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.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A sector of units of excavation that consists of a group of closely related, usually contiguous, squares. The numbering of Areas is by capital letters, e.g., Area A, Area M, etc., and squares by Arabic numbers, Area A, Square 1. In some systems of excavation what is an Area in the above description is called a field, and instead of the smaller unit of squares already described, that unit is called an area, e.g., Field 1, Area 1.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: extensive excavation, open excavation, open-area excavation CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method of excavation in which the full horizontal extent of a site is cleared and large areas are open while preserving a stratigraphic record in the balks between large squares. A gradual vertical probe may then take place. This method is often used to uncover houses and prehistoricsettlement patterns. Areaexcavation involves the opening up of large horizontal areas for excavation, used especially where single period deposits lie close to the surface. It is the excavation of as large an area as possible without the intervention of balks and a gridsystem. This technique allows the recognition of much slighter traces of ancient structures than other methods. On multi-period sites, however, it calls for much more meticulous recording since the stratigraphy is revealed one layer at a time.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cherchel, Caesarea Palaestinae, Caesarea Maritima, Straton's Tower, Strato's Tower CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient port and administrative city of Palestine on the Mediterranean coast of present-day Israel. It is often called Caesarea Palaestinae or Caesarea Maritima to distinguish it from CaesareaPhilippi. It was originally an ancient Phoeniciansettlement known as Straton's (Strato's Tower) and was rebuilt and enlarged by Herod the Great around 22-10 BC, who renamed it for his patron, Caesar Augustus. Herod also rebuilt the harbor, which traded with his newly built city at Sebaste (Augusta) of ancient Samaria. There were Hellenistic-Roman public buildings and an aqueduct. After Herod died, it became the capital of the Roman province of Judaea. An inscription naming Pontius Pilate is one of the best-known from the site. The city became the capital of the Roman province of Judaea in AD 6. Jewish revolts and later Byzantine and Arab rule cause the city's decline.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Major anthropological subdivisions of the North American continent, characterized by relatively uniform environments and relatively similar cultures. It is a geographical region in which general cultural homogeneity is to be found, defined by ethnographically observed cultural similarities within the area. A culturearea is also a geographic area in which one culture prevailed at a given time. This concept was devised as a means of organizing museumdata. Examples are the Southwest, the Northwest Coast.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method of comprehensively inquiring about a site, supported by actual substantiation of claims that sites exist by checking the ground.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A location where large, complex societies occur at different times, such as the valley of central Mexico. The term also is defined as the focus of activity in a site, such as a camp or village around which hunting or agricultural activity takes place.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Any site with low densities of artifacts.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A type of excavation in which large horizontal areas are opened, esp. where single-period deposits lie close to the surface.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The subdivision of an archaeologicalarea, usually defined by geographic or cultural considerations.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Site or a rock shelter near the village of Les Eyzies (Dordogne) in the Vézère valley of southwestern France. It has a very rich Upper Palaeolithicsequence of more than 14 main culture layers with radiocarbon dates from c 32,500 BC, beginning with Aurignacian deposits containing saucerlike living hollows with central hearths. The Aurignacian levels are followed by Perigordian and Proto-Magdalenian and probably Proto-Solutrean levels. Art objects have been found and a skeleton in a top layer. The various kinds of hearths and living areas may suggest different social groups inhabiting the area.
absolute pollen counting
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Absolute pollen counting is the determination of the number of grains of each pollentype per unitweight (grains/gram) or unit volume (grains/cm3) of sample. Variation in the rate of sedimentation sometimes makes the number of years represented uncertain; absolute counts for different samples may therefore not be compatible. Pollenanalysis is then calibrated with radiocarbon dating to create pollen influx rates figured by the number of grains of each pollentype accumulating on a unitarea of lake or bog surface in one year (grains/cm2/year) for each sample.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: air photography, aerophotography, aerial reconnaissance CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A technique of photographic observation and survey of the ground from an aircraft, spacecraft, or satellite which provides detailed information about sites and features without excavation. It is most important for locating archaeological sites before destruction of the landscape through building, road construction, or modern agricultural practices. When viewed from the air, sites may be revealed as crop marks, soil marks, shadow marks, or frost marks. For example, the plan of a site, ditches, walls, pits, etc. can be reflected in the way the crops grew (crop marks) or a pattern of dark occupation soil may show against a lighter topsoil or stone from walls may be just under the surface (soil marks). Oblique aerial photos, from lower altitudes, detect shadows created by earthworks and permit more detailed interpretations of known sites (shadow marks). Variations in the amount of frost retained on the ground may indicate the presence of buried archaeological features (frost marks). Though these can sometimes be recognized on the ground by careful fieldwalking and contour planning, much larger areas can be examined from the air and overall patterns will be clearer. The same site may not be susceptible every year to aerial photographs, as local climatic variation affects the nature of the feature fillings; a site may only be seen once in ten or twenty years. The use of false-color infrared photography has increased the versatility of aerial photography and the development of photogrammetry allows the accurate mapping of both archaeological and geographical information. Recording of thermographic and radar images complements photographic methods. Aerial photography has proved to be one of the most successful methods of discovering archaeological sites. Large areas of ground can be covered quickly, and the ground plan of a new site can be plotted from the photographs. Features can be revealed in extraordinary detail by these means. The pioneers of this technique were O.G.S. Crawford and Major Allen in Britain and Père Poidebard in Syria, though its first use goes back to 1906 at Stonehenge.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Neolithicculture of the Yenisei valley of southern Siberia. The people, who were stock breeders and hunters, probably moved into the area in the late 3rd millennium BC. Excavations uncovered burials under kurgans (low mounds), surrounded by circular stone walls. There was stamped dentatepottery, stone, bone, and bronze tools, and some copper ornaments with the burials. The Afanasievo people were the first food-producers in the area, breeding cattle, horses, and sheep, but also practiced hunting. The Afanasievo were succeeded by the Andronovo culture in the mid-2nd millennium BC.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The Agrelo culture was centered in northwestern Argentina and dates from AD 1 to 1000. The type site is just south of Mendoza and it features distinctive deep, wide-mouthed pottery with parallel stepped incised lines, punctations, and fingernail impressions, typical of southern Andean tradition. Pottery spindle whorls, crude figurines, labrets, clubheads, triangular projectile points, and beads of stone have been found. Pit inhumations were marked by stone circles. The Agrelo represents the agriculture-pottery threshold in this semi-arid area. Nearby coastal pottery styles (Cienega, El Molle) may be precursors to Agrelo.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: formerly Girgenti, Greek Acragas or Akragas, Latin Agrigentum; also Agrigagas CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A wealthy, flourishing Greek and Roman city near the southern coast of Sicily, Italy, originally a colony of Gela and founded by Greeks about 580 BC. The plateau site of the ancient city has extraordinarily rich Greek remains. There are extensive walls with remnants of eight gates and the remains of seven Doric temples, but there has been illegal construction in which the ruins were quarried, so little is standing where some of the buildings once were. Agrigento was sacked by the Carthaginians in 406 BC, a disaster from which it never really recovered. It was refounded by Timoleon, a Greek general and statesman, in 338 BC, but Agrigento was on the losing side for most of the Punic Wars. Agrigento returned to some commercial prosperity when textiles, sulfur and potash mining, and agriculture expanded. It was abandoned once again in the Christian era though areas were used as Roman and Christian cemeteries and catacombs. There is some evidence for even earlier settlement, possibly Neolithic.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Eynan CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large village of the early Natufianperiod near Lake Huleh in Upper Jordan. The three phases contain 50 large circular houses and open areas with storage pits. The well-built houses suggest a permanent occupation. The economy was probably based on the hunting and herding of gazelle and other large animals, fishing, and harvesting cereals. Many of the houses had paved stone floors and a central stone-lined hearth.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A name derived from the French for wing" describing the areas of a churchbasilica or temple between the arcade or arches or columns and the outer wall on both sides of the nave. It is also used to describe the wing of a building and the side passages of a Roman house."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in southern Mauritania that appears to have been an early copperworking center in Africa, from c. 5th century BC or earlier. It is one of the few Saharan or sub-Saharan areas where there may have been a Copper Age preceding the Iron Age. Arrowheads, spearheads, axes, pins, and some decorative items of copper are attributed to this period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Agade CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Ancient region in what is now central Iraq and was the northern (or northwestern) division of ancient Babylonian civilization. It is an archaeologically unlocated site, in or near Babylon roughly where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are closest to each other. The name Akkad was taken from the city of Agade, which was founded by Sargon in about 2370 BC. Sargon united various city-states in the area and his rule encompassed much of Mesopotamia, creating the first empire in history.
CATEGORY: 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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An early farming site near Deh Luran in southwestern Iran, occupied c 7500-5600 BC. It was the first excavated farming site where significant quantities of plant remains were collected using the flotation technique, a landmark in the study of farming origins. The earliest phase, named Bus Mordeh and dated c 7500-6750 BC is characterized by simple mud-brick buildings and a combination of wild and domesticated foods, some herding, and the catching of fish. The succeeding phase, Ali Kosh and dated c 6770-6000 BC had similar plants and animals, hunting and fishing, but a decline in wild plant foods which points to more successful cereal cultivation. The buildings were much more substantial in this period. The final phase, Muhammed Jaffar and dated c 6000-5600, saw the introduction of pottery and ground stone. The evidence shows some strain of over-exploitation and by the mid-6th millennium BC, the area was abandoned. The site illustrates the transition from food gathering to food production and the improvement of house-building quality.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: alluvial deposit, alluvion CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: The detrital material (clay, gravel, organic material, sand, silt, soil) eroded, transported, and deposited by rivers and streams. It is very fertile and was used by early farmers. Though the largest areas of alluvium are flood plains and deltas, it may also occur where a river overflows its banks and is an important constituent of shelf deposits.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The mountain range and region of southern Siberia which has yielded important prehistoric remains. Rising above 4000 meters, this area has Palaeolithic deposits (Ulalinka Creek) and a late glacial occupation (Ust' Kanskaia Cave). Some food-producing cultures appeared c 3rd millennium BC and metallurgy entered c 2nd millennium, when copperore was exploited. Pastoral nomadism and horseback riding were introduced in the 1st millennium BC. There are rich burials which indicate a society of social differentiation and a warrior elite which acquired precious goods from far-flung regions. In the 4th-2nd centuries BC, iron gradually replaced bronze. Altai groups are also characterized by animal art styles, similar to the Scythians who occupied the steppes of southern Russia to the west.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Fossilized pine resin, a transparent yellow, orange, or reddish-brown material from coniferous trees. It is amorphous, having a specific gravity of 1.05-1.10 and hardness of 2-2.5 on the Mohs scale, and has two varieties -- gray and yellow. Amber was appreciated and popular in antiquity for its beauty and its supposed magical properties. The southeast coast of the Baltic Sea is its major source in Europe, with lesser sources near the North Sea and in the Mediterranean. Amber is washed up by the sea. There is evidence of a strong trade in amber up the Elbe, Vistula, Danube, and into the Adriatic Sea area. The trade began in the Early Bronze Age and expanded greatly with the Mycenaeans and again with the Iron Age peoples of Italy. The Phoenicians were also specialist traders in amber. The soft material was sometimes carved for beads and necklaces.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Lower Palaeolithic site in Soria, central Spain, first discovered before World War II. Ambrona probably dates 300,000-400,000 years ago, from the end of the Mindel glacialperiod. Its occupants hunted elephants, deer, and bovines though the horse was the most common animal in the area. There are stone hand axes, scrapers, and cleavers of the Acheuliantype and similar to some African sites were made from chalcedony, quartzite, quartz, and limestone. Points were fashioned from young elephant tusks. Pieces of charcoal show that fire was used.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A swampy plain in northern Syria east of Antioch (Antakya) at the foot of the Amanus mountains and beside the Orontes River at the northeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea. Its important sites Tayanat (Neolithic-Chalcolithic), Atchana (Copper Age to Hittite), and Antioch (Hellenistic and Roman). The plain is rich in tell settlements of the prehistoric and later periods. The basic prehistoricsequence for the area has phases designated by letters, as 'Amuq A represents the Early Neolithic.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A swampy plain in northern Syria east of Antioch (Antakya) at the foot of the Amanus mountains and beside the Orontes River at the northeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea. Its important sites Tayanat (Neolithic-Chalcolithic), Atchana (Copper Age to Hittite), and Antioch (Hellenistic and Roman). The plain is rich in tell settlements of the prehistoric and later periods. The basic prehistoricsequence for the area has phases designated by letters, as 'Amuq A represents the Early Neolithic.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A number of Neolithic cultures recognized near the Amur River in eastern Siberia. They are mainly defined by the presence of pottery. In the Middle Amur region, the earliest phase is known as the Novopetrovka bladeculture. Later is the Gromatukha culture, with unifacially flaked adzes, bifacially flaked arrowheads, and laurel-leaf knives and spearheads. Settlements on Osinovoe Lake, which are characterized by large pit houses, date to around the 3rd millennium BC. Millet was cultivated, representing the first food production in the area, and there was fishing. A fourth Neolithicculture in the area, dating to the mid-2nd millennium BC was a combination of farming and fishing by people who moved there from the Lower Amur area. The Neolithic of the Lower Amur is known from sites such as Kondon, Suchu Island, and Voznesenovka. Fishing provided the economic basis for the establishment of unusually large sedentary settlements of pit houses -- a situation paralleling the examples from the Northwest coast of North America. In the 1st millennium BC, iron was introduced and fortified villages constructed. In Middle Amur, millet farming became the lifeway.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A major cultural tradition of canyon dwellers found in southwestern United States between 100-1600 AD -- mainly in the four corners area of northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, southeastern Utah, and southwestern Colorado. These Native Americans began settlements with the cultivation of maize. Pottery was unknown at the beginning, but basketry was well developed, hence the name Basket Maker" is given to these early stages. By the sixth century there were large villages of pit houses with farming and pottery and it evolved into the full Anasazi tradition. The first pueblos and kivas were constructed and fine painted pottery made. The next few centuries (the Pueblo I-III periods) were a time of expansion during which some of the most famous towns were founded (Chaco Canyon) and fine polychrome wares produced. At this time the Mogollon people to the south adopted the Anasazi way of life and their Hohokam neighbors were also influenced perhaps suggesting that the Anasazi actually migrated to these areas. In such an arid environment farming was always vulnerable to fluctuations in climate and rainfall and these factors caused considerable population movement and relocation of settlements during 11th-13th centuries with the virtual abandonment of Chaco Canyon in 1150 and the plateau heartland by 1300. From 1300 until the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century the Anasaziculture and population dwindled and the homeland in northern Arizona was abandoned. Then with the encroachment of nomadic Apache and Navajo tribes and with the arrival of Europeans from the south and east Anasazi territory decreased further. However some pueblos have continued to be occupied until the present day. The generally accepted chronological framework of three Basketmaker and five Pueblo stages was first proposed at the 1927 Pecos Conference. Although exact links are uncertain it is clear that modern Pueblo Indian people are descended from Anasazi ancestors. The name Anasazi is derived from a Navajo word meaning "enemy ancestors" or "early ancestors" or "old people"."
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period of cool climate in the area of North America that occurred from about 7000-5000 BC. This was Ernst Antev's name for the first of the Neothermal periods and it is thought to have started off cool before becoming somewhat warmer.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A mountainous region of present-day Turkey, bounded by the Pontine mountains and Zagros mountains. There are a number of early sites dating c 7000 BC as the rainfall was adequate for dry farming. The area was also important for sources of obsidian, which was exploited from the Upper Palaeolithic onwards and was extensively traded in the Neolithic. The area was an important center in the Neolithic and Chalcolithic, with sites like Catal Huyuk and Can Hasan. It was less important in the Bronze Age but later became the homeland of the Hittite empire in the 2nd millennium BC.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The chronological systems of the Central Andes area with two main stages, Preceramic and Ceramic. The Ceramic is broken down into: Initial Period, 1900-1200 BC, Early Horizon 1200-300 BC, Early Intermediate Period 300 BC-700 AD, Middle Horizon 700-100, Late Intermediate Period 1100-1438/1478, and Late Horizon 1438-1532. These horizon periods are times of widespread unity in cultural traits. Intermediate periods are times of cultural diversification.
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.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The name of the combined cultures, the Angles and the Saxons, who left their North Sea coastal homelands in the 5th century AD and moved to eastern England after the breakdown of Roman Rule. The name derives from two specific groups --- the Angles of Jutland and the Saxons from northern Germany. Some other Germanic peoples took part in the migrations, such as the Jutes and the Frisians, and they are sometimes included under this name. The language, culture, and settlement pattern of medieval and later England can be traced directly to the Anglo-Saxons. The movement to the area probably began in the 4th century when barbarian Foederati went to serve in the Roman army in Britain. The main immigration began in the middle of the 5th century. Bede, writing in the early 8th century, gives the only reliable historical record for this period, though incidental information can be found in the Old English literature, particularly the poem of Beowulf. The English kingdoms took shape by the late 6th century. Archaeologically, there are three periods: the Early or PaganSaxonperiod went until the general acceptance of Christianity in the mid-7th century; the Middle Saxonperiod until the 9th century, and the Late Saxonperiod which went up till the Norman invasion of 1066. The earliest period's remains are mainly burial deposits, often cremation in urns or by inhumation in cemeteries of trench graves or under barrows. Grave goods often include knives, sword or spear, shieldboss, and brooches, buckles, beads, girdle-hangers, and pottery -- depending on the gender. Most archaeological evidence comes from the cemeteries, including the exceptional ship burial at Sutton Hoo. Churches were built and in the Middle and Late Saxon periods, including Bradford-Upon-Avon and Deerhurst. Important monuments of the Middle and Late Saxon periods are the royal palaces at Yeavering and Cheddar. The Late Saxonperiod, after the Viking invasions, saw the growth of the first towns in Britain since the Roman period, following the establishment of Burhs in response to the Scandinavian threat. There was wide-ranging trade, developed coinage, and improved potterymanufacture and metal-working. The separate British kingdoms (most important: Mercia, Northumbria and Wessex) eventually became a unified England with a capital at Winchester in Wessex. The Anglo-Saxons were responsible for the introduction of the English language and for the establishment of the settlement patterns of medieval England.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Antiochia, Antioch Pisidian, Antiocheia Pisidias, Caesarea Antiochia CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient city of Phrygia near the Orontes River and modern Yalvaç in Turkey. It was founded in 300 BC by Seleucus I (c 358-281 BC) after the death of Alexander the Great and was one of the two capitals of the Parthian Empire. It became a Roman city in 64 BC at the hands of Pompey and served as a capital of the province of Syria and was one of the three most important cities of the Roman world. Antioch peaked under Hadrian as a civil and military administrative center, then suffered Persian invasions during the 3rd century AD. It was rebuilt by Diocletian and successive emperors form the 4th century AD. The plain of Anitoch was occupied from the Neolithic onwards. Its ruins include a large rock cutting which may have held the temple of Men Ascaënus, the local Phrygiandeity.
Antiquities Act of 1906
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A U.S. law protecting all historic and prehistoric sites on Federal lands and prohibiting excavation or destruction of such antiquities unless a permit (Antiquities Permit) is obtained from the Secretary of the department which has the jurisdiction over those lands. It also authorizes the President to declare areas of public lands as National Monuments and to reserve or accept private lands for that purpose.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Apopis, Apophis CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: An evil serpent- or snake-god, whose name was adopted by at least one Hyksospharaoh (Apopis I, c 1585-1542 BC) who ruled a large area of Egypt in the Second Intermediate Period. The deity symbolized the forces of chaos and evil. Apophis is represented on funerary papyri and on the walls of royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings as the eternal enemy of the sun god Ra.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Puglia CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of southeastern Italy which produced figure-decorated pottery in the 5th-4th centuries BC and was strongly influenced by the Greeks. Apulian pottery was decorated in the red-figured technique, though there was also plain wares.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A rock shelter (Aq Kupruk II) and open site (Aq Kupruk III) on the Balkh River in northern Afghanistan. It is one of the richest Palaeolithic sites in that area. Aq Kupruk II had a single late Palaeolithic deposit with a bladeindustry (including microliths) with a radiocarbon date of c 14,600 BC. Aq Kupruk III had two deposits, one with artifacts similar to II and a lower one without microlithics. The presence of domesticated sheep and goats at Aq Kupruk has been dated to 8000 BC and that of cattle to about 6000 BC. Sickle blades, peaked stone hoes, chisels, hand mills, and pounders suggest the collection and preparation of wild grains, if not cultivation.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aqualithic CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: This term has been used to describe a widespread series of cultures in the high lake and river areas of the southern Sahara and Sahal between the 8th and 3rd millennia BC (also 10,000-8000 BP). There are barbed boneharpoon heads and pottery with parallel wavy lines that reveal some similarities between the regions. First investigated at Early Khartoum, sites of this type are now known as far to the southeast as the Lake Turkana basin in Kenya. To the west, related material is found as far as Kourounkorokale in Mali. The greatest significance of the aquatic civilization" lies in the settled lifestyle of its people for this led up to the subsequent adoption of food production. Artifacts include bone harpoons."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (from aqua" CATEGORY: and "duco" DEFINITION: to lead)" structure Any channel or artificial conduit constructed to supply water to an area from a source some distance away. The term is most commonly applied to large arched bridges built by the Romans to carry water over valleys and through ravines and used for the baths, for street cleaning, and for public mains. Aqueducts generally entered a city near its gateway and terminated at a distribution junction (castellum) where the public and private supplies would be drawn. There are some remains, such as Pont-du-Gard near Nismes, France, and Segovia in Spain. The longest was 82 miles (132 km) at Carthage. Aqueducts often discharged into reservoirs.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A former city founded as a Roman colony in 181 BC, now a village in northeastern Italy near the Adriatic coast northwest of Trieste. Founded to prevent barbarian invasions, Aquileia became a trade and commercial center along the route north and east into the Black Sea areas. By the 4th century, it became capital of the regions of Venetia and Istria. The city fell to the Huns and was sacked in 452. It also once served as an episcopal see of the Roman Catholic Church.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (fr Greek Aramaios, Syria") adj. Aramaic" CATEGORY: culture; language DEFINITION: A branch of the confederacy of Semite tribes who moved out of the Syrian desert and who conquered the Canaanites and established themselves in their own series city-states in c 16-12 BC. The foremost of these states was Aram of Damascus, a large region of northern Syria, which was occupied between the 11th-8th centuries BC, and also Bit-Adini, Aram Naharaim, and Sam'al (Sinjerli). In the same period some of these tribes seized large tracts of Mesopotamia. By the 9th century BC, the whole area from Babylon to the Mediterranean coast was occupied by the Aramaean tribes known collectively as Kaldu (also Kashdu), the biblical Chaldeans. Assyria, nearly encircled, attacked the armies of the Aramaeans and one by one the states collapsed under the domination of Assyria in the succeeding centuries. The destruction of Hamath by Sargon II of Assyria in 720 marked the end of the Aramaean kingdoms of the west. Those Aramaeans along the lower Tigris River remained independent somewhat longer and in 626 BC, a Chaldean general (Nabopolassar) proclaimed himself king of Babylon and joined with the Medes and Scythians to overthrow Assyria. Thereon in the Chaldean empire, the Chaldeans, Aramaeans, and Babylonians became one group. Their North Semiticlanguage, Aramaic, became the international language of the Near East by the 8th century BC, replacing Akkadian. Aramaic was written in the Phoenicianscript and was the diplomatic and vernacularspeech of the Holy Land during the time of Christ. It was replaced by Arabic after the Arab Conquest, but is still spoken in some remote villages of Syria. In the Old Testament the Aramaeans are represented as being related to the Hebrews and living in northern Syria around Harran from about the 16th century BC. Few specifically Aramaic objects have been uncovered by archaeologists.
Arauqinoid or Araquinoid
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arauqin CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A ceramicseries created to compare the cultures of the Venezuela / Antilles area which flourished in the Middle Orinoco River region from c 500-1500 AD. Soft-textured gray vessels tempered with spicules of freshwater sponge and geometric incised designs on the interior beveled rims of bowls were characteristic. Collared jars with appliquéd human faces and coffee-bean eyes were also common and pieces of griddles have been found at most sites. The series replaces the Saladoid and Barrancoid in some areas.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Excavation by predetermined levels of a given thickness; used on sites or areas of sites without visible layering of the soil.
arbitrary sample unit
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: antonym: nonarbitrary sample unit CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A subdivision of data within a defined area of excavation, such as a sample unit that is defined by a site grid, which has no specific cultural relevance.
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.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The methods used to examine an area to determine if archaeological deposits are present.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archaeomagnetic intensity dating, archaeomagnetism, palaeointensity dating, archaeomagnetic age determination CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A chronometric method used to date objects containing magnetic materials -- especially for buried undisturbed features such as pottery kilns, earthen fireplaces, and brick walls -- which can be compared to known schedules of past magnetic alignments within a region and fluctuations in the earth's magneticfield. Clay and rocks contain magnetic minerals and when heated above a certain temperature, the magnetism is destroyed. Upon cooling, the magnetism returns, taking on the direction and strength of the magneticfield in which the object is lying. Therefore, pottery which is baked in effect fossilizes" the Earth's magneticfield as it was the moment of their last cooling (their archaeomagnetism or remanent magnetism). In areas where variations in the Earth's magneticfield are known it is possible to date a potterysample on a curve. This method yields an absolute date within about 50 years."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: zooarchaeology CATEGORY: branch DEFINITION: The study of animal remains, especially bones, from archaeological contexts, including the identification and analysis of faunal species as an aid to reconstructing human diets, determining the impact of animals on past economies, and in understanding the environment at the time of deposition. Animal remains are collected, cleaned, sorted, identified, and measured for their study and interpretation. The study of bones involves calculations of minimum numbers of individuals belonging to each species found; their size, age, sex, stature, dentition, and whether the bones have any marks from implements implying butchering and eating. Archaeologists attempt to answer questions such as how many species of domesticated animals there were, how far wild animals were exploited, how many very young animals there were to determine kill patterns and climate changes, in what way bones were butchered, what the sex ratios there were in determining breeding strategies, and if there were any animals of unusual size. By analyzing remains from different parts of a site it may be possible to understand some of the internal organization of the settlement, while a comparison between sites within a region may show areas of specialization.
architectural unit method
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method in which observable architectural zones of predefined structures are excavated as a single horizontal provenience. An example of this is a room in a palace being treated as its own excavationarea.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (from Latin sand")" CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: The central area of an amphitheatre, usually strewn with sand, where the spectacles and combats too place. The surface was coated with sand either to absorb the blood of the wounded or slain, and also to give a uniformity to the floor and conceal trapdoors and other devices. The term is also used, by extension, for a whole amphitheatre.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: An Early Bronze Age settlement near Almeria in southeast Spain that is the type site of a culture of the 2nd millennium BC. The settlement was fortified and contained rectangular stone houses, though little has been recovered as they are not as well-preserved as the Argaric sites Ifre and El Oficio. The settlement also contained 950 interments, with the earliest in cists and later switching to jar burial. Grave goods in the cist burial phase included daggers, halberds, and wristguards. In the jar burials, there was also faience, and swords and axes of copper or bronze and gold and silver ornaments. Silver was more common in this area than anywhere else in Europe at the time. The pottery of this culture was plain burnished in simple shapes. The Agaric culture, which developed trading with eastern Mediterranean centers, reached its peak between 1700-1000 BC and spread through the central, southern, and Levantine regions and to the Balearic Islands. The area may owe its origin to immigration from western Greece.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Iunu-Montu, Hermonthis CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Upper Egypt on the west bank of the Nile, southwest of Luxor, that was the original capitol of the Theban nome until the 11th Dynasty. Excavations have revealed extensive cemeteries and areas of Predynastic settlement. Thutmose's annals on the walls of the temple of Karnak describing 20 years of military activity in Asia are supplemented by stelae from Armant.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arya; Aryans CATEGORY: culture; language DEFINITION: A people of the Rigveda who invaded Iran and India from the northwest in the 2nd millennium BC and who then spread east and south over the succeeding centuries. Their language was an early form of Sanskrit, an Indo-European tongue. By c 500 BC, Aryanspeech was probably established over much of the area in which Indo-Aryan languages are now spoken (the Indian subcontinent). Archaeologists have not found much to attribute to the Aryans except for some Painted Grey Ware. It is theorized that the Aryans may have been responsible for, or contributed to, the downfall of the Indus (Harappan) civilization.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Askalon, Askelon CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Philistine city on the southern coast of Palestine, southwest of Jerusalem. Excavations have uncovered remains of the Roman period, with some small areas of Philistine levels. Egyptian texts describe Ascalon as one of the cities that revolted against Rameses II. During the Roman period, Ascalon was the birthplace of Herod the Great. It flourished during that time and was occupied in the Byzantine and Arab periods.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archaeological assessment CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: An aspect of cultural resource management in which the surface of a project area is systematically covered by pedestrian survey in order to locate, document, and evaluate archaeological materials therein.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ashur CATEGORY: deity; site DEFINITION: A solar deity which was the chief god of the city of Assur and the kingdom of Assyria. With the latter's conquests, Assur assumed leadership of the Assyrian pantheon and supremacy over the other gods of Mesopotamia. The deity was conceived in anthropomorphic terms. The image of the deity was fed and clothed and was responsible for fertility and security, and represented as a winged sun-disc. It is also the name of the ancient religious capital of the Assyrian empire in northern Mesopotamia, on the bank of the River Tigris at modern Qalaat-Shergat, which was a great trading center and the burial place of the kings even after the government moved to Nineveh. First recorded in the 3rd millennium BC as a frontier post of the empire of Akkad, it then became an independent city-state and finally the capital of Assyria. After Assyria's collapse in 614 BC it failed to survive but was briefly revived under the Parthians. Areas of the palaces, temples, walls, and town have been cleared, and a sondage pit was cut beneath the Temple of Ishtar (pre-Sargonid) to reveal the 3rd and early 2nd millennium levels (the first use of this technique in Mesopotamian excavation). Sumerian statues were found -- among the earliest evidence of Sumerian contact outside the southern plain. For over 2000 years successive kings built and rebuilt the fortifications, temple, and palace complexes: inscriptions associated with these monuments have helped in the construction of the chronology of the site. Three large ziggurats dominated the city with the largest being 60 m square (completed by Shamsi Adad I c 1800 bc). It was originally dedicated to Enlil, but later to Assur; the dedication of the other temples also changed through time. Representations on cylinder seals suggest that many buildings might have had parapets and towers. Assurnasirpal II (883-859 BC) moved the capital to Calah and by 614 BC the city of Assur had fallen to the Median (Medes) army.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Assyrians CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The name of three different empires dating from about 2000-600 BC, the city-state of Assur, and the people inhabiting this northeastern area of Mesopotamia. Originally Semitic nomads in northern Mesopotamia, they finally settled around Assur and accepted its tutelary god as their own. After the fall of the 3rd Dynasty of Ur (2004 BC), Assyria seems to have become an independent city-state and important as middleman in international trade. In its period of greatness, 883-612 BC, there was continuous war in Assyria to keep the empire's lands which at their widest extended from the Nile to near the Caspian, and from Cilicia to the Persian Gulf (Egypt, much of the area to the west as far as the Mediterranean, Elam to the east and parts of Anatolia to the north). Its greatest kings were all warriors, Ashurnasirpal II, Shalmaneser III, Tiglathpileser III, Sargon II, Sennacherib, and Ashurbanipal, who made the name of Assyria feared throughout the ancient East through their military skill and brutality. The main achievements in Assyria, outside warfare, were in architecture and sculpture, particularly the protective winged bulls, etc., which guarded all palace entrances, and the magnificent reliefs of battles, hunts, and military processions which adorned the walls. Assurnasirpal II (833-859 BC) transferred the center of government to Calah (Nimrud). The fortunes of the empire rose and fell under the kings of the 9th-7th centuries: Assurbanipal (668-627 BC) reconquered Egypt, but in 614 BC the empire fell when the Medes invaded Assyria, captured Calah, and destroyed Assur.
Atlantic Bronze Age
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: carp's tongue sword complex CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A late Bronze Age metalworking industry which developed on the west coast of France (Brittany to Gironde) c 1000-500 BC and spread to southern England and Iberia. The unifying factor of these areas was very active trading along the Atlantic seaways. It is known from a large number of hoards with typical products being the carp's tongue sword, end-winged ax, hog-backed razor, and bugle-shaped object of uncertain function. The tradition flourished west of the area dominated by the central European Urnfield cultures.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aksum CATEGORY: culture; site DEFINITION: A kingdom formed from at least the 1st century AD in southwestern Ethiopia which developed into an empire including northern Ethiopia, Sudan, and southern Arabia. It is also the name of a city there, in existence since the 3rd century AD which rose to be the center of the kingdom. The culture incorporated elements from pre-Axumite cultures of the area. It was the first state in eastern Africa to make gold, silver, and copper coins, which is evidence of economic prosperity from international trade (possibly of ivory). The history of Axum is reflected in the inscriptions and religious symbols on those coins, which run approximately from the 3rd-7th centuries. Axum adopted Christianity in 4th century. There is archaeological evidence for large multi-story stone buildings and a series of monolithic funerary stelae up to 33 meters high. Axum was finally conquered by the Axumites in the 4th century, though it achieved political control over parts of southern Arabia in the 6th century. Thereafter it declined and was sacked in the 10th century.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Mesolithic (or Epi-Palaeolithic) culture of southwest France and northern Spain, which seems to follow the Late Magdalenian of the area. It falls within the Late Glacial Period and may be correlated with the Allerod oscillation of the 10th millennium BC (c 9000 to 8000 BC). The culture was characterized by flint microliths, pebbles painted with schematic designs, small thumb-scrapers, fish hooks, and flat boneantler harpoons. It is named for Le Mas d'Zail, a massive cave region in southern France where such artifacts were first discovered in 1889. The Azilians were food gatherers who had domesticated the dog. The Oban and Oransay cultures are degenerated Azilian.
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.
Ba and Shu
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: also Pa and Ch'u; Pa-Shu CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Ancient kingdoms ruling the area of modern Szechwan. Pa came into being in the 11th century BC and established relations with Shu in the 5th century BC. Shortly before 316 BC, the state was conquered by the Ch'in and incorporated into the Ch'in empire. In the middle of the 3rd century BC, the Pa region became part of the kingdom of Shu and was totally independent of north and central China.. Ba and Shu cultural remains are similar, especially the boat-coffin burials on river terraces and tanged willow-leaf bronze swords. The central region of Szechwan is still sometimes known as the Pa. region.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Badari, al- CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of Upper Egypt between Matmar and Qau where a Predynastic culture existed. Numerous cemeteries (Mostagedda, Deir Tasa and the cemetery of el-Badari) and a settlement site at Hammamia have been found.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An Upper Egyptian, Predynastic culture of the later 5th millennium BC, named for the type site of el-Badari, on the east bank of the Nile River. It extended over much of Middle Egypt also. Excavations during the 1920s revealed settlements and cemeteries dating to about 4000 BC (Neolithic). Their fine pottery, black-topped brown ware (later red), was very thin-walled, well-baked, and often decorated with a burnished ripple. This effect was apparently produced by firing it inverted to prevent the air from circulating inside and over the upper rim, keeping these areas black whereas the base and lower wall externally were oxidized to brown or a good red color. Other remains include combs and spoons of ivory, slate palettes, female figurines; and copper, shell, and stone beads. Badarian materials have also been found at Jazirat Armant, al-Hammamiyah, Hierakonpolis (modern Kawm al-Ahmar), al-Matmar, and Tall al-Kawm al-Kabir. Flinders Petrie and other found large numbers of graves with artifacts in 1893-1894 and divided it into two phases: NaqadaCulture I and NaqadaCulture II.
CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: The Neolithicperiod of the Lake Baikal region in eastern Siberia. Stratified sites in the area show a long, gradual move from the Palaeolithic to Neolithicstage, starting in the 4th millennium BC. The Postglacial culture was not true" Neolithic in that it farmed but Neolithic in the sense of using pottery. It was actually a Mongoloid hunting-and-fishingculture (except in southern Siberia around the Aral Sea) with a microlithic flintindustry with polished-stoneblade tools together with antlerbone and ivory artifacts; pointed- or round-based pottery and the bow and arrow. Points and scrapers made on flakes of Mousterianaspect and pebble tools showing a survival of the ancient chopper-chopping tooltradition of eastern Asia have also been found. There was a woodworking and quartziteindustry and some cattle breeding. The first bronzes of the region are related to the Shangperiod of northern China and the earliest Ordos bronzes. The area covers the mountainous regions from Lake Baikal to the Pacific Ocean and the taiga (coniferous forest) and tundra of northern Siberia. A first stage is name for the site Isakovo and is known only from a small number of burials in cemeteries. The succeeding Serovo stage is also known mainly from burials with the addition of the compound bow backed with bone plates. The third phase named Kitoi has burials with red ochre and composite fish hooks possibly indicate more fishing. The succeeding Glazkovo phase of the 2nd millennium BC saw the beginnings of metal-using but generally showed continuity in artifact and burial types. Some remains of semi-subterranean dwellings with centrally located hearths occur together with female statuettes in bone."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bakun, Tall-I CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A prehistorictellsite near Persepolis in south-central Iran, occupied continuous from c 4200 to c 3000 BC. The site, the oldest yet discovered in that area of Iran, was first excavated in 1928. It consisted of 12 mud-brick buildings with 1-7 rooms each. Bakun was occupied by an agricultural community that made fine painted pottery related to Susa A wares. Vessels included conical bowls and goblets with a large variety of geometric patterns and animal motifs. Other finds include flint implements, stamp and button seals, vessels of calcite and many animal and human figurines. The pottery is especially important for the study of early Iranian art.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: baulk CATEGORY: term; technique DEFINITION: A strip (usu. 10-25 centimeters) of unexcavated earth left in place between excavated units, pits, or trenches for the purpose of revealing the stratigraphy of an excavation for as long as possible. The balk provides a constant reference to the original pre-excavationlevel of the site, and also carries all sections along or across the site. In an excavation carried out according to the grid method, 25% of the site may consist of balks. Balks may also serve to facilitate access to different areas of the excavation.
balk excavation method
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The excavation of an area of a site leaving vertical pillars or walls in place, thus allowing better correlation between excavations with predefined strata.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of alluvial gold fields in Guinea, near the headwaters of the Niger and Senegal Rivers. The gold, traded to trans-Saharan markets, contributed to the wealth of the empires of Ghana and Mali which had an intermediate position between Bambuk and the markets.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A term in cultural anthropology describing the simplest type of human social organization consisting of a small number of nuclear families (30-50 people) who are informally organized for subsistence and security purposes. Bands are egalitarian and based mainly on kinship and marriage and the division of labor is based on age and sex. Bands may also be integrated into a larger community, usually called a tribe. Bands exist in sparsely populated areas and use primitive technologies (and are often hunters and gatherers) -- ranging from the desert-dwelling Australian Aborigines, the Pygmies of the Congo rain forests, and the Kaska Indians of the Yukon. Bands often moved seasonally to exploit wild (undomesticated) food resources.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Linearbandkeramik, LBK, Linienbandkeramik (German) CATEGORY: ceramics; culture DEFINITION: A pottery of the Danubian I culture, a Neolithicculture that existed over large areas of Europe north and west of the Danube River c 5th millennium BC. It consists of hemispherical bowls and globular jars, usually round-based and strongly suggesting copies of gourds. The name refers specifically to the standard incised lineardecoration which was pairs of parallel lines forming spirals, meanders, chevrons, etc. There was farming of emmerwheat and barley and the keeping of domestic animals such as cattle. The most common stone tool was a polished stone adze. The people lived in large rectangular houses in medium-sized village communities or as small, dispersed clusters.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A Niger-Congo languagefamily, with approximately 60,000,000 speakers of more than 200 distinct languages, who occupy almost the entire southern projection of the African continent (roughly from the bulge downward). The classification is linguistic as the cultures of the Bantu speakers are extremely diverse. The languages are closely interrelated, indicating expansion of the population from a single source, probably the eastern Nigeria/Cameroon area. Throughout the region these first farming settlements are marked by a common potterytradition, the 'Early Iron age' complex.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pao-chi CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area situated on the north bank of the Wei River, a strategic and transportation center since early times, controlling the northern end of a pass across the Tsinling Mountains. There are Neolithic remains which may be antecedents of the Banpoculture. Western Zhou bronzes have been found in the Baojiarea. Tombs of the 19th century BC contained ritual vessels and the earliest known evidence of silk embroidery.
basin of deposition
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: The area which defines the pattern of deposition of layers, e.g. the shape of a cave, room, or pit.
