Paleo-historic Sites in Kenya
14. Muguruk Archaelogical Site Site
14 kms from Kisumu you arrive at Kisian and the turnoff to C27 Kisian-Bondo-Usenge which travels westerly along the north and west boundary of Kavirondo Gulf within sniffing distance of the lake. 9 kms west from the turnoff you reach the small settlement of Pau Akuche, where the Muguruk Archaeological Site in located. Gazetted on June 4, 1982, as a National Monument, it’s comprised of a fenced area of 2 acres on the eastern banks of Muguruk River. First excavated in 1926 by W. Owen and then later on in 1945 by L. Leakey, Muguruk revealed many light and heavy duty scrapper and choppers, or advanced tools. The site is mainly of interest for trippers with a knack of geology and paleontology; able to marvel and study the superimposed bedrocks eke-named the”Ojolla Industry” where plentiful late and middle stone-age industry artefacts indicative of a well organized and advanced society are embedded. Muguruk Site has no museum.
15. Maboko Island
The 1.8 kms long – 1 km wide Maboko Island in Kavirondo Gulf (also known as Winam Gulf), set 44 kms seawards from Kisumu City, has been transmuted to a popular getaway. In the 1980’s, Maboko Island was a cradle for archaeological expeditions with significant remains collected here, most notably those of the Kenyapithecus species. In recent years, the development of the pocket-friendly Camp Tom also known as Maboko Island Resort, with 10 beautifully-appointed cottages set along its undisturbed shoreline has re-ignited interest in the island.
16. Kanjera Prehistoric Site
The late Pliocene Oldowan occurrences at the Kanjera Prehistoric Site are set on the northern margins of Homa Penninsula. Discovered and excavated by Dr. Louis Leakey, in 1932, Kanjera produced a cornucopia of hominoidal remains, some dated 1 Mya. Since, subsequent excavations at Kanjera have expanded its collection of artefacts. “The lithological sequence at Kanjera South consists of 6 beds of the Southern Member of the Kanjera Formation”. – Plos One. Informed by decades of research and science, it was concluded that at least one species of tool-making hominin, almost certainly of the genus Homo, was regularly using this open setting. In contrast, most other Oldowan occurrences are situated in more wooded settings. The discoveries at Kanjera indicate that by 2.0 Mya tool-making hominins, probably early Homo, accessed and used a broad spectrum of East African habitats, from these open grassland to riparian forests. Away from its archaeological value, Kanjera Site has exceptional panoramic vistas of the countryside and there is also the Bala Lawi Hot Springs found at close quarters.
17. Kanam Prehistoric Site
Also first excavated in 1932 by Dr. Louis Leakey, Kanam is best-known for the discovery of a fossil human mandible alongside varied Pleistocene fauna and pebble tools of the early Pleistocene epoch. Gazetted in July 1982 as a National Monument, the area comprises of hillocks and gullies bounded to the north by Pala-Kuwur Road starting at the point where Rawe River branches eastwards. Kanam Site, not far from Kanjera, produced numerous artefacts which included hominidal remains dated 1 Mya. Although there is very little at present to show for its archaeological achievements, trippers can enjoy walks around the area to various vantages. “At Homa, there are only sparse remnants of extrusive cover by which the sub-volcanic surface can be identified. Patches of melanephenite petrographically identical with the Miocene Kisingiri lavas occur north of the Homa Hills, on the south flank of Nyasanja Valley and at Kanam” – Juliet Bach.
Archaeological Sites at the Coast of Kenya
For the casual visitor, Fort Jesus, Gede Ruins, Jumba la Mtwana, Takwa Ruins and Siyu Fort are perhaps the most interesting and striking of the historic sites at the Coast Region of Kenya, yet, these are among the dozens of well-studied and accessible historic sites along the Coast. Some of the historic sites found here are composed of the old settlement towns and outlying groups of tombs. It is awash with a collection of historic sites, found mainly along the coast, many of them on private lands; consisted of ancient mosques, ruins, palaces, houses, walls with gates and tombs. Owing to their isolation and overgrown vegetation, some are hard to reach. All historic sites found in Kenya are protected under Chapter 215 of the Laws of Kenya: The preservation of Objects of Archaeological and Palaeontological Interest Ordinance. This collates a list of those ruins and monuments listed as protected under the Subsidiary Legislation of Chapter 215, as revised in 1962, considering only historic sites in the Coast Region of Kenya.
The Coast of Kenya
A Guide to Historic Sites along the Coast Region of Kenya gives comprehensive information on 45 (+) historic sites, from Vanga Ruins (in the south) northerly heading along the coastline to Ishakani Ruins (in the north).
Charles Darwin and the Theory of Evolution
In 1831 CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN, the British naturalist and geologist, set off on an extraordinary journey that transformed the reality of our world. Then aged 22, he had received a once in lifetime invitation. A round the world trip on the survey ship “HMS Beagle”. Over the 5 year voyage, Darwin collected a vast array of specimens, in the thousands, which he sent back to collectors. Rather more importantly, his passages had aroused one of the most powerful ideas ever to occur to a human mind. Growing doubtful about the biblical story of how animals were created, he was puzzled at why God had bothered to create similar but slightly different types of animals. This inquiry would eventually lead him to the discovery that each species on our planet is just a variation of the next, with the variances arising from how each adapted to its environment. 150 years later, his masterpiece, The Origin of Species, is still one of the great scientific books of the world. Its theory of evolution by natural selection offers us a complete explanation of the complexity and diversity of all life. It offers us a richer and spectacular view of our world. Everything life is explained herein. Explained by a massive number of facts backed up by millions and millions of pieces of undeniable evidence. It has influenced most thought of modern times.
Mr. Thomas Henry Huxley, as cited in ‘The Reception of the Origin of Species’, described it thus: “The “struggle for existence,” and “natural selection,” have become household words and every-day conceptions. Both the reality and the importance of the natural processes on which Darwin founds his deductions are no more doubted than those of growth and multiplication.” Darwin’s theories of “struggle for excellence” and “natural selection” set precedence to the fact that someone, somewhere, had to have been the first. His theories opened the entire world for inquiry. It was now the archaeologist’s job to find the links. Today, across the landscape of the many countries, historical and archaeological sites have been discovered and archaeologists continue the search for missing links in our evolution. And new technology is revolutionizing the study of our past. Ground penetrating radar is now able to detect fossils and structures hidden in the earth, and laser scans reconstruct individual faces from human skulls as well as produce 3D models of an entire landscape. Darwin too was influenced by paleontology and archaeology. The pioneering work of Charles Lyell who had earlier suggested that, “the landscape around us was formed by the slow action of vast forces, over millions of years of gradual change”, had helped him form an ever better theory of life, using patterns and relationships he encountered with fossils; which he was aptly able to identify as long dead species of animals.
Evolution Versus Religion
Today, the story of evolution is still baffling to most Kenyans. According to the East Africa Living Encyclopedia Statistics, 70% of Kenyans are Christians, 25% adhere to indigenous religion and 6% are Muslim, and all prefer to cling to the idea that God created our world and every living creature in it, each to their own version. And while the “cradle of mankind” museums remain a tempting metaphor for tourism attraction, local and international, it is no march for a lifetime of religious indoctrination. Do we perhaps deliberately turn a blind eye to how strong the evidence is? Or it just could be that the reason we believe in creation is because that’s the story we were told first? And although it states different in all religious books, everyone believes what they want to believe in, even if they contradict each other. Does evolution offers a far richer and utter view of the world? Besides, isn’t it massively supported? There are million and millions of pieces of evidence which no reasonable person can possibly dispute.