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Abbevillian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Abbevillean, Chellean, Abbeville
CATEGORY: chronology; culture
DEFINITION: The name for the period of the earliest handax industries of Europe, taken from Abbeville, the type site near the mouth of the River Somme in northern France. The site is a gravel pit in which crudely chipped oval or pear-shaped handaxes were discovered, probably dating to the Mindel Glaciation. This was one of the key places which showed that man was of great antiquity. Starting in 1836, Boucher de Perthes excavated the pits and the significance of these discoveries was recognized around 1859. These pits became one of the richest sources of Palaeolithic tools in Europe. In 1939, Abbé Breuil proposed the name Abbevillian for both the handax and the industry, which preceded the Acheulian in Europe.
Abkan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stone industry of southern Nubia that was probably the work of indigenous peoples who were ancestral to the Nubian A Group. These peoples maintained trade contact with southerly regions of the Nile Valley during the 4th millennium BC.
Achaeans
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Greek Achaios
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An ancient Greek people, described in Homer, who lived on the mainland and western isles of Greece, Crete, Rhodes, and other isles except the Cyclades. This coincides precisely with the Mycenaeans of the 14th-13th centuries BC. They have also been identified both with the Ahhiyawa, mentioned by the Hittites as a western neighbor and by Herodotus as descendants of earlier Achaeans, and with the Akawasha, described by the Egyptians as part of the Peoples of the Sea. Achaea was the ancient name for Greece. The Achaean League was a third century BC confederacy of 12 cities of the northern Peloponnese.
Acheulian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Acheulean, Acheulian industry
CATEGORY: chronology; culture
DEFINITION: A European culture of the Lower Palaeolithic period named for Saint-Acheul, a town in northern France, the site of numerous stone artifacts from the period. The conventional borderline between Abbevillian and Acheulian is marked by a technological innovation in the working of stone implements, the use of a flaking tool of soft material (wood, bone, antler) in place of a hammerstone. This culture is noted for its hefty multipurpose, pointed (or almond-shaped) hand axes, flat-edged cleaving tools, and other bifacial stone tools with multiple cutting edges. The Acheulian flourished in Africa, western Europe, and southern Asia from over a million years ago until less than 100,000 and is commonly associated with Homo erectus. This progressive tool industry was the first to use regular bifacial flaking. The term Epoque de St Acheul was introduced by Gabriel de Mortillet in 1872 and is still used occasionally, but after 1925 the idea of epochs began to be supplanted by that of cultures and traditions and it is in this sense that the term Acheulian is more often used today. The earliest assemblages are often rather similar to the Oldowan at such sites as Olduvai Gorge. Subsequent hand-ax assemblages are found over most of Africa, southern Asia and western and southern Europe. The earliest appearance of hand axes in Europe is still refereed to by some workers as Abbevillian, denoting a stage when hand axes were still made with crude, irregular devices. The type site, near Amiens in the Somme Valley contained large hand ax assemblages from around the time of the penultimate interglacial and the succeeding glacial period (Riss), perhaps some 200,000 to 300,000 years ago. Acheulian hand axes are still found around the time of the last interglacial period, and hand axes are common in one part of the succeeding Mousterian period (the Mousterian of Acheulian tradition) down to as recently as 40,000 years ago. Acheulian is also used to describe the period when this culture existed. In African terminology, the entire series of hand ax industries is called Acheulian, and the earlier phases of the African Acheulian equate with the Abbevillian of Europe.
Aeginetan marbles
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Archaic Greek sculpture discovered in the temple of Pallas-Athene at Aegina, an island in the Saronic group of Greece. They are in the Glyptothek at Munich, Germany. Aegina's period of glory was the 5th century BC, which left a legacy of sculpture.
Afanasievo culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Neolithic culture of the Yenisei valley of southern Siberia. The people, who were stock breeders and hunters, probably moved into the area in the late 3rd millennium BC. Excavations uncovered burials under kurgans (low mounds), surrounded by circular stone walls. There was stamped dentate pottery, stone, bone, and bronze tools, and some copper ornaments with the burials. The Afanasievo people were the first food-producers in the area, breeding cattle, horses, and sheep, but also practiced hunting. The Afanasievo were succeeded by the Andronovo culture in the mid-2nd millennium BC.
African Red Slip ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of red gloss pottery made in North Africa from the 3rd-6th centuries AD. They had stamped decoration and were widely distributed.
African food production
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Research into the beginnings of food production in Africa has shown that the intensive use of cereals and experimentation with crops began at a rather early date, maybe as far back as the 16th millennium BC in Upper Egypt and Nubia. The best-documented example is a Wadi Kubbaniya where there is evidence of the earliest instances of plant cultivation anywhere in the world, confirming that this was a native African achievement. Food production was generally not practiced in North Africa before about the 5th millennium BC. Most of the indigenous species such as finger and bulrush millet, sorghum, yams, African rice, teff, enset, and noog were brought under cultivation between the 4th and 2nd millennia BC. South of the Equator the advent of food production did not occur before the beginnings of the Iron Age.
Aharoni, Yohanan (1919-1976)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: An Israeli archaeologist who worked at Arad, Lachish, and Beersheba.
Ahrensburgian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Epipalaeolithic culture of the Late Glacial Period in northern Germany and the Low Countries, c. 8850-8300 BC. The small tanged points, pine arrow shafts, abundant reindeer bones, barbed harpoons, and antler adzes of Stellmoor characterize the culture.
Ai Khanum
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Hellenistic city, occupied between 400-100 BC, at the confluence of the Oxus and Koktcha in Afghanistan. The city comprises a citadel, acropolis, and lower town with an administrative center. The administrative center was an imposing complex of a courtyard with a peristyle. Nearby is a funerary chapel known from an inscription as the Temenos of Kineas. Kineas may have been the city's founder, shortly after Alexander the Great conquered the region in 329 BC. It may also have been Alexandria's Oxiana.
Ain Hanech
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Algeria which offers some of the earliest evidence of human occupation in northern Africa. Stone tools, including choppers and multi-faceted spheroids, dated to 1-1.5 million years ago. There is also mammal fauna of Villafranchian type associated with the tools.
Ajanta
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site of Buddhist rock-cut cave temples and monasteries in central India. The group of some 30 caves from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD are celebrated for their wall paintings depicting Buddhist legends and the Buddha's incarnations. There are two types of caves, caityas (sanctuaries) and viharas (monasteries).
Akkadian
CATEGORY: culture; language
DEFINITION: A Semitic-speaking dynasty founded by Sargon the Great (Sharrukin, 2334-2279 BC) c. 2370 BC with Akkad (or Agade), an unidentified site, as his capital. Under Sargon and his grandson, Naram-Sin, the dynasty established an empire that included much of Mesopotamia and neighboring Elam to the east. The dynasty saw three major developments: the beginning of the absorption of the Sumerians by the Semites, a trend from city-state to the larger territorial state, and imperial expansion. It is considered the first empire in history. Akkadian also refers to the Semitic dialects of Old Akkadian (3rd millennium) and Assyrian and Babylonian (2nd and 1st millennia). The Amarna Letters (diplomatic correspondence between Egypt and the Levant in the mid-14th century BC) are written in Babylonian, a late form of Akkadian. Akkadian was written in a cuneiform script borrowed from Sumerian and was the lingua franca of the civilized Near East for much of the 2nd millennium. It replaced Sumerian as the official language (though Sumerian was still used for religious purposes). Akkadian was gradually replaced by Aramaic.
Albani stone
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A pepper-colored stone used in ancient Roman buildings before the introduction of marble. The stone may have come from two volcanic craters which formed the modern Lake Albano, southeast of Rome.
Albany industry
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stone industry of southernmost Africa, dated between the 11th and 6th millennia BC. It precedes the appearance of backed-microlith Wilton industry and its assemblages, Boomplass and Robberg being the most notable, contain flake scrapers. Some archaeologists have grouped this industry under the name Oakhurst Complex as there are possible related and contemporary industries as far as southern Namibia and Zimbabwe. The appearance of the Albany industry coincides with the post-Pleistocene rise in sea level and there is evidence that marine food was increasingly exploited by the culture.
Aleutian Tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The later marine mammal-hunting culture of the Aleutian Islands, off southwest Alaska, that separates the Bering Sea from the Pacific Ocean, originating approximately 5000 BP.
Alexander the Great (356-323 BC)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Alexander the Great (Alexander III), king of Macedonia, began his career of conquest in 335 BC. He overthrew the Persian Empire and laid the foundation for the territorial kingdoms of the Hellenistic world. Born in Macedonia in 356 BC, he was the son of Philip II and Olympias. He was taught by the great philosopher Aristotle from the age of 13-16. Alexander took power in Macedonia and mainland Greece in 340 BC when Philip left to attack Byzantium. By 332 BC, his arrival in Egypt ended the Persian occupation and he had already conquered much of western Asia and the Levant before his arrival in Egypt. In Egypt, Alexander made sacrifices to the gods at Memphis and visited the oracle of Amun-Ra where he was recognized as the god's son, thus restoring the true pharaonic line. He founded the city of Alexandria and then left Egypt in 331 BC to continue his conquest of the Achaemenid empire. His empire stretched from India to Egypt. After his death from a fever in 323 BC, his kingdom quickly dissolved.
Alexandria
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Raqote
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The Greek city founded by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, capital of the Ptolemy dynasty, located on a narrow strip of land in the Nile Delta of Egypt. Alexandria was placed on the earlier Egyptian settlement of Raqote of which pre-Ptolemaic seawalls are the only archaeological traces. The great city soon replaced Memphis as the capital of Egypt and is famed for its lighthouse (Pharos, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, built by Sostratos of Knidos between 299-279 BC; destroyed in 1326 AD by an earthquake), the jetty of Heptastadion, the royal palaces; and the Museion, a library and institution of scientific and philological research. It was composed of quarters: Egyptian, Greek, Jewish, and Kings. The city became the center of trade and culture in the eastern Mediterranean. The Ptolemys ruled over Egypt until 30 BC.
Alexandrinum
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of mosaic used especially for Roman rooms, notably in the 9th century. It used tiny, geometrically shaped pieces of colored stone and glass paste that were arranged in intricate geometric patterns dotted with large disks of semiprecious stones. It often was of only two colors, red and black, on a white ground.
All Cannings Cross
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A n Early Iron Age site in Wiltshire, southern England. The settlement contained rectangular houses and evidence of iron smelting. Fine haematite-coated bowls with horizontal furows above the carinations have been found.
Altmühlian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A late Middle Palaeolithic industry of central Europe dating to the middle of the last glacial period. It is characterized by Blattspitzen, sidescrapers, and retouched blades.
American Anthropological Association
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: AAA
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A professional organization for anthropologists with a special division for archaeologists. The association publishes American Anthropologist and Anthropology Newsletter. The Archaeology Division publishes the monograph series Archaeological Papers of the AAA.
American Palaeo-Arctic Tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A tradition which includes several complexes and cultures dating to c 11,000-6500 bp in the Arctic and Subarctic. These complexes are characterized by microblades, bifaces, and burins. Denali Complex is an example.
American Society of Conservation Archaeologists
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ASCA
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A professional organization for archaeologists especially committed to the conservation of cultural resources.
Americanist archaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: Archaeology evolving in and practiced in close association with anthropology in the Americas.
Ampajango
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Catamarca Province, northwest Argentina, with a river terrace containing a complex of bifacial tools dating c 10,000 BC.
Amratian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Naqadah I
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Egyptian predynastic culture, centered in Upper Egypt and named for the site El Amrah (or al-'Amirah; c 4500-4000 BC) near Abydos. Numerous sites, dating to c 3600 BC, have been excavated. They reveal an animal husbandry and agricultural lifeway similar to the preceding Badarian culture. There are large cemeteries, like that at Naqada, which imply that the settlements were permanent and large. Many of the dead were buried crouched with rich grave goods. Flint was quarried for the variety of finely worked daggers, points, and tools. Copper came into use for beads, harpoons, and pins. There was trading with Ethiopia, the Red Sea, and Syria based on the finds. Several pottery wares, in a range of shapes, were made: black-topped red ware from the Badarian period onward and white cross-lined (red ware painted in white) added.
Amudian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amud
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture and industry close to the Sea of Galilee near Tiberias, Israel. There are several important caves, including Emireh, the type site of the Emiran, and Zuttiyeh, the type site of the Amudian. These demonstrate the early occurrence of Upper Palaeolithic blades and burins even earlier than the Mousterian and its flake tools. The Amud cave is Mousterian or Emiran and in 1961 the skeletal remains were found of two adults and two children estimated to have lived about 50,000-60,000 years ago (remains held in the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, Jerusalem). They consist of a skeleton of an adult male about 25 years old, a fragment of an adult jaw, and skull fragments of infants. The skeleton has an exceptionally large brain (1800 cc). The remains suggest that they are part of a group known as Near Eastern Neanderthal man. This group represents a mixture of West Asian features similar to those of fossils found in 1957 in Iraq that were estimated to date from about 46,000 years ago and those of the Upper Paleolithic people who lived in southwestern France and the Middle East from about 10,000 to 35,000 years ago. These findings provide more evidence that Neanderthal man was a highly varied species who lived in much of the Northern Hemisphere, except the New World. Amudian material has been recognized at the cave of et-Tabun (Mount Carmel) and at sites like Jabrud, Adlun, and the Abri Zumoffen in the Levant. It has been suggested that the Amudian may have been ancestral to subsequent Upper Palaeolithic industries of the Middle East, hence the name 'pre-Aurignacian' which has sometimes been given to industries of Amudian type.
Amurian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A variant of the Homo sapiens who inhabited Northeast Asia at the end of the Pleistocene. They may be the ancestors of the Native Americans. Present-day Ainu of Japan are a remnant of these people.
An
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: The supreme Sumerian god of life and fertility. An was later replaced by Enlil and Marduk, but was always considered the ultimate source of authority. Identified with the city of Warka, his Akkadian equivalent was Anu.
Anaeho'omalu
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on Hawaii dating to the 10th century AD as a fishing camp and later a settlement. It has one of the largest petroglyph fields in the Hawaiian Islands with over 9000 figures.
Ananino
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Iron Age culture of the mid-1st millennium BC in the Volga basin of Russia that had strong connections with the Scythians to the south.
Anapchi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A 7th-century palace site of the Silla Kingdom in Korea. Artifacts include dugout boats, Buddhist images, pottery and metal vessels, and inscribed wooden tablets.
Anasazi
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A major cultural tradition of canyon dwellers found in southwestern United States between 100-1600 AD - mainly in the four corners area of northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, southeastern Utah, and southwestern Colorado. These Native Americans began settlements with the cultivation of maize. Pottery was unknown at the beginning, but basketry was well developed, hence the name "Basket Maker" is given to these early stages. By the sixth century there were large villages of pit houses with farming and pottery and it evolved into the full Anasazi tradition. The first pueblos and kivas were constructed and fine painted pottery made. The next few centuries (the Pueblo I-III periods) were a time of expansion during which some of the most famous towns were founded (Chaco Canyon) and fine polychrome wares produced. At this time the Mogollon people to the south adopted the Anasazi way of life and their Hohokam neighbors were also influenced perhaps suggesting that the Anasazi actually migrated to these areas. In such an arid environment farming was always vulnerable to fluctuations in climate and rainfall and these factors caused considerable population movement and relocation of settlements during 11th-13th centuries with the virtual abandonment of Chaco Canyon in 1150 and the plateau heartland by 1300. From 1300 until the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century the Anasazi culture and population dwindled and the homeland in northern Arizona was abandoned. Then with the encroachment of nomadic Apache and Navajo tribes and with the arrival of Europeans from the south and east Anasazi territory decreased further. However some pueblos have continued to be occupied until the present day. The generally accepted chronological framework of three Basketmaker and five Pueblo stages was first proposed at the 1927 Pecos Conference. Although exact links are uncertain it is clear that modern Pueblo Indian people are descended from Anasazi ancestors. The name Anasazi is derived from a Navajo word meaning "enemy ancestors" or "early ancestors" or "old people.
Anat
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: A deity of Egypt introduced from Syria-Palestine. The cult of Anat is first attested in Egypt in the late Middle Kingdom (c 1800 BC).
Anatolia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A mountainous region of present-day Turkey, bounded by the Pontine mountains and Zagros mountains. There are a number of early sites dating c 7000 BC as the rainfall was adequate for dry farming. The area was also important for sources of obsidian, which was exploited from the Upper Palaeolithic onwards and was extensively traded in the Neolithic. The area was an important center in the Neolithic and Chalcolithic, with sites like Catal Huyuk and Can Hasan. It was less important in the Bronze Age but later became the homeland of the Hittite empire in the 2nd millennium BC.
Anau
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell site in the Kara Kum oasis of southern Turkestan, first excavated in the 1880s and again in 1904. Its name has been given to a Chalcolithic culture of the 5th and 4th millennium BC that parallels that of the sites of Sialk and Hissar (Hassuna) in Iran, especially with connections in pottery styles.. Characteristic finds include fine pottery with geometric painted decoration and simple copper tools. There was a farming subsistence economy and metal ores were probably imported from the south.
Anbangbang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large rock shelter of sandstone in North Australia dating to the Pleistocene. Occupation increased from 6000 bp.
Ancestral Pueblo
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: One of the major cultural traditions of the American Southwest during late prehistoric times, centered in the northern part on the high plateau of the Four Corners region
Ancón Yacht
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in the Ancón Valley on Peru's coast, just north of Lima. There is a high shell mound with deep stratified layers containing baskets, chipped leaf points, cultivated plants, shell fishhooks, string, twined cloth and baskets, and wooden tools. The site dates between 2500-2000 BC.
Andean Hunting-Collecting tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A tradition dating 6000-4000 BC, characterized by seasonal changing of residence and a trend toward specialization in certain regions of the Andes.
Andean chronology
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The chronological systems of the Central Andes area with two main stages, Preceramic and Ceramic. The Ceramic is broken down into: Initial Period, 1900-1200 BC, Early Horizon 1200-300 BC, Early Intermediate Period 300 BC-700 AD, Middle Horizon 700-100, Late Intermediate Period 1100-1438/1478, and Late Horizon 1438-1532. These horizon periods are times of widespread unity in cultural traits. Intermediate periods are times of cultural diversification.
Andenne ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A medieval glazed ware made around Andenne on the River Meuse. The potters produced ordinary unglazed wares as well as finer pitchers and bowls. The glazed wares were widely traded in Western Europe from the late 11th century to the 14th century.
Andersson, Johan Gunnar (1874-1960)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Swedish geologist who laid the foundation for the study of prehistoric China. In 1921, at a cave near Peking, he demonstrated the presence of prehistoric material in that country. He is remembered for his work on the Yang Shao Neolithic culture (dating between 5000-3000 BC) on the middle Yellow River and the Pan Shan cemeteries further west in Kansu. He also carried out the first excavations (1921-1926) at the Palaeolithic cave site at Choukoutien (Zhoukoudian). Andersson started Sweden's Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities.
Andrae, Walter (1875-1956)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A German scholar and archaeologist who excavated the major Mesopotamian city of Assur, capital of Assyria, between 1903-1914. His high-quality excavations exposed major buildings, including a series of temples of the Early Dynastic Period that pre-dated the Temple of Ishtar.
Andronovo culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture of southern Siberia, between the Don and Yenisei Rivers, dating to the 2nd millennium BC. The culture was relatively uniform in this large area and agriculture played a large role. Wheat and millet were cultivated and cattle, horses, and sheep bred. The metal-using culture (ores from the Altai), which succeeded the Afansievo, lived in settlements of up to ten large log cabin-like semisubterranean houses. Bowl- and flowerpot-shaped vessels were flat-bottomed, smoothed, and decorated with geometric patterns, triangles, rhombs, and meanders. Burial was in contracted position either in stone cists or enclosures with underground timber chambers. The wooden constructions in rich graves may have designated social differentiation. The Andronovo complex is related to the Timber-Grave (Russian Srubna) group in southern Russia and both are branches of the Indo-Iranian cultural block. The Andronovo were the ancestors of Karasuk nomads who later inhabited the Central Asiatic and Siberian steppes.
Anedjib (c 2925 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Adjib, Andjyeb, Enezib
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Ruler of the late 1st Dynasty who is thought to have been buried in Tomb X in Abydos, the smallest of the Early Dynastic royal tombs in the cemetery of Umm el Qa'ab.
Aneityum
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A volcanic island of Melanesia with more than 800 agricultural sites from 1000 years ago.
Ang-ang-hsi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A group of Neolithic sites in Manchuria which demonstrate strong connections with the Novopetrovka and Gromatukha cultures of the Middle Amur in eastern Siberia, especially in stone tool technology. Animal, fish and mollusk remains occur on the sites.
Anghelu Ruju
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Copper Age necropolis in Alghero, northwest Sardinia. It contained 36 rock-cut tombs, some very elaborate in plan and decorated with carved bulls' heads. The tombs were used for multiple burials and contained material of the Ozieri culture (copper and silver objects) as well as Ozieri and Beaker pottery.
Angkor
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Archaeological site in northwestern Cambodia which was the capital of the Khmer empire in Kampuchia and founded in c 9 AD (c 802). The name, from Sanskrit 'nagara', means "royal city, the capital". As the capital of the Khmer empire form the 9th-15th centuries its most imposing monuments are Angkor Wat a temple complex built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II (reigned 1113-c. 1150 AD) and Angkor Thom a temple complex built about 1200 by King Jayavarman VII (1181-c 1215 AD). These monuments were lost in jungle and rediscovered in the last century. In total there are more than 250 monuments built almost exclusively in sandstone. The Thais conquered Angkor in 1431 and it was abandoned.
Angkor Borei
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of the capital of the kingdom of Funan towards the end of the 6th century. The rich archaeological site is located south of Phnom Penh, near the Vietnam border, in Cambodia. It appears as Na-fu-na in Chinese writings and is identified with Naravaranagara. There are many stone statuary.
Angkor Thom
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a temple complex in the northwestern plain of Angkor built about 1200 by King Jayavarman VII (1181-c 1215 AD). In the Khmer language, the name means "the big capital" and it served intermittently as the capital of the Khmer empire from the 11th century onward. It is surrounded with walls and moats of 4-by-4 km and the temple-mountain Bayon is in the center.
Angkor Wat
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A huge stone stepped pyramid, the best-known monument of Angkor (Cambodia), the largest religious structure in the world. The three-storied construction is surrounded by a moat and surmounted by five vast towers which symbolized the five peaks of Mount Meru. It was built by Suryavarman II (1113-1150 AD) over a 25-year period as his own mausoleum (temple-mountain). The name in Khmer means "the capital (which has become a Buddhist) monastery". Angkor Wat is considered to be the highest expression of Khmer classic architecture and sculpture-relief.
Angles
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Germanic people from the Baltic coasts of Jutland (Schleswig, Denmark) who, with the Saxons, were the main settlers of Britain in the 5th century AD after the Roman withdrawal. There is evidence in the late 4th century AD of their pottery at a number of late Roman settlements in England. They crossed the North Sea to settle the eastern parts of England and the cultures mixed to become known hitherto as Anglo-Saxons. They gave their name to England, its people, and their language as well as to East Anglia.
Angles-sur-l'Anglin
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in west-central France of a rock shelter with Upper Palaeolithic art, the Rocaux Sourciers (Angles). The back wall has fine bas-relief carvings and there is a frieze of female figures dominating the shelter. Several animal carvings are found. Occupation dates to middle and late Magdalenian and the art is dated to c 11,000 BC.
Anglian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Anglian-Elsterian
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: Quaternary glacial deposits found in East Anglia, England. Other possibly related and isolated patches exist elsewhere in Britain, but they are older than the extreme range of radiocarbon dating and palaeomagnetism shows them to be younger than 700,000 bp. This period is sometimes equates with the Elster glacial maximum and dated to c 300,000-400,000 years ago. During the Anglian-Elsterian glaciation in Europe a large ice-dammed lake formed in the North Sea, and large overflows from it initiated the cutting of the Dover Straits. In East Anglia, the deposits are stratified below Hoxnian and above Cromerian interglacial deposits and Acheulian and Clactonian artifacts are found in the sediments. Most of the evidence of human activity in Britain and Europe is later than this time. Anglian is more often used to describe the group of deposits or the one glaciation (antepenultimate) of that time.
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A chronological account of events in Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, a compilation of seven surviving annals that is the primary source of the early history of England. Believed to have been started around 870, during the reign of King Alfred (871-899), it was mostly finished by 891 though further accounts were added until 1154. The annals were probably written in the monasteries of Abingdon, Canterbury, Peterborough, Winchester, and Worcester. They include vivid accounts of the Viking raids, Alfred's reign, and the period of anarchy under Stephen. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle also included the Venerable Bede's "Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum" genealogies regnal and episcopal lists some northern annals and some sets of earlier West Saxon annals. The compiler also had access to a set of late 9th-century Frankish annals. The completeness and quality of the entries vary for different periods; the Chronicle has sparse coverage of the mid-10th century and the reign of Canute for example but is an excellent authority for the reign of Aethelred the Unready and from the reign of Edward the Confessor until the annal ends in 1154. The Chronicle survived in seven manuscripts (one of these being destroyed in the 18th century) and a fragment which are generally known by letters of the alphabet. The oldest the A version is written in one hand up till 891 and then continued in various hands. The B version and the C version are copies made at Abingdon from a lost archetype. B ends at 977 whereas C which is an 11th-century copy ends mutilated in 1066. The D version and the E version share many features. D which was written up until 1079 probably remained in the north whereas the archetype of E was taken south and continued at St. Augustine's Canterbury and was used by the scribe of manuscript F. The extant manuscript E is a copy made at Peterborough written in one stretch until 1121. It is the version that was continued longest. The F version is an abridgment in both Old English and Latin made in the late 11th or early 12th century based on the archetype of E but with some entries from A and it extends to 1058. The fragment H deals with 1113-14 and is independent of E.
Anglo-Saxons
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The name of the combined cultures, the Angles and the Saxons, who left their North Sea coastal homelands in the 5th century AD and moved to eastern England after the breakdown of Roman Rule. The name derives from two specific groups --- the Angles of Jutland and the Saxons from northern Germany. Some other Germanic peoples took part in the migrations, such as the Jutes and the Frisians, and they are sometimes included under this name. The language, culture, and settlement pattern of medieval and later England can be traced directly to the Anglo-Saxons. The movement to the area probably began in the 4th century when barbarian Foederati went to serve in the Roman army in Britain. The main immigration began in the middle of the 5th century. Bede, writing in the early 8th century, gives the only reliable historical record for this period, though incidental information can be found in the Old English literature, particularly the poem of Beowulf. The English kingdoms took shape by the late 6th century. Archaeologically, there are three periods: the Early or Pagan Saxon period went until the general acceptance of Christianity in the mid-7th century; the Middle Saxon period until the 9th century, and the Late Saxon period which went up till the Norman invasion of 1066. The earliest period's remains are mainly burial deposits, often cremation in urns or by inhumation in cemeteries of trench graves or under barrows. Grave goods often include knives, sword or spear, shield boss, and brooches, buckles, beads, girdle-hangers, and pottery - depending on the gender. Most archaeological evidence comes from the cemeteries, including the exceptional ship burial at Sutton Hoo. Churches were built and in the Middle and Late Saxon periods, including Bradford-Upon-Avon and Deerhurst. Important monuments of the Middle and Late Saxon periods are the royal palaces at Yeavering and Cheddar. The Late Saxon period, after the Viking invasions, saw the growth of the first towns in Britain since the Roman period, following the establishment of Burhs in response to the Scandinavian threat. There was wide-ranging trade, developed coinage, and improved pottery manufacture and metal-working. The separate British kingdoms (most important: Mercia, Northumbria and Wessex) eventually became a unified England with a capital at Winchester in Wessex. The Anglo-Saxons were responsible for the introduction of the English language and for the establishment of the settlement patterns of medieval England.
Aniba
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Miam
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a cemetery and settlement in Lower Nubia, founded as an Egyptian fortress in the Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 BC). It is near the gold-mining region of Nubia.
Animal Style
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A term describing a type of gold production whose themes were animals and which arose from the Scythians, a seminomadic people from the Eurasian steppes who moved from southern Russia into the territory between the Don and the Danube and then into Mesopotamia. During the 5th-4th centuries BC, this style appeared on shaped, pierced plaques made of gold and silver, which showed running or fighting animals (reindeer, lions, tigers, horses) alone or in pairs facing each other. The animal-style had a strong influence in western Asia during the 7th century BC. Ornaments such as necklaces, bracelets, pectorals, diadems, and earrings making up the Ziwiye treasure (found in Iran near the border of Azerbaijan) show evidence of highly expressive animal forms. This Central Asian Scythian-Iranian style passed by way of Phoenician trading in the 8th century BC into the Mediterranean and into Western jewelry. The most popular themes are antlered stags, ibexes, felines, birds of prey and, above all, the animal-combat motif, which shows a predator, usually bird or feline, attacking a herbivore. The joining of different animals and the use of tiny animal figures to decorate the body of an animal are also characteristic. Animal bodies were also contorted - animals curved into circles and quadrupeds with hindquarters inverted. The term is shorthand for this complex of motifs and treatments, which for long periods represented the art of the vast steppe zone of Europe and Asia. The transformations they underwent in the course of their long history on the steppes often leave the sources and affiliations of particular versions obscure.
Anlo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Holland with a long sequence of occupation, starting with the Funnel Beaker culture. It was followed by a cattle enclosure during the Late Neolithic (protruding foot beaker) people, then a cemetery of five flat graves with foot beakers and bell beakers with cord ornament. The next phase was a settlement with late varieties of Beaker pottery, followed by a Middle Bronze Age plow soil, and a Late Bronze Age urnfield.
Anse au Meadow, L'
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on the northern peninsula of Newfoundland that is the only known Viking settlement in the New World. The Norse explorers were the first Europeans to reach what is now Canadian explorers, c 1000 AD, as is recorded in the Icelandic sagas and recently confirmed by the archaeological discovery of the site at L' Anse-aux-Meadows. Excavations revealed traces of turf-walled houses similar to those at Viking sites in Greenland and Iceland. Also found was a spindle whorl, iron nails, and a smithy with pieces of bog-iron and several pounds of slag - all of Norse origin. Radiocarbon dates range from AD 700-1080 with a concentration around 1000, which is the period when, according to the sagas, Norsemen led by Leif Eriksson sailed west from Greenland and explored the coast of America, which they named Vinland.
Antequera
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Anticaria, Moorish Madinah Antakira
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a town in Málaga province, in the autonomous community (region) of Andalusia, southern Spain, northwest of Málaga, at the foot of the Sierra del Torcal which is famous for its three Neolithic (Copper Age) chambered tombs (dolmens): the Cuevas de Menga, de Viera, and El Romeral. They are partially cut into the hillside, but each is constructed differently. The Cueva de Menga has a huge orthostat chamber c 5 m wide, 3 m high, and 1.45 m long, roofed by five large capstones supported by three central pillars and drystone walls. Human figures in scenes are carved on its walls. The Cueva de Romeral has a magnificent corbel vault nearly 5 m high, dry-stone tholos, and a passage over 30 m long. The Cuevas de Viera has a long orthostat-lined passage with porthole slabs and a small square chamber. A cemetery of rock-cut tombs of the Bronze Age imitating the tholos form is nearby.
Antioch
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Antiochia, Antioch Pisidian, Antiocheia Pisidias, Caesarea Antiochia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An ancient city of Phrygia near the Orontes River and modern Yalvaç in Turkey. It was founded in 300 BC by Seleucus I (c 358-281 BC) after the death of Alexander the Great and was one of the two capitals of the Parthian Empire. It became a Roman city in 64 BC at the hands of Pompey and served as a capital of the province of Syria and was one of the three most important cities of the Roman world. Antioch peaked under Hadrian as a civil and military administrative center, then suffered Persian invasions during the 3rd century AD. It was rebuilt by Diocletian and successive emperors form the 4th century AD. The plain of Anitoch was occupied from the Neolithic onwards. Its ruins include a large rock cutting which may have held the temple of Men Ascaënus, the local Phrygian deity.
Antiquities Act of 1906
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A U.S. law protecting all historic and prehistoric sites on Federal lands and prohibiting excavation or destruction of such antiquities unless a permit (Antiquities Permit) is obtained from the Secretary of the department which has the jurisdiction over those lands. It also authorizes the President to declare areas of public lands as National Monuments and to reserve or accept private lands for that purpose.
Antonine Column
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An important monument in Rome. It is a lofty pillar ornamented with a series of bas-reliefs sent up in spirals from the base to the summit. The bas-reliefs represent the victories of the emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.
Antonine Wall
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A defensive fortification on the frontier of the Roman Empire in Scotland, built by the governor Lollius Urbicus for the emperor Antoninus Pius c 142-145 AD. It spans the distance between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde in Scotland, running for 36.5 miles (58.5 km) with 19 forts on its line and others forward and to the rear. The wall, mainly turf-built, was 14-16 ft (4.5 m) wide and probably 10 ft (3 m) high with a ditch of 40 ft (12 m) wide and 12 ft (4 m) deep in front of the wall and a military road behind it. The forts are 2 miles (3 km) apart. The wall was probably a last attempt to secure the Scottish Lowlands by the Romans and it provided defense beyond Hadrian's Wall, which was around 100 miles (160 km) south. The work was carried out by men from the legions stationed in Britain, and was probably completed section by section by different work groups who marked their handiwork with decorative plaques. Crop marks reveal some evidence for the temporary camps for the builders. The wall was abandoned temporarily in c 155-158 AD during the northern revolt and permanently before the end of the century when the garrison withdrew to Hadrian's Wall. Rough Castle is a well-preserved fort site and other traces of the wall remain.
Anu
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sumerian An
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: The Mesopotamian sky god, whose seat was at Uruk. Anu was part of the ruling triad with Bel (Enlil) and Ea (Enki). In the city of Uruk there was a series of seven superimposed temples dedicated to Anu. Anu was the god of kings and the yearly calendar, but he had only a small role in Mesopotamian mythology.
Anubis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Inpw, Anpu
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: The Egyptian god of the dead, in the form of a wild-dog or jackal-headed man. Anubis guarded the tombs and the underworld and presided over mummification and embalming. In the Early Dynastic period and the Old Kingdom, he enjoyed a dominant position but was later overshadowed by Osiris.
Anuket
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Anqet, Anukis
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: Goddess of Sehel, the Nile cataract region near Aswan. She is generally represented as a woman holding a papyrus scepter and wearing a tall plumed crown.
Anuradhapura
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Sinhalese kingdom centered at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka and its capital from the time of the introduction of Buddhism in the 3rd century BC until the site was abandoned in the 10th century AD after many incursions by the Tamils of South India. The South Indians gained control of the kingdom several times - in the 2nd, 5th, and again in the late 10th century AD, after which Anuradhapura was finally abandoned as the Sinhalese capital in favor of Polonnaruva. There was also internal warring by clans trying to establish separate dynastic lines. The most important Anuradhapuran dynasties were the Vijayan (3rd century BC-1st century AD) and the Lamakanna (1st-4th century AD and 7th-10th century). Buddhist monuments include palaces, monasteries, and stupas, many of which have been conserved and restored. During its 1,000 years of existence, the kingdom of Anuradhapura developed a high degree of culture. Among the most famous are the Thuparama stupa, the Ruvanveli dagaba (an enormous stupa), and the Lohapassada monastery. The kingdom also developed a remarkably complex system of irrigation, considered by many scholars to be its major achievement.
Anyang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: An-yang, Yinxu
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city in the Honan province of China that was the last capital of the Shang (Yin) Dynasty, occupied in the 12th and 11th centuries BC. It was founded c 14 BC and overthrown by the Chou in 1027 BC and was the seat of 12 kings who ruled for 273 years, a time referred to as the historical Anyang period. Anyang is one of the most extensively excavated sites, beginning in 1928. The buildings had rammed earth floors and many sacrifices of men and animals and chariot burials were found under them. Deep storage pits held oracle bones with inscriptions in an archaic form of Chinese, but the most important finds came from the cemeteries, which included royal tombs. At least as early as the Song dynasty (960--1279), Anyang was known as a source of bronze ritual vessels. Very large cruciform shaft tombs were found near the village of Houjiazhuang. There were eight large tombs in the western part of the Xibeigang cemetery and five more in the east. Excavation has shown that rows of satellite burials in the eastern section were not laid down at the time of the royal entombments but instead were later sacrifices offered to the tombs' occupants; these burials correspond with the oracle texts descriptions of victims sacrificed, sometimes by the hundreds, to the reigning king's ancestors. The only intact royal tomb yet discovered is that of Fu Hao, which is not in the Xibeigang cemetery but across the river at Xiatoun. Later excavations have established that Anyang was heir to the flourishing civilization of the Erligang Phase.
Anyathian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Pleistocene industry of stone tools in terrace deposits of the upper Irrawaddy River in Burma. The culture was characterized by primitive pebble tools (choppers, chopping tools) and a poor flakes made of silicifed tuff and fossil wood. The earliest assemblages may be of Middle Pleistocene date and the industry may have continued into the early Holocene. The Early Anyathian had single-edged core implements associated with crude flake implements. In the Late Anyathian, smaller and better made core and flake artifacts are found.
Anza
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Anzabegovo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large settlement of the First Neolithic and Early Vinca periods of Macedonia near the Bregnalnica River. Excavations have revealed a four-phase occupation c 5300-4200 BC. There was cultivation of emmer and wheat as well as some herding. The architecture was mud brick walls to wattle-and-daub timber-framed houses. The artifacts are similar to those found in northern Greece and the Anatolian Late Neolithic.
Apadana
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Great reception hall found in Persian royal palaces.
Apulian pottery
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An important type of South Italian Pottery, mostly decorated in the red-figured technique. Production seems to have started in the late 5th century BC and may have been influenced by Athenian pottery. One of the early centers may have been Tarentum. In the middle of the 4th century the scenes became more ornate with additional figures inserted in the field and an increased use of added colors. Plain wares were also produced alongside.
Aramaean
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj. Aramaic
CATEGORY: culture; language
DEFINITION: A branch of the confederacy of Semite tribes who moved out of the Syrian desert and who conquered the Canaanites and established themselves in their own series city-states in c 16-12 BC. The foremost of these states was Aram of Damascus, a large region of northern Syria, which was occupied between the 11th-8th centuries BC, and also Bit-Adini, Aram Naharaim, and Sam'al (Sinjerli). In the same period some of these tribes seized large tracts of Mesopotamia. By the 9th century BC, the whole area from Babylon to the Mediterranean coast was occupied by the Aramaean tribes known collectively as Kaldu (also Kashdu), the biblical Chaldeans. Assyria, nearly encircled, attacked the armies of the Aramaeans and one by one the states collapsed under the domination of Assyria in the succeeding centuries. The destruction of Hamath by Sargon II of Assyria in 720 marked the end of the Aramaean kingdoms of the west. Those Aramaeans along the lower Tigris River remained independent somewhat longer and in 626 BC, a Chaldean general (Nabopolassar) proclaimed himself king of Babylon and joined with the Medes and Scythians to overthrow Assyria. Thereon in the Chaldean empire, the Chaldeans, Aramaeans, and Babylonians became one group. Their North Semitic language, Aramaic, became the international language of the Near East by the 8th century BC, replacing Akkadian. Aramaic was written in the Phoenician script and was the diplomatic and vernacular speech of the Holy Land during the time of Christ. It was replaced by Arabic after the Arab Conquest, but is still spoken in some remote villages of Syria. In the Old Testament the Aramaeans are represented as being related to the Hebrews and living in northern Syria around Harran from about the 16th century BC. Few specifically Aramaic objects have been uncovered by archaeologists.
Araouane
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A basin site of former lakes in western Mali dating to 8000-9000 years ago.
Archanes
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arkhanes
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Minoan site on Crete with a 16th century BC palatial structure, cemetery complex, and artifacts of gold, ivory, and marble.
Arene Candide
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave site at Finale Ligure on the Italian Riviera whose excavation revealed a stratigraphy extending from the Upper Palaeolithic through Epi-Palaeolithic, to Early, Middle, and Late Neolithic, as well as poor levels from the Bronze and Iron Ages up to the Roman period. There were some rich burials in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th levels. The 1940s excavations by Bernabò Brea helped him make important interpretations of the Neolithic period in the Mediterranean.
Armant
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Iunu-Montu, Hermonthis
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Upper Egypt on the west bank of the Nile, southwest of Luxor, that was the original capitol of the Theban nome until the 11th Dynasty. Excavations have revealed extensive cemeteries and areas of Predynastic settlement. Thutmose's annals on the walls of the temple of Karnak describing 20 years of military activity in Asia are supplemented by stelae from Armant.
Armorican axe
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Rather plain and shoddily made type of socketed bronze axe produced in the period 600-650 BC at the very end of the Bronze Age of northern France (Hallstatt II). Mostly found in large hoards, in which few examples appear to have been finished or used. This has led to the suggestion that they were somehow connected with emergency trade in metal rather than finished products.
Armorican coin
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Collective name for coinage issued by a range of tribes living in Brittany during the early 1st century BC, including the Coriosolites, Baiocasses, Redones, Unelli, and Osismii.
Arnhem Land
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A region of the Northern Territory of Australia with a complete sequence dating back more than 50,000 years. There is rock art back to the Pleistocene and even earlier paintings of land animals and Mimi figures.
Arslan Tash
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of the ancient city of Hadâtu, a provincial capital of the Assyrian kings of northern Syria, first excavated by the French in 1928. There was a central tell surrounded by a circular wall and a palace and temple containing fine ivories, dating from the beginning of the 8th century BC.
Arslantepe
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Chalcolithic-to-Roman site in eastern Anatolia with monuments of the Syro-Hittites (early 1st millennium BC) and earlier settlements of the Late Uruk period (mid-4th millennium BC).
Aryan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arya; Aryans
CATEGORY: culture; language
DEFINITION: A people of the Rigveda who invaded Iran and India from the northwest in the 2nd millennium BC and who then spread east and south over the succeeding centuries. Their language was an early form of Sanskrit, an Indo-European tongue. By c 500 BC, Aryan speech was probably established over much of the area in which Indo-Aryan languages are now spoken (the Indian subcontinent). Archaeologists have not found much to attribute to the Aryans except for some Painted Grey Ware. It is theorized that the Aryans may have been responsible for, or contributed to, the downfall of the Indus (Harappan) civilization.
Asana
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A seasonal Preceramic site in the Andes of southern Peru dating to 7800 BC - with possibly the earliest domestic structures in the Andean region. A ceremonial complex dating to 2660 BC with altars, clay-lined fire basins, and surface hearths has also been found.
Ashurbanipal (fl. 7th century BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Assurbanipal, Asurbanipal, Assurnasirpal
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The last of the great kings of Assyria (668-627 BC), who established the first systematically organized library in the ancient Middle East, a huge collection of Assyrian clay tablets in his palace and that of his grandfather, Sennacherib. The library has been extremely valuable in revealing the art, science, and religion of ancient Mesopotamia. Approximately 20,720 tablets and fragments have been preserved in the British Museum. This collection was assembled by royal command, whereby scribes searched for and collected or copied texts of every genre from temple libraries. Theses were added to a core collection of tablets from Ashur, Calah, and Nineveh itself. The major group includes omen texts based on observations of events; on the behavior and features of men, animals, and plants; and on the motions of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars. There were dictionaries of Sumerian, Akkadian, and other words, all important to the scribal educational system. Ashurbanipal also collected many incantations, prayers, rituals, fables, proverbs, and other "canonical" and "extracanonical" texts. The traditional Mesopotamian epics - such as the stories of Creation Gilgamesh Irra Etana and Anzu - have survived mainly due to their preservation in Ashurbanipal's library. Handbooks scientific texts and some folk tales show that this library of which only a fraction of the clay tablets has survived was more than a mere reference library. His many brilliant military campaigns served only to hold what had been already won by previous kings though Egypt regained its independence and Elam was only retained by complete devastation.
Assyrian
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: One of the two main dialects of ancient Mesopotamia, used in the north. A Semitic language very close to Babylonian, from which it is thought to have diverged at the end of the 2nd millennium. Assyrian probably disappeared with the destruction of Assyria in 7th century BC. Old Assyrian cuneiform is attested mostly in the records of Assyrian trading colonists in central Asia Minor (c. 1950 BC; the so-called Cappadocian tablets) and Middle Assyrian in an extensive Law Code and other documents. The Neo-Assyrian period was the great era of Assyrian power, and the writing culminated in the extensive records from the library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh (c. 650 BC).
Asturian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A macrolithic industry of the Mesolithic in northern Spain, discovered from shell mounds at cave mouths. It followed the Azilian and is characterized by a long pointed unifacial quartzite pick. It dates to the 9th and 8th millennia BP.
Aswan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Swenet, (Greek) Syene, Assuan, Assouan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city in Upper Egypt, on the first cataract of the Nile, where the Aswan High Dam has been erected. The ancient site included important antiquities such as the temples (Abusimbel's), the rock-cut tombs of Qubbet el-Hawa, and the island of Elephantine (modern Jazirat Aswan) have been rescued from flooding by international groups who also explored those structures which could not be saved. There are also local quarries on the eastern bank on the Nile which supplied granite for many ancient Egyptian monuments and which are still in operation. Aswan was the southern frontier of pharaonic Egypt. Aswan later served as a frontier garrison post for the Romans, Turks, and British.
Atchana, Tell
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Alalakh
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A mound on the Amuq plain of northern Syria (southeastern Turkey), next to the River Orontes and identified as the ancient city of Alalakh with occupation levels from the 4th-late 2nd millennium BC. Seventeen building phases spanned c 3400-1200 BC, including a long Copper Age, a period as an independent state, and one as a provincial capital of the Hittites. There was a mix of cultural influences from Mesopotamia and the Aegean. Atchana was wealthy from trade and from the timber of the Amanus Mountains. Woolley discovered the remains of a small kingdom of largely Hurrian population. In level VII, dated to the 18th and 17th centuries BC, was the palace of Yaram-Lim II (Yamhad) demonstrating an early form of Syrian architecture in which stone, timber and mud-brick were all used. Another palace was excavated in level IV, of the late 15th and early 14th centuries, belonging to Niqmepa, with rooms around a central court and a large number of tablets in Akkadian cuneiform. The tablets describe trading with cities such as Ugarit and the Hittite capital Hattusas, involving food products such as wheat, wine, and olive oil. Later in the 14th century the city fell to the Hittites and became a provincial capital of the Hittite empire. It was eventually abandoned after destruction c 1200 BC, perhaps at the hands of the Peoples Of The Sea.
Aterian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stone tool culture of the Middle and Late Palaeolithic, widespread in the late Pleistocene in northern Africa. Centered on the Atlas Mountains, but with extensions into Libya and deep into the Sahara, the Aterian people were among the first to use the bow and arrow. It appears to have developed, perhaps initially in the Maghreb of Algeria and Morocco, from the local Mousterian tradition. Aterian assemblages, named after Bir el Ater in Tunisia, are marked by the presence of varied flake tools, many of which possess a marked tang. Some tools (such as side scrapers and Levallois flakes) resemble Mousterian types, but the tanged points and bifacially worked leaf-shaped points appear distinctively Aterian. The leaf-shaped blades, however, have been likened to Solutrean blades and it has often been suggested that the Aterians may have entered the Iberian Peninsula during Solutrean times. The date at which the Aterian first appeared is not well attested, but may have been c 80,000 BC. The Aterian occupation came to an end c 35,000 BC as the Sahara became drier and unsuitable for human settlement.
Athabascan
CATEGORY: culture; language
DEFINITION: Native Americans who speak languages of the Athabascan or Dene language family. The Northern variety is in Alaska and the Yukon; the southern variety, including the Apache and Navajo, are in the U.S. Southwest. The groups diverged around 500 AD.
Athenian pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Pottery produced in Athens from the Late Geometric period of monumental craters and amphorae through the Hellenistic period. The best known is the figure-decorated pottery of the Archaic and Classical periods that was widely exported along with plain wares.
Atlantean column
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A carved human figured serving as a decorative or supporting column
Atlantic Bronze Age
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: carp's tongue sword complex
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A late Bronze Age metalworking industry which developed on the west coast of France (Brittany to Gironde) c 1000-500 BC and spread to southern England and Iberia. The unifying factor of these areas was very active trading along the Atlantic seaways. It is known from a large number of hoards with typical products being the carp's tongue sword, end-winged ax, hog-backed razor, and bugle-shaped object of uncertain function. The tradition flourished west of the area dominated by the central European Urnfield cultures.
Atlantic period
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Atlantic phase, Atlantic climatic period
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: In Europe, a climatic optimum following the Boreal, the warmest period of the Holocene. This period was represented as a maximum of temperature and evidence from beetles suggests it being warmer than average for the interglacial. It seems to have begun about 6000 BC, when the average temperature rose. Melting ice sheets ultimately submerged nearly half of western Europe, creating the bays and inlets along the Atlantic coast that provided a new, rich ecosystem for human subsistence. The Atlantic period was followed by the subboreal period. The Atlantic period, which succeeded the Boreal, was probably wetter and certainly somewhat warmer, and mixed forests of oak, elm, common lime (linden), and elder spread northward. Only in the late Atlantic period did the beech and hornbeam spread into western and central Europe from the southeast.
Atlantis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Atalantis, Atlantica
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An earthly paradise described by Plato in two of his dialogues, "Timaeus" and "Critias". In "Timaeus" quoting Athenian lawgiver Solon Plato describes a circular island that developed a high level of civilization but which degenerated and sank into the sea (due to earthquakes) as punishment. Atlantis was a rich island whose powerful princes conquered many Mediterranean lands until they were finally defeated by the Athenians and their allies. It was described as existing 9000 years before Solon's birth - an unlikely dating. Though its location is unknown it is supposed to have existed between Africa and the New World (west of the Straits of Gibraltar) and larger than Asia Minor and Libya combined. Some have suggested that it was a vanished Minoan civilization or ancient Thera which was destroyed c 1470 BC. Many other interpretations have been offered including that Plato's Atlantis is a philosophical abstraction. In the Critias Plato supplied a history of the ideal commonwealth of the Atlantians.
Atlitian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic assemblage named for the type site, Atlit, in the Mount Carmel region of Israel. There are several layers with Aurignacian-like assemblages and this culture followed the Antelian (formerly Middle Aurignacian). It was among the assemblages that preceded various Mesolithic developments in the Middle East.
Atranjikhera
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, with a series of occupation levels. The earliest level contained ochre-colored pottery. It was followed by a level with black and red ware, followed by a series of layers with painted gray ware, which also produced iron tools and weapons. The radiocarbon dates so far recorded are unreliable.
Aurignacian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aurignac (adj)
CATEGORY: culture; chronology
DEFINITION: A series of Upper Palaeolithic cultures in Europe that existed from about 35,000 to 20,000 years (dates also given as 38,000-22,000 years) ago. They were characterized by their use of stone (flint) and bone tools, refinement of those tools, and the development of sculpture and cave painting. The culture is named for the type site Aurignac, in southern France, where such artifacts were discovered. In France it is stratified between the Châtelperronian and the Gravettian (and before the Solutrean and the Magdalenian), but industries of Aurignacian type are also found eastwards to the Balkans, Palestine, Iran, and Afghanistan. At Abri Pataud there is a radiocarbon date of pre-31,000 BC for the Aurignacian, but there are possibly earlier occurrences in central and southeast Europe (Istállóskö in Hungary, Bacho Kiro in Bulgaria). There is still considerable dispute about the extent to which the Aurignacian is contemporary with the cultures of the Perigordian group in southwest France. The sites are often in deep, sheltered valleys. Split-based bone points, carinates (steep-end scrapers), and Aurignac blades (with heavy marginal retouch) are typical of Aurignacian. Aurignacian is also important as the most distinctive and abundantly represented of the early Upper Palaeolithic groups.
Australian Core Tool and Scraper Tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A late Pleistocene and Holocene stone tool industry of mainland Australia and Tasmania with artifacts dating from 30,000 BC (at Lake Mungo). The industry was characterized by high-domed chunky cores (called 'horsehoof cores') and steep-edge flake scrapers. The industry has close parallels in the islands of Southeast Asia.
Australian Small Tool Tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A mid-Holocene tool industry of the Australian Aborigines that appeared some 3000-4000 years ago when those peoples began to use a new ensemble of small, flaked stone tools (although adze flakes first appeared possibly 2000 years earlier). The types consisted of backed blades and flakes, unifacial and bifacial points, and small adze flakes. There are some regional distributions of tools, including Bondi points, geometric microliths, Pirri points, and Tula adzes. All except the Bondi points and geometric microliths were still in use as parts of wooden weapons and tools at the time of European contact. The industry has close parallels in the islands of Southeast Asia, especially in the microliths of southwestern Sulawesi from 4000 BC.
Austronesian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Malayo-Polynesian
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: The major language family of the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific (including Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, parts of southern Vietnam, Madagascar, Melanesia (excluding much of New Guinea), Micronesia, and Polynesia). The family is divided into 1) Western Austronesian, or Indonesian, containing about 200 languages, and 2) Eastern Austronesian, or Oceanic, with about 300 languages. Proto-Austronesian probably started in southern China or Taiwan before 3000 BC. Austronesian speakers were the first humans to settle the Pacific islands beyond western Melanesia. Austronesians were the most widely spread ethno-linguistic group on earth, with the distance from Madagascar to Easter Island being 210 degrees of longitude.
Azilian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Mesolithic (or Epi-Palaeolithic) culture of southwest France and northern Spain, which seems to follow the Late Magdalenian of the area. It falls within the Late Glacial Period and may be correlated with the Allerod oscillation of the 10th millennium BC (c 9000 to 8000 BC). The culture was characterized by flint microliths, pebbles painted with schematic designs, small thumb-scrapers, fish hooks, and flat bone antler harpoons. It is named for Le Mas d'Zail, a massive cave region in southern France where such artifacts were first discovered in 1889. The Azilians were food gatherers who had domesticated the dog. The Oban and Oransay cultures are degenerated Azilian.
Ba and Shu
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pa and Ch'u, Pa-Shu
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Ancient kingdoms ruling the area of modern Szechwan. Pa came into being in the 11th century BC and established relations with Shu in the 5th century BC. Shortly before 316 BC, the state was conquered by the Ch'in and incorporated into the Ch'in empire. In the middle of the 3rd century BC, the Pa region became part of the kingdom of Shu and was totally independent of north and central China.. Ba and Shu cultural remains are similar, especially the boat-coffin burials on river terraces and tanged willow-leaf bronze swords. The central region of Szechwan is still sometimes known as the Pa. region.
Babadan A
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Palaeolithic site in Japan dating between 50,000-70,000 bp. The lithic culture includes choppers.
Bacsonian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An early Holocene stone tool industry (c 8000-4000 BC) of Indochina (esp. northern Vietnam). It is often regarded as a variant of the Hoabinhian industry of Southeast Asia. The Bacsonian industry is characterized by edge-ground pebble tools, ground-stone axes and adzes, and some sites have cord- or basket-marked pottery.
Bactrian Bronze Age
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture of northwest Afghanistan with range of pottery, seals, metal work, ornamented stone vessels, stone statuettes, etc. It was identified from materials looted from graves and appeared in Baluchistan and the Iranian plateau as far west as Susa.
Badarian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Upper Egyptian, Predynastic culture of the later 5th millennium BC, named for the type site of el-Badari, on the east bank of the Nile River. It extended over much of Middle Egypt also. Excavations during the 1920s revealed settlements and cemeteries dating to about 4000 BC (Neolithic). Their fine pottery, black-topped brown ware (later red), was very thin-walled, well-baked, and often decorated with a burnished ripple. This effect was apparently produced by firing it inverted to prevent the air from circulating inside and over the upper rim, keeping these areas black whereas the base and lower wall externally were oxidized to brown or a good red color. Other remains include combs and spoons of ivory, slate palettes, female figurines; and copper, shell, and stone beads. Badarian materials have also been found at Jazirat Armant, al-Hammamiyah, Hierakonpolis (modern Kawm al-Ahmar), al-Matmar, and Tall al-Kawm al-Kabir. Flinders Petrie and other found large numbers of graves with artifacts in 1893-1894 and divided it into two phases: Naqada Culture I and Naqada Culture II.
Baile Herculane
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large cave site in Rumania where flint implements from the Paleolithic Period (about 2,500,000 years ago) and Neolithic objects were found. There is important Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and Copper Age stratigraphy comprising three main occupation horizons: Upper Palaeolithic levels corresponding to the Würm II phase and defined by a quartzite industry with end scrapers; a late Mesolithic level with microlithic flints, crude quartzite tools, and Danube fish bones; and levels of Late Copper Age occupation.
Balanovo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cemetery site in south-central Russia dating to the early 2nd millennium BC near several short-lived settlement sites confined largely to the main river valleys. The regional culture made Corded Ware. The cemeteries mainly used flat inhumation rites, including double burials and some rich graves with copper battle-axes. Corded beakers, stone battle-axes, and fired clay model wheels are characteristic finds.
Balearic Islands
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A group of islands including Majorca (Mallorca), Minorca, Ibiza, and Formentera, off the east coast of Spain. Various civilizations left their marks on the islands, though the prehistoric talayotic civilization (so-called from its rough stone towers called talayots) seems to have continued without modification for 2600 years. Their position in the Mediterranean laid them open to continuous influence from eastern civilizations, as is found in archaeological finds. Bronze swords, single and double axes, antennae swords, and heads and figures of bulls and other animals are found. Native talayotic pottery was consistent until the Roman occupation. Their most interesting period was the Bronze Age with three important monuments: the Naveta, Talayot, and Taula. The islands were successively ruled by Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Moors, and Spaniards.
Ballana and Qustul
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Two Nubian necropolis sites on opposing sides of the Nile, 15 km south of Abu Simbel and now submerged under Lake Nassar. Ballana was the type site of a period which lasted from the decline of the Meroitic empire to the arrival of Christianity (c 350-700 AD). Some pictographic writing dating c 3400-3100 BC was discovered at Qustul on pottery, slate palettes, and stone. Qustul may have been one of the earliest places of state formation in the world when rulers of the A-Group culture adopted symbols of kingship similar to those of contemporary kings of Egypt's Naqadah II-III periods.
Bambandyanalo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A hill that forms the eastern boundary of K2 in Transvaal, South Africa, where a site dates to the 11th-12th centuries AD - the southern African Iron Age.
Ban Chiang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ban Chiang Hian
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement site in northeast Thailand with burial deposits from 3600 BC-1600 AD and which was occupied from c 4500 BC. Rice was grown and bronze cast according to the earliest records. Iron and rice paddy field cultivation began in the 2nd millennium. The basal burials are associated with incised and cord-marked pottery, copper and bronze artifacts. Levels dated to the late 2nd and 1st millennia BC have produced a variety of curvilinear painted red-on-buff pottery, together with iron, and bones of water buffalo. However, there is disagreement over the dating of Ban Chiang,, especially for the bronze, iron, and painted pottery.
Ban Don Ta Phet
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A burial site near U Thong, Thailand dating to c 400-200 BC with etched stone and beads from India and other evidence of long-range trade by sea and land routes. Local wares were iron tools and cast-bronze bowls.
Ban Kao
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A burial site in western Thailand which spanned 2500-1600 BC. There is elaborately shaped unpainted pottery with a range of bone, shell, and stone artifacts.
Ban Nadi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement site near Ban Chiang, Thailand, occupied from c 1500 BC-250 AD. It was the location of tin-bronze production after 500 BC, with axes, projectile points, and jewelry. Iron was smelted and forged for bangles, hoes, knives, and spearheads fro c 100 BC to 200 AD. The bronze wares were bowls, bracelets, and lead-bronze bells.
Ban Tha Kae
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A prehistoric site in central Thailand near copper sources with a long sequence from Neolithic through Iron ages, paralleling Khorat sites.
Banas
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A Chalcolithic culture of Rajasthan, Indian, of the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC. Archaeological evidence indicates that early humans lived along the banks of the Banas River (and its tributaries) about 100,000 years ago. The sites at Ahar, Gilund, and Kalibangan reveal Harappan (Indus) and post-Harappan culture (3rd-2nd millennium BC) with black-and-red ware, often with white painted designs, and other related red wares. Copper and bronze were very common and agriculture was attested. The Ahar occupation lasted c 2200-1500 BC. Pottery fragments at Kalibangan are carbon-dated to 2700 BC.
Banaue
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A region of rice and house terraces in northern Luzon, the Philippines, that dates to c 1000 BC. It belonged to the Ifugao people and the terraces extend in giant steps up mountain sides.
Banawali
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in northern Indiana with occupation between 2500-1500 BC. The earliest settlement had pottery similar to Early Harappan. A second phase was urban with residential blocks on regular streets and Mature Harappan-type pottery. The third phase had pottery comparable to Late Harappan wares (Bara ware, Late Siswal ware, ochre-colored pottery).
Bandkeramik
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Linearbandkeramik, LBK, Linienbandkeramik (German)
CATEGORY: ceramics; culture
DEFINITION: A pottery of the Danubian I culture, a Neolithic culture that existed over large areas of Europe north and west of the Danube River c 5th millennium BC. It consists of hemispherical bowls and globular jars, usually round-based and strongly suggesting copies of gourds. The name refers specifically to the standard incised linear decoration which was pairs of parallel lines forming spirals, meanders, chevrons, etc. There was farming of emmer wheat and barley and the keeping of domestic animals such as cattle. The most common stone tool was a polished stone adze. The people lived in large rectangular houses in medium-sized village communities or as small, dispersed clusters.
Bandung microliths
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A mid-Holocene obsidian industry of west Java's Bandung Plateau. It was characterized by small backed flakes and other tools.
Banjica
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement on the slopes of the Avala Hill in Belgrade, Serbia. One of the horizons has been dated to c 3760 BC. The culture is Vinca and some complete house plans have been recovered with details of food preparation, weaving,, working pits, etc. Pottery with incised signs might indicate ritual activities.
Bann flake
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bann point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A term variously used by different authorities, but at its minimum it is simply a kind of leaf-shaped flake found widely amongst the later Mesolithic assemblages of Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, one component of the BANN CULTURE. More strictly, Peter Woodman defines them as large flakes having no significant tang, with light retouch, either as elongated or laminar forms less than 3.2cm across, or as leaf-shaped forms which are broader and have only very peripheral retouch at the butt.
Banpo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of an early Yangshao Neolithic village, now a museum at Xi'an, China, in the basin of the confluence of the Yellow River (Huang Ho), the Fen Ho, and Kuei Shui. Radiocarbon dates range from c 4800-4300 BC. The settlement was about 50,000 sq. meters and included a cemetery and pottery kilns outside a ditch that surrounded the residences. Dogs, cattle, sheep, chicken and pigs were domesticated and millet, rice, kaoling, and possibly soybeans grown. The horse and silkworm may also have been raised. Unpainted pottery was cord-marked or stamped, and fine ceremonial pottery vessels were painted in black or red with some simple geometric patterns and drawings of fish turtles deer and faces. There were some elaborately worked objects in jade as well as everyday objects made from flint bone and groundstone. Sites with similar remains have been excavated at nearby Jiangzhai Baoji Beishouling and Hua Xian Yuanjunmiao. These sites all exhibit the first evidence of food production in China.
Banshan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pan-shan
CATEGORY: site; culture; artifact
DEFINITION: Site of a Neolithic cemetery in the Tao River valley of China, the type site of the Banshan (or Pan-shan) culture which belongs to the western or Gansu branch of the Yangshao Neolithic. Banshan is best known for its painted pottery first found in a grave in 1923. Pan-shan ware is generally considered to date from between 2500-2000 BC, but it may extend as far back as 3000 BC or be as late as c 1500 BC (the Shang dynasty). Most are unglazed pottery urns or reddish brown with painted designs in black and brown, probably applied with a brush, consisting of geometric patterns or stylized figures of people, fish, or birds. The wares probably shaped on a slow or hand-turned wheel. The handles are set low on the body of the urns, and the lower part of the body is left undecorated - much like Greek Proto-Geometric funerary ware. It was an important find because of the lack of Neolithic Chinese pottery up to 1923. A late stage of Banshan is named after the site of Machang.
Banshan pottery
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: site of a Neolithic cemetery in the Tao River valley of china, the type site of the Banshan (or Pan-shan) culture which belongs to the western or Gansu branch of the Yangshao Neolithic. Banshan is best known for its painted pottery first found in a grave in 1923. Pan-shan ware is generally considered to date from between 2500-2000 BC, but it may extend as far back as 3000 BC or be as late as c 1500 BC (the Shang dynasty). Most are unglazed pottery urns or reddish brown with painted designs in black and brown, probably applied with a brush, consisting of geometric patterns or stylized figures of people, fish, or birds. The wares probably shaped on a slow or hand-turned wheel. The handles are set low on the body of the urns, and the lower part of the body is left undecorated - much like Greek Proto-geometric funerary ware. It was an important find because of the lack of Neolithic Chinese pottery up to 1923. A late stage of Banshan is named after the site of Machang.
Banteay Srei
CATEGORY: structure; site
DEFINITION: A small, beautiful sandstone monument in Angkor, Cambodia, built in 967. Episodic relief (relief panels illustrating various aspects of the royal mythology) sculpture first appears on Banteay Srei. The relief revolves around a series of Indian legends dealing with the cosmic mountain Meru as the source of all creation and with the divine origin of water. The chief artistic achievement of its sophisticated architecture is the way in which the spaces between the walls of the enclosures, the faces of the terraces, and the volumes of the shrine buildings are conceived and coordinated. It seems to have been influenced by the architecture of the Hindu Pallava dynasty in southeastern India.
Bantu
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A Niger-Congo language family, with approximately 60,000,000 speakers of more than 200 distinct languages, who occupy almost the entire southern projection of the African continent (roughly from the bulge downward). The classification is linguistic as the cultures of the Bantu speakers are extremely diverse. The languages are closely interrelated, indicating expansion of the population from a single source, probably the eastern Nigeria/Cameroon area. Throughout the region these first farming settlements are marked by a common pottery tradition, the 'Early Iron age' complex.
Baradostian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic flint industry following the Mousterian in northern Iraq and Iran, with the type site in a cave at Shanidar. It has radiocarbon dates c 30,000 BC and may have begun as early as 36,000 BC. The Baradostian was replaced by a local Upper Palaeolithic industry called the Zarzian (12,000-10,000 BC), probably caused by the extreme cold of the last phase of the Würm glaciation. The Zarzian marks the end of the Iranian Paleolithic sequence that preceded various Mesolithic developments in the Middle East.
Barrancoid subtradition
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Barrancas; Neo-Indian epoch
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A ceramic tradition possibly originating on the Caribbean coast of Colombia and established in the Orinoco delta by c 1000 BC. It spread down to the coast and (at turn of millennium) east and west to Guyana and Colombia. The pottery is skillfully modeled with biomorphic ornamentation and broad-lined incised patterns. The type site is Barrancas.
Batungan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Cave sites in the central Philippines dating to at least 900 BC and hold flaked stone tools and pottery, some decorated with stamped patterns. There is a possible connection with pottery of Taiwan, with Kalanay / Sulawesi, and with Lapita ware.
Batán Grande
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large architectural complexes of South America located in the Lambayeque valley of north coastal Peru. The site has more than 30 huge platform mounds with an estimated 750,000 burials - most of them looted by treasure hunters who have taken immense quantities of gold, silver, copper, and bronze objects. Occupation at Batán Grande went from the Formative (Cupisnique) to the Inca period. The site was the capital of a powerful state between 850-1300 AD. With Batán Grande, Cerro de los Cementerios was a copper-processing area, linked to the Cerro Blanco mine by a prehistoric road. Excavations have revealed metal artifacts, smelting furnaces, grinding slabs, crushed slag, and pottery blowtubes.
Bayesian analysis
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A probability approach that compares the uncertainty of any parameter before and after observing new data. Bayes' theorem provides the basis for combining the prior information with the data to result in a posterior statement, which also has a probability function.
Beikthano
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Buddhist religious and settlement site in central Burma of the early-to-mid 1st millennium AD.
