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African art - Nok:

The Nok civilization was born around 600 BC to mysteriously die out following a famine or epidemic around 250 AD Agricultural tools and stone axes also appeared, confirming the notion of sedentary farmers living from the production of yam and palm oil. Slag furnaces subsequently confirmed that they also mastered the techniques of the forge. The first head was discovered in Tsauni in 1943 at eight meters depth. It was used as a scarecrow and was acquired by the director of the mine who introduced it to the young archaeologist Bernard Fagg, civil administrator. One hundred and fifty terracotta, from the valley north of the confluence of Benue and the Niger River, were collected in 1952 for the inauguration of the Museum of Jos. Some argue the possibility of a descent from Egypt, which could explain the high quality of their terracotta.


Nok head in terracotta
African art > African Terracotta > Nok Head

This Nok head is accompanied by its thermoluminescence test carried out in 1996 by the German laboratory Ralf Kotalla (TL 961155), which confirms a seniority of more or less 2,200 years. Estimated in the auction room between 2,000 and 2,500 euros, this African terracotta comes from the Guy Mercier collection, consultant for the Solvay group, and passed down from generation to generation. At the beginning of the 20th century, Guy Mercier began to collect a vast collection of African tribal art. While radiating in West and Central Africa as part of his work, and collecting in-situ works, the majority of his collection nevertheless comes from \


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