Ancient African Art of the Sub-Saharan World Research Paper

Ancient African Art of the Sub-Saharan World
An analysis of ancient sub-Saharan African art from pre-history until 12th century CE.
# 117015 | 2,091 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Nov 08, 2009 in Art (History) , History (African)

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This paper discusses how the culture and history of sub-Saharan Africa is rich and deep, with ties in countless other civilizations, throughout time. In particular, the paper looks at how ancient sub-Saharan African art was highly influential on the art of the world, especially the surrounding areas including Europe and Northern Africa, which was mainly colonized by European empires throughout it's history. It also looks at how the profound effect of both ancient and modern African art is visible in many ancient art movements, and many current ones. The paper also compares the art of the different cultures such as Nok, Yoruba, Ife and Mali.

From the Paper:

"As previously mentioned, evidence of ancient African art has been dated back to as far as eight thousand BCE, which is just under five thousand years before the unification of the Upper and Lower ancient Egyptian civilization. The first Saharan cave paintings were made in a prosperous time for the climate of Africa; the paintings depict the Sahara as a grassy plain, with plentiful amounts of wild game. The culture of this time period was that of a hunting style, with small villages that focused on wild game as its main source of food. The way of life continued basically uninterrupted until the climate began to change around four thousand BCE. Quickly becoming more arid, the Sahara began to dry, and grassy plains of the past were becoming what we now associate with the Sahara; that of a dry, uninhabitable climate. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Wenig, Steffen. Africa in Antiquity The Arts of Ancient Nubia & the Sudan-The Essays. New York: Brooklyn Museum Bookshop, 1978.
  • Helen, Gardner. Gardner's art through the ages. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College, 1996.
  • Phaidon, Editors Of. 30,000 Years of Art. New York: Phaidon P Inc., 2007.
  • Garlake, Peter S. Early art and architecture of Africa. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002.
  • Vison, Monica Blackmun. History of art in Africa. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall, 2007.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Ancient African Art of the Sub-Saharan World (2009, November 08) Retrieved April 01, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Ancient African Art of the Sub-Saharan World" 08 November 2009. Web. 01 April. 2023. <>