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Article

T. F. C. Blagg

[now Vaison-la-Romaine]

Site of a Roman city (fl mid-1st century adc. 475). It originated as a native settlement of the Vocontii and occupied hillsides north of the River Ouvèze, southern France, over which a single-span Roman bridge still stands. The theatre (1st century ad) is the main surviving public building. Its cavea, cut into the north side of the Puymin Hill, has been extensively restored. The stage building was of western type with doors set in curved and rectangular exedrae. In front of it, rock-cut shafts contained the curtain mechanism. Statues of emperors and local dignitaries from the theatre are displayed in the nearby Musée Archéologique. The excavated town houses are the best-preserved in France, notable for their Hellenistic peristyle courtyards. Among those on the southern slopes of the Puymin Hill, the House of the Messii (2nd century ad) had at the east end large rooms paved in ...

Article

Gerald Cadogan

Large Late Minoan i (c. 1560–c. 1425 bc) country house a few kilometres south of Archanes and Knossos in northern central Crete. Excavated by Spyridon Marinatos in 1949–51, it stands on a spur overlooking fertile country, dominated by Mt Juktas to the north-west, with its shrines. The house, which measures over 20×20 m, was apparently not part of a village or hamlet. Its few outbuildings include a kiln, while in the house itself are presses for olive oil and wine. Its architecture exemplifies the high quality of building of these large villas, which probably controlled large estates. Features include ashlar masonry, column bases of different stones, pillar basements, recesses for windows and a paved west court. On the east side of the building, opposite the entrance and across a small courtyard, is a tripartite shrine, with a central recess (possibly for a seat or statue) between two square masonry structures with hollow centres. These may have held flagstaff-like masts, as depicted on the peak-sanctuary chlorite and gold rhyton from ...

Article

Veii  

Marco Rendeli

[Gr. Ventia; It. Veio]

Etruscan site c. 20 km north of Rome, set on a triangular tufa plateau bounded by two streams and accessible only from the north-west. Veii was apparently the largest city of the Etruscan twelve-city league, with an extensive territory and control of the River Tiber to the south. Excavations at Veii began in the 18th century, and the site has now been systematically explored. The earliest, small settlements on the site were Early Iron Age, and these villages later combined to form a substantial centre. The necropoleis contain chamber tombs, mostly for cremation burials, but, as elsewhere in Etruria, inhumation became more common in the Orientalizing period and rock-cut tombs under large tumuli were constructed. The Tomb of the Ducks (c. 675–c. 650 bc) contains probably the oldest known Etruscan wall painting, and the Campana Tomb (c. 600 bc) also predates any of the painted tombs at Tarquinia (...

Article

Joan K. Lingen and Trent Barnes

Pre-Columbian site on the Gulf of Panama, just west of the Panama Canal and c. 16 km from the 16th-century settlement of Old Panama in the Canal Zone. It is noted for its large number of burials and their accompanying grave goods. The site was discovered in 1948 and excavated in 1951 by Neville A. Harte, Samuel K. Lothrop, and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, where the finds are held. Further excavations were directed by Thelma Bull in 1958. The excavations recovered 369 bodies in both individual and group graves. Lothrop described some of these as ‘bathtub’ burials, with the bodies placed in the grave floors either in an extended or a flexed position. More important people were buried in side chambers cut into the rock. In some cases, infants had been placed in urns and buried with an adult. Lothrop believed these bodies represented natural deaths, suicides, and sacrificial victims. Many had obviously been mutilated by decapitation, amputation, or dismemberment. According to Claude Baudez, this differential treatment of the dead suggests a stratified society....

Article

David M. Jones

Rock shelter in North America, in the Castle Mountains, AZ. It was occupied in Pre-Columbian times from c. 10,000 bc to c. ad 1300. Ventana Cave was excavated by the American archaeologist Emil Haury and the results were published by the University of New Mexico Press. The earliest layers of occupation contained crude, then more sophisticated, stone tools (including projectile points, of which the type—Clovis or Folsom—is disputed), a variety of faunal remains and shells from the Gulf of California, c. 160 km to the west. The inhabitants practised a hunting–gathering economy. Later layers contained artefacts of the Hohokam culture ( fl c. 300 bcad 1300) of the US Southwest, including evidence of their agricultural way of life ( see also Snaketown ), such as maize-grinding stones, pottery and remains of netting, cordage, basketwork, leather and feather objects and cotton textiles. The pottery is typical of early Hohokam styles, with red-on-buff decorations (...

