CATEGORY: measure DEFINITION: A reasonably permanent, fixed point of reference, especially a point of known position and elevation used in mapping.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An indicator of the extent of an area of land.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cut marks, chop marks, scrapes CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Marks made on animal bone by stone tools during butchering. These marks are used to associate humans with animal remains for a relative date. The marks are classified according to form and function as cut marks, chop marks, and scrapes.
CATEGORY: artifact; technique DEFINITION: Decorative technique in which cord or string is wrapped around a paddle and pressed against an unfired clay vessel, leaving the twisted mark of the cord
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cropmark CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: Variations in the color or growth of surface vegetation that indicate the outline of buried archaeological features, such as walls, pits, or buildings; visible by aerial observation or photography. These indications are revealed by the abnormal growth of overlying crops. Buried archaeological features such as walls stunt crop growth; ditches increase crop growth. Buried pits and ditches may retain moisture better than the surrounding subsoil and during a dry spell plant growth is often enhanced over such features.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cup mark, cup and ring mark CATEGORY: artifact; lithics DEFINITION: The commonest form of rockcarving in the British Isles, consisting of a cup-like depression surrounded by one or more concentric grooves. Cup-and-ring marks are found on standing stones, singular or in stone circles, and on the slabs of burial cists, as well as on natural rock surfaces. In its classic form most cup-and-ring art belongs in the Bronze Age, but the motif occurs on passage graves, for example in the Clava tombs and on the capstones at Newgrange, where it may show links with similar rock carvings in northwest Spain. They are also found in Ireland and Scotland and can be dated to the Neolithicperiod of the 4th-3rd millennium BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cutmark CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Any microscopic scratches on the surface of an animal bone, with distinctive V-shaped grooves. The marks indicate meat and muscle were removed from the bone using stone flakes.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A wall plate used by insurance companies to identify insured property.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: Variations in the amount of frost retained on the ground that indicate the presence of buried archaeological features, detected primarily by aerial photography. The differential retention of frost in hollows and over different types of material can reveal the features of an archaeological site.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: grass-tempered pottery CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: Pottery either marked or tempered with grass. In western Britain, there are examples of pottery covered with 'grass' impressions from Ulster, the Hebrides, and Cornwall, especially around the 5th-6th centuries AD. The term also refers to crude handmade ware made in various parts of Frisia in the Migration Period and in certain parts of southern England in the Early Saxonperiod in which ferns and other organic material was used as tempering.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hallmark CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Manufacturing marks etched or stamped onto mass-produced ceramics, glassware, and metals.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: In rock art studies, any drawing, painting, engraving, or other modification of nature which is the product of some human action.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hallmarks CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Manufacturing marks etched or stamped onto mass-produced ceramics, glassware, and metals.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: market exchange CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A mode of exchange in which the price of a commodity is fixed by the relative proportions of supply and demand. The term may also be applied more specifically to the place where people come together for transactions of this sort, or the occasion on which they do so. A degree of social control is necessary, for instance, to guarantee access to the market and the security of traders, but prices are fixed independently. It usually involves a system of pricemaking through negotiation. Market has the variable meanings of a) a process of buyer-seller exchange, b) the demand for something, and c) a kind of economy.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: An exchange system that often involves currencies and generally extends beyond kinsmen and a small group of trading partners; marketing involves sellers minimizing their costs and maximizing the return to make a profit.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: Notations on tokens and envelopes. Some of the envelopes have markings corresponding to the clay shapes inside. Moreover, these markings are more or less similar to the shapes drawn on clay tablets that date back to about 3100 BC and that are unambiguously related to the Sumerian language. These markings are thought to constitute a logographic form of writing consisting of some 1,200 different characters representing numerals, names, and such material objects as cloth and cow.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Lower Palaeolithic site outside Leipzig, Germany, where gravel pits have gravels earlier than the Saale ice maximum advance in the region. They contain a cold-indicating fauna of early penultimate glacial date and numerous stone artifacts, especially Levallois flakes, sidescrapers, and handaxes. Artifacts and faunal remains are buried in the riverine gravels, probably deposited during the late Middle Pleistocene.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mint mark CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A mark on a coin indicating the mint at which it was struck
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A small hole in the floor of a structure that is interpreted as an impression left by the planting of a prayer stick. Paho marks are usually conical, 1-2 cm in diameter and 2-5 cm deep, often occur in clusters, and are often filled with sand. They are often associated with a sipapu or rectangular central pit.
CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: Distinctive, striated pits on the surface of an animal bone indicating the bone was broken by human hands using a hammerstone.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plough marks, plowmarks, plow scars CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: Marks left in buried soil indicating that the land has been plowed at some remote time, giving evidence of ancient agricultural activity. Plow marks have been found, for example, under several British Neolithic monuments and are valuable evidence for ancient clearance and cultivation. They are identified by sharp physical discontinuities in soil color and texture as seen in excavation profiles or plan-view.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Samarqand, Maracanda CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: City in east-central Uzbekistan that is one of the oldest cities of Central Asia. In the 4th century BC, then known as Maracanda, it was the capital of Sogdiana and was captured (329 BC) by Alexander the Great. It benefited from its location in a fertile oasis at the point where the Silk Route from the West divided, one branch proceeding to China and other to India. Excavations have revealed abundant Graeco-Sogdiana material. A palace of the 6th or 7th century AD yielded wall paintings comparable with the famous paintings from Pendzhikent.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: Surface shadows of an archaeological site that are caused by irregularities in elevation, indicating the presence of submerged features such as earthworks and ditches. These may be revealed through aerial photography. Shadow marks are best seen in the low sun of evenings and early mornings.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Nubian microlithic industry of 8000-6000 years ago in the Sudanese Nile Valley. The typology of the industry shows certain Saharan affinities. By the 6th millennium BC, some of the tool makers had adopted a specialized fishingeconomy using harpoons with barbed bone heads, as seen at Catfish Cave near the Second Nile Cataract.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: Any visible irregularity in the appearance of the soil surface, indicating traces of buried sites or features on the surface of plowed or otherwise disturbed ground. As revealed through aerial photography, a darker area may indicate human wastes, or a lighter area a former road or trail.
Stein, Sir Mark Aurel (1862-1943)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: British archaeologist and explorer born in Hungary who was a great traveler of central and western Asia (especially Chinese Turkistan), recording an extraordinary number of archaeological sites. He was also Superintendent of the Indian Archaeological Survey (1910-29).
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The marks on the base of a vessel caused by the potter detaching the pot from the wheel by means of a wire or string.
time-marker or time marker
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: horizon marker, temporal marker CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A temporally significant class of artifacts defined by a consistent clustering of attributes.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The second of two Arab dynasties of the Muslim Empire of the Caliphate (caliphs = rulers) and descended from al-Abbas, uncle of the Prophet Muhammad. It overthrew the Umayyad caliphate in AD 750 and was based in Baghdad until 1258 when it was sacked by the Mongols. The end of the Umayyaddynasty meant a shift in power from Syria to Iraq. The Abbasids' settlement in Baghdad marked the beginning of the golden age of Arabic literature. The Abbasids, of great intellectual curiosity, adapted elements of earlier high cultures and incorporated them into their own.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: An accounting used in the lab after artifacts and ecofacts are initially processed and providing the numbers with which artifacts and ecofacts are marked for storage. Its records describe and record what was found during an archaeological investigation and it is the primary record for all materials after excavation.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Acheulean, Acheulian industry CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: A European culture of the Lower Palaeolithic period named for Saint-Acheul, a town in northern France, the site of numerous stone artifacts from the period. The conventional borderline between Abbevillian and Acheulian is marked by a technological innovation in the working of stone implements, the use of a flaking tool of soft material (wood, bone, antler) in place of a hammerstone. This culture is noted for its hefty multipurpose, pointed (or almond-shaped) hand axes, flat-edged cleaving tools, and other bifacialstone tools with multiple cutting edges. The Acheulian flourished in Africa, western Europe, and southern Asia from over a million years ago until less than 100,000 and is commonly associated with Homo erectus. This progressive tool industry was the first to use regular bifacial flaking. The term Epoque de St Acheul was introduced by Gabriel de Mortillet in 1872 and is still used occasionally, but after 1925 the idea of epochs began to be supplanted by that of cultures and traditions and it is in this sense that the term Acheulian is more often used today. The earliest assemblages are often rather similar to the Oldowan at such sites as Olduvai Gorge. Subsequent hand-ax assemblages are found over most of Africa, southern Asia and western and southern Europe. The earliest appearance of hand axes in Europe is still refereed to by some workers as Abbevillian, denoting a stage when hand axes were still made with crude, irregular devices. The type site, near Amiens in the Somme Valley contained large hand ax assemblages from around the time of the penultimate interglacial and the succeeding glacial period (Riss), perhaps some 200,000 to 300,000 years ago. Acheulian hand axes are still found around the time of the last interglacialperiod, and hand axes are common in one part of the succeeding Mousterianperiod (the Mousterian of Acheuliantradition) down to as recently as 40,000 years ago. Acheulian is also used to describe the period when this culture existed. In African terminology, the entire series of hand ax industries is called Acheulian, and the earlier phases of the African Acheulian equate with the Abbevillian of Europe.
Acropole of Susa
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in southwestern Iran including a large cemetery and platform from Susa's initial occupation, dating to the end of the 5th millennium BC. The site is divided into Acropole 1 and 2; Acropole 1 has provided a sequence of 27 levels up to the Akkadianperiod. Some levels contain evidence of the development of writing: tablets marked with numbers, tokens in envelopes, and tablets of the Proto-Elamite script.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A widespread native American culture of the Early Woodland period in the Ohio Valley (US) and named after the Adena Mounds of Ross County. It is known for its ceremonial and complexburial practices involving the construction of mounds and by a high level of craftwork and pottery. It is dated from as early as c. 1250 BC and flourished between c. 700-200 BC. It is ancestral to the Hopewellculture in that region. It was also remarkable for long-distance trading and the beginnings of agriculture. The mounds (e.g. Grave Creek Mound) are usually conical and they became most common around 500 BC. There was also cremation. Artifacts include birdstones, blocked-end smoking pipes, boatstones, cord-marked pottery, engraved stone tablets, and hammerstones.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A widespread Native American culture of the Early Woodland period in the Ohio Valley (US) and named after the Adena Mounds of Ross County. It is known for its ceremonial and complexburial practices involving the construction of mounds and by a high level of craftwork and pottery. It is dated from as early as c. 1250 BC and flourished between c. 700-200 BC. It is ancestral to the Hopewellculture in that region. It was also remarkable for long-distance trading and the beginnings of agriculture. The mounds (e.g. Grave Creek Mound) are usually conical and they became most common around 500 BC. There was also cremation. Artifacts include birdstones, blocked-end smoking pipes, boatstones, cord-marked pottery, engraved stone tablets, and hammerstones. Artifacts distinctive of Adena include a tubular pipestyle, mica cutouts, copper bracelets and cutouts, incised tablets, stemmed projectile points, oval bifaces, concave and reel-shaped gorgets, and thick ceramic vessels decorated with incised geometric designs.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: air photography, aerophotography, aerial reconnaissance CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A technique of photographic observation and survey of the ground from an aircraft, spacecraft, or satellite which provides detailed information about sites and features without excavation. It is most important for locating archaeological sites before destruction of the landscape through building, road construction, or modern agricultural practices. When viewed from the air, sites may be revealed as crop marks, soil marks, shadow marks, or frost marks. For example, the plan of a site, ditches, walls, pits, etc. can be reflected in the way the crops grew (crop marks) or a pattern of dark occupation soil may show against a lighter topsoil or stone from walls may be just under the surface (soil marks). Oblique aerial photos, from lower altitudes, detect shadows created by earthworks and permit more detailed interpretations of known sites (shadow marks). Variations in the amount of frost retained on the ground may indicate the presence of buried archaeological features (frost marks). Though these can sometimes be recognized on the ground by careful fieldwalking and contour planning, much larger areas can be examined from the air and overall patterns will be clearer. The same site may not be susceptible every year to aerial photographs, as local climatic variation affects the nature of the feature fillings; a site may only be seen once in ten or twenty years. The use of false-color infrared photography has increased the versatility of aerial photography and the development of photogrammetry allows the accurate mapping of both archaeological and geographical information. Recording of thermographic and radar images complements photographic methods. Aerial photography has proved to be one of the most successful methods of discovering archaeological sites. Large areas of ground can be covered quickly, and the ground plan of a new site can be plotted from the photographs. Features can be revealed in extraordinary detail by these means. The pioneers of this technique were O.G.S. Crawford and Major Allen in Britain and Père Poidebard in Syria, though its first use goes back to 1906 at Stonehenge.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The Agrelo culture was centered in northwestern Argentina and dates from AD 1 to 1000. The type site is just south of Mendoza and it features distinctive deep, wide-mouthed pottery with parallel stepped incised lines, punctations, and fingernail impressions, typical of southern Andean tradition. Pottery spindle whorls, crude figurines, labrets, clubheads, triangular projectile points, and beads of stone have been found. Pit inhumations were marked by stone circles. The Agrelo represents the agriculture-pottery threshold in this semi-arid area. Nearby coastal pottery styles (Cienega, El Molle) may be precursors to Agrelo.
Akhenaten (reigned 1353-1336 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amenhotep IV, Akhnaton, Ikhnaton, Neferkheperure Amenhotep, Greek Amenophis CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: The heretic pharaoh of Egypt's 18th Dynasty, who reigned with his queen Nefertiti towards the end of the New Kingdom. He was the son of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiy. During his reign, he attempted to replace Egypt's religions with worship of Amen-Ra, the sun disk, represented by the god Aten (or Aton). The art and literature of Egypt also was marked by rapid change during his reign. He set the tone for a new era by establishing a temple at Karnak dedicated to Aten and moved the capital from Thebes to modern Tell el-Amarna in Middle Egypt, calling the city Akhetaten. His religious reforms were fanatical and foreign affairs were neglected and his reign saw the collapse of the Egyptian Asiatic empire built by earlier rulers. His successor and probable brother, Tutankhamen, returned Egypt to the worship of Amen-Ra and the capital to Thebes. Later rulers attempted to remove all record of Akhenaten's heresy and name. Akhenaten has been controversial both in ancient and modern times.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An early farming site near Deh Luran in southwestern Iran, occupied c 7500-5600 BC. It was the first excavated farming site where significant quantities of plant remains were collected using the flotation technique, a landmark in the study of farming origins. The earliest phase, named Bus Mordeh and dated c 7500-6750 BC is characterized by simple mud-brick buildings and a combination of wild and domesticated foods, some herding, and the catching of fish. The succeeding phase, Ali Kosh and dated c 6770-6000 BC had similar plants and animals, hunting and fishing, but a decline in wild plant foods which points to more successful cereal cultivation. The buildings were much more substantial in this period. The final phase, Muhammed Jaffar and dated c 6000-5600, saw the introduction of pottery and ground stone. The evidence shows some strain of over-exploitation and by the mid-6th millennium BC, the area was abandoned. The site illustrates the transition from food gathering to food production and the improvement of house-building quality.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Emporion CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient Greek trading settlement in Spain, 40 km northeast of present-day Gerona. It was originally a colony of Marseilles (Massalia), founded in the early 6th century BC. The town allied with Rome in the 3rd century BC and it became a Roman colony under Augustus (27 BC-14 AD). Ampurias was probably most prosperous between the 5th-3rd centuries BC, when it established extensive trading across the Mediterranean. Its commercial achievements were marked by the minting of coinage. But after Roman presence increased and the harbor began to silt up, the town declined. The end came at the destruction by the Franks in 265 AD.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Germanic people from the Baltic coasts of Jutland (Schleswig, Denmark) who, with the Saxons, were the main settlers of Britain in the 5th century AD after the Roman withdrawal. There is evidence in the late 4th century AD of their pottery at a number of late Roman settlements in England. They crossed the North Sea to settle the eastern parts of England and the cultures mixed to become known hitherto as Anglo-Saxons. They gave their name to England, its people, and their language as well as to East Anglia.
CATEGORY: flora, fauna DEFINITION: Relating to or marked by a severe deficiency of oxygen in tissues or organs.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A defensive fortification on the frontier of the Roman Empire in Scotland, built by the governor Lollius Urbicus for the emperor Antoninus Pius c 142-145 AD. It spans the distance between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde in Scotland, running for 36.5 miles (58.5 km) with 19 forts on its line and others forward and to the rear. The wall, mainly turf-built, was 14-16 ft (4.5 m) wide and probably 10 ft (3 m) high with a ditch of 40 ft (12 m) wide and 12 ft (4 m) deep in front of the wall and a military road behind it. The forts are 2 miles (3 km) apart. The wall was probably a last attempt to secure the Scottish Lowlands by the Romans and it provided defense beyond Hadrian's Wall, which was around 100 miles (160 km) south. The work was carried out by men from the legions stationed in Britain, and was probably completed section by section by different work groups who marked their handiwork with decorative plaques. Crop marks reveal some evidence for the temporary camps for the builders. The wall was abandoned temporarily in c 155-158 AD during the northern revolt and permanently before the end of the century when the garrison withdrew to Hadrian's Wall. Rough Castle is a well-preserved fortsite and other traces of the wall remain.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Sinhalese kingdom centered at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka and its capital from the time of the introduction of Buddhism in the 3rd century BC until the site was abandoned in the 10th century AD after many incursions by the Tamils of South India. The South Indians gained control of the kingdom several times -- in the 2nd, 5th, and again in the late 10th century AD, after which Anuradhapura was finally abandoned as the Sinhalese capital in favor of Polonnaruva. There was also internal warring by clans trying to establish separate dynastic lines. The most important Anuradhapuran dynasties were the Vijayan (3rd century BC-1st century AD) and the Lamakanna (1st-4th century AD and 7th-10th century). Buddhist monuments include palaces, monasteries, and stupas, many of which have been conserved and restored. During its 1,000 years of existence, the kingdom of Anuradhapura developed a high degree of culture. Among the most famous are the Thuparama stupa, the Ruvanveli dagaba (an enormous stupa), and the Lohapassada monastery. The kingdom also developed a remarkably complexsystem of irrigation, considered by many scholars to be its major achievement.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (fr Greek Aramaios, Syria") adj. Aramaic" CATEGORY: culture; language DEFINITION: A branch of the confederacy of Semite tribes who moved out of the Syrian desert and who conquered the Canaanites and established themselves in their own series city-states in c 16-12 BC. The foremost of these states was Aram of Damascus, a large region of northern Syria, which was occupied between the 11th-8th centuries BC, and also Bit-Adini, Aram Naharaim, and Sam'al (Sinjerli). In the same period some of these tribes seized large tracts of Mesopotamia. By the 9th century BC, the whole area from Babylon to the Mediterranean coast was occupied by the Aramaean tribes known collectively as Kaldu (also Kashdu), the biblical Chaldeans. Assyria, nearly encircled, attacked the armies of the Aramaeans and one by one the states collapsed under the domination of Assyria in the succeeding centuries. The destruction of Hamath by Sargon II of Assyria in 720 marked the end of the Aramaean kingdoms of the west. Those Aramaeans along the lower Tigris River remained independent somewhat longer and in 626 BC, a Chaldean general (Nabopolassar) proclaimed himself king of Babylon and joined with the Medes and Scythians to overthrow Assyria. Thereon in the Chaldean empire, the Chaldeans, Aramaeans, and Babylonians became one group. Their North Semiticlanguage, Aramaic, became the international language of the Near East by the 8th century BC, replacing Akkadian. Aramaic was written in the Phoenicianscript and was the diplomatic and vernacularspeech of the Holy Land during the time of Christ. It was replaced by Arabic after the Arab Conquest, but is still spoken in some remote villages of Syria. In the Old Testament the Aramaeans are represented as being related to the Hebrews and living in northern Syria around Harran from about the 16th century BC. Few specifically Aramaic objects have been uncovered by archaeologists.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: zooarchaeology CATEGORY: branch DEFINITION: The study of animal remains, especially bones, from archaeological contexts, including the identification and analysis of faunal species as an aid to reconstructing human diets, determining the impact of animals on past economies, and in understanding the environment at the time of deposition. Animal remains are collected, cleaned, sorted, identified, and measured for their study and interpretation. The study of bones involves calculations of minimum numbers of individuals belonging to each species found; their size, age, sex, stature, dentition, and whether the bones have any marks from implements implying butchering and eating. Archaeologists attempt to answer questions such as how many species of domesticated animals there were, how far wild animals were exploited, how many very young animals there were to determine kill patterns and climate changes, in what way bones were butchered, what the sex ratios there were in determining breeding strategies, and if there were any animals of unusual size. By analyzing remains from different parts of a site it may be possible to understand some of the internal organization of the settlement, while a comparison between sites within a region may show areas of specialization.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Archaic, Archaic period, Archaic tradition CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: A term used to describe an early stage in the development of civilization. In New World chronology, the period just before the shift from hunting, gathering, and fishing to agricultural cultivation, pottery development, and village settlement. Initially, the term was used to designate a non-ceramic-using, nonagricultural, and nonsedentary way of life. Archaeologists now realize, however, that ceramics, agriculture, and sedentism are all found, in specific settings, within contexts that are clearly Archaic but that these activities are subsidiary to the collection of wild foods. In Old World chronology, the term is applied to certain early periods in the history of some civilizations. In Greece, it describes the rise of civilization from c 750 BC to the Persian invasion in 480 BC. In Egypt, it covers the first two dynasties, c 3200-2800 BC. In Classical archaeology, the term is often used to refer to the period of the 8th-6th centuries BC. The term was coined for certain cultures of the eastern North America woodlands dating from c 8000-1000 BC, but usage has been extended to various unrelated cultures which show a similar level of development but at widely different times. For example, it describes a group of cultures in the Eastern US and Canada which developed from the original migration of man from Asia during the Pleistocene, between 40,000-20,000 BC, whose economy was based on hunting and fishing, shell and plant gathering. Between 8000-1000 BC, a series of technical achievements characterized the tradition, which can be broken into periods: Early Archaic 8000-5000 BC, mixture of Big Game Hunting tradition with early Archaic cultures, also marked by post-glacial climatic change in association with the disappearance of Late Pleistocene big game animals; then Middle Archaic tradition cultures from 5000-2000 BC, and a Late Archaic period 2000-1000 BC. In the New World, the lifestyle lacked horticulture, domesticated animals, and permanent villages.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: terra sigillata ware; Samian ware CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A type of bright-red, polished pottery originally made at Arretium (modern Arezzo) in Tuscany from the 1st century BC to the 3rd century AD. The term means literally ware made of clay impressed with designs. The ware was produced to be traded, especially throughout the Roman Empire. It is clearly based on metal prototypes and the body of the ware was generally cast in a mold. Relief designs were also cast in molds which had been impressed with stamps in the desired patterns and then applied to the vessels. The quality of the pottery was high, considering its mass production. However, there was a gradual roughness to the forms and decoration over the four centuries of production. After the decline of Arretium production, terra sigillata was made in Gaul from the 1st century AD at La Graufesenque (now Millau) and later at other centers in Gaul. Examples having come from Belgic tombs in pre-Roman Britain and from the port of Arikamedu in southern India. The style changes and the potter's marks stamped on the vessels made these wares a valuable means of dating the other archaeologicalmaterial found with them.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A stone tool culture of the Middle and Late Palaeolithic, widespread in the late Pleistocene in northern Africa. Centered on the Atlas Mountains, but with extensions into Libya and deep into the Sahara, the Aterian people were among the first to use the bow and arrow. It appears to have developed, perhaps initially in the Maghreb of Algeria and Morocco, from the local Mousteriantradition. Aterian assemblages, named after Bir el Ater in Tunisia, are marked by the presence of varied flake tools, many of which possess a marked tang. Some tools (such as side scrapers and Levallois flakes) resemble Mousterian types, but the tanged points and bifacially worked leaf-shaped points appear distinctively Aterian. The leaf-shaped blades, however, have been likened to Solutrean blades and it has often been suggested that the Aterians may have entered the Iberian Peninsula during Solutrean times. The date at which the Aterian first appeared is not well attested, but may have been c 80,000 BC. The Aterian occupation came to an end c 35,000 BC as the Sahara became drier and unsuitable for human settlement.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Athínai (modern Greek), Athenai (ancient Greek) CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Important classical Greek city-state with evidence for continuous occupation from the Late Neolithic, but because of its continuous occupation and the resulting disturbance of the earlier levels, its history is told from the time of the Mycenaeans in the Late Bronze Age. The citadel on the Acropolis was walled early in its history. It is the capital of Greece and generally considered to be the birthplace of Western civilization. Athens is best known for its temples and public buildings of antiquity. The Parthenon, a columned, rectangular temple built for the city's patron goddess, Athena, is considered to be the culmination of the Doric order of classical Greek architecture. Also located on the Acropolis are the Erechtheum, originally the temple of both Athena and Poseidon, and the Propylaea, the entrance of which is through the wall of the Acropolis. At the foot of the Acropolis, to the south, are the theaters of Herodes and Dionysus, while to the northwest is the Agora, the ancient marketplace of the city. The Kerameikos cemetery documents the city's Iron Age (c 11-8 BC), after which archaeology and history combine to tell of its brilliance through the classicalperiod. It supposedly rivaled Knossos and later resisted successive waves of Dorian invaders. It is still not clear how far Athens, perhaps the base of the very early Ionian colonies, managed to ride out the 'dark age' that followed the collapse of Mycenaean civilization. There is evidence of a cultural and commercial renaissance in the 7th and 6th centuries BC. A major component of this socioeconomic revolution was the borrowing of the Phoenicianalphabet for the writing of Greek. Commercial success brought rapid economic growth and a population explosion. New ideas were imported and political upheaval led to experiments in government, such as democracy. Athens resisted Persian invaders and developed a prestige which allowed the establishment of the Delian League and the extension of her political power -- the Athenian empire. In the years 447-431 BC, under Pericles, vast sums were spent on public works, such as the new group of buildings on the Acropolis including the Parthenon. Pericles would not grant the Hellenes the freedom requested by Sparta, which led to the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) after which Athens was a dependent of Sparta. Escape from Spartan imperialism in the 4th century BC was threatened by Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great. By the end of the century, Macedon dominated and Athens did not achieve independence until 228 BC. Rome then intruded in the 2nd and 1st centuries and Athens was sieged and plundered by Sulla. During the Imperial period, Athens was confined to a role as a cultural center and seat of learning for the rich -- which lasted into the 6th century AD, when the edict of Justinian in 529 closed down the schools of philosophy. By the Byzantine period, Athens had become a modest provincial town. Athens' ruins will be difficult to protect from the corrosive atmosphere and millions of visiting tourists.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Au-lac CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A kingdom in northern Vietnam, founded by a warlord, Thuc Phan, who combined Van Lang, a state he conquered and united it with his kingdom in 258 BC, and called the new state Au Lac -- which he then ruled under the name An Duong. Au Lac existed only until 207 BC when it was incorporated by a former Chinese general, Trieu Da, into the kingdom of Nam Viet. The end of Au Lac marks the end of legendary history and the beginning of Vietnamese history, as recorded in Chinese historical annals.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mexica, Tenochcas CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The last pre-Columbian civilization to enter the Valley of Mexico after the collapse of the Tolteccivilization in c 12 AD, who built a magnificent capital at Tenochtitlán and were later conquered by the Spaniards (1521). They called themselves the Mexica or Tenochca and were the dominant political group of the Late Post-Classic Period. The people spoke Nahuatl. Their origin is obscure, partly because of the deliberate destruction of their own records, but tradition says that in 1193 AD the last of seven Chichimec tribes left Aztlan , a mythical birthplace somewhere north or west of Mexico, and filtered south. For a while they lived around Lake Texococo, but in 1345 they were allowed to found Tenochtitlán (under present-day Mexico City) on some unoccupied islands. By 1428 Tenochtitlán, Texococo, and Tlacopan formed an independent state which controlled most of present-day Mexico from the desert zone in the north to Oaxaca in the south, with extensions as far as the Guatemalan border -- all through military expansion. By inclination and training the Aztecs were militaristic, and a person's status depended on his success as a warrior. The chief god of the Aztecs, Huitzilopochtli, was a war god who required the blood of sacrificial victims, and only constant warfare supplied the altar of the god. Human sacrifice was necessary also to ensure the daily rising of the sun. Other major deities were Huitzilpotchtli (the warrior god and chief deity of Tenochtitlan), Texcatlipoca (god of night, death and destruction), Xipe Totec (god of spring and renewal), and Quetzacoatl, the plumed serpent (god of self-sacrifice and inventor of agriculture and the calendar). Tenochtitlán became a great imperial city, so large that it could not be self-sufficient but had to rely on tributes from its provinces. Luxury goods and necessities were brought to the city, and craftsmen produced jewelry, turquoise mosaics, featherwork, and carved stone. Mold-made clay figurines were common, and the black-on-orange pottery was decorated with geometrical designs and stylized creatures. Little architecture or painting survived the Spanish conquest of 1521. Copies of several books have been preserved (as the Dresden Codex). Aztec society was set in a clearly defined hierarchical classsystem. At the top was the ruling class (pipil) from whom and by whom the emperors were chosen. The mass of the population were freeman (machuale) and under them were the serfs (mayeques) and then at the bottom the slaves. Most people were of the landholding group called the calpulli, which had its own internal hierarchy. Change of social class was possible through state service in the military and sometimes through merchant activity. The merchants (pochteca) served as early-reconnaissance and espionage groups. The arrival of the Spaniards and the fall of Tenochtitlán after a 90-day siege marked the end of Aztec dominance.
