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.
achieved status or achieved leadership
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (antonym: ascribed status) CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: An individual's social standing and prestige or leadership gained through accomplishments and abilities rather than inheritance.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A place where a specific ancient activity was located or carried out, such as food preparation or stone toolmaking. The place usually corresponded to one or more features and associated artifacts and ecofacts. In American archaeology, the term describes the smallest observable component of a settlement site. See data cluster.
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.
Alfred the Great (849-899)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aelfred CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: King of Wessex, 871-899, a Saxonkingdom in southwestern England. He prevented England from being conquered by the Danish and promoted literature, learning, and literacy -- helping to begin an artistic renaissance that flourished for two centuries. Our knowledge of him is known from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, begun during his reign c. 890, and the biography written by his friend and teacher Asser. Alfred succeeded to the throne in 871 and fought off invading Danes before being forced to flee in 877. He returned to drive the invaders from his kingdom. Alfred also established the first English fleet and organized a chain of fortified towns on the southern coasts for protection.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: amphitheater CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A large-scale Roman arena open to the elements and surrounded by tiers of seats. They were constructed for exhibiting gladiatorial and other public spectacles (military displays, combats, and wild beast fights) to the populace. The earliest were oval and built of wood, later changing to stone construction. Rome's Colosseum has tiered galleries 2-3 stories in height and has provision for covering the arena with shades to protect against rain or sun. Roofing of so wide an expanse was beyond Roman technology. The arena of the Colosseum had a false timber floor, below which there was a labyrinth of service corridors. The animal cages were situated here, linked with pre-tensioned lifts and automatic trapdoors so that participants and animals could be sent up to the floor of the arena with speed and precision. Somehow Roman engineers staged the grand opening by flooding the arena for a full-scale sea battle. Amphitheatres accommodated a great number of spectators (possibly more than 50,000 at the Colosseum). The Romans derived their ideas from the classic Greek theater and stadium and the model was widely copied throughout the Roman empire. It could be erected on any terrain and set inside an urban center. An early example of the Republican period is at Pompeii the Colosseum is of the Imperial model. The fortress of Caerlon and the towns of Caerwent, Cirencester, Colchester, Dorchester, Richborough, and Wroxeter are some British places which had amphitheatres.
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.
Andean Hunting-Collecting tradition
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A traditiondating 6000-4000 BC, characterized by seasonal changing of residence and a trend toward specialization in certain regions of the Andes.
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.
Anse au Meadow, L'
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the northern peninsula of Newfoundland that is the only known Vikingsettlement 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Apameia; Apamea ad Maeandrum CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city in Hellenistic Phrygia on the Orontes River, partly covered by modern Dinar. Originally a Macedonian colony founded by Antiochus I Soter in the 3rd century BC, it became a Seleucid city superseding Celaenae and commanding the east-west trade route of the Empire. In the 2nd century BC, Apamea passed to Roman rule where it became capital of the Syria Secunda province. It became a great center for Italian and Jewish traders, but it declined by the 3rd century AD and trade was diverted to Constantinople. The Turks captured the town in 1070 and it was devastated by an earthquake in 1152.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (fr Greek Aramaios, Syria") 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 Semiticlanguage, Aramaic, became the international language of the Near East by the 8th century BC, replacing Akkadian. Aramaic was written in the Phoenicianscript and was the diplomatic and vernacularspeech 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.
CATEGORY: flora DEFINITION: Concerning trees. In pollen analysis, arboreal pollen types are distinguished from shrub pollen and herbaceous pollen.
CATEGORY: flora DEFINITION: Pollen from trees.
Archéodrome de Beaune
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A museum of reconstructed buildings and experimental archaeology founded in 1978 in Côte d'Or, France. There is a Palaeolithic encampment, a Neolithic house, and Roman siege works.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A sector of units of excavation that consists of a group of closely related, usually contiguous, squares. The numbering of Areas is by capital letters, e.g., Area A, Area M, etc., and squares by Arabic numbers, Area A, Square 1. In some systems of excavation what is an Area in the above description is called a field, and instead of the smaller unit of squares already described, that unit is called an area, e.g., Field 1, Area 1.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: extensive excavation, open excavation, open-area excavation CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method of excavation in which the full horizontal extent of a site is cleared and large areas are open while preserving a stratigraphic record in the balks between large squares. A gradual vertical probe may then take place. This method is often used to uncover houses and prehistoricsettlement patterns. Areaexcavation involves the opening up of large horizontal areas for excavation, used especially where single period deposits lie close to the surface. It is the excavation of as large an area as possible without the intervention of balks and a gridsystem. This technique allows the recognition of much slighter traces of ancient structures than other methods. On multi-period sites, however, it calls for much more meticulous recording since the stratigraphy is revealed one layer at a time.
CATEGORY: measure DEFINITION: An average; a measure of central tendency calculated by dividing the sum of observations by the number of observations.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: projectile point, arrow-head CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A small object of bone, metal, or stone that has been formed as the pointed end of an arrow for penetration and is often found at sites of prehistoric peoples. The earliest known are Solutrean points of the Upper Palaeolithic. Arrowheads are often the only evidence of archery since the arrowshaft and bow rarely survive. The term projectile point is generally preferable because it avoids an inference regarding the method of hafting and propulsion. Most often, arrowheads were placed in a slot in the shaft, tied, then fixed with resin.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A carved human figured serving as a decorative or supporting column
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Early bow and arrow projectile point 100 AD-500 AD.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: axehead CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The cutting or chopping part of an axe.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: axehead roughout CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An unfinished, roughly shaped axehead.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The damage that can occur to artifacts and ecofacts during excavation, transportation, and cataloging.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: [Khmer 'the citadel of the ladies'] 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.
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 arrowtip to its shaft and usually projects slightly below the ends of the barbs.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: a stone, wood, or other hard material which was used in the Precolumbian period to soften bark for making clothing or architecture
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Type of leaf-shaped socketed spearhead of the European middle Bronze Age which has two small holes or loops at the base of the blade, one either side of the socket. It is assumed that these were to assist in securing the metal spearhead to the wooden shaft, but they might also have been used to tie streamers of some kind to the top of the spear.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A late Iron Age parade shield found in the River Thames at Battersea, England. It was a fine example of insular Celtic Art, with an elongated bronzebody with rounded ends and decorated in relief and with red glassinlay.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Style of decorated middle Neolithicpottery found in western parts of Scotland and classified by Stuart Piggott into three groups: unornamented bag-shaped bowls (A); decorated carinated bowls with a rim diameter less than the diameter at the carination and incised or channeled ornament (B); and small bowls with panel ornament in fine whipped cord (C).
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A small, circular, tubular, or oblong ornament with a perforated center; usually made from shell, stone, bone, or glass.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: beaded rim CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A rim in the form of a small, roundedmolding, in section at least two-thirds of a circle. It was often used on bowls, dishes, and jars.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Decorative work made of beads
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bell beaker (see also funnel beaker, protruding foot beaker) CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A simple pottery drinking vessel without handles, more deep than wide, much used in prehistoric Europe. The pottery was usually red or brown burnished ware, decorated with horizontal panels of comb- or cord-impressed designs. It was distributed in Europe from Spain to Poland, and from Italy to Scotland in the years after 2500 BC and the international bell-beaker is particularly widespread, though uncommon in Britain. In Britain there are local variants, the long-necked (formerly A) beakers of eastern England and the short-necked (formerly C) beakers of Scotland. There are local developments elsewhere, such as the Veluwe beakers in Holland. Beaker vessels are commonly found in graves, which were often single inhumations under round barrows; commonly associated finds include copper or bronze daggers and ornaments, flint arrowheads, stone wristguards, and stone battle-axes. In many northern and western areas its users were the first to start coppermetallurgy. The widespread distribution of beaker finds has led to the frequent identification of a Beaker people and speculations about their origins.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Beaker Folk, Beaker culture; Bell Beaker culture CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A widespread Late Neolithic European people of the third and second millennium BC named after the characteristic bell-shaped beakers found buried with their dead. These people spread a knowledge of metalworking in central and western Europe from c 2500-2000 BC. They first came to Britain between 1900-1800 BC in successive waves, via Holland, from the Rhineland. Their origins are uncertain, with theories of them being the Battle-Ax people from south Russia and Spanish Megalithic people from Almeria or from Portugal and Hungary. They were copper and bronze workers and famous for their great collective tombs. The assemblages of grave goods -- decorated pottery, fighting equipment (arrowheads, wristguards, daggers) -- were characteristic of the people, who lived in small groups mainly by major river routes as they were known traders. Burial was by contracted inhumation in a trench, or under a round barrow, or as a secondary burial in some form of chamber tomb. Each burial was accompanied by a beaker, presumably to hold drink, probably alcoholic, for the dead man's last journey.
CATEGORY: flora DEFINITION: The seeds or pods 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.
CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: A large carnivore of the family Ursidae, closely related to the dog (family Canidae) and raccoon (Procyonidae). The bear is the most recently evolved of carnivores and it appears to have diverged from the dogfamily during the Miocene. It evolved through such forms as the Pliocene Hyaenarctos (of Europe, Asia, and North America), into modern types such as the black and brown bear (Ursus). Today's bears are of three groups: the brown bears, the black bears, and the polar bear. Occasional finds of fossil polar bear bones outside the Arctic Circle are presumably related to the presence of pack ice and ice shelves at the edges of ice sheets during glaciations. Brown bears existed in Europe and Asia during the late Quaternaryperiod. One very large variant evolved in Europe, the 'Cave Bear', whose fossils are quite common in Quaternary cave deposits.
CATEGORY: measure DEFINITION: A direction or relative position; a horizontal direction expressed in degrees east or west of a true or magnetic north or south direction.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: In music, a wooden or metal object used to provide a rhythm by striking another object; otherwise, A general tool used to beat objects with.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hammer-and-anvil technique, paddling CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A technique to thin and even out the walls of coil- or slab-built vessels after they have partially hardened to leather" hardness to improve the bonding between coils or add surface texture. One holds an anvil or fist inside the vessel while the outside is struck repeatedly with a paddle which can be wrapped with cord or fabric to add texture to the vessel surface."
Beazley, Sir John Davidson (1885-1970)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A British antiquarian who identified much Athenian pottery by the names of the craftsmen who made them.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A feature constructed into bedrock that does not fit any other featuretype.
CATEGORY: ceramics; culture DEFINITION: A type of pottery vessel found all over western and central Europe from the final Neolithic or Chalcolithic, c 2500-1800 BC. The culture's name derives from the characteristic pottery which looks like an inverted bell with globular body and flaring rim. The beakers were valuable and highly decorated. They are often associated with special artifacts in grave assemblages, including polished stone wristguards, V-perforated buttons, and copper-tanged daggers.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A coastal occupation site on Oahu, Hawaii, which has produced some of the earliest occupation dates (600-1000 AD) of the island group. The assemblage is of Early Eastern Polynesian type: shell fishhooks, stone adzes, and bones of dog, pig, and rat.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A particularly severe outbreak of plague which crossed Europe between 1347 and 1351 AD, probably a combination of bubonic and pneumonic plagues. It took a greater toll of life than any other known epidemic or war up to that time. A rough estimate is that 25 million people in Europe died from plague during the Black Death. The population of western Europe did not reach its pre-1348 level until the beginning of the 16th century.
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 peatbog 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.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The measurement of bones to compare size and shape between different individuals. The dimensions of skeletal structures can be taken using a variety of calipers and other measuring equipment. Multivariate analysis is one method of comparison which helps to identify and distinguish bones by species and sex and for studying the genetics of groups of animals. Much work has been done in human skull measurement to investigate genetic relationships of ancient populations.
Book of the Dead
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: The modern name given to a collection of ancient Egyptian mortuary texts made up of spells or magic formulas, placed in tombs and believed to protect and aid the deceased in the hereafter. The collection, literally titled The Chapters of Coming-Forth-by-Day received its present name from Karl Richard Lepsius, German Egyptologist who published the first collection of the texts in 1842. It was probably compiled and re-edited during the 16th century BC, and over half of the collection is comprised of the Coffin Texts dating from c 2000 BC and the Pyramid Texts dating from c 2400 BC. The Book of the Dead had numerous authors, compilers, and sources. Scribes copied the texts on rolls of papyrus, often with illustrations, and sold them to individuals for use in burials. Many copies of the book have been found in Egyptian tombs, but none contains all of the approximately 200 chapters. The choice of spells varies from copy to copy.
CATEGORY: database design DEFINITION: A dichotomous record of observation such as 1/0, present/absent, male/female.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Boreal Climatic Interval CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A climatic subdivision of the Holocene epoch, following the Pre-Boreal and preceding the Atlantic climatic intervals. Radiocarbon dating shows the period beginning about 9,500 years ago and ending about 7,500 years ago. The Boreal was supposed to be warm and dry. In Europe, the Early Boreal was characterized by hazel-pine forest assemblages and lowering sea levels. In the Late Boreal, hazel-oak forest assemblages were dominant, but the seas were rising. In some areas, notably the North York moors, southern Pennines and lowland heaths, Mesolithic man appears to have been responsible for temporary clearances by fire and initiated the growth of moor and heath vegetation.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of two villas that were suburbs of Rome, near Pompeii, with important and sumptuous artifacts and painted rooms dating c 40 BC. These include possessions of the great patrician families of Rome, such as paintings illustrating Dionysiac mysteries, jewels, and magnificent gold and silverhousehold furnishings. The cubiculum of one villa at Boscoreale is preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of New York City and other items are kept at the Louvre. Many of the rich hoards were accidentally saved by the volcanic catastrophe of 79 AD.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A coin, medal, dish or ornament made of thin, beaten metal -- usually gold or silver. These items were often disk-shaped -- hollow on the underside and convex on the upper.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bread-fruit CATEGORY: flora DEFINITION: The fruit of a tree in the South Sea islands that is about the size of a melon and whose whitish pulp (with the consistency of new bread) requires cooking before it can be eaten. The tree was probably first cultivated from the Philippines to New Guinea, and attained great economic importance in the Polynesian Islands, especially the Marquesas and Tahiti, about 1500-2000 years ago. The fruit was also dried or allowed to ferment, and could then be stored for several years in underground pits. In 1788, Captain William Bligh was attempting to take breadfruit saplings from Tahiti to the West Indies when the famous mutiny on HMS Bounty occurred.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Evidence of accidental damage to a stone tool that resulted in the loss of an appreciable part of an artifact (usually the distal or proximal part) and altered its length, width, or shape
Breasted, James Henry (1865-1935)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: American Egyptologist, archaeologist, and historian who excavated Megiddo (Armageddon), established ancient Egyptian historical periods, and founded University of Chicago's Oriental Institute (1919). Breasted promoted research on ancient Egypt and the ancient civilizations of western Asia as well as compiled a record of every known Egyptian hieroglyphicinscription and published a translation of these in a five-volume work, Ancient Records of Egypt" (1906). He led expeditions to Egypt and the Sudan (1905-1907) and copied inscriptions from monuments that had been previously inaccessible or were perishing. The Oriental Institute is a renowned center for the study of the ancient cultures of southwest Asia and the Middle East. His other books included "History of Egypt" (1905) and "Ancient Times" (1916) and "Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt" (1912). His excavation at Megiddo uncovered a large riding stable thought to have been King Solomon's and one at Persepolis yielded some Achaemenid sculptures."
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A piece of armor covering the chest
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of well-made barbed and tinged arrowhead, highly symmetrical in form, with graceful slightly concave or convex sides and flared barbs. The tang is the same length as the barbs. Characteristic of the early Bronze Age in northern France and southern Britain.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A burialsite along the coast south of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Excavations uncovered 200 burials over a span of 1300 years, with wide variations in burial practices, possibly related to age, sex and status. Red ochre was present in nearly all graves, while grave goods included bone, shell, and stone artifacts and tools.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: brown forest soil, brown earths CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: Brown forest soils that result from prolonged forestal conditions and which develops under mature deciduous woodland. Brown earths are thought to have covered most of the British Isles and temperate Europe under the great forests which existed during the middle of the present Interglacial. The soiltype is penetrated by tree roots and actively worked by earthworms to a considerable depth. The top is well-mixed mineralmaterial and humus. As a result of woodland cover being removed repeatedly, these soils are rare today.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: C 1720-1775, North Wales, The body of this earthenware is quite coarse because of the combination of two different types of clay in the process. The ware is made of layers of pink-firing and yellow clays. The combination of the two clays served to make the poor clays more workable. The ware is decorated with a black lead-glaze. The exterior fabric color on unglazed portions is purplish-red. The body exteriors are often heavily ribbed. When broken, the fabric interior exhibits the characteristic red and yellow layers.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A tall beaker shaped like a butt or barrel and having a small, everted rim. The body is usually decorated with cordons, rouletting, latticing, etc. Mid 1st century BC through to 1st century AD in date. Some were made in Gallo-Belgicia, others were locally made in Britain.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cherchel, Caesarea Palaestinae, Caesarea Maritima, Straton's Tower, Strato's Tower CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient port and administrative city of Palestine on the Mediterranean coast of present-day Israel. It is often called Caesarea Palaestinae or Caesarea Maritima to distinguish it from CaesareaPhilippi. It was originally an ancient Phoeniciansettlement known as Straton's (Strato's Tower) and was rebuilt and enlarged by Herod the Great around 22-10 BC, who renamed it for his patron, Caesar Augustus. Herod also rebuilt the harbor, which traded with his newly built city at Sebaste (Augusta) of ancient Samaria. There were Hellenistic-Roman public buildings and an aqueduct. After Herod died, it became the capital of the Roman province of Judaea. An inscription naming Pontius Pilate is one of the best-known from the site. The city became the capital of the Roman province of Judaea in AD 6. Jewish revolts and later Byzantine and Arab rule cause the city's decline.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of extremely regular and large (1-2 inches wide and up to 10-12 inches long) flintblade 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.
CATEGORY: artifact; geology DEFINITION: The place where a small amount of molten metal will run into the joint between the surfaces of the parts of the castingmold. In a bivalve or composite mold, this seepage results in a visible seam when the object is removed from the mold. It is usually filled and polished off; unfinished objects are often found with a visible seam or ridge.
CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: An extinct species of bear that lived 300,000-10,000 years ago in Europe and the Mediterranean. They could be up to 8 feet long and about twice the weight of modern European brown bears. They were vegetarian.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A layer of earth forming the old floor of a cave before the depositing of stalagmite. The term also describes cave deposits of shattered boulders and pebbles that occur from frost and weathering.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: The concave-shaped auditorium of an ancient open-air theater, which was often a semicircle of stone benches rising in tiers. A cavea might be divided, depending on the size of the building, into 1-3 distinct tiers, called upper, lower, middle (summa, ima, media cavea).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithicsite in eastern Romania with artifacts of bifacial foliates, sidescrapers, and endscrapers. Upper levels of backed blades are from the Gravettian.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chaldaea; Chaldaeans CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A land in southern Babylonia (modern southern Iraq) frequently mentioned in the Old Testament and first described by Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 884/883-859 BC). Its more important rulers were Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar, and Nabonidus, who ruled an empire from the Persian Gulf between the Arabian desert and the Euphrates delta. Nabopolassar in 625 became king of Babylon and inaugurated a Chaldean dynasty that lasted until the Persian invasion of 539 BC. The prestige of his successors, Nebuchadrezzar II (reigned 605-562) and Nabonidus (reigned 556-539), was such that Chaldean" became synonymous with "Babylonian" and Chaldea replaced Assyria as the main power in the Near East. "Chaldean" also was used by several ancient authors to denote the priests and other persons educated in the classical Babylonian astronomy and astrology and to the Aramaeantribe named for Kaldu which first settled in this area in the 10th century 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (French: Saucy Castle")" CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A 12th-century castle built by Richard the Lion-Heart on his return from the Third Crusade in 1196. Sitting on the Andelys cliff overlooking the Seine River in France, substantial portions of it still stand. Château Gaillard, the strongest castle of its age, guarded the Seine River valley approach to Normandy. It was successfully besieged by Philip II in 1204. The French isolated the fort with a double ditch, then collapsed part of the châtelet and penetrated the main fortress through the latrines.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Martigues CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large rock shelter northwest of Marseilles in southern France, with a series of deposits from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Neolithic. There was impressed ware and a radiocarbon date in the early 6th millennium BC. It was probably the site of the Roman camp, Maritima Avaticorum.
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 Acheulianindustry. The term Chellean, in the sense of earliest hand-ax culture, has been replaced by Abbevillianindustry. The industry was so-named in the 1880s, replacing the term Acheulian, which was eventually reinstated.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Early type of bronzesword found in southern Britain, having a leaf-shaped blade, flat section, and hilt tang. These were local copies of various imported weapons of Hallstatt A type from mainland Europe by Penard Period smiths.
Cheops (fl early 26th c BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kheops, Khufu, Khufwey, Khnomkhufwey CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: The second king of the 4th Dynasty (c 2575-2465 BC) of Egypt who erected the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is the largest of the three pyramids, the length of each side at the base averaging 755 3/4 feet (230.4 m) and its original height being 481 2/5 feet (147 m). Cheops/Khufu reigned c 2570 BC. His sons, Djedefre (Redjedef) and Chephren (Khafre), succeeded him.
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 archaeologicalpublication."
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of arrowtip, usually of flint or stone, that has a sharp straight cutting edge at right angles to the axis of the arrowshaft, rather than a point. Such arrowheads are believed to have been used for shooting birds.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A settlement site of the Early Neolithic Cris in the Olt Valley of southwestern Rumania, dating from the late 6th to mid-5th millennia BC. Four main occupation phases have been found, all of which are defined by rich painted ware assemblages. Level I has some of the earliest white-on-red painted pottery of the First Temperate Neolithic and the latest level has polychrome painted pottery of Starcevo-Cris.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: elephant's trunk beaker, Rüsselbecher CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Elaborate glass beakers dating from c 500 AD onward in Early Saxon graves and Frankish burials. Also called Rüsselbecher, the beakers have two superimposed rows of hollow, trunklike protrusions curving down to rejoin the wall of the vessel above a small buttonfoot. In form they are similar to free-standing conical beakers, but they are embellished by a series of unusual clawlike protrusions. In many cases the glass is tinted brown, blue, or yellow. The beakers were probably made in Cologne or Trier, Germany.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Any excavation designed primarily to reveal the horizontal and, by inference, functional dimensions of an archaeological site -- such as the extent, distribution, and patterning of buried data.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Property possessed by many minerals of breaking in certain preferred direction along smooth plane surfaces; property possessed by certain rocks of breaking with relative ease along parallel planes or nearly parallel surfaces. Rock cleavage is designated as slaty, phyllitic, schistose, and gneissic.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cleavage plane CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A surface formed by a separation of the rock along a natural cleavage plane or crack, esp. on quartz crystals, slate, petrified wood
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A heavy, large core or flaketool of the Palaeolithicperiod, typically having a wide, straight cutting edge at one end, like a modern ax head. Technologically it is related to the handax, and is often found as a component of Acheulian (esp. Upper Acheulian) handax industries. The sharp transverse cutting edge was almost always notched by use but never sharpened. Along with bifacial tools, it was one of the main instruments of Homo erectus. It is found mainly in Africa, where much of the flake surface is left unretouched. The axlike knife was used since the Middle Pleistocene era to cut through animal bone and meat.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The typical, usually metal, seal of the Bronze Age in western Central Asia and northern Afghanistan. Most often round, the seals' motifs were geometric or of objects of nature.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Type of Anglo-Saxonglass drinking vessel made in the form of an elongated cone. Mainly 5th to 7th century AD.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A feature deliberately built to provide a setting for one or more activities, such as a house, storeroom, or burial chamber.
Corded Beaker culture
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Late Neolithicculture in central and northern Europe from c 2800 BC, named after a characteristic cord-marked decoration found on pottery. The Corded beakerculture belongs to the so-called Battle-Ax cultures of Europe. There were two phases of new burial rites, with individual rather than communal burials and an emphasis on burying rich grave goods with adult males. The first phase, characterized by Corded Ware pottery and stone battle-axes, is found particularly in central and northern Europe. The second phase, dated to 2500-2200 BC, is marked by Bell Beaker pottery and the frequent occurrence of copper daggers in the graves; it is found from Hungary to Britain and as far south as Italy, Spain, and North Africa. At the same time, there was an increase in the exchange of prestige goods such as amber, copper, and tools from particular rock sources.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: Earthenware having a cream-colored glaze.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A flat edged blade used in leatherworking
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of bronze dress fastener characterized by a simple shaft with a short cross-piece set in the form of a T. Some examples have decoration on the upper part of the shank and head. Dating to the 15th century BC they are found in southern Britain in association with Wessex Culture II graves and on the continent in Rienecke A2 contexts.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Major anthropological subdivisions of the North American continent, characterized by relatively uniform environments and relatively similar cultures. It is a geographical region in which general cultural homogeneity is to be found, defined by ethnographically observed cultural similarities within the area. A culturearea is also a geographic area in which one culture prevailed at a given time. This concept was devised as a means of organizing museumdata. Examples are the Southwest, the Northwest Coast.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A feature that has been formed without deliberate construction or constraints. The feature results from accretion, for example, in a midden, or subtraction, for example, in a quarry.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Contained by or consisting of a curved line or lines: these designs employ flowing, curvilinear forms
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.
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: The first great Achaemenid king, who founded the Achaemenid empire after overthrowing the Medes and expanding westward through the mountains into Anatolia and eastward across the Iranian plateau into Central Asia. His capital was at Pasargadae (Persia), where his tomb survives. He is remembered as a tolerant and ideal monarch who was called father of his people by the ancient Persians and in the Bible as the liberator of the Jews captive in Babylonia. His successors extended the kingdom into Egypt, western India, and Macedonia.
Dead Sea Scrolls
CATEGORY: artifact; language DEFINITION: Ancient Hebrew manuscripts recovered from five cave sites in which they had been hidden at the northwest corner of the Dead Sea. They are believed to be the religious writings of the Essenes, a sect who in the 1st century BC and 1st century AD dwelt in a monastery at Khirbet Qumran. This material, first found in 1947, is extremely relevant to the origins of Christianity. The library included all the Old Testament texts as well as sectarian works. The scrolls, together with the excavations at Qumran, have provided much information about the beliefs and way of life of the Essenes. It is thought that the library was hidden in the cave in anticipation of the destruction of Khirbet Qumran by the Romans, which occurred in 67-73 AD. The manuscripts of leather, papyrus, and copper are among the more important discoveries in the history of modern archaeology. Their recovery has enabled scholars to push back the date of the Hebrew Bible to no later than 70 AD and to reconstruct the history of Palestine from the 4th century BC to 135 AD.
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.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The population of carcasses when members of a life assemblage die.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A cast of a person's face taken after death.
deep sea cores
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: deep sea core dating, deep-sea cores CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A technique used in the analysis of data from oceanic sediments in which the material retrieved by the core yields information on temperature changes in the ocean through time. These changes, suggestive of climatic variation, help to chart the progress of glaciation and, since they can be dated, the technique assists in the establishment of a chronology for the Quaternary. The cores, some 5 cm. in diameter and up to 25 m. deep, are extracted from the ocean floor. The sediments they contain have a high percentage of calcium carbonate content made up of the shells of small marine organisms and these sediments build up very slowly, from 10-50 mm per 1000 years, but their sequence is uninterrupted. Since these organisms have different temperature preferences depending on species, the relative abundance of the various species changes as the temperature alters. Variations in the ratio of two oxygen isotopes in the calcium carbonate of these shells give a sensitive indicator of sea temperature at the time the organisms were alive. Through the identification of the species, and by the use of oxygen isotope analysis, a picture can be built up of variations in temperature over the millennia. Since various forms of dating (radiocarbon dating, ionium dating, uranium seriesdating, palaeomagnetism, protactinium/ionium dating) can be used on the carbonate in the shells, absolute dates can be given to the different levels in the core. Thus dates emerge for glaciations and interglacial periods, which can assist in the age determination of archaeologicalmaterial found in association with these glacial phases. Problems with the technique are the difficulty of correlating oceanic temperature changes with continental glacial and interglacial phases, and the disturbance by animals living on the ocean bottom. The piston corer was developed in 1947.
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.
CATEGORY: measure DEFINITION: Measurement that can be compared with a standard scale, as on a ruler or Munsell chart.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A nail with an upper head projecting for removal, used for temporary work
CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: Mesopotamian / Sumerian (Enki) god of water and a member of the triad of deities completed by Anu (Sumerian An) and Bel (Enlil). From a local deity worshipped in the city of Eridu, Ea evolved into a major god, Lord of Apsu, the fresh waters beneath the earth. Ea, the Akkadian counterpart of Enki, was the god of ritual purification.
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-levelsequence 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.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Pointed or rounded projections from the base or haftingarea of certain projectile points.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ear-flare, eared (adj.) CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A large circular ear ornament, flared like the bell of a trumpet, which was often made of jade. The ear flare was an elaborate form of ear spool.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An ornament worn in the ear lobe, sometimes of such weight that the ear might be stretched to shoulder-length.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A large circular ear ornament, flared like the bell of a trumpet, which was often made of jade. The ear-flare was an elaborate form of ear spool.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: broad-eared, long-eared CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Having ears or earlike projections
Earlier Stone Age
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The first stage of the Stone Age in sub-Saharan Africa, dating from more than 2.5 million years ago to c 150,000 years ago. The earliest artifacts are representative of the Oldowan Industrial Complex, which was succeeded by the Acheulian Industrial Complex between c 1.5 million-150,000 years ago.
Early Archaic Percussion Pressure flaking
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of flaking in which the Preform was shaped by percussion flaking. The blade edges were ground to prepare a surface for the removal of elongate pressure flakes. The pressure flaking may have taken the form of alternate uniface bevel flaking, biface serration flaking, alternate biface bevel flaking or irregular pressure flaking.
Early Bronze Age
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period in the Levantdating to c 3200-1950 BC, just before Egypt's Archaic Period. Increasing urbanization was shown by the building of walled towns.
Early Dynastic period
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Archaic Period CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A chronological phase in southern Mesopotamia between c 2900-2330 BC, ending with the founding of the Dynasty of Akkad. It was also known as the Pre-Sargonid period. The Sumerian city-states flourished under their separate dynastic rulers -- Ur, Umma, Kish, and Lagash. The period is 3100-2450 BC on what is called the high chronology" (the other being the "medium chronology"). The term itself is derived from the Sumerian 'king list' which implies that Sumer was ruled by kings at this stage although archaeological evidence for the existence of kingship is meager before the middle of the period. Traditionally it is divided by archaeologists into three subdivisions -- ED I II and III -- each of approximately 200 years duration. The Royal Tombs of Ur belong the ED III period. The Early Dynastic phase shows clear continuity from the preceding Jemdet Nasr and represents a period of rapid political cultural and artistic development. Within the period the pictographic writing of the earlier period developed into the standardized cuneiformscript. This period represents the earliest conjunction of archaeological and written evidence for the history of southern Mesopotamia."
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period during which the Chavin culture flourished in the central Andes of South America and was integrated into the northern highlands and coastal region of Peru, c 900-1 BC (also said to be c 1200-300 BC). It is one of a seven-period chronological construction used in Peruvian archaeology. It coincides with the duration of the Chavin style and its derivatives, such as Cupisnique. Following this, there was regional differentiation culminating in the complex cultures of the Early Intermediate Period.
Early Intermediate period
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period of development of distinctive regional cultures in the central Andes of South America, c 1-600 AD (also said to be c 300-600 AD). The period was characterized by nationalism, full population, first large-scale irrigation works in coastal valleys, interregional warfare, construction of forts, craft specialization, social class distinctions, rise of first great Peruvian cities. Two of the better-known cultures are the Moche and Nasca civilizations. The Middle Horizon emerged from these expansions.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A basecampsite within modern Khartoum which provided the first clear picture of the so-called 'Aquatic Civilization'. The site had traces of sun-dried daub suggesting the presence of temporary structures. Fishing done with bone-headed harpoons was the economic basis of the settlement. Other artifacts include chipped and ground stone and pottery with 'wavy-line' decoration. Dates of 6th or 5th millennium BC seems probable; similar harpoons at Tagra, to the south, are dated to c 6300 BC.
Early Later Stone Age
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ESLA CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: An informal designation for the microlithic late Pleistocene Stone Age industry of some sites in South Africa. One such site is Border Cave, characterized by small backed pieces, bone points, ostrich eggshell beads, and incised bone and wood.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Paleo-Indian CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A term applied to the earliest stage in New World history, when man first appeared and started hunting and gathering. The period is characterized by large projectile points and percussion-chipped stone tools suitable for the slaughter and butchering of big game.
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.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A general term used to describe mixed material which dug from an excavation. Earth is not really the same as soil, which has a more precise definition, although earth may include material from soils in addition to material from other sources.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: earthlodge CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In American Midwest and East cultures, any woodstructure with an earthen covering used for shelter and ceremonies. They have hard-packed floors and/or postholes which are the remains of wall and roof supports.
CATEGORY: related field DEFINITION: Sciences concerned with the study of formation processes that affect the earth's surface.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: Ceramics fired at temperatures high enough for vitrification to begin.
earthwork or earthworks
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: Any early structure built from a mound or bank of earth, often created as fortification. In the plan of earthworks, the heads of the line of tadpoles" is the top or highest point."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: angleworm CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: Any of nearly 2000 species of terrestrial worms which act as one of the main agents by which plant litter, humus, and minerals are incorporated and mixed in soil. Earthworms are responsible for the maintenance and stability of various types of soil, especially the brown forest soils. The character of a soil may change markedly if the plant litter made by the vegetation changes to a kind which is unpalatable to earthworms. The effects of earthworm sorting may be seen on archaeological sites in the blurring of layers and the development of worm-sorted layers in the top of buried soils. Earthworms usually remain near the soil surface, but they are known to tunnel as deep as 6 feet during periods of dryness or in winter. Indirectly they provide food for man by aerating the soil, promoting drainage, and drawing organic material into their burrows where it decomposes faster, thus producing more nutritive materials for growing plants.
East Greek pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A type of pottery produced during the Archaic Period within the Greek islands an on the western coast of Turkey at Chios, Samos, Ephesus, Miletus, Clazomenae, and Rhodes.
East Midland burnished ware
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Type of Roman potterydating 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
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Koobi Fora CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An important site on the northeastern shore of Lake Turkana (Lake Rudolf) in northern Kenya for research into earliest man, with major contributions to knowledge of the Australopithecines and Hominids (Australopithecus boisei, A. africanus, and Homo habilis). There are sediments rich in fossils and volcanic layers of the 1-3 million year time range.
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 Mesolithicperiod. 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.
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 Chin Dynasty
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A phase of the Chin dynasty; the ruling house of Chinese origin controlling southeastern China from 317-420 AD when northern China was under rule of Turkic tribes. There are numerous tombs and Yueh Ware. It was one of the Six Dynasties of China.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithicindustry 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.
Eastern Zhou [Chou] period
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The latter part of the Zhoudynasty, from 770 BC to the extinction of the Zhou royal house in 256 BC. The term also refers to the period up to the founding of the Qindynasty in 221 BC.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Type of projectile head developed c. AD 500 as an arrowhead during the late Archaic Stage in the Great Basin and western interior of North America.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Emiran CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An early Upper Palaeolithicindustry of the Levantregion, 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pesedjet CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: Groups of nine deities, nine being the plural" of three (in Egypt the number three symbolized plurality in general) but some enneads had more than nine gods. The earliest and principal ennead was the Great Ennead of Heliopolis. This was headed by the sun god and creator Re or Re-Atum followed by Shu and Tefnut deities of air and moisture; Geb and Nut who represented earth and sky; and OsirisIsisSeth and Nephthys. Enneads are associated with several major cult centers."
