SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Northern Zone CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The desert region in the northward loop of the Yellow River (Huang Ho) in northern China, the location of the PalaeolithicOrdosculture. From 8th century BC, the region was inhabited by seminomadic tribes, among them the Hsiung-Nu, threatening the Chou Dynasty and the Han Dynasty. Broad bronze daggers, curved knives, pole finials, harness ornaments, and animal-stylebronzebelt plaques are characteristic of the 1st millennium BC ('the Ordos bronzes'). The pictorial or narrative compositions common among these plaques, many including human figures, are typical also of Sarmatian metalwork. The distinctive metal culture of the Ordos reaches back as far as the latter part of the 2nd millennium BC, a date fixed by the discovery at Anyang of knives with animal-head pommels closely related to Ordos types. Owing to its position on the northern frontier of China, the Ordos was probably the main channel by which Chinese influences were transmitted to the steppes; it was also the route by which foreign elements reached China, especially during Eastern Chou and Han dynasties. An Upper Palaeolithicsite (Sjara Osso Gol) yielded a microlithic industry. In the 1970s and '80s, Chinese scientists unearthed more than 20 human fossils from 30,000-60,000 years old at Hsiao-ch'iao-pan in the Sjara-Osso River valley. The terms Ordos man and Ordosian culture are applied to their findings. The area is now referred to as the Northern Zone.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Turdas CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the Mures River in Transylvania, Rumania, with archaeological finds dating from the Middle Neolithic Age (3500-2600 BC). Its has given its name to the Transylvanian regional group of the Vincaculture and is often coupled with that of Vinca to describe a Middle Neolithicculture covering parts of Yugoslavia, Rumania, and Hungary. Tordos is the largest Vincasite in Rumania and has a collection of incised signs and a range of fired clay figurines.
Turdas or Tordos
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: Site in Transylvania, northwest Romania, that is the name of a Vincaculturevariant.
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."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Li-fan CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: Type site northwest of Chengdu, China, of a local culture of western Sichuan province. It was characterized by slatecist burials and grave goods suggests that the culture flourished in the late Eastern Chou and early Han periods. It seems to have wide-ranging contacts, including metropolitan China (western Han coins), the Xindian culture of Gansu (pottery shapes), the Ordosregion (small animal bronzes), and perhaps even Western Asia (glass beads).
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: Steppe region south of the Gobi desert along the northern edge of agricultural China, comprising Inner Mongolia, the Ordos, and southern Dongbei regions. This zone had several nomadic Bronze Age cultures during the 1st millennium BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: [Shui-tung-kou] CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Late Palaeolithicsite in Ningxia Hui, China, with blade artifacts and assigned to the Ordosculture.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Late Neolithicsite in Transylvania, Romania, with a Vincapit containing three controversial clay tablets in a Tordoslevel. They bear incised signs, are unbaked, and resemble pictographic signs from Jemdet-Nasr and Uruk. However, there is approximately a 1000-year discrepancy between the Tartaria tablets and the later Mesopotamian symbols.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Vinca culture CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: Large tell just outside Belgrade, Serbia, spanning c 5000-3500 BC. Its lowest level consisted of Starcevomaterial; the next of Middle and Late Neolithic are Vinca-Tordos and Vinca-Plocnik. The pottery is typically dark burnished with fluting, channeling, and simple incised decoration. It was a settled farming community that was also important in trade. Many anthropomorphous figurines are found on Vinca sites as well as copper artifacts and evidence of coppermining. It is one of a group of cultures important in development of coppermetallurgy.