Sungbo Eredo’s association with the Islamic Queen of Sheba legends may date to the same period and it is the first definite proof that state formation occurred in the rainforest zone at the same time as in Africa’s savannah zone.
Traditional folklore links the construction of this impressive boundary to the legendary Sungbo, a wealthy childless widow, giantess, priestess/goddess, devil woman or even erstwhile Queen of Sheba, to whose grove and magically bare grave flock many long-distance pilgrims. This and the links with the present Awujale dynasty and its Odo settlements require more study.
Situated off the main road in rain forest, south-western Nigeria, has been claimed to be Africa’s largest single ancient monument.
One of the biggest monuments in sub-Saharan Africa. It’s a 100-mile-long wall.
The Sungbo’s Eredo earthen bank rises 70 feet in the air from the bottom of a wide ditch, its reddish, vertical wall glistening with patches of moss and it encloses an area of about 25 miles from south to north and 22 miles from west to east, is only about an hour northeast of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.
Built some 1,000 years ago, it encircles the ancient kingdom of Ijebu-Ode, snaking through swamps and forests. It’s said that it was built as a protection, for a powerful kingdom
The monument was erected around a kingdom of the Yoruba – one of the three main ethnic groups in present-day Nigeria – and surrounds several towns and villages.
Sungbo Eredo vertical sided ditches of hardened laterite (natural soil mixture of clay and iron-oxides) show how the ditch profiles were originally dug.
Together with the bank of spoil heaped up on the inner side, the combined height can be as much as 20 metres. Trees above this gigantic ditch help protect its sides from the forces of nature.
Where these trees have fallen or been cut down, partial collapse has been the result.