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Generations of scholars have grappled with the origins of 'palace' society on Minoan Crete, seeking to explain when and how life on the island altered monumentally. Emily Anderson turns light on the moment just before the palaces, recognizing it as a remarkably vibrant phase of socio-cultural innovation. Exploring the role of craftspersons, travelers and powerful objects, she argues that social change resulted from creative work that forged connections at new scales and in novel ways. This study focuses on an extraordinary corpus of sealstones which have been excavated across Crete. Fashioned of imported ivory and engraved with images of dashing lions, these distinctive objects linked the identities of their distant owners. Anderson argues that it was the repeated but pioneering actions of such diverse figures, people and objects alike, that dramatically changed the shape of social life in the Aegean at the turn of the second millennium BCE.
In this book, Xiaolong Wu offers a comprehensive and in-depth study of the Zhongshan state during China's Warring States Period (476-221 BCE). Analyzing artefacts, inscriptions, and grandiose funerary structures within a broad archaeological context, he illuminates the connections between power and identity, and the role of material culture in asserting and communicating both. The author brings an interdisciplinary approach to this study. He combines and cross-examines all available categories of evidence, including archaeological, textual, art historical, and epigraphical, enabling innovative interpretations and conclusions that challenge conventional views regarding Zhongshan and ethnicity in ancient China. Wu reveals the complex relationship between material culture, cultural identity, and statecraft intended by the royal patrons. He demonstrates that the Zhongshan king Cuo constructed a hybrid cultural identity, consolidated his power, and aimed to maintain political order at court after his death through the buildings, sculpture, and inscriptions that he commissioned.
A lively and accessible introduction to themes and debates in archaeological theory for students of all levels Archaeological Theory is a relatable, accessible, reader-friendly first step into the world of theory for archaeology students. Recognizing that many students shy away from the study of theory for fear that the material is too difficult or obscure, Archaeological Theory maintains that any student can develop an understanding of theory and that a knowledge of theory will lead to better practice. As one of the leading texts for introductory courses in archaeology and archaeological theory, it has provided many students with the essential foundation for a complete education in the discipline. With a focus on clarifying the history and development of archaeological theory, this valuable text serves as a roadmap to the different schools of theory in archaeology, clarifying the foundations of these schools of thought, the relationships between them, and the ideas that distinguish each from the other. Students will also learn about the relationship between archaeology and cultural and political developments, the origins of New and 'post-processual' archaeology, and current issues shaping the field. Written in a clear and informal style and incorporating examples, cartoons, and dialogues, this text provides an ideal introduction for students at all levels. The revised third edition has been updated with new and revised chapters and an expanded glossary and bibliography, as well as new readings to guide further study. Engages readers with informal and easy-to-understand prose, as well as examples, cartoons, and informal dialogues Prepares students to understand complex topics and current and perennial issues in the field such as epistemology, agency, and materiality in the context of archaeological practice Discusses current developments in associated disciplines New and revised chapters on the material turn, politics and other issues, and an expanded glossary and bibliography with updated reading suggestions Offers expanded coverage of materiality, cultural-historical archaeology, evolutionary theory, and the work of scholars of diverse backgrounds and specializations Engaging and illuminating, Archaeological Theory is an indispensable resource for undergraduate and graduate students in archaeology and related disciplines.
The Third Edition of this classic account of the inside story of one of the major intellectual breakthroughs of our time - the last great decipherment of an ancient script - revised and brought right up to date with the latest developments. 113 illustrations bring to life the people and texts that have enabled us to read the Maya script. The original edition, which sold over 40,000 copies in English, was hailed as `a masterpiece that transcends the boundaries between academic and popular writing'. `Coe's thrilling account of the cracking of Mayan is like a detective story ... great stuff' - The Observer `Told with great vigour by Professor Michael Coe, who was himself involved; he offers an insider's story with strong views of the personalities, competence and abilities of some colleagues' - History Today `An entertaining, enlightening and even humorous history of the great searchers after the meaning that lies in the Maya inscriptions' - Anthony Burgess
The First Signs is the first-ever exploration of the little-known geometric images that accompany most cave art around the world-the first indications of symbolic meaning, intelligence, and language. Join renowned archaeologist Genevieve von Petzinger on an Indiana Jones-worthy adventure from the open-air rock art sites of northern Portugal to the dark depths of a remote cave in Spain that can only be reached by sliding face-first through the mud. Von Petzinger looks past the beautiful horses, powerful bison, graceful ibex, and faceless humans in the ancient paintings. Instead, she's obsessed with the abstract geometric images that accompany them, the terse symbols that appear more often than any other kinds of figures-signs that have never really been studied or explained until now. Part travel journal, part popular science, part personal narrative, von Petzinger's groundbreaking book starts to crack the code on the first form of graphic communication. It's in her blood, as this talented scientist's grandmother served as a code-breaker at Bletchley. Discernible patterns emerge that point to abstract thought and expression, and for the first time, we can begin to understand the changes that might have been happening inside the minds of our Ice Age ancestors-offering a glimpse of when they became us.
