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R. M. Munchaev and N. Ya. Merpert

Group of six mounds containing remains of settlements dating from the 6th to the 1st millennium bc, situated near the town of Tall ‛Afar in northern Iraq. Three of these, Yarim Tepe I, II and III, were investigated by a Soviet expedition led by R. M. Munchaev from 1969 to 1980. Finds have been distributed between the Iraq Museums in Baghdad, the Mosul Museum and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow.

Yarim Tepe I, which belongs to the Hassuna culture of northern Mesopotamia (6th millennium bc), covers an area of approximately 2 ha on the banks of a stream. The mound rises 5 m above the level of the plain, and the archaeological deposits are 6.5 m deep, within which 12 levels have been identified. Architectural remains have been recorded from the earliest levels upwards. The houses are rectangles composed of a series of rooms used as living-quarters or workshops. In the larger houses there are up to 15 rooms. The walls of the houses are made up of clay slabs, and the floors were coated with clay or gypsum. Within the rooms there were round, oval and rectangular ovens as well as granaries and areas for drying grain. Kilns for firing pottery, the remains of workshops where tools were produced and round constructions possibly used as shrines were also discovered. Child burials were found under the floors of some houses....


M. Yaldiz

[Yarxoto ; Chin. Jiaohe ]

Site of an ancient city in the Turfan Oasis in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. It was for a time the capital of the Uygur kingdom (9th–13th century). However, the town was mentioned earlier in the annals of the Chinese Han dynasty (206 bcad 220) as Jushi, the residence of the ruler of Turfan. As the name Yarkhoto (‘cliff town’) suggests, the town is situated on an island-like plateau surrounded by two deep river valleys. This plateau (1.5 km from north–west to south–east) is strewn with a great number of Buddhist ruins, which in the main were excavated by Aurel Stein (1900–01; 1906–7; 1914), Albert Grünwedel (1902–3; 1904–5) and Albert von LeCoq (1904–5; 1913–14). The building designated by Stein as Yar I is a monastery, the largest building—Yar II—a Buddhist sanctuary. The latter is in an architectural style widely used in Central Asia: a stupa of several storeys, with niches, and surrounded by a wall. Devotees were able to walk round the stupa in a clockwise direction and worship the cult figures—Buddhas, ...



Ye. V. Zeymal’


Site in the basin of the Yavan-su River, a tributary of the Vakhsh River, 40 km southeast of Dushanbe, Tajikistan. During the Kushana or post-Kushana period (3rd century ce to early 5th), the site (c. 40 ha) was surrounded by a wall and a moat (now only partially preserved) and had no fewer than three city gates. The fortified citadel (h. 8 m) is clearly visible as a double hill in the center of the site (380 × 200 m). The site was excavated in 1963–1965 under the direction of B. A. Litvinskiy and the material housed in the Tajikistan Academy of Sciences (Dushanbe, Tajikistan Acad. Sci., Donish Inst. Hist., Archaeol. & Ethnog.).

Stratigraphic investigations on the citadel to a depth of 10 m provided a benchmark for the chronology of the whole of south Tajikistan from the late 2nd–early 1st century bce to the 4th–mid-5th century ce. This period covered six consecutive phases of construction. The stratigraphic analysis made it necessary for scholars to rethink previously accepted dates for other sites, in particular those put forward in ...


Carolyn Tate

Ancient Maya city in the modern state of Chiapas, Mexico, which flourished as an important lowland capital c. 300–810 CE. Yaxchilan occupies the hills and riverbank overlooking a great bend in the Usumacinta River. Its eighteen or nineteen rulers perpetuated a 400-year-long rivalry with Piedras Negras, about 48 km downstream, for control of the subsidiary centers and sacred caves of the region. Yaxchilan’s approximately 130 carved monuments include stelae, lintels, altar-pedestals, thrones, circular ballcourt markers, and five grand hieroglyphic stairways. Their texts and images present the broadest range of ritual activities seen at any Maya site. In addition to the variety of sculptural formats and subjects, some of the monuments of Yaxchilan are widely considered to be among the most skillfully designed and carved of Maya art works. And as at many Pre-Columbian centers, its designers created alignments to solar phenomena as they planned specific buildings.

The site became well known following the explorations of ...


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....



Martin J. Powers


County in south-central Shandong Province, China, where a large Han-period (206 bce–220 ce) tomb decorated with engravings, low reliefs, and sculpture was found in 1953. The tomb (max. 8.70 × 7.55 m) in Yi’nan has attracted much interest because of its relatively naturalistic engravings.

