Archaeology Wordsmith

Results for a:

A Group
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 Neolithic culture 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 Abkan culture 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."
A.D.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ad, AD
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: Used as a prefix to a date, it indicates years after the birth of Christ or the beginning of the Christian calendar. Anno Domini means In the year of our Lord". The lower case "ad" represents uncalibrated radiocarbon years and "AD" denotes a calibrated radiocarbon date or a historic date that does not need calibration. There is no year 0; 1BC is followed by 1 AD."
Aachen
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: French Aix la Chapelle, Dutch Aken
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city in northwestern Germany which is the site of a palace complex of Carolingian buildings, particularly a chapel built by Odo of Metz for Charlemagne between 790-805. Aachen was the capital of Charlemagne's kingdom and the Palatine Chapel (also called Palace Chapel or Octagon), was part of the Cathedral of Aachen. This complex served as Charlemagne's court and national church of the empire. The chapel is the only surviving structure and the most important surviving example of Carolingian architecture. The chapel contains Charlemagne's marble-slab throne, which was used for the coronations of 32 Holy Roman emperors from 936-1531. Odo of Metz modeled it after the Byzantine-style Church of San Vitale at Ravenna.
abacus
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural abaci, abacuses
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In architecture, a crowning rectangular block or topmost stone on the cap of a pillar or column capital, providing support to an architrave or arch.
Abada, Tell
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A 'Ubaid site in Iraq with important architecture of the 'Ubaid and Uruk periods.
Abbasids
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The second of two Arab dynasties of the Muslim Empire of the Caliphate (caliphs = rulers) and descended from al-Abbas, uncle of the Prophet Muhammad. It overthrew the Umayyad caliphate in AD 750 and was based in Baghdad until 1258 when it was sacked by the Mongols. The end of the Umayyad dynasty meant a shift in power from Syria to Iraq. The Abbasids' settlement in Baghdad marked the beginning of the golden age of Arabic literature. The Abbasids, of great intellectual curiosity, adapted elements of earlier high cultures and incorporated them into their own.
Abbevillian
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 gravel pit 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.
abbey
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A place where monks or nuns live, work, and worship. An abbey usually consisted of group of buildings housing a monastery or a convent and an abbey church or a cathedral. Monasticism originated in the Middle East during the second half of the 4th century and spread to Byzantium, France, Greece, and Italy and developed independently from that in Britain. Excavations have shown considerable variation in the layout of abbeys depending on the different monastic orders. They range from beehive cells and oratories of Early Celtic abbeys to the Cistercian plan with cloisters, domestic ranges, and a large church. Prior to the 10th century, monasteries were the principal artistic, economic, and educational centers of the Christian world. An abbey was the complex of buildings which served the needs of these self-contained religious communities. The first European abbey was Montecassino in Italy, founded in 529.
Abdul Hosein, Tepe
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An aceramic Neolithic site of Iran's Zagros mountains with mud-brick structures, chipped and ground stone tools, clay figurines, and evidence of barley and emmer cultivation.
Abejas phase
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The first important agricultural phase in the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico, dating 3500-1500 BC, after the introduction of maize.
Abercromby, Lord John (1841-1924)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A Scottish antiquary who studied the British Bronze Age and introduced the term 'beaker' for decorated handleless drinking vessels. He created the A-B-C beaker classification.
Abeurador, Balma
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Epipalaeolithic to Late Neolithic cave site in France with 10 layers of human occupation from c 9000-2500 BC.
Abingdon
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The type site for a Neolithic pottery c. 3900-3200 BC, found in a causewayed camp about 15 km south of Oxford, England. The pottery is fairly heavy and formed into round-bottomed bowls with frequent-stroke decoration and some having handles.
Abingdon ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The type site for a Neolithic pottery c. 3900-3200 BC, found in a causewayed camp about 15 km south of Oxford, England. The pottery is fairly heavy and formed into round-bottomed bowls with frequent-stroke decoration and some having handles.
Abkan
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stone industry of southern Nubia that was probably the work of indigenous peoples who were ancestral to the Nubian A Group. These peoples maintained trade contact with southerly regions of the Nile Valley during the 4th millennium BC.
aboriginal
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The indigenous or native group of a particular region and their respective culture.
abrade
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: abrasion (n.)
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: To scrape or wear away by friction or erosion
abrader
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: abrading stone
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A stone tool with abrasive qualities, such as pumice or sandstone, used in grinding, smoothing, sharpening, or shaping tools or other objects.
abri
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: French word meaning shelter" used to refer to the Palaeolithic shallow rock caves or shelters found in the limestone region of southern France. The abri was the living site in the front of a cave under a shelf of overhanging rock."
Abri Pataud
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Site or a rock shelter near the village of Les Eyzies (Dordogne) in the Vézère valley of southwestern France. It has a very rich Upper Palaeolithic sequence of more than 14 main culture layers with radiocarbon dates from c 32,500 BC, beginning with Aurignacian deposits containing saucerlike living hollows with central hearths. The Aurignacian levels are followed by Perigordian and Proto-Magdalenian and probably Proto-Solutrean levels. Art objects have been found and a skeleton in a top layer. The various kinds of hearths and living areas may suggest different social groups inhabiting the area.
Absolon, Karel (1887-1960)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A Czech archaeologists who excavated at Dolni Vestonice, Ondratice, Pekarna, Byci Skala, and other Palaeolithic sites.
absolute age
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The amount of time elapsed, with reference to a specific time scale, since an object was made or used.
absolute dating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: chronometric dating; absolute dates; absolute chronology; absolute age determination (antonym: relative dating)
CATEGORY: chronology; technique
DEFINITION: The determination of age with reference to a specific time scale, such as a fixed calendrical system or in years before present (B.P., BP), based on measurable physical and chemical qualities or historical associations such as coins and written records. The date on a coin is an absolute date, as are AD 1492 or 501 BC.
absolute pollen counting
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Absolute pollen counting is the determination of the number of grains of each pollen type per unit weight (grains/gram) or unit volume (grains/cm3) of sample. Variation in the rate of sedimentation sometimes makes the number of years represented uncertain; absolute counts for different samples may therefore not be compatible. Pollen analysis is then calibrated with radiocarbon dating to create pollen influx rates figured by the number of grains of each pollen type accumulating on a unit area of lake or bog surface in one year (grains/cm2/year) for each sample.
Absolute Pollen Frequency
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: APF
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A pollen density measure in which pollen counts per unit volume of sediment are corrected by estimated deposition rate (depth per year) to estimated influx (counts per cm per year), the same unit used for pollen rain" in modern samples. Each taxon varies independently of the others making interpretation much easier than with percentages."
absorption
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The process by which a liquid is drawn into and fills the pores of a permeable, porous body
abstract data type
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ADT
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: A class of data that does not conform to alphanumeric, numeric, Boolean, text, or string types; includes time and date fields as well as special data types for ordinal time, statistical dates, stratigraphic order, and spatial context.
Abu Ballas
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in the Western Desert of Egypt, occupied 8500-5000 years ago.
Abu Gurab
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Abu Ghurob
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on the west bank of the Nile between Giza and Saqqara, originally called the Pyramid of Righa" and containing the remains of a sun temple erected by the 5th Dynasty King Nyuserra (2445-2421 BC) whose pyramid is at Abusir just to the south. The building of a sun temple to Ra in addition to a royal pyramid complex was customary in the 5th Dynasty. Abu Gurah is the best preserved of the two surviving examples (Userkaf at Abusir is the other.). Reliefs from the temple were sent to museums in Germany but a number of them were destroyed during World War II."
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 einkorn wheat, 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.
Abu Ruwaysh
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Abu Rawash; Abu Roash
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The Egyptian site of the unfinished pyramid of the 4th Dynasty ruler Djedefra (Redjedef) (c 2566-2558 BC), the third of the seven kings of that dynasty. The pyramid, situated northwest of Giza on the west bank of the Nile, appears unfinished because the walls to the mortuary temple next to it were hastily made of mud brick instead of the usual cut stone. The complex was deliberately ransacked as Djedefra was involved in a dynastic struggle. An Early Dynastic (c. 2925- c. 2575 BC) private cemetery has also been found at Abu Ruwaysh.
Abu Salabikh, Tell
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site of southern Mesopotamia with evidence of the Early Dynastic III and Uurk times. Many texts, including the earliest-known literary works of Sumerian literature. I.J. Gelb proposed the name 'Kish civilization' to identify this culture of the mid-3rd millennium.
Abu Simbel
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Abu sunbul
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of two rock-cut temples of the Egyptian king Rameses II (1279-1213 BC), located southeast of Aswan, formerly Nubia. The facade of the largest temple is dominated by four 20-meter-high (67 feet) seated figures of Rameses and the main part of the temple is cut into the solid rock of the hillside, penetrating it about 55 meters. The temples were salvaged in the 1960s from the rising waters of the Nile, caused by the erection of the Aswan High Dam. The temples were discovered by the traveler Jean-Louis Burckhardt in 1813 and cleared by Egyptologist Giovanni Battista Belzoni four years later. There are also reliefs illustrating the king's life, accomplishments, and military campaigns in Syria and Nubia, small figures representing Rameses' queen, Nefertari, and their children; and graffiti providing important evidence of the early history of the alphabet. It was also built so that, on certain days of the year, the first rays of the morning sun would penetrate its length and illuminate the shrine in the innermost sanctuary. The smaller temple was dedicated to Nefertari for the worship of the goddess Hathor. Between 1964-1968, a UNESCO- and Egyptian-sponsored task began with a team of international engineers and scientists and funds from more than 50 countries to uncover and disassemble both temples and reconstruct them on high ground 60 meters (200 feet) above the riverbed.
Abu Sir
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.
abutment
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The part of a structure, as a pier or buttress, from which an arch rises or springs and which directly receives the pressure.
Abydos
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.
Abydos ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Pottery of Canaanite (Syro-Palestinian) origin found in the royal tombs of the First and Second Dynasties (The Old Kingdom) at Abydos, Saqqara, Abusir el-Melek, and other sites in Upper Egypt, dating to Early Bronze Age II (3300-2700 BCE). The pottery, often red-rose slipped and burnished or painted with geometric motifs, includes jugs, bottles, and jars. Most common are the red-slipped jugs, some of a hard-baked metallic" quality with handles attached to the rim and a typical stamped base. This pottery class took its name from Abydos the first site at which it was found in Upper Egypt."
Abydos, Tablets of
CATEGORY: artifact; language
DEFINITION: Two hieroglyphic inscriptions containing the names of Egyptian kings that were found on the walls in a small temple at Abydos, Egypt. The first tablet has the names of the kings of the 12th and 18th Dynasties and it is now in the British Museum. The second tablet begins with Menes, one of the first kings of Egypt, and has a complete list of the first two dynasties as well as a number of names from the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, and 11th Dynasties. It was discovered in 1864 by Auguste Mariette, who published the book Abydos" in 1869."
Acacus
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tadrat Acacus
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A region of the central Sahara (now southwestern Libya) known for rock shelters with occupation deposits and rock paintings. Pottery was made from about 7000 BC, the earliest of the so-called Aquatic Civilization typified by wavy-line decoration. The skull of a shorthorn ox and traces of sheep/goat supply evidence for animal domestication as early as c 4000 BC. Rock paintings of oxen predate c 2700 BC.
Academy
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Greek Academeia, Latin Academia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: In ancient Greece, the academy or college of philosophy developed by Socrates and Plato, located just northwest of Athens. Plato acquired property there about 387 BC and used it as a training ground and to teach. At the site had been a park and gymnasium sacred to the legendary Attic hero Academus. The term Academy was not applied during Plato's time but rather to his successors till the time of Cicero (106-43 BC). It was organized for worshipping the muses and instruction included mathematics, dialectics, natural science, and political science. It was closed by the emperor Justinian in 529 AD.
acanthus
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Conventionalized representation of the leaf of the Acanthus spinosus plant, found on the lower parts of Corinthian and Composite capitals, and also used for enrichment of various elements in Classical architecture.
accelerator mass spectrometric technique
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: AMS technique; AMS radiocarbon dating
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A relatively new method of radiocarbon dating in which the proportion of carbon isotopes is counted directly (as contrasted with the indirect Geiger counter method) using an accelerator mass spectrometer. The method drastically reduces the quantity of datable material required.
accession
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: An object acquired by a museum or collector as a part of a permanent collection; also, the act of processing and recording an addition to a permanent collection.
accession catalog
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An accounting used in the lab after artifacts and ecofacts are initially processed and providing the numbers with which artifacts and ecofacts are marked for storage. Its records describe and record what was found during an archaeological investigation and it is the primary record for all materials after excavation.
accession number
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The number assigned to an archaeological collection that identifies its origin; part of the catalog number.
acculturation
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (antonym: diffusion)
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The adoption of a trait or traits by one society from another and the results of such changes. This is a consequence of contact between cultures, usually with one being dominant, and is a process by which a group takes on the lifeways, institutions, and technology of another group. There are two major types of acculturation: free borrowing where one society selects elements of another culture that they integrate in their own way, and directed change, where one group establishes dominance through military conquest or political control. Though directed change involves selection, it results from the interference in one cultural group by members of another. In anthropology, the change is considered from the point of view of the recipient society.
accumulation model
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The theory that cultural changes occur gradually as a society accumulates behavioral traits.
accuracy
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: The degree to which measured values come close to actual values; opposite of bias.
aceramic
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 ceramic use and with neighboring ceramic cultures. Aceramic societies may use bark, basketry, gourds, leather, etc. for containers.
Aceramic Neolithic
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The early part of the Neolithic period in Western Asia before the widespread use of pottery (c. 8500-6000 BC) in an economy based on the cultivation of crops or the rearing of animals or both. Aceramic Neolithic groups were in the Levant (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and B), Zagros area (Karim Shahir, Jarmoan), and Anatolia (Hacilar Aceramic Neolithic). Aceramic Neolithic groups are more rare outside Western Asia.
Achaeans
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Greek Achaios
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An ancient Greek people, described in Homer, who lived on the mainland and western isles of Greece, Crete, Rhodes, and other isles except the Cyclades. This coincides precisely with the Mycenaeans of the 14th-13th centuries BC. They have also been identified both with the Ahhiyawa, mentioned by the Hittites as a western neighbor and by Herodotus as descendants of earlier Achaeans, and with the Akawasha, described by the Egyptians as part of the Peoples of the Sea. Achaea was the ancient name for Greece. The Achaean League was a third century BC confederacy of 12 cities of the northern Peloponnese.
Achaemenids
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Achaemenid dynasty, Achaemenid
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The Persian dynasty, 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.
Achenheim
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A French site with Lower Palaeolithic artifacts, Mousterian-type tools from the Riss glaciation, and Upper Palaeolithic materials.
Acheulian
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 bifacial stone 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 interglacial period, and hand axes are common in one part of the succeeding Mousterian period (the Mousterian of Acheulian tradition) 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.
achieved status or achieved leadership
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (antonym: ascribed status)
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: An individual's social standing and prestige or leadership gained through accomplishments and abilities rather than inheritance.
achzib ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A Phoenician, Iron Age II, red slip pottery type consisting primarily of jugs with trefoil mouth of mushroom" rims red slipped and highly burnished."
acid etching
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The use of hydrofluoric acid to etch a pattern onto a glass surface.
acinaces
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A short sword or scimitar, often very short and worn suspended from a belt around the waist, and used by Eastern nations of antiquity, esp. the Medes, Persians, and Scythians.
acisculus
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A small pick used stone-cutters and masons in early Roman times.
aclis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: aclyx, aclys
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A small javelin or harpoon, consisting of a thick short pole set with spikes. This massive weapon resembles a trident or angon.
acoustic vase
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: acoustic vessel
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Large earthenware or bronze vases which were used to strengthen actors' voices and were placed in bell towers to help boost the sound of church bells. A church in Westphalia contains fine 9th-century Badorf Wares and larger Relief-Band Amphorae were used in 10th- and 11th-century churches.
acoustic vases
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: acoustic vessels
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Large earthenware or bronze vases which were used to strengthen actors' voices and were placed in bell towers to help boost the sound of church bells. A church in Westphalia contains fine 9th-century Badorf Wares and larger Relief-Band Amphorae were used in 10th- and 11th-century churches.
acquisition
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The first stage of the behavioral processes (followed by manufacture, use, deposition), in which raw materials are procured.
acratophorum
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A Greek and Roman table vessel for holding pure wine, as opposed to the crater which held wine mixed with water. This vessel was often made of earthenware and metal, though some were gold or silver.
acrolith
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 Akkadian period. Some levels contain evidence of the development of writing: tablets marked with numbers, tokens in envelopes, and tablets of the Proto-Elamite script.
acropolis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: akropolis
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: (Greek akros (high, top) and polis (city)) The highest part, or citadel, of an ancient Greek town. The palaces and temples were situated on the acropolis, which was the most strongly defended part of a city. The best-known example is the Acropolis of Athens, where a number of temples were erected in the fifth century BC. They were also built upon hills in Italy and the colonies of Asia Minor.
acroteria
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: acroterion, acroters, acroterium, akroterion
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The pedestals, often without bases, placed on the center and sides of pediments for supporting a statue. Also, a decoration (often a statue) or ornament mounted with plinth on the pinnacle and gable ends (the horizontal coping or parapets) of a classical building.
acroterion
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The sculptured figure, tripod, disc or urn, of bronze, marble, or terracotta, placed on the apex of the pediment of a Greek temple or other substantial building; sometimes also above the outer angles of the pediment triangle.
activation analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Method to determine the elements of a material by inducing radioactive reactions to produce radiation characteristic of material composition.
active remote sensing
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any geophysical sensing method that passes energy through the soil and measures the response in order to read what lies below the surface.
activity
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Used to describe the customary use of a given artifact, such as food preparation.
activity area
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A place where a specific ancient activity was located or carried out, such as food preparation or stone toolmaking. The place usually corresponded to one or more features and associated artifacts and ecofacts. In American archaeology, the term describes the smallest observable component of a settlement site. See data cluster.
activity set
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A set of artifacts that reveals the activities of an individual.
actualistic study
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Detailed observation of the actual use of archaeological artifacts, ecofacts, and features, used to produce general analogies for archaeological interpretation.
acute
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: In lithics, severe short angles coming to a sharp point.
ad sanctos
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Describes the custom or arranging to be buried in or beside a church. Around 313 AD when Constantine's edict granted tolerance to Christians, miniature temples were erected over tombs of martyrs. This was the start of funerary basilicas adjacent to towns from the 4th century onward. It was believed that burial near the tombs of saints would guarantee protection in the next world. This gave rise to the custom of burial in or close to a church.
adaptation
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The process of microevolutionary change in a species enabling it to become better fitted to survive within changing environmental conditions or other external stimuli.
adaptive strategy
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Research into the effects of demography, ecology, economics, and technology on human behavior.
Addaura
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave in Monte Pellegrino near Palermo, Sicily, with engravings from the Upper Palaeolithic period. 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.
addition rule
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: In probability, the rule that when two events are mutually exclusive, the probability that either or both of them will occur is equal to the sum of their individual probabilities: p(A or B) = p(A) + p(B). For events that are not mutually exclusive, the rule must be modified to subtract the overlap between events so that p(A or B) = p(A) - p(A and B).
additive
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: temper
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An organic or mineral material mixed with a clay by the potter to modify its properties in forming, drying, and firing
additive technology
CATEGORY: artifact; term
DEFINITION: The manufacturing processes in which material is added to an original mass to form an artifact. Ceramic production and basketmaking are additive technologies.
Adena
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 complex burial 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 Hopewell culture 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.
Adena point
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 complex burial 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 Hopewell culture 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 pipe style, 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.
Adena-Rossville point
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Contracting stemmed point with a narrower section at the base than the main part of the point.
Adlerberg
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Early Bronze Age culture in southwest Germany considered to be a variant of the Unetice culture. There were a number of flat inhumation cemeteries in which the burials included copper and bronze daggers and pins, flint tools, and one-handled pottery cups.
Adlun
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Abri Zumoffen
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Palaeolithic site between Sidon and Tyre on the Lebanese coast with evidence of Amudian industry and Jabrudian occupation.
adobe
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: uh'-doh-bee
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Spanish term for sun-dried mud brick; also the name for a structure built out of this material. These claylike buff or brown mud bricks were not fired, but hardened and dried in the sun. The material was also used as mortar, plaster, and amorphous building for walls. Adobe structures are found in the southwestern US and Mexico where there is heavy-textured clay soil and a sunny climate. These structures were often houses, temples, and large solid platforms in the shape of truncated pyramids.
Adrar Bous
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An informative site on the Tenere Desert in Niger where excavations revealed a long succession of prehistoric occupation. The first was a Levalloiso-Mousterian settlement. By early in the 4th millennium BC, food production techniques are attested. A skeleton of a domestic shorthorn ox dates to 3700 BC and remains of small stock that was herded. Cereals, as sorghum, were possibly cultivated.
Adria
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Latin Atria or Hadria
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A town in northeastern Italy founded by the Etruscans or the Veneti which flourished as a port on the Adriatic Sea in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. It was an intersection of Etruscan and Greek trade, linking Etruria, the Po Valley, and northern Europe. The silting up of the Po and Adige deltas caused the sea to recede from the town. There is evidence of a canal being dug around 5th century BC.
adsorption
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The capacity of a material to accept and retain another substance, such as moisture, on its surface
Adulis
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.
adytum
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adyton
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In classical architecture, an enclosed room which formed the innermost sanctuary of a temple. It was entered via the opisthodomos and was to the rear of the cella.
adz
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adze
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A cutting tool, similar to an ax, in which the blade is set at right angles to the handle or haft. One of the earliest tools, it was widely distributed in Stone Age cultures in the form of a handheld stone chipped to form a blade. By Egyptian times, it was made of stone, metal, or shell and had acquired the handle. It is distinguished from the ax (working edge parallel with haft) by its asymmetrical cross-section. This carpenter's tool was used for rough dressing of timber and possibly for tree felling and for hollowing out a dugout canoe. The adz also was used in the ritual ceremony Opening of the Mouth in Egypt; touching it to the mouth of the mummy or statue of the deceased was thought to restore the senses.
adze
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adz, adze-blade
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A cutting tool, similar to an ax, in which the blade is set at right angles to the handle or haft. One of the earliest tools, it was widely distributed in Stone Age cultures in the form of a handheld stone chipped to form a blade. By Egyptian times, it was made of stone, metal, or shell and had acquired the handle. It is distinguished from the ax (working edge parallel with haft) by its asymmetrical cross-section. This carpenter's tool was used for rough dressing of timber and possibly for tree felling and for hollowing out a dugout canoe. The adz also was used in the ritual ceremony Opening of the Mouth in Egypt; touching it to the mouth of the mummy or statue of the deceased was thought to restore the senses.
adze hammer
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A shaft hole adze with additional hammer knob, normally polished stone.
Adzhi-Koba
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Palaeolithic cave site in the Ukraine with an assemblage of Middle Palaeolithic artifacts, an Upper Palaeolithic occupation with artifacts similar to those of Syuren' I.
aedicula
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural aediculae
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In Roman architecture, a small shrine usually projecting from an inside wall. Two columns supported a miniature architrave and a pediment. Many wall paintings of Pompeii included aediculae.
Aegina
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Early Bronze Age island site between Piraeus and the Peloponnese with a temple of the Doric order and also the temple of Aphaia which depicted the two sackings of Troy.
Aeginetan marbles
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.
aegis
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A shield or defensive armor in ancient mythology. This Greek word for shield" has been used to describe the representation of a necklace on the head of a deity."
Aegyptiaca
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A term sometimes applied to Egyptian objects found outside the borders of Egypt.
aeolian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: eolian
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Of or pertaining to the wind. This adjective is used to describe deposits or materials moved or affected by the wind or processes related to the wind. Aeolian deposits can bury archaeological materials intact or with little disturbance. Aeolian erosion can collapse and displace archaeological materials. Aeolian particle movement can alter archaeological material through abrasion.
Aeolic order
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: An architectural order of northwestern Turkey and the island of Lesbos, with an ornate capital formed by two volutes separated by a spreading palmette. The echinus is below the volutes and is often formed by water lily leaves.
aeolipilae
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: aeolipylae, eolipyle
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Name of a Greek metal vase with a narrow opening. It was filled with water and placed on a fire to make the chimney draw better or to indicate the wind's direction.
Aeolis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aeolia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A group of ancient cities of northwestern Asia Minor (west coast of Anatolia) which were founded at the end of the 2nd millennium BC by Greeks. The earliest settlements, on the islands of Lesbos and Tenedos and on the mainland between Troas and Ionia, were formed from migrations during 1130-1000 BC. At the end of the 6th century, after fighting between Greece and Persia, Darius I incorporated Aeolis into a province of the Persian Empire.
aerial archaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The study and location of archaeological sites and features through the use of aerial observation, photography, and surveys.
aerial photographic map
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A map of a site, feature, or region made through aerial photography. Professional photographic and cartographic techniques make possible the preparation of contour maps and three-dimensional models of surfaces.
aerial photography
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: air photography, aerophotography, aerial reconnaissance
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique of photographic observation and survey of the ground from an aircraft, spacecraft, or satellite which provides detailed information about sites and features without excavation. It is most important for locating archaeological sites before destruction of the landscape through building, road construction, or modern agricultural practices. When viewed from the air, sites may be revealed as crop marks, soil marks, shadow marks, or frost marks. For example, the plan of a site, ditches, walls, pits, etc. can be reflected in the way the crops grew (crop marks) or a pattern of dark occupation soil may show against a lighter topsoil or stone from walls may be just under the surface (soil marks). Oblique aerial photos, from lower altitudes, detect shadows created by earthworks and permit more detailed interpretations of known sites (shadow marks). Variations in the amount of frost retained on the ground may indicate the presence of buried archaeological features (frost marks). Though these can sometimes be recognized on the ground by careful fieldwalking and contour planning, much larger areas can be examined from the air and overall patterns will be clearer. The same site may not be susceptible every year to aerial photographs, as local climatic variation affects the nature of the feature fillings; a site may only be seen once in ten or twenty years. The use of false-color infrared photography has increased the versatility of aerial photography and the development of photogrammetry allows the accurate mapping of both archaeological and geographical information. Recording of thermographic and radar images complements photographic methods. Aerial photography has proved to be one of the most successful methods of discovering archaeological sites. Large areas of ground can be covered quickly, and the ground plan of a new site can be plotted from the photographs. Features can be revealed in extraordinary detail by these means. The pioneers of this technique were O.G.S. Crawford and Major Allen in Britain and Père Poidebard in Syria, though its first use goes back to 1906 at Stonehenge.
aerial survey
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: aerial reconnaissance
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An important survey technique for locating and defining archaeological sites from the air.
aerial thermography
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique of aerial reconnaissance that detects differences in retention and radiation of heat in ground surfaces.
aerobic
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: An environmental state requiring or using free oxygen in the air for metabolic purposes and which, therefore, causes decay in organic structures. Many materials, including plants, leather, flesh, food remains, and clothing will disintegrate in aerobic conditions.
aes
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Latin term of antiquity used to denote brass, bronze, copper, or any alloy of these, as aes candidum, a brass alloyed with silver.
aestel
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An object to point at words whilst reading
Afanasievo culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Neolithic culture of the Yenisei valley of southern Siberia. The people, who were stock breeders and hunters, probably moved into the area in the late 3rd millennium BC. Excavations uncovered burials under kurgans (low mounds), surrounded by circular stone walls. There was stamped dentate pottery, stone, bone, and bronze tools, and some copper ornaments with the burials. The Afanasievo people were the first food-producers in the area, breeding cattle, horses, and sheep, but also practiced hunting. The Afanasievo were succeeded by the Andronovo culture in the mid-2nd millennium BC.
Afontova
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: Upper Palaeolithic sites of a culture located in south-central Siberia of c 20,000-10,000 BP. Artifacts include wedge-shaped microcores, microblades, and scrapers. Reindeer, woolly mammoth, and arctic fox were common.
African food production
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Research into the beginnings of food production in Africa has shown that the intensive use of cereals and experimentation with crops began at a rather early date, maybe as far back as the 16th millennium BC in Upper Egypt and Nubia. The best-documented example is a Wadi Kubbaniya where there is evidence of the earliest instances of plant cultivation anywhere in the world, confirming that this was a native African achievement. Food production was generally not practiced in North Africa before about the 5th millennium BC. Most of the indigenous species such as finger and bulrush millet, sorghum, yams, African rice, teff, enset, and noog were brought under cultivation between the 4th and 2nd millennia BC. South of the Equator the advent of food production did not occur before the beginnings of the Iron Age.
African Red Slip ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of red gloss pottery made in North Africa from the 3rd-6th centuries AD. They had stamped decoration and were widely distributed.
Afunfun
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Early copper-working sites of Niger from the 2nd millennium BC.
Agade
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Akkad
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An ancient city of southern Mesopotamia, founded by Sargon (2334-2279 BC) as his capital. Its location is uncertain.
agate
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A common semiprecious silica mineral and a variety of chalcedony that occurs in bands of various colors and is somewhat transparent. It is essentially a variety of quartz and was engraved in antiquity. Its name comes from a corruption of the word Achates, a river of Sicily, where Pliny said the mineral was first found.
Agate Basin
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A Palaeoindian site of Wyoming with evidence of the killing and butchering of animals. Artifacts include a distinctive point, scrapers, and eyed bone needles. The complex dates to 10,500-10,000 BP.
agate glass
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A striped-pattern glass created by mixing molten glass of different colors. The colored bands resemble those of natural agate.
agateware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any pottery that is veined and mottled to resemble agate
Age of Discovery
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A time of Western expansion through European exploration, discovery, and enlightenment about the world which occurred from about the 15th through the 18th centuries, c 1515-1800.
age profile
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: catastrophic age profile
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A pattern of the distribution of an animal population's ages as the result of death by natural causes. This mortality pattern is based on bone- or tooth-wear analysis. It demonstrates a natural" age distribution in which the older the age group the fewer the individuals it has."
agger
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A technical term of ancient Roman roadwork for an earthen mound, embankment, or rampart of a camp, formed by the earth dug out of a ditch. Most Roman roads were built on a slightly raised causeway, mainly to provide drainage. This bank of earth was used for protection from flooding, as the foundation for a road, or for warfare purposes. Agger is also a general term for a mound formed by a dike, quay, roadwork, or earthwork. An agger can often be traced even if the surfacing material has been covered or laid bare.
aggregate
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: temper, filler
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An inert component such as grog or potter's flint in ceramic bodies (esp. triaxial bodies)
aggregate analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mass analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The analysis of debitage using size as the prime criterion.
Aggsbach
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic site on the Danube River in Austria with artifacts (endscrapers, backed blades, retouched blades) and faunal remains (woolly mammoth, reindeer, giant deer) dating to 25,700-22,450 bp, the Early Gravettian.
aging
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Storing prepared ceramic material (as a wet plastic clay body) to improve its working properties by thorough wetting of particles, slow compression, bacterial action (souring), and other processes
aging of skeletal material
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The age at death may be estimated from ancient skeletal material in a number of ways. (1) Epiphyseal fusion. A growing bone consists of a central part (diaphysis) and the ends (ephiyses). At adulthood, the epiphyses fuse to the diaphysis and the average at which this occurs is known for man and most domestic animals. The stage of epiphyseal fusion may therefore be used as a guide to the age at death. (2) Dental eruption. The average age for each stage of the eruption of teeth in man and most domestic animals is well-established. The state of dental eruption may therefore be used to estimate the age at death. (3) Dental attrition. Given a standard diet, teeth wear roughly at the same rate and tables of rate of wear have been established for man. For other animals, this method must be calibrated by dental eruption. (4) Dental microstructure. The counting of incremental structures in teeth may allow estimation of age at death. (5) Pubic symphysis. In man, the joint surfaces of the pubic symphysis change progressively with age and can be used to determine the age of men at death. (6) Antlers. In deer, the development of antlers is roughly related to age.
agora
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural agorae
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In ancient Greek cities, an open space, serving as a commercial, political, religious, and social center. The word, first found in Homer, was applied by the Greeks of the 5th century BC in regard to this feature of their daily life. It was often a square or rectangle, surrounded by public and or sacred buildings and colonnades. The colonnades, sometimes containing shops (stoae) often enclosed the space, which was decorated with altars, fountains, statues, and trees. There were several kinds of agora, (1) archaic, where the colonnades and other buildings were not coordinated, and Athens is an example of this, (2) Ionic, more symmetrical, often combining colonnades to form either three sides of a rectangle or square, often with two or more courtyards, such as Miletus and Magnesia. In highly developed agora, like that of Athens, each trade or profession had its own quarter. It also served for theatrical and athletic performances until special buildings and places were made for those purposes. Under the Romans, it became a forum where one side was a vast basilica and the rest colonnades.
Agordat
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A town in western Eritrea, Ethiopia, with four village sites from around the 3rd millennium BC. Surface artifacts, such as stone maceheads and ground stone axes seem related to the Nubian C Group of the Nile Valley. Other artifacts suggest an early practice of food production that may have been passed from the Nile Valley to the Ethiopian highlands.
Agrelo culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The Agrelo culture was centered in northwestern Argentina and dates from AD 1 to 1000. The type site is just south of Mendoza and it features distinctive deep, wide-mouthed pottery with parallel stepped incised lines, punctations, and fingernail impressions, typical of southern Andean tradition. Pottery spindle whorls, crude figurines, labrets, clubheads, triangular projectile points, and beads of stone have been found. Pit inhumations were marked by stone circles. The Agrelo represents the agriculture-pottery threshold in this semi-arid area. Nearby coastal pottery styles (Cienega, El Molle) may be precursors to Agrelo.
agriculture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The cultivation of domesticated crops. The invention of agriculture occurred in the Near East during the Neolithic period (8500-4300 BCE).
Agrigento
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: formerly Girgenti, Greek Acragas or Akragas, Latin Agrigentum; also Agrigagas
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A wealthy, flourishing Greek and Roman city near the southern coast of Sicily, Italy, originally a colony of Gela and founded by Greeks about 580 BC. The plateau site of the ancient city has extraordinarily rich Greek remains. There are extensive walls with remnants of eight gates and the remains of seven Doric temples, but there has been illegal construction in which the ruins were quarried, so little is standing where some of the buildings once were. Agrigento was sacked by the Carthaginians in 406 BC, a disaster from which it never really recovered. It was refounded by Timoleon, a Greek general and statesman, in 338 BC, but Agrigento was on the losing side for most of the Punic Wars. Agrigento returned to some commercial prosperity when textiles, sulfur and potash mining, and agriculture expanded. It was abandoned once again in the Christian era though areas were used as Roman and Christian cemeteries and catacombs. There is some evidence for even earlier settlement, possibly Neolithic.
Aguada
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.
Aha (c 3100 BC)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: One of the earliest 1st Dynasty rulers of a unified Egypt, whose name means The Fighter". Funerary remains at Abydos Saqqara and Naqada attest the reign and Flinders Petrie's excavation at Umm el-Qa'ab (Early Dynastic cemetery at Abydos) in 1899-1900 revealed objects bearing the name Aha in Tomb B19/15. However the earliest of the elite tombs at north Saqqara of the 1st and 2nd Dynasty also contained jar-sealings from that time. Evidence suggests that Narmer was Aha's father and that one of the two was also called Menes."
Ahar
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Rajasthan, western India, belonging to the Chalcolithic Banas culture 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.
Aharoni, Yohanan (1919-1976)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: An Israeli archaeologist who worked at Arad, Lachish, and Beersheba.
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).
Ahichchatra
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large ancient city of northern India, near Bareilly in the Ganges plain that was occupied from the mid-1st millennium BC to c 1100 AD. The ramparts were built c. 500 BC and there are nine building levels up till its abandonment. Painted Grey Ware was the first pottery found; later there was Northern Polished Black Ware.
Ahmose I (reigned c 1550-1525 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amosis
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The founder of the 18th Dynasty and the prince of Thebes who drove the Hyksos from Egypt, invaded Palestine, and established the New Kingdom. He was the son of the Theban 17th Dynasty ruler Seqenenra Taa II and Queen Ahhotep, and came to the throne of a reunited Egypt after he and his predecessor Kamose expelled the Asiatic rulers from Egypt. Ahmose I was responsible for reactivating the copper mines at Sinai, resuming trade with Syrian cities, and restoring temples. He was succeeded by his son Amenhotep I in 1555 BC.
Ahmose II (reigned 570-526 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amasis, Amosis II
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: King of the late 26th Dynasty and originally a general in Nubia who came to the throne after his defeat of King Apries (589-570 BC). Ahmose was sent to pacify mutineering troops when they proclaimed him king. He fought Apries in a civil war and killed him in battle, though later giving him a royal burial. His reign was a time of great prosperity in Egypt.
Ahmose Nefertari (c 1570-1505 BC)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: An influential New Kingdom royal woman, whose political and religious titles (like her grandmother Tetisheri and mother Ahhotep I) reflect new roles adopted by women in the early 18th Dynasty. She was the first royal woman to have the title meaning God's wife of Amun" and was the mother of Amenhotep I and wife of Ahmose I. She seems to have outlived both and contributed to the quarrying and building projects of her husband."
Ahrensburg
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ahrensburgian
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A village near Hamburg, Germany, where there are two late Palaeolithic sites, Meiendorf and Stellmoor. Stellmoor dates to 8500 BC and is attributed to the Ahrensburgian culture. Tanged points, which were possibly arrowheads, and pine arrow shafts with bowstring notches give evidence for the use of the bow and arrow. The Ahrensburgians mainly hunted reindeer.
Ahrensburgian
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.
ahu
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The name of a rectangular stone platform, the largest with stepped sides, which was a focus of court rituals in prehistoric Eastern Polynesian temples (marae). Most of these platforms are found in the Society Islands, and on Easter Island, where ahu were statue foundations.
Ahualulco
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large, multiple-circle ceremonial complex in western Mexico with ball courts and elite residences, of c 200 BC-900/1000 AD. It is part of the shaft tomb culture.
Ai
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: at-Tall
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An ancient Canaanite town near Bethel supposedly destroyed by the Israelites and Joshua. There is a triple circuit of walls from the Early Bronze Age, c. 2900-2500 BC and imposing ruins of a temple and another large building within it. The Bronze Age site is now called at-Tall and there was only a brief reoccupation in the 12th-11th century BC.
Ai Bunar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aibunar
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site with three copper mines, located near Stara Zagora in central Bulgaria. The open-cast mining of malachite ore 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).
Ai Khanum
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Hellenistic city, occupied between 400-100 BC, at the confluence of the Oxus and Koktcha in Afghanistan. The city comprises a citadel, acropolis, and lower town with an administrative center. The administrative center was an imposing complex of a courtyard with a peristyle. Nearby is a funerary chapel known from an inscription as the Temenos of Kineas. Kineas may have been the city's founder, shortly after Alexander the Great conquered the region in 329 BC. It may also have been Alexandria's Oxiana.
Aichbühl
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a Middle Neolithic settlement (end of 3rd millennium BC) on the shores of Lake Federsee in southern Germany. There are foundations of about 25 rectangular houses around the lake. They were built of timber, usually divided into two rooms, and most contained a hearth and clay oven. A large central building was likely used for communal purposes and there are some storage structures. Small polished stone hatchets, bone implements, Shoe-Last Adzes, and unpainted pedestal pottery bowls are among the artifacts.
aiguille
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A needle-shaped drill for boring holes in rock or masonry.
Aijul, Tell el-
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell near Gaza in Palestine that was excavated by Flinders Petrie in 1930-1934 and 1938 and found to be Middle Bronze Age, though cemeteries of the Chalcolithic and Intermediate Bronze Age were discovered nearby. The town had walls, a plastered Hyksos-type glacis, and a fosse. Five successive palaces were excavated within the walls and hoards of gold jewelry were found.
Aijul, Tell el-
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell near Gaza in Palestine that was excavated by Flinders Petrie in 1930-1934 and 1938 and found to be Middle Bronze Age, though cemeteries of the Chalcolithic and Intermediate Bronze Age were discovered nearby. The town had walls, a plastered Hyksos-type glacis, and a fosse. Five successive palaces were excavated within the walls and hoards of gold jewelry were found.
Ain Ghazal
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An early farming village in the Jordan Valley, occupied around 8000 years ago. Its clay female figures may be evidence of an early fertility cult.
Ain Ghazal
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An early farming village in the Jordan Valley, occupied around 8000 years ago. Its clay female figures may be evidence of an early fertility cult.
Ain Hanech
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Algeria which offers some of the earliest evidence of human occupation in northern Africa. Stone tools, including choppers and multi-faceted spheroids, dated to 1-1.5 million years ago. There is also mammal fauna of Villafranchian type associated with the tools.
Ain Mallaha
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Eynan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large village of the early Natufian period 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.
Ainu
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 Satsumon culture. 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.
aisle
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A name derived from the French for wing" describing the areas of a church basilica or temple between the arcade or arches or columns and the outer wall on both sides of the nave. It is also used to describe the wing of a building and the side passages of a Roman house."
Ajanta
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site of Buddhist rock-cut cave temples and monasteries in central India. The group of some 30 caves from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD are celebrated for their wall paintings depicting Buddhist legends and the Buddha's incarnations. There are two types of caves, caityas (sanctuaries) and viharas (monasteries).
Ajdabiya
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).
Ajuerado phase
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The earliest phase of pre-village, pre-agriculture in Tehuacan Valley, Mexico, from c 7200-7000 BC. There was hunting and gathering.
Ak-Kaya
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A group of Middle Palaeolithic sites in Crimea, Ukraine with Ak-Kaya and Zaskal'Naya artifact assemblages, including bifacial foliates, Prondnik knives, and Bockstein knives.
Akashi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site near Kobe City, Japan, where fossil Homo bones were found in 1931. The bones have been dated to the Holocene.
Aker
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.
akh
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In Egyptian religion, the spirit of a deceased person and one of the five principal elements considered part of a complete personality -- the other four being the ka, ba, name, and shadow. Akh is a state in the afterlife, both immortal and unchangeable, and the result of the successful reunion of the ba with its ka. The akh enabled the soul to assume temporarily any form it desired, for the purpose of revisiting the earth or other enjoyment in the next world.
Akhenaten (reigned 1353-1336 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amenhotep IV, Akhnaton, Ikhnaton, Neferkheperure Amenhotep, Greek Amenophis
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The heretic pharaoh of Egypt's 18th Dynasty, who reigned with his queen Nefertiti towards the end of the New Kingdom. He was the son of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiy. During his reign, he attempted to replace Egypt's religions with worship of Amen-Ra, the sun disk, represented by the god Aten (or Aton). The art and literature of Egypt also was marked by rapid change during his reign. He set the tone for a new era by establishing a temple at Karnak dedicated to Aten and moved the capital from Thebes to modern Tell el-Amarna in Middle Egypt, calling the city Akhetaten. His religious reforms were fanatical and foreign affairs were neglected and his reign saw the collapse of the Egyptian Asiatic empire built by earlier rulers. His successor and probable brother, Tutankhamen, returned Egypt to the worship of Amen-Ra and the capital to Thebes. Later rulers attempted to remove all record of Akhenaten's heresy and name. Akhenaten has been controversial both in ancient and modern times.
Akhmim
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.
Akjoujt
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.
Akkad
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Agade
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Ancient region in what is now central Iraq and was the northern (or northwestern) division of ancient Babylonian civilization. It is an archaeologically unlocated site, in or near Babylon roughly where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are closest to each other. The name Akkad was taken from the city of Agade, which was founded by Sargon in about 2370 BC. Sargon united various city-states in the area and his rule encompassed much of Mesopotamia, creating the first empire in history.
Akkadian
CATEGORY: culture; language
DEFINITION: A Semitic-speaking dynasty founded by Sargon the Great (Sharrukin, 2334-2279 BC) c. 2370 BC with Akkad (or Agade), an unidentified site, as his capital. Under Sargon and his grandson, Naram-Sin, the dynasty established an empire that included much of Mesopotamia and neighboring Elam to the east. The dynasty saw three major developments: the beginning of the absorption of the Sumerians by the Semites, a trend from city-state to the larger territorial state, and imperial expansion. It is considered the first empire in history. Akkadian also refers to the Semitic dialects of Old Akkadian (3rd millennium) and Assyrian and Babylonian (2nd and 1st millennia). The Amarna Letters (diplomatic correspondence between Egypt and the Levant in the mid-14th century BC) are written in Babylonian, a late form of Akkadian. Akkadian was written in a cuneiform script borrowed from Sumerian and was the lingua franca of the civilized Near East for much of the 2nd millennium. It replaced Sumerian as the official language (though Sumerian was still used for religious purposes). Akkadian was gradually replaced by Aramaic.
Akrotiri
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a Bronze Age town on Thera/Santorinin in the Aegean, buried by a volcano in the 16th century BC. Excavation have revealed houses with polychrome frescoes. There is evidence of links with Minoan Crete.
Al Hiba
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of the city of Lagash, one of the ancient Mesopotamian centers of the city-state of Lagash, dating from Early Dynasty to Old Babylonian times. It was absorbed into Ur and eventually declined in importance.
Al Mina
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on the coast of Syria near the mouth of the Orontes River that was a Greek settlement before the end of the 9th century BC and may have been Poseideion. Material from the 8th-4th centuries BC has been found, indicating further links between Greece and the Near East. Al Mina was sacked and destroyed by Ptolemy of Egypt in 413 BC.
alabaster
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.
alabastron
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A Greek container made of alabaster but sometimes clay, used for unguents.
Alaca Hüyük
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell site in north central Turkey, near Boghaz Köy and 150 km east of Ankara, that was occupied in the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd millennia BC. Its Chalcolithic and Copper Age phases include a cemetery of 13 extremely rich tombs from c 2500 BC (Early Bronze Age II). The burials were single and double inhumations in rectangular pits, with fine metalwork including copper figurines (thought to be mounts from funeral standards), sun discs, ornaments, weapons, jugs and goblets, diadems, bracelets, and beads. The quantity of gold and copper imply that this was a royal cemetery. The tombs were lined with rough stone and skulls and hooves of animals were hung from the wooden beams as part of the funeral rite. The site was later reoccupied under the Hittites, who erected a monumental gateway with two great stone sphinxes. It has been tentatively identified as the Hittite holy city of Arinna.
Alaka culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A preceramic shell midden culture on the northwest coast of Guyana which may date to c 2000 BC. Located in the mangrove swamps, the middens have been grouped into the Alaka Phase. The culture relied on shellfish gathering, with some grinding stones, choppers, manos, and metates. There are some crude ceramics in the later stages and represent intrusive cultures and the passing of Alaka.
Alambra-Mouttes
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An early Middle Cypriote site in eastern Cyprus with rectangular stone houses.
Alamgirpur
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The easternmost site of the Harappan civilization, northeast of Delhi in the Ganges Valley. It was a small late Harappan settlement. After a gap of unknown duration, there were later occupations which showed Painted Grey Ware and iron use.
Alapraia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a group of Copper Age rock-cut tombs near Lisbon, Portugal. It consists of simple chambers entered through smaller vestibles and includes ritual objects such as clay sandals, clay lunulae, so-called pine-cones, and Beaker pottery.
Alashiya
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site mentioned in texts of the 2nd millennium BC as a source of copper; assumed to be Cyprus. The texts also record the workings of the Sea Peoples c 1200 BC.
Alaska Refugium
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large area of interior Alaska that was not glaciated during the latter part of the Pleistocene. It was connected to Beringia and eastern Siberia, allowing access for peoples between Asia and North America.
Alba Fucens
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Albe
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An ancient fortified Roman colony, at the foot of Mount Velino, Italy. It was originally a town of the ancient Marsi people, but was occupied by Latin colonists c 302-303 BC. It was situated on a hill with three distinct summits, which were enclosed in its walls, much of which are still standing. Remains of the forum with a temple and various buildings of the time of Sulla are there, including a basilica, curia, macellum, theater, and amphitheater. This colony was important during the civil wars of the 1st century BC and state prisoners of Rome were often held there.
Albani stone
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A pepper-colored stone used in ancient Roman buildings before the introduction of marble. The stone may have come from two volcanic craters which formed the modern Lake Albano, southeast of Rome.
Albany industry
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stone industry of southernmost Africa, dated between the 11th and 6th millennia BC. It precedes the appearance of backed-microlith Wilton industry and its assemblages, Boomplass and Robberg being the most notable, contain flake scrapers. Some archaeologists have grouped this industry under the name Oakhurst Complex as there are possible related and contemporary industries as far as southern Namibia and Zimbabwe. The appearance of the Albany industry coincides with the post-Pleistocene rise in sea level and there is evidence that marine food was increasingly exploited by the culture.
albarello
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural albarelli
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A late medieval (15th-18th centuries) Near East, Spanish, and Italian apothecary pottery jar. It was made in the form known as majolica or with a fine tin glaze over typically blue designs imitating the forms of Arabic script. Its basic shape was cylindrical but incurved and wide-mouthed for holding, using, and shelving. They average 7 inches high (18 cm) and are free of handles, lips, and spouts. A piece of paper or parchment was tied around the rim as a cover for the jar. Drug jars from Persia, Syria, and Egypt were introduced into Italy by the 15th century and luster-decorated pots influenced by the Moors in Spain entered through Sicily. Spanish and Islamic influence is apparent in the colors used in the decoration of early 15th-century Italian albarellos, which are often blue on white. A conventional oakleaf and floral design, combining handsomely with heraldic shields or with scrollwork and an inscribed label, frequently occurs. Geometric patterns are also common. By the end of the 18th century, albarellos had yielded to other containers. Albarelli have occasionally been found in Britain and the Netherlands.
albarium
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A white lime coating or type of stucco used in Roman times, used to cover brick walls after cement was applied. The mixture contained chalk, plaster, and white marble.
Albright, William Foxwell (1891-1971)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: American orientalist and linguist who worked in Palestine, including Beit Mersim.
album
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: In Roman and Greek antiquity, a blank tablet on which praetor's edicts and other public notices were recorded for public information. It was also a space on the surface of a wall, covered with white plaster, upon which were written such announcements or advertisements. Afterwards, this term was extended to denote any kind of white tablets bearing an inscription.
Alcalà
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cemetery in southern Portugal containing corbel-vaulted tombs of megalithic tradition from the early metal ages. Like Los Millares, it was once thought to be an Aegean colony.
Alchi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A town in Ladakh, Tibet, where a number of nomads' tombs" were discovered and excavated between 1900-1910 by A.H. Francke. Each tomb contained from 3-20 long-headed skulls many small handmade pottery vessels filled with bones and grave goods including bronze beads pendants bracelets and bronze vessels. There was also pottery decorated with dark red incised or zigzagged patterns and possibly stylized leaves or grass. Other examples were found at Teu-gser-po and Ba-lu-mk'ar."
alcove
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A small auxiliary chamber in a wall, usu. Found in mit structures and often adjoining the east wall of the main chamber. They are much larger than apertures and niches.
alembic
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A round apparatus formerly used in distilling, consisting of a cucurbit or gourd-shaped vessel containing the substance to be distilled and the upper part, the alembic proper, which was a head or cap. The beak or downward-sloping spout of the apparatus conveyed the condensed product to another vessel.
Aleppo
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.
Aleria
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An island colony in eastern Corsica, founded from Phocaea (Turkey) in the 6th century BC. There are similarities to Etrusca in the tombs and Etruscan artifacts.
Alesia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Iron Age site where the last Celtic stand against the Roman invasion in 52 BC took place. It is an oppidum with remains of Caesar's siege works.
Aleutian Tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The later marine mammal-hunting culture of the Aleutian Islands, off southwest Alaska, that separates the Bering Sea from the Pacific Ocean, originating approximately 5000 BP.
Alexander the Great (356-323 BC)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Alexander the Great (Alexander III), king of Macedonia, began his career of conquest in 335 BC. He overthrew the Persian Empire and laid the foundation for the territorial kingdoms of the Hellenistic world. Born in Macedonia in 356 BC, he was the son of Philip II and Olympias. He was taught by the great philosopher Aristotle from the age of 13-16. Alexander took power in Macedonia and mainland Greece in 340 BC when Philip left to attack Byzantium. By 332 BC, his arrival in Egypt ended the Persian occupation and he had already conquered much of western Asia and the Levant before his arrival in Egypt. In Egypt, Alexander made sacrifices to the gods at Memphis and visited the oracle of Amun-Ra where he was recognized as the god's son, thus restoring the true pharaonic line. He founded the city of Alexandria and then left Egypt in 331 BC to continue his conquest of the Achaemenid empire. His empire stretched from India to Egypt. After his death from a fever in 323 BC, his kingdom quickly dissolved.
Alexandria
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Raqote
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The Greek city founded by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, capital of the Ptolemy dynasty, located on a narrow strip of land in the Nile Delta of Egypt. Alexandria was placed on the earlier Egyptian settlement of Raqote of which pre-Ptolemaic seawalls are the only archaeological traces. The great city soon replaced Memphis as the capital of Egypt and is famed for its lighthouse (Pharos, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, built by Sostratos of Knidos between 299-279 BC; destroyed in 1326 AD by an earthquake), the jetty of Heptastadion, the royal palaces; and the Museion, a library and institution of scientific and philological research. It was composed of quarters: Egyptian, Greek, Jewish, and Kings. The city became the center of trade and culture in the eastern Mediterranean. The Ptolemys ruled over Egypt until 30 BC.
Alexandrinum
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of mosaic used especially for Roman rooms, notably in the 9th century. It used tiny, geometrically shaped pieces of colored stone and glass paste that were arranged in intricate geometric patterns dotted with large disks of semiprecious stones. It often was of only two colors, red and black, on a white ground.
Alfred Jewel
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An elaborate gold ornament which is an example of 9th century Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship and found at Somerset, England in 1893 (now in Ashmolean Museum, Oxford). It consists of an enameled plaque with an oval portrait in different-colored Cloisonné, enhanced with filigree wire and backed by a flat piece of gold engraved with foliate decoration. Engraved around the frame are the Old English words which translate to, 'Alfred ordered me to be made', assumed to be King Alfred.
Alfred the Great (849-899)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aelfred
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: King of Wessex, 871-899, a Saxon kingdom in southwestern England. He prevented England from being conquered by the Danish and promoted literature, learning, and literacy -- helping to begin an artistic renaissance that flourished for two centuries. Our knowledge of him is known from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, begun during his reign c. 890, and the biography written by his friend and teacher Asser. Alfred succeeded to the throne in 871 and fought off invading Danes before being forced to flee in 877. He returned to drive the invaders from his kingdom. Alfred also established the first English fleet and organized a chain of fortified towns on the southern coasts for protection.
Ali Kosh
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.
alidade
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: An instrument used in topographic and planimetric surveying, mapping, and planning with the plane-table method. It consists of a telescopic sight with stadia hairs mounted on a graduated metal ruler. This term is also used for any sighting device used for angular measurement. The device has a prismatic eyepiece and a spirit level for the plane-table. Some include compasses and most modern models can measure angles up to 30?.
alignment
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: An arrangement of single or multiple rows of standing stones (menhirs) at a site once occupied by humans. They are found mainly in Brittany and the British Isles' highland zones and are often aligned on cairns, henge monuments, or stone circles. Some others are found in Corsica. The rows do not provide much dating evidence, but they were probably set up in the 2nd and 3rd millennium BC (Neolithic, Bronze Age).
Alishar
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 Hittite period (later 2nd millennium).
alkaline glaze
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A relatively low-fired glaze with a high concentration of alkali elements in its composition, often with wood ash in significant quantity
All Cannings Cross
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A n Early Iron Age site in Wiltshire, southern England. The settlement contained rectangular houses and evidence of iron smelting. Fine haematite-coated bowls with horizontal furows above the carinations have been found.
all-purpose tool
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A rare stone artifact that could be used for perforating, cutting, and scraping - normally larger than a thumb scraper or a drill but smaller than a large knife or scraper. It always has one end worked to a point for perforation with the opposite end worked in the form of an end scraper. One side is worked rather delicately for use as a knife. It is almost always oblong in shape.
Allahdino
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A village site in Pakistan near the Indus delta. It was an agricultural community of the Harappan civilization.
alleé couverte
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: gallery grave
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: One of the two types of French megalithic tomb, the other being the passage grave. These are long rectangular monuments, sometimes with a covering mound. There is no division between passage and chamber, though some have a small antechamber. They date from the 3rd millennium BC and are found mainly in Brittany and the Paris basin.
alleles
CATEGORY: flora, fauna
DEFINITION: Different sequences of genetic material occupying the same locus on the DNA molecule.
Allen's Rule
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A biological generalization about body proportions and climate that says that mammals living in colder environments will have stockier bodies and shorter limbs to reduce heat loss. A related rule, Bergmann's Rule, states that body weight tends to a minimum in warmer regions, increases to a certain threshold as temperature declines, and then falls off again as temperature falls further.
Allerød oscillation
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.
alliance theory
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term emphasizing the marital bond and relations between groups and a structural explanation for marriage, exchange, and exogamy. Its theorists analyze the rules that determine which people a person may marry and which people he may not.
allometry
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A scaling of body parts in animals so that the measurement of one part is a function of the measurement of another part.
alloy
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Any of a number of substances which are a mixture of two or more metals, such as bronze (copper and tin), brass (copper and zinc), or tumbaga (copper and gold). An alloy has properties superior to those of the individual metals. They are not simple mixtures, but complex crystalline structures which may differ considerably from any of their constituents. Slight alterations of the proportions of the metals can bring significant changes in the properties of the alloy. Alloys containing only two major metals are known as binary alloys and those with three as ternary alloys. Gold is alloyed with various metals; when mixed with mercury it is called an amalgam and with silver, native gold. Bronze was the most important alloy in antiquity. The term is also used to describe the technique of mixing the metals.
alluvial fan
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: A deposited landform, usually by valleys or mountain fronts where tributary stream connect to larger valleys or lowlands. An alluvial fan is created by the accumulation of alluvium which spreads, or fans. They are important settlement sites because they are well-drained landscapes and resources are easily accessible.
alluvium
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: alluvial deposit, alluvion
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: The detrital material (clay, gravel, organic material, sand, silt, soil) eroded, transported, and deposited by rivers and streams. It is very fertile and was used by early farmers. Though the largest areas of alluvium are flood plains and deltas, it may also occur where a river overflows its banks and is an important constituent of shelf deposits.
Almagro Basch, Martin (1911-1984)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A Spanish archaeologist who worked on megaliths, on the dating and interpretation of prehistoric Spanish cave art, and on the site of Ampurias / Emporion.
Almeria
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Almerian
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A coastal province of southeastern Spain where a Neolithic culture lived in the 5th and 4th millennia BC (c 5500-4300 BC). The village of El Garcel is the typical of the hilltop agricultural communities with circular huts of wattle and daub (with hearths and storage pits), plain baggy pottery, and trapezoidal flint arrowheads. The pottery was of a Western Neolithic tradition, possibly deriving from North Africa. Single and multiple burials were in dry stone cists under round mounds, and thought to be ancestral to the corbel-vaulted tombs of the Copper Age.
Almizaraque
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Almeria
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A native site in southeast Spain belonging to the Copper Age Los Millares culture. Oval houses were surrounded by ditches and there is a nearby megalithic tomb, similar to those of Los Millares. Baker pottery appears in later phases.
alpaca
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: A domesticated South American camelid noted for its soft wool.
Alpera
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Albacete
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A collection of well-preserved paintings over the back wall of the shallow rock shelter Cueva Vieja in southeast Spain. They belong to the Spanish Levant cycle, c 8000-5000 BC (Mesolithic), and depict a group of women, hunters or warriors with bows and arrows and feather headdresses; and deer, ox, and possibly dogs.
alphabet
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A set of written symbols or characters used to represent the sounds of a language. Each character in an alphabet usually represents a single sound rather than a syllable or group of vowels or consonants. The first alphabets were devised around the eastern shores of the Mediterranean around 1700-1500 BC. The Phoenicians developed what is known as North Semitic and it is considered the ancestor of all modern alphabets. However, Semitic language scripts used only consonants. The Greeks then added vowels when they adopted an alphabet in c 8th century BC. The number of letters in an alphabet varies from 20-30 to hundreds for hieroglyphic and cuneiform scripts to thousands for Chinese in which every sign is an ideogram.
alphanumeric
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: A field type that allows entry of characters and/or numerals but will not allow any arithmetic operations on them.
Alsónémedi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large cremation cemetery 30 km south of Budapest, Hungary, of the Bronze Age Nagrév group. It is near a large inhumation cemetery of the Late Copper Age's Baden culture.
Altai
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The mountain range and region of southern Siberia which has yielded important prehistoric remains. Rising above 4000 meters, this area has Palaeolithic deposits (Ulalinka Creek) and a late glacial occupation (Ust' Kanskaia Cave). Some food-producing cultures appeared c 3rd millennium BC and metallurgy entered c 2nd millennium, when copper ore was exploited. Pastoral nomadism and horseback riding were introduced in the 1st millennium BC. There are rich burials which indicate a society of social differentiation and a warrior elite which acquired precious goods from far-flung regions. In the 4th-2nd centuries BC, iron gradually replaced bronze. Altai groups are also characterized by animal art styles, similar to the Scythians who occupied the steppes of southern Russia to the west.
Altaic
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A language family within the subdivision of the Ural-Altaic. It includes Turkic, Mongolian, Manchu, Tungusic, Korean, and Japanese. These language are distributed in an arc across northern Eurasia.
Altamira
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: One of the most important painted Palaeolithic caves (as is Lascaux, France) and one of the earliest discovered (1879). The site is in the Cantabrian Mountains of northeast Spain and the 280-meter long cave is famous for its polychrome animals, which include deer, bison, and wild boar painted in red, black, and a range of earth colors. Most of the art in the cave was produced by Solutrean and Magdalenian peoples, with one layer radiocarbon-dated to c 13,000 BC. The most famous panel is of 15 bison, plus deer and horses. There is also a hall with black paintings, and symbols are found in several parts of the cave. The paintings' authenticity was challenged right up to 1902 when Emile Cartailhac finally accepted that they were genuine.
altar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: khat
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A surface upon which a sacrifice is offered or which is used as a center of worship. It began, in primitive times, as a rock or heap of stones or rocks and evolved into large ornate altars in churches. Small domestic altars have also been used in houses.
Altar de Sacrificios
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The Maya site at the junction of the Pasion and Chixoy Rivers in Peten, Guatemala, occupied from c 1000 BC (Middle Pre-Classic) until c 950-1000 AD (beginning of Postclassic). Early remains are of Xe pottery and formal architecture (thatch-and-pole) date to c 500 BC. The site flourished due to its position on water routes and eventually plazas, a ball court, and temple pyramid were built. There is evidence of intrusion of a group (probably Putun) around 800-850 AD and a second invasion c 910. After this, the site declined in power and was eventually abandoned.
altarpiece
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A decorative piece connected to the altar.
alternate flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The opposite face of each edge was steeply flaked and each face opposing the beveled edge was flatly flaked.
alternate retouch
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Retouch that occurs on the dorsal side of one edge and the ventral side of the opposite edge of a flake.
alternating retouch
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Retouch that occurs on an edge of a lithic flake in such a way that it alternates between dorsal and ventral sides from one end to the other of the edge.
Altheim
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A small site near Landshut, Bavaria (Germany) which has three concentric rings of ditches and palisades. It is also the name of the Late Neolithic-Copper Age culture of the upper Danube basin.
Altin-Depe
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.
altiplanos
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: Wide mountain basins found at high elevations in the Central Andes (3000-4000 miles), and which have cool, moist climates.
Altithermal
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.
altitude
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The distance an object or surface lies above a datum plane, usually sea level. It is one of the three dimensions defining the spatial location of artifacts.
Altmühlian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A late Middle Palaeolithic industry of central Europe dating to the middle of the last glacial period. It is characterized by Blattspitzen, sidescrapers, and retouched blades.
Alto Salaverry
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.
Altun Ha
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Classic Maya site 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.
Altyn-depe
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Bronze Age site dating from the late 6th till the late third millennium BC in southern Turkmenistan. City walls, a ceremonial center, elite residences, cemeteries, and burials have been found as well as a massive multi-stage platform and artifacts of Harappan materials.
alveolus
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: The sockets within the jawbone in which the roots of teeth are set.
Amapa
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Mexico dating from 250-700 AD, occupied again from 900-1200. Metal artifacts were produced from 900, suggesting a connection with Mesoamerican cultures at the time.
Amara
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of two Nubian towns about 180 km south of Wadi Halfa, one east and one west of the Nile. Amara West was a walled colony founded by the Egyptians c 1295-1069 BC when much of Nubia was regarded as Egypt. Amara East has a temple dating to c 300 BC - 350 AD but few other remains.
Amarna Letters
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: An important cache of diplomatic documents from Tell el-Amarna, discovered in 1887, a correspondence in cuneiform between the Egyptian pharaoh, kings of the Hittites and of the Mitanni, and governors of Egyptian possessions in western Asia. This discovery led to further excavations which revealed a number of clay cuneiform tablets. There are 382 known clay tablets, most of which derive from the Place of the Letters of Pharaoh" a building identified as the official records office in the city."
Amarna period
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.
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.
amateur
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A person actively interested in archaeology but who has not received advanced academic training in the field; also those who have studied but do not pursue work in the field.
amber
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Fossilized pine resin, a transparent yellow, orange, or reddish-brown material from coniferous trees. It is amorphous, having a specific gravity of 1.05-1.10 and hardness of 2-2.5 on the Mohs scale, and has two varieties -- gray and yellow. Amber was appreciated and popular in antiquity for its beauty and its supposed magical properties. The southeast coast of the Baltic Sea is its major source in Europe, with lesser sources near the North Sea and in the Mediterranean. Amber is washed up by the sea. There is evidence of a strong trade in amber up the Elbe, Vistula, Danube, and into the Adriatic Sea area. The trade began in the Early Bronze Age and expanded greatly with the Mycenaeans and again with the Iron Age peoples of Italy. The Phoenicians were also specialist traders in amber. The soft material was sometimes carved for beads and necklaces.
Ambrona
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 glacial period. 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 Acheulian type 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.
ambulatory
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A sheltered walkway, often found in temples, cloisters, and churches. A space between the colonnade and the main structure of a temple.
Amekni
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in southern Algeria dating to c 7th millennium BC. Pottery similar to wavy-line ware of Early Khartoum. There is not evidence of food production or of fishing in this early settlement.
Amen
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amon, Amun
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: The god of Thebes (Upper Egypt) who came into prominence with the dynasties of the Middle and New Kingdoms. Many pharaohs from the 11th Dynasty onward include his name in theirs, as Amenemhet and Tutankhamen. Amen is associated with the ram, though represented in human form, and sometimes incorporated with the sun god Ra.