Belzoni, Giovanni (1778-1823)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Italian excavator of Egyptian sites, who is known as a picturesque and unscrupulous collector of Egyptian antiques as well as a pioneer in Egyptology. Belzoni sought antiquities both for himself and for the British Consul-General on behalf of the British Museum, whose collection he enhanced enormously. His discoveries were numerous, ranging from at Thebes, the colossal sculpture of the head of Ramses II (the Young Memnon); in the nearby Valley of the Tombs of Kings the tomb of Seti I and the aragonite sarcophagus (for the Sir John Soane's Museum London). Though he managed to take an obelisk from the Nile island of Philae (Jazirat Filah) near Aswan it was taken from him at gunpoint by agents working for French interests. He explored Elephantine (Jazirat Aswan) and the temple of Edfu (Idfu) cleared the entrance to the great temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel was first to penetrate the pyramid of Khafre at Giza and identified the ruins of the city of Berenice on the Red Sea. His methods were unnecessarily destructive by modern archaeological standards. He died in western Africa as he began a journey to Timbuktu. An account of his adventures was published in the year of his death "Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries within the Pyramids Temples Tombs and Excavations in Egypt and Nubia" (2 vol. 1820).
Beni Hassan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bani Hasan, Beni Hasan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Middle Kingdom archaeological site, on the eastern bank of the Nile, Egypt, about 150 miles south of Cairo. The site is known for its rock-cut tombs of the 11th- and 12th-dynasty (2125-1795 BC) officials of the 16th Upper Egyptian (Oryx) nome, or province. Some of the 39 tombs are painted with scenes of daily life and important biographical texts. The governors of the nome, whose capital was Menat Khufu, ancestral home of the 4th-dynasty pharaohs, administered the eastern desert. The tomb of one, Khnumhotep II, contains a scene showing Semitic Bedouin merchants in richly colored garments entering Egypt. A rock-cut shrine of Pakhet, known as Speos Artemidos, built by Queen Hatshepsut and Thutmose III of the 18th dynasty, lies one mile north, in an ancient quarry, with a smaller shrine of Alexander II nearby. There are some small tombs dating back to the 6th Dynasty (2345-2181 BC).
Benty Grange helmet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An Anglo-Saxon ceremonial helmet found in 1848 at a burial site in Benty Grange. Unlike the Sutton Hoo helmet, which has similarities to Swedish helmets, the Benty Grange example was undoubtedly of native workmanship. It is an elaborate object combining the pagan boar symbol with Christian crosses on the nail heads.
Bering Land Bridge
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The present-day floor of the Chukchi and Bering Seas, which emerged as dry land during Late Pleistocene glacial advances. It is the only route for faunal exchange between Eurasia and North America as it united Siberia and Alaska. It seems to have been breached only in the past 2.5 million years, with the earliest immigrants crossing it about 40,000-15,000 years ago. They were part of a migratory wave that later reached as far south as South America (about 10,000 years ago). During the Ice Age the sea level fell by several hundred feet, making the strait into a land bridge between Asia and North America, over which a considerable migration of plants and animals, as well as man, occurred. That period also allowed the transit of cold water currents from the Pacific into the Atlantic.
Beringian tradition
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: American Paleo-Arctic
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture in existence approximately 12,000 years ago between Siberia and temperate Alaska. The term was used by H. West to cover various Alaskan and Siberian archaeological formations which had developed from the Siberian Upper Paleolithic period, an area now largely submerged under the Bering Strait. Chronologically these formations lie between the middle of the Holocene period (c 35,000-9/10,000 BP), depending on the area. West's categorization includes the Bel'kachi, Diuktai, and Lake Ushki cultures in Siberia, the Denalian culture and American Paleo-Arctic formations in Alaska and the Yukon. Although Alaska is generally thought to be the gateway through which humans entered the New World, the earliest undisputed evidence for people there dates later than 12,000 years ago, well after the climax of the last major glacial advance but while glaciers still covered much of Arctic Canada. Artifacts of 11,500 to 9,000 years ago are known from a number of Alaskan sites, where hunters of caribou (and, in one case, of an extinct form of bison) manufactured blades.
Beth-Shan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bet She'an, Baysan (Arabic), Beisan (modern); Scythopolis
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A very large tell of northeastern Israel, site of one of the oldest inhabited cities of ancient Palestine. Overlooking the town to the north is Tel Bet She'an (Arabic Tall al-Husn), one of the most important stratified mounds in Palestine. It was excavated in 1921-1933 by the University of Pennsylvania, which discovered the lowest strata date from the late Chalcolithic period in the country (c 4000-3000 BC) through Bronze Age and Iron Age levels and upward to Byzantine times (c AD 500). Buildings, including temples and administrative buildings, span the Egyptian period - the earliest from the time of Thutmose III (ruled 1504-1450 BC), and the latest dating to Rameses III (1198-66 BC). Important stelae (stone monuments) show the conquests of Pharaoh Seti I (1318-1304 BC) and of the worship of the goddess Astarte. During the Hellenistic period, the city was called Scythopolis; it was taken by the Romans in 64 BC and given the status of an imperial free city by Pompey. In 1960 a finely preserved Roman amphitheater, with a seating capacity for about 5,000, was excavated. The city was an important center of the Decapolis (a league of 10 Hellenistic cities) and under Byzantine rule was the capital of the northern province of Palaestina Secunda. All these periods were also represented in the surrounding cemeteries. It declined after the Arab conquest (636 AD).
Beycesultan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell on the upper Meander River of southwestern Anatolia (western Turkey) which has yielded evidence from the Chalcolithic to Late Bronze Age and of a culture contemporary with the Hittite empire. It is thought to have been the capital of the 2nd-millennium BC state of Arzawa. From the Chalcolithic, there was a cache of sophisticated copper tools and a silver ring, the earliest known use of that metal. Buildings that were religious shrines have been uncovered, almost unknown in Anatolia at those times. Rectangular shrine chambers were arranged in pairs, with ritual installations recalling the Horns of Consecration and Tree, or Pillar, cults of Minoan Crete. A palace building at the same site, dating from the Middle Bronze Age (c 1750 BC), Beycesultan's most prosperous period, had reception rooms at first-floor level, also in the Minoan manner. In common with most other Bronze Age buildings in Anatolia, its walls were composed of a brick-filled timber framework on stone foundations. The private houses of this period at Beycesultan were all built on the megaron plan. The whole settlement and a lower terrace on the river was enclosed by a perimeter wall. The town was violently destroyed and though it was rebuilt, it remained relatively poor into the Late Bronze Age.
Biblical anthropology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The study of the anthropology of the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament to learn more about the nature, diversity, and similarity of biblical peoples.
Bohunician
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A late Middle Palaeolithic culture of Moravia, Czechoslovakia, with artifacts including sidescrapers, endscrapers, bifacial foliates, denticulates, burins, and laurel-leaf points.
Boian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Neolithic culture (c 7000-3500 BC, some say Middle Neolithic c 4200-3700 BC) in lower Danube valley of southern Romania and characterized by terrace-floodplain settlements, consisting at first of mud huts and later of fortified promontory settlements of small tells. The Boian phase was marked by the introduction of copper axes, the extension of agriculture, and the breeding of domestic animals. The distinctive Boian pottery was decorated by rippling, painting, and excised or incised linear designs with white paste. Intramural burial is most common, but occasional large inhumation cemeteries are known. By spreading northward into Transylvania and northeastward to Moldavia, the Boian culture gradually assimilated earlier cultures of those areas. Flourishing exchange networks are known to involve Prut Valley flint, Spondylus shells from the Black Sea, and copper.
Boolean
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: A dichotomous record of observation such as 1/0, present/absent, male/female.
Branc
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cemetery site in southeastern Czechoslovakia of the Early Bronze Age where the burials were differentiated according to sex and the orientation was reversed from contemporary sites. At Branc, 81 percent of females were on their left side and 61 percent of males on their right. These mostly simple rectangular pits, sometimes with a wooden lining, of 308 inhumation graves spanning 200-400 years of the early Unetician culture were also analyzed for their grave goods. Within the graves there was clear evidence of community differentiation, with some individuals having more elaborate grave goods than others (on the basis of the rarity of the raw materials used and the time needed to produce the goods). This suggests that there would be leading families, and that wealth and status would tend to be inherited (ascribed) and there is evidence that each member of the community was placed according to lineage, sex, and age.
Brandberg
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A mountain massif in central Namibia with Stone Age and Iron Age material, including 43,000 important cave art paintings. "The White Lady of the Brandberg" romanticized by Abbé Breuil is the most celebrated.
Britannia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The name given to England, Wales, and lowland Scotland by the Romans when they occupied it as a province from 43 to 410 AD. In 197 the province was divided into two, then into four parts c 300, and in 369 into five provinces.
Britannia metal
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A silvery alloy consisting of tin with about 5-15 per cent antimony and usually some copper, lead, or zinc.
Brommian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Allerod and Dryas culture of Denmark, southern Sweden, and northern Germany and Poland of c 10,000 BC. It resembles the Hamburgian and is characterized by the Lyngby point and Lyngby reindeer-antler ax/club.
Brongniart, Alexandre (1770-1847)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: French mineralogist, geologist, and naturalist, who first arranged the geologic formations of the Tertiary Period (from 66.4-1.6 million years ago) in chronological order and described them. Brongniart helped introduce the principle of geologic dating by the identification of distinctive fossils found in each geological stratum.
Bubanj
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bubanj-Hum
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic culture of late 4th to early 3rd millennia BC in the Morava valley of eastern Yugoslavia, close to Nis. The site, on a gravel terrace of a river, was first excavated in the 1950s and the culture is derived from the Vinca and closely related to Salcuta in Romania. The main periods recognized include the early Neolithic Starcevo with graphite painted ware and Vinca-like dark burnished ware; a phase of Baden pottery; and an Early Bronze Age occupation.
Butana
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: Seven sites in eastern Sudan, dating to 5500-4500 BP, with ceramics and stone artifacts. The cultural group belonged to the Kassala phase.
Bylany
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large village settlement of the Danubian culture in the loess lands of the Bohemian plain of Czechoslovakia. This large site had many phases of occupation, including by people who made stroke-ornamented pottery. There were timber-framed long houses in the three main phases of the Linear Pottery sequence. Subsistence was based on emmer wheat cultivation and cattle husbandry.
Byzantine empire
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Byzantium (later Constantinople, now Istanbul)
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: The eastern half of the Roman Empire, based in Byzantium (later Constantinople, now Istanbul), an ancient Greek settlement on the European side of the Bosporus. It was inaugurated in AD 330 by the Emperor Constantine I who transferred the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium. The empire survived the collapse of the Western empire until overrun by the Ottoman Turks in 1453. Originally a Greek colony at the entrance to the Black Sea, a typical Roman town was then laid out over it. Remains of the imperial palace lie south of the former Greek city nucleus. The land walls, giving the city an area greater than that of Rome, were built by Theodosius II (408-450 AD) and are among the best-preserved ancient fortifications anywhere. In the 7th century BC Dorian Greeks founded the settlement of Byzantium on a trapezoidal promontory on the European side of the Bosporus channel which leads from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea and separates Europe from Asia. Septimus Severus (193-211 AD) was responsible for restoring the city, re-walling it and beginning the construction of the limestone racecourse, the Hippodrome. In 368 AD, Valens raised his still impressive aqueduct. In 413 Theodosius II built the colossal surviving walls of stone and brick-faced concrete, with 96 variously shaped towers, and the principal entrance at the Golden Gate. The Eastern Christian empire preserved much of Greek and Roman culture and introduced eastern ideas to the west. Byzantium was essentially a Christian church state, preserving its religion against the onslaught of Islam, despite the Arab encroachments on Palestine, Syria, and northern Africa during the 6th-7th centuries AD. The Byzantine period is the time, about the 6th-12th centuries AD, when its style of architecture and art developed. Byzantine architecture is noted for its Christian places of worship and introduced the cupola, or dome, an almost square ground plan in place of the long aisles of the Roman church, and piers instead of columns. The apse always formed part of Byzantine buildings, which were richly decorated, and contained much marble. St. Sophia (532-537), St. Mark's (Venice, 977) and the Cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle (796-804) are of pure Byzantine style. Byzantine painting preceded and foreshadowed the Renaissance of art in Italy. Mosaics are perhaps the supreme achievement of Byzantine art.
C-transforms
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The movement and redistribution of material culture by human agencies.
Cabalwanian industry
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stone industry of flakes in Luzon, Philippines, thought to be early Holocene.
Caeretan ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Archaic pottery of Etruria that was probably made at Cerveteri. It was black-figured style.
Cagayan Valley
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A broad valley in northern Luzon, Philippines, with several sites from which some association has been found between a pebble and flake industry with a Middle Pleistocene fauna including elephants, Stegodon, rhinoceros, and bovids.
Callanish
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An important group of Bronze Age megalithic monuments on the island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Equal in importance to Stonehenge, the Callanish megaliths are aligned to make a rough Celtic cross 405 feet (123 m) north to south and 140 feet (43 m) east to west and may be tied to astronomy. In the middle is a small passage grave under a round cairn. Several smaller stone circles in the area align with Callanish.
Calowanie
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic site in eastern Poland with artifacts dating to 11,500 BP and overlying layers dating to c 11,000-10,000 BP.
Campania
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A area of southern Italy along the Bay of Naples that was the location of the Greek colony Cumae and was once controlled by the Etruscans. Campanian pottery was made before the middle of the 4th century BC at both Cumae and Capua.
Campanian pottery
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of South Italian pottery. Productions seems to have started before the middle of the 4th century BC, perhaps under the influence of Sicilian pottery. There seem to have been three main centers of production: two at Capua and one at Cumae. Late in its production it seems to draw inspiration from Apulian pottery.
Can Hasan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a number of tells in southern Turkey. Can Hasan III was an aceramic Neolithic settlement c 6500 BC. There were at least seven structural phases, with dark burnished pottery in several levels and painted pottery in one. The villagers were agriculturists, growing einkorn and emmer, lentil, and vetch in the earlier phases. The main Can Hasan mound was occupied in the late Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods.
Canaanean blade
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of extremely regular and large (1-2 inches wide and up to 10-12 inches long) flint blade produced by a specialized technique. The technology seems to have first appeared at the beginning of the 4th millennium BC in eastern Anatolia and adjoining areas, and was then introduced to the southern Levant (Canaan) by 3500 BC; these blades were produced until 2000 BC.
Canaanite
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Canaan
CATEGORY: culture; site; language
DEFINITION: The original pre-Israelite inhabitants of an area encompassing all of Palestine and Syria, sometimes including all land west of the Jordan River and the coast from Acre north. The names Canaan and Canaanite occur in cuneiform, Egyptian, and Phoenician writings from about the 15th century BC as well as in the Bible. They were the branch of the Semites related to the Hyksos who occupied the Levant from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age, c 2000-1200 BC. In the south they were displaced by the Israelites and Philistines; in the north they were the ancestors of the Phoenicians. Their main significance in history lies in their role as middlemen and traders, through whose hands passed cultural influences between Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Hittites. Canaanite sites include Lachish, Megiddo, Byblos, and Ugarit. The Canaanites were responsible for the invention of the first alphabetic writing system.
Canaanite amphora
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Common transport vessel of the Late Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean. Canaanite amphoras average 30 inches in height and have a short, relatively narrow flaring mouth, a wide shoulder with two handles on it, and a tapering profile running down to a narrow pointed base. They were made in various centers in the eastern Mediterranean and were roughly contemporary with stirrup jars.
Canario
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: The name of a site, culture, and people in the Canary Islands. The population is thought to have been of Cro-Magnon origin and may possibly have come from central and southern Europe via northern Africa. . They left alphabet-like engravings and characters whose meanings are obscure This aboriginal group had brown complexion, blue or gray eyes, and blondish hair, and these characteristics still persist in a large number of present inhabitants of the islands. The name Canarios is now applied to all present residents.
Canterbury
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Durovernum Cantiacorum
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on the River Stour in southeast England occupied since pre-Roman times. Lying at the intersection of important land routes, Canterbury already had a sizable Belgic settlement before the arrival of the Romans in 43 AD. The town was refounded soon after the invasion as Durovernum, the tribal capital of the Cantiaci, around 49 AD. Traces have been found of a theater (c 210-220), a forum, houses, streets, and a stone wall with earth bank added as fortification c 270-290. There is some evidence of Christian occupation from the 4th century, but the settlement declined sharply after 400, probably following the withdrawal of Roman forces. Archaeological investigations in Canterbury have contributed to an understanding of the secular occupation in Roman towns after the imperial withdrawal from Britain. Excavations have also been carried out on a group of churches which may date to the late 6th or 7th century: St. Augustine's Abbey, St. Martins's, and St. Pancras. Canterbury was an important medieval town and from that time there is a medieval cathedral, an impressive circuit of town walls, a large 12th-century castle, and some of the best preserved timber-framed buildings in England.
Cappadocian trade
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The trade that was carried out between Assyria and the regions of Cappadocia in the 2nd millennium BC. Trade was mostly in tin and textiles shipped via Assur from the east and south, in exchange for copper from Anatolia. There are many cuneiform tablets documenting this Mesopotamian trading system.
Capsian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Capsian industry, Capsian Neolithic
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Mesolithic/Stone Age (8000 BC-2700 BC) cultural complex prominent in inland northern Africa near the present border between Tunisia and Algeria. Its shell midden sites are in the area of the great salt lakes of what is now southern Tunisia, the type site being Jabal al-Maqta'. The tool kit of the Capsian is a classic example of the industries of the late Würm Glacial Period and it is apparently related to the Gravettian stage of Europe's Perigordian industry (which dates from about 17,000 years ago). However, it occurs in Neothermal (postglacial) times and, like its predecessor, the Ibero-Maurusian industry (Oranian industry), the Capsian was a microlithic tool complex. It differed from the Ibero-Maurusian, however, in having a far more varied tool kit with large backed blades, scrapers, backed bladelets, microburins, and burins in its earlier phase and a gradual development of geometric microliths later. These became its leading feature by the 6th millennium BC. Shortly after 5000 BC, pottery and domesticated animals were introduced. Some North African rock paintings are attributed to people of the Capsian industry. The Capsian Neolithic, with pointed-base pottery and a stone industry, lasted from c 6200-5300 BP, in the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and the northern Sahara. The name derives from Capsa, the Latin form of Gafsa, a town in south central Tunisia where such artifacts were first discovered. Hunting and snail-collecting seem to have formed the basis of the economy. Human remains from Capsian sites are mostly of Mechta-Afalou type.
Carolingian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A term referring to the time and place of Charlemagne (Charles the Great), who called himself the king of the Franks and Lombards from 768-814 AD. In an archaeological and architectural sense Carolingian describes the period c 750-900 AD. The Carolingian kingdom of Italy occupied the northern and central peninsula down to Rome except for Venice and Benevento. The cultural revival of the Carolingian period stimulated by Charlemagne was a renovation and renaissance of the arts and education.
Casas Grandes
CATEGORY: culture; site
DEFINITION: A culture, river, and site in Chihuahua, northern Mexico. The town's name, Spanish for great houses refers to the extensive, multistoried ruins of a pre-Columbian town, which was probably founded in 1050 and burned around 1340, after which the abandoned valley lands were occupied by the Suma, who migrated in from the east. Ruins of this type are common in the valleys of the Casas Grandes and its tributaries. The earliest culture, also called the Viejo, was characterized by Mogollon-type pottery and pithouse dwellings. The following period, the Medio, had adobe houses. A third period, the Tardio, came after 1300 AD and was heavily influenced by Mesoamerica. The area was settled by the Spaniards in 1661/1662 and is now a national monument under the jurisdiction of the National Institute of Anthropology and History.
Caso y Andrade, Alfonso (1896-1970)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Mexican archaeologist and government official who explored the early Oaxacan cultures and who excavated Tomb Seven at Monte Albán, the earliest-known North American necropolis. His discovery and analysis of the burial offerings at Tomb Seven proved that Monte Albán had been occupied by the Mixtec people after they had displaced the Zapotecs before the Spanish conquest. Caso found evidence of five major phases, dating back to the 8th century BC, and established a rough chronology through comparisons with other sites. Caso also deciphered the Mixtec Codices. He made important contributions to regional archaeology and to the interpretation of Mixtec manuscripts, Mexican calendars, and dynastic history in general. He held posts as head of the Department of Archaeology at the National Museum, director of the museum, and director of the National Institute for Indian Affairs.
Castanet
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic rock shelter at Castelmerle, southwest France. There were two Aurignacian levels with art objects of carved or painted stone. The art from Castanet and neighboring Blanchard rock shelter is amongst the earliest known, dating c 33,000 BC.
Cerro Blanco
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in the Nepena valley on the central coast of Peru which has a massive platform of conical adobes and stones. This temple complex supports rooms with walls covered by Chavín decoration, including eyes and feline fangs, modeled in mud plaster in low relief and painted red and greenish yellow.
Ch'ang-An
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ch'ang-an, Chang'an
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An ancient site in China that was formerly the capital of the Han, Sui, and T'ang dynasties, located near the modern city of Sian. It was first used by western Chou Dynasty (1027-771 BC). Han-yuan Palace contains the tombs of T'ang imperial family. In the T'ang period, Ch'ang-An was the eastern terminus of the Silk Route and one of the world's great cities. The site of the Qin capital Xianyang is near Xi'an, and the Western Zhou capitals Feng and Hao are supposed to have been in this area as well, possibly lying within the boundaries of the modern Ch'ang-An district southwest of Xi'an.
Ch'ing-lien-kang culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The name given an Eastern Neolithic culture of China, c 4000-3000 BC, found in the provinces of southern Shantung, Kiangsu, and northern Chekiang. Painted pottery with flowerlike designs existed that had certain affinities with pottery from western Neolithic Yang-Shao culture. Pottery on high pierced stands, fine flat polished axes, and decorative pendants in jade have also been found.
Chaco Canyon
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An alluvium-filled 20-km stretch of canyon in northwest New Mexico, occupied by the Anasazi during Pueblo I and II, c 850-1150 AD. Now a national park, it contained spectacular pueblos, including Pueblo Bonito (c 919-1130) which housed some 1,200 people. There were at least a dozen pueblo-like towns and hundreds of small villages. During a period of increased rainfall between 950-1150, several other pueblos were constructed in the Canyon, with fields, irrigation canals, an elaborate road system, and signal stations for long-distance trade. The entire complex of ruins has been studied with the aid of photogrammetry, including infrared air photography, satellite photographs, image enhancement, and computer mapping. When the climate started to become dryer, in c 1150, the main occupation of Chaco Canyon ended.
Chalandriani
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Early Bronze Age settlement and cemetery in the Cyclades islands off Greece, dating to the 3rd millennium BC. The settlement was surrounded by stone defenses with six semi-circular bastions; inside were a number of small rooms, separated by narrow paths. The cemetery of around 500 tombs, each containing one or two bodies, had artifacts of the so-called Keros-Syros culture, including the highly decorated dishes known as frying pans.
Chalcidian ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Black-figured pottery found in Etruria and the Chalcidian colony of Rhegium (modern Reggio) in Italy. The style included lettering of the inscriptions as part of the decoration.
Champ Durand
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Neolithic fortification in Vendée, France and associated material of the Late Neolithic, including Peu-Richardien decorated pottery of c 3300-3000 BC.
Champollion, Jean-François (1778-1867)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: French historian and linguist who founded scientific Egyptology and played a major role in the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics by deciphering the Rosetta Stone. A masterful linguist, Champollion started publishing papers on the hieroglyphic and hieratic elements of the Rosetta Stone in 1821-1822, and he went on to establish an entire list of hieroglyphic signs and their Greek equivalents. He was first to recognize that some of the signs were alphabetic, some syllabic, and some determinative (standing for a whole idea or object previously expressed). His brilliant discoveries met with great opposition, however. He became curator of the Egyptian collection at the Louvre, conducted an archaeological expedition to Egypt, and received the chair of Egyptian antiquities, created specially for him, at the Collège de France. He also published an Egyptian grammar and dictionary, as well as other works about Egypt.
Chan Chan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chanchan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An ancient pre-Inca city on the northern coast of Peru, the capital of the Chimú kingdom c 1200-1400 AD. The ruins cover nearly 14 square miles (36 square km) and are in good condition because there is no rain. The buildings were made of adobe brick and there are 10 walled citadels (quadrangles) each containing pyramidal temples, cemeteries, gardens, symmetrical rooms, and reservoirs. These quadrangles probably the living quarters, burial places, and warehouses of the aristocracy. Most of the city's population (40,000-200,000 total) lived outside of the quadrangles in modest quarters. The Chimú kingdom was the chief state in Peru before the establishment of the Inca empire and its economy was agricultural. The Chimús made produced fine textiles and gold, silver, and copper objects. Between 1465-1470, the Chimú came under Inca rule. It was one of the largest Pre-Columbian cities in Peru.
Chanapata
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture of the Cuzco area in the Peruvian Andes, c 1000-200 BC. The type site has dark-hued or red pottery with incised, punctated, relief-modeled decoration, and a burnished or brushed finish.
Chancay
CATEGORY: ceramics; culture
DEFINITION: In central Peru, a distinctive type of pottery made by the Chancay people between 1000-1500 AD (from Late Intermediate Period). It is black-on-white with parallel or checkered design, sometimes with biomorphic figures or painted in soft colors. The most common forms were tall, two-handled, egg-shaped collared jars; bowls and beakers with slightly bowed sides; and large figurines. The pottery is associated with large effigy figurines, dolls, and lacelike textiles. Chancay weaving was considered excellent.
Chancelade
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Raymonden
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Magdalenian rock shelters in Dordogne, France, with hearths, harpoons, and mobiliary art. The ochre-covered burial of Chancelade Man found in 1888 was a Homo sapiens sapiens.
Chandoli
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in southern India occupied in the 2nd millennium BC. Ground stone axes, copper flat axes and antenna swords/daggers, and pottery of Malwa type have been found as well as urn burials.
Chang'an
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ch'ang-an
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The capital of both the early Han and Tang dynasties of China, both walled cities which are located adjacent to each other. There was a grid street layout and gate wall enclosure in the Tang period. The royal palace was positioned in the north for the first time and Chang'an became the model for urban development in 7th century AD Japan and Korea.
Changsha
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ch'ang-sha
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: City and capital of Hunan province, China, where Neolithic sites have been investigated since 1955. Isolated finds hint at Shang and Western Zhou settlement in this area. Over a thousand Chu burials have been excavated, with the richest being the early 2nd century BC tombs at Mawangdui. Artifacts from the Chu capital at Jiang-ling are comparable in date and importance.
Chanhu-Daro
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chanhudaro, Chanhu-daro
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city of the Harappan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC that is located in the Indus Valley south of Mohenjo-Daro in modern Pakistan. First excavated in the 1930s, it was characterized by a gridiron street plan and drainage system of typical Harappan towns. Evidence was found for the processes of sawing, flaking, grinding, and boring of stone beads. Occasional copper or bronze weapons of foreign type are found in late contexts at Chanhu-daro. Excavation also showed that like Mohenjo-Daro Chanhu-Daro had been inundated by floods: it was twice destroyed and subsequently rebuilt on a different plan. After the end of the Indus Valley civilization it was reoccupied by the Jhukar culture.
Chania
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Khania, Kydonia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a Minoan administrative center, Kydonia, in western Crete. No palace has been found at the Bronze Age settlement, but Linear A and Linear B inscriptions have been discovered.
Chansen
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement site of central Thailand which traded with India during the first two centuries AD and with Funan sites till the 5th-6th centuries.
Charaman
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Proto-Stillbay, Charama
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stone industry of Zimbabwe and parts of southern and central Zambia where it was the local successor of the Sangoan. Many Charaman assemblages come from surface or river-gravel occurrences, as at Victoria Falls. There are many scrapers, sub-triangular points, and other flake tools. Charaman deposits have been found in cave sites, such as Broken Hill, which yielded the remains of Homo sapiens rhodesiensis.
Charentian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Mousterian (Middle Palaeolithic) culture of at least two types, Quina and Ferrassie, of the Charente region of France. Dominance racloirs (side scrapers), Quina retouch, and handaxes have been found. The Charentian seems to originate in the penultimate glacial period, and has a distribution across Europe and Russia.
Chatham Islands
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Ten islands in the South Pacific, 860 km east of New Zealand, which were settled by Polynesians from New Zealand about 1000-1200 AD. The culture was a fishing and collecting population until European contact (1791). The original inhabitants, called Morioris, died out following contact with Europeans and conquest by New Zealand Maoris in 1835. Areas of limestone indicate that the islands may once have been part of New Zealand. There are no indigenous mammals, and the reptiles are of New Zealand species.
Chavín de Huántar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chavín
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: The area of the great ruin of the earliest highly developed culture in pre-Columbian Peru, which flourished between about 900 and 200 BC and may have originated c 1200 BC. During this time Chavín art spread over the north and central parts of what is now Peru. It is not known whether this was the actual center of origin of the culture and art style. The central building at Chavín de Huántar is a massive temple complex constructed of dressed rectangular stone blocks, with interior galleries and bas-relief carvings on pillars and lintels. The principal motifs of the Chavín style are human, feline, and crocodilian or serpentine figures. Carved stone objects, fantastic pottery that demonstrates the most advanced skill, stone construction, and remarkably sophisticated goldwork have been found. Chavín pottery is known from the decorated types found in the temple and in graves on the northern coast, where it is called Cupisnique. Until the end of the period, the ware was monochrome - dull red, brown, or gray - and stonelike. Vessels were massive and heavy and the main forms are open bowls with vertical or slightly expanding sides and flat or gently rounded bases, flasks, and stirrup-spouted bottles. The surface may be modeled in relief or decorated by incision, stamping, brushing, rouletting, or dentate rocker-stamping. Some bowls have deeply incised designs on both the inside and outside faces. Its art style was never surpassed in the complexity of its iconography. The buildings, which show several periods of reconstruction, consist of various temple platforms containing a series of interlinked galleries and chambers on different levels. In the oldest part of the complex is a granite block, the Lanzón, on which is carved a human figure with feline fangs and with snakes in place of hair. Relief carvings in a similar style decorate the lintels, gateways, and cornices at the site, and human and jaguar heads of stone were on the outside wall of one of the platforms. On the coast, where stone is scarce, the highland architecture is replaced by work in adobe. Further south, the Paracas culture shows strong continuing Chavín influence.
Chellean
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chellian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An early Stone Age industry (Lower Palaeolithic) characterized by crudely worked hand axes. The implements from the type site Chelles-sur-Marne, near Paris, France, that gave the industry its name are now grouped with the Acheulian industry. The term Chellean, in the sense of earliest hand-ax culture, has been replaced by Abbevillian industry. The industry was so-named in the 1880s, replacing the term Acheulian, which was eventually reinstated.
Chesowanja
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Kenya, dated to 1.4 mya, which has produced very early evidence of fire in association with tools. If it was man-made, as opposed to natural cause such as lightning, then there is the question as to which hominid was responsible: Homo erectus or Austrlopithecus robustus.
Chicanel
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A phase of the Lowland Maya Pre-Classic, the Late Formative culture of Petén, dating from 300 BC to 150 AD. It was characterized by architectural and ceramic traits which convey the rise of the Classic Maya civilization: temple-pyramids, corbelled arches, and painted murals. Their sites are quite uniform and there was a variety of ceramic forms. Chicanel pottery includes dishes with wide, grooved rims, bowls, and vessels resembling ice buckets. Figurines are absent. Temple platforms (e.g. Uaxactún) were built by facing a cemented-rubble core with thick layers of plaster. At Tikal, a huge Maya ceremonial center, the Acropolis was begun in Chicanel times, and white-stuccoed platforms and stairways with polychromed masks were much like Uaxactún. There is also a huge site, El Mirador, in the northern part of Petén. The El Mirador construction dwarfs even that of Tikal, although El Mirador only flourished through the Chicanel phase. Chicanel-like civilization is also known in Yucatán, where some temple pyramids of enormous size are datable to the Late Formative. Another important site is the cave of Loltún in Yucatán.
Chiflet, Jean-Jacques (1588-1673)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Philip IV's (Spain) surgeon who was entrusted with studying and reporting on objects found in the tomb of Childeric I (AD 481/482), Clovis's father, discovered at Tournai in 1653. Anastasis "Childerici I" printed in 1655 may be regarded as the earliest scientific archaeological publication.
Chirand
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on the lower Ganges River in northeast India with five periods of occupation: Neolithic (Chirand I), Chalcolithic (Chirand II A-B), Northern Black Polished Ware (Chirand III), early 1st millennium AD, and medieval. Chirand I dated to the early 2nd millennium BC and perhaps the 3rd.
Choga Zanbil
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Dur-Untash, Choga Zambil, Chogha Zambil, Dur Untashi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An ancient Elamite site located near Susa in southwestern Iran. It is especially known for its remains dating to the Middle Elamite Period (c 1500-1000 BC), when the Elamite ruler Untash-Gal built a magnificent ziggurat, temples, and a palace. The remains of the ziggurat, the largest one known, are 335 feet (102 m) square and 80 feet (24 m) high, less than half its estimated original height. Other palaces, a reservoir, and the fortification walls have been excavated of the city, which was lavishly laid out but never completed. There are also a variety of small artifacts, including an excellent collection of Middle Elamite cylinder seals, and evidence of glass and glazes.
Chuquitana
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: El Paraiso
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Late Preceramic site on the coast near Lima, Peru, occupied between 1800-1600 BC. The ruins reveal eight complexes of approximately 25 rooms, each built of stone. The complexes were rebuilt five or six times. Artifacts of shell, bone, stone, wood, and polished dried clay figurines have been found as well as evidence of woven cotton textiles.
Châtelperronian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chatelperonian, Chatelperron, Chatelperronian, Lower Périgordian; formerly Lower Aurignacian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic culture and earlier stage of the Perigordian, concentrated in the Périgord region of France but believed to have originated in southwestern Asia. It is distinguished from contemporary stone tool culture complexes by the presence of curved-backed knives (knives sharpened both on the cutting edge and the back). It is the earliest known blade culture. The Châtelperronian has radiocarbon dates of 31,690 BC ? 250 and 31,550 ? 400 at Grotte du Renne (Arcysur-Cure, Yonne), but it may have started as early as 35-34,000. This cave site culture is also characterized by bone tools and weapons (made of ivory or reindeer antler) and flint knives.
Cimmerians
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Thraco-Cimmerian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An ancient nomadic people of the Russian steppes, north of the Caucasus and Sea of Azov, driven out by the Scythians into Anatolia toward the end of the 8th century BC. As they retreated, they destroyed Phrygia, Lydia, and the Greek cities on the coast and then caused havoc in Anatolia. Their decline soon began, and their final defeat may be dated c 637 or 626, when they were routed by Alyattes of Lydia. Their relatives, the Thracians, retreated similarly into the Balkans. The Cimmerian origin is uncertain, but they may have been responsible for Catacomb and Kuban cultures, c 1700 BC onwards. The Cimmerians' destruction across southwestern Asia has been detected archaeologically at many sites. Our knowledge of them has come from the writings of Herodotus and the Assyrian records.
Cishan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tz'u-shan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An early Neolithic millet-cultivating site in China. Features include pithouses, storage pits, and burials with artifacts including querns, ground-stone sickles, tripod vessels, and bone and stone fishing and hunting implements. Animal domestication is also attested to the site, dating to the early 6th millennium BC.
Cistercian ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A lead-glazed English earthenware of the 15th-16th centuries. The earthenware is dark red with a black or brown metallic-appearing glaze and was called Cistercian because they were first excavated at Yorkshire Cistercian abbeys. The pottery forms were mainly drinking vessels, tall mugs, trumpet-shaped tygs (with 2, 4, or 8 handles), and tankards. The majority of the ware is undecorated, but some examples are distinguished by horizontal ribbing or by white slip ornamentation consisting of roundels or rosettes. Potteries producing these wares were at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire; Tickford, Derbyshire; and Wrotham, Kent.
Civita Castellana
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Falerii
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site near Rome, originally the capital of the Faliscans, the 9th-century-BC Falerii Veteres. It was reputedly founded by the Pelasgians from Argos. The Faliscans were a tribe belonging to the Etruscan confederation against Rome. The city was destroyed by the Romans in 395 BC and again in 241 BC. Faliscan vases have been found in its rich necropolis.
Clactonian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An early flake-tool culture of Europe, dating from the early Mindel-Riss (Great Interglacial) of the Pleistocene epoch, which occurred from 1,600,000 to 10,000 years ago. It was named after discoveries at Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, England. A kind of concave scraper, perhaps used to smooth and shape wooden spears, is typical of the Clactonian industry. Apart from the tip of a wooden spear, the artifacts consisted of trimmed flint flakes and chipped pebbles, some of which can be classified as chopper tools. Handaxes were absent. The Clactonian seems therefore to have coexisted with Early Acheulian. Some believe that the two industries are quite distinct, while others maintain that both assemblages might have been made by the same people, and that the Clactonian could in theory be an Acheulian industry from which handaxes were absent because such tools were not needed for the jobs carried out at a particular site. Clactonian and related industries are distributed throughout the north European plain, and Clactonian tools are similar in appearance to those produced in the Soan industry of Pakistan and in several sites in eastern and southern Africa. The Tayacian industry of France and Israel is believed to be a smaller edition of the Clactonian.
Cleland Hills
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock-art site in central Australia, west of Alice Springs. In addition to Panaramitee motifs there are deeply engraved and weathered heart-shaped 'faces' with concentric circle 'eyes'.
Constantinople
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The capital, once Byzantium, chosen by the Roman emperor Constantine I (reigned 306-337 AD). He built the Great Palace which has since been enlarged and altered. Constantinople was the principal residence of Byzantine emperors until about end of 11th c AD. Constantine's choice of capital had profound effects upon the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. It displaced the power center of the Roman Empire, moving it eastward, and achieved the first lasting unification of Greece.
Cook Islands
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An extensive island group in the central Pacific whose traditions and linguistic patterns indicate that they were initially settled by Polynesians from Tonga and Samoa, some of whom later colonized New Zealand. Remains show a highly organized society by about 1100 AD, though the area was probably settled 1500 years ago. Archaeological excavations have been undertaken on Rarotonga, Aitutaki, and Penrhyn, and many islands of the group have well-preserved examples of Polynesian temples (Marae).
Copán
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A ruined ancient Mayan city, in extreme western Honduras near the Guatemalan border, one of the largest and most impressive sites of that civilization. Copán was an important Maya city during the Classic Period (c 300-900 AD), peaking in the 8th century with as many as 20,000 people. The site has stone temples, two large pyramids, several stairways and plazas, and a ball court for tlachtli. Most of these structures center on a raised platform called the Acropolis and are constructed in a locally available greenish volcanic tuff. Copán is particularly known for the ornate stone carving on the buildings and the portrait sculptures on its many stelae. The Hieroglyphic Stairway, which leads to one of the temples, is beautifully carved with 2500 hieroglyphics total on the risers of each of its 63 steps. During the Classic Period, there is evidence that astronomers in Copán calculated the most accurate solar calendar produced by the Maya up to that time. The site's ruins were discovered by Spanish explorers in the early 16th century and rediscovered by American traveler John Lloyd Stephens in 1839, who purchased the site for $50. Since then much of the beautiful carving has deteriorated but the highly detailed pen-and-ink drawings of his colleague Frederick Catherwood still survive and are a great source of iconographic detail. Restoration work revealed much of Copán's political and dynastic history through the decipherment of hieroglyphic inscriptions on its monuments. A dynasty of at least 16 kings ruled Copán from about 426-822 AD; the Maya had completely abandoned the site by about 1200. Finds date from the Late Prehistoric period (c 300 BC-AD 250.
Cordilleran
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cordilleran ice sheet; Laurentide
CATEGORY: chronology; culture
DEFINITION: The ice mass that covered the coastal mountains along the Pacific Ocean coast of North America from northern Washington state into southern Alaska. At its maximum extent, about 20,000 years ago, it connected with the Laurentide ice sheet to the east and with the Pacific Ocean to the west, and reached a thickness of some 3 kilometers (1 mile). The Cordilleran Geosyncline is a linear trough in the Earth's crust in which rocks of Late Precambrian to Mesozoic age (roughly 600 million to 66 million years ago) were deposited along the western coast of North America, from southern Alaska through western Canada and the United States, probably to western Mexico. The eastern boundary of the geosyncline extends from southeastern Alaska along the eastern edge of the Northern Cordillera and Northern Rocky Mountains of Canada and Montana, along the eastern edge of the Great Basin of Utah and Nevada, and into southeastern California and Mexico. The Old Cordilleran culture appeared in the Pacific Northwest about 9000 or 10,000 BC and persisted until about 5000 BC in some areas. Subsistence was based on hunting, fishing, and gathering. Simple willow-leaf-shaped, bipointed projectile points are characteristic artifacts.
Coricancha
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The principal religious site of the Inca in their capital of Cuzco, Peru, called the "enclosure of gold". There are temples dedicated to the sun stars rainbow thunder and moon. The walls were once covered with sheets of gold and life-sized statues in gold and silver were found there. Coricancha was thoroughly plundered during the Spanish Conquest.
Corinthian order
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Corinthian column, Corinthian style
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: An architectural style characterized by columns with a diameter-to-height ratio of one-to-ten, and an enlarged capital (uppermost part) decorated with sculptured foliage, often acanthus leaves. It originated in Greece, was extensively used by the Romans, and is related to the Ionic order. The innovation is traditionally ascribed to Callimachus of Corinth, c 450-425 BC. The style was incorporated in the so-called 'composite' order - a combination of four-sided Ionic and Corinthian. The earliest-known Corinthian capital was inside the temple of Apollo at Bassae.
Corinthian pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A widely distributed pottery made at Corinth and found throughout the Mediterranean, from the late 7th century BC until the mid-6th century BC. This important stage of vase painting included naturalistic designs of animals maenads and satyrs and the invention of black-figure technique and some new shapes such as the aryballos and alabastron. Proto-Corinthian pottery most of which is miniature in size was the first to be decorated in the black-figure painting technique: figure silhouettes drawn in black and filled in with incised details.
Cortés, Hernán (or Hernando Cortez) (c 1485-1547)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The Spanish conqueror of the Aztec empire and founder of the colony of New Spain. After arriving in 1519 near Yucatán, he founded the city of Veracruz and marched to Tenochtitlán. He captured Moctezuma, the Aztec ruler, was later driven out, but returned to conquer and destroy the city in 1521.
Cotzumahualpa, Santa Lucia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a localized culture of the Late Classic period on the Pacific slopes of Guatemala. It was known for its unique style of stone sculpture, depicting scenes of deities gazing upward, skulls, serpent heads, and human sacrifice - all enclosed within cartouches. There was also San Juan plumbate pottery.
Covalanas
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic painted cave in the Canabrian region of northern Spain. The style, including a finger-blob technique, suggests that it belongs to a primitive stage of cave art, possibly preceding the Solutrean.
Coxcatlán phase
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Occupation phase of Mexico's Tehuacán Valley from c 5500-4500 BC. Maize first appeared, though wild and semi-domesticated plants were still eaten along with small game.
Creswellian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Upper Palaeolithic culture found at Creswell Crags and in caves in Wales and southern England. It is regarded as a variant of the Magdalenian culture of southwestern France and occurred during the final stages of the Würm glaciation. The characteristic tools are large trapezes, obliquely blunted-back blades, and small backed blades. Later cultural traditions such as the Federmesser, Creswellian, and Ahrensburgian (c 20,000-10,000 BP) formed the basis for the cultures of the succeeding Mesolithic period.
Cromerian
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: An Interglacial Stage of northern Europe correlated with the Günz-Mindel Interglacial, part of the series of interglacials recognized in Britain: the Pastonian (oldest), Beestonian, and Cromerian. The Cromerian stage is a group of Interglacial deposits of the Quaternary system which are stratified under Anglian glacial deposits and above an extensive sequence of earlier Quaternary deposits. The type site of the stage is at West Runton, Norfolk. In northwest Europe, a group of deposits representing several interglacials and intervening cold stages, and these deposits are stratified below Elster glacial deposits and above a sequence extending back into the Pliocene.
Cumbrian club
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A term given to a distinctive type of large polished stone axe of middle Neolithic date made in the Lake District of northwest England. Also known as a ?Cumbrian-type' stone axe. The main features of a Cumbrian club are its large size (150-380mm long), broad-butted form, long, narrow proportions, its maximum width more or less in the middle of its length, and a distinct ?waisting' of constriction towards the butt end. All known examples are made of Langdale tuff (Group VI), examples being traded out from the Lake District to most other parts of the British Isles. The large size of these implements suggests they are ceremonial, prestige, or display objects.
Cunningham, Sir Alexander (1814-1883)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British general and archaeologist who excavated many sites in India, including Sarnath and Sanchi, and served as the first director of the Indian Archaeological Survey. He published an annual report, listing and describing the principal monuments of ancient India for the first time. His writings include The Bhilsa Topes (1854), the first serious attempt to trace Buddhist history through its architectural remains; The Ancient Geography of India (1871), the first collection of the edicts of the 3rd-century-BC Indian emperor Ashoka; and The Stûpa of Bharhut (1879).
Cyclopean masonry
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cyclopean construction, cyclopean wall, cyclopean monuments, Pelasgian
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A style of masonry that calls for large, close-fitting, irregularly shaped stones, used typically in Mycenaean fortifications. The massive stone wall's gaps between the inner and outer faces of the huge stone boulders were filled with small stones and clay. It is named after the Greek mythical character Cyclops, thought by the Greeks to have built the walls of Tiryns, which are constructed in this fashion. The technique occurs widely elsewhere in the Mediterranean (Nuraghe, Naveta, Talayot, Torre), and was sometimes employed by the Inca and other Andean peoples.
Cypro-Minoan
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: The syllabic script used in Cyprus from the 15th century BC, falling into disuse before being revived in the 8th century BC. It was used to write Greek until the 3rd century BC. It has similarities to Minoan Linear A and may have come from Crete. Inscriptions appear on baked clay tablets, bronze votives, ivories, and seals. It has not been deciphered.
Dabban
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An early blade-and-burin industry of Cyrenaica, Libya, dating to 40,000-14,000 years ago. It is thought to be the oldest dated blade-and-burin industry of Upper Palaeolithic type and is recorded from only two sites: Hagfed ed-Dabba and the Haua Fteah. The Dabban is clearly related in some way to the broadly contemporary Upper Palaeolithic complex of Europe and the Near East with backed blades, burins, and endscrapers being its most characteristic artifacts. Its origins are still unknown. Dabban occupation of Haua Fteah continued until c12,000 BC.
Danebury
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Iron Age hillfort in Hampshire, England, dating to the 6th century BC. The defenses were built with a timber-laced rampart, remodeled twice, and the main gateway is just as old. Within the ramparts, there was a permanent settlement. By the 4th century, rows of 4- and 6-post structures, flanked the roads, but were later replaced by circular houses. The site was abandoned c 100 BC.
Danevirke
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Danekirke
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A 5th-century line of earthwork fortifications that cut across the base of the Jutland peninsula, forming the southern boundary of Viking Age Denmark (now in Germany). Timbers in its construction have been dated to about 737 AD, but these were likely replacement timbers, making the first building phase still earlier. It is puzzling archaeologically because the traces of only one large timber hall have been found, associated with enormous quantities of imported luxury items including a great deal of West European glass. Godfrey, king of Denmark who halted Charlemagne's march northward, began the construction of the Danevirke.
Danger Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave site of long occupation in western Utah, dated to 11,000-11,000 BC and having one of the most complete inventories from the Desert Tradition. Artifacts include leaf-shaped projectile points, baskets, manos, metates. The last occupation dates to after 2000 BC.
Daniel, Glyn Edmund (1914-1986)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A British prehistorian who studied the megaliths of Europe and developed the study of the history of archaeology. He popularized the discipline through his writings.
Danilo
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A Neolithic culture of the Dalmatian coast of Croatia and parts of Bosnia, dating to 4700-3900 BC. The site consists of large numbers of pits and post holes, whose associated material has been subdivided typologically into five phases. There are two associated pottery styles, painted in black and broad red bands on buff ware, and incised on dark burnished ware, belong in the Middle Neolithic. The geometric designs suggest connections with contemporary wares in Italy, particularly Ripoli and Serra D'Alto. There was also a long blade and tanged point stone industry closely related to fishing.
Danubian culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Early farming culture(s) of the Danube basin of central and eastern Europe, of the Neolithic and Eneolithic, starting c 5300 BC. The stages, named by Gordon Childe, were Danubian I (Linear Pottery culture), Danubian II (later Neolithic cultures, such as Tisza, Lengyel, Rossen, and stroke-ornamented pottery cultures), and Danubian III (late Lengyel, Brzesc, Kujawski, Jordanow). The first stage was based on slash and burn cultivation and the shoe-last celt, objects of spondylus shell, and the use of bandkeramik. There were substantial timber longhouses during occupations and after abandonment, sites were later reoccupied and villages rebuilt. By the mid-5th millennium, the Danubian II cultures (Rössen, stroke-ornamented ware, Lengyel, Tisza) arose. The term is now outdated.
Danzantes
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: danzante
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Stone slab, bas-relief carvings of Monte Alban, Mexico, dating to c 100 BC-100 AD, that flank the earliest flat-topped. They depict nude male figures, some with mutilated or elaborately emphasized sexual organs, in unnatural dancing or possible swimming poses. Certain elements of the iconography, such as thick lips and downturned mouths, indicate an Olmec origin. Associated hieroglyphs and calendar dates support this theory. The term means "dancer" in Spanish. These are usually life-sized and have been found at San Jose Mogote and Monte Alban in Oaxaca.
Dar es-Soltan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave site on the Atlantic coast of Morocco with a long sequence of late Aterian industry, followed by Iberomaurusian and Capsian Neolithic remains. The site is associated with human remains of Mechta-Afalou type.
Deagan, Kathleen (1948- )
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A leading contemporary Americanist archaeologist, specializing in the excavation and analysis of Spanish colonial period sites in the American Southeast and Caribbean.
Deh Luran
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site in Iran where Frank Hole and Ken Flannery studied the origins of food production. They excavated at Tepe Ali Kosh, Tepe Sabz, and Choga Sefid to create a cultural sequence from around 8000 bc through the Uruk period to historical times.
Deichmann, Friedrich Wilhelm (1909-1993)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: German archaeologist who made contributions concerning Early Christian architecture in the Mediterranean. His detailed studies of features and styles were published in "Frühchristliche Bauten and Mosaiken von Ravenna" (1958) and "Ravenna Hauptstadt des spätantiken Abendlandes" 2 vol. in 5 (1969-1989).
Denalian culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Denali complex
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A prehistoric culture or complex of central Alaska (the Tangle Lakes) dating to c 10,500-7000 BC. Similar to the Siberian Dyuktai (Diuktai) culture and defined by H. West in 1967, it is characterized by wedge-shaped microcores, microblades, burins, and bifacial points, scrapers on flakes, and large blades.
Developed Oldowan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Developed Oldowan A, Developed Oldowan B, Developed Oldowan C
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A series of Early Stone Age industries of the Oldowan Industrial Complex seen at Olduvai Gorge and other African sites, dating c 1.6-0.6 million years ago. They differ from the classic Oldowan industry in the types of stone artifacts.
Devensian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Weichselian, Devensian glaciation, Weichsel glaciation
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: The final continental glacial advance, dating to c 115,000-10,000 BP, especially referring to a group of British deposits, stratified above Ipswichian Interglacial deposits. Much of northern England, Scotland, and Wales is covered by a blanket of Devensian tills, sands, and gravels and these sediments were deposited by the ice-sheet. South of the ice-sheet margin is a series of related pro-glacial and periglacial deposits. Most of the Devensian stage can be dated using radiocarbon, and by this means it has been correlated with the Weichselian in northwest Europe and the Wisconsin in North America. All these formations represent one cold stage and directly preceded our present period of predominantly warm climate (the Flandrian or Holocene). Not all of the Devensian deposits are strictly glacial; some contain abundant fossils which indicate warmer interstadial periods. Three interstadials have been defined in Britain: the Chelford Interstadial (c 61,000 bp); the Upton Warren Interstadial complex (45-25,000 bp), and the Windermere Interstadial (13-11,000 bp). Levallosian, Mousterian, and Upper Palaeolithic artifacts are found in Devensian deposits and bones of Homo Sapiens have been found in Devensian cave sediments.
Dhang Rial
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A mound in southern Sudan with a two-part Iron Age sequence starting in 500 AD, with an earlier ceramic Stone Age occupation.
Dian kingdom
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tien
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Bronze Age culture and barbarian kingdom in southwest China centered on Lake Dian in Yunnan province. According to Chinese sources, the Dian royal house traced its descent from a Chu general who invaded Yunnan in the late 4th century BC and remained to rule the local tribes. In 109 BC, Dian surrendered to Han armies; a generation later the kingdom was destroyed after a revolt. The highly distinctive culture is known mainly from cemetery sites, especially Shizhaishan where the burials date from the Han occupation. Earlier burials of the period c 600-300 BC have been excavated at Dapona and Wanjiaba. Many of the objects unearthed at Shizhaishan were imports from China: coins, mirrors, belt hooks, silk, crossbow mechanisms, and a gold seal from the Han court that reads 'Seal of the King of Dian'. Other finds seem to be local adaptations of prototypes originating in the state of Chu. There was active trade with the southern Zhou states of Shu and Ba before the Han Dynasty.
Diana
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on the island of Lipari, of the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily, which has given its name to a local Late Neolithic culture with dates in the early 4th millennium BC. Diana had a very distinctive pottery with a glossy red slip and splayed lugs or tubular handles, found also on Sicily and mainland Italy. The culture is associated with the last phase of intensive exploitation of the Lipari obsidian source.
Dobranichevka
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic site in central Ukraine with a date of 12,700 bp. Remains include woolly mammoth associated with mammoth-bone houses, pits, hearths, and debris.
Doian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Eibian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stone industry found exclusively in the southern and eastern areas of Somalia and northeastern Kenya in East Africa. Doian assemblages contain pressure-flaked small points, backed microliths, and flake scrapers. A post-Pleistocene age is possible but not yet determined.
Dorians
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Peoples who invaded southern Greece from the north around the end of the 2nd millennium BC (1100) after the decline of the Mycenaeans. Some speculate that the Dorians were responsible for the Mycenaeans' overthrow. It has proved difficult to recognize their products in the archaeological record, and therefore it hard to discover their origins. In classical times the important Dorian dialect was spoken through much of the Peloponnese, the southern Aegean islands, and the southwest coast of Asia Minor. They also introduced the use of iron for swords. The invading Dorians had a relatively low cultural level, however, and after sweeping away the last of the declining Mycenaean and Minoan civilizations, they the region into a dark age out of which the Greek city-states did not emerge until almost three centuries later.
Douglass, Andrew Ellicott (1867-1962)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: An American astronomer who developed the dendrochronology dating method. He outlined the method as early as 1901, but it was not until 1929 that he was able to publish an unbroken sequence of tree-rings for the Southwest US, extending back from the present day to the early years of the present era. This provided a dating method for the southwestern Pueblo villages.
Dragendorff, Hans (1870-1941)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A German scholar who in 1895-1896 published a scheme of classification for the shapes of Terra Sigillata or Samian Ware.
Dralang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Megalithic site in southwestern Tibet with a large, tablelike stone structure and other large standing stones within the monument. There were pits for human sacrifices, also.
Dunhuang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tun-huang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in northwestern China with many Buddhist sculptures, frescoes, and Mogao grottoes. It was a Chinese frontier outpost at a place where the Silk Route branched before crossing Central Asia. It was established as a Han military commandery in 111 BC and many documents and manuscripts dating from the Han dynasty have been found there. There is a complex of nearly 500 Buddhist cave temples with well-preserved paintings and sculptures. A Buddhist library walled up in a cave around 1035 and rediscovered in 1900 contained thousands of manuscripts written in Chinese and various Central Asian scripts, some with dates ranging from 406-996. Among the material in the British Museum is the oldest extant printed book in the world, a Chinese translation of the Diamond Sutra, a Buddhist text, dated 868 AD. Many other manuscripts and paintings obtained by Aurel Stein are kept at the British Museum.
Duvanli
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tumulus cemetery in Thrace (modern Bulgaria) of the 5th century BC, with imported Athenian pottery and items of Greek gold-figured silver plate.
Eanna sounding
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A test excavation in the Eanna district of Warka for study of the origins of writing in southern Mesopotamia. The site has an 18-level sequence from the 'Ubaid (XVIII-XV), Early Uruk (XIV-IX), Middle Uruk (VIII-VI), Late Uruk (V-IV), Jemdet Nasr (III), and Early Dynastic (II-I) periods. Cylinder seals, sealings, and written texts from Mesopotamian administrations were found here for the first time.
Early Man Shelter
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Australian rock shelter at Cape York, with patinated Panaramitee-style paintings and engravings of humans, animals, tracks, and abstract motifs. Charcoal from occupation deposits covering wall engravings yielded radiocarbon dates between 10,000-13,000 bp. The shelter also contained the oldest known remains of Sarcophilus harrisii (Tasmanian devil) in tropical Australia: it is now found only in Tasmania. Bone tools are present that are 3000-6000 years old.
East Midland burnished ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of Roman pottery dating to the 3rd and 4th centuries AD and found mainly in the northeast midlands of England. The pots produced were grey-brown in color and were dominated by bowls and jars
East Spanish rock art
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An art style of southeastern Spain, found on the walls of shallow rock shelters and probably of the Mesolithic period. The subjects are lively scenes from everyday life, with warriors, hunters, dancers, and animals. The style is unlike that of cave art, the figures being small and painted in solid colors with no attempt at light and shade.
Easter Island
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Rapa Nui
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The easternmost inhabited island of Polynesia, a small volcanic one, about 2500 miles from South America and 1250 miles from Pitcairn Island, its nearest inhabited Polynesian neighbors. It was settled by the Polynesians early in 1st millennium AD and developed a horticultural economy. By 700 AD, the inhabitants built large stone platforms (ahu), some of cut stone, and between 1000-1700 AD these platforms supported rows of huge stone statues (moai), some with separate top knots. Shaped by stone tools, as there is no metal on the island, from quarries in volcanic craters, there are about 300 platforms and about 600 statues. By about 1700, the warrior chiefdoms were fighting and all the statues were toppled from their pedestals. The platforms were used for human burial in stone chambers inserted into the stonework. There is a village of stone houses and many petroglyphs. The Europeans discovered Easter Island in 1722, after which the culture and population. The islanders also carved on wooden boards in an undeciphered script, Rongorongo. Easter Island culture represents the cultural development an isolated human community.
Eastern Gravettian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic industry across central and eastern Europe during the last glacial maximum, c 30,000-20,000 BP. Assemblages include shouldered points, backed blades, and some Venus figurines.
Eburran
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kenya Capsian, Kenya Aurignacian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An East African obsidian industry of the central Rift Valley, Kenya, previously known as the 'Kenya Capsian' and before that as the 'Kenya Aurignacian'. Its time span is the 13th-8th millennia BC. The assemblages, as recovered from Gamble's Cave and Nderit Drift, comprise large backed blades, crescentric microliths, burins, and end-scrapers.
Eemian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Eemian Interglacial
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The last Interglacial of northern Europe, after the Saalian and before the Weichsel Glaciation, from c 125,000-115,000 BP. This group of Quarternary Interglacial deposits are found right across Europe from the Netherlands to Russia and contain fossils that indicate warm conditions. In the Netherlands and northern Germany, the rising sea level caused the deposition of Eemian marine sediments. Evidence from bore holes indicates that the Eemian may represent two or even three interglacial stages. Levalloisian and Mousterian artifacts are found in Eemina deposits. The Riss-Würm in Alpine regions, the Sangamon in North America, and the Ipswichian in Britain are its equivalents.
Eibian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Doian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A microlithic Later Stone Age industry in East Africa, characterized by pressure-flaked points and other tools and dating to the late Pleistocene.
Elands Bay
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave site on the coast of Cape Province, South Africa, with Middle Stone Age material.
Elandsfontein
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A farming site in southern Cape Province, South Africa, which has produced several Palaeolithic cultures and a human skull somewhat like that of Broken Hill. The skull ('Saldanha' cranium) is believed to be associated with late Acheulian tools and is considered to be of late Middle Pleistocene age. Traces of Middle Stone Age and Late Stone Age artifacts and pottery were also found.
Elephantine
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An island in the Nile just above Aswan, Egypt, which was the traditional southern boundary between Egypt and Nubia during the Old and Middle Kingdoms. It had famous granite quarries whose stone was used extensively throughout ancient Egypt. Two temples recorded by the archaeologists of Napoleon's expedition have since disappeared. Remains show continual occupation from the Archaic period to the Greco-Roman period.
Elmenteitan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Pastoral Neolithic stone industry of early East Africa in a restricted area on the west side of the central Rift Valley in Kenya. Typical artifact assemblages include large double-edged obsidian blades, plain pottery bowls, and shallow stone vessels. Domestic cattle and small stock were herded. The dead were cremated, as at the mass-burial site at Njoro River Cave (c 1000 BC), one of the earliest Elmenteitan sites. The industry continued into the 1st millennium AD. The name also applies to the Pastoral Neolithic and Iron Age pottery tradition associated with the stone artifacts.
Eloaua Island
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Melanesian island with the two oldest Lapita sites, dating to 3450-2350 BP. There are house posts, plant remains, Lapita pottery, and evidence of shell artifact making as well as obsidian from Talasea and Lou.
Emery, Walter Bryan (1903-1971)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British Egyptologist noted for his careful surveying and study of prospective sites. He discovered galleries of the Bucheum in Armant, burials of Nubian X-Group kings, queens and nobility of 4th-6th century AD, and at Saqqara, excavating many Archaic Period mastabas. His most important discovery was a row of 1st-Dynasty tombs attributable to kings or nobles. He excavated at Thebes-West Bank, Nubia's Buhen and Ballana and Qustul.
Emirean
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Emiran
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An early Upper Palaeolithic industry of the Levant region, named for the Emireh cave at the north end of the Sea of Galilee (Israel) which yielded tools and triangular arrowheads with a base tapered by means of bifacial retouches (Emireh points). It is the earliest stage of the Upper Palaeolithic recognized in the eastern Mediterranean region. The Emiran is believed to date from about 30,000 bc and may be transitional from the Mousterian.
Encanto
CATEGORY: culture; site
DEFINITION: A series of sites on the central coastline of Peru, including Chilca, which constitute a cultural phase which began to exploit maritime resources and cultivation, c 3750-2500 BC. Stone artifacts include milling stones, small percussion-flaked projectile points, and simple scrapers as well as bone and wooden tools. The changing subsistence patterns resulted from the decreasing availability of lomas vegetation.
Epi-Acheulian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A term used to describe stone industries from the early Middle Paleolithic which combine some very rare Acheulian-type bifaces with an already well-developed tool kit based on flakes.
Epigravettian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Epi-Gravettian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The late glacial industries of Italy from 20,000-8000 bp, which evolved into the Mesolithic. It is divided into early (20,000-16,000 bp), evolved (16,000-14,000 bp), and final (14,000-8,000 bp) phases. Epigravettian was followed by the Sauveterrian and Castelnovian in the 7th millennium BC. Epigravettian cultures developed contemporaneously in various parts of Europe, notably the Creswellian in Britain.
Episkopi-Phaneromeni
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Middle or Late settlement site of Cyprus, occupied c 1600-1500 BC, with a Middle Cypriot chamber tomb cemetery.
Er Lannic
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of two Neolithic stone circles on an islet in France, now partly submerged. There were stone-built cists or hearths, polished stone axes, and pottery.
Erevan Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Middle Palaeolithic site in Armenia with occupations during cool climatic conditions. Artifacts include sidescrapers and faunal remains are from rhinoceros, horse, elk, and red deer.
Erligang phase
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Erh-li-kang
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stage of the early Bronze Age in North China seen in two strata at Zhengzhou Erligang, classified archaeologically as Middle Shang. The phase preceded the Anyang period (c 1300-1030 BC) and radiocarbon dates have been c 1600-1550 bc. The massive rammed-earth fortification, 118 feet wide at its base and enclosing an area of 1.2 square miles, would have taken 10,000 men more than 12 years to build. Also found were ritual bronzes, including four monumental tetrapods, palace foundations; workshops for bronze casting, pot making, and bone working; burials; and two inscribed fragments of oracle bones. The Erligang phase may correspond to the widest sway of the Shang empire and is known for its highly developed bronze-casting industry. Some Chinese archaeologists call the phase Early Shang.
Etruscan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The people who occupied north central Italy (ancient Etruria, modern Tuscany) in the 1st millennium BC. They can first be recognized in the 8th century BC, distinguished from their predecessors the Villanovans by the wealth and oriental appearance of their tombs. They developed a high level of civilization very quickly, with extensive trade contacts with Greece and Carthage, and across the Alpine passes to central Europe. Their cities were large and rich: Populonia, Vetulonia, Tarquinia, and Caere (Cerveteri) near the coast, and Veii, Clusium (Chiusi) and Perusia (Perugia) inland. Etruscan influence spread widely, through Rome itself down to Campania in the south, and north to the Po valley and the civilization reached its height in the 6th century BC. Conflict with the Celts in the north and Rome in the south led to conquest by the latter, beginning with Veii in 396 BC and completed early in the 2nd century BC. The Etruscans' own writings, in an alphabet borrowed from the Greeks, can be transliterated, but little of their non-Indo-European language can be translated. Etruscan tombs show their genius; the finest are mounds covering a burial vault, as in the cemeteries of Tarquinia and Cerveteri. The vaults may be elaborately frescoed with scenes from life, mythology, or the rites associated with death. Also remarkable is a tomb at Cerveteri, the walls of which are covered with stucco reliefs of everyday objects. There is a high preponderance of imports, especially metalwork and Athenian pottery. Typical products of the Etruscans are decorated bronze mirrors, bucchero pottery, and sophisticated filigree jewelry. The influence of the Etruscans on Roman civilization was enormous. Rome is indebted to the Etruscans not only for its early kings, such as the notorious Tarquin, but virtually for the total infrastructure of its civilization. Roman culture is essentially the continuation of Etruscan under another name and language. Among areas of continuity are religion (e.g. Etruscan haruspex and Roman augury), political and social organization, strategic arts, architecture, art, drama, theater and civil engineering (notably hydraulics, such as aqueducts and drainage systems). The origin of the Etruscans has been a subject of debate since antiquity. Herodotus, for example, argued that the Etruscans descended from a people who invaded Etruria from Anatolia before 800 BC and established themselves over the native Iron Age inhabitants of the region, whereas Dionysius of Halicarnassus believed that the Etruscans were of local Italian origin.
Etruscan pottery
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pottery produced at various centers in Etruria, especially during the Archaic and Classical periods. Although plain wares were particular common (Bucchero, Impasto), figure-decorated pottery was also produced (Caeretan ware, Pontic ware).
Evans, Clifford (1920-1981)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: American archaeologist working in the Amazon with his wife, Betty Meggers. They investigated Ecuador, Venezuela, British Guiana, and Brazil, and provided the chronology and cultural definitions of prehistoric cultures of the region.
Evans, Sir Arthur (1851-1941)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A British scholar and archaeologist who contributed much to the study of Greek archaeology with his excavations at the Minoan palace of Knossos. His first interest was in coins and hieroglyphic seals, and it was the latter which drew his attention to Crete. He began excavations at Knossos in 1899 at his own expense, and in the next 35 years laid bare not only this Bronze Age palace of the Minoans, but in effect their whole civilization. Careful cross-dating with Egypt allowed him to put dates to his sequence, making it a vitally important link in the dating of prehistoric Europe before the discovery of radiocarbon. Though he was unable to decipher the Minoans' three written scripts, his detailed study of them gave the necessary basis for later work, culminating in the reading of Linear B by Michael Ventris in 1952. He was largely responsible for demonstrating the existence of a pre-Mycenaean Aegean civilization, for naming it Minoan (after the legendary King Minos of Crete), and for revealing most of its characteristics. He was the son of Sir John Evans.
Evans, Sir John (1823-1908)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British scholar, collector, and antiquary; the father of Sir Arthur Evans. Sir John conducted detailed studies of pre-Roman coinage, and the stone and bronze implements of Britain. He was actively concerned in the controversies over the authenticity of the handax and the eolith. He published three major works on British prehistoric artifacts.
