Landscapes of Power: A Historical Archaeology and Cultural Astronomy of Ijebu-Yoruba Palatial Urbanscape, AD1000-1900


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This project examines how the practice of space mirrors the practice of power politics in the pre-Atlantic and Atlantic Ijebu kingdom of Southwestern Nigeria. It combines the ritual dramas on the palace ground, centered within the capital city, with oral traditions, early European travel accounts, and archaeological excavations to shed light on the interactions between the sixteen third-class kings at the frontier, with the paramount ruler at the capital city. The interaction helps to understand the roles played by the Ijebu kingdom and its geographic positioning in the second millennium AD. Particularly, it sees the palace complex as the microcosm of the landscape of power, combining architecture, ritual, and astronomy in its layout. This layout becomes the foundation for its political, economic, and ritual practices.