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Ugarit  

Annie Caubet

[Ougarit; now Ras Shamra]

Canaanite city on the Mediterranean coast of Syria, 11 km north of Latakia, which flourished in the 2nd millennium bc. The tell of Ras Shamra rises 20 m above a fertile plain bounded to the east by the Jabal al-Nusaytiyya Mountains and to the north by the Jabal Akra (the Mount Cassius of the Ancients, or Mount Sapun of the Ugarit texts). The plain is watered by a large number of wadis, the mouths of which form well-sheltered bays. The site of ancient Ugarit was discovered by chance in 1929. A French archaeological expedition under the direction of Claude Schaeffer first explored the harbour area of Minet el Beida and later the tell, 1 km inland at Ras Shamra. Exploration has continued at Ras Shamra and, from 1974, at a neighbouring site on the Ibn Hani headland. Large sections of the town (which covered 30 ha) were excavated, enabling much of its plan to be reconstructed, including the layout of a sprawling palace and several temples. Many votive stelae have been found, and Ugarit’s workshops produced a variety of artefacts, such as bronze figurines, ivories, faience objects, jewellery and metal vessels. Foreign goods from Mesopotamia, inland Syria, the Aegean, Cyprus and Egypt were traded through the neighbouring port of Minet el Beida, and many have been found in the city’s vaulted tombs. Finds are mostly in the National Museum in Damascus and in the Louvre in Paris....

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Early Islamic palace in Iraq, located in the desert on the Wadi‛Ubayd almost 200 km south of Baghdad. The ruins of this fortified palace provide important evidence for Islamic architecture and its decoration in the late 8th century ad. The site, known to several 18th-century travellers, was rediscovered by L. Massignon in 1908 and quickly visited and studied by Bell, Reuther and others, who dated it to the Sasanian (ad 226–645) or early Islamic (7th century ad) period. Creswell (1932–40) circumstantially identified it as the palace of ‛Isa ibn Musa (d 783/4), a powerful member of the ruling Abbasid family, but Caskel later argued that it was the palace of ‛Isa ibn ‛Ali and dated it ad 762. The outer enclosure (175×169 m) is built of slabs of limestone rubble set in heavy mortar. Its walls, which once had a parapet, were originally about 19 m high. A round tower marks each corner, with half-round towers spaced regularly between. A gate in the centre of each side is flanked by quarter-round towers, except on the north, where the main entrance is expanded with a projecting block. The north entrance leads to the palace proper (112×82 m), which is adjacent to the outer enclosure on the north. The palace consists of an entrance complex, with a small mosque to its right, a large open court with engaged pilasters, a great vaulted iwan leading to a square hall and flanking apartments. On either side of this central tract are two self-contained residential units arranged around smaller courts. Excavations by the Iraqi Department of Antiquities in ...

Article

Susan T. Goodman

(b Tel Aviv, 1939).

Israeli sculptor, painter, draughtsman, printmaker and conceptual artist. He studied at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem and in 1965 at Central School for Arts and Crafts in London. After painting abstract pictures in an expressionist technique he began to make etchings and (from the early 1970s) drawings. He also became involved in land art and conceptual art projects, some of them politically oriented, such as the Messer-Metzer Project in 1972, which involved an exchange of earth between an Arab village and an Israeli kibbutz. On some of these projects he collaborated with other artists, among them Moshe Gershuni and Avital Geva.

From 1978 Ullman evoked graves, archaeological excavations or trenches both in drawings and in sculptures in earth such as Lot’s Wife (1984), a six-foot deep pit dug in Har Sedom, Israel. As Israel’s representative at the Venice Biennale in 1980 he showed a large work, the ...

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Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

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Umayyad  

Robert Hillenbrand, Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Islamic dynasty of rulers and patrons descended from the Meccan clan of Umayya. One branch ruled from Syria from ad 661 to 750; following their defeat by the Abbasids, the surviving Umayyad founded another branch that ruled in Spain from 756 to 1031.