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.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: feather fracture, feather-edged flaking, feathered (adj.) CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A gradual thinning of a lithicflake at the distal end to an extremely sharp point or edge.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An effect obtained by trailing a feather through wet slipdecoration in pottery-making
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A nonmoveable/nonportable element of an archaeological site. It is any separate archaeological unit that is not recorded as a structure, a layer, or an isolated artifact; a wall, hearth, storage pit, or burialarea are examples of features. A feature carries evidence of human activity and it is any constituent of an archaeological site which is not classed as a find, layer, or structure.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A flat piece of wood upon which a stick (drill) is twisted vigorously to start a fire.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: flat axehead CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An axehead of early Bronze Age date, made of copper or bronze, which is flat on both sides and generally lacks side flanges or other hafting aids.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: raised beach CATEGORY: geology; geography DEFINITION: A former beach, now situated above sea or lake level. Vertical displacement may be caused by isostatic crust changes or eustatic sea-level fluctuations.
Fourneau du Diable
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cave in the northern part of the Dordogne, southwest France, occupied during the Upper Palaeolithic, with Perigordian, Solutrian and Magdalenian deposits. It is one of only two sites where Solutrian art is well-exemplified.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: funnel-necked beaker culture; Funnel(neck) Beaker; Trichterbecher or TRB CATEGORY: ceramics; culture DEFINITION: A vessel with a globular body and expanded neck, characteristic of the Early and Middle Neolithicculture of northern Europe. The funnel beaker is not directly related to the bell-beaker of central and western Europe. The complexculture represents the first agriculturists in Scandinavia and the north European plain, appearing from 3500 BC onwards. It is named after the characteristic pottery, which is often found in megalithic tombs in northern Germany.
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.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A vertical-sided beaker, with horizontal bands of corrugations, cordons, or latticing. Of mid 1st century AD date. Some were Gallo-Belgic and others locally made in Britain. BUTT BEAKER.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Great Basin Desert CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A natural region of western North America, with rugged north-south mountains and broad valleys, covering 190,000 square miles. It is bordered by the Sierra Nevada Range on the west, the Wasatch Mountains on the east, the Columbia Plateau on the north, and the Mojave Desert on the south. Most of Nevada, the western half of Utah, and portions of other states lie within its boundaries.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hoxnian, Mindel-Riss CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A major division of the Pleistocene epoch, the warm interval between the Mindel and the Riss glaciations c 400,000-200,000 years ago.
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.
Great Rift Valley
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Rift Valley CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The main branch of the East African Rift system, an ancient geological feature where the action of earthquakes and volcanoes created ideal conditions for burying and preserving bones. Many early hominid fossil sites have been discovered in the Great Rift Valley. In the north, the rift is occupied by the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and the Gulf of Aqaba. It continues southward along the Red Sea and into the Ethiopian Denakil Plain to Lakes Rudolf (Turkana), Naivasha, and Magadi in Kenya. It continues through Tanzania southward through the Shire River valley and Mozambique Plain to the coast of the Indian Ocean near Beira, Mozambique.
Great Serpent Mound
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Large ritualearthmound in Ohio with the form of a curved serpent holding either an egg or a frog. The mound is associated with a nearby burial mound of the Adenaculture.
Great Silla Dynasty
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Unified Silla period CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: First unification of Korean peninsula under single rule (668-935 AD). The Unified Sillaperiod produced more granite Buddhist images and pagodas than any other period and the T'ang Dynasty of China exerted considerable influence over the culture.
Great Tombs period
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kofun CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period in Japanese history, 4th-7th century AD, known for round tombs covered by a mound with a square platform off to the side, making a keyhole shape. Towards end of period, tombs were very large and surrounded by a moat, and earthenware figures and models (Haniwa) were placed in a series of concentric rings around the tomb. Inside was a chamber of stone slabs, probably adopted from cist tomb of northeast Asia. Burial goods included bronze mirrors, Chinese-type swords, magatama (fine polished stone ornaments), and Sue Ware pottery.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Set of elite values and behaviors that emerge from folk traditions during the evolution of complex societies and that are expressed in distinctive rituals, art, writing, or other symbolic forms.
Great Wall of China
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A monumental building project which created a wall running (with all its branches) about 4,000 miles (6,400 km) west to east from Bohai Bay to a point deep in central Asia, the Tarim Basin. Parts of the vast fortification date from the 4th century BC. In 214 BC, the first emperor of a united China (Shih Huang-ti of the Qindynasty) connected a number of existing defensive walls into a single system fortified by watchtowers, which served both to guard the rampart and to communicate with the capital, Hsien-yang, by signal -- smoke by day and fire by night. The enemy against whom the Great Wall was built were the Hsiung-nu, the nomadic tribes of the northern steppes. The wall was originally made of masonry and rammed earth and was faced with brick on its eastern portion. It was substantially rebuilt in later times, especially in the 15th and 16th centuries. The basic wall is generally about 30 feet high, and the towers are about 40 feet high.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Late Iron Age site in southeastern Zimbabwe, by far the largest and most elaborate of the dry-stone constructions to which the term dzimbahwe is applied. After an Early Iron Age phase of 500-900 AD, the main sequence of occupation began around 1000 when Shona speakers occupied Zimbabwe Hill and began building stone walls around 1300. Great Zimbabwe was the capital of the Shona empire from 1270-1450 AD, which stretched from the Zambezi River to the northern Transvaal of South Africa and eastern Botswana. There was a classsystem and the kings accumulated wealth through trade, attested by items such as glass vessels and beads, pottery, and porcelain. Gold was the principal export; Great Zimbabwe appears to have been at the center of a network of related sites through which control was exercised over the gold-producing areas. Archaeologically, the culture is called the Zimbabwe Tradition and is divided into Mapungubwe, Zimbabwe, and Khami phases. In the 15th century the site declined with trade and political power shifting to the north near the Zambezi Valley.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A major architectural style of the Classic Maya lowlands, especially the use of polychrome painted stucco on wall surfaces.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A piece of armor designed to protect the part of the leg below the knee. It originally covered the shin only, but in medieval Europe there was also a closed greave which protected both the shin and the calf.
Gudea (fl 2100 BC)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A ruler of Lagash in the post-Akkadianperiod, c 2125 BC, known from the numerous inscribed statues of him at Tello. These are among the best-known objects of Sumerian art.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A series of industries in the coastal regions of West Africa during the last 10,000 years. Backed microliths akin to those manufactured in earlier times are associated with pottery and with ground stone ax- and hoe-like implements. One of the few well-described and dated occurrences is at Bosumpra near Abetifi in Ghana, where the occupation is dated between the 4th-2nd millennia BC. Because most of these peoples were nonliterate, there are few records up to c 1000 AD, when Arab historians began describing the western African region. By that time, it already had centralized states, agriculture, and long-distance trading routes.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A mortarium with a rim and flange that form a single unit, shaped like the head of a hammer, its centre meeting the body of the vessel at right angles.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: harpoon point CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The arming tip of a harpoon. generally classifiable into 2 main forms - toggling and barbed - each of which may be composite or single-piece, and may or may not carry additional cutting-blades or side-blades. Always have line-guards or other means of line attachment.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large cave site in Cyrenaica, Libya, with the most complete sequence, back to c 78,000 BC, of Upper Pleistocene and Holocene industries known from a single site in North Africa. The oldest flintindustry is a Libyan variant of the pre-Aurignacian (Libyan Amudian), and is followed successively by Levalloiso-Mousterian (60,000 years ago), Dabban (40,000 years ago), Oranian (18-16,000 years ago), Libyco-Capsian, and finally (from c 6800-6400) by Neolithic with pottery and domesticated animals. Based upon the striking of parallel-sided blades from prismatic cores, the earliest stage has clear affinities with broadly contemporary industries in Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. Its makers exploited both large game animals and seafood resources. There was a return to bladetechnology with the Dabbanindustry and the beginning of the Dabban occupation of Crenaica seems to have coincided with the onset of very arid conditions in the Saharan regions to the south. The Oranian had small backed bladelets.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A bison kill site in southern Alberta, Canada, with evidence of use from 3700 BC.
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.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The practice of removing and preserving human heads. Headhunting arises in some cultures from a belief in the existence of a material soul. Headhunting may go back to Paleolithic times, as in deposits of the Late PaleolithicAzilianculture found at Ofnet in Bavaria. In Europe, the practice survived until the early 20th century in the Balkan Peninsula.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A prehistoricsite in Tanana Valley, Alaska with four cultural layers starting c 11,000-10,000 bp. That layer contained Chindadn points and microblades.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: Any place where a pit was dug and a fire built, sometimes identified by charcoal, baked earth, ash, discoloration, or an outline of stones or clayfooting. The site of an open domestic fire might have served as kiln or oven. Hearths often appear in one layer of soil after another as an archaeologist digs down through a site, and they are an indication of a succession of camps or habitations. Charcoal from a hearth can be dated by the radiocarbon method. Baked clay in a hearth can be dated by the palaeomagnetic method. Burnt earthen rims may provide oxidizedmaterial for archaeomagnetic dating. The hearth is often centrally located and has a variety of shapes and sizes.
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: The process of baking a flint or chertnodule at a high temperature (350-500 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30-50 hours in order to increase the workability of the stone
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A process in which the flintknapping properties of stone tools' raw materials are improved by subjecting the material to heat
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cave site in Durham, England, which had the remains of a Late Bronze Age occupation by metalsmiths. There was much pottery, animal bones, and bronzes. The cave may have been a hunting shelter in the 8th century BC.
Heavenly Horse, Tomb of the
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A 5th century AD mounded tomb of the Silla Kingdom in Kyongju City, Korea. There was an internal wooden chamber with a lacquered wooden coffin of a male dressed in gold crown and with very rich grave goods.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The heaviest materials that sink to the bottom of flotation equipment mesh -- such as pottery sherds, flint, and large seeds.
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 quartzsand and clayfloat: 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.
CATEGORY: typology DEFINITION: The taxonomic group that includes the human and ape members of the primates.
horizontal feature interface
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The area associated with upstanding units of stratification and marking the interfacial levels to which the units have been dug.
house of the dead
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A type of wooden building above a tomb or connected to a grave, widespread in Denmark and Germany, but also found in other areas of northern Europe during the Neolithicperiod.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Vercovicium, Borcovicium; Dorcovicus CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: The best-preserved fort along Hadrian's Wall in Britain; one of the best examples of a permanent military camp there, with its defenses, street plan, administrative buildings, and barrack blocks. There was also a small civil settlement for traders, etc., at its gates. It is roughly midway along the Wall's length, in Northumberland. At Housesteads, archaeologists have uncovered a market where northern natives exchanged cattle and hides for Roman products. This allowed Roman wares and Roman cultural influences to make their way north.
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.
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.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A research perspective that defines ideas, symbols, and mental structures as driving forces in shaping human behavior.
CATEGORY: measure DEFINITION: Measurement that does not involve direct comparison of a phenomenon with a standard scale but it mediated by other measures thought to be correlated with the measure.
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).
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A kind of large flint projectile point used during the Neolithic in the British Isles. Usually lozenge-shaped in outline with slightly convex curves on the leading edges. Finely made, and sometimes polished and ground on the large flat sides, presumably to reduce the weight and produce a thinner blade.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Roman province in Palestine annexed by Pompey in 64 BC. It was first ruled by Herod the Great, but later by Roman procurators, of whom Pontius Pilate is best known. Its chief city was Jerusalem.
CATEGORY: typology DEFINITION: A clustering method whereby the multi-dimensional space of dissimilarities is partitioned into an optimal number of groups.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A heiau of Molokai, Hawaii, with six construction phases starting from 1460 AD.
Khufu (fl. early 26th century BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cheops, Khufwey, Khnomkhufwey CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: The second king (pharaoh) (reigned 2589-2566 BC) of the Egyptian 4th Dynasty (c 2575-2465 BC), during the Old Kingdom, and the successor of Snefru (2613-2589 BC). His name is an abbreviation of the phrase Khnum-kuefui ('Khnum protects me'). He was the builder/owner of the Great Pyramid at Giza, the largest of the ancient pyramids. The pyramid covers a ground area of 53,000 square meters and rises to a height of 148 meters, reflecting a complex and efficient organization of which the pharaoh was the head. Two of his sons, Djedefre (Redjedef) and Khafre, succeeded him.
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.
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 Vikingsettlement 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 bronzepin, 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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Cave site in western Cambodia, occupied between c 7000-500 BC, which has yielded a Hoabinhiansequence with an appearance of ground stone tools and pottery by perhaps 4300 BC. Succeeding layers contain more elaborate pottery and flaked stone tools.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The ancient name of several cities of western Asia, mostly founded or rebuilt in the 3rd century BC by rulers of the Seleucid dynasty, and named after Laodice, the mother of Seleucus I Nicator, or after Laodice, daughter or niece of Antiochus I Soter and wife of Antiochus II Theos. It became one of the greatest cities of the Seleucid kingdom. The cities aided in the Hellenization of western Asia and subsequently in the spread of Christianity in the region. The most important of the cities was Laodicea ad Lycum (near modern Denizli, Turkey); its church was one of the seven to which Saint John addressed the Revelation. Laodicea ad Mare (modern Latakia, Syria) was a major seaport.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: laurel-leaf blade CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A distinctive long, thin leaf-shaped Solutreanflaketool made with delicate workmanship. The largest was found from Volgu, France. It was made during the Upper Palaeolithic in Europe.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: To dissolve or subject to the action of percolating liquid -- as water; i.e. water seeping through the soil and removing the soluble materials from it.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: Soil or sediment leached down from above by some mechanism.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A soft, silvery-white or grayish metal that is very malleable, ductile, and dense and is a poor conductor of electricity. Known in antiquity and believed by the alchemists to be the oldest of metals, lead is highly durable and resistant to corrosion, as is indicated by the continuing use of lead water pipes installed by the ancient Romans. In antiquity, galena (from which silver may also be extracted) was the main source of lead in the Old World, although anglesite and cerussite were also exploited. Lead was used to make patterns for casting, to wet" bronze and ease its casting; in making glazes; and alloyed with tin to make soft solder for joining metals and pewter for tablewares as well as for pipes roofing etc. The first evidence for lead-extraction in parts of Europe is the addition of the metal to bronze during the Late Bronze Age."
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: An alloy of copper and tin with lead, often 60-70% copper, up to 2% nickel, up to 15% tin, and lead. The presence of lead, which remains free in the alloy as opposed to becoming part of the crystalline structure, increases the fluidity of the metal in its molten state and makes the casting of finely detailed objects easier. It is used as a bearing metal.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: lead-glazed ware CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A type of glaze found on European pottery and the soft-fired earthenware of the Han dynasty of China. It was probably invented by the Greeks and/or Romans by the 3rd century BC, involving either dusting the unfired vessel with galena (leadore) or dipping it into a mixture of leadore and water. The glaze fuses in one firing. The natural color of leadglaze has a yellowish tinge; after the 13th century copperore was often added to give a greenish-gray effect. In China it was used for vessels and miniature ceramic sculptures in funerary deposits.
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.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A leaf or diamond-shaped arrowhead with shallow retouching at the edges.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: foliated; foliate CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: Of a tool, pointed at the ends and with convex sides, as on a willow leaf. The term is applied to an arrowhead, the blade of a slashing sword, or the flattened bow of a fibula and other tools which have been retouched on both faces to produce a flattish effect. Many Upper Paleolithic tools are named after leaves (Solutrean laurel leaf). Some Middle Paleolithic industries are characterized by the presence of bifaces, others by the presence of leaf-shaped objects. Mousterian industries producing leaf-shaped items in central and eastern Europe.
Leakey, Louis Seymour Bazett (1903-1972)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: L.S.B. Leakey CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: Kenyan-born British archaeologist and anthropologist whose brilliant career was devoted to the recovery and interpretation of the bones and tools of early man and his forebears in East Africa. His name is particularly associated with Olduvai Gorge and Homo habilis, and his work was extended and continued by his wife Mary and son Richard. As a geologist and paleontologist, he clarified the paleoclimatic scale of the Pleistocene. His intensive early Hominid research in East Africa included finds of Australopithecus boisei (Zinjanthropus) and Homo habilis, dating to c 1.75 million years ago. These discoveries proved that man was far older than had previously been believed and that human evolution was centered in Africa, rather than in Asia, as earlier discoveries had suggested. Leakey was also noted for his controversial interpretations of these archaeological finds. He was also instrumental in persuading Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey to undertake their pioneering long-term studies of chimpanzees and gorillas, respectively, in those animals' natural habitats. Leakey wrote Adam's Ancestors" (1934; rev. ed. 1953) "Stone-Age Africa" (1936) "White African" (1937) "Olduvai Gorge" (1952) "Mau Mau and the Kikuyu" (1952) "Olduvai Gorge 1951-61" (1965) "Unveiling Man's Origins" (1969; with Jane Goodall) and "Animals of East Africa" (1969)."
Leakey, Mary Douglas (1913-1996)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: English-born archaeologist and paleoanthropologist who made several of the most important fossil finds subsequently interpreted and publicized by her husband, the noted anthropologist Louis Leakey. She discovered the skull of Proconsul africanus, an apelike ancestor of both apes and early humans that lived about 25,000,000 years ago. At Olduvai Gorge she found the skull of an early hominid Australopithecus boisei (Zinjanthropus). At Laetoli, she discovered several sets of footprints made in volcanic ash by early hominids who lived about 3.5 million years ago. The footprints indicated that their makers walked upright; this discovery pushed back the advent of human bipedalism to a date earlier than had previously been suspected by the scientific community. Among Mary Leakey's books were Olduvai Gorge: My Search for Early Man" (1979) and the autobiographical "Disclosing the Past" (1984)."
Leakey, Richard (1944- )
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: Kenyan physical anthropologist and paleontologist, son of Louis and Mary Leakey, responsible for extensive fossil finds of human ancestral forms in East Africa. His investigations suggested that relatively intelligent, tool-using ancestors of true man lived in eastern Africa as early as 3,000,000 years ago, or almost twice the time span of previous estimates. Leakey uncovered some 400 hominid fossils, making Koobi Fora the site of the richest and most varied assemblage of early human remains found to date in the world. Leakey proposed controversial interpretations of his fossil finds. In two books written with science writer Roger Lewin, Origins" (1977) and "People of the Lake" (1978) Leakey said that about 3 million years ago three hominid forms coexisted with each other: Homo habilis Australopithecus africanus and Australopithecus boisei. Leakey contended that a relatively large-brained upright bipedal form of the species Homo lived in eastern Africa c 2.5-3.5 million years ago. He also wrote "The Making of Mankind" (1981)."
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 potterydating 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 bladeindustry, c 3000 BC, followed by the appearance of a Neolithicassemblage by about 2000 BC, probably introduced from the Philippines.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A pot in which the rim is ledged, dished, or grooved internally to keep a lid in place.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method of comprehensively inquiring about a site, supported by actual substantiation of claims that sites exist by checking the ground.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Descent in a line from a common progenitor; a group of individuals tracing descent from a common ancestor. A kinship that traces descent through either the male (patrilineal) or female (matrilineal) members.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A term describing a script composed of simply drawn lines with little attempt at pictorial representation, especially a form of cursive in which the hieroglyphs were sketched by outline only.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A syllabicscript created by the Minoans and used in Crete and on other Aegean islands of Greece during the Neopalatial (early palace) period, c 1700-1450 BC (also c 2000/1900-1400 BC). The script has never been deciphered. It was inscribed on clay tablets as administrative records, as well as on stone (religious) vases and bronze double axes. Sir Arthur Evans named the Linear A and B scripts such to distinguish them from the hieroglyphic which preceded them; Linear A is the earlier of the two. Each is a syllabary, and was written with a sharp point on clay tablets. Linear A is of the Middle Minoan III-Late Minoan I. It is in some ways similar to Linear B and has pictograms reduced to formal outline patterns. Linear A tablets have been found in the palaces of Crete itself and also on the Cycladic islands of Melos, Keos, Kythera, Naxos and Thera.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A syllabicscript used in MinoanCrete and Mycenaean Greece from c 1450-1200 (also c 1500-1100) BC. Michael Ventris deciphered it in 1952 as an early form of Greek. It was created at Knossos when the Mycenaeans took control and spread to mainland Greece. It was mainly used at the palace sites of Mycenae, Pylos, Thebes, and Tiryns. Most of the Linear B writings are on clay tablets but also on terra-cotta jars that were traded throughout the Aegean region. The writings are administrative / economic in nature and its decipherment has thrown much light on the continuity between Bronze Age and classical Greece. They are from the Late Minoan II in Crete and Mycenaean III A-B on the mainland. It is probable that when the Mycenaeans overran the Minoans they adopted the script used on Crete, Linear A and adapted it for writing the Greek language; many signs were added to the existing Linear A signs.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: dyke, dike CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: An earthwork, dike, ditch, or bank that is created in a straight line, not curving around to form an enclosure. Such earthworks were of various lengths and created for various purposes. Some Bronze and Iron Age examples may be ranch boundaries with no defensive value, but later Iron Age and the post-Roman Dark Age may be either boundary markers or defense works. Many of these later dikes cut across communication route or lines of easy access, and would have been an effective obstacle against chariots or wheeled vehicles.
Linear Elamite script
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A syllabicscript used in Elam for inscriptions c. 2200 BC. The earliest Elamite writings are in a figurative or pictographic script and date from the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. Documents from the second period, which lasted from the 16th to the 8th century BC, are written in cuneiform; the stage of the language found in these documents is sometimes called Old Elamite. The last period of Elamite texts is that of the reign of the Achaemenid kings of Persia (6th to 4th century BC), who used Elamite, along with Akkadian and Old Persian, in their inscriptions. The language of this period, also written in the cuneiformscript, is often called New Elamite.
Linear Pottery culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Linearbandkeramik; LBK; Danubian I CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The earliest Neolithicculture of central Europe, western Ukraine to eastern France, between c 4500-3900 BC. It is so named after curvilinear incised patterns which make its pottery so recognizable. This was the first farming culture in central Europe, based on graincultivation and domesticated livestock, lasting to 3200 BC on its periphery. The Linear Potterycorearea stretches from eastern Hungary to the Netherlands, including settlement concentrations in the Pannonian Basin, Bohemia, Moravia, central Germany and the Rhineland. A second rapid expansion occurred eastwards round the northern rim of the Carpathians, from Poland to the Dnieper. Linear Pottery is characterized by incised and sometimes painted pottery (3/4 sphericalbowl) with linear designs (curvilinear, zigzag, spiral, and meander patterns), polished stone shoe-last adzes, and a microlithic stoneindustry. Small cemeteries of individual inhumations are common as are longhouses with rectangular ground plans. The remarkable uniformity that characterized the Linear Pottery culture in its corearea broke down after c 4000 BC and the cultures that emerged -- Tisza, Lengyel, Stroke-Ornamented Ware, Rossen etc. -- were more divergent in characteristics. It is most possible that it derived from the Körös culture of the northern Balkans.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The largest marae (stonetemple) constructed in Tahiti, Society Islands, Polynesia. It was an 11-stepped pyramidal ahu covering 81x 22 meters, 13.5 meters high. Constructed by the chieftainess Purea of Papara district in 1767, it now has only a few foundation fragments surviving.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The highest mountain in Polynesia and a dormant volcano on north-central Hawaii Island. It has very extensive prehistoricbasaltadze quarries, mostly between 3350-3780 m (12,400 feet) above sea level. The sites include workshops, rock shelters, stone-walled enclosures, and religious shrines. Radiocarbon dates from the shelters range from 1400-1650 AD. The dome of the volcano is 30 miles (48 km) across, with numerous cinder cones, and is the site of a major astronomical observatory.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Middle Plains Archaic complexdating 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, lanceolateform.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Meadowcroft rock shelter CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A rock shelter in Pennsylvania with a long series of stratified deposits spanning the period from at least 14,000 BC up to the 18th century AD -- Palaeoindian, Archaic, Late prehistoric, and historic periods. The site was occupied intermittently by groups representing all the major cultural stages in northeastern North America. Charcoal samples in the lowest stratum have yielded dates in the range 35,000-19,500 BC, although there was no association with cultural material. Flint tools bear a resemblance to finds at Blackwater Draw and Lindenmeier. The evidence from Meadowcroft established beyond reasonable doubt the presence of a human population south of the ice masses in the Late Pleistocene. Meadowcroft provides some of the earliest reliable evidence of man in North America.
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A triangular side-notched point -- with notches chipped into each side of the base to form a stem below the main part of the point, generally 2 1/2 inches long.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Direct evidence of various kinds as to what people were eating at a particular time.
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 date
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mean ceramic dating; mean ceramic dating formula 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 meanceramic date is found by multiplying the sum of the median dates for the manufacture of each ceramictype of the frequency of each ceramictype 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 ceramic dating formula
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A statistical technique devised for pooling the median age of manufacture for temporally significant pottery types
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.
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."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A lakeside village of the Iron Age on the Somerset Levels in southwest England with groups of mounds similar to those at nearby Glastonbury. The settlement consisted of about 40 round houses built on desiccated peat and with timber and brushwood floors. It was surrounded by a palisade and occupied from the 3rd century BC to the 1st century AD. The pottery dates from about 60 BC until about the time of the Roman invasions of the 1st century AD. The site was reoccupied during the 4th century. The Abbot's Tribunal, Glastonbury, houses some of the objects discovered during excavation.
CATEGORY: measure DEFINITION: An observation made by reference to a standardized scale.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Type of Roman glassbead made in the shape of a melon.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: microscarring CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: The patterns of edge damage on a stone tool providing archaeological evidence of the ways in which that tool was used. Microscopic scratches and polish on the surface of stone tools or hominid teeth might reveal how various tools were used or what types of food certain hominids ate.
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.
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.
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 Minaeankingdom 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 Minaeancapital 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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A magnificent cathedral, in northwestern Sicily, Italy, constructed between 1174-1189 by William II, the third Norman king of Sicily. Little now remains of the monastic buildings except the splendid cloister (with 216 marble columns) adjacent to the cathedral. The cathedral is one of the richest and most beautiful churches in Italy, combining Norman, Byzantine, Italian, and Saracen styles. Particularly notable is the interior mosaicdecoration, one of the largest in existence. The subjects of the mosaics include an Old Testament cycle, the miracles of Christ, the life of Christ, and the lives of the saints Peter and Paul. It was created by a group of craftsmen trained in Byzantium.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A beaker made in Gaul or the Rhineland decorated with white-painted scrolls and words forming phrases such as: da mihi vinum (give me wine); valete or vivas (good health); nolite sitire (thirst not); and bibe (drink up).
multilinear cultural evolution
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A theory of cultural evolution that sees each human culture evolving in its own way by adaptation to diverse environments. It is sometimes divided into four broad stages of evolving of social organization: band, tribe, chiefdom, and state-organized society. It is often defined by these four general levels of complexity rather than seeing all societies as pursuing a single course.
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 megarontype, 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 Minoanscript, 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.
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)."
Natal Early Iron Age
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A South African province of Natal which has traces of the furthest southeastern extension of the Early Iron Age complex of sub-Saharan Africa, which has been linked with the dispersal of peoples speaking Bantu languages. Evidence for Early Iron Age settlement is found in the fertile areas of the lower river valleys and dates from about the 4th century AD. Closely related sites are known from the Transvaal, as at Broederstroom and Lydenburg.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Nea Nikomidhia CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Early Neolithictellsettlement in Macedonia in northern Greece. From a large structure (shrine?) in the center of the mound, there were terra-cotta female figurines thought to have been used in rituals. The remains of rectangular mud houses, a number of crouched burials, and plain and painted pottery, frogs carved from greenstone, flint blades, and many ground stone axes have been found. Radiocarbon dates of c 6200-5300 BC was obtained. The earliest known domesticated cattle date from about 6000 BC at Nea Nikomedeia, in association with cultivated einkorn, emmer, and barley.
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 interglacialperiod, 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 typearea in Neanderthal, a valley near Düsseldorf in Germany, where skeletal remains of this type of human were first found in 1856.
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.
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 distributionpattern 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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The largest island of Oceania, in the eastern Malay Archipelago, north of Australia. New Guinea was joined to Australia in low sea-level periods of Pleistocene and was probably first settled by early Australoids at the same time as its larger neighbor. New Guinea archaeology examines the Highlands, which is totally Papuan-speaking, and also the coasts, which is mixed Papuan and Austronesian. The Highland prehistoricsequence in totally aceramic. Stone mortars and pestles, many elaborate shape, are also found in the Highlands. The New Guinea coasts only have sequences back to 3000-2000 years ago as earlier sites were probably drowned by rising sea levels. The best-reported are Collingwood Bay and south coastal Papua, both with pottery. Some coastal groups had developed elaborate trading networks by the time of European contact. Almost the whole of New Guinea is occupied by speakers of Papuan languages, the original settlers of the island, who live mainly in the interior and southern sections. Ethnic composition is complex among the Papuans, who speak some 700 different languages.
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.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Trimontium CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Roman fort on the Tweed near Melrose, it was first built by Agricola c 81 AD. There were rebuildings in c 86, 145, and 158, enlarging and strengthening it to hold a garrison of a thousand men. It remained the main base for the Roman army of occupation in the Scottish lowlands as long as this region was held.
CATEGORY: flora DEFINITION: Pollen from nontree plants, such as sedges and grasses.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A location where large, complex societies occur at different times, such as the valley of central Mexico. The term also is defined as the focus of activity in a site, such as a camp or village around which hunting or agricultural activity takes place.
CATEGORY: flora; fauna DEFINITION: The DNA present in the chromosomes within the nucleus of a cell.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Any site with low densities of artifacts.
Old Bering Sea Culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Old Bering Sea stage CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An Eskimo subculture that settled in northern Alaska and northeast Siberia between 1500-2000 years ago, and is best known for its ivory objects. The earliest sites were in Bering Strait area and the major type site is on St. Lawrence Island. It is an early manifestation of the western Arctic Thuletradition, often linked with the possibly contemporaneous Okvikculture. Although both share similar traits -- a highly evolved art style, polished slate tools and pottery -- the relationship between the two is still uncertain. The art style appears to have flourished between 100-500 AD.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Type of late Iron Age bead found in southeastern England, hexagonal in outline with white spirals in a blue ground mass.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A type of excavation in which large horizontal areas are opened, esp. where single-period deposits lie close to the surface.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A collection of Persian art of the Achaemenidian period (6th-4th century BC) now in the British Museum, London. It was discovered in 1877 on the bank of the Oxus River near the present Afghanistan-Russian border. This large hoard of gold and silver metalwork included a variety of jewelry, ornamental plaques, figurines, chariot models, and vessels. One of the armlets consists of a circular goldband with its two ends meeting in the form of finely worked griffins.
parrot beak jug
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Type of glazed ceramicjug found in Britain and northern Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries AD, distinctive in having a rather stylized polychrome image of a large-beaked bird on the side.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pasemah CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A plateau in southern Sumatra with a series of impressive prehistoric megalithic monuments -- massive slab graves and a rich collection of life-sized anthropomorphic carvings. The large stones are roughly carved into the shape of animals, such as the buffalo and elephant, and human figures -- some with swords, helmets, and ornaments and some apparently carrying drums. They are stylistically similar to those of Iron Age burials of the last centuries BC, and remote connections with the Dong Son culture of northern Vietnam and the megalithic cultures of south India are likely.
Pasteurs des Plateaux
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The general name for the Late Neolithic and Copper Age peoples who lived on the uplands of Languedoc, southern France, c 2500 BC, and who made pottery of the Ferrières and Fontbouisse styles.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Minoan cult location in the mountains of Crete. These sanctuaries had deposits of votive offerings but no monumental architecture.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A form of earthenware, developed by Wedgwood (1775-79) as a whiter version of its creamwarebody. A greater quantity of white clay was used in the body and the transparent lead glaze included traces of cobalt, giving the surface a pearly white appearance. It was soon adopted by other potteries, such as Spode, Leeds, and Swansea.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Any person who cultivates land in rural areas for their basic subsistence and pays tribute to elite groups.
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: An accumulation of dead organic matter, mostly from plants, which becomes preserved mainly by the exclusion of oxygen. It is dark brown or black and partially decomposed, being preserved under anaerobic conditions in an environment of excessive moisture. Peat forms mostly in bogs and fens; the importance of peat to archaeology lies in its preservation of palaeobotanical (palaeoenvironmental) evidence which can be used to reconstruct the ancient environment. The remains can often be radiocarbon dated. Vast beds of this organic fuel occur in Europe, North America, and northern Asia but are worked only where coal is deficient. Peat deposition is the first step in the formation of coal.
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: Wet spongy ground of decomposing vegetation which has poorer drainage than a swamp; soil is unfit for cultivation but can be cut and dried and used for fuel.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Type of drinking cup with a distinct basesection or foot forming an integral part of the lower body; some are Gallo-Belgic, others are locally made in Britain.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A variety of socketed spearhead common in the European late Bronze Age in which the shaft is secured to the metal head by means of a metal or wooden peg set at right angles to the main axis of the shaft passing through a pair of opposed holes in the metal casing of the socket.
Peoples of the Sea
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sea People(s), Peoples of the Islands in the Midst of the Sea CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Any of the groups of aggressive seafarers who invaded eastern Anatolia, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus, and Egypt toward the end of the Bronze Age, especially in the 13th century BC. They are considered responsible for the destruction of the Hittite Empire, among others. Because of the abrupt break in ancient Near Eastern records as a result of the invasions, the precise extent and origin of the upheavals remain uncertain. Principal evidence is based on Egyptian texts and illustrations; other important information comes from Hittite sources and from archaeological data. The peoples were of mixed origin and tentative identifications of the people are: Pulesati/Pelset/Peleset = Philistines; Luka/Lukka = Lycians; Akawasha/Ahhiyawa/Ekwesh = Achaeans; Danuna = Danaoi; Sherden/Sherdana/Shardana = Sardinians; Shekelesh/Sicels/Sikels/Siculi = Sicilians; Tursha/Tyrsi/Teresh/Tyrrhenians (Tyrsenoi) = Etruscans. The Philistines, who perhaps came from Crete, were the only major tribe of the Sea Peoples to settle permanently in Palestine.
petit-tranchet derivative arrowhead
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: PTD arrowhead CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Diverse series of later Neolithicflintarrowhead forms found in Britain and believed to derive from the development of petit-tranchetarrowhead 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: protruding foot beaker CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Abbreviation of protruding foot beaker.
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.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A thin rod of wood or bone (occasionally stone) with tapering ends used to compact the weft threads on an upright loom by pushing down between each of the warp threads one at a time. See also WEAVING COMB.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plough beam CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The wooden or metal bar that connects the blades, shares, and their mountings to the yoke, which in turn is attached to the harnesses fitted to the draught animals that provide the power. The plough beam has to be strong enough to transmit the power from the traction through to the blades and share cutting through the ground, but long enough for the draught animals not to be snagged by the plowing mechanism itself.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A beaker shaped like the seed-head of a poppy plant in a grey or black fabric with a polished surface. It has an everted rim and the body is often decorated with panels of dots in barbotine, or with rouletting. The largest sizes could be classified as jars.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Glass based on potash as a flux with high concentrations of lead. It is heavy, lustrous, and more refractive than other forms of glass.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A bead or group of beads used in prayer.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pre-Boreal Climatic Interval CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A division of Holocenechronology which began about 10,000 years ago and ended about 9,500 years ago. The Pre-Boreal Climatic Interval preceded the Boreal Climatic Interval and was a time of increasing climatic moderation. Birch-pine forests and tundra were dominant. It is a subdivision of the Flandrian Interglacial and represents the start of the Flandrian.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A term used to refer to the Acheulianindustry people, who are believed to have developed into the Neanderthals.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: standing cross CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A class of monumentalsculpture unique to the British Isles, developed from the 7th century onwards. The tall, tapering cross shaft rested on a plinth or base, and carried a three-armed cross head. Both the cross and the shaft were usually ornamented with Christian figures and other decorative motifs. They may be Celtic interpretations of Mediterranean crosses and Iron Age stelae.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large mountaintop temple built by the Khmer king Suryavarman, located on the border of Thailand and northern Cambodia. It has been described as one of the most beautiful natural sites of the whole of Asia.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: vigas CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Main roof support beams that span the length or width of a structure and support the remainder of the roof.
protruding foot beaker
CATEGORY: artifact; culture DEFINITION: The typical vessel of the Late Neolithic in the Netherlands with radiocarbon dates from c 3200-2400 BC. The basic form has a splayed neck, S-shaped profile, and flat everted base. It has cord ornament, dentatespatula impressions, or herringbone incisions. The vessel also defines the culture, which had burial in either a single flat grave or a pit under a barrow, and used the battle-ax. The culture represents the Dutch branch of the widespread corded ware-battle-ax complex, or single-grave cultures. In the Netherlands, there is some hybridization between the Protruding Foot Beaker culture and the Bell Beaker.
