The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been sourced during the era of the British Empire, it documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world; the British Museum was established in 1753 based on the collections of the Irish physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. It first opened in Montagu House, on the site of the current building, its expansion over the following 250 years was a result of expanding British colonisation and has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the Natural History Museum in 1881. In 1973, the British Library Act 1972 detached the library department from the British Museum, but it continued to host the now separated British Library in the same Reading Room and building as the museum until 1997.
The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture and Sport, as with all national museums in the UK it charges no admission fee, except for loan exhibitions. Its ownership of some of its most famous objects originating in other countries is disputed and remains the subject of international controversy, most notably in the case of the Parthenon Marbles. Although today principally a museum of cultural art objects and antiquities, the British Museum was founded as a "universal museum", its foundations lie in the will of the Irish physician and naturalist Sir Hans Sloane, a London-based doctor and scientist from Ulster. During the course of his lifetime, after he married the widow of a wealthy Jamaican planter, Sloane gathered a large collection of curiosities and, not wishing to see his collection broken up after death, he bequeathed it to King George II, for the nation, for a sum of £20,000. At that time, Sloane's collection consisted of around 71,000 objects of all kinds including some 40,000 printed books, 7,000 manuscripts, extensive natural history specimens including 337 volumes of dried plants and drawings including those by Albrecht Dürer and antiquities from Sudan, Greece, the Ancient Near and Far East and the Americas.
On 7 June 1753, King George II gave his Royal Assent to the Act of Parliament which established the British Museum. The British Museum Act 1753 added two other libraries to the Sloane collection, namely the Cottonian Library, assembled by Sir Robert Cotton, dating back to Elizabethan times, the Harleian Library, the collection of the Earls of Oxford, they were joined in 1757 by the "Old Royal Library", now the Royal manuscripts, assembled by various British monarchs. Together these four "foundation collections" included many of the most treasured books now in the British Library including the Lindisfarne Gospels and the sole surviving manuscript of Beowulf; the British Museum was the first of a new kind of museum – national, belonging to neither church nor king open to the public and aiming to collect everything. Sloane's collection, while including a vast miscellany of objects, tended to reflect his scientific interests; the addition of the Cotton and Harley manuscripts introduced a literary and antiquarian element and meant that the British Museum now became both National Museum and library.
The body of trustees decided on a converted 17th-century mansion, Montagu House, as a location for the museum, which it bought from the Montagu family for £20,000. The trustees rejected Buckingham House, on the site now occupied by Buckingham Palace, on the grounds of cost and the unsuitability of its location. With the acquisition of Montagu House, the first exhibition galleries and reading room for scholars opened on 15 January 1759. At this time, the largest parts of collection were the library, which took up the majority of the rooms on the ground floor of Montagu House and the natural history objects, which took up an entire wing on the second state storey of the building. In 1763, the trustees of the British Museum, under the influence of Peter Collinson and William Watson, employed the former student of Carl Linnaeus, Daniel Solander to reclassify the natural history collection according to the Linnaean system, thereby making the Museum a public centre of learning accessible to the full range of European natural historians.
In 1823, King George IV gave the King's Library assembled by George III, Parliament gave the right to a copy of every book published in the country, thereby ensuring that the museum's library would expand indefinitely. During the few years after its foundation the British Museum received several further gifts, including the Thomason Collection of Civil War Tracts and David Garrick's library of 1,000 printed plays; the predominance of natural history and manuscripts began to lessen when in 1772 the museum acquired for £8,410 its first significant antiquities in Sir William Hamilton's "first" collection of Greek vases. From 1778, a display of objects from the South Seas brought back from the round-the-world voyages of Captain James Cook and the travels of other explorers fascinated visitors with a glimpse of unknown lands; the bequest of a collection of books, engraved gems, coins and drawings by Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode in 1800 did much to raise the museum's reputation. The museum's first notable addition towards its collection of antiquities, since its foundation, was by Sir William Hamilton, British Ambassador to Naples, who sold his collection of Greek and Roman artefacts to
Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Depending on the specific denomination of Christianity, practices may include baptism, prayer, confirmation, burial rites, marriage rites and the religious education of children. Most denominations hold regular group worship services. Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a Jewish Christian sect of Second Temple Judaism, it soon attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, to Ethiopia and some parts of Asia. Constantine the Great decriminalized it via the Edict of Milan; the First Council of Nicaea established a uniform set of beliefs across the Roman Empire.
