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[anc. Akhetaten]

Site of an Egyptian city of the mid-14th century bc, on the eastern bank of the Nile, c. 90 km north of Asyut. The site, which has given its name to the Amarna style of art, was chosen by the 18th Dynasty king Akhenaten (reg c. 1353–c. 1336 bc) for his new capital, which temporarily replaced Memphis and Thebes as the nucleus of the Egyptian empire. It was dedicated to the solar god Aten, thus its ancient name Akhetaten (‘Horizon of the Aten’), whose cult was intended to replace worship of the traditional Egyptian pantheon. The city was occupied for no more than 25 years, from the fifth year of Akhenaten’s reign until some time in the reign of Tutankhamun (reg c. 1332–c. 1323 bc). Because of this relatively brief period of occupation and the lack of prior and subsequent settlement, the site is a rare example of ancient Egyptian urban ...

Article

(b Athribis, nr Benha, c. 1440 bc; d c. 1350 bc).

Ancient Egyptian architect and patron. Amenhotpe rose to prominence in his home town during the reign of Amenophis III (reg c. 1391–c. 1353 bc) as a royal scribe and chief of the priests of the local god Khentekhtai. About 1390 bc he moved to the royal court at Thebes and was rapidly promoted by Amenophis III to the position of chief royal architect, responsible for the whole process of temple construction, from quarrying to the sculpting of relief decoration, as well as the commissioning of royal statues. The full list of buildings for which Amenhotpe was architect is not known, but he certainly supervised the construction of a huge temple at Soleb near the second cataract of the Nile in Lower Nubia, where several of the reliefs depict him standing alongside the King during the temple consecration ceremony. He also built two tombs and a mortuary temple for himself on the west bank at Thebes (...

Article

Ian M. E. Shaw

[Nebmaatre]

(reg c. 1391–c. 1353 bc). Egyptian ruler and patron. He reigned in the late 18th Dynasty (c. 1540–c. 1292 bc), a time of great national peace and prosperity. Amenophis III was a prolific builder: it was during his reign that Amenhotpe, the greatest Egyptian architect since Imhotep, rose to a position of power and influence as ‘Overseer of all the King’s Works’.

Although Amenophis III constructed numerous temples, from Memphis and Bubastis in the north of Egypt to Soleb and Sedeinga in the south (see Nubia, §III), only a small number of these have survived. His mortuary temple, built in fine white limestone on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes, must have been one of the most impressive buildings of the time, but it was systematically dismantled in the 19th Dynasty (c. 1292–c. 1190 bc). Only a few items of sculpture and stelae have been preserved from it, notably the celebrated ‘...

Article

E. Haerinck

Area in the province of Gilan in northern Iran that has given its name to a series of ancient objects. Since the 1950s the area around the village of Amlash has served as a local market for clandestinely excavated objects from the surrounding valleys. Although the term ‘Amlash’ should only be used in a geographical sense, to indicate material from Gilan, it has often wrongly been given a chronological meaning. Many objects purporting to come from this area (including fakes) have entered collections and museums, but their dating is often problematic.

Iranian and Japanese archaeological teams explored several sites in Gilan, of which Marlik, Kaluraz, Dailaman (including Ghalekuti, Nouruz and Hassani Mahaleh) and Tomadjan are the best known. Excavation of the cemeteries provided evidence that the objects belonged to several periods, from the middle of the 2nd millennium bc to the Islamic era. The area was probably inhabited only from the Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age by nomads, who buried their dead in stone-built tombs or later in vaulted burial chambers cut into the mountain slopes....

Article

Claude Vandersleyen

[Amenemhet III; Nymaatre]

Egyptian ruler. Both architecture and sculpture have survived from his reign in the 12th Dynasty (for chronological chart of Egyptian kings see Egypt, ancient, fig.). He built two pyramids, one at Dahshur and the other at Hawara in the Faiyum region, where is also a small temple, finished by Ammenemes III’s successor, Ammenemes IV; the reliefs in this temple have not been published in detail. Some reliefs of Ammenemes III were also found at Abydos (Philadelphia, U. PA, Mus.); they display little of the quality and interest of the reliefs of his predecessor, Sesostris III.

There are more than 50 statues and heads of Ammenemes III, easily identifiable because of his distinctive physiognomy. As with the statues of Sesostris III, they appear to correspond to various ages of the King; however, this progression is probably complicated by wider variations of style and dimensions. The characteristic traits of these heads are large eyes (always serious and impassive), exceptionally large ears and a nose that is far less prominent than that of Sesostris III and hooks back into the face after the bump of the nasal bone. His mouth has thick, curled lips, the corners of which turn up to end against fleshy protuberances. The cheek-bones are very high and wide and are cut by a wrinkle leaving the inside corner of the eye at an angle of 45°....

