CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A phase in the late 18th Dynasty, including the reigns of Akhenaten, Smenkhkare, Tutankhamun, and Ay (1379-1352 BC), when important religious and artistic changes took place. The name is derived from the site of Akhenaten's capital at Tell el-Amarna.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Atlantic phase, Atlantic climatic period CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: In Europe, a climatic optimum following the Boreal, the warmest period of the Holocene. This period was represented as a maximum of temperature and evidence from beetles suggests it being warmer than average for the interglacial. It seems to have begun about 6000 BC, when the average temperature rose. Melting ice sheets ultimately submerged nearly half of western Europe, creating the bays and inlets along the Atlantic coast that provided a new, rich ecosystem for human subsistence. The Atlantic period was followed by the subboreal period. The Atlantic period, which succeeded the Boreal, was probably wetter and certainly somewhat warmer, and mixed forests of oak, elm, common lime (linden), and elder spread northward. Only in the late Atlantic period did the beech and hornbeam spread into western and central Europe from the southeast.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The earliest phase of rock art in northern Africa, between 12,000-8,000 BC, in which large-scale carvings of animals appeared. These early engravings -- in southern Oran, in Algeria, and in Libya -- reflect a hunting economy based on the now-extinct giant buffalo Homoioceras antiquus or Bubalus antiquus (hence the name).
Burial Mound Period
CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: The penultimate period of eastern North American prehistoricchronology, from 1000 BC to 700 AD. Formulated in 1941 by J.A. Ford and Godon Willey, the total chronology, from early to late, is Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Burial Mound, and Temple Mound. The Burial Mound Period I (1000-300 BC) covers the period of transition from Late Archaic to Early Woodland ways of life and is associated especially with the Adenaculture. Burial Mound II (300 BC-700 AD) is associated especially with Middle and Late Woodland groups, especially Hopewell.
CATEGORY: chronology; term DEFINITION: The period in the history and culture of the Americas when the first impact of the Europeans was made.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Chronological phase in Egypt lasting from the end of the Roman period, c 395 AD, until the Islamic conquest, c 641 AD. It is also described as the 'Christian' period and is roughly equivalent to the Byzantine period elsewhere in the Near East.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Dynastic Egypt CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period of ancient Egypt's historytied to a framework of 30 dynasties (ruling houses) of kings, or pharaohs, who rule from the time of the country's unification into a single kingdom in c 3100 BC until its conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 BC. The two Predynastic kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt were united by the legendary king Menes, possibly to be identified with the historical King Narmer. The Dynastic Period was followed by a Greek Period when the country was ruled by the Ptolemys, descendants of Alexander the Great's general. The Ptolemaic Period and Egypt's independence were brought to an end in 30 BC when Queen Cleopatra VII died and the country was absorbed into the Roman Empire. The political history, largely derived from written sources, has a detailed and, for the most part, precise chronology. From the 21st Dynasty onwards, Egypt's cohesion broke, and from the 11th-7th centuries BC, Libyan, Asian and Nubian contenders vied with Egyptians for control of the state. The divine ruler, the pharaoh, was ultimately responsible for the complex bureaucracy and was also the figurehead of the official religion, the personification of the sun god Ra, counterpart of Osiris, the god of the land of the dead. Because of their belief in the afterlife, the royal tombs of the pharaohs in particular reflect the great wealth and concentration of resources at the pharaoh's disposal. Much of our information about ancient Egyptian history comes from the records that were carefully maintained by the Egyptians themselves, notably by the priests who were regarded as the guardians of the state's accumulated wisdom.
Early Dynastic period
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Archaic Period CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A chronological phase in southern Mesopotamia between c 2900-2330 BC, ending with the founding of the Dynasty of Akkad. It was also known as the Pre-Sargonid period. The Sumerian city-states flourished under their separate dynastic rulers -- Ur, Umma, Kish, and Lagash. The period is 3100-2450 BC on what is called the high chronology" (the other being the "medium chronology"). The term itself is derived from the Sumerian 'king list' which implies that Sumer was ruled by kings at this stage although archaeological evidence for the existence of kingship is meager before the middle of the period. Traditionally it is divided by archaeologists into three subdivisions -- ED I II and III -- each of approximately 200 years duration. The Royal Tombs of Ur belong the ED III period. The Early Dynastic phase shows clear continuity from the preceding Jemdet Nasr and represents a period of rapid political cultural and artistic development. Within the period the pictographic writing of the earlier period developed into the standardized cuneiformscript. This period represents the earliest conjunction of archaeological and written evidence for the history of southern Mesopotamia."
Early Intermediate period
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period of development of distinctive regional cultures in the central Andes of South America, c 1-600 AD (also said to be c 300-600 AD). The period was characterized by nationalism, full population, first large-scale irrigation works in coastal valleys, interregional warfare, construction of forts, craft specialization, social class distinctions, rise of first great Peruvian cities. Two of the better-known cultures are the Moche and Nasca civilizations. The Middle Horizon emerged from these expansions.
Eastern Zhou [Chou] period
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The latter part of the Zhoudynasty, from 770 BC to the extinction of the Zhou royal house in 256 BC. The term also refers to the period up to the founding of the Qindynasty in 221 BC.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The time allowed for a field to rest, when no crops are grown on it.
First Intermediate Period
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Chronological phase, c 2130-1938 BC) between the Old Kingdom (2575-2130 BC) and the Middle Kingdom (1938-1600 BC), which appears to have been a time of relative political disunity and instability. The period includes the 9th dynasty (c 2130-2080 BC), 10th dynasty (c 2080-1970 BC), and the 11th dynasty (c 2081-1938 BC). The 9th dynasty (c. 2130-2080 BC). (The period corresponds to Manetho's 7th to 10th Dynasties and the early part of the 11th Dynasty.) After the end of the 8th dynasty, the throne passed to kings from Heracleopolis, who made their native city the capital. Major themes of inscriptions of the period are the provision of food supplies for people in times of famine and the promotion of irrigation works. In the 10th dynasty, a period of generalized conflict focused on twin dynasties at Thebes and Heracleopolis. The 11th dynasty made Thebes its capital. In the First Intermediate Period, monuments were erected by a larger section of the population and, in the absence of central control, internal dissent and conflicts of authority became visible in public records. Nonroyal individuals took over some of the privileges of royalty, notably identification with Osiris in the hereafter and the use of the Pyramid Texts. These were incorporated into a more extensive corpus inscribed on coffins -- the Coffin Texts -- and continued to be inscribed during the Middle Kingdom.
Five Dynasties period
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: In Chinese history, period of time between the fall of the T'ang dynasty (AD 907) and the founding of the Sung (Song) dynasty (960), when five would-be dynasties followed one another in quick succession in North China. The era coincides with the Ten Kingdoms -- the 10 regimes which dominated separate regions of South China -- during the same period.
Great Tombs period
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kofun CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period in Japanese history, 4th-7th century AD, known for round tombs covered by a mound with a square platform off to the side, making a keyhole shape. Towards end of period, tombs were very large and surrounded by a moat, and earthenware figures and models (Haniwa) were placed in a series of concentric rings around the tomb. Inside was a chamber of stone slabs, probably adopted from cist tomb of northeast Asia. Burial goods included bronze mirrors, Chinese-type swords, magatama (fine polished stone ornaments), and Sue Ware pottery.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hellenistic and Roman period; hellenistic CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: Period of widest Greek influence, the era between the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC) and the rise of the Roman Empire (27/30 BC), when a single, uniform civilization, based on Greek traditions, prevailed all over the ancient world, from India, in the east, to Spain, in the west. During these three centuries, Greek culture crossed many political frontiers and spread through many cities founded at that time, especially the new capitals of Alexandria, Antioch, and Pergamum. A common civilization became established throughout the known world for the first time, one which integrated the cultural heritage of each region and subsequently left a deep impression on the institutions, thought, religions, and art of the Roman, Parthian, and Kushan empires. Hellenistic cultural influence continued to be a powerful force in the Roman and Parthian empires during the early centuries AD. A common form of the Greek language, Koine [Greek: 'common'] developed, which was largely indebted to Attic Greek. The term 'hellenistic art' is applied to the post-classicalmaterial outside this geographic area, such as in Etruria or southern Italy.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Any period of the past that can be studied from its written documents.
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: Late Period CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The last stage of Ecuadorian prehistory, from about 500 AD to the Incaconquest (1550), characterized by greater cultural uniformity over wider areas. There is evidence for urban centers, class distinction, intensive agriculture, and high quality metallurgy throughout the region. The absorption of Ecuador into the Inca empire was the culmination of this trend. It is part of the chronological continuum -- Formative, Regional Development, Integration -- formulated by Betty Meggers.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: One of the three periods in Egyptian history when the country was divided into regional potentates instead of united. These periods occurred between the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom, and Late Period. The First Intermediate Period was 2130-1938 BC, Second Intermediate Period was 1630-1540 BC, and the Third Intermediate Period was 1075-656 BC. In Andean/Peruvian archaeology, there were also Intermediate Periods. The Early Intermediate Period (200 BC-600 AD) was characterized by the rise of the first great city states, such as Moche and Nasca. The Late Intermediate Period (1000-1476 AD) was characterized by the presence of numerous fractionalized corporate units which arose after the decline of Tiahuanaco and Huari, e.g. Chimu and Aymara.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A classification used by archaeologists and historians: Jomon 10,000-300 BC, Yayoi 300 BC-300 AD, Kofun 300-710, Nara 710-794, Heian 794-1183, Medieval (Kamakura, Muromachi, Momoyama) 1183-1603, Feudal (Edo/Tokugawa) 1603-1868, Meiji 1868-1914, Taisho 1914-1925, Showa 1925-1988, and Heisei 1989-present.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Classification of the eras of Korea by archaeologists and historians. The major divisions following the Palaeolithic are: Chulmun, 7000-1000 BC; Bronze Age, 700 BC-0 AD; Iron Age, 400 BC-300 AD; Proto-Three Kingdoms, 0 -300 AD; Three kingdoms, 300-668; United Silla, 668-935; Koryo, 935-1392; Yi, 1392-1910; Japanese Colonial, 1910-1945; Modern, and 1945-present.
Late Glacial period
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The closing stages of the Pleistocene Ice Age, when the glaciers had begun their final retreat and when much of northern Europe was tundra. This period lasted from c 13,000-8500 BC. The substages in northern Europe are the Oldest Dryas (13,000-10,450), the Bølling oscillation (10,450-10,050), the Older Dryas (10,050-9850), the Allerød oscillation (9850-8850), and the Younger Dryas (8850-8300). Cultures of the Late Glacial period include Ahrensburgian, Creswellian, Federmesser, and Hamburgian.
Late Intermediate Period
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A division of time in central Andean chronology, 1000-1450 AD, which was a period of regional diversification on the coast and in the highlands. New styles, cultures, and kingdoms arose after the collapse of the Middle Horizon empires. The period began with the dying out of the signs of unity imposed by Huari. Warfare, secularization of urban centers, rectangular enclosure plan were prominent. The cultures and styles were Chimú, Chancay, Pachacamac, Chincha, Ica; Cajamarca, Chanca, Killke, Lucre, Colla, Lupaca. The various empires that developed during the Late Intermediate Period were conquered by the Inca Empire.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A phase of Egyptian history, c 664-332 BC comprising the 26th-31st Dynasties, stretching from the end of the Third Intermediate Period to the arrival of Alexander the Great. Shabaqo (716-702 BC), the second ruler of the Kushite 25th Dynasty, exerted Nubian influence by moving the administrative center back from Thebes to Memphis. In writing, the demoticscript, the new cursiveform, was introduced from the north and spread gradually through the country. Hieratic was, however, retained for literary and religious texts, among which very ancient material, such as the Pyramid Texts, was revived and inscribed in tombs and on coffins and sarcophagi. The Late Period also saw the greatest development of animal worship in Egypt.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Magellan complex CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: A chronological sequence covering 8000 BC-1000 AD constructed on the basis of assemblages from Fell's Cave and the Palli Aike Cave in Patagonia, South America. The sequence is divided into five phases, describing a series of hunting and marine adaptations. The earliest assemblage (Magellan I) contains fishtail projectile points, signifying Paleoindian activity. Horse and sloth bones and the remains of three partly cremated Dolichocephalic humans, found in association with these points, have produced a single radiocarbon date of c 8700 BC. A shift to willow-leaf points occurred in Magellan II c 8000-4000 BC, which coincides with the disappearance of Pleistocenemegafauna and widespread climatic change. Magellan IV-V are ill-defined but represent a continuing hunting strategy blending into a period of ceramicuse.
Middle Woodland period
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A term sometimes used to describe the time period during which the Hopewellculture flourished throughout the American Midwest, from roughly 50 BC to 400 AD.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The period of large-scale movement of peoples in western Europe during the 4th, 5th, and 6th centuries AD -- including the Anglo-Saxonsettlement of England. These movements are associated with the collapse of the Roman empire. Barbarians from beyond the Roman frontiers settled within many of the former provinces. The Migration Period is often extended to cover period from 3rd century AD to accession of Charlemagne in 800 AD.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A period in Japanese history, 710-794 AD, named after the new capital of Nara (or Heijo as it was then known), to which the court moved from Fujiwara. The capital was established there to secure greater centralized power. The palace buildings -- the dairi (the Imperial living quarters), buildings for ritual, and governmental buildings for administrative business -- were arranged in a plan imitating that of the T'ang capital of Ch'ang-an. No palace building is in existence now; but the lecture hall (Kodo) of the Toshodai Temple in Nara, believed to have originally been the Chosu-den (for court officials' important ceremonies) of the HeijoPalace, is suggestive of palace architecture of the time.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The upper division of the Tertiarysystem including the Miocene and Pliocene periods; latest of the two divisions of the Cenozoic Era (66.4 million years ago to the present). The Neogene includes the Miocene and Pliocene epochs (23,700,000-1,600,000 years ago) and is considered by some to encompass the time up to the present. The Neogene, which means new born was designated as such to emphasize that the marine and terrestrial fossils found in the strata of this time were more closely related to each other than to those of the preceding period called the Paleogene. The term Neogene is widely used in Europe as a geologic division, but is generally not employed in North America, where the Cenozoic Era is simply divided into the TertiaryPeriod (66,400,000-1,600,000 years ago) and the QuaternaryPeriod (1,600,000 years ago to the present).
Old Babylonian period
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Chronological period of c 2000-1600 BC when there were competing kingdoms in southern Mesopotamia which were eventually conquered by Hammurabi of Babylon. The kingdoms included Isin and Larsa, important during the first half of the period, and the large kingdom created by Hammurabi, which flourished in the second half. The period was a time of increasing intellectual endeavors in literature, astronomy, mathematics, law, etc.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Any specific interval of time in the archaeological record, such as the Upper Paleolithic period. This term is often confusingly used interchangeably with phase and stage. A period is a true time division of the history of a large region (such as the Valley of Mexico or southern China) and does not necessarily imply any developmental characteristics. In archaeological context, it is a major unit of prehistoric time, usually containing several phases and pertaining to a wide area. It is a convenient term used to discuss the history of a complexarea.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: phasing CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The process by which the stratigraphical material from a site is arranged into periods and phases based upon stratigraphic, structural, and artifactual data.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The entire history of Egypt from the establishment of the monarchy in 2925 BC to the invasion of Alexander in 332 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: postglacial CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period occurring following a glacial episode, especially that from the end of the Pleistocene Ice Age c 8300 BC to the present. The substages in northern Europe are: Pre-Boreal (c 8300-7700 BC), Boreal (7700-5550 BC), Atlantic (5550-3800 BC), Sub-Boreal (3800-1200 BC), and Sub-Atlantic (1200 BC to present).
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A term applied to the developed societies of south Arabian origin in the northern part of the Ethiopian plateau, c 5th century BC - 1st century AD. South Arabian elements assimilated through influence of kingdom of Sheba into a culture developed from Neolithic. Texts engraved on stone using south Arabian script have been found. There is evidence of influence from Meroe, with Ethiopia as a crossroads for trade, traffic, and culture. These societies provided the base from which the kingdom of Axum rose to prominence during the first centuries ad.
Pre-Classic or Preclassic period
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Formative period CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period in Mesoamerican archaeology during which agriculture formed the basis of settled village life, c 2000 BC-250 AD. The earliest writing -- glyphs -- in Mesoamerica began in this period. The Olmec was the first culture to appear in the Preclassic. A similar level was attained in Peru at about the same time (Chavín). In many other areas life remained on a Formativelevel until the Spanish conquest. The final phase of the Pre-Classic cultures of the central highland forms a transition from the village to the city, from rural to urban life.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pre-Dynastic Egypt; Predynastic CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: The period before recorded history in Egypt and before it became a unified state in c 3100 BC. The term predynastic denotes the period of emerging cultures that preceded the establishment of the 1st dynasty in Egypt. In the late 5th millennium BC there began to emerge patterns of civilization that displayed characteristics deserving to be called Egyptian. The accepted sequence of predynastic cultures is based on the excavations of Sir Flinders Petrie at Naqadah, al-'Amirah (el-'Amra), and al-Jazirah (el-Gezira). Another somewhat earlier stage of predynastic culture has been identified at al-Badari in Upper Egypt. Until recently, most of our knowledge of pre-Dynastic Egypt was derived from the excavation of graves. Pre-Dynastic communities appeared in the section of the Nile Valley immediately south of Asyut. Large settlements were established, notably that at Hierakonpolis. Some time after 5000 BC the raising of crops was introduced, probably on a horticultural scale, in small, local cultures that seem to have penetrated southward through Egypt into the oases and the Sudan. The food-producing economy was based on the cultivation of emmerwheat and barley and on the herding of cattle and small stock, together with some fishing, hunting, and use of wild plant foods. Highly specialized craftsmen emerged to build vessels, make copper objects, weave linen, and make basketry and pottery. A series of small states arose until around 3100 BC, the unified kingdom of Ancient Egypt came into being.
CATEGORY: culture; chronology DEFINITION: The earliest of a seven-period chronological construction used in Peruvian archaeology, c 9000-1800 BC, starting with the first human occupation and ending with the introduction of ceramic artifacts. It is usually subdivided into six periods and is characterized by a variety of subsistence patterns and by a lack of ceramics. The first two periods (up to 8000 BC) represent a subsistence based on hunting. The third period, c 8000-6000 BC is seen as transitional from hunting to hunting and gathering. Period four c 6000-4000 BC had cyclical, seasonal migration. In Preceramic V, c 4000-2500 BC, the lomas dried up and people tended to be sedentary; agriculture supplied an increasing part of the diet. Large habitation sites, ceremonial centers and agriculture appear increasingly in Preceramic VI c 2500-1800 BC. There are lithic complexes in the Early Preceramic, followed by an Archaic Period with foraging populations and the beginning of domestic and ceremonial architecture. The Preceramic was followed by the Initial Period.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: In Mesoamerica, the period at the end of the Preclassic and immediately before the Classic period, c 50 BC-250 AD. It refers to the cultures of the Mayaarea which were transitioning between Preclassic and Classic.
Regional Development period
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A term used in Ecuadorian archaeology for the period 500 BC-500 AD, when local adaptation led to the proliferation of regional cultures. The continuum Formative, Regional Development, Integration Period has also been applied to neighboring parts of South and Central America. Some of the Ecuadorian coastal variants produced fine pottery, elaborate figurines, and many small art objects. There are hints of Asiatic influence in the cultures of Bahía and Jama-Coaque, which occupied the coastland from La Plata island to Cape Francisco. The period is characterized by changes in socio-political organization and art styles and technology, which gave rise to region-wide rather than purely local cultures.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The period of Roman political and military control, generally between 200 BC and 400 AD, but varying for different regions, depending on the date of conquest.
Second Intermediate Period
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The time, 1630-1540 BC, when groups of Asiatic people appear to have migrated into the Egyptian Delta and established settlements. The Second Intermediate Period began with the establishment of the 15th Dynasty, called the Hyksos (c 1630-c. 1523 BC), with its capital at Avaris (Tall ad-Dab'a) in the Delta, and ended with the 17th Dynasty (c 1630-1540 BC), ruling from Thebes. The Second Intermediate Period was the consequence of political fragmentation and immigration and the time may have been somewhat impoverished.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: The time during which the highest temperature of firing is sustained
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The period in history of archaeology in the New World between 1400-1840, characterized by unsystematic and speculative interpretations about the past.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A chronological phase (1075-656 BC) following the New Kingdom, when Egypt was divided. The north was inherited by the Tanite 21st dynasty (c 1075-950 BC), and much of the Nile Valley came under the control of the Theban priests.
Ur III period
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The third dynasty of Ur according to the Sumerian king lists, a time when Ur controlled much of Mesopotamia and the Zagros highlands. It began with Ur-nammu (2112-2095 BC) and the period is noted for the numerous economic texts from its administrative centers. Ur III collapsed under attack by the Elamites and Amorites.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Urnfield period; Urnfield; Urn culture, Urnfield complex CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A widespread group of related Bronze Age cultures practicing burial by cremation in pottery urns, at first in central and eastern Europe and later spreading to northern and western Europe. Such funerary urns were buried in a cemetery of urns (urnfields) and the practice dates from c 1300 BC to c 750 BC. Other features of the Urnfield period include copper-mining, sheet bronze metalworking, and fortified settlements. At the start of the Iron Age, inhumation once again became the dominant form of burial in many areas. A small pot with holes in it is often found interred with the urn, which may have been the ritualfire igniter or an incense burner. The Urnfield cultures succeeded the Tumulus culture in central Europe and developed into the Hallstatt Iron Age culture.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A term for a main phase of the Migration Period, the 7th and 8th centuries AD in Scandinavia, the last phase of the Iron Age before the Viking Age. It takes its name from a site in central Sweden with rich burials. Other cemeteries of the Vendel Period are at Valsgarde and Old Uppsala, with burials often in boats with rich treasures.
Warring States period
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Contending States CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A division of the Zhou/Chou Dynasty, 475-221 BC, the latter part of the Eastern Zhouperiod, made up of six or seven small feuding Chinese kingdoms. The Warring States period saw the rise of many of the great philosophers of Chinese civilization, including the Confucian thinkers Mencius and Hsün-tzu, and the establishment of many of the governmental structures and cultural patterns that were to characterize China for the next 2,000 years. The Warring States period is distinguished from the preceding age, the Spring and Autumn (Ch'un Ch'iu) period (770-476 BC), when the country was divided into many even smaller states. In 223 BC, Ch'in defeated Ch'u and two years later established the first unified Chinese empire.
Western Zhou [Chou] period
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Royal Zhou CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A division of the Zhou/ChouDynasty, 1027-771 BC, the earlier part of the Zhoudynasty, starting with the fall of the Shangdynasty. The first Zhou/Chou rulers parceled out their expanding territory among feudal lords. As the feudal states rose in power and independence, so did the central Zhou/Chou itself shrink, to be further weakened by the eastward shift of the capital from sites in the Wei River valley near modern-day Sian to Lo-yang in 771 BC. Thereafter, the Zhou/Chou empire was broken up among rival states.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Woodland tradition CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Stage in eastern North America c 1000 BC-800 AD that is a period in Native American history and culture. It is characterized by hunter-gatherers, elaborate burial mounds, beginning of substantial agriculture (corn, beans, squash), and pottery decorated with cord or fabric impressions. It is a term restricted to the cultures of the Eastern Woodlands (south and east of Maritime Provinces of Canada to Minnesota and south to Louisiana and Texas) and important sites are Adena, Hopewell, and Effigy Mound. From c 700 AD, the southern part of the Woodland territory shows strong influence from the Mississippianculture, but elsewhere the Woodland tradition continued until the historic period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: A Horizon, A-Group CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A term created by American archaeologist George Reisner to refer to a semi-nomadic Nubian Neolithicculture of the mid-fourth to early third millennium BC. The term has evolved into a horizon" because there was also a C Group and the term was misleading that there were two separate ethnic groups rather than two phases of Nubian material culture. Traces of the A group which may have evolved from the Abkanculture survive throughout Lower Nubia. An important site is Afyeh near Aswan Sayala and Qustul. There is evidence among the grave goods that the A Group was engaged in regular trade with the Egyptians of the Predynastic and Early Dynastic periods. The A Group was eventually replaced by the C Group during the Old Kingdom. The existence of a B Group has now been rejected."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A 'Ubaidsite in Iraq with important architecture of the 'Ubaid and Uruk periods.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Abbevillean, Chellean, Abbeville CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: The name for the period of the earliest handax industries of Europe, taken from Abbeville, the type site near the mouth of the River Somme in northern France. The site is a gravelpit in which crudely chipped oval or pear-shaped handaxes were discovered, probably dating to the Mindel Glaciation. This was one of the key places which showed that man was of great antiquity. Starting in 1836, Boucher de Perthes excavated the pits and the significance of these discoveries was recognized around 1859. These pits became one of the richest sources of Palaeolithic tools in Europe. In 1939, Abbé Breuil proposed the name Abbevillian for both the handax and the industry, which preceded the Acheulian in Europe.
Abu Hureyra, Tell
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A small tell on the Euphrates River, 120 km east of Aleppo in Syria. The site was excavated in 1972-73 prior to flooding by the Tabqua/Tabqa Dam. Two major phases of occupation were found: Mesolithic or Epi-Palaeolithic (early 9th millennium BC) to a Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Culture in the 6th millennium. There was a long period of abandonment in the 7th millennium and then a final abandonment c 5800 BC. The site depicted a transition from gathering to cultivation, including large quantities of einkornwheat, and from hunting to herding (sheep and goats, also gazelle and onager). The Neolithic settlement was of enormous size, larger than any other recorded site of this period -- even Çatal Hüyük. In the uppermost levels, a dark burnished pottery appeared.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Abusir CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient site between Giza and Saqqara where several 5th Dynasty (c. 2494-2345 BC) kings built their pyramids, a sun temple, a number of mastaba tombs, and Late Period (747-332 BC) shaft tombs. The pyramids were poorly constructed; those of King Userkaf and King Neuserre have been excavated.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Abdjw CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient Anatolian site, which was a pilgrimage center for the worship of the god Osiris and the chosen burial place of the pharaohs of the 1st Dynasty. Located on the east side of the Dardanelles and west bank of the Nile northeast of modern Canakkale, it flourished from the Predynastic period until Christian times (c. 4000 BC-AD 641) and survived until late Byzantine times as the toll station of the Hellespont. The earliest significant remains are the tombs of the Protodynastic and Early Dynastic periods (c. 3100-2686 BC), including that of Seti I of the 19th Dynasty (c. 1300 BC). From the 2nd Dynasty, the royal graves were at Saqqara. It was from Abydos that Xerxes crossed the strait to invade Greece in 480 BC.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Without pottery or not using pottery. This term is applied to periods and societies in which pottery is not used, especially in contrast to other periods of ceramicuse and with neighboring ceramic cultures. Aceramic societies may use bark, basketry, gourds, leather, etc. for containers.
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.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A Greek statue, of which the head and extremities were of stone or marble and the trunk crafted of wood which was either gilt or draped. The acrolith period was the infancy of Greek plastic art.
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: site DEFINITION: A cave in Monte Pellegrino near Palermo, Sicily, with engravings from the Upper Palaeolithicperiod. The main scene is of human figures and seems to depict an initiation or circumcision. It is attributed to the Romanellian culture of 11,000 years ago.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A seaport on the Red Sea coast of Ethiopia, near modern Massawa. It was the principal port of Axum on an important trade route. It may have been established in Ptolemaic times during the Pre-Axumite period, though excavations have yielded material belonging to the 3rd century AD or later.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Archaic Greek sculpture discovered in the temple of Pallas-Athene at Aegina, an island in the Saronic group of Greece. They are in the Glyptothek at Munich, Germany. Aegina's period of glory was the 5th century BC, which left a legacy of sculpture.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A culture of northwestern Argentina during the period 700-1000 AD, located on the western slopes of the Andes, and noted for the fine quality of its arts. Decorated copper and bronze plaques and polychrome yellow and black pottery with designs of cats, dragons, humans, birds, warriors, weaponry, and trophy heads are characteristic and reflect a possible influence from Tiahuanaco. Decapitated burials are a further indication that warfare was a dominant preoccupation of Aguada. Its sudden disappearance from the archaeological record in c 1000 AD was probably the result of invasion from the east.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Rajasthan, western India, belonging to the ChalcolithicBanasculture and dated c. 2500-1500 BC. The people cultivated cereal crop, hunted deer, used copper and a variety of pottery, including Black and Red Ware. A second period of occupation later in the 1st millennium BC used Northern Black Polished Ware.
Ahhotep I (c. 1590-1530 BC)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: New Kingdom queen who played an important part in the wars of liberation leading to indigenous Egyptian rule. She was involved in the transition from the Second Intermediate Period to the New Kingdom, when the Hyksos rulers were expelled from Lower Egypt. She was the daughter of 17th Dynasty ruler Senakhtenra Taa I, the wife of Seqenenra Taa II, and mother of Ahmose I (and maybe of Kamose).
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An Epipalaeolithic culture of the Late Glacial Period in northern Germany and the Low Countries, c. 8850-8300 BC. The small tanged points, pine arrow shafts, abundant reindeer bones, barbed harpoons, and antler adzes of Stellmoor characterize the culture.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aibunar CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site with three copper mines, located near Stara Zagora in central Bulgaria. The open-castmining of malachiteore beds dates to the 4th millennium BC (Karanovo VI period) and was later used in the Late Bronze Age. Quantities of this ore have been discovered in settlements in Moldavia and the Ukraine (Cucuteni-Tripolye culture).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Eynan CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large village of the early Natufianperiod near Lake Huleh in Upper Jordan. The three phases contain 50 large circular houses and open areas with storage pits. The well-built houses suggest a permanent occupation. The economy was probably based on the hunting and herding of gazelle and other large animals, fishing, and harvesting cereals. Many of the houses had paved stone floors and a central stone-lined hearth.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The native people of Hokkaido, Sakhalin, and the Kuril Islands, Japan, who are physically different from their Mongoloid neighbors. They once lived by hunting, trapping, and fishing and also grew buckwheat and numbered about 17,000 in the 1940s. Ainu appear to be descendants of the early Caucasoid peoples who were once spread over northern Asia. They did not undergo the sociocultural changes of the Yayoi and Kofun periods, but remained Epi-Jomon until about the end of the 8th century; it then was transformed into the Satsumonculture. The Ainu were pushed northward over the centuries by the Japanese. Intermarriage and cultural assimilation have made the traditional Ainu almost extinct. Their most important ritual, the Bear Ceremonial, find parallels in Okhutsk ceremonialism.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ajdabiyah, Agedabia CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A town in northeastern Libya near the Gulf of Sidra that was the site of Roman and Byzantine colonization and a caravan junction from Egypt to the Maghreb and a trans-Saharan route from the Sudan during the early Middle Ages. There are ruins from the earlier colonization and two important monuments from the period 912-1051 -- an early congregational mosque and a qasr (fort).
CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: An earth god of the Early Dynastic period, most often represented as a form of double-sphinx of two lions back to back. Aker's symbolism was closely associated with the junction of the eastern and western horizons in the underworld.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Ipu, Khent-Mim CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the east bank of the Nile opposite modern Sohag, that was the capital of the ninth nome of Upper Egypt during the Pharaonic period, c. 3100-332 BC. The earliest surviving remains are Old and Middle Kingdom rock-cut tombs. The city originally included a number of temples dedicated to Min, but few stone buildings have survived because of the plundering. Colossal statues of Rameses II and Meritamun have been excavated.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in southern Mauritania that appears to have been an early copperworking center in Africa, from c. 5th century BC or earlier. It is one of the few Saharan or sub-Saharan areas where there may have been a Copper Age preceding the Iron Age. Arrowheads, spearheads, axes, pins, and some decorative items of copper are attributed to this period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Egyptian alabaster CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A term used by Egyptologists for a type of white, semi-transparent or translucent, stone used in statuary, vases, sarcophagi, and architecture. It is a form of limestone (calcium carbonate), sometimes described as travertine. It was used increasingly from the Early Dynastic period for funerary vessels as well as statuary and altars. Alabaster is found in Middle Egypt, a main source being Hatnub, southeast of el-Amarna. The sarcophagi of Seti I (British Museum) is a fine example. An alabaster (also alabastron or alabastrum) is also the name of a small vase or jar for precious perfumes or oils made of this material. It was often globular with a narrow mouth and often without handles.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arabic Halab, Turkish Halep CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city in northern Syria which stands on the site of an ancient, as yet unexcavated, city. On the route between the Euphrates and Orontes, the ancient site is mentioned in texts from the 2nd millennium onwards as the capital of the Amorite kingdom of Yamkhad in the 18th century BC. It subsequently came under Hittite, Egyptian, Mitannian, and again Hittite rule during the 17th-14th centuries. It was known to the Hittites as Halpa. The city was conquered by the Assyrians in the 8th century BC and then controlled by the Achaemenian Persians from the 6th-4th centuries BC before the Seleucids took it over, rebuilt it, and renamed it Beroea. Aleppo was very important during the Hellenistic period for its position along trade routes. The city became part of the Roman province of Syria in the 1st century BC. Conquered by the Arabs in 637, it reverted to its old name of Halab.
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: Alisar, Alisar Huyuk CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tell southeast of Boghazköy in central Turkey which yielded many occupation levels from Chalcolithic (late 4th millennium) to Phrygian (1st millennium BC). The lowest stratum had eight Chalcolithic levels. The Early Bronze Age levels are characterized by painted pottery with a buff or light red burnish and some geometric patterns in dark brown or buff. There was some trade with Assyria early in the 3rd millennium BC. A karum was built and some Cappadocian tablets recovered. There may have been a hiatus in occupation in the Hittiteperiod (later 2nd millennium).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Allerod interstadial CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: An interstadial (transient) period of glacial retreat at the close of the Würm Glacial Stage in Europe, dated to c 12,000-11,000 years ago. This temporary increase in warmth allowed forests to establish themselves for a time in the ice-free zones. Radiocarbon dates show similar conditions prevailed in North America at about the same time. It was followed by another cold, glacial advance.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Altin-depe CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large Chalcolithic and Bronze Age site in southern Turkmenistan which is similar to Namazga-Depe. The urban phase of the early 2nd millennium BC has a large artisans' quarter where there is evidence for specialized pottery production. The residential quarter has rich grave goods, including jewelry of precious and semi-precious stones and metals and imported materials. There is a complex of monumental structures which are similar to the ziggurats of Mesopotamia, with three main periods of construction. The settlement declined early in the 2nd millennium BC and was abandoned mid-millennium.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Climatic Optimum, Thermal Maximum, Long Drought; altithermal; Great Drought; Holocene climatic optimum. CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A warm, dry postglacial period in the western United States approximately 5600-2500 BC. Coined by Ernst Antev in 1948, the term describes a time during which temperatures were warmer than at present. Other terms, like Long drought, are used.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Late Preceramic site on the north coast of Peru with the first sunken circular structure, which eventually was used in other ceremonial sites of the Initial Period.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Classic Mayasite in Belize, about 35 mi (56 km) north of Belize City which dates to the Middle Pre-Classic Period. It is known for caches of obsidian and jade. The land was poor for agriculture, but marine resources were exploited and the small center was quite wealthy. There is evidence of long-distance contact with Teotihuacan before it was abandoned, like other Maya ceremonial centers, c 900 AD.
