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Title: An archaeological investigation in Shira region, Bauchi, northeast Nigeria
Author: Ahmed Giade, Asma'U
ISNI:       0000 0004 6059 885X
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2016
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This doctoral research presents the results of a pioneering archaeological enquiry in the Shira region of Bauchi State, northeastern Nigeria. The prime aims of this work in what is a hitherto uninvestigated region are to sketch out an occupational sequence and to characterise past materiahl culture. Shira is renowned for being the earliest established settlement (12th to 19th century AD) in present-day northern Bauchi region and it lies on a primary trade route linking two important precolonial polities, the Bornu Empire and the Hausa city-states; as well as connecting with the Adamawa region. The thesis uses archaeology as its prime source of data, but cross-references it with historical and ethnographic data, in order to investigate the evolution and chronological development of the Shira region in the second millennium AD. The artefacts and the spatial organization which characterise the past settlements are studied, and data collected through ethnographic enquiries on present social practices are examined with a view of offering comparative material for the archaeological data. This aspect of the enquiry was mainly concerned with tangible materials such as pottery or the practice of blacksmithing, but it also considered non-material aspects such as the present socio-political patterns and subsistence economy in particular. An archaeological survey in the form of field walking was an important component of the investigation. A 16km2 selected area close to Shira town was examined in order to assess settlement evidence and archaeological potential. The survey located and recorded 64 sites, 5 of which later became the subject of detailed investigation. The survey collections and the excavations carried out at these 5 abandoned sites underpin this thesis and provide a characterisation of past material culture. Six radiocarbon dates place the occupation of the settlements investigated within the second millennium AD. Pottery was the most abundant artefacts recovered from the archaeological survey and excavations around the Shira town. Rims and decorated sherds were analyzed in detail and non-diagnostic material, namely undecorated body sherds, quantified and discarded. Ultimately, these new archaeological data indicate that there exist a great number of past sites around Shira town, of various natures and occurring across a series of hilltops and intervening plains. As such this thesis provides important new data on the past of this part of West Africa.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available