Nigeria has a long and complex history that dates back to prehistoric times. The earliest known human settlements in the area now known as Nigeria were around 9000 BC. The area was later settled by various ethnic groups, including the Nok culture, which is known for its advanced ironworking technology.
During the 15th and 16th centuries, the region was colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch, and British. The British established control over Nigeria in 1861 and it became a British colony in 1914. Nigeria gained independence from British rule in 1960.