Results:

Absolon, Karel (1887-1960)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A Czech archaeologists who excavated at Dolni Vestonice, Ondratice, Pekarna, Byci Skala, and other Palaeolithic sites.
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.
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 einkorn wheat, 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.
Abydos ware
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 pottery class took its name from Abydos the first site at which it was found in Upper Egypt.
Afanasievo culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Neolithic culture of the Yenisei valley of southern Siberia. The people, who were stock breeders and hunters, probably moved into the area in the late 3rd millennium BC. Excavations uncovered burials under kurgans (low mounds), surrounded by circular stone walls. There was stamped dentate pottery, stone, bone, and bronze tools, and some copper ornaments with the burials. The Afanasievo people were the first food-producers in the area, breeding cattle, horses, and sheep, but also practiced hunting. The Afanasievo were succeeded by the Andronovo culture in the mid-2nd millennium BC.
African Red Slip ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of red gloss pottery made in North Africa from the 3rd-6th centuries AD. They had stamped decoration and were widely distributed.
Agrelo culture
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.
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.
Ahrensburg
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ahrensburgian
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A village near Hamburg, Germany, where there are two late Palaeolithic sites, Meiendorf and Stellmoor. Stellmoor dates to 8500 BC and is attributed to the Ahrensburgian culture. Tanged points, which were possibly arrowheads, and pine arrow shafts with bowstring notches give evidence for the use of the bow and arrow. The Ahrensburgians mainly hunted reindeer.
Ahrensburgian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Epipalaeolithic culture of the Late Glacial Period in northern Germany and the Low Countries, c. 8850-8300 BC. The small tanged points, pine arrow shafts, abundant reindeer bones, barbed harpoons, and antler adzes of Stellmoor characterize the culture.
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.
Alaka culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A preceramic shell midden culture on the northwest coast of Guyana which may date to c 2000 BC. Located in the mangrove swamps, the middens have been grouped into the Alaka Phase. The culture relied on shellfish gathering, with some grinding stones, choppers, manos, and metates. There are some crude ceramics in the later stages and represent intrusive cultures and the passing of Alaka.
Alaska Refugium
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.
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 Jewel
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 filigree wire and backed by a flat piece of gold engraved with foliate decoration. Engraved around the frame are the Old English words which translate to, 'Alfred ordered me to be made', assumed to be King Alfred.
Alfred the Great (849-899)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aelfred
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: King of Wessex, 871-899, a Saxon kingdom 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.
Andenne ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A medieval glazed ware made around Andenne on the River Meuse. The potters produced ordinary unglazed wares as well as finer pitchers and bowls. The glazed wares were widely traded in Western Europe from the late 11th century to the 14th century.
Andronovo culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture of southern Siberia, between the Don and Yenisei Rivers, dating to the 2nd millennium BC. The culture was relatively uniform in this large area and agriculture played a large role. Wheat and millet were cultivated and cattle, horses, and sheep bred. The metal-using culture (ores from the Altai), which succeeded the Afansievo, lived in settlements of up to ten large log cabin-like semisubterranean houses. Bowl- and flowerpot-shaped vessels were flat-bottomed, smoothed, and decorated with geometric patterns, triangles, rhombs, and meanders. Burial was in contracted position either in stone cists or enclosures with underground timber chambers. The wooden constructions in rich graves may have designated social differentiation. The Andronovo complex is related to the Timber-Grave (Russian Srubna) group in southern Russia and both are branches of the Indo-Iranian cultural block. The Andronovo were the ancestors of Karasuk nomads who later inhabited the Central Asiatic and Siberian steppes.
Angkor Borei
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of the capital of the kingdom of Funan towards the end of the 6th century. The rich archaeological site is located south of Phnom Penh, near the Vietnam border, in Cambodia. It appears as Na-fu-na in Chinese writings and is identified with Naravaranagara. There are many stone statuary.
Apennine culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Apennine Bronze Age
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The Bronze Age culture of the Italian peninsula, lasting from c 2000-800 BC. The culture's pottery was distinctively dark and highly burnished, and decorated with incised and punctuated bands filled with white inlay. The handles, often single, were elaborate and included crested, horned, and tongue types. The people seemed to depend on pastoral economy and stock breeding in the mountains which give the culture its name. Trade and a more mixed economy has evidence at some sites - Ariano, Liparis, Luni, Narce, and Taranto - and the culture had some influence from the Balkans. Some inhumation cemeteries are known, but burials are rare. Bronze tools, though in use, are rarely found until very late in the period.
Apple Creek
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Archaic site in Illinois where people engaged in intensive collecting of wild vegetable foods after 3000 BC, esp. hickory nuts and acorns.
Archaeological Resource Protection Act
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ARPA
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Legislation enacted in 1979 which provided the government with civil and criminal outlets to pursue individuals vandalizing or looting cultural resources on federal properties.
Arcy-sur-Cure
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.
Arenal
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A Preceramic site and culture dating between 6500-6000 BC on the central coast of Peru, south of Lima. The culture was characterized by large diamond-shaped chipped points which indicated a hunting lifeway.
Arene Candide
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave site at Finale Ligure on the Italian Riviera whose excavation revealed a stratigraphy extending from the Upper Palaeolithic through Epi-Palaeolithic, to Early, Middle, and Late Neolithic, as well as poor levels from the Bronze and Iron Ages up to the Roman period. There were some rich burials in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th levels. The 1940s excavations by Bernabò Brea helped him make important interpretations of the Neolithic period in the Mediterranean.
Aretine ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arezzo ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of terra sigillata, fine Ancient Roman pottery coated in a red slip, dating from the first centuries AD and originating in Arretium in Tuscany, Italy
Arezzo vase
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.
Argonne ware
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.
Arretine Ware
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 archaeological material found with them.
Arretium
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.
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:
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).
Australian Core Tool and Scraper Tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A late Pleistocene and Holocene stone tool industry of mainland Australia and Tasmania with artifacts dating from 30,000 BC (at Lake Mungo). The industry was characterized by high-domed chunky cores (called 'horsehoof cores') and steep-edge flake scrapers. The industry has close parallels in the islands of Southeast Asia.
B ware
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.
Badorf ware
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 Carolingian period 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.
Banteay Srei
CATEGORY: structure; site
DEFINITION: A small, beautiful sandstone monument in Angkor, Cambodia, built in 967. Episodic relief (relief panels illustrating various aspects of the royal mythology) sculpture first appears on Banteay Srei. The relief revolves around a series of Indian legends dealing with the cosmic mountain Meru as the source of all creation and with the divine origin of water. The chief artistic achievement of its sophisticated architecture is the way in which the spaces between the walls of the enclosures, the faces of the terraces, and the volumes of the shrine buildings are conceived and coordinated. It seems to have been influenced by the architecture of the Hindu Pallava dynasty in southeastern India.
Basarabi culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Iron Age culture of cemeteries and settlement sites over much of Romania with its type site on the Danube. It is a local version of the Hallstatt culture, dating to 975-850 BC.
Battle-Ax culture
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.
Beacharra ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Style of decorated middle Neolithic pottery 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).
Berekhat Ram
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Acheulian site in Golan Heights, Israel, which yielded waste flakes, a few bifaces, Levallois flakes, and sidescrapers.
Berelekh
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The most northern Palaeolithic site in the world, at 71? N in northeastern Siberia, containing a bed of 8000+ mammal bones, including woolly mammoth, of c 14,000-12,000 years ago. There is also an Upper Palaeolithic level dating to 13,400-10,600 bp and assigned to the Dyuktai culture.
Berenice
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Three different sites: a town on the coast of Cyrenaica, Libya which was the site of Euhesperides; a port on the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea founded by Ptolemy II, especially important in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD; and Pella, Jordan, which was once known as Berenice.
Birch Creek
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A series of rock shelters in Idaho with occupation from 8500 BP to historic times. The sites have been important in determining the culture and linguistics (Shoshonean) of the Rocky Mountain area.
Boat-ax culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Boat-axe culture, Boat Axe culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture of eastern Scandinavia found in the late Neolithic Period, c 2000 BC, that was an outlier of the European Battle-Ax cultures. This single-grave culture spread rapidly through Sweden, Finland, and the Danish islands. The people displayed the aspects of a homogeneous culture, with central European trade links. Its characteristic weapon is a slender stone battle-ax shaped like a simple boat with upturned ends. The term 'Boat-ax culture' is sometimes used for the east Scandinavian variant of the Single Grave or Corded Ware culture in which these axes occur.
Bodrogkeresztur
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a Middle Copper Age cemetery and culture in eastern Hungary, c 3900-3500 BC. It is the type site for an occupation that made Linear Pottery and used metal battle-axes and ax-adzes of shaft-hole type. The cemetery has at least fifty inhumation graves. The Bodrogkeresztur culture represents the first peak of metallurgical development in Hungarian prehistory, defined by large-scale production of gold ornaments and heavy shaft-hole copper tools. The occurrence of Transylvanian gold, Slovakian copper, and flint from Poland suggests long-distance exchanges.
Boreal
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.
Boscoreale
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 silver household 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.
Boucher (de Crèvecoeur) de Perthes, Jacques (1788-1868)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Boucher de Perthes
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: French archaeologist and writer who was the first to develop the idea that prehistory could be measured on the basis of periods of geological time. In 1837, in the Somme Valley, he discovered flint hand axes and other stone tools along with the bones of extinct mammals in deposits of the Pleistocene Epoch (or Ice Age, ending about 10,000 years ago). Boucher de Perthes was the first to draw attention to the Stone Age's revolutionary significance, because at the time, 4004 BC was still believed to be the year of the creation. His claims that these objects were the tools of ancient man and that they occurred in association with the bones of extinct animals were ridiculed. In 1859, Boucher de Perthes's conclusions were finally upheld by a group of eminent British scientists, including Charles Lyell, Hugh Falconer, John Preswich, and John Evans, who visited the excavated sites. His archaeological writings include "De la Création: essai sur l'origine et la progression des êtres" (1838-41) and "Antiquités Celtiques et Antédiluviennes" (1847-64).
Bouffioulx stoneware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The Bouffioulx region has been producing ceramics for almost 500 years. Many artists contributed to the revival of the Bouffioulx genre in the first part of the 20th century when producing hand thrown stoneware art works known today as the "Grès d'art" of Bouffioulx.
Bradshaw figures
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Small, red painted figures in scenes of the Kimberley region of Western Australia, named for Joseph Bradshaw who discovered them.
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 hieroglyphic inscription 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.
Breitenbach
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic site in eastern Germany with artifacts including endscrapers, burins, and several bone points of the Aurignacian. Faunal remains are woolly mammoth and reindeer.
Breton arrowhead
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.
Breuil, Abbé Henri (1877-1961)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Breuil, Henri-Édouard-Prosper
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A French archaeologist who was regarded as an authority on prehistoric cave paintings of Europe and Africa. He devoted much of his life to studying examples of prehistoric art in southern France, northern Spain, and southern Africa. Breuil was a fine draftsman, and his greatest contributions were in the recording and interpretation of cave art in more than 600 publications. He proposed a series of four successive art styles, based on the superposition of paintings found in many caves, and held the view that the purpose of the paintings was sympathetic magic, to ensure success in hunting. Breuil fit the Aurignacian culture into its right place within the French Palaeolithic sequence and was responsible for working out the chronologies of French Upper and Middle Paleolithic periods.
British Mountain culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Palaeolithic culture of the Northwest Arctic in Yukon, near the border of Canada and Alaska. Artifacts, such as percussion flakes, share traits of European and Asian Levallois-Mousterian stone toolkits and are possibly 18,000 years old.
Broad Spectrum Revolution
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kebaran Complex, Natufian
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A theory that there was a subsistence change in western Asia to a wide range of foodstuffs, including small mammals, invertebrates, aquatic resources, and plants in the Late Pleistocene - a prelude to the 'Neolithic revolution'.
Brongniart, Alexandre (1770-1847)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: French mineralogist, geologist, and naturalist, who first arranged the geologic formations of the Tertiary Period (from 66.4-1.6 million years ago) in chronological order and described them. Brongniart helped introduce the principle of geologic dating by the identification of distinctive fossils found in each geological stratum.
Buckley earthenware
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.
Buret
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in southern Sibera, western Turkistan, which was occupied in late Palaeolithic times. It is known for mammoth-tusk figurines of women. They resemble Paleolithic statuettes from Europe and the Middle East and the nude ones probably served as fertility symbols or as representations of the great goddess, whose cult was widespread. Of five found at Buret, the most unusual is a clothed woman wearing a one-piece trouser suit with a hood attached to it comparable to those still worn by present-day Eskimos.
Byzantine empire
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Byzantium (later Constantinople, now Istanbul)
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: The eastern half of the Roman Empire, based in Byzantium (later Constantinople, now Istanbul), an ancient Greek settlement on the European side of the Bosporus. It was inaugurated in AD 330 by the Emperor Constantine I who transferred the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium. The empire survived the collapse of the Western empire until overrun by the Ottoman Turks in 1453. Originally a Greek colony at the entrance to the Black Sea, a typical Roman town was then laid out over it. Remains of the imperial palace lie south of the former Greek city nucleus. The land walls, giving the city an area greater than that of Rome, were built by Theodosius II (408-450 AD) and are among the best-preserved ancient fortifications anywhere. In the 7th century BC Dorian Greeks founded the settlement of Byzantium on a trapezoidal promontory on the European side of the Bosporus channel which leads from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea and separates Europe from Asia. Septimus Severus (193-211 AD) was responsible for restoring the city, re-walling it and beginning the construction of the limestone racecourse, the Hippodrome. In 368 AD, Valens raised his still impressive aqueduct. In 413 Theodosius II built the colossal surviving walls of stone and brick-faced concrete, with 96 variously shaped towers, and the principal entrance at the Golden Gate. The Eastern Christian empire preserved much of Greek and Roman culture and introduced eastern ideas to the west. Byzantium was essentially a Christian church state, preserving its religion against the onslaught of Islam, despite the Arab encroachments on Palestine, Syria, and northern Africa during the 6th-7th centuries AD. The Byzantine period is the time, about the 6th-12th centuries AD, when its style of architecture and art developed. Byzantine architecture is noted for its Christian places of worship and introduced the cupola, or dome, an almost square ground plan in place of the long aisles of the Roman church, and piers instead of columns. The apse always formed part of Byzantine buildings, which were richly decorated, and contained much marble. St. Sophia (532-537), St. Mark's (Venice, 977) and the Cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle (796-804) are of pure Byzantine style. Byzantine painting preceded and foreshadowed the Renaissance of art in Italy. Mosaics are perhaps the supreme achievement of Byzantine art.
Caeretan ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Archaic pottery of Etruria that was probably made at Cerveteri. It was black-figured style.
Caesarea
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 Caesarea Philippi. It was originally an ancient Phoenician settlement 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.
Camare
CATEGORY: culture; site
DEFINITION: An assemblage of artifacts including choppers, scrapers, leaf points, and other tools from the surface of the high terraces in Rio Pedregal, Venezuela. Dating indicates the site may have been inhabited 15,000 years ago.
Cape Coastal Ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A Stone Age pottery style from the coast of southern Namibia to eastern Cape Province, South Africa, after c 1600 BP. It is characterized by point-based pots.
Cardial Ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cardial pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: An impressed ware of the Early Neolithic in the western Mediterranean (Sardinia, Corsica, Liguria, Provence, and Spain). Soft clay was impressed with the serrated edge of the cardium (cockle) shell, from which it received its name.
Carrowkeel ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of later Neolithic pottery found in Ireland during the 3rd millennium BC, named after material recovered from the passage graves at Carrowkeel in Co. Sligo, Ireland. The fabric of Carrowkeel ware is generally rather thick, coarse, and heavily gritted. The forms comprise mainly open round-bottomed bowls and hemispherical cups. Decoration is extensively applied, often all over the outer surface of the vessel and over the rim, and is typically ?stab and drag' or impressed. Some of motifs used resemble PASSAGE GRAVE ART.
Carrowmore
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cemetery site in Sligo, Ireland, with megalithic tombs consisting of circular boulder kerbs and boulder-built chambers. The radiocarbon date is c 4500 BC, which would make these the earliest chambered tombs of Ireland.
Cascioarele
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A small settlement on an island in the Danube River, southern Rumania. Excavations have revealed occupation layers of the Middle, c 3900-3700 BC, and Late Neolithic, c 3700-3500 BC. A complete village plan has been found from the later occupation with one large central structure surrounded by six smaller structures. The finds have ritual implications and technological importance. There is evidence of heavy reliance on wild animal meat.
Castor ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A distinctive pottery named after a Roman settlement site on the north bank of the Nene in Northhamptonshire. Castor ware is a slate-colored pottery which commonly had hunting scenes of dogs, boars, etc. on the outer surface, which were applied by squeezing paste from a bag or applying by brush. The E barbotine hunt cups were a highlight of the native Romano-British potter's craft.
Catacomb Grave culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The second in the Kurgan culture series, after Yamnaya and before Srubnaya, in southern Russia and Ukraine between the Dniepr and Volga rivers. It is dated between c 2000-1500 bc (Bronze Age). The graves are not true catacombs but rather burials in which the skeleton and grave goods are put in a side wall niche of a shallow shaft. The shaft is filled in and then covered with a barrow.
Catherwood, Frederick (1799-1854)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The first great explorer of Mesoamerica who, along with John Lloyd Stephens, explored the Maya lowlands and made drawings that provided insights into the culture and detailed the Maya glyphs.
Celadon ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: celadon
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of Chinese pottery with a pale green glaze - either porcelain or stoneware. It was the earliest tinted Chinese pottery, dating from the Sung Dynasty of 960-1279 AD. The main kilns were in Yao-chou in Shensi province, Lin-ju in Honan province, Li-shui, and Lung-ch'uan in Chekiang province.
Ceren, Joya de
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Maya settlement located in San Salvator which was buried by the eruption of the Laguna Caldera in 684 AD. There is a farmhouse of the 5th century AD preserved under the ash, which bodies huddled in one room and the contents still in excellent condition.
Cerén
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Maya settlement located in El Salvador which was buried by the eruption of the Laguna Caldera in 684 AD. There is a farmhouse of the 5th century AD preserved under the ash, which bodies huddled in one room and the contents still in excellent condition.
Ch'i-chia culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Qijia
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic culture in northwest China dating from c 1700 BC which shows North Eurasian influence. Descendant of earlier painted pottery Neolithic cultures, it is characterized by the use of amphora-like jars with loop handles, comblike designs, and by copper tools (axes and rectangular knives). The culture survived into historic times and remains from as late as the 1st century BC have been found. Evidence of the culture was first found in Ch'i-chia-p'ing in the early 1920s by Swedish geologist Johan Gunnar Andersson. In the 1950s, important finds were located in nearby Yang-wa-wan and Ts'ui-chia-chuang by the Chinese archaeologists Pei Wen-chung and Hsia Nai. The Ch'i-chia people lived in large villages in terraces along the Huang Ho (Yellow River) and buried their dead in pits.
Ch'ing-lien-kang culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The name given an Eastern Neolithic culture of China, c 4000-3000 BC, found in the provinces of southern Shantung, Kiangsu, and northern Chekiang. Painted pottery with flowerlike designs existed that had certain affinities with pottery from western Neolithic Yang-Shao culture. Pottery on high pierced stands, fine flat polished axes, and decorative pendants in jade have also been found.
Ch'ü-chia-ling culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Neolithic culture of central China in the middle and lower Yangtze River valley in the 4th and 3rd millennia. It followed the Yang-Shao culture and preceded the Lung-Shan culture and shared a significant number of traits with the Ta-hsi culture. There was cultivation of rice, flat polished axes, ring-footed vessels, goblets with sharply angled profiles, ceramic whorls, and black pottery with designs painted in red after firing. Characteristic Ch'ü-chia-ling ceramic objects include eggshell-thin goblets and bowls painted with black or orange designs; double-waisted bowls; tall, ring-footed goblets and serving stands; and many styles of tripods. The whorls suggest a thriving textile industry. The chronological distribution of ceramic features suggests a transmission from Ta-hsi to Ch'ü-chia-ling, but the precise relationship between the two cultures is not known.
Chaine opératoire
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A perspective for studying lithic technology that emphasizes the sequence of decisions and behaviors from raw material selection and acquisition, through manufacture, use, recycling, and discard.
Chalcidian ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Black-figured pottery found in Etruria and the Chalcidian colony of Rhegium (modern Reggio) in Italy. The style included lettering of the inscriptions as part of the decoration.
Charentian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Mousterian (Middle Palaeolithic) culture of at least two types, Quina and Ferrassie, of the Charente region of France. Dominance racloirs (side scrapers), Quina retouch, and handaxes have been found. The Charentian seems to originate in the penultimate glacial period, and has a distribution across Europe and Russia.
Chartres
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city in northern France which is the site of an important pilgrimage church since the Carolingian period (mid-13th century). Chartres was named after a Celtic tribe, the Canutes, who made it their principal Druidic center. It was attacked several times by the Normans and was burned by them in 858. A series of fires destroyed Notre-Dame, but after 1145 it was reconstructed as one of Europe's greatest Gothic cathedrals.
Cheddar ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chester-type ware
CATEGORY: artifact; ceramics
DEFINITION: A regional type of late Saxon pottery (Saxo-Norman pottery) dating to the period AD 850 to AD 1150 manufactured in central Somerset, England.
Chephren (fl late 26th c BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Khafre, Khephren, Khafra, Souphis
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The fourth king of the 4th Dynasty (c 2575-2465 BC) of Egypt, Cheops' (Khufu) son. Chephren erected the second pyramid of the Giza group as well as the Great Sphinx. He reigned c 2540 BC. The middle pyramid was and measures 707 3/4 feet (216 m) on each side and was originally 471 feet (143 m) high. Many consider the Great Sphinx to bear Chephren/Khafre's features.
Chien ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chien Yao, Jian Yao, Temmoku ware, Tenmoku ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A dark brown or blackish glazed Chinese stoneware made for domestic use, mainly during the Sung dynasty (960-1279) and into the early 14th century. Within its limited palette, Chien ware has a range of variations. By careful control of the kiln temperatures, streaking and iridescent patches were formed on the glaze to make the hare's "fur" and "oil spot" glaze which were the most prized. Large deposits of kiln wastes have been found at Chien-yang and Chien-an in Fukien province. Tea bowls are by far the most common though not the only form of Chien ware that survives. Used by Ch'an (Zen) Buddhist monks the highly esteemed tea bowls were carried back to Japan by Japanese monks who had visited China to study Buddhism. Until the late 16th century Chien ware was the type of tea bowl preferred for the highly ritualized Japanese tea ceremony.
Childe, Vere Gordon (1892-1957)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Australian-born British historian whose study of European prehistory in the 2nd and 3rd millennia BC brought his development of the diffusionist theory which was to explain the relationship between Europe and the Middle East. Childe introduced the concept of the archaeological culture. The Diffusionist view interpreted all major developments in prehistoric Europe in terms of the spread of either people or ideas from the Near East. Childe was professor of prehistoric archaeology at the University of Edinburgh and then director of the Institute of Archaeology, University of London. His many publications include The Dawn of European Civilization (1925; 6th ed., 1957), The Danube in Prehistory (1929), The Bronze Age (1930), Man Makes Himself (1936), What Happened in History (1942), and Society and Knowledge (1956).
Chün ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Jun
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A Chinese stoneware of the Northern Sung period (960-1126 AD) with a pale blue opalescent or translucent green glaze, at the kilns near Lin-ju-hsien and at Kung-hsien in Honan province in China. Another well-known class has a red or flambé glaze and consists of flowerpots, bulb bowls, elegant shallow dishes, waterpots, and small boxes.
Cirencester
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Corinium Dobunnorum
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Gloucestershire, southwest England, where the Romano-British Corinium, the capital of the Dobuni tribe, was located. At the junction of important Roman and British routes, a cavalry fort was erected during 43-70 AD and by the 3rd century the town walls enclosed c100 hectares. Remains within those walls include an amphitheater and many rich villas. Occupation continued well into the Anglo-Saxon period. Excavations have revealed much of the layout of the town and the plan of the forum and basilica, a market hall, shops and houses. Cemetery finds have shown that the skeletons contained high levels of lead, supporting the view that lead poisoning contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire. The town was the largest in Roman Britain after London and was probably a capital in the 4th century. The Corinium Museum houses a Roman collection. Saxons captured the town in 577, and it later became a royal demesne (dominion or territory).
Cistercian ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A lead-glazed English earthenware of the 15th-16th centuries. The earthenware is dark red with a black or brown metallic-appearing glaze and was called Cistercian because they were first excavated at Yorkshire Cistercian abbeys. The pottery forms were mainly drinking vessels, tall mugs, trumpet-shaped tygs (with 2, 4, or 8 handles), and tankards. The majority of the ware is undecorated, but some examples are distinguished by horizontal ribbing or by white slip ornamentation consisting of roundels or rosettes. Potteries producing these wares were at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire; Tickford, Derbyshire; and Wrotham, Kent.
Colless Creek
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock shelter site of northwest Queensland, Australia, with a rich artifact assemblage. Occupation was before 17,350 bp - possibly 30,000 years ago.
Colt Hoare, Sir Richard (1758-1838)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British antiquary who established the techniques of archaeological excavation in Britain. He excavated a large number of barrows (mostly on Salisbury Plain), classified and published his findings. He also recorded many other monuments of the area. However, at the time there was no means of dating the material he found.
Combe-Grenal
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Combe Grenal
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock shelter site on the Dordogne River in southwest France, near the town of Domme. There are 64 archaeological levels, including nine bottom levels of the Acheulian industry dating from the end of the Riss glaciation, followed by a series of 55 Mousterian levels. Occupation ended just before the end of the Mousterian period, and there is a radiocarbon date of just over 37,000 BC from Level 12, near the top of the deposit. The site has the largest number of cultural levels of any Palaeolithic site known to date. The 55 Mousterian levels have formed the basis for the analysis of the Mousterian into five main types. A burial pit has been recognized in the Mousterian levels with some human bones. The site has fauna and pollen evidence from all levels.
Coobool Creek
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site of Australian Aboriginal skeletal remains in New South Wales, found in the Wakool River, from the mid- to late-Holocene.
Corded Beaker culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic culture in central and northern Europe from c 2800 BC, named after a characteristic cord-marked decoration found on pottery. The Corded beaker culture 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.
Cotte de Sainte Brelade, La
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Palaeolithic cave site in Jersey, the Channel Islands, which also has pre-Mousterian and Mousterian levels. Human remains include large teeth and a piece of a child's skull, presumed to be Neanderthal. There is also evidence that at La Cotte de Sainte Brelade, rhinoceroses and mammoths were driven over a cliff edge.
Crambeck ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of pottery made at Crambeck, North Yorkshire, which was widely distributed across the north of England and North Wales in the second half of the 4th century AD. Common types include cream-colored mortaria and parchment wares, imitation Samian forms, and a range of lead-grey kitchen wares.
Creswell Crags
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The type site of the Creswellian culture, a gorge about 1500 feet long near Creswell, England, which has caves that have yielded one of the most important British series of extinct vertebrate remains, accompanied by implements of Paleolithic hunters. The Creswellian culture is regarded as a variant of the Magdalenian culture of southwestern France and occurred during the final stages of the Würm glaciation. Finds include flint tools of Mousterian, 'proto-Solutrean', Creswellian, and Mesolithic types, as well as harpoons and a bone fragment with an engraved horse's head in Late Magdalenian style. Mammal remains include reindeer, woolly rhinoceros, mammoth, and wild horse. The Creswellian culture never used the stone ax but their tools were Gravettian-type of blunted-back blades showing development in manufacture over a long period. Creswell Crags was first excavated in 1875.
Creswell point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of later Upper Palaeolithic flint tool found in the British Isles, named after examples found at Creswell Crags, Derbyshire, England. Made on a relatively narrow flint blade, one end is worked to produce a slightly elongated trapezoidal form with the long side of the blade left unworked and the shorter side blunted. Possibly used as knife blades
Creswellian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Upper Palaeolithic culture found at Creswell Crags and in caves in Wales and southern England. It is regarded as a variant of the Magdalenian culture of southwestern France and occurred during the final stages of the Würm glaciation. The characteristic tools are large trapezes, obliquely blunted-back blades, and small backed blades. Later cultural traditions such as the Federmesser, Creswellian, and Ahrensburgian (c 20,000-10,000 BP) formed the basis for the cultures of the succeeding Mesolithic period.
Crete
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The fifth largest island in the Mediterranean, lying south of Greece, where the first flowering of the Greek Bronze Age culture took place (c 2600-2000 BC). There is no evidence that humans arrived on Crete before 6000-5000 BC. By 3000 BC, however, a Bronze Age culture - the Minoan civilization, named after the legendary ruler Minos - had developed. Strongly influenced by Eastern ideas, in its first centuries this culture produced circular vaulted (tholos-type) tombs and some fine stone-carved vases, but about 2000 BC it began to build palaces on the sites of Knossos, Phaestus, and Mallia. This was called the first palace period (Middle Minoan 2000-1700 BC) and second palace period (1700-1400 BC) during which the population greatly increased and large settlements were built. The Minoan civilization was centered at Knossos and reached its peak in the 16th century BC, trading widely in the eastern Mediterranean. It produced striking sculpture, fresco painting, pottery, and metalwork. By about 1500 BC Greek mainlanders from Mycenae began to influence Minoan affairs, but then Crete suffered a major earthquake (c 1450) that destroyed Knossos and other places. The Mycenaeans took power until the Iron Age (1200 BC). Eventually the Dorians moved in and gained power. Crete is the source of many myths, legends, and laws. The Romans came and by 67 BC had completed their conquest of the island.
Cris culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Early Neolithic culture of Romania and Moldova, part of the complex of Balkan Early Neolithic cultures. Cris settlements were flat and open.
Crow Creek
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement site in South Dakota from the Initial Coalescent Period of the Plains Village Indians with more than 500 human skeletons from a massacre.
Cyrene
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Greek colony in Libya founded c 630-650 BC by settlers from Thera; it was located halfway between Egypt and Tunisia on the African coast. Its fertile soil made it a great African city in Roman times. Cyrene was also famous in antiquity for its horses and the production of the plant silphium which was used by the Greeks to prepare certain medicines. The extensive remains still visible today are mostly Roman, laid out on an Hellenistic plan. Evidence exists for earlier buildings, including the 6th-century BC Temple of Apollo with stone columns and mainly mud-brick walls. Imported Greek pottery of the Archaic period has been found in the sanctuary of Demeter.
Cyrus the Great (590-580 BC-529/530 BC)
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.
Dales ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Coarse shell-gritted hand-made cooking pots, probably made near the confluence of the rivers Trent and Humber from the mid 2nd century AD onwards. The fabric is hard and coarse with a smooth but unpolished surface, grey, black, or brown in color. The body of the clay contains small fragments of white shell. Sandy wheel-thrown imitations, Dales-type cooking pots, were made in Lincolnshire, the Humber Basin, and probably around York at the same time.
Danubian culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Early farming culture(s) of the Danube basin of central and eastern Europe, of the Neolithic and Eneolithic, starting c 5300 BC. The stages, named by Gordon Childe, were Danubian I (Linear Pottery culture), Danubian II (later Neolithic cultures, such as Tisza, Lengyel, Rossen, and stroke-ornamented pottery cultures), and Danubian III (late Lengyel, Brzesc, Kujawski, Jordanow). The first stage was based on slash and burn cultivation and the shoe-last celt, objects of spondylus shell, and the use of bandkeramik. There were substantial timber longhouses during occupations and after abandonment, sites were later reoccupied and villages rebuilt. By the mid-5th millennium, the Danubian II cultures (Rössen, stroke-ornamented ware, Lengyel, Tisza) arose. The term is now outdated.
De Geer, Baron Gerhard (Jakob), Friherre (1858-1943)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Swedish geologist, originator of the varve-counting method used in geochronology, first published in a paper entitled, "A Geochronology of the last 12 000 years". De Geer observed that lake beds consist of couplets of laminated sediments (varves) light-colored silt layers alternating with strata of darker clay. These represent annual accumulations and thus provide a means for dating the sediments simply by counting the number of varves present.
Denalian culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Denali complex
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A prehistoric culture or complex of central Alaska (the Tangle Lakes) dating to c 10,500-7000 BC. Similar to the Siberian Dyuktai (Diuktai) culture and defined by H. West in 1967, it is characterized by wedge-shaped microcores, microblades, burins, and bifacial points, scrapers on flakes, and large blades.
Derbyshire ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A distinctive type of pottery produced in Derbyshire from the mid 2nd century AD through to the 4th century AD. It is hard and gritty with a surface that is sometimes described as being like ?petrified gooseflesh'. color varies from grey and light-brown to red. The surface texture is due to the presence of silica particles in the local clay. All vessels are jars, mostly with a lid-seating on the rim.
Dereivka
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Dereivca
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic settlement site located on the river Omifinev in the Ukraine and dated to the 3rd millennium BC. A site of the Sredni Stog culture includes a cemetery of the Mariupol type, with 100+ extended inhumations arranged in groups. Adjacent to the cemetery is the settlement with Dnieper-Donets pottery, traces of dwellings, hearths, and other features.
Desert culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Desert tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A hunting-and-gathering way of life adapted to the post-Pleistocene conditions of the arid and semi-arid zones of the American West from Oregon to California, and with extensions into similar areas of Mexico. Agriculture was unknown or unimportant, and the small nomadic bands lived by collecting wild plants and hunting game. The concept was devised by J. Jennings at Danger Cave. Typical artifacts include grinding stones, basketry, small projectile points, and spear throwers. There is an absence of ceramics. Their mode of subsistence was established c 9000 BC and lasted until agriculture had developed sufficiently to permit settled life. In Mexico, farming villages were widespread by 2000 BC. In the southwestern US, this did not occur until the last few centuries BC.
Deverel-Rimbury culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Deverel-Rimbury people
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Bronze Age culture of southern Britain of the 15th-12th centuries BC. It was named after two sites in Dorset, and was characterized by Celtic fields, nucleated small farmsteads and palisaded cattle enclosures, and by inurned cremations, either in flat urnfields or under low barrows. The distinctive pots were globular vessels with channeled or fluted decoration, and barrel- or bucket-shaped urns with cordoned ornament. It is thought that people came over from France and were great farmers, introducing the plow into England. The square lynchets, which can be seen today, are the result of their plowing.
Dorestad
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Duurstede
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The trading center of the Frisians in the Netherlands, from which they controlled the old Rhine, the Vecht, and the Lek until the course of the river changed. Excavations have located an earthwork defense of this medieval site and have produced enormous quantities of occupation debris including large amounts of imported Rhenish and local pottery, wine casks from the Mainz area, Niedermendig lava Querns, and stone mortars made in eastern Belgium. There is also evidence of industrial activities like weaving, shipbuilding, bone and metalworking. Dorestad is the best-excavated and finest example of a Carolingian emporium and illustrates the scale of commerce between the imperial estates in the Rhineland and other North Sea communities.
