CATEGORY: term; geology DEFINITION: The interface of surfaces between two successive stratigraphic levels, either vertical or horizontal. Various geological criteria are used to distinguish between two contact types: conformable and unconformable. Conformable contacts are deposit conditions not significantly different or interrupted from an adjacent unit. Unconformable contacts are surfaces of no deposit or erosion in an adjacent unit.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A mold used to produce a full-sized, or part of a full-sized, glass item.
CATEGORY: chronology; term DEFINITION: The period in the history and culture of the Americas when the first impact of the Europeans was made.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A stoneindustry of southern Nubia that was probably the work of indigenous peoples who were ancestral to the Nubian A Group. These peoples maintained tradecontact with southerly regions of the Nile Valley during the 4th millennium BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (antonym: diffusion) CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The adoption of a trait or traits by one society from another and the results of such changes. This is a consequence of contact between cultures, usually with one being dominant, and is a process by which a group takes on the lifeways, institutions, and technology of another group. There are two major types of acculturation: free borrowing where one society selects elements of another culture that they integrate in their own way, and directed change, where one group establishes dominance through military conquest or political control. Though directed change involves selection, it results from the interference in one cultural group by members of another. In anthropology, the change is considered from the point of view of the recipient society.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Achaemenid dynasty, Achaemenid CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The Persiandynasty, descendants of Achaemenes (c. 700 BC), which ruled from Cyrus the Great to Darius III (c 550-331 BC). Cyrus II (559-530 BC) overthrew the Medes empire to found a Persian empire, conquering Lydia, Babylonia, the Iranian plateau, and Palestine. His son, Cambyses II, added Egypt in 525 BC. The throne then passed to Darius, who set up an efficient administration of an empire then extending from the Nile to the Indus. This empire united for the first time all the peoples of the east -- from Thrace and Egypt to the Aral Sea and the Indus Valley -- and had as its capitals Parsargadae, Susa, and Persepolis. At Marathon in 490 BC, Darius failed to conquer the Greeks, as his son Xerxes failed at Salamis in 480. Their successors, notably Artaxerxes, fought to consolidate a waning empire. The Achaemenids were finally overthrown in 332 BC by Alexander the Great. The period is an important one in Iranian civilization. It was marked by contacts between the classical civilizations of Europe and the east and the appearance and spread of Zoroastrianism, at its time the most advanced religion outside Judaism. The Achaemenids' most famous monuments are the work of Darius: his capital of Persepolis, outstanding for its architecture and monumental reliefs, and his trilingual rock-cut inscription at Behistun for the key it gave to the translation of the cuneiform script. Other surviving Achaemenid monuments include the tomb of Cyrus the Great at Pasargadae and the rock-cut tomb of Darius at Naqsh-i Rustam near Persepolis.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Classic Mayasite in Belize, about 35 mi (56 km) north of Belize City which dates to the Middle Pre-Classic Period. It is known for caches of obsidian and jade. The land was poor for agriculture, but marine resources were exploited and the small center was quite wealthy. There is evidence of long-distance contact with Teotihuacan before it was abandoned, like other Maya ceremonial centers, c 900 AD.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In Greek architecture, the technique of matching two adjoining blocks or column drums by hollowing out the center and having the blocks make contact only at the edges.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the Madras coast of southern India near Pondicherry excavated by Mortimer Wheeler. It was an important trading post of the Romans after the mid-first century BC, though black-and-red ware found there began well before the period of Roman contact. A town with warehouses in an industrial quarter was built. Black-and-red Iron Age wares associated with Arretine ware of the 1st century AD, Mediterranean amphorae, and imperial Roman coins were found by Wheeler. Other excavations have found Roman pottery, beads, intaglios, lamps, and glass which indicate continuous occupation. Graffiti on pottery indicates the presence of Indian traders.
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.
Australian Small Tool Tradition
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A mid-Holocenetoolindustry of the Australian Aborigines that appeared some 3000-4000 years ago when those peoples began to use a new ensemble of small, flaked stone tools (although adze flakes first appeared possibly 2000 years earlier). The types consisted of backed blades and flakes, unifacial and bifacial points, and small adze flakes. There are some regional distributions of tools, including Bondi points, geometric microliths, Pirri points, and Tula adzes. All except the Bondi points and geometric microliths were still in use as parts of wooden weapons and tools at the time of European contact. The industry has close parallels in the islands of Southeast Asia, especially in the microliths of southwestern Sulawesi from 4000 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Baden-Pécel; Ossarn or Pecel culture; Channeled Ware or Radial-decorated pottery culture CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A third millennium Copper Age culture over much of central Europe (the Carpathian basin: northern Yugoslavia, all of Hungary, most of Czechoslovakia, southern Poland, and parts of Austria and Germany). Ancient Baden was occupied by Celts and then by Germanic peoples and was conquered by Rome in the 1st century AD. It was a successor to the Lengyelculture. They produced metal tools including ax-hammers and torcs of twisted copperwire. The pottery was plain and dark, but some have channeleddecoration and handles of Ansa Lunata type. The horse was domesticated and carts mounted on four solid disk-wheels were used. Baden had contacts with the Early Bronze Age cultures of the Aegean. It was named for the town of Baden, near Vienna. A radiocarbonchronology has divided the Badenculture into three phases: Early (2750-2450 BC), Classic (2600-2250 BC), and Late (2400-2200 BC). The most complete sequences are in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Baden was remarkable at the time because it had a highly dispersed settlement pattern and a central cemetery pattern.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: The lower portion of a vessel from the lower boundary of the body to the place that would normally be in contact with the surface on which the vessel rested, sometimes a foot or tripod.
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: 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bolas; bola; plural bolases CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Weighted balls of stone, bone, ivory, or ceramic that are either grooved or pierced for fastening to rawhide thongs and used to hunt prey. The bolas, still found today among some of the peoples of South America and among the Eskimo, usually consists of two or more globular or pear-shaped stones attached to each other long thongs. They are whirled and thrown at running game, with the thongs wrapping themselves around the limbs of the animal or bird on contact. Bolas stones have been found in many archaeological sites throughout the world, including Africa in Middle and Upper Acheulianstrata.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A fortified Bronze Age acropolis in southeast Malta and the name its culture on the island. The settlement was surrounded by walls of cyclopean masonry and enclosed oval huts. The discovery of a sherd of Mycenaean pottery points to long-distance trading contacts. Bronze Age tools and weapons have been found at Borg in-Nadur.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A settlement site and cemeterydating from at least the 2nd millennium BC in southern India. Wheeler found a Chalcolithiclevel (c 2800-1250 BC) with abundant microliths, polished stone axes, and crude burnished gray pottery, an Iron Age level (1st millennium BC) with black-and-red ware, 300 tombs, stone circles, and ossuaries for bones, and a level from the 1st century AD with rouletted ware and traces of Roman contact. Bone points and some evidence of a stone-bladeindustry have also been found. There are many cattle bones, but also sheep and goats. The culture seemed to continue with little change for many centuries.
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.
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.
Chiapa de Corzo
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the Grijalva River in Chiapas, Mexico, with one of the longest occupational sequences in Mesoamerica, c 1500 BC to the present. It flourished in Late Pre-Classic to Early Classic times with adobe construction, ceramics and figurines, and then pyramids dating to 550 BC and residential complexes of cut stone to 150 BC. The style and iconography of certain artifacts indicate contact with Izapa and Kaminaijuyu in the Late Pre-Classic. Hundreds of broken sherds tell of tradecontact with sites in the Penen, Monte Alban, and Teotihuacan in the Early Classic.
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."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Boca Chica CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: One of the two ceramicseries (the other, Meillacod) that seem to have developed out of the Ostinoid series. They originated near the type-site of Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, and then influenced much of the eastern Antilles. The Chicoid materials represent the ball game, Zemis, a variety of wood and stone carvings, and a strong Barrancoid influence is evident in the ceramics (modeled ornamentation and incision). The series first appears in c 1000 AD and continues till European contact.
