The Kerr Batch Stone Circles are among the most fascinating sites at Gambia. Today, the site is no longer just for archaeologists; it is now one of the favorite destinations of tourists.
The stone circles are situated at the north bank of the country. Due to their formation, the circles are very easy to find.
What to See
The main attraction here are the stone circles of course. The whole area is said to be an old burial ground. These stone circles are akin to those in Europe and Near East. However, nowhere else are the number of stone circles as vast as here. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, they have long puzzled archaeologists.
Apart from the stones, there is a museum near the Kerr Batch Stone Circles. It contains information about the relics and other items related to the people believed to have constructed them. There are several objects at the museum.
Some of the items you will see are herbal medicines, cloth making tools, religious masks and hunting tools. There is also a large collection of farming utilities.
Many of them are related to the ceremonial and daily activities of the natives in the area. These include the Mandinkas, Fulani and Wolof natives. They come from the districts close by like Nianija and Niani.
The site is said to be a burial ground going back a thousand years ago. Some place their date of origin at AD 750. The layout of the monuments suggests that the people that built them were well organized. The site spans 15,000 square miles.
The circles literally number in the hundreds. Research has shown that the stones are of different shapes. Some are hollow at the top and shaped like a cup. There are those that resemble a pillow. The biggest weigh ten tons.
The entrance fee is 1.40 Pounds or D50.
The main draw at the circles are the lyre stones. These objects are roughly 2 meters high and have a rough V shape. The museum that is on the site was funded by UNESCO. Many of the stones have a flat top and shaped like a pillar. Others taper off.
The Kerr Batch Stone Circles are increasing in popularity. They are not yet as well known as the other stone circles in the Near East and Europe. But for those who want to see something unique, the circles are worth a look.