Amarna, Tell el-
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Akhetaten; El-Amarna; Tall al-Amarna; el-Amarna CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of the ruins and tombs of the city of the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Akhetaton in Upper Egypt, 44 mi (71 km) north of modern Asyut and 280 km south of Cairo. Akhenaton (Amenhotep IV) built the city in about 1348 BC as his capital and the center of his reformed religion and worship of Aten. The city consisted of a group of palaces, temples, and residential quarters (and rock-cut tombs) inhabited only about 25-30 years. It was abandoned less than four years after Akhenaten's death and the capital returned to Thebes. Tell el-Amarna's remains have preserved the record of this short, fascinating period of history during which a correspondence in cuneiform between the Egyptian pharaoh, kings of the Hittites and of the Mitanni, and governors of Egyptian possessions in western Asia took place. There is Mycenaean pottery, linking the site to the Aegean and statuary which differed from the traditional art of pharaonic Egypt. The art of this brief monotheistic period was realistic and unrestrained, in contrast with the stereotyped art styles of other periods in ancient Egypt. It is one of the best-preserved examples of an Egyptian settlement of the New Kingdom.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Lower Palaeolithic site in Soria, central Spain, first discovered before World War II. Ambrona probably dates 300,000-400,000 years ago, from the end of the Mindel glacialperiod. Its occupants hunted elephants, deer, and bovines though the horse was the most common animal in the area. There are stone hand axes, scrapers, and cleavers of the Acheuliantype and similar to some African sites were made from chalcedony, quartzite, quartz, and limestone. Points were fashioned from young elephant tusks. Pieces of charcoal show that fire was used.
amino acid dating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: amino-acid dating; aminostratigraphy; amino-acid racemization, amino acid racemization CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method of absolute (chronometric) dating which is hoped to fill the gap between radiocarbon dates and potassium-argon dates. It is used for human and animal bone and other organic material. Specific changes in its amino acid structure (racemization or epimerization) which occur at a slow, relatively uniform rate, are measured after the organism's death. The basis for the technique is the fact that almost all amino acids change from optically active to optically passive compounds (racemize) over a period of time. Aspartic acid is the compound most often used because it has a half-life of 15,000-20,000 years and allows dates from 5,000-100,000 years to be calculated. However, racemization is very much affected by environmental factors such as temperature change. If there has been significant change in the temperature during the time in which the object is buried, the result is flawed. Other problems of contamination have occurred, so the technique is not fully established. It is fairly reliable for deep-sea sediments as the temperature is generally more stable.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: amphitheater CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A large-scale Roman arena open to the elements and surrounded by tiers of seats. They were constructed for exhibiting gladiatorial and other public spectacles (military displays, combats, and wild beast fights) to the populace. The earliest were oval and built of wood, later changing to stone construction. Rome's Colosseum has tiered galleries 2-3 stories in height and has provision for covering the arena with shades to protect against rain or sun. Roofing of so wide an expanse was beyond Roman technology. The arena of the Colosseum had a false timber floor, below which there was a labyrinth of service corridors. The animal cages were situated here, linked with pre-tensioned lifts and automatic trapdoors so that participants and animals could be sent up to the floor of the arena with speed and precision. Somehow Roman engineers staged the grand opening by flooding the arena for a full-scale sea battle. Amphitheatres accommodated a great number of spectators (possibly more than 50,000 at the Colosseum). The Romans derived their ideas from the classic Greek theater and stadium and the model was widely copied throughout the Roman empire. It could be erected on any terrain and set inside an urban center. An early example of the Republican period is at Pompeii the Colosseum is of the Imperial model. The fortress of Caerlon and the towns of Caerwent, Cirencester, Colchester, Dorchester, Richborough, and Wroxeter are some British places which had amphitheatres.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Naqadah I CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An Egyptian predynastic culture, centered in Upper Egypt and named for the site El Amrah (or al-'Amirah; c 4500-4000 BC) near Abydos. Numerous sites, dating to c 3600 BC, have been excavated. They reveal an animal husbandry and agricultural lifeway similar to the preceding Badarianculture. There are large cemeteries, like that at Naqada, which imply that the settlements were permanent and large. Many of the dead were buried crouched with rich grave goods. Flint was quarried for the variety of finely worked daggers, points, and tools. Copper came into use for beads, harpoons, and pins. There was trading with Ethiopia, the Red Sea, and Syria based on the finds. Several pottery wares, in a range of shapes, were made: black-topped red ware from the Badarianperiod onward and white cross-lined (red ware painted in white) added.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in the Indus Valley in Pakistan, probably dating to the early 3rd millennium. It was the first site to be recognized as belonging to the Early Harappan Period when excavated by Majumdar in 1929. Its name has been given to a style of hand- and wheel-made painted pottery found in its Chalcolithic levels and on tells over much of Sind and up into the hills of Baluchistan. These tall globular beakers of fine buff ware are painted with geometric designs in black between red horizontal bands. Chert and some copper were used for tools and the architecture was in mud-brick. Fractional burial was the practice for the dead. Periods I and II represent the pre-Harappan settlement of agricultural farmers, who kept cattle, sheep, goat and donkey, but also hunted (or herded) gazelle. In the later part of Period II Harappan ceramics appear alongside Amri wares; Period III represents a full mature Harappan occupation. The culture was gradually succeeded by that of the Indus civilization. The uppermost levels contained Jhukar and Jhangar material.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A swampy plain in northern Syria east of Antioch (Antakya) at the foot of the Amanus mountains and beside the Orontes River at the northeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea. Its important sites Tayanat (Neolithic-Chalcolithic), Atchana (Copper Age to Hittite), and Antioch (Hellenistic and Roman). The plain is rich in tell settlements of the prehistoric and later periods. The basic prehistoricsequence for the area has phases designated by letters, as 'Amuq A represents the Early Neolithic.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A swampy plain in northern Syria east of Antioch (Antakya) at the foot of the Amanus mountains and beside the Orontes River at the northeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea. Its important sites Tayanat (Neolithic-Chalcolithic), Atchana (Copper Age to Hittite), and Antioch (Hellenistic and Roman). The plain is rich in tell settlements of the prehistoric and later periods. The basic prehistoricsequence for the area has phases designated by letters, as 'Amuq A represents the Early Neolithic.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A major cultural tradition of canyon dwellers found in southwestern United States between 100-1600 AD -- mainly in the four corners area of northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, southeastern Utah, and southwestern Colorado. These Native Americans began settlements with the cultivation of maize. Pottery was unknown at the beginning, but basketry was well developed, hence the name Basket Maker" is given to these early stages. By the sixth century there were large villages of pit houses with farming and pottery and it evolved into the full Anasazi tradition. The first pueblos and kivas were constructed and fine painted pottery made. The next few centuries (the Pueblo I-III periods) were a time of expansion during which some of the most famous towns were founded (Chaco Canyon) and fine polychrome wares produced. At this time the Mogollon people to the south adopted the Anasazi way of life and their Hohokam neighbors were also influenced perhaps suggesting that the Anasazi actually migrated to these areas. In such an arid environment farming was always vulnerable to fluctuations in climate and rainfall and these factors caused considerable population movement and relocation of settlements during 11th-13th centuries with the virtual abandonment of Chaco Canyon in 1150 and the plateau heartland by 1300. From 1300 until the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century the Anasaziculture and population dwindled and the homeland in northern Arizona was abandoned. Then with the encroachment of nomadic Apache and Navajo tribes and with the arrival of Europeans from the south and east Anasazi territory decreased further. However some pueblos have continued to be occupied until the present day. The generally accepted chronological framework of three Basketmaker and five Pueblo stages was first proposed at the 1927 Pecos Conference. Although exact links are uncertain it is clear that modern Pueblo Indian people are descended from Anasazi ancestors. The name Anasazi is derived from a Navajo word meaning "enemy ancestors" or "early ancestors" or "old people"."
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period of cool climate in the area of North America that occurred from about 7000-5000 BC. This was Ernst Antev's name for the first of the Neothermal periods and it is thought to have started off cool before becoming somewhat warmer.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The chronological systems of the Central Andes area with two main stages, Preceramic and Ceramic. The Ceramic is broken down into: Initial Period, 1900-1200 BC, Early Horizon 1200-300 BC, Early Intermediate Period 300 BC-700 AD, Middle Horizon 700-100, Late Intermediate Period 1100-1438/1478, and Late Horizon 1438-1532. These horizon periods are times of widespread unity in cultural traits. Intermediate periods are times of cultural diversification.
Andrae, Walter (1875-1956)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A German scholar and archaeologist who excavated the major Mesopotamian city of Assur, capital of Assyria, between 1903-1914. His high-quality excavations exposed major buildings, including a series of temples of the Early Dynastic Period that pre-dated the Temple of Ishtar.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A huge stone stepped pyramid, the best-known monument of Angkor (Cambodia), the largest religious structure in the world. The three-storied construction is surrounded by a moat and surmounted by five vast towers which symbolized the five peaks of Mount Meru. It was built by Suryavarman II (1113-1150 AD) over a 25-year period as his own mausoleum (temple-mountain). The name in Khmer means the capital (which has become a Buddhist) monastery". Angkor Wat is considered to be the highest expression of Khmer classic architecture and sculpture-relief."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Anglian-Elsterian CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Quaternaryglacial deposits found in East Anglia, England. Other possibly related and isolated patches exist elsewhere in Britain, but they are older than the extreme range of radiocarbon dating and palaeomagnetism shows them to be younger than 700,000 bp. This period is sometimes equates with the Elster glacial maximum and dated to c 300,000-400,000 years ago. During the Anglian-Elsterian glaciation in Europe a large ice-dammed lake formed in the North Sea, and large overflows from it initiated the cutting of the Dover Straits. In East Anglia, the deposits are stratified below Hoxnian and above Cromerianinterglacial deposits and Acheulian and Clactonian artifacts are found in the sediments. Most of the evidence of human activity in Britain and Europe is later than this time. Anglian is more often used to describe the group of deposits or the one glaciation (antepenultimate) of that time.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A chronological account of events in Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, a compilation of seven surviving annals that is the primary source of the early history of England. Believed to have been started around 870, during the reign of King Alfred (871-899), it was mostly finished by 891 though further accounts were added until 1154. The annals were probably written in the monasteries of Abingdon, Canterbury, Peterborough, Winchester, and Worcester. They include vivid accounts of the Viking raids, Alfred's reign, and the period of anarchy under Stephen. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle also included the Venerable Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum" genealogies regnal and episcopal lists some northern annals and some sets of earlier West Saxon annals. The compiler also had access to a set of late 9th-century Frankish annals. The completeness and quality of the entries vary for different periods; the Chronicle has sparse coverage of the mid-10th century and the reign of Canute for example but is an excellent authority for the reign of Aethelred the Unready and from the reign of Edward the Confessor until the annal ends in 1154. The Chronicle survived in seven manuscripts (one of these being destroyed in the 18th century) and a fragment which are generally known by letters of the alphabet. The oldest the A version is written in one hand up till 891 and then continued in various hands. The B version and the C version are copies made at Abingdon from a lost archetype. B ends at 977 whereas C which is an 11th-century copy ends mutilated in 1066. The D version and the E version share many features. D which was written up until 1079 probably remained in the north whereas the archetype of E was taken south and continued at St. Augustine's Canterbury and was used by the scribe of manuscript F. The extant manuscript E is a copy made at Peterborough written in one stretch until 1121. It is the version that was continued longest. The F version is an abridgment in both Old English and Latin made in the late 11th or early 12th century based on the archetype of E but with some entries from A and it extends to 1058. The fragment H deals with 1113-14 and is independent of E."
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The name of the combined cultures, the Angles and the Saxons, who left their North Sea coastal homelands in the 5th century AD and moved to eastern England after the breakdown of Roman Rule. The name derives from two specific groups --- the Angles of Jutland and the Saxons from northern Germany. Some other Germanic peoples took part in the migrations, such as the Jutes and the Frisians, and they are sometimes included under this name. The language, culture, and settlement pattern of medieval and later England can be traced directly to the Anglo-Saxons. The movement to the area probably began in the 4th century when barbarian Foederati went to serve in the Roman army in Britain. The main immigration began in the middle of the 5th century. Bede, writing in the early 8th century, gives the only reliable historical record for this period, though incidental information can be found in the Old English literature, particularly the poem of Beowulf. The English kingdoms took shape by the late 6th century. Archaeologically, there are three periods: the Early or PaganSaxonperiod went until the general acceptance of Christianity in the mid-7th century; the Middle Saxonperiod until the 9th century, and the Late Saxonperiod which went up till the Norman invasion of 1066. The earliest period's remains are mainly burial deposits, often cremation in urns or by inhumation in cemeteries of trench graves or under barrows. Grave goods often include knives, sword or spear, shieldboss, and brooches, buckles, beads, girdle-hangers, and pottery -- depending on the gender. Most archaeological evidence comes from the cemeteries, including the exceptional ship burial at Sutton Hoo. Churches were built and in the Middle and Late Saxon periods, including Bradford-Upon-Avon and Deerhurst. Important monuments of the Middle and Late Saxon periods are the royal palaces at Yeavering and Cheddar. The Late Saxonperiod, after the Viking invasions, saw the growth of the first towns in Britain since the Roman period, following the establishment of Burhs in response to the Scandinavian threat. There was wide-ranging trade, developed coinage, and improved potterymanufacture and metal-working. The separate British kingdoms (most important: Mercia, Northumbria and Wessex) eventually became a unified England with a capital at Winchester in Wessex. The Anglo-Saxons were responsible for the introduction of the English language and for the establishment of the settlement patterns of medieval England.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A term describing a type of gold production whose themes were animals and which arose from the Scythians, a seminomadic people from the Eurasian steppes who moved from southern Russia into the territory between the Don and the Danube and then into Mesopotamia. During the 5th-4th centuries BC, this style appeared on shaped, pierced plaques made of gold and silver, which showed running or fighting animals (reindeer, lions, tigers, horses) alone or in pairs facing each other. The animal-style had a strong influence in western Asia during the 7th century BC. Ornaments such as necklaces, bracelets, pectorals, diadems, and earrings making up the Ziwiye treasure (found in Iran near the border of Azerbaijan) show evidence of highly expressive animal forms. This Central Asian Scythian-Iranian style passed by way of Phoenician trading in the 8th century BC into the Mediterranean and into Western jewelry. The most popular themes are antlered stags, ibexes, felines, birds of prey and, above all, the animal-combat motif, which shows a predator, usually bird or feline, attacking a herbivore. The joining of different animals and the use of tiny animal figures to decorate the body of an animal are also characteristic. Animal bodies were also contorted -- animals curved into circles and quadrupeds with hindquarters inverted. The term is shorthand for this complex of motifs and treatments, which for long periods represented the art of the vast steppe zone of Europe and Asia. The transformations they underwent in the course of their long history on the steppes often leave the sources and affiliations of particular versions obscure.
Anse au Meadow, L'
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the northern peninsula of Newfoundland that is the only known Vikingsettlement in the New World. The Norse explorers were the first Europeans to reach what is now Canadian explorers, c 1000 AD, as is recorded in the Icelandic sagas and recently confirmed by the archaeological discovery of the site at L' Anse-aux-Meadows. Excavations revealed traces of turf-walled houses similar to those at Viking sites in Greenland and Iceland. Also found was a spindle whorl, iron nails, and a smithy with pieces of bog-iron and several pounds of slag -- all of Norse origin. Radiocarbon dates range from AD 700-1080 with a concentration around 1000, which is the period when, according to the sagas, Norsemen led by Leif Eriksson sailed west from Greenland and explored the coast of America, which they named Vinland.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Inpw, Anpu CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: The Egyptian god of the dead, in the form of a wild-dog or jackal-headed man. Anubis guarded the tombs and the underworld and presided over mummification and embalming. In the Early Dynastic period and the Old Kingdom, he enjoyed a dominant position but was later overshadowed by Osiris.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: An-yang, Yinxu CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city in the Honan province of China that was the last capital of the Shang (Yin) Dynasty, occupied in the 12th and 11th centuries BC. It was founded c 14 BC and overthrown by the Chou in 1027 BC and was the seat of 12 kings who ruled for 273 years, a time referred to as the historical Anyangperiod. Anyang is one of the most extensively excavated sites, beginning in 1928. The buildings had rammed earth floors and many sacrifices of men and animals and chariot burials were found under them. Deep storage pits held oracle bones with inscriptions in an archaicform of Chinese, but the most important finds came from the cemeteries, which included royal tombs. At least as early as the Songdynasty (960--1279), Anyang was known as a source of bronzeritual vessels. Very large cruciform shaft tombs were found near the village of Houjiazhuang. There were eight large tombs in the western part of the Xibeigangcemetery and five more in the east. Excavation has shown that rows of satellite burials in the eastern section were not laid down at the time of the royal entombments but instead were later sacrifices offered to the tombs' occupants; these burials correspond with the oracle texts descriptions of victims sacrificed, sometimes by the hundreds, to the reigning king's ancestors. The only intact royal tomb yet discovered is that of Fu Hao, which is not in the Xibeigangcemetery but across the river at Xiatoun. Later excavations have established that Anyang was heir to the flourishing civilization of the Erligang Phase.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Anzabegovo CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large settlement of the First Neolithic and Early Vinca periods of Macedonia near the Bregnalnica River. Excavations have revealed a four-phase occupation c 5300-4200 BC. There was cultivation of emmer and wheat as well as some herding. The architecture was mud brick walls to wattle-and-daub timber-framed houses. The artifacts are similar to those found in northern Greece and the Anatolian Late Neolithic.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Apennine Bronze Age CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The Bronze Age culture of the Italian peninsula, lasting from c 2000-800 BC. The culture's pottery was distinctively dark and highly burnished, and decorated with incised and punctuated bands filled with white inlay. The handles, often single, were elaborate and included crested, horned, and tongue types. The people seemed to depend on pastoral economy and stock breeding in the mountains which give the culture its name. Trade and a more mixed economy has evidence at some sites -- Ariano, Liparis, Luni, Narce, and Taranto -- and the culture had some influence from the Balkans. Some inhumation cemeteries are known, but burials are rare. Bronze tools, though in use, are rarely found until very late in the period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Apopis, Apophis CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: An evil serpent- or snake-god, whose name was adopted by at least one Hyksospharaoh (Apopis I, c 1585-1542 BC) who ruled a large area of Egypt in the Second Intermediate Period. The deity symbolized the forces of chaos and evil. Apophis is represented on funerary papyri and on the walls of royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings as the eternal enemy of the sun god Ra.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Pre-Classical and Classical city on the Meander River of southwest Turkey with extant remains of the Roman period, including an agora, odeum, temple of Aphrodite, and baths. There also was an abundance of free-standing statues. The Pre-Classical mounds show Late Neolithic occupation and a sequence of Late Chalcolithic to Late Bronze Age artifacts.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Egyptian Hap, Hep, Hapi CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: In ancient Egypt, the sacred bull worshipped at Memphis. Revered at least as early as the 1st Dynasty (c 2925-2775 BC) and sacred to Osiris, Apiscame to prominence during the Greco-Roman period. Apis was probably at first a fertility god concerned with grain and herds. It served as the ba (physical manifestation) of the god Ptah and was also associated with Sokaris.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite on the Diyala River east of Baghdad, Iraq. There was a flourishing city in the 3rd millennium BC and excavations revealed a temple of the Early Dynastic period. The temple was dedicated to Shara, patron god of the city of Umma.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite on the Diyala River east of Baghdad, Iraq. There was a flourishing city in the 3rd millennium BC and excavations revealed a temple of the Early Dynastic period. The temple was dedicated to Shara, patron god of the city of Umma.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city in southern Israel west of the Dead Sea named for Biblical Arad and having ruins visible at Tel 'Arad, just a few miles northeast. First excavated in 1962, 'Arad has three separate phases of occupation. The first settlement was in the Chalcolithicperiod with a walled city at the beginning of the 3d millennium BC, which was destroyed by c 2700 BC. Imported Egyptian pottery was found in that phase. A resettlement occurred in the Early Bronze I and II phases and a succession of walled citadels and a temple have been found as well as ostraca (inscribedpottery). The last period of occupation was confined to a citadel on the highest part of the earlier town and it was occupied from the 12th-11th centuries BC. It served as a southern frontier post of the kingdom of Judah. There was a sanctuary for the worship of Yahweh. There were also citadels on this site in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The Book of Numbers (21:1-3) tells how the Canaanite king of 'Arad fought the Israelites during the exodus from Egypt, but his cities were utterly destroyed" by Israel's armies. The city's name appears on the Temple of Amon al-Karnak Egypt in the inscription of Pharaoh Sheshonk I first ruler of the 22nd Dynasty (reigned c 945-924 BC)."
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: archeology (from archaia" CATEGORY: and "logos" DEFINITION: science knowledge or theory)" branch The scientific study and reconstruction of the human past through the systematic recovery of the physical remains of man's life and cultures. Artifacts, structures, settlements, materials, and features of prehistoric or ancient peoples are surveyed and / or excavated to uncover history in times before written records. Archaeology also supplements the study of recorded history. From the end of the 18th century onwards, archaeology has come to mean the branch of learning which studies the material remains of man's past. Its scope is, therefore, enormous, ranging from the first stone tools made and fashioned by man over 3 million years ago in Africa, to the garbage thrown into our trash cans and taken to city dumps and incinerators yesterday. The objectives of archaeology are to construct cultural history by ordering and describing the events of the past, study cultural process to explain the meaning of those events and what underlies and conditions human behavior, and reconstruct past lifeways. Among the specialties in the field are: archaeobiology, archaeobotany, archaeozoology, and social archaeology. Modern archaeology, often considered a subdiscipline of anthropology, has become increasingly scientific and relies on a wide variety of experts such as biologists, geologists, physicists, sociologists, anthropologists, and historians. The methods appropriate to different periods vary, leading to specialized branches of the subject, e.g. classical, medieval, industrial, etc., archaeology.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A series of caves southeast of Paris with Upper Palaeolithic art, including the Grotte du Cheval, Grotte del Hyene, and Grotte du Renne are archaeologically the most important. The early occupation levels are of the Riss period with Mousterian (with Neanderthal remains), Chatel-Perronian, Aurignacian, later Perigordian levels.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: extensive excavation, open excavation, open-area excavation CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A method of excavation in which the full horizontal extent of a site is cleared and large areas are open while preserving a stratigraphic record in the balks between large squares. A gradual vertical probe may then take place. This method is often used to uncover houses and prehistoricsettlement patterns. Areaexcavation involves the opening up of large horizontal areas for excavation, used especially where single period deposits lie close to the surface. It is the excavation of as large an area as possible without the intervention of balks and a gridsystem. This technique allows the recognition of much slighter traces of ancient structures than other methods. On multi-period sites, however, it calls for much more meticulous recording since the stratigraphy is revealed one layer at a time.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cave site at Finale Ligure on the Italian Riviera whose excavation revealed a stratigraphy extending from the Upper Palaeolithic through Epi-Palaeolithic, to Early, Middle, and Late Neolithic, as well as poor levels from the Bronze and Iron Ages up to the Roman period. There were some rich burials in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th levels. The 1940s excavations by Bernabò Brea helped him make important interpretations of the Neolithic period in the Mediterranean.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An important Neolithicsite in Thessaly, northern Greece, which has given much information on the early phases of the Greek Aceramic Neolithic period. In the Argissa Magula near Larissa, there have been early prepottery Neolithic finds of probably the 6th millennium BC. Timber-framed huts consisted of shallow mud-walled pits that were likely roofed with branches. Obsidian was already being traded and flint tools were made. The earliest known domesticated cattle date from about 6000 BC at Argissa (and Nea Nikomedeia) in Greece, in association with cultivated einkorn, emmerwheat, and barley, millet, lentils. Sheep, goats, and pigs were also cultivate and kept. This site (along with Knossos) is also responsible for the earliest evidence of agriculture, soon after 7000 BC. The site was occupied throughout the Neolithic and well into the Bronze Age.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the Madras coast of southern India near Pondicherry excavated by Mortimer Wheeler. It was an important trading post of the Romans after the mid-first century BC, though black-and-red ware found there began well before the period of Roman contact. A town with warehouses in an industrial quarter was built. Black-and-red Iron Age wares associated with Arretine ware of the 1st century AD, Mediterranean amphorae, and imperial Roman coins were found by Wheeler. Other excavations have found Roman pottery, beads, intaglios, lamps, and glass which indicate continuous occupation. Graffiti on pottery indicates the presence of Indian traders.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Rather plain and shoddily made type of socketed bronze axe produced in the period 600-650 BC at the very end of the Bronze Age of northern France (Hallstatt II). Mostly found in large hoards, in which few examples appear to have been finished or used. This has led to the suggestion that they were somehow connected with emergency trade in metal rather than finished products.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arpachiyah, Tell CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite in Iraq near Mosul on the Tigris inhabited in the Halaf and Ubaid periods (mid-6th to early 4th millennium BC). The Halaf settlements yielded a long potterysequence and circular buildings with some rectangular antechambers on cobbled streets. The function of these buildings is unknown. The site appears to have been a specialized artisan village making the fine polychrome pottery. In addition to the painted polychrome wares, other finds include steatite pendants and small stone discs with incised designs, probably early stamp seals. There was pottery of northern Ubaidstyle and fine Halafpottery, and stone amulets and figurines.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Chalcolithic-to-Roman site in eastern Anatolia with monuments of the Syro-Hittites (early 1st millennium BC) and earlier settlements of the Late Urukperiod (mid-4th millennium BC).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Askalon, Askelon CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Philistine city on the southern coast of Palestine, southwest of Jerusalem. Excavations have uncovered remains of the Roman period, with some small areas of Philistine levels. Egyptian texts describe Ascalon as one of the cities that revolted against Rameses II. During the Roman period, Ascalon was the birthplace of Herod the Great. It flourished during that time and was occupied in the Byzantine and Arab periods.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Palestinian site of the Late Bronze Age with artifacts of Egyptian and Cypriote origin. There was an Iron Age Philistine city and material from the Roman period.
Ashoka (d 238 BC?)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: also Asoka, Asokan CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: The last major emperor of the Mauryan empire of India in the 3rd century BC. He started out as a bloody tyrant, but underwent a spiritual crisis and became a Buddhist, furthering the expansion of that religion throughout India. His reign was c 265-238 BC but has also been given as c 273-232 BC. His kingdom included most of modern Pakistan and India, except the extreme south. Many monuments survive from his period: stupas, rock-cut temples, and commemorative pillars. A series of inscriptions, enshrining Buddhist teaching, survives on rock faces and stone pillars in various parts of the empire.
Ashurnasirpal II (fl. 8th century BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Assurnasirpal II CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: King of Assyria 883-859 BC, who consolidated the conquests of his father, Tukulti-Ninurta II, and commanded the last period of Assyrian power before the establishment of the New Assyrian Empire. His military expeditions took him as far as the Mediterranean and, according to his own testimony, he was a brilliant general and administrator. He set the standards of military achievement and brutality which made the Assyrians feared throughout the Near and Middle East. The details of his reign are known almost entirely from his own inscriptions and the reliefs in the ruins of his palace at Calah (now Nimrud, Iraq). He refounded Calah as a military capital beside Assur and Nineveh. By 879 BC the main palace in the citadel, the temples of Ninurta and Enlil, shrines for other deities, and the city wall had been completed. Botanic gardens and a zoological garden were laid out, and water supplied by a canal from the Great Zab River. His son and successor, Shalmaneser III (858-824 BC) expanded the empire.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Greek bag"" CATEGORY: artifact; ceramics DEFINITION: An assymetric vessel, often squat and duck-shaped, with an off-center mouth, convex top, and single arching handle. It was originally shaped like a leather bottle (uter) for holding water, oil, or wine. Some example have two mouths, one for filling and one for emptying, and others are quite unbalanced and have strange mouths. It later assumed the form of an earthenwarepitcher. Askos were popular in the Aegean from the Early Helladic to the Classical period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Eshnunna CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The ancient city of Eshnunna on the Diyala River of Iraq, inhabited from the Uruk to Old Babylonian period. Excavations here have provided the archaeological definition of the Early Dynastic and Akkadian periods. In the early 2nd millennium BC, Tell Asmar was the center of the kingdom of Eshnunna.
CATEGORY: artifact; term DEFINITION: A group of objects of different or similar types found in closeassociation with each other and thus considered to be the product of one people from one period of time. Where the assemblage is frequently repeated and covers a reasonably full range of human activity, it is described as a culture; where it is repeated but limited in content, e.g. flint tools only (a set of objects in one medium), it is called an industry. When a group of industries are found together in a single archaeologicalcontext, it is called an assemblage. Such a group characterizes a certain culture, era, site, or phase and it is the sum of all subassemblages. Assemblage examples are artifacts from a site or feature.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Assyrians CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The name of three different empires dating from about 2000-600 BC, the city-state of Assur, and the people inhabiting this northeastern area of Mesopotamia. Originally Semitic nomads in northern Mesopotamia, they finally settled around Assur and accepted its tutelary god as their own. After the fall of the 3rd Dynasty of Ur (2004 BC), Assyria seems to have become an independent city-state and important as middleman in international trade. In its period of greatness, 883-612 BC, there was continuous war in Assyria to keep the empire's lands which at their widest extended from the Nile to near the Caspian, and from Cilicia to the Persian Gulf (Egypt, much of the area to the west as far as the Mediterranean, Elam to the east and parts of Anatolia to the north). Its greatest kings were all warriors, Ashurnasirpal II, Shalmaneser III, Tiglathpileser III, Sargon II, Sennacherib, and Ashurbanipal, who made the name of Assyria feared throughout the ancient East through their military skill and brutality. The main achievements in Assyria, outside warfare, were in architecture and sculpture, particularly the protective winged bulls, etc., which guarded all palace entrances, and the magnificent reliefs of battles, hunts, and military processions which adorned the walls. Assurnasirpal II (833-859 BC) transferred the center of government to Calah (Nimrud). The fortunes of the empire rose and fell under the kings of the 9th-7th centuries: Assurbanipal (668-627 BC) reconquered Egypt, but in 614 BC the empire fell when the Medes invaded Assyria, captured Calah, and destroyed Assur.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: One of the two main dialects of ancient Mesopotamia, used in the north. A Semiticlanguage very close to Babylonian, from which it is thought to have diverged at the end of the 2nd millennium. Assyrian probably disappeared with the destruction of Assyria in 7th century BC. Old Assyriancuneiform is attested mostly in the records of Assyrian trading colonists in central Asia Minor (c. 1950 BC; the so-called Cappadocian tablets) and Middle Assyrian in an extensive Law Code and other documents. The Neo-Assyrian period was the great era of Assyrian power, and the writing culminated in the extensive records from the library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh (c. 650 BC).
CATEGORY: culture; chronology DEFINITION: A culture and period in Japanese history during which the development of art, the introduction of Buddhism from Korea, and the adoption of a Chinese pattern of government were important. Located in the southwestern part of the Nara Basin (Yamato Plain), the culture flourished from 552-645 AD. In art history, the Asukaculture refers to early Buddhist art and architecture in the Northern Wei style. In chronology, the Asukaperiod refers more to the reign of Soga family during which Buddhism was promoted and a formal administrative structure with diplomatic relations was introduced. Many old temples and palaces are surviving examples of Asuka architecture, sculpture, and paintings.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Alalakh CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A mound on the Amuq plain of northern Syria (southeastern Turkey), next to the River Orontes and identified as the ancient city of Alalakh with occupation levels from the 4th-late 2nd millennium BC. Seventeen building phases spanned c 3400-1200 BC, including a long Copper Age, a period as an independent state, and one as a provincial capital of the Hittites. There was a mix of cultural influences from Mesopotamia and the Aegean. Atchana was wealthy from trade and from the timber of the Amanus Mountains. Woolley discovered the remains of a small kingdom of largely Hurrian population. In level VII, dated to the 18th and 17th centuries BC, was the palace of Yaram-Lim II (Yamhad) demonstrating an early form of Syrian architecture in which stone, timber and mud-brick were all used. Another palace was excavated in level IV, of the late 15th and early 14th centuries, belonging to Niqmepa, with rooms around a central court and a large number of tablets in Akkadiancuneiform. The tablets describe trading with cities such as Ugarit and the HittitecapitalHattusas, involving food products such as wheat, wine, and olive oil. Later in the 14th century the city fell to the Hittites and became a provincial capital of the Hittite empire. It was eventually abandoned after destruction c 1200 BC, perhaps at the hands of the Peoples Of The Sea.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: Pottery produced in Athens from the Late Geometric period of monumental craters and amphorae through the Hellenistic period. The best known is the figure-decorated pottery of the Archaic and Classical periods that was widely exported along with plain wares.
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: atlantes (plural) telamon (Latin), caryatid (female) CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In Greek architecture, male figures which were so called for the story of Titan Atlas, in which humans were used instead of columns to support entablatures, balconies, or other projections. Such figures are posed as if supporting great weights, just as Atlas was bearing the world. The female counterpart is the caryatid, but it is not similarly posed. The earliest known examples of true atlantes occur on a colossal scale in the Greek temple of Zeus (c 500 BC) in Sicily. Atlantes were used only rarely in the Middle Ages but reappeared in the Mannerist and Baroque periods.
Avebury, Lord (formerly Sir John Lubbock) (1834-1913)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: British archaeologist whose book Prehistoric Times" (7 editions between 1865-1913) achieved bestseller status. An early convert to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution Lord Avebury popularized prehistory both as a term and a subject. He introduced the words "Palaeolithic" (old) and "Neolithic" (new) thereby expanding the three-age system (Thomsen and Worsaae) to a four-age system dividing the Stone Age into old and new periods. He also interpreted cultural change as evidence of invasion from the east and the development of society as the result of economic advance."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: axe factory CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: An often isolated outcrop of high-quality rock in Europe during the Neolithicperiod. These sources were exploited for the production of polished stone axes and this became an important industry of the time. The tools were roughly flaked at the factory sites and traded, either as blanks or as finished axes. There were many ax factories in Britain's highlands, northern Ireland, and northwest France. Microscopic analysis is used to identify the rocks by their distinctive crystalline structure, which has enabled the trading networks to be reconstructed.
CATEGORY: culture; language DEFINITION: A large South American tribal group occupying the Titicaca plateau (central Andes) in the Late Intermediate Period -- and the language spoken by them. The Aymaralanguage is still spoken some parts of Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. The Aymara kingdoms" -- Canchi Colla Lupaca Collagua Ubina Pacasa Caranga Charca Quillaca Omasuyo and Collahuaya -- fought amongst themselves but also shared cultural characteristics. Some of these characteristics appear to have been incorporated into the Inca political system such as classstratification a powerful ruling class and chullpa burials. The peoples lived by cultivating tubers and herding alpaca and llama."
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Mesolithic (or Epi-Palaeolithic) culture of southwest France and northern Spain, which seems to follow the Late Magdalenian of the area. It falls within the Late Glacial Period and may be correlated with the Allerod oscillation of the 10th millennium BC (c 9000 to 8000 BC). The culture was characterized by flint microliths, pebbles painted with schematic designs, small thumb-scrapers, fish hooks, and flat boneantler harpoons. It is named for Le Mas d'Zail, a massive cave region in southern France where such artifacts were first discovered in 1889. The Azilians were food gatherers who had domesticated the dog. The Oban and Oransay cultures are degenerated Azilian.
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: Bab-ilu (Babylonian), Bab-ilim (Old Babylonian), Bavel or Babel (Hebrew), Atlal Babil (Arabic) CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: One of the most famous cities of antiquity, the capital of southern Mesopotamia (Babylonia) from the early 2nd millennium to the early 1st millennium BC and capital of the Neo-Babylonian (Chaldean) Empire in the 7th and 6th centuries BC. It was located about 80 km south of Baghdad, Iraq on the Euphrates River. Babylon was occupied from the 3rd millennium BC, but it first reached prominence under King Hammurabi (reigned 1792-1750 BC), who made it the capital of his empire. (Hammurabi is best known for his code of laws.) Babylon was destroyed by the Hittites c 1595 BC and ruled by the Kassites until c 1157 BC. The city had frequent wars with Elam and Assyria during several short-lived dynasties until the 11th and last dynasty (626-539 BC), when the city was at its highest development and largest size. This last dynasty -- that of Nebuchadnezzar -- was instrumental in destroying Assyria and it conquered lands from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean before being overthrown by Cyrus in 539 BC. It continued in existence through the Achaemenid period, though with much reduced importance, until its abandonment in 641 AD after the Muslim conquest. The city itself covered around 200 hectares and had a population of about 100,000. Excavations beginning at the turn of the 20th century revealed the city's plan and scanty remains of the ziggurat, the original Tower of Babel. The high water table, which has risen in the last few millennia, allowed those excavators (R. Koldewey from 1899-1917) access to only buildings of the Neo-Babylonian period. The ruins, including temples (some for Marduk, the city's patron deity), fortifications, palaces, and the substructure of the Hanging Gardens, have not held up well over time, especially due to brick-robbing. The finest surviving monument is the Ishtar Gate and Procession Street. Important buildings excavated include Nebuchadnessar's palace, close to the Ishtar Gate, a huge building with many rooms arranged around five different courtyards. Another huge palace of Nebuchadnezzar's reign (605-562 BC) -- the 'Summer Palace' -- was constructed to the northwest of the Inner City and was enclosed by a triangular outer wall.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bactriana, Zariaspa CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: An ancient country (satrapy) lying in a fertile region between the mountains of the Hindu Kush (Paropamisus) and the Amu Darya (ancient Oxus River) in what is now part of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Bactria was especially important between c 600 BC-600 AD, as a center for meeting and trading between the East (China) and West (Mediterranean). It was a satrapy of the Achaemenid empire and was conquered by Alexander the Great in 329 BC. Many Greeks settled in Bactria in the Seleucid period which followed. . Consequently, Greek influence on the culture of central Asia and northwestern India was considerable, especially in art, architecture, coins, and writing. Bactria's capital was Bactra (also called Bactra-Zariaspa; probably modern Balkh, ancient Vahlika).
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: al-Bahriyah Oasis CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A fertile depression in the northeast Libyan Desert about 200 km west of the Nile. Archaeological remains date mainly from the early New Kingdom to the Roman period (c 1550 BC-395 AD).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An island in the Persian Gulf that has been identified with the ancient land of Dilmun (Telmun) of about 2000 BC, a prosperous trading center linking Sumeria with the Indus Valley. Written records of the archipelago exist in Assyrian, Persian, Greek, and Roman sources. Burial mounds in the north of Bahrain Island suggest a period of Sumerian influence in the 3rd millennium BC. There are densely packed fields of tumuli in Bahrain and at several places on the adjacent mainland. They are associated with densely packed complexes of cist burials. Excavation has shown the island to be an important link in the sea trade between that region and the Indus civilization. Two important sites in the north of the island belong to the 'Dilmunperiod': a walled town at Qala'at al-Bahrain and a complextemple building at Barbar. Among the finds of this period are circular steatitestamp 'Persian Gulf' seals, related to Indus Valley seals, but probably made locally.
CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: The Neolithicperiod of the Lake Baikal region in eastern Siberia. Stratified sites in the area show a long, gradual move from the Palaeolithic to Neolithicstage, starting in the 4th millennium BC. The Postglacial culture was not true" Neolithic in that it farmed but Neolithic in the sense of using pottery. It was actually a Mongoloid hunting-and-fishingculture (except in southern Siberia around the Aral Sea) with a microlithic flintindustry with polished-stoneblade tools together with antlerbone and ivory artifacts; pointed- or round-based pottery and the bow and arrow. Points and scrapers made on flakes of Mousterianaspect and pebble tools showing a survival of the ancient chopper-chopping tooltradition of eastern Asia have also been found. There was a woodworking and quartziteindustry and some cattle breeding. The first bronzes of the region are related to the Shangperiod of northern China and the earliest Ordos bronzes. The area covers the mountainous regions from Lake Baikal to the Pacific Ocean and the taiga (coniferous forest) and tundra of northern Siberia. A first stage is name for the site Isakovo and is known only from a small number of burials in cemeteries. The succeeding Serovo stage is also known mainly from burials with the addition of the compound bow backed with bone plates. The third phase named Kitoi has burials with red ochre and composite fish hooks possibly indicate more fishing. The succeeding Glazkovo phase of the 2nd millennium BC saw the beginnings of metal-using but generally showed continuity in artifact and burial types. Some remains of semi-subterranean dwellings with centrally located hearths occur together with female statuettes in bone."
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: ballcourt, ball court CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: The structure upon which the ball game was played in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. It 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.
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.
Ballana and Qustul
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Two Nubian necropolis sites on opposing sides of the Nile, 15 km south of Abu Simbel and now submerged under Lake Nassar. Ballana was the type site of a period which lasted from the decline of the Meroitic empire to the arrival of Christianity (c 350-700 AD). Some pictographic writingdating c 3400-3100 BC was discovered at Qustul on pottery, slate palettes, and stone. Qustul may have been one of the earliest places of state formation in the world when rulers of the A-Group culture adopted symbols of kingship similar to those of contemporary kings of Egypt's Naqadah II-III periods.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A large cave of southwestern Zimbabwe, where excavations have revealed a long sequence of occupation over the past 50,000 years. The site gives its name to a stoneindustry and potterytype, but they are widely separated periods. There are rock paintings on the cave walls and sheep bones, found in the same archaeological levels as pottery, have been dated to 150 BC. The Bambata industry, dated between the 50th-20th millennia BC, used prepared cores to produce (unretouched) flakes for scrapers and slender unifacial or bifacial lances or spear points. Its distribution extended north to Zambia and south to the Orange Free State and perhaps the Cape. Bambata potteryware is known only from contexts of the 1st millennium ad in Zimbabwe. It is elaborately decorated with stamped designs.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Large rectangular water reservoirs of the Angkorperiod in Khmer.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: a stone, wood, or other hard material which was used in the Precolumbian period to soften bark for making clothing or architecture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mammisi, bark CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A type of small temple in the shape of a Nile boat, which their prows and sterns decorated with the aegis of a god. The cabin contained the cult image of the deity. The term also refers to a small temple, attached to the main temples of the Late and Greco-Roman periods. These were where the god of the main temple was born" or if the main temple was dedicated to a goddess the bark shrine was where she bore her child."