Article

Joan K. Lingen

Pre-Columbian culture of the Veraguas Province of central Panama. This area extends from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean; it is bordered on the west by the Bocas del Toro and Chiriquí provinces and on the east by the Colon and Coclé provinces, and by the Azuero Peninsula provinces of Los Santos and Herrera. The extreme northern and southern parts consist of high mountains supporting a wet tropical climate, while the central area is dry. Veraguas culture was included by Richard Cooke as part of the central Panamanian cultural region, which exhibits cultural homogeneity through much of the archaeological record. More broadly, it is classed as part of the Intermediate area (see South America, Pre-Columbian, §II). Its earliest known site, Pueblo Nuevo on the Veraguas–Chiriquí border, has yielded a radiocarbon date of c. 230 bc, but the presence of iron tools in graves near Soná indicates the continuous use of the site into the 16th century ...

Article

Vergina  

Manolis Andronicos

Village c. 64 km south-west of Thessaloniki, Greece, once the site of ancient Aigai, the first capital of the Macedonian dynasty. Excavations, begun in 1861 and recommenced in 1938, have continued into the early 21st century; structures uncovered include a prehistoric tumulus cemetery, a large Hellenistic palace, a theatre, a small temple, the city walls, remains of houses and eleven monumental vaulted tombs, of which four are royal burial vaults. The many important finds are now in the Archaeological Museum, Thessaloniki.

The palace (end of the 4th century bc) is one of the largest surviving buildings of the Hellenistic period (104.5×88.5 m). Its design is simple but impressive, with rooms arranged around a courtyard to form a harmonious architectural ensemble. The complex is divided by a central axis into two parts, north and south. Along the whole north side runs a long, narrow verandah facing northwards on to the Macedonian plain. The most formal room in the palace is a circular chamber, the ‘tholos’, in which the inscription ‘to Herakles the ancestor’ was found. The most luxurious rooms were in the south wing and had mosaic floors. Only one of these, with rich plant ornament, survives. The east wing, where the entrance was, had a second storey. All the surviving architectural elements bear witness to the care with which the palace was constructed. The theatre dates from the same period. It had stone seats in the first row only; the rest must have been wooden. The ...

Article

Gretchen G. Fox

[Virginio]

(b Rome, Feb 12, 1808; d Rome, Dec 4, 1882).

Italian architect. As a young draughtsman he contributed illustrations to books popularizing Roman archaeology, such as Edward Dodwell’s I sette colli di Roma (London, 1829). Vespignani trained under Luigi Poletti and worked with him (1837–69) on the reconstruction of S Paolo fuori le mura, continuing the work on Poletti’s death. Three sides of the great quadriporticus were finished (1893) to his designs after his own death. A favourite of Pope Pius IX (reg 1846–78), he benefited from the many papal commissions generated during his reign. He applied historical revival styles to his work, for instance in his Madonna dell’Archetto Chapel (1851) in the Via di S Marcello, and the Confessio (1864) in S Maria Maggiore, both in Rome. Three early works were public monuments in Rome, including the new façade of the Porta Pia (1852–68), an eclectic work with elements borrowed from the Arch of Titus. In contrast, his Porta S Pancrazio (...

Article

Marco Rendeli

[Etrus. Vetluna]

Site of an Etruscan city, now a village, on a hilltop c. 18 km north-west of Grosseto, Italy. In ancient times the city overlooked Lake Prilius, as did nearby Rusellae. There are few excavated remains: a main street c. 3 m wide, crossed obliquely by two smaller roads, has been uncovered. The buildings were small, crowded mud-brick or stone structures, as at Veii and San Giovenale. The city walls (?6th century bc) can be traced, as can the remains of a 3rd-century bc temple. Most information about ancient Vetulonia comes, however, from its necropoleis. The Early Iron Age is characterized by cremation burials and repositories containing many imported artefacts. Indigenous metalwork and small-scale three-dimensional sculpture is represented in this and the following Orientalizing period by some fine bronze figurines, decorated vase stands and other objects (see also Etruscan §VI 2., (i)). In the 7th century bc many ...

