Ikom Monoliths Cross River State

Ikom Monoliths


Ikom is a town in Cross River State, southeast Nigeria, only 30 km from the border with Cameroon.

It is located at the Cross River, which runs from Cameroon to the west over more than 100 km, after which it makes a right turn to the south in the direction of the city of Calabar, where it empties in the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean).

About 40 km north of Ikom is the village of Alok. It is the center of the so-called Ikom Monoliths.

Most of these upright stones are situated in circles of various sizes. The stones are nicely dressed and smoothened.

These have heights varying from two to over five feet (0.6 to 1.8 meters), and widths of one to two feet, or so. The majority of the stones are of hard volcanic rock (basalt), but there are also a few of sandstone and limestone.


A special feature of these menhirs is their beautiful decoration. Most of the stones are carved with the shape of a stylized face on top, combined with a variety of geometric figures.

They usually show a high complexity of design. They are all different, and a lot of them are beautifully inscribed mostly with unknown symbols, which are often difficult to comprehend.

Inside the stone circles the carved heads face each other. Each circle contains up to ten stones, and there are a total of about thirty circles in the region. In total there are about 350 inscribed stones.

The faces are believed to represent gods, or those who rule on behalf of them, the kings. Both circles and isolated menhirs belong to the Megalithic Culture.