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: artifact DEFINITION: A distinguishing emblem or mark, often worn to signify membership, achievement, employment etc.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A type of pottery of the 8th-9th centuries in the hills of Cologne, Germany. The globular pitchers and bowls of the Carolingianperiod are the best known. Badorf-ware kilns have been excavated at Bruhl-Eckdorf and Walberberg and products have been found in the Netherlands, eastern England, and in Denmark. In the 9th century, the pots began to be decorated with red paint. Gradually new forms and styles known as Pingsdorf Wares evolved.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A group of islands including Majorca (Mallorca), Minorca, Ibiza, and Formentera, off the east coast of Spain. Various civilizations left their marks on the islands, though the prehistoric talayotic civilization (so-called from its rough stone towers called talayots) seems to have continued without modification for 2600 years. Their position in the Mediterranean laid them open to continuous influence from eastern civilizations, as is found in archaeological finds. Bronze swords, single and double axes, antennae swords, and heads and figures of bulls and other animals are found. Native talayotic pottery was consistent until the Roman occupation. Their most interesting period was the Bronze Age with three important monuments: the Naveta, Talayot, and Taula. The islands were successively ruled by Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Moors, and Spaniards.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ballgame, ball game; ollama, pok-ta-pok CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The ritual and sporting activity played throughout pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, especially in Mexico and Guatemala from the Pre-Classic period. (Stone reliefs at Dainzu and the possible remains of a ball court at San Lorenzo Tenochititlan indicate that the game existed as early as Pre-Classic times.) It may have originated among the Olmecs (La Venta culture, c 800-400 BC) or even earlier and it spread to other cultures, including Monte Albán and El Tajín; the Maya (called pok-ta-pok); and the Toltec, Mixtec, and Aztec. In Aztec times, it was a nobles' game and was often accompanied by heavy betting. Various myths mention the ball game, sometimes as a contest between day and night deities. It is still played in isolated regions. The players, who were sometimes heavily padded, were allowed to use only their hips and thighs in propelling a rubber ball around the court. The ball-court itself was shaped like a capital I with exaggerated end pieces, and in the Post-Classic periodstone rings or macaw heads were fixed to the side walls. Aztec records say that the team which passed the ball through one of these rings won the game outright. Tlachtli is the name of the court itself, but also for the game. Tlachtli and ollama are Nahuatl words. There was considerable diversity in the rules both over time and across culture. Death through injury was not unusual and the loss of a game could sometimes result in the sacrifice of the losing team. There is a considerable inventory of artifacts associated with the ball game, including hachas, palmas, court markers, elbow stones, and yokes.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of alluvial gold fields in Guinea, near the headwaters of the Niger and Senegal Rivers. The gold, traded to trans-Saharan markets, contributed to the wealth of the empires of Ghana and Mali which had an intermediate position between Bambuk and the markets.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ban Chiang Hian CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A settlement site in northeast Thailand with burial deposits from 3600 BC-1600 AD and which was occupied from c 4500 BC. Rice was grown and bronzecast according to the earliest records. Iron and rice paddy fieldcultivation began in the 2nd millennium. The basal burials are associated with incised and cord-marked pottery, copper and bronze artifacts. Levels dated to the late 2nd and 1st millennia BC have produced a variety of curvilinear painted red-on-buff pottery, together with iron, and bones of water buffalo. However, there is disagreement over the dating of Ban Chiang,, especially for the bronze, iron, and painted pottery.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of an early Yangshao Neolithic village, now a museum at Xi'an, China, in the basin of the confluence of the Yellow River (Huang Ho), the Fen Ho, and Kuei Shui. Radiocarbon dates range from c 4800-4300 BC. The settlement was about 50,000 sq. meters and included a cemetery and pottery kilns outside a ditch that surrounded the residences. Dogs, cattle, sheep, chicken and pigs were domesticated and millet, rice, kaoling, and possibly soybeans grown. The horse and silkworm may also have been raised. Unpainted pottery was cord-marked or stamped, and fine ceremonial" pottery vessels were painted in black or red with some simple geometric patterns and drawings of fish turtles deer and faces. There were some elaborately worked objects in jade as well as everyday objects made from flintbone and groundstone. Sites with similar remains have been excavated at nearby Jiangzhai Baoji Beishouling and Hua Xian Yuanjunmiao. These sites all exhibit the first evidence of food production in China."
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A Niger-Congo languagefamily, with approximately 60,000,000 speakers of more than 200 distinct languages, who occupy almost the entire southern projection of the African continent (roughly from the bulge downward). The classification is linguistic as the cultures of the Bantu speakers are extremely diverse. The languages are closely interrelated, indicating expansion of the population from a single source, probably the eastern Nigeria/Cameroon area. Throughout the region these first farming settlements are marked by a common potterytradition, the 'Early Iron age' complex.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site of the final Early Neolithic (phase C, TRB culture) in northeast Jutland, Denmark. There was a cobbled street, two timber buildings (80 m long and divided into 26 single rooms) which were at first thought to be houses but may have been burial structures. Offerings in the pits below the buildings included amber beads, copper objects, and pottery.
CATEGORY: flora DEFINITION: A hardy group of staple cereals (genus Hordeum), cultivated in all parts of the world and since at least 7000 BC in the Near East, at least as early as wheat. The two-row barley, Hordeum distichum, was derived from the wild H. spontaneum, distributed from the Aegean to the Hindu Kush. It is recorded from Jarmo, and spread as far as Neolithic Switzerland before being replaced by the second group. Six-row barleys, H. hexastichum, arose from H. distichum in cultivation. Its distribution extended from China to Egypt and Switzerland, and it is still occasionally grown. Modern barleys are all H. tetrastichum, a development from hexastichum recorded as early as the Neolithic in Britain and Denmark. All the domestic barleys are closely related and their nomenclature is jumbled. Barley is used as food (in the US and Great Britain) and in the preparation of malt liquors and spirits.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: [Greek 'royal building'] CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Originally a royal palace which consisted of a large oblong building or hall with double colonnades and a semicircular apse at the end, used for a court of justice and place of public assembly. It formed one side of the forum or marketplace. The term owes its original meaning to the fact that in Macedonia the kings, and in Greece the archon Basileus dispensed justice in buildings of this description. The Romans, who adopted the basilica from those countries, used it as a court, a branch of the forum, etc. The first basilica was built at Rome, 182/184 BC. One such building is the Basilica of Maxentius, which has survived in the ruins of the Forum in Rome. Its aisled-hall plan of which was adopted by many early Christian churches. The form of construction remained popular for a variety of religious purposes in Rome, Ravenna, and North Africa from the 4th-12th centuries. Constantine, the first Christian emperor, constructed several basilican churches in the 4th century, including the first St. Peters.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A medieval embroidery depicting the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, which is considered a remarkable work of art and important as a source for 11th-century history. It consists of a roll of unbleached linen worked in colored worsted with illustrations and is about 70 m long and 50 cm deep. The work was probably commissioned by Bishop Odo of Bayeux, a half-brother of William the Conquerer, and took about two years to complete. It was likely finished no later than 1092. The tapestry depicts the events leading up to the invasion of England by William Duke of Normandy and the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, when the English King Harold was defeated and killed. Though not proven, the tapestry appears to have been designed and embroidered in England. The themes are enacted much like that of a feudal drama or chanson de geste. The technical detail and iconography of the Bayeux Tapestry are of great importance. For instance, the 33 buildings depicted offer a look at the contemporary churches, castles, towers and motte and bailey castles. The battle scenes give details on the infantry and cavalry formations, Norman armor and weapons, and the clothing and hairstyles of the time. The invasion fleet is 'Viking double enders' (clinker-built long boats, propelled by oars and a single mast). The tapestry was discovered" in the nave of Bayeux Cathedral in France by French antiquarian and scholar Bernard de Montfaucon who published the earliest complete reproduction of it in 1730. It narrowly escaped destruction during the French Revolution was exhibited in Paris at Napoleon's wish in 1803-04 and thereafter kept in the Bayeux public library."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Port city of southwestern Norway, originally called Bjørgvin, and founded in 1070 AD by King Olaf III. About 1100, a castle was built on the northern edge of the Vågen harbor, and Bergen became commercially and politically important; it was Norway's capital in the 12th and 13th centuries. Excavations in the Bryggen, the harbor area, have revealed a sequence of levels that illustrate the area's evolution from the 11th century onwards. The levels have been accurately dated by a series of fires which occurred at various stages of Bergen's history. Waterlogged conditions have preserved many of the timber buildings, streets, and quays. The 11th-century houses and warehouses were on piles and had sills at ground level, while jetties became popular in the Hanseatic period (14th and 15th centuries). The excavations revealed a remarkable collection of imported pottery from all over Europe as well as quantities of leather and wooden objects. Parts of three trading ships or freighters were also found, their timbers having been re-used in the buildings.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bifacial; handaxe; coup-de-poing CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A type of prehistoric stone tool flaked on both faces or sides, the main tool of Homo erectus. The technique was typical of the hand-ax tradition of the Lower Paleolithicperiod and the Acheulian cultures. Biface may be oval, triangular, or almond-shaped in form and characterized by axial symmetry, even if marks made by use are more plentiful on one face or on one edge. The cutting edge could be straight or jagged and the tool used as a pick, knife, scraper, or even weapon. Only in the most primitive tools was flaking done to one side only.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (adj. bipedal) CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Having two feet or, specifically, designating a lifeform that uses its two hind feet for walking or running. The term also describes the method of movement marked by habitual walking on two legs. Bipedalism is a fundamental feature used to define hominids.
Blue willow pottery
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Blue Willow, first made in England over 200 years ago, is said to be America's favorite patterned ware." Willow Ware is available in a wide range of patterns makers-most identifiable by mark styles and periods-running from 1780 to wares produced today."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: boat grave CATEGORY: term; feature DEFINITION: A type of burial during the Late Iron Age in which a body or its cremated remains were placed in a boat, which was then covered by a mound of earth. This was a north European practice, common in Scandinavia and Britain from c 550 to 800 AD. This pagan ritual was widely adopted by the Vikings and practiced to a lesser extent by the Anglo-Saxons and Germans. In Norway alone there are 500 known boat burials, and many more from the rest of Scandinavia and other Viking colonies. To these seafaring people, ships were a means of transport, a way of life, and symbols of power and prestige. The Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf" describes the belief that the journey to the afterlife could be achieved in a vessel. In Anglo-Saxon Britain there are three 7th century examples in Suffolk including the rich burial of Sutton Hoo. The best-known after Sutton Hoo are the 9th-century barrows of Oseberg and Gokstad in Norway and the 10th-century barrow at Ladby in Denmark. Burial in churchyards became customary in the 11th century in those areas."
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Boatmaking and navigation has been important to man for thousands of years -- for communication, transport, and fishing. There is much evidence of dugout canoes from Mesolithic times onward, the earliest being at Perth and in Denmark. Neolithic people used skiffs as well as dugout canoes. Plank boats appeared in the Middle Bronze Age. In the Roman period, boats started being made with nails. Seagoing vessels existed, but there is not much evidence except for skin boats, like the Irish curragh. Classical writers describe plank-built boats with sails of leather on the Atlantic before the Romans arrived. Full documentation begins only with the Vikings. The Americas have yielded two regional pre-conquest types of craft: the reed caballitos of the Peruvian coast and Lake Titicaca, and the seagoing balsa rafts from the Gulf of Guayaquil. The oldest boat in Europe was found on the Tay. It is a dugout canoe used by Maglemosian immigrants from Denmark 10,000 years ago.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Areas where human bodies are found in peat bogs in Scandinavia and northern Europe, including more than 160 from Denmark, and which are remarkably well-preserved. The chemicals in the peat preserve the bodies, which allows archaeologists to study aspects of past life, including the soft tissues of the bodies themselves and the contents of the stomachs. Burials and ritual deposits were interred in these bogs in antiquity, especially during the Bronze and Iron ages.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Human bodies, animals, and artifacts that were deliberately deposited in peat bogs and other watery places, most notably in Denmark, but also elsewhere in northwestern Europe.
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: artifact DEFINITION: A curved wooden throwing stick with a bi-convex or semi-oval cross-section, distributed widely over Australia except for Tasmania, and used for hunting and warfare. The boomerang had marked regional variations in design and decoration. Returning boomerangs were used in Australia as playthings, in tournament competition, and by hunters to imitate hawks for driving flocks of game birds into nets strung from trees. The returning boomerang was developed from the nonreturning types, which swerve in flight. Boomerangs excavated from peat deposits in Wyrie Swamp, South Australia, have been dated to c 8000 BC. Boomerang-shaped, nonreturning weapons were used by the ancient Egyptians, by Indians of California and Arizona, and in southern India for killing birds, rabbits, and other animals.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A heated iron used to label, burn or mark animals, slaves, criminals etc.
CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: In ancient Egyptian religion, a sacred bull of Luxor that was the incarnation of the war god Mont. Buchis was believed the principal physical manifestation (ba) or Ra and Osiris. It was represented as a white bull with black markings or by the solar disk with two tall plumes between two horns. According to legend, his hair grew in the opposite direction from that of ordinary animals and changed color every hour. Particular bulls were worshipped as Buchis and were mummified and buried with honors upon their deaths.
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: The irregularly shaped scar on the bulb of percussion of a struck flintflake. It marks the place where a small piece of flint is dislodged during fracture. The bulbar surface is the surface upon which the bulb of percussion occurs. This fracture pattern is evident by a bruised striking platform at the point of impact with shock waves radiating from it and, on the resultant flake, a bulb of percussion and bulbar scar. When these features are present, it is possible to distinguish human workmanship from natural breakage caused by heat or frost.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: burg CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Any Anglo-Saxon stronghold or fortification; a term used for the defended settlements built by King Alfred of Wessex as a system of defense in the 9th century (known as the burghal system). Threatened by Viking (Danish) incursions, Alfred (and later his successors) built small fortified towns where the population could take refuge when threatened. Excavations in many burhs, such as Wareham, Tamworth, Wallingford, Devon, Bury, and Cricklade, show wide palisaded bank and v-shaped ditch with turf and timber revetments. Many of the burhs were also developed as market towns and gridded streets were laid out within a number of them.
CATEGORY: artifact; lithics DEFINITION: A polish given to the surface of an artifact, either to improve its appearance and make it more valuable or to compact it (as with clay) to make it less porous. A pot is polished, often using a spatula of wood or bone, while it is still in a leathery 'green' state, i.e. before firing. After firing the surface is extremely shiny. Often the whole outer surface of the pot is thus decorated, but in certain ceramic traditions there is 'pattern burnishing' where the outside and, in the case of open bowls, the inside are decorated with burnished patterns in which some areas are left matte. In stroke burnish, the surface is completely polished, but the marks of the burnisher, a pebble or boneslip, remain distinct. On bronze it was done to improve the appearance; even mirrors could be produced in this way. A burnisher is a metal instrument used by engravers to soften lines or efface them.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Jutland, Denmark, with copper finds dating to c 4000 BC, among the earliest metal objects in Denmark.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Byzantium (later Constantinople, now Istanbul) CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: The eastern half of the Roman Empire, based in Byzantium (later Constantinople, now Istanbul), an ancient Greek settlement on the European side of the Bosporus. It was inaugurated in AD 330 by the Emperor Constantine I who transferred the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium. The empire survived the collapse of the Western empire until overrun by the Ottoman Turks in 1453. Originally a Greek colony at the entrance to the Black Sea, a typical Roman town was then laid out over it. Remains of the imperial palace lie south of the former Greek city nucleus. The land walls, giving the city an area greater than that of Rome, were built by Theodosius II (408-450 AD) and are among the best-preserved ancient fortifications anywhere. In the 7th century BC Dorian Greeks founded the settlement of Byzantium on a trapezoidal promontory on the European side of the Bosporus channel which leads from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea and separates Europe from Asia. Septimus Severus (193-211 AD) was responsible for restoring the city, re-walling it and beginning the construction of the limestone racecourse, the Hippodrome. In 368 AD, Valens raised his still impressive aqueduct. In 413 Theodosius II built the colossal surviving walls of stone and brick-faced concrete, with 96 variously shaped towers, and the principal entrance at the Golden Gate. The Eastern Christian empire preserved much of Greek and Roman culture and introduced eastern ideas to the west. Byzantium was essentially a Christian churchstate, preserving its religion against the onslaught of Islam, despite the Arab encroachments on Palestine, Syria, and northern Africa during the 6th-7th centuries AD. The Byzantine period is the time, about the 6th-12th centuries AD, when its style of architecture and art developed. Byzantine architecture is noted for its Christian places of worship and introduced the cupola, or dome, an almost square ground plan in place of the long aisles of the Roman church, and piers instead of columns. The apse always formed part of Byzantine buildings, which were richly decorated, and contained much marble. St. Sophia (532-537), St. Mark's (Venice, 977) and the Cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle (796-804) are of pure Byzantine style. Byzantine painting preceded and foreshadowed the Renaissance of art in Italy. Mosaics are perhaps the supreme achievement of Byzantine art.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: barrow CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A pyramid of rough stones, raised for a memorial or mark of some kind, usually over a burial but also as a landmark or monument. A cairn could also indicate where something valuable was stored. In America, a cairn is a structure of rounded stones. The word is often used as a synonym for barrow in areas where burial mounds were normally of stone. In Scotland and Ireland, the custom was for friends to add a stone to the pile when they passed a cairn.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: calendrics CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A cyclical system of measuring the passage of time. The day is the fundamental unit of computation in any calendar. Most ancient civilizations (and perhaps some non-literate prehistoric societies) developed calendrical systems to mark the passage of time and various methods have been employed by different peoples. Where these were both carefully calculated and written down, as in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica, they are of considerable assistance to archaeologists for dating purposes. In the Americas, the origins of calendrics are still obscure, but evidence from Monte Albán suggests that the 52-year Calendar Round was known by the 6th century BC. The Long Count system was in use by c 1st century BC if not before. Ancient Near Eastern calendars varied from city to city and from period to period. In most cities the year started in the spring and was divided into 12 or 13 months. In some places the months were of fixed length; in others they were lunar months starting at the first sighting of the crescent of the new moon. As there are more than 12 lunar months in a solar year additional, or intercalary, months were included so that every third year contained 13 months. The earliest Egyptian calendars were based on lunar observations combined with the annual cycle of the Nileinundation, measured with nilometers. On this basis, the Egyptians divided the year into 12 months and three seasons: akhet (inundation), peret (spring/ crops), and shemu (harvest). The Egyptians had 30-day months and 5 intercalary days in their solar or civil calendar. For agricultural purposes and for determining religious festivals, they used a different calendar based on observations of Sirius, the dog star. The calendar in use in ancient Mesopotamia and the Levant was lunar, based on 12 months of 30 days each. This produced a year of only 354 days, about 11-1/4 days short of the true solar year; the necessary correction was made by the addition of seven months over a period of 19 years. This type of calendar is still used in both Judaism and Islam for religious purposes, though many countries now also employ the Gregorian solar calendar for secular purposes. The origin of the calendric system in general use today -- the Gregorian calendar -- can be traced back to the Roman republican calendar, which is thought to have been introduced by the fifth king of Rome, Tarquinius Priscus (616-579 BC). This calendar was likely derived from an earlier Roman calendar -- a lunar system of 10 months -- that was supposedly devised about 738 BC by Romulus, the founder of Rome. In the year 46 BC, Julius Caesar corrected the calendar by having a year of 445 days (known as the ultimus annus confusionis' or 'the last year of the muddled reckoning'). He then adapted the Egyptian solar calendar for Roman use, inserting extra days in the shorter months to bring the total up to 365, with the addition of a single day between the 23rd and 24th February in leap years. This calendar, known as the Julian Calendar, remained in use until the time of Gregory XIII in 1582, who made a further correction (of eleven days) and instituted the calendar which is in general use today. Very useful to Mesoamerican archaeologists is the Maya Long Count or Initial Series, which was a means of recording absolute time. Its starting date of 3113 BC (using the Goodman-Thompson-Martinex correlation) marks some mythical event in Mayahistory and itself stands at the beginning of a cycle 13 Baktuns long. A Baktun at 144,000 days in the largest unit of time in the calendar and is further divided into smaller units: the Katun (7200 days); the Tun (360 days); the Uninal (20 days) and the Kin (a single days). Thus Long Count dates are expressed in terms of these units in a five place notation. Therefore the date 220.127.116.11.0. indicates the passage of 9 x 144,000 plus 18 x 7200 days since the initial date of 3113 BC. In cultural contexts, however, the dates are inscribed as a series of hieroglyphs which incorporate numeration via bars (units of five) and dots (units of one). Short count dating replaced the Long Count after 900 AD and the Katun replaced the Baktun as the largest unit. It is less precise, however.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A 20-ton, 4-meter wide carved monolith commissioned by the emperor Axayacatl in 1479, which symbolizes the Aztec universe. The populations of central Mexico believed that they were living in the fifth epoch of a series of worlds (or suns) marked by cyclical generation and destruction. The central figure of the stone is this fifth sun, Tonatuih. Surrounding this are four rectangular cartouches containing dates and symbols for the gods Ehecatl, Texcatlipoca, Tlaloc and Chilchihuitlicue who represent the four worlds previously destroyed and the dates of the previous holocausts -- 4 Tiger, 4 Wind, 4 Rain, and 4 Water. The central panel contains the date 4 Ollin (movement) on which the Aztecs showed that they anticipated that their current world would be destroyed by an earthquake. In a series of increasingly larger concentric bands, symbols for the 20 days of the month, precious materials, and certain stars are represented. The outermost band depicts two massive serpents whose heads meet at the stone's base. The Calendar Stone" is in the Museo Nacional de Antropología (National Museum of Anthropology) in Mexico City."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a national monument on the coast of the Chukchi Sea with a horizontal stratigraphy covering the whole of north Alaskan prehistory. Located on 114 ridges along ancient beach lines, the monument's remarkable archaeological sites illustrate the cultural evolution of the Arctic people, dating back some 4,000 years and continuing to modern Eskimos. There are campsites of 10 successive cultures, beginning with the Denbigh Flint Complex, followed by the Old Whaling culture, then by the Eskimo cultures known as Trails Creek-Chloris, Chloris, Norton, Near Ipiutak, Ipiutak, Birnirk, Western Thule, and late prehistoric. On the terrace behind the beaches were two more phases (Palisades I and II) which go back to c 8000 BC. The stratigraphy is visible as a sequence of strips, roughly parallel to the shoreline, with the oldest, Denbigh, being furthest from the present-day shoreline. This horizontal sequence, in combination with the vertical stratigraphy of Onion Portage, forms the most reliable chronological framework in Western Arctic prehistory.
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A New Stone Age tool, usually a polished, ungrooved ax or adz head or blade that would be attached to a wooden shaft. The tool, often shaped like a chisel and made of stone or bronze, was probably used for felling trees or shapingwood. Great numbers of celts have been discovered in the British Isles and Denmark and they were traded widely. Bronze Age tools of similar general design are also called celts.
central place theory
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: central-place theory CATEGORY: technique 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 marketarea. 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 marketarea (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 complexsystem 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 complexsettlementhierarchy. 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.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The practice of dividing up the territory surrounding a new Roman colony to match the city's grid plan of square blocks, normally 2,330 feet (710 m) on a side. The centuriation process was done for land distribution to the settlers and also for inventory. Signs of it were first detected in northern Africa from the 1830s, through surviving crop marks and roads, and have been found, mainly through air photography, in Trier and Homs (Syria) and large areas of northern Italy and Tunisia.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The study of the composition, texture, and structure of the minerals in the clay from which pottery is manufactured. The purpose of ceramicpetrology is to locate the source of the clay from which the pot was made. Ceramicpetrology involves either heavy mineral analysis or petrologic microscopy, both of which require samples to be removed from the pot. Neutron activation analysis is also used. Results from these studies have far-reaching consequences for the study of early economic systems. Not only has it been shown that pottery and its contents were transported over long distances in antiquity, but also that the specialized manufacture and marketing of pottery started as far back as the first agriculture in Europe.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Points on the contours of a vessel silhouette or vertical sectionmarking angles (corner points) or curvature (inflection points), used in one system of classifying vessel shapes
Chavín de Huántar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chavín CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: The area of the great ruin of the earliest highly developed culture in pre-Columbian Peru, which flourished between about 900 and 200 BC and may have originated c 1200 BC. During this time Chavín art spread over the north and central parts of what is now Peru. It is not known whether this was the actual center of origin of the culture and art style. The central building at Chavín de Huántar is a massive templecomplex constructed of dressed rectangular stone blocks, with interior galleries and bas-relief carvings on pillars and lintels. The principal motifs of the Chavín style are human, feline, and crocodilian or serpentine figures. Carved stone objects, fantastic pottery that demonstrates the most advanced skill, stone construction, and remarkably sophisticated goldwork have been found. Chavín pottery is known from the decorated types found in the temple and in graves on the northern coast, where it is called Cupisnique. Until the end of the period, the ware was monochrome -- dull red, brown, or gray -- and stonelike. Vessels were massive and heavy and the main forms are open bowls with vertical or slightly expanding sides and flat or gently rounded bases, flasks, and stirrup-spouted bottles. The surface may be modeled in relief or decorated by incision, stamping, brushing, rouletting, or dentate rocker-stamping. Some bowls have deeply incised designs on both the inside and outside faces. Its art style was never surpassed in the complexity of its iconography. The buildings, which show several periods of reconstruction, consist of various temple platforms containing a series of interlinked galleries and chambers on different levels. In the oldest part of the complex is a granite block, the Lanzón, on which is carved a human figure with feline fangs and with snakes in place of hair. Relief carvings in a similar style decorate the lintels, gateways, and cornices at the site, and human and jaguar heads of stone were on the outside wall of one of the platforms. On the coast, where stone is scarce, the highland architecture is replaced by work in adobe. Further south, the Paracasculture shows strong continuing Chavín influence.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A kingdom of the Khmers of the 6th-8th centuries AD in what is now southern Laos. It expanded to absorb the territories formerly occupied by Funan (now Cambodia). At the beginning of the 8th century it split into Water Chenla" and "Land Chenla". Chenla ceased to exist when the kingdom of Angkor was established in 802. From local inscriptions remarkable sculptures architectural remains and Chinese sources it is clear that it was an Indianized kingdom. There was an important cult site called Wat Phu (Laos)."
