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Ancient Art from Africa
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Ram Vessel

Photo: Peter Herrmann

Thermoluminescence - Expertise


Ram - Vessel

Owo-Culture, Nigeria
around 1700
h 24 cm | l 38 cm

Edited in the net since february 2018
Ram - Vessel:
more translation soon

Owo has the largest palace (Aghofen) in Africa which was declared a national monument by the federal government. The Olowo Palace had as many as 100 courtyards (Ugha). Each courtyard had a specific function and was dedicated to a particular deity. The largest, said to have been twice the size of an American football field, was used for public assemblies and festivals. Some courtyards were paved with quartz pebbles or broken pottery. Pillars supporting the veranda roofs were carved with statues of the king mounted on a horse or shown with his senior wife. The present Olowo is Oba Folagbade Olateru Olagbegi III.

The Owo site was first excavated in 1969–1971 by Ekpo Eyo under the auspices of the Department of Antiquities of the Government of Nigeria. Due to Owo's location between the two famous art centers of Ife and Benin, the site reflects both artistic traditions. Important discoveries include terracotta sculptures dating from the 15th century. The Owo Museum, founded in 1968, houses many of these artifacts.

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Objects of Comparison:   Illustration
British Museum, London  
William B. FAGG: Bildwerke aus Nigeria, München 1963, S. 75.
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W./ B. FORMAN, Philip DARK: Die Kunst von Benin, Prag 1960, Abb. 87.
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The National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria  
Barbara PLANKENSTEINER (Hg.): Benin. Könige und Rituale. Höfische Kunst aus Nigeria, Wien 2007, S. 433.