By 380, the Roman Empire designated Christianity as the state religion. The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united full communion of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon over differences in Christology; the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism over the authority of the Pope. In 1521, Protestants split from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation over Papal primacy, the nature of salvation, other ecclesiological and theological disputes. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity was spread into the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, the rest of the world via missionary work and colonization. There are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, or 31.4% of the global population. Today, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy.
Christianity and Christian ethics have played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization around Europe during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the New Testament, the names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints" and "believers". Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as'The Way' coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD. While Christians worldwide share basic convcitions, there are differences of interpretations and opinions of the Bible and sacred traditions on which Christianity is based. Concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are known as creeds, they began as baptismal formulae and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith.
The Apostles' Creed is the most accepted statement of the articles of Christian faith. It is used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical churches of Western Christian tradition, including the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism and Western Rite Orthodoxy, it is used by Presbyterians and Congregationalists. This particular creed was developed between the 9th centuries, its central doctrines are those of God the Creator. Each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period; the creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Its main points include: Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Holy Spirit The death, descent into hell and ascension of Christ The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful; the Nicene Creed was formulated in response to Arianism, at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 and ratified as the universal creed of Christendom by the First Council of Ephesus in 431.
The Chalcedonian Definition, or Creed of Chalcedon, developed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, though rejected by the Oriental Orthodox churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two natures, unchangeably, inseparably": one divine and one human, that both natures, while perfect in themselves, are also united into one person. The Athanasian Creed, received in the Western Church as having the same status as the Nicene and Chalcedonian, says: "We worship one God in Trinity, Trinity in Unity. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith while agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. Most Baptists do not use creeds "in that they have not sought to establish binding
A metalsmith or smith is a craftsman fashioning useful items out of various metals. Smithing is one of the oldest metalworking occupations. Shaping metal with a hammer is the archetypical component of smithing; the hammering is done while the metal is hot, having been heated in a forge. Smithing can involve the other aspects of metalworking, such as refining metals from their ores, casting it into shapes, filing to shape and size; the prevalence of metalworking in the culture of recent centuries has led Smith and its equivalents in various languages to be a common occupational surname. As a suffix, -smith connotes a meaning of a specialized craftsman—for example and tunesmith are nouns synonymous with writer or songwriter, respectively. In pre-industrialized times, smiths held high or special social standing since they supplied the metal tools needed for farming and warfare. A metalsmith is one who works with or has the knowledge and the capacity of working with "all" metals. Types of smiths include: A blacksmith works with iron and steel A bladesmith forges knives and other blades A brownsmith works with brass and copper A coinsmith works with coins and currency A coppersmith works with copper A goldsmith works with gold A glasssmith works with glass A gunsmith builds and repairs firearms A locksmith works with locks A silversmith, or brightsmith, works with silver A swordsmith is a bladesmith who forges only swords A tinsmith, tinner, or tinker works with light metal and can refer to someone who deals in tinware A weapon-smith forges weapons like axes, spears and other weapons A whitesmith works with white metal and can refer to someone who polishes or finishes the metal rather than forging it The ancient traditional tool of the smith is a forge or smithy, a furnace designed to allow compressed air to superheat the inside, allowing for efficient melting and annealing of metals.
