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Akure Moat: A New Archeological Discovery in Ondo State, Southwest Nigeria?

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Akure Moat Naijatreks

Recently, some of the inhabitants of Akure, Ondo State capital city in southwest Nigeria, began to suspect a preserved system of ditches, reposed within the compound of Archbishop Vining College of Theology. The network of ditches is about 270m long, with depth averaging 3m, width ranging between 4m-5m and is characterized by the typical smooth and steep walls of an African moat. The college of theology, which was established in 1917, is located at the top of a hill, known as Oke-Emeso Hill, on Oke-Emeso Street- which itself is said to be one of the oldest streets in the town.

The college of theology was founded by British missionaries who visited Akure town at the time, and there still exists a number of ancient houses with characteristic British architecture style at the college till date. The compound of the college had always been fenced with concrete blocks and the suspected moat is located at the southerncorner of the compound. The entire area surrounding the college is well built up and densely populated, and within which the ditch network cannot be seen. However, this is very much expected since their significance was not known; the ditches could have been filled up and structures constructed over them as the town became urbanized over the years.

In comparison to well-known moats in Nigeria, like the Eredo Moats of Ogun State and Benin Moats of Edo State, this structure is relatively shallow; and it is also understandable since the structure was dug in quartzite rocks (hard rock), unlike Eredo Moat that was dug in laterite and Benin Moat that was dug in clay.

There is therefore need for detailed archaeological study of this structure. If the suspicions of the people are eventually validated, Akure town automatically attains a new level in cultural, historical and touristic significance within the nation. This will also mean that the Anglican college of theology has saved us the loss of a marvelous object of great heritage.

Akure Moat Vining College Naijatreks – Archbishop Vining Chapel, located within the compound of the college of theology in Akure.

Akure Moat 02 Naijatreks– A segment of the suspected moat.

Akure Moat 03 Naijatreks – The suspected moat disappearing into the forest within the compound of the college.

Akure Moat 04 Naijatreks – Broken quartzite pebbles at the floor of the moat.

image

– Google map showing the boundaries of the college of theology (red line) and the path traversed by the network of ditches (yellow dotted line).

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This article was written by Folarin Kolawole

Founder of Naijatreks, Nigerian-born Folarin Kolawole is a geologist, travel writer and researcher. When not at work, he travels the length and breadth of Nigeria, exploring, taking photos and writing about her numerous hidden tourist potentials.   'Naijatreks' is a product name registered under the Ntreks brand, which is also duly registered by Nigeria's Federal Corporate Affairs Commission. The contents on this blog are re-usable. However, it must be ensured that it is linked back to this blog, and correctly attributed to Naijatreks or the author. Please do not edit, rewrite or commercialize the original works on this blog without direct and written permission from the Founder (Folarin Kolawole). For inquiries and advert placement on the blog, kindly contact us at info@naijatreks.com or naijatreks@gmail.com.

11 comments:

funtoduro@yahoo.com' funtySeptember 30, 2014 at 7:07 pmReply

Well done Folarin

NaijatreksOctober 3, 2014 at 2:28 pmReply

@Funty..thanks :)

chrostoh@yahoo.com' ChristopherSeptember 30, 2014 at 9:07 pmReply

Interesting! I hope the State government can make something of this discovery! ‘cos as this means a lot to the history of the Akure people.

NaijatreksOctober 3, 2014 at 2:34 pmReply

@Christopher…We can only hope so sir.

akinkeydee@yahoo.com' AkintundeySeptember 30, 2014 at 9:09 pmReply

My father once told me that every ancient town in Yoruba land, in southwest Nigeria, has a moat. Is that true?

NaijatreksOctober 3, 2014 at 2:27 pmReply

@Akintundey…It is definitely a possibility! But we really cannot just generalize though. However, it is logical to assume that every major enclave back in those days have their own form of physical protection against unsuspected advancing enemy.

admin@afrispheric.com' ValentineOctober 22, 2014 at 12:00 pmReply

A lot of Nigerians do not see the beauty nor do they see the history in the country as you do Folarin. Good to know you getting out and getting these great pictures!

I do a daily photo based chronicle on my photoblog http://www.afrispheric.com . Its young (2months), but I am learning and enjoying the experience!

NaijatreksOctober 24, 2014 at 2:11 amReply

@valentine…thanks for the compliment. We hope to get better with time..and yeah, your blog is quite new (I checked it), but it shows the beginning of something great. The photos look beautiful. Please do keep it up

dagunduro@yahoo.com' Olasupo DagunduroNovember 6, 2014 at 7:39 pmReply

Please continue with your good work. May God reward you.

z05h99pvv@yahoo.com' IzzuDecember 23, 2014 at 5:37 pmReply

Nice discovery. I guess this site needs some archaeological study. It will make a good addition to the tourism potentials of Ondo State and Akure city in particular.

odoalawaye@gmail.com' Odo AyodeleSeptember 18, 2015 at 11:41 pmReply

A good archeological research proposal. Well done Folarin

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