Benin Kingdom: One of most advanced in Africa before modernisation

- The ancient walls of Benin have been said to be a strong pointer to the fact that Africans were advanced in knowledge before modern civilisation

- The walls all came down during the 1897 expedition sponsored by the British, a thing that almost erased that rich historical era

- However, there are still places in the Benin Kingdom like the house in Obasagbon, that has features of that ancient period

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Emerging facts by The African History have shown the Benin Kingdom, one of the oldest cities in Africa, as one of the wonders of the world before the modern age.

Briefly.co.za learnt that the same media said that the wall of the kingdom was razed during the 1897 expedition, adding that the act really affected the history of Benin and the proof that there were African civilisations before modernism.

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Longer than China Wall

For more than four centuries, the walls were a fortress as it protected the people of Edo and their civilization. Quoting Fred Pearce of New Scientist, it said that the walls were four times longer than China’s Great Wall.

“In all, they are four times longer than China’s Great Wall and have absorbed a hundred times more content than the Great Cheops Pyramid. It took an estimated 150 million hours of digging to create and is possibly the planet’s largest single archaeological phenomenon…,” he said.

Made it into Guinness Book of Records

Fred went ahead to say that the Guinness Book of Records (1974 edition) described the Benin walls as “the largest earthworks in the world carried out before the mechanical age.”

The captain of the Portuguese ship, Lourenco Pinto, in 1691 was also amazed by it all as he commended the height of the structure.

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They all came crumbling down

The loss of the history of the wall started in the 15th century, a thing that was made worse by border conflicts and the expedition in the 1980s by the British that completely ruined the city.

After that horrible incident, no effort was made towards restoring the walls of the city. An architecture that bears proof of the formidable wall is a house in Obasagbon bearing features of the ancient city.

Meanwhile, it was earlier reported that when it comes to culture and tradition in Nigeria, the Benin people and their institutions remain one of the best as the indigenes grow up knowing every 'commandment' whether written or handed down by elders.

The Benin monarch, being the chief custodian of the traditions, is also well-revered with most of his utterances seen and taken as law.

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