Article

Vicús  

George Bankes and Trent Barnes

Pre-Columbian site near Chulucanas, Morropon Province, in the far north of Peru. It was the centre of a culture that flourished c. 500 bcc. ad 500. In the 1960s grave robbers found cemeteries containing deep shaft and chamber tombs on the hill of Vicús and at neighbouring sites. Further architectural remains discovered in 1987 included a large ceremonial structure with four terraces and a central asymmetrical ramp. Just to the north of this is a large complex of terraces with houses. Although these structures lack associated pottery, their proximity to the main Vicús cemetery suggests that they date to the same period.

It was the cemeteries that yielded the large quantities of fine pottery and metal artefacts for which the site is known. Many of these were in a purely local style, termed Classic Vicús, Vicús-Vicús, or simply Vicús. Reflecting the site’s location in a transitional zone between the Central and Northern Andes, this style was strongly influenced by neighbouring cultures. Some ceramics from the same area show close similarities to phases 1 and 2 of the ...

Article

Perween Hasan

Site of a ruined city 25 km south of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Most of the city, which was situated between the Dhaleswari and Padma rivers, has been lost through erosion and floods. Rampal and neighbouring villages mark its original location.

Located in the ancient region of Vanga, Vikrampur was an important city in the 10th–13th centuries during the rule of the Chandra, Sena and Deva dynasties. The Senas made it their capital when they were forced to withdraw to south-eastern Bengal under pressure from the sultans of Delhi in the early 13th century. Vikrampur itself came under Muslim rule at the end of the 13th century. A broad ditch is all that remains of the Ballal Bari, the fortified palace of the Senas. There are several ruined temples in the area, and many stone and wooden images have been unearthed. These include a 4 m-long wooden column carved with human and animal figures (Dhaka, N. Mus.) recovered from a ruined temple in the village of ...

Article

Clay Mathers

Site of Copper Age settlement 7 km north-west of Cartaxo in the Tagus Valley, Portugal, dated to c. 3500–c. 2200 bc. Among the important features of the site are its fortifications, evidence of the development of copper metallurgy and the range of exotic goods found there, including Bell Beaker pottery, stone plaques and idols, decorated bone vessels and North African ivory (Barcelona, Mus. Arqueol.; Madrid, Mus. Arqueol. N.; Oxford, Ashmolean). The site was discovered in 1936 and successive excavations were undertaken by Afonso do Paço and Eugénio Jalhay between 1937 and 1950 and continued by do Paço until 1961. Occupying a flat, narrow promontory, the settlement was protected on three sides by steep slopes, and on the fourth by a series of manmade fortifications. Although the relative dates of these fortifications have not been established, three main construction phases have been identified in the innermost part of the site. Characterized by a lack of fortification, the earliest phase had a wide, rock-cut ditch and a domed pottery kiln measuring 5 m in diameter. The next phase was represented by the erection of a massive stone rampart 4–5 m thick forming an irregular, square-shaped enclosure measuring ...

Article

Vinča  

Alasdair Whittle

Site of prehistoric settlement on the right bank of the River Danube, east of Belgrade, Serbia. It flourished during the 6th–4th millennia bc. Vinča is the type site of the Vinča culture, which extended throughout Serbia and part of western Romania. A major agricultural settlement, it has yielded evidence of the development of Neolithic crafts, especially pottery and fired clay figurines ( see also Prehistoric Europe, §IV ). It was partially excavated by Milan Vasić in 1908–12, 1924 and 1928–32, and the material recovered is in the National Museum, Belgrade, and in the Faculty of Archaeology, Belgrade University. The large mound is over 10 m high and comprises a 2 m-deep base-level of Starčevo culture occupation debris, overlain by c. 7 m of Vinča culture deposits, dating from the 6th–5th millennia bc. Vasić suggested four main phases of development (A–D), sometimes simplified into Early or Vinča–Turdaş and Late or Vinča–Pločnik....

