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Paul G. Bahn

Cave site in France, forming part of a cave system around the River Volp in Ariège in the foothills of the Pyrenees. It is important for its cave art of the Late Upper Palaeolithic period (c. 20,000–c. 10,000 bp; see also Prehistoric Europe §II 1.), which was discovered in July 1912, when Count Henri Bégouën and his three sons entered the cave and found engravings on its walls. In October of the same year the three boys, together with a friend, broke through some concretions blocking a passage and made their way to the end of the upper system, where they discovered the famous and unique clay figures of bison. More engravings were discovered between the 1950s and 1970s. The river still flows through the lower cave system, which leads into the 500 m-long upper system. The latter chiefly comprises high, wide galleries, although there are also some low and narrow passages. Evidence for a superficial Magdalenian culture occupation (...


Deborah E. Klimburg-Salter

(b Macerata, June 5, 1894; d San Polo dei Cavalieri, April 5, 1984).

Italian scholar and art historian. He is generally considered the ‘father’ of modern Tibetan studies. His contributions spanned the disciplines of philosophy, philology, archaeology, history, the history of religion and the history of art. His prodigious intellectual gifts were matched by his physical stamina and courage, a rare combination that allowed him to conduct 16 field expeditions to Himalayan India, Tibet and Nepal from 1928 to 1956. After serving in World War I he received his PhD in 1919. From 1926 to 1930 he taught Italian, Chinese and Tibetan at the universities of Shantiniketan and Calcutta in India. For over 30 years he taught the languages, religion and philosophy of India and China at the Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli, Naples. His broad educational background in Greek and Roman as well as in Chinese, Tibetan and Sanskrit enabled him to discuss the relationships and distinctive qualities of Western and Eastern civilizations not only in his scholarly works but also in numerous popular books and articles. In ...



Richard A. Diehl and Trent Barnes


Pre-Columbian city in Hidalgo, Mexico, that flourished as the capital city of the Toltec people between c. ad 950 and 1150–1200. Tula occupies a ridge overlooking the River Tula in the arid steppes 60 km north-west of Mexico City. Historically, Tula was the second of three major central Mexican urban polities (Teotihuacán, Tula, and Tenochtitlán) that exerted political, cultural, and artistic influence on other Mesoamerican societies. The Toltecs ruled a small ephemeral empire covering portions of central, north-central, and western Mexico, but their commercial and perhaps political influences extended southwards into Yucatán and Central America.

The community, first settled c. ad 800, grew into a city with a population of perhaps 10,000 by c. 950. Little is known of this early period or Corral phase, but Tula Chico, its largely unexcavated civic–religious precinct, has been identified. Tula Chico consists of platform mounds that once supported buildings arranged around an open plaza in a configuration similar to Tula Grande, the civic–religious precinct of the mature city. Tula Chico was replaced by the much larger ...



George F. Andrews and Trent Barnes

Pre-Columbian Maya walled site on the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico, which flourished c. 1200–c. 1520. It lies on the east coast of Quintana Roo c. 40 km south-west of the island of Cozumel, on the summit of a limestone cliff c. 12 m high, facing the Caribbean Sea. The name ‘Tulum’, which means ‘wall’ or ‘fortification’, is modern, but there is reason to believe that its ancient name was Zama, one of the Maya cities that, according to the chronicles, existed at the time of the Spanish Conquest. The conquistador Juan de Grijalva is generally credited with the discovery of Tulum during his expedition by sea along the coast of Quintana Roo in 1518. It was the American explorer John Lloyd Stephens, however, who first drew widespread attention to the site, in 1843, through his descriptions of its principal buildings, which were illustrated with the excellent drawings of his collaborator, ...



M. Yaldiz

[Tumšuq; Uygur: ‘beak’]

Site of Buddhist monastery complexes in the extreme western part of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. It is not mentioned in the Chinese annals or in reports of journeys by Buddhist pilgrims; it is possible that it was known by an older name. From the archaeological finds it seems that the monastery sites were in use between the 5th and 9th centuries ad. Paul Pelliot led a French expedition in the area in 1906. He discovered two important sites: the Tokkuz-sarai Monastery and Tumshuk-tagh, a site on three cliffs to the south, which he investigated superficially. In 1913 Albert von Le Coq found some exceptional wall paintings and numerous interesting wooden sculptures there.

