The earliest evidence of human settlement in Nigeria dates from 9000 BC and by 2000 BC its inhabitants were cultivating crops and domestic animals. However, the first organized society was of the Nok people, from around 800 BC to AD 200. Traces of Nok influence are visible in Nigerian art today, particularly in areas such as Igbo, Ukwe, Esie and Benin City. By AD 1000, Nok had given way to the Kanem, thanks to the trans-Saharan trade route that ran from West Africa to the Mediterranean.
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