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Elizabeth L. Meyers

Site of an ancient Egyptian animal necropolis on the west bank of the Nile, immediately to the north of Armant, about 15 km south of Luxor. From the 30th Dynasty (380–343 bc) until ad 340, the Bucheum was the burial site of the Buchis (Egyp. bekh) bulls, sacred to the war-god Montu. The site was discovered by Robert Mond in 1927.

The burial preparations of the Buchis bulls differ in several ways from those of the Apis bulls at the Saqqara Serapeum (see Saqqara). Judging from the excavated remains of the Buchis bulls and the documentary evidence provided by the Vienna Papyrus (Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.), their viscera were not removed. Whereas the burial chambers at the Serapeum were elaborate and carved from the living rock, those in the Bucheum were built structures, varying greatly both in architectural size and in quantity of burial equipment (only a few of them incorporating a sarcophagus). As at the Serapeum, records were kept of the dates of birth and death of the sacred bulls. Just as the Apis bulls were identified by particular markings, the Buchis bulls were credited with the ability to accomplish hourly changes in the colour of their hides (which are supposed to have grown in the opposite direction to those of normal bulls, according to the Classical writer Macrobius)....


N. N. Negmatov


Site near the town of Shakhristan (Shahristan) in northern Tajikistan. Capital of the medieval state of Ustrushana, which occupied the region between the Syr River and the Hisar Range from Samarkand to Khodzhent, Bundzhikat was described in 10th to 12th-century sources as a large and densely populated town in a beautiful location with plenty of water and gardens. The city proper was surrounded by a special wall with two gates, while the nearby citadel had its own fortifications and the suburb its own wall with four gates. All three parts of the city, as well as the country palaces, houses, gardens and vineyards, were surrounded by an enceinte. Among the largest buildings were the central mosque in the city, the prison in the citadel and the king’s palace in the suburb. The town got its water from the small Sarin River and six canals leading from it, along which there were over ten mills....



Lorraine Copeland


Site of an ancient Near Eastern Neolithic village, occupied mainly between 6400 and 5900 bc, located on a terrace overlooking the River Euphrates near Dayr al-Zawr in north-eastern Syria. At this site (2.7 ha in area) the transition from Aceramic to Ceramic Neolithic was exhibited in an area midway between the Levant and northern Iraq cultural zones. There were soundings in 1965 by H. de Contenson and J. W. van Liere, and the site was jointly excavated in 1976–8 by the Universities of Amsterdam and Groningen. Finds are in the National Museum in Damascus and in the Dayr al-Zawr Museum.

The inhabitants of Buqras, of whom there were probably between 600 and 1000, were fully agricultural, with domesticated animals and plants. Even though the village was located beyond the limits of rain-fed agriculture, their economic resources enabled them to ornament house and person and to experiment with ceramic technology. Excavations revealed that the later building phases comprised orderly, rectangular, mud-brick detached dwellings set in parallel rows along streets or in blocks around courtyards. Most were divided into nine small oblong or square rooms, up to ...



T. F. C. Blagg

[It. Butrinto; anc. Gr. Bouthroton; Lat. Buthrotum]

Site in southern Albania, set on a hill beside a coastal lagoon connected to the sea by a natural channel. The city flourished in Greek, Roman, and Byzantine times. Excavation and display of its extensive and deserted remains, begun by the Italians in 1928, have been continued by Albanian archaeologists; finds are displayed in the site museum (renovated 1988) and in the National Historical Museum, Tiranë. It was probably a colony of Kerkyra (Corfu), from which its site is visible. Earliest occupation on the hilltop is shown by Corinthian pottery of the 7th–6th centuries bc and a wall of polygonal masonry, rebuilt in the 5th century bc. By the following century the expanding city required new walls, which survive up to 9 m high and include the Lion Gate, named after the Archaic relief reused as its lintel (6th century bc). Butrint became a centre for the surrounding Epirot people, the ...