Qasr al-Hayr East
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Islamic site in Syria with two fortified buildings and a bathhouse. There are towers and a monumental gate as this was the site of a rural princely complexdating from 710-750 AD, erected by Umayyad princes. An inscription from the mosque, now lost, gives the date 728-729 and refers to the site as a town. Although the principal occupation belongs to the 8th century, Qasr al-Hayr enjoyed revival in the 11th and 12th centuries.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: quoit-shaped bead CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Doughnut-shaped type of early Bronze Age faiencebead.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Middle Bronze Age pin typical of the Ornament Horizon in northwest Europe (British Taunton Phase) comprising a thin shank with a point at one end and a large, rather ostentatious, ringcast onto the shank at the other.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: fossil beach CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: An ancient or previous shoreline from a period when the land level was lower than it is today in relation to the sea level. This geological feature is produced by changing sea-levels through time and though it may now be some distance from the sea, a raised beach shows where the original coastline was. Changes in relative heights of land and sea can often be correlated with fluctuations in the Pleistoceneclimate.
Rancho La Brea
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: La Brea Tar Pits CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Quaternarysite (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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A village of the Valdiviaculture of Ecuador, near the coast, occupied from c 3500-3000 BC. It had a formal layout, with an open plaza surrounded by elongated mounds of household rubbish. Excavation revealed large timber and thatch houses, one mound with offerings and a second with elaborate high-status burials. There is evidence for the emergence of an early complex social organization.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A means of drawing sections to give an artistic impression of a soil profile, in which no interfacial lines or layer numbers appear.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A blacksmith's tool in the form of a tapered square-sectioned rod that is used to expand a hole in a piece of thin or soft metal by rotating the reamer in the hole while pushing down on the top.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Iron tool in the form of a long slightly curved knife, usually with a single blade on the inner face of the curve, used for harvesting cereals, grass, or reeds.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A long low bank or wall found at Dartmoor, England. These Bronze Age stoneboundary walls may designate the territorial extent of individual communities.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A year reckoned from the date or anniversary of a monarch's accession to the throne, e.g. in his eighth regnal year". At times documents were dated by a king's regnal year. Before the time of Alexander the Great the first regnal year was the new year following the king's accession."
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.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A carefully formulated and systematic plan for executing archaeological research. Systematic planning of archaeological research, usually including 1) the formulation of a strategy to resolve a particular question; 2) the collection and recording of the evidence; 3) the processing and analysis of these data and its interpretation; and 4) the publication of results. It begins as a statement outlining these four key elements as a blueprint of archaeological research: statement of perspective, synthesis of the existing database, research domains, and relevant research strategy. Research design is carried out to ensure the efficient use of resources and to guide the research according to the scientific method.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A formally presented research design or strategy describing an intended project and its predicted results.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The specific questions that archaeologists ask when preparing a research program and seek to answer when executing that program.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: portrait head CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of funerary sculpture of the Egyptian Old Kingdom, found mainly in tombs at Giza, and considered by some to be true portraits of the deceased. They consist of a limestone human head, usually with excised (or unsculpted) ears and enigmatic lines carved around the neck and down the back of the cranium.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Bronze or iron dress-fitting comprising a slender shaft typically 5-10cm in length with a point at one end, while the other end has been bent round onto itself to form a loop or ring. Found in middle and later Iron Age contexts in the British Isles.
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 Sabaeancapital 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: sceat CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Small silvercoin minted when the Anglo-Saxons reintroduced currency into England in the 7th century. The earliest identifiable ones are of Eorpwald of East Anglia (625-627) and Penda of Mercia (625-654). Our penny may owe its name to the latter. With this change of name it remained the standard coin from the reforms of Offa of Mercia (757-796) until the 12th century. Sceattas are distinctive because they were made from pellets which were hammered between two dies, not minted from a flattened piece of metal (as after c 790 in England). The kings of Kent imitated these sliver coins in about 690, and issued them with a variety of designs which are collectively known as the primary series of sceattas. The primary series is virtually confined to Kent and ended about 720. The secondary series include a wider variety of designs which occur over a larger area.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mean sea level CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: The level of the surface of the sea; position of the air-sea interface, to which all terrestrial elevations and submarine depths are referred. Changes in the volume of water held in the sea and relative movements of the land surface, resulting from various types of deformation of the earth's crust are important in archaeology. Sea-level fluctuations are shown by deposits and landforms on the coasts of localities. The sea level constantly changes at every locality with the changes in tides, atmospheric pressure, and wind conditions. Longer-term changes in sea level are influenced by the Earth's changing climates. The sea level appears to have been very close to its present position 35,000 years ago.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sea People CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A collective term for various peoples who were on the move in the Aegean, Anatolia, and Levant in the 13th and 12th centuries BC. They were responsible for widespread destruction of settlements in these areas, particularly Ugarit and Alalakh and, more remotely, with the fall of Mycenaean Greece and the Hittite empire. Dorians, Aeolians, and Ionians moved into Greece and Aegean islands, probably destroyed the Mycenaean kingdom and drove the inhabitants eastwards (Trojan War, c 1200 BC). The Thraco-Phrygians were also driven into Anatolia, where they brought about the fall of the Hittite Empire. Homeless peoples swept southwards along the coasts of Asia Minor and Syria, burning and looting as they went, and were only stopped by Ramesses III and Merenptah in 1174 BC. It was at this time that the Philistines settled in Palestine.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Zeekoei Valley CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: River valley in Cape Province, South Africa, with more than 14,000 Stone Age sites. The ceramicsequence dates to the millennium prior to European settlers. There is information about the Stone Age Smithfield hunter-gatherers from this area.
CATEGORY: artifact; language DEFINITION: A device for impressing characteristic marks into a soft surface, such as wet clay or wax, to indicate ownership or authenticity. Seals were made of bone, ivory, stone, or wood and had an intagliodesign and were in the form of stamps or cylinder seals. The first can have a very wide range of shapes, and gives single impressions. The second, characteristic of ancient Mesopotamia, is rolled across the surface to yield a frieze of repeat designs. Their social and linguistic significance is great. They were fundamental in the development of writingsystem and were a statussymbol of authority and sometimes accorded talismanic properties. The use of seals and writing on clay tablets appeared together in Mesopotamia, towards end of 4th millennium BC.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The object used to make impressions in wax as seals.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A piece of inscribed stone used to impress a symbol on wet pieces of clay or bitumen, used by administrators to keep track of goods.
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.""
sealing roofing nail
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A nail with a lead or plastic washer under the head to provide a watertight seal, used on metal roofing
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Wax used to seal letters, envelopes, documents, etc.
seasonality of occupation
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: seasonality CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The exploitation of different environments at different times of the year by the same group of people; an estimate of when during the year a particular archaeological site was occupied. Transhumance is one instance of this practice, where high pastureland is grazed in the summer. There was also exploitation of water resources for fish or water birds; the following of wild herds by hunter-gatherers. The people usually moved back to their original starting place each year.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The determination of the time of year that a site was occupied based on certain plant or animal remains.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Pertaining to maturing or aging by exposure to certain conditions or treatment as with wood or bone.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: latillas CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Roof construction beams that rest on the primary beams and span the distances between the primary beams or between the primary beams and the walls of the structure.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An instrument usually made of wood or reeds that is formed into a racketlike shape and used to strike seeds from bushes.
severed head cult
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Some Celtic groups in Iron Age Europe collected the heads of enemies as charms and status symbols. This practice was elevated to the status of a cult among Celto-Ligurain groups in southern France and at sanctuary sites like Entremont, Glanum, and Roquepertuse which have stone statuary associated with the cult. The statuary are of carved stone heads, headless torsos, and pillars carved with severed heads, as well as niches for the display of actual severed heads.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A hoard of Roman silver treasure found in Yugoslavia and Lebanon, named for the owner's inscription on a dish
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Iron Age site south of the Zambezi River in eastern Transvaal, South Africa, dated to the 3rd-4th centuries AD.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: sill-beam; cill-beam; ground-sill CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A large horizontal timber into which uprights are socketed to construct the frame of a building. In early timber-framed buildings (Roman, Saxon and medieval), the framing was often erected not on a wall foundation but directly on a horizontal beam resting on or slightly recessed into the ground. Though rarely surviving, its wood will often leave a dark stain in the ground detectable by careful excavation.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Well-defined series of glasses of Roman date decorated with serpent-like lines or threads of glass which are either the same color as or differently colored from the body. The glasses were made both in the east, probably in Syria, and in the west, at Cologne and perhaps elsewhere.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of spearhead typical of the middle and later stages of the European Bronze Age in which an elongated hollow was cast into the base of the blade to receive the shaped end of the wooden spear shaft. Some socketed spearheads are fixed to the shaft by means of a peg set at right angles through the metal walls of the spearhead and the wooden shaft within; others are secured by lashings fixed to loops cast into the base of the metal spearhead.
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 Solutreanindustry, 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 boneneedle with an eye was invented in this period. Many decorated caves in France can be assigned to this period."
Southeastern Ceremonial Complex
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Southern Cult CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A network of exchange and interaction in the southeastern and midwestern United States from around 1200-1500.
Southeastern ceremonial complex / Southern Cult
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Southeastern tradition CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A complex consisting of a range of specialized artifacts and motifs found in mortuaries and rich burials at some of the principal sites of the Middle Mississippi Culture (Mississippian) in southeastern North America. Beginning c 1200 AD, cult objects include ear-spools, ceremonial axes, and disks made of copper or shell -- all engraved with symbols of military and supernatural power, such as the cross, the sun circle, the swastika, and the eye-and-hand. Characteristic artifacts such as monolithic ceremonial axes, effigy jars, and workedshell objects have been found in abundance at the major ceremonial centers at Etowah, Georgia; Spiro, Oklahoma; and Moundville, Alabama. The cult's climax occurred between 1200-1400, but had virtually disappeared by the time of the first European explorers.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A pole weapon with a sharp point, either thrown or thrust at an enemy or prey, one of the earliest weapons created by man and dating back to Palaeolithic times. They were originally a sharpened stick and some were made of stone, shaped and fixed to the shaft by thongs and possibly resins. In the Bronze Age, they were made of that metal and had a tang for riveting the head to the shaft. Later, the tang was replaced by a socket into which the shaft fitted. The Iron Age spears retained this feature and were sometimes decorated with La Tène designs.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: spear-thrower, spearthrower, throwing stick, atlatl, woomera CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A device which increases the power with which a spear can be hurled; a long stick with a hooked end which holds the butt of a spear. The implement usually has finger grips at one end. The device thus becomes an artificial extension of the thrower's arm, giving him increased leverage and range and allowing the thrower to hurl a spear accurately a much greater distance than he could by unaided hand. Spear throwers were used in Europe during the Palaeolithic and throughout the New World in pre-Columbian times, where they were known as atlatls. Spear throwers made of reindeerantler are characteristic of the Magdalenianperiod in Europe. Similar devices were used in the Arctic, and in Australia, where they are often called woomeras.
spear thrower or spear-thrower or spearthrower
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: throwing stick, atlatl, woomera CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A device which increases the power with which a spear can be hurled; a long stick with a hooked end which holds the butt of a spear. The implement usually has finger grips at one end. The device thus becomes an artificial extension of the thrower's arm, giving him increased leverage and range and allowing the thrower to hurl a spear accurately a much greater distance than he could by unaided hand. Spear throwers were used in Europe during the Palaeolithic and throughout the New World in pre-Columbian times, where they were known as atlatls. Spear throwers made of reindeerantler are characteristic of the Magdalenianperiod in Europe. Similar devices were used in the Arctic, and in Australia, where they are often called woomeras.
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: Bifacially flaked points -- or a thrusting blade mounted on a long shaft (spear) as a weapon for war or hunting. Early examples in flint were usually leaf-shaped, and hafted simply in a cleft in the spearshaft. In the Early Bronze Age, bronzedagger blades were made and ferrules added. The socketed spearhead came when these were cast in one piece with the blade.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The tip of a projectile, used for throwing, thrusting, or stabbing.
CATEGORY: artifact; language DEFINITION: A small, hard block that has a flat surface engraved with a design that can be transferred to soft clay or wax as a mark of ownership or authenticity. Stamp seals appear in Mesopotamia from the Halafian period in the fifth millennium BC, when they were used to impress ownership marks on lumps of clay which were then attached to goods. In the Bronze Age, it was differently shaped for different cultures: square in the Indus, round in the Persian Gulf (Barbar), and compartmented in central Asia (Bactrian). Stamp seals preceded cylinders and developed over a period of about 1,500 years until largely replaced by the cylinder in the 3rd millennium BC. Seals came into use before the invention of writing for the securing of property and the method was either to shape clay over the stopper or lid or to make a fastening with cord and place clay around the knot and then impress it with the seal. The sealing of written documents, mainly clay tablets and papyrus scrolls, became regularly established in the latter part of the 3rd millennium BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: soapstone CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A soft magnesian mineral, white to green massive rock composed mainly of talc. The softness of the stone made it very popular for the carving of artifacts: figurines, vessels, jewelry, decorative stone works, and stamp seals. Its resistance to high temperatures made it particularly suitable for mold-making for metal casting. In the Indus Civilization seals of this material were whitened by heating with lime, a process called 'glazing'.
CATEGORY: measure DEFINITION: A graph used in exploratory dataanalysis that mimics a histogram without losing any information.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Site in New South Wales, Australia, of the Panaramitee with engravings on mudstone outcrops. Radiocarbon dates are c 10,000 bp.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sub-Boreal Climatic period, subboreal CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: One of the five postglacial climate and vegetation periods of northern Europe, occurring c 3000-1500 BC or, according to some, 0 AD, based on pollen analysis. The Sub-Boreal, dated by radiocarbon methods, began c 5,100 years ago and ended about 2,200 years ago. It is a division of Holocenechronology (10,000 years ago-present). The Sub-Boreal Climatic Interval followed the Atlantic and preceded the Sub-Atlantic Climatic Interval. It was characterized by a cooler and moister climate than that of the preceding Atlantic period. It is a subdivision of the Flandrian, starting with the Elm Decline. Frequencies of tree pollen fall and herbaceous pollen rises, representing man's invasion of the forest in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. It is correlated with pollen zone VIII, and the climate was warm and dry. The Sub-Boreal forests were dominated by oak and ash and show the first evidence of extensive burning and clearance by humans. Domesticated animals and natural fauna were abundant.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The subdivision of an archaeologicalarea, usually defined by geographic or cultural considerations.
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 Submycenaeanware. It gave way to the Protogeometric (c 1020-900 BC) style by converting the decaying Mycenaean ornament into regular geometrical patterns.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: Any modification made to the surface of pottey for either technological or functional purposes.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A hut or space heated by steam created by pouring water over hot stones, used for ritual cleansing and therapeutic sweating.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: sweat-house CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Special building for taking sweat-baths (cleansing one's body by sweating), a common native Californian institution. There was a firearea for heating stones; water would then be poured over the stones to produce steam. They doubled as community centers for prayers and other religious activities.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Traditionally, the most sacredmarae of eastern Polynesia, on Raiatea, Society Islands. It is associated with the worship of the god Oro. The surviving platform (ahu) is 40 meters by 7 meters and is faced with coral slabs. The platform's shell is dated to the 17th century AD.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A pot with a handle, spout, and lid, in which tea is prepared.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: theatre CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Building or space in which a performance is given to an audience, an important adjunct of most Greek and Roman towns. In ancient Greece, where theatre began in the 5th century BC, the theatres of the classicalperiod were constructed between two hills (essentially D-shaped) so that the audience sat in a tiered semicircular arrangementfacing the orchestracircle, in which most of the action took place. (The name amphitheater should be used only of a circular or oval structure in which the seating completely surrounds the stage, as in the Colosseum). Greek theater consisted of two main elements: the orchestra, a space for acting and dancing which was usually circular; and the auditorium, a spectators' area, which was probably no more than a hillside or slope originally. Later, the skene (originally perhaps only a temporary structure for the convenience of performers) was added. Well-preserved examples survive at Epidaurus, Pompeii, and Orange.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A handheld spear used for stabbing rather than throwing.
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.
CATEGORY: term; artifact DEFINITION: In law, treasure found hidden in the ground etc. but of unknown ownership. In Britain, treasure troves are the property of the State, though sometimes they are in part returned or recompensed to the owner of the land. To be declared treasure trove by a coroner's inquest, the items must be of gold or silver, must have been lost or hidden with the intention of recovery, and by someone who is no longer traceable. In these circumstances, the Crown takes possession, rewarding the finder with the marketvalue or with the object itself if it is not required for the national collections.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Building used to contain precious objects -- annexes of sanctuaries, for storing the offerings and goods of the sanctuaries and of the donor cities to which they belonged.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: unilinear evolution CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A 19th-century evolutionary theory holding that all human cultures pass through the same sequence of evolutionary changes or stages, from simple hunting and gathering to literate civilization. Lewis H. Morgan described seven stages, or ethnical periods, from lower savagery, barbarism, to civilization.
unlooped socketed spearhead
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A large metal projectile point typical of the later Bronze Age in Europe that was mounted on a wooden shaft by way of a socketcast into the base of the object, usually with a hole to allow a peg to pass through the socket walls and the shaft to ensure secure attachment. Such spearheads lack the loops of earlier designs which seem to have been used to tie the spearhead to the shaft.
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.
use-wear striae or use-wear stigmata
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Polish, striations, breakage, or minor flaking which develop on a tool's edge during use. Microscopic examination and study of the wear may indicate the past function of tools.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large settlement site of the Late Neolithic Cucuteni culture, Moldavia, Rumania, with a radiocarbon date c 2750 BC. The single phase occupation produced domestic assemblages of the Cucuteni B3 phase.
vertical feature interface
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A unitmarking a distinct event, such as the digging of a pit, and resulting in the destruction of pre-existing stratification.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Biogeographical zone of islands between Southeast Asia Sunda shelf and the Sahul shelf -- an area separating Australia from Southeast Asia for 70 million years. It marks the division between two major faunal groups: oriental animals (elephants, tigers, and apes) and the animals of Australia (kangaroos, wombats, and monotremes). Dates of first human settlement are uncertain; the first settlers of Australia prior to 30,000 years ago had to cross sea gaps of up to 70 km in this zone. The water formed a barrier to the spread of animals and humans into Australia and New Guinea. It is named after the British naturalist A.R. Wallace, who first recognized its significance.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The process whereby materials are altered through time. This can occur at various speeds, depending on the composition of the objects, the environment in which they are buried, and changes in the environment.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The interlacing of long, thin materials, such as yarn or thread to make cloth (fabric) or baskets. The use of wool, cotton, silk, flax, or some other plant or animal fiber yarn or thread to produce textiles of various sorts by criss-crossing the yarns together in at least two directions. Warp threads are those which run up and down the length of a piece of textile, weft threads are those that run across the weave at right angles to the warp. Many different patterns are possible, producing different kinds of textile and styles of weave. Patterns can be introduced by using different colored threads in a set order. The earliest evidence of weaving is that represented as textile and flexible basketry impressions on burnt clay from Pavlov in the Czech Republic which date to between 25000 and 23000 BC. The oldest woven cloth so far discovered is made from flax, dates to about 7000 BC, and comes from Çayönü, Turkey.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Bone or wooden implement with a handle at one end and a toothed edge at the other. The tool is used during weaving to pack the weft together tightly; the prongs of the weavingcombfit between the warp threads, so allowing the weaver to exert considerable downward or lateral pressure on the accumulating weft.
CATEGORY: flora DEFINITION: Cereal grass of the Gramineae (Poaceae) family and of the genus Triticum and its edible grain, one of the oldest and most important of the cereal crops. Two wild forms of wheat are found in the Near East today, wild einkorn (Triticum boeoticum) and wild emmer (Triticum dicoccoides). Wild einkorn and, less commonly domestic einkorn, appear in the Near East at such early farming sites as Ali Kosh before 7000 BC. Emmer, both wild and domestic, was much more common than einkorn and has been found on most early Neolithic sites in the Near East. Domestic emmer subsequently spread throughout Europe. Hexapolid wheats (club wheat, bread wheat) appear in the Near East before 6000 BC. Spelt wheat was being cultivated at Yarim Tepe in northern Mesopotamia in the 6th millennium BC. In Europe there are some Neolithic occurrences of spelt, but it became common only in the Iron Age.
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: Late Solutreanflaketool -- slim, with rounded ends and retouching on one side only -- of extremely fine workmanship.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: window-lead CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Leadcame subdividing the quarries of glass and holding them in place in a leaded light.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: winged axehead CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A form of bronze axehead of middle or late Bronze Age date in which narrow, high flanges on both faces are hammered over to enclose the axe haft. Some types feature a side loop to further assist hafting.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: date formula; year-name CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A phase in Mesopotamia when cuneiform documents provide dates for significant events in relation to a given year in a king's reign. Dating by year formula, done from Akkadian through Old Babylonian times, provides a basic framework for the political history of southern Mesopotamia. The Assyrians did not, unlike the Babylonians, use year formulas containing interesting historical details; instead, every year was designated by the name of a high official (eponymic dating). The reconstruction of Hammurabi's rule is based mainly on his date formulas; years were named for a significant act the king had performed in the previous year or at the beginning of the year thus named.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Royal seat of the Anglo-SaxonNorthumbria, England, in the 7th century AD and site of an impressive group of buildings. Great timber halls and a semicircular timber grandstand for meetings and assemblies have been excavated. Of the smaller buildings uncovered, one is thought to have been converted from a pagan temple into a church. It has advanced our knowledge of Saxon timber architecture.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: A Horizon, A-Group CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A term created by American archaeologist George Reisner to refer to a semi-nomadic Nubian Neolithicculture of the mid-fourth to early third millennium BC. The term has evolved into a horizon" because there was also a C Group and the term was misleading that there were two separate ethnic groups rather than two phases of Nubian material culture. Traces of the A group which may have evolved from the Abkanculture survive throughout Lower Nubia. An important site is Afyeh near Aswan Sayala and Qustul. There is evidence among the grave goods that the A Group was engaged in regular trade with the Egyptians of the Predynastic and Early Dynastic periods. The A Group was eventually replaced by the C Group during the Old Kingdom. The existence of a B Group has now been rejected."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ad, AD CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Used as a prefix to a date, it indicates years after the birth of Christ or the beginning of the Christian calendar. Anno Domini means In the year of our Lord". The lower case "ad" represents uncalibrated radiocarbon years and "AD" denotes a calibrated radiocarbon date or a historic date that does not need calibration. There is no year 0; 1BC is followed by 1 AD."
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The second of two Arab dynasties of the Muslim Empire of the Caliphate (caliphs = rulers) and descended from al-Abbas, uncle of the Prophet Muhammad. It overthrew the Umayyad caliphate in AD 750 and was based in Baghdad until 1258 when it was sacked by the Mongols. The end of the Umayyaddynasty meant a shift in power from Syria to Iraq. The Abbasids' settlement in Baghdad marked the beginning of the golden age of Arabic literature. The Abbasids, of great intellectual curiosity, adapted elements of earlier high cultures and incorporated them into their own.
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 gravelpit 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.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A place where monks or nuns live, work, and worship. An abbey usually consisted of group of buildings housing a monastery or a convent and an abbey church or a cathedral. Monasticism originated in the Middle East during the second half of the 4th century and spread to Byzantium, France, Greece, and Italy and developed independently from that in Britain. Excavations have shown considerable variation in the layout of abbeys depending on the different monastic orders. They range from beehive cells and oratories of Early Celtic abbeys to the Cistercian plan with cloisters, domestic ranges, and a large church. Prior to the 10th century, monasteries were the principal artistic, economic, and educational centers of the Christian world. An abbey was the complex of buildings which served the needs of these self-contained religious communities. The first European abbey was Montecassino in Italy, founded in 529.
Abercromby, Lord John (1841-1924)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A Scottish antiquary who studied the British Bronze Age and introduced the term 'beaker' for decorated handleless drinking vessels. He created the A-B-C beakerclassification.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The type site for a Neolithicpottery c. 3900-3200 BC, found in a causewayed camp about 15 km south of Oxford, England. The pottery is fairly heavy and formed into round-bottomed bowls with frequent-stroke decoration and some having handles.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The type site for a Neolithicpottery c. 3900-3200 BC, found in a causewayed camp about 15 km south of Oxford, England. The pottery is fairly heavy and formed into round-bottomed bowls with frequent-stroke decoration and some having handles.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: abrasion (n.) CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: To scrape or wear away by friction or erosion
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: French word meaning shelter" used to refer to the Palaeolithic shallow rock caves or shelters found in the limestone region of southern France. The abri was the living site in the front of a cave under a shelf of overhanging rock."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Site or a rock shelter near the village of Les Eyzies (Dordogne) in the Vézère valley of southwestern France. It has a very rich Upper Palaeolithicsequence of more than 14 main culture layers with radiocarbon dates from c 32,500 BC, beginning with Aurignacian deposits containing saucerlike living hollows with central hearths. The Aurignacian levels are followed by Perigordian and Proto-Magdalenian and probably Proto-Solutrean levels. Art objects have been found and a skeleton in a top layer. The various kinds of hearths and living areas may suggest different social groups inhabiting the area.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: chronometric dating; absolute dates; absolute chronology; absolute age determination (antonym: relative dating) CATEGORY: chronology; technique DEFINITION: The determination of age with reference to a specific time scale, such as a fixed calendrical system or in years before present (B.P., BP), based on measurable physical and chemical qualities or historical associations such as coins and written records. The date on a coin is an absolute date, as are AD 1492 or 501 BC.
absolute pollen counting
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Absolute pollen counting is the determination of the number of grains of each pollentype per unitweight (grains/gram) or unit volume (grains/cm3) of sample. Variation in the rate of sedimentation sometimes makes the number of years represented uncertain; absolute counts for different samples may therefore not be compatible. Pollenanalysis is then calibrated with radiocarbon dating to create pollen influx rates figured by the number of grains of each pollentype accumulating on a unitarea of lake or bog surface in one year (grains/cm2/year) for each sample.
Absolute Pollen Frequency
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: APF CATEGORY: measure DEFINITION: A pollen density measure in which pollen counts per unit volume of sediment are corrected by estimated deposition rate (depth per year) to estimated influx (counts per cm per year), the same unit used for pollen rain" in modern samples. Each taxon varies independently of the others making interpretation much easier than with percentages."
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The process by which a liquid is drawn into and fills the pores of a permeable, porous body
abstract data type
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ADT CATEGORY: database design DEFINITION: A class of data that does not conform to alphanumeric, numeric, Boolean, text, or string types; includes time and date fields as well as special data types for ordinal time, statistical dates, stratigraphic order, and spatial context.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in the Western Desert of Egypt, occupied 8500-5000 years ago.
Abu Hureyra, Tell
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A small tell on the Euphrates River, 120 km east of Aleppo in Syria. The site was excavated in 1972-73 prior to flooding by the Tabqua/Tabqa Dam. Two major phases of occupation were found: Mesolithic or Epi-Palaeolithic (early 9th millennium BC) to a Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Culture in the 6th millennium. There was a long period of abandonment in the 7th millennium and then a final abandonment c 5800 BC. The site depicted a transition from gathering to cultivation, including large quantities of einkornwheat, and from hunting to herding (sheep and goats, also gazelle and onager). The Neolithic settlement was of enormous size, larger than any other recorded site of this period -- even Çatal Hüyük. In the uppermost levels, a dark burnished pottery appeared.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Abu Rawash; Abu Roash CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The Egyptian site of the unfinished pyramid of the 4th Dynasty ruler Djedefra (Redjedef) (c 2566-2558 BC), the third of the seven kings of that dynasty. The pyramid, situated northwest of Giza on the west bank of the Nile, appears unfinished because the walls to the mortuary temple next to it were hastily made of mud brick instead of the usual cut stone. The complex was deliberately ransacked as Djedefra was involved in a dynastic struggle. An Early Dynastic (c. 2925- c. 2575 BC) private cemetery has also been found at Abu Ruwaysh.
Abu Salabikh, Tell
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site of southern Mesopotamia with evidence of the Early Dynastic III and Uurk times. Many texts, including the earliest-known literary works of Sumerian literature. I.J. Gelb proposed the name 'Kishcivilization' to identify this culture of the mid-3rd millennium.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Abu sunbul CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of two rock-cut temples of the Egyptian king Rameses II (1279-1213 BC), located southeast of Aswan, formerly Nubia. The facade of the largest temple is dominated by four 20-meter-high (67 feet) seated figures of Rameses and the main part of the temple is cut into the solid rock of the hillside, penetrating it about 55 meters. The temples were salvaged in the 1960s from the rising waters of the Nile, caused by the erection of the Aswan High Dam. The temples were discovered by the traveler Jean-Louis Burckhardt in 1813 and cleared by Egyptologist Giovanni Battista Belzoni four years later. There are also reliefs illustrating the king's life, accomplishments, and military campaigns in Syria and Nubia, small figures representing Rameses' queen, Nefertari, and their children; and graffiti providing important evidence of the early history of the alphabet. It was also built so that, on certain days of the year, the first rays of the morning sun would penetrate its length and illuminate the shrine in the innermost sanctuary. The smaller temple was dedicated to Nefertari for the worship of the goddess Hathor. Between 1964-1968, a UNESCO- and Egyptian-sponsored task began with a team of international engineers and scientists and funds from more than 50 countries to uncover and disassemble both temples and reconstruct them on high ground 60 meters (200 feet) above the riverbed.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Abdjw CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient Anatolian site, which was a pilgrimage center for the worship of the god Osiris and the chosen burial place of the pharaohs of the 1st Dynasty. Located on the east side of the Dardanelles and west bank of the Nile northeast of modern Canakkale, it flourished from the Predynastic period until Christian times (c. 4000 BC-AD 641) and survived until late Byzantine times as the toll station of the Hellespont. The earliest significant remains are the tombs of the Protodynastic and Early Dynastic periods (c. 3100-2686 BC), including that of Seti I of the 19th Dynasty (c. 1300 BC). From the 2nd Dynasty, the royal graves were at Saqqara. It was from Abydos that Xerxes crossed the strait to invade Greece in 480 BC.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: Pottery of Canaanite (Syro-Palestinian) origin found in the royal tombs of the First and Second Dynasties (The Old Kingdom) at Abydos, Saqqara, Abusir el-Melek, and other sites in Upper Egypt, dating to Early Bronze Age II (3300-2700 BCE). The pottery, often red-rose slipped and burnished or painted with geometric motifs, includes jugs, bottles, and jars. Most common are the red-slipped jugs, some of a hard-baked metallic" quality with handles attached to the rim and a typical stamped base. This potteryclass took its name from Abydos the first site at which it was found in Upper Egypt."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tadrat Acacus CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A region of the central Sahara (now southwestern Libya) known for rock shelters with occupation deposits and rock paintings. Pottery was made from about 7000 BC, the earliest of the so-called Aquatic Civilization typified by wavy-line decoration. The skull of a shorthorn ox and traces of sheep/goat supply evidence for animal domestication as early as c 4000 BC. Rock paintings of oxen predate c 2700 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Greek Academeia, Latin Academia CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: In ancient Greece, the academy or college of philosophy developed by Socrates and Plato, located just northwest of Athens. Plato acquired property there about 387 BC and used it as a training ground and to teach. At the site had been a park and gymnasiumsacred to the legendary Attic hero Academus. The term Academy was not applied during Plato's time but rather to his successors till the time of Cicero (106-43 BC). It was organized for worshipping the muses and instruction included mathematics, dialectics, natural science, and political science. It was closed by the emperor Justinian in 529 AD.
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.
CATEGORY: measure DEFINITION: The degree to which measured values come close to actual values; opposite of bias.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Without pottery or not using pottery. This term is applied to periods and societies in which pottery is not used, especially in contrast to other periods of ceramicuse and with neighboring ceramic cultures. Aceramic societies may use bark, basketry, gourds, leather, etc. for containers.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Achaemenid dynasty, Achaemenid CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The Persiandynasty, descendants of Achaemenes (c. 700 BC), which ruled from Cyrus the Great to Darius III (c 550-331 BC). Cyrus II (559-530 BC) overthrew the Medes empire to found a Persian empire, conquering Lydia, Babylonia, the Iranian plateau, and Palestine. His son, Cambyses II, added Egypt in 525 BC. The throne then passed to Darius, who set up an efficient administration of an empire then extending from the Nile to the Indus. This empire united for the first time all the peoples of the east -- from Thrace and Egypt to the Aral Sea and the Indus Valley -- and had as its capitals Parsargadae, Susa, and Persepolis. At Marathon in 490 BC, Darius failed to conquer the Greeks, as his son Xerxes failed at Salamis in 480. Their successors, notably Artaxerxes, fought to consolidate a waning empire. The Achaemenids were finally overthrown in 332 BC by Alexander the Great. The period is an important one in Iranian civilization. It was marked by contacts between the classical civilizations of Europe and the east and the appearance and spread of Zoroastrianism, at its time the most advanced religion outside Judaism. The Achaemenids' most famous monuments are the work of Darius: his capital of Persepolis, outstanding for its architecture and monumental reliefs, and his trilingual rock-cut inscription at Behistun for the key it gave to the translation of the cuneiform script. Other surviving Achaemenid monuments include the tomb of Cyrus the Great at Pasargadae and the rock-cut tomb of Darius at Naqsh-i Rustam near Persepolis.