Built of fine, dark gray limestone which, when polished, provides an excellent surface for engraving, the tomb consists of a forechamber, middle chamber, and rear chamber along a roughly north–south axis, with five smaller side chambers. A post-and-lintel system is employed throughout, with cantilevered ceilings (see China, fig.). This type of plan is common among late Han tombs discovered in Jiangsu and Shandong provinces. The tomb at Yi’nan is unusual, however, in that its stone columns and beams were carved to resemble the ornamented brackets and other features of wooden architecture. Since the tomb had been plundered, it yielded no artifacts of consequence....



Donald F. Easton

Site near Gelembe, north-west Turkey, which flourished in the Early Bronze Age, c. 2700–2400 bc. Yortan was excavated in 1900–01 by Paul Gaudin, who concentrated on the extramural cemetery where he uncovered 107 burial jars each containing at least one contracted burial and associated grave goods. The finds are in the British Museum in London, the Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire in Brussels and the Louvre in Paris.

The pottery from Yortan has an outstanding range of shapes, including globular jars with flaring collar-neck, globular jugs with rising spout (sometimes cut away above the handle), bird-shaped jugs ( see fig. ), ‘teapots’, carinated bowls and triple jars with one over-arching basket handle. Many vessels, especially smaller ones, have three small feet. Kâmil distinguished three successive classes, of which only Class C was wheel-made. Class A, the most numerous, has a well-burnished but crumbly fabric, which is generally black or grey but sometimes red or brown. It often has incised, incised-and-white-filled, or white-painted decoration. Common designs include chevrons and horizontal bands containing zigzags, wavy lines, dashes or lozenges, while plastic ornament comprises warts, crescents, parallel bars and fluting. The fabric of Class B is harder and finer, but less burnished. The fine, hard-fired ware of Class C is light grey or light red, with no burnish and little decoration; the clay may have come from a different source....



M. Yaldiz

Chinese site c. 8 km west of Khotan in southern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It is considered to have been the old capital of the region of Khotan. Aurel Stein’s archaeological surveys of 1900–01 confirm Chinese records (e.g. the Hou Han shu (‘History of the later Han’)), which describe Yotkan as a magnificent secular and religious centre. Although no buildings survive, the nearby river exposed at a depth of 3–7 m a 2–3 m thick layer of material culture containing ceramics, terracotta figures, metal and soapstone, gold leaf, jewellery, cameos, seals, coins and manuscripts. Despite the missing stratigraphic observations, it can be gathered from comparative studies that these objects date from the 1st to the 4th century ad. The ceramics, the yellowish, unglazed surface of which shines, are the most remarkable finds ( see also Central Asia §II 5., (iv) ). The decoration consists of incisions and beading, but characteristic of this ware are the applied, medallion-like reliefs and sometimes even three-dimensional figural representations. The ornamentation covers either the entire body of the vessel or only the shoulder, is wrapped round the body of the vessel horizontally or is used as a handle attachment. Many different motifs occur, floral (lotus rosettes and palmettes) as well as animal (griffins and lions, camels, monkeys, birds and gorgons’ heads). Human figures are also represented: musicians, dancers and acrobats are accompanied by drinking individuals or couples....



Margaret Chung


Chinese Buddhist cave temple complex 16 km west of Datong, Shanxi Province. The complex, consisting of more than forty caves and innumerable niches containing Buddhist images, was hollowed from the sandstone cliffs of the Wuzhou Mountains during the 5th century ce under the patronage of the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534; see Wei dynasty, §1). The influence of Indian and Central Asian models is discernible in the carvings found in the twenty or so larger, earlier caves, while the sculptures in the smaller, later caves and niches display a more mature Chinese style, which reached its highest expression in the sculptural style of the cave temple complex of Longmen, near Luoyang, Henan Province.

The Northern Wei dynasty, founded by the Tuoba or Toba people, who ruled northern China during the Northern and Southern Dynasties period (310–589 ce), adopted Buddhism as its state religion. Work was begun at Yungang by the emperor ...


J. H. Taylor

Small, undecorated tomb of an Egyptian noble and his wife. It was discovered in the Valley of Kings (KV 46) at Thebes in 1905. The tomb had suffered superficial plundering but most of the contents were recovered intact (Cairo, Egyp. Mus., and New York, Met.). The collection is important for the light it throws on the funerary equipment of the nobility at the height of the New Kingdom (c. 1540–c. 1075 bc) and the styles of furniture and decorative art current at that time.

Yuya and Tuya were the parents of Queen Tiye, the wife of Amenophis III (reg c. 1390–c. 1353 bc). Yuya, perhaps of Asiatic extraction, came from Akhmim in Upper Egypt, where he held important religious offices. He was also God’s Father (i.e. father-in-law of the pharaoh), Master of the Horse and King’s Lieutenant of Chariotry. His wife Tuya was in charge of the female personnel of the temples of Amun and Min....


