Potsherds in time : the pottery of the Nigerian Nok Culture and its chronology

  • The Central Nigerian Nok Culture has been well known for its elaborate terracotta sculptures and evidence of iron metallurgy since its discovery by British archaeologist Bernard Fagg in the 1940s. With a date in the first millennium BCE, both, sculptures and ironworking, belong to the earliest of their kind in sub-Saharan Africa. After a period of destruction of Nok sites by looting, scientific research resumed in 2006, when a team of archaeologists from Goethe University in Germany started to explore different Nok Culture aspects, one of which focused on chronology. Establishing a chronology for the Nok Culture employed two approaches: a comprehensive pottery analysis based on decoration and form elements and a wealth of radiocarbon dates from a large number of excavated sites. This volume presents the radiocarbon dates and the methods, data and results of the chronological pottery analysis, conducted within the scope of a dissertation project completed in 2015. Combining the two strands of information, a chronology emerges, dividing the Nok Culture into three phases from the middle of the second millennium BCE to the last centuries BCE and defining seven pottery groups that can be arranged to some extent in a chronological order.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Author:Gabriele FrankeGND
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Referee:Peter BreunigGND, Rüdiger KrauseORCiDGND, Johannes Müller
Advisor:Peter Breunig
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of Publication (online):2016/12/08
Year of first Publication:2015
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Date of final exam:2015/07/06
Release Date:2016/12/08
Tag:Archaeology; Chronology; Nigeria; Nok Culture; Pottery
Page Number:461
Institutes:Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaften / Kulturwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:7 Künste und Unterhaltung / 73 Bildhauerkunst, Keramik, Metallkunst / 730 Plastische Künste; Bildhauerkunst
9 Geschichte und Geografie / 96 Geschichte Afrikas / 960 Geschichte Afrikas
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht