Live and Learn: Mysterious Ruins in West Africa

Have you ever heard of the Senegambian Stone Circles? ( ) I hadn’t, until a few minutes ago. They are an enormous number of standing stone monoliths, in what are now the countries of Senegal and the Gambia, erected over many centuries, perhaps started by Iron Age people as early as 300 B.C. They were still being erected many centuries later… and then, sometime during what we would call the late Middle Ages, they stopped.

The dating is uncertain, the history is–well, there isn’t much of it. The stones don’t bear inscriptions. Most inconvenient for students of history.

I don’t know about you, but stuff like this just fascinates me. Who were the people who raised these stones? Why did they go to all that trouble, for so long, and why did they stop? If the stones were involved with funeral customs, what did they mean? The project had to have involved a tremendous amount of labor, and probably required a highly effective social and or/political organization. But whose? And what else did they do, besides set up countless huge and heavy stones–without anything like modern construction equipment?

These stones bear witness to the fact that whole nations, civilizations, and cultures can be lost, forgotten, and beyond recovery.

We ought to be more careful about maintaining ours.


6 comments on “Live and Learn: Mysterious Ruins in West Africa

  1. Like Stonehenge and Easter Island, I suppose there are many of these dotting the globe – but why? There has been speculation that some were Druidic or other religious ceremonial structures. Another spot that mystifies me is the Nazca Plains. How did they accomplish that when it can’t even be seen from the ground? Many theories on that too – some more ‘otherworldly’ than others. Giants, aliens – on and on the theories go.

    You’re right, though – we ought to be more careful and attentive to our own civilization.

    Sometimes I wonder if when Jesus returns and the answers to these questions become clear (if we even care at that point) – we’ll say: ‘Of course, why didn’t I think of that?’ 😉

  2. No, I had never seen these particular stones; others yes. Once upon a time, I was fascinated with all these mysteries, but I guess I wore out my curiosity on these things.
    Here are a couple of song suggestions: Through It All, and Majesty.
    You would have liked my church’s song service this morning. We sang
    mostly out of the old worn hymnal.

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