Swords were special in Anglo-Saxon England. Their names, deeds and pedigrees were enshrined in writing. Many were curated for generations, revealed by their worn and mended condition. Few ended their lives as casual discards, placed instead in graves, hoards and watercourses as part of ritualised acts. Contemporary sources leave no doubt that complex social meanings surrounded these weapons, transcending their use on the battlefield; but they have yet to transcend the traditional view that their primary social function was as status symbols. Even now, half a century after the first major study of Anglo-Saxon swords, their wider significance within their world has yet to be fully articulated. This book sets out to meet the challenge. Eschewing modern value judgements, it focuses instead on contemporary perceptions - exploring how those who made, used and experienced swords really felt about them. It takes a multidisciplinary and holistic approach, bringing together insights from art, archaeology and literature. Comparison with Scandinavia adds further nuance, revealing what was (and was not) distinctive of Anglo-Saxon views of these weapons. Far from elite baubles, swords are revealed to have been dynamic "living" artefacts with their own identities, histories and places in social networks - ideas fuelled by their adaptability, durability and unique role in bloodshed. Sue Brunning is Curator of European Early Medieval Collections at The British Museum.
Pompeii is the best known and probably the most important archaeological site in the world. This book, now available in paperback, is the most up-to-date, authoritative and comprehensive account for the general reader of its rise, splendour and fall. The drama of Pompeii's end has been handed down by Roman writers, its paintings and mosaics have astonished visitors since their discovery, and its houses and public buildings still present a vivid picture of life, disaster and death in a Roman town.
A fascinating, concise and comprehensive description of ancient Khmer civilization. The volume outlines the evolution and development of one of the most splendid and long-lived civilizations of the entire Asian continent. The narrative and related images in the volume guide the reader from the birth of the Khmer civilization, through the first uncertain steps amongst the small and restless Khmer tribes, forced to endure the rule of larger and stronger powers, to the birth of the empire and then to its glory and decadence. A journey six centuries long, interspersed with great events and dramatic figures, but also with incredible architectural masterpieces scattered in the forests and countryside of Cambodia and parts of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, structures for many centuries almost lost to memory. Presenting both the classic vision of this civilization and also the latest theories about it, this volume is aimed at those who wish to learn the essential facts of Khmer history and culture, stripped of platitudes and romantic visions, in clear language that both tells a story and includes incisive anecdotes. AUTHOR: Stefano Vecchia graduated in Japanese Language and Literature at the University of Turin, and subsequently earned a diploma in oriental languages and culture at the Italian Institute for Africa and the East (IsIAO). He has worked as a professional journalist since 1990, and has divided his time between journalistic work in Italy and trips to Asia, where he is currently a correspondent for Italian publications. He has been chief editor of the magazine Popoli, published in Milan, and has been the director of the Milanbased magazine Quaderni Asiatici (Asian Notebooks) and manager of the Asia News agency, the first Italian agency reporting only on Asian lands and people. Stefano Vecchia's numerous reports and special photo shoots, published in a variety of journals, are the result of tireless travel and intense professional activity. In 2006 he contributed articles about Japanese and South-East Asian art for "The Great Story of Art" series, published by the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore; and in 2007 he completed guides to Bali and Japan. 210 colour illustrations
Bringing together 25 case studies from archaeological projects worldwide, Engaging Archaeology candidly explores personal experiences, successes, challenges, and even frustrations from established and senior archaeologists who share invaluable practical advice for students and early-career professionals engaged in planning and carrying out their own archaeological research. With engaging chapters, such as 'How Not to Write a PhD Thesis on Neolithic Italy' and 'Accidentally Digging Central America's Earliest Village', readers are transported to the desks, digs, and data-labs of the authors, learning the skills, tricks of the trade, and potential pit-falls of archaeological fieldwork and collections research. Case studies collectively span many regions, time periods, issues, methods, and materials. From the pre-Columbian Andes to Viking Age Iceland, North America to the Middle East, Medieval Ireland to remote north Australia, and Europe to Africa and India, Engaging Archaeology is packed with rich, first-hand source material. Unique and thoughtful, Stephen W. Silliman's guide is an essential course book for early-stage researchers, advanced undergraduates, and new graduate students, as well as those teaching and mentoring. It will also be insightful and enjoyable reading for veteran archaeologists.
