HEAD OF DEPARTMENT’S WELCOME ADDRESS
On behalf of staff and students, I heartily welcome you to the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Ibadan. Like the University of Ibadan it is the first of its kind in Nigeria and one of the first in the West African sub region. The Department of Archaeology was established in 1970 within the Faculty of Science. It had existed since 1962 as a research unit of Archaeology in the Institute of African Studies. That research unit successfully executed several major projects which included excavations at Igbo-Ukwu in Anambra State, Iwo Eleru in Ondo, Daima in Borno State, Benue valley, and Ijaye Orile in Oyo State. The Department’s Teaching Museum was started off with materials recovered from these expeditions. In 1967 members of the Archaeology Research Unit of the Institute of African Studies started giving lectures in Nigeria Pre-History to students of the History Department in the Faculty of Arts. The Department moved in April 1987 to a wing of its permanent building on Appleton Road (near the Mathematics/Statistics Complex). As at today the Department has fully occupied its permanent buildings. Although the Department was established in 1970, the undergraduate Archaeology programme was not begun until 1971.
The Department started off by offering combined honours degree option with some related subjects in both the Faculties of Science and Arts. At the end of the 1976/77 session the first set of students to take the single honours degree in Archaeology graduated. Since then Archaeology has been offered as both single and combined honours subject in the Faculties of Science and Arts. Combinations are available with Botany, Geography, Geology and Zoology in the Faculty of Science and with Classics, History, Islamic Studies and Religious Studies in the Faculty of Arts. The Department at present has a total of about 300 undergraduate and 13 postgraduate students.
From the 1982/83 session, the Department has been offering an Anthropology option and the Department formally became the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology as from the 1983/84 session. Students can graduate with either a B.A. or B.Sc. in Anthropology.
The Department operates a display museum and a Departmental Library stocked with most recent publications in archaeology and anthropology.
There is also a teaching collection of artifacts and other archaeological materials from African and Overseas sources. The Department has a photographic darkroom, drawing office, archaeology workrooms and laboratories (including palynology, geoarchaeological and forensic archaeology laboratories). There are over 3,000 35 mm transparencies on various aspects of Archaeology while there are over 3000 microscope slides of the pollen grains and spores of Nigerian plants. From time to time the Department organizes Public Lectures and Seminars on archaeology and Anthropology. A new Anthropology Museum is underway.
The department is located in a serene and welcoming environment for research and learning. I am therefore, seizing this opportunity to welcome you all to the first and best department of archaeology in Nigeria.
Prof. J. O. Aleru