Amenemhet
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ammenemes
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The name of four of the 12th Dynasty pharaohs, under whom the Middle Kingdom of Egypt reached its peak of development, c 1938-1756 BC. The name meant Amun is at the head". They include Amenemhet I (1938-1908 BC) (Sesostris I or Senwosret 1918-1875 BC) Amenemhet II (1876-1842 BC) (Sesostris II 1844-1837 BC) Amenemhet III (1818-1770 BC) (Sesostris III 1836-1818 BC) and Amenemhet IV (c 1770-1760 BC) (also Sebeknefru 1750-1756 BC the first attested female monarch)."
Amenhotep
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amunhotep, Amenophis
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The name of four pharaohs of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt, 1390-1353 BC. Amenhotep III (Amenhotep the Magnificent) was the most powerful, reigning 1514-1593 BC. He was preceded by Amenhotep I (1514-1493 BC) and Amenhotep II (c 1426-1400 BC) and succeeded by Amenhotep IV (1352-1336 BC), who was better known by his adopted name of Akhenaten. The name meant Amun is content". Amenhotep I the founder of the dynasty extended Egypt's boundaries in Nubia (modern Sudan). Amenhotep III devoted himself to promoting diplomacy and to extensive building in Egypt and Nubia. Amenhotep IV tried to establish the monotheistic cult of Aten."
Amenhotep son of Hapu (c. 1440-1360 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Athribis, Huy
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A high official during the reign of Amenhotep III of Egypt whose offices included chief royal architect. In this capacity, he probably supervised the construction of Amenhotep III's mortuary temples at Thebes near modern Luxor, the building of another temple in Nubia (modern Sudan), the extraction of stone for sculpting reliefs, and the commissioning of royal statues such as the Colossi of Memnon. Amenhotep III even ordered the building of a small funerary temple for Athribis, his honorary designation, next to his own temple, which was a unique honor for a nonroyal person in Egypt.
American Anthropological Association
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: AAA
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A professional organization for anthropologists with a special division for archaeologists. The association publishes American Anthropologist and Anthropology Newsletter. The Archaeology Division publishes the monograph series Archaeological Papers of the AAA.
American Palaeo-Arctic Tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A tradition which includes several complexes and cultures dating to c 11,000-6500 bp in the Arctic and Subarctic. These complexes are characterized by microblades, bifaces, and burins. Denali Complex is an example.
American Society of Conservation Archaeologists
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ASCA
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A professional organization for archaeologists especially committed to the conservation of cultural resources.
Americanist archaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: Archaeology evolving in and practiced in close association with anthropology in the Americas.
Amerind
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amerindian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An abbreviated term for American Indian, used to distinguish American aborigines from inhabitants of India.
Amersfoot interstadial
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: An interstadial of the Weichselian stage which has radiocarbon dates between 68,000-65,000 bp, but it is possibly earlier.
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.
Amlash
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in northwest Iran, southwest of the Caspian Sea, dating to the late 2nd millennium BC. Rich burials in tombs have produced gold and silver vessels, pottery figurines, animal-shaped pottery rhytons (ritual vessels) -- material similar to that at Marlik Tepe.
Ammut
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ammit
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: Goddess of the netherworld, also called Devouress of the Dead" or "Great of Death". She is often depicted with the head of a crocodile foreparts of a lion or panther and rear of a hippopotamus. She is purported to eat the heart of anyone judged unworthy to be admitted to the netherworld."
Amorgos
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An island in the eastern Cyclades, Greece, which was prosperous in the Early Bronze Age and had three cities, Arcesine, Minoa, and Aegiale. There is an important cemetery on the island with single burials in cist graves, accompanied by copper weapons and pottery. Fine carved stone figurines of Early Cycladic type have also been found, usually made of marble and some being almost life-sized.
Amorites
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amurru
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A branch of the Semites who were nomads in the Syrian desert and who overthrew the Sumerian civilization of Ur c 2000 BC and dominated Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine till c 1600 BC. In the oldest cuneiform sources (c 2400-2000 BC), the Amorites were equated with the West, though their true place of origin was most likely Arabia, not Syria. They founded a series of kingdoms throughout Mesopotamia and northern Syria, the most important being Babylon and Assur. Their arrival in Palestine was at the change from Early Bronze to Middle Bronze Age. The Amorites became assimilated into the population and culture of these regions. Eventually, the Amorites settled and amalgamated with the Canaanites of the Middle and Late Bronze Age. During the 2nd millennium BC the Akkadian term Amurru referred not only to an ethnic group but also to a language and to a geographic and political unit in Syria and Palestine. In the dark age between c 1600-1100 BC, the language of the Amorites disappeared from Babylonia and the mid-Euphrates; in Syria and Palestine, however, it became dominant. In Assyrian inscriptions from about 1100 BC, the term Amurru designated part of Syria and all of Phoenicia and Palestine but no longer referred to any specific kingdom, language, or population.
amorphous
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Having no definite form or distinct shape
Ampajango
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Catamarca Province, northwest Argentina, with a river terrace containing a complex of bifacial tools dating c 10,000 BC.
amphiprostyle
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A Greek or Roman temple having a two open porticoes (proticum and posticum), one in the rear and one in the front, but without columns on the sides. The construction never exceeded four columns in the front and four in the rear. The porticoes were constructed to project beyond the cella (main body) of the building.
amphitheatre
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.
amphora
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural amphorae, amphoras
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A large Greek or Roman earthenware storage jar, with a narrow neck and mouth and two handles (two-eared"; each called an anem) at the top. The body of the jar is usually oval and long with a pointed bottom. It was used for holding or transporting liquids especially wine or oil and other substances such as resin. Its shape made it easy to handle and ideal for tying onto a mule's or donkey's back. They were often placed side-by-side in upright positions in a sand-floored cellar. Sinking it into the sand or ground kept the contents cool. Amphorae were also made of glass onyx gold stone and brass and some had conventional jar bottoms with a flat surface. The container would be sealed when full and the handle usually carried an amphora stamp impressed before firing giving details such as the source the potter's name the date and the capacity. Amphorae were probably not normally re-used."
ampulla
CATEGORY: artifact; ceramics
DEFINITION: A small Greek or Roman globular flask or bottle with two handles and a short narrow neck. It was used for holding oil for bathers (called ampulla oleria) or wine, oil, vinegar, and other beverages for table use (then called ampulla potaria). These small containers were usually the form of a globe or bladder, though sometimes shaped like a lentil with rounded sides.
Ampurias
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Emporion
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An ancient Greek trading settlement in Spain, 40 km northeast of present-day Gerona. It was originally a colony of Marseilles (Massalia), founded in the early 6th century BC. The town allied with Rome in the 3rd century BC and it became a Roman colony under Augustus (27 BC-14 AD). Ampurias was probably most prosperous between the 5th-3rd centuries BC, when it established extensive trading across the Mediterranean. Its commercial achievements were marked by the minting of coinage. But after Roman presence increased and the harbor began to silt up, the town declined. The end came at the destruction by the Franks in 265 AD.
Amratian
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 Badarian culture. 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 Badarian period onward and white cross-lined (red ware painted in white) added.
Amri
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.
Amsadong
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Korean Chulmun culture site near Seoul with pithouses, net weights and sinkers, querns, dating to 4490-1510 BC. It is the type-site of the Classic Chulmun pottery.
Amudian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amud
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture and industry close to the Sea of Galilee near Tiberias, Israel. There are several important caves, including Emireh, the type site of the Emiran, and Zuttiyeh, the type site of the Amudian. These demonstrate the early occurrence of Upper Palaeolithic blades and burins even earlier than the Mousterian and its flake tools. The Amud cave is Mousterian or Emiran and in 1961 the skeletal remains were found of two adults and two children estimated to have lived about 50,000-60,000 years ago (remains held in the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, Jerusalem). They consist of a skeleton of an adult male about 25 years old, a fragment of an adult jaw, and skull fragments of infants. The skeleton has an exceptionally large brain (1800 cc). The remains suggest that they are part of a group known as Near Eastern Neanderthal man. This group represents a mixture of West Asian features similar to those of fossils found in 1957 in Iraq that were estimated to date from about 46,000 years ago and those of the Upper Paleolithic people who lived in southwestern France and the Middle East from about 10,000 to 35,000 years ago. These findings provide more evidence that Neanderthal man was a highly varied species who lived in much of the Northern Hemisphere, except the New World. Amudian material has been recognized at the cave of et-Tabun (Mount Carmel) and at sites like Jabrud, Adlun, and the Abri Zumoffen in the Levant. It has been suggested that the Amudian may have been ancestral to subsequent Upper Palaeolithic industries of the Middle East, hence the name 'pre-Aurignacian' which has sometimes been given to industries of Amudian type.
amulet
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: meket, nehet, sa, wedja, periapta
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Small good-luck charms, often in the form of gods, hieroglyphs, and sacred animals and made of precious stones or faience. They were especially popular with Egyptians and other Eastern peoples, worn both in life and placed in burials or within mummy wrappings. Amulets were supposed to afford protection and may have been thought to imbue the wearer with particular qualities. Some superstitiously thought amulets could heal diseases or help the wearer avoid them.
amulet capsule
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A case or container for an amulet.
Amun
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Amun-Ra
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: The supreme god of the Egyptian pantheon, who was established by the 11th Dynasty at Thebes. The name means hidden" or "secret". Amun was frequently identified with Ra the sun-god of Heliopolis and called Amun-Ra. His temple at Karnak is the best surviving example of a religious complex of the New Kingdom. His wife was Amaunet and he is depicted in male human form. Amun's supremacy was challenged only during the reign of Akhenaten."
Amuq
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 prehistoric sequence for the area has phases designated by letters, as 'Amuq A represents the Early Neolithic.
Amuq
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 prehistoric sequence for the area has phases designated by letters, as 'Amuq A represents the Early Neolithic.
Amur Neolithic
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A number of Neolithic cultures recognized near the Amur River in eastern Siberia. They are mainly defined by the presence of pottery. In the Middle Amur region, the earliest phase is known as the Novopetrovka blade culture. Later is the Gromatukha culture, with unifacially flaked adzes, bifacially flaked arrowheads, and laurel-leaf knives and spearheads. Settlements on Osinovoe Lake, which are characterized by large pit houses, date to around the 3rd millennium BC. Millet was cultivated, representing the first food production in the area, and there was fishing. A fourth Neolithic culture in the area, dating to the mid-2nd millennium BC was a combination of farming and fishing by people who moved there from the Lower Amur area. The Neolithic of the Lower Amur is known from sites such as Kondon, Suchu Island, and Voznesenovka. Fishing provided the economic basis for the establishment of unusually large sedentary settlements of pit houses -- a situation paralleling the examples from the Northwest coast of North America. In the 1st millennium BC, iron was introduced and fortified villages constructed. In Middle Amur, millet farming became the lifeway.
Amurian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A variant of the Homo sapiens who inhabited Northeast Asia at the end of the Pleistocene. They may be the ancestors of the Native Americans. Present-day Ainu of Japan are a remnant of these people.
Amvrosievka
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic site in southern Ukraine with and large number of bison bones and artifacts of microblades and laterally-grooved bone points. The site is dated to 15,250 bp.
amygdaloid
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Almond-shaped; a term used to describe elongated ovate or cordiform biface tools.
An
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: The supreme Sumerian god of life and fertility. An was later replaced by Enlil and Marduk, but was always considered the ultimate source of authority. Identified with the city of Warka, his Akkadian equivalent was Anu.
anachronistic
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: Pertaining to the representation of something as existing or occurring at other than in its proper time, particularly earlier, and involving or containing anything out of its proper time.
anadromous fish
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: Fish species such as salmon that migrate from freshwater streams to oceans, returning to the streams to spawn.
Anaeho'omalu
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on Hawaii dating to the 10th century AD as a fishing camp and later a settlement. It has one of the largest petroglyph fields in the Hawaiian Islands with over 9000 figures.
Anaeho'omalu
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on Hawaii dating to the 10th century AD as a fishing camp and later a settlement. It has one of the largest petroglyph fields in the Hawaiian Islands with over 9000 figures.
anaerobic
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Without air; the opposite of aerobic. This term is used to describe environmental conditions where oxygen is not present and where decay of organic material is partially or completely stopped. Anaerobic conditions are usually waterlogged but may also occur when a layer or clay, plant, or animal remains is sealed. The remains survive much better than under normal conditions because there is insufficient oxygen for bacterial or fungal growth. The organic materials reach a state of equilibrium beyond which they do not decay.
anaglyph
CATEGORY: artifact; language
DEFINITION: A term describing any work of art that is carved, chased, embossed, or sculptured -- such as bas-reliefs, cameos, or other raised working of a material. Materials which are incised or sunken are called intaglios or diaglyphs. The Egyptians also used the term anaglyphs for a kind of secret writing.
analogy
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An anthropological practice using reasoning based on the assumption that if two things are similar in some respects, then they must be similar in other respects. Ethnographic information from recent cultures is then used to make informed hypotheses about archaeological cultures and to compare societies and culture traits of recorded societies with those of prehistoric sites. Analogy is the basis of most archaeological interpretation (see general and specific analogy).
analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: analytical archaeology
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A stage in archaeological research design that involves isolating, describing, and structuring data, usually by typological classification, along with chronological, functional, technological, and constituent determinations. The research involves artifactual and nonartifactual data. The method evolved from the tendency to formalize the archaeological process, especially through the work of LR Binford, DL Clarke, and JC Gardin. Computer science and mathematics are used to elaborate the means for transforming simple descriptions of archaeological data into cultural, economic, and social reconstructions of earlier societies. This type of research is attempts to provide archaeology with a theoretical framework based on scientific method.
analytical type
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The method of defining arbitrary groupings of artifacts. Analytical types consist of groups of attributes that define artifacts for comparing sites in space and time. They do not necessarily coincide with actual tool types used by prehistoric people.
Ananino
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Iron Age culture of the mid-1st millennium BC in the Volga basin of Russia that had strong connections with the Scythians to the south.
Anapchi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A 7th-century palace site of the Silla Kingdom in Korea. Artifacts include dugout boats, Buddhist images, pottery and metal vessels, and inscribed wooden tablets.
Anasazi
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 Anasazi culture 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"."
Anat
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: A deity of Egypt introduced from Syria-Palestine. The cult of Anat is first attested in Egypt in the late Middle Kingdom (c 1800 BC).
anathermal
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.
anathyrosis
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In Greek architecture, the technique of matching two adjoining blocks or column drums by hollowing out the center and having the blocks make contact only at the edges.
Anatolia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A mountainous region of present-day Turkey, bounded by the Pontine mountains and Zagros mountains. There are a number of early sites dating c 7000 BC as the rainfall was adequate for dry farming. The area was also important for sources of obsidian, which was exploited from the Upper Palaeolithic onwards and was extensively traded in the Neolithic. The area was an important center in the Neolithic and Chalcolithic, with sites like Catal Huyuk and Can Hasan. It was less important in the Bronze Age but later became the homeland of the Hittite empire in the 2nd millennium BC.
anatomically modern human
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: AMH
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The group of humans who were within the range of the modern human species, showing the anatomical traits of moderns such as a cranial capacity of over 1400 cubic centimeters and a chin.
Anau
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell site in the Kara Kum oasis of southern Turkestan, first excavated in the 1880s and again in 1904. Its name has been given to a Chalcolithic culture of the 5th and 4th millennium BC that parallels that of the sites of Sialk and Hissar (Hassuna) in Iran, especially with connections in pottery styles.. Characteristic finds include fine pottery with geometric painted decoration and simple copper tools. There was a farming subsistence economy and metal ores were probably imported from the south.
Anbangbang
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large rock shelter of sandstone in North Australia dating to the Pleistocene. Occupation increased from 6000 bp.
Ancón Yacht
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in the Ancón Valley on Peru's coast, just north of Lima. There is a high shell mound with deep stratified layers containing baskets, chipped leaf points, cultivated plants, shell fishhooks, string, twined cloth and baskets, and wooden tools. The site dates between 2500-2000 BC.
ancestor bust
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Small painted apelike busts that were the focus of ancestor worship in Egypt's New Kingdom. Many were of limestone or sandstone, with some smaller examples made of wood and clay.
ancestor busts
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Small painted apelike busts that were the focus of ancestor worship in Egypt's New Kingdom. Many were of limestone or sandstone, with some smaller examples made of wood and clay.
Ancestral Pueblo
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: One of the major cultural traditions of the American Southwest during late prehistoric times, centered in the northern part on the high plateau of the Four Corners region
anchor
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A heavy object used to moor a ship to the sea bottom, typically having a metal shank with a pair of curved, barbed flukes.
anchor ornament
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An anchor-shaped terra cotta object with a perforation through the shank. These were widespread in the Early Bronze Age of Greece and appear later in Sicily and Malta. Grooving, as if from thread wear, suggests that these objects may have been part of looms.
ancient DNA
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Genetic material preserved in the archaeological remains of bones and plants that can be studied for past genetic relationships
Andean chronology
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.
Andean Hunting-Collecting tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A tradition dating 6000-4000 BC, characterized by seasonal changing of residence and a trend toward specialization in certain regions of the Andes.
Andenne ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A medieval glazed ware made around Andenne on the River Meuse. The potters produced ordinary unglazed wares as well as finer pitchers and bowls. The glazed wares were widely traded in Western Europe from the late 11th century to the 14th century.
Andersson, Johan Gunnar (1874-1960)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Swedish geologist who laid the foundation for the study of prehistoric China. In 1921, at a cave near Peking, he demonstrated the presence of prehistoric material in that country. He is remembered for his work on the Yang Shao Neolithic culture (dating between 5000-3000 BC) on the middle Yellow River and the Pan Shan cemeteries further west in Kansu. He also carried out the first excavations (1921-1926) at the Palaeolithic cave site at Choukoutien (Zhoukoudian). Andersson started Sweden's Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities.
andesite
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A dark, fine-grained volcanic rock
andesite line
CATEGORY: geography; geology
DEFINITION: The line dividing the Pacific between the Asiatic and Pacific plates through Polynesia. The rocks to its west are continental rocks, including andesitic basalts. To the east are coral atolls and volcanic islands of olivine basalts and other rocks.
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.
Andronovo culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture of southern Siberia, between the Don and Yenisei Rivers, dating to the 2nd millennium BC. The culture was relatively uniform in this large area and agriculture played a large role. Wheat and millet were cultivated and cattle, horses, and sheep bred. The metal-using culture (ores from the Altai), which succeeded the Afansievo, lived in settlements of up to ten large log cabin-like semisubterranean houses. Bowl- and flowerpot-shaped vessels were flat-bottomed, smoothed, and decorated with geometric patterns, triangles, rhombs, and meanders. Burial was in contracted position either in stone cists or enclosures with underground timber chambers. The wooden constructions in rich graves may have designated social differentiation. The Andronovo complex is related to the Timber-Grave (Russian Srubna) group in southern Russia and both are branches of the Indo-Iranian cultural block. The Andronovo were the ancestors of Karasuk nomads who later inhabited the Central Asiatic and Siberian steppes.
Anedjib (c 2925 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Adjib, Andjyeb, Enezib
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Ruler of the late 1st Dynasty who is thought to have been buried in Tomb X in Abydos, the smallest of the Early Dynastic royal tombs in the cemetery of Umm el Qa'ab.
Aneityum
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A volcanic island of Melanesia with more than 800 agricultural sites from 1000 years ago.
Ang-ang-hsi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A group of Neolithic sites in Manchuria which demonstrate strong connections with the Novopetrovka and Gromatukha cultures of the Middle Amur in eastern Siberia, especially in stone tool technology. Animal, fish and mollusk remains occur on the sites.
Anghelu Ruju
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Copper Age necropolis in Alghero, northwest Sardinia. It contained 36 rock-cut tombs, some very elaborate in plan and decorated with carved bulls' heads. The tombs were used for multiple burials and contained material of the Ozieri culture (copper and silver objects) as well as Ozieri and Beaker pottery.
Angkor
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Archaeological site in northwestern Cambodia which was the capital of the Khmer empire in Kampuchia and founded in c 9 AD (c 802). The name, from Sanskrit 'nagara', means royal city the capital". As the capital of the Khmer empire form the 9th-15th centuries its most imposing monuments are Angkor Wat a temple complex built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II (reigned 1113-c. 1150 AD) and Angkor Thom a temple complex built about 1200 by King Jayavarman VII (1181-c 1215 AD). These monuments were lost in jungle and rediscovered in the last century. In total there are more than 250 monuments built almost exclusively in sandstone. The Thais conquered Angkor in 1431 and it was abandoned."
Angkor Borei
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of the capital of the kingdom of Funan towards the end of the 6th century. The rich archaeological site is located south of Phnom Penh, near the Vietnam border, in Cambodia. It appears as Na-fu-na in Chinese writings and is identified with Naravaranagara. There are many stone statuary.
Angkor Thom
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a temple complex in the northwestern plain of Angkor built about 1200 by King Jayavarman VII (1181-c 1215 AD). In the Khmer language, the name means the big capital" and it served intermittently as the capital of the Khmer empire from the 11th century onward. It is surrounded with walls and moats of 4-by-4 km and the temple-mountain Bayon is in the center."
Angkor Wat
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."
Angles
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Germanic people from the Baltic coasts of Jutland (Schleswig, Denmark) who, with the Saxons, were the main settlers of Britain in the 5th century AD after the Roman withdrawal. There is evidence in the late 4th century AD of their pottery at a number of late Roman settlements in England. They crossed the North Sea to settle the eastern parts of England and the cultures mixed to become known hitherto as Anglo-Saxons. They gave their name to England, its people, and their language as well as to East Anglia.
Angles-sur-l'Anglin
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in west-central France of a rock shelter with Upper Palaeolithic art, the Rocaux Sourciers (Angles). The back wall has fine bas-relief carvings and there is a frieze of female figures dominating the shelter. Several animal carvings are found. Occupation dates to middle and late Magdalenian and the art is dated to c 11,000 BC.
Anglian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Anglian-Elsterian
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: Quaternary glacial 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 Cromerian interglacial 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.
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
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."
Anglo-Saxons
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 Pagan Saxon period went until the general acceptance of Christianity in the mid-7th century; the Middle Saxon period until the 9th century, and the Late Saxon period 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, shield boss, 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 Saxon period, 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 pottery manufacture 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.
angon
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A long spear with a double barb where one barb is longer than the other.
angular blocky
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Pertaining to grain surfaces that are fairly flat with angular vertices and both l/w and s/w ratios not much greater than 1.0.
Aniba
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Miam
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a cemetery and settlement in Lower Nubia, founded as an Egyptian fortress in the Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 BC). It is near the gold-mining region of Nubia.
aniconic
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A seal bearing no image.
animal bell
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A bell worn by an animal, e.g. sheep, goats, cows and hawks, to inform the owner of the animal's position.
Animal Style
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.
animatism
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The attribution of humanlike consciousness, personality, and powers to inanimate objects (e.g., heavenly bodies, volcanoes, rocks, and stones), natural phenomena (e.g., eclipses, earthquakes, thunderstorms, tornadoes), plants and animals, and the universe itself.
animism
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The belief that disembodied beings in the form of ghosts, gods, souls, and spirits, populate the world and can live in objects such as altars, idols, and rocks.
anisotropic
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A mineral that causes the retardation of light waves in one axis of oscillation relative to the axis at right angles to it, as light (fast ray, slow ray) passes through it.
ankh
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The Egyptian hieroglyphic sign for life" consisting of T-shape surmounted by a loop. It represents a sandal strap or the handle of a mirror. The ankh is commonly shown being carried by deities and pharaohs and was widely used as an amulet. Temple reliefs frequently included scenes in which a king was offered the ankh by the gods thus symbolizing the divine conferral of eternal life. It was used in some personal names such as Tutankhamen. It was adapted by Coptic Christians as their cross."
anklet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An ornamental chain, worn around the ankle.
Anlo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Holland with a long sequence of occupation, starting with the Funnel Beaker culture. It was followed by a cattle enclosure during the Late Neolithic (protruding foot beaker) people, then a cemetery of five flat graves with foot beakers and bell beakers with cord ornament. The next phase was a settlement with late varieties of Beaker pottery, followed by a Middle Bronze Age plow soil, and a Late Bronze Age urnfield.
annealing
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: The treating of a metal or alloy with heat and then cold -- or the repeated process of heating and hammering to produce the desired shape. After casting metal, it may be necessary to further process it by cold-working, hammering, and drawing the metal -- either to produce hard cutting edges or to produce beaten sheet metal. Hammering makes the metal harder, though more brittle and subject to cracking because it destroys its crystalline structure. Annealing, the reheating of the metal gently to a dull red heat and allowing it to cool, produces a new crystalline structure which can be hammered again. The process may be repeated as often as is necessary. The final edge on a weapon may be left unannealed as it will be harder and last longer.
annular
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Ring-shaped
annular ring nail
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A nail with sharp-edged ridges that lock into wood fibers and greatly increase holding power
annuli
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: sing. Annulus
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: Annual growth rings or increments in mollusk shell, fish vertebrae, tooth cementum, or wood.
anoxic
CATEGORY: flora, fauna
DEFINITION: Relating to or marked by a severe deficiency of oxygen in tissues or organs.
ansa
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural ansae
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Latin term for handle or anything handle-like, like an eyelet, haft, or a hole. Any vessel or vase with large ears or circular handles on the neck or body is said to have ansae.
ansa lunata
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A handle or handles on a vessel or vase going in two opposite directions or in two diverging projects. The term describes Terramara pottery of the Apennine culture and vessels of central Europe of the Middle to Late Bronze Age.
Anse au Meadow, L'
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on the northern peninsula of Newfoundland that is the only known Viking settlement 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.
anta
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A short wall at a right angle to the long walls of a classical temple's cella. This term is also that for a Portuguese chambered tomb (5th millennium BC).
antefix
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj. antefixal
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Ornamental tiles fixed to the eaves and cornices of ancient Greek and Roman buildings to decoratively conceal the ends of the rain tiles. The term also refers to vertical ornamental heads of animals (etc.) that were the spouts from the gutters.
antelope
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: The name for numerous species of deerlike ruminant horned bovid. The main characteristics are cylindrical annulated horns and a lachrymal sinus. There are true" antelopes "bush" antelopes "capriform" (goatlike) antelopes and "bovine" (oxlike) antelopes. The name is most popularly associated with the "true" antelopes. The term first came in through Greek and Latin to describe a creature haunting the banks of the Euphrates. The attributes of the antelope caused it to become a heraldic animal and it served as the symbol of the 16th Upper Egyptian nome (province). Three species of antelope are known from ancient Egypt (Alcephalus buselaphus Oryx gazella and Addax nasomaculato)."
Antequera
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Anticaria, Moorish Madinah Antakira
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a town in Málaga province, in the autonomous community (region) of Andalusia, southern Spain, northwest of Málaga, at the foot of the Sierra del Torcal which is famous for its three Neolithic (Copper Age) chambered tombs (dolmens): the Cuevas de Menga, de Viera, and El Romeral. They are partially cut into the hillside, but each is constructed differently. The Cueva de Menga has a huge orthostat chamber c 5 m wide, 3 m high, and 1.45 m long, roofed by five large capstones supported by three central pillars and drystone walls. Human figures in scenes are carved on its walls. The Cueva de Romeral has a magnificent corbel vault nearly 5 m high, dry-stone tholos, and a passage over 30 m long. The Cuevas de Viera has a long orthostat-lined passage with porthole slabs and a small square chamber. A cemetery of rock-cut tombs of the Bronze Age imitating the tholos form is nearby.
anterior
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: Forward or toward the head.
anthracology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The study of human interactions with the plant environment. Wood charcoal from archaeological sites is studied by microscope and statistically analyzed.
anthropic soils
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Soils formed by or related to human activity.
anthropogenic
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: pertaining to an effect or process resulting from human activity
anthropogenic soil
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Soil that has been influenced by human activity -- indicated by a concentration of phosphorus, organic matter, debris, or artifacts. The different soil and sediment components are physically mixed through cultivation, deforestation, or construction.
anthropoid
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: anthropomorphous
CATEGORY: artifact; fauna
DEFINITION: Of human form; manlike. Taken from the Greek term for man-shaped, it is used to describe sarcophagi and coffins and other artifacts of human shape. The term is also used to describe a being that is only human in form or an anthropoid ape (gibbons, orangs, chimpanzees, gorillas).
anthropological archaeology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The tradition of archaeology that is derived from, and most strongly oriented toward, the larger field of anthropology.
anthropological linguistics
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The study of human language and its applications for cultural behavior.
anthropology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The study of humankind, its culture and evolution, both extant and extinct. It consists of the subdisciplines physical anthropology, archaeology, anthropological linguistics, cultural anthropology, and social anthropology. Archaeology is sometimes regarded as a separate science rather than as a branch of anthropology. Social anthropology concentrates on patterns of behavior and institutions. Physical anthropology studies the physical (biological) characteristics as animals.
anthropometry
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: n. anthropometer, anthropometrist; adj. anthropometric, anthropometrical; adv. anthropometrically
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: A subdiscipline of physical anthropology that involves the measurement of the human body to determine its average dimensions and the proportion of its parts at different ages and within different races, classes, or cultures. The measurement of the dimensions of man.
anthropomorph
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: anthropomorphic figure; anthropomorphism (n.); anthropomorphous (adj.)
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A representation of the human form in art, such as those found on ancient pottery. A figure, object, or rock art with or using a human shape. The term also refers to the attribution of human features and behaviors to animals, inanimate objects, or natural phenomena.
anthropomorphic
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: anthropomorphous
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Manlike; used to describe artifacts or art work decorated with human features or with a man-like appearance
antico rosso
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Ancient marble of a deep red or green tint. It is the material of many ancient Egyptian and early Greek sculptures. These green and red marbles (antico rosso and lapis lacedaemonius) were obtained from the southern Peloponnese.
antimonial bronze
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A bronze containing antimony in combination, as a third constituent. It may have been added to the original copper ore in the alloy since it improves the hardening qualities. It is used this way and in the names of many minerals, such as antimonial arsenic, copper, and nickel.
antimony
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj. antimonial
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A brittle metallic substance that has been used in the preparation of yellow pigments for enamel and porcelain painting. It forms a fourth constituent in alloys, along with nitrogen, phosphorus, arsenic, bismuth, and some others in forming triads and pentads.
Antioch
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Antiochia, Antioch Pisidian, Antiocheia Pisidias, Caesarea Antiochia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An ancient city of Phrygia near the Orontes River and modern Yalvaç in Turkey. It was founded in 300 BC by Seleucus I (c 358-281 BC) after the death of Alexander the Great and was one of the two capitals of the Parthian Empire. It became a Roman city in 64 BC at the hands of Pompey and served as a capital of the province of Syria and was one of the three most important cities of the Roman world. Antioch peaked under Hadrian as a civil and military administrative center, then suffered Persian invasions during the 3rd century AD. It was rebuilt by Diocletian and successive emperors form the 4th century AD. The plain of Anitoch was occupied from the Neolithic onwards. Its ruins include a large rock cutting which may have held the temple of Men Ascaënus, the local Phrygian deity.
antiquarian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: antiquary; antiquarianism
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: An amateur interested in ancient artifacts who studies or collects objects of antiquity. The term also refers to amateurs who dig up artifacts unscientifically. Antiquarianism is the study of the ancient past and its customs and the relics of the ancient past.
Antiquities Act of 1906
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A U.S. law protecting all historic and prehistoric sites on Federal lands and prohibiting excavation or destruction of such antiquities unless a permit (Antiquities Permit) is obtained from the Secretary of the department which has the jurisdiction over those lands. It also authorizes the President to declare areas of public lands as National Monuments and to reserve or accept private lands for that purpose.
antis, in
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Used of a temple building in which the lateral walls of the cella extend to form part of the facade, enclosing the sides of the pronaos.
antler
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: The lowest, forward branch of the horn of a deer -- bonelike material which is grown and shed annually. Antlers indicate the sex of the species, for example only male red deer, fallow deer, and elk (moose) have antlers. They may also indicate whether a site is occupied seasonally as they are naturally shed in the winter, except for female reindeer who shed the antlers in spring. Antlers were a valuable material for making many tools.
antler sleeve
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A section of deer antler carved into a cavity or hole at one end to hold a stone ax head. The piece was either set into a socket in a haft or perforated to attach to the haft. This material was used for its resilience and shock-absorbing value in tool-making. Roughly trimmed antler picks" have been used in construction and flint mining."
Antonine Column
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An important monument in Rome. It is a lofty pillar ornamented with a series of bas-reliefs sent up in spirals from the base to the summit. The bas-reliefs represent the victories of the emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.
Antonine Wall
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A defensive fortification on the frontier of the Roman Empire in Scotland, built by the governor Lollius Urbicus for the emperor Antoninus Pius c 142-145 AD. It spans the distance between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde in Scotland, running for 36.5 miles (58.5 km) with 19 forts on its line and others forward and to the rear. The wall, mainly turf-built, was 14-16 ft (4.5 m) wide and probably 10 ft (3 m) high with a ditch of 40 ft (12 m) wide and 12 ft (4 m) deep in front of the wall and a military road behind it. The forts are 2 miles (3 km) apart. The wall was probably a last attempt to secure the Scottish Lowlands by the Romans and it provided defense beyond Hadrian's Wall, which was around 100 miles (160 km) south. The work was carried out by men from the legions stationed in Britain, and was probably completed section by section by different work groups who marked their handiwork with decorative plaques. Crop marks reveal some evidence for the temporary camps for the builders. The wall was abandoned temporarily in c 155-158 AD during the northern revolt and permanently before the end of the century when the garrison withdrew to Hadrian's Wall. Rough Castle is a well-preserved fort site and other traces of the wall remain.
Anu
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sumerian An
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: The Mesopotamian sky god, whose seat was at Uruk. Anu was part of the ruling triad with Bel (Enlil) and Ea (Enki). In the city of Uruk there was a series of seven superimposed temples dedicated to Anu. Anu was the god of kings and the yearly calendar, but he had only a small role in Mesopotamian mythology.
Anubis
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.
Anuket
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Anqet, Anukis
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: Goddess of Sehel, the Nile cataract region near Aswan. She is generally represented as a woman holding a papyrus scepter and wearing a tall plumed crown.
Anuradhapura
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Sinhalese kingdom centered at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka and its capital from the time of the introduction of Buddhism in the 3rd century BC until the site was abandoned in the 10th century AD after many incursions by the Tamils of South India. The South Indians gained control of the kingdom several times -- in the 2nd, 5th, and again in the late 10th century AD, after which Anuradhapura was finally abandoned as the Sinhalese capital in favor of Polonnaruva. There was also internal warring by clans trying to establish separate dynastic lines. The most important Anuradhapuran dynasties were the Vijayan (3rd century BC-1st century AD) and the Lamakanna (1st-4th century AD and 7th-10th century). Buddhist monuments include palaces, monasteries, and stupas, many of which have been conserved and restored. During its 1,000 years of existence, the kingdom of Anuradhapura developed a high degree of culture. Among the most famous are the Thuparama stupa, the Ruvanveli dagaba (an enormous stupa), and the Lohapassada monastery. The kingdom also developed a remarkably complex system of irrigation, considered by many scholars to be its major achievement.
anvil
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A block, usually of iron, upon which objects are shaped and hammered e.g. in smithing.
anvil stone
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A stone on which other stones or materials (such as food) are placed and crushed with a stone tool.
anvil technique
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: anvil-flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A method of making chipped stone tools that involves striking a stone repeatedly against a static boulder used as an anvil
Anyang
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 Anyang period. 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 archaic form of Chinese, but the most important finds came from the cemeteries, which included royal tombs. At least as early as the Song dynasty (960--1279), Anyang was known as a source of bronze ritual vessels. Very large cruciform shaft tombs were found near the village of Houjiazhuang. There were eight large tombs in the western part of the Xibeigang cemetery 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 Xibeigang cemetery but across the river at Xiatoun. Later excavations have established that Anyang was heir to the flourishing civilization of the Erligang Phase.
Anyathian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Pleistocene industry of stone tools in terrace deposits of the upper Irrawaddy River in Burma. The culture was characterized by primitive pebble tools (choppers, chopping tools) and a poor flakes made of silicifed tuff and fossil wood. The earliest assemblages may be of Middle Pleistocene date and the industry may have continued into the early Holocene. The Early Anyathian had single-edged core implements associated with crude flake implements. In the Late Anyathian, smaller and better made core and flake artifacts are found.
Anza
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.
AOC beaker
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: All-over-corded beaker
Aosta
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Augusta Praetoria
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Roman colony and stronghold of the Salassi that lies at the foot of the Italian Alps. The Romans subdued a Celtic tribe in 25 BC and Augustus founded a Roman town (Augusta Praetoria) there in 24 BC. The remains of the rectangular circuit of walls, gates, forum, theater, amphitheater, and an Augustan triumphal arch are on the site.
Apadana
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Great reception hall found in Persian royal palaces.
Apamea
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Apameia; Apamea ad Maeandrum
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city in Hellenistic Phrygia on the Orontes River, partly covered by modern Dinar. Originally a Macedonian colony founded by Antiochus I Soter in the 3rd century BC, it became a Seleucid city superseding Celaenae and commanding the east-west trade route of the Empire. In the 2nd century BC, Apamea passed to Roman rule where it became capital of the Syria Secunda province. It became a great center for Italian and Jewish traders, but it declined by the 3rd century AD and trade was diverted to Constantinople. The Turks captured the town in 1070 and it was devastated by an earthquake in 1152.
Apedemak
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: A lionheaded deity with cult centers at Musawwarat el-Sufra and Naqa in Sudan.
Apennine culture
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.
Apepi
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Apopis, Apophis
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: An evil serpent- or snake-god, whose name was adopted by at least one Hyksos pharaoh (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.
aperturate
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: A grain of pollen with no pores or furrows, as pine.
aperture
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A generic term for a wall opening that cannot be described more specificially.
aperture pattern
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Any open space or pattern of open spaces between the portions of solid matter on pollens that can be used to distinguish pollen classes.
Aphrodisias
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.
Apis
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, Apis came 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.
aplastics
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: temper
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Intentional or accidental inclusions in pottery clays before firing.
apodyterium
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: An apartment or undressing room in the Roman baths.
Apollo 11 Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave in southern Namibia near the confluence of the Orange and Great Fish Rivers which has a long sequence of industries dating from the Middle Stone Age. There is a series of detached rock slabs with rock paintings dating between 28,450-26,350 years old, among the oldest dated paintings in the world and the oldest dated rock art of southern Africa. Later horizons in the Apollo 11 Cave show a scraper-based industry in the 13th-8th millennia BC that is related to the Albany industry of southern Cape Province. Microlithic findings begin in the 8th millennium.
apothecary jar
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A jar used to store medicines, drugs or the constituent parts of medicines and drugs.
apotropaic
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Of statues, etc., supposedly having the power to avert evil influences or bad luck
appendicular skeleton
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The bone of the appendages, i.e. arms, legs, tail.
Apple Creek
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Archaic site in Illinois where people engaged in intensive collecting of wild vegetable foods after 3000 BC, esp. hickory nuts and acorns.
applied anthropology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The use of data and information from the four core subfields of anthropology to provide practical solutions to problems in society.
applied archaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The use of archaeological methods and techniques to obtain information about contemporary society and to conserve sites from being destroyed.
appliqué
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Decoration or ornament applied to or laid on another material, as metal on wood or as embroidery on cloth.
appliqué
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A ceramic finishing technique that involves joining shaped pieces of plastic body to a leather-hard surface by pressure. The applied pieces can be functional, as with handles, or decorative, as the rope" decoration and modeled figures."
Apries (589-567 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Egyptian Haaibra Wahibra; Ouaphris; Hebrew Hophra
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The fourth king of the Saite 26th Dynasty who succeeded his father, Psamtik II (also Psamtek; 595-589 BC) and ruled from 589-570 BC. Apries received many Jewish refugees into Egypt after Judah fought Babylon. He was able to take the Phoenician port of Sidon but lost in an attack on Cyrene in Libya. As a result, the Egyptina army mutinied and selected their general Ahmose as king. Apries was imprisoned but escaped and was later murdered.
apron
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: The lip or exposed portion of a prehistoric cave or rock shelter, the soil of which typically contains durable cultural materials such as flaked stone and ceramic artifacts.
apse
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Semicircular end of a Classical building or Christian church.
Apulia
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Puglia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An area of southeastern Italy which produced figure-decorated pottery in the 5th-4th centuries BC and was strongly influenced by the Greeks. Apulian pottery was decorated in the red-figured technique, though there was also plain wares.
Apulian pottery
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An important type of South Italian Pottery, mostly decorated in the red-figured technique. Production seems to have started in the late 5th century BC and may have been influenced by Athenian pottery. One of the early centers may have been Tarentum. In the middle of the 4th century the scenes became more ornate with additional figures inserted in the field and an increased use of added colors. Plain wares were also produced alongside.
Aq Kupruk
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock shelter (Aq Kupruk II) and open site (Aq Kupruk III) on the Balkh River in northern Afghanistan. It is one of the richest Palaeolithic sites in that area. Aq Kupruk II had a single late Palaeolithic deposit with a blade industry (including microliths) with a radiocarbon date of c 14,600 BC. Aq Kupruk III had two deposits, one with artifacts similar to II and a lower one without microlithics. The presence of domesticated sheep and goats at Aq Kupruk has been dated to 8000 BC and that of cattle to about 6000 BC. Sickle blades, peaked stone hoes, chisels, hand mills, and pounders suggest the collection and preparation of wild grains, if not cultivation.
Aqab, Tell
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A prehistoric site of Syria with an unbroken sequence from the Early Halaf to the 'Ubaid period.
Aqar Quf
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The settlement site of the Kassite city of Dur-Kurigalzu in northern Babylonia (Iraq) dating c 1400-1150 BC. There was a ziggurat and temple complex.
Aqrab, Tell
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell site 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.
Aqrab, Tell
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell site 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.
aquamanile
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Used for holding water and washing hands, usually in the shape of an animal.
Aquatic Civilization
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aqualithic
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: This term has been used to describe a widespread series of cultures in the high lake and river areas of the southern Sahara and Sahal between the 8th and 3rd millennia BC (also 10,000-8000 BP). There are barbed bone harpoon heads and pottery with parallel wavy lines that reveal some similarities between the regions. First investigated at Early Khartoum, sites of this type are now known as far to the southeast as the Lake Turkana basin in Kenya. To the west, related material is found as far as Kourounkorokale in Mali. The greatest significance of the aquatic civilization" lies in the settled lifestyle of its people for this led up to the subsequent adoption of food production. Artifacts include bone harpoons."
aqueduct
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (from aqua"
CATEGORY: and "duco"
DEFINITION: to lead)" structure Any channel or artificial conduit constructed to supply water to an area from a source some distance away. The term is most commonly applied to large arched bridges built by the Romans to carry water over valleys and through ravines and used for the baths, for street cleaning, and for public mains. Aqueducts generally entered a city near its gateway and terminated at a distribution junction (castellum) where the public and private supplies would be drawn. There are some remains, such as Pont-du-Gard near Nismes, France, and Segovia in Spain. The longest was 82 miles (132 km) at Carthage. Aqueducts often discharged into reservoirs.
Aquileia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A former city founded as a Roman colony in 181 BC, now a village in northeastern Italy near the Adriatic coast northwest of Trieste. Founded to prevent barbarian invasions, Aquileia became a trade and commercial center along the route north and east into the Black Sea areas. By the 4th century, it became capital of the regions of Venetia and Istria. The city fell to the Huns and was sacked in 452. It also once served as an episcopal see of the Roman Catholic Church.
Ara Pacis
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A monumental altar in Rome, dedicated in 9 BC, possibly identified with the emperor Augustus.
arable
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Able to grow crops.
Arad
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 Chalcolithic period 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 (inscribed pottery). 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)."
Aramaean
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 Semitic language, Aramaic, became the international language of the Near East by the 8th century BC, replacing Akkadian. Aramaic was written in the Phoenician script and was the diplomatic and vernacular speech 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.
Arambourg, Camille (1885-1969)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Palaeontologist and professor who carried out excavations and surveys in Africa, especially in Maghreb, Ain Hanech, Ternifine, Omo-Turkana, and Omo Valley. The Omo remains, a group of hominid fossils, the oldest of which are about 3 million years old, were found by Arambourg, Yves Coppens, F. Clark Howell, and others on an expedition in Ethiopia's Omo River region in 1967-1974. These fossil finds represented a breakthrough in the study of early hominids as they were the first found to go back to such an early date. The earliest previously uncovered fossils dated to 1,750,000 years. He also found a Homo erectus (Alanthropus) at an Acheulian site at Ternifine.
Aramis
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Early hominid site of Ethiopia dating to c. 4.5 million years ago.
Araouane
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A basin site of former lakes in western Mali dating to 8000-9000 years ago.
Arapi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Neolithic-Early Bronze Age settlement site / mound in Thessaly, Greece. It was first occupied in the Aceramic Neolithic and is characterized by polychrome decorated pottery.
Aratta
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site name mentioned in a Sumerian epic that was supposedly involved in long-distance trade with Mesopotamia during the 3rd millennium BC.
Arauqinoid or Araquinoid
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arauqin
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A ceramic series created to compare the cultures of the Venezuela / Antilles area which flourished in the Middle Orinoco River region from c 500-1500 AD. Soft-textured gray vessels tempered with spicules of freshwater sponge and geometric incised designs on the interior beveled rims of bowls were characteristic. Collared jars with appliquéd human faces and coffee-bean eyes were also common and pieces of griddles have been found at most sites. The series replaces the Saladoid and Barrancoid in some areas.
Arawak
CATEGORY: culture; language
DEFINITION: A number of linguistically associated native groups -- the Antillean Arawak or Taino -- who inhabited the villages of the Greater Antilles and parts of mainland South America. They were slash-and-burn agriculturists who cultivated cassava and maize. The people were arranged in social ranks and were ruled by chiefs whose religion centered on a hierarchy of nature spirits and ancestors. Pottery of Saladoid type is found in from western Venezuela to the West Indies, and in the northern islands there is a ceramic continuity from Saladoid ware to insular Arawak. The Arawak were driven out of the Lesser Antilles by the Carib shortly before the appearance of Columbus and the Spanish, but they still numbered in the millions at that time. Since the Arawakan language is not found to the north or in Mesoamerica, it is likely that these people came to the islands from the south.
arbitrary excavation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Excavation by predetermined levels of a given thickness; used on sites or areas of sites without visible layering of the soil.
arbitrary level
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: antonym: natural layers
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: In an excavation, the basic vertical subdivision of an excavation unit, defined metrically, such as in 5-, 10-, or 20-centimeter levels. These levels are prescribed when natural layers of stratification are lacking or not easily recognizable.
arbitrary sample unit
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: antonym: nonarbitrary sample unit
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A subdivision of data within a defined area of excavation, such as a sample unit that is defined by a site grid, which has no specific cultural relevance.
arboreal
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Concerning trees. In pollen analysis, arboreal pollen types are distinguished from shrub pollen and herbaceous pollen.
arboreal pollen
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Pollen from trees.
arc style
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An early style of Celtic art, an eastern subgroup in Bavaria, Bohemia, and Austria in which compass-drawn geometric motifs predominate.
Archéodrome de Beaune
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A museum of reconstructed buildings and experimental archaeology founded in 1978 in Côte d'Or, France. There is a Palaeolithic encampment, a Neolithic house, and Roman siege works.
archaeo-
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (Greek for ancient" or "beginning")"
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Of or relating to archaeology; ancient, original, or primitive.
archaeoastronomy
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: astroarchaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The study of the relationship between prehistoric knowledge of astronomical events through calendars, observatory sites, and astronomical images in art and past cultural behavior. The field includes the study of mathematical correlations between archaeological features and the movements of celestial bodies. Some sites (Stonehenge, New Grange) show a definite interest in simple solar observations. Ancient astronomical knowledge can be inferred through the study of the alignments and other aspects of these archaeological sites.
archaeobotany
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: palaeoethnobotany, paleoethnobotany, paleoentomology, palaeoentomology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The study of botanical remains at archaeological sites. The field examines the natural surroundings of flora as well as the human-controlled flora on sites. The terms palaeoethnobotany, palaeoentomology, and palaeobotany are sometimes used interchangeably in the literature of archaeology.
archaeoculture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The totality of past human culture; an extinct group's learned behavior, cognition, and emotion.
archaeofauna
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeofauna
CATEGORY: technique; fauna
DEFINITION: Any assemblage of animal remains recovered from a single archaeological context.
archaeography
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeography
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The systematic description or archaeological objects over time made by nonprofessionals (travelers, traders, diplomats, etc.) who are often in situations where they view sites and antiquities in a much better state of preservation than that in which they are today. These accounts, either in writings or drawings, are valued in archaeological studies.
archaeological
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeological
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Of, relating to, or concerning archaeology.
archaeological chemistry
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeological chemistry
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The application of chemical theories, processes, and experimental procedures to obtaining archaeological data and to solutions of problems in archaeology. This field includes laboratory analysis of artifacts and materials found in archaeological context.
archaeological chronology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeological chronology
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: Establishment of the temporal sequences of human cultures by the application of a variety of dating methods to cultural remains.
archaeological conservancy
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeological conservancy
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any private, nonprofit organization working to save archaeological sites from destruction. This is done primarily by purchasing threatened sites and protecting the sites until they can be turned over to responsible agencies such as national parks.
archaeological culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The constantly recurring artifacts or group of assemblages that represent or are typical of a specific ancient culture at a particular time and place. The term describes the maximum grouping of all assemblages that represent the sum of the human activities carried out within a culture.
archaeological data
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeological data
CATEGORY: term; technique
DEFINITION: Material collected and recorded as significant evidence by an archaeologist. Archaeological data falls into four classes: artifacts, ecofacts, features, and structures.
archaeological geology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The use of geological techniques and methods to archaeological work. It is different from geoarchaeology in that the latter is a subfield of archaeology focusing on the physical context of deposits.
Archaeological Institute of America
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: AIA
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A professional organization whose membership is predominantly specialists in Old World archaeology. The AIA publishes the popular magazine Archaeology and the scholarly American Journal of Archaeology.
archaeological layers
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Sedimentary and architectural units defined by a combination of lithological, pedological, and material cultural criteria.
archaeological method
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeological method
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any of a variety of means used by archaeologists to find, recover, analyze, preserve, and describe the artifacts and other remains of past human activities.
archaeological reconnaissance
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeological reconnaissance
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A systematic method of attempting to locate, identify, and record the distribution of archaeological sites on the ground by looking at areas' contrasts in geography and environment.
archaeological record
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archeological record
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The surviving physical remains of past human activities, which are sought, recovered, analyzed, preserved, and described by archaeologists in an attempt to reconstruct the past.
Archaeological Resource Protection Act
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ARPA
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Legislation enacted in 1979 which provided the government with civil and criminal outlets to pursue individuals vandalizing or looting cultural resources on federal properties.
archaeological sequence
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of placing a group of similar objects into a chronological sequence, taking into account stylistic changes that occurred over time.
archaeological site
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: site; archeological site
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Any concentration of artifacts, ecofacts, features, and structures manufactured or modified by humans.
archaeological survey
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The methods used to examine an area to determine if archaeological deposits are present.
archaeological theory
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any theoretical concepts used to assess the framework and meaning of the remains of past human activity. Such a theory is used to guide a reconstruction and an interpretation of the past by looking beyond the facts and artifacts for explanations of prehistoric events.
archaeological unit
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An arbitrary classification unit set up by an archaeologist to separate one grouping of artifacts from another in space and time.
archaeologist
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A professional scholar who studies and reconstructs the human past through its physical remains. An archaeologist's work involves the scientific finding, collecting, cleaning, sorting, identifying, and measuring objects found in or on the earth or sea. The motive is to record and interpret ancient cultures rather than collect and display artifacts for profit.
archaeology
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.
archaeology of cult
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The study of the materials for changes in patterns in response to religious beliefs.
archaeomagnetic dating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archaeomagnetic intensity dating, archaeomagnetism, palaeointensity dating, archaeomagnetic age determination
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A chronometric method used to date objects containing magnetic materials -- especially for buried undisturbed features such as pottery kilns, earthen fireplaces, and brick walls -- which can be compared to known schedules of past magnetic alignments within a region and fluctuations in the earth's magnetic field. Clay and rocks contain magnetic minerals and when heated above a certain temperature, the magnetism is destroyed. Upon cooling, the magnetism returns, taking on the direction and strength of the magnetic field in which the object is lying. Therefore, pottery which is baked in effect fossilizes" the Earth's magnetic field as it was the moment of their last cooling (their archaeomagnetism or remanent magnetism). In areas where variations in the Earth's magnetic field are known it is possible to date a pottery sample on a curve. This method yields an absolute date within about 50 years."
archaeometric
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archaeometry, archeometry
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Relating or referring to the use of scientific techniques from fields such as chemistry, geology, physics, and other sciences for the analysis of archaeological data.
archaeometry
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archaeological science
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The large field of work that entails the physical and/or chemical analyses (measurement) of archaeological substances, their constituents, ages, residues, etc.
archaeoparasitology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The study of parasites in archaeological contexts.
archaeozoology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: zooarchaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The study of animal remains, especially bones, from archaeological contexts, including the identification and analysis of faunal species as an aid to reconstructing human diets, determining the impact of animals on past economies, and in understanding the environment at the time of deposition. Animal remains are collected, cleaned, sorted, identified, and measured for their study and interpretation. The study of bones involves calculations of minimum numbers of individuals belonging to each species found; their size, age, sex, stature, dentition, and whether the bones have any marks from implements implying butchering and eating. Archaeologists attempt to answer questions such as how many species of domesticated animals there were, how far wild animals were exploited, how many very young animals there were to determine kill patterns and climate changes, in what way bones were butchered, what the sex ratios there were in determining breeding strategies, and if there were any animals of unusual size. By analyzing remains from different parts of a site it may be possible to understand some of the internal organization of the settlement, while a comparison between sites within a region may show areas of specialization.
archaic
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.
archaic maiolica
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A series of jugs and bowls of the early 13th to late 16th centuries in Tuscan and Italian towns. They were decorated with geometric motifs, leaves, and other forms outlined in brown and set into green or brown backgrounds. They were sold as far as Spain, North Africa, and northern Europe. There seems to be a connection to earlier Byzantine and Persian products.
archaistic
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Imitatively archaic; affectedly and deliberately antique.
Archanes
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arkhanes
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Minoan site on Crete with a 16th century BC palatial structure, cemetery complex, and artifacts of gold, ivory, and marble.
archetype
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An abstract classification that assumes an ideal" form or structure of all morphological beings of which the various species are considered as modifications."
archipelago
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: A group or chain of islands
architectural petroglyph
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A petroglyph in a standing masonry wall.
architectural unit method
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method in which observable architectural zones of predefined structures are excavated as a single horizontal provenience. An example of this is a room in a palace being treated as its own excavation area.
architrave
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: epistyle
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In Greek and Roman architecture, that part of an entablature which rests immediately upon the abacus on the capital of a column or pilaster. It is also the term used for the horizontal beam between columns, or between a column and a wall, which supports a ceiling. A third definition is a collective name for the various parts that surround a doorway, arch, or window (jambs, lintel, moldings).
arcosolium
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A type of tomb in Roman catacombs as well as pagan and Christian burial places, consisting of an arched cell or niche, with a semi-circular vaulted ceiling.
Arctic Small Tool tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The first coastal dwellers of the true Arctic regions who appeared before 2200 BC and who had a hunting tradition and a distinctive set of stone tools, weapon tips, and adzes of small size (hence the name). Their sites stretched from the Bering Sea across the north Canadian coast as far east as northernmost Greenland, though there is no evidence of sleds or boats. Within a century or two of 2000 BC, they also expanded southward in Alaska to the Alaska Peninsula and south along the northeastern American coast to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Denbigh Flint Complex (or Arctic Denbigh culture, named for the type site Cape Denbigh, Alaska) is the characteristic tool assemblage. It included small chipped stone artifacts derived from Neolithic eastern Siberia -- such as blades, microblades, burins, scrapers, large bifacial projectile points. There was no pottery and the economics were balanced between products of the land (caribou, lake and river fish, musk ox) and sea mammals. Approximate dates range from 4000-1000 BC and this tradition is thought to be associated with ancestral Eskimo. In Canada and Greenland, the Small Tool people gradually developed into the Dorset culture. In Alaska, the Small Tool people disappeared and were replaced by 400 BC by people of the Norton culture who used Siberian-type pottery.
Arcy-sur-Cure
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.
ard
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An ancient light plow with a simple blade that was used to scratch the surface of the soil rather than turn furrows. It was drawn by animals or man and grooved the ground, but it had no mold board or colter and therefore did not turn over the soil. With this type of plow cross-plowing was usually necessary, with a second plowing at right angles to the first.
Ardagh Chalice
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A large, two-handled silver cup decorated with gold, gilt bronze, and enamel, that is one of the finest examples of early Christian art from the British Isles. Discovered in 1868 along with a small bronze cup and four brooches in a potato field in Ardagh, Ireland, the chalice may have been part of the buried loot form a monastery after an Irish or Viking raid. The outside of the bowl is engraved with the Latin names of some of the Apostles. There are similarities between the letters of the inscription and some of the large initials in the Lindisfarne Gospels, which probably dates from about 710-720 AD. Thus, the Ardagh Chalice is thought to date from the first half of the 8th century. The chalice displays exceptional artistic and technical skills applied to a variety of precious materials. So far, its manufacture has not been attributed to a particular workshop but the chalice does have similarities to the celebrated Tara brooch and the Moylough belt-reliquary. It is now housed in the National Museum of Ireland at Dublin.
area
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A sector of units of excavation that consists of a group of closely related, usually contiguous, squares. The numbering of Areas is by capital letters, e.g., Area A, Area M, etc., and squares by Arabic numbers, Area A, Square 1. In some systems of excavation what is an Area in the above description is called a field, and instead of the smaller unit of squares already described, that unit is called an area, e.g., Field 1, Area 1.
area excavation
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 prehistoric settlement patterns. Area excavation 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 grid system. 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.
arena
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (from Latin sand")"
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The central area of an amphitheatre, usually strewn with sand, where the spectacles and combats too place. The surface was coated with sand either to absorb the blood of the wounded or slain, and also to give a uniformity to the floor and conceal trapdoors and other devices. The term is also used, by extension, for a whole amphitheatre.
Arenal
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A Preceramic site and culture dating between 6500-6000 BC on the central coast of Peru, south of Lima. The culture was characterized by large diamond-shaped chipped points which indicated a hunting lifeway.
Arene Candide
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.
Aretine ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arezzo ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of terra sigillata, fine Ancient Roman pottery coated in a red slip, dating from the first centuries AD and originating in Arretium in Tuscany, Italy
Arezzo vase
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Red-clay Arretine pottery of which many fine examples have been found in or near the town of Arezzo in Tuscany, an important Etruscan city. The red-lustered ware was ornamented in relief and shows evidence of Greek origin.
Argar, El
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: An Early Bronze Age settlement near Almeria in southeast Spain that is the type site of a culture of the 2nd millennium BC. The settlement was fortified and contained rectangular stone houses, though little has been recovered as they are not as well-preserved as the Argaric sites Ifre and El Oficio. The settlement also contained 950 interments, with the earliest in cists and later switching to jar burial. Grave goods in the cist burial phase included daggers, halberds, and wristguards. In the jar burials, there was also faience, and swords and axes of copper or bronze and gold and silver ornaments. Silver was more common in this area than anywhere else in Europe at the time. The pottery of this culture was plain burnished in simple shapes. The Agaric culture, which developed trading with eastern Mediterranean centers, reached its peak between 1700-1000 BC and spread through the central, southern, and Levantine regions and to the Balearic Islands. The area may owe its origin to immigration from western Greece.
argillite
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A compact sedimentary rock formed from siltstone, shale, or clay stone and intermediate in structure between shale and slate. It is cemented by silica but has no slaty cleavage.
Argissa
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An important Neolithic site 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, emmer wheat, 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.
argon-argon dating
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A high-precision method for estimating the relative quantities of argon-39 to argon-40 gas, used to date volcanic ashes between 500,000 and several million years old
Argonne ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Marne ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pottery type of the 4th century AD, usually with a red color-coat. Vessels are decorated with horizontal bands of impressed geometric patterns, executed with a roller stamp. The ware was made in the Argonne in northeast Gaul. Its distribution in Britain is mainly confined to the south and southeast band.
Argos
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Argos (meaning agricultural plain)"
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: City in the northeastern Peloponnese of Greece, just north of the head of the Gulf of Argolis. The name was applied to several districts of ancient Greece but it is most often used to describe the easternmost part of the Peloponnesian peninsula and the city of Argos was its capital. Homer described it as the fertile plain inhabited by Agamemnon, Diomedes, and other heroes in the Iliad". The site was probably occupied since the Neolithic / Early Bronze Age and was very prominent in Mycenaean times (c 1300-1200 BC). Argos was probably the base of Dorian operations in the Peloponnese c 1100-1000 BC and from then on the dominant city-state of Argolis until it allied itself with Sparta after the Peloponnesian War in 420 BC. In 392 it broke with Sparta to unite with Corinth in the Corinthian War. Argos later joined the Achaean League (229) and Argos became its center after the Roman conquest and destruction of Corinth (146). The city flourished in Byzantine times and did not decline until around 1204 AD. One tyrant Pheidon is thought to have introduced primitive coinage and a weights and measures system. Archaeological excavations began in 1854 on the Argive Heraeum and Argos was famed for its connection with the goddess Hera. There was a natural sanctuary there long before the Dorians came c 1100-1000 BC. The shrine is reported to be of extreme antiquity. The statue of Hera for a new 5th-century temple was done by the celebrated sculptor Polycleitus whose work was said to rival that of Pheidias the sculptor of the Parthenon. There is material evidence of Neolithic Early and Middle Bronze Age a Mycenaean cemetery with chamber tombs Geometric and Archaic features and ruins of the classical and Roman city. The Larisa hill was evidently the Mycenaean acropolis and citadel holding a classical temple. There was also a Roman theater and small odeum. The site is mostly covered by the modern city."
Arica
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in the Tarapacá region on the north coast of Chile at the foot of El Morro. Preceramic shell mounds were excavated at Quiani, Pichalo, and Taltal which were dated between 1200-1450 AD. The city of Arica was founded as San Marcos de Arica in 1570 on the site of a pre-Columbian settlement, it belonged to Peru until 1879, when it was captured by Chile. Arica is near the Peru border and is the northernmost Chilean seaport.
Arikamedu
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.
arithmetic mean
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: An average; a measure of central tendency calculated by dividing the sum of observations by the number of observations.
Ariusd
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Erosd
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic settlement (c 3000 BC) found on a site in Romania's Upper Olt Valley. The regional painted ware is a variant of the Cucuteni-Tripolye culture. At the site, there are at least seven occupation horizons, some with gold jewelry and copper artifacts. The seventh level was a late Copper Age assemblage of the Schneckenberg type.
Arka
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic cave site in northeast Hungary dating to 18,600-17,000 bp. The artifacts include endscrapers, burins, and retouched blades of the Gravettian and there are some faunal remains.
Arkin
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Stone Age site near Wadi Halfa in the Nubian Nile Valley. There are factory sites for roughouts of foliate points of the Later Mousterian tradition which are probably contemporary with factories at nearby Khor Musa. The artifacts show affinities with Saharan Aterian artifacts.
Arles
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Latin Arelate
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city in southern France on the left bank of the Rhône that was once a colony founded by Caesar (46 BC) and which has an amphitheater and cryptoporticus dating from 1st century BC. Very little is known of the Celto-Greek settlement, traditionally colonized by the Phocaeans. Marius constructed the Fossae Marianae, a navel canal linking Arles with the sea, in 104 BC. Arles from then on was a service port and naval shipyard. Caesar used it as his naval base in 49 BC when attacking Marseilles (Massilia). Two aqueducts were built to bring water from the Alpilles. Constantine the Great (306-337 AD) adopted the city as one of his capitals. It was a mint in late Roman times and an imperial Roman theater and the largest amphitheater north of the Alps were located there. In the 1st century AD, St. Trophime founded the bishopric, which remained until 1790.
Arlit
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Tenerian site to the west of the Air Mountains of Niger, dated to c 5500 BP.
Armant
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Iunu-Montu, Hermonthis
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Upper Egypt on the west bank of the Nile, southwest of Luxor, that was the original capitol of the Theban nome until the 11th Dynasty. Excavations have revealed extensive cemeteries and areas of Predynastic settlement. Thutmose's annals on the walls of the temple of Karnak describing 20 years of military activity in Asia are supplemented by stelae from Armant.
armlet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A band or bracelet worn round the upper part of a person's arm
armor
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: arms, armour, body armor
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Protective clothing with the ability to deflect or absorb arrows, bullets, lances, swords, or other weapons during combat. There are three main types: 1) armor made of leather, fabric, or mixed materials reinforced by quilting or felt, 2) mail, of interwoven rings or iron or steel, and 3) rigid armor of metal, plastic, horn, wood, or other tough material, including plate armor of the Middle Ages' knights. Armor was used well before historical records were kept by primitive warriors. The first was likely made of leather hides and included helmets. It was found that in the 11th century BC, Chinese warriors wore 5-7 layers of rhinoceros skin. Greek heavy infantry wore thick, multilayered linen cuirasses in the 5th century BC. Armor is found along with arrows, clubs, hammers, hatchets, and other weaponry and is often ornamented. The defensive armor, the shield, and thorax, were called hopla, and people wearing them were called hoplites.
Armorican axe
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.
Armorican coin
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Collective name for coinage issued by a range of tribes living in Brittany during the early 1st century BC, including the Coriosolites, Baiocasses, Redones, Unelli, and Osismii.
Armorico-British dagger
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Breton dagger
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of bronze dagger found in the ESSEX I Phase of the early Bronze Age (c.1700-1500 BC) in southern Britain which has similarities with examples from Brittany. It has a flat triangular blade, lateral grooves, and six rivets for attaching the blade to the hilt. Sometimes a small tang or languette is present to assist securing the blade to the hilt. Traces of wooden and leather sheaths have been found with some blades; the hilts were probably of wood and in the case of an example found in the Bush Barrow, Wiltshire, were inlaid with gold tacks.
Arnhem Land
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A region of the Northern Territory of Australia with a complete sequence dating back more than 50,000 years. There is rock art back to the Pleistocene and even earlier paintings of land animals and Mimi figures.
aroids
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: The edible tubers of the Aracae family that were important in prehistoric Oceanic, South Asian, and Southeast Asian subsistence. The species is grown in irrigated terraces or fields or cultivated in pits cut to groundwater. Aroids were cultivated by at least 3000 BC and had spread from India to Egypt and Africa by the late 1st millennium BC.
