Hyrax Hills Prehistoric Site

Hyrax hills prehistoric site is located within the vicinity of Nakuru town. This museum denotes a seasonal settlement and lifestyle of the ancient people that lived in the area about 3,000 years ago. The facility was initially a farmhouse, but it was converted in 1965 to a monument by Mr. A. Selfe. It is where a small museum was established where artifacts from the Hyrax hills are displayed.

How it went down

In 1926, Mrs. Selfe noticed stone bowls under rocks as she strolled the compound. She invited Dr. Louise Leaky to her home out of curiosity to try and find out where the dishes had come from.

Dr. Leakey, however, returned in 1937 since he was occupied somewhere else with the excavation works. He excavated two sites with his wife, and they had excavated only the two sites when excavation stopped. The place was no longer excavated until 1965 when National Museums of Kenya took control of the site.

Hyrax hills is notably a rocky ridge found in the Rift Valley along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway. The summit of the hyrax hill is about 1900 m, and it gives you spectacular views of Nakuru and its environs. You can enjoy nature strolls at this prehistoric site as you hike up the hills. Beach sands are present on this site, only denoting one thing: there was once an ancient lake that had covered that entire land, and the hill was just an island.

The prehistoric lake is believed to have covered the entire Lake Nakuru and went all the way to Lake Elementaita, but that was around 8,500 years ago. From this remarkable prehistoric site in the Rift Valley, you will learn and appreciate the way of life of the Sirikwa people. It is said that they are descendants of a Cushitic group that was Afro-Asiatic.

Historians believe that the Sirikwa migrated from Egypt and that they followed River Nile and settled in the Lake region belonging to East Africa. At the time, the lake region would have been extended to Tanzania in Lake Eyasi and to the north up to Lake Turkana.

The community disappeared in the 18th century, and from evidence gathered, it seems they were assimilated into diverse cultures like Kalenjin, Maasai among others. People believe that the Sirikwa people introduced cattle rearing and agriculture in the country.

They dug up circular holes that were hollow into the hillside in this prehistoric site, which acted as cattle pens that were fenced. To enter the hollows, the cattle had to pass via narrow gates operated by guard houses from both sides. Accumulated mounds of food bones, mud and dung, and broken pots were discovered on one side of the entrance to the hollows.

Their main meals were meat, local beer, and milk. Spectacular viewpoints on the hills were useful for security purposes. They acted as tower guard stations to spot enemies from afar.

Bottom Line

Hyrax Hill prehistoric site is an excellent place to visit and learn more about the ancient people and the vast lake that existed long ago. It is also a fantastic place to enjoy a relaxed time as you stroll on nature walks enjoying magnificent views of Nakuru town

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