Earthworks of Ijebu-Ode

Sequel to the archaeological survey carried out in Ijebu-Ode 2017, sites were identified and excavated in the 2018 field season. These sites are situated around the vicinity of earthworks. Earthworks are common in West Africa. Some researchers have argued that the functions of earthen architectural features in the form of banks, walls, and ditches vary from simple domestic usage to formal military defense of cities. Others have argued that they are defensive structures employed by elite and non-elites in their respective zones. In patterns, some earthworks appear in packed and clustered forms and are mostly boundary markers between landed property owners. Others are linear and extensive, enclosing a community. In the Yoruba-Edo region of Nigeria, these earthworks vary from small-scale enclosures surrounding modest compounds to walls around towns, and large-scale embankments enveloping urban centers. This year, I examined the Ijebu earthworks, in particular, those enclosing Ijebu-Ode, the capital of Ijebu polity. I report on the most recent survey and excavation carried out in Ijebu-Ode. I draw upon the relationship between Ijebu inner walls and the outer enclosures.Capture   Picture1

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