Sadigh Gallery: Ancient African Art

Ancient Art Blog

Sadigh Gallery: Ancient African Art

For enthusiasts of ancient artifacts, rare coins, and overall history, Sadigh Gallery can prove to be quite a haven.  The gallery-museum houses some of the most fascinating historical objects ever to be discovered. 

Over the years, Sadigh Gallery has come out with a series of blogs to educate readers about the rich and wondrous history of the countless civilizations of the world.  From art to philosophy to other areas of knowledge, there is literally an endless horizon of periods and ages from which people can learn from.

For today, Sadigh Gallery looks back at the earliest art forms in Africa.

It should come as no surprise that the cradle of civilization should have some of the oldest known art forms in history.  In Africa, historians have found that rock art as being the first form of art in the continent and the world. The oldest artworks recorded were in Namibia, more specifically the Apollo 11 caves.  These were dated to be around 24,000 to 27,000 years old.  However, most historical writers and experts agree that there may be rock art that goes back way before that date, to even 50,000 years, or earlier.

In the Sahara, rock art came much later – at 6,500 B.C.  Carvings that showed animals such as giraffes tell historians that many animals that once thrived in the area had left.  Through rock art, historians and students discover the lives and cultures of ancient African tribes and how inhabitants saw the world, both the physical and spiritual.

However, Sadigh Gallery laments that over time, a great percentage of ancient African rock art has been destroyed due to various factors such as national erosion, graffiti, and human progress.

After rock art, the next oldest art form that became a trend of the times in ancient Africa was sculpting.  The earliest known sculptures are the terracotta pottery heads from the Nok culture of Nigeria.  These sculptures have sbeen revealed to be completed around 500 B.C. all through 200 A.D.  For more than 2,500 years, these sculptures, made from grog and iron-rich clay, showcase ancient Africans mastery of abstract figural representation when it comes to their art.  Up until the 19th and 20th centuries, Africans continued the culture of creating terracotta sculptures.

In Kongo and Sierra Leone, stone sculptures were made, up until the 16th century.  This was also the time when Africans learned how to carve ivory in detail.

Sadigh Gallery in  New York specializes in the handling and selling of ancient art,  artifacts, and coins from all over the world.  It is a  family-owned business that provides affordable ancient antiquities with friendly, down-to-earth service. For  more reads on ancient art, click here.