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 bifacialstone 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 interglacialperiod, and hand axes are common in one part of the succeeding Mousterianperiod (the Mousterian of Acheuliantradition) 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.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A short sword or scimitar, often very short and worn suspended from a belt around the waist, and used by Eastern nations of antiquity, esp. the Medes, Persians, and Scythians.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A small pick used stone-cutters and masons in early Roman times.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: aclyx, aclys CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A small javelin or harpoon, consisting of a thick short pole set with spikes. This massive weapon resembles a trident or angon.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: acoustic vessel CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Large earthenware or bronze vases which were used to strengthen actors' voices and were placed in bell towers to help boost the sound of church bells. A church in Westphalia contains fine 9th-century Badorf Wares and larger Relief-Band Amphorae were used in 10th- and 11th-century churches.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: acoustic vessels CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Large earthenware or bronze vases which were used to strengthen actors' voices and were placed in bell towers to help boost the sound of church bells. A church in Westphalia contains fine 9th-century Badorf Wares and larger Relief-Band Amphorae were used in 10th- and 11th-century churches.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A Greek and Roman table vessel for holding pure wine, as opposed to the crater which held wine mixed with water. This vessel was often made of earthenware and metal, though some were gold or silver.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A Greek statue, of which the head and extremities were of stone or marble and the trunk crafted of wood which was either gilt or draped. The acrolith period was the infancy of Greek plastic art.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Method to determine the elements of a material by inducing radioactive reactions to produce radiation characteristic of material composition.
active remote sensing
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Any geophysical sensing method that passes energy through the soil and measures the response in order to read what lies below the surface.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A set of artifacts that reveals the activities of an individual.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cave in Monte Pellegrino near Palermo, Sicily, with engravings from the Upper Palaeolithicperiod. The main scene is of human figures and seems to depict an initiation or circumcision. It is attributed to the Romanellian culture of 11,000 years ago.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A widespread native American culture of the Early Woodland period in the Ohio Valley (US) and named after the Adena Mounds of Ross County. It is known for its ceremonial and complexburial practices involving the construction of mounds and by a high level of craftwork and pottery. It is dated from as early as c. 1250 BC and flourished between c. 700-200 BC. It is ancestral to the Hopewellculture in that region. It was also remarkable for long-distance trading and the beginnings of agriculture. The mounds (e.g. Grave Creek Mound) are usually conical and they became most common around 500 BC. There was also cremation. Artifacts include birdstones, blocked-end smoking pipes, boatstones, cord-marked pottery, engraved stone tablets, and hammerstones.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A widespread Native American culture of the Early Woodland period in the Ohio Valley (US) and named after the Adena Mounds of Ross County. It is known for its ceremonial and complexburial practices involving the construction of mounds and by a high level of craftwork and pottery. It is dated from as early as c. 1250 BC and flourished between c. 700-200 BC. It is ancestral to the Hopewellculture in that region. It was also remarkable for long-distance trading and the beginnings of agriculture. The mounds (e.g. Grave Creek Mound) are usually conical and they became most common around 500 BC. There was also cremation. Artifacts include birdstones, blocked-end smoking pipes, boatstones, cord-marked pottery, engraved stone tablets, and hammerstones. Artifacts distinctive of Adena include a tubular pipestyle, mica cutouts, copper bracelets and cutouts, incised tablets, stemmed projectile points, oval bifaces, concave and reel-shaped gorgets, and thick ceramic vessels decorated with incised geometric designs.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: uh'-doh-bee CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Spanish term for sun-dried mud brick; also the name for a structure built out of this material. These claylike buff or brown mud bricks were not fired, but hardened and dried in the sun. The material was also used as mortar, plaster, and amorphous building for walls. Adobe structures are found in the southwestern US and Mexico where there is heavy-textured claysoil and a sunny climate. These structures were often houses, temples, and large solid platforms in the shape of truncated pyramids.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An informative site on the Tenere Desert in Niger where excavations revealed a long succession of prehistoric occupation. The first was a Levalloiso-Mousterian settlement. By early in the 4th millennium BC, food production techniques are attested. A skeleton of a domestic shorthorn ox dates to 3700 BC and remains of small stock that was herded. Cereals, as sorghum, were possibly cultivated.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Latin Atria or Hadria CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A town in northeastern Italy founded by the Etruscans or the Veneti which flourished as a port on the Adriatic Sea in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. It was an intersection of Etruscan and Greek trade, linking Etruria, the Po Valley, and northern Europe. The silting up of the Po and Adige deltas caused the sea to recede from the town. There is evidence of a canal being dug around 5th century BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A seaport on the Red Sea coast of Ethiopia, near modern Massawa. It was the principal port of Axum on an important trade route. It may have been established in Ptolemaic times during the Pre-Axumite period, though excavations have yielded material belonging to the 3rd century AD or later.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adyton CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In classical architecture, an enclosed room which formed the innermost sanctuary of a temple. It was entered via the opisthodomos and was to the rear of the cella.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adze CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A cutting tool, similar to an ax, in which the blade is set at right angles to the handle or haft. One of the earliest tools, it was widely distributed in Stone Age cultures in the form of a handheld stone chipped to form a blade. By Egyptian times, it was made of stone, metal, or shell and had acquired the handle. It is distinguished from the ax (working edgeparallel with haft) by its asymmetrical cross-section. This carpenter's tool was used for rough dressing of timber and possibly for tree felling and for hollowing out a dugout canoe. The adz also was used in the ritual ceremony Opening of the Mouth in Egypt; touching it to the mouth of the mummy or statue of the deceased was thought to restore the senses.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adz, adze-blade CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A cutting tool, similar to an ax, in which the blade is set at right angles to the handle or haft. One of the earliest tools, it was widely distributed in Stone Age cultures in the form of a handheld stone chipped to form a blade. By Egyptian times, it was made of stone, metal, or shell and had acquired the handle. It is distinguished from the ax (working edgeparallel with haft) by its asymmetrical cross-section. This carpenter's tool was used for rough dressing of timber and possibly for tree felling and for hollowing out a dugout canoe. The adz also was used in the ritual ceremony Opening of the Mouth in Egypt; touching it to the mouth of the mummy or statue of the deceased was thought to restore the senses.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Early Bronze Age island site between Piraeus and the Peloponnese with a temple of the Doric order and also the temple of Aphaia which depicted the two sackings of Troy.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A shield or defensive armor in ancient mythology. This Greek word for shield" has been used to describe the representation of a necklace on the head of a deity."
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: An architectural order of northwestern Turkey and the island of Lesbos, with an ornate capital formed by two volutes separated by a spreading palmette. The echinus is below the volutes and is often formed by water lily leaves.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aeolia CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A group of ancient cities of northwestern Asia Minor (west coast of Anatolia) which were founded at the end of the 2nd millennium BC by Greeks. The earliest settlements, on the islands of Lesbos and Tenedos and on the mainland between Troas and Ionia, were formed from migrations during 1130-1000 BC. At the end of the 6th century, after fighting between Greece and Persia, Darius I incorporated Aeolis into a province of the Persian Empire.
CATEGORY: branch DEFINITION: The study and location of archaeological sites and features through the use of aerial observation, photography, and surveys.
aerial photographic map
CATEGORY: tool DEFINITION: A map of a site, feature, or region made through aerial photography. Professional photographic and cartographic techniques make possible the preparation of contour maps and three-dimensional models of surfaces.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: air photography, aerophotography, aerial reconnaissance CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A technique of photographic observation and survey of the ground from an aircraft, spacecraft, or satellite which provides detailed information about sites and features without excavation. It is most important for locating archaeological sites before destruction of the landscape through building, road construction, or modern agricultural practices. When viewed from the air, sites may be revealed as crop marks, soil marks, shadow marks, or frost marks. For example, the plan of a site, ditches, walls, pits, etc. can be reflected in the way the crops grew (crop marks) or a pattern of dark occupation soil may show against a lighter topsoil or stone from walls may be just under the surface (soil marks). Oblique aerial photos, from lower altitudes, detect shadows created by earthworks and permit more detailed interpretations of known sites (shadow marks). Variations in the amount of frost retained on the ground may indicate the presence of buried archaeological features (frost marks). Though these can sometimes be recognized on the ground by careful fieldwalking and contour planning, much larger areas can be examined from the air and overall patterns will be clearer. The same site may not be susceptible every year to aerial photographs, as local climatic variation affects the nature of the feature fillings; a site may only be seen once in ten or twenty years. The use of false-color infrared photography has increased the versatility of aerial photography and the development of photogrammetry allows the accurate mapping of both archaeological and geographical information. Recording of thermographic and radar images complements photographic methods. Aerial photography has proved to be one of the most successful methods of discovering archaeological sites. Large areas of ground can be covered quickly, and the ground plan of a new site can be plotted from the photographs. Features can be revealed in extraordinary detail by these means. The pioneers of this technique were O.G.S. Crawford and Major Allen in Britain and Père Poidebard in Syria, though its first use goes back to 1906 at Stonehenge.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A technique of aerial reconnaissance that detects differences in retention and radiation of heat in ground surfaces.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: An environmental state requiring or using free oxygen in the air for metabolic purposes and which, therefore, causes decay in organic structures. Many materials, including plants, leather, flesh, food remains, and clothing will disintegrate in aerobic conditions.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An object to point at words whilst reading
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Neolithicculture 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 dentatepottery, 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 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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Early copper-working sites of Niger from the 2nd millennium BC.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A striped-patternglass created by mixing molten glass of different colors. The colored bands resemble those of natural agate.
Age of Discovery
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A time of Western expansion through European exploration, discovery, and enlightenment about the world which occurred from about the 15th through the 18th centuries, c 1515-1800.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: catastrophic age profile CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A pattern of the distribution of an animal population's ages as the result of death by natural causes. This mortality pattern is based on bone- or tooth-wear analysis. It demonstrates a natural" age distribution in which the older the age group the fewer the individuals it has."
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A technical term of ancient Roman roadwork for an earthen mound, embankment, or rampart of a camp, formed by the earth dug out of a ditch. Most Roman roads were built on a slightly raised causeway, mainly to provide drainage. This bank of earth was used for protection from flooding, as the foundation for a road, or for warfare purposes. Agger is also a general term for a mound formed by a dike, quay, roadwork, or earthwork. An agger can often be traced even if the surfacing material has been covered or laid bare.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithicsite on the Danube River in Austria with artifacts (endscrapers, backed blades, retouched blades) and faunal remains (woolly mammoth, reindeer, giant deer) dating to 25,700-22,450 bp, the Early Gravettian.
aging of skeletal material
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The age at death may be estimated from ancient skeletal material in a number of ways. (1) Epiphyseal fusion. A growing bone consists of a central part (diaphysis) and the ends (ephiyses). At adulthood, the epiphyses fuse to the diaphysis and the average at which this occurs is known for man and most domestic animals. The stage of epiphyseal fusion may therefore be used as a guide to the age at death. (2) Dental eruption. The average age for each stage of the eruption of teeth in man and most domestic animals is well-established. The state of dental eruption may therefore be used to estimate the age at death. (3) Dental attrition. Given a standard diet, teeth wear roughly at the same rate and tables of rate of wear have been established for man. For other animals, this method must be calibrated by dental eruption. (4) Dental microstructure. The counting of incremental structures in teeth may allow estimation of age at death. (5) Pubic symphysis. In man, the joint surfaces of the pubic symphysis change progressively with age and can be used to determine the age of men at death. (6) Antlers. In deer, the development of antlers is roughly related to age.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural agorae CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In ancient Greek cities, an open space, serving as a commercial, political, religious, and social center. The word, first found in Homer, was applied by the Greeks of the 5th century BC in regard to this feature of their daily life. It was often a square or rectangle, surrounded by public and or sacred buildings and colonnades. The colonnades, sometimes containing shops (stoae) often enclosed the space, which was decorated with altars, fountains, statues, and trees. There were several kinds of agora, (1) archaic, where the colonnades and other buildings were not coordinated, and Athens is an example of this, (2) Ionic, more symmetrical, often combining colonnades to form either three sides of a rectangle or square, often with two or more courtyards, such as Miletus and Magnesia. In highly developed agora, like that of Athens, each trade or profession had its own quarter. It also served for theatrical and athletic performances until special buildings and places were made for those purposes. Under the Romans, it became a forum where one side was a vast basilica and the rest colonnades.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A town in western Eritrea, Ethiopia, with four village sites from around the 3rd millennium BC. Surface artifacts, such as stone maceheads and ground stone axes seem related to the Nubian C Group of the Nile Valley. Other artifacts suggest an early practice of food production that may have been passed from the Nile Valley to the Ethiopian highlands.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The Agrelo culture was centered in northwestern Argentina and dates from AD 1 to 1000. The type site is just south of Mendoza and it features distinctive deep, wide-mouthed pottery with parallel stepped incised lines, punctations, and fingernail impressions, typical of southern Andean tradition. Pottery spindle whorls, crude figurines, labrets, clubheads, triangular projectile points, and beads of stone have been found. Pit inhumations were marked by stone circles. The Agrelo represents the agriculture-pottery threshold in this semi-arid area. Nearby coastal pottery styles (Cienega, El Molle) may be precursors to Agrelo.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: formerly Girgenti, Greek Acragas or Akragas, Latin Agrigentum; also Agrigagas CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A wealthy, flourishing Greek and Roman city near the southern coast of Sicily, Italy, originally a colony of Gela and founded by Greeks about 580 BC. The plateau site of the ancient city has extraordinarily rich Greek remains. There are extensive walls with remnants of eight gates and the remains of seven Doric temples, but there has been illegal construction in which the ruins were quarried, so little is standing where some of the buildings once were. Agrigento was sacked by the Carthaginians in 406 BC, a disaster from which it never really recovered. It was refounded by Timoleon, a Greek general and statesman, in 338 BC, but Agrigento was on the losing side for most of the Punic Wars. Agrigento returned to some commercial prosperity when textiles, sulfur and potash mining, and agriculture expanded. It was abandoned once again in the Christian era though areas were used as Roman and Christian cemeteries and catacombs. There is some evidence for even earlier settlement, possibly Neolithic.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A culture of northwestern Argentina during the period 700-1000 AD, located on the western slopes of the Andes, and noted for the fine quality of its arts. Decorated copper and bronze plaques and polychrome yellow and black pottery with designs of cats, dragons, humans, birds, warriors, weaponry, and trophy heads are characteristic and reflect a possible influence from Tiahuanaco. Decapitated burials are a further indication that warfare was a dominant preoccupation of Aguada. Its sudden disappearance from the archaeological record in c 1000 AD was probably the result of invasion from the east.
Aha (c 3100 BC)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: One of the earliest 1st Dynasty rulers of a unified Egypt, whose name means The Fighter". Funerary remains at AbydosSaqqara and Naqada attest the reign and Flinders Petrie's excavation at Umm el-Qa'ab (Early Dynastic cemetery at Abydos) in 1899-1900 revealed objects bearing the name Aha in Tomb B19/15. However the earliest of the elite tombs at north Saqqara of the 1st and 2nd Dynasty also contained jar-sealings from that time. Evidence suggests that Narmer was Aha's father and that one of the two was also called Menes."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Rajasthan, western India, belonging to the ChalcolithicBanasculture and dated c. 2500-1500 BC. The people cultivated cereal crop, hunted deer, used copper and a variety of pottery, including Black and Red Ware. A second period of occupation later in the 1st millennium BC used Northern Black Polished Ware.
Ahhotep I (c. 1590-1530 BC)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: New Kingdom queen who played an important part in the wars of liberation leading to indigenous Egyptian rule. She was involved in the transition from the Second Intermediate Period to the New Kingdom, when the Hyksos rulers were expelled from Lower Egypt. She was the daughter of 17th Dynasty ruler Senakhtenra Taa I, the wife of Seqenenra Taa II, and mother of Ahmose I (and maybe of Kamose).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large ancient city of northern India, near Bareilly in the Ganges plain that was occupied from the mid-1st millennium BC to c 1100 AD. The ramparts were built c. 500 BC and there are nine building levels up till its abandonment. Painted Grey Ware was the first pottery found; later there was Northern Polished Black Ware.
Ahmose I (reigned c 1550-1525 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amosis CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: The founder of the 18th Dynasty and the prince of Thebes who drove the Hyksos from Egypt, invaded Palestine, and established the New Kingdom. He was the son of the Theban 17th Dynasty ruler Seqenenra Taa II and Queen Ahhotep, and came to the throne of a reunited Egypt after he and his predecessor Kamose expelled the Asiatic rulers from Egypt. Ahmose I was responsible for reactivating the copper mines at Sinai, resuming trade with Syrian cities, and restoring temples. He was succeeded by his son Amenhotep I in 1555 BC.
Ahmose II (reigned 570-526 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amasis, Amosis II CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: King of the late 26th Dynasty and originally a general in Nubia who came to the throne after his defeat of King Apries (589-570 BC). Ahmose was sent to pacify mutineering troops when they proclaimed him king. He fought Apries in a civil war and killed him in battle, though later giving him a royal burial. His reign was a time of great prosperity in Egypt.
Ahmose Nefertari (c 1570-1505 BC)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: An influential New Kingdom royal woman, whose political and religious titles (like her grandmother Tetisheri and mother Ahhotep I) reflect new roles adopted by women in the early 18th Dynasty. She was the first royal woman to have the title meaning God's wife of Amun" and was the mother of Amenhotep I and wife of Ahmose I. She seems to have outlived both and contributed to the quarrying and building projects of her husband."
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: The name of a rectangular stoneplatform, the largest with stepped sides, which was a focus of court rituals in prehistoric Eastern Polynesian temples (marae). Most of these platforms are found in the Society Islands, and on Easter Island, where ahu were statue foundations.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: at-Tall CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient Canaanite town near Bethel supposedly destroyed by the Israelites and Joshua. There is a triple circuit of walls from the Early Bronze Age, c. 2900-2500 BC and imposing ruins of a temple and another large building within it. The Bronze Age site is now called at-Tall and there was only a brief reoccupation in the 12th-11th century BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aibunar CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site with three copper mines, located near Stara Zagora in central Bulgaria. The open-castmining of malachiteore beds dates to the 4th millennium BC (Karanovo VI period) and was later used in the Late Bronze Age. Quantities of this ore have been discovered in settlements in Moldavia and the Ukraine (Cucuteni-Tripolye culture).
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a Middle Neolithicsettlement (end of 3rd millennium BC) on the shores of Lake Federsee in southern Germany. There are foundations of about 25 rectangular houses around the lake. They were built of timber, usually divided into two rooms, and most contained a hearth and clayoven. A large central building was likely used for communal purposes and there are some storage structures. Small polished stone hatchets, bone implements, Shoe-Last Adzes, and unpainted pedestalpottery bowls are among the artifacts.
Aijul, Tell el-
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tell near Gaza in Palestine that was excavated by Flinders Petrie in 1930-1934 and 1938 and found to be Middle Bronze Age, though cemeteries of the Chalcolithic and Intermediate Bronze Age were discovered nearby. The town had walls, a plastered Hyksos-typeglacis, and a fosse. Five successive palaces were excavated within the walls and hoards of goldjewelry were found.
Aijul, Tell el-
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tell near Gaza in Palestine that was excavated by Flinders Petrie in 1930-1934 and 1938 and found to be Middle Bronze Age, though cemeteries of the Chalcolithic and Intermediate Bronze Age were discovered nearby. The town had walls, a plastered Hyksos-typeglacis, and a fosse. Five successive palaces were excavated within the walls and hoards of goldjewelry were found.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An early farming village in the Jordan Valley, occupied around 8000 years ago. Its clay female figures may be evidence of an early fertility cult.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An early farming village in the Jordan Valley, occupied around 8000 years ago. Its clay female figures may be evidence of an early fertility cult.
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 Villafranchiantype associated with the tools.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Eynan CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large village of the early Natufianperiod near Lake Huleh in Upper Jordan. The three phases contain 50 large circular houses and open areas with storage pits. The well-built houses suggest a permanent occupation. The economy was probably based on the hunting and herding of gazelle and other large animals, fishing, and harvesting cereals. Many of the houses had paved stone floors and a central stone-lined hearth.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The native people of Hokkaido, Sakhalin, and the Kuril Islands, Japan, who are physically different from their Mongoloid neighbors. They once lived by hunting, trapping, and fishing and also grew buckwheat and numbered about 17,000 in the 1940s. Ainu appear to be descendants of the early Caucasoid peoples who were once spread over northern Asia. They did not undergo the sociocultural changes of the Yayoi and Kofun periods, but remained Epi-Jomon until about the end of the 8th century; it then was transformed into the Satsumonculture. The Ainu were pushed northward over the centuries by the Japanese. Intermarriage and cultural assimilation have made the traditional Ainu almost extinct. Their most important ritual, the Bear Ceremonial, find parallels in Okhutsk ceremonialism.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A name derived from the French for wing" describing the areas of a churchbasilica or temple between the arcade or arches or columns and the outer wall on both sides of the nave. It is also used to describe the wing of a building and the side passages of a Roman house."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ajdabiyah, Agedabia CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A town in northeastern Libya near the Gulf of Sidra that was the site of Roman and Byzantine colonization and a caravan junction from Egypt to the Maghreb and a trans-Saharan route from the Sudan during the early Middle Ages. There are ruins from the earlier colonization and two important monuments from the period 912-1051 -- an early congregational mosque and a qasr (fort).
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The earliest phase of pre-village, pre-agriculture in Tehuacan Valley, Mexico, from c 7200-7000 BC. There was hunting and gathering.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A group of Middle Palaeolithic sites in Crimea, Ukraine with Ak-Kaya and Zaskal'Naya artifact assemblages, including bifacial foliates, Prondnik knives, and Bockstein knives.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site near Kobe City, Japan, where fossilHomo bones were found in 1931. The bones have been dated to the Holocene.
CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: An earth god of the Early Dynastic period, most often represented as a form of double-sphinx of two lions back to back. Aker's symbolism was closely associated with the junction of the eastern and western horizons in the underworld.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: In Egyptian religion, the spirit of a deceased person and one of the five principal elements considered part of a complete personality -- the other four being the ka, ba, name, and shadow. Akh is a state in the afterlife, both immortal and unchangeable, and the result of the successful reunion of the ba with its ka. The akh enabled the soul to assume temporarily any form it desired, for the purpose of revisiting the earth or other enjoyment in the next world.
Akhenaten (reigned 1353-1336 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amenhotep IV, Akhnaton, Ikhnaton, Neferkheperure Amenhotep, Greek Amenophis CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: The heretic pharaoh of Egypt's 18th Dynasty, who reigned with his queen Nefertiti towards the end of the New Kingdom. He was the son of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiy. During his reign, he attempted to replace Egypt's religions with worship of Amen-Ra, the sun disk, represented by the god Aten (or Aton). The art and literature of Egypt also was marked by rapid change during his reign. He set the tone for a new era by establishing a temple at Karnak dedicated to Aten and moved the capital from Thebes to modern Tell el-Amarna in Middle Egypt, calling the city Akhetaten. His religious reforms were fanatical and foreign affairs were neglected and his reign saw the collapse of the Egyptian Asiatic empire built by earlier rulers. His successor and probable brother, Tutankhamen, returned Egypt to the worship of Amen-Ra and the capital to Thebes. Later rulers attempted to remove all record of Akhenaten's heresy and name. Akhenaten has been controversial both in ancient and modern times.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Ipu, Khent-Mim CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the east bank of the Nile opposite modern Sohag, that was the capital of the ninth nome of Upper Egypt during the Pharaonic period, c. 3100-332 BC. The earliest surviving remains are Old and Middle Kingdom rock-cut tombs. The city originally included a number of temples dedicated to Min, but few stone buildings have survived because of the plundering. Colossal statues of Rameses II and Meritamun have been excavated.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in southern Mauritania that appears to have been an early copperworking center in Africa, from c. 5th century BC or earlier. It is one of the few Saharan or sub-Saharan areas where there may have been a Copper Age preceding the Iron Age. Arrowheads, spearheads, axes, pins, and some decorative items of copper are attributed to this period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Agade CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Ancient region in what is now central Iraq and was the northern (or northwestern) division of ancient Babylonian civilization. It is an archaeologically unlocated site, in or near Babylon roughly where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are closest to each other. The name Akkad was taken from the city of Agade, which was founded by Sargon in about 2370 BC. Sargon united various city-states in the area and his rule encompassed much of Mesopotamia, creating the first empire in history.
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 cuneiformscript 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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a Bronze Age town on Thera/Santorinin in the Aegean, buried by a volcano in the 16th century BC. Excavation have revealed houses with polychrome frescoes. There is evidence of links with MinoanCrete.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of the city of Lagash, one of the ancient Mesopotamian centers of the city-state of Lagash, dating from Early Dynasty to Old Babylonian times. It was absorbed into Ur and eventually declined in importance.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the coast of Syria near the mouth of the Orontes River that was a Greek settlement before the end of the 9th century BC and may have been Poseideion. Material from the 8th-4th centuries BC has been found, indicating further links between Greece and the Near East. Al Mina was sacked and destroyed by Ptolemy of Egypt in 413 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Egyptian alabaster CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A term used by Egyptologists for a type of white, semi-transparent or translucent, stone used in statuary, vases, sarcophagi, and architecture. It is a form of limestone (calcium carbonate), sometimes described as travertine. It was used increasingly from the Early Dynastic period for funerary vessels as well as statuary and altars. Alabaster is found in Middle Egypt, a main source being Hatnub, southeast of el-Amarna. The sarcophagi of Seti I (British Museum) is a fine example. An alabaster (also alabastron or alabastrum) is also the name of a small vase or jar for precious perfumes or oils made of this material. It was often globular with a narrow mouth and often without handles.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite in north central Turkey, near Boghaz Köy and 150 km east of Ankara, that was occupied in the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd millennia BC. Its Chalcolithic and Copper Age phases include a cemetery of 13 extremely rich tombs from c 2500 BC (Early Bronze Age II). The burials were single and double inhumations in rectangular pits, with fine metalwork including copper figurines (thought to be mounts from funeral standards), sun discs, ornaments, weapons, jugs and goblets, diadems, bracelets, and beads. The quantity of gold and copper imply that this was a royal cemetery. The tombs were lined with rough stone and skulls and hooves of animals were hung from the wooden beams as part of the funeral rite. The site was later reoccupied under the Hittites, who erected a monumental gateway with two great stone sphinxes. It has been tentatively identified as the Hittite holy city of Arinna.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An early Middle Cypriote site in eastern Cyprus with rectangular stone houses.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The easternmost site of the Harappan civilization, northeast of Delhi in the Ganges Valley. It was a small late Harappan settlement. After a gap of unknown duration, there were later occupations which showed Painted Grey Ware and ironuse.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a group of Copper Age rock-cut tombs near Lisbon, Portugal. It consists of simple chambers entered through smaller vestibles and includes ritual objects such as clay sandals, clay lunulae, so-called pine-cones, and Beaker pottery.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site mentioned in texts of the 2nd millennium BC as a source of copper; assumed to be Cyprus. The texts also record the workings of the Sea Peoples c 1200 BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large area of interior Alaska that was not glaciated during the latter part of the Pleistocene. It was connected to Beringia and eastern Siberia, allowing access for peoples between Asia and North America.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Albe CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient fortified Roman colony, at the foot of Mount Velino, Italy. It was originally a town of the ancient Marsi people, but was occupied by Latin colonists c 302-303 BC. It was situated on a hill with three distinct summits, which were enclosed in its walls, much of which are still standing. Remains of the forum with a temple and various buildings of the time of Sulla are there, including a basilica, curia, macellum, theater, and amphitheater. This colony was important during the civil wars of the 1st century BC and state prisoners of Rome were often held there.
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.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A stoneindustry of southernmost Africa, dated between the 11th and 6th millennia BC. It precedes the appearance of backed-microlithWiltonindustry 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural albarelli CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A late medieval (15th-18th centuries) Near East, Spanish, and Italian apothecary potteryjar. It was made in the form known as majolica or with a fine tin glaze over typically blue designs imitating the forms of Arabic script. Its basic shape was cylindrical but incurved and wide-mouthed for holding, using, and shelving. They average 7 inches high (18 cm) and are free of handles, lips, and spouts. A piece of paper or parchment was tied around the rim as a cover for the jar. Drug jars from Persia, Syria, and Egypt were introduced into Italy by the 15th century and luster-decorated pots influenced by the Moors in Spain entered through Sicily. Spanish and Islamic influence is apparent in the colors used in the decoration of early 15th-century Italian albarellos, which are often blue on white. A conventional oakleaf and floral design, combining handsomely with heraldic shields or with scrollwork and an inscribed label, frequently occurs. Geometric patterns are also common. By the end of the 18th century, albarellos had yielded to other containers. Albarelli have occasionally been found in Britain and the Netherlands.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: In Roman and Greek antiquity, a blanktablet on which praetor's edicts and other public notices were recorded for public information. It was also a space on the surface of a wall, covered with white plaster, upon which were written such announcements or advertisements. Afterwards, this term was extended to denote any kind of white tablets bearing an inscription.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cemetery in southern Portugal containing corbel-vaulted tombs of megalithic tradition from the early metal ages. Like Los Millares, it was once thought to be an Aegean colony.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A town in Ladakh, Tibet, where a number of nomads' tombs" were discovered and excavated between 1900-1910 by A.H. Francke. Each tomb contained from 3-20 long-headed skulls many small handmade pottery vessels filled with bones and grave goods including bronze beads pendants bracelets and bronze vessels. There was also pottery decorated with dark red incised or zigzagged patterns and possibly stylized leaves or grass. Other examples were found at Teu-gser-po and Ba-lu-mk'ar."
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A small auxiliary chamber in a wall, usu. Found in mit structures and often adjoining the east wall of the main chamber. They are much larger than apertures and niches.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A round apparatus formerly used in distilling, consisting of a cucurbit or gourd-shaped vessel containing the substance to be distilled and the upper part, the alembic proper, which was a head or cap. The beak or downward-sloping spout of the apparatus conveyed the condensed product to another vessel.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arabic Halab, Turkish Halep CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city in northern Syria which stands on the site of an ancient, as yet unexcavated, city. On the route between the Euphrates and Orontes, the ancient site is mentioned in texts from the 2nd millennium onwards as the capital of the Amorite kingdom of Yamkhad in the 18th century BC. It subsequently came under Hittite, Egyptian, Mitannian, and again Hittite rule during the 17th-14th centuries. It was known to the Hittites as Halpa. The city was conquered by the Assyrians in the 8th century BC and then controlled by the Achaemenian Persians from the 6th-4th centuries BC before the Seleucids took it over, rebuilt it, and renamed it Beroea. Aleppo was very important during the Hellenistic period for its position along trade routes. The city became part of the Roman province of Syria in the 1st century BC. Conquered by the Arabs in 637, it reverted to its old name of Halab.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An island colony in eastern Corsica, founded from Phocaea (Turkey) in the 6th century BC. There are similarities to Etrusca in the tombs and Etruscan artifacts.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Raqote CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The Greek city founded by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, capital of the Ptolemydynasty, located on a narrow strip of land in the NileDelta 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.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An elaborate gold ornament which is an example of 9th century Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship and found at Somerset, England in 1893 (now in Ashmolean Museum, Oxford). It consists of an enameled plaque with an oval portrait in different-colored Cloisonné, enhanced with filigreewire and backed by a flat piece of gold engraved with foliatedecoration. Engraved around the frame are the Old English words which translate to, 'Alfred ordered me to be made', assumed to be King Alfred.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An early farming site near Deh Luran in southwestern Iran, occupied c 7500-5600 BC. It was the first excavated farming site where significant quantities of plant remains were collected using the flotation technique, a landmark in the study of farming origins. The earliest phase, named Bus Mordeh and dated c 7500-6750 BC is characterized by simple mud-brick buildings and a combination of wild and domesticated foods, some herding, and the catching of fish. The succeeding phase, Ali Kosh and dated c 6770-6000 BC had similar plants and animals, hunting and fishing, but a decline in wild plant foods which points to more successful cereal cultivation. The buildings were much more substantial in this period. The final phase, Muhammed Jaffar and dated c 6000-5600, saw the introduction of pottery and ground stone. The evidence shows some strain of over-exploitation and by the mid-6th millennium BC, the area was abandoned. The site illustrates the transition from food gathering to food production and the improvement of house-building quality.
CATEGORY: tool DEFINITION: An instrument used in topographic and planimetric surveying, mapping, and planning with the plane-table method. It consists of a telescopic sight with stadia hairs mounted on a graduated metal ruler. This term is also used for any sighting device used for angular measurement. The device has a prismatic eyepiece and a spirit level for the plane-table. Some include compasses and most modern models can measure angles up to 30?.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Alisar, Alisar Huyuk CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tell southeast of Boghazköy in central Turkey which yielded many occupation levels from Chalcolithic (late 4th millennium) to Phrygian (1st millennium BC). The lowest stratum had eight Chalcolithic levels. The Early Bronze Age levels are characterized by painted pottery with a buff or light red burnish and some geometric patterns in dark brown or buff. There was some trade with Assyria early in the 3rd millennium BC. A karum was built and some Cappadocian tablets recovered. There may have been a hiatus in occupation in the Hittiteperiod (later 2nd millennium).
All Cannings Cross
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A n Early Iron Age site in Wiltshire, southern England. The settlement contained rectangular houses and evidence of ironsmelting. Fine haematite-coated bowls with horizontal furows above the carinations have been found.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A village site in Pakistan near the Indus delta. It was an agricultural community of the Harappan civilization.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A biological generalization about body proportions and climate that says that mammals living in colder environments will have stockier bodies and shorter limbs to reduce heat loss. A related rule, Bergmann's Rule, states that bodyweight tends to a minimum in warmer regions, increases to a certain threshold as temperature declines, and then falls off again as temperature falls further.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Allerod interstadial CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: An interstadial (transient) period of glacial retreat at the close of the Würm Glacial Stage in Europe, dated to c 12,000-11,000 years ago. This temporary increase in warmth allowed forests to establish themselves for a time in the ice-free zones. Radiocarbon dates show similar conditions prevailed in North America at about the same time. It was followed by another cold, glacial advance.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: alluvial deposit, alluvion CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: The detrital material (clay, gravel, organic material, sand, silt, soil) eroded, transported, and deposited by rivers and streams. It is very fertile and was used by early farmers. Though the largest areas of alluvium are flood plains and deltas, it may also occur where a river overflows its banks and is an important constituent of shelf deposits.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Almerian CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A coastal province of southeastern Spain where a Neolithicculture lived in the 5th and 4th millennia BC (c 5500-4300 BC). The village of El Garcel is the typical of the hilltop agricultural communities with circular huts of wattle and daub (with hearths and storage pits), plain baggy pottery, and trapezoidal flint arrowheads. The pottery was of a Western Neolithic tradition, possibly deriving from North Africa. Single and multiple burials were in dry stone cists under round mounds, and thought to be ancestral to the corbel-vaulted tombs of the Copper Age.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Almeria CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A native site in southeast Spain belonging to the Copper Age Los Millares culture. Oval houses were surrounded by ditches and there is a nearby megalithic tomb, similar to those of Los Millares. Baker pottery appears in later phases.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Albacete CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A collection of well-preserved paintings over the back wall of the shallow rock shelter Cueva Vieja in southeast Spain. They belong to the Spanish Levant cycle, c 8000-5000 BC (Mesolithic), and depict a group of women, hunters or warriors with bows and arrows and feather headdresses; and deer, ox, and possibly dogs.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A set of written symbols or characters used to represent the sounds of a language. Each character in an alphabet usually represents a single sound rather than a syllable or group of vowels or consonants. The first alphabets were devised around the eastern shores of the Mediterranean around 1700-1500 BC. The Phoenicians developed what is known as North Semitic and it is considered the ancestor of all modern alphabets. However, Semiticlanguage scripts used only consonants. The Greeks then added vowels when they adopted an alphabet in c 8th century BC. The number of letters in an alphabet varies from 20-30 to hundreds for hieroglyphic and cuneiform scripts to thousands for Chinese in which every sign is an ideogram.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The mountain range and region of southern Siberia which has yielded important prehistoric remains. Rising above 4000 meters, this area has Palaeolithic deposits (Ulalinka Creek) and a late glacial occupation (Ust' Kanskaia Cave). Some food-producing cultures appeared c 3rd millennium BC and metallurgy entered c 2nd millennium, when copperore was exploited. Pastoral nomadism and horseback riding were introduced in the 1st millennium BC. There are rich burials which indicate a society of social differentiation and a warrior elite which acquired precious goods from far-flung regions. In the 4th-2nd centuries BC, iron gradually replaced bronze. Altai groups are also characterized by animal art styles, similar to the Scythians who occupied the steppes of southern Russia to the west.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A languagefamily within the subdivision of the Ural-Altaic. It includes Turkic, Mongolian, Manchu, Tungusic, Korean, and Japanese. These language are distributed in an arc across northern Eurasia.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: One of the most important painted Palaeolithic caves (as is Lascaux, France) and one of the earliest discovered (1879). The site is in the Cantabrian Mountains of northeast Spain and the 280-meter long cave is famous for its polychrome animals, which include deer, bison, and wild boar painted in red, black, and a range of earth colors. Most of the art in the cave was produced by Solutrean and Magdalenian peoples, with one layerradiocarbon-dated to c 13,000 BC. The most famous panel is of 15 bison, plus deer and horses. There is also a hall with black paintings, and symbols are found in several parts of the cave. The paintings' authenticity was challenged right up to 1902 when Emile Cartailhac finally accepted that they were genuine.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: khat CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A surface upon which a sacrifice is offered or which is used as a center of worship. It began, in primitive times, as a rock or heap of stones or rocks and evolved into large ornate altars in churches. Small domestic altars have also been used in houses.
