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A leading historian reconstructs the forgotten history of medieval Africa From the birth of Islam in the seventh century to the voyages of European exploration in the fifteenth, Africa was at the center of a vibrant exchange of goods and ideas. It was an African golden age in which places like Ghana, Nubia, and Zimbabwe became the crossroads of civilizations, and where African royals, thinkers, and artists played celebrated roles in the globalized world of the Middle Ages. The Golden Rhinoceros brings this unsung era marvelously to life, taking readers from the Sahara and the Nile River Valley to the Ethiopian highlands and southern Africa. Drawing on fragmented written sources as well as his many years of experience as an archaeologist, Francois-Xavier Fauvelle painstakingly reconstructs an African past that is too often denied its place in history-but no longer. He looks at ruined cities found in the mangrove, exquisite pieces of art, rare artifacts like the golden rhinoceros of Mapungubwe, ancient maps, and accounts left by geographers and travelers-remarkable discoveries that shed critical light on political and architectural achievements, trade, religious beliefs, diplomatic episodes, and individual lives. A book that finally recognizes Africa's important role in the Middle Ages, The Golden Rhinoceros also provides a window into the historian's craft. Fauvelle carefully pieces together the written and archaeological evidence to tell an unforgettable story that is at once sensitive to Africa's rich social diversity and alert to the trajectories that connected Africa with the wider Muslim and Christian worlds.
Fully illustrated, Prehistoric Figurines brings a radical new approach to one of the most exciting, but poorly understood artefacts from our prehistoric past. Studying the interpretation of prehistoric figurines from Neolithic southeast Europe, Bailey introduces recent developments from the fields of visual culture studies and cultural anthropology, and investigates the ways in which representations of human bodies were used by the pre-historic people to understand their own identities, to negotiate relationships and to make subtle political points. Bailey examines four critical conditions: * figurines as miniatures * figurines as three-dimensional representations * figurines as anthropomorphs * figurines as representations. Through these conditions, the study travels beyond the traditional mechanisms of interpretation and takes the debate past the out-dated interpretations of figurines as Mother-Goddess as Bailey examines individual prehistoric figurines in their original archaeological contexts and views them in the light of modern exploitations of the human form. Students and scholars of History and Archaeology will benefit immensely from Bailey's close understanding of the material culture and pre-history of the Balkans.
Perceptions of the Prehistoric in Anglo-Saxon England represents an unparalleled exploration of the place of prehistoric monuments in the Anglo-Saxon psyche, and examines how Anglo-Saxon communities perceived and used these monuments during the period AD 400-1100. Sarah Semple employs archaeological, historical, art historical, and literary sources to study the variety of ways in which the early medieval population of England used the prehistoric legacy in the landscape, exploring it from temporal and geographic perspectives. Key to the arguments and ideas presented is the premise that populations used these remains, intentionally and knowingly, in the articulation and manipulation of their identities: local, regional, political, and religious. They recognized them as ancient features, as human creations from a distant past. They used them as landmarks, battle sites, and estate markers, giving them new Old English names. Before, and even during, the conversion to Christianity, communities buried their dead in and around these monuments. After the conversion, several churches were built in and on these monuments, great assemblies and meetings were held at them, and felons executed and buried within their surrounds. This volume covers the early to late Anglo-Saxon world, touching on funerary ritual, domestic and settlement evidence, ecclesiastical sites, place-names, written sources, and administrative and judicial geographies. Through a thematic and chronologically-structured examination of Anglo-Saxon uses and perceptions of the prehistoric, Semple demonstrates that populations were not only concerned with Romanitas (or Roman-ness), but that a similar curiosity and conscious reference to and use of the prehistoric existed within all strata of society.
Since its first publication in 1971, Barry Cunliffe's monumental survey has established itself as a classic of British archaeology. This fully revised fourth edition maintains the qualities of the earlier editions, whilst taking into account the significant developments that have moulded the discipline in recent years. Barry Cunliffe here incorporates new theoretical approaches, technological advances and a range of new sites and finds, ensuring that Iron Age Communities in Britain remains the definitive guide to the subject.
It might seem obvious that time lies at the heart of archaeology,
since archaeology is about the past. However, the issue of time is
complicated and often problematic, and although we take it very
much for granted, our understanding of time affects the way we do
A sensational, interdisciplinary work which entirely reorients our understanding of Europe from 10,000 BC to the time of the Vikings In this magnificent book, distinguished archaeologist Barry Cunliffe reframes our entire conception of early European history, from prehistory through the ancient world to the medieval Viking period. Cunliffe views Europe not in terms of states and shifting political land boundaries but as a geographical niche particularly favored in facing many seas. These seas, and Europe's great transpeninsular rivers, ensured a rich diversity of natural resources while also encouraging the dynamic interaction of peoples across networks of communication and exchange. The development of these early Europeans is rooted in complex interplays, shifting balances, and geographic and demographic fluidity. Drawing on archaeology, anthropology, and history, Cunliffe has produced an interdisciplinary tour de force. His is a bold book of exceptional scholarship, erudite and engaging, and it heralds an entirely new understanding of Old Europe.