Basin of Mexico
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A basin enclosed by mountains with cultural remains as early as 19,000 BC at Tlapacoya and 15,000 BC at Tlatilco. The Basin contains the current capital, Mexico City, Mexico, the remains of Azteccapital of Tenochtitlán, and the cities of Cuicuilco and Teotihuacán. Dry farming, swidden agriculture, chinampas, and irrigation have been used to cultivate the area. Important periods in the area's prehistory were from c 100 BC-650 AD and from 1200-1520 AD, before the Spanish conquest.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Basketmakers CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Two early chronological periods of the early Puebloans or Anasazi -- 100-500 AD, followed by the Modified Basket Maker period, 500-700; They lived people in the Four Corners area (northwestern New Mexico, southwestern Colorado, southeastern Utah, and northeastern Arizona) of the U.S. The origin of the Basket Maker Indians is not known, but it is evident that when they first settled in the area they were already excellent basket weavers and that they were supplementing hunting and wild-seed gathering with the cultivation of maize and pumpkins. They lived either in caves or out in the open in shelters constructed of a masonry of poles and adobe mud. Both caves and houses contained special pits, often roofed over, that were used for food storage. The Basket Makers were among the first village agricultural societies in the Southwest. Three Basketmaker stages were recognized at the 1927 Pecos Conference of Southwesternists: Basketmaker I (hypothetical), Basketmaker II (1--450 AD) which was a large basecamp and widely scattered seasonal camps where the preferred container was the basket, and Basketmaker III (450--700/750) in which there were small villages of pit houses in well-watered valley bottoms. Specialized structures such as wattle-and-daub storage bins and large rooms for communal activity (possibly early kivas) also began to occur more frequently in the latter stage.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Spanish Vasco, or Vascongado, Basque Euskaldunak or Euskotarak CATEGORY: culture; language DEFINITION: A people living in both Spain and France in areas bordering the Bay of Biscay and encompassing the western foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. The Basques are distinguished partly by an unusual pattern of blood groups, very high in the Rhesus negative factor, and by their language, quite unrelated to any other known one. They probably represent one of the people who inhabited Europe before the arrival of the Indo-Europeans. Basque is the only remnant of the languages spoken in southwestern Europe before that region was Romanized. The origin of the Basque language remains a mystery. It has been hypothesized that Basque had a genetic connection with the now-extinct Iberian and that both languages evolved from the Hamito-Semitic (Afro-Asiatic) language group -- but there is another theory that the similarities between the two arose from geographic proximity. Although Basque and Iberian are similar, the knowledge of Basque could not help decipher ancient Iberian inscriptions discovered in eastern Spain and on the Mediterranean coast of France. Basque is also linked with Caucasian, the ancient language spoken in the Caucasus region.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large architectural complexes of South America located in the Lambayeque valley of north coastal Peru. The site has more than 30 huge platform mounds with an estimated 750,000 burials -- most of them looted by treasure hunters who have taken immense quantities of gold, silver, copper, and bronze objects. Occupation at Batán Grande went from the Formative (Cupisnique) to the Incaperiod. The site was the capital of a powerful state between 850-1300 AD. With Batán Grande, Cerro de los Cementerios was a copper-processing area, linked to the Cerro Blanco mine by a prehistoricroad. Excavations have revealed metal artifacts, smelting furnaces, grinding slabs, crushed slag, and pottery blowtubes.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bathhouse CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: The Roman baths featuring a combination of steaming, cleaning, and massage appeared wherever the Romans made conquests. In Rome itself the aqueducts fed sumptuous baths such as those of Caracalla, which covered 28 acres (11 hectares). From the 1st century BC onwards, the Romans built establishments called balneae or, later, thermae incorporating suites of rooms at different temperatures. A typical installation would include a tepidarium (warm room, probably without bath), a caldarium (hot, with plunge bath), a frigidarium (cold, also with bath), and an apodyterium (changing-room). Elaborate examples might also include a laconicum (room with dry heat), a swimming bath, an exercise area (palaestra), gardens, and a library. These complexes were important social meeting-points and were not limited to high society. Most large private houses from the 2nd century BC onwards had their own bath suite. The four large series of baths at Rome were built by Titus, Trajan, Caracalla, and Diocletian. Baths existed as early as the 4th century BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Battle-Axe culture; Single-Grave culture; Single Grave culture; Battle Ax culture, Corded Ware culture CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A number of Late Neolithic cultural groups in Europe that appeared between 2800-2300 BC. So-named for their characteristic shaft-hole polished stone battle-ax, the people were also known for their use of horses. Their place of origin is not certain, but it was most likely east rather than west of their area of spread. It was a homogeneous culture with central European trade links and it remained in some areas through the Stone and Bronze ages. In central Europe, the Beaker Folk came into contact with the Battle-Ax culture, which was also characterized by beaker-shaped pottery (though different in detail). The two cultures gradually intermixed and later spread from central Europe to eastern England. The Battle-Ax people were also responsible for the dissemination of Indo-European speech.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bell beaker (see also funnel beaker, protruding foot beaker) CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A simple pottery drinking vessel without handles, more deep than wide, much used in prehistoric Europe. The pottery was usually red or brown burnished ware, decorated with horizontal panels of comb- or cord-impressed designs. It was distributed in Europe from Spain to Poland, and from Italy to Scotland in the years after 2500 BC and the international bell-beaker is particularly widespread, though uncommon in Britain. In Britain there are local variants, the long-necked (formerly A) beakers of eastern England and the short-necked (formerly C) beakers of Scotland. There are local developments elsewhere, such as the Veluwe beakers in Holland. Beaker vessels are commonly found in graves, which were often single inhumations under round barrows; commonly associated finds include copper or bronze daggers and ornaments, flint arrowheads, stone wristguards, and stone battle-axes. In many northern and western areas its users were the first to start coppermetallurgy. The widespread distribution of beaker finds has led to the frequent identification of a Beaker people and speculations about their origins.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bisitun, Bisotun CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A rockface on the Kermanshah-Hamadan road in Iran on which Darius I (Darius the Great, reigned 521-485 BC) recorded his victories which gave him the Achaemenid empire in 522-520 BC. The bas-relief -- 400 feet above the road -- shows Darius, under the protection of the god Ahuramazda, receiving his defeated enemies. The inscriptions were carved in the cuneiformscript, and repeated in the Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian languages. The rockface below them was then cut back to the vertical to prevent any attempt at defacement. In total, the area covered by the inscriptions and the relief panel were about 25-feet high and 50-feet wide. In 1833, Sir Henry Rawlinson went to Iran and became extremely interested in Persian antiquities and in deciphering the cuneiformwriting at Behistun. Between 1835-1847, Rawlinson went through the intense work copying the inscription from harrowing positions above the road. It enabled him subsequently to understand the cuneiformscript and to decipher the languages of the inscription. In 1837, he published his translations of the first two paragraphs of the inscription. After having to leave the country because of problems between Iran and Britain, Rawlinson was able to return in 1844 to obtain impressions of the Babylonian script. As a result, his PersianCuneiformInscription at Behistun" was published (1846-51) -- containing a complete translation analysis of the grammar and notes. The accomplishment yielded valuable information on the history of ancient Persia and its rulers. With other scholars he succeeded in deciphering the Mesopotamian cuneiformscript by 1857. This provided the breakthrough to the decipherment later of other languages in the cuneiformscript including Sumerian."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bayda', Al-, Beida CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in south-central Yemen near Petra that was first occupied in the Early Natufian and Aceramic Neolithic. It is situated on a high plateau and, until the unification of the two Yemen states in 1990, was part of North Yemen (San'a'), though it lay near the disputed frontier with South Yemen. At first it was a semi-permanent camp which lived off goat and ibex. Beidha was reoccupied c 7000 BC by a Pre-Pottery Neolithic A [PPNA} group, who lived in a planned community of roughly circular semi-subterranean houses. They domesticated goats and cultivated emmer, wheat, and barley. There was a succeeding PPNB phase in which the buildings changed to complexes of large rectangular rooms, each with small workshops attached and with plastered floors and walls. Burials without skulls were found and there was also a separate ritualarea away from the village. Finds from the site include materials from great distances, including obsidian from Anatolia and cowries and mother-of-pearl from the Red Sea.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pei-ching, Peking CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The modern capital of China. More than 2,000 years ago, a site just outside present-day Peking was already an important military and trading center for the northeastern frontier of China. The Shangcivilization reached this area in the early part of their dynasty and a grave of c 14th century BC at Pinggu Liujiacun contained bronzeritual vessels and a bronze ax with a blade of forged meteoritic iron. There have been many early Zhou finds, notably at the cemeterysite of Fangshan Liulihe. In 1267, during the Yüan (Mongol) dynasty (1206-1368), a new city built on the site (called Ta-tu) which became the administrative capital of China. During the reigns of the first two emperors of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), Nanking was the capital, and the old Mongolcapital was renamed Pei-p'ing (Northern Peace"); the third Ming emperor however restored it as the Imperial seat of the dynasty and gave it a new name Peking ("Northern Capital"). Peking has remained the capital of China except for a brief period (1928-49) when the Nationalist government again made Nanking the capital (then to Chungking during World War II)."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A settlement site on the Aldan River in central Siberia, occupied during the Neolithic (c 4th millennium BC). Finds include the earliest date for pottery in Siberia, for a hand-molded, sand-tempered ware decorated with net or mat impressions. There was a succeeding phase, often known as the Bel'kachinsk culture (3rd millennium BC), which had distinctive potterystyle, decorated with impressions from a cord-wrapped paddle. In that area during the Late Neolithic (2nd millennium BC), check-stamped ware, made by beating with a grooved paddle, appeared. Changes in stone and bone tools occurred during the development of the Neolithic, but throughout the economic basis remained hunting and fishing.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Any of the inhabitants of Gaul north of the Sequana and Matrona (Seine and Marne) rivers of mixed Celtic and Germanic origin, first described by Julius Caesar in mid-first century BC. Their origins on the continent can be traced back to the La Tène period in the 5th century BC and evidence suggests that the Romans penetrated into those areas about 150 BC. In Caesar's day, they held much of Belgium and parts of northern France and southeast England. The Belgae of Gaul formed a coalition against Caesar after his first Gallic campaign but were subdued the following year (57 BC). During the first half of the 1st century BC, Belgae from the Marne district had crossed to Britain and had formed the kingdom that in 55 BC was ruled by Cassivellaunus. After further Gallic victories (54-51 BC) by Caesar, other settlers took refuge across the Channel, and Belgic culture spread to most of lowland Britain. The three most important Belgic kingdoms, identified by their coinage, were centered at Colchester, St. Albans, and Silchester. Archaeologically, the Belgae can be identified with the bearers of the Aylesford-Swarling culture, otherwise known as Iron Age C. Coinage, the heavy plow, and the potter's wheel were introduced by the Belgae. They lived in large fortified settlements called oppida and amphorae and Italian bronze vessels have been found in their richly furnished tombs.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: toggle CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Small decorative and functional objects used as garment hooks in China, Korea, and other Near Eastern areas as early as the 7th century BC. Belt hooks have been found in Han tombs in southwestern China, but this luxury item was most in vogue during the Warring States period (5th-3rd centuries BC). These belt hooks were inlaid with gold or silver foil, polished fragments of turquoise, or more rarely with jade or glass; sometimes they were gilded. Most examples are bronze, often lavishly decorated with inlays, but some are made of jade, gold, or iron. The belt hook consists of a bar or flat strip curving into a hook at one end and carrying at the other end, on the back, a button for securing it to the belt. The hooks vary widely in size, shape, and design, and although contemporary sculptures sometimes show them at the waists of human figures, some examples are far too large to have been worn and their function is unclear. Textual evidence hints that the belt hook was adopted by the Chinese from the mounted nomads of the northern frontier of inner Asia, perhaps along with other articles of the horseman's costume. They were probably worn by both men and women.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: wave-cut platform CATEGORY: geography; geology DEFINITION: An eroded terrace with an alluvial cut surface, on bedrock in a valley. The term also refers to an eroded landform with a wave-cut surface in coastal areas and in wave-swept sea cliffs (also called wave-cut platform).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Port city of southwestern Norway, originally called Bjørgvin, and founded in 1070 AD by King Olaf III. About 1100, a castle was built on the northern edge of the Vågen harbor, and Bergen became commercially and politically important; it was Norway's capital in the 12th and 13th centuries. Excavations in the Bryggen, the harbor area, have revealed a sequence of levels that illustrate the area's evolution from the 11th century onwards. The levels have been accurately dated by a series of fires which occurred at various stages of Bergen's history. Waterlogged conditions have preserved many of the timber buildings, streets, and quays. The 11th-century houses and warehouses were on piles and had sills at ground level, while jetties became popular in the Hanseatic period (14th and 15th centuries). The excavations revealed a remarkable collection of imported pottery from all over Europe as well as quantities of leather and wooden objects. Parts of three trading ships or freighters were also found, their timbers having been re-used in the buildings.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: American Paleo-Arctic CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A culture in existence approximately 12,000 years ago between Siberia and temperate Alaska. The term was used by H. West to cover various Alaskan and Siberian archaeological formations which had developed from the Siberian Upper Paleolithic period, an area now largely submerged under the Bering Strait. Chronologically these formations lie between the middle of the Holoceneperiod (c 35,000-9/10,000 BP), depending on the area. West's categorization includes the Bel'kachi, Diuktai, and Lake Ushki cultures in Siberia, the Denalian culture and American Paleo-Arctic formations in Alaska and the Yukon. Although Alaska is generally thought to be the gateway through which humans entered the New World, the earliest undisputed evidence for people there dates later than 12,000 years ago, well after the climax of the last major glacial advance but while glaciers still covered much of Arctic Canada. Artifacts of 11,500 to 9,000 years ago are known from a number of Alaskan sites, where hunters of caribou (and, in one case, of an extinct form of bison) manufactured blades.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A peninsular area of Malaysia with stoneslab graves during a metal age around 300 BC.
Bersu, Gerhard (1889-1964)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A German archaeologist who emigrated to Britain in the 1930s and introduced methods such as area excavation of settlement sites, as at Little Woodbury and on the Isle of Man.
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A biface in the early stages of production displaying only percussion flaking and no evidence of pressure flaking. In many cases, blanks were traded and/or transported from their area of origin and subsequently used as bifacial cores from which flake blanks were detached for production of dart or arrow points.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A great earthworksite in western Uganda associated with the Chwezi people. The massive linearearthworks, over 6 1/2 miles long (10 km), is a ditchsystem, some of it cut out of rock, enclosing a large grazing area on a riverbank. It may have comprised both a royal capital and a cattle enclosure. Its construction would have required considerable labor and supports a distinction between cultivators and a pastoral aristocracy, which later became typical of this area. Radioactive carbon dating suggests Bigo was occupied from the mid-14th to the early 16th century. The site has also yielded early 13th-15th century AD roulette-decorated pottery, characteristic of the later Iron Age over much of East Africa.
CATEGORY: flora; fauna DEFINITION: The total weight of the plant and animal life (organic substances and organisms) existing at a given time in a given area.
CATEGORY: flora; fauna DEFINITION: A complex (biotic) community of plants and animals established over a large geographic area and characterized by the distinctive lifeforms of certain species which live in harmony together and have a certain unity. The biome is a plant-plus-animal formation that is composed of a plant matrix together with all the associated animals. The term specifically applies to such a community in a prehistoricperiod. Examples are the oak/deer biome or the spruce/moose biome of North America.
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.
Bird, Junius Bouton (1907-1982)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: An American archaeologist who worked in South America at Fell's Cave (Tierra del Fuego) on establishing the presence of Palaeoindians on the continent. He also worked in northern Chile's Atacama region and Huaca Prieta in Peru, where he established the Preceramic Period of that area. His specialty was the study of textiles.
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.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: The deeply stratified type site for the Clovis point and Llanocomplex, located near Clovis, New Mexico, with evidence of occupation from the earliest Paleo-Indian through the Archaic period. Clovis points have been found associated with mammoth bones and Folsom points have been found with bison bones. Also found: Agate Basin points, Cody complex points, a Frederick point, and tools of the Archaic period. Blackwater Draw is also used to evaluate the chronological sequences at other sites. The Blackwater Draw Museum exhibits 12,000-year-old artifacts from the area's archaeological sites.
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: Peat that forms in areas of high rainfall that is not dependent on groundwater but receives all its moisture from the atmosphere. It can form on higher ground like plateaus. In periods of climatic change, blanket peat alters its nature, such as by developing tree cover in drier periods and then recurring as a bog when rainfall increases. In a peatbog of this type there may be well-preserved evidence of human activity and organic material in the drier times which is later covered by renewed peat growth.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: An excavation strategy in which archaeologists open a large area of soil at one time, excavating down the whole block at once -- either by arbitrary levels or by cultural strata defined by a sounding.
block excavation method
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The excavation of an area of a site without leaving intervening walls or pillars, which exposes contiguous areas of floors better than the balk method.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: blowout CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: An area in the earth that has become concave or depressed by wind-removal or erosion of sandy or soft, light soils. The topsoil and, perhaps, some of the lower soils, are so removed, especially in arid regions. A blowout resembles the crater of a volcano. Sometimes when earth is removed in this way, archaeological sites are revealed.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: boat grave CATEGORY: term; feature DEFINITION: A type of burial during the Late Iron Age in which a body or its cremated remains were placed in a boat, which was then covered by a mound of earth. This was a north European practice, common in Scandinavia and Britain from c 550 to 800 AD. This pagan ritual was widely adopted by the Vikings and practiced to a lesser extent by the Anglo-Saxons and Germans. In Norway alone there are 500 known boat burials, and many more from the rest of Scandinavia and other Viking colonies. To these seafaring people, ships were a means of transport, a way of life, and symbols of power and prestige. The Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf" describes the belief that the journey to the afterlife could be achieved in a vessel. In Anglo-Saxon Britain there are three 7th century examples in Suffolk including the rich burial of Sutton Hoo. The best-known after Sutton Hoo are the 9th-century barrows of Oseberg and Gokstad in Norway and the 10th-century barrow at Ladby in Denmark. Burial in churchyards became customary in the 11th century in those areas."
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Areas where human bodies are found in peat bogs in Scandinavia and northern Europe, including more than 160 from Denmark, and which are remarkably well-preserved. The chemicals in the peat preserve the bodies, which allows archaeologists to study aspects of past life, including the soft tissues of the bodies themselves and the contents of the stomachs. Burials and ritual deposits were interred in these bogs in antiquity, especially during the Bronze and Iron ages.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: lake ore, limnite, marsh ore, meadow ore, morass ore, swamp ore, bog iron ore CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A workable, porous type of brown hematite (impure hydrous oxides) found in bogs (and also in marshes, swamps, peat mosses, and shallow lake beds). This deposit is formed when iron-bearing surface waters come into contact with organic material and iron oxides are precipitated through oxidation of algae, iron bacteria, or the atmosphere. It is frequently found in areas with subarctic or arctic climatic conditions.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Neolithicculture (c 7000-3500 BC, some say Middle Neolithic c 4200-3700 BC) in lower Danube valley of southern Romania and characterized by terrace-floodplain settlements, consisting at first of mud huts and later of fortified promontory settlements of small tells. The Boianphase was marked by the introduction of copper axes, the extension of agriculture, and the breeding of domestic animals. The distinctive Boianpottery was decorated by rippling, painting, and excised or incised linear designs with white paste. Intramural burial is most common, but occasional large inhumation cemeteries are known. By spreading northward into Transylvania and northeastward to Moldavia, the Boianculture gradually assimilated earlier cultures of those areas. Flourishing exchange networks are known to involve Prut Valley flint, Spondylus shells from the Black Sea, and copper.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Boreal Climatic Interval CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A climatic subdivision of the Holocene epoch, following the Pre-Boreal and preceding the Atlantic climatic intervals. Radiocarbon dating shows the period beginning about 9,500 years ago and ending about 7,500 years ago. The Boreal was supposed to be warm and dry. In Europe, the Early Boreal was characterized by hazel-pine forest assemblages and lowering sea levels. In the Late Boreal, hazel-oak forest assemblages were dominant, but the seas were rising. In some areas, notably the North York moors, southern Pennines and lowland heaths, Mesolithic man appears to have been responsible for temporary clearances by fire and initiated the growth of moor and heath vegetation.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A prehistoricpit from which mud, clay, or earth was taken for building purposes. The term also refers to an excavated area where material has been dug for use as fill at another location.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An indicator of the extent of an area of land.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Britons CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A combination of Nordic and Alpine peoples who arrived in southeast England about 550 BC. They introduced iron and gave their name to Britain. During the Roman occupation, England was inhabited by Celtic Brythons, but the Celts withdrew before the Teutonic Angles, Saxons, and Jutes into the mountainous areas of western and northern Britain and to Ireland.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large settlement site in central Poland of the Lengyelculture of the early 4th millennium BC. There were about 60 trapezoidal long houses, smaller areas of one or more house clusters, and a large inhumationcemetery with double graves, animal burials, and rich copper grave goods. There were four phases of occupation.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A fine gray pottery, with a black or gray shiny surface, which was produced principally in Greek-speaking or Etruscan areas between the 8th and 5th centuries BC. Shapes and decoration styles varied greatly -- incised, stamped and applied were employed. This earthenwarepottery was common in pre-Roman Italy between the 7th and early 5th century BC. The shiny surface was produced by polishing and the color achieved by firing in an atmosphere charged with carbon monoxide instead of oxygen ('reducing firing'). The light, thin-walled bucchero sottile, considered the finest, was made in the 7th and early 6th centuries and the shapes were derived largely from Oriental models. In the 6th century the Greek influence changed the forms to alabastrums, amphorae, kraters, kylikes with incised, modeled, or applied birds and animals in friezes or geometric schemes appear. Greek black pigment was used and human and animal figures were painted on the surface of bucchero in black, red, and white. Technique and workmanship declined from about the mid-6th century onward, when bucchero sottile was replaced by bucchero pasantë, a heavy, complex thick-walled ware that was decorated with elaborate reliefs.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: An area of localized fire-reddening and/or charring on a surface with no evidence of deliberate construciton. The burned spot may be accompanied by an accumulation of ash and/or charcoal on the surface or by soot-blackening on a wall face above the surface.
CATEGORY: artifact; lithics DEFINITION: A polish given to the surface of an artifact, either to improve its appearance and make it more valuable or to compact it (as with clay) to make it less porous. A pot is polished, often using a spatula of wood or bone, while it is still in a leathery 'green' state, i.e. before firing. After firing the surface is extremely shiny. Often the whole outer surface of the pot is thus decorated, but in certain ceramic traditions there is 'pattern burnishing' where the outside and, in the case of open bowls, the inside are decorated with burnished patterns in which some areas are left matte. In stroke burnish, the surface is completely polished, but the marks of the burnisher, a pebble or boneslip, remain distinct. On bronze it was done to improve the appearance; even mirrors could be produced in this way. A burnisher is a metal instrument used by engravers to soften lines or efface them.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A rich archaeologicalarea on the northwest coast of Western Australia with 10,000+ engravings on rocks, including geometric figures of humans and animals. Artifacts and features are quarries, shell middens, standing stones, and dry-stone walls and terraces. The site dates range from 6700-200 bp.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Small, usually disklike, pieces of bone, metal, stone, or other solid material that have holes or a shank through which they are sewn on to garments. Buttons are used to fasten or close a garment and are sometimes purely decoration. They are known from the Copper Age onwards in Europe, developing in the Mediterranean area and being spread along with beakers. The ancient Greeks and Etruscans fastened their tunics at the shoulders with buttons and loops. The presence of buttons implies a tailored garment as draped ones were better fastened with a pin or fibula.
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 churchstate, 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Tlaxcala CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A group of platforms, palaces, and ceremonial buildings occupied between 400- 1100 AD in the area of modern Tlaxcala, Mexico. Some structures have well-preserved frescoes, painted murals, and plaster reliefs from the 8th and 9th centuries depicting dancers and elaborately dressed warriors, with day glyphs and numbers associated with Mexican gods such as Quetzalcóatl and Tlaloc. The style of painting shows a strong influence from both Maya and Teotihuacán art. In the pottery, Teotihuacán wares predominate, though there are also links with the Gulf Coast and the Puebla-Oaxaca.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: barrow CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A pyramid of rough stones, raised for a memorial or mark of some kind, usually over a burial but also as a landmark or monument. A cairn could also indicate where something valuable was stored. In America, a cairn is a structure of rounded stones. The word is often used as a synonym for barrow in areas where burial mounds were normally of stone. In Scotland and Ireland, the custom was for friends to add a stone to the pile when they passed a cairn.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: calcite CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A natural calcium-carbon-oxygen combination, that occurs in limestone, chalk, marble, dolomite, eggshells, pearls, coral, stalactites, stalagmites, and the shells of many marine animals. Calcite is often the adhesive in composite rocks. The most abundant dissolved solid in dry land groundwater is calcium carbonate. When deposited, this mineral forms the hard, calcareous cement known as caliche. Caliche is a crust of calcium carbonate often present in semiarid or arid areas, either on top of or within the soil.
caliche or caliché
CATEGORY: artifact; geology DEFINITION: An encrustation or deposit of hard, calcareous cement made up of nitrates, sulfates, halides, and sand. It appears on the surface of materials such as bone, ceramic, or stone after they have been buried or exposed to moisture for an extended time. These layers of calcium carbonate (lime accumulation) are often present in semiarid or arid areas, either on top of or within the soil -- as in the desert basins of southern Arizona.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An important group of Bronze Age megalithic monuments on the island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Equal in importance to Stonehenge, the Callanish megaliths are aligned to make a rough Celtic cross 405 feet (123 m) north to south and 140 feet (43 m) east to west and may be tied to astronomy. In the middle is a small passage grave under a round cairn. Several smaller stone circles in the area align with Callanish.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A area of southern Italy along the Bay of Naples that was the location of the Greek colonyCumae and was once controlled by the Etruscans. Campanian pottery was made before the middle of the 4th century BC at both Cumae and Capua.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of extremely regular and large (1-2 inches wide and up to 10-12 inches long) flintblade produced by a specialized technique. The technology seems to have first appeared at the beginning of the 4th millennium BC in eastern Anatolia and adjoining areas, and was then introduced to the southern Levant (Canaan) by 3500 BC; these blades were produced until 2000 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Canaan CATEGORY: culture; site; language DEFINITION: The original pre-Israelite inhabitants of an area encompassing all of Palestine and Syria, sometimes including all land west of the Jordan River and the coast from Acre north. The names Canaan and Canaanite occur in cuneiform, Egyptian, and Phoenician writings from about the 15th century BC as well as in the Bible. They were the branch of the Semites related to the Hyksos who occupied the Levant from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age, c 2000-1200 BC. In the south they were displaced by the Israelites and Philistines; in the north they were the ancestors of the Phoenicians. Their main significance in history lies in their role as middlemen and traders, through whose hands passed cultural influences between Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Hittites. Canaanite sites include Lachish, Megiddo, Byblos, and Ugarit. The Canaanites were responsible for the invention of the first alphabetic writingsystem.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: regional continuity theory CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: One of the theories of human development in which modern humans are thought to have descended from Homo erectus in Africa, Europe, and Asia. The opposing theory, known as the Noah's Ark model, holds that modern humans originated in one single area of Africa.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: kantharos CATEGORY: artifact; ceramics DEFINITION: In Greek antiquity, a large, two-handled drinking cup. This type of potterycup was made in Greek-speaking areas and in Etruria between the 8th and the 1st centuries BC and had a deep bowl, a foot, and pair of high vertical handles. It was often consecrated to personifications of Bacchus.
Capsian and Capsian Neolithic
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Capsian industry CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Mesolithic/Stone Age (8000 BC-2700 BC) cultural complex prominent in inland northern Africa near the present border between Tunisia and Algeria. Its shell midden sites are in the area of the great salt lakes of what is now southern Tunisia, the type site being Jabal al-Maqta'. The tool kit of the Capsian is a classic example of the industries of the late Würm Glacial Period and it is apparently related to the Gravettianstage of Europe's Perigordian industry (which dates from about 17,000 years ago). However, it occurs in Neothermal (postglacial) times and, like its predecessor, the Ibero-Maurusian industry (Oranianindustry), the Capsian was a microlithic tool complex. It differed from the Ibero-Maurusian, however, in having a far more varied tool kit with large backed blades, scrapers, backed bladelets, microburins, and burins in its earlier phase and a gradual development of geometric microliths later. These became its leading feature by the 6th millennium BC. Shortly after 5000 BC, pottery and domesticated animals were introduced. Some North African rock paintings are attributed to people of the Capsian industry. The Capsian Neolithic, with pointed-basepottery and a stoneindustry, lasted from c 6200-5300 BP, in the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and the northern Sahara. The name derives from Capsa, the Latin form of Gafsa, a town in south central Tunisia where such artifacts were first discovered. Hunting and snail-collecting seem to have formed the basis of the economy. Human remains from Capsian sites are mostly of Mechta-Afalou type.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A village in western France near the Atlantic coast that is the site of more than 3,000 prehistoricstone monuments of the alignmenttype. These menhirs are arranged in three groups of 10-13 parallel rows, which ended at semicircles or rectangles of standing stones. The single stone menhirs and multistone dolmens were made from local granite and are worn by time and weather and covered in white lichen. The area also has a series of long cairns of mid-Neolithic to Early Bronze Age which covers funerary chambers and secondary cists. The grave goods included polished axes of rare stones such as jadeite and fibrolite, stone boxes containing charcoal, cattle bones, and pottery. The area was clearly an important ritual center, venerated by the Bretons until fairly recent times, and adopted by the Romans for religious purposes. Christians added crosses and other symbols to the stones. In 1874, James Miln uncovered the remains of a Gallo-Roman villa one mile east of the village. The Musée Miln-Le Rouzic in Carnac has an important collection of artifacts.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of Queensland, Australia, known for its stenciled rock art. There are also engravings and paintings. Cathedral Cave has occupation deposits.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The maximum population of a species that can be supported by a particular habitat or area with the food potentially available to it from the resources of the area, including the most unfavorable period of the year. The carrying capacity is different for each species within a habitat because of the species' particular requirements for food, shelter, and social contact and because of competition with other species that have similar requirements. Studies of both human and animal groups suggest that few populations reach such a theoretical maximum level, but adjust themselves to a size which allows a margin for fluctuations in the actual food production in the area. In archaeological terms, carrying capacity is the size and density of ancient populations that a given site or region could have supported under a specified subsistencetechnology.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (adj Carthaginian, Punic) Carthago; Kart-Hadasht CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A great city of antiquity founded, according to tradition, on the north coast of Africa by the Phoenicians of Tyre in 814 BC and now a suburb of Tunis. However, Phoenician occupation on the site is archaeologically attested from about a century later. The Aeneid tells of the city's founding by the Tyrian princess Dido, who fled from her brother Pygmalion (a king of Tyre). Until around 500 BC Carthage was one of three great mercantile powers in the central Mediterranean, together with the Etruscans and Western Greeks. Much of Carthage's revenue came from its exploitation of the silver mines of North Africa and southern Spain, begun as early as 800 BC, and from its role as a middleman in trade. Carthage was for many years in conflict with the Greeks, especially in Sicily. Carthage lost both Sicily and Sardinia to Rome in 241 BC at the close of the First Punic War. From an enlarged domain in southern Spain, the Carthaginian general Hannibal in 218 BC led his army across the Alps to victories in Italy. When Hannibal returned to Africa, he was defeated at Zama in 202 BC. Though humiliated, Carthage survived until it was destroyed by Rome in 146 BC, after having fought the three Punic Wars of the 3rd and 2nd centuries. Carthage was then reconstructed as a Roman city by Julius Caesar and Octavian. The Roman city prospered by shipping grain and olive oil to Italy. Carthage replaced Utica as the capital of the African province and it became the second largest city in the western part of the empire, after Rome itself. The Phoenician/Punic remains include the citadel, Byrsa, the Sanctuary of Tanit, and two manmade harbors (all pre-146 BC); the Roman remains are the Antonine Baths, odeum, theater, circus, amphitheater, aqueduct, and areas of streets and houses. Also on the Byrsa site stood an open-air portico, from which the finest Roman sculptures at Carthage have survived. The standard of living in Carthage was probably far below that of the larger cities of the classical world. In Roman times, beds, cushions, and mattresses were luxuries. The Punic language and its distinctive alphabet remained in use long after the city's destruction. After the breakup of the Roman empire, the Vandals took Carthage in 439 and stayed in control until the Byzantine invasion in 533. Carthage was the capital of the Byzantine empire in Africa until the Arab takeover of 698.
carved stone ball
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Roughly spherical or slightly lobate artificially shaped carved stones dating to the later Neolithic and found only in Scotland. Where decorated, the motifs used are similar to those in MEGALITHIC ART. Unornamented stone balls are, however, found in other areas of the British Isles in 4th and 3rd millennia BC contexts.
CATEGORY: culture; site DEFINITION: A culture, river, and site in Chihuahua, northern Mexico. The town's name, Spanish for great houses refers to the extensive, multistoried ruins of a pre-Columbian town, which was probably founded in 1050 and burned around 1340, after which the abandoned valley lands were occupied by the Suma, who migrated in from the east. Ruins of this type are common in the valleys of the Casas Grandes and its tributaries. The earliest culture, also called the Viejo, was characterized by Mogollon-typepottery and pithouse dwellings. The following period, the Medio, had adobe houses. A third period, the Tardio, came after 1300 AD and was heavily influenced by Mesoamerica. The area was settled by the Spaniards in 1661/1662 and is now a national monument under the jurisdiction of the National Institute of Anthropology and History.
Cassivellaunus (fl. 1st century BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cassivelaunus CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A powerful British chieftain who was defeated by Julius Caesar during Caesar's second raid of Britain in 54 BC. Cassivellaunus is the first man in England whose name we know and he led his tribe, the Catuvellauni, a group of Belgic invaders from the River Marne area. He used guerrilla tactics and chariot warfare successfully until Caesar captured the fortified settlement, identified as present-day Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire. Cassivellaunus agreed to provide hostages and pay an annual tribute to Rome, but there is no evidence that he kept these promises. His son was Cunobelin, the Cymbeline" written about by Shakespeare."
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: Any rocky areas of rapids interrupting the flow of the Nile River, caused by granite abruptly interspersed in the Nubian sandstonebelt. There are six numbered and several minor cataracts between Aswan and Khartoum, which are hazards to navigation. The 2nd Cataract, the most formidable, was impassable except during the annual inundation. Cataracts 1-4 and the Dal Cataract were political frontiers at different times.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: catchment area CATEGORY: term; feature DEFINITION: The resource area of an archaeological site; the geographical area in which the inhabitants of a village or camp obtain resources.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A hilltop entrenchment characteristic of Neolithic times, 4th millennium BC, especially in southern Britain. The hilltop was enclosed by a series of concentric ditches, 1-4 in number, with internal banks and which were not continuous but interrupted by solid causeways (undisturbed lanes of earth). Pottery, animal bones, and domestic garbage stratified within the ditches show that the camps were used during the entire Neolithicperiod. A common theory about the camps' use is as meeting places used at intervals by the population of a wide area.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A burial in a cave, a place of habitation and ritualistic practices such as cave art. The talus is the area just outside the cave.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sulawesi CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Indonesian island east of Borneo which has produced the oldest Buddhist image known in the archipelago, dated to the 4th century. Celebes lies between the two shelves of the Australian and Asian continents. A broad central area is made up of igneous rocks with a band of volcanic detritus (tuff) that is more than 65 million years old. The earliest traces of human habitation on Celebes are stone implements of the Toalian culture.
central place theory
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: central-place theory CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: In geography, a theory concerning the size and distribution of central places (settlements) within a system or region. The primary purpose of a settlement or market town, according to central-place theory, is the provision of goods and services for the surrounding marketarea. Such towns are centrally located and may be called central places. As applied to archaeology, the theory states that human settlements will space themselves evenly across a landscape as a function of the availability of natural resources, communication and transportation routes, and other factors. Eventually, these will evolve into a hierarchy of settlements of different size that depend on one another. Central-place theory attempts to illustrate how settlements locate in relation to one another, the amount of marketarea (goods and services) a central place can control, and why some central places function as hamlets, villages, towns, or cities. The theory was first developed by German geographer Walter Christaller. Christaller's theory concentrated on centers of different order, since in a complexsystem there will be some larger centers offering more specialized services to a wider area; there may indeed be many levels of such centers in a complexsettlementhierarchy. Christaller's model has been modified by other geographers, especially August Losch. The theory may suggest ways in which the factors have affected the settlement pattern. Central place theory has found useful applications in archaeology as a preliminary heuristic device.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The practice of dividing up the territory surrounding a new Roman colony to match the city's grid plan of square blocks, normally 2,330 feet (710 m) on a side. The centuriation process was done for land distribution to the settlers and also for inventory. Signs of it were first detected in northern Africa from the 1830s, through surviving crop marks and roads, and have been found, mainly through air photography, in Trier and Homs (Syria) and large areas of northern Italy and Tunisia.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Any of various techniques used to study artifacts made from fired clay to obtain archaeological data. Color is objectively described by reference to the Munsell soil color charts. Examination under the microscope may reveal the technique of manufacture and allow the identification of mineral grains in the tempering, which will identify the area of manufacture. Refiring experiments often show how the original baking was done.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ch'ang-an, Chang'an CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient site in China that was formerly the capital of the Han, Sui, and T'ang dynasties, located near the modern city of Sian. It was first used by western Chou Dynasty (1027-771 BC). Han-yuan Palace contains the tombs of T'ang imperial family. In the T'ang period, Ch'ang-An was the eastern terminus of the Silk Route and one of the world's great cities. The site of the Qincapital Xianyang is near Xi'an, and the Western Zhou capitals Feng and Hao are supposed to have been in this area as well, possibly lying within the boundaries of the modern Ch'ang-An district southwest of Xi'an.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kin, Qin CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Dynasty of 221-206 BC that unified China into a single empire. The Ch'in, from which the name China is derived, established the approximate boundaries and basic administrative system that Chinese dynasties were to follow for the next 2,000 years. The dynasty was originated by the state of Ch'in, one of the many small feudal states into which China was divided between 771-221 BC. In 247 BC, the boy king Chao Cheng came to the throne and he completed the Ch'in conquests and created the Ch'in empire. Chao Cheng proclaimed himself Ch'in Shih huang-ti (First Sovereign Emperor of Ch'in"). To rule the vast territory the Ch'in installed a rigid authoritarian government; they standardized the writingsystem standardized the measurements of length and weight and the width of highways abolished all feudal privileges built the Great Wall and in 213 ordered all books burned except those on utilitarian subjects. Excavations have found examples of the standard weights and measures imposed on China. There is also a spectacular large group of lifesize pottery figures of warriors horses and chariots found in area adjacent to the tomb of the first Ch'in emperor Ch'in Shih huang-ti."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chalcolithic period; Eneolithic, Copper Age CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Literally, the CopperStone Age" a period between the Neolithic (Stone Age) and the Bronze Age from 3000-2500 BC in which both stone and copper tools were used. It was a transitionalphase between Stone Age technology and the Bronze Age and an increase in trade and cultural exchanges. The term is much less widely used than other divisions and subdivisions of the Three Age System partly because of the difficulty in distinguishing copper from bronze without chemical analysis partly because many areas did not have a Chalcolithicperiod at all."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chaldaea; Chaldaeans CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A land in southern Babylonia (modern southern Iraq) frequently mentioned in the Old Testament and first described by Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 884/883-859 BC). Its more important rulers were Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar, and Nabonidus, who ruled an empire from the Persian Gulf between the Arabian desert and the Euphrates delta. Nabopolassar in 625 became king of Babylon and inaugurated a Chaldean dynasty that lasted until the Persian invasion of 539 BC. The prestige of his successors, Nebuchadrezzar II (reigned 605-562) and Nabonidus (reigned 556-539), was such that Chaldean" became synonymous with "Babylonian" and Chaldea replaced Assyria as the main power in the Near East. "Chaldean" also was used by several ancient authors to denote the priests and other persons educated in the classical Babylonian astronomy and astrology and to the Aramaeantribe named for Kaldu which first settled in this area in the 10th century BC."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: choltun, chultun CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A series of underground chambers found in areas of Mesoamerica that were used principally for storage. Shaped like bottles, they may also have been used as seat baths or burial chambers.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A culture of the Cuzcoarea in the Peruvian Andes, c 1000-200 BC. The type site has dark-hued or red pottery with incised, punctated, relief-modeled decoration, and a burnished or brushed finish.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ch'ang-sha CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: City and capital of Hunan province, China, where Neolithic sites have been investigated since 1955. Isolated finds hint at Shang and Western Zhousettlement in this area. Over a thousand Chu burials have been excavated, with the richest being the early 2nd century BC tombs at Mawangdui. Artifacts from the Chu capital at Jiang-ling are comparable in date and importance.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chasséen culture CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Middle Neolithicculture found over most of France, named for the Camp de Chassey, which appeared c 4300 BC. By this time, Chasseypottery had superseded impressed ware in the south and the new style is found in caves, village sites, cists, pit graves, and megalithic chamber tombs. The earliest Chasseypottery is often decorated with scratched geometric patterns, whereas the later wares are more plain and have pan-pipe (flûte de pan) lugs. In north and central France, the culture appeared c 3800. In many areas the Chassey people were the first Neolithic farmers. The pottery and flintwork of the Paris basin differ in many ways from those of the Midi. One distinctive form of vessel, the vase support with scratched decoration, is confined to the Paris basin and western France. Both cave and open settlements were occupied.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Ten islands in the South Pacific, 860 km east of New Zealand, which were settled by Polynesians from New Zealand about 1000-1200 AD. The culture was a fishing and collectingpopulation until European contact (1791). The original inhabitants, called Morioris, died out following contact with Europeans and conquest by New Zealand Maoris in 1835. Areas of limestone indicate that the islands may once have been part of New Zealand. There are no indigenous mammals, and the reptiles are of New Zealand species.
Chavín de Huántar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chavín CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: The area of the great ruin of the earliest highly developed culture in pre-Columbian Peru, which flourished between about 900 and 200 BC and may have originated c 1200 BC. During this time Chavín art spread over the north and central parts of what is now Peru. It is not known whether this was the actual center of origin of the culture and art style. The central building at Chavín de Huántar is a massive templecomplex constructed of dressed rectangular stone blocks, with interior galleries and bas-relief carvings on pillars and lintels. The principal motifs of the Chavín style are human, feline, and crocodilian or serpentine figures. Carved stone objects, fantastic pottery that demonstrates the most advanced skill, stone construction, and remarkably sophisticated goldwork have been found. Chavín pottery is known from the decorated types found in the temple and in graves on the northern coast, where it is called Cupisnique. Until the end of the period, the ware was monochrome -- dull red, brown, or gray -- and stonelike. Vessels were massive and heavy and the main forms are open bowls with vertical or slightly expanding sides and flat or gently rounded bases, flasks, and stirrup-spouted bottles. The surface may be modeled in relief or decorated by incision, stamping, brushing, rouletting, or dentate rocker-stamping. Some bowls have deeply incised designs on both the inside and outside faces. Its art style was never surpassed in the complexity of its iconography. The buildings, which show several periods of reconstruction, consist of various temple platforms containing a series of interlinked galleries and chambers on different levels. In the oldest part of the complex is a granite block, the Lanzón, on which is carved a human figure with feline fangs and with snakes in place of hair. Relief carvings in a similar style decorate the lintels, gateways, and cornices at the site, and human and jaguar heads of stone were on the outside wall of one of the platforms. On the coast, where stone is scarce, the highland architecture is replaced by work in adobe. Further south, the Paracasculture shows strong continuing Chavín influence.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: One of the three architectural styles of the Lowland Mayaarea of north-central Yucatan, c 600-1000 AD, overlapping the Classic and Post-Classic periods. Chenes is a flamboyant style of building distinguished from the Rio Bec and Puuc by its concentration on towerless, low, single-story buildings. Maya architects constructed frontal portals surrounded by the jaws of sky serpents and faced entire buildings with a riot of baroquely carved grotesques and spirals. The best example is at Hochob.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cheng Chou, Chengxian CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of the Shangdynastycapital from 1500-1200 BC, in Honan province, China on the Yellow River. Following villages of the Yang Shao and Lung Shan cultures, four phases of Shang occupation have been traced. Cemeteries of pit graves have been found and a rectangular wall enclosed an area divided into different quarters. Outside this city, in addition to remains of large public buildings, a complex of small settlements has been discovered. Since 1950 archaeological finds have shown that there were Neolithic settlements in the area. The site remained occupied after the Shangdynasty moved its capital again; Chou (post-1050 BC) tombs have also been discovered. It is thought that in the Western Chouperiod (1111-771 BC) it became the fief of a family named Kuan. In 605 AD it was first called Cheng-chu.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cernigov CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A town on the River Dnieper in western Russia, whose archaeology suggests a 7th-century origin, although the site was first mentioned in 907 as founded by the Swedish Vikings. It was one of the chief towns of Kievan Rus and center of a princedom. Its Spassky Cathedral dates from 1024. It was principally a trading town on the north-south route across eastern Europe between the Black Sea and Baltic areas.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a ruined ancient Mayan city in south-central Yucatán state, Mexico. Chichén Itzá was founded in about the 6th century AD, presumably by Mayan peoples of the Yucatán Peninsula who had occupied the region since Pre-Classic, or Formative, Period times (1500 BC-AD 300). The only source of water in the region is from wells (Mayan cenotes) formed by the collapse of portions of the limestone formation of the area. Two big cenotes on the site made it a suitable place for the city and gave it its name, from chi (mouths") chen ("wells") and Itzá the name of the tribe that settled there. There are traces of early occupation at the site but the oldest surviving buildings are in the Puucstyle of the 8th-early 10th centuries. In the 10th century after the collapse of the Maya cities of the southern lowlands Chichén Itzá was invaded -- probably by the Toltecs. New buildings have their closest parallels at Tula and offerings thrown into the Sacred Cenote or Well of Sacrifice show widespread trade contacts. Chichén Itzá was the dominant power in Yucatan until about 1200 when it was superseded by Mayapán. At the center of the site is the Castillo or temple-Pyramid of Kulkulkan the Maya equivalent of Quetzacóatl; this is linked by a causeway to the nearby Sacred Cenote. Other major structures include the Temple of the Warriors (in front of which stands a Chacmool) large 'dance platforms' the Group of a Thousand Columns the Temple of the Jaguars and the largest Ball Court in Mesoamerica. Bas-relief carvings on a massive skull rack (tzompantli) shows the Ball Game to be associated with scenes of sacrifice. Relief carvings with themes of conquest and violence about and representations of Maya warriors submitting to Toltec warriors have been found on gold discs recovered from the Sacred Cenote."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A powerful ancient state on the southern coast of Peru which is known primarily from the study of historical sources, which flourished during the Late Intermediate Period, c 1000-1478. Chincha reached the height of its power in the early 15th century when it also controlled part of the Pisco valley, and it retained a certain prestige under the Inca after their conquest of the area in 1476. The main city was La Centinela, which included pyramids, platforms, and courts surrounded by storerooms and dwellings of the nobility. Chincha prospered through trade (black warepottery and some polychromes) with adjacent highlands and northern coastal areas and there were about 30,000 households. Other sites include the administrative complex at Tambo de Mora (probably the capital) and La Cumbe. The Chincha vanished within the first three decades of the Spanish invasion.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A workshop area characterized by of debris from the manufacture of chipped stone tools. In the process of flakingstone tools, large quantities of waste chips are produced. Stone Age chipping floors are often found with finished tools and indications of other activities.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A workshop area used for the manufacture or maintenance of flint or stone tools, recognized archaeologically by a spread of working waste, broken or part-made implements, and discarded raw material.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of Panama known for its fine gold objects and elegant pottery, with dates from 1100 AD to the Spanish conquest though it may have begun centuries earlier in the highlands. The pottery is often decorated with negative painting or modeled animals. Some large stone sculptures from Penonomé, in Chiriquí, suggest the use of stone in large structures but apparently all of these structures were destroyed in the years after the Spanish Conquest.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A stratified, ancient quarry/workshop site just north of Lima, Peru -- an area of coastal lomas (areas of fog vegetation). Excavations revealed a lithicflakeindustry as early as the Late Pleistocene, dating between 9,000 to 11,000 years ago. Wood fragments helped define a Chivateros I period of c 9500-8000 BC. There is also a red zone with some flint chips which, by comparison of artifacts of the nearby Oquendo workshop date to pre-10,500 BC. The whole industry is characterized by burins and bifaces with the upper-level (Chinateros II) containing long, keeled, leaf-shaped projectile points which resemble points from both Lauricocha II and El Jobo. Dating has been aided by the deposition of both loess and salt crust layers which suggest alternating dryness and humidity and which can be synchronized with glacialactivity in the Northern Hemisphere.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Early Iron Age site in Zambia, dating to the 4th-5th centuries AD. There is evidence linking it with the Lusaka area and other areas to the west, for small-scale exploitation of the region's copper deposits, and some regional trade.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj. Choukoutienian CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A type site near Peking, China, for an Upper and Middle Paleolithic culture. It is the place where 40 of the first skeletons of Homo erectus was found -- in limestone fissures of Middle Pleistocene deposits, probably of Mindel date, some 500,000 years old. The find also yielded extinct animals; flake, core, and chopping tools of quartz and sandstone; and traces of fire. From another areacame skeletons of Homo sapiens with stone and bone tools of the Upper Palaeolithic.