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type defined by form that is a time-marker
CATEGORY: typology DEFINITION: Types defined by form that are time markers.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. cippi CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A small, low column or pillar of stone, usually rectangular or cylindrical and with moldings at the top and bottom instead of a capital and a base. Often inscribed, it is normally associated with burials or tombs and used as a landmark, memorial, or a sepulchral monument.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Corinium Dobunnorum CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Gloucestershire, southwest England, where the Romano-British Corinium, the capital of the Dobuni tribe, was located. At the junction of important Roman and British routes, a cavalry fort was erected during 43-70 AD and by the 3rd century the town walls enclosed c100 hectares. Remains within those walls include an amphitheater and many rich villas. Occupation continued well into the Anglo-Saxonperiod. Excavations have revealed much of the layout of the town and the plan of the forum and basilica, a market hall, shops and houses. Cemetery finds have shown that the skeletons contained high levels of lead, supporting the view that lead poisoning contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire. The town was the largest in Roman Britain after London and was probably a capital in the 4th century. The Corinium Museum houses a Roman collection. Saxons captured the town in 577, and it later became a royal demesne (dominion or territory).
classic, Classic, Classical
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Classical Age, Classic Period CATEGORY: culture; chronology DEFINITION: A general term referring to the period of time when a culture or civilization reaches its highest point of complexity and achievement. In a broader sense, the term often describes the whole period of Greek and Roman antiquity with the following breakdown: Early Classical Period 500-450 BC, High Classical Period 450-400 BC, and Late Classical 400-323 BC. Specifically, the term describes, in New World chronology, the period between the Formative (Pre-Classic) and the Post-Classic, which was characterized by the emergence of city-states. During the Classic stage, civilized life in pre-Columbian America reached its fullest flowering, with large temple centers, advanced art styles, writing, etc. It was originally coined for the Mayacivilization, initially defined by the earliest and most recent Long Count dates found on Maya stelae, 300-900 AD. A division between Early and Late Classic was arbitrarily set at 600 AD, but since in some areas, e.g. Teothihuacan, great civilizations had already collapsed, some scholars regard this date as marking the end of the Classic Period. By extension, the word came to be used for other Mexican cultures with a similar level of excellence (Teotihuacán, Monte Albán, El Tajín). In these areas the cultural climax was roughly contemporary with that of the Maya, and the term Classic took on a chronological meaning as well. The full Maya artistic, architectural, and calendric-hieroglyphic traditions took place during the Early Classic. Tikal, Uaxactún, and Copán all attained their glory then. In the Late Classic, between 600-900 AD, ceremonial centers in the Maya Lowlands grew in number, as did the making of the inscribed, dated stelae and monuments. The breakdown of the Classic Period civilizations began with the destruction of the city of Teotihuacán in about 700 AD. Some date the Classic period to 300-900 AD.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Classic, Classical CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A general term referring to the period of time when a culture or civilization reaches its highest point of complexity and achievement. In a broader sense, the term often describes the whole period of Greek and Roman antiquity with the following breakdown: Early Classical period 500-450 BC, High Classical period 450-400 BC, and Late Classical 400-323 BC. Specifically, the term describes, in New World chronology, the period between the Formative (Pre-Classic) and the Post-Classic, which was characterized by the emergence of city-states. During the Classic stage, civilized life in pre-Columbian America reached its fullest flowering, with large temple centers, advanced art styles, writing, etc. It was originally coined for the Mayacivilization, initially defined by the earliest and most Recent Long Count dates found on Maya stelae, 300-900 AD. A division between Early and Late Classic was arbitrarily set at 600 AD, but since in some areas, e.g. Teothihuacan, great civilizations had already collapsed, some scholars regard this date as marking the end of the Classic Period. By extension, the word came to be used for other Mexican cultures with a similar level of excellence (Teotihuacán, Monte Albán, El Tajín). In these areas the cultural climax was roughly contemporary with that of the Maya, and the term Classic took on a chronological meaning as well. The full Maya artistic, architectural, and calendric-hieroglyphic traditions took place during the Early Classic. Tikal, Uaxactún, and Copán all attained their glory then. In the Late Classic, between 600-900 AD, ceremonial centers in the Maya Lowlands grew in number, as did the making of the inscribed, dated stelae and monuments. The breakdown of the Classic Period civilizations began with the destruction of the city of Teotihuacán in about 700 AD. Some date the Classic period to 300-900 AD.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Climate: Long-range Interpretation, Mapping, and Prediction CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: One of two projects (including COHMAP) which are aimed at producing paleoclimatic maps showing sea-surface temperatures in different parts of the globe at various periods: CLIMAP stands for Climate: Long-range Interpretation, Mapping, and Prediction and COHMAP is the Cooperative Holocene Mapping Project. CLIMAP was an attempt to specify in detail the condition of the Earth's surface, most notably the oceans, at the climax of the Wisconsin glaciation 18,000 years ago. It also included a series of mathematical modeling exercises aimed at defining the atmospheric circulation present at that time. Evidence for the most recent 18,000 years of Earth history is more diverse than that available for earlier epochs. Paleolimnological and paleoecological data (lake sediments and peat deposits, interpreted chiefly for their pollen contents) has resulted in remarkable advances in climatic knowledge. COHMAP was a later exercise designed to unravel the history of deglaciation of North America and Eurasia, the recolonization of the northern land surfaces by plants and animals, and the equivalent changes in the tropics and the Southern Hemisphere.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A piece of metal or, rarely, of some other material (such as leather or porcelain) certified by a mark or marks upon it as being of a specific value. Coinage is considered to be any standardized series of metal tokens, their specific weights representing specific values, and usually stamped with designs and inscriptions. Coins or coinlike objects were first issued by the Lydians of Anatolia in the late 7th century BC, made of the gold-silveralloyelectrum. Their use was then adopted in the Far East, then around the Mediterranean, and has since spread throughout the world. Early coins were used for specialized, prestigious purposes and not for everyday exchange. The early Greek coins were also made of electrum, silver, or gold; the first Roman coins were produced in the early 3rd century BC and were also made of precious metals. Later in that century the first bronze coin was introduced. These material remains are self-dating, though they do not always date" the materials they are found with as they may have been traded handed down through generations or displaced in the stratigraphy of a site."
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A vessel shape that in silhouette is marked by two or more characteristic points of inflection, or changes in curvature, or by both corner and inflection points
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A vessel shape that in silhouette is marked by characteristic points of angles or corners and lacks inflection points
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Corstopitum CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Roman fortsite in northeast England, on the River Tyne, dating to 79-80 AD. It burned and was rebuilt in c105, but was neglected when Hadrian's Wall with its own forts was built not far to the north. When the Roman frontier was pushed further north in 139, the fort was reconstructed in stone and later, when the frontier fell back to Hadrian's Wall once again, Corbridge flourished as a market town and a military supply depot. Remains of military quarters, granaries, and temples may still be seen.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cord-marked pottery CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Ceramic vessels whose outer faces are decorated with motifs created by pressing twisted cord into the soft clay surface before the pot was fired. Sometimes short individual motifs are represented (also called ?maggot impressions') where a length of cord has been wrapped around a small stick and then used as a stamp. In other cases long pieces of cord have been closely coiled around the pot and then pressed into the surface.
Corded Beaker culture
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Late Neolithicculture in central and northern Europe from c 2800 BC, named after a characteristic cord-marked decoration found on pottery. The Corded beakerculture belongs to the so-called Battle-Ax cultures of Europe. There were two phases of new burial rites, with individual rather than communal burials and an emphasis on burying rich grave goods with adult males. The first phase, characterized by Corded Ware pottery and stone battle-axes, is found particularly in central and northern Europe. The second phase, dated to 2500-2200 BC, is marked by Bell Beaker pottery and the frequent occurrence of copper daggers in the graves; it is found from Hungary to Britain and as far south as Italy, Spain, and North Africa. At the same time, there was an increase in the exchange of prestige goods such as amber, copper, and tools from particular rock sources.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Corded Ware CATEGORY: ceramics; culture DEFINITION: A Late Neolithicpotteryware decorated with twisted cord ornament found over much of north and central Europe in the 2nd half of the 3rd millennium BC. The commonest shapes are the beaker and the globular amphora. The ware is always associated with primitive agriculture, the stone battle ax, and usually with single burial under a small barrow or kurgan. The ware may derive from Denmark, central Germany (Saxo-Thuringia), eastern Poland, or the Ukraine. The culture received its name from the characteristic pottery. Some groups also had metal artifacts. There is some evidence that Corded Ware people had domesticated horses and wheeled vehicles, and they are sometimes interpreted as nomadic groups -- possibly Indo-European speaking -- who spread across northern Europe from the east. Closely related are the Globular Amphora and Funnel Beaker cultures.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient city of Greece, located where the Peloponnese meets the isthmus that connects it to the Greek mainland. The city has an exceptionally high acropolis on Acronocorinth Hill and profited from having ports on both the Corinthian and Saronic Gulfs. The site was occupied from before 3000 BC, but its history is obscure until the early 8th century BC, when the city-state of Corinth began to develop as a commercial center. There is evidence of a Neolithic and an Early Bronze Age settlement at Corinth, both of considerable size. There is little evidence of Mycenaean settlement, however, and the next major settlement belonged to the Dark Age, c late 10th century BC. Corinth was a very important city throughout the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods. Corinth's political influence was increased through territorial expansion in the vicinity, and by the late 8th century it had secured control of the isthmus. The Corinthians established colonies at Corcyra and Syracuse, later making them dominant in trade with the western Mediterranean. From c 720-570 BC, Corinthian painted vases in the black-figure technique (which the Corinthians invented) were exported all over the Greek world. Workshops dating to this period have been excavated in the potters' quarter at Corinth, producing both pottery and terracottas. Corinthian pottery provides the most useful dating method available to archaeologists studying this period. Northwest of the agora stand seven Doric columns, which are the remains of the Temple of Apollo (c 550 BC). Callimachus is said to have invented the Corinthian columncapital here c 450-425 BC. Corinth was involved in most of Greece's political struggles and in 146 BC was destroyed by the Roman general Lucius Mummius. In 44 BC, Julius Caesar reestablished Corinth as a Roman colony. Many of the visible remains date from the classical Greek and especially the early Roman periods, including a Roman agora (marketplace), the Odeon, the Pirene fountain, the Glauke fountain, temples, villas, baths, pottery factory, gymnasium, basilica, theater, and an amphitheater. Parts of the classical fortifications on the acropolis survive. In the later medieval period it then passed from Frankish to Venetian and eventually to Turkish hands. Substantial buildings from all these periods have been found in excavations since 1896. Modern Corinth was founded in 1858, 3 miles north of the ancient town, after an earthquake leveled the latter.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cracklin CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A type of china with glaze that has been purposely crackled or covered with a network of fine crackle in the kiln. It is caused by the shrinking of the glaze as the vessel cooled after firing and was often the only ornament on the exquisite ware. The Chinese made many variations of this porcelain, some rare and valuable. In some examples there is engraved decoration under the glaze. The low-fired Ju stoneware is distinguished by a seemingly soft, milky glaze of pale blue or grayish green with hair-thin crackle. A variant with strongly marked crackle became known as ko ware as it was made by the elder brother (ko) of the director of the Lung-ch'üan factory.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: The characteristic wedge-shaped writing of western Asia, used for over 3000 years, emerging in the 4th millennium BC in southern Mesopotamia as a system of accounting during the Urukperiod. It consisted of triangular markings pressed on a clay tablet with a split reed. The word itself comes from Latin 'cuneus' meaning wedge-shaped" "wedge". The pictographic script of the Urukperiod the oldest known in the world was reduced to angular forms to make it more suitable for impressing in wet clay with a split reed. The nature of the script was very like that of the Egyptians with ideographs phonograms and determinatives. The script was used for a number of languages (Sumerian Akkadian Elamite Hittite Old Persian etc.) even being adapted to serve as an alphabet at Ugarit. The first success in its decipherment was by Georg Grotefend a German philologist in 1802. In inscriptions from Persepolis he recognized the names of Darius and Xerxes and the Old Persian word for 'king'. In 1844-1847 further progresscame through the recording and study of Darius's rock inscriptions at Behistun by Henry Rawlinson. He was able to translate the Old Persian version; Westergaard in 1854 tackled the Elamite text and Rawlinson with others cracked the Babylonian in 1857. This was much the most important of the three as it led directly back through the many cuneiform inscriptions at that time coming to light to the first written records those of ancient Sumer. Cuneiform texts have been found in Egypt at el-'Amarna and on various objects of the PersianPeriod. In the Near East cuneiform tablets from Egypt have been found at Bogazkoy in Anatolia and Kamid el-Loz in Syria. A consonantal alphabet developed at Ugarit which vanished with the town at beginning of 12th c BC; and syllabaryscript was used solely by Achaemenid Persians to transcribe their language from 6th-4th c BC."
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Small cup-shaped marks deliberately pecked out of a rock surface. Their purpose and symbolism is not known, although there are some suggestions that in Scandinavia at least they are female signs. Also known as pits, dots, and cup-marks in rock-art studies.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Danekirke CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A 5th-century line of earthwork fortifications that cut across the base of the Jutland peninsula, forming the southern boundary of Viking Age Denmark (now in Germany). Timbers in its construction have been dated to about 737 AD, but these were likely replacement timbers, making the first building phase still earlier. It is puzzling archaeologically because the traces of only one large timber hall have been found, associated with enormous quantities of imported luxury items including a great deal of West European glass. Godfrey, king of Denmark who halted Charlemagne's march northward, began the construction of the Danevirke.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An important sanctuary site in central Greece, where the Delphic oracle was located. Situated at the foot of Mount Parnassus, Delphi was thought (by the Greeks) to lie at the center of the earth. The setting has a striking backdrop of cliff-face, rock fissures, and springs. The sanctuary of Apollo held the oracle, which was frequently consulted by all Greek city-states at the start of a new enterprise. In addition to answering consultations by states and individuals (the answers were often couched in obscure hexameter verses which had to be figured out by the questioner), Delphi was a religious and festival center for the different Greek city-states belonging to the Amphictyonic League. The Pythian Games, held at Delphi, became a great national festival. Along a Sacred Way were placed some 20 temple-like treasuries (thesauroi), erected by member states to house valuable offerings. Above, on a terrace supported by a wall of unusual polygonal masonry, stood the great Temple of Apollo, containing in a holy of holies (adyton) a navel-shaped stone (omphalos) marking the center of the earth, and a rock fissure from which emanations were supposed to inspire the Pythian priestess. The virgin priestess would fall into a trance to five (inarticulate) answers to male priests (women were not admitted). The temple was reconstructed after earthquake damage in c 350 BC, and a theater and stadium were added. After c 300 BC the oracle began a slow decline in authority, and Roman rule brought further deterioration and then plundering. The oracle was finally closed by emperor Theodosius in 390 AD as anti-Christian.
CATEGORY: site; geography DEFINITION: The greater part of Lower Egypt, the Nile delta north of ancient Memphis, which is in marked contrast with Upper Egypt's valley. Though it has equally important history, its remains are now lost, buried beneath many meters of the silt which has accumulated since ancient times. The lowercased term refers to any flat alluvial tract built up by the deposition of silt at the mouth of a river. The name derives from the fact that the Nile fans out into several tributaries as it approaches the Mediterranean, creating a triangulararea of fertile land shaped like the Greek letter delta.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Danangombe CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A later Iron Age site located northeast of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and the 17th-19th century AD capital of the Torwa state. Occupation probably began during the 16th century, marked by elaborately decorate dry-stoneterrace-retaining walls surrounding extensive house platforms. The foundation of the site is comparable to stone structures at Khami and Naletale. Dhlo Dhlo appears to have had access to imported luxury goods from coastal trade.
Djoser (fl. 27th c BC; c 2667-2648 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Zoser, Netjerykhet CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: The second king of the 3rd dynasty (c 2650-2575 BC) of Egypt, who undertook the construction of the earliest important stone building in Egypt. His reign was marked by great technological innovation. He and his architect / minister, Imhotep, who was himself deified, constructed the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, which was not only the first pyramidal funerary complex but also the earliest example of large-scale stone masonry in Egypt. He was effectively the founder of the Old Kingdom.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A series of cold climatic phases in northwestern Europe, during a time when the North Atlantic was in almost full glacial condition. Dryas I was c 16,000/14,000 BP, Dryas II (Older Dryas) was c 12,300-11,800 bp, and Dryas III (Younger Dryas) was c 11,000-10,000 bp. It is named after a tundra plant. . The increasing temperature after the late Dryasperiod during the Pre-Boreal and the Boreal (c 8000-5500 BC, according to radiocarbon dating) caused a remarkable change in late glacialflora and fauna.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The modern capital of Ireland (Eire) was founded by the Vikings, or Norsemen, in the 9th century (c 831) and built on the ridge above the south bank of the river, the same spot where Dublin Castle was built. Throughout much of the Middle Ages it remained one of the foremost sea ports in the British Isles. VikingDublin was a prosperous settlement, and excavations begun in the 1960s revealed a wealth of archaeological evidence for that period. From prehistoric times people have dwelt in the area about Dublin Bay, and four of Ireland's five great roads converged near the spot called Baile Atha Cliath (The Town of the Ford of the Hurdle"). Remarkable waterlogged conditions have preserved organic material from levels dating to between the 9th-14th centuries. The footings of wattle-and-daub and timber-framed buildings have been recovered with door posts screens and hearths as well as timber streets. There is also abundant evidence of the crafts and industries from the Hiberno-Scandinavian and Anglo-Norman periods -- woodworking metalworking hooping combmaking leatherworking and cobbling."
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: An arrangement of buildings designed to mark the position of the rising sun during important solar events such as equinoxes and solstices in Mesoamerica
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: angleworm CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: Any of nearly 2000 species of terrestrial worms which act as one of the main agents by which plant litter, humus, and minerals are incorporated and mixed in soil. Earthworms are responsible for the maintenance and stability of various types of soil, especially the brown forest soils. The character of a soil may change markedly if the plant litter made by the vegetation changes to a kind which is unpalatable to earthworms. The effects of earthworm sorting may be seen on archaeological sites in the blurring of layers and the development of worm-sorted layers in the top of buried soils. Earthworms usually remain near the soil surface, but they are known to tunnel as deep as 6 feet during periods of dryness or in winter. Indirectly they provide food for man by aerating the soil, promoting drainage, and drawing organic material into their burrows where it decomposes faster, thus producing more nutritive materials for growing plants.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Middle Bronze Age burial in east Jutland, Denmark in an oak tree trunk coffin under a circular tumulus. The cremated bones of a child were also in the coffin with a woman's body, clothing, and bronze ornaments preserved by waterlogged conditions. She was wearing a woolen jacket and skirt and was covered by an ox-hideshroud; bronze bracelets and a bronzebelt disc also survived. The grave also contained a birch-bark box containing an awl and a hairnet.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: In Greek antiquity, a funeral procession or chariots and mourners. Ekphorai are depicted on ceramicmonumental funerary markers in Athens, dating to the 8th century BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A settlement site of the Argaric Early Bronze Age in Almería, northeast Spain. The site was surrounded by a thick defensive wall and had rectangular stone houses. Several hundred burials were found, some under the floors of houses. Social class is very marked at El Oficio, where the richest women were adorned with silver diadems, while their male consorts had bronze swords, axes, and polished pottery.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Elamite CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: An ancient kingdom of southwest Iran with its capital at Susa and other centers at Anshan and Dur-Untash. This broad valley of the Karkeh and Karun rivers was geographically an extension of the southern plain of Mesopotamia. Early on, it adopted writing and devised its own pictographic script (proto-Elamite) to suit its language; later it used Akkadiancuneiform. Politically the two regions were usually bitterly opposed and the Elamites overthrew the 3rd dynasty of Ur shortly before 2000 BC and raided as far as Babylon in the later 13th century BC. The Golden Age of Elamite civilization was c 1300-1100 BC, reaching its peak under Untash-Gal (c 1265-1245 BC), the builder of Choga Zambil. Raids into Mesopotamia brought the downfall of Kassite Dynasty in 1157 BC. The period was also remarkable for glasstechnology and bronzecasting (cire perdue). Elam was absorbed into the Achaemenid empire in the 6th century BC, after falling to the Assyrians when Ashurbanipal sacked the city of Susa. Little is known about the Elamite language, which is not related to any known tongue and still not fully deciphered.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in central India with a series of magnificent rock-cut Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu temples, mainly of the Gupta Period c 320-540 AD. Many of them have fine sculptures. The most remarkable of the monuments is the monolithic Kailasa Temple, cut from a single outcropping of rock. It is extensively carved with sculptures of Hindu divinities and mythological figures and dedicated to Shiva. It was built in the 8th century.
CATEGORY: term; chronology DEFINITION: A phase in the history of northern European vegetation recognized through pollen analysis and dated by radiocarbon as c 4000 BC. It marked a sudden and marked decline in elm pollen in contrast to other tree pollens. In some areas it was accompanied by a drop in frost-sensitive species such as ivy and mistletoe, while in many others it coincided with the appearance of plants associated with human settlements (plantain and nettles). It is now attributed to disease from beetles causing Dutch elm disease though other explanations for the decline include climatic change and human interference.
CATEGORY: artifact; language DEFINITION: A hollow clayball of spherical, ovoid, or oblong shape holding tokens and usually bearing seal impressions. Clay envelopes, dating from 3500 BC, have markings corresponding to the clay shapes inside. Moreover, these markings are more or less similar to the shapes drawn on clay tablets that date back to about 3100 BC. These markings are thought to constitute a logographic form of writing consisting of some 1,200 different characters representing numerals, names, and such material objects as cloth and cow. Tokens placed in an envelope might have constituted a sort of bill of lading" or a record of indebtedness. To serve as a reminder of the contents of the envelope so that every reader would not need to break open the envelope to read the contents corresponding shapes were impressed upon the envelope. But if the content was marked on the envelope there was no need to put the tokens in an envelope at all; the envelope could be flattened into a convenient surface and the shapes impressed on it. Now that there was no need for the tokens at all their message was simply inscribed into the clay. These shapes drawn in the wet clay with a reed stylus or pointed stick constituted the first writing."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A major port on the west coast of Asia Minor (Turkey), originally an Ionic city of which only a few fragments survive. The city walls are Hellenistic, but the majority of the remains date from the Roman period, when the city was one of the richest and most important in Asia. The temple of Artemis and many important public buildings have been found, including agoras, baths, Library of Celus, arcaded streets, market buildings, gymnasia, stadium, and a theater. The temple, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was burned in 356 BC. The town was situated strategically in the delta area of the River Cayster, and there is some evidence for occupation from Mycenaean times. Tradition, however, describes the settlement as founded from Athens by King Androklos.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Erechtheion CATEGORY: structure; site DEFINITION: A temple on the Acropolis at Athens, dedicated to Erechtheus, the legendary king of the city. It was built in c 421-407 BC and is remarkable for its caryatid porch and the complexity of its plan. It is a large and complex rectangular building in the Ionic style, built of white Pantelic marble and dark Eleusisstone.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: scarp CATEGORY: geology; geography DEFINITION: A natural steep landmark or massive fault block. This landform consists of a steep slope which marks an abrupt change in altitude between two adjacent land surfaces. This long cliff or steep slope separates two comparatively level or more gently sloping surfaces and is a result of erosion or faulting. The term also refers to the side of the vallum sloping into the fossa, or ditch, nearest to a fort(ification).
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: directional trade; exchange system CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A system which promotes the transfer of goods and services between people, either individuals or societies. The term 'trade' may be used to mean the same, but it often refers more specifically to the formalized economic relationships of modern societies. Three different forms of exchange can be found: reciprocity, redistribution, and market exchange. There are also different spatial patterns of traded items, which can reveal the mode of exchange. In 'down-the-line' exchange, a commodity is passed successively from one group to another even further away from its source. The pattern will show a distinct decline in the quantity of the item as distance from the source increases; the higher the value of the item, the further it will reach. In 'directional exchange', where a commodity is traded directly from its source to a distant point without any intermediate exchange, the pattern of decreasing quantities with increasing distance will be distorted with a local concentration. Primitive forms of exchange include barter, gift exchange, potlatch, and silent trade.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The study of animal remains in an archaeological site, as by identifying bones or shells, examining butcher marks, and so on. The analysis is used to determine past hunting and dietary practices.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: To trim rough edges, casting or mold marks, or other imperfections from dry or leather-hard ware before firing
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The natural product of combustion, seen in the form of flame and smoke. The use of fire was a major landmark in man's adaptation to the cooler environment of the earth; it is often considered the single most important discovery by early man. Man probably knew how to make fire between 500,000-800,000 years ago in Europe or Asia. The ability to make fire efficiently and at will rather than merely catching it from natural sources may date from less than 200,000 years ago. Fire is first found on occupation sites of the Lower Palaeolithic period, approximately half a million years ago, although true hearths do not become typical until the penultimate glacialperiod, perhaps 200,000 years ago. Hearths and thick deposits of burnt material are typical of the last glacialperiod, by which time it is likely that the two main methods of making fire (the friction method of rubbing or rotating sticks to generate heat and the percussion method of striking sparks with iron and flint) were both in use.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The study of the remains of fish on archaeological sites, in the form of bones, otoliths, and scales. The latter only survive occasionally in anaerobic conditions, while otoliths have not, to date, been frequently recorded. Fish have markedly different skeletons from mammals. Many fishbones are so small that they appear only in sieving and the bones commonly preserved are the jaws and some other head bones, and the vertebrae. They usually accumulate in refuse deposits and may be interpreted in terms of diet and fishing on the site or in the area that supplied it. Identification of species through comparison with modern fishbones is becoming easier as larger collections of comparative material are built up. When a species has been identified it can lead to evidence for the hydrological conditions around the site; also, the occurrence of the remains of marine species on an inland site has implications for the movement of groups or a trade in fish. A combination of species identification and aging of fish through study of the otoliths can lead to assumptions about the seasonal occupation of certain settlement sites and the subsistence economy of the associated groups.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: flake tool CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A thin broad piece of stone detached from a larger mass for use as a tool; a piece of stone removed from a larger piece (core or nucleus) during knapping (percussion or pressure) and used in prehistoric times as a cutting instrument. Flakes often served as blanks" from which more complex artifacts -- burins scrapers gravers arrowheads etc. -- could be made. Waste flakes (débitage) are those discarded during the manufacture of a tool. Flakes may be retouched to make a flake tool or used unmodified. The process leaves characteristic marks on both the core and flake. This makes it comparatively easy to distinguish human workmanship from natural accident."
