She is known as Bilquis, Bilikisu, or more notably, the Queen of Sheba but her Biblical account is one of the most popular. Grave site of Queen of Sheba in Ijebu Ode, Nigeria.
According to the Book of Kings, the Queen of Sheba came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices, and very much gold and precious stones, “and when she was with Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. And Solomon told her all her questions: there was nothing hid from the king, which he did not tell her” (I Kings 10:2–3)
The Ijebu people of Nigeria claim that the Queen of Sheba was one of their noblewomen known as Oloye Bilikisu Sungbo. ‘Bilikisu’ is the same name by which she is referred to in the Quran.
Yemen Image of Queen of Sheba
In Ijebu-Ode, there is a medieval system of walls and ditches which the locals claimed was erected in her honour.
Was she really buried in Ijebu Ode? The truth is that there are no answers.
The Ethiopians call her Makeda and she is as real to them as Bilikisun is to the Ijebu people.
Archaeologist, Patrick Darling said in 1999 after excavations in Sungbo’s Eredo: “I don’t want to overplay the Sheba theory, but it cannot be discounted… The local people believe it and that’s what is important…”
Another theory might be she passed through Ijebu Ode and the last the people saw of her was passing through the path they now mark in her honour.
Meanwhile, carbon dating and advancements in archaeology have shown that Bilikisun Sungbo and the monuments built in her honor came centuries after the biblical accounts of the Queen of Sheba. Perhaps the walls were built much later.
This craft statue represents the Queen of Sheba during its journey in Israel, protected by his guards. The ram sculptured on shield represents the power of the queen and its kingdom.
At times in history, belief becomes stronger than facts.
The site of Bilikisu Sungbo’s grave is locked into the bush in an area called Oke-Eiri.
The grave, where they claim she is buried its has small gate bordered by a small fence of iron bars. There are cement pillars with Arabic
inscriptions on them validating the Ijebu Ode people’s story to an Islamic theory of Bilikisun.
The grave site was found by hunters of old who often into the heart of the wild for bigger games. The forests were large parts of Yoruba land in ancient and medieval times.
Others postulate that t the place of her birth is a nation in present-day Yemen.
Ethiopians theorise that Makeda as they call her, on her way back from King Solomon, had a child of King Solomon, named Melenik I.