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Type of large middle Bronze Age pot found within the overall repertoire of the Deverel-Rimbury ceramictradition of southern Britain in the period 1500 BC through to 1200 BC. Usually over 60cm high, barrel urns have a distinctive profile, wider in the middle than at the base or the rim, often with applied cordons that are decorated with finger-tip impressions. Found on domestic sites where they were presumably used as storage vessels and as containers for cremations often found as secondary burials in earlier round barrows.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: burial mound; tumulus; burial cairn CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A round or elongated mound of earth or stones used in early times to cover one or more burials; a grave mound. The mound is often surrounded by a ditch, and the burials may be contained within a cist, mortuary enclosure, mortuary house, or chamber tomb. There are two types, the long (elongated) and the round barrow (also known as tumuli). The former were built in the Late Stone Age, the latter in the Bronze Age, though burial under a round mound was occasionally practiced during the Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Viking periods.. The long barrow was a tribal or familyburialvault built of stone slabs, some weighing many tons, and covered with earth or stones. The large, round barrows were often communal. They are often found in prehistoric sites in Britain -- earthen (or unchambered) long barrows from the Early and Middle Neolithic (Windmill Hill Culture). Other long barrows were constructed over megalithic tombs of gallery grave types. Most of the British round barrows incorporate circles of stakes. Bowl barrows --- simple round mounds, often surrounded by a ditch --- were the most common form, used throughout the Bronze Age and sporadically also in the Iron Age. The Wessex Culture of the southern English Early Bronze Age was characterized by special types of barrows: bell, disk, saucer, and pond barrows. Bell barrows have relatively small mounds and a berm or gap between the mound and the ditch; disk barrows are very small mounds in the center of a circular open space, surrounded by a ditch; saucer barrows are low disk-like mounds occupying the entire space up to the ditch; while the oddly named pond barrows are not mounds at all, but circular dish-shaped enclosures surrounded by an external bank. The related term 'cairn' is used to describe a mound constructed exclusively of stone. Barrow burials occur also in Roman and post-Roman times: one of the most famous of all barrows in Britain is that covering the Anglo-Saxon boat burial at Sutton Hoo.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: su Nuraxi CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a nurage (towerlike monument) in southern Sardinia with a radiocarbon date for c 1800 BC which remained in occupation until the Roman period after being temporarily deserted in the 6th c BC. It began as a single tower c 17 meters high, and was later surrounded by a perimeter wall with a complex of smaller towers and a village of stone huts.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of dagger, usually used by civilians in the medieval period, with a H shaped hilt.
Basin of Mexico
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A basin enclosed by mountains with cultural remains as early as 19,000 BC at Tlapacoya and 15,000 BC at Tlatilco. The Basin contains the current capital, Mexico City, Mexico, the remains of Azteccapital of Tenochtitlán, and the cities of Cuicuilco and Teotihuacán. Dry farming, swidden agriculture, chinampas, and irrigation have been used to cultivate the area. Important periods in the area's prehistory were from c 100 BC-650 AD and from 1200-1520 AD, before the Spanish conquest.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Basketmakers CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Two early chronological periods of the early Puebloans or Anasazi -- 100-500 AD, followed by the Modified Basket Maker period, 500-700; They lived people in the Four Corners area (northwestern New Mexico, southwestern Colorado, southeastern Utah, and northeastern Arizona) of the U.S. The origin of the Basket Maker Indians is not known, but it is evident that when they first settled in the area they were already excellent basket weavers and that they were supplementing hunting and wild-seed gathering with the cultivation of maize and pumpkins. They lived either in caves or out in the open in shelters constructed of a masonry of poles and adobe mud. Both caves and houses contained special pits, often roofed over, that were used for food storage. The Basket Makers were among the first village agricultural societies in the Southwest. Three Basketmaker stages were recognized at the 1927 Pecos Conference of Southwesternists: Basketmaker I (hypothetical), Basketmaker II (1--450 AD) which was a large basecamp and widely scattered seasonal camps where the preferred container was the basket, and Basketmaker III (450--700/750) in which there were small villages of pit houses in well-watered valley bottoms. Specialized structures such as wattle-and-daub storage bins and large rooms for communal activity (possibly early kivas) also began to occur more frequently in the latter stage.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Per-Bastet, Bubastis CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a temple and town in the eastern NileDelta, about 80 km northeast of Cairo which flourished from the 4th Dynasty to the end of the Roman period (c 2614 BC-AD 395). The main monument at the site is the red granitetemple of the cat-goddess Bastet.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bastis, Bast, Ubasti CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: The ancient Lower Egyptian goddess worshipped in the form of a lioness, and later a cat. Bastet's form was often changed after the domestication of the cat around 1500 BC. Her principal cult center was Bubastis in the Nile River delta but she also had an important cult at Memphis. In the Late and Ptolemaic periods large cemeteries of mummified cats were created at both sites, and thousands of bronze statuettes of the goddess were put there as votive offerings. Her cult was carried to Italy by the Romans, and traces have been found in Rome, Ostia, Nemi, and Pompeii.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large architectural complexes of South America located in the Lambayeque valley of north coastal Peru. The site has more than 30 huge platform mounds with an estimated 750,000 burials -- most of them looted by treasure hunters who have taken immense quantities of gold, silver, copper, and bronze objects. Occupation at Batán Grande went from the Formative (Cupisnique) to the Incaperiod. The site was the capital of a powerful state between 850-1300 AD. With Batán Grande, Cerro de los Cementerios was a copper-processing area, linked to the Cerro Blanco mine by a prehistoricroad. Excavations have revealed metal artifacts, smelting furnaces, grinding slabs, crushed slag, and pottery blowtubes.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: battleship-shaped curve CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A lens-shaped seriation graph formed by plotted points representing artifact type frequencies. The rise in popularity of an artifact, its period of maximum popularity, and the artifact's eventual decline would be plotted, as well as its origin and disappearance.
CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: A large carnivore of the family Ursidae, closely related to the dog (family Canidae) and raccoon (Procyonidae). The bear is the most recently evolved of carnivores and it appears to have diverged from the dogfamily during the Miocene. It evolved through such forms as the Pliocene Hyaenarctos (of Europe, Asia, and North America), into modern types such as the black and brown bear (Ursus). Today's bears are of three groups: the brown bears, the black bears, and the polar bear. Occasional finds of fossil polar bear bones outside the Arctic Circle are presumably related to the presence of pack ice and ice shelves at the edges of ice sheets during glaciations. Brown bears existed in Europe and Asia during the late Quaternaryperiod. One very large variant evolved in Europe, the 'Cave Bear', whose fossils are quite common in Quaternary cave deposits.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: tholos CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: An architectural structure of the Mycenaean civilization, a pointed dome built up of overhanging (corbeled) blocks of conglomerate masonry cut and polished, often with an alley or approach and a great door. The rich or noble of the Bronze Age were buried in these sometimes enormous, perfectly proportioned vaults though they were built in the Shaft Grave Period as well, perhaps first in Messenia in the 16th century and then in Greece by the middle of the 15th century. The tholostomb has three parts: a narrow entranceway, or dromos, often lined with fieldstones and later with cut stones; a deep doorway, or stomion, covered over with one to three lintel blocks; and a circular chamber with a high vaulted or corbeled roof, the thalamos. Most tholos tombs have collapsed, often when the lintel cracked and gave way, and their contents have largely been looted
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in southern Israel which was a frontier post in ancient Palestine. The earliest occupations were in 12th and 11th centuries BC, but the first town belonged to the period of the United Monarchy (10th century). The 8th century BC town wall with a great gateway flanked by double guard chambers and external towers has been excavated. There was also a 15-meter ringroad inside the wall which divided the inner and outer towns. Beersheba may have been the administrative center of the region and there are indications of storerooms which may have contained the royal stores for the collection of taxes in kind (grain, wine, oil, etc.). The town was destroyed in the mid-7th century BC. Beersheba is first mentioned as the site where Abraham, founder of the Jewish people, made a covenant with the Philistine king Abimelech of Gerar (Genesis 21). Isaac and Jacob, the other patriarchs, also lived there (Genesis 26, 28, 46).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Per-hebyt, Iseum CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A town in the northern central NileDelta which flourished in the 30th Dynasty (380-343 BC) and the Ptolemaic period (332-30 BC). The site is dominated by the remains of a large granitetemple of Isis.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pei-ching, Peking CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The modern capital of China. More than 2,000 years ago, a site just outside present-day Peking was already an important military and trading center for the northeastern frontier of China. The Shangcivilization reached this area in the early part of their dynasty and a grave of c 14th century BC at Pinggu Liujiacun contained bronzeritual vessels and a bronze ax with a blade of forged meteoritic iron. There have been many early Zhou finds, notably at the cemeterysite of Fangshan Liulihe. In 1267, during the Yüan (Mongol) dynasty (1206-1368), a new city built on the site (called Ta-tu) which became the administrative capital of China. During the reigns of the first two emperors of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), Nanking was the capital, and the old Mongolcapital was renamed Pei-p'ing (Northern Peace"); the third Ming emperor however restored it as the Imperial seat of the dynasty and gave it a new name Peking ("Northern Capital"). Peking has remained the capital of China except for a brief period (1928-49) when the Nationalist government again made Nanking the capital (then to Chungking during World War II)."
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Any of the inhabitants of Gaul north of the Sequana and Matrona (Seine and Marne) rivers of mixed Celtic and Germanic origin, first described by Julius Caesar in mid-first century BC. Their origins on the continent can be traced back to the La Tène period in the 5th century BC and evidence suggests that the Romans penetrated into those areas about 150 BC. In Caesar's day, they held much of Belgium and parts of northern France and southeast England. The Belgae of Gaul formed a coalition against Caesar after his first Gallic campaign but were subdued the following year (57 BC). During the first half of the 1st century BC, Belgae from the Marne district had crossed to Britain and had formed the kingdom that in 55 BC was ruled by Cassivellaunus. After further Gallic victories (54-51 BC) by Caesar, other settlers took refuge across the Channel, and Belgic culture spread to most of lowland Britain. The three most important Belgic kingdoms, identified by their coinage, were centered at Colchester, St. Albans, and Silchester. Archaeologically, the Belgae can be identified with the bearers of the Aylesford-Swarling culture, otherwise known as Iron Age C. Coinage, the heavy plow, and the potter's wheel were introduced by the Belgae. They lived in large fortified settlements called oppida and amphorae and Italian bronze vessels have been found in their richly furnished tombs.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: toggle CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Small decorative and functional objects used as garment hooks in China, Korea, and other Near Eastern areas as early as the 7th century BC. Belt hooks have been found in Han tombs in southwestern China, but this luxury item was most in vogue during the Warring States period (5th-3rd centuries BC). These belt hooks were inlaid with gold or silver foil, polished fragments of turquoise, or more rarely with jade or glass; sometimes they were gilded. Most examples are bronze, often lavishly decorated with inlays, but some are made of jade, gold, or iron. The belt hook consists of a bar or flat strip curving into a hook at one end and carrying at the other end, on the back, a button for securing it to the belt. The hooks vary widely in size, shape, and design, and although contemporary sculptures sometimes show them at the waists of human figures, some examples are far too large to have been worn and their function is unclear. Textual evidence hints that the belt hook was adopted by the Chinese from the mounted nomads of the northern frontier of inner Asia, perhaps along with other articles of the horseman's costume. They were probably worn by both men and women.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Edo CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Capital and largest city of Edo state, Nigeria, which rose to prominence in the 13th century. A series of massive city wall, over 100 km in length, was constructed. The Portuguese first visited in 1485 and it was burned down and ransacked for nearly 2,500 of its famous bronzes in 1897 when the British occupied the city. Benin City is known for the fine practice the ancient method of cire perdue (lost-wax") bronze castings mostly relief plaques and near life-size human heads produced over a long period. Traces of the old wall and moat remain."
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.
Bering Land Bridge
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The present-day floor of the Chukchi and Bering Seas, which emerged as dry land during Late Pleistoceneglacial advances. It is the only route for faunal exchange between Eurasia and North America as it united Siberia and Alaska. It seems to have been breached only in the past 2.5 million years, with the earliest immigrants crossing it about 40,000-15,000 years ago. They were part of a migratory wave that later reached as far south as South America (about 10,000 years ago). During the Ice Age the sea level fell by several hundred feet, making the strait into a land bridge between Asia and North America, over which a considerable migration of plants and animals, as well as man, occurred. That period also allowed the transit of cold water currents from the Pacific into the Atlantic.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The part of the continental shelf that connects Northeast Asia with present-day Alaska. These were the polar continental shelves that escaped glaciation during the ice ages but which were exposed during periods of low sea level, which facilitated migration of people to North America from Asia, and in the Laptev and East Siberian seas. When exposed at the time of the last glacial maximum, it was a large, flat, vegetated landmass. In 1993, investigations on the climatic interstadial of 11,000-12,000 years ago in Beringia (now submerged under the Bering Strait) and the way it provided for the peopling of the New World from Asia were reported. Traces of starch from an apparently domesticated variety of the taro plant on flint tools from the Solomon Islands suggested that conscious planting was being done in the Pacific as long ago as 28,000 years before the present.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: American Paleo-Arctic CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A culture in existence approximately 12,000 years ago between Siberia and temperate Alaska. The term was used by H. West to cover various Alaskan and Siberian archaeological formations which had developed from the Siberian Upper Paleolithic period, an area now largely submerged under the Bering Strait. Chronologically these formations lie between the middle of the Holoceneperiod (c 35,000-9/10,000 BP), depending on the area. West's categorization includes the Bel'kachi, Diuktai, and Lake Ushki cultures in Siberia, the Denalian culture and American Paleo-Arctic formations in Alaska and the Yukon. Although Alaska is generally thought to be the gateway through which humans entered the New World, the earliest undisputed evidence for people there dates later than 12,000 years ago, well after the climax of the last major glacial advance but while glaciers still covered much of Arctic Canada. Artifacts of 11,500 to 9,000 years ago are known from a number of Alaskan sites, where hunters of caribou (and, in one case, of an extinct form of bison) manufactured blades.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bet She'an, Baysan (Arabic), Beisan (modern); Scythopolis CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A very large tell of northeastern Israel, site of one of the oldest inhabited cities of ancient Palestine. Overlooking the town to the north is Tel Bet She'an (Arabic Tall al-Husn), one of the most important stratified mounds in Palestine. It was excavated in 1921-1933 by the University of Pennsylvania, which discovered the lowest strata date from the late Chalcolithicperiod in the country (c 4000-3000 BC) through Bronze Age and Iron Age levels and upward to Byzantine times (c AD 500). Buildings, including temples and administrative buildings, span the Egyptian period -- the earliest from the time of Thutmose III (ruled 1504-1450 BC), and the latest dating to Rameses III (1198-66 BC). Important stelae (stone monuments) show the conquests of Pharaoh Seti I (1318-1304 BC) and of the worship of the goddess Astarte. During the Hellenistic period, the city was called Scythopolis; it was taken by the Romans in 64 BC and given the status of an imperial free city by Pompey. In 1960 a finely preserved Roman amphitheater, with a seating capacity for about 5,000, was excavated. The city was an important center of the Decapolis (a league of 10 Hellenistic cities) and under Byzantine rule was the capital of the northern province of Palaestina Secunda. All these periods were also represented in the surrounding cemeteries. It declined after the Arab conquest (636 AD).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: beveled rim bowl CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A widespread, crudely made conicalpottery vessel formed in a mold and having a sloped rim, characteristic of the Late Urukperiod.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tell on the upper Meander River of southwestern Anatolia (western Turkey) which has yielded evidence from the Chalcolithic to Late Bronze Age and of a culture contemporary with the Hittite empire. It is thought to have been the capital of the 2nd-millennium BC state of Arzawa. From the Chalcolithic, there was a cache of sophisticated copper tools and a silverring, the earliest known use of that metal. Buildings that were religious shrines have been uncovered, almost unknown in Anatolia at those times. Rectangular shrine chambers were arranged in pairs, with ritual installations recalling the Horns of Consecration and Tree, or Pillar, cults of MinoanCrete. A palace building at the same site, dating from the Middle Bronze Age (c 1750 BC), Beycesultan's most prosperous period, had reception rooms at first-floor level, also in the Minoan manner. In common with most other Bronze Age buildings in Anatolia, its walls were composed of a brick-filled timber framework on stone foundations. The private houses of this period at Beycesultan were all built on the megaron plan. The whole settlement and a lower terrace on the river was enclosed by a perimeter wall. The town was violently destroyed and though it was rebuilt, it remained relatively poor into the Late Bronze Age.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Mont Beurvray CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Iron Age Gallic town and oppidum in central France. It was the capital of the Aedui tribe at the time of Caesar and the site where he defeated the Helvetii tribe, the climax of his first campaign in Gaul (58 BC). Augustus moved the inhabitants to his new town Augustodunum (Autun), about 30 km away, in 12 BC. Excavations in the 19th century revealed remains of both the Iron age settlement and the Roman period, including a large temple, houses, and metalworking workshops. Imported objects such as coins, amphorae, black and red glazepotterydating to before the Roman conquest have been found, indicating that Bibracte was a major trading and production center in the late Iron Age.
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.
CATEGORY: flora; fauna DEFINITION: A complex (biotic) community of plants and animals established over a large geographic area and characterized by the distinctive lifeforms of certain species which live in harmony together and have a certain unity. The biome is a plant-plus-animal formation that is composed of a plant matrix together with all the associated animals. The term specifically applies to such a community in a prehistoricperiod. Examples are the oak/deer biome or the spruce/moose biome of North America.
Bird, Junius Bouton (1907-1982)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: An American archaeologist who worked in South America at Fell's Cave (Tierra del Fuego) on establishing the presence of Palaeoindians on the continent. He also worked in northern Chile's Atacama region and Huaca Prieta in Peru, where he established the Preceramic Period of that area. His specialty was the study of textiles.
CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: The name of two species of wild oxen, the European bison or wisent and the American bison or buffalo. Only a small number of European bison now exist, bred from zoo specimens, and in a protected state in forest of Lithuania. Two further species, now extinct, inhabited Europe and Great Britain for much of the Quaternaryperiod. The great steppe wisent was present during both interglacials and cold period. The smaller wood wisent, was only present in Europe during interglacials. Sometimes these animals are called aurochs. In North America, a number of species preceded today's bison. One species, popularly called 'buffalo', formerly roamed in vast herds over the interior of the continent, mainly in the Rocky Mountains.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: black-glossed CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A style of potterydecoration in which plain wares are given a black sheen, which continued well into the Hellenistic period -- especially in Athens from the 6th-2nd centuries BC. These wares were often made alongside figure-decorated pottery and from the 5th century BC, the shapes were frequently of stamped decoration. In the 4th century BC, rouletting was also used.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: The deeply stratified type site for the Clovis point and Llanocomplex, located near Clovis, New Mexico, with evidence of occupation from the earliest Paleo-Indian through the Archaic period. Clovis points have been found associated with mammoth bones and Folsom points have been found with bison bones. Also found: Agate Basin points, Cody complex points, a Frederick point, and tools of the Archaic period. Blackwater Draw is also used to evaluate the chronological sequences at other sites. The Blackwater Draw Museum exhibits 12,000-year-old artifacts from the area's archaeological sites.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: blade tool; blade-~ (used attributively) CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A long, narrow, sharp-edged, thin flake of stone, used especially as a tool in prehistoric times. This flake is detached by striking from a prepared core, often with a hammer. Its length is usually at least twice the width. The blade may be a tool in itself, or may be the blank from which a two-edged knife, burin, or spokeshave is manufactured. This term, then, is used by archaeologists in several ways: (1) It can refer to a fragment of stone removed from a parent core. The blade is used to manufacture artifacts in what is known as the blade and core industry". (2) That portion of an artifact usually a projectile point or a knife beyond the base or tang. (3) In certain cultures small artifacts are called microblades. It was a great technological advance when it was discovered that a knapper could make more than one tool from a chunk of stone. The Châtelperronian and Aurignacian were the earliest of the known blade cultures -- associated with the arrival of modern humans. Industries in which many of the tools are made from blades became prominent at the start of the Upper Palaeolithicperiod. A typical blade has parallel sides and regular scars running down its back parallel with the sides. A 'backed blade' is a blade with one edge blunted by the removal of tiny flakes. Blades led to another invention -- the handle. A handle made it easier and much safer to manipulate a sharp two-edged blade."
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A flint or stonecore from which blades have been struck. Such cores are typically conical or pyramidal in shape; to produce regular even blades a certain degree of preparation is needed as well as periodic rejuvenation. Both these activities produce their own distinctive debitage.
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: Peat that forms in areas of high rainfall that is not dependent on groundwater but receives all its moisture from the atmosphere. It can form on higher ground like plateaus. In periods of climatic change, blanket peat alters its nature, such as by developing tree cover in drier periods and then recurring as a bog when rainfall increases. In a peatbog of this type there may be well-preserved evidence of human activity and organic material in the drier times which is later covered by renewed peat growth.
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."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Caves discovered in 1975 in the northern Yukon, Canada, which may be the oldest archaeological site in North America. There are deposits of the late glacialperiod and some artifacts associated with woolly mammoth, Dall sheep, reindeer, and other vertebrates. The radiocarbon dates of bone fragments range from 25,000-12,000 bp. Evidence of human occupation is from at least 13,000-10,000 bp. There was a wedge-shaped microcore, microblades, and burins similar to those from Siberia of the same time. The lowest levels of 20,000 bp have debitage flakes and large numbers of cut and butchered animal bones.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Boat-axe culture, Boat Axe culture CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A culture of eastern Scandinavia found in the late Neolithic Period, c 2000 BC, that was an outlier of the European Battle-Ax cultures. This single-grave culture spread rapidly through Sweden, Finland, and the Danish islands. The people displayed the aspects of a homogeneous culture, with central European trade links. Its characteristic weapon is a slender stone battle-ax shaped like a simple boat with upturned ends. The term 'Boat-ax culture' is sometimes used for the east Scandinavian variant of the Single Grave or Corded Ware culture in which these axes occur.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, there is evidence of a variety of longhouse with bowed sides during the Vikingperiod. The finest examples have been excavated at 11th-century Viking camps such as Trelleborg in southern Jutland. A reconstructed example there has walls made of halved tree trunks set in rows, with the curved face outwards as in stave churches. A series of angled posts around the outside acted as buttresses and gave additional support to the gabled roof with its curved ridge. The roof may have been covered in wooden shingles, thatch, or turf. There is considerable variation in boat-shaped houses, depending on function and location. Two British examples are a boat-shaped building in Hamwih and another in Bucken.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bononia; Felsina CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city in the Po valley of northern Italy, originally the Etruscan Felsina, which was occupied by Gauls in the 4th century BC and became a Roman colony and municipium (Bononia) c 190 BC. Traces of street plans survive, as do cemeteries with trench-typeinhumation and cremation. Finds include sandstone grave stelae and many grave goods. Prior to the Etruscan inhabitation, there were villages of the Apennine culture, which were succeeded by Villanovans. During that time it was a bronzeworking and trade center. It was then subject to the Greeks, then the papacy, then occupied by the Visigoths, Huns, Goths, and Lombards after the barbarian invasions. After a feudal period, Bologna became free in the early 12th century.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bonompak CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A small, Late Classic Period (c 800 AD) Mayasite and ceremonial center in Chiapas, a satellite of Yaxchilán located on a tributary of the Usumacinta. The discovery in 1946 of the magnificent murals in the rooms of an otherwise modest structure astounded the archaeological world. From the floors to vault capstones, its stuccoed walls were covered with highly realistic polychrome scenes of a jungle battle, the arraignment of prisoners, and victory ceremonies. These shed an entirely new light on the nature of Maya society, which up until then had been considered peaceful. These murals are the most complete graphic portrayal of Maya life known. Hieroglyphs also occur frequently and the whole collection is seen as a continuous narrative.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bonneville period CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A time in the late Pleistocene Epoch about 30,000 years ago when a prehistoric lake formed covering an estimated 20,000 square miles (52,000 sq km), over much of western Utah and parts of Nevada and Idaho in the US. These conditions existed during the interval of the last major Pleistoceneglaciation. Lake Bonneville shrank rapidly in size and, by 12,000 years ago, had permanently shrunk to a point where it had become smaller than the Great Salt Lake.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Boreal Climatic Interval CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A climatic subdivision of the Holocene epoch, following the Pre-Boreal and preceding the Atlantic climatic intervals. Radiocarbon dating shows the period beginning about 9,500 years ago and ending about 7,500 years ago. The Boreal was supposed to be warm and dry. In Europe, the Early Boreal was characterized by hazel-pine forest assemblages and lowering sea levels. In the Late Boreal, hazel-oak forest assemblages were dominant, but the seas were rising. In some areas, notably the North York moors, southern Pennines and lowland heaths, Mesolithic man appears to have been responsible for temporary clearances by fire and initiated the growth of moor and heath vegetation.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The largest island of Southeast Asia, first mentioned in Ptolemy's Guide to Geography" of c 150 AD. Joined to mainland Southeast Asia during the low sea-levelPleistoceneperiodarchaeological sequences have been found in the Niah Caves of Sarawak and the Madai-Tingkayu region of Sabah. The Niah Great Cave sequence suggests the presence of a population of early Australoids from about 40 000 years ago and evidence from all sites indicate that the ancestors of present-day Borneans arrived around 3000 BC possibly from the Philippines. Though traces of Homo erectus from 2 million years ago were found on neighboring Java so far no evidence has been found of Homo erectus in Borneo. Roman trade beads and Indo-Javanese artifacts give evidence of a flourishing civilizationdating to the 2nd or 3rd century BC. A Sanskritinscription dated to c 400 AD is the earliest historical document on the island. Three rough foundation stones with an inscription recording a gift to a Brahman priest date from the early 5th century AD found at Kutai provide evidence of a Hindu kingdom. The first recorded European visitor was Franciscan friar Odoric of Pordenone who visited on his way from India to China in 1330."
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A Chinese incense burner (lu) with a lid designed to represent mountain peaks, such as Boshan, a mountain in Shangdong province. They are stemmed bowls of pottery or bronze with a perforated conical lid. Most examples date from the western Han period. One from the tomb of Liu sheng (d.113 BC) at Mancheng, is inlaid with gold.
Boucher (de Crèvecoeur) de Perthes, Jacques (1788-1868)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Boucher de Perthes CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: French archaeologist and writer who was the first to develop the idea that prehistory could be measured on the basis of periods of geological time. In 1837, in the Somme Valley, he discovered flint hand axes and other stone tools along with the bones of extinct mammals in deposits of the Pleistocene Epoch (or Ice Age, ending about 10,000 years ago). Boucher de Perthes was the first to draw attention to the Stone Age's revolutionary significance, because at the time, 4004 BC was still believed to be the year of the creation. His claims that these objects were the tools of ancient man and that they occurred in association with the bones of extinct animals were ridiculed. In 1859, Boucher de Perthes's conclusions were finally upheld by a group of eminent British scientists, including Charles Lyell, Hugh Falconer, John Preswich, and John Evans, who visited the excavated sites. His archaeological writings include De la Création: essai sur l'origine et la progression des êtres" (1838-41) and "Antiquités Celtiques et Antédiluviennes" (1847-64)."
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A clayey deposit of the Ice Age which contains boulders. Also, the clay of the Glacial or Drift period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Brak, Tall Birak at-Tahtani CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tell on the upper Khabur River in Syria which had an Akkadian fortress and garrison and was occupied from at least the Halaf and Ubaidperiod until the mid-2nd millennium BC. On the Syrian-Iraqi border, it was a powerful fortress on the imperial line of communication and its most important remains are the four 'Eye Temples' of the Jemdet Nasr period, c 3000 BC. They are so-called for the large number of small, flat alabaster figurines of which the eyes are the only recognizable features. Eye temples were decorated with claycones, copper panels, and gold work, in a style very similar to that found in the contemporary temples of Sumer. Halaf, Ubaid, and Uruk sherds have been found. When the site became a frontier post of the kingdom of Akkad, a palace was built by Naram-Sin c 2280 BC, and it became a depot for the storage of tribute and loot. The city was plundered after the fall of the Akkadian empire, but the palace was rebuilt in the Ur III period by Ur Nammu. A Roman fort was built there later.
Breasted, James Henry (1865-1935)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: American Egyptologist, archaeologist, and historian who excavated Megiddo (Armageddon), established ancient Egyptian historical periods, and founded University of Chicago's Oriental Institute (1919). Breasted promoted research on ancient Egypt and the ancient civilizations of western Asia as well as compiled a record of every known Egyptian hieroglyphicinscription and published a translation of these in a five-volume work, Ancient Records of Egypt" (1906). He led expeditions to Egypt and the Sudan (1905-1907) and copied inscriptions from monuments that had been previously inaccessible or were perishing. The Oriental Institute is a renowned center for the study of the ancient cultures of southwest Asia and the Middle East. His other books included "History of Egypt" (1905) and "Ancient Times" (1916) and "Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt" (1912). His excavation at Megiddo uncovered a large riding stable thought to have been King Solomon's and one at Persepolis yielded some Achaemenid sculptures."
Breuil, Abbé Henri (1877-1961)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Breuil, Henri-Édouard-Prosper CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A French archaeologist who was regarded as an authority on prehistoric cave paintings of Europe and Africa. He devoted much of his life to studying examples of prehistoric art in southern France, northern Spain, and southern Africa. Breuil was a fine draftsman, and his greatest contributions were in the recording and interpretation of cave art in more than 600 publications. He proposed a series of four successive art styles, based on the superposition of paintings found in many caves, and held the view that the purpose of the paintings was sympathetic magic, to ensure success in hunting. Breuil fit the Aurignacianculture into its right place within the French Palaeolithicsequence and was responsible for working out the chronologies of French Upper and Middle Paleolithic periods.
Brongniart, Alexandre (1770-1847)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: French mineralogist, geologist, and naturalist, who first arranged the geologic formations of the Tertiary Period (from 66.4-1.6 million years ago) in chronological order and described them. Brongniart helped introduce the principle of geologic dating by the identification of distinctive fossils found in each geological stratum.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The second age of the Three Age System, beginning about 4000-3000 BC in the Mideast and about 2000-1500 BC in Europe. It followed the Stone Age and preceded the Iron Age and was defined by a shift from stone tools and weapons to the use of bronze. During this time civilization based on agriculture and urban life developed. Trading to obtain tin for making bronze led to the rapid diffusion of ideas and technological improvements. The Iron Age began about 1500 BC in the Mideast and 900 BC in Europe. Bronze artifacts were valued highly and became part of many hoards. In the Americas, true bronze was used in northern Argentina before 1000 AD and it spread to Peru and the Incas. Bronze was never as important in the New World as in the Old. The Bronze Age is often divided into three periods: Early Bronze Age (c 4000-2000 BC), Middle Bronze Age (c 2000-1600 BC), and Late Bronze Age (c 1600-1200 BC) but he chronological limits and the terminology vary from region to region.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bubanj-Hum CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Late Neolithicculture of late 4th to early 3rd millennia BC in the Morava valley of eastern Yugoslavia, close to Nis. The site, on a gravelterrace of a river, was first excavated in the 1950s and the culture is derived from the Vinca and closely related to Salcuta in Romania. The main periods recognized include the early NeolithicStarcevo with graphite painted ware and Vinca-like dark burnished ware; a phase of Badenpottery; and an Early Bronze Age occupation.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Wasserburg Buchau CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Late Bronze Age settlement site in southern Germany with two Urnfield period occupations. There were single-room buildings and a larger two-roomed building in one occupation; the second settlement had nine complexes of large multi-room houses with outbuildings.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Type of large middle Bronze Age pot found within the overall repertoire of the Deverel-Rimbury ceramictradition of southern Britain in the period 1500 BC through to 1200 BC. Usually over 60cm high, bucket urns are shaped like modern buckets with straight slightly sloping sides, wider at the top than the bottom. They are fairly plain with occasional applied cordons decorated with finger-tip impressions. Found on domestic sites where they were presumably used as storage vessels and as containers for cremations they are often found as secondary burials in earlier round barrows.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A large artificial hill of earth and stones built or placed over the remains of the dead at the time of burial. In England the equivalent term is barrow; in Scotland, cairn; and in Europe and elsewhere, tumulus. In western Europe and the British Isles, burial cairns and barrows date primarily from the Neolithic Period and Early Bronze Age (4000 BC-600 AD).
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A set of human burials from a limited region and time period
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: paleosol CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: Any ancient land surface buried and undisturbed under a structure or within a deposit, such as peat. Buried soil reflects the nature of the soil, at least at a very local level, at the time the structure was erected or the natural deposit laid down. Buried soil may be analyzed for faunal, insect, molluscan, and pollen remains which would give information about the environment of the period. Such soils are frequently preserved under barrows, mounds, or ramparts, or buried within the fill of a ditch.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Gebeil, Gubla, Jubeil, Gebail, Jubayl, Jebeil; ancient/biblical Gebal; adjective Jiblite (Kubna, ancient Egyptian; Gubla, Akkadian) CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient seaport on the Mediterranean coast just north of Beirut, Lebanon and one of the oldest continuously inhabited towns in the world. Papyrus received its early Greek name (byblos, byblinos) from its being exported to the Aegean through Byblos. The English word Bible is derived from byblos as the (papyrus) book." Excavations revealed that Byblos was occupied at least by the Neolithicperiod (c 8000-4000 BC) and that an extensive settlement developed during the 4th millennium BC. Byblos was the main harbor for exporting cedar and other valuable wood to Egypt from 3000 BC on. Egyptian monuments and inscriptions on the site describe to close relations with the Nile valley throughout the second half of the 2nd millennium. During Egypt's 12th dynasty (1938-1756 BC) Byblos became an Egyptian dependency and the chief goddess of the city Baalat with her well-known temple at Byblos was worshipped in Egypt. After the collapse of the Egyptian New Kingdom in the 11th century BC Byblos became the most important city of Phoenicia. Byblos has yielded almost all of the known early Phoenician inscriptions most of them dating from the 10th century BC. The crusaders captured the town in 1103 but they later lost it to the Ayyubids in 1189. The ruins today consist of the crusader ramparts and gate; a Roman colonnade and small theater; Phoenician ramparts three major temples and a necropolis."
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A complex of monuments of the Initial Period and Early Horizon on the north coast of Peru. There are 17 mounds on the Moche Valley site, with the most complexstructure at Huaca de los Reyes. It is a multi-level, U-shaped complex decorated with relief friezes, which inside is a series of structures, stairways, pillared halls, and a courtyard.
CATEGORY: flora DEFINITION: The tropical American tree and its fruit from which cocoa and chocolate are made. Chocolate was the favored drink of the nobility of many Mesoamerican cultures. It grows in only in tropical lowlands was therefore considered a luxury item by the Aztec and Maya. Depictions on Izapan sculpture give its first use as the Pre-Classic period. The Codex Mendoza indicates that the beans were a medium of exchange and tribute in Aztec times. Cocoa beans were taken to Europe in the 16th century, where cocoa and chocolate were developed.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large ceremonial site that was the principal center of the Nascaculture of Peru. There are 40 adobe mounds, likely to have been used only for religious ceremonies. It was built in Early Nasca periods but was used through Late Nasca and the Middle Horizon.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arabic Al-Qahirah CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The capital of modern Egypt, which has more than 400 registered historical monuments -- the largest number of any African or Middle Eastern city -- dating from 130 AD. The ancient metropolis has stood for more than 1,000 years on the same site. The Pyramids of Giza stand at the southwestern edge of the Cairo metropolis. The Egyptian (National) Museum is in Cairo which specializes in antiquities of the Pharaonic and Greco-Roman periods. It contains more than 100,000 items, including some 1,700 items from the tomb of Tutankhamen, including the solid-goldmask that covered the pharaoh's head. Other treasures include reliefs, sarcophaguses, papyri, funerary art and the contents of various tombs, jewelry, ornaments of all kinds, and other objects.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cajamarquilla CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient Inca city, the site of the capture, ransom, and execution of the Inca chief Atahuallpa by conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1532. In the north Peruvian highlands, Cajamarca developed a strong regional civilization and was a provincial capital, flourishing between 200-1476 AD. Cajamarcapottery is slip-painted with linear running patterns (cursive) or with stylized creatures and animal heads in brownish black over a cream background. The Spanish capture ended the Incaperiod and Andean prehistory. It was a cultural center during the Early Intermediate period. The cemetery, Nievería has Huari-related artifacts.
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 22.214.171.124.0. 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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kampuchea CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Neolithic peoples inhabited present-day Cambodia during the 2nd and 1st millennia BC. Stone tools have been found in terraces of the Mekong River in possible association with tektites from a shower that fell c 600,000 to 700,000 years ago. In western Cambodia there is an important Hoabinhiansequence from the cave of Laang Spean dating to 4300 BC. A major Neolithicmoundsite at Somrong Sen yielded elaborate assemblage which seems to predate 100 BC. Khmercivilization developed over several distinct periods, starting with the Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms of Funan and Chenla in the 1st century AD, which extended into the 8th century.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a number of tells in southern Turkey. Can Hasan III was an aceramicNeolithicsettlement c 6500 BC. There were at least seven structural phases, with dark burnished pottery in several levels and painted pottery in one. The villagers were agriculturists, growing einkorn and emmer, lentil, and vetch in the earlier phases. The main Can Hasan mound was occupied in the late Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods.
Capsian and Capsian Neolithic
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Capsian industry CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Mesolithic/Stone Age (8000 BC-2700 BC) cultural complex prominent in inland northern Africa near the present border between Tunisia and Algeria. Its shell midden sites are in the area of the great salt lakes of what is now southern Tunisia, the type site being Jabal al-Maqta'. The tool kit of the Capsian is a classic example of the industries of the late Würm Glacial Period and it is apparently related to the Gravettianstage of Europe's Perigordian industry (which dates from about 17,000 years ago). However, it occurs in Neothermal (postglacial) times and, like its predecessor, the Ibero-Maurusian industry (Oranianindustry), the Capsian was a microlithic tool complex. It differed from the Ibero-Maurusian, however, in having a far more varied tool kit with large backed blades, scrapers, backed bladelets, microburins, and burins in its earlier phase and a gradual development of geometric microliths later. These became its leading feature by the 6th millennium BC. Shortly after 5000 BC, pottery and domesticated animals were introduced. Some North African rock paintings are attributed to people of the Capsian industry. The Capsian Neolithic, with pointed-basepottery and a stoneindustry, lasted from c 6200-5300 BP, in the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and the northern Sahara. The name derives from Capsa, the Latin form of Gafsa, a town in south central Tunisia where such artifacts were first discovered. Hunting and snail-collecting seem to have formed the basis of the economy. Human remains from Capsian sites are mostly of Mechta-Afalou type.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Santa Maria di Capua Vetere; Casilinum CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient city of Italy, founded around 600 BC by the Etruscans, whose people spoke the Oscan dialect of Italic. There had been an early Iron Age settlement in the 9th century BC. After the period of Etruscan domination, it fell to the Samnites c 440 BC. Capua supported the Latin Confederacy in its war against Rome in 340 BC. After Rome's victory in the war, Capua became a self-governing community, and its people were granted limited Roman citizenship. In 312 BC, Capua was connected with Rome by the Appian Way and its prosperity increased to make it the secondmost important in Italy. During the Second Punic War (218-201 BC) Capua sided with Carthage against Rome. When the Romans recaptured the city in 211 BC, they deprived the citizens of political rights. Spartacus, the slave leader, began his revolt at Capua in 73 BC. Although it suffered during the Roman civil wars in the last decades of the republic, it prospered under the empire until 27 BC. The Vandals sacked Capua in 456 AD and Muslim invaders destroyed everything except the church of Sta. Maria in 840. Capua was famous for its bronzes and perfumes. There are ruins of a theater, amphitheater, baths, ceremonial arch of Hadrian, and a mithraeum with painted frescoes. The Etruscan artifacts include characteristic pottery, bronzes, and tombs, and an important document of the Etruscanlanguage -- the Capua Tile, an inscription of some 62 lines that was either religious or ritual text.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Europus CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient city-state near modern Jarabulus, Syria. The site was a strategic crossing at the Euphrates River for caravans in Syrian, Mesopotamian, and Anatolian trade. The great tell of Carchemish was excavated by David G. Hogarth and later by Sir Leonard Woolley and was first occupied in the NeolithicPeriod. Halafware from the Chalcolithic (5th millennium BC) was found as well as later finds of Uruk-Jamdat Nasr pottery, a product of the southern Euphrates Valley in Sumerian cities of c 3000 BC. There were also tombs from the end of the Early Bronze (c 2300 BC) and the Middle and Late Bronze Age (c 2300-1550; c 1550-1200 BC). Written records concerning Carchemish first appear in the Mari letters -- royal archives of Mari, c 18th century BC. At that time the city was a center for trading wood and shipped Anatolian timber down the Euphrates. The large fortified citadel was important under the empire of the Hittites (14th century BC) and remained so after the fall of the empire, during the period of Syro-Hittite city-states (12th-8th centuries BC). The monumental city gates, temples, and palaces all bore considerable numbers of carved reliefs and inscriptions of the period. The Hittitehieroglyphic inscriptions were of great importance in helping to piece together its history down to its annexation by Assyria in 716 BC.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A term referring to the time and place of Charlemagne (Charles the Great), who called himself the king of the Franks and Lombards" from 768-814 AD. In an archaeological and architectural sense Carolingian describes the period c 750-900 AD. The Carolingiankingdom of Italy occupied the northern and central peninsula down to Rome except for Venice and Benevento. The cultural revival of the Carolingianperiod stimulated by Charlemagne was a renovation and renaissance of the arts and education."
