Akwasnshi/Atal as the monolith is called among the Ejagham people of the Cross River State is distributed among over" thirty communities. In each community, the stones are found in circles, sometimes perfect circles, facing each other standing erect, except where they have been tampered with by weather or man.
In some cases, the stones are found in the center of the village or in the central meeting place of the village elders, as in the case of Alok and Agba communities. In Etinan and Nabrokpa communities, the stones are located in an area of uncultivated forest outside the villages. The majority of the stones are carved in hard, medium-textured basaltic rock, a few are carved in sandstone and shelly limestone. The common features of the monoliths are that they are hewn standing upright ranging from about three feet (c. 90 cm) in height to about five and half feet (1.7 meters) and are decorated with carvings of geometric and stylized human features, notably two eyes, an open mouth, a head crowned with rings, a stylized pointed beard, an elaborately marked navel, two decorative hands with five fingers, a nose, various shape of facial marks.
The stone monoliths of Alok Ikom bear a form of writing and a complex system of codified information. According to research done by Professor Catherine Acholonu, the Ikom monoliths and those of the Cross River State are linked to the ancient city of Tilmun (also Dilmun), described in Sumerian texts as the "dwelling of gods where sun rose". Always according to Acholonu, the inscriptions found on the monoliths look like an ancient orthography of the type used in the civilization of Tilmun, dating back as far as 11,000 BCE (1). The inscriptions on the monoliths helped Acholonu to position the areas where the monoliths were found as the land of the gods or the land of the living famous seaport in antiquity. This land supplied the ancient world with gold, copper, iron, palm produce, etc. (2, 3).
In this gallery we present the very first stone rubbings ever attempted on the Ikom monoliths. We invite viewers to give their thoughts and impressions of what they see in these images.
2. Adekoya A (2005). Ikom monoliths to change status of Cross River tourism for development.
3. Esu B.B. and Ukata S. (2012) - Enhancing the tourism value of Cross River state monoliths and stone circles through geo-mapping and ethnographic study (part 1) DOWNLOAD
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