Results for spit:
- 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.
- CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A device to hold and rotate food against a heat source during cooking.
- spit-shaped currency bar
- CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Wrought iron bars found in the middle and later Iron Age of central and midland parts of England that are typically parallel-sided strips of metal sometimes with the corners bent upwards at one end. They are assumed to be ingots of metal, although whether they ever had any value as currency as their name suggests is questionable.
- Spitsyn culture
- CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Early Upper Palaeolithic culture on the Don River in European Russia, dating to c 40,000-30,000 bp. Its artifacts include burins, retouched blades and scrapers, bone tools and ornaments.
- 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.
- 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.
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Isca
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).
- CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A Classical Greek city with the sanctuary of the healing god Asklepios, in the Peloponnese. The lower city and harbor are now submerged, but sections of Cyclopean wall are still visible. Epidauros was famous for the sanctuary, especially from the 4th century BC onwards. There were two Doric cult buildings and a fine Doric rotunda with labyrinth. There were baths, a stadium, hospitals and sanitariums, and a magnificent 4th-century BC theater, which is exceptionally well-preserved.
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: andiron
DEFINITION: An instrument consisting of an iron bar held horizontally at one end by an upright support, used to ensure the proper burning of a fire. A pair of these was put at each side of the hearth or fireplace to support burning wood; the end of a log could rest on the crosspiece, which was supported by two uprights. Decorative iron examples come from La Tene Iron Age contexts, mostly in graves. In a kitchen fireplace, the upright support might hold a rack in front for the spit to turn in.
- hand ax
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hand ax, hand-ax, handaxe; biface
DEFINITION: A large bifacially worked core tool, normally oval, pointed, or pear-shaped, and one of the most typical stone tools of the Lower Palaeolithic. It is the diagnostic implement of certain Lower Palaeolithic industries (Abbevillian, Chellean, Acheulian), and one variety of the Mousterian. In spite of the name it was not an ax at all and probably served as an all-purpose tool. The oldest and crudest hand axes have been found in Africa; the finer, Acheulian, tools are known from most of Africa, Europe, southwest Asia and India. It was used for chopping, chipping, flaking, cutting, digging, and scraping. Hand axes first appear between one and two million years ago and they were common in assemblages for about a million years.
- CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: An unfinished Roman fort in Tay, Scotland, built by Agricola during his Scottish campaigns of the early 80s AD. The fort was constructed largely of earth and timber and had 64 barracks, a commandant's house, officers' quarters, and a hospital. About 87-88, the fort was systematically dismantled as part of a planned withdrawal.
- Kensington Stone
- CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A stone slab found on a Minnesota farm in 1898 with an inscription in runes purporting to record the arrival of a party of exploring Vikings. An object of controversy from the start, it is now dismissed as a forgery, despite recent confirmation of the Viking visits to the eastern American coast. This supposed relic of a 14th-century Scandinavian exploration of the interior of North America is a 200-pound slab of graywacke inscribed with runes (medieval Germanic script). The inscription, dated 1362, is purported to be by a group of Norwegian and Swedish explorers from Vinland who visited the Great Lakes area in that year. The stone is housed in a special museum in Alexandria, Minn., and a 26-ton replica stands in nearby Runestone Park.
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Kostenki-Borshchevo
DEFINITION: Group of 25 Upper Palaeolithic sites on the Don River in Russia. The most important are Kostenki I, XIV, VIII, XII, II, XI, and XVII. The Early Upper Palaeolithic occupations, associated with the remains of horse and other mammals began by 25,000 bp. Other sites dated to c 36,000-26,000 bp with assemblages assigned to the Strelets Culture and Spitsyn Culture. Other layers from c 32,000-26,000 are of the Strelets and Gorodtsov cultures. The industries of 25,000-10,000 bp have mammoth-bone houses, hearths, and some portable art. Skeletons of Cro-Magnon type but mainly immature have been found at sites II, XIV and XV. Kostenki I has produced more of the Venus figurines than any other site in Europe.
- Krak des Chevaliers
- CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The greatest fortress built by European crusaders in Syria and Palestine, one of the most notable surviving examples of medieval military architecture. Built at Qal'at al-Hisn, Syria, near the northern border of present-day Lebanon, Krak occupied the site of an earlier Muslim stronghold. It was built by the Knights of St. John (Hospitallers), who held it from 1142-1271, when it was captured by the Mamluk sultan Baybars I. It has two concentric towered walls separated by a wide moat and could accommodate 2,000 men. It is one of the few crusader castles to have been systematically excavated and restored.
