Iron production and the emergence of social complexity in Southeastern- Nigeria


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




This research is a follow- up work on my doctoral studies, which involved the archaeological survey, excavation and analyses of materials from the site of Lejja in 2017/2018. The excavations yielded a large assemblage of artefacts like potsherds, slag, tuyere fragments, iron objects and plant remains. However, my PhD research focused specifically on plant food production in this area, thereby opening up opportunities to consider and explore other important variables such as the technology and society. The proposed study, therefore, seeks to explore the intersections between craft production and specialization in the context of the emergence and development of complex societies in this part of West Africa. This study will be conducted in Lejja; southeastern Nigeria because Lejja emphasizes major iron smelting areas already investigated and dated. Methodologically, the proposed study will employ survey, in-depth interview and historical accounts to complement the already existing data that I recovered during my doctoral fieldwork.