The ruins of the Tokkuz-sarai Monastery, on a small plateau, covered an area of 300×200 m. The main sanctuary (30×50 m) consisted of a stupa surrounded by a courtyard with many rooms, smaller temples and accommodation for the monks. On the south-western side of the site Pelliot found fragments of paper and silk in a temple, as well as wall paintings and cinerary urns....


Marlia Mundell Mango

[Turk. Mazi Dağ; Mt Masius, Mt Izla]

Plateau in south-eastern Turkey, in what was northern Mesopotamia, to the south and west of the Tigris River between Diyarbakır (anc. Amida) and Nusaybin (anc. Nisibisا). The Syriac name Tur ‛Abdin means ‘the mountain of the servants (of God)’. It is a rural area noted for its Early Christian and medieval architecture and for its medieval illuminated manuscripts. From c. ad 300 onwards its culture was influenced by that of the surrounding and nearby cities of Amida, Nisibis, Dara (now Oğuz), Resh‛aina (Theodosiopolis), Martyropolis (now Silvan), Constantina (now Viranşehir) and the more distant city of Edessa (now Urfa; see Early Christian and Byzantine art, §II, 2, (i), (d)). The nearest large city is Mardin, a medieval foundation.

The Tur ‛Abdin preserves many of the churches and monasteries from which it derives its name. Some of these structures, which remain in the hands of Christian, Syriac-speaking communities, still serve their original purpose. Others stand abandoned or lie in ruins; still others entered the archaeological record (...



Mary S. Lawton


Oasis city and surrounding region in eastern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. The major sites include Khocho, Yarkhoto, Bezeklik and Astana. Turfan’s significance lay in its location on the northern branch of the Silk Route. Its art assimilated concepts from the Indian, Iranian and Chinese cultural traditions and religions disseminated along the Silk Route. Mahayana Buddhism, Nestorian Christianity, Manichaeism and Tantric Buddhism influenced the local style (see also Central Asia §II 1., (v)). As political control of the region alternated between China and the nomadic peoples of Central Asia it also influenced artistic production. The best examples of the resulting synthesis are to be found in the wall paintings and painted clay sculptures of the religious complexes and tombs. The spread of Islam in the area effectively ended further development of all art forms except architecture. Natural destruction together with the removal of frescoes and artefacts in the name of archaeological research has left almost nothing to be studied ...


Yvonne Harpur

Stone-built mastaba, built for the ancient Egyptian official Ty (fl c. 2380 bc), in the Old Kingdom cemetery north of the Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara. Ty, the overseer of the sun temples of Neferirkare and Neuserre, served several 5th Dynasty kings, terminating his career within the most prolific period of tomb sculpture in the Saqqara necropolis. During the later Old Kingdom, Ty’s chapel reliefs were imitated by local sculptors and artists working in chapels in southern Egypt. Gradually, however, the superstructure was engulfed by sand and was thus preserved until its discovery in 1860 by the French archaeologist Auguste Mariette.

The tomb incorporates a multi-roomed chapel, burial shafts and a doorless serdab enclosing a life-size statue of the deceased (Cairo, Egyp. Mus., CG 20). The high walls of the chapel are decorated with raised reliefs (see fig.), many of which are delicately carved illustrations of outdoor activities (such as fishing, fowling and harvesting crops) and symbolic scenes, elaborated by hieroglyphic inscriptions. These are arranged in narrow, horizontal registers, usually before large representations of the tomb owner accompanied by his family or retinue. Some of the reliefs were left unpainted, but others retain traces of pigment, especially red-brown, black, green and yellow against a light ochre background wash. In every room the quality of sculpture is of a consistently high standard. Nevertheless, it is the sheer variety of detail in the scenes and inscriptions and the inventiveness of subject-matter and composition that have earned the chapel its reputation as a masterpiece of ancient Egyptian art....