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The maximum population of a species that can be supported by a particular habitat or area with the food potentially available to it from the resources of the area, including the most unfavorable period of the year. The carrying capacity is different for each species within a habitat because of the species' particular requirements for food, shelter, and social contact and because of competition with other species that have similar requirements. Studies of both human and animal groups suggest that few populations reach such a theoretical maximum level, but adjust themselves to a size which allows a margin for fluctuations in the actual food production in the area. In archaeological terms, carrying capacity is the size and density of ancient populations that a given site or region could have supported under a specified subsistencetechnology.
CATEGORY: culture; site DEFINITION: A culture, river, and site in Chihuahua, northern Mexico. The town's name, Spanish for great houses refers to the extensive, multistoried ruins of a pre-Columbian town, which was probably founded in 1050 and burned around 1340, after which the abandoned valley lands were occupied by the Suma, who migrated in from the east. Ruins of this type are common in the valleys of the Casas Grandes and its tributaries. The earliest culture, also called the Viejo, was characterized by Mogollon-typepottery and pithouse dwellings. The following period, the Medio, had adobe houses. A third period, the Tardio, came after 1300 AD and was heavily influenced by Mesoamerica. The area was settled by the Spaniards in 1661/1662 and is now a national monument under the jurisdiction of the National Institute of Anthropology and History.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A hilltop entrenchment characteristic of Neolithic times, 4th millennium BC, especially in southern Britain. The hilltop was enclosed by a series of concentric ditches, 1-4 in number, with internal banks and which were not continuous but interrupted by solid causeways (undisturbed lanes of earth). Pottery, animal bones, and domestic garbage stratified within the ditches show that the camps were used during the entire Neolithicperiod. A common theory about the camps' use is as meeting places used at intervals by the population of a wide area.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: n. cave-dweller or cave-man CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: Natural prehistoric living places inside caves or rock shelters, often inhabited by Palaeolithic man. Cave dwelling were inhabited more often during colder periods by hunters and gatherers.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The most recent geological era in the earth's history, in which mammals came to dominate animal life. The Cenozoic was 66.4 million years ago to the present and began when Asia acquired its present appearance and mammals came to dominate animal life. The most important tectonic event in the Cenozoichistory of Asia was its collision with India some 50 million years ago. This collision took place some 1,250 miles farther south of the present location of the line of collision along the Indus-Brahmaputra suture behind the main range of the Himalayas. The Cenozoic includes the Tertiary and Quaternary periods and began about 70 million years ago.
Cerro de las Mesas
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in southern Veracruz, Mexico, in the plains of the Papaloápan River that is a hybrid site of Pre-Classic and Classic periods. Dozens of earthen mounds are scattered over the surface in a seemingly haphazard manner, and the archaeological sequence is long and complex. The site reached its apogee in the Early Classic, when the stone monuments for which it is best known were carved. Most important are a number of stelae, some of which are carved in a low-reliefstyle recalling Late Formative Tres Zapotes, early lowland Maya, and Cotzumalhuapa. Cerro de las Mesas pottery, deposited in rich burial offerings of the Early Classic, is much like that of Teotihuacan, with slab-legged tripods. Potters made large, hollow, handmade figures of the gods and the most spectacular discovery on the site was a cache of 782 jade objects, many of Olmec workmanship. Cerro de las Mesas is famous for Remojadas-stylepottery figurines, found in great quantity as burial goods. Because the Classic occupation contains abundant Teotihuacan materials and two Maya Long Count dates (ad 468 and ad 533), it is usually interpreted as a redistributionpoint for materials from both Mexico and the Maya lowlands.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A pre-Columbian templesite in the Casma Valley on the north-central coast of Peru, dating to c 1800-900 BC (Initial Period, pre-Chavín) and known for its unusual large stone sculptures. These carvings are in a style unlike anything else reported in Peru, executed by deep-line incisions of warriors and dignitaries in regalia on dressed and carved stone slabs. Most of the figures represent humans. The site has one of the earliest appearances of monumental art in Mesoamerica.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Caere; Roman Caere vetus, Etruscan Xaire, Greek Agylla CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: One of the most important cities in Italy, north of Roman, whose earliest occupation was the Iron Age Villanovan of the 9th-8th centuries BC. It flourished from the 7th-5th centuries as one of the 12 major cities of the Etruscan federation. Two necropoleis from this period have been identified, with evidence for pit, trench, and chamber tombs. Accumulating wealth is reflected in the grandeur of many surviving tombs. There were two ports, Pyrgi and Alsium, the former with evidence of temples, which have provided scholars of the Etruscanlanguage an important pieces of evidence -- a text on gold laminae. The city lost importance during the Roman period, and by the early Empire was reported to be no more than a village.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ch'ang-an, Chang'an CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient site in China that was formerly the capital of the Han, Sui, and T'ang dynasties, located near the modern city of Sian. It was first used by western Chou Dynasty (1027-771 BC). Han-yuan Palace contains the tombs of T'ang imperial family. In the T'ang period, Ch'ang-An was the eastern terminus of the Silk Route and one of the world's great cities. The site of the Qincapital Xianyang is near Xi'an, and the Western Zhou capitals Feng and Hao are supposed to have been in this area as well, possibly lying within the boundaries of the modern Ch'ang-An district southwest of Xi'an.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chun Qiu CATEGORY: chronology; language DEFINITION: A term for the Spring and Autumn Period, 772-479 BC. It also refers to the Spring and Autumn [Annals]" the first Chinese chronological history said to be the traditional history of Lu as revised by Confucius. It is one of the Five Classics of Confucianism. The name which is actually an abbreviation of "Spring Summer Autumn Winter derives from the custom of dating events by season as well as by year. The work is a complete account of significant events that occurred during the reign of 12 rulers of Lu, the native state of Confucius. The account begins in 722 BC and ends shortly before Confucius' death (479 BC). It is interpreted by Confucian scholars in their commentaries.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Jun CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A Chinese stoneware of the Northern Sung period (960-1126 AD) with a pale blue opalescent or translucentgreenglaze, at the kilns near Lin-ju-hsien and at Kung-hsien in Honan province in China. Another well-known class has a red or flambé glaze and consists of flowerpots, bulb bowls, elegant shallow dishes, waterpots, and small boxes.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: chac mool CATEGORY: artifact; lithics DEFINITION: A Mesoamerican life-sized sculpted stone figure representing a reclining human with head turned to one side, knees drawn up, and hands holding a shallow receptacle flat on the stomach. This was a widespread art form in the Post-Classic Period, especially at the Toltec sites of Tula and Chichen Itza and at Aztec and Tarascan sites. It is located at the entranceway to temples and was probably a repository for offerings.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An alluvium-filled 20-km stretch of canyon in northwest New Mexico, occupied by the Anasazi during Pueblo I and II, c 850-1150 AD. Now a national park, it contained spectacular pueblos, including Pueblo Bonito (c 919-1130) which housed some 1,200 people. There were at least a dozen pueblo-like towns and hundreds of small villages. During a period of increased rainfall between 950-1150, several other pueblos were constructed in the Canyon, with fields, irrigation canals, an elaborate roadsystem, and signal stations for long-distance trade. The entire complex of ruins has been studied with the aid of photogrammetry, including infrared air photography, satellite photographs, image enhancement, and computer mapping. When the climate started to become dryer, in c 1150, the main occupation of Chaco Canyon ended.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tell Chagar Bazar CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite on a tributary of the River Khabur in northeast Syria with levels from the 5th millennium BC (Halafperiod) to the mid-2nd millennium BC. It gradually grew in size and importance and during the reign of the Assyrian king, Shamsi Adad I (early 2nd millennium BC) and was an administrative center. Excavated by Sir Max Mallowan from 1935-37, it yielded an important sequence of prehistoric wares, particularly Halaf and Samarra. There was iron (from the 28th c BC) and copper, too.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mail CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of protective bodyarmor in the form of interlinked metal rings, worn by European knights and other military men throughout most of the medieval period. An early form of mail, made by sewing iron rings to fabric or leather, was worn in late Roman times and may have originated in Asia, where it was worn for many centuries.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chalcolithic period; Eneolithic, Copper Age CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Literally, the CopperStone Age" a period between the Neolithic (Stone Age) and the Bronze Age from 3000-2500 BC in which both stone and copper tools were used. It was a transitionalphase between Stone Age technology and the Bronze Age and an increase in trade and cultural exchanges. The term is much less widely used than other divisions and subdivisions of the Three Age System partly because of the difficulty in distinguishing copper from bronze without chemical analysis partly because many areas did not have a Chalcolithicperiod at all."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: chambered tomb CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A prehistorictomb, often megalithic in construction, that contained a large burial chamber. Such a vault was usually used for successive burials over a long period of time. The term is also used for a rock-cut tomb, especially the shaft-and-chamber tomb, with a similar burial rite. Chamber tombs were built in many parts of the world and at many different times. The European varieties were called court cairn, dolmen, entrance grave, gallery grave, giants' grave, hunebed, passage grave, portal dolmen, tholos, transepted gallery grave, and wedge-shaped gallery grave. Many were rectangular chambers cut into the side of a hill and approached by a long entrance passage (dromos), especially in the Aegean.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: champ-levé CATEGORY: artifact; ceramics DEFINITION: An enameling technique or an object made by the process, a form of inlay in which the pattern is cut out of the metal to be ornamented. The pattern was then filled with enamel frit and fused in an oven, or with polished stones or shells. Champlevé can be distinguished from the similar technique of cloisonné by a greater irregularity in the width of the metal lines. It developed as a Celtic art in western Europe in the Roman period and was copied by the Anglo-Saxons. In the Rhine River valley and in Belgium's Meuse River valley, champlevé production flourished especially during the late 11th and 12th centuries. It was often used in the decoration of the escutcheons on hanging bowls.
CATEGORY: ceramics; culture DEFINITION: In central Peru, a distinctive type of pottery made by the Chancay people between 1000-1500 AD (from Late Intermediate Period). It is black-on-white with parallel or checkered design, sometimes with biomorphic figures or painted in soft colors. The most common forms were tall, two-handled, egg-shaped collared jars; bowls and beakers with slightly bowed sides; and large figurines. The pottery is associated with large effigy figurines, dolls, and lacelike textiles. Chancayweaving was considered excellent.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ch'ang-an CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The capital of both the early Han and Tang dynasties of China, both walled cities which are located adjacent to each other. There was a grid street layout and gate wall enclosure in the Tang period. The royal palace was positioned in the north for the first time and Chang'an became the model for urban development in 7th century AD Japan and Korea.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A light vehicle of war, usually carrying two people, a warrior, and a driver. Examples have been found from the Urukperiod in Mesopotamia and the chariot was on the standard of Ur. It first appeared in the Near East in the 17 century BC, associated with the immigrant peoples who became the Hyksos, Kassites, and Hurri. Its arrival in Egypt can be fairly reliably dated to the Second Intermediate Period (1650-1550 BC). The Aryans carried it to India, and in China it formed the core of the Shang army. The Mycenaeans introduced it to Europe, where it spread widely and rapidly. It revolutionized warfare by allowing warriors to be transferred rapidly from one part of a battlefield to another. It was mainly for aristocrats, which explains its popularity as a funeral offering. Burials of complete chariots with horses and charioteers have been excavated in Shang China (1200 BC), in Cyprus from the 7th century BC, and among the La Tène Celts. The earliest Celt chariot burials are in the Rhineland and eastern France with dates around 500 BC, and later burials are in east Yorkshire and Europe as far east as Hungary, Bulgaria, and southern Russia. The chariot was replaced by the mounted warrior or knight when horses of sufficient strength had been bred in the late and post-Roman periods.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city in northern France which is the site of an important pilgrimage church since the Carolingianperiod (mid-13th century). Chartres was named after a Celtic tribe, the Canutes, who made it their principal Druidic center. It was attacked several times by the Normans and was burned by them in 858. A series of fires destroyed Notre-Dame, but after 1145 it was reconstructed as one of Europe's greatest Gothic cathedrals.
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: artifact DEFINITION: A regional type of late Saxonpottery (Saxo-Norman pottery) dating to the period AD 850 to AD 1150 manufactured in central Somerset, England.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A special kind of striking weapon for hand-to-hand combat. It was most widespread in southern Siberia and in Central Asia in the Scythianperiod. The chekan is a kind of a battle ax with a thin sharp point, made of bronze. It was fixed onto a long wooden shaft which had a bronze butt at its lower end and was worn at the waist on a special belt. Chekans are quite often decorated with zoomorphic figures in the Scythian-Siberian animal style.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Early type of bronzesword found in southern Britain, having a leaf-shaped blade, flat section, and hilt tang. These were local copies of various imported weapons of Hallstatt A type from mainland Europe by Penard Period smiths.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: One of the three architectural styles of the Lowland Mayaarea of north-central Yucatan, c 600-1000 AD, overlapping the Classic and Post-Classic periods. Chenes is a flamboyant style of building distinguished from the Rio Bec and Puuc by its concentration on towerless, low, single-story buildings. Maya architects constructed frontal portals surrounded by the jaws of sky serpents and faced entire buildings with a riot of baroquely carved grotesques and spirals. The best example is at Hochob.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cheng Chou, Chengxian CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of the Shangdynastycapital from 1500-1200 BC, in Honan province, China on the Yellow River. Following villages of the Yang Shao and Lung Shan cultures, four phases of Shang occupation have been traced. Cemeteries of pit graves have been found and a rectangular wall enclosed an area divided into different quarters. Outside this city, in addition to remains of large public buildings, a complex of small settlements has been discovered. Since 1950 archaeological finds have shown that there were Neolithic settlements in the area. The site remained occupied after the Shangdynasty moved its capital again; Chou (post-1050 BC) tombs have also been discovered. It is thought that in the Western Chouperiod (1111-771 BC) it became the fief of a family named Kuan. In 605 AD it was first called Cheng-chu.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A regional type of late Saxonpottery (Saxo-Norman pottery) dating to the period AD 850 to AD 1150 manufactured in northwest England.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a ruined ancient Mayan city in south-central Yucatán state, Mexico. Chichén Itzá was founded in about the 6th century AD, presumably by Mayan peoples of the Yucatán Peninsula who had occupied the region since Pre-Classic, or Formative, Period times (1500 BC-AD 300). The only source of water in the region is from wells (Mayan cenotes) formed by the collapse of portions of the limestone formation of the area. Two big cenotes on the site made it a suitable place for the city and gave it its name, from chi (mouths") chen ("wells") and Itzá the name of the tribe that settled there. There are traces of early occupation at the site but the oldest surviving buildings are in the Puucstyle of the 8th-early 10th centuries. In the 10th century after the collapse of the Maya cities of the southern lowlands Chichén Itzá was invaded -- probably by the Toltecs. New buildings have their closest parallels at Tula and offerings thrown into the Sacred Cenote or Well of Sacrifice show widespread trade contacts. Chichén Itzá was the dominant power in Yucatan until about 1200 when it was superseded by Mayapán. At the center of the site is the Castillo or temple-Pyramid of Kulkulkan the Maya equivalent of Quetzacóatl; this is linked by a causeway to the nearby Sacred Cenote. Other major structures include the Temple of the Warriors (in front of which stands a Chacmool) large 'dance platforms' the Group of a Thousand Columns the Temple of the Jaguars and the largest Ball Court in Mesoamerica. Bas-relief carvings on a massive skull rack (tzompantli) shows the Ball Game to be associated with scenes of sacrifice. Relief carvings with themes of conquest and violence about and representations of Maya warriors submitting to Toltec warriors have been found on gold discs recovered from the Sacred Cenote."
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A collective name applied to various barbarian tribes who invaded the valley of central Mexico from the northwest from c 7th-13th century AD in periodic waves and migrations. The Aztec, or Mexica, were one of the competing Chichimec tribes. Some of these groups, who may have been farmers, may have entered the Valley of Mexico after the fall of Teotihuacán, and there is a Chicimec constituent in Toltecculture. The Chichimecperiod proper, however, begins after the destruction of Tula and the decline of Toltec influence in about 1200 AD. In 1224, a band of Náhuatl-speaking Chichimecs entered the northern part of the Valley and established a kingdom at Tenayuca. After their arrival the barbarians settled down again to farming life, became civilized, and were eventually absorbed into the Aztec confederation. In the north, some independent Chichimecs maintained their nomadic and hunting way of life until the Spanish conquest. The Chichimecs are also associated with the introduction of the bow and arrow into the Valley of Mexico. Their language, also called Chichimec, is of the Oto-Pamean language stock.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: steward CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: In Egypt's New Kingdom and Late Period, the title of the administrator of an estate of the temple of a god, the king or his mortuary temple, of a member of the royal family, or even a private individual. Because of the economic importance of the function, chief stewards were very influential. One, Senenmut, combined the offices of Chief Steward of Amun, of Queen Hatshepsut, and of Princess Neferure. He designed and built Queen Hatshepsut's temple near the tomb of Mentuhotep II at Deir al-Bahri. Amenhotpe Huy, the brother of Ramose, was Chief Steward of Memphis in the reign of Amenophis III.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in the coastal valley south of modern Lima, Peru, where excavations have revealed settlements dating to the Pre-Ceramic period c 4200 BC. The Chilca Monument was originally a summer camp and later, due to an increasingly warm climate, became favorable for a subsistencepattern called encanto. There are remains of conical huts of cane thatched with sedge. The dead were buried wrapped in twined-sedge mats and the skins of the guanaco. The lomas, patches of vegetation outside the valleys that were watered at that season by fogs, began to dry up. The lomas had provided wild seeds, tubers, and large snails; and deer, guanaco, owls, and foxes were hunted. The camps were eventually abandoned c 2500 BC in favor of permanent fishing villages. Dolichocephalic human remains date to this period but appear ultimately to have been replaced by brachycephalic types some time after 2500 BC.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: South American Indians who created the largest and most important political system in Peru before the Inca, and who developed large-scale irrigation systems. The distinctive pottery of the Chimú aids in dating Andean civilization in the late periods along the north coast of Peru. The black pottery had molded reliefs with some vessels in the shape of people, animals, houses, and everyday items. The stirrup-spout and spout-and-bridge vessels are the most common forms. There were also objects of silver and gold. The Chimú expanded by conquest and the state began to form, according to legend, as a political entity was the creation of Ñançen-pinco (reigned c 1370 AD), but archaeology shows that Chimú material culture developed out of the terminal Moche (Mochica) culture of the north coast from c 850/900 onwards. Chanchan was capital, a vast settlement of giant rectangular enclosures. In 1465-70, however, they were conquered by the Inca, who absorbed much of the culture, including their political organization, irrigation systems, and road engineering.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: chinampas; floating garden CATEGORY: geography; term DEFINITION: A system of cultivation on small, stationary, artificial islands made of vegetation and mud in shallow freshwater lakes, created in the Valley of Mexico (Xochimilco). These very fertile fields were created by massive Aztecreclamation projects and consisted of little islands, each averaging 6 to 10 m (19.7 to 32.8 feet) wide and 100 to 200 m (30.5 to 656.2 feet) long, with fertilization from the organic wastes in mud and aquatic life. Periodic renewal of this mud layer created a permanent supply of fertile soil so that as one crop was harvested it could be immediately replaced with another. Much of Aztecs' Tenochtitlan utilized such intensively farmed, reclaimed land. The champas were normally separated by a system of canals which allowed both access and water circulation.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A powerful ancient state on the southern coast of Peru which is known primarily from the study of historical sources, which flourished during the Late Intermediate Period, c 1000-1478. Chincha reached the height of its power in the early 15th century when it also controlled part of the Pisco valley, and it retained a certain prestige under the Inca after their conquest of the area in 1476. The main city was La Centinela, which included pyramids, platforms, and courts surrounded by storerooms and dwellings of the nobility. Chincha prospered through trade (black warepottery and some polychromes) with adjacent highlands and northern coastal areas and there were about 30,000 households. Other sites include the administrative complex at Tambo de Mora (probably the capital) and La Cumbe. The Chincha vanished within the first three decades of the Spanish invasion.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: chip carving CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A technique of decoration with the use of an ax, hatchet, mallet, and/or chisel, which probably originated in the Roman and Celtic world. The technique was adapted by Germanic wood-carvers to make animal ornaments and by metalsmiths of the Migration Period. This excised decoration was done by cutting from the surface triangular and rectilinear small chips. The end result was a pattern of combined V-shaped incisions, with a glittering faceted appearance. It is found in woodwork and pottery, when it has to be done before the clay is fired. False relief is a special version of this technique. Examples are the Tassilo Chalice (Kremsmünster Abbey, Austria) and the Lindau Gospels book cover (Pierpont Morgan Library, New York City).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the lower Ganges River in northeast India with five periods of occupation: Neolithic (Chirand I), Chalcolithic (Chirand II A-B), Northern Black Polished Ware (Chirand III), early 1st millennium AD, and medieval. Chirand I dated to the early 2nd millennium BC and perhaps the 3rd.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An early village site on the southern end of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, dating to the Early and Middle Horizon. Late Chiripapottery of the Early Horizon Period (1800-200 BC) is decorated with cream on red color zones, separated by incised lines. Early pottery is a cream-on-white ware, decorated with geometric designs. The common form is a flat-bottomed, vertical-sided open bowl. The artistic style is linked to Pucara and Tiahuanaco. There is a series of rectangular rooms, some with underfloor stone-lined graves, arranged around a rectangular plaza. An unusual feature is the storage space between the double walls of some structures.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A stratified, ancient quarry/workshop site just north of Lima, Peru -- an area of coastal lomas (areas of fog vegetation). Excavations revealed a lithicflakeindustry as early as the Late Pleistocene, dating between 9,000 to 11,000 years ago. Wood fragments helped define a Chivateros I period of c 9500-8000 BC. There is also a red zone with some flint chips which, by comparison of artifacts of the nearby Oquendo workshop date to pre-10,500 BC. The whole industry is characterized by burins and bifaces with the upper-level (Chinateros II) containing long, keeled, leaf-shaped projectile points which resemble points from both Lauricocha II and El Jobo. Dating has been aided by the deposition of both loess and salt crust layers which suggest alternating dryness and humidity and which can be synchronized with glacialactivity in the Northern Hemisphere.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Dur-Untash, Choga Zambil, Chogha Zambil, Dur Untashi CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient Elamite site located near Susa in southwestern Iran. It is especially known for its remains dating to the Middle Elamite Period (c 1500-1000 BC), when the Elamite ruler Untash-Gal built a magnificent ziggurat, temples, and a palace. The remains of the ziggurat, the largest one known, are 335 feet (102 m) square and 80 feet (24 m) high, less than half its estimated original height. Other palaces, a reservoir, and the fortification walls have been excavated of the city, which was lavishly laid out but never completed. There are also a variety of small artifacts, including an excellent collection of Middle Elamite cylinder seals, and evidence of glass and glazes.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: One of the great cities and religious centers of ancient Mexico, first occupied c 800-300 BC. Cholulu, Nahuatl for place of springs" was a town dedicated to the god Quetzalcoatl and is known for its many domed churches which the Spanish built on top of the natives' temples. Cholula was a major center of the pre-conquest Mesoamerican Indian culture as far back as the Early Classic period (100-600 AD) and reached its maximum growth in the Late Classic period (900-1200). It came within the orbit of the Teotihuacán civilization during which time a major pyramid was built and then enlarged three times to produce the largest pyramid in Mesoamerica (177 ft or 55 m high). Tunneling has revealed the older pyramids nesting inside the final version. Around 1300 AD Cholula became a center of the Mexteca-Puebla culture. Cholula polychrome wares were highly prized by the Aztecs. When the Spaniards reached Cholula they found a splendid city dominated by the ruins of the Great Pyramid. The Cholulans who were makers and traders of textiles and pottery were Nahuatl speakers and at the time of the conquest owed a nominal allegiance to Montezuma. It was one of the independent Post-Classic centers to survive after the fall of Teothihuacan."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chou Dynasty, Zhou CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The dynasty that ruled ancient China from 1122-256/255 BC), establishing the political and cultural characteristics that would be identified with China for the next 2,000 years. Some date the dynasty to 1027-1050 BC. The Chou coexisted with the Shang for many years, living just west of the Shang territory in what is now Shensi province. At various times they were a friendly tributary state to the Shang, alternatively warring with them. The Chou overthrew that of Shang in 1027 BC and was itself destroyed by the Ch'in in 256. Its capital in the Western Chouperiod was at Tsung Chou in Shensi, moving to Loyang in Honan in 771, to begin the Eastern Chouperiod. The archaeological evidence comes mainly from the excavation of tombs. Iron came into use c 500 BC, both forged and cast. Bronze remained the material for weapons and the Chou bronzes are the most famous of their artworks. The sword, crossbow, and use of roof tiles were other technological innovations of the dynasty.
CATEGORY: chronology; technique DEFINITION: Any method used to order time and to place events in the sequence in which they occurred. A sequential ordering that places cultural entities in temporal, and often spatial, distribution. It involves the collection of dates or successive datings establishing the position in time of a series of phenomena such as the phases of a civilization or the events of the history of a state. A chronology is relative/floating when only the order of a succession of facts is known, but not their dates, and absolute when the opposite is true. For periods or areas for which no textual evidence is available, relative chronologies have to be established and these are mostly based on pottery sequences and typology. Relative chronology is also based on the application of the principles of stratigraphy and cross-dating. The discovery of inscribed monuments and calendars associated with dated astronomical observations contributed to the development of an Egyptian chronology and it has served as a framework -- through cross-dating -- for all other Near Eastern chronologies. Inscribed Egyptian objects found in Near Eastern contexts have allowed the latter to be dated. Absolute chronology is based on scientific methods such as radiocarbon dating, thermoluminescencedating, and archaeomagnetism. Dates are often calibrated with dendrochronological dates. For dates after 1500 BC, an absolute chronology is not likely to change by more than ten years.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Important site in north Syria with buildings of Early Dynastic period and distinctive temples. A late 3rd millennium BC processional way is lined with stelae.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A building used for collective Christian worship, the performance of ceremonies, pilgrimages, and the veneration of relics. The earliest churches were hidden in caves and catacombs. With the official acceptance of Christianity in the 4th century, larger buildings were built specifically for communal worship. In the early Christian period, baptisteries, martyria, and covered cemeteries often remained separate on the side of the building. Although the usual form of churches has been the hall or axial plan, other forms have also been used: circular, polygonal, or cross-shaped. The plan and appearance of a church is determined by its liturgical and ceremonial functions and by other symbolic and spiritual considerations.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A large building in Roman antiquity, generally a long oblong or oval, used for horse and chariot racing and public spectacles. The audience sat in rising tiers of seats around the track and the races were run around a central island. Rome's Circus Maximus, the largest and best-known, was originally built by Tarquinius Priscus, but enlarged various times until late Roman period. It is essentially a Roman development from the Greek stadium or hippodrome.
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.
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A heavy, large core or flaketool of the Palaeolithicperiod, typically having a wide, straight cutting edge at one end, like a modern ax head. Technologically it is related to the handax, and is often found as a component of Acheulian (esp. Upper Acheulian) handax industries. The sharp transverse cutting edge was almost always notched by use but never sharpened. Along with bifacial tools, it was one of the main instruments of Homo erectus. It is found mainly in Africa, where much of the flake surface is left unretouched. The axlike knife was used since the Middle Pleistocene era to cut through animal bone and meat.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: The apartment houses" of masonry built by the Pueblo/Anasazi people of the American Southwest during Pueblo III times or Classic Pueblo located in rock shelters on the sides of canyon walls. These prehistoric houses were built along the sides or under the overhangs of cliffs primarily in the Four Corners area where the states of Arizona New Mexico Colorado and Utah meet. Mesa Verde National Park's Cliff Palace (CO) and Pueblo Bonito (NM) had about 200-800 rooms each. After this period the Pueblo/Anasazi moved farther south and built the pueblo villages that they still inhabit. When the ancestors of the Pueblo/Anasazi people became sedentary and began to cultivate corn they also began to build circular pits as storage bins. When the bins were later reinforced with stone walls and covered with roofs some people began to use the enclosures as houses. Their use of hand-hewn stone building blocks and adobemortar was unexcelled even in later buildings. Ceilings were built by laying two or more large crossbeams and placing on them a solid line of laths made of smaller branches. The layers were then plastered over with the adobe mixture. Some of the structures were several stories high creating a row of terraces that gives the structure the appearance of a ziggurat (ancient Babylonian temple tower). The rooms were about 10 x 20 feet (3 by 6 meters). Ground-floor rooms were entered by ladder through a hole in the ceiling; rooms on upper floors could be entered both by doorways from adjoining rooms and by a hole in the ceiling. Each community had two or more kivas or ceremonial rooms. The Pueblo/Anasazi began to build these cliff dwellings around 1000 AD. The cliffs offered natural protection against attack and many smaller communities combined to form the large towns in the cliffs. Toward the end of the 13th century the cliff dwellings were deserted by the inhabitants. Two factors were involved: a severe drought between 1272- 1299 and possibly internal turmoil between tribes. Smaller pueblos were created in the south near better water sources."
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: term DEFINITION: The condition of the atmosphere at a particular location over a long period of time; the sum of the atmospheric elements that, over short time periods, make up weather. These elements are solar radiation, temperature, humidity, precipitation (type, frequency, and amount), atmospheric pressure, and wind (speed and direction). Climate is now considered as part of a larger system that includes not only the atmosphere but also the hydrosphere (all liquid and frozen surface waters), the lithosphere (all solid land surfaces, including the ocean floors), the biosphere (all living things), and extraterrestrial factors such as the Sun.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A technique of decorative enameling in which different colors of a pattern are separated by thin strips of metal. It consists of soldering to a metal surface, thin metal strips bent to the outline of a design and filling the resulting spaces, called cloisons" (French for "partitions or cells") with vitreous enamel paste. The object is fired ground smooth and polished. Sometimes metal wire is used in place of goldbrasssilver or copper strips. It was used in Anglo-Saxon England and by Germanic metalsmiths to decorate polychrome jewelry and metalwork. The technique is somewhat similar to champlevé but it allows more intricacy of design. Among the earliest examples of cloisonné are six Mycenaean rings of the 13th century BC. The great Western period of cloisonné enameling was from the 10th-12th century especially in the Byzantine Empire. In China cloisonné was widely made during the Ming (1368-1644) and Ch'ing (1644-1911/12) dynasties. In Japan it was especially popular during the Tokugawa or Edo (1603-1868) and Meiji (1868-1912) periods."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Clovis spear point CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A distinctive, fluted, lanceolate (leaf-shaped) stone projectile point characteristic of the early Paleo-Indian period, c 10,000-9000 BC, and often found in association with mammoth bones. It is named for Clovis, New Mexico, where it was first found. The concave-based projectile point has a longitudinal groove on each face running from the base to a point not more than halfway along the tool. The base of a Clovis point is concave and the edge of the base usually blunted through grinding, probably to ensure that the thongs, attaching the point to the projectile, were not cut. It is assumed to have been a spear because of its size; the length of points varies from 2-4 in. (7-12 cm), and their widest width is 1-1 1/2 in (3-4 cm). Clovis points and the artifacts associated with them (grouped together as the Llanocomplex) are among the earliest tools known from the New World and have been found over most of North America, with a few outliers as far south as Mexico and Panama. It is the earliest projectile point of the Big Game Hunting tradition of North America. From these points came the later, more sophisticated points, such as the Folsom.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A sample in which the sampling elements are spaces or time periods but the analytical elements are countable observations in them.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: One of the most important of the primary fossil fuels, a dark-colored, carbon-rich material that occurs in stratified, sedimentary deposits. Two major periods of coal formation are known in geologic history. The older includes the Carboniferous and Permian periods (from about 350,000,000-250,000,000 years ago). Much of the bituminous coal of eastern North America and Europe is Carboniferous in age. Most coals in Siberia, eastern Asia, and Australia are of Permian origin. The younger era began in the Cretaceous Period (about 135,000,000 years ago) and culminated during the TertiaryPeriod (about 65,000,000-2,500,000 years ago). From this era came nearly all of the world's lignites and subbituminous (brown) coals.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: An ancient North American Indian culture that existed 9,000-2,000 years ago, in Arizona and western New Mexico. The culture was named for the ancient Lake Cochise (now Willcox Playa, Arizona), near which important finds were made. The Cochise, a local variant of the Desert Culture, contrasted with the Big-Game Hunting cultures to the east (Clovis, Folsom), and was based on the gathering and collecting wild plant foods. In later stages, there is evidence of the development of agriculture. The Cochiseculture has been divided into three developmental periods. The earliest stage, Sulphur Spring, dates from 6000 or 7000 BC to about 4000 BC and is characterized by milling stones for grinding wild seeds and by various scrapers, but no knives, blades, or projectile points. Its type site has been associated with mammoth and extinct horse remains and there are some indications that hunting was done. During the second stage, Chiricahua, lasting from 4000 to perhaps 500 BC, the appearance of projectile points seems to indicate an increased interest in hunting, and the remains of a primitive form of maize in Bat Cave (NM) suggest the beginnings of farming. In the final or San Pedro stage, from 500 BC to the beginning of the Christian era, milling stones were replaced by mortars and pestles (mano and metate), and pit houses (houses of poles and earth built over pits) appeared. During the San Pedro stage, pottery appeared in the area of the Mogollon Indians. The poorly understood Cazador phase may bridge the long hiatus between Sulphur Springs and Chiricahua, but the evidence so far in inconclusive.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A collection of ancient Egyptian funerary texts consisting of spells or magic formulas that are intended to aid the deceased in their passage to the hereafter. The text was painted on or in burial coffins from the First Intermediate period (c 2130-1939 BC) and the Middle Kingdom (1938-c 1600 BC). Many of the Coffin Texts were derived from the Pyramid Texts, a sequence of often-obscure spells carved on the internal walls of the Old Kingdom pyramids, but were used by private individuals. More than 1000 spells are known. The Coffin Texts combined with the Pyramid Texts were the primary sources of the Book of the Dead, which was in prominent use during the New Kingdom and Late period. These three collections represent the main body of Egyptian religious literature.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Camulodunum, Camolodunum; Colneceaste; Colcestra CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A district and borough northeast of London, England that was the capital of the pre-Roman Belgic ruler Cunobelinus by 43 AD, formerly an Iron Age Celtic settlement (oppidum) surrounded by dikes. Though it burned down in 60 AD, Colchester soon became one of the chief towns in Roman Britain and there are surviving walls and gateways from this period. Some of the masonry of the temple to Claudius survives in the foundations of the Norman castle.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: The burial of a number of bodies, usually over a period of time.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (Roman) Colonia Agrippinensis, Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, Colonia CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the left bank of the Rhine, West Germany, that was colonized by the Roman general Agrippa in 53 BC. A fortified settlement was established c 38 BC and it became a Roman colony in 50 AD. It was named Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, shortened to Colonia. It became the capital of the province of Lower Germania, which was an important commercial center. After 258 AD it was, for a time, the capital of an empire comprising Gaul, Britain, and Spain. In 310, Constantine the Great built a castle and a permanent bridge to it across the Rhine. About 456 it was conquered by the Franks, and it soon became the residence of the kings of the Ripuarian part of the Frankish kingdom. Ceramics and glass were manufactured in Cologne in Roman times. Traces of the Roman period survive including the principal elements of the street plan, town walls and gates, Roman and Gallo-Roman temples, water installations, Rhine port, bridges and fort, pottery and glass factories, and villas and cemeteries. In the 5th century, the Roman town was overrun by the Franks. During the Frankish and Carolingian periods and much of the Middle Ages, Cologne was a major bishopric and a leading commercial and cultural center. Spectacular Frankish royal graves dating to the mid-6th century have been uncovered.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: colony CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A Roman settlement in conquered territory, a name first used in the later Republican and imperial Roman periods to a township, often of retired veteran soldiers, strategically placed to defend imperial interests. Its self-governing constitution imitated that of Rome, and the citizens had either full (Roman) citizenship or limited (Latin) citizenship. After the 2nd century BC, colonia became the highest rank that a community could attain. It involved a transfer of Roman citizens to a settlement in order to administer it in collaboration with the magistrates of the capital. In exchange for a commitment to provide military aid, its citizens acquired the right to trade and contract marriages with Roman citizens. In the Greek world, a colony was a city founded by a contingent of Greek citizens in a foreign territory for agricultural and/or commercial purposes.
CATEGORY: branch DEFINITION: A branch of historical archaeology dealing with the colonial period in American history, from the discovery of America to the establishment of the United States, generally, the 16th through the 18th centuries.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A way of referring to many kinds of pottery in the Greek and Roman periods which were given an extra surface coating, usually slightly glossy and most often red. Research suggests that the coating was made from fine clay particles suspended in water with a peptizing agent added.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Combe Grenal CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A rock shelter site on the Dordogne River in southwest France, near the town of Domme. There are 64 archaeological levels, including nine bottom levels of the Acheulianindustrydating from the end of the Riss glaciation, followed by a series of 55 Mousterian levels. Occupation ended just before the end of the Mousterianperiod, and there is a radiocarbon date of just over 37,000 BC from Level 12, near the top of the deposit. The site has the largest number of cultural levels of any Palaeolithicsite known to date. The 55 Mousterian levels have formed the basis for the analysis of the Mousterian into five main types. A burial pit has been recognized in the Mousterian levels with some human bones. The site has fauna and pollen evidence from all levels.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The tangible remains of the activities of the maximum number of people who occupied a settlement during a time period. A biological community is an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (species) in a common location.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cultural complex CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A group of artifacts and traits that regularly appear together in two or more sites within a restricted area over a period of time and which are presumed to represent an archaeological culture. A complex could be a characteristic tool or type of pottery or it could be a pattern of buildings that occur together. A complex is a chronological subdivision of different artifact types and implies a culture, whereas an assemblage is merely a collection of contemporaneous specimens.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: focus; phase CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A culturally homogeneous stratigraphic layer within a site that belongs to one culture and is interpreted as the remains of a single people during a relatively brief period of time. At a particular site, there may be present several components, recognized by critical changes in the artifact assemblages. A number of similar and contemporary components make up a phase.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A plan showing a surface which is composed of two or more units of stratification; the plan of a phase or period interface.