The founder of the dynasty, Mu‛awiya (reg ad 661–80), had been governor of Syria for two decades before he seized power following the death of ‛Ali ibn Abi Talib (reg 656–61), the Prophet’s cousin, son-in-law, and fourth caliph. Under Umayyad rule the early Muslim conquests were consolidated and expanded, so that Islam found its furthest initial borders from central France to India and the borders of China. The Umayyads ensured that a distinctively Arab and Islamic culture spread throughout this vast empire, the internal frontiers of which gradually melted away. This political and, by degrees, cultural unity encouraged the large-scale movement of people and goods, including sea trade across the Indian Ocean. Arabic displaced Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Pahlavi as the language of the bureaucracy, court, ruling élite, and religious establishment. Arab descent was vaunted and secured preferential treatment in fiscal matters, military pensions, and land allocation. This racial pride, coupled with their espousal of the spectacularly victorious Islamic faith, made the Umayyads largely impervious to the blandishments of the Christianized Classical culture of the Mediterranean world and the millennial Near Eastern culture of Sasanian Iran, both of which were supplanted. Such independence was symbolized by the choice of Damascus (...

Article

Robert C. Henrickson

[Umm Dabaghiyah]

Prehistoric site in the Jazira in northern Iraq, c. 100 km south-west of Mosul. Umm Dabaghiya was a specialized settlement and trading post that flourished c. 6200–c. 5750 bc and is an early ceramic site with distinctive architectural features. Many of the finest objects from the site are now to be found in the Iraq Museum, Baghdad. Diana Kirkbride conducted four seasons of excavation (1971–4), clearing a large area (c. 3000 sq. m). Periods of abandonment separated the four levels of occupation (IV–I). In the better-preserved earlier levels (IV–III) three blocks of double or triple rows of small, well-built, rectilinear compartments (each c. 1.5×2.0 m) defined three sides of a large open area. Their size and lack of household features indicate they were used for storage; the overall layout suggests a planned construction. Beyond these were small, irregular one- to three-roomed houses. Exterior ovens opened into the interior for hearths that had chimneys. Plastered steps and toeholds in the upper walls and the absence of doorways suggest that entry was from the roof. Some of the white-plastered interiors, especially in levels IV–III, had painted bands around the floor and naturalistic frescoes on the walls, one of which seems to depict an onager hunt (Baghdad, Iraq Mus.; ...

Article

[Rus. Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik; USSR; Soviet Union]

Former political union formed in 1922 and consising originally of Armenia, Republic of, Azerbaijan, Belarus’, Georgia, Republic of, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Republic of and the Ukraine. At the outbreak of World War II Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Moldova were acquired. The union ceased to exist in ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

[Arab. Al-Imārātt al-‛Arabiyya al-Muttaḥida; formerly the Trucial States]

Federation of seven states in the eastern Arabian peninsula, with coastlines along the Gulf: Abu Dhabi (comprising 88% of the territory), Dubai, Sharjah (Arab. al-Shariqa), Ra’s al-Khayma, Fujayra, Umm al-Qaywayn and ‛Ajman (the smallest emirate); each emirate is named after its main city. Salt flats along the coast give way to sand desert and gravel plains, with the Hajar mountain range dividing the east and west coasts. The indigenous population (c. 4,500,000; 2005 estimate) is mainly Sunni Muslim and there is a large expatriate workforce. In prehistoric times the people were sea traders on the route between the east (e.g. Indus Valley, Iran) and Mesopotamia. They were at the height of their prosperity in the 3rd millennium bc when greater Oman (including the UAE) can possibly be identified as the copper-producing land of Magan, known from Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets. Islam arrived in this region c. ad 630. The Portuguese occupied the main Gulf ports from the 16th century to the mid-17th. The origins of the present-day states lie in the 18th century when relations with Britain also began. In the late 19th century and early 20th the pearl industry reached its height, which helped make Dubai a major entrepôt. In ...

Article

V. Beridze

Town on the north bank of the Kura River, 20 km east of Gori in the Republic of Georgia. Excavations have shown that Uplistsikhe was settled in the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium bc); the name itself (literally translated as ‘fortress of the rulers’) apparently dates only from the 10th century bc. In successive centuries it became an increasingly powerful city of the east Georgian kingdom of Kartli (Iberia), enjoying contacts with the cultural centres of Urartu, Iran, Armenia, Asia Minor and the Greek and Roman empires. With the Christianization of Georgia in the 330s ad and the appearance of new feudal centres, Uplistsikhe declined in importance, although from the early 11th century until 1122 it served as the residence of the Georgian kings; thereafter it continued to exist as a town until destroyed by the Mongols in the first half of the 13th century.

