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Mark Whittow

[Turk.: ‘The Thousand and One Churches’]

Group of late Roman and Byzantine sites on the Karadağ, an isolated mountain in the plain north of the Taurus Mountains in the modern province of Karaman in south-central Turkey (Roman and Byzantine Lykaonia). The mountain has been convincingly identified as the site of Barata, a minor city attested as a bishopric from the 4th century ad to the 12th. On the mountain there are the remains of over 40 churches and associated buildings. These are concentrated in two groups: a lower settlement now known as Maden Șehir and an upper settlement called Değler. There are also numerous other remains on the Karadağ, including some Hittite rock carvings, several churches built on the peaks of the mountain and several medieval fortifications.

Although known to scholars since 1826, the first and only survey of the Karadağ was that carried out by Sir William Ramsay (1851–1939) and Gertrude Bell in ...


Walter Smith

[Chitorgarh; anc. Citrakuta]

Fort and temple site in southern Rajasthan, India. The name possibly derives from that of its 7th-century ad founder, Chitrangada Maurya. The only artistic remains from this time are some late Gupta-style reliefs incorporated into the 14th-century Annapurna Temple. In the 8th century the Sisodia Rajputs established Chittaurgarh as the capital of Mewar. Of the 8th-century Surya Temple and contemporary structures only the foundations and lower walls remain; stylistically, these relate to the temples of Osian and the Teli ka Mandir of Gwalior. The fort, at the summit of a steep hill about 165 m high, also dates from the 8th century, with many subsequent additions and renovations. It is approached by a series of seven gates (with foundations dating from as early as 1100) leading up a precipitous path. The final gate, the Ram Pol, was built by Rana Kumbha (reg 1433–68) in 1459 and has a corbelled arch and flanking towers with traditional Hindu ornamentation; in form it resembles the early 12th-century gates at ...



Sanctuary in Thesprotia, north-western Greece, near the mouth of the River Acheron. It includes an acropolis with the remains of a Late Bronze Age settlement and cemetery, but it was chiefly important in Classical and Hellenistic times for its Nekyomanteion (‘oracle of the dead’) dedicated to Persephone and Hades. This was situated at the confluence of the Acheron and Kokytos, where Odysseus was supposed to have entered the underworld to meet the shade of Teiresias (Odyssey X.513–15), and though the sanctuary’s remains date to the 3rd century bc they provide evidence for a ritual strikingly similar to that followed by Odysseus himself. They comprise a large irregular enclosure containing a series of rooms round a courtyard on the west side of the hill, and the main sanctuary building to the east, on the very top of the hill. The shrine building, with massive side walls, was approached by a corridor running along its north and east sides before turning along the south side through a maze-like sequence of arched doorways. Consultation of the oracle was preceded by ritual incubation and bathing in rooms off the north corridor, burnt sacrifices in the east corridor and offerings of white barley in the maze. From here the suppliant entered the central hall, which is flanked by three rooms on each side containing storage jars, wheat, barley and other foodstuffs. Under the central hall was a vaulted crypt representing the underworld. The sanctuary was destroyed in ...


P. R. Giot

Neolithic passage grave in Brittany, north-west France, decorated with outstanding megalithic designs (see Prehistoric Europe §IV 2.). The tomb is situated on the island of Gavrinis, parish of Larmor-Baden, in the Morbihan Gulf, 13 km south-west of Vannes. It was discovered in 1825, opened in 1832, excavated in 1884–6, and excavated (by C. T. Le Roux) and restored in 1979–84. The grave is covered by a large subrectangular cairn with revetment walls, measuring c. 40 m wide×c. 8 m high. Beneath the cairn is a square chamber measuring 2.6 m×2.5 m and 1.8 m high entered through a 13.5 m long passage averaging 1.2 m wide by 1.6 m high. Built largely of granite orthostats, the passage opens towards the south-east. It is roofed with granite capstones and paved with granite slabs, with silt-stones at either end. At the tomb entrance is a forecourt, 30 m wide, beneath which most of the artefacts recovered from the site were found. These include stone axes, Neolithic pottery and quartz stones that were apparently used for facing and decorating the slabs. Radiocarbon analysis of eight burnt posts from the final phase of the site has provided a date in the late 4th millennium ...