Article

Vix  

Sara Champion

Site of burial mound near the Iron Age settlement of Mont Lassois in the Côte d’Or département, France. The tumulus of Vix has been dated by its contents to c. 500 bc. It was excavated in 1953 by René Joffroy after part of its stonework was revealed during agricultural activity. Originally 42 m in diameter and 5–6 m high, the circular mound of stone covered a timber-lined grave dug into the ground and slightly trapezoidal in shape (3.10×2.75 m). Changes to the water-level of the River Seine had rendered the grave partly waterlogged, hampering excavation; nevertheless, it was possible to plan carefully its spectacular contents (all works mentioned in this article, except the harness and the cloth edged with roundels, are in Châtillon-sur-Seine, Mus. Archéol.).

The burial was of a woman aged 30–35, found lying on her back across the remains of a four-wheeled vehicle. The wheels had been removed and propped against the east wall of the chamber, and the metal decorations from the vehicle, the harness and a goad (?or sceptre) lay scattered over the eastern half of the chamber. The whole of this area, including the corpse, appears to have been covered with a cloth edged with roundels, from which pigments seen on the floor during excavation may have come. The woman wore, or was buried with, a considerable amount of jewellery, comprising bronze leg-rings, a bronze torque (heavy neck-ring) found in the waist region, three bracelets of schist and two of amber, a necklace of stone and amber beads and seven brooches (five of bronze and two of iron), some with gold, amber or coral inlay. The most spectacular personal ornament was a gold ring, found around the skull and originally described as a diadem but now generally considered to be a torque. This ring weighs 480 g and is slightly oval in shape, ending in lions’ feet with highly decorated globular terminals. A little gold figure of Pegasus adorns the joining-point of each terminal and lion’s foot. Without exact parallel anywhere, this piece is thought by some to be of Iberian manufacture, while others believe it to have been eastern European in origin....

Article

H. I. R. Hinzler

(b The Hague, Jan 9, 1871; d Oegstgeest, April 10, 1958).

Dutch archaeologist and linguist. He initially studied Dutch literature in Amsterdam (1890) but specialized in Sanskrit in his thesis (1897). After a year of private lecturing (1898–9) on Indian literature at the University of Amsterdam, in 1900 he went to India to study Sanskrit further and to visit the Hindu and Muslim monuments. The British archaeologist Sir Aurel Stein, whom he met in Kashmir, recommended that the Indian Government appoint Vogel as Archaeological Surveyor. From 1901 to 1913 Vogel undertook surveys, first of the Muslim monuments and the Hindu antiquities and inscriptions in the Punjab; later, transferred to Uttar Pradesh, he was in charge of the early Hindu and Buddhist monuments and participated in excavations. In 1914 Vogel was appointed professor in Sanskrit and Archaeology at Leiden University. He was one of the founders of the archaeological Kern Institute in 1925 and the supervisor of 12 volumes of the ...

Article

Joachim Hahn

Cave site in Kreis Heidenheim, Germany. It has yielded one of the earliest and best-executed assemblages of art objects of the Upper Palaeolithic period (c. 40,000–c. 10,000 bp; see also Prehistoric Europe §II ). Excavated in 1931 by Gustav Riek, Vogelherd has the longest known stratigraphic sequence in south-western Germany, having yielded Middle Palaeolithic, Micoquian, Mousterian, Aurignacian, Magdalenian and Early Neolithic stone tool assemblages. The most important in terms of the number of artefacts and bones recovered are the Aurignacian levels, which also yielded human skeletal remains belonging to the earliest known specimens of Homo sapiens sapiens in the region. The rich fauna comprised mammoths, horses, reindeer, rhinoceroses, red deer, cattle, chamois, wolves, foxes and lions. Radiocarbon dates for these levels range from c. 32,000 bp to c. 27,000 bp. During this period stone artefacts were produced on the terrace outside the cave, and many tools have been found in the interior, where most of the antler and bone artefacts were concentrated around a large hearth belonging to level V; almost all the art objects in the cave were also found in a single location, suggesting an intentional cache. The art material recovered from the site is exhibited by the university library, Tübingen, and the Altes Schloss, Württembergisches Landesmuseum, Stuttgart....