The town occupies a rocky hillside site of 9.5 ha., which is cut off to the south and west by high precipices; the north and east sides are defined by a channel and a defensive stone wall with towers. There are three main entrances and also a secret tunnel. The principal thoroughfare begins at the southern entrance; streets branch off it on both sides and are lined with houses hewn out of the terraced cliff. Free-standing buildings were also constructed; those dating from the antique period are of trimmed stone blocks held together with metal clamps, while in the medieval structures rubble stone with lime mortar and brick are used. Both rock-cut and free-standing buildings served a variety of residential, religious and commercial purposes....

Article

Ur  

Jane Moon

[now Tell el Mukayyar, southern Iraq]

Ancient Mesopotamian city occupied from at least 4000 bc. Ur lies 186 km south-east of Baghdad, on an old branch of the Euphrates. J. G. Taylor, who identified the site, first excavated there in 1853 and 1854. The Joint Expedition of the University Museum of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and the British Museum, London, led by Leonard Woolley, undertook full-scale excavations from 1922 to 1934. The site is dominated by a ziggurat, which was cleared, and excavation revealed monumental buildings that had been continuously occupied and rebuilt over the centuries, as well as an area of private housing which gives a rare picture of everyday life 4000 years ago. Most famous of all are the spectacular finds from the Sumerian Royal Cemetery, particularly those from the Death Pits, which contained the richly adorned bodies of high dignitaries and their slaughtered attendants. Finds, including jewellery and the inlaid sound-boxes of lyres, have provided virtually all available evidence for Sumerian expertise in goldwork such as gold vessels, sheet gold cylinder seals and gold weapons and tools. These objects and many from other periods are in the ...

Article

C. A. Burney

Name given to the inhabitants of the kingdom of Urartu, centred on Lake Van in eastern Anatolia (now Turkey; see Anatolia, ancient, §I, 2, (ii), (c)), and ruled from Tushpa (Van) from the mid-9th century bc until c. 590 bc. During this period the Urartians built many fortresses with walls of fine ashlar masonry and produced a distinctive series of artefacts, particularly in bronze, of which the largest collections are in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, the British Museum in London and the Hermitage in St Petersburg.

It is questionable to what extent the people of Urartu constituted a distinctive Urartian race, although it is clear that they were neither Semitic nor Indo-European. The Urartian language, known from cuneiform inscriptions, probably developed from Proto-Hurrian. Archaeological evidence suggests that the precursor of Urartian civilization was the essentially Hurrian Early Transcaucasian culture of the mid-4th millennium bc to the late 3rd, otherwise termed ...

Article

Urfa  

Lale H. Uluç

[Orfa; Gr. Edessa; Arab. al-Ruhā’]

Town in south-east Turkey. Lying at the intersection of important trade routes, the town must have existed before the Macedonian conquest, as it was refounded by Seleukos I (reg 312–281 bc). Lying on the frontier, the town suffered in the wars between Rome and the Parthians. Christianity was introduced by the 3rd century ad and Edessa became an important centre of Nestorianism. The town changed hands during the Persian–Byzantine wars and was taken by the Arabs in 638. The Mandylion or Holy Image of Edessa was a famous image of Christ that remained in the city until 942–3, when Romanos I removed the image with great ceremony to Constantinople. Arab geographers reckoned the cathedral, which had ceilings decorated with mosaics, one of the four wonders of the world. The city was taken by the crusaders, who there established the County of Edessa (see Jerusalem, Latin Kingdom of...

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(b Safed, Palestine [now Zefat, Israel], 1927).

Israeli draughtswoman. She studied drawing in Tel Aviv with David Hendler whom she later married. In 1956 she won the Dizengoff prize and in 1957 had her first solo show at the Tel Aviv Museum. This had a strong impact on younger Israeli artists who saw it as a contrast to the contemporary, brightly coloured works of the New Horizons group. Uri exhibited with the 10+ group around Raffie Lavie, founded in 1965, which reacted against the New Horizons style and prepared the way for the developments of the 1970s. Her drawings are mostly in black chalk, very sparely used, taking landscape as the starting point. The result is near abstract gestural works such as Landscape (1960; Jerusalem, Israel Mus.). She also made limited use of coloured chalk on occasion, as in Drawing (1967–8; Jerusalem, Israel Mus.). In addition her later work included purely abstract drawings, such as ...

