An archaeological investigation of the Kirfi area, northern Nigeria: craft, identity and landscape

Sule Sani, Abubakar (2013) An archaeological investigation of the Kirfi area, northern Nigeria: craft, identity and landscape. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This doctoral research presents the first sustained archaeological investigation of Kirfi, Bauchi state, northern Nigeria. As part of this work, test pits were excavated at three sites and research was carried out into modern craft practices. These yielded good chronological sequence and allowed the development of a pioneering pottery typology. One central question explored is to what degree the Hausa world just to the north-west of the study area impacted on Kirfi in the past 1000 years. It is argued that theories of technological styles and society can be usefully deployed to understand cultural developments and territorial expansion in African societies. Ideas about economic systems, settlement and social factors resulting in population movements and the definition of cultural
identities are key to exploring the complex cultural make-
up of the last millennium. I also show that oral tradition is valuable to studies of later African societies when carefully critiqued, in view of the dearth of early written and historical scripts. This thesis will also show how external influences were to alter a native system by the integration of Islam into the socio-political development of Kirfi,
including it in a world system that shaped the evolution of the Bauchi region, which then became a principal actor in the spread of a political system in the early part of the 19th century after the jihad of Shehu Uthman Fodio. The influence of Islam (as opposed to formerly practiced ritual systems), long distance trading systems and the role of slaves as a commodity, ‘Hausaness’, craft and economic
specialisations are all put forward as factors that played out in the settlements under study here. This finally transformed ancient socio-political systems leading to the ways of life of today.
It is hoped that the present research, through its collaborative use of archaeological methods and
ethnoarchaeological study, will help improve our understanding of an area that has up to now been a
virtual terra incognita and make a wider contribution to African archaeology by interpreting the impact of ‘Hausaisation’ on the southern Bauchi area.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art History and World Art Studies (former - to 2014)
Depositing User: Users 2593 not found.
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2015 17:29
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2016 00:38


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