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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Excavations at iwo eleru, ondo state, Nigeria
Authors:Shaw, T.ISNI
Daniels, S.G.H.
Periodical:West African Journal of Archaeology
Geographic term:Nigeria
Abstract:It has frequently been stated that the West African forest could not have been exploited and occupied by human beings without the use of metal tools. Excavations carried out in 1965 at the rock shelter of Iwo Eleru in Nigeria's Ondo State throw light on this question. A prolific Late Stone Age industry was found, beginning around 10,000 BC and extending to c. 1500 BC. Whether the site was in evergreen forest at the earlier date is discussed, but it certainly was at the later date. A detailed classification of the lithic industry and of the pottery was made. There were no sudden breaks over time: microlithic forms were commoner in the earlier occupation, scrapers and the use of chalcedony (in proportion to quartz) increased over time. Ground stone axes and pottery were later innovations, in the fourth millennium BC. Bone was mostly not preserved, but from the lowest level sufficient of a human skeleton survived for it to be seen to be proto-Negroid in character. No evidence as to whether occupation was permanent or seasonal was obtained, but there were indications that different activities were carried on in different parts of the shelter area. There was plentiful Iron Age pottery in the superficial layers. App., bibliogr.