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Ile-Ife and Igbo Olokun in the history of glass in West Africa

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2017

Abidemi Babatunde Babalola
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Rice University, PO Box 1892, Houston, TX 77005, USA
Susan Keech McIntosh*
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Rice University, PO Box 1892, Houston, TX 77005, USA
Laure Dussubieux
Affiliation:
Field Museum of Natural History, 1400 S Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605, USA
Thilo Rehren
Affiliation:
UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31–34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY, UK College of Humanities and Social Sciences, HBKU, Education City, Doha, Qatar
*
*Author for correspondence (Email: skmci@rice.edu)

Abstract

Recent excavations at the site of Igbo Olokun in the Yoruba city of Ile-Ife, in south-western Nigeria, have shed light on early glass manufacturing techniques in West Africa. The recovery of glass beads and associated production materials has enabled compositional analysis of the artefacts and preliminary dating of the site, which puts the main timing of glass-working between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries AD. The results of these studies suggest that glass bead manufacture at this site was largely independent of glass-making traditions documented farther afield, and that Igbo Olokun may represent one of the earliest known glass-production workshops in West Africa.

Type
Research
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2017 

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