SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Flood CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The Bible and Sumerian and Babylonian myths recorded a catastrophic flood sent by the gods to destroy humankind. With the assistance of the gods, one man (variously called Noah, Ziusudra, or Utnapishtim) and his family survived by building a boat. The discovery of the legend by George Smith in 1872 in Ashurbanipal's library at Nineveh, in cuneiform tablets telling the epic of Gilgamesh, was very close in details to the Old Testament story of Noah. It is assumed by many that the stories derive from a common source. At Ur in 1929, Leonard Woolley revealed a depth of 2.5 m of silt separating the Ubaid and Uruk levels, a deposit he could account for only by just such a flood. It should be noted, however, that flood levels have been found at other sites whose dates can be more appropriately equated with Noah's. Today many archaeologists believe that the various flood stories do not represent the record of a single event, but rather a whole series of natural disasters which affected the low-lying alluvial plain of southern Mesopotamia.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: flood-plain CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A landform created by deposits in a river valley that floods. As the flood waters recede, the suspended sediment is deposited as alluvium and causes slow vertical accretion. Floodplains are often made up of secondary features such as individual flood basins, abandoned channels, secondary flood channels, tributary stream courses, and natural levees. They are prime agricultural land and archaeological deposits may be well-preserved in the subenvironments.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A method of farming that recovers floodwater and diverts it to selected fields to supplement the water supply.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A small tell on the Euphrates River, 120 km east of Aleppo in Syria. The site was excavated in 1972-73 prior to flooding by the Tabqua/Tabqa Dam. Two major phases of occupation were found: Mesolithic or Epi-Palaeolithic (early 9th millennium BC) to a Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Culture in the 6th millennium. There was a long period of abandonment in the 7th millennium and then a final abandonment c 5800 BC. The site depicted a transition from gathering to cultivation, including large quantities of einkornwheat, and from hunting to herding (sheep and goats, also gazelle and onager). The Neolithic settlement was of enormous size, larger than any other recorded site of this period -- even Çatal Hüyük. In the uppermost levels, a dark burnished pottery appeared.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A technical term of ancient Roman roadwork for an earthen mound, embankment, or rampart of a camp, formed by the earth dug out of a ditch. Most Roman roads were built on a slightly raised causeway, mainly to provide drainage. This bank of earth was used for protection from flooding, as the foundation for a road, or for warfare purposes. Agger is also a general term for a mound formed by a dike, quay, roadwork, or earthwork. An agger can often be traced even if the surfacing material has been covered or laid bare.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: alluvial deposit, alluvion CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: The detrital material (clay, gravel, organic material, sand, silt, soil) eroded, transported, and deposited by rivers and streams. It is very fertile and was used by early farmers. Though the largest areas of alluvium are flood plains and deltas, it may also occur where a river overflows its banks and is an important constituent of shelf deposits.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: amphitheater CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A large-scale Roman arena open to the elements and surrounded by tiers of seats. They were constructed for exhibiting gladiatorial and other public spectacles (military displays, combats, and wild beast fights) to the populace. The earliest were oval and built of wood, later changing to stone construction. Rome's Colosseum has tiered galleries 2-3 stories in height and has provision for covering the arena with shades to protect against rain or sun. Roofing of so wide an expanse was beyond Roman technology. The arena of the Colosseum had a false timber floor, below which there was a labyrinth of service corridors. The animal cages were situated here, linked with pre-tensioned lifts and automatic trapdoors so that participants and animals could be sent up to the floor of the arena with speed and precision. Somehow Roman engineers staged the grand opening by flooding the arena for a full-scale sea battle. Amphitheatres accommodated a great number of spectators (possibly more than 50,000 at the Colosseum). The Romans derived their ideas from the classic Greek theater and stadium and the model was widely copied throughout the Roman empire. It could be erected on any terrain and set inside an urban center. An early example of the Republican period is at Pompeii the Colosseum is of the Imperial model. The fortress of Caerlon and the towns of Caerwent, Cirencester, Colchester, Dorchester, Richborough, and Wroxeter are some British places which had amphitheatres.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Swenet, (Greek) Syene, Assuan, Assouan CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city in Upper Egypt, on the first cataract of the Nile, where the Aswan High Dam has been erected. The ancient site included important antiquities such as the temples (Abusimbel's), the rock-cut tombs of Qubbet el-Hawa, and the island of Elephantine (modern Jazirat Aswan) have been rescued from flooding by international groups who also explored those structures which could not be saved. There are also local quarries on the eastern bank on the Nile which supplied granite for many ancient Egyptian monuments and which are still in operation. Aswan was the southern frontier of pharaonic Egypt. Aswan later served as a frontier garrison post for the Romans, Turks, and British.
