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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Archaeology education in Nigeria
Author:Okpoko, A. IkechukwuISNI
Periodical:West African Journal of Archaeology
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:educational policy
Abstract:Although archaeology as a scientific discipline is young in Nigeria, it has thrown light on the activities of man in this country from the Stone Age through to the Metal Age. A majority of Nigerians (including many of the educated elite) are, however, ignorant of these findings and of what archaeology is all about, due to the absence of archaeology as a subject in primary and secondary schools, and in informal education. The author stresses the sociopolitical value of archaeological studies of intergroup relationships between the peoples of Nigeria in the pre-Arab/European times, and the importance of the role of archaeology as another method of reconstructing the past ways of life of ethnic groups in addition to already existing methods such as local histories, praise poems, singing, genealogies, proverbs, graphic arts, etc. The discipline should be made more relevant to Nigerian society than it is now in order to widen its scope of job opportunities, thereby making it more attractive to the Nigerian public/students. The author advocates two approaches to improve the position and teaching of archaeology in Nigeria: 1) Nigerian archaeologists should educate children and the general public about the aims and objectives of archaeology; 2) archaeological studies and training at university level should be anthropologically oriented and teach traditional technology and farming practices/systems within their sociocultural and economic settings. Bibliogr.