Expanded Notch
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: E Notch
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A notch type which is composed of two notches in close proximity that leave a nipple as a remnant. Also known as a Double Notch.
Eynan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ein Mallaha, Ain Mallaha
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An early Natufian village beside Lake Huleh in northern Palestine. Excavations revealed three occupations starting with the 10th millennium bc. There were 50 semi-subterranean stone-lined circular huts, some with hearths and storage bins. Large storage pits and burials were outside the structures. Among the burials, one was more elaborately equipped and might have been a village headman. Eynan had a bone tool industry, bone and stone artwork, and stone vessels.
Fat'janovo
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Fatyanovo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cemetery site on the upper Volga in central Russia with a regional culture on the edge of a broader corded ware complex. In the cemetery, the dead were buried with spherical amphorae with cord ornament, model wheels of terra-cotta, stone battle-axes with drooping blades, and copper trinkets. Although the tombs are not covered by mounds, the Fat'janovo culture is a late (Copper/Early Bronze Age) sub-group within the main Single-Grave/Battleax tradition.
Fernando Po
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bioko, Formosa
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An island off the coast of Equatorial Guinea, once called Formosa, of particular archaeological interest. A Neolithic technology existed and continued till the early centuries of the 2nd millennium AD, presumably due to the absence of sources of metal. A similar situation existed in the Canary Islands. This site in western Africa lies in a strategic situation from which the Niger mouths and the Slave Coast could be watched.
Fine Orange Pottery
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: fine orange pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A high-quality orange ware, often decorated with incised, molded, or black-painted patterns; a late Classic (and post-Classic) pottery type of the lowland Maya area of Mesoamerica. Found at sites under the influence of Teotihuacán, it comes from the Tabasco-Campeche region (Usumacinta drainage).
Flandrian
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: Of or pertaining to the period since the retreat of the ice sheet and the rise of sea-level at the end of the last glaciation in northwestern Europe. The Flandrian can be dated by radiocarbon and ranges from 10,000 bp (the end of the Devensian) up to the present day. These deposits represent the latest Quaternary interglacial stage, equivalent to the Holocene epoch. The Flandrian includes sediments similar to those of previous interglacials, deposits on archaeological sites which contain Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman, Dark Age, medieval, and more recent artifacts.
Flavian
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The period of rule of the Roman emperors Vespasian (69-79), Titus (79-81), and Domitian (81-96) - 69-96 AD, members of the Flavia gens.
Fort Ancient
CATEGORY: culture; site
DEFINITION: A series of cultures along the Ohio River and its tributaries, dating to 900-1600 AD. There was developed agriculture, platform and burial mounds, and palisaded houses with a Mississippian influence.
Franchthi Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A prehistoric cave site on the Bay of Argos in the Peloponnese of Greece with dates to c 22,000-10,300 BP. An Epipalaeolithic occupation (c 10,000 BC) was succeeded after an interval by a Mesolithic (c 7500-6000 BC) with dozens of burials and some possible cremations. Excavations at the Franchthi Cave showed that boats already sailed to the island of Melos north of Crete for obsidian by about 13,000-11,000 BC and that the cultivation of hybrid grains, the domestication of animals, and organized community tuna hunts had already begun, marking the transition from hunting and gathering. A little later, the first pottery appeared. Late Upper Palaeolithic artifacts included small backed blades and geometric microliths.
Frankfort, Henri (1897-1954)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A Dutch-American archaeologist who completed a well-documented reconstruction of Early Dynastic Mesopotamian culture, established the relation between Egypt and Mesopotamia, and discovered much new information on both civilizations. A historian, he worked at Abydos, Amarna, Armant in Egypt and in Iraq as head of the University of Chicago's Diyala project. He published important works on pottery and cylinder seals as well as a study of kingship, religious attitudes, and art in western Asia and Egypt.
Franks
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Germanic-speaking people who invaded the western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. Dominating present-day northern France, Belgium, and western Germany, the Franks established the most powerful Christian kingdom of early medieval western Europe. The name France (Francia) is derived from their name. They originally settled to the east of the Rhine and expanded west from the later 3rd and early 4th centuries. The Frankish kingdom was increased in size by Clovis (481-511) to occupy much of Roman Gaul, but reached its greatest extent under Charlemagne. The archaeology of the Franks is best known from their cemeteries and the goods interred within them. Many Roman manufacturing industries were preserved by the Franks, but they introduced Germanic craftsmanship, arts, and building techniques.
Frisians
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Germanic people inhabiting the North Sea coastal plain and islands between the Rhineland and the Elbe (Frisia) in the early centuries BC and AD. Their coastal settlements were on artificial mounds known as terpen. The Frisians were involved in the invasion of England by the Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century AD. They controlled the trade of the North Sea from the port of Dorestad at the mouth of the Rhine, which became a target for Viking raids. Frisia was absorbed into the Frankish kingdom, its conquest being completed by Charlemagne. Archaeological evidence of these trading ventures is seen at Dorestad, where extensive excavations have been done. Evidence in the mounded villages show signs of long-distance trade contacts, suggesting that the Frisians linked the Rhineland to the northern world from the beginning of the Roman period until modern times.
Fromms Landing
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A limestone shelter site in the Lower Murray River Valley of South Australia with human occupation from c 3000 BC and deposits spanning 5000 years. The evidence parallels the nearby sequence of Devon Downs and includes stone artifacts (Pirri points and microliths) and a well-preserved dingo skeleton dated to 1000-1200 BC.
Fuegian tradition
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Shell Knife culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A primitive people inhabiting the South American archipelago of Tierra del Fuego from c 2000 BC. The culture, a coastal tradition of the Alacaluf tribes, was often called the Shell Knife culture. It was based on the exploitation of marine resources and operative on the southern coast and offshore islands of southern Chile. The beginning of the tradition was marked by a change from land-oriented hunting and gathering; bone and stone tool technology persisted well into historic times. The primitive cultures of the Ona and Yámana (Yahgan) of Tierra del Fuego are so similar that anthropologists traditionally group them with the neighboring Chono and Alakaluf of Chile into this one Fuegian culture area. The Ona inhabit the interior forests and depend heavily on hunting guanaco (a small New World camel). The Yámana are canoe-using fishermen and shellfish gatherers. They are all nomadic and are sparsely scattered over the landscape and poor in material culture.
Funan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The Chinese name for an early kingdom of Southeast Asia, founded in the 1st century AD and recorded as a trading partner of China from at least the 3rd century AD. Located in the lower Mekong region of Cambodia and southern Vietnam, this Indianized state was strategically situated on the trade routes between India and China. It was conquered by the Khmer state of Chenla in the 7th century. There is abundant information about the material culture of Funan from excavations, notably those of Oc-eo, thought to have been its main port, and from Angkor Borei.
Gamberian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A distinctive Early Holocene industry of coastal southeast South Australia and southwest Victoria with retouched flint flake tools.
Gamio, Manual (1883-1960)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Mexican archaeologist, one of the first to work in Mesoamerica and excavate using metric stratigraphy. He carried out a monumental study of the populations of Teotihuacán Valley and set up a ceramic sequence for the Valley of Mexico.
Gandhara
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Gandhara grave culture complex
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A culture of the 2nd and 1st millennia BC in the valleys of northwestern Pakistan - and the Achaemenid (Persian) satrapy of this name. This culture was important in passing Persian ideas on to the civilizations of the Ganges valley. It also introduced Hellenistic art styles to India. Western influence is also apparent in the grid town planning found at the Gandharan cities of Charsada and Taxila. Characteristic burials are in tombs consisting of two small chambers, one on top of the other; the lower chamber contained both the burial (inhumed or cremated) and the grave goods, while the upper chamber was empty. The population, which bred livestock and carried out agriculture, were accomplished metalworkers, producing tools, weapons, and ornaments of copper, bronze, gold, silver, and iron. The pottery within the grave goods was mostly a red or gray plain burnished type.
Ganges civilization
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A city-state civilization by the 7th-6th centuries BC, characterized by extensive urban settlement and a developed social organization. The state engaged in long struggles for power, which ended in the 4th century BC with the establishment of the Mauryan empire. Much of the information about the Ganges civilization comes from literary sources. Archaeological excavations have usually been on a small scale. Cities were large and usually fortified, often with massive mud ramparts. The characteristic pottery is Northern Black polished ware.
Gangetic hoard
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Any hoard of copper objects found in the Ganges basin in India. The main types of objects are flat and shouldered axes, bar chisels, barbed harpoons, antenna-hilted swords, hooked spears, and anthropomorphic objects. Associations with ochre-colored pottery suggest a date of the 2nd millennium BC.
Ganj Dareh, Tepe
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ganj Dareh
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A small mound in the Kermanshah region of western Iran, which has yielded five occupation levels with radiocarbon dates ranging from 8400-6800 BC. The lowest level had no permanent architecture, only shallow pits and hollows. The next level had mud-brick structures, mostly very small adjoining cubicles, perhaps used for storage. Subsequent phases include wattle-and-daub rectilinear structures and a wide range of unfired clay objects. Animal and human figurines suggest that the stone industry remained largely the same throughout.
Garstang, Professor John (1876-1956)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British archaeologist prominent in Near Eastern archaeology, including his major excavations at Mersin (Turkey), Sakje Geuzi (Syria), Jericho (Palestine), Meroe (Sudan), Beni Hassan, Esna, and Abydos (Egypt). He made major contributions to the development of Near Eastern prehistory.
Gatung'ang'a
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An early Iron Age site in the eastern highlands of Kenya, c second half of the 1st millennium AD. The pottery has similarities with Kwale ware.
Gaussian distribution
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bell curve, normal distribution
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A probability density function for continuous interval data.
Gdansk
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city situated on the mouth of the Vistula River in Poland, which evolved from the 12th century AD to become one of the most important trading centers of eastern Europe. A collection of Byzantine silks was an important archaeological find.
Gerzean
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Nagada II
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A late predynastic culture of Upper Egypt, successor of the Amratian, c 4000-3500 BC. It is named after the site of El Gerza or Gerzeh in the Fayum and is well represented at the cemetery of Naqada in Upper Egypt; another important site is Hierakonpolis. Flintwork included ripple-flaked knives and their was metalworking as copper was coming into use for axes, daggers, etc. Faience was introduced and ground stone vessels were popular and very finely worked. Typical pottery is a light-colored fabric in shapes imitating the stone vessels, decorated with red painted designs. These include imitations of stone markings, geometrical patterns and designs taken from nature. Ships were common, especially the papyrus-bundle craft used on the Nile. There is much evidence of contacts with southwestern Asia (in wavy-ledged handles on the jars, in cylinder seals, representations of mythical animals, the use of mudbrick in architecture, and possibly writing). These seem to have led to the advances which brought Egypt to the level of unified civilization at the start of the Dynastic period c 3200 BC.
Ghana
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The earliest and one of the most important of the West African empires, on the border of southern Mauretania and Mali and dating from at least the 8th century AD. It may have arisen as an organization of agricultural people who fought Saharan nomads. This early Sudanic state was well-established when it was first visited by Muslims from north of the Sahara. Its capital is believed to have been at Kumbi Saleh, where ruins of a large stone-built town have been investigated. Ghana also controlled the trading center at Awdaghast, at the southern end of the one of the major trans-Saharan caravan routes. The state regulated and profited from trade in gold, ivory, and salt. From the 11th century, Arabic written accounts are an important source for the history of ancient Ghana; late in that century the state was conquered by the Almoravids, who imposed Islam. Ghana was effectively eclipsed by Mali during the 13th century.
Ghar-i Kamarband
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Belt Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Cave site near the southeast corner of the Caspian Sea in northern Iran with occupation levels spanning the late Palaeolithic to early farming period c 10,000-5000 BC. After c 6000 BC there is evidence of increasing sheep and goat, possibly indicating domestication, and evidence of harvesting of wild cereals. Pottery appears c 5300 BC; shortly afterwards the cave was abandoned.
Ghirshman, Roman (1895-1979)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Ukrainian/French developer of archaeological work in Afghanistan and Iran who led a rescue mission in Luristan and carried out excavations at Tepe Sialk near Kashan. After World War II, he headed the French excavations at Susa in southwestern Iran. He also worked at Tello, Giyan, Sialk, and Choga Zanbil.
Giant's Grave
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Italian Tomba di Giganti
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Local name for the megalithic chamber tombs of the island of Sardinia during the mid-2nd millennium BC. The burial chamber is of gallery grave type, and is set in an elongated cairn with a retaining wall. The cairn covers a long burial chamber of Cyclopean construction with a corbelled roof. Some giants' tombs have curved or horned facades enclosing a forecourt. They belong to the Nuraghic Bronze Age culture.
Giglio Island
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A mountainous volcanic island off the coast of Etruria which has an archaic Etruscan shipwreck with a cargo of amphorae filled with olives, ingots, and perfumed oil in Corinthian and Etruscan aryballoi.
Gilimanuk
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement and burial site in western Bali, Indonesia, of the early 1st millennium AD. There are extended burials, jar burials, and stone sarcophagi and burial goods including bronze, iron, and glass and stone beads of local and imported origin.
Giyan, Tepe
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A long-lived tell site south of Hamadan, western Iran, going back to late Halaf c mid-5th millennium BC. Excavations provided the cultural sequence that was the standard for Luristan for some time. The five-phase sequence continued into the Iron Age and had a series of painted pottery styles. In the 2nd millennium, the native painted pottery replaced by the gray monochrome ware believed to be associated with the first Indo-European speaking Iranians. Its highest level shows it to have been an outpost of Assyria, with a palace of the 8th century BC.
Glanum
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: St. Rémy de Provence
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement site in southern Gaul (France), originally founded by the Greek colonists of Marseilles, with three phases of occupation - native Ligurian, Hellenistic, and Roman. With Romanization from the 1st century BC, Glanum became a prosperous provincial town with baths, forum, temples, shrines, a triumphal arch, and the so-called Mausoleum of the Julii. German attack in 270 AD brought an end to the occupation of the site.
Gnathian ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A pottery fabric of the Hellenistic period (4th-3rd centuries BC) in southern Italy. Produced originally at Apulia, the pots are decorated with a black-glossed technique with simple designs in yellow and white. It is the western equivalent of West Slope ware. It is unlike other south Italian pottery and was widely exported.
Gorman, Chester F. (1938-1981)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: An American archaeologist who specialized in early metallurgy and horticulture in Thailand and who worked at Spirit Cave and Ban Chiang.
Graman
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A series of rock shelters in a valley of the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia with human occupation dated between c 3000-1000 BC. Stone artifacts included some of the earliest Bondi points and geometric microliths, grinding slabs, adze flakes, awls, perforated pendant fragments, and bone points.
Gran Chichimeca
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The northern frontier of Mesoamerica inhabited by the Chichimecs before they moved south. The Chichimecs were true hunters and gatherers who were mainly migrants. The term Chichimeca was also applied to agricultural but less civilized peoples (e.g. Otomí, central Mexico) and thus an unsophisticated, rustic lifestyle. Since the northwestern portion of Mesoamerica was occupied by such people, the legends of north-south migrations of invaders, probably refer to movements of agricultural rather than hunting and gathering peoples. The term is also used to refer to the southwestern US.
Granada
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Kingdom and city important from the 13th century in Spain. Although its origins go back to the early years of the Moorish occupation in the 8th century, Granada rose to importance after the mid-13th century when it became the capital of a new state founded by Muhammad I (1232-1273). The kingdom comprised, principally, the area of the modern provinces of Granada, Málaga, and Almería. The city was dominated by the fortified citadel and Alcazaba, Medinat-al-Hamra, now known as the Alhambra. The Alhambra was defended by a massive towered enceinte enclosing a series of magnificent palaces linked by courtyards and gardens, much of which still remains. Apart from the Alhambra, Granada also preserves many examples of Islamic architecture in the older quarters of the city. Granada was the site of an Iberian settlement, Elibyrge, in the 5th century BC and of the Roman Illiberis. As the seat of the Moorish kingdom of Granada, it was the final stronghold of the Moors in Spain, falling to the Roman Catholic monarchs Ferdinand II and Isabella I in 1492.
Grand Pressigny
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A complex of flint quarries in Indre-et-Loire, France, whose products were widely traded throughout western Europe in the Late Neolithic and Copper Age. The distinctive caramel-colored flint was exported in the form of blocks and unfinished blanks. The exploitation of Grand Pressigny flint took place c 2800-2400 BC.
Grauballe Man
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Danish bog burial in central Jutland of the Roman Iron Age with a radiocarbon date c 310 AD. Grauballe Man was naked and his neck had been cut almost from ear to ear. His skin was particularly well-preserved by the peat. His last meal had consisted of a gruel made of 63 different types of identifiable seeds.
Gravettian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic industry named after the site La Gravette in the Dordogne of southwest France and characterized by well-developed blade tools of flint and female figurines of ivory. This advanced industry succeeded the Aurignacian and preceded the Solutrean, c 28,000-20,000BP. In France it is known as the Upper Périgordian (Périgordian IV) and the Gravettian appears to have developed in central Europe, expanding to the east and west. The small, pointed blades with straight blunted backs are called Gravette points. Most of the French sites are caves, but possibly related industries, known as Eastern Gravettian, are distributed through the loess lands of central Europe and Russia at the camp sites of mammoth-hunters; other sites are in Spain, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, and Italy. The Gravettians invented the bow and arrow, blunted-back knives of flint, and the tanged arrowheads. They are famous, too, for their cave paintings. Other artifacts include bone or ivory spears and, in eastern Europe, numerous other bone tools incised with an elaborate geometric pattern.
Great Langdale
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Neolithic ax factory in Cumbria, northwest England, with high-quality stone quarried at several sites and traded over very wide areas of England by the Peterborough people, c 4000-3000 BC.
Greenland
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The world's largest island; the Inuit are believed to have crossed from North America to northwest Greenland, using the islands of the Canadian Arctic as stepping stones in a series of migrations that stretched from 4000 BC to 1000 AD. Several distinct cultures are known, including the Sarqaq (c 1400-700 BC), Dorset (c. 800 BC-1300 AD), and others such as the Dundas (Thule) and Inugsuk. The Icelandic sagas and histories tell of failed attempts to colonize Greenland in the 970s and how the exiled Erik the Red eventually succeeded in 985. Archaeologists have located several early farmsteads, where the occupants began some cultivation and animal farming, supplementing their diets by hunting and fishing. Erik's own farm at Bratthalio consisted of a main long house with thick walls of stone and turf. Inside there was a central conduit and animal stalls with partitions made of whale scapulae. There were also four barns and outbuildings and the remains of a small U-shaped chapel with a wooden gable which was built by Erik's wife after her conversion to Christianity around 1000. From Greenland voyages were made to the coast of America, and Erik's son was one of the first explorers to reach 'Vinland', which was probably Maine.
Grotte des Enfants
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic cave of the Grimaldi complex with three Cro-Magnon burials.
Gumanye
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Late Iron Age site in southern Zimbabwe, c 1000-1100 AD. It gives its name to a facies of the Kutama tradition. It marks a clear break with the preceding Early Iron Age with the appearance of Shona people at Great Zimbabwe.
Guran, Tepe
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in western Iran with at least 21 occupation levels dated c 6500-5500 BC. In the earliest aceramic levels, there were remains of wooden huts, probably from a semi-permanent winter camp. In later levels with pottery, there are mud-brick houses and evidence of farming, goat domestication, and barley cultivation.
Gwithian
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Middle Bronze Age farming site in Cornwall, England, with prehistoric and medieval remains. There are houses of the Beaker Period, field systems of the Middle Bronze Age, and small square fields of Celtic type. The sites of the post-Roman period include a small settlement of circular drystone huts, a shell midden, and a late Saxon chapel. There are also sub-Roman (400-950), early Christian (550-850), and the Late Saxon (850-1050) levels which have been determined by the pottery. Gwithian ware and Mediterranean imports mark the first phase, and Grass-Marked pottery, the second. The chapel of St. Gocanius is one of the few pre-Conquest buildings in Cornwall (c 9th-10th century).
Hadrian's Villa
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Imperial country residence built c 125-134 AD at Tivoli near Rome by the emperor Hadrian. This villa is considered the epitome in architecture and elegance of the Roman world. The imperial garden city included baths and bath buildings, libraries, sculpture gardens, theaters, alfresco dining halls, pavilions, and private suites. Significant portions of the complex have survived to modern times. Hadrian himself was unable to enjoy his villa for long, as he died in 138.
Hadrian's Wall
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The best known of the Roman frontier works, built in northern Britain on orders of the Emperor Hadrian in 122-127 BC. Stone-walled ditch facing north and military zone behind it are protected by an earthwork to the south. It ran for 80 Roman miles (about 73 miles/117 km) from the Solway Firth (Bowness) to the Tyne (Wallsend). The wall itself is 12-15m wide, with small forts (milecastles) with two turrets in between built into it every 1 mile (1.5 km), and 16 Roman forts along it. Some parts were originally constructed in turf, but in time (by about 160) the whole structure was completed in limestone. To the south of the wall, another great ditch with wide spaced banks, the Vallum, follows roughly the same line, perhaps marking the limit of the military zone. Though the whole work, with outlying forts and service roads, was a most impressive undertaking, it could only serve its purpose of excluding the barbarians when adequately manned. It was overrun in 197, rebuilt by Severus, overrun again in 296 and restored by Constantius Chlorus, overrun again in 367 and rebuilt by Count Theodosius, and finally abandoned by 400 AD. Antoninus built a second wall (the Antonine Wall) about 100 km (62 miles) to the north along the line between Forth and Clyde rivers. This second line of fortification lasted only c 145-160 AD.
Haftavan Tepe
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Haft Tepe
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell site in northwest Iran occupied off and on from the Early Bronze Age to the Sassanian period. The earliest occupation is dated to the 6th millennium BC, but its most important material comes from the Elamite period of the 15th-13th centuries BC. A royal tomb of c 1500 BC containing 21 skeletons, some covered in red ochre, is an early example of a vaulted tomb. This tomb was connected by a stairway to the main temple which contained many simple burials, some in urns. Fragments of inscribed stelae in cuneiform in the 14th-century BC Elamite language have provided details of the temple economy. In the 8th century BC, the mound became an Urartian citadel with an attached lower town. It was destroyed either by Sargon II in 714 BC or by the Cimmerians. The site was reoccupied in the Sassanian period: a town wall and numerous graves of this period are known.
Hala Sultan Tekke
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Late Cypriot settlement supporting copper trade in the Aegean, Anatolia, Syria, and Egypt. It was abandoned in the 11th century BC, possibly because an earthquake destroyed its harbor.
Halfan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Nubian stone industry and culture, named after the settlement of the Wadi Halfa, dating from c 23,000-17,000 BC. Its sites, characterized by tools made on small blades, appear to have been camps of hunters and fishermen.
Hamangia
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic culture of the Black Sea near the mouth of the Danube (Romania and Bulgaria) which was contemporaneous with the early periods of the Boian and Maritsa cultures. The culture was rather short-lived, c 4000-3700 BC and was succeeded by the Gumelnita culture. It is regarded by some as a branch of the Impressed Ware culture, arriving by sea from the Aegean before 4300 BC. Noteworthy are its spondylus shell bracelets and its famous terra-cotta and marble figurines.
Hamburgian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Upper Palaeolithic culture of north Germany and the Low Countries, contemporary with the Magdalenian of France, c 13,000-11,750 BP. It was the culture of the first people to colonize north Germany and the Low Countries after the final retreat of the Pleistocene ice sheets had made the area available for settlement. The Hamburgians may have been the descendants of Eastern Gravettian or peripheral Magdalenian groups. They were reindeer hunters whose tools are small, single-shouldered points, harpoons, endscrapers, microburins, and 'zinken' (small beaked borers used for working antler).
Han Dynasty
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A historical dynasty and period in China, after the collapse of the brief rule of the Ch'in (Qin) Dynasty, from 206 BC to 220 AD. This dynasty took over the control of a unified China and had two main periods: Western (Early) Han (206 BC-8 AD) and Eastern (Late) Han (25-220 AD), separated by the Wang Meng (Wangman) of 9-25 AD. The Western Han capital was Chang'an and the Eastern (Late) Han (25-220 AD) at Lo-Yang (Luoyang). Next to the rich tombs at Mawangdui and Mancheng, perhaps the most revealing Han archaeological finds are a number of tombs whose wall paintings, decorated tiles, and stone reliefs form the earliest substantial corpus of Chinese pictorial art. The Han dynasty started iron and salt monopolies, extended itself through the commandery system, opened trade to the West via the silk route, and began the tradition of court histories.
Handan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Han-tan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The capital of the Eastern Chou (Zhou) state of Chao from 386-228 BC. The area was already settled in Shang times (c 1766-1122 BC) and first mentioned in about 500 BC, but became a center of trade and famed for luxury and elegance as the capital. In 228 it was attacked and taken by the armies of the Ch'in dynasty (221-206 BC) and became a commandery. Under the Han (206 BC-220 AD) it became the seat of an important feudal kingdom, Chao-kuo. The remains of the walls and foundations of buildings of both the Chao capital and the Han city still remain to the southwest of the modern city. A cemetery north of the walled city contained six chariot burials and 12 rich tombs, five with human sacrifices.
Hane
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Early Eastern Polynesian dune site on Ua Huka Island, Marquesas. It has documented aspects of Marquesan prehistory from initial settlement (c 300 AD) to European contact. It is a crucial site for documenting early human dispersal into Eastern Polynesia.
Hang Gon
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A prehistoric bronze-working site in southern Vietnam from the late 1st millennium BC. It overlapped the Cu Lao Rua and had urnfield remains.
Hanging Grimston
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A long barrow on Yorkshire Wolds, England of the British Earlier Neolithic of the 4th millennium BC. It gave its name to the Grimston-Lyles Hill pottery whose characteristic vessel was the round-based carinated bowl with everted rim.
Harappan civilization
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Indus Valley civilization
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: One of the great civilizations of antiquity, located in Pakistan and northwest India in the 3rd millennium BC. Nearly 300 settlements of the civilization are known: two large cities (Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa), and a number of smaller towns and villages (Chanhu-Daro, Judeirjo-Daro, Kalibangan, and Lothal). The Harappan civilization was characterized by a high level of architectural, craft, and technical achievement. We know little of the political, social, and economic structure of the civilization because, although it was literate, the script remains undeciphered. Like other early civilizations in Mesopotamia and Egypt, the Harappan civilization was based on the cultivation of cereal crops (plus rice and cotton), probably with irrigation. Among the most distinctive achievements of this civilization are the architecture and town planning, with the use of true baked brick for building, and cities and towns laid out on a grid-iron street plan, perhaps the earliest examples of town planning in the world. Among crafts, the most outstanding were the seals, mostly made of steatite and decorated with carefully executed incised designs. The Harappan civilization came to an end early in the 2nd millennium, either as a result of environmental factors (excessive flooding) or as a result of invasions by Aryan intruders. It is divided into three phases - Early, Mature (Urban), and Late (Post-Urban) and emerged from Punjab and Baluchistan regions.
Hargeisan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stone industry of northern Somalia with production of large blades from prismatic cores and which appears to predate the local appearance of microlith industries. It may be related to the Eburran occupation of the central Kenyan Rift Valley between the 11th and 8th millennia BC.
Harifian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A hunter-gatherer culture of Negev and Sinai who lived in the desert and in seasonal camps and had a Late Natufian lithic industry. The Harif point was an obliquely truncated bladelet with pointed base formed by microburin technique and a steep retouch.
Harran
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Haran, (Roman) Carrhae
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An ancient city of northern Mesopotamia mentioned in Hittite, Old Testament, and Assyrian texts, now a village in southeastern Turkey. The town was located on the road that ran from Nineveh to Carchemish. It is frequently mentioned in the Bible; Abraham's family settled there when they left Ur of the Chaldeans. It was the scene of a disastrous defeat of the Roman governor Crassus by the Parthians (53 BC) and of a later defeat of the emperor Galerius by the Persian king Narses (297 AD).
Hasanlu
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell site on Lake Urmia, northwest Iran, with a sequence beginning in the late 7th millennium BC. Much information has been gained on the early Ceramic Neolithic phase of the late-7th to mid-6th millennia BC. The citadel dates from the 10th century BC and is surrounded by a lower town. Four buildings on the citadel, facing onto a court and linked to a higher court with further buildings, have been interpreted as a palace complex. In c 800 BC, Hasanlu was destroyed. One of the skeletons held a magnificent gold bowl decorated with mythical scenes in relief. The bowl is related artistically to the finds from Marlik and Ziwiyeh. Other rich finds of gold, silver, electrum, glass, and ivory have been made at Hasanlu.
Hatvan
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: The type site, northeast of Budapest, Hungary, of the second stage of the Hungarian Early Bonze Age (which is defined by Tószeg). The Hatvan culture occurred between the Nagyrév culture and the Füzesabony, c early 2nd millennium bc. Many of the sites are tells in the Great Hungarian plain, although enclosed hilltop sites are known in the Carpathian foothills. Cremation burials in pits were frequent. Hatvan settlements commonly produce large numbers of fired clay zoomorphic figurines and vases, as well as model cartwheels.
Hawaiian Islands
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A series of islands in the north-central Pacific Ocean (Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Hawaii, plus many smaller islands) first settled by Polynesians in the mid-1st millennium AD. The area has many temple remains (Heiau), dwelling-sites, and ancient horticultural systems. The finds document the development of the populous and highly stratified society observed by Captain Cook in 1778.
Heekeren, H. Robert Van (1902-1974)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Dutch archaeologist who spent his career in Indonesia and wrote two important books - "The Stone Age of Indonesia" (1957 1972) and "The Bronze-Iron Age of Indonesia" (1958). Van Heekeren excavated on Sulawesi and Java.
Helwan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hulwan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A prehistoric and pharaonic settlement near the eastern bank of the Nile by Cairo. The name is sometimes applied to the material from the neighboring Neolithic site of El Omari.
Herculaneum
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Ercolano
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An ancient city of Campania, Italy, that was buried by the same volcano in 79 AD that took Pompeii. Already damaged by Vesuvius in 63 AD, Herculaneum was home to 5000 people. It had modern houses, tastefully decorated, and it was wealthier than Pompeii. In the destruction of 79 AD, the town was covered in liquid mud which subsequently solidified after percolating and filling structures. It tended to preserve organic materials, especially timber. The houses are remarkable for the preservation of internal and external structures in timber, and, in some cases, of furniture and fittings. Also found are papyri and a library containing the works of Epicurus. Herculaneum probably started as an Archaic Greek foundation.
Hertzian cone of force
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: The cone shape in which the energy of a projectile impact in high silica content stone radiates through the structure of the stone.
Highland zone
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: A settlement and geographic area corresponding to northern England, the Pennines, Wales, Devon, and Cornwall.
Hippodamian planning
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A rectangular town layout used by Hippodamos of Miletus in the 5th century BC. Miletus, in western Turkey, existed to Roman imperial times, and Piraeus in Greece is another example.
Hispaniola
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: formerly Espanola
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The second largest island of the West Indies of the Greater Antilles, which since the 17th century has been divided between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Hispano-Moresque pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A tin-glazed, lustrous, highly decorated earthenware made by Moorish potters in Span in the late medieval period, chiefly at Málaga in the 15th century, and in the region of Manises, near Valencia, in the 16th century. They tend to be plates and jugs with bold semi-abstract designs painted on a creamy background and with a gold luster finish. These wares were much in demand throughout Europe and, judging from finds in northern Europe, they were widely traded. The tin glaze was applied over a design usually traced in cobalt blue; after the first firing, the luster, a metallic pigment, was applied by brush over the tin glaze, and the piece was fired again. Imitation of this pottery in Italy led to the development of Italian maiolica ware.
Hoabinhian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hoabinh
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A little-known Mesolithic or Neolithic culture (early-to-mid-Holocene stone tool industry) of southeast Asia (type site is Hoa Binh, Vietnam) dating from 10,000-2000 BC. There are many chipped, pecked, and polished stone axes found in piles of shells. Its importance lies in its position between the earliest centers of rice growing in India and China, and in the part it most have played in diffusing the knowledge of agriculture into Indonesia and the Pacific. The Neolithic assemblages have pottery and ground stone tools for several millennia after 6000 BC. It is best described as a techno-complex with successive cultural accretions, the Hoabinhian cannot be regarded as an archaeological culture of chronological horizon. The majority of Hoabinhian sites found to date are in rock shelters and coastal shell middens. The three recognized phases are: archaic with unifacially worked pebble tools, intermediate with smaller pebble tools and bifacial working and edge-grinding, and late characterized by some pottery, smaller scrapers, grinding stones, knives, piercers, polished stone tools, and shell artifacts.
Hongshan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Liaoning Province, China, an the name of a Neolithic culture dated to c 3500-3000 BC. Hongshan had elaborate jade animal ornaments, large temple sites, female figurines, and masks.
Hou-kang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hougang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The type site of a Neolithic culture (also called Honan Lung-shan, Henan Longshan) in Honan province, China, the first to show Yangshao, Honan Longshan, and Shang remains in stratigraphic succession. Other cultural sites are Xiawanggang and Dahe. The radiocarbon dates obtained from Hou-kang are c 4400-4200 BC for the Banpo-type Yangshao level and c 2350 BC for the Honan Lung-shan level.
Houhanshu
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A history of the Later Han Dynasty and peoples of peripheral regions of East Asia, the "Chronicles of the Later Han" compiled in 398-445 AD from the Weizhi.
Hoxnian
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: An interglacial stage of Great Britain that is correlated with the Needian Interglacial of the Netherlands, the Holstein Interglacial of northern Europe, the Mindel-Riss Interglacial of classical Alpine Europe, and is also considered to be approximately contemporaneous with the Yarmouth Interglacial of North America. It is named after the site of Hoxne where deposits are older than the extreme range of radiocarbon dating (70,000 bp). Some Hoxnian deposits are stratified above Anglian Glacial deposits, others below Wolstonian glacial deposits. Acheulian and Clactonian artifacts are found in Hoxnian deposits. In addition, parts of hominid skull have been found in Hoxnian gravels at Swanscombe.
Huamanga
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A cultural phase, 900-1100 AD, in Ayacucho, Peru, which follows the downfall of the Huari Empire. It is characterized by crude polychrome pottery.
Huang-tao ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of Chinese stoneware made in the T'ang Dynasty (618-907 AD) in the Honan Province. It is glazed in black or brown and splashed with an opalescent bluish or gray contrasting glaze.
Huashan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in southwest China with the world's largest rock art panel. It is a limestone cliff along the Zuojiang River with over 1800 red paintings of anthropomorphs and zoomorphs. The art was done between 2370-2115 years ago in between the Early Warring States period and the Eastern Han Dynasty.
Huánuco Pampa
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Inca provincial capital in the Peruvian Andes. The main town included a high-status residence, military garrison, and a compound probably for the 'Chosen Women'. A Spanish census report allowed the archaeologists to identify the villages occupied by the various conquered groups who paid tribute to the Incas at Huánuco. Each local group had its own style of pottery and architecture, which did not occur in the Inca town. Imperial Inca styles of pottery and building were confined to Huánuco.
Iberians
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A prehistoric people of southern and eastern Spanish coastal regions of the 1st millennium BC who later gave their name to the whole peninsula. In the 8th-6th centuries BC, waves of Celtic peoples migrated to the region. By the time of the Greek historian Herodotus (mid-5th century BC), 'Iberian' applied to all the peoples between the Ebro and Huelva rivers, who were probably linguistically connected and whose material culture was distinct from that of the north and west. There was a common script of 28 syllabic and alphabetic characters somewhat derived from Greek and Phoenician, and a non Indo-European language which cannot yet be translated. Notable among their products are their jewelry and statues, of which the Lady of Elche is the most famous. The Iberians' origins are obscure, perhaps North African. They disappeared as a separate group under the Roman occupation, partly by fusion with the Celts of the interior, partly through displacement of their language by Latin. The Iberian economy had a rich agriculture and mining and metallurgy.
Ibero-Maurusian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Iberomaurusian; Mouillian; Oranian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stone tool culture characterized by small backed bladelets and found across the North African coast from at least 22,000-10,000 years ago (the late Würm (last) glacial period). It followed the Aterian in the Epipalaeolithic of Maghreb in North Africa and preceded the Capsian. The culture was related to Cro-Magnon, a group of people known as the Mechta-el-Arbi race, living along the Mediterranean from Tunisia to Morocco and also Libya. Linked to the sea, there are huge shell mounds of mussels, oysters, and arca. Associated with these are pottery and limited stone tool industry, in conjunction with hearths, sometimes still marked by supporting stones. Extensive cemeteries have been investigated, as at Taforalt, and also at Afalou bou Rhummel and Columnata in Algeria. Burials were sometimes decorated with ochre or accompanied by food remains or by horns of wild cattle. The industry does bear a close resemblance to the late Magdalenian culture in Spain, which is broadly contemporary (c 15,000 BC). There is evidence suggesting that the Ibero-Maurusian industry is derived from a Nile River valley culture known as Halfan, which dates from c 17,000 BC.
Iceland
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An island country founded during the Viking age of exploration (late 9th century) and one of the most active volcanic regions in the world. The country was rich in fertile land and natural resources and independent farmers, mainly coming from Norway, flourished. There was much trade with the Viking world. The details of Iceland's history and way of life have come down through their poetry and chronicles but mostly through the unique medieval prose form known as the saga. The sagas first emerged in the 12th century and increased in craftsmanship and output through the 13th century. They tell of family feuds, murderous intrigues, and voyages. The sagas are regarded as among the finest literary achievements of the Middle Ages.
Idaean Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A sacred cave on Mount Ida in central Crete, one of those claimed to be the birthplace of Zeus. Votive offerings were made here by the Minoans, as it was an important cult center. There was a large rock shaped into a stepped altar. A magnificent series of decorated shields of the 8th and 7th centuries BC, showing artistic influence from Syria and Assyria, was also on the site.
Illinoian
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A glacial stage of the Quaternary in North America, followed by the Sangamon Interglacial and following the Yarmouth. The Illinoian ice sheet covered a small area of southeastern and extreme eastern Iowa, and in so doing it diverted the Mississippi River and created a valley along its western front that can still be seen. It consists mainly of tills, the products of large ice-sheets, and has been split up into three sub-stages, the Liman, Monican, and Jubileean. It is unclear how many cold stages the Illinoian deposits represent, but it may be more than one. The Illinoian Glacial Stage ended with a cool, moist period that gradually became drier and then warmer. The Illinoian has never been dated satisfactorily but it is roughly contemporary with the Riss and Saale Glacial Periods.
Ilopango
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a catastrophic volcanic eruption in south-central El Salvador in the late Pre-Classic Period, c 260 AD. At least two volcanic events occurred close together and the effects devastated a large area, forcing the local populations of early Maya to migrate north and east into the lowlands of central Guatemala and Belize. This sudden influx of migrants may have given rise to the improved agricultural methods which mark the beginning of the Classic Maya civilization. Archaeological evidence at Barton Ramie (and at Altar De Sacrificios) indicates a period of noticeable environmental and demographic change at that time.
Inanna
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: A Sumerian deity, the goddess of love and war, storehouse and rain. She was the daughter of Nanna/Sin, sister of Enmerkar, and associated with Warka. She is equivalent to the Akkadian Ishtar. She is sometimes the daughter of the sky god An, sometimes his wife; in other myths she is the daughter of Nanna, god of the moon, or of the wind, Enlil. She is sometimes referred to as the Lady of the Date Clusters.
Independencian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture sited in Independence Fjord in northeast Greenland with two Paleo-Eskimo formations, Independencian I and Independencian II. The first may be the earliest manifestation of Arctic microlithic tradition in eastern Arctic. There were fairly standardized and precisely shaped tools, a fine saw edge on bifacial artifacts, and the absence of polished stone and adze blades. Some of the dwellings are arranged axially with slabs of stone placed vertically around a central hearth and spaces on each side where food could be stored.
Indian Knoll
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A shell mound site in Kentucky with over 1100 burials, many with exotic grave goods. This Archaic midden is dated c 4000-2000 BC.
Indianization
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hinduization
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The transplantation by peaceful means of the Indian civilization in Europe and other parts of Asia; the process of making Indian in character or composition, as by the replacement of foreigners by native-born Indians in positions of authority. The expansion of the Indian culture was founded upon their concept of royalty, and characterized by Hindu or Buddhist cults, mythology and cosmology, and use of the Sanskrit language. The process began around the beginning of the Christian era, lasted for several centuries and created so-called Indianized kingdoms or civilizations which declined in the 13th or 14th century.
Indo-Aryan
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: Languages of the Indo-European family used by those settled in eastern Iran and Afghanistan, probably in the 3rd millennium BC. Some of these people, who called themselves Aryans, seem to have gradually worked their way into the Indian world. In the first millennium BC these groups of Indo-Aryans seem to have been responsible for the diffusion of the Vedic culture and of Sanskrit throughout northern India.
Indo-European
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A group of languages from which most modern European languages are derived, as well as Indian Sanskrit and the Farsi language of Iran. It is assumed that the dispersal of these languages must have occurred through large-scale migrations of people. Attempts have been made to identify the carriers of Indo-European languages with groups recognizable in the archaeological record. When the groups were literate or are recorded in other people's documents, as with the Hittites and the Luwians in Asia Minor, it is possible to establish that the groups were indeed Indo-European speakers. One school maintains that the original homeland was in the south Russian steppes in the 5th millennium BC and spread into Europe with the Single Grave, Corded Ware, and Globular Amphorae groups. Indo-European was first recognized by Sir William Jones in 1786. It includes most of the modern European languages (Romance, Germanic, Slavic, Baltic, Greek, Albanian) and modern Indo-Iranian (Persian, Hindi).
Inyanga
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A series of mountains that separate Zimbabwe from Mozambique which has evidence of a prolonged sequence of Iron Age occupation. Early Iron Age settlement, related to that at Gokomere, is attested at several sites around Ziwa Mountain. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, and perhaps earlier, extensive irrigation works were built. Other stone structures date from the same period, including semi-subterranean structures interpreted as stock pens.
Ipswichian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Eemian
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The last interglacial of Britain, equivalent to the Eemian Interglacial of North Europe, with its type site at Bobbit's Hole, Ipswich. The Alpine equivalent is the Riss-Würm and the Sangamon in the North America equivalent. The deposits indicate warm conditions with evidence of vertebrate fossils. One radiocarbon date of 174,000 @ 30,000 bp has been found. Levalloisian and Mousterian artifacts are found in Ipswichian deposits.
Isfahan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city in Iran which was a Parthian provincial capital and possibly occupied throughout the Sassanian period, the central province of the ancient pre-Islamic Iranian empires. The Great Mosque of Isfahan was one of the most influential of all early Seljuq religious structures; it was probably completed around 1130 after a long and complicated history of rebuildings. The best known Safavid monuments are located at Isfahan, where 'Abbas I built a whole new city. 'Abbas expressed his new role by moving his capital in about 1597-98 to Isfahan. According to one description, it contained 162 mosques, 48 madrasahs, 1802 commercial buildings, and 283 baths. Most of these buildings no longer survive, but what remains constitutes some of the finest monuments of Islamic architecture.
Ishango
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Stone Age midden on the shore of Lake Edward in eastern Zaire, dated to 20,000 BP. It has a long sequence of occupation and represents the southernmost known manifestation of the so-called African Aquatic Civilization. A crude stone industry with rare backed microliths was accompanied by bone harpoon heads. There was no pottery.
Janislawice
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Type site of the Janislawice culture, a late Mesolithic people inhabiting east-central Europe, in central Poland. There is a Mesolithic burial, dated to the Atlantic climatic period of c 6000-4000 BC, with grave goods.
Jankovich
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Prehistoric cave site near the River Danube, north-central Hungary, with a Middle Palaeolithic assemblage of bifacial foliates and sidescrapers. An Upper Palaeolithic assemblage, Neolithic, and Bronze Age artifacts, were also found.
Japanese periodization
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A classification used by archaeologists and historians: Jomon 10,000-300 BC, Yayoi 300 BC-300 AD, Kofun 300-710, Nara 710-794, Heian 794-1183, Medieval (Kamakura, Muromachi, Momoyama) 1183-1603, Feudal (Edo/Tokugawa) 1603-1868, Meiji 1868-1914, Taisho 1914-1925, Showa 1925-1988, and Heisei 1989-present.
Java man
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The remains of Homo erectus found in Java, probably dating from c 1 million to 500,000 BP, by E. Dubois in 1891. Dubois, however, originally classified his find as Pithecanthropus erectus. Other fossils from Sangiran and the remains of an infant from Modjokerto indicate that H. erectus occupied Java during the middle Pleistocene Epoch.
Jermanovice point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Laurel-leaf points, flaked completely on one side but bifacially only on the lower part of the blade and on the bulb of percussion. Characteristic of the Upper Palaeolithic Jermanovice Culture in Poland.
Jerzmanowician
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Jermanovician
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An early Upper Palaeolithic industry of Poland characterized by foliated bifacial points, retouched blades, and denticulates. The type site is Nietoperzowa Cave at Jermanovice near Cracow in Poland.
Jiangling
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chiang-ling
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A county seat of the Ch'in dynasty (221-206 BC) in third century BC China. Western Chou, Eastern Zhou, and Han remains as well as burials containing painted lacquers are of interest. Chiang-ling was also a center of a handicraft-textile industry, which was developed on a large scale by the Ch'ing dynasty in the 18th century, Chiang-ling satins being especially famous.
Jinniushan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Early and Late Palaeolithic site in Liaoning Province, China, with scrapers, bipolar flakes, and Homo sapiens remains.
Jordanów
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Jordansmühl; Jordanów Slaski; Jordanova
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement and cemetery site in Silesia, southern Poland, the type site for a subgroup of the Late Neolithic Lengyel culture. Its pottery is incised or painted, and copper objects were beginning to be used - among the earliest-known from north of the Carpathians. The settlement had timber houses which were trapezoidal in plan.
Juan knife
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A long flake with abrupt blunting retouch along one margin. Ethnographic specimens have handgrips of skin or resin and are documented from western, central, and eastern Queensland, Australia. They are very rare in archaeological contexts and are only known from the last few hundred years.
Juodkrante
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site of the Baltic Early Bronze Age, in western Lithuania and dated to the mid-2nd millennium BC. An amber-processing workshop was found with half-finished pendants and beads.
K-means technique
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: A clustering method whereby the multi-dimensional space of dissimilarities is partitioned into an optimal number of groups.
Kabambian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Iron Age industry of southeastern Zaire which succeeds the Kisalian and is best known from numerous graves, especially at Sanga. The industry is dated between the 14th-18th centuries AD and is marked by an abundance of copper cross-shaped ingots (croisettes), of standardized weights, which may have served as a medium of exchange.
Kafiavana
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock shelter in the New Guinea Highlands, with a sequence that starts with edge-ground axes (adzes) and flake tools of early Australian type (c 11,000 BC), and then documents trade in coastal shells (from c 8000 BC) and the appearance of pigs (by 3500-4000 BC). The deposits contain bone tools and a rich faunal assemblage. Pigs, which were not native, occur from about 6500 bp.
Kakanj
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The type site for a Middle Neolithic regional group in north-central Bosnia, located near Visoko and dated c 4700-4300 BC. The culture is typified by fine monochrome wares and decorative elements with affinities in the coastal Danilo culture. There are working pits, flint production areas, and a rich bone-working assemblage.
Kalanay
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave site on Masbate Island in the central Philippines, which has produced incised and impressed pottery of a type found widely in Southeast Asia and South Vietnam from c 500/400 BC to 1500 AD. Kalanay is one of the type sites for the 'Sa-Huynh-Kalanay' pottery complex (Sa-Huynh of coastal Vietnam). There are metal period jar burials from the late 1st millennium BC or later.
Kalibangan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in India near the extinct Ghaggar/Hakra River with Early and Mature Harappan settlements. A Chalcolithic settlement similar to Kot Diji and the site underlying the Indus city at Harappa has given radiocarbon dates of c 2750 BC. An intact plowed field has been discovered, indicating that the plow was already in use before the main Harappan period. About 2450 a small town of the Indus civilization was built over it, which flourished to c 2150 BC. In the Mature Harappan period, the site consisted of a citadel and a lower town, both defended, and laid out, in the normal Indus Valley grid pattern.
Kalumpang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Neolithic site in Sulawesi which, along with Minanga Sipakko, has produced late Neolithic assemblages of polished stone adzes, ground slate projectile points, and pottery. Some aspects of the artifacts are similar to Taiwanese Neolithic and Lapita wares of Oceania.
Kampong Sungei Lang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site near Klang, Malaysia, with a metal age boat burial dated to c 300 BC. The grave goods include two Dong Son bronze drums, Mutisalah beads, and iron implements. It may be contemporary with the Bernam-Sungkai slab graves.
Kandahar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Qandahar
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site near the crossing of the Arghandab in southern Afghanistan. The city was included in the Achaemenian empire by Darius I, was taken by Alexander the Great in 329 BC, was surrendered by Seleucus I to Candra Gupta in 305 BC and dignified by a rock inscription in Greek and Aramaic by his grandson Ashoka, and thereafter was successively held by Greco-Bactrians, Parthians, Sakas, Kushans, and Sasanians. The town seems to have been occupied continuously until the 18th century and a large barrow cemetery belongs to the Islamic period.
Kandanda
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on the upper Zambezi River in Zambia, with a prepared-core industry that included rare bifacial hand axes which continued to a remarkably late date. It was replaced by a microlithic industry probably around 1000 BC.
Kaneaki
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A heiau of Molokai, Hawaii, with six construction phases starting from 1460 AD.
Kanem
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kanem-Bornu
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: African trading empire ruled by the Sef (Sayf) dynasty that controlled the area around Lake Chad from the 9th to the 19th century. Its territory at various times included what is now southern Chad, northern Cameroon, northeastern Nigeria, eastern Niger, and southern Libya. Kanem-Bornu was probably founded around the mid-9th century, and its first capital was at Njimi. Toward the end of the 11th century, Kanem-Bornu became an Islamic state. Because of its location, it served as a point of contact in trade between North Africa, the Nile Valley, and the sub-Sahara region.
Kangaroo Island
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An island off South Australia with Kartan sites showing previous Aboriginal occupation, though it was uninhabited at European contact. These sites may be late Pleistocene, but material found at Cape du Couedic is dated to around 7000 bp.
Kanjera
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site near Kanam in western Kenya with hand axes of probably Acheulian type in the Middle Pleistocene deposits. Very fragmentary remains of skulls are probably post-Pleistocene.
Kansai
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A region of ancient cities to the west (sai) of the mountain barrier (kan) near Mount Fuji, the birthplace of the earliest Japanese state and one of Japan's traditional cultural areas. It is an area of historically dense population that until well into the 20th century was the most industrialized and economically advanced part of Japan. It was an early medieval administrative district of west-central Japan, roughly the same as the modern Kinki district. The Keihanshin Industrial Zone corresponds to the Kansai.
Kansanshi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An ancient copper mine near the modern Solwezi in central Zambia's Copperbelt. Small-scale exploitation of the copper deposit appears to have begun during the Early Iron Age of the second half of the 1st millennium AD. Large-scale workings are not attested before the 14th or 15th century.
Kansyore ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A comb-stamped pottery found at several pre-Iron Age sites around Lake Victoria in East Africa in the first millennium BC. The makers of Kansyore ware appear to have been hunter-gatherers, makers of a backed microlith industry.
Kantarawichai
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large late prehistoric or early historic moated site between Non Chai and Ban Chiang Hian in Khorat, Thailand.
Kanto
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Modern administrative district of eastern Honshu Island, Japan. It consists of Tokyo-Yokohama Metropolitan District and Gumma, Saitama, Kanagawa, Tochigi, Ibaragi, and Chiba (prefectures).
Karanis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kom Aushim
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Classical term for the site of Kom Aushim, in Faiyum (Fayyum), Egypt, which yielded over 5000 papyri and ostraka. These are a major source of information about the economy and administration of Roman Egypt during the 2nd-4th centuries AD.
Karanog
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large town and necropolis located in Lower Nubia, south of Aswan, which flourished in the Meroitic and post-Meroitic periods c 300 BC-550 AD. By at least as early as the third century BC, Karanog had developed into a major town.
Karanovo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell site in eastern Bulgaria which has given the basic chronological sequence from the Early Neolithic, and much of the Eneolithic, to the Bronze Age, 7th to mid 2nd millennium BC, of the eastern Balkans. There were seven major phases of occupation. Karanovo I is the earliest Neolithic and forms part of the complex of cultures that include Starcevo, Cris, and Körös. The architecture was wattle-and-daub and eventually the 50-60 early, scattered, square huts were replaced by rectangular, larger, plastered, and painted ones. Karanovo II also represents the First Temperate Neolithic level. Karanovo III has Middle Neolithic Veselinovo levels, with dark burnished and carinated pottery. Level IV is the Kalojanoven level and V represents Marica levels, with graphite painted wares and excised pottery - both are contemporaneous with the Late Neolithic Vinca culture of the western Balkans. Level VI is the main Eneolithic Gumelnita occupation with graphite painted wares and copper metallurgy. Level VII is the Early Bronze Age level. Almost all the period designations have become known as cultures in their own right (e.g. the Karanovo III culture).
Kartan culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A group of stone assemblages with heavy core tools found on Kangaroo Island and the nearby peninsulas of South Australia, a variant of the Australian Core Tool and Scraper Tradition. Kangaroo Island, now separated from Australia by a 15-km strait, was joined to the mainland during the Pleistocene. There were no Aboriginal inhabitants at the time of European contact. Radiocarbon estimates of 14,000 BC have been obtained for a possibly subsequent small scraper industry in Seton rock shelter on Kangaroo Island. Kartan tools include unifacially flaked pebble choppers, large steep-edged flake scrapers, waisted ax blades, and large horsehoof cores (mean weights of 500 grams), sometimes associated with small quartz flakes. The proportion of core tools in the assemblage is much higher than in other Pleistocene sites.
Kaupangr
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Trondheim
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city in Norway founded in 997 by King Olaf I Tryggvason; he built a church and a royal residence, Kongsgård, there. The pottery, glass and coins from the excavations indicate that the site flourished in the 9th century. Like Hedeby and Birka, Kaupangr seems to have maintained extensive contacts with the Franks and Slavs as well as sustained links with the Arab world.
Kazanlik
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kazanluk
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large Neolithic, Copper Age (Eneolithic), and Early Bronze Age tell in the Valley of Roses, southern Bulgaria. The stratigraphy includes a Karanovo I occupation; Veselinovo occupation levels; Karanovo V-VI layers (with a stone wall enclosing the site at the end of this period), and an Early Bronze Age occupation. The Kazanluk Tomb, discovered in 1944 on the outskirts of town, is a Thracian burial tomb of an unknown ruler from the 4th or 3rd century BC. The fine murals that decorate the entire tomb distinguish it from 13 similar known examples.
Kebarian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kebaran
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stone-tool culture in Kebara (Kebareh) Cave of Mount Carmel, Israel. It is from the early Levantine Epipalaeolithic (c 20,000-14,500 BP, after the local Upper Palaeolithic. The nomadic hunter-gatherers worked with wild cereals and the flint industry was characterized by bladelets and microliths modified to form backed and pointed pieces and by mortars and pestles.
Khoisan
CATEGORY: culture; language
DEFINITION: Collective term for the Khoikhoin and San peoples of southern Africa and their languages. The Khoisan languages are click languages spoken in southern Africa. The term Khoisan was created to refer to the related peoples known as Bushmen and Hottentots (i.e., the Khoisanid peoples) under a common name and has become increasingly accepted since its creation in 1928. The word is derived from Khoikhoi and San, the names of the peoples called, respectively and pejoratively, Hottentots and Bushmen.
Khok Phanom Di
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Prehistoric settlement in south-central Thailand with radiocarbon dates of c 2000-1400 BC, though no metal has been found. It had a rich potterymaking and exporting tradition. The burials indicate social hierarchy.
Khuan Lukpad
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An industrial and trading settlement in Krabi, Thailand, where glass and stone beads and tin were made. Roman and Indian seals, Middle Eastern glass, and glazed stonewares date to the early-mid 1st millennium AD.
Khyan (c 1600 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Seuserenra
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A 15th Dynasty Hyksos ruler of Lower Egypt, whose 'throne name' was Seuserenra. Unlike the other Hyksos pharaohs, who commissioned very few architectural or sculptural monuments, Khyan was responsible for the decoration of religious structures at Gebelein and Bubastis.
Kian ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chi-an
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A white ware made at Yung-ho near Kian/Chi-an in Kiangsi that was often in the form of bowls decorated with leaves, medallions, birds, or plants. It could be black-glazed and was made during the Sung Dynasty (960-1279 AD). This ware appears to be an imitation of Ting.
Kingdoms, Old, Middle, and New
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The names traditionally applied to the three peak periods of development in the history of ancient Egypt, separated by times of decline and disorder. The Old Kingdom included the 3rd-6th Dynasties, c 2700-2200 BC; the Middle Kingdom was the 11th-13th Dynasties, 2100-1650 BC; and the New Kingdom consisted of the 18th-20th Dynasties, 1580-1075 BC.
Kisalian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Iron Age industry of southeastern Zaire which succeeded the Kamilambian c 8th century AD. There is a large cemetery site at Sanga on the shore of Lake Kisale, with numerous objects in ceramics, iron, copper, and ivory and items suggesting East African coastal trade. The industry reached its full development in the 10th-14th centuries. The funerary practices indicate the beginning of a hierarchical society in central Africa.
Kobystan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of rock art in Azerbaijan on the eastern end of the Caucasus Mountains, Mesolithic and Neolithic, Bronze Age and medieval. Hunting-gathering peoples used a microlithic toolkit who eventually made pottery.
Koolan 2
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Rock shelter in West Kimberley, Western Australia, where marine resources were used in the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene and a radiocarbon date of 27,300 bp. It is the oldest coastal site in Australia.
Korean periodization
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: Classification of the eras of Korea by archaeologists and historians. The major divisions following the Palaeolithic are: Chulmun, 7000-1000 BC; Bronze Age, 700 BC-0 AD; Iron Age, 400 BC-300 AD; Proto-Three Kingdoms, 0 -300 AD; Three kingdoms, 300-668; United Silla, 668-935; Koryo, 935-1392; Yi, 1392-1910; Japanese Colonial, 1910-1945; Modern, and 1945-present.
Korman' IV
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Palaeolithic and Mesolithic site on the Dnestr River in the Ukraine with 16 occupation levels. The Middle Palaeolithic levels seem to date to warm intervals during the Last Glacial. Upper Palaeolithic levels are radiocarbon-dated to 30,000-10,000 bp.
Kota Tampan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site in peninsular Malaysia with a pebble and flake industry dating to 31,000 BP in the Upper Palaeolithic. . In northern Malaya a large series of choppers and chopping tools made on quartzite pebbles and found in Middle Pleistocene tin-bearing gravels have been referred to collectively as the Tampanian, since they come from Kota Tampan in Perak.
Kuan ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Guan
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Fine Chinese stoneware of the Sung dynasty, 960-1279 AD, characterized by a wash of brown slip and by glazes varying from pale green to lavender blue. A wide-meshed crackle is brought out by the application of brown pigment. First made in North China, Kuan ware was produced from about 1127 at Hang-chou, Chekiang province, in the south.
Kuban culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Koban culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A regional variant of the earlier Bronze Age 'North Caucasian' culture group, located in the Kuban Valley of southwestern Russia dated to the mid-2nd millennium BC. It was also the name of an industrial complex of the late Bronze Age to early Iron Age, dated to the early 1st millennium BC in the same area. That culture was distinguished by rich Kurgan graves, use of the battle-ax, and a range of metal objects including the 'Pontiac' hammerheaded pin. The heavy concentration of Caucasian bronzes in the amber source zone of east Prussia indicates an extensive amber trade.
Kurgan cultures
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A seminomadic pastoralist culture that spread from the Russian steppes to Danubian Europe about 3500 BC. By about 2300 BC the Kurgans arrived in the Aegean and Adriatic regions. The Kurgans buried their dead in deep shafts within artificial burial mounds, or barrows. The word kurgan means barrow or artificial mound in Turkic and Russian. The first Kurgan culture was the Yamnaya, or Pit-Grave, culture. Then came the Catacomb Grave culture, and finally the Srubnaya (Timber-Grave) culture.
Kushan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kusana
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A ruling line descended from the Yüeh-chih, a people that ruled over most of the northern Indian subcontinent, Afghanistan, and parts of Central Asia during the first three centuries of the Christian era. It began as a nomadic tribe in the 2nd century BC. Under Kaniska I (fl 1st century AD) and his successors, the Kushan kingdom reached its height. It was considered one of the four great Eurasian powers of its time (the others being China, Rome, and Parthia). The Kushans were instrumental in spreading Buddhism in Central Asia and China and in developing Mahayana Buddhism and the Gandhara and Mathura schools of art. The Kushans became affluent through trade, particularly with Rome. After the rise of the Sasanian dynasty in Iran and of local powers in northern India, Kushan rule declined.
Kuyavian long barrow
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Earthen long barrows of the Funnel Beaker culture in northern Poland from c 3000 BC. The are usually surrounded by a kerb of large boulders and sometimes megalithic. They have a trapezoidal plan, normally have single primary burials, and are related to the Hunebeds of northern Germany and Holland.
L'Anse aux Meadows
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: L'Anse-aux-Meadow
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on Epaves Bay, northern Newfoundland, Canada, with evidence of a Viking settlement founded in the late 10th century AD. There are remains of Scandinavian-style turf-built houses and other artifacts of European origin: iron rivets, slag, a ring-headed bronze pin, and a soapstone spindle whorl. Supporting documents, such as Groen-lendingabok, Erik's Saga, and the map of Sigurthur Stefansson, also indicate that around 1000, Norse sailors journeyed to a land west of Greenland, which they called Vinland. The site has produced a series of radiocarbon dates which cluster around 1000 AD.
L'Anse-Amour
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Burial site on southern Labrador's (Canada) coast with a skeleton dated to c 5000 BC. The grave goods include a walrus tusk, stone spear points, and antler harpoon head. It is a complex burial for the time and the oldest burial mound in North America.
La Chaussée-Tirancourt
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Late Neolithic allée couverte (gallery grave) of c 2900 BC in Somme, France. It was used until c 2000 BC and remains of over 350 people have been preserved.
Laang Spean
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Cave site in western Cambodia, occupied between c 7000-500 BC, which has yielded a Hoabinhian sequence with an appearance of ground stone tools and pottery by perhaps 4300 BC. Succeeding layers contain more elaborate pottery and flaked stone tools.
Laconian pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Spartan pottery made in the 6th century BC, characterized as black-figured and black-glossed. The fabric was widely exported - to Cyrenaica, Etruria, and Greek colonies in Italy.
Lagoa Santa caves
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A system of caves in Minas Gerais, Brazil, occupied from the late Pleistocene, with human remains, stone tools, and remains of extinct mastodon and sloth. Dated to 15,300 bp is an industry of quartz flakes. The Cerca Grande complex of 10,000-8000 bp had small rock-crystal flakes, axes, bone projectile points, hammerstones, and a cemetery of 50 flexed inhumations. There are hundreds of rock paintings from the Planalto Tradition of 7000-3000 bp.
Lake Mangakaware pa
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Maori lake-edge fortification (pa) in the Waikato District, North Island, New Zealand. The site has produced on the of the most complete Classic Maori settlement plans known, dated 1500-1800 AD, with remains of palisades, a central open space (marae), and many wooden objects.
Lake Sentani
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A lake in northeastern Irian Jaya, northern New Guinea, known for a range of tools and weapons of bronze and brass found in burial mounds. These artifacts are undated, but could represent a metallurgical industry established by Indonesian traders in recent centuries. New Guinea has no other ancient metallurgical traditions. The items included socketed axes and spearheads.
Laming-Emperaire, Annette (1917-1977)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: French prehistorian specializing in prehistoric rock art who found and studied sites in Chilean Pantagonia - Englefield, Ponsonby, Munición - and in Brazil, José Vieira and several sambaquis (shell middens). She also excavated at Marassi (Tierra del Fuego), Lapa Vermehla, and Lagoa Santa.
Lan Chang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lan Xang
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The earliest kingdom of Laos, founded in 1353, the establishment of an eastern branch of the Thai people in a territory which belonged to the declining Khmer empire of Angkor. The kingdom was formed by the union of the principalities of Muang Chawa (present-day Luang Prabang) and Wian Chan (present-day Vientiane). It flourished until it was split into two separate kingdoms, Vien Chang and Luang Prabang, in the 18th century. Conflict with its Myanmar (Burmese) and Thai (Siamese) neighbors forced the kingdom's rulers to transfer the capital from Luang Prabang to Vientiane in 1563, but the kingdom maintained its power and was at the height of its glory in the 17th century.
Lan Na
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An ancient northern Thai principality, centered around present Chiang Mai. Founded in the late 13th century, it was also called Yonaratha or Yonakarattha or Bingarattha in the Pali chronicles. Recently the name has also been used to designate a Palaeolithic industry discovered in northern Thailand (the 'Lannathian'). Lan Na - with Chiang Mai as its capital - became not only powerful but also a center for the spread of Theravada Buddhism to Tai peoples in what are now northeastern Myanmar, southern China, and northern Laos. Under Tilokaracha (ruled 1441-87), Lan Na became famous for its Buddhist scholarship and literature.
Lancefield
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lancefield Swamp
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A small swamp in south-central Victoria, Australia, containing bones of an extinct megafauna representing an estimated 10,000 individuals, dated to c 24,000 BC. Six species are represented, but Macropus titan, a giant kangaroo, predominates. A few stone tools have been found in the bone beds, indicating that men and megafauna were contemporary in the area, probably for 7000 years. Cut-marks on some bones have been interpreted as the teeth marks of the carnivorous predator Thylacoleo carnifex, an extinct marsupial carnivore.
Landa, Bishop Diego de (1524-1579)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Spanish Franciscan priest and bishop of Yucatán who is best known for his classic account of Mayan culture. His book "Relacion de las Cosas de Yucatan" is the primary resource for interpretation of Maya archaeology. Especially important was the calendar section recorded day and month names and rudimentary explanation of Katun. Landa was sympathetic to the Mayan people but he abhorred their human sacrifices. Landa in his religious zeal ordered all icons and Mayan books to be burned. At the same time he wrote his comprehensive work on Mayan culture his orders to destroy all icons and hieroglyphics obliterated the Mayan language forever helping to undermine and destroy the civilization he so vividly described. Yet his book which was not printed until 1864 provided a phonetic alphabet that made it possible to decipher about one-third of the Mayan hieroglyphs and many of the remainder have since been deciphered.
Landsat
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: LANDSAT, Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS)
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: The Earth Resources Technology Satellite, any of a series of unmanned U.S. scientific satellites that produce small-scale images of vast areas of the earth's surface; used to study regional patterns of use of land and other resources.
Langkasuka
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An early Indianized state in the Pattani region of peninsular Thailand. The name of first appears (as Lang-ya-hsiu) in a Chinese source of the 6th century AD, asserting that it was founded 400 years earlier; its name reappears in later Malayan and Javanese chronicles. Langkasuka was the most important of the Indianized states and controlled much of northern Malaya. Malaya developed an international reputation as a source of gold and tin, populated by renowned seafarers. Between the 7th and 13th centuries many of these small, often prosperous peninsular maritime trading states may have come under the loose control of Shrivijaya, the great Sumatra-based empire.
Langmannersdorf
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Upper Palaeolithic site in Austria with layers dating to the Last Glacial Maximum, c 20,580-20,260 bp. The Aurignacian assemblage has burins and endscrapers.
Lantian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lan-t'ien
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Early Palaeolithic site in Shensi Province, China, with Homo Erectus remains at Gongwangling and Chenjiawo dated to c 700,000 bp (Middle Pleistocene). Lantian Man is the hominid species identified by Chinese archaeologists, the remains (both female) are as old as Java man, an early form of Homo erectus, and older than Peking man, another form. It was named Sinanthropus lantianensis, classified by most scholars as Homo erectus. The core tools are of the heavy-tool tradition of Palaeolithic China and stone implements from a third site may be contemporary with the human fossils.