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: In Australia, a branch of a river or waterhole in a watercourse, that fills when flooded during the rainy season, forming a blind channel, backwater, or stagnant pool. It dries up in the dry season.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Neolithicculture (c 7000-3500 BC, some say Middle Neolithic c 4200-3700 BC) in lower Danube valley of southern Romania and characterized by terrace-floodplain settlements, consisting at first of mud huts and later of fortified promontory settlements of small tells. The Boianphase was marked by the introduction of copper axes, the extension of agriculture, and the breeding of domestic animals. The distinctive Boianpottery was decorated by rippling, painting, and excised or incised linear designs with white paste. Intramural burial is most common, but occasional large inhumation cemeteries are known. By spreading northward into Transylvania and northeastward to Moldavia, the Boianculture gradually assimilated earlier cultures of those areas. Flourishing exchange networks are known to involve Prut Valley flint, Spondylus shells from the Black Sea, and copper.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The largest and most impressive town of the Middle Mississippi Culture, on the Illinois bank of the river near East St. Louis. Cahokia Mounds State Historic and World Heritage Site, the location of this large prehistoric Indian city, is to the northeast. It constituted probably the largest pre-Columbian (c AD 900-1300) community north of Mexico in the Mississippi floodplain. The scale of public works in the culture can be estimated from remains of the largest of the Mississippi earthworks, Monk's Mound near Cahokia, which measures 1,000 feet (300 m) long, 700 feet (200 m) wide, and 100 feet (30 m) high -- which is larger than the Great Pyramid of Egypt. The magnitude of such public works and the distribution of temples suggest a dominant religious cult and a series of priest-rulers who commanded the services of a large population and the establishment of artist-craftsman guilds. In addition to large-scale construction, there is evidence of long-distance trade, elaborate ceremonial activity, and possibly astronomical observation. There is evidence of around 10,000-38,000 inhabitants and a town of warehouses and workshops, residential housing arranged along a grid of streets, and open plazas and 100 manmade mounds (burial and platform types). One of the smaller mounds contained rich burials, including a corpse was wrapped in a robe sewn with more than 12,000 shell beads; caches of arrowheads, polished stone, and mica; and his retainers -- 6 men at his side and 53 women in a mass grave nearby. Artifacts include flint hoes, shell and limestone-tempered pottery, and engraved stone tablets sometimes etched with the motifs of the Southern Cult.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chanhudaro, Chanhu-daro CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city of the Harappan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC that is located in the Indus Valley south of Mohenjo-Daro in modern Pakistan. First excavated in the 1930s, it was characterized by a gridiron street plan and drainage system of typical Harappan towns. Evidence was found for the processes of sawing, flaking, grinding, and boring of stone beads. Occasional copper or bronze weapons of foreign" type are found in late contexts at Chanhu-daro. Excavation also showed that like Mohenjo-Daro Chanhu-Daro had been inundated by floods: it was twice destroyed and subsequently rebuilt on a different plan. After the end of the Indus Valley civilization it was reoccupied by the Jhukarculture."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A series of large mounds in northeastern Nigeria, which constitute the remains of early farming villages on the southern flood plain of Lake Chad and were occupied from about 600 BC-1200 AD. For the first five centuries, the Daima people only had polished stone axes and tools of bone, plus stone grinders and querns. There is pottery present from first occupation and evidence of domesticated cattle, sheep, and goats. Cultivation of sorghum was important, as was hunting and fishing. Iron was introduced the 1st-6th centuries AD. Some centuries later, however, Daima became part of a more wide-ranging tradesystem.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj. eustatic CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: Changes in sea level on a global basis, usually as the result of a major event such as the end of a glaciation. In such a case a eustatic rise due to the melting of the glaciers can be expected in a post-glacialperiod. These sea-level movements can be independent of any change in the height of the land, but isostasy can happen contemporaneously as a result of the same phenomenon. This worldwide alteration in sea level is independent of any isostatic movement of the land. At the end of a glaciationmelting of the water previously held in the ice sheets raises sea levels (eustatic rise), and a high level can often be correlated with an interglacialperiod or with the postglacial phase. Such fluctuations have occurred throughout the Quaternary, due to changes in the extent of ice sheets and thus in the volume of water locked up as ice. The larger the ice sheets, the less water available to the sea, and so sea level is lower during glacials than during interglacials. Evidence exists for a whole series of eustatic sea level fluctuations, but the most widespread is the 'high stand' in c 120,000 bp, just before the start of the last cold stage, when sea levels were between 2-10 meters higher than at the present day. During the maximum extent of the ice-sheets of the last cold stage, eustatic sea level was much lower than that of today. Large areas of continental shelf were exposed, some being occupied by the ice sheets themselves. Recovery of sea level at the end of the last cold stage is relatively well known from deposits in the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and Scotland, but is complicated by isostatic changes. The North Sea and English Channel flooded, separating Britain from the Continent, by about 7000 bp. Ireland became a separate island at about the same time. Scandinavia had a complicated series of different seas and lakes, until a sea similar to today's Baltic became established around 7000 bp. The main factors that influence sea level are global ice volumes, plate tectonics, changes in ocean volumes and dimensions, and the movement of mantle material.
