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Ian M. E. Shaw

Ancient Egyptian art style that takes its name from Amarna, (Tell) el-, the site of the capital city during the reigns of Akhenaten (reg c. 1353–c. 1336 bc) and Smenkhkare (reg c. 1335–c. 1332 bc). Amarna-style painting and sculpture were characterized by a move away from the traditional idealism of Egyptian art towards a greater realism and artistic freedom. This new sense of vigour and naturalism is most apparent in surviving fragments of paintings from the walls and floors of palaces (Cairo, Egyp. Mus., and Oxford, Ashmolean; see Egypt, ancient §X 2.). The statuary and reliefs, mainly from el-Amarna, Thebes and Hermopolis Magna, represent the royal family and their subjects in a style that was initially grotesque and often crude, as the artists struggled to come to terms with the new approach (see Egypt, ancient §IX 3., (viii)). However, they eventually reached a high degree of sophistication and beauty, exemplified by the painted limestone bust of Queen ...


Dimitris Plantzos


Greek city situated on the island of Crete, by the north-west foothills of mount Psiloritis (anc. Ida), 30 km south-east of the present-day city of Rethymnon. It was a centre for Aegean and Greek culture from the Prehistoric to the Byzantine periods (4th millennium bc–7th century bc).

Ancient Eleutherna is a typical example of a Cretan polis (city) inhabited continuously from at least from the 9th century bc (the so-called ‘Dark Age’ of Greek history) to the late Roman and Byzantine period (6th–7th century bc). Even before that, archaeological finds suggest the existence of a continuous presence on the site from the late Neolithic (4th millennium bc) through to a flourishing Minoan site of the 3rd to 2nd millennia bc. Although later construction all but eliminated traces of prehistoric architecture, there is still significant evidence to confirm unbroken habitation. In historical times (9th century...


Antonio Beltran

Conventional name for a group of prehistoric paintings and a few engravings in open-air rock shelters (two exceptions are known of in cave interiors) in the eastern part of the Iberian Peninsula. Their distribution extends from north to south between the approaches to the Pyrenees of Aragon and Cataluña and the mountains of eastern Andalusia, and from west to east between the mountain ranges of Cuenca and Teruel and the sea, at a maximum of c. 130 km from the coast. More than 150 painted rock shelters are known, and no direct parallels for this art have been found, either in the Iberian Peninsula or elsewhere. The paintings were produced by upland hunters, although some paintings were executed on the seashore. These works are among the most vivid examples of prehistoric European graphic art (see also Prehistoric Europe, §II, 2).

Spanish Levantine rock art includes distinct aesthetic manifestations corresponding to a long chronological epoch that may extend from the Epipalaeolithic (...