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Holy Ground: Where Art and Text Meet

Studies in the Cultural History of India

Reihe:

Hans T. Bakker

The 31 selected and revised articles in the volume Holy Ground: Where Art and Text Meet, written by Hans Bakker between 1986 and 2016, vary from theoretical subjects to historical essays on the classical culture of India. They combine two mainstreams: the Sanskrit textual tradition, including epigraphy, and the material culture as expressed in works of religious art and iconography. The study of text and art in close combination in the actual field where they meet provides a great potential for understanding. The history of holy places is therefore one of the leitmotivs that binds these studies together.
One article, "The Ramtek Inscriptions II", was co-authored by Harunaga Isaacson, two articles, on "Moksadharma 187 and 239–241" and "The Quest for the Pasupata Weapon," by Peter C. Bisschop.

Pamela R. Willoughby, Katie M. Biittner, Pastory M. Bushozi und Jennifer M. Miller

Abstract

During the 2010 excavations of Mlambalasi rockshelter, Iringa Region, Tanzania, a single rifle bullet casing was recovered. Analysis of this casing found that it was manufactured in 1877 at the munitions factory in Danzig for the German infantry’s Mauser 71 rifle. This casing is thus directly linked to the period of German colonization of Tanganyika, during which Iringa was a key centre of anti-colonial resistance. Mlambalasi was the location of the last stand of Chief Mkwawa of the Hehe people, and this bullet casing provides a tangible link to his uprising during the 1890s. In light of this colonial context and our ongoing research at Mlambalasi, this find is used to illustrate that a single artifact can reinforce multiple narratives about the past and the significance of an archaeological site.

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Ediert von Corinne Hofman und Floris Keehnen

Material Encounters and Indigenous Transformations in the Early Colonial Americas brings together 15 case studies focusing on the early colonial history and archaeology of indigenous cultural persistence and change in the Caribbean and its surrounding mainland(s) after AD 1492. With a special emphasis on material culture and by foregrounding indigenous agency in shaping the diverse outcomes of colonial encounters, this volume offers new perspectives on early modern cultural interactions in the first regions of the ‘New World’ that were impacted by European colonization. The volume contributors specifically investigate how foreign goods were differentially employed, adopted, and valued across time, space, and scale, and what implications such material encounters had for indigenous social, political, and economic structures.

Contributors are: Andrzej T. Antczak, Ma. M. Antczak, Oliver Antczak, Jaime J. Awe, Martijn van den Bel, Mary Jane Berman, Arie Boomert, Jeb J. Card, Charles R. Cobb, Gérard Collomb, Shannon Dugan Iverson, Marlieke Ernst, William R. Fowler, Perry L. Gnivecki, Christophe Helmke, Shea Henry, Gilda Hernández Sánchez, Corinne L. Hofman, Menno L.P. Hoogland, Rosemary A. Joyce, Floris W.M. Keehnen, J. Angus Martin, Clay Mathers, Maxine Oland, Alberto Sarcina, Russell N. Sheptak, Roberto Valcárcel Rojas, Robyn Woodward

Reihe:

Timothy Insoll, Salman Almahari und Rachel MacLean

In The Islamic Funerary Inscriptions of Bahrain, Pre-1317 AH/1900 AD, the authors present a study of the funerary inscriptions based upon fieldwork completed in Bahrain between 2013-2015. A comprehensive illustrated catalogue of 150 gravestones in 26 locations is provided with transcription of the inscriptions into modern Arabic and translation into English. Subjects considered include: the history of Islamic burial, gravestone, and cemetery research on Bahrain, gravestone chronology, gravestone and cemetery types, stone sources and gravestone manufacture, the gravestone inscriptions, content, iconography and decoration, and the archaeology of the shrines and cemeteries in which some of the gravestones were found, contemporary practices relating to cemeteries, graves, and gravestones, the threats facing the gravestones, and management options for protecting and presenting the gravestones.

Reihe:

Ediert von Rory Naismith

Reading Medieval Sources is an exciting new series which leads scholars and students into some of the most challenging and rewarding sources from the European Middle Ages, and introduces the most important approaches to understanding them. Written by an international team of twelve leading scholars, this volume Money and Coinage in the Middle Ages presents a set of fresh and insightful perspectives that demonstrate the rich potential of this source material to all scholars of medieval history and culture. It includes coverage of major developments in monetary history, set into their economic and political context, as well as innovative and interdisciplinary perspectives that address money and coinage in relation to archaeology, anthropology and medieval literature.
Contributors are Nanouschka Myrberg Burström, Elizabeth Edwards, Gaspar Feliu, Anna Gannon, Richard Kelleher, Bill Maurer, Nick Mayhew, Rory Naismith, Philipp Robinson Rössner, Alessia Rovelli, Lucia Travaini, and Andrew Woods.