Lara Jonggrang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lara Yonggrang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A monument of the Prambanan group in the region of Yogyakarta in central Java, Indonesia, built in the early 10th century by king Dhaksa, a king of Mendang-Mataram (Hindu-Mataram) as the funerary temple of his predecessor, king Balitung. The largest monument of the group, it is particularly known for its lively Brahmanic relief scenes. It was built to worship the Hindu god Shiva (Shiva) and is the largest Shiva temple in Indonesia. Restoration of the Lara Jonggrang, which had been partly damaged, was completed in 1951.
Larnian culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Mesolithic culture, named after Larne, Ireland, and found only on sites close to coasts and estuaries in western Scotland and eastern Ireland. It is characterized by shell middens and the early toolkits include leaf-shaped points made on a flake, the oldest unambiguous implement in Ireland, and scrapers. Some are dated to 6000 BC. Later assemblages contain more flakes than blades and include tranchet axes and very small scrapers. . More recent work casts doubt on the antiquity of the people who were responsible for the Larnian industry; association with Neolithic remains suggests that they should be considered not as Mesolithic but rather as contemporary with the Neolithic farmers. The Larnian could then be interpreted as a specialized aspect of contemporary Neolithic culture. Lake and riverside finds, especially along the River Bann, show a comparable tradition. A single radioactive carbon date of 5725 +/- 110 BC from Toome Bay, north of Lough Neagh, for woodworking and flint has been cited in support of a Mesolithic phase in Ireland.
Late Woodland period
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A period of time, c 400-1000 AD, in the American Midwest, when populations spread west to the eastern slopes of the Rockies and were in contact with eastward-moving Puebloan people. A favorable agricultural period was indicated by the marked increase in village size and in population density. Areas along major streams were occupied by various interrelated cultural groups collectively known as the Plains Mississippian cultures. Part of this complex was connected to the developing Mississippi complexes to the east by diffusion and, to some degree, by a migration of such groups as the Omaha and Ponca from the St. Louis area by about 1000 AD. It follows the Middle Woodland era but lacks the elaborate Hopewellian artifacts and structures.
Latians
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Latin
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The ancient people of Latium; an Iron Age people of the region just south of Rome. Their cremation cemeteries are known particularly from the Alban Hills, and from Rome itself. The Latians seem to have developed from the Pianello urnfielders, notably those who buried their dead in the cemetery at Allumiere, and were certainly the ancestors of the Romans. The first huts on the Palatine Hill were built by these people in the 9th century BC. Latium was an ancient area in west-central Italy, originally limited to the territory around the Alban Hills, but extending by about 500 BC south of the Tiber River as far as the promontory of Mount Circeo.
Laurentian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lake Forest Late Archaic
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Important Late Archaic tradition in northern New York and Vermont and the upper St. Lawrence valley, c 4000-1500 BC. Characteristic artifacts are broad-bladed, notched projectile points; bifaces, scrapers, and polished-stone tools (celts, gouges, plummets, slate knives or points). The tradition has phases such as Brewerton, Vergennes, and Vosburg.
Leang Burung
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Rock shelter site in southwestern Sulawesi, Indonesia with deposits postdating Ulu Leang. Shelter I has produced a late Toalian assemblage with microliths, Maros points, and pottery dating to the 2nd and 1st millennia BC. However, Shelter 2 produced a much older stone tool assemblage, late Pleistocene, with possible early Australian and also Levalloisian technological affinities, dating back to c 30,000-17,000 BC.
Leang Tuwo Mane'e
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Rock shelter on the coast of Karakellang, Talaud Islands, northeastern Indonesia, which has produced a preceramic small blade industry, c 3000 BC, followed by the appearance of a Neolithic assemblage by about 2000 BC, probably introduced from the Philippines.
Lefkandi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Important settlement site on Euboea, an island in the Aegean, occupied from the later 3rd millennium till the end of the 2nd millennium BC. Early levels have Anatolian-type pottery. At Toumba there is an artificial tumulus covering an apsidal structure which is surrounded by a peristyle of wooden columns, c 1000 BC. The rich burial of a man and woman may have been a shrine for a hero cult. Artifacts link this site to the eastern Mediterranean: the large bronze vessel in which the man's ashes were deposited came from Cyprus, and the gold items buried with the woman are of sophisticated workmanship. Remains of horses were found as well; the animals had been buried with their snaffle bits. The grave was within a large collapsed house, whose form anticipates that of the Greek temples two centuries later. This burial and finds at other cemeteries further attest contacts between Egypt and Cyprus between 1000-800 BC.
Leilan, Tell
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Shubat Enlil; Tall Leilan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site on the Wadi Jarrah, northwest Syria, identified as Shubat Enlil, the capital of Shamshi-Adad I of 1813-1781 BC. Occupation began in the early 4th and extended to the 2nd millennium BC. The sequences include 'Ubaid, Uruk, Ninevite 5, and an occupation with Khabur ware. In the 3rd millennium BC occupation, a walled lower town covered a large area and there was an upper town and possibly a karum. Documents have been recovered that should help shed light on developments in the area as well as Shamshi-Adad's empire.
Leisner, Georg (1870-1957) and Leisner, Vera (1885-1972)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Team of German archaeologists who studied megalithic tombs in Iberia. They published a series of monographs, "Die Megalithgräber der Iberischen Halbinsel" (1942-1965).
Leland, John (c. 1506-1552)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: An early notable antiquarian who, in his official capacity as King's Antiquary to King Henry VIII, toured England and Wales describing places of antiquarian interest, including prominent prehistoric sites. He intended to write a book ("History and Antiquities of the Nation") that would provide a topographical account of the British Isles and the adjacent islands and to add a description of the nobility and of the royal palaces. He died however before these works were prepared.
Lelang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lo-lang, Nangnang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: One of the Han colonies established in the Korean peninsula, a Chinese commandery established in 108 BC. Lelang survived as an outpost of the Chinese empire until 313 AD. Tombs contained Han lacquers, bronze mirrors, and gold filigree work. Some of the lacquers carry dated inscriptions, the dates ranging from 85 BC-102 AD, indicating that they were made in Sichuan in western China.
Leroi-Gourhan, André George Léandre (1911-1986)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: French prehistorian who prepared important works on Palaeolithic art. He worked at Les Furtins, Arcy-sur-Cure, and Pincevent, pioneering techniques of horizontal excavation, the study of occupation floors, and ethnological reconstruction of prehistoric life. He published "Treasures of Prehistoric Art" (also published as "The Art of Prehistoric Man in Western Europe" 1967; originally published in French 1965) a magnificently illustrated volume on the art of the Cro-Magnon peoples and "The Dawn of European Art: An Introduction to Palaeolithic Cave Painting" (1982; originally published in Italian 1980) a well-illustrated technical discussion.
Levalloisian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Levallois; Levalloisian flake technique
CATEGORY: culture; lithics
DEFINITION: Pertaining to the Levallois technique or describing tools made by this method of producing flint flakes from a prepared core. It is also the name of the middle Paleolithic culture or industry of the second Interglacial in France, characterized by the introduction and refinement of flake tools. The name is derived from Levallois-Perret, a town near Paris, where such artifacts were first discovered.
Levalloiso-Mousterian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A term used for the Mousterian cultures found at Mount Carmel, Jebel Qafzeh, Shanidar Cave, and other east Mediterranean sites. It was once thought that Levallois flakes signified a Levalloisian culture, while side scrapers indicated a Mousterian culture, and when the two were found together the phenomenon was called Levalloiso-Mousterian. The idea of such a hybrid culture is now generally rejected.
Levanna projectile point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Levanna projectile points are usually associated with Late Woodland and Contact Period occupations in southern New England (ca. 700-300 Years B.P.). Common material types associated with this point include quartz, quartzite, hornfels, and basalt. Non-local cherts were also used in the manufacture of this point type. The Levanna point type is characterized by the equilateral triangular form and concave base.
Levant
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Historically, the countries bordering the eastern Mediterranean shores. The term is also associated with Venetian and other trading ventures as at Tyre and Sidon as a result of the Crusades. It was applied to the coastlands of Asia Minor and Syria, sometimes extending from Greece to Egypt. It was also used for Anatolia and as a synonym for the Middle or Near East. The term is from the French lever, "to rise" a reference to where the sun rises.
Levantine art
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Rock art found mainly in eastern Spain and dating to the Neolithic period. Small red-painted deer, ibex, humans, etc. were used in hunting scenes. The art was once assigned to the Mesolithic.
Levanzo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A small island off western Sicily, Italy, where fine engravings of animals have been found in a cave, Grotta Genovese. It belongs to the Upper Palaeolithic Romanellian group of c 10,000 BC and depicts horses, deer, cattle, and humans.
Liang-chu
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Liangzhu
CATEGORY: culture; site
DEFINITION: A Middle and Late Neolithic culture in central southern China, with its type site in Jiangsu Province, originating c 3000 BC. Its painted pottery succeeded Yang-Shao culture and preceded or was contemporary with the Longshan culture; Liangzhu is a continuation of the Majibang culture of the same region and is of Hemudu lineage. The jade industry was very advanced with intricate incising and relief carvings of the taotie motif. It was a rice-growing culture.
Libby, Willard Frank (1908-1980)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: An American physicist and chemist who received the Nobel Prize for developing the radiocarbon-dating technique.
Libyans
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tjehenu, Tjemehu, Meshwesh, Libu
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A people of the Old and Middle Kingdoms living in the Western Desert, beyond Egypt's frontiers. They seem to have been semi-nomadic pastoralists. The Libyans ruled Egypt during the 22nd and 23rd dynasties.
Lifan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Li-fan
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: Type site northwest of Chengdu, China, of a local culture of western Sichuan province. It was characterized by slate cist burials and grave goods suggests that the culture flourished in the late Eastern Chou and early Han periods. It seems to have wide-ranging contacts, including metropolitan China (western Han coins), the Xindian culture of Gansu (pottery shapes), the Ordos region (small animal bronzes), and perhaps even Western Asia (glass beads).
Lindenschmit, Ludwig (1809-1893) and Wilhelm (1806-1848)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Brothers who attributed burials they excavated at Selzen near Mainz to Great Invasions and the Franks. They used comparative methods and made proper use of terminus post quem provided by dates on coins.
Lindow Man
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A body found in a peat bog of Cheshire, England, possibly a ritual sacrifice with radiocarbon dates of the 1st-2nd centuries AD. Parts of other bodies have been found there.
Ljubljanko Blat
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A marsh near Ljubljana in Slovenia, on which a number of Late Neolithic and Eneolithic village sites have been found. The material includes copper and molds for casting it. The culture is related to others throughout the East Alpine area, such as Vucedol, and was in contact with northern Italy.
Llano
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Llano tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The earliest Palaeoindian Big Game Hunting culture, from the plains of New Mexico, 10,000-9000 BC. Best-known is the type site of Blackwater Draw; other sites were located in what was once boggy lakeshore. Its chief diagnostic trait is the presence of Clovis materials, especially the fluted point, in association with mammoth remains. Evidence of the culture exists throughout North America: as far south as Iztapan, Mexico, as far north as Worland, Wyoming, and possibly as far east as Debert, Nova Scotia. The large plateau of Llano Estacado covered eastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle.
Longshan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lung Shan; Lung-shan; lungshanoid
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Collective name of the regional cultures of the Late Neolithic in northern China of the 3rd to mid-2nd millennia BC. The term refers to the culture of the Chengziyai type site, often distinguished as the Classic Longshan or Shandong Longshan, which may have survived to a time contemporary with the bronze-using Shang civilization. The Longshan period encompasses first metal use, warfare, compressed earth walled sites of Hangtu construction, abundant gray pottery, rectangular polished stone axes, and the delicate wheelturned black-burnished pottery of intricate shapes. A method of divination involving the heating of cattle bones and interpreting the cracks began here. In Honan, where its distribution overlaps that of the Yang Shao culture, Longshan is stratified above the former and below Shang material. Lungshanoid is another term used to describe these Neolithic cultures.
Lou Island
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An island in the Manus, Admiralty Islands, which was an important source of obsidian for the Bismarcks and the western Pacific. It first appears about 3000 bp. The Manus group settled after an open sea voyage around 5000 bp. The short-lived occupation sites and obsidian workshops are buried by volcanic ash.
Loulan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lou-lan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Chinese military outpost in eastern Turkestan (modern Sinkiang), founded in the mid-3rd century. Documents of the 3rd and 4th centuries and silk fabrics have been found there, including Chinese textiles of Han date and a piece of silk tapestry dating c 200/100 BC-100-200 AD.
Lower Sonoran Agricultural Complex
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A zone of high temperatures and tolerant crops in the Southwest U.S. The Lower Sonoran Zone, in the southern sections of the Rio Grande and Pecos valleys and in New Mexico's southwestern corner, usually occurs at altitudes below 4,500 feet. It includes nearly 20,000 square miles of New Mexico's best grazing area and irrigated farmland. Utah's 4,000 plant species represent six climatic zones, from the arid Lower Sonoran in the southwestern Virgin Valley to the Arctic on mountain peaks.
Loyang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lo-yang; Luoyang; formerly Honan-Fu; Honan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Ancient city in northwestern Honan province, China, near the south bank of the Yellow River. It was important in history as the capital of nine ruling dynasties and as a Buddhist center. Lo-yang is divided into an east town and a west town. Lo-i (modern Lo-yang) was founded at the beginning of the Chou dynasty (late 12th century BC), near the present west town, as the residence of the imperial kings. It became the Chou capital in 771 BC, following the loss of Tsung Chou in Shensi, and was later moved to a site northeast of the present east town; it was named Lo-yang because it was north (yang) of the Lo River, and its ruins are now distinguished as the ancient city of Lo-yang. Traces of its rammed earth walls and one of its cemeteries of pit graves have been found. Bronzes and pottery recovered from some 270 tombs excavated at Luoyang Zhongzhoulu supply a valuable artifact sequence, spanning the entire Eastern Chou period. Particularly rich finds from Jincun, just northeast of the modern city, belong to the latter part of Eastern Chou; lesser tombs from the end of Eastern Chou and the Han period have been excavated at Shaogou. During the Qin and Western Han dynasties the capital returned to Shaanxi, but Luoyang was again the capital during the Eastern Han dynasty and, for the last time, from 494-535 AD, when the Northern Wei emperors ruled there. It finally fell to the Ch'in in 256.
Luangwa tradition
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Luangwa pottery
CATEGORY: culture; artifact
DEFINITION: A Late Iron Age complex of central, eastern, and northern Zambia in the 2nd millennium AD with a distinctive pottery style. It appeared as a break from the Chifumbaze complex in the 11th century, originated in Zaire, and has continued into Recent times. The term (also Luangwa variant) is also used for Earlier Stone Age Sangoan collections from eastern Zambia. This facies of the Sangoan industry is found in gravel deposits of the Luangwa and tributary valleys of eastern Zambia, and is marked by large picks and other core tools made from water-rounded cobbles.
Lubaantun
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in the Maya Mountains southeastern periphery, which was a small Classic and Late Classic Maya center in southern Belize. It was built in the early 8th century and consists largely of ceremonial buildings. There was a sizable population and flourishing market system. Its proximity to one of the few areas where cacao grows suggests that control of this much sought-after commodity was its major economic base, and may be the reason why such a considerable investment of labor was made in building the site. It was fairly short-lived, abandoned some time between 850-900, probably as part of the general Maya collapse.
Lucania
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Area of ancient Italy south of Campania and next to the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was comprised of several Greek colonies, including Paestum. This ancient territorial division of southern Italy corresponds to most of the modern region of Basilicata, with much of the province of Salerno and part of that of Cosenza. Before its conquest by the Lucanians, a Samnite tribe, about the mid-5th century BC, it formed part of the Greek-dominated region of Oenotria. Recent discoveries include the elaborately painted graves at Paestum, a city taken by the Lucanians about 400. Although they allied with Rome in 298, the Lucanians opposed and were defeated by Rome in the Pyrrhic War (280-275), the Second Punic War (218-201), and the Social War (90-88).
Lucanian pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Red-figured pottery made in Lucania from the late 5th and through the 4th century BC. There are links with Apulian pottery.
Lupemban
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lupembian
CATEGORY: artifact; culture
DEFINITION: A stone industry of the Lower Palaeolithic of west-central Africa, developed from a Sangoan predecessor and characterized by tools appropriate for rough woodwork. Lupemban is found in northern Angola and southern Zaire and an important dated site is at Kalambo Falls on the Zambia/Tanzania border. In contrast with the Sangoan, Lupermban assemblages are marked by the fine quality of their bifacial stoneworking technique on elongated double-ended points, large sidescrapers, and thick core-axes. The industry spans from before 30,000 BC until c15,000 BC.
Lupembian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lupemban
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stone industry of the Lower Palaeolithic of west-central Africa, developed from a Sangoan predecessor and characterized by tools appropriate for rough woodwork. Lupemban is found in northern Angola and southern Zaire and an important dated site is at Kalambo Falls on the Zambia/Tanzania border. In contrast with the Sangoan, Lupermban assemblages are marked by the fine quality of their bifacial stoneworking technique on elongated double-ended points, large sidescrapers, and thick core-axes. The industry spans from before 30,000 BC until c15,000 BC.
Luristan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A region of the central Zagros mountains on the border of west-central Iran, where a distinctive bronze-working industry flourished 2600-600 BC. It is characterized by horse trappings, utensils, weapons, jewelry, belt buckles, and ritual and votive objects of bronze - which became most distinctive around 1000 BC. Scholars believe that they were created either by the Cimmerians, a nomadic people from southern Russia who may have invaded Iran in the 8th century BC, or by such related Indo-European peoples as the early Medes and Persians. The immigrants grafted onto a population of Kassites who had already developed a bronze industry around 2000 BC. Important Luristan sites are Tepe Giyan and Tepe Djamshidi, Tepe Ganj Dareh, Tepe Asiab, Tepe Sarab, Tepe Guran, and especially Tepe Sialk. Many bronzes were placed into museum collections as a result of persistent looting of tombs from the 10th-7th centuries BC. Iron also appears at an early date in the Luristan tombs.
Luristan bronze
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lorestan
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any of the horse trappings, utensils, weapons, jewelry, belt buckles, and ritual and votive objects of bronze probably dating from roughly 2600-600 BC that have been excavated in the Harsin, Khorramabad, and Alishtar valleys of the Zagros Mountains in the Lorestan region of western Iran, especially at the site of Tepe Sialk. Their precise origin is unknown. Scholars believe that they were created either by the Cimmerians, a nomadic people from southern Russia who may have invaded Iran in the 8th century BC, or by such related Indo-European peoples as the early Medes and Persians. The term denotes a broad region of this metalwork and therefore has little cultural historical meaning.
Lusatian culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lausitz culture; Lusatia
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (Hallstatt period) culture of Poland and eastern Germany, an urnfield culture which had formed by c 1500 BC. Larger settlements, such as Biskupin, Senftenberg, and Sobiejuchy, are fortified. The culture is noted for its bronzework and its fine dark pottery, sometimes graphite-burnished and generally decorated with bosses and fluted ornament. Iron tools were adopted in the north throughout the earlier Iron Age. In some classifications, the Middle Bronze Age 'pre-Lausitz' phase is considered the first stage of the Lusatian culture proper.
Luwian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Luvian, Luish
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: An extinct Indo-European language primarily of the western and southern part of ancient Asia Minor of the 2nd and 1st millennia BC, especially important to Arzawa. It was closely related to Hittite, Palaic, and Lydian and was a forerunner of the Lycian language. Knowledge of Luwian comes from cuneiform tablets discovered in the ruins of the Hittite archives at Bogazköy (modern Turkey). The pioneering work on Cuneiform Luwian was done by Emil Forrer in 1922. In addition to Luwian passages in the cuneiform tablets, a number of inscriptions occur in a hieroglyphic system of writing that originated with the early Hittite stamp seals of the 17th and 18th centuries BC. Hieroglyphic Luwian (often called Hieroglyphic Hittite) texts have been found dating from as late as the last quarter of the 8th century BC. The language was deciphered in the 1930s. More was learned about the meaning of the writing after the discovery of the Karatepe bilingual inscriptions, written in both Hieroglyphic Luwian and Phoenician. The Lycian language of about 600-200 BC, written in an alphabetic script, is believed to be descended from a West Luwian dialect. Luwian was probably the language of the Trojans during Trojan War. The language survived in southwest Turkey until the Roman period.
Macassans
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Indonesian traders, particularly from Sulawesi, who visited tropical Australia during the Indonesian monsoon season. They collected and processed sea-slugs (trepang, bêche-de-mer, sea cucumber), an important ingredient in their cooking. Archaeological evidence consists of stone structures used to support boiling vats, scatters of Indonesian potsherds, ash concentrations from smokehouses, graves, and living tamarind trees descended from seeds brought by the trepangers. Their cultural legacies to the Aborigines included metal tools, dugout canoes, vocabulary, art motifs, song cycles, rituals, and depictions of Macassan praus in rock paintings and stone arrangements. Macassan voyagers to Australia arrived around 1700 AD and continued till the end of the 19th century.
Machang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ma-ch'ang; Ma-chia
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Late Neolithic culture of northwestern China belonging to the western or Gansu branch of the Yangshao Neolithic. It was contemporaneous with Longshan cultures of the east dating to 2800-1800 BC and seems to be a late stage or outgrowth of the Banshan culture and precedes Qijia. Machang pottery is a cruder form of Banshan ware.
Magan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A semilegendary land described in Mesopotamian (Sumerian) texts of the Early Dynastic, Akkadian, and Ur III (c 3000 BC) periods as a prosperous seafaring and trading nation. It was very important as a producer of copper for Persian Gulf trade. Sumer traded with Magan and it was probably situated somewhere in the southern part of the Persian Gulf, either in Baluchistan (on the Iranian side) or in Oman (on the other side), or possibly both. Archaeologists working at the site of Umm An-nar, a small island off the west coast of Abu Dhabi, have suggested that it might be Magan.
Magdalenian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Age of the Reindeer
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The final major European culture of the Upper Paleolithic period, from about 15,000-10,000 years ago; characterized by composite or specialized tools, tailored clothing, and especially geometric and representational cave art (e.g. Altamira) and for beautiful decorative work in bone and ivory (mobiliary art). The people were chiefly fishermen and reindeer hunters; they were the first known people to have used a spear thrower (of reindeer bone and antler) to increase the range, strength, and accuracy. Magdalenian stone tools include small geometrically shaped implements (e.g., triangles, semilunar blades) probably set into bone or antler handles for use, burins (a sort of chisel), scrapers, borers, backed bladelets, and shouldered and leaf-shaped projectile points. Bone was used extensively to make wedges, adzes, hammers, spearheads with link shafts, barbed points and harpoons, eyed needles, jewelry, and hooked rods probably used as spear throwers. They killed animals with spears, snares, and traps and lived in caves, rock shelters, or substantial dwellings in winter and in tents in summer. The name is derived from La Madeleine or Magdalene, the type site in the Dordogne of southwest France. Its center of origin was southwest France and the adjacent parts of Spain, but elements characteristic of the later stages are represented in Britain (Creswell Crags), and eastwards to southwest Germany and Poland. The Magdalenian culture, like that of earlier Upper Palaeolithic communities, was adapted to the cold conditions of the last (Würm) glaciation. The Magdalenian has been divided into six phases; it followed the Solutrean industry and was succeeded by the simplified Azilian. Magdalenian culture disappeared as the cool, near-glacial climate warmed at the end of the Fourth (Würm) Glacial Period (c 10,000 BC), and herd animals became scarce.
Magellan periods
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Magellan complex
CATEGORY: chronology; culture
DEFINITION: A chronological sequence covering 8000 BC-1000 AD constructed on the basis of assemblages from Fell's Cave and the Palli Aike Cave in Patagonia, South America. The sequence is divided into five phases, describing a series of hunting and marine adaptations. The earliest assemblage (Magellan I) contains fishtail projectile points, signifying Paleoindian activity. Horse and sloth bones and the remains of three partly cremated Dolichocephalic humans, found in association with these points, have produced a single radiocarbon date of c 8700 BC. A shift to willow-leaf points occurred in Magellan II c 8000-4000 BC, which coincides with the disappearance of Pleistocene megafauna and widespread climatic change. Magellan IV-V are ill-defined but represent a continuing hunting strategy blending into a period of ceramic use.
Maglemosian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Maglemosan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The first Mesolithic culture of the north European plain, found in Scandinavia, the northern Balkans, northern Scotland, and northern England, and lasting from c 9000/8000-5000 BC. The way of life was adapted to a forest and river/lakeside environment. Much has been preserved in waterlogged deposits. Thus more is known about the Maglemosian industry than about other tool industries of the same period. The tool kit included microliths, woodworking tools such as chipped axes and adzes, picks, barbed points, spearheads of bone or antler, and fishing gear. Wooden bows, paddles, and dugout canoes have been found, and the dog was already domesticated. The Maglemosian industry was named after the bog (magle mose, big bog in Danish) at Mullerup, Denmark, where evidence of the industry was first recognized. The Maglemosian industry was also highly artistic, with decorative designs on tools and decorative objects, such as pendants and amulets.
Magosian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stone industry found in eastern and southern Africa, dated to c 10,000-6000 BC. The diagnostic tools include small points, microliths, and small blades, as well as Middle Stone Age artifacts. An advanced Levallois technique was employed for the production of flakes for the manufacture of other tools, together with a punch technique for the production of microlithic artifacts. Projectile points were produced by pressure flaking. The culture may have been transitional between the Middle and Later Stone Ages. The type site is Magosi in Uganda. Other sites in central and southern Africa that are dated to the Pleistocene epoch (1,600,000-10,000 years ago) are often considered to represent the same material culture and hunting-and-gathering adaptation.
Majiabang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ma-chia-pang
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A Neolithic site and culture of Jiaxing, China, near Shanghai. The people are descendants of the 5th millennium BC Ho-mu-tu in the region south of the Yangtze near Shanghai. The early phase yielded a radiocarbon date of c 4000 BC. It had close ties with the Ch'ing-lien-kang culture in southern Kiangsu, northern Chekiang, and Shanghai. The successor to the Majiabang culture is the 3rd millennium BC Liangzhu culture. The earliest examples of jade from the lower Yangtze River region appear in the latter phases of Ma-chia-pang culture (c 5100-3900 BC).
Makapansgat
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Makapans
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A limeworks cave at the entrance to the Makapan Valley in northern Transvaal, South Africa, with important samples of Autralopithecus africanus and other fossil animal remains (antelope, baboon. Perhaps the best-known so-called archaeological evidence from the South African cave sites came from Makapansgat. There are no typical stone tools, but many bone and horn fragments are alleged to have been modified as tools, the so-called "osteodontokeratic" (bone-tooth-horn) culture. The hominid remains may date from about three million years ago. The nearby Cave of Hearths has Acheulian and later deposits.
Malakunanja 2
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Sandstone shelter in Arnhem Land, northern Australia, with a sequence similar to the Lindner site/Nauwalabila 1. Dates show human occupation in the area between 50-60,000 years ago.
Malangangerr
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Rock shelter in Arnhem Land, northern Australia, with occupation 25,000 years ago. Evidence from 20,000-year-old levels established the presence of edge-ground tools in the Pleistocene of the area.
Malian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Malyan, Tal-i; Tal I Malyan; Anshan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Ancient Anshan, located in the Kur River drainage of Fars, southwest Iran, a center of Elam. This tell site was occupied from the 5th millennium BC and many buildings of the Proto-Elamite and Middle Elamite periods have been discovered. In the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC, the city was clearly a major trading center, with much imported material as well as the local. It traditionally warred with southern Mesopotamian states. Its sequence extends to the early 1st millennium AD. Its most important occupations were the Banesh, c 3400-2800 BC, and Kaftari, c 2200-1600 BC.
Mallowan, Sir Max Edgar Lucien (1904-1978)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British archaeologist who worked in the Middle East, excavating at Arpachiyah, Chagar Bazar, Tell Brak, and Nimrud (Kalhu). He also served as director of the British School of Archaeology in Baghdad and ran the British Institute of Persian Studies. He was married to Agatha Christie.
Maluquer de Motes, Juan (1915-1988)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Spanish archaeologist known for his work on the megaliths of Navarre and excavations at Cortes de Navarra.
Malvernian ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A pottery industry based around the Malvern Hills in west central England. The earliest production dates to the middle Bronze Age, but from the mid 1st millennium BC onwards the industry produced a range of very coarse, handmade, simple jars. They were distributed over considerable distances, particularly in the Marches, South Wales, and Gloucestershire.
Man-ch'eng
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mancheng
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site in Hebei province, China, where two Early Han-dynasty tombs are cut into a rock cliff - the tombs of Liu Sheng (c 113 BC), Prince of Chung-shan, and his wife Tou Wan. Numerous grave goods, 2800 items, including jade, gold, silver, iron, glass articles; inlaid and gilded vessels, earthenware, lacquer ware, silk fabrics, and fine weapons are in the chambered tombs behind sealed doors. Both tombs were provided with large stores of food and wine and escorts of chariots and horses. The bodies of Liu Sheng and Dou Wan were dressed in shrouds made of jade plaques sewn together with gold thread, the first of some dozen jade shrouds thus recovered from Han tombs.
Manching
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Large oppidum of the late Iron Age in Bavaria, Germany, near Ingolstadt, dated to the La Tène period c 200 BC. It was one of the largest oppida in Europe. Manching, at that time adjacent to the Danube, may have been a regional market. The defense was an elaborate construction consisting of four-mile-long walls built of timber and stones and including four gateways. The organization of the settlement was preplanned, with streets up to 30 feet wide and regular rows of rectangular buildings in front of zones containing pits and working areas; other areas were enclosed for granaries or horse stalls. The site was divided into work areas for particular crafts, such as wood, leather, and iron working. Coins were minted and used on the site. There is evidence of a violent end to the settlement c 50 BC.
Manda
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a Swahili city-state apparently established in the 9th century and distinguished for its seawalls of coral blocks, each of which weighs up to a ton. Located in the Lamu Archipelago off the coast of Kenya, it had numerous stone-built (and wattle-and-daub) houses. Trade, which seems to have been by barter, was considerable, with the main export probably of ivory. Manda had close trading connections with the Persian Gulf - Siraf in particular. It imported large quantities of Islamic pottery and, in the 9th and 10th centuries, Chinese porcelain. There is evidence of a considerable iron-smelting industry at Manda.
Mandu Mandu Creek
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Rock shelter in Northwest Cape, Western Australia, with occupation between 25-19,000 bp. It was abandoned and not reoccupied until c 2500 bp.
Manetho (c. 305-285 BC)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: An Egyptian priest and historian who wrote a history of his country in the 3rd century BC. Though the work is lost, quotations from it in later writings are extremely important for reconstructing the dynastic lists of the pharaohs. The history was probably written in Greek for Ptolemy I (305-282). He provided the basis for the relative chronology of Egypt before the invasion of Alexander the Great. The fragments of his work confirmed the succession of kings where the archaeological evidence was inconclusive, and Manetho's division of the rulers of Egypt into 30 dynasties is still accepted.
Mangaasi
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mangaasi pottery
CATEGORY: culture; artifact
DEFINITION: A long-lived pottery tradition of central Vanuatu, Melanesia, dated to between c 700 BC-1600 AD. It had incised and applied relief and is quite different from the ancestral Polynesian Lapita pottery. It was a Melanesian tradition, with parallels in the northern Solomons and New Caledonia.
Marajó Island, Marajoara
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Marajó
CATEGORY: culture; artifact; site
DEFINITION: A large island at the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil with numerous artificial mound sites. Small one served as house platforms and larger ones contain urn burials. The pottery has sophisticated polychrome designs and is similar to that of pre-Columbian Andean cultures. Radiocarbon dates suggest that the Marajoara style began no later than the 5th century AD and lasted until 1300 AD. The largest center, Os Camutins, has 40 mounds. It is the world's largest fluvial island (one produced by sediments deposited by a stream or river) and half of it is flooded during the rainy season.
Marianas Islands
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An island group in western Micronesia with a sequence starting with settlement around 1500 BC, by island people in Southeast Asia. They made a distinctive red-slipped ware (Marianas Redware Phase), sometimes incised with lime-filled decoration, closely related to Philippine wares. By 800 AD, a plain, unslipped ware was in use, and stone architecture had developed. Parallel rows of upright pillars topped with hemispheric capstones (halege) were erected. The pillars were supports for structures called latte (after which term the culture is named), which may have served as houses or canoe sheds. Each village had from one to several latte structures. Stone and shell tools were used and the betel nut was chewed, as shown by extended burials most often located between the rows of latte.
Mariette, François Auguste Ferdinand (1821-1881)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: French Egyptologist who excavated many of the major Egyptian sites and monuments and founded the Egyptian Antiquities Service and what was to become the Cairo Museum (National Museum of Egyptian Antiquities). He excavated the Saqqara Serapeum and found the burials of the Apis bulls and the jewels belonging to Rameses II. He also uncovered sites at Giza, Abydos, Thebes, Edfu, Elephantine, and in the Delta. He is buried in sarcophagus in front of Cairo Museum.
Marnian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Marnians
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Iron Age / La Tène culture of northeastern France, who occupied a region centered on the Marne Valley. They were characterized by chariot burials from the time c 475-325 BC. They may have invaded or traded with Britain in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. There were close connections between the Marne region groups and the Arras culture of eastern Yorkshire.
Marquesas Islands
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An island group of Eastern Polynesia, first settled c 300 AD.
Matacapan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site on the southern Gulf Coast of Mexico near the Tuxtla Mountains, with a sequence beginning in the Early Preclassic. Its Early Classic settlement was influenced by Teotihuacán and contains a barrio (neighborhood) in the Central Mexico architectural style and was part of the Teotihuacán trade network.
Mauryan empire
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mauryas
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An ancient Indian state, c 321-185 BC, centered at Pataliputra (modern Patna) near the junction of the Son and Ganges rivers. After Alexander the Great's death in 323 BC, Candra Gupta (Chandragupta) founded the dynasty that encompassed most of the subcontinent except for the Tamil south. He drove the Greeks out of India and established the Mauryan empire as an efficient and highly organized autocracy with a standing army and civil service. The Buddhist Mauryan emperor Ashoka (reigned c. 265-238 BC, or c. 273-232 BC) is well-known, especially from the stone edicts that he had erected throughout his realm, which are among the oldest deciphered original texts of India. The dynasty subsequently declined and was deposed by Sunga in 187 BC.
Mawangdui
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ma-wang-tui
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site in Hunan province, China, near Chang-Sha (Changsha City), of three Early Han-dynasty tombs with features of both shaft and mounded tombs. Tomb No. 2 belonged to the first marquis of Dai (d. 186 BC), a high official of the Han administration. Nos. 3 and 1 are apparently the tombs of his son (d. 168 BC) and wife (d. shortly after 168 BC). In construction and contents the three tombs are far different from Han princely burials in the north and reflect the lingering traditions and material culture of the Chu kingdom, which had fallen to Qin less than a century earlier. Each tomb takes the form of a massive compartmented timber box at the bottom of a deep stepped shaft; the shaft was filled in with rammed earth and a mound was raised over it. The contents of Tomb No. 1 were very well preserved: the body of the wife of the marquis, wrapped in silk and laid inside four richly decorated nested coffins. The 180 dishes, toilet boxes, and other lacquer articles, silk clothing, offerings of food, musical instruments, small wooden figures of servants and musicians, and a complete inventory of the grave goods written on bamboo slips depict extreme wealth. Tomb 3 was furnished in the same fashion as Tomb 1, but contained more silk paintings, three rare musical instruments, and an extraordinary collection of manuscripts, some on silk and some on bamboo slips, including some of the earliest known maps from China, treatises on medicine and astronomy, comet charts, and important literary texts (the Daoist/Taoist classic "Dao De jing" ("Tao te ching") the "Yi jing" ("Book of Changes")) The contents of Tomb 2 are comparable to those of Tomb 1 but poorly preserved.
Mayapán
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Late Post-Classic Maya center in west-central Yucatán, Mexico. The walled town covered 4.2 square km and contained 3,600 houses, as well as temples which are a rather poor copy of those at Chichén Itzá. This dense concentration of housing represented something new in Mayan architecture, and walls are found at other sites of the period. The population ranged from 6,000-15,000. After the decline of Chichén Itzá in about 1200 AD, Mayapán became the dominant city in northern Yucatan and was able to extort tribute from several neighboring states. Among the major features are a central temple-pyramid complex dedicated to Kulculkan (the Mayan name for Quetzacoatl). The most characteristic artifact is the highly elaborate incensario (incense burner). The end of this relatively short-lived center was precipitated by internal dissension resulting in the summary execution of the ruling elite and it was finally sacked in a local uprising in c 1400; abandonment followed shortly thereafter in c1450.
Mayor Island
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Important source of obsidian in New Zealand, in the Bay of Plenty, North Island. It was traded throughout New Zealand.
Mazapan ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A ceramic style developing out of Coyotlatelco and first appearing in association with major architecture at Tula, Mexico in the post-Classic Toltec phase (9th-12th century AD). The orange-on-buff (or red-on-buff) pottery was decorated by straight or wavy parallel lines produced by multiple brushes.
McBurney, Charles Brian Montagu (1914-1979)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British prehistorian who worked at Haua Fteah cave in northern Africa and at La Cotte de St Brelade, Jersey. He wrote "France Before the Romans" (1974).
McKean Complex
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Middle Plains Archaic complex dating to c 5000-3000 BC and occupying parts of the northwestern Plains of North America. Its type site is in northeast Wyoming and has a McKean projectile point - a stemmed, lanceolate form.
McKean point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Bifacially worked chipped stone projectile points characteristic of the McKean Complex of the middle Archaic Stage in the Great Plains of North America during the period c.2900-1000 BC. Lanceolate in outline with curved sides and a hollow base these points were probably spearheads used in bison hunting.
Meganthropus
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Meganthropus palaeojavanicus
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The name given to a large-toothed hominid of the Djetis deposits of central Java, Indonesia, that have been related to the Astralopithecines or to Homo erectus or Homo habilis. They are known only by mandible fragments.
Megarian bowl
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A handleless hemispherical Greek drinking cup made in molds and often decorated in relief and finished in the black-glossed technique. Widespread in the Hellenistic period from the 3rd century BC, they developed into the red-glossed Arrentine wares. The type was first recognized at Megara and were made until the 1st century AD. They were imitations of gold and silver vessels and served as the first form of book illustration. They often bear on their exteriors scenes in relief from literary texts that are sometimes accompanied by Greek quotations. They likely served as models for Roman artists who created the first "true" book illustrations.
Melanesia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The region comprising New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, the Solomons, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, and minor intermediate groups. Early Australoid settlers reached New Guinea when it was joined to Australia, by at least 30,000-40,000 years ago, and the New Guinea Highlands have a long, stable archaeological sequence extending into the Holocene (Kospie, Kiowa, Kafianvana). The Highlands may also have seen an independent development of early Holocene horticulture (Kuk). The Bismarcks and Solomons (Kilu) seem to have been occupied by c 30,000 bp. Settlement of the rest of Melanesia may have occurred as part of the expansion of Austronesian speakers in the Pacific. Major archaeological entities include the Lapita culture and the Manaasi pottery tradition.
Merovingian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A dynasty of Frankish rulers and their kingdom, from c 476-750 AD, recognized as the first of the kings of France. Named after its founder Merovech the Merovingians ruled France from time of Childeric I to that of Charles Martel. Merovingian is a term used to describe Frankish archaeology of 6th to mid-8th century AD. The area was that of western Rhineland to the Atlantic coat of France and embraces a number of kingdoms such as Austria Neustria and Burgundia. The Merovingian kings consolidated power and brought Christianity to the Frankish kingdom (modern France and the Rhineland) after the fall of the Roman Empire in Gaul and laid the political and artistic foundation for the Carolingian Empire that followed. Merovingian art is characterized by a mixture of the Roman classical style with native Germanic-Frankish artistic traditions which favored abstraction and geometric patterning. The Merovingian script is the writing of the pre-Carolingian hands of France that were derived from Latin cursive script in the 7th and 8th centuries.
Micoquian
CATEGORY: artifact; culture
DEFINITION: Final Acheulian phase defined on the basis of assemblages from La Micoque, near Les Eyzies, France. Sites are in central Europe, including some in the former Soviet Union. The characteristic artifact is a pointed-pyriform (pear-shaped) or lanceolate (tapering) biface with a well-made tip.
Middle Assyrian
CATEGORY: culture; chronology
DEFINITION: A period in the history of the Assyrian empire extending from the 14th-12th centuries BC. In the Late Bronze Age, Assyria was dominated by the Mitanni state, but in the 14th century BC, Assyria became dominant. Ashur-uballit I created the first Assyrian empire and initiated the Middle Assyrian period. With the help of the Hittites, he destroyed the dominion of the Aryan Mitanni (a non-Semitic people from upper Iran and Syria) and ravaged Nineveh. Later, allied with the Kassite successors in Babylonia, Ashur-uballit ended Hittite and Hurrian rule. By intermarriage he then influenced the Kassite dynasty and eventually dominated all of Babylonia, thus paving the way for the Neo-Assyrian mastery during the Sargonid dynasty (12th to 7th century). The succeeding Assyrian kings expanded the empire through northern Mesopotamia and the mountains to the north and briefly occupied Babylonia. Several kings weakened Assyria, but then others brought back its dominion. Middle Assyrian is also the name of a form of cuneiform that was used extensively in writing law code and other documents. Middle Assyrian laws were found on clay tablets at Ashur (at the time of Tiglath-pileser I, 1114-1076 BC).
Middle Range Theory
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A conceptual framework connecting raw archaeological data with higher-level generalizations and conclusions about the past which can be derived from such evidence. A theory concerned with explaining specific issues or aspects of society instead of trying to explain how all of society operates.
Middle Woodland period
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A term sometimes used to describe the time period during which the Hopewell culture flourished throughout the American Midwest, from roughly 50 BC to 400 AD.
Midland
CATEGORY: culture; artifact
DEFINITION: Paleoindian complex of the North American Plains similar to the Folsom but the point is different. The type site is the Scharbauer site near Midland, Texas, though the culture is best represented at Hell Gap. A skeleton (Midland Man) of a young woman dating to 10,000 BP from Scharbauer was one of the earliest acceptable human remains in North America. The Midland point is an unfluted Folsom point.
Milan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mediolanum
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city founded by the Gauls about the year 600 BC as Mediolanum, which became the capital of a Celtic tribe known as the Insubres. At the time of the Roman conquest, 222 BC, Mediolanum, was already one of the most powerful cities of the region on the Roman side of the Alps known as Cisalpine Gaul. Under the emperor Augustus, it became a part of the 11th region of Italy, acquiring increasing prestige and economic power until it became the second city of the Western Roman Empire behind Rome itself. In the 3rd century AD, following the division of the empire by Diocletian, it was the residence and main administrative center for one of the two emperors. Constantine the Great declared it the seat of the Vicar of Italy. In the year 452, Attila the Hun devastated the city, and in 539 the Goths destroyed it. The city sprung back to life by the second half of the 10th century. It was the principal road center of northern Italy and is the site of the imperial palace, Augustan and later walls, theater, amphitheater, circus, Constantinian baths, and early churches.
Milankovitch forcing
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: orbital forcing
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: The phenomenon considered to be the prime reason for glacial fluctuations and climatic change, he effect on climate of slow changes in the tilt of the Earth's axis and shape of the orbit, changing the total amount of sunlight reaching the Earth by up to 25% at mid-latitudes.
Minaean
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Minaeans, Ma'in
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: One of the kingdoms of southern Arabia in the 1st millennium BC, contemporary with the Sabeans, Qatabaneans and Hadramis. The Minaean kingdom lasted from the 4th to the 2nd century BC and was predominantly a trading organization that, for the period, monopolized the trade routes. They seem to be loosely associated with the 'Amir people to the north of the Minaean capital of Qarnaw (now Ma'in), which is at the eastern end of the Wadi Al-Jawf and on the western border of the Sayhad sands. The Minaeans had a second town surrounded by impressive and still extant walls at Yathill, and they had trading establishments at Dedan and in the Qatabanian and Hadramite capitals. The overwhelming majority of Minaean inscriptions come from Qarnaw, Yathill, and Dedan.
Minoan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The Bronze Age civilization of Crete, a name coined by Sir Arthur Evans derived from the legendary ruler of Knossos, Minos. The civilization is divided into three phases: Early (c 3000-2000 BC), Middle (c 2000-1550 BC), and Late (c 1550-1050 BC). Each had three subdivisions marked with Roman numerals. They stand out as the first civilized Europeans, with a highly sophisticated way of life and material equipment, and were surprisingly modern. They probably represented a fusion between Anatolian immigrants and the native Neolithic population, with some trading contacts through the east Mediterranean. In the Middle Minoan period, urbanization became apparent, towns appeared and, a Minoan specialty, the first of the great palaces, Knossos, Mallia, and Phaestos. Overseas trade was greatly expanded, too. The height of its development was in the 18th-15th centuries BC. By about 1580 BC Minoan civilization began to spread across the Aegean to neighboring islands and to the mainland of Greece. Minoan cultural influence was reflected in the Mycenean culture of the mainland, which began to spread throughout the Aegean about 1500 BC. The palaces were destroyed c 1450, probably by the cataclysmic eruption of Santorini/Thera - or by conquerors from the mainland. After that, Greek-speaking Mycenaeans gained control of Knossos and Crete; only Knossos was reoccupied on a significant scale. The final fall of Knossos, c 1400 BC, marked the end of Crete's period of greatness. Their Linear A script has not been deciphered, but Linear B has been successfully translated as an early form of Greek, written in a syllabary, but belongs only to the period of mainland domination, and is therefore more relevant to Mycenaeans than Minoans. Their pottery is among the most artistic of any place or time, using abstract curvilinear, floral, and marine designs. Craftsmen reached high levels of technical skill and aesthetic achievement in pottery, metal work, stonework, jewelry, and wall painting (the palaces are lavishly decorated with frescoes). Vessels, figurines, and magnificent seal stones were also carved in stone and bronze and gold objects made. There were many bull sporting events. Cult activities normally took place either in hilltop shrines, often in caves, or in small shrines within the palaces, and often involved animals, including goats and especially bulls. There is an alternative division of the Minoan civilization into Prepalatial (Early Minoan I-III), Protopalatial (Middle Minoan I-II), Neopalatial (Middle Minoan III-Late Minoan IIIA1), and Postpalatial (Late Minoan IIIA2-IIIC).
Minyan Ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A distinctive Middle Helladic pottery - a gray or yellow wheelmade ware of high quality first appearing at Troy VI and in Greece c 19th century BC. It was the first wheelmade pottery to be produced in Middle Bronze Age Greece. It was ancestral to Mycenaean pottery, and may represent a movement of new peoples into the Aegean area, the first Greek speakers. Traditionally it has been associated with an apparently violent end to the Early Helladic culture, c 2000-1900 BC, and the arrival of Greek-speaking peoples in the Aegean. The term was coined by Heinrich Schliemann. The ware had a soaplike feeling and its forms were modeled after metal objects.
Mississippian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mississippi tradition
CATEGORY: chronology; culture
DEFINITION: A group of cultures which arose in southeastern North America - especially the central and lower Mississippi Valley - after 700 AD into the historic period. It spread over a great area of the Southeast and the mid-continent, in the river valleys of what are now the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, with scattered extensions northward into Wisconsin and Minnesota and westward into the Great Plains. It stands in contrast to the Woodland Tradition with three new traits - building of rectangular, flat-topped mounds as bases for temples; burial mounds becoming less prominent; and radical pottery changes (pulverized shell rather than grit used for temper). New pottery shapes and forms, such as olla, and new types of decoration (burnishing, painting) appeared. Maize became the predominant crop, accompanied by beans and squash, which supplemented hunting and gathering. The largest of the earthworks is Monks Mound, in the Cahokia Mounds near Collinsville, Illinois. The Mississippian is divided into the periods Temple Mound I (700-1200 AD) and Temple Mound II (1200-1700 AD). It was the last major cultural tradition in prehistoric North America. By the late 17th century, all the major centers had been abandoned.
Mitanni
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A kingdom in northern Mesopotamia and Syria which arose in the foothills between the Tigris and Euphrates c 1500 BC, the most important of the 2nd millennium BC Hurrian kingdoms with Indo-European elements in its elite society and rulers. Its capital of Wassukkanni has not been identified. At its height the empire extended from Kirkuk (ancient Arrapkha) and the Zagros Mountains in the east through Assyria to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. It flourished for a little over a century, treated on near-equal terms with Egypt and the Hittites, until overthrown by the Hittites c 1370 BC and then the Assyrians. (It had formed a buffer zone between the kingdoms of the Hittites and the Assyrians.) Its people were mainly Hurri, but its ruling dynasty, from the form of their names and more especially from the gods they invoke in an extant treaty, were Indo-Europeans related to the roughly contemporary Aryans of India. Mitannian style associated with works of northern Syria and Iraq from 16th-14th centuries BC and even later, for the style survived after the fall of the Mitanni empire.
Monte Albán
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A major ceremonial center of the Zapotec people in Oaxaca, Mexico, built around 900 BC on top of an artificially flattened mountain. Monte Albán (I = 900-300 BC) was probably created to serve as the capital of the entire valley, which had previously been divided among several states. It was an immense complex of monumental construction, with a huge plaza (300 x 200 m) dominated by three central mounds. The plaza was flanked on the east and west by temples, pyramids, and platform mounds; on the northern and southern extremities are more complexes of monumental building, including a ball court. There are also underground passageways. By the end of Period I, the city had between 10,000- 20,000 inhabitants living in houses on hill slope terraces around a nucleus of ceremonial and governmental buildings. Hieroglyphic writing was in use, with bar-and-dot numerals, and dates were expressed in terms of the calendar round. More than 300 carved slabs ('danzantes') depict naked and contorted figures who may be captives, and inscriptions definitely recording conquests occur soon afterwards. In Late I/Early II, the city was surrounded by a defense wall. Period I includes the appearance of Grey Ware and Olmec-influenced monumental art. Period II is characterized by contact with Maya lowland centers and later, by the increasing influence of Teotihuacán. Period IIIA (the 3rd-5th centuries AD) is marked by increased contact with Teotihuacán, reflected in pottery (thin orange ware, cylindrical tripod vases), tomb frescoes, Talud-Tablero architecture, and stela inscriptions. Monte Albán reached the height of its power in Period IIIB, 500-900 AD, during which elaborate funerary urns in Grey Ware make their appearance and when the site reached its peak population of 50-60,000 people. Most of the surviving buildings belong to this time. During Monte Albán IV, 900-1521 AD, building ceased. After 900, the centers of power moved elsewhere and Monte Albán was considerably depopulated. It was essentially abandoned. In Period V, Monte Albán was of only secondary importance as a city and a political force. Mixtec art styles make their appearance in the valley and Monte Albán was used as a cemetery, with earlier Zapotec tombs reused for the Mixtec dead. One of the richest discoveries in ancient Mexico was Tomb 7, with over 500 precious offerings in Mixtec style gold and silver ornaments, fine stonework, and a series of bones carved with hieroglyphic and calendrical inscriptions.
Montespan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Palaeolithic cave site in Haute-Garonne, French Pyrenees, which has a deep central cave with traces of probable (middle) Magdalenian engravings on the walls. There is also a series of clay statues and bas-reliefs. It is famous for a modeled clay body of a life-sized bear or bear cub, probably originally covered with a bear pelt and apparently speared in ritual ceremonies.
Morgan, Lewis Henry (1818-1881)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A founder of American anthropology (scientific anthropology), known especially for establishing the study of kinship systems and for his comprehensive theory of social evolution. He put forth the scheme of development as being savagery to barbarism to civilization. His work directly affected the application of the theory of evolution to the discipline of anthropology. Morgan's theory of cultural evolution was published in "Ancient Society or Researches in the Lines of Human Progress from Savagery through Barbarism to Civilization" (1877). This was the first major scientific account of the origin and evolution of civilization with illustrations of developmental stages drawn from various cultures.
Morley, Sylvanus Griswold (1883-1948)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: American archaeologist known for his work on the Mayan civilization. His major contribution relates to carved Mayan inscriptions, which he catalogued, reproduced, and partially translated. His interpretation was that the Classic Maya were not urban dwellers, but farmers who occupied the ceremonial centers only on religious holidays.
Mount Sandel
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Mesolithic site in Londonderry, Ireland, with circular wooden hut foundations with central hearths. There was a lithic industry of microliths, tranchet axes, and polished stone axes.
Mousterian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mousterian industry
CATEGORY: culture; chronology; artifact
DEFINITION: A Middle Paleolithic culture that is defined by the development of a wide variety of specialized tools made with prepared-core knapping techniques, such as spear points. It is named for the first such artifacts recovered from the lower rock shelter at Le Moustier, Dordogne, France. Stone tools, scrapers, and points found in the cave came to be recognized as the flint industry present throughout Europe during first half of last glaciation (Würm) and associated with Neanderthal. The earliest Mousterian goes back to the Riss glaciation, but most of it comes into the late middle Würm glaciation, giving a total lifespan from 180,000 BC until c 30,000 BP. Flintwork of Mousterian type (with racloirs, triangular points made on flakes, and - in some variants - well-made handaxes) has been found over most of the unglaciated parts of Eurasia, as well as in the Near East and North Africa (in the latter two areas, it constitutes the Middle Palaeolithic). Three major regional variants have been identified - West, East, and Levalloiso-Mousterian, each with sub-groups. In certain industries, called Levalloiso-Mousterian, the tools were made on flakes produced by the Levallois technique. It was a progressive stage in the manufacture of stone tools. Mousterian peoples mainly lived in cave mouths and rock shelters.
Mousterian of Acheulian Tradition
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: MAT, MTA
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Mousterian variant found in southwest France. Its Type A is characterized by bifaces, backed knives, denticulates, and scrapers. Type B had fewer bifaces and more Upper Palaeolithic burins and awls.
Muang Fa Daet
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Settlement in the upper Chi valley, Thailand, the largest moated site in the Khorat. Its three concentric moats and reservoir dated to the Khmer of the late 1st millennium AD. There was farming, trading, bronzeworking, and ironworking. Its material culture resembles Dvaravati.
Muang Sima
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Settlement in the Mun valley, Khorat, Thailand, occupied by early 1st millennium AD. The moated site was the center of a small Indianized state known from an inscription as Sri Canasa.
Musang Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Cave in northern Luzon, Philippines with an early flake industry c 12,000-9000 BC. There is also a Neolithic assemblage dated to c 3500 BC (or later).
Mwanganda
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An elephant butchery site in northern Malawi, undated, but containing scrapers and core axes. The site is of interest as preserving in situ the debris of a single, clearly defined, activity. It has been attributed to the Lupemban industry.
Myanmar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Burma
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Burma was the name of this Southeast Asian country when it was under British control; the name Myanmar was adopted in 1989 when it became an independent nation. The first human settlements in Myanmar appeared some 11,000 years ago in the middle Irrawaddy River valley. A group of people known as the Pyu, who spoke a Tibeto-Burman language, began establishing city-kingdoms in northern Myanmar between the 1st century BC and 800 AD. To the south of the Pyu were the Mon, a people speaking an Austro-Asiatic language, who established a port capital at Thaton. It is the least-populated Southeast Asian country.
Mycenaeans
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mycenaean
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Inhabitants of Mycenae, the civilization of late Bronze Age Greece, set in the Argolid. Their name for themselves was Achaeans, and their achievements were remembered in the legends of the classical Greeks. Their forebears probably arrived in Greece around 2000 BC, bringing Minyan ware and an Indo-European language with them. Mycenaean civilization arose in the 16th century BC by the sudden influx of many features of material culture from the Minoans. Later traditions speak of the arrival of new rulers from the east. By c 1450 BC, the Mycenaeans were powerful enough to take over both Knossos and the profitable trade across the east Mediterranean, especially in Cypriote copper. Trade was extended also to the central Mediterranean and continental Europe, where Baltic amber was one of the commodities sought. The peak of their power lasted only a century and a half until natural and unnatural disaster struck. The Trojan War at the end of the 13th century points to unrest east of the Aegean. There is evidence of increasing depopulation of southern Greece about the same time, paving the way for invasion by the Dorians. At home, the Mycenaeans dwelt in strongly walled citadels containing palaces of the megaron type, exemplified at Mycenae, Tiryns, Thebes, and Pylos. To these were added the more Minoan features - frescoes, painted pottery, skillfully carved seals, artistic metalwork, clay tablets, etc. Their writing, Linear B, was an adaptation of the Minoan script, presumably first made by the mainlanders who had occupied Knossos, for the writing of their own, Greek, language. (Linear B was deciphered by Michael Ventris.) The Mycenaeans contributed greatly to the economy and technology of Late Bronze Age Europe, and to the population of the east Mediterranean coasts after the Egyptian defeat of the Peoples of the Sea, and they also left a legacy in their language and literature to their descendants in Greece. The civilization collapsed in c 1200 BC.
N-transforms
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The movement and reposition of cultural material on an archaeological site by natural agencies, such as animals or freeze-thaw action.
Nabataean
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A rich merchant Semitic people who established a kingdom south and east of Edom - ancient Midian, on a trade route from Red Sea to Mediterranean, by the 6th century BC. The Nabataeans infiltrated Edom and forced the Edomites into southern Palestine. They made Petra (in Jordan) their capital in c 312 BC, but they also controlled Bosra and Damascus at height of power. The city prospered as the center of the spice trade. Khirbet Tannur temple, Wadi Rum temple, watch towers, and an elaborate hydraulic network are attributed to them. During 64-63 BCE, the kingdom of Nabataea was conquered by the Romans under Pompey, who restored the Hellenistic cities destroyed by the Jews and set up the Decapolis. The country remained independent but paid imperial taxes. The kingdom annexed by Romans in 106 AD as "Provincia Arabia Petraea" (Palaestina Tertia).
Nachikufan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Backed microlith industries of northern Zambia of the Later Stone Age, named after Nachikufu Cave. The complex, once regarded as a single local tradition (Nachikufan Industrial Complex), was of long duration and divided into three successive phases. The first phase, Nachikufan I, is now seen as a widespread industry, characterized by the presence of large numbers of small pointed backed bladelets, of early date; it extends back as early as c 20,000 BP at such sites as Kalemba and Leopard's Hill, till 12,000 BP. There were also various scrapers and examples of bored stones. The later phases are more restricted geographically and form part of a general continuum of variation among the backed-microlith industries of south-central Africa during the last 7-8 millennia BC.
Nan Madol
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Town and ceremonial center built in a shallow tidal lagoon off the shore of Ponape in the Caroline Islands; it is the largest single complex of ancient stonework in Oceania, comprising about 70 hectares with 92 rectilinear basalt and coral platforms. The most famous structure is the burial platform of Nan Douwas, which contains four pit-tombs with prismatic basalt enclosure walls up to 8.5 meters high. The whole complex is traditionally associated with the Sau Deleur rulers of Ponape, and was presumably constructed several centuries ago.
Nana Mode
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Iron Age village site in the Central African Republic, dated to about the 7th century AD. Excavations have revealed pottery decorated by a carved wooden toothed wheel or disk. It has been suggested that this type of pottery may have been made by speakers of an Ubangian language.
Nanna
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Akkadian Sin
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: The Sumerian moon god; also known as the Akkadian/ Semitic Sin. With his consort Ningal, he was the patron deity of Ur, where his temple and ziggurat were built. Nanna was intimately connected with the cattle herds that were the livelihood of the people in the marshes of the lower Euphrates River, where the cult developed.
Native American
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: indigenous people
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Aboriginal inhabitants of North America, usually recognized in two groupings. The first and larger group, called Native Americans (or American Indians), is further divided geographically into North American, Middle American, and South American Indian peoples. The second group consists of a number of Arctic peoples, most of whom are variously called Eskimos or Inuit, but also including such other groups as Aleuts.
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: NAGPRA
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A 1990 law establishing procedures for protecting and determining disposition of Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony that are intentionally excavated or inadvertently discovered on federal or tribal lands. It also establishes procedures for conducting summaries and inventories and repatriating human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony in museum or federal agency collections.
Natufian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The final Epipalaeolithic (Mesolithic) culture complex of the Levant, dated to c 12,500-10,000 BP, with its type site at Wadi an-Natuf in Palestine. Hunting and gathering were still the basis of subsistence, but some Natufian communities had adopted a settled mode of life and the period saw the development of cereal grain exploitation. They built first permanent village settlements in pre-agricultural times in Palestine (Mallaha) and on middle Euphrates in Syria (Mureybet, Abu Hureyra). A series of burials was excavated at Mount Carmel; one important site is Wad Cave with a large cemetery, querns, sickles. The shrine at the base of the tell at Jericho was built during the Early Natufian phase, and the descendants of the Natufians built the earliest Neolithic town at the site. The characteristic toolkit includes geometric microliths, sickles, pestles, mortars, fishing gear, and ornaments of bone and shell. Generally, Natufian sites demonstrate greater diversity in economy and more permanent settlement than earlier cultures.
Navan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Teltown Hill
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Iron Age royal residence in County Meath, Ireland, with a round house and stockage occupied c 700-100 BC. In c 100 BC, a large circular timber building with banked and ditched enclosure was built. It was later burned and covered by a monumental cairn. The Iron Age occupation is identified with Emhain Macha, ancient royal seat of Ulaid, and the Irish king Tuathal.
Ndondondwane
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Early Iron Age village of the mid-8th century AD in central Natal, South Africa. Remains of structures that may have been stockages were accompanied by waste from the making of ivory bangles and pieces of large ceramic sculpture. The site has the earliest date for domesticated chicken in southern Africa.
Neanderthal man
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Neandertal, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, Neanderthals
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An early form of Homo sapiens that inhabited much of Europe and the Mediterranean area during the late Pleistocene Epoch, about 100,000 to 35,000 years ago. Neanderthal remains have also been found in the Middle East, North Africa, and western Central Asia. This type of fossil human that is a subspecies of Homo sapiens and is distinguished by a low broad braincase, continuous arched brow ridges, projecting occipital region, short limbs, and large joints; his brain was as large as modern man's. His flintwork, which in North Africa and Eurasia was of Middle Palaeolithic (Mousterian) type, was technically more advanced than anything which had gone before (scrapers and points), and the careful burial of dead with funerary offerings provides the oldest surviving evidence for religious beliefs. Neanderthals mainly lived in caves. They used fire and hunted small and medium-sized animals (e.g. goats, deer) and scavenged from the kills of large carnivores. The oldest skeletal remains belong to the Riss-Würm interglacial period, but Neanderthal man persisted through the earlier stage of the succeeding Würm glaciation until he was replaced by modern man. This replacement probably took place between 40,000-35,000 BC, but the scarcity of skeletal evidence from the period makes it impossible to give a more precise date. The manner of this replacement is also in doubt. Neanderthal man is sometimes classified as a distinct species of the genus Homo, but has also been considered as falling within the same species as Homo sapiens, whose ancestor he may have been. The species is named after its type area in Neanderthal, a valley near Düsseldorf in Germany, where skeletal remains of this type of human were first found in 1856.
Near Oceania
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: Those islands of the Pacific Ocean that can be reached by watercraft without going out of sight of land - basically comprising the Indonesian archipelago, the Philippines, New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.
Necker Island
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Small barren and isolated island off the western end of the Hawaiian chain, containing a very large number of prehistoric sites (including 33 Heiau; houses, cultivation terraces) for its size. Small stone figures, representative of ancestral Polynesian carving, are among the earliest sculpture from Hawaii. The island may have been visited sporadically from the main Hawaiian islands or it is possible that it had a resident population of Hawaiians who died out, unable to return to their homeland. The island, the most northerly of the chain, was uninhabited on European discovery.
Nectanebo
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Name employed by the Greek historian Manetho to refer to two Egyptian rulers of the 30th Dynasty (380-343 BC), who actually held two different 'birth names': Nakhtnebef (Nectanebo I) and Nakhthorheb (Nectanebo II). Nectanebo I (fl. 4th century BC) was the first king (reigned 380-362 BC) of the 30th Dynasty of Egypt; he successfully opposed an attempt by the Persians to reimpose their rule on Egypt (373 BC). Nectanebo II (also fl. 4th century BC) was the third and last king (reigned 360-343 BC) of the 30th Dynasty of Egypt; he was the last of the native Egyptian kings.
Nenana Complex
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Prehistoric culture (or complex) in south-central Alaska dated to c 12,000-10,500 bp. It is characterized by small bifacial projectile points (Chindadn points). It is the earliest dated set of archaeological finds in Alaska.
Neo-Assyrian
CATEGORY: chronology; language
DEFINITION: A political period of the Assyrian empire in the Iron Age, an extension of the Middle Assyrian. It lasted from Assurnasirpal II (883-859 BC) till Sargon, Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, and finally, Assurbanipal (668-627 BC). The Assyrian empire was destroyed by the Babylonians and Medes in 612 BC. The Neo-Assyrian period was the great era of Assyrian power, and the writing culminated in the extensive records from the library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh (c 650 BC). Neo-Assyrian is also the name of the cuneiform script of the time.
Neo-Babylonian
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A political and economic period of weakness during the early 1st millennium BC which ended with the absorption of Babylonia into the Neo-Assyrian empire by 688 BC. A rebellion in the 620s evicted the Assyrians and in alliance with Medes, they destroyed the Assyrian empire in 612 BC. Persia's Cyrus invaded and occupied Babylon in 539 BC.
Neoanthropus
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The Greek name for the major group to which Homo sapiens belongs as opposed to Paleoanthropus (paleos = old) to which Homo Neanderthalensis, Pithecanthropus erectus, and Sinanthropus belong. Neoanthropus developed in Africa, later in Asia.
New Guinea Highlands
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An area of Oceania which was unknown until the 1930s and whose population is Melanesian speakers of Papuan languages. Its prehistory goes back at least 26,000 years and supported agricultural systems dating back at least 6000 years.
New Zealand
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The southernmost and (except for Chatham Islands) only temperate landmass to be settled by Polynesians/Maoris. Beginning in c 900 AD, the lifestyle was predominantly horticultural on the North Island, but hunting and gathering on the colder South Island. Language, economy, and technology are almost fully Polynesian. There are two archaeological phases: Archaic, c 900-1300, and Classic, c 1300-1800. The Classic is associated with many earthwork fortifications, a rich woodcarving tradition, and development of the chiefly society observed by Captain Cook in 1769.
Newgrange
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: New Grange
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The most famous and splendidly decorated of the Irish passage graves, part of the Boyne Valley cemetery, in Meath County. The kidney-shaped mound, dated to c 3100 BC, is over 100 meters in diameter and 13 meters high. The cairn itself was carefully made of alternate layers of stones and turf. A kerb of large stones carved with wavy lines, lozenges, triangles, etc. encloses the base of the mound. On either side of the entrance the green kerbstones were topped by a retaining wall of white quartz. Some distance from the original base of the mound is a surrounding circle of free-standing stones. The burial chamber, cruciform in plan, is roofed by corbelling and has three subsidiary cells; the tomb has a very long passage, 19 meters in length, and built of orthostats. Midwinter sunrise shines through an opening above the door to illuminate the central chamber, the clearest example of an astronomical orientation recorded from a European prehistoric monument. Many stones of both chamber and passage carry pecked designs including an unusual triple spiral. Excavation has shown that the upper surfaces of the capstones had drainage channels, as well as art which would have been invisible once the overlying cairn had been built. Traces of cremation burials were found in the cells of the chamber, and soil from a habitation site, possibly close to the tomb, had been used to pack the interstices of the passage roof. There are two radiocarbon dates around 3200 BC and the site was reoccupied after the tomb-builders had left it and the cairn had begun to slump by a group which used Late Neolithic and Beaker pottery.
Ngandong
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Terrace site in the Solo River valley in Java, Indonesia, which had remains of Pleistocene fauna and advanced Homo erectus (Solo Man) of c 200,000 years ago. Solo Man has features of earlier Java Man, and has also been regarded as a tropical Neanderthal. Faunal associations are Upper Pleistocene, and age estimates range from 60,000-300,000 years. There was a stone industry of choppers and retouched flakes, but it may not be associated with Solo Man.
