Acheological sites in Uganda : Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, architecture, biofacts or ecofacts, sites, and cultural landscapes. Archaeology can be considered both a social science and a branch of the humanities.

Nyero Rock Paintings

Uganda in East Africa is a top tourist destination because of its rich and diverse natural flora and fauna as well as a rich archaeological site.

Top Archaelogical sites in Uganda

1 Bigo bya Mugenyi.

Bigo bya Mugenyi, also Bigo, the word “Bigo” means city,  and the sentence is translated as “the Fort of a stranger” is an extensive alignment of ditches and berms comprising ancient earthworks located in the interlacustrine region of southwestern Uganda. Situated on the southern shore of the Katonga River. Beginning in the colonial period when they were first discovered by Europeans and continuing through to the 1960s, the Bigo earthworks have been interpreted as defensive fortifications constructed to protect from invasion thus Acheological sites in Uganda.

Bigo bya Mugyenyi earthworks is associated in oral traditions with legendary Bacwezi, a two-reigns dynasty which was short lived. These were Ndahura and Wamala. The oral traditions also associate the Bacwezi with introduction of long horn cattle which came to dominate the economy of the Great Lakes region.

Acheological sites in Uganda
Bigo Byamugyenyi

2.Garama Cave – Under ground cave

Garama cave can be traced in southwestern Uganda in Kisoro district around Mgahinga national park. The Batwa pygmy communities that initially inhabited in the dense forests in the area make the Garama cave famous as they lead many tourists on trails to these mysterious cave thus Acheological sites in Uganda.

The 14 meters deep underground Garama cave was used as a hiding place for the Batwa after raiding their neighboring communities. The Garama cave is very interesting and special due to the attachment the Batwa people have on it. This strong attachment can be seen as a Mutwa guide explains to the tourists the historical events that would be done around the cave.

3.Semwama Hill Caves

Located in Kakumiro, western part of Uganda just beneath a flat-topped rock outcrop. The Semwama caves are highly valued by the local people around because they acted as places for refuge in case the local community would be invaded. There are several caves at Semwama but the one that is easily got to have 2 compartments locally referred to as waiting areas – ebidongobo. Most times, the compartments provide shelter to cattle however it has a traditional Bachwezi shrine where many traditionalists and some local people plus the interested tourists take various offerings especially of seeds and leaves.

Some local people believe that this cave was once used as an elders meeting place. A visit to the caves enables tourists to learn more about the culture of the people around.

  1. Nsongezi Rock shelter

Nsongezi, which overlooks the Kagera River and is located not far from Kansyoke Island, another important Neolithic site. It is famous for the Nsongezi Rock shelter that are an important historical and archaeological site. Nsongezi is located in the region of Western Region of Uganda in Isingiro district. Western Region’s capital Mbarara  is approximately 49 km / 31 miles away from Nsongezi. The distance from Nsongezi to Uganda’s capital Kampala is approximately 251 km / 156 miles.


Some historians point to the early inhabitants of the Nsongezi as being the Twa people (pygmies) of the land. Others claim it was the Teso people that resided in these areas many years ago.

Others pont yo early inhabitants of the land  being people of the late Stone Age period from the Winton culture folks of which residents in the rock shelters. These are also believed to be related to the Bushmen that populates most areas of East and Southern Africa.


Nsongezi is the only known site in the whole of Uganda to have extensive Late Stone Age microliths. These are man-made apparatus, shaped into a point by striking a small piece of stone against the flint. They were a main tools of Late Stone Age societies in Africa and elsewhere and were used in a variety of ways including for weapons such as spearheads and arrow points.

The excavation of the Nsongezi Rock shelter in Uganda has changed the view of the late Stone Age in particular. Examples of flint objects and also pottery found here show that the inhabitants had a great many skills and that they developed proto-industries.

Although Nsongezi rock shelter has been the object of numerous investigations and publications, very little has been written about the “Later Stone Age” industry represented at this and other excavated sites in southern Uganda. Many a people have ventured into this area seeking to make a descriptive analysis of life in these medieval times.

The artefacts recovered from these excavations represent a “Wilton” industry and are dominated by microliths and a wide variety of scrapers. Outils écaillés, becs and burins are also common. The most interesting feature of the industry, however, is the markedly fluctuating frequencies of scrapers and microliths in the four Occurrences at the site. These fluctuations are closely correlated with changes in mean flake size and suggest that activity phases may be differentiated in the stone tool kit.

The rock shelter is located in an area of outstanding natural beauty and in recent years the area around Nsongezi Rock Shelter has once more become a vacation destination. The nearest town is Mbarara and accommodation is plentiful. The rock shelter is some 50 miles (64 km) from the town it is advisable to hire a guide and a car thus Acheological sites in Uganda.

5.Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru Caves

These caves are located in Nyakasura in Kabarole district in western Uganda. Though locally known as Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru, they are stalagmites and stalactites that formed after several processes of erosion. The locals named them Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru (breasts of Nyinamwiru) because the stalactites from the roof of the cave has a breast shape and constantly drips milky limestone water. The local people say that Nyinamwiru was a princess whose breasts were cut off by her father Bukuku the then king in order to discourage the many ugly and unsuitable men who were asking for he hand in marriage.

Acheological sites in Uganda
Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru

After cutting the breasts off, they say that she was taken into hiding in the caves where she was later found and made pregnant by king Isaza leading to the birth of Ndahura. Since Nyinamwiru had no breasts, she resorted to feeding her son with the milk dripping out of the stalactites hence the name Nyinamwiru.

The local people around the area have a great attachment to these caves. Some stalactites and stalagmites actually met to form pillars that greatly support the caves. Listen to the myths the local people have regarding the caves is very interesting.

  1. Nyero rock paintings.

First documented in 1913 (in the Teso Report), the geometric paintings at Nyero are among the most important and well documented rock art sites in Uganda, and are on the Tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Nyero is located in eastern Uganda in the Kumi District, about 200 km from the capital city Kampala. It comprises six rock shelters in total, but initially only three were recorded and referred to as shrines by local communities, who had no knowledge of the origins of the paintings. The authorship of the paintings remains in some debate.

Initially, the rock art was thought to be the work of San|Bushmen of southern Africa. However, archaeological, genetic and ethnographic evidence has subsequently attributed the paintings to the ancestors of Batwa people, hunter-gatherers who are descendants of ancient aboriginal groups once spread across East and Central Africa and most probably the original inhabitants of this landscape. Today they live in small groups near the Rwanda/Uganda border.

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