Senegal floods unearth ancient artefacts

2012-09-03 21:48
Pieces of pottery, iron tools and jewellery dating back thousands of years, discovered in Dakar after recent torrential rains flooded some suburbs. (AFP)

Pieces of pottery, iron tools and jewellery dating back thousands of years, discovered in Dakar after recent torrential rains flooded some suburbs. (AFP)

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Dakar - Heavy rainfall and floods in the Senegalese capital Dakar have unearthed treasures believed to date back several thousands of years, university researchers said on Monday.

According to researchers affiliated with Dakar's Cheikh Anta Diop University, ancient pieces of pottery and jewellery were found strewn in the street after a day of torrential rain on Sunday.

The area of Ouest-Foire, where the artefacts were found, is one of Dakar's fastest-growing areas, with numerous construction sites.

The items are believed to have been hidden for thousands of years beneath the soil, before being carried to the surface by swollen flood waters.

The find is a rare silver lining to the heavy rain cloud that has hung over Dakar since mid-August, causing wells to overflow, drinking water to be contaminated and enormous pot holes to appear in some streets overnight.

At least 15 people have so far been killed by the resulting floods and more than 5 000 have been made homeless, prompting President Macky Sall to abolish the country's upper house of parliament in order to release funds for flood relief.

Floods continue to menace other parts of West Africa. Outbreaks of cholera - which is more prevalent during the rainy season - are being contained by government health workers and aid organisations in Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Meanwhile, in Cameroon's northern region, officials said just under 11 000 people have been affected by severe flooding. Eight people have been killed.

"The government gave 16kg of rice, one litre of cooking oil, six pieces of soap and school books to each disaster victim," Aboubakar Oumarou, spokesperson for the victims, told dpa.

- SAPA
Read more on:    macky sall  |  senegal  |  weather  |  archaeology  |  west africa
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