CATEGORY: chronology; technique DEFINITION: Any method used to order time and to place events in the sequence in which they occurred. A sequential ordering that places cultural entities in temporal, and often spatial, distribution. It involves the collection of dates or successive datings establishing the position in time of a series of phenomena such as the phases of a civilization or the events of the history of a state. A chronology is relative/floating when only the order of a succession of facts is known, but not their dates, and absolute when the opposite is true. For periods or areas for which no textual evidence is available, relative chronologies have to be established and these are mostly based on pottery sequences and typology. Relative chronology is also based on the application of the principles of stratigraphy and cross-dating. The discovery of inscribed monuments and calendars associated with dated astronomical observations contributed to the development of an Egyptian chronology and it has served as a framework -- through cross-dating -- for all other Near Eastern chronologies. Inscribed Egyptian objects found in Near Eastern contexts have allowed the latter to be dated. Absolute chronology is based on scientific methods such as radiocarbon dating, thermoluminescencedating, and archaeomagnetism. Dates are often calibrated with dendrochronological dates. For dates after 1500 BC, an absolute chronology is not likely to change by more than ten years.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A late prehistoric and historic Native American culture originally living along the coast of southern California and speaking a Hokan language. Chumash also occupied the three northern channel islands off Santa Barbara. The major Chumash groups were the Obispeño, Purismeño, Ynezeño, Barbareño, and Ventureño, Emigdiano, and Cuyama. The Chumash were skilled artisans, made wooden-plank canoes and vessels of soapstone, as well as a variety of tools out of wood, whalebone, and other materials. They produced basketry, did rockpainting, and started of clamshell-bead currency in the area. The Chumash were among the first native Californians to be encountered by the Spanish explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, who visited the islands in 1542-1543.
classic, Classic, Classical
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Classical Age, Classic Period CATEGORY: culture; chronology DEFINITION: A general term referring to the period of time when a culture or civilization reaches its highest point of complexity and achievement. In a broader sense, the term often describes the whole period of Greek and Roman antiquity with the following breakdown: Early Classical Period 500-450 BC, High Classical Period 450-400 BC, and Late Classical 400-323 BC. Specifically, the term describes, in New World chronology, the period between the Formative (Pre-Classic) and the Post-Classic, which was characterized by the emergence of city-states. During the Classic stage, civilized life in pre-Columbian America reached its fullest flowering, with large temple centers, advanced art styles, writing, etc. It was originally coined for the Mayacivilization, initially defined by the earliest and most recent Long Count dates found on Maya stelae, 300-900 AD. A division between Early and Late Classic was arbitrarily set at 600 AD, but since in some areas, e.g. Teothihuacan, great civilizations had already collapsed, some scholars regard this date as marking the end of the Classic Period. By extension, the word came to be used for other Mexican cultures with a similar level of excellence (Teotihuacán, Monte Albán, El Tajín). In these areas the cultural climax was roughly contemporary with that of the Maya, and the term Classic took on a chronological meaning as well. The full Maya artistic, architectural, and calendric-hieroglyphic traditions took place during the Early Classic. Tikal, Uaxactún, and Copán all attained their glory then. In the Late Classic, between 600-900 AD, ceremonial centers in the Maya Lowlands grew in number, as did the making of the inscribed, dated stelae and monuments. The breakdown of the Classic Period civilizations began with the destruction of the city of Teotihuacán in about 700 AD. Some date the Classic period to 300-900 AD.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Classic, Classical CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A general term referring to the period of time when a culture or civilization reaches its highest point of complexity and achievement. In a broader sense, the term often describes the whole period of Greek and Roman antiquity with the following breakdown: Early Classical period 500-450 BC, High Classical period 450-400 BC, and Late Classical 400-323 BC. Specifically, the term describes, in New World chronology, the period between the Formative (Pre-Classic) and the Post-Classic, which was characterized by the emergence of city-states. During the Classic stage, civilized life in pre-Columbian America reached its fullest flowering, with large temple centers, advanced art styles, writing, etc. It was originally coined for the Mayacivilization, initially defined by the earliest and most Recent Long Count dates found on Maya stelae, 300-900 AD. A division between Early and Late Classic was arbitrarily set at 600 AD, but since in some areas, e.g. Teothihuacan, great civilizations had already collapsed, some scholars regard this date as marking the end of the Classic Period. By extension, the word came to be used for other Mexican cultures with a similar level of excellence (Teotihuacán, Monte Albán, El Tajín). In these areas the cultural climax was roughly contemporary with that of the Maya, and the term Classic took on a chronological meaning as well. The full Maya artistic, architectural, and calendric-hieroglyphic traditions took place during the Early Classic. Tikal, Uaxactún, and Copán all attained their glory then. In the Late Classic, between 600-900 AD, ceremonial centers in the Maya Lowlands grew in number, as did the making of the inscribed, dated stelae and monuments. The breakdown of the Classic Period civilizations began with the destruction of the city of Teotihuacán in about 700 AD. Some date the Classic period to 300-900 AD.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: The apartment houses" of masonry built by the Pueblo/Anasazi people of the American Southwest during Pueblo III times or Classic Pueblo located in rock shelters on the sides of canyon walls. These prehistoric houses were built along the sides or under the overhangs of cliffs primarily in the Four Corners area where the states of Arizona New Mexico Colorado and Utah meet. Mesa Verde National Park's Cliff Palace (CO) and Pueblo Bonito (NM) had about 200-800 rooms each. After this period the Pueblo/Anasazi moved farther south and built the pueblo villages that they still inhabit. When the ancestors of the Pueblo/Anasazi people became sedentary and began to cultivate corn they also began to build circular pits as storage bins. When the bins were later reinforced with stone walls and covered with roofs some people began to use the enclosures as houses. Their use of hand-hewn stone building blocks and adobemortar was unexcelled even in later buildings. Ceilings were built by laying two or more large crossbeams and placing on them a solid line of laths made of smaller branches. The layers were then plastered over with the adobe mixture. Some of the structures were several stories high creating a row of terraces that gives the structure the appearance of a ziggurat (ancient Babylonian temple tower). The rooms were about 10 x 20 feet (3 by 6 meters). Ground-floor rooms were entered by ladder through a hole in the ceiling; rooms on upper floors could be entered both by doorways from adjoining rooms and by a hole in the ceiling. Each community had two or more kivas or ceremonial rooms. The Pueblo/Anasazi began to build these cliff dwellings around 1000 AD. The cliffs offered natural protection against attack and many smaller communities combined to form the large towns in the cliffs. Toward the end of the 13th century the cliff dwellings were deserted by the inhabitants. Two factors were involved: a severe drought between 1272- 1299 and possibly internal turmoil between tribes. Smaller pueblos were created in the south near better water sources."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Co Loa CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A place believed to have been the capital of Vietnam's legendary Au Lac dynasty, c 258-207 BC. It is about 20 km northwest of Hanoi and there are three walls which surrounded the city in a spiral. In AD 939 the kingdom of Nam Viet centered in the Red River valley at Co Loa. Ngo Quyen drove the Chinese out of the area and founded his own dynasty, which endured only until 954. Historical sites include the Co Loa citadel.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An ancient North American Indian culture that existed 9,000-2,000 years ago, in Arizona and western New Mexico. The culture was named for the ancient Lake Cochise (now Willcox Playa, Arizona), near which important finds were made. The Cochise, a local variant of the Desert Culture, contrasted with the Big-Game Hunting cultures to the east (Clovis, Folsom), and was based on the gathering and collecting wild plant foods. In later stages, there is evidence of the development of agriculture. The Cochiseculture has been divided into three developmental periods. The earliest stage, Sulphur Spring, dates from 6000 or 7000 BC to about 4000 BC and is characterized by milling stones for grinding wild seeds and by various scrapers, but no knives, blades, or projectile points. Its type site has been associated with mammoth and extinct horse remains and there are some indications that hunting was done. During the second stage, Chiricahua, lasting from 4000 to perhaps 500 BC, the appearance of projectile points seems to indicate an increased interest in hunting, and the remains of a primitive form of maize in Bat Cave (NM) suggest the beginnings of farming. In the final or San Pedro stage, from 500 BC to the beginning of the Christian era, milling stones were replaced by mortars and pestles (mano and metate), and pit houses (houses of poles and earth built over pits) appeared. During the San Pedro stage, pottery appeared in the area of the Mogollon Indians. The poorly understood Cazador phase may bridge the long hiatus between Sulphur Springs and Chiricahua, but the evidence so far in inconclusive.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A restoration of a large section of the early colonial area, which was first settled in 1633 as Middle Plantation. The restoration was begun in 1926 and the more than 3,000 acres of land have nearly 150 major buildings restored or reconstructed. The exhibition buildings, which include the Capitol and Governor's Palace, are furnished as they were in the 18th century, and the entire area is landscaped as it was in colonial times. This living historymuseum has been reconstructed partly with the aid of archaeological research.
Colt Hoare, Sir Richard (1758-1838)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: British antiquary who established the techniques of archaeologicalexcavation 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kommagene CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area in ancient Syria at the junction of the Taurus Mountains and the Euphrates River -- a strategic position between the Roman and Parthian empires from which obsidian was exported from c 8000 BC. Commagene broke from the Seleucid Empire about 162 BC and its king, Antiochus I (c 69-34 BC) helped it rise in importance. Antiochus built his spectacular mausoleum on the peak of Nimrud Dag. Commagene was annexed by Rome in 17 AD and was later incorporated into the Roman province of Syria.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: In ancient China, a military and administrative unit during the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) that governed newly conquered areas. It was run by a commander.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cultural complex CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A group of artifacts and traits that regularly appear together in two or more sites within a restricted area over a period of time and which are presumed to represent an archaeological culture. A complex could be a characteristic tool or type of pottery or it could be a pattern of buildings that occur together. A complex is a chronological subdivision of different artifact types and implies a culture, whereas an assemblage is merely a collection of contemporaneous specimens.
cone of force
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A cone-shaped area on a stonecore and its associated flake, which results when force is applied to separate the flake.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Aggressive movement of human groups from one area to another, resulting in the subjugation of the indigenous society. It is also described as the acquisition of territory by the victorious state in a war, at the expense of the defeated state. An effective conquest takes place when physical appropriation of territory is followed by subjugation (legal process of transferring title).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: convergent evolution; antonym: diffusion CATEGORY: term; technique DEFINITION: Term used to describe the appearance of similar traits in different areas or at different times or in different contexts, as a result of parallel or converging evolution. For example, rocker pattern was used for decorating pottery in widely separated contexts.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An extensive island group in the central Pacific whose traditions and linguistic patterns indicate that they were initially settled by Polynesians from Tonga and Samoa, some of whom later colonized New Zealand. Remains show a highly organized society by about 1100 AD, though the area was probably settled 1500 years ago. Archaeological excavations have been undertaken on Rarotonga, Aitutaki, and Penrhyn, and many islands of the group have well-preserved examples of Polynesian temples (Marae).
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A hoard of copper artifacts, many of which occur in the Ganges-Yamuna doab (alluvial plain) and in the area south of the lower Ganges, the former occasionally associated with ochre-colored pottery. The hoards, dated broadly to the 2nd millennium BC, include flat axes, anthropomorphous axes, barbed harpoons, and sword blades. They have been cited as evidence of the Vedia arrival by some. Other copper hoards with different artifact typologies also occur elsewhere in India and Pakistan.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cordilleran ice sheet; Laurentide CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: The ice mass that covered the coastal mountains along the Pacific Ocean coast of North America from northern Washington state into southern Alaska. At its maximum extent, about 20,000 years ago, it connected with the Laurentide ice sheet to the east and with the Pacific Ocean to the west, and reached a thickness of some 3 kilometers (1 mile). The Cordilleran Geosyncline is a linear trough in the Earth's crust in which rocks of Late Precambrian to Mesozoic age (roughly 600 million to 66 million years ago) were deposited along the western coast of North America, from southern Alaska through western Canada and the United States, probably to western Mexico. The eastern boundary of the geosyncline extends from southeastern Alaska along the eastern edge of the Northern Cordillera and Northern Rocky Mountains of Canada and Montana, along the eastern edge of the Great Basin of Utah and Nevada, and into southeastern California and Mexico. The Old Cordilleranculture appeared in the Pacific Northwest about 9000 or 10,000 BC and persisted until about 5000 BC in some areas. Subsistence was based on hunting, fishing, and gathering. Simple willow-leaf-shaped, bipointed projectile points are characteristic artifacts.
Cortes de Navarra
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Urnfield settlement site of the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages near Sargossa in the Ebro Valley of northern Spain. Narrow, rectangular mudbrick houses were arranged in rows on terraces and the site is actually a tell. Some archaeologists regard the appearance of such traits in southern France and northern Spain in the early 1 millennium BC as indicating the movement of Celtic groups into the area.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: coversand, blow sand CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A deposit or sediment of wind-blown sand which is formed by the carrying of sand grains from glacial outwash deposits or from the shore by wind gusts. In areas where this occurs, the deposits may wipe out evidence of previous occupation -- but they may also preserve artifact associations if the deposition is thick and rapid. If it happens slowly, the archaeologicalmaterial may eventually end up several kilometers from its source.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A defect in which the glaze separates from the body during drying or firing (as around a prefiring crack), leaving unglazed areas
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cross-section CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In masony, the configuration of a wall through its thickness. It can be compound (combination of single stone and double stone), compound with core (areas separated by rubble core), double bonded (double stone with overlap in interior), double stone with core (two stones wide with rubble core but no overlap in interior), double stone (two adjacent stones wide, no overlap), or single stone.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cross dating CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A correlationdating technique that can yield a relative or absolute age or chronology. The basis of cross-dating is the occurrence of finds in association. The assumption is that a particular type of artifact, for example a type of sword, when found in an undated context will bear a similar date to one found in a dated context, thus enabling the whole of the undated context to be given a chronological value. The method is based on the assumption that typologies evolved at the same rate and in the same way over a wide area or alternatively on assumptions of diffusion. Many of the chronologies constructed before the advent of chronometric dating techniques were based on cross-dating. New techniques such as radiocarbon dating showed some of the links established by cross-dating to be invalid, so the method has become somewhat discredited. However, its use is still helpful where recognizable products of dateable manufacture are found in undated contexts with no possibility of using a chronometric dating technique. So in the absence of geochronology, two cultural groups can only be proved contemporary by the discovery of links between them. If in culture A an object produced by culture B is found, A must be contemporary with, or later than, B. The term cross-dating ought strictly to be used only when an object of culture A is also found in proved association with culture B, when overlap of at least part of the time span of each is proved. Items having an established date, such as dated coins or buildings, or ceramics of known manufacture are most often used. By itself, a cross-dated chronology does not give absolute dates, but it may be calibrated by reference to other dating methods. A type of cross-dating has always been used in geology and stratigraphical sequences are often correlated by the assemblages of fossils they contain; this is known as biostratigraphy. The archaeological versions of cross-dating may have been developed directly out of the geological method and may have been based on a false analogy between biological fossils and archaeological artifacts.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: diffusion CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: In anthropology, the transmission or borrowing of certain culture traits from the group of origin into a foreign group; usually technological elements rather than those of social organization. This term defines the spread of ideas, traits, or people from one area to another -- not necessarily implying the movement of people, since trade and the adoption of new ideas from neighboring cultures are reasonable explanations of diffusion. The diffusion of new ideas can come, however, from the peaceful or warlike expansion of a population into new territory. The theory of diffusion was used in the past to explain the beginning of most new ideas: it was assumed that technological skills such as metalworking, or the building of large monumental structures, could only have begun in one place, whence they diffused to other areas. It is now clear, through the use of new dating techniques, that independent invention was certainly possible and probable for many new ideas.
CATEGORY: feature; term DEFINITION: The deposition of materials from settlements or other prehistoric areas of activity that accumulate over a relatively continuous time. Several such layers create a stratigraphic and chronological sequence.
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.
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 prehistoricmaterial. 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.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The center of a culture area, so designated because it best represents the essential qualities of the culture.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: An integrated group of cultural traits functioning as a distinct system within a culture area.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Roman frontier province north of the Danube in the area of the Carpathian Mountains and Transylvania, in present-day western Romania, spanning c 106-270 AD. The Dacians were agricultural and worked their rich mines of gold, iron, and silver. As a people, they first lived south of the Danube and traded with the Greeks. They were a threat to the Romans from 112 BC, extending their kingdom. The Dacian Wars (85-89 AD) took place under the emperor Domitian and then the Romans under Trajan reopened hostilities in 101-106 AD, finally taking the country. The Dacian Wars were commemorated on Trajan's Column in Rome. The Romans exploited the Dacian mines, constructed roads, and made Sarmizegethusa and Tsierna (Orsova) colonies. The new province was divided under Hadrian: Dacia Superior was Transylvania and Dacia Inferior was the region of Walachia. Marcus Aurelius made the provinces a single military region in about 168 AD; but the province was abandoned by Aurelian in 270.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A series of sites along the Columbia River on the Oregon/Washington border, going back to 10,000 BC. The salmon of the river are thought to have made the area important.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: damaskeening CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The art of incrusting one metal on another, in the form of wire, which by undercutting and hammering is completely attached to the metal it ornaments. The process of etching slight ornaments on polished steel wares is also called damascening. Although related to pattern-welding, this technique used in the manufacture of sword blades probably developed independently. First a high-carbon steel is produced by firing wrought iron and wood together in a sealed crucible; the resulting steel, or wootz, consists of light cementations in a darker matrix, and this, together with a series of complicated forging techniques at relatively low temperatures produced the delicate 'watered silk' pattern with the alternating high- and low-carbon areas. Damascene steel was very strong and highly elastic.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of southern Bactria, Afghanistan, with Bronze Age, Achaemenid, and Classical sites. There are major architectural ruins from these periods.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Archaeological data found in association and in primary context and used to define areas and kinds of ancient activity. Such information may be divided into composite, differentiated, and simple data clusters.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: meridian; datum plane CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: An imaginary line that is measured in a north-south direction. It is a fixed line of reference and should extend for a sufficient distance to cover the area of probable excavation. It should conform to a true meridian of longitude and it enables the surveyor to position accurately any point on the site in relation to its orientation (its north-south axis). This is the point of reference from which all vertical measurements (elevations) are made; can be arbitrary or calculated from height above sea level.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The remains of a frontier administrative center near Fukuoka, Japan. Established just after Japan's defeat in the Korean campaign of 663, Dazaifu remained an important outpost of the government in the western frontier for the next few centuries and was the bureaucratic gateway from Kyushu to the continent. The Dazaifuarea, with administrative buildings and temples, has been excavated.
de facto refuse
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Artifacts left behind when a settlement or activity area is abandoned.
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: The waste by-products -- chips or debris -- resulting from the manufacture of stone tools, found in large quantities in a tool-making area. Study of debitage can reveal a good deal about techniques used by knappers. Certain waste flakes have a characteristic appearance and indicate the tools that were made or prepared at a site even when the tools themselves are absent.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: decumanus maximus CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: East-west street of a Roman camp or town. The square grid layout of the two was basically identical and the decumanus usually ran from the gate in the middle of one wall to the gate opposite. The decumanus maximus was the main east-west street. The main transverse street was known as the cardo; the administrative block or forum was at the intersection of the two. Other decumani parallel to the decumanus maximus cross the transverse cardines to divide the area into insulae.
CATEGORY: site; geography DEFINITION: The greater part of Lower Egypt, the Nile delta north of ancient Memphis, which is in marked contrast with Upper Egypt's valley. Though it has equally important history, its remains are now lost, buried beneath many meters of the silt which has accumulated since ancient times. The lowercased term refers to any flat alluvial tract built up by the deposition of silt at the mouth of a river. The name derives from the fact that the Nile fans out into several tributaries as it approaches the Mediterranean, creating a triangulararea of fertile land shaped like the Greek letter delta.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: In ancient Greece, a country district or village, as distinct from a polis, or city-state. Demos also meant the common people like the Latin plebs. In Cleisthenes' democratic reform at Athens (508/507 BC), the demes of Attica (the area around Athens) were given status in local and state administration. Males 18 years of age were registered in their local demes, thereby acquiring civic status and rights. These local communities retained a basic political and social importance well into the 5th-6th centuries.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: tree-ring dating CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: An absolute chronometric dating technique for measuring time intervals and dating events and environmental changes by reading and dating the pattern (number and condition) of annual rings formed in the trunks of trees. The results are compared to an established tree-ringsequence for a particular region with consideration to annual fluctuations in rainfall which result in variations in the size of the rings laid down by trees on the outside of their trunks. These variations, given favorable conditions, form a consistent pattern; and sections or cores taken from beams in ruins have been matched to provide a long chronology over large areas. The method is based on the principle that trees add a growth ring for each year of their lives, and that variations in climatic conditions will affect the width of these rings on suitable trees. In a very dry year growth will be restricted, and the ring narrow, while a wet and humid year will produce luxuriant growth and a thick ring. By comparing a complete series of rings from a tree of known date (for example, one still alive) with a series from an earlier, dead tree overlapping in age, ring patterns from the central layers of the recent tree and the outer of the old may show a correlation which allows the dating, in calendar years, of the older tree. The central rings of this older tree may then be compared with the outer rings or a yet older tree, and so on until the dates reach back into prehistory. Problems that arise are when climatic variation and suitable trees (sensitive trees react to climatic changes, complacent trees do not) are not be present to produce any significant and recognizable pattern of variation in the rings. Another problem is that there may be gaps in the sequences of available timber, so that the chronology 'floats', or is not tied in to a calendrical date or living trees: it can only be used for relative dating. Also, the tree-ringkey can only go back a certain distance into the past, since the availability of sufficient amounts of timber to construct a sequence obviously decreases. Only in a few areas of the world are there species of trees so long-lived that long chronologies can be built up. This method is especially important in the southwestern United States, Alaska, and Scandinavia, dating back to several thousand years BC in some areas. Dendrochronology is of immense importance for archaeology, especially for its contribution to the refining of radiocarbon dating. Since timber can be dated by radiocarbon, dates may be obtained from dendrochronologically dated trees. It has been shown that the radiocarbon dates diverge increasingly from calendrical dates provided by tree-rings the further back into prehistory they go, the radiocarbon dates being younger than the tree-ring dates. This has allowed the questioning of one of the underlying assumptions of radiocarbon dating, the constancy of the concentration of C14 in the atmosphere. Fluctuations in this concentration have now been shown back as far as dendrochronological sequences go (to c 7000 BC), and thus dating technique is serving the further research on another. In 1929, A.E. Douglass first showed how this method could be used to date archaeologicalmaterial. The long-living Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata) of California has yielded a sequence extending back to c 9000 bp. In Ireland, oak preserved in bogs has produced a floating chronology from c 2850-5950 bp.
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.
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
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: Hollowed out areas in hilltop camps, usually covered with hay and clay as an insulator. Condensation of the moisture in the air resulted and collected as a pond.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of south-central Mauritania (Africa) on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert with evidence of local beginnings of cereal cultivation in the 2nd millennium BC in the form of plant impressions on pottery. Wild sorghum and bulrush millet are indigenous to the area. At the time, there were extensive lakes at Dhar Tichitt for fishing and by c 1500 BC the inhabitants had domestic cattle and goats. By the 4th century BC, bulrush millet clearly formed the staplediet of the inhabitants of the area.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Indian peoples of South America, formerly inhabiting northwestern Argentina and the Chilean provinces of Atacama and Coquimbo. They are characterized by distinctive ceramic complexes. Two principal subgroups have been defined -- the Argentinian, on the eastern side of the Andes and the Chilean, on the western side -- which have some cultural traits in common: funerary practices, use of bronze, and probably language. The Calchaquí, the Argentinian subgroup, farmed terraced fields, built irrigation canals, and kept herds of llama. They did loomweaving of llama-wool textiles, which they dyed; basket making; and had a rather elaborate ceramicindustry. Metallurgy was also known. Religious beliefs involved shamanistic practices for the cure of illness felt to be caused by witchcraft. Polychrome funerary urns were used for burial for children; adult burials were stone-lined pit inhumations. The Chilean Diaguitaceramics are, on the whole, smaller and more delicately decorated. Influence from the north (Tiahuanaco in the early stages and Inca later) is also apparent. Petroglyphs are common throughout the Diaguitaarea. The earliest date for Diaguita is c 900 AD and it continued till the Spanish Conquest.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The dispersion of people, either forced or voluntary, from a central area of origin to many distant regions. In particular, the dispersion of Jews among the Gentiles after the Babylonian Exile or the aggregate of Jews or Jewish communities scattered in exile" outside Palestine or present-day Israel."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cultural diffusion; diffusionism; diffusionist approach; diffusionist CATEGORY: term; technique DEFINITION: The process whereby cultural traits, idea, or objects are spread or transmitted from one culture or society to another. It may be carried by folk movement, war, or trade, or imitation. Diffusion has played a major part in human development by spreading ideas and techniques more rapidly than they could have spread had they been independently invented. Primary diffusion occurs when people migrate and take their habits with them. When ideas or customs, but not the people who have them, move, it is secondary diffusion. The spread of agriculture in North America was secondary diffusion. The burden of proof is on the diffusionist to show that the trait is the same in the two areas, that communication between the two was possible, and that there are no difficulties in the relative dates. In a great number of cases these criteria can be met and diffusion is an important explanatory concept in culture history. The theory popularized by V.G. Childe, who said that all the attributes of civilization from architecture to metalworking had diffused from the Near East to Europe.
digital elevation model
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: DEM CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A three-dimensional representation of the landscape within a defined area.
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
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A common feature of archaeological sites in association with defensive structures, as a means of drainage, or as a construction trench. A ditch was usually dug outside the walls of forts, fortresses and so on, as part of the defenses, and was often filled with water. Ditches which are allowed to erode, without much interference, go through three phases of infilling. Primary fill accumulates as the sides of the ditch collapse. Vegetation then begins at the bottom of the ditch and the secondary fill starts to build up. This material has a much finer texture than primary fill. The rate of secondary fill deposition is related to soilerosion in the surrounding area. If the land by the ditch is plowed, thick colluvial deposits, called tertiary fill, may bury the secondary fill.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The practice of foretelling the future by various natural, psychological, and other techniques. It is found in all civilizations -- both ancient and modern, primitive and sophisticated -- and in all areas. In the Western world, the primary form is the use of horoscopic astrology or horoscopes. There is no scientific evidence that divination indeed foretells the future.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Eibian CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A stoneindustry found exclusively in the southern and eastern areas of Somalia and northeastern Kenya in East Africa. Doian assemblages contain pressure-flaked small points, backed microliths, and flake scrapers. A post-Pleistocene age is possible but not yet determined.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In antiquity (especially in France), a word for a megalithic tomb consisting of orthostats and capstone or for megalithic chamber tombs in general. This was usually a stone structure consisting of upright columns supporting a slab roof and known from Neolithic times. In English archaeological literature 'dolmen' should be used only for tombs whose original plan cannot be determined or for tombs of simple unspecialized types which do not fit into the passage grave or gallery grave categories; it is also used for relatively small, closed megalithic chambers, such as the dysser of Scandinavia. The name was probably derived from Cornish 'tolmen' (stone table). The word has a second meaning for the enclosure for burial in a jar of the Yayoiperiod in Japan consisting of a single large stone slab supported on a ring of stones. A third meaning is for a megalithic stone burialfeature in western China and coast Yellow Sea area, dating to the 1st millennium BC, of which there are three forms -- raised table, low table, and unsupported capstone.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Dong Son CATEGORY: culture; site DEFINITION: A classic Bronze Age site in north Vietnam and its culture, dating c 500 BC to 100 AD. It was preceded by the Go Bong (c 2000-1500 BC), Dong-Dau (c 1500-100 BC), and Go Mun (c 1000-500 BC) phases of the Vietnamese Bronze Age. The Dong-son culture thus overlaps the Chinese conquest of northern Vietnam in 111 BC. Characteristic are large incised cast-bronze drums, bronze situlae (buckets), bells, tools, and weapons from elaborate boat burials and assemblages in lacquered wood coffins. Dong-son drums of presumed Vietnamese manufacture were traded through wide areas of Southeast Asia and southern China to as far as New Guinea, and the Dong-son bronze-working tradition was by far the richest and most advanced ever to develop in Southeast Asia. Iron was used for tools. There is evidence for developing urbanism in defensive earthworks and wet ricecultivation. Major sites include Chao Can, Viet Khe, Lang Ca, and Co Loa.
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 Mainzarea, 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 Carolingianemporium and illustrates the scale of commerce between the imperial estates in the Rhineland and other North Sea communities.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Dorset tradition CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A prehistoricEskimoculture that settled in the eastern Canadian Arctic and Greenland around 1000 BC and lasted until 1000 AD when it was replaced by the Thuleculture. The earliest manifestation, known as pre-Dorset (in some areas as Sarqaq) is represented at sites on Baffin Island and dates from c 2400 BC. The Dorset subtradition developed from pre-Eskimo Arctic Small Tool tradition. A typical site of the late Dorset subtradition is Port aux Choix 2 in western Newfoundland with house and storage pits. They hunted sea mammals and caribou. The tradition had a stone tool assemblage of end scrapers and spear points and they were also known for beautiful carvings of animals and humans in bone, ivory, and wood.
dot density map
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: A type of map using a random pattern of points to represent the value in a given area - the more points the higher the value.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: An exchange system in which goods are traded from a source area and then from group to group, resulting in a steady decline in the item's abundance in sites farther from the source
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The modern capital of Ireland (Eire) was founded by the Vikings, or Norsemen, in the 9th century (c 831) and built on the ridge above the south bank of the river, the same spot where Dublin Castle was built. Throughout much of the Middle Ages it remained one of the foremost sea ports in the British Isles. VikingDublin was a prosperous settlement, and excavations begun in the 1960s revealed a wealth of archaeological evidence for that period. From prehistoric times people have dwelt in the area about Dublin Bay, and four of Ireland's five great roads converged near the spot called Baile Atha Cliath (The Town of the Ford of the Hurdle"). Remarkable waterlogged conditions have preserved organic material from levels dating to between the 9th-14th centuries. The footings of wattle-and-daub and timber-framed buildings have been recovered with door posts screens and hearths as well as timber streets. There is also abundant evidence of the crafts and industries from the Hiberno-Scandinavian and Anglo-Norman periods -- woodworking metalworking hooping combmaking leatherworking and cobbling."
CATEGORY: geology; geography DEFINITION: A landform (hill, mound, or ridge) of sand or other loose material that is formed by wind action. Dunes exist due to the ability of wind to transport unconsolidated material and are mainly associated with desert regions where windblown sand occupies extensive areas. In the recent geological past, desert areas may have been even larger during dry periods in the Pleistoceneglaciation. At that time great areas of loess (windblown silt) were deposited across North America, Europe, and Asia. Dunes also form in coastal areas. Migration of active dunes can bury archaeological deposits.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Buddhist kingdom in present-day Thailand and an early Monstate, first mentioned in Chinese sources as T'o-lo-po-ti in the middle of the 7th century AD. Though few records have survived, its capital may have been at Nakhon Pathom and its territory must have comprised almost all present Thailand. There are architectural remains, terra-cotta modeling, stuccoreliefsculpture, and Buddhist statuary in bronze and stone. The kingdomcame to an end when the Khmers incorporated the area in the empire of Angkor in the 11th century AD.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Pointed or rounded projections from the base or haftingarea of certain projectile points.
CATEGORY: site; artifact DEFINITION: A small valley in southern England with an important series of loams and gravels spanning the last two glacial periods and intervening interglacial. Stone tools included Levallois flakes, but only a few hand axes and other tool types were found. The area has also given its name to a decorated potterystyle of the Neolithicperiod. The first Jutes, Hengist and Horsa, landed at Ebbsfleet in the Isle of Thanet in 449 AD.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The structure of economic life in a country, area, or period; the provisioning of human society with food, water, shelter, etc.
CATEGORY: flora DEFINITION: A transition zone between habitats of two different plant communities, such as forest and grassland; the dividing line between two different ecological communities. It has some of the characteristics of each bordering community and often contains species not found in the overlapping communities. An ecotone may exist in a broad or narrow area. The influence of the two bordering communities on each other is known as the edge effect. An ecotonal area often has a higher density of organisms of one species and a greater number of species than are found in either individual community. Some organisms need this transitionalarea for activities such as courtship, nesting, or foraging for food.
CATEGORY: flora DEFINITION: An area defined by a set of exploitable resources and its climate.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The outside limit of a stone tool; the outside limit of an object, area, or surface
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Small pipes carved in one piece from stone and polished, representing birds, fish, and other animals, particularly form the Hopewellculture of the Eastern Woodlands of the United States during 300 BC-200 AD. In other areas and periods of the US, larger stoneeffigy pipes were carved in a variety of zoomorphic and human forms, such as the human effigy pipes of Adena Mound, Ohio.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A series of Neolithic sites around former Lake Wauwil in Switzerland from the earliest phase of the Neolithic in that area. Most of them belong to the Cortaillodculture and have well-preserved organic material. The site of Egolzwil 4 had ten rectangular wooden houses placed close together. Food remains include cereals, lentils, beans, and flax, and wild strawberries and chestnuts; animal remains include both domesticated and wild animals, and duck, salmon, perch, and carp from the lake. The earliest settlement, Egolzwil 3 dated to the late 5th or early 4th millennium BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A settlement site of the Linear Pottery culture in eastern Germany. The fortified area was surrounded by a rampart and ditchsystem.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The spectrum of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation, with light being the visible part of the spectrum and heat another. There are parts of the spectrum which are not detectable by human senses but spectrophotometers can monitor all areas of the spectrum. Data can be analyzed and used to find and understand structures.
electron probe microanalysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: electron probe microanalyzer CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A physical method of chemical analysis which can determine the constituent elements in metal, stone, glass, pigments/stains, and pottery/ceramics. The technique is slightly destructive, requiring the removal of a small sample from the artifact. An electron beam is used to excite the atomic electrons and the result is the emission of secondary X-rays with characteristic wavelengths for the elements concerned. The beam can be focused on to a very small area of the specimen, and can be moved around to sample different points: thus the method is particularly useful for the study of surface enrichment in metals and of pigments. It can be used with samples as small as 10 -11 cubic centimeter and is similar to XRF (X-ray fluorescence spectrometry).
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A natural or artificial alloy of gold and silver (at least 20%) from which artifacts were once made and used to make the first known coins in the Western world. Most natural electrum contains copper, iron, palladium, bismuth, and perhaps other metals. The process of extracting the silver from the gold is complex; it was used particularly for decorative vessels. Electrum's color was whiter and more luminous than that of gold, and its metal supposed to ward off poison. In the ancient world, the main source was Lydia, in Asia Minor, where the alloy was found in the area of the Pactolus River (modern Turkey).
CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: Either of two species of the family Elephantidae, characterized by their large size, huge head, columnar legs, and large ears. The Indian elephant was regularly employed for show and war as early as the Bronze Age in China. Wild herds survived in the Near East into the 1st millennium BC, when they were hunted to extinction for their ivory, and in North Africa, where they supplied Hannibal with his war elephants. Forms now extinct, especially the mammoth, were an important source of food in the Palaeolithicperiod, and are portrayed in cave art. Living elephants are now confined to Africa. The African elephant formerly occupied a far larger area, as is attested by skeletal evidence and cave paintings in North Africa. The reduction in its range is probably due to the combined effects of climatic change, human hunting, and cattle-grazing. The straight-tusked elephant, Elephas antiquus, apparently adapted to the open deciduous woodlands of interglacials in Europe, but became extinct at the end of the Ipswichianinterglacial. Dwarf forms of the straight-tusked elephant evolved on islands of the Mediterranean.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Important Greek town just west of Athens, famous for the Eleusinian mysteries celebrated in honor of Demeter and Persephone. Occupation is attested from the early Bronze Age and the sanctuary was in use from at least Mycenaean times. The site's most famous monument, the telesterion (hall with rock-cut seats), was built in late 6th century BC. It was a temple of unusual design, dedicated to Demeter, with rare features such as a lantern over the anaktoron (holy of holies) and built-in seating to the main hall. The Romans built the Propylaea. Alaric and his hordes (Goths) devastated the area and the edicts of the emperor Theodosius led to its abandonment.
CATEGORY: term; chronology DEFINITION: A phase in the history of northern European vegetation recognized through pollen analysis and dated by radiocarbon as c 4000 BC. It marked a sudden and marked decline in elm pollen in contrast to other tree pollens. In some areas it was accompanied by a drop in frost-sensitive species such as ivy and mistletoe, while in many others it coincided with the appearance of plants associated with human settlements (plantain and nettles). It is now attributed to disease from beetles causing Dutch elm disease though other explanations for the decline include climatic change and human interference.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Pastoral Neolithic stoneindustry of early East Africa in a restricted area on the west side of the central Rift Valley in Kenya. Typical artifact assemblages include large double-edged obsidian blades, plain pottery bowls, and shallow stone vessels. Domestic cattle and small stock were herded. The dead were cremated, as at the mass-burialsite at Njoro River Cave (c 1000 BC), one of the earliest Elmenteitan sites. The industry continued into the 1st millennium AD. The name also applies to the Pastoral Neolithic and Iron Age potterytradition associated with the stone artifacts.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aeneolithic, Chalcolithic, Copper Age CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period in the Near East and southeastern Europe when coppermetallurgy was being adopted by Neolithic cultures, in the 4th and 3rd millennia BC. The period is called the Chalcolithic in the Near East and the Copper Age in other areas.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Iron Age oppidum (promontory fort) in Hérault, southern France, first founded in the 6th century BC. It had defenses of Cyclopean masonry and well laid-out stone houses, both of which are very similar to those found on Greek settlements in the area. Large storage jars and silos excavated into the tufa were probably for grain or water. Nearby is a large cremationcemetery of the 3rd century with inurned burials. A major reconstruction took place in c 200 BC and then again in the 4th century.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A major port on the west coast of Asia Minor (Turkey), originally an Ionic city of which only a few fragments survive. The city walls are Hellenistic, but the majority of the remains date from the Roman period, when the city was one of the richest and most important in Asia. The temple of Artemis and many important public buildings have been found, including agoras, baths, Library of Celus, arcaded streets, market buildings, gymnasia, stadium, and a theater. The temple, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was burned in 356 BC. The town was situated strategically in the delta area of the River Cayster, and there is some evidence for occupation from Mycenaean times. Tradition, however, describes the settlement as founded from Athens by King Androklos.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Heavy bronzeflange-hilted sword with a leaf-shaped blade for slashing rather than thrusting. Originating in the early urnfield traditions of central Europe, examples were exported to surrounding areas, some arriving in Britain, for example, in the Penard Phase of the later Bronze Age, the 12th century BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Erh-li-kang CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A stage of the early Bronze Age in North China seen in two strata at Zhengzhou Erligang, classified archaeologically as Middle Shang. The phase preceded the Anyangperiod (c 1300-1030 BC) and radiocarbon dates have been c 1600-1550 bc. The massive rammed-earth fortification, 118 feet wide at its base and enclosing an area of 1.2 square miles, would have taken 10,000 men more than 12 years to build. Also found were ritual bronzes, including four monumental tetrapods, palace foundations; workshops for bronzecasting, pot making, and bone working; burials; and two inscribed fragments of oracle bones. The Erligang phase may correspond to the widest sway of the Shang empire and is known for its highly developed bronze-castingindustry. Some Chinese archaeologists call the phase Early Shang.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient town on the edge of the Po plain near Padua, Italy. It has given its name to a rich Iron Age culture, the Atestine, of the 9th century BC. Profiting from its position, it flourished down to the invasion of the Celts in 4th century BC, and is particularly famous for its fine red and black cordoned vases, its magnificent situla art, and much fine sheet bronze work. The area was annexed by Rome in 184 BC.
