African Archaeological Review

, 26:219 | Cite as

Garu Kime: A Late Borno Fired-Brick Site at Monguno, NE Nigeria

  • Carlos MagnavitaEmail author
  • Olusegun Adebayo
  • Alexa Höhn
  • Daniel Ishaya
  • Stefanie Kahlheber
  • Veerle Linseele
  • Sunday Ogunseyin
Original Article


This paper primarily presents analyses from geophysical data and archaeological remains collected at one of a few known sites to the west of Lake Chad associated with fired-brick structures. It reports on previous fieldwork at the location, considers its alleged relationship with the early history of the Borno kingdom and then turns to present new data that provide fresh insights into the physical appearance, dating, material remains, economy and environment of the site. A brief discussion of the historical purpose of the fired-brick structures and the site itself concludes the paper.


Cet article présente les dates géophysiques et trouvailles archéologiques récoltées dans un des rares sites à l'ouest du Lac Chad associé avec des structures en briques. Il contient tout d’abord un rapport court sur les travaux antécédents sur l'endroit, ensuite des considérations sur sa relation avec l'histoire du jeune royaume de Bornou et tourne enfin à la présentation et l’interprétation des nouvelles dates qui permettent une première approche à la physionomie du site, son datation, la culture matérielle, l'économie et l’environnement. Nous concluons avec une discussion brève de la signification des structures en briques et du site Garu Kime lui-même.


Borno Royal settlement Historical archaeology Fired brick Geophysical survey 



The authors are indebted to the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Abuja, especially to M. Hambolu and J. Ameje, for providing the necessary research permit. Thanks are also due to P. Breunig for enabling fieldwork at the site. The construction company Julius Berger Nigeria Plc., Abuja, generously carried out the maintenance and necessary repairs to the vehicle used in the field. An early version of this manuscript was read and commented on by G. Seidensticker-Brikay, University of Maiduguri, whom we are also grateful to for a copy of a paper we refer to. A. Haour graciously made available the revised version of her and B. Gado’s recent manuscript on Garumele, now in press in the Journal of African History. For the photographs and profile drawings in Figs. 6 and 7 and correct diacritical spelling of the site’s Kanuri denomination, we respectively thank M. Heckner, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/M, and D. Löhr, Universität Bayreuth. A. Junge, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/M, kindly provided the software used for processing part of the geophysical data. C.M. thanks O. Gosselain, A. Mayor and K. MacDonald for their help in identifying one of the decorative techniques on pottery from Garu Kime. Thanks also to J. Smythe and G. Franke for checking the manuscript’s English syntax as well as two anonymous reviewers for their insightful commentaries. S.K. is especially grateful to Y. Baya who has responsibly carried out archaeobotanical sampling for so many years. Merci to A. Garnier for correcting the French abstract. Last but not least, we wish to thank the people of modern Garu Kime for their patience and eventually awareness that we were not searching for valuables whilst working at the ruins, virtually on their doorstep.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Magnavita
    • 1
    Email author
  • Olusegun Adebayo
    • 3
  • Alexa Höhn
    • 1
  • Daniel Ishaya
    • 2
  • Stefanie Kahlheber
    • 1
  • Veerle Linseele
    • 5
  • Sunday Ogunseyin
    • 4
  1. 1.Goethe-Universität, Archäologie und Archäobotanik AfrikasFrankfurt/MGermany
  2. 2.National Museum MaiduguriMaiduguriNigeria
  3. 3.National Museum KadunaKadunaNigeria
  4. 4.National Museum OwoOwoNigeria
  5. 5.Centre for Archaeological SciencesKatholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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