Archaeological and taxonomic significance of ancient wood samples from Ahanve, Badagry, Nigeria
Ancient wood samples from an archaeological excavation, Test Pit II, in Ahanve, near Badagry were analysed to ascertain their identity. Anatomical study of the wood samples revealed oval-circular xylem pores, diffuse apotracheal axial parenchyma, procumbent and homogeneous ray and non-septate fibres, all consistent with the micromorphological characters of Milicia excelsa. The similarities observed in the morphological and anatomical structures of the samples indicate they have the same origin. A radiocarbon date obtained from TP I, a pit adjacent to TP II, suggests that the Ìrókò tree was present at the earliest occupation period of the village and fell probably sometime in the 17th century most likely due to old age.
Key words: Archaeobotany, Milicia excelsa, Wood anatomy, Rainforest, Nigeria