Cook, Captain James (1728-1779)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: English navigator who made three voyages of exploration in the Pacific from 1769-1779, making many discoveries in Polynesia, Melanesia, and Australia. Though Cook was not the first European to discover most of the islands he visited, his accounts of the native peoples at the crucial point of first European contact are by far the most important in maritime history. His journals are used constantly by archaeologists who work in the Pacific region.
CATEGORY: tool DEFINITION: A hollow tubelike instrument used to collect samples of soils, pollens, and other materials from below the surface. The cylinder of soil etc. that is collected is called the core. The core is undisturbed and the sediment contacts, soil boundaries, and structures are intact and can be described accurately.
CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: A native Australian dog which was the only terrestrial non-marsupial carnivore and one of the few pre-European placental mammals in Australia. Introduced during the Holocene, the earliest dates are between 3500-3000 bp in Wombah, New Tasmania. At present the dingo's external origins are unknown, but the answer may bring to light human migrations and contacts between Australia and Asia in the mid-Holocene. The dog most closely resembles Indian mid-Holocene dogs.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Ireland where a hoard of over 200 bronzes of the Irish Late Bronze Age have been dated to the 8th century BC. Implements of the Dowris A phase (c 1000-c 800 BC) include many gold ornaments and a series of bronzes showing great proficiency in casting and sheet metalwork. Ireland was at this time in contact with Mediterranean and Nordic lands. Bronze cauldrons and V-notched shields demonstrate western links, while U-notched shields, bronze buckets and horns, pins with sunflower-shaped heads, and the use of conical rivets show connections with northern and central Europe. Ireland did not enter the Iron Age until just after 400 BC (i.e. during the La Tène period), though a few swords and axes show contact with Hallstatt Iron Age cultures. Dowris B and C were the final Irish bronze industries (c 800-400 BC) contemporary with the first part of the continental Iron Age.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Type of middle/late Bronze Age ceramic vessel found in the Low Countries. The pots are barrel-shaped with impressed cordondecoration on the upper part of the body and occasionally with zig-zag decoration. The shape and decoration of these vessels suggest some contact with the Deverel-Rimbury wares of southern England.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: Any debris transported or deposited by or from glacial ice and meltwater; a glacial deposit laid down by ice or water in glacial streams, lakes, or arctic oceans. The term 'drift' remains in common usage and includes alluvium, pro-glacial deposits, till, and ice-contact stratified drift.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tajín CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The major ceremonial site of the classic Veracruz civilization on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. The first construction goes back to 100 BC and building was continuous until c AD 1200 when the site was burned and abandoned. The principal structure is The Pyramid of Niches with 365 square niches built into the sides, corresponding to the 365 heads on the Temple of Quetzalcoatl at Teotihuacan. There are several ball-courts and a series of carved reliefs depicting mythological and ritual themes in which ball-players have an important role. Another part of the site is Tahin Chico, containing chambered buildings on low substructures. The people of El Tajín maintained trade contacts with Teotihuacan and the Maya states. The art style of the site was subject to many influences including Mayan, Izapan, and Olmec, but Teotihuacan influence dominates the early period. The artifact most commonly associated with Classic Veracruz culture is the hollow, clay 'smiling face' figurine. El Tajin's final destruction was probably at the hands of the Chichimecs.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The final Mesolithicculture of the west Baltic coastal region and coastal kitchen midden culture of Scandinavia. The type site is a coastal shellmound in Jutland, Denmark, dated to c 3900-3250 BC. Pollen analysis places the start of the culture within the Atlantic period, after c 5000 BC. The later phases of Ertebølle are marked by the introduction of pottery and polished stone axes, perhaps as a result of contact with the newly arrived Neolithic farmers to the south.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: That point in time when a traditional culturecame into contact with individuals from literate cultures, and was documented by them.
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: 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.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Germanic people inhabiting the North Sea coastal plain and islands between the Rhineland and the Elbe (Frisia) in the early centuries BC and AD. Their coastal settlements were on artificial mounds known as terpen. The Frisians were involved in the invasion of England by the Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century AD. They controlled the trade of the North Sea from the port of Dorestad at the mouth of the Rhine, which became a target for Viking raids. Frisia was absorbed into the Frankish kingdom, its conquest being completed by Charlemagne. Archaeological evidence of these trading ventures is seen at Dorestad, where extensive excavations have been done. Evidence in the mounded villages show signs of long-distance trade contacts, suggesting that the Frisians linked the Rhineland to the northern world from the beginning of the Roman period until modern times.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite east of the Tigris River near Khorsabad, Iraq, occupied from the 6th-2nd millennia BC. The earliest material was of the Halafperiod, while the succeeding period shows increasing contacts with the southern Mesopotamian 'Ubaidculture. It was as a northern outpost of the 'Ubaidculture in the 5th-4th millennia. Three temples facing onto open courtyards show resemblance to works at Eridu and Warka. There is evidence for surprisingly extensive trade. Neolithic settlers used undecorated pottery and Halafpottery. The succeeding period is contemporary with the Uruk and Jemdet Nasr periods to the south; this is often described as the 'Gawra period' late 4th millennium BC). In this period there is abundant evidence for differential wealth and social position, seen in the grave goods. Several temples of the period have an unusual form with separate portico. The most distinctive building of this phase, however, is a circular structure known as the 'Round House'.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Nagada II CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A late predynastic culture of Upper Egypt, successor of the Amratian, c 4000-3500 BC. It is named after the site of El Gerza or Gerzeh in the Fayum and is well represented at the cemetery of Naqada in Upper Egypt; another important site is Hierakonpolis. Flintwork included ripple-flaked knives and their was metalworking as copper was coming into use for axes, daggers, etc. Faience was introduced and ground stone vessels were popular and very finely worked. Typical pottery is a light-colored fabric in shapes imitating the stone vessels, decorated with red painted designs. These include imitations of stone markings, geometrical patterns and designs taken from nature. Ships were common, especially the papyrus-bundle craft used on the Nile. There is much evidence of contacts with southwestern Asia (in wavy-ledged handles on the jars, in cylinder seals, representations of mythical animals, the use of mudbrick in architecture, and possibly writing). These seem to have led to the advances which brought Egypt to the level of unified civilization at the start of the Dynastic period c 3200 BC.
CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: The hero of the best-known Sumerian epic, a famous figure of the early 3rd millennium BC in Mesopotamia. Gilgamesh was considered half god, half man in the literature. The Gilgamesh epic is an Akkadian poem written on 12 tablets which describe his reign as ruler of Uruk and his search for immortality; it includes the story of the Flood. The historical figure was named as a ruler of Warka in the Sumerian king list. He is now thought to have been a real king of the First Dynasty of Uruk (Early dynastic III phase, c 2650-2550 BC). The epics credit him with the construction of two temples and the city wall at Uruk and archaeological excavations have shown that these are real structures. Out of the nine Sumerian epics known, four are about Gilgamesh and cover a wide variety of topics, including man and nature, love and adventure, and friendship and combat. The desire for immortality carries Gilgamesh to the mythical land of Dilmun and brings him into contact with the Babylonian/Sumerian Noah-figure, Utanapishtim.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Allier, France, with an assemblage of pottery, clay tablets, bricks, terra-cottas, and glass that has been claimed as evidence of civilization in France prior to Greek and Roman contact. These items have been dismissed as forgeries but some items tested by thermoluminescence indicate a date range of 700 BC-100 AD. The discrepancy between the archaeological and the scientific evidence has yet to be resolved.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A technique used in the decoration of jewelry by soldering it with grains of gold, electrum, or silver. Tiny spherical drops of metal were soldered on to a background, forming the required pattern and giving it a granulartexture. The drops may have been made by heating a goldwire until a drop formed, or by meltinggold and slowly pouring it into cold water. As also for filigree, the solder was normally a gold-copperalloy with a lower meltingpoint than gold. First used as early as the 3rd millennium BC, it was widely known in western Asia and Egypt. The ancient Greeks perfected the technique, but by the 5th century BC granulation had been largely replaced by filigree in Greek work. The art of granulation probably reached its peak with the Etruscans between the 7th and 6th centuries BC, in the elaborately granulated and embossed earrings, pronged shoulder clasps for clothes, and beads found in Etruscan tombs. Granulation was particularly important in India and Persia after contact with the Roman Empire.