Arpachiyah
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arpachiyah, Tell
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell site 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 pottery sequence 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 Ubaid style and fine Halaf pottery, and stone amulets and figurines.
arrangement
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: In systematics, a procedure that orders data into units. Classification and grouping create arrangements.
Arras
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aras
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: The site of an Iron Age cemetery in Yorkshire, England, with at least 90 burials, some barrows covering the burials and some with chariots. There are several related sites (Danes' Graves) in east Yorkshire with similar grave goods which define the Arras culture along with the burials. Material dates the Arras culture to c 5-1 BC and the Arras people seem to have been intruders from the continent. Their artifacts suggest links with the migrations of the Parisii from eastern France and the Rhineland. The chariot gear includes a distinctive three-link horse bit.
Arretine Ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: terra sigillata ware; Samian ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of bright-red, polished pottery originally made at Arretium (modern Arezzo) in Tuscany from the 1st century BC to the 3rd century AD. The term means literally ware made of clay impressed with designs. The ware was produced to be traded, especially throughout the Roman Empire. It is clearly based on metal prototypes and the body of the ware was generally cast in a mold. Relief designs were also cast in molds which had been impressed with stamps in the desired patterns and then applied to the vessels. The quality of the pottery was high, considering its mass production. However, there was a gradual roughness to the forms and decoration over the four centuries of production. After the decline of Arretium production, terra sigillata was made in Gaul from the 1st century AD at La Graufesenque (now Millau) and later at other centers in Gaul. Examples having come from Belgic tombs in pre-Roman Britain and from the port of Arikamedu in southern India. The style changes and the potter's marks stamped on the vessels made these wares a valuable means of dating the other archaeological material found with them.
Arretium
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Arezzo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Etruscan and Roman city, and capital of Arezzo province, in Tuscany southeast of Florence. Known in antiquity for the fine workmanship of its city walls and its red-clay Arretine pottery, the site flourished as a commune in the Middle Ages before falling to Florence in 1384 and later becoming part of the grand duchy of Tuscany. Remains of the city walls, closely constructed and of stone and lightly fired brick, have been found. The quantity of bronze and the mass production of the pottery indicates a considerable degree of industrialization. Arretine ware, a glossy red tableware both plain and relief-decorated, originated at Arretium in the 1st century BC.
arris
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural arris, arrises
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The sharp ridge or edge formed by the junction of two smooth surfaces, especially on the midrib of a dagger or sword, or in moldings.
arrow
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A weapon consisting of a stick with a sharp pointed head, designed to be shot from a bow
arrow straightener
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A stone with a regular, straight groove on one face. It is thought to have been used to smooth wooden shafts of arrows, so the name is misleading.
arrowhead
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: projectile point, arrow-head
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A small object of bone, metal, or stone that has been formed as the pointed end of an arrow for penetration and is often found at sites of prehistoric peoples. The earliest known are Solutrean points of the Upper Palaeolithic. Arrowheads are often the only evidence of archery since the arrow shaft and bow rarely survive. The term projectile point is generally preferable because it avoids an inference regarding the method of hafting and propulsion. Most often, arrowheads were placed in a slot in the shaft, tied, then fixed with resin.
arroyo
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: A dry gully or steep-sided bed of a seasonal stream. The term is also used for a rivulet or stream.
arsenic
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A semi-metallic substance of steel-gray color that forms a link between the metals and non-metallic bodies. It is found together with copper in some ore deposits, appearing as arsenical copper (copper alloyed with arsenic). This substance was valued and deliberately produced to improve casting properties and hardness, but was not important after the development of tin-bronze (tin alloyed with copper). It gave a very hard cutting edge to tools and weapons.
arsenical bronze
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Bronze (copper and tin alloy) which contains arsenic as a third constituent in a small proportion of 2-3%. Arsenic was deliberately added for its hardening effect on the alloy.
arsenical copper
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: arsenical bronze
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Copper which is alloyed with arsenic. This substance was easier to cast than copper alone, and was stronger and harder. It was widely used before the introduction of tin-bronze (tin alloyed with copper).
Arslan Tash
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of the ancient city of Hadâtu, a provincial capital of the Assyrian kings of northern Syria, first excavated by the French in 1928. There was a central tell surrounded by a circular wall and a palace and temple containing fine ivories, dating from the beginning of the 8th century BC.
Arslantepe
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 Uruk period (mid-4th millennium BC).
Artenac
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A cave site in Charente, France, which is the type-site of the Artenacien culture. Artifacts include copper beads, flint daggers, and fine pottery with beaked handles. There are simple megalithic tombs and burial caves, dating to c 3000-2000 BC.
Arthur (c 5th century AD?)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The legendary British king who is described in medieval romances as the leader of a knightly fellowship called the Round Table. It is said that he rallied the British against the Anglo-Saxon invaders and that behind the legend there may be a sub-Roman warleader who filled such a role. Though his name does not survive in contemporary records, he may have led the British at the battle or siege of Mount Badon which stopped the Saxon advance c 490 AD for some fifty years hence. All the historical references to him in the chronicles of Bede, Gildas, Nenius, Geoffrey of Monmouth and others were written between 100 and 600 years after the event, so they are considered unreliable for archaeologists. The search probably started with the monks of Glastonbury, who in 1191 claimed to have found the burial of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere inscribed with the words, Here lies Arthur in the Isle of Avalon buried". Various locations as far apart as Cornwall and Scotland are claimed as the site of Mount Badon; the refortified Iron Age hillfort of Badbury Rings in Dorset seems the most credible possibility. The site of Arthur's court at Camelot may be the historical site of South Cadbury. Excavations carried out at South Cadbury revealed an important fortified settlement of the 5th and 6th centuries which could have been the center from which British resistance to the Saxons was organized."
articular surface
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The portion of a bone connecting with other bones.
articulated
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: noun articulation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term indicated that the bones of a skeleton are in the same relative position to each other as they were when the person or creature was alive. If a skeleton is articulated, it is assumed that it was put into its final resting place while there were still ligaments and flesh to hold it together.
artifact
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: artefact
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any object (article, building, container, device, dwelling, ornament, pottery, tool, weapon, work of art) made, affected, used, or modified in some way by human beings. It may range from a coarse stone or a needle to a pyramid or a highly technical accomplishment -- and these objects are used to characterize or identify a people, culture, or stage of development. The most common artifacts are pieces of broken pottery, stone chips, projectile points, and tools. The environment may play a part in the nature of an artifact if it has been seriously altered by man through fire, house and road construction, agricultural practices, etc. Therefore, the line is sometimes hard to draw between a natural object and one used by man, but there is no doubt when it can be shown that man shaped it in any way, even if only accidentally in the course of use. Artifacts are individually assignable to ceramic, lithic, metal, or organic, or other lesser-used categories. A sociotechnic artifact is a tool that is used primarily in the social realm. A technomic artifact is a tool that is used primarily to deal with the physical environment.
artifact type
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: artefact type
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A description of a category of artifacts which share a set of somewhat variable attributes, such as spoons or tables. An artifact type occurs together in the majority of cases.
artifact typology
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The placement of materials in a geographic, temporal, etc. context with other similar artifacts; the study of artifact classes with common characteristics; classification according to artifact type.
Arundel marbles
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Oxford marbles
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A collection of marbles and ancient statues taken from Greece and Asia Minor at the expense of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel (1585-1646) and given to Oxford University in 1667, which came to be known as the Arundel (or Oxford) marbles.
Aryan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arya; Aryans
CATEGORY: culture; language
DEFINITION: A people of the Rigveda who invaded Iran and India from the northwest in the 2nd millennium BC and who then spread east and south over the succeeding centuries. Their language was an early form of Sanskrit, an Indo-European tongue. By c 500 BC, Aryan speech was probably established over much of the area in which Indo-Aryan languages are now spoken (the Indian subcontinent). Archaeologists have not found much to attribute to the Aryans except for some Painted Grey Ware. It is theorized that the Aryans may have been responsible for, or contributed to, the downfall of the Indus (Harappan) civilization.
aryballos
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: aryballus; from Greek bag
CATEGORY:
DEFINITION: artifact; ceramics There are two uses for this term -- one for a small Greek vase, one for a large Inca pottery jar. The Greek flask was one-handled, normally globular (quasi-spherical or pear-shaped), with a narrowing neck. It was used mostly for oil, perfume, unguent, or condiments and stood about 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) high. Aryballos were originally made at Corinth from about 575 BC. There were painted patterns on them until 550 BC and sometimes patterns were engraved. The Inca version was a large jar with conical base, tall narrow neck, and flaring rim. It was used for carrying liquids, designed to be carried on the back by a rope which passed through two strap handles low on the jar's body and over a nubbin at the base of the jar neck.
arystichos
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ephebos, aruter, arusane, arustis, oinerusis
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A Greek or Roman vessel for drawing water, especially from amphorae.
as
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A small Roman bronze coin, four of which made a sestertius and sixteen a denarius
Asana
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A seasonal Preceramic site in the Andes of southern Peru dating to 7800 BC -- with possibly the earliest domestic structures in the Andean region. A ceremonial complex dating to 2660 BC with altars, clay-lined fire basins, and surface hearths has also been found.
Ascalon
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.
ascribed status
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ascribed leadership; cf. achieved status
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: An individual's social standing or leadership which was inherited or assigned from his or her parents or other relatives, by sex, or some other fixed criterion.
ash
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Volcanic material of less than 4 mm in diameter that falls quickly and can bury sites, preserving the stratigraphy, people, and artifacts. Ash is also the soft, solid remains of burned organic material as from cremation.
ash mound
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A site type found in India where the remains of Neolithic cattle pens of the 3rd millennium BC created by regular fires burning palisades enclosing cattle.
ash tuff
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: tuffa
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Rock formed from solidified volcanic ash, which often is re-formed after the eruption and deposited elsewhere by water runoff. It is an excellent stratigraphic indicator and, because of the presence of very small crystals, is used to obtain potassium-argon dates.
Ashdod
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Palestinian site of a Canaanite city of the Late Bronze Age that was probably destroyed by the Sea Peoples. It was one of the cities of the Philistine Pentapolis.
Ashkelon
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.
ashlar construction
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: achelor, astler, estlar
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The construction of square blocks of hewn stone laid in regular courses for the facings of walls. It was dressed for building good, smooth-surfaced walls.
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.
ashpit
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A pit used primarily as a receptacle for ash removed from a hearth or firepit. In a pit structure, it is commonly oval or rectangular and located south of the hearth or firepit.
Ashurbanipal (fl. 7th century BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Assurbanipal, Asurbanipal, Assurnasirpal
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The last of the great kings of Assyria (668-627 BC), who established the first systematically organized library in the ancient Middle East, a huge collection of Assyrian clay tablets in his palace and that of his grandfather, Sennacherib. The library has been extremely valuable in revealing the art, science, and religion of ancient Mesopotamia. Approximately 20,720 tablets and fragments have been preserved in the British Museum. This collection was assembled by royal command, whereby scribes searched for and collected or copied texts of every genre from temple libraries. Theses were added to a core collection of tablets from Ashur, Calah, and Nineveh itself. The major group includes omen texts based on observations of events; on the behavior and features of men, animals, and plants; and on the motions of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars. There were dictionaries of Sumerian, Akkadian, and other words, all important to the scribal educational system. Ashurbanipal also collected many incantations, prayers, rituals, fables, proverbs, and other canonical" and "extracanonical" texts. The traditional Mesopotamian epics -- such as the stories of Creation Gilgamesh Irra Etana and Anzu -- have survived mainly due to their preservation in Ashurbanipal's library. Handbooks scientific texts and some folk tales show that this library of which only a fraction of the clay tablets has survived was more than a mere reference library. His many brilliant military campaigns served only to hold what had been already won by previous kings though Egypt regained its independence and Elam was only retained by complete devastation."
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.
Asia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Late Preceramic site on the south-central coast of Peru with a series of mounds and burials with evidence of trephination.
Asiab, Tepe
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A semi-permanent settlement in the Zagros region of western Iran, dated between 7100-6750 BC, belonging to the Karim Shahir culture. There is evidence of tool manufacture, settlement patterns, and subsistence methods, including the crude beginnings of the domestication of both plants and animals in this site as well as nearby sites at Guran, Ganj-e Dareh, and Ali Kosh. Burials have been excavated, covered in red ochre.
Asikli Hüyük
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Aceramic Neolithic site in central Anatolia, near an obsidian source (Ciftlik) and probably involved in extracting and trading the material. Radiocarbon dates of unstratified contexts at the site are c 7000-6650 BC. It may have been contemporary with Hacilar.
Asine
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Koróni
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A pre-Classical Greek settlement and port on the east side of the Akrítas in the Argolid Gulf. It was originally settled by the Argives after the First Messenian War (c 735-715 BC). Evidence of Early, Middle, and Late Helladic settlement and of Hellenistic city walls remains. It was reoccupied during the Middle Ages by refugees from the north who gave it the name of their former village.
Askelon
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city of the Philistines on the coast of Palestine near Gaza. Under Roman levels are Philistine deposits and there is a destruction level, the work of the Peoples of the Sea c 1200 BC, separating these levels from the underlying Late Bronze Age of the Canaanites.
askos
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 earthenware pitcher. Askos were popular in the Aegean from the Early Helladic to the Classical period.
Asmar, Tell
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.
aspartic acid racemization
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method for determining the absolute age of bone tissue by discovering the process of cumulative change in the form of amino acids, beginning at the death of an organism.
aspect
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A characteristic or component that constitutes one of the traits of a culture or community. The term also describes a group of components that display a great many of the specific elements (traits) of a culture.
Aspero
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Late Preceramic site on the north-central coast of Peru, dating to 4360-3950 BP. It is one of the largest Preceramic settlements known in the Andes and it had a complex social hierarchy. Six platform mounds and other structures include rooms with artifacts, textiles, plant material, clay figurines, and feathers.
Asprochaliko
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Asprochalico
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large Palaeolithic rock shelter near Ioánnina, in Epirus, northwest Greece. There are Mousterian phases, an earlier one with carefully retouched tools and use of the Levallois technique, and a later phase with small tools. The Upper Palaeolithic levels of backed blades include one radiocarbon-dated to c 26,000 BC (24,000 ? 1000 BC). In the final stage (11,7000 ? 260 BC), geometric microliths and microburins appeared alongside the backed blades. Occupation ended around 9000 BC.
ass
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: The wild ass was distributed widely in North Africa and Asia. In Asia, it was domesticated as a draft animal c 3000 BC. The modern donkey derives from an animal of Ethiopia and the Sudan, which the Egyptians imported from the 2nd millennium on. The earliest date of these for the African ass is an Egyptian tomb relief of 1650 BC. Remaining populations can be found in Iran (called the onager), northwest India (called the ghorkar), and Mongolia (called the kiang). Asiatic wild asses as a group may also be called onagers, kemiones, or half-asses. Artistic representation of the domestication of asses has been found, but little osteological evidence. The ass arrived in Europe during medieval times. The domestic ass, or donkey, may be hybridized with the horse: a male ass crossed with a female horse produces a mule, and a female ass crossed with a male horse produces a hinny and both hybrids are sterile.
assemblage
CATEGORY: artifact; term
DEFINITION: A group of objects of different or similar types found in close association 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 archaeological context, 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.
assertive style
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any style with only vague associations with social identity, such as a tendency to wear certain types of clothing or jewelry.
assessment
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archaeological assessment
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An aspect of cultural resource management in which the surface of a project area is systematically covered by pedestrian survey in order to locate, document, and evaluate archaeological materials therein.
assimilation
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: In a sociocultural system, the integration of cultural traits from previously distinct cultural groups to the culture, ethnic identity, and language of the dominant cultural group.
association
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: associated
CATEGORY: term; technique
DEFINITION: The co-occurrence of two or more objects sharing the same general location and stratigraphic level and that are thought to have been deposited at approximately the same time (being in or on the same matrix). Objects are said to be in association with each other when they are found together in a context which suggests simultaneous deposition. Associations between objects are the basis for relative dating or chronology and the concept of cross-dating as well as in interpretation -- cultural connections, original function, etc. Pottery and flint tools associated in a closed context would be grounds for linking them into an assemblage, possibly making the full material culture of a group available. The association of undated objects with artifacts of known date allows the one to be dated by the other. When two or more objects are found together and it can be proved that they were deposited together, they are said to be in genuine or closed association. Examples of closed associations are those within a single interment grave, the material within a destruction level, or a hoard. An open association is one in which this can only be assumed, not proved. Artifacts may be found next to each other and still not be associated; one of the artifacts may be intrusive.
Assur
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ashur
CATEGORY: deity; site
DEFINITION: A solar deity which was the chief god of the city of Assur and the kingdom of Assyria. With the latter's conquests, Assur assumed leadership of the Assyrian pantheon and supremacy over the other gods of Mesopotamia. The deity was conceived in anthropomorphic terms. The image of the deity was fed and clothed and was responsible for fertility and security, and represented as a winged sun-disc. It is also the name of the ancient religious capital of the Assyrian empire in northern Mesopotamia, on the bank of the River Tigris at modern Qalaat-Shergat, which was a great trading center and the burial place of the kings even after the government moved to Nineveh. First recorded in the 3rd millennium BC as a frontier post of the empire of Akkad, it then became an independent city-state and finally the capital of Assyria. After Assyria's collapse in 614 BC it failed to survive but was briefly revived under the Parthians. Areas of the palaces, temples, walls, and town have been cleared, and a sondage pit was cut beneath the Temple of Ishtar (pre-Sargonid) to reveal the 3rd and early 2nd millennium levels (the first use of this technique in Mesopotamian excavation). Sumerian statues were found -- among the earliest evidence of Sumerian contact outside the southern plain. For over 2000 years successive kings built and rebuilt the fortifications, temple, and palace complexes: inscriptions associated with these monuments have helped in the construction of the chronology of the site. Three large ziggurats dominated the city with the largest being 60 m square (completed by Shamsi Adad I c 1800 bc). It was originally dedicated to Enlil, but later to Assur; the dedication of the other temples also changed through time. Representations on cylinder seals suggest that many buildings might have had parapets and towers. Assurnasirpal II (883-859 BC) moved the capital to Calah and by 614 BC the city of Assur had fallen to the Median (Medes) army.
Assyria
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.
Assyrian
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: One of the two main dialects of ancient Mesopotamia, used in the north. A Semitic language 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 Assyrian cuneiform 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).
Assyriology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Assyriological adj., Assyriologist n.
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The study of the history, language, and antiquities of ancient Assyria and Babylonia in northern Mesopotamia, principally through cuneiform lists. Assyriologists have reconstructed sequences for Assyria through limmu (eponym) lists found by excavators.
Astarte
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Asherah, Ashtoreth, Ashtart
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: The goddess of the ancient Near East that was the chief deity of many important sites and the fertility goddess of the Phoenicians and the Canaanites. She is sometimes equated with Egyptian Isis, Babylonian Ishtar, Carthaginian Tanit, and Greek Aphrodite, Cybele, and Hera. She originated in Syria as a war goddess, probably introduced into Egypt in the 18th Dynasty (1550-1295 BC). Astarte was usually portrayed as a naked woman on horseback wearing a headdress or bull horns.
astrolabe
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An instrument, usually consisting of a disc and pointer, formerly used to make astronomical measurements, especially of the altitudes of celestial bodies and as an aid in navigation.
astronomy
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: Most ancient civilizations studied the skies for astronomical knowledge. Ancient astronomy has been studied by archaeologists in prehistoric Europe through monuments and in Central America through inscriptions and documents. Studies of prehistoric astronomy in Europe have concentrated on the megalithic monuments and stone circles, which have been proven to incorporate alignments of the sun, moon, and brighter stars -- especially significant points in their cycles. Solar alignments occur at New Grange and Stonehenge, lunar orientations at the Recumbent Stone Circles of Aberdeenshire and the Carnac stones in Brittany. Many theories are discussed as to the accuracy of measurements and the degree of astronomical understanding achieved by these early societies. The ability to predict astronomical events would have enhanced political power, which is something suggested in Mesoamerica. The ability to predict events by the governing elite class increased their credibility as able rulers. The Mesoamerican people put great emphasis on the calendar and astronomy and were able to make extremely accurate measurements of the solar year, the appearance of eclipses, and the phases of the Moon. Buildings seen as observatories occur at Chichen Itza and at Palenque, and the Dresden codex is a detailed collection of calculations tracing the eclipses of the Moon and Sun and the cycles of Venus and possibly Mars and Jupiter. The Maya were even aware of the impreciseness of the 365-day year in their Calendar Round and added a correction factor to account for the quarter-day per year discrepancy. The cycle of the Moon, in comparison, was calculated with amazing accuracy (29.5302 days compared to the actual figure of 29.5306). The cycle of Venus (calculated at 583.92) was also pinpointed as accurately as measurements taken by modern astronomical methods. The ancient astronomers' awareness of long-term astronomical phenomena was astonishing.
Asturian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A macrolithic industry of the Mesolithic in northern Spain, discovered from shell mounds at cave mouths. It followed the Azilian and is characterized by a long pointed unifacial quartzite pick. It dates to the 9th and 8th millennia BP.
Asuka
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 Asuka culture refers to early Buddhist art and architecture in the Northern Wei style. In chronology, the Asuka period 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.
Aswad, Tell
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Aceramic Neolithic site in Syria's Damascus basin, occupied c 7800-6600 BC. There is evidence of early farming (plant cultivation including barley, cereals, emmer wheat, lentils, peas, pulses).
Aswan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Swenet, (Greek) Syene, Assuan, Assouan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city in Upper Egypt, on the first cataract of the Nile, where the Aswan High Dam has been erected. The ancient site included important antiquities such as the temples (Abusimbel's), the rock-cut tombs of Qubbet el-Hawa, and the island of Elephantine (modern Jazirat Aswan) have been rescued from flooding by international groups who also explored those structures which could not be saved. There are also local quarries on the eastern bank on the Nile which supplied granite for many ancient Egyptian monuments and which are still in operation. Aswan was the southern frontier of pharaonic Egypt. Aswan later served as a frontier garrison post for the Romans, Turks, and British.
Asyut
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Djawty, Lycopolis, Syut, Asiut, Assiout
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Capital of the Asyut muhafazah (governorate) and the largest settlement of Upper Egypt, midway between Cairo and Aswan on the west bank of the Nile. It was a center of worship for Wepwawet, the jackal-headed god. In the Middle Kingdom, it was the capital of the 17th nome (province) of Upper Egypt. It was commercially important as a terminus of caravan routes across the deserts. In Hellenistic times it was known as Lycopolis (Wolf City") referring to the worship of the jackal-headed god."
Aszód
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic site (4th millennium BC) in the Zagyva Valley, 30 km east of Budapest, Hungary. There are remains of a settlement with 40 rectangular houses containing rich assemblages and a cemetery with rows of graves. There are varying degrees of wealth in the grave goods. Aszód is a rare example of a site east of the Danube River with a western Hungarian material culture.
Ataki I
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic site on the Dnestr River in the Ukraine with four occupation levels dating as far back as 15-16,000 BP.
Atchana, Tell
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 Akkadian cuneiform. The tablets describe trading with cities such as Ugarit and the Hittite capital Hattusas, 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.
Aten
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aton, Yati
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: The deity represented in the form of a sun disk and introduced as the sole gold by the heretic pharaoh, Akhenaten (Amenophis IV, 1353-1336 BC) during the 18th Dynasty of Egypt, c 1350 BC. Akhenaten built the city of Akhetaton (now Tell el-Amarna) and established a temple at Karnak dedicated to Aten's worship. The sun god was depicted as the solar disk with rays terminating in human hands.
Aterian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stone tool culture of the Middle and Late Palaeolithic, widespread in the late Pleistocene in northern Africa. Centered on the Atlas Mountains, but with extensions into Libya and deep into the Sahara, the Aterian people were among the first to use the bow and arrow. It appears to have developed, perhaps initially in the Maghreb of Algeria and Morocco, from the local Mousterian tradition. Aterian assemblages, named after Bir el Ater in Tunisia, are marked by the presence of varied flake tools, many of which possess a marked tang. Some tools (such as side scrapers and Levallois flakes) resemble Mousterian types, but the tanged points and bifacially worked leaf-shaped points appear distinctively Aterian. The leaf-shaped blades, however, have been likened to Solutrean blades and it has often been suggested that the Aterians may have entered the Iberian Peninsula during Solutrean times. The date at which the Aterian first appeared is not well attested, but may have been c 80,000 BC. The Aterian occupation came to an end c 35,000 BC as the Sahara became drier and unsuitable for human settlement.
Athabascan
CATEGORY: culture; language
DEFINITION: Native Americans who speak languages of the Athabascan or Dene language family. The Northern variety is in Alaska and the Yukon; the southern variety, including the Apache and Navajo, are in the U.S. Southwest. The groups diverged around 500 AD.
Athenian pottery
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.
Athens
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 classical period. 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 Phoenician alphabet 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.
Athribis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tell Atrib
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An important Egyptian city in the Nile delta with, to this point, only the remains of a Greco-Roman settlement.
Atlantean column
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A carved human figured serving as a decorative or supporting column
Atlantic Bronze Age
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: carp's tongue sword complex
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A late Bronze Age metalworking industry which developed on the west coast of France (Brittany to Gironde) c 1000-500 BC and spread to southern England and Iberia. The unifying factor of these areas was very active trading along the Atlantic seaways. It is known from a large number of hoards with typical products being the carp's tongue sword, end-winged ax, hog-backed razor, and bugle-shaped object of uncertain function. The tradition flourished west of the area dominated by the central European Urnfield cultures.
Atlantic period
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.
Atlantis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Atalantis, Atlantica
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An earthly paradise described by Plato in two of his dialogues, Timaeus" and "Critias". In "Timaeus" quoting Athenian lawgiver Solon Plato describes a circular island that developed a high level of civilization but which degenerated and sank into the sea (due to earthquakes) as punishment. Atlantis was a rich island whose powerful princes conquered many Mediterranean lands until they were finally defeated by the Athenians and their allies. It was described as existing 9000 years before Solon's birth -- an unlikely dating. Though its location is unknown it is supposed to have existed between Africa and the New World (west of the Straits of Gibraltar) and larger than Asia Minor and Libya combined. Some have suggested that it was a vanished Minoan civilization or ancient Thera which was destroyed c 1470 BC. Many other interpretations have been offered including that Plato's Atlantis is a philosophical abstraction. In the Critias Plato supplied a history of the ideal commonwealth of the Atlantians."
atlas
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.
atlatl
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: atl-atl, spear thrower
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A New World version of a spear-throwing device, used by the Aztecs and other peoples of the Americas. It consisted of a wooden shaft used to propel a spear or dart and it functioned like an extension of the arm, providing more thrusting leverage. Atlatl weights are objects of stone fastened to the throwing stick for added weight. These may be perforated so that the stick passes through the artifact, or they may be grooved for lashing to the stick. In western North America it was the main hunting weapon from about 6500 BC till 500 AD.
atlatl or atl-atl
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: spear thrower
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A New World version of a spear-throwing device, used by the Aztecs and other peoples of the Americas. It consisted of a wooden shaft used to propel a spear or dart and it functioned like an extension of the arm, providing more thrusting leverage. Atlatl weights are objects of stone fastened to the throwing stick for added weight. These may be perforated so that the stick passes through the artifact, or they may be grooved for lashing to the stick. In western North America it was the main hunting weapon from about 6500 BC till 500 AD.
atlatl weight
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Drilled or grooved stone or shell that was used to weight the atlatl
Atlitian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic assemblage named for the type site, Atlit, in the Mount Carmel region of Israel. There are several layers with Aurignacian-like assemblages and this culture followed the Antelian (formerly Middle Aurignacian). It was among the assemblages that preceded various Mesolithic developments in the Middle East.
atomic absorption spectrometry
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: AAS
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of analysis used to determine the chemical composition of metal artifacts -- especially copper -- and non-metallic substances such as flint. It measures energy in the form of visible light waves and is capable of measuring up to 40 different elements with an error rate of around 1 percent. It is not a completely nondestructive technique, since a small sample must be removed from the artifact (between 10 mg. and 1 g., depending on the concentration of the elements). The sample is first dissolved and then atomized in a flame. A beam of light, of carefully controlled wavelength, is shone through the flame to a detector on the other side. The light takes a defined wavelength corresponding to the emission wavelength of the chosen element. The atoms of that element in the sample therefore absorbs a proportion of the light, measured with a photomultiplier, and a comparison of the intensity of the light with that which has not gone through the sample shows the extent of the absorption, thus providing an estimate of the amount of the chosen element in the specimen. One of the method's drawbacks is that a separate measurement (and a different hollow cathode lamp) is necessary for each element, so that analysis for a large number of elements is time-consuming. There are also problems of contamination with the high dilutions necessary for elements present in high concentrations, so that the method is used for the analysis of minor elements and trace elements rather than for major elements. The results are generally more accurate than those obtained using optical emission spectrometry and the technique's use will probably increase, especially for the identification of sources of metal ores through the recognition and quantification of the trace elements.
Atranjikhera
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, with a series of occupation levels. The earliest level contained ochre-colored pottery. It was followed by a level with black and red ware, followed by a series of layers with painted gray ware, which also produced iron tools and weapons. The radiocarbon dates so far recorded are unreliable.
Atrides
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A dynasty that may have reigned in Mycenae toward the end of the 2nd millennium BC and said to dominate some other Greek principalities.
atrium
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The entrance court or hall of a Roman house with a central roof opening (compluvium) and a pool or basin (impluvium draining into a cistern) in which to collect rainwater. The term is perhaps derived from Atria, an Etruscan city of Tuscany, in which such structures were first built. The different apartments or rooms of the house surrounded this central courtyard. The atrium was a most important and interesting part of a Roman mansion. Greek influence is also visible in the use of tetrastyle (four columns to support the roof), and peristyle in some examples. The walls of the atrium would be decorated, sometimes with painted panels or family portraits, and a shrine to the Lares and Penates (household gods, also probably of Etruscan derivation) is sometimes found. Above the atrium were typically grouped the cubicula (bedrooms) and beyond lay the tablinum (family room and study), triclinium (dining room), and hortus (garden). There are many examples of atriums at Pompeii. An atriolum is a small atrium.
attapulgite
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: One of several hydrous-magnesian clays with a lathlike or fibrous particle shape, characterized by chainlike structure
Attic
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: The particular dialect of Greek spoken and written in classical Athens, especially in the 5th century BC. This dialect was originally only one of a number of differing regional forms, but has come to be regarded as standard classical Greek. Attic is the language of dialogue in tragedy. Thucydides and Plato wrote in Attic.
Attic black-figure ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of pottery manufactured in the Attica region of southern Greece from about 720 BC. Vase-painters in Athens and Corinth developed a characteristic style of decoration in which one or more friezes of human and animal figures are presented in silhouette in black against a red ground. The delineation of the figures is sometimes heightened by the use of incised lines and the addition of white or purple coloring agents. Around 530 BC the style was replaced by its inverse:
attribute
CATEGORY: technique; artifact
DEFINITION: A distinct, individual characteristic of an artifact that cannot be further subdivided and distinguishes it from another. An attribute is used to classify artifacts into groups and describes objects in terms of their physical traits such as color, design pattern, form, shape, size, style, surface texture, technology, and weight. Attribute analysis is a method of using these characteristics to statistically produce clusters of attributes in identifying classes of artifacts.
attribute clustering
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: Any grouping method based on associations between attributes and including Spaulding's configurationist typology and factor analysis.
attribute pointer
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: In relational databases, a field in a many" file that makes a relation with the key attribute of a "one" file. "Site number" could be an attribute pointer in an artifact cataloguing file and refer to the key attribute "Site number" in another file "Sites" with a unique record for each site."
attribute value
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: A particular value associated with an attribute of an item, as brown" could be the label for an attribute value of the attribute 'color'."
attritional age profile
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The distribution of ages in an animal population that is the result of selective hunting or predation. A mortality model based on the bone or tooth wear is used to figure out attritional mortality victims (those dying from natural causes or from non-human predation) or by hunting or predation of the most vulnerable individuals -- generally, the young and the old.
attritional bone profile
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The plotting of the age and sex of animal bones, which suggests that younger and old members of herds were killed, as well as scavenging or selective hunting by humans or other predators.
Atum
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tem, Tum (means the all")"
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: A creator god and solar deity of Heliopolis. Atum's myth merged with that of the sun god Ra (Re), to form the god Ra-Atum (or Re-Atum). Atum came into being before heaven and earth were separated, rising up from Nun (the waters of chaos) to form the Primeval Mound. He was identified with the setting sun and was shown as an aged figure who had to be regenerated during the night, to appear as Khepri at dawn and as Re at the sun's zenith. Atum was often identified with snakes and eels, typical primeval beings.
Atwater, Caleb (1778-1867)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: An American archaeological pioneer with his work on the mounds of the Midwest.
Au Lac
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Au-lac
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A kingdom in northern Vietnam, founded by a warlord, Thuc Phan, who combined Van Lang, a state he conquered and united it with his kingdom in 258 BC, and called the new state Au Lac -- which he then ruled under the name An Duong. Au Lac existed only until 207 BC when it was incorporated by a former Chinese general, Trieu Da, into the kingdom of Nam Viet. The end of Au Lac marks the end of legendary history and the beginning of Vietnamese history, as recorded in Chinese historical annals.
Aubrey, John (1626-97)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: An antiquarian and writer who studied and wrote detailed accounts of the monuments at Avebury and Stonehenge. He was the first to recognize the circle of 56 pits now known as the Aubrey holes within the bank at Stonehenge. His literary and scientific interests won him a fellowship of the Royal Society in 1663. . After his death, some of his antiquarian materials were included in The Natural History and Antiquities of . . . Surrey" (1719) and "The Natural History of Wiltshire" (1847)."
auger
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: augering (n)
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A tool used to probe into the ground and extract a small sample of a deposit without performing actual excavation. Its applications in archaeology are as a means of sampling and understanding the geological environment of a site and also for extracting peat for pollen analysis. There are various types of augers and they can be manual- or power-driven. Simple augers bring up samples on the thread of a drill bit. More elaborate ones open a chamber to collect a core after the drill has bored to an appropriate depth. Augering is generally restricted to the earliest stages of archaeological reconnaissance to determine the depth and characteristics of deposits.
Augst
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Augusta Raurica, Roman Augusta Rauricorum
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a Roman colony and frontier post founded in 44 BC in Switzerland, which flourished under Hadrian until the time of an attack by the Alamanni in 260 AD. There is no evidence of occupation before 15 BC. The site has one of the most complete Roman city layouts north of the Alps with a theater, forum, curia, basilica, theater complex, baths, and city walls. The Romans enlarged the old Celtic settlement, improved water supplies, and constructed the arenas and theaters. Villas were built, providing the bases for agricultural exploitation and for spreading of Roman influence into the surrounding countryside.
Aulnat
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An important Iron Age settlement site in Puy-de-Dome, France, dating to the 3rd century BC, with evidence of gold, silver, bronze, coral, glass, bone, and textiles. It was abandoned soon after the Roman conquest.
aumbry
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ambry, aumbrie, aumery, almery
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A recess or small cupboard in a wall, used as a repository or place for keeping things.
aureus
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A gold coin that was a unit of currency in the Roman Empire between 30 be and ad 310
Auricle
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The corners of a stem of stemmed types or the corners of the base of triangular types which are ear-like.
Auriculate
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A major projectile form which has rounded or pointed ears that project from the concave base or stem of points or blades.
Aurignacian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aurignac (adj)
CATEGORY: culture; chronology
DEFINITION: A series of Upper Palaeolithic cultures in Europe that existed from about 35,000 to 20,000 years (dates also given as 38,000-22,000 years) ago. They were characterized by their use of stone (flint) and bone tools, refinement of those tools, and the development of sculpture and cave painting. The culture is named for the type site Aurignac, in southern France, where such artifacts were discovered. In France it is stratified between the Châtelperronian and the Gravettian (and before the Solutrean and the Magdalenian), but industries of Aurignacian type are also found eastwards to the Balkans, Palestine, Iran, and Afghanistan. At Abri Pataud there is a radiocarbon date of pre-31,000 BC for the Aurignacian, but there are possibly earlier occurrences in central and southeast Europe (Istállóskö in Hungary, Bacho Kiro in Bulgaria). There is still considerable dispute about the extent to which the Aurignacian is contemporary with the cultures of the Perigordian group in southwest France. The sites are often in deep, sheltered valleys. Split-based bone points, carinates (steep-end scrapers), and Aurignac blades (with heavy marginal retouch) are typical of Aurignacian. Aurignacian is also important as the most distinctive and abundantly represented of the early Upper Palaeolithic groups.
auroch
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: The name of an extinct species of wild ox (Bos primigenius), the ancestor of present-day domestic cattle, which became extinct in the 17th century AD. It was described by Caesar as Urus and it inhabited Europe and the British Isles in ancient times and survived in most recent times in Lithuania, Poland, and Prussia. The name has often been applied erroneously to another species, the European bison, which still exists in the Lithuania forests. It was probably domesticated in some places, such as in eastern Hungary during the 4th millennium BC.
Australian Core Tool and Scraper Tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A late Pleistocene and Holocene stone tool industry of mainland Australia and Tasmania with artifacts dating from 30,000 BC (at Lake Mungo). The industry was characterized by high-domed chunky cores (called 'horsehoof cores') and steep-edge flake scrapers. The industry has close parallels in the islands of Southeast Asia.
Australian Small Tool Tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A mid-Holocene tool industry of the Australian Aborigines that appeared some 3000-4000 years ago when those peoples began to use a new ensemble of small, flaked stone tools (although adze flakes first appeared possibly 2000 years earlier). The types consisted of backed blades and flakes, unifacial and bifacial points, and small adze flakes. There are some regional distributions of tools, including Bondi points, geometric microliths, Pirri points, and Tula adzes. All except the Bondi points and geometric microliths were still in use as parts of wooden weapons and tools at the time of European contact. The industry has close parallels in the islands of Southeast Asia, especially in the microliths of southwestern Sulawesi from 4000 BC.
Australopithecus
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: australopithecine; abbreviation is A.
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A name for an early genus believed to be related to man. The species Australopithecus africanus, first known from southern and eastern Africa, was of small in size -- probably under four feet tall -- and had a brain in the same size range as the chimpanzee and gorilla, but with massive jaws and teeth. The posture and teeth settings were, however, clearly human. The main fossils from South Africa are said to be 2 1/2 to 3 million years old, but there are fossils from Laetoli near Olduvai which are around 3 3/4 to 5 million years old and are regarded as either an early form of africanus or as an ancestral species. At least one other species, Australopithecus robustus, has been included in the genus. This form was heavier and stockier with giant molar teeth but small front teeth. Fossil human remains from Olduvai and Koobi Fora in Kenya called Homo habilis are often regarded as a late form of Australopithecus africanus or an early form of Homo erectus and they date from 1 1/2 to 2 million years ago. Australopithecus went extinct about 900,000 years ago. There are at least five known species in this genus. Some fragments from Lothagam at c5.5 million years may also be Australopithecus. The word Australopithecus means southern ape" and these hominids were so named (in 1924 at Taung) because their fossils were found first in southern Africa."
Austro-Asiatic
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A family of about 150 languages which includes Vietnamese, Munda (eastern India), Mon (southwest Burma), Khmer (Kampuchea), and several minor language groups including Nicobarese, and Aslian of peninsular Malaysia. Vietnamese, Khmer, and Mon are culturally the most important of these and have the longest recorded history. Khmer is spoken primarily in Cambodia, Mon in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma). Vietnamese and Khmer, with the largest number of speakers, are the national languages, respectively, of Vietnam and Cambodia. Austro-Asiatic was once the main linguistic family of mainland Southeast Asia and eastern India, but its speakers have become geographically split into the Tibeto-Burman, Thai, and Austronesian languages.
Austronesian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Malayo-Polynesian
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: The major language family of the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific (including Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, parts of southern Vietnam, Madagascar, Melanesia (excluding much of New Guinea), Micronesia, and Polynesia). The family is divided into 1) Western Austronesian, or Indonesian, containing about 200 languages, and 2) Eastern Austronesian, or Oceanic, with about 300 languages. Proto-Austronesian probably started in southern China or Taiwan before 3000 BC. Austronesian speakers were the first humans to settle the Pacific islands beyond western Melanesia. Austronesians were the most widely spread ethno-linguistic group on earth, with the distance from Madagascar to Easter Island being 210 degrees of longitude.
authentic
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Not counterfeit or copied
authority
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Ability to persuade others, by argument or example, to accept one's decisions.
autocorrelation
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: An instance when two variables appear to be correlated, not because of any causal relationship between them, but because they are subdimensions" of some other variable."
Autun
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Augustodunum
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Augustan Roman city in central France whose remains include city walls with two Augustan gates, a theater, and a temple of Janus. It was a fortified town built for Augustus in the last decade BC as a replacement capital for the Celtic tribe of the Aedui. The city was also known as a center of learning and for its schools of rhetoric. The city was ruined when it supported Claudius II in 269 AD.
Auvernier
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Neolithic and Late Bronze Age lake dwelling on the northern edge of Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland with Cortaillod, Horgen, and Corded Ware materials as well as Hallstatt (c 1100-750 BC).
Avaris
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The capital of the Hyksos in Egypt, possibly the site of Tell Ed-Daba.
Avdeevo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic site near Kursk in Russia with a single occupation between 11,950-22,700 BP. There were pits and hearths and artifacts of shouldered points and animal and Venus figurines. Woolly mammoth dominates the large faunal assemblage.
Avebury
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Wiltshire, England, at which stands one of Britain's finest megalithic monuments (known as henges) and one of the largest ceremonial structures in Europe. It was built c 2000 BC in the Neolithic, where the ridgeways of southern England meet, a natural site for tribal gatherings. It consists of a large bank with internal ditch (1.2 km long) with four equally spaced entrances. Inside the ditch was set a circle of 98 sarsen stones, weighing as much as 40 tons each. In the center were two smaller stone circles, each c 100 meters in diameter. The northern circle contains a U-shaped setting of three large stones, and the southern inner circle once had a complex arrangement of stones at its center. The Ring Stone, a huge stone perforated by a natural hole, stood within the earthworks and main stone circle at the southern entrance. The southern entrance leads out to two parallel rows of sarsens forming an avenue 15 m wide and 2.5 km long which ends at a ritual building (the so-called Sanctuary) on Overton Hill. Traces of a second avenue remain on the opposite side of the monument. From the bottom of the ditch came sherds of Neolithic Windmill Hill, Peterborough, and Grooved Ware styles, while higher up were fragments of South British (Long Necked) Beaker and Bronze Age pottery. Burials with Beaker and Rinyo-Clacton wares have been excavated at the bases of some of the stones. Near the southern end of the Avenue was an occupation site with Neolithic and Beaker sherds. The complex geometry of the site is studied, especially the possible astronomical alignments built into it. The circles at Avebury and the wooden structure on Overton Hill were all probably built at the same time by Neolithic communities.
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."
Aveline's Hole
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave site in Somerset, England, with a Creswellian Epipalaeolithic industry and a Magdalenian-style harpoon.
Avonlea point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Early bow and arrow projectile point 100 AD-500 AD.
Awdaghast
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tegdaoust
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a trading center in southern Mauritania at the southern end of the main caravan route across the Sahara to Ghana. In the closing centuries of the 1st millennium AD, it is probably that much gold was exported northwards along this route.
awilum
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (man" in Akkadian)"
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The class of citizens in Mesopotamia who owned land in their own right and were freemen not dependent on the palace nor on the temple, according to Hammurabi's Law Code. The threefold system of the populace was divided into awilum, muskenum, and wardum. The wardum was any slave in bondage who could be bought and sold, with a possibility of regaining freedom under certain conditions as a debtor-slave. The muskenum were, under King Hammurabi at least, persons employed by the palace who could be given land but it was not their property. The classes awilum and muskenum were not mutually exclusive. Still unanswered is the question as to which segment of the population could be conscripted to the wardum.
awl
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: piercer, pricker, bodkin
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A small tool consisting of a thin, tapering, sharp-pointed blade of bone, flint, or metal used for piercing holes, making decorations, or in assisting basketweaving.
ax
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: axe
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: One of the last major categories of stone tool to be invented, around the end of the last Ice Age in the Palaeolithic. A flat, heavy cutting tool of stone or metal (bronze) in which the cutting edge is parallel to the haft and which might have the head and handle in one piece. Its main function was for woodworking (hewing, cleaving, or chopping trees) but it was also used as a weapon of war, as the battle-ax. There are many forms of ax, depending on the different materials and methods of hafting. The word ax" is now used instead of celt. "Hand-ax" is used to denote the earlier implement which was not hafted. In Mesolithic times stone axes were usually chipped from a block of flint and could be resharpened by the removal of a flake from the end. In the Neolithic axes were polished and often perforated to aid hafting. Axes are now usually iron with a steel edge or blade and fixed by means of a socket in the handle. Smaller lighter ones are called hatchets."
ax factory
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: axe factory
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: An often isolated outcrop of high-quality rock in Europe during the Neolithic period. 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.
ax trimming flake
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Characteristic waste flakes struck off in the production of axes.
ax-hammer
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: axe-hammer, axe-adze, hammer-axe
CATEGORY: artifact; lithics
DEFINITION: A tool consisting of an ax and a hammer combined, i.e. a shaft-hole ax having a hammer knob in addition. It was primarily a weapon of war, combining the functions of battle-ax and mace.
axhead
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: axehead
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The cutting or chopping part of an axe.
axhead roughout
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: axehead roughout
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An unfinished, roughly shaped axehead.
axial skeleton
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The bones of the trunk and head.
axis of detachment
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The path of the force that removed a piece from the core of a stone tool, running from the point of impact on the platform of the artifact toward the distal end
axis of flaking
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: An imaginary line drawn roughly down the middle of a lithic flake as viewed from the dorsal side and extending from the point of percussion and is parallel to the direction of striking or the line of force during striking.
axle
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A rod or spindle, either fixed or rotating, on which a wheel or group of wheels is fixed. The axle cap is Usually made of iron, this bound the end of an axle and was perforated to allow a linch pin to pass through the axle and keep the wheel in place
Axum
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Aksum
CATEGORY: culture; site
DEFINITION: A kingdom formed from at least the 1st century AD in southwestern Ethiopia which developed into an empire including northern Ethiopia, Sudan, and southern Arabia. It is also the name of a city there, in existence since the 3rd century AD which rose to be the center of the kingdom. The culture incorporated elements from pre-Axumite cultures of the area. It was the first state in eastern Africa to make gold, silver, and copper coins, which is evidence of economic prosperity from international trade (possibly of ivory). The history of Axum is reflected in the inscriptions and religious symbols on those coins, which run approximately from the 3rd-7th centuries. Axum adopted Christianity in 4th century. There is archaeological evidence for large multi-story stone buildings and a series of monolithic funerary stelae up to 33 meters high. Axum was finally conquered by the Axumites in the 4th century, though it achieved political control over parts of southern Arabia in the 6th century. Thereafter it declined and was sacked in the 10th century.
Ay (fl. 14th c BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kheperkheprure Ay
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: King of Egypt (reigned 1323-19 BC) who rose from the ranks of the civil service and the military to take the throne after the death of Tutankhamen (1333-1323 BC) and was the last king of the 18th Dynasty. Ay became King Tutankhamen's closest adviser and helped him reconcile with the priesthood of Amon, which Akhenaton had persecuted. A ring with Ay's and Tutankhamen's widow's (Ankhesenamen) names, seen in 1932 in Cairo, has been evaluated to mean that Ay became king through marriage with the heiress. Ay's original wife remained his chief queen, as depicted on his royal tomb.
Ayacucho complex
CATEGORY: culture; site
DEFINITION: A valley in southern Peru, north of the city of Ayacucho, with a series of caves -- notably Pikimachay (Flea) Cave and Jayamachay (Pepper) Cave -- which were the site of a complex of unifacial chipped tools (basalt and chert core tools, choppers, unifacial projectile points) and bone artifacts (horse, camel, giant sloth) dating between 15,000-11,000 BC. A human presence has been suggested in the Ayacucho Basin at that time, which would correspond with the first wave" of immigrants to the New World. Succeeding levels contain burins blades fishtail points and manos and metates. Gourds squash cotton lucuma and seed plants such as quinoa and amaranth were cultivated in the Ayacucho Basin before 3000 BC; corn and beans within the next millennium. There were also ground stone implements for milling seeds. It has been claimed that llamas and guinea pigs were domesticated within the complex. "
Ayampitin
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Cordoba, northwestern Argentina, which has evidence of a transition from Big Game Hunting to a more specialized hunting and gathering economy. The assemblage contains crude, large bifacial willow-leaf projectile points, lithic hunting tools, and tool-making debris in association with manos and milling stones, dating between 8,000-12,000 years ago.
Ayampitin point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Bifacially worked stone missile tips of willow-leaf outline found among archaic hunter-gatherer communities of the Peruvian highlands and coasts in 9000-7000 BC. Typical examples are 60-70mm long.
Ayia Irini
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on the island of Kea in the Aegean, occupied in the Bronze Age (2nd millennium BC). There was a fortified town with links to Minoan Crete. There are very large female terra-cotta figures in the temple.
Ayia Triadha
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Minoan palace in southern Crete, built c 2200 BC and inhabited until its destruction c 1450 BC. Connected by road to the palace at Phaestus, one room contained numerous clay tablets with Linear A inscriptions.
Ayios Epiktitos-Vrysi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Neolithic site in northern Cyprus of the late 5th millennium BC with a perimeter wall and ditch protecting semi-subterranean houses.
Aylesford
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cemetery of cremation burials of the 1st century BC discovered in the 1880s in the county of Kent, England. It was excavated by Sir Arthur Evans, who identified the grave goods as belonging to the Iron Age Belgae. It is thought to represent the arrival of Belgic peoples fleeing from Gaul in advance of Caesar's army. Aylesford and Swarling are now the type sites of that culture in southeastern England. There was urned cremation in flat graves and the use of wheel-thrown pots with pedestal bases and horizontal cordon ornament. Brooches (fibula), wooden stave-built buckets, and bronze have also been found. The culture survived for a time after the Roman conquest in 43 AD.
ayllu
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Quechua term used in Peru and Bolivia for a social and administrative unit made up of related families and owners of land cultivated in common.
Aymara
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 Aymara language 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 class stratification a powerful ruling class and chullpa burials. The peoples lived by cultivating tubers and herding alpaca and llama."
Ayutthaya
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ayut'ia, Ayuthya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Ayuthia, or Ayuthaya; Krung Kao (ancient capital")"
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A town in south-central Thailand founded c 1350 by Ramathibodi I in his attempt to unify the countries of Siam and Lopburi. It became the capital of the powerful Thai kingdom of the same name for more than 400 years until its destruction by invading Myanmar in 1767. Much architecture, art, and literature was destroyed in the sacking. The seat of government was moved south to Bangkok. Located on an island formed by the Lop Buri River at the mouth of the Pa Sak River, its hundreds of brick monuments have been recently restored
Azelik
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A series of sites in Niger which have yielded evidence of metalworking at a very early date, possibly to late 2nd millennium for copper smelting. There may have been a brief Copper Age" (as at Akjoujt) before the adoption of iron which was rare in sub-Saharan Africa."
Azilian
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 bone antler 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.
Azmak, Tell
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Asmaska Moghila
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell site in southern Bulgaria of the Neolithic and Copper Age. Several settlement horizons, building levels of early Neolithic Karanovo I culture, building levels of Karanovo V and VI cultures, and building phases of Early Bronze Age Karanovo VII culture have been unearthed. The layouts of the villages may yield architectural detail for the whole sequence.
Aztec
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 Toltec civilization 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 class system. 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.
Azykh Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Palaeolithic site in Azerbajdzhan with a unique pebble-tool industry and some faunal remains. There are upper layers with large bifaces and sidescrapers of the Acheulian, associated with Middle Pleistocene fauna. A Middle Palaeolithic / Late Pleistocene assemblage contains a Merck's rhinoceros and cave bear remains overlies Lower Palaeolithic industry remains.
B ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A range of ceramic amphorae originating at a range of source areas in the east Mediterranean. They date from the 1st to the early 7th century AD, although in Britain they date mainly to the later part of their currency. Divided into four subgroups, Bi-Biv. Bi are characteristic of sub-Roman sites in western Britain.
bâton de commandement
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A name given to perforated batons made of antler rod of the Upper Palaeolithic period in western Europe, from the Aurignacian period (30,000 years ago) through the Magdalenian. They have a hole through the thickest part of the head are usually 30 cm long, but are often broken. The perforation is smooth and round and highly decorated examples come from the Magdalenian culture. Their use is unknown.
bît hilani
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bit hilani
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: An architectural type describing a pillared porch, usually of wood. A bit hilani is a wooden-pillared portico or 1-3 columns at the top of a short flight of steps at the entry to reception suites. At one end of the portico there was a staircase to an upper story, leading to a reception or throne room. There was usually an adjoining staircase to the roof and a varying number of retiring rooms. It was a standard palace unit, first found at the Syrian site of Tell Atchana with a date of mid-2nd millennium BC. It was adopted by the Syro-Hittites and Assyrians. Another fine example of bit hilani is the Kaparu Palace at Tall Halaf.
ba
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: In ancient Egyptian religion, one of the principal aspects of the personality -- the soul -- along with ka and akh. The ba, which was freed from the body at death, stood for the mobility of the soul in the underworld and its ability to return to earth. It was often represented as a bird or human-headed bird. Graves were often provided with narrow passages for visitation by the ba.
Ba and Shu
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: also Pa and Ch'u; Pa-Shu
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Ancient kingdoms ruling the area of modern Szechwan. Pa came into being in the 11th century BC and established relations with Shu in the 5th century BC. Shortly before 316 BC, the state was conquered by the Ch'in and incorporated into the Ch'in empire. In the middle of the 3rd century BC, the Pa region became part of the kingdom of Shu and was totally independent of north and central China.. Ba and Shu cultural remains are similar, especially the boat-coffin burials on river terraces and tanged willow-leaf bronze swords. The central region of Szechwan is still sometimes known as the Pa. region.
Baal
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (lord" or "owner")"
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: A god worshipped in many ancient Middle Eastern places and the most important deity of the Canaanites. He was first mentioned in inscriptions of the Middle Bronze Age, middle of the 2nd millennium BC, and was depicted as a young armed warrior with bull's horns coming from his helmet. He was the fertility deity and also the lord of life and of rain and dew. Baal was also worshipped by the Phoenicians and at Carthage. An important temple dedicated to Baal has been excavated at Ugarit, which is where the first tablets bearing his name were discovered.
Baalbek
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ba'labakk (Arabic), Heliopolis (Greek)
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Important town and agricultural center in Lebanon and the site of the magnificent ruins of a Roman town. First knowledge of Baalbek was the time of the Greek conquest of Syria (332 BC). After the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC), the region fell to the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt, under which the town was called Heliopolis, probably after its Egyptian namesake. It achieved importance in late Hellenistic and Roman times, especially as a holy city. Among the ruins are the Temples of Jupiter and Bacchus. In 200 BC, it was taken by the Seleucids' Antiochus the Great and it was a Seleucid possession until the dynasty's fall in 64 BC, when it was again under Roman control. Baalbek has been an Arab city since 637 AD.
Babadag
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A tell site and culture of the Late Bronze Age, located in Rumania. Several occupation levels have been identified, all of which are associated with rich assemblages of bones, bronze tools carbonized cereals, iron tools, and pottery.
Babadan A
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Palaeolithic site in Japan dating between 50,000-70,000 bp. The lithic culture includes choppers.
Babylon
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.
Babylonia
CATEGORY: site; culture; language
DEFINITION: An ancient region occupying southern Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (southern Iraq from Baghdad to the Persian Gulf), whose capital was Babylon for many centuries. The term Babylonia also refers to the culture that developed in the area from its original settlement c 4000 BC and their language of cuneiform script. Before Babylon's rise to political prominence (c 1850 BC), the area was divided into Sumer (in the southeast; the world's earliest civilization) and Akkad (in the northwest) during the third millennium BC. The region one of the richest agricultural areas of the ancient world.
Bacho Kiro
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave in central Bulgaria with Mousterian levels and Upper Palaeolithic levels -- some with Aurignacian features. The earliest Upper Palaeolithic levels seem to be c 43,000 BC.
bacini
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Pottery vessels ranging in date from the 11th-15th centuries and found in northern Italy, especially in medieval churches. They were placed in walls of churches, over church doorways, and in church towers for decorative purposes. These Italian vessels were imported from the Byzantine and Arabic world but later Italian maiolicas were made as bacini. Bacini were probably also used in southern Italian, Greek, and western European churches. Some were painted and incised; some were monochromic, others had fantastic designs.
backed blade
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: In stone toolmaking, a small blade with one edge blunted by further chipping along one edge. This retouching technique was used so that it could be fitted snugly into a haft, to provide a finger-rest, or so that it could be held in the hand without cutting the fingers.
backed bladelet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A small stone blade with one edge blunted.
backed flake
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A purposely created flake tool which is usually a decortication flake that retains a piece of the cortex on one side and a sharp edge on the other.
backfill
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: backfill (v.), back-filling (n.); backdirt
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Excavated earth put to one side at an archaeological site, which is later used to refill the excavation. The purpose of backfilling may be to prevent erosion or vandalizing.
backing
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A type of steep retouch probably used to dull the edge of a flake, making it suitable for hafting or handling with fingers; common on the edge opposite the cutting edge of a knife.
backplate
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Plate armor protecting the back; worn as part of a cuirass
backstrap
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A simple loom known in pre-Columbian America and in Asia and still used in western Mexico, Guatemala, and other places in Central America. A continuous warp thread passes between two horizontal poles, one attached to a support and the other to a seated weaver, who adjusts the tension by moving forwards or backwards. The Navajo Indians wove blankets on a two-bar loom for centuries. Throughout the Caroline Islands (except Palau), strips of banana and hibiscus fiber are woven on backstrap looms.
Bacsonian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An early Holocene stone tool industry (c 8000-4000 BC) of Indochina (esp. northern Vietnam). It is often regarded as a variant of the Hoabinhian industry of Southeast Asia. The Bacsonian industry is characterized by edge-ground pebble tools, ground-stone axes and adzes, and some sites have cord- or basket-marked pottery.
Bactria
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).
Bactrian Bronze Age
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture of northwest Afghanistan with range of pottery, seals, metal work, ornamented stone vessels, stone statuettes, etc. It was identified from materials looted from graves and appeared in Baluchistan and the Iranian plateau as far west as Susa.
Badari, el-
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Badari, al-
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An area of Upper Egypt between Matmar and Qau where a Predynastic culture existed. Numerous cemeteries (Mostagedda, Deir Tasa and the cemetery of el-Badari) and a settlement site at Hammamia have been found.
Badarian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Upper Egyptian, Predynastic culture of the later 5th millennium BC, named for the type site of el-Badari, on the east bank of the Nile River. It extended over much of Middle Egypt also. Excavations during the 1920s revealed settlements and cemeteries dating to about 4000 BC (Neolithic). Their fine pottery, black-topped brown ware (later red), was very thin-walled, well-baked, and often decorated with a burnished ripple. This effect was apparently produced by firing it inverted to prevent the air from circulating inside and over the upper rim, keeping these areas black whereas the base and lower wall externally were oxidized to brown or a good red color. Other remains include combs and spoons of ivory, slate palettes, female figurines; and copper, shell, and stone beads. Badarian materials have also been found at Jazirat Armant, al-Hammamiyah, Hierakonpolis (modern Kawm al-Ahmar), al-Matmar, and Tall al-Kawm al-Kabir. Flinders Petrie and other found large numbers of graves with artifacts in 1893-1894 and divided it into two phases: Naqada Culture I and Naqada Culture II.
Baden
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Baden-Pécel; Ossarn or Pecel culture; Channeled Ware or Radial-decorated pottery culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A third millennium Copper Age culture over much of central Europe (the Carpathian basin: northern Yugoslavia, all of Hungary, most of Czechoslovakia, southern Poland, and parts of Austria and Germany). Ancient Baden was occupied by Celts and then by Germanic peoples and was conquered by Rome in the 1st century AD. It was a successor to the Lengyel culture. They produced metal tools including ax-hammers and torcs of twisted copper wire. The pottery was plain and dark, but some have channeled decoration and handles of Ansa Lunata type. The horse was domesticated and carts mounted on four solid disk-wheels were used. Baden had contacts with the Early Bronze Age cultures of the Aegean. It was named for the town of Baden, near Vienna. A radiocarbon chronology has divided the Baden culture into three phases: Early (2750-2450 BC), Classic (2600-2250 BC), and Late (2400-2200 BC). The most complete sequences are in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Baden was remarkable at the time because it had a highly dispersed settlement pattern and a central cemetery pattern.
Bader, Otto Nikolaevich (1903-1980)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A Russian archaeologist who worked on sites from the Palaeolithic to the Iron Age, including Kapovaya Cave and Sungir.
badge
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A distinguishing emblem or mark, often worn to signify membership, achievement, employment etc.
badge of office
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: badge of identity
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Clothing, crowns, tattoos, head deformation, social attitudes, or even language that become established to set certain individuals apart from others in society.
Badorf ware
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 Carolingian period 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.
bag
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flexible container with an opening at one end.
bag wear
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The damage that can occur to artifacts and ecofacts during excavation, transportation, and cataloging.
Baghdad
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The present-day capital of Iraq, a site 330 miles northwest of the Persian Gulf at the intersection of historic trade routes (Khorasn Road, part of the Silk Route) which was the foremost city of ancient Mesopotamia. Archaeological evidence shows that the site of Baghdad was occupied by various peoples long before the Arab conquest of Mesopotamia in 637 AD, and several ancient empires had capitals there. The true founding of the city dates from 762 when the Abbasids moved the Islamic capital there. It was the Islamic capital from the 8th-13th centuries. Abbassid Baghdad is buried beneath the modern city. There was a palace, a congregational mosque, ministries and barracks, surrounded by walls and a moat. In the late 8th and early 9th centuries, Baghdad was large and at its height economically; it was considered the richest city in the world. The caliph abandoned Baghdad in favor of Samarra from 836-892. The city was burnt by the Mongols in 1258, rebuilt and sacked by Timur in 1400. The glory of Baghdad is written about in The Thousand and One Nights"."
Bahía
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A phase in Ecuador's culture, dating c 500 BC - 500 AD that was discovered on La Plata Island (Manabi). Large pyramidal platform mounds, helmeted figurines, spouted jars, and incised pottery have been found and evidence of polychrome painting and metallurgy. Houses with saddle roofs (low, downward-curving roof ridges), pottery head/neck rests, figurines with one leg crossed over the other, Pan pipes graduated towards the center and ear plugs shaped like golf tees were unique to the culture -- but they have parallels in southeast Asia. It has been suggested that they were introduced into Ecuador by voyagers from across the Pacific. Particularly elaborate anthropomorphic vessels give information on dress and ornamentation (nose discs and tusk-like pendants). Bahia was a well-developed socio-political and religious unit. The La Plata Island site was probably a ceremonial center as there is little evidence of daily living. Unfortunately, many sites have already been lost to modern development.
Bahariya Oasis
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).
Bahrain
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 'Dilmun period': a walled town at Qala'at al-Bahrain and a complex temple building at Barbar. Among the finds of this period are circular steatite stamp 'Persian Gulf' seals, related to Indus Valley seals, but probably made locally.
Baikal Neolithic
CATEGORY: chronology; culture
DEFINITION: The Neolithic period of the Lake Baikal region in eastern Siberia. Stratified sites in the area show a long, gradual move from the Palaeolithic to Neolithic stage, 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-fishing culture (except in southern Siberia around the Aral Sea) with a microlithic flint industry with polished-stone blade tools together with antler bone and ivory artifacts; pointed- or round-based pottery and the bow and arrow. Points and scrapers made on flakes of Mousterian aspect and pebble tools showing a survival of the ancient chopper-chopping tool tradition of eastern Asia have also been found. There was a woodworking and quartzite industry and some cattle breeding. The first bronzes of the region are related to the Shang period 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."
Baile Herculane
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large cave site in Rumania where flint implements from the Paleolithic Period (about 2,500,000 years ago) and Neolithic objects were found. There is important Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and Copper Age stratigraphy comprising three main occupation horizons: Upper Palaeolithic levels corresponding to the Würm II phase and defined by a quartzite industry with end scrapers; a late Mesolithic level with microlithic flints, crude quartzite tools, and Danube fish bones; and levels of Late Copper Age occupation.
bajo
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: A Spanish term for a broad, flat, clay-lined depression in the Maya lowlands that fills with water during rainy season
Baker's Hole, Northfleet
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Lower Palaeolithic site in Kent, England. It was a factory producing Levallois flakes.
Bakong
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The earliest surviving temple mountain in southeast Angkor, Cambodia, the first Cambodian temple to be built primarily of stone (sandstone) rather than brick. It was built by king Indravarman I (reigned 877-c 890 AD) and was probably finished in 881. The central tower of the pyramidal structure in 34 meters high. At the summit of the central shrine was a linga, the phallic emblem sacred to Shiva. Around the base of the terraced pyramid stood eight large shrines inside the main enclosure, with a series of moats, causeways, and auxiliary sculptures guarding the approaches to the exterior. Bakong became the model for many larger royal temples at Angkor. These served as monuments to the greatness of their patrons and, subsequently, as their tombs.
baktun
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A unit in the Classic Maya long count equaling 144,000 days or about 400 years.
Bakun, Tall-e
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bakun, Tall-I
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A prehistoric tell site near Persepolis in south-central Iran, occupied continuous from c 4200 to c 3000 BC. The site, the oldest yet discovered in that area of Iran, was first excavated in 1928. It consisted of 12 mud-brick buildings with 1-7 rooms each. Bakun was occupied by an agricultural community that made fine painted pottery related to Susa A wares. Vessels included conical bowls and goblets with a large variety of geometric patterns and animal motifs. Other finds include flint implements, stamp and button seals, vessels of calcite and many animal and human figurines. The pottery is especially important for the study of early Iranian art.
Balakot
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement site on the coast west of Karachi, Pakistan, dating to the 4th millennium BC. The Balakotian ceramic was followed by Harappan levels. Resources were fish, cattle, sheep, and goats.
balance
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An apparatus for weighing, usually consists of a beam on a pivot with a means of supporting the object to be weighed on one side and weights on the other
Balanovo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cemetery site in south-central Russia dating to the early 2nd millennium BC near several short-lived settlement sites confined largely to the main river valleys. The regional culture made Corded Ware. The cemeteries mainly used flat inhumation rites, including double burials and some rich graves with copper battle-axes. Corded beakers, stone battle-axes, and fired clay model wheels are characteristic finds.
