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Paola Mortari Vergara Caffarelli

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Monique Maillard

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Duncan Macmillan

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Dominique Collon

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Chandra L. Reedy

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Robert D. McChesney

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Dominique Collon, Judith Pullar, Pierre Amiet, Michael Roaf, Eric de Waele, David Stronach, Guitty Azarpay and E. Haerinck

[Persia]

Region in which several cultures and civilizations flourished from the Palaeolithic period until the Arab conquest in ad 651. There is evidence that ancient Iran was inhabited from c. 100,000 bc, but the earliest named inhabitants were Elamite (c. 3000–mid-6th century bc), whose language, insofar as it has been deciphered, bears no relation to any known group. The ancestors of the present Indo-European or Indo-Aryan inhabitants of Iran, including the Medes and Persians, entered the country only in the second half of the 2nd millennium bc. Besides the Elamites, the three major Iranian dynasties of the pre-Islamic period are the Achaemenid or Persian (550–331 bc), the Parthian (250 bcad 224) and the Sasanian (c. ad 224–651).

This article covers the major art forms in pre-Islamic Iran. Each major bold subsection has cross-references to individual sites that have made a particular contribution at a certain period or in a given field. The development of some types of object, such as seals or jewellery, and the use of some materials (e.g. faience, glass and ivory) are best seen in the wider context of the ...

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Brian Ferran, Paul Larmour, David Evans, Mike Catto and Martyn Anglesea

[Ulster]

Region of the United Kingdom, occupying the north-east section of the island of Ireland. Extending for more than 160 km from east to west and 145 km from north to south, Northern Ireland includes the Sperrin, Mourne and Antrim mountains around an area of lowland, at the centre of which is Lough Neagh, with an area of 400 sq. km. The capital, Belfast, lies at the head of Belfast Lough (see fig. above). In the late 20th century the population of Northern Ireland was c. 1.6 million, made up of three principal groups: those of Celtic or Gaelic descent, who are mainly Roman Catholic; those of lowland Scottish descent, who are mainly Presbyterian; and those of English and Welsh descent, who are mainly Anglican. This article discusses art in Northern Ireland from 1922; for a discussion of art in the region before this date see Ireland, Republic of.

Brian Ferran...

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John Curtis

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Jane Casey Singer

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W. T. Johnston

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Deborah E. Klimburg-Salter

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Anne Riches, Duncan Macmillan, W. T. Johnston, Rosalind K. Marshall, Veronica Steele, Ian Gow, David Jones, G. R. Haggarty, Brian J. R. Blench, David H. Caldwell, George R. Dalgleish, Naomi Tarrant, John Morrison, M. A. Forrest, Jennifer Melville and Patricia Brookes

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Eric de Waele

[Pers. Luristăn]

Region of Iran, near the border with Iraq, which has given its name to a remarkable series of ancient bronze objects, especially those produced between c. 1200 and 600 bc .

Luristan is situated in the central part of the Zagros mountain range, which runs north-west to south-east along Iran’s frontier with Iraq. The region can be divided into two parts: to the west is the Pusht-i Kuh (‘behind the mountain’), which descends towards the plains of Mesopotamia and Susiana, while to the east, at a higher altitude, lies the Pish-i Kuh (‘before the mountain’). Nomadic Lurs inhabit its high, fertile valleys.

The nomads who lived in the valleys of Luristan in antiquity were shepherds, horse-breeders, hunters and warriors. It is not known what they were called, for they have left no written sources, and suggestions that they might have been Kassites or Cimmerians must be rejected. They should perhaps be equated with the Ellipi, whose kingdom was overthrown by the Medes in ...

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Lydia  

Crawford H. Greenewalt jr

Region in western Asia Minor (now Turkey) that formed an independent kingdom ruled from Sardis during the 7th century bc and earlier 6th, but later fell under Persian, Greek and Roman control. It covered an area of 24,000–25,000 sq. km consisting of mountain ranges and fertile valleys (of the rivers Hermos, Kayster and Maeander, now respectively Gediz, Kücük Menderes and Menderes), which created natural corridors, and thus trade routes, between the Aegean and the central Anatolian plateau.

The history of Lydia before the 7th century bc is shrouded in legend. In the Iliad Lydian heroes were allies of the Trojans, while the early Lydian kings Meles and Kambles have the same semi-mythological status as Tantalos, Niobe, Omphale and Arachne, whose stories were also set in Lydia. During its period of independence (c. 680–546 bc) Lydia controlled an empire that extended over most of western Asia Minor, as far east as the River Halys (now Kızıl ırmak), and was ruled by a dynasty of native kings, of whom the most celebrated are the first and last, Gyges and Croesus. After its conquest by Persia in ...

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K. A. Wardle

Region in northern Greece between the Aegean Sea and Balkan massif. Its location, climate and natural resources fostered the development of a distinctive culture but also attracted invaders and settlers. Alone of the provinces of Greece, it provides fertile, well-watered plains, cut by the great rivers Haliakmon, Axios and Strymon, and mountains rich in mineral resources, such as the gold of Mt Pangaion. The Mediterranean climate of Chalkidike encourages widespread olive production while, inland, cereals are widely cultivated and there is good grazing for cattle and sheep. From the Classical period (c. 480–323 bc), if not earlier, the surplus cereal production of the lowlands and the abundant shipbuilding timber of the hills were the envy of those in the south of Greece. Good harbours provide easy access to the trade routes of the eastern Mediterranean while the river valleys and mountain passes leading west, north and north-east allow good routes of communication....

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Mesara  

Keith Branigan

Region in southern central Crete that flourished in the Bronze Age. One of the most fertile parts of Crete, this flat alluvial plain is about 50 km east–west, but never more than 10 km north–south, and it is surrounded on the north, east and south by foothills and mountains. It was in and around the Mesara plain in the Early Bronze Age (for discussion of Bronze Age absolute dates see Minoan, §I, 4) that a distinctive culture developed, characterized by small village communities, perhaps composed of extended family groups, who buried their dead in circular communal tombs known as the Mesara type. The wealth of attractively painted pottery, finely carved sealstones and stone bowls, well-made bronze weapons and gold jewellery from these tombs suggest that the Mesara was a prosperous area and that its people were inventive and skilled. Early in the 2nd millennium bc the whole area was presumably dominated by the Minoan palace at ...

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Dominique Collon, Joan Oates, Harriet Crawford, Anthony Green, David Oates, John M. Russell, Michael Roaf, E. J. Keall, Pierre Amiet, John Curtis, Jane Moon and A. Nunn

Region of the ancient world corresponding roughly to modern Iraq, north-east Syria and parts of south-east Turkey. The name Mesopotamia (anc. Gr.: ‘between the rivers’) was coined by ancient Greek historians and originally applied to the land between the River Euphrates and its tributary the Khabur. It later came to mean the land between two of the great rivers of antiquity, the Tigris and the Euphrates, and by extension includes the surrounding regions. Modern political boundaries, however, do not reflect the fluctuating cultural patterns of antiquity, nor did the ancient inhabitants of the Tigris and Euphrates valleys have one name to describe the area, and the term Mesopotamian is therefore used in this article to define various cultures that grew up in the Land of the Twin Rivers. It was here and in Egypt, ancient that two of the earliest civilizations evolved.

This article covers the major art forms in Mesopotamia before the Islamic conquest (...

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Robert D. McChesney

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