Altar de Sacrificios
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The Mayasite at the junction of the Pasion and Chixoy Rivers in Peten, Guatemala, occupied from c 1000 BC (Middle Pre-Classic) until c 950-1000 AD (beginning of Postclassic). Early remains are of Xe pottery and formal architecture (thatch-and-pole) date to c 500 BC. The site flourished due to its position on water routes and eventually plazas, a ball court, and templepyramid were built. There is evidence of intrusion of a group (probably Putun) around 800-850 AD and a second invasion c 910. After this, the site declined in power and was eventually abandoned.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The opposite face of each edge was steeply flaked and each face opposing the beveled edge was flatly flaked.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A small site near Landshut, Bavaria (Germany) which has three concentric rings of ditches and palisades. It is also the name of the Late Neolithic-Copper Age culture of the upper Danube basin.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Altin-depe CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large Chalcolithic and Bronze Age site in southern Turkmenistan which is similar to Namazga-Depe. The urban phase of the early 2nd millennium BC has a large artisans' quarter where there is evidence for specialized pottery production. The residential quarter has rich grave goods, including jewelry of precious and semi-precious stones and metals and imported materials. There is a complex of monumental structures which are similar to the ziggurats of Mesopotamia, with three main periods of construction. The settlement declined early in the 2nd millennium BC and was abandoned mid-millennium.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Climatic Optimum, Thermal Maximum, Long Drought; altithermal; Great Drought; Holocene climatic optimum. CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A warm, dry postglacial period in the western United States approximately 5600-2500 BC. Coined by Ernst Antev in 1948, the term describes a time during which temperatures were warmer than at present. Other terms, like Long drought, are used.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The distance an object or surface lies above a datum plane, usually sea level. It is one of the three dimensions defining the spatial location of artifacts.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Classic Mayasite in Belize, about 35 mi (56 km) north of Belize City which dates to the Middle Pre-Classic Period. It is known for caches of obsidian and jade. The land was poor for agriculture, but marine resources were exploited and the small center was quite wealthy. There is evidence of long-distance contact with Teotihuacan before it was abandoned, like other Maya ceremonial centers, c 900 AD.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of two Nubian towns about 180 km south of Wadi Halfa, one east and one west of the Nile. Amara West was a walled colony founded by the Egyptians c 1295-1069 BC when much of Nubia was regarded as Egypt. Amara East has a templedating to c 300 BC - 350 AD but few other remains.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: An important cache of diplomatic documents from Tell el-Amarna, discovered in 1887, a correspondence in cuneiform between the Egyptian pharaoh, kings of the Hittites and of the Mitanni, and governors of Egyptian possessions in western Asia. This discovery led to further excavations which revealed a number of claycuneiform tablets. There are 382 known clay tablets, most of which derive from the Place of the Letters of Pharaoh" a building identified as the official records office in the city."
Amarna, Tell el-
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Akhetaten; El-Amarna; Tall al-Amarna; el-Amarna CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of the ruins and tombs of the city of the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Akhetaton in Upper Egypt, 44 mi (71 km) north of modern Asyut and 280 km south of Cairo. Akhenaton (Amenhotep IV) built the city in about 1348 BC as his capital and the center of his reformed religion and worship of Aten. The city consisted of a group of palaces, temples, and residential quarters (and rock-cut tombs) inhabited only about 25-30 years. It was abandoned less than four years after Akhenaten's death and the capital returned to Thebes. Tell el-Amarna's remains have preserved the record of this short, fascinating period of history during which a correspondence in cuneiform between the Egyptian pharaoh, kings of the Hittites and of the Mitanni, and governors of Egyptian possessions in western Asia took place. There is Mycenaean pottery, linking the site to the Aegean and statuary which differed from the traditional art of pharaonic Egypt. The art of this brief monotheistic period was realistic and unrestrained, in contrast with the stereotyped art styles of other periods in ancient Egypt. It is one of the best-preserved examples of an Egyptian settlement of the New Kingdom.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Fossilized pine resin, a transparent yellow, orange, or reddish-brown material from coniferous trees. It is amorphous, having a specific gravity of 1.05-1.10 and hardness of 2-2.5 on the Mohs scale, and has two varieties -- gray and yellow. Amber was appreciated and popular in antiquity for its beauty and its supposed magical properties. The southeast coast of the Baltic Sea is its major source in Europe, with lesser sources near the North Sea and in the Mediterranean. Amber is washed up by the sea. There is evidence of a strong trade in amber up the Elbe, Vistula, Danube, and into the Adriatic Sea area. The trade began in the Early Bronze Age and expanded greatly with the Mycenaeans and again with the Iron Age peoples of Italy. The Phoenicians were also specialist traders in amber. The soft material was sometimes carved for beads and necklaces.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Lower Palaeolithic site in Soria, central Spain, first discovered before World War II. Ambrona probably dates 300,000-400,000 years ago, from the end of the Mindel glacialperiod. Its occupants hunted elephants, deer, and bovines though the horse was the most common animal in the area. There are stone hand axes, scrapers, and cleavers of the Acheuliantype and similar to some African sites were made from chalcedony, quartzite, quartz, and limestone. Points were fashioned from young elephant tusks. Pieces of charcoal show that fire was used.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in southern Algeria dating to c 7th millennium BC. Pottery similar to wavy-line ware of Early Khartoum. There is not evidence of food production or of fishing in this early settlement.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ammenemes CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: The name of four of the 12th Dynasty pharaohs, under whom the Middle Kingdom of Egypt reached its peak of development, c 1938-1756 BC. The name meant Amun is at the head". They include Amenemhet I (1938-1908 BC) (Sesostris I or Senwosret 1918-1875 BC) Amenemhet II (1876-1842 BC) (Sesostris II 1844-1837 BC) Amenemhet III (1818-1770 BC) (Sesostris III 1836-1818 BC) and Amenemhet IV (c 1770-1760 BC) (also Sebeknefru 1750-1756 BC the first attested female monarch)."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amunhotep, Amenophis CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: The name of four pharaohs of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt, 1390-1353 BC. Amenhotep III (Amenhotep the Magnificent) was the most powerful, reigning 1514-1593 BC. He was preceded by Amenhotep I (1514-1493 BC) and Amenhotep II (c 1426-1400 BC) and succeeded by Amenhotep IV (1352-1336 BC), who was better known by his adopted name of Akhenaten. The name meant Amun is content". Amenhotep I the founder of the dynasty extended Egypt's boundaries in Nubia (modern Sudan). Amenhotep III devoted himself to promoting diplomacy and to extensive building in Egypt and Nubia. Amenhotep IV tried to establish the monotheistic cult of Aten."
Amenhotep son of Hapu (c. 1440-1360 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Athribis, Huy CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A high official during the reign of Amenhotep III of Egypt whose offices included chief royal architect. In this capacity, he probably supervised the construction of Amenhotep III's mortuary temples at Thebes near modern Luxor, the building of another temple in Nubia (modern Sudan), the extraction of stone for sculpting reliefs, and the commissioning of royal statues such as the Colossi of Memnon. Amenhotep III even ordered the building of a small funerary temple for Athribis, his honorary designation, next to his own temple, which was a unique honor for a nonroyal person in Egypt.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: amino-acid dating; aminostratigraphy; amino-acid racemization, amino acid racemization CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method of absolute (chronometric) dating which is hoped to fill the gap between radiocarbon dates and potassium-argon dates. It is used for human and animal bone and other organic material. Specific changes in its amino acid structure (racemization or epimerization) which occur at a slow, relatively uniform rate, are measured after the organism's death. The basis for the technique is the fact that almost all amino acids change from optically active to optically passive compounds (racemize) over a period of time. Aspartic acid is the compound most often used because it has a half-life of 15,000-20,000 years and allows dates from 5,000-100,000 years to be calculated. However, racemization is very much affected by environmental factors such as temperature change. If there has been significant change in the temperature during the time in which the object is buried, the result is flawed. Other problems of contamination have occurred, so the technique is not fully established. It is fairly reliable for deep-sea sediments as the temperature is generally more stable.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in northwest Iran, southwest of the Caspian Sea, dating to the late 2nd millennium BC. Rich burials in tombs have produced gold and silver vessels, pottery figurines, animal-shaped pottery rhytons (ritual vessels) -- material similar to that at Marlik Tepe.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ammit CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: Goddess of the netherworld, also called Devouress of the Dead" or "Great of Death". She is often depicted with the head of a crocodile foreparts of a lion or panther and rear of a hippopotamus. She is purported to eat the heart of anyone judged unworthy to be admitted to the netherworld."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An island in the eastern Cyclades, Greece, which was prosperous in the Early Bronze Age and had three cities, Arcesine, Minoa, and Aegiale. There is an important cemetery on the island with single burials in cist graves, accompanied by copper weapons and pottery. Fine carved stone figurines of Early Cycladictype have also been found, usually made of marble and some being almost life-sized.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amurru CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A branch of the Semites who were nomads in the Syrian desert and who overthrew the Sumerian civilization of Ur c 2000 BC and dominated Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine till c 1600 BC. In the oldest cuneiform sources (c 2400-2000 BC), the Amorites were equated with the West, though their true place of origin was most likely Arabia, not Syria. They founded a series of kingdoms throughout Mesopotamia and northern Syria, the most important being Babylon and Assur. Their arrival in Palestine was at the change from Early Bronze to Middle Bronze Age. The Amorites became assimilated into the population and culture of these regions. Eventually, the Amorites settled and amalgamated with the Canaanites of the Middle and Late Bronze Age. During the 2nd millennium BC the Akkadian term Amurru referred not only to an ethnic group but also to a language and to a geographic and political unit in Syria and Palestine. In the dark age between c 1600-1100 BC, the language of the Amorites disappeared from Babylonia and the mid-Euphrates; in Syria and Palestine, however, it became dominant. In Assyrian inscriptions from about 1100 BC, the term Amurru designated part of Syria and all of Phoenicia and Palestine but no longer referred to any specific kingdom, language, or population.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A Greek or Roman temple having a two open porticoes (proticum and posticum), one in the rear and one in the front, but without columns on the sides. The construction never exceeded four columns in the front and four in the rear. The porticoes were constructed to project beyond the cella (main body) of the building.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural amphorae, amphoras CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A large Greek or Roman earthenware storage jar, with a narrow neck and mouth and two handles (two-eared"; each called an anem) at the top. The body of the jar is usually oval and long with a pointed bottom. It was used for holding or transporting liquids especially wine or oil and other substances such as resin. Its shape made it easy to handle and ideal for tying onto a mule's or donkey's back. They were often placed side-by-side in upright positions in a sand-floored cellar. Sinking it into the sand or ground kept the contents cool. Amphorae were also made of glass onyx goldstone and brass and some had conventional jar bottoms with a flat surface. The container would be sealed when full and the handle usually carried an amphora stamp impressed before firing giving details such as the source the potter's name the date and the capacity. Amphorae were probably not normally re-used."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Emporion CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient Greek trading settlement in Spain, 40 km northeast of present-day Gerona. It was originally a colony of Marseilles (Massalia), founded in the early 6th century BC. The town allied with Rome in the 3rd century BC and it became a Roman colony under Augustus (27 BC-14 AD). Ampurias was probably most prosperous between the 5th-3rd centuries BC, when it established extensive trading across the Mediterranean. Its commercial achievements were marked by the minting of coinage. But after Roman presence increased and the harbor began to silt up, the town declined. The end came at the destruction by the Franks in 265 AD.
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 Badarianculture. 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 Badarianperiod onward and white cross-lined (red ware painted in white) added.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in the Indus Valley in Pakistan, probably dating to the early 3rd millennium. It was the first site to be recognized as belonging to the Early Harappan Period when excavated by Majumdar in 1929. Its name has been given to a style of hand- and wheel-made painted pottery found in its Chalcolithic levels and on tells over much of Sind and up into the hills of Baluchistan. These tall globular beakers of fine buff ware are painted with geometric designs in black between red horizontal bands. Chert and some copper were used for tools and the architecture was in mud-brick. Fractional burial was the practice for the dead. Periods I and II represent the pre-Harappan settlement of agricultural farmers, who kept cattle, sheep, goat and donkey, but also hunted (or herded) gazelle. In the later part of Period II Harappan ceramics appear alongside Amri wares; Period III represents a full mature Harappan occupation. The culture was gradually succeeded by that of the Indus civilization. The uppermost levels contained Jhukar and Jhangar material.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amud CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A culture and industryclose 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. Amudianmaterial 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: meket, nehet, sa, wedja, periapta CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Small good-luck charms, often in the form of gods, hieroglyphs, and sacred animals and made of precious stones or faience. They were especially popular with Egyptians and other Eastern peoples, worn both in life and placed in burials or within mummy wrappings. Amulets were supposed to afford protection and may have been thought to imbue the wearer with particular qualities. Some superstitiously thought amulets could heal diseases or help the wearer avoid them.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amun-Ra CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: The supreme god of the Egyptian pantheon, who was established by the 11th Dynasty at Thebes. The name means hidden" or "secret". Amun was frequently identified with Ra the sun-god of Heliopolis and called Amun-Ra. His temple at Karnak is the best surviving example of a religious complex of the New Kingdom. His wife was Amaunet and he is depicted in male human form. Amun's supremacy was challenged only during the reign of Akhenaten."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A swampy plain in northern Syria east of Antioch (Antakya) at the foot of the Amanus mountains and beside the Orontes River at the northeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea. Its important sites Tayanat (Neolithic-Chalcolithic), Atchana (Copper Age to Hittite), and Antioch (Hellenistic and Roman). The plain is rich in tell settlements of the prehistoric and later periods. The basic prehistoricsequence for the area has phases designated by letters, as 'Amuq A represents the Early Neolithic.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A swampy plain in northern Syria east of Antioch (Antakya) at the foot of the Amanus mountains and beside the Orontes River at the northeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea. Its important sites Tayanat (Neolithic-Chalcolithic), Atchana (Copper Age to Hittite), and Antioch (Hellenistic and Roman). The plain is rich in tell settlements of the prehistoric and later periods. The basic prehistoricsequence for the area has phases designated by letters, as 'Amuq A represents the Early Neolithic.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A number of Neolithic cultures recognized near the Amur River in eastern Siberia. They are mainly defined by the presence of pottery. In the Middle Amur region, the earliest phase is known as the Novopetrovka bladeculture. Later is the Gromatukha culture, with unifacially flaked adzes, bifacially flaked arrowheads, and laurel-leaf knives and spearheads. Settlements on Osinovoe Lake, which are characterized by large pit houses, date to around the 3rd millennium BC. Millet was cultivated, representing the first food production in the area, and there was fishing. A fourth Neolithicculture in the area, dating to the mid-2nd millennium BC was a combination of farming and fishing by people who moved there from the Lower Amur area. The Neolithic of the Lower Amur is known from sites such as Kondon, Suchu Island, and Voznesenovka. Fishing provided the economic basis for the establishment of unusually large sedentary settlements of pit houses -- a situation paralleling the examples from the Northwest coast of North America. In the 1st millennium BC, iron was introduced and fortified villages constructed. In Middle Amur, millet farming became the lifeway.
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.
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.
CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: Fish species such as salmon that migrate from freshwater streams to oceans, returning to the streams to spawn.
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.
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 archaeologicalinterpretation (see general and specific analogy).
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 archaeologicalprocess, 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 archaeologicaldata 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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A 7th-century palacesite of the Silla Kingdom in Korea. Artifacts include dugout boats, Buddhist images, pottery and metal vessels, and inscribed wooden tablets.
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 Anasaziculture 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"."
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.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large rock shelter of sandstone in North Australia dating to the Pleistocene. Occupation increased from 6000 bp.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in the Ancón Valley on Peru's coast, just north of Lima. There is a high shellmound 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.
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
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.
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.
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 prehistoricmaterial in that country. He is remembered for his work on the Yang Shao Neolithicculture (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.
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.
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.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A volcanic island of Melanesia with more than 800 agricultural sites from 1000 years ago.
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.
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.
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 templecomplex built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II (reigned 1113-c. 1150 AD) and Angkor Thom a templecomplex 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."
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a templecomplex in the northwestern plain of Angkor built about 1200 by King Jayavarman VII (1181-c 1215 AD). In the Khmerlanguage, 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."
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."
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Anglian-Elsterian CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Quaternaryglacial 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 Cromerianinterglacial 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.
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."
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 PaganSaxonperiod went until the general acceptance of Christianity in the mid-7th century; the Middle Saxonperiod until the 9th century, and the Late Saxonperiod 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, shieldboss, 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 Saxonperiod, 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 potterymanufacture 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.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A long spear with a double barb where one barb is longer than the other.
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.
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-miningregion of Nubia.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A seal bearing no image.
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.
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.
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 plowsoil, and a Late Bronze Age urnfield.
annular ring nail
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A nail with sharp-edged ridges that lock into wood fibers and greatly increase holding power
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural 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.
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.
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)."
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-stonetholos, 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 tholosform is nearby.
CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: Forward or toward the head.
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.
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.
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
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: Ancient marble of a deep red or greentint. 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.
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 Phrygiandeity.
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.
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.
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 flintmining."
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 fortsite and other traces of the wall remain.
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.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Anqet, Anukis CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: Goddess of Sehel, the Nilecataractregion near Aswan. She is generally represented as a woman holding a papyrusscepter and wearing a tall plumed crown.
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 complexsystem of irrigation, considered by many scholars to be its major achievement.
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
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 Anyangperiod. 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 archaicform of Chinese, but the most important finds came from the cemeteries, which included royal tombs. At least as early as the Songdynasty (960--1279), Anyang was known as a source of bronzeritual vessels. Very large cruciform shaft tombs were found near the village of Houjiazhuang. There were eight large tombs in the western part of the Xibeigangcemetery 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 Xibeigangcemetery but across the river at Xiatoun. Later excavations have established that Anyang was heir to the flourishing civilization of the Erligang Phase.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Augusta Praetoria CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Roman colony and stronghold of the Salassi that lies at the foot of the Italian Alps. The Romans subdued a Celtic tribe in 25 BC and Augustus founded a Roman town (Augusta Praetoria) there in 24 BC. The remains of the rectangular circuit of walls, gates, forum, theater, amphitheater, and an Augustan triumphal arch are on the site.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Great reception hall found in Persian royal palaces.
CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: A lionheaded deity with cult centers at Musawwarat el-Sufra and Naqa in Sudan.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Apopis, Apophis CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: An evil serpent- or snake-god, whose name was adopted by at least one Hyksospharaoh (Apopis I, c 1585-1542 BC) who ruled a large area of Egypt in the Second Intermediate Period. The deity symbolized the forces of chaos and evil. Apophis is represented on funerary papyri and on the walls of royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings as the eternal enemy of the sun god Ra.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Pre-Classical and Classical city on the Meander River of southwest Turkey with extant remains of the Roman period, including an agora, odeum, temple of Aphrodite, and baths. There also was an abundance of free-standing statues. The Pre-Classical mounds show Late Neolithic occupation and a sequence of Late Chalcolithic to Late Bronze Age artifacts.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Egyptian Hap, Hep, Hapi CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: In ancient Egypt, the sacred bull worshipped at Memphis. Revered at least as early as the 1st Dynasty (c 2925-2775 BC) and sacred to Osiris, Apiscame to prominence during the Greco-Roman period. Apis was probably at first a fertility god concerned with grain and herds. It served as the ba (physical manifestation) of the god Ptah and was also associated with Sokaris.
Apollo 11 Cave
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cave in southern Namibia near the confluence of the Orange and Great Fish Rivers which has a long sequence of industries dating from the Middle Stone Age. There is a series of detached rock slabs with rock paintings dating between 28,450-26,350 years old, among the oldest dated paintings in the world and the oldest dated rock art of southern Africa. Later horizons in the Apollo 11 Cave show a scraper-based industry in the 13th-8th millennia BC that is related to the Albany industry of southern Cape Province. Microlithic findings begin in the 8th millennium.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A ceramic finishing technique that involves joining shaped pieces of plastic body to a leather-hard surface by pressure. The applied pieces can be functional, as with handles, or decorative, as the rope" decoration and modeled figures."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Puglia CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of southeastern Italy which produced figure-decorated pottery in the 5th-4th centuries BC and was strongly influenced by the Greeks. Apulian pottery was decorated in the red-figured technique, though there was also plain wares.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A rock shelter (Aq Kupruk II) and open site (Aq Kupruk III) on the Balkh River in northern Afghanistan. It is one of the richest Palaeolithic sites in that area. Aq Kupruk II had a single late Palaeolithic deposit with a bladeindustry (including microliths) with a radiocarbon date of c 14,600 BC. Aq Kupruk III had two deposits, one with artifacts similar to II and a lower one without microlithics. The presence of domesticated sheep and goats at Aq Kupruk has been dated to 8000 BC and that of cattle to about 6000 BC. Sickle blades, peaked stone hoes, chisels, hand mills, and pounders suggest the collection and preparation of wild grains, if not cultivation.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite on the Diyala River east of Baghdad, Iraq. There was a flourishing city in the 3rd millennium BC and excavations revealed a temple of the Early Dynastic period. The temple was dedicated to Shara, patron god of the city of Umma.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite on the Diyala River east of Baghdad, Iraq. There was a flourishing city in the 3rd millennium BC and excavations revealed a temple of the Early Dynastic period. The temple was dedicated to Shara, patron god of the city of Umma.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aqualithic CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: This term has been used to describe a widespread series of cultures in the high lake and river areas of the southern Sahara and Sahal between the 8th and 3rd millennia BC (also 10,000-8000 BP). There are barbed boneharpoon heads and pottery with parallel wavy lines that reveal some similarities between the regions. First investigated at Early Khartoum, sites of this type are now known as far to the southeast as the Lake Turkana basin in Kenya. To the west, related material is found as far as Kourounkorokale in Mali. The greatest significance of the aquatic civilization" lies in the settled lifestyle of its people for this led up to the subsequent adoption of food production. Artifacts include bone harpoons."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (from aqua" CATEGORY: and "duco" DEFINITION: to lead)" structure Any channel or artificial conduit constructed to supply water to an area from a source some distance away. The term is most commonly applied to large arched bridges built by the Romans to carry water over valleys and through ravines and used for the baths, for street cleaning, and for public mains. Aqueducts generally entered a city near its gateway and terminated at a distribution junction (castellum) where the public and private supplies would be drawn. There are some remains, such as Pont-du-Gard near Nismes, France, and Segovia in Spain. The longest was 82 miles (132 km) at Carthage. Aqueducts often discharged into reservoirs.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A former city founded as a Roman colony in 181 BC, now a village in northeastern Italy near the Adriatic coast northwest of Trieste. Founded to prevent barbarian invasions, Aquileia became a trade and commercial center along the route north and east into the Black Sea areas. By the 4th century, it became capital of the regions of Venetia and Istria. The city fell to the Huns and was sacked in 452. It also once served as an episcopal see of the Roman Catholic Church.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city in southern Israel west of the Dead Sea named for Biblical Arad and having ruins visible at Tel 'Arad, just a few miles northeast. First excavated in 1962, 'Arad has three separate phases of occupation. The first settlement was in the Chalcolithicperiod with a walled city at the beginning of the 3d millennium BC, which was destroyed by c 2700 BC. Imported Egyptian pottery was found in that phase. A resettlement occurred in the Early Bronze I and II phases and a succession of walled citadels and a temple have been found as well as ostraca (inscribedpottery). The last period of occupation was confined to a citadel on the highest part of the earlier town and it was occupied from the 12th-11th centuries BC. It served as a southern frontier post of the kingdom of Judah. There was a sanctuary for the worship of Yahweh. There were also citadels on this site in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The Book of Numbers (21:1-3) tells how the Canaanite king of 'Arad fought the Israelites during the exodus from Egypt, but his cities were utterly destroyed" by Israel's armies. The city's name appears on the Temple of Amon al-Karnak Egypt in the inscription of Pharaoh Sheshonk I first ruler of the 22nd Dynasty (reigned c 945-924 BC)."
Arambourg, Camille (1885-1969)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: Palaeontologist and professor who carried out excavations and surveys in Africa, especially in Maghreb, Ain Hanech, Ternifine, Omo-Turkana, and Omo Valley. The Omo remains, a group of hominid fossils, the oldest of which are about 3 million years old, were found by Arambourg, Yves Coppens, F. Clark Howell, and others on an expedition in Ethiopia's Omo River region in 1967-1974. These fossil finds represented a breakthrough in the study of early hominids as they were the first found to go back to such an early date. The earliest previously uncovered fossils dated to 1,750,000 years. He also found a Homo erectus (Alanthropus) at an Acheuliansite at Ternifine.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Early hominid site of Ethiopia dating to c. 4.5 million years ago.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A basin site of former lakes in western Malidating to 8000-9000 years ago.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Neolithic-Early Bronze Age settlement site / mound in Thessaly, Greece. It was first occupied in the Aceramic Neolithic and is characterized by polychrome decorated pottery.
Arauqinoid or Araquinoid
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arauqin CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A ceramicseries created to compare the cultures of the Venezuela / Antilles area which flourished in the Middle Orinoco River region from c 500-1500 AD. Soft-textured gray vessels tempered with spicules of freshwater sponge and geometric incised designs on the interior beveled rims of bowls were characteristic. Collared jars with appliquéd human faces and coffee-bean eyes were also common and pieces of griddles have been found at most sites. The series replaces the Saladoid and Barrancoid in some areas.
CATEGORY: culture; language DEFINITION: A number of linguistically associated native groups -- the Antillean Arawak or Taino -- who inhabited the villages of the Greater Antilles and parts of mainland South America. They were slash-and-burn agriculturists who cultivated cassava and maize. The people were arranged in social ranks and were ruled by chiefs whose religion centered on a hierarchy of nature spirits and ancestors. Pottery of Saladoid type is found in from western Venezuela to the West Indies, and in the northern islands there is a ceramic continuity from Saladoid ware to insular Arawak. The Arawak were driven out of the Lesser Antilles by the Carib shortly before the appearance of Columbus and the Spanish, but they still numbered in the millions at that time. Since the Arawakan language is not found to the north or in Mesoamerica, it is likely that these people came to the islands from the south.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Excavation by predetermined levels of a given thickness; used on sites or areas of sites without visible layering of the soil.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: antonym: natural layers CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: In an excavation, the basic vertical subdivision of an excavation unit, defined metrically, such as in 5-, 10-, or 20-centimeter levels. These levels are prescribed when natural layers of stratification are lacking or not easily recognizable.
arbitrary sample unit
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: antonym: nonarbitrary sample unit CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A subdivision of data within a defined area of excavation, such as a sample unit that is defined by a site grid, which has no specific cultural relevance.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An early style of Celtic art, an eastern subgroup in Bavaria, Bohemia, and Austria in which compass-drawn geometric motifs predominate.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: astroarchaeology CATEGORY: branch DEFINITION: The study of the relationship between prehistoric knowledge of astronomical events through calendars, observatory sites, and astronomical images in art and past cultural behavior. The field includes the study of mathematical correlations between archaeological features and the movements of celestial bodies. Some sites (Stonehenge, New Grange) show a definite interest in simple solar observations. Ancient astronomical knowledge can be inferred through the study of the alignments and other aspects of these archaeological sites.
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.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The totality of past human culture; an extinct group's learned behavior, cognition, and emotion.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeological data CATEGORY: term; technique DEFINITION: Material collected and recorded as significant evidence by an archaeologist. Archaeological data falls into four classes: artifacts, ecofacts, features, and structures.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeological method CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Any of a variety of means used by archaeologists to find, recover, analyze, preserve, and describe the artifacts and other remains of past human activities.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: site; archeological site CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Any concentration of artifacts, ecofacts, features, and structures manufactured or modified by humans.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The methods used to examine an area to determine if archaeological deposits are present.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Any theoretical concepts used to assess the framework and meaning of the remains of past human activity. Such a theory is used to guide a reconstruction and an interpretation of the past by looking beyond the facts and artifacts for explanations of prehistoric events.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A professional scholar who studies and reconstructs the human past through its physical remains. An archaeologist's work involves the scientific finding, collecting, cleaning, sorting, identifying, and measuring objects found in or on the earth or sea. The motive is to record and interpret ancient cultures rather than collect and display artifacts for profit.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeology (from archaia" CATEGORY: and "logos" DEFINITION: science knowledge or theory)" branch The scientific study and reconstruction of the human past through the systematic recovery of the physical remains of man's life and cultures. Artifacts, structures, settlements, materials, and features of prehistoric or ancient peoples are surveyed and / or excavated to uncover history in times before written records. Archaeology also supplements the study of recorded history. From the end of the 18th century onwards, archaeology has come to mean the branch of learning which studies the material remains of man's past. Its scope is, therefore, enormous, ranging from the first stone tools made and fashioned by man over 3 million years ago in Africa, to the garbage thrown into our trash cans and taken to city dumps and incinerators yesterday. The objectives of archaeology are to construct cultural history by ordering and describing the events of the past, study cultural process to explain the meaning of those events and what underlies and conditions human behavior, and reconstruct past lifeways. Among the specialties in the field are: archaeobiology, archaeobotany, archaeozoology, and social archaeology. Modern archaeology, often considered a subdiscipline of anthropology, has become increasingly scientific and relies on a wide variety of experts such as biologists, geologists, physicists, sociologists, anthropologists, and historians. The methods appropriate to different periods vary, leading to specialized branches of the subject, e.g. classical, medieval, industrial, etc., archaeology.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archaeomagnetic intensity dating, archaeomagnetism, palaeointensity dating, archaeomagnetic age determination CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A chronometric method used to date objects containing magnetic materials -- especially for buried undisturbed features such as pottery kilns, earthen fireplaces, and brick walls -- which can be compared to known schedules of past magnetic alignments within a region and fluctuations in the earth's magneticfield. Clay and rocks contain magnetic minerals and when heated above a certain temperature, the magnetism is destroyed. Upon cooling, the magnetism returns, taking on the direction and strength of the magneticfield in which the object is lying. Therefore, pottery which is baked in effect fossilizes" the Earth's magneticfield as it was the moment of their last cooling (their archaeomagnetism or remanent magnetism). In areas where variations in the Earth's magneticfield are known it is possible to date a potterysample on a curve. This method yields an absolute date within about 50 years."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archaeological science CATEGORY: branch DEFINITION: The large field of work that entails the physical and/or chemical analyses (measurement) of archaeological substances, their constituents, ages, residues, etc.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: zooarchaeology CATEGORY: branch DEFINITION: The study of animal remains, especially bones, from archaeological contexts, including the identification and analysis of faunal species as an aid to reconstructing human diets, determining the impact of animals on past economies, and in understanding the environment at the time of deposition. Animal remains are collected, cleaned, sorted, identified, and measured for their study and interpretation. The study of bones involves calculations of minimum numbers of individuals belonging to each species found; their size, age, sex, stature, dentition, and whether the bones have any marks from implements implying butchering and eating. Archaeologists attempt to answer questions such as how many species of domesticated animals there were, how far wild animals were exploited, how many very young animals there were to determine kill patterns and climate changes, in what way bones were butchered, what the sex ratios there were in determining breeding strategies, and if there were any animals of unusual size. By analyzing remains from different parts of a site it may be possible to understand some of the internal organization of the settlement, while a comparison between sites within a region may show areas of specialization.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Archaic, Archaic period, Archaic tradition CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: A term used to describe an early stage in the development of civilization. In New World chronology, the period just before the shift from hunting, gathering, and fishing to agricultural cultivation, pottery development, and village settlement. Initially, the term was used to designate a non-ceramic-using, nonagricultural, and nonsedentary way of life. Archaeologists now realize, however, that ceramics, agriculture, and sedentism are all found, in specific settings, within contexts that are clearly Archaic but that these activities are subsidiary to the collection of wild foods. In Old World chronology, the term is applied to certain early periods in the history of some civilizations. In Greece, it describes the rise of civilization from c 750 BC to the Persian invasion in 480 BC. In Egypt, it covers the first two dynasties, c 3200-2800 BC. In Classical archaeology, the term is often used to refer to the period of the 8th-6th centuries BC. The term was coined for certain cultures of the eastern North America woodlands dating from c 8000-1000 BC, but usage has been extended to various unrelated cultures which show a similar level of development but at widely different times. For example, it describes a group of cultures in the Eastern US and Canada which developed from the original migration of man from Asia during the Pleistocene, between 40,000-20,000 BC, whose economy was based on hunting and fishing, shell and plant gathering. Between 8000-1000 BC, a series of technical achievements characterized the tradition, which can be broken into periods: Early Archaic 8000-5000 BC, mixture of Big Game Hunting tradition with early Archaic cultures, also marked by post-glacial climatic change in association with the disappearance of Late Pleistocene big game animals; then Middle Archaic tradition cultures from 5000-2000 BC, and a Late Archaic period 2000-1000 BC. In the New World, the lifestyle lacked horticulture, domesticated animals, and permanent villages.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A series of jugs and bowls of the early 13th to late 16th centuries in Tuscan and Italian towns. They were decorated with geometric motifs, leaves, and other forms outlined in brown and set into green or brown backgrounds. They were sold as far as Spain, North Africa, and northern Europe. There seems to be a connection to earlier Byzantine and Persian products.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: An abstract classification that assumes an ideal" form or structure of all morphological beings of which the various species are considered as modifications."
architectural unit method
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method in which observable architectural zones of predefined structures are excavated as a single horizontal provenience. An example of this is a room in a palace being treated as its own excavationarea.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: epistyle CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In Greek and Roman architecture, that part of an entablature which rests immediately upon the abacus on the capital of a column or pilaster. It is also the term used for the horizontal beam between columns, or between a column and a wall, which supports a ceiling. A third definition is a collective name for the various parts that surround a doorway, arch, or window (jambs, lintel, moldings).
Arctic Small Tool tradition
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The first coastal dwellers of the true Arctic regions who appeared before 2200 BC and who had a hunting tradition and a distinctive set of stone tools, weapon tips, and adzes of small size (hence the name). Their sites stretched from the Bering Sea across the north Canadian coast as far east as northernmost Greenland, though there is no evidence of sleds or boats. Within a century or two of 2000 BC, they also expanded southward in Alaska to the Alaska Peninsula and south along the northeastern American coast to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Denbigh Flint Complex (or Arctic Denbigh culture, named for the type site Cape Denbigh, Alaska) is the characteristic toolassemblage. It included small chipped stone artifacts derived from Neolithic eastern Siberia -- such as blades, microblades, burins, scrapers, large bifacial projectile points. There was no pottery and the economics were balanced between products of the land (caribou, lake and river fish, musk ox) and sea mammals. Approximate dates range from 4000-1000 BC and this tradition is thought to be associated with ancestral Eskimo. In Canada and Greenland, the Small Tool people gradually developed into the Dorsetculture. In Alaska, the Small Tool people disappeared and were replaced by 400 BC by people of the Nortonculture who used Siberian-type pottery.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A series of caves southeast of Paris with Upper Palaeolithic art, including the Grotte du Cheval, Grotte del Hyene, and Grotte du Renne are archaeologically the most important. The early occupation levels are of the Riss period with Mousterian (with Neanderthal remains), Chatel-Perronian, Aurignacian, later Perigordian levels.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A large, two-handled silvercup decorated with gold, gilt bronze, and enamel, that is one of the finest examples of early Christian art from the British Isles. Discovered in 1868 along with a small bronzecup and four brooches in a potatofield in Ardagh, Ireland, the chalice may have been part of the buried loot form a monastery after an Irish or Viking raid. The outside of the bowl is engraved with the Latin names of some of the Apostles. There are similarities between the letters of the inscription and some of the large initials in the Lindisfarne Gospels, which probably dates from about 710-720 AD. Thus, the Ardagh Chalice is thought to date from the first half of the 8th century. The chalice displays exceptional artistic and technical skills applied to a variety of precious materials. So far, its manufacture has not been attributed to a particular workshop but the chalice does have similarities to the celebrated Tarabrooch and the Moylough belt-reliquary. It is now housed in the National Museum of Ireland at Dublin.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (from Latin sand")" CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: The central area of an amphitheatre, usually strewn with sand, where the spectacles and combats too place. The surface was coated with sand either to absorb the blood of the wounded or slain, and also to give a uniformity to the floor and conceal trapdoors and other devices. The term is also used, by extension, for a whole amphitheatre.