Article

Amnisos  

D. Evely

Minoan site in northern Crete, inhabited c. 3500–c. 1000 bc. The settlement, a harbour town known as a-mi-ni-so in the Linear B tablets, is 8 km east of Herakleion; it fronts a shallow sandy shore and is backed by a coastal plain. Excavations, chiefly by Spiridon Marinatos in the 1930s and by the German Archaeological Institute, Athens, in 1983–5, have focused on the sides of a low hill and on a cave some 500 m inland. The cave was a sanctuary of Eileithyia, a goddess associated with fertility and childbearing, and is mentioned in the Odyssey (XIX.188). Finds cited below are for the most part in the Archaeological Museum, Herakleion.

Traces of occupation dating back to Late Neolithic times (c. 4500–c. 3800 bc) have been found at the cave, which remained a centre of worship even after the Minoan period. A low wall surrounds a stalagmite, which seems to have been a focus of cultic activity; further activity took place outside the cave mouth. A scattering of house remains near by are of uncertain date. Further west, at ...

Article

Amorgos  

R. L. N. Barber

Greek island at the south-east extremity of the Aegean Cyclades. Survey work in the 1980s increased the number of known sites of all periods on the island. Most of the Bronze Age finds date from the Early Cycladic (ec) period (c. 3500/3000–c. 2000 bc) and come from cemeteries, although a settlement at Markiani is being excavated; there is also some Middle Cycladic (mc) and Late Cycladic (lc) pottery from graves at Arkesine, and Mycenaean vases were found at Xilokeratidi. The primary investigations were mainly the work of C. Tsountas, and the more recent of L. Marangou and others, although Dümmler published important material from Amorgos in the 1880s. The small but attractive museum on the island (in Chora) has good prehistoric pottery and (mostly fragmentary) marble objects.

The Dokathismata cemetery on Amorgos has given its name to an important category of Cycladic folded-arm stone ...

Article

Amorite  

Giorgio Buccellati

[Sum. Martu; Akkad. Amurru; Heb. Amori]

Name given to ethnic and political social groups in the Ancient Near East. In its ethnic connotation the term Amorite was used originally to refer to a Semitic, pastoralist and presumably rural population in the Middle Euphrates region in the late 3rd and early 2nd millennium bc. An ethnic connotation may also be recognized behind the biblical use of the term, which is, however, very vague. In its political connotation the term Amorite was used to refer to the kingdom of Babylon under the dynasty of Sumuabum (reg 1894–1881 bc), which included Hammurabi (reg 1792–1750 bc) as its most famous ruler (Old Babylonian period). By extension, scholars have often used the term to refer to various other dynasties of the early 2nd millennium bc, whose rulers bore ‘Amorite’ names (e.g. Larsa, Eshnunna, Mari and Aleppo). A distinct use of the political term refers to a territorial state known as the kingdom of ...

Article

R. T. H. Dornemann

[‛Amq; Plain of Antioch]

Area in Turkey covered by a rich agricultural plain, watered by the Orontes, Afrin and Kara Su rivers, in a strategic location for routes connecting Syria with Turkey, the coast and Mediterranean maritime trade. In the 1930s a series of ruin mounds of varying date were investigated by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, IL, under the direction of R. J. Braidwood, and a chronological sequence for the region was established, extending back to c. 6200 bc (Amuk A, Neolithic). This Amuk sequence is still the basis for the prehistoric chronologies of north Syria and south-east Anatolia. Most of the finds are in the Hatay Museum in Antakya and in the Oriental Institute Museum of the University of Chicago. A further series of sites, of which Atchana, Tell was the most important, was investigated by a team under C. L. Woolley. Finds from these excavations are mostly in the Hatay Museum, Antakya, the British Museum, London, and the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford....

Article

Dominique Collon, Donald F. Easton, Jeanny Vorys Canby, J. D. Hawkins, K. Aslihan Yener, Oscar White Muscarella and A. Nunn

Region roughly equivalent to the modern state of Turkey. The name Anatolia was first used by Byzantine writers in the 10th century ad, as an alternative to Asia Minor, and is now often used in its Turkish form, ‘Anadolu’, to describe Turkey in Asia. In this article the term ancient Anatolia covers the cultures and civilizations that flourished in the region from possibly as early as the 14th millennium bc to the 6th century bc. A wealth of remains from the Neolithic period (c. 8000–c. 5800 bc) to the Early Bronze Age (c. 3400–c. 2000 bc) testifies to the advanced prehistoric culture of Anatolia. During the 2nd millennium bc this was succeeded by the civilization of the Hittites (see Hittite), the demise of which was followed by a Dark Age lasting some two centuries. Eastern and south-eastern Anatolia were dominated from the ...