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.
Hafun / Hafun Point
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Xaafuun CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A peninsula on the eastern coast of Somalia with the best archaeological evidence yet available from the East African coast south of the Red Sea for early tradecontact with the Mediterranean world at the beginning of the Christian era. No permanent settlement is attested, but burials contain imported pottery, some of it Hellenistic. The earliest written accounts of the East African coast occur in the Periplus Maris Erythraei" -- apparently written by a Greek merchant living in Egypt in the second half of the 1st century AD -- and in Ptolemy's Guide to Geography the East African section of which in its extant form probably represents a compilation of geographic knowledge available at Byzantium in about 400. The Periplus describes in some detail the shore of what was to become northern Somalia. Ships sailed from there to western India to bring back cotton cloth grain oil sugar and ghee while others moved down the Red Sea to the East African coast bringing cloaks tunics copper and tin. Aromatic gums spices tortoiseshell ivory and slaves were traded in return."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Early Eastern Polynesian dunesite on Ua Huka Island, Marquesas. It has documented aspects of Marquesan prehistory from initial settlement (c 300 AD) to European contact. It is a crucial site for documenting early human dispersal into Eastern Polynesia.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A prehistorictradition of southern Arizona which began as a sedentary farming culture around 300 BC and existed until 1400/1450 AD. It was a cultural unit within the Cochise subculture and it had large villages, canal irrigation, and pottery-making. The finest craft products were shelljewelry and objects of carved stone. Diagnostic traits include small villages of shallow, oblong pit-houses with no formalized community plan, cremation of the dead, plain grey or brown paddle and anvil smoothed pottery (or sometimes painted red on buff). The tradition is divided into: Pioneer (150-550 AD), Colonial (550-900 AD), Sedentary (900-1100 AD), Classic (1100-1450 AD), and Post-Classic (1450-1700 AD). Between 550-1200 AD, renewed Mexican contacts brought foreign elements to the Hohokam: courts for the ball-game, platform mounds, new types of maize, slab metates, mosaic mirrors, exotic symbolism from Mexican religion, and the use of copper bells. From about 1100, certain groups began to construct pueblos under Anasazi influence. After 1400/1450, the Hohokam territory along the Gila and Salt Rivers seems to have been partially abandoned. Their cultural heirs are the Pima and Papago Indians. Snaketown is an important Hohokamsite.
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.
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: Indus Valley civilization, Harrapan civilization CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent, identified in 1921-1992 by its two capitals -- Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro -- both in modern Pakistan. It was also the most extensive of the three earliest civilizations, the other two being Mesopotamia and Egypt. It was one of the greatest civilizations of antiquity, but its origins are obscure. By around 2300 BC, the Indus civilization was fully developed and in trading contact with Sargonid Sumer. Radiocarbon dates from several sites support an origin c 2600 BC, and suggest that by 2000 BC the civilization was in marked decline. The Indus River seems to have played a significant part, as many sites show deposits left by frequent catastrophic floods. Exploitation of the vegetation, particularly for the baking of enormous quantities of brick, caused the decline of the countryside. The final collapse seems to have been due to hostile attack. A few inhumation cemeteries have been found associated with the gridiron-plan cities and there were elaborate drainage systems, also. The site of Mohenjo-Daro had a great bath, assembly hall, and other monumental buildings. There was widespread use of an undeciphered hieroglyphicscript and standard weights and measures. The economy was based on mixed agriculture and humped cattle were the most important domestic animals. The pottery was mass-produced and plain. Artistically the finest products were square steatite seals, carved with local or mythical animals and brief inscriptions. The civilization's effect on the later culture and religion of India seems to have been considerable.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The point of contact between two layers or features in an excavation, stratigraphically important. An example is the point between the fill of a buried ditch and the soil through which it was dug.
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: site DEFINITION: An island off South Australia with Kartan sites showing previous Aboriginal occupation, though it was uninhabited at European contact. These sites may be late Pleistocene, but material found at Cape du Couedic is dated to around 7000 bp.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A group of stone assemblages with heavy core tools found on Kangaroo Island and the nearby peninsulas of South Australia, a variant of the Australian CoreTool and Scraper Tradition. Kangaroo Island, now separated from Australia by a 15-km strait, was joined to the mainland during the Pleistocene. There were no Aboriginal inhabitants at the time of European contact. Radiocarbon estimates of 14,000 BC have been obtained for a possibly subsequent small scraperindustry in Seton rock shelter on Kangaroo Island. Kartan tools include unifacially flaked pebble choppers, large steep-edged flake scrapers, waisted ax blades, and large horsehoof cores (mean weights of 500 grams), sometimes associated with small quartz flakes. The proportion of core tools in the assemblage is much higher than in other Pleistocene sites.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Trondheim CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city in Norway founded in 997 by King Olaf I Tryggvason; he built a church and a royal residence, Kongsgård, there. The pottery, glass and coins from the excavations indicate that the site flourished in the 9th century. Like Hedeby and Birka, Kaupangr seems to have maintained extensive contacts with the Franks and Slavs as well as sustained links with the Arab world.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A valley in Molokai, Hawaii, with a well-preserved pre-European settlement from the last one or two centuries before contact.
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: artifact DEFINITION: A replica of a balsa raft constructed by Thor Heyerdahl in 1947 to test the hypothesis that South American Indians could have drifted into Polynesia. This was the type of raft used in the 16th century AD along the coasts of Ecuador and northern Peru. He sailed the raft from South America to the Tuamotu Archipelago to show that Indians could have reached Polynesia. Archaeological evidence, however, has shown that any contacts were only of a minor nature.
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).
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.
law of stratigraphical succession
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A unit of archaeologicalstratification takes its place in the stratigraphic sequence of a site from its position between the undermost / earliest of the units which lie above it and the uppermost / latest of all the units which lie below it and with which the unit has a physical contact.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Important settlement site on Euboea, an island in the Aegean, occupied from the later 3rd millennium till the end of the 2nd millennium BC. Early levels have Anatolian-typepottery. At Toumba there is an artificial tumulus covering an apsidal structure which is surrounded by a peristyle of wooden columns, c 1000 BC. The rich burial of a man and woman may have been a shrine for a hero cult. Artifacts link this site to the eastern Mediterranean: the large bronze vessel in which the man's ashes were deposited came from Cyprus, and the gold items buried with the woman are of sophisticated workmanship. Remains of horses were found as well; the animals had been buried with their snaffle bits. The grave was within a large collapsed house, whose form anticipates that of the Greek temples two centuries later. This burial and finds at other cemeteries further attest contacts between Egypt and Cyprus between 1000-800 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Li-fan CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: Type site northwest of Chengdu, China, of a local culture of western Sichuan province. It was characterized by slatecist burials and grave goods suggests that the culture flourished in the late Eastern Chou and early Han periods. It seems to have wide-ranging contacts, including metropolitan China (western Han coins), the Xindian culture of Gansu (pottery shapes), the Ordosregion (small animal bronzes), and perhaps even Western Asia (glass beads).