Douglass, Andrew Ellicott (1867-1962)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: An American astronomer who developed the dendrochronology dating method. He outlined the method as early as 1901, but it was not until 1929 that he was able to publish an unbroken sequence of tree-rings for the Southwest US, extending back from the present day to the early years of the present era. This provided a dating method for the southwestern Pueblo villages.
Dressel form
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A system for classifying the shape of ceramic amphorae developed by H. Dressel (1845-1920) which was published in 1899. The system is still in use, although continually being expanded as new varieties are found.
Dry Creek
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The most important prehistoric site in Alaska, in the foothills of the Alaska Range in the south-central region. The lowest layer is assigned to the Nenana complex, the middle microblade assemblage to the Denali complex (10,690 bp), and the upper side-notched points are classed as Northern Archaic (4670-3430 bp).
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.
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 pottery dating to the 3rd and 4th centuries AD and found mainly in the northeast midlands of England. The pots produced were grey-brown in color and were dominated by bowls and jars
Ebbsfleet ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Peterborough ware, Fengatge ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A family of elaborately decorated Neolithic ceramics found in southern and eastern parts of the British Isles. Dating to the period 3000 to 2000 BC, Isobel Smith divided Peterborough wares into three successive styles-Ebbsfleet, Mortlake, and Fengate-on the basis of their occurrence in the ditch fills at Windmill Hill. It is now recognized that these three groups overlap rather more than originally thought, and that they are best seen as part of the broad group of impressed wares found over much of northern Europe in the 3rd millennium BC. The decoration on Peterborough ware consists of pits, 'maggot impressions' made by impressing tightly rolled cord, and the impressions made by pressing the ends of bird bones into the soft clay before firing. Some of the later vessels are the first in Britain to be made with flat bases.
Elers ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Unglazed smooth-surfaced red stoneware attributed to David and John Elers.
Emirean
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Emiran
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An early Upper Palaeolithic industry of the Levant region, named for the Emireh cave at the north end of the Sea of Galilee (Israel) which yielded tools and triangular arrowheads with a base tapered by means of bifacial retouches (Emireh points). It is the earliest stage of the Upper Palaeolithic recognized in the eastern Mediterranean region. The Emiran is believed to date from about 30,000 bc and may be transitional from the Mousterian.
Entremont
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An important oppidum near Aix-en-Provence, France, a Celto-Ligurian structure built in the third century BC (middle La Tène culture). It was the capital of the Salyes until destroyed by the Romans in the year c 125 BC. Entremont had a sanctuary with sculptured figures and finds include heads and torsos carved in the round, and four-sided limestone pillars with severed human heads and skulls carved in relief. It had ramparts built of large stone blocks, with watch towers, and inside were streets, houses of dry stone, drainage and water systems, all laid out on a rectilinear system.
Erech
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Biblical name for the ancient Mesopotamian city of Uruk.
Erechtheum
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Erechtheion
CATEGORY: structure; site
DEFINITION: A temple on the Acropolis at Athens, dedicated to Erechtheus, the legendary king of the city. It was built in c 421-407 BC and is remarkable for its caryatid porch and the complexity of its plan. It is a large and complex rectangular building in the Ionic style, built of white Pantelic marble and dark Eleusis stone.
Erevan Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Middle Palaeolithic site in Armenia with occupations during cool climatic conditions. Artifacts include sidescrapers and faunal remains are from rhinoceros, horse, elk, and red deer.
Ermine Street
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A major Roman road in England, between London and York. Doubtless following more ancient tracks, it was most likely established soon after the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD. It retained its importance until modern times.
Eutresis
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement site in Boeotia, central Greece, first occupied in Middle, Late, and sub-Neolithic, but the most important occupation was of the Bronze Age beginning c 3450 BC. The Middle Helladic seems here to have carried on late, unaffected by the Late Helladic of the Mycenaeans elsewhere. The site was inhabited continuously until the 13th century BC, when it was extensively fortified and subsequently abandoned. It was reoccupied in the Classical and Hellenistic periods. Eutresis is the type site for the Early Helladic I Eutresis culture.
Fauresmith
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An older term used to refer to the final Acheulian phase in the southern African interior. It was a Stone Age industry with tools representing a development from the final Acheulian handax tradition; the handaxes were small, were well-finished, and pointed. At Saldanha, Fauresmith artifacts were likely contemporary with a Neanderthal-like skull similar to the one from Broken Hill.
Fengate ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Peterborough ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A family of elaborately decorated Neolithic ceramics found in southern and eastern parts of the British Isles. Dating to the period 3000 to 2000 BC, Isobel Smith divided Peterborough wares into three successive styles-Ebbsfleet, Mortlake, and Fengate-on the basis of their occurrence in the ditch fills at Windmill Hill. It is now recognized that these three groups overlap rather more than originally thought, and that they are best seen as part of the broad group of impressed wares found over much of northern Europe in the 3rd millennium BC. The decoration on Peterborough ware consists of pits, ?maggot impressions' made by impressing tightly rolled cord, and the impressions made by pressing the ends of bird bones into the soft clay before firing. Some of the later vessels are the first in Britain to be made with flat bases.
Ferrières
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ferrières-les-Verreries
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic dolmen (passage grave) in Hérault, southern France, and the type site of the culture which existed c 3200-2800 BC. Its pottery is characterized by incised-line and geometric motif decoration. The earlier variety belongs to the Neolithic period and the later style is contemporary with the Copper Age pottery of Fontbouïsse. Ferrières pottery has been found in caves, village sites, passage graves, and cremation cemeteries.
Fertile Crescent
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The region in the Middle East where the civilizations of the Middle East and the Mediterranean basin began. The term was invented by the American Orientalist James Henry Breasted in 1916. It applied to the crescent-shaped area of cultivable land between the highland zones and the West Asian desert, stretching from Egypt through the Levant to southern Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia, and eastwards to the flanks of the Zagros Mountains. Conditions in this area were favorable for the early development of farming, and all the earliest farming communities were thought to lie within it. The Fertile Crescent in its wider extension corresponds exactly to the region described in the Hebrew traditions of Genesis; it also contains the ancient countries - Babylonia, Assyria, Egypt, Phoenicia - from which the Greek and Roman civilizations evolved. The belief that the earliest culture known to mankind originated in the Fertile Crescent has been confirmed by radiocarbon dating since 1948. It is now known that incipient agriculture and village agglomerations there must be dated back to about 8000 BC, if not earlier, and that irrigation was used almost immediately.
Fikellura ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: An Archaic East Greek black-figure pottery style. It has been found in the Fikellura cemetery on Rhodes; the source of the clay was Miletus.
Fiorelli, Giuseppe (1823-1896)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Archaeologist who took over the early excavations at Pompeii, from 1860-1875, and was one of the first to apply the methods of stratigraphy and area excavation on a large scale. Through his training school at Pompeii he passed on his methods to many other archaeologists. He also developed a technique for taking plaster casts of the hollows in the hardened ash and cinders, thus creating impressions of the dead and other materials.
Flemish black ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of later medieval pottery known from paintings of the Renaissance period. Some of the wares were well-decorated but most Flemish wares were coarse black wares with pinched bases. They emerged a Roman tradition of potterymaking in Flanders.
Flint Creek flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A characteristic flaking style of the Flint Creek culture which was accomplished by removing regular, deep, elongate, opposing pressure flakes from the blade edges. The application of this flaking style usually resulted in the formation of very fine biface serrations.
Florence
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Florentia, modern Italian Firenze
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Florence is a city in central Italy that was founded as a Roman military colony about the 1st century BC and achieved preeminence in commerce and finance, learning, and the arts during the 14th-16th centuries. Discovery of Villanovan material suggests earlier occupation, perhaps from the 8th-9th centuries BC. Remains of the Roman period include bath buildings, theater and amphitheater, and a temple to Isis.
Fontbrégoua
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Cave site in southern France with Epipalaeolithic and Neolithic occupations, dating to c 8000 BC. Hunting and gathering remains are hazelnuts and plants; there was domestic livestock and pottery of the Cardial and Epicardial phases. Neolithic remains include pits of human bones with cutmarks and pits of butchered animals bones, possibly evidence for cannibalism. There are also Middle Neolithic Chasséen, Late Neolithic, and Bell Beaker artifacts.
Ford, James Alfred (1911-1968)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: American archaeologist who worked mainly in southeastern US and developed the technique of seriation of chronological ordering. He established the archaeological sequence of ceramic typology, seriation, and stratigraphy of coastal Peru. Ford argued that archaeological types were imposed on data by the classifier.
Fremont culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An agricultural Puebloan people found throughout much of present-day Utah between 400-1350 AD. There is some similarity to the Anasazi in pottery types and pithouse architecture. Hunting and gathering was most important, supplemented by the growing of maize, beans, and squash.
Frere, John (1740-1807)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A British antiquary who first recognized the antiquity of Palaeolithic flint artifacts. His flint weapon finds in the Hoxne brick-earth pit in Suffolk in association with bones of extinct mammals in an undisturbed deep stratum was reported in 1797. Frere recognized that the implements were man-made, 'fabricated and used by a people who had not the use of metals', and suggested that they should be referred to 'a very remote period indeed; even beyond that of the present world'. His ideas were in advance of his time, and his conclusions were ignored largely because they contradicted the accepted Creation date of 4004 BC.
Gallo-Belgic ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Vessels imported from Gaul in the late 1st century BC and early 1st century AD, usually in black or silver-grey fabrics (terra nigra), or white fabric coated with red slip (terra rubra), or a dense white or cream fabric like pipeclay. Close British imitations of these fabrics and forms are known, and further copying of the forms was wide-spread. The imported vessels often have the name of the potter stamped on the inner surface of the base, a practice imitated in but usually with illegible markings.
Ganj Dareh, Tepe
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ganj Dareh
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A small mound in the Kermanshah region of western Iran, which has yielded five occupation levels with radiocarbon dates ranging from 8400-6800 BC. The lowest level had no permanent architecture, only shallow pits and hollows. The next level had mud-brick structures, mostly very small adjoining cubicles, perhaps used for storage. Subsequent phases include wattle-and-daub rectilinear structures and a wide range of unfired clay objects. Animal and human figurines suggest that the stone industry remained largely the same throughout.
Glastonbury ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of middle Iron Age pottery manufactured at a number of centers in the southwest of England. A wide range of forms are known, principal amongst which are globular bowls, jars, and shouldered bowls. Incised decoration in curvilinear motifs and so-called tram-line pattern is common
Gnathian ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A pottery fabric of the Hellenistic period (4th-3rd centuries BC) in southern Italy. Produced originally at Apulia, the pots are decorated with a black-glossed technique with simple designs in yellow and white. It is the western equivalent of West Slope ware. It is unlike other south Italian pottery and was widely exported.
Gokomere
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: An Early Iron Age site in south-central Zimbabwe, occupied between the 5th-7th centuries AD, which is also the name of an Early Iron Age industry. Its characteristic pottery is accompanied by copper and iron fragments.
Gorodtsov culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An early Upper Palaeolithic culture of the Kostenki-Borshchevo sites in European Russia with assemblages c 30,000-25,000 bp. The artifacts include endscrapers and Middle Palaeolithic sidescrapers as well as bone tools.
Grand Pressigny
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A complex of flint quarries in Indre-et-Loire, France, whose products were widely traded throughout western Europe in the Late Neolithic and Copper Age. The distinctive caramel-colored flint was exported in the form of blocks and unfinished blanks. The exploitation of Grand Pressigny flint took place c 2800-2400 BC.
Grave Creek Mound
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The largest cone-shaped earth mound in the New World, found in northern West Virginia, of the Adena culture. The mound is about 19 meters high and the base is 73 meters and it was the center of a complex of smaller mounds and earthworks, and constructed during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC.
Great Basin
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.
Great Interglacial
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.
Great Langdale
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Neolithic ax factory in Cumbria, northwest England, with high-quality stone quarried at several sites and traded over very wide areas of England by the Peterborough people, c 4000-3000 BC.
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 ritual earth mound 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 Adena culture.
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 Silla period 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.
Great Tradition
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 Qin dynasty) 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.
Great Zimbabwe
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 class system 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.
Greater Peten
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A major architectural style of the Classic Maya lowlands, especially the use of polychrome painted stucco on wall surfaces.
Grebeniki culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Mesolithic culture situated between the Carpathians and the Dniester valley in the Ukraine c 6000 BC. It was succeeded by the Bug-Dniester complex c 5500 BC.
Greek fire
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any of several flammable materials used in warfare in ancient and medieval times. Ancient writers refer to flaming arrows, firepots, and such substances as pitch, naphtha, sulfur, and charcoal, but true Greek fire was evidently a petroleum-based mixture. It was evidently invented during the reign of Constantine IV Pogonatus by a Greek-speaking Syrian refugee from the Arab conquest of Syria. It could be thrown in pots or discharged from tubes and was difficult to put out when alight.
Green Gully
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Pleistocene site in southern Victoria, Australia, occupied between 15,000 and 4000 BC. Stone tools include large side-trimmed and concave flakes similar to those in Tasmania and at Kenniff Cave of the same period, and bipolar cores. Bones of two individuals, one male and one female, were found combined in a grave and were dated by radiocarbon on collagen to 4500 BC.
Greenland
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The world's largest island; the Inuit are believed to have crossed from North America to northwest Greenland, using the islands of the Canadian Arctic as stepping stones in a series of migrations that stretched from 4000 BC to 1000 AD. Several distinct cultures are known, including the Sarqaq (c 1400-700 BC), Dorset (c. 800 BC-1300 AD), and others such as the Dundas (Thule) and Inugsuk. The Icelandic sagas and histories tell of failed attempts to colonize Greenland in the 970s and how the exiled Erik the Red eventually succeeded in 985. Archaeologists have located several early farmsteads, where the occupants began some cultivation and animal farming, supplementing their diets by hunting and fishing. Erik's own farm at Bratthalio consisted of a main long house with thick walls of stone and turf. Inside there was a central conduit and animal stalls with partitions made of whale scapulae. There were also four barns and outbuildings and the remains of a small U-shaped chapel with a wooden gable which was built by Erik's wife after her conversion to Christianity around 1000. From Greenland voyages were made to the coast of America, and Erik's son was one of the first explorers to reach 'Vinland', which was probably Maine.
Grimston ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Grimston-Lyles Hill, Lyles Hill ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of early and middle Neolithic pottery found in the northeast of England, named after the site of Hanging Grimston in what was formerly the East Riding of Yorkshire. Characterized by fine fabrics, good-quality finish, and round-bottomed forms with a carinated profile. In 1974 Isobel Smith suggested that such pots were part of a far wider distribution of carinated vessels found right across the British Isles and she proposed the term Grimston-Lyles Hill ware. These vessels represent the earliest style of pottery found in the British Neolithic, although the term shouldered bowl is now preferred to Grimston-Lyles Hill.
Grooved Ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Rinyo-Clacton
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A pottery style of the British Late Neolithic, widely distributed c 2750-1850 BC. The characteristic vessel is flat-based with straight vertical or outward sloping walls. It was formerly known as Rinyo-Clacton after two widely separated findspots (Clacton in Essex and Rinyo in the Orkney Islands). Throughout eastern and southern England, where it is particularly frequent on henge sites (Stonehenge and Durrington Walls), it is decorated with shallow grooving or sometimes with applied cordons. A Scottish group, where appliqué cordons were much used in addition, is represented in Orkney at sites like Rinyo and Skara Brae. It is also found in settlement sites and in chambered tombs.
Grotte Vaufrey
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave site in Dordogne, France, with stratigraphy from Mindel/Riss to early Würm, including an occurrence of the Mousterian. The span is c 246,000-74,000 BP.
Guitarrero Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A stratified cave site of long occupation in the Callejón de Huaylas in northern Peru. It was occupied in the Preceramic period (c 12,500-6000 years ago) and continued through later ceramic periods, showing domesticated lima and common beans by c 8000 BC. A wide variety of artifacts, lithic and organic, in Guitarrero I (10,610 @ 360 bc) contains flaked tools similar to the Ayacucho complex and Tagua-Tagua. Stemmed points similar to those in Lauricocha II were found in the same level. There is evidence that the site was occupied by hunter-gatherers and that the subsistence was transhumance. The dates of some human bones, if dated correctly, represent the earliest human remains yet found in South America. Guitarrero II has produced a series of radiocarbon dates covering the period c 8500-5700 BC and contains bone and wood artifacts, basketry an loosely woven textiles, and the willow-leaf projectile point.
Hadra ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A kind of Hellenistic pottery first found in the Hadra cemetery at Alexandria. It was a burial container inscribed with the name of the deceased and often the date painted or incised on the shoulder.
Halaf culture complex
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A material culture with a distinctive painted pottery style, centered at Tell Halaf. It is divided into Early, Middle, and Late phases from the late 6th to early 5th millennia BC (5050-4300). The pottery is decorated with geometric, floral, and some nature motifs. The Late Halaf pottery includes a polychrome painted ware. Well-known sites include Tell Aqab, Arpachiyah, and Yarim Tepe.
Heekeren, H. Robert Van (1902-1974)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Dutch archaeologist who spent his career in Indonesia and wrote two important books - "The Stone Age of Indonesia" (1957 1972) and "The Bronze-Iron Age of Indonesia" (1958). Van Heekeren excavated on Sulawesi and Java.
Hembury ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Style of plain early and middle Neolithic pottery found in southwestern England during the 4th millennium BC. Named after the Neolithic enclosure site of Hembury in Devon, Hembury ware is characterized by round-bottomed vessels with straight sides or S-profiled bodies.
Hetepheres I (c 2600 BC)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: An Early 4th Dynasty queen (Old Kingdom), who was the principal wife of Snefru (2613-2589 BC), the mother of Khufu (2589-2566 BC) and probably also the daughter of Huni, last ruler of the 3rd Dynasty. Her unmarked tomb, inside Khufu's pyramid-complex at Giza has been found. At the bottom of a deep stone-filled shaft was found the queen's empty sarcophagus, surrounded by furniture and articles of jewelry attesting to the high artistic and technical ability of 4th-Dynasty craftsmen.
Hispano-Moresque pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A tin-glazed, lustrous, highly decorated earthenware made by Moorish potters in Span in the late medieval period, chiefly at Málaga in the 15th century, and in the region of Manises, near Valencia, in the 16th century. They tend to be plates and jugs with bold semi-abstract designs painted on a creamy background and with a gold luster finish. These wares were much in demand throughout Europe and, judging from finds in northern Europe, they were widely traded. The tin glaze was applied over a design usually traced in cobalt blue; after the first firing, the luster, a metallic pigment, was applied by brush over the tin glaze, and the piece was fired again. Imitation of this pottery in Italy led to the development of Italian maiolica ware.
Historic Preservation Act of 1966
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A U.S. law that established the National Register of Historic Places and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Hiw-Semaina region
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Diospolis Parva
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A group of Predynastic, Pharaonic, and Roman-period sites on the eastern bank of the Nile in Upper Egypt.
Holt ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pottery made at the legionary works depot at Holt, Denbighshire, in the late 1st and early 2nd centuries AD. Of light-red and buff fabric, often imitating Samian forms, and found mostly in Chester and adjacent areas
Homo erectus
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: [obsolete Peking man], Pithecanthropus, Pithecanthropus erectus
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Upright man, an extinct form of Homo sapiens who evolved one million years ago, just before Neanderthal Man. This species had a larger brain and was bigger than Homo habilis, with a muscular stocky body and heavy face with thick brow bones. It is thought that Homo erectus made Acheulian stone artifacts and spread out around Africa. He gradually evolved into archaic Homo sapiens about 500,000 years ago. The best known discoveries are from Far East (Java, Choukoutien, Yuanmou), but skeletal remains have been found in East Africa (Olduvai), in North Africa (Ternifine, Sidi Abderrahman) and in Europe (Mauer Jaw, Vértesszöllös). At Choukoutien there was proof that he knew the use of fire. This ancestor of modern humans evolved from Australopithecus, and his brain was about two-thirds the size of contemporary humans'.
Hopewell Interaction Sphere
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A complex network involving the exchange of goods and information that connected distinct local populations in midwestern United States from around 100 BC to 400 AD.
Hsin-tien culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture of northwest China in c 1500 BC based on farming and using handmade pottery and copper tools. The pottery was often painted with rudimentary scrolls.
Huang-tao ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of Chinese stoneware made in the T'ang Dynasty (618-907 AD) in the Honan Province. It is glazed in black or brown and splashed with an opalescent bluish or gray contrasting glaze.
Huntcliff ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A distinctive variety of calcite-gritted pottery limited to a range of distinctive forms, made in east Yorkshire from the 1st century AD through to the 4th century AD. The fabric is black or dark brown, and the dishes and jar bodies were hand-made. During the late 4th century an extremely common form was a thick-walled cooking pot with a heavy curved rim, often with a groove on the inside of the lip.
Hureidah
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Yemen, southwestern Arabia, with a temple to the god Sin. The temple of dressed stone blocks on a plastered rubble platform has a tentative date of 7th-6th century BC.
Ileret
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Koobi Fora
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on the east side of Lake Turkana in Kenya which has yielded important archaeological sites from the Pleistocene and one from the late 3rd millennium BC. Domestic cattle and sheep make this one of the earliest sites in East Africa with evidence for pastoralism. Associated pottery and stone bowls serve as a link with Pastoral Neolithic sites of significantly later date in the Rift Valley highlands to the south. The site of Koobi Fora is very important for its finds of early Hominid fossils and stone artifacts from 2.5-1 million years ago.
Impressed Ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: The earliest Neolithic pottery of the Mediterranean area, with decoration impressed into the clay by sticks, combs, fingernails, or seashells, from before 6000 BC to around 4000 BC (though till later in North Africa). The pottery itself was characterized as having simple round-bottomed shapes. The serrated edge of the cardium shell was particularly popular in the western area and it is also known as Cardial Ware. Before c 5000 BC the ware is found mainly in caves or rock shelters or shell midden sites, where it is associated with hunting-gathering and breeding of sheep. Around 5000 BC, crop cultivation was introduced and large settled villages sprang up. Other types of pottery are found alongside Impressed Ware at this stage, including fine red painted ware in Italy, Stentinello Ware in Sicily, and Ghar Dalam ware in Malta, which represent specialized versions of Impressed Ware. The pottery style may have originated in Asia Minor or even Yugoslavia (Starcevo culture).
Ipswich ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A pottery ware made in the 7th-9th centuries at Ipswich, England, where kiln debris has been found. The cooking pots and undecorated pitchers were distributed widely in East Anglia, while stamp-decorated pitchers were traded as far as York and Richborough. This ware makes it possible to identify sites of the Middle Saxon period.
Jastorf culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Iron Age culture of the southern Baltic during the late Hallstatt (600-300 BC), with some of the earliest iron metallurgy of the area. It extended from Lower Saxony through Pomerania.
Ju ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ru
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: The most highly prized of all Chinese ceramics. Ju wares were produced exclusively for the Northern Sung emperor Hui-tsung from about 1107-1127. The original kiln site, Ch'ing-liang-ssu, yielded 37 examples. The undecorated bluish- or greenish-gray glaze of Ju wares is cloudy and opaque, often with a pale blue or lavender tinge and fine irregular crackle. This glaze typically covers a gray stoneware body that has a simple, exquisitely elegant shape.
Kamares Cave
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kamares
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A sacred cave of the Minoans on the slopes of Mount Ida overlooking Phaestos in Crete. The artifacts include Middle Minoan polychrome pottery, 2000-1550 BC, painted in red, orange, and white on black ground, called Kamares ware.
Kansyore ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A comb-stamped pottery found at several pre-Iron Age sites around Lake Victoria in East Africa in the first millennium BC. The makers of Kansyore ware appear to have been hunter-gatherers, makers of a backed microlith industry.
Karlgren, Bernhard (1889-1978)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Swedish archaeologist was the first person to reconstruct the phonology of Chinese characters in use around 600 AD and then in earlier periods. He reconstructed the vowel system of Old Chinese to account for the language in "Classic of Poetry" (800-600 BC). He studied numerous fundamental texts of the pre-Han period and succeeded in assessing their authenticity and in translating them into English and providing commentaries. In field of early bronzes he laid the foundations for an analytical method the principles of which are still valid.
Kartan culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A group of stone assemblages with heavy core tools found on Kangaroo Island and the nearby peninsulas of South Australia, a variant of the Australian Core Tool and Scraper Tradition. Kangaroo Island, now separated from Australia by a 15-km strait, was joined to the mainland during the Pleistocene. There were no Aboriginal inhabitants at the time of European contact. Radiocarbon estimates of 14,000 BC have been obtained for a possibly subsequent small scraper industry in Seton rock shelter on Kangaroo Island. Kartan tools include unifacially flaked pebble choppers, large steep-edged flake scrapers, waisted ax blades, and large horsehoof cores (mean weights of 500 grams), sometimes associated with small quartz flakes. The proportion of core tools in the assemblage is much higher than in other Pleistocene sites.
Kerma ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Distinctive thin-walled pottery with a black-and-red finish, produced by the Kerma culture in various shapes.
Khafre (fl. late 26th century BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chephren, Rakhaef; Khafra, Souphis
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Son of Khufu (2589-2566 BC), the fourth ruler of the 4th Dynasty (2575-2465 BC, of the Old Kingdom) and builder/owner of the second of three pyramids at Giza. The complex includes the Valley Temple and the Great Sphinx, whose features are presumably Khafre's. He succeeded to the throne after the death of his half-brother Djedefre (Redjedef, 2566-2558 BC), who had constructed his pyramid at Abu Roash.
Kian ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chi-an
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A white ware made at Yung-ho near Kian/Chi-an in Kiangsi that was often in the form of bowls decorated with leaves, medallions, birds, or plants. It could be black-glazed and was made during the Sung Dynasty (960-1279 AD). This ware appears to be an imitation of Ting.
Kidder, Alfred Vincent (1885-1963)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A pioneering American archaeologist working in the US southwest. He carried out stratigraphical and seriation excavations, notably of the Pueblo at Pecos, New Mexico, and combined stratigraphy with pottery typology to produce the first synthesis of southwestern prehistory. It has since been refined by dendrochronology, but it still provides the framework. Kidder's research forms the basis of nearly all later studies in the area. He later did archaeological surveys and excavations for the Maya program of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. He worked at Kaminaljuyú and Uaxactún. He was hailed for his multidisciplinary approach to archaeology and for changing American archaeology from antiquarianism to scientific discipline.
Knapton ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of crude hand-made pottery dating to the 4th century AD. Manufactured and circulated in the Humberside area of northeastern England.
Knovíz culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Knovís
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Bronze Age urnfield culture of Bohemia, Thuringia, and Bavaria, following the decline of the Tumulus Bronze Age, c 1400-900 BC. Except for the burial rite, the Knovíz culture is similar to that of the neighboring Milavce group. The Knoviz group is one of the exceptions to the normal urnfield rite in that inhumation is more frequent than cremation burial. Few large settlement sites are known, the bulk of material deriving from small farmsteads with pits and post-holes and cemeteries. Hengiform monuments and horseshoe-shaped enclosures are occasionally associated with Knoviz pottery. The vessel form is the Etagengefass, with a large bulging body and a smaller bottomless pot fused on top of it to form the neck.
Kokorevo
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: Six Upper Palaeolithic sites on the Yenisei River in southern Siberia. Radiocarbon dates put Kokorevo I-IV between 15,900-12940 bp. There are wedge-shaped microcores, microblades, sidescrapers, and retouched blades. Level I is Kokorevo culture, II and III are Afontova culture. The Kokorevo culture is dated to c 20,000-10,000 BP and included endscrapers.
Komornica culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Early Mesolithic assemblages of the area between the Oder and Bug drainage systems in north-central Poland. It is contemporaneous with the Maglemosian culture of Denmark of the 7th-8th millennia BC.
Korean periodization
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: Classification of the eras of Korea by archaeologists and historians. The major divisions following the Palaeolithic are: Chulmun, 7000-1000 BC; Bronze Age, 700 BC-0 AD; Iron Age, 400 BC-300 AD; Proto-Three Kingdoms, 0 -300 AD; Three kingdoms, 300-668; United Silla, 668-935; Koryo, 935-1392; Yi, 1392-1910; Japanese Colonial, 1910-1945; Modern, and 1945-present.
Kostenki-Willendorf culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Upper Palaeolithic culture of central Europe and the Russian plain dating to c 30,000-20,000 bp. This culture is based on assemblages containing backed blades, shouldered points, and Venus figurines among the art objects. It is generally equated with the Eastern Gravettian industry.
Krefeld-Gellep
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large Roman and Frankish cemetery located on the lower Rhine in Germany. Among the 2000 excavated burials within the cemetery, one grave of outstanding wealth dated to about 630 AD contained a gilded helmet, a sword inlaid with precious stones, three spears, a dagger, ax, and shield. There were other items of silver, gold, and bronze. The personal apparel included a garnet-inlaid purse and gold belt-buckle and ring. The occupant may have been a chieftain or the founder of a settlement.
Kremikovci
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Early Neolithic culture of the Balkans, on the Bulgarian border in Macedonia. It is contemporaneous with the Karanovo I culture of southern Bulgaria, Starcevo culture of Serbia and Bosnia, Körös culture of southern Hungary, and the Cris culture of Romania. The ceramics are white-on-red or black-on-red painted decoration.
Kremlin
CATEGORY: structure; site
DEFINITION: The fortified citadel of medieval Russia. The term also applies to those in medieval Slavic towns. The most famous and best-preserved is the one in Moscow, which is a rare stone-built example. Within it lie a variety of palaces, churches and state buildings in a range of styles spanning the 14th-18th centuries. Archaeological work has revealed that in 1156 Prince Dolgoruky built the first fortifications - ditches and earthen ramparts topped by a wooden wall with blockhouses. The origin of the word kremlin is disputed; some authorities suggest Greek words for citadel" or "steepness others the early Russian word krem, meaning a conifer providing timber suitable for building. The fortified enclosure of the Kremlin, the symbol of first Russian and later Soviet power and authority. Its crenellated red brick walls and 20 towers were built at the end of the 15th century, by Italian builders hired by Ivan III the Great.
Krems
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Krems-Hundssteig
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic site on the Danube in northeast Austria, dating to around 35,200 bp. The Krems-Hundssteig locality has revealed a very rich Aurignacian-like assemblage in which numerous bladelets, endscrapers, retouched blades, and 'Krems' points were found. A female figurine of green serpentine was dated to 31,790 bp.
Kroeber, Alfred Louis (1876-1960)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: American anthropologist who made great contributions to American Indian ethnology; to the archaeology of New Mexico, Mexico, and Peru; and to the study of linguistics, folklore, kinship, and social structure. He was one of the small group of scholars whose work laid the basis of New World archaeology as a scientific discipline. His first work was in preparing a typological seriation of potsherds from Zuñi sites of the American southwest, and his work, together with that of Kidder and Nelson in the same area, showed how archaeological methods could reveal time depth and cultural change in North America. From 1921, Kroeber applied the same techniques to Max Uhle's Peruvian collections. He worked out a scheme for Peruvian archaeology which formed the basis of all studies of the subject for the next 20 years. Kroeber explored much of the Peruvian coast, especially the Nasca Valley where he made the first-ever stratigraphic excavation of a Peruvian midden. Kroeber continued to write about the ethnology of North American Indians and also concentrated on theoretical aspects of anthropology, in particular the processes of culture change. His "Configurations of Culture Growth" (1945) sought to trace the growth and decline of all of civilized man's thought and art. "The Nature of Culture" (1952) was a collection of Kroeber's essays published on such topics as cultural theory kinship social psychology and psychoanalysis.
Kuan ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Guan
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Fine Chinese stoneware of the Sung dynasty, 960-1279 AD, characterized by a wash of brown slip and by glazes varying from pale green to lavender blue. A wide-meshed crackle is brought out by the application of brown pigment. First made in North China, Kuan ware was produced from about 1127 at Hang-chou, Chekiang province, in the south.
Kuban culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Koban culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A regional variant of the earlier Bronze Age 'North Caucasian' culture group, located in the Kuban Valley of southwestern Russia dated to the mid-2nd millennium BC. It was also the name of an industrial complex of the late Bronze Age to early Iron Age, dated to the early 1st millennium BC in the same area. That culture was distinguished by rich Kurgan graves, use of the battle-ax, and a range of metal objects including the 'Pontiac' hammerheaded pin. The heavy concentration of Caucasian bronzes in the amber source zone of east Prussia indicates an extensive amber trade.
Kunda culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The eastern Baltic variant of the Baltic Boreal and Atlantic climatic periods, c 7000-5000 BC, a Mesolithic culture named after the site of Kunda-Lammasmagi in Estonia. Most Kunda settlements are located at the edge of the forest, near rivers, lakes, and marshes. There was hunting of elk, seal, and fishing. Bone and antler tools were decorated with simple geometric motifs. The Kunda culture was followed by the Narva culture, with the appearance of pottery and food production.
Kura-Araxes culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Eastern Anatolian Bronze Age, Transcaucasian Early Bronze Age
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Culture complex of Early Bronze Age sites of Transcaucasia, eastern Anatolia, and northwest Iran, probably of the later 4th through later 3rd millennia BC. The complex is characterized by black or red highly burnished pottery. There were portable hearths and some circular houses.
Kurgan cultures
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A seminomadic pastoralist culture that spread from the Russian steppes to Danubian Europe about 3500 BC. By about 2300 BC the Kurgans arrived in the Aegean and Adriatic regions. The Kurgans buried their dead in deep shafts within artificial burial mounds, or barrows. The word kurgan means barrow or artificial mound in Turkic and Russian. The first Kurgan culture was the Yamnaya, or Pit-Grave, culture. Then came the Catacomb Grave culture, and finally the Srubnaya (Timber-Grave) culture.
La Cotte de Saint-Brelade
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Cave site on Jersey of the Channel Islands with prehistoric remains of Paleolithic man and there is abundant evidence of the Neolithic and Bronze ages. There are Acheulian bifaces, Mousterian artifacts, and Neanderthal teeth. Jersey was linked to the continent in times of low sea level.
Lake Mangakaware pa
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Maori lake-edge fortification (pa) in the Waikato District, North Island, New Zealand. The site has produced on the of the most complete Classic Maori settlement plans known, dated 1500-1800 AD, with remains of palisades, a central open space (marae), and many wooden objects.
Laming-Emperaire, Annette (1917-1977)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: French prehistorian specializing in prehistoric rock art who found and studied sites in Chilean Pantagonia - Englefield, Ponsonby, Munición - and in Brazil, José Vieira and several sambaquis (shell middens). She also excavated at Marassi (Tierra del Fuego), Lapa Vermehla, and Lagoa Santa.
Lamoka culture
CATEGORY: culture; site
DEFINITION: An inland site of the late Archaic period located in the Finger Lakes region of central New York dating c 2500-1800 BC. It is characterized by narrow-stemmed points of a type usually associated with coastal areas and by a well-developed industry in worked bone. Other traits include houses framed with upright poles, beveled adzes, atlatl weights, manos and metates, and fishing gear.
