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Reception By The King Of Benin, Benin Empire

Benin Empire / Edo Empire

AD 1400 - 1960

The kingdom was originally founded around AD 900 as a small city state, but it only developed in the twelfth or thirteenth centuries and was unified with the surrounding tribes in about 1300. Located in southern Nigeria, east of Yorubaland and west of the River Niger, it was populated by speakers of a group of closely related languages called Edo. Benin is one of the southern Nigerian states which claim to have obtained kingship from the Yoruba city of Ife. However, archaeological research at Benin has shown that important developments preceded the foundation of the empire.

In the countryside around Benin City lies an extraordinary complex of walls, thirty feet high in places and stretching perhaps 15,000 kilometres (10,000 miles) in length. Because they are older than the walls of the city which became the capital of the Benin empire, historians believe that the region was the home of a large population before the emergence of a centralised state. The empire was ruled by a regent called the Oba. The modern Oba of Benin (now in Edo State, Nigeria) is still highly respected, although his powers are largely ceremonial.




Africa Team

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