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A mark or trace on a stone showing the point of attachment of a flake that has been removed; the point where a flake has been chipped off in the making of a tool.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: Any burial consisting of a simple oval or rectangular pit containing an inhumed individual. The pit was infilled but not marked by a mound or other earthwork. The genuine Urnfield tradition was flat graves. In the Hallstatt, cremation was practiced in cemeteries of flat graves.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A spring deposit in the Orange Free State, South Africa, which preserved a human cranium of Homo sapiens sapiens. Its brow ridges, while pronounced, are markedly less prominent than those of the (presumably earlier) skull from Broken Hill in Zambia. The Florisbadspecimen is dated to c 50,000 bc (late Middle Pleistocene) and appears to be associated with a Middle Stone Age industry of Pietersburgtype.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A channel or grove running up a pillar or running up the center of a projectile point made of stone. In architecture, a flute resembles half of a flute split longitudinally, with the concave side outwards. In referring to projectile point artifacts, the mark is a distinctive longitudinal groove left on the point after removal of a channel flake. It is characteristic of Folsom and Clovis points.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Folsom culture CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A village in northeastern New Mexico which lends its name to the remains of a prehistoricculture first found there and especially to its characteristic projectile point (Folsom point). It was a Stone Age culture, characterized by refinement of fluted projectile points, marking a significant advance over the projectile points of the earlier Clovisculture. The culture is believed to be 10-13,000 years old (11,000-10,200 BP). It was the scene of one of the first New World discoveries of artifacts associated with extinct fauna (the remains of 23 extinct giant bison). Folsom points are usually dated between c 9000-8000 BC. Folsom points are slightly different from Clovis: smaller, with their widest dimension near the middle rather than towards the base; more concavebase than Clovis, and edges of Folsom points were retouched. Another site, Blackwater Draw has its Folsom layer dated to 8340 BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Cave site in southern France with Epipalaeolithic and Neolithic occupations, dating to c 8000 BC. Hunting and gathering remains are hazelnuts and plants; there was domestic livestock and pottery of the Cardial and Epicardial phases. Neolithic remains include pits of human bones with cutmarks and pits of butchered animals bones, possibly evidence for cannibalism. There are also Middle Neolithic Chasséen, Late Neolithic, and Bell Beaker artifacts.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. fora CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: The administrative center and marketplace of a Roman town, usually placed at the intersection of the main streets, the decumanus and cardo. The square served as a meeting- and/or market-place; it answered the Greek agora. Public notices were displayed on the basilica. Inside the basilica, the court of law would meet, functions of the town hall carried out, and businessmen would discuss deals. The forum was the main shopping center, with rows of shops having colonnades in front, most having open fronts to the forum. The main baths and temples were adjacent to the forum. The Roman Forum (Forum Romanum) was important from the time of the republic onwards and various emperors built fora of their own: Caesar, Augustus, Vespasian, Nerva, and Trajan. Most include a temple (sometimes the capitolium), peristyle courtyard, basilica, comitium, and curia.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Roman road in England, from Devon to Lincoln (southwest to northeast), marking the line originally chosen by the invading Romans as the frontier of the new province before 47 AD. The road was needed to link a line of forts. The line, however, proved unsatisfactory and the frontier was soon pushed northward, leaving Fosse Way to serve as a major cross-country trunk route of the expanded province.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A prehistoric cave site on the Bay of Argos in the Peloponnese of Greece with dates to c 22,000-10,300 BP. An Epipalaeolithic occupation (c 10,000 BC) was succeeded after an interval by a Mesolithic (c 7500-6000 BC) with dozens of burials and some possible cremations. Excavations at the Franchthi Cave showed that boats already sailed to the island of Melos north of Crete for obsidian by about 13,000-11,000 BC and that the cultivation of hybrid grains, the domestication of animals, and organized community tuna hunts had already begun, marking the transition from hunting and gathering. A little later, the first pottery appeared. Late Upper Palaeolithic artifacts included small backed blades and geometric microliths.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Shell Knife culture CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A primitive people inhabiting the South American archipelago of Tierra del Fuego from c 2000 BC. The culture, a coastal tradition of the Alacaluf tribes, was often called the Shell Knife culture. It was based on the exploitation of marine resources and operative on the southern coast and offshore islands of southern Chile. The beginning of the tradition was marked by a change from land-oriented hunting and gathering; bone and stone tool technology persisted well into historic times. The primitive cultures of the Ona and Yámana (Yahgan) of Tierra del Fuego are so similar that anthropologists traditionally group them with the neighboring Chono and Alakaluf of Chile into this one Fuegian culture area". The Ona inhabit the interior forests and depend heavily on hunting guanaco (a small New World camel). The Yámana are canoe-using fishermen and shellfish gatherers. They are all nomadic and are sparsely scattered over the landscape and poor in material culture."
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Events to mark the final rite of passage of a person.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Phoenician Gadir, modern Cádiz CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city of southwestern Spain that was prosperous in antiquity for more than a millennium as a commercial port. It was founded by Phoenicians from Tyre around 1100 BC, but a date in the 7th or 8th century BC is perhaps more plausible. Prosperity declined with the rise of nearby Hispalis (Seville) in the 2nd century AD. Trade and fishing are reported on early coins; trade was strongly associated with the area's metallurgy. By the 1st century BC, Gades seems to have had a significant market in tin-mining and the tintrade. It defected from the Carthaginian side to Rome in 206 BC. It was known to the Romans for its gaiety and exotic pleasures.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Vessels imported from Gaul in the late 1st century BC and early 1st century AD, usually in black or silver-grey fabrics (terra nigra), or white fabric coated with red slip (terra rubra), or a dense white or cream fabric like pipeclay. Close British imitations of these fabrics and forms are known, and further copying of the forms was wide-spread. The imported vessels often have the name of the potter stamped on the inner surface of the base, a practice imitated in but usually with illegible markings.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The basic unit of hereditary information that occupies a fixed position on a chromosome, i.e. governed by the specific sequence of the genetic markers within the DNA of the individual concerned. Genes achieve their effects by directing the synthesis of proteins.
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: Geometric CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A style of decoration with repeated geometric motifs -- circles, squares, triangles, lozenges, and running linear patterns -- flourishing in Greece c 900-700 BC. The term is also applied to such design on wall painting, for textiles. The style derived from the triangular, circular, meander, zigzags, rhomboids, and other lineardecoration on Greek pottery of this period. In classical Greek art history, the term is used specifically of the early phases of vase-painting as, for example, Protogeometric (c 1050-900 BC), Geometric (c 900-750 BC), and Late Geometric (c 750-700 BC). When the term is applied to the period of Greek history in which the decoration flourished, it is often extended to 1100-700 BC, after the fall of Mycenaean civilization and marking transition from Bronze to Iron Age. The first phase, called Protogeometric (1100-900) corresponds to the dark ages" when Greek culture was inward looking and very poor. Its final phase Late Geometric (770-700) coincided with resumption of relations with Asian cultures and beginning of colonization of the northern southern and western shores of Mediterranean."
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: glacial CATEGORY: chronology; geography DEFINITION: The process by which land is covered by continental and alpine glacier ice sheets or the period of time during which such covering occurred; several glaciations are required to make up an Ice Age (as the Pleistocene). The land is subject to erosion and deposition by this process, which occurred repeatedly during the Quaternary; the process modifies landscapes and affects the level of ocean basins. These periods of colder weather are also called glacials, and the warmer periods between them interglacials. At the onset of colder weather, water is taken up into the ice-sheets and glaciers, causing a drop in sea level. Landscapes covered by ice can be recognized by the smooth rock surfaces and the U-shaped valleys formed by the ice-sheets and glaciers and the rock rubble carried along in them. As the climate warmed, the glaciers retreated, the ice melted, and the sea-level rose. The ice also deposited various forms of boulder clays, and banks of debris at the sides and ends of glaciers, known as moraines. Beyond the limits of glaciers and ice-sheets, extensive layers of outwash sands and gravels were deposited; where these deposits occur in lakes they are called varves. The periglacial zone around the margin of an ice sheet has permanently frozen subsoil, and is occupied by cold-loving plants and animals. Erosion was mainly brought about by solifluxion. The low temperatures and the constant freezing and thawing also affect the soil; these frost effects are called cryoturbation. Particularly characteristic are ice-wedges, polygonal cracks in the ground frequently recognizable in air photographs. They were caused by the shrinking of the ground at low temperatures and the filling of the cracks with water, which subsequently expanded on freezing to open the crack still further. The last two million years have been marked by a series of such glaciations. Broad correlations between the glaciation schemes in different parts of Europe and North America exist. Four Ice Ages have been figured; in Europe, the First Glaciation was at a climax 550,000 years ago. This gradually gave way to the First Interglacial (Gunz-Mindel) Period lasting about 60,000 years in which warm conditions again prevailed. The Second Glaciation came along with its climax 450,000 years ago, and the Second InterglacialPeriod (Mindel-Riss) followed, lasting 200,000 years. The Third GlacialPeriod (Riss) climax 185,000 years ago was relieved by 60,000 years of interglacial warmth. The Fourth (Wurm) and last Ice Age was at its height 72,000 years ago. The term has also commonly been used to describe the periods of generally cold climate which occurred at intervals during the Quaternaryperiod. It is, however, now clear that ice-sheets grew only during parts of these so-called 'glacials' (e.g., the Devensian). For this reason, the term 'cold stage' is preferable.
Glob, Peter Vilhelm (1911-1985)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A Danish archaeologist who wrote An Archaeological History from the Stone Age to the Vikings" (also published as "Danish Prehistoric Monuments" 1971; originally published in Danish 1942) "The Mound People: Danish Bronze-Age Man Preserved" (1974 reissued 1983; originally published in Danish 1970) and "The Bog People: Iron Age Man Preserved" (1969 reissued 1988; originally published in Danish 1965). His writings focused on the bog bodies of Tollund and Grauballe; he was also Director General of Museums and Antiquities in Denmark."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic cave site in Somerset, England, with flint, bone, and antler artifacts and animal bones with butchery marks. Human bones also show deliberate cut marks, signifying cannibalism.
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: A type of medieval manor house controlling the estates belonging to a monastery. Granges were first created in the 12th century in several countries of western Europe. The farms were run by monks with the assistance of lay servants and their purpose was to produce food for the church as well as for sale in the marketplace. Granges range in form from the elaborate monumental farm complexes of the Loire Valley (Parcay-Meslay), to the elegant Piedmont farms of Renaissance Italy and the hill farms of the Pennines in England.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Late Iron Age site in southern Zimbabwe, c 1000-1100 AD. It gives its name to a facies of the Kutamatradition. It marks a clear break with the preceding Early Iron Age with the appearance of Shona people at Great Zimbabwe.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The find spot of a great silvercauldron of late pre-Roman Iron Age in a bog in northern Jutland, Denmark, that was clearly a votive offering. On the 12 plaques which decorate both the inside and outside of the bowl are scenes from Celtic mythology. The cauldron was probably manufactured in Romania or Bulgaria or possibly Thrace during the 1st or 2nd century BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ku-wei-ts'un CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A late Eastern Zhoucemeterysite in Hui-hsien, China. Three large shaft tombs has north and south entrance ramps and are similar in construction to far earlier Shang tombs. The largest of the three was marked at ground level by a low mound edged with large stones, a new feature modeled on works of the northern nomads. A number of cast-iron tools -- plowshares, picks, hoes, shovels, axes, and chisels -- were found in the tomb.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Middle Bronze Age farming site in Cornwall, England, with prehistoric and medieval remains. There are houses of the Beaker Period, field systems of the Middle Bronze Age, and small square fields of Celtic type. The sites of the post-Roman period include a small settlement of circular drystone huts, a shell midden, and a late Saxon chapel. There are also sub-Roman (400-950), early Christian (550-850), and the Late Saxon (850-1050) levels which have been determined by the pottery. Gwithianware and Mediterranean imports mark the first phase, and Grass-Marked pottery, the second. The chapel of St. Gocanius is one of the few pre-Conquest buildings in Cornwall (c 9th-10th century).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A stratigraphic settlement site of the Late Neolithic Cucuteni culture, in north Moldavia, Rumania. The main settlement level (Cucuteni A3), has a radiocarbon date of c 3130 BC. A village of almost 70 houses is on a promontory site, which is defended by a ditch and palisade. Rich polychrome painted ware and a group of large copper bossed pendants, with affinities in Denmark and Austria, have been found.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The best known of the Roman frontier works, built in northern Britain on orders of the Emperor Hadrian in 122-127 BC. Stone-walled ditchfacing north and military zone behind it are protected by an earthwork to the south. It ran for 80 Roman miles (about 73 miles/117 km) from the Solway Firth (Bowness) to the Tyne (Wallsend). The wall itself is 12-15m wide, with small forts (milecastles) with two turrets in between built into it every 1 mile (1.5 km), and 16 Roman forts along it. Some parts were originally constructed in turf, but in time (by about 160) the whole structure was completed in limestone. To the south of the wall, another great ditch with wide spaced banks, the Vallum, follows roughly the same line, perhaps marking the limit of the military zone. Though the whole work, with outlying forts and service roads, was a most impressive undertaking, it could only serve its purpose of excluding the barbarians when adequately manned. It was overrun in 197, rebuilt by Severus, overrun again in 296 and restored by Constantius Chlorus, overrun again in 367 and rebuilt by Count Theodosius, and finally abandoned by 400 AD. Antoninus built a second wall (the Antonine Wall) about 100 km (62 miles) to the north along the line between Forth and Clyde rivers. This second line of fortification lasted only c 145-160 AD.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hedeby CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A medieval Danish trading settlement on the Jutland Peninsula in northwest Germany of the 7th century AD, important in the southeast Baltic region. Its trade included slaves, furs, textiles, iron, and weapons; it was one of the earliest Scandinavian urban centers. In the early 9th century King Godfred of Denmark built the Danewirk, an earthwork barrier, along the base of the peninsula south of Hedeby to protect it from Frankish incursions.
Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hammurapi CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: The sixth king of the first Amorite dynasty of Babylon and one of the best known of the Mesopotamian kings. In c 1783 BC he began the series of campaigns which extended his empire from Mari and Nineveh to the Persian Gulf. He is best remembered for his Code of Laws which had an emphasis on retaliation and an eye for an eye, but which marked a considerable advance. The Code of Hammurabi also yield detailed evidence on the structure of contemporary society. His 43-year reign saw the final extinction of Sumer as a political power. His empire declined soon after his death, until taken by the Hittites and Kassites c 1595 BC. The lasting achievement of Hammurabi's rule was that the important part of Mesopotamia, which had been in the south from the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC, was shifted to the north, where it remained for more than 1,000 years.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: One of the twin capitals of the Indus Civilization, located in Pakistan and northwest India, c 2300-1750 BC. Excavation has revealed a pre-Indus occupation related to that of Kot Diji and perhaps the Zhob Valley. There was a brick-walled town with pre-Harappan material, rare Indus inhumationcemetery, granaries, and cemetery of dismembered burials with non-Indus pottery, dating from reoccupation, possibly by Aryans. Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa are remarkable for their town planning and public and private systems of hygiene and sanitation. Unfortunately the site was largely destroyed during the last century by the extraction of bricks for ballast for the Lahore-Multan railway, then under construction.
Hatshepsut (1473-1458 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hatchepsut CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A queen of Egypt, reigning c 1479-1457 BC in the 18th Dynasty. She was the daughter of Thutmose I (1504-1492 BC) and Queen Ahmose Nefertari, was married to her half-brother Thutmose II (1492-1479 BC). A strong ruler, she sent a trading expedition to Punt, as recorded in detail in her funerary temple. She was succeeded by her son Thuthmose III. Her reign was marked by peace, prosperity, and artistic achievement. Her funerary temple at Deir El-Bahri at Thebes is one of the most original and beautiful in Egypt.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: henge monument CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A circular, prehistoric religious enclosure constructed of wood or stones and enclosed by ditches, banks, and walls -- and found only in the British Isles. Henge monuments are characteristic of the megalithic period in southern and eastern England in particular. To the west and north, henges often enclose a stone circle. There are 13 such examples, including Avebury and Stonehenge. The circular area is delimited by a ditch with the bank normally outside it. Class I henges have a single entrance marked by a gap in the earthworks, while those of Class II have two such entrances placed opposite each other. Avebury had four entrances. Many henges have extra features such as burials, pits, circles of upright stones (Avebury, Stonehenge) or of timber posts (Durrington Walls, Woodhenge). Henges are often associated with Late Neolithicpottery of groovedware, Peterborough and Beaker types, dating from the centuries after 2500 BC. Occasional examples were still in use in the Bronze Age, e.g. Stonehenge. Henges are believed to have been focal points for 'ritual' activity, but there is much controversy over their design. They range in size from c 30 meters to more than 400 meters in diameter (Avebury, Durrington Walls).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Ercolano CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient city of Campania, Italy, that was buried by the same volcano in 79 AD that took Pompeii. Already damaged by Vesuvius in 63 AD, Herculaneum was home to 5000 people. It had modern houses, tastefully decorated, and it was wealthier than Pompeii. In the destruction of 79 AD, the town was covered in liquid mud which subsequently solidified after percolating and filling structures. It tended to preserve organic materials, especially timber. The houses are remarkable for the preservation of internal and external structures in timber, and, in some cases, of furniture and fittings. Also found are papyri and a library containing the works of Epicurus. Herculaneum probably started as an Archaic Greek foundation.
Hetepheres I (c 2600 BC)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: An Early 4th Dynasty queen (Old Kingdom), who was the principal wife of Snefru (2613-2589 BC), the mother of Khufu (2589-2566 BC) and probably also the daughter of Huni, last ruler of the 3rd Dynasty. Her unmarked tomb, inside Khufu's pyramid-complex at Giza has been found. At the bottom of a deep stone-filled shaft was found the queen's empty sarcophagus, surrounded by furniture and articles of jewelry attesting to the high artistic and technical ability of 4th-Dynasty craftsmen.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Early Iron Age fortified site and hillfort of the Hallstattperiod on the upper Danube in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The site was the center of the dominant Celtic chiefdom in southwest Germany c 600-500 BC. Wine amphorae and Attic Black-Figure pottery were imported from the Greek city of Massalia, demonstrating Heuneburg's wealth. There are nearby princely burials of the same date, including the rich Hohmichele tumulus. This covered a timber mortuary house containing the body of an archer accompanied by a wooden wagon and precious offerings. The site has five main building phases, the most remarkable of which was the second, when the traditional timber-framed construction was replaced by a Greek type of construction, with a bastioned wall built of mud-brick on stone foundations.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite near Damghan in northern Iran, occupied from the 5th to the early 2nd millennium BC. Before 2500 BC, earlier than elsewhere in Iran, the painted potterytradition was replaced by one of gray monochrome ware. This is usually held to mark the first movement of Indo-European speaking peoples from central Asia into Iran. The settlement was destroyed somewhere between c 1900-1600 BC. Evidence from the later 4th-early 3rd millennia BC suggests Proto-Elamite phenomenon manifested in pottery, seals, and tablet blanks. There are more than 1600 prehistoric burials and a Sassanianpalace on the site, which has an interesting potterysequence and metal objects.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A graphical representation of a distributionfunction by means of rectangles whose widths represent intervals into which the range of observed values is divided and whose heights represent the number of observations occurring in each interval. For example, if measurements of length have been taken for bronze spearheads from one particular area and period, the measurements are represented by marking off intervals of lengths on the horizontal axis, and counting the number of spearheads falling into each division. These numbers are marked off on the vertical axis. In order to compare one set of data with another, or others, a cumulative version of the histogram may be used, where the succeeding values are added to the preceding: these are called cumulative frequency polygons, and are useful for comparative work, but are difficult to use if single histograms need to be extracted. A useful way to assess the density of rocks is to make a histogram plot of the statistical range of a set of data. The representative value and its variation can be expressed as follows: (1) mean, the average value, (2) mode, the most common value (i.e., the peak of the distribution curve), (3) median, the value of the middle sample of the data set (i.e., the value at which half of the samples are below and half are above), and (4) standard deviation, a statistical measure of the spread of the data (plus and minus one standard deviation from the meanvalue includes about two-thirds of the data).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Recent, Postglacial CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The present geological epoch, which began some 10,000 (bp) years ago (8300 BC). It falls within the Quaternaryperiod (one of the four main divisions of the earth's history) and followed the Pleistocene Ice Age. The Holocene is marked by rising temperatures throughout the world and the retreat of the ice sheets. During this epoch, agriculture became the common human subsistence practice. During the Holocene, Homo sapiens diversified his tooltechnology, organized his habitat more efficiently, and adapted his way of life. The Holocenestage/series includes all deposits younger than the top of either the Wisconsinian stage of the PleistoceneSeries in North America and the Würm/Weichsel in Europe.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: horizon style CATEGORY: term; artifact DEFINITION: Any artifact, art style, or other cultural trait that has extensive geographical distribution but a limited time span. The term, in anthropology, refers to the spread of certain levels of cultural development and, in geology, the layers of natural features in a region; in soilscience a horizon is a layer formed in a soil profile by soil-forming processes. The main meaning, however, refers to a phase, characterized by a particular artifact or artistic style that is introduced to a wide area and which may cross cultural boundaries. Provided that these 'horizon markers' were diffused rapidly and remained in use for only a short time, the local regional cultures in which they occur will be roughly contemporary. The term is less commonly used now that chronometric dating techniques allow accurate local chronologies to be built. Examples of art styles which fulfill these conditions is called a 'horizon style' -- such as Tiahuanaco or Chavín.
horizontal feature interface
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The area associated with upstanding units of stratification and marking the interfacial levels to which the units have been dug.
house of the dead
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A type of wooden building above a tomb or connected to a grave, widespread in Denmark and Germany, but also found in other areas of northern Europe during the Neolithicperiod.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Vercovicium, Borcovicium; Dorcovicus CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: The best-preserved fort along Hadrian's Wall in Britain; one of the best examples of a permanent military camp there, with its defenses, street plan, administrative buildings, and barrack blocks. There was also a small civil settlement for traders, etc., at its gates. It is roughly midway along the Wall's length, in Northumberland. At Housesteads, archaeologists have uncovered a market where northern natives exchanged cattle and hides for Roman products. This allowed Roman wares and Roman cultural influences to make their way north.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A town in southwest Spain in which a large hoard of Late Bronze Age bronzes, dated 8th-6th centuries BC, was found. Probably the cargo of a wrecked merchant ship, it included a remarkable range of types: carp's tongue sword, an Irish lunatespearhead, and a Cypriottype of elbowed fibula. It was originally a Carthaginian trading station and afterward a Roman colony (Onuba).
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: The Dutch name (literally 'Hun's grave') for a local variety of megalithic chamber tombs in the northern Netherlands and northern Germany. The tombs are built of large stones and consist of a round or oval mound surrounded by a kerb and covering a rectangular burial chamber with its entrance on one of the long sides. A few examples have an entrance passage, giving them a T plan which suggests an association with the passage graves of Denmark. The Danish tombs are slightly later than the oldest Dutch ones, but in both places they were built by the TRB culture during the Neolithic in the 4th and 3rd millennia BC.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A circle of earth or stones along the circumference of a previously existing hut. A circular depression, wall, or ring of boulders, marking the footing of a vanished hut.
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: The biological and geographical divide between Bali and Lombok and Borneo and Sulawesi, west of the Philippines and marking the boundary of the East Asian faunal zone during the Pleistocene periods of low sea-level. It is often confused with Wallace's Line, which follows the same course but runs south, not west, of the Philippines. Huxley's Line also marks the limit of settlement by hominids before the emergence of anatomically modern humans (c 50,000 years ago).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Heka Khaswt, Hycsos, Poimenes, Mentiou Sati, Asian Shepherds, Scourges CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A nomadic desert tribe of Palestine whose name means rulers of foreign lands" and who infiltrated Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period (1800-1650 BC). They infiltrated the Eastern Delta during the Middle Kingdom and from 1630 to 1521 BC they dominated the Nile Valley from their capital of Avaris in the Delta. They became powerful enough to form the 15th Dynasty; traditionally they also formed the 16th Dynasty. Their breaking of Egyptian isolation opened the way for the flowering of culture in the New Kingdom which immediately followed their expulsion by Ahmose. Ahmose was the founder of the 18th Dynasty and the end of the Hyksos rule marked the beginning of the New Kingdom. The Hyksos were responsible for the introduction of the horse and chariot and perhaps the upright loom olive and pomegranate. They made improved battle axes and fortification techniques. The name Hyksos was used by the Egyptian historian Manetho (fl 300 BC) who according to the Jewish historian Josephus (fl 1st century AD) translated the word as "king-shepherds" or "captive shepherds.""
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Iberomaurusian; Mouillian; Oranian CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A stone tool culture characterized by small backed bladelets and found across the North African coast from at least 22,000-10,000 years ago (the late Würm (last) glacialperiod). It followed the Aterian in the Epipalaeolithic of Maghreb in North Africa and preceded the Capsian. The culture was related to Cro-Magnon, a group of people known as the Mechta-el-Arbi race, living along the Mediterranean from Tunisia to Morocco and also Libya. Linked to the sea, there are huge shell mounds of mussels, oysters, and arca. Associated with these are pottery and limited stone tool industry, in conjunction with hearths, sometimes still marked by supporting stones. Extensive cemeteries have been investigated, as at Taforalt, and also at Afalou bou Rhummel and Columnata in Algeria. Burials were sometimes decorated with ochre or accompanied by food remains or by horns of wild cattle. The industry does bear a close resemblance to the late Magdalenianculture in Spain, which is broadly contemporary (c 15,000 BC). There is evidence suggesting that the Ibero-Maurusian industry is derived from a Nile River valley culture known as Halfan, which dates from c 17,000 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Igbo Ukwu CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in southeast Nigeria dating to the 9th century AD with rich Iron Age deposits and bronze objects. It has yielded remarkable evidence for artistic and technological development and accumulation of wealth in that part of West Africa during the closing centuries of the 1st millennium AD. A corpse was interred in a deep pit, sitting on a stool surrounded by extensive regalia; the burial chamber was then roofed over and the bodies of attendants were placed above it. Further offerings were deposited nearby, most notably the delicate and intricate cire perdue bronze castings of vases, bowls, and items of personal adornment. Domestic pottery and enormous numbers of glass beads were also in the deposits.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a catastrophic volcanic eruption in south-central El Salvador in the late Pre-Classic Period, c 260 AD. At least two volcanic events occurred close together and the effects devastated a large area, forcing the local populations of early Maya to migrate north and east into the lowlands of central Guatemala and Belize. This sudden influx of migrants may have given rise to the improved agricultural methods which mark the beginning of the Classic Mayacivilization. Archaeological evidence at Barton Ramie (and at Altar De Sacrificios) indicates a period of noticeable environmental and demographic change at that time.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: incised (adj.) CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: To make a cut or cuts in (a surface); to cut (a mark or decoration) into a surface.
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: chronology DEFINITION: The period of 1800-900 BC marking the introduction of pottery in Andean South America. It was also the time when agriculture and animal husbandry began to be the subsistencebase for most cultures in the area. It is one of a seven-period chronological construction used in Peruvian archaeology. Its close is marked by the occurrence of Chavin materials and the abandonment of many of the coastal centers. Many of the traits that make up the Peruvian cultural tradition such as intensive agriculture, the widespread use of textiles, monumental ceremonial architecture, and larger and more numerous population centers, occurred during this period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Smyrna CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: City on the west coast of Turkey, one of the oldest cities of the Mediterranean world and has been of almost continuous historical importance during the last 5,000 years. Excavations indicate settlement contemporary with that of the first city of Troy, dating from the 3rd millennium BC. Greek settlement is first attested by potterydating from c 1000 BC. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the Greek city was founded by Aeolians but soon was seized by Ionians. By the 7th century, it had massive fortifications and blocks of two-storied houses. Captured by Alyattes of Lydia c 600 BC, it disappeared for about 300 years until it was refounded by either Alexander the Great or his lieutenants in the 4th century BC at a new site on and around Mount Pagus. It soon emerged as one of the principal cities of Asia Minor and was later the center of a civil diocese in the Roman province of Asia, vying with Ephesus and Pergamum for the title first city of Asia." Smyrna was one of the early seats of Christianity. Capital of the province of Samos under the Byzantine emperors Smyrna was taken by the Turkmen Aydin principality in the early 14th century AD. It was annexed to the Ottoman Empire c 1425. Although severely damaged by earthquakes in 1688 and 1778 it remained a prosperous Ottoman port with a large European population. The city's landmarks include the partly excavated remains of its agora and the ancient aqueducts of Kizilçullu. The archaeologicalmuseum has a fine collection of local antiquities."
