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Ancient ferrous metallurgy sites of Burkina Faso

Ancient ferrous metallurgy sites of Burkina Faso

This property is made up of five elements located in different provinces of the country. It includes about fifteen standing natural draft kilns, several other kiln structures, mines and traces of dwellings. Douroula, which dates back to the 8th century BC, is the earliest evidence of the development of iron production found in Burkina Faso. The other components of the property – Tiwêga, Yamané, Kindibo and Békuy – illustrate the intensification of iron production during the second millennium AD. Even though iron ore reduction – obtaining iron from ore – is no longer practiced today, village blacksmiths still play a major role in providing tools, as well as participating in various rituals.

The description is available under the CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0 license.

Ancient iron metallurgy sites of Burkina Faso

This property, made up of five elements located in different provinces of the country, includes around fifteen standing furnaces with natural draft, several furnace bases, mines and traces of dwellings. Dating back to VIIIand century BCE, Douroula is the oldest witness to the development of designated iron production in Burkina Faso. The other components of the property – Tiwêga, Yamané, Kindibo and Békuy – illustrate the intensification of iron production during the IIand millennium CE. Although iron reduction – obtaining iron from ore – is no longer practiced today, village blacksmiths still play an important role by providing tools and taking part in many rituals.

The description is available under the CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0 license.

مواقع صناعة تعدين الحديد القديمة في بوكينا فاسو

15 وإذا ما عدنا إلى القرن الميلاد, تعد قرية “دورولا” من أقدم العناصر التي تقف شاهدة على تطور صناعة تعدين الحديد في بوركينا فاسو. وتوضح العناصر الأخرى في الموقع – تيويغا وياماني وكينديبو وبيكوي – تكثيف صناعة الألفية الثانية بعد الميلاد. وعلى الرغم من أن الحد من الحديد – تصنيع الحديد من المواد الخام – لم يعد يمارس اليوم, إلا أن الحدادين في القرى لا يزالون يضطلعون بدور هام في توفير المعدات الحديدية والمشاركة في العديد من الطقوس.

source: UNESCO/ERI

The description is available under the CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0 license.

布基纳法索古冶铁遗址

该 遗址 由 5 个 遗产 点 组成, 分布 于 布基纳法索 的 不同 省份, 包含 15 个 立式 炉灶, 若干 熔炉 基座, 矿坑 及 居住 遗迹 .Douroula 是 布基纳法索 最早 (公元前 8 世纪) 进 的 场所 .tiwga, Yamane, Kindibo 和 Bekuy Department 则 见证 的 的 的 冶铁 使用 古老 的 铁匠 仍 当地 村镇 的 冶铁 仍 生产 工具, 举办 仪式 活动 中 发挥 着 重要 作用.

source: UNESCO/ERI

The description is available under the CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0 license.

Памятники древней металлургии

Этот объект, состоящий из пяти элементов, расположенных в разных регионах страны, включает около пятнадцати вертикальных печей, несколько других печных конструкций, шахты и остатки жилищ. Основанный в VIII веке до н. on. Другие элементы объекта – Тивега, ямане, киндибо и бекуй – Наглядно иллюстрируют интенсификацию железводства железа во II Тыс. í. э. Несмотря на то, что метод восстановления железа из руды больше не практикуется в наше время, деревенские кузнецы по-прежнему играют важную роль в поставках инструментов и проведении различных ритуалов.

source: UNESCO/ERI

The description is available under the CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0 license.

Sites of the antigua metallurgia del hierro of Burkina Faso

Integrado por 5 elements located in different provinces of the country, is well culturally understood unos quince hornos aún en pie y varias estructuras de minas y forjas, así como vestigios de viviendas. El elemento situado in Durula data del siglo VIII aC y constituye el testimonio más antiguo del desarrollo de la producción de hierro hallado in Burkina Faso. Los cuatro elements remnants de este bien cultural, situados in Tiwega, Yamané, Kindibo y Bekuy respectively, its illustration of the intensification of metallurgy del hierro during el segundo milenio de nuestra era. Aunque hoy en día ya no practica the indirect reducción of los ferreos minerals para la obtentionción del hierro, los herreros de las rural localidades siguen desempeñando an important papel en la fabrication de herramientas y practican numerosos rituales vinculados à la siderurgia.

source: UNESCO/ERI

The description is available under the CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0 license.