Larnian culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Mesolithic culture, named after Larne, Ireland, and found only on sites close to coasts and estuaries in western Scotland and eastern Ireland. It is characterized by shell middens and the early toolkits include leaf-shaped points made on a flake, the oldest unambiguous implement in Ireland, and scrapers. Some are dated to 6000 BC. Later assemblages contain more flakes than blades and include tranchet axes and very small scrapers. . More recent work casts doubt on the antiquity of the people who were responsible for the Larnian industry; association with Neolithic remains suggests that they should be considered not as Mesolithic but rather as contemporary with the Neolithic farmers. The Larnian could then be interpreted as a specialized aspect of contemporary Neolithic culture. Lake and riverside finds, especially along the River Bann, show a comparable tradition. A single radioactive carbon date of 5725 +/- 110 BC from Toome Bay, north of Lough Neagh, for woodworking and flint has been cited in support of a Mesolithic phase in Ireland.
Laurel culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Initial Woodland culture, dating c 200 BC-700 AD, located in northern Michigan, northern Ontario, northern Minnesota, south-central Manitoba, and east-central Saskatchewan. Artifacts include togglehead antler harpoons, cut beaver incisors, copper tools and beads, and grit-tempered pottery with stamping and incising. Laurel sites also have burial mounds.
Laurentian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lake Forest Late Archaic
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Important Late Archaic tradition in northern New York and Vermont and the upper St. Lawrence valley, c 4000-1500 BC. Characteristic artifacts are broad-bladed, notched projectile points; bifaces, scrapers, and polished-stone tools (celts, gouges, plummets, slate knives or points). The tradition has phases such as Brewerton, Vergennes, and Vosburg.
Laurentide
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Laurentide ice sheet
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The ice mass that covered most of Canada and parts of the United States, including the Great Lakes area and northern New England, during the Pleistocene Epoch. It originated in northeastern Canada during the Wisconsin Glacial and then spread south and west. At its maximum extent, about 20,000 years ago, it was connected with the Cordilleran ice sheet to the west and covered an area of more than 13,000,000 square km (5,000,000 sq. MI). In some areas its thickness reached 2,400-3,000 m (8,000-10,000 ft). The system began to recede about 14,000 BP.
Lazaret
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Acheulian cave site near Nice, France, with some evidence of hutlike structures and an assemblage dated to Riss III with pointed bifaces and choppers.
Le Lazaret
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lazaret
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave site on the coast close to Nice, France, with deposits from before the last Interglacial, with Acheulian tools and interspersed beach deposits. Human remains of two children and one adult are known, and it has been claimed that large huts were constructed inside the cave. The assemblage is dated to Riss III and includes pointed bifaces and choppers.
Lejre
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A reconstruction of a working prehistoric farm near Roskilde in Denmark. It is one of the most ambitious and informative examples yet of experimental archaeology.
Leroi-Gourhan, André George Léandre (1911-1986)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: French prehistorian who prepared important works on Palaeolithic art. He worked at Les Furtins, Arcy-sur-Cure, and Pincevent, pioneering techniques of horizontal excavation, the study of occupation floors, and ethnological reconstruction of prehistoric life. He published "Treasures of Prehistoric Art" (also published as "The Art of Prehistoric Man in Western Europe" 1967; originally published in French 1965) a magnificently illustrated volume on the art of the Cro-Magnon peoples and "The Dawn of European Art: An Introduction to Palaeolithic Cave Painting" (1982; originally published in Italian 1980) a well-illustrated technical discussion.
Les Combarelles
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A long narrow cave just outside Les Eyzies in the Dordogne, southwest France, where thousands of superimposed engravings from the late Aurignacian through the middle Magdalenian periods were discovered. The engravings are dominated by horses, bison, bear, reindeer, mammoth, and andropomorphs. They are assigned to the mid-Magdalenian, c 14,000-12,000 BC. The number of engravings suggests that the cave long served as the center of a hunting cult. Scholars rank Les Combarelles as one of the finest products of the Ice Age.
Levallois core
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A prepared core from which a single flake or blade has been produced. The technique was primarily used in the Palaeolithic and Neolithic.
Lima culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Early Intermediate Period (c 200 BC-600 AD) culture of the central coast of Peru. Its major population centers were Cajamarquilla and Pachacamac. There are ceramics (Maranga, Interlocking style) showing the influence of the Moche culture. Changes in the pottery style during the Middle Horizon (600-1000 AD) indicate influence from the Huari Empire.
Linear Pottery culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Linearbandkeramik; LBK; Danubian I
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The earliest Neolithic culture 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 grain cultivation and domesticated livestock, lasting to 3200 BC on its periphery. The Linear Pottery core area 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 spherical bowl) with linear designs (curvilinear, zigzag, spiral, and meander patterns), polished stone shoe-last adzes, and a microlithic stone industry. 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 core area 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.
London ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of pottery with a relatively fine burnished grey or black fabric, often imitating various forms of Samian bowls, and often decorated with inscribed lines, impressed stamps, rouletting and compass-scribed circles. Made in the Thames Estuary area, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, and the Nene Valley in the late 1st and 2nd centuries AD, and widely distributed during this period.
Los Millares
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Important Chalcolithic settlement and cemetery in Almeria, southeast Spain, of c 2400 BC and located on a spur between the River Andarax and a stream. Within the settlement are circular houses, outside there are forts, megalithic walls, and a cemetery with 80+ passage graves (circular tholos type). The rich grave goods included bone idol figurines, copper axes and daggers, pottery with double-eye motifs, and ivory and ostrich-eggshell artifacts. The site typifies Millaran culture of mid-3rd millennium BC in southern Spain and Portugal with the emergence of ranked societies whose power may have been based on the control of water supplies and sources of metal ores.
Lusatian culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lausitz culture; Lusatia
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (Hallstatt period) culture of Poland and eastern Germany, an urnfield culture which had formed by c 1500 BC. Larger settlements, such as Biskupin, Senftenberg, and Sobiejuchy, are fortified. The culture is noted for its bronzework and its fine dark pottery, sometimes graphite-burnished and generally decorated with bosses and fluted ornament. Iron tools were adopted in the north throughout the earlier Iron Age. In some classifications, the Middle Bronze Age 'pre-Lausitz' phase is considered the first stage of the Lusatian culture proper.
Lyon ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Fine color-coated cups and beakers with rough-cast appliqué or rusticated decoration. Made at Lyon in France, and imported to other parts of the Roman empire (mainly for military markets) from c. AD 43 through to c. AD 70.
Malvernian ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A pottery industry based around the Malvern Hills in west central England. The earliest production dates to the middle Bronze Age, but from the mid 1st millennium BC onwards the industry produced a range of very coarse, handmade, simple jars. They were distributed over considerable distances, particularly in the Marches, South Wales, and Gloucestershire.
Mandu Mandu Creek
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Rock shelter in Northwest Cape, Western Australia, with occupation between 25-19,000 bp. It was abandoned and not reoccupied until c 2500 bp.
Maritsa culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Late Neolithic culture of the eastern Balkans, contemporary with Vinca C, between 4000-3700 BC. It is characterized by the materials from Karanovo's Layer V, with dark pottery whose surface tended to be covered by either incised or excised lines which were filled with white paint after firing.
Marpole culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An archaeological complex in Canada, dating c 500 BC-1500 AD; the type site is at the mouth of the Fraser River in British Columbia. Its distinctive traits include flaked-stone points, microblades, ground-slate points and fish knives, and disc beads of shell and shale. Antler was used for barbed point and harpoon making. There were midden burials, some with plentiful grave goods. It probably evolved from the Locarno Beach culture.
Martin's Hundred
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site settled near Jamestown and Williamsburg, Virginia, on the James River, by English colonists in 1619. Excavations have revealed a massacre by the Indians in 1622 and early colonial life in North America. The center of the plantation was Wolstenholme Towne.
Matera ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A Middle Neolithic ware from many sites Matera of southern Italy and its neighborhood, notably the ditched villages of Murgecchia and Murgia Timone and a cave site, the Grotta dei Pipistrelli. A dark burnished ware with curved bowls and straight-necked jars, it is characterized by rectilinear geometric designs scratched after firing and filled with an inlay of red ochre. A quite different ware, thin, buff-colored, and painted with broad bands of scarlet, is sometimes included in the term.
Maudslay, Alfred Percival (1850-1931)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British soldier who was one of the first people to visit and make a scientific record of the great Maya sites. Inspired by travelers' accounts of the ruins, he visited Guatemala and the neighboring republics, and by 1894 had made seven expeditions. He made photographs, casts, plans, and drawings at such sites as Quirigua, Palenque, and Chichén Itzá. He was also the first archaeologist to see the important ruins of Yaxchilan. He published the results of his journeys as part of a series entitled "Biologia Centrali-Americana" or "Contributions to the Knowledge of the Flora and Fauna of Mexico and Central America" (1889-1902). Maudslay's work was accurate and objective; his records are still a valuable source of information. The texts which he transcribed formed the basis of early studies of Maya hieroglyphs.
Mauryan empire
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mauryas
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An ancient Indian state, c 321-185 BC, centered at Pataliputra (modern Patna) near the junction of the Son and Ganges rivers. After Alexander the Great's death in 323 BC, Candra Gupta (Chandragupta) founded the dynasty that encompassed most of the subcontinent except for the Tamil south. He drove the Greeks out of India and established the Mauryan empire as an efficient and highly organized autocracy with a standing army and civil service. The Buddhist Mauryan emperor Ashoka (reigned c. 265-238 BC, or c. 273-232 BC) is well-known, especially from the stone edicts that he had erected throughout his realm, which are among the oldest deciphered original texts of India. The dynasty subsequently declined and was deposed by Sunga in 187 BC.
Mazapan ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A ceramic style developing out of Coyotlatelco and first appearing in association with major architecture at Tula, Mexico in the post-Classic Toltec phase (9th-12th century AD). The orange-on-buff (or red-on-buff) pottery was decorated by straight or wavy parallel lines produced by multiple brushes.
Meare
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.
Medicine Lodge Creek
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A deeply stratified site located in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, with a date range of c 8000 BC to historic times. Evidence of a diversified subsistence base of small game hunting and gathering occurs at a time when the Big Game Hunting Tradition was still widely practiced in the Great Plains. Manos, metates, and remains of fish, gopher, and rabbit were found at levels dated from 7500-6500 BC. Lanceolate projectile points, similar to those found at Mummy Cave, also fall within this date range, but stemmed points typical of the Archaic fall slightly later at c 6300 BC.
Melka Kontoure
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Ethiopia some 50 km south of Addis Ababa, with many archaeological levels dating from over 1.5 million years old at the base to late Pleistocene times. Its long stone artifact sequence included Oldowan, Acheulian, Middle Stone Age, and Microlithic Later Stone Age. A few hominid fragments have been found, but it is the long succession of artifact assemblages and living floors which make the site important.
Merenptah (d. 1203 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Meneptah, Merenptah
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The 13th son of his long-lived father, Ramesses II, Merneptah was nearing 60 years of age at his accession in about 1213. Because of the extraordinary length of the reign of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC), at least twelve of his sons died before him, including Khaemwaset, who was for several years the appointed heir. Early in Merneptah's reign, his troops had to suppress a revolt in Palestine by the cities of Ashqelon, Gezer, and Yenoam. Merneptah's greatest challenge, however, came from the Libyans who were encroaching on Egyptian lands. About 1209, Merneptah learned that some Sea Peoples were roving the Middle East, had joined and armed the Libyans, and with them were conspiring to attack Memphis and Heliopolis. He is responsible for the great victory over the Libyans and Sea Peoples, in which they lost nearly 9,400 men. Merneptah ordered the carving of four great commemorative texts in celebration. One of these, the famous Israel Stela refers to the suppression of the revolt in Palestine. It contains the earliest-known reference to Israel, which Merneptah counted among the peoples that he defeated. Hebrew scholars suggest that the circumstances agree approximately with the period noted in biblical books from late Exodus to Judges. A fragmentary stela from the Sudan also suggests that the king quelled a rebellion in Lower Nubia, probably after his Palestinian exploits.
Meretseger
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: The Theban cobra goddess, whose cult was centered on the mountain that dominates the Valley of the Kings. Her cult is primarily attested during the New Kingdom (1550-1069 BC).
Middle Mississippi culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A part of the Woodland culture in the central Mississippi valley and its tributaries that came into existence around 700 AD and lasted until the historical 16th-17th centuries. The most notable features are elaborate pottery, large and often fortified villages, and ceremonial centers with temple platforms and courtyards. From its origin, these cultures spread outwards until they had overrun most of the eastern United States. In the north, the Mississippi culture encroached on and blended with the Woodland cultural tradition. Important sites are Etowah (Georgia), Moundville (Alabama), Spiro (Oklahoma), and Cahokia (Illinois).
Mildenhall ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A style of middle Neolithic pottery found over much of central eastern England and East Anglia during the 4th millennium BC. Characterized by round-bottomed bowls with fairly elaborate decoration. Deep S-profiled forms with rolled or thickened rims predominate.
Millares, Los
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A walled township, with projecting bastions and four outlying forts, near the coast in Almeria, southeast Spain. The cemetery includes 100 megalithic bombs. The pottery, of the Millaran culture, consisted of plain ware, including troncoconic vessels and carinated forms, and also much decorated ware. Symbolism appears on the decorated ware and on other pottery, stone, and bone. Arrowheads were bifacially worked, leaf-shaped, rhomboid, and barbed-and-tanged and copper was in common use. The settlement was townlike, with rows of stone houses, alleys, and a central communal place within the walls. An artificial watercourse may have led to the settlement. There was specialization of production between households. Their culture was succeeded by that represented by Beakers.
Mimbres
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Regional variant of the Mogollon culture, centered in south-central New Mexico, and dated to 1000-1200 AD. The Mimbres people are particularly renowned for the black-on-white painted pottery bowls which they made especially to be put in burials. The pottery is decorated with abstract designs and with pictures of people, bears, rabbits, and other animals. Farmers grew maize and gathering beans and acorns; hunting deer, antelope, and rabbits. The culture also evidences a strong Anasazi influence.
Minyan Ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A distinctive Middle Helladic pottery - a gray or yellow wheelmade ware of high quality first appearing at Troy VI and in Greece c 19th century BC. It was the first wheelmade pottery to be produced in Middle Bronze Age Greece. It was ancestral to Mycenaean pottery, and may represent a movement of new peoples into the Aegean area, the first Greek speakers. Traditionally it has been associated with an apparently violent end to the Early Helladic culture, c 2000-1900 BC, and the arrival of Greek-speaking peoples in the Aegean. The term was coined by Heinrich Schliemann. The ware had a soaplike feeling and its forms were modeled after metal objects.
Miraflores
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A complex of cultural materials which define a phase from 100 BC to 200 AD of Highland Mayan sites in the Late Pre-Classic period. It is the Late Formative period of the Valley of Guatemala. Characteristic artifacts include engraved soft stone and monochrome ceramic vessels, as well as 'mushroom stones' (hollow stones set in an annular base and capped with mushroom-shaped covers, which may have been used in rites with hallucinogenic mushrooms). A strong Izapan influence is evident. The huge Miraflores mounds located at Kaminaljuyú contained log tombs of incredible richness. In one, the deceased was accompanied by sacrificed followers or captives. As many as 340 objects were placed with him, including jade mosaic masks, jade ear spools and necklaces, bowls of chlorite schist, and pottery vessels of great beauty.
Mlu Prei
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Prehistoric sites in north-central Cambodia, including O Yak, O Pie Can, and O Nari, occupied in the transition between the Neolithic to bronze and then iron. There were polished stone adzes, flaked sidescrapers, and bone projectile points during the Neolithic. Bronze items and clay crucibles followed and then the iron axes and other artifacts.
Molodova culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Upper Palaeolithic culture of the western Ukraine, found in the 5th level of Moldova. The early phase, c 30-25,000 bp, has burins, large retouched blades, and endscrapers; later phases, c 23-12,000 bp, also had backed blades and points.
Mondsee culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Copper Age / Eneolithic culture of Upper Austria's Alpine foothills, noted for its villages of pile-dwellings and for its decorated pottery with white-inlaid circles and stellar designs. The Mondsee people were the first to smelt the local copper ores and manufacture copper artifacts on a large scale in the region.
Monreale Cathedral
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 mosaic decoration, 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.
Montet, Pierre (1885-1966)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: French Egyptologist who worked at Tanis and Byblos. He conducted major excavations of the New Empire (c 1567-525 BC) capital at Tanis, in the Nile Delta, discovering, in particular, funerary treasures from the 21st and 22nd dynasties. At his first major excavation at Byblos (modern Jubayl, Lebanon), one of the oldest continuously inhabited towns in the world, he found what was then believed to be the earliest alphabetical writing and published his researches in "Byblos et l'Égypte" (1928). He published "La Nécropole royale de Tanis" 3 vol. (1947-60; "The Royal Cemetery at Tanis") and "Everyday Life in the Days of Ramesses the Great" (1958) and "Eternal Egypt" (1964).
Moore, Clarence Bloomfield (1852-1936)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: American archaeologist considered one of the forefathers of Americanist archaeology. He worked on the southeastern coast of North America with major contributions at Moundville, Alabama, and Poverty Point, Louisiana.
Mortlake ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Peterborough ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A family of elaborately decorated Neolithic ceramics found in southern and eastern parts of the British Isles. Dating to the period 3000 to 2000 BC, Isobel Smith divided Peterborough wares into three successive styles-Ebbsfleet, Mortlake, and Fengate-on the basis of their occurrence in the ditch fills at Windmill Hill. It is now recognized that these three groups overlap rather more than originally thought, and that they are best seen as part of the broad group of impressed wares found over much of northern Europe in the 3rd millennium BC. The decoration on Peterborough ware consists of pits, ?maggot impressions' made by impressing tightly rolled cord, and the impressions made by pressing the ends of bird bones into the soft clay before firing. Some of the later vessels are the first in Britain to be made with flat bases.
Motupore
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on an offshore island near Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, with an excavated sequence from 1100-1700 AD, ancestral to the present Austronesian-speaking Motu inhabitants of the region. The sequence documents the development of the specialized ethnographic Motu trading system, in which pottery, shell beads, and marine resources were exchanged for sago and wallaby meat from adjacent Papuan Gulf communities.
Mureybet
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mureybit, Mureybat
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in the curve of the Euphrates 80 km east of Aleppo in Syria, occupied in the late-Epipalaeolithic (Natufian) and Aceramic Neolithic (to PPNB), from c 8500-6800 BC. The Natufian level had a date of 8640 +/- 140 BC. Einkorn was the staple of the villagers' diet, possibly cultivated. It is an important site for understanding the emergence of food production and village life on the middle Euphrates.
Nagyrév
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The type site for a regional group of the Hungarian Early Bronze Age; the initial culture in the tripartite sequence distributed in the lowlands of northern Hungary, dated to c 2300-1500 BC. This first phase shows connections with the Beaker and Vucedol cultures, while the later phase is contemporary with early Unetice. The Nagyrév precedes the Hatvan and Füzesabony. Most known settlement sites are tells surrounded by enclosing banks and ditches. Timber-framed houses are common, though some clay houses are found at Tószeg. Rich grave goods are rare, occurring predominantly in the Budapest area. A universal pottery form is the one- or two-handled cup with tall funnel neck in black burnished ware.
Nahal Oren
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Cave and open terrace site on the western slope of Mount Carmel, Israel, occupied from the early Upper Palaeolithic (Kebaran, c 16,300-13,850 BC) to the early Aceramic Neolithic (PPNA) and PPNB (Pre-Pottery Neolithic B). Natufian levels show a strong bias towards the selective hunting, or possibly herding, of gazelle and this continued through to the PPNA levels. There was a growing assemblage of processing tools such as mortars, suggesting that plant-gathering was becoming more important. The material culture included chipped stone tools, ground stone tools, bone tools, stone vessels, and art objects. Natufian and PPNA buildings were round houses with central fireplaces. In the PPNB, they switched to rectangular houses with paved floors; these were sited on the artificial terrace outside the cave, constructed in the Natufian phase. A cemetery of early Natufian date is associated with the site: bodies were buried individually, usually tightly flexed with knees drawn up to the chin; old mortars were used as grave markers. Grave goods include carved stone and bone work; the most notable example was a gazelle's head.
National Historic Preservation Act
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: NHPA
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Legislation passed in 1966 and amended in later years, designed to protect important cultural sites by placing them on a master list called the National Register of Historic Places. The act also integrates local and state agencies into a national program designed to preserve sites.
National Register of Historic Places
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: National Register
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A federally maintained list of archaeological, architectural, historical, and cultural sites of local, state, or national significance.
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: NAGPRA
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A 1990 law establishing procedures for protecting and determining disposition of Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony that are intentionally excavated or inadvertently discovered on federal or tribal lands. It also establishes procedures for conducting summaries and inventories and repatriating human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony in museum or federal agency collections.
Naxos, Greece
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The largest of the Greek Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea and an important center for the so-called Cycladic culture of the Aegean Early Bronze Age, late 4th-2nd millennium BC. Mycenaean, Protogeometric, and Geometric periods are also well represented. In the period of classical Greece, Naxos has a relatively insignificant political history, and is better known for its wines and was a center of worship of the god Dionysus. Naxos marble was used for the sculpture of monumental figures and the island also supplied the emery with which to polish the marble. The Cycladic period has left numerous graves and examples of the characteristic Cycladic idols. An isolated marble door frame on the Palatia hill is the cella door of a 6th-century BC temple, while near Sangri lies the site of a square temple. For the ancient quarries there is no lack of evidence, particularly for the practice of cutting large statues in situ. There are several unfinished figures, notably a colossal archaic statue, male and with beard - possibly a representation of Dionysius. During the 6th century BC the tyrant Lygdamis ruled Náxos in alliance with the tyrant Peisistratus of Athens. In 490 the island was captured by the Persians and treated with severity; Náxos deserted Persia in 480, joining the Greeks at the Battle of Salamis and then joining the Delian League. After revolting from the league in 471, Náxos was immediately captured by Athens, which controlled it until 404. In the 8th century, Naxos is said to have combined forces with Chalcis in a colonizing initiative to Sicily, where a colony of the same name was founded. In 1207 AD, a Venetian captured Náxos, initiating the duchy of Náxos.
Nderit ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Gumban A
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: First discovered at Stable's Drift on the Nderit River, south of Lake Nakuru in the central Rift Valley of Kenya, Nderit ware is a widespread variety of pottery which may predate the florescence of the Pastoral Neolithic in the area. It is one of several distinct pottery wares associated with the Pastoral Neolithic in Kenya and northern Tanzania. It is characterized by finely executed, wedge-shaped decoration, apparently made by means of repeated impressions of a pointed object such as obsidian; it is also often deeply scored on the inside surface of the vessel. In northern Kenya, the pottery occurs at least as early as the 3rd millennium BC. Further to the south, Nderit ware only occurs with other pottery traditions.
Nene Valley ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Castor Ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of Roman pottery made by an organized industry on the banks of the River Nene west of Peterborough, by the Roman town of Water Newton (ancient Durobrivae), England, from the 2nd-4th centuries AD. (It was formerly known as Castor Ware.) The commonest shapes are drinking vessels and tumblers, made of a light clay with a dark slip, sometimes with a white decoration. Decoration was by applied scales, rouletting, or barbotine. Barbotine ornamentation is applied to pottery by squeezing a bag containing thin clay slip in the same way as a cake is iced today. It may be applied by brush or spatula as well. The best known are the Hunt Cups, showing dogs pursuing deer or hares, but human scenes also occur. It is a local ware, made in imitation of the dark, glossy Rhenish wares, and was perhaps the first fine ware to be produced locally in Roman Britain.
Neolithic Revolution
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Neolithization
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term coined by V.G. Childe to describe the origin and consequences of farming - the development of stock raising and agriculture - allowing the widespread development of settled village life (c 9000-6000 BC in Asia). This group of cultural processes marked the transition from an economy based on hunting and gathering to an agricultural economy. These processes were linked with development of village life, the beginning of firing techniques, and production of artifacts such as pottery and weaving.
New Forest ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: One of the pottery wares of southern Roman Britain in the late 3rd-4th centuries AD, produced by craftsmen in the New Forest area. Decoration is scarce, consisting of white slipped scrolls or rosette stamps or stamped-on designs. Vessel shapes included cups, flagons, and mortaria. It was of two kinds: one a hard gray ware, with a painted, white ornamentation and a dark purple glaze and the other was a creamy ware with a red slip. It had limited distribution, no farther than 80 km from the kilns.
Nok culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Nok figurine culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A valley in central Nigeria (Benue Plateau) associated with first iron-smelting people of West Africa and an Early Iron Age culture characterized by distinctive broken terra-cotta human and animal figures, some of them life-sized. Shallow pits with low surrounding walls served as furnaces for the smelting of iron. The terra-cotta figures are associated with an agricultural fertility cult; the detailed and accomplished modeling pays particular attention both to attributes such as beads as well as to physical peculiarities or deformities. Other artifacts of the Nok culture include iron tools, stone axes and other stone tools, and stone ornaments. Nok sites at Taruga and Samun Dukiya date to c 5th-3rd centuries BC. The culture may have continued to the 2nd century AD in some places. Their work was possibly ancestral to medieval sculpture of Yoruba and Ibo.
Northampton ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of late Saxon pottery found in the midlands of England from the period c. AD 850 to 1150.
Northern Black Polished Ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Northern black polished ware; NBP, NBPW
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A fine gray metallic ware with a glossy black surface characteristic of the Iron Age civilization of northern and central India, dating to c 500-100 BC. It is a hard, wheelmade ware, mainly bowls and dishes. The surface is made with an alkali flux and fired in a reducing atmosphere. It succeeds Painted Grey Ware in the Ganges sequence and is the main pottery type associated with the Ganges Civilization. It characterizes the urban kingdoms of early historical India.
Ntereso
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site of a fishing settlement related to the Kintampo industry, located to the east of that industry's main area of distribution, in the valley of the White Volta, northern Ghana. Bifacially flaked arrowheads, small axes, bone harpoon heads and fish hooks may have affinities with sites far to the north, in the southern Sahara. The site dates to the late 2nd millennium BC.
Nubian rescue campaign
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: An international movement, coordinated by UNESCO between 1960-1980, to limit the loss of archaeological data as a result of the building of the Aswan High Dam and the subsequent flooding of much of Lower Nubia by Lake Nasser. The movement wanted to survey and excavate as many of the sites as possible and dismantle and re-erect the most important temples - Abu Simbel, Philae, and Kalabsha.
Obanian culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A group of kitchen midden settlements of the western Scottish coast, a Late Mesolithic culture (c 3065-3900 BC) named from Oban in Argyll. The sites are rock shelters and shell middens on post-glacial raised beaches. Diagnostic tools include barbed spears, some limpet-picks scoops), and antler harpoon heads.
Obre
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A complex of Neolithic settlements on the Bosnia River near Sarajevo, Bosnia. Obre I comprises four occupation horizons, the first with Starcevo pottery, dating c 4500-4200 BC. It has rectangular houses similar to those at Karanovo I and Anza, and arranged in rows. Obre II represents the most complete development of the Butmir culture yet discovered, with nine habitation horizons in three main periods (dated c 4250-3950 BC, c 3900 BC, and c 3800 BC). This 1300-year cut through the Bosnian Neolithic sequence provides details on the evolution of timber-framed architecture, subsistence economy, and exchange systems. The pottery is interpreted as reflecting possible transhumant pastoralism.
Ochre-Colored Pottery
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ochre Colored Pottery; OCP
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: An Indian pottery type, a distinctive ceramic of post-Harappan upper Ganges Valley. It is a thick and usually badly fired and badly preserved red ware with an ochre wash and its importance lies in the fact that it serves to bridge the gap in the later 2nd millennium between the Harappan material of the Indus Civilization and the black-and-red and painted-gray wares of the Iron Age. The earliest date for the ware comes from Jodhpura in Rajasthan c early 3rd millennium BC, but in the upper Ganges Valley it has early 2nd millennium BC dates. It has been found in association with a harpoon of Gangetichoard type at Saipai and with Gangetic hoards.
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 Thule tradition, often linked with the possibly contemporaneous Okvik culture. 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.
Old Copper Culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A series of late Archaic complexes in the upper Great Lakes area of the United States and Canada which settled there approximately 5,000 years ago. This culture of hunters and fishermen did not have pottery and agriculture, but the people mined native copper around Lake Superior and used it to make tools. The metal was worked by hot- and cold-hammering and by annealing. Characteristic copper implements were spear points, knives, awls, and atlatl weights. Its best-known assemblages are from Osceola and Ocanto. Later cultures did not develop metal technology, but reverted to stone use. There is general agreement that 1500 BC represents the terminal date.
Old Cordilleran Culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Old Cordilleran
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A late Pleistocene cultural tradition based on the hunting of small game and the collection of wild foods in the mountain and plateau region of western North America, especially Oregon and Washington, between c 9000-5000 BC (or later). The diagnostic tool is the leaf-shaped Cascade point, a distinctive bipointed lanceolate point. It was usually accompanied by scraping tools (chopper tools, bolas) and occasionally by milling stones (burins). The type site is Five Mile Rapids, Oregon (9800 BP). They may have been contemporaneous with Big Game Hunting tradition. The tradition has a terminal date of c 7000 BP and it may have cultural ties to the San Dieguito.
Ortoire
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A cultural phase in Trinidad dated to c 800 BC, recognized by crude chipped stone tools, netsinkers, and grinding stones.
Otley-type ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of late Saxon wheel-thrown pottery of the period c. AD 850-1150 found in Yorkshire and the north midlands of England.
Otter Creek point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Archaic Stage large bifacially worked chipped stone projectile points with a side notch found in northeastern parts of North America and dating to the period c.4500-2600 BC.
Oxfordshire ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pottery made mostly in the vicinity of Oxford in a variety of fabrics. Vessels include distinctive types of mortaria, PARCHMENT WARE, and red color-coated ware in the Samian tradition. This centrally placed industry became one of the largest and most important in Britain during the 4th century AD.
Oxus Treasure
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 gold band with its two ends meeting in the form of finely worked griffins.
Ozieri Culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Late Neolithic culture of Sardinia, known from caves and open villages, and dated to the late 4th and 3rd millennia BC. It produced elaborately decorated, high-quality pottery. Classic Ozieri decorated ware has been dated to c 4100-3500 BC at the Grotta di Filiestru (Bonu Ighinu). There are rock-cut tombs with Beaker pottery and occasionally copper and silver objects and marble figurines.
Padre Island
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site off the coast of Texas with the remains of three Spanish treasure ships that wrecked in 1554. The ships have been scientifically excavated.
Paffrath ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Hard-fired ware with a black finish, made from the 10th-11th centuries until the 13th century at Paffrath, near Cologne, Germany. The best-known products of this center are the so-called handled ladles - small cooking pots or bowls with a curved handle.
Painted Grey ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Painted Gray ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A pottery type characteristic of Iron Age sites in northern India, with its center of distribution in the eastern Punjab and central Ganges Valley. It was a fine, wheelmade, thin-walled ware with a gray surface decorated with simple designs of circles and pothooks, made before 500 BC. The designs were in red or black paint. The forms that occur most frequently are a shallow dish and a deeper bowl. It occurs in deposits of the later 2nd millennium and early 1st millennium BC. Many authorities believe that Painted Grey ware was the pottery used by the early Aryans in India.
Parisian ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A thin, dark grey, highly burnished ware decorated with impressed stamps and found mainly in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, dating to the late 1st and the 2nd centuries AD
Parrot, André (1901-1980)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Mesopotamian archaeologist who worked at Mari, Baalbek, Byblos, Tello, and Larsa. Much of his time was spent at Mari, which dates to 3100 BC, and he was also in government museum service (including director of the Louvre). He wrote a history of Mesopotamian archaeology.
Patch Grove ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Kind of pottery with a rough grey core and an orange or brown surface, found mainly in northwest Kent and Surrey, usually in the form of wide-mouthed storage jars and with notched decoration on the shoulder. It is in a native British tradition that lasted into the 2nd century AD.
Pecos Conference
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A convention of southwestern archaeologists established in 1927 by A.V. Kidder in an attempt to organize prehistoric material of the American Southwest. The conference, to determine a uniform cultural chronology and a relatively consistent terminology, is still held today.
Peterborough Culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Neolithic culture grafted on to the native Mesolithic culture, one of the two major Neolithic groups of England (with the Windmill Hill people). They lived in villages and on seashores, grew grain and raised cattle, and hunted with square-tipped arrowheads. They also used axes and microlithic sickles.
Peterborough Ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A poorly made, elaborately decorated pottery of the British Late Neolithic, found in southern England. The ornament consists of pits, bone, and wooden stick impressions and 'maggot' patterns made by impressing a bit of whipped cord into the soft clay. The earliest (Ebbsfleet) substyle developed from Grimston-Lyles Hill ware c 3500 BC and consisted of round-based vessels with fairly restrained ornament. The later variants have more complicated decoration and show the influence of Beaker pottery: the second (Mortlake) substyle still occurs on round-based vessels, but in the final (Fengate) substyle the pots are flat-bottomed and have many features which lead on to the collared urns of the Bronze Age. These vessels were probably intended for everyday domestic use.
Petresti culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic and Eneolithic culture of Transylvania, northwestern Romania, and dated to the early 4th millennium BC. Petresti settlement pattern is tell-based, with most occupations preceded by Early Vinca levels. The defining characteristic is a wide range of painted wares, bichrome and trichrome in style, and decorated with brown parallel lines in elaborate patterns. The culture is contemporaneous with the early stages of Cucuteni-Tripolye to the east and Gumelnita to the southeast.
Pevensey ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The products of a small local factory near Pevensey, Sussex, which made imitations of Oxfordshire and New Forest type pottery in a very hard orange-red fabric and a deep red color coat.
Phase III data recovery
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Phase III
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An excavation of an historic or archaeological site listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places prior to its demolition for new construction.
Phocaean ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Roman red-glossed pottery made from the 4th-7th century AD on the west coast of Turkey. It was widely distributed in the eastern Mediterranean.
Picosa culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Late Archaic culture that began c 3000 BC in the American Southwest and is considered by some to be ancestral to the Anasazi, Hohokam, and Mogollon traditions. It was located in southern California, southern Nevada, Arizona, and southwestern New Mexico, as well as the Four Corners region.
Pinsdorf ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Hard-fired pots made in the villages in the Vorgebirge Hills, west of Cologne and Bonn in Germany. The earliest example is the Wermelskirchen coinhoard pot, dated to c 960 AD. Pingsdorf ware is characteristically decorated with red paint and commonly occurs as pitchers with thumb-impressed ring bases; smaller pots, including money-boxes and toys, were also made. The products were exported to all parts of the Rhineland, as well as Britain and Scandinavia.
Pit Grave culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Yamnaya Kultura; Pit-Grave culture, Yamnaya culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Late Neolithic culture of the lower Volga and Don steppes, the forerunner to Corded Ware, Single Grave, or Kurgan culture. It appears on Ukrainian steppes in 3rd millennium BC, with fortified villages and burials in pits under barrows.