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.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: Red-clay Arretine pottery of which many fine examples have been found in or near the town of Arezzo in Tuscany, an important Etruscan city. The red-lustered ware was ornamented in relief and shows evidence of Greek origin.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: An Early Bronze Age settlement near Almeria in southeast Spain that is the type site of a culture of the 2nd millennium BC. The settlement was fortified and contained rectangular stone houses, though little has been recovered as they are not as well-preserved as the Argaric sites Ifre and El Oficio. The settlement also contained 950 interments, with the earliest in cists and later switching to jar burial. Grave goods in the cist burial phase included daggers, halberds, and wristguards. In the jar burials, there was also faience, and swords and axes of copper or bronze and gold and silver ornaments. Silver was more common in this area than anywhere else in Europe at the time. The pottery of this culture was plain burnished in simple shapes. The Agaric culture, which developed trading with eastern Mediterranean centers, reached its peak between 1700-1000 BC and spread through the central, southern, and Levantine regions and to the Balearic Islands. The area may owe its origin to immigration from western Greece.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An important Neolithicsite in Thessaly, northern Greece, which has given much information on the early phases of the Greek Aceramic Neolithic period. In the Argissa Magula near Larissa, there have been early prepottery Neolithic finds of probably the 6th millennium BC. Timber-framed huts consisted of shallow mud-walled pits that were likely roofed with branches. Obsidian was already being traded and flint tools were made. The earliest known domesticated cattle date from about 6000 BC at Argissa (and Nea Nikomedeia) in Greece, in association with cultivated einkorn, emmerwheat, and barley, millet, lentils. Sheep, goats, and pigs were also cultivate and kept. This site (along with Knossos) is also responsible for the earliest evidence of agriculture, soon after 7000 BC. The site was occupied throughout the Neolithic and well into the Bronze Age.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A high-precision method for estimating the relative quantities of argon-39 to argon-40 gas, used to date volcanic ashes between 500,000 and several million years old
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Marne ware CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Pottery type of the 4th century AD, usually with a red color-coat. Vessels are decorated with horizontal bands of impressed geometric patterns, executed with a roller stamp. The ware was made in the Argonne in northeast Gaul. Its distribution in Britain is mainly confined to the south and southeast band.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Argos (meaning agricultural plain)" CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: City in the northeastern Peloponnese of Greece, just north of the head of the Gulf of Argolis. The name was applied to several districts of ancient Greece but it is most often used to describe the easternmost part of the Peloponnesian peninsula and the city of Argos was its capital. Homer described it as the fertile plain inhabited by Agamemnon, Diomedes, and other heroes in the Iliad". The site was probably occupied since the Neolithic / Early Bronze Age and was very prominent in Mycenaean times (c 1300-1200 BC). Argos was probably the base of Dorian operations in the Peloponnese c 1100-1000 BC and from then on the dominant city-state of Argolis until it allied itself with Sparta after the Peloponnesian War in 420 BC. In 392 it broke with Sparta to unite with Corinth in the Corinthian War. Argos later joined the Achaean League (229) and Argos became its center after the Roman conquest and destruction of Corinth (146). The city flourished in Byzantine times and did not decline until around 1204 AD. One tyrant Pheidon is thought to have introduced primitive coinage and a weights and measures system. Archaeological excavations began in 1854 on the Argive Heraeum and Argos was famed for its connection with the goddess Hera. There was a natural sanctuary there long before the Dorianscame c 1100-1000 BC. The shrine is reported to be of extreme antiquity. The statue of Hera for a new 5th-century temple was done by the celebrated sculptor Polycleitus whose work was said to rival that of Pheidias the sculptor of the Parthenon. There is material evidence of Neolithic Early and Middle Bronze Age a Mycenaean cemetery with chamber tombs Geometric and Archaic features and ruins of the classical and Roman city. The Larisa hill was evidently the Mycenaean acropolis and citadel holding a classicaltemple. There was also a Roman theater and small odeum. The site is mostly covered by the modern city."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in the Tarapacá region on the north coast of Chile at the foot of El Morro. Preceramic shell mounds were excavated at Quiani, Pichalo, and Taltal which were dated between 1200-1450 AD. The city of Arica was founded as San Marcos de Arica in 1570 on the site of a pre-Columbian settlement, it belonged to Peru until 1879, when it was captured by Chile. Arica is near the Peru border and is the northernmost Chilean seaport.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the Madras coast of southern India near Pondicherry excavated by Mortimer Wheeler. It was an important trading post of the Romans after the mid-first century BC, though black-and-red ware found there began well before the period of Roman contact. A town with warehouses in an industrial quarter was built. Black-and-red Iron Age wares associated with Arretine ware of the 1st century AD, Mediterranean amphorae, and imperial Roman coins were found by Wheeler. Other excavations have found Roman pottery, beads, intaglios, lamps, and glass which indicate continuous occupation. Graffiti on pottery indicates the presence of Indian traders.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic cave site in northeast Hungary dating to 18,600-17,000 bp. The artifacts include endscrapers, burins, and retouched blades of the Gravettian and there are some faunal remains.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Stone Age site near Wadi Halfa in the Nubian Nile Valley. There are factory sites for roughouts of foliate points of the Later Mousteriantradition which are probably contemporary with factories at nearby Khor Musa. The artifacts show affinities with Saharan Aterian artifacts.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Latin Arelate CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city in southern France on the left bank of the Rhône that was once a colony founded by Caesar (46 BC) and which has an amphitheater and cryptoporticus dating from 1st century BC. Very little is known of the Celto-Greek settlement, traditionally colonized by the Phocaeans. Marius constructed the Fossae Marianae, a navel canal linking Arles with the sea, in 104 BC. Arles from then on was a service port and naval shipyard. Caesar used it as his naval base in 49 BC when attacking Marseilles (Massilia). Two aqueducts were built to bring water from the Alpilles. Constantine the Great (306-337 AD) adopted the city as one of his capitals. It was a mint in late Roman times and an imperial Roman theater and the largest amphitheater north of the Alps were located there. In the 1st century AD, St. Trophime founded the bishopric, which remained until 1790.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: arms, armour, body armor CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Protective clothing with the ability to deflect or absorb arrows, bullets, lances, swords, or other weapons during combat. There are three main types: 1) armor made of leather, fabric, or mixed materials reinforced by quilting or felt, 2) mail, of interwoven rings or iron or steel, and 3) rigid armor of metal, plastic, horn, wood, or other tough material, including plate armor of the Middle Ages' knights. Armor was used well before historical records were kept by primitive warriors. The first was likely made of leather hides and included helmets. It was found that in the 11th century BC, Chinese warriors wore 5-7 layers of rhinoceros skin. Greek heavy infantry wore thick, multilayered linen cuirasses in the 5th century BC. Armor is found along with arrows, clubs, hammers, hatchets, and other weaponry and is often ornamented. The defensive armor, the shield, and thorax, were called hopla, and people wearing them were called hoplites.
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.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Breton dagger CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Type of bronzedagger found in the ESSEX I Phase of the early Bronze Age (c.1700-1500 BC) in southern Britain which has similarities with examples from Brittany. It has a flat triangularblade, lateral grooves, and six rivets for attaching the blade to the hilt. Sometimes a small tang or languette is present to assist securing the blade to the hilt. Traces of wooden and leather sheaths have been found with some blades; the hilts were probably of wood and in the case of an example found in the Bush Barrow, Wiltshire, were inlaid with gold tacks.
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.
CATEGORY: flora DEFINITION: The edible tubers of the Aracae family that were important in prehistoric Oceanic, South Asian, and Southeast Asian subsistence. The species is grown in irrigated terraces or fields or cultivated in pits cut to groundwater. Aroids were cultivated by at least 3000 BC and had spread from India to Egypt and Africa by the late 1st millennium BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arpachiyah, Tell CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite in Iraq near Mosul on the Tigris inhabited in the Halaf and Ubaid periods (mid-6th to early 4th millennium BC). The Halaf settlements yielded a long potterysequence and circular buildings with some rectangular antechambers on cobbled streets. The function of these buildings is unknown. The site appears to have been a specialized artisan village making the fine polychrome pottery. In addition to the painted polychrome wares, other finds include steatite pendants and small stone discs with incised designs, probably early stamp seals. There was pottery of northern Ubaidstyle and fine Halafpottery, and stone amulets and figurines.
CATEGORY: typology DEFINITION: In systematics, a procedure that orders data into units. Classification and grouping create arrangements.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aras CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: The site of an Iron Age cemetery in Yorkshire, England, with at least 90 burials, some barrows covering the burials and some with chariots. There are several related sites (Danes' Graves) in east Yorkshire with similar grave goods which define the Arrasculture along with the burials. Material dates the Arrasculture to c 5-1 BC and the Arras people seem to have been intruders from the continent. Their artifacts suggest links with the migrations of the Parisii from eastern France and the Rhineland. The chariot gear includes a distinctive three-link horse bit.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: terra sigillata ware; Samian ware CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A type of bright-red, polished pottery originally made at Arretium (modern Arezzo) in Tuscany from the 1st century BC to the 3rd century AD. The term means literally ware made of clay impressed with designs. The ware was produced to be traded, especially throughout the Roman Empire. It is clearly based on metal prototypes and the body of the ware was generally cast in a mold. Relief designs were also cast in molds which had been impressed with stamps in the desired patterns and then applied to the vessels. The quality of the pottery was high, considering its mass production. However, there was a gradual roughness to the forms and decoration over the four centuries of production. After the decline of Arretium production, terra sigillata was made in Gaul from the 1st century AD at La Graufesenque (now Millau) and later at other centers in Gaul. Examples having come from Belgic tombs in pre-Roman Britain and from the port of Arikamedu in southern India. The style changes and the potter's marks stamped on the vessels made these wares a valuable means of dating the other archaeologicalmaterial found with them.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Arezzo CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Etruscan and Roman city, and capital of Arezzo province, in Tuscany southeast of Florence. Known in antiquity for the fine workmanship of its city walls and its red-clay Arretine pottery, the site flourished as a commune in the Middle Ages before falling to Florence in 1384 and later becoming part of the grand duchy of Tuscany. Remains of the city walls, closely constructed and of stone and lightly fired brick, have been found. The quantity of bronze and the mass production of the pottery indicates a considerable degree of industrialization. Arretine ware, a glossy red tableware both plain and relief-decorated, originated at Arretium in the 1st century BC.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A weapon consisting of a stick with a sharp pointed head, designed to be shot from a bow
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A stone with a regular, straight groove on one face. It is thought to have been used to smooth wooden shafts of arrows, so the name is misleading.
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: A dry gully or steep-sided bed of a seasonal stream. The term is also used for a rivulet or stream.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A semi-metallic substance of steel-gray color that forms a link between the metals and non-metallic bodies. It is found together with copper in some ore deposits, appearing as arsenical copper (copper alloyed with arsenic). This substance was valued and deliberately produced to improve casting properties and hardness, but was not important after the development of tin-bronze (tin alloyed with copper). It gave a very hard cutting edge to tools and weapons.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: arsenical bronze CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: Copper which is alloyed with arsenic. This substance was easier to cast than copper alone, and was stronger and harder. It was widely used before the introduction of tin-bronze (tin alloyed with copper).
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 Urukperiod (mid-4th millennium BC).
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A cave site in Charente, France, which is the type-site of the Artenacien culture. Artifacts include copper beads, flint daggers, and fine pottery with beaked handles. There are simple megalithic tombs and burial caves, dating to c 3000-2000 BC.
Arthur (c 5th century AD?)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: The legendary British king who is described in medieval romances as the leader of a knightly fellowship called the Round Table. It is said that he rallied the British against the Anglo-Saxon invaders and that behind the legend there may be a sub-Roman warleader who filled such a role. Though his name does not survive in contemporary records, he may have led the British at the battle or siege of Mount Badon which stopped the Saxon advance c 490 AD for some fifty years hence. All the historical references to him in the chronicles of Bede, Gildas, Nenius, Geoffrey of Monmouth and others were written between 100 and 600 years after the event, so they are considered unreliable for archaeologists. The search probably started with the monks of Glastonbury, who in 1191 claimed to have found the burial of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere inscribed with the words, Here lies Arthur in the Isle of Avalon buried". Various locations as far apart as Cornwall and Scotland are claimed as the site of Mount Badon; the refortified Iron Age hillfort of Badbury Rings in Dorset seems the most credible possibility. The site of Arthur's court at Camelot may be the historical site of South Cadbury. Excavations carried out at South Cadbury revealed an important fortified settlement of the 5th and 6th centuries which could have been the center from which British resistance to the Saxons was organized."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: noun articulation CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A term indicated that the bones of a skeleton are in the same relative position to each other as they were when the person or creature was alive. If a skeleton is articulated, it is assumed that it was put into its final resting place while there were still ligaments and flesh to hold it together.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: artefact CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Any object (article, building, container, device, dwelling, ornament, pottery, tool, weapon, work of art) made, affected, used, or modified in some way by human beings. It may range from a coarse stone or a needle to a pyramid or a highly technical accomplishment -- and these objects are used to characterize or identify a people, culture, or stage of development. The most common artifacts are pieces of broken pottery, stone chips, projectile points, and tools. The environment may play a part in the nature of an artifact if it has been seriously altered by man through fire, house and road construction, agricultural practices, etc. Therefore, the line is sometimes hard to draw between a natural object and one used by man, but there is no doubt when it can be shown that man shaped it in any way, even if only accidentally in the course of use. Artifacts are individually assignable to ceramic, lithic, metal, or organic, or other lesser-used categories. A sociotechnic artifact is a tool that is used primarily in the social realm. A technomic artifact is a tool that is used primarily to deal with the physical environment.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Oxford marbles CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A collection of marbles and ancient statues taken from Greece and Asia Minor at the expense of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel (1585-1646) and given to Oxford University in 1667, which came to be known as the Arundel (or Oxford) marbles.
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, Aryanspeech 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: aryballus; from Greek bag CATEGORY: DEFINITION: artifact; ceramics There are two uses for this term -- one for a small Greek vase, one for a large Incapotteryjar. The Greek flask was one-handled, normally globular (quasi-spherical or pear-shaped), with a narrowing neck. It was used mostly for oil, perfume, unguent, or condiments and stood about 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) high. Aryballos were originally made at Corinth from about 575 BC. There were painted patterns on them until 550 BC and sometimes patterns were engraved. The Inca version was a large jar with conicalbase, tall narrow neck, and flaring rim. It was used for carrying liquids, designed to be carried on the back by a rope which passed through two strap handles low on the jar's body and over a nubbin at the base of the jarneck.
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 complexdating to 2660 BC with altars, clay-lined fire basins, and surface hearths has also been found.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Askalon, Askelon CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Philistine city on the southern coast of Palestine, southwest of Jerusalem. Excavations have uncovered remains of the Roman period, with some small areas of Philistine levels. Egyptian texts describe Ascalon as one of the cities that revolted against Rameses II. During the Roman period, Ascalon was the birthplace of Herod the Great. It flourished during that time and was occupied in the Byzantine and Arab periods.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ascribed leadership; cf. achieved status CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: An individual's social standing or leadership which was inherited or assigned from his or her parents or other relatives, by sex, or some other fixed criterion.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A sitetype found in India where the remains of Neolithiccattle pens of the 3rd millennium BC created by regular fires burning palisades enclosing cattle.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Palestinian site of a Canaanite city of the Late Bronze Age that was probably destroyed by the Sea Peoples. It was one of the cities of the Philistine Pentapolis.
Ashoka (d 238 BC?)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: also Asoka, Asokan CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: The last major emperor of the Mauryan empire of India in the 3rd century BC. He started out as a bloody tyrant, but underwent a spiritual crisis and became a Buddhist, furthering the expansion of that religion throughout India. His reign was c 265-238 BC but has also been given as c 273-232 BC. His kingdom included most of modern Pakistan and India, except the extreme south. Many monuments survive from his period: stupas, rock-cut temples, and commemorative pillars. A series of inscriptions, enshrining Buddhist teaching, survives on rock faces and stone pillars in various parts of the empire.
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 Assyrianclay 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."
Ashurnasirpal II (fl. 8th century BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Assurnasirpal II CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: King of Assyria 883-859 BC, who consolidated the conquests of his father, Tukulti-Ninurta II, and commanded the last period of Assyrian power before the establishment of the New Assyrian Empire. His military expeditions took him as far as the Mediterranean and, according to his own testimony, he was a brilliant general and administrator. He set the standards of military achievement and brutality which made the Assyrians feared throughout the Near and Middle East. The details of his reign are known almost entirely from his own inscriptions and the reliefs in the ruins of his palace at Calah (now Nimrud, Iraq). He refounded Calah as a military capital beside Assur and Nineveh. By 879 BC the main palace in the citadel, the temples of Ninurta and Enlil, shrines for other deities, and the city wall had been completed. Botanic gardens and a zoological garden were laid out, and water supplied by a canal from the Great Zab River. His son and successor, Shalmaneser III (858-824 BC) expanded the empire.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A semi-permanent settlement in the Zagrosregion of western Iran, dated between 7100-6750 BC, belonging to the Karim Shahir culture. There is evidence of toolmanufacture, settlement patterns, and subsistence methods, including the crude beginnings of the domestication of both plants and animals in this site as well as nearby sites at Guran, Ganj-e Dareh, and Ali Kosh. Burials have been excavated, covered in red ochre.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Aceramic Neolithic site in central Anatolia, near an obsidian source (Ciftlik) and probably involved in extracting and trading the material. Radiocarbon dates of unstratified contexts at the site are c 7000-6650 BC. It may have been contemporary with Hacilar.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Koróni CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A pre-Classical Greek settlement and port on the east side of the Akrítas in the Argolid Gulf. It was originally settled by the Argives after the First Messenian War (c 735-715 BC). Evidence of Early, Middle, and Late Helladicsettlement and of Hellenistic city walls remains. It was reoccupied during the Middle Ages by refugees from the north who gave it the name of their former village.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city of the Philistines on the coast of Palestine near Gaza. Under Roman levels are Philistine deposits and there is a destruction level, the work of the Peoples of the Sea c 1200 BC, separating these levels from the underlying Late Bronze Age of the Canaanites.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Greek bag"" CATEGORY: artifact; ceramics DEFINITION: An assymetric vessel, often squat and duck-shaped, with an off-center mouth, convex top, and single arching handle. It was originally shaped like a leather bottle (uter) for holding water, oil, or wine. Some example have two mouths, one for filling and one for emptying, and others are quite unbalanced and have strange mouths. It later assumed the form of an earthenwarepitcher. Askos were popular in the Aegean from the Early Helladic to the Classical period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Eshnunna CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The ancient city of Eshnunna on the Diyala River of Iraq, inhabited from the Uruk to Old Babylonian period. Excavations here have provided the archaeological definition of the Early Dynastic and Akkadian periods. In the early 2nd millennium BC, Tell Asmar was the center of the kingdom of Eshnunna.
aspartic acid racemization
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method for determining the absolute age of bone tissue by discovering the process of cumulative change in the form of amino acids, beginning at the death of an organism.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A characteristic or component that constitutes one of the traits of a culture or community. The term also describes a group of components that display a great many of the specific elements (traits) of a culture.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Late Preceramic site on the north-central coast of Peru, dating to 4360-3950 BP. It is one of the largest Preceramic settlements known in the Andes and it had a complex social hierarchy. Six platform mounds and other structures include rooms with artifacts, textiles, plant material, clay figurines, and feathers.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Asprochalico CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large Palaeolithic rock shelter near Ioánnina, in Epirus, northwest Greece. There are Mousterian phases, an earlier one with carefully retouched tools and use of the Levallois technique, and a later phase with small tools. The Upper Palaeolithic levels of backed blades include one radiocarbon-dated to c 26,000 BC (24,000 ? 1000 BC). In the final stage (11,7000 ? 260 BC), geometric microliths and microburins appeared alongside the backed blades. Occupation ended around 9000 BC.
CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: The wild ass was distributed widely in North Africa and Asia. In Asia, it was domesticated as a draft animal c 3000 BC. The modern donkey derives from an animal of Ethiopia and the Sudan, which the Egyptians imported from the 2nd millennium on. The earliest date of these for the African ass is an Egyptian tombrelief of 1650 BC. Remaining populations can be found in Iran (called the onager), northwest India (called the ghorkar), and Mongolia (called the kiang). Asiatic wild asses as a group may also be called onagers, kemiones, or half-asses. Artistic representation of the domestication of asses has been found, but little osteological evidence. The ass arrived in Europe during medieval times. The domestic ass, or donkey, may be hybridized with the horse: a male ass crossed with a female horse produces a mule, and a female ass crossed with a male horse produces a hinny and both hybrids are sterile.
CATEGORY: artifact; term DEFINITION: A group of objects of different or similar types found in closeassociation with each other and thus considered to be the product of one people from one period of time. Where the assemblage is frequently repeated and covers a reasonably full range of human activity, it is described as a culture; where it is repeated but limited in content, e.g. flint tools only (a set of objects in one medium), it is called an industry. When a group of industries are found together in a single archaeologicalcontext, it is called an assemblage. Such a group characterizes a certain culture, era, site, or phase and it is the sum of all subassemblages. Assemblage examples are artifacts from a site or feature.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Any style with only vague associations with social identity, such as a tendency to wear certain types of clothing or jewelry.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archaeological assessment CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: An aspect of cultural resource management in which the surface of a project area is systematically covered by pedestrian survey in order to locate, document, and evaluate archaeological materials therein.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: associated CATEGORY: term; technique DEFINITION: The co-occurrence of two or more objects sharing the same general location and stratigraphic level and that are thought to have been deposited at approximately the same time (being in or on the same matrix). Objects are said to be in association with each other when they are found together in a context which suggests simultaneous deposition. Associations between objects are the basis for relative dating or chronology and the concept of cross-dating as well as in interpretation -- cultural connections, original function, etc. Pottery and flint tools associated in a closed context would be grounds for linking them into an assemblage, possibly making the full material culture of a group available. The association of undated objects with artifacts of known date allows the one to be dated by the other. When two or more objects are found together and it can be proved that they were deposited together, they are said to be in genuine or closed association. Examples of closed associations are those within a single interment grave, the material within a destruction level, or a hoard. An open association is one in which this can only be assumed, not proved. Artifacts may be found next to each other and still not be associated; one of the artifacts may be intrusive.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ashur CATEGORY: deity; site DEFINITION: A solar deity which was the chief god of the city of Assur and the kingdom of Assyria. With the latter's conquests, Assur assumed leadership of the Assyrian pantheon and supremacy over the other gods of Mesopotamia. The deity was conceived in anthropomorphic terms. The image of the deity was fed and clothed and was responsible for fertility and security, and represented as a winged sun-disc. It is also the name of the ancient religious capital of the Assyrian empire in northern Mesopotamia, on the bank of the River Tigris at modern Qalaat-Shergat, which was a great trading center and the burial place of the kings even after the government moved to Nineveh. First recorded in the 3rd millennium BC as a frontier post of the empire of Akkad, it then became an independent city-state and finally the capital of Assyria. After Assyria's collapse in 614 BC it failed to survive but was briefly revived under the Parthians. Areas of the palaces, temples, walls, and town have been cleared, and a sondage pit was cut beneath the Temple of Ishtar (pre-Sargonid) to reveal the 3rd and early 2nd millennium levels (the first use of this technique in Mesopotamian excavation). Sumerian statues were found -- among the earliest evidence of Sumerian contact outside the southern plain. For over 2000 years successive kings built and rebuilt the fortifications, temple, and palace complexes: inscriptions associated with these monuments have helped in the construction of the chronology of the site. Three large ziggurats dominated the city with the largest being 60 m square (completed by Shamsi Adad I c 1800 bc). It was originally dedicated to Enlil, but later to Assur; the dedication of the other temples also changed through time. Representations on cylinder seals suggest that many buildings might have had parapets and towers. Assurnasirpal II (883-859 BC) moved the capital to Calah and by 614 BC the city of Assur had fallen to the Median (Medes) army.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Assyrians CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The name of three different empires dating from about 2000-600 BC, the city-state of Assur, and the people inhabiting this northeastern area of Mesopotamia. Originally Semitic nomads in northern Mesopotamia, they finally settled around Assur and accepted its tutelary god as their own. After the fall of the 3rd Dynasty of Ur (2004 BC), Assyria seems to have become an independent city-state and important as middleman in international trade. In its period of greatness, 883-612 BC, there was continuous war in Assyria to keep the empire's lands which at their widest extended from the Nile to near the Caspian, and from Cilicia to the Persian Gulf (Egypt, much of the area to the west as far as the Mediterranean, Elam to the east and parts of Anatolia to the north). Its greatest kings were all warriors, Ashurnasirpal II, Shalmaneser III, Tiglathpileser III, Sargon II, Sennacherib, and Ashurbanipal, who made the name of Assyria feared throughout the ancient East through their military skill and brutality. The main achievements in Assyria, outside warfare, were in architecture and sculpture, particularly the protective winged bulls, etc., which guarded all palace entrances, and the magnificent reliefs of battles, hunts, and military processions which adorned the walls. Assurnasirpal II (833-859 BC) transferred the center of government to Calah (Nimrud). The fortunes of the empire rose and fell under the kings of the 9th-7th centuries: Assurbanipal (668-627 BC) reconquered Egypt, but in 614 BC the empire fell when the Medes invaded Assyria, captured Calah, and destroyed Assur.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: One of the two main dialects of ancient Mesopotamia, used in the north. A Semiticlanguage 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 Assyriancuneiform 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).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Asherah, Ashtoreth, Ashtart CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: The goddess of the ancient Near East that was the chief deity of many important sites and the fertility goddess of the Phoenicians and the Canaanites. She is sometimes equated with Egyptian Isis, Babylonian Ishtar, Carthaginian Tanit, and Greek Aphrodite, Cybele, and Hera. She originated in Syria as a war goddess, probably introduced into Egypt in the 18th Dynasty (1550-1295 BC). Astarte was usually portrayed as a naked woman on horseback wearing a headdress or bull horns.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An instrument, usually consisting of a disc and pointer, formerly used to make astronomical measurements, especially of the altitudes of celestial bodies and as an aid in navigation.
CATEGORY: related field DEFINITION: Most ancient civilizations studied the skies for astronomical knowledge. Ancient astronomy has been studied by archaeologists in prehistoric Europe through monuments and in Central America through inscriptions and documents. Studies of prehistoric astronomy in Europe have concentrated on the megalithic monuments and stone circles, which have been proven to incorporate alignments of the sun, moon, and brighter stars -- especially significant points in their cycles. Solar alignments occur at New Grange and Stonehenge, lunar orientations at the Recumbent Stone Circles of Aberdeenshire and the Carnac stones in Brittany. Many theories are discussed as to the accuracy of measurements and the degree of astronomical understanding achieved by these early societies. The ability to predict astronomical events would have enhanced political power, which is something suggested in Mesoamerica. The ability to predict events by the governing elite class increased their credibility as able rulers. The Mesoamerican people put great emphasis on the calendar and astronomy and were able to make extremely accurate measurements of the solar year, the appearance of eclipses, and the phases of the Moon. Buildings seen as observatories occur at Chichen Itza and at Palenque, and the Dresden codex is a detailed collection of calculations tracing the eclipses of the Moon and Sun and the cycles of Venus and possibly Mars and Jupiter. The Maya were even aware of the impreciseness of the 365-day year in their Calendar Round and added a correction factor to account for the quarter-day per year discrepancy. The cycle of the Moon, in comparison, was calculated with amazing accuracy (29.5302 days compared to the actual figure of 29.5306). The cycle of Venus (calculated at 583.92) was also pinpointed as accurately as measurements taken by modern astronomical methods. The ancient astronomers' awareness of long-term astronomical phenomena was astonishing.
CATEGORY: culture; chronology DEFINITION: A culture and period in Japanese history during which the development of art, the introduction of Buddhism from Korea, and the adoption of a Chinese pattern of government were important. Located in the southwestern part of the Nara Basin (Yamato Plain), the culture flourished from 552-645 AD. In art history, the Asukaculture refers to early Buddhist art and architecture in the Northern Wei style. In chronology, the Asukaperiod refers more to the reign of Soga family during which Buddhism was promoted and a formal administrative structure with diplomatic relations was introduced. Many old temples and palaces are surviving examples of Asuka architecture, sculpture, and paintings.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Aceramic Neolithic site in Syria's Damascus basin, occupied c 7800-6600 BC. There is evidence of early farming (plant cultivation including barley, cereals, emmerwheat, lentils, peas, pulses).
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Djawty, Lycopolis, Syut, Asiut, Assiout CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Capital of the Asyut muhafazah (governorate) and the largest settlement of Upper Egypt, midway between Cairo and Aswan on the west bank of the Nile. It was a center of worship for Wepwawet, the jackal-headed god. In the Middle Kingdom, it was the capital of the 17th nome (province) of Upper Egypt. It was commercially important as a terminus of caravan routes across the deserts. In Hellenistic times it was known as Lycopolis (Wolf City") referring to the worship of the jackal-headed god."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Late Neolithicsite (4th millennium BC) in the Zagyva Valley, 30 km east of Budapest, Hungary. There are remains of a settlement with 40 rectangular houses containing rich assemblages and a cemetery with rows of graves. There are varying degrees of wealth in the grave goods. Aszód is a rare example of a site east of the Danube River with a western Hungarian material culture.
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 Akkadiancuneiform. The tablets describe trading with cities such as Ugarit and the HittitecapitalHattusas, 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.
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 Mousteriantradition. 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.
CATEGORY: culture; language DEFINITION: Native Americans who speak languages of the Athabascan or Dene languagefamily. 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Athínai (modern Greek), Athenai (ancient Greek) CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Important classical Greek city-state with evidence for continuous occupation from the Late Neolithic, but because of its continuous occupation and the resulting disturbance of the earlier levels, its history is told from the time of the Mycenaeans in the Late Bronze Age. The citadel on the Acropolis was walled early in its history. It is the capital of Greece and generally considered to be the birthplace of Western civilization. Athens is best known for its temples and public buildings of antiquity. The Parthenon, a columned, rectangular temple built for the city's patron goddess, Athena, is considered to be the culmination of the Doric order of classical Greek architecture. Also located on the Acropolis are the Erechtheum, originally the temple of both Athena and Poseidon, and the Propylaea, the entrance of which is through the wall of the Acropolis. At the foot of the Acropolis, to the south, are the theaters of Herodes and Dionysus, while to the northwest is the Agora, the ancient marketplace of the city. The Kerameikos cemetery documents the city's Iron Age (c 11-8 BC), after which archaeology and history combine to tell of its brilliance through the classicalperiod. It supposedly rivaled Knossos and later resisted successive waves of Dorian invaders. It is still not clear how far Athens, perhaps the base of the very early Ionian colonies, managed to ride out the 'dark age' that followed the collapse of Mycenaean civilization. There is evidence of a cultural and commercial renaissance in the 7th and 6th centuries BC. A major component of this socioeconomic revolution was the borrowing of the Phoenicianalphabet for the writing of Greek. Commercial success brought rapid economic growth and a population explosion. New ideas were imported and political upheaval led to experiments in government, such as democracy. Athens resisted Persian invaders and developed a prestige which allowed the establishment of the Delian League and the extension of her political power -- the Athenian empire. In the years 447-431 BC, under Pericles, vast sums were spent on public works, such as the new group of buildings on the Acropolis including the Parthenon. Pericles would not grant the Hellenes the freedom requested by Sparta, which led to the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) after which Athens was a dependent of Sparta. Escape from Spartan imperialism in the 4th century BC was threatened by Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great. By the end of the century, Macedon dominated and Athens did not achieve independence until 228 BC. Rome then intruded in the 2nd and 1st centuries and Athens was sieged and plundered by Sulla. During the Imperial period, Athens was confined to a role as a cultural center and seat of learning for the rich -- which lasted into the 6th century AD, when the edict of Justinian in 529 closed down the schools of philosophy. By the Byzantine period, Athens had become a modest provincial town. Athens' ruins will be difficult to protect from the corrosive atmosphere and millions of visiting tourists.
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.
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.
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 Minoancivilization 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."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: atlantes (plural) telamon (Latin), caryatid (female) CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In Greek architecture, male figures which were so called for the story of Titan Atlas, in which humans were used instead of columns to support entablatures, balconies, or other projections. Such figures are posed as if supporting great weights, just as Atlas was bearing the world. The female counterpart is the caryatid, but it is not similarly posed. The earliest known examples of true atlantes occur on a colossal scale in the Greek temple of Zeus (c 500 BC) in Sicily. Atlantes were used only rarely in the Middle Ages but reappeared in the Mannerist and Baroque periods.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: atl-atl, spear thrower CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A New World version of a spear-throwing device, used by the Aztecs and other peoples of the Americas. It consisted of a wooden shaft used to propel a spear or dart and it functioned like an extension of the arm, providing more thrusting leverage. Atlatl weights are objects of stone fastened to the throwing stick for added weight. These may be perforated so that the stick passes through the artifact, or they may be grooved for lashing to the stick. In western North America it was the main hunting weapon from about 6500 BC till 500 AD.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithicassemblage 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.
atomic absorption spectrometry
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: AAS CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method of analysis used to determine the chemical composition of metal artifacts -- especially copper -- and non-metallic substances such as flint. It measures energy in the form of visible light waves and is capable of measuring up to 40 different elements with an error rate of around 1 percent. It is not a completely nondestructive technique, since a small sample must be removed from the artifact (between 10 mg. and 1 g., depending on the concentration of the elements). The sample is first dissolved and then atomized in a flame. A beam of light, of carefully controlled wavelength, is shone through the flame to a detector on the other side. The light takes a defined wavelength corresponding to the emission wavelength of the chosen element. The atoms of that element in the sample therefore absorbs a proportion of the light, measured with a photomultiplier, and a comparison of the intensity of the light with that which has not gone through the sample shows the extent of the absorption, thus providing an estimate of the amount of the chosen element in the specimen. One of the method's drawbacks is that a separate measurement (and a different hollow cathode lamp) is necessary for each element, so that analysis for a large number of elements is time-consuming. There are also problems of contamination with the high dilutions necessary for elements present in high concentrations, so that the method is used for the analysis of minor elements and trace elements rather than for major elements. The results are generally more accurate than those obtained using optical emission spectrometry and the technique's use will probably increase, especially for the identification of sources of metal ores through the recognition and quantification of the trace elements.
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.
