AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY OF ANCIENT IRON WORKING SITES IN MAHURUM, BOKKOS L.G.A, PLATEAU STATE, NIGERIA

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AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY OF ANCIENT IRON WORKING SITES IN MAHURUM, BOKKOS L.G.A, PLATEAU STATE, NIGERIA

Abstract:

This research was undertaken with the purpose of studying evidence of ancient iron Smelting technology in Mahurum area. In the research, cultural ecology which emphasises on the role of ecology in influencing the culture of a society was adopted as the theoretical framework. Methods adopted for the research were oral tradition, archaeological survey, consultation of written materials and classification and analysis. In the research, oral tradition reveals information on the material and non-material evidence of iron working in the Mahurum area and the processes that were involved. Also information on the settlement history of the Ahurum was collected. Consultation of written materials provided a background on the historiography of iron smelting in Nigeria which impacted on the work. Archaeological survey on the other hand, reveals vestiges of iron smelting among others which were duly studied and mapped and classification and analysis was carried out on the basic components of the finds and features studied. The finding of the research includes furnace remains, slag from smelting and refining of bloom, rock hollows, house and granary foundations, monolith, stone embankment, grinding stones and other finds and features. The result of the research shows the uniqueness of iron smelting tradition of Mahurum because iron was smelted in non-slag tapping shaft furnaces and as a result, the bloom obtained was refined which resulted in creation of rock hollows. The research also shows how the knowledge from oral tradition has helped in bringing to fore tangible and intangible evidence of ancient iron smelting tradition of Mahurum. In addition, the research reveals how the Ahurum interacted with their natural environment by smelting iron which was the main stay of their economy.

AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY OF ANCIENT IRON WORKING SITES IN MAHURUM, BOKKOS L.G.A, PLATEAU STATE, NIGERIA

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