Mineralogy And Raw Material Characterization Of Esie Stone Sculptures

  • O Onabajo Department of History, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
  • OA Ige Natural History Museum, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria


Electronprobe mineral data of samples of Esie statues is presented as a possible tool for provenance studies. Most of the samples contain talc, chlorite, cummingtonite and rarely tremolite. Other talc-bearing schists are prevalent in the Esie area. However talc-cummingtonite rocks, similar to the raw materials used for the sculptures are found only in Agbonda 25 kilometers southeast of the Esie Museum. The ancient sculptors probably chose the cummingtonite rich samples in order to have a good sculptural finish. The data suggest the possible use of mineral data to fingerprint the sources of raw materials and this could be used for archaeological prospection.
Ife Journal of ScienceVol. 7(1) 2005: 113-118

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eISSN: 0794-4896