Pit-Comb Ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pit-Comb ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A coarse pottery with deep round-based bowls decorated with pits and comb impressions and used in the circumpolar cultures of the forest zone of northeast Europe. The area includes that around the southern Baltic and glacial outwash of central and eastern Poland. Its makers were probably hunters and fishers, making little use of the techniques of food production, although adopting such Neolithic traits as pot-making an ax-grinding. There are few sites and little data.
Pitted-Ware culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: In Sweden and Finland, a series of foraging groups during the 3rd-1st millennia BC, part of the circumpolar complex of Holocene foragers. Amber ornaments were made widely and communities depended on seals and pigs for subsistence.
Plumbate Ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A fine pottery made on the Pacific coast of Mesoamerica, near the Mexico-Guatemala border, during early Post-Classic and Pre-Columbian times. It was traded over a wide area, from Nayarit in northwest Mexico to Costa Rica in the south, and was present in all but the lowest levels in the Toltec center at Tula. The glazed appearance of the surface of Plumbate Ware is due to the unusual composition of the clay from which it is made and to carefully controlled firing conditions. There was a high percentage of iron compounds and, upon firing, the ceramic surface acquired a hard, lustrous vitrified surface often with metallic shine. Its original point of manufacture was on the Pacific coast of Mesoamerica in the vicinity of Izapa
Pompeian red ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of Roman color-coated pottery made in France and exported to various parts of the Roman world in the late 1st century BC and 1st century AD. The name derived from the color, Pompeian red, rather than its source.
Pontic ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Black-figured pottery made in Etruria during the Archaic period, possibly influenced by techniques of Attica, Corinth, and Ionia.
Portchester ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of late Saxon pottery manufactured on the coast of central southern England.
Post-Deverel-Rimbury ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Various styles of pottery circulating in southern England from the first half of the 1st millennium BC, superseding the previously common and widespread Deverel-Rimbury traditions. Post-Deverel-Rimbury wares include a fineware component comprising mainly thin-walled plain jars, bowls, and cups, together with a wide range of coarsewares including large storage vessels. From the 8th century onwards there is an increase in the amount of decoration applied, especially incised lines, fingertip impressions, and slight cordons.
Pre-Axumite period
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A term applied to the developed societies of south Arabian origin in the northern part of the Ethiopian plateau, c 5th century BC - 1st century AD. South Arabian elements assimilated through influence of kingdom of Sheba into a culture developed from Neolithic. Texts engraved on stone using south Arabian script have been found. There is evidence of influence from Meroe, with Ethiopia as a crossroads for trade, traffic, and culture. These societies provided the base from which the kingdom of Axum rose to prominence during the first centuries ad.
Pre-Boreal
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pre-Boreal Climatic Interval
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A division of Holocene chronology 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.
Pre-Classic period
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Formative period, Preclassic period
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A period in Mesoamerican archaeology during which agriculture formed the basis of settled village life, c 2000 BC-250 AD. The earliest writing - glyphs - in Mesoamerica began in this period. The Olmec was the first culture to appear in the Preclassic. A similar level was attained in Peru at about the same time (Chavín). In many other areas life remained on a Formative level until the Spanish conquest. The final phase of the Pre-Classic cultures of the central highland forms a transition from the village to the city, from rural to urban life.
Pre-Dorset
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A term for a group of Arctic cultures and complexes characterized by microblades, knives, scrapers, and burins and coming before the Dorset culture (c 3000 BP). They hunted seal, walrus, and some land animals and originated in the 5th millennium BP. Pre-Dorset is part of the Arctic Small-Tool Tradition.
Pre-Eskimo archaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The study of the time before man emerged or entered the New World via the Bering Strait, c 20,000-40,000 years ago.
Pre-Pottery Neolithic
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Early phases of the Neolithic of the Near East/Levant, characterized by the practice of agriculture and permanent settlement prior to the use of pottery. Two phases of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic have been identified: the PPNA phase, with radiocarbon dates in the range 8500-7600 BC; and PPNB, dated c 7600-6000 BC. Recent work suggests a third phase, the PPNC, dated to 6200-5900 BC.
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: PPNA
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Palestinian village-based culture dated 8500-7600 BC, first defined at Jericho. It is derived from the Natufian culture, making use of and developing Natufian architecture (round houses). It offers evidence of first attempts at agriculture in the near East, though still in a hunting context.
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: PPNB
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Levantine culture pre-dating the use of pottery, dated 7600-6000 BC, and first defined at Jericho. It originated in Syria and is characterized by rectangular buildings with lime-coated or plastered floors, by the cultivation of cereal crops, and by the beginnings of small-animal husbandry. Toward the end, it saw the first expansion of agriculture and the spread of Neolithic culture beyond its semi-arid zone towards the temperature coastal regions of Syria (Ras Shamra) and the desert oases. Pottery began to appear sporadically.
Preah Vihear
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.
Preceramic Period
CATEGORY: culture; chronology
DEFINITION: The earliest of a seven-period chronological construction used in Peruvian archaeology, c 9000-1800 BC, starting with the first human occupation and ending with the introduction of ceramic artifacts. It is usually subdivided into six periods and is characterized by a variety of subsistence patterns and by a lack of ceramics. The first two periods (up to 8000 BC) represent a subsistence based on hunting. The third period, c 8000-6000 BC is seen as transitional from hunting to hunting and gathering. Period four c 6000-4000 BC had cyclical, seasonal migration. In Preceramic V, c 4000-2500 BC, the lomas dried up and people tended to be sedentary; agriculture supplied an increasing part of the diet. Large habitation sites, ceremonial centers and agriculture appear increasingly in Preceramic VI c 2500-1800 BC. There are lithic complexes in the Early Preceramic, followed by an Archaic Period with foraging populations and the beginning of domestic and ceremonial architecture. The Preceramic was followed by the Initial Period.
Predionica
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Late Neolithic settlement of the early Vinca culture in southern Serbia. The first of three occupation horizons has a radiocarbon date of c 4330 BC. Monumental fired-clay figurine heads have been discovered which were made by abstract modeling with plastic features reinforced by incised lines.
Predmostí
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Palaeolithic site near Prerov in northeastern Moravia, Czechoslovakia. Over 20 skeletons of males, females and children were found in a large communal grave, associated with an Eastern Gravettian layer. The age of the grave is probably around 26,870 BC. Some of the males had marked Neanderthaloid features but the overall morphology was Cro-Magnon. Middle Palaeolithic artifacts, probably of the Early Glacial, and Upper Palaeolithic (Aurignacian, Eastern Gravettian) levels have been found. There are ivory and bone tools, pendants, and portable art.
Prepalatial
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: In Minoan Crete, the period before the construction of the palaces, a part of the chronological system for the area devised by Platon. It is the same as Early Minoan I-III, c 3000-2000 BC, in traditional chronology.
Prezletice
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Lower Palaeolithic site just outside Prague, Czechoslovakia, with mammals of Cromerian type dated c 0.7 million years old. Artifacts pre-date the Middle Pleistocene; the assemblage includes chopping tools, crude bifaces, and flakes.
Promontory culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture sometimes identified with the Fremont culture in northern Utah which is now considered an early phase of the late prehistoric groups that followed the Fremont. It was a bison-hunting, cave-dwelling people.
Proto-Three Kingdoms
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Late Iron Age, Lelang
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The protohistoric period of the Korean peninsula, c 1-300 AD, which preceded the Three Kingdoms period of Koguryo, Silla, and the Paekche. Archaeological finds of the period are mainly from Lelang and Koguryo in the north and Samhan in the south. Bronze and iron were used and iron made at shell midden sites on the southern coast. In actuality, the Three Kingdoms period was c 57 BC-668 AD.
Przeworsk culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Late Iron Age culture in the Vistula and Bug drainages in southeast Poland of the La Tène period. It is known mainly from graves, which have metal artifacts and fibulae.
Putnam, Frederic Ward (1839-1915)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Curator of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, from 1875-1909. He was a leader in the founding of anthropological science in the US. He was important as an archaeologist who classified and described finds and as an administrator and archaeological sponsor. In fieldwork, he depended on scientific techniques for surveying, excavating, drawing cross-sections of excavations, and plotting finds. He did studies of the mounds of the Midwest US and on the antiquity of humans on the continent, which he believed to predate the end of the last glaciation. In 1891, Putnam began organizing the anthropological section of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. That collection became the basis of Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History. He was the curator of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History following that and in 1903 he went to the University of California, Berkeley, to organize both the new department of anthropology and the anthropological museum. Putnam published more than 400 zoological and anthropological articles, reports, and notes and was also a founder and the editor of the periodical "American Naturalist.
Pyla-Kokkinokremos
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Late Cypriot settlement in south Cyprus, occupied in the late 13th century BC possibly by the Sea Peoples. Massive fortifications were built, but the site was abandoned for Kition (Citium). Ancient Kition was founded by the Mycenaeans in the 13th century BC.
Qermez Dere
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Late Epipalaeolithic to early Aceramic Neolithic site in northern Iraq with seven phases of occupation defined. The lithic industry is similar to those west on the Euphrates River (Mureybet). It is the beginning of documented habitation on the north Mesopotamian plain. Views on the earliest Neolithic in Iraq have undergone radical revisions in the light of discoveries made at Qermez Dere, Nemrik, and Maghzaliyah.
Rancho La Brea
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: La Brea Tar Pits
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Quaternary site (Le Brea Tar Pits) near Los Angeles with very large numbers of vertebrate remains dating c 40,000-11,000BP buried in tar pits (asphalt deposits of ancient tar seeps). The tar pits contain the fossilized skulls and bones of prehistoric animals that became entrapped in the sticky seepage of the pits. The remains of such Pleistocene mammals as imperial mammoth, mastodon, saber-toothed cat, giant ground sloth, and camel have been recovered. There are some artifacts, including manos and wooden spear points.
Rawlinson, General Sir Henry Creswicke (1810-1895)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A British diplomat who was one of a group of scholars whose work on the trilingual inscription at Behistun (Iran) was instrumental in the decipherment of the cuneiform (leading to the decipherment of Old Persian and Akkadian) languages of western Asia. He copied the Behistun inscription, deciphered it, and published the translation of the Persian text in 1851 and of the Babylonian in 1857. Rawlinson also encouraged much archaeological research and excavation in Mesopotamia.
Real Alto
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A village of the Valdivia culture 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.
Recent
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Holocene
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The epoch of geologic time in the late Quaternary following the Pleistocene; referred to as Holocene in several European countries. It is the present geological epoch, which began some 10,000 (bp) years ago (8300 BC). The Recent epoch is marked by rising temperatures throughout the world and the retreat of the ice sheets. During this epoch, agriculture became the common human subsistence practice. During the Recent epoch, Homo sapiens diversified his tool technology, organized his habitat more efficiently, and adapted his way of life. The Recent stage/series includes all deposits younger than the top of either the Wisconsinian stage of the Pleistocene Series in North America and the Würm/Weichsel in Europe.
Recuay
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Huaylas
CATEGORY: culture; site
DEFINITION: Pre-Columbian culture and site near present-day Recuay in the Callejón de Huaylas Valley of the northern highlands of Peru. The Recuay culture dates to the Early Intermediate Period c 200 BC-600 AD and was contemporaneous with the Moche culture on the north coast. Recuay is known for its distinctive pottery which features a type of decoration in three colors (black, red, white) and a style of modeling with small figures of men, jaguars, llamas, and other animals attached to the vessel. The vessels were found in underground galleries and box-shaped tombs. The style, also called Huaylas, shows contact with the Moche and Gallinazo styles. Recuay stone carving (called Aija) is related to that of the Pucará and Tiahuanaco cultures. It is characterized by the stiff blockish quality which is widespread throughout the Peruvian Highlands.
Red Hills
CATEGORY: site; feature
DEFINITION: A local name for the mounds of burned clay, ash, and coarse pottery which dot the coasts of eastern England. They mark the sites at which salt was obtained by artificial evaporation of sea water during the later Iron Age and the Romano-British period.
Redcliff
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Series of fossil cave fillings in a limestone quarry of central Zimbabwe. There are Middle and Later Stone Age assemblages and Iron Age Gokomere pottery.
Regional Development period
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A term used in Ecuadorian archaeology for the period 500 BC-500 AD, when local adaptation led to the proliferation of regional cultures. The continuum Formative, Regional Development, Integration Period has also been applied to neighboring parts of South and Central America. Some of the Ecuadorian coastal variants produced fine pottery, elaborate figurines, and many small art objects. There are hints of Asiatic influence in the cultures of Bahía and Jama-Coaque, which occupied the coastland from La Plata island to Cape Francisco. The period is characterized by changes in socio-political organization and art styles and technology, which gave rise to region-wide rather than purely local cultures.
Reichenau
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Small island in the Untersee, the western arm of Lake Constance (Bodensee) in Baden-Württemberg Land (state), southwestern Germany, known for the Benedictine monastery founded there in 724 and secularized in 1803. It was an important Carolingian and Ottonian period monastery. Reichenau was the artistic and literary center of southwestern Germany during the 9th-11th centuries
Reinecke, Paul (1872-1958)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: German archaeologist who was responsible for many typological studies and is best known for his subdivision of the central European Bronze and Iron ages (with phases denoted by letters). His system involved eight phases: Bronze A to D (Early and Middle Bronze Age) and Hallstatt A to D (Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age). It is still widely used today, although often in modified form. It was largely based on the typology of hoard finds in southern Germany.
Reingraberfeld
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Reihengraberfeld
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A term for a classic form of graveyard found in France, the Low Countries, and West German in the 5th-7th centuries. It is normally found by a river on a south-facing slope, usually some distance from a settlement. Bodies were buried in individual trenches in neat rows (no sarcophagi or coffins). The men were traditionally buried with one or more weapons and the women with their brooches, hairpins, and other furnishings.
Reisner, George Andrew (1867-1942)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: American Egyptologist who set new standards in Egyptian archaeology with his meticulous excavation methods, which were then comparable only with those of the British archaeologist Flinders Petrie. He carried out long-term excavations at Giza, Nag ed-Der, Kerma, and Deir el-Ballas. He directed a campaign in Nubia to survey threatened monuments, and conducted excavations at Samaria in Palestine and in Sudan (Kerma, Meroe, Gebel Barkal). In Egypt, he excavated many tombs (Pyramid of Menkaure, tomb of Hetepheres) and the Valley Temple of Mycerinus at Giza.
Remedello Sotto
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Remedellian
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A village and cemetery in Lombardy, Italy of the Chalcolithic Remedello culture of the Po valley and Veneto in the 3rd millennium BC. Its famous cemetery of 117 tombs is the type site of a Copper Age culture. Skeletons were crouched in trench graves, accompanied by bifacially flaked fling daggers, triangular copper daggers; halberds, axes, and awls in copper, and barbed-and-tanged flint arrowheads. Pottery was scarce and variable. Sherds of beakers have been found associated with this material with a date c 2500 BC.
Remojadas
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Classic Period center with distinctive pottery, dating to the Late Formative and lasting until the Early Postclassic, southeast of El Tajin near Veracruz, Mexico. Best known are the mold-made 'smiling face' figurines and small wheeled animals. The figurines were turned out in incredible quantity for use as burial goods. Ball-game players and warriors are frequent subjects of the figurines, but women and children are also common. Locally available natural outcrops of asphalt were used as paint to highlight some features of the figurines. Examples of wheeled animals have been found as far afield as Nayarit and El Salvador. Further down the Gulf coast plain, the Remojadas tradition of hollow pottery figurines continued to be active in the Late Classic, with a particularly large production of the mysterious smiling figures of dancing boys and girls, which were intended as funerary offerings.
Remote Oceania
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: The small islands of the Pacific that can only be reached by sailing out of sight of land, including all the islands east of a line stretching from the Philippines to the Solomons.
Renaissance
CATEGORY: chronology; culture
DEFINITION: The period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages, conventionally held to have been characterized by a surge of interest in classical learning and values. It was the rebirth of European intellectual curiosity about the natural world and the role of humans in it, originating in the 15th century in Italy. Changing social, political, and economics conditions, as well as rediscovery of Classical texts, were basic to this rebirth.
Repolust Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Palaeolithic cave site on the Mur River in southeast Australia with artifacts and faunal remains of a warm interval. There is an undated assemblage of Lower or Middle Palaeolithic sidescrapers, etc.
Repton
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The church of St. Wystan at Repton in Derbyshire, England with parts of the upstanding masonry belong to the pre-Conquest period. There is an 8th-9th century crypt, the only English example of that date supported on four central columns. Repton is known to be the burial place of the Mercian kings and recent excavations have found evidence of a mausoleum outside the main building, as well as evidence of the Viking encampment of 867.
Republic Groves
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Archaic cemetery in Florida with well-preserved human and animal bone, stone artifacts, and burial goods.
Rhenish ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pottery from Gaul and the Rhineland imported into Britain during the late 2nd century AD and later. It has a thin red paste and a black metallic color coat; some of the vessels are decorated with scrolls or sometimes words in fine white paint. The commonest form is an indented rouletted beaker. Close imitations appear to have been made in Britain in the Nene Valley.
Rhône culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: After the melting of the glaciers, Neolithic cultures established themselves in parts of the Rhône and Rhine valleys. The Rhône culture is the Swiss and east French counterpart of the Early Bronze Age cultures of central Europe. The metalwork and pottery are similar to those of the Straubing group in Bavaria.
Riverton culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Archaic culture near Vincennes, Indiana, dating c 1500-1000 BC. It was a hunting-gathering culture with a variety of stone and bone tools. There were year-round settlements and seasonally occupied bases, hunting, and transient camps.
Rivnac culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Eneolithic culture of Bohemia (now Czech Republic) with small ditched and palisaded sites (Homolka) of the late 3rd millennium BC. The culture is related to the Baden culture to the southeast.
Romano-Saxon ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: This term is used both of wheel-made Roman pottery in coarse or color-coated fabrics with stamped or bossed decoration resembling that on many hand-made Saxon vessels, and of hand-made Saxon pottery imitating Roman forms. It is found mainly in eastern England. The former class belongs to the late 3rd and 4th centuries and is not to be confused with stamped ware of earlier periods such as LONDON and PARISIAN wares.
Rustic Ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: rustic ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A pottery type made principally in northern Britain, a technique occasionally used on flower pots today. Barbotine is applied to the ware and a finger put on the wet clay and lifted off, so the clay has finger forms in ridges and then a point. The term also refers to pottery made by Frenchman Bernard Palissy, who from about 1548 produced large earthenware dishes decorated with naturalistic pictures in high relief. The wares were colored with lead glazes and rustic ware was imitated by potters in France, Portugal, and England.
Rössen culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Röessen culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The successor of western branch of the Neolithic Linear Pottery Culture, with which is has many features in common. Its main distribution was in Rhineland and central and southern Germany, parallel to Lengyel culture in Czechoslovakia and mid-Danube. It is characterized by pottery with complex incised geometric motifs and by sites with trapezoidal longhouses. Radiocarbon dates indicate early 4th millennium BC. It is named after a cemetery site in Halle with 70 burials accompanied by bone and jet necklaces, shaft-hole-stone axes, and some long trapezoidal ones.
Saccopastore
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Palaeolithic site in a quarry near Rome, Italy, which has yielded two human skulls. These are regarded as early or generalized Neanderthals (Neanderthaloid) and are believed to belong to the last Interglacial. The brain sizes of both skulls are smaller than classic Neanderthals. A few Mousterian stone tools were found associated with them.
Saint-Césaire
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Prehistoric rock shelter in Charente-Maritime, France, with Aurignacian, Châtelperronian, and Mousterian layers. A Neanderthal skeleton was found in the Châtelperronian level and dated to c 36,300 BP, perhaps one of the last Neanderthalers.
Saintonge ware
CATEGORY: ceramics; culture
DEFINITION: Major pottery industry in the region of Saintes in western France from the 13th century until recent times. The best-known of these wares are the tall jugs with polychrome glazed decoration which appear to have been traded with western French wine to the English. The jugs exported were only one of the variety of wares made at centers like La Chapelle des Pots, where kilns and workshops have been excavated. Saintonge was originally the territory inhabited by the Santones, a Gallic tribe.
Salamis, Greece
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An island and town of Attikí, Greece, the site of the straits in which the Greeks won a decisive naval victory over the Persians in 480 BC. The invading forces of Xerxes and the Persians were beaten off. The city was occupied form the Bronze Age and chamber tombs of the Early Iron Age had remains of the social elite.
Samarran culture complex
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Cultural phase of east-central Irqu along the Tigris River which dates to the second half of the 6th and early 5th millennium BC, with sites such as Tell es Sawwan and Choga Mami. There are three phases of the complex: Early Samarran with coarse ware decorated by incision, Middle Samarran with painted pottery using naturalistic scenes and geometric designs; and Last Samarran with more geometric painted pottery and no naturalistic scenes. The Samarrans used irrigation agriculture and herding of animals, both important to the developing Mesopotamian civilizations.
Sambor Prei Kuk
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Zhenla
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Early historic center southeast of Angkor, Cambodia, likely the capital of the pre-Angkor Khmer state of Isanapura (7th-8th centuries AD).
Samian ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Terra Sigillata, terra sigillata ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A distinctive Roman pottery produced mainly in south and central Gaul and the Moselle valley in the first century BC and first three centuries AD; later it was made in Britain (Colchester). It was copied from Italian Arretine ware and was itself widely imitated. It is a red ware with a bright glossy surface, plain or elaborately decorated by means of molds. Its second name derives from the stamp with which the pottery frequently added his name to his products. The maker's name was stamped on the pottery, but the decorations, the shape, the fabric, all help in dating and tracing its origin. The shapes come from metal prototypes. The forms, decorations, and stamps have allowed a detailed chronology to be established. The wares provide a valuable means of dating the other archaeological material found with them.
San Lorenzo
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The oldest-known Olmec center, located in Veracruz, Mexico, and revealing information on Olmec origins. It was a large nucleated village flourishing during the Early Formative. The first phase of occupation (Ojochi, c 1800-1650 BC) left no architectural traces, but during the next period (Bajío, 1650-1550 BC) a start was made on the artificial plateau with lateral ridges forming the base of most subsequent structures. The Chicharras phase (1550-1450 BC) foreshadows true Olmec in its pottery, figurines, and perhaps also in stone-carving. The San Lorenzo phase (1450-1100 BC) marks the Olmec climax at the site, whose layout then resembled that of La Venta. The principal features of the site are a large platform mound and a cluster of smaller mounds surrounding what may be the earliest ball court in Mesoamerica; more than 200 house mounds are clustered around these central features. A system of carved stone drains underlying the site is a unique structural feature. Around 900 BC, the stone monuments were mutilated and buried upon the center's collapse. La Venta then came to power. The monuments weighed as much as 44 tons and were carved from basalt from the Cerro Cintepec, a volcanic flow in the Tuxtla Mountains about 50 air miles to the northwest. It is believed that the stones were somehow dragged down to the nearest navigable stream and from there transported on rafts up the Coatzacoalcos River to the San Lorenzo area. The amount of labor involved must have been enormous, indicating a complex social system to ensure the task's completion. Most striking are the colossal heads human portraits on a stupendous scale, the largest of which is 9 feet high. After a short hiatus, the site was reoccupied by a group whose culture still shows late Olmec affinities (Palangana phase, 800-450 BC), but was again abandoned until 900 AD when it was settled by early post-Classic (Villa Alta) people who used plumbate and fine orange pottery. The collapse of San Lorenzo c 1150/1100 BC was abrupt and violent. The population was forced to do its agricultural work well outside the site, which may have contributed to the center's collapse.
Savernake ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Output from a substantial Roman pottery industry focused in northwest Wiltshire, especially the area now known as Savernake Forest. A number of kilns have been excavated and together suggest a nucleated industry comprising many separate workshops. The pottery itself is typically light grey in color, flint-tempered, with clay pellets and grog visible in the fabric. Typical products include jars, bowls, flagons, butt beakers, and platters. Output starts at about the time of the Roman conquest or a little before and continues through into the later 2nd century AD.
Saxon Shore
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Latin Iitus saxonicum
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A system for defending the coasts of southeast England against raiding Saxon pirates, begun between 287-296 AD and was later (367 AD) constituted a separate command under the Count of the Saxon Shore. It consisted of a series of forts at strategic sites from the Wash to Southhampton, usually at the mouth of estuaries which served as harbors for attached naval units. Burgh Castle near Yarmouth, Richborough in Kent, and Porchester near Portsmouth are the best preserved of these forts. The forts were massive stone structures, defended by projecting bastions, and characterized by narrow gateways. It was a comprehensive coastal command developed with communications and administration.
Scarlet Ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of red-and-black painted pottery used in the early 3rd millennium BC in the plains of eastern Mesopotamia, of the Early Dynastic period. It was derived from Jemdet Nasr Ware. Geometrical designs in black on buff, separated by large areas of red paint, became progressively more elaborate, in later stages including animal and human figures in red outlined in black. There are hints of connections with the wares of Baluchistan, especially in the elongated bulls.
Secondary Products Revolution
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: In the Late Neolithic, a series of changes in the culture and subsistence data which has been interpreted as a shift from floodplain horticulture to a greater reliance on domestic livestock, particularly their secondary products.
Seine-Oise-Marne culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: SOM culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic culture of the Paris basin of northeast France c 3400-2800 BC, named after three rivers. It is best known for its megalithic tombs of gallery-grave type (hypogées), semi-subterranean funerary houses, and allées couvertes. The megalithic tombs often include port-hole slabs. In the chalk country of the Marne, rock-cut tombs were similarly made and some have hafted axes or schematized 'goddess' figures carved on their walls. Native artifacts include transverse arrows, antler, daggers, and rough, plain flat-based pots of cylinder and bucket shapes. The pottery type is the coarseware flat-based flower pot. Trade brought copper, Callaïs stone and beads, and Grand Pressigny flint to the region. The culture seems to have a composite origin, and certain elements of the assemblage occur in other - perhaps unrelated - cultures outside the SOM area proper. The SOM type of megalithic tomb is found from Brittany to Belgium, Westphalia, and Sweden, while similar crude pottery occurs in Brittany, west France, Switzerland (Horgen), and Denmark.
Seleucid empire
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Seleucids
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A dynasty founded in Syria by one of the generals of Alexander the Great who was his principal successor in the east. This empire of Greek rulers descended from Seleucus I (c 358-281 BC) who founded the dynasty after the death of his leader. From the 4th-1st centuries BC the Seleucid dynasty ruled over an area extending from Asia Minor to the Indus River, in present-day Pakistan. The Seleucids captured Babylon in 312 BC and its capital was at Seleucia on the Tigris, though Seleucus also had a capital in Antioch (Syria). The Seleucid empire was a mix of Hellenistic and Oriental cultures. The eastern provinces (Asia Minor, Bactria, Parthia) broke away and the Parthians captured the capital in 141 BC, marking the decline of the Seleucids. Reduced to Syria only and torn by internal conflicts, the kingdom was finally annexed by Armenia in 83 BC and then by Rome in 64 BC, which reduced it to the status of a province.
Senwosret, Sesostris, Senusret
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The birth name of three kings of Egypt's Middle Kingdom. With the four kings named Amenemhat, they constitute the majority of the 12th Dynasty (c 1963-1786 BC). They include: Sesostris I (1918-1875 BC), Sesostris II (1844-1837 BC), and Sesostris III (1836-1818 BC) - alternatively listed as: Senusret I Kheperkara (1965-1920 BC), Senusret II Khakheperra (1880-1874 BC), and Senusret III Khakaura (1874-1855 BC).
Seqenenre (c 1560 BC, fl 16th century BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Seqenenre Tao
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: King of Egypt (c 1545 BC) who, according to tradition, faced unreasonable demands from the Hyksos, the west-Semitic conquerors who had overrun much of Egypt in the 17th century BC. This Theban ruler of the 17th Dynasty began the series of campaigns against the Hyksos rulers in the Delta, which were eventually to culminate in the liberation of Egypt by his son Ahmose I (1550-1525 BC), the first ruler of the 18th Dynasty. He was probably assassinated.
Sered'-Macanské vrsky
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Mesolithic dune site near Nitra, Slovakia, which is the type site of the Sered' group. The group is distinguished by geometric microlithic tools.
Severn Valley ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Glevum ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Burnished wares mainly in the form of bowls, jars, and tankards in a color range from creamy-buff to orange-red made at various centers along the Severn. Kiln sites are known at Malvern and Shepton Mallet, Somerset. It was at one time known as Glevum ware, since it was first recognized at Gloucester. It is found all over the Severn Valley and small quantities reached the western part of Hadrian's Wall.
Sevso treasure
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A hoard of Roman silver treasure found in Yugoslavia and Lebanon, named for the owner's inscription on a dish
Shulaveri-Shomu culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Neolithic culture based on two sites on the Kura River in Georgia and Azerbaijan. There was coarse pottery decorated by incision or knobs and small round domestic structures. The culture is dated to mid-6th or early-5th millennia BC.
Shulgi (reigned 2094-2047 BC)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The son and successor of Ur-Nammu, who founded the Ur III dynasty. He gained control over the economy of the empire and extended his holdings up the Tigris River and through the Zagros Mountains. His most important victory was over Elam. The empire collapsed during the reign of Shulgi's third successor. The empire only existed from c 2112-2004.
Sidemi culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Shell Midden culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture of the Vladivostok area of eastern Siberia from the late 2nd millennium BC. The population lived in coastal settlements of semi-subterranean houses, which are associated with shell middens. Characteristic tools were made of polished slate, though small quantities of iron were also used. The area came under strong influence from Manchuria and China, and in the 1st millennium AD it formed part of the Po Hai state.
Single Grave culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Single-Grave Culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Late Neolithic cultures of Scandinavia, northern Germany, and the Low Countries, dated to c 2800-2400 BC. The burial rite was inhumation of a single corpse under or within a round barrow, and sometimes laid in a pit grave or a mortuary house. The burials include the stone battle-ax and corded ware beakers. The Single Grave culture has traditionally been regarded as intrusive in northern Europe because of the contrast with the collective burial in megalithic tombs practiced by the earlier Neolithic TRB people in the same area. It is possible that it developed out of the TRB culture and that the changes in the archaeological record at this time can be explained in terms of changing social systems - more complex social structures and the emergence of elites. The burial mounds are sometimes multi-phase with the sequence of under-grave, bottom-grave, and over-grave.
Siret, Henri (1857-1933) and Siret, Louis (1860-1934)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Belgian amateur archaeologists who worked in the Almeria region of Spain and uncovered Chalcolithic and Bronze Age cultures at such sites as Los Millares, El Argar, and Tabernas.
Solutrean
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Solutrian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture of the Upper Paleolithic period in western Europe, from about 19,000 BC, following the Perigordian and Aurignacian; characterized by the use of projectile points, especially the laurel-leaf blade. From Solutré, a site in central France, it was a short-lived style of toolmaking with particularly fine workmanship. The Solutrean industry, like those of other late Paleolithic big-game hunters, contained a variety of tools such as burins, scrapers, and borers; but blades that were formed in the shape of laurel or willow leaves and shouldered points are the implements that distinguish the Solutrean. It preceded the Magdalenian in parts of France and Spain. At Laugerie-Haute, unifacially chipped leaf-shaped points in the Early Solutrean show the gradual development of bifacial working, a stage dated c 19,000-18,000 BC. The Middle phase is characterized by fine large bifacial points and by the introduction of pressure flaking. In the Later Solutrean, this technique was used to produce slim leaf-shaped projectiles and small single-shouldered points. In southeast Spain this final stage also has barbed and tanged arrowheads. The laurel leaves were typical of Middle Solutrean and willow leaves (shouldered points) were from the Later Solutrean. The bone needle with an eye was invented in this period. Many decorated caves in France can be assigned to this period.
Southeastern Ceremonial Complex
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Southern Cult, Southeastern tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A network of exchange and interaction in the southeastern and midwestern United States from around 1200-1500. 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 worked shell 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.
Spitsyn culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Early Upper Palaeolithic culture on the Don River in European Russia, dating to c 40,000-30,000 bp. Its artifacts include burins, retouched blades and scrapers, bone tools and ornaments.
Sredni Stog culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Early Eneolithic culture of the Dnepr basin of the Ukraine, c late 4th and early 3rd millennia BC with settlements and cemeteries. It preceded the Yamnaya culture (Late Eneolithic) and was important in the domestication of the horse.
Srubnaya culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Srubna culture, Timber Grave culture, Timber-Grave culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Bronze Age culture of the Volga and Don steppes in southern Russia, following the Yamnaya culture. The burials include horse appointments. The Andronovo complex is related to the Timber Grave group in southern Russia; both represent branches of the Indo-Iranian cultural block.
St. Remy ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Fine pottery, often with relief decoration, in a white fabric with a green or yellow (lead) glaze, made at St-Remy-en-Rollat, near Vichy. Small jars, bowls, and flagons were imported into Britain in the 1st century. Imitations were made in Britain up to the mid 2nd century.
Stamford ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: An Anglo-Saxon pottery industry centered around Stamford in Lincolnshire, England, that produced fine glazed ceramics in the 9th-13th centuries. The buff wares included characteristic spouted pitchers and jugs which were much in demand in England and were sometimes traded abroad.
Staré Hradisko
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Late Iron Age oppidum in Moravia, occupied from the mid-2nd century BC and then abandoned a century later. There was manufacturing, including potterymaking in kilns.
Staré Mesto
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Settlement site ("Old Town") in the March Valley of Poland on the right bank of the Vltava dating from the 12th century. A fortified citadel with a stone-and-mortar church and rich graves have been excavated. It was a great industrial center specializing in gold work.
State Historical Preservation Officer
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: SHPO
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The person appointed by the Governor to serve as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Office of Historic preservation and Executive Secretary of the State Historical Resources Commission. The SHPO administers state and federally mandated historic preservation programs under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act.
Stein, Sir Mark Aurel (1862-1943)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British archaeologist and explorer born in Hungary who was a great traveler of central and western Asia (especially Chinese Turkistan), recording an extraordinary number of archaeological sites. He was also Superintendent of the Indian Archaeological Survey (1910-29).
Strelets culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Upper Palaeolithic culture of the Oka-Don Lowland of European Russia, dated to c 40,000-25,000 bp. The earliest assemblages include Middle Palaeolithic scrapers, points, and bifaces. Later assemblages have scrapers, burins, non-stone tools, and art objects. The diagnostic tool is a small triangular bifacial point with concave base.
Strelice
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Small settlement site of the Late Neolithic Lengyel culture in central Moravia, Czechoslovakia and dated to the mid-4th millennium BC. The rich middle Lengyel ritual assemblage included a fired-clay house model showing timber posts and a pitched roof, and the largest group of anthropomorphic figurines in Moravia.
Strettweg
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Hallstatt burial in eastern Austria of the 7th century BC, famous for a miniature bronze wagon which is possibly a cult object. The wagon frame has a group of mounted warriors flanking a much larger naked woman, interpreted as a goddess, holding a bowl above her head.