CATEGORY: 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: gley horizon CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: The process of waterlogging of soil in which iron is bacterially reduced under anaerobic conditions. Gleying may result from a raised water table or from impeded drainage within the soil profile -- especially in bogs, fens, floodplains, lakes, and swamps. The soil is blue, gray, or olive in coloring and forms gley horizons.
CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: The Egyptian god of the Inundation (flooding of the Nile), often depicted with a baboon head.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Indus Valley civilization CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: One of the great civilizations of antiquity, located in Pakistan and northwest India in the 3rd millennium BC. Nearly 300 settlements of the civilization are known: two large cities (Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa), and a number of smaller towns and villages (Chanhu-Daro, Judeirjo-Daro, Kalibangan, and Lothal). The Harappan civilization was characterized by a high level of architectural, craft, and technical achievement. We know little of the political, social, and economic structure of the civilization because, although it was literate, the script remains undeciphered. Like other early civilizations in Mesopotamia and Egypt, the Harappan civilization was based on the cultivation of cereal crops (plus rice and cotton), probably with irrigation. Among the most distinctive achievements of this civilization are the architecture and town planning, with the use of true baked brick for building, and cities and towns laid out on a grid-iron street plan, perhaps the earliest examples of town planning in the world. Among crafts, the most outstanding were the seals, mostly made of steatite and decorated with carefully executed incised designs. The Harappan civilization came to an end early in the 2nd millennium, either as a result of environmental factors (excessive flooding) or as a result of invasions by Aryan intruders. It is divided into three phases -- Early, Mature (Urban), and Late (Post-Urban) and emerged from Punjab and Baluchistan regions.
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: term DEFINITION: A term used to describe the annual flooding of the Nile River in Egypt, which has not taken place since the completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Important Khartoum Neolithic site on the edge of the old Nileflood plain which has lent information on the early development of food production in the central Sudan. Kadero was an extensive village inhabited during the second half of the 4th millennium BC. Herding was mainly of cattle, with some sheep and goats. There were many grindstones, and grain impressions on the pottery indicate the presence of wild panicum, sorghum, and finger millet. Burials included stonemace heads, palettes, carnelianbead necklaces, ivory bracelets, pottery, and ochre.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Ipet-isut; al-Karnak CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A huge complex of religious buildings in the northern part of Thebes, the ancient capital of Upper Egypt (modern Luxor), with a great temple to Amen (Amon) and a series of subsidiary structures. Recent excavations indicate that occupation began in the Gerzeanperiod (c 3200 BC), when a small settlement was founded on the eastern bank of the Nilefloodplain. The village has given its name to the northern half of the ruins of Thebes. There is a smaller complex of the goddess Mut, consort of Amen (it was built largely by Amenhotep III, whose architect was commemorated by statues in the temple), and one to the god Montu/Mont, predecessor of Amen. Between these two precincts lay the largest of all Egyptian temples, and one of the largest in the world, the great temple of the state god, Amen (Amon-Re). It is a complex of temples, added to and altered at many periods. A series of processional gateways link the temple with that of Mut to the south, and further, by way of the avenue of sphinxes, with the temple at Luxor 2 miles (3 km) away.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A term used for any text recording the names and titles of the rulers of Egypt and the length of their reigns. The most important include the Sumerian King List, which recorded the dynasties ruling southern Mesopotamia from the mythical period before the Flood to the Isin-Larsaperiod, and the Assyrian King List, which listed the rulers of Assyria from before 2000 BC to the Late Assyrianperiod. There were also lists in Egypt which incorporate information on principal events of individual reigns. Virtually all of the surviving examples are found in religious or funerary contexts and often relate to the celebration of the cult of royal ancestors, whereby each king established his own legitimacy and place in the succession by making regular offerings to a list of the names of his predecessors. The lists are often surprisingly accurate, although they are also noticeably selective, regularly omitting certain rulers who were considered to have been in any way illegitimate or inappropriate, such as Akhenaten (1352-1336 BC).
