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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Iron technology in Igboland: Aku in Igbo Etiti Local Government Area as a case study
Author:Ezike, John NadikwuISNI
Periodical:West African Journal of Archaeology
Geographic term:Nigeria
iron and steel industry
iron forging
Abstract:Aku is located in the western part of what is today known as Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Unugu State, Nigeria. Ethnographic and oral information strongly suggest that iron smelting occurred in Aku in ancient times. This paper examines the ore and fuel used in smelting; furnace construction - three different types of furnaces were present in different parts of Aku: pit or bowl furnaces, dome furnaces, and conical or shift furnaces - and smelting procedures, including vital ceremonies that had to be performed before smelting commenced. Finally, attention is paid to the blacksmithing industry in Aku. Radiocarbon dates seem to suggest that iron smelting may have started in the area including Aku from 765-520 BC, and ended in the 18th century AD. Bibliogr.