Few places in the world are as fascinating as Angkor, the heart of the immense Khmer empire that flourished in Indochina from the 9th to the 13th century and is today a magnificent archaeological park. The Khmers, who lived in present-day Cambodia exploited the special features of the Angkor plain and created an incredible hydraulic network of basins, canals and rice paddies that not only guaranteed subsistence for a million persons but also made it possible to accumulate a surplus used to finance innumerable constructions. The Khmer kings were skilful and warlike rulers who, drawing inspiration from the Indian concepts of regality and from the local cults of spirits and deified ancestors, built monumental pyramid temples as reproductions and representations of the mythical cosmic mountain, Meru. What is more, every temple was reflected in a large pool that served the practical purpose of a reservoir and the symbolic function of a representation of the primeval ocean. The result was a liquid checkerboard dotted with temples, wooden buildings and bamboo huts and swarming with markets, carts, dugout canoes, animals and people. The only remains of Angkor, the great capital city consisting of numerous urban areas that rose up over the centuries, are its temples, invaded by the luxuriant vegetation. The plant world has regained possession of what were once human settlements, bursting through the stones in a suffocating maze of branches and lianas; indeed, the presence of this greenery that adds to the ineffable artistic beauty of the Angkor temples a magical atmosphere of distant times and remote worlds. AUTHOR: Marilia Albanese a graduate in Sanskrit and Indology, with a diploma in Hindi Language and Indian Culture, is the director of the Lombardy Section of the Italian Institute for Africa and the Orient (I.A.O.) at the University of Milan. CONTENTS Introduction The Refinement of the Early Period Masterpieces of Carving The Royal Foundations The Heart of Angkor The Heritage of the Khmer Itineraries outside the Archaeological Park Travelwise Glossary Bibliography Index Photo credits ILLUSTRATIONS: 250 colour photos *
Here is the definitive account of the Valley of the Kings, visited by millions of tourists and famous throughout the world as the burial place of the great New Kingdom pharaohs. Some eighty tombs were dug in the valley at the height of Egyptian power more than 3,000 years ago, their chambers stocked with incredible treasures and decorated with magnificent wall paintings. It was here, in 1922, that Howard Carter stumbled upon the virtually intact tomb of the boy-king, Tutankhamun. Recently the valley has made international headlines with the discovery of the burial chapels of Ramesses the Great's many sons; The Complete Valley of the Kings is the first book to publish an account of these remarkable findings. Reeves and Wilkinson, both acknowledged authorities on the valley, bring together the art, archaeology and history in one exciting account.
Studies of seals and sealing practices have traditionally investigated aspects of social, political, economic, and ideological systems in ancient societies throughout the Old World. Previously, scholarship has focused on description and documentation, chronology and dynastic histories, administrative function, iconography, and style. More recent studies have emphasized context, production and use, and increasingly, identity, gender, and the social lives of seals, their users, and the artisans who produced them. Using several methodological and theoretical perspectives, this volume presents up-to-date research on seals that is comparative in scope and focus. The cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approach advances our understanding of the significance of an important class of material culture of the ancient world. The volume will serve as an essential resource for scholars, students, and others interested in glyptic studies, seal production and use, and sealing practices in the Ancient Near East, Egypt, Ancient South Asia and the Aegean during the 4th-2nd Millennia BCE.
