A discussion of the challenges confronting archaeology and its practice in Nigeria

Published In: Journal of African Studies and Sustainable Development
Article Link: https://www.acjol.org/index.php/jassd/article/view/1344/1319
Author(s): Terngu S. Nomishan, Dimas S. Gubam and Paul-Kolade Tubi

A discussion of the challenges confronting archaeology and its practice in Nigeria
Photo Illustration: A discussion of the challenges confronting archaeology and its practice in Nigeria
Photo Credit
: The New York Times

This article titled: “A discussion of the challenges confronting archaeology and its practice in Nigeria” was written by Terngu S. Nomishan, Dimas S. Gubam and Paul-Kolade Tubi (all of Department of Archaeology and Museum Studies, Federal University Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria) to emphasize the problems faced by archaeological practice in Nigerian. An excerpt from the paper reads:

There is no gainsaying that archaeology and archaeological practice in Nigeria is yet to achieve the desired results, particularly as it is yet to fully meet the needs of the society, and largely contribute to problem-solving in contemporary terms. This is seemingly not unconnected to the fact that the practice of archaeology in the country is faced with a lot of challenges, especially in recent times.

The archaeological practice in Nigeria is facing a lot of challenges. These ranges from those amounting to public illiteracy about archaeology, the unwillingness of the Nigerian government to sufficiently fund archaeological research in the country, unethical practices within the cultural heritage domain, illegal trade in antiques, trafficking in cultural materials, museum thefts, activities of companies handling development projects in the country, the leftover effect of brainwashing by the colonial masters, the overwhelming effect of corruption, and insecurity/social instability in the country etc. This has affected archaeological activities in the country, particularly in the present day. Therefore, this article is important because, in it, all these issues have been extensively discussed.

Thus, the aim of this research was to discuss the nature of some of these challenges and make some suggestions that could largely improve archaeological practice in the country. The research drew from past/recent concerns that have negatively impacted archaeology and its practice in the country. Much of the data for this research had been elicited from primary and secondary sources.

The paper notes that the benefits of archaeology and its practice to Nigeria and her citizens are enormous and therefore, adequate to give all cultural heritage (CH) stakeholders a strong motivation towards repositioning the discipline. Doing this appropriately implies that, Nigeria has begun the journey towards benefiting from the numerous opportunities presented by the discipline for sustainable development. Read more here…

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