Since their discovery in the mid-20th century, the terracottas of the Nok Culture in Central Nigeria, which represent the earliest large-scale sculptural tradition in Sub-Saharan Africa, have attracted attention well beyond specialist circles. Their cultural context, however, remained virtually unknown due to the lack of scientifically recorded, meaningful find conditions. Here we will describe an archaeological feature uncovered at the almost completely excavated Nok site of Pangwari, a settlement site located in the South of Kaduna State, which provided sufficient information to conclude that the terracotta sculptures had been deliberately destroyed and then deposited, emphasising the ritual aspect of early African figurative art.
Similar observations were made at various other sites we had examined previously. But the terracottas found at Pangwari not only augmented our insights into the advanced stylistic development of the Nok sculptures, they also exhibited scenes of daily life like a relief of a dugout boat with two paddlers, or remarkable details like a marine shell on the head of a human figure – details indicating trans-regional trade and long-distance contacts. Other finds from Pangwari deepen our knowledge of therianthropic creatures among the terracottas of the Nok Culture.
Presenting a large body of evidence for the first time, this book offers a comprehensive treatment of Nubian architecture, sculpture, and minor arts in the period between 300 BC-AD 250. It focuses primarily on the Nubian response to the traditional pharaonic, Hellenistic/Roman, Hellenizing, and “hybrid” elements of Ptolemaic and Roman Egyptian culture. The author begins with a history of Nubian art and a critical survey of the literature on Ptolemaic and Roman Egyptian art. Special chapters are then devoted to the discussion of the Egyptian-Greek interaction in the arts of Ptolemaic Egypt, the place of Egyptian Hellenistic and Hellenizing art within the oikumene, the pluralistic visual world of Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt, as well as on the specific genre of terracotta sculpture. Utilizing examples from Meroe City and Musawwarat es Sufra, the author argues that cultural transfer from Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt to Nubia resulted in an inward-focused adaptation. Therefore, the resulting Nubian art from this period expresses only those aspects of Egyptian and Greek art that are compatible with indigenous Nubian goals.
Until recently the Nigerian Nok Culture had primarily been known for its terracotta sculptures and the existence of iron metallurgy, providing some of the earliest evidence for artistic sculpting and iron working in sub-Saharan Africa. Research was resumed in 2005 to understand the Nok Culture phenomenon, employing a holistic approach in which the sculptures and iron metallurgy remain central, but which likewise covers other archaeological aspects including chronology, settlement patterns, economy, and the environment as key research themes. In the beginning of this endeavour the development of social complexity during the duration of the Nok Culture constituted a focal point. However, after nearly ten years of research and an abundance of new data the initial hypothesis can no longer be maintained. Rather than attributes of social complexity like signs of inequality, hierarchy, nucleation of settlement systems, communal and public monuments, or alternative African versions of complexity discussed in recent years, it has become apparent that the Nok Culture, no matter which concept is followed, developed complexity only in terms of ritual. Relevant information and arguments for the transition of the theoretical background are provided here.
still guided by a continuity of well-entrenched traditions. Terracottasculptures from eighth-century Buddhist architecture in eastern India depict women engaging in a whole range of activities such a...
Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage is an interdisciplinary reference work, giving wide coverage of the role of travel in medieval religious life. Dealing with the period 300-1500 A.D., it offers both basic data on as broad a range of European pilgrimage as possible and clearly written, self-contained introductions to the general questions of pilgrimage research. Also available online as part of
Brill's Medieval Reference Library Online (BRMLO) -
Despite widespread modern interest in medieval pilgrimage and related issues, no comprehensive work of this type exists and it will be of interest to scholars and students for personal and academic use. Local sites of pilgrimage are represented in this work as well as the main routes to Rome, Jerusalem and Santiago. Written and material sources relating to pilgrimage are used to illustrate aspects of medieval society, from brewing, book production and the trade in relics, to the development of the towns, art, architecture and literature which pilgrimage engendered. The Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage will serve as the main starting point for any serious study of this phenomenon.
The Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage is published in English in one illustrated volume of 550,000 words in 435 signed entries, and is compiled and written by over 180 contributors from Europe and North America. Entries are present alphabetically under headwords, with cross-references, maps, black-and-white illustrations, an editorial introduction and lists of theme and keywords.
-Picron: The Art of Eastern India in the Collection of the Museum für Indische Kunst, Berlin. Stone and TerracottaSculptures. [Monographien zur Indischen Archäologie Kunst und Philologie Band 12]. Berlin 1998, plate 189 etc. [review: WZKS in press]; earlier, Bautze-Picron had drawn attention to similar
religion of the god Mithras. Many other religious buildings dedicated to Greek, Syrian, Mes- opotamian, and Roman deities surfaced, as did numerous cult reliefs, paintings, papyri, parchments, coins, well-preserved military equipment, stone and terracottasculptures, and items of everyday use. Conferences
, Meso- potamian, and Roman deities surfaced, as did numerous cult reliefs, paint- ings, papyri, parchments, coins, well-preserved military equipment, stone and terracottasculptures, and items of everyday use. Passion in Venice: The Man of Sorrows from Crivelli to Tintoretto and Veronese 11 February–12
, Syrian, Mesopota- mian, and Roman deities surfaced, as did numerous cult reliefs, paintings, papyri, parchments, coins, well-preserved military equipment, stone and terracottasculptures, and items of everyday use. Holy Image, Sacred Presence: Russian Icons 1500–1900 12 March–5 June 2011, Chazen Museum