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Anthropologists at the University of Benin discovered fossils and use of monoliths dating back to 6000 BC at Ugwelle-Uturu in the Okigwe area.Further evidence of ancient settlements were uncovered at a hypothesised Nsukka metal cultural area from 3000 BC and later settlements attributed to Ngwa culture at AD 8-18.Shortly afterwards Igboland was involved in its biggest war during Biafra's movement for secession, which eventually ended in 1970 when this area rejoined Nigeria. Baikie said, "I seized the moment, and, by our interpreter, told Tshukuma, that we had come to make his acquaintance and his friendship, and to ascertain if the people were willing to trade with us", whilst signing a trade agreement with Igbo chief, Mr Tshukuma (Chukwuma) Obi from Aboh clan, who were one of the leading Igbo clans, engaged in early active trading with Europe.Igboland's culture has been shaped primarily by its rainforest climate, its ancient trade, migration, and social history within its various clans and peoples, and with its ancient trading neighbours, allies and lately with Europeans. Similarly, "after our salutations, I spoke of friendship, of trade, and of education, and particularly enlarged upon the evils of war, and the benefits of peace, all of which was well received", remarked William B.Initially, throughout the 1960s and 1970s it was thought that the Igbo Ukwu bronze and copper items were of an external origin or were influenced by outside technology due to their technical sophistication.The opposite was revealed to be true since local copper deposits had been exploited by the 9th century and anthropological evidence, such as the Ichi-like scarifications on the human figures, show local origin.
The earliest found settlements in Igboland date back to 4500 BC in the central area, from where the majority of the Igbo-speaking population is believed to have migrated.William Balfour Baikie remarked that "in Igbo[land] each person hails, as a sailor would say, from the particular district where he was born, but when away from home all are Igbos.And yet considerable differences exist between different parts of this extensive country, and the dialects spoken also vary greatly." In the words of William B.Baikie, "Igbo homeland, extends east and west, from the Old Kalabar river to the banks of the Kwora, Niger River, and possesses also some territory at Aboh, an Igbo clan, to the west-ward of the latter stream.On the north it borders on Igara, Igala and A'kpoto, and it is separated from the sea only by petty tribes, all of which trace their origin to this great race".