Article

Pascale Linant de Bellefonds

(b Paris, Oct 18, 1829; d Paris, Nov 10, 1916).

French archaeologist and diplomat. He initially worked as a diplomat in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) in 1850, but he soon resigned and from 1853 to 1854 travelled around Greece, Turkey, Syria and Palestine, where he collected material for his work on Christian buildings. In 1861 he was sent to Cyprus by the historian Ernest Renan, with William Henry Waddington (1826–94), the epigrapher, and Edmond-Clément-Marie-Louise Duthoit, the architect, in order to explore the island systematically and organize large-scale excavations. Vogüé and Waddington continued their research in Syria and Jerusalem in 1862, enabling Vogüé to publish a detailed study of the Temple of Jerusalem two years later. Following Waddington’s departure in late 1862, Vogüé stayed a little longer in the East with Duthoit, exploring central Syria and Ḥawrān; this trip provided him with the material for the three-volume Syrie centrale. From 1868 Vogüé was a free member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, and he was involved in producing the ...

Article

F. B. Sear

[Arab. Walīla]

Roman site in Morocco, 20 km north of Meknès. The town was inhabited from the 3rd century bc by a Libyophoenician (mixed Berber and Carthaginian) population. It grew rapidly in the mid-1st century ad when it became a municipium (free town) of the Roman province of Mauretania Tingitana. Abandoned by the Romans in ad 280–85, Volubilis was briefly the capital of the Islamic Idrisid dynasty at the end of the 8th century ad. A forum was built during the reign of Nero ( ad 54–68), and by the end of the 1st century ad several insulae (apartment blocks) had been laid out around it. In the later 2nd century ad the urban grid was extended to the north-east, and a 3–km circuit of walls was built ( ad 168–9) enclosing an area of around 40 ha. The forum was completely reconstructed at the time of Septimius Severus (...

Article

V. Ya. Petrukhin

( Nikolayevich )

(b Vladimir, Dec 13, 1904; d Moscow, April 4, 1976).

Russian archaeologist and art historian. He graduated from the history department at Leningrad (now St Petersburg) State University in 1926. From 1928 to 1931 he was a postgraduate student and then joined the staff of the State Academy for the History of Material Culture. In 1934 he published his thesis on the history of Russian architecture in the 16th and 17th centuries. He became a doctor of historical sciences in 1944 and a professor in 1946. He directed excavations in the Old Russian cities of Yaroslavl’, Rostov, Vladimir, Suzdal’, Pereyaslavl’-Zalessky, Staritsa, Murom and Grodno and, as a result of the excavations in Bogolyubovo (1943–54), the remains of a 12th-century palace complex were discovered. He was particularly interested in the synthesis of Romanesque and Byzantine influences in Old Russian architecture; he also revealed the decisive influence of Vladimir and Suzdal’ on the architecture of the state of Muscovy. From ...

Article

Vouni  

Franz Georg Maier

Site on the north coast of Cyprus, c. 8 km north-east of Lefka. Here the extensive remains of a 5th-century bc palace, a complete plan of which was recovered ( see Cyprus §II 2., (iii) ), were excavated by the Swedish Cyprus Expedition in 1928–9. The reception rooms of the original palace (Vouni i; first half of the 5th century bc) were arranged around a central square court surrounded on three sides by a portico. On the fourth side, at the south-west, a magnificent flight of stairs led to the palace’s main entrance with its flanking state apartments. The strict axiality in the arrangement of the court and the entrance block is to be noted. Service wings to the south contained living-rooms, baths, kitchens and storerooms. During a rebuilding in the later 5th century bc (Vouni ii) a second court, flanked by a number of storerooms and other apartments, was added to the south-east, and the main entrance block was walled up. A new main entrance was devised, which followed a winding route into the courtyard by way of rooms in the north-west corner of the court. The palace shows the influence of contemporary Near Eastern architecture (...