An Annotated List of Ancient and Modern Indigenous Stone Structures in Eastern Africa

Gillman, Clement

1944

Book ID 308

See also

Gillman, Clement An Annotated List of Ancient and Modern Indigenous Stone Structures in Eastern Africa, 1944
Extract Date: 1883 July 5

First 'sighting'

The first to record the existence of these ruins over 60 years ago was Dr. Fischer, who, marching south along the foot of the 'Rift Wall' during the first exploration of Masailand, passed them on the 5th July 1983 and wrote thus

'The ground, covered with crippled mimosa trees [he obviously means acacias - CG], showed yellowish grey loam; at one place peculiar masses of stone became suddenly apparent, rising from the plain to heights up to ten feet. Partly they looked like mouldering tree trunks, partly like the tumbled down walls of ancient castles.'

Extract ID: 1189

See also

Gillman, Clement An Annotated List of Ancient and Modern Indigenous Stone Structures in Eastern Africa, 1944
Page Number: 48
Extract Date: 1896-7

expeditions through Masailand

In the three volume account of Drs Scoeller and Kaiser of their great expeditions through Masailand to Uganda in 1896-97 the ruins of 'Ngaruku' are mentioned thus:

No doubt a former settlement must have existed on the site of the present one. Along the mountains exist numerous stone circles and dams which do not derive from the present population.'

Extract ID: 1190

See also

Gillman, Clement An Annotated List of Ancient and Modern Indigenous Stone Structures in Eastern Africa, 1944
Page Number: 49
Extract Date: 1904

Jaeger and Uhlig camp at Engaruka

Jaeger merely mentions that he and Uhlig 'found' the Engaruka ruins during their expedition in 1904; they camped on the Engaruka stream on the 29th September, and again on 5th October, but neither Uhlig's otherwise fairly detailed map to the scale of 1 in 150,000 nor Jaeger's later map of 1911, indicate these ruins. Jaeger merely says that they are 'alleged' to be of Tatogo origin.

Extract ID: 1191

See also

Gillman, Clement An Annotated List of Ancient and Modern Indigenous Stone Structures in Eastern Africa, 1944
Page Number: 49
Extract Date: 1913

The first detailed description

The first detailed description of what he calls 'the cairn-field of Engaruka' is by Reck who, in 1913, was the first archaeologically-trained observer to examine the site.

Extract ID: 1192

See also

Gillman, Clement An Annotated List of Ancient and Modern Indigenous Stone Structures in Eastern Africa, 1944
Page Number: 50
Extract Date: 1913

Ngorongoro Tombs

A Siedentopf, who had established a cattle ranch on the crater bottom, and his assistant Rothe discovered mounds near their homestead in 1912 and soon recognised them as burial cairns. They were later examined by Drs Reck (in 1913) and Arning (in 1915), who found in one of them the skeletons of a man, a woman and, lying between them, of a child.

.... Professor Ankermann - in an appendix to Reck's paper - states that the Ngorongoro tombs show several similarities with. but also contrasts to, those of Engaruka, but that both types prove Hamitic origin. He is unable to decide their age but doubts whether they should be ascribed to a Neolithic culture, as Reck does.

Extract ID: 1217

See also

Gillman, Clement An Annotated List of Ancient and Modern Indigenous Stone Structures in Eastern Africa, 1944
Page Number: 50
Extract Date: 1935

Discovered again

After a time lapse of twenty-two years the Engaruka site was once more 'discovered' by M.A. Wetherall of Moshi and the Italian Commander Del Grande, in July 1935.

.....A 'conservative estimate' by both Wetherall and Del Grande credits 'this early metroplis' with a population of 'at least a quarter of a million inhabitants as a centre of considerable agricultural activity' [sic!]

Extract ID: 1193

See also

Gillman, Clement An Annotated List of Ancient and Modern Indigenous Stone Structures in Eastern Africa, 1944
Page Number: 50
Extract Date: 1935

Leakey investigates

Hurrying to the site as quickly as possible, Dr. Leakey of Nairobi devoted a fortnight to its investigation, resulting in a preliminary report.

.... He estimates the number of the inhabitants as 'probably between thirty and forty thousand' and that of the houses, (exclusive of the cairns) in the main city and in the valley at seven thousand. As regards the age of the ruins, he considers them from three hundred to one hundred and fifty years old.

Extract ID: 1194

See also

Gillman, Clement An Annotated List of Ancient and Modern Indigenous Stone Structures in Eastern Africa, 1944
Page Number: 50
Extract Date: 1943

recent discovery by Watermeyer

Next, we have the quite recent discovery by Watermeyer and Elliott of a ruins site, 'as a whole resembling that of Engaruka', about three miles north of the present oasis of Mto-wa-Mbu on the Arusha-Oldeani road at the foot of the 'Rift Wall'.

.... it seems highly desirable that this site should be closely examined by an experienced observer.

Extract ID: 1214

See also

Gillman, Clement An Annotated List of Ancient and Modern Indigenous Stone Structures in Eastern Africa, 1944
Page Number: 51
Extract Date: 1915

Arning came across a tomb in the steppe

In 1915 Arning came across a tomb in the steppe below Ngare-Nairobi at the southwestern foot of Kilimanjaro, which was revealed when a military trench was dug. This site is probable the same as that from which Landgrebe, a farmer living close by, collected quite a small museum of stone bowls and perforated stone rings between 1925 and 1935.

.... After Landgrebe's internment in 1939 I [Gillman] made every effort to secure his collections, which filled a large show-case in his dwelling house, for the Dar-es-Salaam museum, but unfortunately the Custodian of Enemy Property could find no trace of them.

Extract ID: 1216

See also

Gillman, Clement An Annotated List of Ancient and Modern Indigenous Stone Structures in Eastern Africa, 1944
Page Number: 51
Extract Date: 1916

Minor Rift Valley Sites

Minor Rift Valley Sites - Reck mentions the following:

In 1916, Mrs Trappe discovered old tombs on her farm at the eastern foot of Mount Meru, which differ markedly from those at Engaruka and Ngorongoro: 'In front of, and not on top of, the grave stood a shield-like stone slab, like a door, about one and a half metres long and one meter high ..... This great slab was supported by dressed stones, and in front of it lay bones, pot shards, and small stones painted red. Remnants of stone huts and of foundations of a stone wall were likewise found.'

Extract ID: 1257
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