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CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A mountain ridge in southeast Arabia with a number of Jemdet Nasr-type pottery 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 Magan culture and provide the name for the earliest Bronze Age cultural period in the area.
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The dimensional adjustment of a glaze (or slip) to a clay body, specifically with reference to their respective thermal expansions and contractions and resultant stresses, which may cause flaws in the coating
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: Writing placed on walls or other objects; any figures or inscriptions scratched into a surface, often indicating the maker or owner. It is any casual writing, rude drawing, or marking on the walls of buildings, as distinguished from a deliberate writing known as an inscription. Graffiti is found in great abundance, as on the monuments of ancient Egypt. Graffiti are important to the paleographer as illustrating the forms and corruptions of the various alphabets used by the people, and may guide the archaeologist to the date of the building. Graffiti is important to the linguist because the language of graffiti is closer to the spoken language of the period and place than usual written language. Graffiti is also invaluable to the historian for the light thrown on everyday life of the period and on intimate details of customs and institutions.
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The Italian name for villages of pile dwellings in the northern part of the country. Most of these lakeside villages belong to the Neolithic period and earlier part of the Bronze Age. Later changes in water levels have caused many of these villages to become submerged.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: conjoining, rejoining
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The reassembling of stone debitage and cores to reconstruct ancient lithic technologies. It is any attempt to put stone tools and flakes back together again, which provides important information on the processes involved in the knapper's craft. The refitting or conjoining of artifact or ecofact fragments, especially those of struck stone flakes to recreate the original core, allows definition of cumulative features, such as the lithic artifact and debitage scatters. The technique allow may allow reconstruction of ancient manufacture and use behavior.
sgraffito ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Sgraffito ware is glazed vessels prepared first by incising decoration in the surface and then adding paint in the incisions prior to the application of glaze. There is a contrast between the brightly colored decoration and the overall color of the glazed vessel. Byzantine sgraffito wares date to the 11th-12th centuries in western Europe. It was not until the 16th-17th centuries that the technique was established in northern Europe. Sgraffito ware was produced by Islamic potters and became common throughout the Middle East. The 18th-century scratch blue class of English white stoneware is decorated with sgraffito patterns. Sgraffito ware was produced as early as 1735 by German settlers in colonial America. Sgraffito is also a form of fresco painting for exterior walls, done in Europe since the Middle Ages. A rough plaster undercoat is followed by thin plaster layers, each stained with a different color. These coats are covered by a fine-grain mortar finishing surface. The plaster is then engraved with knives and gouges at different levels to reveal the various colored layers beneath. It is also a glass-decorating technique.

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