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Li Liu


Site in Yi xian (Yi County), Hebei Province, China. The capital of the state of Yan during the middle and later parts of the Warring States period (403–221 bc), Yanxiadu was surveyed and excavated in 1930, 1957–8, 1961–2, 1964–5, 1971 and 1973. The remains of the city are located between the Northern Yi River and Middle Yi River and cover a rough rectangle (c. 8 km east–west by 4 km north–south). The two rivers and two canals outside the eastern and western city walls functioned as a moat. The site is divided into an eastern and a western city, of which the eastern is the principal part. The eastern city is a rough square (c. 4.5 km east–west); three gates were found in its eastern, northern and western walls.

The palace area is in the northern part of the eastern city, and here four large rammed-earth foundations on earthen mounds were found: Wuyangtai, Wangjingtai, Zhanggongtai and Laomutai. Of these, Wuyangtai is the largest (...


R. Suleymanov


Site in Uzbekistan, on the lower Kashka River, which flourished from the 8th century bc to the 7th century ad. The site has been identified as the ancient capital of the Naksheba region in southern Sogdiana. Excavations by the Institute of Archaeology (Academy of Sciences), Uzbekistan, uncovered an area of c. 150 ha, bounded by an inner and outer set of fortifications. The asymmetrical inner city wall had five sides with numerous bastions, and survived to a height of 8 m. Initially constructed in the 6th century bc, it was rebuilt several times. Less of the later outer wall survives. Excavated buildings within the walls were all constructed of mud-brick and beaten clay. A large temple complex in the centre of the inner city comprised two buildings, which contained numerous traces of a fire cult. Fragments of polychrome figural wall paintings and painted clay sculpture ( see Central Asia §I 3., (iii), (a)...


David Stronach

[Pers. Yārīm Tappa]

Site in the fertile Gurgan plain of north-eastern Iran, 125 km east of the Caspian Sea. The mound is 20 m high, but it is now reduced to little more than half its original size (diam. 180 m) by river erosion and is distinguished by its tall cliff-like southern face. It was this exposed section that indicated that Yarim Tepe could well expand what was known of the long history of settlement in north-eastern Iran, from the 6th millennium bc to the early centuries ad (see Iran, ancient §I 2., (i) ). The site was excavated by Stronach in 1960 and 1962, and most of the finds are in the Archaeological Museum in Tehran.

The sequence begins with the establishment of an Early Chalcolithic settlement (Yarim I) in the late 6th millennium bc. The pottery is straw-tempered, slipped and painted. After a gap of almost 1500 years (during which there is just enough evidence from the vicinity to indicate a local use of finely painted, grit-tempered ...


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 south-east of Dushanbe, Tajikistan. During the Kushana or post-Kushana period (3rd century ad 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 centre of the site (380×200 m). The site was excavated in 1963–5 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 bc to the 4th–mid-5th century ad. 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 ...



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....



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....


V. A. Zav’yalov

Site in southern Uzbekistan, 14 km north-west 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 bc–4th century ad). It was subject to the Sasanians c. ad 360–80, 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 1951–2 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 south-west 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 bc ) capitals, Feng and Hao, south-west of the city of Xi’an. The Western Zhou remains at Zhangjiapo were excavated in 1956–7, 1967, 1979–81 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 artefacts. 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 (...


Bent Nielsen

[Chuang-pai ; Chuang-po]

Site on the border of Fufeng County and Qishan County in Shaanxi Province, China. It is one of the main centres of bronze finds from the Zhou period (c. 1050–256 bc ) in Shaanxi; many of the finds bear Shang (c. 1600–c. 1050 bc) motifs or are forms characteristic of the Shang period. In 1976 a storage pit dating from the Western Zhou period (c. 1050–771 bc ) 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, 21 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 pan dish known as the Shi Qiang ...


J. D. Hawkins

[anc. Sam’al]

Site of an ancient city in southern Turkey, which flourished in the 9th–7th centuries bc. It lay at the eastern end of the Amanus Gates pass and consisted of a central citadel mound and flat lower town in the plain, surrounded by a circular double wall pierced by three gates. Many sculptures and inscriptions, both native (in Aramaic and Phoenician alphabets) and Assyrian (in cuneiform), were recovered from the site. Uniquely, the native inscriptions are in relief rather than incised, doubtless in imitation of Hittite hieroglyphic inscriptions, and Hittite art also influenced the style of the sculptures. The site was excavated by F. von Luschan in five seasons between 1888 and 1902. The finds, especially sculpture, were shared between the Pergamonmuseum in Berlin and the Archaeological Museum, Istanbul.

The South City Gate was badly destroyed but had some associated orthostats showing human and animal figures, including fabulous beasts. These were crudely executed in the earliest local style. Apart from this, sculpture was concentrated in the walled citadel. Particularly well preserved was the Outer Citadel Gate, with most of its 33 carved orthostats ...



M. F. Charlesworth

[Pers. Zīviyya]

Site in Iranian Kurdistan, 33 km east of Saqqiz, where a collection of gold, silver, ivory and other objects, probably mostly of the 8th century bc, was discovered in 1947. The first study of this ‘Ziwiyeh Treasure’ was published by André Godard in 1951, but for nearly 30 years Ziwiyeh was mostly left to the mercy of commercial diggers and antique dealers. The number of objects attributed to the treasure in collections around the world has gradually grown; in 1973 Roman Ghirshman listed 341 objects in the Tehran Archaeological Museum alone. Many objects are undoubtedly forgeries, and others, although genuine antiquities, were discovered elsewhere but attributed to Ziwiyeh in order to enhance their commercial value. This led to criticism (see Muscarella) of the uncritical acceptance by academics of objects attributed to Ziwiyeh.

Before 1976 Ziwiyeh was briefly surveyed and excavated by Robert Dyson, Cuyler Young and Stuart Swiny. During 1976–8...


Susan Langdon

[now Ayios Vasilios]

Site of an Early and Late Bronze Age town in the Corinthia of southern Greece, midway between Argos and Corinth. Excavations at the Zygouries Hill in the Kleonai Valley were conducted by Carl Blegen in 1921–2 for the American School of Classical Studies, revealing an important sequence of Bronze Age settlements. The Early Helladic (eh) phase (c. 3600/3000–c. 2050 bc) was the most abundantly represented, with at least ten houses of mud-brick on stone socle construction arranged close together on narrow streets. The rectangular, flat-roofed, two- and three-roomed structures with fixed central hearths provided one of the first definitive examples of Early Bronze Age domestic architecture. Contemporary graves yielded a broad variety of eh pottery, small gold, silver and bronze ornaments, numerous figurines and stone tools. Like its neighbours Tiryns, Asine, Lerna and Ayios Kosmas, Zygouries suffered a severe destruction at the end of ...