Søren H. Andersen

Late Mesolithic coastal settlement site now submerged c. 200–300 m off the west coast of Fyn Island, southern Denmark. It was the first underwater excavation site in northern Europe. The site’s position indicates that the area has sunk c. 2–3 m since the Late Mesolithic period. The main part of the settlement area had been eroded when the area was flooded by the sea, but in situ finds were preserved in the ‘waste zone’ in the shallow water off the coastline. Conditions for the preservation of organic materials were the most favourable encountered in the region to date (1994).

The site belongs to the Ertebølle culture, especially the earlier part, which has been dated by radiocarbon analysis to c. 4500–c. 400 bc. Zooarchaeological analysis demonstrated year-round human habitation, possibly permanent occupation. Finds from a zone c. 100×10–15 m along the prehistoric shoreline indicate that the area just off the settlement proper was a combination of an inshore fishing area and a ‘dump’ for waste. Human remains included those found in the inhumation grave of a young girl (15–17 years old) with a newborn baby (0–3 months) in the settlement proper. The subsistence economy was based on the hunting of red deer, wild boar and roe deer, the fishing of cod, spurdog and eel and the collection of hazelnuts, acorns and certain marine molluscs. Of these, fishing was of the greatest importance. Also many animals (e.g. pine marten) were killed for fur. Implements of flint, bone, antler and pottery of the usual Ertebølle types were found....


D. Evely

Site in northern Crete, 14 km south-west of Herakleion, in the foothills of the Ida massif overlooking the coastal plain, which flourished c. 2900–c. 1000 bc. It lay on routes heading both west and south and is mentioned (as tu-ri-so) in the Linear B tablets. The excavations conducted by Joseph Hazzidakis (1909–13) uncovered only a fraction of the site.

An Early Minoan (em) ii to Middle Minoan (mm) ii settlement (c. 2900/2600–c. 1675 bc), represented by traces of walls and pottery but of uncertain form, was succeeded c. 1650 bc by free-standing, two-storey houses which differed in detail. The irregularly shaped Houses A and C have store-rooms containing pithoi, separated by corridors and stair units from living areas, including halls with pier-and-door screens and adjacent light wells, lustral basins and pillar crypts. Both have multiple access routes. House B is rectangular and only slightly less complex. All three buildings were destroyed by fire ...



Nina Jidejian

[Gr. Tyrus; Arab. Sur]

Ancient city in south Lebanon, c. 30 km south of Sidon, which flourished as one of the leading centres of the Phoenicians (see Phoenician). It was originally an island fortress facing Palaetyros (now Tell el-Rashidiyeh). In 332 bc, after an unsuccessful siege of seven months, Alexander the Great joined the island to the mainland with a causeway, thus turning Tyre into a peninsula. The history of the city spans more than 4000 years. The site was first excavated in 1860 by Ernest Renan, and again briefly in 1903; French expeditions surveyed it in 1921 and 1934–6, and since 1947 excavations have been directed by Maurice Chébab. Most of the finds are in the Louvre in Paris and the Musée National in Beirut.

Excavations have revealed little of the ancient city, but in the first half of the 1st millennium bc the skill of its craftsmen was recorded in the Bible (I Kings 5:18; 7:13–45). The magnificent remains of Roman and Byzantine Tyre, however, prove that the city deserved the title ‘Metropolis of Phoenicia’. A splendid avenue bordered with cipollino marble columns and paved with mosaic leads to the southern port. Other remains include a palaestra bordered with grey granite columns from Aswan in Upper Egypt, baths, a rectangular construction with five tiers of steps used for festivals, and cisterns for the flourishing purple dye industry. A monumental archway 20 m high was raised over the principal road leading into Tyre. The city’s aqueduct ran perpendicularly to the road. On both sides spread a vast Roman-Byzantine necropolis, which has yielded about 300 sarcophagi (e.g. Beirut, Mus. N.). Several of the sculptured reliefs depict episodes from the ...


