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Ethnoarchaeological Investigations into the Beginnings of Agriculture and Metal Working in the Old Nsukka Division


Iron working(iron smolting and Black-smithig)has been studied in details by other researchers in Ama-Eti Aku in Igbo Etiti Local Government of Enugu state.But given the current valuable roles of iron objects on agricultural practice in the old Nsukka Division,attempt has been made to study in details the role of iron tools on agricultural practices.It is important to study the two technologies together because although premordial agricultural practices existed without the use of any iron implement, When iron working eventually appeared on the scene,itrevolutionalized agricultural processes .Presently, it is rare for one to carry out adequate agricultural practices without any iron imput. The impetus for this research emanated from the important position of agriculture in Nsukka area for the supply of thepeople,sstaple food and also from the conspicuous existence of varities of wild yam Dioscorea cayenesis (ji oku),D.bulbifera(edu) Ddumentorum(ona),potsherds,grinding stones,polished stone axes and adzes,hunting and farming toolsof different shapes and sizes.For the effective execution of the above programme ,the researcher visited all the local government areas that formed the old Nsukka Urban Division viz:Igbo-Etiti,Igbo-Eze North and south,NsukkaUrban,Isi-Uzo and Uzo Uwani.At these places,interviews were held with the elders,priests of deities,academicians,traditional rulers(Igwes) among others.these interviews yielded the expected dividends for not only werethe early evidence of agricultural practices revealedin their spacial distribution but also oral traditions and the existing ethnographic evidence tended to confirm the early forms of tools used by the people before the use of iron objects.The results of this investigation which include the authocthony of both iron working and agricultural beginnings in the area of study,the precedence of latter over the former along with those of others conducted in the zone under consideration will ,as it is hoped serve as an important primary source of data for the reconstruction of the origin of both technologies onafactual basis in the old Nsukka Division
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