The Nok culture

The Nok were among the earliest iron-working cultures from western Africa, yet they are also known for their pottery.

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Nok Terracotta Bas-relief Sculpture

Not lot is recognized of the Nok society other than its steel works and terracotta sculptures, favor this bas-relief. 

Photograph by DeAgostini/Getty Images


The Nok culture was one of the earliest well-known societies of west Africa. It exist in contemporary Nigeria from about 500 B.C.E. Come 200 C.E. The Nok farmed crops and used stole tools. Historians and also archaeologists describe this culture as the Nok culture because artifacts were first discovered close to the modern-day Nigerian town of Nok. Nok culture is well-known for its unique terracotta sculptures and its early iron working.In Nigeria in 1943, a visitor came to excavator Bernard Fagg and also drew his fist to part unique-looking artifacts, which Fagg and also his colleagues eventually established belonged to a then-unknown society now known as the Nok. These artifacts are largely terracotta sculptures of human heads, human figures, and animals. One of the identifying characteristics of Nok sculptures is the triangular or oval-shaped eye on person faces. Person figures additionally often have fancy hair styles. Typically, people are portrayed seated, v their hand on your knees. Archaeologists have analyzed the clay used by Nok human being in their sculptures and discovered the all the clay most likely came indigenous the exact same source, arguing that a central authority regulated the supply. Nok sculptures have actually been found across an area over 78,000 square kilometers (30,116 square miles), suggesting these artists, although they got their clay indigenous a main source, were part of an expansive civilization.Another important characteristic that the Nok society is their use of iron technology. Over there is proof of iron functioning in the region dating back to at the very least the fourth century B.C.E., and also possibly even earlier. In the village of Taruga, Nigeria, excavators have discovered no fewer 보다 13 iron-smelting furnaces. Excavators have likewise discovered other iron artifacts from the Nok, prefer farming tools and also weapons. However, while the Nok absolutely had iron-smelting technology, they additionally used rock tools as well as metal, which argues that metal products were scarce and not widespread. The Nok are significant for being one of very couple of civilizations in the people that transitioned from stone tools right to iron devices without an initial learning how to make copper or bronze tools.The legacy of the Nok human being is challenging to determine as result of the an enig around your identity and also origins. Some think that the Nok’s artistry affected the beautiful metalwork that the Ife people, who later lived in the area the Nigeria. The Ife people (who lived approximately the 11th – 15th century C.E.) were well known for detailed and lifelike steel sculptures of person heads. However, that is tho unclear whether the Nok art and metal working affected later african societies choose the Ife. As well as what we deserve to learn from their terracotta artwork, many details that Nok culture, society, and social company remain unknown.

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Not much is known of the Nok society other than its steel works and terracotta sculptures, choose this bas-relief.