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John Baines, Morris Bierbrier, Peter Lacovara and Jaromir Malek

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Helen M. Strudwick, Claude Vandersleyen, Dimitris Plantzos, William A. Ward, William H. Peck, Dominic Montserrat, John Baines, Gay Robins, J. Ruffle, Lise Manniche, Rosemarie Klemm, Jean-Luc Chappaz, Joachim Śliwa, Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, Ann Bomann, R. G. Morkot, Peter Lacovara, Delia Pemberton, Rita E. Freed, Philip J. Watson, Robert S. Bianchi, Henry G. Fischer, Jaromir Malek, S. Curto, Nadine Cherpion, James F. Romano, Karol Mysliwiec, Richard A. Fazzini, Edna R. Russmann, Eleni Vassilika, updated by Dimitris Plantzos, Edda Bresciani, Claude Traunecker, T. G. H. James, W. J. Tait, J. H. Taylor, Dorothea Arnold, Jack Ogden, Jean Vercoutter, Carol Andrews, Donald P. Ryan, E. Finkenstaedt, Paul T. Nicholson, Rosemarie Drenkhahn, Willemina Z. Wendrich, Robert Anderson, Barbara G. Aston and Morris Bierbrier

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Helen M. Strudwick, Claude Vandersleyen, Dimitris Plantzos, William A. Ward, William H. Peck, Dominic Montserrat, John Baines, Gay Robins, J. Ruffle, Lise Manniche, Rosemarie Klemm, Jean-Luc Chappaz, Joachim Śliwa, Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, Ann Bomann, R. G. Morkot, Peter Lacovara, Delia Pemberton, Rita E. Freed, Philip J. Watson, Robert S. Bianchi, Henry G. Fischer, Jaromir Malek, S. Curto, Nadine Cherpion, James F. Romano, Karol Mysliwiec, Richard A. Fazzini, Edna R. Russmann, Eleni Vassilika, updated by Dimitris Plantzos, Edda Bresciani, Claude Traunecker, T. G. H. James, W. J. Tait, J. H. Taylor, Dorothea Arnold, Jack Ogden, Jean Vercoutter, Carol Andrews, Donald P. Ryan, E. Finkenstaedt, Paul T. Nicholson, Rosemarie Drenkhahn, Willemina Z. Wendrich, Robert Anderson, Barbara G. Aston and Morris Bierbrier

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Eleni Vassilika

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Li Liu

[Yen-hsia-tu]

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 (...

Article

R. Suleymanov

[Yer]

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)...

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Yavan  

Ye. V. Zeymal’

[Garav-kala]

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Bonnie Abiko

Period in Japanese archaeological and cultural chronology, c. 300 bcc. ad 300. The Japanese have traditionally traced the origins of their social structure, native religion and aesthetics to this period ( see Japan §I 2. ). The term Yayoi also denotes a type of unglazed pottery, typically long-necked jars and pedestalled bowls, first unearthed in the late 19th century at a site of that name near Tokyo. Yayoi pottery, with its distinctively clean lines and proportional harmony ( see Japan §IX 2., (i), (b) ), differs markedly from the hand-wrought, flamboyantly contoured and imaginatively conceived shapes of vessels from the preceding Jōmon period (c. 10,000–c. 300 bc), and is evidence of new and superior technology. The Yayoi period is sometimes divided into Early (c. 300–c. 100 bc), Middle (c. 100 bcc. ad 100) and Late (c. ad 100–c...

Article

Martin J. Powers

[I-nan]

County in south-central Shandong Province, China, where a large Han-period (206 bcad 220) 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 grey 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 artefacts of consequence....

Article

Yotkan  

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....

Article

Yungang  

Margaret Chung

[Yün-kang]

Chinese Buddhist cave temple complex 16 km west of Datong, Shanxi Province. The complex, consisting of more than 40 caves and innumerable niches containing Buddhist images, was hollowed from the sandstone cliffs of the Wuzhou Mountains during the 5th century ad 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 20 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 ( ad 310–589), adopted Buddhism as its state religion. Work was begun at Yungang by the emperor ...

Article

Zapotec  

John Paddock

Pre-Columbian people and stylistic tradition in the Oaxaca region of Mexico. These people’s name for themselves was Peni-Zaa (‘real people’), but the term Zapotec (‘people of the sweet fruit’) is an Aztec improvisation based on the rough phonetic similarity of zaa and Aztec tsa. There is no simple Zapotec art style, rather an orderly uninterrupted sequence of styles stretching from c. 500 bc to c. ad 800. After 600 bc culture was centred around the hilltop city of Monte Albán. The Zapotec and Mixtec peoples are still the most numerous of the Indian peoples in Oaxaca: the Zapotecs dominate the eastern portion of the state, the Mixtecs the western. Linguistic research, however, suggests that Zapotec inhabitants of the region could date back to c. 4500 bc.

From 1931 the Mexican scholar Alfonso Caso began exploring Monte Albán and the Oaxaca Valley; his work remains a primary source for the study of Zapotec–Mixtec culture. The centuries of isolation essential to a rare case of homogeneous development like that of the Zapotec people of Monte Albán were favoured by topography: range after range of mountains on every side made communication with the central valleys of Oaxaca, at whose confluence Monte Albán rises, laborious and slow. Settled agricultural villages appeared in the valleys, as elsewhere in Mesoamerica, by about ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Diane Harris

( fl mid-1st century ad ).

Greek bronze sculptor, active in Rome and Gaul . His name (‘foreign gift’) suggests that he may have been born in Massalia (Marseille), Asia Minor, Egypt or Syria, and according to Pliny (Natural History XXXIV.xviii.46) he was the foremost sculptor of colossal statues of the 1st century ad. From ad 54 to 64 Zenodoros worked in Arvernis, Gaul, making a bronze statue of Mercury, for which he was paid 40 million sesterces. Nero commissioned him to make a colossal imperial portrait c. 36 m high, which was placed in his palace, the Domus Aurea in Rome (Pliny: XXXIV.xviii.45–6; Suetonius: Nero xxxi). During the reign of Vespasian ( ad 69–79) it was converted into a statue of the Sun god, Sol (Aelius Spartianicus: Hadrian XIX.xii; Herodian: I.xv.9; Pliny: XXXIV.xviii.45). A replica of the Mercury was known in Corinth in antiquity (Pausanias: Guide to Greece II.iii.4) and several extant copies may reflect the original appearance of the statue. The colossal statue of ...

Article

Zhong Hong

Archaeological site at the city centre of Changsha, capital of Hunan Province in southern China. From this site an astonishing quantity of documents belonging to the Kingdom of Wu ( ad 222–280) was unearthed in 1996.

Covering the south and southeast China, the Kingdom of Wu was one of the three kingdoms in a period of division immediately following the fall of the Han dynasty. Also known as Dongwu (the Eastern Wu) period in Chinese history, Wu was immortalized for its rivalry with other kingdoms in the Ming dynasty novel Sanguo yanyi (‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’). Outside of the legends, however, little was known about Wu due to the fact that historical documentation surviving from this period was scarce. This situation changed after the 1996 excavation at Changsha, a key city of Wu, where archaeologists uncovered 57 storage wells in the Zoumalou construction site. Thousands of items made of bronze, steel, iron, ceramics, wood and bamboo were unearthed. The most surprising discovery was from a single well containing a hoard of about 170,000 intact slips and fragments, inscribed and dated to the Eastern Wu period, with an estimated text of over 3 million characters....