Mudbrick structures of Oursi hu-beero

At Oursi hu-beero, the archaeologists Lucas Petit and Maya von Czerniewicz with the help of the historian Christoph Pelzer have discovered a heretofore-unknown large building in use during the 11th century AD. The complex was probably burnt down deliberately, and the inhabitants slaughtered. The conflagration enabled the team to excavate the inventory in situ and to find all architectural features in an extremely hard fired state. The structure contains at least 25 different rooms, without any well-defined construction scheme. Some are more circular, and others are irregular and built in open spaces in between other enclosures. The whole complex was roofed and most daily activities took place on the upper floor. In the centre of the building a clay-made bench was unearthed with several containers on top filled with ashes. In front of the bench small pillars were made, similar to objects used for ancestor-devotion among the Lobi or Somba groups a little south of the area under discussion.

Top-plan of Oursi hu-beero

Human skeleton

The complex, measuring approximately 400 square meters, was once the centre of a wide-spreading village. The archaeologists have cleared about 80% of the building. Did this building serve some kind of public function? Given the existence of even bigger modern households of the Lobi and Dagara, size alone does not seem to be scientific proof enough to consider such a function.

The final publication "Oursi hu-beero" is available!!!