Marajó Island, Marajoara
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Marajó CATEGORY: culture; artifact; site DEFINITION: A large island at the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil with numerous artificial mound sites. Small one served as house platforms and larger ones contain urn burials. The pottery has sophisticated polychrome designs and is similar to that of pre-Columbian Andean cultures. Radiocarbon dates suggest that the Marajoara style began no later than the 5th century AD and lasted until 1300 AD. The largest center, Os Camutins, has 40 mounds. It is the world's largest fluvial island (one produced by sediments deposited by a stream or river) and half of it is flooded during the rainy season.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mohenjo-Daro CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: One of the two capitals of the Indus civilization, the best known of the Mature Harappan cities, located in the Sind region on the right bank of the Indus in Pakistan. Radiocarbon dates and corroboration with Mesopotamian data date the capital to about 3000-1700 BC. The city, covering approximately 2.5 square km, was laid out on a grid plan, the oldest recorded. The larger blocks, separated by broad streets with elaborate drains, were subdivided. It was the largest of all the Indus Valley sites, and like other Indus Valley settlements, Mohenjo-Daro consists of two parts: a lower town in the east, overlooked by a high artificial mound or citadel on the west side. Traces of mud and baked brick defenses have been found. Within these an assembly hall, 'college', great bath, and granary were excavated. Numerous craft installations were in the lower town, for pottery, beadmaking, shell working, dyeing, and metalworking. Artifacts provide the basic definition of the Mature Harappan material culture for pottery styles, seals, weights, bead forms, metal forms, figurines, etc. There are many flood deposits, which many times overwhelmed the city. Mohenjo-daro was abandoned c 1700/1600 BC, apparently after a massacre, as in the latest layers groups of skeletons were found lying in houses and in the streets. The other capital, Harappa, was 400 miles away.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The longest river in Africa and the world, stretching for 6741 km, rising in highlands south of the equator and flowing northward through northeastern Africa to drain into the Mediterranean Sea. Its waters and fertile flood-plain allowed Egyptian civilization to develop in the deserts of northeastern Africa. The Nile River basin covers about one-tenth of the area of the African continent. Three rivers flow in from the south: Blue Nile, White Nile, and Atbara. The southern section between Aswan and Khartoum interrupted by six 'cataracts' consisting of a series of rapids and corresponding to the land of Nubia. The first use of the Nile for irrigation in Egypt began when seeds were sown in the mud left after the river's annual floodwaters had subsided and it has supported continuous human settlement for at least 5000 years.
