Ever heard of Cave of Ashes(Iho Eleru) located in the thick forest of ISarun Ondo state?
That was my destination last weekend to go see for myself the historical cave that is said to have held the evidence of the origin of the human race. I must say that the entrance to the cave looks creepy and I was a bit scared, of wild animals and sacred intuitions but on the long run I took a old step and got closer. I particularly like the fact the entrance is open unlike the entrance to the Esa Cave in Ekiti, state.
I was excited to visit this site because now, this is centred on scientific discovery and archeological research and not just myth and speculations that is well known with most historical sites in Nigeria.
Isarun is a very small town in Ondo State Nigeria, about 24km from the state capital Akure is along the Ilesha-Akure expressway and just 5minutes drive from its neighbouring town Igbara-oke. I can’t say if this is a proper tourist centre though but it is a place for tourists who love adventure(like me) to come visit. The chills and that strange vibe you get to go discover a new place should interest you.
The cave of ashes dated to be as old as 9200BC was discovered in 1922 during a hunting expedition by one of the locals, chief Obele who was later accorded with the rediscovery of the cave. It was a long ride , walk and hurdle that took about 45 minutes to get to the site from the main town, because of the bad roads. Not motorable especially during the rainy season my bike man told me how exorbitant the fares would be if you attempt to visit during the rainy season.
On our way we got to meet one of the locals coming from the farm who led us to the cave point. Which was a good on as he made us know some rules about the rock and it’s environs. One which is no one is allowed to pass through the entrance in and no fruits must be picked nor animal killed around the cave.
Do you know that bones as old as 13,000 years old of men of the stone age were discovered and excavated from here ? Interesting, is it? One was said of the skeleton of the remains of a homo-sapien that was buried in a standing position carrying a pot.
I personally find the features about this cave particularly very interesting as the archaeological significance it holds are of notable artifact and key sources to the information about the pre-historical times of West Africa.
Lot of intensive and extensive research work has been done here since it’s discovery.
Some art work of pottery were also excavated from the site that dates as far back as 1000B.C. which most of it has been taken to the national museum and for further studies.
Works by notable professors and archeological scholar has also been published in research journals and articles to promote the evidence gathered from the site. Also, below is a picture of ashes found at the foot of the cave, of which can be found all around the cave. See where the name comes from and why it is called cave of ashes now?
To visit this site its better to come as a press man or a properly recognized travel journalist as they are protocols to observe to have a good experience and also for your safety as you will be assigned a proper tour guide form the Kabiyesis palace himself and some security guards to accompany you with large torchlights to see and pass through the cave.
Well, I didnt go through all that as for one I am still a budding travel journalist, and also you come prepared with some good money to at least compensate all your entourage for their stress and time.
This are contents and knowledge our history books should be filled with and visited to give more clarity.
I must say this sites holds a very strong potential for archaeological, historical and touristic discovery if properly managed, and should be looked into. I read the Ondo state government made the site a tourist centre in 1992 but I tell you this site is nothing to write home about save for the cave itself that serves as evidence of existence.
What do you think about this piece of history and would you like to visit this place? Let me know… **Cheers**