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James Island and Related Sites
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 15-19 Centuries
Date of Inscription: 2003
Location: Africa, Gambia, Lower Niumi and Upper Niumi districts and Banjul Municipality
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Description: Along the River Gambia, the James Island and Related Sites bear witness to the key periods and components of the encounter between Africa and Europe, extending through pre-colonial and pre-slavery times to independence. The site holds a particular significance for its relation with the beginning of the slave trade and abolition. It also presents documentation of early access to central Africa. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  James Island is an island in the Gambia River, 30km from the river mouth and near Juffureh in the country of The Gambia. It contains a fort known as Fort James. It is less than two miles from Albreda on the river's northern bank that served a similar purpose for the French. As an important historical site in the West African slave trade, it is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with related sites including Albreda, Juffureh and Fort Bullen. James Island is suffering heavy erosion, and is now approximately 1/6th of its size during the times of the fort. Ruins of several of the British administrative buildings (including a single cell, apparently used to house the most problematic of captives), a small jetty and a number of skeletal baobab trees. The buildings have now been protected against further erosion but the island is very low and subject to flooding and buildings are affected by waves. Kunta Kinte, author Alex Haley's Mandingo ancestor, described in the book and TV series Roots, was probably shipped through James Island. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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