Nubian rescue campaign
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: An international movement, coordinated by UNESCO between 1960-1980, to limit the loss of archaeological data as a result of the building of the Aswan High Dam and the subsequent flooding of much of Lower Nubia by Lake Nasser. The movement wanted to survey and excavate as many of the sites as possible and dismantle and re-erect the most important temples -- Abu Simbel, Philae, and Kalabsha.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: singular paddy CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: Fields for the intensive cultivation of rice, flooded naturally or by irrigation. Wet land on which rice is grown.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hakataya; Patayan Division CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Culture of lower Colorado River, northwestern Arizona, occupying the area by 100 AD until 1500 AD -- a division of the Hakataya Culture. These people of Yuman speech included the tribes of Hazasupai, Mojave, and Walapai. They had three provinces: Cerbat, Prescott, and Cohonina. They farmed alluvial flood plains, hunted and gathered foods. Between 1000-1500, pottery spread over much wider area and was influenced by Hohokam; the vessels had red-on-buff designs and stucco finishing.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A channel bar of mud to coarse conglomerate forming on the convex side of a channel bend due to reduced flow velocity. This landform is the most common type of lateral accretion; a depositional alluvial landform on and behind the convex bank of meandering streams. It is formed and modified as the stream floods and the meander bend moves. Over a period of years point bars expand laterally as the opposite bank is continually eroded backward. The bars progressively spread across the valley bottom, usually as a thin sheet of sand or gravel containing layers that dip into the channel bottom.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: salvage archaeology, cultural resource management; rescue projects CATEGORY: branch DEFINITION: The branch of archaeology devoted to studying artifacts and features on sites which are imminently threatened by development in the form of the construction of dams, buildings, highways, etc. Threats to archaeological remains occur in the form of road-building, road improvement, new building of houses, offices, and industrial complexes, the flooding of valleys for reservoirs, and improved farming techniques involving the use of deep plowing. The rescue, or salvage, archaeologist, is concerned with the retrieval of as much information as possible about the archaeological sites before they are damaged or destroyed. Frequently time is too short and funds are too limited for anything but a brief survey.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: rescue archaeology; cultural resource management CATEGORY: branch DEFINITION: The branch of archaeology devoted to studying artifacts and features on sites which are imminently threatened by development in the form of the construction of dams, buildings, highways, etc. Threats to archaeological remains occur in the form of road-building, road improvement, new building of houses, offices, and industrial complexes, the flooding of valleys for reservoirs, and improved farming techniques involving the use of deep plowing. The rescue, or salvage, archaeologist, is concerned with the retrieval of as much information as possible about the archaeological sites before they are damaged or destroyed. Salvagearchaeology is the location, recording (usually through excavation), and collection of archaeological data from a site in advance of highway construction, drainage projects, or urban development. In the US, the first major program of salvagearchaeology was undertaken in the 1930s, ahead of the construction and dam building done by the Tennessee Valley Authority.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A series of settlements on an oasis in the Kirman province, Iran, dated from the late 4th millennium BC. A series of floods in prehistoric times destroyed most buildings, but left brick-lined tombs and many artifacts suggesting that Shahdad was an important manufacturing and trading center in the first half of the 3rd millennium BC, contemporary with the Early Dynastic period in Mesopotamia. There were a number of almost life-size unbaked clay statues found lying in the graves, face to face with the corpses, presumed to be actual portraits of the dead people. Bronze, copper, and silver was locally worked and made into tools, decorated vessels, ornaments, and cylinder seals. Other finds include vessels of steatite and alabaster, and beads of agate, carnelian, and lapis lazuli. A very early form of writing appears on pottery, sometimes incised, sometimes impressed with seals; some 700 different pictographic symbols have been identified, occurring singly or in groups of up to five symbols. The evidence documents the emergence of stratified societies during the 3rd millennium BC.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: In ancient Egypt, the civil year was a quarter of a day too short in relation to the rising of Sothis (Sirius), the Dog star, so that the new year advanced by one day every four years; New Year's Day and the rising of Sothis coincided again only after approximately 1,460 years. Period elapsing between each such rising is known as Sothic cycle. The error with respect to the 365-day year and the heliacal risings of Sirius amounted to one day every four tropical years, or one whole Egyptian calendar year every 1,460 tropical years (4 365), which was equivalent to 1,461 Egyptian calendar years. After this period the heliacal rising and setting of Sothis would again coincide with the calendar dates. The dates for the start of each Sothic cycle are fortunately known because the Roman historian Censorinus fixed the coincidence of New Year's Day and heliacal rising of Sothis in 139 AD. Taking into account a slight difference between a Sothic year and a year of the fixed stars, the years 1322, 2782, and 4242 BC are taken as starting points of a Sothic cycle. Sothis appeared immediately preceded the Nileflood and was important in the Egyptian calendar; the cycle is strictly not of Sothis, which did not vary, but of the civil calendar.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. terpen; warf, werft, wurt, wierde, wierden CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: Manmade mound, similar to a tell, found in late prehistoric northwest Europe, created by the continual remaking of clay floors and deposition of rubbish. Terpen were good settlement sites for the Frisians and other Germanic peoples in areas threatened by flooding. The earliest go back to the 3rd century BC and many remained in use until the Middle Ages. These nucleated settlements were indigenous to the Iron Age and Migration Period cultures of the Frisian coastlands. Excavations have shown that terps were densely populated; they contain large numbers of dwellings, including buildings in which crafts were made.