Timothy Taylor

Iron Age tomb in Bulgaria. It is the best preserved of a small number of Thracian brick-built vaulted (tholos) tombs that were decorated with Greek-influenced wall paintings. The tomb was looted in antiquity, but it can be dated on the basis of its form and the types of object that appear in the painting to the early 3rd century bc. The burial mound is entered through a rectangular stone-built antechamber, finely plastered: this leads into a rectangular brick-built passage (dromos) painted with scenes of warfare, and then a circular central chamber with a corbelled beehive-shaped vault, beautifully painted in a manner comparable to the Macedonian tombs of Vergina (anc. Aigai) and Lefkadia (anc. Leukadia). Above a band of alternating bulls’ heads (bucrania) and red-and-blue rosettes there is a broad frieze depicting the funerary banquet, and a lively upper frieze of racing charioteers. Hoddinott (p. 126) described the painting as ‘a unique synthesis of Hellenistic art and Thracian ritual’....


Sara Champion

Fortified hilltop site in Dorset, England. It has a long, if discontinuous, history of use as a settlement and ritual centre spanning over 4000 years from the beginning of the Neolithic period to late Roman times in the 4th century ad. However, the most important architecture at the site belongs to the period between 500 bc and ad 50, and the spectacular nature of these Iron Age remains has tended to obscure the significance of the earlier features. Maiden Castle was excavated between 1934 and 1937 by Mortimer Wheeler; testing of his results took place in 1986 and 1987.

The eastern knoll of the hill was first occupied in the mid-4th millennium bc by a Neolithic settlement bounded by a system of ditches. After this settlement had gone out of use, a long mound known as a bank barrow was constructed: running for 546 m from the eastern knoll across the earlier ditches to the western knoll, it is the longest known example of its type. This monument was probably connected with ritual, as two child burials were found near the eastern end. During a gap in the occupation of the site a circular structure, probably a Bronze Age (...


Maurizio Taddei

Buddhist monastery associated with the ancient town of Kapishi (Kāpiśī), now Begram, Afghanistan. Built on a fortified spur dominating the Panjshir Valley (the Kuh-i Pahlavan), the site is one of the seven or eight monasteries near the ancient town. Shotorak has been identified as the saṃghārāma that, according to the 7th-century ad Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang, was built by the Kushana king Kanishka to accommodate Chinese hostages during the hot season. The site was excavated in 1937 by the Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan, while Qul-i-Nader and Tepe Kalan, two other sites in the neighbourhood, were hurriedly excavated in 1939 and 1940 respectively. The finds from Shotorak were divided between the Kabul Museum and the Musée Guimet, Paris.

The main stupa (8 m sq.), in the extreme western part of the site, and the subsidiary stupas are all built of schist diaper masonry (see Afghanistan, §II, 1, (i), (c)) and often decorated with trilobated niches. Figural decoration consists of schist ...



E. Errington

[Shakar Tangai]

Buddhist monastery in Mardan District, Pakistan, north-east of Peshawar that flourished from around the 2nd to the 3rd century ad. Records of the Archaeological Survey locate Sikri 1.6 km west of the Thareli ruins and 3.2 km north-east of Sawaldher village. A Pakistani survey in 1987 re-identified the site, which is now obscured by woodland. Sikri was discovered by Harold Deane in 1888. No copy of Deane’s excavation report of 1888–9 has been traced, but his plan survives in the Lahore Museum. It shows a P-shaped complex, orientated north–south beside a ravine. The larger northern area (approximately 21×23 m) has a central platform (approximately 11 m square) approached by steps from the south. The platform contains a circular stupa base (diam. 3 m) set on a plinth (w. 9 m). The surrounding courtyard has square votive stupa bases, niches and open-fronted shrines beside the platform and along the east, north and south enclosure walls. On the west side are two free-standing pillars. A small shrine in the centre of the eastern wall housed the famous schist statue of the emaciated Siddhartha (so-called ‘fasting Buddha’; Lahore Mus., no. ...