CATEGORY: 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).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Apennine village with long houses cut into soft rock, a small but prosperous Roman town on the Ligurian coast of north Italy. It specialized in the trade of marbles quarried at Carrara. There is evidence of its Late Roman trading contacts with North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean and there are imported soapstones and lead coins of the 7th-9th centuries.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cassava, yuca CATEGORY: flora DEFINITION: A starchy root plant native to the tropical lowland zone of South America, where it was cultivated along with other root crops. Its origin may have been in Venezuela before 2500 BC and it became established in the Andes and reached the Peruvian coast before 2000 BC. Manioc can grow under various conditions, but only in the lowland forest did manioc retain its position as the main food plant. On archaeological sites, large clay disks are often interpreted as griddles on which were baked flat cakes made of a flour prepared by roasting grated manioc roots and juice-catching pots for the prussic acid they contain. The plant underwent elaborate detoxification process (including grating, pulping, draining and finally cooking) before consumption. It was the staplediet throughout most of Amazonia and the Caribbean at the time of European contact. Manioc is the source of tapioca.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: One of the Cyclades in the Aegean, famous as a major source of obsidian, whose trade brought wealth to the island. It was used extensively for chipped stone implements in Aegean prehistory from as early as the 10th millennium BC. The island, however, was not inhabited until the 4th millennium BC. At Phylakopi three successive settlements were discovered, of roughly Early Cycladic II, Middle Cycladic, and Late Cycladic respectively. They show increasing influence from the Minoans of Crete, so much so that the third is better regarded as a provincial Minoan town than a native Cycladic one. Nevertheless the island maintained closecontact with the Greek mainland, and with the collapse of Crete is came fully into the sphere of the Mycenaeans. The classicalpolis, destroyed by Athens in 416 BC, centered on the fortified acropolis of ancient Melos.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The tellsite of Yümük-Tepe on the southern coast of Turkey (Anatolia) with 33 major levels, the bulk of which are Neolithic and Chalcolithic. The lowest levels were of an Early Neolithic characterized by monochrome impressed wares and radiocarbon dated to 6000 BC. A long series of Chalcolithic levels were tied into the Mesopotamian sequence (Hassuna, Halaf, Ubaid, etc.) by imported sherds. Occupation resumed in the Middle Bronze Age until the Iron Age. The Iron Age levels have ceramic evidence of contacts with the Aegean world. There are also Byzantine and medieval (c 1500 AD) occupations.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Rocks which have been changed from their original form by heat or by pressure beneath the surface of the earth. Metamorphic transformations include limestone to marble, shale to slate, and slate to schist. When magma forms an intrusion, it heats and alters the surrounding rocks by contact metamorphism, which forms a ring of altered rocks?the metamorphic aureole?around the intrusion.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Sites in Armenia near Yerevan with Kura-Araxes and Late Bronze to Early Iron Age occupations. The latter indicates the existence of pre-Urartian states in Transcaucasia. Objects inscribed in Mesopotamian cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphics have been found in the graves dating to the 15th-14th centuries BC. these imply long-distance contacts with southern civilizations.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Middle Neolithicculture of Belgium, northeastern France, the Rhineland and parts of Switzerland from c 4500-4000 BC. It occupies a frontier zone on the borders of the Danubian culture, TRB culture, and western Neolithiccomplex, and shares traits with all three. The type site is a hilltop enclosure in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. There are many regional subgroups. The Belgian one has leaf-shaped arrowheads, antler combs, flint mines, and enclosures similar in construction to causewayed camps, and may have had links with the Windmill Hill culture of Britain. In the Rhineland and Low Countries, the culture was closely related to Funnel-Necked Beaker Culture and a succession to the Röessen Culture. Pottery forms include pointed- and round-based vessels with flaring rims and flat pottery disks (plats à pain) which were probably lids. One of innovations was use of deep mines for flint (Spiennes in Belgium, Rijckholt in Netherlands) where axes were made. Contacts by the Michelsberg with late Mesolithic hunter-gatherers north of the loess zone gave rise to semiagricultural communities, as evidenced by relics from about 4000 BC found in the Netherlands delta at Swifterbant in Flevoland and Hazendonkborn and Bergschenhoekborn in Zuid-Holland.
Middle Bronze Age
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: MBA CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: In the Levant, the period of sophisticated urban civilization of the Canaanites, MBA I c 1950-1800 BC and MBA II c 1800-1550 BC. The Middle Bronze Age provides the background for the beginning of the story of the Old Testament. The archaeological evidence for the period shows new types of pottery, weapons, and burial practices. It was an urban civilization based on agriculture. There was much contact with the Phoenicians and the Egyptians during this time. The destruction of Megiddo, Jericho, and Tell Beit Mirsim that followed the Egyptians' expulsion of the Hyksos into Palestine occurred at the end of the Middle Bronze Age.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Movement of human populations from one area to another, usually resulting in cultural contact.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The Bronze Age civilization of Crete, a name coined by Sir Arthur Evans derived from the legendary ruler of Knossos, Minos. The civilization is divided into three phases: Early (c 3000-2000 BC), Middle (c 2000-1550 BC), and Late (c 1550-1050 BC). Each had three subdivisions marked with Roman numerals. They stand out as the first civilized Europeans, with a highly sophisticated way of life and material equipment, and were surprisingly modern. They probably represented a fusion between Anatolian immigrants and the native Neolithicpopulation, with some trading contacts through the east Mediterranean. In the Middle Minoanperiod, urbanization became apparent, towns appeared and, a Minoan specialty, the first of the great palaces, Knossos, Mallia, and Phaestos. Overseas trade was greatly expanded, too. The height of its development was in the 18th-15th centuries BC. By about 1580 BC Minoancivilization began to spread across the Aegean to neighboring islands and to the mainland of Greece. Minoan cultural influence was reflected in the Mycenean culture of the mainland, which began to spread throughout the Aegean about 1500 BC. The palaces were destroyed c 1450, probably by the cataclysmic eruption of Santorini/Thera -- or by conquerors from the mainland. After that, Greek-speaking Mycenaeans gained control of Knossos and Crete; only Knossos was reoccupied on a significant scale. The final fall of Knossos, c 1400 BC, marked the end of Crete's period of greatness. Their Linear A script has not been deciphered, but Linear B has been successfully translated as an early form of Greek, written in a syllabary, but belongs only to the period of mainland domination, and is therefore more relevant to Mycenaeans than Minoans. Their pottery is among the most artistic of any place or time, using abstract curvilinear, floral, and marine designs. Craftsmen reached high levels of technical skill and aesthetic achievement in pottery, metal work, stonework, jewelry, and wall painting (the palaces are lavishly decorated with frescoes). Vessels, figurines, and magnificent seal stones were also carved in stone and bronze and gold objects made. There were many bull sporting events. Cult activities normally took place either in hilltop shrines, often in caves, or in small shrines within the palaces, and often involved animals, including goats and especially bulls. There is an alternative division of the Minoancivilization into Prepalatial (Early Minoan I-III), Protopalatial (Middle Minoan I-II), Neopalatial (Middle Minoan III-Late Minoan IIIA1), and Postpalatial (Late Minoan IIIA2-IIIC).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A major ceremonial center of the Zapotec people in Oaxaca, Mexico, built around 900 BC on top of an artificially flattened mountain. Monte Albán (I = 900-300 BC) was probably created to serve as the capital of the entire valley, which had previously been divided among several states. It was an immense complex of monumental construction, with a huge plaza (300 x 200 m) dominated by three central mounds. The plaza was flanked on the east and west by temples, pyramids, and platform mounds; on the northern and southern extremities are more complexes of monumental building, including a ball court. There are also underground passageways. By the end of Period I, the city had between 10,000- 20,000 inhabitants living in houses on hill slope terraces around a nucleus of ceremonial and governmental buildings. Hieroglyphicwriting was in use, with bar-and-dot numerals, and dates were expressed in terms of the calendar round. More than 300 carved slabs ('danzantes') depict naked and contorted figures who may be captives, and inscriptions definitely recording conquests occur soon afterwards. In Late I/Early II, the city was surrounded by a defense wall. Period I includes the appearance of Grey Ware and Olmec-influenced monumental art. Period II is characterized by contact with Maya lowland centers and later, by the increasing influence of Teotihuacán. Period IIIA (the 3rd-5th centuries AD) is marked by increased contact with Teotihuacán, reflected in pottery (thin orange ware, cylindrical tripod vases), tomb frescoes, Talud-Tablero architecture, and stela inscriptions. Monte Albán reached the height of its power in Period IIIB, 500-900 AD, during which elaborate funerary urns in Grey Ware make their appearance and when the site reached its peak population of 50-60,000 people. Most of the surviving buildings belong to this time. During Monte Albán IV, 900-1521 AD, building ceased. After 900, the centers of power moved elsewhere and Monte Albán was considerably depopulated. It was essentially abandoned. In Period V, Monte Albán was of only secondary importance as a city and a political force. Mixtec art styles make their appearance in the valley and Monte Albán was used as a cemetery, with earlier Zapotec tombs reused for the Mixtec dead. One of the richest discoveries in ancient Mexico was Tomb 7, with over 500 precious offerings in Mixtecstylegold and silver ornaments, fine stonework, and a series of bones carved with hieroglyphic and calendrical inscriptions.