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The search in Germany for the lost skull of Tanzania's Mangi Meli

Pressure is growing on Germany and the UK to return to Africa skulls taken as trophies and for discredited racial research more than a century ago, writes the BBC's Damian Zane.

A Tanzanian based in Germany, Mnyaka Sururu Mboro, has been searching for the lost skull of Mangi Meli for 40 years.

Mangi Meli, a chief from the north of what is now Tanzania, was executed in 1900 for his role in a rebellion against German colonial rule.

After he died, his body was decapitated and his head was taken to Germany.

The exact whereabouts of his skull are not clear, but the admission by the Berlin-based Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (known by its German initials SPK) that it has far more human remains from Tanzania in its archive than previously thought has left Mr Mboro more hopeful.

He is from the same region in Tanzania as Mangi Meli and in 1977, before he left to study in Germany, he promised his grandmother that he would retrieve the skull.

Researchers have found 200 Tanzanian remains in the collection, many of them skulls, that were taken while the country was under German rule, which is more than double the original estimate.

Since October 2017 they have been trying to establish the origins of the bones in the archive, which number in the thousands.

Their project began a year after German journalists uncovered the extent of the remains from the country's former colonies now held by the SPK.

Researchers have also identified 900 skulls from Rwanda, and an estimated 400-500 from Togo and Cameroon - these were all countries that were part of the German empire between 1884 and 1918.

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