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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Man's distortion of the distribution of archaeological artifacts: case studies of the Tiv and Ungwai of Central Nigeria
Author:Ogundele, S. OluwoleISNI
Periodical:African Notes: Bulletin of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan
Geographic term:Nigeria
Abstract:More than ever before, spatial studies in archaeology depend on distribution maps. The quality of explanation depends on the accuracy of such maps. These maps may be those of site distributions or artifact distributions. Artifact distribution maps have to do with specific sites and the plotting of material remains or features of human activities. This category of maps is crucial for gaining insights into specificities of groups of settlers, provided there is not too much natural or human distortion. This paper presents evidence of distortion of archaeological artifacts caused by human behaviour such as farming and burial practices among the Tiv people of Benue State and the Ungwai people of Niger State, both in Central Nigeria. In these two places, modes of subsistence of the locals as well as the inquisitiveness of their children have led to some redistribution of archaeological remains. Moreover, new elements which have no archaeological relevance are being introduced into the site, thus distorting the historical picture of the area under investigation. Such distortions ought to raise the level of consciousness of the archaeologist and to serve as a warning against the attainability of the ideal of objectivity. Bibliogr., sum.