Stroke-Ornamented Ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Stroke-Ornamented Pottery culture; Stichbandkeramik
CATEGORY: ceramics; culture
DEFINITION: Early / Middle Neolithic culture of west-central Europe, developed directly out of the Linear Pottery culture, c 4000-3800 BC. The pottery has zigzag patterns made by a series of distinct jabs rather than continuous lines. Bohemia, southwest Poland, Bavaria, and central Germany were its locale. The culture had longhouses which were slightly trapezoidal.
Sub-Boreal
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 Holocene chronology (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.
Sue ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Bluish-gray high-fired pottery of the Kofun, Nara, and Heian periods in Japan (5th-14th centuries AD), derived from Kaya pottery of the Old Silla period in Korea. A large number of vessels were made on a mechanical wheel, and fired in a kiln at about 1100 degrees C; the blue-gray color resulting from the oxygen-reduced atmosphere in the kiln towards the end of the firing process. By the 6th century, Sue pottery was mass-produced at many centers, with the emphasis on specialized ceremonial vessels, then on utilitarian pots and dishes for the elite, and finally on storage and cooking pots for the general population. When it was first imported from Korea, it was deposited in mounded tombs of the Kofun period.
Surrey white ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of medieval pottery produced in Surrey from about 1300 AD onwards. Distinctive in having an off-white or buff-colored fabric, often with a patchy green glaze. From the 15th century, however, thick green and yellow glazes were used. The term TUDOR GREEN ware is usually used to describe the products dating to the 16th century. The main forms produced were cooking pots, cauldrons, skillets, pipkins, jugs, jars, and pitchers.
Syuren' I
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Upper Palaeolithic cave site in the Crimea, Ukraine, with elements typical of the Middle Palaeolithic and Aurignacian. It is one of the rare Upper Palaeolithic sites of the Crimea.
TRB culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Funnel Beaker culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Abbreviated name for the Danish Tragterbecker or German Trichterrandbecher culture, alternatively known in English as the Funnel Beaker Culture. It is the first Neolithic culture of northern Europe, found in southern Scandinavia, the Low Countries, northern Germany, and northern Poland, in the later 4th and early 3rd millennium BC. It is characterized by the use of a funnel-necked beaker with globular body. It is thought to represent the acculturation of local Mesolithic communities by contact with the Linear Pottery culture groups further south. Five regional groups have been determined: western group in the Netherlands, sometimes associated with hunebedden (megalithic burial monuments); southern group in Germany; southeastern group in Czechoslovakia; eastern group in Poland; and northern group in Denmark and Sweden. Settlement sites are not well known, but burials are abundant, especially Dysser in Scandinavia and in Kujavian Graves in Poland; passage graves were eventually used. Other artifacts include ground stone axes and battle-axes, and copper tools appear in later phases. The TRB culture is succeeded by - and perhaps developed directly into - the Single Grave culture.
Tagar culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Culture in south Siberia in the region of Minusinsk c 700-200/100 BC. The Bronze Age Karasuk culture was replaced by the Tagar culture, which endured until the 2nd century BC, producing an art of animal motifs related to that of the Scythians of southern European Russia. They also had broad daggers. On the Yenisey River, the Tagar culture was replaced by the Tashtyk culture, dating from the 1st-4th century AD.
Tana ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Early Kitchen ware, Swahili ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pottery of early Swahili communities of the late 1st millennium AD, found from the Lamu Archipelago off the Kenyan coast as far south as Vilanculos Bay in Mozambique, as well as on the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, Comoros, and Madagascar.
Tanutamon (reigned 664-656 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tantamani, Tanwetamani
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Last of the 25th Dynasty pharaohs, successor of Taharqa, who led an invasion of Lower Egypt and captured Memphis. He defeated and killed the Assyrian-backed Saite ruler Nekau I in 664 BC. In 663 BC, the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal drove Tanutamon out, sacking Thebes.
Tarentum
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Colony of ancient Sparta in southeast Italy. It was founded in the late 8th century BC. Excavations have found Mycenaean pottery, tombs of the Archaic period with Greek pottery; and Apulian pottery and terra-cotta figurines produced in the Classical period. Rome put down resistance in Italy and took Tarentum by siege in 272 BC.
Tating ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Distinctive type of ceramic pitcher probably made in the Rhineland during the 8th century AD. Readily recognizable because it was decorated with applied tin foil. Tating ware was widely traded to sites along the North Sea and English Channel coasts and beyond.
Taweret
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Taurt, Thoueris
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: Goddess of ancient Egypt, household deity and protectress of fertility and childbirth, associated also with the nursing of infants. She was depicted as having the head of a hippopotamus standing upright, the tail of a crocodile, and the claws of a lion. Taurt was connected in particular with the goddess Hathor. She was also strongly associated with the inundation of the Nile and received particular worship at Jabal al-Silsila, where rituals were performed for the inundation.
Thericleian ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of decoration of the 5th-3rd centuries BC used on silver, terebinth wood (pistachio), and clay. It is characterized by ribbing and a black color. Therikles, a Corinthian potter, was said to have developed the technique.
Thetford ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Mass-produced wheel-turned late Saxon pottery manufactured in workshops near Thetford in Norfolk, England, from the late 9th century through to the early 12th century. The fabric is hard and sandy, grey to buff in color. The products are mainly cooking pits and jars with limited rouletting and applied thumb-strip decoration.
Three Kingdoms
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: In Korea, the protohistoric kingdoms of Koguryo, Old Silla, and Paekche, which existed independently from c 300-668 AD. In 668, the peninsula was unified under the Silla. The term also refers to the Wei (220-265 AD), Su Han (221-263 AD), and Wu (222-280 AD) in China of the Kingdoms of the Three Kingdoms / Six Dynasties period. It succeeded the Han Dynasty.
Three-Age System
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: three-age sequence, Three Age System
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The division of human prehistory into three successive stages - Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age - based on the main type of material used in tools of the period. The system was first formulated by Christian J. Thomsen in 1819 as a means of classifying the collections in the National Museum of Denmark. The scheme became progressively elaborated by dividing the Stone Age into Old and New, the Palaeolithic and Neolithic. A Middle Stone Age or Mesolithic was later added. The further subdivisions Early, Middle, and Late of the Palaeolithic (Lower, Middle, and Upper) were introduced, and a Copper Age was inserted between New Stone and Bronze. The Ages are only developmental stages and some areas skipped one or more of the stages. At first entirely hypothetical, these divisions were later confirmed by archaeological observations. It established the principle that by classifying artifacts, one could produce a chronological ordering.
Titterington culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Titterington Focus
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A non-ceramic Late Archaic culture of the Midwest, c 2500-1900 BC, with small hunting and processing camps, base settlements, and mortuary sites. The artifacts include bifaces and were not heat-treated.
Togueres
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Flood plain area in Mali, Africa, with material from an agricultural fishing people and occupied c 1000-800 BP (Toguere Galia), c 1000-500 BP (Toguere Dowpil).
Torksey-type ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of late Saxon pottery found in central England and dating to the period AD 850 to 1150. Manufactured using a fast wheel at workshops in the area around Torksey, Lincolnshire.
Torre in Pietra
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Palaeolithic site just outside Rome with an Acheulian (Riss) and a Mousterian level, both with the bones of hunted mammals.
Trebeniste
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Iron Age burial site of the Hallstatt D period, c 6th-5th centuries BC, in Macedonia near Knoplje. The rich graves contained datable Greek imports and the site is the most northerly penetration of Greek goods during that period in lands adjacent to Greece.
Trelleborg
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site in southern Zealand, Denmark, of a well-preserved Viking fortress of c 1000 AD. It is an insular type Viking military camp with a central circular fortification, substantial earth-and-timber bank, and four timber gates. The internal enclosure is divided into four quadrants each containing four boat-shaped longhouses. Trelleborg has a concentric outer defensive bank and an adjoining enclosure and 13 additional buildings between the two enceintes. Trelleborg was used between the mid-10th and early 11th centuries.
Tres Zapotes
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Important Late Preclassic Olmec ceremonial site, located near Tuxtla Mountains in southern Veracruz, Mexico. The site has cut-stone facings on its rectangular pyramid and numerous unevenly scattered earthen mounds. It flourished long after the abandonment of La Venta or San Lorenzo and was partly contemporaneous with Middle Preclassic Olmec florescence. Occupied from 1000-600 BC, the pottery was flat-bottomed and white-rimmed and there were colossal stone heads. Later periods had the increasing presence of Izapan pottery forms and Maya-influenced stelae. The site's most important find is the epi-Olmec Stele C which has the earliest Maya Long Count date yet discovered, 31 BC.
Tressé
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Late Neolithic allée couverte in Ille-et-Vilaine, France. There is a paved chamber roofed by seven capstones and artifacts including coarse ware pottery and blades of Grand Pressigny flint.
Trewhiddle
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site in Cornwall, England, with a hoard of metal objects deposited in the latter part of the 9th century AD. Included were some bronze plaques decorated with Niello-inlaid animal ornament, Anglo-Saxon coins, and a silver chalice ornamented with beaded wire.
Tudor green ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Style of pottery manufactured in southeastern England (mainly in Surrey) in the 16th century AD which has a distinctive rather thick green or yellow glaze over a light colored body.
Tumulus culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tumulus Bronze Age, Tumulus period
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Middle Bronze Age culture of the central Danube region in Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Bavaria, with burials beneath round barrows, dating c 1500-1200 BC. The heartland of the Tumulus culture was Bavaria, Württemberg, and the area previously occupied by the Unetice culture, but distribution extended into north Germany and west as far as Alsace. With the introduction of urnfield burial, the Tumulus culture and the Middle Bronze Age came to an end. It is defined mainly by the dominant burial rite of inhumation beneath a burial mound, as well as a number of characteristic bronze types, found both in the burials and in hoards. It continued earlier trends in ceramics and metalwork, though more elaborate in form and decoration.
Turville-Petre, Francis Adrian Joseph (1901-1942)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: English archaeologist who worked in Palestine, discovering the 'Galilee Skull' in Zuttiyeh Cave, the earliest Hominid skull in the Levant. He also identified the late Palaeolithic Kebaran culture, c 20,000-12,500 BP, in Kebara Cave, Mount Carmel.
Tutankhamun (reigning c1336-1327 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tutankhamen
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A minor Egyptian pharaoh of the late 18th Dynasty who came into great prominence when his tomb in the Valley of Kings at Thebes was found with minimal disturbance by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon in 1922. A son of Amenhotep III, he succeeded the heretic pharaoh Akhenaten. During an undistinguished reign of nine years he began the restoration of the worship of Amen (Amun) and returned the capital to Thebes. His more orthodox successors attempted to obliterate him from memory because of the taint of Aten worship which he apparently never entirely threw off. The tomb, though probably far poorer than those of the greater pharaohs, yielded a remarkable treasure and great detail of the ritual of Egyptian royal burials. The mummy, with a magnificent inlaid gold mask, lay inside three cases - the innermost of pure gold weighing over a ton, the outer two of gilded wood. These were enclosed in a stone sarcophagus within successive shrines also of gilded wood, nearly filling the burial chamber. Three other rooms held chariots, furniture, statues, and other possessions of the king. It took three years to clear and preserve the contents of the wealthy tomb. The discovery stirred the public imagination and opened up a great interest in archaeology.
Tyre
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Sur
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site on the coast of Lebanon of a chief city of the Phoenicians from c 2000 BC. It occupied a small island off the coast with two harbors. It was the parent city of Carthage and flourished until its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar in 574/572 BC after a long siege. Between 538-332 it was ruled by the Achaemenian kings of Persia. Most famous was its siege by Alexander the Great in 332 BC which came about only after a causeway was built to the mainland. After its capture, 10,000 of the inhabitants were put to death, and 30,000 were sold into slavery. Alexander's causeway, which was never removed, converted the island into a peninsula. Excavation has found only the Roman and Byzantine levels; most of the remains of the Phoenician period still lie beneath the present town. It is the site of one of the factories for purple dye Tyrian Purple obtained from murex shell and much prized. Hiram King of Tyre (970-936 BC) was contemporary of Solomon's.
Tz'u-chou ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cizhou
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Large group of Chinese stoneware made in Chihli, Hopei, Honan, and Shansi provinces and decorated in bold designs with contrasting slips and later with enamels. It was produced during the Sung (960-1279), Yuan (1279-1368), and Ming (1368-1644) dynasties. Vases, bottles, and other vessels are decorated with simple brushwork in brown, black, or gray on a white, cream, buff, or turquoise background; the pale background is achieved by applying a coating of slip to the body of the vessel before firing. Bold strokes, curves, splotches, concentric bands, and animals and birds are typical motifs. Another type of ornamentation consists of incisions in the slip coating that reveal the contrasting color of the body underneath.
Ténéré Neolithic
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tenerian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Variant of the so-called Saharan Neolithic complex in the Ténéré Dessert and extends from northeastern Niger into western Chad, Africa, dating from 6500-4500 BP. Chipped stone implements include backed microliths, bifacial projectile points, and discoid knives and the pottery may have connections with contemporary Sudanese Nile valley sites. Rock engravings and rock pictures of animals were also created by the Neolithic (8,000-5,000 BC) inhabitants. A pastoral economy existed as well as hunting; the climatic conditions at the time may have dictated the subsistence. Ténéré is now one of the most forbidding regions of the Sahara, with an extremely hot and dry climate and virtually no plant life. Fossils show that this arid desert was, in the Late Carboniferous Period (320-286 million years ago), a seafloor and later became a humid tropical forest. In the Middle Paleolithic (d 60,000 BC) human habitation is indicated in this region by flint axes, arrowheads, and stone artifacts.
Ullastret
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Early Iron Age town in Girona, Spain, founded in the 6th century BC. It consisted of a hilltop enclosure surrounded by a stone wall with circular towers; inside were stone-built houses, cisterns, paved streets, and a market. Greek pottery and coins are among the artifacts. Ullastret was destroyed by fire c 200 BC.
Unstan ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Style of Neolithic pottery found in the northern part of the British Isles, especially the Hebrides, Western Isles, and Orkney, defined by Stuart Piggott in 1954 on the basis of an assemblage from the chambered tomb of Unstan on Orkney. Including both decorated and undecorated vessels, Unstan ware is diverse in the range of shapes and sizes represented. However, it can be typified by round-bottomed forms either as deep bowls and jars or as shallow bowls with a carinated profile produced by the application of a fillet or cordon of clay. The decoration is generally incised with oblique or horizontal lines, triangles, or a zone of hatched triangles. Dated examples of this ware fall within the period 3500-2800 BC, Unstan ware being slightly earlier than GROOVED WARE in the region.
Upchurch ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Romano-British pottery industry making polished and burnished black and grey wares (e.g. poppy head beakers) in the Upchurch Marshes of Kent in southeastern England.
Upper Republican
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Culture of the central Plains of North America dated to 1000-1450 AD and characterized by cord-roughened pottery and semi-subterranean earth lodges. The people grew corn, beans, and squash and were hunter-gatherers.
Urewe ware
CATEGORY: ceramics; culture
DEFINITION: Characteristic Early Iron Age pottery type of the interlacustrine region of East Africa: southwest Kenya, northwest Tanzania, Rwanda, east Zaire, and south Uganda. It dates from the last centuries BC to the first centuries AD and is the name of a tradition of the Chifumbaze complex. Urewe ware was ancestral to the varied wares of the Early Iron age complex further south. Named after a site in southwest Kenya, Urewe ware's makers were clearly skilled workers of iron.
Valsequillo Reservoir
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site south of Puebla, Mexico, with radiocarbon dates that would be the earliest for man's presence in the New World, c 36,000 BC. A level containing bifacial and stemmed points has been dated 21,800 BC. These dates are not widely accepted.
Verwood ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Products of a medieval and later pottery industry based in the New Forest of southern England.
Veterov culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Early Bronze Age culture of Moravia with a material culture of the Hungarian Early Bronze Age and the Unetice culture of Bohemia.
Volga-Oka culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Mesolithic and Neolithic groups of the Central Russian Plain, related to Forest Neolithic groups of the Baltic. Pottery was adopted by hunter-gatherers who also fished.
Wandjina figure
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of anthropomorphic bichrome or polychrome painting made in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, succeeding the Bradshaw style (c 3000 BC) and persisting to the present. Wandjina takes its name from the ancestor spirits depicted in the paintings. The large white spirit figures are outlined in black and have mouthless, circular faces that are framed in red, rayed halos. The Bradshaw style was a series of bichrome and monochrome figures.
Warendorf
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Migration Period settlement in Westphalia, West Germany, of the 7th-9th centuries. A range of building types is laid out in nucleated groups; other buildings in a typical unit consist of barns and outhouses, stables, octagonal- and hexagonal-shaped silos, haystacks, and a variety of sunken-hut workshops.
Watling Street
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Waetlinga Street
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The most famous of the Roman roads in Britain, running from London northwest via St. Albans (Verulamium) to Wroxeter (Viroconium). It was built in the early years of the Roman occupation of Britain and was one of the great arterial roads of Roman and post-Roman Britain. The name came from a group of Anglo-Saxon settlers who called Verulamium by the name of Waetlingaceaster. This local name passed to the whole of the Roman road by the 9th century.
Weidenreich, Franz (1873-1948)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: German anatomist and physical anthropologist whose contribution was in the reconstruction of prehistoric human remains and work on Peking man (Sinanthropus) and other hominids, especially from materials at Zhoukoudian, China.
Wessex culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Wessex Culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Early Bronze Age culture of southern England with cemeteries of found barrows of special types (bell, disc and saucer barrows and enclosures strangely labeled 'pond barrows') c 2650-1400 BC. It developed from the Beaker tradition and was closely related to the Armorican Tumulus Culture. The Wessex I period, c 2650-2000 BC, is associated with the major rebuilding of Stonehenge (III). There are rich grave goods, including bronze daggers and axes, amber and shale beads and buttons, copper and gold. The pottery is mainly incense cups and the first collared urns. In the Wessex II period, c 1650-1400 BC, cremation replaced inhumation and there are faience beads. Bronze was normal in Wessex II, and contained up to 17 percent tin. They had contacts with Egypt, Mycenae, and Crete. Unfortunately no settlements of the Wessex culture are known.
West Slope ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Pottery of the Hellenistic period decorated with simple designs, found on the west slope of the Athens Acropolis. It evolved from Black-Glossed pottery and was decorated in white and yellow with some incision. Corinth and Crete were also centers of its production.
Whitby-type ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Middle Saxon style of pottery made using a slow-turning potter's wheel at workshops around Whitby in North Yorkshire, England.
Winchester ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Late Saxon (Saxo-Norman) style of earthenware pottery typical of the period AD 850 to 1150 and found widely in southern England and occasionally beyond. The ware is wheel-thrown in a hard sandy fabric usually with a yellowish-red or green-colored glaze. The range of vessel types includes spouted pitchers, cups, bowls, jars, tripod pitchers, and bottles. The last-mentioned appear to be skeumorphic copies of leather prototypes. Winchester ware is often decorated with lines, rouletting, stamped osettes, cordons, or applied strips.
Windermere interstadial
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: Interstadial of the Devensian cold stage which occurred c 13,000-11,000 bp. It consisted of a rapid temperature rise to an initial thermal maximum, followed by a slight temperature decline at 12,000 bp. It stabilized until 11,000 bp, when it fell sharply at the start of the Loch Lomond Stadial. The Windermere interstadial may be correlated with Godwin's Pollen Zone II.
X-ray fluorescence
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, X-ray fluorimetry; XRF; X-ray fluorescence analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A nondestructive physical method used for chemical analyses of solids and liquids. The specimen is irradiated by an intense X-ray beam and the lines in the spectrum of the resulting X-ray fluorescence are diffracted at various angles by a crystal with known lattice spacing; the elements in the specimen are identified by the wavelengths of their spectral lines, and their concentrations are determined by the intensities of these lines. Constituent elements are identified based on the unique wavelengths of fluorescent X-rays they emit and concentrations are estimated on the intensity of the released X-rays. It can be used on pottery, obsidian, glass, and some metal and under most circumstances is totally non-destructive. In general terms the method is more suitable for the analysis of the major elements in a specimen, though trace elements can be determined in some cases. Since automation of recording and sample changing is possible, large numbers of samples can be analyzed at speed, which gives this method a definite advantage over atomic absorption spectrometry and optical emission spectrometry.
Yamnaya culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pit-Grave culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Late Neolithic culture of horizon of the lower Volga and Don steppes, regarded by some as the predecessor to the Corded Ware, Single Grave, or Kurgan culture.
York ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Style of wheel-thrown late Saxon pottery current in the period AD 850-1150, one of a series of regional industries of the period making cooking pots, jars, pitchers, flagons, bottles, jugs, bowls, and dishes. York ware is distinctive hard wheel-thrown quartz-gritted fabric, light red to brown or grey in color.
Yorkshire vase food vessel
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Distinctive early Bronze Age ceramic vessel found mainly in eastern England in association with inhumation burials. Characterized by coarse fabrics made into thick-walled vessels with flat bases, decoration on the shoulder and rim, and often with perforated lugs. Dates for this style of pottery centre on the period 1800-1400 BC.
Zeuxippos ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Byzantine pottery named after the baths of Zeuxippos in Istanbul (then Constantinople), Turkey; dated to 12th-13th centuries AD.
achzib ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A Phoenician, Iron Age II, red slip pottery type consisting primarily of jugs with trefoil mouth-of-mushroom rims red slipped and highly burnished.
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.
activity area
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.
agateware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any pottery that is veined and mottled to resemble agate
aggregate
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: temper, filler
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An inert component such as grog or potter's flint in ceramic bodies (esp. triaxial bodies)
aggregate analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mass analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The analysis of debitage using size as the prime criterion.
agriculture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The cultivation of domesticated crops. The invention of agriculture occurred in the Near East during the Neolithic period (8500-4300 BCE).
albarello
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. albarelli
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A late medieval (15th-18th centuries) Near East, Spanish, and Italian apothecary pottery jar. 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.
alternate retouch
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Retouch that occurs on the dorsal side of one edge and the ventral side of the opposite edge of a flake.
alternating retouch
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Retouch that occurs on an edge of a lithic flake in such a way that it alternates between dorsal and ventral sides from one end to the other of the edge.
amphitheatre
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.
aperture
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A generic term for a wall opening that cannot be described more specificially.
aperture pattern
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Any open space or pattern of open spaces between the portions of solid matter on pollens that can be used to distinguish pollen classes.
arboreal
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Concerning trees. In pollen analysis, arboreal pollen types are distinguished from shrub pollen and herbaceous pollen.
arboreal pollen
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Pollen from trees.
archaeoculture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The totality of past human culture; an extinct group's learned behavior, cognition, and emotion.
archaeological culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The constantly recurring artifacts or group of assemblages that represent or are typical of a specific ancient culture at a particular time and place. The term describes the maximum grouping of all assemblages that represent the sum of the human activities carried out within a culture.
archaeological reconnaissance
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeological reconnaissance
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A systematic method of attempting to locate, identify, and record the distribution of archaeological sites on the ground by looking at areas' contrasts in geography and environment.
archaeological record
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeological record
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The surviving physical remains of past human activities, which are sought, recovered, analyzed, preserved, and described by archaeologists in an attempt to reconstruct the past.
area
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.
area excavation
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 prehistoric settlement patterns. Area excavation 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 grid system. 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.
arena
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.
aureus
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A gold coin that was a unit of currency in the Roman Empire between 30 be and ad 310
autocorrelation
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.
barbed wire
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Strong wire with barbs at regular intervals used to prevent passage
barrel
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A cylindrical container, often of wood, that holds liquids
barrel urn
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bucket urn
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of large middle Bronze Age pot found within the overall repertoire of the Deverel-Rimbury ceramic tradition 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.
barrel-vault
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A semi-cylindrical roof, used especially for lids of Old Kingdom sarcophagi and which may have been used for mastaba superstructures.
bas-relief
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.
bedding trench
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A trench or slot dug into the ground to receive the foundations of walls or into which timber is laid so wall posts can be inserted securely.
bedrock feature
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A feature constructed into bedrock that does not fit any other feature type.
bichrome ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Pottery having a two-color design or decoration.
bifacial core
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A core that has had flakes removed from multiple faces; may be mistaken for a large biface blank.
bifacial retouch
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Retouch flaking that occurs on both ventral and dorsal sides of an edge.
biosphere
CATEGORY: flora; fauna
DEFINITION: The regions of the earth's crust and atmosphere that are occupied by living organisms; also, all of the earth's living organisms interacting with the physical environment.
bipolar reduction
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Producing lithic flakes and debris by placing a core on an anvil and striking it from above with a large hammer to shatter it
birefringence
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: The difference between the indices of refraction of the fast ray and slow ray as light passes through an anisotropic mineral, causing the velocities of the two light components, oscillating at right angles to one another, to differ.
black-and-red ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: black and red ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Any Indian pottery with black rims and interior and red on the outside, due to firing in the inverted position, which was made beginning in the Iron Age. Characteristic forms include shallow dishes and deeper bowls. It first appeared on late sites of the Indus civilization and was a standard feature of the Banas culture. This ware has been found throughout much of the Indian peninsula with dates of the later 2nd and early 1st millennium BC. In the first millennium it became widespread in association with iron and megalithic monuments. In the Ganges Valley it post-dates ochre-colored pottery and generally precedes painted gray ware.
black-burnished ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: black burnished ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A standard range of culinary vessel-forms manufactured in two different fabrics and widely imitated. BB1 (black-burnished ware Category 1), was black, gritty, hand-made, mainly in Dorset, and widely distributed from c. AD 120 to the late 4th century AD. BB2 (black-burnished ware Category 2) was greyer and finer, with a silvery finish, wheel-thrown in the Thames Estuary area, and widely exported from c. AD 140 to the mid 3rd century AD.
black-figure
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: black-figure ware; black-figured (adj.)
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of Greek pottery that originated in Corinth c 700 BC and was popular until red-figure pottery, its inverse, began c 530 BC. This style consisted of pottery with one or more bands of human and animal figures are silhouetted in black against the tan or red ground. The red color is probably taken when the pot is fired. The delineation of the figures was often heightened by the use of incised lines and the addition of white or purple coloring. The figures and ornamentation were drawn on the natural clay surface of a vase in glossy black pigment; the finishing details were incised into the black. The first significant use of the black-figure technique was on the Proto- Corinthian style pottery developed in Corinth in the first half of the 7th century BC. The Corinthian painter's primary ornamental device was the animal frieze. The Athenians, who began to use the technique at the end of the 7th century BC, retained the Corinthian use of animal friezes for decoration until c 550 BC, when the great Attic painters developed narrative scene decoration and perfected the black-figure style. There were also studios producing black-figure ware in Sparta and eastern Greece.
blade core
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flint or stone core from which blades have been struck. Such cores are typically conical or pyramidal in shape; to produce regular even blades a certain degree of preparation is needed as well as periodic rejuvenation. Both these activities produce their own distinctive debitage.
bone measurement
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.
bore sample
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: core sample
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In dendrochronology, a straw-sized core removed from the bark to the pith of a tree to note and count each tree ring.
bored stone
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A rounded stone of various sizes with a bored hole in the middle, found in central and southern Africa and dating back 40,000 years. Some were used as weights on digging sticks.
borer
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flint tool for piercing holes.
breadfruit
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.
break
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
breastplate
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A piece of armor covering the chest
breccia
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A deposit of angular composite stone fragments held together by a matrix of natural cement, such as sap, lime, or a calcium-charged water. Its occurrence indicates a previous cold phase in the climate, since the rock is detached either by frost or alternating heat and cold. Many caves occupied by early man, e.g. Dordogne in southwest France, have layers of breccia crammed with bones, tools, art objects. This conglomerate used by the ancient peoples in architecture and sculpture. It is the opposite of conglomerate, in which the fragments are rounded and waterworn. Osseous or bone breccia is breccia in which fossil bones are found.
brick-relief
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A technique of sculpture in which subjects are put in bas-relief on a brick surface or wall.
brownware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A brown-glazed earthenware; also, pottery that fires to a brown or reddish color.
budares
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Large ceramic griddles used to toast manioc flour in Central and South America
bulbar depression
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A depression left from the bulb of percussion when a blade or flake is struck from a core.
burren adze
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: burin adze, non-tula adze, flake scraper
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A term sometimes used by Australian archaeologists for flake scrapers, hafted for woodworking, which are not Tula adzes
cadastre
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cadaster
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A public record of the extent, value, and ownership of land within a district for purposes of taxation.
calcareous clay
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any clay composed of or containing or resembling calcium carbonate or calcite or chalk
calcareous concretion
CATEGORY: artifact; geology
DEFINITION: A rounded mass of mineral matter occurring in sandstone, clay, etc. - often in concentric layers around a nucleus.
carved tree
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: dendroglyph
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A tree with designs, often geometric, cut into the bark. Carved trees occur in Australia and in the Chatham Islands.
central limit theorem
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: Any of several fundamental theorems of probability and statistics that state the conditions under which the distribution of a sum of independent random variables is approximated by the normal distribution, especially one which is much applied in sampling and which states that the distribution of a mean of a sample from a population with finite variance is approximated by the normal distribution as the number in the sample becomes large.
ceremonial center
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In the prehistoric New World, a complex of buildings that served as the focus of religious and governmental activities, differing from a village or town. These buildings were used at prescribed times by the peoples lived in a dispersed areas. Permanent residence was restricted to very few people on these sites, usually the elite and their retainers. Sites such as Teotihuacan, Tikal, and Monte Alban, have been interpreted as ceremonial centers. However, subsequent fieldwork beyond the major architectural features has shown that many sites were directly associated with large populations and thus challenges the original premise of their being ceremonial centers. Other more valid examples may be La Venta and San Lorenzo.
ceremonial object
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any artifact associated with a ritual or ceremony or that functions only in a symbolic sense, as opposed to a tool or other practical device.
charred
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: charring
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Converted to charcoal or carbon usually by heat, organic materials may be preserved. Partial burning reduces the materials to a carbon-rich residue. In the case of wood, this residue is charcoal. Many organic materials may not retain their structure and become an amorphous residue. Charred remains are preserved on archaeological sites because carbon is relatively inert in the soil and the microorganisms which would normally break down organic material are unable to make use of this form of carbon. Charred remains are a particularly good material for radiocarbon dating.
cheese press
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of small, flat-bottomed ceramic dish with holes and concentric ridges in the bottom, sometimes with a flat matching lid. Presumed to have been used for making a moist cottage-type cheese.
chi-square test
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A statistical test that is used to measure the significant differences between sets of observed values and those which would be expected and determine whether the deviation from what was expected is more than random chance would suggest. It can be used for many different archaeological observations, such as examining the existence of an association between settlement distribution and distinct ecological zones in a region, or between different fabrics and decorative styles in pottery production. From the data, the number expected in each zone on a random distribution can be calculated by proportion, and the deviation between expectation and observation measured. It is then possible to assess whether the observed data could have arisen by chance, or whether some other factor is affecting it. Karl Pearson developed the test.
circumpolar cultures
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arctic Stone Age
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A group of related cultures in the most northerly (Arctic) regions of Europe, including Siberia, and North America. These peoples lived north of the region where settled farming life was possible. Although contemporary with Neolithic and Bronze Age communities farther south, the circumpolar tribes remained semi-nomadic hunters and gatherers. They adopted pottery from the farming peoples and their trade connections, making egg-shaped bowls with pitted or comb-stamped decoration. Characteristic tools were hunting and woodworking equipment, often of ground slate. Rock carvings and artifacts attest the use of skin boats, skis, and sledges which suggest long-distance trade - especially of amber. The sites and cemeteries are usually close to water. Fishing was an important activity and they exploited food sources such as elk, reindeer, and seal.
cire perdue
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: lost wax process
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A metalworking technique used to cast figurines and statues. A model of the object to be cast is made in wax, solid if the object is to be of solid metal, or made around a clay core if it is to be hollow. The wax model is covered with clay, and the whole is heated to allow the wax to melt and run off; this leaves a space into which molten metal is poured. After it has cooled the outside clay is knocked off, the inner core may be removed, and remaining is a metal version of the original wax model. The technique is common on every continent except Australia and dates from the 3rd millennium BC, having gone through few changes since then. Since the 'mold' cannot be used again, each version of an object made using this technique is unique, and the process is more time consuming than making a complex mold and re-using it. However, more detail can be accomplished with the cire perdue process.
classic order of architecture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: order of architecture
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The Grecian Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian and the Roman Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite orders as defined by the particular type of column and entablature in one basic unit. A column consists of a shaft together with its base and its capital. The column supports a section of an entablature, which constitutes the upper horizontal part of a classical building and is itself composed of (from bottom to top) an architrave, frieze, and cornice. The form of the capital is the most distinguishing characteristic of a particular order. The five major orders are: Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan, and Composite.
claymore
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A two edged broadsword.
closure
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any item used to seal a glass container, including both glass and nonglass items such as metal and ceramic bottle caps.
clouded ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A ware developed shortly after the introduction of creamware. Thomas Astbury and Thomas Whieldon mixed ground flints into the clay that gave white-salt glaze when high fired and a cream-colored ware when fired at lower temperatures. After preliminary firing the ware could be dipped in a clear glaze. In about 1750 tea wares were colored under the glaze which produced the ware known as clouded ware. The colors used for this were purple brown yellow green and gray. England c.1750-1775.
coarse ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A classification of sandy, rough pottery including castor ware, new forest ware, and rustic ware.
cobble reduction technique
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A stone-working technique in which the craftsman works a chunk of stone to produce it from a number of potentially useful pieces.
cognitive concept of culture
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A model of culture consisting of the set of meanings (categories and relationships) people construct for making sense of their lives. It is used in archaeological interpretation for both synchronic and diachronic descriptions of cultural meaning.
coil fracture
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A smooth-edged circumferential breakage characteristic of coiled vessels in which the coils were poorly bonded, resulting in planes of weakness
collared urn
CATEGORY: artifact; ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of urn used in the British Early Bronze Age, also called an 'overhanging rim urn'. It has a developed rim which may be straight, convex, or slightly concave in profile. Decoration is normally on the rim or the upper half of the vessel. Collared urns often contained cremation burials, though some have been found in domestic contexts.
color-coated ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A way of referring to many kinds of pottery in the Greek and Roman periods which were given an extra surface coating, usually slightly glossy and most often red. Research suggests that the coating was made from fine clay particles suspended in water with a peptizing agent added.
compressed stratigraphy
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Deposition of artifacts and features that has not occurred in discernable layers or is lacking in significant depth overall.
compression
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The stress of a crushing force applied to a material
compression ring
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Any faint line on the dorsal side of a flake, indicating the direction of force.
conchoidal fracture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: conchoidal
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A characteristic shell-like fracture pattern that occurs in siliceous rocks, such as obsidian, chert, and flint. The fracture has smooth shell-like convexities and concavities.
concretion
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A mass of mineral matter found generally in rock of a composition different from its own and produced by deposition from aqueous solution in the rock. It is usually formed around a nucleus that may consist of archaeological debris. Concretions form under certain conditions and the study of their characteristics may aid reconstruction of the environmental conditions of the time.