CATEGORY: term; geography DEFINITION: A plan showing the surface relief of an archaeological site at a given period, as inferred from a series of recorded elevations.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A ruined ancient Mayan city, in extreme western Honduras near the Guatemalan border, one of the largest and most impressive sites of that civilization. Copán was an important Maya city during the Classic Period (c 300-900 AD), peaking in the 8th century with as many as 20,000 people. The site has stone temples, two large pyramids, several stairways and plazas, and a ball court for tlachtli. Most of these structures center on a raised platform called the Acropolis and are constructed in a locally available greenish volcanic tuff. Copán is particularly known for the ornate stonecarving on the buildings and the portrait sculptures on its many stelae. The Hieroglyphic Stairway, which leads to one of the temples, is beautifully carved with 2500 hieroglyphics total on the risers of each of its 63 steps. During the Classic Period, there is evidence that astronomers in Copán calculated the most accurate solar calendar produced by the Maya up to that time. The site's ruins were discovered by Spanish explorers in the early 16th century and rediscovered by American traveler John Lloyd Stephens in 1839, who purchased" the site for $50. Since then much of the beautiful carving has deteriorated but the highly detailed pen-and-ink drawings of his colleague Frederick Catherwood still survive and are a great source of iconographic detail. Restoration work revealed much of Copán's political and dynastic history through the decipherment of hieroglyphic inscriptions on its monuments. A dynasty of at least 16 kings ruled Copán from about 426-822 AD; the Maya had completely abandoned the site by about 1200. Finds date from the Late Prehistoric period (c 300 BC-AD 250."
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A ductile, malleable metallic element used in many functional and decorative artifacts. It was one of the first metals to be exploited by man because, like gold, it can be found in the native form, pure and requiring no smelting. It is most frequently obtained from a variety of ores: the carbonate (malachite), oxides, and sulphides. Shaping could be done by simple hammering, which served also to harden the metal. 'Pure' copper may contain up to one per cent of impurities and the concentrations of these impurities may indicate the source of the ore. Arsenical copper alloys (2-3% arsenic) have some advantages over pure copper in ease of casting and in the hardness of a hammered edge. In the New World, cire perdue casting of copper is first recorded in the Paracasculture of Peru and by the European conquest, the technique was practiced from the southwest U.S. to Argentina. Copper occurs fairly widely in the Old World, and was first used in Western Asia before 8000 BC as a substitute for stone, though it did not come into common use until after 4000 BC. Metallurgy dawned in Egypt as copper was cast to shape in molds (c 4000 BC), was reduced to metal from ores with fire and charcoal, and was intentionally alloyed with tin as bronze (c 3500 BC). The earliest surviving examples from Egypt are small artifacts such as beads and borers of the Badarianperiod, c 5500-4000 BC. Great copper hoards occur in the Ganges-Yamuna alluvial plain and just south of the lower Ganges, and elsewhere in India and Pakistan.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chalcolithic, Eneolithic CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: An intermediate period between the Neolithic and the Bronze Ages, characterized by the use of copper tools. According to the principles of the Three Age System, it should strictly mean the period when copper was the main material for man's basic tools and weapons. It is difficult to apply in this sense as copper at its first appearance was very scarce, and experimentation with alloying seems to have begun early on. The alternative names of Chalcolithic and Eneolithic imply the jointuse of copper and stone. In many sequences, notably in Europe and Asia, there is a period between the Neolithic and Bronze Age, separated from each by breaks in the cultural development, within which copper was coming into use and Copper Age is the best term to use. In Asia, the age saw the origins of civilization, and in Europe the great folk movements of the beaker and corded ware cultures, and perhaps the introduction of the Indo-European languages. The period lasted for almost 1000 years in southeast Europe, from 3500 BC.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of glass made by twisting melted glass around a core, often with different colors. This technique was used especially in the Classical and Hellenistic periods of the eastern Mediterranean.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A term applied to the periods during which two rulers were simultaneously in power, usually with an overlap of several years.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a localized culture of the Late Classic period on the Pacific slopes of Guatemala. It was known for its unique style of stonesculpture, depicting scenes of deities gazing upward, skulls, serpent heads, and human sacrifice -- all enclosed within cartouches. There was also San Juan plumbate pottery.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Clyde-Carlingford tomb CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A type of Neolithic (c 3500 BC) chamber tomb common in southwest Scotland and northern Ireland. Its features include an elongated rectangular or trapeze-shaped cairn with an unroofed semicircular forecourt at one end. The courtyard gives access to the burial chamber proper, which is normally a gallery with two or more chambers separated by jambs, or by a combination of jambs and sills. This basic form sometimes called a 'horned cairn' has many variants. In the 'lobster-claw' or 'full court', cairns the wings of the facade curve around until they almost meet at the front of the tomb to enclose a circular or oval forecourt. Sometimes a cairn contains more than one tomb or there are subsidiary chambers. Court cairns continued to be used until the end of the Neolithicperiod around 2200 BC. The later court cairns share many features with the Severn-Cotswold tombs of southwest Britain and with the transepted gallery graves near the river Loire.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A ceramichorizon of the Early Post-Classic Period beginning in central Mesoamerica after the fall of Teothihuacan. It was a distinctive red-on-buff painted ware and appeared in the early phases of both Tula and Cholula, and is a forerunner of the late Mazpan style.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An island located less than 20 miles off the east coast of the northern Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico that was a trading port and pilgrimage spot for the Maya. Its earliest artifacts date to c 1000 BC, but its rise began from 300 BC (Late Pre-Classic or Formativeperiod) and its major period of occupation was the Post-Classic, c 800-1000. Cozumel was a major link in the long-distance trading network which the ancient Maya operated between Honduras and Guatemalan Highlands to the south, around the Peninsula, to Tabasco, Campeche, and Veracruz in the west. It was also a place of pilgrimage to the Mayan mood (and childbirth) goddess Ix Chel. Its ceremonial architecture, however, is considerably more modest that the great Classic centers of the mainland. Cozumel is the putative starting-point for the Itza migrations into the northern Yucatan. The Spanish explorers discovered it in 1518.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A large, wide-mouthed two-handled Greek or Roman bowl or vase, usually made of pottery or metal. It is characteristic of Greece in the Mycenaean and classical periods and they were used to serve wine, mixed with water in varying proportions, into individual drinking cups, and handed out at banquets and sacrifices. The word is Greek for 'mixing bowl'. There is a classification of four types: column crater, volute crater, calyx crater and bell crater, which take their names from the characteristic shape either of the handle or of the body of the vase.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Great Basin Transverse point CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A crescent-shaped bifacially flaked stone tool generally restricted to the Paleo-Indian period and almost always found in association with extinct Pleistocene lakes. They were possibly used for hunting large shorebirds.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Late Upper Palaeolithicculture found at Creswell Crags and in caves in Wales and southern England. It is regarded as a variant of the Magdalenianculture of southwestern France and occurred during the final stages of the Würm glaciation. The characteristic tools are large trapezes, obliquely blunted-back blades, and small backed blades. Later cultural traditions such as the Federmesser, Creswellian, and Ahrensburgian (c 20,000-10,000 BP) formed the basis for the cultures of the succeeding Mesolithicperiod.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The fifth largest island in the Mediterranean, lying south of Greece, where the first flowering of the Greek Bronze Age culture took place (c 2600-2000 BC). There is no evidence that humans arrived on Crete before 6000-5000 BC. By 3000 BC, however, a Bronze Age culture -- the Minoancivilization, named after the legendary ruler Minos -- had developed. Strongly influenced by Eastern ideas, in its first centuries this culture produced circular vaulted (tholos-type) tombs and some fine stone-carved vases, but about 2000 BC it began to build palaces on the sites of Knossos, Phaestus, and Mallia. This was called the first palaceperiod (Middle Minoan 2000-1700 BC) and second palaceperiod (1700-1400 BC) during which the population greatly increased and large settlements were built. The Minoancivilization was centered at Knossos and reached its peak in the 16th century BC, trading widely in the eastern Mediterranean. It produced striking sculpture, frescopainting, pottery, and metalwork. By about 1500 BC Greek mainlanders from Mycenae began to influence Minoan affairs, but then Crete suffered a major earthquake (c 1450) that destroyed Knossos and other places. The Mycenaeans took power until the Iron Age (1200 BC). Eventually the Dorians moved in and gained power. Crete is the source of many myths, legends, and laws. The Romans came and by 67 BC had completed their conquest of the island.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cromagnon CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A population of anatomically modern Homo sapiens dating from the Upper Paleolithic Period (c 35,000-10,000 years ago), first found in 1868 in a shallow cave at Cro-Magnon in the Dordogne region of southern France. French geologist Louis Lartet uncovered five archaeological layers and the race of prehistoric humans revealed by this find was called Cro-Magnon and has since been considered, along with Neanderthals, to be representative of prehistoric humans at that time. It was also the first discovery of remains of Homo sapiens in a deposit containing Upper Palaeolithic tools. The skeletons had been carefully buried, covered with red ochre, and necklaces laid beside them. They were the earliest known modern humans in Europe, who were characterized by a long skull and high forehead, a tall erect stature, and the use of bladetechnology and bone tools. They were associated with the Aurignacianculture, which produced the earliest European art. Unlike Neanderthal man, the remains are hardly different from modern man.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A settlement site in South Dakota from the Initial Coalescent Period of the Plains Village Indians with more than 500 human skeletons from a massacre.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A Late Pre-Classic ceremonial site, at the southern end of ancient Lake Texcoco near Mexico City, that has the first stone monument (pyramid) on the Mexican plateau. Cuicuilco was one of the largest and most important centers of the period -- possibly an early rival of Teotihuacan. Early large-scale construction in the form of adobe and stone-faced platforms took place around 600-200 BC. The pyramid is a truncated cone, with a clay-and-rubble core; the rest is made of sun-dried brick with a stonefacing. Rising up in four tiers, the Cuicuilcopyramid is faced with broken lava blocks and the summit was reached by ramps on two sides. The site was covered by volcano lava around 300-400 AD, forcing total abandonment. Lava from the volcano covers all of Cuicuilco, including the lower part of the round pyramid. The Cuicuilco-Ticomán culture succeeded the Middle Formative villages of the valley but retained many of their traits, such as the manufacture of solid handmade figurines.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: In a general sense, the whole way of life of man as a species. In a more specific usage, it is the learned behavior, social customs, ideas, and technology characteristic of a certain people or civilization at a particular time or over a period of time (such as Eskimo culture). In this sense, a culture is a group of people whose total activities define what they represent and are transmitted to others in the group by social (mainly linguistic) -- as opposed to genetic -- means. Culture includes the production of ideas, artifacts, and institutions. In a more restricted sense (as in the term 'blade culture') culture signifies the artifacts or tool- and implement-making tradition of a people or a stage of development. Similar or related assemblages found in several sites within a defined area during the same time period, considered to represent the activities of one specific group of people is a culture. Cultures are often named for a particular site or an artifact. The word 'culture' in archaeology means a collection of archaeologically observable data; it is defined as the regularly occurring assemblage of associated artifacts and practices, such as pottery, house-types, metalwork, and burial rites, and regarded in this sense as the physical expression of a particular social group. This usage is especially associated with Gordon Childe, who popularized this concept as a means of analyzing prehistoricmaterial. Thus the Bandkeramik culture of Neolithic Europe is an hypothesized social group characterized by its use of a particular type of pottery, houses, etc. The term, in reference to the specific elements of material culture, is most often used in the Old World.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Any significant modification in the essential structure and elements of a culture over a period of time.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient city, probably the oldest Greek mainland colony in the west, and home of the Sibyline Oracle (Greek prophetess), described by Virgil in the opening of the sixth book of the Aeneid. Located on a hill on the Italian coast west of Naples, it was founded about 750 BC by Greeks, though there were earlier Bronze and Iron Age settlements, too. Cumaecame to control the most fertile parts of the Campanian plain and fought mainly with the Etruscans during the last half of the 6th century and first half of the 5th. The Samnites, however, overwhelmed Cumae in 428/421 BC, and was dominated by Rome from 338 BC. In 1205 it was destroyed, but remains of fortifications and graves from all periods have been found on the city's acropolis hill and elsewhere on the site. It is probably through Cumae that a Chalcidaean version of the Greek alphabet was transmitted to the Etruscans in the 7th century BC and thence eventually to the Italian peninsula.
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."
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: Cusco CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The political and religious capital of Inca Empire, located in the southern highlands of Peru. Although previously occupied, the site was first settled by Inca in Late Intermediate period, c 1200 AD. After 1438, Pachacuti planned and rebuilt a city metropolis. It was a ceremonial center rather than a population center and stood at the intersection of the four administrative quarters of the empire (called Tawantinguyu). There were great palaces around the Huacapata (Holy Place), the Sunturhuasi, a tower which stood in the square, and the Sun Temple (Coricancha/Curicancha). The city was planned on a gridsystem and Cyclopean masonry walls of some streets, such as Callejon de Loreto, still exist, as do those of the nearby fortress of Sacsahuaman. A system of stone conduits brought residents water from various river sources.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cylindrical vase CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A ceramicform popular in the Early Classic Period in Mesoamerica and an important artifact of Teotihuacan. It is cylindrical in shape and stands on three slab or cylindrical legs and frequently has a knobbed lid.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Greek colony in Libya founded c 630-650 BC by settlers from Thera; it was located halfway between Egypt and Tunisia on the African coast. Its fertile soil made it a great African city in Roman times. Cyrene was also famous in antiquity for its horses and the production of the plant silphium which was used by the Greeks to prepare certain medicines. The extensive remains still visible today are mostly Roman, laid out on an Hellenistic plan. Evidence exists for earlier buildings, including the 6th-century BC Temple of Apollo with stone columns and mainly mud-brick walls. Imported Greek pottery of the Archaic period has been found in the sanctuary of Demeter.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In Classical architecture, the plain lower portion between the base and cornice of the pedestal of a column. The term also referred to the lower portion of a wall, distinctively decorated, paneled, or painted, up to 2-3 feet above the floor. Internal walls were so treated between the 16th-18th centuries, though toward the close of that period the dado was left plain and merely defined by a rail along the wall.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Roman province on the east coast of the Adriatic, roughly corresponding to modern Yugoslavia. The Roman expansion began c mid-2nd century BC and ended around the 9th century AD when it became the province of Illyricum. The fall of the Dalmatian capital, Delminium, in 155 brought Roman civilization to the country. On the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, Dalmatia fell under the power of Odoacer in 481 and later under that of Theodoric. It was a battlefield during the wars between the Goths and the Byzantine emperor Justinian I and valuable to Rome for its mineral deposits, land routes and harbors, and legendary soldiers. Illyricum was soon subdivided into two provinces, known by the Flavianperiod as Dalmatia and Pannonia. The name Dalmatia probably comes from the name of an Illyrian tribe, the Delmata, an Indo-European people who overran the northwestern part of the Balkan Peninsula beginning about 1000 BC.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A complex of the late Paleo-Indian and Archaic periods of the midwestern and eastern U.S., associated with the Dalton projectile point class. The point was varied due to reuse and resharpening. The Dalton sites indicate that hunting deer was important. Brand in northeast Arkansas and Stanfield-Worley Bluff in Alabama are the best-known sites.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A rich oasis city at the inland end of a pass in Syria and the modern capital of Syria. Damascus was occupied by the 3rd millennium BC, but the settlements of the prehistoric, biblical and Roman periods underlie the modern and medieval city and are therefore not readily available for excavation. Excavations have demonstrated that an urban center existed in the 4th millennium BC at Tall as-Salhiyah, southeast of Damascus. Pottery from the 3rd millennium BC has been found in the Old City. Before the 2nd millennium BC an intricate system of irrigation for Damascus and al-Ghutah had been developed. Egyptian texts and references in the Bible attest the city's importance in international trade from the 16th century BC; it appears as Dimashqa in the Tell El-Amarna documents. The Aramaeans conquered Damascus in the late 2nd millennium BC and it was subsequently annexed by the Israelites (10th century BC) and later the Assyrians (8th century BC). By 85 BC it had become capital of Nabatean kingdom; by 64 BC it was a Roman city of commercial and strategic importance, and subsequently a major Byzantine garrison. Damascus was captured by the Arabs in 635 and chosen as their capital by the Ummayads, who formed the first Islamic dynasty and ruled from 661-750. Its most famous Islamic monument if the Great Mosque of the caliph al-Walid, built in 706-714/715. Among ancient cities of the world, Damascus is perhaps the oldest continuously inhabited. Its name, Dimashq in Arabic (colloquially ash-Sham, meaning the northern as located from Arabia), derives from Dimashka, a word of pre-Semitic etymology, suggesting that the beginnings of Damascus go back to a time before recorded history.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An area of southern Bactria, Afghanistan, with Bronze Age, Achaemenid, and Classical sites. There are major architectural ruins from these periods.
Deagan, Kathleen (1948- )
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A leading contemporary Americanist archaeologist, specializing in the excavation and analysis of Spanish colonial period sites in the American Southeast and Caribbean.
deep sea cores
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: deep sea core dating, deep-sea cores CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A technique used in the analysis of data from oceanic sediments in which the material retrieved by the core yields information on temperature changes in the ocean through time. These changes, suggestive of climatic variation, help to chart the progress of glaciation and, since they can be dated, the technique assists in the establishment of a chronology for the Quaternary. The cores, some 5 cm. in diameter and up to 25 m. deep, are extracted from the ocean floor. The sediments they contain have a high percentage of calcium carbonate content made up of the shells of small marine organisms and these sediments build up very slowly, from 10-50 mm per 1000 years, but their sequence is uninterrupted. Since these organisms have different temperature preferences depending on species, the relative abundance of the various species changes as the temperature alters. Variations in the ratio of two oxygen isotopes in the calcium carbonate of these shells give a sensitive indicator of sea temperature at the time the organisms were alive. Through the identification of the species, and by the use of oxygen isotope analysis, a picture can be built up of variations in temperature over the millennia. Since various forms of dating (radiocarbon dating, ionium dating, uranium seriesdating, palaeomagnetism, protactinium/ionium dating) can be used on the carbonate in the shells, absolute dates can be given to the different levels in the core. Thus dates emerge for glaciations and interglacial periods, which can assist in the age determination of archaeologicalmaterial found in association with these glacial phases. Problems with the technique are the difficulty of correlating oceanic temperature changes with continental glacial and interglacial phases, and the disturbance by animals living on the ocean bottom. The piston corer was developed in 1947.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site in Iran where Frank Hole and Ken Flannery studied the origins of food production. They excavated at Tepe Ali Kosh, Tepe Sabz, and Choga Sefid to create a cultural sequence from around 8000 bc through the Urukperiod to historical times.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Iunet, Tantere, Tentyris CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Upper Egypt with a well-preserved temple of Hathor from the Middle Kingdom and frequently added to by later rulers through to the Roman emperor Trajan. It was the site of the ancient capital of the sixth Upper Egyptian nome, located near modern Qena, close to the mouth of the Wadi Hammamat route to the Red Sea, making it an important center in Dynastic times. The Denderanecropolis of mastaba tombs ranges in date from the Early Dynastic (Old Kingdom) period to the First Intermediate Period.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A warm period during the Middle pleniglacial phase of the last (Weichselian) glaciation (cold stage) in Europe. It is dated to around 28,000 BC (30,000 bp).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Weichselian, Devensian glaciation, Weichsel glaciation CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: The final continental glacial advance, dating to c 115,000-10,000 BP, especially referring to a group of British deposits, stratified above Ipswichian Interglacial deposits. Much of northern England, Scotland, and Wales is covered by a blanket of Devensian tills, sands, and gravels and these sediments were deposited by the ice-sheet. South of the ice-sheet margin is a series of related pro-glacial and periglacial deposits. Most of the Devensianstage can be dated using radiocarbon, and by this means it has been correlated with the Weichselian in northwest Europe and the Wisconsin in North America. All these formations represent one cold stage and directly preceded our present period of predominantly warm climate (the Flandrian or Holocene). Not all of the Devensian deposits are strictly glacial; some contain abundant fossils which indicate warmer interstadial periods. Three interstadials have been defined in Britain: the ChelfordInterstadial (c 61,000 bp); the Upton Warren Interstadialcomplex (45-25,000 bp), and the Windermere Interstadial (13-11,000 bp). Levallosian, Mousterian, and Upper Palaeolithic artifacts are found in Devensian deposits and bones of Homo Sapiens have been found in Devensian cave sediments.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A small fortified Late Neolithic settlement site in Thessaly, Greece. Within the multiple walls and elaborate system of fortifications are a large megaronpalace and smaller buildings. The typical pottery was elegant bichrome with spirals and meanders painted in black or white on a yellow or buff ground. Two tholos tombs date from the Mycenaean period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: diachronous; antonym: synchronous CATEGORY: term; chronology DEFINITION: Referring to two or more reference points in time, especially as they pertain to phenomena as they occur or change over a period of time; a chronological perspective. The term refers to actions or things, as in the study of artifacts in a region as they change across sequential periods.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: Gradual change over a period of time.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: diagnostic artifact CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An artifact or some other aspect of a site that is known to be associated with a particular time period
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tien CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Bronze Age culture and barbarian kingdom in southwest China centered on Lake Dian in Yunnan province. According to Chinese sources, the Dian royal house traced its descent from a Chu general who invaded Yunnan in the late 4th century BC and remained to rule the local tribes. In 109 BC, Dian surrendered to Han armies; a generation later the kingdom was destroyed after a revolt. The highly distinctive culture is known mainly from cemetery sites, especially Shizhaishan where the burials date from the Han occupation. Earlier burials of the period c 600-300 BC have been excavated at Dapona and Wanjiaba. Many of the objects unearthed at Shizhaishan were imports from China: coins, mirrors, belt hooks, silk, crossbow mechanisms, and a goldseal from the Han court that reads 'Seal of the King of Dian'. Other finds seem to be local adaptations of prototypes originating in the state of Chu. There was active trade with the southern Zhou states of Shu and Ba before the Han Dynasty.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A person or group's pattern of consumption over a long period of time.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tilmun CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A region and island situated in the Gulf, probably Bahrain, the western shore of the Gulf and the island of Failaka in Kuwait, that was an important trading center during the 3rd millennium BC. The name appeared in Mesopotamian texts of the Early Dynastic, Akkadian, and Ur III periods; the epic hero Gilgamesh visited Dilmun in his search for immortality. The name Dilmun appears in economic documents with which the cities of Magan and Meluhha traded. From the Mesopotamian documents it seems that Dilmun served mainly as an entrepot for trade between the Indus Valley civilization and Mesopotamia, but it is also recorded as exporting dates and pearls of its own.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Iron Age Hill Fort near Cardiff, Wales, which was refurbished in the sub-Roman and medieval periods. Traces of hearths, a collection of Mediterranean imported pottery, and metal-working debris such as molds, furnaces, and ovens have been found.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ting CATEGORY: artifact; ceramics DEFINITION: A Chinese tripod bowl with solid legs. From the Neolithic it was made of ceramic and from the Shangperiod it occurred in bronze; there were also quadrapods.
CATEGORY: geography DEFINITION: One of the main tributaries of Tigris River, east of Baghdad, Iraq, where four sites were excavated: Tell Asmar (Eshnunna), Khafajah (Khafaje), Ischali, and Tell Aqrab of the Jemdet Nasr and Early Dynastic periods. The work allowed the establishment of a potterysequence for this part of Mesopotamia, from the late 4th to the early 2nd millennium BC and the investigation of a number of important buildings of the periods.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of clayfigurine, most often depicting a pregnant female, made in Japan during the Jomonperiod, c 5th-4th millennium to c 250 BC. The function of these figurines is unknown, but it is generally believed that they were some kind of fertility symbol and they are reminiscent of the rigidly frontal fertility figures produced by other prehistoric cultures. Archaeological evidence suggests they were aids in childbirth as well as fertility symbols. They are also found in simulated burials, indicating some kind of ceremonial function. Fired at a low temperature, they often have crumbly surfaces and many are painted red.
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: In antiquity (especially in France), a word for a megalithic tomb consisting of orthostats and capstone or for megalithic chamber tombs in general. This was usually a stone structure consisting of upright columns supporting a slab roof and known from Neolithic times. In English archaeological literature 'dolmen' should be used only for tombs whose original plan cannot be determined or for tombs of simple unspecialized types which do not fit into the passage grave or gallery grave categories; it is also used for relatively small, closed megalithic chambers, such as the dysser of Scandinavia. The name was probably derived from Cornish 'tolmen' (stone table). The word has a second meaning for the enclosure for burial in a jar of the Yayoiperiod in Japan consisting of a single large stone slab supported on a ring of stones. A third meaning is for a megalithic stone burialfeature in western China and coast Yellow Sea area, dating to the 1st millennium BC, of which there are three forms -- raised table, low table, and unsupported capstone.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic camping site in southern Moravia of the mammoth hunters of loess country. Excavation has revealed various phases of occupation, represented by houses, hearths, flint tools (burins, scrapers, backed blades), ornaments of mammothivory, animal figurines of baked clay, Venus figurines, faunal and human remains. The main occupation level dates from 25,000 BP, the beginning of the last glacial maximum (the end of an interstadialperiod). The culture has been called Pavlovian or eastern Gravettian.
CATEGORY: language; artifact DEFINITION: A survey of land ownership in England after the Norman Conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle describes how in 1085 it was decided to make a record of the number of hides in land existing in each English shire and to establish the amount and value of acreage and livestock possessed by individual landowners. The idea was to create a new rating system which would protect and enlarge the king's revenue. The resulting document -- a two-volume survey of land ownership arranged under tenurial rather than territorial headings -- is the great testament of feudal England. Domesday Book is of fundamental importance to both historians and archaeologists of the Late Saxon and early Norman periods, as it gives the names and sizes of villages, farms, manors, churches, and other properties that existed at the time as well as certain sales and transactions.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Dong Dau CATEGORY: culture; site DEFINITION: The second Bronze Age phase of North Vietnam (bronze moyen), dated to the second half of the 2nd millennium BC. Its bronzes contain about 20 per cent tin, and forms and casting methods are ancestral to those of the classic Dong-Son (bronze final) phase and succeeded Phung Nguyen in c 1500 BC. Dong-dau is the site which gave its name to this period.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The largest Maya city of the Petexbatun part of Guatemala during the Late Classic period. The tomb of a Late Classic ruler was discovered which included a spectacular headdress.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of bronzebell made in Yayoiperiod Japan that was cast from melted bronzes, some heavily decorated. They may have been used in agricultural fertility rituals.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Ireland where a hoard of over 200 bronzes of the Irish Late Bronze Age have been dated to the 8th century BC. Implements of the Dowris A phase (c 1000-c 800 BC) include many gold ornaments and a series of bronzes showing great proficiency in casting and sheet metalwork. Ireland was at this time in contact with Mediterranean and Nordic lands. Bronze cauldrons and V-notched shields demonstrate western links, while U-notched shields, bronze buckets and horns, pins with sunflower-shaped heads, and the use of conical rivets show connections with northern and central Europe. Ireland did not enter the Iron Age until just after 400 BC (i.e. during the La Tène period), though a few swords and axes show contact with Hallstatt Iron Age cultures. Dowris B and C were the final Irish bronze industries (c 800-400 BC) contemporary with the first part of the continental Iron Age.
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."
Duff, Roger Shepherd (1912-1978)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A New Zealand archaeologists known for his The Moa-hunter Period of Maori Culture" (1950) and for being a pioneer of Polynesian archaeology. He worked at Wairau Bar classified Polynesian and Southeast Asian stone adzes and proved the Polynesian origin of the first inhabitants of New Zealand."
CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A Scottish/Irish term for a fortified stone dwelling place. There are large duns of hill-forttype and small defended homesteads. Some examples, of both ringfort and promontory fort types, have galleries or passages within the drystone enclosure wall. The oldest duns belong to the late Iron Age, but they continued to be built into the early Christian and medieval periods.
CATEGORY: geology; geography DEFINITION: A landform (hill, mound, or ridge) of sand or other loose material that is formed by wind action. Dunes exist due to the ability of wind to transport unconsolidated material and are mainly associated with desert regions where windblown sand occupies extensive areas. In the recent geological past, desert areas may have been even larger during dry periods in the Pleistoceneglaciation. At that time great areas of loess (windblown silt) were deposited across North America, Europe, and Asia. Dunes also form in coastal areas. Migration of active dunes can bury archaeological deposits.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A test excavation in the Eanna district of Warka for study of the origins of writing in southern Mesopotamia. The site has an 18-levelsequence from the 'Ubaid (XVIII-XV), Early Uruk (XIV-IX), Middle Uruk (VIII-VI), Late Uruk (V-IV), Jemdet Nasr (III), and Early Dynastic (II-I) periods. Cylinder seals, sealings, and written texts from Mesopotamian administrations were found here for the first time.
Early Bronze Age
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period in the Levantdating to c 3200-1950 BC, just before Egypt's Archaic Period. Increasing urbanization was shown by the building of walled towns.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period during which the Chavin culture flourished in the central Andes of South America and was integrated into the northern highlands and coastal region of Peru, c 900-1 BC (also said to be c 1200-300 BC). It is one of a seven-period chronological construction used in Peruvian archaeology. It coincides with the duration of the Chavin style and its derivatives, such as Cupisnique. Following this, there was regional differentiation culminating in the complex cultures of the Early Intermediate Period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Paleo-Indian CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A term applied to the earliest stage in New World history, when man first appeared and started hunting and gathering. The period is characterized by large projectile points and percussion-chipped stone tools suitable for the slaughter and butchering of big game.
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.
East Greek pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A type of pottery produced during the Archaic Period within the Greek islands an on the western coast of Turkey at Chios, Samos, Ephesus, Miletus, Clazomenae, and Rhodes.
East Spanish rock art
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An art style of southeastern Spain, found on the walls of shallow rock shelters and probably of the Mesolithicperiod. The subjects are lively scenes from everyday life, with warriors, hunters, dancers, and animals. The style is unlike that of cave art, the figures being small and painted in solid colors with no attempt at light and shade.
CATEGORY: site; artifact DEFINITION: A small valley in southern England with an important series of loams and gravels spanning the last two glacial periods and intervening interglacial. Stone tools included Levallois flakes, but only a few hand axes and other tool types were found. The area has also given its name to a decorated potterystyle of the Neolithicperiod. The first Jutes, Hengist and Horsa, landed at Ebbsfleet in the Isle of Thanet in 449 AD.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Peterborough ware CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A family of elaborately decorated Neolithicceramics found in southern and eastern parts of the British Isles. Dating to the period 3000 to 2000 BC, Isobel Smith divided Peterborough wares into three successive styles-Ebbsfleet, Mortlake, and Fengate-on the basis of their occurrence in the ditch fills at Windmill Hill. It is now recognized that these three groups overlap rather more than originally thought, and that they are best seen as part of the broad group of impressed wares found over much of northern Europe in the 3rd millennium BC. The decoration on Peterborough ware consists of pits, ?maggot impressions' made by impressing tightly rolled cord, and the impressions made by pressing the ends of bird bones into the soft clay before firing. Some of the later vessels are the first in Britain to be made with flat bases.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The structure of economic life in a country, area, or period; the provisioning of human society with food, water, shelter, etc.
edge-ground stone tool
CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A toolclassification of Pleistocene northern Australia and New Guinea and Southeast Asia comprised of hatchets, flakes, and other tools. Important sites include Nawamoyn, Malangangerr, Arnhem Land, Cape York, New Guinea Highlands. Edge-ground tools do not appear until the late Holocene elsewhere in Australia; they are completely absent from Tasmania. In Southeast Asia, it comprises flaked stone tools which are sharpened by grinding or polishing the cutting edge only. They existed in the Bacsonian and Hoabhinian periods.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: effigy vessel CATEGORY: artifact; ceramics DEFINITION: An image or representation, usually depicting people or animals, often made of pottery or stone -- such as a ceramic vessel. Such vessels were typical artifacts of the Mississippianperiod in North America, c 75-1540 AD.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Small pipes carved in one piece from stone and polished, representing birds, fish, and other animals, particularly form the Hopewellculture of the Eastern Woodlands of the United States during 300 BC-200 AD. In other areas and periods of the US, larger stoneeffigy pipes were carved in a variety of zoomorphic and human forms, such as the human effigy pipes of Adena Mound, Ohio.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A series of preagricultural hunting sites in northwest Venezuela where Pleistocene tools have been found on old river terraces. There is a distinctive leaf-shaped spearpoint (the Jobo point) which has also been found at mammoth-kill sites in neighboring parts of Venezuela, where radiocarbon dates confirm a late Pleistocene age (13,000-7000 BC). The crude chopping tools from El Jobo may belong to an earlier period. Some archaeologists prefer to see the complex as a local development unassociated with the movement of Big Game Hunters into South America.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A periodic climatic phenomenon in which unusually warm ocean conditions occur along the tropical west coast of South America. The tropical water flow south, causing heavy rains and ecological destruction from Ecuador to Chile. The phenomenon can also affect equatorial Pacific and occasionally in Asia and North America.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chuquitanta CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large ceremonial site in the Chillón Valley on the central coast of Peru,) dating to the Late Preceramic and Initial Period. It has a massive architectural complex of 6-7 mounds, courts, and rooms interconnected by corridors. Five to six building phases are evident in the constructions of fieldstone masonry laid in clay. No pottery or maize has been found, but twined and woven textiles are common in burials and domesticated beans and squash remains have also been recovered.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tajín CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The major ceremonial site of the classic Veracruz civilization on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. The first construction goes back to 100 BC and building was continuous until c AD 1200 when the site was burned and abandoned. The principal structure is The Pyramid of Niches with 365 square niches built into the sides, corresponding to the 365 heads on the Temple of Quetzalcoatl at Teotihuacan. There are several ball-courts and a series of carved reliefs depicting mythological and ritual themes in which ball-players have an important role. Another part of the site is Tahin Chico, containing chambered buildings on low substructures. The people of El Tajín maintained trade contacts with Teotihuacan and the Maya states. The art style of the site was subject to many influences including Mayan, Izapan, and Olmec, but Teotihuacan influence dominates the early period. The artifact most commonly associated with Classic Veracruz culture is the hollow, clay 'smiling face' figurine. El Tajin's final destruction was probably at the hands of the Chichimecs.
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: fauna DEFINITION: Either of two species of the family Elephantidae, characterized by their large size, huge head, columnar legs, and large ears. The Indian elephant was regularly employed for show and war as early as the Bronze Age in China. Wild herds survived in the Near East into the 1st millennium BC, when they were hunted to extinction for their ivory, and in North Africa, where they supplied Hannibal with his war elephants. Forms now extinct, especially the mammoth, were an important source of food in the Palaeolithicperiod, and are portrayed in cave art. Living elephants are now confined to Africa. The African elephant formerly occupied a far larger area, as is attested by skeletal evidence and cave paintings in North Africa. The reduction in its range is probably due to the combined effects of climatic change, human hunting, and cattle-grazing. The straight-tusked elephant, Elephas antiquus, apparently adapted to the open deciduous woodlands of interglacials in Europe, but became extinct at the end of the Ipswichianinterglacial. Dwarf forms of the straight-tusked elephant evolved on islands of the Mediterranean.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An island in the Nile just above Aswan, Egypt, which was the traditional southern boundary between Egypt and Nubia during the Old and Middle Kingdoms. It had famous granite quarries whose stone was used extensively throughout ancient Egypt. Two temples recorded by the archaeologists of Napoleon's expedition have since disappeared. Remains show continual occupation from the Archaic period to the Greco-Roman period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Nekheb, El-Kab CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Upper Egyptian site on the east bank of the Nile, consisting of prehistoric and Pharaonic settlements, rock-cut tombs of the earth 18th Dynasty (1550-1295 BC), and remains of temples dating from the Early Dynastic period (3100-2686 BC) to the Ptolemaic period (332-30 BC). The most substantial remains are the massive mud-brick enclosure walls of the towns and the temple of Nekhbet. It is the type site of El-Kabian, a microlithic Epipalaeolithic industry dated to c 6000 BC.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Large, roughly triangular-shaped chipped stone points with concave, straight, or slightly concave bases. Two main forms are known: those with corner notches on the base and those with ?ears' on the base. Dated to the period 1300 BC to AD 700 among Desert Archaic Stage communities of the Great Basin and western interior of North America.
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.
Emery, Walter Bryan (1903-1971)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: British Egyptologist noted for his careful surveying and study of prospective sites. He discovered galleries of the Bucheum in Armant, burials of Nubian X-Group kings, queens and nobility of 4th-6th century AD, and at Saqqara, excavating many Archaic Period mastabas. His most important discovery was a row of 1st-Dynasty tombs attributable to kings or nobles. He excavated at Thebes-West Bank, Nubia's Buhen and Ballana and Qustul.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (from Greek burnt in")" CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An ancient method of painting, recorded by Pliny, of fixing pigments with heated wax. It was probably first practiced in Egypt about 3000 BC and is thought to have reached its peak in Classical Greece, although no examples from that period survive. Pigments, mixed with melted beeswax, were brushed onto stone or plaster, smoothed with a metal spatula, and then blended and driven into the wall with a heated iron. The surface was later polished with a cloth. It was particularly used for the Fayum mummy-portraits of Roman Egypt. Leonardo da Vinci and others attempted unsuccessfully to revive the technique. North American Indians used an encaustic method whereby pigments mixed with hot animal fat were pressed into a design engraved on smoothed buffalo hide.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: endscraper, grattoir CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: A stone tool formed by chipping the end of a flake of stone which can then be used to scrape animal hides and wood. Its steeply angled (acute) working edge was used for flensing or softening hides and to dress skins. It appeared in Europe during the Upper Palaeolithicperiod. It differed from side scrapers in that it had a rounded retouched end and was often made on a blade. A side scraper had a retouched working edge along the long edge of the flake.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aeneolithic, Chalcolithic, Copper Age CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period in the Near East and southeastern Europe when coppermetallurgy was being adopted by Neolithic cultures, in the 4th and 3rd millennia BC. The period is called the Chalcolithic in the Near East and the Copper Age in other areas.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A major geological epoch of the earth's history -- the second division of the Tertiary Period (Cenozoic Era) that began about 57.8 million years ago and ended about 36.6 million years ago. It follows the Paleocene Epoch and precedes the Oligocene Epoch. The Eocene is often divided into Early (57.8 to 52 million years ago), Middle (52 to 43.6 mya), and Late (43.6 to 36.6 mya) epochs. The name Eocene is derived from the Greek eos (dawn") and refers to the dawn of recent life; during the Eocene all the major divisions or orders of modern mammals appeared."