Balawat
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tell Balawat
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of ancient Imgur-Enlil, east of Mosul in northern Iraq. Excavators have found the palace of Shalmaneser II and a pair of great bronze gates (now in the British Museum). These huge wooden gates were part of a set of three with evidence of the campaigns of Assurnasirpal II and Shalmaneser III. They were decorated with horizontal bands of metal 11 inches high, each modeled by a repoussé process, with a double register of narrative scenes. The bronze doors from the Assyrian town portray the course of Shalmaneser's campaigns and undertakings in rows of pictures. Balawat was the country retreat of the Assyrian kings in the first half of the 9th century BC.
Balearic Islands
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.
Bali
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An island of Indonesia east of Java. The earliest inscriptions date from the end of the 9th and the 10th centuries, where Buddhism and Shaivite Hinduism have been practiced since the 7th century.
balk
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: baulk
CATEGORY: term; technique
DEFINITION: A strip (usu. 10-25 centimeters) of unexcavated earth left in place between excavated units, pits, or trenches for the purpose of revealing the stratigraphy of an excavation for as long as possible. The balk provides a constant reference to the original pre-excavation level of the site, and also carries all sections along or across the site. In an excavation carried out according to the grid method, 25% of the site may consist of balks. Balks may also serve to facilitate access to different areas of the excavation.
balk excavation method
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The excavation of an area of a site leaving vertical pillars or walls in place, thus allowing better correlation between excavations with predefined strata.
Balkh
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Vazirabad, Bactra
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A village in northern Afghanistan that was formerly Bactra, the capital of ancient Bactria. A settlement existed at the site as early as 500 BC and it was associated with Zoroaster until captured by Alexander the Great in c 329 BC. It was then made the capital of the Greek satrapy of Bactria, but in succeeding centuries fell to various nomadic invaders, including the Turks and Kushans, until it was decisively taken by the Arabs in the 8th century. Balkh then became the capital of Khorasan. Under the Abbasids and Samanids, it was a capital and a center of learning and known as the Mother of Cities". Balkh was completely destroyed by the Mongols under Genghis Khan in 1220. It lay in ruins until its capture by Timur in the 15th century. The alleged discovery of the tomb of 'Ali the Prophet Muhammad's son-in-law in neighboring Mazar-e Sharif (1480) once again reduced Balkh to insignificance. Balkh was incorporated into Afghanistan in 1850. Balkh was a caravan city on the Silk Route and a major outpost of Buddhism. Very little is known about the pre-Islamic city."
ball
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: game ball
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A round object used in games.
ball clay
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ball-clay
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A fine-textured, highly plastic sedimentary clay, usually composed of the mineral kaolinite, typically containing considerable organic matter and firing white or cream
ball-court
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 period stone 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.
ball-game
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 period stone 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 writing dating 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.
ballista
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: balista
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An ancient heavy missile launcher designed to hurl javelins or heavy balls on the principle of a crossbow. The smaller ballista was just that -- a basic, large crossbow fastened to a mount. It was also used to hurl iron shafts, Greek fire, heavy darts, etc. during sieges. The huge, complicated Roman ballista, however, was powered by torsion derived from two thick skeins of twisted cords through which were thrust two separate arms joined at their ends by the cord that propelled the missile. The largest ballistas were quite accurate in hurling 60-pound weights up to about 500 yards. The catapult was yet another machine used for firing bolts and other arrow-like missiles. The two terms are often used interchangeably.
balneum
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A small Roman bathhouse that may be attached to a private house.
Balof Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock shelter in New Ireland, Oceania, dating to c 5000 BC with a preceramic industry of obsidian and bone points. The site has one of the earliest dates for human settlement in Oceania east of New Guinea.
baluster jug
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: General term for a style of tall medieval jug used in Europe whose height is about three times its diameter.
balustrade
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A row of ornamental supports for a railing or low colonnade. The term also applies to an enclosure or parapet composed of ballisters or other materials designed to prevent falls from elevated architectural elements such as roofs and balconies.
Bambandyanalo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A hill that forms the eastern boundary of K2 in Transvaal, South Africa, where a site dates to the 11th-12th centuries AD -- the southern African Iron Age.
Bambata Cave
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 stone industry and pottery type, 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 pottery ware is known only from contexts of the 1st millennium ad in Zimbabwe. It is elaborately decorated with stamped designs.
Bambuk
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An area of alluvial gold fields in Guinea, near the headwaters of the Niger and Senegal Rivers. The gold, traded to trans-Saharan markets, contributed to the wealth of the empires of Ghana and Mali which had an intermediate position between Bambuk and the markets.
Bampur
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in southeastern Iran with a series of prehistoric mounds and a medieval fort. There is a pottery sequence from the mid-3rd millennium to c 1900 BC which exhibits links to pottery from Afghanistan and Umm an-Nar Island on the Persian Gulf.
Ban Chiang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ban Chiang Hian
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement site in northeast Thailand with burial deposits from 3600 BC-1600 AD and which was occupied from c 4500 BC. Rice was grown and bronze cast according to the earliest records. Iron and rice paddy field cultivation began in the 2nd millennium. The basal burials are associated with incised and cord-marked pottery, copper and bronze artifacts. Levels dated to the late 2nd and 1st millennia BC have produced a variety of curvilinear painted red-on-buff pottery, together with iron, and bones of water buffalo. However, there is disagreement over the dating of Ban Chiang,, especially for the bronze, iron, and painted pottery.
Ban Don Ta Phet
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A burial site near U Thong, Thailand dating to c 400-200 BC with etched stone and beads from India and other evidence of long-range trade by sea and land routes. Local wares were iron tools and cast-bronze bowls.
Ban Kao
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A burial site in western Thailand which spanned 2500-1600 BC. There is elaborately shaped unpainted pottery with a range of bone, shell, and stone artifacts.
Ban Nadi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement site near Ban Chiang, Thailand, occupied from c 1500 BC-250 AD. It was the location of tin-bronze production after 500 BC, with axes, projectile points, and jewelry. Iron was smelted and forged for bangles, hoes, knives, and spearheads fro c 100 BC to 200 AD. The bronze wares were bowls, bracelets, and lead-bronze bells.
Ban Tha Kae
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A prehistoric site in central Thailand near copper sources with a long sequence from Neolithic through Iron ages, paralleling Khorat sites.
banana
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: A giant edible fruit-bearing herb of the genus Musa that has hundreds of varieties in cultivation. Consumption of the banana is mentioned in early Greek, Latin, and Arab writings and Alexander the Great saw bananas on an expedition to India. Just after the discovery of America, the banana was brought from the Canary Islands to the New World, where it was first established in Hispaniola and soon spread to other islands and the mainland. Linguistic evidence supports the probability that bananas were being cultivated Austronesians in Southeast Asia by 3000 BC.
Banas
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A Chalcolithic culture of Rajasthan, Indian, of the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC. Archaeological evidence indicates that early humans lived along the banks of the Banas River (and its tributaries) about 100,000 years ago. The sites at Ahar, Gilund, and Kalibangan reveal Harappan (Indus) and post-Harappan culture (3rd-2nd millennium BC) with black-and-red ware, often with white painted designs, and other related red wares. Copper and bronze were very common and agriculture was attested. The Ahar occupation lasted c 2200-1500 BC. Pottery fragments at Kalibangan are carbon-dated to 2700 BC.
Banaue
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A region of rice and house terraces in northern Luzon, the Philippines, that dates to c 1000 BC. It belonged to the Ifugao people and the terraces extend in giant steps up mountain sides.
Banawali
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in northern Indiana with occupation between 2500-1500 BC. The earliest settlement had pottery similar to Early Harappan. A second phase was urban with residential blocks on regular streets and Mature Harappan-type pottery. The third phase had pottery comparable to Late Harappan wares (Bara ware, Late Siswal ware, ochre-colored pottery).
band
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term in cultural anthropology describing the simplest type of human social organization consisting of a small number of nuclear families (30-50 people) who are informally organized for subsistence and security purposes. Bands are egalitarian and based mainly on kinship and marriage and the division of labor is based on age and sex. Bands may also be integrated into a larger community, usually called a tribe. Bands exist in sparsely populated areas and use primitive technologies (and are often hunters and gatherers) -- ranging from the desert-dwelling Australian Aborigines, the Pygmies of the Congo rain forests, and the Kaska Indians of the Yukon. Bands often moved seasonally to exploit wild (undomesticated) food resources.
Bandkeramik
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Linearbandkeramik, LBK, Linienbandkeramik (German)
CATEGORY: ceramics; culture
DEFINITION: A pottery of the Danubian I culture, a Neolithic culture that existed over large areas of Europe north and west of the Danube River c 5th millennium BC. It consists of hemispherical bowls and globular jars, usually round-based and strongly suggesting copies of gourds. The name refers specifically to the standard incised linear decoration which was pairs of parallel lines forming spirals, meanders, chevrons, etc. There was farming of emmer wheat and barley and the keeping of domestic animals such as cattle. The most common stone tool was a polished stone adze. The people lived in large rectangular houses in medium-sized village communities or as small, dispersed clusters.
Bandung microliths
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A mid-Holocene obsidian industry of west Java's Bandung Plateau. It was characterized by small backed flakes and other tools.
Banjica
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement on the slopes of the Avala Hill in Belgrade, Serbia. One of the horizons has been dated to c 3760 BC. The culture is Vinca and some complete house plans have been recovered with details of food preparation, weaving,, working pits, etc. Pottery with incised signs might indicate ritual activities.
Bann flake
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bann point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A term variously used by different authorities, but at its minimum it is simply a kind of leaf-shaped flake found widely amongst the later Mesolithic assemblages of Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, one component of the BANN CULTURE. More strictly, Peter Woodman defines them as large flakes having no significant tang, with light retouch, either as elongated or laminar forms less than 3.2cm across, or as leaf-shaped forms which are broader and have only very peripheral retouch at the butt.
bannerstone
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (also birdstone, boatstone) banner stone
CATEGORY: artifact; lithics
DEFINITION: A stone atlatl -- a throwing-stick weight -- put on the shaft to give great propulsion to a thrown dart. The stone is perforated for hafting and often has a bipennate, 'butterfly', or banner-like appearance.
Banpo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of an early Yangshao Neolithic village, now a museum at Xi'an, China, in the basin of the confluence of the Yellow River (Huang Ho), the Fen Ho, and Kuei Shui. Radiocarbon dates range from c 4800-4300 BC. The settlement was about 50,000 sq. meters and included a cemetery and pottery kilns outside a ditch that surrounded the residences. Dogs, cattle, sheep, chicken and pigs were domesticated and millet, rice, kaoling, and possibly soybeans grown. The horse and silkworm may also have been raised. Unpainted pottery was cord-marked or stamped, and fine ceremonial" pottery vessels were painted in black or red with some simple geometric patterns and drawings of fish turtles deer and faces. There were some elaborately worked objects in jade as well as everyday objects made from flint bone and groundstone. Sites with similar remains have been excavated at nearby Jiangzhai Baoji Beishouling and Hua Xian Yuanjunmiao. These sites all exhibit the first evidence of food production in China."
Banshan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pan-shan
CATEGORY: site; culture; artifact
DEFINITION: Site of a Neolithic cemetery in the Tao River valley of China, the type site of the Banshan (or Pan-shan) culture which belongs to the western or Gansu branch of the Yangshao Neolithic. Banshan is best known for its painted pottery first found in a grave in 1923. Pan-shan ware is generally considered to date from between 2500-2000 BC, but it may extend as far back as 3000 BC or be as late as c 1500 BC (the Shang dynasty). Most are unglazed pottery urns or reddish brown with painted designs in black and brown, probably applied with a brush, consisting of geometric patterns or stylized figures of people, fish, or birds. The wares probably shaped on a slow or hand-turned wheel. The handles are set low on the body of the urns, and the lower part of the body is left undecorated -- much like Greek Proto-Geometric funerary ware. It was an important find because of the lack of Neolithic Chinese pottery up to 1923. A late stage of Banshan is named after the site of Machang.
Banshan pottery
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: site of a Neolithic cemetery in the Tao River valley of china, the type site of the Banshan (or Pan-shan) culture which belongs to the western or Gansu branch of the Yangshao Neolithic. Banshan is best known for its painted pottery first found in a grave in 1923. Pan-shan ware is generally considered to date from between 2500-2000 BC, but it may extend as far back as 3000 BC or be as late as c 1500 BC (the Shang dynasty). Most are unglazed pottery urns or reddish brown with painted designs in black and brown, probably applied with a brush, consisting of geometric patterns or stylized figures of people, fish, or birds. The wares probably shaped on a slow or hand-turned wheel. The handles are set low on the body of the urns, and the lower part of the body is left undecorated -- much like Greek Proto-geometric funerary ware. It was an important find because of the lack of Neolithic Chinese pottery up to 1923. A late stage of Banshan is named after the site of Machang.
Banteay Srei
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: [Khmer 'the citadel of the ladies']
CATEGORY: structure; site
DEFINITION: A small, beautiful sandstone monument in Angkor, Cambodia, built in 967. Episodic relief (relief panels illustrating various aspects of the royal mythology) sculpture first appears on Banteay Srei. The relief revolves around a series of Indian legends dealing with the cosmic mountain Meru as the source of all creation and with the divine origin of water. The chief artistic achievement of its sophisticated architecture is the way in which the spaces between the walls of the enclosures, the faces of the terraces, and the volumes of the shrine buildings are conceived and coordinated. It seems to have been influenced by the architecture of the Hindu Pallava dynasty in southeastern India.
Bantu
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A Niger-Congo language family, with approximately 60,000,000 speakers of more than 200 distinct languages, who occupy almost the entire southern projection of the African continent (roughly from the bulge downward). The classification is linguistic as the cultures of the Bantu speakers are extremely diverse. The languages are closely interrelated, indicating expansion of the population from a single source, probably the eastern Nigeria/Cameroon area. Throughout the region these first farming settlements are marked by a common pottery tradition, the 'Early Iron age' complex.
Baoji
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pao-chi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An area situated on the north bank of the Wei River, a strategic and transportation center since early times, controlling the northern end of a pass across the Tsinling Mountains. There are Neolithic remains which may be antecedents of the Banpo culture. Western Zhou bronzes have been found in the Baoji area. Tombs of the 19th century BC contained ritual vessels and the earliest known evidence of silk embroidery.
Baphuon
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Temple mountain built by the Baphuon of Udayadityavarman II (reigned 1050-66 AD) in Angkor, Cambodia, unfortunately almost completely destroyed. It was a vast sandstone monument 480 yards (440 m) long and 140 yards (130 m) wide, approached by a 200-yard (180-m) causeway raised on pillars. Its ground plan shows a fully articulated structure and it was the immediate prototype for the great Angkor Wat. It was, at the time, the most massive artificial mountain of classical Cambodia and the second largest monument after Angkor Wat.
bar and dot notation
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A Mesoamerican counting system in which a bar stands for 5 and a dot for 1. A stela at Chiapa de Corzo, dating to 36 BC, is the earliest example. The system came to use throughout Mesoamerica and is closely associated with the development of Maya and Zapotec writing.
bar chart
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A statistical method of representing numerical data in a diagram by rectangles of equal width but of varying height or length, drawn side-by-side along an axis. An assemblage of different types of flint tool can be represented with bars on the horizontal scale, and the actual numbers or percentage of the total of each type recorded on a vertical scale. The bar chart gives an immediate visual representation of the components of the assemblage. A bar chart differs from a histogram, the latter representing different measurements of the same attribute and therefore the horizontal scale is not arbitrary but ordered.
bar hammer technique
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: soft hammer technique, cylinder hammer technique
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A stone-flaking technique using a bone, antler, wood, or other relatively soft material as a hammer to remove small, flat flakes from a core during flint knapping. These flakes have a characteristically long, thin form with a diffuse bulb of percussion.
bar iron
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A piece of iron cut from blooms and lengths of bar, probably for transportation, which were then reworked.
bar-gorget
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A bar-like ornament, usually of polished stone and perforated, worn around the throat.
bar-shaped ingot
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Flat rectangular ingots of silver of Roman date
Baradostian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic flint industry following the Mousterian in northern Iraq and Iran, with the type site in a cave at Shanidar. It has radiocarbon dates c 30,000 BC and may have begun as early as 36,000 BC. The Baradostian was replaced by a local Upper Palaeolithic industry called the Zarzian (12,000-10,000 BC), probably caused by the extreme cold of the last phase of the Würm glaciation. The Zarzian marks the end of the Iranian Paleolithic sequence that preceded various Mesolithic developments in the Middle East.
baray
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Large rectangular water reservoirs of the Angkor period in Khmer.
barb
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: barbed (adj.)
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A subsidiary point facing opposite from the main point that makes an arrowhead or spear hard to remove
Barbar
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A site and culture of northern Bahrain with a sequence of square temples built on an oval platform, dating from the late 3rd to mid-2nd millennium BC. The culture had distinctive pottery and seals and included sites at Qal'at al Bahrain, Bahrain Tumulus Fields, and others from Failaka to Qatar.
barbed and tanged arrowhead
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Triangular-shaped flint arrowheads of the later Neolithic and early Bronze Age in Europe. Distinctive in having a short rectangular tang on the base opposite the point, symmetrically set either side of which is a barb. The tang was used to secure the arrow tip to its shaft and usually projects slightly below the ends of the barbs.
barbed dowel pin
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A wooden pin used to align parts, act as a pivot, or permit disassembly or separation
barbed point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A bone or antler point with rows of barbs, usually on one side only.
barbed wire
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Strong wire with barbs at regular intervals used to prevent passage
barbican
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: antemural
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: An outer fortification or defense to a city, castle, fort, or settlement, especially a double or single tower erected over a gateway or bridge. It often served as a watch tower. The term was also used for a temporary wooden tower or bulwark.
barbotine
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A primitive technique of decorating pottery by adding thick slip to the surface of a pot before firing. The term also refers to the creamy mixture of kaolin clay itself, for pottery ornamented with barbotine, and the technique of applying incrustation of this mixture to a ceramic surface for decorative effect. The slip was not applied evenly, but in order to form a thick incrustation in patches or trails. On certain types of pottery, such as the Nene Valley ware, the barbotine decoration may form a picture or a pattern. Sometimes the result is simply a roughened surface, rather like icing upon a cake. The method was particularly popular in Roman Gaul and Britain.
Barca
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Bronze Age settlement of the Otomani culture in eastern Slovakia. Twenty-three large houses with hearths have been found.
Barche di Solferino
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Bronze Age Polada culture settlement on Lake Garda, northern Italy, dating to the 2nd millennium BC. Finds include wooden vessels, wheels, and a dugout canoe -- all preserved by the mud. The houses were raised off the ground with timbers.
bark beater
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
bark shrine
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."
Barkaer
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site of the final Early Neolithic (phase C, TRB culture) in northeast Jutland, Denmark. There was a cobbled street, two timber buildings (80 m long and divided into 26 single rooms) which were at first thought to be houses but may have been burial structures. Offerings in the pits below the buildings included amber beads, copper objects, and pottery.
barley
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: A hardy group of staple cereals (genus Hordeum), cultivated in all parts of the world and since at least 7000 BC in the Near East, at least as early as wheat. The two-row barley, Hordeum distichum, was derived from the wild H. spontaneum, distributed from the Aegean to the Hindu Kush. It is recorded from Jarmo, and spread as far as Neolithic Switzerland before being replaced by the second group. Six-row barleys, H. hexastichum, arose from H. distichum in cultivation. Its distribution extended from China to Egypt and Switzerland, and it is still occasionally grown. Modern barleys are all H. tetrastichum, a development from hexastichum recorded as early as the Neolithic in Britain and Denmark. All the domestic barleys are closely related and their nomenclature is jumbled. Barley is used as food (in the US and Great Britain) and in the preparation of malt liquors and spirits.
Barlovento
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on the Gulf coast of Colombia, dating to 1500-1000 BC, with distinctive pottery with wide-lined incised curvilinear designs.
Barnenez
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Neolithic site in Brittany with radiocarbon dates in the 5th millennium BC. It consists of two long cairns, one with 11 passage graves placed side by side. They display a range of architectural techniques, using both large megalithic slabs and drystone walling; some chambers had corbelled vaults. Its dates may make it one of the earliest megalithic tombs in Europe.
barracks
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A set of buildings erected or used as dormitories for troops. The Romans set up long, narrow buildings and each held a centuria (80-100 men) and its centurion. When cavalry was in camp, each building then held two turmae or 62 men and their decurions.
Barrancoid subtradition
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Barrancas; Neo-Indian epoch
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A ceramic tradition possibly originating on the Caribbean coast of Colombia and established in the Orinoco delta by c 1000 BC. It spread down to the coast and (at turn of millennium) east and west to Guyana and Colombia. The pottery is skillfully modeled with biomorphic ornamentation and broad-lined incised patterns. The type site is Barrancas.
barrel
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A cylindrical container, often of wood, that holds liquids
barrel urn
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of large middle Bronze Age pot found within the overall repertoire of the Deverel-Rimbury ceramic tradition 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.
barrel-vault
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A semi-cylindrical roof, used especially for lids of Old Kingdom sarcophagi and which may have been used for mastaba superstructures.
barrio
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A ward, neighborhood, or quarter of a city, town, or settlement in a Spanish-speaking country or region, as in the Andes. The term may also refer to a rural settlement.
barrow
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 family burial vault 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.
barter
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A type of direct exchange of different goods, not using any sort of currency, in which each party tries to get an advantage, however slight.
Barumini
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.
bas-relief
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: low-relief, basso-relievo; low relief
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A low relief technique of sculpture or carved work in which the figures project less than half of their true proportions from the surface on which they are carved. The term also describes sculptures or carvings in low relief. Mezzo-relievo means projecting exactly half; alto-relievo more than half.
basal edge
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The proximal edge of a triangular or lanceolate projectile or stem of a stemmed type. There are eight major types of Basal Edges; Convex, Straight, Concave, Auriculate, Lobbed, Bifurcated, Fractured and Snapped.
basal grinding
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: The grinding of projectile points at their base and lower edges (so that the lashings will not be cut), a Paleo-Indian cultural practice. Basal thinning obtains the same result through the removal of small chips instead of grinding.
basal notch
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flaking technique applied to accommodate hafting which involved the flaking of notches into the basal edge of a preform.
basal stones
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The lowest stones in the continuous face of a wall.
basal thinning
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The intentional removal of small longitudinal flakes from the base of a chipped stone projectile point or knife to facilitate hafting or produced to remove small, longitudinal flakes from the basal edge of a projectile point in order that the tool or point could be more easily hafted or held.
basal-looped spearhead
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of leaf-shaped socketed spearhead of the European middle Bronze Age which has two small holes or loops at the base of the blade, one either side of the socket. It is assumed that these were to assist in securing the metal spearhead to the wooden shaft, but they might also have been used to tie streamers of some kind to the top of the spear.
basalt
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A type of very hard, dark, dense rock, igneous in origin, composed of augite or hornblende containing titaniferous magnetic iron and crystals of feldspar. It often lies in columnar strata, as at the Giant's Causeway in Ireland and Fingal's Cave in the Hebrides. It is greenish- or brownish-black and much like lava in appearance. It is also abundant in Egypt and Greece.
Basarabi culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Iron Age culture of cemeteries and settlement sites over much of Romania with its type site on the Danube. It is a local version of the Hallstatt culture, dating to 975-850 BC.
base
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: The lower portion of a vessel from the lower boundary of the body to the place that would normally be in contact with the surface on which the vessel rested, sometimes a foot or tripod.
base shapes
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: concave, disk, flat, foot-ring, knob, loop, omphalos, C279pedestal, pod, pointed, ring, round, stump, trumpet/ogee
baselard
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of dagger, usually used by civilians in the medieval period, with a H shaped hilt.
baseline
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An imaginary line or standard by which things are measured or compared; one of known measure or position used (as in surveying) to calculate or locate something.
baseward flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The removal of flakes from the distal tip at a downward angle towards the basal edge.
basilica
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: [Greek 'royal building']
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Originally a royal palace which consisted of a large oblong building or hall with double colonnades and a semicircular apse at the end, used for a court of justice and place of public assembly. It formed one side of the forum or marketplace. The term owes its original meaning to the fact that in Macedonia the kings, and in Greece the archon Basileus dispensed justice in buildings of this description. The Romans, who adopted the basilica from those countries, used it as a court, a branch of the forum, etc. The first basilica was built at Rome, 182/184 BC. One such building is the Basilica of Maxentius, which has survived in the ruins of the Forum in Rome. Its aisled-hall plan of which was adopted by many early Christian churches. The form of construction remained popular for a variety of religious purposes in Rome, Ravenna, and North Africa from the 4th-12th centuries. Constantine, the first Christian emperor, constructed several basilican churches in the 4th century, including the first St. Peters.
basin of deposition
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: The area which defines the pattern of deposition of layers, e.g. the shape of a cave, room, or pit.
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 Aztec capital 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.
basket
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A container that is usually woven and may have handles
Basket Maker
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 base camp 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.
basketry
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cordage
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A class of artifacts created by the practice of weaving containers from vegetable fibers, twigs, or leaves. It was known in Mexico before 7000 BC and in Oregon before 8000 BC and the earliest recorded examples in the Old World are from the Fayum in Egypt c 5200 BC. But taking into consideration the perishability of basketry, even these may be comparatively late in the history of the technique. Basketry is not preserved in the same quantities as pottery and stone vessels.
Basques; Basque
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Spanish Vasco, or Vascongado, Basque Euskaldunak or Euskotarak
CATEGORY: culture; language
DEFINITION: A people living in both Spain and France in areas bordering the Bay of Biscay and encompassing the western foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. The Basques are distinguished partly by an unusual pattern of blood groups, very high in the Rhesus negative factor, and by their language, quite unrelated to any other known one. They probably represent one of the people who inhabited Europe before the arrival of the Indo-Europeans. Basque is the only remnant of the languages spoken in southwestern Europe before that region was Romanized. The origin of the Basque language remains a mystery. It has been hypothesized that Basque had a genetic connection with the now-extinct Iberian and that both languages evolved from the Hamito-Semitic (Afro-Asiatic) language group -- but there is another theory that the similarities between the two arose from geographic proximity. Although Basque and Iberian are similar, the knowledge of Basque could not help decipher ancient Iberian inscriptions discovered in eastern Spain and on the Mediterranean coast of France. Basque is also linked with Caucasian, the ancient language spoken in the Caucasus region.
Basra
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arabic Al-Basrah
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The second-largest city and principal port of Iraq, which from ancient times was a center of commerce, finance, letters, poetry, and science. It was founded as a military encampment by the second caliph, 'Umar I, in 638 about 8 miles (13 km) from the modern town of az-Zubayr, southeastern Iraq. Its proximity to the Persian Gulf on the west bank of the Shatt al-Arab gives it easy access to both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and eastern frontiers. The first architecturally significant mosque in Islam was constructed there in 665. From the late 9th century Basra suffered a series of disasters and gradually declined. The Zanj (Negro slaves who worked in the fields and plantations of southern Iraq) revolted in 869-873 and sacked the city, and in 923 it was plundered by the Qarmarthians. In 1050, parts of the city were in ruins.
Basse-Yutz
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Bronze wine flagons found in Moselle, France, with coral and enamel inlay of c 400 BC. The pair is thought to have come from a Celtic chieftain's grave.
Basta, Tell
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Per-Bastet, Bubastis
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a temple and town in the eastern Nile Delta, 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 granite temple of the cat-goddess Bastet.
Bastam
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Urartian settlement in northwest Iran with a citadel of monumental buildings (palaces). Several Urartian texts and sealed bullae kept records of goods stored and traded. Urartian and post-Urartian pottery have been chronologically classified.
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.
Bat
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: A goddess of the seventh Upper Egyptian nome, usually represented by a cow's head with curling horns. The earliest depiction may have been the pair of heads at the top of the Narmer palette (c 3100 BC).
Bat Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave in southern New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns National Park, notable for its evidence of prehistoric plant cultivation. The site of Bat Cave has produced specimens of a type of primitive corn that is also known from the Flacco phase in Tamaulipas at 2000 BC but that is here in association with a Chiricahua assemblage from which Cochise materials (maize and squash) have been dated at about 1000 BC. Evidence of beans (dated to 1000-400 BC) was found in association with San Pedro materials. Early levels indicate the use of primitive pod corn (dated c 3500 BC), but a cultivated form of maize was in use by 2500 BC, the earliest date for cultigens in the American Southwest. During the summer a colony of several million bats inhabits the cave.
Batán Grande
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 Inca period. 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 prehistoric road. Excavations have revealed metal artifacts, smelting furnaces, grinding slabs, crushed slag, and pottery blowtubes.
Batalimo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in the Central African Republic with a large Neolithic tool assemblage of flakes, sidescrapers, flaked axes, and elaborately decorated pottery.
Bath
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: [Aquae Sulis]
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site of hot mineral springs (120 F [49 C]) which attracted the Romans after their invasion of Britain, who founded Bath as Aquae Sulis, dedicated to the deity Sul (Minerva). From the late 1st century AD onwards the springs became the center for a complex of lavish monumental buildings. These include the Temple of Sulis Minerva and an extensive collection of baths, the most notable being the vaulted Great Bath.
baths, Roman
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bathhouse
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The Roman baths featuring a combination of steaming, cleaning, and massage appeared wherever the Romans made conquests. In Rome itself the aqueducts fed sumptuous baths such as those of Caracalla, which covered 28 acres (11 hectares). From the 1st century BC onwards, the Romans built establishments called balneae or, later, thermae incorporating suites of rooms at different temperatures. A typical installation would include a tepidarium (warm room, probably without bath), a caldarium (hot, with plunge bath), a frigidarium (cold, also with bath), and an apodyterium (changing-room). Elaborate examples might also include a laconicum (room with dry heat), a swimming bath, an exercise area (palaestra), gardens, and a library. These complexes were important social meeting-points and were not limited to high society. Most large private houses from the 2nd century BC onwards had their own bath suite. The four large series of baths at Rome were built by Titus, Trajan, Caracalla, and Diocletian. Baths existed as early as the 4th century BC.
baton
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: billet, percussor
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A soft" hammer used to strike flakes from a stone core often made of antler bone or wood."
baton perce
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: perforated baton
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic artifact, occasionally encountered in Aurignacian, Gravettian, and Solutrean assemblages but more typically found in Magdalenian toolkits. It consists of a decorated cylinder of antler with a hole through the thickest part. The baton may be decorated with intricate carving. Its function is unknown, although it is generally interpreted as a shaft-straightener, from the use-wear in and around the hole.
batter
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: batter (v.)
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The slope of a wall, pier, terrace, or bank, from the perpendicular; a receding slope, etc. The term also refers to the slope of a structure built specifically to increase the stability of a wall; usually subterranean. This functional and decorative technique was regularly employed for the walls of mastaba tombs as well as the enclosure walls of Egyptian temples, where it was associated with pan bedding and sectional construction. Inclination is expressed as one foot horizontally per vertical unit (in feet).
battering-ram
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An ancient military engine" used for smashing in doors and battering down walls. It consisted of a beam of wood with a head of iron -- originally a ram's head but later in the form of a ram's head -- and swung by chains from an overhead scaffolding. It had a roof to protect those working it from the missiles of the garrison."
Battersea Shield
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A late Iron Age parade shield found in the River Thames at Battersea, England. It was a fine example of insular Celtic Art, with an elongated bronze body with rounded ends and decorated in relief and with red glass inlay.
battle-ax
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: battleaxe, battle-axe
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A type of prehistoric stone weapon, designed as a weapon of war. It is always of the shaft-hole variety, and frequently has a hammer, knob, or point at the opposite end from the cutting edge. In stone, they are common throughout most of Europe in the Late Neolithic and Copper Age, and often associated with corded ware and beakers. (The term Battle-Ax culture is often used as a synonym for Corded Ware or Single Grave culture.) Further east, more elaborate ones of copper or gold were more ceremonial than functional. The Vikings made iron battle-axes and used them well into the Middle Ages. The pole-ax is distinguished from the battle-ax by a spike on the back of the ax.
Battle-Ax culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Battle-Axe culture; Single-Grave culture; Single Grave culture; Battle Ax culture, Corded Ware culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A number of Late Neolithic cultural groups in Europe that appeared between 2800-2300 BC. So-named for their characteristic shaft-hole polished stone battle-ax, the people were also known for their use of horses. Their place of origin is not certain, but it was most likely east rather than west of their area of spread. It was a homogeneous culture with central European trade links and it remained in some areas through the Stone and Bronze ages. In central Europe, the Beaker Folk came into contact with the Battle-Ax culture, which was also characterized by beaker-shaped pottery (though different in detail). The two cultures gradually intermixed and later spread from central Europe to eastern England. The Battle-Ax people were also responsible for the dissemination of Indo-European speech.
battleship curve
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.
Batungan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Cave sites in the central Philippines dating to at least 900 BC and hold flaked stone tools and pottery, some decorated with stamped patterns. There is a possible connection with pottery of Taiwan, with Kalanay / Sulawesi, and with Lapita ware.
Baturong Caves
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Rock shelter sites in north Borneo dating to c 17,000-12,000 BP with a stone industry characterized by long knives. It succeeded the Tinkayu industry and preceded the Madai Caves.
Bayesian analysis
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A probability approach that compares the uncertainty of any parameter before and after observing new data. Bayes' theorem provides the basis for combining the prior information with the data to result in a posterior statement, which also has a probability function.
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."
Bayon
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An enormous sandstone monument in northwest Angkor, Cambodia, built c 1200 by the Buddhist king Jayavarman VII (1181-c 1220), the last great ruler of the Khmer empire. It was his temple-mountain and the center of his restored capital Angkor Thom. Bayon had a central circular sanctuary, situated within two bas-relief covered galleries, which vividly depicted the king's battles with Cham forces. Bayon was a distinctively Mahayana Buddhist central pyramid temple designed to serve as the primary locus of the king's royal cult and also as his own personal mausoleum.
bayonet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A blade adapted to fit the muzzle end of a rifle and used as a weapon in close combat
Beacharra ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Style of decorated middle Neolithic pottery found in western parts of Scotland and classified by Stuart Piggott into three groups: unornamented bag-shaped bowls (A); decorated carinated bowls with a rim diameter less than the diameter at the carination and incised or channeled ornament (B); and small bowls with panel ornament in fine whipped cord (C).
bead
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A small, circular, tubular, or oblong ornament with a perforated center; usually made from shell, stone, bone, or glass.
bead rim
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: beaded rim
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A rim in the form of a small, rounded molding, in section at least two-thirds of a circle. It was often used on bowls, dishes, and jars.
beadwork
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Decorative work made of beads
beaker
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bell beaker (see also funnel beaker, protruding foot beaker)
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A simple pottery drinking vessel without handles, more deep than wide, much used in prehistoric Europe. The pottery was usually red or brown burnished ware, decorated with horizontal panels of comb- or cord-impressed designs. It was distributed in Europe from Spain to Poland, and from Italy to Scotland in the years after 2500 BC and the international bell-beaker is particularly widespread, though uncommon in Britain. In Britain there are local variants, the long-necked (formerly A) beakers of eastern England and the short-necked (formerly C) beakers of Scotland. There are local developments elsewhere, such as the Veluwe beakers in Holland. Beaker vessels are commonly found in graves, which were often single inhumations under round barrows; commonly associated finds include copper or bronze daggers and ornaments, flint arrowheads, stone wristguards, and stone battle-axes. In many northern and western areas its users were the first to start copper metallurgy. The widespread distribution of beaker finds has led to the frequent identification of a Beaker people and speculations about their origins.
Beaker people
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Beaker Folk, Beaker culture; Bell Beaker culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A widespread Late Neolithic European people of the third and second millennium BC named after the characteristic bell-shaped beakers found buried with their dead. These people spread a knowledge of metalworking in central and western Europe from c 2500-2000 BC. They first came to Britain between 1900-1800 BC in successive waves, via Holland, from the Rhineland. Their origins are uncertain, with theories of them being the Battle-Ax people from south Russia and Spanish Megalithic people from Almeria or from Portugal and Hungary. They were copper and bronze workers and famous for their great collective tombs. The assemblages of grave goods -- decorated pottery, fighting equipment (arrowheads, wristguards, daggers) -- were characteristic of the people, who lived in small groups mainly by major river routes as they were known traders. Burial was by contracted inhumation in a trench, or under a round barrow, or as a secondary burial in some form of chamber tomb. Each burial was accompanied by a beaker, presumably to hold drink, probably alcoholic, for the dead man's last journey.
beans
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: The seeds or pods of certain leguminous plants of the family Fabaceae and important to man since the beginning of food production. Most modern beans are of the genus Phaseolus, different species of which occur wild in two hemispheres. Their cultivation commenced at an early date in both. These species all originated in Mexico and South America, spreading to the Old World after Columbus. The earliest finds of cultivated Phaseolus beans are from 6th millennium BC Peru and Mexico. Vicia faba, the ancestor of the broad bean, was confined to the Old World, and was already being grown in the Neolithic Near East. Later in the Neolithic, the species appeared in Spain, Portugal, and eastern Europe. During the Bronze Age, the field bean grew in southern and central Europe, and by the Iron Age it reached Britain.
bear
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 dog family 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 Quaternary period. One very large variant evolved in Europe, the 'Cave Bear', whose fossils are quite common in Quaternary cave deposits.
bearings
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A direction or relative position; a horizontal direction expressed in degrees east or west of a true or magnetic north or south direction.
beater
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: In music, a wooden or metal object used to provide a rhythm by striking another object; otherwise, A general tool used to beat objects with.
beating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hammer-and-anvil technique, paddling
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A technique to thin and even out the walls of coil- or slab-built vessels after they have partially hardened to leather" hardness to improve the bonding between coils or add surface texture. One holds an anvil or fist inside the vessel while the outside is struck repeatedly with a paddle which can be wrapped with cord or fabric to add texture to the vessel surface."
Beazley, Sir John Davidson (1885-1970)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A British antiquarian who identified much Athenian pottery by the names of the craftsmen who made them.
Bede the Venerable, Saint (672/3-735 AD)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Baeda, Beda
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Anglo-Saxon theologian, historian, and chronologist who is known for his prolific writings, including Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum" ("Ecclesiastical History of the English People") an important source for the history of the conversion to Christianity of the Anglo-Saxon tribes. Divided into five books it recorded (in Latin) events in Britain from the raids by Julius Caesar (55-54 BC) to the arrival in Kent (AD 597) of St. Augustine. For his sources Bede claimed the authority of ancient letters the "traditions of our forefathers and his own knowledge of contemporary events.
bedrock feature
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A feature constructed into bedrock that does not fit any other feature type.
bedrock mortar
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A deep basin set in granite or other large rock outcroppings, formed by the grinding or crushing of foods with stone. A flat or shallow surface of this same type is called a bedrock grinding slick.
Bedsa
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock-cut Buddhist temple in Deccan, India that is dated 1st century BC. Its interior is elaborately decorated and the pillars have vase-shaped bases and bell-shaped capitals surmounted by sculpted human and animal groups. In front of the temple is a facade and a large entrance with decorated pillars.
Beersheba
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 ring road 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).
Begram
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bagram; Kapisa
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in eastern Afghanistan north of Kabul which has been identified as Kapisa, the capital of several Indo-Greek rulers of the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC and the Kushan summer capital from the 1st century BC to 3rd century AD. It was important for its placement on the caravan route between India and the West. Excavations have yielded fragmentary ivory furniture, pre-Islamic footstools of Indian origin (both c 1st c AD), as well as painted glass from Alexandria; plaster matrices, bronzes, porphyries, and alabasters from Rome; carved ivories from India; and lacquers from China. The Persian Sasanians established control over parts of Afghanistan, including Begram, in AD 241.
behavioral archaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The study of the relationship between material culture and human behavior and the impact of humans and nature on material culture by interpreting its original use.
behavioral processes
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Human activities, including acquisition, manufacture, use, and deposition behavior, that produce tangible archaeological remains.
behaviorally modern human
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: BMH
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The group of humans who had the capabilities and showed the range of behavior of modern humans, including the ability to use symbolic behavior.
behaviorist theory
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any theory that suggests that the archaeological record is really a snapshot of ancient behavior.
Behbet el-Hagar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Per-hebyt, Iseum
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A town in the northern central Nile Delta 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 granite temple of Isis.
Beidha
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bayda', Al-, Beida
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in south-central Yemen near Petra that was first occupied in the Early Natufian and Aceramic Neolithic. It is situated on a high plateau and, until the unification of the two Yemen states in 1990, was part of North Yemen (San'a'), though it lay near the disputed frontier with South Yemen. At first it was a semi-permanent camp which lived off goat and ibex. Beidha was reoccupied c 7000 BC by a Pre-Pottery Neolithic A [PPNA} group, who lived in a planned community of roughly circular semi-subterranean houses. They domesticated goats and cultivated emmer, wheat, and barley. There was a succeeding PPNB phase in which the buildings changed to complexes of large rectangular rooms, each with small workshops attached and with plastered floors and walls. Burials without skulls were found and there was also a separate ritual area away from the village. Finds from the site include materials from great distances, including obsidian from Anatolia and cowries and mother-of-pearl from the Red Sea.
Beikthano
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Buddhist religious and settlement site in central Burma of the early-to-mid 1st millennium AD.
Beit el-Wali
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock-cut temple on the west bank of the Nile (Lower Nubia), which was dedicated to Amun-Ra and built during the reign of Rameses II (1279-1213 BC).
Beit Mersim, Tell
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Debir, Kirjath-Sepher (biblical), Lo-Debar, Tall Bayt Mirsham
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell in the low hill country southwest of Hebron, on the west bank of the Jordan in Palestine. It was a fortified town of biblical times and William F. Albright uncovered successive occupation layers from the 3rd millennium BC (end of Early Bronze Age) to the Babylonian destruction of c 588 BC. It was a small walled town and its finds have helped Albright establish a chronology of the Levant from 2300-588 BC through the detailed analysis of Palestinian pottery. Excavations showed that the Canaanite town of the 14th-13th century had been destroyed by the Israelites toward the end of the 13th century and that the town was finished off by the Babylonians.
Bel'kachi I
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement site on the Aldan River in central Siberia, occupied during the Neolithic (c 4th millennium BC). Finds include the earliest date for pottery in Siberia, for a hand-molded, sand-tempered ware decorated with net or mat impressions. There was a succeeding phase, often known as the Bel'kachinsk culture (3rd millennium BC), which had distinctive pottery style, decorated with impressions from a cord-wrapped paddle. In that area during the Late Neolithic (2nd millennium BC), check-stamped ware, made by beating with a grooved paddle, appeared. Changes in stone and bone tools occurred during the development of the Neolithic, but throughout the economic basis remained hunting and fishing.
Belbasi
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A cave on the southern coast of Anatolia which gave its name to a late Palaeolithic culture. The tool kit includes tanged arrowheads, triangular points, and obliquely truncated blades. There are rock engravings in shelters such as Beldibi, the only known cave art in western Asia.
Belgae
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.
Bell Beaker
CATEGORY: ceramics; culture
DEFINITION: A type of pottery vessel found all over western and central Europe from the final Neolithic or Chalcolithic, c 2500-1800 BC. The culture's name derives from the characteristic pottery which looks like an inverted bell with globular body and flaring rim. The beakers were valuable and highly decorated. They are often associated with special artifacts in grave assemblages, including polished stone wristguards, V-perforated buttons, and copper-tanged daggers.
bell glass
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A bell-shaped glass cover used, especially formerly, as a cloche
bell-shaped cist
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A large pit whose greatest diameter is substantially larger than the diameter of its opening. A storage function is implied.
bellarmine
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A capacious round-bellied jug or pitcher bearing a grotesque human mask. Originally created in the Netherlands as a burlesque likeness of Cardinal Bellarmine, the idea spread widely and the term later became applied to any jug bearing a human mask.
Bellows Beach
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A coastal occupation site on Oahu, Hawaii, which has produced some of the earliest occupation dates (600-1000 AD) of the island group. The assemblage is of Early Eastern Polynesian type: shell fishhooks, stone adzes, and bones of dog, pig, and rat.
Belzoni, Giovanni (1778-1823)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Italian excavator of Egyptian sites, who is known as a picturesque and unscrupulous collector of Egyptian antiques as well as a pioneer in Egyptology. Belzoni sought antiquities both for himself and for the British Consul-General on behalf of the British Museum, whose collection he enhanced enormously. His discoveries were numerous, ranging from at Thebes, the colossal sculpture of the head of Ramses II (the Young Memnon"); in the nearby Valley of the Tombs of Kings the tomb of Seti I and the aragonite sarcophagus (for the Sir John Soane's Museum London). Though he managed to take an obelisk from the Nile island of Philae (Jazirat Filah) near Aswan it was taken from him at gunpoint by agents working for French interests. He explored Elephantine (Jazirat Aswan) and the temple of Edfu (Idfu) cleared the entrance to the great temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel was first to penetrate the pyramid of Khafre at Giza and identified the ruins of the city of Berenice on the Red Sea. His methods were unnecessarily destructive by modern archaeological standards. He died in western Africa as he began a journey to Timbuktu. An account of his adventures was published in the year of his death "Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries within the Pyramids Temples Tombs and Excavations in Egypt and Nubia" (2 vol. 1820)."
bench
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: wave-cut platform
CATEGORY: geography; geology
DEFINITION: An eroded terrace with an alluvial cut surface, on bedrock in a valley. The term also refers to an eroded landform with a wave-cut surface in coastal areas and in wave-swept sea cliffs (also called wave-cut platform).
bench surface
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: The surface of a wide ledge in a pit structure or kiva that usually extends around at least three-fourths of the circumference of the structure and is often divided by pilasters.
benchmark
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A reasonably permanent, fixed point of reference, especially a point of known position and elevation used in mapping.
Benfica
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Angola with many shell middens, stone artifact assemblages, and Early Iron Age pottery dated to the 2nd century AD.
Benghazi/Banghazi
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ancient Euesperides; later Berenice; Italian Bengasi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Seaport city of northeastern Libya, the de jur capital, which was founded by the Greeks of Cyrenaica as Hesperides (Euesperides) in the 6th century BC. It was replaced in the mid-3rd century by a new city, named Berenice by the Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy III in honor of his wife. It continued in occupation until the 10th or 11th century ad and was ultimately replaced by the city of Benghazi, remaining a small town until it was extensively developed during the Italian occupation of Libya (1912-42). Excavations offer evidence of Classical and Hellenistic levels and the refurbishing of the enclosing walls during Justinian's time (reigned 527-565 AD).
Beni Hassan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bani Hasan, Beni Hasan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Middle Kingdom archaeological site, on the eastern bank of the Nile, Egypt, about 150 miles south of Cairo. The site is known for its rock-cut tombs of the 11th- and 12th-dynasty (2125-1795 BC) officials of the 16th Upper Egyptian (Oryx) nome, or province. Some of the 39 tombs are painted with scenes of daily life and important biographical texts. The governors of the nome, whose capital was Menat Khufu, ancestral home of the 4th-dynasty pharaohs, administered the eastern desert. The tomb of one, Khnumhotep II, contains a scene showing Semitic Bedouin merchants in richly colored garments entering Egypt. A rock-cut shrine of Pakhet, known as Speos Artemidos, built by Queen Hatshepsut and Thutmose III of the 18th dynasty, lies one mile north, in an ancient quarry, with a smaller shrine of Alexander II nearby. There are some small tombs dating back to the 6th Dynasty (2345-2181 BC).
Bennett, Wendell Clark (1905-1953)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: American archaeologist who excavated many important sites in Peru from the 1920s-1950s. His studies of Peruvian ceramics produced many of the early sequences on the Peruvian coast and the central highlands, which was considered a major breakthrough in Andean archaeology.
Benton flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: This flaking technique involved the removal of large and small percussion flakes which resulted in numerous step fractures. Pressure flaking was often used to form serrations. Oblique-transverse flaking was used to shape the blade of a few examples.
Benty Grange helmet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An Anglo-Saxon ceremonial helmet found in 1848 at a burial site in Benty Grange. Unlike the Sutton Hoo helmet, which has similarities to Swedish helmets, the Benty Grange example was undoubtedly of native workmanship. It is an elaborate object combining the pagan boar symbol with Christian crosses on the nail heads.
Berekhat Ram
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Acheulian site in Golan Heights, Israel, which yielded waste flakes, a few bifaces, Levallois flakes, and sidescrapers.
Bering Land Bridge
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The present-day floor of the Chukchi and Bering Seas, which emerged as dry land during Late Pleistocene glacial 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.
Beringia
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.
Beringian tradition
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 Holocene period (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.
Bernal Garcia, Ignacio (1910-1992)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A Mexican archaeologist known for his work at Monte Albán, Dainzü, Teotihuacán, and other Oaxacan sites.
Bernam-Sungkai
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A peninsular area of Malaysia with stone slab graves during a metal age around 300 BC.
Bersu, Gerhard (1889-1964)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A German archaeologist who emigrated to Britain in the 1930s and introduced methods such as area excavation of settlement sites, as at Little Woodbury and on the Isle of Man.
beta-ray backscattering
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A non-destructive physical method of chemical analysis which, though limited in its application, has been used successfully to determine the lead content of glass and glaze. A specimen is subjected to a beam of electrons from a weak radioactive beta source and some electrons are absorbed while others are backscattered" from the surface of the sample and can be counted with a Geiger counter. The percentage of electrons backscattered depends on the atomic number of the elements making up the surface layer of the artifact. Therefore if an element with a high atomic number is known to be present (e.g. lead) an estimate can be made of its concentration. The equipment cannot distinguish between high concentration of elements with medium atomic numbers and low concentrations of elements with high atomic numbers. The equipment cannot sense very small amounts of an element. Factors such as the thickness of a glaze affect the amount of backscattering. The technique carries advantages in its cheapness and portability of the equipment and is considered a useful technique for analyzing material like glass."
Beth-Shan
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 Chalcolithic period 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).
Bethel
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Luz, Baytin (modern)
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of the ancient city of Palestine, just north of Jerusalem, occupied before 2000 BC to the 6th century BC. Bethel was important in Old Testament times and was associated with Abraham and Jacob. Excavations have been carried out by the American School of Oriental Research and the Pittsburgh-Xenia Theological Seminary. The most important levels were of the Late Bronze Age, a particularly well-built town of the Canaanites which was violently destroyed early in the 13th century BC, probably by the Israelites. After the division of Israel, Jeroboam I (10th century BC) made Bethel the chief sanctuary of the northern kingdom (Israel), and the city was later the center for the prophetic ministry of Amos. The city apparently escaped destruction by the Assyrians at the time of the fall of Samaria (721 BC), but was occupied by Josiah of Judah (reigned c. 640-c. 609 BC).
bevel
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: beveled (adj.)
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A surface or edge which slopes away from a horizontal or vertical surface; the angle or inclination of a line or surface that meets another at any angle but 90?
Bewcastle Cross
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A runic standing cross monument in the churchyard of Bewcastle, Northumberland, northern England, dating from the late 7th or early 8th century. Although the top of the cross has been lost, the 15-foot (4.5-meter) shaft remains, with distinct panels of the figures of Christ in Majesty, St. John the Baptist, and St. John the Evangelist, while on the back there is an inhabited vinescroll. Like the Ruthwell Cross, that at Bewcastle possesses a poem inscribed in Runic script. The worn inscription suggests that the monument was a memorial to Alchfrith, son of Oswiu of Northumbria, and his wife Cyneburh (Cyniburug). It is one of the finest examples of Early Christian Northumbrian art.
Beycesultan
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 silver ring, 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 Minoan Crete. 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.
Bhaja
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock-cut cave monastery, famous for its temple with internal stupas set in a kind of sanctuary, from the 2nd-1st centuries BC. The temple is decorated with sculpture in bas-relief, which are some of the earliest Buddhist works.
Bharhut
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A village, about 100 miles southwest of Allahabad, India, famous for the ruins of a Buddhist stupa built in the time of Ashoka (c 250 BC). Originally built of brick, it was enlarged during the 2nd century BC and surrounded with a stone railing with four stone gateways (toranas) placed at four cardinal points. An inscription on these gateways assigns the work to King Dhanabhuti in the rule of the Shungas (i.e., before 72 BC). The railing is decorated with scenes from the Jataka stories. The sculptures adorning the shrine are among the earliest and finest examples of the developing style of Buddhist art in India. Discovered in 1873, the stupa's sculptural remains are now mainly preserved in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, and in the Municipal Museum (Allahabad).
Bhimbetka
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large series of Palaeolithic-to-present rock shelters with rich deposits and rock art, close to Bhopal, India. A succession of Acheulian handaxes, cleavers, and Levallois tools are preceded by Middle Palaeolithic blades, Upper Palaeolithic bladelets, and then a Mesolithic bladelet and grinding lithic assemblage, and finally by copper tools and Chalcolithic pottery. The Mesolithic industry has dates of 6000-1000 BC and the rock art is of the Mesolithic and later. The rock art is painted in a range of colors and there are human and animal figures, some in hunting, warfare, or ceremony scenes. Petroglyphs have been found in a shelter.
bias
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: Systematic overestimate or underestimate of a parameter or measurement.
biased sample
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Sampling technique in which certain units have more chance of inclusion than others.
Biblical anthropology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The study of the anthropology of the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament to learn more about the nature, diversity, and similarity of biblical peoples.
Biblical archaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The branch of historical archaeology devoted to the discovery and investigation of the places and artifacts recorded by the Bible and the study of Biblical times and documents. Biblical archaeology, culminating perhaps in the discovery of Masada, the Judaean hill fortress where the Jews made their last stand against the Romans in the revolt of AD 66-73 and that was mainly excavated in 1963, has given a new perspective to Old Testament and to studies of ancient Judaism. The value of archaeology and of topographical and linguistic studies for biblical history is well understood.
bibliotheca
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The Latin term for a library or collection of books or manuscripts. The most celebrated library of antiquity was founded by the Ptolemies at Alexandria, destroyed by the Arabs in 640 AD.
Bibracte
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 glaze pottery dating to before the Roman conquest have been found, indicating that Bibracte was a major trading and production center in the late Iron Age.
bichrome ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Pottery having a two-color design or decoration.
biconical
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A vessel is said to be biconical when the sides make a sharp, inward change of direction, as if two truncated cones were placed base to base.
biconical drilling
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A means of perforating beads or pendants for suspension. Accomplished by drilling in from both sides with a tapered drill resulting in an hour-glass-shaped hole.
biconical urn
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Style of early Bronze Age pot found widely in northwestern Europe with a deep, largely plain, outwardly flared body above which is sharp carination, usually decorated and sometimes with an applied cordon, and an inwardly angled neck. The neck is usually decorated with impressed cord designs, and the rim is typically beveled and lightly ornamented.
biface
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 Paleolithic period 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.
biface bevel
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A bevel which was formed by removing flakes from both faces of an edge.
biface bevel flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: This flaking technique involved the removal of elongate, steep, pressure or percussion flakes just opposite each other from an edge to form a biface bevel and often biface serrations.
biface serration flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: This flaking technique involved the removal of elongate, not so steep, pressure or percussion flakes just opposite each other from an edge to form biface serrations.
biface thinning flake
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A flake that has been removed from a biface through percussion as part of the reduction process. These flakes typically were removed from an unfinished biface (or blank) in order to make it thinner.
bifacial
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: On both ventral and dorsal sides
bifacial blank
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A biface in the early stages of production displaying only percussion flaking and no evidence of pressure flaking. In many cases, blanks were traded and/or transported from their area of origin and subsequently used as bifacial cores from which flake blanks were detached for production of dart or arrow points.
bifacial core
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A core that has had flakes removed from multiple faces; may be mistaken for a large biface blank.
bifacial flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The manufacture of a stone artifact by removing flakes from both faces.
bifacial foliate
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A class of artifact comprised of leaf-shaped stone tools with complete or nearly complete flaking on both sides.
bifacial retouch
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Retouch flaking that occurs on both ventral and dorsal sides of an edge.
bifacial thinning flake
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flake removed during the thinning or resharpening of bifaces. These flakes are relatively flat, have broad, shallow flake scars (produced by the detachment of previous thinning flakes from the dorsal face), and tend to exhibit a feathering out of lateral margins. The proximal end of the flake often retains the edge of the biface and, if the platform is retained, it often exhibits a low angle and evidence of crushing or grinding (i.e., platform preparation).
bifacially worked
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bifacial working (n.)
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pertaining to an artifact that has been flaked on both sides.
bifid razor
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of tool current in the middle Bronze Age of Europe, having two ovate lobes of thin metal attached to a central tang. Typically 10-15cm in length and with sharp edges to the main lobes, these tools are interpreted as razors for use in removing body hair.
bifurcate
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bifurcated base
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A point base split into double lobes with indentation similar to notches on sides
bifurcation
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: self-organization
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A theory that order can arise spontaneously when systems are pushed far from an equilibrium state. The emergence of new structure arises at bifurcation points, or thresholds of instability.
Big Game Hunting tradition
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Big Game Hunting culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Any of several ancient North American cultures based on hunting herd animals such as mammoth and bison; the first indigenous cultural complex of the continent. It may have developed from an earlier hunting culture whose people arrived in North America between 20,000-40,000 years ago in an interstadial (break) in the Wisconsin Ice Age. It is also probable that this culture derived from a migration across the Bering Land Bridge c 13,000-14,000 BC. The remains of these cultures have been found mainly in the North American Plains as well as in the eastern and southwestern regions of North America. Lanceolate projectile points, such as Clovis and Folsom, characterize the tradition. The big-game-hunting tradition began to decline or change after 8000 BC.
biga
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In Roman antiquity, a chariot drawn by two horses.
bilaterally barbed
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A projectile point or harpoon with barbs on both edges
bilaterally symmetrical
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The condition in which, when something is cut down the middle, the two halves formed are generally mirror images of each other.
billabong
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: In Australia, a branch of a river or waterhole in a watercourse, that fills when flooded during the rainy season, forming a blind channel, backwater, or stagnant pool. It dries up in the dry season.
billet
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: baton, percussor
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A soft" hammer used to strike flakes from a stone core often made of antler bone or wood."
binomial distribution
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A discrete probability distribution that models a series of n trials with only two possible (and mutually exclusive) outcomes at each trial, as with dichotomous measurements.
bioarchaeology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: A subdiscipline of biology that integrates the concepts of human biology with those of anthropological archaeology.
biocultural anthropology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: A subdiscipline of anthropology and research strategy that integrates physical anthropology and archaeology to investigate prehistoric biological systems.
biodegradation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The opposite of preservation; all organic matter is subject to biodegradation unless fossilized.
biogeography
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: A subdiscipline of biology that studies, and attempts to explain, the geographical distribution of living things, animal and vegetable.
biological anthropology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: physical anthropology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: A subfield of anthropology dealing with the issues of human evolution and variation.
biological environment
CATEGORY: flora; fauna
DEFINITION: Those elements of the habitat consisting of living organisms; the living component of the total environment.
biomass
CATEGORY: flora; fauna
DEFINITION: The total weight of the plant and animal life (organic substances and organisms) existing at a given time in a given area.
biostratigraphic units
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: Divisions of the Earth's crust defined by their fossil content.
biostratigraphy
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: In paleontology, a technique for the relative chronology of deposits based on the assumption that the set of fossils found in a deposit reflects the paleoecology of a particular time and place.
bioturbation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The alteration of a site by nonhuman biological agents, e.g. burrowing rodents.
bipedalism
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (adj. bipedal)
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Having two feet or, specifically, designating a lifeform that uses its two hind feet for walking or running. The term also describes the method of movement marked by habitual walking on two legs. Bipedalism is a fundamental feature used to define hominids.
bipolar percussion
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A type of percussion that involves the placement of raw material (usually small rounded or oval cobbles) on an anvil stone and striking it from the top.
bipolar reduction
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Producing lithic flakes and debris by placing a core on an anvil and striking it from above with a large hammer to shatter it
Bir Kiseiba
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in southern Egypt's Sahara with early ceramics and cattle bones dating to c 9500 BP.
Bir Tarfawi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A late Aterian site in the western Egyptian desert, dated to about 42,000 BC. The shores of a shallow lake were settled by hunters.
birch-bark manuscript
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: birch-bark beresty
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Early Russian letters and documents scratched onto thin pieces of birch-bark, dating to the 11th-15th centuries AD. They were first found in 1951 in Novgorod by A. Artsikhovski and form a very important source of information as no other documents earlier than the 13th century had survived because of frequent fires in the wooden cities of Old Russia. The manuscripts are quite well preserved from layers of organic materials.
birdstone
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bird-stone, bannerstone, boatstone
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A class of prehistoric stone objects of undetermined purpose, usually resembling or shaped line a bird; carved bird effigies. These polished stone weights occurred in the cultures of the Archaic tradition (8000-1000 BC) and later cultures in the Eastern Woodlands of North America. They were probably attached to throwing sticks or atlatls to add weight and leverage.
birdstone or bird-stone
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bannerstone, boatstone
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A class of prehistoric stone objects of undetermined purpose, usually resembling or shaped line a bird; carved bird effigies. These polished stone weights occurred in the cultures of the Archaic tradition (8000-1000 BC) and later cultures in the Eastern Woodlands of North America. They were probably attached to throwing sticks or atlatls to add weight and leverage.
Birrigai
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock shelter in the highlands of the Australian Capital Territory with occupation in the last glacial maximum, starting c 2100 bp.
Birsmatten
CATEGORY: culture; site
DEFINITION: A site in the Bern district of Switzerland, Basis-Grotte, that has one of the longest known sequences of Mesolithic deposits. There are several levels of Sauveterrian and Tardenoisian occupation and extensive human remains.
Bismarck Archipelago
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A series of islands off Papua New Guinea with sites of the Lapita cultural complex and Pleistocene rock shelters. Occupation goes back more than 30,000 years and obsidian was brought there 20,000 years ago. There was new fauna brought by humans in the Late Pleistocene and mid-Holocene.
bivalve
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An aquatic mollusk which has a compressed body enclosed within two hinged shells, such as an oyster, mussel, or scallop. A mollusk having two shells hinged together, as the oyster, clam, or mussel; or any animal with two halves to its shell such as an ostracode or brachiopod.
bivalve mold
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: In metalworking, a form of mold with two halves pegged together and used for casting metal objects. The mold could be made of clay, metal, or stone. The mold would be parted to release the cast object once the metal has cooled. It was a reusable mold more complicated than an open mold.
Black Death
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A particularly severe outbreak of plague which crossed Europe between 1347 and 1351 AD, probably a combination of bubonic and pneumonic plagues. It took a greater toll of life than any other known epidemic or war up to that time. A rough estimate is that 25 million people in Europe died from plague during the Black Death. The population of western Europe did not reach its pre-1348 level until the beginning of the 16th century.
Black Earth
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A distinctive area of Russia where the soil coloration resulted from intensive settlement activity and major deposits of iron ore.
Black-and-red ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: black and red ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Any Indian pottery with black rims and interior and red on the outside, due to firing in the inverted position, which was made beginning in the Iron Age. Characteristic forms include shallow dishes and deeper bowls. It first appeared on late sites of the Indus civilization and was a standard feature of the Banas culture. This ware has been found throughout much of the Indian peninsula with dates of the later 2nd and early 1st millennium BC. In the first millennium it became widespread in association with iron and megalithic monuments. In the Ganges Valley it post-dates ochre-colored pottery and generally precedes painted gray ware.
black-burnished ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: black burnished ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A standard range of culinary vessel-forms manufactured in two different fabrics and widely imitated. BB1 (black-burnished ware Category 1), was black, gritty, hand-made, mainly in Dorset, and widely distributed from c. AD 120 to the late 4th century AD. BB2 (black-burnished ware Category 2) was greyer and finer, with a silvery finish, wheel-thrown in the Thames Estuary area, and widely exported from c. AD 140 to the mid 3rd century AD.
black-figure
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: black-figure ware; black-figured (adj.)
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of Greek pottery that originated in Corinth c 700 BC and was popular until red-figure pottery, its inverse, began c 530 BC. This style consisted of pottery with one or more bands of human and animal figures are silhouetted in black against the tan or red ground. The red color is probably taken when the pot is fired. The delineation of the figures was often heightened by the use of incised lines and the addition of white or purple coloring. The figures and ornamentation were drawn on the natural clay surface of a vase in glossy black pigment; the finishing details were incised into the black. The first significant use of the black-figure technique was on the Proto- Corinthian style pottery developed in Corinth in the first half of the 7th century BC. The Corinthian painter's primary ornamental device was the animal frieze. The Athenians, who began to use the technique at the end of the 7th century BC, retained the Corinthian use of animal friezes for decoration until c 550 BC, when the great Attic painters developed narrative scene decoration and perfected the black-figure style. There were also studios producing black-figure ware in Sparta and eastern Greece.
black-glazed
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: black-glossed
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A style of pottery decoration 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.
Blackwater Draw
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: The deeply stratified type site for the Clovis point and Llano complex, 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.
blade
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 Palaeolithic period. 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."
blade core
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flint or stone core 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.
blade tool
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A tool made from a single thin narrow flake detached from a core. The controlled flaking technique is characteristic of the Upper Palaeolithic but it is also known from earlier cultures.
bladelet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A shorter narrower blade
blank
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A partly finished stone artifact that has been worked roughly into a shape but which must be further chip to a suitable size and form to become a tool. This is an intermediate manufacturing stage in the production of stone tools, where the tools are given the rough shape at a quarry or workshop and often taken elsewhere for completion. Blanks were presumably made in quantity because they were easier to carry from place to place than heavy lumps of stone.
blanket peat
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 peat bog 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.
Blattspitzen
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A category of stone artifact with complete or nearly complete flaking on both sides and points at one or both ends. They are found in some late Middle and early Upper Palaeolithic industries of central and eastern Europe.
Blegen, Carl William (1887-1971)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: An American archaeologist who worked at Troy, Korakou, Prosymna, and Pylos in Greece.
block approach
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An excavation strategy in which archaeologists open a large area of soil at one time, excavating down the whole block at once -- either by arbitrary levels or by cultural strata defined by a sounding.
block excavation method
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The excavation of an area of a site without leaving intervening walls or pillars, which exposes contiguous areas of floors better than the balk method.
block statue
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of sculpture introduced in the Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 BC), that represents the subject squatting on the ground with knees drawn up close to the body, under the chin. The arms and legs may be wholly contained within the simple cubic form, with the hands and feet protruding discretely. The 12th-dynasty block statue of Sihathor in the British Museum is the earliest dated example. The block statue of Queen Hetepheres, in the Egyptian Museum at Cairo, is also one of the earliest examples of this type.