Today, this tool is still used by blacksmiths as it was traditionally. The term, metalsmith refers to artisans and craftpersons who practice their craft in many different metals, including gold and silver. Jewelers refer to their craft as metalsmithing, many universities offer degree programs in metalsmithing, jewelry and blacksmithing under the auspices of their fine arts programs. Machinists are metalsmiths who produce high-precision tools; the most advanced of these tools, CNC machines, are computer controlled and automated
Radiocarbon dating is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon, a radioactive isotope of carbon. The method was developed in the late 1940s by Willard Libby, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1960, it is based on the fact that radiocarbon is being created in the atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with atmospheric nitrogen. The resulting 14C combines with atmospheric oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide, incorporated into plants by photosynthesis; when the animal or plant dies, it stops exchanging carbon with its environment, from that point onwards the amount of 14C it contains begins to decrease as the 14C undergoes radioactive decay. Measuring the amount of 14C in a sample from a dead plant or animal such as a piece of wood or a fragment of bone provides information that can be used to calculate when the animal or plant died; the older a sample is, the less 14C there is to be detected, because the half-life of 14C is about 5,730 years, the oldest dates that can be reliably measured by this process date to around 50,000 years ago, although special preparation methods permit accurate analysis of older samples.
Research has been ongoing since the 1960s to determine what the proportion of 14C in the atmosphere has been over the past fifty thousand years. The resulting data, in the form of a calibration curve, is now used to convert a given measurement of radiocarbon in a sample into an estimate of the sample's calendar age. Other corrections must be made to account for the proportion of 14C in different types of organisms, the varying levels of 14C throughout the biosphere. Additional complications come from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, from the above-ground nuclear tests done in the 1950s and 1960s; because the time it takes to convert biological materials to fossil fuels is longer than the time it takes for its 14C to decay below detectable levels, fossil fuels contain no 14C, as a result there was a noticeable drop in the proportion of 14C in the atmosphere beginning in the late 19th century. Conversely, nuclear testing increased the amount of 14C in the atmosphere, which attained a maximum in about 1965 of twice what it had been before the testing began.
Measurement of radiocarbon was done by beta-counting devices, which counted the amount of beta radiation emitted by decaying 14C atoms in a sample. More accelerator mass spectrometry has become the method of choice; the development of radiocarbon dating has had a profound impact on archaeology. In addition to permitting more accurate dating within archaeological sites than previous methods, it allows comparison of dates of events across great distances. Histories of archaeology refer to its impact as the "radiocarbon revolution". Radiocarbon dating has allowed key transitions in prehistory to be dated, such as the end of the last ice age, the beginning of the Neolithic and Bronze Age in different regions. In 1939, Martin Kamen and Samuel Ruben of the Radiation Laboratory at Berkeley began experiments to determine if any of the elements common in organic matter had isotopes with half-lives long enough to be of value in biomedical research, they synthesized 14C using the laboratory's cyclotron accelerator and soon discovered that the atom's half-life was far longer than had been thought.
This was followed by a prediction by Serge A. Korff employed at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, that the interaction of thermal neutrons with 14N in the upper atmosphere would create 14C, it had been thought that 14C would be more to be created by deuterons interacting with 13C. At some time during World War II, Willard Libby, at Berkeley, learned of Korff's research and conceived the idea that it might be possible to use radiocarbon for dating. In 1945, Libby moved to the University of Chicago, he published a paper in 1946 in which he proposed that the carbon in living matter might include 14C as well as non-radioactive carbon. Libby and several collaborators proceeded to experiment with methane collected from sewage works in Baltimore, after isotopically enriching their samples they were able to demonstrate that they contained 14C. By contrast, methane created from petroleum showed no radiocarbon activity because of its age; the results were summarized in a paper in Science in 1947, in which the authors commented that their results implied it would be possible to date materials containing carbon of organic origin.
Libby and James Arnold proceeded to test the radiocarbon dating theory by analyzing samples with known ages. For example, two samples taken from the tombs of two Egyptian kings and Sneferu, independently dated to 2625 BC plus or minus 75 years, were dated by radiocarbon measurement to an average of 2800 BC plus or minus 250 years; these results were published in Science in 1949. Within 11 years of their announcement, more than 20 radiocarbon dating laboratories had been set up worldwide. In 1960, Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this work. In nature, carbon exists as two stable, nonradioactive isotopes: carbon-12, carbon-13, a radioactive isotope, carbon-14 known as "radiocarbon"; the half-life
Pottery is the process of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include earthenware and porcelain; the place where such wares are made by a potter is called a pottery. The definition of pottery used by the American Society for Testing and Materials, is "all fired ceramic wares that contain clay when formed, except technical and refractory products." In archaeology of ancient and prehistoric periods, "pottery" means vessels only, figures etc. of the same material are called "terracottas". Clay as a part of the materials used is required by some definitions of pottery, but this is dubious. Pottery is one of the oldest human inventions, originating before the Neolithic period, with ceramic objects like the Gravettian culture Venus of Dolní Věstonice figurine discovered in the Czech Republic dating back to 29,000–25,000 BC, pottery vessels that were discovered in Jiangxi, which date back to 18,000 BC.
