Geography

Modern Nigeria has a population of 140 million and is situated on the Gulf of Guinea bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. There are 4,047 km of land borders, and 853 km of shoreline. It is bordered to the west by Benin (773 km), to the east by Cameroon (1,690 km), to the north by Niger (1,497 km) and by Chad to the north-east (84 km).

The Southern part of the country where a majority of the important villages are located has an equatorial climate. The capital, Lagos is one of the biggest cities in the world. The Central part of the country is made up of savannas and plateaus. It is in this area of the country that the highest point, Chappal Waddi mountain (2,419 m) is to be found. In the north, the climate is arid as it is in the Sahel, bordering the Sahara desert.

The country covers a surface area of one million square kilometers, more than one third of which is cultivated. The country possesses numerous natural resources (wood, tin, columbium, lead, zinc, oil, gas) and mining has been prosperous since the XIXth century.

A welcoming climate and a rhythm of regular monsoons seven months a year have always supplied water to the country and have also created vast migratory influxes of peoples fleeing the expanding Sahara desert in the northern regions of Africa. Thus Nigeria has always been a place of intermixing of cultures, influences and peoples.

The exploration ground for the Nok and Sokoto terracotta works in the north of the country extends from the frontier with Niger to the foot of the Jos plateau where water is in abundance and ore deposits are exploited intensely. The first terracotta works were found in the villages at the foot of this plateau: Nok, Bauchi, Jemaa, Wamba, Jos, Katsina, Sokoto... every village lending its name to a very particular terracotta style. Nok, Katsina and Sokoto, the three most famous excavation sites known up to now (these geographical references are used to classify the pieces presented on this site), constitute a true miraculous triangle for primitive archeology research. The discoveries were made somewhat by chance during the exploitation of tin mines where, among the excavation remblai, were found broken terracotta debris. For having noticed the incredible richness of this discovery a bit too late, humanity will have to pay a high price: the subterranean galleries of the mines have been definitively flooded as excavation has stopped for reasons of profitability... burying the art of a civilization, that only just has come back to the surface, under tons of water. Today, there are few archeological sites that remain to be searched, which explains the very small hopes of new important discoveries. The Nok art is undoubtedly condemned to remain secret, rare and exceptional.