Winds of Change – the 1st millennium BC in West African Prehistory

  • Author: Peter Breunig
  • Topic: 2000 to 10,000 BP,Metallurgical studies
  • Country: Nigeria
  • Related Congress: 13th Congress, Dakar

Most of the agropastoral communities that emerged in West Africa during the 2nd millennium BCE experienced a crisis during the 1st millennium BCE. Evidence of the crisis is the disappearance of traditions, and an increase of mobility, in some cases to an extent close to archaeological invisibility. In a few regions of Nigeria, other radical changes occurred from around the middle of the 1st millennium BCE onwards. They concerned almost all social and economic aspects of life, including the emergence of metallurgy and sophisticated terracotta art, and appear to have transformed social communities into a dimension that is not known from any previous period. This paper intends to describe the changes according to the current archaeological evidence.

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