Attic black-figure ware
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Type of pottery manufactured in the Attica region of southern Greece from about 720 BC. Vase-painters in Athens and Corinth developed a characteristic style of decoration in which one or more friezes of human and animal figures are presented in silhouette in black against a red ground. The delineation of the figures is sometimes heightened by the use of incised lines and the addition of white or purple coloring agents. Around 530 BC the style was replaced by its inverse:
CATEGORY: database design DEFINITION: In relational databases, a field in a many" file that makes a relation with the key attribute of a "one" file. "Site number" could be an attribute pointer in an artifact cataloguing file and refer to the key attribute "Site number" in another file "Sites" with a unique record for each site."
attritional age profile
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The distribution of ages in an animal population that is the result of selective hunting or predation. A mortality model based on the bone or tooth wear is used to figure out attritional mortality victims (those dying from natural causes or from non-human predation) or by hunting or predation of the most vulnerable individuals -- generally, the young and the old.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tem, Tum (means the all")" CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: A creator god and solar deity of Heliopolis. Atum's myth merged with that of the sun god Ra (Re), to form the god Ra-Atum (or Re-Atum). Atumcame into being before heaven and earth were separated, rising up from Nun (the waters of chaos) to form the Primeval Mound. He was identified with the setting sun and was shown as an aged figure who had to be regenerated during the night, to appear as Khepri at dawn and as Re at the sun's zenith. Atum was often identified with snakes and eels, typical primeval beings.
Aubrey, John (1626-97)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: An antiquarian and writer who studied and wrote detailed accounts of the monuments at Avebury and Stonehenge. He was the first to recognize the circle of 56 pits now known as the Aubrey holes within the bank at Stonehenge. His literary and scientific interests won him a fellowship of the Royal Society in 1663. . After his death, some of his antiquarian materials were included in The Natural History and Antiquities of . . . Surrey" (1719) and "The Natural History of Wiltshire" (1847)."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: augering (n) CATEGORY: tool DEFINITION: A tool used to probe into the ground and extract a small sample of a deposit without performing actual excavation. Its applications in archaeology are as a means of sampling and understanding the geological environment of a site and also for extracting peat for pollen analysis. There are various types of augers and they can be manual- or power-driven. Simple augers bring up samples on the thread of a drillbit. More elaborate ones open a chamber to collect a core after the drill has bored to an appropriate depth. Augering is generally restricted to the earliest stages of archaeological reconnaissance to determine the depth and characteristics of deposits.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Augusta Raurica, Roman Augusta Rauricorum CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a Roman colony and frontier post founded in 44 BC in Switzerland, which flourished under Hadrian until the time of an attack by the Alamanni in 260 AD. There is no evidence of occupation before 15 BC. The site has one of the most complete Roman city layouts north of the Alps with a theater, forum, curia, basilica, theatercomplex, baths, and city walls. The Romans enlarged the old Celtic settlement, improved water supplies, and constructed the arenas and theaters. Villas were built, providing the bases for agricultural exploitation and for spreading of Roman influence into the surrounding countryside.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The corners of a stem of stemmed types or the corners of the base of triangular types which are ear-like.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A major projectile form which has rounded or pointed ears that project from the concavebase or stem of points or blades.
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 marginalretouch) are typical of Aurignacian. Aurignacian is also important as the most distinctive and abundantly represented of the early Upper Palaeolithic groups.
CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: The name of an extinct species of wild ox (Bos primigenius), the ancestor of present-day domestic cattle, which became extinct in the 17th century AD. It was described by Caesar as Urus and it inhabited Europe and the British Isles in ancient times and survived in most recent times in Lithuania, Poland, and Prussia. The name has often been applied erroneously to another species, the European bison, which still exists in the Lithuania forests. It was probably domesticated in some places, such as in eastern Hungary during the 4th millennium BC.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A mid-Holocenetoolindustry 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: australopithecine; abbreviation is A. CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A name for an early genus believed to be related to man. The speciesAustralopithecus africanus, first known from southern and eastern Africa, was of small in size -- probably under four feet tall -- and had a brain in the same size range as the chimpanzee and gorilla, but with massive jaws and teeth. The posture and teeth settings were, however, clearly human. The main fossils from South Africa are said to be 2 1/2 to 3 million years old, but there are fossils from Laetoli near Olduvai which are around 3 3/4 to 5 million years old and are regarded as either an early form of africanus or as an ancestral species. At least one other species, Australopithecus robustus, has been included in the genus. This form was heavier and stockier with giant molar teeth but small front teeth. Fossil human remains from Olduvai and Koobi Fora in Kenya called Homo habilis are often regarded as a late form of Australopithecus africanus or an early form of Homo erectus and they date from 1 1/2 to 2 million years ago. Australopithecus went extinct about 900,000 years ago. There are at least five known species in this genus. Some fragments from Lothagam at c5.5 million years may also be Australopithecus. The word Australopithecus means southern ape" and these hominids were so named (in 1924 at Taung) because their fossils were found first in southern Africa."
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A family of about 150 languages which includes Vietnamese, Munda (eastern India), Mon (southwest Burma), Khmer (Kampuchea), and several minor language groups including Nicobarese, and Aslian of peninsular Malaysia. Vietnamese, Khmer, and Mon are culturally the most important of these and have the longest recorded history. Khmer is spoken primarily in Cambodia, Mon in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma). Vietnamese and Khmer, with the largest number of speakers, are the national languages, respectively, of Vietnam and Cambodia. Austro-Asiatic was once the main linguistic family of mainland Southeast Asia and eastern India, but its speakers have become geographically split into the Tibeto-Burman, Thai, and Austronesian languages.
CATEGORY: typology DEFINITION: An instance when two variables appear to be correlated, not because of any causal relationship between them, but because they are subdimensions" of some other variable."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Augustodunum CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Augustan Roman city in central France whose remains include city walls with two Augustan gates, a theater, and a temple of Janus. It was a fortified town built for Augustus in the last decade BC as a replacement capital for the Celtic tribe of the Aedui. The city was also known as a center of learning and for its schools of rhetoric. The city was ruined when it supported Claudius II in 269 AD.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithicsite near Kursk in Russia with a single occupation between 11,950-22,700 BP. There were pits and hearths and artifacts of shouldered points and animal and Venus figurines. Woolly mammoth dominates the large faunal assemblage.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Wiltshire, England, at which stands one of Britain's finest megalithic monuments (known as henges) and one of the largest ceremonial structures in Europe. It was built c 2000 BC in the Neolithic, where the ridgeways of southern England meet, a natural site for tribal gatherings. It consists of a large bank with internal ditch (1.2 km long) with four equally spaced entrances. Inside the ditch was set a circle of 98 sarsen stones, weighing as much as 40 tons each. In the center were two smaller stone circles, each c 100 meters in diameter. The northern circle contains a U-shaped setting of three large stones, and the southern inner circle once had a complexarrangement of stones at its center. The RingStone, a huge stone perforated by a natural hole, stood within the earthworks and main stonecircle at the southern entrance. The southern entrance leads out to two parallel rows of sarsens forming an avenue 15 m wide and 2.5 km long which ends at a ritual building (the so-called Sanctuary) on Overton Hill. Traces of a second avenue remain on the opposite side of the monument. From the bottom of the ditchcame sherds of Neolithic Windmill Hill, Peterborough, and Grooved Ware styles, while higher up were fragments of South British (Long Necked) Beaker and Bronze Age pottery. Burials with Beaker and Rinyo-Clacton wares have been excavated at the bases of some of the stones. Near the southern end of the Avenue was an occupation site with Neolithic and Beaker sherds. The complex geometry of the site is studied, especially the possible astronomical alignments built into it. The circles at Avebury and the wooden structure on Overton Hill were all probably built at the same time by Neolithic communities.
Avebury, Lord (formerly Sir John Lubbock) (1834-1913)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: British archaeologist whose book Prehistoric Times" (7 editions between 1865-1913) achieved bestseller status. An early convert to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution Lord Avebury popularized prehistory both as a term and a subject. He introduced the words "Palaeolithic" (old) and "Neolithic" (new) thereby expanding the three-age system (Thomsen and Worsaae) to a four-age system dividing the Stone Age into old and new periods. He also interpreted cultural change as evidence of invasion from the east and the development of society as the result of economic advance."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (man" in Akkadian)" CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The class of citizens in Mesopotamia who owned land in their own right and were freemen not dependent on the palace nor on the temple, according to Hammurabi's Law Code. The threefold system of the populace was divided into awilum, muskenum, and wardum. The wardum was any slave in bondage who could be bought and sold, with a possibility of regaining freedom under certain conditions as a debtor-slave. The muskenum were, under King Hammurabi at least, persons employed by the palace who could be given land but it was not their property. The classes awilum and muskenum were not mutually exclusive. Still unanswered is the question as to which segment of the population could be conscripted to the wardum.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: piercer, pricker, bodkin CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A small tool consisting of a thin, tapering, sharp-pointed blade of bone, flint, or metal used for piercing holes, making decorations, or in assisting basketweaving.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: axe CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: One of the last major categories of stone tool to be invented, around the end of the last Ice Age in the Palaeolithic. A flat, heavy cutting tool of stone or metal (bronze) in which the cutting edge is parallel to the haft and which might have the head and handle in one piece. Its main function was for woodworking (hewing, cleaving, or chopping trees) but it was also used as a weapon of war, as the battle-ax. There are many forms of ax, depending on the different materials and methods of hafting. The word ax" is now used instead of celt. "Hand-ax" is used to denote the earlier implement which was not hafted. In Mesolithic times stone axes were usually chipped from a block of flint and could be resharpened by the removal of a flake from the end. In the Neolithic axes were polished and often perforated to aid hafting. Axes are now usually iron with a steeledge or blade and fixed by means of a socket in the handle. Smaller lighter ones are called hatchets."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: axe-hammer, axe-adze, hammer-axe CATEGORY: artifact; lithics DEFINITION: A tool consisting of an ax and a hammer combined, i.e. a shaft-hole ax having a hammer knob in addition. It was primarily a weapon of war, combining the functions of battle-ax and mace.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The bones of the trunk and head.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aksum CATEGORY: culture; site DEFINITION: A kingdom formed from at least the 1st century AD in southwestern Ethiopia which developed into an empire including northern Ethiopia, Sudan, and southern Arabia. It is also the name of a city there, in existence since the 3rd century AD which rose to be the center of the kingdom. The culture incorporated elements from pre-Axumite cultures of the area. It was the first state in eastern Africa to make gold, silver, and copper coins, which is evidence of economic prosperity from international trade (possibly of ivory). The history of Axum is reflected in the inscriptions and religious symbols on those coins, which run approximately from the 3rd-7th centuries. Axum adopted Christianity in 4th century. There is archaeological evidence for large multi-story stone buildings and a series of monolithic funerary stelae up to 33 meters high. Axum was finally conquered by the Axumites in the 4th century, though it achieved political control over parts of southern Arabia in the 6th century. Thereafter it declined and was sacked in the 10th century.
Ay (fl. 14th c BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kheperkheprure Ay CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: King of Egypt (reigned 1323-19 BC) who rose from the ranks of the civil service and the military to take the throne after the death of Tutankhamen (1333-1323 BC) and was the last king of the 18th Dynasty. Ay became King Tutankhamen's closest adviser and helped him reconcile with the priesthood of Amon, which Akhenaton had persecuted. A ring with Ay's and Tutankhamen's widow's (Ankhesenamen) names, seen in 1932 in Cairo, has been evaluated to mean that Ay became king through marriage with the heiress. Ay's original wife remained his chief queen, as depicted on his royal tomb.
CATEGORY: culture; site DEFINITION: A valley in southern Peru, north of the city of Ayacucho, with a series of caves -- notably Pikimachay (Flea) Cave and Jayamachay (Pepper) Cave -- which were the site of a complex of unifacial chipped tools (basalt and chertcore tools, choppers, unifacial projectile points) and bone artifacts (horse, camel, giant sloth) dating between 15,000-11,000 BC. A human presence has been suggested in the Ayacucho Basin at that time, which would correspond with the first wave" of immigrants to the New World. Succeeding levels contain burins blades fishtail points and manos and metates. Gourds squash cotton lucuma and seed plants such as quinoa and amaranth were cultivated in the Ayacucho Basin before 3000 BC; corn and beans within the next millennium. There were also ground stone implements for milling seeds. It has been claimed that llamas and guinea pigs were domesticated within the complex. "
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Cordoba, northwestern Argentina, which has evidence of a transition from Big Game Hunting to a more specialized hunting and gathering economy. The assemblage contains crude, large bifacial willow-leaf projectile points, lithic hunting tools, and tool-making debris in association with manos and milling stones, dating between 8,000-12,000 years ago.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Bifacially workedstone missile tips of willow-leaf outline found among archaic hunter-gatherer communities of the Peruvian highlands and coasts in 9000-7000 BC. Typical examples are 60-70mm long.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the island of Kea in the Aegean, occupied in the Bronze Age (2nd millennium BC). There was a fortified town with links to MinoanCrete. There are very large female terra-cotta figures in the temple.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Minoanpalace in southern Crete, built c 2200 BC and inhabited until its destruction c 1450 BC. Connected by road to the palace at Phaestus, one room contained numerous clay tablets with Linear A inscriptions.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Neolithicsite in northern Cyprus of the late 5th millennium BC with a perimeter wall and ditch protecting semi-subterranean houses.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cemetery of cremation burials of the 1st century BC discovered in the 1880s in the county of Kent, England. It was excavated by Sir Arthur Evans, who identified the grave goods as belonging to the Iron Age Belgae. It is thought to represent the arrival of Belgic peoples fleeing from Gaul in advance of Caesar's army. Aylesford and Swarling are now the type sites of that culture in southeastern England. There was urned cremation in flat graves and the use of wheel-thrown pots with pedestal bases and horizontal cordon ornament. Brooches (fibula), wooden stave-built buckets, and bronze have also been found. The culture survived for a time after the Roman conquest in 43 AD.
CATEGORY: culture; language DEFINITION: A large South American tribal group occupying the Titicaca plateau (central Andes) in the Late Intermediate Period -- and the language spoken by them. The Aymaralanguage is still spoken some parts of Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. The Aymara kingdoms" -- Canchi Colla Lupaca Collagua Ubina Pacasa Caranga Charca Quillaca Omasuyo and Collahuaya -- fought amongst themselves but also shared cultural characteristics. Some of these characteristics appear to have been incorporated into the Inca political system such as classstratification a powerful ruling class and chullpa burials. The peoples lived by cultivating tubers and herding alpaca and llama."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ayut'ia, Ayuthya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Ayuthia, or Ayuthaya; Krung Kao (ancient capital")" CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A town in south-central Thailand founded c 1350 by Ramathibodi I in his attempt to unify the countries of Siam and Lopburi. It became the capital of the powerful Thai kingdom of the same name for more than 400 years until its destruction by invading Myanmar in 1767. Much architecture, art, and literature was destroyed in the sacking. The seat of government was moved south to Bangkok. Located on an island formed by the Lop Buri River at the mouth of the Pa Sak River, its hundreds of brick monuments have been recently restored
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A series of sites in Niger which have yielded evidence of metalworking at a very early date, possibly to late 2nd millennium for coppersmelting. There may have been a brief Copper Age" (as at Akjoujt) before the adoption of iron which was rare in sub-Saharan Africa."
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 boneantler 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Asmaska Moghila CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite in southern Bulgaria of the Neolithic and Copper Age. Several settlement horizons, building levels of early NeolithicKaranovo I culture, building levels of Karanovo V and VI cultures, and building phases of Early Bronze Age Karanovo VII culture have been unearthed. The layouts of the villages may yield architectural detail for the whole sequence.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mexica, Tenochcas CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The last pre-Columbian civilization to enter the Valley of Mexico after the collapse of the Tolteccivilization in c 12 AD, who built a magnificent capital at Tenochtitlán and were later conquered by the Spaniards (1521). They called themselves the Mexica or Tenochca and were the dominant political group of the Late Post-Classic Period. The people spoke Nahuatl. Their origin is obscure, partly because of the deliberate destruction of their own records, but tradition says that in 1193 AD the last of seven Chichimec tribes left Aztlan , a mythical birthplace somewhere north or west of Mexico, and filtered south. For a while they lived around Lake Texococo, but in 1345 they were allowed to found Tenochtitlán (under present-day Mexico City) on some unoccupied islands. By 1428 Tenochtitlán, Texococo, and Tlacopan formed an independent state which controlled most of present-day Mexico from the desert zone in the north to Oaxaca in the south, with extensions as far as the Guatemalan border -- all through military expansion. By inclination and training the Aztecs were militaristic, and a person's status depended on his success as a warrior. The chief god of the Aztecs, Huitzilopochtli, was a war god who required the blood of sacrificial victims, and only constant warfare supplied the altar of the god. Human sacrifice was necessary also to ensure the daily rising of the sun. Other major deities were Huitzilpotchtli (the warrior god and chief deity of Tenochtitlan), Texcatlipoca (god of night, death and destruction), Xipe Totec (god of spring and renewal), and Quetzacoatl, the plumed serpent (god of self-sacrifice and inventor of agriculture and the calendar). Tenochtitlán became a great imperial city, so large that it could not be self-sufficient but had to rely on tributes from its provinces. Luxury goods and necessities were brought to the city, and craftsmen produced jewelry, turquoise mosaics, featherwork, and carved stone. Mold-made clay figurines were common, and the black-on-orange pottery was decorated with geometrical designs and stylized creatures. Little architecture or painting survived the Spanish conquest of 1521. Copies of several books have been preserved (as the Dresden Codex). Aztec society was set in a clearly defined hierarchical classsystem. At the top was the ruling class (pipil) from whom and by whom the emperors were chosen. The mass of the population were freeman (machuale) and under them were the serfs (mayeques) and then at the bottom the slaves. Most people were of the landholding group called the calpulli, which had its own internal hierarchy. Change of social class was possible through state service in the military and sometimes through merchant activity. The merchants (pochteca) served as early-reconnaissance and espionage groups. The arrival of the Spaniards and the fall of Tenochtitlán after a 90-day siege marked the end of Aztec dominance.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: B Horizon CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A term no longer used to describe the final stages of the Neolithic A Group in Nubia (c 2800-2300 BC), prior to the beginning of the C Group phase. In soils, the B horizon lies immediately beneath the A horizon and may reach a depth of 65 to 90 centimeters (26 to 35 inches). It is a zone of more moderate weathering in which there is an accumulation of many of the products removed from the A horizon.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A range of ceramic amphorae originating at a range of source areas in the east Mediterranean. They date from the 1st to the early 7th century AD, although in Britain they date mainly to the later part of their currency. Divided into four subgroups, Bi-Biv. Bi are characteristic of sub-Roman sites in western Britain.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Before Present, BP CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The abbreviation for 'Before Present', used especially in radiocarbon dating. The fixed reference date for 'Before Present' has been established as 1950 AD. Thus, 4250 BP would mean 4250 years prior to 1950, or 2300 BC. The year 1950 was the latest that the atmosphere was sufficiently uncontaminated to act as a standard for radiocarbon dating. The lower case 'bp' represents uncalibrated radiocarbon years; the capitals BP denote a calibrated radiocarbon date, or a date derived from some other dating method, such as potassium-argon, that does not need calibration.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bit hilani CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: An architectural type describing a pillared porch, usually of wood. A bithilani 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 palaceunit, 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 bithilani is the Kaparu Palace at Tall Halaf.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A rugged mountain range in northern Hungary which gave its name to a Middle Neolithicpotteryculture of the late 5th millennium BC. There are a number of cave sites with evidence of seasonal occupation and use of rocks for tools. There are hoards of axes and flint blades as well as painted and incised pottery. Obsidian was also exchanged even though there are volcanic tuffs, lavas, and post-volcanic hot springs.
CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: In ancient Egyptian religion, one of the principal aspects of the personality -- the soul -- along with ka and akh. The ba, which was freed from the body at death, stood for the mobility of the soul in the underworld and its ability to return to earth. It was often represented as a bird or human-headed bird. Graves were often provided with narrow passages for visitation by the ba.
Ba and Shu
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: also 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (lord" or "owner")" CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: A god worshipped in many ancient Middle Eastern places and the most important deity of the Canaanites. He was first mentioned in inscriptions of the Middle Bronze Age, middle of the 2nd millennium BC, and was depicted as a young armed warrior with bull's horns coming from his helmet. He was the fertility deity and also the lord of life and of rain and dew. Baal was also worshipped by the Phoenicians and at Carthage. An important temple dedicated to Baal has been excavated at Ugarit, which is where the first tablets bearing his name were discovered.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ba'labakk (Arabic), Heliopolis (Greek) CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Important town and agricultural center in Lebanon and the site of the magnificent ruins of a Roman town. First knowledge of Baalbek was the time of the Greek conquest of Syria (332 BC). After the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC), the region fell to the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt, under which the town was called Heliopolis, probably after its Egyptian namesake. It achieved importance in late Hellenistic and Roman times, especially as a holy city. Among the ruins are the Temples of Jupiter and Bacchus. In 200 BC, it was taken by the Seleucids' Antiochus the Great and it was a Seleucid possession until the dynasty's fall in 64 BC, when it was again under Roman control. Baalbek has been an Arab city since 637 AD.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A tellsite and culture of the Late Bronze Age, located in Rumania. Several occupation levels have been identified, all of which are associated with rich assemblages of bones, bronze tools carbonized cereals, iron tools, and pottery.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bab-ilu (Babylonian), Bab-ilim (Old Babylonian), Bavel or Babel (Hebrew), Atlal Babil (Arabic) CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: One of the most famous cities of antiquity, the capital of southern Mesopotamia (Babylonia) from the early 2nd millennium to the early 1st millennium BC and capital of the Neo-Babylonian (Chaldean) Empire in the 7th and 6th centuries BC. It was located about 80 km south of Baghdad, Iraq on the Euphrates River. Babylon was occupied from the 3rd millennium BC, but it first reached prominence under King Hammurabi (reigned 1792-1750 BC), who made it the capital of his empire. (Hammurabi is best known for his code of laws.) Babylon was destroyed by the Hittites c 1595 BC and ruled by the Kassites until c 1157 BC. The city had frequent wars with Elam and Assyria during several short-lived dynasties until the 11th and last dynasty (626-539 BC), when the city was at its highest development and largest size. This last dynasty -- that of Nebuchadnezzar -- was instrumental in destroying Assyria and it conquered lands from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean before being overthrown by Cyrus in 539 BC. It continued in existence through the Achaemenid period, though with much reduced importance, until its abandonment in 641 AD after the Muslim conquest. The city itself covered around 200 hectares and had a population of about 100,000. Excavations beginning at the turn of the 20th century revealed the city's plan and scanty remains of the ziggurat, the original Tower of Babel. The high water table, which has risen in the last few millennia, allowed those excavators (R. Koldewey from 1899-1917) access to only buildings of the Neo-Babylonian period. The ruins, including temples (some for Marduk, the city's patron deity), fortifications, palaces, and the substructure of the Hanging Gardens, have not held up well over time, especially due to brick-robbing. The finest surviving monument is the Ishtar Gate and Procession Street. Important buildings excavated include Nebuchadnessar's palace, close to the Ishtar Gate, a huge building with many rooms arranged around five different courtyards. Another huge palace of Nebuchadnezzar's reign (605-562 BC) -- the 'Summer Palace' -- was constructed to the northwest of the Inner City and was enclosed by a triangular outer wall.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: Pottery vessels ranging in date from the 11th-15th centuries and found in northern Italy, especially in medieval churches. They were placed in walls of churches, over church doorways, and in church towers for decorative purposes. These Italian vessels were imported from the Byzantine and Arabic world but later Italian maiolicas were made as bacini. Bacini were probably also used in southern Italian, Greek, and western European churches. Some were painted and incised; some were monochromic, others had fantastic designs.
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A purposely created flaketool which is usually a decortication flake that retains a piece of the cortex on one side and a sharp edge on the other.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: backfill (v.), back-filling (n.); backdirt CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Excavated earth put to one side at an archaeological site, which is later used to refill the excavation. The purpose of backfilling may be to prevent erosion or vandalizing.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A simple loom known in pre-Columbian America and in Asia and still used in western Mexico, Guatemala, and other places in Central America. A continuouswarp thread passes between two horizontal poles, one attached to a support and the other to a seated weaver, who adjusts the tension by moving forwards or backwards. The Navajo Indians wove blankets on a two-bar loom for centuries. Throughout the Caroline Islands (except Palau), strips of banana and hibiscus fiber are woven on backstrap looms.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bactriana, Zariaspa CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: An ancient country (satrapy) lying in a fertile region between the mountains of the Hindu Kush (Paropamisus) and the Amu Darya (ancient Oxus River) in what is now part of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Bactria was especially important between c 600 BC-600 AD, as a center for meeting and trading between the East (China) and West (Mediterranean). It was a satrapy of the Achaemenid empire and was conquered by Alexander the Great in 329 BC. Many Greeks settled in Bactria in the Seleucid period which followed. . Consequently, Greek influence on the culture of central Asia and northwestern India was considerable, especially in art, architecture, coins, and writing. Bactria's capital was Bactra (also called Bactra-Zariaspa; probably modern Balkh, ancient Vahlika).
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Badari, al- CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of Upper Egypt between Matmar and Qau where a Predynastic culture existed. Numerous cemeteries (Mostagedda, Deir Tasa and the cemetery of el-Badari) and a settlement site at Hammamia have been found.
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: NaqadaCulture I and NaqadaCulture II.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Baden-Pécel; Ossarn or Pecel culture; Channeled Ware or Radial-decorated pottery culture CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A third millennium Copper Age culture over much of central Europe (the Carpathian basin: northern Yugoslavia, all of Hungary, most of Czechoslovakia, southern Poland, and parts of Austria and Germany). Ancient Baden was occupied by Celts and then by Germanic peoples and was conquered by Rome in the 1st century AD. It was a successor to the Lengyelculture. They produced metal tools including ax-hammers and torcs of twisted copperwire. The pottery was plain and dark, but some have channeleddecoration and handles of Ansa Lunata type. The horse was domesticated and carts mounted on four solid disk-wheels were used. Baden had contacts with the Early Bronze Age cultures of the Aegean. It was named for the town of Baden, near Vienna. A radiocarbonchronology has divided the Badenculture into three phases: Early (2750-2450 BC), Classic (2600-2250 BC), and Late (2400-2200 BC). The most complete sequences are in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Baden was remarkable at the time because it had a highly dispersed settlement pattern and a central cemetery pattern.
badge of office
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: badge of identity CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Clothing, crowns, tattoos, head deformation, social attitudes, or even language that become established to set certain individuals apart from others in society.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A type of pottery of the 8th-9th centuries in the hills of Cologne, Germany. The globular pitchers and bowls of the Carolingianperiod are the best known. Badorf-ware kilns have been excavated at Bruhl-Eckdorf and Walberberg and products have been found in the Netherlands, eastern England, and in Denmark. In the 9th century, the pots began to be decorated with red paint. Gradually new forms and styles known as Pingsdorf Wares evolved.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The present-day capital of Iraq, a site 330 miles northwest of the Persian Gulf at the intersection of historic trade routes (Khorasn Road, part of the Silk Route) which was the foremost city of ancient Mesopotamia. Archaeological evidence shows that the site of Baghdad was occupied by various peoples long before the Arab conquest of Mesopotamia in 637 AD, and several ancient empires had capitals there. The true founding of the city dates from 762 when the Abbasids moved the Islamic capital there. It was the Islamic capital from the 8th-13th centuries. Abbassid Baghdad is buried beneath the modern city. There was a palace, a congregational mosque, ministries and barracks, surrounded by walls and a moat. In the late 8th and early 9th centuries, Baghdad was large and at its height economically; it was considered the richest city in the world. The caliph abandoned Baghdad in favor of Samarra from 836-892. The city was burnt by the Mongols in 1258, rebuilt and sacked by Timur in 1400. The glory of Baghdad is written about in The Thousand and One Nights"."
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A phase in Ecuador's culture, dating c 500 BC - 500 AD that was discovered on La Plata Island (Manabi). Large pyramidal platform mounds, helmeted figurines, spouted jars, and incised pottery have been found and evidence of polychrome painting and metallurgy. Houses with saddle roofs (low, downward-curving roof ridges), pottery head/neck rests, figurines with one leg crossed over the other, Pan pipes graduated towards the center and ear plugs shaped like golf tees were unique to the culture -- but they have parallels in southeast Asia. It has been suggested that they were introduced into Ecuador by voyagers from across the Pacific. Particularly elaborate anthropomorphic vessels give information on dress and ornamentation (nose discs and tusk-like pendants). Bahia was a well-developed socio-political and religious unit. The La Plata Island site was probably a ceremonial center as there is little evidence of daily living. Unfortunately, many sites have already been lost to modern development.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: al-Bahriyah Oasis CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A fertile depression in the northeast Libyan Desert about 200 km west of the Nile. Archaeological remains date mainly from the early New Kingdom to the Roman period (c 1550 BC-395 AD).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An island in the Persian Gulf that has been identified with the ancient land of Dilmun (Telmun) of about 2000 BC, a prosperous trading center linking Sumeria with the Indus Valley. Written records of the archipelago exist in Assyrian, Persian, Greek, and Roman sources. Burial mounds in the north of Bahrain Island suggest a period of Sumerian influence in the 3rd millennium BC. There are densely packed fields of tumuli in Bahrain and at several places on the adjacent mainland. They are associated with densely packed complexes of cist burials. Excavation has shown the island to be an important link in the sea trade between that region and the Indus civilization. Two important sites in the north of the island belong to the 'Dilmunperiod': a walled town at Qala'at al-Bahrain and a complextemple building at Barbar. Among the finds of this period are circular steatitestamp 'Persian Gulf' seals, related to Indus Valley seals, but probably made locally.
CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: The Neolithicperiod of the Lake Baikal region in eastern Siberia. Stratified sites in the area show a long, gradual move from the Palaeolithic to Neolithicstage, starting in the 4th millennium BC. The Postglacial culture was not true" Neolithic in that it farmed but Neolithic in the sense of using pottery. It was actually a Mongoloid hunting-and-fishingculture (except in southern Siberia around the Aral Sea) with a microlithic flintindustry with polished-stoneblade tools together with antlerbone and ivory artifacts; pointed- or round-based pottery and the bow and arrow. Points and scrapers made on flakes of Mousterianaspect and pebble tools showing a survival of the ancient chopper-chopping tooltradition of eastern Asia have also been found. There was a woodworking and quartziteindustry and some cattle breeding. The first bronzes of the region are related to the Shangperiod of northern China and the earliest Ordos bronzes. The area covers the mountainous regions from Lake Baikal to the Pacific Ocean and the taiga (coniferous forest) and tundra of northern Siberia. A first stage is name for the site Isakovo and is known only from a small number of burials in cemeteries. The succeeding Serovo stage is also known mainly from burials with the addition of the compound bow backed with bone plates. The third phase named Kitoi has burials with red ochre and composite fish hooks possibly indicate more fishing. The succeeding Glazkovo phase of the 2nd millennium BC saw the beginnings of metal-using but generally showed continuity in artifact and burial types. Some remains of semi-subterranean dwellings with centrally located hearths occur together with female statuettes in bone."
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: A Spanish term for a broad, flat, clay-lined depression in the Maya lowlands that fills with water during rainy season
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The earliest surviving temple mountain in southeast Angkor, Cambodia, the first Cambodian temple to be built primarily of stone (sandstone) rather than brick. It was built by king Indravarman I (reigned 877-c 890 AD) and was probably finished in 881. The central tower of the pyramidal structure in 34 meters high. At the summit of the central shrine was a linga, the phallic emblem sacred to Shiva. Around the base of the terraced pyramid stood eight large shrines inside the main enclosure, with a series of moats, causeways, and auxiliary sculptures guarding the approaches to the exterior. Bakong became the model for many larger royal temples at Angkor. These served as monuments to the greatness of their patrons and, subsequently, as their tombs.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A unit in the Classic Maya long count equaling 144,000 days or about 400 years.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bakun, Tall-I CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A prehistorictellsite near Persepolis in south-central Iran, occupied continuous from c 4200 to c 3000 BC. The site, the oldest yet discovered in that area of Iran, was first excavated in 1928. It consisted of 12 mud-brick buildings with 1-7 rooms each. Bakun was occupied by an agricultural community that made fine painted pottery related to Susa A wares. Vessels included conical bowls and goblets with a large variety of geometric patterns and animal motifs. Other finds include flint implements, stamp and button seals, vessels of calcite and many animal and human figurines. The pottery is especially important for the study of early Iranian art.
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
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cemeterysite 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tell Balawat CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of ancient Imgur-Enlil, east of Mosul in northern Iraq. Excavators have found the palace of Shalmaneser II and a pair of great bronze gates (now in the British Museum). These huge wooden gates were part of a set of three with evidence of the campaigns of Assurnasirpal II and Shalmaneser III. They were decorated with horizontal bands of metal 11 inches high, each modeled by a repoussé process, with a double register of narrative scenes. The bronze doors from the Assyrian town portray the course of Shalmaneser's campaigns and undertakings in rows of pictures. Balawat was the country retreat of the Assyrian kings in the first half of the 9th century BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An island of Indonesia east of Java. The earliest inscriptions date from the end of the 9th and the 10th centuries, where Buddhism and Shaivite Hinduism have been practiced since the 7th century.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: baulk CATEGORY: term; technique DEFINITION: A strip (usu. 10-25 centimeters) of unexcavated earth left in place between excavated units, pits, or trenches for the purpose of revealing the stratigraphy of an excavation for as long as possible. The balk provides a constant reference to the original pre-excavationlevel of the site, and also carries all sections along or across the site. In an excavation carried out according to the grid method, 25% of the site may consist of balks. Balks may also serve to facilitate access to different areas of the excavation.
balk excavation method
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The excavation of an area of a site leaving vertical pillars or walls in place, thus allowing better correlation between excavations with predefined strata.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Vazirabad, Bactra CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A village in northern Afghanistan that was formerly Bactra, the capital of ancient Bactria. A settlement existed at the site as early as 500 BC and it was associated with Zoroaster until captured by Alexander the Great in c 329 BC. It was then made the capital of the Greek satrapy of Bactria, but in succeeding centuries fell to various nomadic invaders, including the Turks and Kushans, until it was decisively taken by the Arabs in the 8th century. Balkh then became the capital of Khorasan. Under the Abbasids and Samanids, it was a capital and a center of learning and known as the Mother of Cities". Balkh was completely destroyed by the Mongols under Genghis Khan in 1220. It lay in ruins until its capture by Timur in the 15th century. The alleged discovery of the tomb of 'Ali the Prophet Muhammad's son-in-law in neighboring Mazar-e Sharif (1480) once again reducedBalkh to insignificance. Balkh was incorporated into Afghanistan in 1850. Balkh was a caravan city on the Silk Route and a major outpost of Buddhism. Very little is known about the pre-Islamic city."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ball-clay CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A fine-textured, highly plastic sedimentary clay, usually composed of the mineralkaolinite, typically containing considerable organic matter and firing white or cream
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ballcourt, ball court CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: The structure upon which the ball game was played in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. It was shaped like a capital I with exaggerated end pieces, and in the Post-Classic periodstone rings or macaw heads were fixed to the side walls. Aztec records say that the team which passed the ball through one of these rings won the game outright.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ballgame, ball game; ollama, pok-ta-pok CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The ritual and sporting activity played throughout pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, especially in Mexico and Guatemala from the Pre-Classic period. (Stone reliefs at Dainzu and the possible remains of a ball court at San Lorenzo Tenochititlan indicate that the game existed as early as Pre-Classic times.) It may have originated among the Olmecs (La Venta culture, c 800-400 BC) or even earlier and it spread to other cultures, including Monte Albán and El Tajín; the Maya (called pok-ta-pok); and the Toltec, Mixtec, and Aztec. In Aztec times, it was a nobles' game and was often accompanied by heavy betting. Various myths mention the ball game, sometimes as a contest between day and night deities. It is still played in isolated regions. The players, who were sometimes heavily padded, were allowed to use only their hips and thighs in propelling a rubber ball around the court. The ball-court itself was shaped like a capital I with exaggerated end pieces, and in the Post-Classic periodstone rings or macaw heads were fixed to the side walls. Aztec records say that the team which passed the ball through one of these rings won the game outright. Tlachtli is the name of the court itself, but also for the game. Tlachtli and ollama are Nahuatl words. There was considerable diversity in the rules both over time and across culture. Death through injury was not unusual and the loss of a game could sometimes result in the sacrifice of the losing team. There is a considerable inventory of artifacts associated with the ball game, including hachas, palmas, court markers, elbow stones, and yokes.