Román Piña Chán and Trent Barnes

Pre-Columbian site on the edge of Lake Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, Mexico. From c. 1300 to 1525 it was the capital of the Purépecha kingdom, later called Tarascan by the Spaniards, of north-western and lowland Michoacán, adjacent Jalisco and north-western Guerrero. The Relación de Michoacán, an anonymous 16th-century chronicle recorded by a Franciscan missionary c. 1539–41 (Madrid, Escorial, Bib. Monasterio S Lorenzo), relates that the ?14th-century ruler Tariácuri consolidated the Purépecha kingdom and established his capital at Pátzcuaro. He later divided his kingdom, bequeathing Michuacán–Tzintzuntzan to his nephew Tangaxoan I. Thereafter, the site of Tzintzuntzan (‘place of humming-birds’) soon became the Tarascan capital.

Despite the presence of abundant volcanic stone in the region, the Tarascans created neither an imposing architecture nor a monumental art. Nevertheless, their ceremonial precincts included large platform structures that seem to have been in perfect harmony with the lake-filled landscape in which they were built. The city of Tzintzuntzan had at least three ceremonial precincts: one situated at the foot of Cerro Yahuarato, another on the spurs of Cerro Tariaqueri, and a third on the plain bordering the lake. The residential zones of the inhabitants were grouped around these precincts and extended into the hills and along the lake shore. At the time of the Spanish Conquest the population is estimated to have been 40,000. Enormous platforms were built of earth and stone cores clad with rectangular stone slabs set in mud. The platforms, over 400 m long, were terraced and served as stages for temple bases, known as ...


David M. Jones and Trent Barnes

Pre-Columbian site in the northern Petén region, Guatemala. It was a principal Maya political, cultural, and ceremonial centre during the Late Pre-Classic (c. 300 bcc. ad 250) and Classic (c. ad 250–c. 900) periods. Sylvanus G. Morley explored the site in 1916 and made photographs, plans, and drawings. Between 1926 and 1937 further plans and reconstructive drawings were made, and excavations were carried out for the Carnegie Institution of Washington, DC, by Morley, Oliver and Edith Ricketson, A. Ledyard Smith, Robert Smith, Robert Wauchope, Edwin Shook, and Tatiana Proskouriakoff. Uaxactún’s ceramic sequence, which began in the early Middle Pre-Classic period (c. 1000–c. 300 bc), established the foundations of Lowland Maya chronology and has ultimately been linked to the ceramic chronologies of most of Mesoamerica. In the Middle Pre-Classic period a few low platforms were the principal constructions, but the earliest pyramidal platforms were erected in the Late Pre-Classic period. The earliest stele to be erected has a Long Count date (...


Joan Oates

[Tell el-Obeid; Tell al-Ma‛abad; Tell al-Abd]

Site near Ur, Iraq. It is noted for the first identification of the prehistoric pottery that bears its name (5th millennium bc) and for a Sumerian temple with elaborate façade ornament (first half of the 3rd millennium bc). The site was excavated by H. R. Hall (1919) and by Leonard Woolley (1923–4). The black painted, greenish buff ceramic now known as Ubaid is one of the most distinctive Mesopotamian wares (see Mesopotamia, §V, 1). The decoration is largely geometric, more elaborate in the earliest phases (6th millennium bc, later stratigraphically identified at nearby Eridu) and tending towards broad, sweeping patterns in its latest phase (c. 4200 bc), by which time the potter’s wheel was in widespread use in Mesopotamia. No stratified material of prehistoric Ubaid date was excavated; the published Ubaid sherds were found either on the surface or out of context in the excavation of the later cemetery at the south end of the tell. These, however, identify the presence of all phases of the prehistoric Ubaid period at the site....



Darrell Lewis

[Obiri Rock]

Complex of at least 36 Aboriginal sites in the Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia, formerly known by the anglicized form of its name. The entire area near the East Alligator River Crossing in Western Arnhem Land is subject to seasonal monsoonal flooding, but there are numerous sandstone outcrops and monoliths containing rock shelters above the maximum flood level. The rock paintings found in these shelters include representative examples from the earliest styles to the most recent (see Aboriginal Australia §II 2., (ii), (b)). The few examples of the earliest Dynamic-style figures to have been found are located in well-protected crevices. They are believed to be at least 9000 years old and depict in red ochre small human beings wearing large headdresses, carrying boomerangs and using hand-thrown spears. Small, predominantly red, human figures from the subsequent period are more common throughout the complex; these wear headdresses and have distinctive S-shaped bodies. Several paintings depict the thylacine or Tasmanian wolf, and these are likely to date to a minimum of 3000 years ago when the wolf is believed to have become extinct on the Australian mainland. Other figures from more recent periods are painted in a range of colours, including red, yellow, white and black. They are no longer depicted wearing large headdresses, while spear-throwers and an increasing variety of spear types are carried instead of boomerangs....