Early Neolithic pottery artefacts have been found in places such as Jōmon Japan, the Russian Far East, Sub-Saharan Africa and South America. Pottery is made by forming a ceramic body into objects of a desired shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln and induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing the strength and solidity of the object's shape. Much pottery is purely utilitarian, but much can be regarded as ceramic art. A clay body can be decorated after firing. Clay-based pottery can divided in three main groups: earthenware and porcelain; these require more specific clay material, higher firing temperatures. All three are made for different purposes. All may be decorated by various techniques. In many examples the group a piece belongs to is visually apparent, but this is not always the case; the fritware of the Islamic world does not use clay, so technically falls outside these groups. Historic pottery of all these types is grouped as either "fine" wares expensive and well-made, following the aesthetic taste of the culture concerned, or alternatively "coarse", "popular" "folk" or "village" wares undecorated, or so, less well-made.
All the earliest forms of pottery were made from clays that were fired at low temperatures in pit-fires or in open bonfires. They were hand undecorated. Earthenware can be fired as low as 600°C, is fired below 1200°C; because unglazed biscuit earthenware is porous, it has limited utility for the storage of liquids, eating off. However, earthenware has a continuous history from the Neolithic period to today, it can be made from a wide variety of clays, some of which fire to a buff, brown or black colour, with iron in the constituent minerals resulting in a reddish-brown. Reddish coloured varieties are called terracotta when unglazed or used for sculpture; the development of ceramic glaze which makes it impermeable makes it a popular and practical form of pottery. The addition of decoration has evolved throughout its history. Stoneware is pottery, fired in a kiln at a high temperature, from about 1,100°C to 1,200°C, is stronger and non-porous to liquids; the Chinese, who developed stoneware early on, classify this together with porcelain as high-fired wares.
In contrast, stoneware could only be produced in Europe from the late Middle Ages, as European kilns were less efficient, the right sorts of clay less common. It remained a speciality of Germany until the Renaissance. Stoneware is tough and practical, much of it has always been utilitarian, for the kitchen or storage rather than the table, but "fine" stoneware has been important in China and the West, continues to be made. Many utilitarian types have come to be appreciated as art. Porcelain is made by heating materials including kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between 1,200 and 1,400 °C; this is higher than used for the other types, achieving these temperatures was a long struggle, as well as realizing what materials were needed. The toughness and translucence of porcelain, relative to other types of pottery, arises from vitrification and the formation of the mineral mullite within the body at these high temperatures. Although porcelain was first made in China, the Chinese traditionally do not recognise it as a distinct category, grouping it with stoneware as "high-fired" ware, opposed to "low-fired" earthenware.
This confuses the issue of. A degree of translucency and whiteness was achieved by the Tang Dynasty, considerable quantities were being exported; the modern level of whiteness was not reached until much in the 14th century. Porcelain was made in Korea and in Japan from the end of the 16th century, after suitable kaolin was located in those countries, it was not made outside East Asia until the 18th century. Before being shaped, clay must be prepared. Kneading helps to ensure an moisture content throughout the body. Air trapped within the clay body needs to be removed; this is called de-airing and can be accomplished either by a machine called a vacuum pug or manually by wedging. Wedging can help produce an moisture content. Once a clay body has been kneaded and de-aired or wedged, it is shaped by a variety of techniques. After it has been shaped, it is dried and fired. Greenware refers to unfired objects. At sufficient moisture content, bodies at this stage are in their most plastic form (as they are soft and mal
Bronze is an alloy consisting of copper with about 12–12.5% tin and with the addition of other metals and sometimes non-metals or metalloids such as arsenic, phosphorus or silicon. These additions produce a range of alloys that may be harder than copper alone, or have other useful properties, such as stiffness, ductility, or machinability; the archeological period in which bronze was the hardest metal in widespread use is known as the Bronze Age. The beginning of the Bronze Age in India and western Eurasia is conventionally dated to the mid-4th millennium BC, to the early 2nd millennium BC in China; the Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age starting from about 1300 BC and reaching most of Eurasia by about 500 BC, although bronze continued to be much more used than it is in modern times. Because historical pieces were made of brasses and bronzes with different compositions, modern museum and scholarly descriptions of older objects use the more inclusive term "copper alloy" instead. There are two basic theories as to the origin of the word.