Bluefish Caves
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 glacial period 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.
boat burial
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: boat grave
CATEGORY: term; feature
DEFINITION: A type of burial during the Late Iron Age in which a body or its cremated remains were placed in a boat, which was then covered by a mound of earth. This was a north European practice, common in Scandinavia and Britain from c 550 to 800 AD. This pagan ritual was widely adopted by the Vikings and practiced to a lesser extent by the Anglo-Saxons and Germans. In Norway alone there are 500 known boat burials, and many more from the rest of Scandinavia and other Viking colonies. To these seafaring people, ships were a means of transport, a way of life, and symbols of power and prestige. The Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf" describes the belief that the journey to the afterlife could be achieved in a vessel. In Anglo-Saxon Britain there are three 7th century examples in Suffolk including the rich burial of Sutton Hoo. The best-known after Sutton Hoo are the 9th-century barrows of Oseberg and Gokstad in Norway and the 10th-century barrow at Ladby in Denmark. Burial in churchyards became customary in the 11th century in those areas."
Boat-ax culture
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.
boat-shaped buildings
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, there is evidence of a variety of longhouse with bowed sides during the Viking period. 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.
boatmaking
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.
boatstone
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (see bannerstone, birdstone)
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A boat-shaped stone atlatl -- a throwing-stick weight -- put on the shaft to give great propulsion to a thrown dart. Unlike the bannerstone, it was apparently lashed to the stick shaft.
Bocca Quadrata
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Square Mouth
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Middle Neolithic culture of northern Italy characterized by pottery vessels with rounded bodies and square mouths, decorated with incised geometric motifs.
Bodh Gaya
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in northeast India, famous as the scene of the Buddha's enlightenment. It was there, under the bodhi (Bo) tree, that Gautama Buddha (Prince Siddhartha) became the Buddha. Archaeological remains include an Asockan pillar, erected by Emperor Asoka in 249 BC, and a railing surrounding the tree beneath which the Buddha meditated for six years before his enlightenment was erected in the 1st century BC.
body
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: fabric, paste, ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Clay or a mixture of clay and inclusions (temper) that is suitable for forming vessels or that has been fired into a vessel
body shape
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: The overall form of a ceramic object.
bog burial
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Areas where human bodies are found in peat bogs in Scandinavia and northern Europe, including more than 160 from Denmark, and which are remarkably well-preserved. The chemicals in the peat preserve the bodies, which allows archaeologists to study aspects of past life, including the soft tissues of the bodies themselves and the contents of the stomachs. Burials and ritual deposits were interred in these bogs in antiquity, especially during the Bronze and Iron ages.
bog iron
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: lake ore, limnite, marsh ore, meadow ore, morass ore, swamp ore, bog iron ore
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A workable, porous type of brown hematite (impure hydrous oxides) found in bogs (and also in marshes, swamps, peat mosses, and shallow lake beds). This deposit is formed when iron-bearing surface waters come into contact with organic material and iron oxides are precipitated through oxidation of algae, iron bacteria, or the atmosphere. It is frequently found in areas with subarctic or arctic climatic conditions.
bog oak
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: The wood of an oak tree killed by waterlogging but then preserved in a black state in the peat bog, etc., which formed as a result of the wet conditions.
bog sacrifice
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Human bodies, animals, and artifacts that were deliberately deposited in peat bogs and other watery places, most notably in Denmark, but also elsewhere in northwestern Europe.
Boghazköy
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Boghaz Keui, ancient Hattusas, Bogazkoy, Boghaz Koy
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of the Hittite capital of Hattusas, excavated by Hugo Winckler in the early 20th century and which yielded thousands of cuneiform tablets from which much of Hittite history was reconstructed. The capital is on a rock citadel near the Halys River in central Turkey and the site had been occupied since the Chalcolithic times. In c 1500 BC, it became the citadel of Hattusas. As the Hittites' power grew, so did their capital, all within a massive defensive wall of stone and mudbrick. Six gateways were decorated with impressive monumental carved reliefs, showing a warrior, lions, and sphinxes. Four temples have been excavated within the walls, each grouped around an open porticoed court. Two buildings housed the archives with over 10,000 inscribed clay tablets inscribed in cuneiform script and the Hittite language. A cemetery close to the city held large numbers of cremation burials, a surprisingly early occurrence of this rite. The city fell at the same time as the empire, c 1200 BC. Little is known of the Chalcolithic or Hittite Old Kingdom phases on the site; excavation has in the main concentrated on the monuments of the New Kingdom city.
Bohunician
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A late Middle Palaeolithic culture of Moravia, Czechoslovakia, with artifacts including sidescrapers, endscrapers, bifacial foliates, denticulates, burins, and laurel-leaf points.
Boian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Neolithic culture (c 7000-3500 BC, some say Middle Neolithic c 4200-3700 BC) in lower Danube valley of southern Romania and characterized by terrace-floodplain settlements, consisting at first of mud huts and later of fortified promontory settlements of small tells. The Boian phase was marked by the introduction of copper axes, the extension of agriculture, and the breeding of domestic animals. The distinctive Boian pottery was decorated by rippling, painting, and excised or incised linear designs with white paste. Intramural burial is most common, but occasional large inhumation cemeteries are known. By spreading northward into Transylvania and northeastward to Moldavia, the Boian culture gradually assimilated earlier cultures of those areas. Flourishing exchange networks are known to involve Prut Valley flint, Spondylus shells from the Black Sea, and copper.
bolas stone
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bolas; bola; plural bolases
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Weighted balls of stone, bone, ivory, or ceramic that are either grooved or pierced for fastening to rawhide thongs and used to hunt prey. The bolas, still found today among some of the peoples of South America and among the Eskimo, usually consists of two or more globular or pear-shaped stones attached to each other long thongs. They are whirled and thrown at running game, with the thongs wrapping themselves around the limbs of the animal or bird on contact. Bolas stones have been found in many archaeological sites throughout the world, including Africa in Middle and Upper Acheulian strata.
Bolling interstadial
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: An Interstadial of the Weischselian cold stage, dated to between 13,000-12,000 bp.
Bologna
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-type inhumation 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.
bolt
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: quarrel
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An iron arrow or missile, especially stout and short with a blunt or thickened head, discharged from a crossbow or other engine.
Bonampak
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bonompak
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A small, Late Classic Period (c 800 AD) Maya site 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.
Bone Age
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A loosely defined prehistoric period of human culture characterized by the use of implements made of bone and antler; not part of the Three Age System.
bone china
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: White porcelain containing the mineral residue of burnt bones
bone dating
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any of a serious of methods of analyzing bone samples, especially by measuring fluorine, uranium, nitrogen -- also called the FUN technique -- or by using stratigraphy. Human remains may be compared with animal bone or fossils found in the same strata. Relative dates may be obtained form time-related chemical changes which occur in bone, especially in fluorine, uranium, and nitrogen. Still, the most commonly used is radiocarbon dating because both the collagen and mineral components of bone are dateable.
bone hammer
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A bone that is used as a hammer in the removal of flakes from a core in the manufacturing of stone tools.
bone measurement
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The measurement of bones to compare size and shape between different individuals. The dimensions of skeletal structures can be taken using a variety of calipers and other measuring equipment. Multivariate analysis is one method of comparison which helps to identify and distinguish bones by species and sex and for studying the genetics of groups of animals. Much work has been done in human skull measurement to investigate genetic relationships of ancient populations.
Book of the Dead
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: The modern name given to a collection of ancient Egyptian mortuary texts made up of spells or magic formulas, placed in tombs and believed to protect and aid the deceased in the hereafter. The collection, literally titled The Chapters of Coming-Forth-by-Day received its present name from Karl Richard Lepsius, German Egyptologist who published the first collection of the texts in 1842. It was probably compiled and re-edited during the 16th century BC, and over half of the collection is comprised of the Coffin Texts dating from c 2000 BC and the Pyramid Texts dating from c 2400 BC. The Book of the Dead had numerous authors, compilers, and sources. Scribes copied the texts on rolls of papyrus, often with illustrations, and sold them to individuals for use in burials. Many copies of the book have been found in Egyptian tombs, but none contains all of the approximately 200 chapters. The choice of spells varies from copy to copy.
Boolean
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: A dichotomous record of observation such as 1/0, present/absent, male/female.
boomerang
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A curved wooden throwing stick with a bi-convex or semi-oval cross-section, distributed widely over Australia except for Tasmania, and used for hunting and warfare. The boomerang had marked regional variations in design and decoration. Returning boomerangs were used in Australia as playthings, in tournament competition, and by hunters to imitate hawks for driving flocks of game birds into nets strung from trees. The returning boomerang was developed from the nonreturning types, which swerve in flight. Boomerangs excavated from peat deposits in Wyrie Swamp, South Australia, have been dated to c 8000 BC. Boomerang-shaped, nonreturning weapons were used by the ancient Egyptians, by Indians of California and Arizona, and in southern India for killing birds, rabbits, and other animals.
Boomplaas
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave in the Folded Mountain Belt of the Cape Province, South Africa, containing a long sequence of Upper Pleistocene and Holocene deposits. The earliest occupation was probably around 80,000 years ago. There was a long 'Middle Stone Age' sequence and then occupations attributed to the Robberg, Albany, and Wilton industries.
bore sample
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: core sample
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In dendrochronology, a straw-sized core removed from the bark to the pith of a tree to note and count each tree ring.
Boreal
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.
Borg-in Nadur
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A fortified Bronze Age acropolis in southeast Malta and the name its culture on the island. The settlement was surrounded by walls of cyclopean masonry and enclosed oval huts. The discovery of a sherd of Mycenaean pottery points to long-distance trading contacts. Bronze Age tools and weapons have been found at Borg in-Nadur.
Boriskowskij, Pavel Iossifovitch (1911-1991)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A Russian archaeologist who worked at Palaeolithic sites in Amvrosievka, Bol'shaya Akkarzha, Kostenki, and Pushkari. He worked on the social aspects of the Middle/Upper Palaeolithic transition from a Marxist perspective.
Borobudur
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Barabudur
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A huge Mahayana Buddhist monument in central Java, Indonesia, northwest of Yogyakarta, constructed between about 778-850 AD under the Sailendra dynasty and Sanjaya kings. It is the largest Buddhist monument in the world. The Borobudur is in the form of a stepped pyramid, constructed of 2 million cubic feet of volcanic stone around and over a natural hill, and consists of six square and three circular superimposed terraces, crowned by a large stupa. There are 504 statues of the Buddha, 1300 reliefs, and 72 stupas on the Borobudur.
Borsippa
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Birs, Birs Nimrud
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An ancient Babylonian city southwest of Babylon, Iraq. It is the site of the highest surviving ziggurat (154 feet/47 m), built by Nebuchadrezzar (reigned 605-562 BC) and dedicated to its patron god, Nabu. Borsippa's proximity to Babylon led to its being identified with the Tower of Babel and it became an important religious center. The incomplete and now ruined ziggurat was excavated in 1902 by German archaeologist Robert Koldewey. Hammurabi (reigned 1792-50 BC) built or rebuilt the Ezida temple at Borsippa, dedicating it to Marduk. Borsippa was destroyed by the Achaemenian king Xerxes I in the early 5th century and never fully recovered.
Boscoreale
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of two villas that were suburbs of Rome, near Pompeii, with important and sumptuous artifacts and painted rooms dating c 40 BC. These include possessions of the great patrician families of Rome, such as paintings illustrating Dionysiac mysteries, jewels, and magnificent gold and silver household furnishings. The cubiculum of one villa at Boscoreale is preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of New York City and other items are kept at the Louvre. Many of the rich hoards were accidentally saved by the volcanic catastrophe of 79 AD.
boshanlu
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.
bossed bone plaque
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Objects of unknown function made from long animal bones and carved with a row of bosses -- circular, square, or oval ornamental motifs. Examples from Lerna, Troy, and Altamura date to the late 3rd millennium BC. The finest have engraved decoration also. A series from Castelluccio, Sicily, with outliers in Italy and Malta, are curved in cross-section and dated just before 2500 BC.
Bosumpra
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave site near Abetifi, Ghana, which yielded one of the first scientifically excavated assemblages of a West African Neolithic industry. Radiocarbon dating has shown that occupation began around the middle 4th millennium BC and continued for at least 3000 years. Throughout the sequence, a microlithic chipped-stone industry was associated with simple pottery and with ground-stone ax- or hoe-like implements.
botany
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The scientific study of the structure, growth, and identification of plants.
Botta, Paul-Emile (1802-70)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: French consul in Mosul, Iraq, and archaeologist whose discovery of the palace of the Assyrian king Sargon II at Dur Sharrukin in 1843 started the large-scale field archaeology of ancient Mesopotamia. He was seeking the vanished cities of Assyria, known at that time only from the accounts of ancient writers and from biblical references. Botta revealed the remains of the great palace of Sargon II (721-505 BC), with its famed winged figures, relief sculptures, and cuneiform inscriptions -- but he mistakenly thought he had found ancient Nineveh. The remains tended to disintegrate quickly after being unearthed and one shipment of antiquities was sunk in transit, but another reached Paris and the Louvre. He published Monuments of Nineveh..." in 1949-50 with beautiful illustrations by E.N. Flandin. Later Botta was devoted to deciphering cuneiform."
bottom-up strategy
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A strategy of archaeological survey in which the survey is begun at an established site and work is done outward from it, attempting to find related sites.
Bouar
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city of the Central African Republic where, about 2500 years ago, farming people set up numerous series of megalithic monuments consisting of standing stones -- which weighed several tons -- associated with tumuli. The cooperation necessary to make and position these monuments suggests that they were built by fairly large social units.
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)."
Boudicca (d. AD 60)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Boadicea
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Ancient British queen of the Iceni tribe or Norfolk who led a revolt against Roman rule in 60 AD. After suffering many cruelties to her family, herself, and her tribe at the hands of the Romans, Boudicca raised a rebellion throughout East Anglia. They burned Camulodunum (Colchester), Verulamium (St. Albans), the mart of Londinium (London), and several military posts; massacred approximately 70,000 Romans and pro-Roman Britons; and destroyed the Roman 9th Legion. The Roman governor Paulinus regained the province in a battle during which 80,000 of the rebelling tribesmen were killed and after which Boudicca took poison or died of shock.
Bouffioulx stoneware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The Bouffioulx region has been producing ceramics for almost 500 years. Many artists contributed to the revival of the Bouffioulx" genre in the first part of the 20th century when producing hand thrown stoneware art works known today as the "Grès d'art" of Bouffioulx"
boulder clay
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A clayey deposit of the Ice Age which contains boulders. Also, the clay of the Glacial or Drift period.
boundary
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A zone of vertical change from one soil horizon to another. They are described in vertical distance -- as abrupt, clear, or gradual -- and the horizontal character as being smooth, wavy, or irregular.
boundary contours
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: The surviving limits or extent of a unit of stratification, shown on plans and sections by hard lines.
boundary marker
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An indicator of the extent of an area of land.
Bouqras
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: 7th-millennium BC Pre-Pottery Neolithic village near the River Euphrates in Syria. The first occupation phase had two levels with rectangular mud-brick houses. The next four levels had more solid mud-brick houses, some with plastered floors, benches, and pillars. The economy was based on hunting of wild animals, except in the final phase when sheep and cattle were bred. Sickle blades, pounders, and querns were used for wild or cultivated plants in the first phase. Artifacts include a white ware, made of mixed lime and ash and used to cover baskets, producing watertight vessels. Obsidian occurs in large quantities, indicating extensive trade networks linking Bouqras with the source sites in Anatolia.
Boussargues
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A village site in France with pottery of the Chalcolithic Fontbouisse culture, c 2500 BC. There are apsidal (having one end rounded) houses surrounded by a wall with projecting huts or towers of dry stone.
bow and arrow
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Weapon consisting of two parts; the bow is made of a strip of flexible material, such as wood, with a cord linking the two ends of the strip to form a tension from which is propelled the arrow; the arrow is a straight shaft with a sharp point on one end and usually with feathers attached to the other end
box-and-dot-plot
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A type of graph used in Exploratory Data Analysis that displays the median and inter-quartile range in a box, with points to represent all the observations falling in the upper and lower quartiles.
Boyne
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Boyne Valley tombs
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: The site of prehistoric ritual monuments and Neolithic passage graves in the valley of the River Boyne, Ireland, dating to the 4th millennium BC. The complex includes five henges, a number of mounds, and the three great passage graves of Newgrange, Dowth, and Knowth. These megalithic tombs are set in round mounds and usually set on hilltops or grouped in cemeteries. These structures are notable for their size, their decoration, and the architectural expertise involved. The term 'Boyne culture' is sometimes used to describe the material found inside passage graves all over Ireland. Its characteristics are highly decorated Carrowkeel style of pottery, bone pins with poppy- or mushroom-shaped heads, pendants, and beads.
Brørup interstadial.
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: An interstadial of the Weichselian cold period, radiocarbon dated to between 63,000 and 61,000 bp, but it may be earlier.
bracelet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An ornamental band or chain worn on the wrist or arm
bracer
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A wristguard used in archery, fencing, and other sports
brachycephalic
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: brachycranic (antonym: dolichocephalic)
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Being short- or broad-headed, that is, having a cephalic index of 80-84.9. The maximum width of the cranium is 80% or more of the maximum length. In ethnology, this term denotes skulls of which the breadth is at least four-fifths of the length.
bracteate
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A coin, medal, dish or ornament made of thin, beaten metal -- usually gold or silver. These items were often disk-shaped -- hollow on the underside and convex on the upper.
brad
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flat nail of the same thickness that tapers in width to a point.
bradawl
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A small tool which pierces material. It has a flat cutting edge.
Bradford-on-Avon
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A parish in Wiltshire, England, that is the site of a monastery that existed in the late 7th century and the Saxon Church of St. Lawrence, dated in the early 8th century and discovered and carefully restored in 1856. St. Lawrence Church is possibly the finest and best-preserved Anglo-Saxon church in England.
Bradshaw figures
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Small, red painted figures in scenes of the Kimberley region of Western Australia, named for Joseph Bradshaw who discovered them.
Brahmagiri
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement site and cemetery dating from at least the 2nd millennium BC in southern India. Wheeler found a Chalcolithic level (c 2800-1250 BC) with abundant microliths, polished stone axes, and crude burnished gray pottery, an Iron Age level (1st millennium BC) with black-and-red ware, 300 tombs, stone circles, and ossuaries for bones, and a level from the 1st century AD with rouletted ware and traces of Roman contact. Bone points and some evidence of a stone-blade industry have also been found. There are many cattle bones, but also sheep and goats. The culture seemed to continue with little change for many centuries.
brain endocast
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: endocranial cast
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A cast of the cranial cavity (inner surface of the cranium) to produce an accurate image of and the approximate shape of the brain. These are made by pouring latex rubber into a skull. The fossil record can yield endocranial casts and, from them, possible brain volumes -- especially of early man.
Brak, Tell
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 Ubaid period 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 clay cones, 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.
Branc
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cemetery site in southeastern Czechoslovakia of the Early Bronze Age where the burials were differentiated according to sex and the orientation was reversed from contemporary sites. At Branc, 81 percent of females were on their left side and 61 percent of males on their right. These mostly simple rectangular pits, sometimes with a wooden lining, of 308 inhumation graves spanning 200-400 years of the early Unetician culture were also analyzed for their grave goods. Within the graves there was clear evidence of community differentiation, with some individuals having more elaborate grave goods than others (on the basis of the rarity of the raw materials used and the time needed to produce the goods). This suggests that there would be leading families, and that wealth and status would tend to be inherited (ascribed) and there is evidence that each member of the community was placed according to lineage, sex, and age.
Brandberg
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A mountain massif in central Namibia with Stone Age and Iron Age material, including 43,000 important cave art paintings. The White Lady of the Brandberg" romanticized by Abbé Breuil is the most celebrated."
branding iron
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A heated iron used to label, burn or mark animals, slaves, criminals etc.
brass
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: The general name for alloys of copper with zinc or tin, with the proportions about 70-90% copper and 10-30% of the other base metal. It is possible that due to difficulties in introducing the zinc ore calamine into the melt, brass appeared later in use than bronze (copper and tin) and other copper alloys. Mosaic gold, pinchbeck, prince's metal, are varieties of brass differing in the proportions of the ingredients. Corinthian brass is an alloy of gold, silver, and copper.
Brassempouy
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A series of early Upper Palaeolithic deposits in southwest France near Brassempouy, famous for carved ivories and broken statuettes of Venus" or "Lady". These statues are thought to be the work of Cro-Magnon artists."
Brauron
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The temenos of the goddess Artemis Brauronia in Attica, Greece. There are remains of a Doric temple and stoa with dining rooms.
brazier
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An open pan or ceramic vessel used for holding hot coals
brazing
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A method of joining one piece of metal to another by making both red-hot so that the metal fuses
breadfruit
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bread-fruit
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: The fruit of a tree in the South Sea islands that is about the size of a melon and whose whitish pulp (with the consistency of new bread) requires cooking before it can be eaten. The tree was probably first cultivated from the Philippines to New Guinea, and attained great economic importance in the Polynesian Islands, especially the Marquesas and Tahiti, about 1500-2000 years ago. The fruit was also dried or allowed to ferment, and could then be stored for several years in underground pits. In 1788, Captain William Bligh was attempting to take breadfruit saplings from Tahiti to the West Indies when the famous mutiny on HMS Bounty occurred.
break
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Evidence of accidental damage to a stone tool that resulted in the loss of an appreciable part of an artifact (usually the distal or proximal part) and altered its length, width, or shape
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 hieroglyphic inscription 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."
breastplate
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A piece of armor covering the chest
breccia
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A deposit of angular composite stone fragments held together by a matrix of natural cement, such as sap, lime, or a calcium-charged water. Its occurrence indicates a previous cold phase in the climate, since the rock is detached either by frost or alternating heat and cold. Many caves occupied by early man, e.g. Dordogne in southwest France, have layers of breccia crammed with bones, tools, art objects. This conglomerate used by the ancient peoples in architecture and sculpture. It is the opposite of conglomerate, in which the fragments are rounded and waterworn. Osseous or bone breccia is breccia in which fossil bones are found.
Breitenbach
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic site in eastern Germany with artifacts including endscrapers, burins, and several bone points of the Aurignacian. Faunal remains are woolly mammoth and reindeer.
Breton arrowhead
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of well-made barbed and tinged arrowhead, highly symmetrical in form, with graceful slightly concave or convex sides and flared barbs. The tang is the same length as the barbs. Characteristic of the early Bronze Age in northern France and southern Britain.
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 Aurignacian culture into its right place within the French Palaeolithic sequence and was responsible for working out the chronologies of French Upper and Middle Paleolithic periods.
bridging argument
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: In middle-range research, any logical statements linking the static archaeological record to the past dynamics that produced it. Contemporary observations, especially through ethnoarchaeology and experimental archaeology, are generally used to define these links.
briquetage
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Thick-walled very coarse ceramic material used for the manufacture of evaporation vessels in saltmaking from the mid 2nd millennium BC through to medieval times in northern Europe. The forms and fabrics of briquetage vessels are fairly distinctive and allow trade patterns and distribution networks to be established, especially for Iron Age times. Also known as very coarse pottery (VCP)
Britannia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The name given to England, Wales, and lowland Scotland by the Romans when they occupied it as a province from 43 to 410 AD. In 197 the province was divided into two, then into four parts c 300, and in 369 into five provinces.
Britannia metal
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A silvery alloy consisting of tin with about 5-15 per cent antimony and usually some copper, lead, or zinc.
British Mountain culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Palaeolithic culture of the Northwest Arctic in Yukon, near the border of Canada and Alaska. Artifacts, such as percussion flakes, share traits of European and Asian Levallois-Mousterian stone toolkits and are possibly 18,000 years old.
Broad Spectrum Revolution
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kebaran Complex, Natufian
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A theory that there was a subsistence change in western Asia to a wide range of foodstuffs, including small mammals, invertebrates, aquatic resources, and plants in the Late Pleistocene -- a prelude to the 'Neolithic revolution'.
Broadbeach
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A burial site along the coast south of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Excavations uncovered 200 burials over a span of 1300 years, with wide variations in burial practices, possibly related to age, sex and status. Red ochre was present in nearly all graves, while grave goods included bone, shell, and stone artifacts and tools.
broadsword
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A broad design of sword used for cutting and slashing.
Brommian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Allerod and Dryas culture of Denmark, southern Sweden, and northern Germany and Poland of c 10,000 BC. It resembles the Hamburgian and is characterized by the Lyngby point and Lyngby reindeer-antler ax/club.
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.
Bronze Age
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.
brown earth
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: brown forest soil, brown earths
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Brown forest soils that result from prolonged forestal conditions and which develops under mature deciduous woodland. Brown earths are thought to have covered most of the British Isles and temperate Europe under the great forests which existed during the middle of the present Interglacial. The soil type is penetrated by tree roots and actively worked by earthworms to a considerable depth. The top is well-mixed mineral material and humus. As a result of woodland cover being removed repeatedly, these soils are rare today.
brownware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A brown-glazed earthenware; also, pottery that fires to a brown or reddish color.
Brzesc Kujawski
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large settlement site in central Poland of the Lengyel culture of the early 4th millennium BC. There were about 60 trapezoidal long houses, smaller areas of one or more house clusters, and a large inhumation cemetery with double graves, animal burials, and rich copper grave goods. There were four phases of occupation.
Bubalus period
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).
Bubanj
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Bubanj-Hum
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic culture of late 4th to early 3rd millennia BC in the Morava valley of eastern Yugoslavia, close to Nis. The site, on a gravel terrace 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 Neolithic Starcevo with graphite painted ware and Vinca-like dark burnished ware; a phase of Baden pottery; and an Early Bronze Age occupation.
Bubastis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tell Basta
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Egyptian site in the southeastern Nile delta with monuments of the 22nd Dynasty.
buccal
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: Side towards the cheek, used in describing teeth
Buchau
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.
bucket-urn tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A ceramic tradition in Britain from about 5000-3000 years ago that was indigenous to Britain and identified by urn-shaped ceramics.
Buckley earthenware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: C 1720-1775, North Wales, The body of this earthenware is quite coarse because of the combination of two different types of clay in the process. The ware is made of layers of pink-firing and yellow clays. The combination of the two clays served to make the poor clays more workable. The ware is decorated with a black lead-glaze. The exterior fabric color on unglazed portions is purplish-red. The body exteriors are often heavily ribbed. When broken, the fabric interior exhibits the characteristic red and yellow layers.
bucranium
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: In Roman times, an ox skull that was carved in relief and was part of the decoration of a building.
Buda industry
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Lower Palaeolithic industry of Hungary characterized by the production of chopping tools on pebbles and flake tools.
Budakalász
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Baden culture cemetery near Budapest, Hungary, where a very early four-wheeled wagon was found in a grave.
budares
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Large ceramic griddles used to toast manioc flour in Central and South America
Buddhagupta stone
CATEGORY: artifact; language
DEFINITION: A Sanskrit language inscription of c 5th century AD in western Malaysia, due to trade by Buddhists of Southeast Asia. Related inscriptions have been found in Borneo and Brunei.
Bukhara
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Buchara, Bokhara
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city in Uzbekistan in the Bukhara oasis founded no later than the 1st century AD and an important trade and craft center before the Arab conquest in 709 AD. It was the capital of the Samanid dynasty in the 9th-10th century, and later seized by the Qarakhanids and Karakitais before falling to Genghis Khan in 1220 and to Timur (Tamerlane) in 1370. The best-known monument is the Mausoleum of Ismael the Samanid, built shortly before the ruler's death in 907. The oldest surviving mosque is the 12th-century Masjid Magoki Attari.
bulbar depression
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A depression left from the bulb of percussion when a blade or flake is struck from a core.
bulbar scar
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: The irregularly shaped scar on the bulb of percussion of a struck flint flake. It marks the place where a small piece of flint is dislodged during fracture. The bulbar surface is the surface upon which the bulb of percussion occurs. This fracture pattern is evident by a bruised striking platform at the point of impact with shock waves radiating from it and, on the resultant flake, a bulb of percussion and bulbar scar. When these features are present, it is possible to distinguish human workmanship from natural breakage caused by heat or frost.
bulbar surface
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The surface upon which the bulb of percussion occurs; another term for the entire ventral surface of an artifact
bulla
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural bullae
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A hollow lump of clay made as an Etruscan ornamental pendant or in the Near East as a container for tokens representing goods traded. A bulla was round or oval and often was decorated with filigree or granulation decorating on the edges or seal impressions. There was a removable loop from which the pendant was hung, which may also have acted as a stopper for the bulla if it contained a liquid, as perfume.
bundle burial
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A secondary burial practice in which the bones of the deceased are collected after the flesh has decayed and then are re-buried in a non-articulated pile, vessel, bundle, or other grave.
Burgaschi-See Sud
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A lake settlement site of the Neolithic Cortaillod culture in Switzerland, dated to the mid-4th millennium BC. The organic remains are well-preserved as on other Cortaillod sites. The most important hunted fauna were red deer, roe deer, aurochs, and wild boar. Domesticated cattle, sheep, goat and pig were kept. Artifacts include copper beads.
burial
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Inhumation or cremation -- the laying of a body in the ground, in a natural or artificial chamber, or in an urn after burning. In collective burial, a single chamber is used for more than one corpse. A primary burial is one for which a burial monument such as a barrow was erected. The term secondary burial is used for the practice of collecting the bones of a skeleton after the flesh has decayed, and placing them in some form of ossuary. In fractional burial, only some of the bones are so collected and interred. Archaeologists can learn a great deal about prehistoric societies by studying skeletons and the way they were buried. In some cultures, bodies were buried stretched out; in others they were placed in the ground in a fetal, or flexed position. In still other societies, the dead were exposed on platforms or in charnel houses, then when the flesh had decayed or been scavenged, the disarticulated bones were made into a bundle and buried. Sometimes bodies were cremated and the remains buried. Goods interred with a burial give many clues to the social position of the person and their culture and the study of bones can reveal sex, age, and information about nutrition and disease. The earliest deliberate burial of their dead was that of Neanderthal man of Palaeolithic times 100,000 years ago. They were buried in the cave in which the family continued to live. Food and tools were buried with them, proof of the belief in an afterlife. Neolithic man buried his dead in the long barrow, a communal tomb. Inhumation was followed by cremation in the Late Bronze Age.
burial mound
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).
Burial Mound Builders
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A term used to describe the prehistoric Native Americans who constructed the burial and temple mounds that are widespread east of the Mississippi River. It was once thought to be a distinctive group of peoples, but now the mounds are assigned to the Hopewell and Adena cultures. Burial mounds were characteristic of the Indian cultures of east-central North America from about 1000 BC to 700 AD. The most numerous and grandly conceived ones, found in the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys, were large conical or elliptical mounds surrounded by extensive earthworks.
Burial Mound Period
CATEGORY: chronology; culture
DEFINITION: The penultimate period of eastern North American prehistoric chronology, 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 Adena culture. Burial Mound II (300 BC-700 AD) is associated especially with Middle and Late Woodland groups, especially Hopewell.
burial orientation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The direction or alignment of the body at the time of burial, especially the direction toward which the head is positioned. Burial orientation may vary according to the culture involved.
burial pit
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A pit aboriginally excavated for the interment of human remains.
burial population
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A set of human burials from a limited region and time period
burial urn
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A vessel in which the cremated ashes of one or more individuals are placed.
buried soil
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.
burin
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: graver
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A specialized engraving tool with a chipped flint or stone shaft that is cut or ground diagonally downward to form a diamond-shaped point at the tip. The angle of the point affected the width and depth of the engraved lines. The shaft of the tool was fixed in a flat handle that could be held close to the working surface. A burin had a wide rounded end for bracing against the palm of the hand and the point was guided by thumb and forefinger. A blade or flake could be formed into any one of about 20 varieties of the tool. In its most characteristic form, the working tip is a narrow transverse edge formed by the intersection of two flake scars produced by striking at an angle to the main axis of the blade. Sometimes one facet is made by simply snapping the blade, or by truncating it with a steep retouch. Burins were used to carve or engrave softer materials such as antler, bone, ivory, metal, or wood. This tool was characteristic of the Upper Paleolithic (especially Magdalenian) in the Old World and of some Early Lithic and Mesolithic cultures of the New World.
burin adze
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: non-tula adze, flake scraper
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A term sometimes used by Australian archaeologists for flake scrapers, hafted for woodworking, which are not Tula adzes
burin facet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The scar formed by the detachment of a burin spall
burin spall
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A small, relatively thick flake removed from a flake or blade using a snapped termination or previous burination scar as a platform.
Burma / Myanmar
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Burma is the name of this Southeast Asian country when it was under British control; the name Myanmar was adopted in 1989 when it became an independent nation. The first human settlements in Myanmar appeared some 11,000 years ago in the middle Irrawaddy River valley. A group of people known as the Pyu, who spoke a Tibeto-Burman language, began establishing city-kingdoms in northern Myanmar between the 1st century BC and 800 AD. To the south of the Pyu were the Mon, a people speaking an Austro-Asiatic language, who established a port capital at Thaton. It is the least-populated Southeast Asian country.
burren adze
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: burin adze, non-tula adze, flake scraper
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A term sometimes used by Australian archaeologists for flake scrapers, hafted for woodworking, which are not Tula adzes
Burrill Lake
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock shelter on the southeast coast of New South Wales, Australia, with deposits dated to the Pleistocene c 18,000 BC. Stone artifacts included flake scrapers and dentated saws. Around 3000 BC, Bondi points and other tools of the Australian Small Tool Tradition appeared.
Burrup Peninsula
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rich archaeological area on the northwest coast of Western Australia with 10,000+ engravings on rocks, including geometric figures of humans and animals. Artifacts and features are quarries, shell middens, standing stones, and dry-stone walls and terraces. The site dates range from 6700-200 bp.
Burzahom
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Neolithic site in the Vale of Kashmir with phases of occupation dating from c 3050 BC to the 3rd-4th centuries AD. Deep pit dwellings are associated with ground stone axes, bone tools, and coarse gray burnished pottery. These characteristics plus the absence of blades, use of pierced rectangular knives, and association of dog skeletons with human burials, all seem to point to connections with central and northern Asia, as Mongolia, rather than with the rest of the Indian subcontinent. Hunting seems to have been the main basis of the economy. Phase II has houses of mud and mudbrick and Phase III has a group of large stones arranged in a rough semicircle.
Bush Barrow
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a rich grave under a barrow that belonged to the Wessex Culture of southern England. The single male inhumation included a bronze axe, two bronze daggers, a stone macehead.
Butana
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: Seven sites in eastern Sudan, dating to 5500-4500 BP, with ceramics and stone artifacts. The cultural group belonged to the Kassala phase.
butcher marks
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cut marks, chop marks, scrapes
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Marks made on animal bone by stone tools during butchering. These marks are used to associate humans with animal remains for a relative date. The marks are classified according to form and function as cut marks, chop marks, and scrapes.
butt beaker
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A tall beaker shaped like a butt or barrel and having a small, everted rim. The body is usually decorated with cordons, rouletting, latticing, etc. Mid 1st century BC through to 1st century AD in date. Some were made in Gallo-Belgicia, others were locally made in Britain.
button and loop fastener
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A fastener made of a metal circle connected to a metal loop fixed to an object and used to fasten to another object by means of a button or a loop. The usage of these items is unclear, could include use for animals or for dress.
Byblos
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 Neolithic period (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."
Byci Skála
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A prehistoric cave site near Brno, Czechoslovakia, with artifacts and faunal remains of the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic and the Hallstatt (Early Iron Age). There are sidescrapers and burins, numerous bronze objects, inhumation burials and cremated bones. Several burials included wagons with iron tires, likely to have been high-status people.
Bylany
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large village settlement of the Danubian culture in the loess lands of the Bohemian plain of Czechoslovakia. This large site had many phases of occupation, including by people who made stroke-ornamented pottery. There were timber-framed long houses in the three main phases of the Linear Pottery sequence. Subsistence was based on emmer wheat cultivation and cattle husbandry.
Byzantine empire
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 church state, 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.
Byzovaya
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic site in Russia, the northernmost Palaeolithic site in Europe (65?) and probably occupied before the last glacial maximum (before 25,000 bp).
C-transforms
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The movement and redistribution of material culture by human agencies.
Córdoba
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in southern Spain that was probably Carthaginian in origin and was occupied by the Romans in 152 BC. It declined under the rule of the Visigoths from the 6th to the early 8th century AD. In 711 Córdoba was captured and largely destroyed by the Muslims. Its recovered under 'Abd ar-Rahman I, a member of the Umayyad family, who made Córdoba his capital in 756. 'Abd ar-Rahman I founded the Great Mosque of Córdoba, which was later enlarged and completed about 976. The city quickly rose to become one of the finest in Europe, rivaled only by Baghdad and Constantinople. In the 10th century, one of the rulers of Cordoba built a pleasure-city outside its walls known as Medina al Zahara; this is now an archaeological site.
caatinga
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: thorn forest
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: A type of forest consisting of dry, thorny shrubs and stunted deciduous trees found in Brazil, especially in the northeast.
Caballo Muerto
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 complex structure 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.
Cabalwanian industry
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stone industry of flakes in Luzon, Philippines, thought to be early Holocene.
Cabenge
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in southwest Sulawesi with late Pliocene fauna. Stone tools are found in association with bones. Toalian tools in the area include large core tools of the chopper/chopping tool tradition.
cacao
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.
Cacaxtla
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Tlaxcala
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A group of platforms, palaces, and ceremonial buildings occupied between 400- 1100 AD in the area of modern Tlaxcala, Mexico. Some structures have well-preserved frescoes, painted murals, and plaster reliefs from the 8th and 9th centuries depicting dancers and elaborately dressed warriors, with day glyphs and numbers associated with Mexican gods such as Quetzalcóatl and Tlaloc. The style of painting shows a strong influence from both Maya and Teotihuacán art. In the pottery, Teotihuacán wares predominate, though there are also links with the Gulf Coast and the Puebla-Oaxaca.
caccabus
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of Greek or Roman pot or vessel for cooking any kind of food. It was made of bronze, silver, or earthenware, and had a variety of forms. The most common shape was like an egg with an opening at the top that was closed with a lid and the vessel rested on a trivet (tripus).
cache
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A collection of similar items and/or ecofacts that are deliberately hidden for future use. Caches are often discovered in burials or in caves and usually consist of ceremonial and ritual objects or emergency food supplies.
cache blade
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Quantities of points or blades found together in an underground depository or in a mound
Cachi
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: Archaeological complex dating from 3000-1750 BC in the Ayacucho valley of Peru. It showed the first evidence of an economic system in which products of lower-elevation villages and camps (corn, beans, squash, gourd, chile, coca) were exchanged for potatoes, quinoa, and camelids of the seasonally nomadic herders of the higher elevations.
cadastre
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cadaster
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A public record of the extent, value, and ownership of land within a district for purposes of taxation.
Cadbury
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cadbury castle
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Three hillforts in Somerset, the most important being South Cadbury which has been equated with the Camelot of King Arthur. Excavation has shown that it was indeed occupied in the fifth century AD. There are also extensive remains of pre-Roman Iron Age occupation and a settlement of the Neolithic.
cadus
CATEGORY: artifact; ceramics
DEFINITION: A large Greek or Roman earthenware jar, which was a wine jar but also used as a measure for liquids. An ordinary cadus was about 3 feet high and broad enough in the mouth to allow the contents to be baled out.
caelatura
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: From the Latin word meaning to emboss engrave" a general term for working in metal by raised work or intaglio such as engraving carving chasing riveting soldering or smelting. Similar work on wood ivory marble glass or precious stones was called sculptura."
Caeretan ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Archaic pottery of Etruria that was probably made at Cerveteri. It was black-figured style.
Caerleon
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Isca
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A town and archaeological site in Wales in which the Romans established a legionary fortress dating to 74-75 AD when the conquest of the Silures of Wales began. The foundation of the fortress is set on a terrace along the Usk and it is one of three major legionary fortresses -- the other two being at Chester and York. Originally built of timber and earth, it had been largely rebuilt in stone (253-255) before the Roman garrison left during the abandonment of the province. Evidence has been found for centurion houses, workshops, barracks, stores, ovens, hospital, baths, and latrines. There is also an amphitheater, two bath buildings, and extensive cemeteries in an associated settlement. The fortress was occupied, probably by a nonmilitary population, until the 370s. Caerleon, traditionally a seat of the legendary King Arthur, was a Welsh princely capital until the Norman Conquest (1066).
Caesarea
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cherchel, Caesarea Palaestinae, Caesarea Maritima, Straton's Tower, Strato's Tower
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An ancient port and administrative city of Palestine on the Mediterranean coast of present-day Israel. It is often called Caesarea Palaestinae or Caesarea Maritima to distinguish it from Caesarea Philippi. It was originally an ancient Phoenician settlement known as Straton's (Strato's Tower) and was rebuilt and enlarged by Herod the Great around 22-10 BC, who renamed it for his patron, Caesar Augustus. Herod also rebuilt the harbor, which traded with his newly built city at Sebaste (Augusta) of ancient Samaria. There were Hellenistic-Roman public buildings and an aqueduct. After Herod died, it became the capital of the Roman province of Judaea. An inscription naming Pontius Pilate is one of the best-known from the site. The city became the capital of the Roman province of Judaea in AD 6. Jewish revolts and later Byzantine and Arab rule cause the city's decline.
caesium magnetometer
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A highly sensitive portable magnetometer that can detect minute magnetic variations, down to about one millionth of the earth's magnetic field.
Cagayan Valley
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A broad valley in northern Luzon, Philippines, with several sites from which some association has been found between a pebble and flake industry with a Middle Pleistocene fauna including elephants, Stegodon, rhinoceros, and bovids.
Cahokia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The largest and most impressive town of the Middle Mississippi Culture, on the Illinois bank of the river near East St. Louis. Cahokia Mounds State Historic and World Heritage Site, the location of this large prehistoric Indian city, is to the northeast. It constituted probably the largest pre-Columbian (c AD 900-1300) community north of Mexico in the Mississippi floodplain. The scale of public works in the culture can be estimated from remains of the largest of the Mississippi earthworks, Monk's Mound near Cahokia, which measures 1,000 feet (300 m) long, 700 feet (200 m) wide, and 100 feet (30 m) high -- which is larger than the Great Pyramid of Egypt. The magnitude of such public works and the distribution of temples suggest a dominant religious cult and a series of priest-rulers who commanded the services of a large population and the establishment of artist-craftsman guilds. In addition to large-scale construction, there is evidence of long-distance trade, elaborate ceremonial activity, and possibly astronomical observation. There is evidence of around 10,000-38,000 inhabitants and a town of warehouses and workshops, residential housing arranged along a grid of streets, and open plazas and 100 manmade mounds (burial and platform types). One of the smaller mounds contained rich burials, including a corpse was wrapped in a robe sewn with more than 12,000 shell beads; caches of arrowheads, polished stone, and mica; and his retainers -- 6 men at his side and 53 women in a mass grave nearby. Artifacts include flint hoes, shell and limestone-tempered pottery, and engraved stone tablets sometimes etched with the motifs of the Southern Cult.
Cahokia point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: This side notched , triangular arrow point has straight sides to slightly concave basal edges. A few may have slightly convex basal edges. In a addition to the side notches on the blade, usually just above the primary side notches, or it may be serrated. Points with two or three notches are the most common. The Cahokia point was named by Edward G. Scully {1951 :15 } for examples found at the Cahokia site in St. Clair and Madison counties in Illinois. An early Mississippian point dating in the A.D. 900 to A.D. 1300 range.
Cahuachi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large ceremonial site that was the principal center of the Nasca culture 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.
Cai Beo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in north Vietnam with a sequence from the late Hoabinhian stone tool so to edge-grinding (c 5000 BC) to Neolithic polished stone adzes (c 4500 BC).
caiman
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cayman
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: Reptile related to the alligator but smaller and slimmer and with a proportionally longer tai
caique
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Traditionally, small wooden trading vessel, brightly painted and rigged for sail. Found around Greece and in the Aegean.
cairn
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: barrow
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A pyramid of rough stones, raised for a memorial or mark of some kind, usually over a burial but also as a landmark or monument. A cairn could also indicate where something valuable was stored. In America, a cairn is a structure of rounded stones. The word is often used as a synonym for barrow in areas where burial mounds were normally of stone. In Scotland and Ireland, the custom was for friends to add a stone to the pile when they passed a cairn.
Cairo
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-gold mask 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.
Cajamarca
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. Cajamarca pottery 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 Inca period and Andean prehistory. It was a cultural center during the Early Intermediate period. The cemetery, Nievería has Huari-related artifacts.
Caka
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Late Bronze Age urnfield cemetery in Slovakia with some high-status burials of bronze breastplate.
calabash
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The hollow shell of a gourd or pumpkin or the fruit of the calabash tree, used as a storage or drinking vessel. Such a shell was used for household utensils, water bottles, kettles, musical instruments, etc. It is round or oval and hard enough to be used in boiling liquids over a fire.
calamus
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: plural calami
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A reed or cane used by early writers, especially as an implement for scribes working on clay. Calami were usually made from reeds in Mesopotamia, but also from wood, and the point was sharpened to form a triangle. The pressure of the calamus on the clay produced the cuneiform script. Pressing lightly or firmly made longer or shorter lines.
calcareous clay
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any clay composed of or containing or resembling calcium carbonate or calcite or chalk
calcareous concretion
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A rounded mass of mineral matter occurring in sandstone, clay, etc. -- often in concentric layers around a nucleus.
calcareous concretions
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A rounded mass of mineral matter occurring in sandstone, clay, etc. -- often in concentric layers around a nucleus.
calcite
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: calcite varnish
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A white or colorless mineral consisting of calcium carbonate.
calcite-gritted ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pottery whose fabric embodies crushed calcite (either shell or mineral grit) as a tempering agent, used especially for kitchen wares such as storage jars, cooking pots, and bowls.
calcium carbonate
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: calcite
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A natural calcium-carbon-oxygen combination, that occurs in limestone, chalk, marble, dolomite, eggshells, pearls, coral, stalactites, stalagmites, and the shells of many marine animals. Calcite is often the adhesive in composite rocks. The most abundant dissolved solid in dry land groundwater is calcium carbonate. When deposited, this mineral forms the hard, calcareous cement known as caliche. Caliche is a crust of calcium carbonate often present in semiarid or arid areas, either on top of or within the soil.
calculi
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: In antiquity, small stones or pebbles used for calculation.
caldarium
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The heat room of a Roman bath house. An attached plunge bath made it very humid.
caldera
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A large, bowl-shaped volcanic depression leading to the expulsion of a large quantity of molten rock (magma). The depression is more than one kilometer in diameter and surrounded by faults with instabilities that can bring about a renewal of volcanic activity. Calderas usually, if not always, form by the collapse of the top of a volcanic cone or group of cones because of removal of the underlying body of magma. Subsequent minor eruptions may build small cones on the floor of the caldera. These may later fill with water, as did Crater Lake in Oregon.
caldron
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A large metal pot, used for cooking over an open fire
calendar
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 Nile inundation, 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 Maya history 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 9.18.0.0.0. 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.
calendar round
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Calendar Round
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A ritually and historically important calendar used throughout Mesoamerica in which the solar calendar of 365 days ran in parallel with a sacred 260-day ritual calendar of named days. The calendar round is a 52-year cycle, since both calendars begin on the same day only once every 52 years. Coefficients for days and months were expressed by bar-and-dot numerals, a system that is first known in Monte Albán I and that became characteristic of the Classic Maya. The basic structure of the Mayan calendar is common to all calendars of Mesoamerica. To identify a date of the Calendar Round, they designated the day by its numeral and name, and added the name of the current month, indicating the number of its days that had elapsed by prefixing one of the numerals from 0 through 19. A date written in this way will occur once in every Calendar Round, at intervals of 52 years. It is the meshing of the two Maya calendars, the Tzolkin and the Haab.
Calendar Stone
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A 20-ton, 4-meter wide carved monolith commissioned by the emperor Axayacatl in 1479, which symbolizes the Aztec universe. The populations of central Mexico believed that they were living in the fifth epoch of a series of worlds (or suns) marked by cyclical generation and destruction. The central figure of the stone is this fifth sun, Tonatuih. Surrounding this are four rectangular cartouches containing dates and symbols for the gods Ehecatl, Texcatlipoca, Tlaloc and Chilchihuitlicue who represent the four worlds previously destroyed and the dates of the previous holocausts -- 4 Tiger, 4 Wind, 4 Rain, and 4 Water. The central panel contains the date 4 Ollin (movement) on which the Aztecs showed that they anticipated that their current world would be destroyed by an earthquake. In a series of increasingly larger concentric bands, symbols for the 20 days of the month, precious materials, and certain stars are represented. The outermost band depicts two massive serpents whose heads meet at the stone's base. The Calendar Stone" is in the Museo Nacional de Antropología (National Museum of Anthropology) in Mexico City."
calendrical age determination
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An absolute dating technique used when an object has been inscribed with a date from an ancient calendrical system or is associated with calendrical inscriptions that can be correlated with a modern calendar.
calendrics
CATEGORY: chronology; related field
DEFINITION: The decipherment and study of calendars.
calibrated C-14 dating
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Dating through the use of the carbon-14 method by means of instrumentation having undergone extensive refinement primarily through calibration by dendrochronology.
calibration
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: calibrated dates
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method used to obtain the most accurate dating, especially with radiocarbon dating. The term refers to the adjustment of dates in radiocarbon years by means of the dendrochronological data so that a date in calendar years is achieved. Fluctuations in the amount of carbon 14 in the atmosphere mean that radiocarbon dating is not completely accurate. By obtaining radiocarbon dates for wood of known dendrochronological date, a correction factor can be introduced to calibrate radiocarbon dates. Uncalibrated dates are raw dates in radiocarbon years. Accurate calibration of radiocarbon dates are not possible before 6285 BC.
caliche or caliché
CATEGORY: artifact; geology
DEFINITION: An encrustation or deposit of hard, calcareous cement made up of nitrates, sulfates, halides, and sand. It appears on the surface of materials such as bone, ceramic, or stone after they have been buried or exposed to moisture for an extended time. These layers of calcium carbonate (lime accumulation) are often present in semiarid or arid areas, either on top of or within the soil -- as in the desert basins of southern Arizona.
Calico Mountains
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in the Mojave Desert of California where lithic debris lies in former Lake Manix. These artifacts (blades, flakes) may have been buried in fan deposits and date to c 200,000 BP. If this date is accurate, the site would be the earliest Lower Palaeolithic settlement known in the New World.
caliph
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: calif, khalifah
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any of the successors of Muhammad (Mohammed) as rulers and religious leaders of the Muslim community, the most powerful being those of the Umayyad and 'Abbasid dynasties. A caliphate is the Islamic empire ruled by a caliph. When Muhammad died (June 8, 632), Abu Bakr succeeded to his political and administrative functions as khalifah rasul Allah, successor of the Messenger of God but it was probably under 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second caliph, that the term caliph came into use as a title of the civil and religious head of the Muslim state. Abu Bakr and his three immediate successors are known as the perfect" caliphs. There were then 14 Umayyad caliphs and 38 'Abbasid caliphs whose dynasty fell to the Mongols in 1258. There were titular caliphs from 1258-1517 when the last caliph was captured by the Ottoman sultan Selim I. The Ottoman sultans then claimed the title and used it until it was abolished by the Turkish Republic in 1924."
calix
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A chalice or cup-shaped vase used as a drinking goblet. It had two handles and was mounted on a stand.
Calixtlahuaca
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Toluca Valley, Mexico, with a ceramic sequence from Teotihuacán times till the Aztec conquest and some evidence of the Preclassic. It was occupied from 1200-1472 AD by a Nahua group (Matlatzincas) who were enemies of the Aztecs and were conquered by them between 1474-1510 AD. The Temple of Quetzalcóatl, a circular structure, was built up three times.
callaïs
CATEGORY: geology; artifact
DEFINITION: A greenish decorative stone occasionally used for beads from the Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age in western Europe.
Callanish
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An important group of Bronze Age megalithic monuments on the island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Equal in importance to Stonehenge, the Callanish megaliths are aligned to make a rough Celtic cross 405 feet (123 m) north to south and 140 feet (43 m) east to west and may be tied to astronomy. In the middle is a small passage grave under a round cairn. Several smaller stone circles in the area align with Callanish.
Calowanie
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic site in eastern Poland with artifacts dating to 11,500 BP and overlying layers dating to c 11,000-10,000 BP.
calpulli
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Corporate group in Aztec society which functioned above the level of the household. Calpullis had social, political, and economic functions. They occupied whole villages or neighborhoods of towns and cities; members corporately held rights to farm plots as long as they continued to use them.
calvarium
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The skull minus the facial bones.
Camare
CATEGORY: culture; site
DEFINITION: An assemblage of artifacts including choppers, scrapers, leaf points, and other tools from the surface of the high terraces in Rio Pedregal, Venezuela. Dating indicates the site may have been inhabited 15,000 years ago.
cambium
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: A viscid substance lying under the bark of trees, consisting of cellular tissue in which the annual growth of wood and bark takes place.
Cambodia
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 Hoabinhian sequence from the cave of Laang Spean dating to 4300 BC. A major Neolithic mound site at Somrong Sen yielded elaborate assemblage which seems to predate 100 BC. Khmer civilization 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.
Camden, William (1551-1623)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A renowned British antiquary who was among the first to describe antiquities found in Britain. His book Britannia" (1586) described the archaeological past of all the British Isles to Norman times and was the first comprehensive topographical survey of England."
came
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A strip of lead holding small pieces of glass (quarries) in a window.
camel
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: A large hornless ruminant quadruped with a humped back, long neck, and cushioned feet. It is domesticated as the main beast of burden in arid regions of western Asia and northern Africa. There are two distinct species, the Arabian or one-humped, and the Bactrian or two-humped. A lighter and faster variety of the Arabian is known as the dromedary. The Bactrian was fully domesticated by the 1st millennium BC and evidence of their existence dates to the first half of 3rd millennium BC. There are four camelids found in the Andes of Peru -- the vicuna, guanaco, llama, and alpaca. The first two are wild, the last two domesticated. Cave excavations yield bones from c 8000-1000 BC with herding evidence c 3000-2000 BC and pack animal use between 600-1000 AD.
camelid
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: A member of the family that includes camels, llamas, and their relatives, all of which have feet with two toes and thick leathery soles
cameo
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An engraving or carving in low relief on a stone
cameo glass
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A Roman artifact of layered, multicolored glass with the effect of a cameo cut from onyx. The Portland Vase in the British Museum is an important example.
camp
CATEGORY: structure; feature
DEFINITION: A term used to describe any kind of ditched or embanked enclosure -- from the Neolithic causewayed camps to Iron Age hill forts and Roman fortifications. Used to describe ancient works, it usually means the entrenched and fortified site within which an army lodged or defended itself. The Roman army erected temporary fortifications called camps when on campaigns.
Campania
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A area of southern Italy along the Bay of Naples that was the location of the Greek colony Cumae and was once controlled by the Etruscans. Campanian pottery was made before the middle of the 4th century BC at both Cumae and Capua.
Campanian pottery
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of South Italian pottery. Productions seems to have started before the middle of the 4th century BC, perhaps under the influence of Sicilian pottery. There seem to have been three main centers of production: two at Capua and one at Cumae. Late in its production it seems to draw inspiration from Apulian pottery.
campanulate bowl
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A bowl or other kind of vessel, whether of pottery, metal, or some other material, shaped to the form of an inverted bell.
campo santo
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: In Spanish, holy field" or a cemetery or burial ground associated with a church."
Can Hasan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a number of tells in southern Turkey. Can Hasan III was an aceramic Neolithic settlement 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.
Canaanean blade
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of extremely regular and large (1-2 inches wide and up to 10-12 inches long) flint blade produced by a specialized technique. The technology seems to have first appeared at the beginning of the 4th millennium BC in eastern Anatolia and adjoining areas, and was then introduced to the southern Levant (Canaan) by 3500 BC; these blades were produced until 2000 BC.
Canaanite
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Canaan
CATEGORY: culture; site; language
DEFINITION: The original pre-Israelite inhabitants of an area encompassing all of Palestine and Syria, sometimes including all land west of the Jordan River and the coast from Acre north. The names Canaan and Canaanite occur in cuneiform, Egyptian, and Phoenician writings from about the 15th century BC as well as in the Bible. They were the branch of the Semites related to the Hyksos who occupied the Levant from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age, c 2000-1200 BC. In the south they were displaced by the Israelites and Philistines; in the north they were the ancestors of the Phoenicians. Their main significance in history lies in their role as middlemen and traders, through whose hands passed cultural influences between Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Hittites. Canaanite sites include Lachish, Megiddo, Byblos, and Ugarit. The Canaanites were responsible for the invention of the first alphabetic writing system.
Canaanite amphora
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Common transport vessel of the Late Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean. Canaanite amphoras average 30 inches in height and have a short, relatively narrow flaring mouth, a wide shoulder with two handles on it, and a tapering profile running down to a narrow pointed base. They were made in various centers in the eastern Mediterranean and were roughly contemporary with stirrup jars.
Canario
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: The name of a site, culture, and people in the Canary Islands. The population is thought to have been of Cro-Magnon origin and may possibly have come from central and southern Europe via northern Africa. . They left alphabet-like engravings and characters whose meanings are obscure This aboriginal group had brown complexion, blue or gray eyes, and blondish hair, and these characteristics still persist in a large number of present inhabitants of the islands. The name Canarios is now applied to all present residents.
candelabra model
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: regional continuity theory
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: One of the theories of human development in which modern humans are thought to have descended from Homo erectus in Africa, Europe, and Asia. The opposing theory, known as the Noah's Ark model, holds that modern humans originated in one single area of Africa.
candelabrum
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. candelabra
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A candlestick, often an ornamental one, or any kind of stand by which a light can be supported. The term also refers to a chandelier.
candi
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Late 1st millennium-early 2nd millennium AD funerary temples in Java in which Hindu and Buddhist religions were combined with local cults.
candle
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A cylinder or block of wax or tallow with a central wick which is lit to produce light as it burns
candlestick
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A support or holder for one or more candles
canister
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A container filled with musket balls, metal fragments, nails etc. Designed to kill or maim the enemy at a close range.
cannibalism
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The eating of human flesh by men. This is done either out of dire need or for ritual purposes, when parts of deceased relatives or enemies may be eaten so that their power can be magically acquired. Disarticulated bones of humans, as well as animals, have been found in the ditches of Neolithic camps, which is thought to be suggestive of cannibalism. Its existence in Paleolithic cultures is suggested by the lengthwise splitting of long bones so as to extract marrow from them. In Mesoamerica, there is evidence among hunter-gatherers at start of Holocene through the 1st millennium BC in farming villages. There were many written documents concerning cannibalism from the Aztecs of the 15th century AD. To the Aztecs, the human flesh sacrificed and offered to the gods became a sacred food.
canopic jar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: canopic vase, canopea
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An ancient Egyptian funerary ritual in which four covered vessels of wood, stone, pottery, or faience were used to hold the organs removed during mummification. The embalmed liver, lungs, stomach, and intestines were placed in separate canopic jars. The jars or urns were then placed beside the mummy in the tomb, to be reunited in spirit, subject to the appropriate spells and rituals having been performed. The earliest Canopic jars came into use during the Old Kingdom (c 2575-2130 BC) and had plain lids. During the Middle Kingdom (c 1938-1600 BC), the jars were decorated with sculpted human heads, probably depicting of the deceased. Then from the 19th dynasty until the end of the New Kingdom (1539-1075 BC), the heads represented the four sons of the god Horus (Duamutef, Qebehsenuf, Imset, Hapy). In the 20th dynasty (1190-1075 BC) the practice began of returning the embalmed viscera to the body. The term appears to refer to a Greek demigod, Canopus, venerated in the form of a jar with a human head.
Canterbury
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Durovernum Cantiacorum
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on the River Stour in southeast England occupied since pre-Roman times. Lying at the intersection of important land routes, Canterbury already had a sizable Belgic settlement before the arrival of the Romans in 43 AD. The town was refounded soon after the invasion as Durovernum, the tribal capital of the Cantiaci, around 49 AD. Traces have been found of a theater (c 210-220), a forum, houses, streets, and a stone wall with earth bank added as fortification c 270-290. There is some evidence of Christian occupation from the 4th century, but the settlement declined sharply after 400, probably following the withdrawal of Roman forces. Archaeological investigations in Canterbury have contributed to an understanding of the secular occupation in Roman towns after the imperial withdrawal from Britain. Excavations have also been carried out on a group of churches which may date to the late 6th or 7th century: St. Augustine's Abbey, St. Martins's, and St. Pancras. Canterbury was an important medieval town and from that time there is a medieval cathedral, an impressive circuit of town walls, a large 12th-century castle, and some of the best preserved timber-framed buildings in England.
cantharus
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: kantharos
CATEGORY: artifact; ceramics
DEFINITION: In Greek antiquity, a large, two-handled drinking cup. This type of pottery cup was made in Greek-speaking areas and in Etruria between the 8th and the 1st centuries BC and had a deep bowl, a foot, and pair of high vertical handles. It was often consecrated to personifications of Bacchus.
Cape Coastal Ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A Stone Age pottery style from the coast of southern Namibia to eastern Cape Province, South Africa, after c 1600 BP. It is characterized by point-based pots.
Cape Gelidoniya
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a Bronze Age shipwreck off the southwestern coast of Turkey between Rhodes and Cyprus from the 13th century BC. The small merchant ship was carrying copper and bronze ingots, still wrapped in basketry. Excavation also produced a structural plan of the ship, including evidence of a grill of twigs on the bows to keep water off the deck -- a technique still in use today. The finds included pottery and three scarabs.
Cape Krusenstern
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a national monument on the coast of the Chukchi Sea with a horizontal stratigraphy covering the whole of north Alaskan prehistory. Located on 114 ridges along ancient beach lines, the monument's remarkable archaeological sites illustrate the cultural evolution of the Arctic people, dating back some 4,000 years and continuing to modern Eskimos. There are campsites of 10 successive cultures, beginning with the Denbigh Flint Complex, followed by the Old Whaling culture, then by the Eskimo cultures known as Trails Creek-Chloris, Chloris, Norton, Near Ipiutak, Ipiutak, Birnirk, Western Thule, and late prehistoric. On the terrace behind the beaches were two more phases (Palisades I and II) which go back to c 8000 BC. The stratigraphy is visible as a sequence of strips, roughly parallel to the shoreline, with the oldest, Denbigh, being furthest from the present-day shoreline. This horizontal sequence, in combination with the vertical stratigraphy of Onion Portage, forms the most reliable chronological framework in Western Arctic prehistory.
Capelitti
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave site in the Aures Mountains of eastern Algeria which has evidence of early North African pastorialism by a 'Caspian Neolithic' population. Sheep and/or goats appear to have coincided with the beginning of pottery-making from the 5th millennium BC. By the 3rd millennium, small domestic cattle are also attested.
capital
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In architecture, the feature that most readily distinguishes the Classical order": the top member of a column pier anta pilaster or other columnar form which supports a horizontal member (entablature) or arch above. A capital is usually made of wood or stone and its decoration was according to the Corinthian Doric or Ionic order."
Capitolium
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Capitoline
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The principal hill at Rome and the one which acted as its religious center. The hill was the fortress and asylum of Romulus's Rome. The northern peak was the site of the Temple of Juno Moneta and the citadel. The southern crest, sacred to Jupiter, became, in 509 BC, the site of the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, the largest temple in central Italy. The Roman Senate held its first meeting every year because of the divine guidance" it received at the site."
Cappadocian trade
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The trade that was carried out between Assyria and the regions of Cappadocia in the 2nd millennium BC. Trade was mostly in tin and textiles shipped via Assur from the east and south, in exchange for copper from Anatolia. There are many cuneiform tablets documenting this Mesopotamian trading system.
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 Gravettian stage 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 (Oranian industry), 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-base pottery and a stone industry, 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.
capstone
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A stone slab placed horizontally over a series of other stones, at the top of an arch, often as a roof. Some are large blocks used to span the walls of dolmens, cists, passage graves, and other megalithic chamber tombs.
Capua
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 Etruscan language -- the Capua Tile, an inscription of some 62 lines that was either religious or ritual text.
Caracol
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: El Caracol
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A ruined dome-shaped structure resembling a modern observatory located at Chichén Itzá where Mayan astronomers tracked the celestial bodies for timekeeping and calendrical purposes.
caravanserai
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: khan; caravansary
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In the Middle East, a public building that served an unfurnished inn or staging post for sheltering caravans and other travelers. It was usually constructed outside the walls of a town and was a quandrangular enclosure with massive walls with small windows near the top and small air holes near the bottom. A heavy-doored gateway was the entrance and it was secured from within by massive iron chains. Refreshments were available to the travelers.
carbon isotopic analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study of ancient diet using the ratio between stable carbon isotopes - carbon 12 and 14 - in animal tissue.
carbon-14
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: radiocarbon, C14
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A naturally occurring radioactive isotope of carbon with a half-life of 5,730-year (+/- 40 years) years and a mass number of 14, commonly used in radiocarbon dating archaeological materials and in demonstrating the metabolic path of carbon in photosynthesis. Its known rate of decay is the basis of radiocarbon dating. Willard Libby discovered natural carbon-14. Libby showed the essential uniformity of carbon-14 in living material and went on to measure the radiocarbon level in organic samples dated historically -- materials as old as 5,000 years from sources such as Egyptian tombs. Libby's conclusion, with allowance for radioactive decay, was that over the past 5,000 years the carbon-14 level in living materials has remained constant within 5 percent precision of measurement. His work made this dating method available to scientists.
carbon-14 dating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: radiocarbon dating
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The occurrence of natural radioactive carbon in the atmosphere allows archaeologists the ability to date organic materials as old as 50,000 years. Carbon-14 is continuously produced in the atmosphere and decays with a half-life of 5,730-year (+/- 40 years). Unlike most isotopic dating methods, the carbon-14 dating technique relies on the progressive decay or disappearance of the radioactive parent with time. This is now a common method for estimating the age of a carbonaceous archaeological artifacts. The radioactivity of an artifact's carbon-14 content determines how long ago the specimen was separated from equilibrium with the atmosphere-plant-animal cycle. The method is based on the principle that all plants and animals, while they are alive, take in small amounts of carbon-14 and when they die, the intake ends. By measuring the loss rate of the carbon 14, the age of the object can be established. Measurement of the carbon-14 activity in a cypress beam in the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh Snefru, for example, established the date of the tomb as c 2600 BC.
carbonization
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj. carbonized, charring
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The burning or scorching of organic materials, such as plants, seeds, or grains, in conditions of insufficient oxygen which results in their preservation. Charcoal is a widely-known example.
carboy
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A large bottle, generally protected by a basket or box, usually used for containing corrosive liquids, etc.
Carcassonne
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city in southwest France occupied as early as the 5th century BC by the Iberians and then by Gallo-Romans. Its inner rampart was built in 485 AD. The site is one of the best-preserved examples of a medieval fortified town in Europe with an inner wall and citadel dating from 11th-13th centuries. The site was extensively restored in the 19th century and the church of Saint-Vincent and the cathedral of Saint-Michel, both 13th century, survive.