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cultural group named after the site of Sohr Damb (Red Mound), near the village of Nal in central Baluchistan, Pakistan. It is related to the Kulliculture further south and is dated to the first half of the 3rd millennium BC. Both settlements are associated with water-control systems which allowed exploitation of alluvial plains for agriculture. The Chalcolithicpopulation used copper for many tools and weapons, as well as ground stone. They made beads from agate and perhaps also lapis lazuli. The fine buff pottery, some wheelmade, is decorated with geometric patterns in black paint; red, blue, green, and yellow pigments were often applied after firing. Some traits in the pottery, a glazed steatiteseal and many faience beads point to contact with the Indus Civilization. Many burials were excavated on the type site, belonging to a period later than the settlement. The rite employed was fractional burial, the graves containing fragmentary skeletons together with quantities of distinctive pottery.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Nazca CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Major culture of the southern coast of Peru during the Early Intermediate Period, c 200 BC-600 AD, developed out of Paracas. The principal Nascasite is at Cahuachi on the Nasca River, with a great adobetemple atop a mound, some walled courts and large rooms, and a number of smaller constructions. The earliest pottery, of roughly the 2nd century BC, still shows Paracas influence in the iconography and the use of up to 16 colors, but the paint was not put on before firing. Typical Nascapottery with designs of fish, birds, severed heads, human figures and demons, shows a long internal development. The final Nasca substyle incorporates patterns taken from the art of Huari, and this contact was soon followed by invasion. Stylistically, the Nascaceramics have been divided into nine phases. With the expansion of the Huari empire to the coast around the 7th century AD, Nascaculturecame to an end and was replaced by a local version of Huari. To the Nascaperiod belong some (or all) of the desert markings, the so-called 'Nasca lines', made by scraping away the weathered surface of the desert to expose the lighter material beneath. Motifs include lines, geometrical patterns, and a few animal or bird forms. The dead were buried in large cemeteries, mainly near Cahuachi. Nasca survived into the Middle Horizon, when it became fused with the more dominant Huari and Tiahuanaco styles.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kom Gi'eif, Naucratis CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient Greek town in the Nile River delta, on the Canopic (western) branch of the river. An emporion (trading station") with exclusive trading rights in Egypt Naukratis was the center of cultural relations and trade between Greece and Egypt in the pre-Hellenistic period. It was established by Milesians in the 7th century BC and flourished throughout the classical period. There was a shared administrative building called the Helleneion. It declined after Alexander's conquest of Egypt and the foundation of Alexandria (332 BC). There is evidence for the minting of silver and bronze coins and for the existence of a new building program under the early Ptolemies. By Roman imperial times the site may have been abandoned. Dedications to deities and Greek pottery have thrown light on the early history of the Greek alphabet and the commercial activity of various Greek states especially in the 6th century BC. It was mentioned by Herodotus as the chief point of contact between Egypt and Greece until Hellenistic period and rise of Alexandria."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The largest island of Oceania, in the eastern Malay Archipelago, north of Australia. New Guinea was joined to Australia in low sea-level periods of Pleistocene and was probably first settled by early Australoids at the same time as its larger neighbor. New Guinea archaeology examines the Highlands, which is totally Papuan-speaking, and also the coasts, which is mixed Papuan and Austronesian. The Highland prehistoricsequence in totally aceramic. Stone mortars and pestles, many elaborate shape, are also found in the Highlands. The New Guinea coasts only have sequences back to 3000-2000 years ago as earlier sites were probably drowned by rising sea levels. The best-reported are Collingwood Bay and south coastal Papua, both with pottery. Some coastal groups had developed elaborate trading networks by the time of European contact. Almost the whole of New Guinea is occupied by speakers of Papuan languages, the original settlers of the island, who live mainly in the interior and southern sections. Ethnic composition is complex among the Papuans, who speak some 700 different languages.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Noin-ula CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A range of hills in northern Mongolia near Lake Baikal where a rich burialsite, possibly of the Xiongnu nobility of the 1st century AD, has been excavated. To the north of Ulaanbaatar on the Selenge River, Noin Ula had horse burials and the furnishings of one tomb were especially lavish. The prince for whom it was made must have been in contact with China, for his coffin was apparently made for him there, as were some of his possessions buried with him -- a lacquercupinscribed with the name of its Chinese maker and dated September 5, 13 AD. His horse trappings are elaborately decorated and the saddle covered with leather threaded with black and red wool clipped to resemble velvet. The magnificent textiles in the tomb included a woven wool rug lined with thin leather with purple, brown, and white felt appliqué work. Other textiles are of Greco-Bactrian and Parthian origin. Some objects are similar to ones from Pazyryk in the Altai. The tombs, which were plundered in antiquity, take the form of wooden burial chambers in deep shafts over which earthen barrows were raised.
Nubian A Group
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Nubian A-Group culture CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The name conventionally given to the earliest fully food-producing society known in the archaeological record of Nubia, late in the 4th millennium BC. The 'A Group' people probably had an indigenous Nubian ancestry, but were evidently in regular tradecontact. The A Group is known mainly from graves, as from the excavated cemetery at Qustul, and adopted symbols of kingship similar to those of contemporary kings of Egypt of the Naqadah II-III period. It was one of the earliest phases of state formation in the world. Some settlement sites have been investigated, as at Afyeh near the First Cataract where rectangular stone houses were built, as well other rural villages. Sheep and goats were herded, with some cattle, while both wheat and barley were cultivated. Luxury manufactured goods imported from Egypt included stone vessels, amulets, copper tools and linen cloth.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: eastern hemisphere CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: The Eastern Hemisphere, with special reference to Europe, Africa, and Asia; the part of the world known to Europeans before contact with the Americas.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tenocelome, La Venta CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The first complexcivilization of Mesoamerica and its distinctive art style, beginning in the Early Preclassic (c 1200 BC) and ending c 400 BC. The farming population built and supported great ceremonial centers (La Venta, San Lorenzo, Tenochititlan, Tres Zapotes), importing tons of serpentine and basalt from outside the region. The Olmecs were great stone-carvers whose products ranged from basalt heads almost 2 meters high to small jade figurines in which the attributes of a baby-faced human being merge and blend with those of a jaguar to form a composite monster (were-jaguar). Carvings in this distinctive style have been discovered over much of Mexico and as far south as El Salvador and Costa Rica. They are also noted for a distinctive black, white-rimmed kaolinpottery. Olmec figurines and pottery have been found at various sites in central Mexico and contacts were strong with the cultures of Oaxaca before the construction of Monte Albán. The Olmec are also known for art in jadeite and shell and the first hieroglyphicwritingsystem. The Olmec golden age was the early part of the 1st millennium BC. They developed many of the religious traditions that were to sustain the Maya and other Mesoamerican civilizations such as Teotihuacán. They are not to be confused with historic Olmecs, who were a later group and may have helped destroy Teotihuacan, and whose tyranny was responsible for migration of many Mesoamerican peoples.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A mold used to impart a decorative pattern to a sheet of glass, which is ten pressed into a contact mold in order to make a finished item.