One of the most famous treasures to have come out of the ground in Scotland is a hoard of ivory chessmen and other gaming pieces found in the Isle of Lewis. the humorous and intricately designed pieces are now divided between national Museums Scotland and the British Museum. Experts all agree that they are medieval and of Scandinavian origin. They are remarkably fine pieces of craftsmanship and have fascinated all who see them. This account provides an overview of the hoard, the circumstances surrounding its discovery, and the traditions that have grown up around it. The authors also incorporate results from their own recent research which focuses on how, where and when the chessmen were made. Their examination demonstrates how the work of different craftsmen can be recognised, and the answer to the question of who might have owned them is also considered. The result is a celebration of a famous discovery, complete with images of all 93 pieces.
Over millions of years in the fossil record, hominin teeth preserve a high-fidelity record of their own growth, development, wear, chemistry and pathology. They yield insights into human evolution that are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve through other sources of fossil or archaeological data. Integrating dental findings with current debates and issues in palaeoanthropology, this book shows how fossil hominin teeth shed light on the origins and evolution of our dietary diversity, extended childhoods, long lifespans, and other fundamental features of human biology. It assesses methods to interpret different lines of dental evidence, providing a critical, practical approach that will appeal to students and researchers in biological anthropology and related fields such as dental science, oral biology, evolutionary biology, and palaeontology.
Old St Peter's Basilica in Rome stood for over eleven centuries until it was demolished to make room for today's church on the same Vatican site. Its last eyewitness, Maffeo Vegio, explained to the Roman hierarchy how revival of the papacy, whose prestige after the exile to Avignon had been diminished, was inseparable from a renewed awareness of the primacy of Peter's Church. To make his case, Vegio wrote a history founded on credible written and visual evidence. The text guides us through the building's true story in its material reality, undistorted by medieval guides. This was its living memory and a visualization of the continuity of Roman history into modern times. This volume makes available the first complete English translation of Vegio's text. Accompanied by full-color digital reconstructions of the Basilica as it appeared in Vegio's day.
Founded in the first century BCE near a set of natural springs in an otherwise dry northeastern corner of the Valley of Mexico, the ancient metropolis of Teotihuacan was on a symbolic level a city of elements. With a multiethnic population of perhaps one hundred thousand, at its peak in 400 CE, it was the cultural, political, economic, and religious center of ancient Mesoamerica. A devastating fire in the city center led to a rapid decline after the middle of the sixth century, but Teotihuacan was never completely abandoned or forgotten; the Aztecs revered the city and its monuments, giving many of them the names we still use today. Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire examines new discoveries from the three main pyramids at the site-the Sun Pyramid, the Moon Pyramid, and, at the center of the Ciudadela complex, the Feathered Serpent Pyramid-which have fundamentally changed our understanding of the city's history. With illustrations of the major objects from Mexico City's Museo Nacional de Antropologia and from the museums and storage facilities of the Zona de Monumentos Arqueologicos de Teotihuacan, along with selected works from US and European collections, the catalogue examines these cultural artifacts to understand the roles that offerings of objects and programs of monumental sculpture and murals throughout the city played in the lives of Teotihuacan's citizens. Published in association with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Exhibition dates: de Young, San Francisco, September 30, 2017-February 11, 2018 Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), March-June 2018
We are at a pivotal moment in understanding our remote ancestry and its implications for how we live today. The barriers to what we can know about our distant relatives have been falling as a result of scientific advance, such as decoding the genomes of humans and Neanderthals, and bringing together different perspectives to answer common questions. These collaborations have brought new knowledge and suggested fresh concepts to examine. The results have shaken the old certainties. The results are profound; not just for the study of the past but for appreciating why we conduct our social lives in ways, and at scales, that are familiar to all of us. But such basic familiarity raises a dilemma. When surrounded by the myriad technical and cultural innovations that support our global, urbanized lifestyles we can lose sight of the small social worlds we actually inhabit and that can be traced deep into our ancestry. So why do we need art, religion, music, kinship, myths, and all the other facets of our over-active imaginations if the reality of our effective social worlds is set by a limit of some one hundred and fifty partners (Dunbar s number) made of family, friends, and useful acquaintances? How could such a social community lead to a city the size of London or a country as large as China? Do we really carry our hominin past into our human present? It is these small worlds, and the link they allow to the study of the past that forms the central point in this book."