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.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A subdivision of geological time, millions of years in length, representing units of eras; a division of geologic time less than a period and greater than an age
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A major division of geological time, usually distinguished by significant change in the animal and plant kingdoms and tens or hundreds of millions of years long; it is used to denote archaeological periods, such as the prehistoric era
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Abu Shahrain CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite at Abu Shahrain, identified as the ancient Eridu, the oldest city of Sumer -- possibly the oldest in history. Occupation began in the 'Ubaidperiod, the earliest phase of which is named after this site, in the mid 6th millennium BC. A series of temples of the 'Ubaid and Uruk periods have been found, decorated with typical Sumerian buttresses and niches in the walls. Its long succession of superimposed temples portrayed the growth and development of an elaborate mud-brick architecture. A palace of the Early Dynastic period c 2500 BC has also been excavated. It was important throughout Mesopotamian history as a religious center and sanctuary of Enki (Ea). Outside the temple precinct, a large cemetery of the late 'Ubaidperiod was found; containing around 1000 graves. Grave goods include painted pottery vessels, terra-cotta figurines, and baked clay tools, such as sickles and shaft-hole axes. The site declined in importance with the rise of Ur under its 3rd dynasty (c 2100 BC) and was occupied until around c 600 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Erh-li-kang CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A stage of the early Bronze Age in North China seen in two strata at Zhengzhou Erligang, classified archaeologically as Middle Shang. The phase preceded the Anyangperiod (c 1300-1030 BC) and radiocarbon dates have been c 1600-1550 bc. The massive rammed-earth fortification, 118 feet wide at its base and enclosing an area of 1.2 square miles, would have taken 10,000 men more than 12 years to build. Also found were ritual bronzes, including four monumental tetrapods, palace foundations; workshops for bronzecasting, pot making, and bone working; burials; and two inscribed fragments of oracle bones. The Erligang phase may correspond to the widest sway of the Shang empire and is known for its highly developed bronze-castingindustry. Some Chinese archaeologists call the phase Early Shang.
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: Tell Asmar CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient city under the mound of Tell Asmar, northeast of Baghdad, Iraq. It was a city-state in the Early Dynastic period (early 3rd millennium BC) and there are shrines, sculpture, palaces, and private houses. It became politically important in the 19th and 18th centuries BC, when it was involved in a struggle for power with Assur, Mari, Elam, and Babylon. It is rarely mentioned in history after its conquest by Hammurabi of Babylon, c 1761 BC.
etched carnelian bead
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Beads with an etched decoration created with heat after a design in an alkali or metallic oxide paste has been painted. It was developed by the late Harappan period in south Asia and continues to be used.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large temple mound site in northern Georgia, of the Mississippiantradition and dating from the Temple Mound II period, c 1200-1700 AD. There was a fortified farming village with three temple mounds, which appears to have functioned mainly as a ceremonial center. In North America only Monk's Mound at Cahokia contains a greater volume than Etowah's 20-meter high mound. The artifacts include Lamar pottery (an elaborately stamped or incised utilitarian ware), under life-size stone statues of humans usually in a sitting or kneeling position, and Southern Cult paraphernalia.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Pottery produced at various centers in Etruria, especially during the Archaic and Classical periods. Although plain wares were particular common (Bucchero, Impasto), figure-decorated pottery was also produced (Caeretan ware, Pontic ware).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj. eustatic CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: Changes in sea level on a global basis, usually as the result of a major event such as the end of a glaciation. In such a case a eustatic rise due to the melting of the glaciers can be expected in a post-glacialperiod. These sea-level movements can be independent of any change in the height of the land, but isostasy can happen contemporaneously as a result of the same phenomenon. This worldwide alteration in sea level is independent of any isostatic movement of the land. At the end of a glaciationmelting of the water previously held in the ice sheets raises sea levels (eustatic rise), and a high level can often be correlated with an interglacialperiod or with the postglacial phase. Such fluctuations have occurred throughout the Quaternary, due to changes in the extent of ice sheets and thus in the volume of water locked up as ice. The larger the ice sheets, the less water available to the sea, and so sea level is lower during glacials than during interglacials. Evidence exists for a whole series of eustatic sea level fluctuations, but the most widespread is the 'high stand' in c 120,000 bp, just before the start of the last cold stage, when sea levels were between 2-10 meters higher than at the present day. During the maximum extent of the ice-sheets of the last cold stage, eustatic sea level was much lower than that of today. Large areas of continental shelf were exposed, some being occupied by the ice sheets themselves. Recovery of sea level at the end of the last cold stage is relatively well known from deposits in the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and Scotland, but is complicated by isostatic changes. The North Sea and English Channel flooded, separating Britain from the Continent, by about 7000 bp. Ireland became a separate island at about the same time. Scandinavia had a complicated series of different seas and lakes, until a sea similar to today's Baltic became established around 7000 bp. The main factors that influence sea level are global ice volumes, plate tectonics, changes in ocean volumes and dimensions, and the movement of mantle material.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A settlement site in Boeotia, central Greece, first occupied in Middle, Late, and sub-Neolithic, but the most important occupation was of the Bronze Age beginning c 3450 BC. The Middle Helladic seems here to have carried on late, unaffected by the Late Helladic of the Mycenaeans elsewhere. The site was inhabited continuously until the 13th century BC, when it was extensively fortified and subsequently abandoned. It was reoccupied in the Classical and Hellenistic periods. Eutresis is the type site for the Early Helladic I Eutresisculture.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: An Eneolithic and Early Bronze Age site in central Bulgaria which lends its name to a culture of the lower Danube basin and the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria. There were two building phases of the Veselinovoculture (Karanovo III) dated c 4320 BC, a level with Karanovo IV pottery, eight building levels of the Copper Age (Karanovo V-VII) dated c 3630 BC, and nine building levels of the Early Bronze Age. The Bronze Age levels have radiocarbon dates of c 2500-2200 BC and the pottery has affinities with the Early Bronze Age of Troy. Ezero had a very rich bone, antler, and stoneindustry and provides the most detailed chronology for southeastern Europe for the time period.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A fertile area of the Egyptian Sahara which receives water from an arm of the Nile. It was important during the Neolithic and developed only during the Middle Kingdom and the Greco-Roman period.
Far'ah, Tall al-
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tell el Far'ah; el-Fara, Tell; Beth-pelet; Sharuhen CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Ancient site in southwestern Palestine, located on the Wadi Ghazzah near Tall al-'Ajjul, in modern Israel. It has Chalcolithic remains of the 4th millennium BC (pottery, stone objects) and was important in Early Bronze Age periods I and II when walled. Some scholars believe that the site is ancient Sharuhen, an important Egyptian (Hyksos) fortress during the late 17th-early 16th centuries BC. According to the Egyptian account, after the collapse of Hyksos rule in Egypt, Sharuhen managed to withstand a siege by anti-Hyksos Egyptians for three years. Excavations have revealed city levels and tombs dating from c 1900-1200 BC. In 9th century BC, it might have been Tirzah, capital of Omri before he moved to Samaria. It was destroyed by Assyrians in 722 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Shuruppak CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of the ancient Sumerian city of Shuruppak, in southern Mesopotamia, occupied during the first half of the 3rd millennium BC. It has yielded tablets and seal impressions of Early Dynastic period II-III.
Fara'in, Tell el-
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Pe and Dep, Per-Wadjyt, Buto CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A series of three mounds comprising two towns and a templecomplex in the northwestern delta of the Nile. Identified as ancient Buto by Flinders Petrie, it was occupied from late Predynastic times until the Roman period, c 3300 BC-395 AD.
Fayyum, al- or Fayum
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Fayoum, Fayum region, ancient Ta-she, She-resy, Moeris CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large fertile depression in the Libyan Desert, southwest of Cairo near the west bank of the Nile, with two prehistoric cultures dating to c 5000 BC and c 4500 BC. These early settlements were of the first food-producing peoples of Egypt. Emmer and barley were cultivated and cattle, sheep, and pigs bred. Saw-edged sickle flints, mat-lined silo pits, and saddle querns have been found and ax heads were of flaked flint or ground pebbles. Hollow-based flint arrowheads, bone dart tips, stone maceheads, and bone harpoons were used for hunting and fishing. Artifacts of special note include a threshing flail and a wooden sickle set with flint teeth. Pottery was in use and beads of ostrich eggshell and seashells of both Mediterranean and Red Sea types were imported. Lake Qarun had fish which were a delicacy for Egyptians throughout the ages. In Middle Empire (c 2000 BC), the pharaohs (Amenemhet III) engaged in huge irrigation and drainage schemes and the area was famous for orchards and gardens. After a period of decline, the Ptolemies in turn took an interest in the area, establishing a number of small towns there, the papyrus archives which have survived in great quantity and excellent state of preservation. The region incorporates archaeological sites dating from the late Palaeolithic to the late Roman and Christian periods (c 8000 BC-641 AD), including Shedet (later Crocodilopolis), chief center for worship of the crocodile-god Sebek, near which al-Fayyum town now lies.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Peterborough ware CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A family of elaborately decorated Neolithicceramics found in southern and eastern parts of the British Isles. Dating to the period 3000 to 2000 BC, Isobel Smith divided Peterborough wares into three successive styles-Ebbsfleet, Mortlake, and Fengate-on the basis of their occurrence in the ditch fills at Windmill Hill. It is now recognized that these three groups overlap rather more than originally thought, and that they are best seen as part of the broad group of impressed wares found over much of northern Europe in the 3rd millennium BC. The decoration on Peterborough ware consists of pits, ?maggot impressions' made by impressing tightly rolled cord, and the impressions made by pressing the ends of bird bones into the soft clay before firing. Some of the later vessels are the first in Britain to be made with flat bases.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: feudal system CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A hierarchical political and economic system of the Middle Ages in which land was granted in return for military or labor services and the peasantry was ruled by a class of landowners. Several of the great civilizations of the world have passed through a feudal period in the course of their history -- in many countries of Europe and in Japan. The origins of European feudalism were in the early Frankish kingdom of the 8th century; feudalism spread with Frankish conquests.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. fibulae CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: In antiquity, a clasp, buckle, or brooch of various designs, usually shaped like a modern safety pin. It was often used for fastening a draped garment such as a toga or cloak, made of bronze, gold, silver, ivory, etc.; and consisted of a bow, pin, and catch. It is the Latin word for brooch" and is so named for the outer of two bones of lower leg or hindlimb which together with the tibia resemble an ancient brooch. The earliest examples date to around 1300 BC. There are two main families of fibulae. In the south they were made in one piece starting with the Peschiera or violin bowform in northern Italy and Mycenaean Greece. From this developed the arc fibula north of the Mediterranean and the harp and spectacle fibulae in the eastern Alps in the years around 1000 BC. From the Certosa form was derived the long series of La Tène Iron Age varieties. Even wider variation is found among the succeeding Roman fibulae leading on to the final forms in the Saxon and Migration periods. Around the same time there was an apparently independent development in northern Europe of the two-piece variety. Fibula types include: violin bow arc elbowed serpentinedragon harp disk with 'elastic bow' leech boat two-piece fibula spiral La Tène I III. Fibula terms include: catchplate pin spring bow stilt elongated catchplate disk catchplate knobbed (Certosa) catchplate. Although primarily functional fibulas were often also highly decorated items of personal adornment sometimes inlaid with glass and precious stones. An enormous number of different types of fibulae were made and they can often be a useful guide to dating."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An archipelago in eastern Melanesia. Archaeological evidence shows that Fiji was settled by Austronesian-speaking peoples in the late 2nd millennium BC, and they developed pottery by about 1300 BC. A rich archaeological sequence begins with the Lapitaculture from about 1300 BC, and progresses through successive ceramic phases to a period of earthwork for construction and warfare, starting after c 1100 AD. Fijians are a Melanesian/Polynesian population, and their islands formed the main bridgehead for the Polynesian settlement of western Polynesia soon after 1300 BC. Fiji is the most easterly point in Oceania to have maintained production of pottery throughout its pre-history. The Dutch navigator Abel Tasman explored the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni in 1643.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An early Saxoncemetery in Kent, used between the early 6th and mid-7th centuries. The large inhumationcemetery has produced an impressive collection of material including a pattern-welded sword, garnet-inlaid bird brooches made in Kent, radiate brooches from the continent, and a richly decorated square-headed brooch. Wooden boxes with bronze binding, strings of beads, corroded buckets, and bone objects of the period were also found. Some of the female burials seem to have been interred alive.
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: chronology DEFINITION: The period of rule of the Roman emperors Vespasian (69-79), Titus (79-81), and Domitian (81-96) -- 69-96 AD, members of the Flavia gens.
Flemish black ware
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A type of later medieval pottery known from paintings of the Renaissanceperiod. Some of the wares were well-decorated but most Flemish wares were coarse black wares with pinched bases. They emerged a Roman tradition of potterymaking in Flanders.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Florentia, modern Italian Firenze CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Florence is a city in central Italy that was founded as a Roman military colony about the 1st century BC and achieved preeminence in commerce and finance, learning, and the arts during the 14th-16th centuries. Discovery of Villanovanmaterial suggests earlier occupation, perhaps from the 8th-9th centuries BC. Remains of the Roman period include bath buildings, theater and amphitheater, and a temple to Isis.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A French cave site in the Charente region, dated to the Riss glaciation. It has fragments of a human skull in association with chopping tools of Tayacian or Clactonian character dating from the Riss or Riss-Würm Interglacial period. The Fontéchevade skull has been classified as pre- or early Neanderthal. The upper levels are Middle and Upper Palaeolithicmaterial.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pre-Classic, Formative period; Preclassic CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A cultural stage in North America when agriculture and village settlement were developed, accompanied by pottery, weaving, stonecarving, and ceremonial objects and architecture. In the New World, especially Mesoamerica, it is also called the Pre-Classic period and preceded the Classic period. The period was also characterized by initial complex societies (chiefdoms) and long-distance trade networks. In Mesoamerica, it is divided into Early (2000-1000 BC), Middle (1000-300 BC), and Late (300 BC-300 AD). In Andea South America, the period is usually framed within the period 1800-1 BC -- and includes the Initial Period and Early Horizon. It begins with the introduction of ceramics. This occurred c 7600 bp in Amazonia and c 5200 bp in northwest Columbia.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Middle Neolithicfort in Eure-et-Loir, France, that was occupied till the Gall-Roman period. There was a Chasséen phase with decorated vase supports and terra-cotta female figurines, an Artenacien occupation, and evidence of metallurgy in the Middle and Late Bronze Age (crucibles, molds, etc.).
Fort Rock Cave
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Fort Rock Basin CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient Pleistocenesite in Oregon dated to over 13,000 BP and associated sites with a long sequence of occupation in the same lake basin. Deposits of pumice from an eruption of nearby Mount Mazama in c 5000 bc provided excellent chronological control for these sites. Associated artifacts, including a mano and metate, projectile points, and other stone artifacts indicate an early hunting and gathering subsistencepattern for this period. Later contexts contain artifacts of the Desert Tradition. Occupation continued into historic times, but looting has caused the archaeological record to be unreliable after c 1000 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: type fossils CATEGORY: lithics DEFINITION: Classes of lithic artifacts associated with specific time periods and archaeological cultures of the European Paleolithic.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A complex of sites in the Fraser River delta in British Columbia, Canada, showing the sequence of the Northwest Coast Tradition of three periods: Early 1000 BC-1 AD; Intermediate 1-1250 AD; and Late from 1250 AD. Three culturally distinct areas (the Canyon, the Plateau, and the Delta) contain evidence of the differing influences which influenced the Northwest Coast Tradition materials. Canyon sites provide evidence of a long occupation covering Big Game Hunting Tradition, Old Cordilleran Culture, and Archaic. Taken together, the sites indicate a movement from inland to the coast beginning c 2000 BC.
Frere, John (1740-1807)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A British antiquary who first recognized the antiquity of Palaeolithicflint artifacts. His flint weapon finds in the Hoxnebrick-earthpit in Suffolk in association with bones of extinct mammals in an undisturbed deep stratum was reported in 1797. Frere recognized that the implements were man-made, 'fabricated and used by a people who had not the use of metals', and suggested that they should be referred to 'a very remote period indeed; even beyond that of the present world'. His ideas were in advance of his time, and his conclusions were ignored largely because they contradicted the accepted Creation date of 4004 BC.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Germanic people inhabiting the North Sea coastal plain and islands between the Rhineland and the Elbe (Frisia) in the early centuries BC and AD. Their coastal settlements were on artificial mounds known as terpen. The Frisians were involved in the invasion of England by the Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century AD. They controlled the trade of the North Sea from the port of Dorestad at the mouth of the Rhine, which became a target for Viking raids. Frisia was absorbed into the Frankish kingdom, its conquest being completed by Charlemagne. Archaeological evidence of these trading ventures is seen at Dorestad, where extensive excavations have been done. Evidence in the mounded villages show signs of long-distance trade contacts, suggesting that the Frisians linked the Rhineland to the northern world from the beginning of the Roman period until modern times.
Fu Hao (fl. 12th c BC)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A consort of the late Shang king, Wu-ting, the fourth Shang ruler of Anyang. Fu Hao is mentioned in many oracle bone texts and on bronzeritual vessels. Her tomb, discovered at AnyangXiaotun in 1976, is the only royal tomb of the Shangperiod found intact and the only one whose occupant could be identified (by the 500 bronze vessels). The tomb was a small pit without entrance ramps, but its furnishings were very rich. Besides the bronzeritual vessels, 200 bronze weapons and tools, 600 jades and stone carvings, 500 objects of carved bone and ivory, 4 bronze mirrors, 7000 cowrie shells (used as money), and 16 sacrificial victims were revealed. The discovery has an important bearing on the chronology of Shang art and the periodization of oracle bone texts.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Fu-feng CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A district north of the Wei River in central Shaanxi province, China, rich in Western Chou/Zhou (1122-771 BC) remains. The area was the center of Chou power for several generations preceding the founding of the Choudynasty, and the dynastic capital Zong Zhou may also have been here. Excavations have revealed a palacecomplexdating from the early and middle Western Chou. A hoard of 103 ritual vessels and bells is the single most important find of Western Chou bronzes ever made; the contents of the hoard span nearly the whole of the Western Chouperiod.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Egyptian solid potterycones, 10-30 cm in length, which were placed at the entrances to tombs, often with the name and titles of the deceased on the flat, circular end. Found mainly in the Theban area of Middle Kingdom to Late Period dates (2125-332 BC), these cones were originally inserted in the brick-built tomb facade or tombpyramid to form horizontal rows. Most belong to the New Kingdom and the bulk of them to the 18th dynasty (1550-1295 BC).
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: Egyptian solid potterycones, 10-30 cm in length, which were placed at the entrances to tombs, often with the name and titles of the deceased on the flat, circular end. Found mainly in the Theban area of Middle Kingdom to Late Period dates (2125-332 BC), these cones were originally inserted in the brick-built tomb facade or tombpyramid to form horizontal rows. Most belong to the New Kingdom and the bulk of them to the 18th Dynasty (1550-1295 BC).
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: The Egyptians' compositions -- mainly the Coffin Texts and the Pyramid Texts -- relating to death and the afterlife. They probably originated in preliterate oral tradition. The earliest such writings are the Pyramid Texts, the first examples of which were inscribed in the 5th Dynasty pyramid of Unas (2375-2345 BC) at Saqqara. These texts were prepared by the officiants in temple cults. Most of the vast corpus of funerary texts is magical in character, with spells and formulas. The Coffin Texts, combined with the Pyramid Texts from which they were derived, were the primary sources of the Book of the Dead, which was in prominent use during the New Kingdom and Late period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Günz Glacial Stage CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The first major Alpine glacial advance and first major Pleistoceneglaciation (ice age), which started c 590,000 years ago and lasted until the end of the Mindel glaciation. The Günz preceded the Günz-Mindel Interglacial and followed the Donau-Günz Interglacial, both periods of relatively moderate climatic conditions. The Günz is correlated with the Baventian Stage of marine deposits of Great Britain and the Menapian Glacial Stage of northern Europe. It is broadly equivalent to the Nebraskan Glacial Stage of North America.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A major division of Pleistocene time and deposits in the Alpine region of Europe and one of the divisions of the geological system that recognized the number of Pleistocene glaciations. The Günz-Mindel Interglacial preceded the Mindel Glacial Stage and followed the Günz Glacial Stage and was a time of relatively moderate climatic conditions between two periods of glacial advance. The Günz-Mindel Interglacial is correlated with the CromerianInterglacial Stage of northern Europe and the series of interglacials recognized in Britain: the Pastonian (oldest), Beestonian, and Cromerian. The Günz-Mindel Interglacial is also broadly equivalent to the Aftonian Interglacial Stage of North America.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic cave site in Dordogne, southwest France, with Magdalenian levels, including numerous engravings. The engravings are amongst the finest and most delicate ever found from the Palaeolithicperiod.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: allée couverte CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A tunnel-shaped megalithic tomb of Europe, characterized by a rectangular chamber with no separate entrance passage. The structure therefore resembles a megalithic corridor under an elongated mound, though sometimes they are cut in the rock. Gallery graves are frequently but not always found under long barrows; they may be subdivided (segmented) or have additional side chambers (transepted). They are sometimes associated with elaborate facades and forecourts. Local variants are distributed in Catalonia, France, the British Isles, northwards as far as Sweden, as well as in Sardinia and south Italy. Most of the tombs were built during the Neolithicperiod from the early 4th millennium BC on and were still in use during the Copper Age when Beaker pottery was introduced; the Sardinian examples belong to the full Bronze Age. Many contain multiple burials.
CATEGORY: ceramics; culture DEFINITION: A potterystyle and culture of the first phase of the Early Intermediate Period, flourishing c 200 BC-200 AD on the north central coast of Peru (Virú Valley). Together with the slightly earlier Salinar, the Gallinazoculture is seen as transitional from Chavin-associated groups, such as Cupisnique, to the rise of the Mochestate. It is related to the contemporary Recuaystyle of the highlands. The best-known Gallinazopottery is black-on-orange negative resist decorated ware. The type site appears to have been a ceremonial center with a nucleus of adobe mounds and walled courtyards. Residential apartment complexes are scattered over an area around the center; it was abandoned some time after the rise of Moche.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Initial Period site occupied into the Early Horizon period, near Lima, Peru. There is a large U-shaped ceremonial formation and central mound estimated 3000-1800 BC. There is Chavín-like clay figurines and pottery.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cave in southern France (Hautes-Pyrénées) containing important examples of Late Paleolithicmural art, paintings, and engravings dating from the Aurignacian Period, the oldest phase of European Stone Age art. The site was first known for its Ice Age fauna. There are approximately 150 engravings of animals and 250 red or black hand prints. A curious feature of these silhouettes is that many are representations of mutilated hands with one or more finger joints missing, most frequently the last two joints of the last four fingers. The significance of the hand prints and the missing fingers is unknown. The cave was occupied from at least the Middle Palaeolithic and the animal engravings are attributed to the Gravettian.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite east of the Tigris River near Khorsabad, Iraq, occupied from the 6th-2nd millennia BC. The earliest material was of the Halafperiod, while the succeeding period shows increasing contacts with the southern Mesopotamian 'Ubaidculture. It was as a northern outpost of the 'Ubaidculture in the 5th-4th millennia. Three temples facing onto open courtyards show resemblance to works at Eridu and Warka. There is evidence for surprisingly extensive trade. Neolithic settlers used undecorated pottery and Halafpottery. The succeeding period is contemporary with the Uruk and Jemdet Nasr periods to the south; this is often described as the 'Gawra period' late 4th millennium BC). In this period there is abundant evidence for differential wealth and social position, seen in the grave goods. Several temples of the period have an unusual form with separate portico. The most distinctive building of this phase, however, is a circular structure known as the 'Round House'.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Palestinian site under modern Gaza; the southernmost city of the Philistine Pentapolis. Philistines, Egyptians, and 'Peoples of the Sea' occupied the site. The earliest evidence comes from two cemeteries, one to the north and one to the east of the main mound, with shaft graves containing pottery and daggers of the late 3rd millennium BC. On the tell itself, the earliest excavated remains are of the Middle Bronze Age (2nd millennium BC); earliest of all was a cemetery, underlying a large building interpreted by Flinders-Petrie as a palace of the Middle Bronze Age II period. This was succeeded by four other large buildings, of the later Bronze Age and early Iron Age. There are famous mosaics in the Synagogue from c 6th century AD and the Great Mosque, originally a cathedral of the 12th century AD.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ko CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A dagger-ax, the characteristic weapon of the Chinese Bronze Age during the Shang Dynasty and then made from iron from the Zhou Dynasty onwards. The dagger-shaped bronzeblade, usually with a flat tang but occasionally with a shaft hole, was mounted perpendicular to the wooden shaft. The blade had a crosspiece parallel to the shaft to help hold it in place. Bronze Age blades and non-functional jade replicas of blades often appear as mortuary gifts in Shang tombs. The earliest ge yet known have come from Erlitou, c mid-2nd millennium BC. In the Eastern Zhouperiod the ge was sometimes combined with a spear, the ge blade at right angles to the spearhead, to form a ji. The ji was in existence by the late 6th or early 5th century BC. They are chopping implements.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A mountain in Upper Nubia which was a center of worship for Amen in the New Kingdom. There was a temple built by Ramesses II that was extended by other rulers. There are nearby pyramids related to the Meroitic Period.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: Any precious or semiprecious stone; this group also includes some animal and vegetable products with precious characteristics, such as amber, pearls, and coral. Conventionally, the following are classified as precious stones: diamonds, rubies (corundum), emeralds (beryl), and sapphires (corundum). Sometimes chrysoberyl, topaz, and zircon are added because of their hardness, refraction, and transparency index. Deeply engraved semiprecious or precious stones were used to give an impression to seals. Engraved stones (intaglios) were found in Middle Minoanperiod in Crete, but the technique of working stones fell out of use until the 7th century BC. In 6th century BC, the scarabform of seal was introduced in Egypt, which developed into the Classical Greek gemstone technique.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An oasis in the ancient delta of the Tedjen River in southeast Turkmenia, first settled in the early Chalcolithicperiod, designated Anau I or Namazga I. The earliest sequence of 10 levels span the later 5th and 4th millennia BC. Typical settlements were small villages of mud-brick houses, though the central settlement of Geoksyur itself seems to have been much larger. The exploitation of this oasis indicates the existence of a developed agricultural economy involving the cultivation of both wheat and barley with the help of irrigation. The area gives its name to a style of painted pottery of the Namazga III period (late 4th millennium BC), with densely packed, repeated geometrics.
CATEGORY: geology; related field DEFINITION: The study of the physical, chemical, and biological processes and products of the earth; simply, the study of the history of the earth and an understanding of the time scale over which man developed. Geology's aims overlap considerably with those of archaeology, particularly in the prehistoric periods. For example, work on the stratigraphy of the Quaternary to provide a geological chronology for the study of the reconstruction of environmental changes throughout the Quaternary forms an essential background to all archaeology. The palaeontology of fossil hominids and the other animals that lived at the same time is another area in which geology and archaeology overlap. The geological methods of dating such as radiocarbon, palaeomagnetism, and potassium-argon form the basis of most prehistoric chronologies. Geophysical techniques are used for the location of sites and petrology traces the origins of stone implements and inclusions in pottery.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An important Biblical tellsite of Palestine near Jerusalem, occupied from the Chalcolithic (5th millennium BC) to the Byzantine period. The first fortified town belonged to the Middle Bronze Age (early 2nd millennium BC); an important discovery of this phase was a 'High Place' (ceremonial meeting place) consisting of a row of 10 tall monoliths. To the Iron Age belong the remains of a gateway built by Solomon. Succeeding levels show a decline, with destruction attributed to Assyrians and later, Babylonians. The city became important again in the Hellenistic period. The most noteworthy finds were a potsherd with one of the earliest uses of the alphabet (18th-17th c BC) and the Gezercalendar (11th-10th centuries BC), the oldest known inscription in Early Hebrew writing. The city was particularly prosperous during 2nd millennium BC and is mentioned in Egyptian texts from 15th century onwards.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Belt Cave CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Cave site near the southeast corner of the Caspian Sea in northern Iran with occupation levels spanning the late Palaeolithic to early farming period c 10,000-5000 BC. After c 6000 BC there is evidence of increasing sheep and goat, possibly indicating domestication, and evidence of harvesting of wild cereals. Pottery appears c 5300 BC; shortly afterwards the cave was abandoned.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Teleilat, Teleilat el Ghassul; Ghassulian CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: Chalcolithicsite northeast of the Dead Sea in the Jordan Valley with four major occupations indicated -- most notably the culture of the 4th millennium BC known from the sites of Teleilat Ghassul and Nahal Mishmar. The houses were of pisé (simple mud-brick on stone foundations) and had elaborate polychrome frescoes. A wide range of well-made pottery shapes were in use, which were found on many other Palestinian sites. Carbonized date and olive stones are among the earliest evidence for the cultivation of these fruits. Burials were in cists, made of stone slabs and covered by stone cairns. The culture exploited copper early on and was the last period of large-scale stone tool use in Palestine.
CATEGORY: chronology; geography DEFINITION: Any of a number of cold climatic periods in which there was widespread ice and cold climateflora and fauna.
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.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: enamel, couverte CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A type of slip applied to pottery which produces an impermeable and glassy surface when fired at high temperatures. It is usually produced by coatingpottery with powdered glass and reheating them to a temperature where the glass begins to fuse. Glaze is a vitreous substance and, like glass, glaze is made from silica; this substance only melts at a temperature higher than that which would melt the pot, so a flux must be added to make it useable. Silica is present in most pottery, so in these cases only the flux -- an oxide of sodium, lead, or potassium -- needs to be added, and a colorant if required, usually in the form of a frit crushed and suspended in water. The pot is then fired at a temperature suitable for melting the glaze (somewhere between 900?-1200? C depending on the constituents), which runs into an even layer all over the pot. Known in ancient Egypt where a mixture of fine sand, quartz or crystal dust was used with an alkaline base (soda, potash). Glaze or couverte can be identified in the Persian faiences and Flemish stoneware. In Hellenistic period, lead glaze was invented, in which lead monoxide replaced soda or potash. A large variety of glazes may be used, varying in color, texture, and suitability for different types of pottery.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: lexicostatistics CATEGORY: related field DEFINITION: The science of the comparative study of the vocabularies of languages for measuring linguistic change through absolute time. By studying the rate of change, the length of time (time depth) during which two related languages developed independently may be calculated. Glottochronology relies on statistical comparison of the basic vocabulary shared by two or more related languages and on the assumption that the rate of vocabulary replacement is constant over sufficiently long periods of time. It is a way of arriving at a date of separation between two languages that have a common origin by studying the extent to which they have diverged from each other and provides archaeologists with approximate dates for the origination of subcultures diverging from each other. For instance, in Alaska the great difference between the Aleut language and the other Eskimo languages is thought to have been the result of the cultural isolation of the Aleuts from the 3rd millennium BC onwards. It is a controversial method.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A potteryfabric of the Hellenistic period (4th-3rd centuries BC) in southern Italy. Produced originally at Apulia, the pots are decorated with a black-glossed technique with simple designs in yellow and white. It is the western equivalent of West Slope ware. It is unlike other south Italian pottery and was widely exported.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Gortyna CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Ancient Greek city of western Crete, considered the most important city of Classical Greek and Roman Crete. Although unimportant in Minoan times, Gortyn displaced Phaestus as the dominant city in the Mesara. It shared or disputed control of the island with Knossos until the Roman annexation in 67 BC. It controlled the sea route between east and west through its ports of Matalon and Leben. The great civic inscription, or code of Gortyn, dating to c 450 BC, was discovered in 1884; it is the most extensive monument of Greek law before the Hellenistic Age. The Gortynian Law Code was incorporated by the Romans into the back wall of an Odeum when this was being reconstructed in 100 AD under Trajan. The Code, written boustrophedon (alternately from left and right), contains rules of civil law concerning such matters as family, adultery, divorce, property, mortgage, and the rights of slaves. Later excavations disclosed most of the plan and public buildings of the Roman city, which was the administrative capital of the Roman province of Crete and Cyrenaica; identifiable are a preaetorium, agora, and odeum. The acropolis appears to have Neolithic and Late Bronze Age evidence and there are traces of a temple of the 8th-7th centuries BC. Homer refers to the city , and describes it as walled, though no walls survive. A votive deposit associated with an altar on the slope of the hill contained a wide selection of objects from all periods from Late Minoan III through to Roman. Gortyn maintained its importance through early Christian times, becoming an early Byzantine religious center.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ostrogoth, Visigoth CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A Germanic people whose two branches, the Ostrogoths and the Visigoths, for centuries harassed the Roman Empire. According to their own legend, the Goths originated in southern Scandinavia and crossed in three ships under their king Berig to the southern shore of the Baltic Sea, where they settled after defeating the Vandals and other Germanic peoples in that area. The split into two groups took place c 200 AD. Those Goths living between the Danube and the Dnestr rivers became known as Visigoths, and those in what is now the Ukraine as Ostrogoths. Under their king Alaric, the Visigoths sacked Rome in 410 AD. Later they moved to southern France and settled in Aquitaine before seizing control of Spain. The Ostrogoths helped defeat the Huns in Italy in 454. Under Oadacer and Theodoric there was a period of comparative peace until they were challenged and defeated by Justinian.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Late Bronze Age Minoan town on eastern Crete which dates from the Neopalatialperiod c 1600-1450 BC. A small palace was built on the site in Middle Minoan III, c 1600 BC, showing features copied from the palaces of Knossos and Mallia. Through the Late Minoanperiod, from c 1550, the town grew up around it, with modest houses and narrow curving streets and the palace was turned into small domestic dwellings.
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.
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.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Pottery embodying chopped grass or straw in its fabric as a tempering agent. Grass-tempered wares are well represented amongst pagan Saxon communities of the immediate post-Roman period in southern and eastern England; indeed the presence of such pottery is the basis upon which sites of the period are recognized.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A well-preserved Anglo-Saxon timber boat found in 1970 in the Graveney marshes in Kent, England. It is the only vessel of this period from the British Isles which has left more than an impression in the soil. Radiocarbon and dendrochronology have effectively dated it to the late 9th century AD. The well-constructed Graveney Boat was a cross-Channel cargo; it has been restored and is in The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England.
Great Silla Dynasty
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Unified Silla period CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: First unification of Korean peninsula under single rule (668-935 AD). The Unified Sillaperiod produced more granite Buddhist images and pagodas than any other period and the T'ang Dynasty of China exerted considerable influence over the culture.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Pleistocenesite in southern Victoria, Australia, occupied between 15,000 and 4000 BC. Stone tools include large side-trimmed and concave flakes similar to those in Tasmania and at Kenniff Cave of the same period, and bipolar cores. Bones of two individuals, one male and one female, were found combined in a grave and were dated by radiocarbon on collagen to 4500 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: greyware CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: The typical household and ceremonial ceramicware of Monte Albán and the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, made from a fine gray paste in the middle Pre-Classic period. Grey ware occurs throughout Monte Albán's occupation, with some variations in shape and ornamentation. In the latter periods in the Oaxaca sequence, after the collapse of Monte Albán, Mixtec grey ware was distributed through the Valley. The Zapotecs' merge with the Mixtecs is suggested by the correlation between the distribution of the Mixtecceramics in Zapotec households, c 1250-1521 AD.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site on the Italian Riviera near the French border with caves and rock shelters of Middle and Upper Palaeolithicflint industries, mainly Aurignacian and Gravettian assemblages (also termed Grimaldian industries). The caves also have elaborate Homo sapiens sapiens burials with grave goods including Venus figurines, backed blades, and objects of adornment. The Grotte du Prince yielded a pure Mousterian deposit. There is no Magdalenian in Liguria, where the Grimaldian persists until the end of the Palaeolithicperiod.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large open site of the Starcevo and early Vinca periods in Serbia with rectangular houses dated to c 4375-3980 BC for Vinca and c 5300 BC for the architectural remains of the Starcevo. The Starcevo occupation is the earliest radiocarbon date yet known from the Serbian Neolithic.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Grubenhauser CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: Characteristic 'sunken' huts of the Germanic peoples during the Migration Period and up to c 1000, so-called for their sunken floors. They were usually rectangular and had a superstructure supported on 2, 4, or 6 posts. The sunken hut was usually roofed by a lean-to structure supported by one or three posts at either end and a simple ridge post creating a tent-like structure. It seems that many of these buildings had floors, with the sunken area being a kind of shallow cellar. Grubenhaüser have been found in the Low Countries, Britain, France, often alongside rectangular buildings and farmhouses. These sunken huts apparently date back to the Roman period in North Germany and Frisia. Dienne-sur-Meine in France has many post-Carolingian examples of Grubenhaüser. In England , the first sunken huts were probably employed as short-term dwellings by the migrants. It was a significant type of building distinguishing early medieval settlements in western Europe.
Gudea (fl 2100 BC)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A ruler of Lagash in the post-Akkadianperiod, c 2125 BC, known from the numerous inscribed statues of him at Tello. These are among the best-known objects of Sumerian art.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: kuei CATEGORY: artifact; deity DEFINITION: In Chinese religion, a troublesome spirit that roams the world, causing misfortune, illness, and death. These were believed to be the spirits of individuals who were not buried properly or whose families neglected to make proper memorial offerings. The term also refers to a Chinese Neolithictripodpotterypitcher, first made with solid legs and then acquiring bulbous hollow-shaped legs and to an early Chinese bronzeritualbowl with handles. The latter often bore writing as well as complex designs. The bronze gui was known in the Shangperiod but was especially common in Western Zhou. These items were used in protective rituals as talismans devised to ward gui away from the family abode.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Preceramic site in the eastern Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, with indications of a gradual transition from the Early Hunting to the Incipient Cultivation period as early as 8900 BC. It is one of the most thoroughly researched preceramic sites of Mesoamerica.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A stratified cave site of long occupation in the Callejón de Huaylas in northern Peru. It was occupied in the Preceramic period (c 12,500-6000 years ago) and continued through later ceramic periods, showing domesticated lima and common beans by c 8000 BC. A wide variety of artifacts, lithic and organic, in Guitarrero I (10,610 @ 360 bc) contains flaked tools similar to the Ayacucho complex and Tagua-Tagua. Stemmed points similar to those in Lauricocha II were found in the same level. There is evidence that the site was occupied by hunter-gatherers and that the subsistence was transhumance. The dates of some human bones, if dated correctly, represent the earliest human remains yet found in South America. Guitarrero II has produced a series of radiocarbon dates covering the period c 8500-5700 BC and contains bone and wood artifacts, basketry an loosely woven textiles, and the willow-leaf projectile point.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of bronzesword typical of the Hallstatt C period in central Europe with a long leaf-shaped blade, broad shallow butt and pommel tang. Examples were taken or traded out of their homeland area, some reaching Britain around 700 BC.
