Igbo Ukwu

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An Iron Age burial site in southeastern Nigeria that has yielded remarkable evidence for artistic and technological development and accumulation of wealth in that part of West Africa during the closing centuries of the 1st millennium ad. The principal corpse was interred in a deep pit, sitting on a stool surrounded by extensive regalia; the burial chamber was then roofed over and the bodies of attendants were placed above it. Further offerings were deposited nearby. The most noteworthy objects recovered at Igbo Ukwu are the cire perdue bronze castings — vases, bowls and items of personal adornment — which display an unparalleled delicacy and intricacy of ornament. Domestic pottery and enormous numbers of glass beads were also incorporated in the deposits. The date of the deposit has been the subject of dispute, but the 9th century ad is strongly indicated.

The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983Copied