Early Nigerian history

The pre-history of Northern Nigeria occupies the period covering from the early history of the planet to the time of written historical records. There has been very little investigation into the History of Northern Nigeria before the rise of human civilization. A fossil human skeleton which is about 13 000 years old was found at Iwo-Eleru in western Nigeria that proving the antiquity of habitation of the region.

Early Nigerian history relates to the period of history in Nigeria prior to the Common Era. The archeologists researched that people were already living in south and western regions of Nigeria, mainly Iwo-Eleru, about 11,000 BC and maybe even earlier at Ugwuelle-Uturu, Okigwe, situated in south-eastern Nigeria, used microliths. Microlithic and ceramic industries were developed by savanna pastoralists from at least the 4th millennium BC and were continued by subsequent agricultural communities. The Efik, Ibibio, Annang people were representatives of single ancestor of the coastal southeastern Nigeria are known to have lived in the area several thousands of years before Christ.

Iron Age. The Kainji Dam excavations shown ironworking by the II century BC. The transition from Neolithic times to the Iron Era apparently was achieved without intermediate Bronze Age. Scientists suggest that the technology moved west from the Nile Valley. But although the Iron Age in the Niger River Valley and the forest region appears to predate the introduction of metallurgy in the upper savanna by more than 800 years.

Nok civilization. The earliest identified Nigerian culture is the Nok culture that thrived between 1500 BC and 200 AD on the Jos Plateau in northeastern Nigeria. There is no Information about Nok civilization from the first millennium BC. It was appeared in the 2-nd Millennium BC due to active trade connection from Ancient Egypt via Nubia through the Sahara to the forest with the savanna people acting as intermediaries in exchanges of various goods.

It is considered that the culture of Nok was the first in central Africa, which passed from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. Its heyday, which dates from 100-200 years of our era, was the beginning of the Iron Age to the south from the Sahara in the Central Nigeria, and the emergence of West African plastics. A distinctive feature of the plastic culture of the Nok, later rarely seen in African sculpture, is the dynamics of the movement, as evidenced by the surviving figurines of people and animals. The Nock culture developed independently, without any influence from other cultures. Nigerian center of ancient civilizations is directly related to the occurrence in West Africa iron industry. Most of the early civilizations of the Nigerian focus are distinguished by some degree of continuity in relation to Nok culture, the earliest in the region culture of the Iron Age dating back to the 5th century BC. This trend was featured only in the sculpture of the lower reaches of the Congo and in Angola. The culture of Nok is considered pioneer in the African agriculture and metallurgy, but its artistic style stands apart.