Archaeological Framework in the Reconstruction of Tiv Healing Ritual


  • Anthony Z. Apenda, PhD Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Benue State University, Makurdi
  • Terna Afella, PhD Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Benue State University, Makurdi


Archaeological studies of religion increasingly recognise religion as an
organising principle in social life. In Tiv land, religious ritual assemblages can
be interpreted according to the ways that archaeological studies
simultaneously create, display and constrain notions to religious ritual
activities. Archaeology of religion and ritual provides an understanding of Tiv
rituals by drawing on the field of archaeological theory and method to examine
the relationship between Tiv religion and ritual culture. This paper sought to
promote and raise awareness of archaeological interest in Tiv rituals. The
paper employed ethno- archaeological method which focuses on the
ethnographic study of living people. Since the purpose of archaeological
framework is to explore past societies and the development of human activities,
the paper sought to promote and raise awareness of archaeological interest in
Tiv rituals and to survey standing Tiv religious beliefs of archaeological interest
with special emphasis on rituals. The sources of data involved primary and
secondary sources. Data gathered was presented analytically. Findings revealed
that the ritual elements have been largely neglected by archaeology of Tiv
religious studies. The paper also showed that archaeological evidence are not
only well suited to examining the complex dynamics of Tiv religion and cultural
evolution; they are also means of empirically testing the effects of various
archaeological mechanisms of Tiv religious rituals. The paper recommended
the participation of archaeological survey not only for the development and
promotion of Tivculture and heritage, but also to encourage and promote
community involvement in the ritual aspect of archaeology.


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