Nihewan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ni-ho-wan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Formation in Hebei Province, China, thought to be 1 million years old and containing northern China's earliest Palaeolithic tools of quartzite choppers and flakes. Mammal fauna is of the Lower Pleistocene and may be an early form of horse.
Nissan Island
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Melanesian island with a sequence of Lapita and pre-Lapita (c 5000 bp, Aceramic Neolithic). The pre-Lapita deposits contain obsidian from Talasea, indicating long-distance sea voyages.
Nitriansky Hrádok
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A multiple-phase defended settlement site of the Boleráz culture, a transition from the Eneolithic to Early Bronze Age, located on the banks of the River Nitra, western Slovakia. It dates to the late 3rd-early 2nd millennia BC. There was a double ditch and timber-framed rampart; the tell-like accumulation of material includes antler cheekpieces for horse bits.
Normans
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Vikings, or Norsemen, who settled in France; the population of the duchy of Normandy in northern France, a mixed race descending from the Franks and 10th-century Norse settlers of Denmark, Norway, and Iceland. In AD 1066, their leader, William of Normandy, conquered England, then Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. The Normans also conquered Sicily and southern Italy in a volatile period that began in 1063. These military feats were consolidated by the strength of the Norman feudal aristocracy and their skill in erecting strong, expedient fortifications ranging from motte and bailey earthworks to substantial stone castles. The Normans were also the main force behind the Crusades, which began in the 11th century AD. They promoted the French language and French culture, and the Romanesque style of architecture. By 1200 the Norman conquerors had been absorbed into the countries they ruled, but many of their institutions lasted into the late Middle Ages. Despite their eventual conversion to Christianity, their adoption of the French language, and their abandonment of sea-roving for Frankish cavalry warfare in the decades following their settlement in Normandy, the Normans retained many of the traits of their piratical Viking ancestors. They were restless, reckless, and loved fighting; they extended the practice of centralized authoritarian rule, feudalism, cavalry warfare, and religious reform.
Nubian A Group
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Nubian A-Group culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The name conventionally given to the earliest fully food-producing society known in the archaeological record of Nubia, late in the 4th millennium BC. The 'A Group' people probably had an indigenous Nubian ancestry, but were evidently in regular trade contact. The A Group is known mainly from graves, as from the excavated cemetery at Qustul, and adopted symbols of kingship similar to those of contemporary kings of Egypt of the Naqadah II-III period. It was one of the earliest phases of state formation in the world. Some settlement sites have been investigated, as at Afyeh near the First Cataract where rectangular stone houses were built, as well other rural villages. Sheep and goats were herded, with some cattle, while both wheat and barley were cultivated. Luxury manufactured goods imported from Egypt included stone vessels, amulets, copper tools and linen cloth.
Nubian C Group
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Nubian C-Group culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The conventional designation of the indigenous population of Nubia in the late 3rd millennium BC. There is disagreement as to the extent to which these people were the direct descendants of the preceding Nubian A Group population. There are apparent connections between the C Group and contemporary peoples inhabiting the Red Sea hills, east of the Nile. Livelihood depended to a large extent on their herds of small stock and cattle. Settlement sites investigated consist mainly of circular houses with their lower walls of stone. In later C-Group times, more elaborate buildings were erected, and there was an increase in the quantity of luxury goods imported from Egypt. Both these developments reached their peak at Karmah. Egypt no longer controlled Lower Nubia, which was settled by the C Group and formed into political units of gradually increasing size; relations with this state deteriorated into armed conflict in the reign of Pepi II. Karmah was the southern cultural successor of the Nubian A Group and became an urban center in the late 3rd millennium BC, remaining Egypt's chief southern neighbor for seven centuries.
Nubian rescue campaign
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: An international movement, coordinated by UNESCO between 1960-1980, to limit the loss of archaeological data as a result of the building of the Aswan High Dam and the subsequent flooding of much of Lower Nubia by Lake Nasser. The movement wanted to survey and excavate as many of the sites as possible and dismantle and re-erect the most important temples - Abu Simbel, Philae, and Kalabsha.
Numantia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Bronze Age, Hallstatt, and Celtic site on the upper Duero (Douro) River in Spain near modern Soria, scene of heroic Celtiberian resistance to Rome in 133 BC. Founded on the site of earlier settlements by Iberians who penetrated the Celtic highlands about 300 BC, it later formed the center of Celtiberian resistance to Rome, withstanding repeated attacks. Scipio Aemilianus (Numantinus) finally blockaded it (in 133 BC) by establishing six miles of continuous ramparts around it. It eventually buckled, its destruction ending all serious resistance to Rome in Celtiberia. Numantia was later rebuilt by the emperor Augustus, but it had little importance. Archaeologists have found siege camps and 13 Roman camps.
Nus-i Jan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Median site in the Malayer valley of Luristan, western Iran, which had a small fortified settlement in the late 8th century BC. Its architecture revealed Median cultic practices. A later Parthian settlement also was on the site.
Obanian culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A group of kitchen midden settlements of the western Scottish coast, a Late Mesolithic culture (c 3065-3900 BC) named from Oban in Argyll. The sites are rock shelters and shell middens on post-glacial raised beaches. Diagnostic tools include barbed spears, some limpet-picks scoops), and antler harpoon heads.
Ocean Bay tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture of the southern coast of Alaska, dated from c 4000-1000 BC, a marine mammal-hunting tradition. The principal excavated sites are Sitkalidak Roadcut (Kodiak Islands) and Takli Island.
Old Babylonian period
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: Chronological period of c 2000-1600 BC when there were competing kingdoms in southern Mesopotamia which were eventually conquered by Hammurabi of Babylon. The kingdoms included Isin and Larsa, important during the first half of the period, and the large kingdom created by Hammurabi, which flourished in the second half. The period was a time of increasing intellectual endeavors in literature, astronomy, mathematics, law, etc.
Old Cordilleran Culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Old Cordilleran
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A late Pleistocene cultural tradition based on the hunting of small game and the collection of wild foods in the mountain and plateau region of western North America, especially Oregon and Washington, between c 9000-5000 BC (or later). The diagnostic tool is the leaf-shaped Cascade point, a distinctive bipointed lanceolate point. It was usually accompanied by scraping tools (chopper tools, bolas) and occasionally by milling stones (burins). The type site is Five Mile Rapids, Oregon (9800 BP). They may have been contemporaneous with Big Game Hunting tradition. The tradition has a terminal date of c 7000 BP and it may have cultural ties to the San Dieguito.
Old South American Hunting tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A tradition dating from between 10,000-7000 BC, characterized by its fish-tailed fluted stone projectile points and leaf-shaped lanceolate points. The points' origin may be related to North American pressured flaked points of Clovis and Folsom. Old South American Hunting tradition gave rise to the Andean Hunting and Collecting tradition.
Oldowan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Oldowan industry
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Earlier Stone Age industry and complex seen at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania and other African sites, dating from c 2.5 million to about 1.6 million years ago (and later). It is comprised of the earliest toolkits, flake and pebble tools, used by hominids (Homo habilis). Robust australopithecines were present at the same time and at the same sites, however. These simple stone tools were flaked in one or two directions and is characterized by the production of small flakes removed from alternate faces along the edge of a cobble. In its pure form, hand axes are absent. Oldowan tools were made for nearly 1 million years before gradual improvement in technique resulted in a standardized industry known as the Acheulian.
Ollantaytambo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Inca site in Urubamba Valley, near Cuzco, Peru. It was a planned, trapezoidal town with ceremonial and domestic architecture. It was a royal estate for Inca Pachacuti and then used as a fort when the Spanish arrived. Architecturally, the Incas surpassed all others in their use of intricately cut, giant-size stone blocks, as displayed at Ollantaytambo.
Olszanica
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Linear Pottery culture settlement in southern Poland near Kraków dating to the late 5th millennium BC. There were 13 longhouses, one of high status, and obsidian and Bürk pottery from Hungary.
Orange
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Arausio
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A colonia in southern France, established under Augustus' rule (27 BC-14 AD) which became a prosperous city. In the pre-Roman period, the area was occupied by rich, powerful Celtic tribes who appreciated its strategic position on the Rhône River. The semicircular theater, probably built during the reign of Augustus, is the best preserved of its kind. The tiered benches, which rise on the slopes of a slight hill, originally seated 1100. The magnificent wall at the back of the theater is 334 feet (102 m) long and 124 feet (38 m) high. An imposing statue of Augustus, about 12 feet (3.7 m) high, stands in the wall's central niche. Orange also has the Triumphal Arch of Tiberius (c 20 AD) that is one of the largest built by the Romans; standing c 61 feet (19 m) high, its sculptures show the victories of Julius Caesar. A lime kiln near the theater has produced fragments which document various local land surveys and, in particular, describe the terms of confiscation and redistribution that were applied at the time of the original founding of the colonia. In the 5th century, Arausio was pillaged by the Visigoths.
Orangia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Middle Stone Age site in the Orange River valley in the extreme south of the Orange Free State, South Africa. The artifacts are analogous to those of the Pietersburg complex to the north. It is the type site of an early Middle Stone Age Pietersburg-like flake-blade industry. It is now inundated by a dam.
Oranian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ibero-Maurusian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: North African culture of late Upper Palaeolithic type, with many backed blades and some microliths. A few inland sites are known, but most are concentrated along the Mediterranean littoral from Cyrenaica (the Haua Fteah) to Morocco. The time range is c 12,000-8000 BC. It is contemporary with the Capsian, though the Capsian sites are all inland, whereas the Oranian has a coastal distribution. Both are microlithic tool complexes that persisted after the introduction of Neolithic traits into the area.
Osan-ri
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Osanni
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Early Neolithic site in Kangwondo Province, Korea, with 7th millennium BC dates for Chulmun pottery.
Otakanini
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Maori pa (hillfort) on a small island in Kaipara Harbor, North Island, New Zealand. The site has three defensive phases from the 14th-18th centuries AD, and after 1500 its inner citadel was defended by palisades and large raised fighting platforms. Cultural affiliations are Classic Maori.
Otomani
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Early Bronze Age culture of eastern Hungary, northwestern Romania, and eastern Slovakia, dating to the period 2000-1600 BC, and shows connections with Unetice. It is the equivalent of the Hungarian Füzesabony group in the central Hungarian sequence. A high proportion of Otomani settlements are artificially or naturally fortified (Barca, Spissky Stvrtok), often by the use of water, and tells are frequent. The type site, near Marghita, is a citadel overlooking the eastern edge of the Hungarian plain. Black burnished ware with bossed decoration on one-handled cups is the most frequent pottery type. The ceramics feature large, pointed bosses. Bronze artifacts are elaborately ornamented.
Otranto mosaic
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A Romanesque cathedral in Apulia, southeastern Italy, with a mosaic pavement covering the nave and aisles. Laid between 1163-1166, it was designed by a priest named Pantaleon and shows certain similarities to the Bayeux tapestry. The central theme is the history of the universe. Similar mosaics existed at other Apulian Romanesque cathedrals, but this splendid work is the only one to have survived.
Ottonian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The successors to Carolingians, the empire of Otto emperors, 936-1024 AD. As inheritors of the Carolingian tradition of the Holy Roman Empire, the German emperors also assumed the Carolingian artistic heritage, the conscientious revival of late antique and Early Christian art forms. Ottonian art later developed a style of its own, particularly in painting, ivory carving, and sculpture; there was a hieratic quality in some art, especially manuscript painting. Their architecture consisted of fortress-like basilicas with massive walls, groups of towers, and tiny windows. The achievements of Ottonian artists provided background and impetus for the Romanesque style.
Ounan Point
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Pointed bladelet with basal stem used in North African Late Pleistocene and Holocene, such as in Ounanian and Early Neolithic industries of the Eastern Sahara.
P'an-p'an
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: One of the earliest Indianized kingdoms of Southeast Asia with ambassadors to China between the 5th-7th centuries. Its name is known only from Chinese sources and its exact location is unknown, but it is figured to have been situated on the Malay Peninsula.
Pacitanian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Patjitanian; Pacitan, Patjitan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A pebble and flake tool industry with a small percentage of bifaces found in valleys in south-central Java, Indonesia. The region is known as Pacitan or Patjitan. The chopper and chopping tools were of a middle and late Pleistocene time. These tools were also a small part of a late Pleistocene and early Holocene industry.
Padre Island
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site off the coast of Texas with the remains of three Spanish treasure ships that wrecked in 1554. The ships have been scientifically excavated.
Paestan pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: South Italian pottery made at Paestum, some signed by the craftsmen, starting in the mid-4th century BC.
Pagan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arimaddanapura
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city in northern Burma, close to the confluence of the Irrawaddy and the Chindwin, formed in 849 by the union of 19 villages and originally called Arimaddanapura. It is a Buddhist religious center and the rulers of the Pagan dynasty (1044-1287) erected c 5000 Buddhist monuments (temples and stupas) made of baked brick, which contributed to the deforestation of the area now known as the 'Dry Zone' of Burma. Until its conquest by the Mongols in 1287, Pagan was the capital of an expanding Burman kingdom which included the Mon country to the south and areas inhabited by Thai peoples in the East.
Paijan point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Bifacially worked chipped stone points of triangular outline with a small stem or tang at the base. Characteristic of the Archaic Stage paiján Tradition of South America in the period 9000-7000 BC.
Paiján
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Preceramic tradition of the north and central coast highlands of Peru. The Paiján tradition probably postdates the Palaeoindian Fishtail Point tradition and its characteristic points are triangular with a long narrow stem. The tradition may have been the first to exploit maritime resources on the Peruvian coast.
Palaeoanthropus
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The name of the group to which Homo Neanderthalensis, Pithicanthropus Erectus, and Sinanthropus belong.
Palanga
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A find spot on the Baltic coast of Lithuania, Poland with a stray find of a perforated amber disc pendant. The disc is a skeuomorph of a bone type more common in central Europe and the south Russian steppe zone. It was dated to the earlier Bronze Age c 2nd millennium BC.
Palau Islands
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An island group and independent republic in western Micronesia, perhaps settled from the Philippines c 2000 BC. Its prehistory includes a continuous pottery sequence to ethnographic times. There are large-scale terraced, horticultural, and defensive hilltop sites. Glass beads and bracelet segments are characteristic artifacts.
Paleo-American
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The earliest human inhabitants of North America and South America during the late Pleistocene epoch, c 8500-5000 BC
Paleo-Indian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Palaeoindian, Early Lithic
CATEGORY: culture; chronology
DEFINITION: One of the prehistoric people who migrated from Asia and settled throughout the Americas no later than 10,000 BC. They existed as big-game hunters from about 10,000 BC to about 6000 BC in the Great Plains and eastern North America. (The other tradition at the time was the Desert-culture peoples of the western basin-range region.) Some regard the term as referring to all hunting groups involved with now-extinct mammals, in which case the peoples who hunted the species of bison that became extinct about 4500 BC would also be classified as Paleo-Indians. The oldest remains of the Paleo-Indian tradition are found on sites where large Pleistocene mammals were killed and butchered. The most distinctive artifact type of this horizon is the Clovis Fluted projectile point, which was accompanied by sidescrapers. Paleo-Indians are most frequently associated with mammoth, although associations with extinct species of bison, horse, and camel have also been reported. The term also refers to the earliest period in New World chronology, representing the time up to the development of agriculture and villages. In yet another sense, it refers to the period in archaeology (also called Early Lithic) beginning with the earliest stone tools, about 750,000 years ago.
Pampa Grande
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Middle Horizon, Moche V site in Lambayeque Valley, northern Peru, dated c 1000 BC and occupied for relatively short time. It was a large urban center and probably the relocated capital, after the abandonment of Huacas del Sol and Luna, of the Moche polity in its closing phases. Highly differentiated architecture is scattered over the area and structures include masonry platforms, truncated adobe pyramids, small agglutinated rooms, and extensive network of corridors and large storage rooms. A variety of human face motifs on molded and handmade neck-jars may have socio-economic significance in identifying either the contents or the owner. Stone tools were used in metalworking and small utilitarian artifacts in copper have also been found.
Pan Shan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pan-shan, Banshan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A branch of the Yang-Shao culture of Neolithic China with a distinctive painted pottery, c 2500-2000 BC. There are extensive cemeteries in the hills of the upper Yellow River basin in Kansu province which yielded great quantities of the pottery with inhumation burials. The most common were large globular urns painted with bold spiral or other curvilinear designs or lozenges in red, black, purple, or brown. The 'death pattern' consists of a red band between two black ones internally fringed. The geometric patterns or stylized figures are of men, fish, and birds; there is no glaze. Coiling was common, but some of the wares were probably shaped on a slow, or hand-turned, wheel. The handles are set low on the body of the urns, and the lower part of the body is left undecorated - as with most Greek Proto-Geometric funerary ware, to which there is a certain likeness. Striking parallels have been found in Turkestan, the Caucasus, and the Ukraine.
Pan-p'o-ts'un
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Chinese Neolithic Yang-Shao culture site of c 4500 BC with slash-and-burn agriculture, domesticated animals, and handmade painted pottery.
Panaramitee style
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Panaramitee art
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An art style found in many parts of Australia involving rock engravings featuring circles and tridents (possibly kangaroo and emu tracks) and dating to Pleistocene times. It is found at Panaramitee in the Flinder Ranges, South Australia, and arid regions in south Australia, New South Wales, north Queensland, and the Northern Territory; isolated examples have also been found in northern Tasmania and near Sydney. Engravings were found at Ingaladdi dating to 5000-7000 bp, at Early Man Shelter c 13,000 bp, and Karolta c 30,000 years old. The style involves the pecking on rock surfaces by indirect percussion of clusters of hundreds of small figures, usually about 10 cm tall, in outline or infilled forms. The designs include dots, spirals, mazes, and crescents, human footprints, lizards, radiating lines and tectiforms (roof shapes). The art is thought to be of considerable antiquity on the basis of still inconclusive evidence of patination, distribution in both Australia and Tasmania, and the absence of stone tool types belonging to the post-2000 BC Australian Small Tool Tradition.
Panduranga
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Phan Rang
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A state of the kingdom of Champa on the coast of southern Vietnam. It became the center of Champan activity from the mid-8th century onward.
Panhellenic
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term meaning 'all Greek', referring to regional sanctuaries which attracted dedications from within the Greek world.
Panlongcheng
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: P'an-lung-ch'eng
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Chinese archaeological site from about the middle of the Shang dynasty period (18th-12th century BC). The site, located near the confluence of the Yangtze and Han-shui rivers in central Hupei, consists of five graves and two storage pits. It is thought to be the southernmost outpost of the political system in the 15th-13th centuries BC. Palatial foundations, elite burials with Erligang-style bronze ritual vessels, and a hang-tu city wall have been excavated. There are poor burials, pottery, stone tools, and other bronze items. The earliest wood carvings yet found in China were at Panlongcheng.
Pannonia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Province of the Roman Empire, corresponding to present western Hungary and parts of eastern Austria, Slovenia, and northern Yugoslavia (Vojvodina) incorporated into the Roman Empire in 10 AD. (Roman conquest began there about 35 BC under Octavian.) Pannonia was a prosperous Roman frontier province with numerous villas. The principal town was Aquincum (part of modern Budapest). The emperor Trajan divided the province about 106 AD. The western and northern districts constituted Pannonia Superior, which was the focal point of the Roman wars with the Marcomanni during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (161-180). The southern and eastern districts were organized as Pannonia Inferior under Diocletian (284-305). Pannonia Superior was divided into Pannonia Prima and Pannonia Ripariensis (or Savia), and Pannonia Inferior was divided into Valeria and Pannonia Secunda. Pannonia was the birthplace of several Roman emperors of the 3rd century, and the province provided large numbers of troops for the Roman army. The grave barbarian threat in the 4th century AD forced the Romans to withdraw after 395. The Pannonians were mainly Illyrians, but there were some Celts in the western part of the province.
Pantalica
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age site inland from Syracuse in southeast Sicily, occupied c 13th-8th centuries BC. The 5,000 rock-cut tombs which honeycomb the hillside around have yielded great quantities of material. Pottery and metal goods from the tombs indicate trading contacts with both mainland Italy and the Aegean. The characteristic local pottery is wheelmade, red-slipped, and burnished. Four phases run from contemporary with Late Mycenaean c 1200 BC to well after the first Greek colonies formed in the 8th century BC. At least one public building has been exposed: a large stone built structure described as an anaktoron or palace.
Pantano Longarini
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A large wreck of 5th-7th century found in the sea off Pantano Longarini in southeast Sicily. The vessel would have been about 45 meters long and 9 meters wide; the structural details of the boat have contributed to the study of Byzantine ship-building.
Pantelleria
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Small island in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and Tunisia. A fortified Neolithic village c 3000 BC has been excavated, with remains of huts, pottery, and obsidian tools. Of volcanic origin, it has a source of obsidian which was exploited in prehistory. There are tombs, known as sesi, similar to the nuraghi of Sardinia, comprising rough lava towers with sepulchral chambers in them. After a considerable interval of no habitation, the Phoenicians established a trading station there in the 7th century BC. Later controlled by the Carthaginians, it was occupied by the Romans in 217 BC. Under the Roman Empire it served as a place of banishment.
Pantheon
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pantheon
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A temple dedicated to a group of gods or collective divinities; the term also refers to the group of gods. The first Pantheon was built by Agrippa in 27-25 BC, and rebuilt by Hadrian sometime between c 118-128 AD, and was one of the most remarkable buildings of Rome. The rotunda was roofed by a dome, fronted by a portico and entrance hall, of brick-faced concrete and of a height equal to internal diameter c 145 ft. The sophistication of the domed coffered ceiling was an important building in development of Roman architecture. The term has another meaning: a building serving as the burial place of or containing memorials to the famous dead of a nation
Papuan languages
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Non-Austronesian languages, NAN languages
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A group of over 700 languages of New Guinea and adjacent parts of eastern Indonesia and Melanesia. Today these languages are spoken by about 2.9 million people, and the family is perhaps the most diverse in the world. The Papuan languages presumably descend from the languages of the first settlers of Melanesia c 30-40,000 years ago, and some linguists claim to be able to trace population expansion and migrations within the New Guinea region from about 15,000 years ago.
Paranthropus
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Australopithecus robustus
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A fossil hominid genus initially assigned by Robert Broom to the form of australopithecine found at Kromdraai and Swartkrans, South Africa. The remains are known as Australopithecus robustus to scholars who do not consider it a separate genus from other australopithecines. It was a large and heavy species, one of the oldest and most primitive forms of man.
Parian
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A white, semitransparent marble used for sculpture and quarried from and quarried from subterranean pits on the north side of Mt. Marpessa, a chief source of wealth for ancient Páros, an island of the Cyclades, Greece. It was particularly prized as its large crystals absorb light and glow in the sun.
Parian Chronicle
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Marmor Parium
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A document inscribed on Parian marble in the Attic Greek dialect and containing an outline of Greek history from the reign of Cecrops, legendary king of Athens, c 1582 BC, down to the archonship of Diognetus at Athens (264 BC). The author recorded the dates of festivals and when they were established, the introduction of various kinds of poetry, and the births and deaths of the poets. One large fragment is at the Ashmolean Museum (among the so-called Arundel Marbles), Oxford; another is in the Paros Museum.
Parian marble
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Marble from quarries on the island of Paros, Greece, which is white in color, close-grained, and peculiarly suitable for sculpture: it was widely used by the leading sculptors throughout the Mediterranean world.
Parisian ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A thin, dark grey, highly burnished ware decorated with impressed stamps and found mainly in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, dating to the late 1st and the 2nd centuries AD
Parmana
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An area of the Middle Orinoco drainage, Venezuela, which shifted from root crops to seed crop cultivation (mainly maize) between 800-400 BC. The cultivation of maize gave rise to an increase in population and provided the basis for the emergence of chiefdom-led societies.
Parrot, André (1901-1980)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Mesopotamian archaeologist who worked at Mari, Baalbek, Byblos, Tello, and Larsa. Much of his time was spent at Mari, which dates to 3100 BC, and he was also in government museum service (including director of the Louvre). He wrote a history of Mesopotamian archaeology.
Parthian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Parthia, Parthava (modern Khorasan)
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A steppe people from east of the Caspian Sea who entered northeastern Iran and set up a kingdom at the expense of the Seleucid empire and Bactria. The Parthian empire existed from 247 BC-224 AD. The earliest Parthian capital was probably at Dara; two of the later capitals were Nisa and Hecatompylos. Between 160-140 BC, Mithridates I extended the Parthian state into an empire, incorporating Iran and most of Mesopotamia, which survived 350 years of almost constant conflict with the Seleucids and later the Romans until its overthrow by the Sassanians in the early 3rd century AD. When flourishing, the Parthians established an oriental empire with Greek civilization grafted on. Their culture and location was an important intermediary between the Near and Far East and they controlled most of the trade routes between Asia and the Greco-Roman world. The silk road to China was opened under Mithradates II (124/123-87 BC). The Parthians were also famous for their superlative horsemanship.
Patayan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hakataya; Patayan Division
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Culture of lower Colorado River, northwestern Arizona, occupying the area by 100 AD until 1500 AD - a division of the Hakataya Culture. These people of Yuman speech included the tribes of Hazasupai, Mojave, and Walapai. They had three provinces: Cerbat, Prescott, and Cohonina. They farmed alluvial flood plains, hunted and gathered foods. Between 1000-1500, pottery spread over much wider area and was influenced by Hohokam; the vessels had red-on-buff designs and stucco finishing.
Patjitanian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Middle Pleistocene chopper-chopping tool culture from Java characterized by coarse flakes in the shape of cleavers, known from a very prolific site in south central Java. In the Patjitanian, the main types of implements consist of single-edged choppers and chopping tools that occur in association with primitive flakes with unprepared, high-angle striking platforms. There are also pointed, bifacial implements that have been described as crude hand axes.
Paviland Man
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Paviland Cave
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A buried Cro-Magnon in Paviland Cave, South Wales, the earliest-known British ceremonial burial. He was coated in red ochre to simulate life and had ivory objects, beads, bangle, awls, and shellfish and a mammoth's head buried with him - proof of a belief in an afterlife. The material in the cave has been dated from c 38,000-10,000 years ago (Aurignacian, Creswellian). The skeleton has a radiocarbon date of 26,350 bp.
Pavlovian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic culture found in central and eastern Europe, with the type site at Pavlov in southern Moravia, Czechoslovakia. There, a large settlement of Upper Palaeolithic mammoth-hunters left skeletal remains, hut plans, and numerous art objects. The artifacts include small retouched blades, Gravette points, and animal figurines assigned to the Eastern Gravettian. The radiocarbon dates are 26,730-26,000 bp.
Peiligang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: P'ei-li-kang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Neolithic sites in Henan Province, China, and the name of the earliest millet-based culture of northern China. It includes or parallels Cishan, Laoguantai, and Lijiacun.
Peking man
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pekin man, Sinanthropus
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An obsolete name for a variety of Homo erectus found at Zhoukoudian cave (Choukoutien), southwest of Beijing (Peking). The braincase was thick, with a massive basal and occipital torus structure and heavy browridges. The remains of over 40 fossil humans were found there. These Chou-k'ou-tien fossils are dated to the Middle Pleistocene, about 900,000-130,000 years ago. Peking man postdates Java man and is considered more advanced in having a larger cranial capacity, a forehead, and nonoverlapping canines.
Persian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Persia
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Indo-European people who moved into northwest Iran from Turkestan about 1000 BC and finally settled in the province of Pars/Parsa (modern Fars). They twice built great empires through the Middle East, under the Achaemenid family (559-330 BC) and under the Sassanians (224-651 AD). Their neighbors were the Medes. The Achaemenid empire dominated much of western Asia until it fell to Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BC. The use of the name was gradually extended by the ancient Greeks and other Western peoples to apply to the whole Iranian Plateau.
Persian Gulf trade
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The maritime trading of the 3rd and early 2nd millennia BC between Mesopotamia and Dilmun, Magain, and Meluhha. The busiest Mesopotamian sites were Lagash and Ur and the other three places' names are known from cuneiform texts. Combined with archaeological information, it has been determined that Dilmun corresponds to the Barbar culture of the Persian Gulf, Magain relates to Umm an-Nar in southwest Arabia, and Meluhha is identified with the Harappan culture area.
Phigalian Marbles
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Friezes kept in the British Museum, from the Temple of Apollo Epicurius, at Bassae near ancient Phigalia in Arcadia. There are 23 slabs in high relief, 11 representing the battle between the Centaurs and the Lapithae, and the rest the contest of the Greeks and Amazons. It is attributed to the same period as the Parthenon.
Phocaean ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Roman red-glossed pottery made from the 4th-7th century AD on the west coast of Turkey. It was widely distributed in the eastern Mediterranean.
Phoenician
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Phoenicia
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Semitic people who lived in the coastal area of Lebanon and Syria from about 1000 BC, the cultural heirs of the Canaanites. They flourished as traders from their ports of Tyre, Sidon, and Byblos. They are crediting with founding Carthage and inventing the alphabet; the Greek, Roman, Arabic and Hebrew alphabets are all derived from the Phoenician. Even after their incorporation into the Babylonian empire in 574 BC, they continued to influence world politics, in the Near East through their fleets, in the west through their powerful colony of Carthage. They also established colonies in Utica, north Africa; Gades in Spain, Motya in Sicily, Nora and Tharros in Sardinia, and other settlements in Malta and Ibiza. Culturally their role as merchants and middlemen was uninterrupted until they were absorbed into the Hellenistic and Roman world. They are reputed to have circumnavigated Africa. They developed the alphabet to assist their commercial activities. They are not well-known archaeologically in their homeland, though there has been some exploration of their major sites; they have left few lasting memorials in the form of great works of art or monumental architecture. The Phoenicians engaged in a series of three Punic Wars with the Romans, which led to their ultimate defeat and incorporation into the Roman world in the 2nd century BC.
Phrygian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Muski; Phrygia
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A people who moved from Thrace into central Anatolia (Turkey) after the collapse of the Hittite empire by the mid-12th century BC. They founded a kingdom, under Midas, that covered most of Anatolia and lasted c 750-680 BC, with his capital at Gordium (Gordion). After they were destroyed by the Cimmerians, the Phrygian culture continued under the rule of Lydia into Classical times in Anatolia. Noteworthy are elaborate monuments carved in rock faces, once considered tombs but now interpreted as religious centers. Rich burials were placed under great tumuli. The richly painted pottery is related to that of the contemporary Greeks. They are said to have invented embroidery.
Phu Wiang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An area and culture in Khorat, Thailand, with prehistoric sites inhabited between c 3000-2500 BC. It was a transitional Neolithic-Early Bronze age phase.
Pianello
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Proto-Villanovan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site near Ancona, near the Italian Adriatic coast, with a large urnfield cemetery of c 1100 BC. It is the type site of a group scattered through much of Italy and often labeled Proto-Villanovan. The ashes, sometimes accompanied by an arc fibula or quadrangular razor, were buried in a small biconical urn and covered with inverted bowls used as lids.
Piano Conte
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Copper Age culture of Lipari, traces of which have also been found on the Italian mainland, perhaps from trade in obsidian with Lipari. This early 3rd millennium BC culture had many fine tools of flint, but copper was still rare. The pottery was distinctive, decorated with close-set grooves, making a corrugated effect.
Piltdown Man
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Piltdown
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A set of skull fragments presented in 1913 to be an apelike jaw and claiming to be the missing evolutionary link between ancient and modern humans, but revealed to be an elaborate hoax. Supposedly found at a site near Lewes in Sussex. In 1953, analysis by fluorine test and other methods showed that the skull was indeed of Homo sapiens combined with the jaw of a modern orangutan. Between 1953 and 1955 it was shown that these objects were mostly doctored fakes, and had all been introduced to the site.
Pitcairn Island
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: One of the isolated islands of eastern Polynesia, settled by Polynesians c 1100 AD, but abandoned when mutineers from HMS Bounty arrived in 1790. Pitcairn is one of many isolated Polynesian islands with a 'lost' population. Their is evidence of occupation in stone platforms with anthropomorphous statues, petroglyphs, and stone fishhooks and adzes - resembling New Zealand Archaic assemblages. Its current population is descended from the mutineers of the British ship HMS Bounty and their Tahitian Polynesian consorts
Pithecanthropus
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The former genus name assigned to fossil hominids including Java man and Peking man, both now classified as Homo erectus.
Pitt-Rivers, General Augustus Lane-Fox (1827-1900)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British scholar and pioneer in archaeological excavation and recording, working on prehistoric and Romano-British sites in England. His large-scale excavations unearthed villages, camps, cemeteries, and barrows at sites such as Woodcutts, Rotherley, South Lodge, Bokerly Dyke, and Wansdyke. From his study of firearms, he realized that something analogous to evolution can be traced in artifacts as well as in living organisms, with the same gradual developments and occasional degenerations. He assembled an ethnographical collection arranged by use rather than by provenance, a practical example of typology. He helped to advance excavation to a scientific technique with precise work, total excavation of sites, meticulous recording of detail, and full and rapid publication. His work on his own estate, Cranborne Chase, was published in five volumes entitled "Excavations in Cranborne Chase" (1887-1903). He stressed stratigraphy and precise recording of all finds and is often called the "father of British archaeology.
Pizarro, Francisco (1475-1541)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Spanish explorer and adventurer who came to Peru in 1532 looking for gold and destroyed the Inca empire. The Inca wrongly believed the Spaniards to be gods returning as prophesied in legends. He founded Lima.
Plano
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Widespread late Palaeoindian tradition in North America from 10,000-7000 BP. In the west, it is characterized by bison hunting and diverse projectile point styles; complexes include Agate Basin, Hell Gap, Cody, and Frederick. The characteristic unfluted leaf-shaped projectile point appears to have developed from Llano and Folsom types. These many styles or types have been identified by such local names as Plainview, Angostura, Milnesand, Agate Basin, and Scottsbluff and their primarily hunting culture may be included in the term Plano. The Plano complex or culture type was a direct descendant from the fluted-blade early American hunters. As the climate moderated, peoples of the Late Plano complex moved north into Saskatchewan and Alberta with the grazing game animals and, by 3000 BC, had reached the Arctic tundra zone in the Northwest Territories of Canada. It is the most recent of the three major Palaeoindian cultures.
Plano point
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Name of projectile points developed out of the Clovis and Folsom points of the Big Game Hunting tradition, after 8000 BC in North America. Unfluted, large lanceolate stone forms were made by pressure flaking techniques. The two main types of Plano points are Plainview of 7800-5100 BC and Parallel which are longer, more slender, and more finely made.
Polivanov Yar
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Neolithic settlement site of the Cucuteni-Tripolye culture in the Ukraine. Found were smelted copper ingots suggesting trade contacts with the Carpathian-Balkan region.
Poljanica
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Polyanitsa
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Copper Age tell in northeastern Bulgaria, dated to the mid-4th millennium BC, with many occupation levels. Eight levels have 10-15 complete houses densely packed within a triple palisade. Poljanica resembles a Roman fort in outward appearance and the name is also applied to the Early and Middle Eneolithic culture of northeast Bulgaria, related to the Boian and Marica cultures.
Polynesian Outliers
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Polynesian outliers
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Communities occupying the 19 small islands to windward (east) of the large Melanesian islands of the Solomons, New Hebrides, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and on the southern fringes of Micronesia. Archaeology and linguistics suggest settlement by a back-movement from western Polynesia (Samoa, Futuna, Ellice) perhaps starting in the 1st millennium AD. Archaeological evidence indicates that by 1300 BC islands in northern Vanuatu were settled by the makers of the distinctive Lapita pottery from Melanesian islands to the west.
Pompeian red ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of Roman color-coated pottery made in France and exported to various parts of the Roman world in the late 1st century BC and 1st century AD. The name derived from the color, Pompeian red, rather than its source.
Pontian
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site in peninsular Malaysia where a Southeast Asian-type boat burial of the early centuries AD was found in association with pottery similar to that of Kuala Selinsing.
Poznan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city in west-central, one of the centers of the early Polish kingdom established under Mieszko I during the second half of the 10th century. Beginning as a small stronghold in the 9th century, Poznan became the capital of Poland (with Gniezno) and the residence of Poland's first two sovereigns. The first Polish bishopric was founded here in 968. A 10th-century rampart and many relics of the Slavic period have been found.
Prambanan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Prambanan Group
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A complex of Hindu and Buddhist temples on a plain near Yogyakarta, Java, built in the late 8th and 9th centuries AD. These stone monuments were built by the rulers of Mataram and include Loro Jonggrang, Candi Sewu, and Plaosan; their many inscriptions are a rich source of historical information.
Prosek, Frantisek (1922-1958)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Czechoslovakian archaeologist who specialized in the Palaeolithic and was instrumental in establishing the stratigraphic position of the Szeletian industry in Central Europe.
Proskouriakoff, Tatiana (1909-1985)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Mesoamerican archaeologist and epigrapher born in Siberia who worked to decipher the Maya glyphs. She established the use of stelae to document dynastic sequences and deciphered glyphs of conflicts, adding substantially to an understanding of the Maya civilization. She wrote "An Album of Maya Architecture" (1963 1978).
Proto-Mayan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Early American Indians from the mountain regions of the Pacific, dating to the preclassic Mayan era c 1000 BC.
Pusan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Busan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A region of the South Korean peninsula with a well-excavated prehistoric sequence. The first period, Chodo, is not dated but may be contemporary with the Early Jomon of Japan. The Chodo culture is ceramic and classed as Neolithic. The second period, Mokto, has a radiocarbon date of c 3950 BC. The third period, Pusan, is radiocarbon dated to c 3000 BC and was succeeded by the Tudo period characterized by 'comb-pattern' ware. Trade with Japan is documented by imported obsidian and by glycemeris shell bracelets.
Périgordian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Perigordian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A French classification for the Upper Palaeolithic tradition of western Europe, from its identification with the Perigord region of southern France. The flint industry sequence begins with the Chatelperronian (or Early Périgordian) from which, according to some, developed the first of the 'Upper Périgordian' industries (Gravettian, or Périgordian IV). The later stages are represented by industries with Font Robert points and Noailles burins, and finally by the Proto-Magdalenian. The Périgordian tradition comes to an end in western Europe with the intrusion of a new Solutrean style of flintwork. No known site has a complete and unbroken 'Périgordian' sequence, and in many caves the Lower and Upper 'Périgordian' levels are separated by strata of the intrusive Aurignacian industry, which must represent a break of several thousand years. The French scheme requires the Périgordian and Aurignacian people to have lived side by side with each other for millennia without any apparent contact between them. In the 1930s, Denis Peyrony advocated the view that the Aurignacian or early Upper Palaeolithic in France consisted of a true Aurignacian and a separate line of cultures, the Perigordian, beginning before the Aurignacian but co-existing alongside it down the time of the Solutrean. It is not known what kind of man was responsible for the Perigordian, but it is usually assumed that it was Cro-Magnon man, at least in the latter part. A Neanderthal-like skull has been found with the early Perigordian, or Chatelperronian. Art is found in a few later Perigordian contexts. The Perigordian scheme is not now widely accepted as it is based on artifact typology rather than stratigraphic evidence.
Qadan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Nubian stone industry belonging to the period of high water levels in the Nile Valley prior to 9000 BC. There are various local stone tool assemblages and Qadan people evidently fished, hunted and consumed large quantities of wild grains.
Qairawan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Al-Qayrawan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Important caravan city in north-central Tunisia on the east-west route between Egypt and the Maghreb. Founded in 670 on the site of the Byzantine fortress of Kamouinia, it has four major 9th-century structures: the Great Mosque, the Mosque of Three Doors, and two massive cisterns. The Great Mosque bears the name of Uqba b. Nafi, the conqueror of North Africa, who built the first mosque at Qairawan in 670. The mosque was rebuilt again by the Aghlabid ruler, Ziyadat Allah, and his successors, beginning in 836. The 9th-century mosque, much of which survives influenced Islamic architecture in the Maghreb. The Mosque of Three Doors (Jami Tleta Biban) has a square sanctuary with nine domes and was built in 866. As a result of Bedouin incursions in the 11th century, the decline of steppe cultivation in favor of nomadic life, and the rise of Tunis as capital, Qairawan declined into an isolated market town for nomads.
Qal'a of the Banu Hammad
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site in northeast Algeria founded in 1007 as a new capital by Hammad, the grandson of Ziri, builder of the first Sanhaja center at Ashir. The major monuments include the Manar Palace, Lake Palace, and the mosque.
Qandahar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arachosia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site in Afghanistan with Classical associations containing pottery of the Timurid period late 14th-15th century AD.
Qantir
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Per Ramessu; Pi Ramesse, biblical Raamses, Khata'na, Tall Ad-Daba'a
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site of an ancient Egyptian harbor town in the eastern Delta near modern el-Khatana. It was the ancient Egyptian capital in the 15th, 19th, and 20th Dynasties. It was likely first founded in the Old Kingdom, but then was overrun by the Palestinians c 1700 BC. Refounded by Seti I (1290-1279 BC), it was transformed into a new royal residence and seat of government by successor Rameses II (1279-1213 BC).
Qataban
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: One of the kingdoms of southern Arabia in the 1st millennium BC, contemporary with the Minaeans, Sabaeans, and Hadramis. Its capital city was Timna'. Its heartland was at Wadi Bayhan.
Qin Shihuangdi (fl. 247 BC-d. 210 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ch'in Shih Huang-ti; Qin Shi Huangdi; Chao Cheng
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A boy king (Chao Cheng) who came to China's throne and completed the Ch'in conquests and in 221 created the Ch'in empire. He proclaimed himself Ch'in Shih Huang-ti (First Sovereign Emperor of Ch'in) and instituted a rigid authoritarian government. During the Ch'in Dynasty the writing system was standardized along with weights and measures and coinage. The Great Wall was also built. Rebellion erupted after Shihhuangdi's death in 210 BC. In 206 the dynasty was overthrown and replaced by the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). His tomb is the focal point of a vast mausoleum complex that includes a buried army of 7000 lifesized terra-cotta figures.
Qingliangang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ch'ing-lien-kang
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A Neolithic culture and site of the 5th millennium BC in Huaian Xian, northern Jiangsu province, China. It succeeded Hemudu and merged with Dawenkou. It had unpainted openwork ceramics with pedestals.
Qishan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ch'i-shan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Shaanxi province, China, where the Zhou people established their dynasty and capital before they overthrew the Shang dynasty in 1027 BC. A large palace complex included inscribed oracle bones antedating the founding of the dynasty. The tiled roofs of the buildings are the earliest known (11th century BC) of this standard feature of later Chinese architecture. There are also hangtu foundation platforms for palace buildings. Many bronze ritual vessels have been found in the Qishan area, mostly Western Zhou in date.
Quanterness
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A passage grave on Orkney, north Scotland, of the Maes Howe or Quanterness/Quoyness type and dated to c 3000 BC. Like other such tombs, it had been used for collective burial, but the number of bodies found here was unusually high: remains of 157 individuals were found and the tomb may originally have housed 400. Radiocarbon dates indicated it may have represented an extended family over a period of nearly one thousand years. The long, low passage led to the principal rectangular-plan chamber, which had a corbel-vaulted roof. It is dry stone and covered by a large circular cairn.
Quanzhou
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ch'üan-chou
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Late 13th century AD Song dynasty shipwreck at Houzhou, China. It was a 24-meter-long keeled ship with 13 compartments. The acquisition and preservation of this massive artifact was spectacular; it is on display in a Chinese museum.
Quiani
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A shell mound south of Arica on northern Chilean coast, c 4000 BC, with shell fishhooks and leaf points.
Quinzano
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A quarry near Verona, Italy, with several lower and middle Palaeolithic levels and a human occipital skull-bone of Neanderthal type. There was an open settlement of the Square-Mouthed Pottery Neolithic culture and a cemetery of crouched inhumations. The name Finale-Quinzano is sometimes given to a variant of square-mouthed pottery named after this site and Arene Candide.
Qumran
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site near the Dead Sea in Israel where the first Dead Sea Scrolls were found, leading to excavation of the headquarters of a religious community and of a large cemetery at Khirbet Qumran, both of Greco-Roman period. The Essenes, a Jewish sect living there from c 1st century BC to the 1st century AD left their religious writings in caves during the time when the Romans put down the Jewish Revolt. Discovered in 1947, the scrolls are dated to the last two centuries BC and 1st century AD.
Quyn-van
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Shell midden in northern Vietnam which has produced a flaked stone industry together with pottery, grindstones, and contracted burials dated c 3000 BC. It could be a late and specialized coastal variant of the Hoabinhian.
Rachmani
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Rakhmani
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Neolithic and Bronze Age settlement mound in Thessaly, Greece. The Final Neolithic is characterized by red, pink, and white pottery.
Rahman Dehri
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site in the western Punjab, Pakistan, with a culture of 3400-2500 BC leading up to the Mature Harappan civilization. Early levels have a regional painted pottery; the ceramics became Kot Diji style. There is graffiti on sherds, possibly an antecedent to the Harappan script.
Rana Ghundai
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell in the Loralai Valley of north Baluchistan with a stratigraphic sequence beginning with handmade pottery and chipped stone tools (4th millennium BC). This was followed by a level with black-on-red painted Zhob wares.
Rancho La Brea
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: La Brea Tar Pits
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Quaternary site (Le Brea Tar Pits) near Los Angeles with very large numbers of vertebrate remains dating c 40,000-11,000BP buried in tar pits (asphalt deposits of ancient tar seeps). The tar pits contain the fossilized skulls and bones of prehistoric animals that became entrapped in the sticky seepage of the pits. The remains of such Pleistocene mammals as imperial mammoth, mastodon, saber-toothed cat, giant ground sloth, and camel have been recovered. There are some artifacts, including manos and wooden spear points.
Ranis Cave
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ilsenhöhle
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site near River Saale in eastern Germany starting with Middle Palaeolithic material, then Upper Palaeolithic dating to the middle of the Last Glacial Maximum. Late Upper Palaeolithic, Bronze Age, and historic remains also have been found at the site.
Ranjpur
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Prehistoric site in northwest India with evidence of the Mature and Late Harappan, divided into five periods from c 3000 BC. The Mature Harappan had baked bricks, drains, graffiti on pottery, stone weights, terra-cotta cakes, beads, and pottery. New elements appear in the material culture - animal motifs on painted pottery and Lustrous Red Ware. The latter became common and black-and-red ware appeared in the Late Harappan at Lothal, Rodji, and Ranjpur.
Rano Raraku
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An extinct volcanic crater on Easter Island which served as a quarry for the stone statues (moai) which were erected in rows on the many ahu on the island. The rock is a soft tuff and the main usage of the two quarries, one inside and one outside the crater, dates to between c 1000-1500 AD. The site is filled with almost 400 unfinished statues and with many finished moai erected. Thousands of basalt handheld picks were discarded at the site.
Reisner, George Andrew (1867-1942)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: American Egyptologist who set new standards in Egyptian archaeology with his meticulous excavation methods, which were then comparable only with those of the British archaeologist Flinders Petrie. He carried out long-term excavations at Giza, Nag ed-Der, Kerma, and Deir el-Ballas. He directed a campaign in Nubia to survey threatened monuments, and conducted excavations at Samaria in Palestine and in Sudan (Kerma, Meroe, Gebel Barkal). In Egypt, he excavated many tombs (Pyramid of Menkaure, tomb of Hetepheres) and the Valley Temple of Mycerinus at Giza.
Remote Oceania
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: The small islands of the Pacific that can only be reached by sailing out of sight of land, including all the islands east of a line stretching from the Philippines to the Solomons.
Renaissance
CATEGORY: chronology; culture
DEFINITION: The period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages, conventionally held to have been characterized by a surge of interest in classical learning and values. It was the rebirth of European intellectual curiosity about the natural world and the role of humans in it, originating in the 15th century in Italy. Changing social, political, and economics conditions, as well as rediscovery of Classical texts, were basic to this rebirth.
Rogachev, Aleksandr Nikolaevich (1912-1984)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Soviet archaeologist who specialized in the Palaeolithic and the study of stratigraphy and remains at Kostenki-Borshchevo sites. He also excavated at Avdeevo.
Roman period
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The period of Roman political and military control, generally between 200 BC and 400 AD, but varying for different regions, depending on the date of conquest.
Romanelli
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large coastal cave in Apulia, Italy, occupied in the Palaeolithic period. Over a beach of last Interglacial date came some Mousterian deposits and a series of Upper Palaeolithic (c 12,000 BP) deposits of 'Romanellian' type. There are engraved art objects in these layers and on the walls, and skeletal material is also found in the Romanellian levels. These include geometric microliths, 200+ plaques with engravings, and meanders and abstract designs engraved on the walls.
Romanesque
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A style of architecture which emerged about 1000 and lasted until about 1150, by which time it had evolved into Gothic. It was hybrid style of architecture and ornament, transitional from the classical Roman to the introduction of the Gothic. It was a combination of horizontal and arched construction and the ornament included natural and fanciful objects. The term also refers to a style of monumental sculpture and painting.
Romano-Saxon ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: This term is used both of wheel-made Roman pottery in coarse or color-coated fabrics with stamped or bossed decoration resembling that on many hand-made Saxon vessels, and of hand-made Saxon pottery imitating Roman forms. It is found mainly in eastern England. The former class belongs to the late 3rd and 4th centuries and is not to be confused with stamped ware of earlier periods such as LONDON and PARISIAN wares.
Rome, ancient
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Historic city of Italy located on the Tiber River in central Italy. The historical site of Rome on the Seven Hills - the Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal, and Viminal - was occupied as early as c 900 BC, but continuous settlement by Indo-European peoples did not take place until the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. By the early 6th century BC, a politically unified city had emerged. The Romans gradually conquered the Italian peninsula, extended their dominion over the entire Mediterranean, and expanded their empire into continental Europe toward the Atlantic. As the capital of this empire, Rome became the site of grandiose palaces, temples, public baths, theaters, stadiums, and other public buildings. The focus of the city was the Forum. Ancient Rome reached the peak of its grandeur and ancient population during the late 1st and early 2nd centuries AD.
Rosellini, (Niccolo Francesco) Ippolito (1800-1843)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Italian Egyptologist who accompanied Jean-François Champollion on a Franco-Tuscan expedition to Egypt in 1828-1829. They published "Monuments de l'Égypte et Nubie". This ten-volume description of the major monuments of Egypt (1832-1844) was one of the most influential Egyptological publications of the mid-19th century.
Ruanga
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Iron Age settlement in northern Mashonaland, Zimbabwe, where a stone building appears to have been occupied by people related to those of Great Zimbabwe.
Sabaean
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: One of four major peoples / kingdoms of southern Arabia in the 1st millennium BC, contemporary with the Minaeans, Qatabanians, and Hadramites. The Sabaean capital was at Marib (Ma'rib). The people who called themselves Saba' (biblical Sheba) are both the earliest and the most abundantly attested in the surviving written records. Sabaean rulers - who are mentioned in Assyrian annals of the late 8th and early 7th centuries BC - were responsible for impressive cultural and irrigational constructions. Two secondary centers were Sirwah, on a tributary of the Wadi Dhana above the dam, and Nashq (now Al-Bayda'), at the western end of Wadi Al-Jawf.
Sacsahuamán
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sacsayhuaman
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An immense fortified Inca complex, built as an adjunct to the Incan capital at Cuzco, Peru, and begun some time after 1438. Thought to have functioned as a storage center and military garrison in peacetime, it was used as a safe haven for Cuzco residents in times of danger. Its north-facing limestone walls are Cyclopean and the remains of round towers are still visible. They are built on a zigzag sawtooth plan and the interior structures are built on three rising terraces and include storage and dwelling places, a reservoir and a conduit supply system. It is said to have been constructed over a period of 80 years with the labor of 20,000 Incans.
Salinas La Blanca
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Early Formative village site on the left bank of the Narajo River near Ocos, Guatemala. The principal features of the site are two low house-mounds constructed of clay and household debris and dating to 1000-850 BC. A typical household cluster consisted of the house and outdoor hearth, a number of 'borrow pits' (dug to obtain clay) and a sherd-and-shell midden. Large numbers of primitive corn cobs indicate some farming.
Samarkand
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Samarqand, Maracanda
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: City in east-central Uzbekistan that is one of the oldest cities of Central Asia. In the 4th century BC, then known as Maracanda, it was the capital of Sogdiana and was captured (329 BC) by Alexander the Great. It benefited from its location in a fertile oasis at the point where the Silk Route from the West divided, one branch proceeding to China and other to India. Excavations have revealed abundant Graeco-Sogdiana material. A palace of the 6th or 7th century AD yielded wall paintings comparable with the famous paintings from Pendzhikent.
Samarran culture complex
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Cultural phase of east-central Irqu along the Tigris River which dates to the second half of the 6th and early 5th millennium BC, with sites such as Tell es Sawwan and Choga Mami. There are three phases of the complex: Early Samarran with coarse ware decorated by incision, Middle Samarran with painted pottery using naturalistic scenes and geometric designs; and Last Samarran with more geometric painted pottery and no naturalistic scenes. The Samarrans used irrigation agriculture and herding of animals, both important to the developing Mesopotamian civilizations.
Sambungmachan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sambungmatjan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The find-site on the Solo River, Java, of Homo erectus ancestor fossils (specifically a cranium) with Middle or Upper Pleistocene faunal associations. It is perhaps slightly earlier than the population from Ngadndong, further downstream on the Solo River. Some stone tools were found at Sambungmachan, believed to be the first found in the same context as Homo erectus in Java.
Samhan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: In Korea, the collective name for the Mahan, P'yonhan, and Chinhan protohistoric peoples during the Proto-Three Kingdoms period. Literally, "three Han" these people lived in the southern half of the Korean peninsula. Small polities are thought to have risen into the states of Paekche Kaya and Silla from the Samhan.
Samian ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Terra Sigillata, terra sigillata ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A distinctive Roman pottery produced mainly in south and central Gaul and the Moselle valley in the first century BC and first three centuries AD; later it was made in Britain (Colchester). It was copied from Italian Arretine ware and was itself widely imitated. It is a red ware with a bright glossy surface, plain or elaborately decorated by means of molds. Its second name derives from the stamp with which the pottery frequently added his name to his products. The maker's name was stamped on the pottery, but the decorations, the shape, the fabric, all help in dating and tracing its origin. The shapes come from metal prototypes. The forms, decorations, and stamps have allowed a detailed chronology to be established. The wares provide a valuable means of dating the other archaeological material found with them.
San
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bushmen
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The hunter-gatherer people of southern Africa who once lived throughout the region and spoke a number of languages before becoming absorbed into agricultural societies. They were a nomadic egalitarian society with small bands of about 20 people. Men hunted with bow-and-arrow and women gathered plant foods. Their record provides insights into Later Stone Age remains and rock art. By late 20th century, many San had become laborers and trackers in settled areas. They are part of the Capoid local race, a subgroup, of the Negroid (African) geographic race (also comprised of the Khoikhoin (Hottentots)). The most striking feature of the San languages is their extensive use of click sounds.
San Agustín
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A locality in the south Colombian Andes highland, with a number of cemeteries, house platforms, ancient fields, stone-built chambers underneath mounds, and also a series of more than 300 stone statues representing mythological personages, some of them with jaguar fangs. The mounds commonly have internal stone-lined passageways and chambers, some of which contain sculpture, suggesting their use as places of worship as well as burial. Sculptures are rendered in a variety of techniques but are usually freestanding stelae and can be up to four meters high. Though stylistic comparisons are often made with Chavin, these themes have strong parallels in Olmec iconography. Occupation extends from about 700 BC almost to the Spanish conquest. The spectacular stonework falls somewhere between 500 BC and 1500 AD. There is also incised and modeled pottery and gold ornaments from the underground burial chambers.
San Dieguito complex
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Late Palaeoindian complex of California, southwestern Nevada, and western Arizona, c 8000-7000 BC. Characteristic artifacts are leaf-shaped biface points or knives, choppers, scrapers, and hammerstones. It postdates the Clovis in local sequences. this tradition was distinct from the Desert Culture in its reliance on hunting rather than gathering.
San José Mogote
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The largest of a number of Zapotec village communities which developed in the Pre-Classic or Formative Period in central Oaxaca, Mexico, before 1300 BC. Agriculture was practiced by 'pot irrigation', direct watering from a well. There is evidence of Olmec influence and by c 900 BC the village had grown to 20 hectares. There were small lower-class residences, public buildings, and workshops. Artifacts include debris from 'prized' minerals such as ilmenite, hematite, mica, and green quartz; as well as finished goods of Olmec origin. These suggest that San Jose Mogote was a manufacturing site of shell ornaments and magnetite mirrors and was part of an Olmec-controlled trade system.
San Lorenzo
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The oldest-known Olmec center, located in Veracruz, Mexico, and revealing information on Olmec origins. It was a large nucleated village flourishing during the Early Formative. The first phase of occupation (Ojochi, c 1800-1650 BC) left no architectural traces, but during the next period (Bajío, 1650-1550 BC) a start was made on the artificial plateau with lateral ridges forming the base of most subsequent structures. The Chicharras phase (1550-1450 BC) foreshadows true Olmec in its pottery, figurines, and perhaps also in stone-carving. The San Lorenzo phase (1450-1100 BC) marks the Olmec climax at the site, whose layout then resembled that of La Venta. The principal features of the site are a large platform mound and a cluster of smaller mounds surrounding what may be the earliest ball court in Mesoamerica; more than 200 house mounds are clustered around these central features. A system of carved stone drains underlying the site is a unique structural feature. Around 900 BC, the stone monuments were mutilated and buried upon the center's collapse. La Venta then came to power. The monuments weighed as much as 44 tons and were carved from basalt from the Cerro Cintepec, a volcanic flow in the Tuxtla Mountains about 50 air miles to the northwest. It is believed that the stones were somehow dragged down to the nearest navigable stream and from there transported on rafts up the Coatzacoalcos River to the San Lorenzo area. The amount of labor involved must have been enormous, indicating a complex social system to ensure the task's completion. Most striking are the colossal heads human portraits on a stupendous scale, the largest of which is 9 feet high. After a short hiatus, the site was reoccupied by a group whose culture still shows late Olmec affinities (Palangana phase, 800-450 BC), but was again abandoned until 900 AD when it was settled by early post-Classic (Villa Alta) people who used plumbate and fine orange pottery. The collapse of San Lorenzo c 1150/1100 BC was abrupt and violent. The population was forced to do its agricultural work well outside the site, which may have contributed to the center's collapse.
San Pedro
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The final chronological period of the Cochise culture in the Atacama region of northern Chile, contemporaneous with Tiahuanaco in Bolivia, c 500-1000 AD. Polychrome kero or beaker-shaped vessels are found in graves and typically, tool assemblages contain seed-grinding tools such as manos and metates, mortars and pestles, and a variety of projectile points, including the narrow stemmed, side-notched type which first appeared during Chiricahua. Pit houses (houses of poles and earth built over pits) are also characteristic. During the San Pedro stage, pottery appeared in the area of the Mogollon Indians. The Cochise tradition may be taken as the base for subsequent cultural developments among various Indians in the Southwest.
San Vicnezo al Volturno
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An important Benedictine monastery in central Italy, founded in the early 8th century and sacked by the Arabs in 881 and eventually abandoned. The site appears to overlie a late Roman complex. A crypt of c 830 is an example of an important painting technique of the time.
San'yo
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: San'in
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: District of Honshu Island, Japan, used in archaeological documents, comprising modern Yamaguchi, Hiroshima, and Okayama prefectures and part of Hyogo prefecture.
Sanchi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of three stupas in central India. They are the Great Stupa, Stupa No. 1, an Ashokan foundation enlarged over the centuries; No. 2, with railing decorations of the late Shunga period (c 1st century BC); and No. 3, with its single toran (ceremonial gateway) of the late 1st century BC-1st century AD. Other features of interest include a commemorative pillar erected by the emperor Ashoka (c 265-238 BC); an early Gupta temple (temple No. 17), early 5th century, with a flat roof and pillared portico; and monastic buildings ranging over several centuries. Sanchi sculpture is the early Indian style embellishing the 1st-century-BC gateways of the Buddhist relic mound called the Great Stupa. The region of Sanchi, however, had a continuous artistic history from the 3rd century BC to the 11th century AD.
Sandai
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Chinese for "three periods": the Xia Shang and Chou (Zhou) of protohistoric China.
Sandalja I
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Lower Palaeolithic site in Croatia dating to the Lower Pleistocene, with chopping tool artifacts.
Sandia Cave
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sandia point
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Type site for a tanged and unfluted projectile point in New Mexico's Sandia Mountains. This cave has yielded artifacts of the so-called Sandia Man (25 000 BC). In Pueblo mythology the Sandias were sacred marking the southern boundary of the Tiwa-speaking Indian territory. Sandia points were stratified below Folsom points but the radiocarbon dates of pre-20 000 BC are often discounted the true date probably falling in the range 12000-8000 BC overlapping with Clovis. Associated fauna of bison mammoth and mastodon suggested contemporaneity with the Llano Complex. Sandia Type I has a lanceolate blade without fluting and without concave base of Clovis/Folsom and a shoulder to one side of the base of the blade suggesting knife use. Sandia Type II has rounded base.
Sandia point
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sandia projectile point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: type site for a tanged and unfluted projectile point in New Mexico's Sandia Mountains. This cave has yielded artifacts of the so-called ""Sandia Man"" (25,000 BC). In Pueblo mythology the Sandias were sacred, marking the southern boundary of the Tiwa-speaking Indian territory. Sandia points were stratified below Folsom points but the radiocarbon dates of pre-20,000 BC are often discounted, the true date probably falling in the range 12000-8000 BC, overlapping with Clovis. Associated fauna of bison, mammoth, and mastodon suggested contemporaneity with the Llano complex. Sandia type I has a lanceolate blade without fluting and without concave base of Clovis/Folsom and a shoulder to one side of the base of the blade, suggesting knife use. Sandia Type II has rounded base.
Sanga
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Important Iron Age cemetery in Upemba depression, southeastern Zaire. The numerous graves that have been investigated are attributed to the Kisalian and Kabambian industries dating from the end of the 1st millennium AD to the last two centuries. Isalian iron and copper objects and pottery are associated with the 11th-12th centuries AD.
Sangamonian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sangamon, Sangamonia Age, Sangamonian Stage
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The term in reference to Sangamonian Age is a major North American geochronological subdivision of the Pleistocene epoch from c 125 000-75 000 bp. The Sangamon comprises a range of sediments including organic sediment but is represented mainly by a warm climate palaesol the Sangamon geosol which overlies Illinoian Age tills and is covered by Wisconsinan Age loess and tills. It appears to represent one single interglacial. As a "stage" it is a chronostratigraphic subdivision of the Pleistocene.
Sangiran
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: Important site for Indonesian finds of Homo erectus in the Solo River valley of Java. Rich fossil-bearing deposits of both Middle Pleistocene (Trini fauna) and Lower Pleistocene (Djetis fauna) have yielded fossils of more than four hominid individuals from each level, including five skulls from the later level of perhaps c 0.5-1 million years ago. The name was also used for a stone small-flake industry of the Middle Pleistocene. The human-made flakes are now mainly attributed to the High Terrace Gravels of the late Pleistocene or the Holocene.
Sangoan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Stone tool industry or complex of Sango Bay in Uganda on Lake Victoria, a Mainly Middle Pleistocene series of assemblages containing heavy-duty picks (core axes), handaxes, scrapers, finely flaked lanceolate points, cleavers, and small specialized tools. The Sangoan may have developed from a late Acheulian basis, and which was roughly contemporary with the Mousterian of Europe, dating to 100,000-20,000 BP. The term is loosely applied to a rather heterogeneous group of industries in eastern and south-central Africa, and perhaps in West Africa, also. The most informative site for the composition and sequence of Sangoan industries is at Kalambo Falls, Zambia. In several regions of Zaire and neighboring countries, the Sangoan appears to mark the first human settlement of the low-lying country now occupied by the equatorial forest.
Sankalia, Hasmukh D. (1908-1989)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Indian archaeologist whose field work and publications have been important to the development of Indian archaeology. Comprehensive surveys and research papers, especially on the prehistory of the Deccan, include "Archaeology in Rajasthan" (1988) "Prehistoric and Historic Archaeology of Gujarat" (1987) "The University of Nalanda" (1972) which recounts the history of one of the most important Buddhist monastic establishments.
Sankisa
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Samkashya
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Famous Buddhist pilgrimage center in the upper Ganges Valley, India, where the Buddha is said to have descended from heaven. It was visited by the emperor Asoka in his pilgrimage of 249 BC and retains the commemorative pillar with its elephant capital erected on that occasion.
Sanskrit
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sanscrit
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A language of the Indo-Aryan branch of Indo-European, an early Indo-European language used by the Aryans of India, and still in use for Hindu religious texts. It is related to Greek and Latin and the most important early Indo-European language of northern India being, for several centuries, the medium for much Hindu and Buddhist religious writing. Vedic Sanskrit, based on a dialect of northwestern India, dates from as early as 1800 BC; it was described and standardized in the important grammar book by Panini, dating from about the 5th century BC. The Rigveda, the oldest religious document of India, was written in an archaic form of Sanskrit in the mid-1st millennium BC.
Santa Catalina de Guale
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Spanish mission site c 1566-1680 located on St. Catherines Island in Georgia (US).
Santa Isabel Iztapán
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Two mammoth kill-sites in southeast Chiapas, Mexico, with human occupation dating to 9250 years ago. At one site, a skeleton was found scrapers, knives, and blades of flint and obsidian, as well as a stemmed projectile point of flint. The second mammoth site yielded a chert knife, a leaf-shaped point of flint, and a lanceolate point with a flat base. Similar kill sites were found at San Bartolo Atepehuacan, on the outskirts of Mexico City and at Tepexpan. The site is important as an indicator of the rapidity with which newly arrived (Asian) hunters dispersed southward. Stone tools of both the Big Game Hunting Tradition and the Old Cordilleran Tradition were found in the same levels, which is puzzling and infers a combination of hunting techniques were used.
Santa Lucia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An inhumation and cremation cemetery in Slovenia with more than 6,000 graves, dating to c 9th-2nd centuries BC. The graves' contents showed extensive trade with north Italy and central Europe. The Roman city of Emona (1st century BC) was located there.
Santubong
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A complex of sites on the coast of Sarawak, northern Borneo, most dating between 900-1350. It was a major port of that time, probably connected with the Chinese state called Po-ni. There is evidence of iron-smelting, large quantities of Chinese pottery, and local pottery of the Tanjong Kubor type.
Sarmatian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A people originally of Iranian stock who migrated from Central Asia to the Ural Mountains between the 6th-4th century BC and eventually settled in most of southern European Russia and the eastern Balkans. These nomadic tribes were related to Scythians and became a political and cultural force whose influence extended into central Asia and Transcaucasia, as well as into western Europe where the Sarmatians challenged the Romans before themselves being driven back by the Huns c 370 AD. Sarmatian art was strongly geometric, floral, and richly colored. They made jewelry in the form of rings, bracelets, diadems, brooches, gold plaques, buckles, buttons, and mounts and exceptional metalwork was found in the tombs, including gold openwork plaques, bronze bracelets, spears, swords, gold-handled knives, and gold jewelry and cups. The Sarmatians were also very experienced in horsemanship and warfare.
Sassanian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The Persian dynasty which overthrew the Parthian empire in 224 AD and ruled until conquered by Islam in 651. The empire extended from India to Syria, where they fought with the Romans. Remains include rock reliefs, Sassanian metalwork, fine stamp seals, textiles. Archaeologically they are known from impressive architectural remains of palaces, temples, and fortifications and from the rock reliefs. Important Sassanian sites include Bishapur, Firuzabad, Naqsh-i Rustam, and Siraf.
Sautuola, Marcellino Sanz de (1831-1888)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Spanish amateur geologist and archaeologist who excavated Altamira Cave, near Santillana, in northern Spain, which contains the earliest known (c 13,000-20,000 BC) examples of Stone Age painting. The colored ceiling paintings in a side cavern, which came to be regarded as the "Sistine Chapel of Prehistory" were the most spectacular. Sautuola had accurate drawings of the paintings prepared and published a book in 1880. He was unable to persuade scholars of the paintings' authenticity and died dishonored and bitter. Not until other similar paintings had been found in southwestern France (1895-1901) was Sautuola's contribution finally vindicated.
