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The archeological site of Oursi Hu-Beero

The archeological site of Oursi Hu-Beero is perhaps one of the oldest medieval sites that had been found in west Africa. This exceptional site is dated from around the 10-11th century and reveals some exceptional traces form african medieval life, at the sahelian border of Burkina Faso, near of Mali and Niger.

The archeological site of Oursi Hu-Beero is perhaps one of the oldest medieval sites that had been found in west Africa. This exceptional site is dated from around the 10-11th century and reveals some exceptional traces form african medieval life, at the sahelian border of Burkina Faso, near of Mali and Niger.

The main discovery concerns a architectural construction of 450m2, an unique example of medieval housing and living, because a lot of tools and objects were found inside. The archeological research began 2000-2001 with a team coming fro Francfort/Main (Germany) and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). They search at this place, at the limit of the sahel and beginning of the sand dunes because they heard some of the people there talking about some kind of columns coming out of the sand when the wind was blowing. Columns in the sand desert? That’s strange and they soon discovered this first building and presumed that a lot of more were to discover in this area. But they hadn’t the financial nor material ability to excavate the whole place. They closed the place, put again the sand on the ruins to protect them from climatic aggressively and also from human destruction or archeological robbery… They didn’t know if they could one day go further on this fascinating discovery…

The Germany/Burkina team and their universities convinced a lot of people of the importance of this discovery, and achieve to organized a huge project involving Germany, Burkina Faso, but also France and USA for an international development, research and scientific cooperation program: discover the ruins and all objects that could be found there, built a museum to show the people the history of the place, and built up an educational program with the schools of the area about their history. Finally, 2005 all was ready and the big work began: over 3 months of work in the sand and the heat, and then the building of the museum.

When I had the chance to visit the place I was really impressed to find such an important archeological site in the middle of the sahel desert, where you think there’s nothing and under your feet are such important things from 10 centuries in the past!! A great discovery and a great moment! :)

For more informations have a look at this site (in English, french or German): http://www.oursi-hubeero.com/

written by vicuna

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