ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzania is working to restore an ancient
city, buried under rocks at Engaruka escarpments of Monduli
District, to promote tourism in its recently launched geopark,
according to an official from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area
John Pareso, an
official with the NCAA, said on Sunday that efforts to excavate,
restore and protect the ruins of ancient stone structures, which
are thought to be of the 800-year-old “lost city of Engaruka,”
have started under the recently launched Ngorongoro-Lengai
“Remains of these
stone buildings here have been scientifically proved to date
back to between 500 and 800 years ago, indicating advanced
civilization that may have existed in northern parts of Tanzania
nearly one thousand years ago,” he said.
According to Pareso,
the ruins also indicate that the people of that era ran a very
efficient irrigation system, whose infrastructure can still be
seen within the ruins.
experts are still trying to find out what caused the ancient
Engaruka settlement to be abandoned or destroyed.
Tanzania, with the
support from the United Nations Organization for Education,
Science and Culture (UNESCO) and through the Ngorongoro-Lengai
geopark, is working to restore the ruins, which of late have
started to attract researchers, scholars and tourists alike.
The newly endorsed
UNESCO geopark covers three northern districts of Arusha Region,
Monduli, Longido, and Ngorongoro.
At Engaruka there
are stone ruins of a great village where the inhabitants were
perhaps once concentrated for defence against the Masai. On a
frontage of about three miles tier upon tier of terracing is
still clearly visible and closer inspection shows the rock-built
homes, the graves and the huge cairns of a vanished people.
From Engaruka Masai bomas may also be visited without difficulty.
considered one of the most important Iron Age archaeological
sites in eastern Africa.
Slowly but surely the ancient city of
Engaruka re-emerging from the Tanzanian Iron Age
Engaruka is an abandoned system of ruins in the Great Rift
Valley of northern Tanzania
Mary Leakey: Engaruka lion were destroyed in 1935 as vermin
by fervent District Officer
[Leakey, Mary Disclosing the Past, Page Number: 061,
Extract Date: 1935]
Henry Fosbrooke and the pride
of Engaruka lions
"As a place for working and camping Engaruka was superb.
Yet even in this
beautiful place we suffered one horrifying reminder of the
continual clash of interests between man and nature which
has destroyed so much of the Africa which once was.
a former student of Louis’s was at that time the local
District Officer, and some of the Masai who had their
manyattas, or homesteads, near Engaruka had recently
complained to him about lions which were attacking their
The trouble must
have been quite serious, for normally Masai warriors
welcomed the chance to hunt lions themselves.
While we were at
Engaruka, Henry drove down in a lorry and shot the entire
He and his wife
stayed with us at the camp and Henry proudly exhibited the
dead lions, slung into the back of his truck.
It was one of
the most appalling sights I have ever seen.
destroyed lions has it taken to bring about today’s attitude
to them, in which Henry would not have been allowed to do
such a thing at all, let alone to do it like an
extermination of vermin."