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: A low area along a coast where the wide mouth of a river meets the sea and the waters of the two mix
CATEGORY: related field DEFINITION: The study of non-Western cultures using evidence from documentary sources and oral traditions. In areas where prehistoric and nonliterate cultures have survived into historical times, it is possible to reconstruct history before contact with literate populations through the study of myth and oral traditions, collected ethnographically. In Central America, the aboriginal written records are used in conjunction with the early European records, archaeological investigations, and oral tradition to reconstruct prehistoric life.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Magdaleniansite just south of Paris, France, with successive occupations dating to 12,000 bp. There is an abundance of flint and flintknapping areas, hearths and débitage.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The area to the north of Rome, bounded by the Tiber and Arno Rivers and the Tyrrhenian Sea. The Etruscans inhabited the area and colonized Aleria, the Po Valley, and parts of Campania. The area is rich in gold, iron, and bronze. The dead were buried in underground tombs or tumuli and were accompanied by a range of funerary goods. The tombs are an important source of Athenian pottery.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The people who occupied north central Italy (ancient Etruria, modern Tuscany) in the 1st millennium BC. They can first be recognized in the 8th century BC, distinguished from their predecessors the Villanovans by the wealth and oriental appearance of their tombs. They developed a high level of civilization very quickly, with extensive trade contacts with Greece and Carthage, and across the Alpine passes to central Europe. Their cities were large and rich: Populonia, Vetulonia, Tarquinia, and Caere (Cerveteri) near the coast, and Veii, Clusium (Chiusi) and Perusia (Perugia) inland. Etruscan influence spread widely, through Rome itself down to Campania in the south, and north to the Po valley and the civilization reached its height in the 6th century BC. Conflict with the Celts in the north and Rome in the south led to conquest by the latter, beginning with Veii in 396 BC and completed early in the 2nd century BC. The Etruscans' own writings, in an alphabet borrowed from the Greeks, can be transliterated, but little of their non-Indo-European language can be translated. Etruscan tombs show their genius; the finest are mounds covering a burialvault, as in the cemeteries of Tarquinia and Cerveteri. The vaults may be elaborately frescoed with scenes from life, mythology, or the rites associated with death. Also remarkable is a tomb at Cerveteri, the walls of which are covered with stucco reliefs of everyday objects. There is a high preponderance of imports, especially metalwork and Athenian pottery. Typical products of the Etruscans are decorated bronze mirrors, bucchero pottery, and sophisticated filigreejewelry. The influence of the Etruscans on Roman civilization was enormous. Rome is indebted to the Etruscans not only for its early kings, such as the notorious Tarquin, but virtually for the total infrastructure of its civilization. Roman culture is essentially the continuation of Etruscan under another name and language. Among areas of continuity are religion (e.g. Etruscan haruspex and Roman augury), political and social organization, strategic arts, architecture, art, drama, theater and civil engineering (notably hydraulics, such as aqueducts and drainage systems). The origin of the Etruscans has been a subject of debate since antiquity. Herodotus, for example, argued that the Etruscans descended from a people who invaded Etruria from Anatolia before 800 BC and established themselves over the native Iron Age inhabitants of the region, whereas Dionysius of Halicarnassus believed that the Etruscans were of local Italian origin.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj. eustatic CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: Changes in sea level on a global basis, usually as the result of a major event such as the end of a glaciation. In such a case a eustatic rise due to the melting of the glaciers can be expected in a post-glacialperiod. These sea-level movements can be independent of any change in the height of the land, but isostasy can happen contemporaneously as a result of the same phenomenon. This worldwide alteration in sea level is independent of any isostatic movement of the land. At the end of a glaciationmelting of the water previously held in the ice sheets raises sea levels (eustatic rise), and a high level can often be correlated with an interglacialperiod or with the postglacial phase. Such fluctuations have occurred throughout the Quaternary, due to changes in the extent of ice sheets and thus in the volume of water locked up as ice. The larger the ice sheets, the less water available to the sea, and so sea level is lower during glacials than during interglacials. Evidence exists for a whole series of eustatic sea level fluctuations, but the most widespread is the 'high stand' in c 120,000 bp, just before the start of the last cold stage, when sea levels were between 2-10 meters higher than at the present day. During the maximum extent of the ice-sheets of the last cold stage, eustatic sea level was much lower than that of today. Large areas of continental shelf were exposed, some being occupied by the ice sheets themselves. Recovery of sea level at the end of the last cold stage is relatively well known from deposits in the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and Scotland, but is complicated by isostatic changes. The North Sea and English Channel flooded, separating Britain from the Continent, by about 7000 bp. Ireland became a separate island at about the same time. Scandinavia had a complicated series of different seas and lakes, until a sea similar to today's Baltic became established around 7000 bp. The main factors that influence sea level are global ice volumes, plate tectonics, changes in ocean volumes and dimensions, and the movement of mantle material.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The systematic and scientific recovery of cultural, material remains of people as a means of obtaining data about past human activity. Excavation is digging or related types of salvage work, scientifically controlled so as to yield the maximum amount of data. It is the main tool of the archaeologist. The excavation of a site, however, involves the destruction of the primary evidence, which can never be recovered. Excavation should therefore never be undertaken lightly or without an understanding of the obligations of the excavator to the evidence he destroys. The first decision is whether to excavate a site at all, a question of particular interest when sites are being rapidly destroyed by farming methods and road and town building. The nature and scale of the undertaking is the next decision. If time and/or money is short, sampling of the site may be all that is possible. If a large-scale excavation is to be undertaken, the approach will be either area (open) excavation, grid method, quadrant method, rabotage, sondage, etc. Removal of the topsoil will either be carried out by hand or machine. After an initial plan has been made of all visible features before excavation, digging proceeds according to the dictates of the site: sections may be taken across areas of feature intersection, or across individual features. A permanent record of the whole process should be kept: plans, drawings, notes, photographs. Excavation is only the first part of the process. For years, excavation was regarded as merely a method of collecting artifacts. Pitt Rivers in Britain and Petrie in the Near East first placed emphasis on evidence rather than artifacts, not what is found but where it was found relative to the layers of deposit (stratigraphy) and to other objects (association) -- the context. The excavator can only justify his destruction if it is done with meticulous care so that every artifact, be it an ax or a posthole, is discovered and if possible preserved; if it is recorded accurately enough for all information to remain available after the site has disappeared; and if this record is quickly made available by publication. In short, excavation is the digging of archaeological sites, removal of the matrix, and observance of the provenience and context of the finds therein, and the recording of them in a three-dimensional way.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A basic area of horizontal control in an excavation; usually a test pit, trench, or a standard-sized square (grid).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A fertile area of the Egyptian Sahara which receives water from an arm of the Nile. It was important during the Neolithic and developed only during the Middle Kingdom and the Greco-Roman period.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The earliest-known phase of the Predynastic sequence of Lower Egypt with settlements in the northern Faiyumarea. The economic base was agriculture, though there was much hunting of large mammals (elephant, hippopotamus).
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The earliest-known phase of the Predynastic sequence of Lower Egypt with settlements in the northern Faiyumarea. The economic base was agriculture, though there was much hunting of large mammals (elephant, hippopotamus).
Fayyum, al- or Fayum
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Fayoum, Fayum region, ancient Ta-she, She-resy, Moeris CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large fertile depression in the Libyan Desert, southwest of Cairo near the west bank of the Nile, with two prehistoric cultures dating to c 5000 BC and c 4500 BC. These early settlements were of the first food-producing peoples of Egypt. Emmer and barley were cultivated and cattle, sheep, and pigs bred. Saw-edged sickle flints, mat-lined silo pits, and saddle querns have been found and ax heads were of flaked flint or ground pebbles. Hollow-based flint arrowheads, bone dart tips, stone maceheads, and bone harpoons were used for hunting and fishing. Artifacts of special note include a threshing flail and a wooden sickle set with flint teeth. Pottery was in use and beads of ostrich eggshell and seashells of both Mediterranean and Red Sea types were imported. Lake Qarun had fish which were a delicacy for Egyptians throughout the ages. In Middle Empire (c 2000 BC), the pharaohs (Amenemhet III) engaged in huge irrigation and drainage schemes and the area was famous for orchards and gardens. After a period of decline, the Ptolemies in turn took an interest in the area, establishing a number of small towns there, the papyrus archives which have survived in great quantity and excellent state of preservation. The region incorporates archaeological sites dating from the late Palaeolithic to the late Roman and Christian periods (c 8000 BC-641 AD), including Shedet (later Crocodilopolis), chief center for worship of the crocodile-god Sebek, near which al-Fayyum town now lies.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A nonmoveable/nonportable element of an archaeological site. It is any separate archaeological unit that is not recorded as a structure, a layer, or an isolated artifact; a wall, hearth, storage pit, or burialarea are examples of features. A feature carries evidence of human activity and it is any constituent of an archaeological site which is not classed as a find, layer, or structure.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A 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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Terp settlements of the North Sea German littoral, occupied from c 1st century. There was leather- and bone-working in industrial" areas and the buildings were of an aisled long house type. There seems to have been foreign trade in the early 5th century."
CATEGORY: flora DEFINITION: A community of plants growing in basic or neutral waterlogged conditions, as opposed to a bog. This wetlands community, characterized by alkaline conditions, grows in zones between fresh water and land, as along lake margins. Fens represent a stage in the progressive colonization of shallow water; this plant succession continues with the colonization by trees (the 'carr' stage) followed in some areas by the growth of a raised bog on top of the fen and carr. This low land is subject to frequent inundations and is a very good source of artifactual information.
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.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Systematic exploration of an area by a team of investigators, walking, collecting, and recording surface artifacts or noting earthworks and other phenomena.
Fine Orange Pottery
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: fine orange pottery CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A high-quality orange ware, often decorated with incised, molded, or black-painted patterns; a late Classic (and post-Classic) potterytype of the lowland Mayaarea of Mesoamerica. Found at sites under the influence of Teotihuacán, it comes from the Tabasco-Campeche region (Usumacinta drainage).
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.
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
First Temperate Neolithic
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: FTN CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A term sometimes used to describe the earliest farming cultures in the temperate zone of Europe (and sometimes in other areas). In southeast Europe from c 5400-4500/4300 BC, there was the Starcevo (eastern and northern Yugoslavia), Körös (eastern and southwest Hungary), Cris (west and lowland Rumania), Kremikovci (northwest Bulgaria), and Karanovo (central and southern Bulgaria). The regional groups are differentiated by their individual painted wares, but the group of cultures is unified by non-ceramic traits such a miniature polished bone spoons, fired clay lip-plugs, rod-head figurines, and stamp seals. The vast majority of early FTN sites are located in the major river valleys of the Balkans, either as tell settlements or as short-lived flat sites. Hoe or digging-stick agriculture combined with cattle husbandry was the economic base of most FTN settlements.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The study of the remains of fish on archaeological sites, in the form of bones, otoliths, and scales. The latter only survive occasionally in anaerobic conditions, while otoliths have not, to date, been frequently recorded. Fish have markedly different skeletons from mammals. Many fishbones are so small that they appear only in sieving and the bones commonly preserved are the jaws and some other head bones, and the vertebrae. They usually accumulate in refuse deposits and may be interpreted in terms of diet and fishing on the site or in the area that supplied it. Identification of species through comparison with modern fishbones is becoming easier as larger collections of comparative material are built up. When a species has been identified it can lead to evidence for the hydrological conditions around the site; also, the occurrence of the remains of marine species on an inland site has implications for the movement of groups or a trade in fish. A combination of species identification and aging of fish through study of the otoliths can lead to assumptions about the seasonal occupation of certain settlement sites and the subsistence economy of the associated groups.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Roman site in Sussex, England, best known for the palace/villa of Cogidubnus of the 1st century AD. The site began as a coastal depot with granaries and was replaced by a residential area and then extensive building. The palace, built in c 70-75 AD, was one of the most lavish of the time in the empire, with a formal garden court, suites of mosaic-floored rooms, stucco moldings, painted wall plaster, and a complete set of baths. Cogidubnus was the British king of the tribe of the Regni. The site lies near to Chichester, which was first a fort and then Civitas capital of the Regni. Alterations and rebuilding took place during the 2nd century, after the death of Cogidubnus, and sometime in the late 3rd-early 4th centuries there was a fire that caused unrepairable damage.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: chert, firestone CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A type of hard stone, often gray in color, found in rounded nodules and usually covered with a white incrustation. A member of the chalcedony group of water-bearing silica minerals, it was found from early use to fracture conchoidally and was ideal for making stone tools with sharp edges. It is chemically a quartz, but has a different microcrystalline structure. It can therefore be flaked readily in any direction and so shaped to many useful forms. It occurs widely, and where available was the basic material for man's tools until the advent of metal; it is commonest 'stone' of the Stone Age. The only types of stone preferred to it were obsidian and the tougher rocks used for ground tools in the Neolithic. The term is often used interchangeably with chert and also as a generic term denoting stone tools in the Old World. Nodules of flint occur commonly as seams in the upper and middle chalk of northwest Europe. During the Neolithic and Copper Age of Europe, flint workers recognized that flint from beds below ground were of superior quality to surface flint, especially for the manufacture of large tools such as axes. These beds were exploited by sinking shafts and then excavating galleries outwards. Flint mines are known from many areas of Europe and good examples occur in Poland (Krzemionki), Holland, Belgium (Spiennes) and England (Grimes Graves).
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A general term applied to collections of workedflint, stone, debitage, and associated raw material gathered up from the surface of ploughed fields or disturbed ground. Such collections range in size from a few dozen through to many thousands of pieces, and may have been collected from areas of any size from a few metres across to several hectares. As such they do not represent distinct kinds of archaeological site but rather the archaeological manifestation of many different kinds of activity; their unity is a product of the way material has been recovered rather than the processes by which it was created in the first place. Much work has been devoted to characterizing flint scatters in terms of what they represent. It is now clear that some are caused by the erosion of underlying features and deposits which relate to a vast range of activities including settlements, stoneworking sites, and middens. In other cases the scatters reflect episodes of activity in the past that involved little more than the deposition of material on the contemporary ground surface which has subsequently become incorporated into the topsoil through natural and anthropogenic formation processes.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: flint-knapping, knapping CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: The technique of striking flakes or blades from a large flintstone (core or nucleus) and the shaping of cores and flakes into tools. The most commonly used stone was flint (chert), a hard, brittle stone, commonly found as nodules in limestone areas, that breaks with a conchoidal fracture. Flintknapping began with the simple striking of one stone against another. Later methods include the use of antler and wooden strikers for both direct and indirect percussion, and bone and antler pressure-flaking tools.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A chronometrically dated chronology which is not yet tied in to calendar years. A floating chronology is a decipherable record of time that was terminated long ago. The most common floating chronologies occur in dendrochronology where climate affects the growth of rings and sequences are local. Local sequences cannot always be tied to the master sequences established in certain areas from the present day back into prehistory, and therefore the local sequences will 'float' until some link with a known historical date is found. Similarly, in magnetic dating many of the sequences will float until some independently dated sites can be entered on the curve. The term is also used in reference to varve chronologies.
CATEGORY: site; artifact DEFINITION: A Chalcolithic (Copper Age) settlement site in Gard, France, which has given its name to a style of pottery decorated with channeleddecoration arranged usually in metopic or concentric semicircle patterns. Fontbouïsse ware is widespread in southern France, occurring in chamber bombs, village sites, burial caves, natural rock clefts, and small cremation cysts. It is also the name of a cultural group known for its dry-stone houses, megalithic tombs and caves used for burials, and is associated with extensive flintmining and the first evidence of copper working in the area.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: site formation process CATEGORY: term; technique DEFINITION: The total of the processes -- natural and cultural, individual and combined -- that affected the formation and development of the archaeological record. Natural formation processes refer to natural or environmental events which govern the burial and survival of the archaeological record. Cultural formation processes include the deliberate or accidental activities of humans. On a settlement site, for example, the nature of human occupation, the activities carried out, the pattern of breakage and loss of material, rubbish disposal, rebuilding, or re-use of the same area will all influence the surviving archaeological deposits. After the site's abandonment, it will be further affected by such factors as erosion, glaciation, later agriculture, the activities of plants and animals, as well as the natural processes of chemical action in the soil. Reconstruction of these processes helps to relate the observed evidence of an archaeological site to the human activity responsible for it.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A complex of sites in the Fraser River delta in British Columbia, Canada, showing the sequence of the Northwest Coast Tradition of three periods: Early 1000 BC-1 AD; Intermediate 1-1250 AD; and Late from 1250 AD. Three culturally distinct areas (the Canyon, the Plateau, and the Delta) contain evidence of the differing influences which influenced the Northwest Coast Tradition materials. Canyon sites provide evidence of a long occupation covering Big Game Hunting Tradition, Old Cordilleran Culture, and Archaic. Taken together, the sites indicate a movement from inland to the coast beginning c 2000 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Shell Knife culture CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A primitive people inhabiting the South American archipelago of Tierra del Fuego from c 2000 BC. The culture, a coastal tradition of the Alacaluf tribes, was often called the Shell Knife culture. It was based on the exploitation of marine resources and operative on the southern coast and offshore islands of southern Chile. The beginning of the tradition was marked by a change from land-oriented hunting and gathering; bone and stone tool technology persisted well into historic times. The primitive cultures of the Ona and Yámana (Yahgan) of Tierra del Fuego are so similar that anthropologists traditionally group them with the neighboring Chono and Alakaluf of Chile into this one Fuegian culture area". The Ona inhabit the interior forests and depend heavily on hunting guanaco (a small New World camel). The Yámana are canoe-using fishermen and shellfish gatherers. They are all nomadic and are sparsely scattered over the landscape and poor in material culture."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Fu-feng CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A district north of the Wei River in central Shaanxi province, China, rich in Western Chou/Zhou (1122-771 BC) remains. The area was the center of Chou power for several generations preceding the founding of the Choudynasty, and the dynastic capital Zong Zhou may also have been here. Excavations have revealed a palacecomplexdating from the early and middle Western Chou. A hoard of 103 ritual vessels and bells is the single most important find of Western Chou bronzes ever made; the contents of the hoard span nearly the whole of the Western Chouperiod.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Egyptian solid potterycones, 10-30 cm in length, which were placed at the entrances to tombs, often with the name and titles of the deceased on the flat, circular end. Found mainly in the Theban area of Middle Kingdom to Late Period dates (2125-332 BC), these cones were originally inserted in the brick-built tomb facade or tombpyramid to form horizontal rows. Most belong to the New Kingdom and the bulk of them to the 18th dynasty (1550-1295 BC).
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: Egyptian solid potterycones, 10-30 cm in length, which were placed at the entrances to tombs, often with the name and titles of the deceased on the flat, circular end. Found mainly in the Theban area of Middle Kingdom to Late Period dates (2125-332 BC), these cones were originally inserted in the brick-built tomb facade or tombpyramid to form horizontal rows. Most belong to the New Kingdom and the bulk of them to the 18th Dynasty (1550-1295 BC).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: runic alphabet CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: The writingsystem of uncertain origin used by Germanic peoples of northern Europe, Britain, Scandinavia, and Iceland from about the 3rd century to the 16th or 17th century AD. Runic writing appeared rather late in the history of writing and is clearly derived from one of the alphabets of the Mediterranean area. It has angular letter forms which were written from right to left like the earliest alphabets. It is so named from its first six symbols.
CATEGORY: flora DEFINITION: The vegetation of the Cape Floristic Kingdom of Cape Province, South Africa, which has an unusually high number of species but is treeless and almost grassless. Its shrub-filled area has been important for approximately 125,000 years.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Phoenician Gadir, modern Cádiz CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city of southwestern Spain that was prosperous in antiquity for more than a millennium as a commercial port. It was founded by Phoenicians from Tyre around 1100 BC, but a date in the 7th or 8th century BC is perhaps more plausible. Prosperity declined with the rise of nearby Hispalis (Seville) in the 2nd century AD. Trade and fishing are reported on early coins; trade was strongly associated with the area's metallurgy. By the 1st century BC, Gades seems to have had a significant market in tin-mining and the tintrade. It defected from the Carthaginian side to Rome in 206 BC. It was known to the Romans for its gaiety and exotic pleasures.
CATEGORY: ceramics; culture DEFINITION: A potterystyle and culture of the first phase of the Early Intermediate Period, flourishing c 200 BC-200 AD on the north central coast of Peru (Virú Valley). Together with the slightly earlier Salinar, the Gallinazoculture is seen as transitional from Chavin-associated groups, such as Cupisnique, to the rise of the Mochestate. It is related to the contemporary Recuaystyle of the highlands. The best-known Gallinazopottery is black-on-orange negative resist decorated ware. The type site appears to have been a ceremonial center with a nucleus of adobe mounds and walled courtyards. Residential apartment complexes are scattered over an area around the center; it was abandoned some time after the rise of Moche.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kao-ch'eng CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Area in southern Hebei province, China, with widely scattered Shang remains. At Taixicun, the main occupation postdates the Erligang Phase and has one radiocarbon date of c 1500 BC. The site is dominated by three large rectangular Hangtu platforms and a large house foundation with sacrificial burials. Other graves yielded bronzeritual vessels, fragments of lacquer, and a bronze ax with a blade of meteoritic iron. Evidence suggests that it may be the location of a Shangcapital occupied after Zhengzhou but before Anyang.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A major medieval port that probably began as a Ligurian village on the Sarzano Hill overlooking the natural port (today Molo Vecchio). It prospered through contacts with the Etruscans and the Greeks and as a flourishing Roman municipium, became a road junction, military port, and a market of the Ligurians. After the fall of the Roman Empire and the invasions of Ostrogoths and Lombards, Genoa existed in comparative obscurity as a fishing and agrarian center with little trade. In medieval times, it completed with Venice, Pisa, and Florence for the trade of the Mediterranean. Eastern spices, dyestuffs and medicaments, western cloth and metals, African wool, skins, coral, and gold were the main articles of diversified international commerce. The medieval city wall enclosed a substantial area and dates to the 12th century. The notable project at the Cloister of San Silvestro, for example, revealed well-preserved buildings and a rich range of pottery from many parts of Italy and Spain.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An oasis in the ancient delta of the Tedjen River in southeast Turkmenia, first settled in the early Chalcolithicperiod, designated Anau I or Namazga I. The earliest sequence of 10 levels span the later 5th and 4th millennia BC. Typical settlements were small villages of mud-brick houses, though the central settlement of Geoksyur itself seems to have been much larger. The exploitation of this oasis indicates the existence of a developed agricultural economy involving the cultivation of both wheat and barley with the help of irrigation. The area gives its name to a style of painted pottery of the Namazga III period (late 4th millennium BC), with densely packed, repeated geometrics.
CATEGORY: geology; related field DEFINITION: The study of the physical, chemical, and biological processes and products of the earth; simply, the study of the history of the earth and an understanding of the time scale over which man developed. Geology's aims overlap considerably with those of archaeology, particularly in the prehistoric periods. For example, work on the stratigraphy of the Quaternary to provide a geological chronology for the study of the reconstruction of environmental changes throughout the Quaternary forms an essential background to all archaeology. The palaeontology of fossil hominids and the other animals that lived at the same time is another area in which geology and archaeology overlap. The geological methods of dating such as radiocarbon, palaeomagnetism, and potassium-argon form the basis of most prehistoric chronologies. Geophysical techniques are used for the location of sites and petrology traces the origins of stone implements and inclusions in pottery.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site outside Smolensk on the River Volga, where excavations have revealed one of the largest Viking Age gravefields of Russia. Most of the grave mounds contained cremations associated with oval brooches and other objects dating from the 9th and 10th centuries. The burialarea itself seems to be associated with a very large Baltic trading center.
CATEGORY: culture; site DEFINITION: A site in north Vietnam which has given its name to the third phase of the Bronze Age of the area, dated to c 1200-600 BC, following Dong Dau and preceding Dong Son. There was a range of bronze tools, weapons, and ornaments and polished stone adzes. The phase fell within the Phung-Nguyen culture.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A style of painting, sculpture, architecture, and music characteristic of the second of western and central Europe during the Middle Ages. Gothic art evolved from Romanesque art and lasted from the mid-12th century to as late as the end of the 16th century in some areas. The term Gothic was alluded to the barbarian Gothic tribes that had destroyed the Roman Empire and its classicalculture in the 5th century AD. It was a slightly derogatory term until the 19th century.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ostrogoth, Visigoth CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Germanic people whose two branches, the Ostrogoths and the Visigoths, for centuries harassed the Roman Empire. According to their own legend, the Goths originated in southern Scandinavia and crossed in three ships under their king Berig to the southern shore of the Baltic Sea, where they settled after defeating the Vandals and other Germanic peoples in that area. The split into two groups took place c 200 AD. Those Goths living between the Danube and the Dnestr rivers became known as Visigoths, and those in what is now the Ukraine as Ostrogoths. Under their king Alaric, the Visigoths sacked Rome in 410 AD. Later they moved to southern France and settled in Aquitaine before seizing control of Spain. The Ostrogoths helped defeat the Huns in Italy in 454. Under Oadacer and Theodoric there was a period of comparative peace until they were challenged and defeated by Justinian.
CATEGORY: flora DEFINITION: The Lagenaria siceraria, a plant of the melon family, grown solely for its hard rind, which was much used for making vessels and containers. In some areas the shapes of pots can be explained as copies of gourd vessels, such as in Danubian I. Attested in South America and Thailand (Spirit Cave) prior to 7000 BC, the plant is perhaps the most widespread of all the ancient cultigens. Thought to be of African origin, the dates and routes of its spread are unknown.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Kingdom and city important from the 13th century in Spain. Although its origins go back to the early years of the Moorish occupation in the 8th century, Granada rose to importance after the mid-13th century when it became the capital of a new state founded by Muhammad I (1232-1273). The kingdom comprised, principally, the area of the modern provinces of Granada, Málaga, and Almería. The city was dominated by the fortified citadel and Alcazaba, Medinat-al-Hamra, now known as the Alhambra. The Alhambra was defended by a massive towered enceinte enclosing a series of magnificent palaces linked by courtyards and gardens, much of which still remains. Apart from the Alhambra, Granada also preserves many examples of Islamic architecture in the older quarters of the city. Granada was the site of an Iberian settlement, Elibyrge, in the 5th century BC and of the Roman Illiberis. As the seat of the Moorish kingdom of Granada, it was the final stronghold of the Moors in Spain, falling to the Roman Catholic monarchs Ferdinand II and Isabella I in 1492.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Late Iron Age site in southeastern Zimbabwe, by far the largest and most elaborate of the dry-stone constructions to which the term dzimbahwe is applied. After an Early Iron Age phase of 500-900 AD, the main sequence of occupation began around 1000 when Shona speakers occupied Zimbabwe Hill and began building stone walls around 1300. Great Zimbabwe was the capital of the Shona empire from 1270-1450 AD, which stretched from the Zambezi River to the northern Transvaal of South Africa and eastern Botswana. There was a classsystem and the kings accumulated wealth through trade, attested by items such as glass vessels and beads, pottery, and porcelain. Gold was the principal export; Great Zimbabwe appears to have been at the center of a network of related sites through which control was exercised over the gold-producing areas. Archaeologically, the culture is called the Zimbabwe Tradition and is divided into Mapungubwe, Zimbabwe, and Khami phases. In the 15th century the site declined with trade and political power shifting to the north near the Zambezi Valley.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: grid unit CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A system of perpendicular lines and equally spaced points to form a rectangle which is used as a frame of locational reference on an archaeological sites. A grid is usually defined by its distance and direction in reference to a datum point. Excavations units are often planned and recorded by grid. Grids are often aligned with either the anticipated site layout or with a landform upon which the site sits. Many archaeological sites are surveyed by measuring from a grid enclosing the site. It is a rectilinear system of X, Y coordinates which is established over the area to be excavated so that spatial control can be maintained.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: grid system, grid method, box system, grid planning CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The practice of dividing an archaeological site into squares for ease of recording features and objects during excavation. The term also refers to the two-dimensional intersecting network defining the squares in which archaeologists dig; usually set out with strings, stakes, and a transit. Often a square trench will be cut within each grid square, separated by a balk from each neighboring trench. Each square is suitable for excavation by two or three people. Advantages of the method are in the creation of a number of readily available sections on the site, the ease of spoil removal (along the balk), and the control which can be exercised over excavators. On open sites with little stratigraphy above the rock surface, the method is often unnecessary. The balks in the grid method may also obscure many of the important stratigraphical relationships, or make impossible the recognition of structures. This technique allows the fast recording of very large areas, but is not as accurate as triangulation for the pinpointing of small objects and features. The use of grid planning and triangulation together often satisfies most of the combined needs of speed and accuracy.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Grubenhauser CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Characteristic 'sunken' huts of the Germanic peoples during the Migration Period and up to c 1000, so-called for their sunken floors. They were usually rectangular and had a superstructure supported on 2, 4, or 6 posts. The sunken hut was usually roofed by a lean-to structure supported by one or three posts at either end and a simple ridge post creating a tent-like structure. It seems that many of these buildings had floors, with the sunken area being a kind of shallow cellar. Grubenhaüser have been found in the Low Countries, Britain, France, often alongside rectangular buildings and farmhouses. These sunken huts apparently date back to the Roman period in North Germany and Frisia. Dienne-sur-Meine in France has many post-Carolingian examples of Grubenhaüser. In England , the first sunken huts were probably employed as short-term dwellings by the migrants. It was a significant type of building distinguishing early medieval settlements in western Europe.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Gumelnitsa, Gumeilnita CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic/Copper Age culture of eastern Romania, Bulgaria, and northern Greece (eastern Balkans) c 3800-3000/2500 BC. There were permanent villages of rectangular houses forming low tells, use of copper and gold, and a flourishing painted pottery. The pottery was often decorated with graphite designs. Gumelnita can be derived from the Hamangia, Boian, and Maritza cultures which preceded it in this area. The culture parallels the partitioning of the closely related Karanovo V and VI culture in Bulgaria. The Gumelnita represents the climax of the Neolithicsequence in south Rumania.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of bronzesword typical of the Hallstatt C period in central Europe with a long leaf-shaped blade, broad shallow butt and pommel tang. Examples were taken or traded out of their homeland area, some reaching Britain around 700 BC.
Gussage All Saints
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Iron Age settlement in Dorset, England, with evidence of metalworking -- bronze fittings for chariots and harnesses. It may have been an area of vehicle production.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. gymnasia CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: An area in ancient Greek used as a sports ground. It could be within or outside the city and normally had a palaestra, running track, dressing rooms, bathrooms, and other rooms for exercise and ball games. It was for men only, except at Sparta, and was also a center of education (philosophy, literature, and music). The Academy of Plato and the Lyceum of Aristotle were both gymnasia. The combination of health for the body and education for the mind might represented an ideal to the Greeks. The literal meaning of the word 'gymnasion' was school for naked exercise" and every important city had one."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Khabiru, 'Apiru, Hapiru CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A nomadic people, largely Semitic, whose name means outsiders". This name was applied to nomads fugitives bandits and workers of inferior status; the word is etymologically related to "Hebrew and the relationship of the Habiru [and the Hyksos people which included the Habiru] to the Hebrews has long been debated. The Habiru appear to have established a military aristocracy in Palestine, infiltrating the area during the Middle Bronze Age, bringing to the towns new defenses and new prosperity (as well as Egyptian culture) without interrupting the basic character of the local culture. The Habiru survived the destruction of Megiddo, Jericho, and Tell Beit Mirsim that followed the Egyptians' expulsion of the Hyksos into Palestine at the end of the Middle Bronze Age (c 1550). They were ancestral to the Israelites.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The physical environment where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives and grows. An area in the biome where different communities and populations flourish, each with specific locales.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A general term for any area that has evidence of a domestic activity, such as food preparation. Any site where people lived in the past.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A mountain ridge in southeast Arabia with a number of Jemdet Nasr-typepottery in cairns. There are other Mesopotamian ceramics and local materials in the early-3rd millennium BC burials. It is evidence of Mesopotamian contact with ancient Maganculture and provide the name for the earliest Bronze Age cultural period in the area.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Bronze Age and Iron Age cemetery of burial mounds in Bas-Rhin, France. The richest mounds date to c 1500-1350 BC when the area was under the influence of the Tumulus culture of southern Germany. There were heavy palstaves and pottery with geometric excised decoration.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: haji CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An unglazed Japanese earthenware, developed in the Tumulus/Kofunperiod of the 4th century AD, derived from the Yayoitradition and influenced by Sue-ware shapes in the 5th century. Early Hajipottery is characterized by the appearance of ceremonial vessels that are homogenous throughout a wide area, along with domestic vessels made in local styles. After the wheel-made, kiln-fired Sue pottery was introduced in the 5th century, only domestic vessels were made in Hajii ware, and from the 8th century onwards Hajii pottery, too, was made on the potter's wheel. A rust-red earthenware, Haji ware is baked in oxidizing fires. Shapes unknown to the Yayoiculture appeared in Haji ware, however, such as small, globular jars and wide-rimmed pots. Although the surfaces of Haji pieces are finely finished, both their form and firing lack the refinement of Yayoipottery.
Haji / haji
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: An unglazed Japanese earthenware, developed in the Tumulus/Kofunperiod of the 4th century AD, derived from the Yayoitradition and influenced by Sue-ware shapes in the 5th century. Early Hajipottery is characterized by the appearance of ceremonial vessels that are homogenous throughout a wide area, along with domestic vessels made in local styles. After the wheel-made, kiln-fired Sue pottery was introduced in the 5th century, only domestic vessels were made in Hajii ware, and from the 8th century onwards Hajii pottery, too, was made on the potter's wheel. A rust-red earthenware, Haji ware is baked in oxidizing fires. Shapes unknown to the Yayoiculture appeared in Haji ware, however, such as small, globular jars and wide-rimmed pots. Although the surfaces of Haji pieces are finely finished, both their form and firing lack the refinement of Yayoipottery.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hallstatt period CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A site on Lake Hallstatt in the Austrian Alps with a cemetery of over 3000 cremation and inhumation graves with great quantities of local and imported grave goods. There were prehistoric salt mines in the area. Hallstatt is also a late Bronze age and early Iron Age cultural tradition, c 1200-6000 BC in continental temperate Europe. The term also refers to a cultural period of the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age in central Europe, divided into four phases, Hallstatt A, B, C, and D. In central European archaeology the terms Hallstatt A (12th and 11th centuries BC) and Hallstatt B (10th-8th centuries BC) are used as a chronological framework for the urnfield cultures of the Late Bronze Age. The first iron objects north of the Alps appear at the close of this period, and the Iron Age proper begins with the Hallstatt C (or I) stage of the 7th century BC. The area of fullest development is Bohemia, upper Austria and Bavaria, where hillforts were constructed and the dead were sometimes interred on or with a four-wheeled wagon, covered by a mortuary house below a barrow. Sheet bronze was still used for armor, vessels, and decorative metalwork, but the characteristic weapon was a long ironsword (or bronze copy). These swords are found as far afield as southeast England, in the so-called 'Iron Age A' cultures. During the Hallstatt D (or II) period, in the 6th century, the most advanced cultures are found further west, in Burgundy, Switzerland, and the Rhineland. Wagon burials are still prominent and trade brought luxury objects from the Greek and Etruscan cities around the Mediterranean. By the close of this period in the mid-5th century BC, elements of Hallstattculture are found from southern France to Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. The Hallstatt precedes the La Tène period; the HallstattIron Age culture certainly developed out of the UrnfieldBronze Age groups.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Late Upper Palaeolithicculture of north Germany and the Low Countries, contemporary with the Magdalenian of France, c 13,000-11,750 BP. It was the culture of the first people to colonize north Germany and the Low Countries after the final retreat of the Pleistocene ice sheets had made the area available for settlement. The Hamburgians may have been the descendants of Eastern Gravettian or peripheral Magdalenian groups. They were reindeer hunters whose tools are small, single-shouldered points, harpoons, endscrapers, microburins, and 'zinken' (small beaked borers used for working antler).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Han-tan CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The capital of the Eastern Chou (Zhou) state of Chao from 386-228 BC. The area was already settled in Shang times (c 1766-1122 BC) and first mentioned in about 500 BC, but became a center of trade and famed for luxury and elegance as the capital. In 228 it was attacked and taken by the armies of the Ch'in dynasty (221-206 BC) and became a commandery. Under the Han (206 BC-220 AD) it became the seat of an important feudal kingdom, Chao-kuo. The remains of the walls and foundations of buildings of both the Chao capital and the Han city still remain to the southwest of the modern city. A cemetery north of the walled city contained six chariot burials and 12 rich tombs, five with human sacrifices.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A series of islands in the north-central Pacific Ocean (Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Hawaii, plus many smaller islands) first settled by Polynesians in the mid-1st millennium AD. The area has many temple remains (Heiau), dwelling-sites, and ancient horticultural systems. The finds document the development of the populous and highly stratified society observed by Captain Cook in 1778.
heavy mineral analysis
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method of analysis carried out on artifacts such as potsherds to identify the materials used; the shard is crushed and put into a viscous fluid in which the heavier minerals sink to the bottom. It is used to determine the geological source of the sand inclusions in the clay of the pot, and therefore the probable area of manufacture. The method involves the crushing of 10-30 g. of pottery and the floating of the resulting powder on a heavy liquid such as bromoform with a specific gravity of 2.85. Heavy minerals like zircon, garnet, epidote, and tourmaline sink, while quartzsand and clayfloat: it is the heavy minerals (separated, identified, and counted under a low-power microscope) which characterize the parent formation, and which enable the source of the sand to be identified.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hellenistic and Roman period; hellenistic CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: Period of widest Greek influence, the era between the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC) and the rise of the Roman Empire (27/30 BC), when a single, uniform civilization, based on Greek traditions, prevailed all over the ancient world, from India, in the east, to Spain, in the west. During these three centuries, Greek culture crossed many political frontiers and spread through many cities founded at that time, especially the new capitals of Alexandria, Antioch, and Pergamum. A common civilization became established throughout the known world for the first time, one which integrated the cultural heritage of each region and subsequently left a deep impression on the institutions, thought, religions, and art of the Roman, Parthian, and Kushan empires. Hellenistic cultural influence continued to be a powerful force in the Roman and Parthian empires during the early centuries AD. A common form of the Greek language, Koine [Greek: 'common'] developed, which was largely indebted to Attic Greek. The term 'hellenistic art' is applied to the post-classicalmaterial outside this geographic area, such as in Etruria or southern Italy.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: henge monument CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A circular, prehistoric religious enclosure constructed of wood or stones and enclosed by ditches, banks, and walls -- and found only in the British Isles. Henge monuments are characteristic of the megalithic period in southern and eastern England in particular. To the west and north, henges often enclose a stone circle. There are 13 such examples, including Avebury and Stonehenge. The circular area is delimited by a ditch with the bank normally outside it. Class I henges have a single entrance marked by a gap in the earthworks, while those of Class II have two such entrances placed opposite each other. Avebury had four entrances. Many henges have extra features such as burials, pits, circles of upright stones (Avebury, Stonehenge) or of timber posts (Durrington Walls, Woodhenge). Henges are often associated with Late Neolithicpottery of groovedware, Peterborough and Beaker types, dating from the centuries after 2500 BC. Occasional examples were still in use in the Bronze Age, e.g. Stonehenge. Henges are believed to have been focal points for 'ritual' activity, but there is much controversy over their design. They range in size from c 30 meters to more than 400 meters in diameter (Avebury, Durrington Walls).
Hesi, Tell el-
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite in southern Palestine occupied from the Early Bronze Age, c 2600 BC, to the Hellenistic period/Iron Age. Its excavation by Sir Flinders Petrie and F.J. Bliss were the first stratigraphic excavations in the area, and lent much information on potterytypology and successive building levels. Their work began the establishment of an absolute chronology for Palestinian prehistory, through the discovery of imported, datable Egyptian objects in association with local material.
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: A settlement and geographic area corresponding to northern England, the Pennines, Wales, Devon, and Cornwall.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hill fort CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Any well-fortified structure located on a hilltop and enclosed by at least one wall of stone and earth, commonly referring to sites of the Late Bronze Age or Iron Age. The earliest date to c 1000 BC. Some hillforts contain houses and were perhaps royal residences or, in the case of large forts of oppidumtype, true towns; others seem to lack permanent buildings, and were probably refuges where the people and flocks from the surrounding area took shelter in times of crisis. At first they were usually promontory forts, but in the last four centuries BC the true hillfort, with defense works following the contours, became the predominant form. From about the second century BC until the Roman conquest, hillforts were common throughout Celtic lands. In Britain most of the great forts were built during the two and a half centuries before the conquest of 43 AD, but in Ireland and highland Britain hillforts continued to be built and used for several more centuries. They are found throughout much of Europe, except Russia and Scandinavia. In size, hillforts ranged from less than one acre to several hundred acres.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A graphical representation of a distributionfunction by means of rectangles whose widths represent intervals into which the range of observed values is divided and whose heights represent the number of observations occurring in each interval. For example, if measurements of length have been taken for bronze spearheads from one particular area and period, the measurements are represented by marking off intervals of lengths on the horizontal axis, and counting the number of spearheads falling into each division. These numbers are marked off on the vertical axis. In order to compare one set of data with another, or others, a cumulative version of the histogram may be used, where the succeeding values are added to the preceding: these are called cumulative frequency polygons, and are useful for comparative work, but are difficult to use if single histograms need to be extracted. A useful way to assess the density of rocks is to make a histogram plot of the statistical range of a set of data. The representative value and its variation can be expressed as follows: (1) mean, the average value, (2) mode, the most common value (i.e., the peak of the distribution curve), (3) median, the value of the middle sample of the data set (i.e., the value at which half of the samples are below and half are above), and (4) standard deviation, a statistical measure of the spread of the data (plus and minus one standard deviation from the meanvalue includes about two-thirds of the data).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hog-back tombs CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A type of house-shaped tomb, with a curved ridge, which originated in the areas of Scandinavian settlement in northwestern England in the 10th century. They take the form of rectangular blocks with pitched roofs, and are usually decorated with designs.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A rich Hallstatt grave near the Heuneburg hillfort on the Danube in southern Germany. The barrow was one of the satellite graves around the hillfort and covered a central grave and 12 secondary burials of the 6th century BC Iron Age. The central grave was robbed in antiquity, but it had been an inhumation grave within a wood-lined chamber, which acted as the display area for the wealth of the deceased. The walls seem to have been draped in textiles with thin gold bands, and the deceased, dressed in finery including silk, was placed on a bed next to a four-wheeled wagon. It is the earliest documented occurrence of silk in Europe. The objects implied wine-drinking ceremonies and there is furniture directly imported from the south (central Europe).
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
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: horizon style CATEGORY: term; artifact DEFINITION: Any artifact, art style, or other cultural trait that has extensive geographical distribution but a limited time span. The term, in anthropology, refers to the spread of certain levels of cultural development and, in geology, the layers of natural features in a region; in soilscience a horizon is a layer formed in a soil profile by soil-forming processes. The main meaning, however, refers to a phase, characterized by a particular artifact or artistic style that is introduced to a wide area and which may cross cultural boundaries. Provided that these 'horizon markers' were diffused rapidly and remained in use for only a short time, the local regional cultures in which they occur will be roughly contemporary. The term is less commonly used now that chronometric dating techniques allow accurate local chronologies to be built. Examples of art styles which fulfill these conditions is called a 'horizon style' -- such as Tiahuanaco or Chavín.
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.
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 CoreTool and Scraper tradition. They were chopping tools mainly used in wood-working. The step-flaking could have resulted from repeated striking to remove flakes.