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: The third president of the United States and considered by many to be the father of American archaeology because of his meticulous excavation of a Virginia burial mound. Jefferson was the first person, in North America or anywhere, to undertake (1784) excavations of a prehistoricsite as a means to understanding the people who built it. He wanted to find out why the burial mounds on his land had been built. One mound he excavated carefully with trenches, noting that in a number of levels that skeletons had been placed in the ground and covered -- producing a mound 12 ft (4 m) high. In observing the different levels, he was anticipating the stratigraphical method which became common practice in Europe and America only at the end of the 19th century. Worsaae's work in Denmark came a half a century later and the wider adoption of stratigraphical excavation methods was 100 years later.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Jelling CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in East Jutland, in Denmark, which seems to be the remains of a 10th-century royal palace and important burial ground. Among the groups of remarkable monuments are the two largest barrows in that country. The barrows are traditionally held to be that of Viking king Gorm (d. c 950 AD) and Thyra, his queen. In the cemeteryarea stand fifty bauta stones forming a boat-shaped outline and two fine rune stones outlining the exploits and Christian conversion of Gorm and Harald Bluetooth. One of the stones depicts the oldest crucifixion scene in Denmark and on the other is a magnificent lion -- inspiring the term Jellinge Style.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Jomon Period CATEGORY: culture; chronology DEFINITION: The earliest major postglacial culture of hunting and gathering in Japan, 10,000-300 BC, divided into six phases. This early culture, its relics surviving in shell mounds of kitchen midden type around the coasts of the Japanese islands, had pottery but no metal. The pottery was heavy but elaborate, especially in the modeling of its castellated rims. The term Jomon means 'cord marked', indicating the characteristic decoration of the pottery with cord-pattern impressions or reliefs. One of the earliest dates in the world for pottery making has been established as c 12,700 BC in Fukin Cave, Kyshu. Other artifacts, of stone and bone, were simple. Light huts, round or rectangular, have been identified. Burials were by inhumation, crouched or extended. The Jomon was succeeded by the Yayoiperiod. There are over 10,000 Jomon sites divided into the six phases: Incipient (10,000-7500 BC), Earliest (7500-5000 BC), Early (5000-3500 BC), Middle (3500-2500/2000 BC), Late (2500/2000-1000 BC), and Final (1000-300 BC). Widespread trading networks and ritual development took place in the Middle Jomon. Rice agriculture was adopted during the last millennium BC. The origins of Jomonculture remain uncertain, although similarities with early cultures of northeast Asia and even America are often cited.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Iron Age industry of southeastern Zaire which succeeds the Kisalian and is best known from numerous graves, especially at Sanga. The industry is dated between the 14th-18th centuries AD and is marked by an abundance of copper cross-shaped ingots (croisettes), of standardized weights, which may have served as a medium of exchange.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the upper Zambezi River in Zambia, with a prepared-coreindustry that included rare bifacial hand axes which continued to a remarkably late date. It was replaced by a microlithic industry probably around 1000 BC.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Bronze Age culture that succeeded the Andronovo culture in southern Siberia in the late 2nd millennium BC. The three main, basically successive, yet often overlapping cultures were the Afanasyevskaya, Andronovo, and Karasuk. The Karasukculture developed when a gradual change was made from settled communities to seasonal transhumance. Two settlements of large pit houses are known and many cemeteries of stone cists covered by a low mound and set in a square stone enclosure equipped with round-bottomed pots; many of these are in the Minusinsk Basin. The Karasuk people were farmers who concentrated on sheep- and cattle-breeding. They also practiced metallurgy on a large scale; the most characteristic artifact is a bronzeknife or dagger, with a curved profile and a decorated handle, related to China's An-Yang. They produced a realistic animal art, which probably contributed to the development of the later Sytho-Siberian animal art style. Remains of bridles mark the beginning of horse riding on the Siberian steppe. The character of their material culture came from exchange with the centers of Far Eastern metallurgy. The Karasukculture originated and spread its influences farther to western Siberia and Russian Turkistan than did the Andronovo. Trade relations extended to central Russia. Chronology of this period is based on comparisons with northern Chinese bronzes. The Karasukperiod persisted down to c 700 BC.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: An Akkadian word meaning 'quay' or 'harbor', a place where trade occurs. It was extended to the marketplace by the quay, and hence to a trading post and the corps of merchants of a city. The term also referred to the organization of merchants in the area, which were self-governing. An example is Kanish.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The most prestigious cemetery and pottery workshop region of Athens, including a multiple burial of Spartans from the 5th century BC. Many tombs were marked by stelae with reliefdecoration. There was a precinct for the Messenians, one for some immigrants from Heraclea on the Black Sea, and one for those from Sinope, also in the Black Sea region.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A major trading city of the East African coast, on an island off Tanzania. For three centuries before the arrival of the Portuguese in 1500 it was the leading entrepot on the East African coast. It was first occupied in the 9th century AD, with the earliest settlement being a village of thatched, timber-framed houses. The only industries were iron-working and the manufacture of shell beads. Small quantities of pottery from western Asia and, towards the end of the period, chlorite-schist from Madagascar indicate commercial activity on a modest scale. Prosperity began c 1200, marked by the introduction of coins, widespread use of masonry, and the construction of the mosque. In the 14th century the sultan built a spectacular palace, known as Husuni Kubwa, just outside the town. The establishment of a wealthy Islamic community is identified with the arrival of the so-called Shirazi dynasty which, according to tradition, came from the Persian Gulf. In the 14th and 15th centuries, Kilwa controlled the coast far to the south and grew even more wealthy through its control of the trade in Zimbabwean gold. The arrival of the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean at the end of the 15th century heralded Kilwa's decline.
Koldewey, Robert (1855-1925)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: German architect and archaeologist who worked in Anatolia, the eastern Mediterranean (Assus, Lesbos), and especially Mesopotamia. He excavated at Al Hiba, Fara, Assur, and Babylon, uncovering the Ishtar Gate, the temple of Marduk, a ziggurat, and palace of Nebuchadnezzar. He began digging on March 26, 1899, and continued to work there with little interruption for the next 18 years. He believed he had found the remains of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, when he uncovered an arched structure with a well nearby. His work revealed the destroyed capital of Hammurabi, the capital of the Neo-Babylonian empire (7th-6th centuries BC), and remains from Seleucid-Parthian and Sassanian periods. This work marked the beginning of scientific archaeology in Near East. The results were published in Koldewey's book The Excavations at Babylon" (1914) as well as in reports over the years."
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Early Mesolithic assemblages of the area between the Oder and Bug drainage systems in north-central Poland. It is contemporaneous with the Maglemosianculture of Denmark of the 7th-8th millennia BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site of long occupation in west-central Illinois, known as one of the first multidisciplinary endeavors of new archaeology; the findings serve as a benchmark for defining the Archaic period in the Midwest. The site is unusual for its long stratigraphic sequence of Archaic and Woodland settlements, dating from c 8700 bp to 1000 AD. Hunter-gathers and, later, farmers, settled at this location on the Illinois River to exploit the fertile river bottom. The site served variously as a workshop for stone tools, a deer-butchering camp, and possibly as the site for one of the earliest villages in North America. Stoneground adzes, manos and metates are dated c 6400 BC. In later levels, there is evidence of increased hunting efficiency (the replacement of the atlatl by the bow and arrow) and of agriculture (squash and pumpkin), and possibly Mississippianassociation. The site also contributed to the methodology of excavation, including approaches to deeply buried sites, and the use of flotation as a technique.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kosziderpadlás CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Three large hoards found at Dunapentele-Kosziderpadlá, on the Danube south of Budapest, Hungary. The contents were characteristic of an early phase of the Tumulus culture of the (Early) Bronze Age and serve to document the expansion of that culture (Rumania, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Germany) c 1400 BC. Similar hoards with ivy-leaf pendants, spiral anklets with rolled ends, shaft-hole battle-axes decorated with spiral and geometric patterns, belt plates, flanged axes, palstaves, solid-hilted daggers, socketed axes, and tanged sickles have been found in east-central Europe from the Baltic to the Sea of Azov, and mark the Kosziderhorizon throughout the region.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: kore (female); plural kouroi CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A Greek statue of a youth or a standing nude male youth, of the Archaic Period. The large stone figures began to appear in Greece about 615-590 BC It was a funerary marker or dedication in a sanctuary. They are usually larger than lifesize; made of marble, bronze, or alabaster, and could be painted. It is thought to have been influenced by Egyptian sculpture; the first appearance of such monumentalstone figures seems to coincide with the reopening of Greek trade with Egypt c 672 BC. The kouros remained a popular form of sculpture until about 460 BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Large cemeterysite in Murray Valley, Victoria, Southern Australia, dated to between 15,000-9000 bp. More than 40 crania and mandibles show marked robusticity of the fronto-facial regions combined with more modern, but still thick-boned, posterior areas of the crania. There is evidence of artificial deformation. Kow Swamp stone tools consisted of a few small quartz flakes and bipolar cores, similar to finds of the same age at Green Gully. Kow Swamp had the large single Late Pleistocenepopulation in the world.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kanisa-Kurgus; Kanisa Kurgus CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Site in Nubia where Thutmose I (c 1493-1482 BC) and Thutmose III (1479-1426 BC) both carved inscriptions on boulders marking the southern frontier of Egypt. After Thutmose I destroyed the Karmah state, he inscribed a rock as a boundary marker, later confirmed by Thutmose III, near Kanisa-Kurgus, north of the Fifth Cataract. He then executed a brilliant campaign into Syria and across the Euphrates, where he erected a victory stela near Carchemish.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Small settlement and trading site in southwest Sweden, and the forerunner of Gothenburg. Finds include a range of later medieval imported pots from Britain, western France, and Denmark at the time of the Hanseatic League.
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).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Illahun; Kahun CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Egyptian site at the entrance to the Faiyum (Fayyum), important in the Middle Kingdom (c 1938-1600 BC). There is the pyramid of Senwosret (Senusret/Sesostris) II (1880-1874 BC) and the burial of Princess Sat-Hathor-Iunet with rich grave goods. The pyramid was unusual in that the entrance to the burial chamber was not on the north side of the pyramid but on the south. The pyramid was robbed in antiquity but a treasure of jewelry was discovered in the tombs of the princesses, located within the pyramid-enclosure wall. Technically and artistically, the collection rivals all other Middle Kingdom objects of its type. Hieratic papyri dealing with a variety of subjects have been recovered at the site. Excavation of the village and necropolis, which was also inhabited during the Second Intermediate Period (c 1630-1540 BC), revealed a remarkable degree of town planning.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lancefield Swamp CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A small swamp in south-central Victoria, Australia, containing bones of an extinct megafauna representing an estimated 10,000 individuals, dated to c 24,000 BC. Six species are represented, but Macropus titan, a giant kangaroo, predominates. A few stone tools have been found in the bone beds, indicating that men and megafauna were contemporary in the area, probably for 7000 years. Cut-marks on some bones have been interpreted as the teeth marks of the carnivorous predator Thylacoleo carnifex, an extinct marsupial carnivore.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Upper Formative; Inca Period CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A division of time in central Andean chronology, 1450-1533 AD, which corresponds to the Inca Empire's expansion from Cuzco. It is the most recent and briefest period of a chronological construction of Peruvian archaeology. The early date marks the point at which territorial expansion was virtually complete; the late date marks the passing of control to the Spanish under Pizarro. Archaeologists have come to distinguish the various peoples and civilizations by descriptive terms -- the Late Preceramic, the Initial (or Lower Formative) Period, the Early Horizon, the Early Intermediate Period, the Middle Horizon, the Late Intermediate Period, and the Late Horizon.
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.
Later Stone Age
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The third and final phase of Stone Age technology in sub-Saharan Africa, dating from about 30,000+ years ago until historical times in some places. There was much art and personal decoration, evidence of burials, and in assemblages some microlithic stone tools. Pottery and stone bowls appear during the last three millennia as the lifeways changed to herding from nomadic hunting and gathering. The large number of distinctive Later Stone Age industries that emerged reflect increasing specialization as hunter-gatherers exploited different environments, often moving seasonally between them, and developed different subsistence strategies. As in many parts of the world, changes in technology seem to mark a shift to the consumption of smaller game, fish, invertebrates, and plants. Later Stone Age peoples used bows and arrows and a variety of snares and traps for hunting, as well as grindstones and digging sticks for gathering plant food; with hooks, barbed spears, and wicker baskets they also were able to catch fish and thus exploit rivers, lakeshores, and seacoasts more effectively. The appearance of cave art, careful burials, and ostrich eggshell beads for adornments suggests more sophisticated behavior and new patterns of culture. These developments apparently are associated with the emergence between 20,000 and 15,000 BC of the earliest of the historically recognizable populations of southern Africa: the Pygmy, San, and Khoi peoples, who were probably genetically related to the ancient population that had evolved in the African subcontinent.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: strata, stratum CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A unit of stratigraphy, greater than 1 centimeter thick, often part of a bed. Layers are identified by archaeologists and the boundaries between them are often well-marked, where deposition of one layer is separated from the next by a clear interval or change in texture, color, or mineralogy. Some are not clearly demarcated as deposition of one layer may merge with another so that boundaries between them are unclear, or a layer may change in composition from place to place.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A reconstruction of a working prehistoric farm near Roskilde in Denmark. It is one of the most ambitious and informative examples yet of experimental archaeology.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A hunter-fisher village settlement on the banks of the Danube in Serbia. Trapezoidal houses (often with red plastered floors), stone hearths filled with fish bones and other refuse, and a remarkable group of stone sculptures --- by far the earliest monumentalsculpture in Europe -- were part of an advanced Mesolithiceconomy. Many carved stone human heads were found, often with 'fishy' features. Radiocarbon places it in the 7th millennium BC. The site was later occupied by a Starcevo village. The most significant aspect of Lepenski Vir is the degree of cultural elaboration achieved by sedentary fisher-hunters at a time when agriculture was gradually becoming established in other areas of southeast Europe.
CATEGORY: tool; term DEFINITION: An instrument used in surveying which takes vertical measurements and which is much used in excavation for the recording of site contours and accurate depths of features, especially for making maps and identifying the location of artifacts. There are several types of leveling instrument, the Y or dumpy level, the tilting level, and the self-leveling level. Each consists of a telescope fitted with a spirit level and, generally, mounted on a tripod. It is used in conjunction with a graduated rod placed at the point to be measured and sighted through the telescope. The theodolite (q.v.), or transit, is used to measure horizontal and vertical angles; it may be used also for leveling. The differences between the types are in the ease of leveling: the first has a single spirit level for the whole instrument, the second a separate spirit level for spindle and telescope with a tilting mechanism and adjustable screw on the telescope, and the third an optical part operated by a pendulum so that the line of sight is always horizontal. Having established a datum point, the instrument is sighted on a leveling staff or rod which is marked in a graduated scale, metric, or imperial. The difference in level between the telescope and the base of the rod can be read off on this scale, and the result subtracted from the height of the level itself above ground; the final figure gives the real height, or depth, of the feature above or below the ground at instrument point. Subtracting the stadia rod reading from the height of the level above the ground surface gives the difference in height between ground surface at the instrument station and the ground surface at the datum point. A series of levels taken across a site will give contours, while excavated features and small finds can be leveled in with greater accuracy than with tapes from a hypothetical ground surface. The term is also used to refer to the actual height measurements taken with such an instrument. More generally, archaeologists often use the term 'level' interchangeably with layer. In excavations the remains are divided into levels that contain the buildings and objects belonging to a phase.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Folsomsite in eastern Colorado with occupation c 11,000 BP, also with Archaic and Late Archaic components. It was a kill, butchering, and campsite and may have been a seasonal meeting and camping place for hunting groups. The Folsom is characterized by a distinct leaf-shaped projectile point, and a variety of scrapers, knives, and blades. It marked the first association in the Americas of man-made artifacts with the bones of long-extinct mammalian forms
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: dyke, dike CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: An earthwork, dike, ditch, or bank that is created in a straight line, not curving around to form an enclosure. Such earthworks were of various lengths and created for various purposes. Some Bronze and Iron Age examples may be ranch boundaries with no defensive value, but later Iron Age and the post-Roman Dark Age may be either boundary markers or defense works. Many of these later dikes cut across communication route or lines of easy access, and would have been an effective obstacle against chariots or wheeled vehicles.
Linear Pottery culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Linearbandkeramik; LBK; Danubian I CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The earliest Neolithicculture of central Europe, western Ukraine to eastern France, between c 4500-3900 BC. It is so named after curvilinear incised patterns which make its pottery so recognizable. This was the first farming culture in central Europe, based on graincultivation and domesticated livestock, lasting to 3200 BC on its periphery. The Linear Potterycorearea stretches from eastern Hungary to the Netherlands, including settlement concentrations in the Pannonian Basin, Bohemia, Moravia, central Germany and the Rhineland. A second rapid expansion occurred eastwards round the northern rim of the Carpathians, from Poland to the Dnieper. Linear Pottery is characterized by incised and sometimes painted pottery (3/4 sphericalbowl) with linear designs (curvilinear, zigzag, spiral, and meander patterns), polished stone shoe-last adzes, and a microlithic stoneindustry. Small cemeteries of individual inhumations are common as are longhouses with rectangular ground plans. The remarkable uniformity that characterized the Linear Pottery culture in its corearea broke down after c 4000 BC and the cultures that emerged -- Tisza, Lengyel, Stroke-Ornamented Ware, Rossen etc. -- were more divergent in characteristics. It is most possible that it derived from the Körös culture of the northern Balkans.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Londinium CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Important port and capital town of Roman Britain by about 100 AD, probably replacing the originally intended capital at Clochester. The site, on a previously unoccupied gravel plateau on the north side of the River Thames, was probably chosen as the lowest crossing point at the time of the Roman invasion in 43 AD. Use began as a supply depot and a trading center as it was a convenient starting point for the growing network of Roman roads. Burnt and ravaged by Boudicca in 60-61, the town soon revived, and capitalstatus brought a large forum (Leadenhall Market), governor's palace (Canon Street), and a legionary fort (area of London Wall). Although damaged by fire again in c 125-130, the settlement continued to consolidate its position, and a wall was added to protect it between 183-217. Continuous occupation since the Roman period has prevented much extensive excavation. The Museum of London holds marble heads of Mithras, Serapis, and Minerva from the Mithraeum and the British Museum holds the Tomb of Julius Alpinus Classicianus, procurator of Britain after Boudicca's revolt. A section of wall may be seen in Trinity Place near the Tower of London, and the Mithraeum has been reconstructed to the west of its original site, in front of Temple Court, Queen Victoria Street.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A Late Iron Age complex of central, eastern, and northern Zambia in the 2nd millennium AD with a distinctive potterystyle. It appeared a s a break from the Chifumbazecomplex in the 11th century, originated in Zaire, and has continued into Recent times. The term (also Luangwa variant) is also used for Earlier Stone Age Sangoan collections from eastern Zambia. This facies of the Sangoanindustry is found in gravel deposits of the Luangwa and tributary valleys of eastern Zambia, and is marked by large picks and other core tools made from water-rounded cobbles.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Late Iron Age complex of central, eastern, and northern Zambia in the 2nd millennium AD with a distinctive potterystyle. It appeared a s a break from the Chifumbazecomplex in the 11th century, originated in Zaire, and has continued into recent times. The term (also Luangwa variant) is also used for Earlier Stone Age Sangoan collections from eastern Zambia. This facies of the Sangoanindustry is found in gravel deposits of the Luangwa and tributary valleys of eastern Zambia, and is marked by large picks and other core tools made from water-rounded cobbles.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in the Maya Mountains southeastern periphery, which was a small Classic and Late Classic Maya center in southern Belize. It was built in the early 8th century and consists largely of ceremonial buildings. There was a sizable population and flourishing marketsystem. Its proximity to one of the few areas where cacao grows suggests that control of this much sought-after commodity was its major economic base, and may be the reason why such a considerable investment of labor was made in building the site. It was fairly short-lived, abandoned some time between 850-900, probably as part of the general Maya collapse.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lupembian CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A stoneindustry of the Lower Palaeolithic of west-central Africa, developed from a Sangoan predecessor and characterized by tools appropriate for rough woodwork. Lupemban is found in northern Angola and southern Zaire and an important dated site is at Kalambo Falls on the Zambia/Tanzania border. In contrast with the Sangoan, Lupermban assemblages are marked by the fine quality of their bifacial stoneworking technique on elongated double-ended points, large sidescrapers, and thick core-axes. The industry spans from before 30,000 BC until c15,000 BC.
Lupembian / Lupemban
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A stoneindustry of the Lower Palaeolithic of west-central Africa, developed from a Sangoan predecessor and characterized by tools appropriate for rough woodwork. Lupemban is found in northern Angola and southern Zaire and an important dated site is at Kalambo Falls on the Zambia/Tanzania border. In contrast with the Sangoan, Lupermban assemblages are marked by the fine quality of their bifacial stoneworking technique on elongated double-ended points, large sidescrapers, and thick core-axes. The industry spans from before 30,000 BC until c15,000 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lyngby tools CATEGORY: site; artifact DEFINITION: A site in Jutland, Denmark, which has given its name to a kind of small bone implements (axes) made of antlerstem and branch and beveled to form a sharp edge. The tools date to c 9000-8000 BC.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Fine color-coated cups and beakers with rough-cast appliqué or rusticated decoration. Made at Lyon in France, and imported to other parts of the Roman empire (mainly for military markets) from c. AD 43 through to c. AD 70.
Müller, Sophus (1846-1934)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: Danish prehistorian and paleontologist who succeeded Christian Jurgensen Thomsen as Director of the National Museum of Denmark in 1865. In the field, Müller improved the techniques of excavation, particularly in recognizing stratigraphic relationships. Müller developed new techniques of excavation and monument preservation and supported the principle of the influence of Mediterranean civilization on northern Europe. He built detailed typological sequences and cross-dated them by reference to the historical calendars of the Near Eastern civilizations. He was aware of the possibility of variation in culture among contemporary groups and suggested, for instance, that there were several contemporary versions of the Neolithic of northern Europe. During the late 19th century, he discovered the first of the Neolithic battle-ax cultures in Denmark.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In Roman antiquity, a marketplace for perishable foods consisting of shops around a colonnaded court; the center building was either round or octagonal. Some more sophisticated examples have individual architectural features associated with them, such as (at Leptis Magna and Pompeii) a porticoed enclosed rectangular courtyard, with one or two colonnaded pavilions in the central area. At Pompeii, shops under the porticoface inward into the market and also outward into the surrounding streets. At Rome, the Macellum Magnum erected by Nero was apparently a grand-scale example, doubling both the portico and the pavilion into two-storied structures.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Maglemosan CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The first Mesolithicculture of the north European plain, found in Scandinavia, the northern Balkans, northern Scotland, and northern England, and lasting from c 9000/8000-5000 BC. The way of life was adapted to a forest and river/lakeside environment. Much has been preserved in waterlogged deposits. Thus more is known about the Maglemosianindustry than about other tool industries of the same period. The tool kit included microliths, woodworking tools such as chipped axes and adzes, picks, barbed points, spearheads of bone or antler, and fishing gear. Wooden bows, paddles, and dugout canoes have been found, and the dog was already domesticated. The Maglemosianindustry was named after the bog (magle mose, big bog in Danish) at Mullerup, Denmark, where evidence of the industry was first recognized. The Maglemosianindustry was also highly artistic, with decorative designs on tools and decorative objects, such as pendants and amulets.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Large oppidum of the late Iron Age in Bavaria, Germany, near Ingolstadt, dated to the La Tène period c 200 BC. It was one of the largest oppida in Europe. Manching, at that time adjacent to the Danube, may have been a regional market. The defense was an elaborate construction consisting of four-mile-long walls built of timber and stones and including four gateways. The organization of the settlement was preplanned, with streets up to 30 feet wide and regular rows of rectangular buildings in front of zones containing pits and working areas; other areas were enclosed for granaries or horse stalls. The site was divided into work areas for particular crafts, such as wood, leather, and iron working. Coins were minted and used on the site. There is evidence of a violent end to the settlement c 50 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: handstone CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A one- or two-handled small and flat ground stone tool used with a metate (quern) for grinding vegetable material such as maize, seeds, nuts, pigments, etc. Manos date dates to the Archaic Indian period, the word coming from Spanish mano de piedra, hand stone" -- referring to the upper stone which is usually cylindrical or ovoid in shape. The underlying smooth stone slab is the metate. It is a hallmark artifact defining the economic or subsistencebase of prehistoric societies. Its forms vary considerably from a barely modified cobble to a long cylinder similar to a rolling pin."
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A market building at or near the center of a Roman town, consisting of shops grouped around a colonnaded court where commodities were traded.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Temporary military camps set up by the Roman army. When it was on the move, this was its systematic procedure for overnight and short-stay stops. Surveyors laid out a suitable and reasonably flat rectangular site, tent positions were planned and marked, usually surmounted by a palisade of stakes. These distinctive enclosures may be identified by aerial survey. Roman marching camps exist at Culter, Kintore, and Ythan Wells in Scotland.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A Tudor warship, the flagship of Henry VIII's fleet, which sank in the Portsmouth Harbor, off the south coast of England, on its maiden voyage in 1545. The exploration, excavation, and recovery of the ship is the largest underwater archaeology project ever undertaken. By the time the ship was raised in October 1982, the project had already cost $4 million. The Mary Rose excavation has yielded remarkable information about Tudor military and daily life. It has also provided the opportunity for the development of new equipment and techniques for underwater archaeology.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Early Iron Age shell midden site near Maputo on the coast of southern Mozambique. Its pottery is used to define the Matolasection of the first Iron Age farmers in the area. The pottery recovered is remarkably similar to that from Kwale near the Kenya coast far to the north. There may have been an extremely rapid southward spread of Early Iron Age cultural traits along the eastern coast of Africa between the 3rd-5th centuries AD.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Classic Maya CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Very important culture of Mesoamerica, one of the major Classic civilizations, which occupied the peninsula of Yucatan and Belize, the lowland jungle south of it, and the highlands of Guatemala and western Honduras. The civilization developed from other pre-Classic cultures by about 200 BC and continued until being conquered by the Spaniards in 1541 AD. By c 200 BC, at sites like Tikal and Uaxactún, the first pyramids were being built. Population increase and the introduction of new ceramic and architectural forms are accompanied by an artistic transition from Olmec through Izapan to Mayan. The classic Mayacivilization dates to c 292 AD, the earliest Long count date found on stele 29 at Tikal. The Early Classic period (200-600) was the golden age of the lowland culture and the great centers acted as foci for administration, religion, and the arts. Architecture, sculpture, and painting were highly developed; records were kept in hieroglyphicwriting, and elaborate ceremonies were carried out in the temples on top of their pyramids. A class of astronomer-priests observed the sun, moon, and planets, and had evolved a calendrical system more accurate than the Julian calendar used in Christian Europe. In mathematics the priests used a vigesimal system with the concept of zero and with a positional notation. The Classic Mayaculture is characterized by an immense investment of labor in construction of ceremonial architecture, the erection of stelae, and a growing differentiation between the elite and the peasantpopulation. The Maya practiced swidden agriculture as well as intensive agriculture, terracing and raised fields, and arboriculture. Polychrome pottery is a hallmark of the Maya Lowland Classic culture. The Late Classic period (c 600-900 AD) shows development in sculpture and architecture -- and regional styles can be recognized. Northern Yucatan began to come into its own at sites like Chichén Itzá and Uxmal, where fine buildings in the Punc style were erected during the 7th-9th centuries. The later part of this period witnessed the end of civilization in the lowlands; the great centers were abandoned during the 9th and early 10th centuries. The Post-Classic period, c 900 to the Spanish conquest, had strong Mexican influence, particularly at Chichén Itzá where buildings were constructed in the Toltecstyle of central Mexico, and the art shows representations of Toltec warriors overpowering Maya chiefs. During the collapse in the southern Lowlands, centers in the northern Lowlands began to grow, c 800-1000 AD. The South's decline may have played a role in the North's prosperity. Sometime around 1200, the Itzá were driven from their capital, and Mayapán became the leading city of Yucatan. In about 1440-1450, Mayapán was overthrown and there followed a time of disunity and warfare which lasted until the Spaniards conquered Yucatan in 1541. The Maya kingdoms of highland Guatemala were subdued in 1525, but in the lowlands the descendants of the exiled Itzá held out until 1697. The collapse of Mayaculture (in c 900) is a puzzling phenomenon, but its relative suddenness still remains without satisfactory explanation. There are no Long Count dates after 900, after which time lowland populations dwindled by as much as 90 percent. The term Maya also refers to a culture area and is typically divided into the lowland and highland Maya. Descendants of the Maya still occupy the region.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A piece of metal, usually in the form of a disc, struck or cast with an inscription or device to commemorate an event, or awarded as a mark of distinction.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Yathrib CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An oasis town in western Saudi Arabia, 447 km (278 miles) from Mecca, known as Yathrib before Muhammad's residence there. Medina is second only to Mecca as the holiest place of Muslim pilgrimage. It is venerated by all Muslims as the place to which the Prophet Muhammad fled from Mecca in 622. This event (the Hijrah / Hegira / higira) marks the beginning of the Islamic era and Muslim calendar. Muhammad built himself a house consisting of a walled compound containing a courtyard, living quarters, and a double portico. The Prophet and his followers worshipped here and the building, with its large courtyard and covered hall, became the prototype of congregational mosques, such as those at Samar-Ra. Soon afterward Muhammad drove out the Jews who had controlled the oasis. Thereafter known as Medina, the city prospered as the administrative capital of the steadily expanding Islamic state, a position it maintained until 661, when it was superseded in that role by Damascus. The House of the Prophet was rebuilt in 707-709 by the caliph al-Walid, who inserted a niche (the mihab) in the end wall of the portico to indicate the direction one must face while praying.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Djamet; Djeme; Madinat Habu CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Temple complexdating from the New Kingdom to the Late Period, c 1550-332 BC, at the southernmost part of the necropolisregion of western Thebes, Upper Egypt, opposite modern Luxor. The well-preserved mortuary temple of Ramesses III (1187-1156 BC) with scenes of the king's campaigns against the Sea Peoples and the Libyans is the most impressive monument. It was situated within a fortified enclosure wall, with remarkable entrance towers, imitating Syrian migdol fortresses, on the east side. A royal palace was attached at the south of the open forecourt of this temple, which was also dedicated to the god Amon. Ramesses III's walls had enclosed a small temple called Djeser-Iset that was dedicated to Amon and had been built by the earlier pharaohs Hatshepsut and Thutmose III. Medinet Habu was at one time the most important administrative center in the Theban area. In the first millennium BC, a town called Djeme developed within the fortifications of the temple; a settlement survived there into the Coptic period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Men-nefer CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The capital of Egypt in the Archaic Period and Old Kingdom (c 2575-c. 2130 BC), and thereafter one of the most important cities of the Near East. Located in Lower Egypt, it stood near the keypoint where the Nile begins to divide its waters at the head of the delta, 15 miles south of Cairo. The only surviving remains are the cemeteries west of the city, most notably the pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza. The main pyramid fields are: Abu Ruwaysh, Giza, Zawayet el-Aryan, Abu Sir, Saqqarah (Saqqara), and Dahshur. It is said to have been founded by the 1st Dynasty ruler Menes c 2925 BC and was the seat of the creator god Ptah. During the New Kingdom (1539-1075), Memphis probably functioned as the second, or northern, capital of Egypt. Despite the rise of the god Amon of Thebes, Ptah remained one of the principal gods of the pantheon. The Great Temple was added to or rebuilt by virtually every king of the 18th dynasty. Chapels were constructed by Thutmose I and Thutmose IV and by Amenhotep III. Amenhotep III's son, the religious reformer Akhenaton, built a temple to his god, Aton, in Memphis. A number of handsome private tombs dating from this period in the Memphite necropolis testify to the existence of a sizable court. In 332 BC, Alexander the Great used Memphis as his headquarters while making plans for his new city of Alexandria. From the Fifth Dynasty onwards there was a very marked reduction in the size of the royal tombs, together with the use of materials and techniques which involved a lesser expenditure of effort and resources in their construction. By the First Intermediate period, the construction of monumental tombs seems to have stopped.
