Something was definitely afoot around 1000 BC in central Nigeria. Highly advanced civilization appeared in the area that extends both north and south of the Benue River, through the western edge of the Jos Plateau, and almost to the Niger River. What is known about the civilization that was forming there comes mainly from terracotta sculptures found initially by accident in the context of surface mining for alluvial tin deposits. No written records have come to light. The Nok culture mysteriously vanished around 500 AD.