CATEGORY: lithics 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 CoreTool and Scraper tradition. They were chopping tools mainly used in wood-working. The step-flaking could have resulted from repeated striking to remove flakes.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Houma; modern Ch'u-wu CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient city of China with extensive remains of an Eastern Chou city, possibly the site of Xintian, capital of the Chin state from 584-453 BC. Pollen analyses from western and southern Shansi reveal that several cereal plants were grown there as early as the 5th-3rd millennium BC. During the Hsi (Western) Chouperiod (1111-771 BC) the fief of Chin (now a colloquial and literary name for Shansi) was established in the area of Hou-ma along the Fen River. Several thousand stone and jade tablets were found at the site, inscribed with the texts of alliances between various Eastern Chou states, and date chiefly from the early 5th century BC. A very large foundry complex has been uncovered with over 30,000 fragments of clay molds and models for castingritual vessels. Chariot fittings, weapons, belt hooks, coins, and other bronzes were distributed over the site in such a way as to suggest that separate specialized workshops. The mold fragments show that Hou-ma used the section-mold method perfected in Shang foundries a thousand years earlier, as opposed to the cire perdue method.
house of the dead
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A type of wooden building above a tomb or connected to a grave, widespread in Denmark and Germany, but also found in other areas of northern Europe during the Neolithicperiod.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: household unit CATEGORY: term; feature DEFINITION: A term used to describe a set of features associated with one house structure. Components would include a house, a few storage pits, graves, a rubbish area, perhaps an oven or hearth, and activity areas. It is an arbitrary archaeological unit defining artifact patterns reflecting the activities that take place around a house and assumed to belong to one household.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An area on the northeastern fringe of Mesoamerica in northern Veracruz and Tamaulipas provinces of Mexico and the Maya-speaking group that lived there. The people were hunter-gatherers and the area has an archaeological sequence from the Early Preclassic to the Aztecconquest and Spanish contact. The cultural climax of the Huasteca occurs in the Early Post-Classic. The largest of the Huasteca centers (Las Flores, Tamuin) contain only moderately sized pyramids surrounded by a number of housemounds. The monumentalsculpture is of relatively poor quality. The hallmarks of the Huastec culture are structures on a round plan, a black-on-white hard pastepottery, and carved shell ornaments.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of the northeast coast of Papua New Guinea with coral-reef formations of the Pleistocene. Waisted axes have been found beneath volcanic ashes dating to c 40,000 bp.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hurrian CATEGORY: culture; language DEFINITION: A people who appeared in northern Mesopotamia and Syria at the end of the 3rd millennium BC and by c 1600 BC had established a number of kingdoms in the area. They may have come from the Caucasus or Armenia and some evidence suggests a connection with the Kura-Araxes culture. They had a pantheon, distinct from that of their neighbors, which was recorded in the rock sanctuary of Yazilikaya by the Hittites. Their language -- non-Semitic and non-Sumerian -- is known from a number of religious texts and a letter among the archives of Tell el-Amarna. It is not related to any of the major language families. They came into contact with the Hittites, Assyrians, and Egyptians in the second half of the 2nd millennium BC. The Syrian part of their territory was absorbed into the Assyrian empire, but the district of Urartu remained independent until much later. The name Mitanni has come to be applied to an Indo-Iranian element in the population, which was aristocratic and probably responsible for introduction of horse and chariot into Near East. The language is not related to any known linguistic group, but close to Urartu (Armenian). It is an agglutinative language, with a series of suffixes being added to nouns and verbs to expression grammatical inflections.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Dimos CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: An island with a large number of Late Neolithic and Copper Age sites, off the Dalmatian coast and part of present-day Croatia. The caves have yielded striking Late Neolithicpottery -- dark burnished ware with red crusted decoration. Hvar has been continuously inhabited since early Neolithic times, and an ancient wall surrounds the old city of Hvar. Since the vast majority of Hvar sites are caves, the economy was likely based on fishing and shell-collecting. In 385 BC Greek colonists founded Dimos (presently Hvar) and Pharos (Stari Grad), and in 219 BC the island became Roman. Slavs fleeing the mainland in the 7th century AD settled on the island. The pottery is found in neighboring areas of the mainland, where it is known as the Lisicice style. The island's occupation probably began in the 4th millennium BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A prehistoricmound of Kirman, Iran, occupied off and on in the 5th through 1st millennia BC. The earliest occupation, dating to the early 5th millennium BC (Tal-i Iblis O), is characterized by coarse-tempered red burnished ware made into a variety of simple forms. In the next phase, dated to the late 5th millennium BC (Tal-i Iblis I), small quantities of painted ware, in maroon or black on a buff ground, appear in a settlement of mud-brick houses, each consisting of a central area of storerooms, surrounded by living rooms with red plaster floors. This layer also produced abundant evidence of copper-working and smelting. The finds suggest that the communities of Iran were at least as developed as those of Mesopotamia, if not more so, in the practice of metallurgy. The exploitation of copper and steatite and trade in these commodities to the civilizations of southern Mesopotamia and Susiana in the 4th and early 3rd millennia BC allowed Tal-i Iblis to grow to urban or proto-urban status. Clay tablets inscribed in the Proto-Elamite script demonstrate the connections that linked Iran to western countries by the early 3rd millennium BC.
Ice Age/ice age
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: glaciation; glacial age CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period of intense cold and the expansion of glaciers, resulting in a lower sea level. Such periods of large-scale glaciation may last several million years and drastically reshape surface features of entire continents. In the past, there were many ice ages; the earliest known took place during Precambrian time dating back more than 570 million years. The most recent periods of widespread glaciation occurred during the Pleistocene Epoch (1,600,000 to 10,000 years ago). A lesser, recent glacialstage called the Little Ice Age began in the 16th century and advanced and receded intermittently over three centuries. Its maximum development was reached about 1750, at which time glaciers were more widespread on Earth than at any time since the principal Quaternary Ice Ages. The idea of an ice age in the geological sequence is usually credited to Jean Louis Agassiz, a Swiss naturalist, who suggested it c 1837. Agassiz conceived a worldwide cold period when areas as far apart as North America and Germany had been glaciated.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: An area that was never glaciated, located between the Cordilleran and Laurentideglacial 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.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A glacialstage of the Quaternary in North America, followed by the Sangamon Interglacial and following the Yarmouth. The Illinoian ice sheet covered a small area of southeastern and extreme eastern Iowa, and in so doing it diverted the Mississippi River and created a valley along its western front that can still be seen. It consists mainly of tills, the products of large ice-sheets, and has been split up into three sub-stages, the Liman, Monican, and Jubileean. It is unclear how many cold stages the Illinoian deposits represent, but it may be more than one. The IllinoianGlacialStage ended with a cool, moist period that gradually became drier and then warmer. The Illinoian has never been dated satisfactorily but it is roughly contemporary with the Riss and SaaleGlacial Periods.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a catastrophic volcanic eruption in south-central El Salvador in the late Pre-Classic Period, c 260 AD. At least two volcanic events occurred close together and the effects devastated a large area, forcing the local populations of early Maya to migrate north and east into the lowlands of central Guatemala and Belize. This sudden influx of migrants may have given rise to the improved agricultural methods which mark the beginning of the Classic Mayacivilization. Archaeological evidence at Barton Ramie (and at Altar De Sacrificios) indicates a period of noticeable environmental and demographic change at that time.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Any method for splitting an image into areas that share some property and contrast with their neighbors, used to identify regions or their edges in either spatial analysis or grouping methods.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: The earliest Neolithicpottery 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 serratededge 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, StentinelloWare in Sicily, and Ghar Dalam ware in Malta, which represent specialized versions of Impressed Ware. The potterystyle may have originated in Asia Minor or even Yugoslavia (Starcevoculture).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Pune of west-central India which depicts the 2nd millennium BC Malwa and Jorwe cultures of the northern Deccan. The Malwaphase had large rectangular, wattle-and-daub structures. By late Jorwe times, the structures were mainly small round wattle-and-daub huts. The area provides one of the clearest pictures of the region after the demise of the Indus civilization.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The period of 1800-900 BC marking the introduction of pottery in Andean South America. It was also the time when agriculture and animal husbandry began to be the subsistencebase for most cultures in the area. It is one of a seven-period chronological construction used in Peruvian archaeology. Its close is marked by the occurrence of Chavin materials and the abandonment of many of the coastal centers. Many of the traits that make up the Peruvian cultural tradition such as intensive agriculture, the widespread use of textiles, monumental ceremonial architecture, and larger and more numerous population centers, occurred during this period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. insulae CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In Roman antiquity, a block within the gridpattern of a Roman city; a block of buildings in a Roman camp or town planned on the grid principle. The term refers to an area of a town, typically enclosed by four streets, and probably corresponding to a smaller subdivision on the familiar cardo/decumanusgrid -- or a large tenement-type house or apartment block, as seen at Roman Ostia.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Late Period CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The last stage of Ecuadorian prehistory, from about 500 AD to the Incaconquest (1550), characterized by greater cultural uniformity over wider areas. There is evidence for urban centers, class distinction, intensive agriculture, and high quality metallurgy throughout the region. The absorption of Ecuador into the Inca empire was the culmination of this trend. It is part of the chronological continuum -- Formative, Regional Development, Integration -- formulated by Betty Meggers.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A systematic survey of a research area that attempts to find all possible sites.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj interglacial CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A warm period between two glaciations during with little or no glacial ice, warm climate processes, deposits, flora and fauna, and increased soil formation. The ice sheets diminish in area, and the improved climate allows the growth of temperate types of vegetation. The last 10,000 years (the Holocene) is probably an interglacial. During the Quaternary, interglacials have been considerably shorter than glacials.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Eskimo CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The eastern Arctic peoples descending from the Thuleculture, a prehistoric maritime society, whose subsistence was based on hunting. The origins of the Inuit living in the territories, largely in the coastal areas, are obscure. They now constitute about one-third of the territorial population.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cherchell, Sharshal, Caesarea CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient seaport of Mauretania, located west of what is now Algiers in Algeria on the North African coast. Iol was originally founded as a Carthaginian trading station, but it was later renamed Caesarea and became the capital of Mauretania in 25 BC. The city was famous as a center of Hellenistic culture, and under the Romans it became one of the most important ports on the North African coast. It was colonized by Claudius in 40 AD. Remains include the city wall, theater/amphitheater, circus, baths, and a lighthouse.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: One or two artifacts occurring by themselves and not associated with an archaeological site; generally thought to represent items lost or discarded by people as they moved through an area.
isolated pit approach
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: An excavation strategy that involves digging many small test pits over a large area in locations defined by random sampling.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: isostatic uplift CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: An alteration in the height of the land relative to the sea; the distribution of mass within the Earth's crust is balanced by large-scale topography. These variations are not necessarily associated with changes in sea-level (eustasy), but a major event such as glaciation can affect both land and sea. The weight of ice sheets can cause a lowering in the height of the land, but a thaw at the end of a glaciation frees the land of this pressure and it rises. Continental crust behaves like a body 'floating' on the denser underlying layers. Loading of one area may cause down-warping of the crust, which is compensated by uplift elsewhere. Removal of the load causes the crust to readjust to its former state. It is a theory that the condition of approximate equilibrium in the outer part of the earth is approximately counterbalanced by a deficiency of density in the material beneath those masses, while deficiency of density in ocean waters is counterbalanced by an excess in density of the material under the oceans. This phenomenon has occurred during the Quaternary, due to the development of large ice-sheets. The enormous weight of ice has caused downwarping of the continental crust beneath. At the ice-sheet margins, there was a compensatory uplift. On melting of the ice-sheets, the crust readjusted by uplift in the areas directly underneath and downwarping at the edges. This process is continuing today, for example in northern Europe.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A branch of Semitic people of nomadic origin who emerged in the Levant at the start of the Iron Age, c 1200 BC. This emergence is identified with a shift of settlement, small villages dispersed in upland regions replacing urban life. They are said to have been led by Moses from Egypt to the Promised Land of Palestine. They conquered the Canaanites and the Philistines in some areas and created a powerful monarchy with its capital at Jerusalem in the 10th century BC. The Canaanites retained control of the coastal area, however. Shortly thereafter, it split into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, later to be destroyed, respectively, by the Assyrians in 722 BC and Babylonians in 587 BC. Although there exists a wealth of documentary evidence for the Israelites in the Bible, they are difficult to identify in the archaeological record. The major building works of the united kingdom belong to the reign of Solomon.
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: A narrow strip of land connecting two large land areas otherwise separated by the sea. The two most famous are the Isthmus of Panama, connecting North and South America, and the Isthmus of Suez, connecting Africa and Asia. Historically the Isthmus of Corinth was of major importance because it connected what otherwise would be the island of the Peloponnese with the rest of the Greek peninsula.
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: Japanese archaeologist who worked in Peru, excavating at Kotosh near Huanuco. A cultural peak was reached in the valleys of Pacasmayo, Chicama, and Moche on the northern Peruvian coast. A large proportion of this area has been grouped by archaeologists into a Mocheculture, although some of the territory encompassed by these valleys was not part of the polity called Moche. Izumi referred to this kind of control as horizontally discontinuous territoriality.""
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Iron Age culture of the southern Baltic during the late Hallstatt (600-300 BC), with some of the earliest ironmetallurgy of the area. It extended from Lower Saxony through Pomerania.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Jelling CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in East Jutland, in Denmark, which seems to be the remains of a 10th-century royal palace and important burial ground. Among the groups of remarkable monuments are the two largest barrows in that country. The barrows are traditionally held to be that of Viking king Gorm (d. c 950 AD) and Thyra, his queen. In the cemeteryarea stand fifty bauta stones forming a boat-shaped outline and two fine rune stones outlining the exploits and Christian conversion of Gorm and Harald Bluetooth. One of the stones depicts the oldest crucifixion scene in Denmark and on the other is a magnificent lion -- inspiring the term Jellinge Style.
Jennings, J.D. (1909-?)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: American anthropologist and archaeologist who has researched the archaic civilizations, or desert cultures" of the semiarid western areas of North America of the past 10 000 years. Work at Danger Cave Utah dating to c 9000 BC confirmed survival of earliest ways of life in American West until historic times."
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A branch of the Germanic peoples who, with the Angles and Saxons, invaded Britain in the 5th century AD. There is evidence that their home was in the Scandinavian area (probably Jutland). According to the Venerable Bede, the Jutes settled in Kent, the Isle of Wight, and parts of Hampshire. There is archaeological evidence to confirm Bede's statement that the Isle of Wight and Kent were settled by the same people, and their presence in Hampshire is confirmed by place-names. The proximity of their settlements to the continent led to a development of cross-Channel trade and close cultural links with the Franks of the lower Rhine. One result was the increase in wealth of Kent, as typified by the justly famous garnet-inlaid jewelry. Their capital was in Canterbury.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kachemak culture CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A marine mammal-hunting culture found around the Kachemak Bay of the southern Kenai Peninsula in central southern Alaska. It is divided into three phases, the oldest of which may date back as far as the 8th century BC and the most recent lasting until historic times. The first phase was the most distinctly Eskimo in character. Stone (including slate) implements in the early period were usually retouched; later they were ground. Round or oval stone lamps and realistic human figures of carved stone have been found. Copper tools and pottery appeared in the third stage. Rock paintings were mainly representations of men and animals. Burials have the body in a crouched position, with associated grave goods. During the final stage, artificial bone or ivory eyes were placed over those of the deceased. There may have been cultural connections with eastern Asia, with adjacent land areas, and with Kodiak Island.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The type site for a Middle Neolithic regional group in north-central Bosnia, located near Visoko and dated c 4700-4300 BC. The culture is typified by fine monochrome wares and decorative elements with affinities in the coastal Daniloculture. There are working pits, flint production areas, and a rich bone-working assemblage.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Named after a site in the Upemba depression of the valley of the upper Lualaba in southeastern Zaire, this is the initial phase of the local Early Iron Age, precursor of the Kisalian. Dated to between the 5th and 8th centuries ad, it is poorly illustrated by the research so far undertaken, but the associated pottery shows affinities with that from settlements of the same age in the Copperbelt area further southeast.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kanem-Bornu CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: African trading empire ruled by the Sef (Sayf) dynasty that controlled the area around Lake Chad from the 9th to the 19th century. Its territory at various times included what is now southern Chad, northern Cameroon, northeastern Nigeria, eastern Niger, and southern Libya. Kanem-Bornu was probably founded around the mid-9th century, and its first capital was at Njimi. Toward the end of the 11th century, Kanem-Bornu became an Islamic state. Because of its location, it served as a point of contact in trade between North Africa, the Nile Valley, and the sub-Sahara region.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A region of ancient cities to the west (sai) of the mountain barrier (kan) near Mount Fuji, the birthplace of the earliest Japanese state and one of Japan's traditional cultural areas. It is an area of historically dense population that until well into the 20th century was the most industrialized and economically advanced part of Japan. It was an early medieval administrative district of west-central Japan, roughly the same as the modern Kinki district. The Keihanshin Industrial Zone corresponds to the Kansai.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cantharus CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: In Greek antiquity, a large, two-handled drinking cup. This type of potterycup was made in Greek-speaking areas and in Etruria between the 8th and the 1st centuries BC and had a deep bowl, a foot, and pair of high vertical handles. It was often consecrated to personifications of Bacchus. Early examples are often stemmed. In the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, it became one of the most popular types of drinking vessel in the Greek world.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Urartian city near modern Erevan, Armenia, with a citadel and walled residential area, mainly occupied in the 7th century BC. There were pre-Urartian graves and Hellenistic occupation. It may have replaced Erebuni as the Urartian seat in the 8th century.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: An irregular limestone region with sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns. Karsts owe their existence to the removal of bedrock in solution and to the development of underground drainage without the development of surface stream valleys. Karst is characterized by the formation and growth of cavities resulting from chemical weathering and erosion in regions of carbonate and evaporite rocks. Karsts show much variation and are usually described in terms of a dominant landform. Most important are fluviokarst, doline karst, cone and tower karst, and pavement karst. Approximately 15 percent of the Earth's land surface is karst. The most extensive karst area of the United States occurs in the limestones of Mississippian age (about 325,000,000-345,000,000 years old) of the Interior Low Plateaus. Karst also occurs in the limestones of Ordovician age (about 430,000,000-500,000,000 years old) in Kentucky and Tennessee.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: An Akkadian word meaning 'quay' or 'harbor', a place where trade occurs. It was extended to the marketplace by the quay, and hence to a trading post and the corps of merchants of a city. The term also referred to the organization of merchants in the area, which were self-governing. An example is Kanish.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: One of the four small states, named after regions of India -- Amaravati (Quang Nam); Vijaya (Binh Dinh); Kauthara (Nha Trang); and Panduranga (Phan Rang) -- of Champa (now southern Vietnam). Champa was formed in 192 AD during the breakup of the Han dynasty in China. The states' populations remained concentrated in small coastal enclaves. To this period belong several brick sanctuaries in the Nha-trang area, notably that of Po Nagar. Nha-trang dates to the 3rd century AD, when, as part of the independent land of Kauthara, it acknowledged the suzerainty of Funan.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A stoneslab found on a Minnesota farm in 1898 with an inscription in runes purporting to record the arrival of a party of exploring Vikings. An object of controversy from the start, it is now dismissed as a forgery, despite recent confirmation of the Viking visits to the eastern American coast. This supposed relic of a 14th-century Scandinavian exploration of the interior of North America is a 200-pound slab of graywacke inscribed with runes (medieval Germanic script). The inscription, dated 1362, is purported to be by a group of Norwegian and Swedish explorers from Vinland who visited the Great Lakes area in that year. The stone is housed in a special museum in Alexandria, Minn., and a 26-ton replica stands in nearby Runestone Park.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An important tributary of the Euphrates River in eastern Syria. Its basin was a strategic area for communications between Mesopotamia, Syria, and Anatolia (Turkey), and it contains such important sites as Tell Halaf, Chagar Bazar, and Tell Brak. It has given its name to a distinctive painted ware found in northern Mesopotamia and north Syria in the early 2nd millennium BC. Pottery of this type also occurs at Kultepe in Anatolia, indicating wide-ranging trade at the time.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Khnemu CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: The ancient Egyptian god of fertility, associated with water and procreation. Khnum was worshipped from the 1st Dynasty, c 2925-2775 BC, into the early centuries AD. He was represented as a ram with horizontal, twisting horns or as a man with a ram's head. Khnum was believed to have created humankind from clay like a potter and his first main cult center was Herwer. From the New Kingdom (1539-1075 BC) on, however, he became the god of the island of Elephantine and the area of the First Cataract of the Nile River. There he formed a triad of deities with the goddesses Satis (Satet) and Anukis. Khnum also had an important cult at Esna, south of Thebes.
Khufu (fl. early 26th century BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cheops, Khufwey, Khnomkhufwey CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: The second king (pharaoh) (reigned 2589-2566 BC) of the Egyptian 4th Dynasty (c 2575-2465 BC), during the Old Kingdom, and the successor of Snefru (2613-2589 BC). His name is an abbreviation of the phrase Khnum-kuefui ('Khnum protects me'). He was the builder/owner of the Great Pyramid at Giza, the largest of the ancient pyramids. The pyramid covers a ground area of 53,000 square meters and rises to a height of 148 meters, reflecting a complex and efficient organization of which the pharaoh was the head. Two of his sons, Djedefre (Redjedef) and Khafre, succeeded him.
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.
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A pressure-flaked bifacialpoint with serrated margins and long shallow surface scar beds, found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and neighboring areas of the Northern Territory and northwest Queensland. South of the Kimberleys the point was a trade item and was used as a surgical knife. The points were made at the time of European contact, when bottleglass and porcelain were adapted for the industry.
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.
Klasies River Mouth
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A complex of caves and overhangs on the south coast of South Africa (Cape Province). It provides one of the most complete sequences available for the area, including sea-level changes of the Late Pleistocene -- at least the last 60,000 years. A long development of the 'Middle Stone Age' shares some features with the Pietersburg industries and is interrupted by a phase attributed to Howiesons Poort. This is followed by Later Stone Age deposits containing three painted stone slabs and burials with shell beads dating to 5000 years ago. The site has some of the oldest-known remains of anatomically modern Homo sapiens, dating to 100,000 years ago. There are indications of cannibalism in the Late Pleistocene and exploitation of the marine resources around 120,000 years ago.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Type of crude hand-made potterydating to the 4th century AD. Manufactured and circulated in the Humberside area of northeastern England.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Great Burial Period, Tumulus Period CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: The name of the protohistorictombperiod of Japan, 300-710 AD, and the type of tumulus used for the burials. . Large tombs were built which were covered with artificial hillocks about 8 meters high, with burial chambers about 2 meters underneath the top surface. The burial chamber, enclosed with stones, contained coffins and various funerary offerings. The period when tombs of this kind were built in abundance was characterized by Hajiware and Sue ware. It is divided into Early, 4th century; Middle, 5th century; and Late, late 5th-7th centuries. The Kofunperiod falls between the Yayoiperiod and the fully historic Nara period and partially overlaps the Asuka and Hakuho periods of art historians. In their writings, the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki texts, the culture was explained. Early kofun were built by modifying natural hills, as were Late Yayoiburial mounds. Hajipottery, used throughout the Kofunperiod, is very similar to Yayoipottery and farmers lived in the same kinds of houses, using very similar tools. Technical advances over the yayoiperiod include irrigation canals and dams. There were also silversmiths who made the ornaments deposited in kofun and professional potters began making Sue pottery in the 5th century. Those in the fertile and well-protected Yamato Basin actively sought new technical and administrative skills on the continent and thus artisans came to make new kinds of pottery, ornaments, and weapons. Yamato leaders gained control over much of Japan in the 7th century and moved the capital to Heijo in 710. The magnificent kofun tombs indicate that the Yamato court based in the Yamatoarea (the present Nara prefecture) succeeded in bringing almost the whole of Japan under its control.
Kom Abu Billo
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Terenuthis CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a pharaonic and Greco-Roman town in the western NileDelta. It derives its name from that of the snake-goddess Renenutet, whose cult was celebrated in the area. An early Ptolemaic temple remains, dedicated to the goddess Hathor.
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 Maglemosianculture of Denmark of the 7th-8th millennia BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite of the Indus Valley, east of Mohenjo-Daro in Pakistan, which has given its name to one of a group of pre-Harappan cultures in the area (variant of Nal-Amri). Radiocarbon dates suggest early 3rd millennium BC for the settlement, which was eventually destroyed and replaced by a settlement of the Indus Civilization. The Kot-Dijian pottery was a thin pinkish ware decorated with horizontal black lines, perhaps related to that of the Zhob valley. Comparable wares have been found in pre-Indus levels at Harappa and Kalibangan in Punjab.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Large cemeterysite in Murray Valley, Victoria, Southern Australia, dated to between 15,000-9000 bp. More than 40 crania and mandibles show marked robusticity of the fronto-facial regions combined with more modern, but still thick-boned, posterior areas of the crania. There is evidence of artificial deformation. Kow Swamp stone tools consisted of a few small quartz flakes and bipolar cores, similar to finds of the same age at Green Gully. Kow Swamp had the large single Late Pleistocenepopulation in the world.
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 theorykinship social psychology and psychoanalysis."
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 ambertrade.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A system of ceremonial, non-competitive, exchange practiced in Melanesia to establish and reinforce alliances. This exchangesystem began among the people of the Trobriand Islands of southeast Melanesia, in which permanent contractual partners trade traditional valuables following an established ceremonial pattern and trade route. In this system, described by the British anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski, only two kinds of articles, traveling in opposite directions around a rough geographical 'ring' several hundred miles in circumference, were exchanged. These were red shell necklaces and white shell bracelets. Kula objects, which sometimes had names and histories attached, were not owned in order to be used but rather to acquire prestige and rank. Malinowski's study of this system was influential in shaping the anthropological concept of reciprocal exchange. The partnerships between men, involving mutual duties and obligations, were permanent and lifelong. The network of relationships based on the kula served to link many tribes by providing allies and communication of material and nonmaterial cultural elements to distant areas.
CATEGORY: culture; ceramics DEFINITION: An important Chalcolithicculture and potterystyle of south Baluchistan. The pottery is mainly buff and wheelmade, painted in black with friezes of elongated humped bulls, cats, or goats and spiky trees between zones of geometric ornament. Clay figurines of women and bulls are found in this culture, as are copper tools and ornaments of lapis lzauli, bone and other materials. The culture is further distinguished from those of Amri-Nal in the same area by the practice of cremationburial; an important cemetery was excavated at Mehi. Mud-brick architecture and small tell sites are common to the two cultures. There are signs of Indus civilization influence on later Kullimaterial with carved stone vessels identical with examples from Early Dynastic Mesopotamia, dating to the early 3rd millennium BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cush CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Egyptian term for Upper Nubia and the independent states of the region during periods of Egyptian weakness. It is the name applied to the area which, during and after the pharaonic period, was subject to Egyptian cultural and /or political influence. Kush's main period of independence began c 9th century BC. In the 8th century, the kings of Kush conquered Egypt and ruled briefly there as the 25th Dynasty, being expelled southwards after the Assyrian invasion of Egypt in 671 BC. In their homeland, the Kushites' capital was established first at Napata near the fourth Nilecataract, then move to Meroe about 600 BC. There the capital was better situated to exploittrade-routes eastward to the Red Sea and Ethiopia as well as those of the Nile Valley. Timber was also more plentiful and was used to fuel the Meroitic ironindustry, which probably began on a small scale in about the 6th century BC. The kingdom of Kush survived till 350 AD, when the final collapse of Meroe was probably due to an invasion from Axum (Aksum).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Fraser Cave CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Limestone cave of southwest Tasmania occupied from 20,000-15,000 years ago. It established the Pleistocene occupation of the area.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Site in southeast Kenya which has given its name to the Early Iron Age industry of that area and northern Tanzania. It was a branch of the Eastern Stream or Urewe tradition of the Chifumbaze Early Iron Age complex, starting in the 2nd century AD. The highly characteristic pottery, Kwaleware, occurs far down the East African coast in Mozambique and eastern Transvaal, where it is dated to the 4th century AD.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: La Tene period CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: The site of a great Iron Age votive deposit in the shallow water at the east end of Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Excavations revealed wooden piles, two timber causeways, and a mass of tools and weapons of bronze, iron, and wood (swords, fibulae, spearheads, etc.). Some of these objects bore curvilinear patterns which are the hallmark of La Tène (Celtic) art everywhere from central Europe to Ireland and the Pyrenees. La Tène has given its name to the second major division of the European Iron Age, which followed the Hallstattperiod over much of the continent and lasted from mid-5th century BC until the Celts were subdued by Roman conquest c 50 BC. Settlement was characteristically in hillforts and, from the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, massive oppida occur. As in the Hallstattculture, there is a notable distinction between the markedly wealthy burials of chieftains and their associates, and burials of other members of society. The highest development, and the birth of the art style, took place in west central Europe from the Rhineland to the Marne. Contact with the Greek and Etruscan worlds brought wine, metal flagons, and Attic drinking cups into lands north of the Alps, and La Tène art shows links with that of the Scythians to the east. In Britain, contact with the continental La Tène cultures is shown by chariot burials and the presence of La Tène art motifs on metalwork and pottery. British cultures showing La Tène influence are sometimes grouped within an Iron Age B complex. In Ireland, which the Romans never invaded, a Celtic culture and an art style with La Tène elements persisted into the Early Christian period. It is subdivided into La Tène I c 480-220 BC, La Tène II c 220-120 BC, and La Tène III c 120-Roman conquest(at different times in different areas).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The most important Olmec ceremonial center, located in Tabasco, Mexico, and built around 1000 BC. The site occupies a small island, entirely surrounded by swamps, and lacking both farmland and building stone. The principal monument is a huge lobed pyramid of clay, the tallest of the Olmec sites, and subsidiary structure include platforms and courtyards. La Venta is famous for its Preclassic stonesculpture, buried pavements of serpentine blocks brought from about 100-160 km away, and offerings of carved jade including six jadeite axes. The important buildings were constructed from c 1000-600 BC; the site grew in importance after the abandonment of San Lorenzo, especially during the Middle Formativeperiod c 850-750 BC. The end of La Venta was violent, possibly caused by a conflict between the carrying capacity of the area and the large number of workers needed to construct the site's structures.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An early Pre-Classic village site located on the Pacific coastal region of Ocos in Guatemala. The site's earliest phase dates to c 1300 BC and contains Olmec or Olmec-influenced pottery, some of which has been traded to other areas of Mesoamerica. The later Conchas Phase, 800-300 BC, contains sherds of a unique striped design which has also been found in Ecuador, indicating probable ocean trade.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj. laetic CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A term used for a class of non-Roman cultivators under the later Roman Empire (3rd century AD onward), who occupied lands for which they paid tribute. These barbarians were settled as farmers by the Roman government, in areas deserted after intrusive raids. They also had an obligation, inherited by their descendants, to perform Roman military service.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: lake village CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A type of Neolithicsettlement found common in prehistoric Europe in areas with many lakes, such as Switzerland, Germany, and north Italy. Such a settlement was formerly on the edge of a lake but is now buried by lakeshore sediment or underwater. They should properly be labeled lakeside villages, since in most cases they were constructed on the shore and not on stilts over the water, as was formerly believed. They were, however, frequently constructed on timber platforms and subsequently rising water levels in the lakes have preserved these platforms and much other wooden material, as well as artifacts of other organic substances. Cultures in which lake villages were common include Chassey, Cortaillod, Horgen, and Polada.
Lake Ngaroto pa
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A lake-edge fortification (pa) of Classic Maori date in the Waikato District, North Island, of New Zealand. This is one of the largest and deepest sites in the Waikato, 5400 sq. m in area, with deposits up to three meters deep. It is an artificial mound built up from repeated construction of sandy living floors.
CATEGORY: culture; site DEFINITION: An inland site of the late Archaic period located in the Finger Lakes region of central New Yorkdating 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 workedbone. Other traits include houses framed with upright poles, beveled adzes, atlatl weights, manos and metates, and fishing gear.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lancefield Swamp CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A small swamp in south-central Victoria, Australia, containing bones of an extinct megafauna representing an estimated 10,000 individuals, dated to c 24,000 BC. Six species are represented, but Macropus titan, a giant kangaroo, predominates. A few stone tools have been found in the bone beds, indicating that men and megafauna were contemporary in the area, probably for 7000 years. Cut-marks on some bones have been interpreted as the teeth marks of the carnivorous predator Thylacoleo carnifex, an extinct marsupial carnivore.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A Danish word meaning 'land taking', used to describe a common form of early agriculture in which an area of woodland was cleared and cultivated (which has been identified in the pollenrecord). The land was later abandoned and was taken over by weeds, finally reverting to woodland. Its regeneration began with the birch, a rapid colonizer of areas cleared by fire. Landnam has been recognized in pollen analysis by changes in the pollen spectra: the drop in tree pollen, the appearance of grass and plantain pollens, a subsequent increase in the latter, and an eventual reappearance of the tree pollen. Landnam range in date from Neolithic to Bronze Age.
Landsat or LANDSAT
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS) CATEGORY: tool DEFINITION: The Earth Resources Technology Satellites, any of a series of unmanned U.S. scientific satellites that produce small-scale images of vast areas of the earth's surface; used to study regional patterns of use of land and other resources.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: total archaeology CATEGORY: branch DEFINITION: The study of individual features including settlements seen as single components within the broader perspective of the patterning of human activity over a wide area. It is the recovery of the story of an area of countryside using all possible techniques -- surface scatters, field and other boundaries, standing buildings, as well as excavation. This approach within archaeology emphasizes examination of the complete landscape, focusing on dispersed features and on areas between and surrounding traditional sites as well as on the sites themselves.
Late Woodland period
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period of time, c 400-1000 AD, in the American Midwest, when populations spread west to the eastern slopes of the Rockies and were in contact with eastward-moving Puebloan people. A favorable agricultural period was indicated by the marked increase in village size and in population density. Areas along major streams were occupied by various interrelated cultural groups collectively known as the Plains Mississippian cultures. Part of this complex was connected to the developing Mississippi complexes to the east by diffusion and, to some degree, by a migration of such groups as the Omaha and Ponca from the St. Louis area by about 1000 AD. It follows the Middle Woodland era but lacks the elaborate Hopewellian artifacts and structures.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: extensive excavation CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The excavation or opening up of large areas so that subsurface features and architecture are broadly exposed.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Latin CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The ancient people of Latium; an Iron Age people of the region just south of Rome. Their cremation cemeteries are known particularly from the Alban Hills, and from Rome itself. The Latians seem to have developed from the Pianello urnfielders, notably those who buried their dead in the cemetery at Allumiere, and were certainly the ancestors of the Romans. The first huts on the Palatine Hill were built by these people in the 9th century BC. Latium was an ancient area in west-central Italy, originally limited to the territory around the Alban Hills, but extending by about 500 BC south of the Tiber River as far as the promontory of Mount Circeo.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Double rows of large stone pillars with capstones that formed the foundation of structures, especially in the Mariana Islands, Micronesia, about 1000 years ago. The latte stones of this area are now thought to have been piles for raised houses, perhaps for chiefs and wealthy men, since the latte sites are relatively few for the reported population. Burials were sometimes placed between the pillars.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Area of several preceramic cave sites in the highlands of central Peru. The earliest level, dating c 8000-6000 BC, yielded the skeletons of people who hunted deer and guanaco with spears tipped with leaf-shaped points. The sites represent seasonal hunting camps. A second phase, dated c 6000-4000 BC, had better-made points of willow leaf shape. The second culture at Lauricocha was replaced by a third one with smaller leaf- and diamond-shaped points which lasted until 1500 or later; the latter part of this period overlaps with the earliest farming villages on the Peruvian coast, where points of Lauricochatype have been found. Fourth and fifth stages represent pottery-using cultures. Other caves in the area have engravings, some of which include motifs used by about 1000 BC on pottery at Kotosh. Occupations extend into the Initial Period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Laurium CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A hilly region of Attica, Greece, which was important for silver mines from the Bronze Age in the 1st millennium BC. The region developed into a principal miningarea, especially from about 483 BC until the end of the 5th century BC. The mines may have been worked as early as 1000 BC, but in 483 BC Athenians exploited the veins to finance construction of a large fleet, which then defeated the Persians at Salamis in 480. Production remained low until after 350 and the mines were closed in the 2nd century AD. The mines were state property, rented out to individual contractors, and worked by slaves. The area has ancient mineshafts, processing areas, surface mining structures, water cisterns, and ore-washeries. The Laureot Owls, Athenian silvercoinage attributed to the mines, were circulated throughout the classical world, but by Roman times the mines lay neglected because of competition from the gold and silver mines in Macedonia and pirate raids on the Laurium mines. About the beginning of the Christian Era, the silver was exhausted.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Shubat Enlil; Tall Leilan CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Site on the Wadi Jarrah, northwest Syria, identified as Shubat Enlil, the capital of Shamshi-Adad I of 1813-1781 BC. Occupation began in the early 4th and extended to the 2nd millennium BC. The sequences include 'Ubaid, Uruk, Ninevite 5, and an occupation with Khabur ware. In the 3rd millennium BC occupation, a walled lower town covered a large area and there was an upper town and possibly a karum. Documents have been recovered that should help shed light on developments in the area as well as Shamshi-Adad's empire.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A late Danubian culture with the type site in western Hungary and many regional variants in Hungary, parts of Austria, and much of Czechoslovakia and Poland. It is closely linked to the Tisza culture of the Hungarian plain, and it may have been from this area that the Lengyel people adopted painted pottery and the occasional use of copper (some of the earliest use in temperate Europe). With the Rössen and Tisza culture, it is a descendant of Linear Pottery culture. The Lengyel culture is divided into two main phases: the Painted Lengyel, defined by white, red, and yellow crusted wares and dated c 4000-3500 BC, and the Unpainted Lengyel, characterized by knobbed and incised pottery and dated c 3500-3000 BC. The type site was a settlement adjoining a cemetery of some 90 inhumation graves. Sites have trapezoidal longhouses and some defensive works.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Nthabazingwe CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site near Khami, southwestern Zimbabwe, and the name of a later Iron Age industry which developed in c 10th-11th century AD. At the type site, large circular houses were excavated. During later phases, from about the 14th century, goldmining and building with stone occurred. The complex covered adjacent areas of the northern Transvaal, South Africa. There was trade with the East African coast, class distinction, and the development of sacred leadership leading up to the Zimbabweculture.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A hunter-fisher village settlement on the banks of the Danube in Serbia. Trapezoidal houses (often with red plastered floors), stone hearths filled with fish bones and other refuse, and a remarkable group of stone sculptures --- by far the earliest monumentalsculpture in Europe -- were part of an advanced Mesolithiceconomy. Many carved stone human heads were found, often with 'fishy' features. Radiocarbon places it in the 7th millennium BC. The site was later occupied by a Starcevo village. The most significant aspect of Lepenski Vir is the degree of cultural elaboration achieved by sedentary fisher-hunters at a time when agriculture was gradually becoming established in other areas of southeast Europe.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In Greek antiquity, an enclosed area for sitting and talking, and possibly dining. The lesche was primarily a local club, which served meals to strangers as well as to its local members.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural limites CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The Latin word for path" in ancient Rome the strip of open land along which troops advanced into unfriendly territory. The word therefore came to mean a Roman military road fortified with watchtowers and forts. Finally limes acquired the sense of frontier either natural or artificial; towers and forts tended to be concentrated along it and the military road between them was often replaced by a continuous barrier. Its use as a term for the frontier zone of the Roman empire under direct military rule was particularly used of the Rhine and Danube rivers in central Germany adopted as the frontiers of the Roman Empire (from 9 AD). This was later extended into the Black Forest area by Hadrian and Antoninus Pius. . The Alemanni broke through the limes in c 260 and the Roman frontier was withdrawn to the Rhine and Danube once more. The limites in Great Britain were Hadrian's Wall between the Rivers Tyne and Solway and farther north the turf wall of Antoninus Pius between the Rivers Forth and Clyde. Limes were also created in Anatolia Syria and North Africa."
Linear Pottery culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Linearbandkeramik; LBK; Danubian I CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The earliest Neolithicculture of central Europe, western Ukraine to eastern France, between c 4500-3900 BC. It is so named after curvilinear incised patterns which make its pottery so recognizable. This was the first farming culture in central Europe, based on graincultivation and domesticated livestock, lasting to 3200 BC on its periphery. The Linear Potterycorearea stretches from eastern Hungary to the Netherlands, including settlement concentrations in the Pannonian Basin, Bohemia, Moravia, central Germany and the Rhineland. A second rapid expansion occurred eastwards round the northern rim of the Carpathians, from Poland to the Dnieper. Linear Pottery is characterized by incised and sometimes painted pottery (3/4 sphericalbowl) with linear designs (curvilinear, zigzag, spiral, and meander patterns), polished stone shoe-last adzes, and a microlithic stoneindustry. Small cemeteries of individual inhumations are common as are longhouses with rectangular ground plans. The remarkable uniformity that characterized the Linear Pottery culture in its corearea broke down after c 4000 BC and the cultures that emerged -- Tisza, Lengyel, Stroke-Ornamented Ware, Rossen etc. -- were more divergent in characteristics. It is most possible that it derived from the Körös culture of the northern Balkans.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: living surface CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A layer of human occupation; this generic and imprecise term is applied to an assumed level of occupation within an archaeological site. It includes any surface that indicates use as a house or camparea, as evidenced by signs of cooking, sleeping, or working at household tasks. The area can be within a cave or structure or out in the open -- anywhere everyday human activities took place. Ancient living floors have occasionally been preserved through the accumulation of soil and debris over them.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large site composed of two or more clusters of material remains; a variablearea not larger than the space that might be occupied by a single community or local group and small enough to permit the working assumption of complete cultural homogeneity at any given time.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. loci CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A predicted archaeological site locality; a center of cultural activity. The term is also applied to a distinct portion of an archaeological site, typically separated from other parts of the site by space devoid of cultural materials. Many open-air sites consist of various loci spread over a relatively large area.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A wind-borne rock dust (very fine sediments, silt) carried from outwash deposits and moraines and laid down as a thick stratum during periglacial conditions in the steppe country surrounding the ice sheets. Wind erosion was widespread in the periglacial zone that surrounded the large Quaternary ice sheets. Material was picked up by the wind from the large expanses of proglacial deposits at the ice sheet margins. Because of its exceptional fertility, areas of loess were chosen for settlement by early agriculturists. In central and eastern Europe, as well as Asia and North America, there are notable concentrations of sites on loess. It provided good grazing for the animals on which Palaeolithic man fed, was rich in nutrients for plants, and was later settled by Neolithic farmers who found it easy to till with primitive equipment. It is an essentially unconsolidated, unstratified calcareous silt; commonly it is homogeneous, permeable, and buff to gray in color, and contains calcareous concretions and fossils. Loess is important archaeologically as soilerosion in these regions during the Holocene caused substantial redeposition of this silt, often burying (deeply) and preserving archaeological sites. In semiarid regions people such as the Pueblo Indians made houses and fortresslike closed edifices from loess-based adobe.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: Deposits formed of a yellowish dust of silt-sized particles blown by the wind and redeposited on land newly deglaciated, or on sheltered areas.
