Olanrewaju Blessing Lasisi
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationWilliam and Mary, College of
Grant numberGr. 9910
Approve DateOctober 24, 2019
Project TitleLasisi, Olanrewaju (William and Mary, College of) "Landscapes of Valor: Investigating Power and Social Space of a pre-Atlantic aged kingdom in the shaping of the Global commerce, AD 1300-1900"
OLANREWAJU ALASISI, then a graduate student at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, was awarded a grant in October 2019 to aid research on “Landscapes of Valor: Investigating Power and Social Space of a pre-Atlantic aged kingdom in the shaping of the Global commerce, AD 1300-1900,” supervised by Dr. Neil Norman. This research was carried out in the ancient palace of Ijebu-Ode, the capital of Ijebu kingdom. The grantee excavated fifteen units at the King’s quarters, Queen’s quarters, background forest, and Palace courtyards. These series of excavations yielded diverse range of artifacts of royalty including, beads, bronze bell anklets, knife blades, etc. Of great importance is the discovery of the first evidence of ceramic pavement in Ijebu kingdom. Two pavements were found at the palace complex; one is a carved pavement that is an effigy of a local deity, the other is a geometric pavement with astronomical alignments which might have been used as a sundial in ancient times. Overall, my research showed how the spatial layout within the palace complex is a reflection of the spatial layout of the Ijebu kingdom itself. The King’s palace complex was designed to reflect cosmic worldviews by paying attention to astronomy, and symbolically placing gardens, ritual spaces etc. in specific cardinal points on the landscape. The entire city on the other hand also follow suit with surrounding towns deliberately designed spirally around the capital while paying homage to the palace complex during the time of the year when the sun is just beginning its movement on the horizon. This research showed that behind the organization of a landscape of valor lies a well-designed and integrated architecture, ritual/religion, astronomy, politics, governance, and commerce, all of which functioned as a system.