David M. Jones

Site in the USA in East St Louis, IL, of a huge Pre-Columbian city. Founded c. ad 700, it was the largest prehistoric city ever built north of Mexico and was probably influenced by political and civic ideas from Mesoamerica, Pre-Columbian. At its height, between c. ad 1050 and c. 1250, Cahokia encompassed c. 13 sq. km and had a population of c. 10–15,000. Although located in the north-west part of the middle Mississippi Southern Cult area, it was the political, economic and religious centre for more than 50 towns (see Native North American art, §I, 4, (v)). The exact nature of its power or rule, however, is uncertain. A potential rival in the south-east of the cult area was Moundville, AL, nearly as large. Cahokia began to decline after c. 1250, although some of its satellite towns, at such sites as Angel, Aztatlan, Dickson and Kinkaid, continued to flourish as local centres. A drastic population decline ...


David M. Jones

Site of the Pre-Columbian Maya culture in Campeche, Mexico. It was the largest and most populous Maya city ever built and is notable for the number of stelae and monoliths erected by its ancient inhabitants. It was occupied from the Middle Pre-Classic period (c. 1000–c. 300 bc) onwards and flourished in the Late Classic period (c. ad 600–c. 900) as one of several powerful Maya states. Some of its carved stelae, columns and figures are in the Museo Arqueológico, Etnográfico e Histórico del Estado, Campeche.

Calakmul was rediscovered in 1931 by C. L. Lundell and studied by various scholars, including Sylvanus Morley and Karl Ruppert in the 1930s and 1940s. Since the late 1970s, William Folan and numerous Mexican scholars have mapped some 6500 structures at the site and determined that the ancient city covered c. 30 sq. km. Regional analysis shows that Calakmul was the centre of an independent political sphere, possibly with a certain deference paid to the Maya city of ...


David M. Jones and Jaime Litvak King

Site in the Toluca Valley, Mexico. It was the capital and principal ceremonial centre of the Matlazinca people. The name derives from calli (Náhuatl: house) and ixtlahuaca (field or plain), thus ‘Place of houses on the plain’. Calixtlahuaca is one of the few Matlazinca sites known with substantial remains, and its architectural ruins, scattered on the hillside between the modern villages of Calixtlahuaca and Tecaxic, combine elements from central and northern Mesoamerica. Most of the site lies beneath the villages or the fields between the villages. Surface survey and excavations were carried out between 1930 and 1938 by José García Payón.

Calixtlahuaca was occupied between c. 1700 bc and ad 1510, when it was destroyed by Aztec forces. After the Spanish Conquest, Matlazinca survivors returned and established the two villages. Occupation has been divided by archaeologists into five periods: from c. 1700 bcc. 200 bc, Pre-Classic remains represented by figurines and traces of terrace walls; from ...



Michael Morris

[Lat. Calvaria: ‘skull’; Aramaic Golgotha]

Site in Jerusalem where the crucifixion of Christ took place and name given to representations of that event. It is identified as the Place of the Skull in the New Testament Gospels and was at that time located outside the city walls, not far from a gate and near a road, a garden and at least one tomb. These landmarks of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection have been revered by Christians since at least the 4th century, when Emperor Constantine the Great excavated the area and erected on top of it the basilican church of the Holy Sepulchre (c. 325–36; see Jerusalem, §II, 2). The rock of Calvary, originally 4 m high, was cut and reshaped to serve in the basilica as a pedestal for a great jewelled cross placed on top of it. Calvary’s elevation does not appear in the earliest depictions of Christ’s crucifixion, but it gradually develops in art, for example in the ...


