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The Famous Benin Moat: The World's Largest Archeological Phenomenon!

Hey Guys! I'm Oluwalanu and welcome back to my blog!

Last year, when my siblings and I came to Benin, one of the things we wanted to see was the Benin Moat. My brother especially, being a geologist, he had heard so much about it.

The Benin Moat is chronicled as the largest archeological phenomenon in the world even bigger than the Great Wall of China. So my brother was like “nah I have to see this with my own eyes” 😂

Unfortunately at the time, we didn’t know that so many parts of the moat had been eroded due to environmental and human factors. So we didn’t get to see it. This time in Benin as part of my tour, my guide took me to a part of the moat where you can still see a large part of the depth of the moat.

In Benin history, there were two moat-building eras. The first part of the moat was dug as a defense perimeter around the great Benin Kingdom. Attackers would try to enter the kingdom and fall into the moat. They would either die of starvation or get eaten by a wild animal that had fallen into the moat as well.

The second part of the moat was built to keep people in the Kingdom. My guide explained the story of the king who lost his two sons and directed the entire Benin kingdom into a mourning period of two years. The king made some outrageous laws. One of the laws was a ban on the sound of yam pounding and we all know how much Bini people love pounded yam. Another was that Bini men were a lot to sleep with their wives. Of course, these laws caused people to want to leave the kingdom in search of happier places. Some of the people who left are known as the Esan people because Esan roughly translates to "the people, who left Benin". This is how that ethnic group was formed.



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a writer and illustrator from Lagos, Nigeria.


In 2015, I started a company called IheartLagos with the aim of showcasing Lagos culture in a unique and fun way.


That journey took me down an exciting path, discovering and learning so much about Nigeria.

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