Carchemish
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 Neolithic Period. Halaf ware 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 Hittite hieroglyphic inscriptions were of great importance in helping to piece together its history down to its annexation by Assyria in 716 BC.
carder
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flat board with short spikes used to comb out the staple of wool to remove tangles before spinning. Usually used in pairs.
Cardial Ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cardial pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: An impressed ware of the Early Neolithic in the western Mediterranean (Sardinia, Corsica, Liguria, Provence, and Spain). Soft clay was impressed with the serrated edge of the cardium (cockle) shell, from which it received its name.
carding comb
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A comb used to comb fiber before spinning.
cardo
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. cardines
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: The term for the second major road of a Roman town, fort, or camp -- the main north-south axis. The term seems to originate with Roman agricultural surveying practice, where cardo denotes the principal north-south axis of the site, about which other measurements 'hinge'. When a site is divided, the cardo is used with the other principal axis, the decumanus (east-west) to sectioned into squares. From the 4th century BC, this system was adopted for the Roman grid system used for army camps and new towns. The technique was taken from the Etruscans and the Greeks, both of whom used grid town-planning. The cardo maximus was the main north-south road.
Carib
CATEGORY: culture; language
DEFINITION: American Indian people who inhabited the Lesser Antilles and parts of the neighboring South American coast at the time of the Spanish conquest. They were warlike immigrants from the mainland who drove the Arawak from the Lesser Antilles. They were notorious for eating captives (the word 'cannibal' is a corruption of the Spanish 'Caribal'). They were skilled pottery-makers and agriculturists but were mostly concerned with warfare. They were a maritime people who carried out long-distance raids with large dugout canoes. The Carib language was spoken only by the men; women spoke Arawak.
carinated
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Pertaining to a vessel having ridges.
carination
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A sharp break or angle in the curve of the profile of a container or vessel, which resulted in a projecting angle or arris. On ancient jars or pots, it appeared as a sharply angled shoulder dividing the neck from the body of the vessel. It has been considered to be a purely stylistic feature derived from metal prototypes, but it may also be that carination may have had a practical function -- for example, for retaining dregs from a liquid while pouring.
Carmel, Mount
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A series of prehistoric limestone caves near Haifa, Israel, with deposits from the Acheulian and Mousterian. The name is derived from Hebrew kerem ('vineyard' or 'orchard') due to the mountain's fertility back in ancient times. There is a cemetery in the Skhul cave, whose occupants were between Neanderthal and modern man. The caves' Upper Palaeolithic sequence ends with the Natufian. Sanctified since early times, Mt. Carmel is mentioned as a holy mountain" in Egyptian records of the 16th century BC and was a center of idol worship as well as sacred to the early Christians."
Carnac
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A village in western France near the Atlantic coast that is the site of more than 3,000 prehistoric stone monuments of the alignment type. These menhirs are arranged in three groups of 10-13 parallel rows, which ended at semicircles or rectangles of standing stones. The single stone menhirs and multistone dolmens were made from local granite and are worn by time and weather and covered in white lichen. The area also has a series of long cairns of mid-Neolithic to Early Bronze Age which covers funerary chambers and secondary cists. The grave goods included polished axes of rare stones such as jadeite and fibrolite, stone boxes containing charcoal, cattle bones, and pottery. The area was clearly an important ritual center, venerated by the Bretons until fairly recent times, and adopted by the Romans for religious purposes. Christians added crosses and other symbols to the stones. In 1874, James Miln uncovered the remains of a Gallo-Roman villa one mile east of the village. The Musée Miln-Le Rouzic in Carnac has an important collection of artifacts.
Carnarvon Gorge
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An area of Queensland, Australia, known for its stenciled rock art. There are also engravings and paintings. Cathedral Cave has occupation deposits.
carnelian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cornelian
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A reddish brown semiprecious stone used for beads, seal stones, and jewelry in antiquity. The Indus Valley civilization, Greeks, and Romans valued the stone. It is a translucent variety of the silica mineral chalcedony. Carnelian is usually found in volcanic rocks, such as the Deccan Traps of western India. Engraved cornelians in rings and signets have offered information about manners and customs of ancient Greeks and Romans.
Carolingian
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 Carolingian kingdom of Italy occupied the northern and central peninsula down to Rome except for Venice and Benevento. The cultural revival of the Carolingian period stimulated by Charlemagne was a renovation and renaissance of the arts and education."
carp's tongue sword
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of bronze sword used in the Late Bronze Age in western Europe -- mainly in northwest France and southern England -- in the early 1st millennium BC. It had a broad slashing blade and a long projecting point for thrusting and a flange hilt.
Carrowkeel ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of later Neolithic pottery found in Ireland during the 3rd millennium BC, named after material recovered from the passage graves at Carrowkeel in Co. Sligo, Ireland. The fabric of Carrowkeel ware is generally rather thick, coarse, and heavily gritted. The forms comprise mainly open round-bottomed bowls and hemispherical cups. Decoration is extensively applied, often all over the outer surface of the vessel and over the rim, and is typically ?stab and drag' or impressed. Some of motifs used resemble PASSAGE GRAVE ART.
Carrowmore
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cemetery site in Sligo, Ireland, with megalithic tombs consisting of circular boulder kerbs and boulder-built chambers. The radiocarbon date is c 4500 BC, which would make these the earliest chambered tombs of Ireland.
carrying capacity
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 subsistence technology.
cart
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A two-wheeled vehicle drawn by a draft animal, used throughout recorded history for the transportation of goods and people. The cart, usually drawn by a single animal, was used by the Greeks and the Assyrians by 1800 BC. However, such vehicles could have been used as early as 3500 BC as an extension of the invention of the wheel. Bronze Age finds in Heathery Burn included four nave-bands for a four-wheeled cart. La Tène two-wheeled chariots are found from the third century BC.
Cartailhac, Émile (1845-1921)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A French prehistorian sometimes called one of the founders of archaeology in France. He edited the journal Matéreaux pour l'histoire primitive et naturelle de l'homme" and wrote books on French and Mediterranean prehistory including "La Caverne de Font-de-Gaume..." (1910; "The Cave of Font-de-Gaume...") with Henri Breuil. He is best remembered for his long refusal to accept the authenticity of cave art denouncing such archaeologists as Marcellino de Sautuola. After visiting the Spanish site of Altamira with the Abbé Breuil Cartailhac changed his opinion and in 1902 published an article subtitled "Mea culpa d'un sceptique" in which he admitted the antiquity of the cave paintings. He then helped to convince many scholars that cave paintings were indeed genuine and the earliest manifestations of art in the world."
Carter, Howard (1874-1939)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British archaeologist who made one of the richest and most celebrated contributions to Egyptology: the discovery in 1922 of the largely intact tomb of King Tutankhamen. At 17, Carter joined a British-sponsored archaeological survey of Egypt. He received his training as an excavator and epigrapher from some of the most important Egyptologists of the late nineteenth century, including Gaston Maspero and Flinders Petrie, with whom he worked at el-Amarna in 1892. He made drawings of the sculptures and inscriptions at the temple of Queen Hatshepsut in Thebes and then served as inspector-general of the Egyptian antiquities department. While supervising excavations in the Valley of the Kings in 1902, he discovered the tombs of Hatshepsut and Thutmose IV. Around 1907 he began his association with the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, a collector of antiquities who asked Carter to supervise excavations in the valley. On November 4, 1922, Carter found the first sign of Tutankhamen's tomb, and three days later he reached its sealed entrance. For the next 10 years Carter supervised the removal of its contents, most of which now in the Cairo Museum. His patient and long unrewarded study of the Valley of the Kings brought to light the only unrobbed Egyptian pharaoh's tomb and the richest treasure ever to be discovered.
Carthage
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (adj Carthaginian, Punic) Carthago; Kart-Hadasht
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A great city of antiquity founded, according to tradition, on the north coast of Africa by the Phoenicians of Tyre in 814 BC and now a suburb of Tunis. However, Phoenician occupation on the site is archaeologically attested from about a century later. The Aeneid tells of the city's founding by the Tyrian princess Dido, who fled from her brother Pygmalion (a king of Tyre). Until around 500 BC Carthage was one of three great mercantile powers in the central Mediterranean, together with the Etruscans and Western Greeks. Much of Carthage's revenue came from its exploitation of the silver mines of North Africa and southern Spain, begun as early as 800 BC, and from its role as a middleman in trade. Carthage was for many years in conflict with the Greeks, especially in Sicily. Carthage lost both Sicily and Sardinia to Rome in 241 BC at the close of the First Punic War. From an enlarged domain in southern Spain, the Carthaginian general Hannibal in 218 BC led his army across the Alps to victories in Italy. When Hannibal returned to Africa, he was defeated at Zama in 202 BC. Though humiliated, Carthage survived until it was destroyed by Rome in 146 BC, after having fought the three Punic Wars of the 3rd and 2nd centuries. Carthage was then reconstructed as a Roman city by Julius Caesar and Octavian. The Roman city prospered by shipping grain and olive oil to Italy. Carthage replaced Utica as the capital of the African province and it became the second largest city in the western part of the empire, after Rome itself. The Phoenician/Punic remains include the citadel, Byrsa, the Sanctuary of Tanit, and two manmade harbors (all pre-146 BC); the Roman remains are the Antonine Baths, odeum, theater, circus, amphitheater, aqueduct, and areas of streets and houses. Also on the Byrsa site stood an open-air portico, from which the finest Roman sculptures at Carthage have survived. The standard of living in Carthage was probably far below that of the larger cities of the classical world. In Roman times, beds, cushions, and mattresses were luxuries. The Punic language and its distinctive alphabet remained in use long after the city's destruction. After the breakup of the Roman empire, the Vandals took Carthage in 439 and stayed in control until the Byzantine invasion in 533. Carthage was the capital of the Byzantine empire in Africa until the Arab takeover of 698.
cartilage
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: A durable flexible animal tissue of cells in a matrix of protein, carbohydrates (chondroitin), and fibers.
cartonnage
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cartonage
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An Egyptian mummy case made of layers of papyrus or linen soaked in gesso plaster and shaped around an embalmed body, much like papier maché, and then decorated with paint or gilding when dry. The term also refers to the material thus used and for mummy masks, anthropoid coffins, and other funerary items made in the same manner.
cartouche
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: shenu
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The name given to the oval or oblong figures in Egyptian hieroglyphics which enclosed characters representing royal or divine names or titles. The term is also used for the amulet of similar design worn in ancient Egypt as a protection against the loss of one's name (i.e., one's identity). In architecture, the term refers to the ornamentation in scroll form, applied especially to elaborate frames around tablets or coats of arms. By extension, the word is applied to any oval shape or even to a decorative shield, whether scrolled or not. Detailed examples of cartouches show that the sign represents a length of knotted rope, looped so that it is never-ending; it thus symbolizes cyclical return. The French word cartouche, meaning 'gun cartridge', was originally given to the royal frame by Napoleon's soldiers, because of its cartridge-like shape.
cartridge
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The case containing the charge for a firearm.
carve
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: carving
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: To cut into or shape (a hard material) in order to produce an object or design
carved stone ball
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Roughly spherical or slightly lobate artificially shaped carved stones dating to the later Neolithic and found only in Scotland. Where decorated, the motifs used are similar to those in MEGALITHIC ART. Unornamented stone balls are, however, found in other areas of the British Isles in 4th and 3rd millennia BC contexts.
carved tree
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: dendroglyph
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A tree with designs, often geometric, cut into the bark. Carved trees occur in Australia and in the Chatham Islands.
carving
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A finishing or decorative technique that involves selective removal of material with a sharp tool in a pattern.
caryatid
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. caryatides; korai
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A supporting base or column of a structure shaped in the form of a woman. Most often, a caryatid supported a porch, entablature, or a colonnade and was in the form of a draped woman bearing it on her head. The best known are of the Erechtheum at Athens (420-415 BC) and other examples part of three small buildings (treasuries) at Delphi in Greece (550-530 BC). The figures' origin can be traced to mirror handles of nude figures carved from ivory in Phoenicia and draped figures cast from bronze in archaic Greece. Caryatids were used in the Roman emperor Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, the Villa Albani at Rome, two colossal figures at Eleusis, in Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa's Pantheon, and in the colonnade surrounding the Forum of Augustus at Rome. The male counterparts of caryatids are called 'atlantes'.
Casas Grandes
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-type pottery 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.
Cascioarele
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A small settlement on an island in the Danube River, southern Rumania. Excavations have revealed occupation layers of the Middle, c 3900-3700 BC, and Late Neolithic, c 3700-3500 BC. A complete village plan has been found from the later occupation with one large central structure surrounded by six smaller structures. The finds have ritual implications and technological importance. There is evidence of heavy reliance on wild animal meat.
casemate wall
CATEGORY: feature; structure
DEFINITION: A defensive wall consisting of parallel walls with a space or internal chambers in the thickness of the wall. Sometimes the chambers were rooms; sometimes they were filled with debris or left empty.
Cashel
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Rock of Cashel
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock in Tipperary, Ireland, which rises dramatically 358 feet (109 m) above the surrounding plain. On the summit of this limestone outcrop is a group of ruins, including the remains of the town's defenses, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the bishop's castle, and an ancient cross. The rock was the stronghold of the kings of Munster from the 4th century. St. Patrick consecrated Cashel as a bishopric c 450. In 1101 the rock was given to the church by King Murtagh O'Brien.
casing nail
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A nail similar to a finishing nail but heavier and used for trim where strength and concealment are required
cask
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A strong wooden barrel
Caskey, John (1908-1981)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: An American archaeologist who served as director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and worked at Lerna and Ayia Irini.
Caso y Andrade, Alfonso (1896-1970)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Mexican archaeologist and government official who explored the early Oaxacan cultures and who excavated Tomb Seven at Monte Albán, the earliest-known North American necropolis. His discovery and analysis of the burial offerings at Tomb Seven proved that Monte Albán had been occupied by the Mixtec people after they had displaced the Zapotecs before the Spanish conquest. Caso found evidence of five major phases, dating back to the 8th century BC, and established a rough chronology through comparisons with other sites. Caso also deciphered the Mixtec Codices. He made important contributions to regional archaeology and to the interpretation of Mixtec manuscripts, Mexican calendars, and dynastic history in general. He held posts as head of the Department of Archaeology at the National Museum, director of the museum, and director of the National Institute for Indian Affairs.
Cass ny Hawin
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Mesolithic settlement site on the Isle of Man with a stone tools, including microliths.
Cassibile
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Late Bronze Age settlement and cemetery containing 2,000 rock-cut chamber tombs near Syracuse in southeast Sicily. It is the type site of a Late Bronze Age phase -- Pantalica II -- of the early 1st millennium BC. The Pantalica culture was characterized by large urban settlements. Artifacts include a distinctive buff painted ware with plume or 'feather' motifs, c 1250-1000 BC, and a number of typical bronze types, including stilted and thick-arc fibulae and shaft-hole axes.
Cassivellaunus (fl. 1st century BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cassivelaunus
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A powerful British chieftain who was defeated by Julius Caesar during Caesar's second raid of Britain in 54 BC. Cassivellaunus is the first man in England whose name we know and he led his tribe, the Catuvellauni, a group of Belgic invaders from the River Marne area. He used guerrilla tactics and chariot warfare successfully until Caesar captured the fortified settlement, identified as present-day Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire. Cassivellaunus agreed to provide hostages and pay an annual tribute to Rome, but there is no evidence that he kept these promises. His son was Cunobelin, the Cymbeline" written about by Shakespeare."
cast
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A molded object
Castanet
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic rock shelter at Castelmerle, southwest France. There were two Aurignacian levels with art objects of carved or painted stone. The art from Castanet and neighboring Blanchard rock shelter is amongst the earliest known, dating c 33,000 BC.
caste
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Social class with clearly delineated boundaries; one is usually born into a caste and ascribed social and economic roles on the basis of caste affiliation. It is difficult or impossible to ascend from one caste to a higher one.
castellation
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A pronounced vertical appendage on the rim of a vessel, much like the part of a castle wall.
Castelluccio
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Early Bronze Age settlement and cemetery of rock-cut tombs near Syracuse, Sicily. Excavated by Orsi in 1891-1892, the cemetery contained several hundred tombs used for collective burial and one tomb had a carved facade and several were closed by slabs with carved double spirals. The characteristic pottery was a buff ware painted with black or green lines and designs. Pottery shapes included splay-necked cups and pedestaled bowls. There were also bossed bone plaques, showing connections with the Aegean world well before 2000 BC.
caster
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A small swiveled wheel (often one of a set) fixed to a leg (or the underside) of a piece of furniture
casting
CATEGORY: artifact; geology
DEFINITION: Casting consists of pouring molten metal into a mold, where it solidifies into the shape of the mold. The process was well established in the Bronze Age (beginning c 3000 BC), when it was used to form bronze pieces. It is particularly valuable for the economical production of complex shapes, from mass-produced parts to one-of-a-kind items or even large machinery. Three principal techniques of casting were successively developed in prehistoric Europe: one-piece stone molds for flat-faced objects; clay or stone piece molds that could be dismantled and reused; and one-off clay molds for complex shapes made in one piece around a wax or lead pattern (cire perdue). Every metal with a low enough melting point was exploited in early Europe, except iron and steel, was used for casting artifacts.
casting
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Casting consists of pouring molten metal into a mold, where it solidifies into the shape of the mold. The process was well established in the Bronze Age (beginning c 3000 BC), when it was used to form bronze pieces. It is particularly valuable for the economical production of complex shapes, from mass-produced parts to one-of-a-kind items or even large machinery. Three principal techniques of casting were successively developed in prehistoric Europe: one-piece stone molds for flat-faced objects; clay or stone piece molds that could be dismantled and reused; and one-off clay molds for complex shapes made in one piece around a wax or lead pattern (cire perdue). Every metal with a low enough melting point was exploited in early Europe, except iron and steel, was used for casting artifacts.
casting flash
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: casting jet, casting seam
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A thin irregular ridge of metal on the outer face of a casting, resulting from seepage of the molten metal into the joint between the separate components of the mould used in its manufacture. A casting jet is similar but is a small plug of metal that originally filled the gate or aperture used to fill the mould. During the final cleaning and finishing of a cast object the jet and flash are usually knocked off and filed smooth.
casting jet
CATEGORY: artifact; geology
DEFINITION: A plug of metal which is knocked out after an artifact is cast and which fits exactly into the opening (aperture or gate) of a mold. When casting metal into a bivalve or composite mold, the aperture through which the metal is poured into the mold becomes filled up with molten metal, and this plug of metal cools and hardens with the object. When the finished artifact is removed from the mold, the casting jet is still attached; in most cases it is knocked off and the scar polished down the metal plug being melted down for re-use. In some cases, however, it may be left on, particularly on neck rings and bracelets. Examples are sometimes in founder's hoards.
casting seam
CATEGORY: artifact; geology
DEFINITION: The place where a small amount of molten metal will run into the joint between the surfaces of the parts of the casting mold. In a bivalve or composite mold, this seepage results in a visible seam when the object is removed from the mold. It is usually filled and polished off; unfinished objects are often found with a visible seam or ridge.
casting-on technique
CATEGORY: artifact; geology
DEFINITION: A method used in a secondary stage of making metal objects for adding handles, legs, and hilts to complex artifacts. A clay mold is placed around part of an existing object and molten metal is then poured in and fuses onto the original object.
castle
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A medieval European structure, generally the residence of a king or a lord of the territory. The word 'castle' is derived from Latin 'castellum', a fortified camp, and there are various linguistic forms, including chateau, castello, castrum, and burg. These medieval strongholds developed rapidly from the 9th century. The word is sometimes applied to prehistoric earthworks, such as Maiden Castle, England. Castles developed with the feudal system which installed a societal classification in which land and other privileges were granted in return for military service. Castle architecture had three essential elements: a tower (keep or donjon), residence for the noble, and a fortified enclosure wall. The first late Carolingian types were likely modeled on the fortified homesteads of the Slavs, and in the 10th century the manor or principal house was then set up on a raised mound within the enclosure. This motte and bailey" type was introduced to France in the 11th century. The Normans then it to the British Isles and southern Italy and also built stone keeps within their enclosures. Later 12th-century castles in France and England have large stone walls gateways modeled on Arabic and Byzantine forts and massive circular central keeps. Multiple walls with strengthened gateways are an invention of the mid-13th century. The introduction of the cannon and other firearms in the 15th and 16th centuries made castles vulnerable to attack. Castle architecture was revised with low walls which could be defended all around by artillery the guns mounted on bastions and redans."
Castor box
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A shallow vessel in color-coated ware ( Nene Valley Ware) with a fitting lid of Roman date. Usually both box and lid were rouletted.
Castor ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A distinctive pottery named after a Roman settlement site on the north bank of the Nene in Northhamptonshire. Castor ware is a slate-colored pottery which commonly had hunting scenes of dogs, boars, etc. on the outer surface, which were applied by squeezing paste from a bag or applying by brush. The E barbotine hunt cups were a highlight of the native Romano-British potter's craft.
castro
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Portuguese term for a fortified site, ranging from the small walled citadels of the Copper Age (e.g. Vila Nova de Sao Pedro) to the hillfort settlements of the Celtic Iron Age.
casual find
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A nonscientific discovery of an archaeological object, as by an explorer or hunter.
casual tool
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Object used as a tool once or twice for a specific purpose and discarded with no purposeful modification
catacomb
CATEGORY: feature; structure
DEFINITION: A subterranean cemetery of galleries or passages with side niches (loculi) for tombs. Catacombs consisted of galleries, burial niches, and chambers cut into the rock and the walls and ceilings decorated with pagan and Christian motifs. The term was first applied to the subterranean cemetery under the Basilica of San Sebastiano (on the Appian Way near Rome), which was reputed to have been the temporary resting place of the bodies of Saints Peter and Paul in the last half of the 3rd century. By extension, the word came to refer to all the subterranean cemeteries around Rome, though they are widely known elsewhere, especially around the Mediterranean. Their subterranean nature is explained by the need for security and secrecy on the part of the Christian religion that was banned in many places.
Catacomb Grave culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The second in the Kurgan culture series, after Yamnaya and before Srubnaya, in southern Russia and Ukraine between the Dniepr and Volga rivers. It is dated between c 2000-1500 bc (Bronze Age). The graves are not true catacombs but rather burials in which the skeleton and grave goods are put in a side wall niche of a shallow shaft. The shaft is filled in and then covered with a barrow.
catafalque
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A decorated wooden platform upon which a sarcophagus was temporarily placed before burial. These ornate funereal structures were often mounted on a stage to support a coffin for a lying-in-state.
Catal Huyuk
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Çatal Hüyük
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: One of the world's earliest towns, a huge Neolithic site in south central Turkey's Konya plain. At least 14 levels have been excavated so far with radiocarbon dates from 6500 BC to 5400 BC, without undisturbed deposits being reached. Cereals were cultivated, cattle and sheep were bred, and hunting took place. Pottery had apparently only just been introduced. Trade in such materials as obsidian and seashells was extensive. There were flaked stone tools and polished obsidian mirrors. The mud-brick buildings were rectangular with access only possible through the roofs. Built-in furniture included benches and platforms. The earliest evidence of religious beliefs have been found at the mound of Çatal Hüyük. Shrines were very frequent, with huge figures of goddesses in the posture of giving birth, leopards, and the heads of bulls and rams modeled in high relief on the walls. Other shrines contain elaborate frescoes of the hunting of deer and aurochs, or vultures devouring headless human corpses. Stone and terra-cotta statuettes found in these shrines represent a female figure, sometimes accompanied by leopards and, from the earlier levels of excavation, a male either bearded and seated on a bull or youthful and riding a leopard. The main deity of these people was evidently a goddess. The dead were buried beneath plastered platforms within the shrines or under the floors of the buildings. Evidence suggests both craft specialization and social stratification.
catalog
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: catalogue
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An inventory of archaeological data in which an artifact is labeled with a reference number and described in detail. The catalog number is the unique number assigned to each individual item -- or group of items -- in an archaeological collection.
catalog number
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The unique number assigned to each individual item (or group of items) in an archaeological collection
catalog, catalogue
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An inventory of archaeological data in which an artifact is labeled with a reference number and described in detail. The catalog number is the unique number assigned to each individual item -- or group of items -- in an archaeological collection.
cataract
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: Any rocky areas of rapids interrupting the flow of the Nile River, caused by granite abruptly interspersed in the Nubian sandstone belt. There are six numbered and several minor cataracts between Aswan and Khartoum, which are hazards to navigation. The 2nd Cataract, the most formidable, was impassable except during the annual inundation. Cataracts 1-4 and the Dal Cataract were political frontiers at different times.
catastrophe theory
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: catastrophism
CATEGORY: term; related field
DEFINITION: A mathematical theory and branch of geometry which demonstrates ways in which a system can undergo sudden large changes as one or more of the variables that control it are continuously changed. I.e., the theory explains change through a succession of sudden catastrophes. A small change in one variable can produce a sudden discontinuity in another. Archaeologists use the theory to show how sudden changes can stem from comparatively small variations. It has been used to explain the dramatic change in settlement patterns and the collapse of Maya and Mycenaean civilizations by comparatively small changes without there being large causes such as invasions or natural disaster.
catastrophic profile
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: catastrophic age profile
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A table plotting the age and sex of animal bones which shows the natural distribution of animals in a herd, suggesting natural disaster or unselective slaughter.
catch-plate
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Curved metal plate which holds the pin of a brooch in place, similar to that employed in a modern safety-pin.
catchment
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: catchment area
CATEGORY: term; feature
DEFINITION: The resource area of an archaeological site; the geographical area in which the inhabitants of a village or camp obtain resources.
categorization
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An aspect of the classification process that consists of creating groupings within a previously unclassified set of objects
catena
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A sequence of soils formed by the same parent material but from different landscape positions have taken on differing characteristics. Seeing these difference may assist interpretation of archaeological sites.
Cathedral Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site rich in rock art in Carnarvon Gorge, Australia, with evidence of occupation from about 3500 bp and stone and bone artifacts.
Catherwood, Frederick (1799-1854)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The first great explorer of Mesoamerica who, along with John Lloyd Stephens, explored the Maya lowlands and made drawings that provided insights into the culture and detailed the Maya glyphs.
cation-ratio dating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cation ratio dating
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of direct dating rock carvings and engravings, potentially applicable to Paleolithic artifacts with a strong patina caused by exposure to desert dust. The technique is based on the principle that cations of certain elements are more soluble than others; they leach out of rock varnish more rapidly than the less soluble elements, and their concentration decreases with time. A cation is an ion carrying a positive charge which moves toward the negative electrode/cathode during electrolysis.
catlinite
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Red clay from the Upper Missouri region, used by the Native Americans for their pipes
Caton-Thompson, Gertrude (1888-1985)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A British archaeologist who worked in Egypt, northern Transvaal, and the Arabian peninsula. She showed that the Great Zimbabwe site was of African construction.
cattle
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: live stock
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: Domesticated bovine farm animals of the genus Bos raised for their meat or milk or for draft purposes. Wild cattle or aurochs (Bos primigenius) were widely distributed and are beautifully portrayed in Palaeolithic cave art and present from the Middle Pleistocene. The earliest evidence of domestication (Bos taurus) comes from northern Greece before 6000 BC (Nea Nikomedeia in Macedonia, Argissa in Thessaly and Knossos in Crete) and from c 5800 BC at Catal Huyuk (Anatolia). Thereafter, different breeds were developed, notably B. longifrons in southwest Asia and Europe, and the humped zebu, B. indica, in India. The last record of Bos primigenius was 1627 AD in Poland, but it was uncommon long before then.
caudal
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: Pertaining to the tail.
cauldron
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A large metal vessel for cooking, usually with a round base, heavy flange rim, and handles for suspending it over a fire. Examples date from the European Late Bronze Age, with especially important ones from Urartu. In the Iron Age, they were sometimes made of silver. These cauldrons were usually made of sheet bronze riveted together and having 2-4 handles. Cauldrons were a sign of great wealth or power.
cauldron chains
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Pairs of connected short lengths of iron chain used to suspend a bronze cauldron over a source of heat.
cause
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In the archaeological sense, any event that forces people to make decisions about how to deal with a new situation.
causeway
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A pathway or road, often paved but not macadamized. It was often a raised road across a low or wet place or body of water -- as from the Nile to a pyramid across the desert plateau. The term was used for the Roman roads, especially military ones, and was also applied to piers that extended into rivers or the sea.
causewayed camp
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 Neolithic period. A common theory about the camps' use is as meeting places used at intervals by the population of a wide area.
Cavdar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cevdar
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell site in western Bulgaria of the first temperate Neolithic, dating to c 5100-4700 BC. There are Kremikovci occupation levels and one Karanovo level. The farming economy grew emmer wheat and barley and raised cattle. Kremikovci painted wares include a rich polychrome assemblage dating to the end of the Early Neolithic.
cave art
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any paintings, engravings, or designs on cave walls, man's oldest surviving art, especially those by Paleolithic and Pleistocene people that are found in southwest France, northeast Spain, and elsewhere in Europe. Other sites have been discovered in Portugal, Italy, Greece, and the Ural mountains; the only known Russian site is Kapovo Cave. The subject matter of cave art is predominantly animals, especially mammoth, horse, ox, deer, and bison; human figures are relatively uncommon. There are also numerous signs and symbols. The artist used a range of reds, blacks, yellows, and browns derived from ochres and other naturally occurring mineral pigments (iron oxide and manganese dioxide). The purpose and meaning of cave art are still obscure. In France, the caves are mainly in the limestone of the Perigord and Pyrennean regions and the most famous are Altamira, Lascaux, Niaux, and Pech Merle. Occupational evidence is rarely found with the art.
Cave Bay Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock shelter on Hunter Island off Tasmania, Australia, with three occupations around 23,000, 7000, and 2500 bp. The site shifted to a marine economy in the early Holocene, but was abandoned in mid-Holocene.
cave bear
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: An extinct species of bear that lived 300,000-10,000 years ago in Europe and the Mediterranean. They could be up to 8 feet long and about twice the weight of modern European brown bears. They were vegetarian.
cave dwelling
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.
cave earth
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A layer of earth forming the old floor of a cave before the depositing of stalagmite. The term also describes cave deposits of shattered boulders and pebbles that occur from frost and weathering.
Cave of Hearths
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave in northern Transvaal which yielded the right side of a Homo sapiens child's jaw, of Rhodesioid type, dating from about 50,000 years ago. It is located close to the Makapansgat site, the oldest cave site known in Africa. Both offer extremely early evidence of the use of fire by man in Africa and tools of the transitional Acheulian-Fauresmith type. The earliest deposits of the Cave of Hearths are Acheulian, followed by a long period of abandonment. There was a long succession of Pietersburg industries and some signs of typological continuity between the Acheulian and the Pietersburg assemblages. The Pietersburg industry was succeeded by an assemblage of subtriangular points and flake scrapers similar to the Bambata industry of Zimbabwe.
cave tomb
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A burial in a cave, a place of habitation and ritualistic practices such as cave art. The talus is the area just outside the cave.
cavea
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The concave-shaped auditorium of an ancient open-air theater, which was often a semicircle of stone benches rising in tiers. A cavea might be divided, depending on the size of the building, into 1-3 distinct tiers, called upper, lower, middle (summa, ima, media cavea).
cavetto
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cavetto cornice
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A hollow concave molding projecting from the tops of Egyptian cornices, pylons, altars, walls, doorways, flat-topped stelae, and false doors and whose profile is the quadrant of a circle. It was probably derived from the appearance of the tops of fronds of vegetation.
cavetto rim
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A rim, found especially on black-burnished cooking pots, which curves outwards from the vessel to form a concave, quarter-round profile.
cavetto zone
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A concave area of the face of a ceramic vessel between carinations. Typically below a rim or at the shoulder of a vessel.
Cayönü Tepesi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on a tributary of the Tigris River in eastern Turkey with occupation dating from c 7500-6500 BC. There are impressive architectural remains with stone foundations and evidence of a farming and hunting community. The latest phase included domesticated sheep and goats. Einkorn wheat was cultivated as well as emmer wheat, peas, and lentils. Another important feature of this site was the very early appearance of simple copper objects, derived from closeby Ergani Maden. Also, clay bricks, baked figurines, and pottery have been found.
Cayla de Mailhac
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in southwestern France with a settlement and a series of cemeteries of Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age c 700-100 BC. Occupation began with an urnfield culture. Iron became common in a second phase and a cart burial from La Redorte shows similarities to the Hallstatt Iron Age cultures. Phase III is dated to the second half of the 6th century BC by imports of Greek black figure ware and Etruscan pottery. The settlement of Phase IV was enclosed by a rampart and had houses of sun-dried brick. Datable material included Greek red figure pottery and fibula brooches of Hallstatt/early La Tène types. The last phase was of the La Tène culture.
Ceahlau-Cetatica
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic site in eastern Romania with artifacts of bifacial foliates, sidescrapers, and endscrapers. Upper levels of backed blades are from the Gravettian.
Celadon ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: celadon
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of Chinese pottery with a pale green glaze -- either porcelain or stoneware. It was the earliest tinted Chinese pottery, dating from the Sung Dynasty of 960-1279 AD. The main kilns were in Yao-chou in Shensi province, Lin-ju in Honan province, Li-shui, and Lung-ch'uan in Chekiang province.
Celebes
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sulawesi
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Indonesian island east of Borneo which has produced the oldest Buddhist image known in the archipelago, dated to the 4th century. Celebes lies between the two shelves of the Australian and Asian continents. A broad central area is made up of igneous rocks with a band of volcanic detritus (tuff) that is more than 65 million years old. The earliest traces of human habitation on Celebes are stone implements of the Toalian culture.
cell wall
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: An above-ground wall constructed to block in an above-ground kiva; usually forms a square or rectangle and kiva is within. The kiva may have a separate upper lining wall or the upper portion of the cell wall may also serve as the kiva's upper lining wall.
cella
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: naos
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In Classical architecture, the body of a temple -- the inner room or main hall where the principal statue or symbol of the god was worshipped. This inner sanctum, as distinct from the portico, was a simple room, usually rectangular, with the entrance at one end and with the side walls often being extended to form a porch. In larger temples, where the cella was open to the sky, a small temple was sometimes placed within.
Celtic art
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: La Tène art
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An art style of the European Iron Age, c 500 BC, developed presumably by Celtic peoples. It originated on the middle Rhine River, extending to the upper Danube and the Marne. Its finest specimens are from the British Isles in the first century BC and AD. It appears most commonly in bronzework or other metals, weapons and horse gear, eating and drinking vessels, personal ornaments, and monumental stone carvings. It seems likely that the craftsmen worked under the direct patronage of the chieftains. Techniques employed were decoration in relief, engraving, and inlay. Stylistically, Celtic art combines elements taken from the classical world, from the Scythians to the east and from the local earlier Hallstatt Iron Age. The art developed into several styles in continental Europe (Early, Waldalgesheim, Plastic and Sword styles) but came to an end with the Roman occupation. In Ireland, the art style returned after the Roman withdrawal.
Celts
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj Celtic; Gaels; Goidels; Galatians; Gauls
CATEGORY: culture; language
DEFINITION: An important people of central and western Europe. Greek and Roman writers recorded them as having lived in the final centuries BC and their existence is first attested c 500 BC, but they were around long before that. They were a fierce, warrior race distinguished by three factors: their language, their beliefs, and their material culture. They are known to have invaded Italy and sacked Rome itself in the early 4th century bc, while in the following century groups of Celts invaded Greece, sacking Delphi, and others invaded Anatolia. Their language belonged to the Indo-European family and divided into two branches at an early date (2nd-3rd millennium BC), respectively represented by the Welsh and Irish Gaelic languages. Original homelands appear to have been on the western and central mainland of Europe: France, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, and Switzerland. By mid-1st millennium BC, they also lived in Iberia (Spain and Portugal), Britain, Ireland, Low Countries south of the Rhine delta, and Italy north of River Po. In Britain, they were defeated by the Romans in AD 43. Archaeologically, in central Europe there were aristocratic burials of the Hallstatt culture, often containing wagons or horses. Archaeological cultures do not necessarily coincide with ethnic or linguistic groups and it is preferable to use the cultural terms Hallstatt and La Tene when describing archaeological remains.
cenotaph
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."
centaur
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In Greek mythology, a race of creatures, part horse and part man, dwelling in the mountains of Thessaly and Arcadia. It had a human head and arms and upper body and the four legs and lower body of a horse.
central limit theorem
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A theorem in statistics that assures us that, provided sample size is sufficiently large, the sampling distribution of a random sample drawn even from a rather unusual distribution is approximately normal with a mean of <u> and variance of <o2>/N.
central place
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A primary center or settlement surrounded by secondary, satellite communities.
central place theory
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: central-place theory
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: In geography, a theory concerning the size and distribution of central places (settlements) within a system or region. The primary purpose of a settlement or market town, according to central-place theory, is the provision of goods and services for the surrounding market area. Such towns are centrally located and may be called central places. As applied to archaeology, the theory states that human settlements will space themselves evenly across a landscape as a function of the availability of natural resources, communication and transportation routes, and other factors. Eventually, these will evolve into a hierarchy of settlements of different size that depend on one another. Central-place theory attempts to illustrate how settlements locate in relation to one another, the amount of market area (goods and services) a central place can control, and why some central places function as hamlets, villages, towns, or cities. The theory was first developed by German geographer Walter Christaller. Christaller's theory concentrated on centers of different order, since in a complex system there will be some larger centers offering more specialized services to a wider area; there may indeed be many levels of such centers in a complex settlement hierarchy. Christaller's model has been modified by other geographers, especially August Losch. The theory may suggest ways in which the factors have affected the settlement pattern. Central place theory has found useful applications in archaeology as a preliminary heuristic device.
central tendency
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: Any measure that expresses what is 'typical, average, common' in a group of observations, including the mode, median, and mean.
centralization
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Evolutionary process whereby wealth, power, political decision making, and social prestige are concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer subgroups or individuals within a society.
centrally based wandering model
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A model for hunter-gatherer cultures centered around base camps.
centripetal
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Describing core - moving or tending to move toward a center
centuriation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The practice of dividing up the territory surrounding a new Roman colony to match the city's grid plan of square blocks, normally 2,330 feet (710 m) on a side. The centuriation process was done for land distribution to the settlers and also for inventory. Signs of it were first detected in northern Africa from the 1830s, through surviving crop marks and roads, and have been found, mainly through air photography, in Trier and Homs (Syria) and large areas of northern Italy and Tunisia.
cephalic index
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A measurement technique used to define the relationship between the length and breadth of a human skull. The breadth of the skull is expressed as a percentage of the length and the ratio is figured as the maximum breadth to the maximum length, measured from a point just above the eyebrow ridges, multiplied by 100. This produces an index which defines the skull as round-headed (brachycephalic; a reading above 80), long-headed (dolichocephalic; a reading below 75), or in-between (meso- or mesaticephalic; a reading between 75-80). It is an important anthropological tool though it is now recognized that other methods of measurement are needed to compare skull shapes adequately.
ceramic
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An artifact made of hard brittle material produced from nonmetallic minerals by firing at high temperatures; a solid made of compounds of metallic elements and inorganic nonmetallic elements: earthenwares, porcelains, stonewares, terracottas, and other materials made of fired clay
ceramic analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any of various techniques used to study artifacts made from fired clay to obtain archaeological data. Color is objectively described by reference to the Munsell soil color charts. Examination under the microscope may reveal the technique of manufacture and allow the identification of mineral grains in the tempering, which will identify the area of manufacture. Refiring experiments often show how the original baking was done.
ceramic artifact
CATEGORY: ceramics; artifact
DEFINITION: Any artifact made of fired clay, belonging to pottery, figurine, or other ceramic industries.
ceramic ecology
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A framework for studying ceramics from the perspective of the manufacturing steps and use, analogous to the Chaine opératoire in lithic analysis.
ceramic petrology
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study of the composition, texture, and structure of the minerals in the clay from which pottery is manufactured. The purpose of ceramic petrology is to locate the source of the clay from which the pot was made. Ceramic petrology involves either heavy mineral analysis or petrologic microscopy, both of which require samples to be removed from the pot. Neutron activation analysis is also used. Results from these studies have far-reaching consequences for the study of early economic systems. Not only has it been shown that pottery and its contents were transported over long distances in antiquity, but also that the specialized manufacture and marketing of pottery started as far back as the first agriculture in Europe.
ceramic sociology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: A field of study involving the reconstruction of past social systems from distributions of stylistic attributes of pottery in time and space.
ceramics
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pottery
CATEGORY: artifact; ceramics
DEFINITION: The art or process of making useful and ornamental articles from clay by shaping and then hardening them by firing at high temperatures. Ceramics are generally known as pottery, but the term also refers to the manufacture of any product from a nonmetallic mineral by firing at high temperatures. The exceptional porcelain and stonewares of China are very well known, from as early as the Yang-Shao Neolithic culture, c 4500 BC.
ceramique oncteuse
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of medieval pottery of western Brittany, made from the 10th-18th centuries. It is typically very soft and uses talc as the tempering material. This unusual pottery was a distinctive product of the Breton culture.
ceremonial center
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In the prehistoric New World, a complex of buildings that served as the focus of religious and governmental activities, differing from a village or town. These buildings were used at prescribed times by the peoples lived in a dispersed areas. Permanent residence was restricted to very few people on these sites, usually the elite and their retainers. Sites such as Teotihuacan, Tikal, and Monte Alban, have been interpreted as ceremonial centers. However, subsequent fieldwork beyond the major architectural features has shown that many sites were directly associated with large populations and thus challenges the original premise of their being ceremonial centers. Other more valid examples may be La Venta and San Lorenzo.
ceremonial object
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any artifact associated with a ritual or ceremony or that functions only in a symbolic sense, as opposed to a tool or other practical device.
Ceren, Joya de
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Maya settlement located in San Salvator which was buried by the eruption of the Laguna Caldera in 684 AD. There is a farmhouse of the 5th century AD preserved under the ash, which bodies huddled in one room and the contents still in excellent condition.
Cernavoda
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cemetery site of the Late Neolithic near the Black Sea coast of Rumania dating to the mid-4th millennium BC. Over 300 inhumations are known, occurring in groups, some with rich grave goods of the Hamangia culture. There is also a Late Copper Age site dating to the 3rd millennium BC that ranges over the Black Sea coast of Rumania and Bulgaria. The latter had short-lived occupation sites and is associated with the Ezero group.
Cernica
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Neolithic site of the late 5th millennium BC in Rumania. There is a settlement and cemetery with over 350 graves, some with richer grave goods of marble, shell and bone beads, and some copper ornaments.
Cerro Blanco
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in the Nepena valley on the central coast of Peru which has a massive platform of conical adobes and stones. This temple complex supports rooms with walls covered by Chavín decoration, including eyes and feline fangs, modeled in mud plaster in low relief and painted red and greenish yellow.
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-relief style 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-style pottery 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 redistribution point for materials from both Mexico and the Maya lowlands.
Cerveteri
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 Etruscan language 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.
cesium magnetometer
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A measurement tool used to detect large structures underground and their magnetic fluctuations by measuring the effects of transitions between atomic energy levels. It is considered more efficient than a proton magnetometer, which does the same thing.
Ch'ü-chia-ling culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Neolithic culture of central China in the middle and lower Yangtze River valley in the 4th and 3rd millennia. It followed the Yang-Shao culture and preceded the Lung-Shan culture and shared a significant number of traits with the Ta-hsi culture. There was cultivation of rice, flat polished axes, ring-footed vessels, goblets with sharply angled profiles, ceramic whorls, and black pottery with designs painted in red after firing. Characteristic Ch'ü-chia-ling ceramic objects include eggshell-thin goblets and bowls painted with black or orange designs; double-waisted bowls; tall, ring-footed goblets and serving stands; and many styles of tripods. The whorls suggest a thriving textile industry. The chronological distribution of ceramic features suggests a transmission from Ta-hsi to Ch'ü-chia-ling, but the precise relationship between the two cultures is not known.
Ch'ang-An
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 Qin capital 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.
Ch'i-chia culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Qijia
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic culture in northwest China dating from c 1700 BC which shows North Eurasian influence. Descendant of earlier painted pottery Neolithic cultures, it is characterized by the use of amphora-like jars with loop handles, comblike designs, and by copper tools (axes and rectangular knives). The culture survived into historic times and remains from as late as the 1st century BC have been found. Evidence of the culture was first found in Ch'i-chia-p'ing in the early 1920s by Swedish geologist Johan Gunnar Andersson. In the 1950s, important finds were located in nearby Yang-wa-wan and Ts'ui-chia-chuang by the Chinese archaeologists Pei Wen-chung and Hsia Nai. The Ch'i-chia people lived in large villages in terraces along the Huang Ho (Yellow River) and buried their dead in pits.
Ch'in Dynasty
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kin, Qin
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Dynasty of 221-206 BC that unified China into a single empire. The Ch'in, from which the name China is derived, established the approximate boundaries and basic administrative system that Chinese dynasties were to follow for the next 2,000 years. The dynasty was originated by the state of Ch'in, one of the many small feudal states into which China was divided between 771-221 BC. In 247 BC, the boy king Chao Cheng came to the throne and he completed the Ch'in conquests and created the Ch'in empire. Chao Cheng proclaimed himself Ch'in Shih huang-ti (First Sovereign Emperor of Ch'in"). To rule the vast territory the Ch'in installed a rigid authoritarian government; they standardized the writing system standardized the measurements of length and weight and the width of highways abolished all feudal privileges built the Great Wall and in 213 ordered all books burned except those on utilitarian subjects. Excavations have found examples of the standard weights and measures imposed on China. There is also a spectacular large group of lifesize pottery figures of warriors horses and chariots found in area adjacent to the tomb of the first Ch'in emperor Ch'in Shih huang-ti."
Ch'ing Dynasty
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Qing, Manchu dynasty
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The last imperial dynasty of China (1644-1911/12 AD), Manchu in origin. Under the Ch'ing, the territory tripled in size and the population grew from 150,000,000 to 450,000,000 and an integrated national economy was established. There are some elaborately constructed tombs. Ch'ing porcelain is technically masterful, but Ch'ing artists were individualistic and innovative.
Ch'ing-lien-kang culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The name given an Eastern Neolithic culture of China, c 4000-3000 BC, found in the provinces of southern Shantung, Kiangsu, and northern Chekiang. Painted pottery with flowerlike designs existed that had certain affinities with pottery from western Neolithic Yang-Shao culture. Pottery on high pierced stands, fine flat polished axes, and decorative pendants in jade have also been found.
Ch'u
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ch'u state; Chu
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: One of the most important independent states of south-central China between 770-221 BC, during the second half of the Chou Dynasty. It emerged in the fertile Yangtze River Valley just outside the Chinese culture of the time. It was a great military threat other Chinese states as the state was barbarian in origin. Ch'u began to expand rapidly into China proper, conquering much of present-day Honan province, and its people soon began to acquire Chinese speech and customs. From the 8th century until its destruction by Qin in the 3rd century bc Chu was the largest and most powerful of the Eastern Zhou states. Artifacts include bronze casting of fine inlaid bronzes, weapons, ritual vessels, bells, and drums, and mirrors and the state was known also for lacquer and silk. Lacquered objects range from containers to wooden effigies, musical instruments, coffins, and other wooden tomb furniture. Sites near Tung-t'ing (Yungmeng) Lake, and in Xiasi and Xinyang, but Ch'u remains are most densely concentrated at Jiangling in southern Hubei and Changsha in northern Hunana. The Ch'u capital was at Jiangling from 689-278 BC, when the city fell to Qin. The Ch'u court retreated to the Huai valley and stayed there until its final overthrow in 221 BC. Archaeological and historical sources show it to have been a distinctive, highly civilized cultural and political entity.
Châtelperronian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chatelperonian, Chatelperron, Chatelperronian, Lower Périgordian; formerly Lower Aurignacian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic culture and earlier stage of the Perigordian, concentrated in the Périgord region of France but believed to have originated in southwestern Asia. It is distinguished from contemporary stone tool culture complexes by the presence of curved-backed knives (knives sharpened both on the cutting edge and the back). It is the earliest known blade culture. The Châtelperronian has radiocarbon dates of 31,690 BC ? 250 and 31,550 ? 400 at Grotte du Renne (Arcysur-Cure, Yonne), but it may have started as early as 35-34,000. This cave site culture is also characterized by bone tools and weapons (made of ivory or reindeer antler) and flint knives.
Chün ware
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 translucent green glaze, 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.
chacmool
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.
Chaco Canyon
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 road system, 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.
chafing dish
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A cooking pot with an outer pan of hot water, used for keeping food warm.
Chagar Bazar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tell Chagar Bazar
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A tell site on a tributary of the River Khabur in northeast Syria with levels from the 5th millennium BC (Halaf period) 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.
chain
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A series of connecting metal links.
chain mail
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mail
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of protective body armor 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.
Chaine opératoire
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A perspective for studying lithic technology that emphasizes the sequence of decisions and behaviors from raw material selection and acquisition, through manufacture, use, recycling, and discard.
chaining
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: A problem found in hierarchical clustering methods whereby items in the same group may have no attribute values in common but are still grouped together because other members of the group share attribute values with one or both of them.
Chaironeia
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chaeronea
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Middle Neolithic settlement on a mound in Boeotia, Greece, with distinctive red-on-cream pottery. The site has a stone lion which guards the tomb of Thebans killed in a battle in 338 BC.
Chaiya
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The location of two sites in Thailand: Wat Wiang of the late 1st-early 2nd millennium and Ban Phum Rieng. Wat Wiang is a moated settlement with inscriptions connecting the town with Grahi, Srivijaya, and Tambralinga.
Chalandriani
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Early Bronze Age settlement and cemetery in the Cyclades islands off Greece, dating to the 3rd millennium BC. The settlement was surrounded by stone defenses with six semi-circular bastions; inside were a number of small rooms, separated by narrow paths. The cemetery of around 500 tombs, each containing one or two bodies, had artifacts of the so-called Keros-Syros culture, including the highly decorated dishes known as frying pans.
Chalcatzingo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large Olmec site and trade center in Mexico with many rock carvings.
chalcedony
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: chalcedony
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A fine-grained hard stone, a variety of the silica mineral quartz. A form of chert, it is found in a variety of milky or grayish colors with distinctive parallel bands of contrasting color. In antiquity, chalcedony was the stone most used by the gem engraver for beads, seals, and sometimes as a substitute for flint. The agate, carnelian, jasper, and onyx are some of the varieties still cut and polished as ornamental stones.
Chalcidian ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Black-figured pottery found in Etruria and the Chalcidian colony of Rhegium (modern Reggio) in Italy. The style included lettering of the inscriptions as part of the decoration.
Chalcolithic
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chalcolithic period; Eneolithic, Copper Age
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: Literally, the Copper Stone 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 transitional phase 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 Chalcolithic period at all."
Chaldea
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chaldaea; Chaldaeans
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A land in southern Babylonia (modern southern Iraq) frequently mentioned in the Old Testament and first described by Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 884/883-859 BC). Its more important rulers were Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar, and Nabonidus, who ruled an empire from the Persian Gulf between the Arabian desert and the Euphrates delta. Nabopolassar in 625 became king of Babylon and inaugurated a Chaldean dynasty that lasted until the Persian invasion of 539 BC. The prestige of his successors, Nebuchadrezzar II (reigned 605-562) and Nabonidus (reigned 556-539), was such that Chaldean" became synonymous with "Babylonian" and Chaldea replaced Assyria as the main power in the Near East. "Chaldean" also was used by several ancient authors to denote the priests and other persons educated in the classical Babylonian astronomy and astrology and to the Aramaean tribe named for Kaldu which first settled in this area in the 10th century BC."
chalice
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A stemmed cup used for holding the wine during communion.
chaltoon
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: choltun, chultun
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A series of underground chambers found in areas of Mesoamerica that were used principally for storage. Shaped like bottles, they may also have been used as seat baths or burial chambers.
Cham
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: A linguistic and ethnic group of the Austronesian family which once controlled the central coast of modern Vietnam as the state of Champa.
chamber pot
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A bowl kept in a bedroom and used as a toilet
chamber tomb
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: chambered tomb
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A prehistoric tomb, 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.
chamberstick
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A single candle holder with a curved handle coming from the base
Champ Durand
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Neolithic fortification in Vendée, France and associated material of the Late Neolithic, including Peu-Richardien decorated pottery of c 3300-3000 BC.
Champa
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An ancient kingdom formed in 192 AD, during the breakup of the Han dynasty of China, corresponding roughly to present central Vietnam. Although the territory was at first inhabited mainly by wild tribes which struggled with the Chinese colonies in Tonkin, it gradually came under Indian cultural influence. Champa artifacts include well-developed sculpture and reliefs from the 7th century and impressive architecture from the 9th century. The kingdom was slowly absorbed into Vietnam and by the end of the 17th century had ceased to exist.
champlevé
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.
Champollion, Jean-François (1778-1867)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: French historian and linguist who founded scientific Egyptology and played a major role in the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics by deciphering the Rosetta Stone. A masterful linguist, Champollion started publishing papers on the hieroglyphic and hieratic elements of the Rosetta Stone in 1821-1822, and he went on to establish an entire list of hieroglyphic signs and their Greek equivalents. He was first to recognize that some of the signs were alphabetic, some syllabic, and some determinative (standing for a whole idea or object previously expressed). His brilliant discoveries met with great opposition, however. He became curator of the Egyptian collection at the Louvre, conducted an archaeological expedition to Egypt, and received the chair of Egyptian antiquities, created specially for him, at the Collège de France. He also published an Egyptian grammar and dictionary, as well as other works about Egypt.
Chan Chan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chanchan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An ancient pre-Inca city on the northern coast of Peru, the capital of the Chimú kingdom c 1200-1400 AD. The ruins cover nearly 14 square miles (36 square km) and are in good condition because there is no rain. The buildings were made of adobe brick and there are 10 walled citadels (quadrangles) each containing pyramidal temples, cemeteries, gardens, symmetrical rooms, and reservoirs. These quadrangles probably the living quarters, burial places, and warehouses of the aristocracy. Most of the city's population (40,000-200,000 total) lived outside of the quadrangles in modest quarters. The Chimú kingdom was the chief state in Peru before the establishment of the Inca empire and its economy was agricultural. The Chimús made produced fine textiles and gold, silver, and copper objects. Between 1465-1470, the Chimú came under Inca rule. It was one of the largest Pre-Columbian cities in Peru.
Chanapata
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture of the Cuzco area in the Peruvian Andes, c 1000-200 BC. The type site has dark-hued or red pottery with incised, punctated, relief-modeled decoration, and a burnished or brushed finish.
Chancay
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. Chancay weaving was considered excellent.
chancel
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The part of a church for the choir, often near the altar and on the east side. At one time, only clergy and choir members were permitted in the chancel and it was often set off by a railing or screen.
Chancelade
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Raymonden
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Magdalenian rock shelters in Dordogne, France, with hearths, harpoons, and mobiliary art. The ochre-covered burial of Chancelade man" found in 1888 was a Homo sapiens sapiens."
Chandoli
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in southern India occupied in the 2nd millennium BC. Ground stone axes, copper flat axes and antenna swords/daggers, and pottery of Malwa type have been found as well as urn burials.
Chang'an
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.
Changsha
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ch'ang-sha
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: City and capital of Hunan province, China, where Neolithic sites have been investigated since 1955. Isolated finds hint at Shang and Western Zhou settlement in this area. Over a thousand Chu burials have been excavated, with the richest being the early 2nd century BC tombs at Mawangdui. Artifacts from the Chu capital at Jiang-ling are comparable in date and importance.
Chanhu-Daro
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chanhudaro, Chanhu-daro
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city of the Harappan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC that is located in the Indus Valley south of Mohenjo-Daro in modern Pakistan. First excavated in the 1930s, it was characterized by a gridiron street plan and drainage system of typical Harappan towns. Evidence was found for the processes of sawing, flaking, grinding, and boring of stone beads. Occasional copper or bronze weapons of foreign" type are found in late contexts at Chanhu-daro. Excavation also showed that like Mohenjo-Daro Chanhu-Daro had been inundated by floods: it was twice destroyed and subsequently rebuilt on a different plan. After the end of the Indus Valley civilization it was reoccupied by the Jhukar culture."
Chania
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Khania, Kydonia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of a Minoan administrative center, Kydonia, in western Crete. No palace has been found at the Bronze Age settlement, but Linear A and Linear B inscriptions have been discovered.
channel flake
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: The long, thin blade if stone removed longitudinally from the base of a fluted Paleo-Indian projectile point by percussion or pressure from the center line of either face. The smooth depression it leaves behind is known as a flute or channel.
channel-rimmed jar
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of Romano-British cooking pot having a simple out-turned rim with one or more distinct grooves on it. Particularly common in Northamptonshire and north Bedfordshire in the mid to late 1st century.
channeled
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The decoration of an artifact with grooves or broad incisions.
Chansen
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement site of central Thailand which traded with India during the first two centuries AD and with Funan sites till the 5th-6th centuries.
chape
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The metal mounting, trim, or case of the upper end of a sword scabbard, protecting the tip.
characteristic points
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Points on the contours of a vessel silhouette or vertical section marking angles (corner points) or curvature (inflection points), used in one system of classifying vessel shapes
characterization
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: characterization studies
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Methods of examining and identifying characteristic properties of the constituent material of traded goods for identifying their source of origin. This study is mostly done on clay, metal, and stone and involves petrographic thin-section analysis.
Charaman
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Proto-Stillbay, Charama
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stone industry of Zimbabwe and parts of southern and central Zambia where it was the local successor of the Sangoan. Many Charaman assemblages come from surface or river-gravel occurrences, as at Victoria Falls. There are many scrapers, sub-triangular points, and other flake tools. Charaman deposits have been found in cave sites, such as Broken Hill, which yielded the remains of Homo sapiens rhodesiensis.
Charavines
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A lake dwelling in Isère, France, which is underwater but well-preserved. There were timber houses and dendrochronology dates the first village to 2740 BC. There are finely flaked flint daggers with coiled willow handles.
charcoal
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A porous black form of carbon obtained when wood is heated in the absence of air
charcoal identification
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of studying charcoal, frequently found in archaeological contexts, to identify the type of tree from which it came. Charcoal is partly burned ('charred') wood, consisting mostly of carbon, sometimes found in situ as burned timbers of buildings and other structures or in hearths, but more frequently widely disseminated through the deposits. Its transverse, radial, and tangential sections are examined, as each type of wood has a characteristic structure. The main value of charcoal identification will be for showing the use made of different resources by ancient man. Charcoal survives because carbon cannot be utilized by organism decomposition.
Charentian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Mousterian (Middle Palaeolithic) culture of at least two types, Quina and Ferrassie, of the Charente region of France. Dominance racloirs (side scrapers), Quina retouch, and handaxes have been found. The Charentian seems to originate in the penultimate glacial period, and has a distribution across Europe and Russia.
charge-coupled device
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: CCD
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A device using a light-sensitive material on a silicon microchip to electronically detect light to produce an electronic image.
charger
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A large flat dish or platter
chariot
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A light vehicle of war, usually carrying two people, a warrior, and a driver. Examples have been found from the Uruk period 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.
Charlemagne (?-814)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Carolus Magnus, Charles the Great, Charles I of the holy Roman Empire, Charles I of France
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The king of the Franks from 768-814 AD, who conquered the Lombard kingdom in Italy, subdued the Saxons, and annexed Bavaria to his kingdom. He is one of the greatest historical and legendary heroes, son of Pepin the Short, restored the kingdom's laws and economy, and re-established the institutions of the Western Church. Charlemagne was an able military leader, fighting campaigns in Spain and Hungary, uniting into one superstate almost all of the Christian lands of western Europe. In 800, he also became emperor. His patronage and accomplishments became known as the Carolingian Renaissance.
charm
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A small ornament worn on a necklace or bracelet
charnel house
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Building or vault in which bones or dead bodies are placed
charred, charring
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Converted to charcoal or carbon usually by heat, organic materials may be preserved. Partial burning reduces the materials to a carbon-rich residue. In the case of wood, this residue is charcoal. Many organic materials may not retain their structure and become an amorphous residue. Charred remains are preserved on archaeological sites because carbon is relatively inert in the soil and the microorganisms which would normally break down organic material are unable to make use of this form of carbon. Charred remains are a particularly good material for radiocarbon dating.
Charsada
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pushkalavati, Peukolaotis
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Pakistan which was the capital of the Achaemenid satrapy of Gandhara. There is a series of mounds, up to 20 meters high, concealing the caravan city of Pushkalavati with occupation from the 6th century BC to the 2nd or 1st century BC. Excavations near the largest mound, Bala Hisar, identified the defenses overrun by Alexander the Great in 327 BC, a rampart and ditch. A separate mound nearby, Shaikhan, was an Indo-Greek city of the second century BC.
Chartres
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A city in northern France which is the site of an important pilgrimage church since the Carolingian period (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.
chasing
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A technique for the decoration of metalwork by engraving on the outside of the raised surface. The metal is worked from the front by hammering with tools that raise, depress, or push aside the metal without removing any from the surface. Chasing is the opposite of embossing, or repoussé, in which the metal is worked from the back to give a higher relief. Strictly chasing refers to line decoration applied to the face of repoussé work with a tracer, but the term is frequently used more generally to describe any hammered or punched decoration on metal.
chasing tool
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: chaser
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A kind of punch used in metalworking to create repousse style ornament.
Chassey
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chasséen culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Middle Neolithic culture found over most of France, named for the Camp de Chassey, which appeared c 4300 BC. By this time, Chassey pottery had superseded impressed ware in the south and the new style is found in caves, village sites, cists, pit graves, and megalithic chamber tombs. The earliest Chassey pottery is often decorated with scratched geometric patterns, whereas the later wares are more plain and have pan-pipe (flûte de pan) lugs. In north and central France, the culture appeared c 3800. In many areas the Chassey people were the first Neolithic farmers. The pottery and flintwork of the Paris basin differ in many ways from those of the Midi. One distinctive form of vessel, the vase support with scratched decoration, is confined to the Paris basin and western France. Both cave and open settlements were occupied.
Chateau Gaillard
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: (French: Saucy Castle")"
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A 12th-century castle built by Richard the Lion-Heart on his return from the Third Crusade in 1196. Sitting on the Andelys cliff overlooking the Seine River in France, substantial portions of it still stand. Château Gaillard, the strongest castle of its age, guarded the Seine River valley approach to Normandy. It was successfully besieged by Philip II in 1204. The French isolated the fort with a double ditch, then collapsed part of the châtelet and penetrated the main fortress through the latrines.
Chateauneuf-les -Martigues
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Martigues
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large rock shelter northwest of Marseilles in southern France, with a series of deposits from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Neolithic. There was impressed ware and a radiocarbon date in the early 6th millennium BC. It was probably the site of the Roman camp, Maritima Avaticorum.
chatelaine
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A set of short chains attached to a woman's belt, used for carrying keys or other items.
Chatham Islands
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Ten islands in the South Pacific, 860 km east of New Zealand, which were settled by Polynesians from New Zealand about 1000-1200 AD. The culture was a fishing and collecting population until European contact (1791). The original inhabitants, called Morioris, died out following contact with Europeans and conquest by New Zealand Maoris in 1835. Areas of limestone indicate that the islands may once have been part of New Zealand. There are no indigenous mammals, and the reptiles are of New Zealand species.
chattel art
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mobiliary art
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: All portable decorated objects, especially those of Palaeolithic date
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 temple complex 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 Paracas culture shows strong continuing Chavín influence.
Cheddar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj. Crewellian, Cheddarian
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Somerset county, England, where a gorge and caverns have offered up human remains and artifacts (stone and bone tools) dating back to the Stone Age. The Gough's Cave finds probably date from 8-10,000 BC. Cheddar cheese was first made there at or before the beginning of the 12th century and was aged in the caves.
Cheddar point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of later Upper Palaeolithic flint tool found in the British Isles, named after examples found in the Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, England. Made on a relatively narrow flint blade, both ends are worked to produce an elongated trapezoidal form with the long side of the blade left unworked and the shorter side blunted. Possibly used as knife blades.
Cheddar ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A regional type of late Saxon pottery (Saxo-Norman pottery) dating to the period AD 850 to AD 1150 manufactured in central Somerset, England.
chekan
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 Scythian period. 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.
Chellean
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chellian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An early Stone Age industry (Lower Palaeolithic) characterized by crudely worked hand axes. The implements from the type site Chelles-sur-Marne, near Paris, France, that gave the industry its name are now grouped with the Acheulian industry. The term Chellean, in the sense of earliest hand-ax culture, has been replaced by Abbevillian industry. The industry was so-named in the 1880s, replacing the term Acheulian, which was eventually reinstated.
Chelsea sword
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Early type of bronze sword 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.
chemical analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The main use of chemical analysis in archaeology has been the identification of trace, major, and minor elements characteristic of particular sources of raw materials such as obsidian. The methods include X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, optical emission spectrometry, atomic absorption spectrometry, spectrographic X-ray diffraction, and neutron activation analysis. This information can be useful in the study of technology, trade, and distribution.
chemical anomaly
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any change in the chemical constituency of the soils underlying a habitation, creates by the common activities of human beings.
Cheng-chou
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cheng Chou, Chengxian
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of the Shang dynasty capital 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 Shang dynasty moved its capital again; Chou (post-1050 BC) tombs have also been discovered. It is thought that in the Western Chou period (1111-771 BC) it became the fief of a family named Kuan. In 605 AD it was first called Cheng-chu.
Chenla
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A kingdom of the Khmers of the 6th-8th centuries AD in what is now southern Laos. It expanded to absorb the territories formerly occupied by Funan (now Cambodia). At the beginning of the 8th century it split into Water Chenla" and "Land Chenla". Chenla ceased to exist when the kingdom of Angkor was established in 802. From local inscriptions remarkable sculptures architectural remains and Chinese sources it is clear that it was an Indianized kingdom. There was an important cult site called Wat Phu (Laos)."
Cheops (fl early 26th c BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kheops, Khufu, Khufwey, Khnomkhufwey
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The second king of the 4th Dynasty (c 2575-2465 BC) of Egypt who erected the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is the largest of the three pyramids, the length of each side at the base averaging 755 3/4 feet (230.4 m) and its original height being 481 2/5 feet (147 m). Cheops/Khufu reigned c 2570 BC. His sons, Djedefre (Redjedef) and Chephren (Khafre), succeeded him.