V. S. Turchin

( Yegorovich )

(b Tver’, July 29, 1820; d Moscow, Jan 13, 1909)

Russian historian and archaeologist . He studied under Timofey Granovsky (1813–55) at Moscow University and worked in the Kremlin Armoury in Moscow from 1837 to 1859. In the 1850s and 1860s Zabelin was influenced by the theories of Vissarion Belinsky and Ludwig Feuerbach (1804–72) and later by Positivism, but in the last years of his life tended towards Idealism. He served on the St Petersburg Archaeological Commission from 1859 to 1876. He was Chairman of the Society of Russian History and Antiquity at Moscow University from 1879 to 1888. He was one of the organizers of the History Museum in Moscow and was its director from 1883 to 1908. In 1907 he became an honorary member of the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Arts. He was a consultant during the restoration of the Cathedral of the Dormition in Vladimir-Suzdal’ and the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Moscow. During the early years he was most concerned with the history of artistic metalwork, writing a number of works in the 1850s on the crafts of Kievan Rus’. He was also interested in Scythian history, icon painting, Old Russian architecture and archaeological theory. In his latter years he concentrated mainly on Russian social history. Zabelin sought to reconstruct the material basis of historical development by avoiding subjective assessments and using documents and monuments, which could include anything from churches to small crosses. He recognized that the distinctive feature of Old Russian art was the way in which it conveyed contemporary religious belief and interpreted forms derived from Byzantine art with greater freedom, and he was one of the first scholars to establish the relationship between wooden and stone building in Kievan Rus’. Zabelin’s works are rich in historical imagery and have inspired numerous Russian artists with an interest in Russian history and material culture....



George F. Andrews

Pre-Columbian site around 4 km from the modern town of Huehuetenango in Guatemala. It flourished as a Highland Maya ceremonial and administrative centre c. ad 600–1525. The ruins of Zaculeu are high in the mountains of western Guatemala, in a relatively flat valley with mountains rising on all sides. Archaeological evidence shows that the site was occupied continuously from the Early Classic period (c. ad 250–c. 600) until its conquest by the Spaniards under the leadership of Gonzalo de Alvarado in 1525. At that time, the site was the Mam Maya capital, although it was evidently subjected to many outside influences and perhaps even conquest by neighbouring tribes during its long history. Most of what is known about Zaculeu is based on the excavations and restorations carried out in 1946–9 under the auspices of the Guatemalan Instituto de Arqueología e Historia. During this time nearly all the main structures were excavated and partly restored, numerous burials uncovered, and collections of ceramics and other artefacts made. Most of these artefacts are in the Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología in Guatemala City, and there is a small collection in the site museum....



R. A. Tomlinson

Site on the west coast of the Greek island of Andros in the Aegean, which was established in the 9th century bc and flourished for approximately two centuries before being abandoned. It occupies the flat top of a promontory, with sheer cliffs on all sides except the north-east, which was defended by a massive fortification wall. The settlement was clearly sited for defensive reasons rather than convenience, and this reflects the troubled period of its existence, the Greek Dark Ages. The fortification wall (9th century bc) is a most interesting and rare example of Dark Age defensive works. It is some 140 m long and varies in width from around 4 m at its northern end to about 3 m at the only gate, near its southern end. It is built of unworked local schist and marble. The gate is set back, with an outwork to the north flanking the entrance passage. Within the fortified area, part of the town has been excavated by ...


V. Ya. Petrukhin

Site of Neolithic petroglyphs (before mid-2nd millennium bc) on the sloping granite banks of the River Vyg, which flows into the White Sea in Karelia. Vladislav I. Ravdonikas (1894–1976) discovered Zalavruga 1, with around 200 carvings, in 1936, while research by Yury A. Savvateyev from 1963 led to the discovery of a cliff with a further group of images (Zalavruga 2, with around 500 rock-carvings). The petroglyphs were made using pecking technique and are mostly in outline, with rare examples in low relief. Elk, deer and water-fowl are faithfully rendered. The most unusual images are scenes showing the hunting of a white whale from a boat and hunters on skis pursuing elk. The compositions cover large surfaces of rock, forming a kind of panel, and are similar in style to the nearby panel at Besovy (or Chortovy), which has around 300 images of large fish and water-fowl and smaller elk and human figures....



Nelly Gutiérrez Solana

Pre-Columbian ceremonial site in central Veracruz, Mexico. It flourished c. ad 500–c. 800 and is notable for the large ceramic figures found there and for one of the few known temples in Mesoamerica dedicated to the god of the underworld. Zapotal has been plundered and some of its sculptures taken abroad; two seated female figures (Brussels, Mus. Royaux A. & Hist.; St Louis, MO, A. Mus.) are probably from Zapotal. Excavations at the site have been carried out by the Universidad Veracruzana since 1971, and most of the artefacts unearthed are in the Universidad Veracruzana, Museo de Antropología, Jalapa.

