Excavation has started in Tanzania to unveil the 800-year-old lost city of Engaruka. Now buried under rocks in the Monduli District in northern Tanzania, the city was once a thriving region with an advanced irrigation system. The city was mysteriously abandoned 200 years ago, having once been inhabited by an estimated 40 000 people.

John Pareso, an official with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), said on Sunday, October 7, that efforts to excavate and restore the ancient ruins had begun under the Ngorongoro-Lengai Geopark. With support from Unesco, the Geopark covers three northern districts and incorporates Oldoinyo Lengai, the youngest active volcano in the region, the Olduvai Gorge, Lake Natron and the Ngorongoro Crater.

The NCAA hopes that restoration of the site will help grow the attraction for tourists visiting the region. The site is already popular amongst scholars and researchers and offers two campsites with local Maasai guides available through the Tanzania Cultural Tourism Programme.