Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange Across Medieval Saharan Africa

  • through February 27, 2022
  • National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC.
This exhibition calls on what archeologists have termed "the archeological imagination, the act of recapturing the past through surviving traces, to present a critical rethinking of the medieval period. The exhibition presents rare and precious archeological fragments side by side, bringing new understanding to complete works of art from the period of medieval Africa, beginning with the spread of Islam in the eighth century CE and receding with the arrival of Europeans along the continent's Atlantic coast in the 15th century. During this era the Sahara became the center of a global network of exchange. As networks spread, so too did cultural practices, fostering the broad circulation of distinctive Saharan esthetic and intellectual traditions connected to Islam, revealed in the fragments excavated from archeological sites, now uninhabited, that were once vibrant communities. 
Catalan Atlas
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