Look into the eyes of a rare ancient African sculpture

If they exist at all, most unglazed clay objects from ancient times are now rubble, mere fragments of their former glory.

This terracotta head, at around 2000 years old, is a rare exception. Excavated from a village in Nigeria, this is one of the best-preserved examples of its kind ever discovered. It is a product of the Nok culture that flourished from about 1000 BC to AD 500, when it mysteriously died out, and provides examples of the earliest figurative art in sub-Saharan Africa.

Archaeologists Peter Breunig and Nicole Rupp of the Goethe-University Frankfurt in Germany uncovered the head during the 2010 field season. It was found in Kushe, a small village about 150 kilometres north of the capital Abuja. Amazingly, this specimen was very close to the surface — only 60 centimetres down — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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