Sauveterrian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sauveterre-la-Lemance
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Early Mesolithic culture of France and neighboring parts of Europe, following the Azilian in c 9000 bp. It later spread to Britain and was contemporary with the Later Maglemosian. It is characterized by the lack of woodworking tools and by an abundance of geometric microliths. It is named after rock shelters in Sauveterre-la-Lémance, France. Sauveterrian related to 8000-4500 BC in southern half of France and it preceded the Tardenoisian.
Sawwan, Tell es-
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tall Sawwan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: One of the earliest villages discovered in the plain of Mesopotamia, near Samarra, the best-known Samarran period site. A developmental sequence for the painted pottery was very important as was the uncovering of five architectural levels (pottery plain and crude, then monochrome, then polychrome). There is a large group of burials and evidence of crops, early irrigation, domestication of animals. The radiocarbon dates are in the second half of the 6th millennium BC. The earliest known moldmade bricks are from this site, which also has veined alabaster vessels and figurines.
Saxo-Norman pottery
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: General term for pottery produced in the period c. AD 850 through to AD 1150. During this time the use of the fast wheel became widespread and numerous local and regional industries emerged. The most distinctive pottery of the period is Thetford ware, Stamford ware, and Winchester ware.
Schliemann, Heinrich (1822-1890)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: German businessman and archaeologist who discovered and excavated Troy, Tiryns, Mycenae, and Ithaca. Retiring from business a wealthy man at 41, he sought to identify Homer's Troy. He did so, on a site overlooking the Dardanelles with nine superimposed cities containing a startling wealth of material. He was the first to recognize stratigraphy in a Near Eastern tell (Hisarlik was the first large dry-land man-made mound to be dug.), he popularized archaeology; and he set standards of careful observation, recording, and rapid publication. He also worked at Mycenae, where his discovery of the shaft graves and their implications was as important as his work at Troy. Schliemann, together with Wilhelm Dörpfeld, excavated the great fortified site of Tiryns near Mycenae. They revealed the wealth and civilization of the Aegean Bronze Age and gave added support to the reliability of the classical legends. Modern archaeologists have criticized his approaches, but Schleimann remains a pioneer and extremely important contributor to the study of the Mycenaean civilization. He had long thought that there must have existed in the Mediterranean a civilization earlier than Mycenae and Bronze Age Hisarlik, and he guessed that it might be in Crete. At one time he wanted to excavate in Crete, but he could not agree to the price asked for the land. The discovery of the pre-Mycenaean civilization of Minoan Crete was left to Sir Arthur Evans, 10 years after Schliemann's death.
Scythian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Scyth
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The people of the steppes of southern Russia and Kazakhstan who were nomadic in the mid-1st millennium BC and displaced the Cimmerians in the Eurasian steppes. They were a horse-riding aristocracy and became a settled agricultural population. From the 8th century BC, they generally lived west of the Volga and north of the Black Sea (Royal Scyths). At beginning of 7th century BC, they also moved into Iran and Anatolia, occupying Urartu territory, and appear in Assyrian records. Later, they returned to south Russia and Royal Scythian burials in Kuban and Pontic steppes. They traded with the Greeks and were skilled artists and metalworkers; they are often connected with the Luristan bronzes. Grain from the areas under Scythian control was exchanged for luxury goods. Herodotus, who visited the area c 450 BC, left much useful information on their customs. Their greatest contribution was their art, the bold and rhythmic animal style of the steppes. Its influence may be seen in the developing Celtic art of Europe and that of Luristan and neighboring areas of Iran and the Indus, where they moved in the late 2nd century BC. They destroyed the Greek kingdoms of Bactria and north India. These movements brought the Saka of the Achaemenid and Indian texts and were soon followed by the Yueh-chi, who gave rise to the Kushana kingdom of the early 1st millennium AD in north India and Afghanistan. The western branch of the Scyths was absorbed by the Sarmatians and finally disappeared under the Gothic invasions of the 3rd century AD. Scythian burials, known from places like Pazyryk, are elaborate and artifacts have animal motifs.
Sealand
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An area of marshes and lagoons of southern Babylonia (Persian Gulf). In the middle of the 2nd millennium BC, the dynasty of the Sealand controlled much of southern Mesopotamia, but little is known about its rule. Only one of its kings being documented in contemporary texts. Earlier documents referred to the area of the kingdom of Chaldea as the Sealand.
Sembiran
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Port site in north Bali, Indonesia, important on the spice trade route, with remains from the 1st-12th centuries AD. There is Indo-Roman rouletted ware, imported glass beads, among other artifacts.
Sered'-Macanské vrsky
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Mesolithic dune site near Nitra, Slovakia, which is the type site of the Sered' group. The group is distinguished by geometric microlithic tools.
Shaar ha-Golan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Palestinian type-site of a Neolithic culture of the Jordan Valley, the Yarmukian. Its characteristic artifact is a schematic pebble or clay figurine.
Shaft Grave Circles A and B
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Richly furnished tombs at Mycenae made up of circles enclosed by a low stone parapet and containing 30 graves total. The offerings suggest that the rules of Mycenae must have been buried here, probably in the later 17th and 16th centuries BC. The grave goods include gold and silver cups, jewelry, dress ornaments, golden diadems, elaborate hairpins, amethyst beads, amber, and bronze weapons. The great influence of Crete on these graves is visible in the metal cups, faience "sacral knots" appliquéd ostrich eggs conch shells gold triple shrine facades and imported pottery. There is a wealth of local art such as formal gold cups gold worked in patterns of lions bulls and plants and lions twisted as ornament.
Shalmaneser
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Five kings of Assyria bore this name, starting with Shalmaneser I (fl. 13th century BC), king of Assyria (reigned c 1263-c. 1234 BC) who significantly extended Assyrian power. The second, fourth, and fifth were comparatively unimportant. Shalmaneser III (fl. 9th century BC), king of Assyria (reigned 858-824 BC) was known for his military expansion in campaigns as far as Palestine, the Persian Gulf, Urartu, and Cilicia. These were raids, however, rather than permanent conquests. The raids are graphically recorded on the Black Obelisk at Nimrud and on the bronze gates at Balawat, another of Shalmaneser's palaces. The son and successor of Ashurnasirpal, Shalmaneser III directed most of his campaigns against Syria.
Sham Wan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Prehistoric site in Hong Kong on a beach ridge on Lamma Island, spanning the Neolithic (c 3500 BC) through Bronze Age (c 1500-200 BC) into Tang times. Much of the prehistoric material is associated with that from the neighboring mainland province of Kwangtung.
Shamarkian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Nubian microlithic industry of 8000-6000 years ago in the Sudanese Nile Valley. The typology of the industry shows certain Saharan affinities. By the 6th millennium BC, some of the tool makers had adopted a specialized fishing economy using harpoons with barbed bone heads, as seen at Catfish Cave near the Second Nile Cataract.
Shang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Yin; Shang civilization
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The first dynasty recorded historically, thought to have ruled from the mid-16th to mid-11th century BC (Some scholars date the Shang dynasty from the mid-18th to the late 12th century BC.). However, Shang as an archaeological term must be distinguished from Shang as a dynastic one. Earlier stages of the culture known from Anyang have been recognized at sites assigned to the Erligang Phase and, still earlier, the Erlitou phase. So far virtually no inscriptions have been found at these pre-Anyang sites; even if the date of the dynasty's founding were known it would be uncertain to what extent these archaeologically defined phases fall within the Shang period. Thus while the type site of the Erligang phase at Zhengzhou is generally assumed to have been a Shang capital, some archaeologists have argued that the Erlitou phase falls in the time of the Hsia dynasty, traditional predecessor of Shang. The archaeological classification of Middle Shang is represented by the remains found at Erligang (Erh-li-kang) (c 1600 BC) near Cheng-chou (Zhengzhou). The Shang replaced the Hsia (Zia) in c 1500 BC and was overthrown by the Chou in 1027 BC. The Shang dynasty belongs technically to the advanced Bronze Age - with that metal used for tools (socketed axes, knives, etc.), weapons (halberds, spears, and arrowheads) and for the highly ornamented and artistic ritual vessels. There was a fine white pottery and coarser grey wares, wheelmade and occasionally glazed, which clearly derive from the preceding Neolithic pottery. The period's claim to rank as a civilization is supported by the size and complexity of its cities and its use of writing. Two of its capitals have been identified, at modern Cheng-chou and Anyang, both in Honan province near the middle Yellow River. Rich cemeteries provide much of the evidence, particularly the royal tombs at Anyang. Building was mainly in timber on rammed earth foundations; city walls were also of rammed earth. Burial was by inhumation in pit graves with the skeletons extended, some face down. The pictographic writing appears as occasional inscriptions on the bronzes, much more commonly on the enormous number of oracle bones. The Shang was the second of the Chinese dynasties in the Protohistoric Sandai period.
Shangcunling
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Shang-ts'un-ling
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a large early Eastern Chou cemetery near the city of Sanmenxia in Shan Xian, Honan province, China. Inscribed bronzes show that members of the royal family of Guo were buried here. Guo was a small state founded probably before the end of the Western Chou period (771 BC) and ending in 655 BC, when its territory was absorbed by the state of Jin. The cemetery includes well-preserved chariot burials and remarkably simple bronze ritual vessels.
Shanidar
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave in the Zagros mountains of Iraq with a long Palaeolithic cultural sequence including the Mousterian, Baradostian, and Mesolithic. At the base was a Mousterian deposit with several Neanderthal burials (c 60,000-44,000 BP). The Mousterian was followed by a blade industry of Upper Palaeolithic type - the Baradostian (c 33,000-27,000 BP), and then, after a hiatus, by the Zarzian (c 10,000 BC), a Late Palaeolithic industry with many small tools and some true microliths. By the 9th millennium BC, there is evidence for a shift away from hunting towards the gathering of wild plant foods.
Shih-chai-shan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Shizhaishan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: One of a group of 1st-century BC sites near Lake Tien in Yunnan province, southwest China, with the cemetery of a regional Dian bronze culture contemporaneous with the Han dynasty. The graves have bronze and iron weapons and tools with unique motifs - and bronze cowrie containers and drums. Links with southeast Asia and western areas of China are seen in the Dian drums.
Shungurian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An industry of the lower Omo Valley north of Lake Turkana, Ethiopia, known for its remains of animals and hominids. Several archaeological deposits have been discovered on the site, dating back two million years. The industry is based on very small quartz flakes made from a nucleus or from the accidental shattering of pebbles used as percussion tools.
Si Mu Wu fang ding
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ssu Mu Wu, Ssu Mu Wu fang-ting
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A Late Shang bronze ritual vessel, a tetrapod weighing 1,925 pounds (875 kilograms), the largest metal-casting surviving from Chinese antiquity. Late Shang ritual vessels reveal high technological competence and large-scale, labor-intensive metal production. Said to have been found in the Anyang royal cemetery, the vessel is inscribed with a dedication to an empress and dates probably from the 12th century BC. It is now in the Historical Museum, Beijing.
Si Satchanalai
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sawankhalok
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Industrial center of the Sukhothai state in northern Thailand with over 600 kilns for pottery and stoneware. The Chalieng brown-glazed wares, Sukhothai black-on-cream wares, and green-glazed Celadon wares are the best known. They are collectively called Sawankhalok and dated to the 14th-16th centuries AD (though have earlier phrases in some places).
Siassi Islands
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Islands between New Guinea and New Britain which were occupied by traders between 1500-2000 years ago. Located in the Vitiaz Strait, they send pottery west and obsidian and sago east.
Sicilian pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: South Italian pottery using the red-figured technique of the late 5th century BC. Production centers included Syracuse, Himera, and Centuripe.
Sidi Abd er Rahman
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sidi Abderrahmane
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Palaeolithic site close to Casablanca on the Moroccan coast with Acheulian levels. There are abundant stone artifacts and a mandible attributed to Homo erectus. These are earlier than the Amirian dune (perhaps 0.5 million years old or 'Mindel') and later than the Saletian dune of about 1 million years of age.
Similaun Man
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ice Man, Iceman, Otzi
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Chalcolithic man's skeleton found in the Similaun Pass of the Tirolean Alps, Italy. The well-preserved corpse, clothing, and appointments were probably covered by a glacier c 5000-5500 years ago (radiocarbon 3300 BC). It was the oldest mummified body found intact.
Sinan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A district in South Cholla Province, South Korea, where a sunken Yuan merchant ship of the 14th century AD was discovered off the coast. The ship's cargo was Chinese porcelain: more than 17,000 pieces have been recovered, mainly celadon and qingbai wares. Dated coins, 18.5 tons, and many metal, stone, wooden, and lacquer objects have also been found.
Sinanthropus
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Peking man; Pekin man; Lantian man
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Genus formerly assigned to Peking Man, now classified as Homo erectus.
Sipán
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on the northern coast of Peru, in the Lambayeque region, with a complex of tombs of the Moche culture (Early Intermediate Period). There are royal or very lavish tombs, including that of the Lord of Sipán, a warrior-priest, with spectacular artifacts. Several more burial chambers containing the remains of Moche royalty have been excavated, all dating from c 300 AD. These finds have greatly aided the understanding of Moche society, religion, and culture.
Siret, Henri (1857-1933) and Siret, Louis (1860-1934)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Belgian amateur archaeologists who worked in the Almeria region of Spain and uncovered Chalcolithic and Bronze Age cultures at such sites as Los Millares, El Argar, and Tabernas.
Smithsonian number
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: A unique catalog number given to sites, consisting of a number for the states's alphabetical position, a letter abbreviation of the county, and the site's sequential number within the county
Soan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Lower Palaeolithic pebble tool and chopper industry of the Punjab (Pakistan) and northwest India. After a pre-Soan phase, the Soan proper begins during the second Himalayan interglacial, and its final stage, with an increase in flake tools (including some made by the Levallois technique), is probably contemporary with the early part of the Würm glaciation of Alpine Europe. There were handaxes and chopper / chopping tools. Some of the material has been redated to the Middle Palaeolithic and has questionable archaeological validity.
Society Islands
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A major archipelago in eastern Polynesia in the central South Pacific, divided into the Windward (Tahiti and Moorea) and Leeward (Raiatea, Huahine, Borabora, Tahaa, Maupiti). The islands were settled around 500 AD by Polynesians who developed a number of chiefdoms. The islands were first recorded by Europeans after 1767, when they were claimed for Britain by Captain Samuel Wallis. Important early sites include the Maupiti Burial Ground and the site of Vaito'Otia on Huahine, and later sites are mainly complexes of Marae. The island of Raiatea was regarded as a source of religion and ritual by eastern Polynesians, but by European contact this island had fallen under the control of the neighboring smaller island of Borabora.
Society for American Archaeology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: SAA
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Professional organization for archaeologists specializing in New World archaeology. It publishes the scholarly journals American Antiquity, Latin American Antiquity, and the Bulletin of the SAA.
Sokchang-ri
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sokchangni
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Palaeolithic site in southern Korea (South Ch'ungch'ong province) with 12 cultural layers starting with c 20,000 bp. That layer contained obsidian scrapers, rhyolite burins, and prismatic cores.
Solo Man
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Advanced hominid, Homo erectus soloensis, found at Ngandong and Sambungmacan in the Solo river valley of Java. More archaic than European Neanderthals, it may be later than Peking Man. There were 11 fossil skulls (without facial skeletons) and 2 leg-bone fragments recovered from terraces. Solo man has been thought to date to the Late Pleistocene (c 15,000-20,000 years ago) - but his age remains uncertain. Others believe Solo man is a regional variant of early Homo sapiens populations, also including the Neanderthal peoples of Europe and the Rhodesioid peoples of Africa. The Solo fossils were originally given the genus name Javanthropus.
Solomon Islands
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Island nation in the center of Melanesia, southwestern Pacific Ocean. The Solomon Islands were initially settled by 2000 BC, probably by people of the Austronesian language group. The first European to reach the islands was the Spanish explorer Alvaro de Mendaña de Neira in 1568; the islands were named after the wealthy king Solomon of the Old Testament. Archaeological sequences are best known from the northern and southern extremities of the chain; the Santa Cruz islands in the south have very fine Lapita assemblages dating to c 1500-500 BC, and the island of Buka in the north has a continuous sequence from late Lapita (c 500 BC) through successive localized ceramic phases (similar to the Mangaasi tradition of Vanuatu) to recent times.
Solutrean
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Solutrian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture of the Upper Paleolithic period in western Europe, from about 19,000 BC, following the Perigordian and Aurignacian; characterized by the use of projectile points, especially the laurel-leaf blade. From Solutré, a site in central France, it was a short-lived style of toolmaking with particularly fine workmanship. The Solutrean industry, like those of other late Paleolithic big-game hunters, contained a variety of tools such as burins, scrapers, and borers; but blades that were formed in the shape of laurel or willow leaves and shouldered points are the implements that distinguish the Solutrean. It preceded the Magdalenian in parts of France and Spain. At Laugerie-Haute, unifacially chipped leaf-shaped points in the Early Solutrean show the gradual development of bifacial working, a stage dated c 19,000-18,000 BC. The Middle phase is characterized by fine large bifacial points and by the introduction of pressure flaking. In the Later Solutrean, this technique was used to produce slim leaf-shaped projectiles and small single-shouldered points. In southeast Spain this final stage also has barbed and tanged arrowheads. The laurel leaves were typical of Middle Solutrean and willow leaves (shouldered points) were from the Later Solutrean. The bone needle with an eye was invented in this period. Many decorated caves in France can be assigned to this period.
Sonviian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Son Vi
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Pre-Hoabinhian stone industry in Upper Palaeolithic cave sites around the Red River valley of northern Vietnam. It is regarded as the immediate predecessor (or an early stage) of the Hoabinhian and of late Pleistocene date c 18,000-9000 BC. It is characterized by unifacially flaked pebbles, some bifacially worked pebbles, choppers, side-scrapers, and 'round-edged' pebbles. Son Vi is the type site of this industry.
South Arabian civilization
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A series of pre-Islamic kingdoms of the 1st millennium BC through the mid-1st millennium AD in southwestern Arabia (modern Yemen). The most famous of these were the Minaeans, Qatabanians, Sabaeans, and Himyar.
South Italian pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Pottery type made by the Greek colonies of southern Italy and Sicily, mainly from the late 5th century BC, with many centers of production.
Spanish Borderland
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: The North American Spanish colonial territories.
Spanish Levant Art
CATEGORY: structure; artifact
DEFINITION: A series of rock shelters in the arid region of the Spanish Levant (Mediterranean Spain) with paintings in red and black from the Mesolithic. The scenes were quite unlike Palaeolithic art and the depictions offer information about the character of everyday life.
Squier, Ephraim George (1821-1888) and Edwin H. Davis (1811-1888)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Journalist and doctor who made a study of the prehistoric mounds of the eastern US, "Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley" (1848) the first scientific publication of the Smithsonian Institution. The book contained detailed description and classification of the mounds but concluded that they were constructed by a lost race of moundbuilders who had migrated away from the area (perhaps to Mexico) rather than by the ancestors of the surviving Native Americans of the area. Squier also worked in central America Peru and Bolivia.
St. Albans
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: St. Albans phase
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A British town was established on the west bank of the Ver in the 1st century BC, and subsequently the Romans built their town of Verulamium on the site. In 61 AD the town was sacked. Ruins of the town wall dating from the 2nd century AD exist. In c 304, a Roman named Alban, who had converted to Christianity, was taken from the town and killed on the east bank of the Ver. An abbey was later founded on the alleged site of his martyrdom, and the town of St. Albans grew up around the abbey.
St. Albans point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Bifacially worked chipped stone projectile points with corner notches, manufactured by early Archaic Stage communities in eastern parts of North America around 7500 BC.
St. Gall Plan
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: An important Carolingian document, probably formulated after the Council of Inden in 816 and then sent by the Abbot of Reichenau to Abbot Gozbert of St. Gall. The plan, written in ink on parchment, is an architect's drawing for the rebuilding of the monastic complex. The St. Gall Plan epitomizes an ideal 'modern' Carolingian monastic unit, and although it was never fully realized at St. Gall it remains an important source of reference for architectural historians and archaeologists.
St. Ninian's Isle
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An islet in the Shetlands with the ruins of a small 12th-century chapel with the finest hoard of Pictish metalwork ever found in Britain. The hoard seems to have been deposited at the end of the 8th century, possibly in response to Viking raids, and included such objects as silver bowls, hanging bowls, spoons, sword pommel, thimble-shaped objects, and penannular brooches. The treasure is strong evidence that the tradition of Pictish metalworking continued into the early Christian era. It is now in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
Stanca Ripiceni Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Upper Palaeolithic site in eastern Romania with four cultural layers starting c 25,000 bp. There are bifaces, scrapers, and burins in the lowest assemblage and geometric microliths in the uppermost assemblage.
Stanegate
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Roman road in northern England from the Tyne at Corbridge to the Solway at Carlisle, whose construction is attributed to Agricola, c 80 AD. Originally a military trunk route, it also had a line of forts spaced at intervals of one or one-half day's march. It was superseded by the construction of Hadrian's Wall (122-128) and Stanegate became a service road and its forts used as depots.
Stanwick
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Largest late Iron Age earthwork fortification in Britain, in Richmond, Yorkshire, once called the largest 'hillfort'. It was constructed in the 1st century AD, probably in three phases. Phase I was a hillfort, which was partly demolished in Phase II (c 50-60) when a larger enclosure was added at the north. In Phase III (c 72), it was greatly enlarge to enclose the south side. Stanwick was probably a center of the Celtic Brigantes, an Iron Age tribe which always had a strong anti-Roman faction and was in rebellion between 50-70 AD. A hoard of Celtic metal objects, mainly chariot gear of the 1st century AD, was found close to the earthworks. The whole complex may have been designed to protect not only the people, but also the livestock - including horses - of a basically pastoralist economy. Some time between 69-72, Stanwick fell to the Romans and the site was abandoned. It is now thought to be an enclosed private estate or demesne containing residential compounds.
Steward, Julian Haynes (1902-1972)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: American anthropologist and archaeologist who influenced archaeological theory, emphasizing that the goals of both disciplines were the same: understanding of cultural change and the plotting of that change on spatial and temporal planes. His best-known book was "Theory of Culture Change: the Methodology of Multilinear Evolution" (1955) and he also wrote "Handbook of South American Indians" (1946-1950) and "Irrigation Civilizations" (1955). He carried out fieldwork in the Great Basin British Columbia and the Andes planned and helped establish the Virú Valley project. He worked for the use of evolutionary and ecological thought in anthropology and archaeology; he is known as the as the founder of the theory of cultural ecology.
Strandloper
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A term, literally 'beachcomber', for people thought to have created shell middens along the southern Africa coast. It is also the name of a South African coastal Later Stone Age industry characterized by pottery, large flakes, flaked cobbles, and retouched stone artifacts. It has existed for the last 2000 years.
Strong, William Duncan (1899-1962)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: American anthropologist who was a pioneer of Plains archaeology and one of the founders of modern Peruvian archaeology. He excavated extensively on coast of Nazca, in Pachacamac, Paracas, and Viru Valley. He also worked on south coast and defined stylistic relationships between the various pre-Inca cultures of the area. Strong helped developed the Direct Historical Approach of working back through archaeological sequences from the known historical past.
Stránská Skála
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Lower Palaeolithic cave site in Moravia, Czechoslovakia. Artifacts are earlier than the Middle Pleistocene, including chopping tools and flakes.
Sub-Atlantic
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sub-Atlantic Climatic period, Sub-Atlantic Climatic Interval
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: Last of the five postglacial climate and vegetation periods of northern Europe, beginning c 1500 BC (according to pollen analysis, though radiocarbon dating says c 225 BC). It is a division of Holocene chronology (10,000 years ago-present). The Sub-Atlantic Interval followed the Sub-Boreal Climatic Interval and continues today. It is a subdivision of the Flandrian, thought to be wet and cold, a trend started in the preceding Sub-Boreal period. There was a dominance of beech forests and the fauna were essentially modern. During the Iron Age, pollen analysis shows evidence of intensified forest clearance for mixed farming. Sea levels have been generally regressive during this time interval, though North America is an exception.
Submycenaean
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A phase between the Late Helladic and the Protogeometric periods on mainland Greece, known from its pottery found in cemeteries in Attica and from sites in central Greece and the Peloponnese. It is dated c 1050-1020 BC. Pottery was the first art to recover its standards after the Dorian invasion and the overthrow of Mycenae. Athens escaped these disasters and in the ensuing dark age became the main source of ceramic ideas. For a short time Mycenaean motifs survived on new shapes - the Submycenaean ware. It gave way to the Protogeometric (c 1020-900 BC) style by converting the decaying Mycenaean ornament into regular geometrical patterns.
Sumerian king list
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: Cuneiform documents of the early 2nd millennium BC in southern Mesopotamia which contain historical and mythical summaries of the ruling dynasties. It does not include many important dynasties. The list lacks all mention of the 1st dynasty of Lagash and the florescence of Uruk at the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC. The list seems to have a political purpose rather than a truly documentary one. This literary composition, dating from Old Babylonian times, that describes kingship in Mesopotamia from primeval times to the end of the 1st dynasty of Isin. The Sumerian king list is a compilation of names, places, and wholly fabulous dates and exploits, apparently edited to show and promote time-hallowed oneness of kingship in the face of the splintered city-states of the period.
Sumerian question
CATEGORY: term; language
DEFINITION: Academic question of the origins of the Sumerians, culturally and linguistically. Their language has no known relatives and is poorly understood, despite many cuneiform texts found in southern Mesopotamia. Sumerian is the oldest written language in existence.
Sundaland
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The enlarged Southeast Asian continental area which was created when sea levels dropped in periods of glaciation. Much of western Indonesia was then connected to the mainland. Until about 7000 BC, the seas were some 150 feet (50 m) lower than they are now, and the area west of Makassar Strait consisted of a web of watered plains that is called Sundaland. These land connections may account for similarities in early human development observed in the Hoabinhian age, which lasted from about 13,000-5000/4000 BC. The stone tools across Southeast Asia during this period show a remarkable degree of similarity in design and development.
Sur Jangal
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Prehistoric site in the Loralai Valley of northern Baluchistan, Pakistan, with three major phases of occupation probably belong to the later 4th and 3rd millennia BC. Black-on-red painted wares frequently show humped (zebu) and humpless cattle; other artifacts include female figurines of Zhob type.
Susquehanna
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Susquehanna Tradition; Susquehannock, Conestoga
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Late Archaic Tradition of northeast North America. It is characterized by stemmed points and knives, which may have evolved form the Piedmont Tradition. Susquehanna is also the name of Iroquoian-speaking American Indians who lived in palisaded towns along the Susquehanna River in what are now New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
Swanscombe, Barnfield Pit
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: British Lower Palaeolithic site on a terrace of the lower Thames Valley, North Kent, England, with a skull of possibly an archaic Homo sapiens with strong Neanderthal features. The skull bones are considerably thicker than those of modern European or Neanderthal skulls; the skull pieces may be the oldest of Homo sapiens found in Europe. More recent opinion holds that the skull is non-sapiens and has closer affinities with those of Neanderthal type. There is a succession of artifact-bearing strata of the Mindel-Riss interglacial period (400,000-200,000 years ago), with the earliest tools of Clactonian type. Middle Acheulian handaxes and a pointed biface assemblage were found in the Middle Gravel level and in the Upper Loam level, Middle Acheulian tools of a more evolved form and a refined ovate assemblage. The deposits contain useful environmental evidence, including abundant mollusk and mammal remains and large assemblages of stone tools.
Swartkrans
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: One of three neighboring South African sites where important fossil hominid remains have been found - a short distance from Sterkfontein and Kromdraai. The valley is the richest hominid site in South Africa and Swarkrans dates between 1.8-1 million years ago, with remains of possibly over 60 individuals of Australopithecus robustus. The Swartkrans artifacts are mainly relatively crude stone chopper cores, flakes, and scrapers made of quartzite and quartz, and some bone tools. The stone tools, including rough hand axes, are attributed to the Developed Oldowan. A second hominid is present, probably Homo erectus or habilis. Fire-blackened bones of 1.5-1 million years ago may be the oldest known direct evidence for the use of fire.
Swiderian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Late Upper Palaeolithic industry of Poland known from sites such as Calowanie and Swidry Wielkie. They are associated with dune deposits dating to the end of the Pleistocene c 11,000-9000 BP. They are characterized by elongated tanged points, burins, and scrapers.
Swiderian point
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Type of stone point made on a blade and having a stemmed base flaked on both sides. It is characteristic of the Swiderian industry of Poland (Upper Palaeolithic, c 11,000-9000 BP).
Szeletian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Early Upper Palaeolithic industry of central Europe with bifacial foliated points and sidescrapers, but it has also been applied to the industries with foliated points which mark the transition from the Middle Paleolithic to Upper Paleolithic periods throughout the eastern part of central Europe. It appears to have developed from the Middle Palaeolithic (Micoquian). The type site is Szeleta Cave in the Bükk Mountains in Hungary. The culture seems to date between 45,000-25,000 BC, the middle of the Last Glacial. Later assemblages contain endscrapers and retouched blades.
T'ang Dynasty
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tang
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: One of the greatest Chinese Dynasties, ruling from its capital Ch'ang-an (Sian), over a large portion of central Asia from 618-907 AD. It succeeded the short-lived Sui dynasty and developed a successful form of government and administration and stimulated a cultural and artistic golden age. The dynasty reached its peak in the early 8th century.
Taiwan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Formosa
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Island 100 miles (160 km) off the southeast coast of the China mainland. Taiwan had a native aboriginal population of Malayo-Polynesian ancestry and it occupies an important position in the prehistory of Southeast Asia. Evidence for pre-Neolithic settlement is from c 3500 BC, followed by a Neolithic culture (Ta-p'en-k'eng culture). That culture had cord-marked pottery and was related to contemporary rice-cultivating cultures on the adjacent mainland. Linguistically, it represents the earliest recognizable phase of Austronesian language in the islands Southeast Asia. Later Taiwan Neolithic cultures also show close connections with south China and the Philippines. Major Chinese settlement of the island did not occur until the 17th century AD.
Takht-i-Sulaiman
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Shiz; Takht-i-Suleyman
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site in Azerbaijan, northwest Iran, which was an important religious site in the Parthian, Sassanian and Islamic periods. In the Parthian period, it was surrounded by a mudbrick wall; the Sassanians added a further outer wall of stone. To the Sassanian period belong a palace and a fire temple, which was the focus of a pilgrimage center. The Gushnasp fire was the ancient fire of the Magi (in Media), but it came to be the symbol of the monarchic and religious unity.
Tana ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Early Kitchen ware, Swahili ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pottery of early Swahili communities of the late 1st millennium AD, found from the Lamu Archipelago off the Kenyan coast as far south as Vilanculos Bay in Mozambique, as well as on the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, Comoros, and Madagascar.
Tanagra
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site in Boeotia, Greece, where a large cache of finely worked, cast terra-cotta figurines were found in Hellenistic period cemeteries spanning the period from c 340-150 BC. There are also Mycenaean chamber tombs in the area. The nearly circular hill of the ancient ruined city was first occupied by the Gephyreans, an Athenian clan. It became the chief town of the eastern Boeotians, with lands extending to the Gulf of Euboea. Tanagra probably assumed leadership of the Boeotian confederacy following the Greco-Persian Wars when it took over the clay-working industry of devastated Thebes.
Tanis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Djanet; biblical Zoan; modern San al-Hajar al-Qibliyah
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Most important archaeological site in the northeastern Nile Delta of Egypt and capital of 14th nome of Lower Egypt in the Late Period (747-332 BC) and, at one time, of the entire country. There are massive mud-brick temple enclosure walls built by Ramesside and the 21st-Dynasty pharaohs. The site is best known for the rich royal tombs of the 21st and 22nd Dynasties of c 1070-715 BC, built near the great temple of Amon. Silver coffins, gold masks, and jewelry in gold and silver have been found and the tombs and some sarcophagi were reused from earlier periods. The Tanite Dynasty is the 21st dynasty of Egypt (1075-945 BC). The pharaohs of the 22nd Dynasty continued to reside at Tanis until the collapse of their shrinking domain in 712 BC.
Tanit
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tinith, Tinnit, Tint
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: Chief goddess of Carthage, equivalent of Astarte, who was a mother goddess, represented mainly by fertility symbols. She was probably the consort of Baal Hammon (or Amon), the chief god of Carthage. Children, probably firstborn, were sacrificed to Tanit. Evidence of the practice has been found, where a tofet (a sanctuary for the sacrifice of children) was discovered.
Tanum
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site of prehistoric rock art in Bohuslän, Sweden. The carved designs, hällristningar, are pecked on glacially smooth rock surfaces, especially oared ships. Tanum art is mainly from the later Bronze Age. Ancient burial grounds attest to the existence of Stone, Bronze, and Iron Age settlements in Bohuslän, which is also reputedly the scene of the second part of the Old English epic "Beowulf.
Tanutamon (reigned 664-656 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tantamani, Tanwetamani
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Last of the 25th Dynasty pharaohs, successor of Taharqa, who led an invasion of Lower Egypt and captured Memphis. He defeated and killed the Assyrian-backed Saite ruler Nekau I in 664 BC. In 663 BC, the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal drove Tanutamon out, sacking Thebes.
Taranto
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Greek Taras, Roman Tarentum
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city at the head of the Ionian Sea in southern Italy, first occupied by a Neolithic village with Serra d'Alto ware. This was succeeded by the Apennine culture, to which around 1250 BC was added a colony of Mycenaeans. Trade up the Adriatic continued after the fall of Mycenaean Greece, distributing Terramara bronzework from northern Italy. In the 8th century BC (traditional date 706), Greek settlers from Sparta and Laconia conquered the Messapian village and founded the new Taras on the peninsula. It soon became one of the leading cities of Magna Graecia and its inhabitants founded several other coastal cities. Taranto reached the peak of power and prosperity in the 4th century BC under Archytas. The city then suffered in a series of wars, culminating in its submission to Rome in 272 BC. During the Second Punic War, it fell into the hands of the Carthaginian general Hannibal but was recaptured and plundered by the Romans in 209. It declined under the Roman Empire. Very little survives today since both the Greek and the Roman towns lie beneath the modern city. Votive and sanctuary terra-cottas and tombs with decorated sarcophagi and funerary couches have been found.
Tarascan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tarascans, Purépecha
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An independent state of the Late Post-Classic Period centered in the mountains of the Michoacán province of Mexico, one of the very few to successfully resist Aztec incursions. It is also the name of the people there, who were linguistically unrelated to any other Mesoamerican group. Their capital, Tzinzunzan, was built overlooking Lake Patzcuaro, and appears to be a ceremonial center consisting of a huge platform mound surmounted by five pyramids. Fine gold and tumbaga jewelry and well-made copper and bronze tools have been found. The Tarascan state, with its later capital of Pátzcuaro, survived into historic times. They reached a level of social and political organization comparable to that of the Aztec and the Maya.
Tardenoisian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tardenois
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Mesolithic culture of southwest France that followed the Sauveterrian and which was characterized by the use of small stone tools with geometric shapes (trapeze-shaped chisel-ended arrowheads and small blades). Tardenoisian and similar industries are found from Iberia to central Europe and span the period from the early 6th millennium BC until the arrival of the first Neolithic farmers. Fère-en-Tardenois, in the Paris basin, is the type site of the Tardenoisian.
Tartanga
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site on the lower Murray River, South Australia, with small cores, scrapers, bone points, grinding stones, and tula adze flakes dated to c 4000 BC. Skeletons of two juveniles found have some cranial features similar to the robust Talgai skull.
Tasian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Possibly the oldest-known cultural phase in Upper Egypt, c 4500 BC, known from evidence on the east bank of the Nile River at al-Badari and at Deir Tasa. A settlement of primitive farmers, it is now regarded as at best a local variant of the Badarian culture.
Tasmania
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Island that was part of the Australian continent during the late Pleistocene, then separated by rising sea levels which formed Bass Strait about 9000 BC. Occupation of southwestern Tasmania by 30,000 bp is now well established. At the time of European contact, Tasmanian aborigines had a simple tool kit of stone flakes and core scrapers, pebble choppers, wooden pointed spears, digging sticks, clubs, and throwing sticks. They lacked all the post-Pleistocene tools known on the mainland. At sites on the northwestern tip, deposits are dated to c 6000 BC with bone points, stone scrapers, and pebble tools. Around 1000 BC, bone points disappeared and there is evidence of fish exploitation. Pecked engravings at Mount Cameron West resemble the Panaramitee style of central Australia. The arrival of Europeans was disastrous, with Tasmanians becoming almost extinct in the 19th century.
Tawantinsuyu
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The name used by the Incas for their empire, literally "the four inextricably linked quarters". By 1532 the Inca state had incorporated dozens of coastal and highland ethnic groups stretching from what is now the northern border of Ecuador to Mendoza in west-central Argentina and the Maule River in central Chile - at least 12 million people.
Tayacian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A term sometimes used to describe Lower and Middle Palaeolithic flake industries which lack handaxes, bifaces, and carefully retouched implements. Originally the term was coined for the industries from the lower levels at La Micoque (Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, the Dordogne, France), but it has subsequently been applied to industries over a wide geographical and chronological range. The layers which probably belong to the penultimate glacial period were assigned to a Tayacian culture. The culture is also described as a primitive flake-tool tradition of Israel, also, believed to be essentially a smaller edition of the Clactonian industry.
Te Awanga
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Fortified site in Tiromoana, New Zealand, with sweet potato storage pits with very early dates, possibly to the earliest settlement.
Tehuacán Valley
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Valley site in Puebla, Mexico, with human occupation from at least 7000 BC. This desert valley, 1800 meters above sea level, has one of the longest continuous sequences in Mesoamerica (ending 1520 AD). The earliest inhabitants were nomadic food-gatherers and hunters. Maize was grown by c 5000 BC, pottery was first made around 2300 BC, and settled village life may go back to the 3rd millennium BC (though it is not well attested before 1800 BC). Incipient agriculture phases gave way to reliance on domesticated foods. From the Pre-Classic period onwards, the valley was not as important as the richer and more fertile areas of Mexico. It was, before the Spanish conquest, a center of Mixteca-Puebla culture. The earliest phase is considered part of the Desert Tradition. The Ajuereado Phase (before 6500 BC) was characterized by small wandering groups engaged in hunting and gathering. In the El Riego Phase (6500-5000 BC) small groups gathered seasonally into larger groups, and grinding tools, weaving, and some plant cultivation occurred. The Coxcatlan Phase (5000-3500 BC) marked the appearance of larger semi-sedentary groups occupying fewer sites and engaged in agriculture. Artifacts include manos and metates and improved basketry. A significant change in settlement pattern occurs in the Abejas Phase (3500-2300 BC) with pit house villages occurring along the river terraces as year-round dwellings. New species of plant food, long obsidian blades, and possibly cotton appeared and there is increased hunting of small game. Pottery, which is a good index to the degree of permanence of a settlement (fragility makes it difficult to transport), was made in the Tehuacán valley by 2300 BC. The later phases (including Purron, 2300-1500 BC) represent a sedentary life, wide use of ceramics, and domestication of the dog.
Tenochtitlán
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The Aztec capital, built on islands in Lake Texcoco (1325 AD), which once was the center of the Valley of Mexico; few remains survive underneath present-day Mexico City. The Aztecs built artificial islands and constructed houses, other buildings, and chinampas them and then connected to the mainland by three giant causeways. The population may have been as high as 400,000 people over five square miles. Under the ruler Itzcóatl (1428-1440), Tenochtitlán formed alliances with the neighboring states of Texcoco and Tlacopan and became the dominant power in central Mexico. By commerce and conquest, Tenochtitlán came to rule an empire of 400-500 small states --by 1519 some 5-6,000,000 people over 80,000 square miles. Accounts describe 25 pyramid-temples with nine priests' quarters, seven tzompantli (sacrificial racks), two ball courts, and a huge plaza consisting of the Great Temple with the temples of Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli. The city was taken by Hernando Cortes and the Spaniards in 1519 and by 1522 it was virtually destroyed. The Spaniards built their own city on the site. Some archaeological remains were discovered during the building of a subway in Mexico City.
Teotihuacán
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Very important site north of Mexico City, at its peak c 450-650 AD the largest and most powerful city in Mesoamerica. It had its beginnings as one of a number of small agricultural settlements around the shores of ancient Lake Texcoco. Teotihuacán flourished by c 300/200 BC and by 100 AD, it had about 40,000 inhabitants. Archaeological work has provided more information about Teotihuacán than about any comparable Mexican site. Teotihuacán maintained extensive political and trade contacts with lowland Mexico, and is famed for its enormous public buildings and pyramids. At its heart is a complex of magnificent architecture including the massive Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon, the Cuidadela (probably an administrative center), and the Great Compound (probably a market place); there are no ball courts. The structures are distributed along a central roadway known as the Street of the Dead. After the destruction of Cuicuilco, Teotihuacan expanded and people were housed in apartment compounds which exhibit some social differentiation. Many of the inhabitants were craftsmen, and some 500 workshop sites have been identified. Four-fifths of those sites were devoted to obsidian working. Teotihuacán controlled the central highlands of Mexico, and was in contact with all the principal centers of civilization (Monte Albán, Tikal, etc.) as far as Belize. The influence of Teotihuacán during the Early Classic was considerable and most major centers have some Teotihuacán forms. Characteristic of Teotihuacán influence are Talud-Tablero architecture, images of Tlaloc, cylindrical tripod vases, Thin Orange Ware, murals, and stylized human face masks. There is very little massive stone sculpture except as architectural embellishments. The end of Teotihuacan came fairly suddenly. A decline in its influence at other sites was evident by c 600, but the city itself was not destroyed until 750. There is much evidence of burning from that time, indicating that the city may have been sacked --possibly by the Chichimecs. The city was never rebuilt, but a small population remained in the ruined city for more than a hundred years.
Tepexpan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site of Late Pleistocene occupation in the Valley of Mexico, northeast of Mexico City, with skeletons of two mammoths killed with spears fitted with lancelike stone points and butchered on the spot. They have been given a possible date of 9000/8000 BC. In the same geologic layer a human skeleton was found - Tepexpan Man. There were no grave goods; it was buried face down with flexed legs and was identified as female. Fluorine analysis has confirmed the date of both skeleton types.
Thailand
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Archaeological evidence indicates almost continuous human occupation of Thailand for the last 20,000 years. Tai-speaking peoples migrated southward and westward from China around the 10th century AD. Important Hoabinhian sites are Sai Yok, Spirit Cave, Non Nok Tha, and Ban Chiang, which suggest the presence of rice cultivation, cattle domestication, and copper-bronze metallurgy from about 3500 BC, followed by iron metallurgy and wet rice cultivation about 1500 BC. In southern Thailand at Ban Kao and Kok Charoen, Neolithic cultures continued into the 2nd millennium BC. The Bronze and Iron Age remains are related to the Dong-Son culture of Vietnam (1st millennium BC).
Thebes-East Bank
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: This part of Thebes included the main part of the city, now overbuilt by Luxor, and a temple built by Amenhotep III and Ramesses II. Just north was the temple of Karnak.
Thebes-West Bank
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: This part of Thebes includes the necropolis of the ancient city and the largest group of standing monuments in Egypt. They are mortuary temples and royal/private tombs. The royal and private tombs were mainly dug into cliffs and valleys of the Theban mountain. The mortuary temples were built on the desert plain between the mountain the cultivated land of the Nile. Mortuary temples include Nebhepetre Mmontuhotep, Hatshepsut, Ramesses III, Ramesses II, Seti I, and the Colossi of Memnon. The royal tombs are at el-Tarif, Dra Abu el-Naga, the Valley of the Kings, and the Valley of the Queens.
Thericleian ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of decoration of the 5th-3rd centuries BC used on silver, terebinth wood (pistachio), and clay. It is characterized by ribbing and a black color. Therikles, a Corinthian potter, was said to have developed the technique.
Thin Orange Pottery
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Thin Orange ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A thin-walled, orange-fired ware with a distinctive mica schist temper and a decoration of incised and dotted patterns of Mesoamerica. It was introduced in the late Pre-Classic Period and widely traded in Mesoamerica during the Classic period. It has been found in Colima, Jalisco, Nayarit, Kaminaljuyú, Copán, Monte Albán, and Teotihuacán. It is regarded as evidence of central Mexican influence, although its probable point of origin is the Valley of Puebla. It should not be confused with the early Post-Classic Fine Orange ware.
Thomsen, Christian Jurgensen (1788-1865)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Danish antiquary and first curator of the National Museum of Denmark. His main contribution to prehistory was the Three Age system (Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages), first devised in 1819 as a method of classifying the museum collections, but soon recognized as a tool of enormous value in interpreting the prehistoric past. He is considered the first ethnoarchaeologist and also promoted osteological studies and the chemical analysis of pot residue.
Tiahuanaco
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tiwanaku
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: Large urban and ceremonial site which dominated the Titicaca Basin and the high Andes of Bolivia from c 100-1250 AD, a major Middle Horizon site and probably the capital of an empire. The central area has principal religious structures on a large rectangular plaza, a large U-shaped mound around a spring, and a monumental Gate of the Sun cut from a single block of stone. The Tiahuanaco people had trade links with the Amazon jungle and the Pacific coast, exporting potatoes, root crops, and llama products. In the 10th century, Tiahuanaco colonies were established on the coasts of southern Peru and northern Chile. Tiahuanaco's distinctive art and architectural styles influenced the central highlands and southern Peru, northern Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina. Tiahuanacan influence spread over a wide area of the Central Andes and is especially evident because of its unique ceramics. Typically, pottery was pointed black-on-white on a red polished surface, although later styles employed as many as six colors. Geometric designs were common as well as stylized pumas, condors, and serpents. The kero (a flared-rim beaker) is a characteristic form. Articles of bronze, copper and gold suggest that the city may also have been an important metallurgical center. Iconographic links with Huari to the north are such that a strong economic and cultural bond between the two is assumed. Tiahuanaco and Huari together constitute the Middle Horizon style of the Andes.
Tianko Panjang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Cave site in central Sumatra with an obsidian microlith industry of c 9000 BC (e.g. unretouched flakes).
Tintan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Holocene site in northern Mauritania, Africa, with 50 skeletons of the Mechta-Afalou type.
Tirimoana pa
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Earthwork hillfort on Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand, with early storage pits for sweet potatoes dated to c1000 AD. This is evidence that Maoris grew sweet potatoes form initial settlement of New Zealand. The main ditch and bank defenses with palisades were built between 1400-1600.
Toalian industry
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Mid-Holocene stone flake and blade industry of a number of caves in southern Sulawesi, Indonesia, c 6000 BC and later. The industry developed out of preceding flake industries and is characterized by small backed flakes and microliths, and well-made Maros points. The Toalian industry may have continued into the 1st millennium AD and overlapped with pottery from the late 3rd millennium BC. The earliest traces of human habitation on Celebes are stone implements of the Toalian culture.
Toca de Esperança
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Preceramic site in eastern Brazil with a questionable date of 295,000 bp on a level with extinct Pleistocene fauna and crude stone tools.
Tokharian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tocharian, Tocharish
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: Indo-European language that was spoken in northern Chinese Turkistan during the latter half of the 1st millennium AD. Documents from about 500-700 show two dialects: Tocharian A, from the area of Turfan in the east; and Tocharian B, chiefly from the region of Kucha in the west but also from the Turfan area.
Tollund Man
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Preserved body of an Iron Age man found in peat at Tollund Fen in Denmark; he had been hanged c 3rd century BC. Tollund Man had been hanged with a leather rope, and his body was dressed only in a cap and belt. His stomach contents were sufficiently preserved for analysis; his last meal was gruel made up of various seeds, both wild and cultivated.
Trajan's Column
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Tall commemorative column erected in Rome in honor of the emperor Trajan (reigned 98-117 AD) and dedicated on May 18th 113 (erected 106-113). The column marks the center of what was once the fabulous Trajan's Forum. Composed of 18 massive drums of marble, the column stands 38 meters, including the statue plinth. The decoration is a continuous spiral relief frieze commemorating the emperor's triumphs in Dacia (101-102, 105-106) and the column contains an internal spiral staircase. The ashes of the emperor and his wife, Plotina, were in its base at one time. The frieze is an invaluable source of information on the Roman and Dacian military.
Trianda
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Minoan colony site on Rhodes, founded in the 16th century BC, which facilitated trade between Crete and Cyprus. The site was abandoned in the 14th century.
Triple Alliance
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A military alliance formed in 1428 AD, in the Late Post-Classic Period, between Tenochtitlán, Texcoco, and Tacuba and which became the dominant force in the Lake Texcoco region of the Basin of Mexico. They joined together to overthrow the Tepenacs in the city-state of Azcapotzalco. The Aztecs eventually dominated the alliance, although Texcoco, under philosopher-king Nezahuacoyotl, became a renowned center of culture and learning.
Trojan War
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The legendary conflict between the early Greeks and the people of Troy in western Anatolia, dated by later Greek authors to the 12th or 13th century BC and lasting 10 years. It was described in Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey" as occurring when Paris son of the king of Troy eloped with Helen wife of Menelaus king of Sparta. Menelaus's brother Agamemnon king of Mycenae raised an army and besieged Troy.
Tsangli
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Neolithic-Bronze Age settlement mound in Thessaly, Greece, with characteristic gray matte-painted pottery.
Tshangula
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Umguzan
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: Cave site in the Matopo Hills of southwestern Zimbabwe with several layers of archaeological deposits preserving microlithic artifacts and sherds attributed to Bambata ware. The sequence includes Middle Stone Age and Later Stone Age assemblages and is also the name of a Middle Stone Age industry postdating 30,000 BP. This horizon contained backed microliths associated with diminutive implements and ostrich eggshell beads.
Tshitolian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Later Stone Age Industry named after the Tshitolo Plateau in southern Zaire, the microlithic successor to the Lupemban and dated c 14,000-5000 BP. Tshitolian industries also occur in Angola, Gabon, and Cameroon in equatorial Africa. The characteristic backed microliths are of a flared triangular shape and may have been hafted for use as transverse arrowheads. Other tool types are small picks, small core axes, and foliate points.
Turfan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chinese: Turpan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: City in the Uygur autonomous ch'ü (region) of Sinkiang, China, long the center of a fertile oasis and an important trade center on the main northern branch of the Silk Road. An oasis city, it was traditionally on the border between the nomadic peoples of the north and settled oasis dwellers of Sinkiang. Under the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) the Chinese knew it as the Chü-shih kingdom. In 450, it became the new state of Kao-ch'ang. Eventually taken in the 13th century by the Mongols, Turfan enjoyed a new commercial prosperity as the Central Asian land routes flourished.
Turville-Petre, Francis Adrian Joseph (1901-1942)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: English archaeologist who worked in Palestine, discovering the 'Galilee Skull' in Zuttiyeh Cave, the earliest Hominid skull in the Levant. He also identified the late Palaeolithic Kebaran culture, c 20,000-12,500 BP, in Kebara Cave, Mount Carmel.
Tuscan order
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The simplest order of architecture, a Roman adaptation of the Doric order. The Tuscan has an unfluted shaft, a simple echinus-abacus capital, and no triglyphs. It is similar in proportion and profile to the Roman Doric but much plainer. The column is seven diameters high. This order is the most solid in appearance of all the orders.
Tutankhamun (reigning c1336-1327 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tutankhamen
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A minor Egyptian pharaoh of the late 18th Dynasty who came into great prominence when his tomb in the Valley of Kings at Thebes was found with minimal disturbance by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon in 1922. A son of Amenhotep III, he succeeded the heretic pharaoh Akhenaten. During an undistinguished reign of nine years he began the restoration of the worship of Amen (Amun) and returned the capital to Thebes. His more orthodox successors attempted to obliterate him from memory because of the taint of Aten worship which he apparently never entirely threw off. The tomb, though probably far poorer than those of the greater pharaohs, yielded a remarkable treasure and great detail of the ritual of Egyptian royal burials. The mummy, with a magnificent inlaid gold mask, lay inside three cases - the innermost of pure gold weighing over a ton, the outer two of gilded wood. These were enclosed in a stone sarcophagus within successive shrines also of gilded wood, nearly filling the burial chamber. Three other rooms held chariots, furniture, statues, and other possessions of the king. It took three years to clear and preserve the contents of the wealthy tomb. The discovery stirred the public imagination and opened up a great interest in archaeology.
Uan Muhuggiag
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Cave site in the Acacus Mountains, Libya, with rock paintings. Occupations were c 7500 bp and 4800 bp.
Ulu Leang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Important rock shelter in the Maros region of southern Sulawesi, Indonesia, with a sequence c 8000-6000 BC in the early Holocene. It illustrates the development of the Toalian microlithic industry, with flake and bone tools.
Uluzzo, Uluzzian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A lithic industry in Palaeolithic caves and open-air sites around the bay of Uluzzo, in Apulia, southern Italy. The most important is Grotta Cavallo, with a series of Mousterian and Upper Palaeolithic levels. The earliest Upper Palaeolithic levels are called the Uluzzian (c 33,000 bp) and include scrapers, denticulates, small curved backed points, and crescents. It occurred after the final Mousterian and was contemporary with early Aurignacian.
Umm an-Nar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Umm an-nar
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: Bronze Age settlement and chamber tomb cemetery on a small island of Abu Dhabi on the Oman peninsula. The site has given its name to an early 3rd-millennium BC culture, also found through southeastern Arabia. Characteristic Umm an-Nar pottery, funerary architecture, and other artifacts are dated c 2500-2000 BC. Evidence suggests that the Umm an-Nar culture might be identified with the land of Magan, mentioned in cuneiform Sumerian documents.
Uniformitarianism
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: uniformitarianism
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A fundamental philosophy of geologic science, the principle that the earth was formed by the same natural geological processes that are still going on today. This principle - that existing processes acting in the same manner and with essentially the same intensity as at present are sufficient to account for all geologic change - provided the cornerstone of modern geology. William Whewell introduced the term in 1832.
Universal Tranverse Mercator
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: UTM
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A grid-based system whereby north and east coordinates provide a location anywhere in the world, accurate to one meter. The UTM system divides the surface of the Earth between 80
Unstan ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Style of Neolithic pottery found in the northern part of the British Isles, especially the Hebrides, Western Isles, and Orkney, defined by Stuart Piggott in 1954 on the basis of an assemblage from the chambered tomb of Unstan on Orkney. Including both decorated and undecorated vessels, Unstan ware is diverse in the range of shapes and sizes represented. However, it can be typified by round-bottomed forms either as deep bowls and jars or as shallow bowls with a carinated profile produced by the application of a fillet or cordon of clay. The decoration is generally incised with oblique or horizontal lines, triangles, or a zone of hatched triangles. Dated examples of this ware fall within the period 3500-2800 BC, Unstan ware being slightly earlier than GROOVED WARE in the region.
Upper Republican
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Culture of the central Plains of North America dated to 1000-1450 AD and characterized by cord-roughened pottery and semi-subterranean earth lodges. The people grew corn, beans, and squash and were hunter-gatherers.
Upper Swan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site on Swan River, Western Australia, with a date of c 38,000 bp and an assemblage of quartz and quartzite flakes and flake tools.
Ust'-Kan Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Middle Palaeolithic site in the Altai region of Siberia with Levallois cores, sidescrapers, and points of probably just before the Last Glacial.
Vahangeku'a
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site of one of the largest tohua in the Taipivai Valley of Marquesas, Polynesia. The artificial terrace is surrounded by massive pa'epa'e.
Vaillant, George Clapp (1901-1945)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: American archaeologist who was an expert on the high plateau of central Mexico and other aspects of Mesoamerican chronology. He was the first to systematically investigate systematically the remains predating the time when the Classical civilizations were at their height. He also established some basic chronologies of the Maya Lowlands and the Basin of Mexico.
Valders Advance
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Valders substage; Greaklakean substage
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The final advance of the ice during the Wisconsin glaciation of the Pleistocene in North America, beginning about 12,000 BP until approximately 10,000 BP.
Van-lang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Van Lang
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A legendary kingdom of north Vietnam, literally the Land of the Tattooed Men, rule by the Hong Bang dynasty c 3rd millennium BC. It was succeeded by the historic kingdom of Au-Lac in 258 BC. Existing archaeological evidence does not support the Vietnamese ancient texts that credit Hung Vuong with establishing, in 2879 BC, the Hong Bang dynasty, which is said to have survived for 2,621 years. According to available data, the earliest Vietnamese kingdom originated between 1000-500 BC.
Vandals
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Germanic people who in the early 5th century set out from central Europe into Gaul and eventually crossed from Spain to invade North Africa, where they quickly annexed most of the major towns. They imposed their Arian religion on the native population, and it appears that they upheld many Roman legal and economic practices. The Vandals maintained a kingdom in North Africa from 429-534 AD and sacked Rome in 455. The Vandal empire was overrun by the Arabs late in the 7th century.
Vanuatu
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: New Hebrides
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A chain of 13 principal and many smaller islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, 500 miles (800 km) west of Fiji and 1,100 miles (1,800 km) east of Australia. Many of the northern islands have been inhabited by Melanesian peoples for at least 3,000 years; the earliest radiocarbon date for settlement on the southern islands is 420 BC on Tanna. It has an Austronesian-speaking population. Important archaeological phenomena include the Mangaasi pottery tradition and the burial site of Roy Mata.
Venedian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Late Iron Age people of the lower Vistula basin, Poland, c 1st century BC-6th century AD. Iron and bronze artifacts show the importance of metalworking.
Ventana Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Rock shelter and stratified site in southwest Arizona occupied from over 11,000 years ago. The stratigraphy starts with remains left by hunters of extinct species of horse, bison, and ground sloth, who also had stone tools - including Clovis/Folsom-like projectile points. It may have been contemporary with the San Dieguito complex of California. After a break, the cave was reoccupied by people of Desert Culture type (especially Cochise, Aramagosa). The firmest date for these upper levels, from geological evidence, is post 5000 BC. The more recent strata contain evidence of the transition from Desert to Hohokam and use of the cave into historic times.
Ventris, Michael (George Francis) (1922-1956)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British scholar, architect, and linguist trained in code-breaking during war service, who in 1952 deciphered the Linear B script of Minoan and Mycenaean Greece. He showed them to be an early form of Greek, dating from about 1500 to 1200 BC, roughly the period of the Homeric epics. In 1953, he published a historic paper with John Chadwick, "Evidence for Greek Dialect in the Mycenaean Archives." Their "Documents in Mycenaean Greek" (1956; rev. ed. 1973) was published a few weeks after Ventris' death in an auto accident and Chadwick's "The Decipherment of Linear B" (1958; 2nd ed. 1968) followed.
Vilcas Guamán
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Large Inca administrative center near Ayacucho, Peru, and the symbolic center of the Inca universe. There is a large four-stepped Usnu of dressed stone.
Villafranchian
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A major division of early Pleistocene deposits and time, named for a sequence of terrestrial sediments studied in the region of Villafranca d'Asti, an Italian town near Turin. This was a time when new mammals suddenly appeared in the Lower Pleistocene period. The Villafranchian is also significant because within it the earliest hominids that clearly evolved into modern man (the australopithecines) appeared. The Villafranchian is in part contemporaneous with the Blancan Stage of North America.
Villanovan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Villanovan culture; Villanova period
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Early Iron Age people of the Po Valley, Etruria, and parts of Campania, Italy, c 900-700 BC. The culture is defined by artifacts from the type site of Villanova: metalwork in gold and bronze. The craftsmen played a major part in the development of the fibula and the technique of sheet metalwork, especially the situla. The cemeteries were urnfields with decorated biconical urns and bronze objects; subsidiary vessels, fibulae, ornaments, crescentic razors, etc., frequently accompanied the ashes. The pottery was handmade, dark burnished, decorated with meanders of grooved bands. The Villanovans were replaced culturally by the Etruscans in the south in the 8th century, in the north in the 6th century. This period laid the foundations for the Etruscan culture and city-states of the 8th century BC.
Villeneuve-Tolosane
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Middle Neolithic village in Haute-Garonne, France, with many pits, ditches, hearths, and Chasséen material c 4250-3600 BC.
Vindolanda
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Roman fort and civilian settlement in Chesterholm, England, of the late 1st-early 2nd century AD, just south of Hadrian's Wall. There is a military bath house, inn, houses, and mausolea - and thousands of fragments of documents written in ink on wood.
Vinland
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Viking name for the part of North America visited by Leif Erikson (Eriksson) c 1000 AD, around L'Anse aux Meadows on the coast of Maine or eastern Canada.
Wace, Alan (1879-1957)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British archaeologist who was director of the British School at Athens and excavated in Laconia, Thessaly, and Mycenae. He discovered one of the earliest royal burials at Mycenae, a grave circle consisting essentially of vertical shafts cut into bedrock.
Wadi Kubbaniya
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Series of Egyptian Late Palaeolithic sites on the west bank of the River Nile near Aswan. Artifacts include grinding stones, chipped stone tools, mortars and pestles, and domesticated plant remains (wheat, barley) dated to 18,250-16,960 bp. If confirmed by future research, this might be the earliest evidence for cereal cultivation in the world.
Wandjina figure
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of anthropomorphic bichrome or polychrome painting made in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, succeeding the Bradshaw style (c 3000 BC) and persisting to the present. Wandjina takes its name from the ancestor spirits depicted in the paintings. The large white spirit figures are outlined in black and have mouthless, circular faces that are framed in red, rayed halos. The Bradshaw style was a series of bichrome and monochrome figures.
Wando
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site off South Cholla province, Korea, of a late 11th century AD Koryo shipwreck. There were 30,000 celadon vessels from kilns in Haenam on the ship.
Watom Island
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Island off New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago, Melanesia, with Lapita pottery c 2767-1787 bp. There is also obsidian from Talasea and Lou and Lapita human skeletal remains.
Wayland's Smithy
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Early Neolithic long barrow in Oxfordshire, southern England, c 3500 BC. In the first phase of construction it covered a wooden mortuary house with the remains of 14 individuals. Over this was constructed a much longer trapezoidal (oval) chalk mound with a stone kerb and a megalithic passage grave of Severn-Cotswold type.
Weeden Island phase
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture following Middle Woodland and preceding Mississippian that occupied much of north Florida, southwest Georgia, and southeast Alabama c 200-1000 AD. The pottery is among the finest of the eastern US.
Weichselian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Weichsel Glaciation; Vistula Glacial Stage
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The final glacial advance, c 115,000-10,000 bp, corresponding to the Alpine Würm, American Wisconsinan, and British Devensian. The Weichsel Glacial Stage followed the Eemian Interglacial Stage and marks the last major incursion of Pleistocene continental ice sheets. It is named for the ice sheet of north Germany and other Quaternary glacial deposits in northwest Europe. Most of the Weichselian is within the range of radiocarbon dating. The ice sheets were probably at their maximum size for only a short period, between 30,000-13,000 bp; eight interstadials have been recognized in the Weichselian of northwest Europe. The late Weichsel expansion of the Scandinavian continental ice sheet began about 25,000 years ago; most of the Weichselian sediments over northern Europe are part of this late Weichselian cold period.
Weidenreich, Franz (1873-1948)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: German anatomist and physical anthropologist whose contribution was in the reconstruction of prehistoric human remains and work on Peking man (Sinanthropus) and other hominids, especially from materials at Zhoukoudian, China.
Wichqana
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: Type site of a complex of the Ayacucho Valley, central highlands Peru, c 1200-800 BC (Early Horizon), a ceremonial center with Chavinoid features. The pottery, typically thin, brown, and pebble-polished with little or no decoration, has Paracas and Chavín affinities. The U-shaped ceremonial structure is built of stones of alternating size, similar to Cerro Secchin. Skulls of decapitated females have the fronto-occipital flattening typical of Chavín.
Willandra Lakes
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Sites in New South Wales, Australia, which are now dry lakes which were filled during times of the Pleistocene. Human activity dates to c 35,000 years ago and there are hearths, artifacts, shell middens, extinct megafauna, and burials in the area. Late Pleistocene fossil remains from the Willandra Lakes region include the specimen designated WLH 50, a robust individual.
Wilson, Daniel (1816-1892)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Scottish antiquary who coined the word "prehistoric" in his book "The Archaeology and Prehistoric Annals of Scotland" (1851). He was the first to organize Scotland's artifacts according to the Three-Age System. He also wrote "Prehistoric Man: Researches into the Origin of Civilization in the Old and new World" (1862).
Winckelmann, Johann Joachim (1717-1768)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: German scholar who was an early contributor to the development of archaeology and art history. His work on the art recovered from Herculaneum and Pompeii was a move towards a study of artifacts as historical documents. His History of the Art of Antiquity" (1763-1764) covering Classical sculpture and the art of Egypt and Etruria. It was the basis for stylistic development. Winckelmann's visits to Pompeii and Herculaneum led to his "open letters exposing amateur treasure seekers and encouraging archaeology to become more professional and competent. In Germany, Winckelmann is regarded as the founder of classical archaeology.
Wolstonian
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: In Britain, a penultimate cold stage spanning c 200,000-125,000 BP. At the type site in the Midlands, Wolstonian deposits overlie interglacial deposits of the Hoxnian. The Wolstonian deposits have Acheulian and Levalloisian artifacts.
Woodland period
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Woodland tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Stage in eastern North America c 1000 BC-800 AD that is a period in Native American history and culture. It is characterized by hunter-gatherers, elaborate burial mounds, beginning of substantial agriculture (corn, beans, squash), and pottery decorated with cord or fabric impressions. It is a term restricted to the cultures of the Eastern Woodlands (south and east of Maritime Provinces of Canada to Minnesota and south to Louisiana and Texas) and important sites are Adena, Hopewell, and Effigy Mound. From c 700 AD, the southern part of the Woodland territory shows strong influence from the Mississippian culture, but elsewhere the Woodland tradition continued until the historic period.
Woodland pottery
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A general term for cultural groups living in the wooded eastern parts of North America during the Formative. Woodland subsumes many local adaptations, but in general these were hunter-gatherer communities whose subsistence base was augmented with some cultivation. Woodland communities used pottery and had elaborate toolmaking and artistic traditions. Burials were usually made in established cemeteries, often within large earthen mounds. Trade networks were extensive. Starting about 1000 BC, Woodland comprises a series of distinctive cultures including Adena, Hopewell, Mississippian, and Iroquoian. In some areas Woodland societies continued down to modern times.
Woolandale
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Late Iron Age site in central Zimbabwe and the name of the second phase of Leopard's Kopje Complex, dated to the 13th century AD.
X-ray diffraction analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: x-ray diffraction analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique used to identify minerals present in an artifact's raw materials; it can also be used in geomorphologic contexts to identify particular clay minerals in sediments and thus the source from which the sediment was derived. The technique identifies the major chemical components of an artifact, mainly on pottery though stone and weathering products on metal have also been analyzed. A sample is powdered and then bombarded with X-rays and a diffraction pattern is reflected onto and recorded as a series of arcs by photographic film. The patterns are compared with reference standards to identify the minerals present; mineral identification is based on the spacing between the arcs. X-ray diffraction can yield information on the manufacturing processes of pottery and metal and for this purpose the back-reflection diffraction method is used, which is totally non-destructive.
Xanten
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Vetera Castra and Colonia Ulpia Traiana
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Roman legionary camp and civilian settlement on the Rhine near Wesel, Germany, and the confluence with the River Lippe. The Augustan-period camp had earth ramparts, palisades, timber buildings, a hospital and a quay, with some later stone construction. It was given colonia status by emperor Trajan and subsequently became the principal city of Lower Germany (Germania Inferior). A rectangular grid street system, town walls, gates, bath buildings, amphitheater, porticoed temple, artisans' quarters and housing have been uncovered.
Xanthian Marbles
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Sculptures found at Xanthus, principal city of ancient Lycia (Turkey), now in British Museum. The most remarkable ruins of the city are these huge rock-cut pillar tombs. British archaeologist Sir Charles Fellows sent reliefs and sections of the tombs to the British Museum in the 19th century. The figures are Assyrian in character, not later than 500 BC. Sieges, processions, and figures are shown in profile but with the eyes shown in full. Upon one of the remaining pillar tombs is the longest and most important of inscriptions in the Lycian language.