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: Patches of vegetation outside of valleys that were watered at that season by fogs. The Peruvian coast was covered with areas of this type of vegetation which could live off the moisture from the fog in the air. Lomas were created as a result of climatic shift at end of Pleistocene. Lomas culture was developed in these areas by hunters who turned to exploitation of this vegetation as their economic basis. They set up seasonally occupied camps during the winter months. The lomas provided wild seeds, tubers, and large snails; deer, camelids (probably guanaco), owls, and foxes were hunted. Milling stones, manos, mortars, pestles, and projectile points frequently occur in the assemblages. Around 2500 BC, a further climatic change made much of the lomas dry up, and the area became a desert. Lomas sites were abandoned in favor of permanent settlement at the littoral zone along the coast, where maritime resources were exploited. The deposits are not thick enough to show stratification, but they have been arranged in chronological order by comparing the implement types and noting their distribution within the shrinking patches of vegetation.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A tribe of Germanic descent who conquered northern Italy in the late 6th and early 7th centuries. The region was weak from the gothic wars and vulnerable by the death of the Emperor Justinian (565). Having swept through Venice, Milan, Tuscany, and Benevento, King Alboin established Pavia, on the Ticino River, as the capital of the newly created Lombard kingdom in 572. Although their territorial expansion extended as far south as Benevento, the Lombards never managed to gain complete control of the peninsula. Many major Byzantine cities fell to them but the Eastern Empire maintained a firm hold in the coastal ports of Ravenna and Venice. The Lombards' impact was considerable and they imposed distinct cultural traditions on Italy's decaying classical past. They made rich inlaid goldjewelry, fine sculpture, and created new architectural design which played a significant part in the development of the Romanesquestyle. The Lombard settlement seems to have been largely to the north of the Po River, the area with the majority of Lombard place-names and Germanic-stylearchaeological finds, mainly from cemetery sites. The Lombard language seems to have disappeared by the 8th century, leaving few loanwords in the Italian language. When the Franks invaded, Lombards and Romans moved together still more as a conquered, by now Italian people.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Londinium CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Important port and capital town of Roman Britain by about 100 AD, probably replacing the originally intended capital at Clochester. The site, on a previously unoccupied gravel plateau on the north side of the River Thames, was probably chosen as the lowest crossing point at the time of the Roman invasion in 43 AD. Use began as a supply depot and a trading center as it was a convenient starting point for the growing network of Roman roads. Burnt and ravaged by Boudicca in 60-61, the town soon revived, and capitalstatus brought a large forum (Leadenhall Market), governor's palace (Canon Street), and a legionary fort (area of London Wall). Although damaged by fire again in c 125-130, the settlement continued to consolidate its position, and a wall was added to protect it between 183-217. Continuous occupation since the Roman period has prevented much extensive excavation. The Museum of London holds marble heads of Mithras, Serapis, and Minerva from the Mithraeum and the British Museum holds the Tomb of Julius Alpinus Classicianus, procurator of Britain after Boudicca's revolt. A section of wall may be seen in Trinity Place near the Tower of London, and the Mithraeum has been reconstructed to the west of its original site, in front of Temple Court, Queen Victoria Street.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Harrapan town, one of the most important of the southern Indus Civilization sites, at the head of the Gulf of Cambay, northwestern India. Besides typical Indus structures like a walled citadel, granary, drainage system, and a grid street plan, it had a dock faced with baked brick. There were residential and craftworking (shell, bone, bead, copper, gold) areas. The site was important for its sea trade, as shown by the discovery of a Dilmunseal from the Persian Gulf. There were also contacts with the Chalcolithic cultures of the Deccan peninsula and the practice of ricecultivation which had been introduced from further east. There was much local non-Harappan pottery in the Mature Harappan levels. Radiocarbon dates place it in the later 3rd millennium BC (c 2400-2100 BC).
Lower Sonoran Agricultural Complex
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A zone of high temperatures and tolerant crops in the Southwest U.S. The Lower Sonoran Zone, in the southern sections of the Rio Grande and Pecos valleys and in New Mexico's southwestern corner, usually occurs at altitudes below 4,500 feet. It includes nearly 20,000 square miles of New Mexico's best grazing area and irrigated farmland. Utah's 4,000 plant species represent six climatic zones, from the arid Lower Sonoran in the southwestern Virgin Valley to the Arctic on mountain peaks.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in the Maya Mountains southeastern periphery, which was a small Classic and Late Classic Maya center in southern Belize. It was built in the early 8th century and consists largely of ceremonial buildings. There was a sizable population and flourishing marketsystem. Its proximity to one of the few areas where cacao grows suggests that control of this much sought-after commodity was its major economic base, and may be the reason why such a considerable investment of labor was made in building the site. It was fairly short-lived, abandoned some time between 850-900, probably as part of the general Maya collapse.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Area of ancient Italy south of Campania and next to the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was comprised of several Greek colonies, including Paestum. This ancient territorial division of southern Italy corresponds to most of the modern region of Basilicata, with much of the province of Salerno and part of that of Cosenza. Before its conquest by the Lucanians, a Samnite tribe, about the mid-5th century BC, it formed part of the Greek-dominated region of Oenotria. Recent discoveries include the elaborately painted graves at Paestum, a city taken by the Lucanians about 400. Although they allied with Rome in 298, the Lucanians opposed and were defeated by Rome in the Pyrrhic War (280-275), the Second Punic War (218-201), and the Social War (90-88).
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In Roman antiquity, a marketplace for perishable foods consisting of shops around a colonnaded court; the center building was either round or octagonal. Some more sophisticated examples have individual architectural features associated with them, such as (at Leptis Magna and Pompeii) a porticoed enclosed rectangular courtyard, with one or two colonnaded pavilions in the central area. At Pompeii, shops under the porticoface inward into the market and also outward into the surrounding streets. At Rome, the Macellum Magnum erected by Nero was apparently a grand-scale example, doubling both the portico and the pavilion into two-storied structures.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: An anthropological term used to describe a group of several, usually related families who set up seasonal hunter-gatherer camps, used as a model of prehistoric societies. There can be more than one camp in the region exploited by each macroband, which moves from one area to another in order to exploit seasonal food resources. At some times of the year, the macroband splits into microbands.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: paleomagnetic dating CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Any theoretically chronometric dating technique which uses the thermo-remanent magnetism of certain types of archaeologicalmaterial. These methods use the known changes have taken place in the direction and intensity of the earth's magneticfield. Magnetic minerals present in clay and rocks each have its own magneticorientation. When heated to the so-called blocking temperature, the original magneticorientation of the particles is destroyed, and they will take on the orientation of the earth's magneticfield in a fixed alignment -- which does not alter after cooling. These methods are most suitable for kilns and hearths. Once the direction of the archaeologicalsample has been determined, it may be possible to date it by fitting it to the secular variation curve established for the local area. There is no universal curve, since not only the earth's main field varies, but there are also local disturbances. Since the dating of the curve has to be constructed through independent dating techniques, and these are not available for every area, there are not established curves for every region. As a dating technique, it is strictly limited to those areas where dated curves have been established. A more recent dating technique using thermo-remanent magnetism is palaeointensity dating (archaeomagnetic intensity dating). The principle is that the thermo-remanent magnetism in burnt clay is proportional to the intensity of the magneticfield acting on the clay as it cools down. The measurement of its intensity, and a comparison with the intensity revealed by reheating in today's magneticfield, gives a ratio for the past and present fields which can be used to establish a curve of variation in the earth's magneticfield intensity. The method promises to be useful since direction in situ is not required and it can therefore be used for pottery and other artifacts as well as hearths and kilns.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: electromagnetic surveying CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A technique for the location of archaeological features adapted from techniques used in geological surveying. It is based on the fact that features with thermo-remanent magnetism, like hearths or kilns, or features with a high humus content, like pits or ditches, and iron objects, distort the earth's magneticfield from the normal. Instruments such as the proton magnetometer or the differential fluxgate gradiometer are used to measure those disturbances, and by plotting the results, a map of the features can be built. The ways in which the different types of feature distort the magneticfield vary, though they can all be picked up on the same instrument. Hematite or magnetic, present in most clays, have a small magnetic effect when unburnt, since the grains point in random directions and cancel each other out. Once heated to about 700? C or more, the grains line up, increasing the magnetic effect and causing an anomaly in the magneticfield. This thermo-remanent magnetism is also the basis for magnetic dating. The presence of modern iron as in wire fences can cause problems with this technique of location; if the area to be surveyed is clearly crossed with power lines or fenced with iron posts, a resistivity survey may be more suitable. The method of surveying used requires a grid to be measured out on the site and readings to be taken at regular intervals. The nature of the site may prevent such a grid being laid out, for instance if it is heavily wooded, and magnetic survey may not be possible on these sites. It is one of the most commonly used geophysical surveying methods.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A property of soil and sediment, measured as a ratio of intensity of magnetization of the material to the strength of an applied magneticfield. Topsoil often has a somewhat enhanced 'magnetic susceptibility' due to magnetic minerals in the material, especially compared with the subsoil. The filling of a ditch or a pit has greater susceptibility than the surrounding area because of higher humus content and perhaps the presence of burnt occupation material. On the basis that contrast between feature and surroundings locates the features, walls, and other stone settings can also be located since they have less susceptibility than the area around them, i.e. they exhibit a reverse anomaly.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: proton magnetometer CATEGORY: tool DEFINITION: A geophysical instrument that measures the intensity and sometimes direction of the Earth's magneticfield. It is used in electromagnetic surveying to identify changes in the field within soil or sediment that might be caused by subsurface features, hearths, kilns, or metal artifacts. When a current is passed through a coil in a bottle of water or alcohol the protons of the hydrogen atoms align themselves to its magneticfield. When the current is cut off, the protons realign themselves according to the earth's field, its strength being indicated by the frequency of their gyration on realignment. This sets up a weak current which is transmitted back from the bottle to the instrument and there registered on dials. The resulting figures are plotted to reveal anomalies in field strength -- usually due to buried iron, kilns, hearths, or to pits or ditches. These features can thus be rapidly located without disturbance of the ground, and excavation can be directed to the most promising areas. Magnetrometry is the use of a magnetometer for mapping subsurface anomalies. There are a number of designs, but two are particularly widely used. The proton magnetometer makes an absolute measurement of field strength, but is intermittent in operation: each reading is initiated by the push of a button, and takes some seconds to appear on the display of the instrument. Fluxgate magnetometers work on a different principle, and give a continuous reading, which makes surveying less time-consuming. Most fluxgate machines do not however measure field strength directly, but rather are gradiometers, measuring the vertical gradient of the earth's' magneticfield, i.e. how fast the field strength changes with vertical distance from the earth's magneticfield Gradient measurements can also be used in archaeological surveys and have an advantage over absolute measurements. The earth's field strength varies continuously during the day at any one location. Absolute measurements taken at different times have to be calibrated for this effect if they are to be comparable. Gradient measurements are not affected by this diurnal drift in field strength, and so do not need to be calibrated. Proton gradiometers are also available. The fluxgate, differential fluxgate, and proton gradiometer take continuous measurements of relative vertical change in the intensity of field strength.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A series of important Late Bronze Age and Iron Age sites near Narbonne in southwest France, dating from the 8th-1st centuries BC. The sites comprise a defended hilltop settlement (Le Cayla) and a series of urnfield cemeteries (Le Moulin, Grand Bassin I and II). The earliest phase has an urnfield-typecemetery, wooden houses, and evidence of farming supplemented by hunting. In the second phase (early 6th century BC), Hallstatt influences include iron and a chieftain's wagon burial (La Redorte). Greek and Etruscan imports appear in both graves and occupation deposits in this and in the succeeding phase. Occupation ended early in the 1st century BC with a burning, probably a Roman punitive action after threatened uprisings in the area.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Sandstone shelter in Arnhem Land, northern Australia, with a sequence similar to the Lindner site/Nauwalabila 1. Dates show human occupation in the area between 50-60,000 years ago.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Rock shelter in Arnhem Land, northern Australia, with occupation 25,000 years ago. Evidence from 20,000-year-old levels established the presence of edge-ground tools in the Pleistocene of the area.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A kind of dwelling built by people of the Upper Palaeolithic in central and eastern Europe between c 25,000-12,000 bp, especially in areas where wood was scarce. The remains of such a structure would typically have a circular or oval arrangement of woolly mammoth bones and tusks, with a central hearth and occupation debris. The bones and tusks were the structure's support. External to the structure may be hearths, pits, and debris. Examples are found in Poland and the former Soviet Union. Mammoth bones were used to build the winter structures for some of these peoples and the mammoth fat used to keep the fires burning.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A phase of the Pre-Classic in the Lowland Mayaarea dated c 550-300 BC, first defined at Uaxactún and Tikal. Some artifacts of stone and obsidian are included in the complex, but it is principally characterized by monochrome pottery with a 'waxy' feel to it. The flat-bottomed bowl was a common shape. Figurines are also characteristic.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Large oppidum of the late Iron Age in Bavaria, Germany, near Ingolstadt, dated to the La Tène period c 200 BC. It was one of the largest oppida in Europe. Manching, at that time adjacent to the Danube, may have been a regional market. The defense was an elaborate construction consisting of four-mile-long walls built of timber and stones and including four gateways. The organization of the settlement was preplanned, with streets up to 30 feet wide and regular rows of rectangular buildings in front of zones containing pits and working areas; other areas were enclosed for granaries or horse stalls. The site was divided into work areas for particular crafts, such as wood, leather, and iron working. Coins were minted and used on the site. There is evidence of a violent end to the settlement c 50 BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A coastal plain on the northeast coast of Attica, Greece, famous for battle between Persians and Athenians in 490 BC and for news of battle being taken by the runner Pheidippides from Marathon to Athens -- about 25 miles. The defeat of the Persians is commemorated by the Soros, the large mound where the Athenians were buried, and the tomb of the Plataeans, which seems to be the grave of the Greek allies. Their fine black- and red-figure ware were grave goods. There are many other tombs: an Early Helladic cist grave cemetery, Middle Helladic tumuli, and a Mycenaean tholostomb with two horses as grave offerings. The area shows evidence for some kind of occupation from Neolithic times, through Helladic, continuously to Classical.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Early Iron Age shell midden site near Maputo on the coast of southern Mozambique. Its pottery is used to define the Matolasection of the first Iron Age farmers in the area. The pottery recovered is remarkably similar to that from Kwale near the Kenya coast far to the north. There may have been an extremely rapid southward spread of Early Iron Age cultural traits along the eastern coast of Africa between the 3rd-5th centuries AD.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The method of incising a cross-hatched pattern on metal to create a dull area.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Area on Raratonga, Southern Cook Islands, with a well-preserved Polynesian settlement. The marae and paved house platforms were arranged in four places and dated between c 1600-1823 AD.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Classic Maya CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Very important culture of Mesoamerica, one of the major Classic civilizations, which occupied the peninsula of Yucatan and Belize, the lowland jungle south of it, and the highlands of Guatemala and western Honduras. The civilization developed from other pre-Classic cultures by about 200 BC and continued until being conquered by the Spaniards in 1541 AD. By c 200 BC, at sites like Tikal and Uaxactún, the first pyramids were being built. Population increase and the introduction of new ceramic and architectural forms are accompanied by an artistic transition from Olmec through Izapan to Mayan. The classic Mayacivilization dates to c 292 AD, the earliest Long count date found on stele 29 at Tikal. The Early Classic period (200-600) was the golden age of the lowland culture and the great centers acted as foci for administration, religion, and the arts. Architecture, sculpture, and painting were highly developed; records were kept in hieroglyphicwriting, and elaborate ceremonies were carried out in the temples on top of their pyramids. A class of astronomer-priests observed the sun, moon, and planets, and had evolved a calendrical system more accurate than the Julian calendar used in Christian Europe. In mathematics the priests used a vigesimal system with the concept of zero and with a positional notation. The Classic Mayaculture is characterized by an immense investment of labor in construction of ceremonial architecture, the erection of stelae, and a growing differentiation between the elite and the peasantpopulation. The Maya practiced swidden agriculture as well as intensive agriculture, terracing and raised fields, and arboriculture. Polychrome pottery is a hallmark of the Maya Lowland Classic culture. The Late Classic period (c 600-900 AD) shows development in sculpture and architecture -- and regional styles can be recognized. Northern Yucatan began to come into its own at sites like Chichén Itzá and Uxmal, where fine buildings in the Punc style were erected during the 7th-9th centuries. The later part of this period witnessed the end of civilization in the lowlands; the great centers were abandoned during the 9th and early 10th centuries. The Post-Classic period, c 900 to the Spanish conquest, had strong Mexican influence, particularly at Chichén Itzá where buildings were constructed in the Toltecstyle of central Mexico, and the art shows representations of Toltec warriors overpowering Maya chiefs. During the collapse in the southern Lowlands, centers in the northern Lowlands began to grow, c 800-1000 AD. The South's decline may have played a role in the North's prosperity. Sometime around 1200, the Itzá were driven from their capital, and Mayapán became the leading city of Yucatan. In about 1440-1450, Mayapán was overthrown and there followed a time of disunity and warfare which lasted until the Spaniards conquered Yucatan in 1541. The Maya kingdoms of highland Guatemala were subdued in 1525, but in the lowlands the descendants of the exiled Itzá held out until 1697. The collapse of Mayaculture (in c 900) is a puzzling phenomenon, but its relative suddenness still remains without satisfactory explanation. There are no Long Count dates after 900, after which time lowland populations dwindled by as much as 90 percent. The term Maya also refers to a culture area and is typically divided into the lowland and highland Maya. Descendants of the Maya still occupy the region.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Djamet; Djeme; Madinat Habu CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Temple complexdating from the New Kingdom to the Late Period, c 1550-332 BC, at the southernmost part of the necropolisregion of western Thebes, Upper Egypt, opposite modern Luxor. The well-preserved mortuary temple of Ramesses III (1187-1156 BC) with scenes of the king's campaigns against the Sea Peoples and the Libyans is the most impressive monument. It was situated within a fortified enclosure wall, with remarkable entrance towers, imitating Syrian migdol fortresses, on the east side. A royal palace was attached at the south of the open forecourt of this temple, which was also dedicated to the god Amon. Ramesses III's walls had enclosed a small temple called Djeser-Iset that was dedicated to Amon and had been built by the earlier pharaohs Hatshepsut and Thutmose III. Medinet Habu was at one time the most important administrative center in the Theban area. In the first millennium BC, a town called Djeme developed within the fortifications of the temple; a settlement survived there into the Coptic period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mehrgahr CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Important site of a series of settlements of the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods in Baluchistan, western Pakistan, important as the earliest farming site known in the area, perhaps dating from the 8th-6th millennia BC. The earliest phase was aceramic and the evidence at Mehrgarh provides a clear picture of an early agricultural settlement exhibiting domestic architecture and a variety of well-established crafts. The use of sea shells and of various semiprecious stones, including turquoise and lapis lazuli, indicates the existence of trade networks extending from the coast and perhaps also from Central Asia. Subsequent phases in the 5th, 4th, and 3rd millennia show a developing society, characterized by craft specialization (with specialist production of pottery figurines and beads of semi-precious stones) and extensive trade networks linking Baluchistan with eastern Iran and southern Turkmenistan. Although no Harappan Civilizationphase is represented here, the culture of Mehrgarh provides a plausible local antecedent for this civilization. It was probably occupied until the beginning of the Mature Harappan in the 3rd millennium BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The ancient Akkadian name for the Indus region. It was a land which traded with the city-states of Sumer, to its west, and appeared in Mesopotamian texts of the Akkadian and Ur III periods. The land was described as a source of gold and is usually identified as the area of the Harappan civilization in western India and Pakistan during the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC. In the 1st millennium BC, Meluhha refers to Nubia, to the south of Egypt. Literary references to Meluhhan trade date from the Akkadian, Ur III, and Isin- Larsa Periods (i.e., c. 2350-1800 BC), but as texts and archaeological data indicate, the trade probably started in the Early Dynastic Period (c. 2600 BC). During the Akkadianperiod, Meluhhan vessels sailed directly to Mesopotamian ports, but by the Isin-LarsaPeriod, Dilmun (modern Bahrain) was the entrepôt for Meluhhan and Mesopotamian traders. By the subsequent Old Babylonian period, trade between the two cultures evidently had ceased entirely.
CATEGORY: structure; artifact DEFINITION: A single, vertical standing stone; any prehistoricstructure consisting of a tall, upright megalith (huge stone). The name is from the Old Breton men, meaning stone" and hir meaning "long". Menhirs occur in all parts of the world where megalithic monuments are known but they are particularly profuse in prehistoric Europe. Menhirs are difficult to date but in Ireland and southwest England a few examples mark burials dating from the Neolithic to the Middle or Late Bronze Age. A similar or slightly earlier date is attested for some of the Breton menhirs. In all these areas a few of the stones bearcup marks. Such a megalith is often isolated erected by a family or tribe as a memorial stone for some deceased hero or some great event. It may have been a religious object for worship like the American Indian totem pole. Other are associated with dolmens tumuli and circles of stones. Menhirs may occur singly in rows (alignments) or in enclosures (stone circles). Anthropomorphic examples are known as statue-menhirs."
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Any act of measuring; measurement. The earliest standard measurements appeared in the ancient Mediterranean cultures and were based on parts of the body, or on calculations of what man or beast could haul, or on the volume of containers or the area of fields in common use. The Egyptian cubit is generally recognized to have been the most widespread unit of linearmeasurement in the ancient world. It came into use around 3000 BC and was based on the length of the arm from the elbow to the extended finger tips. It was standardized by a royal master cubit of black granite, against which all cubit sticks in Egypt were regularly checked. One of the earliest known weight measures was the Babylonian mina, though the two surviving examples vary widely -- 640 grams (about 1.4 pounds) and 978 grams (about 2.15 pounds).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: One of the kingdoms of central Anglo-Saxon England; it held a position of dominance for much of the period from the mid-7th to the early 9th century. Mercia originally comprised the border areas (modern Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and northern West Midlands and Warwickshire) that lay between the districts of Anglo-Saxonsettlement and the Celtic tribes they had driven to the west. It later absorbed the Hwicce territory (the rest of West Midlands and Warwickshire, eastern Hereford and Worcester, and Gloucestershire) and spread also into what was later Cheshire, Salop, and western Hereford and Worcester. Mercia eventually came to denote an area bounded by the frontiers of Wales, the River Humber, East Anglia, and the River Thames. Its most famous kings were Penda (632-654), Aethelbald (reigned 716-757), and Offa (757-796). During this time the important Mercian School of manuscript illumination and sculpture developed. Thereafter it declined and disappeared under the encroachments of the Danes and of Wessex.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A dynasty of Frankish rulers and their kingdom, from c 476-750 AD, recognized as the first race" of the kings of France. Named after its founder Merovech the Merovingians ruled France from time of Childeric I to that of Charles Martel. Merovingian is a term used to describe Frankish archaeology of 6th to mid-8th century AD. The area was that of western Rhineland to the Atlantic coat of France and embraces a number of kingdoms such as Austria Neustria and Burgundia. The Merovingian kings consolidated power and brought Christianity to the Frankish kingdom (modern France and the Rhineland) after the fall of the Roman Empire in Gaul and laid the political and artistic foundation for the Carolingian Empire that followed. Merovingian art is characterized by a mixture of the Roman classicalstyle with native Germanic-Frankish artistic traditions which favored abstraction and geometric patterning. The Merovingianscript is the writing of the pre-Carolingian hands of France that were derived from Latin cursivescript in the 7th and 8th centuries."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large flat-topped mountain in southwest Colorado which was an area of Anasazi occupation beginning in c 600 AD. The structures are among the most spectacular in the American Southwest: cliff dwellings which are large Pueblo III multiroom apartment dwellings. The most famous is the Cliff Palace, comprised of 200 rooms and 23 kivas built of dressed stone blocks. The population rose steadily until 1200, after which date came decline and total abandonment of the area by c 1300.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A geographical and cultural area from central Honduras and northwest Costa Rica north through Mexico and including Tamaulipas and Sinaloa -- roughly between central Mexico and Costa Rica -- the location of several notable pre-Columbian civilizations. It is the area in Central America in which various Classic and Postclassic civilizations developed, including the Olmec, Teotihuacán, Aztec, and Maya. The culture area was originally defined on the basis of shared traits such as the developments of agriculture, urbanization, and elaborate ceremonial practice. An immense environmental diversity is enclosed within the area. In recent years the term has been applied to the geographic area alone, without being limited by the defining traits named above. The culture began with village life more than 4000 years ago.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mesolithic, Epipaleolithic, Middle Stone Age CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A time period in human history beginning with the retreat of glacial ice c 8500 BC and the changing climatic conditions following it; a development in northwestern Europe that lasted until about 2700 BC. This Middle Stone Age followed the Upper Paleolithic and preceded the Neolithic. It was a period of transition in the early Holocene between the hunter-gatherer existence and the development of farming and pottery production. Glacialflora and fauna were replaced by modern forms and the flint industries are often distinguished by an abundance of microliths. The equipment was designed for fishing and fowling as well as hunting and often included many tiny flints, or microliths, that were set in wooden shafts and hafts, and stone axes or adzes used for woodworking. Forests grew in Europe and people modified their lives accordingly. In the Near East, which remained free of ice sheets, climatic change was less significant than in northern Europe and agriculture was practiced soon after the close of the Pleistocene. In this area the Mesolithicperiod was short and poorly differentiated. In Britain the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition did not come until around 4000 BC. The dog was domesticated during the Mesolithic. The term is used widely only in European prehistory.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Term meaning land between the (two) rivers" the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in western Asia (modern Iraq) which encompasses various ancient kingdoms. This land was the home of the world's earliest civilization that of the Sumerians and of the later Babylonian Akkadian and Assyrian civilizations. The chronology of the prehistoric periods is based on radiocarbon dates; the historical periods' chronology is based on a combination of documentary sources and calendrical information. The area was the focus of the development of complex societies until the collapse of Mesopotamia at the end of the 1st millennium BC. The geography of the area allowed the development of husbandry agriculture and permanent settlements. Trade with other regions also flourished irrigation techniques were created as well as pottery and other crafts building methods based on clay bricks were developed and elaborate religious cults evolved. The birth of the city took place in the 4th millennium BC and the invention of writing occurred about 3000 BC -- both in Sumer. Excavations of Sumerian cities (EriduKishUrukIsinLagash Ur) have yielded thousands of clay tablets inscribed with cuneiformwriting. Sargon the king of Akkad fought wars of conquest from the Mediterranean to the Zagros and ruled over history's first empire. The Akkadians were a Semitic people and their Akkadianlanguage became the common vocabulary. The Akkadian rule only about two centuries. After that Ur (c 2112-2004 BC) the parallel dynasties of Isin and Larsa (to c 1763 BC) and then Babylon were the powers. The outstanding ruler of Babylon was Hammurabi (c 1792-1750 BC) who is best known for the code of laws he had inscribed on a great stela. From about 1600-1450 BC Babylonian culture declined as the Hurrians and the Kassites migrated into Mesopotamia and established themselves as rulers. Some time after 1500 BC the Mitannikingdom extended its rule over much of northern Mesopotamia. The language of the kingdom was Hurrian but its rulers may have been of Aryan origin. Toward the end of the 15th century BC the city of Ashur in northern Mesopotamia a region that came to be known as Assyria began its rise. By 1350 BC the Assyrian empire was well-established and its kings conquered large areas from the Mitannikingdom the Kassites and the Hittites. Another Babylonian dynasty known as the 2nd dynasty of Isin revived the greatness of the Old Empire under Nebuchadrezzar I (c 1119-1098). Assyria reached new heights of power under Tiglath-pileser I (c 1115-1077) and Ashurnasirpal II (883-859). Between 746-727 BC the Neo-Assyrian empire formed and subdued the Aramaeans who had settled much of Babylonia and then conquered Urartu Syria Israel and other areas. The empire reached its after conquering Egypt in 671 and then the reign of Ashurbanipal (668-627) but its rapid decline came soon after attacks by the Medes Scythians and Babylonians. The Assyrian empire was crushed in 609. Babylon's Nebuchadrezzar II (605-561) is best known for his destruction of Jerusalem in 588/587 and his forcing of thousands of Jews into the "Babylonian exile." The Neo-Babylonian empire ended in 539 when Nabonidus surrendered to Cyrus II of Persia. Under the Persians and Alexander the Great Babylon was a rich capital. The Seleucid kings ruled Mesopotamia from about 312 BC until the middle of the 2nd century BC. In the 2nd century BC Mesopotamia became part of the Parthian empire. Human occupation of Mesopotamia began some time around 6000 BC. The prehistoric cultural stages of Hassuna-Samarra' and Halaf succeeded each other here before there is evidence of settlement in the south (Sumer). There the earliest settlements such as Eridu appear to have been founded around 5000 BC in the late Halafperiod. From then on the cultures of the north and south move through a succession of major archaeological periods that in their southern forms are known as UbaidWarka Protoliterate and Early Dynastic at the end of which -- shortly after 3000 BC -- recorded history begins. The historical periods of the 3rd millennium are in order: Akkad Gutium 3rd dynasty of Ur; those of the 2nd millennium: Isin-Larsa Old Babylonian Kassite and Middle Babylonian; and those of the 1st millennium: Assyrian Neo-Babylonian Achaemenian Seleucid and Parthian."
CATEGORY: term; geography DEFINITION: The specific and uniform local climate of a small site or habitat brought about by hills, slopes, woodland, lakes, or other features of the landscape. These features modify the general climate of the region. The term also is applied to any climatic condition in a relatively small area, within a few meters or less above and below the Earth's surface and within canopies of vegetation. The microclimates of a region are strongly tied to the average moisture, temperature, and winds of the climate and to latitude, elevation, and season. Weather and climate are sometimes, in turn, influenced by microclimatic conditions, especially by variations in surface characteristics. Wet ground, for example, promotes evaporation and increases humidity. The drying of bare soil, on the other hand, creates a surface crust that inhibits ground moisture from diffusing upward, which promotes the persistence of dry atmosphere. Microclimates control evaporation from surfaces and influence precipitation and so are important to the hydrologic cycle (the circulation of the Earth's waters). The effect of soil types on microclimates is considerable. Also strongly influencing the microclimate is the ability of the soil to absorb and retain moisture, which depends on the composition of the soil and its use.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: kitchen midden CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: Any large refuse heap, mound, or concentration of cultural debris associated with human occupation. The term includes such materials as discarded artifacts (e.g. broken pots and tools), food remains, shells, bones, charcoal and ashes, -- and may include the material in which the debris is encapsulated and modifications of this matrix. Midden debris usually contains decayed organic material, bonescrap, artifacts (broken and whole), and miscellaneous detritus. Middens are a valuable source of archaeological data. The long-term disposal of refuse can result in stratified deposits, which are useful for relative dating. Sometimes the midden is a dump or trash pile separate from the residential area, but more commonly among hunters and gatherers the houses are on top of the midden itself. Some of the largest shell middens were accumulated by shore-dwellers in Mesolithic Denmark.
CATEGORY: site; geography DEFINITION: Geographical term loosely applied to the area south of Luxor, especially to sites around Beni Hasan and Tell el Amarna, generally from Lisht to Panopolis. In Ptolemaic times, a heptanomis of seven nomes was formed in Middle Egypt.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A division of time in Andean/Peruvian South America, c 600-1000 AD, used to refer to the first imperialistic domination of area under the unifying forces of Tiahuanaco and Huari (Wari) cultures. It was the time of the first large-scale imperial expansions. During the first half of the Middle Horizon, in central Peru, the Huaricame to control the highlands and possibly the coast. The remains of large groups of food-storage buildings in the Huari strongholds suggest military activity like that of the late Inca. Huari is closely linked in its art style to the monuments of the great site of Tiahuanaco, located on Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. Tiahuanaco expanded over the altiplano and adjacent regions of Bolivia, southern Peru, and northern Chile. The principal buildings of Tiahuanaco include the Akapana Pyramid, a huge platform mound or stepped pyramid of earth faced with cut andesite; a rectangular enclosure known as the Kalasasaya, constructed of alternating tall stone columns and smaller rectangular blocks; and another enclosure known as the Palacio. They practiced the raised-fieldsystem of agriculture. Some Tiahuanacoeffigy vessels have been discovered at Huari, but otherwise they seem to have been independent entities. In the second half of the Middle Horizon, the political and economic systems slowly collapsed. The decline of these two states was followed by a period of more localized political power. The Late Intermediate Period began about 1000 AD.
Midwestern Taxonomic System
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: midwestern taxonomic system; McKern taxonomic system CATEGORY: term; technique DEFINITION: A hierarchical framework devised by William McKern in 1939 to systematize historical sequences in the Great Plains area of the United States, using the general principle of similarities between artifact assemblages. It was used to organize artifacts and sites in North America before World War II and is still in widespread use in modified form. One occupational unit of a particular culture was called a component. Related components were grouped into a focus, representing a cultureunit approximating a tribe. Related foci constituted a pattern, and related patterns constituted a base, the highest level in the system. Classification was based strictly on similarities between compared units without regard to their respective ages. Many of the names of cultures are still called foci and the standard definition of a component is a single unit of occupation. Most units formerly called foci are now called phases, which have temporal as well as descriptive meaning.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Movement of human populations from one area to another, usually resulting in cultural contact.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Greek settlement at the mouth of the Meander valley in Turkey (western Anatolia), inhabited from the 2nd millennium BC. By the beginning of the 1st millennium BC, it was an Ionian Greek city, colonizing Black Sea and Egyptian Delta areas in the 7th and 6th centuries BC. Miletus played an important role in the founding of the Greek colony of Naukratis in Egypt and founded more than 60 colonies on the shores of the Black Sea, including Abydos, Cyzicus, Sinope, Olbia, and Panticapaeum. Before 500 BC, Miletus was the greatest Greek city in the east. Miletus produced the classical historian Hecateus and the town planner Hippodamus. It was destroyed by the Persians in 494 BC and the new layout reflected Hippodamian planning. The city came under Athenian, Persian, Greek and (in 129 BC) Roman control. Impressive ruins survive nearby of the re-built Hellenistic Greek oracular temple of Apollo and a Roman theater. The harbor mouth was guarded by statues of lions. Subsequently, the harbor silted up and Miletus declined, but occupation continued into the early Byzantine period. In 263 AD, it survived an attack by the Goths and was refurbished by the emperor Diocletian. New Byzantine churches and monumental buildings were eventually erected within its boundaries. In the 10th century, the citadel was destroyed by an earthquake but was again rebuilt over the ancient ruins. The ruins occupy the former peninsula extending northward from the hill of Kalabak Tepe. Only one temple, from the 6th century BC, survives in part on Kalabak Tepe. To the south there are extensive remains of the classical city from the 5th century BC to Roman imperial times. The Hellenistic council house has some of the earliest known examples of true pilasters.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A stepperegion on the upper Yenisei River in southern Siberia, surrounded by forested mountains. Very large numbers of burial mounds of different periods exist in the area and some 40,000 bronze objects survive in collections -- presumably only a fraction of the number originally present. There were many mines in the Basin, worked as early as the 14th century BC.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A distinctive Middle Helladicpottery -- 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 Helladicculture, 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mississippi tradition CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: A group of cultures which arose in southeastern North America -- especially the central and lower Mississippi Valley -- after 700 AD into the historic period. It spread over a great area of the Southeast and the mid-continent, in the river valleys of what are now the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, with scattered extensions northward into Wisconsin and Minnesota and westward into the Great Plains. It stands in contrast to the Woodland Tradition with three new traits -- building of rectangular, flat-topped mounds as bases for temples; burial mounds becoming less prominent; and radical pottery changes (pulverized shell rather than grit used for temper). New pottery shapes and forms, such as olla, and new types of decoration (burnishing, painting) appeared. Maize became the predominant crop, accompanied by beans and squash, which supplemented hunting and gathering. The largest of the earthworks is Monks Mound, in the Cahokia Mounds near Collinsville, Illinois. The Mississippian is divided into the periods TempleMound I (700-1200 AD) and TempleMound II (1200-1700 AD). It was the last major cultural tradition in prehistoric North America. By the late 17th century, all the major centers had been abandoned.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A class of sites in places like Thailand, Cambodia, England, Ireland, and Flanders. In the first two, they are known from protohistoric and early historic sites and are settlements encircled by one or more irregular moats. In England, Ireland, and Flanders, they were built during the late medieval period. There was a tradition of building defensive moats around castles and manorial establishments and it was taken up by wealthy farmers later. In marshy areas, a moat provided an extra means of drainage when the climate was deteriorating and acted as a source of both dry-season water and edible aquatic flora and fauna.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Province of the Roman Empire in the lower Danube area, extending from Serbia to the mouth of the Danube and between Dacia and Thracia. Moesia was conquered by Marcus Licinius Crassus in 30-28 BC and became a Roman province in 15 AD. In the 1st century AD, a series of defensive walls and forts in southern Romania were built to guard the Moesia-Dacia frontier. Moesia was fairly prosperous because of the wheat from the Black Sea area. Agriculture and fruit-growing flourished, and there was mineral wealth in the Balkan Mountains. The province suffered heavily from barbarian invasions in the 3rd century AD, and when Dacia was abandoned about 270, its inhabitants were largely transferred to Moesia. Moesia remained part of the Eastern Roman Empire until the 7th century.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A prehistoriccivilization that existed from before 500 BC to approximately 1400 AD in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico in the Mogollon Highlands. Its roots lie in the Cochise version of the Desert Culture in this area, but the Mogollon folk were settled agriculturists who lived in villages of pit houses; they were also strongly influenced by the Anasazi and Hohokam. Evidence of maize and bean horticulture found at Bat Cave dates to earlier than 2000 BC, but unequivocally characteristic traits, such as plain brown pottery, do not appear until 300 BC. Although the tradition was agriculturally based, hunting and gathering continued to play some part in subsistence activities. Before c 1000 AD, typical communities were small villages of pit houses, located in easily defensible positions such as high mesas. Larger villages often included a communal assembly building (possibly early kiva) and sometimes fortifications. From c 1000 AD, the Mogollon people came under the influence of their northern neighbors, the Anasazi, and began to build pueblos. To this late period belongs some of the finest pottery of the American southwest, Mimbresware, painted with stylized black animals on a white background. The culture is chronologically divided on the basis of architectural and pottery changes (Pine Lawn period, about 200 BC-AD 500; Georgetown period, 500-700; San Francisco period, 700-900; Three Circle period, 900-1050; and Mimbresperiod, 1050-1200). Unlike the Anasazi culture, the Mogollon culture did not survive as a recognizable group of modern Native Americans. Remnants of the Mogollon may have merged with Anasazi peoples to become what is known as the Western Pueblo people. The tradition has a number of regional variants: Mimbres, Pine Lawn, Upper Little Colorado, Forestdale, and Point of Pines.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The type site of an earlier Bronze Age group in the lowland Banat, dated to the early 2nd millennium BC. Located near Kikinda (north Yugoslavia), it has a large cemetery with over 300 graves. The graves are organized in 11 lines radiating from the central area, a possible indication of family groupings. Some rich graves have gold ornaments and imported metal objects.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A high-altitudearea in the central Great Basin (Nevada); the location of Gatecliff Shelter.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mosaic work CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A technique of decoration used mainly on floors or walls involving the setting of small colored fragments of stone, tile, mineral, shell, or glass, each called a tessera (plural tesserae), in a cement or adhesive matrix. Mosaic also refers to a tesselated area, often of complex designs and, possibly, inscriptions. Mosaic floors were made from small squares, triangles, or other regular shapes up to an inch in size. They were laid in cement to form designs, figures of animals, or classical figures representing the seasons, etc. Old limestone would be used for white and various reds, browns, or grays from baked clays. Glass, too, was sometimes incorporated. The earliest known mosaics date from the 8th century BC and are made of pebbles, a technique refined by Greek craftsmen in the 5th century BC. Greek mosaics were simple pebble floors and then became more complex and sophisticated under Macedonian kings. Mosaics are known from Pompeii and Rome, Tivoli, Aquileia, and Ostia -- as well as Africa, Antioch, Sicily, and Britain. Under the Roman Empire, the achievements of the 5th-6th century Byzantine artists at Ravenna are impressive. An excellent collection of mosaics from Pompeii may be seen in the Mueo Nazionale at Naples, and a good selection of Imperial Roman provincial work may be seen at the Museum of Le Bardo, outside modern Tunis, Tunisia. Pre-Columbian American Indians favored mosaics of semiprecious stones such as garnet and turquoise and mother-of-pearl. These were normally used to encrust small objects such as shields, masks, and cult statues. Mosaic as an art form has most in common with painting. It represents a design or image in two dimensions. It is also, like painting, a technique appropriate to large-scale surface decoration.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arabic: masjid CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Any house or open area of prayer in Islam. The earliest mosques were simple enclosures, imitating the courtyard of the Prophet Muhammad's house at Medina of the 7th century AD. Most mosques have large areas, partly covered and partly open, where the community meets for prayer. Mosques usually, but not always, faceMecca, the direction of which (qibla) is indicated by a niche (mihrab) at the center of the end wall. To the right, there is a stepped pulpit (minbar). Outside the mosque, the most prominent feature is the minaret(s) (manar), usually towers, from which the muezzin gives the call to prayer. Schools and libraries are frequently attached to mosques. In some cases a maktab (elementary school) is attached to a mosque, mainly for the teaching of the Qur'an, and informal classes in law and doctrine are given for people of the surrounding neighborhood.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mousterian industry CATEGORY: culture; chronology; artifact DEFINITION: A Middle Paleolithic culture that is defined by the development of a wide variety of specialized tools made with prepared-coreknapping techniques, such as spear points. It is named for the first such artifacts recovered from the lower rock shelter at Le Moustier, Dordogne, France. Stone tools, scrapers, and points found in the cave came to be recognized as the flintindustry present throughout Europe during first half of last glaciation (Würm) and associated with Neanderthal. The earliest Mousterian goes back to the Riss glaciation, but most of it comes into the late middle Würm glaciation, giving a total lifespan from 180,000 BC until c 30,000 BP. Flintwork of Mousteriantype (with racloirs, triangular points made on flakes, and -- in some variants -- well-made handaxes) has been found over most of the unglaciated parts of Eurasia, as well as in the Near East and North Africa (in the latter two areas, it constitutes the Middle Palaeolithic). Three major regional variants have been identified -- West, East, and Levalloiso-Mousterian, each with sub-groups. In certain industries, called Levalloiso-Mousterian, the tools were made on flakes produced by the Levallois technique. It was a progressive stage in the manufacture of stone tools. Mousterian peoples mainly lived in cave mouths and rock shelters.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The main ceremonial and residential center of the ruling dynasties of Tongatapu, Tonga, held by tradition to have been in use from the 11th century AD. The site has a corearea of 400 x 500 meters defended by an earthwork, and contains numerous house platforms and tombs (Langi). According to tradition, it became the residence of the Tui Tongadynasty about 1200 AD and the defenses were built about 1400 AD.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A deeply stratified site in northwest Wyoming, containing 38 distinct cultural levels from which a series of radiocarbon dates was taken. There is evidence of intermittent occupation from at least 7300 BC-1580 AD. Subsistence activities were not based on the Big Game Hunting Tradition normally associated with the Plains area, but was a general hunting and gathering lifestyle. The cave is named for the desiccated body of an adult male who died there some 1200 years ago.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site occupied in the PPNB phase, located on a high terrace of the River Jordan in Israel, with a radiocarbon date of c 7200 BC. Several different building phases are documented and the architecture is characterized by plastered areas and raised stone platforms; earlier rectangular buildings were later replaced by round ones. Sickle blades, querns, grindstones, and pestles suggest that wild cereals were harvested. After a hiatus in occupation, there were three ceramic phases: the Yarmukian, with semi-sunken round huts; the Munhataphase with similar structures, and the Wadi Rabah phase with rectangular houses.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cemetery of the Early and Middle La Tène Iron Age in Berne, Switzerland. The 200+ graves were commonly lined with stone and contained coffins. The typology of the grave goods, especially the brooches, has provided the basis for the detailed subdivision of the La Tène period in this area.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The type site for a regional group of the Hungarian Early Bronze Age; the initial culture in the tripartitesequence 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 potteryform is the one- or two-handled cup with tall funnel neck in black burnished ware.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: temple sanctuary; naoi = plural CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A shrine, usually monolithic, in which the image of an Egyptian deity was kept, especially in temple sanctuaries. A small wooden naos was normally placed inside a monolithic one in hard stone; the latter are typical of the Late Period, and sometimes elaborately decorated. The largest naoi are those where a temple's main cult statue was kept, in the sanctuary. A naos generally took the form of a rectangular chest or box hewn from a single block of wood or stone, and could also be used as a container for a funerary statue or mummified animal. Egyptian 'naophorous statues/ portrayed the subject holding a shrine, sometimes containing a divine image. The term is also used for the interior apartment of a Greek temple (a Greek temple placed within a temenos) or the cella of the Roman temple. In Classical architecture, it is the body of a temple (as distinct from the portico) in which the image of the deity is housed. In early Greek and Roman architecture it was a simple room, usually rectangular, with the entrance at one end and with the side walls often being extended to form a porch. In larger temples, where the cella is open to the sky, a small temple was sometimes placed within. In the Byzantine architectural tradition the naos was preserved as the area of a centrally planned church, including the core and the sanctuary, where the liturgy is performed.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Neapolis CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Naples was founded about 600 BC as Neapolis (New City") by Greek settlers close to the more ancient Palaepolis. Both towns were extensions of Greek colonies on the nearby island of Pithecusa (now Ischia) and at Cumae on the adjacent mainland. The principal Greek city of Campania southern Italy it was only of modest size and importance during the Roman period. Earlier occupation of this fertile location framed on one edge by Mount Vesuvius and by the sulphurous plains of the 'Phlegraean Fields' on the other is extremely likely. It was taken over by the Romans in 326 BC. Among the traces that still survive of the Greco-Roman city stretches of Greek city walling have been identified in several areas and a portion of 6th-7th century BC necropolis located in the Pizzofalcone region. A 700-meter tunnel on the Via Puteolana joiningNaples and Puteoli was originally constructed by Augustus' architect Cocceius. Under the empire Naples and its environs served as a center of Greek culture and erudition and as a pleasure resort for a succession of emperors and wealthy Romans whose coastal villas extended from Misenum on the Gulf of Pozzuoli (the ancient Puteoli) to the Sorrentine peninsula. The Museo Archeologico Nazionale contains an extensive collection of Campanian antiquities and much material from Pompeii and Herculaneum."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Nubt, Ombos; Nagada CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Upper Egypt which produced the first evidence of the Neolithic in Egypt and provided the framework for the Predynastic sequence of the area. Its large Predynastic cemetery yielded some 2,000 burials of the Amratian and Gerzean periods. Naqada I was the Predynastic culture of ancient Egypt and Naqada II had new features accounted for by direct imports and by increasing cultural contact with the rest of the Near East, particularly Mesopotamia.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Important Pastoral Neolithic settlement site near Narok in southern Kenya, occupied between the 9th-5th centuries BC. Post-holes suggest the presence of semi-permanent structures of some kind, and the site appears to have covered an area of at least 8000 square meters. A backed microlithindustry in obsidian was accompanied by ground stone axes, burins, stone bowls, and pottery with comb-stamped and incised decoration of a type also found on many other Pastoral Neolithic sites and known as Narosuraware. The animal bones recovered were of mainly domestic species; there is no conclusive evidence for the practice of agriculture.