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: orientalizing CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The period in the 8th and 7th centuries BC, during which Scythian-Iranian Oriental objects with their animalistic motifs were spread and consequently imitated throughout the Mediterranean countries, especially in Greece and Italy. It is also the style of Greek art in that period, a decorative scheme found especially on pottery. The style was probably the result of renewed contact with Syria, Phoenicia, and Egypt. It is an art history term also used of various periods and cultures in antiquity when a 'western' production shows evidence for influence from the Near, Middle, or Far East. An example would be this borrowing by Greek Black-Figure painters of numerous abstract, vegetable and animal motifs from Syrian and Phoenician art. From about 650 BC on, the Greeks began to visit Egypt regularly, and their observation of the monumentalstone buildings there was the genesis of the ultimate development of monumental architecture and sculpture in Greece. The Egyptians executed in hard stone instead of the limestone, clay, or wood to which the Greeks had been accustomed. The Greeks learned the techniques of handling the harder stone in Egypt, and at home they turned to the fine white marble of the Cyclades islands (Paros, Naxos) for their materials. It was at this time that the first truly monumental examples of Greek sculpture appeared. The period in Greece continued through the 7th century BC and saw the rise of narrative in Greek art.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Perigordian CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A French classification for the Upper Palaeolithictradition of western Europe, from its identification with the Perigord region of southern France. The flintindustrysequence begins with the Chatelperronian (or Early Périgordian) from which, according to some, developed the first of the 'Upper Périgordian' industries (Gravettian, or Périgordian IV). The later stages are represented by industries with Font Robert points and Noailles burins, and finally by the Proto-Magdalenian. The Périgordian tradition comes to an end in western Europe with the intrusion of a new Solutreanstyle of flintwork. No known site has a complete and unbroken 'Périgordian' sequence, and in many caves the Lower and Upper 'Périgordian' levels are separated by strata of the intrusiveAurignacianindustry, which must represent a break of several thousand years. The French scheme requires the Périgordian and Aurignacian people to have lived side by side with each other for millennia without any apparent contact between them. In the 1930s, Denis Peyrony advocated the view that the Aurignacian or early Upper Palaeolithic in France consisted of a true Aurignacian and a separate line of cultures, the Perigordian, beginning before the Aurignacian but co-existing alongside it down the time of the Solutrean. It is not known what kind of man was responsible for the Perigordian, but it is usually assumed that it was Cro-Magnon man, at least in the latter part. A Neanderthal-like skull has been found with the early Perigordian, or Chatelperronian. Art is found in a few later Perigordian contexts. The Perigordian scheme is not now widely accepted as it is based on artifact typology rather than stratigraphic evidence.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age site inland from Syracuse in southeast Sicily, occupied c 13th-8th centuries BC. The 5,000 rock-cut tombs which honeycomb the hillside around have yielded great quantities of material. Pottery and metal goods from the tombs indicate trading contacts with both mainland Italy and the Aegean. The characteristic local pottery is wheelmade, red-slipped, and burnished. Four phases run from contemporary with Late Mycenaean c 1200 BC to well after the first Greek colonies formed in the 8th century BC. At least one public building has been exposed: a large stone built structure described as an anaktoron or palace.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A second, and presumed significant, occurrence of a trait under consideration, implying derivation or contact; a secondary occurrence similar enough to show resemblance.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: patination CATEGORY: artifact; geology DEFINITION: The outermost layer of an artifact, which may differ in color, texture, luster, or substance from the inner part of the artifact due to physical, biological, or chemical alteration due to environmental conditions. The term also refers to any thin, colored film or layer formed on the surface of flint or other rock as a result of alkaline conditions. It is a porous bluish or white weathering; possibly becoming stained with brown or yellow due to contacts with iron compounds in percolating water. Similarly, the green patina on bronze objects is a product of corrosion. The amount of patination is sometimes used as a very rough indication of age; the longer the exposure the deeper is the patination.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: black metal CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A tin-based alloy used as a material from which domestic utensils were fashioned. The alloy is often 100 parts of tin to 17 of antimony; or 89 tin, 7 antimony, and 2 copper. Tin and zinc, and lead and tin, are sometimes used to make pewter. The use of pewter dates back at least 2,000 years to Roman times. Ancient pewter contained about 70 percent tin and 30 percent lead. Such pewter, also called black metal, darkened greatly with age, and the lead leached out in contact with acidic foods.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Neolithic settlement site of the Cucuteni-Tripolye culture in the Ukraine. Found were smelted copper ingots suggesting trade contacts with the Carpathian-Balkan region.
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).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Huaylas CATEGORY: culture; site DEFINITION: Pre-Columbian culture and site near present-day Recuay in the Callejón de Huaylas Valley of the northern highlands of Peru. The Recuayculture dates to the Early Intermediate Period c 200 BC-600 AD and was contemporaneous with the Mocheculture on the north coast. Recuay is known for its distinctive pottery which features a type of decoration in three colors (black, red, white) and a style of modeling with small figures of men, jaguars, llamas, and other animals attached to the vessel. The vessels were found in underground galleries and box-shaped tombs. The style, also called Huaylas, shows contact with the Moche and Gallinazo styles. Recuaystonecarving (called Aija) is related to that of the Pucará and Tiahuanaco cultures. It is characterized by the stiff blockish quality which is widespread throughout the Peruvian Highlands.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Any object surviving from an earlier culture, especially a valuable or symbolic object. In religion, a relic is the mortal remains of a saint and includes any object that has been in contact with the saint. Christianity was governed throughout the Middle Ages by the belief that spiritual virtue could be transmitted through relics of a person who in life was blessed with miraculous powers. Coffins and small objects such as combs, jewelry, and clothing were commonly sanctified and subsequently housed in beautiful reliquary caskets or shrines. Ecclesiastical centers with a collection of relics would be visited by large numbers of pilgrims, especially on saints' days, when the objects were put on special display and sometimes paraded.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: resistivity survey CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A geosurvey survey technique that measures the electrical resistance of the ground for the location of buried features and structures. Any electrical exploration method in which current is introduced in the ground by two contact electrodes and potential differences are measured between two or more other electrodes. It relies on the principle that different deposits offer different resistance to the passage of an electric current depending largely on the amount of water present. A damp pit or ditch fill will offer less resistance, stone wall foundations more, than the surrounding soil. It is one of the most commonly used and least expensive geophysical surveying methods. Readings are taken in a grid-pattern of points all over a suspected site. Variation of resistance through a site is caused mainly by differences in the amount of water contained in pore spaces of deposits and structures. The outline of features may be seen if the readings are plotted as a plan. Although the technique is generally known as 'resistivitysurveying', most archaeological surveys use only the ground resistance (in ohms). It compares well with magnetic surveying, as the instruments are simple and cheap and also because modern features such as power cables, iron scrap, and standing buildings do not affect the readings.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Unusual Late Mesolithic (Ertebolle) site in Denmark, about 10 km inland but with evidence of contact with the coast.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: futhark; runic CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: An angular script for carving on wood or stone developed by Germanic peoples (northern Germany, Scandinavia) around the 4th century AD through contact with Mediterranean alphabets. The early alphabet, with 24 letters divided into three groups of eight, was mainly used for short commemorative or magic protective formulae. A simplified alphabet of 16 characters was developed in Scandinavia from the 9th century, and this was used for more elaborate inscriptions, continuing for a long period in the Middle Ages. The etymology of the word means 'secret', 'mystery', 'counsel', and 'charm'. It is first recorded in Denmark and Schleswig and spread widely across northern Europe. The voyages of the Vikings later carried it as far as Russian and Iceland, where it remained in use into the Middle Ages. There are no substantiated runic inscription from the New World. A rune stone is a freestanding memorial stone with an inscription in runes. Runes are also associated with ceremonial artifacts, but also seen as graffiti.
CATEGORY: ceramics; culture DEFINITION: A type of Haji-like incised-motifpottery made in early Hokkaido and northern Honshu, Japan, from c 4th-14th centuries, and to the culture characterized by this pottery. Satsumon houses are very much like Late Kofun houses. Iron tools were used and cloth was woven. The Satsumonculture is seen as the transformation of a Jomon-typeculture, which continued late in northern Japan, as the result of the contacts with Haji-using people to the south. The people are thought to be the ancestors of the historic Ainu.
