Centres of Early Civilization


Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about the centres of early civilization. Enjoy the class!

Centres of Early Civilization

Centres of Early Civilization classnotes.ng

  1. Nok:

Nok classnotes.ng

This is a small village near Kafanchan in the southern area of Kaduna State. Tin miners found Terra Cotta (burnt clay): head of a monkey. Due to this, archaeologists started excavation by a team led by Prof. Bernard Fagg (British). They found 153 pieces of Terra-Cotta all-around NOK.

Significance of the Nok culture
  1. It gives us an insight into the history of the earliest settlements in Northern Nigeria.
  2. Insight on the origin of grinding stones which is predominantly used in parts of Hausa and Yoruba lands.
  1. Ife:

Ife culture classnotes.ng

Ile- Ife (in Osun state) is seen as the place of origin and as a sacred town. It is believed Oduduwa created the world here. Available evidence shows that between 8th – 10th Centuries, people lived in this area.

Ife has terra cotta and bronze heads. Other objects include stools, figures were carved. Broken potteries were also found.

Significance of the Ife culture
  1. Nok and Ife art are from the Nok civilization because beaded neck, wrists and ankles were also found.
  2. Ife artists manufactured glass beads.

Unfortunately, most of these things were destroyed during the Yoruba Civil war.

  1. Benin:

Benin culture classnotes.ng

Archaeological evidence discovered by Graham Connah and other sources has helped us to understand how Benin evolved.  Stone axes found on Benin shrines shows people lived there.

Significance of Benin culture
  1. It was important for artwork.
  2. Benin started international trade in Nigeria with Portuguese.
  3. Benin brought diplomacy to Nigeria.
  1. Igbo Ukwu:

Igbo Ukwu culture classnotes.ng

It is located in Aguata local government in Anambra state. In 1939 a man named Mr.Anozie discovered some bronze items while digging a latrine behind his house. These findings were handed over to the District officer. In 1959, a further excavation took place by a man named Thurstan Shaw. Three sites were excavated: under the compound wall, burial chamber and a pit. Over 700 artefacts were found they include ornaments, bells, chains, staff heads, bronze pots, altar stands, bronze vases, potteries etc.

Significance to Igbo Ukwu culture
  1. Evidence of kingship
  2. Igbo Ukwu bronzes were made from the best quality
  3. Their sophistication of Igbo ukwu bronzes attracted the attention of Egyptian and other trans Saharan traders.
General evaluation
  1. Locate Nok, Ife, Igbo ukwu and Benin culture on the map of Nigeria.
  2. State the significance of each of these cultures.


Explain the occupational activities of the Nok civilization


In our next class, we will be talking about the Centralised States: Kanem Borno Empire.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

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