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 writingdating 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: balista CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An ancient heavy missile launcher designed to hurl javelins or heavy balls on the principle of a crossbow. The smaller ballista was just that -- a basic, large crossbow fastened to a mount. It was also used to hurl iron shafts, Greek fire, heavy darts, etc. during sieges. The huge, complicated Roman ballista, however, was powered by torsion derived from two thick skeins of twisted cords through which were thrust two separate arms joined at their ends by the cord that propelled the missile. The largest ballistas were quite accurate in hurling 60-pound weights up to about 500 yards. The catapult was yet another machine used for firing bolts and other arrow-like missiles. The two terms are often used interchangeably.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A rock shelter in New Ireland, Oceania, dating to c 5000 BC with a preceramic industry of obsidian and bone points. The site has one of the earliest dates for human settlement in Oceania east of New Guinea.
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.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A large cave of southwestern Zimbabwe, where excavations have revealed a long sequence of occupation over the past 50,000 years. The site gives its name to a stoneindustry and potterytype, but they are widely separated periods. There are rock paintings on the cave walls and sheep bones, found in the same archaeological levels as pottery, have been dated to 150 BC. The Bambata industry, dated between the 50th-20th millennia BC, used prepared cores to produce (unretouched) flakes for scrapers and slender unifacial or bifacial lances or spear points. Its distribution extended north to Zambia and south to the Orange Free State and perhaps the Cape. Bambata potteryware is known only from contexts of the 1st millennium ad in Zimbabwe. It is elaborately decorated with stamped designs.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of alluvial gold fields in Guinea, near the headwaters of the Niger and Senegal Rivers. The gold, traded to trans-Saharan markets, contributed to the wealth of the empires of Ghana and Mali which had an intermediate position between Bambuk and the markets.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in southeastern Iran with a series of prehistoric mounds and a medieval fort. There is a potterysequence from the mid-3rd millennium to c 1900 BC which exhibits links to pottery from Afghanistan and Umm an-Nar Island on the Persian Gulf.
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 bronzecast according to the earliest records. Iron and rice paddy fieldcultivation 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.
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.
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.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A Chalcolithicculture 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.
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-typepottery. The third phase had pottery comparable to Late Harappan wares (Bara ware, Late Siswal ware, ochre-colored pottery).
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Linearbandkeramik, LBK, Linienbandkeramik (German) CATEGORY: ceramics; culture DEFINITION: A pottery of the Danubian I culture, a Neolithicculture 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 lineardecoration which was pairs of parallel lines forming spirals, meanders, chevrons, etc. There was farming of emmerwheat 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.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A mid-Holoceneobsidianindustry of west Java's Bandung Plateau. It was characterized by small backed flakes and other tools.
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.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (also birdstone, boatstone) banner stone CATEGORY: artifact; lithics DEFINITION: A stoneatlatl -- 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.
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 flintbone 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."
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A Niger-Congo languagefamily, 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 potterytradition, the 'Early Iron age' complex.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pao-chi CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area situated on the north bank of the Wei River, a strategic and transportation center since early times, controlling the northern end of a pass across the Tsinling Mountains. There are Neolithic remains which may be antecedents of the Banpoculture. Western Zhou bronzes have been found in the Baojiarea. Tombs of the 19th century BC contained ritual vessels and the earliest known evidence of silk embroidery.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Temple mountain built by the Baphuon of Udayadityavarman II (reigned 1050-66 AD) in Angkor, Cambodia, unfortunately almost completely destroyed. It was a vast sandstone monument 480 yards (440 m) long and 140 yards (130 m) wide, approached by a 200-yard (180-m) causeway raised on pillars. Its ground plan shows a fully articulatedstructure and it was the immediate prototype for the great Angkor Wat. It was, at the time, the most massive artificial mountain of classicalCambodia and the second largest monument after Angkor Wat.
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 systemcame to use throughout Mesoamerica and is closely associated with the development of Maya and Zapotecwriting.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A statistical method of representing numerical data in a diagram by rectangles of equal width but of varying height or length, drawn side-by-side along an axis. An assemblage of different types of flinttool can be represented with bars on the horizontal scale, and the actual numbers or percentage of the total of each type recorded on a vertical scale. The bar chart gives an immediate visual representation of the components of the assemblage. A bar chart differs from a histogram, the latter representing different measurements of the same attribute and therefore the horizontal scale is not arbitrary but ordered.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A primitive technique of decorating pottery by adding thick slip to the surface of a pot before firing. The term also refers to the creamy mixture of kaolinclay itself, for pottery ornamented with barbotine, and the technique of applying incrustation of this mixture to a ceramic surface for decorative effect. The slip was not applied evenly, but in order to form a thick incrustation in patches or trails. On certain types of pottery, such as the Nene Valley ware, the barbotine decoration may form a picture or a pattern. Sometimes the result is simply a roughened surface, rather like icing upon a cake. The method was particularly popular in Roman Gaul and Britain.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Bronze Age settlement of the Otomaniculture in eastern Slovakia. Twenty-three large houses with hearths have been found.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site of the final Early Neolithic (phase C, TRB culture) in northeast Jutland, Denmark. There was a cobbled street, two timber buildings (80 m long and divided into 26 single rooms) which were at first thought to be houses but may have been burial structures. Offerings in the pits below the buildings included amber beads, copper objects, and pottery.
CATEGORY: flora DEFINITION: A hardy group of staple cereals (genus Hordeum), cultivated in all parts of the world and since at least 7000 BC in the Near East, at least as early as wheat. The two-row barley, Hordeum distichum, was derived from the wild H. spontaneum, distributed from the Aegean to the Hindu Kush. It is recorded from Jarmo, and spread as far as Neolithic Switzerland before being replaced by the second group. Six-row barleys, H. hexastichum, arose from H. distichum in cultivation. Its distribution extended from China to Egypt and Switzerland, and it is still occasionally grown. Modern barleys are all H. tetrastichum, a development from hexastichum recorded as early as the Neolithic in Britain and Denmark. All the domestic barleys are closely related and their nomenclature is jumbled. Barley is used as food (in the US and Great Britain) and in the preparation of malt liquors and spirits.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the Gulf coast of Colombia, dating to 1500-1000 BC, with distinctive pottery with wide-lined incised curvilinear designs.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Neolithicsite in Brittany with radiocarbon dates in the 5th millennium BC. It consists of two long cairns, one with 11 passage graves placed side by side. They display a range of architectural techniques, using both large megalithic slabs and drystone walling; some chambers had corbelled vaults. Its dates may make it one of the earliest megalithic tombs in Europe.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A set of buildings erected or used as dormitories for troops. The Romans set up long, narrow buildings and each held a centuria (80-100 men) and its centurion. When cavalry was in camp, each building then held two turmae or 62 men and their decurions.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Barrancas; Neo-Indian epoch CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A ceramictradition 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.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Type of large middle Bronze Age pot found within the overall repertoire of the Deverel-Rimbury ceramictradition of southern Britain in the period 1500 BC through to 1200 BC. Usually over 60cm high, barrel urns have a distinctive profile, wider in the middle than at the base or the rim, often with applied cordons that are decorated with finger-tip impressions. Found on domestic sites where they were presumably used as storage vessels and as containers for cremations often found as secondary burials in earlier round barrows.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A ward, neighborhood, or quarter of a city, town, or settlement in a Spanish-speaking country or region, as in the Andes. The term may also refer to a rural settlement.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: burial mound; tumulus; burial cairn CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A round or elongated mound of earth or stones used in early times to cover one or more burials; a grave mound. The mound is often surrounded by a ditch, and the burials may be contained within a cist, mortuary enclosure, mortuary house, or chamber tomb. There are two types, the long (elongated) and the round barrow (also known as tumuli). The former were built in the Late Stone Age, the latter in the Bronze Age, though burial under a round mound was occasionally practiced during the Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Viking periods.. The long barrow was a tribal or familyburialvault built of stone slabs, some weighing many tons, and covered with earth or stones. The large, round barrows were often communal. They are often found in prehistoric sites in Britain -- earthen (or unchambered) long barrows from the Early and Middle Neolithic (Windmill Hill Culture). Other long barrows were constructed over megalithic tombs of gallery grave types. Most of the British round barrows incorporate circles of stakes. Bowl barrows --- simple round mounds, often surrounded by a ditch --- were the most common form, used throughout the Bronze Age and sporadically also in the Iron Age. The Wessex Culture of the southern English Early Bronze Age was characterized by special types of barrows: bell, disk, saucer, and pond barrows. Bell barrows have relatively small mounds and a berm or gap between the mound and the ditch; disk barrows are very small mounds in the center of a circular open space, surrounded by a ditch; saucer barrows are low disk-like mounds occupying the entire space up to the ditch; while the oddly named pond barrows are not mounds at all, but circular dish-shaped enclosures surrounded by an external bank. The related term 'cairn' is used to describe a mound constructed exclusively of stone. Barrow burials occur also in Roman and post-Roman times: one of the most famous of all barrows in Britain is that covering the Anglo-Saxon boat burial at Sutton Hoo.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A type of direct exchange of different goods, not using any sort of currency, in which each party tries to get an advantage, however slight.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: low-relief, basso-relievo; low relief CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A low relief technique of sculpture or carved work in which the figures project less than half of their true proportions from the surface on which they are carved. The term also describes sculptures or carvings in low relief. Mezzo-relievo means projecting exactly half; alto-relievo more than half.
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: The grinding of projectile points at their base and lower edges (so that the lashings will not be cut), a Paleo-Indian cultural practice. Basal thinning obtains the same result through the removal of small chips instead of grinding.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The intentional removal of small longitudinal flakes from the base of a chipped stone projectile point or knife to facilitate hafting or produced to remove small, longitudinal flakes from the basal edge of a projectile point in order that the tool or point could be more easily hafted or held.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A type of very hard, dark, dense rock, igneous in origin, composed of augite or hornblende containing titaniferous magneticiron and crystals of feldspar. It often lies in columnarstrata, as at the Giant's Causeway in Ireland and Fingal's Cave in the Hebrides. It is greenish- or brownish-black and much like lava in appearance. It is also abundant in Egypt and Greece.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: An imaginary line or standard by which things are measured or compared; one of known measure or position used (as in surveying) to calculate or locate something.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: [Greek 'royal building'] CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Originally a royal palace which consisted of a large oblong building or hall with double colonnades and a semicircular apse at the end, used for a court of justice and place of public assembly. It formed one side of the forum or marketplace. The term owes its original meaning to the fact that in Macedonia the kings, and in Greece the archon Basileus dispensed justice in buildings of this description. The Romans, who adopted the basilica from those countries, used it as a court, a branch of the forum, etc. The first basilica was built at Rome, 182/184 BC. One such building is the Basilica of Maxentius, which has survived in the ruins of the Forum in Rome. Its aisled-hall plan of which was adopted by many early Christian churches. The form of construction remained popular for a variety of religious purposes in Rome, Ravenna, and North Africa from the 4th-12th centuries. Constantine, the first Christian emperor, constructed several basilican churches in the 4th century, including the first St. Peters.
basin of deposition
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: The area which defines the pattern of deposition of layers, e.g. the shape of a cave, room, or pit.
Basin of Mexico
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A basin enclosed by mountains with cultural remains as early as 19,000 BC at Tlapacoya and 15,000 BC at Tlatilco. The Basin contains the current capital, Mexico City, Mexico, the remains of Azteccapital of Tenochtitlán, and the cities of Cuicuilco and Teotihuacán. Dry farming, swidden agriculture, chinampas, and irrigation have been used to cultivate the area. Important periods in the area's prehistory were from c 100 BC-650 AD and from 1200-1520 AD, before the Spanish conquest.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Basketmakers CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Two early chronological periods of the early Puebloans or Anasazi -- 100-500 AD, followed by the Modified Basket Maker period, 500-700; They lived people in the Four Corners area (northwestern New Mexico, southwestern Colorado, southeastern Utah, and northeastern Arizona) of the U.S. The origin of the Basket Maker Indians is not known, but it is evident that when they first settled in the area they were already excellent basket weavers and that they were supplementing hunting and wild-seed gathering with the cultivation of maize and pumpkins. They lived either in caves or out in the open in shelters constructed of a masonry of poles and adobe mud. Both caves and houses contained special pits, often roofed over, that were used for food storage. The Basket Makers were among the first village agricultural societies in the Southwest. Three Basketmaker stages were recognized at the 1927 Pecos Conference of Southwesternists: Basketmaker I (hypothetical), Basketmaker II (1--450 AD) which was a large basecamp and widely scattered seasonal camps where the preferred container was the basket, and Basketmaker III (450--700/750) in which there were small villages of pit houses in well-watered valley bottoms. Specialized structures such as wattle-and-daub storage bins and large rooms for communal activity (possibly early kivas) also began to occur more frequently in the latter stage.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cordage CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A class of artifacts created by the practice of weaving containers from vegetable fibers, twigs, or leaves. It was known in Mexico before 7000 BC and in Oregon before 8000 BC and the earliest recorded examples in the Old World are from the Fayum in Egypt c 5200 BC. But taking into consideration the perishability of basketry, even these may be comparatively late in the history of the technique. Basketry is not preserved in the same quantities as pottery and stone vessels.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Spanish Vasco, or Vascongado, Basque Euskaldunak or Euskotarak CATEGORY: culture; language DEFINITION: A people living in both Spain and France in areas bordering the Bay of Biscay and encompassing the western foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. The Basques are distinguished partly by an unusual pattern of blood groups, very high in the Rhesus negative factor, and by their language, quite unrelated to any other known one. They probably represent one of the people who inhabited Europe before the arrival of the Indo-Europeans. Basque is the only remnant of the languages spoken in southwestern Europe before that region was Romanized. The origin of the Basque language remains a mystery. It has been hypothesized that Basque had a genetic connection with the now-extinct Iberian and that both languages evolved from the Hamito-Semitic (Afro-Asiatic) language group -- but there is another theory that the similarities between the two arose from geographic proximity. Although Basque and Iberian are similar, the knowledge of Basque could not help decipher ancient Iberian inscriptions discovered in eastern Spain and on the Mediterranean coast of France. Basque is also linked with Caucasian, the ancient language spoken in the Caucasus region.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arabic Al-Basrah CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The second-largest city and principal port of Iraq, which from ancient times was a center of commerce, finance, letters, poetry, and science. It was founded as a military encampment by the second caliph, 'Umar I, in 638 about 8 miles (13 km) from the modern town of az-Zubayr, southeastern Iraq. Its proximity to the Persian Gulf on the west bank of the Shatt al-Arab gives it easy access to both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and eastern frontiers. The first architecturally significant mosque in Islam was constructed there in 665. From the late 9th century Basra suffered a series of disasters and gradually declined. The Zanj (Negro slaves who worked in the fields and plantations of southern Iraq) revolted in 869-873 and sacked the city, and in 923 it was plundered by the Qarmarthians. In 1050, parts of the city were in ruins.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Per-Bastet, Bubastis CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a temple and town in the eastern NileDelta, about 80 km northeast of Cairo which flourished from the 4th Dynasty to the end of the Roman period (c 2614 BC-AD 395). The main monument at the site is the red granitetemple of the cat-goddess Bastet.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Urartian settlement in northwest Iran with a citadel of monumental buildings (palaces). Several Urartian texts and sealed bullae kept records of goods stored and traded. Urartian and post-Urartian pottery have been chronologically classified.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bastis, Bast, Ubasti CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: The ancient Lower Egyptian goddess worshipped in the form of a lioness, and later a cat. Bastet's form was often changed after the domestication of the cat around 1500 BC. Her principal cult center was Bubastis in the Nile River delta but she also had an important cult at Memphis. In the Late and Ptolemaic periods large cemeteries of mummified cats were created at both sites, and thousands of bronze statuettes of the goddess were put there as votive offerings. Her cult was carried to Italy by the Romans, and traces have been found in Rome, Ostia, Nemi, and Pompeii.
CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: A goddess of the seventh Upper Egyptian nome, usually represented by a cow's head with curling horns. The earliest depiction may have been the pair of heads at the top of the Narmerpalette (c 3100 BC).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cave in southern New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns National Park, notable for its evidence of prehistoric plant cultivation. The site of Bat Cave has produced specimens of a type of primitive corn that is also known from the Flacco phase in Tamaulipas at 2000 BC but that is here in association with a Chiricahuaassemblage from which Cochise materials (maize and squash) have been dated at about 1000 BC. Evidence of beans (dated to 1000-400 BC) was found in association with San Pedro materials. Early levels indicate the use of primitive pod corn (dated c 3500 BC), but a cultivated form of maize was in use by 2500 BC, the earliest date for cultigens in the American Southwest. During the summer a colony of several million bats inhabits the cave.
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 Incaperiod. 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 prehistoricroad. Excavations have revealed metal artifacts, smelting furnaces, grinding slabs, crushed slag, and pottery blowtubes.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: [Aquae Sulis] CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site of hot mineral springs (120 F [49 C]) which attracted the Romans after their invasion of Britain, who founded Bath as Aquae Sulis, dedicated to the deity Sul (Minerva). From the late 1st century AD onwards the springs became the center for a complex of lavish monumental buildings. These include the Temple of Sulis Minerva and an extensive collection of baths, the most notable being the vaulted Great Bath.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: perforated baton CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithicartifact, occasionally encountered in Aurignacian, Gravettian, and Solutrean assemblages but more typically found in Magdalenian toolkits. It consists of a decorated cylinder of antler with a hole through the thickest part. The baton may be decorated with intricate carving. Its function is unknown, although it is generally interpreted as a shaft-straightener, from the use-wear in and around the hole.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: batter (v.) CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: The slope of a wall, pier, terrace, or bank, from the perpendicular; a receding slope, etc. The term also refers to the slope of a structure built specifically to increase the stability of a wall; usually subterranean. This functional and decorative technique was regularly employed for the walls of mastaba tombs as well as the enclosure walls of Egyptian temples, where it was associated with pan bedding and sectional construction. Inclination is expressed as one foot horizontally per vertical unit (in feet).
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An ancient military engine" used for smashing in doors and battering down walls. It consisted of a beam of wood with a head of iron -- originally a ram's head but later in the form of a ram's head -- and swung by chains from an overhead scaffolding. It had a roof to protect those working it from the missiles of the garrison."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: battleaxe, battle-axe CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A type of prehistoricstone weapon, designed as a weapon of war. It is always of the shaft-hole variety, and frequently has a hammer, knob, or point at the opposite end from the cutting edge. In stone, they are common throughout most of Europe in the Late Neolithic and Copper Age, and often associated with corded ware and beakers. (The term Battle-Ax culture is often used as a synonym for Corded Ware or Single Grave culture.) Further east, more elaborate ones of copper or gold were more ceremonial than functional. The Vikings made iron battle-axes and used them well into the Middle Ages. The pole-ax is distinguished from the battle-ax by a spike on the back of the ax.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Battle-Axe culture; Single-Grave culture; Single Grave culture; Battle Ax culture, Corded Ware culture CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A number of Late Neolithic cultural groups in Europe that appeared between 2800-2300 BC. So-named for their characteristic shaft-hole polished stone battle-ax, the people were also known for their use of horses. Their place of origin is not certain, but it was most likely east rather than west of their area of spread. It was a homogeneous culture with central European trade links and it remained in some areas through the Stone and Bronze ages. In central Europe, the Beaker Folk came into contact with the Battle-Ax culture, which was also characterized by beaker-shaped pottery (though different in detail). The two cultures gradually intermixed and later spread from central Europe to eastern England. The Battle-Ax people were also responsible for the dissemination of Indo-European speech.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: battleship-shaped curve CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A lens-shaped seriation graph formed by plotted points representing artifact type frequencies. The rise in popularity of an artifact, its period of maximum popularity, and the artifact's eventual decline would be plotted, as well as its origin and disappearance.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A medieval embroidery depicting the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, which is considered a remarkable work of art and important as a source for 11th-century history. It consists of a roll of unbleached linen worked in colored worsted with illustrations and is about 70 m long and 50 cm deep. The work was probably commissioned by Bishop Odo of Bayeux, a half-brother of William the Conquerer, and took about two years to complete. It was likely finished no later than 1092. The tapestry depicts the events leading up to the invasion of England by William Duke of Normandy and the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, when the English King Harold was defeated and killed. Though not proven, the tapestry appears to have been designed and embroidered in England. The themes are enacted much like that of a feudal drama or chanson de geste. The technical detail and iconography of the Bayeux Tapestry are of great importance. For instance, the 33 buildings depicted offer a look at the contemporary churches, castles, towers and motte and bailey castles. The battle scenes give details on the infantry and cavalry formations, Norman armor and weapons, and the clothing and hairstyles of the time. The invasion fleet is 'Viking double enders' (clinker-built long boats, propelled by oars and a single mast). The tapestry was discovered" in the nave of Bayeux Cathedral in France by French antiquarian and scholar Bernard de Montfaucon who published the earliest complete reproduction of it in 1730. It narrowly escaped destruction during the French Revolution was exhibited in Paris at Napoleon's wish in 1803-04 and thereafter kept in the Bayeux public library."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An enormous sandstone monument in northwest Angkor, Cambodia, built c 1200 by the Buddhist king Jayavarman VII (1181-c 1220), the last great ruler of the Khmer empire. It was his temple-mountain and the center of his restored capitalAngkor Thom. Bayon had a central circular sanctuary, situated within two bas-relief covered galleries, which vividly depicted the king's battles with Cham forces. Bayon was a distinctively Mahayana Buddhist central pyramidtemple designed to serve as the primary locus of the king's royal cult and also as his own personal mausoleum.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A blade adapted to fit the muzzle end of a rifle and used as a weapon in close combat
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bc, BCE, B.C.E. CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: An abbreviation used to denote so many years Before Christ" or before the beginning of the Christian calendar. The lower case 'bc' represents uncalibrated radiocarbon years; the capitals BC denote a calibrated radiocarbon date or a date such as an historically derived one that does not need calibration. There is no year 0: 1 BC is the same year as AD 1 or 1 AD."
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: The smallest division of sediment or rock of a stratigraphic series, greater than 1 cm thick. It is distinguished from overlying and underlying beds by well-defined divisional or bedding planes.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: tholos CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: An architectural structure of the Mycenaean civilization, a pointed dome built up of overhanging (corbeled) blocks of conglomerate masonry cut and polished, often with an alley or approach and a great door. The rich or noble of the Bronze Age were buried in these sometimes enormous, perfectly proportioned vaults though they were built in the Shaft Grave Period as well, perhaps first in Messenia in the 16th century and then in Greece by the middle of the 15th century. The tholostomb has three parts: a narrow entranceway, or dromos, often lined with fieldstones and later with cut stones; a deep doorway, or stomion, covered over with one to three lintel blocks; and a circular chamber with a high vaulted or corbeled roof, the thalamos. Most tholos tombs have collapsed, often when the lintel cracked and gave way, and their contents have largely been looted
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in southern Israel which was a frontier post in ancient Palestine. The earliest occupations were in 12th and 11th centuries BC, but the first town belonged to the period of the United Monarchy (10th century). The 8th century BC town wall with a great gateway flanked by double guard chambers and external towers has been excavated. There was also a 15-meter ringroad inside the wall which divided the inner and outer towns. Beersheba may have been the administrative center of the region and there are indications of storerooms which may have contained the royal stores for the collection of taxes in kind (grain, wine, oil, etc.). The town was destroyed in the mid-7th century BC. Beersheba is first mentioned as the site where Abraham, founder of the Jewish people, made a covenant with the Philistine king Abimelech of Gerar (Genesis 21). Isaac and Jacob, the other patriarchs, also lived there (Genesis 26, 28, 46).
CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: Any member of the insect order Coleoptera, with at least 250,000 species (the largest order in the animal kingdom), characterized by their special forewings, which are modified into hardened wing covers (elytra) that cover a second pair of functional wings. The order includes some of the largest and smallest insects and is the most widely distributed insect order. Beetles can be found in all environments except Antarctica and the peaks of the highest mountains. Most feed either upon other animals or upon plants, but some eat decaying matter. Many beetles are very dependent on particular features of their environment; some, for example, live only in the bark of a particular tree. It is this particularity" that makes beetles useful for reconstructing ancient environments. Parts of the tough beetle exo-skeleton may be well-preserved in acidic or waterlogged conditions (as in peats silts and lake clays). The temperature preferences of beetles may be determined from the fossils making it possible to reconstruct climatic changes. Beetles can also be used to investigate changes in vegetation living conditions and food-storage problems."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bagram; Kapisa CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in eastern Afghanistan north of Kabul which has been identified as Kapisa, the capital of several Indo-Greek rulers of the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC and the Kushan summer capital from the 1st century BC to 3rd century AD. It was important for its placement on the caravan route between India and the West. Excavations have yielded fragmentary ivory furniture, pre-Islamic footstools of Indian origin (both c 1st c AD), as well as painted glass from Alexandria; plaster matrices, bronzes, porphyries, and alabasters from Rome; carved ivories from India; and lacquers from China. The Persian Sasanians established control over parts of Afghanistan, including Begram, in AD 241.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Any theory that suggests that the archaeological record is really a snapshot of ancient behavior.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bisitun, Bisotun CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A rockface on the Kermanshah-Hamadan road in Iran on which Darius I (Darius the Great, reigned 521-485 BC) recorded his victories which gave him the Achaemenid empire in 522-520 BC. The bas-relief -- 400 feet above the road -- shows Darius, under the protection of the god Ahuramazda, receiving his defeated enemies. The inscriptions were carved in the cuneiformscript, and repeated in the Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian languages. The rockface below them was then cut back to the vertical to prevent any attempt at defacement. In total, the area covered by the inscriptions and the relief panel were about 25-feet high and 50-feet wide. In 1833, Sir Henry Rawlinson went to Iran and became extremely interested in Persian antiquities and in deciphering the cuneiformwriting at Behistun. Between 1835-1847, Rawlinson went through the intense work copying the inscription from harrowing positions above the road. It enabled him subsequently to understand the cuneiformscript and to decipher the languages of the inscription. In 1837, he published his translations of the first two paragraphs of the inscription. After having to leave the country because of problems between Iran and Britain, Rawlinson was able to return in 1844 to obtain impressions of the Babylonian script. As a result, his PersianCuneiformInscription at Behistun" was published (1846-51) -- containing a complete translation analysis of the grammar and notes. The accomplishment yielded valuable information on the history of ancient Persia and its rulers. With other scholars he succeeded in deciphering the Mesopotamian cuneiformscript by 1857. This provided the breakthrough to the decipherment later of other languages in the cuneiformscript including Sumerian."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bayda', Al-, Beida CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in south-central Yemen near Petra that was first occupied in the Early Natufian and Aceramic Neolithic. It is situated on a high plateau and, until the unification of the two Yemen states in 1990, was part of North Yemen (San'a'), though it lay near the disputed frontier with South Yemen. At first it was a semi-permanent camp which lived off goat and ibex. Beidha was reoccupied c 7000 BC by a Pre-Pottery Neolithic A [PPNA} group, who lived in a planned community of roughly circular semi-subterranean houses. They domesticated goats and cultivated emmer, wheat, and barley. There was a succeeding PPNB phase in which the buildings changed to complexes of large rectangular rooms, each with small workshops attached and with plastered floors and walls. Burials without skulls were found and there was also a separate ritualarea away from the village. Finds from the site include materials from great distances, including obsidian from Anatolia and cowries and mother-of-pearl from the Red Sea.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pei-ching, Peking CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The modern capital of China. More than 2,000 years ago, a site just outside present-day Peking was already an important military and trading center for the northeastern frontier of China. The Shangcivilization reached this area in the early part of their dynasty and a grave of c 14th century BC at Pinggu Liujiacun contained bronzeritual vessels and a bronze ax with a blade of forged meteoritic iron. There have been many early Zhou finds, notably at the cemeterysite of Fangshan Liulihe. In 1267, during the Yüan (Mongol) dynasty (1206-1368), a new city built on the site (called Ta-tu) which became the administrative capital of China. During the reigns of the first two emperors of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), Nanking was the capital, and the old Mongolcapital was renamed Pei-p'ing (Northern Peace"); the third Ming emperor however restored it as the Imperial seat of the dynasty and gave it a new name Peking ("Northern Capital"). Peking has remained the capital of China except for a brief period (1928-49) when the Nationalist government again made Nanking the capital (then to Chungking during World War II)."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Buddhist religious and settlement site in central Burma of the early-to-mid 1st millennium AD.
Beit Mersim, Tell
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Debir, Kirjath-Sepher (biblical), Lo-Debar, Tall Bayt Mirsham CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tell in the low hill country southwest of Hebron, on the west bank of the Jordan in Palestine. It was a fortified town of biblical times and William F. Albright uncovered successive occupation layers from the 3rd millennium BC (end of Early Bronze Age) to the Babylonian destruction of c 588 BC. It was a small walled town and its finds have helped Albright establish a chronology of the Levant from 2300-588 BC through the detailed analysis of Palestinian pottery. Excavations showed that the Canaanite town of the 14th-13th century had been destroyed by the Israelites toward the end of the 13th century and that the town was finished off by the Babylonians.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A settlement site on the Aldan River in central Siberia, occupied during the Neolithic (c 4th millennium BC). Finds include the earliest date for pottery in Siberia, for a hand-molded, sand-tempered ware decorated with net or mat impressions. There was a succeeding phase, often known as the Bel'kachinsk culture (3rd millennium BC), which had distinctive potterystyle, decorated with impressions from a cord-wrapped paddle. In that area during the Late Neolithic (2nd millennium BC), check-stamped ware, made by beating with a grooved paddle, appeared. Changes in stone and bone tools occurred during the development of the Neolithic, but throughout the economic basis remained hunting and fishing.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A cave on the southern coast of Anatolia which gave its name to a late Palaeolithicculture. The tool kit includes tanged arrowheads, triangular points, and obliquely truncated blades. There are rock engravings in shelters such as Beldibi, the only known cave art in western Asia.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Any of the inhabitants of Gaul north of the Sequana and Matrona (Seine and Marne) rivers of mixed Celtic and Germanic origin, first described by Julius Caesar in mid-first century BC. Their origins on the continent can be traced back to the La Tène period in the 5th century BC and evidence suggests that the Romans penetrated into those areas about 150 BC. In Caesar's day, they held much of Belgium and parts of northern France and southeast England. The Belgae of Gaul formed a coalition against Caesar after his first Gallic campaign but were subdued the following year (57 BC). During the first half of the 1st century BC, Belgae from the Marne district had crossed to Britain and had formed the kingdom that in 55 BC was ruled by Cassivellaunus. After further Gallic victories (54-51 BC) by Caesar, other settlers took refuge across the Channel, and Belgic culture spread to most of lowland Britain. The three most important Belgic kingdoms, identified by their coinage, were centered at Colchester, St. Albans, and Silchester. Archaeologically, the Belgae can be identified with the bearers of the Aylesford-Swarling culture, otherwise known as Iron Age C. Coinage, the heavy plow, and the potter's wheel were introduced by the Belgae. They lived in large fortified settlements called oppida and amphorae and Italian bronze vessels have been found in their richly furnished tombs.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: General term, now almost obsolete, sometimes applied to the range of late Iron Age wheel-turned pottery vessels found in southeastern England, especially Aylesford-Swarling pottery, even though this is too late to be directly related to Belgic settlement from the continent.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The earliest bell founding (i.e., the casting of bells from molten metal) is associated with the Bronze Age. The ancient Chinese were superb founders, their craft reaching an apex during the Choudynasty (c 1122-221 BC). Characteristic were elliptical temple bells with exquisite symbolic decorations cast onto their surfaces by the cire perdue, or lost wax, process. Bells had an important ceremonial role in ancient China during the ChouDynasty. The earliest Chinese bells, of ShangDynasty (c 1600-1123 BC), were mounted mouth upwards and struck. Later bells hung mouth downwards.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A large pit whose greatest diameter is substantially larger than the diameter of its opening. A storage function is implied.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A capacious round-bellied jug or pitcher bearing a grotesque human mask. Originally created in the Netherlands as a burlesque likeness of Cardinal Bellarmine, the idea spread widely and the term later became applied to any jug bearing a human mask.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An object used to create a blast of air.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A strip of leather or other material worn round the waist to support or hold in clothes or to carry weapons
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: toggle CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Small decorative and functional objects used as garment hooks in China, Korea, and other Near Eastern areas as early as the 7th century BC. Belt hooks have been found in Han tombs in southwestern China, but this luxury item was most in vogue during the Warring States period (5th-3rd centuries BC). These belt hooks were inlaid with gold or silver foil, polished fragments of turquoise, or more rarely with jade or glass; sometimes they were gilded. Most examples are bronze, often lavishly decorated with inlays, but some are made of jade, gold, or iron. The belt hook consists of a bar or flat strip curving into a hook at one end and carrying at the other end, on the back, a button for securing it to the belt. The hooks vary widely in size, shape, and design, and although contemporary sculptures sometimes show them at the waists of human figures, some examples are far too large to have been worn and their function is unclear. Textual evidence hints that the belt hook was adopted by the Chinese from the mounted nomads of the northern frontier of inner Asia, perhaps along with other articles of the horseman's costume. They were probably worn by both men and women.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Bronze Age site of the Apennine near Cetona in Tuscany, Italy. There are indications that it may have been a ritualsite, with rocks carved to form tiers of seats and other shapes. Complete pottery vessels filled with acorns, beans, and carbonized grain were placed into fissures in the rocks, perhaps as offerings to a deity.
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)."
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A cult object made of stone, found at sites such as for the sun god Re at Heliopolis. The sacredstone symbolized the Primeval Mound and perhaps also the petrified semen of the deity. It served as the earliest prototype for the obelisk and possibly even the pyramid. It was probably constructed in the early Old Kingdom, c 2600 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: wave-cut platform CATEGORY: geography; geology DEFINITION: An eroded terrace with an alluvial cut surface, on bedrock in a valley. The term also refers to an eroded landform with a wave-cut surface in coastal areas and in wave-swept sea cliffs (also called wave-cut platform).
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: The surface of a wide ledge in a pitstructure or kiva that usually extends around at least three-fourths of the circumference of the structure and is often divided by pilasters.
CATEGORY: measure DEFINITION: A reasonably permanent, fixed point of reference, especially a point of known position and elevation used in mapping.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Angola with many shell middens, stoneartifact assemblages, and Early Iron Age pottery dated to the 2nd century AD.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Euesperides; later Berenice; Italian Bengasi CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Seaport city of northeastern Libya, the de jur capital, which was founded by the Greeks of Cyrenaica as Hesperides (Euesperides) in the 6th century BC. It was replaced in the mid-3rd century by a new city, named Berenice by the Egyptian pharaohPtolemy III in honor of his wife. It continued in occupation until the 10th or 11th century ad and was ultimately replaced by the city of Benghazi, remaining a small town until it was extensively developed during the Italian occupation of Libya (1912-42). Excavations offer evidence of Classical and Hellenistic levels and the refurbishing of the enclosing walls during Justinian's time (reigned 527-565 AD).
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).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Edo CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Capital and largest city of Edo state, Nigeria, which rose to prominence in the 13th century. A series of massive city wall, over 100 km in length, was constructed. The Portuguese first visited in 1485 and it was burned down and ransacked for nearly 2,500 of its famous bronzes in 1897 when the British occupied the city. Benin City is known for the fine practice the ancient method of cire perdue (lost-wax") bronze castings mostly relief plaques and near life-size human heads produced over a long period. Traces of the old wall and moat remain."