When does a continuum become a divide? This book investigates the genetic relationship between Linear A and Linear B, two Bronze Age scripts attested on Crete and Mainland Greece and understood to have developed one out of the other. By using an interdisciplinary methodology, this research integrates linguistic, epigraphic, palaeographic and archaeological evidence, and places the writing practice in its sociohistorical setting. By challenging traditional views, this work calls into question widespread assumptions and interpretative schemes on the relationship between these two scripts, and opens up new perspectives on the ideology associated with the retention, adaptation and transmission of a script, and how identity was negotiated at a moment of closer societal interaction between Cretans and Greek-speaking Mainlanders in the Late Bronze Age. By delving deeper into the structure and inner workings of these two writing systems, this book will make us rethink the relationship between Linear A and B.
Bringing together a wealth of research in social and cultural
anthropology, philosophy and related fields, this is the first book
to address the contribution that an understanding of personhood can
make to our interpretations of the past
Applying an anthropological approach to detailed case studies
from European prehistoric archaeology, the book explores the
connection between people, animals, objects, their societies and
environments and investigates the relationship that jointly
produces bodies, persons, communities and artefacts.
The Archaeology of Personhood examines the characteristics that define a person as a category of being, highlights how definitions of personhood are culturally variable and explores how that variation is connected to human uses of material culture.
Comprising 17 chapters and with a wide geographic reach stretching from the Florida Keys in the north to the Guianas in the south, this volume places a well-needed academic spotlight on what is generally considered an integral topic in Caribbean and circum-Caribbean archaeology. The book explores a variety of issues, including the introduction and dispersal of early cultivars, plant manipulation, animal domestication, dietary profiles, and landscape modifications. Tried-and-true and novel analytical techniques are used to tease out aspects of the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean database that inform the complex and often-subtle processes of domestication under varying socio-environmental conditions. Contributors discuss their findings within multiple constructs such as neolithisation, social interaction, trade, mobility, social complexity, migration, colonisation, and historical ecology. Multiple data sources are used which include but are not restricted to rock art, cooking pits and pots, stable isotopes, dental calculus and pathologies, starch grains, and proxies for past environmental conditions. Given its multi-disciplinary approaches, this volume should be of immense value to both researchers and students of Caribbean archaeology, biogeography, ethnobotany, zooarchaeology, historical ecology, agriculture, environmental studies, history, and other related fields.
From the bestselling author of 1177 B.C., a comprehensive history of archaeology-from its amateur beginnings to the cutting-edge science it is today In 1922, Howard Carter peered into Tutankhamun's tomb for the first time, the only light coming from the candle in his outstretched hand. Urged to tell what he was seeing through the small opening he had cut in the door to the tomb, the Egyptologist famously replied, "I see wonderful things." Carter's fabulous discovery is just one of the many spellbinding stories told in Three Stones Make a Wall. Written by Eric Cline, an archaeologist with more than thirty seasons of excavation experience, this book traces the history of archaeology from an amateur pursuit to the cutting-edge science it is today by taking the reader on a tour of major archaeological sites and discoveries. Along the way, it addresses the questions archaeologists are asked most often: How do you know where to dig? How are excavations actually done? How do you know how old something is? Who gets to keep what is found? Taking readers from the pioneering digs of the eighteenth century to today's exciting new discoveries, Three Stones Make a Wall is a lively and essential introduction to the story of archaeology.
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.
The transition from roll to codex as the standard format of the book is one of the most culturally significant innovations of Late Antiquity. The Codex and Crafts in Late Antiquity examines surviving evidence in order to better understand how this transition took place. Placing the codex into the general cultural, religious, and technological context of Late Antiquity, the book examines the major types of codices the wooden tablet codex, the single-quire codex and the multi-quire codex in all their structural, technical, and decorative features. Georgios Boudalis argues that the codex was not an ingenious invention but rather an innovation that evolved using techniques already widely employed by artisans and craftspeople in the creation of everyday items such as socks, shoes, and baskets, revealing that the codex was a fascinating, yet practical, development.
Deluxe hardcover edition of the 7th and final book in Zecharia
Sitchin's Earth Chronicles series
This study explores the organization, scale, complexity, and integration of Aztec commerce across Mesoamerica at Spanish contact. The aims of the book are threefold. The first is to construct an in-depth understanding of the economic organization of precolumbian Aztec society and how it developed in the way that it did. The second is to explore the livelihoods of the individuals who bought, sold, and moved goods across a cultural landscape that lacked both navigable rivers and animal transport. Finally, this study models Aztec economy in a way that facilitates its comparison to other ancient and premodern societies around the world. What makes the Aztec economy unique is that it developed one of the most sophisticated market economies in the ancient world in a society with one of the worse transportation systems. This is the first book to provide an updated and comprehensive view of the Aztec economy in thirty years.