Chephren (fl late 26th c BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Khafre, Khephren, Khafra, Souphis
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The fourth king of the 4th Dynasty (c 2575-2465 BC) of Egypt, Cheops' (Khufu) son. Chephren erected the second pyramid of the Giza group as well as the Great Sphinx. He reigned c 2540 BC. The middle pyramid was and measures 707 3/4 feet (216 m) on each side and was originally 471 feet (143 m) high. Many consider the Great Sphinx to bear Chephren/Khafre's features.
chert
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hornstone, phthanite
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A coarse type of siliceous (silica) rock, a form of quartz, used for the manufacture of stone tools where flint was not available. It is of poorer quality than flint, formed from ancient ocean sediments and often has a semi-glassy finish. It is pinkish, white, brown, gray, or blue-gray in color. Flint, chert, and other siliceous rocks like obsidian are very hard, and produce a razor-sharp edge when properly flaked into tools. This crystalline form of the mineral silica is found as nodules in limestones. Varieties of chert are jasper, chalcedony, agate, flint, and novaculite. Chert and flint provided the main source of tools and weapons for Stone Age man.
Chesowanja
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Kenya, dated to 1.4 mya, which has produced very early evidence of fire in association with tools. If it was man-made, as opposed to natural cause such as lightning, then there is the question as to which hominid was responsible: Homo erectus or Austrlopithecus robustus.
Chester
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Deva, Castra Devana
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of the Roman headquarters of the 20th Legion. It was an important Roman town but was deserted by the early 5th century. There are a number of Roman remains, including the foundations of the north and east walls. Modern Chester overlies the massive Roman camp (castra) of some 24 hectares, sited strategically on the River Dee. Perhaps already a small fort by 60 AD, the fortress and an aqueduct were firmly established in 76-79. Outside the fortifications lay a civilian settlement, an amphitheater, cemeteries, and quarries. Roman abandonment came about 380.
Chester-type ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A regional type of late Saxon pottery (Saxo-Norman pottery) dating to the period AD 850 to AD 1150 manufactured in northwest England.
chevaux de frise
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A form of defense consisting of closely spaced stakes, spikes, or stones placed on end which served to impede or break up a cavalry charge. Chevaux de frises are sometimes found as the outer defense of hillforts in prehistoric Europe.
Chevdar
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cevdar
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An early Neolithic tell site in Bulgaria. It was the target of one of the earliest uses of flotation in European archaeology, on soil samples from floors and ovens.
chevron flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A V-shaped flaking pattern which extended beyond the distal tip along much or all of one or both faces of a blade.
chi-square test
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A statistical test that is used to measure the significant differences between sets of observed values and those which would be expected and determine whether the deviation from what was expected is more than random chance would suggest. It can be used for many different archaeological observations, such as examining the existence of an association between settlement distribution and distinct ecological zones in a region, or between different fabrics and decorative styles in pottery production. From the data, the number expected in each zone on a random distribution can be calculated by proportion, and the deviation between expectation and observation measured. It is then possible to assess whether the observed data could have arisen by chance, or whether some other factor is affecting it. Karl Pearson developed the test.
Chiao
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Giao Chi, Giao Chau, Giao, Chiao-Chih, Giao-chi
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A former independent kingdom of Nam Viet which became the Chinese province Chiao, later incorporated into the Han empire in 111 BC. The province of Chiao consisted of nine commanderies, six of which correspond to the present Chinese provinces of Kwangtung and Kwangsi and the island of Hainan, while the other three formed the northern half of present Vietnam which gained independence from China in 939.
Chiapa de Corzo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on the Grijalva River in Chiapas, Mexico, with one of the longest occupational sequences in Mesoamerica, c 1500 BC to the present. It flourished in Late Pre-Classic to Early Classic times with adobe construction, ceramics and figurines, and then pyramids dating to 550 BC and residential complexes of cut stone to 150 BC. The style and iconography of certain artifacts indicate contact with Izapa and Kaminaijuyu in the Late Pre-Classic. Hundreds of broken sherds tell of trade contact with sites in the Penen, Monte Alban, and Teotihuacan in the Early Classic.
Chibcha
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Muisca
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A South American people who lived in the high valleys around the modern cities of Bogota and Tunja in Colombia. They had a population of more than 500,000 and were more centralized politically than any other South American people outside the Inca empire. Each of the many small districts had its own chief and they belonged to several lesser states that in turn were allied to two major states, each headed by a hereditary ruler. The arrival of the Spanish cut short the Chibchas' development and their political structure was crushed in the 16th century. Their language was no longer spoken by the 18th century. Archaeological evidence is of a scattered rural population who cultivated highland crops and traded salt and emeralds for cotton, gold, and luxury goods. Gold, copper and tumbaga (a copper-gold alloy) were also worked in a variety of techniques. The ceremonial coating of the chief's body with gold leaf may well by the origin of the El Dorado legend. Chibcha's ceremonial practice centered around sun worship and included human sacrifice.
Chicanel
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A phase of the Lowland Maya Pre-Classic, the Late Formative culture of Petén, dating from 300 BC to 150 AD. It was characterized by architectural and ceramic traits which convey the rise of the Classic Maya civilization: temple-pyramids, corbelled arches, and painted murals. Their sites are quite uniform and there was a variety of ceramic forms. Chicanel pottery includes dishes with wide, grooved rims, bowls, and vessels resembling ice buckets. Figurines are absent. Temple platforms (e.g. Uaxactún) were built by facing a cemented-rubble core with thick layers of plaster. At Tikal, a huge Maya ceremonial center, the Acropolis was begun in Chicanel times, and white-stuccoed platforms and stairways with polychromed masks were much like Uaxactún. There is also a huge site, El Mirador, in the northern part of Petén. The El Mirador construction dwarfs even that of Tikal, although El Mirador only flourished through the Chicanel phase. Chicanel-like civilization is also known in Yucatán, where some temple pyramids of enormous size are datable to the Late Formative. Another important site is the cave of Loltún in Yucatán.
chicha
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: South American beer made from maize
Chicoid
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Boca Chica
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: One of the two ceramic series (the other, Meillacod) that seem to have developed out of the Ostinoid series. They originated near the type-site of Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, and then influenced much of the eastern Antilles. The Chicoid materials represent the ball game, Zemis, a variety of wood and stone carvings, and a strong Barrancoid influence is evident in the ceramics (modeled ornamentation and incision). The series first appears in c 1000 AD and continues till European contact.
chief steward
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.
Chien ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Chien Yao, Jian Yao, Temmoku ware, Tenmoku ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A dark brown or blackish glazed Chinese stoneware made for domestic use, mainly during the Sung dynasty (960-1279) and into the early 14th century. Within its limited palette, Chien ware has a range of variations. By careful control of the kiln temperatures, streaking and iridescent patches were formed on the glaze to make the hare's fur" and "oil spot" glaze which were the most prized. Large deposits of kiln wastes have been found at Chien-yang and Chien-an in Fukien province. Tea bowls are by far the most common though not the only form of Chien ware that survives. Used by Ch'an (Zen) Buddhist monks the highly esteemed tea bowls were carried back to Japan by Japanese monks who had visited China to study Buddhism. Until the late 16th century Chien ware was the type of tea bowl preferred for the highly ritualized Japanese tea ceremony."
Chiflet, Jean-Jacques (1588-1673)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Philip IV's (Spain) surgeon who was entrusted with studying and reporting on objects found in the tomb of Childeric I (AD 481/482), Clovis's father, discovered at Tournai in 1653. Anastasis Childerici I" printed in 1655 may be regarded as the earliest scientific archaeological publication."
Chifumbaze
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: An Early Iron Age complex found over a wide area of eastern/southeastern Africa, dating from 2500 years ago till the 11th century AD. The sites have evidence of metallurgy and manufacture of pottery. The complex is divided into the Urewe or Eastern Stream tradition and Kalundu or Western Stream tradition.
Chihua
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Phase of 4300-3000 BC, in the Ayacucho basin of Peru, where transhumance and agriculture may have been introduced. The beginning of agriculture in the highlands preceded settled village life, in contrast to Peruvian coastal lifeways.
Chilca
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 subsistence pattern 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.
Chin Dynasty
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Jin, Juchen, Jurchen, Ju-Chen, Ruzhen, Jurched, Jurchid
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Chinese dynasty (AD 1115-1234) founded by the Jurchen tribes of Manchuria, who were formerly vassals of the Khitans or Liao dynasty (AD 916-1125). They overran most of northern China and captured the Sung capital of K'ai-feng, forcing the Chinese to move their capital south to Hang-chou in 1126. The empire covered much of Inner Asia and all of North China.
china
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A vitrified / glassy and nonporous ceramic fired to a temperature of 1100-1200 Centigrade.
china clay
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A fine usually white clay formed by the weathering of aluminous minerals (as feldspar); used in ceramics
China Lake
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Prehistoric sites along the Mojave Desert in southern California including flakes, mammoth remains, etc. and thought to have been occupied c 12,000 BP.
chinampa
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 Aztec reclamation 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.
Chincha
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 ware pottery 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.
Chindadn point
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A small teardrop-shaped bifacial point found in central Alaska and dating to c 12,000-10,000 bp; they are diagnostic of the Nenana complex.
Chiozza
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Neolithic settlement site in Emilia in northern Italy, of the later 5th or early 4th millennium BC. Structural remains are oval and circular pits. The pottery was square-mouthed and the term Chiozza is sometimes used for this type of pottery or its latter phase.
chip-carving
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).
chippable
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: chipped-stone
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Of a stone, capable of being worked to produce a tool or other such artifact. Chipped-stone artifacts are the class of lithic artifacts produced by fracturing flakes from a core.
Chirand
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.
Chiricahua
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The second of three chronological stages of the Cochise culture in southern Arizona and New Mexico, with dates clustering between 4000-500 BC. The appearance of distinctive, side-notched projectile points indicates an interest in hunting though a mixed food-gathering economy is indicated by assemblages commonly including cobble manos, shallow basin grinding slabs, choppers, and scrapers. There were large base camps, storage pits, and outlying specialized-activity camps that show some permanence. There is evidence from Bat Cave in New Mexico of the cultivation of primitive maize.
Chiripa
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An early village site on the southern end of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, dating to the Early and Middle Horizon. Late Chiripa pottery 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.
chisel-ended arrowhead
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of arrow tip, usually of flint or stone, that has a sharp straight cutting edge at right angles to the axis of the arrow shaft, rather than a point. Such arrowheads are believed to have been used for shooting birds.
Chivateros
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 lithic flake industry 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 glacial activity in the Northern Hemisphere.
chlorite
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: steatite, soapstone
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A soft gray, green, or black silicate mineral used for seals and vessels, also called steatite. Chlorite is a common rock-forming mineral in clastic sediments and in hydrothermally altered igneous rocks; chlorites are widespread and important constituents of such metamorphic rocks as green schists or chlorite schists.
chocolate flint
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A high-quality flint of the Holy Cross Mountains in Poland, used for artifacts from the Mesolithic to Early Bronze Age. It is homogeneous and has excellent flaking qualities.
Choga Mami
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement site of the Samarra culture in southeast Iraq with radiocarbon dates of the late 6th millennium BC. There are several occupation phases from the Samarran to the Ubaid culture. Cattle, sheep, and goats were raised and wheat, barley, and flax cultivated with the aid of irrigation. The site has buildings of mud-brick; houses were rectangular and had ranges of rooms, in two or three rows. A mud-brick tower guarded the entrance to the settlement. Artifacts include Samarran painted pottery and elaborate female figurines of clay.
Choga Mish
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in southwest Iran occupied in the 6th millennium BC. The earliest layers have painted pottery related to that from Muhammed Jaffar, followed by pottery of Tepe Sabz and Susiana A.
Choga Zanbil
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.
Choisy-au-Bac
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement site at the confluence of the Oise and Aisne rivers in France, occupied from the Late Bronze Age to Hallstatt D in three main phases. There is bronze-working debris and iron-working furnaces.
Chokurcha
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Middle Palaeolithic cave sites in the Crimea, Ukraine. One had three occupation levels associated with woolly mammoth, steppe bison, and wild ass and the artifacts were sidescrapers and bifacial foliates. The other cave had wild ass, sidescrapers, and some mobiliary art.
Cholula
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."
Chotnica
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Hotnica
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Tell settlement site of the Late Neolithic, c late 5th-early 4th millennium BC, in northern Bulgaria. The cultures found represent regional variants on Rumanian groups of the lower Danube Valley. There are three main occupation horizons: I, with pits and post holes and a rich pottery assemblage; II, Boian level with ceramics; and III, a complete village plan with over 15 houses. A hoard of 44+ gold ornaments was found in the third horizon.
Chou
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 Chou period was at Tsung Chou in Shensi, moving to Loyang in Honan in 771, to begin the Eastern Chou period. 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.
Choukoutien
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: adj. Choukoutienian
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A type site near Peking, China, for an Upper and Middle Paleolithic culture. It is the place where 40 of the first skeletons of Homo erectus was found -- in limestone fissures of Middle Pleistocene deposits, probably of Mindel date, some 500,000 years old. The find also yielded extinct animals; flake, core, and chopping tools of quartz and sandstone; and traces of fire. From another area came skeletons of Homo sapiens with stone and bone tools of the Upper Palaeolithic.
chroma
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Saturation, purity, or strength of color; in the Munsell system, chroma is the horizontal dimension, denoting the presence or absence of gray
chromatography
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique of separating colored substances and analyzing their chemical structure by chromotographic adsorption. Differences in the rate of movement along a liquid or solid column are noted and used for the identification of organic substances. Archaeologically this can be useful for identifying sources, as for amber. There are several methods of chromatography, but particularly used in archaeology are paper and gas. In the former, a solution of the substance to be examined is placed at the end of a piece of filter paper; the end is then dipped into a solvent which moves the constituents of the sample along the paper by capillary action. Different substances reach different points on the filter paper and, by comparison with reference substances, can be identified. Gas chromatography is done by introducing the mixture into a column of material. The mixture is carried through by gases and measurements of the gas coming through over time are made by a gas detector. The use of gas chromatography in the study of amber has shown that different sources produce different chromatograms.
chronological type
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type defined by form that is a time-marker
chronological types
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: Types defined by form that are time markers.
chronometric date
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A date indicating that a measured value of time (years, centuries) has elapsed since a past event occurred.
chronometric dating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: absolute dating; chronometry
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any technique of dating that relies on chronological measurement such as calendars, radiocarbon dates, etc. and which give the result in calendar years before the present, or B.P. Most of these techniques produce results with a standard deviation, but they have a relationship to the calendar which relative dating techniques do not. Among the most useful chronometric dating techniques are radiocarbon dating, potassium argon dating, and thermoluminescence dating. Dendrochronology, the relationship of dated ancient trees with live trees has no standard deviation and is the most accurate of all, though not universally applicable. Chronometric dating has developed in the last 30 years and has revolutionized archaeology.
chronostratigraphic sequence
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: chronostratigraphic scale
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A time scale in which the sequence of geologic-time units and their corresponding time-rock divisions ( chronostratigraphic units) are defined by standard and internationally agreed reference points within boundary stratotypes.
chryselephantine statue
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of figurine sculpture made of ivory and gold. The flesh was of ivory and the drapery of gold. These were produced in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Crete, and in Greece from the 6th century BC. They were often colossal cult figures placed in the interiors of major temples, such as that of Minerva by Pheidias, which stood in the Acropolis at Athens and was 40 ft high, and that of Zeus, 45 ft high, also by Pheidias, in the temple of Olympia.
Chuera, Tell
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.
chullpa
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A burial tower commonly found in the southern Peruvian Andes, especially around Lake Titicaca, just before and after the Inca conquest. They were cylindrical, rectangular, or square and made of stone or adobe. Cruder chullpas are associated with pottery derived from final Tiahuanaco styles, but chullpas made of dressed stone are often of Inca date.
Chumash
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A late prehistoric and historic Native American culture originally living along the coast of southern California and speaking a Hokan language. Chumash also occupied the three northern channel islands off Santa Barbara. The major Chumash groups were the Obispeño, Purismeño, Ynezeño, Barbareño, and Ventureño, Emigdiano, and Cuyama. The Chumash were skilled artisans, made wooden-plank canoes and vessels of soapstone, as well as a variety of tools out of wood, whalebone, and other materials. They produced basketry, did rock painting, and started of clamshell-bead currency in the area. The Chumash were among the first native Californians to be encountered by the Spanish explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, who visited the islands in 1542-1543.
Chuquitana
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: El Paraiso
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Late Preceramic site on the coast near Lima, Peru, occupied between 1800-1600 BC. The ruins reveal eight complexes of approximately 25 rooms, each built of stone. The complexes were rebuilt five or six times. Artifacts of shell, bone, stone, wood, and polished dried clay figurines have been found as well as evidence of woven cotton textiles.
Cibola
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Seven Golden Cities of Cibola
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A mythical gold-rich land sought by the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, legendary cities of splendor and riches. The fabulous cities were first reported by Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca who, after being shipwrecked off Florida in 1528, had wandered through what later became Texas and northern Mexico before his rescue in 1536. In 1540, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado was sent to search for the cities; he found only a group of Zuni pueblos, though he had explored as far north as modern Kansas.
cicatrization
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The process of healing over a wound by a scab, which leaves a scar/cicatrice on the skin.
Cimmerians
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Thraco-Cimmerian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An ancient nomadic people of the Russian steppes, north of the Caucasus and Sea of Azov, driven out by the Scythians into Anatolia toward the end of the 8th century BC. As they retreated, they destroyed Phrygia, Lydia, and the Greek cities on the coast and then caused havoc in Anatolia. Their decline soon began, and their final defeat may be dated c 637 or 626, when they were routed by Alyattes of Lydia. Their relatives, the Thracians, retreated similarly into the Balkans. The Cimmerian origin is uncertain, but they may have been responsible for Catacomb and Kuban cultures, c 1700 BC onwards. The Cimmerians' destruction across southwestern Asia has been detected archaeologically at many sites. Our knowledge of them has come from the writings of Herodotus and the Assyrian records.
cinerarium
CATEGORY: structure; artifact
DEFINITION: A place for depositing the ashes of the dead after cremation. Also, a niche in a tomb for holding an urn of ashes or a sarcophagus.
cinerary urn
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A sepulchral vessel or urn used to preserve the ashes of the dead after cremation.
cinnabar
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A red, crystalline form of mercuric sulphide, a naturally occurring and most important ore of mercury. It was used as a pigment for painting sculptures, pottery, and figurines by the Romans, Olmecs, and others.
Circea
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A settlement site of the Early Neolithic Cris in the Olt Valley of southwestern Rumania, dating from the late 6th to mid-5th millennia BC. Four main occupation phases have been found, all of which are defined by rich painted ware assemblages. Level I has some of the earliest white-on-red painted pottery of the First Temperate Neolithic and the latest level has polychrome painted pottery of Starcevo-Cris.
circumpolar cultures
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Arctic Stone Age
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A group of related cultures in the most northerly (Arctic) regions of Europe, including Siberia, and North America. These peoples lived north of the region where settled farming life was possible. Although contemporary with Neolithic and Bronze Age communities farther south, the circumpolar tribes remained semi-nomadic hunters and gatherers. They adopted pottery from the farming peoples and their trade connections, making egg-shaped bowls with pitted or comb-stamped decoration. Characteristic tools were hunting and woodworking equipment, often of ground slate. Rock carvings and artifacts attest the use of skin boats, skis, and sledges which suggest long-distance trade -- especially of amber. The sites and cemeteries are usually close to water. Fishing was an important activity and they exploited food sources such as elk, reindeer, and seal.
cire perdue
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: lost wax process
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A metalworking technique used to cast figurines and statues. A model of the object to be cast is made in wax, solid if the object is to be of solid metal, or made around a clay core if it is to be hollow. The wax model is covered with clay, and the whole is heated to allow the wax to melt and run off; this leaves a space into which molten metal is poured. After it has cooled the outside clay is knocked off, the inner core may be removed, and remaining is a metal version of the original wax model. The technique is common on every continent except Australia and dates from the 3rd millennium BC, having gone through few changes since then. Since the 'mold' cannot be used again, each version of an object made using this technique is unique, and the process is more time consuming than making a complex mold and re-using it. However, more detail can be accomplished with the cire perdue process.
Cishan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tz'u-shan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An early Neolithic millet-cultivating site in China. Features include pithouses, storage pits, and burials with artifacts including querns, ground-stone sickles, tripod vessels, and bone and stone fishing and hunting implements. Animal domestication is also attested to the site, dating to the early 6th millennium BC.
cist tomb or cist grave
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: slab tomb, kist, stone chest
CATEGORY: structure; feature
DEFINITION: A prehistoric coffin containing either a body or ashes, usually made of stone or a hollowed-out tree, of Europe and Asia. The grave might be lined with stones and covered with slabs or enclosed on four sides by stone slabs standing upright and closed with a lid (dolmen). Cists were for one or several burials and could be totally or partly buried. Cist" has also been used in a more general sense to refer to the stone burial place itself. The term also referred to a storage place for sacred objects."
Cistercian ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A lead-glazed English earthenware of the 15th-16th centuries. The earthenware is dark red with a black or brown metallic-appearing glaze and was called Cistercian because they were first excavated at Yorkshire Cistercian abbeys. The pottery forms were mainly drinking vessels, tall mugs, trumpet-shaped tygs (with 2, 4, or 8 handles), and tankards. The majority of the ware is undecorated, but some examples are distinguished by horizontal ribbing or by white slip ornamentation consisting of roundels or rosettes. Potteries producing these wares were at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire; Tickford, Derbyshire; and Wrotham, Kent.
citadel
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: acropolis
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A stronghold; any strongly fortified structure, especially within a city.
citation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The act of referring to another scholar's work within the text of one's own work, allowing a scholar to situate their work in the context of previous work.
city-state
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: polis
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A political system consisting of an independent city having sovereignty over contiguous territory and serving as the center of political, economic, and cultural life. The term originated in England in the late 19th century and has been applied especially to the cities of ancient Greece, Phoenicia, and Italy and to the cities of medieval Italy. Its ancient name, polis, was derived from the citadel (acropolis) that was its administrative center. City-states differed from tribal or national systems in size, patriotism, and desire for independence. The origin of city-states probably occurred between 1000-800 BC in Greece, the Aegean islands, and western Asia Minor. As they grew, their people went out and created city-states on the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, mainly between 750-550 BC. A city-state had its own government and was not subject to any outside authority.
ciudadela
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Large rectangular enclosures (literally, 'citadels') found in Mesoamerica and thought to have been the dwellings of the ruling classes and their retainers. The enclosures, surrounded by tapering adobe walls, contained courts, storerooms, administrative structures, and platform burials. Some may have been the palaces of the Chimu kings; the number of recognizable ciudadelas agrees with the number (10) of known Chimú rulers. Ciudadelas have been found in the ancient Andean city of Chan Chan and it has even been suggested that they were the palaces of successive rulers, maintained by their descendants in the way that those of deceased Inca were maintained in Cuzco.
Cividale
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site, Cividale del Friuli, in northeast Italy with fine surviving examples of Lombardic architecture from the 8th century. There is an octagonal baptistery, the chapel (Tempietto) of a nunnery, and the altar of the church of S. Martino. The national archaeological museum contains Gothic and Lombard antiquities.
civilization
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Complex sociopolitical form defined by the institutions of the state and the existence of a distinctive Great Tradition.
Civita Castellana
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Falerii
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site near Rome, originally the capital of the Faliscans, the 9th-century-BC Falerii Veteres. It was reputedly founded by the Pelasgians from Argos. The Faliscans were a tribe belonging to the Etruscan confederation against Rome. The city was destroyed by the Romans in 395 BC and again in 241 BC. Faliscan vases have been found in its rich necropolis.
civitas
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term used in the later Roman Republic and under the Roman Empire for a favored provincial community. Some were exempted from tribute payment and Roman judicial jurisdiction. Others received grants of self-government and were not subject to military occupation. The term also referred to citizenship in ancient Rome.
Clactonian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An early flake-tool culture of Europe, dating from the early Mindel-Riss (Great Interglacial) of the Pleistocene epoch, which occurred from 1,600,000 to 10,000 years ago. It was named after discoveries at Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, England. A kind of concave scraper, perhaps used to smooth and shape wooden spears, is typical of the Clactonian industry. Apart from the tip of a wooden spear, the artifacts consisted of trimmed flint flakes and chipped pebbles, some of which can be classified as chopper tools. Handaxes were absent. The Clactonian seems therefore to have coexisted with Early Acheulian. Some believe that the two industries are quite distinct, while others maintain that both assemblages might have been made by the same people, and that the Clactonian could in theory be an Acheulian industry from which handaxes were absent because such tools were not needed for the jobs carried out at a particular site. Clactonian and related industries are distributed throughout the north European plain, and Clactonian tools are similar in appearance to those produced in the Soan industry of Pakistan and in several sites in eastern and southern Africa. The Tayacian industry of France and Israel is believed to be a smaller edition of the Clactonian.
Clairvaux-les-lacs
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Neolithic village sites occupied from 3700-2400 BC in Jura, France. Many buildings, organic remains, and some pottery (Burgundian Middle Neolithic) has been found.
clan
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A group or tribe of persons from one common family, united by a chieftain. A clan develops for social and security reasons and membership of a clan is defined in terms of actual or purported descent from a common ancestor. The descent is unilineal -- i.e., derived only through the male (patriclan) or the female (matriclan). Normally, but not always, the clans are exogamous, marriage within the clan being forbidden and regarded as incest. Clans may segment into subclans or lineages.
Clarke, David Leonard (1937-1976)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British archaeologist; founder of analytical archaeology, who died tragically young after making notable contributions concerning the use of computers in archaeology, demonstrated by his study of beakers, and to a reassessment of archaeological methodology. His book Analytical Archaeology" published in 1968 emphasized the need for an explicit theory and a more rigorous methodology in archaeology."
clasp
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A device with interlocking parts for fastening; also, a buckle or brooch
class
CATEGORY: typology; technique
DEFINITION: A general group of artifacts, like hand axes" which can be broken down into specific types like "ovates" etc."
classic example
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A subjective term used to refer to a specific point specimen which represents the truest form of a particular point type or blade.
classic orders of architecture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: order of architecture
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The Grecian Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian and the Roman Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite orders as defined by the particular type of column and entablature in one basic unit. A column consists of a shaft together with its base and its capital. The column supports a section of an entablature, which constitutes the upper horizontal part of a classical building and is itself composed of (from bottom to top) an architrave, frieze, and cornice. The form of the capital is the most distinguishing characteristic of a particular order. The five major orders are: Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan, and Composite.
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 Maya civilization, 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.
classical
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 Maya civilization, 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.
classical archaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: A field within historical archaeology specializing in the study of Old World Greek and Roman civilizations, their antecedents and contemporaries.
classification
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The ordering of archaeological data that share certain attributes or characteristics into groups and classes; the divisions arrived at by such a process. Classification is the first step in the analysis of archaeological data -- when particles or objects are sorted or categorized by established criteria, such as size, function, material, or color.
clast
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: clastic (adj)
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: An individual grain of a rock that becomes part of a sediment. Archaeological debris often consists of rocks or grains resulting from the breakdown of larger rocks. A clastic deposit is made up of fragments of preexisting rock.
clastic rock
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A rock composed of broken pieces of older rocks
claw beaker
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: elephant's trunk beaker, Rüsselbecher
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Elaborate glass beakers dating from c 500 AD onward in Early Saxon graves and Frankish burials. Also called Rüsselbecher, the beakers have two superimposed rows of hollow, trunklike protrusions curving down to rejoin the wall of the vessel above a small button foot. In form they are similar to free-standing conical beakers, but they are embellished by a series of unusual clawlike protrusions. In many cases the glass is tinted brown, blue, or yellow. The beakers were probably made in Cologne or Trier, Germany.
clay
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Soil particles of less than 0.005 millimeters in diameter or rock composed mainly of clay particles. There are ceramic clays, clay shales, mudstones, glacial clays, deep-sea clays, and soils -- which are plastic when wet and hard when dry. No other natural material has so wide an importance or such extended uses as does clay. The use of clay in potterymaking antedates recorded human history, and pottery remains provide a record of past civilizations. As building materials, bricks (baked and as adobe) have been used in construction since earliest time.
clay loam
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Roughly equal parts sand and clay; a fine-grained material that is plastic and cohesive when wet but makes hard clods when dry.
clay pipe
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A clay tube with a small bowl at the end used for smoking tobacco.
clay tablet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The main writing material used by the scribes of early civilizations. Signs were impressed or inscribed on the soft clay, which was then dried in the sun. The ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and Hittites wrote on tablets made from water-cleaned clay. A common form was a thin quadrilateral tile about five inches long which, while still wet, was inscribed by a stylus with cuneiform characters. By writing on the surface in small characters, a scribe could copy a substantial text on a single tablet. For longer texts, several tablets were used and then linked by numbers or catchwords. Book production on clay tablets probably continued for 2,000 years in Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. Either dried in the sun or baked in a kiln, clay tablets were almost indestructible. The latter process was used for texts of special value, legal codes, royal annals, and epics to ensure greater preservation. Buried for thousands of years in the mounds of forgotten cities, they have been removed intact or almost so in modern archaeological excavations. The number of clay tablets recovered is nearly half a million, but there are constantly new finds. The largest surviving category consists of private commercial documents and government archives. When the Aramaic language and alphabet arose in the 6th century BC, the clay tablet book declined because clay was less suited than papyrus to the Aramaic characters.
claymore
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A two edged broadsword.
clearing excavation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any excavation designed primarily to reveal the horizontal and, by inference, functional dimensions of an archaeological site -- such as the extent, distribution, and patterning of buried data.
cleavage
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Property possessed by many minerals of breaking in certain preferred direction along smooth plane surfaces; property possessed by certain rocks of breaking with relative ease along parallel planes or nearly parallel surfaces. Rock cleavage is designated as slaty, phyllitic, schistose, and gneissic.
cleavage surface
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cleavage plane
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A surface formed by a separation of the rock along a natural cleavage plane or crack, esp. on quartz crystals, slate, petrified wood
cleaver
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A heavy, large core or flake tool of the Palaeolithic period, 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.
Cleland Hills
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock-art site in central Australia, west of Alice Springs. In addition to Panaramitee" motifs there are deeply engraved and weathered heart-shaped 'faces' with concentric circle 'eyes'."
clench nail
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A nail adapted so that the end of the nail can be turned over and driven back into the substance through which it has passed.
Cleopatra
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The name given to seven Ptolemaic queens of Egypt. The last of these, Cleopatra VII (69-30 BC; reigned 51-30 BC), was the most illustrious.
Cliff Palace
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An important site in Mesa Verde, Colorado, which was constructed by the Anasazi (Pueblo) in a large cliff overhang. It is a multi-story pueblo with more than 200 rooms and 23 kivas, abandoned at the end of the 13th century AD, along with the rest of Mesa Verde, after being occupied a very short time.
CLIMAP
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.
climate
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.
climatic change hypothesis
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The idea that environmental variables, as climate, influence the course of events. This hypothesis has been used to explain the extinction of megafauna and the origins of agriculture.
Cloggs Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A limestone cave in northeastern Victoria, Australia, with human occupation deposits dating from c 16,000-7000 BC. Ochre and hearths as well as stone tools of the Australian Core Tool and Scraper Tradition have been found and the tools resemble similar Tasmanian artifacts. Bones of extinct animals found in deposits which are more than 20,000 years old and are separate from the human deposits. Australian Small Tool Tradition artifacts were excavated from late Holocene deposits in a rock shelter outside the main cave.
closed association
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The relationship of two or more objects that are found together and that can be proved to have been deposited together.
closing material
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: Vegetal material used in roof construction, resting on beams and/or shakes, beneath mud, daub, or loose dirt.
clouded ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The clouded" ware developed shortly after the introduction of creamware. Thomas Astbury and Thomas Whieldon mixed ground flints into the clay that gave white-salt glaze when high fired and a cream-colored ware when fired at lower temperatures. After preliminary firing the ware could be dipped in a clear glaze. In about 1750 tea wares were colored under the glaze which produced the ware known as "clouded" ware. The colors used for this were purple brown yellow green and gray. England c.1750-1775"
Clovis point
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 Llano complex) 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.
cluster analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cluster sampling
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A multivariate statistical technique which assesses the similarities between units or assemblages, based on the occurrence or non-occurrence of specific artifact types or other components within them. It also involves comparing the distances between points or objects, whose dimensions are measurements or scores for a number of variables. Cluster analysis results are normally plotted as a dendrogram" a treelike representation of the distances between objects in hyperspace. Items that are closer together are deemed to be more closely related. Researchers select a case by random sampling and then include contiguous cases as part of the sample."
cluster sample
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A sample in which the sampling elements are spaces or time periods but the analytical elements are countable observations in them.
Clyde-Carlingford tombs
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A series of megalithic chamber tombs in southwestern Scotland and northern Ireland with some radiocarbon dates before 3000 BC, an early stage of the Neolithic. They are sometimes described as segmented gallery graves, since they have subdivided rectangular chambers. Another important characteristic was a concave or semicircular forecourt. In some of the Irish examples, this was oval or circular and they are described as court cairns. The overlying cairns are long and either oval, rectangular, or trapezoidal in shape. Collective inhumation was the normal practice, although cremation sometimes occurred in Ireland.
Co-loa
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Co Loa
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A place believed to have been the capital of Vietnam's legendary Au Lac dynasty, c 258-207 BC. It is about 20 km northwest of Hanoi and there are three walls which surrounded the city in a spiral. In AD 939 the kingdom of Nam Viet centered in the Red River valley at Co Loa. Ngo Quyen drove the Chinese out of the area and founded his own dynasty, which endured only until 954. Historical sites include the Co Loa citadel.
coal
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 Tertiary Period (about 65,000,000-2,500,000 years ago). From this era came nearly all of the world's lignites and subbituminous (brown) coals.
Coalbrookdale
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of the first cast-iron bridge, spanning the River Severn at Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, England, now a British national monument and considered the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Abraham Darby pioneered the smelting of iron with coke here in 1709 and the bridge was by Thomas Pritchard and erected by John Wilkinson and Abraham Darby in 1777-1779.
coarse ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A classification of sandy, rough pottery including castor ware, new forest ware, and rustic ware.
coating
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Adding a slip, wash, or glaze to the surface of a ceramic item.
coca
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Native Andean shrub whose dried leaves are chewed as stimulants
codex
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. codices (from 'caudex', trunk of a tree)
CATEGORY: artifact; language
DEFINITION: Any handwritten manuscript of the Scriptures, either Christian or in Mesoamerica before the Spanish conquest. In Mesoamerica, these documents were written and painted in hieroglyphic or pictographic characters on bark paper of animal skin and they contain information about pre-Columbian and post-conquest life. The surviving codices, of which there are four, were folded concertina-fashion, like a map. The information concerned astronomy, religious ceremonies, calendrics, genealogy, or simple accounting. The best surviving example is the Dresden Codex. A number were commissioned by the Spanish and some are copies of earlier works, including the Mayan Book, of Chilam Balam, the Popol Vuh, and the Aztec tribute lists of the Mendoza Codex. Those written post-conquest might resemble a book in format. The early Christian gospel books were produced in monasteries in the post-Roman era, including Codex Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, and Vaticanus.
coevolution
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: coevolutionary perspective
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The recent theory that life and climate interact and that they have mutually altered each other over geologic history. The term was coined by the American biologists Paul R. Ehrlich and Peter H. Raven to describe the process whereby two or more species depend on the interactions between them. The coevolution of life and climate during the past 4,000,000,000 years of the Earth's history is an expression for the complex mixture of forces causing climatic change. The theory suggests that changes in social systems are best understood as mutual selection among components rather than a linear cause-and-effect sequence. For example, it has been argued that the origins of agriculture can best be understood by exploring the evolutionary forces affecting the development of domestication systems. Viewed this way, domestication is not seen as an evolutionary stage, but rather as a process and is the result of coevolutionary interactions between humans and plants.
coffin
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: sarcophagus
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any box or chest, usually rectangular or anthropoid in shape, in which a corpse or mummy is enclosed for burial. Clay, stone, metal, and wood are among the materials used. Primitive wooden coffins, formed of a tree trunk split down and hollowed out, are still in use among some aboriginal peoples. The term 'sarcophagus' is used only for the stone outer container which encases one or more coffins. From the Latin word for basket" 'cophinus'."
cognitive archaeology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: structural archaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: The study of past mental processes, ideological systems, and thought patterns from the archaeological record -- often through the symbols left behind on material remains.
cognitive map
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An interpretive framework of the world which, it is said, exists in the human mind and affects actions and decisions as well as knowledge structures.
cognitive-processual approach
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An alternative to the functional-processual approach, this theory is concerned with the cognitive and symbolic aspects of early societies and the role of ideology as an organizational force.
coil and paddle
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A method of pottery-making involving the use of rolled clay coils to build vessel walls, followed by the welding of the walls with a decorated wooden or ceramic paddle. Parallel breaks between the coils and impressed designs on pottery fragments are evidence of this technique.
coil fracture
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A smooth-edged circumferential breakage characteristic of coiled vessels in which the coils were poorly bonded, resulting in planes of weakness
coiled
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: coiled basketry
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Concerning a method of basketry based on a spirally coiled foundation, esp. that made with a vertical stitch or weft. A basket is said to be coiled when a long bundle of fibrous material is laid up, spiral fashion. Each coil is sewn by a slender splint to the coil below it. The basketmaker would pierce the fiber bundle with a bone awl and pass the splint through the hole thus made. In ceramics, coiling is a construction technique where the vessel is formed from the base up with long coils or wedges of clay that were shaped and joined together.
coiling
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: coiled basketry, coil basket, coiled (adj)
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A method of basketry based on a spirally coiled foundation, esp. that made with a vertical stitch or weft. A basket is said to be coiled when a long bundle of fibrous material is laid up, spiral fashion. Each coil is sewn by a slender splint to the coil below it. The basketmaker would pierce the fiber bundle with a bone awl and pass the splint through the hole thus made.
coin balance
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Small lightweight scales used by merchants for checking the weight of coins offered in exchange. This was important because the value of a coin was in part determined by its metal content. Because precious metals such as gold and silver were used in making coins in order to retain their value, a good trade could be made by clipping off small amounts of metal from many coins to produce forged coins or other items.
coin hoard
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A group of coins deliberately deposited together.
coinage
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A standardized series of metal tokens, their specific weights representing particular values, and usually stamped with designs and inscriptions. They were used in many parts of the ancient world for everyday exchange. Greek coinage first appears in the Archaic deposit of the Artemision at Ephesus. Roman coinage was struck at Rome and various points throughout the empire.
Colchester
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.
cold hammering
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cold working
CATEGORY: geology; artifact
DEFINITION: A technique for making metal artifacts in which the metal is shaped by percussion without heating. Most metals, such as copper, bronze, gold, and silver, are soft enough to be worked while cold. Operations such as hammering and beating could be carried out without any heating to make the metal softer. These softer metals, however, cannot be cold-worked indefinitely because the metal becomes brittle and eventually fractures. It can be counteracted by gentle heating called annealing. Annealing allows crystals within the metal to recrystallize and distribute the stress that has built up. Cold working can then go on until the metal becomes brittle again. Metallographic examination, the study of crystal structure, can give information about the cold working and annealing processes in the last stages of the making of an artifact. Pure gold is one of the few metals that can be cold worked indefinitely without annealing.
collagen content
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: collagen dating
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Collagen is a protein abundant in living bone, which contains about 4% nitrogen. Collagen survives long after death and the collagen content of a bone, measured by the amount of nitrogen present, yields information as to its relative date. The rate of decay is varies with temperature and other aspects of the environment, but collagen dating can only give relative dates for different bone samples from a particular site. The test is used mainly in association with the fluorine test and radiometric assay, as in the cases of Piltdown and Swanscombe Man.
collar
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A ridge formed about the neck of a vessel; a raised, angular band, line, or strip
collared urn
CATEGORY: artifact; ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of urn used in the British Early Bronze Age, also called an 'overhanging rim urn'. It has a developed rim which may be straight, convex, or slightly concave in profile. Decoration is normally on the rim or the upper half of the vessel. Collared urns often contained cremation burials, though some have been found in domestic contexts.
collaring
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A part of wheel-throwing a vessel that involves using both hands to apply inward pressure on the rotating body to narrow it and form a neck or closure.
collateral flaking
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: When flakes on a chipped stone artifact extend to the middle from both edges forming a medial ridge. The flakes are at right angles to the longitudinal axis, and regular and uniform in size.
collective burial
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: The burial of a number of bodies, usually over a period of time.
colluvial
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: colluvium
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A deposit resulting from soil erosion, usually at the foot of a slope and containing rock detritus or talus. At the bottom of slopes, soils lose their structure and become eroded due to clearance of forest, plowing, or cultivation. Colluvial material typically gathers in the dry valleys of chalklands and also at the foot of escarpments or valley sides.
Cologne
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.
colonia
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.
colonial archaeology
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.
Colonial Williamsburg
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A restoration of a large section of the early colonial area, which was first settled in 1633 as Middle Plantation. The restoration was begun in 1926 and the more than 3,000 acres of land have nearly 150 major buildings restored or reconstructed. The exhibition buildings, which include the Capitol and Governor's Palace, are furnished as they were in the 18th century, and the entire area is landscaped as it was in colonial times. This living history museum has been reconstructed partly with the aid of archaeological research.
color-coated ware
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.
colorant
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A chemical element that contributes color to a mixture; unglazed, low-fired pottery is colored chiefly by carbon, iron, and manganese, whereas a broader range of colors occurs in glazes
colpate
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: A furrow on a pollen grain, as on oak.
Colt Hoare, Sir Richard (1758-1838)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British antiquary who established the techniques of archaeological excavation in Britain. He excavated a large number of barrows (mostly on Salisbury Plain), classified and published his findings. He also recorded many other monuments of the area. However, at the time there was no means of dating the material he found.
columbarium
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. columbaria
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A term from Roman antiquity for a subterranean sepulcher with wall niches or pigeonholes for cinerary urns. The term was also used for the recesses themselves. This type of burial was typically afforded to the large staff of slaves and freedmen. . Originating as variants of traditional Etruscan and republican Roman house tombs, columbaria were usually rectangular brick structures built around an open court, the walls of which contained niches for the urns. Some columbaria were elaborate and held numerous inscriptions, stucco paintings, and mosaics which provide information about the lower classes. Some of the best examples of columbaria are those in the great necropolis beneath the Basilica of San Sebastiano in Rome. In Hadrian's time (117-138 AD) inhumation replaced cremation and columbaria became obsolete.
columnar
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Pertaining to prismlike blocks with strong vertical faces but with rounded vertices that give the particles or peds a pillar-like shape.
Columnata
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in the Atlas Mountains of northern Algeria with several Mechtoid-type human burials dated to 8300-7300 BP.
comal
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Spanish term for a flat ceramic griddle used for cooking tortillas
Combe Capelle
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock shelter in Dordogne, France, with Châtelperronian, Aurignacian, Gravettian, and Solutrean industries as well as a burial of a Homo sapiens sapiens.
Combe-Grenal
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 Acheulian industry dating from the end of the Riss glaciation, followed by a series of 55 Mousterian levels. Occupation ended just before the end of the Mousterian period, 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 Palaeolithic site 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.
combed ornament
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: combed ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Any pottery decorated by drawing a toothed instrument across the surface of the soft clay or colored slip. The pottery was often decorated by the application of two or more different-colored slips that was either brushed or combed to produce the effect of marbled paper, a broad band of parallel incisions, often wavy.
Commagene
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kommagene
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An area in ancient Syria at the junction of the Taurus Mountains and the Euphrates River -- a strategic position between the Roman and Parthian empires from which obsidian was exported from c 8000 BC. Commagene broke from the Seleucid Empire about 162 BC and its king, Antiochus I (c 69-34 BC) helped it rise in importance. Antiochus built his spectacular mausoleum on the peak of Nimrud Dag. Commagene was annexed by Rome in 17 AD and was later incorporated into the Roman province of Syria.
commandery
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In ancient China, a military and administrative unit during the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) that governed newly conquered areas. It was run by a commander.
common brad
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A nail used for attaching parquet flooring to subfloor and molding to walls and furniture
common nail
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: General purpose heavy-duty type of nail used in construction and rough work, with large head that will not pull through
comparative collection
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Collections of identified bones or other artifacts used for comparison with archaeologically recovered remains.
compartmented seal
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The typical, usually metal, seal of the Bronze Age in western Central Asia and northern Afghanistan. Most often round, the seals' motifs were geometric or of objects of nature.
compass map
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A map of a region or site created by using a compass to control geographical direction and, usually, pacing or tape measures to control distances, but not elevation.
compensating error
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: An instance when errors on a sequence of measurements or measurements subject to arithmetical operations tend to cancel out"."
compilation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A set of interrelated propositions (data) describing material remains, usually through symbolic representation, that facilitates the study of ancient people. Examples are field notebooks, artifact catalogues, archaeological databases.
complacent ring
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: The tree rings of a particular species of trees (as oak) which show no visible difference in ring patterns.
complex
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.
complex shape
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A vessel shape that in silhouette is marked by two or more characteristic points of inflection, or changes in curvature, or by both corner and inflection points
component
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.
composite
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: composite order of architecture
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The fifth of the classical orders of architecture, a blend of the Ionic and Corinthian styles (specifically the Ionic grafted upon the Corinthian). Examples are the arches of Septimus Severus, Titus, Bacchus, and baths of Diocletian.
composite plan
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.
composite shape
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A vessel shape that in silhouette is marked by characteristic points of angles or corners and lacks inflection points
compositional studies
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study of the elemental composition of ceramsics, usually through technologically sophisticated archaeometric techniques.
compressed stratigraphy
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Deposition of artifacts and features that has not occurred in discernable layers or is lacking in significant depth overall.
computer simulation
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: computer simulation studies
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Reconstruction of the past based on the production of computerized models. The computer model describes ancient conditions and variables and those are used to generate a sequence of events that are compared against the known archaeological record. The computer imitates the dynamic behavior of an explicit model and helps scientists examine how such systems respond to changing conditions and also to refine and test hypotheses about the past. In an example study of hunter-gatherers, the effect of various changes in the natural environment on such factors as the population settlement pattern or subsistence could be monitored; or the growth of a settlement system could be studied under different conditions of population, economy, technological, or environmental change. The relationships between the various elements in the cultural system must be specified, and then any variety of actual conditions can be simulated. The data used could be derived from observations and the simulation used to examine the effect of different assumptions; the results could then be compared to the observed data to test their validity.
computerized axial tomography
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: CAT scanner; computer axial tomography; computer tomography
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of obtaining cross-sectional images or slices" of internal bodily structures. A body or mummy is passed into a scanner and the computer-enhanced tomography X-raying of deep internal structures is executed."
Conca d'Oro
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Copper Age site on the plain around Palermo, northwest Sicily, where a number of rock-cut shaft-and-chamber tombs (a forno or oven-shaped type) have been found dating to the 3rd millennium BC. They were used for collective burial and the associated grave goods include pottery vessels and some metal tools and weapons. There is local incised pottery and a local imitation known as the 'Carni beaker', as well as imported Beaker pottery of west Mediterranean type.
concave
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Curving inward; having an outline or surface that curves inwards like the interior of a sphere
conchoidal
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: conchoidal fracture
CATEGORY: artifact; lithics
DEFINITION: A characteristic shell-like fracture pattern that occurs in siliceous rocks, such as obsidian, chert, and flint. The fracture has smooth shell-like convexities and concavities.
conchoidal flake
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of spall resulting from the fracture of fine-grained, or glassy rocks. Characterized by a bulb of percussion, striking platform remnant, and extremely sharp edges. A predictable fracture pattern that allows the manufacture of Pre-determined tools from these materials.
conchoidal fracture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: conchoidal
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A characteristic shell-like fracture pattern that occurs in siliceous rocks, such as obsidian, chert, and flint. The fracture has smooth shell-like convexities and concavities.
Conchopata
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Middle Horizon site in the Ayacucho Valley near Huari, Peru, which was probably a religious shrine. Two large offering deposits of Huari ceramics have been found, including large beaker-shaped urns and painted face-neck jars, intentionally smashed, which have a distinctive polychrome decoration that is clearly Tiahuanaco-influenced, including iconography similar to that of the Gateway of the Sun.
concordance line
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A line of agreement, such as between dendrodates and carbon 14 dates.
cone beaker
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of Anglo-Saxon glass drinking vessel made in the form of an elongated cone. Mainly 5th to 7th century AD.
cone mosaic
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of wall decoration used in the Uruk (VI-IV) and Jemdet Nasr periods of southern Mesopotamia. Stone or baked clay cones were stuck into the surface of building facades to produce a colored mosaic geometric pattern. Examples have been found in the Eanna section of Warka.
configuration
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The arrangement of decorative motifs on a vessel so as to fill a spatial division and form the design
conglomerate
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: rock composed of rounded pebbles and sand which are cemented together into a solid rock
conical
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Having the shape of a cone
conjunctive approach
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A methodological alternative to traditional normative archaeology, developed by Walter W. Taylor in 1948. In it, the full range of a culture system is to be taken into consideration in explanatory models, with explicit connection of archaeological objects within their cultural contexts. Ancient behavior is reconstructed by defining functional sets of archaeological data.
conoidal theory of flint fracture
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The theory that ideally a cone will be punched out of a piece of flint when it is struck with sufficient force.
conquistador
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The Spanish word for conqueror" any one of the leaders in the Spanish conquest of America especially of Mexico and Peru in the 16th century."
conservation archaeology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cultural resource management
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: A subfield of archaeology which focuses on the preservation of archaeological resources and explicitly recognizes archaeological sites as nonrenewable resources. This branch of archaeology seeking to preserve the archaeological record from destruction, by protective legislation, education, and efforts such as the Archaeological Conservancy.
consolidation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The use of resin or other chemical after dehydration of bone to strengthen it for conservation.
Constantinople
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The capital, once Byzantium, chosen by the Roman emperor Constantine I (reigned 306-337 AD). He built the Great Palace which has since been enlarged and altered. Constantinople was the principal residence of Byzantine emperors until about end of 11th c AD. Constantine's choice of capital had profound effects upon the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. It displaced the power center of the Roman Empire, moving it eastward, and achieved the first lasting unification of Greece.
constituent analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any technique used to reveal the composition of artifacts and other archaeological materials by examining their constituent parts. This type of analysis is useful in determining raw material sources for the reconstruction of ancient exchange systems.
constructed feature
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A feature deliberately built to provide a setting for one or more activities, such as a house, storeroom, or burial chamber.
contact
CATEGORY: term; geology
DEFINITION: The interface of surfaces between two successive stratigraphic levels, either vertical or horizontal. Various geological criteria are used to distinguish between two contact types: conformable and unconformable. Conformable contacts are deposit conditions not significantly different or interrupted from an adjacent unit. Unconformable contacts are surfaces of no deposit or erosion in an adjacent unit.
contact mold
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A mold used to produce a full-sized, or part of a full-sized, glass item.
contact period
CATEGORY: chronology; term
DEFINITION: The period in the history and culture of the Americas when the first impact of the Europeans was made.
contained remains
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: All portable objects found in the strata of a site, whether organic or inorganic, natural or manmade.
contamination
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Materials that are not part of a natural archaeological deposit or assemblage but which have intruded or altered the deposit or assemblage. The term is often applied to samples taken for radiocarbon dating which have been affected by their environment, for example by humus, which also contains carbon, and may be much younger than the sample, thus resulting in an inaccurate age determination.
context
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: archaeological context
CATEGORY: term; technique
DEFINITION: The time and space setting of an artifact, feature, or culture. The context of a find is its position on a site, its relationship through association with other artifacts, and its chronological position as revealed through stratigraphy. Certain features or artifacts may be normally associated with particular contexts, for example a pottery type may be found in the context of certain burials. If such an artifact is found out of context, it may suggest the previous presence of a burial, the robbery of a burial, or a place of manufacture of the pots that accompanied burials. An artifact's context usually consists of its immediate matrix (the material surrounding it e.g. gravel, clay, or sand), its provenience (horizontal and vertical position within the matrix), and its association with other artifacts (occurrence together with other archeological remains, usually in the same matrix). The assessment of context includes study of what has happened to the find since it was buried in the ground.
context, systematic
CATEGORY: term; technique
DEFINITION: Artifacts and features as they functioned in the behavioral system that produced or used them.
contextual seriation
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: sequence dating
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A seriation technique, also called sequence dating, pioneered by Sir Flinders Petrie in the 19th century, in which artifacts are arranged according to the frequencies of their co-occurrence in specific contexts -- usually burials. This relative dating method, based on shared typological features, enabled Sir Flinders Petrie to establish the temporal order of a large number of Egyptian graves.
continental plates
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Giant slabs of the Earth's crust which are believed to move slowly in relation to each other. An example of a continental plate is the North American Plate, which includes North America as well as the oceanic crust between it and a portion of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The other type of plate is oceanic.
contingency table
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A table for classifying elements of a population according to two variables -- recording the relationship between two classes of items, each entry counting the number of specific occurrences of the possible combinations. The rows correspond to one variable and the column to the other. The classes compared in such a cross tabulation might be, for instance, sites in different ecological zones, artifacts in different contexts, or the coincidence of different decorative traits and fabric types in a pottery assemblage. Various statistics can be calculated from such a table, especially to test the significance of the observed correlations; the chi-square test is often used to do this.
contour map
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: A map having contour lines through points of equal elevation.
contour plan
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.
contract archaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: Archaeological work conducted under the direction and regulations of governments or other agencies, especially under the aegis of federal or state legislation, and often in advance of highway construction or urban development. Archaeologists are contracted to undertake research to protect cultural resources.
contracting
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: In lithics, a term that refers to the width of a stem or point that is diminishing in outline.
control pit
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: test pit, sondage
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A preliminary excavation pit dug to determine the nature of a site and establish the techniques needed for actual excavation.
convergence
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: convergent evolution; antonym: diffusion
CATEGORY: term; technique
DEFINITION: Term used to describe the appearance of similar traits in different areas or at different times or in different contexts, as a result of parallel or converging evolution. For example, rocker pattern was used for decorating pottery in widely separated contexts.
Cook Islands
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An extensive island group in the central Pacific whose traditions and linguistic patterns indicate that they were initially settled by Polynesians from Tonga and Samoa, some of whom later colonized New Zealand. Remains show a highly organized society by about 1100 AD, though the area was probably settled 1500 years ago. Archaeological excavations have been undertaken on Rarotonga, Aitutaki, and Penrhyn, and many islands of the group have well-preserved examples of Polynesian temples (Marae).
Cook, Captain James (1728-1779)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: English navigator who made three voyages of exploration in the Pacific from 1769-1779, making many discoveries in Polynesia, Melanesia, and Australia. Though Cook was not the first European to discover most of the islands he visited, his accounts of the native peoples at the crucial point of first European contact are by far the most important in maritime history. His journals are used constantly by archaeologists who work in the Pacific region.
coolamon
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Australian aboriginal carrying dish made of wood or bark.
copal
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Incense used in Maya rituals, obtained from the resin of various tropical trees.
Coppa Nevigata
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A small mound prehistoric site on the coast of southeast Italy, first occupied in the Early Neolithic. The first occupants were shellfish gatherers who used impressed cardial ware pottery and had a microlithic flint industry as early as the 6th millennium BC. A later occupation belongs to the Apennine Bronze Age.
Copper Age
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 joint use 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.
copper hoard
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A hoard of copper artifacts, many of which occur in the Ganges-Yamuna doab (alluvial plain) and in the area south of the lower Ganges, the former occasionally associated with ochre-colored pottery. The hoards, dated broadly to the 2nd millennium BC, include flat axes, anthropomorphous axes, barbed harpoons, and sword blades. They have been cited as evidence of the Vedia arrival by some. Other copper hoards with different artifact typologies also occur elsewhere in India and Pakistan.
coracle
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: curragh
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Primitive, light, small bowl-shaped boat with a wattle frame of grasses, reeds, or saplings covered with hides. They were first known in the Iron Age and are still used in Wales and along coastal Ireland, usually with a canvas and tar covering. The term also refers to an Old English boat of wickerwork covered with hides. Native Americans used the similar bullboat, covered with buffalo hides, on the Missouri River, and the corita, often sealed with bitumen, on the Colorado.
corbel vault
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: corbelled vault
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: In architecture, a simple form of vault in which the stones are overlapped on each other and topped with a capstone. As distinguished from the true arch, it has no keystone and is not self-supporting; the thrust must be take up by massive walls. The corbel vault is therefore suitable for spanning only limited spaces. In the Mayan style, corbel vaults can support a roof or upper story. Corbel vaults and arches were useful in cultures that had not yet developed curving arches and other ceiling structures.
Corbridge
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Corstopitum
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Roman fort site in northeast England, on the River Tyne, dating to 79-80 AD. It burned and was rebuilt in c105, but was neglected when Hadrian's Wall with its own forts was built not far to the north. When the Roman frontier was pushed further north in 139, the fort was reconstructed in stone and later, when the frontier fell back to Hadrian's Wall once again, Corbridge flourished as a market town and a military supply depot. Remains of military quarters, granaries, and temples may still be seen.
cord ornament
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Pottery decoration produced by impressing a twisted cord into the surface of the soft clay. Sometimes short individual motifs were produced by wrapping a cord around a stick (Peterborough ware), or part or the whole of a vessel was wrapped closely in cord (Corded Ware and some varieties of Beaker).
cord-marking
CATEGORY: artifact; technique
DEFINITION: Decorative technique in which cord or string is wrapped around a paddle and pressed against an unfired clay vessel, leaving the twisted mark of the cord
cord-ornamented pottery
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cord-marked pottery
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Ceramic vessels whose outer faces are decorated with motifs created by pressing twisted cord into the soft clay surface before the pot was fired. Sometimes short individual motifs are represented (also called ?maggot impressions') where a length of cord has been wrapped around a small stick and then used as a stamp. In other cases long pieces of cord have been closely coiled around the pot and then pressed into the surface.
cordage
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Cords or ropes, especially the ropes in the rigging of a ship
cordate
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: Of or pertaining to a refined heart-shaped biface with a flat profile, characteristic of the Mousterian in western Europe.
Corded Beaker culture
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic culture in central and northern Europe from c 2800 BC, named after a characteristic cord-marked decoration found on pottery. The Corded beaker culture belongs to the so-called Battle-Ax cultures of Europe. There were two phases of new burial rites, with individual rather than communal burials and an emphasis on burying rich grave goods with adult males. The first phase, characterized by Corded Ware pottery and stone battle-axes, is found particularly in central and northern Europe. The second phase, dated to 2500-2200 BC, is marked by Bell Beaker pottery and the frequent occurrence of copper daggers in the graves; it is found from Hungary to Britain and as far south as Italy, Spain, and North Africa. At the same time, there was an increase in the exchange of prestige goods such as amber, copper, and tools from particular rock sources.
corded ware
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Corded Ware
CATEGORY: ceramics; culture
DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic pottery ware decorated with twisted cord ornament found over much of north and central Europe in the 2nd half of the 3rd millennium BC. The commonest shapes are the beaker and the globular amphora. The ware is always associated with primitive agriculture, the stone battle ax, and usually with single burial under a small barrow or kurgan. The ware may derive from Denmark, central Germany (Saxo-Thuringia), eastern Poland, or the Ukraine. The culture received its name from the characteristic pottery. Some groups also had metal artifacts. There is some evidence that Corded Ware people had domesticated horses and wheeled vehicles, and they are sometimes interpreted as nomadic groups -- possibly Indo-European speaking -- who spread across northern Europe from the east. Closely related are the Globular Amphora and Funnel Beaker cultures.
Cordilleran
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cordilleran ice sheet; Laurentide
CATEGORY: chronology; culture
DEFINITION: The ice mass that covered the coastal mountains along the Pacific Ocean coast of North America from northern Washington state into southern Alaska. At its maximum extent, about 20,000 years ago, it connected with the Laurentide ice sheet to the east and with the Pacific Ocean to the west, and reached a thickness of some 3 kilometers (1 mile). The Cordilleran Geosyncline is a linear trough in the Earth's crust in which rocks of Late Precambrian to Mesozoic age (roughly 600 million to 66 million years ago) were deposited along the western coast of North America, from southern Alaska through western Canada and the United States, probably to western Mexico. The eastern boundary of the geosyncline extends from southeastern Alaska along the eastern edge of the Northern Cordillera and Northern Rocky Mountains of Canada and Montana, along the eastern edge of the Great Basin of Utah and Nevada, and into southeastern California and Mexico. The Old Cordilleran culture appeared in the Pacific Northwest about 9000 or 10,000 BC and persisted until about 5000 BC in some areas. Subsistence was based on hunting, fishing, and gathering. Simple willow-leaf-shaped, bipointed projectile points are characteristic artifacts.
core rejuvenation flake
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: core tablet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A roughly round slightly wedge-shaped flake of flint with the remains of flake beds around the outside edge. Such flakes are the product of extending the life of a core that has become uneven or difficult to work but which still has the potential to yield further blades.
core sampling
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: coring
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A subsurface detection technique using a hollow metal tube driven into the ground to lift a column of earth for stratigraphic study. This technique is used in underground or undersea exploration. A core sample is a roughly cylindrical piece of subsurface material removed by a special drill and brought to the surface for examination. Such a sample reveals the properties of underground rock, such as its porosity and permeability and allows investigation of the features of a given strata.
core-formed glass
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.
Coricancha
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The principal religious site of the Inca in their capital of Cuzco, Peru, called the enclosure of gold". There are temples dedicated to the sun stars rainbow thunder and moon. The walls were once covered with sheets of gold and life-sized statues in gold and silver were found there. Coricancha was thoroughly plundered during the Spanish Conquest."
Corinthian order
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Corinthian column, Corinthian style
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: An architectural style characterized by columns with a diameter-to-height ratio of one-to-ten, and an enlarged capital (uppermost part) decorated with sculptured foliage, often acanthus leaves. It originated in Greece, was extensively used by the Romans, and is related to the Ionic order. The innovation is traditionally ascribed to Callimachus of Corinth, c 450-425 BC. The style was incorporated in the so-called 'composite' order -- a combination of four-sided Ionic and Corinthian. The earliest-known Corinthian capital was inside the temple of Apollo at Bassae.
Corinthian pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A widely distributed pottery made at Corinth and found throughout the Mediterranean, from the late 7th century BC until the mid-6th century BC. This important stage of vase painting included naturalistic" designs of animals maenads and satyrs and the invention of black-figure technique and some new shapes such as the aryballos and alabastron. Proto-Corinthian pottery most of which is miniature in size was the first to be decorated in the black-figure painting technique: figure silhouettes drawn in black and filled in with incised details."
cornelian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: carnelian
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A translucent, semiprecious variety of the silica mineral chalcedony that owes its red to reddish brown color to hematite (iron oxide). Found in India, Brazil, Australia, Africa, and the Nile Valley. It was highly valued and used in rings and signets by the Greeks and Romans.
Cornish urn
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Cornish handled urn
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Type of middle Bronze Age pottery vessels found in the extreme southwest of Britain and dating to the 2nd millennium BC. Generally rather barrel-shaped in profile and often with a highly decorated upper body, these large vessels commonly have strap handles. The decoration includes herringbone and lattice patterns, in the main executed in twisted cord and impressed techniques. Related to Trevisker ware in southwestern England.
correlation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The use of various methods, often multiple methods, to demonstrate the equivalency of stratigraphic units. This term refers to the relation of one stratigraphical unit to another, by petrological, osteological, lithographic, cultural, chronological, or palaeontological means. For example, stratigraphic units may be correlated using palaeontological criteria, absolute dating methods, relative dating methods, cross-dating methods, and position relative to the glacial-interglacial cycle by examining physical and biological attributes. Correlation of fossil inclusions is a principle of stratigraphy: that strata may be correlated based on the sequence and uniqueness of their floral and faunal content.
corrugated
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Shaped into alternate ridges and grooves
corrugated fastener
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A fastener used in making light-duty miter joints, such as on screens and large picture frames
corrugation
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A technique of decorating pottery in which the individual coils are not smoothed on the outside, thus forming an overlapping surface. Corrugation improves a pot's heat conductivity.
Cortés, Hernán (or Hernando Cortez) (c 1485-1547)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The Spanish conqueror of the Aztec empire and founder of the colony of New Spain. After arriving in 1519 near Yucatán, he founded the city of Veracruz and marched to Tenochtitlán. He captured Moctezuma, the Aztec ruler, was later driven out, but returned to conquer and destroy the city in 1521.
Cortaillod
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A Neolithic village site of pile dwellings on the edge of Lake Neuchâtel, and the type site of the oldest Neolithic culture in western Switzerland, with a starting date of c 3800 BC and lasting to after 2500 BC. Cortaillod is noted for the fine preservation of wood, cloth, and plant remains, and for its plain round-based pottery of Western Neolithic type. A large number of wooden and birch-bark utensils and containers have been found as well as organic remains, including fruits and nuts as well as cereals, pulses, and flax. The houses were built on wooden frames with walls of clay set on closely spaced timbers; the roof were probably thatched. The inhabitants practiced mixed farming, plus hunting and fishing. The round-based dark burnished pottery demonstrates connections with the Chassey culture of France.
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Urnfield settlement site of the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages near Sargossa in the Ebro Valley of northern Spain. Narrow, rectangular mudbrick houses were arranged in rows on terraces and the site is actually a tell. Some archaeologists regard the appearance of such traits in southern France and northern Spain in the early 1 millennium BC as indicating the movement of Celtic groups into the area.
cortical flake
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: primary flake
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A flake with its dorsal aspect completely covered by cortex.
cortical spall
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flake struck from the surface of a pebble or nodule which retains the natural cortex on one face. A cortical spall tool is generally a relatively large ovate cortical spall exhibiting retouch or use-wear on one or more edges.
Cosa
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: modern Ansedonia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A town on west coast of Italy, north of Rome, that was a Latin colony founded in 273 BC. There is well-preserved massive polygonal masonry surviving in the city walls, the forum, basilica, citadel, capitol, baths, and temples -- as well as remains of the grid street plan. The site was abandoned in 1st century BC.
cost-surface analysis
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The use of GIS software and digital landscape information such as slope and distance, fed into computer along with the figure of one hour for a 5-km walk on the surface that is used to do calculations, using built-in data on the energy cost of traversing different kinds of terrain.
Cotte de Sainte Brelade, La
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Palaeolithic cave site in Jersey, the Channel Islands, which also has pre-Mousterian and Mousterian levels. Human remains include large teeth and a piece of a child's skull, presumed to be Neanderthal. There is also evidence that at La Cotte de Sainte Brelade, rhinoceroses and mammoths were driven over a cliff edge.
Cotzumahualpa, Santa Lucia
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 stone sculpture, depicting scenes of deities gazing upward, skulls, serpent heads, and human sacrifice -- all enclosed within cartouches. There was also San Juan plumbate pottery.
Cougnac
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Palaeolithic cave site in Quercy, France, known for its paintings of megaloceros and ibex. The radiocarbon dates are 13,050-12,350 bc.
