Dating craftsman knives
Because of the similarities between the two sites, archaeologist Graham Connah believes that “Nok artwork represents a style that was adopted by a range of iron-using farming societies of varying cultures, rather than being the diagnostic feature of a particular human group as has often been claimed.” Female Statue 48 cm tall Age: 900 to 1,500 years Lt-Colonel john Dent-Young, an Englishman, was leading mining operations in the Nigerian village of Nok.
During these operations, one of the miners found a small terracotta of a monkey head.
In 1928, the first find was accidentally unearthed at a level of 24 feet in an alluvial tin mine in the vicinity of the village of Nok near the Jos Plateau region of Nigeria (Folorunso 32).
As a result of natural erosion and deposition, Nok terracottas were scattered at various depths throughout the Sahel grasslands, causing difficulty in the dating and classification of the mysterious artifacts.
Luckily, two archaeological sites, Samun Dukiya and Taruga, were found containing Nok art that had remained unmoved.
Radiocarbon and thermo-luminescence tests narrowed the sculptures’ age down to between 2,000 and 2,500 years ago, making them some of the oldest in West Africa.
The terracotta statues found there are hidden, rolled, polished, and broken.The Nok culture appeared in Nigeria around 1000 BC and vanished under unknown circumstances around 300 AD in the region of West Africa. It’s social system is thought to have been highly advanced.The Nok culture was considered to be the earliest sub-Saharan producer of life-sized Terracotta.The archaeologist Bernard Fagg, in his studies on the Nok culture, identified the Nok culture with central Nigerian groups such as the Ham (Jaba) ethnic group of Southern Kaduna State, based on similarities between some of the cultural practices and dressing of those modern central Nigerian groups and the figures depicted in the Nok art.In February 2013, Daily Trust reported that the Nigerian Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and National Orientation repossessed five Nok statuettes looted by a French thief in August 2010.