Rop rock shelter

The Rop rock shelter is an archaeological site on the Jos Plateau of Nigeria. There are two layers containing artifacts. The first holds large scrapers and backed crescent-shaped stone tools. The later (upper) layer is about 2000 years old, and contains backed microlithic tools and pottery.[1] The shelter is about 50km south of Jos.[2]

Rop rock shelter
location in Nigeria
LocationJos Plateau
Coordinates9°20′57″N 8°51′17″E
Site notes
Excavation dates1944
ArchaeologistsBernard Fagg

The site was excavated by Bernard Fagg in 1944. He discovered microliths, fragments of ground stone axes, two bored stones, one grooved stone, rubbed hematites and many potsherds.[3] The lower, undated layer held relatively crude implements, apart from the rough crescents. The later layer held higher-quality microliths, geometrical forms and small points, as well as pottery.[4] This later layer only covers part of the site.[5] A skeleton was also found in a shallow grave, dated to around 25 BCE From the teeth, it appeared that the owner had lived largely on a starchy, plant-based diet.[3] A single equid tooth was found with the same age based on its position in the stratum.[6][3]


  1. Barbara Ann Kipfer (2000). "Rop". Encyclopedic dictionary of archaeology. Springer. p. 484. ISBN 0-306-46158-7.
  2. J. Desmond Clark (ed.). The Cambridge history of Africa, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press. p. 421. ISBN 0-521-22215-X.
  3. Kit W. Wesler (1998). Historical archaeology in Nigeria. Africa World Press. p. 206. ISBN 0-86543-610-X.
  4. J. Desmond Clark (ed.). The Cambridge history of Africa, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press. p. 785. ISBN 0-521-22215-X.
  5. John Desmond Clark, Steven A. Brandt (1984). From hunters to farmers: the causes and consequences of food production in Africa. University of California Press. p. 153. ISBN 0-520-04574-2.
  6. Thurstan Shaw (1995). The Archaeology of Africa: Food, Metals and Towns. Routledge. p. 92. ISBN 0-415-11585-X.
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