This research centres on women and heritage preservation in old Nsukka division. It gear towards bringing to the limelight the roles women play in the field of archaeology and also the contributions of these women in heritage preservation which has erroneously been undermined by most archaeologist. Also the positions occupied by these women are not exempted which presently should give them full recognition in the field of archaeology and the society at large.

With this, the researcher made the use of ethnoarchaeology, using the present materials to interpret the past. Also the use of feminist theory was used for clear understanding of the research. Some sites were used for the study, which were Alor-uno, Edem and Opi found under old Nsukka division. In bringing out these women roles, positions and contributions to archaeology field, materials they produced were studied such as weaving and spinning. This clearly brought out these women potentials which have been under coverage in the field of archaeology and society at large. The roles of men were also considered and the likely inequalities that exist between women and their counterparts. In addition, the values of feminist archaeology were seriously considered. Having this on ground, it is believed that this work will serve as reference material in the field of archaeology and other fields.


Title page
Approval page
List of plates
List of figures
List of maps
List of tables
Table of content

Chapter One: Introduction
1.1       Statement of problem
1.2       Research objectives
1.3       Research questions
1.4       Research Methodology
1.5       Significance of study
1.6       Scope of Research
1.7       Limitations of study

Chapter Two: Literature Review
2.1.      Theoretical literature
2.1.1    Theory
2.1.2    Feminist theory
2.1.3    Criticism
2.2       Empirical literature
2.3       Theoretical orientation

Chapter Three: Background information
3.1       Geographical location
3.2       Climate and vegetation of old Nsukka Division (Alor-uno, Edem and Opi)
3.2.1    Climate
3.2.2    Vegetation
3.3       Historical background
3.3.1    History of Alor-uno
3.3.2    History of Edem
3.3.3    History of Opi
3.4       Socio-political organization
3.4.1    Socio-political-organisation of Alor-uno
3.4.2    Socio-political organization of Edem
3.4.3    Socio-political organization of Opi
3.5       Socio-Economic Activities
3.6       Socio-Cultural organization

Chapter four: Data presentation and analysis
4.1       Data presentation
4.1.1    Women in gender and their contribution to the society
4.1.2    Gender Archaeology
4.1.3    The Roles of female Archaeologist (pioneers) and their Contributions to Archaeology
4.1.4    The Roles of men in Archaeology
4.1.5    The imbalance between men and women in Archaeology (gender Inequality)
4.1.6    Women in old Nsukka Division, their hierarchy, roles and positions in the community
4.1.7    Materials produced by these women and their uses to these communities
4.1.8    The roles of these women to the promotion of the Study of Archaeology
4.2       Data analysis
4.2.1    The feminist archaeology
4.2.2    Problems of gender/feminism in the field of archaeology and old Nsukka Division
4.2.2b Problem of gender in old Nsukka division (Alor-uno, Edem and Opi)
4.2.3    The values/importance of feminist archaeology in old Nsukka Division

Chapter five: Summary, Recommendation and Conclusion
5.1       Summary
5.2       Recommendation
5.3       Conclusion



Feminist Archaeology is an aspect of archaeology that many archaeologists tend to ignore or study selectively. Most archaeologists have focused their attention and research on Iron smelting, public archaeology, cultural resource management without paying much attention to the gender and feminist aspects of these studies.

One of the most striking changes in humanities in 1980s is the rise of gender as a category of analysis (Showalter 1990:1).Without gender there could not have been the existence of feminism. Feminism has placed gender on the academic agenda and this has generated a lot of arguments in the field of archaeology. Many archaeologists have argued on the issue of women’s contribution to archaeological thought which they saw to be minimal and are being minimized by historians of archaeology, while some never recognize their contributions in the field. In most cases their works are being neglected, not well regarded, thereby making the roles of these women not clearly defined. This has restrained the knowledge about women’s role in the past. Recently, some feminist archaeologists have decided on rediscovering and re-writing this issue of feminism in order to reflect the achievements of women in archaeology. The purpose for this is to present the past, the way they were, the roles of these women in the field which need to be greatly recognized and never neglected. In recognizing them, it encourages these women in their effort and also inspires the young women archaeologists in putting their interest and contribution to the field to see that archaeology attains high level, achieves its goal and becomes known to the society.

In addition, feminists have also argued on the ideology that women have been neglected and this has resulted in their exploitation and inequality with the men (Conkey 1976:552); while some were against the opinion that this ideology has resulted to a great problem in the society at large and also in the field of archaeology. The bias has been shown to be particularly striking in the ethnographic and archaeological study of gender, which has overlooked or ignored the activities, roles and perspective of women in the community (Conkey 1976:552)

Historically, many feminists have understood women differently mostly as a gender term that depends on social and cultural factors (like social position) not as a sex term that involves biological features like chromosomes, sex organ but as a social factor like social roles, position andbehaviour or identity.Women are accorded a very low status in the society. This poor perception of women has resulted to multiple factors like tradition, value, culture, religion, history and ideologies etc. all channelling to produce very low image of women. The very basic social position occupied by women is as a result of men’s very low perception of them. Traditionally, women were perceived as weaker, inferior and subordinate sex. This low perception of women is one of the strongest factors that have influenced women worldwide. If women were accorded any dignity or recognition by the society, the problem they are facing today would not have been there. Despite the positions occupied by women and their indelible contributions in the society both in the past and contemporary period,there are still elements of gender segregation. In this case, women are seen as inferior to men in all aspects of life such as social, economic, education, political and religion. Thus in all, the role of women in the society has been understood by some cultures and sectors at different times.

Just like other communities in Igbo land, it is obvious that the daughters of the lineage known as Umuada or Umuokpu constitute a formidable political group to control the activities of women in the community within their traditional....

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