Early Man in Nigeria


Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about early man in Nigeria. Enjoy the class!

Early Man in Nigeria

Early Man in Nigeria classnotes.ng

Colonial historians belief that Nigerian peoples have no culture has been corrected or proved contrary to by the archaeological findings at NOK, Benin, Ife, Iwo Eleru and Igbo-Ukwu etc.

We do not know precisely when man began to live in Nigeria but according to archaeology(dug up history), oral tradition and ethnography (the study of customs and tradition), man began to live in Nigeria about 40000 years ago and took part in the stone age civilization (when man used stones) and Iron age (when man used metals).

It simply means people’s culture(way of life) as at that time, made them produce materials for their means of livelihood.

Cultural succession in Nigeria

Man worked hard to cope with his environment. First, he needed food. So he invented tools to use to hunt for animals from stones such as granite, basalt and quartz. He made pebbles which are identified by archaeologists in the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. These type of tools were found in BORNO State.

The early man advanced to making hand axes which were oval and pointed in shape. They are called Acheulian (named after a site in St. Acheul in France )and they were found in Joseph Plateau.

Early man also proceeded to invent another type of tool called heavy chopper which was used as a pick. It was first seen in Sango Bay on the west shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda. One was found in Upper Sokoto river of Sokoto State.

So this tells us that man created tools and skills to make life easier for himself by

  1. Hunting and gathering wild fruits
  2. Introduced agriculture at a later age.
  3. Took part in stock keeping.
  4. Developed formula for the storage of food.
  5. He began to establish a form of social control.
  6. Different groups began to compete for control and classes began to emerge.
Effects of agriculture on early man in Nigeria

Some archaeologists and historians believe that agriculture started in the region of Anatolia, Iran and Iraq, to Egypt on the Nile then spread to other parts of Africa.

It is believed that in Nigeria, man started with yam and palm oil in the inland delta of the River Niger.

So the effects include
  1. Life was more settled because man was sure of food.
  2. Man was able to control his environment better
  3. Settled life brought about the social organization: Food storage, accumulation of wealth, Population and growth in villages.
  4. Division of labour and social control.
  5. Improvement in man’s technological development.
General evaluation
  1. Explain the life of the early man.
  2. How did man make life easier for himself?
  3. What were the effects of agriculture on man?


  1. Describe the major developments of the different phases of the Stone age.


In our next class, we will be talking about the Centres of Early Civilization.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

Should you have any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.

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