Xiajiadian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hsia-chia-tien
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia (China) which lends its name to two cultural entities of the Northern Zone - an early Bronze Age culture, the Lower Xiajiadian; and Upper Xiajiadian, an agricultural and horse-riding aristocracy contemporary with early Zhou/Chou. The Bronze Age culture was contemporary with the Shang in the 2nd millennium BC.
Xiang Khouang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Xiangkhoang, Xieng Khouang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site just south of the Plain of Jars in north-central Laos with late prehistoric burial and ceremonial sites. There are large stone burial jars often containing iron knives arrowheads spearheads bronze jewelry cowrie shells and imported beads of glass and carnelian. Upright stone slabs (menhirs) mark them and the site is dated c 300 BC-300 AD.
Xibeigang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hsi-pei-kang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site in Hebei Province, China, of the Royal Cemetery of the Late Shang, with seven shaft tombs with wooden-chamber burials and human sacrifices. There are also over 2000 small pit-graves with human sacrifices. The hierarchy of burials at this and other cemeteries in the area reflected the social organization of the living. The large pit tombs, some nearly 42 feet deep, were furnished with four ramps and massive grave chambers for the kings. Only a few undisturbed elite burials have been unearthed, the most notable being that of Fu Hao, a consort of Wu-ting. Her relatively small grave contained 468 bronze objects of the Anyang style, 775 jades, carved bone objects, and more than 6,880 cowries - suggesting how great the wealth placed in the far larger royal tombs must have been.
Xinyang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hsin-yang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: City in southern Honan province, China, traditionally on a cultural divide between the plains and the hilly districts. The area has been settled since early times. Neolithic remains have been discovered in several sites, and important finds from the southern culture of Ch'u (722-220 BC) have also been made in the vicinity. Two large Ch'u tombs of the 4th century BC have been excavated, which included 13 bronze bells and many fine painted lacquers.
Yan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Yen, Hsien
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A type of Chinese bronze vessel produced during the Shang / Yin (18th-12th century BC), and Chou (1111-255 BC) dynasties. A steamer, or cooking vessel, used particularly for grain, the yen consists of a deep upper bowl with a pierced bottom placed upon or attached to a lower, legged vessel similar in shape to the li. The yen is not usually elaborately decorated. The form is derived from a Neolithic (c 3000-1500 BC) pottery predecessor and is found in the bronze art of the Shang dynasty and in that of the Chou, especially the early Chou (1111-c 900 BC).
Yang Shao
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Yang-shao, Yangshao
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The most important Neolithic culture of China, distributed along the middle course of the Yellow River in north-central China and dated to c 5000-2700 BC. Large open settlements of circular or rectangular houses slightly sunk into the ground cluster along the loess river terraces. It is distinguished by millet agriculture, coarse and painted pottery, sedentary villages, and clans. Some marks on the pottery are thought to be the beginnings of writing; pottery was handmade, painted in black and red on a yellowish slip. At first, the designs were zoomorphic, then later became abstract, geometric, or curvilinear. Coarser red and grey wares were also common.
Yanik Tepe
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Tell site near Tabriz, Iran, with evidence of the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Early Bronze Age, and Iron Age occupations. It is one of the earliest permanent settlement sites in the area, dating from the late-7th millennium BC. The earliest pottery was undecorated, but painted wares appeared in the higher levels. The site was occupied until the beginning of the Islamic period. In the 3rd millennium BC, it was a town surrounded by a stone wall and contained round houses and granaries built of mud-brick. The latest structure on the mound is massive, perhaps a citadel, built of mud-brick and probably of the Sassanian period. The Early Bronze Age settlement consists of a long sequence of Kura-Araxes occupations and many materials of this culture complex.
Yaxchilán
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Major Classic Maya site on the Usumacinta River, Chiapas, Mexico. It has architectural features like Palenque, hieroglyphic inscriptions on stone lintels and stelae, and monuments depict war. Though there are a number of structures, including palaces with ornamented stucco roof-combs and mansard roofing, temple-pyramids, and two ball courts, the site is best known for its more than 125 carved lintels. It flourished c 600-900 AD. Though the site may have been controlled briefly by the Putun just before 750, it was finally abandoned during the general Lowland Maya collapse.
Yuanmou
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Early Palaeolithic site in Yunnan province, China, dated to 700,000 bp; Homo erectus dental remains were found.
Yungang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Yun-kang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Series of magnificent Chinese Buddhist cave temples created in the 5th century AD (Six Dynasties period) and located just west of the city of Ta-t'ung (Datong). The caves are among the earliest remaining examples of the first major flowering of Buddhist art in China. A low ridge of soft sandstone was excavated to form about 20 major cave temples and many smaller niches and caves. Activity at Yungang declined after 494, when the Northern Wei capital moved from Datong to Luoyang (Lo-yang).
Yüan Dynasty
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mongol Dynasty
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Dynasty established in China (1206-1368) by Mongol nomads. Yüan rule stretched throughout most of Asia and eastern Europe, though the Yüan emperors were rarely able to exercise much control over their more distant possessions. The dynasty was established by Genghis Khan (c 1162-1227) and gained control of China under his grandson Kublai Khan (1215-1294). Peking was set up as the capital. The Yüan rebuilt the Grand Canal and there were new cultural achievements, including the development of the novel as a literary form. A renewed emphasis was placed upon traditional craft arts - silver, lacquer, ceramics, and other materials.
Zambian Wilton
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Microlithic Later Stone Age industry of Zambia in the drainage of the Kafue and Zambezi Rivers, akin to the Wilton industry. It spans the last 6000 years.
Zarzian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Zarzi
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Cave in southern Kurdistan, western Iraq, which had an advanced Palaeolithic industry. The industry is based on geometric microliths, notched blades, and backed bladelets and is not widely known. It is dated c 10,500-6000 BC.
Zawayet el-Aryan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site of two unfinished pyramids, a number of mastaba tombs of the Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BC), and a cemetery of the New Kingdom (1550-1069 BC), located on the west bank of the Nile, between Giza and Abusir.
Zawi Chemi Shanidar
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Village site in northern Iraq near Shanidar Cave with a terminal epi-Palaeolithic under Iron Age levels. Storage pits and a circular stone structure are dated to the 9th millennium BC. Large numbers of sheep bones are claimed to show signs of domestication at that time. Sickles, grinding stones, and querns testify to the gathering of vegetable products. Occupation was probably seasonal. Other artifacts include stone axes and non-utilitarian objects such as worked bone with incised or notched decoration. Obsidian from the Lake Van area of Anatolia indicates far-ranging contacts. Burials were associated with a stone platform.
Zawisza, Count Jan (1820-1887)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Polish archaeologist who worked at Mamutowa and revealed the first evidence of Upper Palaeolithic industries with bifacial foliates in that part of Europe.
Zhangjiapo
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chang-chia-p'o
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Western Zhou / Chou site near the Feng River, southwest of Xi'an, China. Extensive remains may be connected with the Zhou capitals Feng and Hao. Early finds include tombs similar in construction to Shang tombs, some with human sacrifices; chariot burials; bones used in divination, mostly uninscribed; and sherds of glazed stoneware. A bronze hoard, many inscribed, range in date over most of the Western Zhou period.
Zhongyuan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chung-yüan
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: Literally the 'Central Plain' or 'Middle Plain', an area of northern China, comprising the river basins and alluvial plains of the Wei River and the Yellow River east of its confluence with the Wei. Capitals of the Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han, Tang, and Northern Song dynasties are in this plain and the Zhongyuan area is traditionally regarded as the birthplace of Chinese civilization.
Zhoukoudian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Choukoutien, Chou-k'ou-tien
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Palaeolithic site in Hebei province, China, with numerous human fossils, including 'Peking man', found in cave deposits of c 400,000-700,000 years ago. Over 40 individuals are represented; this has become one of the two fossil populations on which Homo erectus is based. In 1941, when the Japanese were about to attack Beijing, the fossils were packed for transport to the U.S., but disappeared; only casts have survived. New investigations have found more skulls and parts, and a pollen sequence is known. Primitive flake tools have been found, along with traces of fire. Remains of Homo sapiens sapiens are the first human burials in the East Asian archaeological record.
Zinjanthropus
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Australopithecus boisei
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Name originally given to a robust Australopithecus found in Bed I at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania by Louis Leakey, characterized by unusually massive jaws. Potassium-argon dating suggests that he lived about 1.75 million years ago. This fossil is now classified as Australopithecus boisei or Australopithecus robustus.
acanthus
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Conventionalized representation of the leaf of the Acanthus spinosus plant, found on the lower parts of Corinthian and Composite capitals, and also used for enrichment of various elements in Classical architecture.
activation analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Method to determine the elements of a material by inducing radioactive reactions to produce radiation characteristic of material composition.
ad sanctos
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Describes the custom or arranging to be buried in or beside a church. Around 313 AD when Constantine's edict granted tolerance to Christians, miniature temples were erected over tombs of martyrs. This was the start of funerary basilicas adjacent to towns from the 4th century onward. It was believed that burial near the tombs of saints would guarantee protection in the next world. This gave rise to the custom of burial in or close to a church.
aeolian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: eolian
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Of or pertaining to the wind. This adjective is used to describe deposits or materials moved or affected by the wind or processes related to the wind. Aeolian deposits can bury archaeological materials intact or with little disturbance. Aeolian erosion can collapse and displace archaeological materials. Aeolian particle movement can alter archaeological material through abrasion.
aggregate analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mass analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The analysis of debitage using size as the prime criterion.
alliance theory
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term emphasizing the marital bond and relations between groups and a structural explanation for marriage, exchange, and exogamy. Its theorists analyze the rules that determine which people a person may marry and which people he may not.
alluvial fan
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: A deposited landform, usually by valleys or mountain fronts where tributary stream connect to larger valleys or lowlands. An alluvial fan is created by the accumulation of alluvium which spreads, or fans. They are important settlement sites because they are well-drained landscapes and resources are easily accessible.
alphanumeric
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: A field type that allows entry of characters and/or numerals but will not allow any arithmetic operations on them.
altiplanos
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: Wide mountain basins found at high elevations in the Central Andes (3000-4000 miles), and which have cool, moist climates.
anachronistic
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: Pertaining to the representation of something as existing or occurring at other than in its proper time, particularly earlier, and involving or containing anything out of its proper time.
anadromous fish
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: Fish species such as salmon that migrate from freshwater streams to oceans, returning to the streams to spawn.
anaerobic
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Without air; the opposite of aerobic. This term is used to describe environmental conditions where oxygen is not present and where decay of organic material is partially or completely stopped. Anaerobic conditions are usually waterlogged but may also occur when a layer or clay, plant, or animal remains is sealed. The remains survive much better than under normal conditions because there is insufficient oxygen for bacterial or fungal growth. The organic materials reach a state of equilibrium beyond which they do not decay.
anaglyph
CATEGORY: artifact; language
DEFINITION: A term describing any work of art that is carved, chased, embossed, or sculptured - such as bas-reliefs, cameos, or other raised working of a material. Materials which are incised or sunken are called intaglios or diaglyphs. The Egyptians also used the term anaglyphs for a kind of secret writing.
analogy
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An anthropological practice using reasoning based on the assumption that if two things are similar in some respects, then they must be similar in other respects. Ethnographic information from recent cultures is then used to make informed hypotheses about archaeological cultures and to compare societies and culture traits of recorded societies with those of prehistoric sites. Analogy is the basis of most archaeological interpretation (see general and specific analogy).
analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: analytical archaeology
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A stage in archaeological research design that involves isolating, describing, and structuring data, usually by typological classification, along with chronological, functional, technological, and constituent determinations. The research involves artifactual and nonartifactual data. The method evolved from the tendency to formalize the archaeological process, especially through the work of LR Binford, DL Clarke, and JC Gardin. Computer science and mathematics are used to elaborate the means for transforming simple descriptions of archaeological data into cultural, economic, and social reconstructions of earlier societies. This type of research is attempts to provide archaeology with a theoretical framework based on scientific method.
analytical type
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The method of defining arbitrary groupings of artifacts. Analytical types consist of groups of attributes that define artifacts for comparing sites in space and time. They do not necessarily coincide with actual tool types used by prehistoric people.
anathermal
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A period of cool climate in the area of North America that occurred from about 7000-5000 BC. This was Ernst Antev's name for the first of the Neothermal periods and it is thought to have started off cool before becoming somewhat warmer.
anathyrosis
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In Greek architecture, the technique of matching two adjoining blocks or column drums by hollowing out the center and having the blocks make contact only at the edges.
anatomically modern human
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: AMH
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The group of humans who were within the range of the modern human species, showing the anatomical traits of moderns such as a cranial capacity of over 1400 cubic centimeters and a chin.
ancestor bust
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Small painted apelike busts that were the focus of ancestor worship in Egypt's New Kingdom. Many were of limestone or sandstone, with some smaller examples made of wood and clay.
anchor
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A heavy object used to moor a ship to the sea bottom, typically having a metal shank with a pair of curved, barbed flukes.
anchor ornament
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An anchor-shaped terra cotta object with a perforation through the shank. These were widespread in the Early Bronze Age of Greece and appear later in Sicily and Malta. Grooving, as if from thread wear, suggests that these objects may have been part of looms.
ancient DNA
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Genetic material preserved in the archaeological remains of bones and plants that can be studied for past genetic relationships
andesite
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A dark, fine-grained volcanic rock
andesite line
CATEGORY: geography; geology
DEFINITION: The line dividing the Pacific between the Asiatic and Pacific plates through Polynesia. The rocks to its west are continental rocks, including andesitic basalts. To the east are coral atolls and volcanic islands of olivine basalts and other rocks.
angon
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A long spear with a double barb where one barb is longer than the other.
angular blocky
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Pertaining to grain surfaces that are fairly flat with angular vertices and both l/w and s/w ratios not much greater than 1.0.
aniconic
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A seal bearing no image.
animal bell
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A bell worn by an animal, e.g. sheep, goats, cows and hawks, to inform the owner of the animal's position.
animatism
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The attribution of humanlike consciousness, personality, and powers to inanimate objects (e.g., heavenly bodies, volcanoes, rocks, and stones), natural phenomena (e.g., eclipses, earthquakes, thunderstorms, tornadoes), plants and animals, and the universe itself.
animism
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The belief that disembodied beings in the form of ghosts, gods, souls, and spirits, populate the world and can live in objects such as altars, idols, and rocks.
anisotropic
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A mineral that causes the retardation of light waves in one axis of oscillation relative to the axis at right angles to it, as light (fast ray, slow ray) passes through it.
ankh
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The Egyptian hieroglyphic sign for "life" consisting of T-shape surmounted by a loop. It represents a sandal strap or the handle of a mirror. The ankh is commonly shown being carried by deities and pharaohs and was widely used as an amulet. Temple reliefs frequently included scenes in which a king was offered the ankh by the gods thus symbolizing the divine conferral of eternal life. It was used in some personal names such as Tutankhamen. It was adapted by Coptic Christians as their cross.
anklet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An ornamental chain, worn around the ankle.
annealing
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: The treating of a metal or alloy with heat and then cold - or the repeated process of heating and hammering to produce the desired shape. After casting metal, it may be necessary to further process it by cold-working, hammering, and drawing the metal - either to produce hard cutting edges or to produce beaten sheet metal. Hammering makes the metal harder, though more brittle and subject to cracking because it destroys its crystalline structure. Annealing, the reheating of the metal gently to a dull red heat and allowing it to cool, produces a new crystalline structure which can be hammered again. The process may be repeated as often as is necessary. The final edge on a weapon may be left unannealed as it will be harder and last longer.
annular
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Ring-shaped
annular ring nail
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A nail with sharp-edged ridges that lock into wood fibers and greatly increase holding power
annuli
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: sing. annulus
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: Annual growth rings or increments in mollusk shell, fish vertebrae, tooth cementum, or wood.
anoxic
CATEGORY: flora, fauna
DEFINITION: Relating to or marked by a severe deficiency of oxygen in tissues or organs.
ansa
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. ansae
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Latin term for handle or anything handle-like, like an eyelet, haft, or a hole. Any vessel or vase with large ears or circular handles on the neck or body is said to have ansae.
ansa lunata
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A handle or handles on a vessel or vase going in two opposite directions or in two diverging projects. The term describes Terramara pottery of the Apennine culture and vessels of central Europe of the Middle to Late Bronze Age.
anta
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A short wall at a right angle to the long walls of a classical temple's cella. This term is also that for a Portuguese chambered tomb (5th millennium BC).
antefix
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj. antefixal
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Ornamental tiles fixed to the eaves and cornices of ancient Greek and Roman buildings to decoratively conceal the ends of the rain tiles. The term also refers to vertical ornamental heads of animals (etc.) that were the spouts from the gutters.
antelope
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: The name for numerous species of deerlike ruminant horned bovid. The main characteristics are cylindrical annulated horns and a lachrymal sinus. There are "true" antelopes "bush" antelopes "capriform" (goatlike) antelopes and "bovine" (oxlike) antelopes. The name is most popularly associated with the "true" antelopes. The term first came in through Greek and Latin to describe a creature haunting the banks of the Euphrates. The attributes of the antelope caused it to become a heraldic animal and it served as the symbol of the 16th Upper Egyptian nome (province). Three species of antelope are known from ancient Egypt (Alcephalus buselaphus Oryx gazella and Addax nasomaculato).
anterior
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: Forward or toward the head.
anthracology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The study of human interactions with the plant environment. Wood charcoal from archaeological sites is studied by microscope and statistically analyzed.
anthropic soil
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Soil formed by or related to human activity.
anthropogenic
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: pertaining to an effect or process resulting from human activity
anthropogenic soil
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Soil that has been influenced by human activity - indicated by a concentration of phosphorus, organic matter, debris, or artifacts. The different soil and sediment components are physically mixed through cultivation, deforestation, or construction.
anthropoid
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: anthropomorphous
CATEGORY: artifact; fauna
DEFINITION: Of human form; manlike. Taken from the Greek term for man-shaped, it is used to describe sarcophagi and coffins and other artifacts of human shape. The term is also used to describe a being that is only human in form or an anthropoid ape (gibbons, orangs, chimpanzees, gorillas).
anthropological archaeology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The tradition of archaeology that is derived from, and most strongly oriented toward, the larger field of anthropology.
anthropological linguistics
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The study of human language and its applications for cultural behavior.
anthropology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The study of humankind, its culture and evolution, both extant and extinct. It consists of the subdisciplines physical anthropology, archaeology, anthropological linguistics, cultural anthropology, and social anthropology. Archaeology is sometimes regarded as a separate science rather than as a branch of anthropology. Social anthropology concentrates on patterns of behavior and institutions. Physical anthropology studies the physical (biological) characteristics as animals.
anthropometry
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: n. anthropometer, anthropometrist; adj. anthropometric, anthropometrical; adv. anthropometrically
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: A subdiscipline of physical anthropology that involves the measurement of the human body to determine its average dimensions and the proportion of its parts at different ages and within different races, classes, or cultures. The measurement of the dimensions of man.
anthropomorph
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: anthropomorphic figure; anthropomorphism (n.); anthropomorphous (adj.)
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A representation of the human form in art, such as those found on ancient pottery. A figure, object, or rock art with or using a human shape. The term also refers to the attribution of human features and behaviors to animals, inanimate objects, or natural phenomena.
anthropomorphic
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: anthropomorphous
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Manlike; used to describe artifacts or art work decorated with human features or with a man-like appearance
antico rosso
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Ancient marble of a deep red or green tint. It is the material of many ancient Egyptian and early Greek sculptures. These green and red marbles (antico rosso and lapis lacedaemonius) were obtained from the southern Peloponnese.
antimonial bronze
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A bronze containing antimony in combination, as a third constituent. It may have been added to the original copper ore in the alloy since it improves the hardening qualities. It is used this way and in the names of many minerals, such as antimonial arsenic, copper, and nickel.
antimony
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj. antimonial
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A brittle metallic substance that has been used in the preparation of yellow pigments for enamel and porcelain painting. It forms a fourth constituent in alloys, along with nitrogen, phosphorus, arsenic, bismuth, and some others in forming triads and pentads.
antiquarian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: antiquary; antiquarianism
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: An amateur interested in ancient artifacts who studies or collects objects of antiquity. The term also refers to amateurs who dig up artifacts unscientifically. Antiquarianism is the study of the ancient past and its customs and the relics of the ancient past.
antis, in
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Used of a temple building in which the lateral walls of the cella extend to form part of the facade, enclosing the sides of the pronaos.
antler
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: The lowest, forward branch of the horn of a deer - bonelike material which is grown and shed annually. Antlers indicate the sex of the species, for example only male red deer, fallow deer, and elk (moose) have antlers. They may also indicate whether a site is occupied seasonally as they are naturally shed in the winter, except for female reindeer who shed the antlers in spring. Antlers were a valuable material for making many tools.
antler sleeve
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A section of deer antler carved into a cavity or hole at one end to hold a stone ax head. The piece was either set into a socket in a haft or perforated to attach to the haft. This material was used for its resilience and shock-absorbing value in tool-making. Roughly trimmed antler picks have been used in construction and flint mining.
anvil
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A block, usually of iron, upon which objects are shaped and hammered e.g. in smithing.
anvil stone
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A stone on which other stones or materials (such as food) are placed and crushed with a stone tool.
anvil technique
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: anvil-flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A method of making chipped stone tools that involves striking a stone repeatedly against a static boulder used as an anvil
applied anthropology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The use of data and information from the four core subfields of anthropology to provide practical solutions to problems in society.
aquamanile
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Used for holding water and washing hands, usually in the shape of an animal.
archaeobotany
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: palaeoethnobotany, paleoethnobotany, paleoentomology, palaeoentomology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The study of botanical remains at archaeological sites. The field examines the natural surroundings of flora as well as the human-controlled flora on sites. The terms palaeoethnobotany, palaeoentomology, and palaeobotany are sometimes used interchangeably in the literature of archaeology.
archaeological conservancy
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeological conservancy
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any private, nonprofit organization working to save archaeological sites from destruction. This is done primarily by purchasing threatened sites and protecting the sites until they can be turned over to responsible agencies such as national parks.
archaeological reconnaissance
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeological reconnaissance
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A systematic method of attempting to locate, identify, and record the distribution of archaeological sites on the ground by looking at areas' contrasts in geography and environment.
arithmetic mean
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: An average; a measure of central tendency calculated by dividing the sum of observations by the number of observations.
arrangement
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: In systematics, a procedure that orders data into units. Classification and grouping create arrangements.
balance
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An apparatus for weighing, usually consists of a beam on a pivot with a means of supporting the object to be weighed on one side and weights on the other
banana
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: A giant edible fruit-bearing herb of the genus Musa that has hundreds of varieties in cultivation. Consumption of the banana is mentioned in early Greek, Latin, and Arab writings and Alexander the Great saw bananas on an expedition to India. Just after the discovery of America, the banana was brought from the Canary Islands to the New World, where it was first established in Hispaniola and soon spread to other islands and the mainland. Linguistic evidence supports the probability that bananas were being cultivated Austronesians in Southeast Asia by 3000 BC.
band
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term in cultural anthropology describing the simplest type of human social organization consisting of a small number of nuclear families (30-50 people) who are informally organized for subsistence and security purposes. Bands are egalitarian and based mainly on kinship and marriage and the division of labor is based on age and sex. Bands may also be integrated into a larger community, usually called a tribe. Bands exist in sparsely populated areas and use primitive technologies (and are often hunters and gatherers) - ranging from the desert-dwelling Australian Aborigines, the Pygmies of the Congo rain forests, and the Kaska Indians of the Yukon. Bands often moved seasonally to exploit wild (undomesticated) food resources.
bannerstone
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: banner stone, birdstone, boatstone
CATEGORY: artifact; lithics
DEFINITION: A stone atlatl - a throwing-stick weight - put on the shaft to give great propulsion to a thrown dart. The stone is perforated for hafting and often has a bipennate, 'butterfly', or banner-like appearance.
bar and dot notation
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A Mesoamerican counting system in which a bar stands for 5 and a dot for 1. A stela at Chiapa de Corzo, dating to 36 BC, is the earliest example. The system came to use throughout Mesoamerica and is closely associated with the development of Maya and Zapotec writing.
barbed and tanged arrowhead
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Triangular-shaped flint arrowheads of the later Neolithic and early Bronze Age in Europe. Distinctive in having a short rectangular tang on the base opposite the point, symmetrically set either side of which is a barb. The tang was used to secure the arrow tip to its shaft and usually projects slightly below the ends of the barbs.
barbican
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: antemural
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: An outer fortification or defense to a city, castle, fort, or settlement, especially a double or single tower erected over a gateway or bridge. It often served as a watch tower. The term was also used for a temporary wooden tower or bulwark.
baths, Roman
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bathhouse
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The Roman baths featuring a combination of steaming, cleaning, and massage appeared wherever the Romans made conquests. In Rome itself the aqueducts fed sumptuous baths such as those of Caracalla, which covered 28 acres (11 hectares). From the 1st century BC onwards, the Romans built establishments called balneae or, later, thermae incorporating suites of rooms at different temperatures. A typical installation would include a tepidarium (warm room, probably without bath), a caldarium (hot, with plunge bath), a frigidarium (cold, also with bath), and an apodyterium (changing-room). Elaborate examples might also include a laconicum (room with dry heat), a swimming bath, an exercise area (palaestra), gardens, and a library. These complexes were important social meeting-points and were not limited to high society. Most large private houses from the 2nd century BC onwards had their own bath suite. The four large series of baths at Rome were built by Titus, Trajan, Caracalla, and Diocletian. Baths existed as early as the 4th century BC.
bean
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: The seed or pod of certain leguminous plants of the family Fabaceae and important to man since the beginning of food production. Most modern beans are of the genus Phaseolus, different species of which occur wild in two hemispheres. Their cultivation commenced at an early date in both. These species all originated in Mexico and South America, spreading to the Old World after Columbus. The earliest finds of cultivated Phaseolus beans are from 6th millennium BC Peru and Mexico. Vicia faba, the ancestor of the broad bean, was confined to the Old World, and was already being grown in the Neolithic Near East. Later in the Neolithic, the species appeared in Spain, Portugal, and eastern Europe. During the Bronze Age, the field bean grew in southern and central Europe, and by the Iron Age it reached Britain.
behaviorally modern human
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: BMH
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The group of humans who had the capabilities and showed the range of behavior of modern humans, including the ability to use symbolic behavior.
bifacial blank
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A biface in the early stages of production displaying only percussion flaking and no evidence of pressure flaking. In many cases, blanks were traded and/or transported from their area of origin and subsequently used as bifacial cores from which flake blanks were detached for production of dart or arrow points.
biocultural anthropology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: A subdiscipline of anthropology and research strategy that integrates physical anthropology and archaeology to investigate prehistoric biological systems.
biological anthropology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: physical anthropology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: A subfield of anthropology dealing with the issues of human evolution and variation.
birch-bark manuscript
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: birch-bark beresty
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Early Russian letters and documents scratched onto thin pieces of birch-bark, dating to the 11th-15th centuries AD. They were first found in 1951 in Novgorod by A. Artsikhovski and form a very important source of information as no other documents earlier than the 13th century had survived because of frequent fires in the wooden cities of Old Russia. The manuscripts are quite well preserved from layers of organic materials.
black-and-red ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: black and red ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Any Indian pottery with black rims and interior and red on the outside, due to firing in the inverted position, which was made beginning in the Iron Age. Characteristic forms include shallow dishes and deeper bowls. It first appeared on late sites of the Indus civilization and was a standard feature of the Banas culture. This ware has been found throughout much of the Indian peninsula with dates of the later 2nd and early 1st millennium BC. In the first millennium it became widespread in association with iron and megalithic monuments. In the Ganges Valley it post-dates ochre-colored pottery and generally precedes painted gray ware.
blank
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A partly finished stone artifact that has been worked roughly into a shape but which must be further chip to a suitable size and form to become a tool. This is an intermediate manufacturing stage in the production of stone tools, where the tools are given the rough shape at a quarry or workshop and often taken elsewhere for completion. Blanks were presumably made in quantity because they were easier to carry from place to place than heavy lumps of stone.
blanket peat
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: Peat that forms in areas of high rainfall that is not dependent on groundwater but receives all its moisture from the atmosphere. It can form on higher ground like plateaus. In periods of climatic change, blanket peat alters its nature, such as by developing tree cover in drier periods and then recurring as a bog when rainfall increases. In a peat bog of this type there may be well-preserved evidence of human activity and organic material in the drier times which is later covered by renewed peat growth.
boomerang
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A curved wooden throwing stick with a bi-convex or semi-oval cross-section, distributed widely over Australia except for Tasmania, and used for hunting and warfare. The boomerang had marked regional variations in design and decoration. Returning boomerangs were used in Australia as playthings, in tournament competition, and by hunters to imitate hawks for driving flocks of game birds into nets strung from trees. The returning boomerang was developed from the nonreturning types, which swerve in flight. Boomerangs excavated from peat deposits in Wyrie Swamp, South Australia, have been dated to c 8000 BC. Boomerang-shaped, nonreturning weapons were used by the ancient Egyptians, by Indians of California and Arizona, and in southern India for killing birds, rabbits, and other animals.
boshanlu
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A Chinese incense burner (lu) with a lid designed to represent mountain peaks, such as Boshan, a mountain in Shangdong province. They are stemmed bowls of pottery or bronze with a perforated conical lid. Most examples date from the western Han period. One from the tomb of Liu sheng (d.113 BC) at Mancheng, is inlaid with gold.
botany
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The scientific study of the structure, growth, and identification of plants.
bow and arrow
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Weapon consisting of two parts; the bow is made of a strip of flexible material, such as wood, with a cord linking the two ends of the strip to form a tension from which is propelled the arrow; the arrow is a straight shaft with a sharp point on one end and usually with feathers attached to the other end
box-and-dot-plot
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A type of graph used in Exploratory Data Analysis that displays the median and inter-quartile range in a box, with points to represent all the observations falling in the upper and lower quartiles.
branding iron
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A heated iron used to label, burn or mark animals, slaves, criminals etc.
bucranium
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: In Roman times, an ox skull that was carved in relief and was part of the decoration of a building.
button and loop fastener
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A fastener made of a metal circle connected to a metal loop fixed to an object and used to fasten to another object by means of a button or a loop. The usage of these items is unclear, could include use for animals or for dress.
bâton de commandement
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A name given to perforated batons made of antler rod of the Upper Palaeolithic period in western Europe, from the Aurignacian period (30,000 years ago) through the Magdalenian. They have a hole through the thickest part of the head are usually 30 cm long, but are often broken. The perforation is smooth and round and highly decorated examples come from the Magdalenian culture. Their use is unknown.
bît hilani
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bit hilani
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: An architectural type describing a pillared porch, usually of wood. A bit hilani is a wooden-pillared portico or 1-3 columns at the top of a short flight of steps at the entry to reception suites. At one end of the portico there was a staircase to an upper story, leading to a reception or throne room. There was usually an adjoining staircase to the roof and a varying number of retiring rooms. It was a standard palace unit, first found at the Syrian site of Tell Atchana with a date of mid-2nd millennium BC. It was adopted by the Syro-Hittites and Assyrians. Another fine example of bit hilani is the Kaparu Palace at Tall Halaf.
caiman
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cayman
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: Reptile related to the alligator but smaller and slimmer and with a proportionally longer tai
campanulate bowl
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A bowl or other kind of vessel, whether of pottery, metal, or some other material, shaped to the form of an inverted bell.
campo santo
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: In Spanish, "holy field" or a cemetery or burial ground associated with a church.
candelabra model
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: regional continuity theory
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: One of the theories of human development in which modern humans are thought to have descended from Homo erectus in Africa, Europe, and Asia. The opposing theory, known as the Noah's Ark model, holds that modern humans originated in one single area of Africa.
candelabrum
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. candelabra
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A candlestick, often an ornamental one, or any kind of stand by which a light can be supported. The term also refers to a chandelier.
candi
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Late 1st millennium-early 2nd millennium AD funerary temples in Java in which Hindu and Buddhist religions were combined with local cults.
candle
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A cylinder or block of wax or tallow with a central wick which is lit to produce light as it burns
candlestick
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A support or holder for one or more candles
canister
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A container filled with musket balls, metal fragments, nails etc. Designed to kill or maim the enemy at a close range.
cannibalism
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The eating of human flesh by men. This is done either out of dire need or for ritual purposes, when parts of deceased relatives or enemies may be eaten so that their power can be magically acquired. Disarticulated bones of humans, as well as animals, have been found in the ditches of Neolithic camps, which is thought to be suggestive of cannibalism. Its existence in Paleolithic cultures is suggested by the lengthwise splitting of long bones so as to extract marrow from them. In Mesoamerica, there is evidence among hunter-gatherers at start of Holocene through the 1st millennium BC in farming villages. There were many written documents concerning cannibalism from the Aztecs of the 15th century AD. To the Aztecs, the human flesh sacrificed and offered to the gods became a sacred food.
canopic jar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: canopic vase, canopea
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An ancient Egyptian funerary ritual in which four covered vessels of wood, stone, pottery, or faience were used to hold the organs removed during mummification. The embalmed liver, lungs, stomach, and intestines were placed in separate canopic jars. The jars or urns were then placed beside the mummy in the tomb, to be reunited in spirit, subject to the appropriate spells and rituals having been performed. The earliest Canopic jars came into use during the Old Kingdom (c 2575-2130 BC) and had plain lids. During the Middle Kingdom (c 1938-1600 BC), the jars were decorated with sculpted human heads, probably depicting of the deceased. Then from the 19th dynasty until the end of the New Kingdom (1539-1075 BC), the heads represented the four sons of the god Horus (Duamutef, Qebehsenuf, Imset, Hapy). In the 20th dynasty (1190-1075 BC) the practice began of returning the embalmed viscera to the body. The term appears to refer to a Greek demigod, Canopus, venerated in the form of a jar with a human head.
caravanserai
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: khan; caravansary
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In the Middle East, a public building that served an unfurnished inn or staging post for sheltering caravans and other travelers. It was usually constructed outside the walls of a town and was a quandrangular enclosure with massive walls with small windows near the top and small air holes near the bottom. A heavy-doored gateway was the entrance and it was secured from within by massive iron chains. Refreshments were available to the travelers.
carbon isotopic analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study of ancient diet using the ratio between stable carbon isotopes - carbon 12 and 14 - in animal tissue.
carnelian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cornelian
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A reddish brown semiprecious stone used for beads, seal stones, and jewelry in antiquity. The Indus Valley civilization, Greeks, and Romans valued the stone. It is a translucent variety of the silica mineral chalcedony. Carnelian is usually found in volcanic rocks, such as the Deccan Traps of western India. Engraved cornelians in rings and signets have offered information about manners and customs of ancient Greeks and Romans.
centrally based wandering model
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A model for hunter-gatherer cultures centered around base camps.
ceramic analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any of various techniques used to study artifacts made from fired clay to obtain archaeological data. Color is objectively described by reference to the Munsell soil color charts. Examination under the microscope may reveal the technique of manufacture and allow the identification of mineral grains in the tempering, which will identify the area of manufacture. Refiring experiments often show how the original baking was done.
chancel
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The part of a church for the choir, often near the altar and on the east side. At one time, only clergy and choir members were permitted in the chancel and it was often set off by a railing or screen.
channel flake
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: The long, thin blade if stone removed longitudinally from the base of a fluted Paleo-Indian projectile point by percussion or pressure from the center line of either face. The smooth depression it leaves behind is known as a flute or channel.
channel-rimmed jar
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of Romano-British cooking pot having a simple out-turned rim with one or more distinct grooves on it. Particularly common in Northamptonshire and north Bedfordshire in the mid to late 1st century.
channeled
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The decoration of an artifact with grooves or broad incisions.
chekan
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A special kind of striking weapon for hand-to-hand combat. It was most widespread in southern Siberia and in Central Asia in the Scythian period. The chekan is a kind of a battle ax with a thin sharp point, made of bronze. It was fixed onto a long wooden shaft which had a bronze butt at its lower end and was worn at the waist on a special belt. Chekans are quite often decorated with zoomorphic figures in the Scythian-Siberian animal style.
chemical analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The main use of chemical analysis in archaeology has been the identification of trace, major, and minor elements characteristic of particular sources of raw materials such as obsidian. The methods include X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, optical emission spectrometry, atomic absorption spectrometry, spectrographic X-ray diffraction, and neutron activation analysis. This information can be useful in the study of technology, trade, and distribution.
chemical anomaly
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any change in the chemical constituency of the soils underlying a habitation, creates by the common activities of human beings.
chryselephantine statue
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of figurine sculpture made of ivory and gold. The flesh was of ivory and the drapery of gold. These were produced in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Crete, and in Greece from the 6th century BC. They were often colossal cult figures placed in the interiors of major temples, such as that of Minerva by Pheidias, which stood in the Acropolis at Athens and was 40 ft high, and that of Zeus, 45 ft high, also by Pheidias, in the temple of Olympia.
clan
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A group or tribe of persons from one common family, united by a chieftain. A clan develops for social and security reasons and membership of a clan is defined in terms of actual or purported descent from a common ancestor. The descent is unilineal - i.e., derived only through the male (patriclan) or the female (matriclan). Normally, but not always, the clans are exogamous, marriage within the clan being forbidden and regarded as incest. Clans may segment into subclans or lineages.
climatic change hypothesis
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The idea that environmental variables, as climate, influence the course of events. This hypothesis has been used to explain the extinction of megafauna and the origins of agriculture.
cluster analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cluster sampling
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A multivariate statistical technique which assesses the similarities between units or assemblages, based on the occurrence or non-occurrence of specific artifact types or other components within them. It also involves comparing the distances between points or objects, whose dimensions are measurements or scores for a number of variables. Cluster analysis results are normally plotted as a dendrogram, a treelike representation of the distances between objects in hyperspace. Items that are closer together are deemed to be more closely related. Researchers select a case by random sampling and then include contiguous cases as part of the sample.
coil and paddle
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A method of pottery-making involving the use of rolled clay coils to build vessel walls, followed by the welding of the walls with a decorated wooden or ceramic paddle. Parallel breaks between the coils and impressed designs on pottery fragments are evidence of this technique.
coin balance
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Small lightweight scales used by merchants for checking the weight of coins offered in exchange. This was important because the value of a coin was in part determined by its metal content. Because precious metals such as gold and silver were used in making coins in order to retain their value, a good trade could be made by clipping off small amounts of metal from many coins to produce forged coins or other items.
colorant
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A chemical element that contributes color to a mixture; unglazed, low-fired pottery is colored chiefly by carbon, iron, and manganese, whereas a broader range of colors occurs in glazes
commandery
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In ancient China, a military and administrative unit during the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) that governed newly conquered areas. It was run by a commander.
composite plan
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A plan showing a surface which is composed of two or more units of stratification; the plan of a phase or period interface.
concordance line
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A line of agreement, such as between dendrodates and carbon 14 dates.
constituent analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any technique used to reveal the composition of artifacts and other archaeological materials by examining their constituent parts. This type of analysis is useful in determining raw material sources for the reconstruction of ancient exchange systems.
contour plan
CATEGORY: term; geography
DEFINITION: A plan showing the surface relief of an archaeological site at a given period, as inferred from a series of recorded elevations.
cornelian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: carnelian
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A translucent, semiprecious variety of the silica mineral chalcedony that owes its red to reddish brown color to hematite (iron oxide). Found in India, Brazil, Australia, Africa, and the Nile Valley. It was highly valued and used in rings and signets by the Greeks and Romans.
cost-surface analysis
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The use of GIS software and digital landscape information such as slope and distance, fed into computer along with the figure of one hour for a 5-km walk on the surface that is used to do calculations, using built-in data on the energy cost of traversing different kinds of terrain.
counterscarp bank
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: counterscarp
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The facing wall on the forward (outer, downhill) side of a defensive ditch, often faced by brick or stone for ease of maintenance. The scarp was the main fortress wall of a hillfort or earthwork site. The term also describes the side of the vallum and ditch furthest away from the camp and facing in towards it.
countersunk handle
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A rounded handle partly sunk into the side of a vessel
cover sand
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: coversand, blow sand
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A deposit or sediment of wind-blown sand which is formed by the carrying of sand grains from glacial outwash deposits or from the shore by wind gusts. In areas where this occurs, the deposits may wipe out evidence of previous occupation - but they may also preserve artifact associations if the deposition is thick and rapid. If it happens slowly, the archaeological material may eventually end up several kilometers from its source.
cranial
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Of or pertaining to the cranium or skull. A cranial skeleton is the bones of the head, including the mandible. The cranium is the bones of the skull, not including the mandible.
crannog
CATEGORY: geography; feature
DEFINITION: An artificial island in a lake, bog, or march that forms the foundation for a small settlement and upon which a fortified structure is usually built. This structure was typical of prehistoric Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man, especially during the first century AD. The island was constructed from brushwood, stones, peat, and timber, and usually surrounded by a wooden palisade. Most crannogs probably represent single homesteads. The oldest examples in Ireland have yielded early Neolithic material (Bann flakes) and others have Beaker pottery. Most of them, however, are of Late Bronze Age, Iron Age, Early Christian, or medieval. The most interesting is that in Lough Cur in Limerick.
cultural anthropology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: A subdiscipline of anthropology emphasizing nonbiological aspects - the learned social, linguistic, technological, and familial behaviors of humans; a term used in the Americas. Two important branches of cultural anthropology are ethnography (the study of living cultures) and ethnology (which attempts to compare cultures using ethnographic evidence). In Europe, the field is referred to as social anthropology. In the US, prehistoric archaeology is usually considered a subdivision of cultural anthropology.
cultural disturbance process
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any human behavior that modifies artifacts in their archaeological context, e.g. digging canas, hearths, houses, etc.
cultural resource management
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: CRM
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: A professional area of archaeology that focuses on the protection of archaeological sites from urban development, energy exploration, or natural processes. It is the legally mandated conservation, protection, and management of sites and artifacts as a means of protecting the past. Safeguarding the archaeological heritage is done through the protection of sites and salvage archaeology (rescue archaeology). This branch of archaeology is also concerned with developing policies and action in regard to the preservation and use of cultural resources.
cultural transformation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A change in the archaeological record resulting from later human behavior, such as digging a rubbish pit into earlier levels.
culture change
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any significant modification in the essential structure and elements of a culture over a period of time.
cup-and-ring mark
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cup mark, cup and ring mark
CATEGORY: artifact; lithics
DEFINITION: The commonest form of rock carving in the British Isles, consisting of a cup-like depression surrounded by one or more concentric grooves. Cup-and-ring marks are found on standing stones, singular or in stone circles, and on the slabs of burial cists, as well as on natural rock surfaces. In its classic form most cup-and-ring art belongs in the Bronze Age, but the motif occurs on passage graves, for example in the Clava tombs and on the capstones at Newgrange, where it may show links with similar rock carvings in northwest Spain. They are also found in Ireland and Scotland and can be dated to the Neolithic period of the 4th-3rd millennium BC.
date range
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A date indicating years during which it is equally probable that an event took place.
debitage analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study of waste products resulting from tool manufacture to reconstruct stone technology.
decanter
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A stoppered glass container into which wine or brandy, etc., is decanted.
decumanus
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: decumanus maximus
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: East-west street of a Roman camp or town. The square grid layout of the two was basically identical and the decumanus usually ran from the gate in the middle of one wall to the gate opposite. The decumanus maximus was the main east-west street. The main transverse street was known as the cardo; the administrative block or forum was at the intersection of the two. Other decumani parallel to the decumanus maximus cross the transverse cardines to divide the area into insulae.
deductive nomological explanation
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: D-N; deductive-nomological reasoning; deductive reasoning
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A formal method of explanation based on the testing of hypotheses derived from general laws. A general law is established, the ramifications are deduced, and the ramifications are then used to explain a specific set of data. Some archaeologists believe that this is the appropriate way to explain cultural processes.
diachronic change
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Gradual change over a period of time.
diatom analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of environmental reconstruction based on plant microfossils. Diatoms are unicellular algae, whose silica cell walls survive after the algae die, and they accumulate in large numbers at the bottom of both fresh and marine waters. Their assemblages directly reflect the floristic composition of the water's extinct communities, as well as the water's salinity, alkalinity, and nutrient status.
difference-of-means test
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: Statistical test comparing two sample means to see if a sample probably came from a given population or if two samples probably came from the same population.
differential heat analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: differential thermal analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A remote sensing technique in which the variability in heat absorption and dissemination is used to plot hidden archaeological features. In analytical chemistry, this technique is used for identifying and quantitatively analyzing the chemical composition of substances by observing the thermal behavior of a sample as it is heated.
digital information language
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: Information language that uses symbolic representation of data to reduce data to a conventional representation and to store it, but to facilitate data retrieval by allowing amplification of a query.
direct historical analogy
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Analogy using historical records or historical ethnographic data.
discriminant analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique of multivariate analysis in which new variables are calculated from the original, large number of variables and this function is combined with classification. Discriminant functions are especially calculated to show up differences between previously defined groups of items (e.g. artifacts from several different sites), whereas principal components do not make any distinction between groups. The object of the classification is to see how widely separated the multivariate distributions of a number of previously defined groups of items are in hyperspace. The results are presented as a classification results table in which the known grouping of items is compared with the most likely grouping, calculated from the variables supplied from the analysis. An example of useful classification would be in comparing groups of skulls from different sites on the basis of their measurements.
distance method
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of point-pattern analysis that measures distances from items of interest to all other items of interest. Statistical tests determine whether the items are distributed randomly.
distance-decay function
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: distance decay
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A mathematical expression of the inverse ratio between the quantity of a substance and the distance from its source; the rate at which interaction declines as the distance from the source increases. This function is a specific example of linear regression analysis and can be used to describe the relationship between the amount of a given commodity found at any point and the place from which it was exported. The patterns and mathematical expressions help to distinguish different forms of trade and exchange. In general, distance-decay varies with the value of the object traded, with the richer items spreading further from the source.
disturbance
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: disturbance process
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The changing or altering of an archaeological context by the effect(s) of an unrelated activity at a later time. Examples include dam building, farming, and heavy construction, as well as noncultural activities such as freeze-thaw cycles, landslides, and simple erosion. Disturbance is also the nonscientific removal of an artifact from its archaeological context.
doctrine of uniformitarianism
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A theory that asserts that the processes now modifying the earth's surface are the same processes from all geological past. This principle provided the cornerstone of modern geology.
domus de janas
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The Sardinian name for a kind of rock-cut chamber tomb, often with many interconnecting rooms, found on the island from the Copper Age and Early Bronze Age. The term means 'house of the fairies' and describes often complex, multi-chambered tombs.
dugout canoe
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A simple canoe made from a single tree hollowed out by burning or chopping.
ecological determinants approach
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ecological determinism
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A research strategy in settlement archaeology that emphasizes the location of human settlements in response to specific ecological factors; the study of changes in the environment that determine changes in human society.
edge angle
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: edge-angle
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: The angle of the cutting edge of a stone (or other material) tool. The edge angle often indicates the purpose for which the tool was used. Edge-wear analysis is the microscopic examination of the working edges of tools.
egalitarian society
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Collective term for bands and tribes, societies in which all members have equal access to basic resources. Leadership is situational and attainable by achievement within the confines of age and sex.
electron probe microanalysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: electron probe microanalyzer
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A physical method of chemical analysis which can determine the constituent elements in metal, stone, glass, pigments/stains, and pottery/ceramics. The technique is slightly destructive, requiring the removal of a small sample from the artifact. An electron beam is used to excite the atomic electrons and the result is the emission of secondary X-rays with characteristic wavelengths for the elements concerned. The beam can be focused on to a very small area of the specimen, and can be moved around to sample different points: thus the method is particularly useful for the study of surface enrichment in metals and of pigments. It can be used with samples as small as 10 -11 cubic centimeter and is similar to XRF (X-ray fluorescence spectrometry).
electron spin resonance dating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ESR
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A dating method using the residual effects of electrons' changing energy levels under natural irradiation of alpha, beta, and gamma rays. The technique enables trapped electrons within bone and shell to be measured without the heating that thermoluminescence requires; the number of trapped electrons indicates the age of the specimen. There are a number of factors that may cause errors with the method. Precision is difficult to estimate and varies with the type of sample.
electronic distance measuring devices
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: EDM
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any surveying or mapping instrument using electronics and infrared or laser beams in measuring and calculating distances, points, and angles. They often work with computers.
elephant
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: Either of two species of the family Elephantidae, characterized by their large size, huge head, columnar legs, and large ears. The Indian elephant was regularly employed for show and war as early as the Bronze Age in China. Wild herds survived in the Near East into the 1st millennium BC, when they were hunted to extinction for their ivory, and in North Africa, where they supplied Hannibal with his war elephants. Forms now extinct, especially the mammoth, were an important source of food in the Palaeolithic period, and are portrayed in cave art. Living elephants are now confined to Africa. The African elephant formerly occupied a far larger area, as is attested by skeletal evidence and cave paintings in North Africa. The reduction in its range is probably due to the combined effects of climatic change, human hunting, and cattle-grazing. The straight-tusked elephant, Elephas antiquus, apparently adapted to the open deciduous woodlands of interglacials in Europe, but became extinct at the end of the Ipswichian interglacial. Dwarf forms of the straight-tusked elephant evolved on islands of the Mediterranean.
entrance grave
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: undifferentiated passage grave
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A type of megalithic chamber tomb characterized by a chamber without separate passage, under a round barrow. It shares features of both passage grave and gallery grave. The round mound is in the passage grave tradition, but there is no clear distinction between the entrance passage and the funerary chamber, hence the alternative term, undifferentiated passage grave. The chamber form is similar to that of the galley grave. Entrance graves are found in southern Spain, Brittany, southwest Ireland, and the Channel Isles.
epicanthic fold
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: epicanthal fold, Mongolian eye fold
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The skin and flesh immediately above the upper eyelid; a fold of skin across the inner corner of the eye (canthus). The epicanthal fold produces the eye shape characteristic of persons of Asian (Mongoloid) geographic race; it is also seen in some American Indians and occasionally in Europeans (e.g., Scandinavians and Poles).
etched carnelian bead
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Beads with an etched decoration created with heat after a design in an alkali or metallic oxide paste has been painted. It was developed by the late Harappan period in south Asia and continues to be used.
exchange
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: directional trade; exchange system
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A system which promotes the transfer of goods and services between people, either individuals or societies. The term 'trade' may be used to mean the same, but it often refers more specifically to the formalized economic relationships of modern societies. Three different forms of exchange can be found: reciprocity, redistribution, and market exchange. There are also different spatial patterns of traded items, which can reveal the mode of exchange. In 'down-the-line' exchange, a commodity is passed successively from one group to another even further away from its source. The pattern will show a distinct decline in the quantity of the item as distance from the source increases; the higher the value of the item, the further it will reach. In 'directional exchange', where a commodity is traded directly from its source to a distant point without any intermediate exchange, the pattern of decreasing quantities with increasing distance will be distorted with a local concentration. Primitive forms of exchange include barter, gift exchange, potlatch, and silent trade. Any interaction where something passes between people - goods, information, gifts, money, etc.
exchange system
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any system for exchanging goods and services between individuals and/or societies. This term also refers to the trade or transfer of ideas.
exchangeability
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In Bayesian analysis, if there is no a priori evidence to suggest that one member of the population is any different from other members with respect to the property to be measured, the members are said to be exchangeable in the sample.
expanding
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: In lithics, referring to the width of a stem or point that is getting larger or wider
explanation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The end product of scientific research. In archaeology, explanation describes what happened in the past, and when, where, how, and why it happened.
factor analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A multivariate mathematical technique which assesses the degree of variation between artifact types, and is based on a matrix of correlation coefficients which measure the relative association between any two variables. This statistical technique calculates the relative importance of a set of factors that together are assumed to influence some observed set of values or properties.
fall-off analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study of regularities in the way in which quantities of traded items found in the archaeological record decline as the distance from the source increases. This may be plotted as a fall-off curve, with the quantities of material (Y-axis) plotted against the distance from source (X-axis).
false entrance
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: false door
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: An elaborate architectural element of Egyptian tombs and mortuary temples which was a dummy entrance where the true entrance would normal be. The false entrance was for show and it served as the focal point of a tomb and had a door carved or painted, presumably through which the ka could enter and leave at will when partaking of funerary offerings. These first appeared in tombs of the Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BC). The term also refers to a phenomenon found in megalithic tombs in the British Isles, where an apparent entrance to a chamber, often leading from a forecourt, is in fact a dummy and the real chambers open not from the end but the side of the mound.
faunal analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study of animal remains in an archaeological site, as by identifying bones or shells, examining butcher marks, and so on. The analysis is used to determine past hunting and dietary practices.
fishbone analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study of the remains of fish on archaeological sites, in the form of bones, otoliths, and scales. The latter only survive occasionally in anaerobic conditions, while otoliths have not, to date, been frequently recorded. Fish have markedly different skeletons from mammals. Many fishbones are so small that they appear only in sieving and the bones commonly preserved are the jaws and some other head bones, and the vertebrae. They usually accumulate in refuse deposits and may be interpreted in terms of diet and fishing on the site or in the area that supplied it. Identification of species through comparison with modern fishbones is becoming easier as larger collections of comparative material are built up. When a species has been identified it can lead to evidence for the hydrological conditions around the site; also, the occurrence of the remains of marine species on an inland site has implications for the movement of groups or a trade in fish. A combination of species identification and aging of fish through study of the otoliths can lead to assumptions about the seasonal occupation of certain settlement sites and the subsistence economy of the associated groups.
flan
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A metal disk before it is stamped to become a coin.
flange
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The transverse flattening of an edge - making a projecting flat rim, collar, or rib on an artifact. It was used to strengthen an object, to guide it, to keep it in place, or allow its attachment to another object. The external ledge of a pottery bowl is often termed this.
flanged ax
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: flanged axehead
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An early to middle Bronze Age style of flat copper or bronze axe that has the side edges of both faces bent out to form flanges that secure the haft in place and reduce the lateral movement of the haft when the axe is being used.
floral analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study of plant remains from an archaeological site, including identification, association with artifacts and food processing, etc.
fluted lanceolate projectile point
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A stemless point with rounded edges, a channel chipped into the spine, and no differently shaped projection at the base.
flûte de Pan
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of suspension lug found on pottery of the Chassey, Cortaillod, and Lagozza cultures. Several vertical clay tubes, of width suitable to take a suspension cord, are set side-by-side on the wall of the vessel. The lug resembles a pan pipe or a section of corrugated cardboard.
forest clearance
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: The cutting down of natural vegetation before the planting of crops or grazing of domestic animals. Early on, clearings would be produced by the slash and burn method. Evidence for this process is provided by pollen analysis, in the form of a sharp decline in the proportion of tree pollen, corresponding with a rise in the pollen of grasses, including the cereals, and weeds of cultivation, especially plantains and goosefoots.
formal analogy
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any analogy justified by similarities in the formal attributes of archaeological and ethnographic objects and features
formal analysis
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The process of describing the overall shape of an item as objectively and with as much detail as possible.
fracture mechanics
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Characterization of crack growth (fatigue crack growth, sustained load fracture and dynamic crack growth). There are also two chapters dealing with mechanisms of fracture and the ways in which actual material behavior influences the fracture mechanics characterization of crack growth.
frying pan
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A term used to describe any shallow circular vessel or bowl with a decorated base found in the Early Bronze Age of the Cyclades, especially the Cycladic Grotta-Pelos and Keros-Syros cultures. Made of clay, the handle was split into two knob-like projections and the stamped or incised decoration often included spirals. The vessel's purpose is unknown, perhaps ritual but not for cooking. It has been suggested that when filled with water they were used as mirrors. The resemblance to a frying pan is superficial and certainly misleading.
general analogy
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: general theory
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: An analogy used in archaeological interpretation based on broad and generalized comparisons that are documented across many cultural traditions. The broadest level of archaeological theory, referring to frameworks that describe and attempt to explain cultural processes that operated in the past.
geochemical analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: geochemical survey
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An investigatory technique which involves taking soil samples at regular intervals from the surface of a site, and measuring their phosphate content and other chemical properties to determine the natural separation and concentration of elements by Earth processes.
gisant
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: In sepulchral sculpture, an effigy representing the person in death; especially, an effigy depicting the deceased in a state of advanced decomposition. It was popular in 15th- and 16th-century northern Europe. The gisant was often placed below a portrait, or orant, effigy, which represented the person praying or kneeling, as in life. It was a reminder of the transitory nature of life.
glandes
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A Latin term for the acorn shaped shot, often of lead, for a ballista or sling.
grange
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A type of medieval manor house controlling the estates belonging to a monastery. Granges were first created in the 12th century in several countries of western Europe. The farms were run by monks with the assistance of lay servants and their purpose was to produce food for the church as well as for sale in the marketplace. Granges range in form from the elaborate monumental farm complexes of the Loire Valley (Parcay-Meslay), to the elegant Piedmont farms of Renaissance Italy and the hill farms of the Pennines in England.
granite
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A granular igneous rock composed essentially of the minerals quartz, orthoclase feldspar, and mica. It is the most common plutonic rock of the Earth's crust, formed by the cooling of magma at depth. Primarily gray in color, the crystalline rock is used mainly for building, paving, and tombstones.
granular
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Pertaining to particles that are spherical or polyhedral and nonporous.
granulation
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A technique used in the decoration of jewelry by soldering it with grains of gold, electrum, or silver. Tiny spherical drops of metal were soldered on to a background, forming the required pattern and giving it a granular texture. The drops may have been made by heating a gold wire until a drop formed, or by melting gold and slowly pouring it into cold water. As also for filigree, the solder was normally a gold-copper alloy with a lower melting point than gold. First used as early as the 3rd millennium BC, it was widely known in western Asia and Egypt. The ancient Greeks perfected the technique, but by the 5th century BC granulation had been largely replaced by filigree in Greek work. The art of granulation probably reached its peak with the Etruscans between the 7th and 6th centuries BC, in the elaborately granulated and embossed earrings, pronged shoulder clasps for clothes, and beads found in Etruscan tombs. Granulation was particularly important in India and Persia after contact with the Roman Empire.
graphical information language
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A set of conventions for describing entities, such as artifacts, pictorially and in a consistent way.
groove-and-splinter technique
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An economical method of working bone, ivory, or antler developed during the Upper Palaeolithic. Two deep, parallel grooves are cut in the raw material and the splinter between them is snapped free to produce a blank for subsequent reworking.
ground reconnaissance
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A collective name for a variety of methods for identifying archaeological sites, including consultation of documentary sources, place-name evidence, local folklore and legend, but primarily the visual inspection from groundwork of a potential site.
guano
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: The accumulated excrement of seabirds or bats.
halberd pendant
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Small hanging ornament of metal or stone modeled in the shape of a halberd blade.
hand ax
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hand ax, hand-ax, handaxe; biface
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A large bifacially worked core tool, normally oval, pointed, or pear-shaped, and one of the most typical stone tools of the Lower Palaeolithic. It is the diagnostic implement of certain Lower Palaeolithic industries (Abbevillian, Chellean, Acheulian), and one variety of the Mousterian. In spite of the name it was not an ax at all and probably served as an all-purpose tool. The oldest and crudest hand axes have been found in Africa; the finer, Acheulian, tools are known from most of Africa, Europe, southwest Asia and India. It was used for chopping, chipping, flaking, cutting, digging, and scraping. Hand axes first appear between one and two million years ago and they were common in assemblages for about a million years.
hand maul
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A carefully manufactured unhafted stone hammer.
hand stencil
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An impression of a hand produced by spraying thick paint (often made from white clay or red or yellow ocher) through a blowpipe around the edges of a hand placed against a rock surface. Many hand stencils are found in caves.
hand-thrown
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hand-throwing (n.)
