The discovery of an Archeulian culture in Igbo land by veteran archaeologist, Prof. Joseph Anozie of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, dating back to 500,000 B.C. (plate 14) in the very area described by historians as “the first places of Igbo settlement and the center around which (Igbo) culture was synthesized”, namely, Okigwe, Nsukka, Udi, Orlu and Awka uplands (Afigbo, Ibid., p. 150-151) – a period long forgotten, and in Afigbo’s words, belonging to “times out of mind” – is in itself proof that Igbo culture in this area is aboriginal, “sprung from the earth”, as the natives and the visitors to ancient Panchea have consistently claimed.
Our research team undertook a cultural pilgrimage to Ugwuele, Abia State and among other places of cultural interest such as the palace of the Eze Nri, the Odinani museum, Nri and the Igbo Ukwu museum Igbo Ukwu, Anambra State, and made some surprising discoveries. We found a disused cave-shrine at the highest hill-top in a village located high above the territory of Ugwuele, in Ngodo town (plate 15).b The shrine which is called Isiume (first breath) is the place where a Goddess or rather the Mother/Father God, known to the natives as Nnem Chukwu (My Supreme Mother God) was worshipped in the days of yore! Her name and the name of the cave speak volumes. Isi-Ume (First Breath) implies, by its name, that this cave was the place where man took his first breath. The first breath, like the first experience of sleeping and of eating recorded in the mythical period immediately following the era of non-time, seems to have taken place after the Fall from god-nature and from God’s presence. This cave, in which stalactites and stalagmites have long joined and started decaying, seems to have been used at a very early period in earth’s history and deserves archaeological attention. Its location on the highest tip of the hill brings to mind the god of the Canaanites called the Most high, or El, Elyon or Elu-yah.
El Elyon was the god of Melchizedek, the prehistoric priest-king of Jerusalem, who performed the first Eucharistic (Bread and Wine) ritual in the Bible. The Canaanite word El, also spelt as Elu means ‘High’. The tie in sound and meaning with Igbo word Elu ‘high’, suggests that the worship of a god identified with the heights is a shared cultural feature of the Canaanites and the Igbo, not a coincidence. Perhaps Ugwu-ele (the Hill of Ele) takes its name from the early days of this religion, suggesting that the etymology of the word El and Elu in Canaanite and in Igbo must be sought in this place of Archuelian habitation. The Nag Hammadi speaks of the coming of the great angel of the “fourth eon” or the “fourth Luminary” of heaven who was sent to earth after the Fall to protect the children of Seth from the false gods of the earth. His name was Ele-leth. (On the Origin of the World, p. 219) He is linked by the symbolism of the number four to Nag Hammadi’s “fourth generation” of humanity “which is the most exalted, is kingless and perfect”, and by extension to the Igbo nation to whom the same number and elements of culture apply. Ele in Ugwu-ele was obviously a proper name, but, whose name it was, no one remembers. However, the fact that the word held a pride of place among the early and genealogical inhabitants of the area is attested to by the unforgettable title of the founder of the present author’s town – Okwara Ugwu-ele (First Son of Ugwu-ele). Okwara Ugwuele is the full name and title of the founder of Orlu town. It is said that the word Orlu is a misspelling of the word Ele and that Orlu people came from Okigwe, hence our pilgrimage to Ugwu-ele.
It is also relevant to mention that on our way to the cave, we passed Ugwuele and Ngodo village settlements. In Ngodo we found pre-historic, clay potsherds (as well as palm nuts) sticking out of walls of all the mud houses (old and new) in the village and scattered in farmlands (plate 16). This would indicate the presence of deep layers of ancient human habitation because one has to dig up to five or six feet in order to find earth with the right consistency for making walls. What this means is that Ngodo people built their old and new houses atop ancient habitations lying as deep as five to six feet below ground. Between the Ngodo village and the cave of Mother God Almighty, we found a stream flowing from a rock out-cropping (15a); beyond the stream, in an uninhabited area (reachable only on foot), we found a number of very dark, very heavy and smooth slag strewn along the path. Out of curiosity, and not knowing what they were, we picked them up and added them to our finds, only to discover similar objects among Anozie’s finds, labeled as “slag” (plate 16b) when we visited Igbo Ukwu Museum, Igbo Ukwu, Anambra State the very next day.