David French

[now Alaçatı]

Site dating from the 7th millennium bc, about 13 km east-north-east of Karaman, Turkey. Can Hasan lies on the border of the Konya basin at the northern foot of the Taurus Mountains. One of the two main mountain crossings providing access between the Mediterranean coast and the Anatolian plateau descends to the Konya plain at Karaman. There are three mounds at Can Hasan: the first and largest, Can Hasan I, has been dated by radiocarbon analysis to the 6th–4th millennium bc; Can Hasan II, from the evidence of coins and potsherds, belongs to the Hellenistic, Roman and early Byzantine periods; Can Hasan III has been dated by radiocarbon analysis to the 7th millennium bc. Can Hasan I was excavated by David French in 1961–7 and Can Hasan III in 1969–70. Finds are in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara and in the Archaeological Museum, Karanan.

Can Hasan I (...



Arlen F. Chase and Diane Z. Chase

Site of one of the largest Pre-Columbian Maya cities, on the eastern edge of the Maya mountains in the Vaca Plateau, Belize. It was occupied from c. 300 bc to ad 1250 and remained active during the Maya hiatus of c. ad 550–650. Although some distance from water, it had easy access to resources in the Maya mountains. Caracol was discovered in 1938 and first explored by Linton Satterthwaite (University of Pennsylvania) and A. Hamilton Anderson (first archaeological commissioner of Belize) in the 1950s. The central part of the site was mapped, several buildings and tombs were excavated, and a series of carved stone monuments was discovered. The iconography of the monuments indicates that Caracol developed a distinct regional style during the Early Classic period (c. ad 250–c. 600); this style was subsequently adopted in much of the Maya region. A. F. Chase and D. Z. Chase have documented the dominance of Caracol during the so-called Maya hiatus of ...


J. D. Hawkins

[Lat. Europus; now Jerabis, Jerablus]

Site in Turkey on the west bank of the River Euphrates, now on the Turkish-Syrian border. This ancient city is extensively attested in cuneiform records from the mid-3rd to mid-1st millennia bc and mentioned in New Kingdom Egyptian records, c. 1500–1200 bc, and in the Old Testament. It is the source of indigenous sculpture and associated hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions dating c. 1000–700 bc. Excavations commissioned by the British Museum (1878–81) recovered some inscribed sculptures. Regular excavations under C. L. Woolley (1911–14 and 1920) were broken off by war, and latterly the establishment of the Turkish–Syrian frontier immediately to the south of the site has precluded further excavation. Finds are in the British Museum in London and in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.

Carchemish has produced evidence of occupation stretching back to the Chalcolithic period (c. 5300 bc) and has a long recorded history. First attested in the Ebla archives ...


Susan Pinto Madigan

[Tsaritsin Grad, Tzaritchingrad; LatJustiniana Prima]

Site of an early Byzantine city located 30 km south-west of Leskovac in Serbia. The name means ‘the emperor’s fortress’, and it can almost certainly be identified with Justiniana Prima, which, according to Prokopios (b c. ad 500), Justinian I founded c. ad 525–50 in honour of his birthplace, Tauresium. The site occupies a high plateau between the rivers Svinjarica to the west and Caričina to the east; an aqueduct also brought water from the Petrova Gora, 17 km to the south, and entered the city at the south-west corner. Fortifications strengthened with towers and wide ditches surround the city (c. 500 m north–south by c. 215 m east–west), which is divided into two parts: an upper city area that contains a polygonal acropolis and a lower city to the south-east. Excavations, first undertaken in 1912 and continued from the 1940s, have shown that the city was destroyed within a century of its foundation, probably by the Avaro-Slavs, but it was briefly revived in the 9th and 10th centuries. Many of the finds are in the National Museum at Leskovac....


A. F. Harding

Site of an Early Bronze Age settlement and cemetery in south-east Sicily, near the modern village of the same name some 25 km inland from Noto, and the typesite of the Castelluccio culture. The remains of a prehistoric settlement with rich rubbish pits was found on a high spur of land running north–south. Cut into the nearby hillsides are numerous rock-cut tombs, often less than 1 m in diameter, some of which have a small antechamber. In some cases the façades have pillars carved out of the rock flanking the doors. The doorways were closed with dry-stone walling or stone slabs, some of the latter being decorated with relief designs, mainly spirals. These represent the only stone-carving known from Bronze Age Sicily and are reminiscent of the rather earlier relief slabs found in Maltese temples. Cemeteries with tombs of this type are found over much of south-eastern Sicily, and in some cases there are settlement sites near by. Less elaborate rock-cut tombs of the same age are found also in central-southern Sicily....