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A ceramic ware, formed on a potter's wheel with one's hands
handedness
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Preferential use of the right or left hand, possibly related to the organization of the brain into two hemispheres.
handle
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: An appendage attached to the exterior (sometimes interior) wall of a vessel's body, neck, or rim, that facilitates the manipulation or suspension of the vessel or is a decorative feature.
handle attachment
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pot-supported, scoring and slip, slip
handle placement
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: body shoulder, body to neck, body to rim, midbody, midbody to shoulder, neck, neck to rim, top of rim
handstone
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mano
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A handheld milling stone used to process materials on a metate.
hang-t'u
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hangtu
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A type of rammed-earth construction of walls and foundation platforms for buildings developed by the Chinese from Late Neolithic (Longshan) period and Shang Dynasty (c 1600-1027 BC), notably at An-Yang. It was also used for shaft tombs in the Shang and Zhou (Chou) periods. Earth was packed between wooden forms in successive thin layers, each layer being pounded down before the next was added. Hangtu walls have been found at only two Late Neolithic sites, Chengziyai and Hougang. Much of the Great Wall of China was originally built of rammed earth.
hanging bowl
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any thin bronze, shallow bowl found in Anglo-Saxon graves up until the 7th century, an important part of a Celtic metal-working tradition which has its origins in the Roman and pre-Roman Iron Age. They have three equally spaced suspension rings, fixed to the bowl by escutcheons usually decorated with colored enamel and millefiori.
haniwa
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Unglazed earthenware funerary sculptures or cylinders of the Kofun period (4th-7th c AD) in Japan. They were erected on, around, or inside mounded tomb surfaces and often had representations of horses, animals, birds, humans, and houses. They are considered to have developed out of the tall stands for Late Yayoi ritual vessels of the 3rd century.
header and stretcher
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In architecture, header is a brick or stone laid in a wall with its end towards the face of the wall; stretcher is a brick or stone laid with its length parallel to the face of a wall.
heavy mineral analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of analysis carried out on artifacts such as potsherds to identify the materials used; the shard is crushed and put into a viscous fluid in which the heavier minerals sink to the bottom. It is used to determine the geological source of the sand inclusions in the clay of the pot, and therefore the probable area of manufacture. The method involves the crushing of 10-30 g. of pottery and the floating of the resulting powder on a heavy liquid such as bromoform with a specific gravity of 2.85. Heavy minerals like zircon, garnet, epidote, and tourmaline sink, while quartz sand and clay float: it is the heavy minerals (separated, identified, and counted under a low-power microscope) which characterize the parent formation, and which enable the source of the sand to be identified.
hilani
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bit-hilani; bit hilani
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A pillared porch; a structure consisting of a columned portico, a long reception room with an adjoining staircase to the roof, and a varying number of retiring rooms. This architectural unit was much employed by the Syro-Hittites in the early 1st millennium BC, and was copied by the Assyrians. The earliest known examples are from Tell Atchana. A striking example is the Kaparu Palace at Tall Halaf.
hippo sandal
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Iron shoes worn by draft animals during Roman times for temporary protection of their hooves or to aid grip in wet conditions.
hook and eye
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A small metal hook and loop used together as a fastener on a garment.
horizontal transverse flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A unique flaking style where horizontal parallel flakes are removed that extend from one edge of the blade, across to the other edge.
huang
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flat semicircular or arc-shaped jade pendant known from Neolithic sites in China and made throughout the Bronze Age.
human ecology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The systematic study of the dynamic interrelationships between humans and their environments.
humanism
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A system of thought or action that emphasizes the importance of intuition and feelings in the acquisition of knowledge rather than a scientific focus.
idealist explanation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any rationalistic account of human goals and of the universe in general. A form of explanation stressing the search for insights into the historical circumstances leading up to the event by studying the ideas and motives of the individuals involved.
illuminated manuscript
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: Handwritten books that were decorated with gold or silver, brilliant colors, or elaborate designs or miniature pictures. Though various Islamic societies practiced this art, Europe had the longest and probably the most highly developed tradition of illuminating manuscripts. These medieval handwritten books were usually done on parchment or vellum. The illustrations themselves fall into several categories: miniatures (small paintings incorporated into the text of border, or occupying a whole page), decorated monograms or initial letters, and decorative borders. Before the year 1000, the books most commonly illustrated in this way were gospels or psalters. The origins of manuscript illumination are thought to lie in 5th century Coptic Egypt. It is now thought that illuminated manuscripts were relatively few in number even at the time they were produced. Very few religious or classical texts survive. After the development of printing in Europe in the second half of the 15th century, illumination was superseded by printed illustrations.
information language
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: A language artificially created in databases to ensure unambiguous communication of information.
infrared linescan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: IRLS
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Imagery that results from equipment that scans from horizon to horizon to detect and record actual temperature differences (thermal prospection) on continuous videotape.
inorganic ecofact
CATEGORY: flora; fauna
DEFINITION: Any ecofact (faunal or flora material) derived from nonbiological remains (matter other than plant or animal), including soils, minerals, and the like.
inorganic material
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Material that is neither animal or plant; inanimate or artificial material.
insect analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any studies of insect remains in an attempt to reconstruct past environments. Pollen analysis and molluscan analysis can reveal information on climate, the environment and, sometimes, the activities of man. Insect remains are usually found in the form of the exoskeleton, parts such as the wing-cases of beetles, and they always come from anaerobic deposits such as ditches, wells, pits, and peat bogs; many of the parts of insects that are species-distinctive do not survive in archaeological deposits. They can be separated from the soil sample by flotation. Insects respond more quickly than plants to climatic change, and may therefore assist in the identification of micro-climatic phases. Insects also have habitat preferences, which is helpful in identifying specific environments.
instrument anomaly
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any change in soil resistivity to an induced electric current or variations in the magnetic characteristics of soil due to human activities, such as pit or trench digging, wall construction, and fire.
instrumental neutron activation analysis
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A technique that analyzes the trace element composition of the clay used to make a pot and trace the clay to its geological source
interquartile range
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: The range of values that include the middle 50% of a distribution.
isotopic analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any dating technique relying on the phenomenon of isotopal decay - analyzing the ratios of the principal isotopes. The analysis of isotopes - any of two or more species of atoms of a chemical element with the same atomic number and nearly identical chemical behavior but with differing atomic mass or mass number and different physical properties
kana
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: The Japanese writing system, developed in the ninth century AD from simplified Chinese characters. There are two types of kana (hiragana and katakana) syllabaries, each with symbols for 46 basic sounds and each of which independently represents all the sounds of the language. Although each derives its simple elements from Chinese characters, the two serve different purposes and differ stylistically. Katakana symbols, which are more angular, are used for foreign words, telegrams, and some children's books and often for advertising in print media, television, and billboards. Hiragana, a cursive, graceful writing system that is used in modern Japanese primarily to perform grammatical functions. In theory, any sound in Japanese can be written using one of the kana systems, but in practice, a combination of the two, together with Chinese characters, is used.
kantharos
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cantharus
CATEGORY: ceramics; artifact
DEFINITION: In Greek antiquity, a large, two-handled drinking cup. This type of pottery cup was made in Greek-speaking areas and in Etruria between the 8th and the 1st centuries BC and had a deep bowl, a foot, and pair of high vertical handles. It was often consecrated to personifications of Bacchus. Early examples are often stemmed. In the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, it became one of the most popular types of drinking vessel in the Greek world.
key blank
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An object which is going to become a key. It has the shape but has not been cut to fit a lock.
kurgan
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: The Russian word for a burial mound (barrow or tumulus) covering a pit grave, mortuary house, or catacomb grave. It is mainly connected with Eneolithic and Bronze Age burial practices. The earliest kurgans appeared during the 4th millennium BC among the Copper Age peoples of the Caucasus, and soon afterwards in the south Russian steppe and the Ukraine. Shortly after 3200 BC, the kurgan cultures began influencing most of the east, central, and northern Europe. The local Late Neolithic and Copper Age communities adopted such new traits as globular amphora vessels, corded ware, asymmetrical stone battle-axes, domesticated horses, and burial of a single body (often sprinkled with ochre) in a pit or mortuary house, covered by a barrow. After c 2500 BC, several regional kurgan-derived cultures can be recognized. In Russia, the kurgan tradition persisted late and was still practiced by the historical Scythians and Sarmatians of the steppe zone. Three forms of kurgan burial can be identified: Yamnaya (pit-grave) burial, dated c 2400-1800 BC; Katakombnaja (catacomb-grave) burial, dated c 2300-1800 BC; and Srubnaya (timber grave) burial, dated c1600-900 BC.
lance
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A long spear used on horseback.
lancehead
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A large, flat missile point of stone, bone, ivory, or metal - larger than an arrowhead and smaller than a spearhead. It is assumed to have armed a light lance or javelin and was mounted on a long shaft for hunting or war.
lanceolate
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Shaped like a lance head, referring to projectile points tapering to a point at the apex and sometimes at the base. The term is often applied to flaked stone blades of laurel-leaf form and is much like spearheads.
lancet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A pointed two-edged surgical knife.
landform
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A natural feature of a land surface; a feature of the earth created by an erosional or depositional process or series of processes. Landforms together comprise a landscape.
landnam
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A Danish word meaning 'land taking', used to describe a common form of early agriculture in which an area of woodland was cleared and cultivated (which has been identified in the pollen record). The land was later abandoned and was taken over by weeds, finally reverting to woodland. Its regeneration began with the birch, a rapid colonizer of areas cleared by fire. Landnam has been recognized in pollen analysis by changes in the pollen spectra: the drop in tree pollen, the appearance of grass and plantain pollens, a subsequent increase in the latter, and an eventual reappearance of the tree pollen. Landnam range in date from Neolithic to Bronze Age.
landscape
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: An aggregate of landforms in a region; the collection of landforms particular to a region at a particular time.
landscape archaeology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: total archaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The study of individual features including settlements seen as single components within the broader perspective of the patterning of human activity over a wide area. It is the recovery of the story of an area of countryside using all possible techniques - surface scatters, field and other boundaries, standing buildings, as well as excavation. This approach within archaeology emphasizes examination of the complete landscape, focusing on dispersed features and on areas between and surrounding traditional sites as well as on the sites themselves.
landscape signature
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: The material remains of human activities across the landscape.
langi tombs
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Large square or rectangular earthen burial mounds on the island of Tonga of the Tui Tonga dynasty. They have terraced sides faced with slabs of cut coral limestone. Some contain burial chambers, also built of coral slabs. According to tradition, langi were the burial places of the Tongan ruling aristocracy. Most are associated with the ceremonial center at Mu'a on Tongatapu.
language
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: The overall manner of speaking that reflects general shared speech patterns. It is a system of conventional spoken or written symbols by means of which human beings, as members of a social group and participants in its culture, communicate. Ancient Egyptian is probably the second oldest written language in the world, being preceded only by Sumerian in western Asia.
lead isotope analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique based on the relative abundance of lead isotopes, which differ according to the origin of the lead, allowing scientists to pinpoint the source of a piece of lead once the ratios of the isotopes have been determined. A mass spectrometer is used on a small sample to determine the ratio of the isotopic concentrations, which are similar in different regions if the geological time scale is similar. The method can be used to identify sources of lead impurities in other metals as well as in glass and glaze.
leguminous plant
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: legume
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: A vegetable used for food.
lekane
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: lekanis
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: In Greek antiquity, large open basin, usually with two horizontal handles and used in the common household. It was probably multipurpose in function. Some had a cover or lid.
lian
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Chinese term for lacquered wooden box in which toilet necessities or food such as cooked cereals are kept.
limited-area reconnaissance
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of comprehensively inquiring about a site, supported by actual substantiation of claims that sites exist by checking the ground.
linear regression analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A statistical procedure for determining the relationship between two variables. It has many applications in archaeology, as in the study of variations in population or the size of clay-pipe stems through time, or the relationship between the quantity of an item and the distance from its source. One variable (e.g. time or distance) is regarded as independent, while the second is dependent on it; from a set of know observations, it is possible to estimate the relationship between the two. Thus, given the population figures for different times in a region, it would be possible to predict the population for any other date. The method assumes that there is a linear relationship between the variables, and uses only one variable to explain all the variation in the other; these can be serious limitations.
linguistic anthropology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The study of the human use of language and how it is both developed by and culture and helps to develop meaning within culture.
lithic analysis
CATEGORY: lithics; technique
DEFINITION: The analysis of stone tools and stone tool technology.
lithofacies analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique used to identify and interpret depositional environments in which archaeological deposits are found. The lithofacies are determined by geometry, vertical sequences, and lateral associations. Lithofacies models or maps, generalized summaries of sediment characteristics of specific depositional environments, serve as guides to interpretation. Such a map shows variation in the overall lithologic character of a given stratigraphic unit and its changing composition throughout its geographic extent.
locational analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any of a set of techniques borrowed from geography to study the relationships between a site or sites and the environment. The relationship between sites can be examined in different ways: nearest-neighbor analysis, network analysis, rank-size rule, central place theory, and site catchment analysis. Locational analysis is the search for additional information from the geographical placing and spacing of sites, the significance of which can sometimes be tested mathematically.
long-branch
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Danish runes
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: One of the two main versions of the Scandinavian runic alphabet used during the Viking Age; the other is short-twig.
looped handle
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Small sharply curving handles, fixed to the body of a vessel without being countersunk.
macroband
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: An anthropological term used to describe a group of several, usually related families who set up seasonal hunter-gatherer camps, used as a model of prehistoric societies. There can be more than one camp in the region exploited by each macroband, which moves from one area to another in order to exploit seasonal food resources. At some times of the year, the macroband splits into microbands.
macrobotanical remains
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Fragments of plant tissue observable with the naked eye.
manacle
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A shackle for the hand
manioc
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cassava, yuca
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: A starchy root plant native to the tropical lowland zone of South America, where it was cultivated along with other root crops. Its origin may have been in Venezuela before 2500 BC and it became established in the Andes and reached the Peruvian coast before 2000 BC. Manioc can grow under various conditions, but only in the lowland forest did manioc retain its position as the main food plant. On archaeological sites, large clay disks are often interpreted as griddles on which were baked flat cakes made of a flour prepared by roasting grated manioc roots and juice-catching pots for the prussic acid they contain. The plant underwent elaborate detoxification process (including grating, pulping, draining and finally cooking) before consumption. It was the staple diet throughout most of Amazonia and the Caribbean at the time of European contact. Manioc is the source of tapioca.
manmade layer
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A deposit that has been deliberately positioned and constructed by human action and thus may defy the laws of natural or geological stratigraphy.
mano
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: handstone
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A one- or two-handled small and flat ground stone tool used with a metate (quern) for grinding vegetable material such as maize, seeds, nuts, pigments, etc. Manos date dates to the Archaic Indian period, the word coming from Spanish mano de piedra, "hand stone" - referring to the upper stone which is usually cylindrical or ovoid in shape. The underlying smooth stone slab is the metate. It is a hallmark artifact defining the economic or subsistence base of prehistoric societies. Its forms vary considerably from a barely modified cobble to a long cylinder similar to a rolling pin.
manor
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: manorial system, seignorialism, seignorial system
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A political, economic, and social system by which the peasants of medieval Europe were dependent on their land and on their lord. Its basic unit was the manor, a self-sufficient landed estate, or fief, that was under the control of a lord who enjoyed a variety of rights over it and the peasants who were serfs. It was the focus of the feudal societies that developed in western Europe form the 8th-9th centuries. Well-known examples are 10th-12th-century sites of Goltho in Lincolnshire and Sulgrave in Northamptonshire for the Anglo-Norman period, and Wintringham, Lincolnshire, and Hound Tor, Devon, for the later Middle Ages. Houses of feudal lords from the 11th and 12th centuries in northern and western France have been excavated as well as small castles inside fortified villages, as at Rougiers in Provence or in Renaissance villages in Tuscany.
mansiones
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mansionis
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In the Roman Empire, hostelries called mansionis were situated along the Roman road system to accommodate travelers on government or commercial business. It was a kind of Roman lodging-house. In the Roman Empire, communications were carried along main roads and the houses were used for overnight stays. They were spaced one day's journey apart. They usually had a defended post, with a ditch, rampart, gatehouses with guardrooms for the road police, and a canteen or taberna. Between these rest houses were mutationes with stables for changing horses and a taberna for refreshing the riders.
mantelet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Great wicker or wooden shields, sometimes mounted on wheels, used in sieges by archers as a protective screen.
manufacture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The second stage of behavioral processes, in which raw materials are modified to produce artifacts.
manuport
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any artifact or natural object that is transported, but not necessarily modified, and deposited by humans. Examples would include seashells found inland or water-rolled pebbles away from any river.
mean
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: In mathematics, a quantity that has a value intermediate between those of the extreme members of some set. In archaeological technique, it is a measure of central tendency in a distribution. The arithmetic mean is the sum of all values, divided by the number of cases. Other measures of central tendency include the mode - the most commonly occurring value - and the median - the value in the middle of the distribution's range.
mean ceramic dating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mean ceramic dating formula, mean ceramic date
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A statistical technique devised by Stanley South for pooling the median age of manufacture for temporally significant pottery types at American Colonial sites. It is especially applicable to 18th-century sites, where many distinctive ceramic types may be expected to occur in large numbers. The mean ceramic date is found by multiplying the sum of the median dates for the manufacture of each ceramic type of the frequency of each ceramic type and dividing this figure by the total frequency of all ceramic types. The median date for each type is arrived at from documentary evidence. One shortcomings is that the supposition that the median date coincides with the period of maximum use; another is the use of a count of sherds rather than whole vessels.
mean square error
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A measure of the efficiency of a possibly biased statistic or estimate, based on squared deviations from the parameter.
meander
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any running design consisting of a single line or band twisting regularly. The spiral meander is a simple running spiral, the square meander a rectilinear form of the same thing. The earliest known examples of finger painting are the prehistoric decorative and figurative meanders traced on walls of the Altamira caves in Spain.
median
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: The value in the middle of a distribution.
median historic date
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The intermediate age of occupation for a known-age site.
median ridge
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A ridge that usually runs from the tip of a blade to the hafting area which was formed by collateral flaking techniques in the manufacture of the artifact. The median ridge can be the thickest part of the blade
merchant's hoard
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A collection of Bronze Age metalwork deposited together, possibly either for ceremonial reasons or to hide it in times of danger, comprising mainly new or recently manufactured objects ready to be traded.
metallurgical analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study of metals. Metal artifacts and the tools or waste products of their manufacture are examined to reconstruct manufacturing processes, the source of raw materials, and the usage. This may be done by the various techniques of chemical analysis, or may involve metallographic examination under a microscope. In the case of copper, bronze, and other non-ferrous metals, such analysis may yield information about alloys, casting, cold-working, and annealing. For iron and steel, there may be information about forging, carburization, quenching, and tempering.
metrical analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The practice of taking a set of designated measurements from an item and using those measurements to aid in classification and analysis.
microband
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A modern anthropological term describes a very small band of a few people, perhaps a single family, who carry out collecting and hunting activities together seasonally, and who may belong to a macroband which they rejoin at other seasons of the year for greater efficiency when there is a lot of seasonal food.
microwear analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study of the patterns of wear or damage on the edge of stone tools, which provides valuable information on the way in which the tool was used.
middle-range research
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Middle Range Theory, middle-range theory
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A set of frameworks or theories that allow the construction of accurate statements of past behavior based on the analysis of the contemporary archaeological record. It applies to any investigation aimed at linking the static data from the archaeological record with the dynamic processes that formed it. The frameworks link the archaeological record and the original activities that produced that record, allowing archaeologists to make inferences about past human behavior. It is considered by some to be the key to a scientific understanding of the archaeological record.
mokkan
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: In Japan, wooden tablets from the Han dynasty Chinese sites. There were used for keeping track of taxes, work, etc. and have there are thousands in the Heijo Palace and other administrative offices. The United Silla of Korea and Ritsuryo state in Japan, c 8th century AD, adopted their use.
molluscan analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The analysis of molluscan remains, of both marine and land species, as part of the examination of the environment of man. A mollusk/mollusc is any of a large phylum (Mollusca) of invertebrate animals (as snails, clams, or squids) with a soft unsegmented body usually enclosed in a calcareous shell. Edible species yield information on the subsistence economy of certain groups; in most cases it is the shells which survive. The analysis of marine mollusks involves separation of the shells from the sample by wet sieving, and the identification of varieties. The occurrence of mounds of discarded shell debris in shell middens also allows for a clear understanding of the collecting patterns, seasonal use, and preferences of man in the marine region. Land snails are increasingly used as an adjunct to pollen and insect analysis in attempts to reconstruct past environments.
monocausal explanation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An explanation of culture change (e.g. for state origins) which lays stress on a single dominant explanatory factor of prime mover.
monstrance
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: expositorium; ostensorium
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An ornamental vessel of gold, silver, silver-gilt, or gilded or silvered copper, in which the eucharistic host is carried in processions and ceremonies. The decoration often represents usually a sun with rays, in the center of which is a lunule or glass box in which the consecrated wafer is carried and exposed on the altars of churches. The earliest do not date before the 12th century. First used in France and Germany in the 14th century, monstrances were modeled after pyxes or reliquaries, sacred vessels for
montana
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: Spanish for mountain, and specifically referring to the wet, tropical slopes of the Amazonian Andes.
natural transformations
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Changes in the archaeological record resulting from natural phenomena that occur after the artifacts are deposited in the ground.
nave band
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A circular frame or disc arranged to revolve on an axle and used to facilitate the motion of a vehicle.
nearest-neighbor analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: nearest-neighbor statistic
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of analyzing the extent to which two-dimensionally located points are randomly distributed; a measure of the relationship between a cluster of points in a pattern based on the expected value and the observed value. The statistic equals observed value divided by expected value. This method of analyzing the degree of dispersion in a distribution pattern was first developed by plant ecologists studying the concentration of certain species. A nearest-neighbor index (usually denoted by the symbol R), is calculated from the ratio of the average observed distance from each point in the pattern to its nearest neighbor, to the average distance expected if the pattern were randomly distributed, which depends solely on the density of the pattern being studied. The index R varies from 0.00 for a totally clustered pattern through 1.00 for a random distribution to a maximum of 2.15 for a completely regularly spaced pattern. The index is influenced by the size of the study area chosen; it is therefore essential to select a relevant framework for the distribution being studied. With any boundary, however, it is possible for the index to be distorted by the 'boundary effect' to give a figure closer to the maximum than would be justified; this arises because the nearest neighbors of points near to the boundary may in fact lie beyond the boundary and hence not be properly counted, thus increasing the figure for the observed mean distance. It is also essential that the points in the pattern being analyzed are of the same date and similar function, and that the pattern should be complete. The index R describes only a part of the total pattern and can serve as a useful basis for asking more detailed questions about the factors that underlie the observed pattern. The technique has been useful to archaeologists studying the distribution of sites over a landscape and their relation to each other.
network analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: network method
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study of any network or system of links, sites, points, and nodes, especially a communication system such as roads. The way in which the network is organized is studied rather than the actual lengths of the links, to determine the degree to which an efficient system has been evolved. Roman roads, for instance, are particularly suitable for this sort of analysis, and the changing patterns demanded by military and civilian usage can be distinguished. The analysis is aimed at understanding the reasons for a particular network configuration, which may be economic, geographical, or social.
neutron activation analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: NAA
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A physical method of chemical analysis used to determine the composition of various substances such as flint, obsidian, pottery, coins, etc. found in archaeological contexts. It can be totally nondestructive to the sample and involves the excitation of the atomic nuclei rather than the atomic electrons. The specimen is bombarded with neutrons which interact with nuclei in the sample to form radioactive isotopes that emit gamma rays as they decay. The energy spectrum of the emitted rays is detected by a scintillation or semiconductor counter. Constituent elements and concentrations are identified by the characteristic energy spectrum of emitted rays and their intensity. The time between the neutron activation of the sample and the measurement of the gamma rays depends on the half-lives of the radioactive isotopes, which may range from seconds to thousands of years: often a few weeks may be necessary before measurement takes place. Neutron activation analysis has an advantage over X-ray fluorescence spectrometry since it analyzes the whole specimen as opposed to the surface only. Care must be taken that the neutron dose is not so great as to make the specimen radioactively unsafe for handling. The method is particularly useful for the identification of trace elements; however, it is not universally applicable since some elements have too short a half-life for measurement, and others do not form radioactive isotopes. The method is accurate to about plus or minus 5 percent. Neutron activation analysis of certain Hopewell artifacts made of obsidian has proven that the source of the obsidian was in what is now Yellowstone National Park.
nonrandom sampling
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any method in which cases are not chosen by random sampling, such as snowball sampling in which cases are selected based on previous cases or opportunistic sampling in which cases are selected because they are readily available.
oblique transverse flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A unique flaking style in which the removal of flakes from a blade face results in long diagonal parallel flake scars which extend from one side of the blade across the blade face to the other side of the blade.
obsidian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hyalopsite, Iceland agate, mountain mahogany
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A jet-black to gray, naturally occurring volcanic glass, formed by rapid cooling of viscous lava. It was often used as raw material for the manufacture of stone tools and was very popular as a superior form of flint for flaking or as it is easily chipped to form extremely sharp edges. Obsidian breaks with a conchoidal fracture and is easily chipped into precise and delicate forms. It was very widely traded from the anciently exploited sources in Hungary, Sardinia, Lipari of Sicily, Melos in the Aegean, central and eastern Anatolia, Mexico, etc. Chemical analysis of their trace elements now allows most of the sources to be distinguished (especially by neutron activation and x-ray fluorescence spectrometry), so that the pattern of trade spreading out from each can be traced. Two dating methods have been applied to obsidian: obsidian hydration dating and fission track dating. In Europe, obsidian was exploited extensively from c 6000-3000 BC; after 3000 BC it generally went out of favor for everyday purposes (perhaps as a result of competition from metal tools) but it continued to be used for prestige objects in some areas, especially by the Minoans and Mycenaeans. Obsidian has been quarried and traded by western Melanesians since at least 19,000 bp, with the earliest-used and most important source being that at Talasea on New Britain. Obsidian was also an important trade item in Mesoamerica.
obsidian hydration
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: The absorption of water on exposed surfaces of obsidian. In each specific environment, the surface of an obsidian artifact absorbs water at a steady rate, forming the hydration layer. The thicker the layer, the older the artifact. If the local hydration rate is known and constant, this phenomenon can be used as an absolute age determination technique through measurement of the thickness of the hydration layer.
obsidian hydration dating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: obsidian hydration layer dating, obsidian dating
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of dating in which the age of an obsidian artifact is established by measuring the thickness of its hydration rim (layer of water penetration) and comparing that to a known local hydration rate. The hydration layer is caused by absorption of water on exposed surfaces of the rock. The surface of obsidian starts to absorb water as soon as it is exposed by flaking during manufacture of an artifact. The layer of hydrated obsidian is visible when a slice of the artifact is examined under an optical microscope at a magnification of x 500. Hydration varies geographically, and several factors such as climate, chemical environment, and physical abrasion also affect the thickness of the layer, so that most studies are locally or regionally based. Obsidian may also be dated by the fission track dating technique. Dates have been obtained in Japan extending back as far as c 25,000 BC.
obsidian sourcing
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method to fingerprint unknown obsidian samples and compare them to known sources, in order to determine the source of the unknown sample.
occupation span
CATEGORY: term; chronology
DEFINITION: The time period during which a site is occupied by humans.
offset planning
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique used in small-scale excavations to measure the plans of features. A point is measured with reference to a baseline, which is frequently the edge of an excavation trench. The measurement requires the formation of a right-angle at the point at which the tapes meet; this can be achieved by using a T-square, or by constructing a right-angled triangle with a tape using the Pythagoras theorem.
organic artifact
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: organic material
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Artifact made of organic materials - living organisms, including wood, bone, horn, fiber, ivory, or hide.
organic ecofact
CATEGORY: flora; fauna
DEFINITION: Ecofact derived from the remains of living organisms.
organic residue analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Use of chemicals to extract and identify traces of plant and animal materials from pottery.
organization
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any arrangement made between individuals or groups in human society that structures activities and relationships.
oxygen isotope analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: oxygen isotope examination
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Isotope analysis looking at the O18/O16 ratio in materials. The method can be used to classify glass types and to analyze mollusk shells in order to try and reconstruct their original environment and thus the source. It is also used to interpret deep sea cores. The basis for this technique is the fact that the ratio of two of the stable isotopes of oxygen varies according to the material in which it is found. The oxygen is released from the sample, and is converted to carbon dioxide; the oxygen isotopic ratio is determined after ionization in a mass spectrometer. Variations in the isotopic ratios for the raw materials can lead to a classification of types and even, in some cases, the suggestion of a source for the raw materials. The technique is also used to analyze mollusk shells in an attempt to reconstruct the original aquatic environment. Because temperature variations are correlated with changes in atmospheric O18/O16 ratios, oxygen isotope analysis has also been used to identify seasonal changes in ice cores, interpret temperature variations during speleothem precipitation, and examine isotopic variations in tree ring climates. Foraminifera sampled from deep sea cores have revealed fluctuations in the O18/O16 ratio. These present evidence for glacial-interglacial cycles in the form of continental ice volume change.
pH analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pH test
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique used for measuring the pH (acidity/alkalinity) - hydrogen ion concentration of a soil or sediment. The results of the test may suggest what type of remains are to be expected on a site. In an acid soil, bone, shell, and carbonate lithic debris will not survive, but pollen grains will; in an alkaline soil, there will be only rare occurrences of pollen, but calcareous material should be more plentiful. The pH is tested by moistening a sample of soil with neutral distilled water and dipping indicator paper into it. The resulting color, which depends on the pH content, can be matched against prepared charts of known pH values.
paddle-and-anvil
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: paddle-and-anvil technique, paddle and anvil
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A pottery-making method in which a wooden paddle and a stone or ceramic disk are used to smooth and shape a coiled pot. The paddle was used to strike the exterior surface of the vessel as a convex stone or clay anvil was held against the corresponding interior surface.
paleoanthropology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: human paleontology; palaeoanthropology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The study of human origins and evolution as revealed by fossil remains; the study of the archaeology of the earliest human beings. Fossils are assessed by the techniques of physical anthropology, comparative anatomy, and the theory of evolution. It is a branch of anthropology.
paleobotany
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: palaeobotany; prehistoric botany
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The study of ancient plant life and the remains of ancient or extinct plants. This includes material which has no direct connection with man and his activities, and is thus less specific to archaeology than palaeoethnobotany or archaeobotany. Much of man's material equipment came, however, from vegetable matter. This material is occasionally preserved by desiccation, waterlogging, or charring - or by fossilization. From these sources various useful results have been obtained, notably in ascertaining the early history of cultivated crops. Paleobotany provides information about the climate and environment and about materials available for food, fuel, tools, and shelter. Paleobotany is a branch of paleontology and it includes pollen analysis, palynology, reconstruction of climatic sequences for interglacial periods, study of seeds, and study of plant remains.
pan
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A metal (or other material) container for cooking food in
pan bedding
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: An Egyptian construction technique, usually in mud-brick, consisting of curved courses. It is most often seen in temple enclosure walls from the Late Period (747-332 BC) onwards, which are usually built in sections and with a pronounced batter.
pan pipe
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: panpipe
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An instrument composed of several pipes in which air is made to vibrate by blowing across the top edge.
pan-grave culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pan-grave culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Material culture of a group of semi-nomadic Nubian cattle herders who entered Egypt in the late Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 BC) and during the Second Intermediate Period (c 1633-1550 BC). They are well attested in Eastern Desert, the characteristic being shallow circular pit-graves with black-topped pottery, the 'pan graves' of Upper Egypt and Lower Nubia. Their material culture was similar to the C-Group. The people were mercenaries during this period of Egyptian history and during the New Kingdom, when they were called the Medjay.
pancheon
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A large shallow bowl for letting liquids stand.
panpipe lug
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pan-pipe lug
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of handle found on Neolithic pottery of the Chassey, Cortaillod, and Lagozza cultures in France, Switzerland, and northern Italy. It consisted of cylindrical vertical lugs placed side by side, thus resembling slightly the panpipe. The panpipe, a wind instrument, was widespread in Neolithic and later cultures, especially in Melanesia and pre-Columbian South America.
pantile
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Curved, interlocking roof tile of S-shaped section usually made of clay or concrete.
parenchymous organ
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Root, tuber, rhizome, or corm of a plant.
particle size analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: particle-size analysis, size analysis, size-frequency analysis, grain size analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique for analyzing the grain sizes of archaeological or geological sediments, used to discover the manner and process of their deposition. The technique also allows the accurate description of a deposit, and comparison with other sediments. There are several methods of particle size analysis. Dry sieving, the sifting of deposits through various sizes of mesh so that particles are grouped into sizes, is suitable for larger grains from pebbles to coarse sand. Light or electron microscopy is used for finer grains of sand, silt, and clay. Sedimentation, the counting of grains dispersed in liquid as they fall to the bottom of a container, is suitable for the finest grains of silt and clay. A combination of methods, is frequently used. The analysis may yield information on whether the deposit is wind- or water-borne, how much it has weathered, and to what extent it has been affected by man. Particles are classified into a number of size grades, normally under such headings as boulders, pebbles, stones, gravel, sand, silt, and clay; sand is often further subdivided. The mixture of particle size grades found in a material is known as the texture.
peak sanctuary
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Minoan cult location in the mountains of Crete. These sanctuaries had deposits of votive offerings but no monumental architecture.
peasant
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any person who cultivates land in rural areas for their basic subsistence and pays tribute to elite groups.
pedestrian survey
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pedestrian tactic, surface survey, fieldwalking
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of examining a site in which surveyors, spaced at regular intervals, systematically walk over the area being investigated.
pemmican
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Preserved buffalo meat that was dried in strips by Native Americans. It could be cut up and mixed with melted fat to be eaten. Across the subarctic, people preserved meat by drying and pounding it together with fat and berries to make pemmican.
penannular
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A term referring to an artifact in the form of a ring, but with a small break at one point, used particularly for forms of brooch and torc. It means "not a complete ring". The penannular brooch was characteristic of Irish production; generally of great size and probably worn on the shoulder with the pin pointing upward it was decorated with interlaced patterns. It was the most common type of dress fastener of the sub-Roman period; it remained popular in Celtic regions of Britain up until the 10th century. There is an extensive typology for these ornaments and they vary in appearance from plain bronze or iron rings to elaborately inlaid and gilded examples such as the Tara brooch which was made around 700 AD in Ireland.
penannular brooch
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A common type of metal dress fastening found especially in post-Roman and later times down to the 10th century AD in northwest Europe. Developed out of earlier Iron Age and Roman brooch forms, penannular brooches comprise an open hoop with two terminals and a pin backing the hoop. The terminals in particular were often ornamented, some very elaborately.
pendant
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Ornament designed to be worn, frequently around the neck, on a strap or chain.
petit-tranchet derivative arrowhead
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: PTD arrowhead
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Diverse series of later Neolithic flint arrowhead forms found in Britain and believed to derive from the development of petit-tranchet arrowhead forms. The group was defined and classified in 1934 by Grahame Clarke and includes a range of triangular and trapezoidal pieces; some were perhaps for use in hunting birds.
petrographic analysis
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A technique that analyzes the mineral composition of an artifact's temper and clay through microscopic observation of thin sections
phosphate analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: phosphate surveying, phosphorus survey
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The examination of phosphates from decayed organic matter; a technique for detecting the presence of phosphate in soil and for using phosphorus concentrations to determine human settlements and activity within sites. Phosphate is a natural constituent of soil, however, it is concentrated by animals' bones, excrement, and food refuse. The technique has been employed particularly in the study of cave deposits (to show human or animal occupation), settlement sites (to identify the uses to which different areas were put) and burials (to show the former existence of bodies completely decayed). Once phosphate is in the soil, it is usually converted into an insoluble form, so that it does not tend to move down profile nor to be redistributed sideways in the soil. For this reason, settlements and farms tend to leave high concentrations of phosphate in the soil, which often remain stable over long periods, sometimes thousands of years. Much preliminary work must be done on the distribution and range of naturally occurring phosphorus because variations are caused by vegetation abundance and type and by soil horizon.
physical anthropology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: biological anthropology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: A subdiscipline of anthropology that views humans as biological organisms, studying human biological or physical characteristics and their evolution. Study includes fossil human beings, genetics, primates, and blood groups. It is one of the two major subdivisions of anthropology.
piquant-triedre
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A bladelet that has been notched and then had a microburin twisted off at the notch; the microburin scar forms a thin extended point
plan drawing
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A two-dimensional rendering at a constant scale, showing the horizontal dimensions of archaeological data.
plan-view
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The view from overhead looking down, commonly used in maps.
plane table
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plane-table
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: Portable surveying instrument that consists of a drawing board and a ruler (alidade) mounted on a tripod and used to sight and map topographic details and to plot survey lines directly form field observations. This piece of equipment is much used in earlier surveying and map-making. One end of the alidade is held on the point on the map representing the point of operation, and the other is directed at a marker on the point to be plotted. This gives the angle from the point of operation, and distance can be plotted directly along the ruler after scaling down from the original measurement. The technique has been replaced mainly by photogrammetry.
planimetric map
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: Map used to record details of an archaeological site(s) or features but which contains no topographic information.
plank coffin
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Wooden box made from planks fixed together (rather than a hollowed trunk, for example) for the containment of a human corpse prior to and during burial. For Roman and later times plank coffins are usually recognized archaeologically from the pattern of nails found in the grave. Plank coffins made before the availability of nails can sometimes be recognized by the patterns of grave fill.
plano-convex brick
CATEGORY: artifact; structure
DEFINITION: A sun-dried or kiln-fired rectangular brick with a flat under surface and a domed upper surface, used in the Early Dynastic period of southern Mesopotamia. They often had thumb-impressed holes on the domed surface. They were used with mud mortar in vertical courses inclined in alternating directions to create a herringbone pattern.
planoconvex
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plano-convex
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pertaining to an artifact with one flat and one convex side.
plant domestication
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: The process of hereditary reorganization of wild plants into domestic and cultivated forms according to the interests of people. The cultural selection of useful fruits resulting in new plants which depend on human beings for their existence. The first attempts at domestication of plants were made in the Old World by peoples of the Mesolithic Period. Domestication of vegetatively reproducing plants, such as those with tubers, probably preceded domestication of the seed plants - cereals, legumes, and other vegetables.
plant macrofossil
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Preserved or carbonized plant parts recovered from archaeological sites and large enough to be observed without a microscope.
plantago
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: A weed of cultivation, which appears strongly in the pollen record as a result of the clearing of previously wooded land. There are several varieties and their presence is taken by archaeologists to imply cereal cultivation. The greater plantain (Plantago major) provides seed spikes for bird food. Ribwort and hoary plantain (P. lanceolata and P. media, respectively) are troublesome weeds. Psyllium and P. ovata have been useful in medical science.
planum
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An excavation method in which horizontal slices are removed either from the whole site, or from specific features, in order to reveal a succession of plans.
platform angle
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: The angle between the plane of the platform and the exterior (dorsal) surface of a flake or core.
point-pattern analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A basic form of spatial analysis that allows archaeologists to identify concentrations of material, trends in artifact deposition, etc. by examining random patterns.
pollen analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: palynology
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study of pollen grains in soil samples from an archaeological site which provides information on ancient human use of plants and plant resources. This technique, which is used in establishing relative chronologies as well as in environmental archaeology, was developed primarily as a technique for the relative dating of natural horizons. Pollen grains are produced in vast quantities by all plants, especially the wind-pollinated tree species. The outer skin (exine) of these grains is remarkably resistant to decay, and on wet ground or on a buried surface, it will be preserved, locked in the humus content. The pollen grains of trees, shrubs, grasses, and flowers are preserved in either anaerobic conditions or in acid soils. Samples can be taken from the deposits by means of a core or from individual layers at frequent intervals in a section face on an archaeological site. The pollen is extracted and then concentrated and stained and examined under a microscope. Pollen grains are identifiable by their shape, and the percentages of the different species present in each sample are recorded on a pollen diagram. A comparison of the pollen diagrams for different levels within a deposit allows the identification of changes in the percentages of species and thus changes in the environment. As a dating technique, pollen has been used to identify different zones of arboreal vegetation which often correspond to climatic changes. The technique is invaluable for disclosing the environment of early man's sites and can even, over and series of samples, reveal man's influence on his environment by, for example, forest clearance. The sediments most frequently investigated are peat and lake deposits, but the more acid soils, such as podsols, are also analyzed. Radiocarbon dates may be taken at intervals in the sequence, and it is possible to reconstruct the history of vegetation in the area around the site where the samples were taken. Palynology plays an important role in the investigation of ancient climates, particularly through studies of deposits formed during glacial and interglacial stages of the Pleistocene epoch.
postcranial skeleton
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: All bones other than those of the cranial skeleton.
pozzolana
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pozzuolana
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Volcanic ash or dust found in central Italy, especially near Pozzuoli. It was used to fortify Roman concrete and line water channels. The Romans used it from the 2nd century BC onwards. The natural properties of this and related materials may well have been of central importance in the rapid development at the Romans were able to make in the technology of concrete buildings in the late Republican and early Imperial periods.
pre-Columbian
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A term used to describe the period in the Americas before European contact. Pre-Columbian civilization refers to the aboriginal American Indian cultures that evolved in Mesoamerica and the Andean region prior to Spanish exploration and conquest in the 16th century.
pre-Neanderthal
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A term used to refer to the Acheulian industry people, who are believed to have developed into the Neanderthals.
principal component analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: principal components
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique of multivariate analysis designed to reduce redundancy in a body of data and to clarify underlying structural relations. New variables are calculated in a way that most of the variation within the original distribution is contained in the first few components. The principal components may then be plotted or analyzed by conventional means. It can be calculated by computer.
protein residue analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The recovery and identification of proteins preserved in or on archaeological materials.
protoworld language
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A single, original language, hypothesized to have been spoken by the first modern humans in Africa, from which all modern languages may have evolved. It has been suggested that linguistic traces of this language have survived into the present.
proximal shoulder angle
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term describing the shape of the base on a projectile point, based on the angle formed by the hafting notch and the axis of the shaft.
prytaneion
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: prytaneium, prytaneum; Greek prytaneion
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In Greek antiquity, a building for the prytaneis, the administrative officials / inner executive council of a Greek city-state; the town hall of a Greek or Hellenistic city-state. Its origin may be in palaces of tyrants or kings, combining official with residential functions. In Athens, it had a central courtyard with rooms around it; the so-called tholos, a round building as an office, nearby. At Athens, for example, a group of 50 prytaneis ('presidents, chief'), elected by lot and serving for short periods in rotation, acted as committee to the boule ('council'). Ambassadors, distinguished foreigners, and citizens who had done signal service were entertained there. Prytanea are attested at Sigeum in the Troas from the 6th century BC and at various dates in Cyzicus, Erythrae, Priene, Ephesus, Epidamnus, Rhodes, and Olympia.
quadrant method
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A procedure for excavating a circular feature such as a mound, barrow, pit, etc. by laying out trenches. Material is extracted from four quarters of the feature, starting with the two opposite each other and ending with the other two. The quadrants are slightly offset, so that the outer face of the east balk of one is continuous (in reverse) with the outer face of the east balk of its opposite, going through the center of the feature. After the recording of the sections, the balks may be removed and the rest of the center excavated. Before the complete removal of the feature, it allows a look at all four quarters, at two complete cross-sections, and at part of the center, allowing a better interpretation of the stratigraphy of the site.
quadrantal
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An ancient square vessel used as a measure, the solid contents of which were exactly equal to an amphora.
quantitative archaeology
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Archaeological techniques dependent on counting, measuring, and the use of statistical methods and computers.
quarry blank
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A rather small or medium-sized thin leaf-shaped piece of slint that could be mistaken for a small knife, scraper, or triangular notchless arrowhead
radial plane
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: The plane that radiates from the vertical axis of a pot's (radial or bilateral) symmetry or from the longitudinal axis of a tree or branch.
radioactivity scanning
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A type of surveying in which readings measure discontinuity between buried ditches or pits and the surrounding earth.
rancheria
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In the Southwestern US and Mesoamerica, a family household unit or settlement. It is also a place, hut, or house where rancheros live.
random element sample
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A sample selected when each element of analytical interest in the population has an equal probability of selection.
random error
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The sampling variation or as the sum total of other unobservable chance deviations that occur with sampled data.
random flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The removal of flakes with no regard to the resulting aesthetic alignment of flake scars.
random sampling
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: random sample
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A sample drawn at random from a population, each member of it having an equal or other specified chance of inclusion. This sampling technique is based on a totally random selection of sample units to be investigated, which each unit having an equal chance of being selected.
range
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: The difference between the lowest and highest value in a distribution.
ranging pole
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: range rod, line rod, lining pole, range pole, ranging rod, sight rod
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: In surveying, a rod or pole for setting a straight line, for sighting points and lines, or for showing the position of a ground point. The pole, often 6-8 feet long, is graduated for measuring vertical distances and is frequently included in photographs of an excavated site.
rank
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The position held by an individual on the basis of his status within a society where statuses are not all equal, but are graded into a hierarchical structure. A society with such inequalities of status is called a ranked society. A rank is a distinct class or level within a hierarchy.
rank-size rule
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: rank-size analysis
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A general relationship between the size of a settlement and its rank within a set of settlements. If sites are ranked in order of size on a logarithmic scale, the population of the Nth rank city will be 1/Nth the size of the largest; thus the 3rd site will be 1/3 the size of the largest. The rule works best in areas of complex economic and political organization, with comparatively long histories of urban development. It has been suggested that this relationship represents a natural balance of settlement growth. Roman walled towns fit the rule well. However, this is often not the case because in many newer, developing countries the chief city or capital is larger than expected (primate city) because of historic factors.
ranked society
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A society in which all statuses are not equal, but rather there exists a hierarchical structure. There is unequal access to the higher-status categories, and thus many people who are qualified for high-status positions are unable to achieve them. In these societies, individuals are ranked vis-a-vis one another in terms of kinship status and social prestige, which are largely ascribed. Fewer positions of authority exist than there are individuals capable of filling them.
reconnaissance
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: reconnaissance survey
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A broad range of techniques involved in the location of archaeological sites, e.g. surface survey and the recording of surface artifacts and features, the sampling of natural and mineral resources, and sometimes testing of an area to assess the number and extent of archaeological resources.
regional analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any of various spatial analysis techniques in which archaeologists attempt to examine how behaviors structure a settlement system.
relational analogy
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any analogy justified on the basis of close cultural continuity between the archaeological and ethnographic cases
relief-bank amphora
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A distinctive large storage jar made in the Rhineland in the 7th century, mainly at Badorf pottery centers. Each was strengthened with clay straps or bands and often used to carry Rhine wine to other countries. As a result, there are many amphorae sherds at sites in Britain, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia. The Badorf amphorae were probably made only until the 11th century, but similar forms were by then being produced in the new pottery centers at Andenne and Limburg.
ridge and furrow
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A pattern of parallel ridges resulting from the plowing of strip fields in medieval and later open field systems. The fossilized remains of ancient plowmarks are a common sight in England, having the appearance of long, rounded parallel ridges with alternating ditches. There is no absolute dating for the ridge and furrow field; a few contentious examples could be Roman in date, while others are as late as the 17th and 18th centuries.
rim and lip stance
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: The shape of the rim and lip of a ceramic vessel relative to the rest of the object.
rosso antico
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A salt-glazed red stoneware (red porcelain) produced by Josiah Wedgwood in the 18th century.
sample selection, random
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of selecting a sample in which every element has a known and equal probability of selection.
sample, transect
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An archaeological research design in which the sampling element is a fairly long linear unit.
sand
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A term describing the size of sediment or soil particles, 0.06-2 mm in diameter (BS 1377). The term has no implications of color, organic content, or any property other than particle size or texture.
sand glass
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hourglass
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A reversible device for measuring time by the transfer of sand from upper to lower glass bulb.
sandshaker
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A container for sand which was used to stop ink from spreading.
sandstone
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Sedimentary rock consisting of sand or quartz grains cemented together, typically red, yellow, or brown in color.
sandwich glass
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any of various forms of glassware manufactured at Sandwich, Mass., from 1825 to c1890.
sandy loam
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Sandy sediment containing enough clay and silt to make it hold together rather than falling apart; consists of 50% sand, 30% silt, and 20% clay.
sanukite
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Type of andesite produced by now-extinct volcanoes in the Inland Sea area of Japan. It was used extensively during the Palaeolithic and Postglacial (Jomon, Yayoi) for stone tools.
scanning electron microscopy
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: SEM
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique used to gain information on the microscopic and submicroscopic structure of a wide range of materials ceramics, metals, stone, teeth, hair etc. It involves a type of electron microscope (SEM) in which a beam of electrons systematically sweeps over the specimen, the electron beam passing through a series of magnetic lenses which demagnify the beam diameter. The backscattered electrons and secondary electrons emitted are detected by means of a scintillation or semiconductor counter. The angle at which the beam hits the surface of the specimen determines the number of backscattered and secondary electrons detected, and thus the pattern of contrast represents the topography and elements of the specimen. The signal from these emissions is processed and an image of the object is displayed on a screen. Its advantages over transmission electron microscopy include a greater depth of focus at high magnification and its ability to deal with specimens of much greater bulk, making it less destructive. The chemical composition of the material of the surface can also be deduced from the backscattered electrons. No elaborate specimen-preparation techniques are required for examination in the scanning electron microscope, and large and bulky specimens may be accommodated.
scapulomancy
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: scapulimancy
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Divination method used in ancient China, consisting of burning of shoulder blades of domesticated animals and interpretation of the cracks caused by the fire. It was widespread in North America and Eurasia.
sextant
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An instrument for measuring the angular distance of objects, and particularly used for navigation by noting the position of the stars.
shaft-and-chamber tomb
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A tomb in which the burials are laid in a side chamber opening from the bottom of a pit.
shaman
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A medicine man in societies, often believed to have supernatural powers, who is capable of healing - or harming. A shaman receives an "inner call" to this vocation or receives the office through heredity. The shaman is called upon to mediate with the spirit world on the community's behalf in times of sickness. The shaman presides over rituals and may also be responsible for the keeping of laws and the continuity of traditions. Shamanism is the dominant element in the religion of most known arctic and subarctic (Siberian and Ural-Altaic) hunter-gatherers. Most shamans are male. This religious ideology may be north Asian in origin.
shaman's bundle
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A parcel of sacred objects, often used in magic and/or curing by a shaman, who is a person who is regarded as having healing powers derived from supernatural sources.
sidescan sonar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: side-scan sonar, side-scan sonograph, side-scanning sonar
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A survey method used in underwater archaeology which provides the broadest view of the sea-floor and its texture. An acoustic emitter is towed behind a vessel and sends out sound waves in a fan-shaped beam. These pulses of sonic energy are reflected back to a transducer and recorded on a rotating drum.
significance level
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: The probability of a type I error or willingness to reject a true hypothesis.
significant digits
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: All of the certain digits in a measurement plus the first uncertain one.
simple random sampling
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A probabilistic sampling technique in which each sample unit has a statistically equal chance for selection. The areas to be sampled are chosen using a table of random numbers.
single-layer plan
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of recording the essentials of each unit of stratification on an individual plan. The basics are its boundary contour, some elevations, its areas of disturbance, and its layer number.
site catchment analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: SCA; site-catchment analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of reconstructing the economy of a site by studying the resources that are available within a reasonable distance, generally 1-2 hours' walking time from the site. The technique was devised by E. Higgs and C. Vita-Finzi for 'the study of the relationship between technology and those natural resources lying within economic range of individual sites', an extension of the least-cost principle. The catchment area is defined by drawing a circle around the site; the radius has often been set at 5 km (i.e. an hour's walk) for agriculturists and 10 km (i.e. two hours' walk) for hunter-gatherers, figures which represent ethnographically observed averages. Within the catchment area the proportions of such resources as arable or pastoral land are calculated, and from these figures conclusions can be drawn concerning the nature and function of the site. The technique offers a valuable and reasonably objective method for analyzing relationships between site location, technology, and available resources. This type of off-site analysis can concentrate on the total area from which a site's contents have been derived.
site plan
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A specially prepared map for recording the horizontal provenience of artifacts, food remains, and features - keyed to topographic maps. Such a map may be designed to depict a specific detail within a site, usually a single feature or group of features.
skeletal analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The examination of surviving human bones for information, such as the racial affinities, the blood group, etc. The skeleton's sex will be shown clearly by the pelvis and, with less certainty, by the skull. The age at death will appear from the state of fusion of the long bone epiphyses and skull sutures, and the eruption and wear of the teeth. The bones may show signs of injury or disease (palaeopathology). All this information has greater value when many associated skeletons can be studied as a population rather than as individuals.
slash and burn
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: slash-and-burn agriculture, swidden agriculture (North American), shifting cultivation, roza (Spanish American), Brandwirtschaft (German), slash and burn agriculture, swidden agriculture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A primitive and widespread form of agriculture in which forest was cleared by chopping and burning small trees. It is one of the earliest forms of cultivation. The clearance would be followed by planting of crops in the clearance - seeds planted in holes poked into the ashes - and their harvesting and replanting for a few years. Without fertilizers, however, the land soon loses its nutritional value and the clearance must be left fallow, to grow over again, while other areas of forest are cleared. A return to the original plot may be made after a reasonable length of time, hence it is also called shifting cultivation and cyclic agriculture. In temperate regions it is a wasteful method since soil fertility and crop yields, though initially high, decline rapidly, after which a new stretch of forest must be cleared.
social anthropology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cultural anthropology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The British equivalent of cultural anthropology.
social organization
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The structural hierarchy of a society, first divided into smaller social units, called groups, within which are recognized social positions, or statuses. The term also refers to appropriate behavior patterns for these positions, or roles.
sociocultural anthropology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: A subfield of anthropology dedicated to the scientific study of human culture and society in contemporary and historically recent human populations or the analytic study of culture and society.
soil analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pedology
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study of soil and subsoil to determine climate, vegetation, and human disturbance. It is used to assist the interpretation of deposits. Tools are primarily mechanical grading of particle size, determination of soil color, chemical tests like phosphate analysis, and pollen analysis.
spatial analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The statistical study of concentrations of human activity in a defined space; the systematic study of spatial patterning in archaeological data. Distribution maps showing artifacts or sites have long been used in archaeology, but spatial analysis adds rigorous mathematical and statistical techniques for examining such maps. Techniques adapted from modern geography include locational analysis for the study of settlement patterns, and the use of distance-decay functions, linear regression analysis, and trend-surface analysis for exploring the distribution of artifacts.
specific analogy
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An analogy used in archaeological interpretation based on specific comparisons documented within a single cultural tradition.
spectrographic analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Method for quantitative analysis of small samples of various compounds which has high accuracy. It involves passing the light refracted from a sample through a prism or diffraction grating that spreads out the wavelengths of trace elements into a spectrum. This enables the identification of different trace elements and depends on the fact that light emitted by any element on volatilization shows a characteristic pattern when split by a prism into its spectrum. The elements present can be measured by the intensity of the lines in comparison with control spectra of known composition produced under the same conditions. A small sample can be used, less than 10 milligrams, making the method particularly suitable for archaeological material. The method has been used especially for metal analysis, giving useful information on technology and sources of the raw materials, and also for glass, faience, pottery, and obsidian.
sphere of exchange
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In non-market societies, the prestige valuables and ordinary commodities were often exchanged separately. Valuables were exchanged for valuables in prestige transactions. Commodities, however, were exchanged for commodities unceremoniously, in mutually profitable barter transactions.
split inheritance
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Andean practice by which the successor to the throne inherited only the office of the dead ruler; his junior kinsmen received the lands, palace, and personal wealth of the dead ruler.
spout and bridge pot
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: spout-and-bridge vessel
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A distinctive closed vessel with two spouts connected by a strap handle, popular in southern coastal Peruvian cultures with antecedents in the Initial Period ceramics of the Hacha complex. Typically it is a closed kettle-shaped vessel, but its defining characteristic is a pair of vertical tubular spouts joined to each other by a strip or bridge. Sometimes, however, one spout terminates as a whistle or as a modeled life figure. It was particularly popular with the Nasca and Chimu but has been found in many other New World contexts (e.g. Paracas).
square-shank concrete nail
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A nail used to fasten furring strips and brackets to concrete walls and floors
stable isotope analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: stable carbon isotope analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique for reconstructing past diets (plant foods) by analyzing the isotopic ratios, particularly carbon and nitrogen, contained in human bone. Human remains are analyzed for a measurement of the ratio between 13C and 12C isotopes in ancient human bone collagen.
stance
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: The position that orients a vessel the way it would typically be when resting on a surface, usually with the rim horizontal.
stance line
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: The line representing the horizontal plane in the illustration of pottery.
standard deviation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The natural statistical distribution of a series of measurements around an arithmetic mean value; a measure of the scatter (variability, dispersion, spread) about the mean in a distribution. In archaeology, it is used in association with chronometric dating techniques like radiocarbon dating, where each measurement is a calculation of date for the sample, and the final date given, e.g. 2,400 ? 200, is a statistical description of a 'real' date. The standard deviation (?) as quoted means that there is a 66% chance of the real date lying within that range (for the above example, between 2,600-2,200). For greater probability, the date must be taken to two standard deviations (there is a 95% certainty that the date lies between 2,800-2,000) or three standard deviations (99% certainty). A single date with a relatively large error is generally of less use than a series of dates from the same context, which may show a clustering around a central date.
standard error
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: SE
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: The standard deviation divided by the square root of the sample size.
standardized form
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: Any preformatted information sheet to be completed in the field for recording archaeological data, especially during data acquisition, data processing, and analysis.
standing section
CATEGORY: technique; feature
DEFINITION: A section on the face of a balk which is left standing during the course of an excavation.
standing wave technique
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An acoustic method, similar to bosing, used in subsurface detection.
stem-and-leaf plot
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A graph used in exploratory data analysis that mimics a histogram without losing any information.
strangulated blade scraper
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Long blade tool with a retouched notch on one or both sides. Possibly used as a wood-working tool like a modern spokeshave. Characteristic of the AURIGNACIAN.
strap handle
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: On ceramic vessels a strap handle is one made from a strip of clay that is shaped by hand and then attached to the body of the pot at two points before firing.
stratified random sampling
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: stratified sampling; stratified sample
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A probabilistic sampling technique used to cluster and isolate sample units when regular spacing is inappropriate for cultural reasons. The region or site is divided into natural zones or strata, such as cultivated land and forest, and units are then chosen by a random-number procedure to give each zone a number of squares proportional to its area, thus overcoming the inherent bias in simple random sampling. In stratified sampling, the population is divided into classes and simple random samples are drawn from each class.
strict random sampling
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The use of random number methods in the selection of locations for archaeological testing and exploraiton to the exclusion of all other methods.
stylistic analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Artifact analysis focused on form and function as well as the decorative styles used by the makers, used very often for ceramics.
subangular blocky
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Pertaining to grain surfaces that are both flat and rounded with most vertices rounded and both l/w and s/w ratios not much greater than 1.0.
sugar cane
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Grasses which contain a sweet syrup in their coarse fibrous stems. It is believed that they were first used by man in the New Guinea region in an early phase of Austronesian settlement c 3000 BC.
swan's neck pin
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Style of pin made of bronze or iron in the 1st millennium BC in the British Isles, distinctive in having three bends in the upper part to create an S-shaped head.
symbolic anthropology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: A research perspective which gives prime attention to the role of symbols in society. Culture is a system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms which are used to communicate and develop knowledge and attitudes. The function of culture then is to impose meaning on the world and make it understandable. The role of symbolic anthropologists is to try to interpret the guiding symbols of each culture. In this view, culture becomes a public phenomenon transcending the cognitive realization of any single individual. This field is based mainly on the work of Clifford Geertz.
symbolic language
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Language as a communications system characterized by (1) the use of a finite number of symbols, including sounds, to create an infinite number of words, sentences, and ideas; (2) displacement where topics can deal with the past or future and thus are not limited to the present time and space; (3) arbitrary in that the actual symbols utilized need not bear any relationship to reality; and (4) learned behavior.
symmetry analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A mathematical analytical approach to the decorative style of symmetry. Patterns are divided into two distinct groups or symmetry classes: 17 classes for those patterns that repeat motifs horizontally, and 46 classes for those that repeat them horizontally and vertically. Such studies suggest that the choice of motif arrangement within a particular culture is very important.
systematic random sampling
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of random sampling in which only two random numbers are used - a random starting number and a random interval number.
talisman
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A charm or fetish thought to produce unusual, extraordinary happenings. The object often bears a sign or engraved character and is thought to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortune. A talisman may be worn to protect a person from dangers.
tang
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Narrow projection or prong from the base of a tool or weapon which could be used to secure it to a handle or shaft.
tanged point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A projectile point of flint or stone, typically of triangular or leaf-shaped form, with a small projection at the base for the secure attachment to a wooden shaft.
tanged point culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A term once used for any of a series of cultures of the Postglacial period whose tool kits include small tanged or shouldered points, e.g. the Ahrensburgian and Hamburgian.
tangential
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A view or slice that is tangent to the vertical surface of a pot or cylindrical surface of a tree or branch.
tank
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A large container or reservoir for liquids or gases.
tankard
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mug
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A single-handled drinking vessel with vertical or only slightly angled side walls.
technological analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study of technological methods used to make an artifact.
terminus ante quem
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: TAQ; t.a.q.
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: Latin phrase meaning 'the end before which' - the date before which a stratum, feature, or artifact must have been deposited. The term is used either to define a relative chronological date for artifacts or provide fixed points in a site's stratigraphy. If a deposit can be securely dated by material found in it - for example, coins dating to the 2nd century AD found above a layer would provide that deposit with a terminus ante quem of the 2nd century AD. In some circumstances, such a 'date' may be combined with a terminus post quem from an earlier phase to produce a date range for the intervening deposit. This type of dating is used to show that something cannot be later than, or earlier than, something else.
therianthrope
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Depiction in rock art combining aspects of two or more species, especially a human and an animal.
thermal analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: thermoanalysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any technique used to get information on the physical or thermodynamic properties in which heat is involved; in archaeology, especially to obtain information on the firing temperature of pottery and other clay objects. The techniques include boiling, freezing, solidification-point determinations; heat of fusion and heat of vaporization measurements; distillation, calorimetry, and differential thermal, thermogravimetric, thermometric, and thermometric titration analyses.
thermal infrared multispectral scanner
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A remote sensing technique using equipment mounted in aircraft or satellite to measure infrared thermal radiation given off by the ground; with sensitivity to 0.1 degrees Celsius, it can locate subsurface structures by how they affect surface thermal radiation
thermoremnant magnetism
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A magnetic moment induced into an item by heat.
tlatoani
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The Nahuatl (Aztec) term for ruler, the head of the state. All household heads owed allegiance, respect, and tax obligations to the tlatoani. It was mostly an inherited position; in some areas, succession passed from father to son; in others, the succession went through a series of brothers and then passed to the eldest son of the eldest brother. In still other states, the office was elective, but the choice was limited to sons or brothers of the deceased ruler. The ruler lived in a large, multiroom masonry palace inhabited by a number of wives, servants, and professional craftsmen. He was carried in a sedan chair in public and held considerable power: appointing bureaucrats, promoting to higher military status, organizing military campaigns, and distributing of booty and tribute. He also owned private estates with serfs, was the final judge in legal cases, was titular head of the religious cult, and head of the town market.
trace element analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The use of quantitative chemical techniques, such as neutron activation analysis or X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, for determining the elements present in a mineral in minor proportions. These methods are widely used in the identification of raw material sources for metal, clay, obsidian, etc. Trace elements emit characteristic wavelengths of light when heated to incandescence.
tranchet
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: tranchet ax; tranchet axe; tranchet technique; tranchet flake
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A large Mesolithic or Neolithic chisel-ended flint artifact with a sharp straight cutting edge, produced by the removal of a thick flake at a right angle to the main axis of the tool. The technique was used for the manufacture of axes and adzes and allowed a blunted tool to be resharpened by removing another flake from across the edge. The tranchet technique has two definitions: 1) the removal of a large flat flake from the tip of a biface to form a straight cutting edge from the edge of the tranchet flake scar or, 2) the technique used to create or resharpen the ax or adze's cutting edge.
tranchet technique
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The tranchet technique has two definitions: 1) the removal of a large flat flake from the tip of a biface to form a straight cutting edge from the edge of the tranchet flake scar or, 2) the technique used to create or resharpen the ax or adze's cutting edge.
transaction time
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: The time and date when a database record was entered or modified.
transcription
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: Any rewriting of a text from another script according to the conventions of one's own script.
transect
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An arbitrary sample unit which is a linear corridor of uniform specified width; a linear. A straight line or narrow sections through an archaeological site or feature, along which a series of observations or measurements is made.
transept
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In church architecture, the transverse part of a cruciform church at right angles to the nave; a transverse nave, passing in front of the choir, and crossing the longitudinal or central nave of the church.
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A type of gallery grave having side chambers resembling transepts; a variant of the megalithic gallery grave in which side chambers (transepts) open from the main burial chamber. These tombs are found only in three areas: near the mouth of the River Loire in France, in the Bristol Channel region (e.g. Severn-Cotswold), and in northwest Ireland. The three are in some way interrelated and all lie on western seaways linking Atlantic France with the British Isles. Some scholars regard those in France as variant passage graves, unrelated to the British Isles tombs.
transfer printing
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Colored paper impressions derived from inked templates applied to the surface of unfired or partially fired pottery.
transfer-print
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: transfer printing, transferprint
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A mass-production method of applying an image to a curved or uneven surface, most commonly used for printing on porcelain and other hard surfaced pottery
transformation
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: Expression of data in different units, typically nonlinear ones like the square root or logarithm of the measurements.
transformational process
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any process, natural or human-caused, that transforms an abandoned prehistoric settlement into an archaeological site over time. This includes the conditions and events that affect archaeological data from the time of deposition to the time of recovery.
transhumance
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Transhumance; Transhumant
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A subsistence practice which forms one aspect of seasonality of occupation; the transfer of cattle from summer to winter pasture and vice versa. It consists of the movement of farmers and their herds and flocks away from the winter settlement to upland pasture. Spring to autumn is spent on high pasture and in winter animals are taken to a main settlement, often in sheltered valleys, where fodder has been collected. This movement of farmers results in the occupation of two sites at different times of the year by the same group of people. In Europe and the Old World, the term is for pastoralist farmers and livestock. In the New World, the term is used for any animal-and-human migration. Identification of transhumance patterns is a focus of palaeoeconomy.
transit
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: transit theodolite
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A surveyor's instrument used to produce topographic or planimetric maps through the measurement of horizontal and vertical angles and horizontal distances. It is similar to a level, alidade, and theodolite and is used for the same purposes as a theodolite.
transitional
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A term used to describe an artifact that was utilized and manufactured across two or more cultural periods.
transliteration
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: The act or process of rewriting the characters or letters (signary) of one language into those of another used to represent the same sounds; writing in the closest corresponding characters of another alphabet or language. It is possible to reconstruct the original spelling from a transliteration, but not from a transcription.
translucent
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Chipped material that transmits a certain amount of light, usually indicating high quality
transmission electron microscopy
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique used to examine the internal and surface structure and microstructure of materials such as metals, ceramics, and stone. A type of electron microscope is used in which the specimen transmits an electron beam focused on it, image contrasts are formed by the scattering of electrons out of the beam, and various magnetic lenses perform functions analogous to those of ordinary lenses in a light microscope. The sample must be very thin for examination of its internal structure; this is achieved either by grinding and depositing the material on to carbon film, or by preparing thin foils of metallic or non-metallic material by electropolishing or ion-thinning techniques. It is possible to study in detail such things as the wear marks on stone tools or the techniques of potterymaking through examination of the surface.
transposed primary context
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In midden formation, a primary context resulting from depositional activities.
transverse arrowhead
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: petit-tranchet arrowhead
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Style of flint or stone projectile tip of trapezoidal outline in which the wider straight end forms the leading edge. Typical of the later Mesolithic in northern Europe.
transverse flaking
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A technique similar to oblique flaking, but the flake scars lie at right angles to the central line of the artifact.
transverse line
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An imaginary line extending across the center of a projectile, halfway between the distal tip and the basal edge
transverse plane
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The plane parallel to the stance of a pot or perpendicular to the longitudinal axis in a piece of wood.
transverse section
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A cross section where the cut is made parallel to the base line of the artifact drawing and the outline of the section keeps the front surface at the top
transverse striae
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Linear mark, ridge, or groove situated or extending across something
trend surface analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method used to make a generalized map from observed data and used to highlight the main features and important trends of a geographic distribution. Archaeological observations mapped are discontinuous and at isolated points and therefore must be used to give information over a wider area. This is done either by averaging the values at a number of points to produce a general value or by a form of linear regression analysis which finds the contours which best fit the observations plotted on the map. The map produced then shows a general trend of the distribution, along with localized fluctuations. The technique is most useful for displaying archaeological data in a simplified and generalized form, making it easier to examine and explain the broad regional trends and the local variations. It can be applied to several different artifact distributions at the regional level, and has also been used to describe the distribution of artifact types within a site.
trepanation
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: trepanning, trephining; trephination
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A surgical practice in which small sections of cranial bone are removed or a hole is made in a living human's head. It was used as an attempt to cure tumors, to relieve the brain of pressure after injury, cure headaches or epilepsy, or to cure insanity. It is clear that many subjects survived the operation, for in several cases the bone has started to regenerate, while in others there is evidence for successive trepanations. There are many prehistoric records of the practice, especially in Neolithic France and pre-Columbian Peru. The practice survives among some primitive peoples.
triangle
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A geometric microlith that has one side with a sharp cutting edge and two other sides shaped by backing
triangular
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A projectile, knife, preform or blade which has three sides or roughly has the shape of a triangle.
triangular loomweight
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Block of baked clay weighing around 1kg with a triangular outline and parallel sides cross-section with perforations through the corners for attachment to the warp threads on an upright loom during textile production. Generally later Bronze Age and Iron Age in date in the British Isles, these objects provide some of the earliest evidence of weaving.
triangulation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A surveying method used to measuring a large area of land by establishing a baseline from which a network of triangles is laid out. Triangulation is based on the laws of plane trigonometry, that if one side and two angles of a triangle are known, the other two sides and angle can be readily calculated. One side of the selected triangle is measured; this is the baseline. The two adjacent angles are measured by means of a surveying instrument (transit, theodolite), and the entire triangle is established. By constructing a series of such triangles, each adjacent to at least one other, values can be obtained for distances and angles not otherwise measurable. Triangulation can be used to plan features or significant finds whose exact position it is important to record.
tulang mawas
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Literally, "monkey bone" a long-shafted socketed iron ax of Iron Age peninsular Malaysia c 300 BC.
tunnel handle
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: subcutaneous handle
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: In pottery, a handle flush with the surface of the pot. It is usually produced by piercing two adjacent holes in the wall of the vessel before firing and adding a pouch of clay inside to prevent the contents from escaping. The feature was widely used around the western Mediterranean c 3500-2000 BC.
tympanum
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: tympanon
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The triangular space within a pediment, or the space between the top of a door and its surrounding arch. It is a vertical face which forms the rear of a pediment.
type-variety-mode analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: type-variety system
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A taxonomic classification of pottery based on stylistic attributes that defines a hierarchy of modes and varieties (minimal units), types, groups, complexes, and spheres (maximal units)
tzompantli
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Skull rack on which, in the Aztec and some other Mesoamerican cultures, the skulls of sacrificial victims were displayed.
underwater reconnaissance
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Geophysical methods of underwater survey. Some of these methods are: 1) towing a proton magnetometer behind a survey vessel to detect iron and steel objects, 2) using side-scan sonar that transmits sound waves in a fan-shaped beam to produce a graphic image of surface features on the sea-bed, and 3) using a sub-bottom profiler that emits sound pulses which bounce back from features and objects buried beneath the sea floor.
unit of analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The unit from which an archaeologist takes measurements.
upstanding layer
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A wall or other similar deposit of manmade origin.
upstanding layer interface
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: The face or original surface of an upstanding layer.
uranium dating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: uranium series dating, uranium series disequilibrium dating
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of dating based on measuring the rate of radioactive decay of uranium isotopes in bone and other organic remains to the stable isotope of lead. It has proved particularly useful for the period before 50,000 years ago, which lies outside the time range of radiocarbon dating. Each of the isotopes decays through a series of radioactive daughter isotopes until a stable isotope of lead is reached. Three daughter isotopes are created and decay with half-lives useful for dating: ionium, proactinium, and radium. Several uranium dating methods exist and material datable by these methods includes: aragonitic coral, speleothem, travertine, mollusk shell, marl, bone, teeth, caliche, calcretes, peat, wood, and detrital sediment.
uranium test
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A relative dating method used for bone. Calcium ions in the phosphatic mineral hydroxyapatite are gradually altered after burial into uranium ions as a result of uranium being in solution in the percolating groundwater. The longer bone has been in the ground, the more uranium will have been absorbed. The local environmental conditions affect the rate and therefore there is no universal rate which yields absolute dates. The uranium is radioactive and the emitted beta particles are measured using a Geiger counter. The method is much less destructive than the chemical analyses required for the nitrogen and fluorine tests.
urban revolution
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Urban Revolution
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term applied to a sociocultural type or stage of human development. V. Gordon Childe proposed that the criteria for the urban revolution are: (1) cities, or large, dense settlements; (2) the differentiation of the population into specialized occupational groups; (3) social classes, including a ruling stratum exempt from primary subsistence tasks; (4) mechanisms for extracting a social surplus such as taxes or tribute; (5) monumental public buildings and other enterprises; and (6) writing.
urbanization
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The clustering of large numbers of people into cities, though there is no clear-cut line between large towns and cities, both being characterized by very high population densities. In southeast Europe, urbanization seems to have begun by 4000 BC, in Greece leading eventually to growth of Mycenaean civilization, in Italy (early 1st millennium BC) to Etruscan civilization, etc. Many civilizations, e.g. the Maya, with large ceremonial centers, have wrongly been called "urban.
use-wear analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: edge-wear analysis; usewear analysis; microwear analysis; use wear analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The examination and study of the edges and surfaces of artifacts, mainly stone tools, to determine the type of wear they have experienced and thus the tasks for which they were used. Microscopic analysis is used to detect signs of wear on working edges.
utilitarian function
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: The physical functions of artifacts distinguished form symbolic or ideological functions.
vaisselle blanche
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of ceramics made in the Aceramic Neolithic (PPNB) of Syria, Lebanon, and east bank of the Jordan River. It was white, made from lime mixed with ashes, air-dried, and sometimes painted in bands.
variance
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: The sum of the squared differences between each observation and the mean.
variant
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A term used in projectile typology to describe a variation of a type.
waranqa
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A part of the Inca empire that was used for administrative purposes, comprised of 1000 taxpayers.
warming pan
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A pan with a long handle which would be filled with coals and drawn over sheets to warm a bed.
warp and weft
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In weaving, the warp constitutes the foundation threads that run lengthwise over and through which the weft crosses at right angles. The weft are the horizontal threads that interlace through the warp. Warp provides the fairly rigid foundation in basketry and weft is the more flexible stitching.
warranting argument
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An argument used to support assumptions about the way the world works, employed by archaeologists to support interpretations of empirical observations.
wattle-and-daub
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: wattle; wattle and daub
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A building technique in which walls were made by plastering mud (daub, possibly with sand and plant fibers) over a lattice of branches and sticks (wattle). Interwoven twigs or thin split timbers were used. Though the wattle does not normally survive, its imprint is frequently preserved on the daub. It was used for, among other things, house walls, ovens, hurdles, fencing, and simple pottery kilns.
wetland
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: Low-lying land saturated with moisture, such as a marsh or swamp.
working range
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Variable amounts of water that may be added to a dry clay to make it satisfactorily plastic
xoanon
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A wooden image so unlike marble sculpture that it was supposed to have fallen from heaven and was deeply revered. Such an image of Athena was housed in the Erechtheum on the Athenian Acropolis and dressed in a new robe (peplos) at her great Panathenaic festival every fourth year.
yardang
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Elongate, eroded landform resembling the hull of an inverted boat. It is created by wind erosion of weakly consolidated rocks and often has smooth, rounded intermittent troughs. They are usually associated with deserts.

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