CATEGORY: structure; artifact DEFINITION: A single, vertical standing stone; any prehistoricstructure consisting of a tall, upright megalith (huge stone). The name is from the Old Breton men, meaning stone" and hir meaning "long". Menhirs occur in all parts of the world where megalithic monuments are known but they are particularly profuse in prehistoric Europe. Menhirs are difficult to date but in Ireland and southwest England a few examples mark burials dating from the Neolithic to the Middle or Late Bronze Age. A similar or slightly earlier date is attested for some of the Breton menhirs. In all these areas a few of the stones bearcup marks. Such a megalith is often isolated erected by a family or tribe as a memorial stone for some deceased hero or some great event. It may have been a religious object for worship like the American Indian totem pole. Other are associated with dolmens tumuli and circles of stones. Menhirs may occur singly in rows (alignments) or in enclosures (stone circles). Anthropomorphic examples are known as statue-menhirs."
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The second of the Earth's three major geologic eras of Phanerozoic time and the interval during which the continental landmasses as known today were separated from the supercontinents Laurasia (North America and Eurasia) and Gondwana by continental drift. It occurred before the Cenozoic and after the Palaeozoic and was marked by the development of the ancestors of the major plant and animal groups that exist today and the extinction of the dinosaur, suddenly at the end of the Cretaceous Period. It lasted from about 245 to 66.4 million years ago and included, in order, the Triassic Period, the Jurassic Period, and the Cretaceous Period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: lower grindstone, concave quern, stone saddle quern CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A ground-stoneslab with a concave upper surface used as a lower millstone against which another stone is rubbed to grind vegetable material such as cereal grains, seeds, nuts, etc. A metate is one of a two-part milling apparatus -- the other part being with a mano (handheld upper grindstone). Metates are found in agricultural and preagricultural contexts over much of the world and are often made of volcanic rock in Mesoamerica. It is a Spanish term for the smoothed, usually immobile, stone with a concave upper surface and is mostly associated with the grinding of maize. It is a hallmark artifact in the definition of prehistoricsubsistence patterns.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: kitchen midden CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: Any large refuse heap, mound, or concentration of cultural debris associated with human occupation. The term includes such materials as discarded artifacts (e.g. broken pots and tools), food remains, shells, bones, charcoal and ashes, -- and may include the material in which the debris is encapsulated and modifications of this matrix. Midden debris usually contains decayed organic material, bonescrap, artifacts (broken and whole), and miscellaneous detritus. Middens are a valuable source of archaeological data. The long-term disposal of refuse can result in stratified deposits, which are useful for relative dating. Sometimes the midden is a dump or trash pile separate from the residential area, but more commonly among hunters and gatherers the houses are on top of the midden itself. Some of the largest shell middens were accumulated by shore-dwellers in Mesolithic Denmark.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Roman road markers -- cylindrical blocks of stone usually about 6 ft (1.8 m) high -- recording the distance from a central point within the province or a local center. These were placed along all principal roads, and instances are found from about 250 BC onwards. The stone was typically inscribed to give the distance in (Roman) miles to the nearest major town, and commonly a date of installation, expressed in terms of Republican magistracies, or the years of an Emperor's reign. They often bore the title of the emperor or consults under whose direction the road was laid out or repaired.
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: feature DEFINITION: A type of elite burial used in East Asia built with monumental earthen or stone-piled mounds which contained burial facilities. The burials ranged from wooden chambers, clay enclosures, to brick or stone megalithic chambers. There were round and square mounds and Japan's were keyhole-shaped. The tombs provide the source of data for the Three Kingdoms period of Korea and the Kofun of Japan. One of the earliest mounded tombs of China was that of the First Emperor of Qin, and the Ming tombs are some of the latest. Prestige grave goods are found in all. Haniwa (circle of clay") unglazed terra-cotta cylinders and hollow sculptures were arranged on and around the mounded tombs (kofun) of the Japanese elite dating from the Tumulus period (c 250-552 AD). The first and most common haniwa were barrel-shaped cylinders used to mark the borders of a burial ground. Later in the early 4th century the cylinders were surmounted by sculptural forms such as figures of warriors female attendants dancers birds animals boats military equipment and houses. It is believed that the figures symbolized continued service to the deceased in the other world."
Mount Mazama ash
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Mazama Ash CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: Volcanic ash (or tephra) originating from the eruption of Mount Mazama (Crater Lake, Oregon) nearly 7000 years ago (6600 years ago). Undisturbed beds of Mazama ash provide important contextual dates for archaeological sites throughout the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada. The eruption also produced Crater Lake in Oregon. Great thicknesses of pumice were deposited on the flanks of Mount Mazama, while finer material was blown over great distances by the winds. The widespread distribution of the Mazama Ash has made it useful in archaeological studies as a horizon, or time, marker. Studies of sediments formed in relation to the ash deposits suggest that the ash formed at a time when generally drier climates prevailed in the regions in which the ash occurs. The mineralogical composition of the ash is distinctive and allows it to be distinguished from other volcanic ash deposits.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A unique style of art and architecture, part Gothic, part Islamic, which developed in the Iberian peninsula during the Moorish occupation of the 12th-15th centuries. The style, marked by the frequent use of the horseshoe arch and the vault, distinguishes the church and palace architecture of Toledo, Córdoba, Seville, and Valencia. Many of the greatest Mudejar buildings were constructed by Moorish workmen for Christian masters, and were executed in brick, tile and wood. One of the finest examples is the great Mudejarpalace of the Alcazar in Seville.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The type site in Denmark for the Maglemosiantoolculture of northern Europe, situated in the Magle Mose (or big bog") in Zealand. The Maglemosian in one of the Mesolithic cultures characterized by stone microliths (tiny stone blades edges and points) used as arrowheads or set into the cutting edges of mattocks axes and adzes and many bone and wood tools are known. It belongs to the early post-glacialperiod or Boreal time c 9000-5000 BC."
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A major category of Paleolithic art (along with portable art), consisting of painting, engraving, and sculpting on walls of caves, shelters, and cliffs; in southwestern Europe it is one of the hallmarks of the Upper Paleolithic.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Cave and open terracesite on the western slope of Mount Carmel, Israel, occupied from the early Upper Palaeolithic (Kebaran, c 16,300-13,850 BC) to the early Aceramic Neolithic (PPNA) and PPNB (Pre-Pottery Neolithic B). Natufian levels show a strong bias towards the selective hunting, or possibly herding, of gazelle and this continued through to the PPNA levels. There was a growing assemblage of processing tools such as mortars, suggesting that plant-gathering was becoming more important. The material culture included chipped stone tools, ground stone tools, bone tools, stone vessels, and art objects. Natufian and PPNA buildings were round houses with central fireplaces. In the PPNB, they switched to rectangular houses with paved floors; these were sited on the artificial terrace outside the cave, constructed in the Natufianphase. A cemetery of early Natufian date is associated with the site: bodies were buried individually, usually tightly flexed with knees drawn up to the chin; old mortars were used as grave markers. Grave goods include carved stone and bone work; the most notable example was a gazelle's head.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Large Chalcolithic and Bronze Age settlement in southern Turkmenia (western Central Asia) on the north slope of Kopet Dagh. The Namazga phases I-III are assigned to the Chalcolithicperiod, while Namazga IV and V belong to the Bronze Age -- the Eneolithic (c 4800-3000 BC) and Bronze Age (c 3000-1500 BC); the sequence covers Anau IA Neolithic to the beginning of the Iron Age. The site was urban in character with a high population concentration and separate artisans' quarters, producing evidence of specialist production of bronze, gold, and silver goods, and wheelmade, kiln-fired pottery. The 'proto-civilization' of southern Turkmenia in the later 3rd millennium BC was characterized by two large towns -- Namazga-depe and Altin-Depe -- and a number of smaller settlements such as Ulug-depe. Other features include a wide-ranging trade network and an incipient writingsystem with repetitive symbols incised on flat clay figurines. This civilization never reached the levels achieved by the fully fledged civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley. There was a marked decline in the early 2nd millennium BC, possibly due to environmental changes, and a collapse in its final 'tower' phase in the late 3rd or early 2nd millennium BC. Altin-depe was abandoned while Namazga-depe survived only as a small village.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An initial Jomonperiod shell midden near Tokyo, Japan, dated to 7290-7500 BC. The dated layer contained deep conical bowls with cord marks, bones of domestic dogs, bone and stone arrowheads, grinding stones, partially ground pebble-axes, bone fishhooks, and eyed needles.
Nelson, Nels (1875-1964)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: American archaeologist born in Denmark who had a profound effect on 20th-century North American archaeology. Working primarily in the Southwest, Nelson is best known for his contributions to the stratigraphic method of excavation, especially in his work in the Galisteo Basin of New Mexico.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Neolithization CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A term coined by V.G. Childe to describe the origin and consequences of farming -- the development of stock raising and agriculture -- allowing the widespread development of settled village life (c 9000-6000 BC in Asia). This group of cultural processes marked the transition from an economy based on hunting and gathering to an agricultural economy. These processes were linked with development of village life, the beginning of firing techniques, and production of artifacts such as pottery and weaving.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Iron Age polity (kingdom) in the eastern Alps, with its seat in Magdalensberg, Austria. The region comprised modern central Austria and parts of Bavaria. Earlier Illyrian in culture, the regioncame under Celtic influence from the 3rd century BC, and the name Noricum is thought by some to derive from the Celtic Norici centered around Noreia. Becoming a Celtic kingdom, with reasonably friendly relations with Rome, it became a province about 15 BC. With wealth derived from its mineral resources (iron and gold), it was able to develop a markedly Romanized culture (evident from Latin legends on coins and other Latin inscriptions). Five of its communities were made into Roman municipia by the emperor Claudius (reigned 41-54 AD), and the province supplied many soldiers for legions and the Praetorian Guard. The capital was at Virunum in the Klagenfurt area. The area was sub-divided into two provinces by the emperor Diocletian c 300 AD; Roman rule finally collapsed with German incursions in the 5th century. It was linked to the Italian peninsula through trade; mining and ironworking were important.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Vikings, or Norsemen, who settled in France; the population of the duchy of Normandy in northern France, a mixed race descending from the Franks and 10th-century Norse settlers of Denmark, Norway, and Iceland. In AD 1066, their leader, William of Normandy, conquered England, then Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. The Normans also conquered Sicily and southern Italy in a volatile period that began in 1063. These military feats were consolidated by the strength of the Norman feudal aristocracy and their skill in erecting strong, expedient fortifications ranging from motte and bailey earthworks to substantial stone castles. The Normans were also the main force behind the Crusades, which began in the 11th century AD. They promoted the French language and French culture, and the Romanesquestyle of architecture. By 1200 the Norman conquerors had been absorbed into the countries they ruled, but many of their institutions lasted into the late Middle Ages. Despite their eventual conversion to Christianity, their adoption of the French language, and their abandonment of sea-roving for Frankish cavalry warfare in the decades following their settlement in Normandy, the Normans retained many of the traits of their piratical Viking ancestors. They were restless, reckless, and loved fighting; they extended the practice of centralized authoritarian rule, feudalism, cavalry warfare, and religious reform.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Slanting linear marks, ridges, or grooves, especially one of a number of similar features
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Small rectangular tables of stone, Roman in date, with inscriptions neatly cut in retrograde on the sides for marking cakes of eye ointment with the author of its prescription.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Unclustered physical remains produced by human activities; evidence from a range of information, including scatters of artifacts and features such as plowmarks and field boundaries. This data can provide important evidence about human exploitation of the environment.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ogam, ogam, Ogham, ogum; Pictish symbol stones CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A Celtic script used for writing in northwest Europe, probably created in the 2nd-3rd centuries AD, and used for writing Irish and Pictish languages. The alphabet has 20 letters represented by tally marks on either side of or crossing a horizontal baseline. The script is better suited for carving on stone (or possibly wood) than for writing in ink. It is believed to have originated in Ireland or south Wales as a secret script and it spread throughout the Celtic areas for use on memorial stones. It is also found associated with the symbols and carvings of the Picts, who used it till the 9th century. Ogham is used on memorial pillar stones in the Celtic regions of Britain, usually consisting of no more than the name and descent of the dead man. It was often the custom, particularly in the south and west in Wales and Cornwall, to provide a translation in Latin minuscule and this has proved important for the translation and dating of ogham. Of the more than 375 ogham inscriptions known, about 300 are from Ireland.
Ojin (fl. 4th-5th c AD)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: The 15th emperor of Japan, given in the traditional list for the 3rd-4th century AD. It is also the name of the keyhole mounded tomb, the second largest in Japan, used as his mausoleum at Habikino near Osaka. Ojin is believed to have consolidated imperial power, championed land reform, and promoted cultural exchanges with Korea and China. It is said that highly skilled weaving techniques were brought from Korea during his reign. Chinese scholars introduced Confucianism and the Chinese writingsystem into the country, thus marking the beginning of Japanese cultural growth.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pyramid Age 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 Hittitehistory, 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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Late to Final Jomon shell midden near Tokyo, Japan. Edward S. Morse conducted the first scientific excavation of an archaeological site in Japan here in 1877. 'Jomon' is the Japanese translation of the term 'cord-mark' used by Morse to describe the pottery from the site.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The navel" of the earth marked by a stone shaped like a Christmas pudding decorated by a network of woolen ribbons and located at Delphi in the Temple of Apollo. It supposedly marked the exact center of the universe."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural oppida CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A Roman term, coined by Caesar, for the fortified Celtic towns he found in his campaigns in Gaul in 58-51 BC. The Roman oppidum was a town which served as administrative center for its surrounding area, or, in the provinces, was a community of Roman citizens, either Italian immigrants or enfranchised natives. The term is now used for comparable sites in Celtic territory, from Spain and Britain to the Carpathians. Celtic oppida of the 2nd and 1st centuries BC were large permanent settlements, usually of hillforttype, the first true towns in Europe north of the Alps. Oppida also served as centers for trade, industry, market, craft production, and religion.
Orchestra Shell Cave
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Cave near Perth, Western Australia, occupied at least 6500 years ago. The finger markings resemble those in Koonalda Cave.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A brief period in the Middle Bronze Age of southwest Britain marked by the occurrence, in hoards, of tools and bronze ornaments which owe their inspiration to types current in north Germany and Scandinavia from c 1400 BC. These 'foreign' objects include torcs, coiled finger rings, ribbed bracelets, knobbed sickles, and square-mouthed socketed axes. In Devon, Somerset, and Sussex, hoards of the Ornament Horizon also contain native spearheads, palstaves, and quoit-headed pins. This influx seems to have given a boost to the native bronzeindustry.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: paleosol CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A fossilsoil preserved within a sequence of deposits. They come from a period when cold conditions had improved enough for vegetation to colonize and for a soil to be formed. Palaeosols are widespread within the Pleistoceneloess sequences of the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. The Interstadials of the Weichselian have been reconstructed from the northern European palaeosol and loess succession; extensive palaeosols also characterize interglacials and interstadials of North America. It is a source of much palaeoenvironmental information.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Minoan settlement site on the island of Crete, a Neopalatial town with no palace yet discovered. Palaikastro in eastern Crete was an important town with blocks of houses marked by colored stone foundations, narrow streets with drains, and pottery of exceptional quality.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: palaeopathology, paleophysioanthropology CATEGORY: related field DEFINITION: The study of man's ills, diseases, diet, traumatic injuries, etc., by examination of human and animal remains. Such studies can determine life expectancy and populationstatistics, and contributory reason for the success or failure of a particular population. Most of the material studied is osteological, though soft tissue may be analyzed when preserved, as in of mummification or bogpreservation. Some of man's ills -- fractures, malnutrition, dental decay, and some diseases -- leave their mark on his bones. Where his bones survive, evidence can be recovered which may reveal much about the conditions in which he lived, and died. Congenital malformations may show relationships between skeletons; diseases such as arthritis, tuberculosis, syphilis, and leprosy can be identified, as well as such conditions as bone fracture through injury. Evidence of war wounds and cannibalism have are also sought. The following groups of diseases have been regularly diagnosed in skeletons (both human and animals) from archaeological sites: (1) dental diseases; (2) diseases of the joints; (3) trauma (fractures and other injuries); (4) dietary deficiency diseases; (5) tumors; (6) inflammatory diseases: general inflammation and more specific conditions such as tuberculosis, leprosy and syphilis in man; (7) congenital deformities; and (8) endocrine disturbances. Study of the relative frequency of different diseases yields information about both the medical history and biology of ancient populations.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Palaeozoic CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Major interval of geologic time extending from 540-245 million years ago. It is the first era of the Phanerozoic Eon. It is a geological era in the earth's history before the Mesozoic and after the Precambrian, marked by the development of fishes, land plants, insects, reptiles, and fernlike trees. The early Paleozoic (probably the first 130 million years) was characterized by widespread ups and downs of the Earth's crust, which resulted in mountain building and geosynclines (downward flexing) in parts of North America, Europe, and Asia. Great seas were formed in the southern areas of the emergent landmasses. Much of North America was covered by a warm shallow sea with many coral reefs. The late Paleozoic, which extended from about 410 to 245 million years ago, saw tremendous changes wrought in the Earth. Both plant and animal life flourished in the great, warm, shallow seas, and the various convolutions of the Earth laid down extensive mineral deposits. Much of the copper, gold, lead, zinc, and other minerals mined today derive from Devonian times in the late Paleozoic. Huge swampy forest regions covered much of the northern continents, and these were repeatedly and suddenly invaded by the seas, which buried the vegetation, then covered it with silt. When the sea subsequently withdrew, the forests revived and were again buried in rhythmic cycles that are now evident in deposits called cyclothems. Heat and pressure transformed the buried vegetation into the oil and coal. During the Devonian Period animal life emerged from the ocean, and various species adapted themselves to breathing air and moving about on land. This happened by way of the amphibians, which evolved in the Carboniferous and Permian periods, and were succeeded by reptiles. The late Paleozoic also saw the beginning of insect life -- and fishes and land plants underwent rapid development.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Syrian city on caravan route from the eastern Mediterranean to the Euphrates; an ancient oasis town. Occupation was probably continuous since the 3rd millennium BC, but the town achieved prominence in the 1st century BC by exploitation of the caravan trade. Under Roman influence of Septimus Severus, it gained the status of a colony. A temple to Baal (Bel) dedicated in 32 AD, colonnaded streets, agora, senate house, and headquarters building of fort by Diocletian have been found. Communal tower tombs (hypogea) were marked by relief plaques naming the deceased. Its monuments which blend Greek, Roman and Parthian traditions and art.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pantheon CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A temple dedicated to a group of gods or collective divinities; the term also refers to the group of gods. The first Pantheon was built by Agrippa in 27-25 BC, and rebuilt by Hadrian sometime between c 118-128 AD, and was one of the most remarkable buildings of Rome. The rotunda was roofed by a dome, fronted by a portico and entrance hall, of brick-faced concrete and of a height equal to internal diameter c 145 ft. The sophistication of the domed coffered ceiling was an important building in development of Roman architecture. The term has another meaning: a building serving as the burial place of or containing memorials to the famous dead of a nation
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: collateral flaking CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A secondary flaking technique that is often found on the earliest projectile points and stone tools, usually performed on the blade faces, in which the removal of flakes was performed in such a manner to remove flakes of similar size, depth, length and direction to result in flake scars which are parallel. Typically the mark of a well accomplished flintknapper. Such flake scars are found only on few specimens and can be quite aesthetically beautiful to behold.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: passage tomb CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A category of megalithic or chambered tomb in which there is a burial chamber and a separate passage into the tomb; the chamber is reached from the edge of the covering mound via a long passage. It includes the earliest known megalithic graves of Europe, dating from about 5000 BC (in Brittany). The diagnostic features are a round mound covering a burial chamber (often roofed by corbelling) approached by a narrower entrance passage. The distinction between passage and funerary chamber proper is very marked. The origin of the passage grave is unclear. Passage graves occur throughout the area where megalithic tombs occur in Europe, but have a predominantly western distribution. In some areas, passage graves were still being constructed in the Bronze Age.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pazirik CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A group of some 40 barrows in the Altai Mountains of central Asia in Kazakhstan, dating to the 5th-3rd centuries BC. They consist of pits some 6 meters square covered with low cairns. The construction and altitude have combined to keep their contents frozen, and are thus remarkably well preserved. There is a rich collection of clothing and felt hangings decorated with animal art, dismantled four-wheeled wagons, and artifacts of wood, leather, skin, and wool. There are mummified remains of several tombs; the men were covered with tattoos. Many horses, with bridles, saddles, and saddlecloths had been buried in neighboring chambers. The burials clearly belonged to the rulers of a nomadic people of the eastern steppes related to the Scythians. The site is perhaps the richest source of information about the customs and artifacts of the Scythians before their westward migrations into western Asia and Europe.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A size of gravel between 4-64 mm in diameter, according to the Wentworth-Udden classification. Pebbles are shaped by the action of waves, torrents, or rivers, and are marked by splintering or rounded through rubbing. Tools such as the chopper and polyhedra (with several sides) were fashioned from pebbles. The pebble tool industries which preceded the Acheulian were based on tools made from pebble-sized clasts -- which provided a cutting edge (chopper) or a faceted sphere (polyhedron) formed by the removal of one or several pieces (flakes).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Old Thasian settlement in Kavála, Greece, which Philip II of Macedon fortified in 356 BC to control neighboring gold mines. In 42 BC Philippi was the site of the decisive Roman battle in which Mark Antony and Octavian (later the emperor Augustus) defeated Brutus and Cassius, the leading assassins of Julius Caesar. Located in Thrace, it was the object of an unsuccessful attempt at colonization by Thasos in the 6th century BC and for a time was known as Crenides and Daton. After his victory, Mark Antony established Philippi as a colonia for his veterans, and the town gained strategic importance from its position and its proximity to the port of Neapolis. Philippi was important in the early history of Christianity, as is shown by the prominence given to the story of St. Paul preaching there in 49 AD and being consequently imprisoned and extensive early Christian building. Among the ruins are walls, acropolis, forum, gymnasium, macellum, baths, and theaters.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (Egyptian) Pulesati CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: One of the Peoples of the Sea who, repulsed from Egypt c 1200 BC, drove the Canaanites from southern Palestine (name derived from their name) and settled there, marking the beginning of the Iron Age in that region. They were a warlike, seafaring people and adopted the culture of the Canaanites, but introduced new type of pottery decorated with metopes and bird designs. The Philistine tombs at Tell Fara, contained iron weapons and pottery coffins with anthropoid lids. Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gaza, Gath, and Ekron were their five chief cities. The Philistines were eventually absorbed by the Israelites under David c 1000 BC. They are known mainly from documentary sources, appearing in Egyptian records as one of the Peoples of the Sea, and in Biblical accounts as a people who drove the Canaanites out of the coastal plain and eventually became part of the Israelite kingdom.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A type of visual representation of quantitative data, involving a circle representative of the total of units and marking off segments like slices in the proportions of the percentages of different categories. The size of each slice of the pie is proportional to the number of data values in the corresponding class.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: boomer profiler CATEGORY: tool DEFINITION: An underwater survey device for producing pulses of sound -- for marking an underwater site or detecting an underwater object. It is more powerful than sidescan sonar, capable of probing up to 60 meters below the seabed.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plane-table CATEGORY: tool DEFINITION: Portable surveying instrument that consists of a drawing board and a ruler (alidade) mounted on a tripod and used to sight and map topographic details and to plot survey lines directly formfield observations. This piece of equipment is much used in earlier surveying and map-making. One end of the alidade is held on the point on the map representing the point of operation, and the other is directed at a marker on the point to be plotted. This gives the angle from the point of operation, and distance can be plotted directly along the ruler after scaling down from the original measurement. The technique has been replaced mainly by photogrammetry.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ice age, Ice Age, Oiluvium; Quaternary; Great Ice Age; Pleistocene Epoch CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A geochronological division of geological time, an epoch of the Quaternaryperiod following the Pliocene. During the Pleistocene, large areas of the northern hemisphere were covered with ice and there were successive glacial advances and retreats. The Lower Pleistocene began c 1.8 million years ago, the Middle Pleistocene c 730,000 years ago, and the Upper Pleistocene c 127,000 years ago; it ended about 10,000 years ago. Most present-day mammals appeared during the Pleistocene. The onset of the Pleistocene was marked by an increasingly cold climate, by the appearance of Calabrian mollusca and Villafranchianfauna with elephant, ox, and horsespecies, and by changes in foraminifera. The oldest form of man had evolved by the Early Pleistocene (Australopithecus), and in archaeological terms the cultures classed as Palaeolithic all fall within this period. By the mid-Pleistocene, Homo sapiens evolved in Africa and Europe. Homo sapiens spread to Asia and the Americas before the end of the epoch. There were mass extinctions of large and small fauna during the Pleistocene. In North America more than 30 genera of large mammals became extinct within a span of roughly 2,000 years during the late Pleistocene. Of the many causes that have been proposed by scientists for these faunal extinctions, the two most likely are changing environment with changing climate, and the disruption of the ecological pattern by early humans. The Pleistocene was succeeded by the Holocene or present epoch.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A division of the Quaternary System defined by its deposits. It is a worldwide division of rocks deposited during the Pleistocene Epoch (1,600,000-10,000 years ago). It overlies rocks from the Pliocene Epoch (5.3-1.6 million years ago) and is itself overlain by rocks of the Holocene Series; together these two latter divisions make up the Quaternary System. These deposits contain evidence of humans and their development throughout glacial and interglacial conditions. . By international agreement, the global stratotype section/point for the base of the Pleistocene Series is in the Vrica section in Calabria, Italy. The Pleistocene's boundary with the Pliocene occurs just above the position of the magnetic reversal that marks the Olduvai Normal Polarity Subzone, thus allowing the worldwide correlation of Pleistocene rocks with reference to the magneto-stratigraphic timescale.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A wet climatic episode or rainy season in a normally arid area. It is marked by changes in lake levels which produce fossil beaches, among other evidence, and by changes in flora and fauna. In lowland and subtropical regions which were never covered by Pleistocene ice sheets, alternations in climate were expressed as changes in rainfall. The changes accompanying the increased precipitation led to increased human occupation in areas that otherwise were not as attractive.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural poleis CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: An ancient Greek city-state -- a state incorporating a city, smaller towns and villages. The polis centered on one town, but included the surrounding countryside. The town contained a citadel on raised ground (acropolis) and a marketplace (agora). The city-state in Greece probably originated from the natural divisions of the country by mountains and the sea and from the original local tribal (ethnic) and cult divisions. There were several hundred poleis.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: palynology CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The study of pollen grains in soil samples from an archaeological site which provides information on ancient human use of plants and plant resources. This technique, which is used in establishing relative chronologies as well as in environmental archaeology, was developed primarily as a technique for the relative dating of natural horizons. Pollen grains are produced in vast quantities by all plants, especially the wind-pollinated tree species. The outer skin (exine) of these grains is remarkably resistant to decay, and on wet ground or on a buried surface, it will be preserved, locked in the humus content. The pollen grains of trees, shrubs, grasses, and flowers are preserved in either anaerobic conditions or in acid soils. Samples can be taken from the deposits by means of a core or from individual layers at frequent intervals in a sectionface on an archaeological site. The pollen is extracted and then concentrated and stained and examined under a microscope. Pollen grains are identifiable by their shape, and the percentages of the different species present in each sample are recorded on a pollen diagram. A comparison of the pollen diagrams for different levels within a deposit allows the identification of changes in the percentages of species and thus changes in the environment. As a dating technique, pollen has been used to identify different zones of arboreal vegetation which often correspond to climatic changes. The technique is invaluable for disclosing the environment of early man's sites and can even, over and series of samples, reveal man's influence on his environment by, for example, forest clearance. The sediments most frequently investigated are peat and lake deposits, but the more acid soils, such as podsols, are also analyzed. Radiocarbon dates may be taken at intervals in the sequence, and it is possible to reconstruct the history of vegetation in the area around the site where the samples were taken. Palynology plays an important role in the investigation of ancient climates, particularly through studies of deposits formed during glacial and interglacial stages of the Pleistocene epoch.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The characteristic mark left on the base of glass vessels by breaking off the glass-blower's rod.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A penal complex on the Tasman Peninsula, Australia, used from 1830-1877. Historical archaeologists have studied it extensively. The partially restored ruins of the penal colony, including a church built by convicts, and the spot called Isle of the Dead" (with unmarked convict graves) are now tourist attractions."
