Nasera Rock

Nasera Rock/Apis Rock Geosite

It is the uplifted metamorphic gneiss inselberg, a monolith that is fully exposed above the plain in the shadow of crater Mountain-Oldonyo Lengai (Plate 10). The Nasera might be the only known biggest fully exposed complete inselberg in the region. It is 27 km north of Olduvai and, about 350 m in elevation (Mehlman, 1989). The rock is composed of gnesis, bands of pinkish feldspathic pegmatites and sheared biotite schist. The site has been internationally known for decades through its archaeological resources that have been excavated since 1930s. Most of the findings at Nasera consist of stone artifacts high in quartz, but low frequencies of chert and obsidian occur throughout the sequence. Also bone fragments and sherds of pottery had been uncovered. The cultural materials of Nasera have absolutely dated to about 30,000 BP.

The shelter has some traces of paintings nevertheless the paintings are not visible because of their poor state of preservation. They have faded that only rock art expert can observe traces of pigments. The resident fauna is relatively meagre, including baboons, few klipspringers, vultures in nesting period during the wet season and hyraxes that are frequent on the inselberg. Dominant wood species in the geosite include the commonly known Umbrella Acacia (Acacia tortilis), Lalai in Masai and (Ficus stronningii), Oreteti in Maasai (Plate 11). Although ethnographic inquiry was not conducted but the Nasera has been considered a sacred area holding spiritual significance to the Maasai people.

Plate 10: Nasera rock

Plate 11: Ficus stronningii, a medicinal plant around Nasera rock