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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Early metal using communities in West Africa
Author:Okpoko, A. IkechukwuISNI
Periodical:West African Journal of Archaeology
Geographic term:Nigeria
metalworking industry
Abstract:The earliest Iron Age culture as yet known in West Africa is that of the Nok valley to the west of Jos Plateau in Nigeria. Archaeological evidence shows that at least by the latter part of the first millennium BC there were settled agricultural communities in central Nigeria, smelting their own iron about 300 BC and producing works of art of terracotta. The author discusses various Nok settlement sites in Nigeria, as well as the use of iron in Ghana, and the distribution of copper working or bronze/brass casting over a wide area in West Africa. Attention is also paid to methods of copper working, methods of iron working (smelting and smithing), and the religious, ritual, artistic and decorative, political and economic significance of metalworking. The author concludes by stressing the need for a critical assessment of the diffusionist theories of the beginnings of iron technology in parts of Africa. Bibliogr.