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A small block that the potter impresses into the base of a vessel he/she has made while still soft in order to give it a personalized mark. Some potter's stamps give the potter's name in the Latin or Greek alphabet; other stamps are so-called ?illiterate' and comprise only lines and signs. Especially common on Samian, Arretine, and Gallo-Belgic wares.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Palaeolithicsite near Prerov in northeastern Moravia, Czechoslovakia. Over 20 skeletons of males, females and children were found in a large communal grave, associated with an Eastern Gravettian layer. The age of the grave is probably around 26,870 BC. Some of the males had marked Neanderthaloid features but the overall morphology was Cro-Magnon. Middle Palaeolithic artifacts, probably of the Early Glacial, and Upper Palaeolithic (Aurignacian, Eastern Gravettian) levels have been found. There are ivory and bone tools, pendants, and portable art.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The display or marketing of archaeology by the dissemination of research results to colleagues and the public in books, posters, lectures, museum exhibits, etc.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: In Greek antiquity, the lying-in-state of a corpse. It is depicted in pottery scenes and on ceramicmonumental funerary markers as having occurred mainly at home, particularly in the 8th century BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bekhenet CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A monumental gateway to Egyptian temples or palaces built in stone and usually decorated with relief figures and hieroglyphs. It was the usual entrance from the Middle Kingdom to the Roman period (c 2055 BC-395 AD). The Egyptians made frequent use of them, usually in the form of foreshortened pyramids to mark the entrances of tombs. A pylon consisted of a pair of massifs (massive towers) flanked by a smaller gateway. All the wall faces were inclined; the corners completed with a torus molding and the top with torus and cavettocornice. The interior of a pylon contained staircases and chambers. Pairs of colossal statues and obelisks were often erected in front of the pylon. Pylons are the largest and least essential parts of a temple; some temples have series of them (e.g. 10 at Karnak). Rituals relating to the sun god were evidently carried out on top of the gateway.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Al-Qayrawan CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Important caravan city in north-central Tunisia on the east-west route between Egypt and the Maghreb. Founded in 670 on the site of the Byzantine fortress of Kamouinia, it has four major 9th-century structures: the Great Mosque, the Mosque of Three Doors, and two massive cisterns. The Great Mosque bears the name of Uqba b. Nafi, the conqueror of North Africa, who built the first mosque at Qairawan in 670. The mosque was rebuilt again by the Aghlabid ruler, Ziyadat Allah, and his successors, beginning in 836. The 9th-century mosque, much of which survives influenced Islamic architecture in the Maghreb. The Mosque of Three Doors (Jami Tleta Biban) has a square sanctuary with nine domes and was built in 866. As a result of Bedouin incursions in the 11th century, the decline of steppecultivation in favor of nomadic life, and the rise of Tunis as capital, Qairawan declined into an isolated market town for nomads.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Quaternary era; Quaternary Period; Quaternary System CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Major geochronological subdivision which includes the Pleistocene (c 1.8-2.45 million years bp) and Holocene (c 10,000 BC) epochs and marked by the appearance of near-humans and Homo sapiens. It is the second period of the Cenozoic geologic era, following the Tertiary, the youngest of the 11 periods in Earth history. These terms may also be applied to groups of deposits, which are described as the Quaternary 'System' and the Pleistocene or Holocene 'Series'. The base of the Quaternary System is defined by basal deposits that overlie Pliocene deposits. The Quaternary was marked by repeated invasions of vast areas of mid-latitude North America and northwestern Eurasia by ice sheets, the period is frequently referred to as the Great Ice Age.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city and adjacent valley in western Pakistan with tell sites produced a chronological sequence for the region. A pre-pottery occupation with domestic animals was dated c 5000 BC and was followed by creamy handmade and basket-marked pottery, later joined by red and black painted ware in the later 3rd millennium BC. Mudbrick and stone blades were used, but copper appeared only at the very end. The most important sites are Kili Gul Mohammad, Damb Sada'at, and Kechi Beg. The Quettasequence is particularly useful since it links prehistoric sites in Pakistan with those of Afghanistan, like Mundigak, and Iran, such as Tepe Hissar and Tepe Sialk. The name Quettaware is given to a black on buff wheel-turned ware, which is found in Damb Sadaat II.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ar-Raqqah, Rakka; Ar-Rashid CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: City in northern Syria on the Euphrates River, founded by the 'Abbasid caliph al-Mansur and reputedly modeled on those of Baghdad. Raqqa is on the site of an ancient Greek city, Nicephorium, and a later Roman fortress and market town, Callinicus. It flourished again in early Arab times when the 'Abbasid caliph Harun ar-Rashid built several palatial residences there and made it his headquarters against the Byzantines. The surviving part of the Baghdad gate shows that it had a four-centered arch surmounted by a band of three-lobed niches resting on engaged colonnettes. The congregational mosque, also attributed to al-Mansur, was a rectangular building with a sanctuary of three arcades. Raqqaware is 12th- and 13th- century earthenware with painted ornament under thick alkaline glaze.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Holocene CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The epoch of geologic time in the late Quaternary following the Pleistocene; referred to as Holocene in several European countries. It is the present geological epoch, which began some 10,000 (bp) years ago (8300 BC). The Recent epoch is marked by rising temperatures throughout the world and the retreat of the ice sheets. During this epoch, agriculture became the common human subsistence practice. During the Recent epoch, Homo sapiens diversified his tooltechnology, organized his habitat more efficiently, and adapted his way of life. The Recentstage/series includes all deposits younger than the top of either the Wisconsinian stage of the PleistoceneSeries in North America and the Würm/Weichsel in Europe.
Red Hills or red hills
CATEGORY: site; feature DEFINITION: A local name for the mounds of burned clay, ash, and coarse pottery which dot the coasts of eastern England. They mark the sites at which salt was obtained by artificial evaporation of sea water during the later Iron Age and the Romano-British period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: redistributive exchange CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A mode of primitive exchange in which the operation was directed and controlled by some central organizing authority; a complexprocess that was a critical part of the evolution of civilization. Goods are received or appropriated by the central authority and subsequently some of them are sent by that authority to other locations. It might involve the physical collection and pooling of locally produced items and their subsequent reallocation, or merely control the flow without central collection. Storage facilities and a system of record-keeping are often associated with the central power. The goods exchanged may be local products, which would permit some degree of craft specialization, since the specialists will be able to depend on the central authority for the supply of all necessities. The products received in return for these exports may be treated as prestige items and made available to only a restricted number of the local people in the upper levels of the social hierarchy. Redistribution is often associated with societies organized as chiefdoms with a central authority and marked differences in social ranking.
ridge and furrow
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A pattern of parallel ridges resulting from the plowing of strip fields in medieval and later open field systems. The fossilized remains of ancient plowmarks are a common sight in England, having the appearance of long, roundedparallel ridges with alternating ditches. There is no absolute dating for the ridge and furrow field; a few contentious examples could be Roman in date, while others are as late as the 17th and 18th centuries.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Unusual Late Mesolithic (Ertebolle) site in Denmark, about 10 km inland but with evidence of contact with the coast.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Code of laws adopted in Japan in 702 AD, marking the shift from Yamato to Ritsuryo state administration. The ritsuryo system refers to the governmental structure defined by ritsu, the criminal code, and ryo, the administrative and civil codes. Such a system had long been in force in China, and the Japanese ritsuryo was an imitation of the lü-ling of T'ang China and incorporated many of its original articles. The Ritsuryo state used the T'ang dynastymodel of capital city, from which trunk routes radiated. These formed the focus of regional administrative districts, which were further divided into provinces with provincial capitals. In this system, the emperor was an absolute monarch and the people were divided into two classes, freemen and slaves.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city in Denmark at the head of the Roskilde fjord, which was the former seat of Danish kings (c 1020-1416) and capital of Denmark (until 1443). Underwater excavations have attempted to retrieve a barrier of sunken ships dating to 1000-1050, which was deliberately planned to protect the town from enemy raiders. The ships were reassembled and are now on display in Roskilde Ship Museum. The range of vessels recovered from the fjord includes a knarr, a long-distance sea-going cargo ship built out of pine and oak and propelled by a sail; an oak-built merchant ship; a warship; a ferry or fishing boat; and a Viking longship.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A form of architecture in which a hollow circular column of 50-150 feet high is capped by a short pointed roof of stone. There are many in Ireland (upwards of 100), also in Scotland, the Isle of Man, in Denmark, and as part of Windsor Castle in England. Round towers were a feature of Irish monasteries from the Vikingperiod and into the Romanesque. There is usually a single entrance door, about 8-15 feet above the ground, usually five stories high, and each floor was lit by a separate window and had a wooden floor. Because the doors were placed high off the ground, it seems that the main function of the towers was as a refuge from Viking and Irish raiders, but they may also have been used as companiles.
Roy Mata (b ?-c 1265)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roymata CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A great chief of central Vanuatu, especially on the island of Efate and Retoka, who arrived around 1200 AD and set up a highly stratified society. His death was marked by an elaborate ritual that included the burying alive of one man and one woman from each of the clans under his influence. His grave, on Retoka, has been excavated and it was surrounded by evidence for the mass-sacrifice of 35 retainers, including 11 male-female pairs. Many bodies had ankle, wrist and neck ornaments of shells and pig tusks.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Greek Habrotonon, Roman Sabratha CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Roman port on the north African coast in Libya, remarkable for its extensive imperial Roman remains. Originally settled by the Phoenicians in the 5th century BC, Sabratha was one of the three cities of Roman Tripolitania. Together with neighboring Oea and Leptis Magna, it made up a trio of wealthy trading cities, the 'Tripolis', which were important in linking the Mediterranean sea-routes to the trans-Saharan caravans. It was first annexed by Rome in 46 BC, and subsequently granted coloniastatus in the 2nd century AD. The city enjoyed great prosperity under the early empire. Sacked by the Austuriani in about 363, Sabratha recovered to have a second period of prosperity under Byzantine rule, when new walls were constructed enclosing a smaller area. Urban occupation seems to have been abandoned after Arab seizure in 643. Among the surviving buildings are the various bath buildings and the Antonine-periodtheater.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A principal city of prehistoric and classic Cyprus, located on the east coast of the island, north of modern Famagusta. According to the Homeric epics, Salamis was founded after the Trojan War by the archer Teucer, who came from the island of Salamis, off Attica. This literary tradition probably reflects the Sea Peoples' occupation of Cyprus (c 1193 BC). Later, the city grew because of its harbor; it became the chief Cypriot outlet for trade with Phoenicia, Egypt, and Cilicia. Salamiscame under Persian control in 525 BC. In 306 BC, Demetrius I Poliorcetes of Macedonia won a great naval victory there over Ptolemy I of Egypt. Salamis was sacked in the Jewish revolt of 115-117 AD and suffered repeatedly from earthquakes. It was completely rebuilt by the Christian emperor Constantius II (reigned 337-361 AD) and given the name Constantia. Under Christian rule, Salamis was the metropolitan see of Cyprus. Destroyed again by the Arabs under Mu'awiyah (c 648), the city was then abandoned. There is a large area of surviving ruins, and an extensive necropolis to the west. The Mycenaean settlement was probably at Enkomi. Most remarkable are the so-called 'Royal Tombs', perhaps dating from the Late Geometric period, featuring large dromoi. The burial chambers are constructed of large rectangular blocks and have gable roofs, but were robbed in antiquity. There is an association with horse-and-chariot funerary rites, and horse skeletons still complete with bit in mouth have been discovered. There are also bronzehorse accouterments, and cauldron and tripod, and ivory furniture. One tomb shows evidence for an original upper beehive structure or tholos; other tombs are rock-cut and show evidence for rites involving pyres and clay figurines.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: Islamic city of the Abbasid dynasty, mid-8th to mid-10th century AD, founded as the new capital in 836 AD on the Tigris River in central Iraq. Its Neolithicculture, 6th millennium BC, was remarkable for its elaborate painted pottery with geometric or naturalistic patterns. At that time, it was characterized by large villages with complex, multi-room buildings, and introduction of irrigated agriculture and cattle rearing. The pottery, found mainly in the Samarracemetery, replaced Hassunaware, on which it marked a considerable advance. It was absorbed by the Halaftradition c 5000 BC. It is a rich source of information on early Islamic architecture, public monuments, and town planning.
San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan / San Lorenzo
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The oldest-known Olmec center, located in Veracruz, Mexico, and revealing information on Olmec origins. It was a large nucleated village flourishing during the Early Formative. The first phase of occupation (Ojochi, c 1800-1650 BC) left no architectural traces, but during the next period (Bajío, 1650-1550 BC) a start was made on the artificial plateau with lateral ridges forming the base of most subsequent structures. The Chicharras phase (1550-1450 BC) foreshadows true Olmec in its pottery, figurines, and perhaps also in stone-carving. The San Lorenzo phase (1450-1100 BC) marks the Olmec climax at the site, whose layout then resembled that of La Venta. The principal features of the site are a large platform mound and a cluster of smaller mounds surrounding what may be the earliest ball court in Mesoamerica; more than 200 house mounds are clustered around these central features. A system of carved stone drains underlying the site is a unique structural feature. Around 900 BC, the stone monuments were mutilated and buried upon the center's collapse. La Venta then came to power. The monuments weighed as much as 44 tons and were carved from basalt from the Cerro Cintepec, a volcanic flow in the Tuxtla Mountains about 50 air miles to the northwest. It is believed that the stones were somehow dragged down to the nearest navigable stream and from there transported on rafts up the Coatzacoalcos River to the San Lorenzo area. The amount of labor involved must have been enormous, indicating a complex social system to ensure the task's completion. Most striking are the colossal heads human portraits on a stupendous scale, the largest of which is 9 feet high. After a short hiatus, the site was reoccupied by a group whose culture still shows late Olmec affinities (Palangana phase, 800-450 BC), but was again abandoned until 900 AD when it was settled by early post-Classic (Villa Alta) people who used plumbate and fine orange pottery. The collapse of San Lorenzo c 1150/1100 BC was abrupt and violent. The population was forced to do its agricultural work well outside the site, which may have contributed to the center's collapse.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Stone toolindustry or complex of Sango Bay in Uganda on Lake Victoria, a Mainly Middle Pleistoceneseries of assemblages containing heavy-duty picks (core axes), handaxes, scrapers, finely flaked lanceolate points, cleavers, and small specialized tools. The Sangoan may have developed from a late Acheulian basis, and which was roughly contemporary with the Mousterian of Europe, dating to 100,000-20,000 BP. The term is loosely applied to a rather heterogeneous group of industries in eastern and south-central Africa, and perhaps in West Africa, also. The most informative site for the composition and sequence of Sangoan industries is at Kalambo Falls, Zambia. In several regions of Zaire and neighboring countries, the Sangoan appears to mark the first human settlement of the low-lying country now occupied by the equatorial forest.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Site of Kuyavian long barrows in north-central Poland, dated c 3100-2900 BC. Traces of ard-marks have been preserved under one of the nine trapezoidal-plan barrows. They belong to the Funnel Beaker culture.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A measure of relative hardness of pottery, obtained by comparison with minerals of known hardness (Mohs scale); a mineral harder than the pottery will scratch it, but it will be unmarked by a mineral that is less hard
CATEGORY: artifact; language DEFINITION: A device for impressing characteristic marks into a soft surface, such as wet clay or wax, to indicate ownership or authenticity. Seals were made of bone, ivory, stone, or wood and had an intagliodesign and were in the form of stamps or cylinder seals. The first can have a very wide range of shapes, and gives single impressions. The second, characteristic of ancient Mesopotamia, is rolled across the surface to yield a frieze of repeat designs. Their social and linguistic significance is great. They were fundamental in the development of writingsystem and were a statussymbol of authority and sometimes accorded talismanic properties. The use of seals and writing on clay tablets appeared together in Mesopotamia, towards end of 4th millennium BC.
Seine-Oise-Marne (SOM) culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: SOM CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Late Neolithicculture of the Paris basin of northeast France c 3400-2800 BC, named after three rivers. It is best known for its megalithic tombs of gallery-grave type (hypogées), semi-subterranean funerary houses, and allées couvertes. The megalithic tombs often include port-hole slabs. In the chalk country of the Marne, rock-cut tombs were similarly made and some have hafted axes or schematized 'goddess' figures carved on their walls. Native artifacts include transverse arrows, antler, daggers, and rough, plain flat-based pots of cylinder and bucket shapes. The potterytype is the coarseware flat-based flower pot. Trade brought copper, Callaïs stone and beads, and Grand Pressigny flint to the region. The culture seems to have a composite origin, and certain elements of the assemblage occur in other -- perhaps unrelated -- cultures outside the SOM area proper. The SOM type of megalithic tomb is found from Brittany to Belgium, Westphalia, and Sweden, while similar crude pottery occurs in Brittany, west France, Switzerland (Horgen), and Denmark.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Seleucids CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A dynasty founded in Syria by one of the generals of Alexander the Great who was his principal successor in the east. This empire of Greek rulers descended from Seleucus I (c 358-281 BC) who founded the dynasty after the death of his leader. From the 4th-1st centuries BC the Seleucid dynasty ruled over an area extending from Asia Minor to the Indus River, in present-day Pakistan. The Seleucids captured Babylon in 312 BC and its capital was at Seleucia on the Tigris, though Seleucus also had a capital in Antioch (Syria). The Seleucid empire was a mix of Hellenistic and Oriental cultures. The eastern provinces (Asia Minor, Bactria, Parthia) broke away and the Parthians captured the capital in 141 BC, marking the decline of the Seleucids. Reduced to Syria only and torn by internal conflicts, the kingdom was finally annexed by Armenia in 83 BC and then by Rome in 64 BC, which reduced it to the status of a province.
CATEGORY: site; artifact DEFINITION: Neolithic village in Basilicata, Italy, on a hill defended by three concentric ditches. It has yielded a distinctive painted pottery of the same name, c 4500-3500 BC. Geometric designs with diagonal meanders and solid triangles are painted in black or purple-brown on a buff surface. A frequent motif is a zigzag line between parallels (linea a tremolo marginato"). Jars and handled cups are the standard forms and the elaborate handles are horizontal tubular with zoomorphic additions on the top. In the later phase a thin and markedly splayed trumpetlug was adopted from the DianaWare of Lipari. The high quality of the ware and the fact that it most often occurs in graves and other ritual contexts suggests that it was produced for special purposes. It was traded over a wide area occurring in SicilyLipari Lake Garda Malta and in central Italy."
Serra d'Alto pottery
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Neolithic village in Basilicata, Italy, on a hill defended by three concentric ditches. It has yielded a distinctive painted pottery of the same name, c 4500-3500 BC. geometric designs with diagonal meanders and solid triangles are painted in black or purple-brown on a buff surface. A frequent motif is a zigzag line between parallels (linea a tremolo marginato"). Jars and handled cups are the standard forms and the elaborate handles are horizontal tubular with zoomorphic additions on the top. In the later phase a thin and markedly splayed trumpetlug was adopted from the Dianaware of Lipari. The high quality of the ware and the fact that it most often occurs in graves and other ritual contexts suggests that it was produced for special purposes. It was traded over a wide area occurring in SicilyLipari Lake Garda Malta and in central Italy."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: shaft tomb CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A grave in which the burial chamber was reached by a vertical shaft, the burials themselves placed at the bottom of a deep narrow pit, used in the early Bronze Age. The tomb was usually rectangular and the burial chamber was at its base. After the burial was done, the chamber was roofed and the shaft above it filled in. Shaft graves occur in various parts of the world and are not all of the same date. The most famous examples are the richly furnished tombs at Mycenae. At Mycenae there Circles A and B, which may have stone markers. The vertical shafttomb was also characteristic of Bronze Age China and it was used by the Shang elite of northern China.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Tell site in the Seistan district of eastern Iran, close to the Afghan and Pakistan borders, which was the site of a vast urban center of the late 4th-early 2nd millennium BC. As well as abundant structural remains, enormous numbers of finds have been excavated -- thousands of potsherds and stone tools, clay figurines, and animal bones. The wealth of Shahr-i Sokhta was due at least in part to its role in the trade in lapis lazuli between its source in north Afghanistan and the markets of Mesopotamia and Egypt. An industrial area produced thousands of unfinished lapis lazuli beads, as well as flint drills and other tools used in their manufacture. Shahr-i Sokhta also has a huge cemetery, estimated to have contained 200,000 burials. In the early 2nd millennium BC, the course of the Helmand River, on which the city depended, changed; this led to the decline and abandonment of the settlement. The site is still important for understanding the urbanization, production and subsistence techniques, and complex societies of Bronze Age Iran and Afghanistan.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Shang-ts'un-ling CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a large early Eastern Choucemetery near the city of Sanmenxia in Shan Xian, Honan province, China. Inscribed bronzes show that members of the royal family of Guo were buried here. Guo was a small state founded probably before the end of the Western Chouperiod (771 BC) and ending in 655 BC, when its territory was absorbed by the state of Jin. The cemetery includes well-preserved chariot burials and remarkably simple bronzeritual vessels.
Shroud of Turin
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Holy Shroud CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A sheet of twill-woven linen cloth on which appears a pale sepia-tone image of the front and back of a naked man about six feet tall, alleged to be the actual cloth in which Christ's crucified body was wrapped. The images contain markings that allegedly correspond to the stigmata of Jesus, including a thorn mark on the head, lacerations (as if from flogging) on the back, bruises on the shoulders, and various stains of what is presumed to be blood. Since emerging in 1354, it has been purported to be the burial garment of Jesus Christ; it has been preserved since 1578 in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista in Turin, Italy.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Non-figurative representations found engraved or painted in Palaeolithic parietal art, including tectiforms (hut shapes) and claviforms (club shapes) which may be ethnic markers.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A set of regularly spaced intersecting north-south and east-west lines, usually marked by stakes, providing the basic reference system for recording horizontal provenience (coordinates) within a site.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj. skeuomorphic CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An object in which its shape or decoration copies the form it had been when made from another material or by another technique. For example, a pot would be decorated to make it look similar to a vessel of basketry, skin, or other material. In some cases, it is an artifact which represents in decorative form a feature which was originally functional. A decorative bow attached to a shoe is a skeuomorph of the laces once used to tie it; triangular shapes drawn below handles on pottery are skeuomorphs of the metal plates by which the handles on metal prototypes were attached; and the semicircular mark on the back of a teaspoon represents the broadening of the handle where it was soldered to the bowl when it used to be made in two pieces. Frequently a skeuomorph may yield important information about extinct types, especially when organic materials like basketry are recorded in this way.
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.
Snefru (fl 26th-25th c BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Snofru, Sneferu CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: First pharaoh of the 4th Dynasty (c 2575-2465 BC) in Egypt, who was deified by the Middle Kingdom and celebrated in later literature as a benevolent and kind ruler. He created a centralized administration which marked the end of the Old Kingdom. The pyramids at Dahshur and the completion of the pyramids at Meidum are attributed to him. After a 24-year reign, Snefru was succeeded by his son, Khufu, the renowned builder of the Great Pyramid at Giza.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A category of material culture in which items are inferred to have served social roles, such as identity marking.
sphere of exchange
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: In non-market societies, the prestige valuables and ordinary commodities were often exchanged separately. Valuables were exchanged for valuables in prestige transactions. Commodities, however, were exchanged for commodities unceremoniously, in mutually profitable barter transactions.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Pre-Roman port on the northern Adriatic, at the mouth of the River Po in Italy. The town was probably Etruscan from the late 6th-early 5th century BC. Together with a settlement at Adria, Spina was an important link between the markets of Etruria and the Poplain, and Greek shipping in the Adriatic. Cemeteries (Valle Trebba, Valle Pega) have yielded large amounts of Greek pottery, especially Athenian Red-Figure Ware, terra-cottas, fine Etruscan bronzes, western Greek and Etruscanjewelry, faience and amber. The town also kept a Treasury at Delphi. The site had palisades, earth ramparts, and a network of canals as well as a grid plan. At its height, it may have shipped agricultural produce and slaves. Soon after 400 BC, Spina was sacked by the Gauls. With the collapse of its market and the silting of its port it became obsolete.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: stadia CATEGORY: tool DEFINITION: A long, brightly colored rod with calibrations for obtaining elevations with a surveying instrument. Stadia is a surveying method for determination of distances and differences of elevation by means of this telescopic instrument having two horizontal lines through which the marks on a graduated rod are observed.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A tool that produces a mark on an object through the application of percussive force through the stamp.