C. A. Burney

[Hayatsor; Asbaşin Kalesi]

Site in the valley of the River Hoşap, south-east of Lake Van in eastern Turkey. It has an impressive Urartian fortress of the 8th–7th centuries bc, comprising two citadels and intermediate structures extending for about 750 m along a narrow rock ridge (see Urartian). The site has been extensively excavated by Turkish archaeologists since 1961, and finds are in Van Museum.

A cuneiform inscription on the temple in the main (south-western) citadel dates its foundation to the Urartian king Sarduri II (reg 764–734 bc). The temple was dedicated to the god Irmusi and has the standard Urartian square, temple-tower plan with a small cella (4.5 m square). Its interior was painted, at least partly, in blue. Two basalt courses, slightly stepped in, supported the mud-brick superstructure, giving a typical batter to the walls, which had shallow corner buttresses. Iron spearheads, found in a passage along the north side, may have crowned the roof. A long, partly rock-cut street leads west along the ridge to the palace. The roof of the main hall of the palace was supported by piers with bases cut out of the rock. The kitchen lay to the west and another room to the east, perhaps a harem, in which bracelets were found. Staircases led to an upper storey. The outer sides of east–west corridors on either side of the hall were occupied by storerooms. There were three rock-cut, masonry-lined cisterns. The citadel was soon extended to the north-east in an area known as ...


Alasdair Whittle

Site of prehistoric cemetery of the late 6th–early 5th millennium bc in eastern Romania. It is significant for the range of Late Neolithic artefacts it has yielded, especially two notable fired clay figurines. Cernavoda is in the lower Danube Valley on the western side of the Dobrogea region, south of the Danube Delta. The cemetery was excavated in 1957 by Dimitri Berciu, and the material recovered is held by the Museum of Antiquities in Bucharest. The cemetery belongs to the Hamangia culture, named after a site in the north of the Dobrogea region. The status of this culture is unclear; it may represent an expansion of agricultural populations or a fusion with indigenous communities. Separate from contemporary settlements there are cemeteries, of which Cernavoda, with up to 400 graves, is the largest known; some of the artefacts found there are demonstrably different from material from the settlements. Men and women were buried in an extended position in shallow earth-cut graves. They were usually accompanied by a fine black burnished pot—rather different from the fine shell-impressed bowls and dishes found in settlements—and often by beads of stone and ...


John Curtis

Site in north-east Syria occupied intermittently from the 6th millennium bc to the middle of the 2nd millennium bc. Chagar Bazar is situated in the rich agricultural land of the Khabur basin and was excavated by Sir Max Mallowan between 1935 and 1937. It is a large mound measuring at the base roughly 500×300 m. It has been heavily eroded but is still 21 m high. Finds are in the National Museum in Aleppo and in the British Museum in London.

A sounding over 15 m deep showed that early occupation was mainly in the Halaf period, from the later 6th millennium bc to about the mid-5th millennium bc. Much beautifully painted Halaf pottery was found, together with a few small objects including a copper bead, significant as an early example of metalwork. After the Halaf period Chagar Bazar was largely abandoned until about 3000 bc; the next archaeological levels are characterized by painted and incised pottery of the so-called Ninevite 5 type. Two lozenge-shaped clay bullae covered with seal impressions have been found in Early Dynastic and Akkadian levels (...