Peter J. Holliday

Roman villa on a promontory on the coast of Latium, 121 km south of Rome, made famous by the discovery in September 1957 of a large number of fragmentary sculptures and other antiquities in a nearby cave. Although excavation initially concentrated on the grotto and its sculpture, research later focused on the villa itself.

The remains of the villa display several distinct building phases. It probably belonged to M. Aufidius Lurcone, grandfather of Livia, the wife of Augustus (reg 27 bcad 14) and mother of Tiberius (reg ad 14–37). The oldest sections are late Republican, given their use of opus incertum (concrete faced in irregular stones), while a second Republican phase has pavements in opus signinum (concrete with crushed tiles) and marble decoration. A total renovation and remodelling of the villa was undertaken during the late Augustan period, while fragments of several Fourth Style paintings (see...


C. A. Burney

[Turk.: ‘earth castle’; Rusahinili; Toprak Kale]

Site in eastern Turkey on a limestone spur of Mt Zimzim, overlooking modern Van. This Urartian citadel was built by Rusa, probably Rusa II (reg c. 680–c. 640 bc), and first attracted the attention of European scholars in 1877 when bronzes came on to the antiquities market. The ensuing British Museum excavations by Captain Emilius Clayton, Dr Raynolds and Hormuzd Rassam in 1879, although destructive, provided the first archaeological context for the previously published Urartian cuneiform inscriptions from Van. C. Lehmann-Haupt (from 1898), and subsequent Russian and Turkish expeditions followed. The principal collections of finds are in the British Museum in London, the Hermitage in St Petersburg and the Louvre in Paris.

The fortress was naturally defensible on three sides, with water brought, on the evidence of a contemporary inscription, probably from the artificial ‘Lake of Rusa’ (Keşiş-Göl). A rock-cut channel also brought water from a spring almost 2 km away into an enormous rock-hewn hall, with basin, drain and benches. A rock-cut spiral staircase, with 56 steps and lit by three windows, led from there into the fortress. The fortification walls are discernible only by the typically Urartian rock-cut ledges serving as base for the masonry....


Gerald Cadogan

Large Late Minoan i (c. 1560–c. 1425 bc) country house a few kilometres south of Archanes and Knossos in northern central Crete. Excavated by Spyridon Marinatos in 1949–51, it stands on a spur overlooking fertile country, dominated by Mt Juktas to the north-west, with its shrines. The house, which measures over 20×20 m, was apparently not part of a village or hamlet. Its few outbuildings include a kiln, while in the house itself are presses for olive oil and wine. Its architecture exemplifies the high quality of building of these large villas, which probably controlled large estates. Features include ashlar masonry, column bases of different stones, pillar basements, recesses for windows and a paved west court. On the east side of the building, opposite the entrance and across a small courtyard, is a tripartite shrine, with a central recess (possibly for a seat or statue) between two square masonry structures with hollow centres. These may have held flagstaff-like masts, as depicted on the peak-sanctuary chlorite and gold rhyton from ...


J. D. Hawkins

[Turk.: ‘inscribed rock face’]

Great open-air sanctuary (c. 1500–1200 bc) of the Hittite capital city Hattusa ( see Boğazköy ), c. 1.5 km north-east of the ruins of the city in central Turkey. Yazılıkaya is a rocky outcrop forming two chambers (A and B) open to the sky. These were closed off by a gradually developing series of buildings that evolved from a simple wall to more elaborate structures designed to provide the natural sanctuary with the gatehouse and entrance courtyard of the typical Hittite temple. Excavation has revealed more than one remodelling.

The main chamber A was entered through the gatehouse and courtyard with a left turn, which would have disclosed the natural gallery, its rock walls sculptured with two files of figures (on the left male figures advancing right, on the right female figures advancing left). The processions converge in a central scene at the back of the gallery, where two sets of main figures, three on the left and four on the right, confront each other. The figures of both files have been numbered consecutively from the left: the left file has 42 figures, the right 21....