Guo Moruo (1892-1978)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: Important person in Chinese archaeology who used a Marxist interpretation of history in all his work. He produced a monumental study of inscriptions on oracle bones and bronze vessels, Liang Chou chin wen tz'u ta hsi t'u lu k'ao shi"h (1935 new ed. 1957; "Corpus of Inscriptions on Bronzes from the Two Chou Dynasties"). He was the leading authority on Shang bone inscriptions and on bronze from Chouperiod using these first written texts as a basis for his study of Chinese society. In this work he attempts to demonstrate according to Communist doctrine the "slave society" nature of ancient China. His research work on bronzes from the Chouperiod carried out at the same time as B. Karlgren's consisted of making a chronological classification of the bronzes based on their inscriptions and used their typology as a secondary procedure. He reconstructed the development of these bronzes and defined the basis on which research being carried out today still rests. After 1949 Guo held many important positions in the People's Republic of China including the presidency of the Chinese Academy of Sciences."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Gutians CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A 3rd millennium BC tribe of the Zagros Mountains which invaded Mesopotamia c 2230 BC and brought the downfall of the Akkadian empire. Their original home was probably Luristan or Hammadan. The Gutian, or post-Akkadian, period in Mesopotamia was a time of political fragmentation (there is evidence of independent rulers in various parts of Babylonia, such as Gudea at Lagash) and it only lasted for about 40 years (till c 2130 BC) before the people of Ur-Nammu (Uruk) took over the region. The Guti, from their home in the Zagros, continued to menace the subsequent dynasties and kingdoms, but they were never able to take control of southern Mesopotamia again.
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 small but important site in the lake region of southwest Turkey, with a Late Neolithic and early Chalcolithic (c 5600-4500 BC). The aceramic early levels have some radiocarbon dates in the 7th millennium BC. The houses were of mudbrick or wood and daub on stone foundations, with an upper story of wood. They were finished internally in plaster, rarely painted. Crops included barley, emmer, and lentils and bones of sheep, deer, and cattle were also found. The site was abandoned and reoccupied in the Late Neolithic, early in the 6th millennium BC, when it had more substantial houses, monochrome red to brown pottery, and some use of copper. Querns, mortars and braziers were fitted into mud plaster floors, while recesses in the walls acted as cupboards. The kitchen was separated from the living rooms and upper stories were used as granaries and workshops. Female figurines of a unique style were also made. The latest phase of this period was burnt c 5400 BC and when the site was reoccupied it was smaller; this settlement was also burnt c 5050-5000 BC. The Hacilar (Chalcolithic) period had a fortified settlement, characterized by boldly painted red on white pottery.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A mountain ridge in southeast Arabia with a number of Jemdet Nasr-typepottery in cairns. There are other Mesopotamian ceramics and local materials in the early-3rd millennium BC burials. It is evidence of Mesopotamian contact with ancient Maganculture and provide the name for the earliest Bronze Age cultural period in the area.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Haft Tepe CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite in northwest Iran occupied off and on from the Early Bronze Age to the Sassanianperiod. The earliest occupation is dated to the 6th millennium BC, but its most important material comes from the Elamite period of the 15th-13th centuries BC. A royal tomb of c 1500 BC containing 21 skeletons, some covered in red ochre, is an early example of a vaulted tomb. This tomb was connected by a stairway to the main temple which contained many simple burials, some in urns. Fragments of inscribed stelae in cuneiform in the 14th-century BC Elamite language have provided details of the templeeconomy. In the 8th century BC, the mound became an Urartian citadel with an attached lower town. It was destroyed either by Sargon II in 714 BC or by the Cimmerians. The site was reoccupied in the Sassanianperiod: a town wall and numerous graves of this period are known.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of one of the largest of the Maltese temple complexes, in southwest Malta. It contains three separate temples, constructed over a considerable period of time. The buildings have numerous altars of various shapes and a variety of niches and recesses. Many of the stones have pitted decoration. A cult centering around rock-cut collective tombs has been dated 2400 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: haji CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: An unglazed Japanese earthenware, developed in the Tumulus/Kofunperiod of the 4th century AD, derived from the Yayoitradition and influenced by Sue-ware shapes in the 5th century. Early Hajipottery is characterized by the appearance of ceremonial vessels that are homogenous throughout a wide area, along with domestic vessels made in local styles. After the wheel-made, kiln-fired Sue pottery was introduced in the 5th century, only domestic vessels were made in Hajii ware, and from the 8th century onwards Hajii pottery, too, was made on the potter's wheel. A rust-red earthenware, Haji ware is baked in oxidizing fires. Shapes unknown to the Yayoiculture appeared in Haji ware, however, such as small, globular jars and wide-rimmed pots. Although the surfaces of Haji pieces are finely finished, both their form and firing lack the refinement of Yayoipottery.
Haji / haji
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: An unglazed Japanese earthenware, developed in the Tumulus/Kofunperiod of the 4th century AD, derived from the Yayoitradition and influenced by Sue-ware shapes in the 5th century. Early Hajipottery is characterized by the appearance of ceremonial vessels that are homogenous throughout a wide area, along with domestic vessels made in local styles. After the wheel-made, kiln-fired Sue pottery was introduced in the 5th century, only domestic vessels were made in Hajii ware, and from the 8th century onwards Hajii pottery, too, was made on the potter's wheel. A rust-red earthenware, Haji ware is baked in oxidizing fires. Shapes unknown to the Yayoiculture appeared in Haji ware, however, such as small, globular jars and wide-rimmed pots. Although the surfaces of Haji pieces are finely finished, both their form and firing lack the refinement of Yayoipottery.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large rock-cut hypogeum on Malta, which was constructed by the same population that built the Maltese temples, and is a complex of many small rock-cut chambers, on three different levels, linked by a series of halls, passages, and stairways. Many of the chambers are elaborately decorated, often with carved features imitating wooden structures such as beams and lintels; other chambers have painted decoration, usually on the ceilings. Most of the chambers had been used for burial and it has been calculated that some 7000 individuals were buried in the whole hypogeum, over a period of some centuries. The hypogeum may also have been used as a temple as some places without burials were set aside for ritual. Artifacts include highly decorated pottery and a series of female figurines. The earliest chambers date to the 5th millennium BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: half-value period, radioactive half-life CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: The time taken for half of a given amount of a radioactive substance to decay into a non-radioactive substance. It is also defined as the time taken for half the quantity of a radioactive isotope in a sample to decay and form a stable element. It is the basis of radiocarbon and other radiometric dating methods. This decay rate, expressed as a statistical constant, is different for each isotope. If a sample, such as a piece of wood, has half of the original amount of radiocarbon remaining, then a time equivalent to the half-life has passed since it died. The half-life of radiocarbon is 5730 ? 40 years, while the half-life of radioactive potassium, used in potassium-argon dating is 1.3 billion years. The half-life in effect determines the general age range over which a radiometric dating method is potentially useful.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bodrum CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Greek city on the west coast of Turkey (once Asia Minor), the birthplace of the 5th-century BC historian Herodotus. Formed part of the Delian league, its peak period was as capital city of Mausolus (satrap), who ruled Caria from 377-353 BC. He built walls, public buildings (agora, theater), and the famous Mausoleum (one of the Seven Wonders of Ancient World) as his funerary temple, of which nothing now remains but fragments preserved in the British Museum. Halicarnassus' sack by Alexander The Great in 334 BC is the last major event on record. Virtually all traces of ancient Halicarnassus has now unfortunately disappeared under modern Bodrum. Some sections of the city wall survive, and the site of the mausoleum, the tomb of Mausolus, is known.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hallstatt period CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A site on Lake Hallstatt in the Austrian Alps with a cemetery of over 3000 cremation and inhumation graves with great quantities of local and imported grave goods. There were prehistoric salt mines in the area. Hallstatt is also a late Bronze age and early Iron Age cultural tradition, c 1200-6000 BC in continental temperate Europe. The term also refers to a cultural period of the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age in central Europe, divided into four phases, Hallstatt A, B, C, and D. In central European archaeology the terms Hallstatt A (12th and 11th centuries BC) and Hallstatt B (10th-8th centuries BC) are used as a chronological framework for the urnfield cultures of the Late Bronze Age. The first iron objects north of the Alps appear at the close of this period, and the Iron Age proper begins with the Hallstatt C (or I) stage of the 7th century BC. The area of fullest development is Bohemia, upper Austria and Bavaria, where hillforts were constructed and the dead were sometimes interred on or with a four-wheeled wagon, covered by a mortuary house below a barrow. Sheet bronze was still used for armor, vessels, and decorative metalwork, but the characteristic weapon was a long ironsword (or bronze copy). These swords are found as far afield as southeast England, in the so-called 'Iron Age A' cultures. During the Hallstatt D (or II) period, in the 6th century, the most advanced cultures are found further west, in Burgundy, Switzerland, and the Rhineland. Wagon burials are still prominent and trade brought luxury objects from the Greek and Etruscan cities around the Mediterranean. By the close of this period in the mid-5th century BC, elements of Hallstattculture are found from southern France to Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. The Hallstatt precedes the La Tène period; the HallstattIron Age culture certainly developed out of the UrnfieldBronze Age groups.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Hamath; Epiphaneia CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city in central Syria on the Orontes River that was an important prehistoricsettlement, which became the kingdom of Hamath under the Aramaeans in the 11th century BC. It fell under Assyrian control in the 9th century BC, later passing under Persian, Macedonian, and Seleucid rule. A Neolithic occupation comparable to that of Mersin was succeeded by a village with Halafpottery. Later levels continue through to the Iron Age, when it was an inland site of the Phoenicians. During the 2nd millennium BC, Hama was a large town, but it does not appear in ancient documents until c 1000 BC, when it became capital of an Aramaeankingdom. Excavations revealed a fine palace of this period, with evidence of ivorycarving. The Arabs took the city in the 7th century AD.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: A Late Neolithicculture of the Black Sea near the mouth of the Danube (Romania and Bulgaria) which was contemporaneous with the early periods of the Boian and Maritsa cultures. The culture was rather short-lived, c 4000-3700 BC and was succeeded by the Gumelnitaculture. It is regarded by some as a branch of the Impressed Ware culture, arriving by sea from the Aegean before 4300 BC. Noteworthy are its spondylus shell bracelets and its famous terra-cotta and marble figurines.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A historical dynasty and period in China, after the collapse of the brief rule of the Ch'in (Qin) Dynasty, from 206 BC to 220 AD. This dynasty took over the control of a unified China and had two main periods: Western (Early) Han (206 BC-8 AD) and Eastern (Late) Han (25-220 AD), separated by the Wang Meng (Wangman) of 9-25 AD. The Western Han capital was Chang'an and the Eastern (Late) Han (25-220 AD) at Lo-Yang (Luoyang). Next to the rich tombs at Mawangdui and Mancheng, perhaps the most revealing Han archaeological finds are a number of tombs whose wall paintings, decorated tiles, and stone reliefs form the earliest substantial corpus of Chinese pictorial art. The Han dynasty started iron and salt monopolies, extended itself through the commanderysystem, opened trade to the West via the silk route, and began the tradition of court histories.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hangtu CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A type of rammed-earth construction of walls and foundation platforms for buildings developed by the Chinese from Late Neolithic (Longshan) period and Shang Dynasty (c 1600-1027 BC), notably at An-Yang. It was also used for shaft tombs in the Shang and Zhou (Chou) periods. Earth was packed between wooden forms in successive thin layers, each layer being pounded down before the next was added. Hangtu walls have been found at only two Late Neolithic sites, Chengziyai and Hougang. Much of the Great Wall of China was originally built of rammed earth.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: Unglazed earthenware funerary sculptures or cylinders of the Kofunperiod (4th-7th c AD) in Japan. They were erected on, around, or inside mounded tomb surfaces and often had representations of horses, animals, birds, humans, and houses. They are considered to have developed out of the tall stands for Late Yayoiritual vessels of the 3rd century.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Bifacially worked chipped stone projectile point with a triangularoutline, a slightly hollow base, and a side notch towards the base on either side. Named after the construction company that used the site on which many examples were found by Joffre Coe in the 1950s, Hardaway points are thought to represent a stylistic variation within the larger DALTON TRADITION dating to the period c.8500-7000 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Shaduppum; Tall Abu Harmal CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An administrative center, Shaduppum, of the kingdom of Eshnunna of the Old Babylonian period, on the outskirts of Baghdad, Iraq. It was a walled settlement (Shaduppum) from the early 2nd millennium BC with several temples, residential buildings, and a collection of literary, scholarly, and administrative texts on tablets. The Laws of Eshnunna" are inscribed on two broken tablets which are not duplicates but separate copies of an older source. The laws are believed to be about two generations older than the Code of Hammurabi; the differences between the two codes help illuminate the development of ancient law."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age site of the Hallstattperiod in Bavaria, Germany. The farmsteads enclosed by earthworks showed pottery and bronzecasting activities in the 1st millennium BC. It is typical of the period in central Europe before the emergence of large centers of production and commerce.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large Palestinian tellsite in northern Israel, occupied from the Early Bronze Age till the Hellenistic period. In the Middle Bronze Age, c 1700 BC, it was a large town with a citadel and surrounded by a rampart with sloping plaster ramp, of the type associated with the Hyksos. In c 1220 BC, the Canaanites were driven from the city by the Israelites, reputedly under Joshua. In the 10th century BC, the city was rebuilt by Solomon, who constructed a monumental gateway. This city was destroyed by the Assyrians c 734 (or 732) BC; however, the citadel continued to be used into the Hellenistic period.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A small island in Lake Malaren in Sweden which was a migrationperiod trading and industrial post in the 1st millennium AD. There are several important artisans' (brooch, bead) houses spanning of the 5th-6th centuries up to the 9th century. Exotic finds include a 7th-century Buddha from Kashmir, a Coptic ladle, a number of gold coins, and Rhenish pots. The molds and debris from the brooch-making provide a great deal of new information about the development of this craft up to the beginning of the Vikingperiod. Helgö was probably abandoned before the end of the 9th century.
CATEGORY: culture; site; artifact DEFINITION: A Planotraditioncomplex of the Paleo-Indian period occupied from c 11,200-8000 BC (complex 10,000-9500 BP) and centered on a well-preserved, deeply stratified site in eastern Wyoming. Hell Gap is also the name of a projectile point type of the Planotradition.
Hell Gap point
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Bifacially worked chipped stone projectile points of the Plano Tradition with a broad pointed top set on a straight-sided trapezoidal body. The base is narrow and straight. Used by later Palaeo-Indian cultures of the North America Plains in the period around 7500 BC. Experiments show that these points were probably spearheads and fully capable of penetrating the hide and rib cage of large beasts such as bison.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Helladic culture CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: The Bronze Age culture of central and southern mainland Greece, with three main divisions: Early (c 3000-2000 BC), Middle (c 2000-1550 BC), and Late (c 1550-1050 BC). It is equivalent to Cycladic in the Cyclades and Minoan in Crete; Late Helladic is equated with the period of the Mycenaean civilization. Each of the three periods is subdivided into three phases designated by Roman numerals.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A style of bronzesword with a leaf-shaped blade and flanged hilt developed in central Europe during the Hallstatt A period and traded to other parts of northern Europe. They appear in Britain, especially in the Thames Valley, during the Penard Phase.
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: Ihnasya el-Medina; ancient Henen-nesw; Ninsu, Nen-nesut CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient Egyptian site that was the capital of the 20th nome of Upper Egypt and the cult center for the god Harsaphes. Its peak came when it was the capital of the 9th and 10th Dynasties of the First Intermediate Period (2181-2055 BC). The city was lost by the clan when Mentuhotpe II of the 11th Dynasty attacked in 2040 BC. There is an Old Kingdom shrine, temple of Harsaphes, and necropolis of Herakleopolis at Gebel Sedment.
Hesi, Tell el-
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite in southern Palestine occupied from the Early Bronze Age, c 2600 BC, to the Hellenistic period/Iron Age. Its excavation by Sir Flinders Petrie and F.J. Bliss were the first stratigraphic excavations in the area, and lent much information on potterytypology and successive building levels. Their work began the establishment of an absolute chronology for Palestinian prehistory, through the discovery of imported, datable Egyptian objects in association with local material.
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: measure DEFINITION: A source of bias in tree-ring dating where a period of time intervened between the cutting of the tree and the date of interest (target event). The gap and hiatus combine to make a disjunction.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kom el-Ahmar; ancient Nekhen CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An important Predynastic and Archaic settlement and necropolis in southern Upper Egypt (Luxor). The town's population was in excess of 5000 and it was particularly associated with the god Horus. In proto-dynastic times Hierakonpolis was the capital of southern Egypt. Discoveries of this period are stone palettes, votive objects, and mace-heads, with carving illustrating the rise of the kings to the divine status they enjoyed in pharaonic times. A series of successive shrines dates from early Archaic/late Predynastic.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A cursiveform of the Egyptian hieroglyphs developed for everyday use in handwritten documents. It arose from the use of brush pen on papyrus for business and similar non-monumental purposes, starting at the end of the Early Dynastic Period (c 2686 BC). It was gradually replaced by demotic starting in the 7th century BC, but survived for religious use to the end of paganism in Egypt. The word comes from Greek hieratika sacred". Hieratic signs lost the pictorial character of hieroglyphs and are often joined together. Hieratic was written in one direction only from right to left. In earlier times the lines had run vertically and later about 2000 BC horizontally. Subsequently the papyrus scrolls were written in columns of changing widths. There were ligatures in hieratic so that two but no more than two signs could be written in one stroke. As a consequence of its decreased legibility the spelling of the hieratic script was more rigid than that of hieroglyphicwriting. Variations from uniformity at a given time were minor; but during the course of the various periods the spelling developed and changed. As a result hieratic texts do not correspond exactly to contemporary hieroglyphic texts either in the placing of signs or in the spelling of words. Hieratic used diacritical additions to distinguish between two signs that had grown similar to one another because of cursivewriting. In the life of the Egyptians hieratic script played a larger role than hieroglyphicwriting and was also taught earlier in the schools. The latest hieratic texts are from the end of the 1st century or the beginning of the 2nd century AD. Hieratic should not be confused with 'cursive hieroglyphs' which were used for most of the Pharaonic period in such religious writings as the Coffin Texts and the Book of the Dead."
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: A type of monument found on the chalk downs of southern Britain where a human or horse figure, is cut into the hillside and stands out white against the green turf. The oldest figure, the White Horse of Uffington, may date to the Late Iron Age. The Cerne Abbas giant in Dorset is of the Roman period, and the Long Man of Wilmington may be either Roman or Saxon. All the others are of more recent date, and are usually commemorative or purely ornamental than religious in nature.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A tin-glazed, lustrous, highly decorated earthenware made by Moorish potters in Span in the late medieval period, chiefly at Málaga in the 15th century, and in the region of Manises, near Valencia, in the 16th century. They tend to be plates and jugs with bold semi-abstract designs painted on a creamy background and with a goldluster finish. These wares were much in demand throughout Europe and, judging from finds in northern Europe, they were widely traded. The tinglaze was applied over a design usually traced in cobalt blue; after the first firing, the luster, a metallic pigment, was applied by brush over the tinglaze, and the piece was fired again. Imitation of this pottery in Italy led to the development of Italian maiolica ware.
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: Hatti, Kheta CATEGORY: culture; language DEFINITION: A people of obscure origin who infiltrated Anatolia and the Levant from the north during the later 3rd millennium BC. In the Old Kingdom (c 1750-1450) they established a state in central Turkey with its capital first at Kussara, then at Boghazköy. They overran north Syria c 1600 and pushed on as far as Babylon. Under the empire (1450-1200) a more stable state was built up over most of Anatolia and north Syria, displacing the kingdom of the Mitanni and successfully challenging Assyria and Egypt. The end came quite suddenly in the Late Bronze Age c 1200 BC, notably by movements of the Peoples of the Sea and Anatolian groups from the north. The Hittite outposts in north Syria, however, survived as a chain of Syro-Hittite or neo-Hittite city-states -- Karatepe, Sinjerli, Sakçe, Gözü, Malatya, Atchana, and Carchemish -- down to their final annexation by the Assyrians in the 8th century BC. They are also known for their metal-working. They exploited and traded copper, lead, silver and also iron; indeed, they were among the first peoples to useiron, and for a period maintained a virtual monopoly in the new metal. Their language, Hittite and Hieroglyphic Hittite, is Indo-European, the earliest to be recorded. Hurrian, the language of the Hurri, was non-Indo-European, as of course was the Akkadian much used for commercial and foreign correspondence. The Akkadiancuneiformscript was generally used too, though for monumental purposes local hieroglyphs were preferred. The discovery of the Hittitelanguage was the major advance this century in the field of Indo-European languages -- with archives yielding thousands of tablets in many languages. The great period of the empire was 14th-13th centuries BC when a vast amount of material was recorded -- some in the important sister Anatolian languages of Palaic and Luvian.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Diospolis Parva CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A group of Predynastic, Pharaonic, and Roman-period sites on the eastern bank of the Nile in Upper Egypt.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Any collection of objects buried at one time; a deliberate deposit of complete and / or broken objects buried in the ground for subsequent recovery or as a symbolic act. A hoard often included valuables or prized possessions. Many hoards represent the personal property of individuals, buried for safety at a time of threat. Hoards are a useful source of evidence for archaeologists, because they provide considerable quantities of material and, except in the case of some votive hoards, that material represents a true association. Various classes are distinguished according to their method of accumulation. A personal hoard consists of an individual's personal property buried for safety and not recovered. A merchant's hoard will contain new objects ready for sale. A founder's hoard by contrast will contain obsolete, worn out, or miscast objects, and frequently cake metal as well, all of it awaiting melting down and recasting. A votive hoard is rather different in that the objects were deposited, possibly over a long period of time, in temples or caves, buried, or thrown into water as religious offerings, with no intention of recovery. A hoard of loot is self-explanatory. Bronze Age hoards provide much of the evidence for the period.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Iron Age oppidium on a 6th century BC site of the Hallstatt D period. Hohenasperg was a commercial center whose finds included many luxury items from Greece.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: Burial precincts of the Yayoi and Kufun periods of Japan. There are coffin and pit burials of adults and jar burials of children.
Holmes, William Henry (1846-1933)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: American archaeologist who extinguished the more bizarre theories of the origins of humans in North America and who helped establish professional archaeology in the US. Holmes opposed a popular belief that there was a period in New World prehistory comparable to Upper Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) Europe. His 1903 monograph on ceramics laid the foundation for the culture history of the eastern United States. He was curator of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. His other published works include Handbook of Aboriginal American Antiquities (1919).
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.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The modern human species, possibly evolving out of Neanderthal Man, with the archaic Homo sapiens dating to between c 100,000-33,000 years ago (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) and the oldest-known anatomically modern Homo sapiens fossils dating between 130,000-80,000 years ago. Modern man -- a large, erect, omnivorous terrestrial biped -- first appears in the fossilrecord during the late Upper Pleistocene around 35,000 BC. It is still controversial how Neanderthals were replaced by the modern Homo sapiens. The oldest fossils come from sites in Africa and the Near East. In Eurasia the oldest flint industries associated with Homo sapiens are always of Upper Palaeolithicblade-and-burintype. Modern man's technology replaced that of the Mousterianperiod.
CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: A large solid-hoofed herbivorous mammal domesticated since prehistoric times and used as a beast of burden, a draft animal, or for riding. During ancient cold periods, horses also occupied the open vegetation which then existed in northern and western Europe. At some sites, horse bones formed a major part of Palaeolithic hunters' diet. It was widespread in temperate regions during the Pleistocene. With the end of the last glaciation, they disappeared from northwest Europe and became restricted to the temperate grassland and dry shrubland of Central Europe and Asia. In America it was hunted to extinction, to be reintroduced only in recent centuries. In the steppes, the horse was domesticated much later than cattle, sheep, etc. The first evidence for possible manipulation of horse by man occurs in the 4th and 3rd millennia BC in sites of the Tripolyeculture and related cultures of the Ukraine. It spread rapidly through the Near East with northern peoples like the Hurri, Hyksos, Kassites, and Aryans, particularly after the invention of the chariot in Syria. The domesticated horse was introduced into Egypt from western Asia in the Second Intermediate Period (1650-1550 BC) at roughly the same time as the chariot. Only later, as a heavier stock was bred, did the practice of riding become important. Its use for commercial draft and general agricultural purposes came much later still. Today's horses all seem to represent one species, Equus caballus.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Harmakhis, Harakhte, Harsiesis, Kawm Umbu, Haroeris, Harpocrates, Harsomtus, Horemakhet, Ra-Horakhty; Hor; Har CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: An Egyptian god in the form of a falcon, recognized in Hierakonpolis and Edfu as contemporary with and opponent of Seth. The falcon's eyes stood for the sun and the moon. He later was considered the son of Isis and Osiris, with the reigning pharaoh being his incarnation. Horus is one of the oldest gods of Egypt, attested from at least as early as the beginning of the Dynastic period (c 2775 BC). He could also be a falcon-headed human in form. Horus appeared as a local god in many places and under different names and epithets: for instance, as Harmakhis (Har-em-akhet, Horus in the Horizon"); Harpocrates (Har-pe-khrad "Horus the Child"); Harsiesis (Har-si-Ese "Horus Son of Isis"); Harakhte ("Horus of the Horizon closely associated with the sun god Re); and, at Kawm Umbu (Kom Ombo), as Haroeris (Harwer, Horus the Elder"). Horus was later identified by the Greeks with Apollo."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Houma; modern Ch'u-wu CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient city of China with extensive remains of an Eastern Chou city, possibly the site of Xintian, capital of the Chin state from 584-453 BC. Pollen analyses from western and southern Shansi reveal that several cereal plants were grown there as early as the 5th-3rd millennium BC. During the Hsi (Western) Chouperiod (1111-771 BC) the fief of Chin (now a colloquial and literary name for Shansi) was established in the area of Hou-ma along the Fen River. Several thousand stone and jade tablets were found at the site, inscribed with the texts of alliances between various Eastern Chou states, and date chiefly from the early 5th century BC. A very large foundry complex has been uncovered with over 30,000 fragments of clay molds and models for castingritual vessels. Chariot fittings, weapons, belt hooks, coins, and other bronzes were distributed over the site in such a way as to suggest that separate specialized workshops. The mold fragments show that Hou-ma used the section-mold method perfected in Shang foundries a thousand years earlier, as opposed to the cire perdue method.
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.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A nomadic people who at the end of the 3rd century BC formed a great tribal league that was able to dominate much of Central Asia for more than 500 years. They appeared in historical records about 500 BC. China's wars against the Hsiung-nu, who were a constant threat to the country's northern frontier throughout this period, led to the Chinese exploration and conquest of much of Central Asia. This pastoral people wore bronze plaques decorated with animals as harness and belt ornaments.
Huaca La Florida
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large monumentalsite near Lima, Peru, of the early Initial Period, c 1700 BC. Its construction may have begun in the Late Preceramic, was probably used for only a few centuries and abandoned.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Initial Period and Early Horizon site in the Cajamarcaregion of Peru. The ceremonial architecture reached its climax in the late Early Horizon and Early Intermediate periods.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of bronzedecoration used in the 6th-3rd centuries BC by the Eastern Chou. Cast in relief, the decoration was dense arrays of hooks and curls. The style is found by and named for Huai River. In its early manifestations, the Huai style might be viewed as a Yangzi-region counterpart to the Liyu designs of North China. The most outstanding Huai-style designs, including extraordinary examples from Sui Xian, belong to the 5th century. This term is sometimes used for a periodstyle applicable to the whole of China for the years c 650-200 BC.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Wari CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: An empire and large city in the central Peruvian Andes near Ayacucho, dating from 600-1000 AD (Middle Horizon). The local culture first came under Tiahuanaco influence, and Huari acted as a secondary center from which a modified version of the Tiahuanaco art style was spread to the Pacific coast and into the northern Andes. As many as 100,000 people lived in the capital and the empire included most of Peru. There was polychrome pottery; early ceramics (Chakipampa A) date to the Early Intermediate Period and are seen as a blend of Huarpa (a black-on-white geometricstyle) and Nasca styles. The later Chakipampa B style shows a strong Tiahuanacan influence. Structures include huge rectangular compounds with multi-story and subterranean masonry. Unlike Tiahuanaco, there are no megalithic structures and although there is some dressed stone work, cobbles of unformed stone are also widely used. The Huari empire collapsed and was abandoned c 800 (Early Intermediate Period), after which the regional traditions began to reassert themselves in art and politics, with the eventual emergence of new states (Chimú, Cuismancu, Chincha). The Huari were also skilled in metalwork. The well-to-do were buried in stone tombs.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A ceremonial site in the northern highlands of Peru of the Late Preceramic, Initial Period, and Early Horizon. It includes a small artificial mound of 13 superimposed constructions. Its ritual chambers with hearths are similar to the Kotosh Religious Tradition.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in southwest China with the world's largest rock art panel. It is a limestone cliff along the Zuojiang River with over 1800 red paintings of anthropomorphs and zoomorphs. The art was done between 2370-2115 years ago in between the Early Warring States period and the Eastern Han Dynasty.
Humbolt Series point
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Bifacially worked chipped stone points of lanceolateoutline manufactured by Archaic Stage communities on the Great Plains and western interior of North America in the period c.3000 BC to AD 700. There are numerous variations in style and in size, but most have a hollow base and none have side notches.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A nomadic pastoralist people who invaded southeastern Europe c 370 AD and over the next 70 years built up an enormous empire there and in central Europe. Originating from beyond the Volga River after the middle of the 4th century, they first overran the Alani, who occupied the plains between the Volga and the Don rivers, and then quickly overthrew the empire of the Ostrogoths between the Don and the Dnestr. Around 376 AD they defeated the Visigoths living in what is now approximately Romania and then became one of the many 'barbarian' tribes who threatened the Roman empire during the 4th and 5th centuries. There is little archaeological evidence attributed to the Huns, but they are remembered in the literature as being fearsome and bloodthirsty. During the 5th century, the Romans adopted a policy of employing 'barbarian' mercenaries to defend the empire against potential invaders, so the Huns were used to defend eastern Gaul from the Burgundians. The most notable period for the Huns was under their leader Attila, who invaded Gaul in 451. Visigothic and Roman forces joined to defeat Attila near Troyes, and after Attila's death the Huns were never again a major force in European history.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A way of life in which subsistence is based on the hunting of animals and the collection of wild plants rather than settled agriculture. It is a collective term for the members of small-scale mobile (to be near seasonally available wild foods) or semi-sedentary societies and the organizational structure is based on bands with strong kinship ties. This way of life is believed to have lasted for over 3 million years during the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods. It survived down to recent times over considerable areas: Australia until the Europeans, South Africa until the Portuguese and Bantu, America until the Europeans settled, and Siberia.
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: pl. hypogea CATEGORY: structure DEFINITION: A rock-cut underground chamber or vault, often used for a series of inhumations. They are a principal part of Egyptian architecture of every period.
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.
Ice Age/ice age
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: glaciation; glacial age CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A period of intense cold and the expansion of glaciers, resulting in a lower sea level. Such periods of large-scale glaciation may last several million years and drastically reshape surface features of entire continents. In the past, there were many ice ages; the earliest known took place during Precambrian time dating back more than 570 million years. The most recent periods of widespread glaciation occurred during the Pleistocene Epoch (1,600,000 to 10,000 years ago). A lesser, recent glacialstage called the Little Ice Age began in the 16th century and advanced and receded intermittently over three centuries. Its maximum development was reached about 1750, at which time glaciers were more widespread on Earth than at any time since the principal Quaternary Ice Ages. The idea of an ice age in the geological sequence is usually credited to Jean Louis Agassiz, a Swiss naturalist, who suggested it c 1837. Agassiz conceived a worldwide cold period when areas as far apart as North America and Germany had been glaciated.
CATEGORY: fauna DEFINITION: A small carnivorous mammal and species of mongoose that kills snakes and destroys crocodile eggs. The ichneumon and the shrewmouse were both associated with the sun god. Ichneumons in particular were often buried in the Late and Greco-Roman periods and many bronze statuettes of them are known. The creature is also portrayed in a number of Egyptian Old Kingdom tombs such as that of the 5th Dynasty noble Ty (c 2400 BC).
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A glacialstage of the Quaternary in North America, followed by the Sangamon Interglacial and following the Yarmouth. The Illinoian ice sheet covered a small area of southeastern and extreme eastern Iowa, and in so doing it diverted the Mississippi River and created a valley along its western front that can still be seen. It consists mainly of tills, the products of large ice-sheets, and has been split up into three sub-stages, the Liman, Monican, and Jubileean. It is unclear how many cold stages the Illinoian deposits represent, but it may be more than one. The IllinoianGlacialStage ended with a cool, moist period that gradually became drier and then warmer. The Illinoian has never been dated satisfactorily but it is roughly contemporary with the Riss and SaaleGlacial Periods.
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.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A type of early pottery of Etruria, made from unrefined clay and fired to a dark brown or black, especially during the Villanovanperiod. Some were biconical urns and hut models and were used for cremations. Impasto is also a paint that is applied to a canvas or panel in quantities that make it stand out from the surface. It was used frequently to mimic the broken-textured quality of highlights -- i.e., the surfaces of objects that are struck by an intense light.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: Any container, often of bronze or pottery and fitted with a perforated lid, in which incense is burnt. The burning of incense as part of ritual life was a widespread practice in Mesoamerica, from as early as the Pre-Classic Period, as well as in Europe and the East. In Mesoamerica, there is considerable variety in form, from the simple small candelero (Teotihuacan) to the highly elaborate incensarios of Palenque and Mayapan. Copal, the Maya word for pine-resin, was widely traded as incense; it appears in the Aztec tribute lists in the Codex Mendoza. In China during the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), a type of vessel known as a hill censer was used. Incense burners of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) were made in two basic forms: a square vessel on four feet, fitted with two handles and a pierced lid, and a circular tripod vessel, also fitted with a perforated lid.
CATEGORY: branch DEFINITION: The archaeological study of the period and sites of the Industrial Revolution and later. It involves the discovery, recording, and study of the material remains of past industrial activities, covering ways of making, transporting and distributing things.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj interglacial CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: A warm period between two glaciations during with little or no glacial ice, warm climate processes, deposits, flora and fauna, and increased soil formation. The ice sheets diminish in area, and the improved climate allows the growth of temperate types of vegetation. The last 10,000 years (the Holocene) is probably an interglacial. During the Quaternary, interglacials have been considerably shorter than glacials.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A pattern of ornamentation that consists of twisted and plaited ribbons making geometric patterns, or of intertwined strands extending from animal and plant motifs. In the 7th and 8th centuries, interlace ornament was refined and used to great effect by Celtic and Anglo-Saxon metalworkers, sculptors, and manuscript illuminators. This artistic tradition was also prominent during the Vikingperiod.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A series of mountains that separate Zimbabwe from Mozambique which has evidence of a prolonged sequence of Iron Age occupation. Early Iron Age settlement, related to that at Gokomere, is attested at several sites around Ziwa Mountain. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, and perhaps earlier, extensive irrigation works were built. Other stone structures date from the same period, including semi-subterranean structures interpreted as stock pens.
CATEGORY: ceramics DEFINITION: A potteryware made in the 7th-9th centuries at Ipswich, England, where kilndebris has been found. The cooking pots and undecorated pitchers were distributed widely in East Anglia, while stamp-decorated pitchers were traded as far as York and Richborough. This ware makes it possible to identify sites of the Middle Saxonperiod.
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The period during which iron was utilized by early man, beginning about 3000 years ago, following the Stone Age and Bronze Age in the Three-Age System. In this period, tools, implements, and weapons were first made of iron. Iron had many advantages over bronze, so its spread was rapid. The Iron Age began at different times in different parts of the world according to the availability of ironore and the state of knowledge. In Europe, the earliest iron appears around 1100 BC. The traditional timing of the transition from bronze to iron is placed in the early 1st millennium BC. The age began about 1500 BC in the Middle East, about 900 BC in southern Europe, and after 400 BC in northern Europe. In most of Asia the Iron Age falls entirely within the historic period. In America, iron was introduced by the arrival of Europeans; in Africa, it began before the earlier metal ages. The southern African Iron Age is divided into the Early Iron Age, 200-1000 AD and the Late Iron Age, 1000 AD till the 19th century. The term is general and arbitrary. There is evidence that meteorites were used as a source of iron before 3000 BC, but extraction of the metal from ores dates from about 2000 BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A city in Iran which was a Parthian provincial capital and possibly occupied throughout the Sassanianperiod, the central province of the ancient pre-Islamic Iranian empires. The Great Mosque of Isfahan was one of the most influential of all early Seljuq religious structures; it was probably completed around 1130 after a long and complicated history of rebuildings. The best known Safavid monuments are located at Isfahan, where 'Abbas I built a whole new city. 'Abbas expressed his new role by moving his capital in about 1597-98 to Isfahan. According to one description, it contained 162 mosques, 48 madrasahs, 1802 commercial buildings, and 283 baths. Most of these buildings no longer survive, but what remains constitutes some of the finest monuments of Islamic architecture.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An ancient Mesopotamian city, probably the origin of a large mound near Ad-Diwaniyah, in southern Iraq. An independent dynasty was established at Isin about 2017 BC by Ishbi-Erra, who founded a line of Amorite rulers of whom the first five claimed authority over the city of Ur to the south. The fifth of the rulers of Isin, Lipit-Ishtar (reigned 1934-24 BC), is famous as having published a series of laws in the Sumerian language anticipating the code of Hammurabi by more than a century. About 1794 BC, Isin lost its independence, to Larsa and later to Babylon. The city revived between about 1156 and 1025 under its 2nd dynasty, a number of whose kings exercised authority over Babylonia (southern Iraq) after the Kassite period.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Large, important ceremonial site and type site of a culture in Chiapas, Mexico, built about 3500 years ago (Middle-Late Preclassic). Izapa is famous for its art style, which is distributed in Chiapas and parts of Guatemala. The relief art, carved on altar stones and stelae, was influenced by the Olmec and Maya traditions. The style falls mainly within the Late Pre-Classic period (300 BC-300 AD), intermediate in time between Olmec and Maya. Dates were written in the long count system; a pure Izapan stele from El Baul, Guatemala, carries a figure equivalent to 36 AD. Most of its 80 temple-pyramids, courts, and plazas were built in the Late Preclassic. The center's economic base may have been cacao, which is featured in Izapan iconography.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of twin monasteries which were important in the Middle Anglo-Saxonperiod in England. One was the home of the Venerable Bede. Both monasteries suffered seriously during the Viking raids of the 9th century. At Jarrow, there was evidence for glassmaking and other crafts. The earliest colored window glass known in Europe comes from these excavations, and bears out Bede's statement that Benedict Biscop brought glaziers from Gaul to work on his churches.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Jamdat Nasr CATEGORY: site; artifact; chronology DEFINITION: A small site between Baghdad and Babylon, near Kish, Iraq, which has given its name to a period of Mesopotamian chronology and its black-and-red painted potteryware. The period of 3100-2900 BC was characterized by writing in pictographs, pottery with painted designs or plum red burnished slip, and plain pottery with beveled rims. Cylinder seals are squat and plain and drill used in designs. The period is characterized by increasing populations, the development of more extensive irrigation systems, towns dominated by temples, increased use of writing and cylinder seals, more trade and craft specialization. The period -- equivalent to Uruk III of the Eanna Sounding sequence -- was followed immediately by the Early Dynastic period of Sumer. A building of Jemdet Nasr date may be the oldest palace discovered in southern Mesopotamia.
