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Timlich Ohinga

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Thimlich Ohinga literally refers to a "frightening dense forest" in Dholuo language, a Nilotic group who occupy the region. Archaeological record of materials found within the site goes beyond 500 years ago. Since the present inhabitants of the area arrived probably some three centuries ago, it seems most likely that Bantus who initially occupied this region prior to the arrival of Luos first built the stone structures. Abundant rocks on the hilly areas provided them with building materials to meet their security requirements.

This unique architectural stone structure is situated in Nyanza province 181 km south of Kisumu in Migori district. The site lies on a gentle sloping hill some 46-km northwest of Migori town near Macalder’s Mines. These striking stone wall enclosures nestled among the trees and shrubs of a gently sloping hill from a distance make the hill seem more like a forest, with Euphorbia candelabrum towering above all the other trees and shrubs.

Skillfully constructed using loose stones and without mortar or any dressing, the walls, which are 1.2 to 4.2 meters high and 1 to 3 meters thick, embrace a series of house pits and cattle enclosures. Thimlich Ohinga is a rare early example of defensive savanna architecture that led to a tradition that remains unrivaled in East Africa.
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