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Igbo-Ukwu is located in Nigeria
Location in Nigeria
Coordinates: 6°1′N 7°1′E / 6.017°N 7.017°E / 6.017; 7.017
Country Nigeria
State Anambra State
Population (2007)
 - Total 79,317
 - Ethnicities Igbo
 - Religions Christianity, Odinani

Igbo-Ukwu (Igbo: Great Igbo) is a town in the Nigerian state of Anambra which was the site of three famous archaeological sites that revealed a highly sophisticated metal-working culture. The first, Igbo Isaiah, was uncovered in 1938 by Isaiah Anozie a local villager who stumbled upon the bronze works while digging beside his home. Subsequent excavations by Thurston Shaw in 1959 resulted in the discovery of two other sites, Igbo Richard and Igbo Jonah containing the remains of an ancient culture, including jewelry, ceramics, a corpse adorned in what appears to be regalia, and many assorted bronze, copper, and iron objects. Radiocarbon dating placed the sites around the 10th century or earlier, which would make the Igbo-Ukwu culture the earliest known examples of bronze casting in the region centuries before the more famous Ife bronzes. Archaeological site actually three sites in southeastern Nigeria, associated with the Nri-Igbo. The three sites include Igbo Isaiah (a shrine), Igbo Richard (a burial chamber), and Igbo Jonah (a cache).





Alice Apley says:" The inhabitants of Igbo-Ukwu had a metalworking art that flourished as early as the ninth century. Three sites have been excavated, revealing hundreds of ritual vessels and regalia castings of bronze or leaded bronze that are among the most inventive and technically accomplished bronzes ever made. The people of Igbo-Ukwu, ancestors of present-day Igbo, were the earliest smithers of copper and its alloys in West Africa, working the metal through hammering, bending, twisting, and incising. They are likely among the earliest groups of West Africans to employ the lost-wax casting techniques in the production of bronze sculptures. Oddly, evidence suggests that their metalworking repertory was limited and Igbo smiths were not familiar with techniques such as raising, soldering, riveting, and wire making, though these techniques were used elsewhere on the continent.[1]

See also

External links


  1. ^ Apley, Alice. "Igbo-Ukwu (ca. 9th century)". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 

Coordinates: 6°01′N 7°01′E / 6.017°N 7.017°E / 6.017; 7.017


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