conoidal theory of flint fracture
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The theory that ideally a cone will be punched out of a piece of flint when it is struck with sufficient force.
constructed feature
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A feature deliberately built to provide a setting for one or more activities, such as a house, storeroom, or burial chamber.
contained remains
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: All portable objects found in the strata of a site, whether organic or inorganic, natural or manmade.
corded ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Corded Ware
CATEGORY: ceramics; culture
DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic pottery ware decorated with twisted cord ornament found over much of north and central Europe in the 2nd half of the 3rd millennium BC. The commonest shapes are the beaker and the globular amphora. The ware is always associated with primitive agriculture, the stone battle ax, and usually with single burial under a small barrow or kurgan. The ware may derive from Denmark, central Germany (Saxo-Thuringia), eastern Poland, or the Ukraine. The culture received its name from the characteristic pottery. Some groups also had metal artifacts. There is some evidence that Corded Ware people had domesticated horses and wheeled vehicles, and they are sometimes interpreted as nomadic groups - possibly Indo-European speaking - who spread across northern Europe from the east. Closely related are the Globular Amphora and Funnel Beaker cultures.
core
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: coring
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A black or gray zone in the interior cross-section of a vessel wall, usually associated with incomplete removal of carbonaceous matter from the clay during relatively low-temperature firing; not to be confused with black coring at high temperatures, which results from trapped gases and may lead to bloating
core
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: nucleus
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A piece of stone used as a blank from which flakes or blades were removed by prehistoric toolmakers. Usually it was the by-product of toolmaking, but it may also have been shaped and modified to serve as an implement in its own right. An object, such as a hand-ax, chopper, or scraper made in this way is a core tool. Cores were most often produced when hit by a pebble, antler, or bone hammer.
core borer
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A hollow tubelike instrument used to collect samples of soils, pollens, and other materials from below the surface. The cylinder of soil etc. that is collected is called the core. The core is undisturbed and the sediment contacts, soil boundaries, and structures are intact and can be described accurately.
core rejuvenation flake
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: core tablet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A roughly round slightly wedge-shaped flake of flint with the remains of flake beds around the outside edge. Such flakes are the product of extending the life of a core that has become uneven or difficult to work but which still has the potential to yield further blades.
core sampling
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: coring
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A subsurface detection technique using a hollow metal tube driven into the ground to lift a column of earth for stratigraphic study. This technique is used in underground or undersea exploration. A core sample is a roughly cylindrical piece of subsurface material removed by a special drill and brought to the surface for examination. Such a sample reveals the properties of underground rock, such as its porosity and permeability and allows investigation of the features of a given strata.
core tool
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: core, core-tool
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A stone tool, such as a hand-ax, chopper, or scraper, formed by chipping away flakes from a core. These tools, often large and relatively heavy, were characteristic of Paleolithic the culture. They were made by using a pebble, antler, or bone hammer.
core-formed glass
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of glass made by twisting melted glass around a core, often with different colors. This technique was used especially in the Classical and Hellenistic periods of the eastern Mediterranean.
coregency
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term applied to the periods during which two rulers were simultaneously in power, usually with an overlap of several years.
correlation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The use of various methods, often multiple methods, to demonstrate the equivalency of stratigraphic units. This term refers to the relation of one stratigraphical unit to another, by petrological, osteological, lithographic, cultural, chronological, or palaeontological means. For example, stratigraphic units may be correlated using palaeontological criteria, absolute dating methods, relative dating methods, cross-dating methods, and position relative to the glacial-interglacial cycle by examining physical and biological attributes. Correlation of fossil inclusions is a principle of stratigraphy: that strata may be correlated based on the sequence and uniqueness of their floral and faunal content.
costrel
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of medieval pottery flask, of which the majority were made of leather and have not survived. Merovingian and Carolingian pottery costrels tend to be roughly round in shape, with a slight neck for a stopper. The best-known is the Zelzate costrel, made in the 'Badorf-type' industries of the central Rhineland, which contained a Viking-period hoard dating to 870.
creamware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Earthenware having a cream-colored glaze.
creaser
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flat edged blade used in leatherworking
cremation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The practice of burning the dead. The practice of cremation on open fires was introduced to the Western world by the Greeks as early as 1000 BC. There is much variation in the disposal of the ashes, one distinctive practice being to place them in a cinerary urn for burial. Primary cremation is the burning of the deceased on a pyre in the grave. Secondary cremation is the practice of removing the remains of the deceased from the pyre to a grave. The cremation pit is a depression in which the remains of a cremation are buried.
crepido
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In Roman antiquity, a kind of base or stand upon which another object rests, and by analogy the embankment of a quay, a dike, or jetty. Also used for the raised causeway for foot passengers at the side of a road or street (as in Pompeii) or for the platforms or stages around a great altar.
crescent
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Great Basin Transverse point
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A crescent-shaped bifacially flaked stone tool generally restricted to the Paleo-Indian period and almost always found in association with extinct Pleistocene lakes. They were possibly used for hunting large shorebirds.
cresset
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A metal basket, mounted on a pole, in which oil or pitch was burned for illumination.
cresset lamp
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An open lamp which was filled with oil then a wick floated on the oil.
crest
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A distinctive device representing a family or corporate body, borne above the shield of a coat of arms (originally as worn on a helmet) or separately reproduced, for example on writing paper
crested blade
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flint blade with negative impressions of removals on one side of the dorsal surface, creating a crest. These constitute part of a previously worked striking platform or result from preparing the flaked surface on a core before detaching flakes or blades.
cross-over immunoelectrophoresis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: CIEP
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: One of the several techniques used in protein residue analysis.
cross-sectional trenches
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: slot trenches
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A type of excavation in which a set of superimposed strata are cut across by deep trenches that expose the history of deposition.
crossed retouch
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Retouch that is so steep on a lithic edge that it forms almost a 90-degree angle, so it is barely visible from dorsal or ventral sides.
cultural relativism
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The belief that all cultures are unique and thus can only be evaluated in their own terms, and that cross-cultural comparisons and generalizations are invalid or inappropriate.
cultural resource management
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: CRM
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: A professional area of archaeology that focuses on the protection of archaeological sites from urban development, energy exploration, or natural processes. It is the legally mandated conservation, protection, and management of sites and artifacts as a means of protecting the past. Safeguarding the archaeological heritage is done through the protection of sites and salvage archaeology (rescue archaeology). This branch of archaeology is also concerned with developing policies and action in regard to the preservation and use of cultural resources.
cultural resources
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Sites, structures, landscapes, and objects of some importance to a culture or community for scientific, traditional, religious, or other reasons. The remains that compose our nonrenewable heritage from the past, including both the archaeological and the historical records.
cultural revival
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Reacceptance of cultural forms or ideas that had fallen into disuse.
culture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In a general sense, the whole way of life of man as a species. In a more specific usage, it is the learned behavior, social customs, ideas, and technology characteristic of a certain people or civilization at a particular time or over a period of time (such as Eskimo culture). In this sense, a culture is a group of people whose total activities define what they represent and are transmitted to others in the group by social (mainly linguistic) - as opposed to genetic - means. Culture includes the production of ideas, artifacts, and institutions. In a more restricted sense (as in the term 'blade culture') culture signifies the artifacts or tool- and implement-making tradition of a people or a stage of development. Similar or related assemblages found in several sites within a defined area during the same time period, considered to represent the activities of one specific group of people is a culture. Cultures are often named for a particular site or an artifact. The word 'culture' in archaeology means a collection of archaeologically observable data; it is defined as the regularly occurring assemblage of associated artifacts and practices, such as pottery, house-types, metalwork, and burial rites, and regarded in this sense as the physical expression of a particular social group. This usage is especially associated with Gordon Childe, who popularized this concept as a means of analyzing prehistoric material. Thus the Bandkeramik culture of Neolithic Europe is an hypothesized social group characterized by its use of a particular type of pottery, houses, etc. The term, in reference to the specific elements of material culture, is most often used in the Old World.
culture area
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 culture area is also a geographic area in which one culture prevailed at a given time. This concept was devised as a means of organizing museum data. Examples are the Southwest, the Northwest Coast.
culture center
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The center of a culture area, so designated because it best represents the essential qualities of the culture.
culture change
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any significant modification in the essential structure and elements of a culture over a period of time.
culture complex
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: An integrated group of cultural traits functioning as a distinct system within a culture area.
culture core
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Technological, organizational, and ideological features most directly related to meeting the most important material needs of a society.
culture history
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A history of the cultures that inhabited a particular location or region.
culture sequence
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The order in which cultures or assemblages from different cultures follow one another. In successive levels of a stratified site, the oldest is usually at the lowest level.
culture-historical approach
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: culture history, culture historical approach, culture-historical theory
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An approach to archaeological interpretation which uses the procedure of the traditional historian; the organization of the archaeological record into a basic sequence of events in time and space. This approach assumes that artifacts can be used to build a generalized picture of human culture and descriptive models in time and space, and that these can be interpreted. It is the reconstruction of the prehistoric past based on temporal and spatial syntheses of data and the application of general descriptive models usually derived from a normative concept of culture and induction. Culture history is the chronological arrangement of the time phases and events of a particular culture.
cumulative feature
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.
cumulative frequency distribution
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ogive
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A graph with an interval or ratio scale on the x-axis and proportion or percentage on the y-axis ranging from 0 to 1.0 or 100%.
cumulative recording
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Excavating and recording a trench in three dimensions, using both horizontal and vertical observations to reconstruct events at the site.
currency bar
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A strip of iron about 1 1/2 inches wide and 2-3 feet long and pinched up at one end, which served as a unit of currency in Britain during the late Iron Age, before the introduction of coins by the Belgae. The bars may have originated as sword blanks or roughouts. Their distribution was mainly in Dorset and the Cotswolds, with some in the Severn basin.
cyclic agriculture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term describing a hypothetical process that may have existed among early agriculturists. Before the use of fertilizers and other efficient farming methods, cultivated land around a settlement lost its fertility over time and eventually becomes unproductive unless it is allowed to lie fallow for a while. An early farming site might have been exploited for a decade, and then left while the inhabitants founded a new settlement not too far away, farming that area for a decade before moving on again. Its use is suspected in certain areas, such as in Eastern Europe.
de facto refuse
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Artifacts left behind when a settlement or activity area is abandoned.
deep sea core
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: deep sea core dating, deep-sea core
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 series dating, 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 archaeological material 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.
delftware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The term for tin-glazed earthenware made in Britain from the 16th century, named after the Dutch town of Delft. The main centers for delftware were London, Bristol, Liverpool, and Glasgow, but the factories went out of business with the introduction of creamware.
descent reckoning
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The rules by which people in a particular culture determine membership in defined kin groups.
design structure
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The layout or arrangement of a design; the way the surface area to be decorated is conceptualized - whether subdivided and bounded - and the arrangement of elements and motifs within that layout
difference-of-means test
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: Statistical test comparing two sample means to see if a sample probably came from a given population or if two samples probably came from the same population.
difference-of-proportions test
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: Statistical test comparing two sample proportions to see if a sample probably came from a given population or if two samples probably came from the same population.
differential access to key resources
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Situation in which different individuals or groups within a society do not share equal access to necessary resources.
differential fluxgate gradiometer
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: fluxgate gradiometer, differential fluxgate magnetometer, magnetometer
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A magnetic surveying instrument used in subsurface detection that records changes in the intensity of a magnetic field. Readings can be obtained continually rather than as individual spot measurements of a proton magnetometer. However, it is an expensive alternative to the proton gradiometer. Its electronics involve two detectors with mu-metal strips of a staff which is carried vertically; an initial pure sine-wave voltage is applied, and the difference in intensities observed between the two detectors corresponds to disturbance in the magnetic field cause by baked clay or buried features. These differences are displayed on the instrument's meter.
differential heat analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: differential thermal analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A remote sensing technique in which the variability in heat absorption and dissemination is used to plot hidden archaeological features. In analytical chemistry, this technique is used for identifying and quantitatively analyzing the chemical composition of substances by observing the thermal behavior of a sample as it is heated.
differential reproduction
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The measure of fitness calculated by the relative rates at which different individuals produce live offspring.
differentiated data cluster
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of clustering data that are heterogeneous and patterned in regard to two or more activities reflective of age or sex differences; e.g., a house floor with cooking utensils and hunting weapons in primary context.
differentiation rule
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: A set of differentiation rules determining the range and types of distinctions that can be recorded for each attribute.
direct acquisition
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A form of trade in which a person or group procures raw material directly from a source area or trades for it or finished products
direct age determination
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The determination of the age of archaeological data by analysis of an artifact, ecofact, or feature.
direct dating
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The use of a dating technique directly on the object being discussed, such as the charcoal from a fireplace or a piece of obsidian.
direct historical analogy
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Analogy using historical records or historical ethnographic data.
direct historical approach
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: DHA
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The technique of working backwards in time, from the present into the past, from historic sites of known age into earlier times. This method of chronological ordering is based on the comparison of historically documented or contemporary artifacts with those recovered from archaeological contexts. An analogy or homology is made using historical records or historical ethnographic data for the site and the surrounding region. This technique was developed by W.D. Strong in the 1930s.
direct measurement
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: Measurement that can be compared with a standard scale, as on a ruler or Munsell chart.
direct percussion
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: free-hand percussion
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A technique used in the manufacture of chipped-stone artifacts in which flakes are produced by striking a core with another stone, a hammerstone, or by striking the core against a fixed stone or anvil in order to dislodge a flake. The method is less precise in its results than indirect percussion.
direct retouch
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Retouch that occurs on an edge of a lithic flake, visible only in dorsal view.
direction line
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any line in the nested series of curved lines drawn in each flake scar to indicate, by their placement, the direction of the blow or pressure that produced that scar when the force detached a piece of the stone
directional filter
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: A type of image filter used in digital image processing to identify linear features that possess a particular orientation. It allows a data surface of any chosen vertical scale to be "illuminated" from various directions and elevations to make subtle anomalies visible mimicking the effects of low sunlight on earthworks with the flexibility of computer manipulation.
discrete
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: Scales or measurements that can only take certain prescribed values with no values between them.
disk-core method
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A technique in the making of stone tools in which a core is trimmed to a distinctive disk shape and flakes are then chipped off for tools.
dressed edge
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Trimmed and smoothed edge
dressed stone
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A building stone that has been shaped - either by flaking, pecking, groove-and-snapping, or grinding.
dry screening
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The sieving of excavated soil and sediment through (usually) 1/4-inch mesh, to recover artifacts not found in excavation.
ear flare
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.
eared
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: broad-eared, long-eared
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Having ears or earlike projections
earthenware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Ceramics fired at temperatures high enough for vitrification to begin.
eggshell ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: eggshell glaze
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Small, delicate beakers, bowls, or jars, usually in white or cream, but occasionally black. The name refers to the sides of the vessels which are typically 2mm or less thick. Imported to Britain in the 1st century AD and imitated locally.
electron spin resonance dating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ESR
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A dating method using the residual effects of electrons' changing energy levels under natural irradiation of alpha, beta, and gamma rays. The technique enables trapped electrons within bone and shell to be measured without the heating that thermoluminescence requires; the number of trapped electrons indicates the age of the specimen. There are a number of factors that may cause errors with the method. Precision is difficult to estimate and varies with the type of sample.
empire
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A union of dispersed territories, colonies, states, or unrelated peoples under one sovereign rule
energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: XRF
CATEGORY: geology (and metallurgy)
DEFINITION: A technique that analyzes obsidian's trace elements to "fingerprint" an artifact and trace to its geological source.
entablature
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In architecture, the horizontal moldings and bands supported by and located immediately above the columns of Classical buildings. The term also refers to similar structural supports in non-Classical buildings. The entablature is usually divided into three sections: the lowest band, or architrave, which originally took the form of a simple beam running from support to support; the central band, or frieze, consisting of an unmolded strip with or without ornament; the top band, or cornice, constructed from a series of moldings that project from the edge of the frieze. The styles of the entablature are different for the main orders of architecture: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. In the Doric order, it comprises the architrave above which were placed the alternating triglyphs and metopes. In the Ionic order, a continuous frieze was placed above the architrave.
entrepôt
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: An intermediary trading town or city, often a port, strategically situated for the redistribution of goods from a variety of sources.
epi-Paleolithic cultures
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Epipalaeolithic, Epipaleolithic
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The final Upper Palaeolithic industries that emerged at the end of the final glaciation; the continuation of Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) cultures after the end of the last Ice Age, followed by Neolithic. In the Levant, it was c 20,000-10,000 BP.
eraillure scar
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: The small flake scar on the dorsal side of a flake next to the platform. It is the result of rebounding force during percussion flaking.
erectine
CATEGORY: culture; fauna
DEFINITION: A term used for a now-extinct member of the genus Homo, including Homo erectus, who lived in Africa, Asia, and Europe during the Lower and Middle Pleistocene. Erectines walked upright, may have used fire, and are often associated with the Acheulean industries, especially with hand axes.
ethnographic present
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: That point in time when a traditional culture came into contact with individuals from literate cultures, and was documented by them.
excavation director
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The person with overall oversight responsibility for an excavation.
false color infra-red photography
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: false-color satellite imagery
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique of aerial photography used in archaeology, especially in the Americas. Infra-red film reacts to the varying water absorption qualities of different features, thus allowing changes in vegetation, the occurrence of buried features filled with disturbed soil, the presence of otherwise invisible roadways to be detected. The false color refers to the accentuation of specific features in red, pink, yellow, blue, etc., which emphasize the contrasts but which are not the true colors of the features. Also, this technique often achieves greater resolution than conventional photography because the wavelengths are unaffected by atmospheric haze.
false relief
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A form of excised or impressed decoration on pottery in which two rows of inward pointing triangles are cut from, or impressed on, the pot surface. The zigzag running between them then appears to be in relief, though it is actually no higher than the surface of the pot.
feature
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 burial area 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.
feature interface
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: Unit of stratification resulting from the destruction of pre-existing stratification, rather than by the deposition of soils.
feature record
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A comprehensive and detailed summary of how a given feature was excavated, what was found in or associated with it, and an interpretation of what the feature represents.
fecundity figure
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of offering bearer depicted on Egyptian temple walls which is mostly seen as personifications of geographical areas, the inundation, or abstract concepts. The male figures have heavy pendulous breasts and bulging stomachs, their fatness symbolizing the abundance they bring with them.
fiber-tempered pottery
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: fiber tempering
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Any clay pottery to which grass or root fibers have been added as a tempering material. This ware is the earliest pottery in Caribbean South America and is the oldest pottery in the United States, making its appearance in Archaic shell mounds in Georgia and Florida before 2500 BC.
filigree
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: filagree, filigraine
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A technique of decorating jewelry with gold, silver, or electrum soldered onto metalwork. It consists of creating a fine open metalwork pattern out of wire which is soldered together and to the main body of the piece. The wire can be plain or decorative. For goldwork, the solder was normally a gold-copper alloy (82% gold, 18% copper), which had a lower melting point than pure gold. The word is derived from the Italian 'filigrana' which is 'filum' and 'granum' or 'granular network'. It was first developed in the Near East and was often used in combination with granulation. The technique had been mastered by the Early Dynastic Sumerian craftsmen of the 3rd millennium BC and fine jewelry decorated in this way appears in the Royal Tombs of Ur. Anglo-Saxon and Germanic metalworkers greatly developed the technique.
fineware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Good-quality pottery that has a fine textured fabric, relatively thin walls, and is usually tableware or for personal use. Fineware may be decorated, but above all stands out within the overall repertoire of material used by a community in being of superior quality.
fire
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The natural product of combustion, seen in the form of flame and smoke. The use of fire was a major landmark in man's adaptation to the cooler environment of the earth; it is often considered the single most important discovery by early man. Man probably knew how to make fire between 500,000-800,000 years ago in Europe or Asia. The ability to make fire efficiently and at will rather than merely catching it from natural sources may date from less than 200,000 years ago. Fire is first found on occupation sites of the Lower Palaeolithic period, approximately half a million years ago, although true hearths do not become typical until the penultimate glacial period, perhaps 200,000 years ago. Hearths and thick deposits of burnt material are typical of the last glacial period, by which time it is likely that the two main methods of making fire (the friction method of rubbing or rotating sticks to generate heat and the percussion method of striking sparks with iron and flint) were both in use.
fire brick
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A brick made of clay which is difficult to fuse, used in boilers and fireplaces.
fire hardening
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The exposure of a wooden implement to fire in order to dry out the wood but not char it. The tool becomes harder and more useful.
fire hearth
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flat piece of wood upon which a stick (drill) is twisted vigorously to start a fire.
fire mark
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A wall plate used by insurance companies to identify insured property.
fire-cracked rock
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: fire-broken rock
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Rocks which have been cracked or broken by the heat of a fire. A common element in aboriginal campsite debris.
fire-dog
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: andiron
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An instrument consisting of an iron bar held horizontally at one end by an upright support, used to ensure the proper burning of a fire. A pair of these was put at each side of the hearth or fireplace to support burning wood; the end of a log could rest on the crosspiece, which was supported by two uprights. Decorative iron examples come from La Tene Iron Age contexts, mostly in graves. In a kitchen fireplace, the upright support might hold a rack in front for the spit to turn in.
fire-effected
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: fire-cracked
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Of stone, showing the effects of having been heated, as in cooking.
fire-setting
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: The softening or cracking of the working face of a lode of quarrying stone, to facilitate excavation, by exposing it to a wood fire built against it. The fire shattered the outcrops of rock.
firebox
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The combustion chamber of a kiln, typically beneath the ware chamber
fireclay
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A heat-resistant clay
firecloud
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A darkened area on a vessel's surface resulting from uneven firing and the deposit of carbon in the pores during firing, characteristic of firings in which fuel and vessels are in immediate proximity
fired clay
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Any clay to which heat is applied.
firepit
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A pit, usually basin-shaped, in which localized burning occurred and construction was expedient and minimal.
fireplace
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: fire-place, hearth
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A place for building a fire, especially a semiopen space with a chimney; housing for an open fire within a dwelling. They are used for heating and cooking. Very early medieval fireplaces had semicircular backs and hoods and there was no chimney; the smoke passed out through an opening in the wall. By the 11th century, chimneys were added. Early fireplaces were made of stone; later, brick became the more popular material.
firestarter
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: firestarter kit
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A wood tool having a base with drilled holes and a stick that is rubbed through the holes in the base to produce enough friction to give a spark.
flared
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Having a gradual increase in width
flat rimmed ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of late Bronze Age pottery found in northern and northwestern parts of the British Isles having a rather coarse fabric, generally dark color, and distinctive unornamented flat-topped rims.
florescence
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In archaeology, what is considered the peak period of a culture - the state or period of flourishing - particularly in material aspects such as art and architecture.
flying buttress
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: arch-buttress
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: An arched supporting pier outside a building, which takes most of the weight of the roof, allowing the walls have windows rather than being used only to support the roof. It is a prop or stay, usually held by a part of the arch, springing from a support and abutting against the structure.
food-producing revolution
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Neolithic Revolution
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term used to describe the development of farming and animal husbandry and the beginning of settled village life. The first indications of the beginning of the revolution from food-gathering to food producing are found in approximately 9000 BC. The change is associated with great improvements in making stone tools. Digging sticks and the first crude plows, stone sickles, querns that ground grain by friction between two stones and irrigation techniques for keeping the ground watered and fertile - all these became well established in the great subtropical river valleys of Egypt and Mesopotamia before 3000 BC. The coming of the Iron Age to southern Africa almost 2,000 years ago brought with it the food-producing revolution. Agriculture combined with pastoralism supported much larger settled communities than had been possible and enabled more complex social and political organizations to develop.
forensic archaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: A subset of archaeology applying archaeological and bioarchaeological knowledge in legal proceedings
foreshaft
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: fore-shaft
CATEGORY: artifact; lithics
DEFINITION: The front part of something, as of a projectile point.
forest clearance
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: The cutting down of natural vegetation before the planting of crops or grazing of domestic animals. Early on, clearings would be produced by the slash and burn method. Evidence for this process is provided by pollen analysis, in the form of a sharp decline in the proportion of tree pollen, corresponding with a rise in the pollen of grasses, including the cereals, and weeds of cultivation, especially plantains and goosefoots.
forum ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A distinctive green glazed pottery found in the 19th-century excavations of the Forum in Rome. This ware has since been found on may sites close to Rome, and in settlements of all types in southern Etruria. Typically there are pitchers, often with incised wavy-line decoration around the body of the pot. The ware belongs to the late 6th or early 7th century, a phase of Late Roman activity.
fossiles directeurs
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: type fossils
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Classes of lithic artifacts associated with specific time periods and archaeological cultures of the European Paleolithic.
fracture mechanics
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Characterization of crack growth (fatigue crack growth, sustained load fracture and dynamic crack growth). There are also two chapters dealing with mechanisms of fracture and the ways in which actual material behavior influences the fracture mechanics characterization of crack growth.
fracture-based
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Special chipping technique that knocked off long thin slivers of flint from point edges, usually done on base bottom, occasionally on lower shoulders
frequency difference
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of defining variation in associated artifacts by differences in their rate of distribution at various sites.
frequency seriation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A relative age determination technique in which artifacts or other archaeological data are chronologically ordered by ranking their relative frequencies of appearance. It is based on the idea that an artifact type first steadily grows in popularity and then steadily declines.
fresco
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A method of painting on the plastered surface of a wall or ceiling before the plaster has dried so that the colors become incorporated in it. The term refers to any painting done on freshly laid wet plaster and left to dry with the plaster; the painting is part of the wall. It was usually executed with mineral and earthly pigments upon a freshly laid ground of stucco. Lime was found in nearly all the colors of Pompeii, which is part of fresco.
fretwork
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pottery technique in which the wall of the vessel is pierced through to make the decoration; used extensively with puzzle jugs from 17th century
geomagnetic reversal
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: An alternation of the Earth's magnetic polarity in geologic time. It is an aspect of archaeomagnetism especially relevant to the dating of the Lower Paleolithic, involving complete reversals in the earth's magnetic field.
georeferenced
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: Pertaining to data that is input to a GIS database using a common mapping reference (e.g. UTM grid) so that the data can be spatially analyzed
georeferencing
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: computer rectification
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The process of assigning map coordinates to image data and resampling the pixels of the image to conform to the map projection grid.
gold-figured
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A Greek technique of decorating silver plate with gold foil, especially on cups, phiale, and kantharos. Detail is incised in the gold foil and the decoration is similar to the red-figured technique used particularly on Athenian pottery.
grain impression
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A cereal grain which has been incorporated by chance in an artifact, such as pottery, bricks, daub, etc. The impression left in the clay may be clear enough for identification to be possible and thus provide useful evidence on the crops in cultivation at the time. On firing, or as a result of decomposition of time, the organic material is lost but its outline remains, often in great detail. Casts of these impressions are taken using latex rubber, and the original plant or animal may be identified. Before the widespread sieving and flotation of deposits began to yield large amounts of environmental evidence, these grain impressions were an important method of getting information on farming practices.
grass-tempered ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pottery embodying chopped grass or straw in its fabric as a tempering agent. Grass-tempered wares are well represented amongst pagan Saxon communities of the immediate post-Roman period in southern and eastern England; indeed the presence of such pottery is the basis upon which sites of the period are recognized.
gray literature
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Archaeological reports with limited distribution and no peer review, especially cultural resource management reports.
gray ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: grayware, grey ware, greyware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: The typical household and ceremonial ceramic ware of Monte Albán and the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, made from a fine gray paste in the middle Pre-Classic period. Grey ware occurs throughout Monte Albán's occupation, with some variations in shape and ornamentation. In the latter periods in the Oaxaca sequence, after the collapse of Monte Albán, Mixtec grey ware was distributed through the Valley. The Zapotecs' merge with the Mixtecs is suggested by the correlation between the distribution of the Mixtec ceramics in Zapotec households, c 1250-1521 AD.
grayware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A usually undecorated ware of gray body.
greave
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.
green
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Referring to formed but unfired ceramic articles or their properties - and used as greenware, green strength, etc.
greenstone
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A loosely applied term for a variety of metamorphosed basic igneous rocks of a green color: serpentine, olivine, jade, jadeite, nephrite, chloromelanite, etc. The general term is useful, though, since ancient man used these materials interchangeably, mainly for high quality or ceremonial polished stone axes, figures, and other objects. Jade was particularly popular in China and Middle America, considered to have magical properties. Greenstone was important in southeastern Australia and in New Zealand. The green color comes from the minerals chlorite, hornblende, or epidote.
greenware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: greenware state
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Unfired pottery.
ground reconnaissance
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A collective name for a variety of methods for identifying archaeological sites, including consultation of documentary sources, place-name evidence, local folklore and legend, but primarily the visual inspection from groundwork of a potential site.
hachure
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: In mapmaking and drawing, short lines laid down in a pattern to indicate direction of slope on the survey of an earthwork. The hachure points downhill and its length is related to the steepness of the slope.
half-timbered
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Constructed of wood framing with spaces filled with masonry, or by stone, rubble, or mud brick.
hammer-dressed
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hammering (n.)
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Having the surface (of a stone) roughly shaped or faced with a hammer
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.
heat treating
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: The process of baking a flint or chert nodule at a high temperature (350-500 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30-50 hours in order to increase the workability of the stone
heat treatment
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A process in which the flintknapping properties of stone tools' raw materials are improved by subjecting the material to heat
hill figure
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A type of monument found on the chalk downs of southern Britain where a human or horse figure, is cut into the hillside and stands out white against the green turf. The oldest figure, the White Horse of Uffington, may date to the Late Iron Age. The Cerne Abbas giant in Dorset is of the Roman period, and the Long Man of Wilmington may be either Roman or Saxon. All the others are of more recent date, and are usually commemorative or purely ornamental than religious in nature.
hinge fracture
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A feature of a struck flint flake which occurs either through an error in striking technique or because of the conchoidal nature of a particular piece of flint. Instead of coming to a sharp, thin end, the struck flake ends in a rounded, smooth, turned-out edge.
historical record
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The written texts produced by past human societies that are sought, recovered, studied, and interpreted by historians to reconstruct the past.
hollow ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Cups, jugs, bowls, etc; serving dishes and accessories, esp. of silver, that are hollow or concave; hollow articles of cookware or crockery
horizontal exposure
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: horizontal (area) excavation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The excavation of a site to reveal its horizontal extent. Such an excavation is designed to uncover large areas of a site, especially settlement layouts.
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.
horncore
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: horn core
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: The hard, bony inner portion of animal horn; the bony projections from the skull which support horns. The horn itself forms a tight sheath around the core, which is removed for horn working. Some archaeological sites have large accumulations of horn cores related to a horn-working industry.
horreum
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: granary; pl. horrea
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A Roman granary; a large building placed next to the principia in forts. The roof tiles were heavy to prevent fire and the floor were raised to allow ventilation and prevent entry by rodents. The walls were strengthened by buttresses to prevent collapse. A space in front of the doors allowed carts to load or unload at the door. Their large size and frequency in the Empire testify to their importance. Extensive examples remain at Ostia.
horsehoof core
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A steep-edged, often large, domed core with flat based striking platforms, heavily step-flanked around their margins. Both very large and smaller varieties are found commonly on Pleistocene sites in most areas of Australia and on some mid-Holocene sites and they are considered characteristic of the Australian Core Tool and Scraper tradition. They were chopping tools mainly used in wood-working. The step-flaking could have resulted from repeated striking to remove flakes.
horticulture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Cultivating particular plants; a stage in food production before agriculture.
hunter-gatherer
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A way of life in which subsistence is based on the hunting of animals and the collection of wild plants rather than settled agriculture. It is a collective term for the members of small-scale mobile (to be near seasonally available wild foods) or semi-sedentary societies and the organizational structure is based on bands with strong kinship ties. This way of life is believed to have lasted for over 3 million years during the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods. It survived down to recent times over considerable areas: Australia until the Europeans, South Africa until the Portuguese and Bantu, America until the Europeans settled, and Siberia.
ice core
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any boring taken from the Arctic and Antarctic polar ice caps, containing layers of compacted ice, useful for the reconstruction of paleoenvironments and paleoclimatology and as a method of absolute dating. Continuous cores, sometimes taken to the bedrock below, allow the sampling of an ice sheet through its entire history of accumulation. Because there is no melting, the layered structure of the ice preserves a continuous record of snow accumulation and chemistry, air temperature and chemistry, and fallout from volcanic, terrestrial, marine, cosmic, and man-made sources. Actual samples of ancient atmospheres are trapped in air bubbles within the ice. This record extends back more than 300,000 years.
ice-free corridor
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: An area that was never glaciated, located between the Cordilleran and Laurentide glacial systems in North America. The corridor runs down the eastern slope of the Rockies. It provided access to the continent's interior at the end of the Pleistocene.
imbrex
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A Latin term used to describe a semi-cylindrical tile used to cover the flanges of two adjoining tegulae. A roof-ridge tile, semi-circular in cross-section.
impact fracture
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A breakage of the distal tip of a projectile which is characterized by a missing portion of the tip and an elongate fracture scar extending along one face of the blade. Usually occurring during impact when a point was thrown or shot.
impressed decoration
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: impressing; impressed pottery culture
CATEGORY: ceramics; artifact
DEFINITION: A type of pottery decoration produced by pressing something into the surface of the clay when still soft. Stamped decoration is a special form of this, in which a stick or bone is previously carved to give the impression its design. Intermediate in form are the impressions of natural objects like bird bones or serrated sea shells. There are a number of cultures which made the pottery with impressed designs.
impressing
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: impressed decoration, impressed finger-tipping, impression, impressed (adj.)
