People lived in what is now Nigeria thousands of years ago. In parts of Nigeria, archaeologists have found stone tools that are 40,000 years old. Human skeletons, rock paintings, and other remains of prehistoric settlements have also been found.
Early Nigerian history relates to the period of history in Nigeria prior to the Common Era. Recent archaeological research has shown that people were already living in Nigeria (specifically the Iwo-Eleru) as early as 9000 BC and perhaps earlier at Ugwuelle-Uturu (Okigwe) in south-eastern Nigeria.
Microlithic and ceramic industries were developed by savanna pastoralists from at least the 4th millennium BC and were continued by subsequent agricultural communities. The Efik/Ibibio/Annang Efik, Ibibio, and Annang people of single ancestor of the coastal southeastern Nigeria are known to have lived in the area several thousands of years before Christ.
As a matter of fact, concerning the age of iron working in Nigeria, Basil Davidson indicated in his work Africa before the whites  that 'four charcoal fragments in the Nok strata were revealed to have dates between 3500, 2000, 900 B.C.and 200 A.D by carbon dating'. The author then continues by giving the following commentary by Bernard Fagg.
"The two first dates certainly come from more ancient sediments, while the 900 B.C. (around the time of the climate of Nakura becoming rainier) and 200 A.D. dates show the earliest and latest dates of the statuettes belonging to the Nok civilisation."
In this region of Chad, the recent "bovidien" an epoque during which iron was affirmed to having been in use, is considered to be from the 1st millennium B.C. Yet, P. Huard notes that "in the recent bovidien of Ennedi, in the style of Fada, which we consider to have occurred before iron working, gave the Bailloud core grid spears."
On the other hand, the Nubian group C (to whom the depiction of the spearman accompanied by his herd of cattle in the north-east portion of Ennedi belongs) started, according to Arkell, at the end of the 3rd millennium B.C. (between -2300 and -2150).
Nok was a West African civilization that flourished from about 700 B.C. until at least A.D. 200.