Luminescence dating is now widely applied by scientists working in Quaternary geology and archaeology to obtain ages for events as diverse as past earthquakes, desertification and cave occupation sites. Using quartz or feldspar minerals found in almost ubiquitous sand and finer sediments, luminescence can provide ages from over 500,000 years ago to modern. Written by some of the foremost experts in luminescence dating from around the world, this book takes a new approach. It explains what luminescence can and can't do, what and where to sample, types of measurements available and how to interpret and analyse ages once they are measured. It is accordingly for scientists who require luminescence ages for their research rather than those scientists developing the luminescence technique or making their own luminescence measurements. The background to the technique is explained in simple terms so that the range of potential applications, limits and issues can be understood. The book helps scientists plan where and what to sample to optimise the successful application of luminescence and stemming from that the chronologies that can be constructed. The Handbook sets out the challenges and limitations when applying luminescence dating in different environmental and archaeological settings and gives practical advice on how issues might be avoided in sampling, or mitigated by requesting different laboratory measurement approaches or analysis. Guidance is provided on how luminescence ages can be interpreted and published as well as how they can be used within chronological frameworks. With luminescence dating continuing to develop, information on more experimental approaches is given which may help expand the range of chronological challenges to which luminescence dating can be routinely applied.
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.
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.
From the Victorian golden age of dinosaur discovery to the cutting edge of twenty-first century fossil forensics Dinosaurs unravels the mysteries of the most spectacular group of animals our planet has ever seen. Despite facing drastic climatic conditions including violent volcanic activity, searing temperatures and rising and plunging sea levels, the dinosaurs formed an evolutionary dynasty that ruled the Earth for more than 150 million years. Darren Naish and Paul Barrett reveal the latest scientific findings about dinosaur anatomy, behaviour, and evolution. They also demonstrate how dinosaurs survived the great extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period and continued to evolve and thrive alongside us, existing today as an incredibly diverse array of birds that are the direct descendants of theropods. Dinosaurs is lavishly illustrated with specimens from the Natural History Museum's own collections, along with explanatory diagrams and charts and full-colour artistic reconstructions of dinosaur behaviour.
A sweeping overview of how and what humans have eaten in their long history as a species The Story of Food in the Human Past: How What We Ate Made Us Who We Are uses case studies from recent archaeological research to tell the story of food in human prehistory. Beginning with the earliest members of our genus, Robyn E. Cutright investigates the role of food in shaping who we are as humans during the emergence of modern Homo sapiens and through major transitions in human prehistory such as the development of agriculture and the emergence of complex societies. Cutright begins her fascinating study with a discussion of how food shaped humans in evolutionary terms by examining what makes human eating unique, the use of fire to cook, and the origins of cuisine as culture and adaptation through the example of Neanderthals. The second part of the book describes how cuisine was reshaped when humans domesticated plants and animals and examines how food expressed ancient social structures and identities such as gender, class, and ethnicity. Cutright shows how food took on special meaning in feasts and religious rituals and also pays attention to the daily preparation and consumption of food as central to human society. Cutright synthesizes recent paleoanthropological and archaeological research on ancient diet and cuisine and complements her research on daily diet, culinary practice, and special-purpose mortuary and celebratory meals in the Andes with comparative case studies from around the world to offer readers a holistic view of what humans ate in the past and what that reveals about who we are.
In Ritual Sites and Religious Rivalries in Late Roman North Africa, Lander examines the rhetorical and physical battles for sacred space between practitioners of traditional Roman religion, Christians, and Jews of late Roman North Africa. By analyzing literary along with archaeological evidence, Lander provides a new understanding of ancient notions of ritual space. This regard for ritual sites above other locations rendered the act or mere suggestion of seizing and destroying them powerful weapons in inter-group religious conflicts. Lander demonstrates that the quantity and harshness of discursive and physical attacks on ritual spaces directly correlates to their symbolic value. This heightened valuation reached such a level that rivals were willing to violate conventional Roman norms of property rights to display spatial control. Moreover, Roman Imperial policy eventually appropriated spatial triumphalism as a strategy for negotiating religious conflicts, giving rise to a new form of spatial colonialism that was explicitly religious.
Berlin Then and Now captures the stark contrast between what came before and after the great conflicts of the twentieth century, using archival photographs of the city's grand buildings, monuments, and boulevards alongside modern views of the same scenes today. Few cities in Europe have undergone as many transformations as Berlin in the past hundred years, or have risen from the rubble to stand as proud and vibrant as the city does today. Nick Gay's book shows the effects of Hitler's building plans of the 1930s, Allied bombing in World War II and the post-war division of the city into East and West and the subsequent reunification after 1989. Sites include: Brandenburg Gate, Pariser Platz, Hotel Adlon, the Reich Chancellery, Ministry of Aviation, Unter den Linden, Royal Opera House, Neue Wache, Berlin University, Palace Bridge, Lustgarten, Berliner Dom, Rotes Rathaus, Nikolaiviertel, Alexanderplatz, Muhlendamm, Gendarmenmarkt, Checkpoint Charlie, Wertheim Department Store, Potsdamer Platz, Death Strip, SS Headquarters, Anhalter Station, Siegessaule, Soviet War Memorial,Tempelhof Airport, Charlottenburg Palace, Olympic Stadium, Spandau Prison and Wannsee Conference Villa.
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