Yu. P. Kalashnik

[now Khersmes]

Site on the south-west of the Crimean peninsula, near Sevastopol’. Its position on the Black Sea trade routes determined its commercial importance. It was founded by the people of Herakleia Pontica jointly with the Delians c. 422/421 bc and became an important state in the 4th and 3rd centuries bc after assimilating the fertile lands of north-west Crimea. From the 3rd century bc, however, the expansion of the Scythian kingdom led to the contraction of the city’s territory. In the first centuries ad Chersonesos lost its independence, becoming subordinate to the neighbouring kingdom of the Bosporus and the administration of the Roman province of Lower Moesia; a garrison of Roman troops was stationed in the city. In the late 4th century ad Chersonesos became part of the Byzantine empire, and from the late 10th century it played an important part in the spread of Christianity in Kievan Russia. In the 13th century the city was destroyed by enemy attack....


Jeff Karl Kowalski

Site of Pre-Columbian Maya and Toltec city in the Yucatán peninsula, Mexico. It flourished during the Post-Classic period (c. ad 900–1521). Chichén Itzá (‘mouth of the well of the Itzá’) is named after its ‘Sacred Cenote’, a natural limestone sinkhole that served as a focus for pilgrimages and sacrificial offerings. Close artistic correspondences between Chichén Itzá and Tula in Hidalgo have suggested that the Central-Highland Mesoamericans invaded Yucatán and forced the local Maya to construct buildings and carve sculptures featuring their own forms and motifs. Central Mexican architectural elements include colonnaded structures, serpent columns, and balustrades, and walls with sloping base sections (see Mesoamerica, Pre-Columbian, §III). Sculptures show a preference for serial group arrangements and narrative compositions. Warrior figures with ‘pillbox’ headdresses, butterfly pectorals, and atlatls (spearthrowers) are prominent, along with depictions of warrior animal totems (jaguars and eagles), chacmools (reclining offertory figures), and Central Mexican gods such as Tezcatlipoca and Tlalchitonatiuh (...


Helene J. Kantor

[Pers. Chughā Mīsh]

Site near modern Dezful in south-west Iran, in the ancient province of Susiana. Chogha Mish, which developed from a small village into a large settlement of some 16 ha in the 5th millennium BC (see Iran, ancient, especially §I, 2(i)(c)), was occupied from c. 6000 bc. It was excavated between 1961 and 1978 by Delougaz and Kantor. The main occupation was prehistoric and protohistoric (c. 6000–3400 bc), with intermittent later occupation in the Old Elamite (c. 1800 bc), Achaemenid Persian (c. 600–400 bc) and late Parthian (c. ad 1–300) periods. The most outstanding finds are in the Archaeological Museum in Tehran; other finds are in the Oriental Institute Museum of the University of Chicago, IL.

The excavations at Chogha Mish have added an Archaic Susiana stage to the known prehistoric sequence for the province; it can be divided into three phases by distinctive styles of painted ...



Henrik H. Sørensen

[’phyongs rgyas; Qonggyai]

Site at the north-eastern end of the Chongye Valley south of the town of Tsetang (Zêtang) on the southern bank of the Tsangpo River (Yarlung Zangbo) in south-east Tibet. It is the setting for the royal tombs of the Yarlung dynasty (mid-7th century adc. 9th century).

Estimates of the number of tombs vary between ten and thirteen. Buried on this site were Songtsen Gampo (reg c. 620–49), Mangsong Mangtsen (reg 649–76), Tride Tsugten (reg 704–55), Trisong Detsen (reg 755–c. 794), Mune Tsenpo (reg 797–800), Tride Songtsen (reg c. 800–15), Ralpachen (reg 815–36), Langdarma (reg 836–42), Ö Sung (843–905), Lhe bön (d 739) and Chögyi Gyalpo. Trisong Detsen’s tomb lies away from the other tumuli behind a low ridge to the north. The tombs consist of massive mounds of earth. Songtsen Gampo’s and Mangsong Mangtsen’s are huge: the former, which dominates the site, rises to a height of more than 15 m and has rectangular sides measuring 250×70 m. The other tumuli are considerably smaller, although Ralpachen’s tomb is also on an impressive scale. None of the tombs has been fully excavated, but a reconstruction of ...