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of pottery decoration produced by pressing something into the surface of the clay when still soft. Stamped decoration is a special form of this, in which a stick or bone is previously carved to give the impression its design. Intermediate in form are the impressions of natural objects like bird bones or serrated sea shells. There are a number of cultures which made the pottery with impressed designs.
indigenous remains
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Artifacts or ecofacts that were created only shortly before the deposit in which they were found.
indirect age determination
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: indirect dating
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The determination of the age of archaeological data by association with a matrix or an object of known age. When object A is found clearly associated with object B, whose date is known, the date of B is given to A.
indirect measurement
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.
indirect percussion
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A technique of stone-tool manufacture in which flakes are removed from a flint core in a way which causes less wasteful shatter of the material than direct percussion. The hammer or hammerstone does not strike the flint but rather a wood, antler, or bone punch, usually with a prepared edge, so that the manufacture of flakes is more controlled.
inference
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A determination arrived at by reasoning.
infiltrated remains
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Artifacts or ecofacts that were created after the deposit in which they were found, but worked their way into it without necessarily leaving any obvious trace of their infiltration.
inflorescence
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: The flowering part of a plant.
infrared absorption spectrometry
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: infra-red absorption spectrometry
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique used to identify mineral and chemical composition artifacts, either to determine their nature or for identification of their source. A small sample is taken from the object and is ground finely before being subjected to infrared radiation. Constituent atoms in the specimen vibrate at characteristic frequencies; if the frequency is the same as that of the radiation, the radiation will be absorbed, while if frequencies do not match, the radiation will pass through the sample. A measurement of the amount of absorption at each wavelength leads to the identification of the minerals and chemical compounds present. Though the method can be used for both inorganic and organic materials, it tends to be used alongside X-ray diffraction for inorganic substances, where it is more sensitive to poorly crystallized minerals. It is most useful for organic materials such as amber, as the organic compounds in the amber absorb different wavelengths of infrared radiation passed through them.
infrared linescan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: IRLS
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Imagery that results from equipment that scans from horizon to horizon to detect and record actual temperature differences (thermal prospection) on continuous videotape.
infrared photography
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique of aerial photography for detection and recording on film of infrared radiation reflected from the sun. Direct infrared-recording aerial photography shows up ground features of differential infrared reflection but similar light reflection and cuts through haze and mist.
intensive agriculture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Field crop production by means of the annual preparation of fields intended for cultivation on a more or less permanent basis facilitated by use of the plow and other machinery, draft animals, fertilizers (anciently often animal and human fetal matter), irrigation, water storage technologies, and the like.
interaction sphere
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any regional or interregional exchange system, e.g. the Hopewell interaction sphere.
interpretation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A stage in archaeological research design at which the results of analyses are synthesized and attempts made to explain their meaning, allowing a reconstruction of the past.
interpretive archaeology
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Post-processual archaeology using coherence of data and context in an attempt to understand the meaning of archaeological evidence, as distinct from both the more extreme relativist, post-structural archaeology and processual archaeology.
interpretive theory
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any theory that says ancient thoughts, beliefs, motivations, and feelings may sometimes be recovered from the archaeological record.
inverse retouch
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Retouch that occurs on an edge of a lithic flake visible only in the ventral view.
iron-making, direct process
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: The technique of smelting iron ore in a furnace with charcoal and limestone to produce a spongy, low-carbon form of iron known as a bloom. This ductile material can be forged into tools and weapons.
iron-making, indirect process
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: The technique of smelting iron ore in a furnace at a very high temperature to yield a molten, high-carbon form of iron. The high-carbon content makes it too brittle for most direct uses, so it must undergo a secondary process, oxidization, to make it more ductile. It can then be forged into weapons and tools. The indirect process of iron-making was developed in China early in the first millennium BC. The Chinese made iron artifacts, heating blooms in a fire and hammering the red-hot metal to produce the desired objects; iron made in this way is known as wrought iron.
isochrestic style
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A style of tool-making representing the maker's particular choices among alternatives in a particular cultural context.
isotopic replacement
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A chemical process which creates inaccuracies in radiocarbon/radiometric dating. An isotope within a sample is exchanged with an isotope of the same element that is a different age. This can occur in fossil shells whose C14 isotope in the calcium carbonate may be replaced during recrystallization by different carbon isotopes dissolved in the surrounding groundwater.
kiln furniture
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The constituent parts of a kiln: fire bar, kiln bar, kiln lining, kiln packing, kiln spacer,saggar.
kitchen-garden agriculture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A kitchen garden in which plants (as vegetables or herbs) for use in the kitchen are cultivated. Cultivation of garden and tree crops in plots next to dwellings was important to the Maya. Clear areas near residential Maya mounds may be kitchen gardens.
kore
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. korai
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of freestanding statue of a maiden - the female counterpart of the kouros, or standing youth - that appeared with the beginning of Greek monumental sculpture in about 660 BC and remained to the end of the Archaic period in about 500 BC. It evolved from a highly stylized form to a more naturalistic one. The statue was usually draped, carved from marble, and painted in its original form. These are often dedications in sanctuaries and some are found in funeral contexts. Important series were in the temple of Hera on Samos and on the Acropolis in Athens.
krepidoma
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The term for the base or foundation of a Classical building, often stepped.
labret
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: labrum
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A lip plug or ornament inserted in an incision in the lower lip, often made of shell, bone, ivory, metal, stone, wood, or pottery. Sometimes a succession would be worn, each larger than the predecessor. Labrets indicated the eminence of the wearer, e.g. women of high rank of the northwest coast of North America. Although styles vary and labrets were particularly popular in Mesoamerica, they occur in artifact inventories from the Arctic to the Andies.
lacquer ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Ornate wooden domestic and funerary vessels common in China from the Shang Dynasty (14th century BC) onwards, manufactured by repeatedly coating a wooden or fabric pre-form with lacquer in order to build up a rich shiny surface.
landscape signature
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: The material remains of human activities across the landscape.
laurel-leaf point
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: laurel-leaf blade
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A distinctive long, thin leaf-shaped Solutrean flake tool made with delicate workmanship. The largest was found from Volgu, France. It was made during the Upper Palaeolithic in Europe.
law of cross-cutting relationships
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A principle of stratigraphy that says a feature that cuts across or into a bed or stratum must be younger than that bed or stratum.
legionary ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Distinctive types of pottery in use by the legions in Britain especially in the mid 1st century AD, when local products were found to be inadequate. These wares were peculiar to each legion and have been identified at Wroxeter, Lincoln, York, and Caerleon, but there has only been one production centre identified, at Holt, Chester, where there was a works depot for tile-making.
level record
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Written record completed for each level in each excavation unit, providing detailed information on how a given level was excavated and what was found in it.
ligature
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A printed or written character consisting of two or more letters or characters joined together. Two or more signs joined as one - ff, fi, ffi are examples of phonographic ligature. The signs for percent and for fractions are logographic ligatures and the sign & was once a xenographic ligature.
limited-area reconnaissance
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of comprehensively inquiring about a site, supported by actual substantiation of claims that sites exist by checking the ground.
linear regression analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A statistical procedure for determining the relationship between two variables. It has many applications in archaeology, as in the study of variations in population or the size of clay-pipe stems through time, or the relationship between the quantity of an item and the distance from its source. One variable (e.g. time or distance) is regarded as independent, while the second is dependent on it; from a set of know observations, it is possible to estimate the relationship between the two. Thus, given the population figures for different times in a region, it would be possible to predict the population for any other date. The method assumes that there is a linear relationship between the variables, and uses only one variable to explain all the variation in the other; these can be serious limitations.
literature review
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A written account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers.
livre de beurre
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Distinctive blade cores of Grand Pressigny (France) flint which are yellow and resemble slabs of butter.
lusterware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: luster pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Pottery decorated by applying to the glaze metallic compounds which become iridescent metallic films during firing.
macrobotanical remains
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Fragments of plant tissue observable with the naked eye.
macrofloral remains
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: macrobotanical remains
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Those plant remains from archaeological sites that are visible to the naked eye, primarily seeds and charcoal.
magnetic reversal
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A change in the magnetic direction of the Earth. It was discovered that volcanic lava flows, which like kilns and fired clay record the magnetism at the time they were hot, retained measurable magnetization in a reversed direction. Over the last 4 million years, magnetic direction changed at least 10 times. It switched to normal, as we know it, about 700,000 years ago. The direction of the dipole component reverses, on an average, about every 300,000 to 1,000,000 years. This reversal is very sudden on a geologic time scale, apparently taking about 5,000 years. The time between reversals is highly variable, sometimes occurring in less than 40,000 years and at other times remaining steady for as long as 35,000,000 years. No regularities or periodicities have yet been discovered in the pattern of reversals. A long interval of one polarity may be followed by a short interval of opposite polarity. These reversals have proved an important dating aid to archaeology.
manufacture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The second stage of behavioral processes, in which raw materials are modified to produce artifacts.
marbled ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pottery patterned with veins or streaks or color resembling marble
material culture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The artifacts and ecofacts used by a group to cope with their physical and social environment. Material culture includes the buildings, tools, and other artifacts that constitute the material remains of a former society - its technology and artifacts combined. Material culture thus embraces folk architecture, folk arts, and folk crafts. For example, the construction of houses, the design and decoration of buildings and utensils, and the performance of home industries, according to traditional styles and methods, make up material culture. The distinction is made between those aspects of culture that appear as physical objects, and those aspects which are nonmaterial. It is the major source of evidence for archaeology.
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.
measurement
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: An observation made by reference to a standardized scale.
megalithic culture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In India, an Iron Age culture of the south from the 1st millennium BC or earlier which lasted into the early 1st millennium AD. The grave forms include urn burials and various cist, pit, and rock-cut graves. Stone alignments are also associated and graves generally contain burnished black-and-red ware, iron tools, weapons, horse and household equipment.
microblade core
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The nucleus from which micro-blades were manufactured. Usually a small barrel or conical shaped stone artifact with a flat top and one or more fluted surfaces left as scars from the removal of the microblades.
microfloral remains
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: microbotanical remains
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Those plant remains from archaeological sites that are visible only with the aid of magnification, primarily pollen and phytoliths. The term is also applied to any small or strictly localized flora, as of a microenvironment.
microstructure
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The arrangement of phases of a material; in a ceramic, the internal arrangement of crystalline and amorphous materials, pores, and boundaries between them
middle-range research
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Middle Range Theory, middle-range theory
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A set of frameworks or theories that allow the construction of accurate statements of past behavior based on the analysis of the contemporary archaeological record. It applies to any investigation aimed at linking the static data from the archaeological record with the dynamic processes that formed it. The frameworks link the archaeological record and the original activities that produced that record, allowing archaeologists to make inferences about past human behavior. It is considered by some to be the key to a scientific understanding of the archaeological record.
millefiore
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: millefiori
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of multicolored glass and the technique which creates it - literally meaning 'a thousand flowers'. One millefiore method is to take a cane of glass, encase it with several layers of glass of different colors, and then heat the whole and roll it on a corrugated surface, thus compressing the colors at certain points and producing a rod with a flowerlike section. Small slices can be cut off this rod and inlaid into the object to be decorated. Another method is to lay thin glass rods of different colors into a pattern, fuse them together, draw them out, and cut in slices in the same way. The effect is mosaic. The technique was developed by Anglo-Saxon glass- and metal-workers. Some of the finest examples of the millefiore technique can be seen adorning the Sutton Hoo discoveries - the brilliant reds and blues on the purse lid and shoulder clasps.
miniature cup
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A generic term for a range of small ceramic vessels accompanying Bronze Age cremation burials in the British Isles during the 2nd millennium BC.
mocha ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A pottery ware of the late 18th through the early 20th centuries, ornamented with colored glaze worked into branchlike patterns by drops of a diffusing agent applied while the glaze is still wet.
monumental architecture
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Large buildings such as temples, palaces, and pyramids, readily identifiable in the archaeological record and assume to have been built by means of the collective labor of many people.
mores
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Stronger norms than folkways, generally accepted by members of a group without question, embodying the fundamental moral views of a group. Mores are of such central importance to a group that violators usually receive severe punishment for their infraction.
mortuary enclosure
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Any structure made of earth, stone, or wood, used for the storage of bodies prior to their collective burial. Remains of such enclosures are sometimes found under barrows.
mound architecture
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The use of elevated mounds of earth or stone as the foundation for buildings, platforms, temples, and pyramids, which were often made of adobe (mudbrick).
multidirectional core
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A core that has had flakes removed from two or more directions.
murex
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: A mainly tropical marine snails of the family Muricidae (subclass Prosobranchia of the class Gastropoda); the elongated or heavy shell is elaborately spined or frilled. Found in the Mediterranean, the seashell which provided the purple dye for which the Phoenicians were famous (royal Tyrian purple). It also was used on the painted pottery of the Minoans.
nearest-neighbor analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: nearest-neighbor statistic
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of analyzing the extent to which two-dimensionally located points are randomly distributed; a measure of the relationship between a cluster of points in a pattern based on the expected value and the observed value. The statistic equals observed value divided by expected value. This method of analyzing the degree of dispersion in a distribution pattern was first developed by plant ecologists studying the concentration of certain species. A nearest-neighbor index (usually denoted by the symbol R), is calculated from the ratio of the average observed distance from each point in the pattern to its nearest neighbor, to the average distance expected if the pattern were randomly distributed, which depends solely on the density of the pattern being studied. The index R varies from 0.00 for a totally clustered pattern through 1.00 for a random distribution to a maximum of 2.15 for a completely regularly spaced pattern. The index is influenced by the size of the study area chosen; it is therefore essential to select a relevant framework for the distribution being studied. With any boundary, however, it is possible for the index to be distorted by the 'boundary effect' to give a figure closer to the maximum than would be justified; this arises because the nearest neighbors of points near to the boundary may in fact lie beyond the boundary and hence not be properly counted, thus increasing the figure for the observed mean distance. It is also essential that the points in the pattern being analyzed are of the same date and similar function, and that the pattern should be complete. The index R describes only a part of the total pattern and can serve as a useful basis for asking more detailed questions about the factors that underlie the observed pattern. The technique has been useful to archaeologists studying the distribution of sites over a landscape and their relation to each other.
nonarboreal pollen
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Pollen from nontree plants, such as sedges and grasses.
nuclear area
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.
ochre
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ocher
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Soft varieties of iron oxide (hematite, limonite, goethite)which were ground and used with other materials in prehistory to make pigment. Ochre occurs naturally and was much used for coloring matter, as in cave art, pottery painting, and personal decoration. Red ochre was certainly used ceremonially to give an impression of life to the corpse during funerary rites. There are many records from the Upper Palaeolithic onwards of ochre staining of skeletons. It was mixed with earth, clay, blood, or grease to make the paint. Ochre was used as crayons or powder in Aurignacian period for paintings on walls of caves or on bone or stone artifacts. It was mainly yellow, brown, black, orange, and red (hematite).
off-site area
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Any site with low densities of artifacts.
open-area excavation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A type of excavation in which large horizontal areas are opened, esp. where single-period deposits lie close to the surface.
opposing pressure flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: In finishing blade edges, pressure flakes were removed from each face opposite of each other.
optical square
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A surveying instrument, used for setting-out right angles on the ground.
opus reticulatum
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A Roman construction technique consisting of blocks which are laid on a concrete core so that the edges are placed on a diagonal and produce a crisscross pattern. It is a technical term used by Vitruvius c 30 BC to describe the diamond pattern of square stones that was often used as a decorative facing to an inner rough concrete core. Opus reticulatum came into vogue in the 1st century BC and remained until the time of Hadrian (AD 117). The construction was like that of opus incertum but the pieces of stone were pyramid-shaped with square bases set diagonally in rows and wedged into the concrete walls.
ore
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A mineral or mineral aggregate containing a prized constituent, usually a metal, for which it is mined and worked.
organic residue analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Use of chemicals to extract and identify traces of plant and animal materials from pottery.
orrery
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A model showing the movement of the planets around the sun.
oxidizing atmosphere
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A term used in relation to pottery technology, describing certain firing conditions involving a gaseous atmosphere in which an oxidation reaction (the oxidation of solids) occurs. If a kiln is being fired with good, dry fuel and with plenty of draft, the carbon in the fuel is converted into carbon dioxide, and there is oxygen in the atmosphere. This is the oxidizing atmosphere which causes pottery to be fired to a red or orange color whether it has a slip or not. The opposite phenomenon, a reducing atmosphere, produces black pottery. Much pottery, however, varies in color over its surface caused by changing conditions during the firing process.
paleoenvironmental reconstruction
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: palaeoenvironmental reconstruction
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The determination of the prehistoric environment of an archaeological site, using the methodologies of geology, botany, palynology, and archaeozoology. The paleoenvironment is the ancient environment.
pan-grave culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pan-grave culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Material culture of a group of semi-nomadic Nubian cattle herders who entered Egypt in the late Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 BC) and during the Second Intermediate Period (c 1633-1550 BC). They are well attested in Eastern Desert, the characteristic being shallow circular pit-graves with black-topped pottery, the 'pan graves' of Upper Egypt and Lower Nubia. Their material culture was similar to the C-Group. The people were mercenaries during this period of Egyptian history and during the New Kingdom, when they were called the Medjay.
parchment ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A range of tableware, mostly bowls, in pale fabrics with simple red-brown painted decoration that was popular in Britain in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD.
parenchymous organ
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Root, tuber, rhizome, or corm of a plant.
passive remote sensing
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any geophysical sensing method which measures physical properties such as magentism and gravity without the need to inject energy to obtain a response.
paste texture
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: In ceramic analysis, the appearance of the ceramic paste as determined by clay particle size.
pearlware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A form of earthenware, developed by Wedgwood (1775-79) as a whiter version of its creamware body. 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.
peer review
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The part of the publishing process wherein a publisher asks other scholars to examine and critique a piece of writing before it is published.
phylogenetic tree
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: A tree diagram representing the descent and ancestry of an individual or group.
picture-stone
CATEGORY: artifact; language
DEFINITION: A term used to describe the unique series of engraved memorial stones (bildstenar) that were raised on the Baltic island of Gotland (off Sweden) between the 5th-11th centuries AD. The Kylver Stone, found in a Gotland tomb, is limestone slab that bears a 5th-century runic inscription and provides the oldest extant record of the Germanic runic series.
pipal tree
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: A fig tree of India noted for great size and longevity but lacking the prop roots of the banyan; regarded as sacred by Buddhists.
piquant-triedre
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A bladelet that has been notched and then had a microburin twisted off at the notch; the microburin scar forms a thin extended point
piston corer
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A device for extracting columns of sediment from the ocean floor. Deeper cores are taken by the piston corer, which can take samples as long as 20 meters. In a piston corer, a closely fitted piston attached to the end of the lowering cable is installed inside the coring tube. When the coring tube is driven into the ocean floor, friction exerts a downward pull on the core sample. The hydrostatic pressure on the ocean bottom, however, exerts an upward pressure on the core that will work against a vacuum being created between the piston and the top of the core. The piston, in effect, provides a suction that overcomes the frictional forces acting between the sediment sample and the inside of the coring tube. The hydraulic piston corer is used by deep-sea drilling ships and can take undisturbed cores of lengths up to 200 meters. Dates for the different layers are obtained by radiocarbon, paleomagnetism, or uranium series methods.
plastered skull
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Skulls found at Jericho, Israel, which were covered in plaster and painted as well as decorated with cowry shells in the orbits. They were found in PPNB contexts at several sites in Syro-Palestine.
plowshare
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The part of a plow that goes into the ground to disturb or turn the soil. These often become detached from the main mechanism of the plough while working and are subsequently lost. For this reason many plowed soils, both ancient and modern, contain within them broken or lost plowshares as a tell-tale sign of past or ongoing agricultural practices.
plowshare-shaped currency bar
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of iron ingot found in the 1st and 2nd centuries BC in southern England, typically about 0.5m long, an elongated triangle in outline, with turned-in corners at the wider end. Examples of this style of currency bar are mainly found in the Thames Valley and south midlands.
pollen core
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A stratified sample of soil or sediment that is taken to recover the plant pollen, and hence to discover changes in the local vegetation over time. A column of soil or peat is extracted from the ground containing a continuous record of pollen grains representative of changing vegetation over a period of time - and the deeper the core, the older the pollen.
population pressure hypothesis
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A theory that population increase in the Near East/Southwest Aisa upset the balance between people and food, forcing people to turn to an agricultural way of life, credited to Lewis Binford.
pot-lid fracture
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A circular flake removed from cryptocrystalline materials by sudden heating. Leaves a small saucer-shaped depression in the surface of the stone.
potlid fracture
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A crater-like pit that sometimes occurs on the surface of lithic raw material that has been heated or frozen and thawed.
pre-Columbian
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A term used to describe the period in the Americas before European contact. Pre-Columbian civilization refers to the aboriginal American Indian cultures that evolved in Mesoamerica and the Andean region prior to Spanish exploration and conquest in the 16th century.
pre-Dynastic period
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pre-Dynastic Egypt; Predynastic
CATEGORY: chronology; culture
DEFINITION: The period before recorded history in Egypt and before it became a unified state in c 3100 BC. The term predynastic denotes the period of emerging cultures that preceded the establishment of the 1st dynasty in Egypt. In the late 5th millennium BC there began to emerge patterns of civilization that displayed characteristics deserving to be called Egyptian. The accepted sequence of predynastic cultures is based on the excavations of Sir Flinders Petrie at Naqadah, al-'Amirah (el-'Amra), and al-Jazirah (el-Gezira). Another somewhat earlier stage of predynastic culture has been identified at al-Badari in Upper Egypt. Until recently, most of our knowledge of pre-Dynastic Egypt was derived from the excavation of graves. Pre-Dynastic communities appeared in the section of the Nile Valley immediately south of Asyut. Large settlements were established, notably that at Hierakonpolis. Some time after 5000 BC the raising of crops was introduced, probably on a horticultural scale, in small, local cultures that seem to have penetrated southward through Egypt into the oases and the Sudan. The food-producing economy was based on the cultivation of emmer wheat and barley and on the herding of cattle and small stock, together with some fishing, hunting, and use of wild plant foods. Highly specialized craftsmen emerged to build vessels, make copper objects, weave linen, and make basketry and pottery. A series of small states arose until around 3100 BC, the unified kingdom of Ancient Egypt came into being.
pre-Neanderthal
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A term used to refer to the Acheulian industry people, who are believed to have developed into the Neanderthals.
pre-ceramic
CATEGORY: culture; term
DEFINITION: Before ceramics, referring to a period antedating the use of ceramics or pottery.
pre-projectile point complex
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A term applied to a complex consisting of the earliest archaeological evidence of humans on the North American continent. It is characterized by the lack of stone projectile points, which can be dated.
pre-state society
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any small-scale society without highly stratified class structure
preaching cross
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: standing cross
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A class of monumental sculpture 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.
precision
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: The degree of agreement in a set of repeated measurements.
predictive model
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The use of GIS and other tools to construct a model of a site location, to predict particular kinds of archaeological sites based on their tendency to occur in the same kinds of place.
predictive surveying
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of surveying that uses existing literature and knowledge about prehistoric settlement in a given region to predict where sites will be located.
prefecture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: An administrative division of a Chinese or Japanese province; Japan has urban and metropolitan prefectures.
preform
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A bifacially flaked piece of stone that exhibits both percussion and pressure flaking, and which usually is triangular in shape, indicating that it was being fashioned into a projectile point or knife.
prehistoric
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The time period before the appearance of written records
prehistoric archaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The branch of archaeology that deals with the times before the beginnings of recorded history. The area of archaeology concerned with preliterate or nonliterate societies, in contrast to historical archaeology. In North America, prehistoric archaeology is considered part of the discipline of anthropology.
prehistory
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: prehistoric period
CATEGORY: related field; chronology
DEFINITION: Any period for which there is no documentary evidence and the study of cultures before written history or of more recent cultures lacking formal historical records. In the strict sense, 'history' is an account of the past recovered from written records, but such an account can be prepared from other sources, notably archaeology. The term 'prehistory' was coined by Daniel Wilson in 1851 to cover the story of man's development before the appearance of writing. It is succeeded by protohistory, the period for which we have some records but must still rely largely on archaeological evidence to give us a coherent account. Prehistory differs from history in dealing with the activities of a society or culture, not of the individual; it is restricted to the material evidence that has survived.
prepared core
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A nodule of chert, flint, or obsidian which has been shaped to easily produce blades.
prepared-core technique
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A method of stone-tool production whereby cores themselves are shaped in order to produce flakes of a desired form, instead of the flakes being shaped after their removal from the core.
presentation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The display or marketing of archaeology by the dissemination of research results to colleagues and the public in books, posters, lectures, museum exhibits, etc.
preservation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The protection of artifacts and archaeological sites through activities that minimize deterioration and damage and that prevent loss of context and content.
press mold
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A mold used to shape the exterior of a glass item while a plunger shapes the interior of the item.
pressure flake
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: retouching flake
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Tiny, extremely thin flakes pinched or pushed off a tool to finish shaping it or to resharpen or reshape it.
pressure flaking
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pressure-flaking; pressure technique, pressure method
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A method for the secondary working of flint tools involving the use of a hard object against a stone core or mass to remove flakes. The roughed-out form of the tool is sharpened and finished by exerting pressure with a bone, antler, stone, or stick on the edge in order to remove small thin chips. By using a short, pointed instrument to pry, not strike, the tiny flakes leave only the smallest scars. As the least violent and most advanced of the methods of working stone, it gave the craftsman the ultimate in control for the removal of materials in the shaping of an implement. Fine-edged weapons, such as daggers, arrowheads, and spear heads, can be produced using this technique. This technique was first widely used in the Solutrean c 18,000 BC and is associated with some New World points.
prestige goods
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: prestige goods chain
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Exchange goods, often limited in range, to which a society ascribes high status or value. Examples are amber, copper, glass beads, and marine shells. High-prestige goods served to enhance the political value of the trade to local elites who directed and controlled it.
previous scar
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A blade or flake scar seen on the face of a blade or flake resulting form the initial removal of a blade or a flake from a core or nodule.
primary cremation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The burning of a dead person on a pyre in the grave.
primary refuse
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Unwanted objects or materials found in the context where it was used and discarded.
prismatic core
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A roughly rectangular block of flint prepared for the effective removal of long narrow blades by creating a striking platform at either end so that blades could be removed in alternate directions.
procurement
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any process by which materials are obtained from the environment, such as the collecting of plant foods. Much of animal evolution involves adaptation for the procurement of food
progress
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A philosophical position holding that change in natural or social phenomena implies increase in complexity or sophistication and gradual betterment.
protein residue analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The recovery and identification of proteins preserved in or on archaeological materials.
pyramidal core
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A single-platform core that tapers away from the platform as a result of flake removals.
quinquereme
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A Roman and Hellenistic warship which was larger and more powerful than its predecessor, the trireme. Quinqueremis is a galley with five banks of oars
radial fissure
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Tiny fracture lines that sometimes radiate away from the point of percussion around the bulb on the ventral surface of a lithic flake.
rareca
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Peruvian aqueducts; distinct from the subterranean aqueducts called huircas or pinchas.
re-use process
CATEGORY: term; artifact
DEFINITION: The transformation of materials through successive states within the behavioral system. Potsherds, for example, are sometimes ground up to be used as temper in making new vessels.
realistic section
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.
reamer
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.
reaping hook
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.
reave
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A long low bank or wall found at Dartmoor, England. These Bronze Age stone boundary walls may designate the territorial extent of individual communities.
rebus
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A mode of expressing words and phrases by pictures of objects whose names resemble those words or the syllables of which they are composed. These are signs that are a sort of punning logogram in which the picture of something easy to draw represents something which is difficult to draw but the name sounds the same. The Sumerian example most often used is an arrow (ti) to stand for life (also ti). An English example of a rebus message would be the picture of a bee followed by the picture of a well sent to an invalid to wish him a quick recovery (be well). Several rebuses may be combined to make a phrase or sentence. Literary rebuses use letters, numbers, musical notes, or specially placed words to make sentences. Complex rebuses combine pictures and letters. An early form of rebus occurs in picture writings, where abstract words were represented by pictures of objects pronounced the same way - e.g. Egyptian hieroglyphs and early Chinese pictographs.
recalibration
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Correction process carried out on radiocarbon dates to adjust them to calendar years, using results gained from dendrochronology.
reciprocity
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: reciprocal exchange
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A form of primitive exchange in which goods are transferred between individuals or groups of the same status without any central control, usually in a balanced and mutually beneficial manner. A mode of exchange in which transactions take place between individuals who are symmetrically placed i.e. they are exchanging as equals, neither being in a dominant position. The exchange was often an expression of the social obligations between the parties. Within a family, generalized reciprocity occurs, where there is giving with no expectation of immediate return. Between families in a community, balanced reciprocity may occur, with both parties expecting give-and-take of goods to be of approximately equal value. The items exchanged may be utilitarian goods, foodstuffs, or prestige materials. Negative reciprocity is when both sides attempt to receive more than they give.
reclamation
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: reclamation process
CATEGORY: term; technique
DEFINITION: Any of various processes by which artifacts move from an archaeological context to an active status, i.e. are reclaimed as when a later society makes use of objects deposited earlier. It is the transition of cultural materials from the archaeological record back into the systemic context such as the scavenging of archaeological artifacts for reuse by both nonindustrial and industrial peoples. The act of archaeological excavation is actually reclamation.
reclamation process
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The transition of cultural materials from the archaeological record back into the systemic context; archaeological excavation itself is reclamation
reconnaissance
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: reconnaissance survey
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A broad range of techniques involved in the location of archaeological sites, e.g. surface survey and the recording of surface artifacts and features, the sampling of natural and mineral resources, and sometimes testing of an area to assess the number and extent of archaeological resources.
record
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: In databases, the part of a file devoted to description of a single entity through specification of its attributes in various fields.
recording unit
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A specific location or feature that is defined as an entity for the purpose of recording archaeological data.
recovery
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archaeological recovery
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The act or process of obtaining artifacts from a site for the purpose of deriving archaeological data.
recovery theory
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any of the various principles that archaeologists employ in the process of recovery, such as where and how to search for sites and how to excavate those sites.
recovery unit
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A defined area from which archaeological materials are recovered, such as an excavation pit.
recurrence surface
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: recurrence horizon
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A division in peat stratigraphy which separates well-humidified peat from unhumidified peat. Recurrence surfaces are found in raised bogs and blanket bogs which are nourished only by rainfall. It has therefore been suggested that recurrence surfaces are due to a change to damper climate. Recurrence surfaces of many dates have been found, often several in one bog, although not so many fitting into one age range. During the late prehistoric and early historic phases of the past 6,000 years, the peat bogs of northern Europe appear to have undergone a number of desiccations (warm, dry summers), revealed in the bog cores as dry, often wooded, surfaces. The dry phases were generally followed by wet conditions in which peat accumulation was rapid. These overlying layers of renewed peat growth are also known as recurrence horizons.
recycle
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: To convert (waste) into reusable material
red ocher
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: red ochre
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Powdered iron ore placed in a burial area
red polished ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A fine red ware with red or orange slip that is highly burnished. It was made in southern Asia in the first three centuries AD. It is often thought to be an imitation of the Roman Arrentine ware. The characteristic and most widely dispersed type of pottery of the Roman Empire was the red, polished Arretine ware. Most Inca pottery is also red polished ware.
red-figure
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Red-Figure ware, red-figured
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A technique of decorating pottery in which the area of the figure is left empty (reserved) and the detail is painted in. The red of the clay would contrast with the black. It is an important phase in Greek vase painting, the inverse of black-figure style, and it started in Athens in the late 6th century BC and was popular to the 4th century BC. Other local schools also developed in the late 5th century, especially in southern Italy, and continued until c 300 BC. It was also produced at Corinth.
red-slipped
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Any pottery to which a slip, a thin layer of fine clay, is applied to pottery before firing by dipping the pot into a thick liquid mixture of clay and water. Slip decorates the fabric, often chosen to bake to a color such as red, yellow, or black, and makes the pot more watertight by clogging the pores of the earthenware.
redistribution
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: redistributive exchange
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A mode of primitive exchange in which the operation was directed and controlled by some central organizing authority; a complex process that was a critical part of the evolution of civilization. Goods are received or appropriated by the central authority and subsequently some of them are sent by that authority to other locations. It might involve the physical collection and pooling of locally produced items and their subsequent reallocation, or merely control the flow without central collection. Storage facilities and a system of record-keeping are often associated with the central power. The goods exchanged may be local products, which would permit some degree of craft specialization, since the specialists will be able to depend on the central authority for the supply of all necessities. The products received in return for these exports may be treated as prestige items and made available to only a restricted number of the local people in the upper levels of the social hierarchy. Redistribution is often associated with societies organized as chiefdoms with a central authority and marked differences in social ranking.
reduced
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A pottery fabric fired in a reducing atmosphere or one in which oxygen is denied so that iron in the fabric tends to form magnetite rather than hematite.
reduced ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: reduced (adj.)
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A pottery fabric fired in a "reducing" atmosphere or one in which oxygen is denied, so that iron in the fabric tends to form magnetite rather than hematite.
reducing atmosphere
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A term for pottery firing conditions in which the supply of air is limited or the fuel damp. The fuel does not totally burn under these circumstances and the gases contain carbon monoxide rather than oxygen. This generally results in black-surfaced pottery as opposed to the red produced in an oxidizing atmosphere, though shades of color may vary if the conditions during firing are not stable. Native Americans and Mesoamericans understood the effect of a reducing atmosphere, so that gray and black pots are found as well as the red and brown ones fired in an oxidizing flame.
reduction
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A South American Indian settlement directed by Jesuit missionaries, existing as a Spanish colonial policy that brought dispersed Indian populations into mission settlements. The term also means the removal of mass from a stone.
reduction sequence
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: The various stages that a stone tool goes through from the point at which it is first struck to the point at which it is worked for the last time.
reductive technology
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A technology where an artisan acquires material (usually stone), then shapes it by removing flakes or other fragments until it is fashioned into the finished product
redware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Earthenware pottery made of clay containing considerable iron oxide.
reeding
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The regular horizontal grooving on the flange of some types of mortaria and on the rim of some types of bowl.
reference fossil
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any fossil with a known date that is used to assign a date to a deposit containing the fossil.
refitting
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: conjoining, rejoining
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The reassembling of stone debitage and cores to reconstruct ancient lithic technologies. It is any attempt to put stone tools and flakes back together again, which provides important information on the processes involved in the knapper's craft. The refitting or conjoining of artifact or ecofact fragments, especially those of struck stone flakes to recreate the original core, allows definition of cumulative features, such as the lithic artifact and debitage scatters. The technique allow may allow reconstruction of ancient manufacture and use behavior.
reflex bow
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A small but powerful bow made such that, until strung, the ends of the bow project forwards rather than backwards. The simple bow, made from a single piece of wood, was known to Neolithic hunters; it is depicted in cave paintings by 30,000 BC. The first improvement was the reflex bow, a bow that was curved forward, or reflexively, near its center so that the string lay close against the grip before the bow was drawn. This increased the effective length of the draw since it began farther forward, close to the archer's left hand.
refractory
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Referring to ceramic materials, usually high in alumina and silica, that can withstand high temperatures and are slow to melt
refuse
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: trash, garbage
CATEGORY: artifact; feature
DEFINITION: Any materials or remains left behind or discarded by humans.
refutationist view
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A belief that science consists of theories about the empirical world, that its goal is to develop better theories (achieved by finding mistakes in existing theories), and that theories should be vulnerable to error and open to testing.
region
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: A geographically defined area containing a series of interrelated human communities sharing a single cultural-ecological system.
regional analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any of various spatial analysis techniques in which archaeologists attempt to examine how behaviors structure a settlement system.
regional map
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: Any map designed to depict the distribution of archaeological sites within regions.
regional sequence
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A chronological series of phases within the limits of a region, arrived at by correlating (not combining or conflating) local sequences.
regional survey
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A broad survey that includes the total environmental setting around an archaeological site.
regional system
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: Any system of time divisions such as those used in the Americas, based on major technological or social changes that produced regional cultures rather than local ones.
regnal year
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.
regression
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A mathematical relationship whereby the value of a dependent variable can be predicted form the value of the independent variable.
regression
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Using clues from the earliest known maps and documents from an area and projecting them back in time to produce a picture of an earlier period.
regular flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The removal of closely aligned flakes of similar lengths and widths which result in an aesthetically pleasing flake scar design.
reindeer
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: caribou
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: Arctic deer domesticated in some polar regions, which ranged from Spitsbergen and Scandinavia to eastern Siberia. They are also native to North America and are divisible into two types: the northern, or barren ground, caribou of the tundra and taiga, and the woodland caribou of Canadian forests. Both types of reindeer are game animals valued for meat, hide, and antlers. A number of hunting peoples living in Europe during the later part of the ice ages seem to have specialized in hunting reindeer, for its bones are much more common than those of other animals on these sites. This is true of a few Mousterian levels, but it is almost the rule for Late Palaeolithic sites of the Magdalenian and Solutrean. Reindeer are likely to have lived in large herds, but we do not know whether they migrated widely in western Europe as they do today in the Arctic.
reject
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Preforms that because of some unsuitable flaking qualities of the stone or breakage were discarded without being completed.
rejuvenated core
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A core that has been given a new platform once it has become difficult or impossible to remove flakes or blades from the previous one.
rejuvenated platform
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Cores are 'rejuvenated' by removing the platform to decrease the platform angle to allow blade production to continue. Core is struck on the platform and blades removed to create a new platform and increase the angle between the platform and the face of the core a 'core tablet' is struck off from the side of the core.
rejuvenation
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: rejuvenate (v.)
