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Today it is a thriving metropolis, with a population of about 350,000 people.During its heyday of the 12th–15th centuries CE, Ile-Ife experienced a fluorescence in bronze and iron arts.Nigeria Table of Contents Throughout Africa societies that had been predominantly rural for most of their history were experiencing a rapid and profound reorientation of their social and economic lives toward cities and urbanism.As ever greater numbers of people moved to a small number of rapidly expanding cities (or, as was often the case, a single main city), the fabric of life in both urban and rural areas changed in massive, often unforeseen ways.Cities are not only independent centers of concentrated human population and activity; they also exert a potent influence on the rural landscape.What is distinctive about the growth of cities in Nigeria is the length of its historical extension and the geographic pervasiveness of its coverage.During the medieval period, two earthen rampart walls were erected around the city center, making Ile-Ife what archaeologists call a fortified settlement.The royal center had a circumference of about 2.5 miles, and its inner-most wall encircles an area of some three square miles.

A few are opaque, in yellow, dark red or dark gray.In two areas, the Yoruba region in the southwest and the Hausa-Fulani and Kanuri areas of the north, there were numbers of cities with historical roots stretching back considerably before the advent of British colonizers, giving them distinctive physical and cultural identities.Moreover, in areas such as the Igbo region in the southeast, which had few urban centers before the colonial period and was not highly urbanized even at independence, there has been a massive growth of newer cities since the 1970s, so that these areas in 1990 were also highly urban.Beautiful naturalistic terracotta and copper alloy sculptures made during the early periods have been found at Ife; later sculptures are of the lost-wax brass technique known as Benin bronzes.The bronzes are thought to represent rulers, priests, and other notable people during the city's florescence as a regional power.

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