Outstanding Universal Value

Brief summary

The five components of the property testify to the age and importance of iron production, and its impact on pre-colonial societies in the Sahelian zone of Burkina Faso. Dated from the 8th century BC. AD, Douroula is the oldest evidence of the development of iron production currently identified in Burkina Faso, and illustrates this relatively early first phase of the development of iron production in Africa. Tiwêga, Yamané, Kindibo and Békuy have remarkably well-preserved iron ore smelting furnaces. They are also the very few sites in Burkina Faso to have elevated kilns. These are massive production sites which, in their scale, illustrate the intensification of iron production during the second millennium CE, at a time when West African societies were becoming increasingly complex. The property is directly associated with the living traditions embodied by the blacksmiths of Yamané, Kindibo and Douroula. These traditions are expressed today by symbolic values ​​linked to iron technology among the communities of descendants of blacksmiths and metallurgists.

Criterion (iii): The former ferrous metallurgy sites bear exceptional witness to a unique tradition of iron ore smelting, bequeathing today’s Burkinabe communities a rich technical and cultural heritage. Douroula illustrates this early development phase of iron production in Africa and demonstrates that iron production technology was already widely diffused around 500 BCE throughout the region. Tiwêga, Yamané, Kindibo and Békuy are massive production sites that illustrate iron production throughout the Sahelian zone of Burkina Faso in the 2nd millennium AD.

Criterion (iv): The ancient ferrous metallurgy sites are outstanding examples that illustrate the variety of traditional iron ore smelting techniques in Burkina Faso. The ovens have retained all or almost all of their elevation and have morphological characteristics that allow their differentiation. Other remains are associated with the furnaces, such as the huge assemblages of slag and traces of mining, as well as technical traditions still alive today. The very old appearance of this technology worldwide has had very important consequences for the history of the African peoples.

Criterion (vi): The ancient ferrous metallurgy sites of Burkina Faso are directly associated with the living traditions embodied by the socio-professional group of blacksmiths. These traditions are expressed today by symbolic values ​​linked to iron technology in communities descended from blacksmiths and metallurgists. Masters of fire and iron, blacksmiths perpetuate ancestral rites and social practices that give them an important role in their communities in Yamané, Kindibo and Douroula.

Integrity

Within their boundaries, the former ferrous metallurgy sites contain all the essential attributes of Outstanding Universal Value. They have all been preserved in their integrity and in their environment, without major disturbance over the centuries. No oven has been dismantled, moved or damaged by vandalism. Only the base of the Douroula kiln, whose dating is the oldest, has been physically protected. The remoteness of the dwellings and the sanctity of these areas linked to the blacksmiths are a guarantee of the protection of the integrity. Nevertheless, the conditions of integrity are vulnerable due to soil erosion by water and wind, cycles of drought and in some cases desertification, colonization of some furnaces by termites and trees, and artisanal gold mining.

Authenticity

The sites testify to a continuity of production over more than 2700 years, to the mastery of iron smelting and transformation processes, and to the essential contribution of this technology to the history of African settlement, and not only to the history of the peoples of Burkina Faso. The property’s five metallurgical sites express Outstanding Universal Value in terms of the antiquity of the phenomenon, the form of the foundry structures, the completeness of the elements of the metallurgical complex, the diversity and richness of the architectural techniques and traditions of blacksmithing still alive. today. The limited state of documentation in the areas of the property and in the buffer zones however means that the conditions of authenticity are vulnerable. Maintaining authenticity should be an important priority in the management of the property, in order to ensure the resilience of the blacksmithing traditions.

Management and protection requirements

The property is protected at the national level by a set of laws and by traditional protection provided by local communities on the basis of customary law. Management is also ensured at the local level by the communities, with the exception of the Békuy site, located in the Maro forest reserve.

A management system, developed for the period 2018-2022, is based on the management plans of each of the five sites and constitutes the main tool for the sustainable management of the property. The property is managed in reflection and orientations by a National Management Committee and concretely by the Department of World Heritage Sites. The national management committee exercises authority and control for all matters relating to the sites. At the level of each individual site, a local committee has been set up to ensure the sustainable management of the property by the local communities. The committee is guided by the site management plan and the orientations of the national management committee.

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