Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Gérard Chouin

Committee Members

Audrey Horning

Neil Norman

Charles McGovern


Recent scholarship detailing the chemical composition and chronology of various glass and crucible fragments suggests that beads native to Ile-Ife, the center of the expansive Yoruba-speaking polities, date as far back as the early second millennium CE. This thesis will corroborate certain dates of glass making in Ife while providing more clarification about possible market shifts and changes in technology as a result of shifting consumer demands in Ife. The chemical composition testing conducted at the Field Museum of Chicago in combination with radiocarbon dating of charcoal samples from 2018-2019 excavations near Oduduwa College have led to increased detail of the chronological framework involving indigenous and imported glass in the city of Ile-Ife during its height of power in the 13th century and before the medieval capital’s abandonment in the late 14th century. In addition to confirming the overlapping chronology of LLHA, HLHA and soda-rich glass types, this paper utilizes the chemical composition from glass beads excavated at Oduduwa in order to analyze the development of indigenous mixtures of local and imported glass that was produced at Ife that may have been in response to shifting market demands within and around the city.

On-Campus Access Only