Scoglio del Tonno
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Prehistoric site on a promontory projecting into the harbor of Taranto in Puglie, Italy, where a Middle and Late Bronze Age settlement existed. It was first occupied during the Late Neolithic by people suing Serra D'Alto Ware. It was then abandoned but resettled in the mid-2nd millennium BC by a community of the Apennine Bronze Age culture. A great wealth of material of the 14th-12th centuries BC has been found, including much bronzework and sherds of Late Helladic III pottery, which indicate contact with Mycenaean traders c 1300 BC. After the collapse of the Mycenaean world, Scoglio del Tonno continued to exist and trade with the Greek world It survived until the foundation of the Greek colony of Taras in 706 BC. Scoglio del Tonno was destroyed, after excavation, when the port was extended in 1899.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: protohistoric CATEGORY: chronology; language DEFINITION: The time when literate people came in contact with and wrote about nonliterate peoples.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Large, important Hohokamsite in the lower Gila River valley of Arizona with 1400 years of continuous occupation beginning c 300 BC. It is the best documented of all Hohokam villages, with 60 mounds (some rubbish heaps, others platforms) and a ball court, as well as fields, irrigation canals, and more than 200 excavated pithouses. The pottery and shell show craft specialization and contact with Mesoamerican cultures. At its peak, c 1100, the village had about 1,000 inhabitants, but was abandoned then or soon after. Snaketown followed the standard sequence of Hohokam development, with Mexican influence becoming marked during the final centuries.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A major archipelago in eastern Polynesia in the central South Pacific, divided into the Windward (Tahiti and Moorea) and Leeward (Raiatea, Huahine, Borabora, Tahaa, Maupiti). The islands were settled around 500 AD by Polynesians who developed a number of chiefdoms. The islands were first recorded by Europeans after 1767, when they were claimed for Britain by Captain Samuel Wallis. Important early sites include the Maupiti Burial Ground and the site of Vaito'Otia on Huahine, and later sites are mainly complexes of Marae. The island of Raiatea was regarded as a source of religion and ritual by eastern Polynesians, but by European contact this island had fallen under the control of the neighboring smaller island of Borabora.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: state-organized society CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A form of social organization characterized by a strong central government, socio-economic class divisions, and a marketeconomy; the most complexform of social organization. Leadership is not based on kinship affiliation, though it may be. States are frequently marked by an armed force and a bureaucracy for recordkeeping. They often have very large populations, have cities and monumental architecture. Such a society retains many chiefdom characteristics in elaborated form, but also includes true political power sanctioned by legitimate force, and social integration through concepts of nationality and citizenship usually defined by territorial boundaries. A distinction can be drawn between primary states, those whose origin is independent of any contact with previously existing states, and secondary states, which arise from influences emanating from already established states. In cultural evolutionist models, it ranks second only to the empire as the most complex societal developmental stage.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Sixth and seventh century AD burial mounds in Suffolk, England, the richest treasure found in British soil. It was the royal cemetery of the Wuffingas, early Anglo-Saxon kings of East Anglia. The largest of the burial mounds was found to cover a Saxon boat, its form preserved only by the impression left in the sand by its vanished timbers, with their iron bolts still in their original positions. The boat had been propelled by 38 oars; there was no mast. The grave goods include a decorated helmet, sword, and shield; ceremonial whetstone; goldbeltbuckle; purse and cloak clasps; Millefiori glass; cloisonné garnets; Merovingiangold coins; and Byzantium silver vessels and spoons. It is likely to have been prepared as a cenotaph in honor of Redwald (d. 625). He was the most important East Anglian king. The treasure shows a higher cultural level and wider commercial contacts than had previously been figured for the early Saxonperiod in England. This type of funerary ritual is known from Migration Period Europe and is described in the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf. The ship and artifacts are now housed in the British Museum.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Island that was part of the Australian continent during the late Pleistocene, then separated by rising sea levels which formed Bass Strait about 9000 BC. Occupation of southwestern Tasmania by 30,000 bp is now well established. At the time of European contact, Tasmanian aborigines had a simple tool kit of stone flakes and core scrapers, pebble choppers, wooden pointed spears, digging sticks, clubs, and throwing sticks. They lacked all the post-Pleistocene tools known on the mainland. At sites on the northwestern tip, deposits are dated to c 6000 BC with bone points, stone scrapers, and pebble tools. Around 1000 BC, bone points disappeared and there is evidence of fish exploitation. Pecked engravings at Mount Cameron West resemble the Panaramitee style of central Australia. The arrival of Europeans was disastrous, with Tasmanians becoming almost extinct in the 19th century.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Very important site north of Mexico City, at its peak c 450-650 AD the largest and most powerful city in Mesoamerica. It had its beginnings as one of a number of small agricultural settlements around the shores of ancient Lake Texcoco. Teotihuacán flourished by c 300/200 BC and by 100 AD, it had about 40,000 inhabitants. Archaeological work has provided more information about Teotihuacán than about any comparable Mexican site. Teotihuacán maintained extensive political and trade contacts with lowland Mexico, and is famed for its enormous public buildings and pyramids. At its heart is a complex of magnificent architecture including the massive Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon, the Cuidadela (probably an administrative center), and the Great Compound (probably a market place); there are no ball courts. The structures are distributed along a central roadway known as the Street of the Dead. After the destruction of Cuicuilco, Teotihuacan expanded and people were housed in apartment compounds which exhibit some social differentiation. Many of the inhabitants were craftsmen, and some 500 workshop sites have been identified. Four-fifths of those sites were devoted to obsidian working. Teotihuacán controlled the central highlands of Mexico, and was in contact with all the principal centers of civilization (Monte Albán, Tikal, etc.) as far as Belize. The influence of Teotihuacán during the Early Classic was considerable and most major centers have some Teotihuacán forms. Characteristic of Teotihuacán influence are Talud-Tablero architecture, images of Tlaloc, cylindrical tripod vases, Thin Orange Ware, murals, and stylized human face masks. There is very little massive stonesculpture except as architectural embellishments. The end of Teotihuacan came fairly suddenly. A decline in its influence at other sites was evident by c 600, but the city itself was not destroyed until 750. There is much evidence of burning from that time, indicating that the city may have been sacked --possibly by the Chichimecs. The city was never rebuilt, but a small population remained in the ruined city for more than a hundred years.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Waset, Wase, Wo'se, Nowe, Nuwe CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Principal city of Upper Egypt, on the east bank of the Nile, which was the capital of the fourth nome of Upper Egypt and, during much of the Middle and New Kingdoms, of the whole country. Its importance lay in its being the seat of Amon (Amun) and the surviving remains include the impressive temples at Karnak and Luxor as well as the tombs and temples of the cemeteries on the west bank, including the Valley of the Kings, Deir El-Bahri, and the Valley of the Queens. Those mortuary temples and tombs were for kings and high officials from the Middle Kingdom to the end of the Pharaonic period (c 2055-332 BC). In contrast with the practice of earlier times, the pharaohs of this time were buried in carefully concealed rock-cut tombs. The only one surviving looters fairly intact was that of Tutankamun, a comparatively minor ruler of the 18th Dynasty. The height of Theban prosperity was reached in the 14th century BC in the reign of Amenhotep III, much of whose vast wealth from foreign tribute was poured into the temples of Amon. Thebes is also the name of a site in Greece, principal city of Boeotia in the classical and pre-classical periods, with a legendary history that predates the Trojan expedition. The ruined 15th-century-BC Minoan-stylepalace at Cadmea had frescoes of Theban women in Minoan dress; some Cretan vases also suggest contacts between Thebes and Knossos in the period 1450-1400 BC. Clay tablets confirmed Mycenaean-Minoan links and the discovery of Mesopotamian cylinder seals reinforced the theory that Cadmus introduced writing to Greece. Thebes rivaled Argolís as a center of Mycenaean power until its palace and walls were destroyed shortly before the Trojan War (c 1200 BC). According to tradition, the city was destroyed by the sons of the Seven about whom Aeschylus wrote.