Natal Early Iron Age
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A South African province of Natal which has traces of the furthest southeastern extension of the Early Iron Age complex of sub-Saharan Africa, which has been linked with the dispersal of peoples speaking Bantu languages. Evidence for Early Iron Age settlement is found in the fertile areas of the lower river valleys and dates from about the 4th century AD. Closely related sites are known from the Transvaal, as at Broederstroom and Lydenburg.
CATEGORY: culture; language DEFINITION: Athabascanlanguage group people of United States southwest. Their intrusion from Northwestern subarctic areas of Canada, c 900-1200 AD, helped bring about the abandonment of Pueblos in Anasazisubarea. They were probably aided by groups of Apache Indians, also Athabascans, moving into southwest at that time. The Navajo speak an Apachean language, which, like the language of their Apache cousins, is classified in the Athabascanfamily.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: The central and principal part of a Christian church. It extended from the entrance (the narthex) to the transepts (transverse aisle crossing the nave in front of the sanctuary in a cruciform church) or, in the absence of transepts, to the chancel (area around the altar). More simply, the middle part or body of a church between the aisles, extending from the choir to the principal entrance.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The earliest Greek colony in Sicily, founded by Chalcidians under Theocles (Thucles) about 734 BC. It lay on the east coast, south of Tauromenium, on what is now Cape Schisò. The adoption of the name of Naxos, after the island in the Aegean Sea, indicates there were Naxians among its founders. It soon founded other colonies at Leontini and Catana. After 461 BC, Naxos was in opposition to Syracuse, allied with Leontini (427) and Athens (415). In 403 BC, it was destroyed by Dionysius I, tyrant of Syracuse, and its territory given to the Sicels. Its Greek exiles at last found refuge in 358 at Tauromenium. Scanty traces of its walls are to be seen; there is evidence in the area for Neolithic huts, Bronze Age settlement, and a sanctuary area assigned to Aphrodite. Pottery is often distinctive in style, with Euboean and Cycladic reminiscences, and a potters' quarter (vicinity of Colle Salluzzo) with kilns, depositories, and antefix molds. Naxos coins (6th-5th centuries BC) carry a bearded Dioynysus with ivy, vine, and grape decoration, while later examples have his companion in revelry, Sinenus, who also on the local terra-cotta antefixes.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Neandertal, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, Neanderthals CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An early form of Homo sapiens that inhabited much of Europe and the Mediterranean area during the late Pleistocene Epoch, about 100,000 to 35,000 years ago. Neanderthal remains have also been found in the Middle East, North Africa, and western Central Asia. This type of fossil human that is a subspecies of Homo sapiens and is distinguished by a low broad braincase, continuous arched brow ridges, projecting occipital region, short limbs, and large joints; his brain was as large as modern man's. His flintwork, which in North Africa and Eurasia was of Middle Palaeolithic (Mousterian) type, was technically more advanced than anything which had gone before (scrapers and points), and the careful burial of dead with funerary offerings provides the oldest surviving evidence for religious beliefs. Neanderthals mainly lived in caves. They used fire and hunted small and medium-sized animals (e.g. goats, deer) and scavenged from the kills of large carnivores. The oldest skeletal remains belong to the Riss-Würm interglacialperiod, but Neanderthal man persisted through the earlier stage of the succeeding Würm glaciation until he was replaced by modern man. This replacement probably took place between 40,000-35,000 BC, but the scarcity of skeletal evidence from the period makes it impossible to give a more precise date. The manner of this replacement is also in doubt. Neanderthal man is sometimes classified as a distinct species of the genus Homo, but has also been considered as falling within the same species as Homo sapiens, whose ancestor he may have been. The species is named after its typearea in Neanderthal, a valley near Düsseldorf in Germany, where skeletal remains of this type of human were first found in 1856.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: nearest-neighbor statistic CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method of analyzing the extent to which two-dimensionally located points are randomly distributed; a measure of the relationship between a cluster of points in a pattern based on the expected value and the observed value. The statistic equals observed value divided by expected value. This method of analyzing the degree of dispersion in a distributionpattern was first developed by plant ecologists studying the concentration of certain species. A nearest-neighbor index (usually denoted by the symbol R), is calculated from the ratio of the average observed distance from each point in the pattern to its nearest neighbor, to the average distance expected if the pattern were randomly distributed, which depends solely on the density of the pattern being studied. The index R varies from 0.00 for a totally clustered pattern through 1.00 for a random distribution to a maximum of 2.15 for a completely regularly spaced pattern. The index is influenced by the size of the study area chosen; it is therefore essential to select a relevant framework for the distribution being studied. With any boundary, however, it is possible for the index to be distorted by the 'boundary effect' to give a figure closer to the maximum than would be justified; this arises because the nearest neighbors of points near to the boundary may in fact lie beyond the boundary and hence not be properly counted, thus increasing the figure for the observed mean distance. It is also essential that the points in the pattern being analyzed are of the same date and similar function, and that the pattern should be complete. The index R describes only a part of the total pattern and can serve as a useful basis for asking more detailed questions about the factors that underlie the observed pattern. The technique has been useful to archaeologists studying the distribution of sites over a landscape and their relation to each other.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A cemetery or burial place, often near a town, the Greek word for a city of the dead". It refers to Egyptian cemeteries from all periods and includes the Valley of the Kings Giza and Saqqara. 'Necropolis' normally describes large and important burial areas that were in use for long periods 'cemetery' smaller and more homogeneous sites; cemeteries may also be subdivisions of a necropolis."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: resist dyeing; resist-dye CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A technique of potterydecoration used in many parts of the Americas in which a designarea is covered with a paint-resistant substance (wax, gum, clay) and then dipped in paint or dye, dried, and fired. The pot might be either smoked or dipped into a black wash. The dark coating is unable to reach those areas of the surface protected by the resistant substance, and when the resistant substance is removed, the pattern stands out in the original color against the black background.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: neolithic, New Stone Age CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The period of prehistory when people began to use ground stone tools, cultivate plants, and domesticate livestock but before the use of metal for tools. It is the technical name for the New Stone Age in the Old World following the Mesolithic. In the Neolithic, villages were established, pottery and weaving appeared, and farming began. The Neolithic began about 8000-7000 BC in the Middle East and about 4000-3000 BC in Europe. It was followed by the Bronze Age, which began about 3500-3000 BC in the Middle East and about 2000-1500 BC in Europe. The criteria for defining" the Neolithic has become progressively more difficult to apply as both food production and metalworking took a long time to develop. In Britain the Neolithic has other more specific characteristics: the use of pottery and of ground stone (beside the long-employed flaked stone) and the appearance of construction works like the long barrow causewayed camp and megalithic tomb. Elsewhere however some Mesolithic cultures made use of pottery in Japan for example; and certain so-called pre-potteryNeolithic groups had none as at Jericho. If the term Neolithic is to be retained at all it must be based on the appearance of food production (especially cereal grains) sometimes called the Neolithic revolution commencing in southwest Asia 9000-6000 BC. This might be considered the most important single advance ever made by man since it allowed him to settle permanently in one spot. This in turn encouraged the accumulation of material possessions stimulated trade and by giving a storable surplus of food allowed a larger population and craft specialization. All these were prerequisite to further human progress. The Neolithic was followed by the Mesolithicperiod the Chalcolithic or the Bronze Age depending on the terminology used in different areas and the nature of the archaeological sequence itself. The Neolithic followed the PaleolithicPeriod."
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.
New Guinea Highlands
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of Oceania which was unknown until the 1930s and whose population is Melanesian speakers of Papuan languages. Its prehistory goes back at least 26,000 years and supported agricultural systems dating back at least 6000 years.
CATEGORY: culture; chronology DEFINITION: A period of Egyptian history comprising the 18th-20th Dynasties, c 1550-1070 BC. It was the period following the expulsion of Asiatic Hyksos rulers and the subsequent reunification by Thutmose I-IV, Amenhotep, Akhenaten, Tutankhamun, and Ramesses I-XI. The Egyptian army pushed beyond the traditional frontiers of Egypt into Syria-Palestine. The Theban conquerors established the 18th Dynasty (1550-1295 BC), creating a great empire under a succession the rulers bearing the names Thutmose and Amenhotep. The newly reunified land had a stronger economy, supplemented by resources of empire in Nubia and western Asia. To this period belongs much of the monumental architecture of Egypt. From the beginning of the New Kingdom, temples of the gods became the principal monuments; royal palaces and private houses, which are very little known, were less important. Temples and tombs were stone with reliefdecoration on their walls and were filled with stone and wooden statuary, inscribed and decorated stelae (freestanding small stone monuments), and, in their inner areas, composite works of art in precious materials.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The longest river in Africa and the world, stretching for 6741 km, rising in highlands south of the equator and flowing northward through northeastern Africa to drain into the Mediterranean Sea. Its waters and fertile flood-plain allowed Egyptian civilization to develop in the deserts of northeastern Africa. The Nile River basin covers about one-tenth of the area of the African continent. Three rivers flow in from the south: Blue Nile, White Nile, and Atbara. The southern section between Aswan and Khartoum interrupted by six 'cataracts' consisting of a series of rapids and corresponding to the land of Nubia. The first use of the Nile for irrigation in Egypt began when seeds were sown in the mud left after the river's annual floodwaters had subsided and it has supported continuous human settlement for at least 5000 years.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Later Iron age cemeterysite on the southwestern shore of Lake Malawi (formerly Lake Nyasa), probably dating to the late 18th-early 19th centuries AD. The abundant grave goods may reflect the material culture in the area at a time of increasing slave-raiding and coastal trade.
Noah's Ark model
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: replacement hypothesis CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A theory that modern humans originated in a single area of Africa and spread throughout the world, replacing other, more archaic, human types. This view is supported by the so-called Eve" theory which postulates that all modern humans are descended from a common mother. The opposing hypothesis is often called the candelabra model."
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Figures carved in soapstone by the Mende in Sierra Leone, which were set up in shelters to protect the crop. The figures are similar in style and are thought to be similar in date to ivories carved in the 16th century for Portuguese traders in the adjacent Sherbro area.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: nonprobabilistic sampling CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A non-statistical sampling strategy (in contrast to probabilistic sampling) which concentrates on sampling areas on the basis of intuition, historical documentation, or long field experience in the area. It is the acquisition of sampledata based on informal criteria or personal judgment. It does not allow evaluation of how representative the sample is with respect to the datapopulation.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: non-probabilistic sampling CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A non-statistical sampling strategy (in contrast to probabilistic sampling) which concentrates on sampling areas on the basis of intuition, historical documentation, or long field experience in the area. It is the acquisition of sampledata based on informal criteria or personal judgment. It does not allow evaluation of how representative the sample is with respect to the datapopulation.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Peoples from the Baltic who arrived in Britain in Neolithic times, who originated from southern Russia. They settled in western areas of England and were one of the two main Neolithic groups.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Iron Age polity (kingdom) in the eastern Alps, with its seat in Magdalensberg, Austria. The region comprised modern central Austria and parts of Bavaria. Earlier Illyrian in culture, the regioncame under Celtic influence from the 3rd century BC, and the name Noricum is thought by some to derive from the Celtic Norici centered around Noreia. Becoming a Celtic kingdom, with reasonably friendly relations with Rome, it became a province about 15 BC. With wealth derived from its mineral resources (iron and gold), it was able to develop a markedly Romanized culture (evident from Latin legends on coins and other Latin inscriptions). Five of its communities were made into Roman municipia by the emperor Claudius (reigned 41-54 AD), and the province supplied many soldiers for legions and the Praetorian Guard. The capital was at Virunum in the Klagenfurt area. The area was sub-divided into two provinces by the emperor Diocletian c 300 AD; Roman rule finally collapsed with German incursions in the 5th century. It was linked to the Italian peninsula through trade; mining and ironworking were important.
Northwest Coast tradition
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A series of prehistoric groups of the northern California coast, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and southeastern Alaska, with origins in the Fraser River delta and clearly established by 1000 BC. Their subsistence was based on hunting and gathering of riverine and marine food sources (mollusks, salmon, halibut, sea mammals). Characteristics in the archaeological record include bone and slate hunting tools, stoneeffigycarving, and woodworking tools. Totem poles and elaborately carved long houses are still a cultural feature in the area.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: notched (adj.) CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A flaked U- or V-shaped indentation; matching indentations in the pointbasearea or corners or sides
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Site of a fishingsettlement 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, boneharpoon 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Yam, Irem, Ta-sety, Kush CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: That area south of ancient Egypt proper which extends from the Nile Valley from Aswan and the first cataract as far south as the Khartoum district in the Sudan, east to the Red Sea and west to the Libyan Desert. It was conventionally divided into Upper and Lower Nubia. Most of the Egyptian section was submerged under Lake Nasser since the Aswan High Dam completion in 1971. Defined 'corridor to Africa', Nubia was a crucial trading conduit from 4th millennium BC until Middle Ages. The southern part of it to the southern end of the second cataract of the Nile was called Cush (Kush) under the 18th-dynasty pharaohs of ancient Egypt and called Ethiopia by the ancient Greeks. The northern part of the region, up to the first cataract of Aswan, was called Wawat.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Under the Roman Republic and Empire, a part of Africa north of the Sahara, the boundaries of which at times corresponded roughly with those of modern Algeria and western part of Tunisia, excluding the area of Carthage. Its earliest inhabitants were divided into tribes and clans and were racially indistinguishable from the other Berber inhabitants of early North Africa. From the 6th century BC, points along the coast were occupied by the Carthaginians, who by the 3rd century BC had expanded into the interior as far as Theveste (Tébessa). Numidians were frequently found in the Carthaginian armies by that time. Their leader, Maninissa (240-148 BC), was largely responsible for the spread of Phoenicianculture into this area, and who by skillful management of his link with Rome was able to bring greatly increased prosperity and stability to his community. After 146 BC, thousands of Carthaginians fled to Numidia after the destruction of Carthage. This kingdom, formed by nomads, was converted into a Roman province (Africa Nova) in 46 BC and its chief city was Cirta. Numidia seems to have grown wine and olives very successfully on the plain, and horses and sheep were reared on higher ground. Caesar formed a new province, Africa Nova, from Numidian territory, and Augustus united Africa Nova (New Africa") with Africa Vetus ("Old Africa the province surrounding Carthage); but a separate province of Numidia was formally created by Septimius Severus. There are remains at Lambaesis, Timgad, and Theveste.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural oases CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: A fertile patch in a desert. There are five major oases in western Egypt: Siwa, Bahariya, Farafra, Dakhla, and Kharga. Except for some Old Kingdom and First Intermediate settlements in Dakhla, most of the oases were probably not occupied until the 1st millennium BC. Two-thirds of the total population of the Sahara are sedentary peoples living in oases and these areas have vegetative growth. In all Saharan oases the date palm constitutes the main source of food, while in its shade are grown citrus fruits, figs, peaches, apricots, vegetables, and cereals such as wheat, barley, and millet.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hyalopsite, Iceland agate, mountain mahogany CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A jet-black to gray, naturally occurring volcanic glass, formed by rapid cooling of viscous lava. It was often used as raw material for the manufacture of stone tools and was very popular as a superior form of flint for flaking or as it is easily chipped to form extremely sharp edges. Obsidian breaks with a conchoidal fracture and is easily chipped into precise and delicate forms. It was very widely traded from the anciently exploited sources in Hungary, Sardinia, Lipari of Sicily, Melos in the Aegean, central and eastern Anatolia, Mexico, etc. Chemical analysis of their trace elements now allows most of the sources to be distinguished (especially by neutron activation and x-ray fluorescence spectrometry), so that the pattern of trade spreading out from each can be traced. Two dating methods have been applied to obsidian: obsidian hydration dating and fission track dating. In Europe, obsidian was exploited extensively from c 6000-3000 BC; after 3000 BC it generally went out of favor for everyday purposes (perhaps as a result of competition from metal tools) but it continued to be used for prestige objects in some areas, especially by the Minoans and Mycenaeans. Obsidian has been quarried and traded by western Melanesians since at least 19,000 bp, with the earliest-used and most important source being that at Talasea on New Britain. Obsidian was also an important trade item in Mesoamerica.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: living floor CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A layer in which an original deposit is preserved as it existed when the site was abandoned. The term describes any layer of in situ accumulation of domestic refuse and other debris resulting from occupation of an area of a site by man.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A group of five sites in Arnhem Land, northern Australia (Padypadiy, Nawamoyn, Malangangerr, Tyimede I and II). Similar tool assemblages dating from 20,000-3000 BC show up at Malanganerr, Nawamoyn, Tyimede II -- thick flake scrapers with steep edges, horsehoof cores, stone hammers, grinders, and waisted or grooved ground-edge axes. The ground-edge axes found at Malangangerr and Nawamoyn in levels dated to 20,000-16,000 BC are the oldest examples of edge-grinding known in Australia. The sudden appearance of estuarine species in shell middens of 5000-4000 BC in the Malangangerr and Nawamoyn deposits reflect rising sea levels. About 2000 years later, at all five sites, small stone points and scrapers appeared and continued until the present. There is also much bark painting in the area.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ogam, ogam, Ogham, ogum; Pictish symbol stones CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A Celtic script used for writing in northwest Europe, probably created in the 2nd-3rd centuries AD, and used for writing Irish and Pictish languages. The alphabet has 20 letters represented by tally marks on either side of or crossing a horizontal baseline. The script is better suited for carving on stone (or possibly wood) than for writing in ink. It is believed to have originated in Ireland or south Wales as a secret script and it spread throughout the Celtic areas for use on memorial stones. It is also found associated with the symbols and carvings of the Picts, who used it till the 9th century. Ogham is used on memorial pillar stones in the Celtic regions of Britain, usually consisting of no more than the name and descent of the dead man. It was often the custom, particularly in the south and west in Wales and Cornwall, to provide a translation in Latin minuscule and this has proved important for the translation and dating of ogham. Of the more than 375 ogham inscriptions known, about 300 are from Ireland.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A late prehistoric deep-sea fishingculture of the coastal areas of northern and eastern Hokkaido, Sakhalin, and the Kurile Islands, Japan. It coexisted with the Satsumonculture from about 800-1300 AD, and then disappeared. The hunter-fishermen also kept pigs and lived in distinctive hexagonal pit houses.
Old Bering Sea Culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Old Bering Sea stage CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An Eskimo subculture that settled in northern Alaska and northeast Siberia between 1500-2000 years ago, and is best known for its ivory objects. The earliest sites were in Bering Strait area and the major type site is on St. Lawrence Island. It is an early manifestation of the western Arctic Thuletradition, often linked with the possibly contemporaneous Okvikculture. Although both share similar traits -- a highly evolved art style, polished slate tools and pottery -- the relationship between the two is still uncertain. The art style appears to have flourished between 100-500 AD.
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 stoneuse. There is general agreement that 1500 BC represents the terminal date.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Rock shelter in Kent, England, with a collection of tools of Mousterian of Acheuliantype tools. These tools, including bifaces and flake tools, are more abundant than in any other British Mousteriansite. It is one of the few areas of Britain with caves suitable for occupation during the Palaeolithic.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Important Lower Palaeolithic site south of Nairobi in southern Kenya; the area of Mount Olorgesailie was where the Rift Valley was first recognized. It had an informative Earlier Stone Age Acheulianindustry with hand axes, cleavers, and other stone artifacts dating to 900,000-700,000 years ago. Baboons were hunted in large numbers.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: area excavation; open-area excavation, extensive excavation CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The opening up of large horizontal areas for excavation, used especially where single period deposits lie close to the surface. It is the excavation of as large an area as possible without the intervention of balks and a gridsystem. This technique allows the recognition of much slighter traces of ancient structures than other methods. On multi-period sites, however, it calls for much more meticulous recording since the stratigraphy is revealed one layer at a time. In this method of excavation, the full horizontal extent of a site is cleared and large areas are open while preserving a stratigraphic record in the balks between large squares. A gradual vertical probe may then take place. This method is often used to uncover houses and prehistoricsettlement patterns.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural oppida CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A Roman term, coined by Caesar, for the fortified Celtic towns he found in his campaigns in Gaul in 58-51 BC. The Roman oppidum was a town which served as administrative center for its surrounding area, or, in the provinces, was a community of Roman citizens, either Italian immigrants or enfranchised natives. The term is now used for comparable sites in Celtic territory, from Spain and Britain to the Carpathians. Celtic oppida of the 2nd and 1st centuries BC were large permanent settlements, usually of hillforttype, the first true towns in Europe north of the Alps. Oppida also served as centers for trade, industry, market, craft production, and religion.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Mosaic technique that involves the use of tesserae (small cubes of stone, marble, glass, ceramic, or other hard material) of uniform size applied to a ground to form pictures and ornamental designs. Opus tessellatum was the most commonly used technique in the production of Hellenistic, Roman, early Christian, and Byzantine mosaics. Opus tessellatum came to be used for entire mosaic floors in most areas of the eastern Mediterranean by at least the beginning of the 2nd century BC. The earliest mosaics in opus tessellatum were composed of stone and marble tesserae, but, in the course of the 2nd century, tesserae of colored glass were introduced. In the Hellenistic period (3rd to 1st centuries BC), pictorial mosaics were made in opus tessellatum; more commonly, however, opus tessellatum was reserved for decorative borders surrounding emblemata, or central figural panels executed in opus vermiculatum, a finer mosaic work using much smaller tesserae. In the 1st century AD, figural opus tessellatum was increasingly used to cover whole floors. With the widespread use of monumental wall mosaics, opus tessellatum entirely replaced opus vermiculatum, being much better suited, with its large tesserae and rougher visual effect, for viewing at a distance. Glass tesserae were used almost exclusively for these wall mosaics, and glass opus tessellatum remained the common mosaic technique throughout the Middle Ages.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Arausio CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A colonia in southern France, established under Augustus' rule (27 BC-14 AD) which became a prosperous city. In the pre-Roman period, the area was occupied by rich, powerful Celtic tribes who appreciated its strategic position on the Rhône River. The semicircular theater, probably built during the reign of Augustus, is the best preserved of its kind. The tiered benches, which rise on the slopes of a slight hill, originally seated 1100. The magnificent wall at the back of the theater is 334 feet (102 m) long and 124 feet (38 m) high. An imposing statue of Augustus, about 12 feet (3.7 m) high, stands in the wall's central niche. Orange also has the Triumphal Arch of Tiberius (c 20 AD) that is one of the largest built by the Romans; standing c 61 feet (19 m) high, its sculptures show the victories of Julius Caesar. A lime kiln near the theater has produced fragments which document various local land surveys and, in particular, describe the terms of confiscation and redistribution that were applied at the time of the original founding of the colonia. In the 5th century, Arausio was pillaged by the Visigoths.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ibero-Maurusian CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: North African culture of late Upper Palaeolithictype, with many backed blades and some microliths. A few inland sites are known, but most are concentrated along the Mediterranean littoral from Cyrenaica (the Haua Fteah) to Morocco. The time range is c 12,000-8000 BC. It is contemporary with the Capsian, though the Capsian sites are all inland, whereas the Oranian has a coastal distribution. Both are microlithic tool complexes that persisted after the introduction of Neolithic traits into the area.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: The dancing floor area for the chorus between the stage and the audience in an ancient theater. It was the lowest part of the Greek and Roman theaters and contained an altar, on which sacrifices to Bacchus were sometimes made. When permanent theaters were built, the orchestra was where the acting took place; actors gained access by means of a parados.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Northern Zone CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The desert region in the northward loop of the Yellow River (Huang Ho) in northern China, the location of the PalaeolithicOrdosculture. From 8th century BC, the region was inhabited by seminomadic tribes, among them the Hsiung-Nu, threatening the Chou Dynasty and the Han Dynasty. Broad bronze daggers, curved knives, pole finials, harness ornaments, and animal-stylebronzebelt plaques are characteristic of the 1st millennium BC ('the Ordos bronzes'). The pictorial or narrative compositions common among these plaques, many including human figures, are typical also of Sarmatian metalwork. The distinctive metal culture of the Ordos reaches back as far as the latter part of the 2nd millennium BC, a date fixed by the discovery at Anyang of knives with animal-head pommels closely related to Ordos types. Owing to its position on the northern frontier of China, the Ordos was probably the main channel by which Chinese influences were transmitted to the steppes; it was also the route by which foreign elements reached China, especially during Eastern Chou and Han dynasties. An Upper Palaeolithicsite (Sjara Osso Gol) yielded a microlithic industry. In the 1970s and '80s, Chinese scientists unearthed more than 20 human fossils from 30,000-60,000 years old at Hsiao-ch'iao-pan in the Sjara-Osso River valley. The terms Ordos man and Ordosian culture are applied to their findings. The area is now referred to as the Northern Zone.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Ostia Antica CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Major Roman port and colony at the mouth of the Tiber River, founded in the 4th century BC. Towards end of 4th century BC, a rectangular fort was constructed, securing Rome's interest in trade routes through Ostia; the town was for a long time effectively the port of ancient Rome. It grew until 78 BC when it was destroyed in the Roman civil wars. It was later rebuilt by Sulla with a forum and capitolium. Claudius (41-54 AD) and Trajan (98-117 AD) had two harbors built at Portus, immediately north of Ostia. The 2nd century AD proved to be a period of unprecedented prosperity, which has left the most plentiful traces in today's ruins. The new harbors were largely administered through Ostia, and presumably much of the workforce chose to live at Ostia. Large brick apartment blocks were built in 1st-2nd centuries AD. They were of three, four, and five stories; the floors in these buildings were paved with mosaic and the walls elaborately painted. The second century also saw the construction of an aqueduct, imperial suites of public baths, and synagogue. The need for depositories and warehouses (horrea) became very important. The increase in trade brought prosperity to many areas of the city. In a double colonnade behind the theater, a large number of small offices housed agencies for all the major shipping destinations and types of trade. In the city, over 800 shops are known. Third century AD political instability at Rome combined with an economic recession brought a general decline in shipping. Constantine preferred Portus to Ostia, so it became a seaside-resort with expensive houses. Even with that use, the area declined from barbarian raids in the 5th century. It was abandoned after the erection of Gregoriopolis, site of Ostia Antica, by Pope Gregory IV (827-844). The Roman ruins were quarried for building materials in the Middle Ages and for sculptors' marble in the Renaissance. Archaeological excavation was begun in the 19th century under papal authority, and about two-thirds of the Roman town can now be seen.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: One of three associated ceramicseries in the Greater Antilles area. Seen as transitional to Chicoid and Meillacoid, the Ostionoid appears in c 650 AD in Puerto Rico, where it overlays Saladoid materials. Vessels are generally smooth, finished in red monochrome slip, often with plain tabular lugs. The introduction of items like petalloid celts, potter stamps, and zemis indicates external influence, possibly Mesoamerican. Agriculture activity is indicated by the presence of griddles used in the preparation of manioc.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A cultural area named after Ozark Hills of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. An Archaic culture, called Grove phase and dating before 5000 BC, was probably ancestral to the Bluff-Dweller sites of Ozarkarea. Occupied in this millennium, it consists of rock shelters, caves, and open sites. Baskets and extensive remains due to dryness of cave sites.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arimaddanapura CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city in northern Burma, close to the confluence of the Irrawaddy and the Chindwin, formed in 849 by the union of 19 villages and originally called Arimaddanapura. It is a Buddhist religious center and the rulers of the Pagandynasty (1044-1287) erected c 5000 Buddhist monuments (temples and stupas) made of baked brick, which contributed to the deforestation of the area now known as the 'Dry Zone' of Burma. Until its conquest by the Mongols in 1287, Pagan was the capital of an expanding Burman kingdom which included the Mon country to the south and areas inhabited by Thai peoples in the East.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A term for the smallest unit of land in the territorial system of Italy: a country area, not a village or town, and distinguished from oppidum and vicus. The inhabitants of this 'locality' were called pagani.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In Greco-Roman times, an open-air courtyard surrounded by a colonnade (or porticos) and used for wrestling, gymnastics, and military training. This building consisted of a large central sand-covered courtyard surrounded by changing rooms and washrooms. It is from the Greek word for 'area of wrestling' or 'wrestling school'; it was often part of a gymnasiumcomplex which would include a stadium. It also might be connected to thermae.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: palaeometallurgy CATEGORY: related field DEFINITION: The study of ancient metallurgy from its beginnings up to industrial age, examining and interpreting the remains of old metal-working equipment and sites. Paleometallurgists look at the areas where metal was extracted, where ore was treated, and the workshops of goldsmiths, silversmiths, bronze- and iron-workers.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Palaeozoic CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Major interval of geologic time extending from 540-245 million years ago. It is the first era of the Phanerozoic Eon. It is a geological era in the earth's history before the Mesozoic and after the Precambrian, marked by the development of fishes, land plants, insects, reptiles, and fernlike trees. The early Paleozoic (probably the first 130 million years) was characterized by widespread ups and downs of the Earth's crust, which resulted in mountain building and geosynclines (downward flexing) in parts of North America, Europe, and Asia. Great seas were formed in the southern areas of the emergent landmasses. Much of North America was covered by a warm shallow sea with many coral reefs. The late Paleozoic, which extended from about 410 to 245 million years ago, saw tremendous changes wrought in the Earth. Both plant and animal life flourished in the great, warm, shallow seas, and the various convolutions of the Earth laid down extensive mineral deposits. Much of the copper, gold, lead, zinc, and other minerals mined today derive from Devonian times in the late Paleozoic. Huge swampy forest regions covered much of the northern continents, and these were repeatedly and suddenly invaded by the seas, which buried the vegetation, then covered it with silt. When the sea subsequently withdrew, the forests revived and were again buried in rhythmic cycles that are now evident in deposits called cyclothems. Heat and pressure transformed the buried vegetation into the oil and coal. During the Devonian Period animal life emerged from the ocean, and various species adapted themselves to breathing air and moving about on land. This happened by way of the amphibians, which evolved in the Carboniferous and Permian periods, and were succeeded by reptiles. The late Paleozoic also saw the beginning of insect life -- and fishes and land plants underwent rapid development.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area at the southern limit of New Zealand's North Island with Archaic Maori sites associated with sweet potato cultivation, attesting a fairly large horticultural population between 1100-1400 AD. After 1450 the area became depopulated, due to environmental degradation and an adverse climatic change. Settlements and burials have been excavated
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: palma CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A large spatulatestone object about 2 ft (61 cm) long, shaped like a hand with extended fingers, believed to be a ceremonial representation of a device worn by ballgame players in Mesoamerica and dating to the Classic Period. It rested on a yoke which fitted around the waist and projected upward to protect the chest. Probably of wood or leather with carving on both sides, they may have been trophies, religious symbols, or for burial purposes. The center for these puzzling stone carvings seems to be the coastal Veracruz area.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Middle Horizon, Moche V site in Lambayeque Valley, northern Peru, dated c 1000 BC and occupied for relatively short time. It was a large urban center and probably the relocated capital, after the abandonment of Huacas del Sol and Luna, of the Mochepolity in its closing phases. Highly differentiated architecture is scattered over the area and structures include masonry platforms, truncated adobe pyramids, small agglutinated rooms, and extensive network of corridors and large storage rooms. A variety of human face motifs on molded and handmade neck-jars may have socio-economic significance in identifying either the contents or the owner. Stone tools were used in metalworking and small utilitarian artifacts in copper have also been found.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cyperus papyrus CATEGORY: flora; language DEFINITION: A reed of the sedge family growing in Mediterranean lands, particularly Egypt along the banks of the Nile. It is the flexible writingmaterial produced from the plant. By splitting and opening out its stems, laying them together in two layers at right angles to each other, then beating them together, activating the plant's natural starch to form an adhesive -- an inexpensive writingmaterial was created. Examples preserved by the dry climate of Egypt and other regions in tombs, caves, etc., have yielded invaluable evidence on the ancient history of the area. 'Papyrus' is the Latin form, from which our word 'paper' derives. Its stems were also bound together in bundles together to make lightweight boats. Used first in Egypt, it later replaced clay tablets in the Near East when the Aramaic alphabet replaced the cuneiformscript. Unlike engraved clay tablets, papyrus allowed a light, cursivescript, thus encouraging the spread of a technique that was originally very restricted and specialized. The earliest papyrus dates to the 1st Dynasty, the latest to the Islamic Period, when the plant died out in Egypt.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Large ceremonial area and major Early Horizon culture on the south coast of Peru, showing direct influence from Chavín -- especially in the pottery (called Ocucaje in the Ica Valley). The pottery is a highly individual polychrome ware with designs executed in resinous paint applied after the pot was fired, including paint-filled incisions of Chavinoid deities. This early periodpottery was not well-fired. Desert conditions have preserved all kinds of organic materials, including fine textiles, in rich burials. The best known graves belong to the closing stages of the culture and are of two types: deep shafts leading into underground chambers with several mummy bundles (Paracas Cavernas), and pits or abandoned houses filled with sand and containing more than 400 mummy bundles (the type site, ParacasNecropolis). These people also engaged in artificial deformation of the skull by binding the skull in infancy. Much of the material from the necropolis belongs to the earliest stage of the Nascaculture, which developed out of Paracas in about the 2nd century BC. The Paracasculture's earlier phase, called Paracas Cavernas, is dated 900 BC-1 AD; the Paracas cultures of the middle Early Intermediate Period (c 1-400 AD) are referred to as the Paracas Pinilla and the Paracas Necrópolis phases. There are no large temple structures at the type site.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: An entrance or exit used by actors to reach or leave an orchestra in a theater; the area between the seats and the skene.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of the Middle Orinoco drainage, Venezuela, which shifted from root crops to seed crop cultivation (mainly maize) between 800-400 BC. The cultivation of maize gave rise to an increase in population and provided the basis for the emergence of chiefdom-led societies.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The first dynastic capital of the Achaemenian Empire, situated northeast of Persepolis in modern southwestern Iran. Traditionally, Cyrus II the Great (reigned c 559- 529 BC) chose the site because it lay near the scene of his victory over Astyages the Mede (550 BC). The buildings are scattered over a wide area; they include two palaces, a gatehouse and a square stone tower, as well as a religious area with a large firealtar. Trilingual inscriptions in Elamite, Babylonian (Akkadian), and Old Persian, all in the cuneiformscript, occur on the palaces and gatehouse. Southwest of the palaces is the tomb of Cyrus, almost intact: an impressive rectangular stone chamber with a gabled roof, set on a high stepped plinth. At the extreme southern edge of the site, an impressive rock-cut road or canal indicates the course of the ancient highway that once linked Pasargadae with Persepolis. After the accession of Darius I the Great (522 BC), Persepolis replaced Pasargadae as the dynastic home.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: passage tomb CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A category of megalithic or chambered tomb in which there is a burial chamber and a separate passage into the tomb; the chamber is reached from the edge of the covering mound via a long passage. It includes the earliest known megalithic graves of Europe, dating from about 5000 BC (in Brittany). The diagnostic features are a round mound covering a burial chamber (often roofed by corbelling) approached by a narrower entrance passage. The distinction between passage and funerary chamber proper is very marked. The origin of the passage grave is unclear. Passage graves occur throughout the area where megalithic tombs occur in Europe, but have a predominantly western distribution. In some areas, passage graves were still being constructed in the Bronze Age.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hakataya; Patayan Division CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Culture of lower Colorado River, northwestern Arizona, occupying the area by 100 AD until 1500 AD -- a division of the Hakataya Culture. These people of Yuman speech included the tribes of Hazasupai, Mojave, and Walapai. They had three provinces: Cerbat, Prescott, and Cohonina. They farmed alluvial flood plains, hunted and gathered foods. Between 1000-1500, pottery spread over much wider area and was influenced by Hohokam; the vessels had red-on-buff designs and stucco finishing.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Any person who cultivates land in rural areas for their basic subsistence and pays tribute to elite groups.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pedestrian tactic, surface survey, fieldwalking CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method of examining a site in which surveyors, spaced at regular intervals, systematically walk over the area being investigated.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Neolithicstone-ax-making site in England, with the remains of a Bronze Age stone circle located on the crest of a hill above the town. The axes were bartered over a large area in England.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Perjamos, Periamus, Perjámos CATEGORY: culture; site DEFINITION: A tellsite near Arad, Romania, the type site of the Early-Middle Bronze Age culture, dated to the mid-2nd millennium BC. It is the Romanian aspect of the Periam-Mokrin-Szöreg group. It is largely contemporaneous with the Otomani or Füzesabony culture. A culturelayer yielded a rich collection of domestic pottery and bonework, discovered mostly in large storage pits. The material belongs to the first stage of the Pecicaculture, which is named after another settlement near Arad, and which lasted from the 25th-18th centuries BC. Both sites yielded metal objects of Early Bronze Age type and provided much information about the Bronze Age in this area.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A term describing cold-climate processes and landforms, an environment with severe frost in non-glacial conditions and have much ground ice, mass movements, and strong winds. It applies to the region surrounding a glacialarea and regions immediately beyond the ice-front during a glaciation. In a periglacial zone, part of the ground is perennially frozen. This so-called permafrostlayer is covered by a layer which thaws and freezes seasonally, the active layer. Such seasonal changes give rise to several processes, some of which sort the constituents of the active layer and are collectively known as cryoturbation. A variety of landforms, including involutions, ice wedges, and pingos, are formed in the active layer and permafrost. Hillslopes become mantled with frost-shattered rubble that move downslope during cycles of freezing and thawing. Rivers are usually seasonal in the periglacial zone, and erosion by frost action is dominant. Wind erosion and deposition is often an important factor, and caused the formation of the huge deposits of loess and cover-sands in Europe and Asia. The periglacial zone is of interest because it would have been the environment in which man lived for long periods of time during the Devensian/Weichselian cold stage. During the coldest periods of the Quaternary (the last 1,600,000 years), the periglacial zone was enlarged to approximately twice its present size.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Any specific interval of time in the archaeological record, such as the Upper Paleolithic period. This term is often confusingly used interchangeably with phase and stage. A period is a true time division of the history of a large region (such as the Valley of Mexico or southern China) and does not necessarily imply any developmental characteristics. In archaeological context, it is a major unit of prehistoric time, usually containing several phases and pertaining to a wide area. It is a convenient term used to discuss the history of a complexarea.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Takht-i Jamshid; Parsa CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The capital of the Achaemenid empire, in the Zagros Mountains of Iran, founded by Darius shortly after 518 BC; it was destroyed by Alexander the Great in 330 BC. The ceremonial palace was built by teams of workers and craftspeople from all parts of the empire. It replaced the earlier capital, Pasargadae, and was in many ways modeled on it, although incorporating many architectural and artistic innovations. It consists of a stoneterraceplatform on which were erected a series of monumental palaces and audience halls, as well as other buildings, constructed over a period of some 60 years. It is the showpiece of Achaemenid art, consisting of a series of great palaces and columned reception halls (apadana). Monumental stairways are flanked by lines or reliefs showing Median and Persian nobles, tribute bearers from all quarters of the empire, servants preparing banquets, as well as the enthroned rulers themselves. The records and stylistic details attest the employment of Medes, Syrians, Urartians, and Ionian Greeks among others. The two largest buildings, the Apadana of Darius and the Throne Hall of Xerxes, occupied the center of the terrace and divided it into two functional halves. The northern area was military and mainly the work of Artaxerxes I, while the southern area contained the Palaces of Darius and Xerxes, the harem and treasury areas. Just north of Persepolis is Naqsh-i Rustam, where four monumental tombs were carved in the cliff face; these are the tombs of Darius I and three of his successors (probably those of Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I, and Darius II). They are also decorated with relief carvings and bear trilingual inscriptions in Elamite, Babylonian (Akkadian), and Old Persian. There are also late 2nd millennium BC Middle Elamite and early 1st millennium AD Sassanian inscriptions.
Persian Gulf trade
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The maritime trading of the 3rd and early 2nd millennia BC between Mesopotamia and Dilmun, Magain, and Meluhha. The busiest Mesopotamian sites were Lagash and Ur and the other three places' names are known from cuneiform texts. Combined with archaeological information, it has been determined that Dilmun corresponds to the Barbarculture of the Persian Gulf, Magain relates to Umm an-Nar in southwest Arabia, and Meluhha is identified with the Harappan culture area.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Palabora CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of the eastern Transvaal, South Africa, with a copper and ironoremining town and a long Iron Age sequence dated to the 8th century AD. Mining began during the final centuries of the 1st millennium AD and from the 11th century onwards the later Iron Age occupation appears to belong to a single developing tradition, perhaps related to that Sotho groups. Agriculture on terraced hillsides and the herding of domestic cattle formed the basis of the subsistence economy. There are hundreds of sites where ore was smelted and then worked into tools and ornaments.
CATEGORY: term; technique DEFINITION: A term generally referring to an archaeological unit defined by artifacts and cultural traits that distinguish it from other units. It is an archaeological unit defined by characteristic groupings of culture traits that can be identified precisely in time and space. It lasts for a relatively short time and is found at one or more sites in a locality or region. Therefore, it is an interval of time in the archaeological record, especially a relatively limited time within a specific locality or region and often used to represent a distinct prehistoric people. The archaeologist abstracts the phase from a number of components which occupy a certain area in space and the same span in time and which share many or most of their distinctive features with each other. These components may represent units as small as tribal camps or as large as cities. It is similar to focus" in the Midwestern Taxonomic System and to "culture" in the Old World."