CATEGORY: artifact; language DEFINITION: A small, hard block that has a flat surface engraved with a design that can be transferred to soft clay or wax as a mark of ownership or authenticity. Stamp seals appear in Mesopotamia from the Halafian period in the fifth millennium BC, when they were used to impress ownership marks on lumps of clay which were then attached to goods. In the Bronze Age, it was differently shaped for different cultures: square in the Indus, round in the Persian Gulf (Barbar), and compartmented in central Asia (Bactrian). Stamp seals preceded cylinders and developed over a period of about 1,500 years until largely replaced by the cylinder in the 3rd millennium BC. Seals came into use before the invention of writing for the securing of property and the method was either to shape clay over the stopper or lid or to make a fastening with cord and place clay around the knot and then impress it with the seal. The sealing of written documents, mainly clay tablets and papyrus scrolls, became regularly established in the latter part of the 3rd millennium BC.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: stele, stelae (pl.) CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An upright, freestanding stone monument, often inscribed or carved in relief, and sometimes painted. These pillars or tablets of stone were often used to mark a grave or erected as a monument. Inscriptions may commemorate a victory or a major event, or proclaim a formal decree. Stelae are frequently encountered in Maya and Olmec sites of Mesoamerica (often carved with calendrical and hieroglyphic inscriptions), in the Buddhist civilizations of Asia, and in early Greece. The earliest funerary stelae are from a cemetery of 1st- and 2nd-Dynasty kings at Abydos, and are located in publicly accessible superstructures of the tombs. Commemorative stelae were erected in temples. Votive stelae recorded an individual's veneration of a particular deity(ies).
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The widespread use of inscribed upright stone monuments, one of the most prominent and unique Maya Great Tradition markers.
stela or stele
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. stelae CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An upright, freestanding stone monument, often inscribed or carved in relief, and sometimes painted. These pillars or tablets of stone were often used to mark a grave or erected as a monument. Inscriptions may commemorate a victory or a major event, or proclaim a formal decree. Stelae are frequently encountered in Maya and Olmec sites of Mesoamerica (often carved with calendrical and hieroglyphic inscriptions), in the Buddhist civilizations of Asia, and in early Greece. The earliest funerary stelae are from a cemetery of 1st- and 2nd-Dynasty kings at Abydos, and are located in publicly accessible superstructures of the tombs. Commemorative stelae were erected in temples. Votive stelae recorded an individual's veneration of a particular deity(ies).
CATEGORY: feature; structure DEFINITION: A ring of standing stones, either circular or near-circular, found in the British Isles from the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. There are almost 1000 stone circles, some surrounded by a ditch, with the most famous examples being Stonehenge, Avebury, and Callanish. Two atypical examples are in Brittany. The standing stones which make up these circles are widely spaced; in many examples they are incorporated into a ring-bank of smaller piled stones which has one opening as the entrance. A local variant is the recumbent stonecircle of Aberdeenshire in which the entrance is marked by a large horizontal stone flanked by tall portal stones. A recumbent stone is also a feature of circles in southwest Ireland, but here the two tallest stones are placed diametrically opposite the horizontal stone. Two of the Scottish recumbent stone circles have yielded Beaker pottery, while urn burials in various 'standard' circles were of Bronze Age type. Circles are often associated with cairns, menhirs, and alignments. Many have tried to interpret the complexgeometric layouts and placement of the stones within an astronomical base. There has been much discussion about the validity of various theories and there is no agreement on the subject.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A setting of stones marking out a grave, known in various shapes, including ships.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: striae (pl.) CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A linearmark, ridge, or groove, especially one of a number of similar parallel features
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: stylistic boundary marker CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Well-defined local variations in artifacts that may reflect territorial boundaries. Characteristics / attributes of an artifact that relates to its surface appearance, such as color, decoration, and texture -- leading to stylistic classifications.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: One of the Greater Sunda Islands and the second largest island of Indonesia with Tianko Panjang cave in Jambi Province yielding an obsidianflakeindustrydating from c 8000 BC. There is undated cord-marked pottery in the cave's upper layers. The Pasemah megaliths may date from the early 1st millennium AD.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The enlarged Southeast Asian continental area which was created when sea levels dropped in periods of glaciation. Much of western Indonesia was then connected to the mainland. Until about 7000 BC, the seas were some 150 feet (50 m) lower than they are now, and the area west of Makassar Strait consisted of a web of watered plains that is called Sundaland. These land connections may account for similarities in early human development observed in the Hoabinhian age, which lasted from about 13,000-5000/4000 BC. The stone tools across Southeast Asia during this period show a remarkable degree of similarity in design and development.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Early Upper Palaeolithicindustry of central Europe with bifacial foliated points and sidescrapers, but it has also been applied to the industries with foliated points which mark the transition from the Middle Paleolithic to Upper Paleolithic periods throughout the eastern part of central Europe. It appears to have developed from the Middle Palaeolithic (Micoquian). The type site is Szeleta Cave in the Bükk Mountains in Hungary. The culture seems to date between 45,000-25,000 BC, the middle of the Last Glacial. Later assemblages contain endscrapers and retouched blades.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Late Neolithictemplecomplex in eastern Malta with four temples dated c 3500-2500 BC. Many stone slabs in the walls and courtyards are decorated with relief carvings. The most remarkable find is the lower half of an enormous statue of a 'fat lady', known also from figurines and thought to represent a goddess, and is 2.75 meters high. The temples were abandoned c 2500 BC. In the ruins, Bronze Age people placed a rich cremationcemetery, dating 2500-1500 BC. The Bronze Age culture is named the TarxienCemeteryculture after this site.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Valley site in Puebla, Mexico, with human occupation from at least 7000 BC. This desert valley, 1800 meters above sea level, has one of the longest continuous sequences in Mesoamerica (ending 1520 AD). The earliest inhabitants were nomadic food-gatherers and hunters. Maize was grown by c 5000 BC, pottery was first made around 2300 BC, and settled village life may go back to the 3rd millennium BC (though it is not well attested before 1800 BC). Incipient agriculture phases gave way to reliance on domesticated foods. From the Pre-Classic period onwards, the valley was not as important as the richer and more fertile areas of Mexico. It was, before the Spanish conquest, a center of Mixteca-Puebla culture. The earliest phase is considered part of the Desert Tradition. The Ajuereado Phase (before 6500 BC) was characterized by small wandering groups engaged in hunting and gathering. In the El Riego Phase (6500-5000 BC) small groups gathered seasonally into larger groups, and grinding tools, weaving, and some plant cultivation occurred. The Coxcatlan Phase (5000-3500 BC) marked the appearance of larger semi-sedentary groups occupying fewer sites and engaged in agriculture. Artifacts include manos and metates and improved basketry. A significant change in settlement pattern occurs in the Abejas Phase (3500-2300 BC) with pit house villages occurring along the river terraces as year-round dwellings. New species of plant food, long obsidian blades, and possibly cotton appeared and there is increased hunting of small game. Pottery, which is a good index to the degree of permanence of a settlement (fragility makes it difficult to transport), was made in the Tehuacán valley by 2300 BC. The later phases (including Purron, 2300-1500 BC) represent a sedentary life, wide use of ceramics, and domestication of the dog.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: time-marker, temporal marker CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A morphological (structure, form) type that has been shown to have temporal significance.
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.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: General term for volcanic ash or any solid material ejected during a volcanic eruption. Tephra beds are ideal stratigraphic markers because they are deposited instantaneously; they may be dated by potassium-argon dating and fission track dating.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: tephrachronology CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method for the relative dating of horizons in volcanic regions by identification of different layers of ash (tephra). Tephra layers (beds) are ideal stratigraphic markers because they are deposited instantaneously. Also, the chemical content of tephra (volcanic ash) is unique for each eruption. If artifacts lie below tephra known to have come from a certain eruption, the artifacts predate the eruption. Tephra layers may be dated by potassium-argon dating and fission track dating and they can sometimes be tied in to absolute chronology where radiocarbon dates can be obtained from material contemporary with the deposit. To establish a chronology it is necessary to identify and correlate as many tephra units as possible over the widest possible area. In the Mediterranean, deep-sea coring produced evidence for the ash fall from the eruption of Thera, and its stratigraphic position provided important information in the construction of a relative chronology. The identification of multiple tephra beds may give bracketing ages for intervening strata. Tephrochronology has also been used to date glacial advances, sea level changes, and alluvial fans.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Black or silver-grey colored Gallo-Belgic tableware produced in Gaul during the 1st century BC through to the mid 1st century AD. Exported from Gaul to other nearby parts of the Roman empire for military and civilian use, and to communities outside the empire who presumably acquired it as a traded luxury item. Close imitations of fabrics and forms are known amongst copies made in Britain. The imported vessels usually have the name of the potter or workshop stamped on the inner surface of the base, a practice imitated in Britain but usually with illegible markings.
Teti (fl 23rd century BC)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: First king of the 6th Dynasty (c 2325-2150 BC) whose reign does not represent a marked break with the preceding reign of Unas. Around Teti's pyramid in northern Saqqarah was a cemetery of large tombs, including those of several viziers. Together with tombs near the pyramid of Unas, this is the latest group of private monuments of the Old Kingdom in the Memphisarea.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Thiessen polygon method CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: Method of describing settlement patterns based on territorial divisions centered on a single site or feature (locational analysis); the polygons are created by drawing straight lines between pairs of neighboring sites, then at the mid-point along each of these lines, a second series of lines are drawn at right angles to the first. Linking the second series of lines creates the Thiessen polygons. Where the exact boundaries between ancient territories are undetermined, an attempt to reconstruct them can be made if the distribution of focal points (central place), one to each territory, is known. The assumption is that any point will be dependent on the nearest central place. Thiessen polygons are useful for defining theoretical territories related to each center -- an area of production, a source of an important material, or a market center. These theoretical territories can be tested by comparison with actual archaeological data such as artifact distributions.
Thomsen, Christian Jurgensen (1788-1865)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: Danish antiquary and first curator of the National Museum of Denmark. His main contribution to prehistory was the Three Age system (Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages), first devised in 1819 as a method of classifying the museum collections, but soon recognized as a tool of enormous value in interpreting the prehistoric past. He is considered the first ethnoarchaeologist and also promoted osteological studies and the chemical analysis of potresidue.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: three-age sequence, Three Age System CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The division of human prehistory into three successive stages -- Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age -- based on the main type of material used in tools of the period. The system was first formulated by Christian J. Thomsen in 1819 as a means of classifying the collections in the National Museum of Denmark. The scheme became progressively elaborated by dividing the Stone Age into Old and New, the Palaeolithic and Neolithic. A Middle Stone Age or Mesolithic was later added. The further subdivisions Early, Middle, and Late of the Palaeolithic (Lower, Middle, and Upper) were introduced, and a Copper Age was inserted between New Stone and Bronze. The Ages are only developmental stages and some areas skipped one or more of the stages. At first entirely hypothetical, these divisions were later confirmed by archaeological observations. It established the principle that by classifying artifacts, one could produce a chronological ordering.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Hilltop settlement site and associated cemetery near Matera, Italy, with the main occupation in the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. The Neolithic occupation had Serra d'Alto ware. The associated cemetery is an urnfield of the so-called Proto-Villanovan group. The urns were placed in several layers and sometimes marked by small standing stones; there are some bronzes of Proto-Villanovantype. The cemetery is dated c 11th-10th centuries BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Timour, Timur Lenk, Timurlenk, Tamerlane, Tamburlaine CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: Turkic/Mongol conqueror who made Samarkand the capital of a vast nomad empire extending from Mongolia to the Mediterranean, but centered on Iran, Afghanistan, and Soviet central Asia. Many Timurid monuments, built by Timur himself and his grandson, Ulugbek, still survive in Samarkand. The monuments are covered in azure, turquoise, gold, and alabaster mosaics and are dominated by the great cathedral mosque and his mausoleum, the Gur-e Amir. Of Islamic faith, he is remembered for his barbarous conquests and the cultural achievements of his dynasty.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The Nahuatl (Aztec) term for ruler, the head of the state. All household heads owed allegiance, respect, and tax obligations to the tlatoani. It was mostly an inherited position; in some areas, succession passed from father to son; in others, the succession went through a series of brothers and then passed to the eldest son of the eldest brother. In still other states, the office was elective, but the choice was limited to sons or brothers of the deceased ruler. The ruler lived in a large, multiroom masonry palace inhabited by a number of wives, servants, and professional craftsmen. He was carried in a sedan chair in public and held considerable power: appointing bureaucrats, promoting to higher military status, organizing military campaigns, and distributing of booty and tribute. He also owned private estates with serfs, was the final judge in legal cases, was titular head of the religious cult, and head of the town market.
CATEGORY: artifact; language DEFINITION: Small artifacts, generally of clay, made into one of sixteen types: cones, spheres, disks, cylinders, tetrahedrons, ovoids, rectangles, triangles, biconoids, paraboloids, bent coils, ovals, vessels, tools, animals, or miscellaneous. Such objects were used on early Neolithic sites in western Asia as counters to keep records of goods. A plain token was typical of the periods between 8000-4300 BC and after 3100 BC. The shapes are mostly restricted to cones, spheres, disks, cylinders, and tetrahedrons; the surface is usually plain. Complex tokens were typical of the 4th millennium BC temple administration and includes all 16 types of tokens. Complex tokens are characterized by an extensive use of markings -- linear, punctuated, or appliqué. Researchers (esp. Diane Schmandt-Besserat) suggest that tokens were the precursor of writing as they began to be placed within clay bullae (envelopes) that were marked with a cylinder seal representing the content of the bullae. This led to writing numbers on a tablet, and then to words.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Preserved body of an Iron Age man found in peat at Tollund Fen in Denmark; he had been hanged c 3rd century BC. Tollund Man had been hanged with a leather rope, and his body was dressed only in a cap and belt. His stomach contents were sufficiently preserved for analysis; his last meal was gruel made up of various seeds, both wild and cultivated.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A tool for marking out or engraving designs, used to outline the raised areas on a surface. In metalworking, a tracer was frequently used to outline the raised areas on the surface of repoussé metalwork. A tracer is worked by hammering.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Tall commemorative column erected in Rome in honor of the emperor Trajan (reigned 98-117 AD) and dedicated on May 18th 113 (erected 106-113). The column marks the center of what was once the fabulous Trajan's Forum. Composed of 18 massive drums of marble, the column stands 38 meters, including the statueplinth. The decoration is a continuousspiralrelieffrieze commemorating the emperor's triumphs in Dacia (101-102, 105-106) and the column contains an internal spiral staircase. The ashes of the emperor and his wife, Plotina, were in its base at one time. The frieze is an invaluable source of information on the Roman and Dacian military.
transmission electron microscopy
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A technique used to examine the internal and surface structure and microstructure of materials such as metals, ceramics, and stone. A type of electron microscope is used in which the specimen transmits an electron beam focused on it, image contrasts are formed by the scattering of electrons out of the beam, and various magnetic lenses perform functions analogous to those of ordinary lenses in a light microscope. The sample must be very thin for examination of its internal structure; this is achieved either by grinding and depositing the material on to carbon film, or by preparing thin foils of metallic or non-metallic material by electropolishing or ion-thinning techniques. It is possible to study in detail such things as the wear marks on stone tools or the techniques of potterymaking through examination of the surface.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Linear mark, ridge, or groove situated or extending across something
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.
CATEGORY: term; artifact DEFINITION: In law, treasure found hidden in the ground etc. but of unknown ownership. In Britain, treasure troves are the property of the State, though sometimes they are in part returned or recompensed to the owner of the land. To be declared treasure trove by a coroner's inquest, the items must be of gold or silver, must have been lost or hidden with the intention of recovery, and by someone who is no longer traceable. In these circumstances, the Crown takes possession, rewarding the finder with the marketvalue or with the object itself if it is not required for the national collections.
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: A line marking the point in the Arctic north where trees do not grow because the subsoil is permanently frozen. Proceeding northward or as the elevation increases, the height of the trees gradually decreases while the spacing between them increases until a point is finally reached where the trees give way to tundra, i.e. the tree line.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Site in southern Zealand, Denmark, of a well-preserved Viking fortress of c 1000 AD. It is an insular typeViking military camp with a central circular fortification, substantial earth-and-timber bank, and four timber gates. The internal enclosure is divided into four quadrants each containing four boat-shaped longhouses. Trelleborg has a concentric outer defensive bank and an adjoining enclosure and 13 additional buildings between the two enceintes. Trelleborg was used between the mid-10th and early 11th centuries.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Middle Neolithic TRB settlement on the island of Langeland, Denmark. There are longhouses divided up into smaller units.
CATEGORY: site; artifact DEFINITION: Site where a bronze wheeled model of a horse pulling a disk, dated to c 1650 BC, was found in the Trundholmbog in Zealand, Denmark. It probably represented a chariot of the sun and was deposited as a ritual offering.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tutankhamen CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A minor Egyptian pharaoh of the late 18th Dynasty who came into great prominence when his tomb in the Valley of Kings at Thebes was found with minimal disturbance by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon in 1922. A son of Amenhotep III, he succeeded the heretic pharaohAkhenaten. During an undistinguished reign of nine years he began the restoration of the worship of Amen (Amun) and returned the capital to Thebes. His more orthodox successors attempted to obliterate him from memory because of the taint of Aten worship which he apparently never entirely threw off. The tomb, though probably far poorer than those of the greater pharaohs, yielded a remarkable treasure and great detail of the ritual of Egyptian royal burials. The mummy, with a magnificent inlaid goldmask, lay inside three cases -- the innermost of pure gold weighing over a ton, the outer two of gilded wood. These were enclosed in a stonesarcophagus within successive shrines also of gilded wood, nearly filling the burial chamber. Three other rooms held chariots, furniture, statues, and other possessions of the king. It took three years to clear and preserve the contents of the wealthy tomb. The discovery stirred the public imagination and opened up a great interest in archaeology.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Early Iron Age town in Girona, Spain, founded in the 6th century BC. It consisted of a hilltop enclosure surrounded by a stone wall with circular towers; inside were stone-built houses, cisterns, paved streets, and a market. Greek pottery and coins are among the artifacts. Ullastret was destroyed by fire c 200 BC.
vertical feature interface
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A unitmarking a distinct event, such as the digging of a pit, and resulting in the destruction of pre-existing stratification.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern St. Albans CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Romano-British town across from St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England. Before the Roman conquest, Verulamium was the capital of Tasciovanus, prince of the Catuvellauni; under Roman rule it soon was made a municipium. Destroyed by Boudicca (or Boadicea; queen of the Iceni) in 60-61 AD, it soon regained its prosperity. Among its ruins are the city grid plan, the forum, a theater associated with a temple of Romano-Celtic type, a market hall, two triumphal arches, fragments of the town wall, and many well-appointed houses with fine mosaics and wall paintings. It was still of some importance when it was visited by St. Germanus in 429, but thereafter was replaced by St. Albans. It is thought to be the third largest Roman town in Britain.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Middle and Late Neolithictellsite of the Karanovo III culture in southern Bulgaria. Dated to the late 5th millennium BC, the culture marks a sharp break from the preceding Starcevo. It is contemporaneous with the early Vincaculture. The pottery is undecorated except for some cordons and is pear-shaped or cylindrical with flat bases. The beakers often have a curving handle with an upper knob.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Migration Period settlement in southern Jutland, Denmark of the 4th-5th centuries, a planned village of longhouses. Each house was divided into three rooms with two or three minor buildings. There was also a series of sunken-floored workshops in the last phase. After its abandonment in the 5th century, the settlement was not reoccupied until the Vikingperiod. In the 10th century, Vorbasse was turned into three major estates, each incorporating a large 'Trelleborgtype' hall with associated workshops.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Archaic Maori burial ground and middensite in the northern South Island, New Zealand, at the mouth of the Wairau River. The site is remarkable for its rich grave goods, including adzes, necklace units, and fishhooks -- similar to those from contemporary sites in the Marquesas and Society Islands. Dated to c 1100-1350 AD, Wairau Bar also produced perhaps the richest non-organic artifact assemblage of any site in New Zealand. It is from the Moa-hunter period.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Biogeographical zone of islands between Southeast Asia Sunda shelf and the Sahul shelf -- an area separating Australia from Southeast Asia for 70 million years. It marks the division between two major faunal groups: oriental animals (elephants, tigers, and apes) and the animals of Australia (kangaroos, wombats, and monotremes). Dates of first human settlement are uncertain; the first settlers of Australia prior to 30,000 years ago had to cross sea gaps of up to 70 km in this zone. The water formed a barrier to the spread of animals and humans into Australia and New Guinea. It is named after the British naturalist A.R. Wallace, who first recognized its significance.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Erech, Uruk (Sumerian), Orchoë (Greek), Tell al-Warka' (modern) CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Ancient Mesopotamian city northwest of Ur (Tall Al-Muqayyar) in southeastern Iraq, one of the greatest cities of Sumer. Its occupation began in 'Ubaid 2 (c 5000 BC) and continued through Parthian times (126 BC-224 AD). It was most important during Late Uruk to Early Dynastic times. Urban life in what is known as the Erech-Jamdat Nasr period (c 3500-2900 BC) is more fully illustrated here than at any other Mesopotamian city. Chief landmarks are the Anuziggurat crowned by the White Temple" and the temenos of Eanna another ziggurat."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Durobrivae; modern Rochester CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a walled Roman-British town situated where the Roman road from the English Channel ports to London crossed the River Medway at the head of its estuary. It was a large and important Roman pottery town, center of production for the Nene Valley color-coated ware. Water Newton grew out of the civilian settlement attached to an early-period Roman fort (c 45 AD). Aerial photography shows a large expanse of industrial development, marking Water Newton as one of the major industrial area of Roman Britain. The hoard of Christian silverplate from the 4th century AD, indicates local affluence and is possibly the earliest group of Christian silver of that time.
wedge-shaped gallery grave
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: wedge tomb CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A megalithic chamber tomb particular to Ireland in the Late Neolithic and some from the Middle-Late Bronze Age. There is a long narrow chamber of orthostats supporting capstones, which decrease in height toward the back; it would not have a separate entrance passage. The division between antechamber and burialarea is marked by a sillslab or by stone jambs. The cairn may be round, oval, or D-shaped, and often has a retaining wall. The earliest grave goods are bucket-shaped pots of the Late Neolithicperiod, but Beaker pottery is predominant.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Weichsel Glaciation; Vistula Glacial Stage CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The final glacial advance, c 115,000-10,000 bp, corresponding to the Alpine Würm, American Wisconsinan, and British Devensian. The Weichsel Glacial Stage followed the Eemian Interglacial Stage and marks the last major incursion of Pleistocene continental ice sheets. It is named for the ice sheet of north Germany and other Quaternaryglacial deposits in northwest Europe. Most of the Weichselian is within the range of radiocarbon dating. The ice sheets were probably at their maximum size for only a short period, between 30,000-13,000 bp; eight interstadials have been recognized in the Weichselian of northwest Europe. The late Weichsel expansion of the Scandinavian continental ice sheet began about 25,000 years ago; most of the Weichselian sediments over northern Europe are part of this late Weichselian cold period.
Worsaae, Jens Jacob Asmussen (1821-1886)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: Danish archaeologist who laid the foundations for the study of prehistory. He was the successor to Christian J. Thomsen at the National Museum at Copenhagen and he applied the Three Age System to stone monuments. He wrote Danmarks Oldtid oplyst ved Oldsager og Gravhøie" ("The Primeval Antiquities of Denmark" 1843) which introduced such other concepts as nomenclature typology and diffusion and discusses the value and principles of prehistoric research. He focused on the study of excavated artifacts particularly in their geographic and stratigraphic contexts. His standards and professionalism put him ahead of his time."
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Sculptures found at Xanthus, principal city of ancient Lycia (Turkey), now in British Museum. The most remarkable ruins of the city are these huge rock-cut pillar tombs. British archaeologist Sir Charles Fellows sent reliefs and sections of the tombs to the British Museum in the 19th century. The figures are Assyrian in character, not later than 500 BC. Sieges, processions, and figures are shown in profile but with the eyes shown in full. Upon one of the remaining pillar tombs is the longest and most important of inscriptions in the Lycian language.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Xiangkhoang, Xieng Khouang CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Site just south of the Plain of Jars" in north-central Laos with late prehistoricburial and ceremonial sites. There are large stoneburial jars often containing iron knives arrowheads spearheads bronzejewelrycowrie shells and imported beads of glass and carnelian. Upright stone slabs (menhirs) mark them and the site is dated c 300 BC-300 AD."
Yahudiyah, Tell al-
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Naytahut, Leontopolis; Tell el-Yahudiyah CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: City in the eastern Delta of Egypt dating from at least Middle Kingdom until the Roman period, c 2000 BC-200 AD. During the 19th and 20th Dynasties, the royal palace at Tell al-Yahudiyah was embellished with remarkable polychrome tiles, many of which bear figures of captive foreigners.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Yang-shao, Yangshao CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The most important Neolithicculture of China, distributed along the middle course of the Yellow River in north-central China and dated to c 5000-2700 BC. Large open settlements of circular or rectangular houses slightly sunk into the ground cluster along the loess river terraces. It is distinguished by milletagriculture, coarse and painted pottery, sedentary villages, and clans. Some marks on the pottery are thought to be the beginnings of writing; pottery was handmade, painted in black and red on a yellowish slip. At first, the designs were zoomorphic, then later became abstract, geometric, or curvilinear. Coarser red and grey wares were also common.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Yayoi period CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Protohistoric period of Japan, 300 BC-300 AD, which replaced the Jomonperiod and precedes the Kofun. It is marked by the strengthening of mainland influences from Korea and China, as shown by the appearance of bronze and, later, iron, wet-rice growing, the potter's wheel, and cist and jar burials. These changes were absorbed into the Jomontradition, which was only gradually replaced. Local developments include the great decorated bronze bells and Late Yayoimound-burials foreshadow the mounded tombs of the Kofun. Large quantities of bronzes and glass imported from China. It is generally divided into three parts: Early (300-100 BC), Middle (100 BC-100 AD), and Late (100-300 AD) -- dates based mainly on imported Chinese bronze mirrors, because the radiocarbon dates for Yayoi tend to be erratic. Yayoipottery is less ornate than Jomonware, but is made and fired in basically the same way. It also incorporates Mumunpottery (from Korea) techniques and is related to the Hajipottery of the Kofunperiod. Apart from the pottery, the Yayoiculture is characterized by definite evidence of agriculture and the use of metal tools. Yayoi houses were semi-subterranean or built at ground level. A series of settlements, a large one with several smaller ones, seem to have formed a community, which was often moated.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archaeozoology CATEGORY: branch DEFINITION: The study of animal remains, especially bones, from archaeological contexts, including the identification and analysis of faunal species as an aid to reconstructing human diets, determining the impact of animals on past economies, and in understanding the environment at the time of deposition. Animal remains are collected, cleaned, sorted, identified, and measured for their study and interpretation. The study of bones involves calculations of minimum numbers of individuals belonging to each species found; their size, age, sex, stature, dentition, and whether the bones have any marks from implements implying butchering and eating. Archaeologists attempt to answer questions such as how many species of domesticated animals there were, how far wild animals were exploited, how many very young animals there were to determine kill patterns and climate changes, in what way bones were butchered, what the sex ratios there were in determining breeding strategies, and if there were any animals of unusual size. By analyzing remains from different parts of a site it may be possible to understand some of the internal organization of the settlement, while a comparison between sites within a region may show areas of specialization.