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China's Old Churches

The History, Architecture, and Legacy of Catholic Sacred Structures in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei Province

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Alan Richard Sweeten

China’s Old Churches, by Alan Sweeten, examines the history of Catholicism (1600 to the present) as reflected by the location, style, and details of sacred structures in three crucial north China areas. Examined are the most famous and important churches in the urban settings of Beijing and Tianjin as well as lesser-known ones in rural Hebei Province.
Missionaries built Western-looking churches to make a broad religious statement important to themselves and Chinese worshippers. Non-Catholics, however, tended to see churches as socio-politically foreign and invasive. The physical-visual impact of church structures is significant. Today, restored old and new churches are still mostly of Western style, serving a growing number of Catholics who actively support a Marian movement.

Dispersals and Diversification

Linguistic and Archaeological Perspectives on the Early Stages of Indo-European

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Edited by Matilde Serangeli and Thomas Olander

Dispersals and diversification offers linguistic and archaeological perspectives on the disintegration of Proto-Indo-European, the ancestor of the Indo-European language family.
Two chapters discuss the early phases of the disintegration of Proto-Indo-European from an archaeological perspective, integrating and interpreting the new evidence from ancient DNA. Six chapters analyse the intricate relationship between the Anatolian branch of Indo-European, probably the first one to separate, and the remaining branches. Three chapters are concerned with the most important unsolved problems of Indo-European subgrouping, namely the status of the postulated Italo-Celtic and Graeco-Armenian subgroups. Two chapters discuss methodological problems with linguistic subgrouping and with the attempt to correlate linguistics and archaeology.

Contributors are David W. Anthony, Rasmus Bjørn, José L. García Ramón, Riccardo Ginevra, Adam Hyllested, James A. Johnson, Kristian Kristiansen, H. Craig Melchert, Matthew Scarborough, Peter Schrijver, Matilde Serangeli, Zsolt Simon, Rasmus Thorsø, Michael Weiss.

Medieval Fortifications in Cilica

The Armenian Contribution to Military Architecture in the Middle Ages

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Dweezil Vandekerckhove

In Medieval Fortifications in Cilicia Dweezil Vandekerckhove offers an account of the origins, development and spatial distribution of fortified sites in the Armenian Kingdom (1198-1375). Despite the abundance of archaeological remains, the Armenian heritage had previously not been closely studied. However, through the examination of known and newly identified castles, this work has now increased the number of sites and features associated with the Armenian Kingdom.
By the construction of numerous powerful castles, the Armenians succeeded in establishing an independent kingdom, which lasted until the Mamluk conquest in 1375. Dweezil Vandekerckhove convincingly proves that the medieval castles in Cilicia are of outstanding architectural interest, with a significant place in the history of military architecture.

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Edited by Mirela Ivanova and Hugh Jeffery

Transmitting and Circulating the Late Antique and Byzantine Worlds seeks to be a crucial contribution to the history of medieval connectedness. Using one of the methodological tools associated with the global history movement, this volume aims to use connectedness to revitalise local and regional networks of exchange and movement. Its case studies collectively point caution toward assuming or asserting global-scale transmission of meaning or items unchanged, and show instead how meaning is locally produced and regionally formulated, and how this is no less dynamic than any global-level connectedness. These case studies by early career scholars range from the movement of cotton growing practices to the transmission of information within individual texts. Their wide scope, however, is nonetheless united by their preoccupation with transmission and circulation as categories of analysing or explaining movement and change in history. This volume hopes to be, therefore, a useful contribution to the growing field of a history of connectivity and connectedness.
Contributors are Jovana Andjelkovic, Petér Bara, Mathew Barber, Julia Burdajewicz, Adele Curness, Carl Dixon, Alex MacFarlane, Anna Kelley, Matteo G. Randazzo, Katinka Sewing, and Grace Stafford.

Ancient Marbles in Naples in the Eighteenth Century

Findings, Collections, Dispersals

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Eloisa Dodero

In Ancient Marbles in Naples in the Eighteenth Century Eloisa Dodero aims at documenting the history of numerous private collections formed in Naples during the 18th century, with particular concern for the “Neapolitan marbles” and the circumstances of their dispersal. Research has thus made it possible to formulate a synthesis of the collecting dynamics of Naples in the 18th century, to define the interest of the great European collectors, especially British, in the antiquities of the city and its territory and to draw up a catalogue which for the first time brings together the nucleus of sculptures reported in the Neapolitan collections or coming from irregular excavations, most of which shared the destiny of dispersal, in some cases here traced in definitive fashion.

Boiotia in Ancient Times

Some Studies of Its Topography, History, Cults and Myths

John M. Fossey

This is the concluding volume presenting results of the author’s fieldwork spread over more than fifty years concerning the Archaeology and Topography of Ancient Boiotia that includes also discussions of the distribution within the topography of certain ancient cults, especially those of Artemis, Herakles and the Horseman Hero. Within the more purely topographic section there is much discussion of regional defense systems, all set against the history of the Boiotian League, especially its early coinage, its origins and its confrontation with Sparta and the pivotal battle of Leuktra.

Holy Ground: Where Art and Text Meet

Studies in the Cultural History of India

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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.

Rocco Rotunno, Anna Maria Mercuri, Assunta Florenzano, Andrea Zerboni and Savino di Lernia

Abstract

Archaeological deposits in rock shelters have enormous informative potential, particularly in arid environments where organic materials are well preserved. In these areas, sub-fossilized coprolites and dung remains have been identified as valuable proxies for inferences about past environments, subsistence economies and cultural trajectories. Here we present a multidisciplinary analysis of bovid (ovicaprine) coprolites collected from the Early Holocene hunter-gatherer occupation at Takarkori rock shelter (SW Libya, central Sahara). Our results show that Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) were managed as early as ~9500 years cal BP, mostly with the rearing of juveniles. Palynological analysis of individual pellets suggests a seasonal confinement of the animals and the selection of fodder. GIS analysis of coprolite distribution also indicates sophisticated strategies of Barbary sheep “herding” and spatial differentiation of specialized areas within the rock shelter, including the construction and use of a stone-based enclosure for corralling animals. These highly structured and organized forms of control over wild animals are interpreted as a potential co-evolutionary trigger for the subsequent rapid adoption and integration of the incoming pastoral Neolithic economy.

Michael Brass

Abstract

Different emphases on ideological, socio-economic and technological changes have been brought to bear on the cultural variability made materially manifest in pre-Iron Age Saharan pastoral societies. The models have ranged from limited or no complexity before iron production to transient mobile elites across the Sahara, to socially complex communities from the mid-Holocene onwards in the Central Libyan Sahara, and to permanent elites with complex social structures. Here, ethnographic cultural variability is stressed, previous models detailed, and data for the Eastern and Central Sahara summarised and analysed. The emerging picture is of a mosaic of population movements, clustering and experimentation resulting in transient peaks of wealth and the potential for incipient social complexity to become temporarily or permanently manifest. Saharan social diversity serves as a warning against linear models and highlights the importance of an explanatory framework for investigating the evolution of social structures outside of permanently settled communities for North Africa.