David J. Mattingly, Youssef Bokbot, Martin Sterry, Aurelie Cuénod, Corisande Fenwick, Maria Carmela Gatto, Nick Ray, Louise Rayne, Katrien Janin, Andrew Lamb, Niccoló Mugnai und Julia Nikolaus

Abstract

This article describes the research questions and presents the initial ams dates of the Middle Draa Project (southern Morocco), a collaborative field survey project between the University of Leicester and the Institut National des Sciences de l’Archéologie et du Patrimoine (insap) of Morocco. Starting from a very low baseline of past archaeological research in this pre-desert valley, the overall objective of the project is to establish the extent, character and chronology of the rich archaeology of the Wadi Draa. The results presented here detail a hitherto unknown phase of major occupation in the Draa in the 4th-6th centuries ad evidenced by complex hilltop settlements and extensive cairn cemeteries (an initial typology is presented). A second medieval phase comprised major urban centres that are contemporary with the Almoravid and Almohad periods of Moroccan history. Alongside these urban centres, there are the remains of substantial mudbrick oasis settlements and irrigation and field-systems of a contemporary date. A key contribution of this paper concerns the construction of an outline chronology based upon initial analysis of the ceramics collected, but crucially supplemented and supported by a major program of ams dating. The remote sensing and field survey data collected by the project enable us to develop some hypotheses concerning the long-term history of this important oasis valley.

Gabriele Franke

The Central Nigerian Nok Culture and its well-known terracotta figurines have been the focus of a joint research project between the Goethe University Frankfurt and the National Commission for Museums and Monuments in Nigeria since 2005. One major research question concerns chronological aspects of the Nok Culture, for which a period from around the middle of the first millennium BC to the first centuries AD had been suggested by previous investigations. This paper presents and discusses the radiocarbon and luminescence dates obtained by the Frankfurt Nok project. Combining the absolute dates with the results of a comprehensive pottery analysis, a chronology for the Nok Culture has been developed. An early phase of the Nok Culture’s development begins around the middle of the second millennium BC. Its main phase, in which terracotta figurines and iron production appear, starts in the 9th century BC and ends in the 4th century BC. A later phase with vanishing evidence extends into the last centuries BC. On sites dating from the first centuries AD onwards no more Nok terracotta or pottery are found; the end of the Nok Culture is thus set around the turn of the Common Era.

Henrik Junius

Between 2005 and 2013, new archaeometallurgical finds and features in central Nigeria resulted from several excavation campaigns conducted by the Nok research project, Goethe University, Frankfurt. This article presents the first excavation results and compares the newly generated data to the publications on the Nok iron smelting site of Taruga from 40 years ago. All newly excavated sites find close resemblance in each other in regards to dates in the middle of the first millennium BCE, furnace design, find distribution and find properties. In some cases, the finds from the Taruga valley fit in the new and homogeneous picture of Nok iron metallurgy. However, Taruga differs from the new sites in its variety of furnace design and number of furnaces.

Whereas furnace bases with a width of around one meter based on slag pits partially filled with slag seem to be the rule for all newly excavated Nok furnaces, only some furnaces at Taruga exhibit these characteristics. Furnace variability at Taruga could be explained by a longer and/or subsequent site usage through time. Modern era finds like a clay smoking pipe, the higher number of furnaces per site as well as a higher dispersion of absolute dates and the variability of furnace design could support this assumption. This paper concentrates on the archaeological context of a specific type of early iron technology in central Nigeria; ongoing archaeometric analysis of all related finds will be presented elsewhere.

Tanja M. Männel und Peter Breunig

Since their discovery in the mid-20th century, the terracottas of the Nok Culture in Central Nigeria, which represent the earliest large-scale sculptural tradition in Sub-Saharan Africa, have attracted attention well beyond specialist circles. Their cultural context, however, remained virtually unknown due to the lack of scientifically recorded, meaningful find conditions. Here we will describe an archaeological feature uncovered at the almost completely excavated Nok site of Pangwari, a settlement site located in the South of Kaduna State, which provided sufficient information to conclude that the terracotta sculptures had been deliberately destroyed and then deposited, emphasising the ritual aspect of early African figurative art.

Similar observations were made at various other sites we had examined previously. But the terracottas found at Pangwari not only augmented our insights into the advanced stylistic development of the Nok sculptures, they also exhibited scenes of daily life like a relief of a dugout boat with two paddlers, or remarkable details like a marine shell on the head of a human figure – details indicating trans-regional trade and long-distance contacts. Other finds from Pangwari deepen our knowledge of therianthropic creatures among the terracottas of the Nok Culture.

Peter Breunig und Nicole Rupp

Until recently the Nigerian Nok Culture had primarily been known for its terracotta sculptures and the existence of iron metallurgy, providing some of the earliest evidence for artistic sculpting and iron working in sub-Saharan Africa. Research was resumed in 2005 to understand the Nok Culture phenomenon, employing a holistic approach in which the sculptures and iron metallurgy remain central, but which likewise covers other archaeological aspects including chronology, settlement patterns, economy, and the environment as key research themes. In the beginning of this endeavour the development of social complexity during the duration of the Nok Culture constituted a focal point. However, after nearly ten years of research and an abundance of new data the initial hypothesis can no longer be maintained. Rather than attributes of social complexity like signs of inequality, hierarchy, nucleation of settlement systems, communal and public monuments, or alternative African versions of complexity discussed in recent years, it has become apparent that the Nok Culture, no matter which concept is followed, developed complexity only in terms of ritual. Relevant information and arguments for the transition of the theoretical background are provided here.