Council on Underwater Archaeology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: CUA
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A professional organization for archaeologists specializing in nautical archaeology; affiliated with the Society for Historical Archaeology.
counterscarp bank
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: counterscarp
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The facing wall on the forward (outer, downhill) side of a defensive ditch, often faced by brick or stone for ease of maintenance. The scarp was the main fortress wall of a hillfort or earthwork site. The term also describes the side of the vallum and ditch furthest away from the camp and facing in towards it.
countersunk handle
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A rounded handle partly sunk into the side of a vessel
court cairn
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 Neolithic period 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.
Covalanas
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Upper Palaeolithic painted cave in the Canabrian region of northern Spain. The style, including a finger-blob technique, suggests that it belongs to a primitive stage of cave art, possibly preceding the Solutrean.
cover sand
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: coversand, blow sand
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A deposit or sediment of wind-blown sand which is formed by the carrying of sand grains from glacial outwash deposits or from the shore by wind gusts. In areas where this occurs, the deposits may wipe out evidence of previous occupation -- but they may also preserve artifact associations if the deposition is thick and rapid. If it happens slowly, the archaeological material may eventually end up several kilometers from its source.
Coveta de l'Or
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Coveta del Or
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave site in eastern Spain near Valencia with Early Neolithic cardial (impressed) ware pottery, bones of domestic animals (einkorn), and remains of cultivated emmer and bread wheats. Large, deep pottery jars may have been used for grain storage. The radiocarbon dates are of mid-5th millennium BC.
Coxcatlán phase
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Occupation phase of Mexico's Tehuacán Valley from c 5500-4500 BC. Maize first appeared, though wild and semi-domesticated plants were still eaten along with small game.
Coyotlatelco
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A ceramic horizon 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.
crackle
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Glazed china with a network of fine cracks on the surface
crackle porcelain
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cracklin
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A type of china with glaze that has been purposely crackled or covered with a network of fine crackle in the kiln. It is caused by the shrinking of the glaze as the vessel cooled after firing and was often the only ornament on the exquisite ware. The Chinese made many variations of this porcelain, some rare and valuable. In some examples there is engraved decoration under the glaze. The low-fired Ju stoneware is distinguished by a seemingly soft, milky glaze of pale blue or grayish green with hair-thin crackle. A variant with strongly marked crackle became known as ko ware as it was made by the elder brother (ko) of the director of the Lung-ch'üan factory.
craft specialization
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: craft specialist
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The making of crafts -- pottery, jewelry, clothing, ornaments stone tools, etc. -- by specialists, people who do nothing but make that craft.
Crambeck ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of pottery made at Crambeck, North Yorkshire, which was widely distributed across the north of England and North Wales in the second half of the 4th century AD. Common types include cream-colored mortaria and parchment wares, imitation Samian forms, and a range of lead-grey kitchen wares.
cranial
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Of or pertaining to the cranium or skull. A cranial skeleton is the bones of the head, including the mandible. The cranium is the bones of the skull, not including the mandible.
crannog
CATEGORY: geography; feature
DEFINITION: An artificial island in a lake, bog, or march that forms the foundation for a small settlement and upon which a fortified structure is usually built. This structure was typical of prehistoric Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man, especially during the first century AD. The island was constructed from brushwood, stones, peat, and timber, and usually surrounded by a wooden palisade. Most crannogs probably represent single homesteads. The oldest examples in Ireland have yielded early Neolithic material (Bann flakes) and others have Beaker pottery. Most of them, however, are of Late Bronze Age, Iron Age, Early Christian, or medieval. The most interesting is that in Lough Cur in Limerick.
crater
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.
Crawford, O.G.S. (1886-1957)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British archaeologist who made many contributions to the development of the field -- including being the first exponent of the mapping of distributions, of air photography, of field archaeology, of the national mapping of antiquities, and of enlightening the public. He was the editor of the popular journal Antiquity for its first 31 years and Archaeological Officer of the Ordnance Survey, where he was largely responsible for the high standard of mapping of archaeological sites in Britain.
crawling
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A defect in which the glaze separates from the body during drying or firing (as around a prefiring crack), leaving unglazed areas
crazing
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A cross-hatched pattern of fractures, observable on the surface of a stone, as the result of excessive temperature exposure. In ceramic analysis, it is a situation in which differential shrinkage causes the surface of the vessel to crack while the remainder of the vessel wall remains undamaged.
creamware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: Earthenware having a cream-colored glaze.
creaser
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flat edged blade used in leatherworking
cremation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The practice of burning the dead. The practice of cremation on open fires was introduced to the Western world by the Greeks as early as 1000 BC. There is much variation in the disposal of the ashes, one distinctive practice being to place them in a cinerary urn for burial. Primary cremation is the burning of the deceased on a pyre in the grave. Secondary cremation is the practice of removing the remains of the deceased from the pyre to a grave. The cremation pit is a depression in which the remains of a cremation are buried.
crescent
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.
cresset lamp
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An open lamp which was filled with oil then a wick floated on the oil.
crested blade
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flint blade with negative impressions of removals on one side of the dorsal surface, creating a crest. These constitute part of a previously worked striking platform or result from preparing the flaked surface on a core before detaching flakes or blades.
Creswell Crags
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The type site of the Creswellian culture, a gorge about 1500 feet long near Creswell, England, which has caves that have yielded one of the most important British series of extinct vertebrate remains, accompanied by implements of Paleolithic hunters. The Creswellian culture is regarded as a variant of the Magdalenian culture of southwestern France and occurred during the final stages of the Würm glaciation. Finds include flint tools of Mousterian, 'proto-Solutrean', Creswellian, and Mesolithic types, as well as harpoons and a bone fragment with an engraved horse's head in Late Magdalenian style. Mammal remains include reindeer, woolly rhinoceros, mammoth, and wild horse. The Creswellian culture never used the stone ax but their tools were Gravettian-type of blunted-back blades showing development in manufacture over a long period. Creswell Crags was first excavated in 1875.
Creswellian
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A Late Upper Palaeolithic culture found at Creswell Crags and in caves in Wales and southern England. It is regarded as a variant of the Magdalenian culture 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 Mesolithic period.
critical point
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: critical moisture content
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The point in the drying of a clay article at which shrinkage water has been removed, shrinkage has largely ceased, and the piece is rigid and leather-hard
critical theory
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Critical Theory
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A theoretical approach which was an attempt to adapt Karl Marx's ideas to an understanding of events and circumstances of 20th-century life. The relations between the assumptions and discoveries of a scholarly discipline and its ties to modern life are subject to examination, automatically relating the questions, methods, and discoveries of a science such as anthropology to those of the anthropologist's own culture. The theory claims that all knowledge is historical.
Cro-Magnon
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 blade technology and bone tools. They were associated with the Aurignacian culture, which produced the earliest European art. Unlike Neanderthal man, the remains are hardly different from modern man.
Cromerian
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: An Interglacial Stage of northern Europe correlated with the Günz-Mindel Interglacial, part of the series of interglacials recognized in Britain: the Pastonian (oldest), Beestonian, and Cromerian. The Cromerian stage is a group of Interglacial deposits of the Quaternary system which are stratified under Anglian glacial deposits and above an extensive sequence of earlier Quaternary deposits. The type site of the stage is at West Runton, Norfolk. In northwest Europe, a group of deposits representing several interglacials and intervening cold stages, and these deposits are stratified below Elster glacial deposits and above a sequence extending back into the Pliocene.
crop mark
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cropmark
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: Variations in the color or growth of surface vegetation that indicate the outline of buried archaeological features, such as walls, pits, or buildings; visible by aerial observation or photography. These indications are revealed by the abnormal growth of overlying crops. Buried archaeological features such as walls stunt crop growth; ditches increase crop growth. Buried pits and ditches may retain moisture better than the surrounding subsoil and during a dry spell plant growth is often enhanced over such features.
cross-dating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cross dating
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A correlation dating technique that can yield a relative or absolute age or chronology. The basis of cross-dating is the occurrence of finds in association. The assumption is that a particular type of artifact, for example a type of sword, when found in an undated context will bear a similar date to one found in a dated context, thus enabling the whole of the undated context to be given a chronological value. The method is based on the assumption that typologies evolved at the same rate and in the same way over a wide area or alternatively on assumptions of diffusion. Many of the chronologies constructed before the advent of chronometric dating techniques were based on cross-dating. New techniques such as radiocarbon dating showed some of the links established by cross-dating to be invalid, so the method has become somewhat discredited. However, its use is still helpful where recognizable products of dateable manufacture are found in undated contexts with no possibility of using a chronometric dating technique. So in the absence of geochronology, two cultural groups can only be proved contemporary by the discovery of links between them. If in culture A an object produced by culture B is found, A must be contemporary with, or later than, B. The term cross-dating ought strictly to be used only when an object of culture A is also found in proved association with culture B, when overlap of at least part of the time span of each is proved. Items having an established date, such as dated coins or buildings, or ceramics of known manufacture are most often used. By itself, a cross-dated chronology does not give absolute dates, but it may be calibrated by reference to other dating methods. A type of cross-dating has always been used in geology and stratigraphical sequences are often correlated by the assemblages of fossils they contain; this is known as biostratigraphy. The archaeological versions of cross-dating may have been developed directly out of the geological method and may have been based on a false analogy between biological fossils and archaeological artifacts.
cross-hatching
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: lattice decoration
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Ornamentation formed by a criss-cross of diagonal lines, described as acute-angled if the angle to the horizontal is more than 45 degrees and obtuse-angled if less than this
cross-laminae
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A sedimentary structure in which laminae are deposited at an inclined angle to the main depositional surface (bedding plane). The constituents and orientation of cross-laminae can be used to reconstruct past depositional environments.
cross-sectional trenches
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: slot trenches
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A type of excavation in which a set of superimposed strata are cut across by deep trenches that expose the history of deposition.
crotal
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An enclosed, round bell with a slit, sounded by a loose internal pellet.
crown glass
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A traditional window glass made by spinning a bubble of molten glass on the end of a rod until it forms a flat disk
cruciform chamber
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A megalithic tomb, characteristic of the passage-tomb tradition in Ireland, in which a passage, a chamber, and three apses form a cross-shaped structure.
crutch-head pin
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of bronze dress fastener characterized by a simple shaft with a short cross-piece set in the form of a T. Some examples have decoration on the upper part of the shank and head. Dating to the 15th century BC they are found in southern Britain in association with Wessex Culture II graves and on the continent in Rienecke A2 contexts.
Crvena Stijena
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A prehistoric cave site near the Adriatic coast in Montenegro. Artifacts and faunal remains date back to the last glaciation and deposits include the Palaeolithic, Mousterian, Upper Palaeolithic (Aurignacian), Early and Late Mesolithic (with microlithic flint industries and a large faunal sample of red deer and chamois), Early Neolithic (with Impressed Ware and Danilo-Kakanj pottery, also macrolithic flint industry), Late Neolithic (Danilo culture), and a Late Bronze Age level (with Hallstatt A-B metalwork).
cryoturbation
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: The disturbing or mixing of soil by frost action and the freezing of the active layer of permafrost late in the melting season. The soil in regions close to an ice sheet contains a good deal of water, and when it refreezes after the seasonal thaw the pressure of growing ice crystals tends to rotate and rearrange the stones. The presence of such a structured soil indicates former cold climatic episodes.
crypt
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: crypta
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A vault or subterranean chamber, especially one beneath the main floor of a church or other building and used as a burial place. In the catacombs, it was a tomb in which a number of bodies were interred together. Early Christians called their catacombs crypts; and, when churches came to be erected over the tombs of saints and martyrs, subterranean chapels, known as crypts or confessiones, were built around the actual tomb. The most famous of these was St. Peter's, built over the circus of Nero, the site of St. Peter's martyrdom. By the time of Roman emperor Constantine the Great (306-337), the crypt was considered a normal part of a church building.
crystal
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A material with atoms distributed in an orderly array (lattice structure), having characteristic optical and physical properties
Ctesiphon
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Tusbun, Taysafun
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Ancient city founded by the Parthians, located on the Tigris River southeast of modern Baghdad, Iraq. It served as the winter capital of the Parthian empire and later of the Sasanian empire. The site is famous for the remains of a gigantic vaulted hall, the Taq Kisra, which is traditionally regarded as the palace of the Sassanian king Khosrow I (reigned 531-579 AD) and Shapur I (reigned 241-272 AD). The hall has one of the largest single-span mud-brick arches in the world.
Cu Lao Rua
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A late Neolithic to early Bronze Age site near Saigon, Vietnam with shouldered polished stone adzes.
cuesta
CATEGORY: geology; geography
DEFINITION: A gentle slope, inclined plain, or long low ridge with a relatively steep drop; a hill or ridge with one steep face (escarpment) and one that is gently sloping.
Cueva Morin
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Palaeolithic cave site of northern Spain with seven Mousterian levels, a lower Perigordian layer dated to 36,350 bp, and Aurignacian levels with dwellings and burials. It was one of the first Spanish sites excavated by scientific methods.
cuirass
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A piece of armor to protect the torso, both front and back, and often molded to the contours of the body. Originally made of thick leather, it was variously made of laminated linen, sheet bronze, or iron, or scales of horn, hide, or metal. In Homeric and Hellenistic times, it was made of bronze. Cuirasses of leather as well as iron were worn by officers in the armies of the Roman Empire. Later made of steel, the cuirass was forerunner to body armor worn to deflect bullets.
Cuiry-lès-Chaudardes
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Early Neolithic site of the Paris Basin's Linear Pottery culture that was occupied c 4800 BC. There were timber longhouses, pits, potsherds decorated in Bandkeramik, grindstones, flint tools, and waste flakes.
cult statue
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The statue of a god or goddess. Such statues were housed with great dignity in temples.
cultivation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The raising of plants by man for his use; deliberate propagation of a species primarily for its fruit, seed, leaf, or fiber. Cultivation greatly increased and stabilized man's food supply. The change from food gathering to food production has been called the Neolithic Revolution, and was one of the most important advances in human development. The first among Old World crops were wheat and barley, developed as cultivated species c 7th millennium BC. To these were added oats and rye in Europe, millet in Asia, and sorghum in Africa. In the Americas, the process was equally slow. First crops included beans, cotton, gourds, maize, manioc, potatoes, and squashes.
cultural adaptation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The whole of the adjustments of a human society to its environment. It is the process of change undergone by a community to better conform with environmental conditions or other external stimuli.
cultural anthropology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: A subdiscipline of anthropology emphasizing nonbiological aspects -- the learned social, linguistic, technological, and familial behaviors of humans; a term used in the Americas. Two important branches of cultural anthropology are ethnography (the study of living cultures) and ethnology (which attempts to compare cultures using ethnographic evidence). In Europe, the field is referred to as social anthropology. In the US, prehistoric archaeology is usually considered a subdivision of cultural anthropology.
cultural chronology
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The ordering of past material culture into a meaningful time sequence.
cultural diffusion
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: diffusion
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In anthropology, the transmission or borrowing of certain culture traits from the group of origin into a foreign group; usually technological elements rather than those of social organization. This term defines the spread of ideas, traits, or people from one area to another -- not necessarily implying the movement of people, since trade and the adoption of new ideas from neighboring cultures are reasonable explanations of diffusion. The diffusion of new ideas can come, however, from the peaceful or warlike expansion of a population into new territory. The theory of diffusion was used in the past to explain the beginning of most new ideas: it was assumed that technological skills such as metalworking, or the building of large monumental structures, could only have begun in one place, whence they diffused to other areas. It is now clear, through the use of new dating techniques, that independent invention was certainly possible and probable for many new ideas.
cultural disturbance process
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any human behavior that modifies artifacts in their archaeological context, e.g. digging canas, hearths, houses, etc.
cultural drift
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A gradual cultural change due to the imperfect transmission of information between generations; it is analogous to genetic drift in biology.
cultural ecology
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term describing the dynamic relationship between human society and its environment, in which culture is viewed as the primary adaptive mechanism in the relationship.
cultural environment
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Those elements of the habitat created or modified by human cultures; a component of the total environment as seen by cultural ecology.
cultural evolution
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: A subdiscipline of anthropology that emphasizes the systematic change of cultural systems through time. The theory is that societal change can be understood by analogy with the processes underlying the biological evolution of species, which argues that human cultures change gradually throughout time as a result of a number of cultural processes.
cultural formation process
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The deliberate and accidental activities of humans that affect how archaeological materials are buried.
cultural group
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A complex of regularly occurring associated artifacts, features, burial types, and house forms comprising a distinct identity.
cultural intervention
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The introduction of new cultural forms to a society, by either accident or design.
cultural layer
CATEGORY: feature; term
DEFINITION: The deposition of materials from settlements or other prehistoric areas of activity that accumulate over a relatively continuous time. Several such layers create a stratigraphic and chronological sequence.
cultural materialism
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A research strategy that assumes that technological, economic, and ecological processes are the components of every sociocultural system. Developed by Marvin Harris, an anthropological historian, who saw functionalism in the social sciences as being similar to adaptation" in biology. His work on the surplus controversy and ethnoenergetic exchange in primitive cultures led him to comparisons with medieval European economies in which he saw two distinct types feudalism and manorialism."
cultural processes
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Sets of interrelated changes occurring through time, operating very broadly in geographical, social, and temporal terms over the course of a culture's history.
cultural processual approach
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cultural process
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A deductive approach to archaeological research that is designed to study the changes and interactions in cultural systems and the processes by which human cultures change throughout time. A cultural process is the cumulative cause-and-effect of the mechanisms and interactions within a culture that produce stability and/or change. The delineation of cultural process is one of the goals of archaeological research. Processual archaeologists use both descriptive and explanatory models based on functional, ecological, or multilinear cultural evolutionary concepts of culture.
Cultural Property Act of 1983
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: CPA
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Legislation providing legal sanctions against the import or export of stolen cultural properties into or out of the United States.
cultural relativism
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The belief that all cultures are unique and thus can only be evaluated in their own terms, and that cross-cultural comparisons and generalizations are invalid or inappropriate.
cultural resource management
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: CRM
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: A professional area of archaeology that focuses on the protection of archaeological sites from urban development, energy exploration, or natural processes. It is the legally mandated conservation, protection, and management of sites and artifacts as a means of protecting the past. Safeguarding the archaeological heritage is done through the protection of sites and salvage archaeology (rescue archaeology). This branch of archaeology is also concerned with developing policies and action in regard to the preservation and use of cultural resources.
cultural resources
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Sites, structures, landscapes, and objects of some importance to a culture or community for scientific, traditional, religious, or other reasons. The remains that compose our nonrenewable heritage from the past, including both the archaeological and the historical records.
cultural revival
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Reacceptance of cultural forms or ideas that had fallen into disuse.
cultural selection
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The process that leads to the acceptance of some cultural traits and innovations that make a culture more adaptive to its environment; somewhat akin to natural selection in biological evolution. The process leads to differential retention of cultural traits that increase a society's potential for successful cultural adaptation, while eliminating maladaptive traits.
cultural system
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The nonbiological mechanism that relates the human organism to its physical and social environments. It is a perspective that thinks of culture and its environment as a number of linked systems in which change occurs through a series of minor, linked variations in one or more of these systems.
cultural tradition
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any distinctive toolkit or technology that lasts a long time, longer than the duration of one culture, at one locality or several localities. The term also refers to cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions.
cultural transformation
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A change in the archaeological record resulting from later human behavior, such as digging a rubbish pit into earlier levels.
culture area
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Major anthropological subdivisions of the North American continent, characterized by relatively uniform environments and relatively similar cultures. It is a geographical region in which general cultural homogeneity is to be found, defined by ethnographically observed cultural similarities within the area. A culture area is also a geographic area in which one culture prevailed at a given time. This concept was devised as a means of organizing museum data. Examples are the Southwest, the Northwest Coast.
culture change
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any significant modification in the essential structure and elements of a culture over a period of time.
culture-historical approach
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: culture history, culture historical approach, culture-historical theory
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An approach to archaeological interpretation which uses the procedure of the traditional historian; the organization of the archaeological record into a basic sequence of events in time and space. This approach assumes that artifacts can be used to build a generalized picture of human culture and descriptive models in time and space, and that these can be interpreted. It is the reconstruction of the prehistoric past based on temporal and spatial syntheses of data and the application of general descriptive models usually derived from a normative concept of culture and induction. Culture history is the chronological arrangement of the time phases and events of a particular culture.
Cumae
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. Cumae came 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.
Cumbrian club
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A term given to a distinctive type of large polished stone axe of middle Neolithic date made in the Lake District of northwest England. Also known as a ?Cumbrian-type' stone axe. The main features of a Cumbrian club are its large size (150-380mm long), broad-butted form, long, narrow proportions, its maximum width more or less in the middle of its length, and a distinct ?waisting' of constriction towards the butt end. All known examples are made of Langdale tuff (Group VI), examples being traded out from the Lake District to most other parts of the British Isles. The large size of these implements suggests they are ceremonial, prestige, or display objects.
cumulative diagram
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cumulative graph; cumulative percentage frequency graph; ogive
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique of graphic representation which makes it possible to assess the degree of similarity between collections of tools or groups of sites. Along the horizontal x-coordinate are arranged the tools or characteristics in question, in accordance with a defined order corresponding to the type list" of the collections or sites. On the vertical y-coordinate their relative frequency is plotted. The diagram appears as series of steps each of which conveys the relative numerical importance of each tool or characteristic added to the relative frequency of the elements which precede it in the type list."
cumulative error
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A situation when errors in measurements or arithmetic operations are all positive or all negative.
cumulative feature
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A feature that has been formed without deliberate construction or constraints. The feature results from accretion, for example, in a midden, or subtraction, for example, in a quarry.
cumulative frequency distribution
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ogive
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A graph with an interval or ratio scale on the x-axis and proportion or percentage on the y-axis ranging from 0 to 1.0 or 100%.
cumulative recording
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Excavating and recording a trench in three dimensions, using both horizontal and vertical observations to reconstruct events at the site.
cumulative section
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A record of a stratigraphic sequence in which each layer is drawn and then removed, rather than left standing as a reference and drawn in its entirety at the end of the excavation.
Cunningham, Sir Alexander (1814-1883)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British general and archaeologist who excavated many sites in India, including Sarnath and Sanchi, and served as the first director of the Indian Archaeological Survey. He published an annual report, listing and describing the principal monuments of ancient India for the first time. His writings include The Bhilsa Topes (1854), the first serious attempt to trace Buddhist history through its architectural remains; The Ancient Geography of India (1871), the first collection of the edicts of the 3rd-century-BC Indian emperor Ashoka; and The Stûpa of Bharhut (1879).
Cunnington, William (1754-1810)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: British antiquary who, like his contemporary Colt Hoare, recorded and excavated many barrows and other prehistoric monuments in southern England, especially on Salisbury Plain. His excavations were of good quality for the time.
cup-and-ring mark
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cup mark, cup and ring mark
CATEGORY: artifact; lithics
DEFINITION: The commonest form of rock carving 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 Neolithic period of the 4th-3rd millennium BC.
cupellation
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A process in metallurgy, the separation of gold or silver from impurities by melting the impure metal in a cupel (crucible) and then directing a blast of hot air on it in a special furnace. The impurities, including lead, copper, tin, and other unwanted metals, are oxidized and partly vaporized and partly absorbed into the pores of the cupel. It is used to obtain silver by separating it from the lead with which it is naturally associated in argentiferous lead ores, or to obtain gold from the naturally occurring alloy of argentiferous gold (electrum).
curaca
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A rank in the Inca empire. Different grades of curaca were the chiefs of provinces or villages, in charge of between 100 and 10,000 people.
Curacchiaghiu
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A rock shelter in southern Corsica, France, with a sequence of deposits from Mesolithic and Neolithic occupation levels dating to the 7th millennium BC -- the earliest evidence of man in Corsica. The Early Neolithic levels (6th millennium BC) had pottery with punctated and incised decoration, and a lithic industry with geometric trapezes on hard rock and obsidian imported from Sardinia.
curation
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: curated technology
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Deliberate attempts by prehistoric peoples to preserve key artifacts and structures for posterity. These artifacts that are reused and transported so often that they are rarely deposited in contexts that their original locations of manufacture and use are no longer known.
curia
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The meeting place at Rome for the Senate, near the Comitium and the Forum, built by Caesar starting in 44 BC. The term also refers to similar meeting places for assembles built in other Roman towns and colonies, which were also placed adjacent to the forum. They had tiers of marble bench seats around a large D-shaped or rectangular room. Rebuilt many times, this building now survives in a version restored by Diocletian in 303 AD.
currency bar
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A strip of iron about 1 1/2 inches wide and 2-3 feet long and pinched up at one end, which served as a unit of currency in Britain during the late Iron Age, before the introduction of coins by the Belgae. The bars may have originated as sword blanks or roughouts. Their distribution was mainly in Dorset and the Cotswolds, with some in the Severn basin.
curvilinear
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Contained by or consisting of a curved line or lines: these designs employ flowing, curvilinear forms
cut flooring nail
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A nail with a rectangular cross-section and a blunt tip, used to blind-nail flooring through edges without splitting
cut mark
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cutmark
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any microscopic scratches on the surface of an animal bone, with distinctive V-shaped grooves. The marks indicate meat and muscle were removed from the bone using stone flakes.
cutlass
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flat heavy slightly curved blade.
cutting blade
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: end blade
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The piercing element of a composite projectile point or harpoon head. (See also projectile point.)
Cycladic
CATEGORY: chronology; culture
DEFINITION: Concerning the Bronze Age of the Cyclades, Aegean Islands, equivalent to Helladic on the Greek mainland and Minoan in Crete. It is usually divided into three major divisions: Early (c 3000-2000 BC), Middle (c 2000-1550 BC), and Late (c 1550-1050 BC). In the earlier Bronze Age, Cycladic culture seems to be largely independent, but in the late Middle Cycladic to early Late Cycladic, Minoan influence becomes important. After c 1400 BC mainland (Mycenaean) influence replaces the Minoan and many islands were colonized by the Mycenaeans. Colin Renfrew has proposed an alternative Early Cycladic subdivision into Grotta-Pelos, Keros-Syros, and Phylakopi I -- a culture sequence.
cyclic agriculture
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term describing a hypothetical process that may have existed among early agriculturists. Before the use of fertilizers and other efficient farming methods, cultivated land around a settlement lost its fertility over time and eventually becomes unproductive unless it is allowed to lie fallow for a while. An early farming site might have been exploited for a decade, and then left while the inhabitants founded a new settlement not too far away, farming that area for a decade before moving on again. Its use is suspected in certain areas, such as in Eastern Europe.
Cyclopean masonry
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cyclopean construction, cyclopean wall, cyclopean monuments, Pelasgian
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A style of masonry that calls for large, close-fitting, irregularly shaped stones, used typically in Mycenaean fortifications. The massive stone wall's gaps between the inner and outer faces of the huge stone boulders were filled with small stones and clay. It is named after the Greek mythical character Cyclops, thought by the Greeks to have built the walls of Tiryns, which are constructed in this fashion. The technique occurs widely elsewhere in the Mediterranean (Nuraghe, Naveta, Talayot, Torre), and was sometimes employed by the Inca and other Andean peoples.
cylinder hammer technique
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: soft hammer technique, bar hammer technique
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A stone-flaking technique using a bone, antler, wood, or other relatively soft material as a hammer to remove small, flat flakes from a core during flint knapping. These flakes have a characteristically long, thin form with a diffuse bulb of percussion.
cylinder seal
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A cylinder engraved with a design, scene, and/or inscription which was impressed onto the plastic clay when the cylinder seal was rolled over a clay tablet. This was the standard seal form of the Mesopotamian civilization, starting in the Uruk period. The incised stone cylinder was rolled over a soft surface so that the design appeared in relief. These seals were used to mark property and to legalize documents. Dating is based on changes in the design carved on the seal as well as the seal's size and proportion.
cylindrical tripod vase
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cylindrical vase
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A ceramic form 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.
Cypro-Minoan
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: The syllabic script used in Cyprus from the 15th century BC, falling into disuse before being revived in the 8th century BC. It was used to write Greek until the 3rd century BC. It has similarities to Minoan Linear A and may have come from Crete. Inscriptions appear on baked clay tablets, bronze votives, ivories, and seals. It has not been deciphered.
Cyrus the Great (590-580 BC-529/530 BC)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The first great Achaemenid king, who founded the Achaemenid empire after overthrowing the Medes and expanding westward through the mountains into Anatolia and eastward across the Iranian plateau into Central Asia. His capital was at Pasargadae (Persia), where his tomb survives. He is remembered as a tolerant and ideal monarch who was called father of his people by the ancient Persians and in the Bible as the liberator of the Jews captive in Babylonia. His successors extended the kingdom into Egypt, western India, and Macedonia.
cyst
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cist, cist grave
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A box-shaped burial structure made of stone slabs (especially slate, schist, or granite) set on edge. Cysts may be either sunk below ground level or built on the land surface, in which case they are covered by a protective barrow. The body, in a crouched position, was buried, or an urn, containing cremation ashes, and funerary furniture were placed and buried. The name comes from the Greek word 'kiste', meaning chest or box.
Dálriada
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A kingdom founded by Fergus and his brothers when they led the Scots from Ireland to the northeast coast of Scotland in the 5th century AD, roughly the modern county of Argyll (Argyllshire). It was ruled from the rock fortress of Dunadd, a nucleated fortified citadel dating to around 500. It consists of a dry-stone central stronghold with two outer walled enclosures. In about 843, Kenneth MacAlpin extended his rule over the Picts to lay the foundations of the kingdom of Scotland. Dálriada was important for its Celtic church under St. Columba and for the island of Iona which was a base for the conversion of northern Britain to Christianity. The Dariada introduced the Picts to their version of the Ogham script as well as the Scottish/Gaelic language.
Dölauer Heide
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Neolithic settlement in southeastern Germany of the Funnel Beaker culture. Excavations revealed fortifications of bank-and-ditch systems, a palisade, and a number of barrows -- all on a hilltop.
Dürrnberg bei Hallein
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Iron Age salt mining center in Austria from the 5th century BC. It eclipsed the mining complex at Hallstatt. There are many wealthy burials and artifacts linking the site with other part of central Europe and the Mediterranean.
Da But
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A marine shell midden near Thanh-hoa in northern Vietnam, which has produced a mixed Bacsonian and Neolithic stone industry together with ochre-stained burials and pottery. It has been dated to c 4000 BC.
Dabar Kot
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A large tell site in the Loralai Valley in north Baluchistan, Pakistan. It was a trading post of the Indus civilization, probably occupied first from the 5th millennium BC; later occupied by other cultures. The later levels have produced material of Harappan type associated with local artifacts such as figurines of Zhob type.
Dabban
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An early blade-and-burin industry of Cyrenaica, Libya, dating to 40,000-14,000 years ago. It is thought to be the oldest dated blade-and-burin industry of Upper Palaeolithic type and is recorded from only two sites: Hagfed ed-Dabba and the Haua Fteah. The Dabban is clearly related in some way to the broadly contemporary Upper Palaeolithic complex of Europe and the Near East with backed blades, burins, and endscrapers being its most characteristic artifacts. Its origins are still unknown. Dabban occupation of Haua Fteah continued until c12,000 BC.
dabber
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A tool used in etching to distribute the etching ground over a plate of metal in the first process of engraving and, in printing from copper plate engraving and woodcuts, to spread the ink.
Dacia
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Roman frontier province north of the Danube in the area of the Carpathian Mountains and Transylvania, in present-day western Romania, spanning c 106-270 AD. The Dacians were agricultural and worked their rich mines of gold, iron, and silver. As a people, they first lived south of the Danube and traded with the Greeks. They were a threat to the Romans from 112 BC, extending their kingdom. The Dacian Wars (85-89 AD) took place under the emperor Domitian and then the Romans under Trajan reopened hostilities in 101-106 AD, finally taking the country. The Dacian Wars were commemorated on Trajan's Column in Rome. The Romans exploited the Dacian mines, constructed roads, and made Sarmizegethusa and Tsierna (Orsova) colonies. The new province was divided under Hadrian: Dacia Superior was Transylvania and Dacia Inferior was the region of Walachia. Marcus Aurelius made the provinces a single military region in about 168 AD; but the province was abandoned by Aurelian in 270.
dado
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.
Dadunzi
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ta-tun-tzu
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Neolithic site in Pei Xian, Jiangsu province, China, with three main levels named after the nearby sites of Qinlian'gang, Liulin, and Huating. The lowest (Qinglian'gang) level at Danunzi yielded a radiocarbon date of c 4500 BC. In the middle (Liulin) level, extraordinary painted pottery was found with the usual undecorated pots native to the local Qinglian'gang tradition. Both the shapes and the painted designs copy the Yangshao pottery of Miaodigou; radiocarbon dates suggest that the Liulin phase belongs in the 4th millennium BC. Some graves of the Liulin phase at Dadunzi contained sacrificed dogs. At Dawenkou in Shangdong, where the lower level belongs to the Huating phase, pigs appear instead, and the graves often take the form of a stepped pit -- significant as forerunners of characteristic Shang burial practices. Perforated tortoise shells from Liulin graves may likewise foreshadow tortoise plastrons in Shang oracle bones.
daga
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A puddled clay used to plaster the walls and floors of houses in the Iron Age settlements of sub-Saharan Africa.
dagger
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A short stabbing knife which, in ancient and medieval times, was not very different from a short sword. From about 1300 the European dagger was differentiated from the sword. In earliest antiquity, it was made of flint, copper, bronze, iron, or bone. It is difficult to distinguish it from an inoffensive knife blade. Prehistoric daggers were made in flint by the Beaker Folk in the Neolithic-Early Bronze Age, about 1900 BC. Bronze dagger, tanged for wooden hilt, were imported by Beaker Folk from western Europe between 1900-500 BC. The fully developed style of the Iron Age came to be in the 1st century BC. In copper it was ancestral to the rapier, sword, spear, and halberd.
dagger-ax
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ko
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A bronze Chinese weapon in use from Shang Dynasty (c 1500 BC) to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). The earliest forms were broad and mounted at right angles to a wooden shaft through which the tang projected. Later forms had a slender blade which extended down the shaft at right angles to the main point to prevent it snapping.
Dahe
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ta-ho
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Neolithic village site, now preserved as a museum, at Zhengzhou in China. Several Yanshao levels are overlaid by Hougang II and Shang remains; radiocarbon dates range from c 3700-3050 BC. The uppermost Yanshao level is a late stage of the Miaodigou I culture; the expected painted pottery is found alongside unpainted pots, including ding and dou shapes, that recall the Huating-Dawendou phase of the Qinglin'gang culture. This pottery may represent the beginnings of a westward movement of east-coast influences that eventually transformed the Yangshao tradition, giving rise to the Hougan II culture.
Dahshur
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Egyptian royal necropolis, a group of five pyramids making up the southern end of the Memphite necropolis, the nucleus of which is Saqqara (Saqqarah) on the west bank of the Nile. The most prominent of the surviving monuments at Dahshur are the two pyramids of the first 4th Dynasty pharaoh, Snefru (reigned 2575-2551 BC), of the Old Kingdom. The earliest is called either the Blunted, Bent, False, or Rhomboidal Pyramid and it represents the first attempt to build a true pyramid. It is the only Old Kingdom pyramid with two entrances. The second of Snefru's pyramids at Dahshur is called the North Stone Pyramid. Other major monuments are of Amenemhat II, Senwosret III, and Amenemhat III of the Middle Kingdom's 12th dynasty (1938-1756 BC) and they are not as well-preserved. The subsidiary tombs of Princess Khnemet and Princess Iti near Amenemhat II's pyramid yielded the Dahshur Treasure of jewelry and other personal items.
daily log
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: daybook
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A journal written by a member of an excavation crew that explains the work performed, the conditions of work, what was found, and any observations or insights.
Daima
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A series of large mounds in northeastern Nigeria, which constitute the remains of early farming villages on the southern flood plain of Lake Chad and were occupied from about 600 BC-1200 AD. For the first five centuries, the Daima people only had polished stone axes and tools of bone, plus stone grinders and querns. There is pottery present from first occupation and evidence of domesticated cattle, sheep, and goats. Cultivation of sorghum was important, as was hunting and fishing. Iron was introduced the 1st-6th centuries AD. Some centuries later, however, Daima became part of a more wide-ranging trade system.
Daimabad
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in western India with five phases from the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC known for copper hoards.
Dainzú
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in central Oaxaca, Mexico, dating to c 300 BC with bas-relief carvings similar to the Danzantes at Monte Albán.
Dakhla Oasis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: ad-Dakhilah Oasis
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: One of a chain of oases located in the Libyan Desert, west of the Egyptian city of Luxor. The main pharaonic sites in Dakhla include a town site of the Old Kingdom (2686-2160 BC) and its associated cemetery of 6th Dynasty mastaba tombs, near the modern village of Balat.
Dales ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Coarse shell-gritted hand-made cooking pots, probably made near the confluence of the rivers Trent and Humber from the mid 2nd century AD onwards. The fabric is hard and coarse with a smooth but unpolished surface, grey, black, or brown in color. The body of the clay contains small fragments of white shell. Sandy wheel-thrown imitations, Dales-type cooking pots, were made in Lincolnshire, the Humber Basin, and probably around York at the same time.
Dalles
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A series of sites along the Columbia River on the Oregon/Washington border, going back to 10,000 BC. The salmon of the river are thought to have made the area important.
Dalmatia
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 Flavian period 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.
Dalton
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.
damascening
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: damaskeening
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The art of incrusting one metal on another, in the form of wire, which by undercutting and hammering is completely attached to the metal it ornaments. The process of etching slight ornaments on polished steel wares is also called damascening. Although related to pattern-welding, this technique used in the manufacture of sword blades probably developed independently. First a high-carbon steel is produced by firing wrought iron and wood together in a sealed crucible; the resulting steel, or wootz, consists of light cementations in a darker matrix, and this, together with a series of complicated forging techniques at relatively low temperatures produced the delicate 'watered silk' pattern with the alternating high- and low-carbon areas. Damascene steel was very strong and highly elastic.
Damascus
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.
Damb Sada'at
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Quetta
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A prehistoric site in the Quetta valley of western Pakistan which was occupied during the 3rd millennium BC. Well-built mud-brick houses consisting of several small rooms, copper tools, and wheel-turned pottery painted in black designs on a buff or greenish ground known as Quetta ware have been excavated.
Dambwa
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: An Early Iron Age division of the Chifumbaze complex, of the 5th-8th centuries AD, in the Zambezi Valley and northwest Zimbabwe.
Damous el Ahmar
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave site with Capsian Neolithic industry in Algeria.
Danebury
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An Iron Age hillfort in Hampshire, England, dating to the 6th century BC. The defenses were built with a timber-laced rampart, remodeled twice, and the main gateway is just as old. Within the ramparts, there was a permanent settlement. By the 4th century, rows of 4- and 6-post structures, flanked the roads, but were later replaced by circular houses. The site was abandoned c 100 BC.
Danevirke
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Danekirke
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A 5th-century line of earthwork fortifications that cut across the base of the Jutland peninsula, forming the southern boundary of Viking Age Denmark (now in Germany). Timbers in its construction have been dated to about 737 AD, but these were likely replacement timbers, making the first building phase still earlier. It is puzzling archaeologically because the traces of only one large timber hall have been found, associated with enormous quantities of imported luxury items including a great deal of West European glass. Godfrey, king of Denmark who halted Charlemagne's march northward, began the construction of the Danevirke.
Danger Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave site of long occupation in western Utah, dated to 11,000-11,000 BC and having one of the most complete inventories from the Desert Tradition. Artifacts include leaf-shaped projectile points, baskets, manos, metates. The last occupation dates to after 2000 BC.
Daniel, Glyn Edmund (1914-1986)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A British prehistorian who studied the megaliths of Europe and developed the study of the history of archaeology. He popularized the discipline through his writings.
Danilo
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A Neolithic culture of the Dalmatian coast of Croatia and parts of Bosnia, dating to 4700-3900 BC. The site consists of large numbers of pits and post holes, whose associated material has been subdivided typologically into five phases. There are two associated pottery styles, painted in black and broad red bands on buff ware, and incised on dark burnished ware, belong in the Middle Neolithic. The geometric designs suggest connections with contemporary wares in Italy, particularly Ripoli and Serra D'Alto. There was also a long blade and tanged point stone industry closely related to fishing.
Danubian culture(s)
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Early farming culture(s) of the Danube basin of central and eastern Europe, of the Neolithic and Eneolithic, starting c 5300 BC. The stages, named by Gordon Childe, were Danubian I (Linear Pottery culture), Danubian II (later Neolithic cultures, such as Tisza, Lengyel, Rossen, and stroke-ornamented pottery cultures), and Danubian III (late Lengyel, Brzesc, Kujawski, Jordanow). The first stage was based on slash and burn cultivation and the shoe-last celt, objects of spondylus shell, and the use of bandkeramik. There were substantial timber longhouses during occupations and after abandonment, sites were later reoccupied and villages rebuilt. By the mid-5th millennium, the Danubian II cultures (Rössen, stroke-ornamented ware, Lengyel, Tisza) arose. The term is now outdated.
Danzantes
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: danzante
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Stone slab, bas-relief carvings of Monte Alban, Mexico, dating to c 100 BC-100 AD, that flank the earliest flat-topped. They depict nude male figures, some with mutilated or elaborately emphasized sexual organs, in unnatural dancing or possible swimming poses. Certain elements of the iconography, such as thick lips and downturned mouths, indicate an Olmec origin. Associated hieroglyphs and calendar dates support this theory. The term means "dancer" in Spanish. These are usually life-sized and have been found at San Jose Mogote and Monte Alban in Oaxaca.
Dapengeng
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ta-p'en-keng
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Neolithic site in Taiwan, near Taipei City, of a 6th-5th millennia BC postglacial culture. It is typified by coarse cord-marked pottery, sometimes called the Yue Coastal Neolithic, with the use of plant cordage for decorating the vessels. A later stage had geometric pottery.
Dar es-Soltan
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cave site on the Atlantic coast of Morocco with a long sequence of late Aterian industry, followed by Iberomaurusian and Capsian Neolithic remains. The site is associated with human remains of Mechta-Afalou type.
Dar Tichitt
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A series of very early Neolithic farming sites on the southern fringes of Sahara Desert in southern Mauritania. The first village settlements of the Naghez phase, 1200-1000 BC, had circular compounds connected by wide paths. Fishing, hunting, and wild grasses were the village's subsistence. During Chebka phase, 1000-700 BC, lakes dried up, so animal husbandry increased and millet was cultivated. The Akanjeir phase, 700-300 BC, saw further climatic deterioration, ending permanent settlement.
Darius I (550-486 BC)
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Darius the Great
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The king of Persia from 522-486 BC, one of the greatest rulers of the Achaemenid dynasty, who was known for his great building projects and his administrative abilities. Darius extended his kingdom to India and Thrace and attempted several times to conquer Greece; his fleet was destroyed by a storm in 492, and the Athenians defeated his army at Marathon in 490. The details of his accession, which extinguished the rule of the senior branch of his family, are clouded by the fact that we have only his side of the story, notably in his great rock inscription at Behistun. His change of the royal capital from Pasargadae to Persepolis was important in his accession. His tomb survives, carved in the cliff face at Naqsh-i-Rustam, near Persepolis.
Dart
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A projectile point hafted to a shaft that utilized a throwing stick or atlatl or blowgun.
Dart Point
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flaked projectile point designed for use as a tip for a throwing stick dart.
Dart, Raymond Arthur (1893-1988)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: A South African professor of anatomy who discovered the first Australopithecine fossil, in 1924.
Darwin, Charles (1809-1882)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: The founder of modern evolutionary biology and of the theory of the origin of species by means of natural selection. His Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life" was published in 1859. His theory explained the origin of plant and animal species through a process of natural selection that tends to perpetuate adaptive variations. Its relevance for archaeology was to further the acceptance of the antiquity of man. In his book "The Descent of Man" (1871) he speculated that our closest relatives in the animal world were chimpanzee and gorilla and that Africa was our likely homeland."
Dasas
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The inhabitants of northwestern India at the time of the Indo-European migrations, described in the Rig-Veda" as having dark faces and snub noses unintelligible speech and worshipping strange gods but living in fortified cities (pur) and being very rich especially in cattle. The Dasas are often identified with the inhabitants of the towns of the Indus Valley culture."
Dashly
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An area of southern Bactria, Afghanistan, with Bronze Age, Achaemenid, and Classical sites. There are major architectural ruins from these periods.
data
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: sing. Datum
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Relevant observations made on artifacts, serving as the basis for study and discussion. Factual information (as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation.
data acquisition
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A stage in archaeological research design in which data are gathered, normally by three basic procedures -- reconnaissance, surface survey, and excavation.
data cluster
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Archaeological data found in association and in primary context and used to define areas and kinds of ancient activity. Such information may be divided into composite, differentiated, and simple data clusters.
data dictionary
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: Documentation of all the files, fields, relations, and processes used in a database.
data pool
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The archaeological evidence available within a given data universe, conditioned by both behavioral and transformational processes.
data processing
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A stage in archaeological research design usually involving, in the case of artifacts, cleaning, conserving, labeling, inventorying, and cataloging.
data universe
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A defined area of archaeological investigation, bounded in time and space, often a geographic region or an archaeological site.
data-flow diagram
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: A logical model of an information system depicting its entities, processes, and flow of data between processes.
database
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: A compilation or storage system for information that is used for decision-making, inferences, interpretation, and testing hypotheses.
date range
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A date indicating years during which it is equally probable that an event took place.
dated event
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: An event dated by a chronological method.
dating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: chronology
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The process by which an archaeologist determines dates for objects, deposits, buildings, etc., in an attempt to situate a given phenomenon in time. Relative dating, in which the order of certain events is determined, must be distinguished from absolute dating, in which figures in solar years (often with some necessary margin of error) can be applied to a particular event. Unless tied to historical records, dating by archaeological methods can only be relative -- such as stratigraphy, typology, cross-dating, and sequence dating. Absolute dating, with some reservation, is provided by dendrochronology, varve dating, thermoluminescence, potassium-argon dating, and, most important presently, radiocarbon dating. Some relative dating can be calibrated by these or by historical methods to give a close approximation to absolute dates -- archaeomagnetism, obsidian hydration dating, and pollen analysis. Still others remain strictly relative -- collagen content, fluorine and nitrogen test, and radiometric assay. Other methods include: coin dating, seriation, and amino-acid racemization. The methods have varying applications, accuracy, range, and cost. Many new techniques are being developed and tested.
datum line
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: meridian; datum plane
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An imaginary line that is measured in a north-south direction. It is a fixed line of reference and should extend for a sufficient distance to cover the area of probable excavation. It should conform to a true meridian of longitude and it enables the surveyor to position accurately any point on the site in relation to its orientation (its north-south axis). This is the point of reference from which all vertical measurements (elevations) are made; can be arbitrary or calculated from height above sea level.
datum point
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: datum
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The point on an archaeological site from which all measurements of level and contour are taken. It is the reference point used for vertical and horizontal measurement. It can be chosen at random, at a place from which all or most of the site can be seen, and should be tied in to the national standard, usually sea level, by reference to the nearest survey point. Depths of features, of objects found in features, or simply contours, are leveled in with reference to the datum point, and are usually recorded as being a certain height 'below local datum'. Should variations in contour or the extent of the site prove too great for a single datum point, another can be used as long as it is leveled in with reference to the first. A site grid and excavation units are laid out or measured with reference to this point.
daub
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Clay which is smeared onto a structure of timber or wattle (interwoven twigs) as a finish to the surface. It is normally added to both faces of a wall and is used to keep out drafts and give a smooth finish. The material usually survives only when baked or fire-hardened, as would be the case if a structure burned down. It can usually be recognized by the impressions of the wattle to be found on its inner face. It was used by both Indians and European settlers in North America to construct houses.
Davis, Edwin Hamilton (1811-1888)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: An American antiquary who studied the Ohio mounds and earthen enclosures with E.G. Squier.
Dawenkou
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ta-wen-k'ou
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: A Middle Neolithic site in Shandong Province, China, which gave its name to a culture of c 4500-2700 BC. There is elaborately shaped pottery and increasingly rich burials.
Dazaifu
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The remains of a frontier administrative center near Fukuoka, Japan. Established just after Japan's defeat in the Korean campaign of 663, Dazaifu remained an important outpost of the government in the western frontier for the next few centuries and was the bureaucratic gateway from Kyushu to the continent. The Dazaifu area, with administrative buildings and temples, has been excavated.
de facto refuse
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Artifacts left behind when a settlement or activity area is abandoned.
De Geer, Baron Gerhard (Jakob), Friherre (1858-1943)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Swedish geologist, originator of the varve-counting method used in geochronology, first published in a paper entitled, A Geochronology of the last 12 000 years". De Geer observed that lake beds consist of couplets of laminated sediments (varves) light-colored silt layers alternating with strata of darker clay. These represent annual accumulations and thus provide a means for dating the sediments simply by counting the number of varves present."
Dead Sea Scrolls
CATEGORY: artifact; language
DEFINITION: Ancient Hebrew manuscripts recovered from five cave sites in which they had been hidden at the northwest corner of the Dead Sea. They are believed to be the religious writings of the Essenes, a sect who in the 1st century BC and 1st century AD dwelt in a monastery at Khirbet Qumran. This material, first found in 1947, is extremely relevant to the origins of Christianity. The library included all the Old Testament texts as well as sectarian works. The scrolls, together with the excavations at Qumran, have provided much information about the beliefs and way of life of the Essenes. It is thought that the library was hidden in the cave in anticipation of the destruction of Khirbet Qumran by the Romans, which occurred in 67-73 AD. The manuscripts of leather, papyrus, and copper are among the more important discoveries in the history of modern archaeology. Their recovery has enabled scholars to push back the date of the Hebrew Bible to no later than 70 AD and to reconstruct the history of Palestine from the 4th century BC to 135 AD.
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.
death assemblage
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The population of carcasses when members of a life assemblage die.
death mask
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A cast of a person's face taken after death.
debitage
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: The waste by-products -- chips or debris -- resulting from the manufacture of stone tools, found in large quantities in a tool-making area. Study of debitage can reveal a good deal about techniques used by knappers. Certain waste flakes have a characteristic appearance and indicate the tools that were made or prepared at a site even when the tools themselves are absent.
debitage analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study of waste products resulting from tool manufacture to reconstruct stone technology.
decal
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A transferable decoration added to the surface of pottery beginning in the mid-19th century.
decanter
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A stoppered glass container into which wine or brandy, etc., is decanted.
declination
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The difference between true and magnetic north. In astronomy, the angular distance of a body north or south of the celestial equator.
decoration
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: One or more of a series of modifications made on pottery for purposes that are mainly nonfunctional.
decumanus
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: decumanus maximus
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: East-west street of a Roman camp or town. The square grid layout of the two was basically identical and the decumanus usually ran from the gate in the middle of one wall to the gate opposite. The decumanus maximus was the main east-west street. The main transverse street was known as the cardo; the administrative block or forum was at the intersection of the two. Other decumani parallel to the decumanus maximus cross the transverse cardines to divide the area into insulae.
deduction
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: deductive strategy
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A process of reasoning sometimes used in archaeology, which goes from the general to the specific, or, from lucky guess to a provable fact. It involves generating hypotheses and then testing them with data. Deductive research is cumulative and involves constant refining of hypotheses. In deductive arguments, the conclusions must be true, given that the premises are true. It is the opposite of inductive approaches, which proceed from specific observations to general conclusions.
deductive nomological explanation
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: D-N; deductive-nomological reasoning; deductive reasoning
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A formal method of explanation based on the testing of hypotheses derived from general laws. A general law is established, the ramifications are deduced, and the ramifications are then used to explain a specific set of data. Some archaeologists believe that this is the appropriate way to explain cultural processes.
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 series dating, 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 archaeological material 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.
deflocculate
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: To disperse in fine particles, esp. a fine clay suspension so that particles repel each other and the substance becomes more fluid
Deh Luran
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 Uruk period to historical times.
Deichmann, Friedrich Wilhelm (1909-?)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: German archaeologist who made contributions concerning Early Christian architecture in the Mediterranean. His detailed studies of features and styles were published in Frühchristliche Bauten and Mosaiken von Ravenna" (1958) and "Ravenna Hauptstadt des spätantiken Abendlandes" 2 vol. in 5 (1969-1989)."
Deir el-Bahri
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Deir el-Bahari, Deir el Bahari
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Theban religious and funerary site on the west bank of the Nile in Upper Egypt, opposite Luxor. In a bay of the cliffs, two great funerary temples were erected. That of Mentuhotep I of the 11th dynasty (Middle Kingdom, c 2033-1982 BC) consisted of a chamber tomb and a pyramid set in elaborately planned colonnades and terraces. That of Queen Hatshepsut, on a similar plan but without the pyramid, belongs to the 18th dynasty (New Kingdom, c 1480 BC). It is famous for a series of reliefs including one portraying a trading expedition to the Land of Punt and the transport of an obelisk.
Deir el-Medina
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Settlement site on the west bank of the Nile opposite Luxor, situated in a bay in the cliffs midway between the Ramesseum and Medinet Habu. It is the site of the village of the workmen who built the tombs in the Valleys of the Kings during the New Kingdom. The inhabitants were stone cutters, masons, plasterers, scribes, draftsmen, and artists who excavated and adorned royal and private tombs in the Theban necropolis from the early 18th Dynasty until the end of the New Kingdom. The site produced a large number of documents, mainly on ostraka.
delftware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The term for tin-glazed earthenware made in Britain from the 16th century, named after the Dutch town of Delft. The main centers for delftware were London, Bristol, Liverpool, and Glasgow, but the factories went out of business with the introduction of creamware.
Delphic Oracle
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The most famous ancient oracle, located at Delphi on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus above the Corinthian Gulf. Traditionally, the oracle first belonged to Mother Earth (Gaea) but later was either given to or stolen by Apollo. At Delphi the medium was a woman over fifty, known as the Pythia, who lived apart from her husband and dressed in a maiden's clothes. Though the oracle, at first called Pytho, was known to Homer and was the site of a Mycenaean settlement, its fame did not come until the 7th-6th centuries BC, when Apollo's advice or sanction was sought by lawmakers, colonists, and cult founders. The Pythia's counsel was most used to predict the outcome of wars or political actions. Consultations were normally restricted to the seventh day of the Delphic month, Apollo's birthday, and were at first banned during the three winter months when Apollo was believed to be visiting the Hyperboreans in the north, though Dionysus later took Apollo's place at Delphi during that time. The usual procedure required a sponsor and the provision of a pelanos (ritual cake) and a sacrificial beast that conformed to rigid physical standards. The Pythia and her consultants first bathed in the Castalian spring; afterward, she drank from the sacred spring Cassotis and then entered the temple. There she apparently descended into a basement cell, mounted a sacred tripod, and chewed leaves of the laurel, Apollo's sacred tree. While in this drugged state, the Pythia would speak, often unintelligibly. Her words, however, were not directly recorded by the inquirer; instead they were interpreted and written down by the priests in what were often very ambiguous words.
Delta
CATEGORY: site; geography
DEFINITION: The greater part of Lower Egypt, the Nile delta north of ancient Memphis, which is in marked contrast with Upper Egypt's valley. Though it has equally important history, its remains are now lost, buried beneath many meters of the silt which has accumulated since ancient times. The lowercased term refers to any flat alluvial tract built up by the deposition of silt at the mouth of a river. The name derives from the fact that the Nile fans out into several tributaries as it approaches the Mediterranean, creating a triangular area of fertile land shaped like the Greek letter delta.
demography
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: population estimation
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The study of the distribution, density, and vital statistics of populations. The statistical study of populations with reference to natality, mortality, migratory movements, age, and sex, among other social, ethnic, environmental, and economic factors indicate the processes which contribute to population structure and their temporal and spatial dynamics.
Denalian culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Denali complex
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A prehistoric culture or complex of central Alaska (the Tangle Lakes) dating to c 10,500-7000 BC. Similar to the Siberian Dyuktai (Diuktai) culture and defined by H. West in 1967, it is characterized by wedge-shaped microcores, microblades, burins, and bifacial points, scrapers on flakes, and large blades.
denarius
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A Roman silver coin, probably first struck in the late 3rd century BC. A wide range of designs were shown and under the republic they often bore an image of the moneyer's ? Ancestor.
Dendera
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 Dendera necropolis of mastaba tombs ranges in date from the Early Dynastic (Old Kingdom) period to the First Intermediate Period.
Dendra
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Dhendra
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Bronze Age cemetery in Greece with a Middle Helladic tumulus, Mycenaean tholos tomb (15th-14th centuries BC), and rich chamber tombs. The associated settlement may be the Mycenaean citadel of Midea.
dendrochronology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: tree-ring dating
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An absolute chronometric dating technique for measuring time intervals and dating events and environmental changes by reading and dating the pattern (number and condition) of annual rings formed in the trunks of trees. The results are compared to an established tree-ring sequence for a particular region with consideration to annual fluctuations in rainfall which result in variations in the size of the rings laid down by trees on the outside of their trunks. These variations, given favorable conditions, form a consistent pattern; and sections or cores taken from beams in ruins have been matched to provide a long chronology over large areas. The method is based on the principle that trees add a growth ring for each year of their lives, and that variations in climatic conditions will affect the width of these rings on suitable trees. In a very dry year growth will be restricted, and the ring narrow, while a wet and humid year will produce luxuriant growth and a thick ring. By comparing a complete series of rings from a tree of known date (for example, one still alive) with a series from an earlier, dead tree overlapping in age, ring patterns from the central layers of the recent tree and the outer of the old may show a correlation which allows the dating, in calendar years, of the older tree. The central rings of this older tree may then be compared with the outer rings or a yet older tree, and so on until the dates reach back into prehistory. Problems that arise are when climatic variation and suitable trees (sensitive trees react to climatic changes, complacent trees do not) are not be present to produce any significant and recognizable pattern of variation in the rings. Another problem is that there may be gaps in the sequences of available timber, so that the chronology 'floats', or is not tied in to a calendrical date or living trees: it can only be used for relative dating. Also, the tree-ring key can only go back a certain distance into the past, since the availability of sufficient amounts of timber to construct a sequence obviously decreases. Only in a few areas of the world are there species of trees so long-lived that long chronologies can be built up. This method is especially important in the southwestern United States, Alaska, and Scandinavia, dating back to several thousand years BC in some areas. Dendrochronology is of immense importance for archaeology, especially for its contribution to the refining of radiocarbon dating. Since timber can be dated by radiocarbon, dates may be obtained from dendrochronologically dated trees. It has been shown that the radiocarbon dates diverge increasingly from calendrical dates provided by tree-rings the further back into prehistory they go, the radiocarbon dates being younger than the tree-ring dates. This has allowed the questioning of one of the underlying assumptions of radiocarbon dating, the constancy of the concentration of C14 in the atmosphere. Fluctuations in this concentration have now been shown back as far as dendrochronological sequences go (to c 7000 BC), and thus dating technique is serving the further research on another. In 1929, A.E. Douglass first showed how this method could be used to date archaeological material. The long-living Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata) of California has yielded a sequence extending back to c 9000 bp. In Ireland, oak preserved in bogs has produced a floating chronology from c 2850-5950 bp.
dendroclimatology
CATEGORY: related field
DEFINITION: The study of tree rings and climate; the use of tree rings to study and reconstruct the past and present climate.
dendrogram
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A diagram in the form of a schematized tree with many branching lines at one end and uniting into a single trunk at the other -- used to record the analysis of tree-ring widths for a sample(s). It is then compared to a master chronology in dendrochronology studies.
Denekamp Interstadial
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).
Denisova Cave
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Palaeolithic site in the Altai region of Siberia with at least 16 cultural layers. It is an important site for the study of the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in northern Asia.
dentate
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Having toothlike projections in the margin
denticulate
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: An artifact (flake or blade tool) with several small tooth-like (dentate or serrated) notches on the working edge.
depas
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: depas amphikypellon
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The Homeric term which Schliemann used to describe the two-handled cups which he found in the Early Bronze Age contexts at Troy
deposited assemblage
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Set of carcasses or body parts deposited on a site.
deposition
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: depositional process
CATEGORY: geology; term
DEFINITION: Any of the various processes by which artifacts move from active use to an archaeological context, such as loss, disposal, abandonment, burial, etc. It is the laying, placing, or throwing down of any material. In geology, it is the constructive process of accumulation into beds, veins, or irregular masses of any kind of loose, solid rock material by any kind of natural agent (wind, water, ice). The transformation of materials from a systemic to an archaeological context are directly responsible for the accumulation of archaeological sites and they constitute the dominant factor in forming the archaeological record. Deposition is the last stage of behavioral processes, in which artifacts are discarded.
depositional environment
CATEGORY: term; geology
DEFINITION: Any stratum or unit making up a separate layer of material at an archaeological site; the total of sedimentary and biological conditions, factors, and processes that result in a deposit(s). A depositional history is the order in which objects are deposited at a site.
Derbyshire ware
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A distinctive type of pottery produced in Derbyshire from the mid 2nd century AD through to the 4th century AD. It is hard and gritty with a surface that is sometimes described as being like ?petrified gooseflesh'. color varies from grey and light-brown to red. The surface texture is due to the presence of silica particles in the local clay. All vessels are jars, mostly with a lid-seating on the rim.
Dereivka
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Dereivca
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Late Neolithic settlement site located on the river Omifinev in the Ukraine and dated to the 3rd millennium BC. A site of the Sredni Stog culture includes a cemetery of the Mariupol type, with 100+ extended inhumations arranged in groups. Adjacent to the cemetery is the settlement with Dnieper-Donets pottery, traces of dwellings, hearths, and other features.
descriptive statistic
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A numerical summary of data or estimate of a population parameter -- such as sample means, medians, standard deviations, ranges.
Desert culture
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Desert tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A hunting-and-gathering way of life adapted to the post-Pleistocene conditions of the arid and semi-arid zones of the American West from Oregon to California, and with extensions into similar areas of Mexico. Agriculture was unknown or unimportant, and the small nomadic bands lived by collecting wild plants and hunting game. The concept was devised by J. Jennings at Danger Cave. Typical artifacts include grinding stones, basketry, small projectile points, and spear throwers. There is an absence of ceramics. Their mode of subsistence was established c 9000 BC and lasted until agriculture had developed sufficiently to permit settled life. In Mexico, farming villages were widespread by 2000 BC. In the southwestern US, this did not occur until the last few centuries BC.
desert pavement
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: Terrain that is thickly covered -- or paved -- with small rocks. Vegetation is scarce, so soil, sand, and gravel have not been held in place. Wind and rain leave only rocks too large to move. This type of terrain is part of many Southwestern US archaeological finds.
desert varnish
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: A chemical dark-colored crust or film of iron and manganese oxides (usually with some silica) that is deposited on exposed rocks, artifacts, and petroglyph surfaces. Of bacterial origin, this varnish becomes polished by wind abrasion can be used in cation ratio dating; its organic matter can be analyzed by accelerator mass spectrometer radiocarbon dating.
design theory
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: design approach
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The theory that all technology is a compromise between the short-term and long-term costs, utility, and risk of failure of artifacts as they operate within a technological system.
determinative
CATEGORY: language
DEFINITION: An indication of which category of objects or beings is in question. In hieroglyphic writing, an ideographic sign next to a word phonetically represented, for the purpose of defining its meaning.
Developed Oldowan
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Developed Oldowan A, Developed Oldowan B, Developed Oldowan C
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A series of Early Stone Age industries of the Oldowan Industrial Complex seen at Olduvai Gorge and other African sites, dating c 1.6-0.6 million years ago. They differ from the classic Oldowan industry in the types of stone artifacts.
Devensian
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 Devensian stage 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 Chelford Interstadial (c 61,000 bp); the Upton Warren Interstadial complex (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.
deviation-amplifying system
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A system that continues to change as a result of positive feedback.
deviation-counteracting system
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A system that reaches equilibrium as a result of negative feedback.
Devil's Lair
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A limestone cave near the southwest coast of Western Australia, containing deep, well-preserved organic and stone deposits dating from 27,000-10,000 BC. It is one of the longest occupation sequences in Australia, with well-defined hearths and occupation floors and a rich faunal assemblage. The stone assemblage included cores, scrapers, denticulate flakes, retouched flakes, and adze flakes of chert or quartz. Undersea-drill cores from the nearby continental shelf have produced the same Eocene chert from a zone which would have been exposed during Pleistocene low sea-levels. Three unifacially incised limestone plaques (10,000-18,400 BC) and a piece of artificially perforated marl have been interpreted as ritual items or adornments. Bone tool artifacts included points dating to c 27,000 BC and beads of macropod (kangaroo/wallaby) fibulae between 13,000-10,000 BC, claimed to be the oldest known ornaments in Australia.
Dhang Rial
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A mound in southern Sudan with a two-part Iron Age sequence starting in 500 AD, with an earlier ceramic Stone Age occupation.
Dhar Tichitt
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An area of south-central Mauritania (Africa) on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert with evidence of local beginnings of cereal cultivation in the 2nd millennium BC in the form of plant impressions on pottery. Wild sorghum and bulrush millet are indigenous to the area. At the time, there were extensive lakes at Dhar Tichitt for fishing and by c 1500 BC the inhabitants had domestic cattle and goats. By the 4th century BC, bulrush millet clearly formed the staple diet of the inhabitants of the area.
Dhlo Dhlo
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Danangombe
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A later Iron Age site located northeast of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and the 17th-19th century AD capital of the Torwa state. Occupation probably began during the 16th century, marked by elaborately decorate dry-stone terrace-retaining walls surrounding extensive house platforms. The foundation of the site is comparable to stone structures at Khami and Naletale. Dhlo Dhlo appears to have had access to imported luxury goods from coastal trade.
diachronic
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.
diachronic change
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Gradual change over a period of time.
diadem
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A plain or decorated headband or crown of manmade or natural materials, usually as a badge of status or office.
diagnostic
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
diagnostic trait
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any cultural trait that helps to distinguish one group of people from another. A diagnostic trait appears in one group but not in another with which it might be confused.
diagnostics
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: diagnostic
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Artifacts that can be used as index fossils in a cultural context.
Diaguita
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Indian peoples of South America, formerly inhabiting northwestern Argentina and the Chilean provinces of Atacama and Coquimbo. They are characterized by distinctive ceramic complexes. Two principal subgroups have been defined -- the Argentinian, on the eastern side of the Andes and the Chilean, on the western side -- which have some cultural traits in common: funerary practices, use of bronze, and probably language. The Calchaquí, the Argentinian subgroup, farmed terraced fields, built irrigation canals, and kept herds of llama. They did loom weaving of llama-wool textiles, which they dyed; basket making; and had a rather elaborate ceramic industry. Metallurgy was also known. Religious beliefs involved shamanistic practices for the cure of illness felt to be caused by witchcraft. Polychrome funerary urns were used for burial for children; adult burials were stone-lined pit inhumations. The Ch