Until recently archaeological evidence predating the historically known Kingdom of Dahomey in southern Bénin has been next to non-existent. The situation changed when deep and long drainage channels were dug into the fertile soils at the modern town of Bohicon. In the sides of these channels, rich cultural remains appeared, confirming the assumption that high rates of soil accumulation have caused low archaeological visibility in the forest/former forest belt of West Africa. Geophysical mapping and extensive excavations have revealed two large settlements of 500-600 hectares each, partly overlapping but separated by 2000 years. This paper presents both sites – Sodohomé 1, the earliest site encountered so far in southern Bénin, and Sodohomé 2 (or Sodohomé-Bohicon) which dates to AD 900-1150/1220. Although the first has produced some remarkable results, for instance, an iron spearhead that is the oldest securely dated non-meteoritic iron object in Africa known so far, the focus is on the latter site where evidence demonstrates the existence of a true town with craft specialisation, industrial-scale iron production, long-distance trade and wide communication networks.
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.
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.
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.