The site consists of mounds orientated along a north–south axis, two of which measure 10 m and 15 m in height. An offering of numerous terracotta figures and vessels, which had been broken for ritual purposes, was discovered in an artificial platform known as Mound 2 (75×35×4 m). Over 100 burials have also been found. Some contained ‘smiling face’ clay figurines, a type found only in the Veracruz region, and an ossuary composed of a column of 82 skulls and bones was also unearthed. The skeletal remains from tombs bear evidence of human sacrifices....


V. A. Zav’yalov

Site in southern Uzbekistan, 14 km northwest of the old city of Termez. Occupying an area of 16.9 ha, it was, after Termez and Dalverzin Tepe, the third largest of the settlements that flourished in the valley of the Surkhan River during the Kushana period (1st century bce–4th century ce). It was subject to the Sasanians c. ce 360–380, and from the late 4th century until its destruction it was probably under Kidarite domination. It is this last period that has been most fully excavated. Excavations began in 1951–1952 and were resumed in the 1970s by the Bactrian Expedition of the Academy of Sciences, USSR. The fortified city (400 m sq.) has four corners approximately orientated towards the cardinal points. The walls were reinforced with semicircular towers at intervals of 35 m and were surrounded on three sides by a moat and an earthen rampart. At the northern corner stood a fortified citadel 120 m sq. A similar fortified area, 60 m sq., was built into the southern corner. Two city gates were located near each of these strongholds, and a fifth gate has been detected in the southwest wall. Outside the walls a small Buddhist stupa and the fortified dwelling of ...


Li Liu


Site in Shaanxi Province, China, in the area of the Western Zhou (c. 1050–771 bce) capitals, Feng and Hao, southwest of the city of Xi’an. The Western Zhou remains at Zhangjiapo were excavated in 1956–1957, 1967, 1979–1981, and 1984. Foundations of 13 semi-subterranean houses, small in size and simple in structure, and more than 500 tombs were uncovered.

The tombs can be divided into three groups: large, medium, and small. Grave goods include ceramic, bronze, jade, stone, bone, and ivory artifacts. The bronzes are ritual objects, weapons, tools, and chariot parts. The jade and stone ornaments are in the forms of various animals, such as fish, birds, cattle, deer, rabbits, and cicadas. Important burials include a group of three tombs belonging to the family of a nobleman named Jing Shu. A large tomb, which enclosed a male body, is composed of a rectangular pit with two ramps, one on either side, and is flanked by two smaller tombs, each of which contained a female body. Some 460 fragments of grave goods of 4 major types were unearthed: bronzes, jades, glazed pottery, and lacquerware. The bronzes include chariot parts, bells (...


Mary S. Lawton


Capital of Henan Province, China. Archaeological excavations since 1950 in the drainage basin of the south bank of the Yellow River have produced evidence that this was a center of Shang culture (c. 1600–1050 bce).

The area has been identified by some archaeologists with the second Shang capital, Ao, which according to the ancient annals (e.g. Liu Xin’s San Tong li pu (a calendar) and the Zhushu jinian (Bamboo Annals)) was founded by the Shang ruler Zhongding (reg c. 1568–c. 1558 bce), but on the basis of archaeological evidence is generally dated to the 15th century bce. Around 1300 bce it seems the capital was transferred to Yin, near modern Anyang (see Loehr 1968). Findings support the hypothesis that for some time Zhengzhou and Anyang may have been occupied contemporaneously. During the Zhou period (c. 1050–256 bce) the area was first called Guyang and then known as Dantu. While serving as the capital of the state of Wu during the Three Kingdoms period (...


Bent Nielsen


Site on the border of Fufeng County and Qishan County in Shaanxi Province, China. It is one of the main centers of bronze finds from the Zhou period (c. 1050–256 bce) in Shaanxi; many of the finds bear Shang (c. 1600–c. 1050 bce) motifs or are forms characteristic of the Shang period. In 1976 a storage pit dating from the Western Zhou period (c. 1050–771 bce) and filled with bronzes was discovered. A total of 103 bronzes, of which 74 were inscribed, had been placed carefully in three layers in the pit. In addition to spoons and bells (see Bell, fig.), twenty-one different types of vessels, jars, pots, bowls, and dishes were represented; all were in a good state of preservation. The bronzes can be divided into groups according to the names and circumstances given in the inscriptions. The 284-character inscription on a ...