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: site DEFINITION: A small Chalcolithicsite in southern India, consisting of several mounds and representing a single period material culture in the second half of the 2nd millennium BC. There was a wheel-made red ware painted in black, including distinctive long-spouted vessels. Jorwe had a rich coppertoolindustry in addition to stone toolmaking and it seems to be related to the Malwacomplex further north.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A settlement site of the Linear Pottery Culture outside modern Cologne, Germany. Köln-Lindenthal is recognized as a typical Danubian site with seven widely separated phases of occupation covering the Danubian I and II periods. It was the site of one of the earliest attempts to uncover a settlement plan. Post structures were identified as longhouses made of mud plaster, but was unusual for by being encircled by a ditched enclosure.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kachemak culture CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: A marine mammal-hunting culture found around the Kachemak Bay of the southern Kenai Peninsula in central southern Alaska. It is divided into three phases, the oldest of which may date back as far as the 8th century BC and the most recent lasting until historic times. The first phase was the most distinctly Eskimo in character. Stone (including slate) implements in the early period were usually retouched; later they were ground. Round or oval stone lamps and realistic human figures of carved stone have been found. Copper tools and pottery appeared in the third stage. Rock paintings were mainly representations of men and animals. Burials have the body in a crouched position, with associated grave goods. During the final stage, artificial bone or ivory eyes were placed over those of the deceased. There may have been cultural connections with eastern Asia, with adjacent land areas, and with Kodiak Island.
CATEGORY: feature DEFINITION: The term for shell midden in Japanese. It existed in the Jomon and early Yayoi periods.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Talmis CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of an unfinished, free-standing temple in Lower Nubia, south of Aswan. Dedicated to the local god Mandulis, the complex was built in sandstone masonry and consisted of a pylon, forecourt, hypostyle hall, two vestibules, and a sanctuary. It dates to early Roman period c 30 BC, though the colony dates to Amenhotep II (1427-1400 BC).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kalakh; biblical Calah; modern Nimrud CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of the Black Obelisk, Assyrian monument of King Shalmaneser III (reigned 859-824 BC). It is the most complete Assyrianobelisk yet discovered, decorated with cuneiform inscriptions and reliefs recording military campaigns and other triumphs, including payment of tribute by King Jehu of Israel (reigned 842-815). The 6-foot (1.8-meter) black basalt piece was discovered in 1845 at ancient Kalhu, south of Mosul, Iraq, by Austen Henry Layard and is now in the British Museum. Kalhu was an imperial Assyrian city on the River Tigris with a citadel (Nimrud) and arsenal at Fort Shalmaneser. Middle Assyrian texts found there established the existence of the town in the later 2nd millennium BC. It was made the imperial seat by Assurnasirpal II (883-859 BC). Sargon II (721-705 BC) moved the imperial seat to Khorsabad and after that, Kalhu was a provincial capital. Occupation continued until the Hellenistic period.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in India near the extinct Ghaggar/Hakra River with Early and Mature Harappan settlements. A Chalcolithicsettlement similar to Kot Diji and the site underlying the Indus city at Harappa has given radiocarbon dates of c 2750 BC. An intact plowed field has been discovered, indicating that the plow was already in use before the main Harappan period. About 2450 a small town of the Indus civilization was built over it, which flourished to c 2150 BC. In the Mature Harappan period, the site consisted of a citadel and a lower town, both defended, and laid out, in the normal Indus Valley gridpattern.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large and important Mayasite near Guatemala City that originally contained over 200 mounds, strongly influenced by Teotihuacán during the Early Classic. As the greatest of the early centers in the highland Maya zone, Kaminaljuyú has a history of occupation dating back to c 1800 BC, but it reached its first climax during the Mirafloresphase in the centuries after 300 BC. Its earliest occupation during the Early to Mid-Pre-Classic has Olmec-influenced artifacts such as the 'squashed frog' motif, kaolinpottery, and pits reminiscent of those at Tlatilco. About 200 burial sites from the Late FormativePeriod, 300 BC-100 AD, have been uncovered, and there are carved stelae in the Izapa manner and a hieroglyphicscript unlike that of the lowland Maya.. There are also courts for playing the ball game tlachtli. Because of the lack of stone suitable for construction, pyramids and other structures at Kaminaljuyú were built of adobe and later of other perishable materials. After a period of decline, the site was revived in c 400 when it became an outpost of the Teotihuacán civilization. Kaminaljuyú controlled the obsidian production along the Pacific. Its decline took place after the Late Classic Period c 600-900 AD. Evidence suggests that various Mexican dynasties ruled over the Mayapopulation until the Spanish conquest.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Qandahar CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site near the crossing of the Arghandab in southern Afghanistan. The city was included in the Achaemenian empire by Darius I, was taken by Alexander the Great in 329 BC, was surrendered by Seleucus I to Candra Gupta in 305 BC and dignified by a rockinscription in Greek and Aramaic by his grandson Ashoka, and thereafter was successively held by Greco-Bactrians, Parthians, Sakas, Kushans, and Sasanians. The town seems to have been occupied continuously until the 18th century and a large barrowcemetery belongs to the Islamic period.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large town and necropolis located in Lower Nubia, south of Aswan, which flourished in the Meroitic and post-Meroitic periods c 300 BC-550 AD. By at least as early as the third century BC, Karanog had developed into a major town.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A tellsite in eastern Bulgaria which has given the basic chronological sequence from the Early Neolithic, and much of the Eneolithic, to the Bronze Age, 7th to mid 2nd millennium BC, of the eastern Balkans. There were seven major phases of occupation. Karanovo I is the earliest Neolithic and forms part of the complex of cultures that include Starcevo, Cris, and Körös. The architecture was wattle-and-daub and eventually the 50-60 early, scattered, square huts were replaced by rectangular, larger, plastered, and painted ones. Karanovo II also represents the First Temperate Neolithic level. Karanovo III has Middle NeolithicVeselinovo levels, with dark burnished and carinatedpottery. Level IV is the Kalojanoven level and V represents Marica levels, with graphite painted wares and excised pottery -- both are contemporaneous with the Late NeolithicVincaculture of the western Balkans. Level VI is the main EneolithicGumelnita occupation with graphite painted wares and coppermetallurgy. Level VII is the Early Bronze Age level. Almost all the period designations have become known as cultures in their own right (e.g. the Karanovo III culture).
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: site DEFINITION: A hilltop site near Kirkuk in northern Iraq occupied in the period when the transition was beginning from hunting-and-gathering to farming. Its material is closely related to that of Zawi Chemi Shanidar and the culture is dated c 9000-7000 BC. There is no evidence of architecture, so the site was probably seasonal. Artifact evidence suggests an increased dependence on plant resources: blades with the silica sheen often described as 'sickle gloss', pierced stone balls which might have been weights for digging sticks, and stone axes.
Karlgren, Bernhard (1889-1978)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: Swedish archaeologist was the first person to reconstruct the phonology of Chinese characters in use around 600 AD and then in earlier periods. He reconstructed the vowel system of Old Chinese to account for the language in Classic of Poetry" (800-600 BC). He studied numerous fundamental texts of the pre-Han period and succeeded in assessing their authenticity and in translating them into English and providing commentaries. In field of early bronzes he laid the foundations for an analytical method the principles of which are still valid."
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Ipet-isut; al-Karnak CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A huge complex of religious buildings in the northern part of Thebes, the ancient capital of Upper Egypt (modern Luxor), with a great temple to Amen (Amon) and a series of subsidiary structures. Recent excavations indicate that occupation began in the Gerzeanperiod (c 3200 BC), when a small settlement was founded on the eastern bank of the Nilefloodplain. The village has given its name to the northern half of the ruins of Thebes. There is a smaller complex of the goddess Mut, consort of Amen (it was built largely by Amenhotep III, whose architect was commemorated by statues in the temple), and one to the god Montu/Mont, predecessor of Amen. Between these two precincts lay the largest of all Egyptian temples, and one of the largest in the world, the great temple of the state god, Amen (Amon-Re). It is a complex of temples, added to and altered at many periods. A series of processional gateways link the temple with that of Mut to the south, and further, by way of the avenue of sphinxes, with the temple at Luxor 2 miles (3 km) away.
CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A period of time in the Classic Maya Long Count equal to 7200 days (about 20 years). It is also the chronological unit comprising the Short Count. The celebration of katuns was a major ritual of kingship in the Classic period.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kaushambi CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in the Ganges Valley of northern India which was a great urban center in the early historical period. Its earliest wall, of mudbrick faced with baked brick 12 m high, was built about 500 BC. Within it is a Buddhist monastery the fifth century BC where, according to an inscription, the Buddha himself stayed for a time. Of the same period is a building interpreted as a palace, with walls of stone rubble. The site has provided important information about the origins and development of the Gangetic Iron Age urban civilization. The earliest levels contain pottery related to the Ochre Colored Potteryhorizon and are dated to the mid-2nd millennium BC. The second level has black-and-red, red, gray, and black wares and iron objects also appear, in the second quarter of the 1st millennium BC. There was Northern Black Polished Ware in the third level of around 500 BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: One of the four small states, named after regions of India -- Amaravati (Quang Nam); Vijaya (Binh Dinh); Kauthara (Nha Trang); and Panduranga (Phan Rang) -- of Champa (now southern Vietnam). Champa was formed in 192 AD during the breakup of the Han dynasty in China. The states' populations remained concentrated in small coastal enclaves. To this period belong several brick sanctuaries in the Nha-trang area, notably that of Po Nagar. Nha-trang dates to the 3rd century AD, when, as part of the independent land of Kauthara, it acknowledged the suzerainty of Funan.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A confederation of polities (tribal league) on the southern Korean coast formed before the 3rd century AD. The Kaya confederation developed trade largely by sea with the Chinese capital at Lo-yang and with Wae, Japan. The people of Kaya are thought to have been closely related to the tribes that crossed over from Korea to Japan a century or two before this period, and Kaya frequently sought aid from the Japanese in its feuds with its larger Korean neighbors (Silla, Paekche). There are cist burials or mounded tombs containing multiple cist burials. Artifacts include gray stoneware, the first made in Korea, which preceded the Sue ware of Japan. The Kaya people invented a unique musical instrument, the kayagum. Silla subjugated the confederation between the years of 532-562.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kazanluk CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A large Neolithic, Copper Age (Eneolithic), and Early Bronze Age tell in the Valley of Roses, southern Bulgaria. The stratigraphy includes a Karanovo I occupation; Veselinovo occupation levels; Karanovo V-VI layers (with a stone wall enclosing the site at the end of this period), and an Early Bronze Age occupation. The Kazanluk Tomb, discovered in 1944 on the outskirts of town, is a Thracian burialtomb of an unknown ruler from the 4th or 3rd century BC. The fine murals that decorate the entire tomb distinguish it from 13 similar known examples.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cave site at Torquay, Devon, England, occupied around 400,000 years ago. The main occupation is of the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic periods and includes artifacts of the Mousterian, Aurignacian, 'proto-Solutrean', and the Creswellianculture, as well as harpoons and a needle of Magdalenian appearance. The sequence compares closely with that from Creswell Crags -- those being the two oldest human homes in England. A human skull 20,000 years old, remains of saber-toothed tiger, cave lion and bear, rhinoceros, mammoth, wolf, elk, and hyena have all been found ossified in the cave. A rostro-carinate dating back 500,000 years was found in the lowest layers under the stalagmites. There was also Lower Palaeolithic occupation with rather crude implements including bifaces.
CATEGORY: site; culture DEFINITION: The site of a capital of an independent Nubian/Kushite kingdom which became prominent after a northward retreat of the Egyptians during the 13th Dynasty, c 1700 BC. On the third Nilecataract in Upper Nubia (Sudan), it came into existence during the Egyptian Old and Middle Kingdoms (2686-1650 BC) and is the type-site for the Kermaculture (c 2500-1500 BC), probably identified with the Egyptians' 'land of Yam'. Kerma traded widely and great wealth was accumulated. There was a high level of craftsmanship, especially in pottery. The rulers of Kerman, together with the bodies of many retainers, were buried under huge grave mounds. There were also sacrificial human interments. This royal necropolis of the kings of Kush probably dates to the Second Intermediate Period c 1633-1550 BC. The only substantial surviving building is a large mud-brick 'Western Deffufa'.
CATEGORY: structure; feature DEFINITION: Mounded tombs of the Kofun Period in Japan. The ground plan was shaped like a keyhole and they are assumed to be tombs of rulers or the elite in the 4th-5th centuries AD.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Tutub; Khafadje CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A group of tells on the Diyala River in east-central Iraq with the best evidence for the threefold subdivision of the Mesopotamian Early Dynastic period (3rd millennium BC). The stratified ceramicsequence from Jemdet Nasr to the late Early Dynastic times, combined with the findings from Tell Asmar, provided this information A temple with ten building levels of the Jemdet Nasr and Early Dynastic periods was dedicated to the moon god Sin. A second Early Dynastic rectangular mudbricktemple faced onto a square court around which were grouped storehouses and priests' quarters. There are a number of burials beneath the floors of residential housing.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: al-Wahat al-Kharijah; al-Kharijah CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The southernmost and largest of the major Egyptian western oases, which is located in the Libyan Desert about 175 km east of Luxor. There are traces of Middle Palaeolithic (Mousterian) occupation at Kharga and its material culture was closely connected with that of the Nile valley throughout the Pharaonic period. This oasis is of approximately the same age as the Epi-Levalloisian sites of the Sebilian and the Fayyum Depression.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A writingsystem used in northwestern India before about 500 AD; one of the two main early Indian scripts. The earliest extant inscription in Kharosti dates from 251 BC, and the latest from the 4th-5th century AD. The system probably derived from the Aramaic alphabet while northwestern India was under Persian rule in the 5th century BC. Aramaic, however, is a Semiticalphabet of 22 consonantal letters, while Kharosti is syllabic and has 252 separate signs for consonant and vowel combinations. A cursivescript written from right to left, Kharosti was used for commercial and calligraphic purposes. It was influenced somewhat by Brahmi, the other Indian script of the period, which eventually superseded it. The name Karoshti literally means asses' lips, and is said to refer to the similarity of the highly curvilinearscript to the movement of asses' lips.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A palatial complex just outside Jericho in the Jordan Valley, attributed via epigraphy to the Umayyadcaliph Hisham (724-743). There was a South Building, two-story mansion, a mosque, and a bathhouse (with elaborate domes and vaults) supplied by an aqueduct; and a North Building, a khan or guesthouse. The buildings are particularly important because they are closely datable within a period when the Hellenistic traditions of art and architecture were being transformed for Muslim patrons, and also because they yielded rich collections of stucco, wall paintings, and mosaics.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Beth-yerah; Tell Beth Yerah CATEGORY: site; artifact DEFINITION: A Palestinian site on the southwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, settled from the Early-Middle Bronze Age and occupied again from the Hellenistic to the Byzantine periods. In the 4th-3rd millennia BC, it was a small walled town which lent its name to a distinctive potteryware (Khirbet Kerak ware, c 3400) which has been found on many sites throughout the Near East, from Judeidah in the Amuq to Lachish in the south. This highly burnished ware with red or black slip is often incised or ribbed in decoration. Its origins lie up in the southern Caucasus (it was related to Early Transcaucasian wares), from which it was likely carried south by an emigration of the ancestors of the Hittites. The pottery belongs to the EB III phase and has a wide distribution in Syria and Palestine. It is usually thought to have originated in northeast Anatolia and may have been distributed either by emigration or by trade. The town of the mid-3rd millennium BC contains a massive public building, probably a religious structure, that comprises eight circular stone structures all enclosed by a massive outer rectangular wall.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Khonsu, Khensu, Chons CATEGORY: deity DEFINITION: An ancient Egyptian moon god in the form of a young man. Khons was regarded as the son of the god Amon and the goddess Mut. In the period of the late New Kingdom, c 1100 BC, a major temple was built for Khons in the Karnakcomplex at Thebes. Khons also was associated with baboons and was sometimes assimilated to Thoth, another moon god associated with baboons.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Khor-Musa CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site of Middle Palaeolithic occupation in the southern Nile Valley of Egypt in the Second Cataract. It has given its name to the final phase of the Nubian 'Middle Stone Age' for other sites close to the River Nile and contemporary with, or following, the Aterian. The site had Levallois flakes, denticulates, and burins. It seems probable that the Khormusan industry was broadly contemporary with the Dabban of Cyrenaica, belonging to the period following c 40,000 BC when increased aridity rendered the Sahara uninhabitable. Faunal remains from Khormusan sites indicate fishing and the hunting of land animals.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Korat plateau CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A saucer-shaped low plateau in northeast Thailand occupying 60,000 square miles and drained by the Chi and Mun rivers. Riceagriculture began before the 4th millennium BC. The plateau's development is divided into General Period A, c 3600-2000 BC; General Period B, c 2000-800/400 BC; General Period C, c 800/400 BC-300/500 AD; and General Period D, c 300/500-1300 AD. The initial settlement had polished stone adzes and stone and shelljewelry indicating some trade. The second period was the transition to the use of tin-bronze and production of bronze using imported metals. In the third period, iron replaced bronze and wet ricecultivation was established. The fourth period saw an expansion of settlements, formation of small states, long-distance trade, and some Indianization.
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.
CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: A term used for any text recording the names and titles of the rulers of Egypt and the length of their reigns. The most important include the Sumerian King List, which recorded the dynasties ruling southern Mesopotamia from the mythical period before the Flood to the Isin-Larsaperiod, and the Assyrian King List, which listed the rulers of Assyria from before 2000 BC to the Late Assyrianperiod. There were also lists in Egypt which incorporate information on principal events of individual reigns. Virtually all of the surviving examples are found in religious or funerary contexts and often relate to the celebration of the cult of royal ancestors, whereby each king established his own legitimacy and place in the succession by making regular offerings to a list of the names of his predecessors. The lists are often surprisingly accurate, although they are also noticeably selective, regularly omitting certain rulers who were considered to have been in any way illegitimate or inappropriate, such as Akhenaten (1352-1336 BC).
Kingdoms, Old, Middle, and New
CATEGORY: chronology DEFINITION: The names traditionally applied to the three peak periods of development in the history of ancient Egypt, separated by times of decline and disorder. The Old Kingdom included the 3rd-6th Dynasties, c 2700-2200 BC; the Middle Kingdom was the 11th-13th Dynasties, 2100-1650 BC; and the New Kingdom consisted of the 18th-20th Dynasties, 1580-1075 BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Early Dynastic city-state of ancient Sumer near Babylon, spreads over a series of tells. Occupation began in the Jemdet Nasr period, succeeded by Early Dynastic levels containing the remains of a royal Sumerian palace. There are also Neo-Babylonian forts, temples, tombs, and a Parthianfort and buildings. Though the supremacy passed to Ur c 2600 BC, Kish remained in occupation right through to the Sassanianperiod in the early centuries AD. In the Early Dynastic levels, there are rich burials including cart burials similar to those at Ur and Susa. The importance of Kish is seen in texts where it was said to play a pivotal role in the regional political affairs. The city may have been the center of a cultural tradition distinct from that further south in Mesopotamia.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a rich Celtic burial of the early La Tène period in Ludwigsburg, Würtemberg, Germany. Funerary offerings included an Etruscanbronze vessel, a native copy of an Etruscan beaked flagon, gold mounts for a pair of drinking horns, and two imported Attic cups dated around 450 BC. In the same village is a slightly earlier tumulusburial, of the late Hallstatt D period, with imported ivories (including a sphinx) as well as bronzes.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cnossus CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A well-known palacesite on the island of Crete that has been inhabited almost continuously from 6000 BC when the first Neolithicsettlement was constructed. It was the location of the chief palace of the Minoans, near Herakleion at the center of the north coast of Crete. The Neolithicsettlement was succeeded by an Early Minoan one, but little is known about this phase. The site was leveled for the palace at the beginning of the Middle Minoanperiod, c 2000 BC. Around the palace were the main buildings, the throne room, reception halls, shrines, magazines, and the domestic quarter of at least three stories. Large banks of rooms of various types were arranged around a central courtyard, giving rise to the story of the labyrinth. Unlike the other Cretan palaces, Knossos survived the violent eruption of Santorini/Thera c 1450 BC, but came under new rulers, Mycenaeans. The palace was opulent and the frescoes show the bull sports which took place in or near the palace, the courtiers who watched them, others in ceremonial procession carrying offerings, and the priest-king himself. Clay tablets with inscriptions in Linear A and B show the careful accounting which supported this show. From them, too, we learn that in the last phase of occupation the rulers of the palace were Greek. Knossos likely governed much of Crete. The palacesite was finally destroyed probably c 1375 BC, though Knossos remained prosperous and powerful, emerging as one of the foremost Greek city-states on Crete.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: One of the largest Neolithicburial grounds on the River Boyne in County Meath, Ireland. It is a circular burial mound containing two passage graves entered from opposite sides. The first is a large but simple passage grave, with several decorated stones but no evidence of corbelling. The second tomb, also a passage grave, has a corbel-vaulted burial chamber with three niches. One of these contained a stone basin ornamented with grooves and circular designs, and there is further carving on the walls of the tomb itself. The central mound was surrounded by at least 15 smaller tombs, each under its own cairn, and these 'satellite' tombs included both entrance graves and passage graves of cruciform plan. Knowth is one of the three principal elements of the Boyne Valley megalithic cemetery, dating from the 4th millennium BC. Knowth was later reoccupied in the early historic period when Souterrains were constructed within the mound. Excavations have also revealed the remains of the Early Christian royal center here, belonging to the Northern Brega known from the Irish annals.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Great Burial Period, Tumulus Period CATEGORY: chronology; culture DEFINITION: The name of the protohistorictombperiod of Japan, 300-710 AD, and the type of tumulus used for the burials. . Large tombs were built which were covered with artificial hillocks about 8 meters high, with burial chambers about 2 meters underneath the top surface. The burial chamber, enclosed with stones, contained coffins and various funerary offerings. The period when tombs of this kind were built in abundance was characterized by Hajiware and Sue ware. It is divided into Early, 4th century; Middle, 5th century; and Late, late 5th-7th centuries. The Kofunperiod falls between the Yayoiperiod and the fully historic Nara period and partially overlaps the Asuka and Hakuho periods of art historians. In their writings, the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki texts, the culture was explained. Early kofun were built by modifying natural hills, as were Late Yayoiburial mounds. Hajipottery, used throughout the Kofunperiod, is very similar to Yayoipottery and farmers lived in the same kinds of houses, using very similar tools. Technical advances over the yayoiperiod include irrigation canals and dams. There were also silversmiths who made the ornaments deposited in kofun and professional potters began making Sue pottery in the 5th century. Those in the fertile and well-protected Yamato Basin actively sought new technical and administrative skills on the continent and thus artisans came to make new kinds of pottery, ornaments, and weapons. Yamato leaders gained control over much of Japan in the 7th century and moved the capital to Heijo in 710. The magnificent kofun tombs indicate that the Yamato court based in the Yamatoarea (the present Nara prefecture) succeeded in bringing almost the whole of Japan under its control.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Records of Ancient Matters CATEGORY: language DEFINITION: The oldest extant comprehensive history of Japan, a chronicle compiled in 712 AD under the Ritsuryo state. The effort to compile and edit legends and genealogies into a coherent account exemplifies the supremacy of the ruling Yamato house. Written in an old Japanese using the linguistically incompatible Chinese characters, the account begins with a creation myth and covers the events up to the early 7th century. Together with the Nihon Shoki, it provides protohistoricdata for the Kofunperiod.
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: site DEFINITION: Large multi-moundsite in southern Georgia, US, that includes burial mounds and a platform mound from the latter half of the 1st century AD. It seems to have thrived in the period between the decline of the Woodland Tradition and the emergence of the Mississippian. Elaborately worked funerary vessels and grave goods such as copper ornaments and shell beads attest to ceremonial burial practice. There are indications of a chiefdom organization.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Ombos, Kawm Umbu CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of a unique double temple of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, which is dedicated to Sebek (Suchos), the crocodile god, and to Horus, the falcon-headed god. Ombos was important for its strategic location, commanding both the Nile River and the routes from Nubia northward to the Nile River valley. The site dates from at least the 18th Dynasty (1550-1295 BC) and the ancient town was especially prosperous under the Hellenistic Ptolemaic dynasty (304-30 BC), when it was the capital of the separate nome (province) of Ombos. There are also a number of Upper Palaeolithic sites which chronologically overlapping industries -- the Sebekian, Silsillian, and Sebillian -- from c 15,000-9500 BC. This riverine plain had extensive exploitation of wild grasses during the period of 12,000-10,000 BC.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The site of important hominid finds and stone artifacts on the northeastern shore of Lake Turkana (formerly Lake Rudolf), in northern Kenya, dating between 2.5 and 1 million years ago. Fragmentary remains of more than 150 hominids, including Australopithecus boisei, A. africanus, and Homo habilis were found. At least two lineages seem to represented in the period between 1 and 1.5 million years ago, Homo erectus and Australopithecus robustus/boisei. Earlier fossils may be of the Homo habilis type. Stone tools are found at several levels from the KBStuff at about 1.8 million years ago up to some alter levels where had axes appear in small quantities. The large-brained skull numbered 1470, dated to c 2 million years ago, was found here. Richard Leakey worked at the site from 1969.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A Migration Period settlement in central Holland dating from between the later 7th- later 10th centuries. There was evidence of 45 post-built houses, 177 sunken huts, 14 animal sheds, and three grain silos. At its largest, Kootwijk probably had 15+ farm units.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. korai CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A type of freestanding statue of a maiden -- the female counterpart of the kouros, or standing youth -- that appeared with the beginning of Greek monumentalsculpture in about 660 BC and remained to the end of the Archaic period in about 500 BC. It evolved from a highly stylized form to a more naturalistic one. The statue was usually draped, carved from marble, and painted in its original form. These are often dedications in sanctuaries and some are found in funeral contexts. Important series were in the temple of Hera on Samos and on the Acropolis in Athens.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: Kingdom of Korea from 918-1392 AD; the dynasty lasted from 935-1392. It turned to Buddhism in adversity, built many temples, and made exquisite Celadon objects. Koryo's close cultural ties with China during the Sung period (960-1279) resulted in direct influences from the advanced Chinese urban culture. The peace of the realm was often disrupted by invaders from Manchuria, first Khitan, then Juchen, and finally by the Mongols. In 1232, the Koryo court fled to Kanghwa Island off the west coast of Korea, leaving the country to Mongol devastation and control. The art of Koryo never again equaled its pre-Mongol achievements. It is from the name Koryo that the Western word Korea is derived.
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.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Major pre-Columbian ceremonial site in the north-central highlands of Peru, near Huánuco, coming into use during the Late Preceramic Period and continuing until after the end of the Chavín culture during the Early Horizon, c 1 AD. It is known for its temple structures, the earliest of which have interior wall niches and mud-relief decorative friezes, and date to the end of the Late Preceramic Period (c 2000-1800 BC). In the earliest levels (Mito) are remains of a platform on which stood the Temple of the Crossed Hands. Stone tools, some similar to Laurichocha II and III, and other artifacts appropriate to an Archaic subsistencepattern also occur in this phase. The next (Wairajirca) period has a radiocarbon date of 2305 +/- 110 BC and saw the introduction of the first pottery, a gray ware with incised designs and post-fired painting in red, white, or yellow. In the following (Kotosh) stage, there is evidence of maizecultivation, and the pottery, with grooved designs, graphite painting, and stirrup spouts, has Chavín-like features. Radiocarbon dates suggest that this period is centered on c 1200 BC and was closely followed by a pure Chavín stage with the typical pottery and ornament. Next in sequencecame levels (Sajarapatac and San Blas phases) with white-on-red pottery, and the uppermost strata (Hiqueras period) were characterized by red vessels, rare negative painting, and copper tools.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Old Paphos, Palaipaphos CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Southern Cyprussite occupied from the 3rd millennium BC, which became a major center in the Late Cypriotperiod. It was settled by Greek colonists in the Mycenaean period. Besides the Evreti cemetery, there was an ashlar temple built c 1200 BC for Aphrodite's cult. Palaepaphos was capital of one of the Cypriot kingdoms in 498 BC when it was attacked by the Persians. The Cinyrad dynasty ruled Palaeopaphos until its final conquest by Ptolemy I of Egypt (294 BC).
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: Palaeolithicsite in Kraków, Poland including Middle Palaeolithic assemblages of the Last Interglacial and subsequent cooler periods. The Upper Palaeolithic assemblages of the Aurignacian date to the Interstadial preceding the Last Glacial Maximum.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Middle Palaeolithicsite north of Zagreb, Croatia, dating to around the Last Interglacial. The industry was dominated by sidescrapers. Over 650 skeletal fragments of archaic Homo sapiens have been found. These comprise the skeletal fossils of at least 13 adults and children and are estimated to derive from the early last glacialperiod, about 40,000 to 75,000 years ago. They are identified as being transitional from Neanderthal to modern man. The evidence suggests cannibalism or funerary ritual.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Settlement of the Dvaravatiperiod in south-central Thailand near the mouth of the Mae Klong River. Remains of Dvaravati architecture include stupa bases at Ku Bua, some of which have elephants supporting their bases, following a pattern that originated in Ceylon. A moat dates to the Khmerperiod, c 1000 AD.
CATEGORY: term; artifact DEFINITION: An Akkadian term meaning frontier or boundary" for a type of boundarystone used by the Kassites of Mesopotamia. It was a stone block or slab which served as a record of a grant of land made by the king to a favored person. The original kudurrus were kept in temples while clay copies were given to the landowners. On the stone were engraved the clauses of the contract the images or symbols of the gods under whose protection the gift was placed and the curse on those who violated the rights conferred. The kudurrus are important not only for economic and religious reasons but also as almost the only works of art surviving from the period of Kassite rule in Babylonia c 16th-12th centuries BC. The word also means son as in personal names such as Nabu-kudurri-usur (Nebuchadnezzar). The term also applies to the 3rd millennium cuneiform documents in southern Mesopotamia that record land transfers."
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Cemetery site of the Archaic Period in the eastern NileDelta of Egypt. There are ceramic jars incised with the name of Narmer.
CATEGORY: culture DEFINITION: The eastern Baltic variant of the Baltic Boreal and Atlantic climatic periods, c 7000-5000 BC, a Mesolithicculture named after the site of Kunda-Lammasmagi in Estonia. Most Kunda settlements are located at the edge of the forest, near rivers, lakes, and marshes. There was hunting of elk, seal, and fishing. Bone and antler tools were decorated with simple geometric motifs. The Kunda culture was followed by the Narvaculture, with the appearance of pottery and food production.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: La Copa CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site near Cajamarca in the northern highlands of Peru, of the Chavin culture of Early Horizon period c 800 BC. The central structure was a stone-faced, triple-terraced pyramid, surmounted by a temple or temples. Three-dimensional statues and other carved stone are executed in the Chavin style with the characteristic feline motif common. Other associated features, however, such as ceramics, appear to be a mixture of Chavin and later styles, suggesting that the site may extend beyond the Early Horizon.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kurru CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A site in Upper Nubia with a royal necropolis of the Napatan period, c late 9th-mid-7th centuries BC. The site was first used from c 1000 BC onwards for the tumulus burials of the rulers of the kingdom of Kush (Kermaculture). These were replaced by steep-sided pyramids after the conquest of Egypt by the Napatan kings.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cush CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: An Egyptian term for Upper Nubia and the independent states of the region during periods of Egyptian weakness. It is the name applied to the area which, during and after the pharaonic period, was subject to Egyptian cultural and /or political influence. Kush's main period of independence began c 9th century BC. In the 8th century, the kings of Kush conquered Egypt and ruled briefly there as the 25th Dynasty, being expelled southwards after the Assyrian invasion of Egypt in 671 BC. In their homeland, the Kushites' capital was established first at Napata near the fourth Nilecataract, then move to Meroe about 600 BC. There the capital was better situated to exploittrade-routes eastward to the Red Sea and Ethiopia as well as those of the Nile Valley. Timber was also more plentiful and was used to fuel the Meroitic ironindustry, which probably began on a small scale in about the 6th century BC. The kingdom of Kush survived till 350 AD, when the final collapse of Meroe was probably due to an invasion from Axum (Aksum).
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cylix CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A Greek stemmed drinking cup or chalice, usually made of clay or metal. The term was originally used for a cup of any form, but modern scholars restrict it to shallow two-handed stemmed forms. This wide-bowled drinking cup with horizontal handles was one of the most popular pottery forms from Mycenaean times through the classical Athenian period. There was usually a painted frieze around the outer surface, depicting a subject from mythology or everyday life, and on the bottom of the inside a painting often depicting a dancing or drinking scene.
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Late Preceramic and early Initial Period site in the northern highlands of Peru, similar to Kotosh with a series of temple structures. Temple structures were filled, sometimes used as tombs, and covered prior to the construction of subsequent temples. The latest ceremonial structures are in U-shaped configurations.
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).
CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The most important Olmec ceremonial center, located in Tabasco, Mexico, and built around 1000 BC. The site occupies a small island, entirely surrounded by swamps, and lacking both farmland and building stone. The principal monument is a huge lobed pyramid of clay, the tallest of the Olmec sites, and subsidiary structure include platforms and courtyards. La Venta is famous for its Preclassic stonesculpture, buried pavements of serpentine blocks brought from about 100-160 km away, and offerings of carved jade including six jadeite axes. The important buildings were constructed from c 1000-600 BC; the site grew in importance after the abandonment of San Lorenzo, especially during the Middle Formativeperiod c 850-750 BC. The end of La Venta was violent, possibly caused by a conflict between the carrying capacity of the area and the large number of workers needed to construct the site's structures.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tell Duweir, Tell ed-Duweir CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: Palestinian Biblical site which was a Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age cave dwelling, after which the caves were used for burials and a settlement founded. A massive plastered glacis of Hyksostype belonged to the Middle Bronze Age settlement, but was destroyed by the Egyptians c 1580 BC. The Canaanites built three successive temples in the 15th-13th centuries BC. Lachish was sacked in 701 BC by the Assyrians, noted in the palace reliefs in Nineveh. It fell to Babylonians in 588 BC. There were later levels of Achaemenid and Hellenistic date. The site is most famous for three vital groups of inscriptions, including a dagger dated to the 18th or 17th century BC with four symbols engraved on it -- one of the earliest alphabetic inscriptions known. Lachish has also produced a group of incised pottery vessels associated with the temple at the foot of the mound and dated to c1400 BC, and a group of incised potsherds found within a guardhouse by the gate and dating to the period immediately before the Babylonian destruction.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Al Hiba, modern Telloh CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: One of the most important capital cities of ancient Sumer, located midway between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in southeast Iraq. The city was founded in the prehistoricUbaid Period, c 5200-3500 BC, and was still occupied as late as the Parthian era, 247 BC-224 AD. In the Early Dynastic Period, the Stele of the Vultures was erected to celebrate the victory of King Eannatum over the neighboring state of Umma. Control of Lagash fell to Sargon of Akkad (reigned c 2334-2279 BC). Lagash revived about 150 years later, prospering under Gudea, though they were nominally subject to the Guti, a people who controlled much of Babylonia from about 2230-2130. Lagash was endowed with many temples, including the Eninnu, House of the Fifty a seat of the high god Enlil. French excavators found at least 50,000 cuneiform texts which have proved one of the major sources for knowledge of Sumer in the 3rd millennium BC. Dedicatory inscriptions on stone and on bricks also have provided the chronological development of Sumerian art. The ancient name of the mound of Telloh was actually Girsu, while Lagash originally denoted a site southeast of Girsu, later becoming the name of the whole district and also of Girsu itself. The site continued into Old Babylonian times, though after its absorption into the Ur III state, it declined in importance.
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: Mungo CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A dry lake with an associated lunette in the Willandra Lakes, a complex of former Pleistocene lakes in western New South Wales, Australia. Excavation of the lunette has produced the best authenticated series of radiocarbon dates for the earliest evidence of man's occupation of Australia, and the remains of a cremated human female date to c 26,000 bp, the oldest evidence of cremation in the world. The remains of a man in an extended inhumation covered with red ochre is dated to c 30,000 bp. Stone tools belong to the Australian Core Tool and Scraper Tradition and there are artifact scatters, freshwater shell middens, and hearths dated by thermoluminescence to 31,400-36,400 years ago. The Willandra Lakes started to dry up c 13,000 BC. The appearance of grinding stones in this period suggest adaptation to wild grain exploitation. Intensive occupation ceased with increasing aridity, although sporadic visits occurred during the Holocene.
CATEGORY: culture; site DEFINITION: An inland site of the late Archaic period located in the Finger Lakes region of central New Yorkdating c 2500-1800 BC. It is characterized by narrow-stemmed points of a type usually associated with coastal areas and by a well-developed industry in workedbone. Other traits include houses framed with upright poles, beveled adzes, atlatl weights, manos and metates, and fishing gear.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: khesbed CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A semiprecious stone of an intense blue color, very popular in the ancient Near East for decorative inlays, beads, seals, etc. It is a metamorphosed form of limestone, rich in the blue mineral lazurite, which is dark blue in color and often flecked with impurities of calcite, iron pyrites, or gold. Its main source was Badakhshan, northern Afghanistan, and in Iran, from which it was traded as far as Egypt. The Egyptians considered that its appearance imitated that of the heavens, therefore they considered it to be superior to all materials other than gold and silver. They used it extensively in jewelry until the Late Period (747-332 BC), when it was particularly popular for amulets. One of the richest collection of lapis lazuli objects was found in the burials at Tepe Gawra. It has also been found at Ovalle, Chile.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Senkera or Tall Sankarah CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: The most important city of southern Mesopotamia during the early Old Babylonian period, one of the city-states of Sumer. It was located on the Euphrates River between Ur and Babylon, southeast of Uruk, southern Iraq. Archaeological remains are found in a group of tells, though most of its history has been recovered from documents from other sites. It emerged as a city-state during the Early Dynastic period, and its period of greatness was in the early 2nd millennium BC, when it contested the supremacy of Mesopotamia with Isin, Assur, and Eshnunna. The first great ruler was Naplanum (reigned c 2025-2005 BC), who was succeeded by 13 kings. Its greatest ruler, Rim Sin, destroyed Isin c 1794 BC but was himself overthrown by Hammurabi of Babylon c 1763. Remains include a ziggurat, a temple to the sun god, and a palace of Nur-Adad (c 1865-1850 BC), as well as many tombs and other remains of the Neo-Babylonian and Seleucid periods. The documented settlementhistory of the site spans from the late 3rd millennium (Ur III) to the mid-1st millennium (Neo-Babylonian) BC.
Lartet, Edouard (1801-1871)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: A French scholar, one of the pioneers of Palaeolithic