Phase I survey
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Phase I CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: An exploratory survey of an area to determine location and boundaries of any historic or archaeological site potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Phoenicia CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Semitic people who lived in the coastal area of Lebanon and Syria from about 1000 BC, the cultural heirs of the Canaanites. They flourished as traders from their ports of Tyre, Sidon, and Byblos. They are crediting with founding Carthage and inventing the alphabet; the Greek, Roman, Arabic and Hebrew alphabets are all derived from the Phoenician. Even after their incorporation into the Babylonian empire in 574 BC, they continued to influence world politics, in the Near East through their fleets, in the west through their powerful colony of Carthage. They also established colonies in Utica, north Africa; Gades in Spain, Motya in Sicily, Nora and Tharros in Sardinia, and other settlements in Malta and Ibiza. Culturally their role as merchants and middlemen was uninterrupted until they were absorbed into the Hellenistic and Roman world. They are reputed to have circumnavigated Africa. They developed the alphabet to assist their commercial activities. They are not well-known archaeologically in their homeland, though there has been some exploration of their major sites; they have left few lasting memorials in the form of great works of art or monumental architecture. The Phoenicians engaged in a series of three Punic Wars with the Romans, which led to their ultimate defeat and incorporation into the Roman world in the 2nd century BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: phosphate surveying, phosphorus survey CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The examination of phosphates from decayed organic matter; a technique for detecting the presence of phosphate in soil and for using phosphorus concentrations to determine human settlements and activity within sites. Phosphate is a natural constituent of soil, however, it is concentrated by animals' bones, excrement, and food refuse. The technique has been employed particularly in the study of cave deposits (to show human or animal occupation), settlement sites (to identify the uses to which different areas were put) and burials (to show the former existence of bodies completely decayed). Once phosphate is in the soil, it is usually converted into an insoluble form, so that it does not tend to move down profile nor to be redistributed sideways in the soil. For this reason, settlements and farms tend to leave high concentrations of phosphate in the soil, which often remain stable over long periods, sometimes thousands of years. Much preliminary work must be done on the distribution and range of naturally occurring phosphorus because variations are caused by vegetation abundance and type and by soil horizon.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A technique for mapping of areas using photographs taken directly from above. Though used mainly in map-making, it can also be used for the planning of archaeological sites. For large-scale map-making the photographs are taken from the air, a sequence along each flight path with each exposure overlapping the next by 60%. Adjustment is made so that the photographs can be laid side by side in a mosaic, with common reference points lying over each other. They are then converted into maps by the use of multiple projectors. A similar technique can be used to plan smaller-scale features such as excavations. The camera can be mounted on a rigid frame, and moved along so that it takes overlapping vertical photographs. It can greatly speed up the mapping of complicated features. Many of today's maps are largely produced by this method.
CATEGORY: measure DEFINITION: A graph that shows relative abundances by the area of wedges in a circle.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: lake dwelling CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Platforms raised on posts above open water or on damp ground at water's edge; a type of Neolithicsettlement found common in prehistoric Europe in areas with many lakes, such as Switzerland, Germany, and north Italy. Such a settlement was formerly on the edge of a lake but is now buried by lakeshore sediment or underwater. They should properly be labeled lakeside villages, since in most cases they were constructed on the shore and not on stilts over the water, as was formerly believed. They were, however, frequently constructed on timber platforms and subsequently rising water levels in the lakes have preserved these platforms and much other wooden material, as well as artifacts of other organic substances. Cultures in which lake villages were common include Chassey, Cortaillod, Horgen, and Polada.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: An area (hole, shaft, cavity) dug out by humans for storage, food preparation, refuse disposal, etc. These include are storage pits/silos, rubbish dumps or 'borrow pits', and remains of pit dwellings. When left undisturbed by man, pits erode and fill, in a similar sequence to ditches. Frequently they have been used for waste disposal and contain large quantities of food debris and rubbish from hearths.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. pithoi CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A large Greek earthenware storage jar with a narrow neck, used for oil, wine, or grain. They were used on occasion for jar-burial in the Aegean area.
Plains Village tradition
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Plains Village Indian CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Name given to group of cultures of the central and eastern plains of North America between 900-1850 AD, particularly in Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Contemporaneous with Mississippiantradition of Eastern Woodlands, it represents a fusion of that tradition with the Plains variant of the Woodland tradition. The Plains Village tradition was characterized by large habitation structures in settlements that were often fortified. Subsistence dependent on hunting, farming along rivers, beans/squash/maize, and the pottery was related to Mississippian and had incised decoration and rim adornment. When drought forced abandonment of the central plains, the inhabitants moved to the Middle Missouri area (North, South Dakota) and formed the Coalescent Tradition.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Bifacially worked chipped stone projectile points found in central areas of North America in the period around 8000 BC. Similar in form to CLOVIS points although lacking the distinctive flutes of Clovis and perhaps pre-dating them in some areas.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: takyr, sabkha, kavir CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: A shallow basin-like area in which surface water collects, found mainly in arid regions. It is often the sandy, salty, or mud-caked floor of a desert basin with interior drainage, usually occupied by a shallow lake during the rainy season or after prolonged, heavy rains. The word also refers to the lake itself.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ice age, Ice Age, Oiluvium; Quaternary; Great Ice Age; Pleistocene Epoch CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A geochronological division of geological time, an epoch of the Quaternaryperiod following the Pliocene. During the Pleistocene, large areas of the northern hemisphere were covered with ice and there were successive glacial advances and retreats. The Lower Pleistocene began c 1.8 million years ago, the Middle Pleistocene c 730,000 years ago, and the Upper Pleistocene c 127,000 years ago; it ended about 10,000 years ago. Most present-day mammals appeared during the Pleistocene. The onset of the Pleistocene was marked by an increasingly cold climate, by the appearance of Calabrian mollusca and Villafranchianfauna with elephant, ox, and horsespecies, and by changes in foraminifera. The oldest form of man had evolved by the Early Pleistocene (Australopithecus), and in archaeological terms the cultures classed as Palaeolithic all fall within this period. By the mid-Pleistocene, Homo sapiens evolved in Africa and Europe. Homo sapiens spread to Asia and the Americas before the end of the epoch. There were mass extinctions of large and small fauna during the Pleistocene. In North America more than 30 genera of large mammals became extinct within a span of roughly 2,000 years during the late Pleistocene. Of the many causes that have been proposed by scientists for these faunal extinctions, the two most likely are changing environment with changing climate, and the disruption of the ecological pattern by early humans. The Pleistocene was succeeded by the Holocene or present epoch.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A settlement site on the Morava River in southern Serbia. Its name is coupled with that of Vinca to describe the Late Neolithicculture of the area c 3950-3300 BC. There is Late Vincapottery in two occupation levels and Bubanj-Hum pottery in the topmost level. Four hoards of copper tools and ornaments have been found in correspondence to the Bubanj-Hum assemblage (late 4th millennium BC). They represent one of the earliest metal hoards in the Yugoslavian Copper Age.
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
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A wet climatic episode or rainy season in a normally arid area. It is marked by changes in lake levels which produce fossil beaches, among other evidence, and by changes in flora and fauna. In lowland and subtropical regions which were never covered by Pleistocene ice sheets, alternations in climate were expressed as changes in rainfall. The changes accompanying the increased precipitation led to increased human occupation in areas that otherwise were not as attractive.
Pnyx or pnyx
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: An ancient Greek open-air auditorium for public (popular) assemblies; the site in Athens (a hill to the west of the Acropolis) where the Ecclesiae were held. It was a semicircular rising ground, with an area of 12,000 square yards, leveled with a pavement of large stones, and surrounded by a wall, behind which was the bema or platform from which speakers addressed the people. It was used from the 6th century BC and remodeled in the 4th century BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: podzol, podsol soil, podzol soil CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A soiltype characteristic of coniferous woodland, heath, tundra or moorland -- leached, acid soils formed under conditions of very cold climate's forest vegetation cover. The fauna produce phenols which are washed into the horizons and disperse the clay/humus complexes. Minerals, humus, and nutrients are washed down the profile and become deposited as illuvial horizons of humus and iron oxides. The latter is often called the 'ironpan'. A bleached, sandy eluvial horizon is left at the top of the profile. Podsols develop naturally in areas of high annual rainfall, but most of the large areas of podsols in the uplands and lowland heaths of the British Isles were probably at least initiated by man's clearance of woodland during the present Interglacial.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: palynology CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The study of pollen grains in soil samples from an archaeological site which provides information on ancient human use of plants and plant resources. This technique, which is used in establishing relative chronologies as well as in environmental archaeology, was developed primarily as a technique for the relative dating of natural horizons. Pollen grains are produced in vast quantities by all plants, especially the wind-pollinated tree species. The outer skin (exine) of these grains is remarkably resistant to decay, and on wet ground or on a buried surface, it will be preserved, locked in the humus content. The pollen grains of trees, shrubs, grasses, and flowers are preserved in either anaerobic conditions or in acid soils. Samples can be taken from the deposits by means of a core or from individual layers at frequent intervals in a sectionface on an archaeological site. The pollen is extracted and then concentrated and stained and examined under a microscope. Pollen grains are identifiable by their shape, and the percentages of the different species present in each sample are recorded on a pollen diagram. A comparison of the pollen diagrams for different levels within a deposit allows the identification of changes in the percentages of species and thus changes in the environment. As a dating technique, pollen has been used to identify different zones of arboreal vegetation which often correspond to climatic changes. The technique is invaluable for disclosing the environment of early man's sites and can even, over and series of samples, reveal man's influence on his environment by, for example, forest clearance. The sediments most frequently investigated are peat and lake deposits, but the more acid soils, such as podsols, are also analyzed. Radiocarbon dates may be taken at intervals in the sequence, and it is possible to reconstruct the history of vegetation in the area around the site where the samples were taken. Palynology plays an important role in the investigation of ancient climates, particularly through studies of deposits formed during glacial and interglacial stages of the Pleistocene epoch.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The number of individuals of a species living in a restricted area, or the total number or combined weight of members of a plant species present in a given area. It is also defined as a group of organisms of a single species that at a given time are capable of interbreeding.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: post mold, post hole, post-pipe, post-pit CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A hole dug or bored into the ground for holding an upright post. Once the post is installed, the remaining area of posthole is backfilled with earth and sometimes stronger packing material like stone. To archaeologists, postholes are the outline of a deteriorated post, indicating the former location of some structure. Even when the wood has decayed and the hole silted up, or the post has been extracted, the existence of a posthole can be recognized by differences between the color and texture of its fill and those of the earth into which it was dug. A pattern of postholes may provide the only evidence for the size and shape of houses and other wooden structures. They can reveal that a settlement was surrounded by a palisade and presumably had enemies.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: In MinoanCrete, the period after the destruction of the palaces, a part of the chronological system for the area devised by Platon. It is the same as Late Minoan IIIA2-IIIC, c 1375-1100 BC, in traditional chronology.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in northern Louisiana with a spectacular group of late Archaic sites, c 1300-400 BC in the Woodland stage. The site consisted of six concentric octagons, each formed of earthen ridges that seem to have been used as dwelling areas. There are also two mounds, and from the larger one the vernal and autumnal equinoxes can be observed directly over the center of the village. Artifacts include numerous clay balls used for cooking in lieu of heated stones, microliths, stonesmoking pipes and vessels, clay figurines, and fiber-tempered pottery sherds. The clay balls are found in thousands, both here and at other sites in the Lower Mississippi valley. A high level of social organization is indicated by the presence of earthworks like that at Poverty Point, but there is very little evidence of the practice of agriculture.
Pre-Classic or Preclassic period
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Formative 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 Formativelevel 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.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: In MinoanCrete, 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: primary baulk CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The balks surrounding the four sides of an area or a square.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: An archaeologicalsampling method based on formal statistical criteria in selecting sample units to be investigated. It is designed to draw reliable general conclusions about a site or region, based on small sample areas, and allows evaluation of how representative the sample is with respect to the datapopulation. Four types of sampling strategies are recognized: 1) simple random sampling; 2) stratified random sampling; 3) systematic sampling; 4) stratified systematic sampling.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A term in physical anthropology referring to the forward projection, beyond the vertical plane, of the alveolar process and mandible (moutharea). This protruding form contrasts with orthognathic, or straighter-faced, appearance.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A defended area on the top of a hill, spur, or cliff, with the defensive works blocking the easiest approach along the neck of the peninsula. The other sides would rely chiefly or solely on their natural defenses.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: proskenion CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A single-story structure located in front of the skene and protruding into the orchestra of a Classical theater. It was often faced with half-columns and was probably used as a raised stage. It was the frame or arch separating the stage from the auditorium, through which the action of a play was viewed. In the ancient Greek theater, the proscenium originally referred to a row of colonnades, supporting a raised acting platform (logeion), and afterward to the entire acting area.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: The earliest texts written in an undeciphered script by the civilization of Elam in the late 4th to early 3rd millennia BC. Like the early Sumerian writing, Proto-Elamite is pictographic and it may well be derived from the slightly earlier Sumerian script. Many of the Proto-Elamite clay tablets bear numerical symbols only and it is assumed that it was used for accounting and trade. Proto-Elamite tablets have been found over a surprisingly wide area of modern Iran: Warka, Susa, Godin, Sialk, Tepe Malyan, Tepe Yahya, Acropole, Sialk, and Shahri-I Sokhta and are usually associated with a distinctive ceramicassemblage and style of seal.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: In Mesoamerica, the period at the end of the Preclassic and immediately before the Classic period, c 50 BC-250 AD. It refers to the cultures of the Mayaarea which were transitioning between Preclassic and Classic.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: protohistoric era, protohistoric period CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The period in any area following prehistory and preceding the appearance of coherent history derived from written records. It is a transitional time period between prehistory and recorded history, for which both archaeological and historical data are employed. There are several more detailed definitions, such as 1) a time when non-literate aboriginal peoples had access to European goods but had not had face-to-facecontact; 2) periods during which historical documentation is fragmentary or not directly from the society being studied; and 3) the period of 1250-1519 AD in Mesoamerica, which followed the Postclassic and ends just before the Spanish conquest (there are historic documents for this period).
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: In MinoanCrete, the period of the Old or First palaces, a part of the chronological system for the area devised by Platon. It is the same as Middle Minoan I-II, c 2000-1700 BC, in traditional chronology.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A defined spatial area, in either two dimensions (for surface data) or three dimensions (for excavated data), used as a minimal unit for provenience determination and recording.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A stone masonry complex of adjoining rooms as found in the American southwest; the communal dwelling of an American Indian village of Arizona, New Mexico, and adjacent areas consisting of contiguous flat-roofed stone or adobe houses in groups sometimes several stories high.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A site and cultural phase of the Early Horizon Period in northern Titicaca area of Peru. The pottery had incisions or simple painted geometric motifs in red on cream.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ch'in CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Name of an Eastern Zhoustate centered in the Wei River valley of Shaanxi province, China, and of the dynasty (221-206 BC) founded after the Qinstate had conquered and absorbed the various states ruling the rest of China. The first emperor of the dynasty, Qin Shihuangdi, established his capital at Xianyang near Chang'an. He was the first emperor of a united China and was buried in a large mounded tomb near Xian City. A terra-cotta army of over 7000 lifesize soldiers protected him in three long pits. The Qindynasty was known for the standardization of weights and measures as well as coinage and the development of a state infrastructure. Though short-lived, it was the first dynasty to unite under a single rule most of the area since regarded as belonging to China proper.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ch'i-shan CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Shaanxi province, China, where the Zhou people established their dynasty and capital before they overthrew the Shangdynasty in 1027 BC. A large palacecomplex included inscribed oracle bones antedating the founding of the dynasty. The tiled roofs of the buildings are the earliest known (11th century BC) of this standard feature of later Chinese architecture. There are also hangtu foundation platforms for palace buildings. Many bronzeritual vessels have been found in the Qishanarea, mostly Western Zhou in date.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A usually rectangular plot used for ecological or population studies; unit of spatial analysis used to divide an area into cells for analysis.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Quaternary era; Quaternary Period; Quaternary System CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Major geochronological subdivision which includes the Pleistocene (c 1.8-2.45 million years bp) and Holocene (c 10,000 BC) epochs and marked by the appearance of near-humans and Homo sapiens. It is the second period of the Cenozoic geologic era, following the Tertiary, the youngest of the 11 periods in Earth history. These terms may also be applied to groups of deposits, which are described as the Quaternary 'System' and the Pleistocene or Holocene 'Series'. The base of the Quaternary System is defined by basal deposits that overlie Pliocene deposits. The Quaternary was marked by repeated invasions of vast areas of mid-latitude North America and northwestern Eurasia by ice sheets, the period is frequently referred to as the Great Ice Age.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: An earthwork built to defend a site, such as a fort. It was the mound of earth on the inner side of the ditch or an elongated bank, often forming an enclosure. Often a palisade of stakes were on top. A rampart made it difficult to attack a castle or fort. Combinations of ramparts and ditches made up the defenses of hillforts in prehistoric Europe. Roman legion camps always built a rampart of ditches, earth walls, and wooden palisades, within which the space was divided into headquarters, supply, and troop areas. Indications of the construction of the rampart may occur as tip-lines or turf-lines, which may represent pauses in the work or different phases of building. Buried soils are frequently found underneath mounds and ramparts, a source of information for environmental archaeology.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: rank-size analysis CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A general relationship between the size of a settlement and its rank within a set of settlements. If sites are ranked in order of size on a logarithmic scale, the population of the Nth rank city will be 1/Nth the size of the largest; thus the 3rd site will be 1/3 the size of the largest. The rule works best in areas of complex economic and political organization, with comparatively long histories of urban development. It has been suggested that this relationship represents a natural balance of settlement growth. Roman walled towns fit the rule well. However, this is often not the case because in many newer, developing countries the chief city or capital is larger than expected (primate city) because of historic factors.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: red ochre CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Powdered ironore placed in a burialarea
red-figure or red-figured
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Red-Figure ware 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 vasepainting, 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.
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: A geographically defined area containing a series of interrelated human communities sharing a single cultural-ecological system.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A village of Middle to Late Neolithic hut foundations (fondi di capanne) and some crouched burials in Abruzzi, Italy. It has given its name to the Ripoli Trichrome Painted Ware of the central Italian Middle Neolithic, c 4500-3500 BC. RipoliWare has a buff fabric painted with geometric designs in black, separated from areas painted red by a pair of lines enclosing a row of dots. The usual shape is a round-based cup with straight vertical wall and single handle, this sometimes with a pair of curious projections from the top. The Ripolipottery is one of a series of Italian trichrome painted wares, including the Capri style and the Scaloria style. There are connections with Danilo across the Adriatic. Notable among the flintwork are tanged and single-barbed arrowheads.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A series of sites, including hilltop settlements, of Rivoli, near Verona in northeast Italy, which have provided the name for a version of the northern Italian Neolithic Square-Mouthed Potteryculture. As well as the characteristic pottery, the sites have produced pintaderas, and a fragment of copper -- early evidence of metal working in the area. There is also a medieval castle begun by Victor Amadeus II, king of Sicily and Sardinia, in 1712 on the site of an older structure.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A traveled way on which people, animals, or wheeled vehicles move. The earliest roads developed from the paths and trails of prehistoric peoples; their construction was concurrent with the appearance of wheeled vehicles, which was probably in the area between the Caucasus Mountains and the Persian Gulf sometime before 3000 BC. Road systems were developed that connected the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt and facilitated trade. The first major road was the Persian Royal Road, which extended from the Persian Gulf to the Aegean Sea over a distance of 1,775 miles (2,857 km) and was used from about 3500-300 BC. Originally made for the use of troops and their supplies, were eventually much used by the civilian population for the carriage of goods. This encouraged free trade, helped the advance of civilization, and the subjugation and unification of the tribes. Early roads were about 20 feet wide and had ditches along both sides for drainage purposes. Large stones were laid on the foundation, then smaller ones, or gravel, on top. Traffic and weather blended the road material and helped to form the surface. Stone kerbs were made to hold the road surface together and sometimes a line of stone was laid in the middle too, to help in the binding. The Romans were the first to construct roads scientifically. Their roads were characteristically straight, and the best ones were composed of a graded soilfoundation that was topped by four layers: a bedding of sand or mortar; rows of large, flat stones; a thin layer of gravel mixed with lime; and a thin wearing surface of flintlike lava. Roman roads varied in thickness from 3-5 feet, and their design remained the most sophisticated until the modern road-building technology in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Along the Roman roads were rest houses / mansiones and horse-changing stations / mutationes.
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 facingstone. 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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An open-siteburial ground on the Lower Murray river, South Australia, with areas dating to 18,000 bp. It was exclusively a cemetery from 7000-4000 bp. From 2000 BC until the last century it was again a campsite as well as a cemetery with a variety of mortuary practices. Grave goods were found only in shaft graves and included food animals, ochre, bone and shell ornaments, and stone and bone tools.
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: An early stage in the making of bifacially chipped stone tools. Roughouts were often manufactured in quarry areas and later reworked into finished artifacts elsewhere.
Rudenko, Sergei I. (1885-1969)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: Russian archaeologist and ethnographer who became an expert on the peoples of Siberia and the Volga area. He excavated the frozen tombs at Pazyryk and wrote Frozen Tombs of Siberia: The Pazyryk Burials of Iron Age Horsemen" (1970)."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sabatinivka CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area in the western Ukraine with several Tripolye sites, the most important being of the early 4th millennium BC and then a late Tripolyesite yielding a knot-headed copperpin comparable to early Unetice metalwork of the early 2nd millennium BC. A later site forms the eponymous site of the Ukrainian aspect of the Nova-Sabatinovka-Bilogrudivka culture, a mid-2nd millennium BC culture found also in north Rumania and Podolia. Most settlement sites are unfortified lowland camps, whose large quantities of ash in domestic debris inspired the term 'zolniki' (ash-pits). Timber-framed houses on stone foundations are organized along streets at some sites.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Greek Habrotonon, Roman Sabratha CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Roman port on the north African coast in Libya, remarkable for its extensive imperial Roman remains. Originally settled by the Phoenicians in the 5th century BC, Sabratha was one of the three cities of Roman Tripolitania. Together with neighboring Oea and Leptis Magna, it made up a trio of wealthy trading cities, the 'Tripolis', which were important in linking the Mediterranean sea-routes to the trans-Saharan caravans. It was first annexed by Rome in 46 BC, and subsequently granted coloniastatus in the 2nd century AD. The city enjoyed great prosperity under the early empire. Sacked by the Austuriani in about 363, Sabratha recovered to have a second period of prosperity under Byzantine rule, when new walls were constructed enclosing a smaller area. Urban occupation seems to have been abandoned after Arab seizure in 643. Among the surviving buildings are the various bath buildings and the Antonine-periodtheater.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Tell site in Khuzestan in southwest Iran which has given its name to a cultural phase succeeding the Muhammad Jafar phase, c 5500-5250 BC. It is characterized by the appearance of painted pottery, buff-colored with geometric designs executed in black paint. Evidence suggests that irrigation agriculture was practiced, and flax, emmer, barley, and pulses cultivated. By approximately 6000 BC, patterns of village farming were widely spread over much of the Iranian Plateau and in lowland Khuzestan. It has yielded evidence of fairly sophisticated patterns of agricultural life and general cultural connections with the beginnings of settled village life in neighboring areas such as Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Soviet Central Asia, and Mesopotamia.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A type of rock-cut tomb of the Theban 11th Dynasty that consisting of a row of openings -- or colonnade -- in the hillside. They were constructed primarily in the el-Tarif area of western Thebes for the local rulers of the 11th Dynasty (Intef I-III, 2125-2055 BC). The term 'saff' (Arabic for 'row') refers to the rows of rock-cut pillars which stood around three sides of a large trapezoidal sunk forecourt, forming the distinctive frontage of each of the tomb chapels. Private saff tombs have also been excavated at Armant and Dendera.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Saladero, Salader CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A group of related pottery styles found along the Orinoco River in Venezuela and named after the type site at Saladero. Saladoid pottery is thin and fine, painted with white or red designs, especially white-on-red; the utilitarian wares include flat plates or griddles for making manioc bread. The everted bell, often with tabular lugs, is the favored vessel form. The Saladoid tradition may have begun before 2000 BC and lasted in some area up to c 1000 AD. Some Saladoid groups migrated to Trinidad, Virgin Islands, and the Antilles during the early centuries AD, and this movement may represent the Arawak colonization of the West Indies.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A principal city of prehistoric and classic Cyprus, located on the east coast of the island, north of modern Famagusta. According to the Homeric epics, Salamis was founded after the Trojan War by the archer Teucer, who came from the island of Salamis, off Attica. This literary tradition probably reflects the Sea Peoples' occupation of Cyprus (c 1193 BC). Later, the city grew because of its harbor; it became the chief Cypriot outlet for trade with Phoenicia, Egypt, and Cilicia. Salamiscame under Persian control in 525 BC. In 306 BC, Demetrius I Poliorcetes of Macedonia won a great naval victory there over Ptolemy I of Egypt. Salamis was sacked in the Jewish revolt of 115-117 AD and suffered repeatedly from earthquakes. It was completely rebuilt by the Christian emperor Constantius II (reigned 337-361 AD) and given the name Constantia. Under Christian rule, Salamis was the metropolitan see of Cyprus. Destroyed again by the Arabs under Mu'awiyah (c 648), the city was then abandoned. There is a large area of surviving ruins, and an extensive necropolis to the west. The Mycenaean settlement was probably at Enkomi. Most remarkable are the so-called 'Royal Tombs', perhaps dating from the Late Geometric period, featuring large dromoi. The burial chambers are constructed of large rectangular blocks and have gable roofs, but were robbed in antiquity. There is an association with horse-and-chariot funerary rites, and horse skeletons still complete with bit in mouth have been discovered. There are also bronzehorse accouterments, and cauldron and tripod, and ivory furniture. One tomb shows evidence for an original upper beehive structure or tholos; other tombs are rock-cut and show evidence for rites involving pyres and clay figurines.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The process of selecting part of a site for excavation or an area for fieldwork, preferably according to a strategy which allows statistical estimates and generalizations of the relation of the sample to the unexplored parts of the whole site or area. In a way, all archaeologicalfieldwork and excavation is sampling, since it is impossible to collect all the data from the complexmass of an archaeologicalsite. Selection may be arbitrary or nonarbitrary -- perhaps by the need for particular evidence for a specific question (a 'judgment sample'); the question itself will be determined by the existing framework of archaeological thought. In a more specific sense, sampling or probabilistic or random sampling, uses the theory of probability to make estimates of how closely the observations obtained from the part examined ('sample') represent the characteristics of the whole group being studied ('population'), by using fixed rules of random selection so that each unit is given a known chance of selection. The area under study may be divided into sub-zones (strata) and each stratum can be sampled separately to give a more precise estimate of the whole population. The choice of sampledesign, the size of the sample units, and the proportion of the population sampled (the sampling fraction) will all affect the result, but even with quite small fractions accurate estimates of the entire population of sites within an area can be obtained. The method is particularly good at estimating the number of different types of site within the area. Methods are also being developed for the sampling of large groups of artifacts; excavations frequently produce very large quantities of bone or flint, and it has been shown that often it is necessary to study only a small sample of the whole population to obtain a reliable estimate of its character.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Area in east-central Java and name of a mid-Holoceneindustry characterized by stone points and bone tools. The sites include Gua Lawa, Gunung Cantalan, Petpuruh, Sodong, and Marjan.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bushmen CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The hunter-gatherer people of southern Africa who once lived throughout the region and spoke a number of languages before becoming absorbed into agricultural societies. They were a nomadic egalitarian society with small bands of about 20 people. Men hunted with bow-and-arrow and women gathered plant foods. Their record provides insights into Later Stone Age remains and rock art. By late 20th century, many San had become laborers and trackers in settled areas. They are part of the Capoid local race, a subgroup, of the Negroid (African) geographic race (also comprised of the Khoikhoin (Hottentots)). The most striking feature of the San languages is their extensive use of click sounds.
San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan / San Lorenzo
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.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The final chronological period of the Cochiseculture in the Atacama region of northern Chile, contemporaneous with Tiahuanaco in Bolivia, c 500-1000 AD. Polychrome kero or beaker-shaped vessels are found in graves and typically, tool assemblages contain seed-grinding tools such as manos and metates, mortars and pestles, and a variety of projectile points, including the narrow stemmed, side-notched type which first appeared during Chiricahua. Pit houses (houses of poles and earth built over pits) are also characteristic. During the San Pedro stage, pottery appeared in the area of the Mogollon Indians. The Cochisetradition may be taken as the base for subsequent cultural developments among various Indians in the Southwest.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: Type of andesite produced by now-extinct volcanoes in the Inland Sea area of Japan. It was used extensively during the Palaeolithic and Postglacial (Jomon, Yayoi) for stone tools.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Gradistea Muncelului; Varhély CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Late Iron Age town of eastern Rumania, seat of the Dacian state founded by Burebistas in the 1st century BC. A hilltop citadel is next to a sanctuary area with several shrines and temples. Bronze and iron products and pottery were made in an industrial area. In 101, Trajan led an invasion of Dacia (First Dacian War). The capital of Sarmizegethusa was captured, and Decebalus was forced in 102 to accept Roman occupation garrisons. In 105, Decebalus defeated the occupation forces and invaded Moesia (Second Dacian War). But, after Trajan seized Sarmizegethusa a second time (106), the defeated king committed suicide, and in 107 Dacia became a Roman province.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Area on the east coast of Thailand with sites from the later 1st and early 2nd millennia AD, including Kok Moh, possibly associated with Langkasuka.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Output from a substantial Roman potteryindustry 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.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: sceat CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Small silvercoin minted when the Anglo-Saxons reintroduced currency into England in the 7th century. The earliest identifiable ones are of Eorpwald of East Anglia (625-627) and Penda of Mercia (625-654). Our penny may owe its name to the latter. With this change of name it remained the standard coin from the reforms of Offa of Mercia (757-796) until the 12th century. Sceattas are distinctive because they were made from pellets which were hammered between two dies, not minted from a flattened piece of metal (as after c 790 in England). The kings of Kent imitated these sliver coins in about 690, and issued them with a variety of designs which are collectively known as the primary series of sceattas. The primary series is virtually confined to Kent and ended about 720. The secondary series include a wider variety of designs which occur over a larger area.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Scyth CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The people of the steppes of southern Russia and Kazakhstan who were nomadic in the mid-1st millennium BC and displaced the Cimmerians in the Eurasian steppes. They were a horse-riding aristocracy and became a settled agricultural population. From the 8th century BC, they generally lived west of the Volga and north of the Black Sea (Royal Scyths). At beginning of 7th century BC, they also moved into Iran and Anatolia, occupying Urartu territory, and appear in Assyrian records. Later, they returned to south Russia and Royal Scythian burials in Kuban and Pontic steppes. They traded with the Greeks and were skilled artists and metalworkers; they are often connected with the Luristan bronzes. Grain from the areas under Scythian control was exchanged for luxury goods. Herodotus, who visited the area c 450 BC, left much useful information on their customs. Their greatest contribution was their art, the bold and rhythmic animal style of the steppes. Its influence may be seen in the developing Celtic art of Europe and that of Luristan and neighboring areas of Iran and the Indus, where they moved in the late 2nd century BC. They destroyed the Greek kingdoms of Bactria and north India. These movements brought the Saka of the Achaemenid and Indian texts and were soon followed by the Yueh-chi, who gave rise to the Kushana kingdom of the early 1st millennium AD in north India and Afghanistan. The western branch of the Scyths was absorbed by the Sarmatians and finally disappeared under the Gothic invasions of the 3rd century AD. Scythian burials, known from places like Pazyryk, are elaborate and artifacts have animal motifs.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sea People CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A collective term for various peoples who were on the move in the Aegean, Anatolia, and Levant in the 13th and 12th centuries BC. They were responsible for widespread destruction of settlements in these areas, particularly Ugarit and Alalakh and, more remotely, with the fall of Mycenaean Greece and the Hittite empire. Dorians, Aeolians, and Ionians moved into Greece and Aegean islands, probably destroyed the Mycenaean kingdom and drove the inhabitants eastwards (Trojan War, c 1200 BC). The Thraco-Phrygians were also driven into Anatolia, where they brought about the fall of the Hittite Empire. Homeless peoples swept southwards along the coasts of Asia Minor and Syria, burning and looting as they went, and were only stopped by Ramesses III and Merenptah in 1174 BC. It was at this time that the Philistines settled in Palestine.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Zeekoei Valley CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: River valley in Cape Province, South Africa, with more than 14,000 Stone Age sites. The ceramicsequence dates to the millennium prior to European settlers. There is information about the Stone Age Smithfield hunter-gatherers from this area.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of marshes and lagoons of southern Babylonia (Persian Gulf). In the middle of the 2nd millennium BC, the dynasty of the Sealand controlled much of southern Mesopotamia, but little is known about its rule. Only one of its kings being documented in contemporary texts. Earlier documents referred to the area of the kingdom of Chaldea as the Sealand.""
secondary cultural deposit
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A type of cultural deposits made up of a primary cultural deposit that has undergone modification, either by physical displacement or because of a change of use of the activity area.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: sectioning, section drawing CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: In excavation, the exposing of a deposit vertically to reveal the stratigraphy of a site or details of a particular feature. A balk is left across a feature or a complex of features, or a hole is cut out of a feature and trimmed to a flat face in which layers and changes in soil color may be examined. Sections automatically occur when the grid method of excavation is used, on all four sides of each trench. The term is also applied to the drawing of the vertical record of the stratification of a site or feature. A section drawing is a two-dimensional rendering, at a constant scale, depicting archaeological data and matrix as seen in the wall of an excavation. Advocates of open-area excavation prefer not to have standing sections on the site; instead of drawing sections after the whole area has been excavated, they record the profile of each deposit as it is excavated and construct what are known as 'cumulative' or 'running sections'.
Seine-Oise-Marne (SOM) culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: SOM CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Late Neolithicculture 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 potterytype 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.
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.
CATEGORY: culture; language DEFINITION: A name applied to the speakers of a set of related languages who inhabited portions of southwestern Asia since the time of the first cities. Semitic languages are characterized by the importance of the consonants, usually three forming the root of each word. The vowels are omitted altogether in a number of the scripts. The Semites are first recorded on the steppe margins of the Arabian desert, encroaching upon the Sumerians to form the kingdom of Akkad c 2400 BC. The Amorites appear c 2000 in the same area and in Syria-Palestine, where they settled to become the Canaanites. The Khabiru (Hebrews) appear in the same context. In the 12th century BC, the Amorites were followed by the Aramaeans, particularly in inland Syria. The Phoenicians from the 9th century BC carried their Semiticlanguage over much of the Mediterranean. Arabic and Hebrew are the most important surviving Semitic languages. Most, probably all, alphabetic scripts derive from the Semiticalphabet, created sometime in the 2nd millennium BC. The Semiticscript was invented by speakers of some Semiticlanguage, possibly Phoenician, who lived in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A fortified town erected on the west bank of the Nile at the southern end of a series of fortresses founded during the 12th Dynasty (1985-1795 BC) in the second cataractarea of Lower Nubia. The town was established in the reign of Senusret I (1965-1920 BC) and the forts were probably built to defend the southern limit of Egyptian penetration under the Middle Kingdom. The forts have also been used as trading stations.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Serapeum, Sarapeum, Sarapieion CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Two temples of ancient Egypt dedicated to the worship of the Greco-Egyptian god Sarapis (Serapis). The original elaborate temple of that name was located on the west bank of the Nile near Saqqara and was a monument to the deceased Apis bulls. Though the area was used as a cemetery for the bulls as early as 1400 BC, it was Ramesses II (1279-13 BC) who designed a main gallery and subsidiary chambers. Under the Ptolemaic dynasty, the temple was called the Sarapeum. The vast underground galleries at Saqqara housed the 64 embalmed bodies of the Apis bulls. French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette discovered the ruins, first finding a limestone sphinx almost hidden in the sand in an area northwest of the Step Pyramid of Djoser and uncovering an avenue leading into the Western Desert, at the end of which lay a small temple built by a 30th-Dynastypharaoh. He also found a large blocked doorway and 24 vaulted burial chambers within. Another important serapeum was built at Alexandria, the new Ptolemaic capital. Ptolemy I Soter (reigned 305-284 BC) selected Sarapis as the official god for Egypt and built largest and best known of the god's temples. There Sarapis was worshipped until 391 AD, when the serapeum was destroyed. In Roman times other serapeums were constructed throughout the empire.
CATEGORY: term; technique DEFINITION: A term used to describe a number of cultures or industries broadly related in time and space and yet which are discrete entities. Some type of intergroup relationship, common ancestry, or similarity of interaction with the environment is implied. In American terminology, series is a broad unit of classification embracing a number of related cultures or pottery styles. A series has both duration in time, when one culture or style develops into another, and extent in the space (the area occupied by the various cultures or styles making up the series).
CATEGORY: site; artifact DEFINITION: Neolithic village in Basilicata, Italy, on a hill defended by three concentric ditches. It has yielded a distinctive painted pottery of the same name, c 4500-3500 BC. Geometric designs with diagonal meanders and solid triangles are painted in black or purple-brown on a buff surface. A frequent motif is a zigzag line between parallels (linea a tremolo marginato"). Jars and handled cups are the standard forms and the elaborate handles are horizontal tubular with zoomorphic additions on the top. In the later phase a thin and markedly splayed trumpetlug was adopted from the DianaWare of Lipari. The high quality of the ware and the fact that it most often occurs in graves and other ritual contexts suggests that it was produced for special purposes. It was traded over a wide area occurring in SicilyLipari Lake Garda Malta and in central Italy."
Serra d'Alto pottery
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Neolithic village in Basilicata, Italy, on a hill defended by three concentric ditches. It has yielded a distinctive painted pottery of the same name, c 4500-3500 BC. geometric designs with diagonal meanders and solid triangles are painted in black or purple-brown on a buff surface. A frequent motif is a zigzag line between parallels (linea a tremolo marginato"). Jars and handled cups are the standard forms and the elaborate handles are horizontal tubular with zoomorphic additions on the top. In the later phase a thin and markedly splayed trumpetlug was adopted from the Dianaware of Lipari. The high quality of the ware and the fact that it most often occurs in graves and other ritual contexts suggests that it was produced for special purposes. It was traded over a wide area occurring in SicilyLipari Lake Garda Malta and in central Italy."
CATEGORY: branch DEFINITION: The study of the spatial distribution of ancient activities, the remains of single-activity areas or of entire regions.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: settlement pattern study CATEGORY: technique; term DEFINITION: The study of ancient human occupation and activity patterns within a specified area -- the distribution of features and sites, buildings, and other constructions in relation to the topography of a given area. Archaeological studies of settlement patterns deal with such matters as urbanization, the relationship between town, village, and countryside, and the operation of administrative centers. Findings reflect the relationship of the inhabitants with their environment, and the relationship of groups with each other within that environment. Factors influencing the pattern of settlement in any area may include the subsistence strategy, the political structure, the social structure, population density, and carrying capacity.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Severn-Cotswold CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A group of Neolithicburial monuments in southwest Britain around the Bristol Channel -- megalithic tombs consisting of a long mound, tapering on one end, with one or more passage graves. In the finest tombs, the funerary area is a long gallery with up to three pairs of side chambers opening from it. In others, the courtyard leads only to a false entrance while the burial chambers open laterally onto the side of the mound. The Severn-Cotswold tombs were built early in the Neolithicperiod, and there is a radiocarbon date of 3600 +/- 130 BC from Waylands Smithy, Berkshire. The West Kennet tomb (3330 +/- 150) was constructed at much the same time as the nearby causewayed camp at Windmill Hill. In plan, these graves show a general similarity to the French transepted gallery graves around the mouth of the River Loire. There are two main varieties: axial-chambered tombs, with the passage entrance opening from the center of the broader end of the mound, and lateral-chambered tombs, where two megalithic chambers are entered from opposite sides of the mound.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Tell site in the Seistan district of eastern Iran, close to the Afghan and Pakistan borders, which was the site of a vast urban center of the late 4th-early 2nd millennium BC. As well as abundant structural remains, enormous numbers of finds have been excavated -- thousands of potsherds and stone tools, clay figurines, and animal bones. The wealth of Shahr-i Sokhta was due at least in part to its role in the trade in lapis lazuli between its source in north Afghanistan and the markets of Mesopotamia and Egypt. An industrial area produced thousands of unfinished lapis lazuli beads, as well as flint drills and other tools used in their manufacture. Shahr-i Sokhta also has a huge cemetery, estimated to have contained 200,000 burials. In the early 2nd millennium BC, the course of the Helmand River, on which the city depended, changed; this led to the decline and abandonment of the settlement. The site is still important for understanding the urbanization, production and subsistence techniques, and complex societies of Bronze Age Iran and Afghanistan.
CATEGORY: fauna; artifact DEFINITION: A hard rigid usually calcareous covering or support of an animal, as a mollusk. Many varieties of shell were used in antiquity, apart from the use of their contents as food. Some were used for tools (oyster, conch) and others were made into jewelry or used for decorative inlays. Others, such as ostrich and smaller seashells, were used to make beads. Shell was perforated and strung on necklaces since at least the Upper Palaeolithic. It is frequently found in tombs, probably symbolizing the resurrection. Shell was traded widely to areas where it was not locally available.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: swidden agriculture CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A primitive and widespread form of agriculture in which forest was cleared, commonly by chopping and burning small trees. It is one of the earliest forms of cultivation. The clearance would be followed by planting of crops in the clearance -- seeds planted in holes poked into the ashes -- and their harvesting and replanting for a few years. Without fertilizers, however, the land soon loses its nutritional value and the clearance must be left fallow, to grow over again, while other areas of forest are cleared. A return to the original plot may be made after a reasonable length of time, hence it is also called shifting cultivation and cyclic agriculture. In temperate regions it is a wasteful method since soil fertility and crop yields, though initially high, decline rapidly, after which a new stretch of forest must be cleared.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Shizhaishan CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: One of a group of 1st-century BC sites near Lake Tien in Yunnan province, southwest China, with the cemetery of a regional Dianbronzeculture contemporaneous with the Han dynasty. The graves have bronze and iron weapons and tools with unique motifs -- and bronzecowrie containers and drums. Links with southeast Asia and western areas of China are seen in the Dian drums.
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: Polished stoneadze of Neolithicperiod, distributed along coastal area of China from Shantung southwards and in central-southern China. It was also prominent in Southeast Asia.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Siyalk CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Important tellsite near Kashan on the plateau of Iran with a six major phases from the Neolithic to the Iron Age. They are: I, dating to the 6th-5th millennia BC, a simple village of recently settled farmers who used pottery painted with basketry designs and copper only in the form of hammered ornaments; II, a village of mudbrick architecture with very fine pottery elaborately painted with stylized animals; III, pottery made by wheel and kiln and more use of copper; IV, around 3000 BC, the site fell under the influence of Susa and Mesopotamia, the painted ware replaced by monochrome gray or red, much jewelry, and the introduction of proto-Elamite writing. This phase was followed by a break in occupation and the resettlement -- represented in cemetery A -- is often attributed to intruders from the northeast, who are thought to have been responsible for the introduction of Indo-European languages to this area. The final occupation of Tepe Sialk, represented in cemetery B and dated to the late 2nd-early 1 millennium BC, saw the first use of iron. Around 9th-8th century BC, the site was destroyed and abandoned.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A settlement site with a suggested date of 2000 BC, near Mehrgahr, Pakistan, with a cemetery. Much of the material culture is identical to Central Asian forms -- and with foreign" copper and bronze tools and weapons and typical pottery forms from cemeteries of the Sapalli-Tepe group in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The connection of Sibri to these two areas has not yet been worked out."
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 areacame under strong influence from Manchuria and China, and in the 1st millennium AD it formed part of the Po Hai state.