Early Nigerian history

Recent archaeological research has shown that people were already living in south-western Nigeria (specifically Iwo-Eleru) as early as 9000 BC and perhaps earlier at Ugwuelle-Uturu (Okigwe) in south-eastern Nigeria. [Shaw, T.& Daniells, S. G. H. 1984. "Excavations At Iwo-Eleru, Ondo State, Nigeria". West African Journal of Archsmelting furnaces at Taruga dating from the 4th century BC provide the oldest evidence of metalworking in aeology. Vol.14] Microlithic and ceramic industries were developed by savanna pastoralists from at least the 4th millennium BC and were continued by subsequent agricultural communities. The Efik/Ibibio/Annang Efik, Ibibio, and Annang people of single ancestor of the coastal southeastern Nigeria are known to have lived in the area several thousands of years before Christ. In the south, hunting and gathering gave way to subsistence farming in the first millennium BC and the cultivation of staple foods. Primitive iron-West Africa, while Kainji Dam excavations revealed ironworking by the 2nd century BC. The transition from Neolithic times to the Iron Age apparently was achieved without intermediate bronze production. Some scholars speculate the smelting process was transmitted from the Mediterranean by Berbers. Others suggest the technology moved west from the Nile Valley, although the Iron Age in the Niger River valley and the forest region appears to predate the introduction of metallurgy in the upper savanna by more than 800 years. The earliest indentified Nigerian culture is the Nok people who thrived between 500 BC and 200 AD on the Jos Plateau in northeastern Nigeria. Information is lacking from the first millennium AD following the Nok ascendancy, but by the 2nd millennium AD there was active trade from North Africa through the Sahara to the forest with the savanna people acting as intermediaries in exchanges of various goods.


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