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Uruk  

Joan Oates

[Bibl. Erech; Class. Orchoë; now Warka]

Site in southern Iraq of an important Sumerian city, once situated on a branch of the Euphrates, continuously occupied from the 5th millennium bc to Sasanian times (7th century ad); it is noted especially for remarkable architecture of the 4th millennium bc (Uruk period) and for the world’s earliest written documents. The site was excavated in 1850 and 1854 by William Kennet Loftus; since 1912 German teams have worked there under J. Jordan (1912–13, 1928–31), A. Nöldeke (1931–3, 1934–9), E. Heinrich (1933–4) and, since 1954, under H. Lenzen and later J. Schmidt. Most of the finds are in Baghdad (Iraq Mus.), although some of Loftus’s are in London (BM) and some from the earlier German excavations are in Berlin (Pergamonmus.).

The city of the legendary Gilgamesh, Uruk is believed to have consisted originally of two settlements, Kullaba and Eanna, of which Kullaba, the site of the later Anu precinct, is believed to be the earlier. Here two temples of the 5th millennium ...

Article

A. V. Ikonnikov

Azerbaijani architectural partnership formed c. 1929 by Mikael’ Useynov (b Baku, 19 April 1905; d 1992) and Sadykh (Alekper ogly) Dadashev (b Baku, 15 April 1905; d Moscow, 24 Dec 1946). Useynov studied at the Azerbaijan Polytechnical Institute, Baku, from 1921 to 1929. Dadashev completed his studies at the same institution the same year. In their first joint works they applied Constructivist principles within the context of the physical and climatic conditions of Azerbaijan. Examples include the food factory (early 1930s) in Bailov, a suburb of Baku, with numerous terraces and a pergola on the flat roof, and the teaching block (1930–31) of the Azerbaijan Industrial Institute, Baku. In the same style are several residential buildings, some of which were extended into large complexes, such as the Novy Byt complex (early 1930s), Baku. Using reinforced-concrete construction, and occasionally imitating it in stone, Useynov and Dadashev overcame the stark asceticism that characterizes many Constructivist residential blocks of this period....

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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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Margaret Mullett, Elizabeth Bruening Lewis, Valerie Nunn, Robin Cormack, Hans Buchwald, W. Eugene Kleinbauer, Marlia Mundell Mango, Lyn Rodley, William Saunders, Robert Ousterhout, Archibald Dunn, Slobodan Ćurčić, Kara Hattersley-Smith, Charles Barber, Christine Kondoleon, Ruth E. Kolarik, Lucille A. Roussin, Henri Lavagne, Margaret A. Alexander, Melita Emmanuel, Alexander Grishin, J.-P. Sodini, T. Zollt, Lucy-Anne Hunt, John Lowden, Manolis Chatzidakis, Nano Chatzidakis, Judith Herrin, Cécile Morrisson, Hero Granger-Taylor, Karel C. Innemée, David Whitehouse, Anthony Cutler, Aimilia Yeroulanou and David Buckton

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R. S. Merrillees

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Dominique Collon

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Carlos Lastarria Hermosilla

(b Santiago, Sept 9, 1931; d Santiago, May 18, 1993).

Chilean sculptor. He studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Santiago under the Chilean sculptors Julio Antonio Vásquez (b 1900), Lily Garáfulic (1914–2012), and Marta Colvin. He left Chile in 1958 for Spain, France, and Morocco, settling in Spain in 1961 but returning to Chile in 1974 to produce a number of works, including an important commission for the Parque de las Esculturas in Santiago (Bandaged Torso; stone, h. 1.62 m, installed 1989), before leaving again for Spain.

Valdivieso worked in bronze and in stone (granite, limestone, diorite, and basalt). Much of his work was concerned with natural forms, conveyed with a directness of feeling. Approaching mass through a process of gradual abstraction, Valdivieso sought a balance between the visual and tactile qualities of his materials and the meanings implicit to their forms. He often formulated his sculptures first in easily molded, ductile materials, which he then translated into the final work. He particularly favored chrome-plated bronze for its accentuation of the surface with its brilliant finish....