Article

Dominique Collon, J. D. Hawkins, Beatrice Teissier, D. Barag, G. Herrmann, Jack Ogden, Annie Caubet, Joan Allgrove McDowell, Michael Roaf, Vesta Sarḳhosh Curtis, Ian Carradice, G. D. Summers, Seton Lloyd and Geoffrey Turner

Area of the ancient world that extends from Turkey in the west to Iran in the east (see fig.). Although the term Near East is often synonymous with Middle East, the adjective ‘ancient’ is always attached to Near East, and ‘Ancient Middle East’ never occurs. The term Western Asia is sometimes preferred. The ancient history, arts and architecture of the countries in this area are treated elsewhere in this dictionary under the headings Anatolia, ancient, Syria-Palestine, Mesopotamia and Iran, ancient. Vast though this area is, the cultures and civilizations that flourished in the Ancient Near East from prehistoric times to the early centuries ad often exerted an influence that reached still further. In general, however, peripheral regions, such as Arabia and Afghanistan, are not included in this survey. From the time of the campaigns of Alexander the Great (reg 336–323 bc) to the Islamic conquest in the mid-7th century ...

Article

David Trump

Group of 35 tombs cut in a sandstone bluff overlooking the Filibertu River, 10 km north of Alghero, Sardinia. The village to which they belonged has not been located, but the tombs, excavated in 1907–8 by A. A. Taramelli, shed valuable light on the form and decoration of the houses of the living. There are no radiocarbon dates for the tombs, but they have been dated to the 3rd millennium bc by the archaeological material recovered from them and now held in the Museo Nazionale G. A. Sanna in Sassari. These finds include Neolithic Ozieri and Bell Beaker pottery, a few copper daggers, flint and obsidian arrowheads and a variety of personal ornaments, beads and amulets of stone, bone and shell. The most notable artefacts are some stylized female statuettes in marble. The Ozieri pottery is well made and highly decorated with a variety of designs, of which hatched spirals are the most distinctive. The Bell Beaker pots are bell-shaped vessels of fine, hard-textured red pottery covered with neat, impressed ornament....

Article

Paul G. Bahn

[Roc aux Sorciers]

Site in Vienne, France. It is important for its rock art of the Late Upper Palaeolithic period (c. 20,000–c. 10,000 bp; see also Prehistoric Europe, §II, 1). The rock-shelter of Angles-sur-l’Anglin runs for c. 50 m along the foot of a south-facing cliff, 20 m above the right bank of the Anglin river. Excavations by Dorothy Garrod and Suzanne de Saint-Mathurin in 1952 led to the discovery of some Palaeolithic sculpture dating to c. 14,000 bp. Subsequent investigation revealed that the entire back wall and ceiling of the shelter had originally been sculpted, but that the roof had collapsed and buried them in rubble and sediment. The finds from the site are housed in the Musée des Antiquités Nationales at St Germain-en-Laye, where some of the finest carved blocks from the shelter roof are displayed.

Two areas were cleared by the excavators: in the first, the Cave Taillebourg, a carved bison figure 700 mm in length remained ...

Article

Clay Mathers

District of Málaga, Spain, best known for its megalithic communal tombs of the later 4th millennium and the 3rd millennium bc. Located 2 km east of the town of Antequera and 70 m apart are Cueva de Menga and Cueva de Viera, while Cueva del Romeral lies 2 km to the north-east of these. Each tomb was partly recessed in a rock-cut trench and covered by a large, artificial mound. Cueva de Menga was first noted in 1675 and was excavated by Rafael Mitjana in 1842. It has a parallel-sided passage (8.7×2–3 m) leading to an ovoid chamber (16.25×2.2–5.4×3.2 m). The largest roof slab (6×8 m) weighs c. 170 tonnes. Engraved lines on the underside of the roofing slabs were used to position them accurately above the chamber and passage, and three pillars along the central axis of the chamber served to distribute the enormous weight of the roof. One orthostat in the passage is decorated with engravings of four anthropomorphic figures and a five-pointed star. Cueva de Viera and Cueva del Romeral were discovered by the ...

Article

R. L. N. Barber

[Andiparos; anc. Oliaros]

Small Greek island just to the south-west of Paros, in the Aegean Cyclades. It is the site of a number of finds from the Greek Bronze Age (c. 3600–c. 1100 bc), many of which come from excavations carried out by Tsountas and Bent in the 19th century (e.g. the cemetery of Krassades, which yielded important objects from the Early Cycladic (ec) i period), and in the 20th century by the Greek Archaeological Service. Items found by Bent, including a rare lead figurine, are in the British Museum, London.

The nearby islet of Saliagos is the site of the earliest excavated settlement in the Cyclades, dating to the Final Neolithic period (c. 4000–c. 3500/3000 bc). Among the finds were marble figurines, reflecting both the previous Neolithic tradition of squatting figures (e.g. the ‘Fat Lady of Saliagos’; Paros, Archaeol. Mus.) and a standard ...

