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On the Trail of the Elephant ... and that of Abu Ballas The use of headrests in Africa, from prehistory to the present

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On the Trail of the Elephant ... and that of Abu Ballas

110,00 €

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By Claude-Henri Pirat

Published in English and French - bilingual edition
Hardcover, 24 x 30 cm
296 pages
Over 800 illustrations and maps

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The need for a pillow, a headrest or a neckrest is one of the most widely spread among humans, as is the need for a seat.

They may not be an exclusively African invention,  but the oldest known carved headrests nonetheless come from Africa, for the most part from the Egypt of the Pharaohs.

Their use is attested in prehistoric times in the Neolithic Sahara and several centuries ago in West, Central, and Southern Africa. It continued until the early 20th century in the savannah and the forested regions along the coasts of the Gulf of Guinea, in the Congo and Zambesin basins and until nowadays in the Horn of Africa, in the regions of the Omo Valley and the Jade Sea.

In this new work, the author, Claude-Henri Pirat, sets out to tell its history, spanning several millenia. He takes the opportunity to invite himself to the controversy regarding the links and relations between Ancient Egypt and Black Africa, a controversy that has been livening up the world of Egyptologists and historians of Africa for more than a century.

Furthermore, he sets about breaking down a few generally accepted ideas regarding the actual use of these magnificent objects.

The author illustrates his words with an exceptional selection of items from the finest public and private collections.

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