Michael D. Willis

Site of 20 rock-cut cave shrines in Vidisha District, Madhya Pradesh, India, some 4.5 km west of Vidisha. Udayagiri is a low, narrow hill approximately 2.5 km long. Its cave shrines, which can be dated to the 5th century ad on the basis of two inscriptions (on Caves 6 and 7), were first comprehensively published by Alexander Cunningham in the 19th century. Known for their outstanding sculpture, the caves are Brahmanical except for a Jaina cave halfway up the hill and a Jaina image (c. 11th century) in Cave 1. The most important and best preserved are Caves 4, 5, 6, 13 and 19.

Cave 4 is remarkable for its early 5th-century doorway with delicately carved lotus scrollwork on the jambs and lintel. Following the conventions of the period, the lintel extends beyond the jambs to create a T-shape. Inside the sanctum is a single-faced (Skt ekamukha) Shiva ...


Sara Champion

Figure of a horse cut into the chalk downland at Uffington in the Vale of the White Horse, Oxfordshire, England. It is the most distinctive and possibly the earliest extant British Hill-figure. This flowing figure of a slender horse, 120 m long, lies close to the ramparts of the Iron Age hill-fort of Uffington Castle. The horse faces right, its exaggerated thin neck supporting a head with a large eye and beak-like mouth. The slim, lightly curved line of the body leads to a tail the length of the hind legs. Two of the horse’s legs are attached to the body; one foreleg is separate, emphasizing the feeling of perspective, and the second hindleg is represented as a separate curve under the horse’s hip.

A 13th-century manuscript included this horse as one of the wonders of Britain, second only to Stonehenge; but there has been considerable debate as to whether it has always taken its present form. There are 18th-century representations of the Uffington Horse drawn in a more conventional manner, but these may have been the result of alterations made to a type of image unfamiliar to the artist recording it. In its present disjointed form the horse bears a strong resemblance to horses shown on British ...



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....


(b 1856; d 1944).

German archaeologist. His pioneering work in Peru and Bolivia between 1892 and 1912 revolutionized the archaeological study of Pre-Columbian South America. Uhle was trained as a philologist but later took up archaeology. His interest in Peru began when he was curator of the Dresden Museum. From 1892 he conducted field research for the universities of Pennsylvania and California, excavating on the Peruvian coast at Pachacamac and on Moche and Chimú sites. He worked in the valleys of the Chincha and Ica, discovering the production sites of Nazca ceramics. He later extended his work into the Peruvian highlands and to Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile; he also made a notable contribution to North American archaeology with his excavations of the Emeryville shell-mound in San Francisco Bay. His rigorous approach, influenced by the systematic excavations of Flinders Petrie in Egypt, emphasized stratigraphic excavation and the ordering of finds in an evolutionary sequence as a means of establishing chronology. The basic chronological framework he established for Pre-Columbian South America has only been superseded in the later 20th century....



R. N. Misra

[anc. Ujjayinī; Ujjeni; Ozene; Visala]

Sacred city and ancient astronomical centre on the Shipra River in Madhya Pradesh, India. It was already an important centre in Maurya times (4th–3rd centuries bc) and flourished under the Gupta rulers of the 4th–5th centuries ad. From the 9th to the 13th century Ujjain was the capital of the Paramara kings but was sacked by Muslim forces in 1235. The city subsequently flourished under Mughal family and Maratha rule (16th–19th centuries), especially during the governorship of Raja Jai Singh in the early 18th century.

The site of the ancient city is marked by a substantial mound known as Garh-kalika on the bank of the Shipra River to the north of the present town. Excavations (1938–9, 1955–8 and 1964–5) have dated the foundation of the city to c. 700 bc. Finds included objects of pottery, iron and stone, beads, coins and terracotta figurines. The earliest buildings found at Ujjain are a brick-lined tank of the ...