Romance theoryThe Romance theory holds that the word bronze was borrowed from French bronze, itself borrowed from Italian bronzo "bell metal, brass" from either, bróntion, back-formation from Byzantine Greek brontēsíon from Brentḗsion ‘Brindisi’, reputed for its bronze. Proto-Slavic theoryThe Proto-Slavic theory reflects the philological issue that in the most of Slavonic languages word "bronza" corresponds to "war metal" while at the early stages of the Bronze working it was used exclusively for military purposes; the discovery of bronze enabled people to create metal objects which were harder and more durable than possible. Bronze tools, weapons and building materials such as decorative tiles were harder and more durable than their stone and copper predecessors. Bronze was made out of copper and arsenic, forming arsenic bronze, or from or artificially mixed ores of copper and arsenic, with the earliest artifacts so far known coming from the Iranian plateau in the 5th millennium BC, it was only that tin was used, becoming the major non-copper ingredient of bronze in the late 3rd millennium BC.
Tin bronze was superior to arsenic bronze in that the alloying process could be more controlled, the resulting alloy was stronger and easier to cast. Unlike arsenic, metallic tin and fumes from tin refining are not toxic; the earliest tin-alloy bronze dates to 4500 BC in a Vinča culture site in Pločnik. Other early examples date to the late 4th millennium BC in Egypt and some ancient sites in China and Mesopotamia. Ores of copper and the far rarer tin are not found together, so serious bronze work has always involved trade. Tin sources and trade in ancient times had a major influence on the development of cultures. In Europe, a major source of tin was the British deposits of ore in Cornwall, which were traded as far as Phoenicia in the eastern Mediterranean. In many parts of the world, large hoards of bronze artifacts are found, suggesting that bronze represented a store of value and an indicator of social status. In Europe, large hoards of bronze tools socketed axes, are found, which show no signs of wear.
With Chinese ritual bronzes, which are documented in the inscriptions they carry and from other sources, the case is clear. These were made in enormous quantities for elite burials, used by the living for ritual offerings. Though bronze is harder than wrought iron, with Vickers hardness of 60–258 vs. 30–80, the Bronze Age gave way to the Iron Age after a serious disruption of the tin trade: the population migrations of around 1200–1100 BC reduced the shipping of tin around the Mediterranean and from Britain, limiting supplies and raising prices. As the art of working in iron improved, iron improved in quality; as cultures advanced from hand-wrought iron to machine-forged iron, blacksmiths learned how to make steel. Steel holds a sharper edge longer. Bronze was still used during the Iron Age, has continued in use for many purposes to the modern day. There are many different bronze alloys, but modern bronze is 88% copper and 12% tin. Alpha bronze consists of the alpha solid solution of tin in copper.