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Funnel Beaker culture CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Abbreviated name for the Danish Tragterbecker or German Trichterrandbecher culture, alternatively known in English as the Funnel Beaker Culture. It is the first Neolithicculture of northern Europe, found in southern Scandinavia, the Low Countries, northern Germany, and northern Poland, in the later 4th and early 3rd millennium BC. It is characterized by the use of a funnel-necked beaker with globular body. It is thought to represent the acculturation of local Mesolithic communities by contact with the Linear Pottery culture groups further south. Five regional groups have been determined: western group in the Netherlands, sometimes associated with hunebedden (megalithic burial monuments); southern group in Germany; southeastern group in Czechoslovakia; eastern group in Poland; and northern group in Denmark and Sweden. Settlement sites are not well known, but burials are abundant, especially Dysser in Scandinavia and in Kujavian Graves in Poland; passage graves were eventually used. Other artifacts include ground stone axes and battle-axes, and copper tools appear in later phases. The TRB culture is succeeded by -- and perhaps developed directly into -- the Single Grave culture.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Nqoma CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Later Stone Age and Iron Age rock shelters with rock art, in northwest Botswana. Depression Shelter in the Tsodilo Hills has evidence of continuousKhoisan occupation from about 17,000 BC to about 1650 AD. There is also evidence of early farming settlement there, alongside Khoisan hunter and pastoralist sites, dated from about 550 AD. Archaeologists therefore have difficulty in interpreting the hundreds of rock paintings in the Tsodilo Hills, which were once assumed to be painted by Bushman" (San) hunters remote from all pastoralist and farmer contact."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Ras Shamra, Ra's Shamra CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Important site of an ancient Syrian city, north of Latakia on the Syrian coast, occupied from an aceramic Early Neolithic (7th millennium BC) through the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age. It was destroyed c 1200 BC; its fall coincided with the invasion of the Northern and Sea Peoples and earthquakes and famines. In its last three centuries it was in commercial contact with Egypt, the Hittites, and the Mycenaeans. Temples to Baal and Dagon (2nd millennium BC) and an elaborate palace with archives of cuneiformclay tablets have been excavated. These commercial and administrative documents and religious texts are very important records of the Canaanites. The texts are written either in the Babylonian cuneiformscript or in the special alphabetic cuneiformscript invented in Ugarit, dating to the 15th-14th centuries BC when it came first under strong Egyptian influence and then under Hittite dominance. Ugarit may be credited with the development of the first true alphabet: simplified cuneiform signs were used for an alphabet of 30 letters. Bronzes, ivories, stelae, high priest's library, and built tombs also survive.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Unetice period; Aunjetitz; Unetician culture CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Early Bronze Age culture centered on Bohemia, Bavaria, Germany, Poland, and Moravia, named after a type site cemetery north of Prague, Czechoslovakia. Characteristic metal objects include ingot torcs, lock rings, various pins, flanged axes, riveted daggers, and the halberd. Regional groups include: Nitra, Adlerberg, Straubing , Marschwitz, and Unterwölbling (Austria). In late Unetice times, there is evidence of commercial contact with the Wessex culture of Britain and, via the amber route, perhaps with southeast Europe and the Mycenaeans. The Veterov culture of Moravia and the Mad'arovce culture of Slovakia, which had links with the Mycenaean world, are sometimes considered to be subgroups within the final Uneticetradition. Innovations of the culture include two-piece mold and use of tin to make bronze. The earliest Bronze Age center, Unetician A, consisted of a complex of flat inhumation graves with modest grave goods in copper and bronze. Unetice is an umbrella term for the local groups and is dated to c 1800-1500 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Usatovo culture CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: Settlement, barrow cemeteries, and flat-grave cemeteries near Odessa, in the Ukraine -- a regional variant of the Eneolithic Cucuteni-Tripolye culture. It is the type site of a copper-using culture with painted pottery and with the kurganburial of the steppe zone. It is thought to date c 2600-2100 BC. One barrowcemetery at Usatovo was one of the richest in the steppe zone and lay next to a stone-built settlement. Crouched inhumations as primary burials were often accompanied by many secondary burials in cists or pits. Widespread contacts are documented by the presence of Baltic amber and Anatolian silver and antimony, and the existence of corbel-vaulted tombs suggest Aegean affinities.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Wessex Culture CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Early Bronze Age culture of southern England with cemeteries of found barrows of special types (bell, disc and saucer barrows and enclosures strangely labeled 'pond barrows') c 2650-1400 BC. It developed from the Beaker tradition and was closely related to the Armorican Tumulus Culture. The Wessex I period, c 2650-2000 BC, is associated with the major rebuilding of Stonehenge (III). There are rich grave goods, including bronze daggers and axes, amber and shale beads and buttons, copper and gold. The pottery is mainly incense cups and the first collared urns. In the Wessex II period, c 1650-1400 BC, cremation replaced inhumation and there are faience beads. Bronze was normal in Wessex II, and contained up to 17 percent tin. They had contacts with Egypt, Mycenae, and Crete. Unfortunately no settlements of the Wessexculture are known.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Wiltonian CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Microlithic Later Stone Age industry with its type site in a rock shelter in Cape Province, South Africa and found in other parts of eastern and southern Africa. It is the African equivalent of the Mesolithic cultures of Europe, though of later date, and in its final stage shows contact with the Iron Age farmers of the 1st millennium AD. It occurred over the last 8000 years. In the rock shelter area, the characteristic tool is the tiny convex or 'thumbnail' scraper; crescent-shaped backed microliths, adzes, and backed blades are also present. There is rock painting, plant remains, and faunal remains of non-gregarious" browsing antelope as well as evidence of fishing. Around the beginning of the Christian era the descendants of the Wilton folk acquired domestic sheep and possibly cattle and learned the art of potterymanufacture (called post-climax Wilson or ceramicWilton)."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: [Hsiao-t'un] CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Site of 16 chariot burials in Hebei Province, China, which is also the location of a palace/templecomplex of the Late Shang. The chariot burials suggest Indo-European contact with China. The chariot, which probably originated in the Caucasus, entered China via Central Asia and the northern steppe. Animal-headed knives, always associated with chariot burials, are further evidence of a northern connection.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Tell site in the Soghun valley of Kirman province, Iran, with a long cultural sequence of seven periods from c mid-5th millennium BC to early 1st millennium AD. The most important phase was Yahya IV, beginning c 3000 BC. It was at that time an active trading center, with a cache of tablets inscribed in proto-Elamite, the script of Elam. Jemdet Nasr painted wares and beveled rim bowls have been found. A local source of steatite (chlorite) was worked into distinctive bowls which were traded to Sumer, the Indus civilization, and the Persian Gulf. The site was on an important trade route between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley, possibly via Shahr-i-Sokhta and the Persian Gulf via Bampur. Tepe Yahya was also in contact with the Harappan civilization of the Indus Valley and indeed was strategically placed on the overland route between the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia. In the later 3rd millennium BC, the importance of Tepe Yahya declined.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Guap CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Island and archipelago of the western Caroline Islands, part of the Federated States of Micronesia, know for large wheel-shaped discs of stone money. The stone is quarried in the Palau Islands and taken to Yap by canoe. Yap was at the head of a chain of trade and tribute in the Carolines, the so-called Yapese empire" and in contact with Palau and the Marianas Islands as seen in similar red ware of the 2nd millennium BC. The occurrence of child jar-burial suggests later contact with the Philippines."
Zawi Chemi Shanidar
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Village site in northern Iraq near Shanidar Cave with a terminal epi-Palaeolithic under Iron Age levels. Storage pits and a circular stonestructure are dated to the 9th millennium BC. Large numbers of sheep bones are claimed to show signs of domestication at that time. Sickles, grinding stones, and querns testify to the gathering of vegetable products. Occupation was probably seasonal. Other artifacts include stone axes and non-utilitarian objects such as workedbone with incised or notched decoration. Obsidian from the Lake Van area of Anatolia indicates far-ranging contacts. Burials were associated with a stoneplatform.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Settlement and cemeterysite of the Neolithic-Copper Age in southern Poland and a culture of the same name. The dead, laid in a contracted position on stone pavements in simple graves, were accompanied by pots whose shape and cord ornament suggest links with the globular amphora and corded ware cultures. Upturned handles of Ansa Lunata-type suggest contact with the Badenculture. Other funerary offerings included stone battle-axes, copper beads, amber ornaments, and V-perforated plaques. The community lived by farming and the exploitation of nearby flint mines.