The Eleanor Crosses begins in November 1290 with the untimely death in a Lincolnshire village of Queen Eleanor of Castile, beloved consort of King Edward I of England. A sombre journey of more than 200 miles must follow, to transport the queen's body to Westminster for burial -- the devastated king leading the way, walking beside the coffin of his all but constant companion during 36 years of marriage. With seasonal conditions adding even more miles to the cortege's route, the king determines that this journey will never be forgotten. He envisages a building project of unprecedented scale and imagination: the construction of an elaborate stone cross at the journey's start and at all eleven nightly stopping places, ending at the Thames-side village of Charing, in what is now the centre of London... Duly built, these crosses served as focal points for prayers for the queen's departed soul. They were also artistic masterpieces, the fruit of the skills of the finest craftsmen of the age. Today only three of the original twelve survive, but each cross has had its own story. Together they reveal much about major changes at key periods in British history, religious conflict, civil war and world war, as well as shifts in attitudes to the past. In The Eleanor Crosses, Decca Warrington tells this tale of survival and continuity over seven centuries, and also offers a new perspective on the remarkable life and death of the nowadays little-known queen whose legacy they are -- Eleanor of Castile, the woman who won the heart of one of England's most forceful and charismatic kings.
The ocean is humanity's largest battlefield. It is also our greatest graveyard. Resting in its depths lay the lost ships of war spanning the totality of human history. Many wrecks are nameless, others from more recent times are remembered, honored even, as are the battles they fought, like Actium, Trafalgar, Tsushima, Jutland, Pearl Harbor, and Midway. This book is a dramatic global tour of the vast underwater museum of lost warships. It is also an account of how underwater exploration has discovered them, resolving mysteries, adding to our understanding of the past, and providing intimate details of the life of war at sea. Arranged chronologically, the book begins with ancient times and the warships and battles of the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans, the Chinese, and progresses through three thousand years to the lost ships of the Cold War. In bringing this violent past to life, James Delgado's approach is informed by scholarship, but it is not academic. Through his insights as an explorer, archaeologist, and story teller, Delgado provides a unique and idiosyncratic history of naval warfare, the evolution of its strategy and technology, and it critical impact on the past. From fallen triremes and galleons to dreadnoughts, aircraft carriers, and nuclear submarines, this book vividly brings naval warfare to life.
Greek Art and Aesthetics in the Fourth Century B.C. analyzes the broad character of art produced during this period, providing in-depth analysis of and commentary on many of its most notable examples of sculpture and painting. Taking into consideration developments in style and subject matter, and elucidating political, religious, and intellectual context, William A. P. Childs argues that Greek art in this era was a natural outgrowth of the high classical period and focused on developing the rudiments of individual expression that became the hallmark of the classical in the fifth century. As Childs shows, in many respects the art of this period corresponds with the philosophical inquiry by Plato and his contemporaries into the nature of art and speaks to the contemporaneous sense of insecurity and renewed religious devotion. Delving into formal and iconographic developments in sculpture and painting, Childs examines how the sensitive, expressive quality of these works seamlessly links the classical and Hellenistic periods, with no appreciable rupture in the continuous exploration of the human condition. Another overarching theme concerns the nature of "style as a concept of expression," an issue that becomes more important given the increasingly multiple styles and functions of fourth-century Greek art. Childs also shows how the color and form of works suggested the unseen and revealed the profound character of individuals and the physical world.
Applied Soils and Micromorphology in Archaeology provides the most up-to-date information on soil science and its applications in archaeology. Based on more than three decades of investigations and experiments, the volume demonstrates how description protocols and complimentary methods (SEM/EDS, microprobe, micro-FTIR, bulk soil chemistry, micro- and macrofossils) are used in interpretations. It also focuses on key topics, such as palaeosols, cultivation, and occupation surfaces, and introduces a range of current issues, such as site inundation, climate change, settlement morphology, herding, trackways, industrial processes, funerary features, and site transformation. Structured around important case studies, Applied Soils and Micromorphology in Archaeology is thoroughly-illustrated, with color plates and figures, tables and other ancillary materials on its website (www.cambridge.org/9781107011380); chapter appendices can be accessed separately using the web (www.geoarchaeology.info/asma). This new book will serve as an essential volume for all archaeological inquiry about soil.
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