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ARTH304: African Art

Unit 2: The Maghreb: Northernmost Africa and the Sahara   This section studies prehistoric rock art in the Maghreb and briefly reviews the history of the region’s development and its present-day nomadic cultures. Arab culture has affected this region, particularly through the religious influence of Islam. After conquering the Phoenicians, the Romans infiltrated North Africa, and while substantial Roman architectural ruins remain, the Arabs used some of them to construct mosques. Subsequently, most mosque architecture reflects a syncretistic blend of Arab traditions and indigenous forms of building throughout Africa. Note that Muslims pray individually in an open, communal space, traditionally punctuated by a courtyard area and a minaret ascended by clergy to call the faithful to salah (daily prayers).

Unit 2 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 10 hours to complete:

☐    Subunit 2.1: 5 hours

☐    Subunit 2.2: 5 hours

Unit2 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - analyze prehistoric art in North Africa; - evaluate the impact of Roman and Phoenician culture in North Africa in the ancient world; and - discuss the living heritage of the Amizagh, or Berber, peoples.

2.1 Engraved and Painted Rock Art and Roman Ruins   - Reading: Wikipedia’s “Maghreb” Link: Wikipedia’s “Maghreb” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read this overview of the Maghreb. The page will take
you through the pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial period.
The art and architecture covered in this unit will span these
periods.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is released under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-Share-Alike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/). It is
attributed to Wikipedia, and the original version of this article
can be found [here](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maghreb).
  • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: “African Rock Art of the Northern Zone” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: “African Rock Art of the Northern Zone” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this description of the different styles of rock art in North Africa and examine the four accompanying images.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: András Zboray’s “History and Exploration of the Libyan Desert” Link: András Zboray’s “History and Exploration of the Libyan Desert” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this page for an overview of the history of the region and recent efforts to uncover rock carvings. After reading the history section, click on the links in the text to see many examples of the art found here.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, World Heritage Convention: “Tassili N’ajjer” Link: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, World Heritage Convention: “Tassili N’ajjer” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this overview of a World Heritage site in Algeria. Then, watch the video (under the “Video” tab at the top of the page) to see a brief introduction to the site and its rock paintings.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: LibyaRockArt.com The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

    Submit Materials

  • Reading: Holly and David Hayes’ Sacred Destinations: “Carthage”

    Link: Holly and David Hayes’ Sacred Destinations: “Carthage” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this article about Carthage.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, World Heritage Convention: “Archeological Site of Carthage” Link: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, World Heritage Convention: “Archeological Site of Carthage” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this site for an overview of the formerly great city of Carthage. Be sure to explore the accompanying images of the site.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, World Heritage Convention: “Timgad” Link: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, World Heritage Convention: “Timgad” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this overview of Timgad, Algeria, the site of an early Roman city in North Africa. Be sure to explore the accompanying images of the site.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, World Heritage Convention: “Kairouan” Link: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, World Heritage Convention: “Kairouan” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this site to explore the early Roman and Islamic presence in North Africa. Be sure to explore the images of the site’s archaeological ruins.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.2 Amazigh (Berber) Arts/North African Architecture   - Reading: University of Iowa, School of Art History’s Art and Life in Africa Project: “Peoples of Africa: Berber (Amazigh)” Link: University of Iowa, School of Art History’s Art and Life in Africa Project: “Peoples of Africa: Berber (Amazigh)” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this webpage for additional information on the
Berber people.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Salim George Khalaf’s Encyclopedia Phoeniciana: “The Amazigh (Berber)” Link: Salim George Khalaf’s Encyclopedia Phoeniciana: “The Amazigh (Berber)” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this webpage, which discusses the largest indigenous ethnic group in North Africa.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: Musee du Quai Branly: “Ideqqi: Art of Berber Women” Link: Musee du Quai Branly: “Ideqqi: Art of Berber Women” (Flash)

    Instructions: This page provides a detailed analysis of Berber pottery, discussing purpose, design, and symbolism. Pottery production was the responsibility of women in Berber communities. The accompanying 15-minute narration highlights this important contribution of women to Berber communities. Be sure to click on several images to take a closer look at the intricacies of these designs.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: Berber-Arts: “Antique Moroccan (Berber) Carpets” Link: Berber-Arts: “Antique Moroccan (Berber) Carpets” (HTML)

    Instructions: This site features carpets that were part of an exhibition on the art of Berber tribes. The site features the history of the carpets and also regional styles. You should recognize the variety of regional Berber carpet designs. You should also note connections between the carpet and pottery designs and where feminine symbols are incorporated in the carpets.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: New World Encyclopedia: “Ancient Ksour of Chinguetti, Ouadane, Oualata, and Tichit” Link: New World Encyclopedia: “Ancient Ksour of Chinguetti, Ouadane, Oualata, and Tichit” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this introduction to the indigenous North African architectural type, the ksar (plural ksour). Note also the unique form of the Chinguetti Mosque.
     
    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. It is attributed to New World Encyclopedia, and the original version can be found here.

  • Reading: The National Museum of African Art: “Art of Being Tuareg: Sahara Nomads in a Modern World” Link: The National Museum of African Art: “Art of Being Tuareg: Sahara Nomads in a Modern World” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the introductory page, and then click through images on the top bar to read the linked pages and explore the accompanying images. If you are interested in learning more, click the “Home” link to listen to the exhibit’s curator discuss these works.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Bradshaw Foundation: “The Tuareg of the Sahara: An Age Old Occupation” Link: The Bradshaw Foundation: “The Tuareg of the Sahara: An Age Old Occupation” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this overview of the contemporary Tuareg, a tribe within the larger Amazigh culture. Be sure to click through the photo links embedded in the text to see examples of the scripts and architectural façade patterning related to ancient rock symbols.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Timothy Tye’s World Heritage Sites: “M’zab Valley, Algeria” Link: Timothy Tye’s World Heritage Sites: “M’zab Valley, Algeria” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this webpage, which discusses the M’zab Valley and its inhabitants, the Berbers and other Islamicized indigenous groups. Architecture here is mud-based and includes many types of cultural symbolism. pictures. Be sure to explore the image of the famous mosque in the town of Ghardaia, which is characterized by its huge “organic” minaret.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. It is attributed to Timothy Tye, and the original version can be found here.