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Iron Age of Ancient Africa

Head of a king oba, Nigeria, Benin kingdom;
brass; 18th century [Public Domain]

Falola, Toyin. 2002. Key Events in African History: A Reference Guide. Westport, Conn. [u.a.]: Greenwood Press.

Page, Willie F., and R. Hunt Davis, eds. "Iron Age in Africa." Encyclopedia of African History and Culture: Ancient Africa (Prehistory to 500 CE), vol. 1. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2005. Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts On File, Inc.

Peter R. Schmidt and D. H. Avery. “More Evidence for an Advanced Prehistoric Iron Technology in Africa,” Journal of Field Archaeology, Vol. 10, No. 4 (Winter, 1983), pp. 421-434.

Shillington, Kevin. 2005. Encyclopedia of African history Vol. 2, Vol. 2. Encyclopedia of African History. New York, NY [etc.]: Fitzroy Dearborn.

Shore, D., Steel-Making in Ancient Africa. Blacks in Science, Ancient and Modern (I. Van Sertima, ed.) New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1983, pp.157-162.

African Steel Making by John H. Lienhard
“The Hayas produced high-grade carbon steel for about 2000 years.”

The Age of Iron in West Africa
By Emma George Ross, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000
Iron smelting and forging technologies may have existed in West Africa among the Nok culture of Nigeria as early as the sixth century B.C. In the period from 1400 to 1600, iron technology appears to have been one of a series of fundamental social assets that facilitated the growth of significant centralized kingdoms in the western Sudan and along the Guinea coast of West Africa. The fabrication of iron tools and weapons allowed for the kind of extensive systematized agriculture, efficient hunting, and successful warfare necessary to sustain large urban centers.

Blatch, Sydella. “Great achievements in science and technology in ancient Africa,” ASBMB Today February 2013


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