These finds lend credence to our conclusion that there has been an unbroken belt of human habitation in the Ugwuele area of Igbo land from the time of the Archeulian habitation recorded by archaeologist Joseph Anozie. Our own chance finds indicate that there has been in addition to the Archeulian Age, a Metal Age and a pottery Age. Incidentally the slag are located closer to the Isiume cave than the potsherds on a flat plain which seems to have been inhabited by worshippers of the goddess at a very early period, though all traces of habitation have been lost. The Orlu, Okigwe, Nsukka, Awka area termed Meso-Okigwe, is, according to historians, the seat of the evolution of the key factors of Igbo culture: yam culture, ancestor cult, nature deities (ala, anyanwu, and okonko), title systems, men’s secret societies, the Igbo calendar and a dense network of trade routes and markets. (Afigbo, Ibid., p. 571)
Historians agree that in most African Prehistoric societies, the earliest human habitation took place in the uplands and hill-tops. One of the main reasons for choosing hill-tops as reported by several historians was the fact that there were numerous wet-phases or flood periods when the earth was under water. In Okigwe this phase of human history is etched on the hills along the way to Ugwuele in the form of pre-historic indentations made by flood waters at exactly the same level on three separate hills – a tell-tale indication of a wet phase that may have lasted for tens if not hundreds of years – long enough to leave indentations that have lasted for millennia (plate 17a, b, c). If this was the same wet phase that involved the Father of Nations Noah (Nnaoha is Igbo term for ‘father of nations’), and we seriously suspect that it was, then those indentations show clearly that the Okigwe hills were not totally inundated by the Flood. The corollary to this is that the ACHEULIAN AGE PEOPLE AND CULTURE OF OKIGWE DID SURVIVE THE DELUGE! To say that serious archaeological work needs to be done in Okigwe area to determine the various phases of this unbroken belt of culture that was handed down and preserved by the Supreme God through a chosen people, a culture that attracted the competitive interest the gods of Egypt and Mesopotamia, is to overstate the obvious!!
Haki Kweli Shakur ” I in no way Subscribe or Cosign The Hebrew added or should say trying connect Israel or Hebrewism to Ancient Igbo People or Their Ancestors except in the matter that Igbo History Birthed the later in history Abrahamic Religious Doctrine Igbo people and Their Indigenous systems of Odinani /Afa and its Spiritual Sciences /Traditions/Spirituality is Older Then Hebrewism The Worship of The Great Mother Like Nnem Chukwu who also a dual God I.e. Feminine/Masculine But we know the Origin is Woman cause that’s what Nnem Chukwu means!!! Also We Know The Alusi and The Primary Deity is a Igbo Woman named Ala The Earth Mother This also proves That every Ancient Civilization First Spiritual Worship was The Great Mother this is Facts that can never be debunked even Those who believe in Abrahamic Religions if they took they time to research and trace the history back they would see it leads to The Woman aka Black Woman but most never will cause of their Patriarchal Ego and Beliefs The Igbo People’s and My Ancestors Worshipped the Great mother yes most Igbo have converted to Hebrewism but that’s do to Colonization something else most don’t research again The Odinani / Afa is The Original spiritual science of Igbo People The Igbo Indigenous History in This Essay are facts The Hebrew parts are only making a connection if you are a person who truly knows Igbo History and Their Ancestors of course their’s a Connection because Igbo provided knowledge wisdom and spiritual sciences that others have created they own out of it!!! All Praises due to The Great Mother! Ise !!!