Archaeologists are fascinated by things that ordinarily are unattractive to ordinary people.

Through this, they dig into the past for the historical and economic benefits of people.

Eredo, in Ilara-Epe, Lagos State, the host community of one of Nigeria's privately owned university, Augustine University, is also one of Nigeria's archaeological sites.

It is also arguably the custodian of Africa's biggest archaeological monuments site.

For novices, archaeology is the study of the human past through material remains.

Although, archaeology is a social science, but it combines methods and ideas from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.

Methods of archaeology include survey, excavation, laboratory among others.

Among many African Linear Earthworks built by people of the past across centuries is the Sungbon-Eredo, located in Ilara-Epe, Lagos State.

Notwithstanding its concentration in Lagos State, the Sungbon-Eredo monuments site also encircles the areas which today is generally known as the Ijebu Kingdom.

The Sungbon-Eredo, which can be accessed either from Epe in Lagos State or Ijebu Ode, in Ogun State is said to be over 100 miles in circumference and also up to 60 feet deep.

The monuments, about 500 years old was first mentioned by Daurte Pacheco Pereira in the early 16th century.

It is a system of defensive walls and series of ramparts and ditches located in between Ogun and Lagos states, Southwest Nigeria.

The historical monument is link to the Biblical woman, Bilikisu Sungbon whose cenotaphy located in Oke-Eri on the way to Oru or Ijebu Igbo from Ijebu-Ode attracts thousands of tourists on yearly basis.

The walls, which were built for the purpose of defence is said to be on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The total lenght of the uneven wall barrier around the Ijebu Kingdom covers an area of 1,400 square kilometres.

The Sungbon-Eredo monuments have been brought more to global prominence since September 1999 when Dr. Patrick Darling surveyed the site.

One of the researchers on the Sungbon-Eredo project, Mr.Tomos Evans from the United Kingdom, has been doing a lot of archaeological excavations.

A Ph.D researcher, Evans on the sideline of a recent seminar at Augustine University, Ilara Epe, Lagos said the purpose of the seminar was to discuss archaeological research into the past material culture and history of Sungbon-Eredo.

He described the Sungbon-Eredo as the largest earthworks system in the Southwest Nigeria.

"The Sungbon-Eredo community is where people of the past have dug their normal trenches and erected about 200 miles large walls about 600 years ago which now crosses parts of Lagos and Ogun states".

"It has been argued that the Sungbon-Eredo community parades Africa's largest single monument. It is an impressive archaeological site that needed to be explored and projected to the world at large".

Evans, accompanied by other collaborators disclosed that the Sungbon-Eredo stretches across the AUI hence the choice of the university for the seminar.

Giving an insight into their findings, Evans said so far a lot of differrent things from different archaeological sites have been found.

"One of the things we have done was to have excavated very large moth where people dumped a lot of refuse in the past which had accumulated for a lot of artefacts, coins, imported glass bottles.

On the economic benefits of the project, Evans said: " the more we bring the earthworks to national and international spotlight, the more Nigerians, Africans and people around the world know about it.

"It can also bring revenue to the immediate community of Eredo and in deed Nigeria as there are incredible works of heritage at these sites", he concluded

Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor , Augustine University, AUI, Ilara-Epe, Lagos State, Prof. Christopher Odetunde has tasked Nigerian archaeologists to take active interest in the cultural past of their people.

This is even as he disclosed that many foreign archaeologists have shown interest in Nigerian archaeological monuments sites more than their Nigerian counterparts.

According to the VC, archeologists have excavated some war tools used in the past against attacks

"If you look at the history of Sugbo-Eredo, it seems that it was from the war time that the Yoruba people started building cave from Ife to Ijebu-Ode to here and all along" .

"But, we don't take care of that, Nigerians don't care about them, but this was found out and the experts wanted to know in those days how did they get the tools to make the tunnel, that is what they are studying here, so while excavating they can find all the old tools.

He said the university was hosting the archaeological researchers among other reasons to expose the students to the study and teach them how best to go about investigation and research with good results .

"Our students will know about Sugbo-Eredo. Because this is Yorubaland, we need to know more about ourselves and what our great grand-parents did with no tools.

"The reason we brought the students here is to let them learn how to do research; to investigate things properly and report things properly .

"There are so many monuments all over the world, this is a typical example. If you have ever been to Kwara State, there is something called Esie natural museum, people are studying it now"

"We don't appreciate our own innovations but, the white people do. I will advise that we must continue to appreciate ours instead of selling them .

"I beleieve that if federal government is interested, it is very important that they do it. Look at the people that are helping us they are French, the Americans are the ones interested in this. If they did not come, Nigeria will not care. But there are professors in archeology in Nigeria in Ife in Ibadan and all places.

"We need to encourage them to excavate some of resources that are buried under ground", the don stated.

The Alara of Ilara-Epe, Oba Olufolarin Olukayode Ogunsanwo, during the ceremony expressed economic and tourism potential of the site.

Represented by Chief Olutunji Oyetola among other chiefs, the monarch described the Sungbon-Eredo monuments as an alluring ancient place for tourists and others to behold.

While stressing that archaeology brings forth historical past of people, the Alara enthused that the Sungbon-Eredo Monuments have placed the town on world map.