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Bayeux Tapestry
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A medieval embroidery depicting the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, which is considered a remarkable work of art and important as a source for 11th-century history. It consists of a roll of unbleached linen worked in colored worsted with illustrations and is about 70 m long and 50 cm deep. The work was probably commissioned by Bishop Odo of Bayeux, a half-brother of William the Conquerer, and took about two years to complete. It was likely finished no later than 1092. The tapestry depicts the events leading up to the invasion of England by William Duke of Normandy and the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, when the English King Harold was defeated and killed. Though not proven, the tapestry appears to have been designed and embroidered in England. The themes are enacted much like that of a feudal drama or chanson de geste. The technical detail and iconography of the Bayeux Tapestry are of great importance. For instance, the 33 buildings depicted offer a look at the contemporary churches, castles, towers and motte and bailey castles. The battle scenes give details on the infantry and cavalry formations, Norman armor and weapons, and the clothing and hairstyles of the time. The invasion fleet is 'Viking double enders' (clinker-built long boats, propelled by oars and a single mast). The tapestry was discovered in the nave of Bayeux Cathedral in France by French antiquarian and scholar Bernard de Montfaucon who published the earliest complete reproduction of it in 1730. It narrowly escaped destruction during the French Revolution was exhibited in Paris at Napoleon's wish in 1803-04 and thereafter kept in the Bayeux public library.
DEFINITION: Greek colony in southern Italy with Hippodamian planning. Two temples of the Doric order may have been for Hera and Apollo Lycaeus.
Santa Isabel Iztapán
DEFINITION: Two mammoth kill-sites in southeast Chiapas, Mexico, with human occupation dating to 9250 years ago. At one site, a skeleton was found scrapers, knives, and blades of flint and obsidian, as well as a stemmed projectile point of flint. The second mammoth site yielded a chert knife, a leaf-shaped point of flint, and a lanceolate point with a flat base. Similar kill sites were found at San Bartolo Atepehuacan, on the outskirts of Mexico City and at Tepexpan. The site is important as an indicator of the rapidity with which newly arrived (Asian) hunters dispersed southward. Stone tools of both the Big Game Hunting Tradition and the Old Cordilleran Tradition were found in the same levels, which is puzzling and infers a combination of hunting techniques were used.
DEFINITION: Shell midden near Santarem, Brazil, with the oldest pottery in the New World - dated to the 8th millennium BP.
DEFINITION: Traditionally, the most sacred marae of eastern Polynesia, on Raiatea, Society Islands. It is associated with the worship of the god Oro. The surviving platform (ahu) is 40 meters by 7 meters and is faced with coral slabs. The platform's shell is dated to the 17th century AD.
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: One of several hydrous-magnesian clays with a lathlike or fibrous particle shape, characterized by chainlike structure
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Greek for "empty tomb" the term describing a tomb built as a memorial for ceremonial purposes and never intended for the interment of a body. Greek writings indicate that the ancients erected many cenotaphs including one for the poet Euripides in Athens but none of these survive. The subsidiary pyramids of the 4th-6th Egyptian dynasties are probably cenotaphs. At the Abydos cenotaph chapels for private individuals are characteristic of the Middle Kingdom and there are royal cenotaph temples of the Middle and New Kingdoms. The term also refers to a monument raised to a Roman citizen who had been drowned at sea or who from any other cause failed to receive burial.
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A fastener made in many forms to hold wire fencing, bell wire, electric cable, screening, etc.
DEFINITION: The food products most depended upon for survival.
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A tap inserted into a barrel to allow liquid to be drawn from it.
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Paperlike barkcloth of the Pacific Islands made by soaking and then beating the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree. It was used for paintings in Oceanic arts.
taphonomic theory
DEFINITION: A theory that argues that while the archaeological record may manifest human behavior when it is deposited, the natural world then mixes those materials and confuses interpretation.
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The study of the transformation of organic remains after death to form fossil and archaeological remains. The study includes the processes that disturb and damage bones before, during, and after burial - burial, decay, and preservation. The term combines the Greek word for tomb or burial (taphos) with that for law (nomos). The focus is on an understanding of the processes resulting in the archaeological record.

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