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: A bench or step that extends along the side of a valley and represents a former level of the valley floor. Terraces are flat surfaces preserved in valleys that represent floodplains developed when the river flowed at a higher elevation than at present. Another type of terrace is cut into bedrock and may have a thin veneer of alluvium, or sedimentary deposits. In paired terraces, the terrace features on each side of a valley correspond. A marine terrace is a rock terrace formed where a sea cliff, with a wave-cut platform, is raised above sea level. Any terrace consists of two parts: 1) a tread, which is the flat surface of the former floodplain, and 2) a scarp, which is the steep slope that connects the tread to any surface standing lower in the valley. A simple definition is the previous location of the shore of a body of water or a valley floor on which a stream once flowed. Archaeological deposits associated with terraces are equal in age or younger than the terrace.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. terremare; Terramara or Terramare CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A local name for Middle Bronze Age settlements in the Emilia region of northern Italy's Po Valley -- consisting of mounds of dark earth formed by the accumulated rubbish of a permanent settlement occupied for a long period. The habitations were built on pilings and protected by a vallum, or defensive wall, which screened them from floods in a flat countryside with violent seasonal rains. These villages, whose dead were cremated, lasted until the Early Iron Age. The people of the Terramara culture migrated to Italy from the Danubian region during the Middle Bronze Age (early 2nd millennium BC), and introduced the rite of urnfieldburial into Italy. They were excellent bronzeworkers whose products were traded over much of Italy. The society was peasant and its art was limited to the construction of dwellings and to the production and ornamentation of weapons and vases. The pottery is a dark burnished ware with concentric groove decoration, bosses, and horned handles. The Terramara culture strongly influenced the Apennine culture in its last phase. The terramara is considered a forerunner of the Roman street and camp planning and also the medieval castle and village.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Flood plain area in Mali, Africa, with material from an agricultural fishing people and occupied c 1000-800 BP (Toguere Galia), c 1000-500 BP (Toguere Dowpil).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Tell el-Muqqayr CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A site in southern Mesopotamia occupied from 'Ubaid times (6th-5th millennia BC), which grew in importance during the Early Dynastic period (3rd millennium BC) to become an important Sumerian city. Ubaid and Uruk levels are separated by a floodlevel. In the last century of the 3rd millennium, it was the ceremonial center of the Ur III empire which controlled much of Mesopotamia. Located south of the Euphrates and west of Basra, it has a Royal Cemetery c 2800. The arch and dome were used in constructing the tombs and they contained precious metal and stones, animal figures; shell, lapis lazuli, and carnelianmosaic inlays; gold and lapis jewelry; and evidence for the sacrifice of human attendants to accompany the dead royal master or mistress. There is also spectacular 3rd millennium BC religious architecture (the ziggurat of Nanna/Sin, the moon god), residential architecture and street plans, and texts from then to the late 1st millennium BC. It was destroyed by Elam and the Amorites, but recovered by the early 2nd millennium BC. The city later declined and was finally abandoned in the 4th century BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: wet-rice farming, wet-rice society, wet-rice cultivation, wet-rice growing CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A type of farming in which rice is grown in paddies, small, level, flooded fields in southern and eastern Asia. Wet-ricecultivation is the most prevalent method of farming in the Far East, where it utilizes a small fraction of the total land yet feeds the majority of the rural population. Rice was domesticated as early as 3500 BC, and by about 2,000 years ago it was grown predominantly in deltas, floodplains and coastal plains, and some terraced valley slopes. Although rice can also be grown under dry conditions, wet-ricecultivation in paddy fields is much more productive. The fields can be flooded naturally or by irrigation channels, and are kept inundated during the growing season. About a month before harvesting, the water is removed and the field left to dry.
Woolley, Sir (Charles) Leonard (1880-1960)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: British archaeologist known for his work at Ur, Carchemish, Tell el-Amarna, Tell Atchana, Al Mina, and Al 'Ubaid. At Ur, he revealed 5000 years of history and wrote it up in a 10-volume series (Ur Excavations"). His discovery of geological evidence of a great flood suggested a possible correlation with the deluge described in Genesis and his findings in the Royal Cemetery brought the astonishing wealth and skills of the Sumerian civilization to the public's attention. He was an exacting excavator outstanding in interpretation and published popular accounts of his results. His other books include "The Sumerians" (1928) "Ur of the Chaldees" (1929) and "Digging up the Past" (1930)."