Article

Anyang  

Robert W. Bagley

[An-yang]

Chinese city in Henan Province, near the site of the last capital of the Shang dynasty or Yin dynasty, occupied c.1300– c. 1050 bc. The site is sometimes called Yinxu, ‘Waste of Yin’, an ancient name for the abandoned city.

At least as early as the Northern Song period (960–1127) Anyang was known to antiquarians as a source of ancient bronze ritual vessels. At the beginning of the 20th century archaeologists were led there by the realization that animal bones and turtle shells found by local farmers were carved with inscriptions in a form of Chinese script more archaic than any previously known (for a discussion of the oracle-bone texts see China, People’s Republic of, §IV, 2, (i)). The bones had been used in divination rituals; their inscriptions, which showed the divinations to have been performed on behalf of the last nine Shang kings, secured the identification of the Anyang site. According to historical texts of the last few centuries ...

Article

Seton Lloyd

[Arab. ‛Aqarqūf; anc. Dur Kurigalzu]

. Site in Iraq of the ancient capital city of the Kassites, which flourished c. 1400–1157 bc (see also Mesopotamia, §I, 2). The ruins of ancient Dur Kurigalzu are 15 km west of modern Baghdad, at the point where an outcrop of soft limestone marks the northern extremity of the alluvial plain. The eroded core of its Ziggurat (now partly rest.) is visible from the highway leading west to Ramūdī and the desert crossing to Jordan. The mud-brick fabric of its structure is reinforced with deep layers of reed-matting and faced on all sides with kiln-baked brick.

Iraqi excavations at Aqar Quf in 1942–5 under Taha Baqir led to the discovery of a complex of temple buildings at the foot of the ziggurat itself. A Kassite dynasty ruled Babylonia from the 16th century to the 12th century bc, apparently maintaining the ancient civic and religious traditions of Mesopotamia. The architecture of this temple precinct was therefore characteristic of the period (...

Article

D. T. Potts, J. Schmidt, Paolo M. Costa and Alessandro De Maigret

Region in which diverse cultures and civilizations flourished from c. 4500 bc to the rise of Islam in the early 7th century ac. Throughout history the term Arabia has varied according to changing political and cultural conditions. In this article it denotes the Arabian peninsula as far north as the borders of Jordan and Iraq. For regions north of this modern boundary see Syria-Palestine and Mesopotamia.

A supraregional survey is not always possible for the art forms discussed below, either because of distinct regional diversity or because archaeological excavation is more advanced in some parts of the peninsula than in others. In some cases, therefore, this article simply discusses those works of art and architecture that are most noteworthy, either stylistically, technologically or iconographically. Generally, the earliest material considered dates to the latter part of the late prehistoric period, c. 4500–c. 3400 bc. Thereafter there is a range of sites and finds that span the protohistoric (...

Article

E. Sapouna-Sakellarakis

[Arkhanes]

Site in northern Crete 15 km south-east of Herakleion. Occupied in Neolithic times, it flourished in the Minoan period (c. 3500/3000–c. 1500 bc). Arthur Evans was the first to excavate in the area after World War I, and work continued from the early 1960s under the direction of Y. Sakellarakis and E. Sakellarakis, who have investigated three major sites. At Turkogeitonia, in the middle of the modern town, were found the remains of a palace built at the start of the Middle Minoan (mm) ib (c. 1900–c. 1800 bc) and destroyed by earthquake c. 1650 bc. The settlement around the palace can also be dated to c. 1900 bc, as can the construction of the peak sanctuary on nearby Mt Juktas, where numerous clay idols—offerings placed within clefts in the rocks—and evidence of bonfires have been found. Around 1650 bc a new palace, one of the most important in Minoan Crete, was built on top of the old one. Finely cut tufa, marble and schist were among the materials used, and its walls were decorated with frescoes (...

Article

D. Evely

[Arkalokhori]

Minoan sacred cave in central Crete, which flourished c. 1650–c. 1425 bc. Situated 33 km south-east of Herakleion, on the west slope of Profitis Elias, a mountain to the east of the modern village of Arkalochori, it was a cult centre throughout the Minoan era (c. 3500–c. 1100 bc). Excavations by Joseph Hazzidakis (c. 1911), Spiridon Marinatos and Nikolaos Platon (1935) uncovered prolific finds despite previous plundering.

The earliest, scanty remains are ceramic and date from the periods Early Minoan i and ii (c. 3500/3000–c. 2200 bc) and Middle Minoan i (c. 2050–c. 1800 bc). Material from Neo-Palatial times (c. 1650–c. 1425 bc) was also found, but a roof collapse severely curtailed worship thereafter. Low walls may have been constructed to give the cave an architectural focus, but all that survive are a passage and a possible cell. Most of the finds are Neo-Palatial metal ...