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Restoring to an original or new state
relational analogy
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any analogy justified on the basis of close cultural continuity between the archaeological and ethnographic cases
relational database
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: A structured system of data files organized by controlled redundancy (key attributes and attribute pointers).
relational difference
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: relational dimension
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of defining variation in artifacts according to which other artifacts they are found with. A characteristic of an artifact based on the other artifacts it is found in association with.
relational method
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any of various methods of spatial analysis used to examine the relationships between various settlements based on a particular characteristic, such as size.
relative age determination
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: relative age
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The determination of a chronological sequence without reference to a fixed time scale. Relative age is chronological relationships among relatively younger and older things, even though no actual dates may be available.
relative chronology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: stratigraphy
CATEGORY: technique; chronology
DEFINITION: A time scale developed by the law of superposition or artifact ordering. It is the establishment of a chronology in which occurrences can be placed in the correct sequence relative to each other or to some known succession of events. Stratigraphy is the study of the relative chronology of the Earth's strata.
relative dating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: relative dates; relative dating techniques
CATEGORY: technique; chronology
DEFINITION: Dating methods where phases or objects can be put into a sequence relative to each other, but which are not tied to calendrically measured time. It is the sequencing of events or materials relative to another but without linkage to ages in years bp (before present) or calendar years. A relative date is a date which can be said to be earlier than, later than, or contemporary with an event but which (unlike an absolute date) cannot be measured in calendar years. When archaeologists say that event A occurred before or after event B, they have a relative date for A. Before the advent of chronometric dating techniques, all dating was relative except where links with historical events could be proved. Some of these techniques, mainly stratigraphy and seriation, are still useful where chronometric dates cannot be obtained. Theoretically, floating chronologies which cannot be tied to an absolute date (e.g. certain dendrochronological sequences) are relative chronologies even though the techniques are essentially chronometric.
relative time
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The temporal relationship between any two events or objects - either later than, earlier than, or contemporaneous with.
reliability
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: The extent to which a measure gives the same result over different situations.
relic
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any object surviving from an earlier culture, especially a valuable or symbolic object. In religion, a relic is the mortal remains of a saint and includes any object that has been in contact with the saint. Christianity was governed throughout the Middle Ages by the belief that spiritual virtue could be transmitted through relics of a person who in life was blessed with miraculous powers. Coffins and small objects such as combs, jewelry, and clothing were commonly sanctified and subsequently housed in beautiful reliquary caskets or shrines. Ecclesiastical centers with a collection of relics would be visited by large numbers of pilgrims, especially on saints' days, when the objects were put on special display and sometimes paraded.
relict soil
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Soil formed on a pre-existing landscape but which was not subsequently buried under younger sediments. It must be taken into account that relict soils may represent a wide range of time periods.
relief
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: raised bas-relief; relievo
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any sculpture in which the figures project from a supporting background or flat surface. Reliefs are classified according to the height of the figures' projection or detachment from the background. In a low relief, or bas-relief (basso-relievo), the design projects only slightly. In a high relief, or alto-relievo, the forms project at least half or more of their natural circumference from the background. Middle relief, or mezzo-relievo, falls roughly between the high and low forms. A variation of relief carving, found almost exclusively in ancient Egyptian sculpture, is sunken relief (also called incised relief), in which the carving is sunk below the level of the surrounding surface and is contained within a sharply incised contour line. Intaglio, likewise, is a sunken relief but is carved as a negative image like a mold instead of a positive (projecting) form.
relief-bank amphora
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A distinctive large storage jar made in the Rhineland in the 7th century, mainly at Badorf pottery centers. Each was strengthened with clay straps or bands and often used to carry Rhine wine to other countries. As a result, there are many amphorae sherds at sites in Britain, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia. The Badorf amphorae were probably made only until the 11th century, but similar forms were by then being produced in the new pottery centers at Andenne and Limburg.
relieving compartment
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: An empty room or other rough construction placed in a wall above an arch or opening to relieve it of much of the weight. The empty room would reduce the pressure from above.
religion
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A framework of beliefs relating to supernatural or superhuman beings or forces that transcend the everyday material world. Prehistoric man was even religious - burying tools and food with the dead - obviously believing in a life hereafter.
reliquary
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A portable shrine, box, or casket in which the relic(s) of a saint or other holy person were kept. A reliquary made to be worn around the neck was called encolpium or phylacterium.
remote sensing
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The nondestructive techniques used in geophysical prospecting and to generate archaeological data without excavation. It is a general term for reconnaissance and surface survey techniques that leave subsurface archaeological deposits undisturbed. Reconnaissance and site survey methods use such devices as aerial photography and pedestrian survey to detect subsurface features and sites. It includes the detection of hidden archaeological features such as walls, pits, or roads by means of sound or radar impulses passed through the ground.
rendsina
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: rendzina
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A soil type characteristic of chalk or limestone subsoils; any of a group of dark grayish brown intrazonal soils developed in grasslands on soft calcareous marl, soft limestone, or chalk. Rendzinas are one of a group of soils known as primitive soils. Unlike mature soils, which have three or more horizons in their profile, rendzinas have only a mixed mineral/humus horizon which rests directly on the weathered parent material. They represent an early stage in soil development. This fertile lime-rich soil is characterized by a dark friable humus-rich surface layer above a softer pale calcareous layer.
replicability
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: replication
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The ability of different scientists using the same methods of observation or experimentation to achieve the same results. Also, it is the state or property of being experimentally replicable.
repoussé
CATEGORY: artifact; geology
DEFINITION: A jewelry-making and metalworking technique whereby a design is raised or embossed by hammering or punching out the metal from behind. Repoussé is usually done on bronze, but also on gold and silver. It consists of hammering up the design from the back of the object using round-edged punches. The surface of the raised design can then be decorated. Further work on the design can be done using chisels and punches on the front of the sheet --- a technique known as chasing.
rescue archaeology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: salvage archaeology, cultural resource management; rescue projects
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The branch of archaeology devoted to studying artifacts and features on sites which are imminently threatened by development in the form of the construction of dams, buildings, highways, etc. Threats to archaeological remains occur in the form of road-building, road improvement, new building of houses, offices, and industrial complexes, the flooding of valleys for reservoirs, and improved farming techniques involving the use of deep plowing. The rescue, or salvage, archaeologist, is concerned with the retrieval of as much information as possible about the archaeological sites before they are damaged or destroyed. Frequently time is too short and funds are too limited for anything but a brief survey. Salvage archaeology is the location, recording (usually through excavation), and collection of archaeological data from a site in advance of highway construction, drainage projects, or urban development. In the US, the first major program of salvage archaeology was undertaken in the 1930s, ahead of the construction and dam building done by the Tennessee Valley Authority.
rescue project
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any attempt by cultural resource management to study artifacts and features which are imminently threatened by development.
research design
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.
research proposal
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A formally presented research design or strategy describing an intended project and its predicted results.
research question
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A specific question (or questions) that archaeologists ask when preparing a research program and seek to answer when executing that program.
reserve head
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.
reservoir effect
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The result of organisms taking in carbon from a source that is depleted of or enriched in carbon-14 relative to the atmosphere, with samples returning ages that are considerably older or younger than actual age
residence rule
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A description of the household location of newly married couples within a given society, usually distinguished between actual and ideal patterns of behavior. In Australia's aboriginal society, residence rules generally required women to move into the groups and territories of their husbands after marriage.
residential group
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Physical gathering of people at the domestic, territorial, or community level.
residual
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: The amount of variability in a dependent variable that is not predicted by a regression (i.e. the distance a data point lies above or below the regression line).
residual
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: An artifact found in a layer that was created later than the time when the artifact was made, used, and deposited.
residual clay
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A clay weathered in place, remaining in association with its parent rock; a primary clay as distinguished from a secondary clay
residue
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Preserved foreign material, generally on an artifact such as pottery or basketry
resist
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A material that a potter applies to the surface of a vessel to prevent the adhesion of slip, paint, or glaze, so that the uncoated regions will contrast with the coated ones.
resistivity
CATEGORY: geology; technique
DEFINITION: The resistance of soil or buried features to the passage of an electrical current, measured during geophysical surveying. Different materials offer varying resistance to electrical currents, depending on the amount of water present. Resistivity is a method used to identify underlying deposits without excavation.
resistivity meter
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: resistivity detector
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A geophysical instrument used to measure the electrical resistivity of the earth to identify buried features and structures. Since the resistivity of the soil changes with humidity, humus content, etc., the machine can detect pits, ditches, roads, floors, etc. This is generally done through an array of four electrodes, pushed into the ground surface. Despite their name, resistivity meters do not actually measure resistivity, but ground resistance. Resistivity is this resistance, standardized for the distance between the electrodes in the ground. The instrument consists of a source of electricity (a handle-operated dynamo in the megger earth tester, batteries in the tellohm, a transistor oscillator in the Martin-Clark meter) and a meter to record the results. All systems employ four steel probes connected by cable to the meter, two to carry the activating current, two to pick up the current passing through the ground. Also, the resistance between two roving probes is now compared with that between two distant static ones. Different spacing between the probes is employed in different conditions; where the probes are spaced equally, as in the Wenner configuration, features up to a depth equal to the probe-separation can be detected. Anomalous readings may indicate the presence of archaeological material.
resistivity profiling
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Measurement of earth resistance at increasing depths across a site, by widening the probe spacings and thus building up a vertical 'pseudosection'
resistivity surveying
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: resistivity survey
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A geosurvey survey technique that measures the electrical resistance of the ground for the location of buried features and structures. Any electrical exploration method in which current is introduced in the ground by two contact electrodes and potential differences are measured between two or more other electrodes. It relies on the principle that different deposits offer different resistance to the passage of an electric current depending largely on the amount of water present. A damp pit or ditch fill will offer less resistance, stone wall foundations more, than the surrounding soil. It is one of the most commonly used and least expensive geophysical surveying methods. Readings are taken in a grid-pattern of points all over a suspected site. Variation of resistance through a site is caused mainly by differences in the amount of water contained in pore spaces of deposits and structures. The outline of features may be seen if the readings are plotted as a plan. Although the technique is generally known as 'resistivity surveying', most archaeological surveys use only the ground resistance (in ohms). It compares well with magnetic surveying, as the instruments are simple and cheap and also because modern features such as power cables, iron scrap, and standing buildings do not affect the readings.
resource-stress model
CATEGORY: term; technique
DEFINITION: The control of stress caused by food shortages by rectifying behavior in response to changing conditions.
retardation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The distance by which the slow ray lags behind the fast ray, when the former exits an anisotropic crystal, as measured in wavelengths.
reticulated work
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: reticulated porcelain; opus reticulatum
CATEGORY: structure; artifact
DEFINITION: In masonry, it is a type of facing used on ancient Roman concrete or mortared rubblework walls. It appeared during the late Roman Republic and succeeded the earliest type of facing, an irregular patchwork called opus incertum. Reticulated work looks like a diagonal checkerboard with its square stones set lozenge fashion, separated by relatively fine joints. In porcelain production, it is a technique in which the outer side is entirely cut out in geometric patterns, honeycomb, circles intercrossed and superimposed to a second vase of similar or of cylindrical form.
retort
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A glass vessel with a long tapering neck that is bent down. Used for distillation.
retouch
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: secondary working; secondary flaking
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: The working of a primary flake, usually by the removal of small fragments, to form a tool; to thin, sharpen, straighten, or otherwise refine an existing stone tool for further use. It is the work done to a flint implement after its preliminary roughing-out in order to make it into a functional tool. In the case of a core-tool, such as a hand-ax, retouch may consist of roughly trimming the edge by striking with a hammerstone, but on smaller, finer flake or blade tools it is usually carried out by pressure-flaking. It is done two ways, either by blows that knock small flakes off an edge (percussion retouch) or by pressure to force the flakes off (pressure retouch). The different types of retouch are also described as: backing or blunting retouch, and invasive or normal retouch. Invasive retouch can be steep or shallow, depending mainly on the kind of edge being retouched; this retouch can also be scaly in character. Backing is most often applied to blades and may have been done to blunt the back or to bring its end to a stout point. Evidence suggests that it may have been done to regularize the blade edge to facilitate fixing by resin 'mastic' to a bone or wood shaft. Such a strip of mastic was found in Lascaux, France. Notching or toothing is another form of retouch, and the removal of spalls or slivers as in the burin technique could be regarded as a further form of retouch or modification. Retouch is one of the most obvious features distinguishing a manmade from a naturally struck flint.
retouched flake
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flake that has had small flakes removed to blunt, sharpen, refine the outline or prepare the edge of the tool.
reuse process
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any human behavior that recycles and resuses artifacts before the artifact enters an archaeological context
reverse
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The back of a medal or coin
reverse face
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: On a fluted projectile, it is the face from which the secondary flute was removed
revetment
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A retaining wall that supports an earthwork structure, fortifications, or to hold the sides of a bank in place. It often has a facing such as concrete, stone, or wood.
reworking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Flaking applied to a broken or dulled tool so as to reclaim it for additional use. Sometimes called Lateral Rejuvenation, reworking was the characteristic means by which an implement was resharpened. Alternate and bifacial beveling, serration, and other diagnostic features of blade renewal are very important to age determination as well as for the purpose of assembling attribute clusters for typological analysis. Typically reworked blades or points have a different outline than their former pristine outline. Reworking of lithic objects was employed by early people due to the general lack of high quality lithic materials.
rim edge treatment
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Angular flattening, horizontal flattening, horizontal and vertical flattening, pushed, squeezed, pinched
robber trench
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ghost wall
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A term used to describe a feature created by the robbing of its original filling material. In areas where stone or other building materials are scarce, or where a new structure is being built near one which is out of use, a monument's building materials may be plundered. The trench left is usually backfilled by the laborers who have 'robbed' out a wall either completely or of its facing stone. The trenches where the walls once stood and where the stone has been removed are called robber trenches or ghost walls. Archaeologists should be able to reconstruct a plan of the original structure from careful examination and recording of the robber trenches.
roof furniture
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Wooden, stone, or ceramic items used as decorative and functional features of a roof. They include finials on the gables, antefixes to act as stoppers for hollow tiles emerging at the eaves, chimney pots, louvers, and smoke turrets to ventilate fires inside the building and let fumes escape, and ridge tiles along the highest point.
rough-cast ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pottery decoration consisting of small particles of dried clay or gritty material dusted over the surface of a vessel, generally under a slip coating.
sacred
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Worthy of religious veneration; pertaining to beliefs or propositions so valued that they are unquestioned. Also, of or relating to religion.
sagittal crest
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The crest along the top of the skull where the chewing muscles are attached, found only in very large-jawed species. In primates that have large jaws and well-developed chewing muscles (e.g., gorillas, orangutans, and baboons), the parietal bones may be continued upward at the midline to form a sagittal crest. Among early hominids, Paranthropus (also called Australopithecus robustus) sometimes exhibited a sagittal crest.
salt-glazed stoneware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: In the 14th century AD it was found that the addition of salt to the kiln gases during the firing of stoneware meant that the salt volatilized and the resultant sodium chloride vapor fluxed with the silicas in the body of the vessels to form a soda-glass glaze. As a further refinement, a brown-colored surface could be achieved by coating the vessels in a thin iron wash before firing. A patent was granted for the manufacture of such salt-glazed wares in England in 1671.
screening
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The passing of excavated matrix through a metal mesh to recover artifacts and larger ecofacts.
screw
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A spirally grooved object used to join two or more materials together.
screw neck
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flagon or bottle with a continuous spiral groove around the top so that a stopper or seal can be attached.
sculpture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plastic art
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An art form including all carved work in wood, ivory, stone, marble, metal, or other material and those works formed in a softer material not requiring carving, such as wax or clay. It includes statuary, carved ornament, glyptics, incised gems, and cameos. The most ancient specimens are carved of the hardest stones (basalt, granite, porphyry) and done before the introduction of steel tools.
secondary cremation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A burial practice in which the remains of a deceased are removed from the initial burial and placed in a grave or ossuary elsewhere.
secondary prehistory
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: protohistoric
CATEGORY: chronology; language
DEFINITION: The time when literate people came in contact with and wrote about nonliterate peoples.
secondary refuse
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Unwanted objects or materials that are removed from the site at which they were used and are disposed of at a different location. This often included artifacts, bone, shell, and other habitation debris, discarded away from the immediate area of use.
secondary retouch
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Finishing or resharpening flaking done after the basic shape of a lithic tool has been completed.
sedimentary structure
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: The observable properties of sediments: composition, size, shape, orientation, and grain packing. These properties combine to provide data on processes and environment, giving much information about the past.
seismic reflection profiler
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: An acoustic underwater survey device that uses the principle of echo-sounding to locate submerged landforms. The concept is similar to echo sounding: seismic waves are reflected at interfaces where rock properties change and the round-trip travel time, together with velocity information, gives the distance to the interface. The relief on the interface can be determined by mapping the reflection at many locations. In water depths of 100 meters, this method can achieve penetration of more than 10 meters into the sea floor.
serekh
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: palace facade decoration
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: Hieroglyphic symbol comprising the recessed paneling described in modern times as 'palace facade' decoration. It is the image of a brick facade to a palace or enclosure, with a rectangular space above. It is believed to have been modeled on the design of the earliest royal residences beginning in the Early Dynastic Period. It is found on mastaba tombs, false door stelae, coffins, sarcophagi, and numerous other funerary and ceremonial contexts throughout Egyptian history. A falcon (the sign for Horus) perches on the top horizontal of the rectangle, which encloses a king's Horus name (the first name in a king's titulary).
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.
sgraffito ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Sgraffito ware is glazed vessels prepared first by incising decoration in the surface and then adding paint in the incisions prior to the application of glaze. There is a contrast between the brightly colored decoration and the overall color of the glazed vessel. Byzantine sgraffito wares date to the 11th-12th centuries in western Europe. It was not until the 16th-17th centuries that the technique was established in northern Europe. Sgraffito ware was produced by Islamic potters and became common throughout the Middle East. The 18th-century scratch blue class of English white stoneware is decorated with sgraffito patterns. Sgraffito ware was produced as early as 1735 by German settlers in colonial America. Sgraffito is also a form of fresco painting for exterior walls, done in Europe since the Middle Ages. A rough plaster undercoat is followed by thin plaster layers, each stained with a different color. These coats are covered by a fine-grain mortar finishing surface. The plaster is then engraved with knives and gouges at different levels to reveal the various colored layers beneath. It is also a glass-decorating technique.
shell-gritted ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pottery made from a fabric tempered with crushed marine shell or fossil shell.
shipwreck
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The remains of sunken ships, which are often investigated by underwater archaeologists.
shouldered adze
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Polished stone adze of Neolithic period, distributed along coastal area of China from Shantung southwards and in central-southern China. It was also prominent in Southeast Asia.
shouldered point
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Type of stone point made on a blade, with a notch on one side of the base and flaked partly or wholly on both sides. Shouldered points are characteristic of some Upper Palaeolithic cultures of Europe, such as the Solutrean, Magdalenian, and Eastern Gravettian.
signature
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Traces in the archaeological record that can be linked to particular patterns of activity.
silver-figured
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Technique used to decorate Greek and Etruscan bronze and gold in which silver figures were attached to the other metal or silver foil was placed over relief decoration.
site structure
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The arrangement of the various components of an archaeological site, including artifacts, features, and structures. Site structure analysis identifies how a space was organized and used and how it related to aspects of the cultural system. Site structure analyses are used to make warranting arguments in the context of the archaeological record and are often done in ethnoarchaeological studies.
slipware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of pottery decorated with slip before firing. The earliest English examples were made at Wrotham in Kent in the early 17th century and some of the most decorative by Thomas Toft in Staffordshire.
snake-thread glass
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.
snare
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Loops of material (vine, fiber, leather, etc) used for catching animals
soil resistivity
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: electrical resistivity; soil resistivity surveying
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A remote sensing technique that monitors the degree of electrical resistance in soils - which often depends on moisture content - near the surface. Buried features are usually detected by a differential retention of groundwater.
soil structure
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Physical arrangement of sediment into peds (a natural soil aggregate) as the result of pedogenesis (reproduction by young or larval animals). Soil has a structure on which its porosity-permeability depends. Soil structure is built up by alternate moistening and drying and plant roots contribute greatly by opening pores between soil aggregates. The stability of aggregates increases with humus content especially humus that originates from grass vegetation.
spatial autocorrelation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The tendency for items found close to one another in space to be highly similar with respect to characteristics that are not independent of location.
spatial difference
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method used to define variations among artifacts by their location in an activity area.
sphere of exchange
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In non-market societies, the prestige valuables and ordinary commodities were often exchanged separately. Valuables were exchanged for valuables in prestige transactions. Commodities, however, were exchanged for commodities unceremoniously, in mutually profitable barter transactions.
sphyrelaton
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: sphyrelata
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of bronze hammered statue, made by hammering bronze plates over a core, which were secured by nails. It is an early form of art manufacture in metal, the precursor to the lost wax (cire perdue) technique. The temple of Apollo on Crete (8th century BC) has three statues of this type. The technique was also used to produce colossal statues. Another definition is repoussé work in Minoan or Etruscan art.
spiral fracture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Type of bone fracture where the breakage curves along and around the shaft. It is seen by some specialists as diagnostic of human use of bones for tools.
spit-shaped currency bar
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Wrought iron bars found in the middle and later Iron Age of central and midland parts of England that are typically parallel-sided strips of metal sometimes with the corners bent upwards at one end. They are assumed to be ingots of metal, although whether they ever had any value as currency as their name suggests is questionable.
spore
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Mainly airborne reproductive body released by nonflowering plants, such as fungi, ferns, and mosses.
square-mouthed pot
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: square-mouthed pottery, bocca quadrata
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A vessel type in which the circular mouth has been pinched into a squarish form while the clay was still soft, characteristic of the Middle Neolithic of northern Italy, especially at Arene Candide. It is thought to shown influence from the Danubian culture of central Europe. There are scattered examples from as far as Crete, Sicily, and Spain.
square-shank concrete nail
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A nail used to fasten furring strips and brackets to concrete walls and floors
status differentiation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Inequality in human society in which individuals or certain groups have access to more resources, power, etc. than others.
steepness of retouch
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: The angle between the flat plane of a flake and a retouched surface. Very steep retouch is close to 90 degrees.
step fracture
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A vertical upstep where the distal end of a blade or flake broke from the parent material. Such a flake scar is indicative of a well executed form of percussion flaking
step trench
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: step-trenching, step trenching
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Excavation technique in which a series of stairlike cuts are made, often used to uncover sections of a deep deposit, such as a mound tell site.
stereoscope
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: An optical instrument with two eyepieces for helping the observer to combine the images of two pictures differing slightly in point of view, thereby giving a 'solid' effect.
stoneware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Distinctive pottery that has been fired at a high temperature (about 1,200 C / 2,200 F) until glasslike and impervious to liquid). Usually opaque, but mainly because it is nonporous, it does not require a glaze. When a glaze is used, it is decorative only. Stoneware originated in China as early as 1400 BC (Shang dynasty). The technique made possible the production of durable tablewares.
stratigraphic record
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A record that depicts, describes, and provides an initial interpretation of the cultural levels of a location on a site.
stratigraphic relationships
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Relationships of a superpositional nature, where one deposit lies above another, or they are made up of correlations, where strata or features have been cut into isolated parts by later digging.
stress
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any environmental factor that forces an individual or population out of equilibrium.
structure
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A domestic and political system causally conditioned by infrastructure.
structure chart
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: A diagram of the organization, size, and data types of fields in a database file.
structured deposition
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Material entering the archaeological record through specific activities or behavior patterns, not randomly.
subarea
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The subdivision of an archaeological area, usually defined by geographic or cultural considerations.
superstructure
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The values, aesthetics, rules, rituals, philosophies, beliefs, religions, symbols, and other forms of knowledge assumed by cultural materialists to be causally conditioned by infrastructure.
surface treatment
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Any modification made to the surface of pottey for either technological or functional purposes.
swidden agriculture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: swidden farming; slash-and-burn agriculture; swidden; shifting cultivation; swidden cultivation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Agricultural technique whereby forest vegetation is cut down annually, let dry and burned to prepare fields for crops. The method enriches the soil with nutrients from the ash, but the fields are only productive for a few years - at which time it is necessary to change fields. Swidden agriculture is most common to Mesoamerica. The foremost benefit of this procedure is that the plot will be relatively weed free at first.
syncretism
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A process by which two or more deities were fused into the object of a single cult, which was a fundamental aspect of the development of Egyptian religion.
synthetic aperture radar
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A device which mathematically combines a series of radar echoes to generate an image by penetrating the ground and revealing hidden structures.
tanged point culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A term once used for any of a series of cultures of the Postglacial period whose tool kits include small tanged or shouldered points, e.g. the Ahrensburgian and Hamburgian.
terret
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A ring through which the driving reins of a chariot or other horse-drawn vehicle are passed.
test square
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: test pit
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An excavation unit used to sample or probe a site before large-scale excavation or to check surface surveys. Typically a 2-meter square, it is a small exploratory sounding often designed to determine a site's depth and stratigraphy, preparatory to full-scale excavation.
texture
CATEGORY: geology; artifact
DEFINITION: The size, shape, and arrangement of grains or crystals in rocks and also a property of soil, sediment, or similar material. Soil texture class names are assigned to indicate specific ranges of percentage of sand, silt, and clay. As with particle size, several different systems of texture classification are in use, including the British Standard 1377 system and the United States Department of Agriculture system. For rocks, there are also classification schemes. The texture of artifacts is one property used to help identify the source material, conditions and environment of deposition or crystallization and recrystallization, and subsequent geologic history and change.
texture
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: In pottery, texture is described variously as subconchoidal 'breaks somewhat like glass or flint,' smooth 'flat or slightly curved, no visible irregularities,' fine 'small, closely spaced irregularities,' irregular 'larger, more widely spaced irregularities,' hackly 'large and generally angular irregularities,' or laminated 'having a stepped effect'
theoretical statement
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A proposal or the development of a particular explanation or way of understanding human behavior and the effects of humans on the material world.
thermal infrared multispectral scanner
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A remote sensing technique using equipment mounted in aircraft or satellite to measure infrared thermal radiation given off by the ground; with sensitivity to 0.1 degrees Celsius, it can locate subsurface structures by how they affect surface thermal radiation
thermoremnant magnetism
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A magnetic moment induced into an item by heat.
three-dimensional recording
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A system in which the two dimensions of the coordinate grid record the topographical findspot of an object. The third dimension is a measured elevation or spot-height of the absolute level at which an object was found.
torre
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. torri
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The name for circular dry-stone towerlike structures built in Corsica (mainly in the south) during the Middle and Late Bronze Ages. They are typically of Cyclopean masonry and measure 10-15 meters in diameter and 3-7 meters in height; normally a narrow entrance opens into a central corbelled chamber, sometimes with subsidiary niches. The basic plan was often changed to incorporate natural rock formations or extra corridors. The oldest examples are of the early 2nd millennium BC. Although the torri are superficially similar to the Naragi of Sardinia and the Talayots of the Balearic Islands, they are considerably smaller and not effective as defenses or refuges.
tortoise core
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: In stone toolmaking, a distinctive core having the shape of a tortoise shell and characteristic of the Levalloisian culture. A nodule of flint is prepared to form a core resembling a tortoise, from which flakes are struck.
treasure trove
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 market value or with the object itself if it is not required for the national collections.
treasury
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.
tree line
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: A line marking the point in the Arctic north where trees do not grow because the subsoil is permanently frozen. Proceeding northward or as the elevation increases, the height of the trees gradually decreases while the spacing between them increases until a point is finally reached where the trees give way to tundra, i.e. the tree line.
tree-ring dating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: dendrochronology
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The use of annual growth rings in trees to date archaeological sites.
tree-trunk coffin
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A wooden coffin made by cutting a tree trunk longitudinally so that one part (usually the larger) is hollowed out while the other can be used as a lid. In the British Isles this kind of construction is typical of the early 2nd millennium BC. Also known as monoxylous coffins, they are often rather similar to dugout canoes.
trenail
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A wooden cylinder or dowel used for pinning planks or timbers together.
trench
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A long test pit.
trencher
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A shallow dish or plate used to serve main meals off or to serve sweetmeats, these usually being painted with devices and riddles.
trenching
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An excavation technique in which a site is penetrated with long, narrow trenches that reveal the vertical dimension of the area and to explore the horizontal dimension along one axis.
trend surface analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method used to make a generalized map from observed data and used to highlight the main features and important trends of a geographic distribution. Archaeological observations mapped are discontinuous and at isolated points and therefore must be used to give information over a wider area. This is done either by averaging the values at a number of points to produce a general value or by a form of linear regression analysis which finds the contours which best fit the observations plotted on the map. The map produced then shows a general trend of the distribution, along with localized fluctuations. The technique is most useful for displaying archaeological data in a simplified and generalized form, making it easier to examine and explain the broad regional trends and the local variations. It can be applied to several different artifact distributions at the regional level, and has also been used to describe the distribution of artifact types within a site.
trepanation
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: trepanning, trephining; trephination
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A surgical practice in which small sections of cranial bone are removed or a hole is made in a living human's head. It was used as an attempt to cure tumors, to relieve the brain of pressure after injury, cure headaches or epilepsy, or to cure insanity. It is clear that many subjects survived the operation, for in several cases the bone has started to regenerate, while in others there is evidence for successive trepanations. There are many prehistoric records of the practice, especially in Neolithic France and pre-Columbian Peru. The practice survives among some primitive peoples.
trial trench
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: sondage
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The digging of a pilot trench of a predetermined size to determine stratigraphic deposits.
trireme
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The earliest type of Greek warship which used a battering ram in the prow as its main weapon and named for the three banks of oars by which it was propelled.
trolling lure
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A fishing device which is towed behind a moving boat.
tumbrel
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A balance for weighing coins.
turret
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Towers of great height in proportion to their diameter, often with staircases and crowned with small spires. Two were placed between each milecastle on Hadrian's Wall as lookout posts and signal stations.
tuyère
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A metal nozzle through which the air is forced into a forge, hearth, kiln, or furnace from the bellows. In antiquity it was usually of clay, and often survives as the only evidence for a metalworking site. This short tube made of clay, through which the air from bellows could be blown into a furnace, was used to produce the high temperatures required for metalworking and smelting.
umbrella
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A folding circular cover on a stick held in the hand for protection against rain.
underwater reconnaissance
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Geophysical methods of underwater survey. Some of these methods are: 1) towing a proton magnetometer behind a survey vessel to detect iron and steel objects, 2) using side-scan sonar that transmits sound waves in a fan-shaped beam to produce a graphic image of surface features on the sea-bed, and 3) using a sub-bottom profiler that emits sound pulses which bounce back from features and objects buried beneath the sea floor.
unidirectional core
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A core that has had flakes removed from only one direction.
urban revolution
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Urban Revolution
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term applied to a sociocultural type or stage of human development. V. Gordon Childe proposed that the criteria for the urban revolution are: (1) cities, or large, dense settlements; (2) the differentiation of the population into specialized occupational groups; (3) social classes, including a ruling stratum exempt from primary subsistence tasks; (4) mechanisms for extracting a social surplus such as taxes or tribute; (5) monumental public buildings and other enterprises; and (6) writing.
use retouch
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An irregular scattering of small scars often found on the edges of artifacts and though to be the accidental result of tool use
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A primary context resulting from abandonment of materials during either manufacturing or use activities.
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A secondary context resulting from disturbance by human activity after original deposition of materials.
varnished ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pottery, usually small bowls, decorated with rough-cast scales or roundels, or rough-cast beakers in white fabric with greenish-brown shiny slip. Generally 1st century BC/AD in date and produced in central Gaul and on the Rhine.
vernacular architecture
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Buildings belonging to the middle and lower end of the social scale which fall into three main categories - domestic, agricultural and industrial - and which are characteristic of a period, place, or group. Building styles that remain common over a period of time to a particular place.
vertical exposure
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: vertical excavation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Excavation of a site to reveal its vertical extent, with relatively little breadth. This type of excavation is undertaken to establish a chronological sequence, normally covering a limited area.
vertical face trenching
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An excavation strategy in which archaeologists expose a vertical face from the ground surface to sterile soil before excavating individual strata across the length of the trench.
vertical feature interface
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A unit marking a distinct event, such as the digging of a pit, and resulting in the destruction of pre-existing stratification.
vesicular ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: calcite-gritted ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pottery whose fabric embodies crushed calcite (either shell or mineral grit) as a tempering agent, used especially for kitchen wares such as storage jars, cooking pots, and bowls.
vitreous
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Like glass in appearance or physical properties; also, of a substance, derived from or containing glass
ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Generally, articles made of pottery or ceramic. Specifically, a class of pottery whose members share similar technology, paste, and surface treatment.
water screening
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The application of water under pressure to force sediments through screens.
wedge-shaped microcore
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A core that is small and keel- or wedge-shaped and used to make microblades. They have been found in East Europe, Siberia, Mongolia, northern China, Alaska, northwestern North America, and Japan on Upper Palaeolithic sites from the close of the Pleistocene.
were-jaguar
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A creature with human infant and jaguar features which was important in Olmec art. It has a babylike expression, fangs, snarling mouth, and other feline facial features. The number and unity of the objects in this style first suggested to scholars that they were dealing with a new and previously unknown civilization. There is a whole spectrum of such were-jaguar forms in Olmec art, ranging from the almost purely feline to the human in which only a trace of jaguar can be seen. These Olmec monuments were generally carved in the round, technically very advanced even though the only methods available were pounding and pecking with stone tools. Considerable artistry can also be seen in the pottery figurines of San Lorenzo, which depict nude and sexless individuals with were-jaguar traits. The Olmec also worshipped a rain deity depicted as a were-jaguar.
whiteware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A class of ceramics including porcelain, china, pottery, earthenware, stoneware, and vitreous tile that is usually white and consists typically of clays, feldspar, potter's flint, and whiting.
wire
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Metal drawn out into a thin flexible thread or rod
yellowware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Pottery made from buff clay and covered with a yellowish transparent clay.

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