(View exact match)biogeographyCATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: A subdiscipline of biology that studies, and attempts to explain, the geographical distribution of living things, animal and vegetable.geographyCATEGORY: geography; related field
DEFINITION: One of the oldest sciences; the descriptive study of the earth's surface and of its exploitation by lifeforms. From Greek geo, "earth" and graphein "to write" geography describes and analyzes the spatial variations in physical biological and human phenomena that occur on the surface of the globe and their interrelationships and patterns.
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DEFINITION: Term meaning land "between the (two) rivers" the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in western Asia (modern Iraq) which encompasses various ancient kingdoms. This land was the home of the world's earliest civilization that of the Sumerians and of the later Babylonian Akkadian and Assyrian civilizations. The chronology of the prehistoric periods is based on radiocarbon dates; the historical periods' chronology is based on a combination of documentary sources and calendrical information. The area was the focus of the development of complex societies until the collapse of Mesopotamia at the end of the 1st millennium BC. The geography of the area allowed the development of husbandry agriculture and permanent settlements. Trade with other regions also flourished irrigation techniques were created as well as pottery and other crafts building methods based on clay bricks were developed and elaborate religious cults evolved. The birth of the city took place in the 4th millennium BC and the invention of writing occurred about 3000 BC - both in Sumer. Excavations of Sumerian cities (Eridu Kish Uruk Isin Lagash Ur) have yielded thousands of clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform writing. Sargon the king of Akkad fought wars of conquest from the Mediterranean to the Zagros and ruled over history's first empire. The Akkadians were a Semitic people and their Akkadian language became the common vocabulary. The Akkadian rule only about two centuries. After that Ur (c 2112-2004 BC) the parallel dynasties of Isin and Larsa (to c 1763 BC) and then Babylon were the powers. The outstanding ruler of Babylon was Hammurabi (c 1792-1750 BC) who is best known for the code of laws he had inscribed on a great stela. From about 1600-1450 BC Babylonian culture declined as the Hurrians and the Kassites migrated into Mesopotamia and established themselves as rulers. Some time after 1500 BC the Mitanni kingdom extended its rule over much of northern Mesopotamia. The language of the kingdom was Hurrian but its rulers may have been of Aryan origin. Toward the end of the 15th century BC the city of Ashur in northern Mesopotamia a region that came to be known as Assyria began its rise. By 1350 BC the Assyrian empire was well-established and its kings conquered large areas from the Mitanni kingdom the Kassites and the Hittites. Another Babylonian dynasty known as the 2nd dynasty of Isin revived the greatness of the Old Empire under Nebuchadrezzar I (c 1119-1098). Assyria reached new heights of power under Tiglath-pileser I (c 1115-1077) and Ashurnasirpal II (883-859). Between 746-727 BC the Neo-Assyrian empire formed and subdued the Aramaeans who had settled much of Babylonia and then conquered Urartu Syria Israel and other areas. The empire reached its after conquering Egypt in 671 and then the reign of Ashurbanipal (668-627) but its rapid decline came soon after attacks by the Medes Scythians and Babylonians. The Assyrian empire was crushed in 609. Babylon's Nebuchadrezzar II (605-561) is best known for his destruction of Jerusalem in 588/587 and his forcing of thousands of Jews into the "Babylonian exile." The Neo-Babylonian empire ended in 539 when Nabonidus surrendered to Cyrus II of Persia. Under the Persians and Alexander the Great Babylon was a rich capital. The Seleucid kings ruled Mesopotamia from about 312 BC until the middle of the 2nd century BC. In the 2nd century BC Mesopotamia became part of the Parthian empire. Human occupation of Mesopotamia began some time around 6000 BC. The prehistoric cultural stages of Hassuna-Samarra' and Halaf succeeded each other here before there is evidence of settlement in the south (Sumer). There the earliest settlements such as Eridu appear to have been founded around 5000 BC in the late Halaf period. From then on the cultures of the north and south move through a succession of major archaeological periods that in their southern forms are known as Ubaid Warka Protoliterate and Early Dynastic at the end of which - shortly after 3000 BC - recorded history begins. The historical periods of the 3rd millennium are in order: Akkad Gutium 3rd dynasty of Ur; those of the 2nd millennium: Isin-Larsa Old Babylonian Kassite and Middle Babylonian; and those of the 1st millennium: Assyrian Neo-Babylonian Achaemenian Seleucid and Parthian.archaeological reconnaissanceSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeological reconnaissance
DEFINITION: A systematic method of attempting to locate, identify, and record the distribution of archaeological sites on the ground by looking at areas' contrasts in geography and environment.central place theorySYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: central-place theory
DEFINITION: In geography, a theory concerning the size and distribution of central places (settlements) within a system or region. The primary purpose of a settlement or market town, according to central-place theory, is the provision of goods and services for the surrounding market area. Such towns are centrally located and may be called central places. As applied to archaeology, the theory states that human settlements will space themselves evenly across a landscape as a function of the availability of natural resources, communication and transportation routes, and other factors. Eventually, these will evolve into a hierarchy of settlements of different size that depend on one another. Central-place theory attempts to illustrate how settlements locate in relation to one another, the amount of market area (goods and services) a central place can control, and why some central places function as hamlets, villages, towns, or cities. The theory was first developed by German geographer Walter Christaller. Christaller's theory concentrated on centers of different order, since in a complex system there will be some larger centers offering more specialized services to a wider area; there may indeed be many levels of such centers in a complex settlement hierarchy. Christaller's model has been modified by other geographers, especially August Losch. The theory may suggest ways in which the factors have affected the settlement pattern. Central place theory has found useful applications in archaeology as a preliminary heuristic device.geomorphologyCATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: A branch of geology (or geography) concerned with the form and development of the landscapes. It includes specializations such as sedimentology. Cultural remains are part of landscapes of the past.locational analysisCATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any of a set of techniques borrowed from geography to study the relationships between a site or sites and the environment. The relationship between sites can be examined in different ways: nearest-neighbor analysis, network analysis, rank-size rule, central place theory, and site catchment analysis. Locational analysis is the search for additional information from the geographical placing and spacing of sites, the significance of which can sometimes be tested mathematically.spatial analysisCATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The statistical study of concentrations of human activity in a defined space; the systematic study of spatial patterning in archaeological data. Distribution maps showing artifacts or sites have long been used in archaeology, but spatial analysis adds rigorous mathematical and statistical techniques for examining such maps. Techniques adapted from modern geography include locational analysis for the study of settlement patterns, and the use of distance-decay functions, linear regression analysis, and trend-surface analysis for exploring the distribution of artifacts.spatial archaeologyCATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The study of the interrelationship of archaeological sites with each other and with their environments, or the distribution patterns of artifacts, using analytical methods derived from geography.