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Men-nefer
DEFINITION: The capital of Egypt in the Archaic Period and Old Kingdom (c 2575-c. 2130 BC), and thereafter one of the most important cities of the Near East. Located in Lower Egypt, it stood near the key point where the Nile begins to divide its waters at the head of the delta, 15 miles south of Cairo. The only surviving remains are the cemeteries west of the city, most notably the pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza. The main pyramid fields are: Abu Ruwaysh, Giza, Zawayet el-Aryan, Abu Sir, Saqqarah (Saqqara), and Dahshur. It is said to have been founded by the 1st Dynasty ruler Menes c 2925 BC and was the seat of the creator god Ptah. During the New Kingdom (1539-1075), Memphis probably functioned as the second, or northern, capital of Egypt. Despite the rise of the god Amon of Thebes, Ptah remained one of the principal gods of the pantheon. The Great Temple was added to or rebuilt by virtually every king of the 18th dynasty. Chapels were constructed by Thutmose I and Thutmose IV and by Amenhotep III. Amenhotep III's son, the religious reformer Akhenaton, built a temple to his god, Aton, in Memphis. A number of handsome private tombs dating from this period in the Memphite necropolis testify to the existence of a sizable court. In 332 BC, Alexander the Great used Memphis as his headquarters while making plans for his new city of Alexandria. From the Fifth Dynasty onwards there was a very marked reduction in the size of the royal tombs, together with the use of materials and techniques which involved a lesser expenditure of effort and resources in their construction. By the First Intermediate period, the construction of monumental tombs seems to have stopped.
- CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site in Upper Nubia, a city-state in the Sudan which succeeded Napata (original capital of kingdom of Kush/Cush) as the capital of a vigorous state flourishing from 750 BC-350 AD. The 25th, or Ethiopian dynasty of ancient Egypt is believed to have retired to Kush after 656 BC and established itself at Meroe. After the sack of Napata in c 590 by the Egyptian pharaoh Psamtik II, Meroe became the capital of the kingdom. It is the type site of the Meroitic period (c 300 BC-350 AD) and located on the east bank of the Nile in the Butana region of Sudan. Dependent on Nile, kingdom lay in triangle of land at confluence of Nile and Atbara. It was the center of the Kushite kingdom in the fifth century BC. Meroe was able to exploit a region of considerable agricultural potential with fairly regular, if not abundant, rainfall. There was also a supply of timber adequate to fuel the smelting of the local iron deposits. By the beginning of the Christian era, if not before, the iron industry had been developed on a considerable scale. Meroitic architecture included temples in the Egyptian style and royal pyramid tombs (e.g. Musawwarat es-Sufra). Egyptian influence gradually diminished; Egyptian hieroglyphs were abandoned in about the 2nd century BC in favor of a local script. The Meroitic language thus recorded cannot at present be understood. The tenuous nature of the link with Egypt is to be appreciated by considering the trade route, which it appears did not follow the inhospitable Nile Valley, but ran along the Red Sea coast. From about the beginning of the Christian era, this route was increasingly endangered by local developments, notably the rise of the kingdom of Axum. By the 3rd century AD, Meroe was in decline; its final collapse came with the conquest by Axum early in the 4th century. The chief features are palaces and a great temple of Amon.
- CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Vikings, or Norsemen, who settled in France; the population of the duchy of Normandy in northern France, a mixed race descending from the Franks and 10th-century Norse settlers of Denmark, Norway, and Iceland. In AD 1066, their leader, William of Normandy, conquered England, then Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. The Normans also conquered Sicily and southern Italy in a volatile period that began in 1063. These military feats were consolidated by the strength of the Norman feudal aristocracy and their skill in erecting strong, expedient fortifications ranging from motte and bailey earthworks to substantial stone castles. The Normans were also the main force behind the Crusades, which began in the 11th century AD. They promoted the French language and French culture, and the Romanesque style of architecture. By 1200 the Norman conquerors had been absorbed into the countries they ruled, but many of their institutions lasted into the late Middle Ages. Despite their eventual conversion to Christianity, their adoption of the French language, and their abandonment of sea-roving for Frankish cavalry warfare in the decades following their settlement in Normandy, the Normans retained many of the traits of their piratical Viking ancestors. They were restless, reckless, and loved fighting; they extended the practice of centralized authoritarian rule, feudalism, cavalry warfare, and religious reform.
- CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: One of the most important kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England, lying north of the Humber River. During its peak period it extended from the Irish Sea to the North Sea, between two west-east lines formed in the north by the Ayrshire coast and the Firth of Forth and in the south by the Ribble/Mersey River and the Humber. It resulted from the union of Deira, with its capital at York, and Bernicia, based on Bamburgh, under Edwin in 622 AD. After the conversion of King Edwin in 626 and the establishment of many major monasteries within the region, Northumbria became a center of missionary activity and a leading center of missionary activity and a leading center for the production of Christian art. In the later 7th-8th centuries, despite political decline, it was the scene of a cultural renaissance, attested by the history of Bede, the illuminated manuscripts of Lindisfarne, etc. Schools of art and monumental architecture also flourished. Archaeologically its most important site is Yeavering, a series of palaces built by Edwin and his successors in northern Northumberland. The cultural life and the political unity of Northumbria were destroyed by the arrival of the Danes.
- CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A port and trading center on the English Channel in the Early Medieval period, which had a toll and a mint. Its coins were first minted in the early 7th century and during the 8th-9th centuries its mint was one of the most important in the Carolingian Empire. Despite its prominence, the location of the site has not been found. Most historians believe that it lies near Etaples, on the coast at the mouth of the Canche. Quentovic was attacked by the Vikings several times, but its demise is usually attributed to the 10th-century when other more fortified sites were preferred to it.
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: caribou
DEFINITION: Arctic deer domesticated in some polar regions, which ranged from Spitsbergen and Scandinavia to eastern Siberia. They are also native to North America and are divisible into two types: the northern, or barren ground, caribou of the tundra and taiga, and the woodland caribou of Canadian forests. Both types of reindeer are game animals valued for meat, hide, and antlers. A number of hunting peoples living in Europe during the later part of the ice ages seem to have specialized in hunting reindeer, for its bones are much more common than those of other animals on these sites. This is true of a few Mousterian levels, but it is almost the rule for Late Palaeolithic sites of the Magdalenian and Solutrean. Reindeer are likely to have lived in large herds, but we do not know whether they migrated widely in western Europe as they do today in the Arctic.
- resistivity meter
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: resistivity detector
DEFINITION: A geophysical instrument used to measure the electrical resistivity of the earth to identify buried features and structures. Since the resistivity of the soil changes with humidity, humus content, etc., the machine can detect pits, ditches, roads, floors, etc. This is generally done through an array of four electrodes, pushed into the ground surface. Despite their name, resistivity meters do not actually measure resistivity, but ground resistance. Resistivity is this resistance, standardized for the distance between the electrodes in the ground. The instrument consists of a source of electricity (a handle-operated dynamo in the megger earth tester, batteries in the tellohm, a transistor oscillator in the Martin-Clark meter) and a meter to record the results. All systems employ four steel probes connected by cable to the meter, two to carry the activating current, two to pick up the current passing through the ground. Also, the resistance between two roving probes is now compared with that between two distant static ones. Different spacing between the probes is employed in different conditions; where the probes are spaced equally, as in the Wenner configuration, features up to a depth equal to the probe-separation can be detected. Anomalous readings may indicate the presence of archaeological material.
- Silk Route
- CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The collective name for several overland and ocean routes for silk trade between China and the Roman world, and later Byzantium, from the 1st-8th centuries AD. From Chang'an, capital of the Han Dynasty, the main route went west through the Gansu corridor into the Tarim basin at Dunhuang. There it branched into two main routes across the Central Asian deserts. After crossing the Pamirs, the two routes rejoined finally at Merv and continued via Ecbatana and Ctesiphon to Palmyra and the Mediterranean. The institutionalized traffic in silk began in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). The cities along the Silk Route flourished despite political changes. From the 9th century onwards, trade came increasingly to depend on sea routes and the main Chinese export was not silk but porcelain. Overland commerce revived only briefly during the continent-wide peace that ensued after the Mongol conquests of the 13th century, when Marco Polo followed the Silk Route to the court of the Yuan emperor Kublai Khan.
- Sumerian question
- CATEGORY: term; language
DEFINITION: Academic question of the origins of the Sumerians, culturally and linguistically. Their language has no known relatives and is poorly understood, despite many cuneiform texts found in southern Mesopotamia. Sumerian is the oldest written language in existence.
- CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The coiled cobra of ancient Egypt, worn by the pharaoh on his brow, usually combined with one or other of the royal crowns, as a symbol of his supreme authority. The cobra is associated with the goddess Wadjit or with the sun, whose eye" it is held to be. It is an agent of destruction and protection of the king spitting out fire."
- SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Vetera Castra and Colonia Ulpia Traiana
DEFINITION: Roman legionary camp and civilian settlement on the Rhine near Wesel, Germany, and the confluence with the River Lippe. The Augustan-period camp had earth ramparts, palisades, timber buildings, a hospital and a quay, with some later stone construction. It was given colonia status by emperor Trajan and subsequently became the principal city of Lower Germany (Germania Inferior). A rectangular grid street system, town walls, gates, bath buildings, amphitheater, porticoed temple, artisans' quarters and housing have been uncovered.
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