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Dian kingdom
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Bronze Age culture and barbarian kingdom in southwest China centered on Lake Dian in Yunnan province. According to Chinese sources, the Dian royal house traced its descent from a Chu general who invaded Yunnan in the late 4th century BC and remained to rule the local tribes. In 109 BC, Dian surrendered to Han armies; a generation later the kingdom was destroyed after a revolt. The highly distinctive culture is known mainly from cemetery sites, especially Shizhaishan where the burials date from the Han occupation. Earlier burials of the period c 600-300 BC have been excavated at Dapona and Wanjiaba. Many of the objects unearthed at Shizhaishan were imports from China: coins, mirrors, belt hooks, silk, crossbow mechanisms, and a gold seal from the Han court that reads 'Seal of the King of Dian'. Other finds seem to be local adaptations of prototypes originating in the state of Chu. There was active trade with the southern Zhou states of Shu and Ba before the Han Dynasty.
Kingdoms, Old, Middle, and New
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The names traditionally applied to the three peak periods of development in the history of ancient Egypt, separated by times of decline and disorder. The Old Kingdom included the 3rd-6th Dynasties, c 2700-2200 BC; the Middle Kingdom was the 11th-13th Dynasties, 2100-1650 BC; and the New Kingdom consisted of the 18th-20th Dynasties, 1580-1075 BC.
Middle Kingdom
CATEGORY: chronology; culture
DEFINITION: A period in Egyptian history including the 11th through 13th Dynasties, c 2008-1630 BC. This phase began with the reunification of Upper and Lower Egypt by the 11th Dynasty king Mentuhotep II (Nebhapetre) ushering in years of stability and prosperity. It is usually divided into two phases, the early Middle Kingdom (late 11th and early 12th Dynasties) and the late Middle Kingdom (from the reign of Senusret III to end of 13th Dynasty).
New Kingdom
CATEGORY: culture; chronology
DEFINITION: A period of Egyptian history comprising the 18th-20th Dynasties, c 1550-1070 BC. It was the period following the expulsion of Asiatic Hyksos rulers and the subsequent reunification by Thutmose I-IV, Amenhotep, Akhenaten, Tutankhamun, and Ramesses I-XI. The Egyptian army pushed beyond the traditional frontiers of Egypt into Syria-Palestine. The Theban conquerors established the 18th Dynasty (1550-1295 BC), creating a great empire under a succession the rulers bearing the names Thutmose and Amenhotep. The newly reunified land had a stronger economy, supplemented by resources of empire in Nubia and western Asia. To this period belongs much of the monumental architecture of Egypt. From the beginning of the New Kingdom, temples of the gods became the principal monuments; royal palaces and private houses, which are very little known, were less important. Temples and tombs were stone with relief decoration on their walls and were filled with stone and wooden statuary, inscribed and decorated stelae (freestanding small stone monuments), and, in their inner areas, composite works of art in precious materials.
Old Kingdom
CATEGORY: chronology; culture
DEFINITION: A period in Egyptian history including the 3rd through 8th Dynasties, c 2575-2130 BC. It preceded the Middle Kingdom and is marked by the building of colossal stone pyramids. Most of the royal pyramid complexes and private mastaba tombs of the Memphite necropolis were built during this time. The first significant ruler of the 3rd Dynasty was Djoser Netjerikhet (2667-2648 BC), whose Step Pyramid still dominates the skyline of northern Saqqara. Also, the term refers to one of the two main periods of Hittite history, covering c 1700-1500 BC (the New Kingdom, or Empire, was c 1400- 1180). With the end of the 8th dynasty the Old Kingdom state collapsed.
Proto-Three Kingdoms
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The protohistoric period of the Korean peninsula, c 1-300 AD, which preceded the Three Kingdoms period of Koguryo, Silla, and the Paekche. Archaeological finds of the period are mainly from Lelang and Koguryo in the north and Samhan in the south. Bronze and iron were used and iron made at shell midden sites on the southern coast. In actuality, the Three Kingdoms period was c 57 BC-668 AD.
Three Kingdoms
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: In Korea, the protohistoric kingdoms of Koguryo, Old Silla, and Paekche, which existed independently from c 300-668 AD. In 668, the peninsula was unified under the Silla. The term also refers to the Wei (220-265 AD), Su Han (221-263 AD), and Wu (222-280 AD) in China of the Kingdoms of the Three Kingdoms / Six Dynasties period. It succeeded the Han Dynasty.
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: In taxonomy, the highest level.

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