THE LAGOS CLASS. NWAZOTA KENE ELIAS YEWANDE SULEIMAN RUKAYAT OMEIHE OLUOMA ADEBAYO CHRISTIANA. FOSSILS IN NIGERIA. IGBO-UKWU. Brief history of Igbo-Ukwu.
Igbo-Ukwu is a village Art in Anambra State (South-Eastern part of Nigeria). The art was discovered in the year 1938 by the Anozie family .
That year a man by name Isaiah Anozie set out to dig a water cistern in his compound when he discovered a number of bronze objects. Nok art, like the Igbo-Ukwu bronze objects, provides us with the first evidence of a culture that made use of iron. The bronze found in the small village of Igbo-Ukwu near Awka in Onitsha province, east of the River Niger, provides us with the first evidence of the artistic use of copper alloys in the whole of Black Africa.
The town of Awka is today famous for its blacksmithing and carved wood door panels and stools. Like most spectacular archeological findings in the world, the discovery of the bronze of Igbo-Ukwu was accidental.
It is thought that similar findings were made at this site as early as 1922. Some of the pieces recovered were deposited with the Nigerian government, but some found their way to the British Museum in London. It was not until 1955 that the site was scientifically excavated by Thurstan Shaw on the invitation of the Federal Department of Antiquities of Nigeria and by the same archeologist in 1964 on behalf of the University of Ibadan.
As a result of these excavations, Igbo-Ukwu bronzes can be seen in five places- the Nigerian Museum Lagos, the Nigerian Museum Jos, Kaduna Museum, the University of Ibadan Museum and Museum of Mankind in London
One of the excavations was an amazing burial chamber made for someone believed to be an important dignitary, probably a great leader (Eze Nri) about 1000 years ago.
Inside this chamber were:
Other items excavated from the Anozie Compound were: seen in five places- the Nigerian Museum Lagos, the Nigerian Museum Jos, Kaduna Museum, the University of Ibadan Museum and Museum of Mankind in London
Pot-stand with male and female figure images seperated by open work panels of snakes with frogs in their mouths.
Over a hundred thousand beads.
A disposal pit that contained a jumble of copper and bronze wristlets.
Bells and bell jars.
A large quantity of broken pottery and some intact vessels.
Igbo-Ukwu roped pot: a water-pot set on its own pedestal enclosed in rope-work.
Igbo-Ukwu bowl cast by the lost wax method in imitation of a decorated calabash.
Large pot excavated by the disposal pit. Its handle imitates basket work and between them are two snakes, a ram head and a chameleon.
The excavations were discovered at different sites namely: Igbo Isaiah, Igbo Jonah and Igbo Richard according to their order of discovery and excavations.
The Igbo-Ukwu figures were the highest singular excavations. These figures are very unique in that the bronze has an alloy of copper and bronze objects of considerable artistic excellence.
Some of these excavations are presently displayed in the national museum in Lagos.
PHOTO GALLERY Igbo Isaiah, Igbo Jonah and Igbo Richard according to their order of discovery and excavations.
A staff top with a Bronze leopard’s skull on a copper rod
Fly – whisk handles showing horseman with facial scarification. The Fly–whisk indicates rank and title.
Igbo-Ukwu large pot excavated from the disposal pit.
Its handles imitates basket works, and between them are two snake head, a ram’s head and a chameleon.
Igbo-Ukwu Roped Pot.
A water pot set on its own pedestal enclosed in rope work and leaded bronze
The male and female pot-stand figure separated by openwork panels of snakes with frogs in their mouths.
A bronze bowl- an imitation of a decorated calabash.
Female Pot Stand
Male Pot Stand