|10 July 2011
Archeological findings reveal central African history
In late May, scores of researchers from around the world converged on the Cameroonian capital, Yaounde, for the International Conference on Rescue Archeology. At the meeting, archaeologists introduced the new findings in a book titled: "Kome-Kribi: Rescue Archeology Along the Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline; 1999-2004".
Archaeologists say the findings mark a breakthrough that requires a rewriting of the history of Cameroon and the rest of Central Africa. Artefacts from hundreds of archaeological sites from southern Chad to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Cameroon have turned up several surprises.
According to Professor Scott MacEachern, a specialist in African Archaeology at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine (USA), 472 archaeological sites were found along the more than 1000 kilometre-long pipeline in both Cameroon and Chad - some dating back 100,000 years. The researchers have urged governments in Central Africa to use the new documents to rewrite regional history.
Officials at Cameroon's Ministry of Culture pledge to act on recommendations of the archeologists - including the creation of a national commission on cultural heritage, which would work to avoid the destruction of archeological sites during major infrastructure projects, the construction of a national museum, and the strengthening of laws on the conservation of cultural artefacts.
Raymond Asombang, lecturer in the Department of Archeology at the University of Yaounde, says: "We need to know that in civilisation, you are only adding your own contribution to the contributions of other people. So when we see what our ancestors have done, we will know what our contribution to that civilisation will be."
Edited from VOA News (6 July 2011)
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