the best way to carry out investigation and research with great outcomes. He included that the students will be aware of the history of Sungbo-Eredo because the school is located in the Yorubaland, and it is important that they know more about themselves and things their ancestors did without using any tools.

He affirmed that there are several monuments around the world, and the discussed one is a typical example. In Kwara State, there is a place called “Esie” national museum and is currently being studied by people. The Prof. asserted that Nigeria lacks appreciation for its own innovations, whereas foreign people greatly appreciate them. It was, therefore, advised that the country and its citizens learn to appreciate its crafts and innovations rather than selling them. All it takes to do this is the interest of the federal government.

600 years ago, ancestors dug trenches & built large walls in the community.

The people helping the country in this aspect are French and the Americans who are interested in it. Without their interest in these innovations, Nigeria will not care about them, even though there are Nigerian professors in archaeology in Ibadan, Ife and other states across the country. There is a need to encourage them to excavate some of the underground and buried resources. Mr. Tomos Evans, one of the researchers on the Sungbo-Eredo project from the United Kingdom, has been involved in many archaeological excavations.

Evans, who is a Ph.D. researcher, said, during an interview, that the aim of the seminar is to prompt discussions on the research into the history and past material culture of Sungbo-Eredo. This earthwork system was described by him as the largest of its kind in the Southwest region of Nigeria. The community is where ancestors dug their trenches and made an erection of about 200 miles large walls 600 years ago which is now a part of Lagos and Ogun States. Arguments have ensued concerning the community being the largest single monument in Africa.

Awareness will be made in Nigeria, Africa & the world about the earthworks.

According to the United Kingdom researcher, the seminar was held in Augustine University because the Sungbo-Eredo stretches across it. A large moth (resurrection) has been excavated, containing many artefacts, imported glass bottles and coins. He added that the more the earthworks are being introduced into national and international spotlight, the more Nigerians, Africans and the world becomes aware of its existence. With this awareness, more revenue would be attracted to the immediate Eredo community, and Nigeria at large for its ownership of amazing works of heritage and ancestral history.

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