SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: antiquary; antiquarianism CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: An amateur interested in ancient artifacts who studies or collects objects of antiquity. The term also refers to amateurs who dig up artifacts unscientifically. Antiquarianism is the study of the ancient past and its customs and the relics of the ancient past.
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)."
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A medieval embroidery depicting the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, which is considered a remarkable work of art and important as a source for 11th-century history. It consists of a roll of unbleached linen worked in colored worsted with illustrations and is about 70 m long and 50 cm deep. The work was probably commissioned by Bishop Odo of Bayeux, a half-brother of William the Conquerer, and took about two years to complete. It was likely finished no later than 1092. The tapestry depicts the events leading up to the invasion of England by William Duke of Normandy and the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, when the English King Harold was defeated and killed. Though not proven, the tapestry appears to have been designed and embroidered in England. The themes are enacted much like that of a feudal drama or chanson de geste. The technical detail and iconography of the Bayeux Tapestry are of great importance. For instance, the 33 buildings depicted offer a look at the contemporary churches, castles, towers and motte and bailey castles. The battle scenes give details on the infantry and cavalry formations, Norman armor and weapons, and the clothing and hairstyles of the time. The invasion fleet is 'Viking double enders' (clinker-built long boats, propelled by oars and a single mast). The tapestry was discovered" in the nave of Bayeux Cathedral in France by French antiquarian and scholar Bernard de Montfaucon who published the earliest complete reproduction of it in 1730. It narrowly escaped destruction during the French Revolution was exhibited in Paris at Napoleon's wish in 1803-04 and thereafter kept in the Bayeux public library."
Beazley, Sir John Davidson (1885-1970)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A British antiquarian who identified much Athenian pottery by the names of the craftsmen who made them.
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 potterytypology 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.
Leland, John (c. 1506-1552)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: An early notable antiquarian who, in his official capacity as King's Antiquary to King Henry VIII, toured England and Wales describing places of antiquarian interest, including prominent prehistoric sites. He intended to write a book (History and Antiquities of the Nation") that would provide a topographical account of the British Isles and the adjacent islands and to add a description of the nobility and of the royal palaces. He died however before these works were prepared."
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Any object made and intended for the worship of ancestors, who are often named in inscriptions on the object, which is usually bronze. Many were specially cast to commemorate important events in the lives of their possessors. The vessels were also meant to serve as heirlooms. Although ritual vessels are found in many parts of ancient world (rhytons or libation vessels of Greek Bronze Age), they were particularly important in China -- used for sacrifices of food and wine offered to ancestors. The bronzeritual vessel is the characteristic artifact of the Chinese civilization. Many are found in the tombs of Shang and Chou Dynasties, made almost exclusively by casting. Beginning in Anyangperiod (c 1300-1030 BC), vessels were often cast with inscriptions dedicating them to the service of deceased ancestors; hence the sacrificial offerings of wine and food presented in the vessels were connected with the ancestral cult known also from the Anyang oracle bone inscriptions. The practice of providing imposing vessels as mortuary gifts, and perhaps even the ancestral cult itself, originated in the east-coast Neolithictradition, where some of the Shang vessel shapes have precursors in pottery and where important Shang cultural traits are foreshadowed as early as the 4th millennium BC. The vessel types are known today either by names given them in Shang or Chou times that can be identified in contemporary inscriptions, such as the li, ting, and hsien, or by names, such as yu, chia, and kuang, given them by later Chinese scholars and antiquarians. The vessels may be grouped according to their presumed function in sacrificial rites.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Somerset, southwest England, that is one of the more important secular Dark Age sites in Britain. It is an Iron Age hillfort with a history of abandonment and refortification throughout the prehistoric, Roman and medieval periods. The 16th-century antiquarian John Leyland first recognized South Cadbury's links with the Dark ages and named it as Camelot, thus initiating its romantic associations with the Arthurian legend.
Stukeley, William (1687-1765)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: British antiquary and fieldarchaeologist whose surveys of the monumentalNeolithic Period-Bronze Age stone circles at Stonehenge and Avebury, Wiltshire, led him to elaborate theories relating them to the Druids. His views were widely accepted in the late 18th century and this misconception about the Druid connection has no data to back it up. His extensive antiquarian travels are recorded in Itinerarium Curiosum" (1724 "Observant Itinerary")."