Bura archaeological site
The archeological site of Bura is located in the Tillabéry Region, of the Tera Department, in southwest Niger. The Bura archeological site has given its name to the area's first-millennium Bura culture.
The Bura site consists of many individual necropoleis with coffins crested by unusually-distinctive terra cotta statuettes. The main necropolis itself has a diameter of about one kilometer. Burial mounds, religious altars, and ancient dwellings occur here over a large area. In 1983 a site 25 meters by 20 meters was excavated.
Artifacts and looting
Following the 1975 discovery and 1983 excavation of the Bura archeological site, and after a Bura-Asinda exhibition toured France in the 1990s, the ancient Bura earthenware statuettes became highly valued by collectors.
Unfortunately, widespread looting and smuggling has followed this commercial demand, and so many of the Bura culture sites have been negatively impacted. Le Monde concludes that "90 percent of Niger's Bura sites have been damaged" by looters and vandals since 1994.
Other Bura artifacts have been large terracotta burial jars (both tubular and ovoid) and varied funerary pottery. Of the 834 Bura-related sites in the Niger River valley, UNESCO reports that the original Bura archeological site has produced the oldest equestrian clay statues.
World Heritage status
- Watson & Todeschini (2007) p344
- Note the exhibits at the Hamill Gallery at  and the Barakat Gallery at 
- Watson, Peter; Cecilia Todeschini (2007). The Medici Conspiracy: The Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities, from Italy. PublicAffairs. p. 30. ISBN 1-58648-438-9.
- LeMonde in English
- The Bura Archeological Site, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, translated into English
- October 2009 e-mail correspondence with John M. Parker Sr., Riverside Company, in Dandridge, Tennessee, 
- Site archéologique de Bura - UNESCO World Heritage Centre