Alpha bronze alloys of 4–5% tin are used to make coins, springs and blades. Historical "bronzes" are variable in composition, as most metalworkers used whatever scrap was on hand; the proportions of this mixture suggests. The Benin Bronzes are in fact brass, the Romanesque Baptismal font at St Bartholomew's Church, Liège is described as both bronze and brass. In the Bronze Age, two forms of bronze were used: "classic bronze", about 10% tin, was used in
Kingdom of Nri
The Kingdom of Nri was a medieval polity. The kingdom existed as a sphere of religious and political influence over a third of Igboland, was administered by a priest-king called an Eze Nri; the Eze Nri managed trade and diplomacy on behalf of the Nri people, a subgroup of the Igbo-speaking people, possessed divine authority in religious matters. The kingdom was a haven for all those, rejected in their communities and a place where slaves were set free from their bondage. Nri expanded not by force. Nri's royal founder, Eri, is said to be a'sky being' that came down to earth and established civilization. One of the better-known remnants of the Nri civilization is manifested in the igbo ukwu artifacts. Nri's culture permanently influenced the Northern and Western Igbo through religion and taboos; the kingdom appears to have passed its peak in the 18th century, encroached upon by the rise of the Benin and Igala kingdom, the Atlantic slave trade, but it appears to have maintained its authority well into the 16th century, remnants of the eze hierarchy persisted until the establishment of Colonial Nigeria in 1911 and represents one of the traditional states within modern Nigeria.
The Nri kingdom is a kingdom within the Igbo area of Nigeria. Nri and Aguleri, where the Umueri-Igbo creation myth originates, are in the territory of the Umu-Eri clan, who trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king-figure, Eri. Eri's origin is unclear, though he has been described either as an Igala warrior or a "sky being" sent by Chukwu, he is credited with first giving societal order to the people of Anambra. Nri history may be divided into six main periods: the pre-Eri period, the Eri period and unification, the heyday of Nri influence and collapse and the Socio-culture Revival. Author Onwuejeogwu suggested that Nri influence in Igboland may go back as far as the 9th century, royal burials have been unearthed dating to at least the 10th century. According to other authors, the god-like founder of Nri, is believed to have settled the region around the 1500s; the first eze Nri, Ìfikuánim, follows directly after him. According to Angulu, oral tradition suggests an accession of Eri in 1043.
Chambers laces Ìfikuánim's reign at around 1225 CE. In 1911, the names of 19 eze Nri were recorded, but the list is not converted into chronological terms because of long interregnums between installations. Tradition held that at least seven years would pass upon the death of the eze Nri before a successor could be determined. Regardless of the actual date, this period marks the beginning of Nri kingship as a centralized institution. Colonization and expansion of the kingdom of Nri was achieved by sending mbùríchi, or converts, to other settlements. Allegiance to the eze Nri was obtained not through ritual oath. Religious authority was vested in the local king, ties were maintained by traveling mbùríchi. By the late 16th century, Nri influence extended well beyond the nuclear northern Igbo region to Igbo settlements on the west bank of the Niger and communities affected by the Benin Empire. There is strong evidence to indicate Igbo influence well beyond the Igbo region to Benin and Southern Igala areas like Idah before the arrival of the Nri.
At its height, the kingdom of Nri had influence in over a fourth of Igboland and beyond. Nri's influence in much of northwestern and western Igboland lasted from the reigns of the fourth eze Nri to that of the ninth. After that, patterns of conflict emerged that existed from the tenth to the fourteenth reigns, which reflected the monetary importance of the slave trade. Outside-world influence was not going to be halted by native religious doctrine in the face of the slave trade's economic opportunities. Nri influence declined after the start of the 18th century. Still, it survived in a much-reduced, weakened form until 1911. In 1911, British troops forced the reigning eze Nri to renounce the ritual power of the religion known as the ìkénga, ending the kingdom of Nri as a political power. Nearly all communities in Igboland were organized according to a title system. Igbo west of the Niger River and on its east bank developed kingship, governing states such as Aboh and Oguta, their title Obi from the Benin Empire's Oba The Igbo of Nri, on the other hand, developed a state system sustained by ritual power.
The Kingdom of Nri was a religio-polity, a sort of theocratic state, that developed in the central heartland of the Igbo region. The Nri had a taboo symbolic code with six types; these included human, object, behavioral and place taboos. The rules regarding these taboos were used to govern Nri's subjects; this meant that, while certain Igbo may have lived under different formal administration, all followers of the Igbo religion had to abide by the rules of the faith and obey its representative on earth. An important symbol among the Nri religion was the omu, a tender palm frond, used to sacralize and restrain, it was used as protection for safeguarding certain objects. The influence of these symbols and institutions extended well beyond Nri, this unique Igbo socio-politi