Several things have been considered a wonder to the world; architectures, artifacts, nature. some human efforts. Most of these wonders were seen to be the sole prerogative of the Western world, not the primitive Africa.
The above reason, whether valid or not, was the reason Europe and the Western world argued vehemently that the ‘Igboukwu bronze vessel’ did not originate from Africa.
The Igboukwu artifact was first discovered by Mazi Isaiah Anozie while digging in his compound, in the year 1939, in Igboukwu, Anambra state. Due to limited knowledge, Mazi Anozie did not know the value of his findings; so, he attached little or no value to it as he gave out some of the materials to his friends, and used some for ignoble purposes.
What took the world by surprised was not the discovery of an artifact but the discovery of a bronze roped vessel. Its technical creativity, and lack of duplicates in any part of the world led to the assumption that it has an European or Asian origin. More so, the academic community believed it came through European contact; perhaps through voyagers, colonial masters or something close to it.
In archeological fields, such intricately planned, magnificent, and meticulously orchestrated work of art was impossible to be seen in West Africa. Moreover, they argued that such archeological beauty was impossible to find in a seemingly barbaric Igbo society.
J. O Fields, the British colonial district officer learned about the artifacts, he purchased them; then handed the artifacts to the Nigerian department of antiquity later on. Mr Fields argued strongly that, although Awka people of Nigeria did some blacksmithing works, they were not metal workers .
Some resemblance of the Igboukwu artifacts beads and glass was found in old Cairo at the workshop of Fustat which implies that there might have been a long trade relationship between Igboukwu and ancient era Egypt.
Every doubts and archeological unbelief was however cleared when research, and isotope analysis declared that the artifacts was of local origin, while the radio carbon dated it in the 9th century. Moreover, another artifact was discovered in Opi and Lejja, both in Nsukka community which dated back to 2000 BC and 750 BC, respectively.
The facts about the roped bronze, vividly affirms the long-aged existence and/or migration of the Igbo people to their land, today.
The artifacts remain the symbol of the Igbo race and in recent times has appeared in most Igbo cultural symbols.
Ifesinachi Nnabugwu reporting, Obinwannem News