African Archaeological Review

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 141–168 | Cite as

An Initial Assessment of Prehistoric Ceramic Production and Exchange in Northern Yoruba, North Central Nigeria: Results of Ceramic Compositional Analysis

  • Aribidesi A. UsmanEmail author
  • Robert J. Speakman
  • Michael D. Glascock


Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) was employed on 201 ceramic and clay samples fromthe Igbomina region of northern Yoruba in Nigeria. Ceramic data were obtained from 13 settlement sites spread over four Igbomina localities whose dates range between A.D. 1400 and A.D. 1800, and five raw clay samples from riverbeds and modern potters located in the Igbomina culture area. Quantitative analysis of the INAA data resulted in identification of four ceramic compositional groups that can be attributed to specific locales within the region. These results indicate that ceramics were moved within and among various Igbomina geographic areas and villages as well Ilorin (a Yoruba center located northeast of Igbomina).Results generated from this analysis indicate the tremendous potential for examining regional interaction in Yorubaland immediately before and during the Old Oyo period (fifteenth to the eighteenth century A.D.), a time of sociopolitical and settlement change.

Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) a été utilisé sur 210 échantillons de céramiques et d'argiles provenant de la région Igbomina située au nord de Yoruba au Nigeria. Les données sur les céramiques proviennent de treize villages situés dans quatre endroits dans Igbomina dont les dates varient entre 1400 A.D. et 1800 A.D., et cinq échantillons d'argiles crues provenant des fleuves et des potiers modernes situés dans la zone culturelle d'Igbomina. L'analyse quantitative des données de l'INAA a pu identifier quatre composition de groupements céramiques qui peuvent être attribués à des endroits dans la même région. Ces résultats indiquent que les céramiques avaient été déplacées dans l'enceinte et parmi les différents villages et régions d'Igbomina aussi qu'en Ilorin (centre Yoruba situé au nord d'Igbomina). Les résultats obtenus de cette analyse indiquent le potentiel énorme d'un examen minutuex des interactions régionales dans le pays Yoruba dans les temps antérieurement et durant la période de l'Ancien Oyo (15ème au 18ème siècle A.D.), une période marquée par des changements socio-politiques.

Key Words

Yorubaland Old Oyo Igbomina ceramics neutron activation exchange 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aribidesi A. Usman
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Robert J. Speakman
    • 2
  • Michael D. Glascock
    • 2
  1. 1.African and African American StudiesArizona State UniversityTempeArizona
  2. 2.University of Missouri Research Reactor CenterColumbiaMissouri
  3. 3.African and African American StudiesArizona State UniversityTempeArizona

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